Random thoughts of the day

♣ – With the paranoia about police not being able to do their jobs if they do not have a way past smartphone encryption, I have to ask: How did police do their job ten years ago, before the modern smartphone market existed?

♣ – I said a year ago that if Barack Obama’s justice department files charges against George Zimmerman, Obama should be impeached. If we take our liberty, our Constitutional rights and the rule of law seriously, Congress must begin impeachment proceedings in the event such charges are filed.

♣ – Here is an excellent article at Reason.com about “stranger danger.” The reality is that crime statistics just do not justify this level of paranoia that produces so many false alarms. We should be careful and take reasonable precautions to protect children, but we should not be living in terror.

♣ – Mandatory minimum sentences are an outgrowth of our paranoia about crime and drugs, and have done more harm than good. It is time for them to be abolished. We should trust judges to judge.

♣ – Is there anyone so deluded as to believe Greg Orman, the “independent” U.S. Senate candidate in Kansas, will not caucus with the Democrats if he is elected? Otherwise, why would the Democratic candidate drop out?

♣ – Yes, internet trolls exist. This is not a surprise. Trolls who actually make a false police report because they are angry about “open carry” should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. But a few internet trolls ranting on Facebook and Twitter is hardly cause for alarm.

♣ – One can support law enforcement while also condemning excessive force, opposing overly intrusive police tactics and defending civil liberties. That is not an either/or proposition.

5 thoughts on “Random thoughts of the day

  1. “I said a year ago that if Barack Obama's justice department files charges against George Zimmerman, Obama should be impeached. If we take our liberty, our Constitutional rights and the rule of law seriously, Congress must begin impeachment proceedings in the event such charges are filed.”

    You clearly have no case, based on SCOTUS rulings from the mid-1960s onward that charges of civil rights violations may be filed–and subsequent convictions upheld–despite prior acquittals in state courts on charges of murder or other state crimes. Multiple trials sent homicidal Klansmen to prison between 1965 and 1967, with all appeals rejected. Why should trigger-happy racist goon Zimmerman be any different? I mean, aside from your admiration of Zimmerman and prior claims that he was the “victim”?

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  2. “Yes, internet trolls exist. This is not a surprise. Trolls who actually make a false police report because they are angry about “open carry” should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

    “Trolls” cannot file police reports, false or otherwise, on the Internet. You're fretting over a mythical menace. On the other hand, every citizen should be concerned about slack-jawed idiots carrying military-style rifles in public venues, particularly those who make it clear through comments, tweets, etc., that their intent is to cow and intimidate others. As for those who march around schools or invade minority neighborhoods chanting “You can't stop me,” I'd welcome their detention for psychiatric evaluation any day of the week. They're nothing more than domestic terrorists working up nerve to pull the trigger.

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  3. P.S. to the latter comment: “gun rights activists” should remember that Saint Ronald Reagan was the first US governor to sign a law banning open carry of loaded weapons in 1967, after a group of law-abiding armed Black Panthers made him wet himself outside the capitol in Sacramento. They were deemed “terrorists”; today their white counterparts have somehow become “patriotic heroes”–at least in racist Republican eyes.

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  4. The text of the Fifth Amendment clearly states “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

    There is no exception for serial prosecutions by multiple layers of government. The text is clear: Charging Zimmerman again is illegal.

    And, given his history – including mentoring black youth and publicly berating the police after a police officer's son beat a black homeless man – it is absurd to call Zimmerman a racist.

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  5. “Trolls” cannot file police reports, false or otherwise, on the Internet.

    Yes, but they can use a cell phone to dial 911 and file a false report.

    We saw this with the young man shot to death by police in an Ohio Wal-Mart a while back, after a fellow shopper hysterically exaggerated what the young man was doing with the BB gun he was carrying after picking it up off the shelf.

    And if you read that bullet point (no pun intended) I was downplaying the “threat” presented by an overly exited opinion columnist.

    The vast majority of these trolls aren't going to call the police. They're simply ranting.

    And if they do (especially after posting about it on Facebook) there will be a electronic “paper trail” that can be used to prosecute them.

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