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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Confessions of a coward...

There's this amazing woman I've known for far too long and not long enough. Every time I see her, my heart breathes, my day seems brighter, in short, all of the symptoms one might expect from, perhaps, love. But other than a brighter gleam in my eye, a goofy smile, and some all too rare genuine expressions of joy, I've never had the courage to tell her how I feel. My life is brighter having her in it, and I could never bring myself to tell her the words, and now it's too late. She's been seriously involved with some guy for a month or two, and hearing her talk about him, I see a light I've only rarely seen in her, and selfish bastard that I can be, all I can do is be glad that she's found someone who can make her happy, who sends her flowers just because she's had a crappy day, who's more of a man than I am. It hurts me deeper than I can express, but I'm happy for her. I wish her well, I wish her all that she's hoped for in life and more, but most of all, I wish I had told her before it was too late. I wish I hadn't been such a fucking coward for too long. This is my confession. This is my burden and my everlasting shame, my private hell of my own making.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm searching for a presidential candidate I can believe in.

I'm very sad to say that, with the general elections just under 17 months away, I've already narrowed my field to fewer than five possibilities, even assuming the Libertarian Party fields a candidate. First, I don't give a FUCK how eloquent a speaker a candidate is. I do not say this to draw a comparison between any of the current candidates and a historic figure, but even Adolf Hitler could move masses with his speeches. Therefore, I don't care about how they express an opinion. I care about the content of that opinion, and what they plan to do to bring said ideas to fruition. In that vein, I have visited Barack Obama's website, and what I've read has been, at times, surprising. Nevertheless, I was struck with one overriding question for some of his ideas: With a national debt that is way out of control, where will he get the money? Our nation owes more than any other in the history of the world, yet he proposes more programs? Naturally, I'm referring to his health care proposals. Also, I disagree with Obama on some key issues of his stance on voting rights. I think a photo ID or other governmental ID requirement is fair. I love my native Alabama, but prior to laws that required said IDs, there was a legitimate worry that people pretending to be dead people would vote in elections. I'm in favor of allowing people legitimate access to polls. However, I'm curious to see how his disdain for photo identification could be balanced with the equally problematic issue of voter fraud. Also, while he cites the Voting Rights Act of 1965, I wonder why he believes Alabama and other Southern states should be forced to undergo additional review by the Justice Department before changing laws on the handling of elections and replacing elected officials who, for one reason or another, are unable to finish their elected terms. There are already multiple layers of legal protections and watchdog groups in case a state steps out of line. Why does he think Alabama is still stuck in the George Wallace era? And if he's truly interested in voter intimidation, why doesn't he go after unions who engage in the same deceptive practices he decries? If he has fitting answers for these questions, then he will get my support. Otherwise, unless another candidate pops up, this will probably be my choice.

Thomas Sowell and the Downfall of the Civil Rights Movement:

Sometimes, I am capable of adequately expressing my moral outrage at those who claim to be our defenders breaching that trust in a truly outrageous manner. Other times, however, I find someone who says what I want to say far better than I can. This is the case with the esteemed Thomas Sowell. Few have expressed with such eloquence the problems with this nation and those who would lead the masses in terms of the Duke Hoax Case as Mr. Sowell. I encourage all four or five of you who visit this site to read that article, as well as Kathleen Parker's piece, and think. If you're wondering why exactly the Democratic Party isn't gaining much traction in the "red states", if you're wondering why so many people are becoming disgusted with both of the major parties, look no further. Fuck all of this demagoguery. Fuck all of this hate, all of this ideological partisan bickering. Fuck all of this utter and complete stupidity. Why not go with respecting each others' rights as human beings, instead of choosing a side and hating other people accordingly?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day, Mike Nifong.

But first, I was wrong. Yesterday wasn't the final day of this hearing. Today was, and it was the most powerful and meaningful of them all. Justice has finally begun to be served in the Duke rape hoax. Mike Nifong has been found guilty and disbarred by a panel of his betters. He wanted his son to see this. I hope his son got an eyeful, and I hope the entire legal community remembers this day. I hope those prosecutors who feel as though ethics don't matter remember this day, and think twice. Mike Nifong's troubles are only beginning, and it will only continue to be worse from here. In olden times, a person guilty of a particularly heinous crime would be beheaded, and their heads would be put on a pike as a warning to those who would emulate their actions. I think this week's hearing, and more importantly, the verdict and sentence, were a fairly good modern equivalent, if not worse because Nifong continues to suffer. May Mike Nifong live until the age of 150 years, and may he always remember this day.

I've decided to go with music that expresses the conflict between my joy and sorrow: Joy that justice has been served in a small part, and sorrow that it took this long and that so many people suffered so much leading up to this day and will continue to suffer. You may notice in DJ Tiƫsto Mix of the William Orbits performance of "Adagio for Strings". Of course, "Adagio for Strings" was composed by Samuel Barber and is a piece regarded by many as the saddest piece of music ever written, and they turned it into a haunting dance hit, which I consider symbolic of the fact that even after great pain, there is always the hope for joy; but the pain never fully goes away. So what if the video has no video to it? It's good music and, I think, a perfect choice for today.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Final Day of Nifong's Bar Hearing:

I was discussing this case with some coworkers, none of whom had been following this case as closely as I. As I explained the reason Nifong was facing his betters in the Bar, this one nice lady a few years older than my mother said, "But they found the guys who actually raped the woman, right?" When I explained that no rape occurred, that the NC Attorney General had, after exhaustive research and interviews, formulated a time line based on the evidence, and that two of those accused were proven to have been elsewhere at the time, she was shocked and said that they've got to get (Nifong) out of there. I watched only minutes of Reade Seligman's testimony earlier today, and those few minutes nearly brought me to tears. Had I been watching it live, whether at home or in that courtroom, I would have been weeping right along with a good number of spectators, both in Durham and around the country.

Later, I saw snippets of Nifong crying on the witness stand in his own "defense" and talking about how his parents raised him right and how he wanted his son to see the example he set. It's patently obvious that, although Nifong may have had good parents, although they could even have been among the best parents a child could want, they failed, and the only lesson he's teaching his son is not to get caught. Frankly, I wonder if Nifong is either a sociopath or a malignant narcissist, though I lack the training and the interview time with Nifong to determine what psychological or behavioral disorders he may possess. Nifong even resigned as Durham DA on the stand, no doubt in a futile bid to keep his law license. I hope the fucker and his co-conspirators go to prison for a long, long time. He's grossly abused his power, and he's become every defense attorney's wet dream and every prosecutor's worst nightmare.

Still, overall a good day for justice and not an awful day at work, so I'm going to go old school with the music video today.

If You Want Blood by AC/DC

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Post # 225: Schadenfreude with a side of roasted Nifong

Since I'm feeling lazy after a fat bowl of pasta, I'm going to link instead to Durham In Wonderland's post about Nifong's defense attorneys cross-examining the young reporter from the Metropolis Daily Planet... well, not really, but his actions in defending the innocent in this case have made him look an awful lot like Superman. Witt for Nifong's defense attempted to mitigate the damage of Bannon's testimony, but Bannon was absolutely devastating on the redirect. However, his testimony almost, but not quite, paled in comparison to that of ADA Marsha Goodenow of Mecklenberg County, NC. Her testimony was absolutely brutal. If this is just the third day of the four-day trial, and it's already this bad, I can't wait to see what happens when Nifong takes the stand in his own defense. Abso-fucking-lute poetry. And then there's the five minutes in HELL (if you're Mikey) where the chair of the Bar's grievance committee reveals that Nifong lied to them.

The video shown below is in, ahem, "honor" of rogue Durham, NC, DA Mike Nifong. The song is "Your Number Is One" by the Henry Rollins Band, and Mr. Nifong, if you're out there somewhere, reading this humble blog, yes, your number is one, but you didn't want to know. You just wanted to get reelected, no matter how much wreckage you left in your wake. Oh, and what kind of fucking idiot FLIPS THE BIRD IN OPEN COURT?! Jesus fucking CHRIST!! WHAT KIND OF A GODDAMNED MORON ARE YOU! JESUS CHRIST! Nifong is a smelly cunt.


Friday, June 08, 2007

The Ethics of Schadenfreude: Musings on Paris Hilton

I watched Paris Hilton in the back of a police car, weeping and hysterical today, and I admit that I felt a bit of pity for her. Before I continue, I need to make a few things clear. I think she's one of the most vacuous, irritating, functionally retarded public figures of our time. Even if I were of a mind to purchase such videos, I STILL wouldn't touch her infamous "tapes". Also, I think "The Simple Life" should, by all rights, have been the death knell of "reality television." All that said, I do feel sorry for her, on some level. During her 26 years on this earth, she had never been taught that there were limits, and that there were consequences to her behavior that her parents couldn't "fix". She had never been taught that sometimes, no matter how hard you try to ignore it, life will have its sour spots. She had never been taught that sometimes, all her money and privilege are meaningless. And above all, she had never been taught to avoid drawing the ire of law enforcement and the court system. Now, she is facing justice in the form of a 45 day sentence, and while others have it worse and I feel bad for them as well, in this case as in so many of those others, they ultimately brought it on themselves. I hope she uses the next month and a half to grow as an individual and finally fix what is so wrong with her. I hope she remembers this, and should she have children, that she teaches this lesson to them so that they may be spared this pain. And for God's sake, I hope she does NOT turn this into a topic for another vacuous music album.

Enjoy the music. I thought it was quite fitting.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Ethics of Schadenfreude: Musings on Durham D.A. Mike Nifong

For the last couple of months, I've been engaging in an internal debate about schadenfreude, and wondering if it was ever justified. As indicated by the title of this post, this has been most frequently when I've thought about Durham D.A. Mike Nifong, who turned a false accusation of rape, gross violations of civil rights and, based on what I've seen, possibly several aspects of criminal law, and race-baiting into a successful reelection campaign. If there has ever been a man who truly, desperately deserved what was coming to him, not only for the harm he did to three innocent, upstanding young men but the harm he did to his city and the entire U.S. judicial system, it is Mike Nifong. Throughout my internal debates, I've finally reached a conclusion: I don't give a flying FUCK whether or not it's ethical to delight in Mike Nifong's suffering. I'll do so anyway, because he so richly deserves anything that's likely to happen to him. One of my many regrets is that Henry Rollins won't be there to serenade the 'Fong with a song that so eloquently expresses what exactly landed this rogue prosecutor in trouble. Enjoy the video.