Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Does anybody ever think or Google things?



A breathless email was sent to a mailing list I was on this afternoon. The original writer of the email had found this picture.

I swear, the second I saw it, I said to myself "Oh, everybody's saluting but the President. The band must be playing 'Hail to the Chief"

Needless to say, the text of the email was all about how the sender didn't know specifically what was going on in the picture, but picture was taken on Veterans day and how by not saluting Obama must have been showing disrespect to the troops.

Needless to say, when I went looking for what was going on during the Veterans Day Ceremony that Obama attended, I found video taken from another angle.



Yep, Obama had taken the stage and "Hail to the Chief" was playing. Obama wasn't not saluting the troops. He was not saluting himself. Because saluting yourself is stupid.

And we wouldn't want to be stupid, would we?

Sigh.

CC

26 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

Well President Obama did act somewhat stupidly by publicly accusing the Cambridge police force of acting stupidly in arresting Henry Louis Gates Jr. on disorderly conduct charges before he knew all the facts. . . I am sure that President Obama has acted stupidly in other ways on occasios, and expect that he might even openly acknowledge that fact if asked about how he has acted stupidly.

Oh and people certainly do Google things, as some of the very interesting web stats for The Emerson Avenger blog tell me. I dare say that one can learn quite a lot about the U*U World just from reading one's web stats. . . In fact the vast majority of the 60 or so visits it gets per day these days result from Google searches, or the occasional search from other search engines like Yahoo! and Bing.

Speaking of Presidents and stupidity I got a chuckle out of this Google search that found its way to The Emerson Avenger blog the other day.

L said...

Actually, the lower ranking military member always initiates the salutes. Since the President is the Commander in Chief, he only returns salutes, he doesn't initiate them. Furthermore, since the salute is being held, I assumed it was occurring during the national anthem, which only military members salute. The only clue that it's not is that the President doesn't have his hand over his heart, which civilians do during the national anthem.

hsofia said...

I don't know what is wrong with people that they think Obama isn't patriotic. Not only is he patriotic, but he's even a capitalist! Wow! Imagine that! If people read his damn books ... *grumble grumble*

Chalicechick said...

All the facts were in when Obama made his statement. The only thing to come out later was the release of the tapes of Officer Crowley's perfectly understandable words to the operator who he claimed couldn't hear him, which is why Professor Gates had to come outside, and without anything like "excuse me, could you repeat that?" from the operator.

By the time Obama made the statement all charges against Professor Gates had been dropped, making the arrest a big waste of everyone's time.

Seems to me Obama knew an illegal arrest when he saw it.

Julianne Lepp said...

When the status quo is in danger, people get scared and attack any "weakness" they can muster. I agree with you on the poorly thought out email phenomenon. It happens too often.

Robin Edgar said...

The some of the basic facts may well have been known CC but President Barack Obama himself claimed not to know the facts *immediately* prior to making his public statement to the effect that the Cambridge police force "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates.

For the record Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest was nowhere near the big waste of everyone's time that one or both of my dubious arrests on the basis of U*U BS have been, at least in terms of court time etc. Maybe Rev. Diane Rollert should have Googled me before seeking her ultimately futile restraining order against me. She might have figured out that it wouldn't do her or the Unitarian Church of Montreal all that much good to give me a well deserved year long holiday from protesting in front of the church. . . Do you think that Montreal Unitarian U*Us are stuypid enough to try to have ne arrested a third time on the basis of paranoid and/or perjurious U*U BS?

Robin Edgar said...

Looks like you got some *real* SPAM CC. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Come to think of it. . .

Just as Rev. James Ishmael Ford unwittingly posted some real SPAM a while back, to his chagrin, you made the same mistake.

Chalicechick said...

Shrug. I did get rid of it. That kind is hard to notice when I'm moderating from my phone.

CC

PG said...

As an American constitutional law scholar, Obama is presumably much more aware of the stupidity of "disorderly conduct" charges brought against a person who was in his own home, than is a Canadian who doesn't understand how the First Amendment operates. Obama had the relevant facts for judging whether this was an arrest that had legal viability.

Robin Edgar said...

But Henry Louis Gates Jr. wasn't actually *in* his own home PG. He came out of his home to berate aka verbally abuse Sgt. Crowley and from the look of things. . . was shouting very loudly if not actually "screaming" at the top of his lungs. Lot's of people would call that disorcderly conduct aka disturbing the peace aka creating a disturbance. Gates' conduct fit the letter of the law of Massachusetts' disorderly conduct ordinance if I am not mistaken. In any case *my* point was that President Barack Obama shot his mouth off *before* being aware of all of the facts. Even he acknowledged that he could have calibrated his words differently.

Right PG?

Chalicechick said...

((((In any case *my* point was that President Barack Obama shot his mouth off *before* being aware of all of the facts)))

Item: Barack Obama made his first comment about the Gates case on July 22, 2009

Robin Edgar made his first comment about the Gates case on the Chaliceblog on July 21, 2009.

Robin Edgar said...

What's your point CC?

My comments clearly reflect a free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of what happened, including but by no means limited to reading Henry Louis Gates Jr's version of events as posted to his magazine's website. I knew many if not most of the facts that were publicly available at that point of time. Who knows? Maybe I knew more of the publicly available facts *then* than President Barack Obama himself who publicly shot himself in the foot by asserting that the Cambridge police force acted stupidly in arresting his *friend* professor Henry Louis Gates a day later. . .

Robin Edgar said...

A "fair use" *item* from the article you linked to CC -

Sgt. Crowley was carrying out his duty as a law enforcement officer protecting the property of Professor Gates, and he was accused of being a racist," Cameron added. "The situation would have been over in five minutes if Professor Gates cooperated with the officer. Unfortunately, the situation we are in now is the environment police work in now."

Jim Carnell, a union representative for the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, said cops are "furious at the way Crowley is being vilified."

"The officer's mindset when going in there is, 'Why was he breaking down the door?' Maybe there is a restraining order in place. Maybe Harvard University, who owns the house, changed the locks for some reason. The officer's job is to make sure everything is on the up-and-up,'' Carnell said.

"Mr. Gates should be grateful that the police responded and explained himself with some civil discourse," Carnell added. "It would have ended there. Instead, his arrogant, combative behavior gave the cops cause to wonder that something else was going on."

I don't recall President Barack Obbama ever suggesting that hid friend Henry Louis Gates Jr. brought on his arrest, whether it was legal or not, by acting more than a little bit stupidly himself. Am I wrong about that CC?

Why didn't President Obama ever publicly acknowledge that Henry Louis Gates Jr. "acted stupidly" in aggressively if not belligerently verbally attacking the police who were there to protect his property?

PG said...

"But Henry Louis Gates Jr. wasn't actually *in* his own home PG."

He was standing on his porch.
Citation to fact: http://www.canada.com/news/story.html?id=1825561 ("The president ... said the police had “acted stupidly” in arresting Mr. Gates, 58, a longtime friend, on his front porch")

That's usually considered a part of someone's home in this country. In some states, if someone gets up on it and refuses to leave, he's committing the crime of trespass for which you can make a citizen's arrest.
Citation to law: http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/washlr82&div=18&id=&page= (article on Alaska's citizen's arrest law)

"He came out of his home to berate aka verbally abuse Sgt. Crowley and from the look of things. . . was shouting very loudly if not actually "screaming" at the top of his lungs."

Wow, your ideas about this incident froze with the very first word you had to say about it, didn't they? The tape from the incident was released and made clear that Gates was quiet enough that he was barely audible on the tape, and that Crowley had no trouble transmitting information over the police radio, contrary to his claim that Gates was so loud Crowley had to go outside to make his call. Not shouting, not screaming, and not "disorcderly conduct aka disturbing the peace aka creating a disturbance."

Citation to fact: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/us/28gates.html (has audio from tape)

The tape also showed that Crowley misstated certain facts in his report. For example, he claimed in the report that Whalen told him that she'd observed two black males with backpacks and her suspicions were aroused when they tried to force entry. In contrast, on the 911 call Whalen said she was calling on behalf of another woman's suspicions, not her own; could not describe the race of the men except that maybe one looked Hispanic; said they were carrying suitcases (nothing about backpacks); and said, “I don’t know if they live there and just had a hard time with their key.” There's no reason Whalen would have changed from reporting her observations accurately on the 911 call (there were indeed attempt to use a key; suitcases and no backpacks) to suddenly reporting something different when Crowley showed up (making up backpacks).

"Gates' conduct fit the letter of the law of Massachusetts' disorderly conduct ordinance if I am not mistaken. "

You are mistaken. For the millionth time, criticizing a police officer's conduct -- particularly when you're on your own property -- is First Amendment-protected speech in the United States.
Citation to law: http://volokh.com/posts/1248465451.shtml (discusses how portion of the Mass. law has been found unconstitutional by the state courts precisely because it infringes free speech rights)

The tape of the incident makes clear that Gates was nowhere near the decibel level that would constitute a disturbance by the local ordinances regulating such things in Cambridge, Mass.
Citation to law: http://www.tomstohlman.org/2009ElectionBlog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2009-Cambridge-Noise-Ordinance.pdf

If you seriously want to argue the law here, cite the laws you're talking about, and then cite a source other than Crowley's police report for the facts you think fit under the law you're citing. Otherwise, you're wasting my time.

PG said...

"In any case *my* point was that President Barack Obama shot his mouth off *before* being aware of all of the facts. Even he acknowledged that he could have calibrated his words differently."

"Could have calibrated those words differently" is saying "I was right but could have put it more politely." Saying someone acted "stupidly" is not polite; saying someone acted "in a way that exceeded the proper role of the police in a country with a Constitution that protects both private property and free speech" makes the same point at much greater length.

Your claim is that Obama "acted stupidly" himself, which implies that his assessment that the arrest and charges were wrongful was incorrect. You've done nothing to substantiate that, of course.

Robin Edgar said...

Actually it is you who is wasting your own time by posting obfuscating misleading misinformation aka BS here PG.

For starters I am saying that President Barack Obama "acted stupidly" himself, simply because he impolitely aka rudely accused the Cambridge police of acting stupidly on national public television. Was that a smart move or a *stupid* one PG? Whether his assessment that the arrest and charges were wrongful was correct or not is totally irrelevant to why I said he acted stupidkly himself.

Sorry PG but it is *you* who has done nothing to substantiate your own misrepresentation of what I said, unless it is just plain *stupid* misinterpretation of my readily understood words of course. . .

I have previously cited the letter of the Massachusetts disorderly conduct law and don't feel obliged to go looking for it again to repost it here. Go waste your own time if you don't believe me by looking for it yourself. And please don't be so *stupid* as to say,

"You are mistaken."

when you apparently have not read the *letter* of Massachusetts disorderly conduct legislation. The fact that subsequent legal precent may override that law in various ways is not relevant to my claim that Gates' alleged disruptive behavior fit the letter of that law.

BTW It was not just Sgt. Crowley who claimed that Gates was yelling and screaming, independent witnesses said the same thing. Why was his mouth so wide open in the photo PG? Was he trying to catch flies or something?

I obviously know that Gates was standing on his porch PG. Everybody who saw the photo of his arrest knows that. . . That's not *in* his own home in my books, or those of most other people including *scholar* Henry Louis Gates Jr. himself. Right?

The fact that Henry Louis Gates Jr. was on his own property when berating the police is not all that relevant either, unless police can't arrest people for crimes like disturbing the peace etc. if they happen to be on their own property. Are you telling me that Cambridge police can't arrest unruly Harvard students causing some kind of public disturbance as long as they do on their own frat house property?

PG said...

'For starters I am saying that President Barack Obama "acted stupidly" himself, simply because he impolitely aka rudely accused the Cambridge police of acting stupidly on national public television.'

Oh, so not being as polite as possible -- in particular, being brief in one's criticism by saying something is stupid without explaining at length why it was -- is itself always stupid? Or it's only stupid when one is on national public TV, but ceases to be stupid when said in blog comments? Or it's only stupid when done by the president, but not by largely unknown bloggers?

"I have previously cited the letter of the Massachusetts disorderly conduct law and don't feel obliged to go looking for it again to repost it here. Go waste your own time if you don't believe me by looking for it yourself."

I already linked to a source (volokh.com) that quoted the entire relevant statute. The post quotes Mass. state court cases that explain at length why behavior like Prof. Gates's is protected by free speech rights and cannot be criminally penalized. If you actually cared about learning anything, much less determining the truth, you could have learned a great deal from that post.

You clearly don't care about actually determining the truth of this matter; if you did, you'd look at the sources I am citing for facts and law, and either debate those points or accept them as correct (if only for the purposes of this discussion). You do neither; you simply ignore them.

Thus you offer nothing of worth in a discussion, because you keep repeating the same point without showing any capacity to actually engage another person's claims.

(FYI in case you get into legal trouble in the U.S., a statute that is found unconstitutional no longer has legal validity and police officers cannot arrest based upon it. If they do so, they are subject to civil suit for false arrest. So an arrest made under a Mass. statute that the Mass. courts have long held to be unconstitutional is a stupid arrest, because it will not hold up in court and subjects the officer to potential liability.)

"independent witnesses said the same thing"

Who? Again, citation to a source of fact that isn't Crowley or his fellow officers, please. He may well have had his mouth wide open because he had been sick and was gasping for breath as he was dragged off his property. That happens sometimes to disabled middle aged men. But I guess certain disabled middle-aged men will always be subject to having folks like you interpret their open mouth in a still photo as wilding out.

PG said...

Incidentally, Robin, I pointed out the fact about the legal invalidity of statutes that violate the Constitution because I genuinely thought it might be useful to you someday. You seem to have been the victim of police overreach yourself. Yet your sympathies are not with Prof. Gates; they are with the police officer who arrested him solely because he was annoyed by Gates's criticism -- however intemperate that criticism may have been. From what I understand of your history dealing with certain UU figures, you've generally been in the position of Gates (penalized for speaking your mind), not in the position of the police officer. I wonder why, in this particular situation, you align yourself with the authoritarian deciding what is acceptable to say, rather than the man protesting how he has been treated by the authoritarians.

Robin Edgar said...

:Oh, so not being as polite as possible -- in particular, being brief in one's criticism by saying something is stupid without explaining at length why it was -- is itself always stupid?

Nope. I dare say that that is a proverbial "stupid question". . . I quite evidently do not think that it was stupid for me to be brief in my criticism of you by saying some of the things that you said are stupid.

Right PG?

Can you say "Doh!"?

:Or it's only stupid when one is on national public TV, but ceases to be stupid when said in blog comments?

You're getting warmer. . .

:Or it's only stupid when done by the president, but not by largely unknown bloggers?

Yup that's pretty much it PG. President Barack Obama acted stupidly by very publicly asserting that the Cambridge police force "acted stupidly" in arresting his friend Henry Louis Gates Jr. during a nationally televised news conference. Had Barack Obama not been President of the U.S.A. and just a largely unknown blogger, or even a very well known blogger, it would not have been nearly as stupid to say the Cambridge police force acted stupidly. I think that you are finally beginning to catch my drift which I expect most intelligent people understood from the get go. . .

:If you actually cared about learning anything, much less determining the truth, you could have learned a great deal from that post.

I don't think you understand PG. I have already gone over pretty much the same argument with CC in the past. The fact that the *letter* of the Massachusett's law may be overridden my jurisprudence and may even be outright unconstitutional in no way changes the fact that Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s behavior as described by the police and independent witnesses fit the *letter* of that law. You are foolishly aka stupidly reading much more into what I said than I actually did say but I guess stupid is as stupid does. . . Please forgive me for suggesting that you have "acted stupidly" here if you have some kind of intellectual handicap that prevents you from understanding plain English.

:You clearly don't care about actually determining the truth of this matter; if you did, you'd look at the sources I am citing for facts and law, and either debate those points or accept them as correct (if only for the purposes of this discussion).

Wrong. I do care very much about the truth, which is precisely why I am challenging your stupid misinterperpretation and/or your knowing and willful misrepresention of my words and other points of fact here.

:You do neither; you simply ignore them.

Really? How do you know that PG^ Please do present your proverbial hard evidence that I ignored what you said and/or linked to here. The fact of the matter is that much of what you said is totally irrelevant to what I said and I simply chose not to engage you on those irrelevant aka spurious arguments.

Robin Edgar said...

:Thus you offer nothing of worth in a discussion, because you keep repeating the same point without showing any capacity to actually engage another person's claims.

See above. I have the capacity to engage your irrelevant andn spurious claims but simply have better things to do with my time. Even this level of engagement is largely a waste of my time.

:(FYI in case you get into legal trouble in the U.S., a statute that is found unconstitutional no longer has legal validity and police officers cannot arrest based upon it. If they do so, they are subject to civil suit for false arrest. So an arrest made under a Mass. statute that the Mass. courts have long held to be unconstitutional is a stupid arrest, because it will not hold up in court and subjects the officer to potential liability.)

Isn't it even stupider to leave a law that has been found to be unconstitutional and no longer has legal validity on the books PG? Up here in Canada if a law is ruled unconstitutional it is *abrogated*. Have the Massachusetts disorderly conduct laws been abrogated yet? Apparently not. . . The last time I checked police officers are not expected to be constitutional lawyers but are expected to enforce the laws that are on the books even if those laws may be somewhat questionable. . . It is not the job of police officers to legislate.

:"independent witnesses said the same thing"

Who? Again, citation to a source of fact that isn't Crowley or his fellow officers, please.

Sorry but the news reports of the time had several quotes from independent witnesses who stated that Gates was shouting and yelling at the police officers. If you don't believe me go do a free and responsible search for the truth on your time to try to prove me wrong.

:He may well have had his mouth wide open because he had been sick and was gasping for breath as he was dragged off his property. That happens sometimes to disabled middle aged men. But I guess certain disabled middle-aged men will always be subject to having folks like you interpret their open mouth in a still photo as wilding out.

Well when Cambridge police officers, and independent witnesses, to say nothing of Henry Louis Gates Jr. himself. . . say things that assert or strongly suggest that he was in fact "wilding out" it is only *reasonable* to believe that the arrest photo serves to corroborate that testimony.

Robin Edgar said...

:Incidentally, Robin, I pointed out the fact about the legal invalidity of statutes that violate the Constitution because I genuinely thought it might be useful to you someday.

It might be if I could afford to hire expensive constitutional lawyers PG. Pro bono work is not very common up here.

:You seem to have been the victim of police overreach yourself.

Indeed I am.

:Yet your sympathies are not with Prof. Gates; they are with the police officer who arrested him solely because he was annoyed by Gates's criticism -- however intemperate that criticism may have been.

Correct. Gates behaved like a belligerent asshole by all accounts including his own. . . Sgt. Crowley acted courteously and profesionally, even if he did overreach his authority a bit, which I am not convinced that he actually did in this case. Henry Louis Gates' conduct was in fact quite disorderly from what I can see.

:From what I understand of your history dealing with certain UU figures, you've generally been in the position of Gates (penalized for speaking your mind), not in the position of the police officer.

Unlike Gates, when I speak my mind I do not do so in a way that can be properly described as "disorderly conduct", at least not in real life. I don't get much more angry or agitated than you see in these two U*UTube videos when dealing with U*U assholes who act stupidly. The last time I checked Sgt. Crowley was not acting stupidly in his initial encounter with Gates but Gates most certainly was acting stupidly.

:I wonder why, in this particular situation, you align yourself with the authoritarian deciding what is acceptable to say, rather than the man protesting how he has been treated by the authoritarians.

I align my self with the *human being* who had had enough of having a belligerent asshole insult and defame him PG, that is pretty much par for the course for The emerson Avenger isn't it? My siding with Sgt. Crowley in this matter has little or nothing to do with "authoritarians" God knows I do not have to look much farther than my friendly neighborhood Totalitarian Unitarians to see outrageously hypocritical authoritarians. . . After all they arec responsible for any police overreach that I have been subjected to. When I compare the police overreach that I have experienced to how Sgt. Crowley acted Sgt. Crowley comes across as being quite reasonable and professional even if he did overstpe his authority. I consider any overreach that he may have engaged in to be quite minor and provoked by Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s insulting and belligerent behavior. Gates may be a scholar but Sgt. Crowley is the one who comes across as a gentleman in this particular case and I will side with an offended gentleman over a scholar acting stupidly any day. . .

PG said...

"Sorry but the news reports of the time had several quotes from independent witnesses who stated that Gates was shouting and yelling at the police officers. If you don't believe me go do a free and responsible search for the truth on your time to try to prove me wrong."

Just ran a Google search on the words Gates shouted, and all of the top 10 results that were news reports said that either the police report or Patrolman Carlos Figueroa (who took part in the arrest and thus also would be subject to liability) claimed Gates was shouting. Nothing from independent witnesses. Which news report are you talking about that had independent witnesses saying Gates was shouting and yelling prior to his arrest?

Your obsession with the photo of Gates with his mouth open does no good for your claim, because the photo was taken after he was already arrested. You can't arrest someone for disorderly conduct because you think he'll be disorderly AFTER YOU ARREST HIM.

"Sgt. Crowley acted courteously and profesionally, even if he did overreach his authority a bit, which I am not convinced that he actually did in this case."

What would it take to convince you that Crowley overreached his authority? I've already provided legal citations that MPC s. 250.2(b) ("makes unreasonable noise or offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display, or addresses abusive language to any person present") is unconstitutional and therefore has no force of law behind it. You seem strangely convinced that any law that is still in a statute book must be a law under which an officer can arrest people. I assure you this is not the case.

For example, Texas still has criminal laws against sodomy on its books ("Sec. 21.06. HOMOSEXUAL CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex."), but a police officer who continues to arrest gay couples for having sex is abusing his authority and is subject to civil liability for doing so. Ditto for flag burning ("§ 42.11. DESTRUCTION OF FLAG. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly damages, defaces, mutilates, or burns the flag of the United States or the State of Texas.").

Crowley's behavior was courteous only if you take the police's word on everything and ignore Gates's; it was professional only if you suffer under the delusion that a police officer has no obligation to know the rules he is supposed to be enforcing.

"Unlike Gates, when I speak my mind I do not do so in a way that can be properly described as "disorderly conduct", at least not in real life."

When you say "properly described," do you mean that no other witnesses would describe it that way? I won't be able to find a police officer, or complainant, or anyone else who thinks you were disorderly? That's quite extraordinary for someone who has been arrested for causing a public nuisance. Are you claiming the police officers who arrested you knew that you were in fact not really a public nuisance? Or is it that when *you* get arrested, the cops' view is erroneous, but when Gates got arrested, the cops' view must be accurate?

"I align my self with the *human being* who had had enough of having a belligerent asshole insult and defame him"

And whose response was not to walk away, or to insult him back, but to use the full power invested in him by the state to have the "belligerant asshole" arrested and put into jail. Given your support of Crowley, I can just guess what you would do with such powers of authority to use against those whom you feel have insulted and defamed you.

Chalicechick said...

PG,

I'm really sorry, but I was monkeying with the comment system and I think it ate one of your comments. Could you repost?

Thanks,

CC

PG said...

'President Barack Obama acted stupidly by very publicly asserting that the Cambridge police force "acted stupidly" in arresting his friend Henry Louis Gates Jr. during a nationally televised news conference. Had Barack Obama not been President of the U.S.A. and just a largely unknown blogger, or even a very well known blogger, it would not have been nearly as stupid to say the Cambridge police force acted stupidly.'

So is it always "stupid" for the president to be brief in his criticism by saying that something was stupid, or are there occasions in which brief criticism is appropriate (e.g., because the question asked has nothing to do with the purported subject of the press conference and one doesn't want to eat up a huge amount of time answering it)?

"Please do present your proverbial hard evidence that I ignored what you said and/or linked to here."

After I posted the volokh link that had the Mass. statute on disorderly conduct quoted and analyzed in it, you said, "Go waste your own time if you don't believe me by looking for it yourself." If you had actually read the link, you would have known that the statute was in there and that there was no need for me to look for it. Either (1) you had a reading comprehension problem such that you didn't realize the Volokh link had the statute cited and quoted in it, or (2) you ignored the link. Pick 1 or 2.

"I have the capacity to engage your irrelevant andn spurious claims but simply have better things to do with my time."

The Sarah Palin defense: I could have answered the question very well, but I was annoyed with Katie Couric so I chose not to do so. And I kept going with an interview in which I was too annoyed to actually answer questions because ... um...

"Up here in Canada if a law is ruled unconstitutional it is *abrogated*. "

Really? So why -- just to take an example that's been of interest to Americans lately -- did Sec. 15 of the Health Insurance Act of Quebec continue to state (http://www.canlii.org/en/qc/laws/stat/rsq-c-a-29/13708/rsq-c-a-29.html#history) that it limited one's ability to buy private health insurance for conditions covered by the national health insurance, for two years after that section was found in Chaoulli v. Quebec to violate the Quebec Charter? Is the way it works in Canada that even though under a 2005 Canada Supreme Court ruling, I was supposed to have the right (as part of my rights to life and security of person) in Quebec to purchase private health care that would shorten my waiting time for a procedure, that so long as the law was still on the books, I actually *didn't* have that right?

PG said...

"The last time I checked police officers are not expected to be constitutional lawyers but are expected to enforce the laws that are on the books even if those laws may be somewhat questionable."

What source did you check on what's expected of *American* police officers? A law that is declared unconstitutional is not merely "somewhat questionable." It no longer has legal force. A police officer who arrests me in Texas for homosexual sodomy or for burning the state or national flags (both of which are still prohibited in the statute books, and both of which were declared constitutional rights by the U.S. Supreme Court) has violated by civil rights and is subject to liability for having done so. He and other public officials (such as school principals) only escape liability if at the time of their actions, it was not clear that the law was unconstitutional (e.g. the courts hadn't ruled on it yet).

"If you don't believe me go do a free and responsible search for the truth on your time to try to prove me wrong."

You expect me to a prove a negative? (I.e. that no independent witnesses backed the police claims about Gates's being at a high volume.) If you actually cared about the truth, wouldn't it be oh-so-easy for you to provide a single source that backs your claim? Your claim (that there were independent witnesses backing the police's report) only needs one link; mine would require literally millions, from every news source that covered the story, in order to show that all of their accounts of Gates's being at high volume were based on the police accounts.