Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Update about the Lightsaber fight

The hearing was today, and according to the Facebook page, the two seniors will be allowed to attend graduation.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lightsaber Prank Results Teens Not Allowed to Attend Graduation

Two high school seniors have been suspended for ten days for having a lightsaber duel during lunch at their school. Also part of the suspension is that they aren't allowed to attend their own graduation.

Dear Principal Broderick,

While I understand that a lightsaber duel during school hours is not the best choice, I find that suspending the two students involved for ten days, as well as denying them graduation, is more than a little extreme. When dealing out punishment, it is vitally important that the intention of the people involved is taken into account. This is why there are so many different charges for the same acts.

Both participants were willing. The "fight" itself was rehearsed beforehand. The instruments used were toys suitable for ages 3+, made with the fact that kids are likely to hit each other in mind, which is why the toys only sting upon contact, and not leave concussions or serious injury.

The "fight" took place during lunch, which meant it didn't disrupt class. Heck, if I want to see entertainment of this nature while I eat, I have to shell out $60 and drive 1.5 hours to Medieval Times. As it was described, this "fight" was dinner theater.

You state that the punishment was so sever because people *could* have gotten hurt. Which means that no one actually got hurt. If someone speeds, the officer rights them a ticket for speeding, not for vehicular manslaughter due to the fact that they might have hit someone while speeding.

Further, these students have spent the last 12 years of their life working through the grades to reach graduation, and now you've taken that away from them for one harmless prank? And the prank was harmless, because as you admitted in the interview, no one got hurt (otherwise you would have said they did, not that they could have).

The most these students should have had happen to them is to get told by a teacher to knock it off. And then if they didn't listen (or maybe even if they did) a detention, possibly an in school suspension, at the most.

According to the news, there will be a school trial. Well then, since there is to be a trial, then the jury should be of their piers, those seniors who have show academic excellence. Although frankly, I don't think there should even need to be a trial, because you shouldn't have suspended them and then told them they can't graduate.


A concerned citizen

You can find the facebook page here.

The hearing will take place tomorrow, let's hope things go in their favor.

As the news video didn't contain any saber battles, I thought I'd include some of my favorites that aren't part of the movie (The first is a commercial, and the second and third are both really well done fan made):

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jury Nullification

I first heard the term, jury nullification, when I watched this video:

Not being sure of what the term meant, I looked it up:

the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact
NOTE: Jury nullification is most likely to occur when a jury is sympathetic toward a defendant or regards the law under which the defendant is charged with disfavor. Except for a statutory requirement to the contrary, a jury does not have to be instructed on the possibility of jury nullification.

However, what surprised me is the fact that someone can be arrested for handing out literature about jury nullification. Turns out they chose to charge Julian Heicklen with jury tampering (though anyone with a brain can see he wasn't doing that). You see, juries are part of the court process as part of checks and balances. The reason we have juries is it was figured that a group of individuals who were chosen at random, and for such limited amount of time that it would be difficult to corrupt them (I say difficult because it has happened), would be better able to render a fair verdict.

I remember growing up hearing a lot about the prohibition era. However, what I was never taught during those classes is that much of the time, juries refused to convict not because they had reasonable doubt, but because they felt the law itself was unjust. This practice was largely responsible for the prohibition era coming to an end.

You see, if enough juries aren't willing to convict because they feel a law is unjust, the government will (hopefully) figure out that arresting people for such a crime is a waste of resources. What I refer to is things like drugs, gambling and prostitution. Now, while I have my own belief about these things, I have a stronger belief that the it is not the government's place to prohibit people from engaging in activities which don't harm other people.

I have begun reading the Citizen's Rule Book by Charles R. Olsen, a World War II Marine veteran. There is a pdf version you can read here

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More on Usama

Everyone's getting down on Bush about the whole Usama thing. Let's really look into this though: Obama used tactics and infrastructure which had been approved by George W. Bush. Not to mention the alliances Bush had created with Pakistan. Oh, and wasn't it Bush who approved giving the military more funding?

Meanwhile this event happens as Obama's poll numbers are incredibly low, not to mention the fact that he cut funding to the military, meanwhile the politicians haven't taken a pay cut at all. Not to mention the vacations, television appearances (including Mythbusters and Oprah) rather than dealing with actual issues and doing his. He spent his first year bowing to foreign dictators, tried his best to ruin relations with England, as well as driving America so far into debt that my grandchildren (should I have any) will be paying it off.

Now he's going to try and take credit for Usama not being a threat to us any longer? I don't think so. The real heroes are the Navy Seals who actually did the job, not that we'll ever get to know who it was, because it's classified (and the only reason I'm glad it's classified is I don't want any black lash against them or their families.) I hope they receive Congressional Metals of Honor as well as the Navy Cross.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Oh, Happy Day!

Usama Bin Laden has been killed despite President Obama's best efforts to protect him.

It's been almost a decade, but we finally got him. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with our troops. And to any one in the military who reads this blog, I want to thank each and every one of you for your service, and I hope you all come back home safe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Doctor At the Royal Wedding

So yes, I watched the Royal Wedding, though not for the reason one might think. The reason I watched it because I was secretly hoping a blue police box would suddenly appear and the Doctor would step out and greet them in typical Doctor fashion. Well, as it turns out, I wasn't that far off, as he was indeed there, he just didn't greet them.


As fans of the Doctor know, he's famous for showing up to watch historical events. I guess this time happened to be one of the few occasions where he wasn't needed to step in and save the day.