In the Metro section today (1/12/06), page 4, we see the results of another government fishing expedition, and The New York Times jumps right on board.
"Clarence Norman Jr., the disgraced former state assemblyman and Brooklyn Democratic Chief, was sentenced to two to six years in prison on corruption charges yesterday."
    That should shut him up for a while. Note that The Times, in describing Norman as "disgraced," hops on the bandwagon of judicial injustice which is now rampant. How many leaders have we seen become the victims of expensive stings and fishing expeditions? It's a great way to undermine the African American community and make sure it stays in its place, must be the thoughts of the local judicial system that meted out this piece of discriminatory punishment. Norman was not contrite, according to the article by Andy Newman, one of the reasons State Supreme Court Judge Martin Marcus slammed him with the maximum sentence, according to The Times. Apparently, Norman deposited $5,000 intended for his campaign into his personal account, and he was also charged and convicted of several other irregularities, according to The Times.
    Now why would I defend a person like Norman? Because the initial investigation that led to Norman's conviction had nothing to do with the, I assume former assemblyman's, prosecution. It began, according to The Times, with some hearsay that judges could be bought for $50,000. Selective prosecution of so-called "irregularities" is a great way of undermining a populist democracy, as it results in the negation of the results of an election. It also lines the pockets of desperate prosecutors when their initial case are found to have no substance after they have invested thousands of man-hours and dollars into an investigation that goes nowhere. Norman could have accepted a plea bargain and probably gotten off with a slap on the wrist, but he chose to fight his case, entering a plea of "not guilty," according to The Times
    If Norman's case is not a tape that has been played over and over again, from Adam Clayton Powell Jr. to the one-time mayor of Washington, D.C., what else is? The prosecutors should be investigated and the guilty verdict overturned on the basis of selective prosecution.


    It was fun reading The Times article (1/12/06 p A6) by Steven R. Weisman on the decision by Iran to take seals off their nuclear enrichment facilities. Naturally, the only case made in the article was the one in which Iran is made to look like an international villain, even though the treaties to which it is a signatory do not ban the activity that it plans to undertake. Why is not Iran's case stated? Does The Times revert to being a propaganda sheet, spouting the party line with respect to international affairs as dictated by, say, the Council on Foreign Relations, which trains The Times's reporters? Oh my!
    My suggestion? Meet with both Iran and Korea together, offer concessions such as the destruction of some of the arsenals of the major nuclear powers with promises to do more in that direction, in turn for pledges by these countries not to continue their enrichment activities. (These two countries are already being lumped together by national intelligence chief John Negroponte, who just appointed a few of his cronies  to an office that concentrates exclusively on the the perceived strategic threat posed by the two "axis of evil" nations: NYT 01/12/06 p 12).
    It may appear that the United States is powerfully almighty, but such is not the case. History shows that various factors prevent powerful nations from controlling the world, and lead to the disintegration of those nations. Internal disputes alone can disable national resolve, good or bad. In spite of its overwhelming superiority in terms of arms, the United States would do well to properly assess its strategic position, and opt for concessions and negotiations rather than try to inflame the world with unjust policies that will ultimately undermine international support and lead to its demise as a world power.