Monday, November 19, 2007

Prison and Hate Crimes! (Get your attention?)

Scroll down to the bottom if you just wanna see how many Klan members might be in your backyard...

According to Reuters today:

THE number of Americans in prison has risen eight-fold since 1970, with little impact on crime but at great cost to US taxpayers and society, researchers said in a report calling for a major justice-system overhaul.

To make its case for reducing the US prison population the report cites examples ranging from former vice-presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby to a Florida woman who was sentenced to two years' jail for throwing a cup of coffee.

Produced by the JFA Institute, a Washington criminal-justice research group, the report recommends shorter sentences and parole terms, alternative punishments, more help for released inmates and decriminalising recreational drugs as steps that would halve the prison population, save $US20 billion ($A22.3 billion) a year and ease social inequality without endangering the public.
You can see the whole Reuters article HERE

Now, what does that have to do with hate crime? Well, according to The Ass. Press,

"Hate Crimes Up Nearly 8 Percent in 2006
Monday November 19, 2007 6:46 PM

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hate crime incidents in the United States rose last year by nearly 8 percent, the FBI reported Monday, as racial prejudice continued to account for more than half the reported instances.

Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability. That was up 7.8 percent from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.

Although the noose incidents and beatings among students at Jena, La., high school occurred in the last half of 2006, they were not included in the report. Only 12,600 of the nation's more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006 and neither Jena nor LaSalle Parish, in which the town is located, were among the agencies reporting. ..."

You can read more on this at
Guardian UK (why is it the Brits grab them stories so fast?)

You can get a 2 year sentence for assault with a coffee cup in a traffic jam. but around here and in other states, burn a cross and laugh your ass off. It doesn't seem to be of great interest to run down hat crimes, perhaps because it's still a sore spot with people who believe a crime is a crime. If that were true, we'd have Murder and nothing else for that crime. Why nuance it? Because people themselves commit the crimes for various reasons. As is noted later in the article, "What is not reported, however, is the lack of prosecution and serious investigation by the Justice Department to counter this increase in hate crimes."

Is that true? I know cops have a hell of a job in this country, but FBI should seem to have more figured out. Or maybe not. They are a gov't agency.

To find out how your state or area stacks up in terms of potential hate crimes, go to The Southern Poverty Law Center's hate Map. It's a revelation.

How the boys across the way do it: Burma

Is it fair to compare nationalist-idiot fervor along the lines of "America! Love it or Leave It!" to a horrifically violent SE Asian regime in Burma/ Myanmar? Maybe not. But I sometimes wonder how much longer we have to wait in this country for "reeducation" or "repatriotizing" camps spring up to ensure all "Amurrcans" think, walk, and act the same, even as we celebrate individuality. Monks in Burma tried to protest oppression and government scamming, and it's gotten wildly out of control. What would happen if we marched on DC again?

I guess it might seem I'm stretching the definition of solidarity here far outside Arizona, but sometimes i think that while we like to claim being First World, we're actually heading into some dark times. I'm not sure the imminent elections are enough to make me optimistic, either. When simplicity and duplicity are the dominant Cities of our country, I'm not sure we're headed down the right path.

You can also check out the info at : WITNESS

Reuters Monday November 19 2007
By Neil Chatterjee
SINGAPORE, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian nations called on Myanmar on Monday to move towards democracy after facing criticism and sanctions from the United States and Europe.

The Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) said Myanmar should work with the United Nations on democracy and release political detainees, but barred U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari from briefing a summit in Singapore.

The grouping has criticised sanctions on Myanmar and rejected calls for its suspension from ASEAN, prompting some Western officials to put in doubt economic deals.

International division over military-ruled Myanmar, after its September crackdown on pro-democracy protestors, has also overshadowed the group's plan to sign a charter on Tuesday that also aims for free trade and economic integration by 2015.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said the Philippines might not ratify the charter if Myanmar did not commit to democracy and release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who met a senior junta official on Monday but is detained.
"Until the Philippine Congress sees that happen, it would have extreme difficulty in ratifying the ASEAN charter," Arroyo said in a statement.

The top U.S. trade negotiator, Susan Schwab, said a free trade deal between Washington and ASEAN was unlikely because of "the political situation".

"The credibility and reputation of ASEAN has been called into question because of the situation in Myanmar. Business as usual can't be business as usual," Schwab told reporters.

"It's impossible to imagine a free trade agreement with ASEAN in the near term given the political situation."

The United States expanded its sanctions against Myanmar's rulers in October and the Senate voted unanimously on Friday to urge ASEAN to suspend Myanmar. The European Union adopted sanctions on Monday against 1,270 firms in Myanmar.
But ASEAN has criticised the sanctions, while members Vietnam and Laos told Reuters they had no plans for democracy. The group said Myanmar had to work for a peaceful transition to democracy and address economic problems.

Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said: "Most leaders expressed the view that Myanmar could not go back or stay put. The process of national reconciliation has to move forward and the U.N. plays a vital role in this process."
Singapore banned all outdoor protests on Myanmar but small groups of international students briefly defied the ban.

Diplomats say the ASEAN charter, which gives the group a legal identity, means that the current option of excluding Myanmar from deals will end.
Free trade talks between ASEAN and the European Union could also stall. Together the U.S. and EU account for 27 percent of ASEAN's exports and a third of its inward direct investment.

Japan, one of the strongest U.S. allies in Asia, said on Monday that it was neither for nor against the sanctions.

"We do not want to side with our U.S. ally nor with Singapore on this. The Japanese position is more nuanced," a Japanese government official told reporters in Singapore, adding Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda would demand an explanation for the killing of a Japanese photographer by Myanmar soldiers. (Additional reporting by Koh Gui Qing, Vivek Prakash, Daryl Loo and Geert De Clercq; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

You can also check ou tthe BBC site:Burma, with video

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The pot fiasco.

I'm sure this is all over the blogosphere, but HELL... it's like a new world order, 1984 without the snappy attempts to remake English. This is doubleplus ungood.

A Catalina High School student was busted for possession of marijuana at school last week. When police and the boy's parents showed up, the parents admitted the whole family immigrated to the U.S. illegally.

Police called Border Patrol, which they say is standard procedure. The teen, his brother and both parents have now been deported.

Tuesday the boy's friends at Catalina High School took to the streets, angry at the way it all went down.

They marched from the high school to downtown Tucson in protest.

Over the several mile walk, they march, chant and carry protest signs in support of a classmate sent back to Mexico.

"Yeah it makes me mad," says student Erick Quintero.

"We're protesting because they took one of our classmates," says student Joddy Borrego.

TUSD superintendent Roger Pfueffer says he planned to talk with TPD about what happened.

"The police are required to enforce laws, but we're asking immigration laws be not enforced on our campuses," Pfueffer says.

Border patrol says it doesn't raid schools or churches, but if another law enforcement agency calls, they respond and enforce the law.

"In this instance we were called to assist TPD who were in the presence of the first young man," says Border Patrol Agent Richard DeWitt.

TPD says it's looking at changing its policy where it would still contact Border Patrol but would not ask the federal agency to respond to a school.

"I really need to emphasize we didn't not go out there looking to enforce illegal immigration issues. We were there because criminal activity on the part of the juvenile we took proper action, followed our policies," says TPD Assistant Chief Roberto Villasenor.