Two topics: Totally different

Posted By on March 23, 2006

Two points to make today … first the fun tech gadget stuff: I continue to find my Slingbox one of the coolest devices … gadgets … that I own. I’m able to view local Cincinnati (and cable) TV stations when I’m out of town traveling or even at a wifi coffee shop or a PCMCIA EV-DO card. Its great for a quick check on the local news or weather, or just watching a segment or two of a channel not available in my hotel room.

SlingboxIt is an outstanding product that works as advertised … one that received my vote for Engadget of the year in 2005. I suspect Microsoft will soon have there product ready for primetime too and know there are also a few software products doing the same thing. (see ORB Networks)

One weakness of Sling is that there is no ‘record’ feature. I wouldn’t think it should be that difficult considering everything is ported to a computer anyway? Nevertheless, it is not available yet … but the next best thing was to tinker with existing screen and audio capture software in an attempt to beat the system. It works, but required a few extra steps and some re-encoding minutes just for a short clip. (Rumor has it that in April the Windows Mobile cellphones and PDAs will have a mobile SlingPlayer?)

The recorded The O’Reilly Factor clip summaries a problem becoming more prevalent in our country, that of judges out of step with the society they are elected to serve. Oh I know that ‘we elect them and ‘ expecting them to deliver ‘justice,’ but there have been a notable few judges that are guilty of malpractice.

Judge John Connor is on the path of Vermont’s Judge Cashman, and is in Bill O’Reilly’s sight at the moment … rightly so IMHO. His sentencing of an admitted multi-offense child molester to ‘house-arrest’ is outrageous unless I’m really missing some facts. I find myself hoping Andrew Selva is delivered some ‘frontier justice’ if only to act as a deterent for other child molesters. Its unbelieveable that a Judge could possibly see how ‘house arrest’ is acceptable?

Many believe Bill Oreilly is on the right crusade and frankly I don’t understand why more journalists aren’t right there with him. Some politicians are suggesting impeachment proceeding should be quickly enacted, especially when judges seem to have a high disregard for the safety of our children from child preditors. Gov. Taft and Attorney Jim Petro agree and see removing Judge Connor as a way to prevent more pedophiles as well as drunk drivers from quickly returning the street as a risk to society. BTW … Judge Connor, who himself admits to be a recovering alcoholic and has been convicted of driving under the influence also recently released a repeated drunk driver from prison, who ended up killing two people in another … you guessed it … drunk driving incident.

A few Ohio papers see this differently and one that has become the whipping post, The Dayton Daily News. It has been most vocal in response to the initial Oreilly Factor program that reported on Judge Conner and the editor decided to point out the fact that Oreilly’s own sorted legal affair was dismissed rather quietly. Now what that has to do with Judge Connor’s weak sentencing … I don’t know, but it brought Oreilly’s lawyers down on the Dayton Daily News. Oreilly expects an apology and his producer was stated as saying that Oreilly would use his ‘Bully Pulpit’ to come down on the Dayton Daily News. There wasn’t much of an apology from the paper that I noticed … just another opinion piece attempting to clarify their point. Jeff Bruce’s editorial is that Judge John Connor was elected and “the courts system knows how to deal with complaints about lenient sentences in criminal cases. Judges who abuse their discretion are reversed by an appeals court. Judges who are corrupt or neglect their office are suspended or removed by the Supreme Court.”

So instead of seeing their (journalist’s) role as a watch dog over elected officials, they feel it should be handled within the courts, and from their lack of outrage … quietly. I would think the media would see obligation to bring judges like Connor to our attention as they regularly do it with politicians. Where is the concern about those little boys or the next little boy or girl … where is their justice? I’ve not looked up the statistics on child molesters and rapist but the first thought that comes to my mind is “repeat offender.” Do you think house arrest cure Mr. Selva, prevent him from raping and molesting again? Is the deterent that Judge Connor is sentencing Mr. Selva to going to protect our children? Stupid question … huh.

Here’s a link to the Dayton Daily News Editorial in discussion. They have receive nearly a 1000 complains over their position for attacking Bill Oreilly rather than Judge Connor. I think it is safe to say that more Ohioians see the judge’s weak sentencing as the problem and not Bill Oreilly’s pointing it out. Instead of seeking justice for the little boys who were molested by Andrew Selva, (charged with 20 counts of rape) the Dayton Daily News chose to get into a cat fight with Bill Oreilly … and here’s the most recent reasoning from the editor:

Statement from Jeff Bruce

“They say only two things happen when you wrestle a pig: You get muddy and the pig enjoys it. So it’s tempting to just let this pass, but, really, what Bill O’Reilly has said on his Web site is so outrageous and such a distortion that I can’t.

“No crime is more heinous than child molestation, so it is understandable that people would be inflamed by the notion that a pederast evaded the punishment he is due. But when Mr. O’Reilly asks the question on his Web site, “What newspaper in the United States of America is most friendly to child rapists,” he’s egging his readers on without giving them all the facts.

“As readers of the Dayton Daily News know, this newspaper is not soft on child molesters. Just the opposite.

“Here’s what’s really happening: Mr. O’Reilly is upset with the newspaper because in an editorial we referred to his own recent legal history in which he was accused of sexual harassment. His producer threatened that unless we published an apology they would resort to their “bully pulpit.” That’s what they’ve done. This isn’t about being “soft” on child molesters. It’s about Bill O’Reilly getting even.

“We never defended Judge Connor’s decision to sentence a child molester to a year of house arrest and five years probation. What we said is that if the judge deserves to be removed from office then due process should be followed — the same sort of due process that Bill O’Reilly relied upon when he was sued and, ultimately, settled out of court.

“The editorial also noted that the prosecutor in the case, while disappointed with the judge’s sentence, was afraid his evidence was so weak that he might have lost the case entirely if it had gone to trial. He agreed to settle the case.

“In America we have a system of checks and balances that includes the independence of the judiciary. There are rules in place to remove bad judges. Our editorial simply said we should follow those rules, not allow ourselves to rush to judgment because of a television commentator’s opinions.

“That’s not an endorsement of Judge Connor or his decision. The fact that a child molester got off so lightly is disgusting. If I would fault our editorial for anything it is that we could have said that and said it firmly.

“But that’s not why O’Reilly asked his readers to write the newspaper. His producer, in a conversation with me, acknowledged the logic of our editorial’s argument. But they felt dragging O’Reilly’s own legal problems into the article was gratuitous. While I expected O’Reilly to take a shot at us, I was shocked that he would suggest that this newspaper “has sympathy for child rapists.” That is a deliberate distortion of what we said and what we stand for, and nothing could be further from the truth.

“So you know, on the same page that we published our editorial, we also printed a package of opposing views, including those from O’Reilly himself. We made every effort to be fair and balanced in our presentation of this issue. It is a pity that sense of fairness was not reciprocated.”


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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