Saturday, July 13, 2013

No one will really understand politics until they understand that ...

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The United States is not a Democracy, it's a Republic!

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If government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness ...

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CA - San Diego mayor (Bob Filner) comes under swift, heavy scrutiny

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
The week began with news that Mayor Bob Filner's fiancee ended their engagement and concluded with San Diego's first Democratic leader in 20 years desperately trying to stay in office amid sexual harassment allegations made by some of his closest supporters.

The rapid-fire developments put heavy scrutiny on the personal foibles of Filner, a feisty liberal who was elected in November after 10 terms in Congress marked perhaps most famously by a 2007 run-in with a United Airlines baggage handler at Dulles International Airport that resulted in him pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing.

Filner has long had a reputation for berating employees and been dogged by rumors of making sexual advances on women, but nothing stuck like a former city councilwoman's comments this week that she had firsthand accounts from more than one woman who was sexually harassed by the mayor.


VT - Vermont Sex Offender Registry

Video Description:
Allen Gilbert, Executive Director of Vermont ACLU, talks with Jon Margolis about Vermont's Sex Offender Registry


Video Description:
Vermont Commissioner of Public Safety Keith Flynn talked with Jon Margolis about the Vermont Sex Offender Registry.


CANADA - Should convicted drunk drivers be labeled with special license plates?

Original Article

Well, if we have an online shaming hit-list for ex-sex offenders, then yeah, we should have an online registry and other shaming for all ex-felons. Of course we do not believe in any online registry for anybody, but if we do it for one, then we should do it for all.

Diigo Post Excerpt:
Prince Edward Island is considering a specialized license plate for convicted drunk drivers. Would you agree to this, or do you think this type of branding is unconstitutional?

Thomas Bink: I don't think it's a terrible idea. I mean, in B.C. they already have little labels for different drivers - If you've got a learner's permit, you get an L, and if you're a novice driver, you have to display an N. So why not have labels for all kinds of drivers, like for seniors, handicapped or convicted drunk drivers? Anything that helps educate other drivers upon approach is a good thing, I say. It's not to brand, belittle or never forgive convicted drunk drivers, but if I see a guy with a D label on his car driving erratically, I'm better alerted to cut a wide berth. And like learners and novices, after a certain amount of time without a conviction the label can be removed.

Matthew Coutts: My first instinct was to jump on board this idea. I consider drunk drivers a scourge, a gaggle of selfish ids willing to do what they want regardless of how it might affect the rest of us. Anything to identify and shame them - and there is an element of shame in this plan - I thought I'd be in favour of. But something about this doesn't sit right with me. For one, we are not really posting the scarlet letter on the driver. What if someone else - a spouse, perhaps - were to drive the car instead? Their character would be unfairly maligned. And as much as I like to cast a wide net on this topic, there are countless reasons and events that led these people to being in this situation. The public shaming aspect would unfairly paint them all with the same brush. No, I'm in favour of addressing this issue somehow, but not like this. The tool is too blunt for me.


MS - Gangs Ruled Prison as For-Profit Model Put Blood on Floor

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
In the four privately run prisons holding Mississippi (BEESMS) inmates last year, the assault rate was three times higher on average than in state-run lockups. None was as violent as the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

The for-profit detention center, surrounded by razor wire and near the forests and farms of central Mississippi, had 27 assaults per 100 offenders last year, more than any other prison in the state, according to an April court filing. Staff shortages, mismanagement and lax oversight had long turned it into a cauldron of violence, where female employees had sex with inmates, pitted them against each other, gave them weapons and joined their gangs, according to court records, interviews and a U.S. Justice Department report.

"It was like a jungle," said Craig Kincaid, 24, a former inmate. "It was an awful place to go when you're trying to get your life together."

More than 130,000 state and federal convicts throughout the U.S. -- 8 percent of the total -- now live in private prisons such as Walnut Grove, as public officials buy into claims that the institutions can deliver profits while preparing inmates for life after release, saving tax dollars and creating jobs.


WV - Editorial: Latest juvenile-facility closure adds urgency to reform efforts

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
Troubles at West Virginia facilities for juvenile offenders continue to mount, underscoring that state officials have a lot of sorting out to do toward improving conditions at its juvenile centers.

The shortcomings first came to a head early this year after offenders at what was then the Industrial Home for Youth in Salem, the only maximum-security facility for youths in the state, filed lawsuits. The judge overseeing the case, Mercer County Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn, harshly criticized the workings of that facility, saying too much emphasis was placed on punishment rather than rehabilitation. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin then in March ordered the Industrial Home be closed by July 1 and converted to an adult facility. The juvenile offenders were to be moved to other state facilities.

The governor also said then that the state would work to move another building on the Salem campus, the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center, which is used to house juvenile sex offenders and juveniles with mental and behavioral issues. When word of that came out, many staff members at the Jones center quit, leading to staff shortages. And that has led to poorer conditions at the Jones Center.


How Do You Kill 11 Million People?

Video Description:
This whiteboard animation shows what happened when Hitler lied to get elected and people don't care or pay attention to the lies of their leaders, until they do care...and at that point, it is too late. Parts of this video are narrated by a man who served as a German soldier and a German woman who lived right by the railroad tracks the cattle trains ran on that carried the Jews to their deaths.

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS VIOLENT IMAGES, DISCRETION ADVISED!