In the competition of ideas, you can't win the game if you're not on the playing field.

That's why Silicon Valley bigwigs' stubborn refusal to put business above their own personal partisan biases doesn't just rankle. It reeks. Equal access to social media is not just about sharing food pics, pet videos, makeup tutorials and travelogues. It's about ensuring the ability to disseminate and distribute political speech on the world's biggest platforms.

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At this unique moment in American history, liberals and conservatives have something in common: an abhorrence of government prosecutors run amok.
Republicans are livid at the federal fishing expedition known as the Mueller investigation. Bit players have been dragooned into an endlessly politicized probe. The media has taken sides; nonstop leaks have tainted the process. And the lead witch-hunter wields enormous and unchecked power to trump up (pun intended) charges against marginal campaign figures that have nothing to do with alleged Russian collusion.

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It's quite simple: Some political relatives are more equal than others.

Agenda-driven journalists love to exploit familial dysfunction when a prominent politician is conservative and his or her kinfolk espouse liberal views. When a vengeful offspring, sibling, cousin or distant relation wants to wreak havoc, instant fame and adoration are just a tweet or call away. The media schadenfreude over such bloody bloodline battles is thicker than California wildfire smoke.

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"Frontier justice" costs too many citizens of all races, creeds, and backgrounds their freedom and their lives. In the old days of the Wild West, vigilantes worked outside the judicial system to punish rivals regardless of their guilt or innocence. Today, outlaws operate inside the bureaucracy to secure criminal convictions at all costs.
Oklahoma -- the notorious home of "Hang 'Em High" executions -- stands out for its decades of trampling due process, subverting public disclosure, perpetuating forensic junk science, manufacturing false accusations and enabling official misconduct.

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"If it wasn't for my artwork and God, there's no way we'd be having this conversation right now."
I'm in Colorado on a three-way phone call with Valentino Dixon, inmate No. 91B1615 at New York's Wende Correctional Facility, and his 27-year-old daughter, Tina Dixon, a first-grade teacher in Ohio. Faith, family and drawing -- golf courses, jazz musicians, landscapes -- have kept him alive and sane behind bars. It has been a long, hard roller-coaster ride with "so many ups and downs" that he has learned to manage expectations while holding on to hope.
Tina was a four-month-old infant when her father was convicted of second-degree murder. That's "26 lost summer vacations, 26 missed birthdays, 26 years of life," she recounted earlier this year at an event I attended at Georgetown University's Prisons and Justice Initiative class on wrongful convictions.

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