Thursday, January 16, 2020

 

Back in the Former USSR





And Moscow girls make me sing and shout....

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Wednesday, January 08, 2020

 

Childhood's End



Where did she get the Akira panties ? Asking the important questions. Constantly.

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Saturday, January 04, 2020

 

Thought of the Day



In response to the Democrat's criticism of President Trump military targeting of a leader of a terrorist organization in a country, Iraq, where there is already a congressional authorization for military action and, specifically, to the Democrats saying Trump needed to get a congressional authorization in order to kill General Soleimani, clever lawyer John Hinderaker had this to say:

Did I forget the time when Barack Obama sought Congressional authorization to kill Osama bin Laden, the proudest moment of his presidency? Or have I forgotten how Congressional Democrats lamented the absence of a vote?
I now expect constant hypocrisy from the left, but their automatic anti-Americanism still galls me. Any rational person of ordinary historical knowledge knows this strike against America's enemies was a good thing.


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Saturday, December 14, 2019

 

Second Look at High Crimes and Misdemeanors



An ex-friend challenged my very sound construing the impeachment section of the Constitution with an article from earlier this year in the Atlantic. Although that formerly good magazine has gone a little loopy left over the years, it is still worth taking seriously.

The author is Frank Bowman, whom I happen to know, as we were fellow deputy district attorneys in the mid-80s in Denver. He was almost universally disliked in the office but not a complete fool so I have read and re-read his work.

The verdict I pass on Bowman's article is that the term "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" in our Constitution does not mean "things other than crimes and misdemeanors".

Here is why I know this. The Oxford English Dictionary says this about the word "crime": It comes from Latin word crimen which means accusation or offense; became part of English language in the 12th Century and has always meant, an act punishable by law, forbidden by statute.

Duh!

But here is the kicker: in 1769, in the gold standard for legal terms, Blackstone, it was used as follows: A crime or misdemeanor is an act committed, or omitted, in violation of public law either forbidding or commanding it. And Blackstone in the same year said that crime and misdemeanor are mere synonymous terms.

That means that less than 20 years before the Constitution was written, to all the lawyers in the English speaking part of the world, crime and misdemeanor meant crime just as we know it today. Breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, as Rob Halford used to sing.

Here is an interesting part of Bowman's otherwise not very convincing piece:

The phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” entered the American Constitution because George Mason of Virginia was unhappy that, as the Constitutional Convention was drawing to a close, the class of impeachable offenses had been limited to “treason or bribery.” Mason wanted a much broader definition....Mason’s first suggested addition—“maladministration”—was thought too expansive, whereupon he offered, and the convention accepted....“high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

But what are the two amorphous articles of impeachment proposed for President Trump, which do not describe a crime, if not mere allegations of "maladministration"?

So the Democrats, in their idiocy, have violated the Constitution by returning impeachment to a concept that was considered and rejected by the men writing it.

Thanks for the info, Frank.



Portrait of lesser know Virginia hero of the Constitutional Convention, George Mason IV


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Monday, December 09, 2019

 

Applying Rules of Statutory Construction to the Constitution of the United States



I have been having some success lately in front of Colorado's Court of Appeals regarding poor use of the rules for construing a statute. I won't bore you with the list of these rules, because if the language of the statute is clear on its face, you don't go further. The statute says what it says.

So, let's apply that first, simple rule to the Constitution, Article II, Section 4; that is, let's read the section, which is short and states:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."


(Emphasis added)

OK, so Treason is a Crime, Bribery is a Crime, Crimes are Crimes and Misdemeanors are a subset of Crimes. So they are all crimes. The President, to be removed from office, must be impeached and convicted of a crime. It clearly could involve a broad category of crimes, but it has to be a crime. And the only modifier applicable is the word "other" to define the high Crimes and Misdemeanors that follow Treason and Bribery.

Noscitur a sociis is another tool for construing a statute and here both Treason and Bribery are big, important crimes; so the use of the word "other" clearly means the other crimes available for removing a President are of similar importance to Treason and Bribery. Big crimes. That's what it takes. We don't, indeed can't, remove a President for selling liquor to a minor or for careless driving.

I have gone back to telling people that I went to college in the Bay Area of California, rather than mention the name of where I went, because I am ashamed of my University, both the anti-free speech efforts and the horrendously bad professors it continues to employ. 

Anyone who tells you that you don't need a crime to impeach the President is a moron. And the law professor who said the Constitution predated criminal statutes so that the authors could not have meant criminal statues in II/4, is a particular morons. We used the English Common Law before we started writing federal statutes, but that doesn't mean the common law didn't recognize crimes. 

So, easy prediction here; the Articles of Impeachment against President Trump will not mention a crime. 


Anyone want to bet against me?



The Impeachment hearings are so boring, even the chairman fell asleep

UPDATE: Unless there are parts of the United States Code which make the two proposed articles of impeachment actual crimes (and I doubt it, but I will look), it seems I was correct in my prediction above.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

 

Bribery



Although James Cameron's Aliens is a treasure trove of great one liners, recently I have been constantly thinking of Ripley's "Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?"

I think I am reacting to politics, specifically the laughable if it wasn't so serious impeachment follies.

Background: The Constitution allows impeachment for Treason, Bribery, High Crimes or Misdemeanors. Each of those things is a crime. It is a broad field of crimes to pick from, but impeachment has to be for a crime. 

Apparently, the Democrats managing the sad farce have used focus groups to decide which is better to present to the American people to gin up support of impeachment for no crime, the easy to understand Latin phrase quid pro quo or the crime bribery. Bribery is what they went with. Not the President being bribed by a foreign leader, but Trump somehow, somewhere bribing a foreign leader to do something generally beneficial to America.

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?

The founders were worried that a foreign leader would bribe our President to do something not generally beneficial to America. They could have cared less if our President bribed a foreign leader to do something good for us.

In fact, foreign aid, is essentially bribe money for foreign leaders to do something good for us. Asking for something good for America from the foreigners we give the aid to is inherent in each grant. Paragraph 2 of Section 2 of Article II gives the President sole control over our foreign policy. He can ask for something in return for foreign aid. It is perfectly normal among all nations and is not a crime. It's not even in the same universe as a crime.

I wouldn't mind the Democrats committing political seppuku through this joke of impeachment of Trump for doing his job, but it isn't funny, and it is in fact very tedious and the only thing it reveals is how completely stupid many of our elected officials are. Oh, and how stupid all the Democrats and most media types (but I repeat myself) are to continue to try to right the "wrong" of Trump winning, fair and square, the 2016 Presidential election. 

14 years until a Civil War, very like the Spanish Civil War, breaks out. Hope I'm dead by then.


Oh, and am I the only one who thinks the ineffective space marine Lt. in Aliens looks a little like Adam Schiff?




UPDATE: Great minds think alike. Behold Andrew McCarthy's understanding of the bribery mentioned in the Constitution here.

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Monday, September 16, 2019

 

Constitutionalism

In the First Amendment to our venerable, wonderful Constitution, the government is prohibited from "abridging" the freedoms of speech and of the press. Abridging is, in this context, diminishing and I would add, diminishing substantially. It is taking out words to make things shorter (and often less clear), going home early from a trip, and actually, directly violating a right. In Middle English, the word "abregge" also meant deprive.

In the Second Amendment, the government is prohibited from infringing on the rights of the people to "keep and bear arms" (translation: have and carry guns). Infringe means encroach or frustrate. I only have a Masters Degree in English, so I may not be the right guy to judge this, but in my understanding of these words, infringe involves merely touching the right, allowing the government to get too close to it. While abridge involves actually damaging the right.

Both these rights are under a concerted attack by the left. Success in this will lead to a Spanish type civil war, I think, but probably not in my lifetime. (Second prediction, the left will be slaughtered, as people on the right own most of the guns and produce almost all the food and fuel and other necessities).

Final thought. The Democrats seem to have a fetish of making shooters change out their box magazines. Banning the size of a magazine will not prevent a mass shooting, as it takes about two seconds to release the empty magazine and insert a new full one. And that would only happen if the guy who wants to murder strangers somehow has a twinge of his conscience about minor prohibitions and decides that he must obey the magazine size law, while disobeying the murder prohibition.

Yeah, good luck with that.


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