Tag Archives: Politics

July 27, 2011: Random News

NFL Lockout is over, former UGA players get calls, murder suspect with lengthy juvenile history, school dropouts, remember Jesse Owens, speaking up in representative government, and ATF guns to drugs dealers.

Good luck, Go Dawgs! Former UGA players get calls about free agency. As one young man put, “basically, I’m still trying out.” Yep. We’re all still trying out every day of the week. Good luck.

Too little funding, too little interest. This young man’s story is not uncommon. Juveniles are the most overlooked aspect of society. We don’t fund treatment for kids, we don’t properly fund schools, we don’t properly fund medicaid, we don’t properly fund the Department of Juvenile Justice, kids with big problems result. The deputy should not have died. Could someone or something have changed this child’s outcome?

Exploring School Dropouts and the Cause. NPR is running a series on School Dropouts. Children who live in chaos have no vote about the chaos. They cannot focus on school because their short lives are in a constant state of fruit-basket turnover.

Remembering Jesse Owens at the Berlin Games. What a great accomplishment! Jesse Owens.

Speak up! Whatever your politics. Apparently, people did speak up. 40,000 calls per hour! Let Congress know how you feel. One day of complaints is NOT enough. Unfortunately, my Congressman is a single minded dolt who listens to know one. But you all have hope! Keep calling.

Tough choices, complicated results. While I don’t envy the choices that the ATF must make in dealing with the drug war on the Southern Border of the U.S. One must wonder about the wisdom this particular choice.

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July 10, 2011, some news

A lobby for the unemployed? Incompetent Juveniles. A migrant’s journey. Mass market tomatoes. Big Pharma not willing to cooperate to aid the U.S. budget?

The forgotten. This article suggests, perhaps implies, that the unemployed should unite to form a lobby. They are the forgotten. Any thoughts on this?

Not totally forgotten, it seems. One state legislature is debating whether cutting off unemployment will extend the economic problems. Duh?

Juvenile Court Tactics, do they work? This article explores one the problems faced in juvenile courts everyday: whether a child is competent to stand trial and what if any services are available to restore (or obtain) competency. Managing the process is a challenge. “Mr. Mahoney said there was a “disconnect” between the court’s best intentions and achievable treatment goals.“The treatment plans can be really difficult to execute,” he added. “They’re often unrealistic in terms of the real world.”” In my experience the problem with reaching treatment goals is the lack of care, attention and investment of the parents in this process.

A migrant’s journey. If you’re interested, read about the journey to the U.S. by folks who don’t have visas or passports.

How’d that tomato get here? The story of the supermarket tomato: where it came from, how it’s different from home grown.

Corporations don’t want to help, including big pharma! As the debate over the budget and the debt ceiling continues, big pharmacy companies are lobbying to kill discounts to medications for folks on medicare. The reason those of us who don’t qualify for medicare should care? Corporations are happy to profit off of Americans but these companies refuse to contribute to recovery. I am all about capitalism but companies should make choices that benefit the country so the economy doesn’t completely tank and put EVERYONE out of business. Cost benefit analysis: take the cut to keep the economy limping along…otherwise there may be no money to buy your pills.

 

 

 

 

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Political Trouble: Fewer Distracting Circuses

As the government shuts down in Minnesota and Congress stalls on the issue of raising the debt limit, the typical vulgate distractions remain locked out. The NBA yesterday joined the NFL in locking players out of their work environment. Fortunately, college football can’t lock out players but the increasing amount of abuse within the NCAA may place a damper on the enthusiasm of devotees.

Why should Congress and state legislators, perhaps even local legislators, be concerned? Fewer distractions for the voting population means more focus on the acts that impact their day to day lives. The vigor and activity involved with viewing and/or attending professional sports, the circuses of Rome of old, will now be seeking a new outlet.

Be careful, politicos, you may not like where the laser focus lands.

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The Trouble with Being a Prosecutor

This morning the New York Times is reporting problems, stunning problems, with the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. People commenting on the news page’s website range from: all that matters is whether she  was assaulted to those prosecutors were power hungry (I’m paraphrasing).

Whether the alleged victim was assaulted is an important question. The problems with her credibility make the case very difficult to prosecute. I have no knowledge of this case beyond the above-linked report. I have prosecuted and defended sexual assault cases.

A criminal case such as the one against Strauss-Kahn hinges on the credibility, reliability, and honesty of the alleged victim. A jury of 12 regular people must believe this alleged victim. The defense has the right to present her lies in this case and possibly lies or inconsistencies she’s made a prior sexual assaults (depending on state laws).

The jury must decide whether they believe this woman without the assistance of tabloid rhetoric. Hopefully the knee-jerk jurors who would automatically vote to convict or vote to acquit had been removed. Hopefully, the jury would be made up of people who will consider all the evidence.

Jurors, like anyone, will evaluated the alleged victim’s credibility, or ability to tell the truth. Just as anyone, if a person has a history of lying and lying about this particular type of incident, a juror, and any person, would find it more difficult to believe a witness or alleged victim who has an established history of lying.

Prosecutors MUST provide this information of a history of lying by the alleged victim or any other witness to defendants.

The prosecutor also carries a higher obligation. The prosecutor is sworn to find the truth and seek justice. If this alleged victim’s credibility is so damaged that the prosecutors do not have a good faith belief that she is telling the truth or that they cannot meet their burden of proof, then the prosecutors are OBLIGATED to dismiss the case.

The public believes that the prosecutors function as public attorneys. This perception fails to encompass the entire role of a prosecutor. Sometimes victims, usually property crime victims, and law enforcement push and press cases that cannot meet the burden of proof “beyond a reasonable.” The prosecutor SHOULD make difficult choices about whether a case can meet that burden.

Prosecutors in some cases fail to appreciate this enhanced obligation.

The prosecutors in smaller localities often pursue cases because of the public’s misapprehension of dismissing or reducing such cases creates sensational headlines that may hinder reelection. Tough choices made due to facts that are not necessarily available to general public make life more difficult for elected prosecutors.

Instead of vilifying the DA’s office in this case, the public should respect their good faith investigation. The public should honor this DA for doing what is right even when faced with the “egg on the face” that may come from abandoning this sensational, high profile, tabloid fiasco.

The tabloids and incendiary media should step back. If the case was prosecuted, the salacious details would be headlines and the prosecutor would skewered for pursuing the case all together. This prosecutor is making the best choices for the community.

I just hope people see the wisdom of the choices. These choices do not mean that Strauss-Kahn did not commit the acts charged. The choice means that the case cannot establish Strauss-Kahn’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the case can’t be proved, then the prosecution should not go forward.

But folks just don’t understand that.

Here’s a link to an outline of the problems with the case.

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Random New: June 15, 2011

Stories I find interesting.

Economic Indicator to Worry About! If Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit, the U.S. will go into default on loans. Seriously, why is it that I heard this only the BBC this morning. I saw no other reports. This economic indicator should be cause for great concern. And yet NO ONE is paying attention.

Historic Markers Made Naturally. How did the native Creek and Cherokee find their way such long distances that history shows that they traveled? Apparently, the trail was marked with intentionally crooked trees. How interesting is that? Check out the website of the Mountain Stewards, the group compiling a list of these trees.

Palin isn’t the only one…U.S. students don’t about the history of their country. Schools should do a better job of creating well-rounded students instead of test taking automatons.

Economic Food for Thought. How do you gauge how the economy is doing? Look at all the signs. Small businesses are generally not expanding and perhaps shrinking the size of business. Is this caution or an indicator? You decide.

The Problem with the Politics & Politicos Today.  The NY Times editorial hit the nose on the head, though I would expand this to all politicians NOT just the Elephants. The politicians are not talking about substance, they are sound and fury signifying nothing. But people are buying their hot air.

Legalize small amounts of Marijuana? New York is considering it. The other interesting point in this article is a discussion of how these “crime prevention” arrests affect the lives and futures of the folks who perhaps were NOT bent on other crimes.

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Random News: June 8, 2011

Just when I thought I’d skip this morning…

A thought provoking argument against “green” energy. In his editorial, Robert Bryce argues that the damage to the environment caused by “green” energy mandates may not be worth the impact. 5 square miles of desert for 530 megawatts of power?

Treat an ulcer with cranberry juice. This mythbusting blog at the the NYTimes reports cranberry juice might help with the pain of ulcers. Strange but true.

Cooking news. If you’re not already, you can defrost meat with hot water and it works faster. Great news for me, I gave away the microwave a couple of years ago and I hate the taste of microwave defrosted meat. 10 minute defrost sounds great.

Definition of Cheating in a Relationship. Congressman Weiner’s dalliance brings up the issue: if he didn’t touch these women he texted, does that count as cheating? If he had some sort of romantic emotional connection with any woman, the answer would be yes. The story however sounds like he was getting cheap thrills not from the women but from the “taboo” act of sending the photos. But what do I know, I’m not in his head…Thankfully.

The Great School Lunch Debate: Pizza and Fries? Apparently Congress is still debating whether and/or how to change school lunches. I never ate the school lunch, peanut butter and jelly was just fine by me. The problem centers on WHO’s decision it really is? Pizza and french fry distributors and their lobbyists tout their nutritional benefits, the established supply chain, and the fact that kids are already accustomed to this food. Well, that never worked in the house in which I grew up. No, you can’t have french fries everyday. Pizza, really, no, maybe once per week. Providing children with a variety of foods will provide significantly more benefits than pizza and french fries everyday, unless you listen to the lobbyists. Perhaps children should band together and hire a lobbyist…wait these kids receive free lunches, by and large, if they can’t afford lunch how can afford a voice in Congress. Oh, well…who cares really, it’s just about the money, not the children!

And for my next trick…The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues to promise economic growth, in the future, somewhere down the road…when bad things stop happening…Then he’ll recommend an increase in interest rates. For those of us who are saving, we’re waiting. But that carrot looks really far off on the horizon this time, buddy.

Martha Stewart selling out? Martha’s looking to regain profitability. Watch and see what happens.

Building Codes on Trial, Homeowner loses. Food for thought, a man builds his home and now may be ordered to tear it down and could go to jail. Jail, you ask? He failed to obtain building permits from the government bureaucracy. Any thoughts?

Cutting Edge in California. As deadline looms, California struggles to reduce prison population. Why is the California prison population important to you? Trends usually start in the most populous states and filter down to less densely populated States. If the U.S. continues to imprison everyone that meets a law enforcement officer we will all be dealing with this issue sooner or later. If you care, get familiar with the issue now, the prison population debate will be coming to a state near you in the near future.

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Shameless

Anthony D. Weiner, Congressman from New York, and world class sexter, admitted today that he had indeed sent inappropriate photos (at least inappropriate for a sitting Congressman-the porn industry might beg to differ) to women other than his wife. He apologized, a marathon 45 minute apology. Weiner will not resign.

One friend pointed out the unfortunate pun in this case. Another asked where is the shame when the events are happening? Where is the consideration of family, of constituency, of potential embarrassment?

The politicians and “masters of the universe” believe that no one can hold them accountable. No one will discover the secret, the thrill. These people are above reproach in their own minds. Enchanted with the power, the hero worship, the self-important self-agrandizing machines of promotion believe their own hype. Humility evaporated.

These folks act like two year olds. They do whatever they want without a thought of the consequences. No fear, no shame, no sense. Until someone, usually an adult, points out sternly or harshly the error of the child’s ways. The child then expresses shame. Shame at being caught or being told “no” but not for having committed the act. A child must be told no in order to learn what not to do! We call that creating boundaries. Sadly, two year olds have an excuse. They’ve never be told not to commit the acts. Adults must teach children the mores and boundaries of polite society.

Politicians have no excuse, but they do have the same response. Predicate shame faced apologies without a hint of actual remorse. Perhaps, the voters can find some boundaries to enforce during the next election.

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