Archive for April 17, 2006

Lunch Today Was Excellent,

April 17, 2006

And it definitely filled me up, but something about having a sandwich consisting of guacamole, mushrooms, black olives, alfalfa sprouts, and Swiss cheese at the Golden Temple Vegetarian Cafe makes me want to go home and cook some ribs for dinner. Or watch some nASScar. And drink some lousy beer. Just something to re-assert my manliness.

So how many stereotypes did I just invoke? Or, of how many different types of bigotry could I be accused based on the preceding paragraph?


A Collateral Cost

April 17, 2006

Of the war on drugs are people like the folks mentioned in this story, who have been waiting over a year to find out from the state Department of Forensic Sciences what caused the death of a family member.

The problem is this. To convict someone of possessing drugs, the state has to prove the substance was a prohibited drug. That requires scientific tests, which costs money and takes time. It also costs money and time to resolve other forensic issues, like the death of the young woman. So there are lots of needs, but limited resources with which to meet them.

The solution is to either find more resources, or reduce the needs. The article says there are 2,000 backlogged toxicology reports, 1,350 of which are drug related. So if you want to reduce demand, drug cases seem like the obvious place to start. Add to that the questionable success of the war, and the argument for reducing drug cases gets stronger. They cost a lot of time and money, produce few benefits, and hinder other prosecutions. It is only a matter of economics.

Whatever the solution, the state needs to pick one. The current situation is bad for everybody. Victim’s families have to wait, and wait, and wait for information about their loss. Prosecutors have to worry about other evidence disappearing while DFS produces the reports. Suspects have to continually wonder if they will be arrested. Those already arrested and unable to make bail will have to sit in jail. Everyone pays the costs of bureaucratic inefficiency.

I Missed This Story

April 17, 2006

On Friday, but thanks to Captain Bama, I can comment on Mini-Moore’s latest tirade. He is incensed that Alabama would elect Hugo Black to our Lawyer’s Hall of Fame. Justice Black, among other achievements during his 34 year term on the Scotus, authored the opinion banning school sponsored prayer – Engel v. Vitale. Prior to his Scotus appointment, he was a member of the KKK. Guess which one of these facts Mini-Moore is mad about. (See this for a hint).

Of course the KKK connection was temporary, and later refuted in word and deed. What I find most interesting about Justice Black is that he was a ‘strict constructionist’ yet authored many ‘liberal’ opinions like Engel. He was a principled jurist. Mini-Moore just doesn’t like the results.

As for the liberal result in Engel, Mini-Moore says it “personally launched the war to kick God out of the public square in America.”

It wasn’t personal, it was legal. What could possibly be more of an establishment of religion than ordering young children to pray to a specific deity? The state was training them to follow a specific religion. People like Mini-Moore understand that children are impressionable because they frequently complain about liberal teachers using the classroom to impose their anti-American agenda on young minds. There is no constitutional text prohibiting the spread of anti-American dogma, but there is a text prohibiting the establishment of religion. Justice Black (and five other Justices) decided that text prohibited the state-sponsored prayer.

Nor did it kick God out of the public square. God, (in the Christian view) being an omnipresent spirit can’t be kicked anywhere. Further, if he could be booted, he was not thrust from the public square. He remains there for all to debate. Any child in any school at any time may argue with another child, himself, or God about God. What Engel did was to remove the state’s support for God. God must now succeed of fail on his own merits. You might say Engel was a decision favoring personal responsibility. If God wants followers, he is going to have to earn them on his own. No more theological welfare for him.