The Occasional Tendown September 2-15 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dear Internet:

Is this something we do now?

'Cause I'm down; I don't much care for the imperial Presidency.  If now we yell "you lie" during the State of the Union or bring guns and "time to water the tree of liberty" signs to a President's town hall or say that someone should...

"pat him on the head and say, son, son, son, Mr. President, you were never ready to be president, now go home and work for somebody and find out how the real world works"

Then, you know, that's fine.  

Just send me the picture of the black pizza owner lifting the white President in the air and I'll be happy to post it.  Granted, the earliest it has any possibility of happening is 2017, but I'm not going anywhere.  

Tendown 139 is here.  This is Tendown 140.

1. Should This Be Life In Prison?
Here's a confession.  I've never smoked pot.

I mention that not only to show how I've never been cool (that's just a side benefit) but because I've argued in favor of drug legalization (and will continue to do so) and there will be a percentage of you (you know who you are) who will assume I have a personal stake in any political discussion on which I take a side.

With that out of the way....

Posted: 6:48 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012

Port St. Lucie teacher gets life sentence for enticing minor, possession of child porn

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
A Port St. Lucie middle school teacher was sentenced to life in prison today for charges of online enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Alexander Michael Roy, 31, of Port St. Lucie was sentenced during a hearing in Fort Pierce before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore. Roy was convicted during a five-day jury trial on one count of online enticement of a minor and five counts of possession of child pornography.
Roy taught math at Manatee Academy, which houses students in kindergarten through eighth grade, in Port St. Lucie.
According to evidence presented at the trial, Roy responded to an online advertisement posted by undercover detectives from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. An officer then posed as the mother of a 13-year-old girl. Roy agreed to travel from his home in Port St. Lucie to meet the purported mother and have sex with her and her daughter, prosecutors said.
He was arrested soon after arriving a meeting location, a Waffle House parking lot in Kissimmee. Investigators obtained a search warrant for his home and found numerous images of child pornography on his computer, including several videos of Roy, at age 26, having sex with a then-16 year-old girl.
Twitter: @JuliusWhigham

Take a look at what this dude got life in prison for.

1. Possession of child porn.  Not a thousand counts.  5 counts.  
2. Not having sex with a pretend girl he didn't really meet online.

The government created a crime, then used that crime to search this guy's computer - found five images they could hang on him (which may have all been of his having sex with a 16 year old, and while I'll accept there's a societal interest in deterring 26 year olds from having sex with 16 year olds, given that Courtney Stodden was able to get famous for being the younger half of an equation twice as creepy as that, I'm unsure how strong is that interest) and now he's got a life sentence.  Not 10-20.  Not 20-40.  This is a 31 year old man who is not convicted of ever actually causing a single other person harm in prison for the rest of his life.

Big government isn't top marginal tax rates over 30%.  This is big government.

2. The Best Law Review Article You'll Ever Read.

Big government's also present in every traffic stop.  Who can teach you about it?  Jay-Z

This is a line-by-line analysis of the second verse of 99 Problems by Jay-Z, from the perspective of a criminal procedure professor. It’s intended as a resource for law students and teachers, and for anyone who’s interested in what pop culture gets right about criminal justice, and what it gets wrong.

3. You Should Always Read Taibbi
Here he is on Romney.

Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He's closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren't the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they're the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he's trying for something big: We've just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we've been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation.

The incredible untold story of the 2012 election so far is that Romney's run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy, which he's somehow managed to keep hidden, even with thousands of cameras following his every move. And the drama of this rhetorical high-wire act was ratcheted up even further when Romney chose his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – like himself, a self-righteously anal, thin-lipped, Whitest Kids U Know penny pincher who'd be honored to tell Oliver Twist there's no more soup left. By selecting Ryan, Romney, the hard-charging, chameleonic champion of a disgraced-yet-defiant Wall Street, officially succeeded in moving the battle lines in the 2012 presidential race.

Last May, in a much-touted speech in Iowa, Romney used language that was literally inflammatory to describe America's federal borrowing. "A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and our nation," he declared. "Every day we fail to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and children we love." Our collective debt is no ordinary problem: According to Mitt, it's going to burn our children alive.

And this is where we get to the hypocrisy at the heart of Mitt Romney. Everyone knows that he is fantastically rich, having scored great success, the legend goes, as a "turnaround specialist," a shrewd financial operator who revived moribund companies as a high-priced consultant for a storied Wall Street private equity firm. But what most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America's top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.

By making debt the centerpiece of his campaign, Romney was making a calculated bluff of historic dimensions – placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps. 

4. Speaking of Mitt...
Are you "middle class"?

Do you make a quarter million a year?

You may, according to the Republican nominee (who also said this week that Obama is trying to take the word God off coins and that he was apologizing for those who murdered the ambassador in Libya) want to reconsider.

"No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers," Romney told host George Stephanopoulos.
"Is $100,000 middle income?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less," Romney responded.

5. I Watch Graps.

I got in two 4+ matches this week, both 4 1/2 so in play for MOTY.

Tanahashi v. Okada from NJPW in June.
CIMA/Fox v. Swann/Ricochet from DGUSA in July.
(oh yeah, that tag match from the TNA PPVwas four stars - Daniels/Kazarian v. AJ/Angle)

I'm working on two lists, both of which will wind up here and probably in that other place for which I write; the top 80 ROH matches ever and the top 50 WWF/E matches ever.  I'll also need to redo my all time US Big Brother players list; Dan has played such an audacious game this season that there isn't a reasonable argument for him not be at least number two on the all time list, and my current inclination is to consider him the best player ever.  I don't think there's been, in any US reality competition show, a game that was as swashbuckling as this year's version of Dan's.   If they give him the check on Wednesday he should declare himself the greatest BB player ever and call out Dr. Will to try to disprove it.  I don't like Dan; I particularly don't like the space that BB creates for the devoutly Christian by allowing the Bible as the only piece of reading in the house, giving someone who is willing to "swear on it" as Dan was willing to do this season, an inherent advantage.  But he'd get my vote on Wednesday regardless of who sits next to him; it's as impressive a reality competition performance as I can recall.

6. The Democratic Platform 
There wasn't a reference to God in the Democratic platform.  Nor Thor, curiously enough.  Conservatives complained and so it was changed.

There were some other omissions in the 2012 platform.  Liberals complained and absolutely nothing happened.

Indefinite Detention
2008: "To build a freer and safer world, we will lead in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. We will not ship away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, or detain without trial or charge prisoners who can and should be brought to justice for their crimes, or maintain a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law. We will respect the time-honored principle of habeas corpus, the seven century-old right of individuals to challenge the terms of their own detention that was recently reaffirmed by our Supreme Court."
2012: Nothing. The Obama administration has maintained the practice of indefinitely detaining certain suspected terrorists. It has also made use of "proxy detention," by which foreign countries detain US citizens under questionable conditions, although the administration did do away with the Bush-era "black sites."
Warrantless Surveillance/PATRIOT Act
2008: "We support constitutional protections and judicial oversight on any surveillance program involving Americans. We will review the current Administration's warrantless wiretapping program. We reject illegal wiretapping of American citizens, wherever they live. We reject the use of national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. We reject the tracking of citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war…We will revisit the Patriot Act and overturn unconstitutional executive decisions issued during the past eight years."
2012: The platform is silent on this issue. This isn't surprising since, at the urging of the Obama administration, congressional Democrats passed up the opportunity to reform the PATRIOT Act when they had a majority in both houses of Congress

7. Would You Like to Eat Lunch With Joe Niekro?

According to the Astros, you can, next weekend.

This is sort of a big deal.  Joe Niekro died in 2006.

8. How Many Errors have Been Committed in MLB History?
Half a million.

9. Pick a Side

I know, they were my favorite celebrity couple too.

If they were your real friends, you'd have to pick.  So - pick.

The one you don't pick - you're totally out on; you can't consume any future projects.  

Sure, maybe you want to say Amy.  'Cause you love Parks and who doesn't love Amy and she's got the two young kids and how could you not stay friends with Amy?

But Arrested Development is coming back.  And that means you have to pick Will.  If Will were divorcing you, you have to pick Will.  

10. Magic Number

A combination of 10 Giants wins/Dodgers losses gives us the West.  Two weeks from today is Tendown 141, and we'll be there.

Another postseason.  Here we go.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


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