Friday, March 24, 2006

Georgia v. Randolph

The opinions are here. I am struck by 3 things.

1. Reading the main opinion (Justice Souter) is painful while reading the Chief Justice's dissent is smooth and easy.

2. The Chief successfully makes mockery of the majorities legal skills and logic.

3. None of them asked two questions that a non-lawyer like me finds obvious.
  • If the wife had walked back to the bedroom and brought the cocaine out to the police, how would they have ruled?
  • If the cop had called the DA and said "We are standing here and the wife says the husband has drugs in the bedroom, can we get a warrant?" would said warrant have been justified?
I am not sure if these questions have a specific legal impact as they did not happen. But they are the logical extension to the ruling. The next time a smart cop finds himself in one of these two situations won't he do one of these two? Or both? Would it have been so hard for Justice Souter to tell us what the logical extension of his opinion result in?

Diane Carman is at it again

In this piece of tripe she tries to resurrect the Lisa Simpson case and claim that the judge screwed up in not punishing CU for allowing the girl to be raped. The only problem is that the evidence not only does not suggest that it is clear she was raped, it tends to show that she wasn't. If she was it was done in a private residence with no school supervision.

What happened at UGA to the young woman who was apparently raped by a bunch of athletes is despicable. I didn't ever see a story telling me how these guys got away with not going to jail as the evidence did heavily support her story and I am disappointed that the school did not punish them. That has absolutely nothing to do with the non-scandal over recruiting at CU. Everything at CU appears to have been consensual acts between adults, albeit somewhat Animal-House-ish.

By trying to make an apparent non-victim out to be a horribly abused victim you run a very real risk of contributing to the boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome, thus making it harder for real victims of rape on a college campus to get justice.

Poor Journalism

In what appears to be a horrific story of police abuse in Tallahassee the Palm Beach Post shows why people don't trust the antique media any more. I had to reread the story to catch all the things that were missing.

What prompted the police to suspect this family of having drugs? They actually give us this toward the bottom of the article. An informant told them that he bought drugs from the Dad. Why is this very important fact 2/3 of the way through the article?

Have any of the family members been convicted of a similar crime before?

Were the wife and daughter searched by a male or female officer? Were they in public view for said search?

This could be a case of an innocent family being harassed or it could be a criminal playing the race card for sympathy and there is just no way to even guess from this article, although it very clearly tries to leave the impression of the former.

From the interesting to the bizarre

Check out this article on a new Australian scramjet engine.

Then go to this case of a Dutch family getting taxed for having a dog because their doorbell barks.

Now check out why Diversity Day was cancelled.

Ann Coulter shows the pattern of the press attacking Bush. Great column.

My next phone, I think.

Damned Lies and Statistics

LGF does a great job laying out the statistical case that the death toll in Iraq is actually surprisingly low. As in nobody would have ever guessed that it could be this low if they bothered to look at the numbers in previous wars and administrations.

The loss of even one American is a serious loss but when you go to war those losses will happen. Kudos to the men and women of our current armed forces that they can accomplish what they have while having such a low rate of losing their fellow soldiers.

Harold Meyerson on economy

Hugh catches a guy writing an article on how bad things are while his paper tells a different story. It is pretty funny. Go have a look.

The more bizarre thing to me is what does an "average" household income tell us? Not a lot really. A median household income would not tell the whole story but would be much more illuminating. An average doesn't tell us if the rich are getting really rich while the rest of us lag or if the majority of folks are doing better. But then, as I always say, I think it is forbidden for journalists to study mathematics.

Mudville catches the press being clueless

Or completely disingenuous. You decide.

VDH asks an important question

From this column:
We often hear about how incompetent the Iraqis, under American tutelage, have been in trying Saddam Hussein. After all, his trial is only in its initial stages, two years after he was captured. But compared to the more illustrious court of The Hague, Saddam's trial is racing along at a rapid clip. Before his sudden death, Milosevic had been in court for four years without a verdict. In terms of utopian international jurisprudence, the reprobate Milosevic died a free man, at his last breath still innocent until proven guilty.

The public wonders why the incompetent Americans can't catch Osama bin Laden, or at least Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Few note that it has been over six years since the collapse of the Serbian rogue regime, and still no one seems to know where either Radovan Karadzic, or his military commander, Ratko Mladic, is hiding inside Europe - not exactly the Sunni Triangle or the borderlands of the Hindu Kush.
What would Europe be saying if we had put a guy on trial for 4 years and he died before the trial was over? More importantly, what would the US press, who page 9'ed this story, be saying about the administration?

A rare disagreement with Peggy Noonan

I think Peggy Noonan is one of the politically brightest and best writers ever. I was surprised by this column where she asks:
When George W. Bush first came on the scene in 2000, did you understand him to be a liberal in terms of spending?
In a word, YES! True conservatives want the government to be small and unobtrusive. They want to be left alone and take care of their own. If that is true, what could a "compassionate conservative" be?

In my view there were only two choices. Bush planned to molify the Dems to get the rest of his agenda through by letting them overfund their social programs. Or, Bush planned to change the social programs so they worked in a more conservative way (think religious private/public endevours that he touts all the time) while continuing to increase their funding at above inflation rates.

The problem is that there wasn't a Ronald Reagan running. And let's face it, even Reagan had to bargain for some of his agenda by letting a Democratic controlled Congress overspend on liberal social programs. Our choices were a pseudo-conservative who spent like a liberal ........ or a liberal-liberal who spent like a liberal and didn't even pretend to be conservative about anything. Once again I voted for the lesser of two evils and I am glad I voted the way I did but I would have been happier to vote for a true conservative.

Read the column, it is well written even if I wasn't surprised by what she was.