Monday Night Open Thread

The Colorado House has passed a bill limiting the authority of prosecutors to charge juveniles as adults. The bill is here. It limits the offenses for which a juvenile can be subject to direct filing as an adult to class 1 felonies, class 2 felonies, crime of violence felonies for prior violent juvenile offenders, and violent sex offenses. It also allows judicial oversight.

If, after a preliminary hearing, the district court does not find probable cause for a direct-file-eligible offense, the court shall remand the
case to the juvenile court. The bill also provides for a reverse-transfer hearing for juveniles who fall within a specified class, which juveniles may petition the adult criminal court to transfer the case back to juvenile
court after the preliminary hearing.

Another reason not to like neighborhood watch groups. Vigiliante justice is no justice at all. Leave policing to the police.

Dancing With the Stars starts again, and it appears the show has learned a lesson and not repeated casting mistakes of seasons past like Nancy Grace and Bristol Palin. Maybe it can get back to being about dancing.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Antibiotic resistance could make simple (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:01:26 PM EST
    surgeries too risky. Are we moving backwards toward a time when what are now routine procedures (hip replacement, chemo) are too dangerous to even attempt? Yes, says an official at WHO.

    I caught a segment on NBC Nightly News tonight with Dr. Nancy Snyderman discussing this report. Basically, our continued and very unnecessary over use of antibiotics has given rise to infectious organisms that are unfazed by antibiotics. We see this in the rise of MRSA and eColi and TB,  among others.

    And, because antibiotics do not make tons of money for the drug companies, there is almost no incentive for the drug companies to research and develop new antibiotics. Our insistence that the market is the answer to everything is apparently going to be the death of us.

    Given this information, it seems to me that the refusal of the FDA to ban the use of antibiotics for anything other than to cure disease in livestock and poultry is very close to criminal neglect.

    They literally pour antibiotics into (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 07:50:37 AM EST
    the filthy chicken houses down here.  Then you can stuff them to brimming and not clean them often, and the chickens still live.

    mr. zimmerman is an aberration. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:33:32 PM EST
    Another reason not to like neighborhood watch groups. Vigiliante justice is no justice at all. Leave policing to the police.

    assuming he's actually a member of an actual, officially recognized "Neighborhood Watch" group (and there is some question as to whether or not he is, rather than just some self-appointed neighborhood guardian), he violated many of their rules:

    1. he carried a gun.
    2. he was out by himself.
    3. instead of waiting for the police (as he was told to do by the 911 operator), he decided to follow and confront mr. martin, who ended up dead as a result.

    self-defense isn't even an issue for discussion in this case, since mr. zimmerman was the aggressor, not mr. martin. mr. zimmerman wasn't on his own property, and he approached mr. martin, so i'm at something of a loss as to how FL's "Stand Your Ground" law might be applicable.

    mr. zimmerman has a history of violence, and there's also the question of whether or not he was intoxicated on the night in question. the local police chief should be immediately fired, for criminal incompetence.

    fortunately, it appears the DOJ is getting ready to involve itself in the case, so there's some hope that the actual truth will finally come out.

    The Civil Rights Division of DOJ and (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 01:32:35 AM EST
    the FBI are launching an investigation.

    I, too, don't understand how the stand your ground law applies here. Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin. If anyone had grounds to claim cover under that law, it seems like it would be young Trayvon.

    The local police have bungled this investigation from the start. I've read claims from people who heard the boy screaming for help that they were told by a police officer to say that they heard Zimmerman screaming, not Trayvon.  And the original investigating officer had previously been in trouble for his poor work in a case where the son of a police officer beat a homeless black man.

    This is f*ckedup on so many levels. My heart aches fro Trayvon's family.


    Please don't make accusations (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 02:20:00 AM EST
    based on disputed facts, especially without sourcing them. From news accounts I've read:

    When police arrived, they found Zimmerman standing nearby, blood coming from his nose and the back of his head, a police report states. The back of his shirt also was wet and had grass on it.

    A neighbor called 911 before the shooting and described the fight as two people wrestling. A 13-year-old boy said he saw Zimmerman on the ground and heard someone calling for help.

    The facts aren't in yet. Some of the claims by lawyers for Martin's parents have already been disproven:

    Lawyers Natalie Jackson and Benjamin Crump insisted then that they could hear two shots on one 911 call, a warning shot and a kill shot, and that that proved Zimmerman was a murderer.

    "You hear a shot, a clear shot then you hear a 17-year-old boy begging for his life then you hear a second shot," Jackson said.

    An examination of Zimmerman's gun showed there was only one shot fired.

    Mr. Zimmerman is not guilty of anything as of now. He hasn't been charged. If you want to proclaim him guilty before trial, you'll have to do it elsewhere.


    Regardless, a boy is dead who shouldn't be. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 04:21:23 PM EST
    17-year-old Trayvon Martin was armed only with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea, and was guilty only of walking while black, returning to his father's fiancee's house in a gated community from a local 7-11 during halftime of the NBA All-Star game.

    Contrary to what's being currently disseminated on right-wing hate radio and affiliated websites, Trayvon Martin had no criminal record or history of troublemaking, and was described by a teacher as a good kid and student with a sweet disposition. It should also be noted that he weighed only 140 lbs., while Zimmerman clocks in at 250 lbs.

    Further, according to public records, Zimmerman has logged in 46 calls to 9-1-1 since Jan. 2011, informing the authorities on unfamiliar people walking in his neighborhood or reporting houses with windows left open. He violated Neighborhood Watch rules by patrolling armed and alone.

    On the day of the incident, according to the 9-1-1 audiotape that day, Zimmerman reported Trayvon's presence in the neighborhood and told 9-1-1 Dispatch, "These a$$holeS always get away." He then continued to stalk young Mr. Martin, even as the 9-1-1 dispatcher very firmly suggested that he cease doing so.

    Finally, Trayvon was apparently speaking via cell phone to his 16-year-old girlfriend in Miami in the minutes leading up to his fatal confrontation with Zimmerman, and she apparently heard the encounter over the phone. Needless to say, her story completely contradicts Zimmerman's initial claim to law enforcement that Trayvon was the instigator and aggressor in the tragic encounter.

    The the phone call in fact took place has since been verified via phone records by ABC News. According to the girlfriend, Trayvon told her that a stranger was following him, and that he was trying to get away from him. She heard Trayvon turn and ask the stranger, "Why are you following me?" And at least three witnesses reported hearing a boy's desperate cry for help, just before the fatal shot was fired.)

    At the very least, given the public evidence disclosed thus far in the matter, it is my opinion that Trayvon's family and friends deserve more than the apparently cursory investigation by Sanford, FL law enforcement, which rests upon Zimmerman's version of events.

    This case warrants further investigation by the state's attorney and a to-be-empaneled grand jury and also by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, if the local authorities aren't interested in pursuing the matter any further.


    so if you introduce a gun (none / 0) (#20)
    by fishcamp on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 02:07:57 PM EST
    into an argument you are not yet guilty?

    Gun is irrelevant as to Zimmerman's (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 02:16:33 PM EST
    current legal status re criminal law.  He hasn't been charged, tried, and/or pleaded guilty.

    Sweden is building... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 09:09:42 AM EST
    a banksters paradise as they make a hard push to go cashless. And the really scary part is the popular support for it...how could people be so stupid as to not see the tremendous downside for all but banksters and cyber-thieves?  We're not the only country with a growing oligarchy problem.

    At least not every Swede has been fooled...

    But there are pockets of resistance. Hanna Celik, whose family owns a newspaper kiosk in a Stockholm shopping mall, says the digital economy is all about banks seeking bigger earnings.

    Celik says he gets charged about 5 Swedish kronor ($0.80) for every credit card transaction, and a law passed by the Swedish Parliament prevents him from passing on that charge to consumers.

    "That stinks," he says. "For them (the banks), this is a very good way to earn a lot of money, that's what it's all about. They make huge profits."

    Indeed Mr. Celik, "that's what it's all about".

    Greece too (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 10:30:03 AM EST
    But the bankers must be pissed because some Greeks are getting pretty creative....

    In recent weeks, Theodoros Mavridis has bought fresh eggs, tsipourou (the local brandy: beware), fruit, olives, olive oil, jam, and soap. He has also had some legal advice, and enjoyed the services of an accountant to help fill in his tax return.

    None of it has cost him a euro, because he had previously done a spot of electrical work - repairing a TV, sorting out a dodgy light - for some of the 800-odd members of a fast-growing exchange network in the port town of Volos, midway between Athens and Thessaloniki.

    In return for his expert labour, Mavridis received a number of Local Alternative Units (known as tems in Greek) in his online network account. In return for the eggs, olive oil, tax advice and the rest, he transferred tems into other people's accounts.

    Tems has been up and running for barely 18 months, said Maria Choupis, one of its founder members. Prompted by ever more swingeing salary cuts and tax increases, she reckons there are now around 15 such networks active around Greece, and more planned. "They are as much social structures as economic ones," she said. "They foster intimacy and mutual support."


    That's a pretty sophisticated (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Zorba on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 11:07:20 AM EST
    form of bartering.  Online networks, rules for maximum amounts held in accounts, rules on indebtedness.  Very clever.

    Closer to home (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 11:13:42 AM EST
    there is also the Pittsboro Plenty, and the Ithaca Hour.

    Maybe "Occupy Reserve Notes" would be a good idea too? ;-)


    Lovin' it... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 11:18:13 AM EST
    except for the use of the internet to swap credits...just as susceptible to cyber-thieves doin' that.  But definitely an excellent way to cut out the banskter leechery and manipulation of official currency.

    You ever heard of Silk Road, kdog? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 11:37:07 AM EST
    It's a website - a digital black market - that is only accessible through TOR - where you can trade almost anything imaginable, legal or not.

    But even Silk Road has limits: You won't find any weapons-grade plutonium, for example. Its terms of service ban the sale of "anything who's purpose is to harm or defraud, such as stolen credit cards, assassinations, and weapons of mass destruction."
    Getting to Silk Road is tricky. The URL seems made to be forgotten. But don't point your browser there yet. It's only accessible through the anonymizing network TOR, which requires a bit of technical skill to configure.
    Silk Road cuts down on scams with a reputation-based trading system familiar to anyone who's used Amazon or eBay. The user Bloomingcolor appears to be an especially trusted vendor, specializing in psychedelics.
    "Our community is amazing," Silk Road's anonymous administrator, known on forums as "Silk Road," told us in an email. "They are generally bright, honest and fair people, very understanding, and willing to cooperate with each other."
    Silk Road doesn't accept credit cards, PayPal , or any other form of payment that can be traced or blocked. The only money good here is Bitcoins.

    Bitcoins have been called a "crypto-currency," the online equivalent of a brown paper bag of cash. Bitcoins are a peer-to-peer currency, not issued by banks or governments, but created and regulated by a network of other bitcoin holders' computers. (The name "Bitcoin" is derived from the pioneering file-sharing technology Bittorrent.)

    more at Gawker...

    I have heard of it... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 11:42:03 AM EST
    not nearly tech-savvy enough to take advantage;)

    This kids today are so spolied, I remember when you had to ride your bike 5 miles to score, uphill both ways! ;)


    In the snow. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 11:44:40 AM EST
    That was (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 11:45:54 AM EST
    uphill, backwards, with no feet, wasn't it? ;-)

    Don't blame Neighborhood Watch programs (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by rdandrea on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 12:17:28 PM EST
    As a watch captain, I can tell you that what Zimmerman did had nothing to do with Neighborhood Watch.  (I'mm supposed to say "allegedly" did, right?)

    If he thought there was a suspicious person in the neighborhood, his only responsibilities under Neighborhood Watch were to call 911 and call the two people at the top of his call tree.  Perhaps ask them to turn on their porch lights.  Nothing else.

    I don't even own a firearm.  And as a watch captain, there's no need to.  Pursuing and shooting people is not part of the program.

    The U.S. Senate accedes to demands ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:12:37 PM EST
    ... from Sarah and Todd Palin and their fellow rugged Alaskan individualists for smaller guvmint, and eliminates a $30 million earmark for the Alaska Railroad from the federal budget.

    Cue whining about how they didn't mean THAT cut.

    Trayvon Martin (none / 0) (#4)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 12:34:44 AM EST
    The case makes me angry.

    Can we get a post on it?

    I just did (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 02:23:02 AM EST
    here but keep in mind you may not declare Zimmerman guilty and your opinions must be stated as such, not as fact. If you are angry, you may prefer to discuss the case elsewhere.

    Understood (none / 0) (#10)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 09:42:31 AM EST
    Thanks for the post.