Monthly Archives: July 2015 - Page 2

LIONEL PODCAST: You Don’t Know Scheiße About History

The history you know is anything resembling history. What the American public craves is a tragedy with a happy ending,” William Dean Howells supra said. I would say the same for history. Especially. I am fascinated by the the idea of why civil wars are so unique in our human appreciation. Thucydides said, “The people made their recollections fit in with their sufferings.” Professor David Blight in this wonderful series references these inter alia. It’s brilliant and I commend it to you.

From the horse’s mouth. “I, Herodotus of Halicarnassus, am here setting forth my history, that time may not draw the color from what man has brought into being, nor those great and wonderful deeds, manifested by both Greeks and non-Greeks, fail of their report, and, together with all this, the reason why they fought one another.” Whose history? Whose perspective?

LIONEL PODCAST: The Meaningless and Breathless Search for Healing and Diversity

Adios, flag. Fine. Good riddance. Now, let’s get back to work. And worry about the issues that really matter. Like institutional racism in the criminal justice system, like serious and borderline genocidal dietary and foodborne pathogens that are killing the African-American community. And a President who is responsible for the reckless and indiscriminate killing of innocent Yemenis via Hellfire missile and drone attacks. Yeah, let’s talk about that. What do you say? Unless, this distraction called the Confederate flag and armchair amateur vexillology is more fun. An as far as Herr Trump goes, the man’s a genius. Sometimes.

LIONEL PODCAST: Even Cosby the Rapist Has Rights

Even the rapist Cos deserves his day in court. “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 10. OK, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that no one is denying Bill Cosby the right to a fair trial but I respectfully disagree. There’s more to constitutional rights and the trial itself. There are issues such as pre-accusatory delay and constitutional speedy trial and due process principles in general that militate against much of what has been leveled against this very sick and predatory man. Even guilty people are privy to procedural safeguards. And he’s guilty.

This is personal. And while he seems to be supremely guilty of at least one of the 42+ cases as of November 2014, the judge’s depiction of Cosby as a “public moralist” blows this legal analyst’s mind. He could have just said that two years had elapsed, there were no objections cited, so the sealing provisions have been lifted by operation of law and local rule. But, no, he made an example of “America’s dad [rapist].”

Unseal it! “According to documents obtained by the Associated Press and released on Monday, Bill Cosby stated under oath in 2005 that he had obtained Quaaludes to give them to young women with whom he wanted to have sex; he further admitted giving the drugs to at least one woman who later claimed he sexually assaulted her and said that he gave Benadryl to another woman who accused him of assaulting her while she was sedated.” Guardian

Let’s follow along, shall we? This is a marvelous article infra on the Cosby affair and worth your perusal. As is this companion piece. Note this most pertinent aspect as to how the District Court got around the deposition that was presumed “sealed.” And as you will seem Judge Eduardo Robreno clearly dislikes Herr Cosny.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno issued a 25-page memo outlining his reasoning. Here’s how he explains it:

— The court’s rules state that unless there is an objection, documents filed in the court will be unsealed automatically two years after the conclusion of litigation.

— When the AP filed a request to have the documents unsealed, Cosby’s attorneys objected, saying it would violate Cosby’s right to privacy by making public, among other things, “intimate knowledge about his sex life.” Cosby’s lawyer also argued that the release would embarrass Cosby and would violate the confidentiality agreement signed by the two parties.

— Robreno dismissed all those arguments.

— Perhaps the most intriguing part is that Robreno concluded that Cosby should be thought of more as a public servant. Previous courts have held that public servants, or politicians, give up some of the privacy protections afforded to regular citizens or even public figures.

— So, how did Robreno make that leap? He argued that while Cosby is clearly a public figure, when he talks about issues of public policy like unwed mothers and crime, he becomes a “public moralist,” which, like it might for a public servant, opens him up to “legitimate public scrutiny.”

Wow. That’s all I have to say. Wow. All the judge had to do was say, sorry, Sparky. two years have elapsed and that ends that debate. But no, he went a tad further in breaking off in Dr. Benadryl.

LIONEL PODCAST: The United States of Distractions – Trump, Confederate Flags and Mindless Political Symbolism

History would be a wonderful thing if only it were true. Thus spake Tolstoy. And no truer words were ever spoken. We care nothing about history, precedent or perspective. Our sense of criticality changes with the wind. We’re a country that’s obeisant and we follow a Pavlovian fealty to concepts we know nothing of. And when it comes to politics there’s nothing to simple or base that we won’t glom onto. Look, Donald Trump fouynd himself immersed in a controversy that he never could have imagined. He spoke from the hip and out of his arse and unlike the last time he dared to opine politically, viz. by questioning POTUS Barry’s provenance, this one stuck and a momentum ensued that he finds inextricable. And look at the derivative issues. Imagine you’ve just plunked down an astronomic amount of dough for a pied-à-terre or primary residence in NYC and the name Trump is strewn about and plastered everywhere. Now it’s taken on an ignominious reference. Think Shinola or, better, Ayds candies. Do you now want to live in the “Trump Tower”? Would you have a cause of action, à la a morals clause, that causes the name and marketability of a franchise or property via said ignominy? You can bet it’s being contemplated.