Monday, June 30, 2008

Joe Horn no-billed by Grand Jury

In November of 2007, Joe Horn spotted two men breaking into his next door neighbors home. He called 911, then went out, confronted the two men and wound up shooting them.

Today, a Harris County grand jury refused to indict Mr. Horn -- in plain language, the District Attorney was not able to convince nine out of twelve "good men and true" that Mr. Horn had committed a crime.

Under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 83, Mr. Horn is now "immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant's use of force or deadly force".

Note that is Texas State Law -- I don't think Mr. Horn has a similar immunity under Federal Law.

It's a decent end to a tough and terrible set of circumstances.

LawDog

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meditations on the SCOTUS

The recent Heller decision has reignited the debate on the up-coming Presidential election, with folks citing the 5-4 split in the Court as a compelling reason to vote for McCain.

The reasoning being that the next President will be in a position to appoint one or more Justices to the Supreme Court, and a Republican candidate won't screw us over.

With that in mind, let us ponder the Supreme Court of the United States.

The current Chief Justice is John Roberts, appointed to that position by Republican George W. Bush.

Next in seniority is John Paul Stevens, appointed by Gerald Ford -- a Republican.

Antonin Scalia was appointed by Ronald Reagan, Republican.

Anthony Kennedy -- again Ronald Reagan, Republican.

David Souter, George Herbert Walker Bush, Republican.

Clarence Thomas, George Herbert Walker Bush, Republican.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appointed by William Jefferson Clinton, Democrat.

Stephen Breyer, appointed by William Jefferson Clinton, Democrat.

And last, but not least, Samuel Alito, appointed to that position by George W. Bush, Republican.

In addition, we have one current retired Supreme Court Justice -- Sandra Day O'Connor, a Reagan appointee.

Of the current sitting Justices of the Supreme Court, only two have been appointed by Democrats. The other seven were appointed by Republicans.

In simpler English, in the
Heller decision being cited as a vital reason to elect (Republican) McCain, well, two of the Justices who decided against freedom were Republican appointees.

Now, I realize that Obama would most probably nominate hard Left judges to fill any vacancies on the Supreme Court -- but will McCain do any better?

Will the man most often referred to as the "Maverick Senator from Arizona", who is famous for "reaching across the aisle" -- will he do any better?

Will the Senator who rammed the anti-Constitutional McCain-Feingold Act down our throats really do any better? This is the man who thought the Climate Stewardship Act was Constitutional enough to sponsor it not once, but three times; and let us not forget McCain's leadership in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 -- which showed a fine disregard for our not only our own laws, but for those voting Americans he supposedly represents.

Yes, Supreme Court Justices appointed by Barack Obama would be a disaster for our personal freedoms ... but no one has managed to show me that Supreme Court Justices appointed by John McCain -- the man who was frequently mentioned as a possible VP candidate under John Kerry in 2004 -- will be any better.

In addition, I'd like to throw out two words: "Robert Bork".

Lest we forget, those who control the Senate ("Advice and Consent of the Senate", and all that) have a great deal of say upon who actually gets to be a Supreme Court Justice (see Harriet Miers, G. Harrold Carswell, Clement Haynsworth, John J. Parker, et al.)

Supposing John "Reach Across the Aisle In The Spirit of Bi-Partisanship" McCain does actually nominate Conservative jurists to fill any Supreme Court vacancies -- if conservatives don't control the Senate, the Senate can (and will) reject any nominees who don't meet the Senate's approval.

LawDog

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

There are times when duelling should be allowed.

Last month, during floor debate in the Massachusetts on a bill to set mandatory minimum sentences for various offences against children, Massachusetts State Representative James Fagan had what some might call an interesting take on the subject.

Representative Fagan is not only a member of the Democratic Party, but he is also a defence lawyer by trade. As such, it would seem that he apparently gets to defend those who prey upon children. So, one would tend to believe that Mr. Fagan would tend to not relish the passage of such a law.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Fagan is a critter. He has earned this appellation, not merely because he is a politician, nor because he is a Democrat. Not even the fact that he is a defence attorney merits this title.

No, what earned that sumbitch the title of critter were his remarks made during debate on this bill.

Allow me to quote from the linked video:

"I'm gonna rip them apart. I'm going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”

Lest anyone be in doubt, allow me to assure you that the people that Fagan is talking about are -- and he specifically says this -- six year old victims of abuse.

Not the molesters. Not the abusers. He means the victims. He means the children.

I understand the Constitutional right to a fair trial, and I understand the Constitutional right to legal representation -- however I fail to see a Constitutional mandate for the deliberate, intentional, knowing and vicious destruction of a victim.

If a defence attorney cannot adequately defend an accused party without -- and I quote:
"Making sure the rest of [the victim's] life is ruined" unquote -- then I put it before you that that defence attorney is incompetent.

Defending is one thing. "I'm gonna make sure that the rest of their life is ruined" is something completely different.

"Making sure" that an innocent life "is ruined" is not justice. "Making sure" that a victim throws up years later isn't justice. It is the action of a critter.

Contact information for Congresscritter James Fagan.


Do note, for further amusement, that this critter apparently chairs the Massachusetts House Committee on Ethics.

How about it, Massachusetts? Intentionally and knowingly ripping apart the six-year-old victim of molestation sound ethical to you?

Intentionally and knowingly ruining the rest of that six-year-old victim's life sound ethical to you?

Intentionally and knowingly making sure that that six-year-old victim never has a relationship with anybody sound ethical to you?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, and wee Jimmy Fagan? Horsewhipping around the courthouse square is too good for you.

LawDog

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm going to regret this ...

HollyB has pictures up of her spouse, La Phlegm, Peter, and some random stranger doing a bit of shooting.

Fun was had by all.

LawDog

In Case of Emergency

In Comments, MorningGlory asked about "ICE" numbers.

This was the subject of an e-mail that went around sometime ago. The gist of the whole thing was that anyone with a cell phone should add a number to their cell phone address book under the acronym "ICE" -- In Case of Emergency -- so that Emergency-type personnel looking through your cell phone after things have done gone all pear-shaped would have a good number to call.

MorningGlory is curious as to whether this e-mail is an urban myth, or if Emergency personnel do call the ICE numbers.

My answer is two-fold: Given the amount of people who received the ICE e-mail, it's a pretty good bet that any EMS folks who weren't looking for an ICE number before -- are now.

The second part involves a bit of an anecdote.

I received that e-mail forwarded by another officer who happened to be in the office with me when I opened my e-mail account. I read the e-mail, paused for a second, turned and asked, "Didn't you tell me once that it's best to keep your cell phone keypad locked?"

"Yes," answers he, "If someone steals my cell, I don't want them to be able to access all that personal information."

"Huh," sez I, and returned to vetting my e-mail. A couple of minutes later, I hear quiet beeping behind me. Without turning around, I ask: "Unlocking your keypad, or removing the ICE number?"

"Oh, be quiet," responds he.

ICE numbers are great -- if you leave your phone unlocked.

If you leave your phone unlocked so as to allow access by strangers in the event of an emergency, all of your personal information is accessible to any critters with sticky fingers and a loose interpretation of property rights.

Personally, I find the best idea is to grab a blank business card, write the name and number of your emergency contact on it, laminate it, and put it in your wallet or purse behind your drivers license -- or just put it in a pocket. Those are the first places emergency types look for ID anyway.

As always, your mileage may vary.

LawDog

Monday, June 23, 2008

All-purpose goodness

Take:

16 ounces of plain, thick Greek yogurt
3 cloves of garlic
1 cucumber
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Make sure you have the thick Greek yogurt -- it should be about the consistency of sour cream. If you can't get thick yogurt, line a strainer with coffee filters, dump in the yogurt and suspend over a bowl in your 'fridge overnight.

Peel and seed your cucumber, then run it over a cheese grater. You want a little more than half-a-cup of shredded cuke and some tiny little chunks.

In a bowl, mix your olive oil and your lemon juice, finely chop your garlic and bung it in there, too. Throw in the cucumber and then fold the yogurt in.

Do this by hand -- if you use a mixer, the yogurt will separate, and no one wants that. If desired, you can sprinkle in a pinch of dill and a pinch of mint -- it's up to you.

Mix well, and put it into the 'fridge to contemplate for a couple of hours.

Voila! Tzatziki.

Spoon it over sandwiches, use it as vegetable or chip dip, or as a side condiment for grilled meats.

LawDog

Pear-shaped

jhisaac1 said...

Um. (Raises hand.) What does "Biblically pear-shaped" mean? It sounds like a fun term, and I assume it means something has not gone well, but could I get some background on the phrase please? It appears to be a common phrase according to Google, but I couldn't find any background. Thanks.

"Pear-shaped" is British slang for something gone wrong with ones plans. Since Iron Maggie Thatcher introduced Americans to the phrase, it has evolved into the connotation of not just wrong, but horribly so.

Its origin is fairly obscure, but most experts seem to think that aviation has something to do with it, most probably the Royal Air Force, and that it involves the shape of a failed engine casing or the shape of a failed aerial manoeuvre.

"Biblically" comes from, of course, the Bible. When it comes to catastrophes, nobody does it better than the Bible.

So. When things "go pear-shaped", they've gone horribly wrong. When they go "Biblically pear-shaped", they've gone horribly wrong -- only worse.

LawDog

Cell phone memories

When carrying a cell phone, I very seldom use the 'Memory' or 'Address Book' feature. I prefer to dial the phone numbers of family and friends from my own wet-ware memory, rather than to use the silicon one that comes with the phone.

Likewise, if I am traveling to meet someone, I write their phone number on a piece of paper and dial from that if I need to contact them.

Seems like these days I am in the distinct minority on this. Everyone seems to be using their cell-phone memory to hold numbers -- so much so that quite a few people I've met on a professional basis cannot remember the phone of close family.

This is a Bad Thing.

Every day, someone will be booked into our jail, who when it comes time for those famous Two Completed Phone Calls, tells the officer, "I want to call Soandso."

Officer sez, "Okay, what's that number?"

Bookee, in a stricken whisper, "It's in my cell phone."

Which, naturally, has already been sealed inside a plastic property bag, that being locked inside a property box.

And I'm here to tell you that this is a syndrome which affects even those who haven't wound up getting hooked and booked.

Sometime ago I was in the midst of a midnight munchie run when a young lady walking across the parking lot of the grocery store whilst talking on her cell phone wasn't paying quite as much attention to walking as might have been appropriate -- consequently managing to trip over a car stop and produce two of the prettiest silver fork fractures I have ever seen.

Rescue was called, I was attempting to make her comfortable until they got there and I asked if there was someone who should be notified.

She answered that she wanted her daddy called. I asked what his number was, she replied that it was in her cell phone.

Unfortunately, the cell phone was not quite as impact-resistant as one might have hoped.

The last I saw of her, she was being loaded into an ambulance -- and still had not been able to contact family.

Gentle Readers, cell phones can be wonderful little gadgets. However, as with anything made by man, they can fail. Dead batteries. Impact. Water infiltration. Simple wear-and-tear. Car crashes.

Remembering Rule Number One* here at The LawDog Files, you can guarantee that your cell phone will go Paws Up about the time that your life goes Biblically pear-shaped.

Folks, memorize your important numbers. Dial them from your own memory so that you will continue to remember them. If you can't do this, write them down on something that doesn't require electricity, an LCD screen and delicate electronics to read.

LawDog

*For the newbies, Rule Number One is: "Murphy hates you. Personally."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New laws

I'm not of big fan of enacting new legislation, but for some time now I have been seeing a part of social interaction which is sadly deficient in controlling laws.

I hereby propose that Chapter 50 be added to the Texas Penal Code, simply titled: "Stupidity".

While it may be tempting to start this new chapter with general "Misdemeanor Stupidity" followed up by "Felony Stupidity", I have noticed that in a lot of cases, violating the Stupidity Statutes tends to be a self-correcting problem.

No, Gentle Readers, I have decided -- this very day, as a matter-of-fact -- that Chapter 50 only needs to consist of two charges: 1) Failure To Mind Your Own Business; and 2) Aggravated Failure To Mind Your Own Business.

The elements of the misdemeanor offence would be as follows:

A person, at a time and a place;
intentionally or knowingly;
involves himself in the affairs of a second or third party;
when a reasonable man would decide it isn't the first person's business;
and by such involvement tends to cause a breach of the peace.


For instance, here we have "Frank". "Frank" is regularly having chandelier-swinging sex with "JoAnne", with the caveat that both "Frank" and "JoAnne" are married -- but not to each other.

"Darlene" is a neighbor to "Frank", but isn't married to either one, nor is she either kith or kin to either "Frank" or "JoAnne".

However, "Darlene" is outraged enough by the activities of two consenting adult strangers that she arranges to tell the wife of "Frank" about the infidelity -- resulting in "Mrs Frank" destroying various toys belonging to her spouse, selling off others, setting fire to still more, and following up by standing in the front yard, shrieking like a banshee and throwing various breakables at "Frank" and his car, thereby waking up the whole sodding neighborhood and necessitating the attention of the Gardai.

In this case, "Frank" would be firmly advised to find other lodging for the nonce, "Mrs. Frank" would be gently advised to cease and desist from the Abusive, Indecent or Profane Language (In A Public Place) -- not to mention the Littering -- and "Darlene" would be hauled off to jail for misdemeanor Failure To Mind Her Own Business.

The elements of the felony offence would be the same as above, only replace the last line with:

"and such involvement causes the risk of death, serious bodily injury or the felony arrest of one or both of the involved parties."

As an example -- a creative articulation -- here is "Joe". Some years ago "Joe" and his daughter "Shannon" had a falling out, leading to Shannon running off to California, vowing Never To Return.

Time, distance, and the arrival of a grand-daughter has mellowed the relationship between "Joe" and "Shannon" enough that "Shannon" and her daughter have moved back to town.

All is peachy and keen ... until "Chuck" hears from his sister's daughter's boyfriend's second-cousin-twice-removed's baby-sitter that "Shannon" has apparently taken up with a non-mainstream, somewhat untraditional religion.

"Chuck" -- bearing in mind that while he is a work buddy to "Joe", he is not a relative, nor would he actually recognize "Shannon" if her were to bump into her on the street -- breaks the news to "Joe" about his daughters choice in religion over a beer in the parking lot after work, and follows up with what seems to have been a truly awe-inspiring recital of those things what "everybody knows" about them "damn witches".

Let us say that "Joe" is inspired enough by this performance that he takes about $41.00 worth of gasoline, throws it upon the porch of his daughters rented house, and follows it up with a lit road flare.

In this -- hypothetical -- case, "Joe" would be arrested for Arson and "Chuck" would be arrested for Aggravated Failure To Mind His Own Goddess-be-damned Business.

I realize that some of the elements of this offence must be fine-tuned, but for too long have busy-bodies been nosing off into others peoples business thereby causing hate, discontent, heartburn and police involvement -- and the time is now to start making them shoulder some of the responsibility for the result.

LawDog

Friday, June 20, 2008

*gigglesnort*

Do not watch the following video if you have even a touch of arachnophobia. Also, be aware that there is some 'R'-rated language used and remember that my sense of humour is widely considered to be a bit ... off.

Finally, be advised that there is a Class '2' Beverage Alert in effect.



*snerk*

LawDog

Why is it never about the victims?

July 27, 1969 -- Susan Atkins helps helps Bobby Beausoleil and Charles Manson rob and murder a music teacher for two car titles.

August 9, 1969 -- Susan Atkins participates and aids in the brutal murders of five people, one of whom was two weeks away from giving birth and allowed to plead for the life of her unborn child before being stabbed sixteen times.

August 10, 1969 -- Susan Atkins was present and giving support during the home invasion and vicious stabbing of a husband -- which paused only to go stab his wife 41 times, before returning to the still-alive husband and continuing to stab him until his death.

Susan Atkins confessed to all of this -- and more -- during Grand Jury testimony; in conversations with other inmates and in her autobiography.

Susan Atkins was found guilty and convicted of murder, and on March 29, 1971, she was sentenced to death.

Note that she received the death penalty for her actions.

As a result of
People v. Anderson in 1972, Susan Atkins' sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Life. In. Prison.

Here recently, Susan Atkins' lawyer/husband has issued a press release contending that Susan Atkins has brain cancer and is down to weeks to live.

He has filed for a "compassionate release" for Susan Atkins, so that she may leave prison and spend her last days in the comfort of family, friends and freedom.

She would not be the first murderer that California has "compassionately released". The reason given is cited (amongst others) as cost effectiveness -- medical care is expensive.

Keep that in mind the next time someone tells you that the death penalty is more expensive than Life in Prison.

As far as Susan Atkins goes, I have two things to say about that:

1) Sharon Tate's child would have been 39 this year. She would probably have had children of her own. She would have laughed, loved and been loved, made good choices and bad, danced, watched sunsets, broken hearts, had her heart broken, lived, learned, and made her mark under the stars in the way that everyone else does.

Except that a pack of monsters slaughtered her before she even got a chance to see the light of day. Butchered her as her mother begged for her unborn life -- and Susan Atkins laughed about it.

2) The sentence was 'life in prison' and Susan Atkins is still alive -- thus I don't think that the sentence has been fully carried out as yet.

Susan Atkins should be grateful for the extra 39 years, for the chances to marry, to simply draw breath each morning -- for being able to do all the small things each of those 39 years ... that she denied her victims.

LawDog

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Little-known Texas Holiday

On June 19th, 1865, two months after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox, (but four days before Confederate General Stand Watie signed cease-fire accords at Fort Towson) Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas in command of 2,000 Union troops.

Later that day, from a balcony of Galveston's famed Ashton Villa (at that time Union HQ) General Granger read General Order #3 to the assembled citizens:

"The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere."
Officially known as 'Emancipation Day' or 'Freedom Day', this Texas State Holiday is more commonly known as 'Juneteenth', from combining the words 'June' and 'Nineteenth' -- the date -- and has been celebrated since 1866, becoming an official State holiday in 1980.

Usually marked with large outdoor-type gatherings -- parades, cook-outs, park parties, BBQ's and such -- Juneteenth has spread to 29 other States and the District of Columbia.

This has been your official LawDog Bit 'O Trivia for the day.

LawDog

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Warning: obscure Internet trivia quote follows.

Chris and I went to see 'Prince Caspian' today. Not a bad flick, actually.

I grew up seeing sword-fights on the big screen -- my first favorite movie was 1973s 'The Three Musketeers/Four Musketeers' with Christopher Lee, Michael York, Charleton Heston and Raquel Welch -- and those two movies were loaded with folks getting shish-kabobed left, right and centre.

After we got Stateside, John Milius' screenplay 'Conan' starring the future governor of California set the standard for pointy ends going into the Bad Guys. And blood. Ye tap-dancing gods, the amount of fake blood used in that movie was awe-inspiring.

Over the last decade though -- maybe longer -- fantasy swordplay has rather heavily emphasized the 'fantasy' part and heavily de-emphasized the 'traumatic insertion' part.

It may just be me, but the heroes never seem to kill anyone with a sword. Instead, the queen of personal weapons seems to have become -- in Hollywood's eyes, at least -- nothing more than a distraction. I have lost count of the number of times I have watched a Hollywood fantasy hero rushing to engage the enemy, throwing his sword past the first bad guy, the bad guy stares at it go past him -- allowing the hero to deck the bad guy with a single mighty punch.

Or -- and this is my personal favourite -- a sword is treated as nothing more than a steel trapping aid, used only to move the bad guys blade out of line, thus allowing the hero to elbow, punch or kick the bad guy into lala-land without fear of getting pin-cushioned in the process.

Ballocks.

Oh, there have been some few exceptions -- Aragorn wading through orcs at Parth Galen; and Leonidas, Stelios and Astinos serving up heaping helpings of Persian sashemi, for instance -- but there are far more examples of sword swinging good guys doing whatever they can
not to actually, you know, cut anyone, than of good guys using a sword for what it was designed to do.

*sigh*

Fortunately, this wasn't one of those movies. The good guys are quite happy to introduce the sharp parts of their weapons to various anatomical parts of the bad guys, who promptly -- although there is a striking lack of blood -- go down and jolly well stay down.

I am happy to report that Susan Pevensie joins the ranks of damsels who are not only quite able to rescue themselves, thankyewverymuch, but are entirely capable of pulling their own weight in the whacking-and-stacking department.

Seems the darling girl not only located a branch of the Legolas Greenleaf School of Close Combat Archery, but she seems to have aced every course in the syllabus.

Come to think, Susan might have offed more bad guys than both her brothers put together.

'Dog approves.

As a side note, there is a scene in the movie in which the Bad Guy Cavalry is hauling tail across a bridge. On the far side of this bridge is young Lucy Pevensie, who promptly produces the most satanic little girl smile I have ever seen outside of a Japanese horror flick before drawing her pig-sticker.

Scene cuts back to the cavalry, then back to Lucy just in time for Aslan to step onto the far end of the bridge next to Lucy. Following shot is of a whole bunch of horses and riders locking up the metaphorical brakes.

I couldn't help myself. I leaned over to Chris and said,
sotto voce, "Jesus Christ, it's a lion! Get in the car!"

Not only did I wipe out Chris for the rest of the movie, but someone in the row behind us apparently blew a large amount of expensive soda out through a sinus or two and spent the rest of the movie alternating between coughing and giggling fits.

Nice to know that it wasn't too obscure of an Internet reference.

On the whole, worth every bit of the $7.00 matinee price.

LawDog

Monday, June 16, 2008

DO WANT!


Gentleman over at THR has hauled off and made a whole bunch of gunnies proud.

Nothing says "Room-broom" quite like a double-barreled pump 12-gauge shotgun.

How nifty is that?

I wonder if that could be done with a couple of Remington 1100s?

LawDog

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dear Critter.

Dear Mr. Critter,

I have listened patiently to your tale of woe, your explanations as to "what really happened", and I have heard your attempts to justify your actions three times in a row.

I still don't believe you.

No, you have had your say. Now it is my turn.

You and your wife divorced 19 months ago. A year and a half -- almost two years past -- your wife stopped being your wife.

You have explained the 500-plus phone calls over the last month as concern for your children. I can understand concern.

You have explained sitting in your parked car across the street from your ex-wife's house as loneliness for the children of whom you have lost custody. I understand loneliness.

You have explained following your ex-wife from a restaurant to her home before blocking her car in the driveway and calling the police as merely a father's care for his children un-seat-belted in a moving vehicle. I understand care for your children.

However, I have listened to your explanations, and I have listened to your two free phone calls during the booking process and I am -- by nature and by training -- an observant man.

Do you realize that while you have mentioned your ex-wife multiple times -- in not one single instance have you used her name?

Not only this, but you continually refer to the woman who divorced you nineteen months ago as "My Wife".

Not "My Ex-Wife". Not "That [deleted]", nor even the ever-popular "That [deleted]ing [deleted]".

No. You continually say such things as: "I followed My Wife from the eatery because ..."; "They were in My Wife's house ..."; "My Wife doesn't take care ..."; "My Wife doesn't realize ...".

She stopped being Your Wife nineteen months ago. You've had more than enough time for that little fact to sink in.

That unconscious possessiveness tells me all that I need to know.

The warrant you were arrested on is for felony stalking. There is a petition for an Order for Emergency Protection heading for the magistrates desk and it will be served before your release from custody -- sometime tomorrow.

I suggest you use the time between now and then to contemplate, indulge in some deep-breathing exercises; you could meditate on the thousands of other fish in the sea
-- that sort of thing.

Of course,
you might also consider reaching down, taking a firm grip on both ears and tugging until you see daylight -- but that's up to you.

Nothing but love,

LawDog

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Comments

Thankfully, when ones Muse takes it into her head to wander off on sabbatical we can mine the 'Comments' for writing material:

Jw said...
Hello Lawdog I am interested in knowing what part of the nation you are from and what area you currently reside?

New around here? The short answers are: "Which nation" and "Texas".

The long answer is: the Blog Archive over on the left is your friend.

Anonymous said...

Lawdog what do you know about the articles of impeachement that were read before the house last night?

Know? Probably as much as anyone else who takes the care to be informed on government matters. The better question to ask would be, "What do you think about ..."

Heh. I think that Dennis Kucinich is probably single-handedly responsible for the record-setting amounts of Maalox and Alka-Seltzer that flew off DeeCee area pharmacies just after his announcement.

You may, or may not, recall that Mr. Kucinich introduced a similar impeachment measure last year, only Vice-President Cheney was the target of the resolution. Republicans took a brief moment ("Oh, Lord, for the bounty Thou placest before us, let us be truly grateful. Amen.") then yelled, "Game on! Let's debate!"

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (and Democrat -- ought to be in lockstep on that whole impeachment issue, you think?) passed the impeachment measure over to the House Judiciary Committee (22 Democrats, 16 Republicans) whereupon that (Democratic-majority) Committee promptly kicked the measure under the table and left it to die, alone and unloved.

Something similar is going to be the same fate of this one. Quiet, no-muss, no-fuss death in Committee.

It's all very well to go about accusing the President of this and that -- but proof and facts aren't required for bumper-stickers and 15-second sound-bites.

Should an impeachment measure come before the House entire, it will have to be debated. Those who favour impeachment -- in this case, much of the Democratic side of the House -- must prove the assertations.

The other side -- in this case, much of the Republican part of things -- not only has the ever-so-difficult task of saying, "Prove it"; and "That's not proof, here's why, try again." but -- and don't think a whole bunch of senior Democratic Party officials haven't spotted
this alligator in the swamp -- the Republicans are in the unique, enviable, and oh-so-enjoyable position of being able to say:

"Yes. President Bush is completely guilty of Articles 23, 24 and 25. Utterly and without defence.

However, since his violations of these Articles are due to his carrying out of the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act -- a law written by the Congress of the United States, debated by the Congress of the United States, voted on by the Congress of the United States and approved to be sent to the President for ratification by the Congress of the United States -- well, under American law and under Common law, those folks who gave the President the power and the approval to violate Articles 23, 24 and 25 are just as guilty as the President -- if not more so -- and deserve at least the same punishment.

Here's a list of the names of the co-conspirators to those afore-mentioned violations of Article 23, 24 and 25 who are still currently serving in Congress.

Sauce for the goose being sauce for the gander, and all that."

And this being an election year.

Yeah, unless the Republicans can pull a sneaky out of the hat, the Democratic leadership in Congress is going to make sure that this one quietly goes away.

Just like the last one.

LawDog

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I was over at Tolewyn's house the other day when he mentioned that he had found a Republican candidate he could support:



Heh.

Given the proper selection of his VP running mate, I could actually support Denny Crane for President.

And that, my friends, says some pretty bad things about the current Presidential choices here in the Real World.

LawDog

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Papieren, bitte!

In one of the most absolutely cocked-over ideas I've seen in all my born days, the City of Washington D.C. has decided to set up "Neighborhood Safety Zones" in certain areas of the District of Columbia.

Once a neighborhood is declared a "Neighborhood Safety Zone" DeeCee Police will stop all vehicles entering these zones and demand identification proving that the driver lives in the neighborhood, or provide a -- and let me be accurate here -- "legitimate reason to enter the neighborhood".

Anyone not providing papers identification or a "legitimate reason to enter the neighborhood" will be -- and I quote -- "forced to leave".

Anyone objecting to being refused entry into the "Neighborhood Safety Zone" will face arrest for failing to obey police.

This sort of bushwa is EXACTLY what you bloody well get when the sodding government is the only folks allowed to carry guns. This sort of absolute felching gradoo is EXACTLY what you get when the citizens are disarmed.

Shame on the DC Police department. Shame! You are supposed to be peace officers, not some mouth-breathing knock-off of the gods-be-damned gestapo. And that goes double for Mayor Fenty, Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Attorney General Peter Nickles. Where, in the name of all that's holy, do you think that you are, World War 2 Warsaw?

What is next? Tell me, do. What is next -- issuing various coloured triangles to undesirables?

You two-bit, four-flushing, knock-off, arrogant, el-cheapo tin-plate Mussolinis. You pack of dime-store Himmlers with delusions of adequacy.

This. Is. America. You have obviously forgotten this.

American citizens do not -- I will say again my last, slowly, for the DC City Government -- American citizens do not need to give a reason -- legitimate or otherwise -- for driving anywhere on any Freyja-be-damned tax-payer-funded public sodding street.

How dare you stop a tax-paying American citizen driving on a tax-payer funded American street and demand -- demand, by God! -- a "legitimate reason to enter the neighborhood" ... here's your "legitimate reason" -- damn your eyes -- because I want to and it's none of your penguin-squicking business!

To think it would come to this -- in the Capital City of our Nation -- a city in which is enshrined the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- that the public servants of the citizens of that city would happily indulge in the signature evil of the police state.

Tell me, truly -- are you going to train your cops to say, "Papieren, bitte" before demanding a "legitimate reason" to be about on a public road? Just to make the whole process complete?

Or will you teach them the phrase in Russian? Maybe Chinese?

Why the lot of you haven't been horse-whipped around the courthouse square for even daring to
suggest this crap is beyond me.

LawDog

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I wonder if Coeur d'Alene needs cops?

101 degrees (Fahrenheit) in Bugscuffle County today. Bloody damnation.

Used to be, anything over a hundred degrees was an average day for me.

These days they give me a headache. Which makes it damned difficult to come up with blog fodder.

Checking e-mail ... Ah-hah!

Ahem.

On the 25th of May of this year, a critter by the name of Ernesto Fuentes Villagomez walked into a bar in Winnemucca, Nevada and began shooting at two other Winnemucca residents, whom he seems to have had a past history with.

There may or may not have been a previous drive-by shooting involved -- details are still somewhat sketchy.

Anyhoo, Villagomez killed the two brothers -- and since he seems to have been possessed of the standard shooting ability of the average critter -- injured two other (apparently uninvolved with either himself or the two other victims) folks, before proceeding to reload his pistol.

That's when an unidentified (bless the Winnemucca PD) 48-year-old visitor from Reno, Nevada with a Concealed Carry permit and a pistol of his own hauled off and drilled the critter through the brisket.

Apparently, Nevada doesn't have a problem with CCW folks in bars -- bless their hearts.

The critter had the grace and good manners to expire on the spot.

The Winnemucca Police Department issued this statement. In addition, my (admittedly quick) research has revealed two other articles covering this classic Defensive Use of a Concealed Handgun by a Law-Abiding Citizen, the first here and the second here.

Two articles.

One tends to wonder how many articles would have run if Critter Villagomez had succeeded in slaughtering most of the bar, instead of being stopped in his tracks.

No, scratch that. Since the critter was punted onto the Room Temperature Express by a private citizen, rather than by a cop, why, this story might give the proles the idea that they can defend themselves -- and Odin knows the media can't have
that heresy getting out!

And folks wonder why I don't trust the Main Stream Media.

Props and kudos to the unnamed Reno resident who stepped up. More props to the Winnemucca PD who respected his right to privacy along with his right to self defence.

Tip of the Stetson to Gentle Reader Ben Crowell who brought this to my attention.

LawDog

Monday, June 02, 2008

In honour of Sex And The City - The Movie

...I present the following:

From a room-temperature bottle, measure two and one-half ounces of good gin.

From a room-temperature bottle, measure one-half ounce of good dry, white, French vermouth.

Throw a handful of ice-cubes into a cocktail mixer, then gently pour in the gin and the vermouth. Stir --
do not shake* -- two to three times, place the strainer over the mouth and gently pour into a cocktail glass.

Take one fresh lemon, hold it over the glass and -- using a garnisher -- firmly strip a curl of lemon peel, allowing the volatile lemon oils to drift onto the surface of the drink. Drop the peel into the glass.

Voila! A martini.

Note, do, that in that recipe there is no mention of chocolate, cranberries, tomato juice, sour apple mix, Campari, melon liqueur, blackberry brandy, mint drops, saki, vanilla beans, Curacao liqueur or anything else.

It's a martini. Crisp. Dry. Clear. Classic.

"[The martini is] the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet."
--H.L. Mencken

"[The martini is] the supreme American gift to world culture."
--Bernard DeVoto

LawDog

*If you want a Bradford, order a Bradford -- not a martini.