Random Notes: Justice System, Florida History, Constituent Action, and More

First, I must apologize for the long lag in between posts. The past month has been filled with obligations that left little time to write. Now it’s a matter of catching up on an immense backlog of reading and start publishing again. To get the ball rolling I’m going to start with a Random Notes from across the web.

1) Roy Black and the Justice system. This post by Miami defense attorney Roy Black is both eloquent and spot on. Black discusses the win at all costs prosecution in this nation and how it becomes criminal in and of itself. A must read. Black asserts that an arrogant desire to punish is the reason why this occurs and I don’t dispute that. However, I also believe the system incentivizes prosecutorial “wins” rather than justice. Therefore, human nature at work responds to the incentives. A prosecutor that doesn’t convict has little chance at being a judge, a judge that isn’t tough on crime fears may be displaced in an election, and so on.

2) Taking Action Matters. Matt Yglesias advocates being more proactive and writing your elected officials and gives reasons why it matters. Of course, there’s a sense of apathy among most constituents that are skeptical that their voices even matter. However, it’s important to remember that your actual personalized letter will not get a personalized response, yet an aggregate of letters voicing a certain opinion will invariable get the representative’s notice. I would further add, that the more local the representative, the better chance at getting heard on issues that may directly affect you. I believe it’s very important to stay in contact with the political representatives and make a practice of writing them when I feel compelled.

3) AA Arena Hates Free Markets. The Miami New Times documents the efforts of the AA Arena and local restaurants at banishing hot dog vendors from the neighborhood. This is obviously nothing more than an attempt to take more market share of hungry eaters but veiled in hardly disguised bullshit about health concerns. These type of situations occur regularly and are farcical. I say hurrah to the New Times for calling the perpetrators out on it and I hope that citizens will react. A couple of letters written to the City Commisioners (see #2 above) could quite well have an impact.

4) Florida History. Florida has a deep an interesting history which includes the Seminole Wars. PoliticalBooks.org has a review on the seminal Second Seminole War (that’s a tongue twister) book by John Mahon. The book itself looks like it’s full of interesting bits and pieces and imagining a war in the swamps of Florida during mid summer seems nightmarish.

5) Twitter. Remember to follow @counterpolitics on Twitter. Here are a couple of website links from our newest followers:

@jamespoin of www.jamespoindexter.com
@edvotes of www.educationvotes.nea.org
@warroomlogistics of www.warroomlogistics.com