Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
But the Bisard case is a little different. Bisard was a cop. Bisard killed someone (allegedly). Bisard was drunk (allegedly). There was very suspicious mishandling of blood testing. There was very suspicious mishandling of blood evidence. The whole thing was just...well...suspicious.
And his defense costs? Yeah, they were being picked up by the Fraternal Order of Police.
What the hell? I understand the being a police officer is a brotherhood. They love to protect their own. Okay, fine. I can understand brotherhoods.
I can also understand the FOP wanting to pick up the tab for the defense of many police officers that are facing crazy litigation from over-zealous criminals that are just looking to screw over a cop.
But this wasn't that kind of case. The evidence against Bisard appears to be overwhelming. Even though much of the evidence might have proven inadmissible due to the horrendous "oversights" by other members of the department, there is little doubt among the masses that Bisard did this.
So if the evidence against Bisard is so damning, why would the FOP want to defend him? Again, I understand brotherhood, but brotherhood is for the benefit of all the brethren. If a member of a brotherhood fails to uphold their end of the bargain, if they do something that could do serious damage to the brotherhood as a whole, then it is acceptable for the brotherhood to expel him. And even if expulsion is not the right step, it is also acceptable for the brotherhood to remain neutral.
But that didn't happen in this case. For Bisard, despite all the damning evidence, the FOP chose to step up and pay for his defense. Why? Who knows. But you can bet your paycheck they are regretting it now.
Hilariously, FOP president William Owensby is quoted in today's Indy Star article about the FOP's recent decision as saying Bisard's arrest, "reflected discredit upon the lodge."
Guess what, Mr. Owensby, the discredit upon the lodge was caused by it's decision to pay for his counsel in the first place.
|Sheriff Bradley Rogers|
It's an interesting question....where does a sheriff's loyalties lie? Is he to blindly enforce any laws that are passed? Is that his duty? Can a sheriff prioritize the laws he enforces based on the resources he has available? Or, as Sheriff Rogers indicates, does his oath of office to uphold the constitution mean that if he finds a law unconstitutional that he is not obligated to enforce it?
Surely a sheriff can not be required to blindly pursue each and every law that is passed. The reason is resources. No sheriff has unlimited resources. Every sheriff is forced to create a budget based on the resources available to them, and thus be forced to prioritize what areas they will focus their enforcement on. That makes perfect sense.
But where does prioritizing enforcement potentially turn into abandonment of enforcing a law at all? And is a sheriff that believes a law to be unconstitutional required to not enforce it based upon their oath to defend the constitution?
|Myself, Miah Akston, and Sheriff Rogers|
Personally, I applaud Sheriff Rogers. He is still confined by a system of checks and balances. If his community does not support the actions of this first term sheriff, they will guarantee that he never has a second term of office. As long as those checks and balances are in place, then the sheriff's oath to uphold the constitution comes first and foremost.
Sheriff Rogers recently spoke at the Libertarian Party of Indiana's State Convention. Although I do not have audio of the excellent speech he gave, Miah Akston and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview him for our show on, The Uncontrollables. Here's that interview. It runs about 21 minutes.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
Fellow blogger Paul Ogden makes a great point in his blog about the inheritance tax. LGBT couples might be the biggest winners.
You see, a spouse was previously tax exempt from the inheritance tax. But since Indiana doesn't recognize gay marriage, even lifelong couples only at best qualified as a friend, and had am enormous tax burden because of it.
Although I sincerely doubt there were any intentions of this law being to help gay couples, in many ways they benefit the most. No longer does it matter who you spent your life with when or comes to the amount of inheritance tax you pay. A gay couple now pays the same tax treasure as a straight couple does, at least in this area.
That's a win.
Ogden has some interesting math in his big showing just how much the tax could impact a gay couple before. Make sure you check out his blog for that info, and more details on this story.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Throughout the day Wednesday, news began surfacing that the Boston bombing suspects used gunpowder scavenged from fireworks to create the deadly bombs used to terrorize this year's Boston Marathon.
I'm willing to bet that before next week is out, there is a minimum of one state making lots of news because it's legislature is going to begin considering strict new fireworks legislation because of this. That's the way it always happens with these tragedies.
- Something horrible happens
- Something the vast majority of people use safely in their lives is found to be involved
- Legislators panic and make rash decisions about what can be done to prevent tragedy again
- Mostly safe item has crazy new restrictions placed on it or is banned
- Hardly anyone, if anyone at all, is saved while millions deal with ridiculous new regulations
Here's what I expect to see lawmakers suggesting across the nation:
- Styles of fireworks allowed to be purchased limited to only those with the smallest amounts of powder
- Number of fireworks purchased to be severely limited
- Anyone attempting to buy large amounts of fireworks to have police called on them
- Every fireworks purchaser to have their name recorded along with the contents of each purchase
- Digital connectivity required between different fireworks resellers so that attempts to buy large amounts via small amounts purchased from several retailers will be thwarted
- Fireworks purchaser license required
- Background checks required for fireworks purchasers
- Fireworks safety courses required before anyone is allowed to purchase fireworks