Tag Archives: law

What Were You Thinking?

In his testimony about the Mueller Report, Attorney General William Barr explained his reasons for thinking it is not possible to charge Mr Trump with a crime. The key reason being that the prosecutor would not be able to demonstrate “intent”. According to Mr Barr the only way to charge an individual with a crime is if you can prove an “intent” to commit a crime. Even if the person’s own words suggest intent, unless he is explicit that he wants to commit a crime, there can be no trial. Therefore, no indictment is even possible.

This news reached the prisons and defense lawyers around the nation and they responded with glee. Parties were held. Fireworks were set off on Riker’s Island. The fix was in.  No intent, no crime.

So, let’s imagine for a moment that Attorney General Barr, once he is ousted from his current role, becomes a trial judge. Defense attorneys are lining up to have their cases heard before the learned justice.

Case # 1. Johnny Dillinger

Prosecutor: Your honor, the state will show that Mr Dillinger planned and implemented a number of bank robberies. He used the “Lamm technique” of casing a bank, planning a getaway route and then robbing said bank. He was successful and was found with the money. Other members of his gang have admitted to helping him rob banks. The evidence is overwhelming.

Counsel for the Defense: Your honor, the defense admits that Mr Dillinger did plan and execute said robberies. However, it is up to the state to prove “intent”. There is no proof that Mr Dillinger even knew that taking money from a bank was a crime. I mean, he’s not a lawyer familiar with the intricacies of the law. Furthermore, the “intent” of his actions was not to commit a crime, only to obtain money. Money all of us need to live. He saw the bank and thought that the money in the bank would assist him in providing for his family. If robbing banks was not against the law, no crime would have been committed. My client never, in his wildest imagination , “intended” to commit a crime. He only wanted money. Just like everyone else. I move for immediate dismissal of all charges for lack of evidence of “intent”.

Judge Barr: Well argued . The court agrees that while Mr Dillinger may have committed these “crimes”, there is no way to determine whether he “intended” to commit crimes or just wanted money for his family. Case dismissed.

Case #2: Ted Bundy

Prosecutor: Your honor, the state will prove that Mr Ted Bundy committed at least 30 homicides between 1974 and 1978. Included are charges of multiple rapes, kidnapping and necrophilia. He is a serial killer who is the most brutal sociopath and should never again be released to society. . We have the forensic evidence . We will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty.

Counsel for the Defense: Your honor, the defense admits that Mr Bundy did, in fact, take some of the actions noted by the state. We ask you to consider, however, the “intent” of Mr Bundy. Did he kidnap? Yes. Did he rape? Yes. Did he murder? Yes. But what is the real question? In our mind the ONLY question is this: Did Mr Bundy “intend” to break the law?

When Mr Bundy was kidnapping and raping and murdering was he “intending” to break the law? Or was he just intending to rape ? And kidnap? And murder? If rape and murder were not against the law would Mr Bundy even be subjected to this trial? Nowhere in the state’s case does it prove that Mr Bundy “intended ” to break any laws. Just the opposite. He wanted to follow the law, but his sociopathic desires would not allow him to. In his mind, he “intended ” to do whatever was legal. So, your honor, we are requesting an immediate dismissal of the charges based on the fact that no criminal “intent” was proved by the state.

Judge Barr: Excellent legal analysis. While it is clear that Mr Bundy murdered and raped over 30 individuals, the state did not provide any evidence that Mr Bundy intended to break the law. With this lack of intent I am disturbed that the prosecution has even brought the case against this honorable man. Complete exoneration. Case dismissed .

Case #3: LeRoy Jones

Prosecutor: You honor, Mr Jones was found with 2 bottles of baby formula in his possession , not paid for in the grocery store. This is a misdemeanor and we suggest 2 weeks in jail and a $100 fine.

Counsel for the Defense: We concur with the prosecution and plead guilty.

Judge Barr: Outrageous conduct. Stealing is a major crime. Not only did he take baby formula, he obviously intended to break the law. The days of coddling criminals are over. I sentence the criminal to 1 year in prison and a $1000 fine.  Let that be a lesson to all who would “intend” to break the law.

 

 

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Filed under crime, government, police, Politics, Senate, Trump, United States

Tom Reed’s (NY-23) Lies and Children

I called my Congressman, (NY-23rd) Tom Reed’s office last week and complained vociferously about his cowardly statement about the young children being separated from their mothers at the US border. The statement from his website, June 19, 2018:

“We care about these children being separated from their parents. These kids are unfortunate bystanders to a long-standing epidemic of weak border security and outdated laws. Congress must act in this week’s immigration reform bill to change the law so that children are not ripped from their parents’ arms, but provided a fair and compassionate solution to this heart-wrenching issue.”

(Bold face is mine.)

https://reed.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=1461

I suggested to Reed’s assistant that this statement was weak and inaccurate (well, ok, I think I called Reed a “pussy”). At any rate, Mr Reed sent me a response by email (I assume it was a form letter sent out to his constituents and not a personal response). In this latest mailing he says, in part:

“…On June 27, 2018 I voted in support of the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 that would end this practice of separation, and would allow children to be held with their parents in family facilities. Congress must pass legislation to solve this crisis at our southern border. Current law and court settlements require that children not be held in the same detention centers that adults are held in while they await court proceedings. This means that, under current law, the children of parents who are waiting on legal proceedings cannot be held with their parents. We must work together to fix our immigration system and close the loopholes that allow tragedies like this to take place….”

(Bold face mine).

So. Let’s dissect this.

According to Reed the separation of children and their parents at the border is required by law. He cites no law. He cites no section of any law. He cites nothing. He simply echoes the lies tweeted by Donald Trump. Which is no surprise, since Reed was an early supporter and campaign organizer for Trump in NY.

Why does he not cite any specific law? And a fact check tells us why. According to independent fact checker website Snopes:

“…There is no federal law that stipulates that children and parents be separated at the border, no matter how families entered the United States. An increase in child detainees separated from parents stemmed directly from a change in enforcement policy repeatedly announced by Sessions in April and May 2018, under which adults (with or without children) are criminally prosecuted for attempting to enter the United States:…

“…However, neither the 1997 Flores settlement nor a 2008 human trafficking law cited in that release in any way stipulated that the government separate children from their parents:…

“…A cluster of rumors about the controversial separation of families at the border held that the policy came before the Trump administration, either stemming from a 1997 “law” or purported policies of previous administrations. Those claims were false. No federal law required or suggested the family separation policy announced by Attorney General Sessions in several sets of remarks during April and May 2018....”

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-law-separate-families-passed-1997/

So, while Tom Reed and President Trump claim that the ripping of children from their parents is a problem of the law, that is simply not the case. It is an executive decision made by the President. He chose to implement this nasty policy. And Tom Reed chooses to give him cover.

Tom acts as though this horrible situation is just, uh, well, the law. Which it isn’t. President Clinton did not do this. Bush did not do this. Obama did not do this. Why not? Because it is not the law. It is a very repulsive executive decision.

Final point. Just this week President Trump relented and ended the policy . Or at least he said so. Did Trump violate the law ?

Well, Tom, if this was a law mandated by Congress how can Trump unilaterally just change it?  A question I intend to ask next week when I call again.

Reed is one of those Trump politicians who talks the very moderate talk on TV. He is pushing his “brand” as one of the “Problem Solvers”. Then he votes against families, the poor, workers, SNAP and health care.

Now, he double talks about who created the mess of the toddlers from the border who, in his words , “…are …ripped from their parents’ hands…”

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Filed under border control, Congress, immigrants, Immigration, Politics, POTUS, president, Republicans, Trump, United States

Things I Don’t Care About

Some Americans seem to care about a lot of things that are really none of their business. And they often want to dictate and make LAWS about the behavior of others. Busybodies.

There are many things I care about. And some things I don’t care about. Here are some things I don’t care about.

  1. Your sexual orientation. I don’t care if you are straight, gay, bi, trans, multiple or none of the above or all of the above. Why should I ?
  2. Your surname. Is it Martinez? Warschowski? O’Flanigan? al-Muamar? von Sternum? Papadopolis? Jones? Takanami? Swennson? Dilorenzo?  Achebe? Sitting Horse? Chou? What does it matter?
  3. Where you were born. New York City, New York . Bumblefuck, Iowa. Oslo, Norway. Campeche, Mexico. Nairobi, Kenya. Xian, China. Mumbai, India. Who cares? Did you CHOOSE to be born in that particular spot on the Earth?
  4. Your marital status. Married. Divorced. Single. Common law married. Annulled. Multiple married. Group married. Why should I care?
  5. How much money you make. Are you a millionaire? A billionaire? On welfare? A day laborer? A silver spoon baby? ? Minimum wage earner? Retired and living off the government (like me) ?  Does your income impact me?
  6. Your skin color. Look at your arm. Is it White? Off-White? Pink? Black? Brown? Brownish? Reddish? Yellowish? Freckled? Does the color of your skin tell me anything useful about your personality?  Whether you are nice or mean? Smart or dumb?
  7. Your religious beliefs. Do you worship Allah? Or Yahweh? Or Jesus? Or the Buddha? Or nothing? Or Vishnu? Or the “Almighty Dollar”? As long as you don’t try to make others  worship what you worship, why should I  care?
  8. What bathroom you use. Do you use the men’s room? The women’s room? The handicapped room? What does it matter to me? As long as you use SOME bathroom,  please.  Just flush.
  9. What you do with your own adult body. Pierce it? Paint it? Tatoo it?  Fatten it up? Run it down? Starve it? Share it with the community? Keep it to yourself? Make babies with it? Don’t make babies with it? End it? It’s your body. It is the only one you are likely to ever have. It should belong to you and you alone. Treat it well. But it’s up to you.

So, I don’t bother caring about things that belong to you and you alone. I have plenty of my own things to care about.  Will my next batch of beer turn out ok? Can I finally get my golf score down to bogey golf?  Will I have to cut the lawn this week? Will Betsy find out where I hid the Hershey kisses? I have enough on my plate. Don’t need to care about everyone else’s personal issues.

And I certainly don’t want to make LAWS about them.

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Filed under government, Politics, Society, US

Thank You , Georgia,I’m Sorry

Having returned from a short trip to the south, including a visit to Savannah,  Georgia, I have to thank these southerners for their hospitality. We had a nice time in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. So, thanks. But today I saw a news article that causes me to thank Georgia politicians even more and tell the people of Georgia that I am sorry.

It seems as though Georgia’s legislature has decided to pass two laws regarding access to health care in the state. While I thank them for one of these laws, I am not sure about the second one.

First, a law which refuses to accept billions of federal  dollars to fund Medicaid for Georgia’s poor, especially the working poor. While the feds are giving states 100% of the costs of Medicaid this year and 90 % in the future, the politicians of Georgia have generously decided not to accept that windfall. And I thank them. Why ?

Well,  since the people of Georgia are paying taxes into the Medicare/Medicaid system they are helping support people in other states, like New York,  and getting nothing in return. This means that over the long haul more money will be available for participating states, at the expense of Georgia’s citizens. Thank you, once again. Very generous of you.

A second law is a bit more curious. Georgia, after all, prides itself on embracing  those freedoms we all hold so dear. Free  press. Freedom of religion. Free speech. Freedom of association. Which makes the next law a bit curious. This law prevents Georgia citizens from helping other Georgia citizens. It prevents them from helping others enroll in the ACA.

In other words, if a Georgia citizen FREELY desires to enroll in the ACA it is illegal for others to assist him or her.It is illegal for others to try to make that enrollment process easier. To give them needed assistance. It is the ultimate “anti-Samaritan” law. Seems kind of odd in a state where the word “freedom” is thrown around like a frisbee on a college campus. And belief in god is spouted even more often. But, so be it.

What are the ramifications of these laws ? Well, for one, the people of Georgia will miss out on billions of federal dollars in aid. The estimated 70,000 plus jobs based on the increase in health care availability (most in the private sector ) will not be created. Those Georgians without health insurance will continue to either get sick and not go to school or work, hurting the economy, or seek treatment at Emergency Rooms in hospitals. The most expensive treatment. Costing Georgia’s citizens even more money with increased health insurance premiums.

And , quite likely, the better health care professionals will seek employment in states with a more supportive attitude towards the medical needs of people.

All of this because a handful of elected officials hate Mr Obama. There is an old saying which applies: Cutting off your nose to spite your face.

So,  thank you Georgia for your hospitality and for helping pay for my state’s Medicaid coverage. And, I am sorry Georgians.  Sorry that you have to live in a state run by people with such hatred towards Mr Obama that they will allow you and your children to suffer. It is quite a dichotomy. Such nice folks. Such nasty politicians.

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Filed under healthcare, Politics