Saturday, February 19, 2011

A legal reform for the ages...

I once met a guy at a bar.  Ok, I have met a lot of people at bars.  But this guy was special.

He claimed to be an attorney, and not just any attorney.  He claimed to be the youngest attorney to have argued a case before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Wow.  Cool story, bro.

What, I asked, did you argue.

He proceeded to explain that he had defended a death row criminal and gotten the guy sprung out of jail.  He had murdered a bunch of people, but the cops screwed something up, and so the guy ended up walking away.

Curious, I asked the attorney if he was concerned that he had released a dangerous and guilty criminal back into the world.  He, of course, was shocked that I would ask such a thing.  His job, he said, was to do his best to defend people, even the guilty, and get them out of jail in anyway possible.

Hmm.  Really? 

It seems to me he is applying the wrong standard.  What he ought to be interested in is Justice.  Yes, with a capital J.

Attorneys are too far removed from the consequences of their actions.  Prosecutors only care about getting convictions, defendant's attorney's only care about getting their client off.

I would proposed the following changes to the system:

1.  If any defendant is convicted of a crime and it later comes to light that the prosecution withheld evidence, committed fraud, or otherwise engaged in misconduct, then the defendant will be released and the prosecutor and anyone else involved in the wrongful conviction will be sentenced to serve time equal to the original sentence of the defendant.

2.  Any attorney that argues for the release of a defendant and wins shall have the defendant released into their custody for 30 days.  The defendant will then live in the same house as the attorney and their family for the 30 days. 

In this way, over zealous prosecutors will be punished for committing fraud or misconduct.  And if defendants attorney's think that the criminals should be released to spend time with the rest of us, then they wont mind having them under the same roof for a few weeks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Does your stupidity make me a racist?

We have now reached a new low in race baiting industry.  It used to be that you had to say something that was actually racist in order to be accused of racism. 

Now, any use of the work 'black', or any word that even sounds like a potentially offensive word will cause you to be accused of racism.

Here are a few examples:

(Dallas News) — A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and bizarre this afternoon.County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections “has become a black hole” because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud “Excuse me!” He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a “white hole.”

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term. A black hole, according to Webster’s, is perhaps “the invisible remains of a collapsed star, with an intense gravitational field from which neither light nor matter can escape.”

Black Hole....the new N-word!

The word 'niggardly' has also caused some angst:
  • In 1999, a white aide to the black mayor of Washington, D.C., resigned after a black colleague complained that he used the term when discussing how he would handle the budget. The aide was later rehired.
  • Debate also was triggered when a North Carolina teacher was reprimanded in 2002 and sent for sensitivity training after teaching the word to her class during a vocabulary lesson.
  • The Dallas Morning News banned the word after complaints were lodged over its appearance in a restaurant review, reported.
  • But Britain's Economist magazine reportedly was simply amused in 1995 to receive a letter of complaint from a Boston reader offended by seeing the word in a technology story
Niggardly, of course, means miserly or cheap.  And it has no linguistic or historical relationship to 'nigger'.  'Black hole' is a scientific term, and it has come into common usage to mean a place where objects get sucked in but never come out.   There is no racial connotation whatsoever.

But this does not matter to the perpetually offended and the profoundly stupid.  They are offended because it sounds like a racist term.  Or as one of these morons put it when the actual meaning of the word was explained to them "what matters is that I thought it was offensive".  

This is an absurd standard.  Now, what I say is not objectively evaluated, but rather, it is filtered through the ignorance and stupidity of the listener.  Your stupidity makes me a racist.

This idiotic standard has led to some very strange statements.  The media are so afraid of offending they always use the term african-american to describe people of color.  Which leads the embarrasment of Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa, to be described on TV news as the "african-american leader of South Africa". 

Some apologists for this farce have pointed out that there are other words that have the same meaning, and we could just use those words in order to avoid potential offense.  They are advocating 'separate but equal' vocabulary, it seems.

How far does this go?  May I call a spade a spade? Can I offend someone by stating the weather is a bit nippy?  Or that there is a chink in the armor?  How about those little bugs?  Do we change the name from chigger to something else? 

The new standard for offensive language is now wholly subjective, and apparently based on the IQ of the person you are addressing. 

How do you assess IQ when addressing a stranger?  Well, you cannot base it on appearance, job, title, or anything else. One of the people offended by 'black hole' was a judge!!  Therefore, the only rational standard you can use is the color of their skin, not the content of their vocabulary.

So we find ourselves in a strange spot.  In order not to be called a racist, we must look at the skin color of the person to whom we are speaking, and then avoid certain perfectly normal words for fear of offending them. 

Who is racist now?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pirates of the Third World

Personally, I thought we had the pirate problem solved.  You know, the Shores of Tripoli, millions for defense and not a penny for tribute, and all that.

But apparently not.

Right now there are some serious problems with piracy around the globe.

From the Christian Science Monitor today:

"The hijacking of two oil tankers in two days, together containing $260 million worth of cargo, has stoked new concern about the world's inability to halt the threat of Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean"

It is estimated that piracy is costing the global economy $5-8 Billion per year. Piracy is the mortal enemy of civilization, and must be eradicated.

I can solve the piracy issue in 90 days, and at a cost well below $5-8 billion.

Piracy will be a thing of the past 90 days after the United States implements the following policies:

  1. All persons engaged in piracy will be captured or killed by United States military forces
  2. All vessels, vehicles, aircraft or other means of transportation that used by pirates or supporting piracy will be deemed pirate vessels, and will captured or destroyed by United States military forces.
  3. All beaches, villages, ports, towns, or cities found to be aiding, hosting, hiding abetting or otherwise involved in piracy will be deemd pirate havens and captured or destroyed by United States military forces.
  4. Any municipal, local, state or national government found to be supporting or accomodating pirates or piracy will be deemed pirate governments, and will be captured or destroyed by United States military forces.
  5. No ransoms shall be paid for any vessel or crew captured by pirates.  United States military forces will sink or destroy any vessel for which ransom was paid to prior to it being returned to its original owner. 
There you go.  Within 30 days the issue of piracy would be solved forever.  OK, make it 90 days in case some of the pirates don't get the word fast enough

We have pirates because we are paying people to be pirates.  They are capturing $200MM vessels and asking for $5MM ransoms. And they are getting paid.

The only way to stop piracy is to make it a losing proposition.  By killing pirates and destroying the places where they seek shelter, you will reduce the number of pirates.

By refusing to pay ransom. and forcing the rest of the world to go along with this policy by sinking ransomed ships, you will quickly take all the profit out of piracy.   And with no profits, there are no pirates.

We claim piracy is a difficult challenge.  Really, we just lack the will to stop it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Global Warming causes......Colder weather!

....colder weather!

Of course it does.  You see, as things get warmer, it will be colder.  And we will get more snow.   You see, Climate Change is the answer to everything!

Baloney.  This entire theory is a bunch of hogwash.

The global warmer types are claiming that the huge storm that just pasted the midwest with snow are the result of 'Climate Change" brought on by mankind's pollution.

They claim, with a straight face, apparently, warm air carries more moisture, and when it collides with cold air, the result is snow. More snow than we got in the past.  So when it snows and the temperatures plummet to 5 degrees below zero, this is because we are warming the planet.

Does this make any sense?  Well, no.  Not really.

If you buy into the theory of Global Warming (now called Climate Change, since they have figured out that the earth is not getting any warmer), then the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will act as an insulating blanket.  This will reduce the amount of heat radiating back into space, and the globe will warm up.

The physics of the theory predict that the warming will happen primarily in the coldest air over the northern landmasses.

If this is true, then the difference in temperature between the warm equatorial areas and the cooler northern latitudes will be smaller that it is today.  The equator will be slightly warmer, and the poles will be a lot warmer.

Which means that the amount of water picked up by the warm air will not change much (the equator does not warm up that much) but the cold air masses will pack much less punch.  The resulting storms will be less powerful.  There will be less snow, less violent storms, and a higher percentage of rain than snow.

When Climate Changers claim that AGW is causing snow, not only are they shameless liars, but they are contradicting their own theory.

It is interesting that none of the predicted effects of global warming are happening.

Increased CO2 leads to increased temperatures: FALSE, there is no increase in global temps measured in the last 10 years.

Climate Change causes big storms: FALSE, the actual science behind this demonstrates this is false.

So, we have a theory based on false claims, manufactured data, secret computer models, and notes that were destroyed when the dog ate their homework.

I think it is pretty clear by now that the theory of Climate Change is bunk.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Are Liberals Retarded? Or, Do They Think Everyone Else Is???

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post recently wrote an article claiming that we should stop donating to private charities and, instead, donate to think tanks and policy groups that will direct the government to solve the problems.

His reasoning in the article is, well, stupid.  The essence of his argument is as follows:

Charities do a better job solving problems than the government as the government is blunt and inefficient
Most people understand this and give money directly to charities.
Charities have limits on scope and scale, government does not
Therefore, we should not donate to charities, but rather to 'think tanks' that make government act more like private charities
The government will then do the charity work
This extends your charity dollar farther, and is therefore good.

There are several problems with this reasoning, and the essesnce of it is captured in the 9th paragraph.  Klein claims that "if you donate to a food bank, it can provide only as much food as your money can buy".  So far, so good.  Then he claims that we should instead fund non-profits that will persuade legislators to create a new program that can "do much more than any single food bank".

So he is proposing that we donate money to create new programs that will feed people we chose not to feed directly.  Where does the money for the new programs come from?  Who pays for that?   Well, the taxpayer, of course.  But the logially retarded Mr. Klein does not seem to understand that 'programs' are funded by tax dollars, ie, out of the same pocket that the donations came from.

This is the essence of all liberal thinking.  Taxes are magic.  The money just appears.  It does not come from the pockets of the taxpayers.  

Think about what he is saying.  Don't feed people yourself.  Let them go hungry today.  Instead, influence Congress to take money from other people to feed the hungry at a later date.  If, of course, any of them are still alive. 

Of course, Mr. Klein does understand that taxpayer dollars come from taxpayers. He is just banking on the fact that other people pay more in taxes than he does.  So the best use of his 'charity' dollars is to force you to pay for the things that he values. 

So I ask...retarded or does he think we are retarded?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Rose by Any Other Name

Politicians love themselves.  They love to see themselves on TV, to see their name in print, and on the news.  They will do just about anything for 15 minutes of fame.  Just spell their name right!

As it turns out, they will also do anything to get their names on something more permanent.  Like a building.  Or a bridge.  Or even a library.

This is the ultimate high for them.  To be immortalized. To be honored. And to do it all with other people's money!

Perhaps the worst example is Robert Byrd of West Virginia.  He has plastered his name on just about every federally funded object in the state.  There are something like 1,342 building, roads or bridges named after him.  OK, I made that number up.  But the real number is a big one.

One of several dozen buildings named after Senator Byrd

Why?  Why do we feel the need to feed the ego's of these people? They did not pay for the building, we, the taxpayers, paid for the building. The politicians do not deserve to have their name on on a building -- they have done nothing to deserve this honor other than force us to pay for it.

So I proposed that we take their names of the stuff that we have paid for and put the names of ordinary citizens on them. 

Wait, not ordinary citizens. Let's name stuff after people that deserve to be immortalized.  Let's name them after those that have given the last full measure of their devotion; our war heroes.   We know the names of hundreds of politicians. Their names are part of the fabric of our lives.  The Eisenhower. Reagan International Airport. The Daley Center.  But know one knows the names of those that gave their lives to defend our country.

I propose that the following changes be made to the names of all Federally funded projects.

  1. Politicians are not eligible have things named after them until 75 years after their death. 
  2. All projects shall have a name assigned that is selected from a master list of names.
  3. The master list shall be composed of people who served our country in a heroic capacity; winners of military decorations such as the Medal of Honor, the Navy cross, the silver star, etc and politicians who have been dead for at least 75 years. 
The names shall be selected in order, and all buildings and other objects not in compliance with this rule shall be re-named. 

In this way, we can stop these bombastic and egotistic people from glorifying themselves with other peoples money and focus instead on those that deserve to be remembered.    Our war heroes. 

I would much rather drive down the Adelbert Ames highway than the Robert F. Byrd Parkway.

Who is Adelbert Ames?   My point exactly.