xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage

Not terrible. The opening sequence is the best because you have no idea what the stakes are; after that, once you know what the stakes are, the action seems somewhat contrived. And frankly that's the only really nice thing I can say about it; however it isn't worth saying anything bad about.

Maybe It Should Have Been A Snow Day

This was after Alex had been outside for less than five minutes. His transport was 20 minutes late -- I had actually put him in the car and was going to drive him in myself when his van showed up. Traffic was terrible, and one thinks that maybe it should have been a snow day, especially after some of the beautifully clear and warm "snow days" that the board has called.


Zamboni Ride II

Alex and Nathan got to wish the Senators good luck on their way out to the warm up. Both boys really seemed to enjoy the opportunity. But the main event:

Nathan got his ride on the zamboni at first intermission. He seemed more interested in watching the big screen at times, but overall he was well engaged with everything going on.

From My Valentine


Bus Ride

Alex didn't get his bus ride during the school outing yesterday, so today he and I went exploring the new route 63. It seems that our level of service from the 93 is to become a fond memory -- the replacement bus is much more noodly and takes longer to get anywhere. Alex doesn't mind, of course, but I wonder how long the peak hour commuters are going to put up with it.


"Justice" "System"

A few self-indulgent thoughts on the topic of the week...
  • Everyone's getting up in arms about long-delayed cases getting dismissed instead of processed because things didn't happen in a "reasonable amount of time", which the Supreme Court has now codified as being "no more than 30 months". That's two and a half years. What people are forgetting is that the "justice" "system" isn't about revenge, or the victim, or the victim's families, or even about justice -- it is about ensuring that the primary values of society are being upheld. And the most important societal value enshrined in the "justice" "system" is that it is better that a hundred or more guilty men go free than a single innocent person be convicted. And to that end, the "system" is burdened with very specific rules that the state has to follow, from investigation through to final arguments, that protect the rights and privileges of citizens from potentially over-zealous prosecution or even persecution. The burden is such that the rules of the "system" state that should the crown fail to abide by these rules, the prosecution can be dismissed. And now one of those rules is the "reasonable amount of time" rule. And therefore, here we are. This is the "system" working to protect the rights of the accused who, like it or not, are presumed innocent of the charges they face, and even if thousands of them go free, there are still cases where the innocent are convicted.
  • The thing about law and order is that it costs money. And that money is controlled by the government, through the elected representatives of the people, who give those representatives direction on how much money to collect and how to spend it. And like it or not, the priority of the voters has been: money is more important than paying for more of the "law" side of the law and order coin. For some reason the public is more willing to pay for cops on the beat to generate more criminal cases, but not willing to pay for the lawyers, judges, and courtrooms to process them, nor to pay for the correctional facilities to house said convicts. This, again, is the democratic system working.
  • The other thing that popped up this week is that most of the people currently incarcerated in jails are there on remand -- ie they have been charged, but not yet convicted, of a crime. This is presented as an argument, but is in fact a rational response to the incentive -- if you serve pre-conviction time, it counts some multiplier -- double in some cases -- against post conviction sentences. So if you know you did the crime you are charged with AND you know that you have a high probability of being convicted, serving time to get double credit is just rational thinking. Personally I don't really understand the concept of extra credit for time served -- it is supposed to be compensation for being willing to be incarcerated prior to conviction, when the system is perhaps set up to let you be free before being possibly convicted -- but should someone be found not guilty or have the case dismissed, is there any compensation for incarceration prior to such a result? Those, not the actually convictable, are the ones with the best case to argue for compensation -- I wasn't actually guilty, therefore you owe me something for the time I spent in remand.


The Debaters

Overlooking the sound guy's perch for The Debaters at Centerpoint. It was a fantastic show, as always -- this is our third year going.