Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 24, 2008

Is this slavery?

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:46 pm

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

That Amendment was passed in 1865.

Now, look what happened in Greely, Colorado, in 2008:

Court plucks people off street to serve on juries

he Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/16/2008 09:38:39 PM MST

GREELEY, Colo.—With only 39 out of 200 people summonsed for jury duty showing up Wednesday, court officials with emergency jury duty subpoenas headed to the street to randomly pick 50 people to serve on juries.

Witnesses told television stations that administrators approached people walking on the sidewalk, at a grocery store and even a nearby gym, where people in their workout clothes headed to court under a threat of a contempt of court citation.

“This is not right,” Karen McMillan told administrators. She was approached while in a grocery story and ordered to serve.

Doesn’t that sound like “involtunary servitude”? And it was certainly not for the conviction of a crime — anyone convicted of a crime would probably be let off due to potential bias!

“Judge sues over court mishap”

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:38 pm

A judge in Massachusetts is suing his own court for a knee injury sustained when he tripped on the courthouse steps.

Courthouses must have really high insurance rates, since there are lawyers hanging around them all the time. ;-)

It might be worth noting, in this context, that while in the U.S. judges are virtually always (former) lawyers, this is not true everywhere. In some countries, “lawyer” and “judge” are separate career tracks.

January 7, 2008

Edwards and Clinton: “Pot, meet Keetle”

Filed under: — Different River @ 9:30 am

Ben Smith at Politico.com relates:

Edwards responded sharply to a Clinton aide’s criticism today, intensifying a back-and-forth that began at last night’s debate, after Clinton said Nataline Sarkisyan could be alive if the patients bill of rights, which he’d boasted of championing, had passed.

“The Clinton campaign has no conscience,” Edwards said, after Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said Edwards does no more than “read articles about people who need help and talk about them.”

Well, if that isn’t the clearest case ever of the pot calling the kettle African-American, I don’t know what is. Recall this incident from the 2004 campaign, when Edwards said that the recently-deceased Christopher Reeve could be brought back to life if Bush had supported federal funding for stem cell research!

As CNN reported on October 12, 2004:

Edwards said Reeve, who died Sunday, “was a powerful voice for the need to do stem cell research and change the lives of people like him.

“If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again,” Edwards said.

Now I understand there is a lot of controversy about what, if any, benefits might result from stem cell research, and how long it might take for those benefits to be realized. But nobody — nobody except John Edwards — ever claimed it would result in resurrections.

But when former heart surgeon and then-Senator Bill Frist called him on it,

Edwards campaign spokesman Mark Kornblau hit back, “Yes, breakthrough research often takes time, but that’s never been a reason to not even try — until George Bush.”

So to summarize: John Edwards blames someone’s death on a policy of his political opponent’s. Hillary Clinton blames someone’s death on a policy of John Edwards. John Edwards claims, based on this fact, that Hillary Clinton “has no conscience.”

Therefore, by John Edwards’ own standard, John Edwards has no conscience.

Either that, or John Edwards is a hypocrite. Which is the more charitable conclusion?

Powered by WordPress