Open Thread

We really do need criminal justice reform. Robert Stinson spent 23 years in jail for a crime he did not commit: the evidence against him was some allegedly doctored-up bite mark evidence. Marcellus Williams has spent the last 16 years on death row: his scheduled execution the other day was stayed because new DNA evidence indicates he wasn’t the criminal…and his conviction seems to have been based mostly upon the testimony of his ex-girlfriend and a former cellmate, both of whom got cash rewards for their testimony.

Now, to be sure, I’m betting that the overwhelming majority of those in jail are in there for a good reason – but we’re getting more and more of these cases where it is clear there are at least serious questions as to guilt, and some which work out to a gigantic miscarriage of justice. We are supposed to be small-government Conservatives…and we simply must stop trusting the government when it sends someone up for life, or to death row. The problem lies in two things in my view:

1. We have far too many laws and thus it is possible to nail just about anyone with a crime, if you really want to.
2. Prosecutors who do convict an innocent person don’t pay any personal price for their actions.

We need a year or two of just repealing laws at the federal, State and local level. And then we need to find a mechanism to make sure that the prosecutors have skin in the game: that if they are saying, for sure, they know someone is guilty, they are putting their own financial resources, at the end of the day, where their assertions are. Fine a couple prosecutors half a million bucks for false conviction a couple times and the message will get out there. It is better that a guilty man go free than ten innocents wind up in jail, after all. Always err on the side of innocence and mercy.

A foreigner attends an American university for a year:

…During my ‘Welcome Week’, for example, I was presented with a choice of badges indicating my preferred gender pronouns: ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ or ‘ze’?

The student in front of me, an Australian, found this hilarious: ‘Last time I checked, I was a girl.’ Her joke was met with stony silence…

Unless a kid wants to become a doctor or scientist, I highly recommend against sending them to college. Heck, I’m pretty certain if I had young kids, I wouldn’t even send them to middle or high school. Better they learn a trade than have to navigate the increasingly Orwellian world of higher education.

In the Great Statue Frenzy of 2017, the lunatics have vandalized a statue of St. Junipero Serra. Serra was one of them dirty, mean Catholics who went about converting the Natives to Christianity…so, he’s bad. They are also going after Columbus because, well, he got here…and, so, he’s bad, too.

A lunatic started shooting in Charleston today and Progressives were highly disappointed the shooter wasn’t a white guy.

A poll – which is probably an absurdity, given that it is, you know, a poll – shows that a plurality of Americans would be ok with banning Nazi speech in their local communities. For 1st Amendment purists, this is horrible…and, naturally, we should be wary of any attempt to limit speech. Except for one thing: I’m a Distributist. This means I am absolutely certain that Subsidiarity is the way to go…meaning the decisions on major issues should, as far as practical, be taken by the local communities. Ultimately, my view would be that the local community should decide – but not just on Nazi speech but what, broadly, goes on in the local community. The problem with San Francisco, after all, isn’t that it’s San Francisco…it is that the people who run the place want every other place to toe San Francisco’s line. I don’t give a darn, for the most part, what they do there: I just want them to not give a darn what we do here.

A federal law restricting something is one thing – a local law restricting it is quite another. The ultimate way forward for the United States – the way we keep ourselves a united, happy people – is to not just return to federalism, but to put federalism on steroids. An appeal to the federal power over a local law should be a rarity, and only taken up if the local action is an egregious violation of federal Constitutional provision. Federal cases deciding whether a local football team can have a team prayer before the game, for instance, are an absurdity. There is no real federal Constitutional issue which arises…no more than does a federal Constitutional issue arise when a more Progressive area of the country enacts a law providing for free birth control. It is just no one outside the local area’s business what happens in such a matter.

As it turns out, I don’t think that Mein Kampf should be available in my local libraries. But I also think that Das Kapital is not worthy of anyone’s consideration. And if I could convince, by free and fair argument, my fellow local citizens to enact a law removing said works from the library, it would be of no concern to anyone outside our local area. As long as people feel in their local communities that their ultimate destinies are in their own hands, they will feel largely content.

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8 thoughts on “Open Thread

    • fieldingclaymore August 25, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      Or if that is not your thing keep them in your thoughts.

  1. Amazona August 25, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Trump Derangement Syndrome has reared its ugly head again in efforts to relate it to the hurricane. When the President pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpiao, a typically moronic Leftist came unglued because he did this while a hurricane threatens the Gulf coast. Because, you know, well, just because….

    On the other hand, the comparisons to Katrina will be pouring in, I’ll start with this: In Louisiana where the storm was forecast to hover for many days and could deluge flood-prone New Orleans, Governor John Bel Edwards said he spoke with the president who “offered his full support”.

    “This is going to play out over the next week or so,” Mr Edwards told a news conference, “which makes it particularly dangerous… because the longer it sits in one place the more rain that it will drop.”

    Mr Edwards issued an emergency declaration for his entire state, as hundreds of boats were made ready for potential rescues along with more than half a million sandbags to hold back flood waters.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/hurricane-harvey-landfall-texas-storm-202106059.html

    That is, a responsible Louisiana governor is willing to work with the president in this crisis. So we can chalk up at least one glaring difference. And he seems to be preparing for the crisis—-another one in that column.

    I’m hoping that the wholly predictable media hysteria over what Trump did/didn”t do/should have done/could have done/ etc. will give reasonable people a chance to revisit some of the more glaring media misconduct we saw during Katrina.

    One example that comes to mind is the libel about Michael Brown’s handling of FEMA, triggered by Bush’s comment “helluva job, Brownie”. The Big Lie of the media on that front was that the media covered up the fact that the comment was based on the accurate report that FEMA was in place in New Orleans, had been in place for a couple of days, with semis full of beds, food, medical supplies, emergency kitchens, etc. The media never revealed that these supplies were sent to a warehouse district far from the Super Dome by Mayor Nagin, where they were predictably stranded and unable to get to the people who needed them. Another convoy of semis from either the Salvation Army or the Red Cross was given similar treatment and was also prevented from helping those in need. This was explained to those who had brought in the supplies that Mayor Nagin didn’t want the Super Dome to be a “magnet” for displaced persons.

    But the ugly lying narrative, that not only had Brown proved to be incompetent but that Bush praised him for it, was far too tasty to the despicable Complicit Agenda Media, who spread a lie that is still believed by many to this day.

    We can expect more of the same from this same scum-sucking fake news CAM, in their anti-Trump frenzies, so watch for the lies and the smears and the loonies lining up to howl at the moon along with them.

  2. Retired Spook August 26, 2017 / 10:04 am

    This article, and particularly the headline, says volumes about where we are as a society.

    • Cluster August 26, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Great point Spook. I don’t remember the media being as concerned about the treatment Tim Tebow received compared to that of Kaepernick. And if the left is so concerned about his well being, how about if they pay his million dollar salary?

      • Amazona August 26, 2017 / 3:04 pm

        Tebow was expressing a personal belief in God and giving thanks for His gifts, while Kaepernick and his cronies are doing nothing but empty meaningless virtue signaling.

        They all support my contention that a main appeal of the Left is that it provides a shortcut to the Higher Moral Ground. Kaepernick and his brainless buddies don’t have to DO anything to be adored and glorified as heroes—they just have to make pious public statements that they are AGAINST something vaguely identified as inequality. Or oppression—without explanation.

        I don’t care what Kaepernick does. I don’t care what his media-whore fellow players do as they rush to join him. I don’t care who declares this to be a courageous act of free speech. I do care about the spineless NFL, which is why I have stopped watching football.

        When I see this kind of ignorant, utterly stupid posturing I lose all respect for those engaging in it. I like the Broncos. I like Brandon Marshall, or at least I did, before he proved to be a mindless puppet eager to slurp up some of that media attention. His protest? To let people know it is hard to be a minority. Yes, it makes sense to this kind of moron to disrespect the nation that is giving him a chance to be a celebrity and a rich one at that, because he finds some existential angst in being a “minority”. As if it is possible to have a nation without minorities. Duh.

        That and the fact that so many football fans are happy supporting and loving a man who tortured innocent animals for fun and profit, because he has some athletic ability. That disgusts me, whether the support comes from his team owners, the fans or the NFL.

  3. Doug Quinby August 27, 2017 / 2:26 am

    If you are willing to use political clout to destroy competition in the form of opposing viewpoints, even going so far as to warp our form of government to the point where you will ban books that disagree with your political viewpoint, then I would be willing to use military force to rid you and your cancerous ilk before it destroys our form of government through the banning of free political discussion.

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