Archive for March 23, 2006

Geaux Tigers

March 23, 2006

Does Tyrus Thomas have to contract his muscles to jump, or does he just think ‘I’m four feet in the air?’

This was sweet on a number of levels. First, once UAB goes down I switch to the sec, but never Florida. That leaves LSU. Second, there isn’t much to like about Duke. Even if there was, who wants to see them in the final four again – boring. Finally my bracket has LSU beating Duke in the sweet sixteen.

This sets up the possibility of the typical march madness dilema. I’ve got Texas beating LSU in the next round. So, if the ‘Horns beat the Pittsnoggles tonight, I’ll be forced to choose between my heart and my bracket.


An Election Guide

March 23, 2006

As noted here, like a gremlin in a rainstorm, Roy Moore continues to produce new offspring. First it was mini-Moore, now Ben Hand. Let me try to shine some light on these little monsters.

You, Mr. and Mrs. Alabama, should not vote for mini Moore for state supreme court justice, nor should you vote for Mr. Hand. That is so regardless of whether or not you agree with them that the ACLU is the cause of all life’s problems, that they should be able to use your tax dollars to fund monuments to their religions, or that they do not have to answer to the federal government. Two reasons for this conclusion.

First, they are both judicial activists. Like it or not, the LAW clearly prohibited Roy’s rock. Roy ignored the law. These guys have vowed to do the same thing. In fact, Mr. Hand has decided to run against an incumbent because that incumbent voted to uphold the law in St. Roy’s case. The incumbent probably did not like the result, but he followed the law. To rule according to the law when you dislike the result is the essence of being a good judge. These guys have rejected this standard.

Second, they are both dishonest. I am not saying their positions are positions only a dishonest person could hold. To the contrary, there are good arguments in support of them. There are also good arguments against them. These guys went to law school, they know the arguments on both sides. So, in my opinion, to stand up and loudly shout their own side, while denouncing as wicked all who disagree, is dishonest. They are intentionally misleading people.

Some Advice

March 23, 2006

Pro-choicers often accuse pro-lifers of actually being motivated by anti-misogynistic feelings. (see, e.g. here).

Here is my advice to the pro-lifers if they want to defuse that criticism. APPLY YOUR PRINCIPLES EVENLY. Do not cry about life when the subject is (arguably) nothing but a collection of cells inside a woman’s body, and then stand mute while the state kills people in an unjust war, or through an unjust criminal justice system. And for God’s sake, you of all people should oppose torture. At least you should not be more supportive of it than is the general public.

Have you seen this poll (hat tip Andrew Sullivan)? The question posed was: “Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?” Surely, if you really believed in the value and dignity of every person, your answer would be ‘never’ or ‘rarely.’ But the majority of Catholics – 56% – said ‘often’ or ‘sometimes.’ How many secular people said often or sometimes? 35%

“And now these three remain, wealth, power and security. But the greatest of these is security.”

Public Service

March 23, 2006

I need to get to work, but I feel like it is my duty to point out a few major constitutional errors in this article.

First, the basic rule is that the cops can not come in your house without a warrant.

Second, that rule holds even if the cop can see drugs in your house. If johnny law is walking down the street and happens to look through your window and see fifty tons of marijuana, or even a fully functioning meth lab, he can NOT just barge right in and search your house. He must go get a warrant. The article is wrong to suggest that ‘plain view’ justifies a warrantless search. It does not.

Third, there are well recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement. He can ask you for permission to search, and you can consent. It must be voluntary consent, so he can’t ask you while pointing his gun at you. But if he just asks, and you say yes, he can search. He can also search without consent and without a warrant if he must do so to prevent serious harm to another person, or if he is chasing you and you run into the house, or if you are in the process of destroying evidence. Those situations are all called ‘exigent circumstances.’

Those exceptions are a big reason why the article incorrectly reports, and Justice Roberts dishonestly suggested in his first dissent (get all the opinions in Georgia v. Randolph here), that requiring a warrant when one occupant consents to a search while the other occupant refuses to allow a search will hinder domestic violence investigations. If the victim is in imminent danger, or if the accused is about to destroy evidence the cops can enter the house under the exigent circumstances exception. On the other hand, if there is no danger, and if the evidence is secure, then what hindrance is it to go get a warrant?

Cops think everyone is a crook. If they got to decide whose house was subject to a search, no-one could sleep peacefully in their homes. The warrant requirement protects our homes by ensuring that the decision to search is made in a calm and reasonable manner by a detached and neutral judge. It ensures that the sanctity of the home is only violated when truly necessary.

Where to Start

March 23, 2006

With the title to this article: “Beer girls, racy video, $50,000 jolt rock-paper-scissors world?”

With the fact that there is a rock-paper-scissors world?

With the fact that there is an organized league, headquartered in Canada?

Or that it was founded “a decade ago by two brothers who set out to bring decorum to the child’s hand game?”

Or that the rival U.S. league is “enticing members with Bud Light girls, a racy Web video and a $50,000 prize?”

Or that the original Canadian group thinks the U.S. group is cheapening “the grand sport of rock-paper-scissors?”

Or that the U.S. group calls the Canadian group “highbrow and intellectual?”

I don’t know. Go read the whole thing, it only gets better.