commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Another reason why marijuana should be legalized

“‘We’re not winning the battle,’ Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard told lawmakers.  ‘The violence that we see in Mexico is fueled 65 to 70 percent by the trade in one drug: marijuana.'” (CNN)

The Arizona Attorney General has made it clear: marijuana legalization would cut violence in Mexico by 65 to 70 percent – violence that is creeping north into the US.  At what point will our elected officials see that the biggest threat marijuana poses is the violence that accompanies prohibition?

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What if food prices spiked like gas did a few months ago?

Monsanto’s trying to make it happen: advertise aggressively, collect the money and to hell with the people.

Leave Georgia, pretty please, Czar Putin

My grandfather, the late Andrzhei Antonovich Dzialtvo, fled Lithuania with his family around 1902, when he was about four years of age.  It was during one of Russia’s periodic invasions of countries around it, which Russia has engaged in as a regular hobby long before Europe even noticed the Americas existed.

It’s also long-known that asking the Czar – whatever he goes by, Czar, General Secretary,  President, or Prime Minister – to stop invading gives the guy a good belly laugh.

So this is what I’ve suggested by phone to my Congressional Representative, the Hon. Christopher H. Smith (R4-NJ), and one of my Senators, the Hon. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), in a call made to each of their offices:

  • The President of the United States of America should immediately recall his ambassador from Moscow and reduce relations to a chargé d’affaires level;
  • The State Department of the United States of America should issue a warning to all American citizens in Russia to promptly leave Russia;
  • The President of the United States of America should, by Executive Order, immediately declare a suspension of all trade with the Russian Republic.

That will get Vladimir Putin’s attention.  Calling for meetings and asking politely has not worked for dealings with Russia in over a millennium, and it obviously is not going to work now.

When I called Rep. Smith’s office, I was told that the Congress couldn’t do anything because Speaker Pelosi has declared a recess; I pointed out that the Representative was quite good at holding press conferences and could issue a public statement calling for these measures from the executive branch of the US government.  Senator Lautenberg’s office was a little more encouraging, and the staffer had a good laugh when I told him about Rep. Smith’s staffer trying to blame Speaker Pelosi for a possible inability for Rep. Smith to say anything publicly.

This is going to make it an interesting Olympic season, too…

People are turning it outward because inward is “bad”

When people have felt “tired” of life, they’ve been turning it inward and committing suicide. And we all know suicide is a bad thing. So now they’re turning it outward instead:

“A 25-year old man, Tomohiro Kato, was arrested… ‘I came to Akihabara to kill people because I am sick and tired of life,’ he reportedly told police. ‘Anyone was fair game. I came here alone.'”

A hearty congratulation is in order for the Japanese fight against suicide! Seven people (and we don’t know if they were sick and tired of life) killed, and ten people wounded by a person who is sick and tired of life, but whaddaya know, he’s still alive. If he had just killed himself… but we all know suicide is a bad thing, right?

Quote Updates 5/18

Horatio, Lord Nelson:
“I am acting not only without the orders of my commander-in-chief, but, in some measure, contrary to him…I am doing what is right and proper for the service of our king and country. Political courage, in an officer abroad, is as highly necessary as military courage.”
http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/9/4/947/947.htm

Gregory Norbert:
“When the time of our particular sunset comes our thing, our accomplishment won’t really matter a great deal. But the clarity and care with which we have loved others will speak with vitality of the great gift of life we have been for each other.”

Stan Rogers:
“…For we couldn’t leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale./She’d saved our lives so many times, living through the gale/And the laughing, drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave/They won’t be laughing in another day…/

“And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow/With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go/Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain/And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again

“Rise again, rise again – though your heart it be broken/And life about to end/No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend./ Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again….”

http://www.stanrogers.net/

Kunal Ghosh:
“That communism is a crypto-religion in line with Judaism and Christianity (both are Abrahamic faiths of West Asian origin) has been alluded to by many great thinkers…Abrahamic religions, whenever they conquer a territory, convert the inhabitants and try to suppress their ancestral culture. Ancestral history becomes a prohibited subject. In Afghanistan and Pakistan pre-Islamic Hindu-Buddhist history is not permitted in schools. China is doing the same in Tibet.”
http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/auteur39.html

debauchette:
“I, and other women like me, object to the assertion that sex work is inherently degrading and that no woman pursues this work or experience by choice. Women do make these choices, and I’m among them. And I have no regrets. My perspective on Sawyer was just that – I was a woman who made a choice.

“This isn’t to say that degrading and dehumanizing sex work doesn’t exist, because it most certainly does. But it does a disservice to everyone when we fail to recognize the differences, the differences in power, autonomy, and freedom.”

http://debauchette.wordpress.com/

Decisions, decisions

My father died some months ago, and although I had determined – through consultation with attorneys – that no civil attorney would take the case, the rest of my family was not convinced. (No civil attorney would take the case because in the State of NJ, civil punishment against a doctor who commits gross malpractice is considered a “windfall” for the survivors, and therefore punitive civil damages are outlawed in NJ.) I believe that – if investigated by the prosecutor – a case could be made for some degree of manslaughter against at least two of the doctors involved in my father’s so-called care, but I agreed with my sibs to hold off on bringing it to the attention of the prosecutor’s office until they double-checked. Not only did they not double-check on their own, but they brought my mother along so that she’s in no shape to go through an interrogation again any time soon.

So now I’m ready to request prosecutorial investigation, as soon as I clear it with my employer (I work in government.) And of course my mother is all for letting my dad’s murderer off the hook, and I have a feeling my sibs will be as well. (Never mind how many cases the doctors screwed up before and how many people they may kill in the future: with no civil punitive damages, incompetent physicians only have to worry about cases where the patient survives with complications or is responsible for supporting minor children.)

One friend suggested that I meditate on it for a while, as the argument over bringing it to the prosecutor will probably sever all my family ties. (Never mind it’s what my father would have done if my mother had been treated similarly.)

One melody came to the harp, the words are:

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father’s sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Tho’ all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

Words of a UU hymn also came to mind:

Once to every soul and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Then to stand with Truth is noble,
While we share its wretched crust,
Ere that cause bring fame and profit,
And ’tis prosperous to be just.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ’tis Truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Then it is the brave one chooses,
While the cowards stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.

If I do not pursue this, all that I am is a lie. I deny my own existence.

“With tragic joy he knew that this cusp was his, not Jill’s. His water brother could teach, admonish, guide – but choice at a cusp was not shared. Here was ‘ownership’ beyond any possible sale, gift, hypothecation; owner and owned grokked fully, inseparable. He eternally was the action he had taken at cusp.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

How can a victim of a police officer get a fair criminal trial?

Prosecutors work regularly with the police.

So how can you expect prosecutors to work against police, such as in New York City?

You can’t.

Maybe it’s time the Sullivan Law was extended to the NYPD.