Tag Archives: Them
Earlier this week a Florida man explained to an Indian River County Sheriff’s deputy that the pants he was wearing where the cop found crack cocaine and marijuana were not his but were, in fact, stolen pants.
Not only that, but he claims the pants he pilfered were from a church. Broward-Palm Beach New Times has the rest.
More links from around the web!
Joe | Nov 20, 2012 | Comments 0
After the historic election night of two weeks ago, the advocacy organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is asking the Department of Justice to respect the rights of Colorado and Washington and their decision to legalize certain amounts of marijuana.
WASHINGTON, DC – This morning a former narcotics cop delivered a letter signed by 73 current and former police officers, judges, prosecutors and federal agents to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him not to interfere with the wishes of the voters of Colorado and Washington State to legalize and regulate marijuana
“We seem to be at a turning point in how our society deals with marijuana,” said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the group that authored the letter. “The war on marijuana has funded the expansion of drug cartels, it has destroyed community-police relations and it has fostered teenage use by creating an unregulated market where anyone has easy access. Prohibition has failed. Pretty much everyone knows it, especially those of us who dedicated our lives to enforcing it. The election results show that the people are ready to try something different. The opportunity clearly exists for President Obama and Attorney General Holder to do the right thing and respect the will of the voters.”
As for the letter that was delivered, it reads in part:
“Dear Mr. Attorney General and Our Colleagues in the Department of Justice,
As fellow law enforcement and criminal justice professionals we respectfully call upon you to respect and abide by the democratically enacted laws to regulate marijuana in Colorado and Washington. This is not a challenge to you, but an invitation – an invitation to help return our profession to the principles that made us enter law enforcement in the first place.
>We went into law enforcement, despite its long hours and constant frustrations, because we wanted to serve our communities. We wanted to save people, to protect them, and there are few more selfless and noble callings on this earth. But the second we overthrow the will of the people, we fail to live up to the promise of that calling.
The great American political writings upon which this country was founded were based in John Locke’s concept of the social contract, which recognizes that the authority of police, and of all government, is derived from the people. And the people have spoken. To disregard the fact is to undermine the legitimacy of the ideas for which our forefathers fought and died.
This is not merely an academic argument. August Vollmer, father of professional policing and primary author of the Wickersham Commission report that served to bring an end to the prohibition of alcohol, opposed the enforcement of drug laws, saying that they “engender disrespect both for law and for the agents of law enforcement.” His words ring as true today as they did in 1929. After 40 years of the drug war, people no longer look upon law enforcement as heroes but as people to be feared. This is particularly true in poor neighborhoods and in those of people of color, and it impacts our ability to fight real crime.
So far the DOJ has not announced its plans in regard to recreational marijuana legalization. But any logical officials there have to see the writing on the wall. After over a year of cracking down hard on medical marijuana, two states still decided to defy federal law even further and legalize recreational use and possession and authorize the sale of marijuana to all adults from state-registered businesses.
The feds may have a short-term impact with their threats and raids, but in the long run this is a battle they cannot win; they simply do not have the resources to enforce federal marijuana laws in several states at once.
Oct. 1, 2012 — School lunches are getting an extreme makeover.
Gone are fried tater tots, chicken nuggets, chocolate milk, and pepperoni pizza. In their place are heaps of whole grains, veggies, fruits, and low-fat dairy products, along with baked versions of formerly fried favorites such as chicken nuggets or fish sticks.
Students will also be seeing less salt and trans fats thanks to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. There are also calorie caps on the lunches: 650 for elementary school students, 700 for middle schoolers, and 850 for high school students.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack rolled out the new school lunch menus at the start of the 2012-2013 school year for the 32 million students who take part in the National School Lunch and obesity programs. Previous school meal standards were developed 15 years ago and did not reflect current nutritional guidelines.
The menus are intended to help stamp out childhood and teen obesity in the U.S. As it stands, one in three kids in America is overweight or obese. And diseases linked to obesity that were once seen only in adults are now increasingly being diagnosed in kids. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Not Everyone’s on Board
The change has fueled some controversy. The Hunger-Free Kids Act may actually be leaving some students … hungry.
A YouTube video that parodies the song “We Are Young” by Fun went viral. In it, Kansas teens sing “We Are Hungry” in protest of the lunch menu changes. There have also been brown bag campaigns and boycotts across the map, and a new bill before Congress that seeks to repeal the calorie caps.
“There’s no question that schools should encourage healthy eating,” says Jeff Stier. He is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. But “the USDA is … leaving active children so hungry that they tend to leave the school lunchroom to buy less nutritious and more calorie-dense foods. Ironically, the Hunger-Free Kids Act is leaving kids hungry.”
But it’s a start, others say.
“We have some real problems with obesity and this didn’t start yesterday,” says Janey Thornton, PhD. She is the USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “School lunches are not the total solution, but hopefully a small part of it that can help children … take responsibility for what they eat and portion sizes.”
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime thinks gamers are insatiable. He said as much in an interview conducted as this year’s E3 came to a close that has only just begun to make the rounds this week. He may have a point, and at times gamers undoubtedly are impossible to please. That being said, this can’t be a blanket excuse used any time gamers ask for more. There are times when their appetite is justified, and Nintendo’s E3 showing was arguably one of them.
“One of the things that, on one hand, I love and, on the other hand, that troubles me tremendously about not only our fanbase but about the gaming community at large is that, whenever you share information, the perspective is, ‘Thank you, but I want more.’ ‘Thank you, but give me more.’ I mean, it is insatiable,” he told Kotaku. “And so for years this community has been asking, ‘Where’s Pikmin?’ ‘Where’s Pikmin?’ ‘Where’s Pikmin?’ We give them Pikmin. And then they say, ‘What else?’ For years, this community have said, ‘Damnit Reggie, when you launch, you better launch with a Mario game.’ So we launch with a Mario game, and they say, ‘So what’s more?’”
MONDAY May 7, 2012 — Pre-teens living in states that require vaccinations for incoming middle school students are more likely to be immunized than those in states without such requirements, a new study finds.
Current vaccine guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that boys and girls aged 11 to 12 receive three immunizations or boosters: tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (TdaP); meningococcal conjugate; and three doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
In 2008-2009, 32 states required TdaP and three required meningococcal conjugate. One state, Virginia, required HPV vaccination for girls during those years.
About 80 percent of kids aged 13 to 17 received the recommended TdaP vaccine in states that required vaccination for middle school entry compared to 70 percent of kids in states that didn’t require it. For meningococcal vaccine, those rates were 71 percent versus 53 percent. Researchers did not report HPV vaccination rates in Virginia versus elsewhere.
“State requirement for vaccines for middle school entry does have a positive influence on vaccination coverage. Adolescents in their states are more likely to have received these vaccines,” said study co-author Shannon Stokley, a CDC epidemiologist.
The study was released online May 7 and is to be published in the June print issue of Pediatrics.
School vaccination requirements stretch all the way back to 1855, when Massachusetts became the first state to require smallpox vaccine for school entry, according to background information in the article. Over the decades the number of vaccines required expanded, the majority of which need to be received before entering kindergarten.
More recently, many states have mandated that pre-teens have certain vaccines for entering middle school.
“Vaccines are vital to the health of the adolescent. They are very, very important, and we’ve seen from the state-by-state variations that when you place requirements for vaccinations on school entry you increase the rate that parents will seek vaccinations,” said Dr. Carrie Byington, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Yet, even state mandates don’t mean every child will be vaccinated. Every state allows a medical exemption for children, and 48 states plus the District of Columbia also allow either religious or philosophical exemptions, while some allow exemptions for both reasons, Stokley said.
Only West Virginia and Mississippi do not allow non-medical exemptions, she added.
Instead of mandates, many states require that schools or public health departments inform parents about the diseases the vaccines protect against and the current vaccine recommendations. However, the study found states that offered education had no better vaccine rates than those that didn’t.
That doesn’t mean education doesn’t matter, Stokley said.
And though vaccine mandates appear to work, “state requirements are just one strategy to increase immunization,” Byington noted.
Other strategies that can boost vaccination rates include ensuring that kids have access to vaccines and making sure that pediatricians advise parents about the shots, she said. Research has shown that parents trust pediatricians regarding vaccines and are more likely to get their kids vaccinated if the pediatrician recommends it.
For middle schoolers, the vaccines protect against several serious, and even deadly, diseases, including diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial disease that effects the respiratory system and can lead to swelling of the heart muscle tissue, heart failure and death; tetanus, a bacteria found in the soil that can enter the body through a deep cut and lead to months of serious, painful muscle spasms and lockjaw; and pertussis, or whooping cough.
In 2010, California saw the worst outbreak of whooping cough in 50 years, leading to more than 27,000 people sickened and the deaths of 10 infants. The outbreak led to urgent calls for parents to keep their children’s pertussis vaccines up to date.
Meningococcal disease is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis, an infection around the brain and the spinal cord that kills about one in 10 people who contract it, according to the CDC. “Meningitis is a very serious disease. A person can seem fine, and within hours all of a sudden they can be very ill and potentially die,” Stokley said.
Human papillomavirus is a common virus among people in their teens and early 20s and is spread during sex, potentially causing genital warts in men and women. Certain strains cause cervical cancer in women and also anal cancer, Stokley said.
Check out the recommended vaccine schedule for kids and adults at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Posted: May 2012