I'M AWAY FOR two weeks and come back to an array of other-worldly developments: Donovan McNabb may come back (!?), Arlene Ackerman will get a fat unemployment check, some Philly fourth-graders are charged with sexual assault, Occupy Philly got evicted (but first started a valuable conversation) and Hip-Hop was fired by the Sixers and will be replaced (maybe) by a . . . moose?
You know, Philadelphia's unofficial symbol - the freaking moose? Just another instance of mindless change for the sake of change.
Also news was D.A. Seth Williams' decision to pull the plug on his efforts to win a death decision for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted murderer of Officer Daniel Faulkner, whose widow, Maureen, reluctantly agreed.
Mumia now (supposedly) will rot in jail for life. Some say that that's worse than death, but not when the cop-killer still grinds out books, commentaries, other forms of faux journalism, radio interviews, is invited to be a commencement speaker by terminally gullible college students and can address his acolytes by phone, as he did Friday night.
In a just world, dropping the death penalty would end Mumia's celebrity, but it won't, because the world has a surplus of useful idiots.
After Williams' decision, NPR carried an update on the case. Interviewed were two guests - Mumia supporter/journalist Linn Washington (a onetime Daily News reporter) and a guy who had done a pro-Mumia documentary.
That's right - two Mumia apologists, no one from the prosecution's side. That one-sidedness was an inexcusable, if predictable, lapse by NPR.
I respect Washington, even when I don't agree with him. He's a serious person, but he declined to give his opinion on Mumia's guilt. I suspect that Washington knows that Mumia is guilty, but argues that Mumia didn't get a fair trial.
Washington didn't say that a blizzard of Mumia appeals filed with courts that had no ax to grind were found baseless nearly every time. Nor did he mention Mumia's disruptive courtroom tactics and refusal to cooperate with his court-appointed attorney. If anyone sabotaged the trial it was Mumia, a master narcissist, by turning it into political theater.
With Mumia's sorry ass saved, the Mumidiots now will shift to getting him sprung. That's not a wild prediction. It already has begun.
A Friday-night hoedown at the National Constitution Center brought together the usual malcontents claiming that Mumia's been "unconstitutionally" incarcerated. There in spirit was South African retired Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, the once-revered figure in the freedom struggle of black South Africa. Now he is a man in search of a cause, a confused, all-purpose crank.
Tutu's moral authority vanished when he accused Israel of "apartheid" when the facts show that more than 20 percent of Israel's citizens are Arabs, when Arabs sit in Israel's parliament and there's an Arab justice on Israel's Supreme Court. This would have been unimaginable for black South Africans under real apartheid. Tutu bore false witness, and that is a sin.
Now he's issued a statement asking for Mumia's immediate release. "Justice will not be served by relegating him to prison for the rest of his life," Tutu said.
He is not alone in making the monstrous demand of "justice" for the cop-killer.
It is absurd, and it won't end until Mumia is dead, which now will have to be by natural causes.