The gay-stream media compares Arizona’s refusal of service bill to Jim Crow laws, but Rep. Steve King argues that “self-professed behavior” doesn’t qualify for civil rights
Mar 09 2014
Mar 09 2014
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
March 9 is the 68th day of the year (69th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 297 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1841, the US Supreme Court rules on Amistad mutiny
At the end of a historic case, the U.S. Supreme Court rules, with only one dissent, that the African slaves who seized control of the Amistad slave ship had been illegally forced into slavery, and thus are free under American law.
The Amistad, also known as United States v. Libellants and Claimants of the Schooner Amistad, 40 U.S. (15 Pet.) 518 (1841), was a United States Supreme Court case resulting from the rebellion of slaves on board the Spanish schooner Amistad in 1839. It was an unusual “freedom suit“, as it involved international issues and parties, as well as United States law.
The rebellion broke out when the schooner, traveling along the coast of Cuba, was taken over by a group of captives who had earlier been kidnapped in Africa and sold into slavery. The Africans were later apprehended on the vessel near Long Island, New York, by the United States Revenue Cutter Service and taken into custody. The ensuing, widely publicized court cases in the United States helped the abolitionist movement.
In 1840, a federal trial court found that the initial transport of the Africans across the Atlantic (which did not involve the Amistad) had been illegal, because the international slave trade had been abolished, and the captives were thus not legally slaves but free. Given that they were illegally confined, the Africans were entitled to take whatever legal measures necessary to secure their freedom, including the use of force. After the US Supreme Court affirmed this finding on March 9, 1841, supporters arranged transportation for the Africans back to Africa in 1842. The case influenced numerous succeeding laws in the United States.
On February 23, 1841, Attorney General Henry D. Gilpin began the oral argument phase before the Supreme Court. Gilpin first entered into evidence the papers of La Amistad which stated that the Africans were Spanish property. The documents being in order, Gilpin argued that the Court had no authority to rule against their validity. Gilpin contended that if the Africans were slaves (as evidenced by the documents), then they must be returned to their rightful owner, in this case, the Spanish government. Gilpin’s argument lasted two hours.
John Quincy Adams, former President of the United States and at that time a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, had agreed to argue for the Africans, but when it was time for him to argue, felt ill-prepared. Roger Sherman Baldwin, who had already represented the captives in the lower cases, opened in his place.
Baldwin, a prominent attorney (who was no relation to Justice Baldwin, the lone dissenter on the Court) contended that the Spanish government was attempting to manipulate the Court to return “fugitives”. In actuality, Baldwin argued, the Spanish government sought the return of slaves, who had been freed by the District Court, a fact that the Spanish government was not appealing. Covering all the facts of the case, Baldwin spoke for four hours over the course of the 22nd and the 23rd.
John Quincy Adams rose to speak on February 24. First, he reminded the court that it was a part of the judicial branch, and not part of the executive. Adams introduced correspondence between the Spanish government and the Secretary of State, criticizing President Martin van Buren for his assumption of unconstitutional powers in the case.
This review of all the proceedings of the Executive I have made with utmost pain, because it was necessary to bring it fully before your Honors, to show that the course of that department had been dictated, throughout, not by justice but by sympathy – and a sympathy the most partial and injust. And this sympathy prevailed to such a degree, among all the persons concerned in this business, as to have perverted their minds with regard to all the most sacred principles of law and right, on which the liberties of the United States are founded; and a course was pursued, from the beginning to the end, which was not only an outrage upon the persons whose lives and liberties were at stake, but hostile to the power and independence of the judiciary itself.
Adams argued that neither Pinckney’s Treaty nor the Adams-Onis Treaty were applicable to the case. Article IX of Pinckney’s Treaty referred only to property, and did not apply to people. As to The Antelope decision (10 Wheat. 124), which recognized “that possession on board of a vessel was evidence of property”, Adams said that did not apply either, since the precedent there was established prior to the prohibition of the foreign slave trade in the United States. Adams concluded after eight and one-half hours of speaking on March 1 (the Court had taken a recess following the death of Associate Justice Barbour).
Attorney General Gilpin concluded oral argument with a three-hour rebuttal on March 2. The Court retired to consider the case.
On March 9, Associate Justice Joseph Story delivered the Court’s decision. Article IX of Pinckney’s Treaty was ruled off topic since the Africans in question were never legal property. They were not criminals, as the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued, but rather “unlawfully kidnapped, and forcibly and wrongfully carried on board a certain vessel”. The documents submitted by Attorney General Gilpin were not evidence of property, but rather of fraud on the part of the Spanish government. Lt. Gedney and the USS Washington were to be awarded salvage from the vessel for having performed “a highly meritorious and useful service to the proprietors of the ship and cargo”.
When La Amistad came into Long Island, however, the Court believed it to be in the possession of the Africans on board, who had no intent to become slaves. Therefore, the Adams-Onis Treaty did not apply, and the President was not required to return the slaves to Africa.
Upon the whole, our opinion is, that the decree of the circuit court, affirming that of the district court, ought to be affirmed, except so far as it directs the negroes to be delivered to the president, to be transported to Africa, in pursuance of the act of the 3rd of March 1819; and as to this, it ought to be reversed: and that the said negroes be declared to be free, and be dismissed from the custody of the court, and go without delay.
Mar 09 2014
“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.
Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt
The Sunday Talking Heads:
This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on “This Week” are: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); and House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).
At the roundtable the guests are Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX); Republican strategist and ABC News contributor Ana Navarro; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan; and former Obama White House senior adviser and ABC News contributor David Plouffe.
Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are former Vice President Dick Cheney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
On his panel his guests are Rich Lowry of the National Review; CBS News State Department Correspondent Margaret Brennan; Peter Baker of the New York Times; and Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg View.
Meet the Press with David Gregory: The guests on MTP are: Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken; and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
At the roundtable are California Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass; Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Ralph Reed; Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director at the National Journal, Ron Fournier; and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell.
State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are White House’s Deputy National Security Adviser, Tony Blinken; and Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist.
Her panel guests are Donna Brazile, AB Stoddard and Ben Ferguson.
You know that hour sleep you lost with Daylight Saving Time? Go back to bed, There is nothing to stay awake for on these shows.
Mar 09 2014
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane ‘may have turned back’
9 March 2014 Last updated at 08:14
Radar signals show a Malaysia Airlines plane that has been missing for more than 24 hours may have turned back, Malaysian officials have said.
Rescue teams looking for the plane have now widened their search area.
Investigators are also checking CCTV footage of two passengers who are believed to have boarded the plane using stolen passports.
Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared south of Vietnam with 239 people on board.
Air and sea rescue teams have been searching an area of the South China Sea south of Vietnam for more than 24 hours.
But Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur the search area had been expanded, to include the west coast of Malaysia.
Mar 09 2014
Ask any Modern Monetary Theorist and they’ll tell you the difference between Bitcoin and a currency is that it’s not legal tender, that is to say that it’s not mandated by the State as acceptable payment for all debts, public and private.
Instead this libertarian fantasy is a mere illusion of a commodity, not even as useful as gold which you can’t eat but at least has the properties of non-reactivity, conductivity, and ductility.
Third cryptocurrency exchange becomes hacking victim, loses Bitcoin
By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day
March 6, 2014 — 10:27 GMT (02:27 PST)
Poloniex, a Bitcoin trading post similar to Mt. Gox, has lost 12.3 percent of the Bitcoin stored in hot wallets on the website. However, in stark contrast to how Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles handled his company’s Bitcoin losses, the owner of Poloniex, Tristan D’Agosta — a.k.a. Busoni — admitted to the loss and asked users how they would like to be compensated.
Mt. Gox, once the dominate Bitcoin trading post online, closed its doors last week and filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan following years of undetected infiltration that resulted in the theft of 750,000 customer-owned Bitcoin, as well as Mt. Gox’s store of roughly 100,000 coins, in total worth almost $500 million. System design flaws, hackers and poor accountancy practices have been blamed for the massive financial losses.
Flexcoin follow suit and closed after hackers stole 896 Bitcoin — worth approximately $606,000 — and the trading exchange did not have the funds or resources to recover.
For Bitcoin, Secure Future Might Need Oversight
Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times
MARCH 5, 2014
To save their nascent currency, Bitcoin’s backers may be forced to alter their philosophy and embrace the same messy humans – auditors, insurers and even regulators – that the currency’s most ardent supporters have long abhorred. This raises two difficult questions: Can human oversight integrate into Bitcoin’s free-for-all ethos quickly enough to render Bitcoin safe? And, can Bitcoin be made safer without tamping down on the very openness that proponents say makes Bitcoin such a cheap, efficient and innovative financial platform? At the moment, the answers are still very much up in the air.
Continue reading the main story
Some in the more mainstream part of the Bitcoin world – firms that have sought venture capital and are trying to appeal to ordinary investors and large businesses – say they’re up to the challenge. They are working to set up stringent technical and financial audits of trading sites, and to create insurance mechanisms so that holders of Bitcoin won’t be wiped out by catastrophic losses like the one at Mt. Gox. There are even efforts to pursue government oversight.
CEO of bitcoin exchange found dead in Singapore
By Associated Press
Published: March 6
The American CEO of a virtual currency exchange was found dead near her home in Singapore.
Postings on her Facebook page showed her to be a believer in the potential of virtual currencies.
Last month, she linked to an article on entrepreneurs suffering depression, commenting above the link: everything has its price.