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Monday, August 30, 2004


"Would you like to see a 'link" to Al-Queda'?"

Did I say "great" nation? Sorry, I meant "rogue" nation.

Don King at the RNC in NYC. Caption Contest -- go.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Blessed Are The Exonerated 

Ever wonder how innocent men go to prison? This article, via the Virginian Pilot, sheds some light.
Both rape victims pointed to Arthur Lee Whitfield in court, saying they knew with absolute certainty that he was the man who had attacked them. “Is there any question in your mind about the individual?” a prosecutor asked one woman. “No,” she replied.
-snip-
Their testimony was enough to convince a jury of eight women and four men that Whitfield had committed the crime, despite testimony from his family and friends that he had spent the entire evening with them at a birthday party. Jurors sentenced him to 45 years in prison. In hopes he would see his family
again, Whitfield later pleaded guilty to a second rape charge in exchange for an 18-year sentence.
-snip-
But the women were wrong. Last week, DNA evidence proved that Whitfield did not rape either woman. Whitfield was freed Monday, after spending more than 22 years in prison.
Here's what the jury of his peers had to say about their "mistake":
Contacted Wednesday, several jurors who decided the case said it was each victim’s certainty that Whitfield committed the crime that convinced them. Eva Cozzens remembered the trial clearly, including the snowy weather. “The girls felt like he was the one,” Cozzens said. “His family wasn’t convincing.” {ie...they were black}
-snip-
John L. Walker, too, expressed happiness that Whitfield had been cleared. “You’re a blessed man,” he said he would tell Whitfield. {Whitfield responded, "depends on what you mean by blessed I guess. And by the way, go fuck yourself."}


Al Qaeda May Target Undecided Voters 

I'm sorry, but this is total horseshit. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
Al Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups may be considering attacks against Veterans Affairs hospitals in the United States, U.S. law enforcement officials said.
-snip-
Al Qaeda and affiliated groups may be eyeing Veterans Affairs hospitals as symbolic targets, believing they are less heavily defended than traditional military installations, the agencies said.

Just in case the Swift Boat Veterans aren't going to be able to continue their attempts to persuade veterans.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Iraqi Soccer Team & "Proper" Motivation 

You may remember that Hussein's son, Uday Hussein, was infamous for reportedly torturing the Iraqi soccer team whenever they lost. That attempt at motivation apparently didn't work too well.

There is a much more effective way to motivate this soccer team, as George Bush has recently discovered: just kill their relatives and friends, and invade and occupy their country. You can't argue with results folks, the Iraqi team hasn't ever done this well in an Olympics. In fact, according to Sports Illustrated:
Everyone agrees that Iraq's soccer team is one of the Olympics' most remarkable stories. If the Iraqis beat Australia on Saturday -- which is entirely possible, given their performance so far -- they would reach the semifinals. Three of the four semifinalists will earn medals, a prospect that seemed unthinkable for Iraq before this tournament.
Wait, you say? Bush didn't do anything to make this team good or bad, you say? Well, that's not what he says:
At a speech in Beaverton, Ore., last Friday, Bush attached himself to the Iraqi soccer team after its opening-game upset of Portugal. "The image of the Iraqi soccer team playing in this Olympics, it's fantastic, isn't it?" Bush said. "It wouldn't have been free if the United States had not acted."
He can't possibly mean that the Iraqi team wouldn't be competing were it not for the invasion (after all, they've always competed). So, he must mean that they wouldn't be doing as well as they have done were it not for the invasion. In other words, Bush "properly" motivated them (something Uday Hussein never could do -- lets be honest, the Hussein boys couldn't even properly run a torture prison like Ghraib.)

And so, naturally, the Iraqi soccer team is being used by team Chimpy to promote Bush's reelection (again, I can only assume it attempts to highlight how Bush properly motivated them). One problem: the Iraqi soccer team doesn't want to be used as a prop:
"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."
Those damn Iraqis obviously just don't have enough experience with representative government yet, and they clearly don't know anything about being "free". I mean, any idiot could see that Bush is responsible for their success. Ahmed is wrong about another thing too: Bush really can't find another way to advertise, as this is the best thing that has come out of Iraq so far. Article here.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Quote of the Day 

[From the Saint Petersberg Times, on the recent exoneration of Wilton Dedge] "How these prosecutors can sleep at night is their problem. How they are still in their jobs is ours."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The United States -- spreading democracy and the rule of law 

Back to Haiti we go. (Background on Aristide's fall here.)

A guy named Chamblain (leader of death squads -- on "our" team) was acquitted of murder today in Haiti. Complete pig circus and a travesty of justice. [Article here.]

Chamblain led a paramilitary group blamed for killing some 3,000 people [approximately the same number as killed in 9/11] from 1991 — when Aristide was first ousted — to 1994 — when Aristide was restored by U.S. troops [Clinton].

Chamblain went into exile in the Dominican Republic at the time. He returned to help lead the rebellion this year that ousted Aristide for a second time and sent him into exile [after US troops whisked him to Africe involuntarily]. Human rights groups have criticized Haiti's U.S.-backed interim government for forming alliances with people like Chamblain while it arrests Aristide officials and supporters.
--snip--
The interim justice minister, Bernard Gousse, has said Chamblain might be pardoned of any convictions because of "his great services to the nation," pointing to his help in ousting Aristide this year.

Nice job America. The Bush's have been trying to install these animals into power in Haiti since Bush I. At least they're persisitent.

Don't expect to see the bobbleheads talking about this one -- they're spending too much time focusing on the great progress the US is making in spreading democracy and the rule of law in Iraq.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Dat'sa him, dat'sa de bad guy 

If you don't already know about the Washingtonienne, you better ask somebody. Facking hilarious (and highly x-rated) account of being a so-called "staffer" on the hill in the DC. Synopsis: hot girl works as staffer, has multiple sexual partners (including one of Bush Co's chief of staff who pays her for sex), creates a blog and documents her exploits -- is outed, fired.

Anyway, the Washington Post wrote a terrific article about her experience. My favorite excerpt:
"I was watching the movie 'Scarface' the other night, and I was like, Oh my God,
this is exactly how I feel," Jessica says. "There is that scene where [the
gangster played by Al Pacino] was in a restaurant. He was all coked up. He gets
thrown out. He tells everyone in the restaurant, 'You need me. You need me. You need me so you can point at me and say that's the bad guy.' "
Go.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Prior Restraint -- Good neighbors make good fences 

So much to say about this one. Even casual PO readers know that the USA PATRIOT Act tore down the so-called "wall" between law enforcement (the FBI, et al.) and the Justice Department (US Attorneys, or AUSA's). The falling of the wall has been heralded (by the Bushies and other defenders of PATRIOT) as giving law enforcement a terrific new "tool" to stop terrorism. Today's New York Times article shows why.

You see, these days if the FBI wants to go around chilling speech BEFORE it happens (called a "prior restraint" and totally illegal), they ask the Department of Justice to write up a memo justifying their actions beforehand. Voila! We CAN go and do this now, because some pencil-dick Assistant US Attorney wrote a memo saying it was okay. In the old days (when that pesky wall was there) FBI agents couldn't go around getting permission from the DOJ to violate the constitution. See why it needed to come down?

Not yet? Okay then, just take a look at this new "tool": An FBI agent can now get an AUSA to issue a pesky protester a federal grand jury subpoena -- instructing him or her to show up (under threat of arrest) on a certain date (corresponding, naturally, to the dates of the Republican National Convention). That way, we can keep all those undesireables out of the way of our little commercial in New York. And it's all legal -- we know that cause we've got the DOJ memo to prove it! Oh glorious day, thank God the wall is gone...thank God they tore down the wall (Would somebody please put on some Pink Floyd?).
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been questioning political demonstrators
across the country, and in rare cases even subpoenaing them, in an aggressive effort to forestall what officials say could be violent and disruptive protests at the Republican National Convention in New York.
--snip--
Interrogations have generally covered the same three questions, according to some of those questioned and their lawyers: were demonstrators planning violence or other disruptions, did they know anyone who was, and did they realize it was a crime to withhold such information.
--snip--
The unusual initiative comes after the Justice Department, in a previously undisclosed legal opinion, gave its blessing to controversial tactics used last year by the F.B.I in urging local police departments to report suspicious activity at political and antiwar demonstrations to counterterrorism squads.
--snip--
The office, which
also made headlines in June in an opinion - since disavowed - that authorized
the use of torture against terrorism suspects in some circumstances, said any First Amendment impact posed by the F.B.I.'s monitoring of the political protests was
negligible
and constitutional.

The opinion said: "Given the limited nature of such public monitoring, any possible 'chilling' effect caused by the bulletins would be quite minimal and substantially outweighed by the public interest in maintaining safety and order during large-scale demonstrations."

Here's the part that really pisses me off....the FBI and Justice Department are using Federal Grand Jury subpoena power to keep people from protesting.
three young men in Missouri said they were trailed by federal agents for several
days and subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury last month, forcing
them to cancel their trip to Boston to take part in a protest there that same
day.
This is not only reprehensible, it is also unethical and illegal.


Feeling safer yet?



Sunday, August 15, 2004

Atrios on target 

Fuck yeah! Atrios has a great idea for a Kerry campaign ad.

A fair response to Bush's ads - note, not necessarily the correct response strategically, but a prefectly fair response would go something like this.

[ominous music swells]

Rice (from 9/11 Commission testimony): I believe the title was 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack'Flash on screen: August 6, 2001, accompanied by Law and Order type thunk-thunk sound.Followed by footage of Bush clearing Brush, Bush playing golf, talking about his vacation, each accompanied by the date and a good thunk-thunk sound. And, then yes, Bush reading about a pet goat. September 11. thunk-thunk.

Final narration: Bush wasn't there when America needed him most.

end



Right Wing Practice 

It seems to me the reason the left is so inept at quickly mobilizing popular support for its causes (even though the vast majority of Americans would likely agree with them) is due to its inability to properly frame issues.

The right is amazing at creating ridiculous straw man arguments (under the guise of "some are saying...") and disseminating the Republic/right wing response -- not the actual issue -- but to the straw man argument. Karen Hughes and Karl Rove are brilliant when it comes to this. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage literally make their living at it.

The ability of these people to quickly (and improperly) frame issues is why right wing radio will remain a staple of American culture -- and why the left is losing the culture wars. So, I've decided we're going to start practicing this art form -- and use it for good instead of "evil" (ahem). The current New Jersey governor situation seems to me the perfect opportunity to begin.

Here goes... [to be read in best Rush Limbaugh impression]
The Republicans and the right wing are continuing their ad hominem, evil-spirited and bigoted attacks on Governor James E. McGreevey of New Jersey. As you all know, as any casual listener to this program knows, Governor McGreevey recently admitted to being gay, and decided that it would be in the best interest of his state if he were to step down in a few months. Folks, he did this for his state and his constituencies. He didn't have to, but he felt that it was the right thing to do. That's statesmanship. You sure wouldn't see George Bush stepping down because he had lied to the entire country. You don't see that. But, McGreevey is a man of solid character, so he's decided to step down. But, this isn't good enough for the Republicans and the bigoted/prejudiced right wing. No, no. They're continuing to assail this man's character and they've said repeatedly that -- solely because he is a gay man -- he needs to step down immediately. I think this is ridiculous Americans, and I know that you'll join me in condemning these mean-spirited attacks. No man should be forced from his job solely because he is gay. That's just not right.




Saturday, August 14, 2004

I feel so dirty 

About a year ago, Clarence Thomas started coming out of his shell. In a well organized PR campaign he appeared (or tried to appear) at several law schools as the commencement speaker -- and he started giving interviews to prominent magazines (only the "right" authors need apply). He also authorized a biography.

Well, as Kop has already told us, the biography is ready to go. And, as the writer of the book tells us, Thomas will likely be the BAD's choice for chief justice.
Whether he is elevated to chief justice "all depends on Bush being re-elected,"
Foskett said.
We knew he wasn't coming to speak at our graduation (about personal responsibility of course) for nothing. I feel so dirty.



Friday, August 13, 2004

Laci Peterson 

I've tried not to pay much attention to the innuendo show, er, Scott Peterson murder trial (except to note the repeated discovery violations by the state). However, I caught some of the Amber Frey tape recordings (she recorded her and Scott's conversations -- nice chick) and it has pushed me into prediction mode. So, I'm going to go out on a limb here -- Laci was cheating with another guy (and the child might've been the other guy's).

Remember, you heard it here first.

The War on Terra and big Pharma (yet another subsidy) 

Last month, Public Opinions twice went on record to warn of "Terra" related subsidies to big Pharma (already the most profitable sector in the world). At least last time there was a plausible reason for the corporate welfare (we need these drugs in case we're attacked with anthrax). This time, they're just insulting my fucking intelligence.
"Cues from chatter" gathered around the world are raising concerns that terrorists might try to attack the domestic food and drug supply, particularly illegally imported prescription drugs, acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester M. rawford says.
-snip-
Crawford said the possibility of such an attack was the most serious of his concerns about the increase in states and municipalities trying to import drugs from Canada to save money. (via Yahoo news.)
I suppose we'll next be told that terrorists are targeting companies that don't outsource. It is no longer even arguable that the war on terror is being utilized for political and economic gain.

UPDATE: The "Dude" is justifiably outraged by this as well.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Test case go freeth (bye, bye Hamdi) 

It's worse than I, or anybody I know or read, thought. We assumed, that the Bush Ad (hereinafter "BAD") wanted to keep Yaser Hamdi incommunicado indefinitely because THEY thought he was a bad guy [Example: "In the administration's Supreme Court filing Wednesday, Solicitor General Theodore Olson called Hamdi a prime example of a dangerous terror suspect who should be locked up."]

Many of us thought Hamdi, being an American citizen, should first be given the right to show that he wasn't a bad guy. BAD was for crushing the constitution in order to keep a suspected bad guy off the streets. We were for protecting the constitution, even if this guy is a bad guy. That's where I thought the lines were. I was dead wrong, and I realize now how closely this set of facts parallels an argument Donald Wilkes (criminal procedure professor extraordinaire) made often -- I'll get to that in a second.

Anyway, here's what's really up: BAD knew Hamdi wasn't a bad guy -- which is exactly why he was chosen as a test case for their new policy. They presented little/no facts at the district court to justify Hamdi's detention -- instead they argued that the government shouldn't have to disclose any facts because the Executive had the power to detain American citizens forever if he so chose.

Prof. Wilkes argued that, in criminal procedure cases, the government purposefully selects cases with weak factual situations (weak for the government) and appeals them to the Supreme Court. The idea is that the government really gets what it wants if it appeals and wins -especially in the cases where the facts are heavily against them.

Anyway, it has become clear that this is what we've got here with Hamdi. The proof? The government is going to let him go. That's right -- go home. Not, okay we lost the case to deny you the right to a hearing so we'll give you one now. They're saying, okay you won the right to a hearing -- so you can go home now. Unfackingbelievable.

He was just a test case.

Hank Hill and DNA exonerations 

[Entire post to be read in best "Hank Hill" voice. ] Boy, I tell ya' what. We sure do have the greatest criminal justice in the world. Yup. I mean, just take a look at 'ole Wilton Dedge. Here's a guy who would've rotted to death in a prison camp in Russia or Iran -- but here in the good 'ole US of A he's got a new lease on life.

Yup.

You see, he was convicted of raping a 17 year old girl 22 years ago. The victim positively identified him from the witness stand as being her attacker. So, despite the fact that Wilton was 5' 6" and 125lbs when she had originally told police he was 6' 160-180 lbs the jury convicted him of all charges.

Yup. Anyway, so Wilton spent 22 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. But hey, here in the good 'ole US of A, Wilton got a DNA test to prove his innocence. Now he gets to go on with his life like everybody else. Boy I tell ya' what, it's stories like Wilton's that make me darn proud to be an American.

Yup.

[my favorite part of the article -- the "victim" (although we might want to rethink who gets to wear that title) was "devastated by the news that Dedge was not her attacker." Amazing what people can grow attached to believing.]

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Teaching An Old Newsman New Tricks 

Mike Wallace, 86, was arrested by the NYPD for "disorderly conduct". Maybe he'll start a crusade against overzealous police. I can dream can't I?

The dispute began as the "60 Minutes" correspondent was leaving Luke's Restaurant late Tuesday after picking up a take-out order of meatloaf, Wallace said on WFAN's "Imus in the Morning." Wallace saw two Taxi and Limousine Commission inspectors interviewing his driver, who they said was double-parked. "I asked what's going on, and they kept telling me to get back in the car," he recalled. "Then they arrested me and took me to the 19th precinct."

Wallace was released after being issued a summons citing him with disorderly conduct. He's due in court in October.

On Wednesday, Wallace told Entertainment Tonight: "I sat there for an hour or so and they (the police) said, 'OK, we know who you are, we know what you do, we have no problems with you.' "I would call this a comedy of errors, but there was no comedy," he said. "So I went home, put the meatloaf in the microwave and it was superb."

The inspectors saw it another way, saying Wallace approached them and became "overly assertive and disrespectful," interfering with their ability to perform their duties. The inspectors said they asked Wallace to step away from the car, but he refused, and lunged at one of them, TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told The New York Post.

"I'm an 86-year-old man," Wallace told the Post. "For whatever reason, this guy and his buddy were intent upon telling me that I was interfering with the execution of the law."



When Public Defenders Dream 

The PD Dude relates his Kobe trial "wet dream".
My scenario involves something akin to human sacrifice. I started practicing criminal law (and law in general) around the time of OJ Simpson trial, and for years, probably to this day and beyond, defending people accused of crimes has been made much more difficult as a result of that case. The perception of most people in society is that a guilty man went free on a misreading of reasonable doubt, bad rulings by the judge, poor prosecution, etc.... This is a perception I've been having to deal with for years, with jurors, the public, and equally important, with lawmakers and the electorate. The number of idiotic "tough on crime" laws that have passed due to OJ has skyrocketed. In California, they tried to get rid of the hearsay rule for domestic violence cases..., plea bargaining discretion, and other things. Judges are more afraid of crossing DAs than ever. In other words, the prospect of a man everyone knows is guilty sitting on the golf courses of America has screwed up my profession, and hurt other people who are not as guilty as OJ was.Thus, I figured Kobe could be the anti-OJ. I thought that if the judge kept out all of the victim's clear mental problems (like her suicide attempts and other cries for attention) and her sexual activities around the time of the rape (how many guys did she have sex with in those days? Did she actually have sex with someone AFTER she was raped? Hardly the actions one would associate with a rape victim), and if Kobe was convicted as a result, then we would have a clear case where much of society figured there may be an innocent man sitting in prison for a rape he didn't do. If Kobe got life, and actually began serving it, imagine what I could argue in future cases.


Your Dog or your Constitution? 

Crime and Federalism has an interesting post about his recent police/motorist encounter.

We saw the flashing lights in our rearview. A police officer approached our car and told us that he was unable to see our temporary tags. "Huh," we thought. We stepped outside to see that our back license plate was missing. We thought it fell off en route to California but then noticed that the handy-dandy license plate holder was also missing. Aha! - Someone must have stolen the plate and holder since we had it affixed to the back bumber with nylon lock nuts. Anyhow, we showed him our insurance and registration.

What happened next was pretty appalling."Remove your ashtray and hand it to me." This wasn't framed as a request, in tone or in text. We complied [for reasons stated below.] He then digs through the gum wrappers in the ash try and sniffs it several times. "I am just looking for narcotics," he tells us. Alrighty then. It gets better." Have you been using any narcotics today," he asks my wife. "No," she responds indignantly. Then he asks, "Have you been drinking or using any other drugs?" "Nope," she replies again. Pretty resonable responses given we were stopped at 8 a.m. The officer then asks me if I had been using drugs that day. Of course not. Then he asks us both, "Do either of you use any drugs at all." I wanted to say, "Eff you, you effing piece of garbage," but again, we answered his intrusive and unwarranted questions.He then told us to be on our way. We got out of Utah, which is a God-forsaken place at any rate.

Now, you might say, "Federalist No. 84, why would you consent to a warrantless search of your car? And why would you answer instrusive questions about your personal life? I thought you were a true believer man!" The answer is that I had my dog with me.



Thursday, August 05, 2004


Bush asks for clarification of local farmer's request: "You want me to stick this where?"

More for the police and prosecutorial misconduct files 

Six independent forensic scientists, in a report to be filed in a Houston state court today, said that a crime laboratory official - because he either lacked basic knowledge of blood typing or gave false testimony - helped convict an innocent man of rape in 1987. The panel concluded that crime laboratory officials might have offered "similarly false and scientifically unsound" reports and testimony in other cases, and it called for a comprehensive audit spanning decades to re-examine the results of a broad array of rudimentary tests on blood, semen and other bodily fluids.

-snip-

The official whose testimony was challenged, James Bolding,... was the supervisor of the laboratory's serology unit. He later became the head of its DNA unit.

[Bolding's] testimony helped convict George Rodriguez, who has served 17 years for raping a 14-year-old girl in 1987. DNA results have now cleared him, according to court-ordered testing, and the papers to be filed today will seek his release.

Barry Scheck, one of Mr. Rodriguez's lawyers, said that Harris County was the worst place in America for a crime laboratory scandal. "We know already that they couldn't do DNA testing properly," Mr. Scheck said. "Now we have a scandal that calls into question many thousands more cases. And this jurisdiction has produced more executions than any other county in America." Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, Texas has executed 323 people, 73 for crimes in Harris County.

Via the New York Times

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Control Room 

Just saw the documentary "Control Room" about the Al-Jazeera network's Iraq war coverage. I would recommend it to anyone who gives a shit. It's not cut as tightly as, say a Michael Moore film. However, the footage is every bit as powerful, and the film easily pulls you back into the surreal, moral-relativism of the Iraq war days.


Bastards 

I'm completely disgusted; I'm infuriated. The State of Florida, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to scapegoat a 43 year-old woman with NO criminal record. Pain? Misery? Unhappy "victims"? Well, here you go -- do with her as you wish.

The woman, Rachel Sercey, worked at a home for the developmentally disabled. She is a fucking social worker, who was fucking taking a group of people from the home on a fucking field trip to a fucking state fucking park in a fucking dilapidated old fucking van with a rear tire that was underinflated and had been patched numerous times in the past. Anyway, the fucking van didn't have seat belts or seats for everyone, and cosequently, when the van blew a rear tire it fucking flipped and threw several of the people from the van. Three of the patients died.

Then:
Following her admittance to the emergency room, blood was drawn from Rachel
Sercey for alcohol and drug screenings. Though an initial blood test failed to detect alcohol in the defendant's system, a second test, administered by requested of law enforcement authorities, later determined Sercey's blood alcohol level was .06. A test for drug use also turned up positive for the presence of THC, which is indicative of marijuana use. Sercey was arrested and charged with three counts of DUI manslaughter, three counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury.
-snip-
The first judge assigned to the case decided the results of Sercey's marijuana drug screening could not be used as evidence against her. The prosecution, however, appealed that decision. Ultimately, the state's First District Court of Appeals agreed with the prosecution, allowing the drug test screening to be admitted as evidence.
To recap: the initial tests didn't show any alcohol, and a second test showed an alcohol level BELOW the state's legal limit of 0.08. The first judge wouldn't let in the second test, the state appealed and won (naturally).

Anyway, she was convicted today in a courtroom in Florida. She's looking at 34 years -- mandatory. I'm so fucking disgusted. I seriously have no desire to "debate" this with anyone. ARRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Oh Yeah, That's Relevant 

I wish I was making this up (with talent like that I could write Vonnegut-like novels for a living):

Prosecutors intend to show Laci Peterson had ordered satellite television
service in March 2001 without the adult programming option. But
on Jan. 8, 2003, they say, about two weeks after Laci vanished, Peterson changed
the account to include the Playboy Channel. He
disconnected it on Feb. 18, while authorities searched the Peterson home, they
said. "It's not just the Playboy Channel," prosecutor Rick Distaso
said. Peterson ordered "two hardcore channels" on Jan. 12, Distaso
said.

-snip-

Defense attorney Mark Geragos argued that the programs were not
relevant, except to "assassinate his character" and enflame the jury's passion.
"There is absolutely no foundation that Laci would have approved or disapproved
of having the adult programing option," Geragos told the judge.

The ruling by the judge? You guessed it -- it's fucking coming in. Unfuckingbelievable.

Why am I the only one laughing? 

I know this is being covered ad nauseum elsewhere, but I cannot let it go without documenting it here. Instead of pointing out the obvious, let's play a game: we'll try to guess what Tom Ridge thinks "new" means.

Good afternoon. President Bush has told you, and I have told you, when we have specific credible information, we will share it. This afternoon, we do have new and unusually specific information about where al Qaida would like to attack...in light of new intelligence information, we have made the decision to raise the threat level for this sector...While we are providing you with this immediate information, we will continue to update you as the situation unfolds. (via the dept of misinformation)

Whoops! ("Much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert ... was three or four years old.") Maybe "new" means = information we chose to release immediately after the Democratic National Convention to ensure the Kerry/Edwards ticket gets the smallest "bounce" in the polls following a convention since George McGovern.

Remember, Ridge warned us that we were going to be attacked sometime before the November elections -- a day after Edwards was named the running mate, and consequently Kerry got virtually no "bounce" from that either. But, surely politics plays no part when it comes to homeland security.
Of course, just because we know where – but not precisely when – that does not
mean that we cannot take pre-emptive action.
I wonder what he could be talking about? That language sounds familiar, but I just can't place it.

But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is
the result of the President’s leadership in the war against terror. The reports
that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan. Such operations and partnerships give us insight into the enemy so we can better target our defensive measures here and away from home.

-snip-

I think it's very important to point out, most of those sources are related to the extraordinary offensive effort we've taken overseas. Playing strong offensive
overseas
in many different ways: the military; the CIA; the partnerships, our global partners, gives us the capability to prepare better defense back home.

Hmmm, that sounds familiar too -- can anyone help me out? Where have I heard this before. No matter, I'd better get back to swallowing the rest of this "new" information.

"So again, we have no specific information that says an attack is eminent, but given the specificity and the quality of information around these sites, obviously one would conclude, if you were considering a potential attack, these might be among the targets."
Eminent. Now that's a word I know I've heard before. Anyone? Anyone?

UPDATE: Okay, so maybe I'm not the only one.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

If you do nothing else today 

Read this interview of Noam Chomsky. Too good to be synopsized. Go.

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