aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, February 25, 2007
A constitutional right to solicit sex from an undercover policeman?
I have to say the pastor’s got a point. What are cops doing out cruising for this kind of thing?
Authorities allege that [Rev. Lonnie W.] Latham asked the undercover policeman to come up to his hotel for oral sex.
Latham’s attorney, Mack Martin, filed a motion to have the misdemeanor lewdness charge thrown out, saying the Supreme Court ruled in the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas that it was not illegal for consenting adults to engage in private homosexual acts.
“Now, my client’s being prosecuted basically for having offered to engage in such an act, which basically makes it a crime to ask someone to do something that’s legal,” Martin said.
Both sides agree that there was no offer of money, but prosecutor Scott Rowland said there is a “legitimate governmental interest” in regulating offers of acts of lewdness.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has filed a brief alleging that Latham’s arrest also violated his right to free speech.
Before his arrest, Latham had spoken against same-sex marriage.
He has since resigned as pastor of the South Tulsa Baptist Church and stepped down from the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, where he was one of four members from Oklahoma.
Jury still out on Genarlow
Two years ago today, Marie Manigault rose in a Douglas County courtroom to announce a verdict that she now regards as a terrible injustice: “We, the jury, find the defendant, Genarlow Raevion Wilson, guilty of aggravated child molestation.”
That verdict sentenced Wilson to 10 years in prison without possibility of parole; he is serving that time at the Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth and will carry the label of sex offender for life. “Genarlow needs to be home with his family,” says Manigault now. “He should have been home with his family from the beginning.”
Manigault’s statements call into question what the DA and Senate leader Eric Johnson have been saying about the jury verdict. The story ends on the question of race:
“I have been reluctant to say any racism has been involved,” says B.J. Bernstein, Wilson’s attorney. “But at a certain point you have to ask how many white kids with a 3.2 GPA, who could have been in a good college, would have gotten this much hard time?”
I have to say I’ve wondered that myself.
The Norwich Bulletin has posted the full 346 page transcript from the Julie Amero trial. The Bulleting concludes it confirms Amero’s conviction was based not on how the pornography got on the computer on Oct. 19, 2004, but on her allowing several Kelly Middle School students to see the pornography and not doing enough to prevent them from seeing it.”
I haven’t read it. Apparently this commenter has:
From the trail transcipts posted here.
The Principal Scott “Police on Speed Dial” Fain was asked what did he do after meeting with Ms Amero on Oct 21 this from the transcript here.
Q.Did you have her back in again?
A. She came back in the following day after we spoke on the phone
Q. And you discussed the matter again on that day?
Q. And that the day you told her she would not be coming back to your school?
A. That’s Correct.
Now for the good part. Scott “Speed Dial” Fain cares about your childrens well being their morals...so much so that this was his REAL course of action from the transcipt.
Q. MR FAIN ISN’T IT TRUE YOU WERE SENDING HER TO ANOTHER SCHOOL TO TEACH?
A. I’M SORRY?
Q. ISN’T IT TRUE YOU WERE SENDING HER TO ANOTHER SCHOOL TO TEACH?
A. MORE SPECIFICALLY WHEN DO YOU MEAN?
Q. AFTER THE 19TH
So this is what you have. A Principal who may think that he has a teacher who is accessing porn in the classroom and his answer is to “SEND HER TO ANOTHER SCHOOL SYSTEM???????”
So what we have so far from these transcripts is testimony that :
The same websites were visited the DAY AFTER this happened and Ms Amero was no where near the computer.
Principal Fien according to his testimony visited the computer on the 20th
The principal thought that this was so HORRIBLE that he felt comfortable letting Ms Amero teach somewhere else.
Maybe someone should have asked the Principle where he was on both days?
For all the others who have not gotten our attention, the plea I’ve appended to all of my Amero posts:
WE NEED A COMPUTER FORENSICS INNOCENCE PROJECT; a Barry Sheck and Peter Neufeld of the computer forensics world. We need experts who believe in the presumption of innocence and are willing to spend the time it takes to dig through logs, registry entries and hard drives to find exculpatory material when present. This is hardly the first case of its kind and, unfortunately, it’s not likely be the last. Prosecutors who look for - and presume - guilt do selective searches for data supporting guilt; those accused rarely have the resources to pay computer forensics experts to counter that selective evidence.
UPDATE: here is an improved version of the transcript, “a collaborative project driven by advocates promoting justice for Julie “
Duck confit does not a gourmet make
One of the most difficult adjustments I had to make when moving from Manhattan to Middle Georgia was the dearth of decent restaurants. A recent piece in the NYTimes had old friends calling and writing excited to have read that we have “wine tastings, live music and dishes like duck confit and cioppino” here.
To which I reply by quoting Slate:
...they’re all from Sysco, a Houston-based food wholesaler. This top food supplier serves nearly 400,000 American eating establishments, from fast-food joints like Wendy’s, to five-star eating establishments like Robert Redford’s Tree Room Restaurant, to mom-and-pop diners like the Chatterbox Drive-In, to ethnic restaurants like Meskerem Ethiopian restaurant. Even Gitmo dishes out food from Sysco. Should you worry that one source dominates so much of what you eat?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Please worry. Our food system is broke and most of us don’t know it yet.
Like any retailer, chefs need wholesalers that distribute goods cheaply and efficiently, and Sysco’s 400,000-plus item catalog conveniently sells everything a cook needs to run an eating establishment. A little more than half of their products are brand names like Parkay and Lucky Charms. The rest are Sysco-packaged items like 25-pound bags of rice, half-gallons of salsa, boxes of plastic gloves, beer mugs, dish-washing detergent, not to mention 1,900 different fresh and frozen chicken products. Whatever a cook orders is delivered straight to the kitchen door at bottom-barrel prices: One Sysco invoice I got my hands on has a 25-pound bag of Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice selling for $20.95, or about 84 cents a pound, while a 1-pound box bought through Amazon Grocery costs $2.09.
All of that seems relatively innocuous-restaurants need to make a profit, after all. But Sysco also hawks pre-packaged food. While chefs have long relied on shortcuts like freezing and using canned goods like beans and tomatoes, it’s entirely different to pass off one of Sysco’s thousands of ready-made items-ground beef burritos, vegan tortellini, quiche Lorraine pie, tiramisu cake-as homemade.
The ingredients alone on some of the pre-made items are enough to make a restaurant-goer swear off eating out. The breaded cheese chicken breast, for instance, contains monocalcium phosphates, sorbic acid preservatives, and oleoresin in turmeric. The Serve Smart Chicken is particularly frightening. While it looks natural, it consists of parts of other chicken breasts mashed together into a single, chicken-breastlike block. As the company notes on its Web site, our “unique 3-D technology gives you the look and texture of a solid muscle chicken breast, at a fraction of the cost. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Available in four great flavors: teriyaki, BBQ, fajita and original.” What Smart Chicken tastes like, I’d rather not know.
I’d rather not know either but I have a nagging suspicion that I’m more likely to have it here than he is there.
The company has a long history of championing frozen foods. Sysco founder John Baugh has been quoted as saying, ”frozen foods taste better than anything I could grow in my garden.” He started the company in 1969 when he saw an opening in the food services marketplace for a large, national distributor that would beat out local competitors through its sheer size. At the time, Baugh owned a small frozen-food company in Houston, and he convinced eight other regional food distributors to join forces to form a national conglomerate. Within a year of its start, Sysco posted more than $100 million in sales, and for the next 30 years, snapped up more than 150 local food distributors, becoming the largest in the nation. The company is about 50 percent larger than its next-largest competitor and five times bigger than the third-largest player; its boxes and cans are now as common in restaurant kitchens as salt and flour. A very partial listing of its better-known customers can be found here.
The timing of this company’s rise is right in line with the consolidation and monopolization that has occurred across the board in our food system: slaughter houses, farms of all kinds, poultry, pork & beef, fast-food and technologically enhanced nutritionalism.
The change we’ve seen in the last thirty years has altered our relationship to food in fundamentally profound ways from that which had existed on this planet for millennia. I am as techno-utopian as the next guy - I even think technology can help get us out of the mess it’s gotten us into - but first we’ve got to recognize that there’s a problem.
20 states consider eliminating HPV vaccine ban
I come rather late to the HPV vaccine controversy and join the fray after watching Texas Governor Rick Perry defend his position requiring “mandatory” vaccination of sixth-grade girls on Fox News Sunday this morning. Watching Perry I realized just how difficult it will be to move this nation towards Libertarian Paternalism, the idea “that private and public institutions might nudge people in directions that will make their lives go better, without eliminating freedom of choice.”
My predisposition was to support adoption of the HPV vaccine, my suspicious objection to Merck’s role in lobbying states for the provision having been allayed when Merck called off the HPV campaign. Watching Perry today it finally sunk in that this “mandatory” vaccine “requirement” has an opt-out provision. Thus, there is no mandate at all.
Rather, the default position of the state is changed to one whereby the vaccine is provided. By the logic of those who label Perry’s executive order a “mandate,” we could counter-claim that the government today has a ban in place denying the vaccine to sixth-grade girls. And those 20 states considering bills to adopt the HPV vaccine are simply considering eliminating the ban.
They have my full support.
Note: My position does not absolve the state of its obligation to ensure safety and efficacy. I’m fine with that debate; I object to biasing its outcome with the “mandatory” label.