Sunday, November 30, 2014
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
As a liberal sort, I'm a bit wary about the talk that "probable cause" is so easy to meet, grand juries always indict etc., since in most cases, the defendant isn't some police officer who killed a black teenager. Still, the cynicism is at least somewhat warranted in that most grand juries aren't handled like this. This has the look of a public relations gambit, which results in certain "special" defendants getting extra protections outside a normal public trial.
Grand juries basically (somewhat more than I thought) always bring true bills; an example of a categorical exception was seen last night. It also was atypical as to how long and drawn out the grand jury proceedings were. And, white or black, police shootings rarely are prosecuted. I'm unsure really if this was so very atypical here (some argue prosecutor did a bad job), but that's how cause célèbres often arise -- not just unique events, but ones that somehow are made into one. While I'm safe in my cocoon, some serious blowback is going on.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Snow delayed the NYJ game to tonight, which is no longer going to be played in Buffalo (outer edges of playoff race), but the NYG had a chance to play spoiler last night. After a remarkable scoring catch they decided to replay about 10x (sorry, might have only been seven or so) and an eleven point lead, interception Manning showed up, which was the start of the end. It took a Dallas scoring drive after they went up again though to underline the futility.
Though they didn't actually explain how it was wrong, some ridiculed a 'fact check' of the skit, which could have added that the executive order isn't based on air. It is based on existing law and is restrained by it. Satire is open to criticism -- it can be a powerful means of commentary, but also wrong-minded. It is childish, as are many Obama critics, to ignore this.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
I am wary about speeches but Obama's comments on his executive action on immigration tonight was reasonable mixed with an appeal to principle, including religious values. It is legal and consistent with past presidents. The reply from some, including leadership that failed to act on a bill that past the Senate, is overblown b.s. when it avoids being simply offensive and racist. Thanks Obama and you know "fu" to unhelpful hateful trolls.
Don't know if I ever saw the whole movie, but finally did read the book. It is a pretty impressive effort, note it was written back in 1900, and putting aside some violent parts (e.g., killing a bunch of wolf-like creatures), stands up pretty well. It creates a special world of imagination and slyly teaches about things like true intelligence (Scarecrow, e.g., repeatedly shows he is pretty smart). My copy has a recent introduction, but the book as a whole is in public domain, if only between between 1960 and 1986 per earlier laws.
See here. The article highlights the "courtesy fifth" issue in stays, but has more on transparency in general. Page 320 at the "confirmation link" covers that issue. Also, there is pushback from Roberts since he was only serving as an advocate. Yeah. Serving in a presidential administration like that is sorta a flag on your true beliefs be it him or Kagan.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
“What the humanities and social sciences have to teach us is the variety of truth, the provisional nature of conclusions, the sources of illumination from people of other backgrounds and other perspectives,” he said, “and the magic that can occur when they are combined.” Hope semi-retirement (hears occasional appeals) is treating you well.
A black man sentenced to death in Missouri for a robbery homicide (chance saved the life of a child) was refused final appeals today on concerns about an all white jury (no dissents) and the usage of drugs/secrecy (four justices dissent, again without comment -- it's time guys). An earlier judge applied sentence of death (the jury, then with blacks on it, hung 11-1 on that issue) was earlier reversed on appeal. Update: Executed. Four justices of the USSC felt he should not have been, at least yet, but didn't deign to say a word on why. This is wrong.
There are problems with "religion," good comes with bad, but putting aside other things have some of these issues (e.g., tribalism), it is more certain religions. Blind faith, opposition to interfaith efforts etc. is a problem with some religions. The comment thread has some over the top comments about how "religion" is horrible. I have images of some liberal minister in a sweater or something here & feel compelled to say "um wait a bit."
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Yup, on again: it's one of those Hallmark films that are on over and over again. Deservingly so. It stays mostly loyal to the book, except it tones the religion down somewhat and tacks on a somewhat forced late complication. Still, enjoyed it, both for the performances and its fresh/real flavor. Also, a comfortable "PG" approach (spend the night? surely not!).
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Didn't get into the book, but enjoyed this Hallmark film, in part because it is really two stories (with a bit of a third), so there is just enough material without filler or extended required complications. One couple better, but all pleasant. Repeat favorite.
Insurance costs would have rose regardless; with ACA the costs decreased on average. But, hey, catchy misleading headline on your main page NYT. Don't worry. The increased "hurdle" here for re-enrollment has nothing to do with your "just reporting the news" headline. Anyway, "Obamacare" has all these issues. "Free market" care is pony-land.
Friday, November 14, 2014
As suggested by the comments to the story, hard to be that upset this guy is dead, but after over twenty years in prison, hard to tell what other than retribution is obtained. Deterrence unlikely. Last appeals concerned use of lethal injection and some lawyer issues. Allow executions, some harder cases will slip thru. Plus, the idea of the state having the basic power to take life like this seen as civilized. Many of us don't see that as acceptable.
Notable how much reduction can address resource needs. Book was decent. The author is an expert and uses a "just folks" personal experience approach, if one a tad overwhelming on detail and not quite applicable (given she's in rural Idaho) to many readers. Good karma.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
I agree that the "Supreme Court should allow live broadcast of opinion announcements—preferably video, but audio would do." I'll take taped at end of week. The fact that it delays is made worse in that it isn't even available on its own website (still somewhat pathetic), but only Oyez.com. Such statements are particularly meant for general distribution. Good article on oral dissents; note Justice Ginsburg (Scalia also appears to do this) giving certain bench announcement material to the press, but apparently not for general distribution. Bogus.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Have not kept up with the Keystone Pipeline, but putting aside that Obama seems to be drawing it out pretty far, its importance at times seems more symbolic than real. The "Landrieu Gambit" seems a forgivable move given it's only a matter of time anyway and you have to throw something to outliers in the coalition at times. And, desperate people deserve a partial pass. The post there seems to suggest the symbolic messaging is essential here. Seems to me environmentalists shouldn't be impressed much with that anyway. And, she has supported the pipeline for some time; perhaps, it's a move to have one last win.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Internet etc. led me to read less books, but even before, reading 100-200 boring pages to get to the good parts and for other reasons was not for me. Do try to read all of the books (including notes) of those I do read completely. Also, do respect YA, which is as varied as any sort of genre. See, e.g., here with a good quote and book (Converting Kate). Instant gratification btw also sorta ruined me on various movies too.
Monday, November 10, 2014
All the specific details at times become a bit overwhelming (a "cast of characters" might have helped) and the rhetorical tone at times a bit annoying (plus "Dred Scott" did not "end" the songs as is clarified on the final page). But, there is a lot of powerful history here and overall it's a worthwhile read. Also, it comes in more digestible installments then her "Mrs. Dred Scott," which by necessity is often not about her specifically anyway.
The Mets have struggled but had some bright spots in recent years (e.g., a CY Young winner) and so it was this year with a gold glove CF and rookie of the year. But, ROY wasn't the biggest news -- surprisingly, they signed Michael Cuddyer, who people thought would take a "qualifying offer" (he got an additional year). I don't really care about losing a draft pick (15th overall! wow!), especially if this is only an opening gambit. LGM!
The Jets' had their "every dog has its day" game yesterday though had to sweat in the 4Q to win it -- a goal line stand, a penalty overturning a successive onside kick etc. helped. This was necessary since they scored only three second half points, which only made up for the three they gave up because of dubious time management at the end of the first half. And, defense was key to many of the points. So, though he helped, quite arguably Vick starting was not the major difference here. Giants continued to lose against decent competition.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Looking for works of John Sayles led me to this little "B" gem that is thinly based on girlfriend of John Dillinger (the actual "lady in red" was another woman). Lots of nudity, but Sayles provides a lot of social commentary and a feminist touch. So it's nutritious. DVD has two commentary tracks, both duos, one has Sayles, the other Robert Forster who has a good little role here as a hit man. It is Christopher Lloyd (Taxi etc.) who has the role as the sociopath.
The horrible grant of a non-circuit split lousy statutory claim that the DC Court of Appeals is hearing en banc (the desperation is rank) makes it harder to analyze it somewhat objectively, but this does a good job. Here's an argument it could bite Republicans in the affected states. Meanwhile, let's not forget about the Medicaid ruling. Or, rather, its victims.