Law



Bureaucrats, evidently with nothing better to do, are taking a Michigan woman to court on a misdemeanor charge … for growing vegetables in her front yard.

Bass’ garden is a little unique because it’s in her front yard.

“We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” she said.

Bass’ cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she’s been charged with a misdemeanor.

As usual, the dispute centers on interpretation of an unclear ordinance.

“That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what’s “suitable?”

The bureaucrats of Oak Park define “suitable” as “common.”  That sort of thinking leads to cookie-cutter blandness.

Welcome to the Nanny State Militant.

Via http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/julie-bass-of-oak-park-faces-misdemeanor-charge-for-vegetable-garden-20110630-wpms

What luck: ticketed for speeding by the same cop — twice — 12,000 miles apart:

The Daily Mail reports that the unnamed driver was pulled over by officer Andy Flitton in the UK two years ago and again recently in New Zealand. The unlucky driver, who island-hopped to New Zealand after 12 years in the UK, recognized the ticket-giver as the same man who caught him breaking the law on the A5 near London. The officer had recently relocated southThe Daily Mail reports that the unnamed driver was pulled over by officer Andy Flitton in the UK two years agThe Daily Mail reports that the unnamed driver was pulled over by officer Andy Flitton in the UK two years ago and again recently in New Zealand. The unlucky driver, who island-hopped to New Zealand after 12 years in the UK, recognized the ticket-giver as the same man who caught him breaking the law on the A5 near London. The officer had recently relocated south after 26 years on the force in England.

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Some of those ancient Greeks took the issue law-making seriously:

A Locrian, who proposed any new law, stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and if the law was rejected, the innovator was instantly strangled.

(From Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume IV, Chapter XLIV : Idea Of The Roman Jurisprudence.)

via Ancient History Sourcebook: Edward Gibbon: The Idea of Roman Jurisprudence.

This is explosive.  So watch the mainstream media ignore or downplay it.

Background: the Dept. of Justice had substantively won a civil rights case for voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party.  Nonetheless, the Obama DOJ suddenly dismissed the case,  to the consternation of the judge and several career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division of DOJ.

Now, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is investigating whether the DOJ refuses to prosecute violations of voting rights if the victims are white.

The Justice Department is ignoring civil rights cases that involve white victims and wrongly abandoned a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party last year, a top department official testified Friday. He called the department’s conduct a “travesty of justice.”

Christopher Coates, former voting chief for the department’s Civil Rights Division, spoke under oath Friday morning before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, in a long-awaited appearance that had been stonewalled by the Justice Department for nearly a year.

Coates discussed in depth the DOJ’s decision to dismiss intimidation charges against New Black Panther members who were videotaped outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 dressed in military-style uniforms — one was brandishing a nightstick — and allegedly hurling racial slurs.

The case has drifted in and out of the limelight over the past year as the commission has struggled to investigate it. Former Justice official J. Christian Adams fueled the controversy when he testified in July and accused his former employer of showing “hostility” toward cases that involved white victims and black defendants. Nearly three months later, Coates backed up Adams’ claims. In lengthy and detailed testimony, he said the department cultivates a “hostile atmosphere” against “race-neutral enforcement” of the Voting Rights Act.

In general, I think a Republican take-over of the House and/or Senate could help Mr. Obama’s 2012 reelection prospects, due to the potential for triangulation that it would offer him.

However, Republicans in control of either house could hold hearings to investigate matters such as DOJ’s alleged refusal to protect the civil rights of white victims.  Those hearings would be political dynamite.

via FOXNews.com – Voting Rights Official Calls Dismissal of Black Panther Case a ‘Travesty of Justice’.

According to Mother Jones, for years BP has used a secret phone line to provide California state officials with free tickets to events at its Arco Arena in Sacramento:

For more than a decade, BP has operated a hush-hush phone line that California lawmakers can call to request box seats to NBA games and concerts at the Sacramento stadium named after its West Coast subsidiary.

In the past five years, BP has given state officials more than 1,200 complimentary tickets to the Arco Arena, hosting them in its corporate suite to see Sacramento Kings games, World Extreme Cagefighting matches, and Britney Spears and Lil Wayne concerts. Getting the tickets is as easy as calling the BP ticket request line, an exclusive, unpublished phone number that appears to exist for the sole purpose of granting freebies to lawmakers, regulators, and their staffs.

The mechanics of this scam sound like a spy novel, or a drug deal:

You make a request, leave it on the voicemail, and at some date the tickets either magically appear or they don’t,” says a legislative consultant who gave me the ticket line’s number and spoke on condition of anonymity. “They don’t talk to you; you just see ’em or you don’t.” The ticket line’s message was taken down sometime in the past week, shortly after I began my reporting.

Tickets just “magically appear or they don’t”.  Well, then.  It’s okay, because we never talked to anyone.

Besides, I’m sure that all those hard-working politicians and bureaucrats in Sacramento deserve those freebies.  After all, they’re doing such a great job running the state.

Come to think of it, World Extreme Cagefighting is a good description of the California legislature.

via BP’s Secret Ticket Request Line | Mother Jones.

Just finished reading Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre.  Great book. It’s the real-life story of Edward Chapman, an English criminal, scoundrel, and very effective charmer, who became a double agent during World War II, nominally working for the German Abwehr, doubling for the British MI5, and constantly tripling for his own account.  In some ways, Chapman’s story is more improbable than a James Bond thriller, and Macintyre tells it well.

Using a defense statute from the Middle Ages, the Vicar of Wiltshire recently summoned every man, woman, and child to gather for archery practice.  Those who complied were rewarded with a bar, a barbecue and live music.

The purpose of the “archery practice”?  To celebrate the addition of a lavatory in the parish church.  The  Brits really are different.

BBC News – Wiltshire vicar revives ancient archery law.

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