Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nassau District Attorney Rice and Newsday's Joye Brown GUILTY of Conspiracy To Commit Murder In The First Degree: They Killed The Strawman

Newsday's Joye Brown: "For Rice It's Broom For a Change."

Wikipedia the online encyclopedia that anyone can write, defines a "Strawman" as an argument that:

" (is a)logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact misleading, since the argument actually presented by the opponent has not been refuted. Its name is derived from the use of straw men in combat training where a scare crow is made in the image of the enemy with the single intent of attacking it(see [1]). It is occasionally called a straw dog fallacy [2] or a scarecrow argument."

It is said that the "Strawman argument" is a form of Media Manipulation. Boy do they have that right in this case. Whether unwittingly or complicity, Brown and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice set up a strawman and kill him in two sentences.

Brown asks Rice: "Are you the "Witch" your critics say you are?" Brown then lets Rice off the hook by letting her answer:"Would they say that about me if I were a MAN???"

OH PULEEEEEZE!!!! I can't wait to hear Rice moan and groan someday when she loses a case because someone plays the "race card" in a trial.

No one I know has ever said Kathleen Rice is a witch. We all have however had our criticisms of her office.

Lets see, speaking strictly for myself, I have said Rice acts without consulting with other parties who have an interest in her office's actions. I have said that she may not have received the "mandate" she thinks she has. She is a neophyte politician who was swept in on Tom Suozzi's coattails. I have said she risks her conviction rate by firing assistant district attorneys whom the Taxpayers have paid to train.

I have said that many of the major changes Rice tries to "wreak", has the effect of costing the county and the taxpayers far more money than the system presently in use, and increases (unnecessarily) the size and budget of her office. I have accused her of feathering her own nest both in her office and (by hiring her sister-in-law and a number of old friends from her days as a Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney)in her own "house."

I have said that forcing people in her office who work part-time for family reasons to return to full-time work or quit is cruel, unnecessarily costly, and most of all sets a bad example for employers in a time when the need to parent children and care for elderly relatives is something that government should be trying to foster. I said District Attorney Rice is guilty of judge shopping with her attempt to have a dedicated DWI part (which she has been given) and her request for "community based County court trial parts (which the court has smartly refused). I have said that her insistence in having a veto in sentencing is overstepping her bounds and is a usurpation of a court's authority (most of the county's judges have agreed with me on that one too.)

I have also said that many of her objectives are laudable but her approach is wrong. A case of right diagnosis wrong medicine (or in DWI cases wrong dose.) I have said that she has a right to surround herself with her own people, but that in positions that are important to the safety of the county, she should make sure they are not "on the job training". I also suggested that this Long Island bred and educated woman who worked briefly in the Nassau courts as a law student might want to see what works here, and let us know what changes she thinks need to be made.

Those are the facts. Rice has not answered a one of them. Brown's article is trying to set up the "all the good ole' boys are pickin' on me 'cause I'm a girl" argument. As if forcing women, who wish to raise a family and work, back into full time employment wasn't enough, this type of "defense" really set's back the Woman's rights movement. Nobody active in the Nassau County, NY Courts cares a whit about your gender, Madame District Attorney.

Moreover, I have never been a Nassau County District Attorney's office "insider." I never worked for them and I worked for working as a Legal Aid Society lawyer. I am not a member of either "major" political party, (I am a registered Conservative) nor do I think I am a good ole' boy as most people define it. My criticism of Rice comes not as someone who supported her opponent, I supported her.

I am excited about her decision to root out public corruption. I hope she looks at Labor Unions and Organized crime issues too. Dillon promised that too when he first started. It either doesn't exist (at least to the extent the press wants us to think it does, or Dillon wasn't really looking very hard.)I also hoped she would look into Police corruption and the department's violations of civil rights. That is not happening at all from what I have seen. Rice is said to have nearly no interest in these issues unless it's about a bribery case or something like that. Testilying?... It's business as usual on the south second floor of the Nassau County Courthouse.

When I spoke to Ms. Rice, before she was elected, I had hope that instead of harsher penalties for crimes of addiction and poverty, she would seek to get people help and make greater use of available rehab programs that would reduce recidivism. Instead she wants to hold otherwise good people to criminal records so that if they do beat their addictions they can never get a decent job. They can't find work and the chance for relapse goes waaaay up. Talk about a self defeating policy.

I quickly tired of the annual arrest/photo opp stings that Dillon and friends ran. Every year (and twice in election years) we would have a sweep in the ghettos of corner drug dealers and a mass arrest of mostly young and foreign carpenters and plumbers who were working without licenses. I had hoped that DA Rice would use her office's power to get training and outreach programs going. Instead it appears that by trying to dictate the sentences of plea bargained cases, she is forcing trials on cases that for years were handled to conviction without trials. I predict her conviction after trial rate will go down.

No, Kathleen Rice is not a witch. No one with any credibility has ever called her one in my presence. No one with any credibility, is challenging DA Rice(or criticizing her)because she is a woman. No, our criticism is that she is acting like a spoiled child and her answers to tough questions are nothing more than an attempt to grab power and money. Maybe she will mature into the position. Thus far our criticism's is that she lacks leadership.

By the way, Leadership, requires the ability to form consensus and rally people to your position Kathleen. It is not the same as a dictatorship where one person calls the tune and everyone better dance to it and if they don't they are against you. That is called Paranoia a dangerous trait in any elected official
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