damnum absque injuria

June 30, 2009

Lost in Translation

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 5:31 pm

Cook Out drink cups say:

Proverbs 1:7
God Bless America

Somehow I doubt that is really what Proverbs 1:7 says.

Criminals with Assumed Names

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:52 am

Any media types care to explain how they decide which criminals get to own their aliases and which ones don’t? I ask because I can’t recall a single news article about “Clark Rockefeller” (Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter) that didn’t have his moniker in scare quotes, nor can I recall a single article about “Sarah Jane Olson” (Kathleen Soliah) that did.

June 24, 2009

Euphemism of the Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:45 pm

“Hiking along the Appalachian trail.”

June 23, 2009

Change They Believed In

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:55 am

Apparently, stealing an election, murdering 17 protesters (that we know of) and banning a wake for one isn’t enough to change President Hopenchange’s non-stance on Iran. Presidential spokeshole Robert Gibbs (who has already performed the monumental task of making Scott McClellan look marginally competent) non-explains the administration’s non-stance thusly:

“He’ll continue to speak out in support of those that are seeking to demonstrate and do so in a way peacefully,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told FOX News. “We don’t want to inject our government in the place of the reformers in this equation.”

Mr. Gibbs goes on to non-explain the government’s non-stance by cautioning that staking out a position on Iranian democracy, pro or con, could cause the U.S. to become a “political football” or “foil.”  What I want to know is, if the US of friggin’ A can’t be trusted to take the side of freedom and democracy everywhere in the world, then who the hell can?!

UPDATE: More here.

June 22, 2009

Doofus Bumper Sticker of the Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 5:01 pm


Tell that to any (1) Hot Air reader or (2) Arab of any faith.

Post-Conviction DNA

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:17 am

Via Howard Bashman, the WaPo decries the majority ruling in District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, which held 5-4 (and you don’t have to guess who the 5 and the 4 were) that prisoners have no constitutional right to post-conviction DNA testing, though they do have that right under the laws of most states. What I’d like to know is, what on earth do the other 4 Justices think? That the Sixth Amendment guarantees every criminal defendant the right to two speedy trials? Seriously. It’s one thing to allow post-conviction DNA testing for convicts who had no reasonable opportunity to present that same evidence at trial. That I support fully. But it’s quite another to ask for post-conviction DNA testing for a rapist/kidnapper who had every opportunity to present that same evidence at trial, and declined to do so because he knew the results would be damning. If we’re going to give criminal defendants a second bite at that apple, why stop with DNA? Let’s give every criminal defendant a right to two criminal trials, with the second trial allowing him to adopt every legal theory of innocence, justification or excuse that was not raised at the first. Lost the “I didn’t do it” trial? No problem, plead insanity now.

This story also raises troubling questions about Alaska’s criminal justice system. According to the WaPo, Osborne was actually paroled for this brutal attack two years ago, after finally admitting to the Parole Board that he had in fact committed the crime. Apparently in Alaska, no crime is too heinous for parole; you just have to admit that you did it and pinky-swear you won’t do it again. And so far, Mr. Osborne hasn’t done it again. OK, so he maybe did break into some family’s home, duct-tape and pistol-whip the occupants and rob them at gunpoint. There is that. But at least he didn’t rape anybody, which was the crime he had pinky-sworn not to do, so I’m sure the Parole Board can rest easy.

June 21, 2009

Gray Lady: Security for Me But Not For Thee

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:24 pm

Anwyn passes along this little gem regarding New York Times reporter David Rohde, who recently escaped from terrorists who had kidnapped him last November, but whose abduction was not reported in the meantime. Money quote:

Afghan officials confirmed the kidnapping in the days after the abduction, but The Associated Press and most other Western news outlets respected a request from the [New York] Times to not report on the abductions because the publicity could negatively affect hostage rescue efforts and imperil Rohde’s life.

“From the early days of this ordeal, the prevailing view among David’s family, experts in kidnapping cases, officials of several governments and others we consulted was that going public could increase the danger to David and the other hostages. The kidnappers initially said as much,” Bill Keller, the Times’ executive editor, said in a story posted on the Times’ Web site.

“We decided to respect that advice, as we have in other kidnapping cases, and a number of other news organizations that learned of David’s plight have done the same. We are enormously grateful for their support.”

She notes (and I concur) how comforting it is to know that the Paper With A Record really does know how to keep its yap shut as long as it’s one of their own they’re trying to protect, rather than some piddling lightweight stuff like … oh, I dunno … NATIONAL FRIGGIN’ SECURITY????!!!!!!

Marc Danziger has more.

June 20, 2009

The Customer Is Always Right

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:36 pm

It could have been worse; he could have dialed 911.

June 18, 2009

Judicial Hellhole Hath No Fury Like A Tarheel Scorned

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:29 am

Anwyn and Walter Olson link to the latest abuse of two wacky common law torts 42 states have had the good sense to abolish but North Carolina has not: criminal conversation and alienation of affection. The Rosen law firm have a useful article on the topic, and I’d urge you to RTWT. Alienation of affection occurs where (1) the marriage entailed love between the spouses in some degree, (2) the spousal love was alienated and destroyed and (3) the third party’s malicious conduct contributed to or caused the loss of affection. Note that it doesn’t require this third party to have sexual relations, nor romantic involvement of any kind, with the spouse. All it requires is that this person “maliciously” act in a way that causes or contributes to, the loss of love between them. Per Rosen, NC courts have generally presumed such love to exist up until the moment the couple separates, so even if you want to tell a friend of your own sex to finally get up the guts to leave that blankety-blank, and you happen to live in North Carolina (or, for that matter, in Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota or Utah), tread lightly. Once your friend physically leaves (or is left by) the spouse, then as a matter of law there’s “no love lost” between them, so feel free to give your friend all the moral support you want but don’t say or do anything that could be construed to corroborate any “malicious” acts that may have preceded the move. And if you do have romantic feelings for that person, think twice about revealing them to that person, and 100 times before revealing them to anyone else, before the divorce is final.

On the other hand, if you are that spouse, you might be thinking to yourself “Hey, I know how to defeat that malice thing. My ex can’t sue me for alienating my own affection, so why don’t I protect my new flame by telling her I’m single? There’s nothing ‘malicious’ about sleeping with someone you didn’t know was married, right?” To which the answer is, “right, but…” and it’s a big but. This brings us to the other wacky tort, criminal conversation (i.e., non-criminal adultery), which merely requires the plaintiff to show that sex between the defendant and the spouse occurred, that a valid marriage existed at the time, and that the action was brought before the statute of limitations has run. Conspicuously absent from this definition is any malice requirement, or any requirement that the defendant knew, or even should have known, about the marriage. So if you think you are protecting your paramour by playing the strategic jerk, you’re not; you’re just being a jerk.

At this point I should remind you that while I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer. Anyone who finds themselves in this situation is advised to retain competent legal counsel before doing anything that could prejudice his position. And if you think a blog post by a lawyer who doesn’t even practice family law is legal counsel, competent or otherwise, you might want to consider psychological or psychiatric counseling as well (and no, IANAP, but thanks for not asking).

UPDATE: JJV, a fellow conservative who I like but who seems to have an uncanny ability to be wrong about everything, does not disappoint. He does have an interesting point about New Hampshire, though.

June 17, 2009

Move Over, Stupid Smart Guns

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:45 am

And make room for pointless knives.


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