Tuesday, May 31, 2005

10-8 is 10-98 for the time being...

Well ladies and gentlemen, it's been a fun experiment in blogging, but we all knew the good times couldn't last. With the last days of the Academy ahead of me, my search for a job continual, and my energy waning, keeping up this blog just isn't feasible right now.

10-8 will be going on hiatus for awhile until my life gets back into a more manageable territory.

Thanks for reading and hopefully I gave you something interesting to think about every once in awhile. In the meantime, why don't you go check out all the blogs I've linked to, since they are NOT going on hiatus. If they weren't cool, I wouldn't have linked to 'em.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Working at Cross Purposes

This is a story out of Ohio. The site needs registration, so I'll post the text of the story for you, as always:

COLUMBUS, Ohio - State officials acknowledged Thursday that Ohio paid for Viagra and another drug to treat impotence for 13 convicted sex offenders in the last 14 months. The state discovered the issue after running a cross check of Ohio's 13,000-person sex offender registry with a database of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Ohio Medicaid will no longer supply erectile dysfunction drugs to sex offenders, said Jon Allen, spokesman for the state Department of Job and Family Services. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services clarified this week that states can cut sex offenders off from these drugs. The federal government even issued a warning that states could face sanctions if they don't. "We just don't feel that's appropriate," said Gary Karr, a spokesman for the federal agency.

Ohio spent $3,968 on impotence drugs for those 13 sex offenders. Their prescriptions will no longer be honored, and any future Medicaid claims for Viagra, Levitra and Cialis will be checked against the state's sex offender registry, Allen said. About 1.7 million Ohioans are enrolled in Medicaid, a state-federal program that provides health coverage for the poor and disabled. The federal Medicaid agency issued its directive on sex offenders after New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi announced Sunday that from 2000 through March, 198 rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra.

Elsewhere, Florida said its Medicaid program had paid $93,000 to provide Viagra to 218 sex offenders in that state over the last four years. Heather Herron Murphy, manager of the Columbus-based Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio, agreed with Ohio's decision to stop prescribing impotence drugs to sex offenders. But she warned against blowing the issue out of proportion. "Erectile dysfunction drugs aren't aphrodisiacs," she said. "It's important to recognize that if we're only talking about what Viagra does for a man, then we're not thinking about how sexual assault really works. It's not about sex, it's about one person utilizing his power and control over another person," Herron Murphy said.

Overall, Ohio Medicaid spent $455,447 last year on impotence drugs, covering 7,600 prescriptions for 1,441 men. Earlier this year, a group of Ohio lawmakers began a fight to end reimbursements for impotence drugs to all Medicaid recipients, saying taxpayer money would be better spent on dental care and other essential health services. House Republicans pulled state funding for the drugs from its proposed budget and the Senate version also calls for eliminating the funding.

What in the world is wrong with these people? I mean, how on Earth does any right minded person approve this sort of thing? It boggles the mind at how inept bureaucracy can really be. If I was an Ohioan, I would be livid that my state was arming sex offenders with their weapon of choice. Isn't that really what they are doing? Why not give an arsonist a bunch of matches? Why not give a gang member a gun? There is absolutely not one good reason to give a sex offender a sex drug and shame on everyone that allowed it to happen.

Furthermore, government purchasing sex drugs is wholly inappropriate, if you ask me. The government shouldn't be in the business of giving people erections. Do you think the founding fathers had that in mind when they created this great union? Do you think Thomas Jefferson was all "I say, General Washington, I'm feeling a bit sluggish with Mrs. Jefferson, if ye know what I mean... If only there was a great and sprawling government which could assist me with my bedroom problems and various other bad humours...". How vulgar.

Oh well, it's your tax dollars at work and your representatives at work, Ohio. If you are outraged, only you can do something. Punish your elected representatives if they keep this up. Teach them a lesson at the ballot box.

(HT to Crim Prof)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Boston Botch

Interesting story out of Boston, from ABC News:

BOSTON May 25, 2005 — A panel investigating the death of a woman hit by a pepper spray pellet at a Red Sox celebration said Wednesday that police made mistakes at every turn, from the department's decision to buy the pellet guns for crowd control to an officer's decision to fire the errant shot.

Five officers face internal disciplinary action and those still on duty could be fired for their involvement in the shooting, police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole said as the independent commission's report was announced. Victoria Snelgrove, 21, an Emerson College student, was shot in the eye Oct. 21 outside Fenway Park after Boston defeated the New York Yankees for the American League pennant. The city paid her family a $5.1 million settlement earlier this month.

"We find that inadequate planning and training, combined with a breakdown of command discipline, set up a situation ripe to produce an unintended result," read the report by the commission, headed by former U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern. Patrolman Rochefort Milien, who was certified to use the weapon, fired the pellet that killed Snelgrove. His lawyer has said the officer was aiming at someone near Snelgrove who was throwing bottles. "Officer Milien failed to take sufficiently into account that he was shooting at a moving target in the midst of a crowd and that a missed shot could easily strike a bystander," the report said.

The commission also faulted the Police Department's decision to buy the air-powered pellet guns in early 2004. Police officials did little research before making the purchase, then failed to properly train officers in their use, the panel said. Stern's commission also called for a national study on the effectiveness and safety of the FN303 pepper-pellet guns, manufactured by FN Herstal USA.

The report said the officers "did not appear to appreciate that a person could be seriously injured or killed." Milien and four others face internal charges alleging excessive use of force and poor judgment, the commissioner said at a news conference with Stern. O'Toole said each officer was "deeply distressed" by what happened.

Now, I don't know what happened, I wasn't there. I don't even like baseball. However, from just what this article is telling me, I can't say I side with the family of the victim here. Yes, the officer fired at a bottle-throwing jackass and missed and a seriously unfortunate incident happened. However, it seems to me to be an accident with no improper actions by the officer.

Yes, if the officer misses, he could hit someone behind. However, the bottle-thrower was a more dangerous element in my estimation. A guy throwing glass around could seriously injure someone. The officers were completely justified in trying to employ a less-lethal device against him. What followed was a freak accident, but it was in no way indicative of "excessive use of force". If you want to get right down to the nitty gritty, at least in the state of California, a man throwing bottles at a police officer could be considered a deadly force situation. Employing a less-lethal device is a favor to this rioting idiot. If anything, the family should have sued him for creating the conditions that necessitated the use of force in the first place. But no, let's blame the cops...

Granted there may be more to the story, but from what I read here, there is simply no indication that the officer acted improperly. Now, if it's a training issue, then it's still not the officer's fault if he was acting within his training. I wish ABC news would have taken an extra 20 minutes and found out a little more of the story. Oh well... If nothing else, I just hope that the officers are treated reasonably and with respect and not used as scapegoats or offered up as human sacrifices to the public.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Great Use of Resources

This is a fantastic story out of Austria:

VIENNA - An Austrian politician has a novel idea for cracking down on people who don’t clean up after their dogs. A council member in Vienna proposes a DNA registry for dogs, so their droppings can be tested. People who fail to clean up their dogs’ droppings would be fined and charged for the DNA analysis. Vienna’s sidewalks are littered with dog droppings, and campaigns to get dog owners to clean up have made little headway. Dog owners already can be fined if they don’t pick up after their dogs, but tickets are rarely issued because the pet has to be caught in the act. The proposal isn’t likely to get very far. The governing Social Democrats have dismissed the idea, saying it would create a “police state.”
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Is there really such an abundance of resources and time in Austria that they want to DNA test dog poop in order to ticket dog owners? What planet is this?

I've posted other stories about putting up cameras around town or just generally being in favor of Big Brother keeping an eye on all you hooligans out there, but even someone like myself can only marvel at the sheer inanity of poop testing. Not only is the idea inane but the dog owner would be charged for the cost of the DNA testing. I'm sure that's not cheap! How fair is that! And anyway, how are they going to keep a registry of every doggie DNA in Austria? The logistics are staggering.

In the good ol' US of A, you probably couldn't do this because unless it's a felony, you have to personally witness the crime in progress in order to make an arrest or give a ticket. There's no way you could claim that the crime occurred in your presence if you have to DNA test it.

In any case, for you Austrians out there, if you want to avoid prosecution, just carry a bottle of bleach or battery acid and bathe the feces in it in order to destroy the DNA. Problem solved!

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(HT to Crim Prof Blog)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Feel-good Story of the Year

Sorry for the late post, I was busy doing my oral interview at Downey. I think I did really good, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyways, I dont have much today, so I'll post this terrific story out of Omaha.

An Omaha woman is in custody, accused of Felony Child Abuse, after allegedly trying to sell her one-year-old child into prostitution.

Thirty-four-year-old Elizabeth Harlan was arrested shortly before 11:30 Sunday night.

Police were responding to a call near 32nd and "V" Street to check the well being of a child. Neighbors made the prostitution allegation.

Officers were directed to 3913 ½ South 24th Street.

Police entered the apartment and say they found Ms. Harlan passed out on the sofa while the one-year-old sat on the floor eating cigarettes.

The child was transported to Creighton University Medical Center for treatment and Harlan was taken to Central Police Headquarters where she was interviewed and then booked into detention for Felony Child Abuse.

No comment necessary. Kill her and be done with it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

More On Meth

An article from the WOWT.com, an Omaha NBC affiliate:

A new law restricting the sale of cold medicines that contain an ingredient used to make methamphetamine took effect in Iowa Sunday.The law, passed by the legislature this session, is designed to clamp down on homegrown meth in Iowa.

The law targets pseudoephedrine, a decongestant found in many over-the-counter cold medicines. Those containing the drug can only be sold by pharmacists and customers are now required to show a photo ID and sign a logbook. Consumers will be limited to purchasing no more than 7,500 milligrams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period.

Authorities found nearly 1,500 meth labs in Iowa last year. While they expect the law to result in fewer labs, they don't expect it to solve the state's meth problem since it's estimated that 80% of meth used in Iowa is smuggled in from Mexico and the southwestern U.S.

In the academy, we're working through our narcotics class right now, and I learned that Columbia is to Cocaine as California is to Meth. Aces!

For law enforcement, these drug labs are dangerous. Besides drug degenerates always carrying weapons and being willing to kill cops, the chemicals mixed in these labs can kill you, either instantly or 20 years later. Depending on how they mix and which particular cloud enters into your lungs, you could be sick for the rest of your life or even pass on deformities to your kids. I know cops who have permanent resperatory damage from clearing meth labs. It's seriously a dangerous business. Anything that makes it harder to create these ticking poison bombs is okay by me.

Unfortunately, the drug trade has something on it's side that even the forces of good have a hard time dealing with: lots of money. I'm going to tell you guys something that you aren't going to want to hear, but it's the truth: There are some people out there who are willing to do bad things for money.

I know, I was shocked when I found out, too.

But seriously, the drug trade is so lucrative that buy-offs are widespread. Personally, I can't think of many things more pathetic than selling out your fellow man for a few bucks. To help destroy human life for a profit is one of the most ignoble and uncivilized things someone can do (Isn't that right, Planned Parenthood...). But it happens and there's not alot we can do about it. As long as misguided souls are willing to pay for a body-destroying drug, some degenerate scumbag will make it in his basement and sell it to them.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Just a thought...

From the Newport News Times:

One man died and another faces criminal charges as a result of a traffic crash Saturday night on Pioneer Mountain Loop.Dead is Aaron Allan Handy, 25, of Springfield, who was a passenger in a 1972 Chevrolet Blazer being driven by Steven James Berliner, 25, of Toledo. Aaron Patrick Strom, 25, also of Toledo, was a passenger in the vehicle as well.At about 10:25 p.m., Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies, the Oregon State Police, Toledo Fire Rescue, and Pacific West Ambulance were dispatched to a report of a crash on Pioneer Mountain Loop near milepost 1.7.

According to OSP, Berliner was driving west when he failed to negotiate a curve and drove off the road. The vehicle hit a tree and rolled down an embankment, ejecting the occupants. All three were transported to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. Handy was pronounced dead at the hospital. Berliner and Strom were treated for their injuries and released.
The Lincoln County Multi-Agency Crash Team was called out to investigate the accident, and it was determined that alcohol was a factor in the crash. None of the occupants of the vehicle were wearing safety belts at the time of the accident.Berliner was arrested after being treated at the hospital, and he was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on charges of criminally negligent homicide, Assault II, reckless driving, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, and driving while suspended. His bail was set at $97,500.
Now, I have a question here...

We've all done stupid stuff under the influence of alcohol (well, all the cool people anyway). We've all taken stupid chances when we were young, you know how it goes. However, if you were going to let someone who's been drinking drive you home, why wouldn't you wear a seatbelt?

It's pretty dumb not to buckle up in the first place, but if your driver has alcohol in him, you'd be suicidal not to put your belt on! I just don't understand it... Of course, they picked the guy who was not only drinking but had a suspended license to drive them home. These weren't exactly rocket surgeons.

And just so this post isn't solely about making fun of injured and dead people, here's some interesting stats from MADD Online:

For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3:00 AM, 77 percent involved alcohol in 2003. The next most dangerous time period for alcohol-related crash deaths were 9 PM to midnight (64 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol), followed by 3 AM to 6 AM (60 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol). (NHTSA, 2004)
The rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes is more than 3 times as high at night as during the day (61 percent vs. 18 percent). For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate is 5 times as high at night (16 percent vs. 3 percent). (NHTSA, 2004)
In 2003, 30 percent of all fatal crashes during the week were alcohol-related, compared to 53 percent on weekends. For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate was 5 percent during the week and 12 percent during the weekend. (NHTSA, 2004)
The lesson here? At 2am Saturday morning, get the hell off the road! You're gonna die!