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No Remedy for Lack of Time

Posted by Rick · December 5th, 2005 · 1 Comment

After the damage done to my blog by Aplus.net, I’ve tried to start writing daily again. I really haven’t had time to detail what happened, so those readers I still have are left wondering about my cryptic references to what happened. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to remain that way for at least a week. Suffice it to say that prior to trying to move the blog over to a regular hosting company — prior to that I’d run my own servers for almost 10 years — I had approximately 200 to 250 readers per day on this blog. Because of incompetence and (apparently) a lie contrived for yet-unknown reasons, Aplus.net breached their contract with me shortly after it was signed. Was it because they didn’t like the content on Unspun™? I don’t know.

What I do know is that Unspun™ was offline for just over two weeks and for several days after it came back online with a new hosting company, it didn’t really function well. Some parts of it still have not been rebuilt due to time contraints.

Consequently, readership has plummeted. The latest report indicates there are about 25 readers per day, a decrease of ten-fold.

For that reason, I’ve decided to start blogging daily again for awhile, even on days I don’t have much to say, or the time to put in the kind of research I used to do before posting.

And today is one of those days. It’s not that there isn’t some interesting stuff going on out there. Today, for example, the United States Supreme Court refused to inject itself into a fight between the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and California law enforcement officers from Santa Clara county and San Jose. This is a bit of surprising news, especially since the U.S. Supremes would have had an opportunity to do what they often appear to enjoy the most in life: They had yet another opportunity to overrule the Ninth District Court of Appeals. Surprisingly, for one more day, the rule of law held sway.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: When someone commits a crime, they should go to prison.

The problem is that these days, our governmental agents are no longer forced to obey the law in their pursuit of wrongdoers. You see, in the old days, if the government wanted to put someone in prison, they had to arrest the right guy (or gal) and then prove that they had arrested the right guy (or gal). And they were required to follow certain sets of rules in making that proof. It wasn’t like politics, where anyone could say anything they wanted to say — damn the proof and damn the truth — and get a conviction based on the ignorance of voters, or jurors. They couldn’t just make emotionally volatile claims, or put on “evidence” that was based on speculative beliefs or their own opinions. Nowadays, the ultimate requirements are largely different, even if “technically” the rules on the books remain the same. Today, if the cops want to arrest someone and put him in prison, they generally do it following the same methods utilized by the Rasse-und Siedlungshauptamt branch of the German SS.

Now I know that’s an inflammatory statement to some, so let me clarify that I don’t mean to equate anyone with Hitler or his policy of genocide. I’m talking about the standards of proof that were utilized and the procedural deficiencies vis-à-vis the rule of law, as opposed to the whimsical (i.e., based on personal whims of the rulers) rule of man. Under that regime, if someone in a governmental position wanted to get rid of someone, they simply busted down the doors, did whatever they wanted and that was the end of it. Where necessary, the pretense of a trial — minus all the constitutional, evidentiary and procedural due process protections — was followed.

Most Californians are unaware that this is pretty much how law enforcement — particularly with respect to Fresno’s MAGEC unit — is done today. A goal is decided upon and then all stops are pulled to reach that goal. Damn the torpedos! Damn the law! Damn due process and other constitutional protections!

It’s no surprise that the majority of us are unaware of this; we’re similarly unaffected by it. Generally-speaking, the government is not deliberately targeting people who haven’t attracted attention by doing something wrong. Still, there are times when innocent people are caught up in this, like the defendant in the Hells Angels story mentioned above. And even when they aren’t innocent, there are situations where the lack of constitutional constraint results in the government going overboard in the achievement of its goals.

Perhaps we really don’t care. As long as some other guy (or gal) is feeling the brunt of the government’s immoral and illegal activities, we’re content to sit back and leave sleeping dogs lie — or let them be shot.

But as we move closer and closer to becoming the Third World Police State where activities like this happen routinely, the risk to each and every citizen who might stand up to the government is increased. Not long ago, a defense attorney was convicted and faces a virtual life sentence for what would — even if all the government’s claims are true — normally result in a reprimand (at most) from the State Bar Association. And, again, that’s even if the government’s claims against her were true. Because “terrorism” is the new Boogeyman and because I wasn’t present at the trial, I can’t really say whether I think this woman did what she was accused of doing. I can say that having watched Fresno’s MAGEC prosecutors in the courtroom, it would not surprise me if incompetent, emotion-laden and unsubstantiated “evidence” resulted in a conviction. It happens here all the time.

But Americans no longer seem to care if “criminals” really did what they’re accused of doing. It’s enough that they were arrested. And we’re no longer trained to think logically ourselves, let alone recognize when the government’s case is based on logical fallacies instead of the now-old-fashioned (certain Attorneys General might say “quaint”) legal requirements hammered out in centuries of jurisprudence.

I’m aware that this post — which I actually didn’t intend to write today — is conclusory. It’s no more conclusory (it is much less so, in fact) than the claims often lodged against accused persons by prosecutors these days. Nevertheless, I should provide more reason to accept the claims I’m making in this post. If I had the time for blogging that I used to have, I’d do that now. Instead, it will have to await another day.

Today, there is no time. Tonight’s Remedies mid-term is getting closer with each sentence I blog and — unless I decide to change horses and become a prosecutor some day — it’s important that I spend some time learning the law.

Categories: Social Issues


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Mike Hamilton // Dec 7, 2005 at 9:08 am

    Welcome back Rick!
    It is unfortunate that the script kiddie world creates such problems. They have nothing better to do, which is sad to say the least, not to mention the fact that they use exploits created by far more talented people. I’m glad to see you back online.
    The dry spell of not having your blog to read was made even more stark in contrast to once again being able to read it. It is easy to start to think that open-mindedness and objectivity are completely lost in this country right now, and your blog reminds me that others out there see things going in the wrong direction.
    One of the problems that I have with the Patriot Act is that the assumption is that law enforcement is moral in and of itself. Our country was very much founded on the principal that government must be watched closely “By the People”. Trusting law enforcement with the power that they are given in the Patriot Act is something that I find to be a huge conflict of interest for Americans. The Patriot Act opens up the capability for law enforcement to place evidence at the scene, especially given that the “Search and Seizure” component of the Bill of Rights is directly violated based on the fact that the Patriot Act allows retroactive warrants. This is absurd. The ends do not justify the means if our civil rights are comprimised in the process. Law enforcement exists “For the People” – for all citizens. The mere fact that our own government is telling us that they do not trust their own people is a real problem.

    Once again, welcome back and thanks for continuing to post!

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