Monthly Archives: November 2008

Obama Derangement Syndrome Roundup – Part 4

[Arg, the formatting of this got screwed up, and I have no idea what it originally said.]

I’ve got a few more bits of Obama Derangement Syndrome to report.

Phase One: The Obama Invasion

Something called the We The People Foundation (which is definitely going on the ODS watch list) is planning to run an ad in Monday’s Chicago Tribune (and again on Wednesday) that is an open letter to President-Elect Barack Obama, asking him to produce evidence that he is a natural born citizen. They describe it this way:

The Open Letter to Mr. Obama is a formal Petition for a Redress (Remedy) for the alleged violation of the “natural born citizen” clause of the Constitution of the United States of America. Mr. Obama is respectfully requested to direct the Hawaiian officials to provide access to his original birth certificate on December 5-7 by our team of forensic scientists, and to provide additional documentary evidence establishing his citizenship status prior to our Washington, D.C. press conference on December 8.

By way of background, the WPF site explains the legal implications of their letter:

As a formal “Notice of a Constitutional Violation,” the Petition naturally includes the People’s inherent Right to an official Response. As a time-sensitive, election related Petition involving the Office of the President, failure to Respond as requested would constitute an egregious breach of the public trust and confirm the certainty of a Constitutional crisis.

A First Amendment Petition to any official of the Government for Redress of a violation of the Constitution is substantially different from the garden-variety political petitions frequently received by government officials. This Petition demands it be given the highest priority for an expedited review and official Response by Mr. Obama.

I’ll bet this why all those crimlaw bloggers I read are always complaining about losing motions. They aren’t filing a formal Notice of a Constitional Violation! They’re probably using the informal Notice of Constitutional Violation, or not even filing one at all, the lazy bastards!

And oh-by-the-way,

The Obama Evasion

Yeah, but will they come when you do call for them?

Each member of the Electoral College, who is committed to casting a vote on December 15, 2008, has a constitutional duty to make certain you are a natural-born citizen. As of today, there is no evidence in the public record (nor have you provided any) that defeats the claim that you are barred by law from assuming the Office of President because you fail the Constitution’s eligibility requirements.

All state Electors are now on Notice that unless you provide documentary evidence before December 15, that conclusively establishes your eligibility, they cannot cast a vote for you without committing treason to the Constitution.

The author, Robert L. Schulz, clearly enjoys his imaginary power over Barack Obama as he calls Electors from the vasty deep:

You are under a moral, legal, and fiduciary duty to proffer such evidence. Should you assume the office as anyone but a bona fide natural born citizen of the United States who has not relinquished that citizenship, you would be inviting a national crisis that would undermine the domestic peace and stability of the Nation. For example:

  • You would always be viewed by many Americans as a poseur – a usurper.
  • As a usurper, you would be unable to take the required “Oath or Affirmation” on January 20 without committing the crime of perjury or false swearing, for being ineligible you cannot faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States.
  • You would be entitled to no allegiance, obedience or support from the People.
  • The Armed Forces would be under no legal obligation to remain obedient to you.
  • No civilian in the Executive Branch would be required to obey any of your proclamations, Executive Orders or directives, as such orders would be legally void.
  • Your appointments of Judges to the Supreme Court would be void.
  • Congress would not be able to pass any needed legislation because it would not be able to acquire the signature of a bona fide President.
  • Congress would be unable to remove you, a usurper, from the Office of the President on Impeachment, inviting certain political chaos including a potential for armed conflicts within the General Government or among the States and the People to effect the removal of such a usurper.

I have no idea if that’s what Obama’s mother did, and I freely admit I’m not a lawyer, let alone an expert on the legalities of citizenship, but I’m pretty sure that no third party can revoke your U.S. citizenship on your behalf, not even your mother.

  • In 1965, your mother legally relinquished whatever Kenyan or U.S. citizenship she and you had by marrying an Indonesian and becoming a naturalized Indonesian citizen.

provided by the campaign was an original. It’s simply the the document the government of Hawii issues when you ask them for a birth certificate, and like everything else, it was printed by a computer.the documentThere’s something fascinating about the author’s decision to italicize “computer generated.” Nobody has ever claimed that

Representing thousands of responsible American citizens who have also taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, I am duty bound to call on you to remedy an apparent violation of the Constitution.

Compelling evidence supports the claim that you are barred from holding the Office of President by the “natural born citizen” clause of the U.S. Constitution. For instance:

  • You have posted on the Internet an unsigned, forged birth form created in 2007, a form that lacks vital information found on any original, hand signed Certificate of Live Birth, such as hospital address, signature of attending physician and age of mother.computer-generatedand thoroughly discredited,

The WPF’s open letter itself, available here, is a fascinating read, mostly because of the style:

Phase Two: The Obama Usurpation

, but they still need money for the trip?Chicago Tribune can afford two full-page ads in the WPFHuh. So

We are now in the process of selecting the forensic scientists who would travel to Hawaii to examine Mr. Obama’s original birth certificate (assuming he responds to the Petition for Redress by directing the Hawaiian officials to provide access to the birth certificate).  The budget for this task is currently estimated at $20,000. We need to raise the money quickly. Unfortunately, we are starting from zero and we have but one week before the scientists would need to be in Hawaii.

who asks:Illinois Review by Fran Eaton at postI heard about this goofy ad in a

What are your thoughts about this effort?  Is this whole thing just a hoax or is it a credible concern?

:savaged in a marvelous wayA commenter named Grover rightly ridicules Fran for this feeble evasion of responsibility, and is then

Grover, I take it you a left wing nut loon…

It’s the the law of the land and the Prophet O MUST produce “Competent evidence” … Proof or he’s not prez

http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/Term/FB8DF59E-8297-4662-9AA1FDD68151F0BE/alpha/C/

see Us Constitution
it reads as follows…

“Age and Citizenship requirements – US Constitution, Article II, Section 1

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
“(Article II., Section 1.,Clause 5.)

http://www.house.gov/house/Constitution/Constitution.html

To the liberal elite, have no respect for the law if the law stands in the way of their socialist agenda.

Well that’s totally convincing. Despite the “Prophet O”, the weird capitalization, and the random links, it’s clearly the other guy who’s the loon.

That first link, by the way, is just nolo.com’s definition of “competent evidence,” and the version of the constitution at the second link has different capitalization from the quote. Also, the real Constitution doesn’t have section labels.

Why Government Sucks

One Chicago suburb has a plan to improve its budget next year:

The Village of Maywood increased the liquor license fee for liquor stores from $1,875 to $10,000 to pay for additional police presence around these establishments.

Village officials say the increase is needed “to offset police services and enforcement activities and other costs … associated with the stores,” according to a memo from Village Attorney Michael Jurusik to the mayor and board of trustees.

“We’ve gotten too many complaints,” Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough said of the loitering, panhandling and other nuisances associated with liquor stores.

And apparently, nobody in Maywood ever noticed until now. I wonder what the Maywood police have been doing with their time.

Anyway, I found this story through the always-interesting Second City Cop blog, which has this to say:

Anyone want to take a bet that instead of Maywood reaping $70,000 in licensing fees, they lose the $13,125 they were getting in the first place? You’d have to weigh it against the alleged “extra” police presence at the liquor stores, but wouldn’t a better purpose have been served by requiring the liquor stores to have on-site security? You’d have the $13,125 in license fees, you’d have part-time jobs for 14 or more people providing security and you’d have a business being a more responsible entity to the village.

SCC‘s anonymous author is pretty bright, and he’s right that increasing the tax burden on the stores will encourage them to leave. Granted, the per-store increase of $8125 isn’t a whole lot of money, so I doubt they’ll leave immediately, but it does make it less likely they’ll stay, and it definitely disourages new stores from opening.

On the other hand, SCC doesn’t seem to realize that forcing the stores to hire additional employees will have the same effect. To the store owner, it doesn’t matter whether his extra costs go to village taxes or to unneeded employees. Either way, he doesn’t have to pay it if he moves his business out of town.

I’m not entirely surprised that SCC makes this mistake—he probably doesn’t see it as a problem. It’s exactly the kind of thinking I’d expect from someone who is both a government employee and a union member, two institutions which pay far too much importance to creating jobs. Also, I’m pretty sure that SCC is blinded by the expectation that the new security positions will be filled by police retirees or off-duty cops.

In other words, this is an argument between government employees over exactly how to pick the taxpayers’ pockets. This is why government sucks.

Scott Andringa – The Name You Know

I just recently discovered a web site for the Law Offices of R. Scott Andringa in Clearwater Florida. His About Us page has an interesting bit of information (emphasis mine):

After beginning his career as a misdemeanor prosecutor in the State Attorneys Office in Clearwater, Florida he was promoted to Misdemeanor Lead Trial Attorney. He transferred to New Port Richey, Florida in 1995 when he was promoted to prosecuting felony cases. He remained in New Port Richey for nine years, prosecuting many high-profile cases including a landmark dance studio fraud case, death penalty cases and a drug trafficking case that was featured on 60 Minutes, Nightline and in the New York Times. He was also responsible for dozens of other successful prosecutions and was profiled in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

I only know one Scott Andringa who was involved in a Florida drug trafficking case that was featured on 60 Minutes, and that’s this guy. I guess he still doesn’t get it.

I suppose he could be just the sort of aggressive lawyer some people need: One of those guys for whom winning is more important than anything else.

Thank You Blawgosphere

The only posts I’ve got in the pipeline are an announcement about a nasty little web site I’m building and a followup to my series on prositution. Somehow, neither of those feels right for Thanksgiving Day.

So today I’m posting about how thankful I am for the legal blogosphere (or, if we must, blawgosphere).

Windypundit‘s been around for over six years. Clearly, I’m not on the fast track to blogospheric superstardom. Really, I’m not on any track to superstardom. But somehow in the last year I seem to have found my place in the blogosphere, and it’s kind of a surprising experience.

For one thing, I’m a little surprised at where I fit in. When I started Windypundit, I wanted it to be about libertarian stuff: The war on drugs, free speech, the right to bear arms, and free markets. And more or less, it is. I write about those things a lot, and I get links from other libertarian bloggers now and then.

However, it turns out that those subjects have a common thread running through them, and this thread also runs through some of the newer subjects I write about, such as police misconduct and politics. Almost everything I write about eventually concerns the law and the legal system. I’ve become an honorary legal blogger.

I’m not a lawyer, and the law is a complicated and confusing subject, so it’s been surprising to me that the legal community has put up with me and my half-assed opinions. I didn’t expect that.

I didn’t expect the American Bar Association to include me in their list of blogs. I didn’t expect publishers to send me books to review. I didn’t expect to receive compliments from prickly New York criminal defense lawyers. It’s all very cool.

So, thank you Scott, Mark, and Gideon. Thank you Marc, Mike, and Jon (even though you seem to have trouble with that Thanksgiving Day spirit). Thank you Ken, wherever you are.

Thank you Tom and Serena for making the rest of these people necessary. Thank you David for taking the time to comment on my blog, even if you’ve gone Hollywood. Thank you Blondie for being our mystery woman, and don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, Jamie.

(Thanks to everyone I’ve missed. Sorry about that. Be sure to lambast me in the comments.)

Don’t expect to hear this ever again, but thank you all for your acceptance, your warm welcome, and of course for the vast amount of fascinating material you post every single day.

I guess you like me. You really like me.

Thank you.

Sometimes things end for the best. Maybe.

I’ve been following the pi — discussion among various folks in the legal blogosphere that was kicked off by this, among other things.  You’ll find one part of it here.

I find all this stuff fascinating, for a variety of reasons, but it is an acquired taste. For those who haven’t hung around, any, either in person or virtually:  criminal defense lawyers might, from the outside (and I’m outside) seem at times to not be bothered at all by the possibility that their efforts could end up with somebody who has done a terrible, horrible thing (Or, usually, something less than that) escaping an appropriate punishment.  And that’s largely because, far as I can tell, they’re unbothered at all by the possibility that their efforts could end up with somebody who has done a terrible, horrible thing escaping an appropriate punishment for the thing that they did.

Not their job.  And, for those who that bothers, a bit of free advice:  chill.  There’s a lot of reasons why that’s in your interest, but let me give you just one:  there is a possibility that you, or somebody you care about, could be accused of having done a terrible, horrible thing, and ou’d prefer that you or they not receive an appropriate punishment for something that they didn’t do; even if they (or you) did that terrible, horrible thing, you’d probably prefer that they (or you) not receive an excessive punishment.  Either way, you’d want a professional trying to do their best for you.  (Not the only reason to chill, but this is going to be long as it is.)

So let me tell you a story.  Since I write both fiction and nonfiction, I’m going to stick one fib in there — the rest may or may not be accurate, but I think it is. It’s certainly what I heard, but there was no reason I would have or should have been given access to the various documents, or in most of the relevant rooms, so I wasn’t.

I once watched, from the cheap seats, when a defendant screwed up a deal that, from my POV, was a sweetheart one for him.  I could be wrong; I’m an amateur at this stuff.  He was offered eighteen months on a fairly serious charge; Aggravated Robbery, in the First Degree. (There were other additional charges, originally, arising out of the same robbery.)  Between “good time” and time already served while waiting, he would have been out in about a year.  Which is to say that he’s still in prison — level 3, not exactly a fun place — and he would have been out, by now.

As far as I could tell, about the only things going for him were this: this was his first charge in this state (his family had only moved here a month or so before his arrest, and he didn’t make bail); he hadn’t used a weapon, and had some (perhaps good, I dunno; I’m not a brain surgeon or neurologist or, more to the point, his neurologist) argument about diminished capacity from a childhood car injury.  And he was not quite eighteen.

There was a lot going against him: he’d been certified to be tried as an adult, for one.  And then there was the strength of the ID, a victim who was a voluble and likable crusty little old lady who would have hobbled to the stand, due to the injuries that he and his codefendant/brother had visited upon her while beating her for twenty-three minutes (she could see the clock on the wall while they held her down and pounded on her), the physical evidence (the cops had gotten their haul, pursuant to a search warrant — they’d kept some of the jewelry); his codefendant/brother had already pleaded out, and talked [a lot], and his sister had managed to tick off a local homicide cop by shouting, in public, and in front of witnesses, that he’d get off as the victim wouldn’t be alive for the trial, as well as some other things which got the case more official and unofficial attention than perhaps it and he would otherwise have gotten, and which had led to the arrest in the first place — perhaps not quite for the reasons she told the press, the mother had turned them in. (The only local media not to cover it was the Strib.)  And then there was the fact that he and his brother were generally believed to have been the source of a two-man wave of strongarm robberies and muggings, largely (but not exclusively) of the elderly and infirm, over the previous month, in the same area, a string that came to an abrupt halt upon their arrest.

But he didn’t take the eighteen months.  Here’s the lie:  a casual conversation with a private attorney persuaded him that he could get half of that, and he rejected the deal. 

Well, it could have happened that way, which is why the story I linked to reminded me of it.  Not the only reason I was reminded of it, but, hey, that’s not what happened.

Here’s the truth:  his mother, furious at the “public pretender,” insisted that he shouldn’t go to prison now, as he hadn’t gone to prison on his previous offenses, in another state. He was still, barely, a minor, but was being tried as an adult; the previous offenses, in another state, were as a minor — and, so I was told, nobody hereabouts knew that he had priors until his Mom blurted it out; the reporting from the other state had fallen through the cracks.

Until then.  Oops.  It definitely influenced the effectiveness of the whole first offense, led astray by the big brother, he’d never been in trouble before and had learned his lesson pitch.

As far as I could tell, it was not a private lawyer making him dissatisfied with the representation he was getting — it was his mother — but it did come down to him being persuaded, by somebody who was not the guest of honor or participant in the proceedings, and who had some serious lacunae in their knowledge (in this case, about the law, rather than the specifics of the case) that a better deal should be available.

His PD was, of course, willing to go to trial, if he’d wanted to.  But the deal didn’t get better as the trial date approached; future offers kept getting worse.  Not a lot had broken his way — the victim was still alive, for instance.  He kept saying no, Mom kept getting angrier, and for various reasons, his sister started giving the victim a wide berth, and while lots of victims can be scared into changing their story or refusing to testify, she didn’t scare.

With the trial just about to start, he ended up taking a deal that got him a sentence that will, when he gets out in 2010, amount to 58 months.

Now, there’s a lot that’s different in this than in the case that the Minneapolis PD points to.  The person who talked him out of the eighteen-month deal wasn’t an attorney, but — like the attorney in the HennCo PD’s story — was sure that there was a better deal out there for him, and who queered the pitch for the PD who was, I’d guess, doing his professional best to get him to unwrap the birthday present. 

So, he’s away in prison; the little old lady is mostly recovered — some reconstructive surgery. I need to stop by; haven’t seen her for a couple of months.  And she is a friend of mine.

She’s gotten some extra time to not worry if either of the brothers are going to come after her.  They were kind of angry that she didn’t shut up and forget about it, the sister said.

That freedom from worry ends in 2010?  Nah.  That’s over.

His brother, who had been around the block more, and who was quicker to plead out, got out last week.

“Nothing to see; move along now,” in four steps

Step one: Walk into any gun shop, and take a look at the empty spaces on the shelves where EBRs/Evil Black Rifles/Semiauto Assault Weapons/Scary-looking long guns used to be.  Watch the remaining ones fly off the shelves, and people place backorders.  Or just read reports by folks who have done just that.  There’s plenty; here’s one.

Step two:  browse over the the Joyce-funded “the gun guys” antigun website to see the latest reprint of an editorial by another Joyce-funded astroturf antigun group telling you that there’s no boom in gun sales going on in the wake of the Obamalection.

Step three:  browse over the the Joyce-funded “the gun guys” antigun website to see the previous reprint of a remarakably similar editorial by yet another Joyce-funded astroturf antigun group telling you that there’s no boom in gun sales going on in the wake of the Obamalection.

Step three:  decide for yourself — who are you going to believe?  The Joyce Foundation, or your lying eyes?

Step four:  Nothing to see; move along now.

in Guns

When is a Sex Offender not a Sex Offender?

People are sometimes shocked that I’m wary of laws requiring sex offenders to register. How could I possibly object to alerting communities about rapists and child molesters?

Because the laws are written by grandstanding legislators, and grandstanding legislators are often stupid and callous, and stupid, callous legislators are a much greater threat than some sex offenders.

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