Saturday, October 31, 2015

There Should be Zero Tolerance for Heroin in Law Enforcement -- Jeremy Pelzer
Ohio's heroin epidemic gets national exposure in new '60 Minutes' segment

“A record 2,482 Ohioans died of drug-related deaths in 2014, according to preliminary statistics from the Ohio Department of Health. About half of those deaths – 1,177 – involved heroin, which many addicts have turned to as a cheaper and more available alternative to prescription pain pills.”

When I was an orthopedic resident in New York City from 1969 until 1973 there was a heroin epidemic. The police station in the South Bronx was called “Fort Apache” because it was surround by crime and and communal decay. It was the subject of the movie Fort Apache: the Bronx. Ten years later President Carter visited this area which had burned out and been abandoned and the police station at that time was known as “the little house on the prairie.” A study during that time showed that a mainline heroin addict committed 250 felonies a year to support such their drug habit. Heroin addicts discard their needles and make parks and public green spaces for children unsafe. There were 1,177 heroin related deaths in just Ohio in 2014. There is a very clear health hazard with the risk of AIDS and hepatitis. The emergency rooms are now commonly treating infections and abscesses from heroin injections. There should be zero tolerance for for heroin in law enforcement for a heroin epidemic will destroy individual lives and and it has the potential to destroy a community.

Opinions Gradually Changing in Ohio on the Death Penalty

Columbus Dispatch
Worth the trouble?
Problems surrounding the death penalty show no sign of abating

"But how about the argument that the death penalty is just too difficult to impose and trying to make it work uses up too much time, energy and money to be worthwhile?"

Death Penalty Information Center
Florida Acquits Death Row Inmate

“On October 12, 2015, the Circuit Court for Pascal County, Florida, entered a judgment of acquittal and the Florida Department of Corrections released Derral Hodgkins from custody after the Florida Supreme Court denied the prosecution's motion to reconsider its June 18, 2015 decision acquitting Hodges of all charges in the stabbing death of his former girlfriend.”

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz is Far from the Center

Politico -- By Burgess Everett
How McConnell outfoxed Ted Cruz
Cruz can't get the best of the GOP stalwart.

“The breaking point came in July, when Cruz called McConnell a liar for holding a vote on the Export-Import Bank, which many conservatives vehemently oppose.

Even then, McConnell bit his tongue, quietly urging senators not to take the floor in his defense, wary of giving Cruz a bigger platform for his GOP primary run.”

Real Clear Politics -- By Mark Salter
What Ted Cruz Really Stands For

“Then again, I can’t recall any senator who was as nearly universally loathed by his colleagues as Cruz. There have been others who weren’t likeable. There were plenty who were self-interested and who preened and blustered as often as Cruz does—and who routinely elicited senatorial smirks and rolled eyes. There have been senators who frequently forced their colleagues to cast difficult and unpopular votes. And, of course, there is a long list of senators who ran for president and treated the Senate floor as a campaign stop. (And for some of them it worked). But no senator in my memory did all that with such abandon and was disliked with as much intensity as is Ted Cruz.”

National Review -- ELIANA JOHNSON
When Cruz Makes His Move, Watch Out

“Cruz has proved to be an ambitious and serious campaigner, devoted to doing the hard and unglamorous work required of presidential candidates.”

Thursday, October 8, 2015

An Interesting Juxtaposition

States Scramble for Drugs Used in Executions, Causing Delays

“death-penalty states are finding it harder to carry out executions as they struggle to obtain and properly use limited supplies of ever-changing combinations of suitable drugs.”

California governor signs bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide SACRAMENTO, CALIF. | BY SHARON BERNSTEIN

"There is a deadly mix when you combine our broken healthcare system with assisted suicide, which immediately becomes the cheapest treatment," said Marilyn Golden, a senior policy analyst at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund in Berkeley. "The so-called protections written into the bill really amount to very little."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Capital Punishment's Fatal flaws

Aljazeera America -- Lauren Carasik
Glossip case highlights capotal punishment's fatal flaws

In denying his request for a reprieve on Sept. 28, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals was deeply divided. Three judges held that new evidence merely expanded on previous theories and did not warrant overriding the principle of final judgment. The panel’s remaining two judges supported a stay of execution and a hearing on Glossip’s innocence, with one arguing the state would not be harmed by a delay and that it had “no interest in executing an actually innocent man” and the other lamenting that his “trial was deeply flawed.” As his defense attorney Don Knight said, “We should all be deeply concerned about an execution under such circumstances.”

“Glossip’s conviction rested almost entirely on the testimony of Justin Sneed, a 19-year-old drug addict who worked at a hotel owned by Barry Van Treese, in exchange for room and board. Sneed confessed to murdering Van Treese but avoided the death penalty by implicating Glossip, a manager at the hotel, as the crime’s mastermind. Glossip was first convicted and sentenced to death in 1998, but the verdict was overturned on appeal in 2001 because he received ineffective assistance of counsel, including his attorney’s failure to show the jury the tape of Sneed’s interrogation, which would have provided ample fodder to impeach his credibility — an obvious blunder. Glossip was found guilty at a second trial in 2004 and sentenced to death again after his lawyers inexplicably failed to present the evidence whose egregious omission justified overturning his previous conviction.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Climate of Blaming America First does not Provide a better Global Vision

The Orange County Register -- Joel Kotkin
Becoming America the not-so-beautiful

“Virtually all the leading reformers in our history – Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, the Roosevelts and Martin Luther King – couched their proposals in terms of fulfilling American ideals. Throw out the ideals, and those who originally formed them, and we lose the precious ability to meld our traditions with change. We are left simply with a postmodernist battle of interest groups, with no unifying or moderating principle.”

The Los Angeles Times -- Joseph J Ellis
Op-Ed -- The Founding Fathers: Demigods or scoundrels?

“In the case of the founders, such disavowals also provide therapeutic opportunities to transform U.S. history into a morality play with a ready-made cast of villainous dead white males, thereby obviating the need to encounter history's ironies and paradoxes or to comprehend its intractable tragedies.”

International New York Times -- GARDINER HARRIS and ERIC SCHMITT
Obama’s Call at U.N. to Fight ISIS With Ideas Is Largely Seen as Futile

“This means defeating their ideology,” he said. “Ideologies are not defeated with guns. They are defeated by better ideas — a more attractive and compelling vision.”

Equality as an Affirmation of our Common Humanity
James Rutherford -- The Far Center Blog

“We are missing a defining opportunity in the history of the moral and political philosophy of the liberal tradition; first, by not defining our primary moral value as equality, understood as a respect for the dignity and worth of our common humanity; and second, by not defining our government as a constitutional democracy, which is the only way to convey both the substantive and the procedural concepts of equality that it incorporates.”