Archive for November, 2007

Seems like the pace of these incidents is starting to pick up a little bit. No real facts in the news report beyond the facts that the would-be burgler died from his wounds and the shooter not only seems to have had some kind of cardiac episode during the event, but he also called 911 to request medical care for the intruder. It sounds from the report like it was a rental property, and the landlord did the shooting, although it’s not clear whether he was inside or outside the house, or whether or not anyone was living there. There really isn’t enough at this point to do a meaningful application of the statute.

Around 1:30pm, property owner Gary Southworth called 911 and said that he’d shot a man who was stealing from him and that he needed help. Paramedics rushed the suspected thief to Kingwood Hospital, but he died from his wounds.

I would hazard a guess that as the economy worsens, we might start seeing even more of this sort of thing- people breaking into houses they think are vacant, looking for a place to sleep or something to take or whatever, and they get shot by the owner, whose primary residence is in fact somewhere else but who is inside the vacant house trying to keep squatters from trashing the place. Do we as a society really want to privilege the act of shooting someone dead to prevent them from breaking into a vacant rental property?

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The voter-verified paper trail does you absolutely no good if you don’t actually use it.

The point of the ballot print-outs that Ohio law mandates is that they’re from a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT); the voter casts a vote using the touchscreen, and then he or she confirms that the ballot has been correctly recorded by glancing at a printout of the vote. That voter-verified printout is supposed to go into a lockbox, where Ohio law declares it the official record of the vote.

So, when someone questions the electronic record on the voting machines, you can go back and count the paper records.  But if 20% of those paper records are unreadable, what do you do?  If you’re in Ohio, the answer is obvious: you just go back to the machines  and print the records out again.   Then you’ll have a NEW official record of the vote.  And who cares if the voters can’t individually verify their votes?

Idiots.  Remind me again, what is wrong with just marking an X with a pen on a piece of paper?

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Stick a fork in him, because he’s done:

As New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship. . .

This is evidence that Rudy directly participated in the commission of a crime- I’d start with something like Chapter 40, part 3, Title K, Article 170, Section 175, which is all about fraud and offering false or fraudulent documents to government offices. Several offenses in that section are felonies. I’d also look at Article 105, which is all about conspiracy. Rudy could go to jail for this. His friends are mobbed up, he cheated on his first two wives, he’s got ex-cons running his campaign in like five different states. I can’t understand why anyone ever thought he’d be a good candidate.

Update on Thursday at 2:45 pm:

“Look, he’s responsible as the Mayor of New York,” said [John Harris, editor of The Politico, the paper which broke the story]. “Somebody was clearly trying to help him cover his tracks is the way it looks.” Harris also said suggested it would remind voters of the former mayor’s rocky relationship history.

Yeah, that sounds like a conspiracy to me.   Spitzer?  Hello, Elliot Spitzer?  You got anything to say about this?

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This sounds pretty bad to me:

Wilkerson was flirting with Payne’s girlfriend, and Payne asked him to leave.

Partygoers told police that Wilkerson was drunk and threatening to kill the unarmed Payne. Wilkerson got into his truck, and Payne followed, hitting the driver’s side window with his hand. Payne hit the window a second time, breaking it.

Wilkerson then shot Payne, 22, in the chest.

Now, call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Florida’s castle doctrine statute , Chapter 776 Justifiable Use of Force, is avaliable online here, and I’m pasting in the parts I think might apply to this situation after the jump. All bolded emphasis is mine, except for the statute titles. (more…)

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Somehow I missed this from last week.  Maybe it was all that turkey, or maybe I just didn’t read the details.  But I guess Halperin isn’t the only lazy hack on the TIME payroll.  Glenn wrote:

As my post earlier today here demonstrates, that is hardly unusual behavior for Time. But that doesn’t make it any less flabbergasting, or repugnant. Doesn’t it go without saying: if Klein doesn’t have the time or background to understand what he’s writing about, then he ought not to write about it? Doesn’t anyone at Time agree with that?

I wonder how much Klein gets paid to write about topics that he doesn’t understand.   And I wonder why TIME expects anyone to keep reading.

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(ack, so embarrassing- it’s Barack, not Barak. Fixed.)

Hillary should just pack up and go home:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Oprah Winfrey will join Democrat Barack Obama again on the campaign trail, this time visiting the early contest states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the candidate’s campaign said Monday.

Of course, GOP hackMark Halperin at Time says that this is good for Republicans, because Obama is already drawing large crowds and generous donations, and Oprah will just bring more large crowds and generous donations. . . It’sok if that doesn’t make sense to you. His whole article seems to be an exercise in building strawmen. Which, given Halperin’s recent history of misrepresenting polling data to slandering various unnamed Democrats, is actually an improvement. I guess we should just be happy he didn’t work in a reference to states’ rights. (more…)

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Travel Day

Oregon is cold.  We saw two ugly accidents on the freeway on the way home- one invovled a jacknifed semi and at least two motor-home style vehicles.  Kudos to the state cops and ODOT for keeping traffic moving (one lane at a time, around the front of the crashed semi and then weaving back past crashed motorhome #2) as they tried to clean things up.  I imagine that it only got uglier as time went on- they were stopping anything with more than two axles because large vehicles couldn’t squeeze between the crashed semi and the edge of the road.

There have obviously been a couple of very hard frosts down here in Eugene since we’ve been gone- everything in the backyard that wasn’t dead yet is dead now.   And I’m pretty sure the Ducks lost to UCLA yesterday- so it looks like we can give up those Rose Bowl plans too.

We’re home safe now, sorting things out and planning the next 3 weeks, so that I don’t have to think too much between now and the end of finals.  I haven’t read any news since Wednesday and therefore don’t have anything interesting to post.

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