The Jury Talks Back

12/31/2008

Protesting Against Jews…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 11:16 am

You’re doing it wrong.

12/30/2008

Moonbats over Gaza

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 11:17 am

You can’t make this stuff up…

A Jew-hater at an anti-Israel rally (almost redundant) on Sunday in Manhattan held up this telling sign: “Death to All Juice“. (via LGF)

Meanwhile a British newspaper featured this headline above a cool photo of an F-16: “What Israel is doing is nothing to do with peace but its own selfish security concerns”. (via Meryl Yourish)

Blago to name Burris to Senate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 9:43 am

More as I have time.  Just wanted to call dibs.  :)

Update (aka the actual post):

Ok, it seems that Soon-to-be convict Blago has decided to name former Illinois AG Roland Burris to P.E. Obama’s vacant Senate Seat. The picture of Blago they use, btw, is priceless.

Roland Burris is, in case you didn’t know (and I had to google him), a guy that has tried for MANY different Illinois jobs, losing all but two (Comptroller and AG).  He’s lost bids for the Dem part slate for Senator (lost to Paul Simon), Governor a couple of times, and even tried to run against Mayor Daley for that man’s job (which Daley has basicly until he decides he doesn’t want it any more, or dies – and even then I’m not sure Daley would lose).

I really have no idea what to make of it.

My dad can’t recall anything bad about the guy, but he was only AG from ’91 thru ’95 (under Republican Gov. Jim Edger), so I guess he’s a good enough pic.  I mean, it isn’t like a republican or libertarian was going to have a chance in hell at the seat.

12/29/2008

No bail for Jews?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 12:37 pm

Via my inbox, I am tipped off to the following regarding a court case we might remember:

Matt Dummermuth, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, argued that [former Agriprocessors Chief Executive Officer Sholom] Rubashkin poses a flight risk, in part because of the Law of Return — Israeli legislation enacted in 1950 that gives Jews and those of Jewish ancestry, as well as their spouses, the right to migrate to and settle in Israel and gain citizenship. As far as anyone can remember, the Law of Return never has been cited as a reason to deny bail. Many Jews fear the ruling could set a precedent.

My problem is, I can see both sides here.

Certainly from a Civil Liberties standpoint, this is disgusting.  I’m German enough in ancestry to get German citizenship – does that mean I should be denied bail, because I might run off to Germany?

Though I generally try to avoid doing things that require any kind of bail hearing…  You know, like hiring scads of illegal immigrants in violation of State and Federal Law.

On the other hand, this is a guy that could easily afford to hop a plane and leave.  Her was a CEO, so it’s likely he’s got what the kids today call “serious bank”.  Also, the thing about Israel’s law is – as far as I understand it – you can walk into an Israeli embassy, and they basically hand you an Israeli passport.  This would make merely surrendering his US passport a pointless act.

“Sure, take my US passport…  <mutters> I’ll just go get a new one from the nearest Israeli embassy…”

Though I suppose it is unlikely that Israel would fail to extradite the guy.  After all, it isn’t like they are France or Mexico, refusing to send us back out depraved killers so we can rightly execute them.  This is a country that very much cares about it’s relationship with the US, and about the rule of law.

<Insert tasteless Jewish lawyer joke here>

Personally (and remember IANAL), I can’t see this decision not being overturned on appeal, but I have to say it’s a good try on the part of Mr. Dummermuth.

But what say you lot?  This sort of thing a good idea?  Bad idea?

(H/T PCD)

12/27/2008

Bias against mothers and others? Oh brother!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 10:29 pm

Michael Cohn and Heather Farley are two people with far too much time on their hands.

Cohn went to a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball game on Mother’s Day in 2005 and demanded one of the free tote bags the Angels were giving to women fans.  After he was denied, Cohn left the game and contacted his lawyer, who wrote a letter to the Angels.  The team responded by sending tote bags to Cohn, his lawyer, and two friends who also complained.  Nevertheless, Cohn filed a lawsuit against the Angels, claiming that the promotion was illegal sex discrimination.  Cohn argued that the giveaway was a violation of the Unruh act, which prohibits California businesses from discriminating on the basis of sex and other protected categories.

The state appeals court ruled in favor of the Angels, stating that the team intended to honor all mothers.  Since it would be impractical for the team to verify that each woman who received a tote bag was a mother, the Angels were entitled to provide tote bags to all adult women.  The gift of a tote bag is distinguished from a discounted admission price (such as ladies day), which would violate Unruh.  According to the court ruling, Cohn deliberately went to the game with the intent to sue, and he and his friends had been involved in a number of previous “shakedown” lawsuits.

Farley, meanwhile, complained in October when Facebook removed photos showing her breastfeeding her baby from her personal page.  Facebook’s policy prohibits photos that show the areola around the nipple.  When she posted another breastfeeding photo, Facebook sent Farley a letter threatening to delete her account. Whereupon the Provo, Utah mother sent out an email that generated support from other breastfeeding moms and lactation advocates.  A Facebook group site has already garnered over 70,000 members, who have posted nearly 3,000 photos of breastfeeding.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, however, a rally called for Saturday at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto drew only a few protestors, who bore signs reading “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene.”  Company executives did not appear to be at work.

There’s nothing I could add to the court ruling on the Mother’s Day promotion except that, with fans like Cohn, teams may be less likely to offer such promotions.  As for the breastfeeding protest, while I support the rights of mothers to breastfeed in public when done discreetly, Facebook has every right to determine its own standards and terms of service.  If the protesters disagree, they are free to join a different social network website.  They are free to develop their own social network website.  They are free to exchange photos the old-fashioned way — by email.  Or they are free to get a life.

Story Ideas for the LA Times

Filed under: California Politics — Kevin M @ 6:33 pm
  • The California budget crisis:
    • How bad is it?
    • Where is the money going?
    • Why did we have a deficit even during the boom years?
    • Are public pensions really the problem people say they are?
    • What, besides raising taxes or closing libraries, can be done?
    • Should we repeal Prop 13, raise income taxes, lay off 30,000 state & local workers?  What?
    • Can the state go bankrupt?  What would that mean?
    • Who’s to blame?
    • You would think that they could fill the paper for weeks with this.  (Just “who’s to blame” alone…)
  • L.A. Government:
    • How’s Mayor Whatshisname doing?
    • The city council?
    • How deep is the local deficit, how high the pensions, etc?
    • Are they dealing with business, or spending their time remodeling offices, pandering to their base and denouncing Burma?
    • Should we re-elect any of them?
  • Traffic:
    • How bad is it?
    • How has it changed over the last 20-30 years?
    • What opportunities have been missed?
    • What has gone right?
    • How is Obama’s public works stimulus going to play out here (have we even made up a list of projects?)?
    • Is there a master plan for rail or is it all just hodgepodge notions and community negotiations?
    • What will it be like in 20 years if, as expected, nothing is done?
    • Whose fault is it?
  • Will we EVER get a pro football team?

There’s more where that came from.  See the comments, too.

12/26/2008

Because I’m clean out of ideas lately…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 7:39 am

DRJ speaks, and I am compelled to obey her vauge suggestion

JVW wisely says:

Wow! Reading this editor’s note that DRJ linked to is just priceless. If there is a course one hundred years from now on how the mainstream media made itself obsolete, this editor’s note ought to be on the on the reading list. To begin with, how condescending is it to open your piece with the following: “I love our letter writers. Really, I do”? Mr. Bailey might as well have been pictured holding his nose has he repeatedly hit the delete key on his email inbox.

Beyond his inauspicious start, this is a horribly-written piece. Take the fourth paragraph, for instance, which DRJ has quoted: letter writers are warned that you cannot blame Barney Frank or Chris Dodd for the economic meltdown, but apparently it is all systems go for blaming George Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan, Spiro Agnew, H.R. Hadelman, Joseph McCarthy, or Wendel Wilikie. After all, the editor didn’t say something along the lines of “no one person or party is alone to blame for the recession.” It simply says that you can’t blame the two dinosaur New England Democrats for it. I guess Mr. Bailey has no compunction about declaring on which side he is rowing the boat, though a more clever journalist usually goes farther to hide his biases.

Now check the sixth, seventh, and eighth paragraphs. Is there a better example of bad writing leading to a null declaration? For instance, the sixth paragraph seems to tell us that everyone hates George Bush, but a significant subset of that group also hates Senate Democrats (I guess House Democrats are peachy keen with this group). The seventh paragraph, however, comes up with this puzzler:

What do Obama, Howard Dean, Al Gore and Ned Lamont have that other members of their party lack? The answer — a near-bottomless supply of good will from fellow Democrats, dating back to their early, vocal opposition to the disaster that is Iraq.

Silly me, I would have guessed the answer was that three of the four lost their elections. Mr. Bailey follows-up that howler with the eighth paragraph in which he reminds us that Democrats and Republicans don’t always vote the party line. That would be news to Barack Obama (he of the nearly perfect Democrat voting record), but that is a fight that we have already lost so no sense wasting any more time there.

The rest of his screed is just banal and stupid. Again, when our descendants start researching why the mainstream media died out at the beginning of the 21st Century, they will find a lot of clues in the vapid and dull writing of one Hugh Bailey of the late, unlamented Connecticut Post.

12/25/2008

What if Christmas were a Jewish holiday?

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 6:57 am

Merry Christmas to all of my Christian friends.

For your enjoyment here’s a lengthy piece that lightly parodies some of the cultural (non-religious) traditions of Christmas and some of the strictly legalistic aspects of Judaism.

LAWS OF XMAS

2. THE TREE

1. Any species of tree is kosher for use as a Xmas tree, provided that it has needles and not leaves.  In our lands it is customary to use a fir tree. [8]  It should be reasonably fresh, but not too fresh, in accordance with the principle “A Xmas tree with no fallen needles is like a sukkah with no buzzing bees.”

[8] If the lady of the house already has a fir, then any evergreen may be used.

2. The tree should be chopped down specifically for use as a Xmas tree; if it had been cut for lumber it is invalid.  If the tree was cut for general decorative purposes, but not specifically as a Xmas tree, some authorities allow it while others are strict.  A stolen tree is not valid for the mitzvah. [9] Fortunate is one who is able to chop his own tree himself. [10]

[9] One who cuts his own tree must make sure that he has permission from the landowner to do so.  Ideally, cut only from one’s own backyard.  A tree taken from a reshus harabim, such as the county park (which is actually a carmelis, not a reshus harabim,) is considered as stolen and invalid.

[10] One who is unable to cut his own tree should make sure to purchase it from a reputable dealer, or one who is certified by a national kashrus organization.

5. The required height of the tree is subject to many rules.  An indoor tree must be tall enough so that it reaches within 3 handbreadths of the ceiling. [14] An outdoor tree must be at least 20 cubits tall.

[14] Where local fire codes prohibit the use of such large trees, a smaller tree — even a bonsai — may be used, provided it has toy people around it who will make it appear tall.

Alas, there is much, much more.

12/23/2008

No champagne for Tampa Bay as Detroit marches toward infamy

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 12:59 pm

The 1972 Miami Dolphins compiled a 17-0 record en route to victory in Super Bowl VII — becoming the only team in NFL history to go undefeated, including post-season games.  In later years, the Miami teammates developed what has become a well-known tradition during each NFL season.  They celebrate with champagne when the last undefeated team loses, thus preserving their unique status.  In most years, the bottles are opened by October, although sometimes they have to wait until early November.

The 72ers received special attention during New England‘s Super Bowl run last year.  The Patriots threatened to break Miami’s singular hold on perfection, posting a 16-0 record in the regular season, and adding two more victories during the playoffs.  Only the Super Bowl stood between New England and an historic mark of 19-0.  Alas, the drive toward a perfect season fell tantalizingly short.  The New York Giants defeated the Pats in Super Bowl XLII by a score of 17-14, scoring the winning touchdown with just 35 seconds left in the game.  Their record still intact, members of the 1972 Miami team breathed a collective sigh of relief — and then uncorked their champagne bottles.

This NFL season features another team with a shot at a ‘perfect season.’  However it’s not the type of achievement about which anybody would boast.  The 2008 Detroit Lions have lost their first 15 games.  Only a contest against Green Bay stands between Detroit and the first winless (and tie-less) NFL season since the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The shame on Detroit would be even worse than it was for Tampa Bay — for two reasons.  First, the season is two games longer than it was in 1976.  Just as no NFL team ever won 19 games, no NFL team has lost 16 games.  A record of 0-16 would eclipse Tampa Bay’s 0-14 mark of misery.  Second, the Bucs’ ineptitude was mitigated by the fact that Tampa was an expansion team playing its first season.  By contrast the Detroit Lions have been playing football since the beginning of time.

As the Lions march toward their date with infamy, obvious comparisons are being made.  While the ’76 Bucs have kept a low profile, one member of the team offered his perspective.

“It really doesn’t make any difference to me.  We will always be known as the first one.  That they will never take away from us, said [offensive lineman Tom] Alward, laughing.  “If this were to happen to them, they won’t have to worry about being alone.  We’ve been alone for a long time.”

12/22/2008

Verdict reached in Fort Dix trial

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 9:36 am

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office says that the verdict in the Fort Dix terrorism trial will be read at 1:15pm local time (Eastern).

I wish I had Flash installed on my work PC…  I would so love to watch this live.

Update: All 5 guilty of conspiracy to kill military personnel.

The five foreign-born defendants were charged with conspiring to kill military personnel and attempted murder. The men were acquitted on the attempted murder charges. They all face life in prison.

Recycled News

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amphipolis @ 9:24 am

Prepare yourselves for the onslaught of recycled news.

You know what I mean. This is the season when reporters do their year in review stories and print them as news. It is a great time for them to take a break from the hard work of reporting and just cut what they think was relevant and paste it into new stories. This just in – a year is ending and stuff has happened.

It also provides a great opportunity to spin old stories and make sure the public got the point. I suppose they print it because people like it. Fine, just please don’t portray it as news.

Note – Patterico’s LA Times year in review is different. He is not paid for fresh copy.

Lying to Children

Filed under: Uncategorized — JRM @ 8:22 am

People lie to their kids all the time. Sometimes, it’s to get them to comply with orders. Sometimes, it’s with the assumption that the kids will forget the lie. And sometimes, it’s just to amuse themselves.

Wouldn’t it be better not to lie just to amuse oneself? It’s said that lying to them might amuse the children, too, but if you want to amuse kids you can tell them fiction is fiction. I loved fictional stories that I knew were fictional when I was a kid.

And that’s why I hate Santa Claus. Deceiving children to – let’s face it – amuse ourselves and try to bring back our own childhoods is just wrong. The justifications are rationalizations.

Tell the story of Santa, but tell it as fiction. Let children get smarter; understanding the real world helps that. At the very least sake, when the kid asks if Santa is real, stop lying to her. Stop it. Stop it now.

Really. I’m serious. The societal glee in fooling children is unseemly at best, and harmful to their long-term mental health at worst.

–JRM

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