Archive for Justice

People Killing People

Apropos of my earlier post on the doctor who shot and disabled a mentally disturbed man who had already killed one person… I visited the NRA website (for the first time in my life) to see what they had to say.

They hadn’t yet opined, but there was much else of interest.

Obama won’t prosecute gun crimes:

While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country, a computer analysis of U.S. prosecution data shows.

Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violation cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2008, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

The 2013 totals represent a 42 percent decline from the record number of 8,752 prosecutions of ATF cases brought by the Justice Department in 2004 under Mr. Bush, according to the data.

What inferences are we to draw? That prosecution of gun crimes is a Republican issue? Surely gun crimes themselves haven’t declines, at least not by 42%.

“We have this irony. The Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations — in terms of increased background checks for private sales and at gun shows — is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books,” said Robert Cottrol, a gun control historian at George Washington University. “For a lot of people, there’s more ideological cache harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime.”

“Bubba” buys his guns legally; “LaShawn” does not. “Bubba” hasn’t shot anybody; “LaShawn” has capped gang rivals. “Bubba” lives in rural Arkansas, “LaShawn” on the South Side of Chicago. Yet “Bubba” is the one feeling the heat.

Here’s another story they link to:

The tragic surge in murders that struck Chicago over the July Fourth weekend has brought forward gun control advocates who want to hype the political battle between Michael Bloomberg and the National Rifle Association (NRA) yet again. The situation in Chicago is a tremendous tragedy, and gun control supporters are acting upon Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s famous advice to never let a tragedy go to waste. They are citing the violence in Chicago to offer misguided solutions that will only impact law-abiding citizens. But as a former deputy sheriff and member of Congress, I can attest that their proposed “solution” is anything but.

Given my experience in law enforcement, I understand that the problem in Chicago, and other major cities with high crime rates, is not the absence of laws, but the lack of enforcement of the ones that already exist. According to Syracuse University’s TRACanalysis, Chicago ranks as one of the lowest cities for the number of federal prosecutions of firearm abusers. Criminals are well aware that current laws are not being enforced, and they can thus operate with impunity.

The irony is that Chicago is one of the last holdouts of strict gun control laws despite the clear rulings of the Supreme Court. It could not be more obvious that these laws are not working. Criminals acquire firearms through illegal means, and no city ordinance can or law will be able to stop them. In fact, in recent years Chicago has had to pay millions of dollars in attorney fees to the NRA for stubbornly defending their unconstitutional restrictions in court. And yet they do nothing to stop the violence. Chicago’s onerous gun restrictions actually exacerbate the problem by preventing law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to self-defense.

That’s two articles cited by the NRA that call for prosecution of gun crimes. Remember that next time someone on the Left demonizes the group. And remember too how many victims of gun crimes are black. Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute violent criminals leads directly to more dead young black men in Chicago and elsewhere. Slobodan Milosevic didn’t get away with such ethnic cleansing.

PS: Since I started this post last night, the NRA did address the shooting in question:

A Pennsylvania police chief says that a doctor undoubtedly saved lives after he shot a gunman who opened fire Thursday in an incident that left a hospital case worker dead.

The gunman, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, opened fire at Mercy Elizabeth Hospital, just outside of Philadelphia, shortly after entering an office with the case worker, the Associated Press reports.

Witnesses said that when they opened the office door after hearing shouting, they saw Plotts with a gun. The witnesses closed the office door and called 911. Minutes later, they heard gun shots.

Plotts had shot and killed a 53 year-old female case worker. He sustained several critical gun shot wounds himself from the gun of a hospital psychiatrist. The psychiatrist suffered a graze wound to his head. Plotts was taken into custody.

“Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives,” said Yeadon police chief Donald Molineux, according to the Associated Press.

“Without that firearm, [the shooter] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,” Molineux said.

Comments

Does He Also Have the Right to Bear Arms?

If Ahmed Abu Khatallah also wanted an abortion or a sex change operation, it would be US Government policy to pay for either one: (His 2nd and 10th Amendment rights are a different story.)

While the suspected mastermind of the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi is now on U.S. soil, the political fallout related to his prosecution may just be beginning.

The criminal complaint against Ahmed Abu Khatallah was filed nearly a year ago, and he was nabbed two weeks ago in eastern Libya. He appeared in a federal court in Washington on Saturday – much to some Republicans’ chagrin.

“I have serious concerns that conducting a rushed interrogation onboard a ship and then turning Abu Khatallah over to our civilian courts risks losing critical intelligence that could lead us to other terrorists or prevent future attacks,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, said in a statement Saturday. “I’ve asked the Defense and Justice Departments for an update on his status-including whether he has been told he has the right to remain silent.”

“If they bring him to the United States, they’re going to Mirandize this guy and it would be a mistake for the ages to read this guy his Miranda rights,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Earlier this month, Rep. Peter King of New York expressed other concerns to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer – chiefly, that U.S. authorities aren’t doing enough to maximize the amount of information they get from Abu Khatallah.

“Before he’s turned over to civilian authorities, the FBI and all of our intelligence agencies, CIA and others, should interrogate him as long as they have to,” said King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. “I’m not that concerned about a criminal conviction. We’re going to get that ultimately. It’s important we get as much intelligence out of him as possible. Both what happened, who planned it, how it happened.”

Shame on you, Peter! How dare you prejudge a person’s innocence or guilt! Congressman King sounds like President Obama and Attorney General Holder announcing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed guilty before he had had his (since reconsidered) civilian trial. If our criminal justice system has even a whiff of validity (a shaky conceit, sometimes), it is the bedrock belief in a person’s innocence until proven guilty.

I do not believe Ahmed Abu Khatallah is innocent (though how would I know?), and the manner of his “arrest” would mean that neither would many of my countrymen. How, then, could he receive a fair trial? It’s nonsensical. He must, therefore, be tried (or just dealt with) by different means. Obama has killed American citizens (Anwar al-Awlaki most prominently) without benefit of trial. Why would he get squeamish about Mirandizing a Libyan terrorist? Execute him, leave his head on a pike, and be done with it.

I do bring good news, however:

For Democrats in tight races, Abu Khatallah’s capture only further sheds light on a controversy that has damaged the Obama administration’s reputation for handling national security matters.

Second, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – who is toying with the idea of running for president in 2016 – could once again face tough questions about her role in handling U.S. security in the region when the attacks occurred.

A government that couldn’t convict O.J. Simpson thinks it can convict this scumbag. I already know I’d hold out for acquittal—not because I think he’s innocent, but because I have too much respect for our system of justice to pollute it by show trial. If he has rights (and he does not) he has all rights.

Military tribunal, summary execution, poisoned mashed potatoes. They all have more judicial integrity than what this lot proposes.

Comments

Congress Shall Make No Law…

But boy, does it ever.

I support gay marriage, but with one nagging doubt. Once we decide we have the right to change the definition of marriage, do we have the right to stop? What are our criteria for defining what is not marriage? Wherever we draw the line, aren’t we just giving in to another set of prejudices and biases?

That’s not enough to change my mind about two men or two women marrying with full legal rights, but my prejudices and biases are piqued. Indeed, we have heard of challenges to marriages from polygamists, incest advocates, and others who want to speed the “evolving paradigm” of marriage. Who are we to bar the courthouse door?

It’s not enough to allow gay marriage; it must be celebrated under penalty of law:

Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state’s anti-discrimination statutes.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld an administrative law judge’s finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The couple sued.

“I can believe anything I want, but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people,” Commissioner Raju Jaram said.

Phillips, a devout Christian who owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, said the decision violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion. “I will stand by my convictions until somebody shuts me down,” he told reporters after the ruling.

He added his bakery has been so overwhelmed by supporters eager to buy cookies and brownies that he does not currently make wedding cakes.

Perhaps that’s the best solution. Rather than allow a business owner to refuse service to someone (a practice with a very bad history), the business just changes its practices. Phillips never discriminated against customers for being gay—even baking cakes for them—he just refused the business of baking their wedding cakes. As with a lot of thorny social problems, I see both sides. His solution to stop baking wedding cakes altogether seems the best solution. His business is booming, and the gay couple who felt discriminated against feel vindicated. Both claim victory.

Or perhaps not. What was the exact damage down to the gay couple looking to purchase a wedding cake? How many other bakers do you suppose would have refused? I’d say none. In fact, I find it almost astonishing that they had the bad luck to choose the one devout Christian baker who would decline to accept their business. No, that’s not right. He would happily accept their business—for muffins, rolls, scones, even cakes—just not a wedding cake. To do so would violate his religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. How did these three find each other?

I am certain that Adam and Steve (I can’t be bothered to check their real names) would have found joy at just about every other bakery they went to. There was no systemic discrimination against them (as there was with black people at lunch counters and water fountains in the 50s), just one man with a religious conscience. But that could not be tolerated. Tolerance is a one-way street, and that street leads inevitably to acceptance, and thence to celebration. Woe betide you if you try to go against the prevailing direction.

And why stop at marriage?

Medicare will now be covering sex change surgeries–meaning it won’t be long before private insurance is required to do likewise.

But that won’t be the end of it. Over at Human Exceptionalism I nominate Body Integrity Identity Disorder–sometimes called “amputee wannabe”–as the next affliction for which surgery will one day be required to be a covered service. In this time of identity-is-all politics, what principled reason can there be to say no?

I have no good answer. Do you?

PS: The title of the post is misleading. It’s not the legislative branch (or not just) that’s leading the charge against the traditional definition of marriage, but the judicial branch. Marriage is defined in state laws across the country, but court after court now insists those laws are discriminatory. Again, I agree. But now what?

Comments

Who Said This?

“Let me also express appreciation to Reverend Al Sharpton, not only for joining us this morning but for his leadership, day in and day out, on issues of reconciliation and community restoration.”

Jeremiah Wright? George Galloway? Rachel Maddow?

How about the Number Three in the US Justice Department?

In his remarks at the “Strengthening the Relationship Between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color Forum” today, Associate Attorney General Tony West gets the ball rolling this way…

As merely an Associate Attorney General, he is perhaps unaware of Sharpton’s highlight moments of “reconciliation and community restoration”.


Reverend Al with Tawana Brawley

Untitled
Sharpton sued for defamation by Steven Pagones (over Brawley allegations)


Technically, “I want to make it clear … that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.”


“If Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” [Perhaps misattributed.]

PS: “I have no problem with Khalid Abdul Muhammad. It is not Khalid who is talking hate, it’s Rudy Giuliani.”

Comments

Who-Me-a Abu Jamal

Even convicted (re-convicted) cop killers deserve legal representation. Especially convicted (re-convicted) cop killers, as the system is hardly tilted in their favor.

So, bravo for Debo Adegbile, who took on that thankless role in the defense of the oh so guilty Mumia Abu Jamal. Somebody had to do it.

But I don’t want him representing me:

He was, in other words, an ideal candidate to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division — the division which, among other things, oversees the federal government’s voting rights work in an era where conservative state lawmakers are currently waging a widespread campaign to prevent demographic groups that tend to vote for Democrats from casting a ballot.

And yet, the Senate just voted his nomination down, thanks to seven Democrats.

This is from a wacko Lefty site, ThinkProgress. And they are quite clear who killed this: Democrats. I don’t care who did it, but if you defend Mumia—God bless you, but you’re disqualified.

Let’s just leave the accusations of racism at the door of the Democrat washroom.

Comments

For the Children

Even that liberal canard doesn’t hold here.

It’s to the children:

Fire the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families?

OK, so some kids are dead, or missing or living with convicted felons who may or may not be sex offenders, although we’re not really sure because one-third of the department’s social workers aren’t even licensed.

So what? Olga Roche is going nowhere.

Haven’t you read the glowing tributes to Olga from her nearest and dearest that were posted on Friday, attesting to her impeccable credentials?

This, from the Spanish American Center: “We are very proud of her Latino heritage.”

What more do you need to know? You cannot fire this wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences, to coin a phrase.

Olga also gets a thumbs-up from Juan Gomez, who identifies himself as “president of the largest minority multi-service provider” in the commonwealth, who spends his days trying to “reinforce support for minority communities.”

Wait, wouldn’t a number of those children be minorities? So the [bleep] what?

They’re mounting basically the same line of defense as the local NAACP did for jailbird ex-state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, a combat veteran of the War on Women. Some people just can’t be fired, because … well, just because.

Henriquez had kidnapped and beaten a women (he was convicted of two counts of A&B); he was led into the State House in handcuffs for his expulsion vote (146-5). The NAACP took his side.

Next, we have Maria Z. Mossaides of the Children’s League of Mass. She writes how great Olga is for all the DCF “stakeholders.”

Wouldn’t the actual children themselves be the ultimate “stakeholders” in DCF?

But leave it to Gov. Deval Patrick to point the finger of blame right where it belongs — at this newspaper. Once again, everything is the Herald’s fault. Just as we did with the DTA, we have “destabilized” the department by reporting … anecdotes.

There’s an old saying, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. In Deval’s case, blaming the Herald is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

We all understand the sympathy he feels for Olga. He knows what it’s like to be in way over your head, in a job for which you have next to no qualifications. He remembers his doomed (although extremely lucrative) tenures at Coke and Texaco, after he finally passed the bar exam on his third try.

The columnist, Howie Carr, is very hard on Governor Patrick, but deservedly so. This is appalling failure of the state to do the minimum job required of it: to take care of its powerless and vulnerable wards.

But it is hardly the only lapse. My particular favorite is the state drug lab:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts urged the state’s highest court today to dismiss all of the 40,000-plus criminal cases tied to Annie Dookhan, the state chemist whose falsification of test results in drug cases led to the worst scandal to hit the criminal justice system in years.

Which is saying something from the people who brought you Whitey Bulger!

But how many innocent people were wrongly convicted? And how many guilty convicts will be wrongly freed? The ACLU may have its head far, far up its collective backside, but it’s right in this case. Under the governor’s watch, tens of thousands of criminal cases were ruined, the innocent and the guilty wrongly convicted. The line for lawsuits forms to the right.

PS: Others opt for the New England Compounding Center scandal.

The owners and insurers of the bankrupt Framingham pharmacy blamed for an outbreak of fungal meningitis that killed dozens of people last year have tentatively agreed to contribute more than $100 million to compensate victims and creditors of the firm.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that at least 751 people contracted meningitis or other infections from the pain shots, including 64 who died in 20 states, making it one of the largest cases of tainted drugs in US history. Overall, as many as 14,000 patients received the tainted injections, and, beyond those diagnosed with meningitis, some reported suffering fatigue or other symptoms.

Federal inspectors found dirty mats, black specks floating in vials, and other signs the room was contaminated.

“Federal inspectors”? Where was the state?

Critics say compounding pharmacies, which custom-make medications for individuals who need speciality drugs not available elsewhere, have not traditionally received enough scrutiny because they are mainly overseen by states, rather than the US Food and Drug Administration….

Exactly.

Comments (1)

Women’s Reproductive Health Update

Earlier today, I posted about America exploiting the “expertise” of Nazi “doctors”.

Haven’t we learned?

An unlicensed doctor who worked as an assistant at a Philadelphia abortion clinic that authorities dubbed a ‘house of horrors’ has been sentenced to six to 12 years in prison.

Massof testified he routinely saw babies born alive and then killed with scissors at Gosnell’s inner-city clinic, which catered to minorities, the poor and women with late-term pregnancies.

The judge credited Massof’s decision to plea guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and testify against Gosnell but called what happened at the clinic ‘unspeakably horrible.’

‘As evil as Dr. Gosnell was, as charismatic as he may have been, he didn’t do this alone,’ Lerner said. ‘He couldn’t do this without the assistance of someone like you.’

‘I don’t know how it started,’ the 51-year-old Massof sobbed in front of the judge.

‘I realize that this is something that’s wrong and will never be right and will never go away,’ said Massof, who called his work with Gosnell ‘a horrific part of my life.’

During his testimony he revealed that he witnessed an abortion at 26 weeks – two weeks beyond the 24-week limit in the state.

He also claimed he saw about 100 babies born alive and then ‘snipped’ with surgical scissors in the back of the neck, to ensure their ‘demise’.

He also spoke of the gruesome scenes at the clinic which was allegedly found dirty and rundown with rusting surgical instruments.

‘It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place. It is literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body,’ he told NBC.

He also spoke of how the clinic’s ultrasound machine was manipulated to make fetuses appear smaller and therefore younger.

Hey, I spared you the rough stuff.But this is the truth of the modern abortion movement.

Just one question. If three-fourths of births among black women are to single mothers, and a disproportionate number of abortions are performed on black fetuses… how are any black children born to two-parent families? Even one! Applying the arithmetic, Sasha and Malia Obama might be the only ones.

I find that immeasurably sad.

Comments

More Ways to Help Steyn

We posted here the other day about Mark Steyn’s legal harassment by Michael Mann, the wielder of the Hokum Hockey Stick.

Here’s an update:

I’m a little overwhelmed by your generosity in the wake of Judge Weisberg’s ruling in the Mann vs Steyn case. Readers from not only America but also Canada, Ireland, Norway, India and Australia, among others, have swung by the SteynOnline store to help prop up my unsought sojourn in the DC Superior Court by buying my book on free speech and various other products. However, Neil McNeill in Toronto writes:

Dear Mark,
The battle with Mann is critical to so many people. Let little guys like me support your fight. If I buy $100.00 worth of mugs, you only have the profit with which to pay lawyers. If you pass the hat, all of the $100.00 is available.

You have given me so much pleasure over the years. Let me and you get full legal bang for my buck.

Neil McNeill Toronto

Steyn has an answer (as when does he not?):

[A] couple of readers suggested we bring back our SteynOnline gift certificate, which we usually only offer during the Christmas season. So one way to help out is to buy a gift certificate for yourself (starting at $25 and going up from there). If you want to give us the “full legal bang for the buck” (as Neil puts it), that’s great. If you want to redeem part of it for a book and let SteynOnline have the rest, that’s also fine. If you want to hold on to it and load up with Christmas presents this December, that works, too. The gift certificates have no expiration date, so if, in ten years’ time, Neil has a sudden burning desire for $100 worth of SteynOnline mugs, he’ll still be able to load up.

The gift certificates are available online here, or US and Canadian customers can make a telephone purchase by calling 1-866-799-4500 toll free from 8am to 3pm Eastern time on weekdays. We also take checks (or cheques) drawn on US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British banks, and in euros. Please make them payable to SteynOnline and mail to Box 30, Woodsville, NH 03785. Anyone purchasing a SteynOnline gift certificate will receive by way of thanks one of our SteynOnline “Liberty Stick” souvenirs, in which we reclaim the poor blameless hockey stick from its unfortunate association with Dr Mann.

You will be shocked to learn (ha!) that Steyn is not going gentle into that good night:

In a post at NATIONAL REVIEW’s website, I mocked Dr. Michael Mann, the celebrated global warm-monger, and his “hockey stick,” the most famous of all the late-Nineties global-warming climate models to which dull, uncooperative 21st-century reality has failed to live up. So he sued. We then filed an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss.

SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation” — i.e., using legal action to cow an opponent into silence, and withdrawal from the public square.

In fairness to Dr. Mann, the two-year anti-SLAPP hearing is not entirely his fault. We are now having to start all over from scratch, with a brand new complaint, brand new motions to dismiss, and a brand new judge — all thanks to the original judge’s remarkable incompetence and careless management of her case. I’m an immigrant and I’m told that in America one shouldn’t criticize judges, but I’ve done so in England and Ireland, Canada and Australia, and I don’t really see why a third-rate judge should be any more immune from criticism than a third-rate plumber. At the risk of oversimplifying, I wonder if in a republic a society’s natural monarchical reverence doesn’t simply wind up getting transferred elsewhere — in this case to omniscient robed jurists. At any rate, it seems to me that a fear of offending judges is unbecoming in a free people. So screw that.

Dr. Mann has been brandishing his hockey stick out on the campaign trail against Republican candidates. In Virginia, he appeared in the Democrats’ attack ads against Ken Cuccinelli, and helped get Clinton’s bagman Terry McAuliffe elected governor. When his candidate Mark Herring also prevailed over the GOP in the attorney general’s race, Mann crowed and published tweets from his acolytes congratulating him on “two fresh notches on your hockey stick.” That would seem, definitively, to move the hockey stick into the realm of political speech explicitly protected by the First Amendment — and perhaps one day, two or three or five years down the line, a D.C. court will agree. But it’s not much of a First Amendment that requires a bazillion dollars in legal fees and a half-decade vow of silence to enjoy the security thereof — all while the plaintiff’s using his freedom of speech to knock off your political allies.

Free speech is about the right to thrash out ideas — on climate change, gay marriage, or anything else — in the public square, in bright sunlight. And you win a free-speech case by shining that sunlight on it, relentlessly. As we embark on our second year in the hell of the D.C. court system, that’s what I intend to do.

Steyn has all but split from National Review—over this and other issues. He’s on his own, even serving as his own lawyer. Readers of this site (hi mom!) will know we tolerate being wrong (leading by example every day!). What we do not tolerate is left-wing bullying—Liberal Fascism, as another NR writer put it. Mark Steyn, Caroline Glick, James Taranto, and Dennis Prager have been my wise elders in my reeducation as a conservative. I’ve even written an unabashed fan note to Steyn, offering to buy him a drink next time he ventures down I 93 into Boston (his assistant thought I might have a shot). I hope he’ll take a rain-check on that drink and accept a contribution in its stead. I’ll buy a $100 gift certificate now, and redeem it when he publishes his prison memoirs.

Comments

URGENT: Support Steyn!

Some of you may be aware of Mark Steyn’s legal problems. No, his current legal problems.

He’s being sued by the cloddish climatologist, the Mann of the Hokum Hockey Stick, Michael Mann.

And it looks like it’s going to trial:

On Tuesday morning, January 21st, I filed a motion with respect to Dr Michael Mann’s defamation suit against me, National Review, Rand Simberg, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. I did so because I felt the procedural fiasco the case has been reduced to since last July 10th thanks to the incompetence of the previous judge, Natalia Combs Greene, required what I called “an act of jurisprudential hygiene” from the new judge, Frederick Weisberg. Unfortunately, the DC Superior Court seems disinclined to clean up its act. I appreciate that, to those who followed the fun and frolics of my free speech battles in Canada five years ago, the tedious procedural codswallop of the Mann case has been eye-glazing and butt-numbing. But that’s apparently how they do things in America. Still, at the risk of rendering even the loyalist reader comatose, let me précis the most recent developments:

On December 19th, the Appeals Court ruled that appeals relating to Dr Mann’s original complaint were moot. (Bear with me, it gets much more boring yet.) The implication of this was that we would be getting a fresh hearing on the amended complaint with what Judge Weisberg had promised on October 9th would be “a new set of eyes”. Whatever the state of His Honor’s eyeballs, I never got a look at them – because on Wednesday evening, January 22nd, he denied Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (along with my Motion to Vacate) without benefit of a hearing. So it looks like the Scopes Monkey Trial of the 21st century is on. Book your tickets now!

As I wrote in my motion:

Defendant Steyn does not live in the District of Columbia and visits it only for the purpose of attending these proceedings. As stated in his original Motion to Dismiss of December 14th 2012, “he denies that this Court may exercise personal jurisdiction over his internet commentary, since that commentary was not purposefully directed at the District of Columbia. See, e.g., Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984). Nor is Mr Steyn subject to general jurisdiction in the District of Columbia.” He voluntarily submitted to the Court’s jurisdiction “solely to expedite this litigation as a matter of administrative convenience”. It is a matter of regret to Defendant Steyn that Judge Combs Greene proved unable to expedite anything.

That’s putting it mildly. I’m not the first to discover too late that the American court system is no place for wee unsuspecting foreigners. Although I was the only one on the NR side who’s actually won a free-speech battle (and so decisively that the law was eventually repealed), I was prevailed upon through the course of last year to leave it to the experts. The result is that we blew through half a million bucks, and have nothing to show for it – other than what even Judge Weisberg calls a “convoluted procedural history” that utterly buried the real issues at the heart of the case. As my motion put it:

Defendant Steyn has been in many courtrooms in his native Canada and many other parts of the British Commonwealth and has never seen a case so procedurally bungled.

Many “climate skeptics” wonder why the defendants would want to get the complaint dismissed rather than put Mann through a trial in which he would have to take the witness stand and discuss his work under oath. I can understand their enthusiasm for this but for me the priority has always been the broader cause of free speech:

Defendant Steyn stands by his words and is willing to defend them at trial and before a jury, should it come to that. However, as a noted human-rights activist in Canada and elsewhere, he believes that the cause of freedom of expression in the United States would best be served by dismissing the amended complaint, and that a trial would have a significant “chilling effect” in America of the kind the Anti-SLAPP laws are specifically designed to prevent.

The “chilling effect” is a bigger threat to civilized society than all Dr Mann’s warming. But the judge chose instead to put us on the road to a full-scale trial. So be it.

As readers may have deduced from my absence at National Review Online and my termination of our joint representation, there have been a few differences between me and the rest of the team. The lesson of the last year is that you win a free-speech case not by adopting a don’t-rock-the-boat, keep-mum, narrow procedural posture but by fighting it in the open, in the bracing air and cleansing sunlight of truth and justice.

Here’s an excerpt from the original offense:

Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia emails came out, Penn State felt obliged to “investigate” Professor Mann. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its star names guilty of any wrongdoing.

If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.

Which has led to months and thousands upon thousand of dollars of litigation.

I don’t know how Steyn is paying for it all, especially as he’s told National Review to shove off. He did write this:

Several readers have asked if I have a legal-defense fund. No, and I don’t really care for them. But, if you want to support the cause of free speech, you could do far worse than buy a copy of Lights Out from the SteynOnline bookstore. Or, if you’re in the vicinity, swing by to one of the stops on my Florida tour – I’ll be giving away my antidote to Mann’s hockey stick, the Liberty Stick.

Books, mugs, t-shirts. I have a lot, but not all. Now that my Christmas bills are paid off, I’m going to fill the gaps in my library and wardrobe. So should you. For free speech.

Seriously. Buy something. Shame if you haven’t already.

Comments (2)

Fry Mumia!

Oh dear. I meant “Free Mumia!”

At least he does:

President Obama has nominated attorney Debo Adegbile to head the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Adegbile has a long history of advocating for the release of unrepentant and convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Earlier this week the National Fraternal Order of Police, an organization representing 330,000 men and women in law enforcement, sent a scathing letter to President Obama strongly opposing Abegbile’s nomination.

“As world of this nomination spreads through the law enforcement community, reactions range from anger to incredulity. Under this nominee’s leadership, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People volunteered their services to represent Wesley Cook, better known to the world as Mumia Abu-Jamal — our country’s most notorious cop-killer. There is no disputing that Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered by this thug. His just sentence – death – was undone by your nominee and others like him who turned the justice system on its head with unfounded and unproven allegations of racism,” FOP National President Chuck Canterbury wrote in the letter. “We are aware of the tried and true shield behind which activists of Adegbile’s ilk are wont to hide – that everyone is entitled to a defense; but surely you would agree that a defense should not be based on falsely disparaging and savaging the good name and reputation of a lifeless police officer. Certainly any legal scholar can see the injustice and absence of ethics in this cynical race-baiting approach to our legal system.”

According to Canterbury, President Obama did not seek or consultation input from the FOP or any other law enforcement agencies before nominating Adegbile for the position, breaking a promise made by Attorney General Eric Holder to be more open and transparent with men and women in harms way.

“This nomination can be interpreted in only one way; it is a thumb in the eye of our nation’s law enforcement. It demonstrates a total lack of regard or empathy for those who strive to keep you and everyone else in our nation safe in your home and neighborhoods — sometimes giving their lives in the effort,” Canterbury wrote.

Dude, did you read what Robert Gates, a first-hand witness, wrote about Obama’s attitude toward the military? He’d rather French-kiss one of Mother Teresa’s lepers than shake the hand of a four-star general. What makes you think he holds the police in any higher regard? You who busted his dope dealers and ticketed his car during law school.

It is our hope, that in the future, you and your Administration will consider candidates with records of fairness and respect to all Americans when selecting nominees for leadership positions at the Justice Department or anywhere else in your administration.”

No, it’s not.

You know full well that’s never going to happen. You’re just lucky that Raul Castro turned down the job when Obama offered it at the Mandela funeral.

And did he just bow again??? To a Castro? OMG, WTF, POS.

Comments

Settled Law?

There’s an expression I don’t really get. Certain laws are seemingly settled until they get unsettled. Dred Scot was settled law; so was Prohibition and pre-suffrage voting restrictions. They were changed. Someone “negotiated” with “hostage-takers” and “arsonists” to “re-settle” those “settled” laws. (Though I don’t recall the South taunting the North with “Dred Scott is Constitutional, bitches.”)

Even EdselCare isn’t settled “settled law”. It changes daily, hourly (as do the excuses for its failure). Waivers, delays, contradictions—lies. What’s “settled” about it?

Here’s another “unsettled law”:

A federal appeals court Thursday reinstated a key part of a new Texas abortion law, considered to be among the most restrictive in the country.

The decision came three days after a federal judge struck down the provision, which requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they’re providing abortion services.

A day before parts of the law were scheduled to take effect, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Monday issued an injunction blocking the law’s admitting privileges requirement, arguing that it “places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her.”

Thursday’s decision means the requirement will remain in place while a lawsuit moves forward.

Naturally, there are two sides to every story:

“This fight is far from over. This restriction clearly violates Texas women’s constitutional rights by drastically reducing access to safe and legal abortion statewide,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.

Perry cheered the ruling.

“Today’s decision affirms our right to protect both the unborn and the health of the women of Texas. We will continue doing everything we can to protect a culture of life in our state,” he said in a statement.

Wait! What’s that? Another law unsettled!

That sure was a blockbuster ruling Thursday from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, staying a federal judge’s decision against New York City’s “stop and frisk” police practice and tossing the judge off the case. The ruling throws a curve into the last week of New York mayor’s race and complicates the liberal campaign to block police practices that have greatly reduced crime.

The shocker came as the Second Circuit hears New York City’s appeal of Judge Scheindlin’s ruling, in which she declared that stop and frisk violated the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. New York police have for years stopped, questioned and searched for weapons if they have reasonable cause to believe someone may be connected to a crime. Cheered on by a liberal media campaign, Judge Scheindlin declared it illegal. She also appointed a panel of liberal worthies to micromanage New York’s finest, an affront both to the police force and self-government.

The Second Circuit panel is a long way from judging the merits of the appeal. But the three judges noted in their ruling Thursday that “upon review of the record in these cases, we conclude that the District Judge ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 2 (‘A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.’)”

Specifically, the court said Judge Scheindlin had “compromised” the appearance of partiality by improperly inviting a stop-and-frisk suit. In a December 21, 2007 hearing on an earlier case, Judge Scheindlin stated: “[I]f you got proof of inappropriate racial profiling in a good constitutional case, why don’t you bring a lawsuit? You can certainly mark it as related.”

She also stated that, “[W]hat I am trying to say, I am sure I am going to get in trouble for saying it, for $65 you can bring that lawsuit.”

I’m used to legal mumbo jumbo like res ipsa loquitur and m’lud, but since when did rah-rah, sis-boom-bah become acceptable court vocabulary?

I won’t even take a stand on the merits of any of these laws, but the process by which they are passed, challenged, imposed—whatever (as Secretary Sebelius would say)—sucks big time (to coin my own legalism).

Comments

Prisoners of Love

Israel treats its prisoners—hardened killers with Jewish blood on their hands—as, well, not prisoners. They spring ‘em loose, guilty as sin and free as a bird, as Bill Ayers famously said.

Here’s how others in the region treat their prisoners:

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday urged Hamas in the Gaza Strip not to carry out planned executions.

In a statement, Pillay expressed deep concern “at the possibility that executions might be carried out over the course of the next weeks in Gaza and urgently appeal to the de facto authorities there not to implement any death sentences.”

The attorney general in Gaza made several announcements during Ramadan that after the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, which have just ended, executions of people sentenced to death would take place.

“I am concerned about the process by which death sentences are imposed by military and civilian courts in the Gaza Strip,” Ms. Pillay said.

“Serious concerns have also been raised about ill-treatment and torture during interrogations of persons later sentenced to death,” she added.

According to Amnesty International, several of the “criminals” slated for execution confessed to their crimes under extreme duress.

The planned executions would not be the first time Hamas has carried out death sentences publicly. In June, two unidentified men were hanged publicly after being accused of spying for Israel.

Sixteen Palestinians have been executed in Gaza for spying since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

Has Israel executed one single prisoner, even one convicted of the most capital crime? If the subhuman butchers of the Fogel family in Itamar still live, then the answer is no. As I wrote above, Israel releases its murderers in a misguided (and thoroughly coerced) attempt to reach a peace agreement with the very Arabs who execute their prisoners. Can you figure it out? I can’t.

Comments (1)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »