Category: Jurisprudence

The U.S. Constitution Fetish

Tea Party “originalists,” John Boehner, Sarah Palin, and a large percentage of Americans who want less government and more “freedom,” profess an undying fealty to the Constitution of the United States of America. From its 4,400 words (written and agreed upon by the richest elites of the new Republic) stems the philosophical underpinnings of their...

On Wisconsin: On, Wisconsin!

Having grown up in the Badger state, I feel well qualified to write sniggeringly about the place. I was there. I know what I’m talkin’ about, all right? It’s a great state beside a Great Lake, populated by generally nice folks. It also has more taverns per square mile than just about anywhere, including Bavaria....

Unlikely Bedfellows

No one is surprised that among the groups opposing California’s Porposition 19, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Marijuana initiative on the November 2 ballot, are financially entrenched business organizations. The prison and law enforcement industry, which profits every time a marijuana user is branded a criminal; the beer industry, which worries that Californians will collectively...

On Pot: A Superior Court Judge Speaks

James Gray served as a Superior Court judge in Orange County for 25 years. He was on the front lines of California’s War on Drugs.  Here’s what he learned: California simply can’t afford to continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars and countless hours of law enforcement time targeting non-violent cannabis consumers who have...

How Police Officers Make Themselves Easy to Despise

IN MEMORY OF KELLY THOMAS, MURDERED BY FULLERTON, CA. POLICE OFFICERS In most “developing” countries, law enforcers develop nothing but bribes and shakedown money. They’re seen not as upholders of justice but as uniformed thugs to be assiduously avoided, officially sanctioned criminals who serve no one but themselves. Here in the United States, most police...

Getting it Wrong on Prop 8

This weekend, a number of dear friends, some straight, some gay, will be picketing in front of Los Angeles City Hall, venting their anger at an empty building. The protesters are furious about the passage of Proposition 8, which amends the California Constitution to permit holy matrimony solely between a man and a woman. Prop...

Online Gambling

If you enter the phrases “betting on” and “stock market” in the Google search function, .12 seconds later you’ll be furnished with 322,000 Web page matches.  Nearly every state in our great union — except for Hawaii and Utah — oversees some form of gambling, including State Lotteries, which serve as a regressive tax and...

A State of Vocational Bliss

My favorite uncle, and an inspiring man to hundreds who know him, was sworn in recently by the Governor of Massachusetts as an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court. The speechmaking and ceremonial pronouncements (and the catered luncheon) were all very nice, and all who know the new Judge levitated slightly with familial and...

The Stigma of Prostitution

The fall of the (former) Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, was a glorious windfall for comedians, political pundits, and connoisseurs of schadenfreude. But lost amid the jeering laughter (and disappointed tears), the competing tendentious agendas, and the grave scholastic commentary was an opportunity for us to collectively ask: what’s wrong with us?  Perhaps we...

This Bud’s for You

According to statistics that many national and international publications consider reliable, almost half of our adult population, around 100 million Americans, have “experimented with” or continue to use marijuana. Given the ordinances against marijuana on most municipal books, some of which are enforced assiduously in certain regions of the nation, we are largely a republic...