novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Double standards. People inherently know they are wrong. If one person in my classroom gets a break on a grade, then all the people in the class get the same break. You don’t have double standards.

The police should not have double standards either. If someone performs some act that for one person is illegal, then it should be illegal for all people that perform that same act. In a constitutional sense, it is equal protection under the law. Bill Clinton should not be above serving time if that is what people have happen if they lie under oath. If someone breaks into a house and starts shooting, they should be held accountable for it. Evidently that is not the case for police that presume to be “doing their job” and “following procedure”. I tend to support the police, at least when they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. They of all people should know the law and what is and is not appropriate use of force. They of all people should know that ignorance of the law is no excuse. The individual officers involved in this should be held personally liable–not the department, the officers.

The present situation has come about because of immunity from prosecution for government officials doing things “in the line of duty.” The bad that the immunity was designed to prevent has become less of a problem than the bad it has generated. We (the people) initiated the policy of not prosecuting officers because we rightly felt that the police would be hesitant and at a disadvantage when they are in an explosive situation. The problem is that the police have gone to the opposite extreme.

If this was the only example, it would not be such a bad thing–especially if it had been a single offending officer and not a group of officers (not even one of the officers tried to stop his fellow officers?) But this is not the only incident where police have held a total disregard (or total ignorance) of the law. I do not think it is just me, but these things are happening more often. Some of it I can attribute to “brothers in arms” psychology that exists among police. These guys are “out there” and a lot of the people they meet are “the bad guys.” The problem is that they also need to understand that nobody is perfect, including themselves, and they need to hold themselves to the same standard they hold anyone else. That double standard thing.

I’ve been told (by someone I respect greatly) that nobody is going to follow the moral compass I hold. That is true. Even I do not completely pass muster on my own moral compass. But that does not mean the compass is wrong–it means we do not measure up. You don’t change the definition of 2+2 in order to make it so more people pass 1st grade. You keep the definition the same and you train the children that they must know the definition in order to pass. The standard stays, and those that do not pass the standard are judged by it.

Eliminate double standards.

Brian Withnell

P.S. While I think the protections the law affords for government officials ought to be removed, I do not believe more than a handful of police out of the thousands we encounter would find they would be subject to prosecution (even the prosecutors should be held responsible for their actions!) The vast majority of police are good people, but you don’t put in place protection for the rotten apples because the majority are good (which is the same about laws against murder–the vast majority of people do not commit murder).

Bjorn Lomborg is the author of the book ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist‘, this is an seminal work and I recommend it to everyone.  Lomborg is meticulous and backs up each claim carefully both with tables and graphs as well as multiple citations to a host of sources. His work has survived multiple reviews from decided hostile sources.  The book provides over a 100 pages of both web links as well as book references in its bibliography.  Many of these links are to the U.N. documents of the source studies regarding Global Warming Studies, Poverty, Energy etc.  Regardless of what you think of Lomborg’s conclusions, his book can at least provide you with sources from which to from your opinion.

The following presentation was made by Lomborg at a TED conference.  TED stands for Technology-Entertainment-Design, it has hosted both Lomborg and Gore and each has made his point at the conference.  Among the scores of other speakers are Steve Jobs, Burt Rutan, and Stephan Hawking, some of the entertainers invited are Yo Yo Ma and Bono.  The conferences are annual, and the talks cover everything from education to the state of African economies to the technology behind the Wii system.

Interestingly, Lomborg has asked Gore to debate Global Warming, Gore has declined, which is both a shame, for the public would benefit from such a debate, and cowardly on Gore’s part.

The left is using this issue as an anvil on which to hammer away our freedoms.  This is an issue about government control over our lives, not human survival.  Is global warming a problem?  Possibly.  There are anecdotal stories to support both sides of this argument.  Overall global temperatures are falling this year. Still, currently the evidence does point to a warming trend.

The weather varies from year to year (big surprise!), only 20 years ago the threat of Global Cooling was the bogey man. Is Global warming  caused by man?  Possibly.  However with other planets in the solar system warming up one can then wonder what is the effect of the Sun on our weather.

According to the U.N. report the sea level will rise but the change is inches (0.17 m/4.3 in), not feet as claimed by Gore. Is global warming our biggest problem? No, we have bigger fish to fry.

Hat Tip to Suburbanite for reminding me.

Tom Mabe, we are not worthy ….

Olympic “boxing” is not a sport so much as a showcase for incompetence, because the people who do the judging are at best morons but more likely simply corrupt. Professional boxing is no crowning example of rectitude, but the BS at the Olympics is at a whole ‘nother level.

Kids, if you are interested in boxing, just plan to skip the Olympics and go straight from Golden Gloves to pro, because competing at the Olympics will waste your time and teach you unhelpful lessons.

I have caught snippets of a couple dozen bouts and I can tell you the judging is execrable. In bout after bout, guys are doing excellent work, landing lots of punches, and getting no credit for landing any punches, and consequently losers are winning and vice versa.

During a bout the other day the idiot of a referee stopped the guys literally after every single engagement with some nonsensical correction. It was “punch punch punch – stop. punch punch punch – stop” for four rounds.

It’s Alice in Wonderland stuff. Not every bout is surreally awful, but so many are that the whole section of the Games should be canceled, shut down, and replaced with more sensible activities like perhaps synchronized potato gun shooting.

Obama Save Us


Gerard Baker gets the genius award for the year. This tongue in cheek piece from the British Times Online is ‘bloody hilarious‘. Perfect in tone and timbre.

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness

The Messiah hath cometh, now, can we collectively stop chanting praises of HIM and get around to explaining to this poor man why a politician with 143 days in the U.S. Senate is qualified to become the President of the U.S.?

1) Anyone watching the mens gymnastics? The US really is rising to the occasion. This is pretty cool to watch (two events to go).

2) Speaking of men, men’s synchronized diving was quite possibly the gayest thing I have ever seen in a “sport” venue and the Americans were the gayest of the gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it seems like if they want to add events why not just add more individual diving events from different heights rather than men in skimpy bathing suits giggling on the platform and then taking a shower together. Aesthetically speaking, certain sports are more appropriate for women, if you ask me. Two men on a platform should be doing a cannonball contest in cut-off jeans with stogies in their mouths and beers in their hands, nothing less.

3) NBC is doing a great job with this entire project. Much as I hate the MSM, this has to be one of the crowning achievements in broadcasting history. They just said that, on all the various channels and the Web, NBC is presenting more hours of programming this year than in every Summer Olympics since 1960 combined. The event coverage is substantive with just the right amount of human interest rather than the overwrought, soupy, weepy vignettes in broadcasts of Olympics past.

4) Key sponsors: McDonalds, Coke, Budweiser. Three brands I have never had a lick of passion for or loyalty to, and that won’t change after these Games. But they do nice commercials.

5) Much as I still plan to root against the Chinese throughout, just on principle, I cannot build up a head of animus for the kewpie-doll cute Chinese “womens” gymnastics team because for gods sake these little girls are like figurines; and frankly the Chinese mens team is a study in drama, tragedy and general emotional turmoil and their coach’s facial expression is like he must be downing a bottle of Maalox every hour. I want the US men to come through, but you have to feel for the Chinese gymnasts and the unbelievable expectations placed on them. They don’t seem like a particularly happy bunch.

UPDATE: On the third event, Jonathan Horton for the US is tearing up the floor exercise. The Chinese just body-slammed the field on the vault, the Japanese were solid on the parallel bars, but the US is hanging in there despite a few bobbles. After losing two key athletes to injury right before the Games, the US was not supposed to do anything, but they are now poised for silver going into the last event – pommel horse. Two of the three on this event were not even supposed to be on the US team a month before the Olympics. This Artemev kid supposedly can either fly like an eagle or fall like a rock and he is going last.

UPDATE II: Well, after the first two US men got basically pummeled on the pommel, Artemev just did an electrifying performance. Wow! The best they can probably get is bronze, but that would be a huge tour de force for this team.

UPDATE III: Cool, the US hung on for bronze, and China definitely deserved the gold. The first was not supposed to happen, the second was absolutely supposed to but was highly in doubt nonetheless.

Incredible race. 46 second flat split in the final leg. French trash talkers go down. Ha ha ha.

UPDATE: There won’t be any news links or photos for a while, but suffice it to say the US just accomplished one of its best coups of the games. This was a huge win. I can’t wait for the news and photos to come out.

UPDATE II: US final leg swimmer Jason Lezak is self-coached, and swam an amazing French-clobbering closing leg. There is going to be a massive amount of schadenfreude generated by this race.


UPDATE III: And here is the official news coverage.