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Friday Open Thread

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    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Sami Al-Arian may be deported.
    Al-Arian, 47, remains in jail, where he has been since his 2003 indictment, while prosecutors decide whether to retry him on the deadlocked charges. Officials said there is no timetable for a decision. "That's something we're currently evaluating whether a retrial is appropriate," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Thursday in Washington. "These are very, very difficult cases, and obviously we're disappointed in what happened in Tampa. We believed this was a good case to bring."
    I think they are just going to deport him and not have a retrial on the deadlocked charges. The Justice Department has already lost some credibility in this case. Another loss would be bad and I don't think the Justice Department can afford any more bad press. But who knows what Gonzales will do...

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#2)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    I was wondering how long it would take for the parties in the case on which I was a juror for four weeks would start spinning it in the media. Turns out, not long.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Rawstory today has a link to a story about a 15 year old lesbian girl in Georgia sueing the private school she attends because the school expelled her for kissing a girl friend at a private residence outside the school:
    The suit filed in Gwinnett Superior Court last Friday also claims the school invaded Jessica's privacy by airing details of her personal life and outing her to the community, even though her conduct was "private, protected behavior..." "The school is trying to make a contract out of Biblical beliefs," said David Clark, the Bradleys' attorney. "It will come down to the court deciding if same-sex kissing is immoral." The suit claims that Jessica was expelled after school officials questioned her and other students about her kissing a girl at a sleepover and her relationship with another female student "off-campus and in private."
    Since when does any school, private or public, figure that it has any right, moral or otherwise, to stick it's nose into a students private life?

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Hard to believe edger, hard to believe. If you didn't say Georgia, I would have guessed the school was in Saudi Arabia or somewhere similar. Certainly not the land of the free.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Picking on 15 year old girls does not endear me much to christian fundamentalists. Jeeze, how insecure can you get? Next they'll want to tie her to a post in the middle of a stadium and shoot her in the head, or something...

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Since when does any school, private or public, figure that it has any right, moral or otherwise, to stick it's nose into a students private life?
    Very good question edger. Here is another instance of a school sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. However, it cost them $90,000. More tax revenue down the drain because of someone's knee jerk reaction.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#7)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    edger: Or they could just brand her forehead with a gigantic 'L.' everyone: Among other things, it occurs to me that this case in Georgia exposes this whole stinkin' voucher business for what it is. Can't make public schools bow to bigoted ideological pressures? Can't stop those pesky teachers from demanding a living wage? Easy. Just gut the Dept. of Ed altogether (you'll get lots of help from the libertarian crowd on this), privatizing education altogether. Perhaps then Falwell High will be cheaper than the more "progressive" Dr. Pepper High. Kids at Falwell High get the GA treatment, en masse.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    macromaniac, What I'll never get is how anyone, fundamendalist muslims, christians, homophobes, or just plain mentally and emotionally ingrown stunted terminally insecure and terrified of the world whiners, figure they should somehow be empowered to try to penalize others for any transgressions of their twisted and fear induced codes of ethics(?). Jeezus, these people pi** me off sometimes...

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    Or they could just brand her forehead with a gigantic 'L.' No kidding, Glanton. They probably would if they thought they could get away with it. And they are supposed to be an educational institution? "Let's take away her education - that'll teach her!. Christ!

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    This school's fundies should be happy...this is one girl they don't have to worry about getting pregnant!

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    kdog, True, but the school administration and management is her first experience with abortions.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#12)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    As far as these religious extremists go, if you lick 'em you can't join 'em;-) BTW, in light of TL's (fractured) quote:
    I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost


    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#13)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    So, Cory Maye. This is another death sentence case that's getting heavy blog play. But not, from what I can tell, among left-leaning blogs. I regurgitate, with some facts still in dispute: Mississipi cops conducted a no-knock search. They mistakenly busted in to the wrong half of a duplex without announcing themselves (i.e. not just "no knock", but "no bodying said 'police'"). The resident woke up and shot and killed one of the cops. He was sentenced to death. I post partly to whine about the injustice, partly to wonder why left-leaning blogs aren't whining alongside the likes of Instapundit and The Agitator?

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Bush, the best friend bin laden has, end of story.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    roy, Never heard of this before now, but if it rally happened the way you describe, it sounds like pretty much straight out self defence by the resident. Any idea whether he "knew" he was shooting an on the job cop ?

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    "Cory Maye—black, age 21 Sentenced to death in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi By: A jury Date of crime: 12/26/01 Prosecution’s case/defense response: Police burst into Maye’s apartment yelling, “Police!” during a drug raid. Maye was in his bedroom. When police officer Ron Jones came through the doorway, Maye shot him in the abdomen just below his bulletproof vest. Jones died. The victim was the son of the police chief of the town of Prentiss. The defense attempted to prove that Maye did not know the persons breaking in were police officers, and that he was trying to protect his infant son, who was in the bedroom with him. In mitigation the defense pointed out Maye’s relative youth at the time of the shooting (21) and his lack of a prior criminal record. Prosecutor(s): Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald IV, Doug Miller Defense lawyer(s): Rhonda Cooper Sources: Sun Herald (Biloxi) 12/28/01, 12/30/01; Clarion-Ledger (Jackson) 2/22/02; Telephone call with prosecutor Miller 9/27/04" So it all (should) come down to whether the cops did or did not announce themselves when they broke the door down. He said, she said. There are some claims from other articles that, on a personal level, the jury didn't like the defense attny nor the defendant and that's why he was convicted. He was sentanced less than a year ago, let the appeals process begin.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Answered my own question, roy, reading Agitator. Pretty likely he did not know, though there seems to be a bit of dispute. Even so, when you read the whole story it's fairly obvious it was self defence, though I am no lawyer. Southern town... black man kills cop... the white son of the local police chief: "He's later convicted and sentenced to death by a white jury. The man has no criminal record, and police rather tellingly changed their story about drugs (rather, traces of drugs) in his possession at the time of the raid. The story gets more bizarre from there. Maye's attorney tells me that after the trial, she spoke with two jurors by phone. She learned from them that the consensus among jurors was that Maye was convicted for two reasons. The first is that though they initially liked her, Maye's lawyer, the jury soured on her when, in her closing arguments, she intimated that if the jury showed no mercy for Maye, God might neglect to bestow mercy on them when they meet him in heaven. They said the second reason May was convicted was that the jury felt he'd been spoiled by his mother and grandmother, and wasn't very respectful of elders and authority figures. The facts of the case barely entered the picture. Gotta' love the South." Jeezuz...

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#18)
    by SeeEmDee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Why is anyone expressing such shock - shock, I tell you! - that a school board would do as they done to this 15 year old girl? Surely you haven't forgotten school boards already violate kid's privacy with random drug testing...while, of course, being blissfully free of such testing themselves. Fear for your futures when a generation has been taught by their elders and parents that rights are fictions to be denied at a whim of authority; someday you may be at the mercy of one so 'educated'. As in deciding if you get life-saving medical treatment in a future in which 'rationing' of medical care is a possibility thanks to the finacial catastrophe this country is sliding towards. A generation that has been taught that cries against violating civil rights are the impotent mewlings of the weak may someday apply that lesson to the generation that introduced them to that idea.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    As an aside, any time you're in the south and the atty prosecuting your case is known as "Buddy," I think you damn well better be worried...

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#20)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    The note about the police claiming to have announced themselves went up after I read the article. Good for Balko being thorough, bad for me not checking for updates. But it seems fishy that they would announce themselves if they thought they were coming through a 2nd entrance of an apartment in which they'd already announced themselves. Which had to be their reasoning, since they didn't have a warrant for Maye's address. More generally, I've been wondering recently about home owners' obligation to take intruders' word as to being cops. Here in Texas, if somebody breaks in to my apartment waving a gun around, I can shoot him. If he's waving a gun around and shouting the magic word "police", and he really is a cop, I'll fry if I shoot him. Seems weird that so much hinges on the honesty of the guy who busted in.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Some info from a blogger is here Did the the fact that the cop that was killed is the son of the police chief have anything to do with the conviction? I'm very surprised this is the first I've heard of this case.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Oops...you are too quick edger.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Well presented extrapolation, SeeEmDee.
    rights are fictions to be denied at a whim of authority; someday you may be at the mercy of one so 'educated'
    Heads up, PNAC & BushCo apologists... "Teach your children well" --Graham Nash

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#24)
    by Slado on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Can we stop with all the South bashing? Every third or so blog I read a southern racist, or dumb redneck remark and it's usually misplaced bigotry. I'll remind you that LBJ, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Al freakin Gore are all Southern Boys and as ridiculously left as anyone could hope to be. There are more then enough rednecks in VT, ME and Iowa etc... to make up for us in the South. I thought this was a progressive, pc, understanding website or does that only apply when you're bashing Bush, our military, the police or prosecuters? I'm done venting. Have a good weekend.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#25)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Re: my 2:58 post, I should clarify that the cop Mayes shot was not "waving a gun around", he was unarmed. Frankly, I'd have shot him even so.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#26)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Roy, obviously Tookie Williams is on a bit of a deadline, so to speak, so it's obvious why he's getting some heavy coverage right now. But I think TalkLeft would agree that all death penalty cases deserve some coverage, especially when the circumstances are particularly outrageous--specifically when there is evidence of serious prosecutorial misconduct, as there was in the Williams case.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    roy, if I read that story right, the copy was unarmed, and Mayes shot him when he unexpectedly jumped into the doorway of Mayes bedroom where he was sleeping, after breaking the front door down. And Mayes 18 month old daughter was asleep in the same bedroom.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    correction: "the cop was unarmed"

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#29)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Re: my 2:58 post, I should clarify that the cop Mayes shot was not "waving a gun around", he was unarmed.
    He was unarmed serving a warrant??? What an idiot.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Patrick, he was invited along for the ride by the squad executed a drug search warrant on the guy who lived next door in the same duplex. They went to the wrong door of the duplex, and broke it down. It's all in the post on Agitator (link above)

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#31)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Patrick,
    He was unarmed serving a warrant??? What an idiot.
    At least he was wearning armor; too bad it didn't cover enough. Maybe you can comment on the speculation I regurgitated above. If some of the cops had already busted in and announced themselves going through one entrance, would those [thinking they were] going in through a second exit bother to announce themselves? (either way, leaving the tricky question of whether Mayes was awake the hear it) MD, I'm not reading anything sinister into the left-wing blogs' silence, I just wonder about the interactions between the left and right hemispheres of the giant American political blog-brain.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#32)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    "in through a second exit" should probably be "in through a second entrance" My posts are now 40% corrections.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#33)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Roy, I've served more than a hundred warrants but never a no-nock warrant, but even if I had bothered to get that exemption, the purpose is only for a speedy entry. Once someone knows you're there, you want them to know who you are. I personally identify myself repeatedly until the location is secure and certainly before breaching any closed door. But I cannot speak to the practices of other states, even though that is my training and experience in California. I highly doubt a cop was serving a warrant, wearing body armor and was not armed. If that is the case, that act in and of itself, shows me their training is significantly different than mine. What state did this occur in?

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#34)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    I think the use of no knock warrants is a really bad idea 99% of the time. They get citizens killed, they get cops killed. Is the possibility of some dope getting flushed down the toilet really worth risking the life of all involved? It's just a bag of dope.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Glanton – Re the school… As you said about the Schiavo case, I deplore their actions, and if I had a kid in the school I would jerk them out faster than you can say “stupid.” But, if it is a private school, I’m not sure if there are grounds for a successful tort. (Didn’t know I knew those big words, did ya? ) ;-) Et al – On CNN today they had a story about a company that requires their employees to not smoke…anywhere. They have random urine and breath analysis and fire offenders. Starting next year spouses who smoke will be penalized $1000 a year in increased insurance costs. So we have gone from “Lucky Strike Green has gone to war,” to Lucky Strike will get you fired! And you tell me the PC folks haven’t gone over the edge?? SeeEmDee - It was a private school. So there may be a board of governors, but no school board as in the public system.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#36)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Jim: Faulkner once said of Hemingway, "he never sent anyone to the dictionary." Hemingway retorted with something like "Faulkner never met a word he didn't like." Both were meant as insults, but both took them as compliments. As for you, I, and the rest of us mortals, let us strive to be somewhere in the middle. Re the private schhol's autonomy: yes, absolutely. As far as I know they can do what they want so long as they honor their contract. But if you read my post, you know that this is precisely why I am strongly against some all-governing voucher system. It would be unconscionable for such a stick-up-the-rectum, mamby-pamby school as this one in GA to become the norm, and public schools to go the way of the do-do. Yet this seems to be the goal of those for whom you, Jim, consistently vote.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#37)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Jim, Regarding companies requiring their employees not to smoke, which by the way I don't agree with... How much of this is PC and how much is it the insurance industry?

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    mac - And what difference does it make? I see no one standing up and saying, BS. BTW - I don't smoke and think nicotine is the worst drug available on the market today. And that is an informed observation made after watching two people die with the big E and one with the big L C. Glanton - Actually, you have no idea who I have voted for. I'm a little shaky over vouchers, but then I consider what is happening in inner city schools and go back to my belief that we need to tear down the system and start over. Problem is, a child is only "x" years old for "y" amount of time. There are no second chances if the school is bad. But vouchers offers a much faster recycle time.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Jim, I am saying BS. I don't like this anymore than you do but you can't blame PC for this. This is a result of the insurance industry jacking up health insurance premiums for people who smoke. Link from CBS News.
    What it is really about is money. ‘Big Business’ is increasingly nosing into your business, trying to cut the costs of their business. And the easiest targets are smokers. Really obese people, whose healthcare is among the costliest, are protected by federal law. But thousands of companies and countless municipal governments and police departments refuse to hire smokers, and some require affidavits, and even use lie detector tests to enforce the policy.


    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#40)
    by wg on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:50 PM EST
    Hard to think of any Nobel Lecture approaching Harold Pinter's. Video and transcript here . Skip to min 24, (he talks mostly about Nicaragua first), magnificent language and delivery especially for the man in late stages of throat cancer. This is not your usual monotone, barely bearable Chomsky, this is a speech that will reverberate in European conscience for decades to come. To our detriment. You should be aware of it.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    mac - Yes, insurance costs are going up for employers. But I saw the interview and the guy never said a word of complaint. His whole thrust was he wanted people to be more productive and that to do so they shouldn't smoke, etc. He noted that next year spouses who smoked would pay a penalty of $1000 in insurance costs. If we could limit this to nicotine use I'd be cheering it on, but it won't be. I think we all know that. And the next step will be what you can read... don't want to raise your blood pressure with unapproved thoughts... listen to ... R&R damages the ears...can't go hunting because you might shoot yourself...etc., etc.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#42)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    The next step (as soon as the technology is available) will be to run genetic tests which predict your likelihood to get cancer, heart disease, etc. Of course this is all about the bottom line. Since that is all that matters in the United States of Corporations.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    If we could limit this to nicotine use I'd be cheering it on, but it won't be. I think we all know that. And the next step will be what you can read... don't want to raise your blood pressure with unapproved thoughts... listen to ... R&R damages the ears...can't go hunting because you might shoot yourself...etc., etc.
    I think we agree (GASP!) that this is a slippery slope.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    I long for the good old days when the only requirement for getting a job was the ability to do the work. Nowadays employers want urine, they want hair, they want blood, the want to know if you were arrested for DUI 20 years ago, they want to know what you do on your own time. It seems your ability to accomplish the tasks of the position is way down the checklist. Regarding smoking...like I tell my boss, due to the stimulating effects of nicotine, smokers accomplish in 55 min. what it takes non-smokers an hour to accomplish.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#45)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    kdog, I know how you feel. I've long since stopped answering those kinds of questions, instead just walking away from or not applying to anyone who would ask them in a job application or interview. Now when I look for work I look for orgs who are simply looking for expertise in areas I am skilled at, that can provide a framework in which I can make a good living, and I "hire" one of them...

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#46)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    Patrick, He was unarmed serving a warrant??? What an idiot. Yeah that was foolish. And VERY hard to believe. Yet, any home invader with working vocal cords can yell "Police!" That's not necessarily going to protect you, as a law officer, physically, even if it does legally. Just food for thought before your next raid.

    Re: Friday Open Thread (none / 0) (#47)
    by Patrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:52 PM EST
    Is the possibility of some dope getting flushed down the toilet really worth risking the life of all involved? It's just a bag of dope.
    Kdog, No, it is not worth it. I agree wholeheartedly. Che, Yes that is true, but the reasons are for more than just protection from bodily injury. Unless someone wants to kill a cop, they are going to hear the verbal warning and at least think twice. Second, it reduces liability if you end up shooting someone. When the civil attorney asks if you identified yourself, you can unequivocally say yes. Also it clears up legal questions like this one in a trial. I personally give the exact same knock and announcement with every entry, and use the exact same phrase during every entry.