Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sulking in my tent, making music instead of war...

Friday dawned sunny, but the weather was scheduled to turn foul in the afternoon. Further, Blogger was acting wonky, and so I took it as an omen to get some work done and go to the range.

I got home from the range to find my inbox filling up with emails about the Indiana Supreme Court's decision in Barnes v. Indiana, which I would call "retarded" if it weren't for the fact that any random group of three people suffering from significantly impaired cognitive functioning could have cobbled together a better piece of jurisprudence than that steaming pile. As the afternoon wore on, some of the emails began to get more... er... hyperbolic, and I started to feel a little jaded. You know, I can only read so many insurrectionist mutterings of the sort that come on the heels of every bad law and awful court ruling before I want to yell "Fish or cut bait, dammit!" at the computer screen.

Anyhow, I had a pretty good funk going by the time my roommate got home, and the argument we had when she did didn't help. I made some pretty poor word choices and by the time I got my foot good and stuck in my mouth, the black cloud of depression hanging over my head was probably visible to the naked eye.

So, sporting a serious case of the Oh-What's-The-Uses, I just moped around the house and sulked for the last couple days.

But that doesn't help. Not me, nor anybody else.


Look, this was a colossally dumb ruling. If they just wanted to uphold the dude's conviction, they had a handy hook of Exigent Circumstances on which to hang the hat of their decision. But noooo! That wasn't good enough. Instead, in a textbook case of legislating from the bench, a couple of The-Government-Is-Your-Friend judges saw a chance to get rid of an annoying and icky antiquated bit of common law, using this case as a handy shovel to dig it out by the roots.

And what a crappy job of it they did, too: There are clumps of Fourth Amendment everywhere, not to mention specific statutory law in the form of a "Castle Doctrine" which wasn't addressed by their half-assed ruling (How's that gonna work? "Your honor, my client had no idea the deceased was a law enforcement officer, and under IC 35-41-3-2...")

Further, this is particularly badly-timed egg on Mitch Daniels' face, and as an added bonus, the thimble-headed gherkin who penned the majority opinion is facing a retention election next year.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I look forward to ticking the box marked "You're fired!"


Robin said...

Sorry you fell into a funk. Its been that kind of month here too.

Justin Buist said...

The decision, or the excerpts I'm seeing, do appear to be balls-out retarded. I won't argue that stringing those specific words together in such an order is something any judge should be doing.

But, I haven't heard much about the details of the case in many places where outrage was expressed. I did see comments from one person that they were ruling on a case where the owner of the properly permitted the search. Somebody else with a vested interest in the place not being search objected.

I sorta figure the odds are the justices ruled right in this case but got a bit winded, and out of bounds, when writing up the decision. It happens, and the other courts usually dismiss this type of crap. Or we fix it via the legislature.

I'm not too worried. This will pass. Nobody will be blogging about it 6 months from now.

Ed Foster said...

I promise I'll read up on it. If I'm briefed in I might have a clue. Just glad you're back.

Odysseus said...

Glad to see you out of your tent, and I'm glad that it didn't even take dressing RX up like you and sending her to stop the Ilions.

Rabbit said...

Glad you're away from your metaphorical black dog a little. I've got one myself- about the size of a mastiff, really, but I keep him on terms.

You should consider making a recon in force down this way and present your bonafides so you make sure you have a seat at the big table when we seal off the bridges across the Red and Sabine. We're planning to send the EPA back home via tank car. Wouldn't want you to miss the loading.

Anonymous said...


Don M said...

Thanks for coming back to us
In your hour of grief, remember that people who you never met, and will never meet, take joy in your writing and in the peculiar way your neurons are organized.

Really, you would do well on the back page of Guns and Ammo, and would do better there than some of their recent candidates. (at risk of condemning you with faint praise).

wv: dysti as in dystillated snark

Montie said...


Oddly enough, I had experienced a similar sort of funk at nearly the same time. Contagious? I hope not.

However, as to your opinion on the Indiana Supreme Court ruling, you and I are pretty much in sync there also (see my comments over at Bobbi's place). The lengths the ruling went to were entirely uncalled for when the specifics of the case before the court are looked at.

Frank W. James said...

Tam: Re; the court ruling and next year's election......Bumper Stickers?...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...'s a better world this morning; Tam's back!


Carteach said...

For you and roomie.... People of good heart can get past a few harsh words. You both qualify.

For the Indie supreme court.... for them, there is no hope. Once a judge goes enemy of the people, there is no going back.

Roberta X said...

We were arguing about something we agree about -- but were at very different points in our reaction to. It happens.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back!

Rob J

Anonymous said...

Ah, Tam, I got bad news for ya: IC 35-41-3 says nothing about resisting the forced entry of a law enforcement officer. Arguably, it's a loophole in the code and the court has effectively clarified the code to define an exemption.

That's where the egregiousness of the court's decision lies: it establishes the supremacy of law enforcement personnel over and above the right of the individual to security in their own home.

In effect, if the individuals forcing their entry into your home are cops, you MUST submit. Failure to do so will result in your death; if you live, you will be charged (e.g., resisting arrest, manslaughter, etc.).

I imagine, though I can't be certain, that "I didn't know they were cops, Your Honor" will be no defense. The cops will simply lie and say they yelled "POLICE!" when breaking into your home at 3 a.m. It really is no contest as to which version the judge will believe: if the Law recognizes a hierarchy whereby a cop can enter your home at will, then it's not a far stretch to suppose that a cop's word will be ranked as more credible than any mere "citizen".

Some animals are more equal than others, eh?

I'm thinking of printing up a plastic sign and affixing it to my front door: "If you've got a warrant, make sure you got the right address before breaking down the door". I expect I'll do pretty good business in Indiana.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the whole point of the ruling WAS to shoot Daniels in the face as it were?
One less potential repub candidate - rino/wimp(asked his wife, he did) that he is/was.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Justin Buist said:
"But, I haven't heard much about the details of the case in many places where outrage was expressed."

The problem is that that Court ruled that the details of the case - and whether the entry was illegal or not - didn't matter. Under this decision, a cop could stand at your door and say "I have no warrant, no probable cause, there are no exigent circumstances, and I have no other legal justification to enter your house, but I will anyway," and if you resist you cannot use the illegality of the entry as a defense - you cannot even present it to the jury for consideration, because it is not a defense.

Basically, they decided that any resistance against a LEO is illegal, even if the LEO's actions are blatantly illegal, because you have the option to sue in civil court later (and we all know how often that works).

Kristophr said...

So then ... if the cop yells "I am going to enter your house to murder your sorry ass!", and you kill him as he enters, you can now be charged with felony obstruction?

Ok then.

Can someone in Indiana start a recall petition for these black-robed retards? It doesn't have to succeed ... merely being the subject of an even unsuccessful recall is enough to end a political career.

Anonymous said...

So sorry you & roomie got into it. I hope it's blown over & you've made up.

Now, get back to work!

Ulises from CA.

Ted said...

Well, I find that most of the arguments I have with my flatmate are about semantics. He uses "deserve" a consequence when I guess he really means "what did they expect to happen?" Sometimes you can fight with someone over nits to pick even when you agree on the larger points.

That said, such a baldly unconstituional decision will fall by either higher review or legislative demand. Ideally it wouldn't happen in the first place, and someone is going to get hurt. Once someone does get hurt, there will be a clamor and it will get corrected.

We shouldn't have to fix it, but it will get fixed.

atlharp said...

Welcome back Tam! Anyway, Don't sweat it, we all need a break now and again. I am always surprised that you don't take a break from it more often. In all fairness this should be something that is a teachable moment about how much you're liked around the interwebz. I bet even some of the guys who called you an "Airsoft Kitty" would have missed you! ;-)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Golly, that's a good blog title. Wish I had thought of it.

tanksoldier said...

I think that's how it's going to work: This "bench legislation" will only apply if it can be shown that the accused (the homeowner who busted a cap in the "public servant" who kicked down the wrong door) knew or reasonably should have known it was a cop interrupting his dinner. There are several documented cases of home invasion teams (the non-cop home invasion teams) screaming "police" as they ran thru the house shooting residents, so I think that could be a tough one to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

tanksoldier said...

says nothing about resisting the forced entry of a law enforcement officer.

It says "person", and I think we can agree that Law Enforcement officers are... at least notionally... people.

Drang said...

Meanwhile: Supreme Court: No warrant needed if police discern destruction of evidence -
Yes, that's the US Supreme Court.
8-1, Ruth Bader Ginsberg dissenting.

Mattexian said...

Count another of your fans who's glad you came out from under your blanket. Myself, I blog so infrequently because it takes some special inspiration to post, while *you* only need to open the morning paper for said inspiration. The day-to-day events only inspire me to grumble and practice field stripping my firearms.

Steve Skubinna said...

You and Roberta had a dispute? Well then, according to the Brady Bunch it must necessarily have ended in gunfire. I'm guessing, to fit the Brady model, it was about a parking space.

At least that's what they tell us we shoot each other over.

My oldest friend and I sometimes have nasty arguments from the same side of an issue. Okay, fine, he agrees with me, but doe she have to do it in the stupidest and most contrary manner possible?

Steve Skubinna said...

Incidentally, regarding Et tu, Clarence, just finished "Always I Am Caesar" by W. Jeffrey Tatum. Very entertaining, marred (for me) by a few gratuitous swipes at George W. Bush. Not that I intend to defend Dubya from irritated academics, but does Tatum really think anyone reading his book fifty years from now will find references to his present day political gripes significant?

However, he offers a take on Caesar's last words which I had not encountered before. In Greek, they were Kai su, teknon? which has been conventionally translated as "You too, my child?"

Kai su is a formulaic curse, meaning literally "and you!" and short for kai su, erre, meaning "as for you, perish!"

So the words could have meant something like "See you in hell, punk!"