In the parking lot after the forensics talk yesterday.
tagged by christin
Once tagged by this entry, the assignment is to write a blog entry of some kind with six random facts about yourself. Then, pick six of your friends and tag them; no tag backs. This explanation should be included.
six random facts about me:
1. I confuse people who have difficulty with sarcasm, irony, and double entendres.
2. You can randomly access stuff from my brain if you talk to me when I’m very sleepy. Talks about platonic solids or pumpkin rhymes for no reason, as an example.
3. I like blueberry yogurt. especially if there are grape nuts or granola to put on top.
4. I wonder how Newton would do on the road trip to points north.
5. I want to reprogram my brain to think all food that is good for me is as delicious as food that I like that’s bad for me.
6. I watch more tv shows and read more books on my pda or psp, than I do on tv, or in tree-based media.
I tag anyone who wants to do it, but in the spirit of the mix: tell me if you do! I hope six people go for it.
President Bush this morning proudly signed into law a bill that critics consider one of the most un-American in the nation’s long history.
The new law vaguely bans torture — but makes the administration the arbiter of what is torture and what isn’t. It allows the president to imprison indefinitely anyone he decides falls under a wide-ranging new definition of unlawful combatant. It suspends the Great Writ of habeas corpus for detainees. It allows coerced testimony at trial. It immunizes retroactively interrogators who may have engaged in torture.
The president can now – with the approval of Congress – indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act.
Voting ban for felons could end with next governor (I’ve been wondering about this for a long time – heres a poll and post from five years ago)
Florida’s century-old law banning felons from voting should be abandoned, both candidates for governor say.
Regardless of who becomes governor of Florida in three weeks, one thing now appears certain: The 136-year-old rule that keeps most felons from being able to vote after they have completed their sentences will be scrapped.
Republican Charlie Crist has switched his position and joined Democratic opponent Jim Davis in favoring restoring the civil rights of all felons automatically after they have served their time. Until recently, Crist opposed automatic restoration.
”It all comes down to one fundamental question: Do you believe that an individual has paid his debt to society?” Crist said Tuesday in an interview with The Miami Herald editorial board. “If they’ve really paid their debt to society, then why not restore their right to vote?”
Unlike other promises the candidates have made, undoing the 1870 rule is something a governor can do with a simple signature on an executive order, said Randall Berg, director of the Florida Justice Institute, a civil rights advocacy organization.
Gov. Jeb Bush streamlined the process to make it easier for felons to get their rights restored after a Miami Herald series examined the clemency system, but Bush has opposed changing the rule. Florida’s new governor could amend the rules of executive clemency, require the felons’ names to be automatically forwarded to the Cabinet, which sits as the Clemency Review Board, and the board could automatically approve the civil rights — which includes the rights to vote, sit on a jury and run for elected office, Berg said.
That would automatically give 700,000 felons the right to vote and open the door to hundreds of jobs they do not have access to now because they have not had their civil rights restored, he said.
Florida is one of only three states that still employ the Jim Crow-era law that bans felons from voting unless they engage in the cumbersome restoration process.
Gov. Reubin Askew changed the rule in 1975 and allowed felons automatic restoration of rights. But in the early 1990s, when Florida’s crowded prisons released prisoners after they served only a fraction of their sentences, Gov. Lawton Chiles tightened the rules.
Since then, about 85 percent of the felons released from prison must complete a review by the clemency board before their rights are restored, and the backlog of felons waiting to complete the process has ballooned.
CHANGE OF HEART
Crist, who as attorney general is a member of the clemency board, acknowledged Tuesday that he had a change of heart since the September primary. At the time, he wrote in a Miami Herald editorial page questionnaire: “I do not believe in the automatic restoration of civil rights for all felons, but do believe that Florida should have a fair and efficient process to review restoration requests.”
Davis, by contrast, has consistently vowed to automatically restore rights to felons if elected and has increasingly drawn the contrast with Crist on the campaign trail.
Crist said Tuesday that meeting people on the campaign trail has persuaded him to change: ”I ask everybody for their vote and many times the answer is: I can’t,” he told the newspaper board. He denied his change is politically motivated. “It’s an evolution. It is. Life’s a journey.”
But civil rights advocates are not persuaded.
State Sen. Frederica Wilson, a Miami Democrat who has repeatedly failed to pass legislation to change the state rule, said Crist never helped her efforts to lower the hurdles for felons and often was the lone vote blocking the restoration of rights for many who came before the clemency board.
”This man will say anything to win,” she said. “It is misleading and pandering to the black vote and it will blow up in his face.”
Wilson and former state Sen. Daryl Jones — now Davis’ running mate — each headed the Black Legislative Caucus when it successfully sued the state to accelerate felons’ rights cases and eliminate the backlog. Berg represented them.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, about 30 percent of all black men in Florida cannot vote because they have committed felonies.
Davis spokesman Josh Earnest called it another example of Crist “using civil rights to score political points instead of fighting for justice.”
Bush was curt when asked to comment about Crist’s change of heart. ”He’s the candidate,” he said.
LIST OF FELONS
Felon voting has played a role during Bush’s administration, beginning in 2000, when the state elections division attempted to purge felons from the voting rolls, only to have the purge list riddled with errors.
In 2004, the state was forced to scrap a list of more than 48,000 felons it had sent to county election officials after news reports found the list had problems. That same year, the Republican Party of Florida threatened to issue voting challenges to an estimated 15,000 ineligible voters.
This year, Florida has all but dropped efforts to purge the list of ineligible felons.
Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for the Department of State, said the state would cross-check long-standing voters against criminal databases in the future as resources permit.
Berg said if the new governor makes this change, it could have a profound change on the lives of felons in Florida.
”It’s not just the right to vote. A more important thing is the ability to get decent-paying jobs and to earn a living,” he said.
Miami Herald staff writers Gary Fineout, Marc Caputo and Scott Hiaasen contributed to this report.
1 year ago – Who was ST?, dating in the workplace, hurricane Wilma cat 5, I’m a humanist, Scotto-Spock eyebrow, Newt caught on cam & 80’s tv references, general quiz, Yabba dabba doom? Fuggedaboutit,
2 years ago – non-troll text, Graypumpkin gets me interested in Lost, fruit pies,fridge magnet-collaborative, cemetery prairie dogs, bro evicted
3 years ago – unusual case, Roger Bumpass, Carnival Strippers, Swedish Chef, LARGE MARGE!, Elephants, Death Factoids, pootering
4 years ago – Newt Palm art, got Zombies!, NOLF2 is great.
5 years ago – budgeting, happy thoughts, street names, Kev, nice chatties
6 years ago – Dark out, sex factoids, black and blue