February 3, 2016 4:12 AM HomeMorning ReadsMorning Reads Wherein I Ponder February Morning Reads Wherein I Ponder February By edatlanta Morning Reads 27 Comments UPDATE: I can’t believe I was remiss and failed to link to the starting lineup of Puppy Bowl XII. Slide 15 is Georgia’s representative. Truly this is the dreariest month of all. But what’s problematic with the weather is that I’ve already seen several flowering trees bloom weeks ago. This is going to be a hellacious year for agriculture. “Tidal Wave” by The Apples in Stereo. (No band captured the Elephant 6 sound better). “Our sole Doctor of Southern Groundology, Gen. Beauregard Lee,” says the winter-that-never-came will end soon. And he probably has more authority on our climate, than, you know, climate scientists. #OnlyInAmerica! Atlanta’s CIO on semi-Big-Brother techniques to make city safer. Could Dekalb, DEKALB OF ALL PLACES, sink MARTA expansion? Winning the fight against gerrymandering in Dixie. Allen Peake on growing pot in Georgia, civil disobedience. Want to watch a live stream of Georgia newspaper publisher Mike Buffington growing pot? You’re in luck! Oh. You don’t? Politico on why conservative judge Dax Lopez just wasn’t conservative enough for Sen. David Perdue. None of the reasons are good. Isakson raises money for Parkinson’s research. Please give. Searching for an underground culture in Karachi. Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrRedditEmailPrint Related About Author edatlanta 27 Comments Andrew C. Pope Sen. Perdue’s torpedoing of Judge Lopez is disgraceful. For a guy who ran on a platform of “durr, I’m not gonna be like regular politicians,” this seems like a cravenly political move. February 3, 2016 6:52 AM Log in to Reply John Konop I would like to hear a rational defense of the ill thought-out War on Drugs? How do the supporters think this policy has not been a complete disaster? If you have no defense why are we not letting the pot industry grow in Georgia, to help our economy? As the Pew institute pointed out in a study, poverty would decrease by 30 percent if we ended the War on Drugs. Can anyone come up with any policy that would decrease poverty at a faster rate? I like and respect Governor Deal, it is time to end this irrational War on Drugs! February 3, 2016 8:02 AM Log in to Reply Benevolus No argument about the ‘war on drugs”. As an employer though, I wonder about pot legalization. Are there “under the influence” threshold levels like there are for alcohol? Booze leaves your system relatively quickly but pot does not. One could smoke a doob at night and still test positive many days later. If I have a driver or warehouse worker who wants to legally smoke a little, how do I know he is not impaired? February 3, 2016 8:54 AM Log in to Reply Calypso “If I have a driver or warehouse worker who wants to legally smoke a little, how do I know he is not impaired?” Conversely, If you have a driver or warehouse worker who wants to illegally smoke a little, how do you know he is not impaired? February 3, 2016 9:08 AM Log in to Reply Will Durant It’s real easy right now no matter how unfair. It is called zero tolerance. Depending upon how fat your are among other factors the intoxicant with likely the least impairment to driving can be detected a month or more after the buzz has been killed. With it being considered illegal as a Schedule 1 narcotic it makes the math easy with anything over very low trace amounts proving you have imbibed and therefore lose your job, parole, etc. As I said, it’s unfair now, making it legal may blur some lines but at least in the near future it will stay unfair, legal or not. To prove a point (and win a bet) I once won my class in an autocross event after smoking the evil weed. Before anyone gets too excited the statute of limitations has been exceeded many times over and the only things at risk were some traffic cones and maybe the paint job on my brand new 240Z. I sure wish I had kept that car. February 3, 2016 9:58 AM Log in to Reply Calypso Point taken. I guess my comment was more to elicit acknowledgement that just because MJ is illegal that, in and of itself, doesn’t prevent Benevolus’ employee from having a toke or two. If B truly wants to know if the employee is or is not impaired, then the drug test works regardless as to the legality of said drug. February 3, 2016 10:38 AM Benevolus And I am just saying that even if it were legal, if there is no established threshold for “impaired”, then companies have little choice but to have zero tolerance, which makes the legality kind of moot, since anyone working couldn’t ever partake anyway. February 3, 2016 11:50 AM Noway2016 Valid point, B. If he continues to come into your office and says, “Hey, Bud, let’s party!!” you should really be concerned! February 3, 2016 9:21 AM Log in to Reply John Konop Agree Calypso! February 3, 2016 10:59 AM Log in to Reply gcp The “War on Drugs” ended many years ago. Currently only 11.51% (6091 inmates) of our Ga. state prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses and most of these are for trafficking/distribution. Legalizing marijuana is a good idea but it does little to address incarceration or poverty. Deal asked for 20 million more for prison spending in this years budget, some of which will go to prison educational programs. Currently only 30% of Ga. inmates have a high school diploma or GED while at the same time our prison recidivism rate is approximately 44%. To successfully address poverty and crime you must address single parent, dysfunctional homes. February 3, 2016 10:27 AM Log in to Reply Calypso “The “War on Drugs” ended many years ago.” I assume the Armistice was signed on April 20? February 3, 2016 10:44 AM Log in to Reply gcp It ended like it began, without a date. February 3, 2016 10:53 AM Log in to Reply John Konop gcp, In all due respect it goes beyond prison sentence…..the War on Drugs overwhelming targets the poor who cannot afford the process….Not only are they arrested at an alarming rate above the wealthy relative to use, the economic situation makes compliance much more difficult via lack of money, opportunities….. …………The title of this post is the subheadline of this notable Politico commentary authored by Charles Koch and Mark Holden. Here are excerpts: As Americans, we like to believe the rule of law in our country is respected and fairly applied, and that only those who commit crimes of fraud or violence are punished and imprisoned. But the reality is often different. It is surprisingly easy for otherwise law-abiding citizens to run afoul of the overwhelming number of federal and state criminal laws. This proliferation is sometimes referred to as “overcriminalization,” which affects us all, but most profoundly harms our disadvantaged citizens. Overcriminalization has led to the mass incarceration of those ensnared by our criminal justice system, even though such imprisonment does not always enhance public safety. Indeed, more than half of federal inmates are nonviolent drug offenders. Enforcing so many victimless crimes inevitably leads to conflict between our citizens and law enforcement. As we have seen all too often, it can place our police officers in harm’s way, leading to tragic consequences for all involved. How did we get in this situation? It began with well-intentioned lawmakers who went overboard trying to solve perceived or actual problems. Congress creates, on average, more than 50 new criminal laws each year. Over time, this has translated into more than 4,500 federal criminal laws spread across 27,000 pages of the United States federal code. (This number does not include the thousands of criminal penalties in federal regulations.) As a result, the United States is the world’s largest jailer — first in the world for total number imprisoned and first among industrialized nations in the rate of incarceration…. We have paid a heavy price for mass incarceration and could benefit by reversing this trend. It has been estimated that at least 53 percent of those entering prison were living at or below the U.S. poverty line when their sentence began. Incarceration leads to a 40 percent decrease in annual earnings, reduced job tenure and higher unemployment. A Pew Charitable Trust study revealed that two-thirds of former inmates with earnings in the bottom fifth upon release in 1986, remained at or below that level 20 years later. A Villanova University study concluded that “had mass incarceration not occurred, poverty would have decreased by more than 20 percent, or about 2.8 percentage points” and “several million fewer people would have been in poverty in recent years.” African-Americans, who make up around 13 percent of the U.S. population but account for almost 40 percent of the inmates, are significantly affected by these issues. According to Harvard sociologist Bruce Western: “Prison has become the new poverty trap. It has become a routine event for poor African-American men and their families, creating an enduring disadvantage at the very bottom of American society.”… Fixing our criminal system could reduce the overall poverty rate as much as 30 percent, dramatically improving the quality of life throughout society — especially for the disadvantaged. Some prior related posts on Koch family efforts in support of criminal justice reform:…….. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/overcriminalization-of-america-113991 February 3, 2016 10:57 AM Log in to Reply gcp John Konop We been through this discussion many times. Once again, our total federal prison population is approximately 196,000 in a country of well over 300 million total population. Our Ga. prison population is currently 52,972, 50.68% are in for violent crimes and 15.69% for sexual crimes. These folks need to be incarcerated. Most of the others are repeat thieves, burglars, drug deals, fraudsters that don’t want to rehabilitate. Additionally we have approximately 35,667 in local jails. Most of these individuals are serving short sentences for misdemeanors or are awaiting trial. These totals hardly constitute “mass incarceration.” The problems are rooted in the bad family structure that we see so often and contact with the justice system is often the result. February 3, 2016 11:37 AM Log in to Reply Dave Bearse Yesterday was Groundhog Day, and the US House for the 60th plus time voted to repeal Obamacare. A timely vote reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day. Who says life doesn’t imitate art? For those thinking the GOP has solutions—the number of the House votes on an Obamacare replacement plan in the five plus years since its enactment—that would be zero. February 3, 2016 8:37 AM Log in to Reply John Konop GCP, You and I agree on many things and I do respect you….on this topic you over look many issues regarding poor people especially on this issue. Even if a person does not do time, a massive burden of finding a job with an arrest and or conviction record, no drivers licence……is major factor driving poverty as pointed out by Pew, Ohio State study, Stanford study…..The scarlet letter approach is really hurting our country. I give Rand Paul credit for pointing this out in the last debate. …….GOP Debate: Rand Paul says war on drugs disproportionately affecting African 7th GOP Debate: Rand Paul calls out unfairness within the criminal justice system and the war on drugs. – FoxNewsChannel – 5 days ago……… http://cdn.multiplenews.com/video/Fcsd7h2C3Zw/GOP%20Debate:%20Rand%20Paul%20says%20war February 3, 2016 1:36 PM Log in to Reply gcp We have over 100 specialty courts (drug, mental health, veteran) in Ga. If you successfully complete the program you don’t have a conviction, nor do you get prison time. We also have 1st Offender Act for some offenses which clears your conviction if you don’t reoffend. Most violent, sexual and repeat offenders should keep their criminal records/history because potential employers and in some cases, the general public, should know who these people are. I don’t have much compassion when it comes to violent, sexual and repeat offenders. February 3, 2016 3:37 PM Log in to Reply John Konop gcp, The problem is poor kids do not have the same resources to complete the programs as rich kids. They do not have parents to drive them around and or pay uber via driver licence being taking away to complete requirements like job, rehap programs…..Nor do they have inside connections to help with job requirement needed via the kid being on the program….which is public knowledge….The data clearly supports the rich kids have a way better chance of completion than poor kids. You even made the point about parental support needed…. February 3, 2016 4:29 PM Log in to Reply gcp Yes, parental support is always needed. Strong correlation between poverty and single parent households. Let’s encourage two parent households which will result in higher family income, more family emphasis on education, fewer behavior problems and much less criminal activity. Note my comment above. Only 30% of our Ga. inmates have a high school diploma or GED. All kids have access to high school in Ga. and most are within driving distance of a higher education facility yet most inmates chose crime rather than school. Gang life and crime take the place of family when a supportive family does not exist. And no, you don’t have to be rich to have a supportive family. February 3, 2016 5:52 PM Pete Gibbons Do not forget the biggest news of the day. Bowman resident / 5 star recruit / #1 ranked athlete in the county, Mecole Hardman has chosen to stay home and spend his Saturdays at Sanford Stadium. Go Dawgs!! February 3, 2016 9:02 AM Log in to Reply Saltycracker Immigration being one of our top concerns and Purdue recognizing that and looking for sound revisions, why would he settle for ” the next guy will be worse” and support a judge believing amnesty is a solution ? Agree we should move drugs to a health problem starting with legalizing pot and getting a grip on pain medication but poverty has become an institution, a negative one, education a bureaucratic nightmare and law a sport. Its not all gloomy just harder to find safe ports. Hmmm, just read China bought a huge Swiss food company and Muslims want that cross off the Swss flag. And Sonny Wu has made some most excellent US corporate purchases for our technology and moved their HQ to China for their needs. Can’t wait to see if China’s long time favorite agent and self serving family can gain the White House. February 3, 2016 9:06 AM Log in to Reply Dave Bearse Whoa, New Hampshire. Forget Dennis Rodman. Trump has brought in a big gun. Scott Brown, the Republican who ran for Senate in NH, endorsed Trump yesterday in the critical week before the NH presidential primary. Who better to vouch for Trump to NH voters than an out-of-state carpetbagger that ran for office in NH and lost? Too bad that Brown wasn’t able to top Palin’s speech endorsing Trump. She really nailed it. For those that want to start the day with amusement—The Palin speech in its entirety follows a montage of short phrases from the speech: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=palin+speech+endorsing+trump+youtube&qpvt=palin+speech+endorsing+trump+youtube&view=detail&mid=5AC6AA68AD07B197D4615AC6AA68AD07B197D461&FORM=VRDGAR . February 3, 2016 9:43 AM Log in to Reply The Eiger Rand Paul has dropped out of the race. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/268013-rand-paul-drops-2016-bid February 3, 2016 9:49 AM Log in to Reply Ellynn In defense of February; It has a day that all chocolate wrapped in red and pink is marked down by 50-70 %. It has the drama of Leap Year. I get to explain why I run around with black stuff on my forehead on a random Wednesday. We have the Book festival and the Irish festival here in town. AND people send me presents and money, plus take me out to expensive dinners – just because my mom had to suffer through 36 hours of labor. It’s A Great Month!!!! February 3, 2016 10:43 AM Log in to Reply Calypso Well, Happy ValenLeapAshBookEireBirthday to you Ellynn! February 3, 2016 10:47 AM Log in to Reply Lea Thrace ^^What Calypso said February 3, 2016 11:04 AM Log in to Reply John Konop I give a big thumps up to Scot Turner and Micheal Caldwell with this bill. No way the government should be able to take your assets unless until you are convicted. If the items you have are illegal, than that is a different case. Taking money, cars…….until you are convicted is just wrong. We leave in a society that the burden of proof is suppose to be on the government, not the other way around. This was a cornerstone issue we fought for…… ……….State Rep. Scot Turner, R-Holly Springs, introduced House Bill 832 Monday, a piece of legislation that would require a conviction before the state could legally seize someone’s belongings. The effort, he said, is “to re-establish our constitutional rights.” “We are going to go through the committee process and we will have a hearing on this bill too and we will go from there,” Turner said. “We had a significant restructuring last year of the civil assets forfeiture process which allowed for the reform that I am offering to be very simple and we will see if there will be support as we go through the committee process.” In addition to Turner, the bill is sponsored by Reps. John Pezold, R-Columbus, Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, Heath Clark, R-Warner Robins, and Michael Caldwell, R-Woodstock. “It is purely a ‘what is right versus wrong’ in our American justice system. We believe, as one of our four principles as Americans, that we have a right to due process and that we should not be punished unless we are convicted of a crime,” Turner said. “Today’s civil assets forfeiture laws in Georgia establish a cart before the horse scenario where they are able to punish without a conviction.”………… http://search.sidecubes.com/?category=Web&st=sc&ic=&q=bill+832+turner+ledger February 3, 2016 2:03 PM Log in to Reply Add a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.