Yep…have a happy one today and don’t eat too much…or at least get yerself a turducken…John Madden’s favorite meal of a deboned chicken stuffed inside a deboned duck stuffed inside a deboned turkey with layers of sausage stuffing and cornbread stuffing inside. We’ve never had one at our house for a couple reasons…first off Neil don’t do turkey for this holiday and second the thing weighs 17 or so pounds and since the birds are deboned it is al meat and while we dearly love meat of all types that’s just way too danged much and we would be eating it for weeks.
Do we love meat? Sure we do…as we’re fond of saying ‘round here “there’s room for all of God’s creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes.
We’re having a duck breast with raspberry/orange/habanero sauce, some pumpkin puree with brown sugar and cinnamon and some left over garlic/parmesan mashed potatoes from last night…along with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir and then some blueberry/apricot crisp for desert.
So…have a great day and pay no mind to the woke liberals who claim the holiday is racist and historically inaccurate. Yes, the Indians fed the English settlers and it wasn’t the whole kumbaya thing of lore…but we all learned that back in our grammar school years. And yes…the behavior of the colonists and the early history in what became the US of A was racist…by today’s standards. However, it wasn’t racist by the standards of the day and it’s fundamentally dishonest to judge behavior and policies of 200 odd years ago by today’s differing standards…just like it will be dishonest to judge today’s behavior and policies by whatever standards exist in 2221 and later. Times, social mores, and attitudes change…as well as laws so let us just judge behavior by the prevailing standards of whatever time period we’re talking about.
Last Friday morning we headed up to the Gainesville area for the Mid Year Elks Convention. We weren’t attending it but Connie as a junior delegate or alternate delegate or whatever she is (arguably both according to Neil but her mileage may vary) needed to attend a single meeting on Saturday morning so we made the 200 or so mile drive up on Friday mid day…and I gotta tell ya the idiot drivers were out in force. The whole way up I-75 it was like rush hour on the beltway in DC…too many people following too closely with a series of idiots weaving back and forth much faster than the traffic flow in general so they could get there 2 minutes early…and the idiots included at least 2 unmarked police cars who were at least 20 miles an hour faster than traffic with no lights on and no use of blinkers before merging into a space about 1.5 car lengths long at 90 mph.
On the good side…Saturday was also Neil and Connie’s 45th anniversary so in lieu of celebrating on Saturday they moved their dinner out to Friday night and headed over to Mark’s Prime Steaks and Seafood for dinner. They had Happy Hour in the bar before checking in for their reservation at 1830 and had a great dinner…petite filet for Connie and lamb chops for Neil…both were excellent but even Connie agreed that the lamb chops were better. They split a side of lyonnaise potatoes and had enough of them, the steak, and the lamb to make hash with eggs for dinner on Sunday evening. A nice glass of wine for each of them and they split a creme brûlée for dessert before heading back to the hotel. They were up early the next morning for a pretty decent pair of breakfast sandwiches from the cafe downstairs then she was off to her meeting. She was done about 1030 or so and we were all back home by early afternoon.
Let’s see what’s in the news…
I reckon everybody has seen the results of the Rittenhouse trial out in Wisconsin…acquitted on all counts…but that seemed like it was an easy conclusion with the evidence that was presented during the trial. Nonetheless…the outcome is being labeled as “no justice”, “a travesty”, and “clear proof that the system is biased against non whites and stacked in favor of whites” by our friends in the media and far left. Unfortunately…it seems that those folks don’t believe in having the justice system work the way it is designed and supposed to work but are only interested in the outcome they demand.
Let’s face it…the kid was crucified and convicted in the media and by the woke lefties long ago…and also by the President, administration, and most of the Democrats in Congress. Never mind that folks in authority…like the President for instance…should refrain from prejudging situations.
Let me say up front…the young man was a complete idiot…as are most teenagers…in going over to the demonstration and in taking a weapon with him. However…neither of those actions was or is illegal…and he had homes in both Kenosha and across the river in Illinois so it really isn’t like he came from a long distance to insert himself into the riot. Nonetheless…his actions were stupid but being stupid…again…isn’t illegal.
The issue came down to the fact that he shot 3 people, 2 of them fatally…and whether that was justified or not. By longstanding common law and US law…he is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of his peers…and that guilt must evaluate ONLY the evidence produced during the trial…and that guilt must be based on each and every stipulation of the elements of the offense. The 12 jurors…including 7 women and 5 men and which included 1 black man…unanimously found that the prosecution had not met its burden…and if that is true then acquittal is required. Note…acquittal doesn’t mean not guilty…it means the the prosecution didn’t prove it’s case beyond a shadow of a doubt.
There’s this lawyer who publishes YouTube videos under a channel named Legal Eagle…in which he explains the law and what it says but evaluates it for particular cases. From reviewing his videos, law firm page, and wikipedia page he appears to be left of center but not severely left. However…he rarely takes an official position on the cases he examines one way or the other…he just explains the law and why what happened…happened. Go and take a
gander at this video…it’s about 25 minutes long but I’ll wait. He discusses a bunch of details about self defense, the differing laws in different states, provocation, whether that invalidates self defense claims and a lot more in way more logical and understanding the legal system than I can do.
For those of you who didn’t watch the whole video…here’s the Cliff Notes (are those even a thing anymore?) version.
The prosecution charged him with various counts of homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm and violating curfew…but did not charge him with any of the lesser included offenses in the various homicide counts. Prosecutors frequently decline to charge the lesser included offenses if they think they have a strong case so as to prevent the jury from acquitting on the worst charges but convicting on a lesser charge with a shorter prison sentence. It’s a gamble on their part…but you pays your money and you takes your chances.
Rittenhouse said that it was self defense. The definition of that term differs by state and includes various requirements as to provocation, duty to flee, stand your ground, reasonable assumption by the defendant, and a whole bunch of other things that…again…differ by state. Self defense is what is known as an affirmative defense…in other words the defendant says “I shot him but it was self defense” which means it can’t be an illegal homicide.
In Wisconsin…and again this differs by state…once self defense is claimed then the prosecution has to prove…again beyond a reasonable doubt…that it was NOT self defense or else the defendant cannot be convicted. As discussed in the video…and again I think you should watch it regardless of your position on his guilt or not…if it is reasonable that he feared for his life then his actions were justified. In the video…he states that if the survivor of the shooting had instead killed Rittenhouse with the handgun he pulled and pointed at Rittenhouse then he would also have been able to claim self defense and given the other evidence it would have been reasonable to conclude that he feared for his life. It’s as simple as that.
The woke articles and complaints about the system being rigged for white defendants and rigged against black/brown/non white defendants is just so much BS…none of the people in this case were non white…and this case was solely about a single instance.
So…back to the trial…the prosecutor was an even bigger idiot than Rittenhouse was…he did lousy witness preparation, he failed to keep the defense from attacking prosecution witness credibility, and just generally did a lousy job while assuming he had an airtight case.
After the evidence was finished but before jury deliberations…the judge dismissed the illegal weapon charge and the out after curfew charge entirely…the first one because weapon was actually not illegal under Wisconsin law and the second because while he was violating curfew all of the rioters were also violating curfew and none of them were charged.
He did allow the prosecution to include the lesser included charges in the homicide counts after the fact…which seems to me to be fundamentally unfair. Either charge them at the beginning and risk the jury convicting on one of those instead or stick with the higher charge and take your chances.
So…jury deliberations. I’ll grant that only the jury and anybody who watched the entire trial on TV saw all the evidence…but that which was shown on the news sites clearly to any unbiased or “my mind’s made up, don’t try to convince me with the facts” person demonstrated that a reasonable person could conclude that Rittenhouse reasonably feared for his life in all 3 shootings. In one…a person attacked him with a skateboard and tried to take his weapon, in another the attacker said “I’m going to kill you”, and in the third the attacker pointed his weapon at Rittenhouse…even the prosecutions own video showed that and the surviving attacker admitted he pointed his weapon at Rittenhouse.
Therefore…under the law and not the demands of the media and left…the jury obviously had to acquit…but again that does not mean not guilty…it means the prosecution failed to surmount the “beyond a reasonable doubt” bar for each and every element in the “it was not self defense” requirement.
As I said…the kid was beyond stupid…but that isn’t illegal. His attackers were also stupid…at least 2 of them for using a skateboard to attack a guy with with a rifle. However…they were also at the riot and the rioters were destroying property…again stupid on their part.
In my view…the system worked as designed…which has nothing to with guilt or innocence…it has to do with that whole “beyond a reasonable doubt” requirement that the prosecution is required to meet for conviction.
The trial down in Georgia of the three guys that shot Arbery turned out differently…we always thought that they had a higher probability of being convicted than Rittenhouse…but I really don’t like how the left and media made Arbery out to be such a choirboy who was just jogging along. Arbery deliberately drove to a well to do neighborhood and was seen on video entering a house under construction and looking around for something…and jogging in a different neighborhood in basketball shoes that were not tied up is not how one jogs…so there’s at least some reasonable idea there that he was up to no good and not quite the choir boy the prosecution, media, and lefties portrayed him to be. However…again the system worked as designed.
In wildlife news…we continue to see the return of said wildlife to the pond out back as we get into the drier winter season here in Florida…it got down to 52 the other night and we actually had to close our windows before bedtime.
Here’s the same…we think…gator we saw on our side of the pond the other day. Almost two years into living on the pond here and we’ve seen precisely 2 of them on our side of the pond within a week. It was further up the bank than the last time so this shot was taken through the lanai screen. It is only 4 to 5 feet long so not really a serious threat but Neil was afraid it would skedaddle if he tried to get out the door for a shot.
Tricolor heron, no mating plumage yet but it’s a bit early for that.
Florida soft-shell turtle…first one we’ve seen of both it and the Tricolor this season.Again…through the lanai screen because despite being across the pond from us they are pretty skittish and rarely stay put if you open the lanai screen door.
Better shot of the Tricolor Heron.
Great Blue Heron…we’ve seen these for the past month or so.
And finally…another Great Blue Heron in a strange pose. We’ve never seen one holding its wings out to dry like an Anhinga does…and never seen any heron holding their wings out to dry at such a low and awkward looking angle.
Yeah…we like this time of year.
Interesting things found on the net.
And those math wieners are at it again.
Apparently there is a thing called a cyclic number which an integer in which cyclic permutations of the digits are successive multiples of the number. The most widely known is the six-digit number 142857, whose first six integer multiples are cyclic permutations of its digits…although it appears to have no useful purpose. If one makes the reasonable interpretation that there are no leading zeros in a number…i.e., it is 1,000 and 01,000 isn’t allowed…then this is the only cycle number. If one accepts that leading zeros are allowed…then there are other examples but all of them (10 to the xth power − 1) where x can be 17, 19, 23, 29,47, 59, 61, or 97…but again this appears t one a singularly useless concept.
And just in case you haven’t forgotten about π there’s the Chudnovsky algorithm which can be used to calculate the digits of π…and it was recently used to calculate them out to 62.8 trillion digits…despite the fact that 15 is way more than enough. As I’ve previously noted…NASA uses 15 in their calculations for space missions…because while 15 digits is only an approximation it is off by less than the diameter of a hydrogen atom for a circle the size of the known universe…and if that’s true then 15 is way more than enough for any possible need and in fact 3.14159 is really good enough. Anyways…here’s the algorithm.
How or why this was developed by the Chudnovsky brothers in 1988 based on work by Srinivasa Ramanujan in the late 1800s or early 1900s is unexplained. Old Srinivasa’s formula is
How the Chudnovskys derived their formula from his is likewise unexplained.