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Old 14 March 2013, 07:38 PM
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Default Stupid questions

I asked in the last thread, which got closed before I could answer Ganzfield.
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I have the impression that the cardinals all speak Italian. At what point do (non-Italian) Catholic priests start taking Italian? Is this part of their standard curriculum before taking their vows, or do they start later once they start moving up in rank?
In his first prayer, Pope Francis spoke Italian, "The following is the Vatican's official English translation of Pope Francis' speech `'Urbi et Orbi" delivered in Italian from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica Wednesday night." Link

I expect Latin as part of the normal curriculum. But what about Italian?
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Old 14 March 2013, 07:40 PM
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I would think that language study would be common for those in a, for lack of a better term, religious profession. Particularly the native language of the region your religious headquarters is in.

That's just a guess of course.
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Old 14 March 2013, 07:53 PM
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I heard a story the other night about a Cardinal Dolan from NY the other night. The story quoted a joke he made at a public dinner about not understanding something the Pope because it was in Latin; then it went on to say that he does speak fluent Italian.

I noticed the new Pope addressed the crowd in Italian, which I suppose would be the best way to address a crowd in Italy. His parents were Italian immigrants, so he may have learned the language as a child.
  #4  
Old 14 March 2013, 07:57 PM
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Near the end of the old thread, there was a lot of discussion of civil forfeiture laws. The last comment on it was a fairly aghast reaction (I have forgotten who), saying essentially 'how can this be?" Here is a decent and readable article with a lot of the background information on how it came to be and where the law stands now:
http://www.forbes.com/2011/06/08/pro...orfeiture.html
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Old 14 March 2013, 08:18 PM
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To answer Sylvanz question from the previous thread:
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Is this true? How can the police seize perfectly legally gained, owned, and provably not to be used for a crime money, and keep half of it? How can they even seize it in the first place without proof of a crime being committed? OK, maybe "probable cause" but how do they keep half of it? cannot categorize this as anything but theft.
There is a procedure called civil forfeiture or asset forfeiture under which you can allege that some form of property (real property or personal property) is the proceeds or instrumentality of a crime, and is therefore forfeit to the state.

It's a civil procedure, so the standard of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence instead of beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, the action is alleged against the property itself, and the property is typically seized. The owner then has to step in to assert his or her interest in the property. (As an example, a case might be called "United States vs. $100,000 in U.S. Currency.") It works differently in different jurisdictions, and in some places the tables have been tilted very far towards the state or county getting the property. In the 90s in particular, a lot of concerns arose over the increasing use of civil forfeiture, and the incentives that were in place for law enforcement to overstep the bounds of the law, because typically the proceeds of the forfeitures went to the law enforcement unit itself.

Since then there has been some reform in at least some areas, placing restrictions on the procedure. For example, here in Oregon a ballot measure was passed that almost eliminated civil forfeitures in all cases except when there has been a criminal conviction. It turned out that that measure went a bit too far, and another statute had to be passed (I believe it was by referendum) that exempted animal seizures, because many cases of abused or neglected animals don't result in convictions for criminal offenses. (Many times either the caretaker can't be found, or can't be held criminally responsible because they have some form of diminished capacity, etc., but there's no doubt that the animals have been abused or neglected. Also, if not for the forfeiture procedure the animals were having to be held in shelters until criminal convictions occurred, which could take many months, instead of being able to adopt them out once it was established civilly that the animals were abused or neglected.)

But in many jurisdictions the procedure remains--if the state or county can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is the proceeds or instrumentality of a crime, it can be forfeited to the state or county.

I've not heard about "keeping half of it" but it may be that the expenses of fighting the forfeiture action can easily eat up half or more of a money forfeiture, depending on the amount seized. Maybe that's what that refers to. Sometimes it may not make financial sense to fight the action at all.

ETA: Spanked, sort of.

Last edited by erwins; 14 March 2013 at 08:23 PM.
  #6  
Old 14 March 2013, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
How far beyond 1,000 posts can we push this thread before snopes locks it?
1,027, apparently.
  #7  
Old 14 March 2013, 08:58 PM
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Can I drink the day of having a Tetanus booster shot? Google doesn't specify, and the nurse didn't say anything except to sit for a while before leaving.

Or rather: did I spend last night and this morning with fever, headache, muscle aches and unable to keep even sips of salt-sugar-water down because of the shot or the 3 pints I had in the pub afterwards? 16 hours after it started I'm feeling fine, just slightly delicate.
  #8  
Old 14 March 2013, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I've not heard about "keeping half of it" but it may be that the expenses of fighting the forfeiture action can easily eat up half or more of a money forfeiture, depending on the amount seized. Maybe that's what that refers to. Sometimes it may not make financial sense to fight the action at all.
My vague memory of the incident I mentioned (which was, I think, on 60 Minutes) was that amount kept was a negotiation between law enforcement and the person with that large amount of cash, and was probably just a numbers game between how much it would cost to fight the seizure, and the odds of winning in court. A good lawyer would have that figured out right away, and advise their client on which is more likely. The government probably claimed all of the money, or maybe all of the amount over the $10,000 threshold, but would have been happy to talk half without having to go to court. The risk losing plus the court costs. I'm not quite clear on this because it as a civil matter, but wouldn't the government potentially be up for court costs for the defense, if the seizure is invalidated in the court?

Actually, that brings up another stupid question. When can a person found not guilty have a case to recoup the costs of their legal defense? Example:

"A" is accused of murder by "B", and charged by the police of town "C" - the case goes to court and "A" is found not guilty. When does "A" have legal recourse for someone paying for their cost of defending themselves?

What if "B" framed "A" and is eventually charged and convicted of perjury, or planting evidence? What if the case is dismissed without it relying upon actual verdict?

What if the police, prosecutor, or judge, are found guilty of some conspiracy to make "A" the scapegoat for a crime they knew "A" could not have committed? What if that information comes out after the trial - where "A" was found "not guilty" based upon their successful defense?

I don't think that real life has as many cases of the falsely-accused, but how on earth did Perry Mason get paid? While (almost) all of his clients were innocent, they were probably not all wealthy. But in almost every one of his cases, there were deliberate actions by which the guilty party "framed" Mason's client. This was revealed, generally, before a verdict was issued, and the cases were dismissed.
  #9  
Old 14 March 2013, 09:49 PM
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If the 50% is accurate, it would be a negotiated settlement. Unfortunately, too many times victims of seizures do not have the resources to fight to get their assets back. It depends on the statute used, but i think that at least in some cases, the burden of proof is even put on the claimant, so if s/he is not an effective live witness and there are not plenty of receipts showing the origin of those funds, s/he is out of luck.

As for the individual's costs, it is rare that there are provisions allowing for compensation of costs for upholding one's rights, whether against civil forfeiture or criminal prosecution. Where a private individual, whether acting privately or as a government employee, has perjured, manufactured evidence, etc., then you would have a civil action against such person for the costs and other damages they caused. It would have to be more than just proceeding on the errant belief that the law had been violated.

As for Perry Mason, i have been watching a number of those shows since they have been replayed in the evenings around here, and most of his clients are quite wealthy, or their defense is sponsored by a friend or family member who is wealthy. When there is investigation to be done, Perry often warns the customer that while Paul Drake's agency is very good, it is also very expensive, and no one ever says "I'll take the cheap gumshoe with an office over the bowling alley." There have been a few where Perry takes on a case for little or no fee, for various motivations. Also, a frame-up is used in less than half the cases. More often circumstances have legitimately led the police to suspect Perry's client (what a bunch of idiots - they keep showing up right after murders, falling over corpses, picking up murder weapons, etc.) and the real murderer just does not volunteer the whole story. Often others commit perjury about the situation for other reasons.

That is actually a particular annoyance I have with lots of the cop shows, especially the Law and Order series. Unless they are trying to make a point about appointed attorneys, nearly everyone has what seems to be a hired criminal attorney. Those guys are wicked expensive! For a murder or rape charge, you are pretty much always looking at a five-figure fee (I worked with a firm that did some criminal work, which is my basis for this. The most I did was take immigrants' DUI cases to plea bargain a 364 day probation - less than a year does not lead to deportation - and the fees were around $5,000), to be paid upfront, not including the fee for actually going to trial. Most of the suspects they show cannot afford anything like that. They are also usually not really poor enough to qualify for appointed counsel. A person of middle or lower economic class can easily be financially ruined by a criminal investigation, without having a bit of guilt.
  #10  
Old 14 March 2013, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
That is actually a particular annoyance I have with lots of the cop shows, especially the Law and Order series. Unless they are trying to make a point about appointed attorneys, nearly everyone has what seems to be a hired criminal attorney. Those guys are wicked expensive!
A good many of the defendants presented in Law and Order were people of means, and a fair share of the rest were represented by public defenders.

Quote:
Most of the suspects they show cannot afford anything like that. They are also usually not really poor enough to qualify for appointed counsel.
The "Law" portion of Law and Order would be rather tepid if it featured people who could neither afford hired attorneys nor qualify for appointed counsel.
  #11  
Old 14 March 2013, 10:00 PM
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Is there an etiquette for writing thank you's for sympathy cards?

DH's grandmother sent me a sympathy card about my mother, and she's a stickler for etiquette. I'm finally on civil ground with her, and I'd like to keep it that way.
  #12  
Old 14 March 2013, 10:20 PM
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In my experience, sympathy cards get a thank you. So do flowers sent to the funeral.

ETA: but my etiquette is a combo Chinese and American, so maybe it's not normal? Or were you asking what to write?

Second fail: My sympathies to you and yours, LLO.

Last edited by lavender blue; 14 March 2013 at 10:30 PM.
  #13  
Old 14 March 2013, 10:24 PM
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Sorry to hear about all your troubles, both with your mom and at work*.

I would imagine a hand-written card thanking her for her thoughts and the card would be enough.

* Thanks not required.
  #14  
Old 15 March 2013, 01:00 AM
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A multi-part question. Do movie studios have to buy screen time to have trailers shown in theaters, the way they would if they wanted to show the trailer on television? I recently saw an article online discussing a newly released trailer for an upcoming film - with the trailer itself embedded - but when I clicked to play the trailer, I got a message saying the studio had requested it be taken down. On the face of it, this seems to make little sense - the studio has essentially cracked down on free advertising, and studios will often post trailers on their own websites or Youtube channels. Could it be that those entities selling advertising time to the studios object to the loss of revenue from having the trailer publicly available?

ETA: What's the longest a thread has gone on these boards before it was locked?

My sympathies as well, LLO.

Last edited by Meka; 15 March 2013 at 01:14 AM.
  #15  
Old 15 March 2013, 01:09 AM
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Wow, it would never have occurred to me to send thank you cards for sympathy cards. To me that would really distinctly be a situation where you send your sympathy and it ends there, with no expectation of something coming back except perhaps a mention next time you see the person.

But then, SO pointed out to me when we were trying to figure out some things around our baby shower that using logic to try to figure out etiquette is a mistake.

LLO, you have my sympathies as well--with no thanks required or expected.
  #16  
Old 15 March 2013, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meka View Post
A multi-part question. Do movie studios have to buy screen time to have trailers shown in theaters, the way they would if they wanted to show the trailer on television?
They don't have to, but ...

Exhibitors (i.e., theater owners) are the ones who decide which trailers will run before various films in their theaters. Only in the last decade or so has a studio executive openly admitted to paying a theater chain to ensure that a trailer for one of his studio's films was run before a showing of a rival studio's film. But even though the practice of directly paying for trailer placement is still frowned on the industry, studios have lots of ways of indirectly paying for it (such as giving compliant theaters a larger cut of gross ticket sales). And studios can ensure trailer placement through other coercive means, such as declining to provide prints of future movies to uncooperative theaters.
  #17  
Old 15 March 2013, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLockeout View Post
Is there an etiquette for writing thank you's for sympathy cards?

DH's grandmother sent me a sympathy card about my mother, and she's a stickler for etiquette. I'm finally on civil ground with her, and I'd like to keep it that way.
Sending a thank you note for a sympathy card is absolutely unnecessary and not required by etiquette.

Is someone sends flowers, brings food or provides help, a thank you note would be correct, though this is one case where it does not need to be written by the recipient of the gift.
  #18  
Old 15 March 2013, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
As for Perry Mason, i have been watching a number of those shows since they have been replayed in the evenings around here, and most of his clients are quite wealthy, or their defense is sponsored by a friend or family member who is wealthy. When there is investigation to be done, Perry often warns the customer that while Paul Drake's agency is very good, it is also very expensive, and no one ever says "I'll take the cheap gumshoe with an office over the bowling alley." There have been a few where Perry takes on a case for little or no fee, for various motivations.
Matlock worked the same way - I think in the first season at least, he quoted his rate and it was rather expensive. He did make exception doing Pro-bono work or a favor for a friend. If a client paid, he was usually of significant means. Someone down on his luck might get Matlock out of sympathy but he wasn't beneath saying that a potential client should get a court provided attorney.
  #19  
Old 15 March 2013, 02:33 AM
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Similarly I've heard that if you are going to court for a minor offense a public defender is often your best bet because they have so much face time and report with the judges and other court officials.
  #20  
Old 15 March 2013, 02:59 AM
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I thinking about taking an offshore fishing trip when me and E*E go down later this spring to visit her family in Tampa.

For some reason all of the fishing charters I have come across have rules stating no GPS, LORENS, or other navigational devices.

Errrrrr... why?
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