Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Second Criminal Standard of Proof: You're Guilty

From WCBS in New York City, May 21, 2009: 

"Four men due in court Thursday to face charges of plotting to bomb Jewish sites and shoot down military planes were arrested after planting what they thought were explosive devices near a synagogue and community center, authorities say.  The suspects were arrested shortly after planting a mock explosive device in the trunk of a car outside the Riverdale Temple and two mock bombs in the backseat of a car outside the Jewish Center, authorities said. Police blocked their escape with an 18-wheel truck, smashing their tinted SUV windows and while apprehending the unarmed suspects."

As I was reading this, it struck me. Why did they wait so long? I had to hearken back to my first year Criminal Law class at law school. Prosecutors are burdened with proving guilt "beyond a REASONABLE doubt" in criminal litigation. What does this mysterious phrase mean? (The definition of "reasonble" has been the Gordian Knot of common law jurisprudence. It remains so today.) Well, it means that if even one juror is left hesitating as to whether the suspect committed the crime, the suspect goes free. The prosecutor has not met his burden. If you've never been on a criminal jury, you may be somewhat perplexed. Our criminal justice presumes ALL suspects are just that, only suspects.  You are presumed innocent until proven guilty by your peers. This is a sacrosanct underpinning of American jurisprudence.

Back to my point. The FBI and the prosecutors had to wait until the terrorists' hands were in the cookie jar because they knew they would need as much evidence possibly obtainable in order to surmount the high burden of proof in court. Here's my problem with this scenario.  I think we can safely assume that investigators and prosecutors have amassed a shit-ton of evidence clearly showing that these 4 terrorists are guilty. The investigation began back in mid-2008, and they were busted while carrying out their plot. How much more evidence do you need? It's like the burglar of a convenience store who stares into the camera, burgles the store, gets caught, and pleads not guilty. I suspect that these 4 terrorists will get top notch legal representation and will plead not guilty. Millions of taxpayer money will be expended proving a fact. That's the problem folks.

I appreciate our fundamental right to legal representation in criminal trials. Everyone appreciates how John Adams bravely took up the legal representation of the British redcoats responsible for the Boston Massacre. He was lambasted and called a traitor.  The redcoast (kids really), believe it or not, were provoked first. They were terrified of their lives in the face of an angry mob. Here, however, what possibly could be the terrorists' defense?  The prosecutors could use the insanity card - the terrorists were insane and thus did not have the requisite intent necessary to be found guilty of a crime. Again, the meticulousness of the plot will surely destroy that argument if it's ever made. 

Here's my suggestion. Create a second criminal standard: proof beyond ANY doubt. In other words, we're 100% sure you're guilty. This alternative standard will be available for those rare cases where it's absolutely clear to any reasonable person that the "suspect" is guilty.  For instance, if you catch the suspect in the act. Or if the suspect is caught on video. Or DNA evidence. This standard would save millions of dollars a year in mindless representation of those who are clearly, beyond any doubt, guilty. (My assumption here is of course that the jurors will be unanimous in their guilty verdict.) It would lead to a more efficient and orderly judicial system. In turn, it would enhance the constitutional right of access to courts. And as importantly, it would give the over-worked and under-paid federal district court judges a much needed respite from frivolous criminal cases.  

At your service,
American Confucius


I have been an avid reader of frontpage magazine. It is one of the top sites on the entire Internet because 1) their team of writers are top notch and contribute TRUE journalism noticeably absent in today's traditional media, 2) they promote action against the radicals and provide momentum to counter the most virulent of institutional indoctrination tactics, 3) their perseverance in the face of denouncement by the hecklers at each event, 4) and their continued efforts with the budget constraints they must endure while accomplishing incredible work. If you don't read their site daily, you have committed a sin. Indulging in articles should allow the reader to be informed to the point that they will be able to defend themselves against any counter argument.

I have had them listed on my blogroll for sometime. For those of you who have been involved in organizations in concordance
with this agenda of Horowitz's, consider the possibility that they may be more approachable then it appears. Approachable in the sense that the efforts each group does can only be supplemented by one another. A conscience effort in each state must be taken in order to effectively break the established Left and get this country back on track.

My accolades to the student wing of frontpage magazine called the students for academic freedom. Your work taking on the campus hate is the frontline of the war for the future.

I will continue to write this blog indefinitely because I love this country and all it stands for. The borderline insane Left, conspiracy theorists, racists, moles, and other cancerous individuals are difficult to weed out of the organized movement. I am deeply involved covertly. I am surrounded by some wonderful people who are knee deep in the same or similar issues. As current activists, we are available to you. Personally, I hope to meet Horowitz soon. I missed an opportunity recently but will follow up. His book on the most dangerous profesors was a must read. I went to the University of South Florida. Sami Al-Arian was a major asshole. I saved all the newspapers from the college then. He was in the Middle Eastern studies department. The Jewish professor at the time I won't mention but he was a spineless jellyfish. With no backbone, the Islamic Studies department had freedom to do what it wishes. He could have been a beacon for answering the festering problem of hate at that campus. Let's hope the future is in less jeopardy .

Greed's Saving Graces, by George WIll

I will deviate from our general rule that we keep all things original. George Will provides a great example on a micro level of how greed, left to a free market, can and will be controlled and will ultimately lead to higher net prosperity.  A good follow-up to my previous post about greed.

At your service, 
American Confucius

Sunday, May 17, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Greed, we are agreed, is bad. It also is strange. It has long been included among the Seven Deadly Sins, which suggests that it is a universal and perennial facet of the human fabric. But the quantity of it, at least in America, responds to political cycles. Greed grows when Republicans hold the presidency. They did so throughout the 1980s, and no less an authority on probity than American journalism named it the Decade of Greed. Furthermore, everyone knows we are in our current economic pickle because greed, which slept through the Clinton administration, was awakened by the Bush administration's tax cuts and deregulation. The day after the 2008 elections, The New York Times (see above: probity, authority thereon) ascribed America's economic unpleasantness to "greed and an orgy of deregulation." The political pendulum swings, so Republicans will capture the presidency now and then, igniting greed revivals.

Greed is difficult to define but we know it when we see it. That person is greedy who earns, or wants to earn, more than is seemly. Unseemliness is difficult to define but we know it when we see it. A seller of something we want to buy is greedy if the price he is asking is not reasonable. Unreasonableness is difficult to define but we know it when we see it.

In the secondary market for tickets to entertainment events, an arena of people sometimes called scalpers, greed exists. So everyone knows that government regulation is required. Everyone except David Harrington, a Kenyon College economist. Writing in Regulation quarterly, he argues that deregulated markets punish greed. Markets know it when they see it.

Studying the Internet site Stubhub, which is owned by eBay, Harrington monitored the secondary market in Ohio State University football tickets for the Oct. 25, 2008, game against Penn State that was attended by a record crowd of 105,771. Stubhub acts as a broker, charging 15 percent from buyers and 10 percent from sellers, who can charge whatever they choose. Generally, a ticket's value depends on the seat's location -- the lower in the stadium and the closer to the 50-yard line the better.

Harrington collected two sets of information, one on Oct. 13, 12 days before the game, the other on Oct. 21, four days before. On Oct. 13 there were 346 sellers offering 682 tickets. Eight days later, 411 sellers were offering 845 tickets. In the interval, Ohio State beat Michigan State and undefeated Penn State beat Michigan, intensifying fans' interest in the game.

Yet the average price of the tickets offered declined from $359 to $304. This was partly because the quality (seat location) of the remaining tickets declined. Also the number of selling days was becoming smaller. Seats at entertainment events are, like airline seats, a perishable inventory: When the plane takes off, or the game begins, the value of an unsold ticket becomes zero.

A greedy seller -- one who priced his tickets too high -- was less likely than other sellers were to sell them two weeks before the game. Hence he had to resort to much deeper discounts than others did as game day, and the potential worthlessness of his assets, drew near. The larger the number of seats available in the secondary market, and the more transparent that market is, thanks to the Internet, the more likely it is that greed will be punished.

To give the greedy their due, they perform a service: By overpricing, they preserve an eve-of-game supply of tickets for persons willing to pay a premium for last-minute impulse purchases. Unfortunately, such persons are apt to be richer than thee, hence presumptively greedy.

Perhaps it would be restful to give moral reasoning a rest and give economic reasoning a chance. Until recently, many states regulated "scalping" by limiting allowable markups of ticket prices, or by outlawing secondary markets for some events. Most of these states have repealed or relaxed those laws, even though a 1997 New York Times editorial demanded more aggressive enforcement of anti-scalping laws lest the public be victimized by "price-gouging ticket agents."

Actually, would-be price gougers are at the mercy of a public armed with information, which is what markets generate and communicate. Greed is worse than a moral defect, it is a cause of foolish pricing. That is why markets know it when they see it. And when markets are allowed to operate, greed generates its own punishment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Greed: A Deadly Sin or a Necessary Virtue

As an economic libertarian, I've always held the belief that selfishness was a virtue (in an economic sense) but that greed was not. Greed was just this abstract concept that you knew it when you saw it. Greed was evil. Greed was a deadly sin. Gordon Gekko, the main character in the infamous movie Wall Street, was the archetypal evil greedy villain whoultimately landed in jail for breaking the law. Everyone probably remembers the iconic line, "The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works." After the financial collapse of 2000 and the financial meltdown of 2008, it was GREED that made the headlines. The greedy CEOs, the greedy executives, the greedy bankers. And on and on.

Well, here's the problem ladies and gentlemen. What the hell is greed anyway? How do you define it? You really can't (unless you use Biblical definitions; but I'll get to why I don't think that works later). Greed in my opinion is simply wanting more than you need. Do we need the Porsche? Do we need the million dollar home? Or better yet, do we need the private jet? Of course not, but we accrue such things because they're nice. They're pretty. They provide convenience. They're a status symbol and of course we all want to feel important and prosperous. But is this evil? Is this a sin? Is taking that golden parachute from a shareholder owned company or taking a contractually promised pension or working your ass off to expand the bottom line for your shareholders an evil act? Of course not. Is it greedy? Sure it is.

But people seem to confuse greed with unlawfulness. The two can be mutually exclusive. You can be greedy but also stay within legal bounds. Insider trading, collusion with your competitors, and back-dating stocks for instance are not acts of greed. Such acts are the mode of operation of short-cutters. (Remember the kid in your class that got As by cheating? Yes we all knew a few.) That is why, as a society, we have outlawed them. They are unequivocally contrary to a vibrant free market economy.

Now what type of greed should we avoid? Well, the Bible defines greed as an obsession with the accumulation of wealth (you can look up the verses yourself). The key is an obsession. An obsession is irrational. It is gluttonous. Another distinguishing factor is the Bible also refers to greedy people as those who seek to amass wealth but are not willing to work for it. Such greed is perhaps a deadly sin.

The point being, it depends on how we define greed. I think a contemporary definition is an innocuous one, wanting and pursuing more than you need. Most importantly, it is absolutely necessary to a vibrant free market economy. Perhaps Gordon Gekko wasn't so wrong after all.

At your service,
American Confucius

Saturday, May 16, 2009

American Majority Seminar

Long Live The Tea Party!! Training a citizen army and mobilizing. If u missed it, there is more to come. The non-partisan message was very positive and well received. On a beautiful Saturday, look at this crowd. Watch out ACORN!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

PA BBQ Celebrates The Sheik Obama Bill Earmarks of Pork

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Conservative Organizing But How Much Action..Part III


The next Supreme Court appointee is going down in the near term and no one is willing to say who is being considered. The "hush, hush" would leave one to suspect the individual will be of the utmost in their controversial views. The Sheik Obama Administration will pick a person who is considerably young and radical. The person will be acclaimed in fairness across the board by the Democrats. The praise will further be touted by the Left Wing media. I expect a 20/20 interview, followed by a CNN special, and a MSNBC(MS-LSD) segment. The countermeasure to this must be voiced within 24 hrs of the announcement. The time frame for voicing any opposition will be short. Letting this appointment pass by without a constant barrage of unprovable by FOX News and the Blogosphere will only allow the Left to keep the appointment. It will also embolden them to continue to make these type of decisions with little reciprocity.
Possible consideration for this position would be anyone's guess. I would venture to believe it will be someone from the ACLU. Further, the person will probably come from a liberal state such as California or New York. Sheik Obama has already made comments speculating the type of empathetic judgements the person would make. Several politicians have alluded to an individual that would represent the Black community. The reasons are primarily based solely on race. Sheik Obama wants this appointment to make decisions sympathetic and typical and reflecting the Black community. The Supreme Court must be representative of the populace at large. What a load of crap!!
The Supreme Court is not a position that is supposed to reflect the populace. It simply is to uphold and interpret the Constitution. The Left may feel if a Black appointee is made, provided another position should become available, another Liberal will be made even more radical. A Judge who will pass the Gay Marriage Bill and one who will support the Reparations for Slavery initiative shall be done. One who is for gun control or willing to completely condemn the 2nd Amendment. If any Judge appointee reflects society in their light, the Court eventually should be made up of a Gay individual, a Liberal Black, a White, an Asian, and so on. In this case, only the most radical of Right advocates should be considered in future Republican appointments. A member of the NRA, for instance. A person 100% against abortion. (Even I believe abortion may be necessary in some very rare instances!)
Let the Left draw the line in the sand! When Bush had the opportunity to make an appointment he considered the other side's feelings. Sheik Obama always says he will take the Republican views in consideration when making the decision and listen to every idea. Only to be followed by the most radical decision he can possibly make, really never taking anyone else's feelings seriously.
Let the Republican Bloggers be prepared for a letter campaign and a protest movement larger than the Tea Party in order to build our presence. Silence from the Right is the Left's best weapon!

Conservative Organizing But How Much Action..Part II

I was involved with a local election recently where "dirty pool" was alive and well. Poster boards along the roadside, which help with name recognition in the voting booths, were being torn down systematically. The last 2 Presidential elections were plagued with a plethora of questionable practices and unlawful acts. ACORN is evil in every act it conducts, right down to intimidation of voters. The Supervisor of elections rigging the results, felons ineligible to vote, illegals voting, college students voting multiple times, and on and on...Most of the acts were committed by the Democratic sympathizers and can be expected as ritualistic practice from here on. Therefore, a countermeasure must be taken.
Everyone who is Republican and everyone associated with any other party must volunteer to monitor the polls. As a volunteer, the ballot boxes can be watched and the coercion by the Left volunteers can be reprimanded immediately and appropriately. When all volunteer positions are filled, a watchdog group should be created armed with video cameras to ensure that if all positions are filled early by Left supporters, the watchdog group will still be capable of catching offenders.
The Right Conservatives should have a review board of to prepare a list of past issues related to election problems to address. Military personal should be encouraged to participate since their votes are always compromised. Circumvention of their voting rights is overtly heinous since they put their "ass on the line" for the voters.

Conservative Organizing But How Much Action..

I went to a meeting of the local 912 aka "The Glen Beck Thing" where I had the dstinguished honor to meet a stand up individual named Allen West. Allen West is African American or Black (for the old school). He is a retired military man who commands attention and carries himself with the kind of pride a Veteran is deserving of. He is running for US Congress and can be reached at his site His thought is deeply rooted in traditional Conservative values while steering clear of the Right Wing or Left Wing traps other politicians platform.
I spoke with him at length after he addressed the crowd. His speech was profound yet easily understood. The receptive crowd anxiously awaited the Q & A session but was short due to time constraints. Sitting in the crowd, I started to ponder ideas about what all of these notable groups spurred on by FOX News and Right Wing radio have actually done besides "spread the word." People have definitely been motivated to organize and promote the message of the American Ideal. The American Spirit is roaring back and I thank G-D it is.
The first step has been taken to organize and start to answer the garbage the Left Wing Media perpetuates. The cheerleading of the Left politicians is a daily tripe. The Left has addressed one issue at a time and takes the issue all the way to the end as quickly and expeditiously as possible. For instance, Sheik Obama insisted the Stimulus Bill be passed in about 20 hours. He didn't release anything until the last minute but spoke of its urgency relentlessly. Then, putting the pressure on the Right that if it didn't pass immediately, any consequences from the delay of its passage would clearly lay the odus on the Right. And, it passed!
That type of determination and its implementation made it possible. Now, learning from this becomes the key to the Right gaining ground. The work of getting the word out should be done by some while simultaneously others should be implementing the measure. For example, let's take gun control. My friend Texas Fred is a gun advocate who has a website that is extremely rich in content on all Conservative values. His 2nd Amendment feelings are bordering a religious pilgrimage. He is a person I personally look up to and find him to be something of a role model. The gun rights supporters are doing a great job explaining why the Amendment needs to be upheld. What could be the step to take this to the next level? What could be a obstacle both in red tape and in its sheer size? The organized groups of 912, Act for America, Tea Party, Grassroots, I Stand With Israel, and all the others (sorry for not listing everyone) should have conferences together to increase the roster of each group. But, for 2nd Amendment groups, having the NRA provide information at each local meeting and helping people register to get a gun license should be the obstacle I am talking about. By licensing people en mass would create a powerful voice. Local gun shops could distribute literature about the meetings. Therefore, new potential members would hear the Conservative message.
This is only the first step. See Part II