Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
It often happens that defence lawyers fail to read the files they scream so loudly to get in discovery. When that happens, sometimes there are amusing surprises.
This one is a bit gross.
Trying an armed robbery. Two masked criminals with rifles robbed a couple in an hotel, taking wallets and cell telephones. They then barreled across town, using the stolen telephones, and robbed two cheerleaders coming out of a restaurant, escaping in a car being driven by a third loser. Police pursue, getaway ride wrecks, driver runs one way, passengers run another. Sedan full of stolen goods, masks, rifles, etc. Police catch passengers in flight. A few blocks away, breathless man flags down taxi as police spot and stop him. Police arrest cab hailer based on his proximity and panting. That's all we have on the driver- except that he is carrying the title to the sedan concealed- on which his mother, the recent buyer, has endorsed her name.
So here we are at trial. All three defence lawyers are, um difficult. Bear in mind that the reports, of which I’ve given them copies, tell in detail about how the car title was discovered. I had read that description.
I put the jail admitting officer on. “ When you searched him, what if anything did you find on this defendant?”
“I found a car title…”
“OBJECTION! Lack of foundation! Best evidence rule! Failure to authenticate!!!!”
“Have you brought the thing you found to court today?”
”I have. (Holds up car title in clear plastic evidence bag.)”
“Your honor, could I have this marked as an exhibit…”
“OBJECTION! OBJECTION! OBJECTION! We haven’t seen it!” True enough, I had offered them the chance several times and they expressed disinterest. So I held out the bagged title. “Take it out of the bag”, one commands.
“I’ll let you do that if you like, it’s pretty ragged and hard to read. I might tear it or something, you know how clumsy I am.”
So lawyer one pulls the document out of the bag, fondles it, peers closely at it, and passes it to two, who does the same, then three follows. Back down the line, where lawyer onr holds it out to me. "Do put it back in the bag if you please", says I, and he did. I didn't take it, but left it lying on the defence table.
“Now, Mr. Witness, where did you find this car title?”
“On the defendant Smith.”
“How? Because the police didn’t find it when they searched him.”
"We do a more thorough search."
"Explain that for us, please."
“Well, first we have them take off all their clothes, and we go through all the clothes and pockets."
"So it was in his clothes?"
"No. After that, we have them turn around and bend over. I could just see the corner sticking out from between...”
Lawyers, read that file!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
On the way to hunt the other day, I snapped this picture which well illustrates the temperature line half way up this mountain near my house. It intrigues me that there is substantially different weather at two points only a couple of rods away from each other.
No wonder scent is such a mystery.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I've been waiting to stumble on something not pleasant about my dam's death, other than practical things, and I found one.
In court, actually- at a hearing on a State child. This boy, born in public housing, had truly horrid parents and was protected from them by state custody when he was very small, like four.
He'd bounced around as they do- orphanages, group homes, foster placements, a little delinquency. Every change had to be court approved, by this same judge. Also, as with every child it commits, the court had reviews every six months or so to see how he was doing.
He had just turned eighteen, and this was his last review. The judge told him he was no longer in state custody as of his birthday next week, chatted with him about his prospects, and wished him luck.
As he got up to leave, he started to cry. Really cry, those hitching sobs of bereavement. The judge asked him what was wrong- his life was just beginning, he never had to come back to account for anything. He was free now. For the first time , he owned himself. What was wrong?
"But judge- now there won't be anybody who's known me all my life."
Mi casa su casa, Demetrius.
It's strange that I can remember when I first met everyone who is still in my own life. I'm senior to everyone I know.
(Not the child's real name of course.)
Something funny tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
papers! Fortunately for the news organisations' stockholders and readers, their action was the visual one and mine verbal.
Just in case one of them self googles and wants to see what I did last night to embarrass the AKC, here it is.
Thank you, Amber Sutherland, Kate Sheehy, and the New York Post!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
So, ScienceGirl told me that the winner of the non sporting group at the Westminster dog show this year was a French Bulldog.
Not that I care, although they are funny- they look as though they just saw a mirror.
But the second half of the information made ME look like a French Bulldog!
Its owner is Marion Hulick.
Yes, horse killer and thief Marion Hulick.
Suspended for life by the AHSA Marion Hulick.
(Yes, its the same Marion Hulick, suspended for life might not mean so much.)
It seems that the AKC is interested in dogs only- consilience isn't in its lexicon. I suppose as long as she didn't do anything to dogs, the rest of her life is no concern of the Kennel Club's.
I'm not surprised, it took the AHSA a looooong time and a big fight before they were driven to sort of suspend child porn pervert Jonathan Soresi ...
I expect to get a lot of noise about this, so here is my point. Anyone in the horse show, or dog show, or art, or (name of leisure profession) knows that there is plenty of very sharp practice going on. All the various guilds talk about policing themselves and trying to enhance or protect the integrity of their markets. Oh, sorry, I meant sports.
It surprises me not a bit that Mrs. Hulick is still showing dogs. The AKC is so far disconnected from ordinary people that it will be amazed that there is any notice taken at all. That's why I posted the ten pages of Chronicle posts, showing how the AHSA couldn't comprehend that people were disturbed that a child porn convict was at the horse shows.
It's not as though Mrs. Hulick wanted to play football, we know how the AKC feels about that. They have told us that the NFL has "a moral obligation to investigate and punish... players who may have knowledge of, or who may be involved in, these atrocious acts of animal cruelty."
In fact, "This activity is anathema to everything the American Kennel Club stands for, and the millions of AKC registrants and competitors, many of whom have been NFL fans, unilaterally condemn it and those who perpetrated it.
It is common for state laws to recommend the immediate suspension of a teacher when charged with certain crimes. To acknowledge the severity of Mr. Vick’s charges, we urge his immediate suspension."
Big talk, with Mrs. Hulick smiling and nodding at ringside. No, hold hard- it's only dog killing football players who should be deprived of their livelihoods.
Horse killing thief dog owners' amusements shouldn't be trifled with.
(Don't get me wrong, I hold no brief for Mr. Vick. Nor am I a Petan- owning, using, eating, and killing animals are no problem for me. Anyone who reads this blog- all sixteen of you- know that lots of people would hang the three of us to the same tree.)
But I don't assert one rule and follow another. The standards that put Mr. Vick beyond redemption in the eyes of the AKC ought to apply to its own members too.
If I were a reporter, I'd find the show superintendent, put a microphone and camera on him, and ask straight up, "Look over there- she's a woman who killed horses for insurance fraud. There she sits, an exhibitor here. Is that alright with the AKC, or are you going to tell her to leave?"
COMMENTS- Fifty comments! A record for me by a looooong way.
They quickly degenerated into pro/con rants about the handler of this dog. I've published everything so far, because I thought the craziness might be illuminating to non dog show people like me.
As one commenter said, they really inspire people to show dogs.
But from now on, I'll delete comments that are off topic to the original post, which was about Marion Hulick, Michael Vick, and the AKC's choices.
Monday, February 15, 2010
All three of these pretty twenty year olds were planning to ride in the truck of another OFH hunter, also a twenty year old student at a different University and a man.
So we are getting ready to go, and A., who will be in the (6 seater) truck I am going in, says to him, "Would you all like to ride with us?"
The second most foolish question I have ever heard in the hunting field. He (and I, and everyone else) looked at her like she had suddenly been transformed into a giant hen, or something.
We all are crazy, but I did not think anyone was that crazy.
Anyway, we had a good day. Hounds ran and ran, horses galloped, there was swearing and flyung mud, and hounds caught a coyote.
Small world, one of the visitors was one degree of separation away from me through a non hunting connection!
After it was all over, I asked her if they were coming back tomorrow, and she said "YES!" with a fierce smile.
The local one, who of course hunts all the time, said "No, we have to go back to school."
"No we don't."
I was careful to explain that it took me longer to get there to hunt than it would take her from her dorm, and I managed it every week.
Show a cat the way to the dairy...
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
He's got it all- Red diaper baby, never held a job or met a payroll outside of government or academia, disciple of Keynes, worked for FDR and Saint Jack. No fortunate northeastern background, but his wife had enough for both of them.
I'd never heard his comment after the conquest of Goa. (Not one of the hugest military campaigns ever, it's true, and Galbraith's friends won.)
"The casualties were minimum. I am in favour of all wars being like the war between India and Portugal -- peaceful and quickly over!"
I wonder if the sixty-five dead Indians missed their next breaths. Or if their families considered their deaths "peaceful". And the crippled wounded, are their wheelchair or blind futures "minimum"?
This just gripes the #$%^& out of me, no matter who does it.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
"Today the President ordered the armed services to immediately cease any and all special regulatory or UCMJ recognition of homosexuality. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I appear before you today to discuss the implementation of this policy.
First, he which hath no stomach to this fight, let him depart; his passport shall be made, and crowns for convoy put into his purse. We would not die in that man's company that fears his fellowship to die with us.
Any service member who wants to quit because of this change may apply within the next thirty days. He will be released as soon as service convenience permits it. He will receive a special hardship discharge that notes "unable to serve alongside gay Americans" as the reason for his separation.
But we know that the few remaining service members who do not run from this change will wonder how to face it.
I can best discuss implementation of the change within the services by quoting- it is a day for quotes, isn't it?- Fred Reed on the two greatest practical problems.
"Soldiers don't want a sergeant who they know is gay as an Easter bonnet, who has the power to make life miserable, leering at them if the towel drops."
That one is easy. Our policies remain exactly the same about unfit or criminal commanders as they were last week. Oppression by superiors of those under their command will never be tolerated. There is plenty of room in the E-1 ranks, Leavenworth, and Portsmouth for those who misuse their authority.
"Men do not like being eyed by other men in the barracks and showers."
We accept that this problem exists, and that it is one for which many soldiers are unprepared. The eye-up terror will force some from our ranks.
For those who dare to confront it, help will be available.
We recognise the value of experience. For example, we try to use previously wounded veterans to help transition wounded soldiers from hospital bed to their futures.
the President has authorised the direct commission of a new Lieutenant- General.
This officer has a great deal of experience with this specific problem, and already has effective policies in place for dealing with it. Our newest General will command a special unit tasked to help soldiers face this new challenge. This unit will be recruited from those who have already successfully faced, and triumphed over, the truly destructive experience of unwanted sexual advance. Many of the new members of this command are already familiar to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. We hope that familiarity, like the previous service of volunteer veteran counselors at VA hospitals, will make it easier for our service members to manage this, their newest challenge.
I'd like you to meet the United States Army's newest General Officer.
And here is a list of potential recruits with the sort of qualifications and experience to handle this program.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
While in Copenhagen, I visited the Danish Resistance Museum. Denmark had an interesting path under the Nazi Germans.
First, it wasn't officially an enemy country. Unlike Poland or the Netherlands, it wasn't invaded and conquered. The Germans rolled in and the small Danish army and more significant navy couldn't do much- though there was some fighting. The Germans announced that they had no desire to conquer Denmark, just to pass through on their way to Norway.
So the deal was that Denmark remained sovereign and neutral in the war. The Germans just occupied the country and enforced their idea of neutrality.
That pretty much worked for a while. Up until Stalingrad, the Germans looked like winners and in any case what could the Danes do? They were an agricultural country, the Germans bought everything available, and did nothing that interfered with ordinary Danes.
Eventually things changed. The Germans demanded more, the Danes got stroppy, and the occupation took hold.
The most famous bit of Danish resistance had to do with Jewish Danes. Everyone knows the untrue but lovely story of King Christian and the yellow star, and that the Danes deported their Jews to Sweden instead of letting the Germans have them. Brave, and the Danes had specific forewarning, few Jews, local administration in place, and a permeable neutral border.
Eventually the resistance became significant. But Copenhagen- unlike Lyon, or Karbala today- never became a place where an occupation soldier was unable to walk around alone in reasonable safety.
The Museum is small, but does a good job of covering all aspects of this history. It doesn't shy away from the accommodation era, or the divisions within Denmark during the occupation. The one thing that seems entirely absent is anything about the King's role during the war.
A couple of things struck my gun nut/second amendment sides.
If you are going to resist, and be in a position where you have to shoot your way out of a raid, reliability matters!
That malfunction led to the capture of the pistol's user.
The museum has an exhibition of home made weapons- here's a Sten gun:
Gun banners take note.
Even an improvised torpedo!
And, as usual in museums these days,
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Some other man thought PETA up. I !@#$%^ hate him. Here's the deal:
1. Create tax free non profit quango. Its mission? Help cuddly, furry animals.
2. Collect money from old ladies and crazy people who love cuddly, furry animals.
3. Come up with promotions and stunts that overtly intend to help cuddly, furry animals, but which in fact by their very enunciation make their messages ridiculous to all but those already committed to the cause.
"Let's call fish "sea kittens!"
"Pity Poor Punxsatawney Phil, waked up at seven one day a year!"
4. Come up with more promotions and stunts that will also convert no one, but which make use of eager participation by gorgeous, slightly dim, and easily led women.
5. (Thank you Bill!) Hire your friends to run animal shelters. They don't have to be competent.
6.Pay self well. Travel often. Spend lots of time with gorgeous, slightly dim, and easily led women who love cuddly, furry animals, deeply admire your dedication thereto, and want ever so much to help you.
7. Repeat ad infinitum.
8. Die happy, having neither improved the lot of any animal nor converted not a single person who is not a gorgeous, slightly dim, and easily led woman to the love of cuddly, furry animals.
Serious, serious, jealousy inspired hate.