Why people hate lawyers (and the traitors they represent)

Bradley Manning got into some unknown type of dispute with his prison guards and ended up having to sleep in the buff for seven hours!!!  Are you outraged?  Or, like me, are you giggling at the fact that this story actually made the news?

The lawyer for an Army private suspected of giving classified material to WikiLeaks says it’s inexcusable that that his client was forced to sleep naked in his cell at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va.

The Marines confirmed Friday that Pfc. Bradley Manning was made to relinquish his boxer shorts for about seven hours Wednesday night due to what 1st Lt. Brian Villiard calls a “situationally driven” event.

And yes, I know that Manning isn’t a convicted traitor, he’s merely a “suspected” traitor.  Considering the information available, I’m pretty damn sure that this little guy, in a fit of pique, tried to use his access to classified information to bring America to its knees.

My object all sublime . . . to let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime….

If you’re a Mikado fan, you know the source of my post title:

The song came to mind because of two stories today, both of which left me wondering whether the punishment fit the crime.

One story you may already have read:  an Iraqi living in Arizona was convicted of 2nd degree murder for intentionally running his daughter over with a car because she had become too “Westernized.”  (Of course, if he was worried about that happening, a logical person might ask why he decided to move to the West in the first place.)  A second degree murder conviction carries with it a sentence that can be as long as 22 years.

The other story just broke recently:  the former head of a California mental hospital was sentenced to 248 years for sexually abusing his adopted son over an eight year period.

Both are heinous crimes, but does it seem to you that a deliberate murder is being treated more lightly than it should be?

When I was back and law school, a Crim Law professor liked to make a big deal out of two murder cases:  when was a garden-variety bar killing that ended in a death sentence; the other was a torture-murder that ended with life imprisonment.  His point was that the death sentence isn’t fair.  My takeaway message, though, was that, if you’re planning a crime, you might want to pick a jurisdiction that allows you to get away with it, so to speak.

England’s greatest generation

As the younger citizens limit their involvement to videotaping a crime in progress (“Oooh, won’t this look cool when I show it to my friends”), a 71 year old grandmother, Ann Timson, acts with extraordinary — and effective — courage:

You can read more about Timson here.

I now pronounce the Archbishop of Canterbury officially insane

The Archbishopric of Canterbury used to be a pretty important job.  The guy who held that position, going back to the earliest Middle Ages, was the premier leader of the English church, whether that church gave allegiance to Rome or the British Monarch.  The current Archbishop, Rowan Williams is, as best as I can tell, insane.

A few years ago, he made a place for himself on the radar by supporting sharia law which is (a) anti-Christian and (b) antithetical to Western notions of human rights.  I don’t need to tell any of you that, under sharia law, Christians and Jews, if they are allowed to live, are second class citizens; women are prisoners of men and can be beaten or murdered with impunity; homosexuals are routinely murdered by the State; and the whole theocratic tyrannical institution seeks world domination.

Williams’ apparent comfort with the idea of creating a vast prison for the entire world population may stem from the fact that his view of prisoners is, to say the least, unique.  He thinks that even the worst of them should be entitled to the full panoply of rights, including the right to vote.  Yes, this is true.  The Archbishop of Canterbury would be comfortable giving, say, Charles Manson or the Yorkshire Ripper a voice in electing government officials, determining government spending, creating laws controlling citizens, etc:

The Archbishop of Canterbury today said prisoners should get the vote, backing an axe killer whose campaign has been endorsed by European courts.

John Hirst, who hacked his landlady to death, yesterday boasted that he was on the verge of forcing the Government to ‘wave the white flag of surrender’, as MPs prepare to vote on the move tomorrow.

The leader of the Church of England Dr Rowan Williams today said that prisoners should keep their dignity – and that their rights should not be put in ‘cold storage’ while they are behind bars.

‘We’re in danger of perpetuating a penal philosophy and system which actually leaves everybody as victims,’ he said.

He told a Commons committee that the country should move beyond ‘a situation where the victimising of the prisoner by the denial of those basic civic issues is perpetuated.’

‘The prisoner as citizen is somebody who can on the one hand expect their dignities as a citizen to be factored into what happens to them.’

That the lunatics who have taken over the EU asylum would like to perpetuate their power by giving the vote to those who have, through their conduct, blatantly violated the social compact is, sadly, understandable. What’s so deeply disturbing here is that it is the Archbishop of Canterbury who has slipped his moorings and is advocating the same inversion of morality and decency.  This is the man, after all, who is supposed to stand for the highest Christian traditions — traditions that include respect for the sanctity of life and law.  For him to treat an axe murderer in  precisely the same way he treats the shopkeeper on the street corner is a travesty of the notions of grace, decency and ethics.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Chicken or egg? Different crime stats in different Arizona counties

Small Dead Animals notices something interesting:  the crime stats in Sheriff Dipstick’s county, as compared to Sheriff Arpaio’s county, are appalling.  Appalling that is, assuming you’re a law abiding citizen and not a criminal.  If you’re a criminal, they’re pretty darn good.

My only question is whether the lousy sheriff caused the bad stats, or whether the community is a loopy loo liberal land that would naturally elect someone who couldn’t be tough on crime if his life depended on it.  I.e.:  bad sheriff or bad voters?

Cold water on hysteria

The media does hysteria well.  It’s about the only thing it does well.

It hysterically accused Palin and Beck and Limbaugh and the Tea Partiers of being complicit in mass murder despite a few readily known and very salient facts:  (1) the absence of a single quotation that can be attributed to any of those people or groups that can reasonably be interpreted as an incitement to violence; (2) the fact that Loughner’s political tendencies, if any existed in that damaged mind, hewed Left; (3) the fact that Loughner had been stalking Giffords since 2007, long before Palin, Beck and the Tea Partiers were twinkles in conservatives’ eyes; and (4) Loughner’s manifest stark, raving insanity.

When the American people rightly rejected this particular brand of hysteria, the media launched a new, two-pronged attack.  The first was to try, once again, for gun control.  I was once a gun control advocate (that was back in my Democrat days).  I soured on it when I figured out a few facts:  (1) Totalitarian governments always disarm their citizens.  The Nazis disarmed the Germans, the Soviets disarmed the Russians, Castro disarmed the Cubans, etc.  (2) Outside of totalitarian states, where the only ones allowed to commit violence belong to the government, gun bans result in higher crime.  The NRA was right:  in a moderately free society (because it’s not truly free if only the government is armed) when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.  (3) As Katrina graphically demonstrated, with the best will in the world, police are usually there after the crime, not during the crime.

Let’s hope the Second Amendment survives this next round of attacks — but to those who refused to vote for McCain, let it be on your head if Obama somehow gets lucky and is able to replace a conservative Supreme Court justice with a liberal one.  I hope it won’t happen, but it can.

The other attack hysterics are mounting is the one that seeks to wrap our elected representatives in bullet proof bubbles.  As to that, John Stossel offers the following bracing, cold common sense (emphasis mine):

This week’s endless media coverage of the Arizona shooting implies that members of Congress are more important than “ordinary” citizens.  They are not.  All lives are equally valuable.

In other words, “Hey, if s/he gets a body guard and security system, I want one too.  And indeed, if I’m unlucky enough to live in South Central or some other crime hot spot, I deserve it more than s/he does.”

How awful! *UPDATED — OFTEN*

My sincerest condolences to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ family and friends.  What a horrible tragedy.  My thoughts are also with the others who were shot during this massacre.

UPDATE (11:49 a.m. PST):  Five seconds ago, Breakingnews.com tweeted that she might still be alive:

Update: Conflicting reports about Giffords – Reuters now reporting she’s alive and in surgery less than 5 seconds ago via breakingnews.com

UPDATE (12:29 p.m. PST):

Update: Hospital spokeswoman tells Reuters Rep. Giffords is in surgery. “She’s alive.” less than 5 seconds ago via breakingnews.com

UPDATE (1:10 p.m. PST): Having thought about all this for awhile, there are two comments I’d like to make. First, sadly, if Gifford was indeed shot point-blank in the head, being alive may not mean more than breathing — with assistance. I hope that being alive means much more, but I’ll reserve my cheers until we know what happened.

Second, speaking of knowing more, beyond knowing that the shooter was young and white, last I heard we know nothing about him. He could be (a) crazy; (b) Left wing; (c) Right wing; (d) religious; (e) irreligious; (f) a stalker without any familiar motive; and (g) none of the above. Speculation at this time is both foolish and dangerous.

UPDATE (1:11 p.m. PST):  While Rep. Gifford clings to life, US District Court judge John M. Roll has died.  My condolences to his family and friends. Also, the shooter has a name: Jared Laughner Loughner of Arizona, born September 1988.

UPDATE (1:15 p.m. PST):  Judging by his YouTube channel, choice (a), above (i.e., crazy) may be the correct identifier for Laughner Loughner.  In the 1950s, he would have been talking about Martians and mind control.  In the 1700s, he would have been concerned about witches and the devil.  This video is more evidence of his profound reality disconnect.  Also, from his YouTube site, check out some of the books that informed his reality (emphasis mine):

Books:

I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

UPDATE (1:59 p.m. PST): And even as credible evidence emerges that the gunman was a loony toons (see above), MSNBC is out of the gate with an article that strongly suggests that the forces arrayed against ObamaCare are behind the shooting. What makes this article even sleazier than its lack of any factual foundation is the fact that, at the end, after having waffled on about threats to Dems — threats that went nowhere, although the writer doesn’t say so — the writer, in a disingenuous display of non-evenhandedness, mentions that Republicans complained about violence too, but adds that their complaints were invalid. This is sleazy, drive-by journalism writ large.

UPDATE (2:27 p.m. PST):  My liberal friends on the “real me” facebook, people I know through school, work, and community, are already implying or saying explicitly that Loughlin’s crime is tied to “right wing” thinking.  Who needs facts?  Who needs reality?  Who needs logic?  They’re ideologues, and their doctrines will see them through anything.

UPDATE (3:08 p.m. PST)Tweets from someone who claims to have been a classmate of his, and who may or may not be a reliable source.  These tweets, if true, show that Loughner’s mania was fed from the Left side of the political spectrum.  (H/t Sadie)

UPDATE (9:28 p.m. PST):  If my facebook is a guide, the Left is indicting Sarah Palin as the shooter’s inspiration.  Some are explicit.  Some are a little more discrete, and refer to the dangers of hate speech.  Next time one of the liberals makes a comment about “hate speech” (with the obvious implication that the hate emanates from the Right), agree with the liberal, coyly adding that the killer seemed to be inspired by Obama’s statement that, “If they [his opponents] bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

UPDATE (9:38 p.m. PST):  Yeah — what Michael Ledeen says about the massive amount of misinformation emanating from the media, much of it irrationally hostile towards conservatives.

UPDATE (9:41 p.m. PST):  The British paper The Daily Mail has a surprisingly good hodge podge of info about Rep. Giffords and about the shooting generally.  That paper is a rag, but it’s a quality rag, if you don’t mind the oxymoron.

If you’re interested, others blogging about this are:

The Anchoress

Ace

Ed Morrissey

Ed Driscoll

American Thinker

Michelle Malkin