Thursday, August 18, 2011
The ACLU hearts Sex Offenders
The Delaware American Civil Liberties Union has filed court papers to stop sex offenders from being evicted from a safe house that is located near a new day care center.
The ACLU, along with an attorney representing the safe house and three sex offenders, has asked a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from evicting the residents.
“The state has asked the residents to leave, and if they don’t leave they will be arrested,” attorney Daniel Wolcott, Jr. told Fox News Radio. Wolcott is representing the owner of the safe house and three sex offenders.
“The safe house has been there for a number of years and has been accepting registered sex offenders who are prohibited from living within 500 feet of a school,” he said.
Wolcott said there are two safe houses in question. One house was operating before the day care center opened for business. The other one was not. However, he said police said any sex offenders living at both houses would have to leave or face arrest.
Kathleen MacRae, the executive director of the Delaware ACLU, told The News Journal that the pending eviction of the sex offenders seems “very unfair and very rushed by the city.”
She pointed out that the ACLU has questions over the actual distance between the homes and the day care center. The ACLU also questioned whether a day care center qualifies as a “school” under state law. The day care center reportedly began operating less than 500 feet from both homes in September.
“It is already difficult for men who have been convicted of a sex offense to find a place to live,” she told the newspaper. “State law should not force these men to move, or prevent facilities like the safe house from housing them, every time a private citizen decides to open a day care center.”
A city spokesman released the following statement to Fox News Radio:
“The City appreciates the predicament faced by the residents of the Harriet Tubman Safe House, but we are following the advice of the Attorney General’s Office and cannot comment further due to the pending court action.” Delaware Attorney General Bo Biden’s office said they will not comment on the matter.
The issue has stirred debate in Wilmington. The News Journal released an editorial that called the sex offender ban unfairly punitive.
“As offensive as the tenants' crimes are, they paid their debt to society and earned the right to purse law-abiding livelihoods,” the editorial read. “Their home predates the day care center by eight years. This is not to dismiss the fact that even with treatment a high percentage of sex offenders -- pedophiles particularly -- will recommit their crimes. But a carte blanche banishing of all sex offenders to be on the run every time they have found legally acceptable housing is vindictive, reactionary and no solution.”
Our prisons walls are too high to look over, moan terror suspects in Britain
Inmates complain limited view damaged their eyesight
Suspected terrorists are complaining about a fence around the exercise yard in their high-security prison which restricts their view of the horizon. The alleged extremists are locked up while the Government tries to remove them from the country.
But the inmates have complained the limited view is damaging their eyesight, a prison inspection report revealed.
And astonishingly, inspectors accepted their complaints, criticising the cladding put around the edge of the exercise yard because it stops the men seeing into the distance.
They men are being held in the detainee unit at Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire and are prevented from mixing with other inmates.
Some months ago, prison bosses offered to allow them to join activities involving paedophiles and rapists who are isolated from the rest of the prison for their own protection. But this was rejected because the terror suspects feared they would be ‘stigmatised’ by being seen with the sex offenders.
The report recommended removing the cladding so the prisoners have a clear view into the outside world.
Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said: ‘While detainees’ treatment and conditions were satisfactory in some respects, too little attention was paid to their uniquely isolated and uncertain position.’
The report added: ‘For most of the time, detainees were confined to the unit and largely deprived of contact with the range of people that was possible for convicted prisoners in the main prison. ‘This had resulted in a feeling of claustrophobia.
‘The fence surrounding the exercise yard was clad, therefore preventing detainees from seeing into the distance. All detainee unit cells overlooked the inner courtyard and detainees therefore had no opportunities to see into the distance, and some complained of deteriorating eyesight.’
The high-security detainee unit at Long Lartin holds seven suspected terrorists. Three are foreign nationals whom ministers want to deport to their home countries. The other four are awaiting the outcome of legal challenges to extradition requests by the United States. They are thought to include Babar Ahmed, whose case is being considered by the European Court of Human Rights. Two of the men have been held for more than 11 years as they fight deportation, at a cost of more than £1.6million.
The average cost of a place in a high-security prison is £74,000 per year.
The report revealed the men are allowed out of their cells for nearly 60 hours a week. They also have access to gym equipment and their own kitchen, as well as prepared meals.
Dissent makes a smarter society
The Left once prided themselves on dissent. Now they try to suppress it. Comment from the editor of an Australian online magazine below
BY most measures over the past 35 years Australia has been an amazingly successful country. We've increased national wealth, become cosmopolitan, remained egalitarian, fight above our weight diplomatically and win more Olympic gold per capita than anyone else. But that success is under threat.
Openness has been the key. While openness in internal and external commercial markets has driven a big increase in wealth, the ability to capitalise on it has been driven by an open society that allowed new ideas, new structures and new entrepreneurs to bubble up to meet the challenges.
Now it seems that reform has reached its limit and the forces of reaction are trying to close up society and the economy, and while their goal may be partly to limit division in the community they are actually increasing it.
We've seen various legislative curbs on free speech, such as religious or racial vilification laws. These depart from traditional and legitimate curbs such as defamation in that they invent novel group rights and punish thought rather than action, often making the offence a subjective rather than objective one.
These are increasingly allied to overt attempts to enforce conformity of thought by a variety of state and non-state organisations and individuals, frequently amplified by the new media.
I'm not talking about legitimate rhetorical techniques used to convince people and change their minds, but coercive techniques to intimidate, silence and suppress.
Calls by political parties to investigate alleged media bias are the most recent front in this war....
Take the global warming debate. On one side we have the government, government-funded organisations such as the CSIRO, government appointees such as the chief scientist and various activists, non-governmental organisations and academics asserting that the science is settled and debate is over.
This reaches beyond the uncontested claim that CO2 is a greenhouse gas to demanding acceptance of any number of conflicting and widely varying modelled predictions and policies designed to mitigate their effects.
They've even invented a new type of science called "sustainability science" where if you can think of a threat large enough you are justified in dealing with it as a fact before you have experimental evidence to prove it.
Opponents are tagged as "deniers" or "denialists" in a clear attempt to demean scepticism as immoral and irrational, equivalent to holocaust denial, and the Prime Minister berates sceptical journalists telling them not to "write crap".
We even have high-profile academics such as ethics professor Clive Hamilton and federation scholar John Quiggin claiming that to even publish sceptical stories is evidence of bias.
On this basis Hamilton urged a boycott of my journal On Line Opinion, while Quiggin spends some of his time altering the Wikipedia entries of opponents to imply they are tobacco lobbyists.
If the government had been more open to entertaining contrary advice, and there are some from within its own ranks who could give it, it might not be facing a carbon tax rout that has some of the hallmarks of its very own Bay of Pigs.
And our collective problems do not stop there because dissent that is denied a legitimate place in debate can become explosively destructive.
An earlier outbreak of political correctness under Paul Keating led to the creation of Pauline Hanson. The most common reason I ever heard for people supporting Hanson was "I don't agree with everything she says, but I agree with her right to say it."
And that was before the internet. Now the new media make it easier for both the in and the out crowds to talk to themselves in an echo chamber amplifying their own group thinks.
While theoretically the internet brings all the online "thoughts" of the world within one click of each of us, it simultaneously breaks down the institutions that brought us face to face with challenging facts.
Now we can all get the "Daily Me" via Facebook, Twitter, email lists and favourite chat rooms, which reaffirms our world view.
More, the new media allow the potential for explosion to be organised via brown-shirt activism using flash mobs and new institutions like GetUp to target not politicians but innocent bystanders (as they did in the case of Harvey Norman), who may profit from a particular lawful pursuit that they disapprove of.
In this atmosphere a good government, rather than trying to delegitimise dissent, would be reaching out to institutionalise it, recognising that what's crap to one, may be fertiliser to another, and that institutions that foster dissent thrive.
Australia: Homosexuals a privileged class again -- legally free to discriminate against normal people
We can't discriminate against them but they can discriminate against us! And it's taxpayers' money they are using to do it
A CO-OPERATIVE of gay men has won the right to continue leasing their properties exclusively to homosexual tenants. The District Court's Equal Opportunity Tribunal yesterday granted House-One Co-operative Inc an exemption from the state's Equal Rights Act.
The exemption allows the group to provide secure, long-term, affordable accommodation to gay men who have experienced difficulty finding private rental properties.
Outside court, House-One chairman Darren Webb said it was a "positive move" for the group. "We're a community, we can talk to each other, help each other and support each other," he said. "Most people think gay men are rich ... that's not the case."
In court yesterday, Mr Webb said many gay men had negative experiences in the private rental market and most felt their sexuality was a factor.
House-One treasurer Bill Dell told the court he had once been evicted by a private landlord because a distant relative was returning to Adelaide who required the accommodation. Later checks by Mr Dell revealed that was not the case and that new tenants - a young, straight couple - had moved in after him.
The co-operative said gay men seeking accommodation with their partner found it especially tough. Some were encouraged to pretend to have a girlfriend or wife when applying for a lease.
House-One manages 16 Housing Trust SA homes, predominantly in the CBD. Under yesterday's ruling, the co-operative is now exempt from accepting any non-gay applicants via the register for their properties. Men who rent the properties can do so for renewable periods of six months, provided they become a member of the co-operative.
Judge Jack Costello said the wider public interest had prompted the tribunal to grant the exemption.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.