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April 2008
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Presumption of Innocence in Real Life

Imagine you're charged with a crime.  Fortunately, you have about one-million dollars in savings.  So you'll be able to hire a good lawyer.  So at least you can put on a defense, right?


Under federal law, prosecutors can freeze all of your assets before you've ever been convicted of a crime. 

If you are presumed innocent, how can the government seize your money?

This article, which discusses a pending Eleventh Circuit case, provides a nice overview.


After Hillary Clinton's latest remarks, there can be no doubt that she is the most evil person running for office.  Yet Obama and McCain are  both much worse for the country than she is.  Why is it so difficult for people to look to the potential results of a person rather than the morality of that person?

Do we assume that moral people make the best decisions?  If so, why?

Fieger Trial as "David v. Goliath" Story

I've been following Norm Pattis' excellent coverage of the Geoffrey Fieger.  Many of the comments to his post express this theme:

Fourtunately for [the prosecutor], the government doesn't need a verdict to win the trial. Just the fact it's in trial is their victory; the message read loud and clear not f--k with our powerful masters as they gobble up what's left of our country's wealth.

I'm about to barf reading about the "David v. Goliath" theme.  Fieger is a very powerful and rich man.  He attempted used his wealth to get around campaign contribution laws.  That's all the case is about.

Under federal law, you can only donate $2,300 to your preferred presidential candidate.  Fieger donated $2,300 on his own behalf.  He then solicited employees and others to donate an additional $2,300.  Fieger reimbursed his employees for making their contributions.  He even paid the income taxes they'd be liable to pay for the $2,300 he gave them.  So it's pretty clear what was going on.  Fieger had a pile of money.  He wanted to give as much of this pile of money to John Edwards' campaign as he could.  So he had his employees help shovel this money to Edwards.

Since when are the wealthy such underdogs?Incidentally, I'm willing to bet that if I took a poll of Fieger supporters, they'd say they agree with campaign contribution limits.They'd should to the heavens that limiting campaign contributions prevents the wealthy from having too big of a voice.

If the GM Corporation were on trial for what Fieger did, would we have this weeping and gnashing of teeth from Spence groupies?  Of course not.  We'd hear how great it is that the powerful are being made to follow the same laws as the powerless.

The Fieger prosecution is not a David v. Goliath story.  It's a Goliath v. Goliath story.

Far from being a hapless victim, Fieger had the wealth to hire a team of top lawyers, and the profile to draw major press attention to him.  No one brought him to his knees.  He's indignant to this day.

I don't understand why corporations are villains for trying to buy access, but trial lawyers are heroes for doing the same thing.  And I'll never understand why rich corporations are Goliaths but rich trial lawyers are helpless Davids.

Money is money, people.  And Fieger has a lot of it.  If you're looking for a sob story or for a story to fire you up, look elsewhere.

"Teen Nabbed For N*ked MySpace Photos"

A 16-year-old girl took n*de pictures of herself.  She used interstate wires to transmit the photographs to her boyfriend, who was 17.  This was a crime, though she is not being prosecuted.

Her boyfriend is being prosecuted for posting the pictures on MySpace. 

I have no sympathy for the boyfriend, since it seems he was given an informal deal consisting of:  "If you take these pictures down, we won't prosecute you."  He turned down the offer, and now sits in jail.   

Of course, isn't the government really just prosecuting him for loutish behavior?  After all, his girlfriend is the one who manufactured and transmitted the child p*rn*graphy to him.

Is child p*rn is such a bad thing, why isn't she also being prosecuted?

Pope to Jesus: Kiss Off!

There are millions of orphans currently suffering.  Many of them will suffer horrible abuse at the hands of foster parents.  In other countries, they will be sold into slavery.  These children exist, and if someone doesn't help them, they will suffer.  That much is a constant.

Yet, according to the Catholic Church, only marriage between a man and woman is moral because it leads to a married couple having children.

Has Christianity become so perverted that not adopting (having children rather than adopting them is an conscious act) children is more moral than ending human suffering?

What has happened to the teachings of Christ? 

Having children is the most selfish thing you can do.  You are not so special that your genes need to be passed on to the next generation.  Really, why do people think this?  I am somewhat self-involved, but thinking my seed must be passed on is beyond even my vainest moments.

The need to procreate is not something spiritual.  The dogs down the street are doing it; and they've never even been to Sunday school.  The desire to procreate is a biological urge.  And it's no different from other fleshly desires.

It is sort of silly to say, "I need to go forth and multiply," given that others have done more than a good enough job doing that. 

Children are great.  And children suffering is a horrible injustice.  A church that truly taught Christ's message would encourage adoption over procreation. 

Yet the Pope is more concerned with adults entering into consensual sexual relations than he is with children being sold into sexual slavery.  Yes, when you choose not to adopt, you make it more likely that a child will suffer.  You are culpable. 

It's a strange world we live in, when even the Pope has missed the basic message of the New Testament.  He's more worried about gay adults than he is with suffering children.

Then again, this wouldn't be the first time the Pope was more concerned with adult gays trying to marry than he was with child molestation, would it?


Cindy McCain is rich.  Really rich.  Way richer than probably anyone reading this post. 

Do we need to see her tax returns to realize this?  What if she's worth 300-million instead of 200-million.  What if she is "only" worth 100-million.  What difference does it make? 

But people want to leer.  That's vulgar.  Get a life, people.

(Disclosure: I think John McCain is bad for America.  So this post is not motivated by any respect for him or hopes that he will become President.)