Saturday, April 29, 2006

And the anti-props go to . . .

  • Texas , for declining to press hate-crime charges against the two teenagers (David Henry Tuck and Keith Robert Turner) responsible for the vicious attack an a Hispanic teen. Tuck and Turner apparently didn't like that the young man, 16, was attempting to kiss a 12 year old girl (who was apparently also Hispanic--earlier reports were contradictory). So punch him in the face, don't practically kill him; better yet, take the girl home. During the assault Tuck and Turner shouted racial slurs; according to county prosecutor Mike Trent, pressing hate-crime charges won't have any legal impact. So? Increased sentence isn't the only way hate-crime charges have an impact; they rise the level of community awareness and hi-lite ignored bigotries. Sometimes we need that slap in the face; it's too easy to ignore these things until something as awful as this happens. Anyone remember James Byrd, Jr.?
  • The AP for their detailed information on victim. Well, hell. They don't need to give a name when they give so much other information about him. Now anyone with the slightest bit of morbid curiosity can figure out who he is. Way to protect the victim!

Props to the Politicos

This is a rare event. Props to politicians.
In a time when the average politician is worried about party line and re-election, moves like these are too rare.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

White or Hispanic?

So one report says the kid tried to kiss a white girl, another says he tried to kiss a Hispanic girl. Which was it? Then again, does it really matter? Beating and sodomizing a kid/teenager because he tried to kiss a girl? Maybe I'm not reading the right reports--maybe he was trying to force the girl. But oh, wait--that's what the police are for. If there was really something wrong with what he was doing, call the police; if he was tried and convicted, he would likely have received his comeuppance in prison. But I don't think trying to kiss a girl is against the law.

Echoes of Till

Two white teenagers assault a Hispanic youth and sodomize him with a pipe. Why? Oh, he just tried to kiss a young white girl. (An aside--the girl was 12, why was she at a party where the people were obviously not her age? Bad parents, bad) Oh, horrors! Remember Emmett Till? Black teenager whistled at a white woman, woman's husband and accomplice kill and mutilate him, 1955 in Mississippi. Oh, the South has definitely changed. Or not.

Operation Falcon II

Question: surely the popo didn't discover where all these fugatives were hiding in the space of a week. Using that logic, they had to have known where these people were before Operation Falcon II. So why the fuck didn't they arrest them sooner? Gee, is it any wonder people don't trust the police?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Duke Rape

So, reading more of the Nancy Grace transcript. Obviously the job of a defense attorney is to defend--and they seem to have gotten a shit hand with these boys. Public urination, assault, alcohol violations. Oh, quality people, just boys sowing their oats. Or maybe mommy and daddy didn't teach the concept of respect and personal accountability. Yeah, I can see where the defense might want to get any records that might weaken the credibility of the victim. I get that, but there have to be other ways to go about it. But I gotta say, props to Nancy on this subject. Yes she annoys me, but I can't see or hear her if I read the transcript, right?

So . . . the defense for one of the accused Duke players is attempting to get all records pertaining to the victim (and it seems pretty clear she was a victim, although different sides might disagree on who attacked her), including any mental health records.

(Disclosure time: I'm the daughter of a psychologist and have battled depression since middle school)

WTF? Even without hearing the defense's logic I can see were this is going--"Well, she's a stripper, and she has 'mental problems,' obviously you can't take her word over these fine, upstanding young men."

Right . . . being a stripper doesn't take away your right to say "No," and having any sort of mental illness or disability does not mean that you won't be raped, or will lie about being rapped. Look at the large number of mentally retarded people who are molested.

Do people lie about rape? Yes. But don't try to find a chink in someone who has clearly been through such a trauma.

New topic--Nancy Grace wants to know "Will jurors sentence him (Moussaoui) to death by lethal injection or life, which we'll pay for?" I couldn't remember clearly, but I was pretty sure I had read that on average, the cost of execution is higher than life in prison. Oh, wait, I was right. I does cost more to try, convict, wear-out appeals, and execute someone. I looked at two sources, a pro-death penalty site and Amnesty International. Obviously their views about the costs were different, but I bought the AI version. Why? Well, you could argue I am liberal (I am), and therefore biased, but truthfully, AI presented better, more authoritative sources. The pro-death penalty site got their data from a 1994 Time article and a 1994 Vital Statistics abstract. The AI article cited a state Comptroller, a state budget office, and a legislative post audit, and the earliest was from 1999. Much more timely, no?

Nancy Grace

Flipping through the news channels, I stop at Nancy Grace. She's talking about some kid missing from a NJ college, John Fiocco, Jr. White kid, perfect teeth, curly hair--looks like a thousand other fratboy types (although he was by all accounts neither a pledge or a brother). This is what I hear--"Look, this is a kid scrubbed in sunshine. Look at that smile--not a delinquent. This guy was number 12 in a class of how many, Ellie?"

I gather the kid was thrown down a garbage chute and crushed. Personally, I know any number of perfect, preppy white kids that are delinquents, even if the law hasn't caught up to them yet. How do you know a delinquent when you see one? And more to the point, who "deserves" to be tossed down a garbage chute and crushed? Eh, nobody?

On another note, how the hell do you manage to toss someone down a chute unless, a) they're a willing and helpful participant, b) they're passed out or dead, or c) you have a number of people joining in the effort. 'Cause I can't see just lying back and letting someone toss you down a garbage chute. (Although, the kid was apparently playing Beer Pong, and drunks are not know to be founts of wisdom and logical thinking).

Then the inestimable Nancy Grace starts on about why no workers notified anyone about blood in the dumpster, until they were questioned about it later. How sure were they it was blood? We're talking about a college dorm--any number of strange things get thrown out. And honestly, how many people would recognize blood on a dumpster? I see a dumpster with a red stain, I don't think "Hey, that's blood, maybe I should report this." I think more along the lines of "Ew, I don't want to know what that is. I have possibly the world's suckiest job, and these college students are insensitive bastards." Yeah, I can see not reporting a bloodstain, not even connecting it with blood until someone mentions there might have been blood in the dumpster.

In the end, it doesn't matter if the kid was drunk, if he was/wasn't a delinquent, if he was a willing participant, or even when the custodial workers told about blood on the dumpster. Ultimately, no matter what comes of this, a family has lost a child. That's what it comes down to, an irreparable rent in people's lives.

(Anyone with a direct line to Nancy Grace--woman, you're a news reporter, not a gossip reporter. Tone down the eye makeup, it's not a formal event. Your appearance does not befit the seriousness of your subject.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Can't sleep

It's five in the morning where I'm at, I haven't slept yet and for some reason I just opened a new can of Coke. There is a problem with this picture.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

CIA and Rand-McNally

Right, the CIA. They're supposed to know everything about everybody, yes? We're talkin' The Man and Big Brother here. So why do they have such a pissant-ass map of France
France? If that's the kind of resource they rely on (although, I have to assume it's not), it's no we didn't find any WMDs; we're lucky we found the right country. A thought: invest in Rand McNally. They'll hook you up. Of course, so will National Geographic, and you get all the pretty pictures too. Why doesn't the CIA have one of those fancy maps where you can zoom in on a region to see all the little one-horse towns? What are we paying them for?

And all a girl wanted was to find a good regional map; I tell you, you can't depend on the government for anything these days.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The positive things . . .

you get from even the worst relationship can be small and hard to see. Take strange, disturbing roommates--initially, you're just grateful you're out of the room (and hoping they get some professional help); later you see that they've given you wonderful things. Like Aveeno face moisturizer. Never would have discovered it if B hadn't used their lotion. Yeah, it's small, but life's made-up of all the small bits. On the bigger scale, if B hadn't gone ballistic, and I hadn't moved out, I never would have met H. Kisses to B for that boon. Now I have a sane, fun, roommate to share an apartment with. More importantly, H challenges me to be more outgoing. Oh, can't hide in my everyday with her around. Would she accept me if I did? Probably, but she'd encourage me to take steps out. And that's what I need.
So in the end, thanks B. You're a good person, but you're a nut right now. Despite that, you're the reason I met a wonderful person. Thanks, and if you ever decide to get that help? I have some phone numbers for you.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Oh, I feel safe

Right. Sure I feel all safe and snuggly-secure: Homeland Agent Arrested in Seduction Case

Thought: seduction occurs between to individuals of a similar age or over the age of consent. A 55 year old man trying to "seduce" a teenager? I'm going to go vomit now--I've been so overwhelmed by the class and integrity of this man I seem to have gotten butterflies in my stomach. I'd bet my college loans he doesn't receive much of a punishment either.