Monday, January 28, 2008
So I'm surprised that this didn't get picked up on anyone's radar last year. I was reading through hate crimes databases and came across an incident from February 2, 2007, in which two teenage girls in Des Moines hit a gay teenager over the head with a bottle, stabbed him with a plastic fork, stole $5, an ATM card, and his wallet, and lit fire to his backpack. They were charged with burglary and arson. Something seems to be missing in the charges. Via splcenter.org.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This is old news, but a conversation tonight reminded me of it. A new performance of John Cage's As Slow As Possible, slated to last for the next 635 years was kicked off in Halberstadt, Germany on the 5th of February, 2003. The last note change was on May 5, 2006, and the next is scheduled for July 5, 2008, but the piece then picks up its tempo, because the subsequent note change will occur on November 5, 2008. Wikipedia has a schedule. The piece is being played on an organ, for obvious reasons.
The Economist this week has an article on the new potential of space warfare. Because America is highly reliant on GPS for its military mega-advantage over the rest of the world, America is highly vulnerable to attacks on their satellites, something which China on January 11, 2007 demonstrated to be a rather simple task. America's military might will be quashed by an expert team of Galaga players.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Ben Kingsley is in a new film, "The Wackness," playing at Sundance this week. He plays a psychiatrist who trades therapy sessions for pot, and he makes out with Mary-Kate Olsen in a telephone booth. The Canadian Press reports. It's hard to tell whether this or "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?" will be the most sought after film from Sundance.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
So our justice system has its benefits and problems, and while I recognize many of the problems, I also tend to try and point out its benefits: habeas corpus, right to trial by jury, the fact that subjective judgment can just as often prove advantageous to a defendant or appellant as it does disadvantageous. But this is absurd. According to the New York Times, a witness was coached by prosecution into making his confession match the physical evidence in a murder scene. This is understandable, though. Misconduct always occurs, which is why there is a system of checks and balances that extends throughout the judicial hierarchy. This is why we have boards of reviews and ethical committees, right? Wrong. The Virginia State Bar ethics committee for ten years denied the defense lawyer on the case the right to reveal the misconduct of the prosecuting attorneys. What a farce. When an ethics committee cares more about the reputation of a prosecuting attorney than the life of a human being, how are we supposed to take legal ethics seriously? Either we should change the name to something more bureaucratic and militaristic like "Committee for the Review of Protocol and Chain-of-Command" or we should actually start teaching ethics in law school.