Monday, March 9, 2009

"Bill of Rights Blackout" and the Constitutional Clock

This is a rather old video, which I missed somehow, until now. I'm glad someone else sees the eradication of rights!


Former Congressman Bob Barr and current Libertarian Nominee for President answers questions before the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on Executive Power & the Bush Administration. Introduces the "Disappearing Bill of Rights" to the Congressional record during testimony before the Judiciary Committee.

NY - Child Safety Zone Task Force

At the end of this video, the news anchor says "According to the task for members, sexual predators of young children are repeat offenders," yet they do not site any study which shows that. I have many that says this is a load of BS!

OH - Wanted Sex Offender Arrested In Death Of 13-Year-Old Girl

View the article here

The man is innocent until proven guilty!  If he did do it, this is the type of person the registry and other laws, were made for, not all sex offenders, which a vast majority are nothing like this.


Bond Set At $5.3 Million

CINCINNATI - A convicted sex offender accused of killing a 13-year-old girl is being held on $5.3 million bond.

Sunday, the family of Esme Kenney confirmed that police had found her body after a search that ran into the early morning.

A family member released a statement saying, "Our hearts are broken by this tragic end to a wonderful young spirit. We would like to thank everyone for their support, and ask that donations be made in Esme Kenney’s name to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children."

Detectives arrested and charged _____, 40, in connection with Kenney’s death. In court Monday, _____ pleaded not guilty.

News 5 has learned that _____ was kicked out of a halfway house one week prior to Kenney's disappearance, and had two outstanding warrants for his arrest when he was taken into custody early Sunday morning.

_____ is a Tier 1 sex offender who was convicted of importuning in 2007 and sentenced to one year in prison.
- And a Tier 1 means he is less likely to reoffend, Tier 3 is most likely to reoffend, based on the legal definition, and not on an evaluation of risk!

According to Cincinnati police, _____ got into a fight with another resident at the Volunteers of America halfway house on Friday, Feb. 27.

Police said _____ didn’t have any outstanding warrants at the time and the other person involved in the altercation did not want to press charges, so _____ was expelled from the facility and put out on the street.

The Volunteers of America said their policy is to notify the authorities when someone is kicked out the next business day, which they did the following Monday morning.

But by that point, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department said _____ had been involved in the stabbing of a man on Ridgeway Avenue and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

When _____’s parole officer was notified of his release on Monday, March 2, the officer began looking for _____ since he had not registered with a new address.
- So did they tell this man he should register as soon as he gets out of prison?  Probably not!

Wednesday, March 4, the Sheriff’s Department issued a second arrest warrant for failure to register with his parole officer.

Thursday, officers with the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team began searching the streets of Cincinnati for _____, fearing that he might strike again.

Then on Friday, March 5, _____ was accused of threatening to kill an ex-girlfriend and her 3-year-old son. He was charged with abduction, domestic violence, aggravated menacing and violation of a protection order.
- If all this is true, this man has a serious problem!

Kenney was last seen at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday jogging along Winton Ridge Lane.

Officers said they didn’t believe the girl was in any danger until they found _____ near the search area along Winton Road.

"Once we discovered this person of interest, we immediately went to a critical missing, and that's when we initiated the Amber Alert process," Lt. Mark Briede said.

Winton Hills police said they located Kenney's body at about 3:30 a.m. in a wooded area near the 5900 block of Winton Road.

Crime scene investigators are continuing to collect evidence to piece together what happened the afternoon Kenney disappeared.

Part of the reason the evidence collection is taking so long is that the crime scene is about 30 yards off the road in thick underbrush.

Kenney was enrolled as a seventh-grader at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts. She was a dual major in vocal and instrumental music. She performed in the choir and was a cellist in the junior high orchestra.

Administrators said that they are devastated by the news. Counselors were on hand at the school Monday morning.

The district had also decided to delay testing for the Ohio Graduation Test, but found that it could not do that.

The principal at SCPA said that students who feel unable to take the test due to their grief will be given a waiver.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 513-569-8500.

IL - GOP bills about sex offenders draw ire

View the article here



Rights groups, others say they’re too strict

Illinois House Republicans say state government should do more to keep sex offenders away from children and pornography on the Internet. But critics, including civil rights groups and Internet companies, say the ideas may go too far.
- It is the responsibility of the government to pass laws based on facts as well, and not myths.  If someone used these sites to commit a crime, then yes, they should be banned from the sites, but while on probation or parole only.  Once they have served their time, then they should get that right back.  Not all sex offenders are out trolling for some victim, this is just fear-mongering as usual by the media and politicians, instead of fact based!

Republicans again are pushing a package of nearly a dozen bills that would strengthen laws against child pornography and restrict what Web sites registered sex offenders can visit.

The measures were spawned by a series of task force meetings House Republicans conducted in 2006, during which parents, law enforcement officials and community leaders testified about the growing dangers of social networking sites and child pornography.
- Which is all blown out of proportion, as usual!  See this study by 49 attorney generals and many other companies, which state it's blown out of proportion!

The package includes House Bill 1312, introduced by House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego. It would prevent registered sex offenders from accessing social networking Web sites like Facebook and MySpace. The measure also would require the owners of these sites to verify the ages of all their users and verify the status of all guardians of minors who use the sites.
- Why don't you make a site for kids only?  Like  Or, read the study done by the people you hired to do the study?  Simply because it doesn't agree with your "perception" of how things are, you discredit it?  How arrogant of you!

Rep. Sandra Pihos, a Glen Ellyn Republican supporting Cross’ idea, said she believes the restriction protects people who use social networking sites who “may not know they’re dealing with a sex offender.”
- Come on, that is just pure stupidity!  Why do people talk to and divulge personal information to strangers anyway?  That is the problem.  If someone is harassing you, or talking in a way you do not want, block them, it's that simple.

Then there’s House Bill 1311, pushed by Republican Rep. Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst. It would require Internet service providers, such as Comcast and AT&T, to prevent files that match up with a database of child pornography from being transmitted though the Internet.
- So how do you expect to do this?  Does it actually compare the pictures, or just filenames?  People who know nothing about technology, need to stop making laws about technology, until they know the facts!

Reboletti worries that technology is outpacing the law when it comes to protecting the public from sex offenders and child pornography. He said his measure is a way to keep the state’s child pornography laws up to date with the “always changing dynamics in technology.”

Several other measures increase the penalties for creating and distributing child pornography. One also expands the definition of a sex offense in the state to include anyone caught distributing harmful material to a minor.
- So I guess all those teens who are taking nude pictures of themselves and sending it to their boy/girl friends, will now be labeled a sex offender for making and distributing child porn.  Yes, child porn should be eliminated, but, it's not as easy as you may thing.

Depending on where the numbers come from, child pornography either has a massive or modest presence on the Internet.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has cited a report that says 100,000 child pornography Web sites existed on the Internet in 2001. The United Kingdom-based Internet Watch Foundation, on the other hand, reported in 2008 that only 2,755 Web sites contained illegal child pornography.
- Another one of those round numbers, 100,000, not too big, not to small.  Just right!  So where is this study, and who carried out the study?  Why don't you ask them for the link or material?  I bet it doesn't exist!  Also, did they shut down all these web sites?  If they know how many there are, then they should be able to shut them down, right?  Unless, like I suspect, it's more bogus statistics!

Last month, Facebook reported removing more than 5,500 convicted sex offenders from its service since May 2008. MySpace says it has deleted the accounts of 90,000 sex offenders since 2007.
- Yeah, so what!  How many of those sex offenders were actually doing anything wrong?  You just kicked them off due to a label!  I am willing to bet less than 1% were actually doing something wrong.

The Republican ideas are backed by the Illinois Family Institute, a Christian organization that provides “a biblical perspective to public policy.” David Smith, the organization’s executive director, says the rights of sex offenders should not preempt public safety.
- A Christian organization and a biblical perspective?  I don't think so.  What bible do they study which says discriminating against people simply due to a label, is ok?

“Their freedoms need to be curtailed, to tell you the truth, as a result of their violation of public trust,” Smith said.
- I agree, but while they are on probation and/or parole.  Once they are off either, then they should get the rights back, just like any other criminal does.  Again, it's discrimination!

Six of the bills dealing with social networking Web sites and increased penalties for violating child pornography laws are identical to bills that all failed to make it out of the legislature last year.

Reboletti blamed their failure not on the measures, but on a political struggle between the House and Senate last year. He’s much more optimistic about their chances this time.
- It's always political!  When laws are passed or not.  I hate politics!  That is why this country is dying!

“I’m hopeful that with a new Senate president and a new governor, that this is a new era,” he said.

But some important hurdles are in the way.

Braden Cox, the policy counsel of NetChoice, called the social networking regulations in Cross’ bill problematic. NetChoice is an advocacy group made up of companies that do business online, such as Yahoo and News Corp., which owns MySpace.

“This bill sounds good in theory, but you quickly see that it’s something that is not technically feasible and would create more problems than it would solve,” he said.
- So what else is new?

Cox says it would be difficult to verify the ages of everyone who uses social networking Web sites. He also says online age-verification procedures can easily be fooled.

NetChoice hasn’t taken a stance on this measure but has opposed similar ones in other states, Cox said.

Kate Dean, executive director of the U.S. Internet Service Provider Association, said Reboletti’s service provider bill could be successfully challenged in court if it became law.

“The courts have found similar approaches to be unconstitutional,” said Dean.

An Indiana law passed in 2008 bans sex offenders from using social networking Web sites, and states such as Minnesota, North Carolina, and Connecticut are considering similar measures. A Pennsylvania law forcing Internet service providers to restrict access to Web sites accused of hosting child pornography was ruled unconstitutional in 2004 by a federal judge.

Ed Yohnka, communications director for the ACLU of Illinois, is worried that sex offender laws may make life impossible for anyone on a sex offender registry.
- May?  It has!

“The problem is that these programs have expanded so dramatically that they’ve caught up people who really do not any longer pose a danger,” Yohnka said. “Once you’re on the list, you’re on the list.”

Some House Democrats also predict difficulty for the ideas.

Democratic Rep. Careen Gordon of Morris chairs the legislative committee that will vote on whether the social networking and Internet service provider bills move ahead, doubts they’ll make much headway because they didn’t pass last year.

Democratic Rep. Julie Hamos of Evanston says the regulations on social networking sites were not enforceable and also worried that they would give users of the sites a false sense of security.

“If people know they should be a little suspicious and alert about using these sites because we haven’t set any rules about them, I think everybody would actually be safer,” Hamos said.
- Yes, why doesn't these sites have notices and warnings about divulging personal information?  I think if they have that, then that should be sufficient.  Stop trampling on peoples rights!

OH - ‘Sexting’ can bring teens child porn charges

View the article here


By Mike Ford, The Delphos Herald

Around the nation, reports are surfacing of teenagers circulating nude photographs of peers on their camera phones. “Sexting” is just the latest way in which young people are abusing technology.

Because the photographed subjects are minors, the issue falls under child pornography laws, which carry felony charges. Many believe a teen having a photo of another adolescent is very different from sexual predators possessing child pornography.

Ohio Fourth District Matt Huffman (R-Lima) is among them.

“We shouldn’t blow this out of proportion. There are other things you can charge a kid with and it makes sense for it to be a misdemeanor. There is a difference between a kid having the photo and an adult having it. They should not be treated equally under the law - no question about it,” he said.
- Why not, everything else seems to be blown out of proportion, like the online predator issue.  Also, I thought once you made a law, everyone was suppose to be treated equally, isn't that what equal justice is all about?

Near Cincinnati this week, a case came to light after a student was caught playing with his cell phone in class. The teacher confiscated the phone and nude photos were later discovered. Rather than file felony charges, Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel charged two teens with the misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The consequences being considered include mandatory classes, community service and the loss of their cell phones.

Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick says when a teen is caught with child porn, the age of the person in the picture matters more than anything else. He also said the matter is complicated and cannot be “spliced and diced.”
- It's not complicated!  Child porn is child porn, it doesn't matter who has it or not.  I don't want to see kids go to jail or prison anymore than anyone else, but, a law is a law!

“The bottom line is you cannot have nude photos of underage children, no matter how young or old you are - end of story. It’s not a question of who has the picture; it’s a question of what the picture’s of. Do I see something wrong with, in some instances, punishing the people we’re trying to protect? Absolutely. But I don’t know where you draw the line because that picture gets circulated and can end up anywhere,” he said.
- Amen!  A law is a law, period!

Waldick believes it would simply be “unworkable” to prosecute these types of cases if the law were written in a complicated manner.
- That is the problem with the legal system, they continue to tweak and make laws complicated, when it should be kept simple so everyone can understand it.  Remember the K.I.S.S?  Keep It Simple Stupid!

“If it were legal for a 17-year-old girl to take a nude photo of herself, how do you prove she sent it when it gets circulated? If it’s legal for a 17-year-old boy to have nude photos of his 16-year old girlfriend, what do you do when he turns 18? The idea is to protect kids and this would create huge loop holes for the bad guys,” he said.

Therefore, Waldick believes the best way to address the issue is to criminalize the entire chain of events involved.

“It’s a crime to take the photo; it’s a crime to have it and it’s a crime to send it. Those photos are out there forever and can end up in a predator’s hands,” he said.

Waldick says local police have not forwarded any similar cases to his office. He has addressed the issue in both Delphos school systems, as well as many others in the county. He stresses that despite any faith a girl may have in her boyfriend, bragging to their buddies is still a favorite male pastime.

He also informs them of the consequences for committing a felony.

It’s possible they would have to register as a sex offender. Look at the affect it could have on college scholarships, what kind of job you can have and where you can live — the consequences are so severe that kids need to know they can’t do this and it isn’t something they should risk,” he said.

Huffman believes the law should allow for prosecutors and judges to exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis.
- This is how all laws should be, IMO.  This is how it was at one time, but we've removed power from the judges, and that affects everyone.

“I don’t want to minimize this issue but don’t send a kid to jail for possessing an image he can flip on the TV and see. Prosecutors and judges need to have more authority to use discretion; I’m against taking that away from them by passing mandatory sentencing laws because you end up with people not exercising judgment, he said.

“We need to look at more informal ways to deal with this than having the criminal justice system stepping in and trying to stop it — like suspending them from school and parents taking the cell phone away.”