Saturday, January 5, 2008

News and Views

Mexican trucks role again

The Bush administration is going ahead with the program to give trucks from Mexico access throughout the United States. Congress didn’t like the idea and included a provision in the omnibus funding bill they thought took care of the problem but Bush found a ‘loophole’. It seems that Congress specifically denied funding for “establishing” the Mexican access program but Bush says this doesn’t apply to this program because it was started in September. Isn’t it amazing what Bush can do to muck up things once he sets his mind to it? Too bad Bush doesn’t display this same ingenuity to protect our borders; but then again, he doesn’t want to do that, hence we will have Mexican trucks traveling throughout the country carrying who knows what.

We must have 'humane' executions; even though victims weren't treated humanely

For years and years murders were brought to justice swiftly and without anyone concerned about how they were executed. We have had hangings, firing squads and electric chairs administering punishment; all without any thought these violated the Constitution. Now in our politically correct world of the ACLU and others who worry more about murderers than about victims, virtually any form of execution is questioned. First out was the electric chair as a result of some faulty use on occasion, then lethal injection was determined to be “inhumane” (I don’t know when hangings and firing squads were ruled out but both seem to me to be fairly ‘humane’, at least firing squads should result in quick, painless execution.)

Two men convicted of killing two cops in cold blood were sentenced to death but now the U.S. Supreme Court has to decide whether Kentucky executes them in a constitutionally ‘humane way’. There are 3,340 murderers on death row nationwide who face death by lethal injection. If the court says this is a no, no; then over three thousand murderers will escape a punishment that their victims were unable to avoid. Is this a great country or what?

Not trying to be macabre here but another U.S. Supreme Court case will decide whether a state can execute someone who rapes a child under that state’s law which provides the death penalty for such a heinous crime. In this case a man raped his 8-year old stepdaughter in Louisiana and the state Supreme Court upheld the penalty. Whatever happened to the constitutional right of the states to handle their own affairs? Is it “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eight Amendment to execute someone who does this to a child? I don’t think so.

Lawyers have to eat too; but why out of our hide?

Lawyers are really responsible for a lot of ridiculous cases which, if they had any sense of decency they would not accept. Take the case of convicted terrorist conspirator Jose Padilla; he found a lawyer that would help him sue a government official for violating his constitutional rights. It seems that the official wrote several memos that led Bush to designate Padilla an ‘enemy combatant’ after he was arrested. Padilla is ‘only’ suing for $1 million in damages, mainly on the basis the government official denied Padilla his constitutional rights because Bush’s decision based on advice given to him by the official violated the constitution. Since the suit was filed in San Francisco, who can say Padilla won’t win.

In New York a businessman accused of trying to give money to a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan is trying to defend himself by telling a judge that he did this to “enrich himself”, not to aid the enemy. He said he was more interested in the “profit potential” than in the terrorists’ “cause”. Shortly after making this defensive claim, he tried to sell the judge the Brooklyn Bridge.

"Believe it or not", Olmert wants to destroy Israel

Under the heading “believe it or not”, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is accusing his own country of not living up to a deal he made with the Palestinians. Olmert says that Israel is not living up to its commitment to remove settlements in the West Bank. In this self effacing Olmert has a supportive ally in George Bush who also accuses Israel of “not doing what we expect them to do”. With a leader like Olmert, and support from their mentor and ally, the United States, it should not be long before Israel gives itself away and Jews will have to ask God for another ‘homeland’. Who could criticize God for not acceding to this request; after all the Jews are not doing such a good job of keeping the land He gave them in the first place?

Awkward legal defenses and other strange cases

An elected official in Los Angeles, Xavier Alvarez, was charged with falsely claiming he received a Congressional Medal of Honor under the ‘Stolen Valor Act of 2005’. Alvarez says the law is unconstitutional because it restricts his “free speech” by criminalizing false claims of military honors. Once again, we see a lawyer proceeding with a law suit without merit just to earn some money.

The sheriff of Orange County, California, Mike Corona was indicted along with his mistress and his wife in a federal corruption case which claims Corona took $700,000 in bribes and kickbacks. The sheriff received a 60-day paid leave of absence to work on his defense but is now back at work. I guess Corona needs a chance to get more bribes and kickbacks to help pay for his legal defense and it would not be fair to deprive him of his livelihood at a critical time like this.

A U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ordered the Navy to stop bothering the whales. The judge, ordered the Navy to lessen the impact of the Navy’s sonar activity, which is intended to protect the country from enemy attack, on whales and other marine life of the Southern California coast.

The Navy must:

  • "Create a 12-nautical mile no-sonar zone along the coast.
  • Have trained lookouts watch for marine life starting 60 minutes before and then during exercises.
  • Shut down sonar when marine life is spotted within 2,200 yards.
  • Not use sonar at all in the Catalina Basin, an area the judge, Florence Marie Cooper, says 'is an area that is home to a high density of marine mammals'”.
Now here is a Clinton-appointed District Court Judge that has her priorities right.

Well that’s all for now; I have to go pay my California State Bar dues so I can cash in on all this insanity too.

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