Blackstone’s Formulation and Scalia

In his work “Commentaries on the Law of England,” Sir William Blackstone proffered that the law should err in favor of the defendant, lest it wrongfully punish the innocent (1765):

All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer

In contrast, Reagan-nominated Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia claimed that the defendant’s only right was to a fair trial, subsequent evidence of innocence notwithstanding (2009):

This Court has never held that
the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant
who has had a full and fair trial but is later able
to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent.
Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question
unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that
any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally
cognizable.

For people of Scalia’s ilk, the satisfaction of having punished someone is its own reward. I take no joy from the death even of such demonstrably bad people as Scalia. But it is certainly better for the nation and better for the world, that one fewer medievalist jurist is around to poison modernity with opinions influenced by “The Malleus Maleficarum.”

So It’s 9/11 Again

I have but one thought on the subject.

To all of you that spent the months and years after a single terrorist incident shitting your pants or, more importantly, enticing others to shit their pants at the merest mention of swarthy persons of a certain … type:

Take heart. You and your ilk are only the second most pathetic, miserably, barrel scrapings on the planet. The most pathetic are those poor wretches that carry out the tasks your kind are too chickenshit to carry out yourselves.

Fear not. So long as the most powerful profit so greatly on the willingness of the oppressed to accept the claims of their oppressors that a third party is responsible. Then a cozy relationship develops between the “enemy” organizations, wherein each profits from the attacks of the other for propaganda purposes.

You have a long and bountiful future ahead. So sail on, malevolent parasites. Sail on.

Legislate on Snake Oil

Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) form a potent coalition defending the impotent concoctions of the snake oil industry.

I understand that the purveyors of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM, for short) have always had a friendly ear in Congress. That is, a friendly pocket. In addition to those individuals, the recent fashion of acting the part of quasi-Libertarian kook has taken the lower house by storm. Among the numerous incongruous ideas that Antiregulators blather about is that all regulation is bad. In particular, regulation with the potential to cut into the profits of decent wealtho-Americans is simply unacceptable. Clean water and a safe work environment are only the tip of the iceberg of disasters waiting to befall those who would let down their guard.

In such an environment, then, I would take a step with which the anti-governmentarians couldn’t reasonably take issue. Granted, reason is hardly a disqualifying factor for producing excremental arguments on the basis of “Freedom! Or something.”

My proposal is this: any treatment that the FDA does not currently look at may continue to receive the preferential status it currently enjoys as a “health supplement.” But the poultice, potion, or tincture of [insert natural or mysterious sounding name here] would be clearly labeled as a “Quack Medicine.” As well, physicians would be required by law to report any noted effects suspected to be the result of quack concoctions. Ironically, some quack medicines which purport to contain minuscule doses of the ichor of exotic plant or animal parts would actually lose their preferred status as a true quack medicine if the mixture were found to actually contain any of the substance.

I used to give my child colic pills that proved effective. I was shocked to see that the pills were supposedly homeopathic. They were similar to antacid tablets, in their chalky consistency. They felt similar in the mouth as well. The non-scientific conclusion would be that the producer was using an actual effective treatment, but bypassing any quality control or other FDA regulations by slapping on a nonsense label.

Just a thought that will never come to fruition so long as quackery is so damned profitable…

If You Believe

If you believe that:

… 9/11 was an inside job
… Obama was not born in Hawaii, despite a birth announcement in the Honolulu Star Bulletin
… the 2nd Amendment was written to ensure that poorly endowed men could carry assault weapons around children
… the 1st Amendment means you can’t get fired for calling your boss an asshole
… science is a conspiracy (i.e. global warming, mass extinctions, evolution, vaccination, etc. are liberal conspiracies)
… the Nazi Party was “Left Wing” because its name contained the word “Socialist” (fun fact: the official names for several Warsaw Pact nations, China, and North Korea all contained the word “Democratic”)
… you, personally, will survive a destruction of society (ala, you are a “Doomsday Prepper”)

then your attachment to reality is too tenuous for you to engage me in a discussion on politics or science. Please do not ever broach either subject to me.

Thank you.

Bundy Ranch

Swarthy folks that fail to pay rent – freeloaders.

White guys with cowboy hats who fail to pay rent – patriots.

The ridiculously low grazing fees for public lands were so fixed in order to suck up to ranchers. Even a pittance is too much for the ever-oppressed rich white asshole whose entire net worth is inherited.