Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Car Theft, Next Rape?

In a multi jurisdictional advertising campaign in metro Washington, DC by local and state police departments, the police are attacking the growing problem of auto theft by saying that car owners who do not do more with locks and alarms are the problem, not the thieves themselves.

The ad is crafted to make the listener sympathetic with the thief, and sends the message that the car owner was "asking for it" and that the car owner is the one to blame for the theft. The car owner is berated and insulted in the ad.

Maybe the police should use this this tactic to handle rape cases. The police could run radio advertising about how it is not the rapist, but the women who are the perpetrators of this crime because they have "asked for it" by their actions.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Virginia Scratchers (Lottery)

There are several state lotteries around, but an interesting advertising campaign comes from the Virginia State Lottery.

In the radio commercial a woman buys her son a number of "scratcher" cards. It turns out the young man does not make enough money to pay rent or own a car. The man is encouraged, by his Mom an Dad no less, to use the scratchers in the hopes he can make enough money from them to pay the rent.

Is this really the message the State of Virginia wants to send out? To tell people to buy lottery tickets to earn money to pay bills?

The lottery has been said to be a tax on those who can not do math. For me, there is no fun in playing the lottery. I'll accept that if someone has the extra money to waste, and they wish to waste it on the lottery, then they should do that. But I question state funds being used to advertise that playing the lottery is a way to earn a living.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Congress Thanksgiving

Many say that congress has important unfinished business as they adjourn and go home for the holidays. Congress just left to start their two weeks off for Thanksgiving holidays. Afterwards they can come back and get to work. At least until the Christmas recess starts.

Congress gets two weeks off for Thanksgiving. How many days did your employer give you off?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Barry Bonds and Martha Stewart

The government arrested Barry Bonds on charges, and he potentially faces 30 years in prison. The case centers around his use of drugs, but that is not what he is arrested for. Instead of being accused of using drugs, he is accused to not telling the truth.

This is I suppose much like the case of Martha Stewart. She was not convicted of insider trader. She was convicted of lying about her trading activities.

I find this trend of prosecutors to be disturbing. If Barry Bonds committed a "real" crime, and there is a need to punish him, then I think they should pursue the underlying crime, not the lying about the crime. If there is no underlying crime, then how can he be convicted of lying about the crime?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that perjury should not be a crime. It is a crime and should be a crime. What I am suggesting is that if a prosecutor cannot get enough evidence to substantiate that the crime occurred and he can't prosecute the actual underlying crime, then he should not use a secondary offense of perjury to attack the same suspect.

Friday, September 14, 2007

September 11th

I had a Friend of mine who does not get out much ask me if there would be activities concerning the 9-11 events of past. I replied that I was sure that people would hold vigils, visit memorials, make speeches, and otherwise give power to the terrorists.

In other countries where terrorism is a regular occurrence, if a bus is bombed, another bus picks up passengers at the same stop the next day. If a store is blown up, it is rebuilt and sells it's wares again. In contrast, here when a building in New York was destroyed, we leveled the ground and put up a memorial to the might of the terrorists.

By January, three months later, more people had died on our highways than in all of the 9-11 events. Did we as a nation give them a second glance? No. But we are still showing the terrorists how they shook us, even though years have passed.

A few, a very few letters with Anthrax were found and the mail system was practically shut down and then reworked in Washington, DC. In the same year thousands died from the flu, but did it make top news week after week?

Giving 9-11 attention empowers the terrorists. Changing our way of life empowers the terrorists. The way to defeat the terrorists is to just go on and continue life as if nothing happened.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Candy Guns

A five year old was suspended for bringing a candy filled water gun to school in Prince George's county Maryland. The school has a policy against students bringing to school weapons, instruments that can be used as weapons or instruments that look like weapons. The school argues that the candy dispenser looked like a weapon.

I have to wonder if the person handling the suspension is purely administrative, or if they are also responsible within the school system for helping form young minds and aid them in making judgements. This did not look like a gun, this looked like a toy filled with candy.

If this person involved in processing the suspension is a teacher I think they should be removed for incompetence. If the teacher cannot tell the difference between a brightly colored candy dispenser and a real weapon then they have no business helping to shape young minds.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Waxman P2P Reforms Favor Terrorists

Rep. Waxman (D) has publicly announced that he thinks that P2P software is a threat to National Security. He seems to base this on the idea that P2P software, like Limewire, can globally share files stored on a computer and make them available to anyone anywhere in the world.

Interestingly enough, Waxman does not fault government agencies for storing classified documents on computers with shared drives, nor does he blame the problem on government employees who either do not understand security polices or do not follow them. Frankly, Waxman appears to be totally clueless concerning P2P technology.

Terrorists worldwide have nothing to fear as long as men like Waxman stand up and do the useless while completely avoiding the necessary.