On a New York Magazine Article

New York Magazine recently published my photo and a quote. Relating to the upcoming presidential primary.

First, some background. I went to a Manchester Republican Christmas party a few blocks from my apartment in early December. While there, the photographers and journalists from New York Magazine gave their little shpiel about how they were looking for 100 voters from New Hampshire and Iowa ask them who they are voting for and why.

Alright. Sounds like a nifty feature. Why not? They took a couple photos. And the Christmas party? That’s why I’m wearing a tie with little snowman on it. It’s an ugly little tie reserved only for Christmas parties. (Probably not a soul noticed the snowman tie.) After the photo, I spoke to a reporter for probably 15-25 minutes.

“Who are you voting for and why?”

Easy enough. Rand Paul. I explained why I thought Rand Paul was the most sensible candidate running. I didn’t think he was good on everything, but he’s better than the others. (Some of the Republican line-up is just batshit insane.)

To be clear, that was the topic we spoke about: the candidate and your rationale. Can’t speak for most of those people, but I would never suggest we need a strong president. While the author is describing in aggregate, such words have certainly never come from my mouth. And while the author writes that abortion and gay marriage barely registered, I very clearly recall discussing both of those issues with the reporter. Because he brought them up.

But my whole discussion got boiled down to the tax code. Even though it’s totally divorced from the greater context of a Ran Paul’s 14.5% flat tax. And the phrase “small business rights”? I don’t even know what that phrase means, and I’m pretty sure I’m misquoted there. I think they jumbled up two entirely different sections of our discussion. The latter part, I was explaining that progressives have not fundamental respect for economic rights, and those are especially important for working class folks; you’re not really helping working class people if you purport to give them free stuff, but then–on the turn-around–reserve the privilege to take away everything they have.

In summary, it’s always interesting to see how various media–television, newspapers, magazines–can twist around what you’ve said to make it fit their narrative. That’s not terribly surprising on the whole. But, each time, you have this, “Oh, wait, no,” moment. But that’s how it goes. And that’s why it’s so important that people learn to read news media critically.

 

New Hampshire Circuit Court Discovery Request 2.10

New Hampshire Circuit Court – District Division Rule 2.10 allows a defendant to obtain information, if any, which the prosecutor may have in his or her possession.

However, often times, you will not get the information unless you ask for it in writing, and file that request with the court. Even if you discuss it with a prosecutor, you should file a request with the court so your request has been documented “on the record”.

A typical form discovery motion follows below. Download as a Word document: Rule 2.10 Discovery Request

As New Hampshire’s courts change over to the new rules of criminal procedure, references to rule numbers and applicable language may change.


 

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

[COUNTY], SS: [NAME OF COURT]

CASE NO.: [CASE NUMBER]

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

v.

[DEFENDANT NAME]

DEFENDANT’S DISCOVERY REQUEST

Under Circuit Court District Division Rule 2.10, Defendant [DEFENDANT NAME] requests the following discovery from the State:

      1. a copy of records of statements or confessions, signed or unsigned, by the defendant, to any law enforcement officer or his agent;

      2. a list of any tangible objects, papers, documents or books obtained from or belonging to the defendant;

      3. a statement as to whether or not the foregoing evidence, or any part thereof, will be offered at the trial; and

      4. Not less than 14 days prior to trial, a list of names of witnesses, including experts and reports, and a list of any lab reports, with copies thereof, the State anticipates introducing at trial.

Further, Defendant requests all other discoverable information which is material either to guilt or to punishment which the State is obligated to disclose under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and State v. Laurie, 139 N.H. 325 (1995).

Respectfully submitted,

Date: [DATE] _________________________

[DEFENDANT NAME]

[DEFENDANT ADDRESS]

Phone: [DEFENDANT PHONE]

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I, [DEFENDANT], on [DATE], served a copy of Defendant’s Discovery Request on the individual(s) named below by U.S. first-class mail:

[PROSECUTOR]

[PROSECUTOR’S ADDRESS]
________________________

[DEFENDANT]


The Real Reason Introverts Hate Small Talk

HuffPo: The Real Reason Introverts Dread Small Talk

In reality, most introverts are drained by small talk because it feels fake and meaningless.

This, this, many times this.

The engineered solution? Understand that is what it is: short, meaningless conversation to fill space. It’s not supposed to be anything else! So, keep some abreast of some popular topics. Sports is a great one. I prefer to talk about travel. At least then, you get to learn something about who you’re talking to.

How Section 1983 Works

Violations of constitutional rights can be addressed in the federal courts through 42 U.S.C. 1983. The law provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
redress.

In short, a person must (typically) show three different elements to prove a claim under Section 1983:

  • The defendant is a person
  • The defendant acted under color of law
  • The defendant’s actions deprived a U.S. Citizen of some right protected by the U.S. Constitution

There are several nuances to each of these three elements–and the answers are not always intuitive. Even where all elements can be satisfied, government officials still often have very strong defenses against plaintiffs’ claiming a violation of their constitutional rights.

Prisoner Litigation Areas

Prisoners and pre-trial detainees have several important legal protections and claims which can be asserted.

  • First Amendment – Speech
  • First Amendment – Religion
  • First Amendment – Retaliation
  • Eighth Amendment – Cruel & Unusual Punishment
  • Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct – 28 U.S.C 2255
  • Habeas Corpus

Can We Stop Talking About Regulating Nipples?

Its ever-quirky self, New Hampshire has been making the national news again. This time: nipples.

A New Hampshire pundit reduces the issue to this:

“Should an entire town be subject to the whim of one person?”

Regardless of your modest sensibilities, it’s the wrong question. Rather–setting aside your personal beliefs–when it comes to the enforcement of the ordinance–we should only ask:

Does the “entire town” have the LAWFUL POWER to stop one person?

Here? No. The New Hampshire Bill of Rights forbids laws which deny rights based upon sex. NH Const., Pt. I, Art. 2.

So. Can we stop talking about regulating nipples now?

I mean, seriously. Aren’t there better things to do?

Review: Steak (R)evolution

IMDB: Steak (R)evolution

Steak (R)evolution bubbled up into my Netflix queue late one night and, loving a good rare steak, I was pleasantly surprised. (Warning: a good amount of the dialogue is not in English.)

I expected that Steak (R)evolution would be another foodie story about how everything we know is wrong or how something has to change. And it does. But not in the way I expected. Like the flavor of a good cut of beef, the message was more subtle. Nuanced. I expected the French perspective to immediately reject any notion that the French way was not superior. I was wrong, almost right of the gate.

And doubly surprised to find a Frenchman lauding the Americans and the English. Then, surprised again as Steak (R)evolution reaches its end: maybe the fine-tasting American and English ways aren’t the best we can do either. And we don’t even know it.

Steak (R)evolution manages to address farm sustainability and industrial farming without being terribly preachy. And instead, focusing on the center cut of the story: the steak itself.

WaPo: Four Reasons Why Donald Trump Is Popular

Washington Post: The real reasons Donald Trump’s so popular.

Donald Trump is crazy. But the Washington Post nails down the four populist reasons why voters have entertained his antics. Briefly listed:

  1. Trump gives simple answers.
  2. A lot of people dislike immigrants.
  3. People are sick of the political establishment.
  4. He says things that people have been afraid to say.

In summary, some people like Trump because he’s simplistic, intolerant of others, tired of politics as usual (can’t fault him on that one)–and he’s willing to say it.

Unfortunately, Trump’s simplistic world view is often plain wrong. And some of the proposals he’s floated are wildly unconstitutional. Trump is lesson for the United States: how dangerous populism can be when common voters in a democracy get fed up with politics.

New Hampshire Criminal Penalty Chart

A reference chart for criminal penalties in New Hampshire according to the classification of the offense in RSA 625:5.

Description Fine Incarceration
Class A Felony Up to $4,000 7.5 – 15 years in prison
Class B Felony Up to $4,000 3.5 – 7 years in prison
Class A Misdemeanor Up to $2,000 Up to 1 years in jail
Class B Misdemeanor Up to $1,200 No jail
Violation Up to $1,000 No jail

Some offenses (examples: murder, DWI) have special punishments attached to them.

[This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.]