Yes siree folks…we got it all for ya today. And since nothing has happened since my last post except Neil got his bike fixed the update on life will be pretty short.
A month or so ago his bike started skipping gears when on the largest chain ring (on the crank with the pedals) and the smallest cog (the gear cassette on the rear wheel)…this combination is the highest gear. He tried adjusting it as well as he knows how but had no luck…so today he went down to our local bike shop Paradise Cycle for Greg to take a look at it. Greg had previously replaced the chain, cassette and done a tune up back in May about 800 miles of riding back…so he didn’t figure that either was worn out…and in fact he had measured the chain to see if it was stretched (it wasn’t) and looked at the cog to see if it was excessively worn (didn’t appear to be to him…but he’s not the bike mechanic expert).
Now here in FL…as you know…there aren’t any hills so he typically is in the highest gear combination almost all of the time…his estimate is that of the 800 miles since the replacement all but 10 of them have been in the highest gear. He doesn’t typically downshift unless it’s seriously upwind and mostly doesn’t downshift much even if he stops.
Greg took a test ride and after about 3 pedal strokes said “bad cassette…let’s go in and replace it”. So he did and they got to talking about why it was worn out already. Greg’s answer was that Neil was riding wrong…at his age and fitness level he needs to have a cadence (pedal rpm) of 75-85 per minute and he normally runs in the high 50s. Greg suggested he get a bike computer to help keep track of that and also that Neil shift every couple of minutes to more evenly wear the components…Greg stated that he was rarely in a single gear more than a minute or three and was only in the highest gear (he has the same chain ring size and cassette as Neil so the same gear ratios) going down off of a bridge and downwind.
Neil is going to take the bike computer advice and when he got back and went on today’s ride he did almost 15 miles while keeping the cadence up…although every time he counted it for a minute it was 95-110 so it needs to be dialed back some and shifting whenever he slowed or when there was a gust of wind or he turned down/cross/upwind. That actually made a considerable difference already…his average speed was among the highest he’s done even though it was seriously windy today, he finished the route with his best time for that route by over a minute and a half…and he didn’t feel nearly as fatigued when he was done as he normally does after a 15 miler. He’ll be ordering the computer after I post this and give him the computer back.
That’s it…we’re off to the Elks for Tacos and Show Me The Money tonight and then we have a Mask-erade Dinner at the lodge on Saturday evening.
So…back to the stuff in the post title.
I reckon you saw on the news that the KY Attorney General announced the results of the Grand Jury investigation into the officers who killed Breonna Taylor during the execution of a no-knock warrant a few months back. The officers were not indicted for any crime related to her death as the shooting by the police was justified. One officer was charged with 3 counts of wanton endangerment because some of his rounds went into a neighboring apartment…in other words his gun control was poor.
So Neil and Connie’s human kid had a twitter rant last evening that essentially said…the cops murdered her…qualified immunity was wrong and nobody should be above the law…and that since the Fire Chief can’t start fires and the Postal Inspectors can’t commit mail fraud that police should not be able to murder citizens either.
Like most of his young progressive generation…the actual facts of the case were ignored by him so that he could rant about the police murdering an innocent citizen.
So…what actually happened that night. Here is the timeline as best as I can figure out after taking all of the self serving or incendiary language out of it. I can’t quote a single url for you to go read since it took a half dozen at least to sort it out.
- Police executed a no-knock warrant on her apartment believing that her ex boyfriend was using it as part of his drug dealing. Now you may agree or disagree with no-knock warrants and I’ll admit there are pros and cons to both allowing and outlawing them…but the no-knock warrant debate isn’t part of the timeline. The fact is that they had a properly prepared, reviewed, and approved no-knock search warrant…and they carried out it’s execution exactly in accordance with procedure.
- The police were not wearing body cams so there is no actual video or audio of the events when they entered her apartment. This is because Louisville did not require them at the time. Whether they should have been required is again beyond the scope of the timeline…but it is my belief that police should always be required to have them and they should be required to be on unless the cop is in the bathroom or they are in a very limited set of circumstances as defined by (my recommendation) state policy such as notification of next of kin and similar. They should also be reviewed and made publicly available as soon as reasonable after they are made…taking into account that releasing them before an investigation is complete is not a good idea and should not happen.
- The police state that they knocked and announced their presence before entering. The evidence on this is mixed…some neighbors report they did not and some (including the upstairs one) said they did…and even that bastion of unbiased journalism the NYT agrees that some neighbors heard the announcement…but since eye witness statements are notoriously unreliable it’s impossible to say one way or there other. However…anybody that has ever seen an episode of Cops or any of the other police reality shows knows that cops usually enter in number, loudly, screaming “Police” and “Show me your hands” and “Get on the ground”. So my guess is that is likely that they did announce their presence and identification as police.
- On entry…for some reason Ms. Taylor got out of bed and went down the hall while her new/current boyfriend saw fit to open fire on the officers from the bedroom. He claims that he thought it was a home invasion…there’s no evidence either way that his statement is either true or false. However…he did open fire, wounded an officer, and failed to determine whether it was an actual home invasion or to identify his target before he opened fire.
- The cops…after being fired on…returned fire and Ms. Taylor was killed.
- The subsequent reports were…according to some sources but again nothing specific or firm…vague regarding her injuries but frequently initial reports are reviewed and updated by the involved officers when they are not in the heat of the moment.
That is the actual timeline.
So…the media and Ben Crump immediately jumped on the “Another innocent black murdered by police”…as did all of the young progressive generation. But was there actually a crime committed?
The DA in KY happens to be a black man…so while as an elected Republican AG he might tend to support police…but as a black man he felt duty bound to do as complete an investigation as possible. He apologized during his press conference to her family and stated that he felt great sympathy for their loss…but that the law provides that…the police can shoot back if you shoot at them…and if you choose to endanger your family/girlfriend by starting a gun fight with the police it is not murder if they get shot…it is not manslaughter…it is not negligent homicide or any other crime…it is just a tragic accident for the victim but was caused by the initiation of the gun fight by shooting at the police.
I’m sorry she was shot…but she made a poor decision to leave the bedroom and her boyfriend made a poor decision to open fire. I did not see anyplace whether his gun was legally owned or not. He says he is a legal gun owner and violated no laws by having one in his possession…and he wasn’t charged as such so it is likely that his firearm was legal.
Naturally…the WAMM is righteously outraged because the grand jury and AG…um…followed the law so they rioted and shot two police officers. How dare those establishment systemic racist thugs follow the law. I’m not saying you can’t lobby to have the law changed…but rioting and shooting police doesn’t help your cause one bit.
Moving on…the debate over replacement of Justice Ginsburg.
I realize that opinion pages in newspapers are just that…opinions…but one would think that any reputable newspaper with journalistic integrity and an interest in actual journalism would review the submissions to make sure that they are at least factually accurate but apparently not. Case in point…the Miami Herald. To their credit…when they published there two opinion pieces the other day…they published one on each side of the argument. However, what they failed to do was use that whole journalistic integrity thing to at least keep straight up lies out of them. In addition…when the two pieces were published the pro Democrat one was at the top of the main web page and the pro Republican one was way, way down about 3 or 4 screens.
The Democratic one is headlined “Republican Party lies, cheats, breaks the rules. We really want it running our country?”…and goes to lambast the potential confirmation of a new justice for several reasons. One reason is the “McConnell rule of no vote in an election year”…except unfortunately for them that wasn’t what the man said…what he said was no vote by an opposite party Senate in an election year. It goes on to state that the Republicans are “shredding the norm that these votes are not done”…when in actual fact that statement is a lie. Like party nominations have been routinely approved and opposite party nominations have been routinely disapproved…with the total number of election year nominations at 29 if you go back to 1783 or a smaller number depending on which starting point you choose. The piece goes on to demand that the Democrats “pack the court” if they win the election and Senate despite the fact that neither their Presidential nominee or Justice Ginsburg supported this…and despite the fact that it can’t be done without killing the filibuster…which again their Presidential nominee is against. The filibuster allows the minority party to have some leverage to get compromise legislation. Finally…it states that if the Republicans are not “emphatically crushed” in the election there is a question both as to whether the country will still exist or even if we should have a country.
The Republican one…is not nearly so visceral. It calmly explains the actual facts that the President’s powers extend into the 4th year of his presidency (as noted by Justice Ginsburg) and that the President has nominated a justice 29 out of 29 times it happened in an election year…and that like party ones were mostly approved and opposite party ones were mostly not approved…but that’s politics folks. It also wonders whether the Democrat claims mean that well earned political and numerical advantage has been outlawed…and if so…has anybody told Ms. Pelosi that.
Both state the positions of their respective side…but only the Democrat one seems outraged…when even some Democrat leaders have stated that “we have no ability to stop this but we would have done the same thing”.
I understand that the Democrats want a liberal justice to replace Justice Ginsburg…and that the Republicans want a conservative one…but sometimes that’s just the way the political cookie crumbles.
So the Democrats are now demanding that the court be packed because “a conservative majority will destroy the country”. Funny how the Republicans say that a liberal majority will do the same…and even funnier is that despite periods of both the country has not been destroyed.
Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court…and a like party House and Senate refused to do it for him. Justice Ginsburg herself said that it would politicize the court even worse than recent confirmation battles already have.
The Democrats counter that nothing in the Constitution requires 9 justices…and in fact there is really no good reason for there to be 9. It should be an odd number so that there’s always a decision and not a hung jury as it were but what about increasing the size?
That might actually be a good idea…but it would have to be done in a way that was fair. Jonathan Turley…who is a law professor at GW University in DC and who has testified numerous times both for both parties over the years has an idea. I googled him and after reading wikipedia and a couple of others he has opinions but they’re mostly pretty center, well justified and researched, and he has favored both Republican and Democrat arguments in the past. His idea goes like this…
Increase the size of the court to (for example) 17 or 19…retaining always the odd number for actual decisions. However, instead of one president appoint another 10 justices…phase this in. He makes some good arguments both for and against expansion…but lays out this process as a fair way to do it should the parties agree. In his idea…each President gets to appoint 2 new justices until after another 5 terms or 20 years we get the new number…that way the likelihood of it looking like a power grab goes away. I would change this to be not 2 per presidential term but two per president…so a president who was reelected would only get to appoint 2 and not 4. This makes it fairer for both parties…if two subsequent presidents of the same party each served 2 terms and another of the same party is elected then one party would appoint all 10…which would be unfair. A requirement that each party would get to appoint 5 might be a good idea…but again this should be spread out so that no particular President or Senate would have an outsized influence on the appointments…and in order to be fair the nominations of the Republican and Democrat nominee in a particular term should be confirmed or denied as a package. The whole idea here is to spread any increase out over time to increase fairness and to ensure that neither party dominates the process.
I’ve not decided whether this is a good idea or not…it really depends on whether the country decides we need a larger court. There would still be a majority one way or the other.
Then there’s Gabe Roth…who wrote
this article in USA Today…”Supreme Court Term Limits Do Not Require a Constitutional Amendment”. I took a read of this and my first thought was…Did this guy either have a civics course in high school, understand how the government works, or actually read the Constitution…and the answer is no, at least to the last.
He says that Congress can just impose term limits on SCOTUS justices because he says so. He correctly states that in the constitution it says that “judges and justices shall hold their office during good behavior”…and admits that since 1783 this has been interpreted as a lifetime appointment…but he says that isn’t what the Constitution says. He says that term limits on them can be imposed and then after their SCOTUS term limit runs out they can go off and serve as judges on some lower court…and that a judge is a judge and the office is judge so that would be in accordance with the Constitution. If you read the actual words in it…it says that judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their office during good behavior. That seems to differentiate supreme vs inferior court judges and both have office during good behavior. Since SCOTUS justices are appointed to SCOTUS and not as AOFJ (Any Old Federal Judge)…I see no possible way for the Constitution to be interpreted to support his idea. He further states “Remember, judicial life tenure is not handed down by decree from on high. It exists in the United States because a series of 18th century English monarchs, on this and the other side of the Atlantic, were axing jurists whose decisions they objected to. That’s it.” I have no idea whether his statement about the origin of life tenure is correct or not…and didn’t bother looking since it’s irrelevant…but in the US anyway…life tenure is handed down by decree from on high…that pesky document ratified back in 1783 the Constitution. It seems pretty clear to me…but apparently old Gabe is just another disgruntled liberal who wants his way regardless of what the Constitution says. He further justifies his idea by stating that previous justices Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter chose to serve on lower courts after their retirement. However…this actually happened because both had life tenure and chose to work in retirement rather than sit on the veranda and decay…and their decisions in no way support the idea that SCOTUS justices don’t have life tenure.
Moving on…out in Portland…an admittedly right wing organization called The Proud Boys applied for a rally permit which was denied by the Parks Authority because of the CoViD. However…the permits for the counter protester rallies were approved.
Just how in the hell is this legal?
Moving on…down in Florida we have a state constitutional amendment passed by the voters that allows felons to regain voting rights…the exact text of the amendment approved on the 2018 ballot is this
No. 4 Constitutional Amendment Article VI, Section 4. Voting Restoration Amendment This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.
Once the amendment was passed…and I actually approve of this change…the legislature passed and the governor signed into law legislation that amplified the “complete all terms of their sentence” part to include any fines or reparations assigned. The logic was that (a) the amendment says “all terms of their sentence” and (b) when the guilty party is sentenced what the judge says is “You are hereby sentenced to confinement/probation/fines/restoration/whatever else they received that that thusly the fines/restoration are part of the sentence. Again…I agree with this…the monetary forfeiture is part of the sentence.
Naturally…the Democrats took exception to this since the majority of the felons in FL are either black or Hispanic (I read this someplace but couldn’t find it again after a brief search) and thus would be more likely to vote Democrat…so they filed suit…and the state Supreme Court agreed that the law and amendment text were consistent and that fines/reparations had to be paid before they were eligible to vote.
So along comes Mr. Bloomberg who spearheaded an effort that raised $20 million to pay the fines and reparations of 32,000 former inmates who had completed their sentence except for the money part. However…the effort and funds specifically state that they can only be used for black or Hispanic former inmates and not felons in general…and I have no idea whether 32,000 is the total number of former felons in the state or just how many they could pay for. I can see two major issues with this.
First…how in the hell is this not racist?
If you specifically will only pay for black or Hispanic former felons…you are discriminating on the basis of race which is racist…and in addition to being racist it is arguably in violation of the 15th amendment which states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race…”. If white and American Indian former felons are denied this relief isn’t that “being denied the right to vote on account of race”?
I would have been in favor of this idea…if it was equally distributed to all felons…or, if insufficient funds were available for all felons it was apportioned by either racial makeup in the entire population or racial makeup in the former felon population…there are pros and cons both ways but that is another beyond the scope discussion. But clearly this is race based and thus racist.
Then there’s another report…apparently the AG in Florida is investigating whether Mr. Bloomberg and his cronies violated Florida law with their program. Under Florida Law…it is illegal to “offer financial inducement for a vote” and with the clearly racial selective former felon choices who will most likely vote Democrat they may have. In addition to the racial selection criteria…there is a memo from Mr. Bloomberg that specifically talks about “getting more Biden votes from former felons”…so there’s at least the implication of impropriety there.
There’s another one about the released this week report from the Senate on the activities of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter and whether any influence peddling was going on there…ya know, very similar to the supposed influence peddling that the President was impeached over in the whole Ukraine fiasco…but I’ll save that for next time I guess.
Sorry…no images today…cookie crumbles and all that ya know.
Interesting stuff found on the net.
Amish repo guys.