Sunday, February 28, 2010

HOT5 Daily 2/28/2010

1. "By Way of Deception thou Shalt Make War" This is pretty much my opinion on the Dubai assassination.

Representative Sample: Viewed within the many actions against the "war on global terror", there is now one less arch-terrorist among the living. No one in his right mind should cry over the demise of this mastermind in murderous terrorism.

2. "Atlas, Shrugging" Examples of why I don't have a mystical veneration for "the law."

Representative Sample:These are just three examples of the way that laws are written so that everybody violates laws every day. They reminded me of a passage in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged where Dr. Ferris from the State Science Institute is talking to Hank Reardon about his illegal sales of his metal.

3. "MOST CONSERVATIVE, LIBERAL IN CONGRESS ANNOUNCED BY NATIONAL JOURNAL" Always interesting, as these ratings are often used during campaigns.

Representative Sample: 1. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) 1. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)

4. "Ten rules for writing fiction" Pretty interesting if you've ever attempted fiction, or have any aspirations.

Representative Sample: Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied".

5. "Ukraine may become world's sixth biggest arms trader" Major surge in Ukrainian arms deals.

Representative Sample: The output of Ukrainian defense plants grew by 58% in 2009, which would unable Ukraine to rank as the world's sixth largest arms trader

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  1. The "Atlas, Shrugging" blogger to whom you links says: "Ever had someone you barely know come up to you and give you a hug, and you’re thinking a simple “hello” would have suited you better? That’s battery in Florida."

    Uh, no, probably not really.

    In law, in general, battery is an offensive or harmful touching, basically an unwanted touching. IMO, the language of the Florida penal code, confusingly leaves out the concepts of "offensive" or "harmful" (maybe it was written by criminal defense lawyers because the more confusing the law the more you need lawyers):
    1. Intentionally touching or striking another person against their will; or
    2. Intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.

    Although, actually, the "against their will" part does go to the offensive, unwanted or harmful nature of the crime. But I can see how a non-lawyer or non-police officer could think that someone hugging you when a simple "hello" would have sufficed constitutes battery in Florida. But (and I studied criminal law in law school decades ago, never practiced criminal law and am unfamiliar w/Florida's laws so take what I say with a grain of salt) IMO, there is not a snowballs chance in Florida in August ;) that someone would ever be convicted (or prosecuted or even arrested) in these circumstances.

    Sure I guess if my neighbor comes up to me and gives me a hug when a simple "hello" would have done, she has met one of the required elements of #1 above: she intended to touch me (i.e., she intended to hug me). But has she met the second element of #1? Has the hugged me "against my will?" How does she know? How do the police and the prosecutors know? I suppose if I specifically say, "Mrs Jones, do not come any closer and try to hug me with those flabby arms of yours," there might be a case to make against Mrs Jones (might being the operative word).

    But here is what would probably happen if I call the police on Mrs. Jones (whether I said something or not): absolutely nothing. Well, no, I take that back what happens is that whoever takes my call has a great water cooler story about the crazy lady who doesn't like people hugging her!!!

    I can say, without a doubt, that I have no fear of being arrested for misdemeanor battery should I decide, the next time I visit Florida, to hug people I barely know (or, even strangers!). And, I will do so with a clear conscience.

  2. I think that was an exaggeration to make a point. But I'm not sure that hugging a total stranger might not result in a battery charge. You can't just go up and grab someone.

    Also, I would never underestimate what some overzealous prosecutor might be capable of.