aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
GA court strikes down sex offender residency restrictions
It was a unanimous Supreme Court victory and I’d never have guessed the grounds:
The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday declared unconstitutional a provision of a 2006 state law that prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of day care centers, schools, churches and other places where children congregate.
In striking down the residency restrictions, the justices said they can amount to an “illegal taking” because they force sex offenders who are homeowners to abandon their homes if a place where children congregate is suddenly built nearby.
“Sex offenders face the possibility of being repeatedly uprooted and forced to abandon homes in order to comply with the [law’s] restrictions,” Justice Carol Hunstein wrote.
“It is apparent that there is no place in Georgia where a registered sex offender can live without being continually at risk of being ejected,” Hunstein added.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, there are almost 15,000 sex offenders on the state’s sex offender registry. While the court’s ruling focused on the issue of sex offenders who are homeowners, it appears to also extend to all sex offenders because the entire residency restrictions were stricken.
NYTimes new building reviewed
Writing about your employer’s new building is a tricky task. If I love it, the reader will suspect that I’m currying favor with the man who signs my checks. If I hate it, I’m just flaunting my independence.
So let me get this out of the way: As an employee, I’m enchanted with our new building on Eighth Avenue. The grand old 18-story neo-Gothic structure on 43rd Street, home to The New York Times for nearly a century, had its sentimental charms. But it was a depressing place to work. Its labyrinthine warren of desks and piles of yellowing newspapers were redolent of tradition but also seemed an anachronism.
The new 52-story building between 40th and 41st Streets, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, is a paradise by comparison. A towering composition of glass and steel clad in a veil of ceramic rods, it delivers on Modernism’s age-old promise to drag us - in this case, The Times - out of the Dark Ages.
I enjoy gazing up at the building’s sharp edges and clean lines when I emerge from the subway exit at 40th Street and Seventh Avenue in the morning. I love being greeted by the cluster of silvery birch trees in the lobby atrium, their crooked trunks sprouting from a soft blanket of moss. I even like my fourth-floor cubicle, an oasis of calm overlooking the third-floor newsroom.
Says my nephew after watching the multimedia tour of the tower, “I want to work in a cubicle in a building like that one day.”
It made me homesick.
What’s the deal? The Bernard Kerik issue should be enough to knock Giuliani right out of the race. The guy America’s Mayor pushed to be in charge of homeland security is, is appears, an out and out crook. Then there is the sex molester priest on Rudy’s staff. That, by itself, should finish him off.
But it doesn’t. In fact, none of the other Republicans mention any of this. Why? They don’t want to be accused of “mudslinging” or of giving Democrats ammo we can use should Rudy be the nominee.
Of course, we’ll use this stuff anyway, whether Republicans bring it up or not. They don’t write our playbook.
The striking thing, for me, is that it is so damn unpatriotic for Rudy’s opponents not to tell GOP primary voters who he is. Romney, McCain and the rest are so afraid of a voter backlash against them for mudslinging that they essentially protect Rudy. As a result, he could become the nominee.
So let’s forget this BS about mudslinging. It is only mudslinging if its a lie. Attacking a fellow candidate’s positions, experience or record is not only permissible. It is essential.
So here’s my definition of mudlinging: willfully lying about another candidate, especially about their personal lives.