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Amendment VIII

May 22, 2006

It's a sign of the times: on the Drudge Report today is the latest figure that a whopping 1 in 136 United States residents are behind bars.

But, really, that's nothing new for this country. What I found more staggering was this: 62 percent of people in jails have not been convicted. You have to read that carefully, since jails and prisons are two very different things. But thanks to unconstitutionally high bails (which no one seems to care about; read the 8th Amendment to the Constitution for more), the jail system is unnecessarily strained.

Meanwhile, quoting verbatum from a wire story, "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information." This is in direct response to the unveiling of the NSA, and other such actions, by the press in recent years. But right now, you should know, your Attorney General is interpreting your First Amendment for you. First it was what you could say on the radio, which plenty of my colleagues in the business at the time had no problem seeing trampled. And now there's this. "But he [Gonzales] added that the First Amendment right of a free press should not be absolute when it comes to national security."

I had an excellent teacher in high school, one who my sister actually has for a class right now, who I recall told me that, "National security is bullshit." This was 12 or so years ago that I heard that. I never forgot the statement, since he explained it to where it made total sense. Even so, at the time I didn't have the understanding of history to truly "get it" as far as knowing how history tended to repeat itself time and again, certainly not to where I'd hear the phrase national security repeated ad nauseum one decade later.

Tough loss tonight for the Spurs. Game 7 at home against the Mavericks... losing in OT. The Spurs were down double-digits in the second half, but rallied to take a 3 point lead with less than 30 seconds to go. Inexplicably, Dirk Nowitzki got the ball near the basket and was *fouled* as he hit the shot. The bitter Spurs fan in me thinks that Nowitzki pushed off on Bruce Bowen (hooking Bowen with his arm, and literally pushing with his hand), but you're not going to get that call in that situation. Oh well, what can you do? It was a hell of a series.

What's worse: I read that, to relax during crunch time, Dirk Nowitzki thinks of the song Looking For Freedom by David Hasselhoff. The Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot reports that the song was a big hit in Germany when Nowitzki was a kid.

Yes, the Spurs lost to a team lead by a guy with David Hasselhoff tunes running through his head. Excuse me while I throw up...

Meanwhile, Game 7 of the Clippers/Suns series is on TNT right now as I type this. It's still in the first quarter, and it's almost 10:30 PM Central. Why? I did some research, and it's because the Arizona Rattlers (Arena Football) had a home playoff game on Saturday, which pushed the basketball game to tonight. I don't see why they couldn't have pushed the Arena Football game to Sunday, and had basketball on Saturday afternoon (4 Eastern/1 Pacific), but that would've gone head-to-head with the WNBA on ABC... and I'm sure that wouldn't have set well with certain power players in the NBA.

A friend of mine e-mailed me about yesterday's column with a good counter-point to the whole vaccine issue. He pointed out concerns about vaccines having potential as-of-yet undocumented side-effects, and he has a daughter and would actually have a much better perspective about these sorts of things than I would. I can see his point on the argument.

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