aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Will Brady reports that Marijuana Arrests Reached a Shameful New Record:
The War Against Marijuana is at all-time high. Police arrested an estimated 771,608 persons for marijuana violations in 2004, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released October 17. That total is the highest ever recorded—a shameful new record. And a closer look at this figure reveals some startling facts about the Drug War. Read on...
Which reminded me that I hadn’t replied to a note from Mike Smithson, speakers bureau coordinator for LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). He was writing in response to * my * three * posts * on former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper’s OpEd in the LATimes a couple weeks ago.
I’ll go write him now…
More stupid ineffective caving to paranoia
It’s also immoral and unjust.
Everyone agrees that this Halloween initiative does not come in response to a spike in molestations or abductions on the holiday. “We have never had an incident on Halloween night,” says one official. Still:
[T]here’s a growing concern that children could unwittingly be seeking treats from sex offenders living in the neighborhood. In communities across the country, local officials are taking steps to keep sex offenders away from kids on Halloween night.
Communities in several states are requiring offenders to report to county offices for educational or counseling programs, while others are going so far as to bar registered sex offenders on probation from answering their door to trick-or-treaters or putting so much as a pumpkin on their porch.
At the end of the report, John Berman reminds us that kids face “a greater danger of getting hit by a car.” So shall we keep all cars off the road that night?
Forgiveness and rehabilitation have been completely abandoned in our culture.
While on the topic, this guy is not particularly sympathetic. But he’s paid his debt to society for a crime committed 22 years ago.
Again, there’s is absolutely no evidence of any abuse since then and those experts in the area (remember, parole officers are not the liberal elite) say this is ineffective and unreasonable:
County officials here in Eastern Pennsylvania left notes on Melissa WolfHawk’s door, she said, warning her that they were monitoring her pregnancy. They told her they would try to take her child as soon as she gave birth.
She had the Caesarean section on Tuesday. Against her doctors’ wishes, she left the hospital two days later to appear in court, but on Friday she lost her fight when a judge gave the boy to Schuylkill County.
At issue, officials say, is not so much Ms. WolfHawk’s fitness as a mother as her choice of mates. The newborn’s father, her husband, served a decade in prison as a sex offender in New York 22 years ago, convicted in the rape and sodomy of two teenage girls. The boy is the third child Ms. WolfHawk has lost for just that reason. The baby - lawyers are not disclosing his name - will be in temporary custody pending a hearing on longer term arrangements on Oct. 31, as well as an ongoing challenge that Ms. WolfHawk has filed in federal court.
I spent a good part of yesterday trying to make people’s iPods work. Doug’s about had it with me yelling at mine in the morning. Most recently I bought a book, my first, from the iMusic store. I paid for it, downloaded it, then couldn’t transfer it to my iPod.
I hadn’t authorized it. Grr.
UPDATE yet more iAggrivation. Fine print in the upgrade to iTunes 6.0.1:
After purchasing music from the iTunes Music Store with iTunes 6 or later, you will also need to upgrade your other computers that purchase music from the iTunes Music Store to iTunes 6.0.1.
Driving laws and the presumption of innocence
A Virginia judge is ruling that the state’s DUI statutes violate the 5th Amendment:
A Fairfax County judge who believes Virginia’s drunken driving laws are unconstitutional has begun dismissing cases, including five DWI cases in a week, and has threatened to throw a veteran prosecutor in jail for arguing with him.
Judge Ian M. O’Flaherty made it known in July that he felt Virginia’s DWI law unfairly deprived defendants of the presumption of innocence if breath tests showed that they had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, levels at which people are presumed to be intoxicated.
James makes exactly the right point:
O’Flaherty makes an interesting argument. All traffic laws essentially operate this way, though. If one gets a speeding ticket, for example, it is merely a case of a government employee, operating under pressure of meeting revenue quotas, charging that the defendant did it. The burden of proof is on the defendant to demonstrate that he is not guilty.
This should be fought but the rich don’t care and the poor can’t do anything about it.