Casual Observations from Kosmo

December 12, 2009

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Tiger Woods
We haven’t talked about the Tiger Woods situation yet. Part of the reason for this is the fact that there really aren’t a lot of details yet. The picture that seems to be emerging is that there was some sort of argument about alleged affairs that Tiger may have had. There is additional speculation about whether Elin Woods smashed the car window s with a golf club in order to help him out, or smashed them prior to the accident, chasing him in a fit of rage.

On Tuesday, there was additional drama at Tiger’s house, as an ambulance transported a female to the hospital. After hours of speculation, it turned out that it was Tiger’s mother-in-law who was complaining of stomach pains. She was released on Tuesday afternoon.  This would appear to be completely unrelated to the earlier incident, but did serve to put Tiger back into the media spotlight again.

Tiger has always been very focused on the golf course – but will this be what causes him to lose focus and fail in his attempt to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships (he currently stands at 14)? Tiger has always been a very private person. He has more money that he could probably spend in a lifetime – is it possible that he could walk away from the game in his prime? Stranger things have happened.

[Update: On Friday night, a day after I wrote this article, Tiger announced that he will take an “indefinite” leave of absence from golf.]

Sadistic People
A report of a recent crime in CNN really caught my attention. A woman thought that another woman was having an affair with her husband and was pregnant with his child. The woman forged a prescription for an abortion-inducing drug on a doctor’s stolen prescription pad, had a pharmacist fill the prescription, and then called the pregnant woman, pretending to be from the woman’s doctor’s office and telling her she needed to take this drug immediately.

The pregnant woman believed this, and took the drug. She had to be taken to the hospital, where here baby was born two months early (and is still in an intensive care unit).

That’s not the end of the story, though. After the baby was born, the other woman tried to poison the kid by attempted to sneak tainted breast milk into the hospital.

I have no idea if the woman’s suspicions of an affair were warranted. In any case, why punish an unborn child? That’s just twisted.

You can read the full story on CNN

The Salahi Saga

The attorney for Tareq and Michaele Salahi has responded to a congressional subpoena by saying that the couple does not intend to testify, but would instead invoke their 5th amendment rights.

Let’s review the 5th amendment:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

First of all, I’m not even certain the the 5th amendment applies.  Let’s read the clause regarding self-incrimination:

nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself

Of course, a congressional hearing is not a criminal case, so this would not apply.  I suppose that an argument could be made that this clause applies:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury

However, I don’t think that the Salahis’ behavior could qualify as an “infamous” crime.  More importantly, though, is that taking the 5th would completely contradict the assertion that the Salahis were invited to the state dinner.  If they truly did nothing wrong, then why would they fear self-incrimination?

I stumbled across Michaele Salahi’s Facebook page while writing this (on December 10) and was quite amused.  Not only does the page have photos from the state dinner (with a status that begins “I was honored to be invited to attend the First State Dinner hosted by President Obama & the First Lady …” but also has photos with other celebs, including Donny Osmond.  Oh, and there’s also contact information for Michaele, in case you want to book an appearance.  Hilarious.  [Note: it seems that content is being actively removed from the page – I’m not sure how much will still be there when you read this.]

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evan Kline
    Dec 14, 2009 @ 08:37:14

    I’m no constitutional law scholar, but I’d assume that courts have reasoned that people can take the 5th in a congressional hearing, because Congress is the government, and anything said under oath could be used against that person in a criminal case. I know that people can even take the 5th in civil cases, for the same reason. Otherwise, the protections of the 5th amendment would be hollow if people could be forced to incriminate themselves in a roundabout way. Sort of like an end run around the 5th amendment.
    .-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..How to Password-Protect Evernote (Updated) =-.


  2. kosmo
    Dec 14, 2009 @ 08:51:57

    I dug a little further. This question went before the Supreme Court in 1924.

    In the case of McCarthy vs. Arndstein, SCOTUS ruled that the 5th amendment applies to both criminal and civil cases. While I agree with your (Evan) logic, I’m not sure that this is a proper interpretation of the language of the amendment. Establishing this protection through subsequent legislation may have been more appropriate.

    However … in US vs. Hale (1976), the court ruled that, in CIVIL procreedings “Failure to contest an assertion…is considered evidence of acquiescence…if it would have been natural under the circumstances to object to the assertion in question.”

    So, your silence in a criminal proceeding CAN be used against you, whereas it cannot in a criminal case.


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