Almost nobody seems to distinguish between the indicative and subjunctive mood of the verb to be anymore. Since I speak and write this way my internal alarm goes off when I read or hear the indicative mood of verbs in sentences or clauses that call for the subjunctive mood.
The subjunctive mood of the verb is required when the sentence or clause is conditional, or when a subordinate clause follows certain verbs in the main clause. A sentence or clause that starts with the word if is the most common form of a conditional sentence. A sentence or clause expressing a wish is also conditional.
The subjunctive form is also required in a clause following one of these verbs: ask, demand, determine, insist, move, order, pray, prefer, recommend, regret, request, require, suggest, and wish.
In English the subjunctive and indicative form of a verb are almost always the same, except for the present tense third person singular form of the that verb, and the verb to be.
The subjunctive form for the present tense third person drops the s or the es.
The subjunctive form of the verb to be is be in the present tense and were in the past tense, regardless of the subject.
Subordinate clause following one of the listed verbs:
Incorrect: My requirement is that everyone is on time.
Correct: My requirement is that everyone be on time.
(main clause contains a demand, verb in subordinate clause must be in subjunctive mood)
Incorrect: The captain asks that each officer on the scene files his own report.
Correct: The captain asks that each officer on the scene file his own report.
Conditional sentences or clauses:
Incorrect: I wish he was taller.
Correct: I wish he were taller.
Incorrect: If I was a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dybby dum …
Correct: If I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dybby dum …
There I’ve gotten* it off my chest! Use the subjunctive form of the verb when the sentence of clause requires it.
*[“I’ve gotten” is American English, past participle form; British English is “I’ve got”, present tense; Old English is the same as modern American English and prefers “gotten;” Get it?]
Here is my offering of a little reward for suffering through this grammar lesson. Teyve uses the correct form of the verb:
Officer Tim Marks of the Canton, Ohio police department was on patrol when he was waved down by a woman who reported that she had just narrowly escaped by driving away from a man who came up to her car and began kicking the car and yelling obscenities at her. As officer Marks and the woman were talking the man suddenly appeared from around the corner and walked toward them.
“He was strutting. His chest was out,” said Marks, who had seen this walk before. He said some men project an attitude when walking past a cop, as if to say “you don’t scare me.”
Marks pulled his car toward the curb at an angle, hit his overhead lights and rolled down his passenger-side window. He called the man over.
Marks exited his vehicle and tried to detain the man who quickly became belligerent and threatening. Finally, Marks used his taser to subdue the man who was increasingly violent, but the taser seemed to have no effect even though both probes were lodged at the correct distance apart in the man’s chest and appeared to be delivering its 50,000 volts. The man starting punching officer Marks in the face, who drew his baton for protection. The man went crazy and Marks was forced to use his baton aggressively. Since this situation had quickly reached a level of danger to justify baton hits to the head and facc, officer Marks delivered several such blows. These also had no effect on this man who appeared impervious to pain. Soon the man, unbelievably strong, had Marks on the ground and was beating him about the face and head with his own baton. The officer’s gun was out of his reach because the man had his right arm held down and his left arm could not reach it. Fortunately, the man was not then trying to get Marks’ gun. Soon Marks was able to use his left arm to pull the man close to him and lessen the force of the blows. Marks remembers feeling sleepy and his brain screaming, “I need help now! I need help now!”
Then out of nowhere someone tackled the crazy man and knocked him off of Officer Marks. Too stunned to react right away, in a few moments he saw the citizen and the crazy man fighting over control of the baton. At last officer Marks and the citizen, Tom Bowman, a salesman for Zoresco Equipment Co. in Brooklyn, Ohio, and a married father of two teenage daughters, got handcuffs on the guy, just as other police officers arrived.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Canton Repository has more on this story.
“it” is that I never believed the hooey about man-global warming. Not even a little, and not even for a second. From the first time I heard anyone say it, I believed it was no more than the latest BS scare tactics of environmentalist wackos posing a subterfuge to trick us into more socialism, government subsidies and other liberal nostrums that nobody would accept under normal circumstances. Not only did the idea sound totally wacky, given that just a couple of years earlier it was global cooling they were trying to scare us with, but it also seemed to be a scientific theory eerily tailored to fit a political agenda. Without knowing, I was skeptical because the man-made global warming theory neatly fits one of the eight indicators of junk science.
Man-made global warming, like Keynesian economics, is a “scientific” theory that is tailor-made for the needs of politicians and advocacy organizations. Politicians like to raise taxes, right? Right. The cap and trade scam was based on the idea that we will all burn up if we don’t accept this new tax scheme. Extremist environmentalism is a communist and/or socialist movement in disguise that serves the purposes of several advocacy organizations. See James Delingpole’s interesting new book, Watermelons, Green on the Outside, Red on the Inside.
From Armed and Dangerous:
Real scientific results have a cross-grained tendency not to fit transient political categories. Accordingly, if you think theory X stinks of political construction, you’re probably right. This is one of the simplest but most difficult lessons in junk-science spotting! The most difficult case is recognizing that this is happening even when you agree with the cause.
That single warning sign was enough to make me an incorrigible AGW skeptic from the very beginning. Without being conscious of it I was probably influenced by a few more of the junk science warning signs. Here are all eight of them, again from Armed and Dangerous:
1. Science by press release. It’s never, ever a good sign when ‘scientists’ announce dramatic results before publishing in a peer-reviewed journal. When this happens, we generally find out later that they were either self-deluded or functioning as political animals rather than scientists. This generalizes a bit; one should also be suspicious of, for example, science first broadcast by congressional testimony or talk-show circuit.
2. Rhetoric that mixes science with the tropes of eschatological panic. When the argument for theory X slides from “theory X is supported by evidence” to “a terrible catastrophe looms over us if theory X is true, therefore we cannot risk disbelieving it”, you can be pretty sure that X is junk science. Consciously or unconsciously, advocates who say these sorts of things are trying to panic the herd into stampeding rather than focusing on the quality of the evidence for theory X.
3. Rhetoric that mixes science with the tropes of moral panic. When the argument for theory X slides from “theory X is supported by evidence” to “only bad/sinful/uncaring people disbelieve theory X”, you can be even more sure that theory X is junk science. Consciously or unconsciously, advocates who say these sorts of things are trying to induce a state of preference falsification in which people are peer-pressured to publicly affirm a belief in theory X in spite of private doubts.
4. Consignment of failed predictions to the memory hole. It’s a sign of sound science when advocates for theory X publicly acknowledge failed predictions and explain why they think they can now make better ones. Conversely, it’s a sign of junk science when they try to bury failed predictions and deny they ever made them.
5. Over-reliance on computer models replete with bugger factors that aren’t causally justified. No, this is not unique to climatology; you see it a lot in epidemiology and economics, just to name two fields that start with ‘e’. The key point here is that simply fitting historical data is not causal justification; there are lots of ways to dishonestly make that happen, or honestly fool yourself about it. If you don’t have a generative account of why your formulas and coupling constants look the way they do (a generative account which itself makes falsifiable predictions), you’re not doing science – you’re doing numerology.
6. If a ‘scientific’ theory seems tailor-made for the needs of politicians or advocacy organizations, it probably has been. Real scientific results have a cross-grained tendency not to fit transient political categories. Accordingly, if you think theory X stinks of political construction, you’re probably right. This is one of the simplest but most difficult lessons in junk-science spotting! The most difficult case is recognizing that this is happening even when you agree with the cause.
7. Past purveyers of junk science do not change their spots. One of the earliest indicators in many outbreaks of junk science is enthusiastic endorsements by people and advocacy organizations associated with past outbreaks. This one is particularly useful in spotting environmental junk science, because unreliable environmental-advocacy organizations tend to have long public pedigrees including frequent episodes of apocalyptic yelling. It is pardonable to be taken in by this the first time, but foolish by the fourth and fifth.
8. Refusal to make primary data sets available for inspection. When people doing sound science are challenged to produce the observational and experimental data their theories are supposed to be based on, they do it. (There are a couple of principled exceptions here; particle physicists can’t save the unreduced data from particle collisions, there are too many terabytes per second of it.) It is a strong sign of junk science when a ‘scientist’ claims to have retained raw data sets but refuses to release them to critics.
No. 7 was at work in my mind without me being expressly conscious of it because back in my young and stupid days I had pretty much fallen for Paul Erlich’s doomsday predictions in his book The Population Bomb. After the famous wager between Paul Erlich and Julian Simon my naivete no longer was tenable. My BS detector was much improved after that.
Looking at those 8 warning signs of junk science, man-made global warming has all 8 of them. For every one of the warning signs you can think of some aspect of the AGW debate in which that warning sign is applicable.
Case closed. It’s a hoax, and a rather vicious one at that. I knew it from the beginning and I’m mighty proud to say so. Even if you didn’t get it at first, you can still be proud if you do now.
I’ve been inside the Patrick J. Sullivan Detention Facility in Arapahoe County, Colorado. It’s an impressive facility. I wasn’t an inmate, thankfully. I don’t have enough tattoos. I don’t have any tattoos.
I was a guest getting a tour along with about 20 other people attending Sheriff Grayson Robinson’s Citizens’ Police Academy. I have a very high opinion of Sheriff Robinson for several reasons, not the least of which is that he went out of his way to correct a previous error and to issue a concealed firearm permit to me after he became Sheriff in 2002. That was back in the days when Colorado sheriffs issued such permits on a discretionary basis. Prior to 2002 and since 1985 now criminal inmate Patrick J. Sullivan was the sheriff of Arapahoe County. He issued permits sparingly, mainly to his political cronies.
I applied for a permit and was refused. No reason was given. No reason could have been given. No good reason existed. When I had the temerity to ask what the reason might have been I was treated to a nasty letter that went quite over the top in castigating me but still gave no reason for the denial.
No matter how confident you are, no matter how much you think you are a good citizen, a letter from your local sheriff insinuating you are a bad person but citing no facts to back it up can jar you to the bone. The current Sheriff was Patrick J. Sullivan’s undersheriff at the time. When Sullivan was term limited in 2002, Grayson Robinson was the natural candidate and was elected easily by the voters, including me.
Then the unexpected happened. Sheriff Robinson approached me at the State Capitol one day in 2003 when we were both there to testify on Colorado’s proposed new law to make Colorado a “shall-issue” CCW state. He said he was aware that things had not gone well for me in my dealings with “the former administration.” He said that if I would submit another application, and if everything checked out, he would issue a permit to me. [CCW permits were still discretionary and would be for about another year even if the new law were enacted, which it was a few months later.]
That was a wonderful breath of fresh air. The sour memory of Patrick J. Sullivan was pretty much erased by Sheriff Robinson’s kindness. I submitted a written application and got my CCW permit in a short time. A deputy called me personally to tell me I could come to the office and pick it up. That really felt good. If I were ever to engage in any conduct that would place my permit in jeopardy I would feel that I had personally let a good man down, a sheriff who trusted me enough to go out of his way to correct a wrong done by his office before he became sheriff.
Sullivan, now 68, was the sheriff of Arapahoe County for 18 years. He was a law enforcement officer prior to becoming sheriff. He spent his whole life, in fact, in law enforcement. Now he sits in a jail named for him, suspected of providing methamphetamine to several younger men in exchange for homosexual sex. On December 9th he will be formally charged on numerous counts, according to a public statement by Sheriff Robinson. Sullivan’s bail has been set at $500,000.
This is hard to fathom, or understand. It can’t be easy for Sheriff Robinson to have to arrest and incarcerate the man he used to work for and probably admired. After all, Sullivan was once named sheriff of the year for a heroic rescue of a wounded deputy in a shoot out with several violent criminals.
As for me, I never held Patrick J. Sullivan in high regard because he exuded arrogance. There was never much real evidence of any dirt on him, but rumors abounded. I would not have been surprised to hear he was involved in something nefarious, something of the white-collar variety. But this…this is beyond the pale. It’s too low-down and cheap. Illegal drugs and male prostitutes? Aiding and abetting the violation of drug and other laws? Well, I guess he’s finally among his own kind. Maybe he’ll get a tattoo.
Below is the dash cam video of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper chasing a marked Miami PD patrol car going 120 mph on the Florida Turnpike. The chase went on for 7 minutes and when the Miami officer finally stopped the female FHP trooper draws her gun as she approaches the Miami patrol car.
The additional facts are that the Miami PD officer was several miles outside of his jurisdiction. He was not displaying any lights or siren. Until she approached the driver’s side window after the stop the FHP trooper probably did not know whether the Miami car was being driven by a Miami officer in uniform or someone who might have stolen the patrol car. The fact that the Miami car was refusing to stop would only have heightened her suspicion. It seems to me she was therefore justified in approaching with her weapon drawn. Once she determined the driver was a Miami officer in uniform she holsters her gun, handcuffs him and pats him down as she would do with any other suspect after a high-speed chase. The only thing that didn’t happen here that surely would have happened to any other citizen is that the Miami officer was not thrown to the ground. Of course, she may not have felt confident that she could accomplish anything by going hands on with the guy and that a physical scuffle might have ended badly for her. Her backup had not yet arrived.
The Miami officer has been charged with reckless driving. After that process is complete he may be subject to discipline within his department.
On another website I’ve found two starkly different reactions from other cops to this incident. The first is from a Miami PD officer and may or may not be not be representative of the majority of their officers. My reaction comments are italicized and in brackets:
This so called trooper DJ Wats [the FHP trooper, named misspelled], what a real cracker scumbag no common sense no professional courtesy rat piece of IAD crap non human being. I hope next time her state police backup is not available or 30 minutes away when she desperately needs backup, I hope that she thinks about collaring a Brother Officer for this kind of crap [120 mph in moderate to heavy traffic is “crap”] as she battles for her life with some pyscho angel dust freak on the side of some lonely dark Florida Highway. She should have never been chasing a marked RMP. Period. Especially after Identifying the driver as a POLICE OFFICER. [She probably wasn’t sure of that until he stopped] DJ WATTS, you are a disgrace to POLICE OFFICERS everywhere. And to you racist morons who call MIAMI PD a third world Police Force, Miami PD does the real job unlike you Dudley Doo Right No common sense State Gestapo hacks. Speeding by Cops is OK when you Cracker Cops are the ones doing it because it’s ok when you do it as the law does not apply to you, but God forbid another Brother Officer in a marked Police Car-RMP in uniform is running late or over the speed limit. DJ Watts, cracker rat extraordinaire. Rot in hell. And in Florida IT IS 100% ALLOWED FOR OFFICERS TO WORK THEIR SECONDARY EMPLOYMENT AS SECURITY GUARDS IN THEIR POLICE UNIFORMS WHILE TAKING THEIR ASSIGNED POLICE CARS WITH THEM. This also serves as a deterent when the perps see a uniformed cop in a marked patrol car. You don’t like this? Change the policy. Other than that it’s 100% legal.
Here we have the view that cops are not bound by the laws they enforce. This commenter goes beyond “professional courtesy” as justification for cops giving a pass to other cops, and asserts that it’s “100% legal” for cops to break the law. That’s not just an oxymoron statement, it’d dead wrong. Cops may get away with breaking the laws they are sworn to enforce, their brethren in blue may agree to that, but it certainly is not legal, not even 1%.
Here is a comment responding to the one above and showing that not all cops think the same way:
I am dumbfounded by the comments of [name deleted] who one would suspect is a police officer. How can any officer justify the alleged actions of [the Miami officer]? We all take an oath of office and are sworn to protect others. How did [the Miami officer] uphold his oath, whether or not he was on duty, by his actions? We all have a code of ethics that we are sworn to abide by. We all have to set the standard for the general public. [the author of the comment above] might be one of the minority of law enforcement officers who give us all a bad name and a hard time when we try to do our jobs. Mr. —— you should re-evaluate your chosen career or perhaps think about what your comments mean. You vilify the trooper’s actions for doing her job. I am shocked that you would suggest that other officers should not assist her when in need. We can all see who the true disgrace is in this line of commentary.
After this comment was posted the first commenter walked back his first comment. I follow the rule that the first reaction and words to an event are the most revealing of that person’s character and not the revised version they give later after being ridiculed for their first outburst.
I deleted the names involved because their names aren’t important to my purpose of discussing the event in general terms. The final outcome has not yet arrived and additional facts and circumstances presently unknown to me may come out. Anyone can, with a Google search, discover the names of those involved in this incident.
I post stories like this because they hit home. I believe that it is extremely dangerous for any society to allow those who are sworn to enforce the laws to position themselves above the law. We must never forget that the government has a monopoly on violence. It should be bound by the same rules as the rest of us.
“One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.”
— Arthur Koestler
This quote is the substitle for The Other McCain blog. The advice here is good for being honest but not for being popular, at least not in some places. Generally, but not always, one writes a blog for the chance to be honest rather than popular. If both can be had, all the better.
Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) was an essayist and novelist [Darkness at Noon; The God That Failed; The Ghost in the Machine; Bricks to Babel]. He should be on everyone’s reading list. Koestler was born in Budapest, had an early career in journalism before joining the Communist Party of Germany in 1931. Disillusioned by Stalinist atrocities, he resigned from it in 1938 and in 1940 published a devastating anti-totalitarian novel, Darkness at Noon, which propelled him to international fame. The novel tells the tale of an Old Bolshevik and October Revolutionary who is cast out, imprisoned, and tried for treason against the very Soviet Union he once helped to create. The novel is set in 1938 during the Stalinist purges and Moscow show trials. It reflects Koestler’s personal disillusionment with Communism.
His essay in the introduction of The God That Failed explores the path by which one may become enmeshed in a pure utopian dream prompted by revulsion of a flawed society. The tension between the two poles of attraction to an ideal and repulsion from a deformed social environment causes the militant reformer to forget that hatred, even of the objectively hateful, does not create the charity and justice necessary to sustain a utopian society.
Long distance motorcycle (or bicycle) riding in the West is the closest you can come in the year 2011 to experiencing what John Colter and the mountain men felt when they rode out into big sky country on a horse and contemplated the wilderness in all of its beauty and danger. Their only defense from starvation, thirst, and freezing to death was whatever they could provide for themselves. We have the luxury of paved roads and fuel, food and lodging at the end of each day, but for at least a little while we can imagine.
Jackson to Buffalo via Moran Junction, Towgotee Pass, Dubois, Riverton, Shoshone, Thermopolis, Worland, Tensleep Canyon to Buffalo.
Buffalo to Sheridan for breakfast then to Ranchester, Highway 14A to Highway 14 over Big Horn Mountains to Cody, then North on State 120 to Chief Joseph Highway to U.S. 212, over Beartooth highway to Red Lodge, MT.
Back over Beartooth to Cooke City, MT – into Yellowstone at NE entrance, out of Yellowstone at North entrance to Gardner, MT – North to Livingston – Bozeman, South on 191 to Big Sky, MT.
Big Sky to West Yellowstone; South to Ashton, ID; SE to Tetonia, Driggs, Victor and back to Jackson.
Total miles: 1,050.
Comments: Totally awesome.
This is the Bike:
Others were on different bikes: a Harley Road King, a Harley Sportster, and BMW K1200RS.
I’m not sure how many books Author Bernard Cornwell has written, I think it’s 40 or more. Cornwell writes historical novels and the Richard Sharpe books, as least the adventure series, follow the life of a fictional British Army soldier during the Napoleonic wars. There are 21 books that make up Sharpe’s Adventure Series and Sharpe’s Early Years. Millions of loyal fans have read all of Cornwell’s books and there’s a companion guide to The Early Years series written by a British Army Major.
I decided to see what all the fuss was about by reading one of the Sharpe’s Adventure Series books, and was informed that Sharpe’s Rifles was the place to start. It is set in Spain in January, 1809 after the disastrous British defeat by the French at the Battle of Corunna. Like Matterhorn, another war novel I recently read, I left this book with a sense of having personally experienced, albeit vicariously, the hardship, defeat and triumph of war.
In one sentence Sharpe’s Rifles is an adventure story about a man who deals with great obstacles in his personal life while facing mortal danger on the battlefield, and emerges triumphant on both fronts. Some of the dialog between characters is timeless and memorable and a joy to read. There are full reviews at Amazon for anyone who’s interested.
2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman.
4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.
8. There are three kinds of men:
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. (more…)
Michael Barone says:
“I’m confident that any comparison of economic coverage in the Bush years and the coverage now would show far fewer variants of the word “unexpectedly” in stories suggesting economic doldrums.
“It’s obviously going to be hard to achieve the unacknowledged goal of many mainstream journalists — the president’s re-election — if the economic slump continues. So they characterize economic setbacks as unexpected, with the implication that there’s still every reason to believe that, in Herbert Hoover’s phrase, prosperity is just around the corner.”
Note on the link above: This link takes you to Michael Barone’s column at the Washington Examiner. This website contains obnoxious video ads that autoplay (with audio) when you go to the site. I’ve tried to provide a link that avoids this, but if it doesn’t work just hit the mute button on your computer to get rid of the dreadful audio so you can read the column in peaceful quiet. Barone’s column is worth reading in its entirety, but you have to outsmart the webmaster at the Washington Examiner site trying to spoil it for you.
You think that’s a radical statement? No, it’s not. Here is the definitive proof:
That’s right. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is spending $500 million of your money to teach 5-year olds to “sit still” in a kindergarten classroom.
“You really need to look at the range of issues, because if a 5-year-old can’t sit still, it is unlikely that they can do well in a kindergarten class, and it has to be the whole range of issues that go into healthy child development,” Sebelius said during a telephone news conference.
$500 Million. Down a rat hole. To do the impossible. Get a 5-year old to sit still. That is, without the slightest doubt…Stupid. No other word for it. Just STUPID.
Here is what Rob Long says about this:
And that’s really the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives, right? Liberals think that if they spend enough money, or fine tune the right social program, they can teach five year-olds how to sit still. And conservatives know that no amount of money or social engineering or child counseling will ever be able to make a five year-old sit still.
Yeah, we conservatives know something liberals are too stupid to comprehend. Reality is not optional. It trumps wishful thinking every time.
UPDATE: Liberals only make themselves look stupid. Actually, the $500 Million to be spent here will mostly go to fund make-work jobs for Democrat party hacks and to recycle money from taxpayers into the campaign coffers of Democrat politicians. Every thing that looks this dumb is likely to be a disguised money laundering scheme to create a slush fund for Democrats, at taxpayer expense. The liberals that vote for these sorts of politicians are the real stupid ones.
Envy of what others have created, manifested as an “entitlement attitude” has to be the most destructive force on earth. It not only destroys what others have created but also the hopes and dreams of those who covet what they have not produced. They who insist that others pay for their stuff by providing them with “affordable housing” or “benefits” in the form of endless unemployment checks, food stamps, and welfare without end, destroy their own happiness in the process. A mooch unwittingly denies himself the satisfaction of personal achievement, without which he cannot flourish.
People who have made a success of their lives are the most generous. They are willing to help others in need, in fact gain personal gratification from doing it. When its voluntary it helps both parties to the transaction. When it’s forced by the government it wreaks havoc on both and wrecks the social bonds that would otherwise exist. Walter E. Williams says, “While it is admirable to reach into one’s own pocket to help someone in need, it is despicable to reach into someone’s else’s pocket to help a needy person, and deserves condemnation.”
Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less, end even hug their children more than liberals
A little know book by Alexis de Tocqueville, written in 1845, explains how private charity helps those in need without destroying their personal ethics or tearing down the world others have created.
When two gun-toting Black males wearing ski masks entered a Walgreens in Benton Township, Michigan early last Sunday and ordered the employees into a back room, the stage was set for something horrific.
There are at least two distinct categories of armed robberies. There are those bandits who just want the loot as quickly as they can get it and then be gone even quicker. Then there is another much more dangerous kind that is all to willing to visit extreme violence on their victims. Ordering store clerks into another area of the store, especially a secluded back room, is usually a sure indication that the robbers intend to leave some dead bodies there. That is exactly how it has played out in the overwhelming majority of such cases.
This time that didn’t work out so well. There was another store employee already in the back room and when he saw what was going on he confronted the robbers with his lawfully-carried firearm. When one of the crooks attempted to fire at him (his gun jammed), the story clerk fired several shots. The raiders immediately turned and ran out of the store. It isn’t known yet whether either of them were hit. Police have alerted area hospitals to report anyone seeking treatment for gun shot wounds (hospitals are required to do that anyway).
A Township police lieutenant praised the store clerk who fired the shots and credited him with likely saving the lives of his co-workers.
It’s always a good thing when the good guys win, but there are those who condemn the actions of this heroic stork clerk. This comment from the newspaper story linked above illustrates that strange sort of thinking:
All of the other comments to the story vehemently disagree with Mr. Winters.
If you needed more evidence that so-called retail security “experts” should seldom be listened to on matters of your personal security, they are calling for the lawfully-armed store clerk hero who saved his fellow employees from terrible violence to be fired and for retail stores to tighten up policies against clerks being armed.
Prison interviews with inmates who have made a career of robbing retail stores indicate many if not most of them made a practice of avoiding the mom and pop stores for one simple reason: They invariably have guns.
In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but of the dawn.
–G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
We could use a new creation, in the cool of a new dawn. Maybe this will be the beginning.
To all my Jewish friends: May your name be written in the Book of Life.
Many moons ago when I was an idealistic young lawyer I thought if I just stayed current on the law I’d always do well in court. I learned rather quickly that I would have to know the judge I was appearing before if I were going to come anywhere near predicting the outcome of any matter before that judge.
What about the law? Well, I reasoned the law is not a science and there is always room for argument one way or the other so some judges are just going to see it a little differently from other judges. But I thought most judges would differ only slightly and most would come fairly close on their decisions.
Maybe it’s just me, but everything seems a lot different now. Knowing the law these days is not the most important thing, and maybe doesn’t matter at all. It’s the liberal/conservative lineup of the court that matters. On the Colorado Supreme Court that lineup is presently reputed to be 4 liberals and 3 conservatives. With that information you can predict the outcome of most cases that have the slightest bearing on a political issue even if you know nothing about the law. David Kopel has referred to the Colorado Supreme Court as a “lawless bunch” for relying more heavily on their personal political leanings than the law itself in deciding cases involving partisan political issues. In Wisconsin the political lineup is said to be 4 conservatives and 3 liberals, and now Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson is politicking to get JoAnne Kloppenburg on that court to replace current Justice David Prosser, a conservative, in next Tuesday’s election. She wants the liberal/conservative lineup to change from the current 3:4 to 4:3 so that court’s future decisions will support Democrats. [UPDATE 4/5/2011: With all precincts reporting Kloppenburg claims victory with a 204 vote margin out of 1.5 million cast. The teachers’ union has bought themselves a judge. There were probably enough students in Madison that voted illegally (because they are registered in another state and claimed as dependents by their parents) to have made the difference. The winner will be determined in the recount. The outcome will depend on whether Prosser is willing to fight tooth and nail to uncover the fraudulent votes. Being a conservative, he probably isn’t.] [UPDATE II, 4/7/2011 — BREAKING: Computer Error Could Give Prosser 7,381 More Votes, Victory Oh, please let this be true and make it hold!]
That the political lineup of the judges on a court can even be known with such facile certainty is a damning indictment against the pretense of fair and impartial justice being administered by that court.
If you listen to the lawyers that make up the professional associations they all say that what is most important to them is judicial independence from politics. If they really believed that they would be working for the appointment of jurists that are more committed to the rule of law than to their political party. Instead they defy their own pronouncements and advocate fervently for the appointment of individuals whom they believe can be relied upon to ignore or speciously argue against the law in any case where a reasonable application of the law would result in a loss for the side backed by the Democrat party and a win for Republicans. The political bias may not and need not be overt and intentional. Ideology can be blinding. But it matters little because the resulting corruption of the system is the same whether it was intended or merely the result of political blind spots. Judges are supposed to be intelligent and sophisticated enough to recognize their own personal prejudices and to guard against them. Something awful has happened to reverence for the rule of law, which every judge and every lawyer claims to love and defend.
There used to be something called judicial restraint which meant courts didn’t get involved in public policy matters which should properly be left to the people’s elected representatives. Once upon a time there was a maxim that courts decide only “cases and controversies,” that they enunciate and are guided by legal principles and do not decide political questions. That’s all out the window now. More and more the people’s voice is drowned out by unelected judges who apparently have such disdain for the people they will not allow the people’s representatives to make public policy decisions that liberals don’t agree with. What this leads to is that there are no rules anymore to restrain the political excesses of the decision makers. Worse, public policies are set not by any legitimate process where all sides are given fair hearing and opportunity to make their case. The final decision reeks of having been pre-determined on a different basis.
As Francis Perretto at the Eternity Road blog so eloquently says, “Clear rules of right and wrong are what make it possible for men to share a nation without bloodshed. Once those rules have been cast aside, what remains is naked force: the rule of the most ruthless and best armed.”
Armed with the power our republic gives to judges, liberals are ruthless toward their fellowman. They don’t yet understand that once they have laid flat the rule of law the structure thus created can turn on them.
In Robert Bolt’s A Man For All Seasons, it is the law that eventually forces Sir Thomas More’s execution. Nevertheless, the play also makes a powerful statement in support of the rule of law. At one point More’s future son-in-law, William Roper, urges him to arrest Richard Rich, whose perjury will eventually lead to More’s execution. More answers that Rich has broken no law, “And go he should if he were the Devil himself until he broke the law!” Roper is appalled at the idea of granting the Devil the benefit of law:
Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
Republicans are not the Devil even if Democrats think so. Liberal judges should give Republicans the benefit of the rule of law, and let the outcome of “cases and controversies” fall as they will. That would mean that in some cases, such a court would refuse to act at all, in deference to the elected branches of government. That’s what separation of powers with its checks and balances is all about.
The joyous Jewish holiday of Purim starts tonight [Saturday, 3/19]. It commemorates the beautiful young Jewish woman named Esther, one of the wives of Ahasuerus, King of Persia. At great risk to herself Esther persuaded the King to save the Jews living in Persia from a plot to murder them. The story is told in the Book of Esther in the Bible.
Like many Jewish holidays, the theme is “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”