Monday, January 16, 2017

Play it again, Sam

that song that is stuck in your head
Have you ever listened to lyrics to songs?  I'm not talking about church hymns. Those are pretty tame.  I'm talking about some of these songs that preach hatred for most everyone. Songs like Cop Killer by Ice T:
I got my twelve gauge sawed off.
I got my headlights turned off.
I'm 'bout to bust some shots off.
I'm 'bout to dust some cops off.
That's some pretty harsh lyrics coming from a guy that plays a cop on television.  I mean, you're actually telling people you're going out on the town to kill police?  I wonder what happens when he calls 911 for help.  Do the police respond, or laugh?

How about Dean Martin's Baby,It's Cold Outside:

Her: but maybe just a half a drink more;
Him: (put some records on while I pour);
Her: the neighbors might faint;
Him: (baby it's bad out there)
Her: say what's in this drink
Him: (no cabs to be had out there)
While vaguely marketed as a Christmas song, it actually sounds like a song about spiking a woman's drink with some roofies on a cold winter night and, well, since kids read this blog, too, I won't go into details.  Sufficient it to say, he could be looking at 5-10 in prison.

Then there's the song I was listening to on the way to work called Working My Way Back to You by The Spinners:
When you were so in love with me
I played around like I was free
Thought I could have my cake and it it to
But how I cried over losing you
I used to love to make you cry
It made me feel like a man inside 
So, let me get this straight, he plays around AND loves to make girls cry?  The only guys that LOVE to make girls cry are the ones what wear wife beater shirts. I swear that if my little girls brings one of those guys home to meet me, I'll gak!

Of course, this made me think of the thousands of people who file through our law library to attend the family law workshops hosted by the Superior Court.  As admirable as these workshops are (as they really do help people fill out paperwork and navigate the family law court), it's sad to see so many people having to go through the divorce process.  I mean, did they have in the back of their minds the thought that they would be divorced when they got married?  Does anyone?! 

It seems so, sometimes.  I remember a while back we had a guy come in on Monday who had just gotten married the day before (on Sunday) in Vegas and was looking to get a divorce.  Already!?  The ink hadn't even dried on his signature and, well, there you go. 

For those who are looking to break the chains that bind them, might I suggest you head over to your local county law library and take a look at:
The problem with some songs is not so much the lyrics as the fact that they get stuck in my head. Thankfully, it's only the lyrics that get stuck and not the concepts they proscribe.  
If ever you find that you got the two mixed up and find you need the services of a certified county law Librarian, head on over and we'll help you get things sorted out.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Smooth Move, Exlax

a lock picker picking a lock
I'm a member of a local online group and today, a message came across the board reading:

Yesterday, an officer responded to Main Street regarding a subject brandishing a knife. Upon arrival, the officer located and detained the subject. It was learned that the subject was on felony probation.  Based on the investigation, the subject was arrested and booked into jail.

A few things here but first and foremost, the subject was not just on probation, but was on FELONY probation.  What that means is that if the person gets caught doing ANYTHING against the law, like...oh, I don't know - threatening people with a deadly weapon...that they can (and probably will) revoke probation and can send that person to jail/prison for OVER a year.

While I'm not a criminal, I tend to think like one (see if you don't get this way after working with the public for over 12 years).  In this case, if you're going to be brandishing a weapon, have the good sense to dispense with or hide it before the police show up on the scene. Since you did not have the good sense to hide your weapon, might I suggest you either give your local bar association a call and seek legal counsel, or have a family member go over to your local county law library to take a look at:
Yep, some people are unluckier than others.  For those (or even you) who need help of a legal nature, why not head on over to your local county law library and let your local county law Librarian help you do what you need to get done.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Word of the Month for January 2017: Resolve

Don't boink your students
When is is acceptable to have sex with a minor?  When you're their teacher?  When you're their employer?  A parent?  A priest?  I suspect, the answer is when they're over the age of majority (in which case, they are no longer a minor and the question becomes a moot point).

I bring this up only because I was reading a while back about a teacher who succumbed to the wiles of her 8th grade student via Instagram.  Yep, Alexandria Vega was doing the tube steak tango with a 13-year old student and got caught. Basic facts are student contacts teacher via Instagram and bends her ear.  Eventually teacher relents, love blossoms, teacher gets pregnant and kid's parents couldn't be happier. Happier?  Really?!?  Kid has to deal with child support before he's even out of puberty and the parents are happy? Sad. Really, really sad.

Being a new year, we can fix all this (or at least start to fix things).  Sure, that's what resolutions are for, don't cha know. Of course, this all brings me to our word for the month: RESOLVE.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, RESOLVE means to:
to find an acceptable or even satisfactory way of dealing with (a problem or difficulty). To make a definite decision to (do something); to set one's mind to (a course of action)
So, maybe our first resolution is to NOT have sex with a minor.  Yeah, that's pretty definite. Don't boink students you teach; don't tango with minors who work for you; don't do the choir boy(s); don't make kids with your kid.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Yeah, maybe not since 80% who make resolutions fail to keep them.

How about some resolutions you can (legally) keep:
  • Resolution 1:  Drink more water.  Did you know drinking water helps boost your metabolism (which aids in losing weight)?
  • Resolution 2:  Exercise more.  "Studies" have shown that daily exercise helps you not be fat and lazy or develop diabetes (not that those are related but, well...uh...).  Years ago I joined a club and did the treadmill three times a week. The result was I could move longer and not get tired.  These days, not so much.
  • Resolution 3: Eat less salt.  High salt diets lead to high blood pressure and stress on the heart.  Not good things.  Best, then, to eat less salt.  Not no salt - just less of it.
  • Resolution 4: Donate all your money to your local county law library.  Everyone dies.  Everyone.  Why not annoy the living heck out of your relations and donate all your money to your local county law library?  Yeah - that way, the entire community benefits and your relations finally know what you really think of them.
So, there you go - four resolutions you can resolve to keep. Not very legal and no legal resources but all healthy and beneficial to someone.  Maybe not you, but someone.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Imagine

It's a money grab
Today's story is about greed and the fact that one (very bloated) company doesn't have enough of your money.

In Disney Enterprises Inc. v. VidAngel Inc, 16-CV04109 (C.D. Cal.), council for the plaintiff (i.e. Disney) declared that VidAngel violated copyright law by allowing customers the ability to filter out offensive content (like nudity, vulgar language, and violence).  In its defense, VidAngel argued that under the Family Home Movie Act of 2005, its filtering process is protected and it should be allowed to continue to operate since VidAngel owns the individual physical copy of each movie steamed to customers.  

Basically, what VidAngel's argument means is that VidAngel should be allowed to alter any movie that it owns (because the people to whom it streams the video doesn't own the physical copy of the DVD).  Because VidAngel owns the rights to the copy, they should be able to do as they like with it.  

Thing is, if you look at that argument, it's a pretty good statement.  How many people have bought a book and then wrote in it or had their kid scribble the pages with a crayon?  How many people have bought a record, CD, or DVD and then sold it at a garage sale?  You bought it, you can (or should) be able to do what you want to or with it. 

What Disney is saying, though, is that even if you buy a DVD, you don't own it (pretty much what the Feds said about Napster).  Heck, if you don't own a DVD/movie, then even though you bought it (for $20-$50), Disney, or whomever, can now reverse established law (under Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc) and demand its return without having to reimburse you for the cost (and then resell it to someone else).

Heck, under Disney's argument the very act of scribbling in a book could also result in prosecution under copyright laws.  Over zealous federal judges could very well move against otherwise law abiding citizens because the act of scribbling technically "violates" the interests of the original copyright holder (i.e. the person who published the book).

Really?  Does anyone really think that the Feds would go after someone who scribbles in a book?  I do.  In fact if we the people let judges make these rulings and/or let them stick, then the prisons who used to hold people who smoked marijuana will be replaced by people who scribbled in a book. 

Basically, this all comes down to greed and stupid judges making stupid, twisted rulings.  In this case, it was/is Disney's greed and the fact that they don't have enough of your money.  Don't believe me?  Well, if you thought being prosecuted for smoking a single joint was stupid, imagine what it will feel like when you get jailed for selling a DVD at a garage sale or scribbling in a book.  

Dang but you'll be the laughing stalk of cell blocks A-Z!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

In Today's News: Judicial Politics

Led around by your nose
Do you remember when Trump won the election in November 2016 but Hillary won the "popular" vote? Lots of people freaked out saying Hillary should be POTUS because the people's vote was more important than the Electoral College.  Well, in today's news is a similar story.

In November 2016, we the people (of California) passed Proposition 66.  Basically Prop 66 would have reduced the number of appeals a person (who is on death row) could file thereby expediting their death and, subsequently, satisfy the death sentence issued against them.

Apparently, there are a number of people who think that persons who were convicted for murdering someone should have the right to drag out the legal process and file decades of appeals to forestall their demise.  Seems the California Supreme Court thinks so, too, and so under Briggs and Van de Kamp v. Brown et al., S238309 (2016), the court granted a stay of Prop 66 preventing the law from being changed.

This is certainly not the first time a branch of the government has decided to thwart the will of we the people.  Remember in 2008 when Proposition 8 passed by a majority of the people?  For those who don't remember, Prop 8 sought to ratify the concept that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Prop 8 was passed by a majority of votes by we the people of California.  Subsequently, lame duck Gov. Terminator announced that he would not enforce Prop 8.  He also noted that he would not compel his Attorney General Edmund "Moonbeam" Brown to enforce the law thereby initiating Prop 8's ignominious death.

What is particularly infuriating is that you have three branches of government who consistently deny we the people the same rights that the original 13 colonies fought so hard to protect.  Specifically that:
"The Legislative has no right to absolute, arbitrary power over the lives and fortunes of the people" (the rights of the Colonists, by Samuel Adams)
Over and over these three branches do exactly that - arbitrarily exercise judgment over the property and rights of we the people. If a majority of people vote something into law, then we the people should be able to expect that those laws will be acted upon and enforced by the very branches of government we the people elected to be in those positions.  

If the branches of government cannot (or will not) carry out those duties, then it is critical that we the people rise up and demand their censure and/or removal post haste. Failure to do so only hastens the demise of what rights we do have. Those who refuse to act to protect their life, liberty, and families have only themselves to blame.

Stand up and be counted or shut up and insert your nose rings.