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Carrot Clarinet July 2, 2014

Posted by Retired Geezer in Gardening.

Yeah, this post is for Michael.


1. Retired Geezer - July 2, 2014

Well worth the 5 minutes to watch it.

2. Sobek - July 3, 2014

Legal quote for the day:

“Those who framed our Constitution and the Bill of Rights were ever aware of subtle encroachments on individual liberty. They knew that ‘illegitimate and unconstitutional practices get their first footing … by silent approaches and slight deviations from legal modes of procedure.'”


“Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperilled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. …crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself…”

That was Chief Justice Earl Warren, writing in 1966 (second section was him quoting Justice Louis Brandeis). Remember when liberals actually pretended to believe this stuff?

Bonus question: anyone know what case those quotes are from?

3. Retired Geezer - July 3, 2014

Internet Search is my friend:
Olmstead vs US.
Something about wiretapping.
After reading (some of ) it, I still don’t understand the ruling.

4. Sobek - July 3, 2014

Close, but you’re way off.

5. Retired Geezer - July 3, 2014

Color me surprised.

*realizes with relief, shining lights on nekkid wimmins is a lot easier than practicing Law.

6. Lipstick - July 4, 2014

That carrot clarinet is the coolest and cleverest thing! Well done, RG.

7. lauraw - July 4, 2014

I would guess it was one of the big civil rights cases, Sobek?

8. lauraw - July 4, 2014

Miranda was 1966. And it fits.

9. Skinbad - July 4, 2014

Played in key of A Vitamin

10. lauraw - July 4, 2014

*hisses at skinbad*

11. Tushar - July 4, 2014

In my language, there is an old saying:

Make a flute out of a carrot. If it plays well, play it. Else, have a snack.

First time I saw someone apply it.

12. lauraw - July 4, 2014

Can you elaborate on the meaning of that saying? Is it like, ‘work creatively with whatever has been given you?’

13. daveintexas - July 5, 2014


14. daveintexas - July 5, 2014
15. geoff - July 5, 2014

To the hungry man, everything looks like a carrot.

16. Sobek - July 5, 2014

Yes, it was Miranda. As a conservative, I know I’m not supposed to like that decision, but I actually think it was reasonable. I can see the reasons why I shouldn’t like it, though, and I’m sure that if I had read it in 1966, I would have despised it.

17. daveintexas - July 5, 2014

carrot are the most famous vegeble ever

18. lauraw - July 5, 2014

In a time of no-knock raids by local police in which innocent people are terrorized and a baby may be blown up with a flashbang and no one is faulted, Miranda seems like a quaint anachronism.

There’s a ‘sweet spot’ for law enforcement; we’ve passed over the other side of it now.

19. Tushar - July 5, 2014

Sorry, I strayed away.

The saying basically means similar to what Laura guessed.
Try to be creative, and if the experiment fails, you may still be able to salvage something. In many cases, nothing more than the knowledge of what not to do. But keep innovating and experimenting.

20. Sobek - July 5, 2014

That’s a good saying, Tushar.

There were three main objections to Miranda in the dissents: 1) it painted all law enforcement with a too-broad brush as fascist thugs, 2) it would ensure no one ever confessed ever again, and 3) it was a massive, unwarranted power grab by the courts.

The first doesn’t bug me because, well, suck it up, cops. Sure, it was unfair, but whether the ruling is valid and the rule is a good one has nothing to do with whether anyone’s feelings get hurt. Again, I agree that it unfairly painted cops in a very bad light. I just don’t think that’s reason enough to oppose the rule.

As to the second, well, I have the benefit of hindsight. I happen to know, almost fifty years later, that bad guys do still confess sometimes. The more important question is, how many bad guys have gone free who otherwise would have fessed up, in cases where a confession is the only substantial evidence? It has been argued that as long as the answer is “more than zero,” the Miranda rule promotes injustice. But Miranda also prevents false confessions in some unknown number of cases. I don’t know the numbers for either of those points, so I can’t get worked up about it.

The final point is the most important one. The Court went crazy, as it was won’t to do in the Warren era, with judicial adventurism of the worst sort. It ignored studies in progress throughout the nation, by academics and legislatures, and imposed a rule more stringent than any proposed even by the most liberal sources. I think that the Miranda values would have been adequately defended, for example, if they had left off the bit about “if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you,” without compromising the Constitution.

This objection, however, looks to boil down more to “Earl Warren is a tyrannical buttonhole” than “the effect of Miranda is pernicious.” It is possible for the former to be true while the latter is false. Warren said a conviction should be thrown out simply because a Defendant was told “you can be silent, if you speak your words can be used against you, and you have the right to an attorney,” but not told, “and if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” That’s sheer jackassery. At the same time, no Defendant has ever heard those first three warnings, thought “I’m going to talk to the cops anyway,” and then heard the fourth warning and said “in that case, I’m lawyering up!” So the cops lose nothing, really, by requiring that last warning.

Finally, the legacy of Miranda is that the Court hasn’t been willing to go as far as Warren wanted in the decades afterwards. Because more modern Courts have narrowed Miranda’s application, any pernicious effects are limited, and all Americans still know they can vindicate their constitutional rights.

Finally finally, I agree whole-heartedly with Laura’s point about police excesses today. When I was a younger man, I was a lot more inclined to give the police the benefit of the doubt. By this point in my life, I’ve heard too many stories.

21. lauraw - July 6, 2014

Sobek, those cases out West where local police departments have become cash-grabbing machines are amazing to me too. They stop you at a supposedly routine traffic stop, then relieve you of the cash you are carrying because they think you don’t look like you should have so much. Then they buy shiny new things for their HQ. Infuriating.

22. Lipstick - July 6, 2014

Laura, yep, infuriating.

Back in the day I would have been the jury member that took a cop’s word over the accused’s every time. Never again. As a matter of fact I will paint with a broad brush against any policeman and their ‘evidence’ now. Their fault. Take the clan benefits, live with the downsides.

This has been going on probably throughout their history and only now that the citizen can record things do we see it and the victimized are sometimes believed. No wonder some police departments don’t want to issue body cams. The fact that it may protect them from unethical people trying to sue them and they still resist means that the cops know that they abuse the public more that the public abuses them.

23. lauraw - July 6, 2014

Back in the early 90’s, my fiancee (now ex) was in a car accident and got the Hell beat out of him in front of my eyes (and my sister who was with me) by a big angry red-faced brute in a uniform when we were living in Hartford. Hartford cops were incredibly, obviously, in-your-face corrupt then, and probably still are. This cop waved off his brothers in blue at the accident scene. In retrospect I think it was so that he could be alone with us.

The animal smashed D’s head against the granite curb several times, knocking him out. Then threw his body into the back of the cruiser. I was screaming and screaming at him. He told me to complain at HPD. It sounded like a dare. Then he drove D to Hartford hospital, where they examined D and said he was fine. It took me hours that night, to get D out of lockup at Morgan Street. He had been charged with breach of peace. He had never raised his hand to this guy. Just his voice. He had been snippy with the officer. The officer told him he was the cause of the accident (not his determination to make), D gave off a shitty attitude, and the guy simply took him down.

The next day, after bringing D to the hospital, where now they told him he had a concussion, I went to the HPD to report police brutality. They told me that they would conduct an internal investigation and that if we were found to be lying, we would be prosecuted.

After seeing Hartford’s drunk cops and high cops, and observing their general shitty demeanor toward the public, I decided that I would definitely be found to be ‘lying,’ and never pursued the issue further. It burned in my guts for years, though.

We got a lawyer who got the BoP charge tossed though.

There were some great cops on the force but they were older and on their way out. The detectives in particular were good and worthy of respect.

24. Sobek - July 6, 2014

I didn’t mean to turn this into a cop-bashing thread. It’s stories like Laura’s that really leave a lasting impression, and there’s practically no way to undo the damage caused by one or two thuggish cops, let alone an entire department. That’s why rules like Miranda are even more important – when government is above the law, there is very, very little recourse left to people.

25. lauraw - July 7, 2014

It’s not a cop-bashing thread. I am not bashing cops and I have no general animosity toward cops. Quite the opposite.

But, they are people, and they are being invested with way too much power and tech over their fellow citizens. Whatever tool of authority is given them, they will abuse it. Because they are people.

26. daveintexas - July 8, 2014

Jesus Laura

27. daveintexas - July 8, 2014

this is why video smartphones are good.

daylight for assholes.

I’m so sorry I know I don’t have to say it and I also know you know what I mean.

28. Lipstick - July 9, 2014

Daylight for Assholes. I like it, but often they’ll just smash your smartphone. Or arrest or beat you for having one. I have lost all faith.

I remember going to the Manhattan Beach police station with a friend. She asked me to go with her as support while she put in a complaint about the man she just left for punching her and throwing her down the stairs. I believed her because I knew the man.

Plus she had nothing to gain. She was not vengeful. Just battered and confused and more than anything else, wanting to not have the next woman have to go through anything like that. That is what united us.

The cop was pretty harsh to her; strongly discouraged her from filing a complaint and he suggested that she could be in legal jeopardy if the complaint was dismissed. I’ll never forget how he leaned his burly body over the desk to drive his point home to the shivering abused woman on the other side of it.

She did not file the complaint.

29. lauraw - July 9, 2014

Police officers are statistically overrepresented among domestic abusers. By a lot.

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