Some Came To Sing

The Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay of execution for Troy Davis.

At 7:05 p.m., five minutes after his scheduled death, Davis’ supporters erupted in cheers, hugs and tears outside the jail in Jackson, Ga., as supporters believed Davis had been saved from the death penalty. But Davis was granted only a temporary reprieve as the Supreme Court considers the decision.

The warrant for Davis’ execution is valid until Sept. 28. The Georgia Resource Center, part of Davis’ legal defense team, said it was unsure how long the delay would last.

I would be surprised if anyone concerned slept tonight.

In other news and muddying the already troubled waters, Lawrence Brewer was executed tonight in Texas for the murder of James Byrd.

Gods Who Are Any More Vengeful

Between the Republican debate and the Tea Party debacle, I wondered when someone on television would turn to the camera and say, “This, friends, is what genuine crazytalk sounds like. This goes beyond requiring medication; it is so far gone that I’m going to ask you not to make eye contact with this herd of thundering bewilderbeests in the hope that we can get the studio audience safely out of the building. Hush. No sudden moves, please. Audience, please make your way to the fire exits and, for fuck’s sake, don’t look back.”

The more no one turns to the camera and sternly declares crazytalk is a danger to us, the greater that danger becomes. I hope you have BandAids and First Aid Cream. It would not be too much to strap on a helmet.

In the old days, before we tried bombing Afghanistan back into a Stone Age it never left, you might’ve pictured Wolf Blitzer falling on this grenade. In 2011, you hope Blitzer doesn’t feed you to the bewilderbeests. He would, you know. Bewilderbeests have teeth, and Blitzer fears anything sharp, like Ron Paul. Think I’m kidding? Ron Paul is so prickly you could cut yourself on his chitinous shell and Blitzer will have none of it!

Wolf Blitzer is concerned.

Seeing this – and this guy – I don’t really know what to say anymore. The statements have become so outlandish it can be difficult to recognize the genuine danger belied by the cartoony talk. Abolish Social Security? Saying something that stupid should disqualify a person from holding public office. Raise the Medicare age? Should be cause for a public inquiry into which pets and children that guy’s abusing. Cut Medicaid? Elderly people should spit on that public speaker. War without end? Please accept this plane ticket to the Hague on behalf of sane people everywhere. Cut food stamps and defund poverty relief programs? Excuse me, there’s a Mr. Jesus to speak with you. He looks upset. Hurry. He’s got a 4:30 with some bankers.

Thoughts Are Scattered And They’re

Mr. DBK's favorite shore haunt. Boo!

You would think it would be warm at the shore, but it is not. It is freaking cold. Pete and I drove down to Sandy Hook, cycled around the point, dodged cars, pedestrians and two missile tours – don’t ask! – to park our bikes on a windswept balcony, where we stared at Coney Island shimmering in the distance and ate bagels we’d brought with us. We decided to get shirts printed: We have matching shirts. They will probably have long sleeves.

Bring Some Understanding Here Today

A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.

-Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president, Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1918)


Troy Davis is running out of time. On September 21st, the state of Georgia is set to execute Davis for murdering a white police officer, despite the fact that seven out of nine witnesses have recanted and the judge called his own ruling “not ironclad.”

Other witnesses have since come forward with conflicting accounts of the crime, and even pointed towards another man as the killer. And perhaps most shocking, there was never any DNA evidence linking Troy to the crime.

There is too much doubt to execute Troy Davis, and it is up to us to make Troy’s voice heard.

Start now by sending a message to the Georgia Paroles Board, which has a final hearing for Troy on Monday, September 19. Tell them there is too much doubt to execute Troy Davis.


My brother, Troy Davis, has been on Georgia’s death row for 20 years despite strong evidence of his innocence. His execution date is now scheduled for Wed, Sept 21. He has a hearing in front of the GA Board of Pardons & Parole two days beforehand.We need to tell the Board strongly and clearly: There’s too much doubt to execute Troy Davis!

The case against my brother Troy consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, seven out of nine witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.

Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis. Here is what one had to say:

“I got tired of them harassing me, and they made it clear that the only way they would leave me alone is if I told them what they wanted to hear. I told them that Troy told me he did it, but it wasn’t true.”

We need to tell the Board strongly and clearly: There’s too much doubt to execute Troy Davis!

Regardless of how one feels about the death penalty, we must all agree that the guilty party is the person who should be punished for crimes committed. Punishing innocent people certainly happens, but the death penalty should never, never be applied when doubts about guilt exist.

Please sign one or both of these petitions. What you say, what you do, matter.

Crossposted at Brilliant@Breakfast.

When I Last Saw You Laughing

Sunsets: puke-inducing kitsch when painted on a van, but flaming awesome when observed with one's own eyes on a balmy summer evening.

We got on a boat just past a sign that discouraged pirates from parking. Pete’s dad complained for whole minutes.

PDad: I don’t like my jacket. I’m not wearing it.

Tata: Put on your jacket, cranky!

I couldn’t decide if I were under-drunk or over-sober, but perhaps both. At no time did I hork over the side, no one whistled the Gilligan’s Island theme nor said anything about needing a bigger boat. Everyone in our party of eleven seemed off-balance, including the sleeping five-week-old. The boat putt-putted down a channel and out into a bay, where suddenly the sun seemed brighter and we all got better-looking as the whole venture turned fabulous. The boat zipped along parallel to a jetty then out toward a lighthouse. The minister’s wife sidled up to me. “It’s haunted,” she whispered confidentially. That seemed kind of personal. The captain turned the boat and we zipped off to another lighthouse, where the engines died and Pete’s dad married his longtime companion. The infant howled every moment the engines were silent. Just before the ceremony started, Pete handed me the camera and told me to go crazy. I put down my cane, slid all around the deck and took about seventy-five pictures, many of which we will regret, if we know what’s good for us. I held up the camera and took a picture of myself. Behind me, a voice asked, “You can take pictures of yourself?” I turned around and three cameras clicked pictures of persons holding them. This was before eight people drank four bottles of champagne. A pod of dolphins swam past us, on some vital errand, of course.

I am very funny. Perhaps you've heard.

You will be pleased to hear we stumbled off the boat and drove literally fifty feet to the restaurant, where a bar band launched into a lumpy, sour version of Nights In White Satin we heard from the parking lot.

PDad: What’s with the cane?

Tata: Sometimes I’m fine and sometimes I lurch a little.

PDad: Faker!

I grabbed a column and hung from it until I could breathe again.

PDad: The last person I said that to didn’t laugh.

Then I couldn’t breathe AT ALL.

Three hours later, after the band lost interest in horrifying us and wandered away, slices of wedding cake appeared at our places at the table. I took a few bites and sent up the white flag. Sober and over an hour away from my hotel room, I started barking orders since experience tells me that overtired drunks take growling for an invitation.

The bathrooms are full of country music, I said. Be careful!

Just package the cake in its original box, I said. Thank you!

The minister and his wife walked home. The rest of us piled into two cars. The bride and her daughter, also sober, drove us all home. We talked about Latin music and civil engineering. This was the first time in my life a wedding didn’t give me hives. I can’t say the same about the band.