Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's wrong with that? Just because I'm a judge.....

Judge Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, described as "A brilliant legal mind," granted a 48-hour stay in the obscenity trial of a Hollywood adult filmmaker after the prosecutor requested time to explore "a potential conflict of interest concerning the court having a . . . sexually explicit website with similar material to what is on trial here."


According to the
LA Times, this brilliant legal mind is also a sexual weirdo who is not brilliant enought to know that websites are accessible to anyone with an internet connection and that it really isn't appropriate for a thinking, ethical human - who is also a bloody judge - to have werid-assed sexual stuff on his WORK computer!


When asked about the site, Kozinski denyed that the material was purient, stating he simply thought it was 'odd and interesting,' and part of life.


"'Before the site was taken down, visitors to
http://alex.kozinski.com were greeted with the message: "Ain't nothin' here. Y'all best be movin' on, compadre.'"


"The sexually explicit material on the site was extensive, including images of masturbation, public sex and contortionist sex."


I'm sorry, but last time I checked, "brilliant legal mind" didn't preclude having simple common sense.


This Tuesday past, Kozinski acknowledged that his website was full of weirdness - naked women painted as cows; naked men cavorting with aroused farm animals.... yeah, weird.


He claimed he didn't realised the site was accessible but he also said he'd forwarded the material to 'friends.' Given his profession and the level he's at in the profession, one wonders who those friends are and what trials they might be presiding over currently....


He then claimed that he didn't remember posting some of the material and then... he blamed his kid.


Kozinski knows full well the internet is essentially a glass house and he said so in an interview with Reason Magazine:


"Kozinski: The world is probably getting more libertarian. Modern communications and modern trade are making it very difficult for modern governments to exercise controls. You can no longer keep ideas out of China. People can log onto the Internet; they’ve got television. It essentially becomes impossible to block ideas.


Then Reason made this point:

Reason: There is a countervailing tendency in technology: It also allows the authorities—whether the government or your employer—to keep tabs on you.

Kozinski: It is certainly easier to keep track of people, and that will be a threat to privacy. But I think people can work around it once they realize that they live in a fish bowl. They will take defensive measures. For instance, you don’t have to walk around with a cell phone if you don’t want to be tracked. You don’t have to use the Internet."

Kozinski then makes it clear that he knows how to protect material from prying eyes:

Reason: Has this new technology made us freer if we have to be afraid?

Kozinski: You don’t always need complete privacy. There are ways of getting it if you want it.


First, he attempts a defence of ignorance, which, if he were really such a brilliant legal mind, he would know is not accepted as a defence ever.


Then he calls objectionable material 'funny,' in order to diminish the crime, a tactic regularly used by criminals trying to worm themselves out of a dirty little hole they've dug for themselves.


Then, he has the audacity to blame his own child for putting material on a website he had, a day earlier, claimed he didn't know was publicly accessible.


This man should be thrown to the wolves from whence he came. He's either not mentally capable of doing his job or is seriously compromised in his ethics.


There's no question he has some weird sexual stuff going on in his life.


For the record, this is why the rest of the world laughs at the U.S. This guy should not be on the bench. Period. There is likely much prior indication of previous inappropriate behavior, but as judges in the U.S. are elected, their friends - meaning those in whose best interest it is to keep such judges on the bench - turn many a blind eye.


According to Reason Magazine, "Kozinski, now married with three children, was a late intellectual bloomer who, before graduating at the top of his law class at UCLA, wiled away his time wooing women in such unusual places as television’s Dating Game, which he won with an audaciously smarmy pick-up line: “Hello, the flower of my heart.” That unctuousness is totally absent from his legal writings, which feature a razor-sharp analytic skill."


Why is this guy still sitting???


Photo Credit: Stephen Osman, LA Times

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hey, get your fingers out of my EYE!

I have been following with much interest the BC Human Rights brought against writer, Mark Steyn and MacLean's Magazine. A group headed by Mohammed Elmasry is accusing them of islamophobia and has taken the case to the BC Human Rights Commission, which is obviously staffed with store mannequins because the case is ridiculous but they've let it proceed.

These guys claim that Mark Steyn's writing - a column and a book, America Alone - exposes Muslims to hate and that MacLean's is complicit for publishing excerpts from the book.

No word on where they're going to bury free speech.

Section 7.1 of the BC Human Rights Code prohibits "any statement, publication, notice [etc.] that... is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred of contempt."

As Andrew Coyne points out, the 'legislation' says "is likely to," not "absolutely does."

About a month ago, I watched Billy Connolly’s film “The Man Who Sued God.” What made me think of this film was Andrew Coyne's mention in the June 16th edition of MacLean’s, of Section 7.1 of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

In the film, Billy Connolly (his character, anyway) attempts to sue an insurance company that will not pay his claim when his boat is destroyed, citing its “act of god” clause. He claims there is no god and therefore they must pay.

The case is finally settled when the defendants are left to prove or disprove the existence of said being in order to establish their right to even include “act of god” at all. Interestingly, as art usually imitates life, there is no end to the personalities and posing and posturing and presumption of special-ness among the ‘religious’ characters in this film.

As this relates to the BC case and Mark Steyn’s book, it can quite easily be argued that the Christian bible and the Islamic Q’uran , Scientology or Tom Cruise (or any religious text, or heck even my own blog) expose adherents to no end of hatred and contempt. Could it not then be argued that whoever brought this case has no case to bring really, given their own ‘religious’ texts absolutely expose their own groups to contempt and ridicule?

As case in point, recently the Concerned Christians group wrote a letter that got them into very hot water. The short form is that they claim that gay people are exactly like paedophiles.... except that is bullshit... and they directed that 'information' specifically to a man called Rob Wells.

The group was ultimately forced to apologise (if the letter they wrote can be considered an apology). However, could members of this organisation not proceed with a similar case, given that the letter and the resulting furor certainly exposed them to a lot of heckling?

I scanned their website yesterday and I was instantly struck by the presumptive bent the site takes. I’m sure it exposes its members to no end of scorn from those of us who don’t replace reality with fantasy for starters but who have moderate, inclusive views (and who know that paedophile (mental illness) does not equal gay person (normal permutation of humanness).

It would be a very interesting exercise to have the group that brought this case against Mr. Steyn and Maclean’s prove that their own texts, blogs, websites and publications at no point expose their members to any of the very things Mark’s book or MacLean’s Magazine is purported to have done and that at no point do those or will those texts, etc. ever contravene section 7.1.

Considering B.C. HRC code’s language is so loose, could it be that difficult to swing this case back at the accusers?

If they cannot prove they are not also contravening section 7.1, and surely they cannot, the Human Rights Tribunal must toss this case or launch a thousand others.

Click here for Ezra Levant's very excellent commentary on a similar case and its outcome.

As it is written somewhere, one should not attempt to pick a sliver from another’s eye without paying attention to the stump in their own.

But here's the core of it for me: since when, in Canada, does the law - or something that presumes to pass for law - require people to be afraid of other people. And since when do we have these quasi legal groups trashing free speech because they're afraid of a loud Islamic guy?

I'll be damned if I'm going to roll over because someone from some religion doesn't like it that I disagree with them.

Here it is for the record. I disagree with your religion, whatever it is, because it is first of all made up and serves no purpose other than separating human from human, inciting fear, teaching children to be slaves to bullshit and giving the 'religious elites' (preachers, imams, ministers, bishops, rabbis, all of 'em) a false pulpit from which to promote "We're better than you." Total, utter, stinking garbage.

Oh. And for the record, statistically, religious people get up to a lot more scandals and into a lot more legal trouble than us heathens and YEAH I can prove that!