Archive for law

That Massive GOP Elephant in the Womb Lumbers Into Kansas. Agin'.

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GOP

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

I don't know about the rest of you liberal dames and the gents who honorably defend us, but I've had ENOUGH of the GOP slash TeaNut asshattery standing their ground in our collective uterus.

Regressives have found a deep pocket of flat-lander Teabangelical cray cray in the great state of Kansas, and it spikes as high on the Boots On the Necks of Women Scale of Shame as tyrannical old white men can aspire to. [Hang onto your knickers ladies, they are about to get an Atomic Twist.]

Image, Alternet

 

TJWomenVotingRepublicanIn this scarifying corner of the American heartland, the conservative attack on women, our lady parts and modernity in general has limboed to a new low. Meet House Bill 2613, which will force every woman who has just suffered the agony of a miscarriage to get the stillborn fetus an official Birth Certificate to provide to the nearest Sugar Daddy in Gub'Mint. [The ones the Regressives want out of their lives but into women's vaginas.]

Alternet does their level best to explain this latest insult to our intelligence. Excerpts below.

House Bill 2613 was an attempt to give grieving families the opportunity to obtain a “certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth” rather than a certificate of death. And that’s all it was supposed to do. GOP Rep. John Doll hoped that the bill wouldn’t become embroiled in his party’s fight over abortion. But one Senate Republican couldn’t let the legislation pass without turning it into a threat against women across the state.

Cagle Cartoons

Cagle Cartoons

Frank Bleeping Baum wouldn't recognize Kansas. They don't leave it there, oh no -- time to persecute and prosecute women for miscarrying.

Breeding is their purpose for breathing, after all. [And if abortion is banned, you know those loose women and their crazy libidos are going to self-Abort- Abort-Abort.] 

In short, the bill would force doctors to report women who have a miscarriage to the state. They would have their names entered into a database that state officials could use as a tool to go on witch hunts. The privacy of these women would be violated. The nightmare scenario is that women would be investigated by the state and could be arrested and jailed for miscarriages. Such a law would undoubtedly cause many women to not seek medical attention.

Image, thishistorictimes.com

Image, thishistorictimes.com

Every woman with an un-White-Washed brain is clicking her heels in increasing desperation. Listen hard, you can hear them ... and we cannot let down the dames in the sickest Red states, fellow libs. The midterms are vital.

Vote these tyrannical asses out of our vaginas. There's entirely too much unsolicited traffic in here already ladies, and we need to take back our own ports of authority and shut some tunnels down like Chris Christie was paying us overtime to.

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What Is The Purpose of Prison, Punishment Or Rehabilitation?

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Prisonw398h248

Why do we send people to prison? One reason is punishment for committing a crime. Another is to rehabilitate those who committed the wrongdoing. What good is locking someone up if they're just going to come out and commit the same or worse crimes? And so, that leads me to this report from ABC News 10 San Diego:

The part that interests me is the rehabilitation part of incarceration. If someone does time and then gets out of the slammer and commits another crime, then their initial stay behind bars was a failure in my eyes. We paid to feed, clothe and house them. Then we send them out to re-commit those crimes or maybe worse, new crimes they learned about while behind bars. In that case, we got nothing in return but more crime. So we didn't do our job.

Now you take Judy Lynn Hayman. She was 23 years old when she escaped from a Midwestern prison 37 years ago. Yesterday she was captured in San Diego where she lived a crime free life for THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS.

Hayman pleaded guilty in June 1976 to a larceny charge in Wayne County, Mich., and was sentenced to serve between 16 months and two years in custody, according to prison officials there.

Ten months later, she escaped from the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. She remained a fugitive until this week, using various aliases.

Let's consider whatever she did was wrong, non-violent, but wrong. She pleaded guilty and served 10 months time -- perhaps enough for her particular non-violent crime of larceny. Unfortunately, her sentence was for a minimum of 16 months, so her early departure wasn't condoned.

Prison was too barbaric and cruel to her. She felt she was ready to reintegrate into society as a law abiding citizen. She couldn't take it any longer and she took a huge chance and broke out. We may think she was free, but think again.

She lived not only the remainder of her sentence but the ensuing 35 or so years constantly looking over her shoulder, the fear of being discovered and re-apprehended for who she really was, an escaped con. That's a hefty weight to bear. Living in fear can be even more of a punishment than a physical prison.

During that time she gave birth to, raised and supported a son -- he's living crime free so obviously she was a good and strong influence on him and his character or he'd be doing time in a cell like his mom once did.

The point is not whether this woman was right in escaping, but what to do with her now? Should she be charged with unlawful escape and add that onto her prior sentence or should we look at what the purpose was in incarcerating her to start with? She was to be punished, granted. And she did serve 10 months, basically 2/3's of her minimum sentence. But hasn't she proved by her exemplary existence after her escape that she had learned her lesson? Aren't those 30 plus years living in fear worth some credit?

judy-hayman-jpg

I hope the Michigan justice system will take into consideration what for and why they sentence people to jail. I'd prefer a woman or man who's rehabilitated be back on the streets than someone who's served their term and reverts to recidivism. Prison isn't a good environment under any circumstances. Yet it does serve a purpose. But sometimes correctional institutions (notice the word correctional and not punishment) don't do their job. Maybe they did with Judy Lynn Hayman. She's proven she's learned the lesson of her bad ways. I'm hoping Michigan can see that and take it into consideration. We'll see.

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How Far Should Diplomatic Immunity Reach

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DPL plates

When I was growing up I took a trip with my older brother to New York City. While we were walking around and seeing the sights, I noticed for the first time a license plate that had the "DPL" imprinted on it. I had never seen that before, growing up in the suburbs of Boston. I wasn't exactly a rube, but I wasn't big city either -- at least at that time.

So my big bro pointed out that the initials indicated that these cars belonged to people in the diplomatic corps. They had immunity and could break the law at will and even flaunt it. That was my brother's take and he even pointed out that the DPL car we were looking at was parked in a red zone.

From that time forward, through my years living in major cities, I've noticed lots of DPL cars and maybe not surprisingly, they always were parked in no parking zones or with time expired on the meters. I guess that's because they don't have to pay to park like the rest of us.

My interest was piqued when I caught this on Reuters:

In New York, Devyani Khobragade, a deputy consul general at the Indian Consulate in New York, was arrested on December 12 on charges of visa fraud and underpaying her housekeeper, an Indian national. She was released on a $250,000 bail.

In an email to colleagues, Khobragade complained of "repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches, swabbing" and being detained in a holding cell with petty criminals despite her "incessant assertions of immunity".

In essence, this deputy consul was keeping an illegal slave. Let's just be honest here. And when she was subjected to the same treatment as the rest of Americans, her arrogance and immunity took over. She was demanding to be treated better than anyone else.

Maybe my brother was right. Being a diplomat means you can do anything to anyone and get away with any crime, large or small. That may be the way the government sees things, but if the NSA is going to eavesdrop on our calls and emails, maybe they need the power to hold possible criminals who are harboring sleeper cells on our soil.

I'm not saying Khobragade is running a sleeper cell or that her "slave" was a terrorist. But they could be. And this also could all be just one big misunderstanding. But we need to look at what diplomatic immunity really means. Can you come over here, kill an American citizen and just go back to your home country? Actually yes. And it's happened before with Soviet drunk drivers killing pedestrians and all they got was expelled back to their country. The dead victims didn't get to go home. They got planted six feet under. No charges were levied.

Readers Digest wrote about this:

Diplomatic immunity affords foreign diplomats in America a blank check for bad behavior. Unpaid bills, drunk driving, sex crimes and even slavery - what's the recourse?

In early 2005, Virginia police closed in on a suspected child predator — a man in his 40s who cops say drove four hours to meet a 13-year-old girl he’d met on the Internet, promising to teach her about sex. It turned out the girl was really a cop, and officers arrested the man at a shopping mall.

But then it was the police who got an unpleasant surprise. Their suspect, Salem Al-Mazrooei, was a diplomat from the United Arab Emirates — and therefore covered by “diplomatic immunity.” The cops had to let him go. Days later, Al-Mazrooei left the country, never having spent a night in jail.

Now back to the current crisis. The government of India has it tighty-whities all up in a bunch. They're taking retaliatory steps against the US embassy in India. They've taken down the protective barricades which keep our diplomatic corps over there safe.

The measures included a revision of work conditions of Indians employed at U.S. consulates and a freeze on the import of duty-free alcohol.

You know they mean business when they freeze the import of duty-free alcohol.

It's about time we get real here. Respect and privacy are one thing to grant visiting dignitaries. But freedom to overtly break our human rights laws, to become general parking scofflaws and to commit horrific human crimes is not above the law for us, or for them.

So India, spend a bit more time thinking about why you're defending a slave holder and less on making the US presence on your land less safe.

And Obama -- maybe you need to get John Kerry off the plane a little longer to look at the way we are protecting law breakers here under the guise of diplomatic immunity.

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You Say Tomato And I Say 'You're Stupid'

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tomato tomahto

Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto, let's call the whole thing off. Thank you Gershwin brothers. Great song and so appropriate for this little expose.

Well, when we're talking about the Affordable Care Act, we're not going to call anything off. We'll tweek, fix, expand and provide coverage to all, but it's not now nor will it in the future be going away. And to borrow from another Gershwin classic, "our ACA's here to stay."

It's with nothing short of amazement that I've read the recent outrageous claims the Republican party are making about the ACA law. First they didn't like it despite it being their own plan. They they voted against it 45 or so times. After that they shut the government down over it. They followed that up with criticism and obstruction on the faulty rollout -- like none of their plans (like they've had any) have never faced a rocky start. Okay, give them this one -- the rollout was a disaster -- but the rollout wasn't the law. It was the delivery service.

That argument about the rollout is like blaming UPS when a package you were expecting didn't arrive or came damaged or late. It wasn't the fault of the contents of the package. It was the delivery service. Who you hired for the delivery service may have been a mistake, but your product didn't change. It was still as strong as when it was shipped.

After figuring that out once the website started running relatively well, the GOP nay-sayers needed another argument. So this one became, Obamacare is part of the war on women.

Oh yes, the pot calling the kettle black. The misogynist party went to some genius Republican strategist to concoct this one. Fight fire with fire, so to speak. Only the Democrats have flame throwers to the GOP's flicking their bic in this argument.

Here's the GOP's new take on the Democratic ACA law as voiced by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), a nurse who serves as the chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. (Somewhat surprising that the GOP didn't pick a male nurse, so let's give them points for trying with dear, sweet but used, Renee.)

HUFFPO:

“If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this healthcare law,” Ellmers countered in the weekly address. “After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families.  We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”

Let that digest a moment. Okay, that's long enough. No reason to wallow in the stupidity of those remarks very long.

This inanity drew a rather pointed and fact-based response from Ashley Etienne, Nancy Pelosi's spokesperson. Nancy undoubtedly was too dumbfounded to even utter a reply.

"This pathetic attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act is a profound insult to the intelligence of women across this country," she said.

"Under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies cannot charge women more than men for health insurance coverage, and hundreds of thousands of women are now enjoying access to preventive care, like breast and cervical screenings. The question before House Republicans is why they're trying so desperately to take these benefits away from women?," she continued.

There you have it. The GOP leaves no stone unturned, even if it's a rock that rolls back over and crushes them. The fact that women are covered without the stigma or expanded expense of being childbearing and therefore falling under the scrutiny of having a preexisting condition hasn't registered with GOP numbnut Renee Ellmers. Perhaps she forgot everything she learned in nursing school. I guess we should be glad she's in congress. They don't do anything there and in a hospital, who knows what harm a fool like herself could be doing to others.

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CBS Reporting Gets This One Right -- Frees Innocent Man From 10 Years In Jail

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Erin Moriarty

In the wake of all the heat CBS news is taking for it's blunder on 60 Minutes over a piece on Benghazi, it's nice to see a good story about good news reporting coming from a formerly reliable news source.

HuffPo:

One man could be walking free very soon after an appeals court overturned his murder conviction on Tuesday, and his freedom may have journalism to thank.

For nearly ten years, CBS correspondent Erin Moriarty has been following the case of Ryan Ferguson, the Missouri man charged for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in 2001. Moriarty and her "48 Hours" team covered the case and sat through Ferguson's trial -- they were the first national media outlet to cover the case at that time.

Kudos to Moriarty who did some real journalistic investigations, picked away at the loose threads and because of this, an innocent man who's been incarcerated for ten years, will be going back into the real world. She didn't stop with just one investigative piece. She hammered away and now look at the results. Maybe 60 Minutes might take a page from her journalistic integrity handbook.

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Judicial Openings, Facts Need Not Apply

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Blacks need not apply

Talking Points Memo reports:

A conservative group is attacking Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), who is up for re-election in 2014, with a TV ad buy demanding he refuse to let President Barack Obama fill three judicial vacancies on the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Judicial Crisis Network, a right-wing activist organization focused on the courts, has taken out what it claims is a six-figure ad buy airing the spot below for two weeks on Little Rock television, a spokesman for the group said.

As you watch the ad, keep in mind they talk of court packing:

Court packing. Hmm. Sounds pretty ominous. Kind of an underhanded, subversively sneaky, maybe even a covert plan to leverage control of the judicial wing of our three branches of government.

The term court packing means to add additional judges to the Supreme Court to tip the "political" slant of the judicial make up. It refers to the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 where FDR tried to increase the size of the Supreme Court by up to 6 additional judges. These were ADDITIONAL judges, not FDR's filling of vacancies.

Obama's faced with three federal judge appointments to fill vacancies. Positions that already exist. Republicans are against this, not because his nominees aren't qualified, but because the right wingnuts are just trying to prevent Obama from doing anything. These nominees are picked based on their judicial rulings in the past, not what they might do in the future, and certainly not based on their political bent. And the Senate can vote them down -- but only if they get to vote. The anonymous holds the Republican wackadoos place on these nominees prevents that.

Filling these federal court vacancies is part of Obama's job description. He names the nominees to the federal court to fill empty seats and burgeoning courtrooms. There's a backlog of cases because of judicial vacancies. So these seats need to be filled, for our justice, safety and security. But the GOP senators don't seem to care about that.

Strategically, if Obama had come out and said I don't think I should be filling these seats, we've got enough justices already, the same right wingers would be up in arms saying that Obama was trying to obscure justice by not filling these vacancies. Maybe that's what he should have done. The negative sales method. It's worked in advertising and in election campaigns. Maybe that's the way the Republicans need to be handled. At least until they catch on. But that would be like evolution. Something they don't believe in.

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Police Brutality Ruins Another Life

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police brutality in Atlantic City

How many cops does it take to bring down one, unarmed, surrendering 20 year old guy?

Police Brutality? Not according to the police.

Some highlights. A young man, 20 year old David Connor Castellani, was kicked out of a nightclub for being underage. Police interview him outside. He follows instructions, even puts his hands behind his back to be cuffed. The cops decide to let him go. So far, are you with me?

Castellani crosses the street on his way. He then uses poor judgement and decides to shouts taunts at the cops from about 150 feet down and across the street. The level headed, thick skinned cops hesitate, then decide to charge and attack young Connor who they already frisked and know is unarmed.

But that's not good enough. While they have him pinned on the ground, beating him with a baton, punching him and kneeing him over and over, they handcuff him, leaving him utterly defenseless against the next assault? They bring in a K-9 dog to bite and attack him. He's already on his stomach, on the ground, handcuffed and they sick their vicious attack dog on him? Really? Six cops can't handle this one boy? They need an attack dog?

The entire incident was captured on camera. Yet the attack is only stage one. The aftermath is stage two: Conner Castellani, according to CNN is:

...charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on an officer and a canine.

Hospital photos show multiple wounds and dog bites on his head and neck, with more than 200 stiches needed to close his wounds, according to his family. He also suffered a crushed spinal nerve, numbness on the right side of the skull and several bruises and abrasions, his family said.

In case you need to sort this all out with your own eyes, here's the attack: WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENCE

Now that you're settling your stomach after viewing this brutal and inhumane attack, you have to consider that the police are saying this amount of force was justified. It was necessary to apprehend this insult spewing youth who was at worst, verbally taunting them. Yelling at a cop is justifiable for this kind of assault?

Careful next time you ask a police officer for directions! You may be beaten unmercifully if you don't say "thank you."

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