Saturday, January 07, 2006

Mark's Sysinternals Blog: The Antispyware Conspiracy

Must read material here, particularly for internet newbies and other neophytes.


Friday, January 06, 2006

Forget Federal Prisons....

Just try having a client in Rikers Island that needs medical attention. No wait, how about having a client in Rikers Island that needs medical attention that has to be extradited to another state at the end of her sentence? It's twice the fun!

To begin, Rikers Island has the worst medical facilities in the world. My client has many ailments, including: schizophrenia, a chronic artery condition which causes her to bleed excessively, hypothyroidism, and now a liver infection (from all her meds). She's limited in her ability to move, and, so, the other women inmates abuse her. How do they abuse her? Well, for starters, they use her cell to hide contraband. They do this because she'll get in trouble when they do the inspections, but she can't retaliate against them because she's so old (almost 60) and has all these conditions.

Now, another state wants to extradite her when she's released from prison.

I guess I should say how I'm involved. My father and I were retained to replace her old attorney, who chose to not waive extradition, and basically pissed off the other state immensely. To not waive extradition means that you have to have a hearing and all sorts of other bureaucratic processes to get someone out of the original state to the next. It's a headache. Thanks former attorney.

So, while we are micromanaging this woman's health situation at Rikers, we are also trying to make sure the other state is appropriately prepared to transport her safely. This includes having her examined, relaying the examination information to the extradition officers, etc. We do this, ad nauseum. We are told by all the law enforcement agents that our client is a malingerer. Noone cooperates.

Then we get in front of a judge. We argue the extradition warrant has expired. The DA successfully argues that extradition warrants NEVER expire. They are immortal. The judge buys this, I swear.

Enter extradition asshole.... I mean extradition officer from the other state. I approach him and say: "Hi, I represent X, you guys are prepared to transport her? You got the aftercare letter I sent you from the doctor? [which states that she cannot be shackled, must be ambulatory and no handcuffs, i.e., an ambulance]" He says: "don't worry we've handled this type of stuff before." I say: "ok, but are you trained medically? have you brought an ambulance?" "Sir, if she needs any medical assistance, she'll get it, we're ready to deal with this..."


Then I ask: "What facility is she staying in tonight? I need to tell the family, local counsel, and I have to see her." He says: "well, she'll go to the precinct, and then we'll see where we are." Then we'll see where we are???? What the hell does that mean? "What does 'we'll see where we are' mean? Where will you take her after the precinct? [which obviously is done for pedigree, prints, etc.]"

"Sir, I don't want to predict the future...." That's my favorite line. See, cops know EXACTLY where people are going at all times, under every circumstance. You could tell a cop a set of facts hypothetically, and he'd cite you the regulation as to why they would have to stay in a certain place for safety, etc. This cop knew exactly where she was going, and was just being an asshole. This is, to me, what tautology is all about. Being skilled in the art of evasive answers. Cops are trained in this art, and some are more artful than others. This guy just doesn't choose his battles well. Long story short, the judge had to ask him where she was staying.

So, I call the precinct after she's transferred to A-Hole's possession. I ask if they know she's coming, they say yes. So I ask if I can send a fax with her medical information, including prescriptions. They say "Sure, that'd be great."

Next day, I see my client. She slept in the storage room, with no heat, no blanket, and certainly no meds. We tell this to the judge, the press gets involved because of her crime, and the Deputy of the police department tells the press, I kid you not: "we had no information regarding her medical condition, noone has ever told us anything about that."

Isn't the system grand?

That was a majority of my week.

New Al-Zawahri video aired - Conflict in Iraq -

This is why Murtha is such an idiot. I think it speaks for itself. Thank you Defeaticrats.


New Cycling Toy

I've been so busy these last few days, I haven't been able to sit down, read anything and post about it, or even make a journal of the happenings in my practice (of which there are noteworthy, bloggable items). Today should be much better, and in the meantime, I've received a new toy in the mail. I actually saved about 30 dollars on this using ebay. It's so cool.....

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Volokh Conspiracy - Article II and the McCain Amendment:

It's becoming clearer to many, I think, particularly in the Administration, that the Article II argument is the strongest with the NSA program, and the Fourth Amendment argument is the loser.  If that is so, it explains the strategem for the Padilla, Gitmo and the other "combatant" cases.  Basically, the DOJ could have retrieved its information without warrants pursuant to these orders, and, thus, is screwed without some military status being placed on the defendants.

Read more at / By industry / IT - Windows PCs face ‘huge’ virus threat

A most depressing development.


Revenge of the Brick....

This is so good, it's just too short. Where was this director for the first three??!?!?!?!?

Sunday, January 01, 2006 - Daily Dish

Andrew'sMulligan is discussing the NSA program as well.  Oh wait, no he's not, he's discussing someone else discussing the NSA.  Oh wait, no he's not, he's discussing someone else discussing how the NY Times didn't publish the story, and Andrew claims that it didn't do so to "get its facts right and its sources firm."  I have not read anything that says that is what the NYT was doing.  Quite the opposite, the NYT specifically withheld this info for the President, and presumably for this book.


More NSA on Volokh

Professor Kerr links to several stories regarding Comey's dissent regarding the NSA program.

The more I think about this issue, the more I find that Kerr's analysis, and what the courts will eventually find, will be diametrically opposite.

To begin, Kerr finds the Fourth Amendment argument weak. I think this is flat wrong. Reading Truong, reading Sealed Case, and the progeny of FISA cases, it seems clear the courts believe that the President has broad powers for national security, but the discussion changes drastically in the context of criminal law. Indeed, it seems to me the whole discussion regarding "primary purpose" vis a vis "significant purpose" highlights this. While the president has broad power to protect the nation, once that power is aimed at domestic law enforcement, while still a vastly broad power, that power is clearly and constitutionally restricted by the Bill of Rights; the Constitution has changed the scope of the President's law enforcement power.

However, to the extent that FISA attempts to limit the President's powers regarding national security, I think the courts will find that it either doesn't apply to that scenario, or, to the extent that it tries to, is unconstutional. I think Curtiss-Wright supports this theory, as well as Sealed Case (particularly the dictum in Sealed Case, which has been the subject of massive debate). See also.

Let me be clear, Kerr's analysis is premiere and superior. Having clerked in a federal appeals court, knowing the way the Second Circuit in particular reviews these issues (as opposed to the Ninth), my instinct tells me the courts will go the Sealed Case dictum route because they can. I also think the main argument they will use to support the theory is that a power as important as this cannot ever be restricted by Congress, period. However, the power to surveil domestic activity for law enforcement has been restricted, just not by Congress, but by the Constitution itself, so any defendant subject to evidence obtained by this program has great suppression motions coming, i.e., Jose Padilla.

This analysis, which I think the DOJ expects to prevail, explains to me the DOJ's reluctance to allow Padilla to be treated as a commonplace defendant, but would rather he be treated as an enemy combatant. Otherwise, no evidence.

Someone Really Spiked The Juice Last Night....

Cause my cat looked like this after a short while..........

And today I felt strangely compelled to buy her extra toys and wet food.


I've been tempted over the last few months to create a blog that parodies Andrew Sullivan's and simply call it: Andrew' If you're familiar with his writing over the last few years, or the critiques of his writing, the joke is obvious. Anyhow, I'm not going to do it, and to be perfectly honest, he has found, over the last few months, a couple of principles to actually rest his hat on.

Previously, he was notorious for basically flip-flopping along with John Kerry regarding our invasion of Iraq. He supported it wholeheartedly before we invaded, he was very critical of the left/liberal politicians during that period, claiming the left had lost touch with reality, etc. As the bad news from Iraq trickled in through the media (shock! it's a war not a political campaign, with real weapons and casualties!!!) Andrew became notably less pro-war and he gradually used any bad news as a reason to find fault with the President's handling of the post-war planning. At one point, Andrew actually stated that the administration had "no plan whatsoever" for post-war Iraq, but then again, he said the same thing about Katrina. Thus, by the time the 2004 election rolled around, because the administration had, as noted above, not planned whatsoever for post-war Iraq, and because of the Abu Ghraib incidents, Sullivan put his support behind Kerry.

As the years go by, I think many others agree with me, Sullivan's "principled" approach has become more and more transparent. Two things in particular really drive his politics: First and most obvious is his homosexuality; Second, it appears to me, is vendetta.

The first is most understandable. In correspondence I've had with him, he has explained his position as one through the lens of someone who has dealt with discrimination and intimidation throughout his life regading his sexuality. In particular, I had emailed him about his defensive reaction to Mickey Kaus's criticism of his Iraq war posts, but, for my part, failed to appreciate that the use of the word "excitable" by Kaus could easily be construed, and probably should be so, as a perjorative hit on Sullivan relating to his sexuality.

However, this lens should not be so powerful as to distort reality. Many believe that Sullivan left Bush's camp immediately after he entreated his base with mentions of an amendment regarding civil unions and the definition of marriage. In short, Bush indicated he was not going to support gay marriage, and Sullivan exited stage left (pun intended). If he wanted to say he didn't support Bush because of this view, so be it, but don't pretend that you have had new revelations about post-war Iraq, and make hyperbolic statements like "no plan whatsoever...." about the administration simply because you must now change your vote based on an issue that is more dear to you than the war in the middle east.

The second reason, vendetta, relates to scenario depicted above; Bush betrayed Sullivan, Sullivan retaliated in a different venue. But also, other bloggers that have critiqued Sullivan for his seeming wavering on the war in Iraq (with statements to the effect of: the CIA uses waterboarding, thus, the US and the war in Iraq has zero credibility, I paraphrase), have been subject to personal wrath; Glenn Reynolds and Mickey Kaus most particularly.

Mickey Kaus has long been a critic of Sullivan. James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal and Kaus have both used the term excitable for Sullivan (and I even think Taranto called him an "excitable boy" which really got under his skin). Reynolds has not, but he called him some other name, I think it was pompous and vague. Anyhow, Sullivan rarely examines other bloggers except to cite to them, or an email they sent and say: "This guy gets it..." Whatever "it" is (that day). So, suddenly, Kaus, Taranto (less so) and now Reynolds have become targets of Sullivan's pointed analysis. Luckily for them, Sullivan is not very good at such analysis and I still think Reynolds packs more substance in his short sentences than Sullivan does when he cites some overblown email he received and simply states: "this sums up exactly how I feel about the whole conservative movement...."

But now Sullivan has found some real principle.
He hates torture. There is no doubt about this. He really, really hates torture. If he doesn't use the word waterboarding, torture, or Cheney (relating to his view on torture) in a day, I know he's on vacation or "book leave".
Second, he really thinks the Church needs to allow gay priests into the fold. I don't know where he gets this idea, he seems to think the Catholic church is a democracy, and should be subject to "changing social values." I personally think homosexuality is not condemnable, as I don't believe in condemnation generally, but, I do believe religions are what they are, and I have little expectation of changing them. I also have noted to Andrew, and he has never responded to any of those emails, that it is transparent to me that he is not discussing Judaism, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism in any of these discussions on homosexuality in the higher echelons of those respective institutions. But at least he is consistent about it regarding the Catholic church.

Happy New Year Andrew, and here's to a new year's worth of Mulligans, you'll need them for the upcoming elections, no doubt.

A New Year, A New Outlook

So much to say! It's a great new year, and I've got a million new things to consider and discuss. I'll have to break them all down one by one eventually, but the long and short is, a new workout regimen, a new daily schedule, a new approach to the practice, and a new outlet for all my thoughts here on the blog. It's all very good. I'll post more tonite but chores call.

Happy New Year !! (again).