Daily Archives: July 13, 2017

Voluntary euthanasia vote set to test conscience of New Zealand’s … – TVNZ

Posted: July 13, 2017 at 7:41 am

With the voluntary euthanasia bill set to face its first reading soon after the election, MPs will face a conscience vote on whether the terminally-ill should have the right to choose when they die.

Early indications suggest it will be a close vote, with more MPs undecided or refusing to comment than coming out with a concrete answer on how they will vote.

The two most high-profile no votes come in the form of Prime Minister Bill English and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Mr Coleman told 1 NEWS “I am in favour of good quality palliative care”.

Deputy leader of the Labour Party Jacinda Ardern has stated she will vote yes on the bill, while Labour leader Andrew Little is undecided, but leaning towards yes with the right safeguards in place.

The vote has been a long time coming, with the issue really gaining momentum again when Auckland GP, Dr John Pollock went vocal with his support for euthanasia after being diagnosed with a metastic melanoma before his death in 2010.

Dr Pollock said in a letter shortly after his diagnosis: “I regret that we don’t have the same euthanasia laws as Holland.

“There I would have the comfort of being able to preset my limits and be safe in the knowledge that my doctor could and would comply.”

He went on to say he had doctors in his corner, but “could not and would not, ask them to do anything illegal.”

His widow Elaine Pollock agreed with her late-husband, telling 1 NEWS NOW she had two friends in Holland who found great comfort knowing they could choose when to end their battle with terminal disease.

She said neither of her friends ended up going down the path of assisted dying, but it was a great help to them and their families to know the option was there.

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Economic and Social Effects of Crime – Growing Interest In …

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Crime is a major part of every society. Its costs and effects touch just about everyone to some degree. The types of costs and effects are widely varied. In addition, some costs are short-term while others last a lifetime. Of course the ultimate cost is loss of life. Other costs to victims can include medical costs, property losses, and loss of income.

Losses to both victims and nonvictims can also come in the form of increased security expenses including stronger locks, extra lighting, parking in more expensive secure lots, security alarms for homes and cars, and maintaining guard dogs. Considerable money is spent to avoid being victimized. Other types of expenses can include a victim or person fearful of crime moving to a new neighborhood, funeral expenses, legal fees, and loss of school days.

Some costs of crime are less tangible (not easily or precisely identified). These kinds of costs can include pain and suffering, and a lower quality of life. There are also the traumatic impacts on friends and the disruption of family. Behavior can be forever changed and shaped by crime, whether it be weighing the risks of going to certain places or even the fear of making new friends.

Inmates led by a drill instructor at an Oregon correctional institution boot camp. About thirty states operate similar facilities, combining military-style workouts, strict discipline, and intensive substance abuse counseling. (AP/Wide World Photos)

Crime not only affects economic productivity when victims miss work, but communities also are affected through loss of tourism and retail sales. Even the so-called victimless crimes of prostitution, drug abuse, and gambling have major social consequences. Drug abuse affects worker productivity, uses public funds for drug treatment programs and medical attention, and leads to criminal activity to support the expenses of a drug habit.

Communities and governments spend public funds for police departments, prisons and jails, courts, and treatment programs, including the salaries of prosecutors, judges, public defenders, social workers, security guards, and probation officers. The amount of time spent by victims, offenders, their families, and juries during court trials also take away from community productivity. By the beginning of the twenty-first century it was estimated that the annual cost of crime in the United States was reaching upward toward $1.7 trillion.

Anderson, Elijah. Streetwise: Race, Class and Change in an Urban Community. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Beckett, Katherine. Making Crime Pay: Law and Order in Contemporary American Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. Gun Violence: The Real Costs. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Felson, Marcus. Crime and Everyday Life. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 1998.

Gray, Charles M., ed. The Costs of Crime. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1979.

Madriz, Esther. Nothing Bad Happens to Good Girls: Fear of Crime in Women’s Lives. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997.

Skogan, Wesley G. Disorder and Decline: Crime and the Spiral of Decay in American Neighborhoods. New York: Free Press, 1990.

Welsh, Brandon C., David P. Farrington, and Lawrence W. Sherman, eds. Costs and Benefits of Preventing Crime. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001.

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Economic and Social Effects of Crime – Growing Interest In …

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NB man charged in sex trafficking sting – ECM Post Review

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Chad James Eckel

A North Branch man was among a group of people charged as a result of two-day sex trafficking sting conducted by the Anoka County Sheriffs Office last month. Chad James Eckel, 31, made his first court appearance on the charge June 30. His bail was set at $5,000 with conditions or $50,000 with no conditions. According to the Anoka County Sheriffs Office website, Eckel was released July 1 after posting bail. Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter said one of the conditions of his release was that he have no contact with anyone under 18 years of age. His next court appearance is July 24. According to a press release from the Anoka County Attorneys Office, a total of 19 people were arrested in the sting, and the office has levied charges against 11 of them. Six more cases are under review by the office, and charges are likely. The defendants were arrested after soliciting sex acts from undercover officers who were posing as children. Each defendant is charged with one felony count of electronic solicitation of a child (engage in sexual communication). Earlier this week, law enforcement from multiple agencies executed a well-organized initiative targeting those with desires to prey upon the youth of our community, said Paul Young, chief of the Anoka County Attorneys Office Criminal Division. Simply stated, this will not be tolerated. Kudos to all of the law enforcement experience and labor channeled for this investigation. While this investigation and these crimes did not involve any real children, we know these are not victimless crimes. This type of crime predatory conduct in search of exploiting children has no geographic boundary and impacts our whole community.

Criminal sexual conduct charge Eckel was charged in Chisago and Hennepin counties with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony, in October 2015 related to an incident where he allegedly touched a girl under the age of 13 an act that included sexual penetration. However, prosecution has not moved forward on those charges. In December 2016, counsel for the defendant made a motion in the Chisago County matter to examine the defendants competency to stand trial, Reiter said. The defendant was found incompetent to stand trial in both the Hennepin County and Chisago County matters earlier this year. By rule, the prosecution of these matters is suspended. Prosecution may be reinitiated with a new evaluation of his competency. The Anoka County charge could lead to a reassessment of Eckels competency to stand trial. With the new charges in Anoka County, there will likely be additional reviews of the Mr. Eckels mental and cognitive status, Reiter said.

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Take a look at this wonderfully awful net neutrality Day of Action counter-protest – Mashable

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New York Times
Take a look at this wonderfully awful net neutrality Day of Action counter-protest
Carter also happened to be the associate producer on the failed Atlas Shrugged movie adaptation. Not ringing any bells? Well, regardless, you get the idea: These are serious people with serious ideas, and you should definitely take their arguments in
Join the Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12th – Battle for the NetBattle for the Net
Net Neutrality Day of Action: Help preserve the open internet – Google BlogGoogle Blog
Join the Fight for #NetNeutrality – Twitter BlogTwitter Blog
Net Neutrality Facts – Internet Association –AT&T Public Policy Blog
all 393 news articles »

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Reflection from Aspen Ideas Fest: Collective Action in the Land of Rugged Individualism – Skoll Foundation

Posted: at 7:39 am

Like many on the coasts, Ive been guilty of engaging in armchair anthropology these past months, and my recent trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival allowed me the opportunity to binge on this newfound interest. In the days since, Ive been stuck on one particular notion that seems to inform our divisivecurrent statethe paradox of cooperative living versus rugged individualism.

In classrooms all over America (at least in the 70s and 80s when I was in school), we learned about the individuals who helped tame the rough, romantic frontier as we pushed westward. In textbooks, we admired those charismatic individuals (think: Davy Crockett, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley) who blasted through boundaries. For better or worse, this grand American ideal is now ingrained in our collective mindset.

Cooperative living used to mean you met once a year with your neighbor to fix the fence line that separated your properties. In todays context, we still admire the tough business leader who makes a company successful despite all challengeswithout acknowledging the hard working team around them. Lets face it- its easy to get caught up in that sexy, Atlas-Shrugged-Ayn Rand ideal. Moderation, cooperation, mediation, prudence, and collective identity are just not as attractive as admiring a single, striving person.

But now Im a grown up. Sort of. And this vision does not square with how Ive found success and actually, joy in life. Being part of a community, with common expectations, rules, goals and successes, has been where I have found greatest satisfaction. Supporting one another in good times and bad seems, well, right. Self-interest as a guiding principle seems, well, wrong. And its not how I see people raising children now either.

While listening to so many smart people in Aspen, I was struck by how America is stuck in this duality, especially with regard to foreign affairsgo it alone or join the global community. One session I attended, Has American Grand Strategy Gone Missing?, clearly described this current struggle with scholars and policy experts across the spectrum. If I favored a collective approach to global priorities prior to that discussion, Im now a confirmed believer in a global community. I know Earth is our collective home, and what we do here affects a whole lot of other communities around the world. The same is true in China, Africa, South America, you name it.

Pandemics know nothing of borders. Rising sea levels will affect all coastal cities. It is not a zero sum game, and if we do not work together, well all lose in this new America-First paradigm. We must navigate these massive issues with this collective, global context in mind, not retreat to our little safe corner of the world. Many who gathered in Aspen last week, have direct lines to those in power and are crafting arguments that persuade decision makers to see beyond a limited horizon. I am hopeful these rational, moderatedare I say prudentvoices will become the new heroes of todays classrooms.

image (cc) Todd Petrie

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Libertarians’ Lost Voice in the Paid Leave Debate – Reason.com – Reason

Posted: at 7:38 am

Policy leaders are pressing the government to ensure workers have paid time off. Whether government has any businesses dictating what benefits must be included in the employment packages of Americans is rarely considered. The libertarian perspective is all but entirely absent in the discussion. That needs to change.

Our federal government has limited responsibilities, and micromanaging leave practices isn’t one of them. Even the best-intentioned policies have unintended consequences that backfire on those they are supposed to help. We need to call out policymakers who use the excuse of a safety net to justify any new rules and regulations that needlessly restrict options for all Americans.

That’s the predictable tactic employed by the Left, which is pushing extensive paid leave programs with increasing success. San Francisco’s city council created a city-wide paid leave mandate on top of California’s state paid leave program. Washington, DC just created an even more generous program.

Liberal women’s groups and progressive activists regularly promote social media memes charging the United States is alone in the world in failing to guarantee paid time off for workers. They imply this deficiency is latent sexism or a lack of compassion for workers, women, and children.

But some on the Right are also embracing this logic. The American Enterprise Instituteconsidered a free-market organizationjust released a joint report with the more liberal Brookings Institution, entitled “Paid Family and Medical Leave: An Issue Whose Time Has Come.” The authors noted they’d disagreed about the particulars of the best policy solution, but “unanimously agreed that some form of paid parental leave should be offered to help workers at the time of birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.”

They outline a “compromise plan” to provide eligible workers with 70 percent of their wages for eight weeks of gender-neutral paid parental leave. This new federal entitlement program would be funded by a dedicated payroll tax and cuts to other spending.

AEI’s report came just after the release of the President’s budget outline, which included funding to expand the state-based Unemployment Insurance system with the goal of providing workers with a similar benefit.

There is pushback against sweeping new government entitlements. The Independent Women’s Forum (where I work) argues that policymakers should instead seek policy reforms that help workers while minimizing economic disruption. Allowing workers to save tax-free for when they need time off for work is one such idea.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) could also serve as a model to provide a financial boost to lower-income workers who lack paid leave benefits. The IWF argues that any government intervention ought to be need-based, rather than a mandated entitlement program that would effectively do to our compensation system what ObamaCare did to health insurance.

The public likes the idea of government doing something to make sure new parents have a benefit that lets them spend more time at home with their children. But often overlooked is that the money has to come from somewhere. Businesses forced to pay more for benefits have less for increased wages.

Mandates that make employees more expensive offer less incentive for businesses to hire more and more highly skilled employees (that’s bad news for lower-wage workers). Employers may avoid hiring those most likely to use benefits, particularly women. A government one-size-fits-all paid leave program would also discourage voluntary alternative work arrangements like job-sharing and telecommuting that benefit employers and employees.

Allowing the government to dictate what must be in our employment contracts is another chip off the block of basic liberty and self-determination. It becomes illegal for an employer to offer a job that doesn’t fit the government rule. As an employee, you can’t choose to take a greater share of your compensation as take-home pay; you can’t decide to save on your own for time away from work in the future; government has decided how this must be handled.

There is also the matter of fairness. A paid leave mandate creates winners and losers. People with families and children will receive the benefits, while those who cannot or choose not to have children will pay for benefits they are far less likely to use.

That doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t offer leave benefits. Rather we should allow employers to create a variety of work relationships that appeal to their employees’ unique needs. Some workers will gravitate to businesses offering more robust benefits. Others may prefer companies that compensate with higher pay. Enabling people to act on their preferences is what the marketplace is all about.

The United States is a Constitutional Republic with a federal government that is supposed to have limited powers used for very specific purposes. Micromanaging employment contracts or taxing some citizens to give money to others shouldn’t be among those powers.

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Libertarian Party of Arkansas Set to Appear on 2018 Ballot – KARK

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – After receiving the required number of signatures, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas (LPAR) has received the green light to appear on the 2018 ballot in Arkansas.

Monday, Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin declared the Libertarian Party a New Political Party for the fourth consecutive time.

Now that the LPAR is officially on the ballot for 2018, candidate recruitment will be the partys next major task.

The Party had submitted 15,108 signatures to the Elections Division of the Secretary of States office on June 12. After spending almost three weeks verifying the submitted signatures, the Secretary of State notified the party that its new political party petition was sufficient. Leslie Bellamy, the Director of Elections, informed the party that 12,749 of the signatures were valid.

In accordance with Arkansas Code, new political parties are required to file a petition with the Secretary of State. The party has 90 days to collect signatures from at least 10,000 registered Arkansas voters. To retain ballot access, the partys candidate for Governor will have to receive 3% of the votes cast for Governor.

According to Stephen Wait, the partys Treasurer, Petitioning to become a new political party again cost over $25,000 and a lot of volunteer hours. Despite the obstacles the old parties put in our way, we are happy to provide freedom loving Arkansans the opportunity to vote for candidates who will represent their views.

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas is currently seeking liberty minded individuals who are interested in running for office. The LPARs elections committee has already been contacted by numerous people interested in seeking the partys nomination for various positions.

Vice-chairman, Chris Olson, said It’s an important election with all constitutional officers up for election. We are committed to providing the people of Arkansas with a strong set of pro-liberty candidates. We will not shirk from our commitment to providing a consistent voice for limited responsible government. He urged those who are interested in running for office as a Libertarian to contact elections@lpar.org for more information.

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An Open Letter to Roger Stone From a Sandy Hook Mother – The … – The Atlantic

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There is so very little about the devastating moments after learning about our daughters murder that I remember clearly. Our brains have this amazing capacity for protecting us by limiting the amount of information that we can take in at one time. For nearly six months after the shooting, I asked myself and those around me daily, Did this really happen?

Thats what I thought about on Monday when I learned that Roger Stone, a political strategist, was attacking the parents of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer whose murder has attracted the interest of conspiracy theorists. Does anyone else thinks it’s odd that Seth Rich’s parents have no interest in finding out who killed their son ? #payoff? he asked on Twitter. I thought of their grief, and remembered my own.

Our 6-year-old daughter Ana Grace was murdered in the nations worst elementary school mass shooting on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut. Our son survived. Yet despite hearing from first responders, planning a funeral, and lowering a tiny white coffin into the ground, the idea that we would have to spend the rest of our lives without her was too difficult to accept. I heard her, saw her, and felt her for weeks afterward. I stood in a check-out line at a Target girls section with an arm full of clothing for a boy and a girl the following spring.

A Mother’s Fear Post-Sandy Hook

There was just no way I could fathom the amount of pain, the amount of missing, the amount of grief that flooded our world (and continues to) since Anas loss. As the five-year mark of the tragedy approaches, we still struggle. We have done amazing things. We have started a foundation. We have made the world more beautiful and more safe. We have raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity. We have raised awareness and provide funding for programs that reduce social isolation and promote community and connection to reduce violence. Our focus is schools. Our focus is raising our surviving son. Our focus is staying married and healthy and beating dismal odds. And yet for our family, the shock that this is your life for the rest of your life? It never fully goes away.

This level of shock/denial isn’t uncommon or even remotely something we should pathologize. In the familiar Kbler-Ross grief stages, denial is the beginning of the journey and acceptance is the final destination. But grief is not linear, nor can it be neatly packaged or compartmentalized into logical phases. Grief is a loopy road full of U-turns and nosedives. Grief is messy and unpredictable. I have often said, Somewhere on the continuum between overwhelmed and overcomingthat is where a griever lives at all times.

I am finally willing to accept that Ana was brutally taken from us. I am willing to accept that my husband and I have joined a large but mostly marginalized tribe called bereaved parents. But I am not willing to accept that we live in an America that normalizes the abuse of bereaved parents who lose their loved ones to tragedy.

Culturally, we have much to understand about grief and providing support to victims. But we are now asking survivors of high-profile tragedy to withstand not only their loss, but flagrant and intentional harm after it.

This harm comes in the form of attacks on parents by conspiracy theorists. My own experience with them has taught me that they come in a few varieties:

Conspiracy theorists have been around for a long time. They shouldn’t be confused with those who simply engage in healthy questioning of government, of people, or of ideas. Questioning is necessary and good. The sting of cruelty of those in the second category fades over time. You learn to pick them out and perhaps even feel sorry for them. It is wrong and awful but you come to realize that they are even more miserable than you are. And our local police have been amazing in their response to all of this.

But the third category is where you come in, Roger Stone. You intentionally use your platform to espouse theories debunked by law enforcement and that a bereaved family has expressly asked you to stop promoting.

Your actions have real consequences for those of us grieving. Your continued exploitation of these types of events result in targeted attacks by other hoaxers. Your continued attacks make it nearly impossible for us to heal. It is our job to handle the business of surviving child lossforging a path on a planet with an incomplete family. It should not be our job to deal with the likes of the bullshit you put out.

You identify as a libertarian, conservative, rabble rouser and I counter that you are none of what you describe. There is nothing libertarian about attacking bereaved parents. There is nothing conservative about suggesting that Seth Richs family was paid off. There is no amount of money in the world that would be enough to take part in anything like this.

Be careful when you mess with the bereaved. We are starting to speak out and stand up for each other. Hear the rally cry of a small but fearless group of hurting people reminding you that this isn’t funny. This is real.

You are not a rabble rouser. You are irresponsible. You are cruel. You are a bully. You are careless in word and deed. And I will not normalize this. We will not normalize this. None of us should.

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Freedom Philosophy: Canada Divided Over Funding an Illegally-Imprisoned Terrorist – Being Libertarian

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Being Libertarian
Freedom Philosophy: Canada Divided Over Funding an Illegally-Imprisoned Terrorist
Being Libertarian
This issue is rife with difficulty and lacks ethical clarity from a libertarian perspective. Under U.S. imprisonment, Khadr didn't receive a trial within a reasonable timeframe, which is illegal. He was also denied habeas corpus, also illegal. Lastly
Khadr's Compensation: 71% of Canadians say government made wrong call by settling out of court – Angus Reid InstituteAngus Reid Institute

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Libertarians earn spots on ’18 ballot, urge better access – Arkansas Online

Posted: at 7:38 am

For the fourth consecutive election cycle, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas has been declared a “new political party.”

Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office certified in a letter Monday that the party collected enough valid signatures to qualify for ballot access statewide.

The state Libertarian Party has never met a threshold set in Arkansas law to automatically retain ballot access — as have the state Republican and Democratic parties — and avoid a petition process.

Michael Pakko, chair of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas, would like to see the state’s process change.

“As far as ballot access goes, we really haven’t made much progress there,” he said. “I think the weakest part of the whole system of ballot access is it’s limited to one single office. If you don’t get 3 percent of the vote at the top of the ticket, then you’re not a political party.”

In Arkansas, a party needs to obtain 3 percent of the total votes cast for the office of governor or nominees for presidential electors at the first general election after certification to retain ballot access.

In 2016, the party’s candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, received 2.6 percent of the vote in Arkansas. In 2012, he received 1.5 percent of the vote.

So last month, the party submitted more than 15,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office to become a “new political party.” The office’s certification means that at least 10,000 were valid — the requirement for starting any new political party.

Pakko said collecting the signatures through paid canvassers cost about $30,000 this year.

Nationally, the Libertarian party now has ballot access in 38 states. Among states bordering Arkansas, the party currently lacks access only in Tennessee, according to the national party’s website.

Pakko said the national party had automatic ballot access in 35 states immediately after the 2016 election, but it failed to meet various requirements in 15 others, including Arkansas.

Libertarians won recognition as an official Arkansas political party for the first time in 2011 after collecting more than 16,000 signatures.

Now that the party is certified, Pakko said its attention will shift to recruiting candidates. The party plans to hold a convention in late February.

“We are a party that believes in limited government, that individuals should have the right to live their lives the way they see fit without interference of government — so long as you’re not imposing on someone else,” Pakko said. “It’s a very live-and-let-live approach to government. If people believe in that kind of outlook, well, we welcome them to join the Libertarian party.”

Mark West, a pastor in Batesville, announced last month that he is running for governor as a Libertarian next year.

Information for this article was contributed by Michael R. Wickline of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Metro on 07/12/2017

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