We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, June 4. 2013
Pic: The stove in a friend's cabin in Vermont
Welcome to the club!
Everything you thought you knew about the risks of nuclear energy is wrong
Spain wisely eliminates minimum wage
The Decline of the Obama Presidency - His second term is coming undone not because of scandal but because of decisions made in the previous four years.
Al Sharpton’s Long Bill of Goods, From Tawana Brawley to Primetime
Michael Barone: Tragedy of Detroit shows 'Big Unit' America is out of gas
Obamacare To Double Cost Of Insurance For Average Californian
Princeton University Declares Gun Violence ‘Public Health Epidemic’
Abolish Corporate Income Tax!
Average US household far from regaining its
Treasury IG Compares IRS Scandal to Nixon Only Worse – “This Is Unprecedented”
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Certainly most college majors whose names are "* Studies" are generally crap.
Hypocrisy is a level deeper than simple lying --call it 'complex' lying. Because of the adjective, a 'complete' hypocrisy would then have to be a complex lie on a deeper level, i.e. a lie by truth, that is, the truth told in such a way that it won't be believed.
Here's a perfect 1:23 example. The general expects hypocrisy, and hence carefully goes a level deeper, and thus uncovers the complex hypocrisy.
However, the mule skinner secretly wants to be exposed as a complex hypocrite --what he's exhibiting is 'complete' hypocrisy.
That would be called "disinformation" wouldn't it?
--good point --another distinction. Damn taxonomy, it just keeps propagating!
What My Father Taught Me: Mike Rowe
One of the most charming, engaging and unpretentious people I've ever met. He was a guest speaker (in relation to his voice over role in "Deadliest Catch") at the Saltwater Expo in RI a few years back. I picked him up at TFG and spent about a half hour with him one-on-one.
about the risks of nuclear energy is wrong
Except for the fact that every time they install one of the new "modular" nuke units, my electric bill goes up instead of down and its usually $40/yr.
The Decline of the Obama Presidency
It never ascended beyond the pits of partisan crony politics so beloved in cities like Boston and Chicago. How could it possibly "decline"?
The DNA swab offers another example --what seems like a police state intrusion will actually act to prevent wrongful convictions. The segment which at first glance seems to be the victims of a police state tactic, at second glance turns out to be the guilty losing one of its advantages.
Yeah, but the problem is what happens to the data after its collected? Is the innocent or non-related individual's DNA sample destroyed and all records eliminated?
The real issue isn't the collection and archiving of DNA. It is the accuracy of the DNA tests. DNA sampling relies on only 9 markers for a direct match. Recent research has proven that it is entirely possible and well within the margin for statistical error for two people to have 8 of the nine markers be identical. In fact, researchers using the Arizona Penitentiary system as the investigative pool, found that 60% of the inmates had a cross match of 50% and they found one pair of inmates who were an exact match over the 9 markers normally used - one inmate was black, the other white.
The larger point is the collection of DNA. If I'm a suspect in a crime that I didn't commit or was anywhere near or had no direct or indirect knowledge of and a DNA sample is taken, should the FBI and local police be allowed to keep that sample on file?
I don't know what the answer is but Scalia was right.
Scalia argued that the primary purpose of the DNA swab is to find evidence of other criminal wrongdoing, which he compared to officers showing up at a house without probable cause or a warrant and rummaging around. Scalia wrote that body searches at the time of an arrest are valid because police are looking for evidence relevant to the crime that a person is suspected of committing. DNA sampling takes that a step further by attempting to find evidence of other wrongdoing that is not related to the crime the person has been arrested for, Scalia argued.
What do you mean should? Should doesn't matter, they will keep the samples on file. Just like many states have kept the gun purchase id check data that by law was to be deleted.
In any case, Alabama is already showing the way. They are instituting a program to do a DNA search of state records after every birth to a girl younger than 16 to try to locate the father.
Good thing Obama's FDA has issued orders that 12 yr olds and above are to get the morning after pill on demand, otherwise these older man/young girl romances would be in real trouble.
I don't advocate older men dating middle schoolers but with this we see, soon they will routinely do these searches for library fines. And we shouldn't forget, anyone can be arrested just about any time. You might beat the rap but you can't beat the ride.
I understand, but the question still remains - should be FBI or States for that matter keep DNA on file "just in case"?
That is the crux of the argument and Scalia's point (somebody who I don't agree with most of the time by the way) is the most salient - it's a search for crimes beyond the scope of the original purpose of the investigation - or "just in case" and that is clearly illegal search and seizure.
Well as Scalia says, why not collect DNA at the TSA checkpoints? The TSA has an interest in identifying those who fly. Then later, they can run the DNA through the unsolved crime database to see if there are any hits.
The police have a hard job, shouldn't we make it easier? Besides, it's not like government employees will abuse their office or anything. Trust them, they are vetted government employees. They aren't venal like the rest of us.
Re: Abolish the corporate income tax
If people would think for a second, they would see that 1) they are paying the corporate income tax for the companies they do business with (unless they're clever enough to avoid income taxes like GE and Apple), and 2) all the corporate income tax does is make US companies comparatively less competitive with foreign companies.
Henry Ford wasn't famous for saying (but I wish he was) that he didn't care how much his company's taxes were because he just passed them on to the customer.
Follow the money - it leads to your wallet.
Incorporation provides real benefits to the investors in the corporation, particularly the corporate veil that protects an individual's other assets.
The some financial risk is then shifted to others - bond holders, employees, the public (for warranties, etc)
For the government service of incorporation, a corporation should pay a small tax, say 5%.
I'll agree that the current rates are a distortion and result in a hidden tax on consumers of large corporations (small corporations escape that).
Would you feel that way if shares in the "corporation" were closely held and the corporation was specifically designed by smart tax lawyers to horde untaxed wealth to the exclusive benefit of a small group of corporate owners? Not all corporations are Apples or GEs, whose ownership is widely held by the public (and even in the case of Apple, its enormous excess profits are hoarded instead of distributed in the form of dividends to shareholders as required by a long-standing law). Be careful what you wish for.
Stand by for a gun reference. Just move on the the next comment if you can't stand one. You have been warned!
Benghazi Barry has eyesight problems. The only things he can draw a bead on are his feet. Hits them pretty regularly these days.
A question about Al Sharpton: Is he a better moral guide than Bill Clinton, or not?
Ah, California: The Bill Comes Due!
Princeton on Guns: The collective must overrule the individual.
Wamists: FORCED to drive cars, trucks, take airplane rides to exotic destinations... They have no CHOICE!
Y'all have valid poinbts against DNA swabbibg, but you still have to deal with the fact of hjow many rape convicts who, when able to get a retro testing done on evidence samples, are declared innocent.
Of course if the tyests are faulty, then the whole debate is meaningless, and if the problem is illegal abuse of the records, then that's a political problem solvable by public pressure.
It's worth noting that of all the groups who are against the test, the two most immediate are 1)perps and 2) bad cops, who want the gray area for 1) jury lottery and 2) the power to eliminate enemies of the state extrajudicially for now.
It seems that if tech innovation is inherently dangerous, we should forgo it. But if we turn away from what is dangerous only because of its control personnel --well, that's just what Dr. Andropov ordered.
Buddy, my brother from another mother, you're been had.
Since 1989 there have been 307 DNA exonerations - that's almost a quarter century of DNA usage in criminal cases where it was allowed. The claim of course is that thousand upon thousands have been cleared of suspicion by the use of DNA evidence. What isn't stated is that more than that by a factor of 10 have been cleared WITHOUT the use of DNA evidence.
In fact, since 1989, 198 convicts were released and exonerated by simple detective work. An additional 200 exonerated because of prosecutor misconduct and the list goes on for various reasons including faulty trials, inadequate testimony, blah, blah, blah to a total of over 600 national wide - twice the number of DNA exonerations.
It's not what it is presented to be. Can it be a tool of last resort? Absolutely - I have no problem with that.
As a primary investigative tool, which is what this is really all about, no. The technology can be flawed as demonstrated by the Arizona research and until the time when they can expand the markers to a more reliable sample, it shouldn't be a primary source of evidence.
Tom, i have to admit, that's a pretty comprehensive bill of particulars. In defense, and it's not a defense at all, i sensed that data ignorance doom looming even whilst slipping the ring on its finger. something to with the state and the categorical imperative --when you side with it, you feel like you're standing on ball bearings.
LOL! Yep - that's about the size of it.
There are all kinds of problems with DNA tests from Chimera's (absorbed fraternal twin) to twins to close marker matches between unrelated (or known to be unrelated) individuals to, frankly, the accuracy of the tests.
One thing that bothers me is the purported "infallibility" of DNA comparing them to fingerprints. I happen to know for a fact because I've actually done it (and the information is on line as to how to do it) is change my fingerprints to something completely different. I'd done it, it works, I can break fingerprint security locks that are supposedly unbreakable, etc., etc, .etc. All I need is some simple chemicals found at WalMart, a photocopier, a little bit of Dragonskin or 1.99 false flesh from a costume store and presto - I'm breaking into your facility.
Even retina scans can be fooled and duplicated although that's a little more complex and less foolproof.
All that CSI stuff is BS - good old fashioned shoe leather, a sense of curiosity and common sense make for better police and detective work than all the science in the world.
Justice Scalia kept some strange bedfellows in his dissent.
Smells like turkey bacon when unseemly trysts occur.
Tom raises a interesting objection to validity of DNA swabbin', though.
However, if DNA is dependable identifier, methinks, it no different than fingerprinting and photo identification.
big ''if'', is what his quoted stats say. If so, it would double suck to be falsely convicted using the publicly-perceived 'infallible' test. After that, why bother with a jailhouse defense?
To date US judiciary overwhelmingly support the accuracy of the tests.
Msr. Francis' "Recent research has proven" perhaps, needs a day in court or maybe, it had in Maryland v King and ain't as weighty as he surmises.
After a long career as a Professional Engineer who has testified as an expert witness, I can state unequivocally and without fear of gainsay that Judges and Juries are not the best measure of intelligent and knowledgeable scientific discourse. Most do not have adequate training or education to understand what they are looking at and if they are the least bit curious about an assertion, juries are enjoined from doing even basic research on any given subject having to rely only on what is presented to them. Half the time, they don't understand what they are being asked to evaluate when it comes to science and technology. Even worse, attorney's don't understand a lot of it either - that's why those who do make zillions of dollars playing both sides against the middle - one day they are defending, the next they are prosecuting.
Supremes have in Maryland v King quite clearly acknowledged DNA and yall missed opportunity to appear an expert.
Cited in Certiorari:
The advent of DNA technology is one of the most signifi
cant scientific advancements of our era. The full potential
for use of genetic markers in medicine and science is still
being explored, but the utility of DNA identification in the
criminal justice system is already undisputed. Since the
first use of forensic DNA analysis to catch a rapist and
murderer in England in 1986, see J. Butler, Fundamentals
of Forensic DNA Typing 5 (2009) (hereinafter Butler), law
enforcement, the defense bar, and the courts have
acknowledged DNA testing’s “unparalleled ability both to
exonerate the wrongly convicted and to identify the guilty.
It has the potential to significantly improve both the
criminal justice system and police investigative practices.”
District Attorney’s Office for Third Judicial Dist. v. Osborne, 557 U. S. 52, 55 (2009).
Meself find curious that had Supremes went with the liberals, IDed rapist would be on the street.
Justice Scalia and his girls argued (no duh) 4th is to protect innocent, in addition, and that founders would not have submitted to a royal swab.
Revolutionaries would not have submitted to royal photos nor fingerprints, methinks..
It's more pervasive that just the criminal aspect. At what point does the government decide to take that DNA data and bounce it off of Census data or, now that we have Obamacare, insurance data to define who gets what kind of coverage - who has the potential for a devastating disease so that coverage can be refused.
And don't say that can't happen - it can and it will.
On the one hand you say all studies are crap. Then in another article you quote Forbes saying California insurance premiums may double? Forbes couldn't be crap too, could it? Alex
Re Princton on gun violence.
Don't they realize gun is a noun, not an adjective? Gun violence is an example of the pathetic fallacy which ascribes human behavior to items incapable of it. This subject has been discussed for years. For example see.
Don Kates et al., "Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence or Pandemic of Propaganda," Tennessee Law Review 62 [Spring 1995]: 513-596).
The problem with taxing businesses, corporations or any business, is: 1. They pass on the cost to the consumer. 2. much of what they do to avoid taxes decreases their efficiency and translates to more expensive products to the consumer. 3. It gives the government power the constitution never intended. 4. It puts businesses from higher tax countries/states at a disadvantage.
The three biggest impediments to businesses creating a booming economy right here right now are: 1. High corporate taxes. 2. an unlevel playing field giving the unions an advantage in the labor market. 3. Excessive and often counter-productive government regulation.
Fix these things and we can fix this economy. The only people opposed to a booming economy are the Socialist Democrats.