Friday, October 26, 2007

Genarlow Wilson Is Freed...

Finally! I wrote about Genarlow sometime back in Sunday Nooz.

He was the 17 year old boy put in prison in GA for receiving fellatio from a girl 2 years younger at a party. Remember? If they'd done the old in/out, the worst he'd have faced would've been a misdeamenor; maybe. Now the Georgia State Supreme Court has found that his punishment is Cruel and Unusual Punishment and has ordered him freed. The vote was 4-3 in favor of him being freed.

It was past time. But the moral of the story is that this teen was put in prison because adults created laws meant to punish genuine pedophiles BUT did NOT even once consider the implications the law would have for innocent teens being caught having consensual relations themselves. So when we ask our legislators to create new laws, we do need to think ahead and out of the box about what it is exactly that we are asking for.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Deserved Honor

I read today that Dr. Michael Debakey was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. I think that is one helluva deserving recipient. I remember him from when I was 7-8 years old and the big news of the day was his pioneering work in open heart surgery along with Dr. Denton Cooley in Houston, TX. It was a frelling miracle to most of us in the early 1960s. There was a sense of that what they did was audacious; them laying hands on someone's heart and repairing bad valves and more. It was a world shaking time and even as a kid, I got 'it' that this was history with a capital 'H'. Some people say when that recognition hits, it's like a shimmer. I was dazzled, it shimmered so brightly. Today, millions of lives have been improved for the better because of him and his audacity. So, yeah, I'm pleased that Congress did this.

The press release from the American Heart Association said this, congratulating Dr. Debakey:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Nooz

That girl in Kentucky won her suit against McDonalds.

Good thing. Why, you ask? The girl was victimized in a humiliating way for over 3 hours and sexually abused during the time she was held hostage at her place of employment.

In America, in 2004 to now, being 18 is about the equivalent of being 13 back in 1965-67 when it comes to knowing what the law can and cannot do to it's citizens. Civics and government is not taught in most schools and when it is, it is maybe a 2-3 week section that glosses over the basics.

So many people are thinking, "Oh, she was 18, she was an adult." Sure, by most states' laws, she had achieved her legal majority, but that alone does not make her an adult or equip her to stand up to the "authority" she was confronted with and let her say "No" both to her manager and the guy on the phone who purported to be a cop.

Since McDonalds had run into a similar scam before, they had a corporate responsibiity to inform ALL their employees that these kinds of things were occurring and that under NO circumstances were they to comply with any phone demands. And they should have repeated the warning; in fact, it should be written into the employee handbook as per how to handle law enforcement contacts. That should be basic. However, the problem was exacerbated by a regional manager who didn't think the information about these scams/hoaxes was important enough to pass on because of "vague" wording in a communication sent out from the home office.

Lets move along now.

The three Duke University Lacrosse players accused of raping that stripper are suing ex-prosecutor Nifong, the cops involved in the case, and the city of Durham, NC under federal law for the way their arrest and all was handled. They should. Nifong withheld exonerating evidence in order to make his case. The community does have culpability in this. After all, he was elected to office by the voters. The cops were employees of the city. So the legal entity of the City has responsibility for them as well.

Sometimes law suits are necessary to right wrongs. Neither case struck me as frivilous.

Click the title for the story about the McDonalds case.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Book Review: Chris Hedges on Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

I was reading some stuff on Truthdig and found this great book review by Chris Hedges from Sept. 18th. Please, if you're a reader and are thinking about what is ahead for humanity & you, take the time to read through this review. The book Hedges is reviewing leaped onto my must buy list. It's worth the time seeing as how we have still have some choice. And do feel free to pass this along to your friends if you think it's worthwhile.

(also posted on my live journal blog)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Uncle Bill Sets 'Em Straight

MoveOn ain't outta line at all on Petraeus and Unca Bill calling rats "Rats."

Not Ashamed

For some years now I've realized how sick and tired I am of hearing people say how ashamed they are of being American because of the Bush presidency and our foreign policy. I'm a first generation American on my father's side. His family came to America from Hungary in 1900. He was born in Pecs, Hungary on May 10, 1899, so he was 6 months old passing through Ellis Island in New York. My mom's side of the family was 2nd & 3rd generation American. Still close to their immigrant roots.

Now, am I bothered by Bush and the US's foreign policy? Yes. I'm even embarrassed by it. The current administration has done huge amounts of damage to our country's credibility here and abroad. I know that rebuilding international goodwill is going to be a herculean effort and that the actions taken in this administration will not be forgotten nor forgiven for a long time to come.

But when I hear people I know who have never voted, never volunteered in their community, never participated in local government (not even to attend a zone hearing in their neighborhood because a neighbor wants to add on to their house), or never learned a helping skill/trade, state how ashamed they are to be American, I want to ship them back to their ancestral homelands. But of course, they probably wouldn't or couldn't go. The women who say so would have to step into second and third class citizenship and loss of privilege and independence. The men who say so would have to give up any idea of upward mobility and economic independence and would be second class citizens because they'd be immigrants and have to prove their worthiness to live in those countries.

Just FYI.