Cory Maye

I suppose I could just do an update, but here it is, the order from Judge Michael Eubanks that keeps Cory Maye in prison for the time being, most probably for the rest of his life. Here's Balko's thoughts on the matter. Do you understand why a few of those who are wrongly convicted of serious crimes are later exonerated and released? It's always due to factual material evidence, i.e., undeniable evidence, such as DNA and so forth. Even still, the state, via its prosecutors and district attorneys, never stands in accordance with the interpretation and obvious conclusion rendered from such evidence, recommending release. No, they do their best to keep the wrongly accused convicts behind bars and/or condemned to die in the state's death-execution chamber. They do this by obfuscating facts, introducing out-of-context assertions, pleas to "hard work" on the part of the state to get the conviction in the first place, and a host of other things. And they sometimes succeed. They sometimes succeed even when the evidence is clear and objective. If they can use a technicality within the law to keep an innocent man convicted, then they easily ignore the whisper from their consciences, assuming it...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Althouse

This is the sort of entry where you kinda have to know the players for it to make any sense, but whatever... I used to read Ann Althouse regularly; as in, queued up in my RSS reader. I may have even had her on my blogroll at one time. She is a good blogger, really, and I often wished I had more time to read some of her entries. She's pretty prolific. Takes really good photos too. But c'mon, people. Did anyone really think she was anywhere near "libertarian" at a principled level? She's a Reynolds clone. That is, her entire life has been invested in the legal profession, and just as with Reynolds, "libertarian" means something along the lines of "Efficient Minds and Efficient Markets (through Efficient Law)," if you catch the reference to the Reason tagline, though Reason certainly has that very same problem, and often. I just can't believe anyone finds this the least bit surprising. Virginia Postrel notes: "Althouse was clearly out of her intellectual depth during the discussions..." Uh, no shit??? Have you guys even read her blog for any length of time? Can you point to any post of hers, ever, where she elucidated...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

A Quick Read

It's been a while since I've sat down and read a book in essentially a single sitting -- excepting, of course, the brewing and drinking of coffee and its consequences. Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris, really is an excellent little book that ought to be passed out to every Christian you know and care about. It's 90 pages. Two hours, max. What's it about? "Thousands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ's love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse." I have spent quite a lot of time over the past few weeks and days familiarizing myself with the work of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris....


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Environmentalism

People who know me know that I have nearly zero concern for environmentalist "issues." For instance, I'm fond of announcing to people that I do not go out of my way to recycle. I don't object if it costs me nothing extra in dollars, time, or trouble to recycle, but I absolutely will not go an inch out of my way to do it. At the same time, I love nature, the animal kingdom, and support rational conservation efforts. I also recognize that most real environmental issues, to include the risk of extinction of important species (not all are), are fundamentally known problems with known solutions. I have never, ever seen the environmentalist movement as anything more than a slightly more sophisticated and organized version of the Luddite movement. Of course, they're all watermelons, now, so that's something to be concerned about. I've been saying it for two decades, at least. Over and over. To get from 'A' to 'C,' one must go via 'B.' Here, here, and here is one tiny example of why I'm thoroughly and completely unconcerned with the environmentalist movement, and will remain so. You "environmentalists" would do well to invest your time and effort on...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Morning Laf

"Jokes about polonium 210 will be half as funny 138 days from now" I mean, that's funny, right? Who doesn't know that it's 138.376 days. Jeez. (Samizdata)


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Wikipedia-ing

Strolling through Wikipedia this morning, doing a bit of research for the wife, I stumble upon an interesting "variation:" Common modern usage which variates on the Nuremberg defense is the Yuppie Nuremberg defense, used when justifying immoral actions. Common Yuppie versions include "I do it to pay the mortgage", "I did it to pay the bills", or "I have a family to feed". It's from their entry on the Nuremberg defense. Now, given that Wikipedia is a user-created encyclopedia and not necessarily authoritative, or even correct, in all matters, one has to wonder whether that variation has been in popular or common usage, anywhere, or whether someone in his pajamas just came up with it. Nonetheless, I like it, and intend to use it henceforth.


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Radley, Please!

If Ron Jones had been "an honest, decent police officer," then Ron Jones would still be alive. Honest and decent people don't storm the home of a peaceful man and his young daughter in the middle of the night. It is precisely because Ron Jones was dishonest and despicable, as a person and as a police officer, that Cory May has sat for five years on death row in Mississippi, a convicted murderer; because he justly, and with all moral authority, defended his life and that of his daughter's. You know all these facts, Radley. You put them all together. It is because of you that Maye has a slim chance that a part of this injustice against him and his daughter is terminated. And if Ron Jones were honest and decent, it would have been a reflection of the professionalism of law institutions he would willingly work for and carry out duties. Such an institution would never have tolerated any actual Ron Jones-types in its midst, and had a similar incident occurred, it would have prosecuted the "Ron Jones," exonerated Cory Maye, and left him to raise his daughter in peace; rather than turn wrong to "right," black to...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

It’s the Glass

Warren Meyer calls attention to a court case having to do with California's inability to get along in the global energy market -- and so requires judges to sanction people with guns and jails to help California "compete." But that's just another day in the "Land of the Free" and not what I wanted to write about. Warren complains: I don't think there is anything more depressing to a good anarcho-capitalist like myself than seeing the government rule that a price negotiated at arms length by the free will of consenting, and in this case well-informed adults enjoys "no presumption of legality." If not, then what does? Is that where we are heading, to a world where no voluntary actions enjoy a presumption of legality? Well, as a Princeton grad and Harvard MBA, I'm certain Warren knows the answer to that question himself. But just to belabor the point, that is the whole point of law. The law holds context and asserts authority in every action and in every single moment of every person's life. When you are sleeping, you are presumed innocent, just as when you are charged with a crime. In other words: you are always in some...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Dawkins vs. Jerry’s Kids in Lynchburg

What follows, below, is the Q&A session following a brief reading of excerpts from Richard Dawkins' new book, The God Delusion, which is one of the several books I'm currently reading. It's a good book; comprehensive, evidencing a lot of thought and organization. It goes a long way towards the plain old simple process of acclamation of America to atheists in an open way that has yet to be done. The reading, performed by Dawkins himself, took place at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, VA -- home to Jerry Falwell's Liberty Baptist Church and Liberty University. It used to be called Liberty Baptist Bible College, then Liberty Baptist University, in the late 70s, when I was contemplating going there, along with Bob Jones University, Pensacola Christian College, and Tennessee Temple University. I settled on Tennessee Temple and completed a year of study. Mostly bible, which later transferred to Oregon State as general humanities, as well I was able to transfer some history and math. At any rate, at least a good 80% of this Q&A are students -- and even faculty -- from Liberty, who've obviously come thinking they were going to confound the atheist. It didn't happen. To say...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

James Brown is Free

When I read just a moment ago that James Brown is dead at 73, the first thing I thought about was how back in, oh, the late 80s, I guess, I would see "Free James Brown" stickers and graffiti here and there. Well, I daresay that you aren't going to find a lot in soul music, or even pop, that doesn't have his fingerprints on it, somewhere. Good run, James, you sex machine.


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

All in a Day’s Work

Spreading goodwill and Christmas cheer there in Arizona. She said she is angry with Gilbert and Scottsdale police and blames them for the fire that destroyed her parents' home of 35 years. "This is wrong," she said. "They threw my parents on the street as if they were criminals." Thirty-five years they've been here," she said. "Thirty-five years." 73-yr-old Salvador Celaya's home of 35 years is burned to the ground, started by a police flash-bang grenade, while the person and the evidence they had planned to find there was no where to be found. But Celaya can take comfort, this Christmas. Duncan said Gilbert police will conduct an inquiry to determine if proper procedures were followed. Phoenix Fire Department investigators have not determined the cause of the blaze. Because, you know, if "proper procedures" were and are followed, then consequences just don't matter at all. They were just, y'know, "doing their jobs," and all that. If you don't like it, then vote, and take the matter up with your elected representatives. You might add a prayer in there; that in the meantime, you or your home aren't caught in the crossfire. Oh, well, hell, here's a Christmas bonus for you....


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

A Christmas Message

In my own unique way, I've a Christmas message for you. It's likely to be the oddest Christmas message you've ever read. First, to get something out of the way: as an atheist, I loath the typical atheist political activism and am happy I've observed it to be less prevalent this year. Good; people are maybe finally getting a life, realizing that a manger scene in the public square is truly not a sign of the end of rational civilization. Second, as an American, having grown up in the Christian tradition, I celebrate Christmas, not some generic, one-size-fits-all, nebulous and non-specific "Holiday." The Christ story, whether you take it literally or metaphorically, is obviously quite a powerful one. I happen to take it in the latter. Those who take it literally or historically miss the whole boat. It's not a question of whether he really existed or not, or, if he did, in the way it has been recorded; or, if he was really the son of a mythological supernatural being. The importance of the Jesus story is in the ideas. Those, truly, are eternal. Those are what were created and resurrected, if you will, and exist as if he...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Automatic Investigation

"They didn't knock. They ignored the sign, the dog sees or hears (and) protects my daughter, so he ran toward him -- not growling, not foaming at the mouth, not anything," Harris said. [...] Harris said his daughter saw the whole thing. "While she's running toward the dog, they kill him. She's yelling, 'Why'd you shoot him? I was going to get him. Why'd you shoot him?'" Harris said. [...] department policy mandates an automatic investigation... Oh, good. A "complete, full and thorough investigation." "Automatic," even. Pretty soon, it'll be all "ongoing" & shit, and questions will have to be "referred," up until the point that, in spite of this "unfortunate" incident being "sincerely regretted," no "evidence of wrongdoing" will issue forth and John O'Hare will be set lose to terrorize the next 12-yr-old girl and her dog that happens to assuage his little-man syndrome. I feel so much better, already. Have a shitty Christmas, Officer John O'Hare, of the Hartford "Northeast Conditions Unit;" have a goddammed rotten life after that; die early, young, painfully and undignified, shitting your gaddammed brains out to the muffled amusement of young nurses; be laid disgraced, into an unmarked grave that even your mother...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Maintaining the Machinery of the State

I've just returned from my habitual 3-mile morning walk with doggies, and I see email from a business partner in my inbox: Talk about someone needing to "see the forest!" Chris is referring to this latest outrage. 20-yr-old Genarlow Wilson is three years into a 10-year prison sentence for engaging in consensual oral sex with a 15-yr-old when he was 17. As Shaila Dewan reported in The Times this week, Mr. Wilson has been convicted of aggravated child molestation even though he and the girl were both minors at the time. Even if he could win an early release, Mr. Wilson could not go home to his family. He would have to register as a sex offender and would be prohibited from living with his 8-year-old sister. It is all the more disgraceful because the Georgia Supreme Court last week refused to hear his appeal. When I read this story, the first thing I thought of -- something that's been coming up more and more -- was my time as a Navy officer overseeing the maintenance of missile launching systems, then later the exterior deck equipment, and later still the ship's electrical plant and machinery. Since then, I've been involved...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Reisman vs. Pinheads

I don't claim to know a lot about Pinochet and his history. I suppose I could do a bit more background, but it really wouldn't matter for the purposes of this entry, because the reason I so enjoyed George Reisman's post on the Chilean dictator was because of the forest and not the trees, to reference that bit you see up top. I think that unless you are an historian prepared to do years of research, including getting as much first hand information as possible, you're never going to get the straight context on the crucial events and how they went down. The whole propaganda apparatus of the time -- intent on communism's firm and permanent planting in South America -- just has never been an inch beyond anything but pure and complete lies, ever. Virtually every bit of information that ever came out of those "revolutionaries" and their sycophant bedfellows in the leftist international media was slanted to make the god dammed commies look good and those trying to hold them off like exploitative opportunists. But, you know, hell hath no furry like someone intent on "saving the world," of which you'll start getting a taste of in the...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Elementary Sin

Via my brother in Texas comes this jewel, which he says is also on Drudge. HAGERSTOWN - A kindergarten student was accused earlier this month of sexually harassing a classmate at Lincolnshire Elementary School, an accusation that will remain on his record until he moves to middle school. Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the definition of sexual harassment used by the school system is, "unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and/or other inappropriate verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward others." Mowen said that definition comes from the Maryland State Department of Education. According to a school document provided by the boy's father, the 5-year-old pinched a girl's buttocks on Dec. 8 in a hallway at the school south of Hagerstown. So I guess they have "zero tolerance" for "sexual harassment." Yippee. Charles Vallance, the boy's father, said he was unable to explain to his son what he had done. "He knows nothing about sex," Vallance said. "There's no way to explain what he's been written up for. He knows it as playing around. He doesn't know it as anything sexual at all." Doesn't matter, Mr. Vallance. You must understand: they have...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

It’s Constitutional

The problem with having an allegiance to the Constitution, as I often point out or imply in various ways, is that a lot of things are actually Constitutional. Like the Kelo decision, last year, that everyone was up in arms about -- as if it had just suddenly dawned on them that the government can force you to sell your property for essentially any reason they deem appropriate. Of course, what everyone does to evade the fact of the matter -- the reality of the thing -- is to draw meaningless distinctions, as if a freeway qualifies as a "public good," but a pharmacy or shopping center doesn't. Well, anyway, here's your latest outrage, which I first saw here at Warren Meyer's place. He thinks it might have a chance in the SCOTUS that Kelo didn't, but even if that's true, it's not that you're going to read in the opinion that the duty of the government is to unequivocally uphold the pre-existing, natural right of all to own and direct property and capital as only they see fit. Yet, if SCOTUS were to overturn it, watch and see how relieved and vindicated everyone acts, when what would really be...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More

Beliefs Have Geopolitical Consequences

I stumbled onto a YouTube video yesterday that I've just watched for the second time. It's a talk given by Sam Harris on the nature of belief and its consequences, and I just think he makes a number of really interesting integrations. The gentleman who introduces Harris is a bit abrasive, but Harris himself is quite polite and sincerely tries not to offend. If you're sensitive to criticism of religious belief, you should find this relatively mild. With reference to the title of this post, he makes a very sound and important distinction between hope and belief that I think is not obvious to a lot of people all of the time. For example, religious belief is oftentimes expressed in terms of hopefulness. But, as Harris points out, your behavior will be quite different when you hope you've won the lottery versus when you believe you've won the lottery. Now, that may sound obvious, but consider it in a religious context. There are many who honestly are not certain about religious propositions as to the nature and origin of existence, yet find comfort in such "possibilities" and hope they are true. And yet, they are very unlikely to take actions...


Click below to gain access to the rest.

Or, upgrade today.

LoginGet Access
Read More