Patterico's Pontifications


Obama’s NSA Violated Privacy Rules Thousands Of Times

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:19 pm

[Guest post by JD]

I guess the WaPo for tired of listening to Teh One claim it was raining while he pissed on them. They committed 2 acts of journalism tonight.

In the first, via leaked records from Snowden, they show the remarkable number of times NSA abused their authority, intentionally or unintentionally.

If you will recall, in his surveillance discussion that he desperately never wanted to have, he claimed that they were not abusing their powers, and that the Court had oversight of them.

In WaPo’s second act of journalism tonight, they outline how Teh One was “wrong”.

I would not call it wrong. I would call it an in-your-face aggressive lie.

This is a phony scandal.


Apology Letter To Teh One In Re Rodeo Clown

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:06 am

[guest post by JD]

I like his tone.

I’m reaching out to you as a friend. I know you must be deeply hurting after what happened at the Missouri State Fair. Sure, you probably try to avoid watching the news while you’re on vacation, but I’m sure the pilot who airlifted your dog to your rental mansion in Martha’s Vineyard probably caught you up to speed (that guy is such a chatterbox). Your jaw must have hit the floor when you heard the news: A rodeo clown in Missouri poked fun at you. Yeah, I know, almost impossible to believe. The gall! The gumption! The racism! Don’t worry, the entire country erupted in outrage, Democrats and Republicans issued statements of condemnation, and now the offending clown has been banned for life from the Missouri State Fair. There will likely be “action taken” against the Missouri Rodeo Clown Association, and I do hope justice is visited upon them swiftly. I think we’re all a little sick of the Missouri Rodeo Clown Association causing trouble. It’s something new every week with those freakin’ guys.

But all of this is of no consolation. The fact is, a rodeo clown in Missouri made fun of you. Nothing can ever ease the pain he has caused. This sort of crass lampooning of public officials has never happened at a rodeo until now, and I know that because a bunch of people who have never been within 150 miles of a rodeo said so. And then — worse still — the crowd erupted in applause at the spectacle of a guy in an Obama mask being chased by a rampaging bull. Racists, the lot of ‘em! I mean, Bush never got this sort of treatment. Nobody ever mocked or satirized him. No crude jokes were told about him. Nobody ever wished violence or death upon him. Ever. You know why? Because he’s white. White presidents always get treated nicely, especially white Republicans. Just ask Lincoln. The whole country agreed for over two centuries that we don’t ever insult presidents, then you get into office and all of a sudden every day is Pick on the President Day. Outrageous!

Click the link for the rest.


New Mexico: Courts Must Seat Jurors Who Do Not Speak English

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:39 am

Allahpundit has a fairly good discussion of some of the practical difficulties involved in this decision, which actually says that the New Mexico State constitution requires courts to seat jurors who do not speak Engliah.

But what leapt to my mind were the difficulties that might arise in a highly diverse area like Los Angeles. You could have a jury pool where one juror speaks Spanish, another speaks Mandarin, a third speaks Cambodian, a fourth speaks Japanese, and the other eight speak English.

A witness might be giving testimony in Spanish, translated by a court interpreter into English, translated into the above languages by the above interpreters. (Yes, the Spanish would probably have to be translated back into Spanish. Court is weird that way.) You’d have about six people talking in close proximity. It would be a wonder if anyone could hear anything.

And wouldn’t those jury deliberations be fun? Imagine the confusion as one juror makes a comment in Cambodian, it is translated into English, and then translated back into three other languages.

All nuance would be lost, discussion would be a game of telephone, rife with misunderstanding, and it would generally be a disaster.

I can see why defendants would like it. (Confusion and chaos tend to favor the defense.) But why any sensible person would willingly choose such a regime is beyond me.

Some civic duties, if not all, are best conducted by citizens able to speak a single common language. Jury duty is one of them.

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