Friday, May 21, 2010

If I were president ....

... and a state passed a law that concerned me. Here's what I'd do.

  1. I'd READ it thoroughly.
  2. I'd get on the shoe phone to my AG and say, "Have one of the elves evaluate the federal statute with regard to this law, and write up a comparison. I want it in 48 hours."
  3. "In addition, have the elves search case law for applicable cases and decisions. I hear there's this thing called LexisNexis (ETA: As per Bezzie--Thanks!). Write me a short report, and talking points and put in on the teleprompter."
If I did this, here is what I would have found out in 48 hours max:

That the federal statute gives far more latitude to law enforcement than the Arizona law AND that the Arizona law actually codifies the "no profiling" restriction, which which federal law doesn't.

Think the federal law is a lawsuit waiting to happen? Well, you're late.

MUEHLER V. MENA (03-1423) 544 U.S. 93 (2005)
332 F.3d 1255, vacated and remanded.

The Supreme Court found in a .... are you sitting down....9 to 0 decision (even Bader Ginsburg crusty liberal that she is, concurred), that the federal law is constitutional, and that law enforcement does not need a reason to ask for proper identification and proof of residency. This case revolved around unlawful search and seizure, and is very clear.

Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote the opinion...not majority opinion, mind you...the OPINION.

Read paragraph 14:

The Court of Appeals also determined that the officers violated Mena’s Fourth Amendment rights by questioning her about her immigration status during the detention. 332 F.3d, at 1264—1266. This holding, it appears, was premised on the assumption that the officers were required to have independent reasonable suspicion in order to question Mena concerning her immigration status because the questioning constituted a discrete Fourth Amendment event. But the premise is faulty. We have “held repeatedly that mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure.” Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429, 434 (1991); see also INS v. Delgado, 466 U.S. 210, 212 (1984). “[E]ven when officers have no basis for suspecting a particular individual, they may generally ask questions of that individual; ask to examine the individual’s identification; and request consent to search his or her luggage.” Bostick, supra, at 434—435 (citations omitted). As the Court of Appeals did not hold that the detention was prolonged by the questioning, there was no additional seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Hence, the officers did not need reasonable suspicion to ask Mena for her name, date and place of birth, or immigration status.

Once I saw this, I'd shut up. Or have my word smith elves construct a line or two that I could use that would not put me in an awkward position. (Mostly because I "like" law enforcement almost as much as I "like" the military, and can't seem to be able to keep this fact under wraps.) I'd then tell my minions to keep their opinions to themselves unless they could come up with grounds that wouldn't suck us down like quicksand..... I have no problems with pragmatists.

I would like to request that our elected officials, particularly those who are supposed to be smarter than God, understand the actual laws of the country they are supposed to be representing. Is that asking too much? (This debacle makes W looks like Einstein.)

Oh and ACLU....Game on!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yes we can!!!!

Hey hey hey good-by!

This morning on the way to work I asked my husband if I should send an "I told you so message" to Arlen, the ultimate opportunist. You may recall that when I wrote to him, in fury, about his support of the "health care" bull, I ended with how he should enjoy his last term in the senate, because he was "outta there". My husband, in an uncharacteristic charitable moment, said no. He's a better man than I. Just an FYI, switching parties wasn't the issue. Selling his soul to Obama, as part of the switch was the real problem. The citizens of our commonwealth always expected Arlen to do their bidding, and most of the time he did. When he didn't this time around....he was destined for failure. Perfect faustian ending.

I should add here, that I'm an "unaffiliated voter" and we have closed primaries in PA. Just as in the presidential primary when I almost registered as a Dem to vote against Hillary (who now looks like a stellar choice, my how times have changed), I very nearly did it this time too. But decided against it. It looks like, unless he really screws up, Toomey can beat either of them. (I'm not completely sold on him either, but hell I'm looking at the lesser evils now.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Big FAIL!!

Complete Collapse!!

It's going to be a long two and a half months ..... until Steeler camp!

Aside: It's not that I don't like baseball, but the Pirates are so god awful. And their owner, prince that he is, refuses to sell to the Lemieux ownership group. At least then the team would have a sporting chance......

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm an idiot....

... you can't be shocked! For the second time in as many sleeves I've made the same error. Really. I'm knitting Bonne Marie's CeCe. This is the second time around, and I'm making long sleeves. (B. Marie helped me with converting 3/4 to long. If you would like advice, please email Bonne directly. She's aces.) It is a nice knit. However, for some reason I keep forgetting to size up my needle from the cuff ribbing to the sleeve lace. Duh. I am starting my second sleeve prior to finishing my first because I'm making a minor change in the design. So rather than ripping the first before I'm sure about what I'm doing, I decided to start the second. I've already made this mistake on the first sleeve. It is inconceivable that I forgot this time AGAIN! This sweater will be wearable long about November at this rate.

Just so you know that my pace is not glacial "just because", I did complete this in the meantime:

I made one of these a year ago and gave it as a gift. I had lots of pearls left over, and wanted one of my own. I finally sat down and over a couple weekends, finished the bugger.

This is constructed of size 6 beads (with the delightful name of cream soda) in a peyote stitch bracelet, and a variety of freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. The crystals are nestled among the pearls in the clasp, and are hard to see in the photo.

You can see some of the crystals if you look closely - they are peridot and amethyst.

In fact, I reconstructed this a second time too. I made it too long and the pearl clasp rolled around my wrist. I hate that.

So along I knit. I have a pair of socks and a sweater, that seem to be going nowhere.....Why is that? And surprise!! I have another pair of French Press Slippers ready to be stitched together and felted. Might be a good hockey game project.

Go Pens...please put the Habs away tonight!! Please!!

Friday, May 07, 2010

I probably should explain....

... the women's movement rant.

It was engendered (no pun intended) by the ....ummm disgusting situation with Steeler's quarterback, Roethlisburger. Apparently, he has never been known as "Mr. Nice Guy", under the best of circumstances, but in the 'Burgh, keep your nose clean, and nobody much cares. The residents hold the "nice guy" athletes (Joe Greene, Jack Lambert (can you imagine?), Mario Lemieux, Franco Harris, Willy Starzel, way too many to name) near and dear to their hearts. But the bad eggs...meh. That is unless you turn into a really bad actor - which has a pretty low threshold in the 'Burgh -ask Plaxico and most recently Santonio. Roethlisburger is on thin, thin ice, let me tell you. That's the back story.

The other part of the context is where I currently live, a college town (which is emptying out even as we speak, it becomes almost livable for the next 75 or so days). If you live in South Bend, Ann Arbor, or Chapel Hill, I expect you know EXACTLY from whence I speak.

When the details of Roethlisburger's (hereafter referred to as "the Idiot") situation became public. I shook my head. I know those women. The underage partiers who CHOOSE (important point) to go out and binge drink. They don't care if they drink too much, and some do it systematically. Meaning--that is their intent. They go out in a posse, and drink themselves stupid. They figure as long as they are not driving they will be safe. (Here, lately, the authorities have been cracking down hard on establishments serving underage drinkers, but the overage drinkers are no smarter.)

Enter the Idiot (and others of his ilk), these women are not just easy pickin's because they are intoxicated (by choice), they literally are asking for sexual contact. And here is where the victim/participant line gets totally blurred and why this is nothing short of head shaking time. Before, a woman could be accused of leading someone on if she 1) wore short skirts; 2) tight clothing that showed her "endowments"; 3) drank too much; 4) flirted.... Everyone can probably come to some agreement that these behaviors, while not smart, and show a lack of personal respect, do not invite sexual assault, in and of themselves.

However, what to make of this?
The 20-year-old GCSU student and others in her group of sorority sisters were wearing name tags of a sexual nature—the accuser's read dtf, short for Down to F---. Witnesses said the woman was visibly intoxicated at Capital City, and one told police that the accuser had been "obsessed" with Roethlisberger's arrival in town.
Now I have no idea what really happened. And frankly, at this point, I'm too disgusted to care. You can read the SI story for yourselves and see if you can figure it out. However, envision what this DA saw in his report:

A visibly drunk student, wearing a profane invitation, and according to heresay, "obsessed" with the accused, is now claiming sexual assault. What a superb witness! I'm not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV, but I can hear the cross examination now....can't you? What choice did he have in the absence of physical evidence? But according to the feminist movement, this person is still a victim. Of sexual assault? Maybe...but we'll never know for sure. What we do know is that there are lots of victims of stupidity in this story.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The fun .....stuff

Some people just know how to have a good time!!

Michelle the Knitting Lady

When I sent this link to Mr. KB, all he wanted to know was how she was able to get all those tickets!! (I want to know how she got a photo op with Mario!)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

That was then...this is now...

That was was the mid-70's we were female, in college, and the "women's movement" was just showing the signs of coming to fruition. We were indoctrinated that we could do anything and a mom, have a career, marry a guy who could cook and do housework, and help with the kids.....nirvana awaited. (Never mind that I somehow grew up in a traditional family that didn't hold with traditional gender roles, and I never realized that I couldn't be an engineer or a veterinarian.) And I never even considered burning any piece of my underwear.

This is now...a woman of modest birth and education rises to a high political position as the governor of the largest state in the union. In that position she has a 15 billion dollar budget, control over the state national guard, and 15,000 state police. While in office, she arm wrestles big oil into providing stipends for state residents. She is a mother to 5 children, one with special needs (when she choses to continue the pregnancy). She has a hottie hubby who, probably along with nannies--let's be realistic, handles the kids when necessary. She hits the national stage, and what's the first criticism the icons of the women's movement level? Is it her policies? Is it fact based critiques of how state money was spent? Deficit spending? Nope! Women like Gloria Steinem and Sally Quinn, old guards of the women's movement, criticize her mothering of her children.

This is where the push for equality of women has brought us? Really? Haven't come too far have we ladies? Politics aside (whether one likes her or not), this is what women criticize? That she gave birth to a Down child because her personal stance is anti-abortion? Idiots.

That was then ... women were embarrassed and treated badly by authorities when they were sexually assaulted, especially when the abuser was an "acquaintance". They were blamed for leading him on, acting provocatively etc. The result was many perps were never punished. Women who were abused in this way, first by the criminal, then by the authorities, were debilitated for many years, if not forever. These kinds of scars are hard to overcome. The women's movement demanded better treatment for victims of sexual assault. Victims, but women in particular, were endowed with power to bring these criminals to justice. However, along with this power comes a responsibility, and some women didn't get the memo.

This is now... women are getting the sequence wrong. Somehow instead of understanding that one needs to respect oneself, that power is in the way one carries oneself through life (and this has nothing to do with short skirts, and ho' shoes), our younger, and probably elderly like me, women think that they have no responsibility to act like they actually respect themselves. They get snot snorting drunk and then couldn't identify an elephant in a nursery let alone someone who might have hurt them. But that's apparently OK. They willingly crawl into bed naked with someone (drunk or not), "do not say no" to the act, then decide it was rape after the fact - when the guilt sets in. (I wish I were making this up.) Our daughters have decided that it is OK to consciously act any way they want, then run to mommy and daddy judge (instead of mommy and daddy), and plead assault. Where are the strong women who make good decisions, keep control of their actions, and when they don't, take responsibility for them?

The upshot, of course, is that real, serious sexual crime, which is not as uncommon as I'd like, is tainted with this frivolous crap.

This is not popular of course. Victims advocates will find this appalling. However, because of our location, this is not an unheard of scenario. I am not talking about the woman who goes out for a few drinks, meets a guy, and gets ambushed on the walk to her apartment. I am not talking about the individual who leaves her window open on a hot night, and a lunatic crawls in her window and threatens her with a hammer. (Really happened. He's locked up for good, thanks to the victim's brave testimony.)

We, alas, have raised a generation of wimps. Where are the strong women who when they are harassed by another individual step up and tell the harasser that they're going to "rip their arm off and beat them over the head with the bloody stump", if they do not cease and desist, and in a loud enough voice to attract attention and embarrass the hell out of them? Where are they? I can not be the only one....

But we have to draw the line somewhere. Women who do not take themselves seriously, do a disservice to all the rest of us. Women who try to diminish others on their personal choices, rather than public action, do a disservice too. That's what the women's movement should have taught us.

Big fail!