A loss, is a tie, is a win.

August 20, 2014

The Connecticut Bar Association voted on whether to sign onto a brief in support of a firearms law. The House of Delegates voted yes, 2-1, but there was a referendum petition. A vote was taken. By a vote of 734-729 (5 votes), the members voted to join the brief. Those opposed to signing the brief technically lost. Yet, the CBA President called it a tie, in light of the close vote. The practical result: the CBA will not sign the brief and the opposition effectively wins.

There’s a logic to it, but it is a curious thing.


That’s one way to do it

August 12, 2014

It is a pretty common story — “christians” protest other people having fun. In this case, a church in Ohio decided that it is their business to protest a strip club and to harass its patrons.

What makes the story uncommon — the strippers decided to protest the church.

California Considers “Affirmative Consent” Requirement for Sex at Colleges

August 12, 2014

The motivation for this law is noble – who doesn’t want college kids to consent before sex?

If SB-967 passes, then California colleges will be required to adopt policies that require “an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision” by each participant. If one of them is silent or expresses no resistance, that’s not enough.

If the accused party wants to claim that there was consent, it won’t fly if the other party was asleep, unconscious, drunk, or on drugs.

“No means no” makes plenty of sense. Some of the bill makes plenty of sense too. But, there is some question as to whether we want to have college administrators acting as rape-investigators. On one hand, this is Law Enforcement’s job. On the other, I’m not exactly sure I’d be confident in the cops doing the best job.

I’d be a lot more comfortable with something like this if it had provisions to protect the falsely accused — and yes, that’s a thing.

Gov. Dewey was Wrong: Obama 2016

August 6, 2014

During his 1944 campaign for President, N.Y. Governor Thomas Dewey argued that permitting Pres. Roosevelt to have a fourth term was a dangerous threat to freedom. Gov. Dewey lost in 1944 and, more famously, in 1948 against Pres. Truman. Dewey Beats Truman However, Gov. Dewey, with a Republican Congress, managed to get the 22nd Amendment introduced and, ultimately, ratified. This may have backfired.

President Franklin Roosevelt was the first person to win more than two terms. But, he was not the first President to seek a third term. His distant cousin, Theodore, sought a third term. As did others. Rather than threatening freedom and potentially enshrining a de facto monarch, permitting a sitting two-term President to seek a third term served a valuable function in our system of checks and balances.

Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama were termed “lame ducks” upon their second election. Prior to this point, no two-term President was a lame duck until he bowed out or the election was lost. Instead of a 2-8 month lame duck period, we now have a 4 year, two month period. But, is he truly a lame duck?

Presidents have done a great many things in their second terms. The Watergate coverup, Iran-Contra, the Lewinsky scandal: to the extent the President himself is alleged to have been involved in a cover-up, that cover-up occurred during the second term. Speaker Boehner has now turned to the courts because he believes Pres. Obama is not faithfully executing the laws. Ultimately, the Court, though, cannot force a President to act, even assuming Speaker Boehner is right and could win. And, even though Congress gets to decide what constitutes “Other High Crimes and Misdemeanors”, impeachment is really a 2nd degree political action–you vote for the people who vote on impeachment. Prior to the 22nd Amendment, second-term Presidents had a check on their power to act (or not act): the third-term campaign. Presidents no longer have to worry about facing the electorate for a third time and can act (or fail to act) with virtual impunity. Such may be a more dangerous threat to freedom than Gov. Dewey imagined.

Marriage Equality Marches North in Florida

August 5, 2014

It wasn’t much of a surprise that a Key West judge ruled that Florida’s ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional. Miami-Dade was a crapshoot. Now a Broward County judge held the same thing — but going beyond, recognizing same sex marriages outside of Florida. (source)

Cop shoots kittens in front of children

August 5, 2014

An Ohio mom called animal control to take away a feral mother cat and her kittens. So, in front of her kids, he pulled out a gun and shot them.

Police Chief Mike Freeman defended the shooting as a method of euthanasia and defended the action of the officers, stating that, “the officers will not face any disciplinary actions.” (source)

I was pretty sure that this was something from The Onion when I first saw the headline. It is not.

UK Duo Convicted of Mere Possession of Pornographic Images

August 5, 2014

Two men in the United Kingdom were sentenced to a £500 fine and a two year suspended sentence for possession of “disturbing” pornographic images. The images were described as “extreme pornographic image[s] likely to cause injury,” and “pornographic images involving animals.” (source)

The men claimed that they did not view the pornography, nor did they seek it out, but that the videos were sent to them via WhatsApp. When your receive a video or an image from that (or other messaging services) it often gets automatically added to a smartphone’s camera roll. The men were unaware of this fact, and carried the porn around for months before getting caught with it.


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