Stuff Going On — 05/03/2017

♠ The Chinese embassy in North Korea tells its citizens to get out of the country. The previous sentence is rather vague, what? Chinese citizens currently staying in North Korea are urged by the Chinese embassy to leave North Korea and head home to China. Better?

♣ I had jury duty yesterday, and made it to Round II, but did not ultimately get selected. The case was The State of Texas versus Aaron Lucas. The jury selection process was interesting. I had been called to jury duty one other time, and didn’t make it to the second round, probably because the person being charged worked for UPS, and I worked for FedEx at the time. But I digress. In Round II, the prosecution conducted a presentation, then the defense did a presentation; both presentations involved question-and-answer sessions.

The prosecution just wanted to make sure that the prospective jurors were emotionally capable of sitting in on testimony and evidence that involved child molestation and kidnapping. The defense wanted to make certain that the prospective jurors understood that they were only deciding the facts of this particular case, and that they would be willing to find the defendant “Not Guilty” on the specific charges he was facing, even if it was discovered that he had committed other criminal acts. This confused people.

I sort of understood what the defense was trying to say: that the Law mandates the prosecution follow certain rules, and violation of those rules would mean the prosecution lost its case. So, for example, the defense attorney said that his client was charged with molesting a child in a particular way, and that if the prosecution had determined that the child was, indeed, molested, but not in the way that the prosecution charged, then the jury would need to find his client “Not Guilty”. Several people were unwilling to follow this line of reasoning. “If he molested a child, then he is guilty, regardless of how he did it.” Makes sense.

On the other hand, if he had molested the child in another way, then the prosecution should have charged him with that. What this says is that the state did not have enough evidence to prove that Mr. Lucas had molested a child in any way other than the method that they charge him with. Another thought I had was that, since Mr. Lucas (presumably) did not take a plea bargain, then he must be reasonably confident he can win this case.

On the other hand, he tried to blame his conviction in a Colorado case on his “evil twin brother”, so he may not be exactly right in the head.

Transcript of Rush Limbaugh speaking with Vice President Mike Pence.

The Trouble with Trump’s Tax Cut. Quote: “The White House trumpets its proposal to almost double the standard deduction, from a maximum of $12,600 to $24,000. This would benefit many middle-income taxpayers and simplify the code by encouraging more people not to take itemized deductions.

But some of these families actually would face higher taxes if, as with earlier Trump and Republican plans, it also eliminates the personal exemption, currently $4,050 per person. It’s difficult to be precise since the plan lacks specifics on tax brackets where various rates would kick in.

Think of a middle-class couple with three kids. With the personal exemption gone, they’d have to add $20,250 to their taxable income. That’s nearly double the new “benefit” they’d get from the increase in their standard deduction of $11,400.”

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