"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Friday, September 30, 2005

Up Next: Lavender Inquisition

In Canada, the authorities have taken to dragging priests in front of a liberal, homosexualist Inquisition called, ironically, the Human Rights Commission, for the grave offense of pointing out that homosexuality is contrary to Christian moral principles:
An Alberta pastor now being dragged before the Human Rights Commission for speaking out against the "homosexual machine" is simply speaking the truth, says the bishop of Calgary. "Pastor (Stephen) Boissoin is not a bigot or a hatemonger; he is very much concerned about the word of God and the teaching of the morality of homosexual activity,"Bishop Fred Henry said....

You can bet top dollar this is the direction the homosexual lobby is trying to take this country, so they can silence any opposition against their agenda.

Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in a press release has blamed Christians for what he alleges is a "spike" in "hate crimes" against homosexuals in late 2003 and early 2004:
The leaders of America's anti-gay industry are directly responsible for the continuing surge in hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. ... The right went into demonic, anti-gay hyperdrive following the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision in July of 2003. Since then, church pews have been awash in ugly, anti-gay rhetoric and fear-mongering. ... The literal blood of thousands of gay people physically wounded by hatred during 2004 is on the hands of Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Tony Perkins and so many others who spew hate for partisan gain and personal enrichment.
I wonder where our liberal ACLU types will be when the government starts arresting pastors for preaching their religion's views about homosexuality?

"you should take that badge off your shirt and throw it in the garbage,"

That was the tape-recorded response of Passaic County, NJ, Sheriff Jerry Speziale to a Virginia deputy doing his duty. New York and New Jersey police officials are miffed that Virginia officers stopped a convoy of their officers doing 95 mph through Virginia on their way home north from duty after Hurricane Katrina:
A speeding New Jersey police convoy should not have been warned to slow down here, its superiors say, despite numerous 911 calls from motorists claiming they were forced off Interstate 81. An incensed New Jersey sheriff called an Augusta County deputy a "disgrace" for pulling over officers returning home from a Hurricane Katrina relief mission Sept. 18. Augusta (Va) Sheriff Randy Fisher and the Virginia State Police defend the stop because the New Jersey officers were traveling 95 mph with their lights flashing.
In Virginia, such speed is reckless driving, and officers cannot drive that fast unless responding to an emergency. Those typically rude yankees ought to thank the deputy and a Virginia trooper for not writing all the violators up. Instead, under some bizzare theory of "professional courtesy" they apparently think our officers should have stood by, ignored the citizens complaints, and let these yahoos endanger everyone on the highway for no legitimate reason.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hail to the Chief

Unlike Orin Kerr over at Volokh, I am delighted to see that our new Chief Justice of SCOTUS drives.... a minivan! Talk about counter-cultural. Finally, a legal elite who seems to be a normal guy. What next? Does he mow the grass in his front yard?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home"-- Confucius

One reason to oppose efforts of the left to redefine or weaken the family and marriage is that the intact family consisting of a father and a mother is the foundation for stable society. This is true in the area of future economic and educational success, but also in the area of crime:
Recent research strongly suggests that family structure is an important predictor of crime and delinquency. Teens and adults raised in single-parent families are at increased risk of committing crimes. Teens in communities with many single parents appear to be at increased risk for crime or delinquency, regardless of their own family structure. Communities with higher rates of single-parent families face higher rates of crime.
See the whole summary of the data here. It is of great importance to social stability to encourage 1) parentage attached to marriage, and 2) stability in marriage. Some concrete ways to do this would be to continue welfare reform efforts aimed at "disincentivising" out of wedlock births and perhaps even providing means-restricted monetary incentives for married people who have children; marriage needs to be stabilized by (as a start): 1) opposition to redefining marriage to accomodate the 1-5% homosexual population; and 2) re-considering no-fault divorce (which rewards behavior destructive of marriage by allowing a unilateral divorce decision by the spouse who's done something to hurt the marriage, unlike a fault-based system which would put this important decision in the hands of the wronged party: the person who most respects the marriage would decide whether it is dissolved).

Friday, September 23, 2005

The ACLU and Their Friends

Sen. Linsey Graham has been criticized for pointing out during the Roberts' hearings that Justice Ginsburg advocated lowering the age of consent to 12 and recognizing a constitutional privacy right to engage in prostitution. Volokh defends the accusation here and here:

Justice Ginsburg is indeed on the record as having endorsed lowering the age of consent to 12. When she was a law professor at Columbia, she, Brenda Feigen-Fasteau, former director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, and 15 law students put together a report for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Volokh also offers up the quotations to show that Ginsburg believed the "right of privacy" "arguably" extends to prostitution.

Needless to say, ole' Ruth was a Columbia law prof and general counsel for the ACLU before being thrust upon us in the SCOTUS.

Ya'll know how fond I am of the ACLU. They hate the Boy Scouts for not being a homosexual-friendly spot for their NAMBLA clients to score dates, and they recently teamed up with a "gay" group which made this announcement about their partnership:

ACLU releases marriage CD
If you plan on marrying your partner anytime soon, here's good news: In an effort to secure the rights of same sex marriage, the American Civil Liberties Union has just released ‘Marry Me,’ a double CD of love songs performed by over 20 gay, lesbian, straight and transgender artists.
The set contains two CDs: ‘Ceremony,’ which features mellow tracks geared toward commitment ceremonies, and ‘Reception,’ which has more of a party flare.
The idea for the compilation was the brainchild of drag queen Hedda Lettuce and Figjam Records executive Jack Chen, who approached as many queer artists as possible to participate in the project.

ACLU collaborator Hedda Lettuce

So basically, this is an extremist group which attacks the traditional institutions not only of this nation (Scouts), but of mankind in general (the family, Ten Commandments, sexual normativity). But they want us to believe that Roberts and whatever less-than-Scalia is nominated next are the end of liberty.

It's Orwellian.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

New Study: Race of Defendants no Factor in Death Penalty

A new study which criticizes California for imposing death more often in cases with white victims, nevertheless concludes: "When it came to the race of the defendant, the study concluded race did not contribute significantly to whether prosecutors sought the death penalty or jurors recommended death."

So now we are to believe that even though the defendant's race is no longer a factor in death sentences, the death penalty is somehow unfair because death is imposed more when the victim is white than when the victim is black? I can't imagine how this factor renders the DP unfair. If the defendant gets a fair trial and is not singled out because of his race, that's the end of the story.

Besides, what accounts for the disparity in the racial composition of the victims is that prosecutors in large urban areas do not tend to seek the death penalty, while prosecutors in suburban/rural areas do tend to seek it. Victims in urban areas are more often black, in rural/suburban areas more often white. There is therefore nothing nefarious about the disparity. The government is not cackling, rubbing its hands together and saying: "now if we can only figure out a way to ignore all those black victims. Bwahahahahaha."

It will be interesting to see if the study attempts to control for factors such as what relative percentages of the murders were "death eligible" to begin with, since this victim's race "disparity" may be accounted for by factors wholly independent of race. I suspect that even if the disparity is unaccountable for on grounds other than race, in point of fact it is prosecutors creating the disparity by bending to their constituents' wishes (constituents who are often largely minority) that the DP not be sought in their jurisdiction. The study itself points out that in San Francisco, the DP is never sought. So this "disparity" of victims is caused because the minority communities do not support the death penalty. The legal/political left can hardly complain, then, when minority groups' own abstention from use of a lawful penalty is the cause of the effect they bemoan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Justice in the Mother Country

From The Policeman's Blog, by a British Bobby, comes this reminder that things aren't so different across the pond after all:

Why can't people understand the system at our local magistrates courts? Lots of people devote lots of time (and taxpayers money) to the administration of justice and despite all the publicity, people still do not understand how it works. For those of you thinking of attending court, here is a summary of how it's supposed to work:

1. You make a statment to the police saying you've been hit.

2. You retract that statment and say you want to forget the whole thing.

3. A court date is arranged and police and prosecutor turn up at 09.30.

4. You don't turn up.

5. The prosecutor says to the police officer, "Can you wait till 11.00. I'll try and [insert legal ploy here]."

6. The police officer waits, then says, "Can I go now?"

7. At 11.30 all parties depart.

This ensures that the police officer can have a quiet morning and a long lunch, Witness Care volunteers get to roll their eyes and say, "I can't believe it, you must be really fed up." And the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] get to say, "Well, at least we tried." Please remember steps 1 to 7 and don't upset the system by actually turning up and giving evidence, it sets the whole thing back hours and can cause real inconvenience.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Negligent Mayor/ Governor?

If it's true that:

The city of New Orleans followed virtually no aspect of its own emergency management plan in the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans officials also failed to implement most federal guidelines, which stated that
the Superdome was not a safe shelter for thousands of residents.
The official "City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan" states that the mayor can call for a mandatory citywide evacuation, but the Louisiana governor alone is given the power to carry out the evacuation, which Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has yet to do. She "begged" people to leave before the storm and is still asking the few thousand holdouts to evacuate the flooded city.
Red Cross officials say the organization was well positioned to provide food, water and hygiene products to the thousands stranded in New Orleans. But the state refused to let them deliver the aid.
And if it's further true that:

The husband-and-wife owners of a nursing home were charged with homicide because they did not evacuate 34 elderly patients who died after Hurricane Katrina
struck, the first major criminal case related to the storm's still-rising death toll.

Then why are the mayor of New Orleans and perhaps the governor of Louisiana not charged with violating this statute in those cases where deaths occurred due to a failure to evacuate or because of poor conditions at the Superdome:

Louisiana Negligent Homicide LA R.S. 14:32
A. Negligent homicide is the killing of a human being by criminal negligence.
B. The violation of a statute or ordinance shall be considered only as presumptive evidence of such negligence.
C. Whoever commits the crime of negligent homicide shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both. However, if the victim was killed as a result of receiving a battery and was under the age of ten years, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor, without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence, for not less than two nor more than five years.

Just asking.

Doing the Right Thing

It's refreshing to see that sometimes conscience and doing the right thing are not dead in our society:

A woman accused in a multimillion-dollar armored car heist on the Las Vegas Strip surrendered to federal authorities Thursday, saying she was tired of more than a decade on the run and wanted her son to have a normal life. "I truly feel this is the right thing to do," Heather Catherine Tallchief, 33, said minutes before turning herself in at a federal courthouse.
She had participated in the robbery at the instigation of her then-boyfriend, who is still on the run. I know she'll serve some time for her crime, but she'll undoubtedly get some consideration for turning herself in. And she should be applauded for obeying her conscience. Would that more criminals take responsibility for their actions like she has!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Roberts: Griswold holding correct

Judge Roberts just stated in response to a question from Sen. Herb Kohl on Griswold v. Connecticut that he accepts the holding that the 14th amendment guarantees a right to privacy for a married couple to buy and possess contraception.

Bad tidings for those of us who hoped for an originalist Justice. If you buy penumbras formed by emenations creating new, hitherto unknown rights never acknowledged by the customs and traditions of our people, you can hardly then apply originalist thinking in other areas of constitutional adjudication.

Is this Souter II? Or will he "clarify" his answer to minimize its implications?

Mr. Justice Do Right?

With all due respect, is it just me or does John Roberts look an awful lot like Dudley Do Right? Not that it bothers me in the slightest... I hope Roberts is another Clarence Thomas or at least a Scalia. I pray that he does in fact bring the worst fears of the leftists to fruition.


It's worth the price of admission just to see signs of distress like this:

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Necessities

Check out Cerberus, a police officer from another jurisdiction who's on volunteer assignment in Louisiana keeping order. Among the interesting stories: 19 guys caught driving this stolen Heineken truck with loads of looted goods on their persons and in the truck and a convoy of stolen trucks stopped just over the N.O. city limits, also laden with stolen booty.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Revolution Reconsidered

Did Washington, Jefferson, and the rest of the Founders of our Republic really take up arms against the Brits because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery? That's the bombshell question Simon Schama is throwing out in his new book, "Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution"(in print in the mother country, but not here until May, 2006).

The Economist, in reviewing the British edition of the book, explains that Schama argues that:
At the height of the conflict, Britain guaranteed freedom to any slave who fought for the king against George Washington's slave-owning rebels. And in 1772, in London, Lord Mansfield, nudged by the advocacy of Granville Sharp, an abolitionist, judged that Africans could not be transported against their will. It sounded good. Thousands of slaves, lacking a better offer, joined the king's cause.

Schama apparently believes that it was fear of losing their slaves that in good part motivated the Founders to take up arms against England. Thus, the argument goes, our nation was founded less on the ideal of freedom from English oppression than on desire to protect the institution of slavery.

Strong stuff to swallow....

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Betrayal, not Bullets

"Jack Dunphy" (a nom-de-plume of an LAPD police officer) writes that political correctness and cowering to radical special interest groups has resulted in a loss of confidence among officers in the LAPD in their leaders. He cites as an example the case of "Officer Steven Garcia, who last February shot and killed 13-year-old Devin Brown at the end of another high-speed chase. Brown was driving a stolen car when he attempted to evade arrest... Brown elected to ram a police car." For saving probably his own life and the life of others by shooting this reckless criminal, in other words, for doing the job he was sworn to do, Officer Garcia finds himself grounded with his job at risk and the subject of a law suit after protests by the usual criminal-coddling suspects.

The citizens of LA should not wonder if their officers will now minimally enforce the law (a "drive and wave" policy as Dunphy terms it), when their every decision is hyper-analyzed and no quarter is given for good-faith decisions made in the heat of a combat situation.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Making Them Think Twice

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans police say they shot and killed some gunmen who had fired upon a group of contractors traveling across a city bridge while on their way to make repairs. New Orleans Deputy Police Chief W.J. Riley says police shot at eight people, killing five or six of them. A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers says there were 14 contractors on their way to repair a canal. They were
traveling across a bridge under police escort when they were fired upon. The contractors were on their way to launch barges into Lake Pontchartrain to fix the 17th Street Canal. The shootings took place on the Danziger Bridge, which spans a canal connecting Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.

Mission Impossible?

Via In Toon With The World.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Louisiana Governor Takes Control

Finally, the Democrat Governor of Louisiana is taking action to restore order in New Orleans:

New Orleans was primed for all-out combat, as Iraq-tested troops with shoot-to-kill orders moved into the hurricane-devasted city to quell rioters and looters...Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said the guardsmen had been authorized to open fire on "hoodlums" profiteering from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina, which is believed to have left thousands dead."These troops are fresh back from Iraq, well trained, experienced, battle tested and under my orders to restore order in the streets," Blanco said."They have M-16s and they are locked and loaded."These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will," she said.
Not a moment too soon. If these orders had been given 48 hours ago as I suggested here, we might not have seen armed thugs shooting at rescue vehicles and hijacking nursing home buses. When people think there is no order and they can steal TVs, clothing, electronics, and guns in broad daylight in front of the cameras, the signal is clear: the thugs and criminals are in charge. The government must stop this chaos in the most forceful manner possible.

<--Stealing the necessities

<--More vultures in Biloxi, Miss.

Looting a Walgreens

Divine Retribution?

From Father Jim Tucker at Dappled Things (who's got a great mix of posts today), comes a timely response to those of left and right who find some kind of Divine judgment in the events on the Gulf coast:
I agree with Jesus Christ that God sends rain upon the just and the unjust alike. People who sit around talking about divine punishment during natural disasters are like the ones who saw the blind man sitting in the street and asked Christ whether he was blind because of his own sins, or because of the sins of his parents. Neither, according to Christ.
Check out the post for the whole explanation according to the Christian worldview.

Someone Call the ACLU

Via The Star Tribune:
The state of Minnesota is quietly getting out of the business of paying for three controversial treatments that affect the sex lives or sex organs of low-income patients. Starting today, the state will no longer cover routine circumcisions, unless "required by religious practice," under its insurance plans for 670,000 low-income Minnesotans, according to the Department of Human Services. It's also dropping coverage of Viagra and other impotence drugs. And last month, it completely stopped paying for sex-change operations.

I don't understand how Minnesota could be so heartless to these poor, sexually disfunctional persons. I want the ACLU to sue immediately to vindicate the fundamental constitutional right of poor people to receive taxpayer-funded sex change operations.

No justice, no peace! Hat tip to Dappled Things.