Friday, April 30, 2010
And can someone explain to me how the cops managed to extract 2 partial fingerprints of the suspect off a kerchief yet inexplicably failed to find any fingerprints of the kerchief's owner? How fortuitous do you get?
I don't disagree with the right to carry firearms in general, and think there's a utility to people carrying firearms - people are less likely to try to rob a person who's packing heat, but I don't know about the timing/necessity here.
Ga. House OKs Guns At Atlanta Airport - Atlanta News Story - WGCL Atlanta
Thursday, April 29, 2010
For more information on the background of this story, I direct you to a post I wrote some time ago on the subject, back in 2007.
It seems like many people aren’t entirely certain what’s going on with the bill recently signed into law in
Let’s consider a couple things that I see as potential problems, first. The law itself is purportedly drafted to enforce federal laws. The law then dictates when inquiry into legal status comes into play: Title II, Ch. 7, Art.8 Sec. B: For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The operative language here is the term “lawful contact” where “reasonable suspicion” exists. I’ve been searching and have been unable to find a definition for “lawful contact,” so for lack of a better term, or until someone can provide me with a codified definition, I will write from the premise that lawful contact is any contact that isn’t unlawful.
The law does require “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S, however, the language is unbelievably broad. This places a burden on the police officer to determine even in passing, if practicable, if a person is here illegally if the person looks illegal. Contrary to common talking points, the plain language of the bill does not restrict this to stops based on violations of other laws. This language is even broader than the already broad Terry Stops based on reasonable suspicion of unlawful behavior, as it confers the power to determine on lawful contacts that are based on appearance, not limited to behavior.
Further, this law allows, after a stop based on appearing to be illegal, a police officer to arrest an individual “without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the
The law in question creates a further burden on law enforcement, as it requires the diversion of resources to the enforcement of this law. This law includes the following provision (Sec. G): A person may bring an action in superior court to challenge any official or agency of this state or a county, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state that adopts or implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. If there is a judicial finding that an entity has violated this section, the court shall order any of the following: 1. That the person who brought the action recover court costs and attorney fees, and/or 2. That the entity pay a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars for each day after the filing of an action pursuant to this subsection.” Note that the law does not require a written policy, it allows for a lawsuit if a person believes a policy has been implemented that limits enforcement.
There are a few causes for concern here. The most glaring one, of course, and the one focused on by the most people, is that this law does not appear to be enforceable without profiling. Now,
I understand that people argue that police aren’t just going to randomly stop people on the street for looking like an illegal immigrant, but consider a couple things. For one thing, the law requires inquiry into legal status on lawful contact. This could mean that a witness to a crime, or a victim of a crime would be put at risk for an inquiry if a police officer determines he or she looks illegal. If we recognize how difficult it is to get domestic violence charges reported already by victims, imagine how hard it will become with passage of this law. Further, the police possess very broad powers to stop individuals as it is. Pretext stops are very simple for a police officer because it becomes a case of one person’s word against the cop’s. I’ve been the subject of a stop where a police officer accused me of crossing a median when I hadn’t, and I know I’m not the only one who’s had that happened to him. How many people are stopped for malfunctioning taillights that work just fine after the cop leaves? To create a situation where police are encouraged to profile and expand upon their already broad powers runs contrary to what I would determine our nation’s reason for existence, which was the right of individual liberty. For those who have argued that it’s a small inconvenience in the name of security, I would counter with the notion that our Declaration of Independence noted an unalienable right to “Life,
I apologize for the length of this post and the clarity. I've written this in a style similar to Ulysses, so it may not be the easiest read.
I do think we've determined what rifle we're going to get; it's just a matter of finding a left-handed model. For some reason, stores down here don't stock them...
I've been suffering a good bout of insomnia recently. It's not a fun experience.
I don't understand how encouraging racial profiling in Arizona doesn't violate the Privileges and Immunities clause of the 14th Amendment...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
It appears from this article that I first read about on Balloon Juice, that perhaps there's a reason it seemed racist. As the article reads, one of the main proponents of the law is a man named Kris Kobach, who according to the article linked above, is "a Birther who’s running for Kansas secretary of state. But his Birtherism is the least offensive thing about Kobach. His campaign Website brags, 'Kobach wins one in Arizona.' He’s also an attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of an immigration group called FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform."
To continue, the article reads:
For nine of the first years of FAIR’s existence, the group reportedly received more than $1 million in funding from something called the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund describes itself as based “in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition and eugenics movement.” For the last 70 years, the Pioneer Fund has funded controversial research about race and intelligence, essentially aimed at proving the racial superiority of white people.As disagreeable as this sounds, it's not exactly surprising to hear a birther is also a believer in racial superiority.
What I find interesting, though, is that as this law is being pushed into effect and supported by an apparent white-supremacist, there is currently a Supreme Court hearing regarding whether a school may deny funding and official recognition to a student organization that violates the school's "all comers" policy - namely that all students must be allowed full access to the organization. Over at the Powerline Blog John wrote on this case a few days ago:
As is often the case in Supreme Court arguments, the justices pelted both lawyers with hypothetical questions, sometimes involving rather far-fetched scenarios. At one point Justice Stevens asked this question:
JUSTICE STEVENS: What if the belief is that African Americans are inferior?
MR. McCONNELL: Again, I think they can discriminate on the basis of belief, but not on the basis of status.
Given the information at the top of this post, I would argue that this scenario is not "far fetched," rather, it's a matter of fact that there are individuals, even lawyers, who believe that one race is superior to another. Personally, I agree with the concept of "who pays the piper calls the tunes," and that the school isn't denying the CLS the right to discriminate if it chooses, rather it's saying "If you want to discriminate, that's fine, but you won't be recognized as an Official Student Organization," i.e. "we won't subsidize your discrimination." I would hate to see schools be forced to subsidize outright racism like Arizona is.
Tomorrow I'll be making it out to the resale shop to see if I can find something nice for the Boy.
Somehow I need to be able to find a piano for him to use...
The New York Times' Muslim problem
Posted using ShareThis
Monday, April 26, 2010
I have gone out scouting potential hunting sites in the national forest, though. While I don't think I've found *the* spot, I do think I've found a couple potential sites and have a general idea, I think, of where I'd like to hunt.
The real trick is going to be finding an actual deer.
On the plus side, though, I've gotten plenty of exercise the last few days hiking through the woods. We do need to be careful, though. We managed to come across a tick on the Boy's sock.
The GOP's Terrible FinReg Bluff | The New Republic
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Today I'm going up to the National Forest to start scouting for hunting locations. In the Mitt Romney sense, I've pretty much been a hunter my entire life. However, in a more accurate sense, I'm a guy who went out hunting once or twice with my dad when I was a teen, never saw anything, and now is interested in getting back into hunting 20 years later.
I just have to get the kids to finish getting themselves together. It's only been 3 hours.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ariz House: Check Obama's Citizenship - Phoenix News Story - KPHO Phoenix
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The transcript, according to the link, reads:
Personally, I think it's good to see Halperin refuse to argue against himself on something blatantly false. Kudos to him.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Just this once, defend the Republican position.
MARK HALPERIN: I cannot defend what they’re doing.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Oh, please.
SCARBOROUGH: Look at you! Look at you!
HALPERIN: They are willfully misreading the bill or they are engaged in a cynical attempt to keep the president from achieving something.
There is video on the link.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court held oral arguments on a case involving the Christian Legal Society at the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. The gist of the case is that the Christian Legal Society (CLS) wants to be recognized as an official student organization, which allows the group to receive "a small subsidy, preferred use of campus facilities, use of all campus bulletin boards and e-mails and use of the school logo." In order to be recognized as an official organization, the school requires that a student organization accept all comers. In other words, the organization cannot discriminate on any grounds. The CLS had been recognized as an official organization until 2004, when it changed its bylaws to bar admission to homosexuals or those who participate in pre-marital sex. The school stripped the CLS of its official recognition at the time, and cut off its stipend.
At this point in time, the CLS had a couple options. They could: a.) change their bylaws and allow all comers to have full benefits of the society, or b.) accept the decision of the school and continue to discriminate as they see fit understanding that they would not receive funding from the school. What the CLS did, of course, was option c.) file a lawsuit and claim injury.
The CLS argued that this requirement violated the organization's rights, and that it didn't make sense for the CLS to be required to allow an atheist to lead a CLS meeting. Justices Scalia, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts seem to be wanting to participate in what would be called "Judicial Activism" if they were Liberal-appointed Justices with their questions during oral arguments, including Justice Alito opening asking if other organizations were allowed to discriminate on campus despite the CLS's stipulation that others did not, and Chief Justice Roberts trying to parse this case as different than Bob Jones University being denied federal funds for wanting to deny students who believed in interracial dating.
I fail to see a difference between the CLS case and the two Bob Jones University or the Military Recruiters case. I believe that as Bookworm would write, "who pays the piper, calls the tunes," but given the makeup of the Court and the fact that the complainant in this case is a Christian organization and not a Buddhist one, I would not be surprised to see the Court engage in some legal gymnastics to find the holding they want, namely to force the Hastings College of Law to fund an organization that openly wants to discriminate.
It's interesting to think that the organization's argument seems to stem around denying access to atheists as I believe Jesus taught that he wanted Christians to be Fishers of Men, and that would be a pool from which they sought to draw...
Monday, April 19, 2010
I went on record at the time President Bush announced the Surge while refusing to accept responsibility for creating a situation where a Surge would be necessary ("Mistakes were made"). I said that I had "hopeful pessimism." The reason I was pessimistic was that I distrusted President Bush's ability to assess the situation and create a situation out of the mess his policies had made where his stated purpose of the surge, namely "to give the Iraqi leaders breathing room to work out a [political] settlement" (quote from latter link).
After the various U.S. Politicians and Talking Heads started racing to embrace the popular story of the day (i.e. the Surge Worked), I was asked whether I agreed. My answer then was that there was no way to know in 2008 whether or not the surge worked, because we didn't know whether there was a stable working government in Iraq, which was the ultimate goal of the Surge. Recently, there is evidence that this goal, and perhaps other Surge goals have not been reached. Violence is increasing as American presence is decreasing, which is not a good thing.
While it might be a fun game to point the blame to President Obama for this, remember that removing our forces from Iraq was one of his stated goals on the campaign trail. Further, according to all the big names, including former Presidential Candidate John McCain, the Surge was successful. Republicans were in a great rush to declare the war in Iraq "won" right around the time Obama took office (as it turns out, a resolution declaring victory in Iraq came about right about 6 weeks after Obama was sworn in). The point of the resolution, of course, was not to celebrate actual victory, but to divorce the invasion from the withdrawal, to be able to pin any subsequent increases in violence or collapses of Iraqi government not on the President responsible for an ill-advised (but legal) invasion creating a tenuous, unstable environment in a country with a history of sectarian discord, but rather on the President who had to follow up one of the most incompetent invasions/occupations in world history.
I said before that I was hopeful that the Surge would work, but I was skeptical. I would say that as of this minute, President Bush's last Great Attempt to secure his legacy merely added to the scale of its failure. This is not a failure of the U.S. forces, nor is it a failure of a nation that wasn't ready for western style democracy. This failure belongs to the President who was absolutely incapable of ever owning responsibility for any of his actions.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I keep hoping that the dream job is going to pop up. I've sent out more resumes than I can count, and it's getting rather frustrating to hear either "no" or just hear nothing in return. I've followed more leads than I thought I'd have, and they've led nowhere.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sen. Dodd accuses Republican leader of lying about his bill | McClatchy
I'm sure most people aren't going to be surprised that the guy who lied about the ACORN videos presented a video of Congressman John Lewis leaving the Capital on the day of the incident as "proof" that John Lewis lied about being called an inflammatory term by tea partiers on his way INTO the Capital, one hour earlier.
Posted using ShareThis
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I understand that the Republican Party's current platform is essentially "whatever is the polar opposite of what President Obama supports," but how is it possible to, in the course of a week, take both sides of the financial reform debate? That seems to be what Senator Mitch McConnell has done.
On the one hand, is April 8, where, according to this article from Washington Monthly, Senators McConnell and John Cornyn went to New York City "to explain what it means for Wall Street, and how financial executives might help prevent some of [the financial reform bill's] lease market-friendly aspects from becoming law by electing more Republicans." Steve Benen, who wrote the article adds clarity: "Democrats, the GOP leaders said, are going to try to punish the irresponsible industry that caused the crash, and prevent similar crises from happening again. McConnell and Cornyn want to stop these efforts, and need the industry's help -- if Wall Street will work with Republicans and elect a whole bunch of GOP candidates, the industry will be better off without all of those pesky regulations imposing oversight and accountability.
Clearly they were arguing for small government and corporate/fiscal responsibility. in a nutshell, "we know you screwed up and nearly towed the entire nation into complete financial collapse that was staved off by the government's bailouts that have shown in early returns to have been prudent decisions in the long run. But we trust you won't do that again; after all, Wall Street has never had problems before, so it must be a one-time problem and now you know to police yourselves. So vote for us. We need your money."
Now, Senator McConnell went on the record on Tuesday (today, via CNN.com) to argue that the American People don't want oversight or regulations on Wall Street. Because putting in place minimum standards of regulation and oversight to help save the country from potential future financial ruin by the greed and obfuscation of the people in charge of our nation's financial pulse isn't in our best interests: "If there is one thing Americans agree on when it comes to financial reform, it's absolutely sure they agree on this. Never again should tax payers be expected to bail out Wall Street from its own mistakes. We cannot allow endless tax payer-funded bailouts for big wall street banks."
The article linked above goes on to note that the proposed legislation would create a sped-up version of bankruptcy with a $50BB resolution fund taxing the biggest firms (not the American people, so the funding would come from the financial institutions - consider it a form of insurance, maybe).
So on the one hand, Senator McConnell is looking out for Wall Street and trying to protect them from Government Intrusion, yet less than a week later, hes looking out for the American People when he urges Republicans to oppose Financial Reform because it doesn't do enough to punish Wall Street for their excesses, without mentioning that it was in part the lack of oversight or regulations, the tax cuts, increased spending and inability to account for the overreaching during the previous administration that led to the collapse...
Interesting that he can point fingers to everyone except those who in theory were in charge of the country or who were in charge of the industry that (nearly) collapsed...
Monday, April 12, 2010
While that is frustrating in and of itself, the issue that I have with this particular e-mail is that I have, after EACH e-mail I have received from this campaign, responded with a request to remove my name from the contact list and have received electronic notification that my e-mail account will no longer receive any more e-mails. This is just like telemarketers and spam e-mail accounts. I'm no more likely to vote for a Judicial candidate whose campaign has such little respect for the people who would be subject to her holdings than I would be to buy whatever crap is being spewed out in spam (I can't even think of examples because they go straight to my bulk e-mail box and get deleted without viewing).
I still have no idea how I ended up on a Republican mailing list, as I've never signed up for anything that advertised I would be subscribing to receive campaign e-mails from Republican candidates, but the utter disrespect on the part of Judge Debra Lehrmann's campaign with respect to bulk e-mails is enough to cause me to declare that in terms of the primary campaign, I will support Rick Green in the Primary. At this point it's no longer about judicial records, it's about respect for the citizenry.
Rick Green for the Republican Supreme Court nomination.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I have said for some time that I favor separation of church and state. What I mean by that is that I don't want politics getting involved in my religion and I don't want religion getting involved in my politics.
I really don't care what political persuasion my pastor subscribes to, so long as he keeps it off the pulpit. But when you go on record about your feelings on Glenn Beck during your sermon, then you've made it clear where your politics are, which creates a wedge. I am uncomfortable knowing that somehow my pastor's political beliefs are strong enough to allow them to encroach into his preaching, and that is genuine cause for concern.
I came across the following link to the Fourth Branch today in my blog searches and found someone who actually went to the trouble to point out just how much Republicans and Democrats respectively are responsible for our debt. Key phrase: "Republicans tolerated spending under Republican presidents for 30 years, accounting for 59% of our total national debt, all the while benefiting from federal spending at the expense of their counterparts in blue states, only to then go bananas when a Democratic president and Congress spend money to rescue a floundering economy." Think about that as you read the article and see the charts.
There is a party of Fiscal responsibility. It's just not the ones the message handlers would have you believe.
Friday, April 09, 2010
I can say that the first few lessons helped quite a bit - I realize how much is dormant and not exactly "dead." Still, I'm going to have to get through a lot of this before I'm comfortable listing myself as fluent in Korean on my resume again...
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
It turns out GM has made it not only a priority to increase quality and payback the loans, but GM now reports that they plan to pay off their loans by June of this year, 5 years ahead of the 2015 payback date.
So President Obama prevented a dramatic loss of jobs by preventing the collapse of two of the nation's three automakers, keeping people employed and money flowing while allowing the automakers precious time to reformulate their strategy (i.e. "modernize"). As a result, American cars are better, sales are increasing, and the damage to the economy was greatly diminished.
President Obama has his failings (namely most of the wartime policies he carried over from the Bush administration and the subsequent broom and carpet policy with regard to past violations of the law by the same). However, it would seem that with regard to his economic decisions, he's been doing all right. This information is right up there with the news about the Government's profit margin in its Citibank stocks.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I broke down and got Rosetta Stone for Korean last Friday, as well. This will help my transition into an IP or immigration position as my language skills are not what they were back in the late 90s. We'll have to see what happens.
Hope all is well out there in blogland.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
This is an interesting concept, because there appears to have been a strong push on the part of Conservatives throughout this country to attempt to rewrite history, including McCarthyism and others. For a good example, I refer my reader(s) to this McClatchy article that does a good job debunking several of the attempts at rewriting...