Compiled by the Roanoke Times
face war crime charges
The images and verified testimonies of the atrocities committed in Ukraine should mark the point of no return in relations with a Russia led by Vladimir Putin. As long as the bloody-handed dictator controls this nation, the United States must keep its back to Moscow.
President Joe Biden is right. Putin is a war criminal who must be prosecuted for the crimes committed against the Ukrainian people.
Over the weekend, Russian troops withdrew from the outskirts of kyiv, leaving behind streets littered with the bodies of civilians.
Many appeared to have been shot while walking or cycling in Bucha, the town believed to have suffered the most casualties. Some of the dead were found with their hands tied behind their backs, shot execution style.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the area and reported finding “bodies in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured.”
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Other accounts say that girls and women were raped and killed, their bodies burned. At least 410 civilians were murdered, with independent journalists covering the war confirming many killings.
Intentionally killing unarmed civilians is a violation of international law. Biden calls for Putin to be charged with a war crime at the International Criminal Court. The indictment is also expected to extend to his sycophant sidekick Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president who contributes troops and equipment to Russia’s war effort.
Officers and soldiers who commit atrocities must be fully aware that they too will be held accountable for their actions.
Russia carried out a merciless air attack on Ukrainian cities, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians. It also prevented the evacuation of the bomb-ravaged port of Mariupol and prevented international aid from reaching the trapped citizens.
Putin may have thought he could overthrow Ukraine, like he did in Georgia and Crimea, and go back to sitting at the table of civilized nations as if nothing had happened.
This cannot be allowed. Russia and Belarus should be avoided altogether until Putin and Lukashenko are no longer in charge.
The United States and its European allies should also think longer term about a return to what must essentially be a Cold War relationship with Russia. It means learning to live without the oil, grain and other resources that Russia exports. The free world has become far too dependent on Russia and other oppressive regimes. The United States must never be in a position where its economic interests deter it from opposing brutality.
Congress should get up to speed on the weedEighteen states across the physical and political map, including California, Arizona, Virginia, Michigan, Montana, Illinois, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, now allow the recreational use of cannabis, choosing to regulate and collect taxes from adult use of the substance rather than continuing to treat it as a problem to be contained by the cops, courts, jails and jails . Thirty-seven states have made medical marijuana legal.
Yet the federal government still lists the weed as a Schedule I narcotic “with no currently accepted medical use and high potential for abuse,” ranking it among America’s most dangerous substances. Anyone not under the influence can see that there is something very, very wrong with this photo.
Fortunately, on April 1, the United States House did something about the biggest current disconnect in American politics, passing a bill to remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s naughty list. ; let some pot convictions be expunged; and urge review of sentences for weed-related crimes — while making small businesses that sell weed eligible for federal loans and services.
Due to the federal ban, many financial institutions will not touch cannabis customers with a 10 foot pole. Marijuana also cannot travel efficiently across state lines like almost any other product.
Although it enjoys some Republican support, the MORE Act is considered a dead letter in the Senate. Democrats and Republicans in Congress, battling a 20% approval rating, shouldn’t be afraid to do what 68% of Americans, including 50% of Republicans and 71% of Independents, say they want. Legalize it.
—New York Daily News Change of the board of directors of Montpellier made in bad faith For most of its two decades overseeing the sprawling Virginia estate of James Madison, America’s fourth president, the Montpelier Foundation had none or only one African-American board member, whose authorized strength is 25 members. This was amazing because Montpelier, in addition to being Madison property, was also home to some 300 slaves over more than a century who lived, worked in servitude, and died there.
It was therefore a major step forward, albeit too late, when the foundation announced that it would share power equally and achieve parity on its board of directors, with the descendants of slaves. These descendants were represented by a committee, recognized by the foundation, which included dozens of eminent African Americans in the academic, business, financial and other fields. Finally, Montpelier, a 2,650-acre historic site and museum northeast of Charlottesville that welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, would have leadership reflecting its heritage.
That deal was shredded by the foundation’s white-dominated board of trustees. In an act of exceptional bad faith, the council last month amended its statutes so that it – and not the committee which it had recognized as the legitimate actor representing the descendants of slaves – decides which descendants are acceptable partners. To put it plainly, it is primarily white people who will determine which black people can join Montpellier’s governing clique, and which cannot.
When the Descendants Committee last month submitted a slate of 40 African-American candidates, 10 of whom could take board seats in order to achieve parity with white members, the board refused to even consider the names.
Madison is a pivotal figure in United States history. He played a key role in drafting the Constitution, including the notorious compromise that allowed slavery and granted African Americans less than fully human status by determining that three-fifths of the enslaved population would count in determining the representation in the House of Representatives. It is sad that his domain is once again an example of racial obtuseness.