Saturday, October 03, 2009

Late Night Buffet

Over the week I started a half dozen posts or saved links about stuff I thought I'd get to later, but it never happened. It's not actually going to happen now either—it's too late and I'm tired—but I'll toss 'em out there in snack size...

MASSACHUSETTS CHANGING THE LAW TO APPOINT A SENATOR
At first glance, I thought this was horseshit, and that the Dems should lie in the bed they constructed when the wanted to deny then-Gov. Romney the same power if Kerry became President. But the more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that these lawmakers are ostensibly working towards the desires of the electorate—who deserve full representation, and the representation they want. If the legislature were acting against the popular will, they would be punished in the next election.

The fact that Kennedy's life's work might hang in the balance—and that his opponents quite probably stalled the vote hoping he would die before getting to cast it, was all I needed to cross over. That Massachusetts would be shorted his vote between now and January is too cruel an irony.

The new law is better than the old one anyway.

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TEXAS IS ANOTHER PLANET
That the Governor of a state could so blatantly and obviously obstruct justice and cover his ass for the execution of an innocent manand probably be rewarded for it by voters is fucking absurd or insane. Or both.

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THE FALL OF ROMAN
Roman Polanski deserves worse punishment than he is ever going to get, and the fucking clueless, insular assholes in Hollywood defending him and calling for his release need to get a fucking clue. Exhibit A: Whoopi Goldberg, with perhaps the stupidest legal opinion of all time, "It wasn't RAPE rape."

Yes, it sure as hell was.

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CRASH TEST DUMMIES
This is pretty cool. GM did a crash test pitting a 2010 Malibu against a 1959 Bel Aire. The results are pretty crazy. I was just thinking about the safety of big old cars on the way to work the other day... [via Jalopnik]

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THE ICE IN HELL IS SAFE FOR SKATING
I registered as a commenter at Little Green Footballs. The current right-wing meltdown has Charles Johnson undergoing an enlightenment eerily reminiscent of John Cole, circa-Terri Schiavo. That was must-see tv, and this may be as well.

LINKS:
The Moustache of Understanding has an ominous column about the direction of right-wing hysteria.

President Obama hates your Blackberry.

The Stupid Police Work of the Week Award: Vermillion County, Indiana

Middleville, Michigan wants a piece of that award too...

14 comments:

steves said...

I was pondering a couple of topics for a blog entry and I log on and find three of them on your blog. Damn, you are good.

That Mass. law was stupid, but I agree that it is even more stupid to deny the state representation. There is too much shit that needs to get done.

If the legislature were acting against the popular will, they would be punished in the next election.

I always tell myself this one too, but many voters seem to have a short memory.

That article on Texas is just another in a long line of arguments against the death penalty. I may be more comfortable with the death penalty if it was 100% sure that the person being executed did it, but since that is near impossible, it needs to be banned.

I have never understood people's willingness to give Polanski a pass. I had never even heard about the rape until about 3 or 4 years ago and wondered why this guy was never punished. Fuck him and all the douchebags that want to defend him and give him a pass because of the movies he made.

I saw the Indiana prosecutor on an interview and she said that the law is the law and she didn't know of any prosecutor that wouldn't have gone after her. BS. Prosecutors (and police) have discretion and she could have dropped it. I hope the voters turn her out.

Mr Furious said...

Agree 100% down the line.

Mass -- In both cases, the Mass legislature acted within the law, but in a purely partisan manner. It could be argued that Romney—who wasn't running for reelection—would have installed a Senator that did NOT reflect the will of the state however, and at that time that person would have served Kerry's remaining term. I believe the interim now is to fill the gap between now and a special election, that will happen quite quickly—and the interim person cannot run for the seat. That's a pretty decent solution.

The Polanski thing had me a t a pretty steady boil throughout the week. I made some pretty good comments in other threads that I should bring over here...

The cops, prosecutors and DHS people in those two cases should get a fucking grip or be canned. I have no patience for that kind of professional stupidity. As if Michigan has the resouces to be wasting on THAT shit...

steves said...

I am interested in your comments regarding Polanski. I don't understand the people that are giving him a pass. Most people across the spectrum seem to think he deserves to be punished. Why is Hollywood rallying to his defense? I understand that parts of his life have been really shitty, but if oyu look at the lives of vast majority of people that have committed crimes, you will find some equally shitty circumstances. Assholes.

I have worked with various DHS people over the years. Some have been really good, but others have been idiots and incapable of any kind of rational thought. I suppose it would be different if a person was being paid to watch a bunch of kids over a long period of time, but this person was just watching a few for free for a short period of time. That is just being a decent neighbor.

Mr Furious said...

Steves, here's a couple comments:

@Balloon Juice:
"Because it’s very, very rare to have a one-time molester. Polanski fled the country and immediately moved in with a 15-year-old girl. He has said many times that he prefers underage girls. It’s not like it was a one-time anomaly for him to decide to have sex with a very young girl.

[my response to the above comment]
Precisely.

Polanski’s defender/rationalizers now like to pretend this was some kind of one-off drug-induced night of debauchery and a mistake or anomaly. That Polanski would like to have that one back.

Polanski’s own statements and actions belie that. He was unrepentant about his actions years later in front of a fucking tv camera [interview w/Mike Wallace]. He thought he was safe from U.S. justice and had no qualms letting people know what an entitled asshole he was.

He messed with an underage Natassia Kinsky, hid out in a country with a pre-teen age of consent and might have done this many, many times. Who knows? I know where my money’d be, however.

His films are filled with sexual issues and no shortage of rape and sexual abuse and humiliation—often at the hands of older male protagonists and young girls.

Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a guy with problems at all to me….



On Facebook:
I can have a moment of understanding for his decision to flee considering the judge’s signals that the plea deal was off, but I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for him. He got off too lightly at the time, and deserves to answer for fleeing the country. His supporters cry that a harsh penalty now would “be a life sentence”—that's his fucking problem—he the one who went on the lam for 30 years, and got old.

The original judge is dead, the victim doesn’t want him prosecuted further—and she is certainly capable of making that decision in her 40s—then the original plea deal should probably stand, and he should be punished for escaping the country.

As for the petitioners in Hollywood defending this P.O.S., they need to get a fucking grip and look at what they are defending. The guy raped a little girl. He was able to continue his “contribution to the arts” for decades relatively unencumbered.

I, for one, can live just fine with one less "brilliant filmmaker" working.

Mr Furious said...

The smoking Gun has the plea agreement. It's actually pretty interesting reading, from a purely legal education angle. Only takes a few minutes.

And it is perfectly clear that Polanski understood exactly what his plea entailed and that he was at the mercy of the judge. And that the judge was not bound by the agreement

The agreement stated NOTHING about his sentence. He pleaded guilty to "Unlawful Sexual Intercourse" in order to have the serious rape- and age-related charges dropped.

He was to be evaluated and then sentenced. There was no promise he would escape imprisonment—so the excuse that the judge was "renegging" on a plea bargain is horseshit

Mr Furious said...

Smoking Gun link.

Bob said...

"At first glance, I thought this was horseshit, and that the Dems should lie in the bed they constructed when the wanted to deny then-Gov. Romney the same power if Kerry became President."

If Mass. changed the law when Romney was Governor, then Romney signed the bill. No? Seems that people forget that whole how a bill becomes a law stuff.

"I have worked with various DHS people over the years. Some have been really good, but others have been idiots and incapable of any kind of rational thought."

DHS was just following the law as it is currently written. They sent here a letter asking her to stop. Big deal. Get over it. The legislators making hay of this just need to tweak the law and get over themselves. If this woman harmed a child they would be ripping into DHS for not doing their job.

steves said...

His conduct was reprehensible. If he were not famous and from a lower income bracket, I doubt he would get any kind of support at all. Is Hollywood that out of touch? I have only seen a few isolated comments from the industry and none from high profile folks.

Anyway, excellent take on the subject.

steves said...

Bob, they have discretion. They turn down hundreds of possible cases every day. Only a very stretched reading of the current law would allow a reasonable person to believe she was operating an unlicensed day care center.

The key fact here is that she wasn't abusing any children, nor was their any reason to believe that she would. With how thin they are stretched, they should be concentrating on real abuse and neglect. It is stuff like this that serves to harm their reputation.

Mr Furious said...

Bob, did you check out those crash photos?

Mr Furious said...

I'm with steves. Discretion was required. There is no exchange of money or anything, it's little more than a playdate. If the letter is a required formality due to a report, fine. But it should be handled thusly, "Oh, I see ma'am, you are watching the next door neighbors kids while they wait for the bus? Very good." Return to the office, write down "No Daycare Operation." and stamp the case closed.

Then maybe work on something useful.

Bob said...

"Bob, did you check out those crash photos?"

Yes. That test was actually performed by the Institute for Highway Safety. It was one of the more horrific things I have seen on video: The death of an awesome 1959 Bel Air. That should be illegal.

Seriously, I was a little shocked by how bad that old car crumbled. I knew old cars were death traps, having no side impact beams, a steering column that would shoot through a person like a jousting saber, and rear seats that were mounted to the top of the gas tank.

Still the results were still shocking. It explains why a car like the 2009 Malibu weighs over 3000 lbs. New cars aren’t light, but they are safe. I expected much more damage to the Malibu passenger compartment as a result of being hit by that beast of a Bel Air.

Now the real test, a modern, safe 2009 Suburban crashed into a 2009 Malibu. My money is on the occupants of the Suburban to “win”.

Bob said...

While I share the "The Moustache of Understanding's" fears, I cannot take that guy seriously. He is one major douche.

Smitty said...

Prosecutors (and police) have discretion and she could have dropped it. I hope the voters turn her out.

I'm with Steve. Any Prosecutor can decide to drop charges, especially when it's clear that she is just buying cold medicine. I can understand wanting to highlight the need for clarification and changes in a law, but not on the back of grandma.

And since what needs to be said has been said, I'll just add: fuck that fucking child molester.