Not Guilty



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In Baltimore last week, Marilyn Mosby, the Prosecutor for the City of Baltimore, MD, announced that she will no longer pursue cases for marijuana offenses. Now… the BPD disagrees with the new policy and have made it clear that the arrests will continue. This disagreement seems to call the entire purpose of the policy into question, but it also raises bigger questions. One of which hearkens back to one of the most sensational trials of the mid-1800s.

Back in 1865, something happened in Springfield, Missouri that had not really happened before. And frankly, really didn’t happen as much as Hollywood and Zane Gray make it seem that it did. William Hickok and Little Dave Tutt found themselves face-to-face in the street. Somebody drew first and when the dust settled, Little Dave Tutt was dead.

Mr. Hickok, “Wild Bill,” as you know him, was charged with murder based on the twenty-two witnesses to the fight. A few days later, as stories changed, the charges were reduced to Manslaughter and the trial began. The witnesses seemed all over the place. Was there one shot, or two? Did you see who drew first? You were behind one of the men so you really couldn’t see what happened? Wait… you say he never fired but you admit that there is an empty chamber in his pistol?

At the time, the State of Missouri had no “self-defense” law on its books. Which meant that either Hickok shot Little Dave Tutt or… well… he did shoot Tutt. The law won’t recognize his self-defense claim, so there’s no way to instruct the jury to accept it. Or… is there?

Which has me wondering if there isn’t a better way for We the People to let our wishes be known than to have DA’s with more political aspirations than an understanding of their oaths telling us what they will and won’t do?


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The Tryal of William Penn



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The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it. – ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 2

In Alabama, a man with a long record of violent criminal activity found himself on trial for armed robbery. The trial lasted two days and seemed pretty much slam dunk for the government. Then the jury began to deliberate. And deliberate.

After three hours, they sent a note to the Judge letting him know that they were deadlocked and unlikely to reach a unanimous verdict. after some extensive back and forth, there was one holdout. The Judge decided to take action. eighteen minutes later the Jury returned a unanimous Guilty verdict.

And on appeal, the 11th Circuit, led by the brilliant Judge Ed Crane, overturned the conviction and granted the man’s habeas corpus demand.

Why?

To answer that you have to go back to Article 1 Section 9 and then back to 1670. A man named William Penn (yes, *that* William Penn) decided to push the limits of English law and defy the Crown. Of course, he was arrested and put on “tryal” in the Old Bailey.

What happened next is why Judge Ed Crane granted the motion for habeas relief in an Alabama Armed robbery case in 2019…


Links:

You are There: The Trial of William Penn CBS Radio reenactment

11th Circuit Ruling by Judge Ed Crane: Brewster v Hetzel


What Is Red?


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“What is Spain?” Yossarian once famously asked.

Just think about it for a second. What IS Spain? A Country? an idea? A people?

What is red? Scientists tell us that light reflected at specific wavelengths is what we perceive as color. But how do we KNOW that what I perceive as “red” is exactly the same thing that you perceive as “red?” The answer may surprise you.

So given that it is actually impossible to know that what I see as red is what you see as red, why are we surprised that we perceive other things differently? I often say this: “The people who most loudly insist that we must accept the principles of evolution are the least willing to accept its consequences.”

And why is that, because we have no way of knowing what another person’s true perception of any issue actually is. We know what makes us feel good, what makes us angry, what we pretend offends us and what makes us cry. But we have absolutely no way of knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt what somebody else feels or thinks or perceives.

Given that, can we use that understanding of perceptions to move forward in our corporate lives in a functional way? Or are we doomed to scatter and tribalize like the people at the Tower of Babel?

Given that understanding of perceptions, how am I supposed to actually choose between what I see as essentially the same option in another country from which we get 6% of our imported oil?


 

Bread & Circuses


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This is what is called, “the show must go on.” I don’t actually know why, but like the Fox Network’s not so live version of rent, I feel the need to sit down and chat about things that matter to me. With almost no sleep last night, tremendous pain and a busy schedule for the day.  What else is new, am I right?


 

Crossing the Rubicon



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It’s not much of a secret that I love ancient history. My two favorite periods are from the 18th to the 25th dynasties of Egypt and, even more so, the period of world history from 334bce, when Alexander crossed the Hellespont, through the fall of Jerusalem in 70ce to the soon-to-be Roman Emperor Titus. This period of time, roughly four hundred years, reverberates today.

This was a period of time well known to our forefathers. They were steeped in it, drenched in its philosophical ideas and lessons. They understood the political games and the attempts by despots to rule the world, and how easy it was for there to be manipulation of public opinion when education was lacking.

Four Hundred and thirteen years after Shakespeare, we have been conditioned to see the stories of the lives of the great names in a sympathetic light. Julius Caesar was a benevolent father to his people and he was a tragic figure. Mark Anthony was troubled by the need to avenge the murder of his friend and also spend his life and his personal fortune with his love.

Cleopatra? Of all of them, she has undergone the most serious transformation. Elizabeth Taylor aside, Cleopatra probably wasn’t beautiful, but she was dangerous. Far more dangerous and much more deadly than an Egyptian Asp.

Why does any of this matter?

If Shakespeare can transform these characters from who they really were into their opposites, why is today’s cultural manipulation any different?


Stolen Valor



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Whether you think that Nathan Phillips SAID he is a Vietnam Vet or just implied that he was “in country,” he certainly didn’t do anything to discourage people from understanding that he is an actual Vietnam Veteran. In fact, he has said that took personal advantage of that belief.

Why?

What did he feel the need to inflate his service record? He served honorably. How does causing people to think that he was something that he wasn’t any benefit to his cause?


Enter Into Thy Closet | Plausibly Live



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A former Bremerton High School Football Coach appealed his “termination” to the US Supreme Court after the 9th Circuit upheld it. At the heart of the case is the question of religious liberty and the free expression thereof.

While there has been much argument and debate over whether or not the Coach should have been “fired” or not, the case made its way to the halls of the Supreme Court, where it landed on the Conference table last Friday (January 18, 2019).

To the outrage of political conservatives and confusion of liberals, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, allowing the 9th Circuits ruling in the matter to stand. Which means that the coach doesn’t get his preliminary injunction awarding him his job back.

From pundits to Talking Heads, political conservative outrage has poured out proclaiming a new front in the “War on Christianity” and so forth. Justice Alito’s comments have the political right shaking its fists and screeching as to how our culture has abandoned G-d and the Bible.

As usual, there is a missing piece here. It’s a matter of math. Subtraction to be exact.

Nine minus four equals….?