Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Morning Blog

Foreign Policy traces the American roots of Jared Loughners paronoid theories.

South Sudan's referendum on independence has reached the vote turnout necessary for validation. I'm cautiously optimistic. While it would be comforting to think that this is simply a black and white, good vs. not so good situation, neither the SPLM representing the South, nor the government of Omar Bashir has a plethora of heroes. As awful as Bashir is, it's important to note that SPLM has been just as bad. Journalist John Dowden notes for example, in his book Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles, his invitation to an organized gang rape facilitated by supporters of SPLA head, John Garang.

I think the odds are long to say the least, that Jared Loughner will manage to launch a successful insanity defense. They rarely, if ever, seem to work out. Since the shootings appear to be pretty clearly premeditated, I have a hard time believing that the defense will manage to convince a jury that he wasn't functioning under his own control at the time.

That said, his attorney is apparently some sort of super genius when it comes to getting life sentences in situations where the entire country is calling for someone's head. Her record includes...

Ms. Clarke has helped a number of infamous defendants avoid death sentences, including Theodore J. Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Eric Robert Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympics bomber; and Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her toddlers.

This woman may frankly be the only silver lining to emerge from this tragedy. Why? Because she is a public defender! It is a wonderful, wonderful sign of a functioning democracy, that even our monsters receive strong, competent legal council. You may (and should very much in fact), despise her clients. But as an American, you must love the dedication to constitutional rights and due process that this woman embodies in her position.

That said, I hope she fights very hard for her client and loses.

Well, this is offensive: I really do believe that Sarah Palin deserves a pass on the Arizona mass murder. That said, I think that the way she's been responding to criticism has been poor at best, duplicitous at worst. But amidst all the calls to tone down the rhetoric, she has now denounced criticism of her as "blood libel". Seriously? Criticisms of her cross hair map are on the same level as the slander that Jews make matzos using the blood of Christian children? A charge that was used to justify centuries of violent pogroms? Please...

That's an inappropriate if not disgustingly self-serving way to respond to this tragedy. The father of slain 9 year old, Christina Greene provides us with an alternative:

This shouldn't happen in this country, or anywhere else, but in a free society, we're going to be subject to people like this. I prefer this to the alternative.

This is very sad: Sometime ago, Erika Gandara took a job nobody else wanted. And now, she has vanished.

Speaking of the international drug war...

"Aggressive masturbation"? I've read that bite evidence can be inaccurately used but are they contending that this girl is a human pretzel?

Maybe you should throw stones in glass houses.

A judge has dismissed the copyright case between Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press over the appropriation of a photograph to make a now iconic image of Obama. The case was dismissed after the two sides agreed to a settlement. Personally, I'd have liked the case to have proceeded. I think the concept of 'fair use' needs to be better defined in court. I should also note that Shepard Fairey has a bit of experience when it comes to copyright infringement and 'fair use'... on the other side.

Woke up to more snow today. Another day, another blizzard. At this point 49 of the 50 states have snow on the ground, including Hawaii for crying out loud! Surfers must be pissed!

More sad news from the Australian floods. It's really unbelievably awful. I remember not too long ago, the Australians were praying for rain because of a horrific drought.

Kacee Bait: The worst year for rock? One of my resolutions was to try to appreciate pop music. It appears as though I'll shortly have no choice in the matter.

"This house believes that pornography does a good public service." Well, not this house per se. But Cambridge seems to. Since both my father and sister attended Oxford, I look forward to some familial snarking.

Let's end things with just a bit more Kacee Bait shall we?

Always with the gayliens!

This vision is truly irrational. It is almost certainly a product of our fear of the unknown. I mean, that’s a long way to travel to have sex with a different species. How far would you go to hook up with a zebra?

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