Pick Wayne's Brain

June 8, 2013

Mother, Should I Trust the Government?

When your government, one that is supposed to be of the People, by the People, and for the People, appears to violate the Constitution and invade the privacy of the People without probable cause, should you really just trust them when they can just say they can’t tell you exactly what they’re doing because it would harm national security? Especially when, most of the time, they are not required to prove to any judge that national security really is involved? And this is despite the fact that when the Supreme Court ruled that the government can invoke such a privilege (it was not the first time it was used, simply the first time the Supreme Court said they could do it), they stressed that the decision to withhold evidence is to be made by the presiding judge and not the executive. Unfortunately, judges generally defer to the Executive. This is a bad idea. The government doesn’t always tell the truth, which is what happened in the very case that led to recognition of the state secrets privilege. “In 2000, the (more…)

October 7, 2012

Why Mitt Should Worry But I Won’t

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 10:54 PM

One of my favorite sites for checking the Electoral College predictions is Electoral-Vote.com. Not only do they publish a map with the results of all polls factored in, they even have a special map that omits polling by Rasmussen, on account of Rasmussen’s undeniable Republican leaning and skewing. With the Rasmussen polls factored in, they have Obama with 319, Romney with 206, and 13 (VA) up for grabs. Without Rasmussen, they have Obama with 332, Romney with 191, and 15 (NC) up for grabs.

Look, save yourselves some worrying come Election Night. The winner (more…)

March 25, 2012

It’s Time To Talk About Our Guns

On Feb 26,2012, in Sanford, Florida, 17-year-old, 140-pound, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by 28-year-old, 250-pound George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has said that it was a case of self-defense. Despite the many facts that have come to light since the shooting, Zimmerman remains a free man, who hasn’t yet been arrested. The Sanford Police report also raises some questions on its own, such as why less than one minute elapsed from the time 9-1-1 was called until the time the police arrived to find Trayvon Martin face down and dead. If accurate, it would mean that George Zimmerman could not wait one single minute from the time he was told they did not need him to follow Trayvon until the time he killed him. [NOTE: Many people have brought up the racial aspects of this case, but since race has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion I am having here, I have intentionally left those aspects out. I completely agree that had Zimmerman been black and his victim a 17-year-old white male, he would have been arrested immediately. But let’s save the racial aspects for another discussion.]

Although Zimmerman’s lawyer has said his client would not be invoking it, at the middle of this controversy is a law known colloquially as the “Stand Your Ground Law.” It says, in essence, that if you reasonably believe your life is in danger, you can use deadly force to defend yourself. The law was modeled on laws designed and written by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group of legislators and corporations that propose bills to be passed by the states. Believe me when I say they are not acting in your best interests. They are dangerous, and the laws they’ve helped pass have put innocent people in danger. They must be exposed and dealt with, but for now we as a nation must once and for all settle this matter of what the true meaning and intent of the Second Amendment is, and what role guns should have in our Society.

For the record, and so that there is no misunderstanding about the topic (more…)

April 25, 2008

The Supremes Blow It Again

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Wayne A. Schneider @ 1:02 AM

The Supreme Court recently ruled that execution by lethal injection does not constitute “cruel and unusual punishment”. (Side note, would it not have been “unusual” the first time it was done and, to the uninitiated, a tad “cruel”, too?). Oddly enough, while they felt that Kentucky’s Strap-Right-Up-Get-Yer-Three-Shot-Monte Lethal Injection system of capital punishment was constitutional, “a majority could not agree on the proper standard with which to judge execution practices.” But whatever that standard was, they felt Kentucky had met it.

Before continuing, I’ll cut to the chase and state up front that I oppose the use of capital punishment for reasons on which I shall elaborate later. And, yes, I do agree that the Constitution’s specific mention of terms such as “capital offense” clearly and undeniably proves (yes, “proves”) that the Framers found no problem with the use of capital punishment per se. So, no, it is not, in and of itself, unconstitutional. I shall stipulate all of that up front, so there is no need to rehash any of it. Capital punishment is, in and of itself, constitutional. (There, I said it and I’m mad.)

What I feel is unconstitutional is the way in which the sentence has been administered, and upon whom, throughout our justice system. Let’s face facts, (more…)

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