aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, May 11, 2007
A New York Times editorial today:
The United States made a disastrous miscalculation when it started automatically trying youthful offenders as adults instead of handling them through the juvenile courts. Prosecutors argued that the policy would get violent predators off the streets and deter further crime. But a new federally backed study shows that juveniles who do time as adults later commit more violent crime than those who are handled through the juvenile courts.
The study, published last month in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, was produced by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, an independent research group with close ties to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After an exhaustive survey of the literature, the group determined that the practice of transferring children into adult courts was counterproductive, actually creating more crime than it cured.
This is completely intuitive and obvious to me. But that’s not as bad as our vengeful culture gets:
The laws also are not equally applied. Youths of color, who typically go to court with inadequate legal counsel, account for three out of every four young people admitted to adult prison.
With 40 states allowing or requiring youthful offenders to spend at least some time in adult jails, state legislators all across the country are just waking up to the problems this practice creates. Some states now have pending bills that would stop juveniles from being automatically transferred to adult courts or that would allow them to get back into the juvenile system once the adult court was found to be inappropriate for them.
Given the damage being done to young lives all over the country, the bills can’t pass soon enough.
I’m aware of no such bill pending in Georgia. Rather, we continue to criminalize our kids. See, for just one example, NYTimes on Georgia’s Shame: The Genarlow Wilson case.
Chicken from China?
In China, some farmers try to maximize the output from their small plots by flooding produce with unapproved pesticides, pumping livestock with antibiotics banned in the United States, and using human feces as fertilizer to boost soil productivity. But the questionable practices don’t end there: Chicken pens are frequently suspended over ponds where seafood is raised, recycling chicken waste as a food source for seafood, according to a leading food safety expert who served as a federal adviser to the Food and Drug Administration.
China’s suspect agricultural practices could soon affect American consumers. Federal authorities are working on a proposal to allow chickens raised, slaughtered, and cooked in China to be sold here, and under current regulations, store labels do not have to indicate the meat’s origin.
According to Lucius Adkins , president of United Poultry Growers Association , the idea “should be strangled in infancy.” The group represents more than 700 producers in Georgia , one of the nation’s leading poultry producing states.
“You don’t know what conditions existed in that plant [in China]. You didn’t have a government representative there watching [poultry] being slaughtered and processed. It’s going to come here packaged,” Adkins said. “They’re already killing our pets. Do we want to eat their food?
No. But I’d like to see into our chicken slaughtering and processing plants here, too. I don’t want the chicken from China, but I’m thinking food safety is a fig leaf and Adkins would object to the food safety regime I’d like to see here as well.
SEE ALSO: A call for glass walls on slaughterhouses.
Dog whistlers for Hillary
I think there’s a passion for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy that’s almost as invisible to the Democratic-Party netroots as Karl Rove’s vote drive among evangelicals was in 2004. Only very occasionally does this passion glimmer into the view of the progressive blogosphere. My claim is basically that the Clinton voters are out there mostly nursing their allegiance quietly, like the classic quiet conservatives keeping their opinion to themselves until they get into the voting booth.
Via Andrew Sullivan who note, “Clinton’s supporters are more anti-war than Obama’s and more classic working-class Democrats. Go figure.”
The conservative case for gay marriage
The Washington Times had a Culture piece on a gay marriage debate sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC):
At the EPPC event, Jonathan Rauch, a guest scholar at Brookings Institution and writer for the National Journal and Atlantic monthly, said Mr. Blankenhorn’s arguments “lift the debate” but are ultimately flawed.
“I see same-sex marriage as flowing quite naturally and gracefully into what marriage has become today and indeed should be today: a commitment by couples to each other and their community—underscore ‘and their community’—to care for each other and for their children, including non-biological children,” said Mr. Rauch, an open homosexual who wrote the 2004 book “Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America.”
“The kind of institution we want,” he says, “includes public vows, in-laws, medical obligations and yes, divorce. Marriage is very hard to get out of and should be.”
Marriage, Mr. Rauch says, has four essential social functions: the rearing of children; providing a transition to stable domestic life for young adults, particularly men; providing a “safe harbor” for sex; and providing lifelong caregivers for each other.
All homosexual unions meet three out of four of these goals, and homosexual couples with children meet four out of four goals, he says.
“Gay couples and the kids they’re raising won’t disappear,” adds Mr. Rauch. If homosexuals cannot participate in the institution, the nation runs a great risk of increasing its number of nonmarital families and of marriage becoming stigmatized as discriminatory.
“In my view, the best way to encourage marriage is to encourage marriage,” he says.
Via Stephen H. Miller.
AC power surges harm hard drives?
[I]f an anecdotal, single-source article in Associated Content proves accurate. According to sole interviewee Ben Carmichel of ESS Data Recovery, his company sees “a 20% increase in failed hard drives hitting our lab in the summer as [opposed to] the winter,” and believes from surveying customers and the uptick in electronic-related issues that AC-triggered power surges are largely to blame. Of course, this alleged risk is easy enough to minimize by utilizing an uniterrupted power source for your PC and configuring your drives in a RAID 1 or 5, so it doesn’t seem too difficult to have your cake and eat it too in this case.
Facebook Marketplace launches today
A college town too small for its own Craigslist site, this may be the only game in our town. Read/Write Web:
Social network Facebook is set to launch a classified service to its users on Friday, according to the New York Times. The service will be free, though Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told the Times that the classifieds, which will launch under the name ‘Facebook Marketplace,’ might someday provide a source of revenue for the company.
Users will be able to create classifieds in four categories: housing, jobs, for sale, and other. Ads can be restricted by network or friends list, and can be broadcast to a user’s “news feed”—which is a Twitter-like stream of information about the actions of a user’s friends.