aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, June 26, 2006
Court blocks GA sex-offender law
A federal judge in Atlanta today halted a sweeping law that would bar sex offenders from living near school bus stops.
U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper’s ruling applies only to eight plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights.
But the paintiffs’ lawyers were encouraged by his decision to temporarily block the law from going into effect Saturday for the eight.
Lawyers for both sides will be back in court July 11, armed with evidence on the number of school bus stop in the state and the impact on offenders.
If the law had been allowed to take effect Saturday as scheduled, it would have made it nearly impossible for Georgia’s more than 10,000 registered sex offenders to live in urban and suburban areas, said Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer for the Southern Center for Human Rights. The act will ‘’banish people from their homes,’’ she said.
But lawyers for the state said the law is necessary for public safety. Joe Drolet argued that while the law is inconvenient for offenders, the law recognizes that sex offenders get out of prison and offend again.
[O]utside of the high-risk cases, sex offenders are unlikely to repeat their crimes, studies suggest. Sex offenders over all are less likely to be rearrested than drunk drivers, drug offenders, and domestic violence offenders, [Dr. Karl Hanson, a Canadian researcher and leading authority in the field] said.
In Iowa, a similar measure went into effect last year, and now some of its loudest critics are prosecutors and police. They say the state law barring sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or child care center has driven offenders from cities and caused many to become homeless, cluster in motels or vanish from authorities’ sight. Iowa prosecutors are calling for a repeal.
On the ad elephant’s charge
I’m seeing a lot of avoidance of the elephant that isn’t quite in the room yet but is banging at the door:
Advertising is the next big industry to suffer huge upheaval thanks to the internet. They may think they’re already there, but they’re not, not by a long shot. In fact, it is the ad industry that is holding up the progress of other industries - newspapers, TV, radio, cable - that are already getting tromped on by that elephant. Advertisers can get away with moving slowly - for now - because they are the ones with the money. Funny how that works. But this won’t last for long, as one client and then one agency discovers that the lazy, traditional, one-stop-shopping of TV upfront and the big-media lunch circuit is inefficient, wasteful, untargeted, irrelevant, and ultimately damned irritating to your customers. READ ON
Are you lonesome tonight?
If you get sick, stressed or just plain sad, you are going to want the sort of friend you can rely on. Maybe you’ll be able to convert an acquaintance into a soul mate when you discover you need one. But this just-in-time approach to emotional crises isn’t always going to work. Look at the way the slow decline of friendship has been mirrored by the rise of emotional problems. Over the past half-century, the prevalence of unipolar depression in affluent countries has jumped tenfold.
People’s myopia on friendship is like their myopia on saving. They know that jobs are insecure, that a health problem can cause bankruptcy, that retirement is fabulously expensive; but the household savings rate has fallen below zero. Equally, people know that spouses aren’t immortal and that divorce is common. But nearly one in 10—a much higher share than in 1985—reports that their husband or wife is the only person they confide in.
I’ve heard it all before from a sociologist “friend” here but I’m skeptical. Not that the numbers are true - I’ve no doubt they are - but I wonder is a correlation being mistaken for causation? I’ll have to be convinced.