Chasing drug use in public housing, rabbits and the tax code, eye on the eagles, trucker bombs in North Dakota, and some shoes for Igor.
1) CHASING DRUG USE IN PUBLIC HOUSING
Meth dealers are apparently running roughshod over tenants in at least one of the five public housing buildings in Fargo, the Fargo Forum reports. So housing officials are going to send in a drug sniffing dog to identify which tenants have drugs.
Is it a proper response or a slippery slope?
Executive Director Lynn Fundingsland said that in each building, the tenants and/or the FHRA's property manager requested the search because of reports of drug use and drug dealing in the buildings.
"We've got kind of a vulnerable population, so we see it as kind of a safety issue for them," housing authority executive director Lynn Fundingsland told the paper. He said the older, sometimes disabled, tenants are too afraid to report the dealers.
The alternative weekly, the High Plains Reader, has a different take:
The notion that a man's home is his castle comes to mind. The notion of privacy in the confines of one's home comes to mind. The notion of due process and protections against unreasonable search and seizure comes to mind, as well.
Our hats off to FHRA for its positive and significant role in our community. Meantime, we challenge Fargo Housing Authority to not embark on this path utilizing drug detection dogs on premises of its citizens for whom the agency provides home and shelter. That action is an overstep of reasonable bounds and will set precedence for similar action by other landlords who house some 54 percent of Fargo's population. While we agree that hard-core criminal activity needs to be nipped in the bud, we do not endorse trampling fundamental rights of countless other citizens as an acceptable means to get there.
"Doesn't bother me at all," one tenant said. "My pot-smokin' days are long gone."
Related: Utah's governor has signed legislation requiring drug screening for people on public assistance.
2) RABBITS AND THE TAX CODE
Herman Cain, the presidential candidate who was derailed by reports of some marital infidelity, told everyone he wasn't going away. He's released a new ad that is... well... here:
3) EYE ON THE EAGLES
4) WELCOME TO NORTH DAKOTA! WATCH OUT FOR THE EXPLODING URINE!
Is there a harder working person on the planet than the person who has to come up with a tourism campaign for North Dakota?
Nothing personal, mind you, North Dakota, but while the Oil Patch is making you rich, what's the cost in your pride? The Associated Press has details of the latest reason for the state's natives to flee the hordes coming for work -- trucker bombs: Plastic jugs of urine pitched out windows as scores of truckers pass through oil country.
"It is a huge issue, but one of the biggest problems is there isn't lot of places for these guys to stop to properly dispose of the receptacles," Tom Balzer, executive vice president of the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, said.
Well, there's that. And they're pigs.
"I don't know that it's a case of being disrespectful but of the unbelievable growth out there," Balzer said.
Organizations participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program have been dwindling, partly because the trucker bombs explode in the heat and most of the retirement-age volunteers decided there were better ways to spend an afternoon.
Some lawmakers decided not to put up signs advising the not-disrespectful truckers not to toss their urine bombs out of the truck because they thought they'd be off-putting.
The truckers could hold onto the containers until they reach a rest area, but apparently they're too embarrassed to be seen lugging a jug of urine into a bathroom.
Of course, North Dakota doesn't have the market cornered on pigs. On the New Hampshire coast, last week's warm weather brought out beach-goers and their garbage.
5) SOME SHOES FOR IGOR
Can't someone make some shoes for Igor Vovkivinskiy? The Rochester man (you may remember him from the last presidential campaign) is the largest man in the country and he can't get shoes, WCCO reports.
Bonus I: While you and I pound the hours away at work, some people get paid to create -- and then fly -- paper airplanes. There's an injustice here somewhere. This happened last week via the Pima Air and Space Museum.
Bonus II: Guess where this is:
National Geographic has posted a man of the United States with the dominant surnames listed by region. (h/t: @charlierybak)
The U.S. Supreme Court continues to hear arguments about the Affordable Care Act. Today's Question: How would a ruling against the health care law affect President Obama's political standing?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: Oral arguments continue today in the Affordable Care Act. Today the heart of the act, the individual mandate, is at stake in today's arguments.
Second hour: Lots of signs point to a fairly steady economic recovery. The unemployment rate, while still high, is falling; consumer confidence is up; industrial output is nearly back to its pre-recession level; blue chip stocks have recouped their losses. As the November election looms, President Obama will continue to point out his role in bringing America out of the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression, but a key question remains: If the economy is truly in recovery, is the president good, or just lucky?
Third hour: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Guest: Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore. His latest book is "Pakistan on the Brink:The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan."
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Broadcast Journalist Series with NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: How we talk about race.
Second hour: Health care and the Constitution.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - From NPR: When five hardcore, post-punk musicians come together, the sound won't usually be described as folksy or mellow. But the East London group Dry the River is anything but
#4 - First of all, gross. I've noticed this happening in the outskirts of Chicago as well. I work in an industrial park where there is a lot of truck traffic. I go for walks on my lunch break and I see these "recycled" bottles long the streets all too often.
Sadly, the first one I saw was a Mountain Dew bottle and I assumed it was discarded because it contained Mountain Dew, I suppose in a way, it did. Sigh.
@#4 New Hampshire isn't the only state with filthy beach goers, Last summer one Sunday morning, me and my (at the time) betrothed decided to take a walk to long lake park. She was disgusted by the filth left by the beach from what was likely the Saturday evening crowd. I held the dog while she did some clean up on the park rather then enjoying our morning stroll because inconsiderate a******* can't manage to walk to one of the many trash cans that are in the area.
Just saying, every one in the country should give a hoot and not pollute... or get a swift kick in the crotch.
1) The place where dealers hide their stash,
was paid for with taxpayers' cash.
Where crime is rampant, fear abounds,
Time to end this #@!&, send in the hounds!
2) This is the ballad of Herman Cain,
champion of the insane.
He may think his spots are funny,
then again, he's not a bunny.
3) I think that I will never see,
an eagle hatching in a tree,
because if it where up to me,
I'd give the birds some privacy.
4) Men move up there to earn some loot,
and find a new way to pollute.
While officials say the battle is lost,
how much could a porta potty cost?
5) I'm not sure how this made the news,
a giant's quest to find some shoes.
I'm sure Red Wing will heed his call
it's good PR, after all.
The rights of the many vs. the rights of a few.
What it has become is the rights of the few OVER the rights of the many.
#4 and the photo. Classic and symbolically appropriate and actually if the bottle were filled with blood that would be even more truthful, I would take the article a step further and comment that Coke and Coke products should be banned.
It might be an ingenious invention to create a gadget that truckers can use in their truck. Walmart could see them. That would be appropriate too.
I can only wonder how many people that would tsk-tsk the truck drivers for tossing their porta-potties think nothing of flicking a cigarette out of their car window.
Hermain Cain's ad is probably trying to get people to talk, which is probably working.
I remember hearing about urine bombs years ago. Someone mentioned they had a friend/knew someone who did maintenance/landscaping work for the state (I think) and had to mow the grass along the highways. Another image of a "urine bomb" would be when one of those big mowers go over them.
Regarding #1 - When *you* own the apartment building, you get to make the rules. Meth dealers can go cook and deal in a ditch somewhere.
@Tyler- Which is why banks can come into your mortgaged home and make sure you are not a drug dealer, right?
And about Igor, I've worked with him and he's a great guy, but its disappointing to see pieces that describe him in the standard trope of "gentle giant"- he's a man who's been putting up with people staring at him for his whole life, had to move across the globe in order to not die in childhood and gets angry about things just like the rest of us.
//I can only wonder how many people that would tsk-tsk the truck drivers for tossing their porta-potties think nothing of flicking a cigarette
They're pigs, too.
Clearly I am not as creative as Bob Moffit, but I did just buy a book of "Shakespeare's Insults" at an estate sale this week-end.
Regarding Herman Cain:
"Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?"
(From: Much Ado About Nothing)
Bob Moffit - Look's like your muse is visiting.
Herman Cain appears to be seriously mentally ill. But Newt made a come back, so who knows what heights Herman might still eventually achieve.
Re Urine bombs - I've lived in banana republics, where the fans seated in the peanut galleries at the soccer games or in the movie theaters often graced those with better seats with liquid filled balloons. ( And Mountain Dew isn't marketed south of the border :- (
Banks do not own homes unless they foreclose. For a typical home mortgage, the home is owned by the buyer and is collateral against the mortgage. The buyer pays the taxes and is responsible for the property.
Drug sniffing dogs seem like a minimally invasive way to encourage users and dealers to relocate.
I've often considered putting a camera out on my porch to grab some snapshots of the people and cars coming and going from the drug dealers (ahem, alleged drug dealers) across the street. But then this weekend I thought to myself "what if I put a web cam out there and just live-streamed?" I mean anyone that knew about it, not just law enforcement, could see who was coming and going ... But I don't know if that would be a deterrent and I do know that it would put a lot of attention on my house which is probably not fair to my wife and kids. So ... those are just some thoughts still in the percolator.
As for the dog idea, I guess I am ok with the landlord walking through with a drug dog either on his own property or on public right of way. I might go so far as to say that he could even check around cars parked on public property. I agree to these somewhat invasive theatrics precisley BECAUSE the other residents are p.o.'d and feel as though the (alleged) drug dealers are infringing on their quality of life.
When you live in a so-called blighted area drug dealing is not some libertarian, Jeffersonian right of a free people kind of a thing. It's a nuisance, a pain in the ass, and it lowers everyones quali8ty of life. I call for an end to the drug war completely and unequivocally legalizing natural drugs. But since that never appears like its going to happen then I say in the meantime that people who do drugs should grow them in their own basement, on their own property or, at the very least, skip the hypocrisy and buy them in their own neighborhood.
JP- a word of caution. I used to take pictures of drug dealers and people being arrested and put them on a blog. A neighbor who was sympathetic to the dealers and gang members found the blog. He then took pictures of me, my family and my house and distributed them to the drug dealers and the gang members. I basically couldn't leave my house for a year without people yelling "snitch" and other such things at me. It was annoying, and a couple times, scary.
It seems to me that the drug sniffing dogs are a means to avoid following due process. If there is reasonable cause, there should be no problem getting the needed warrants.
"It seems to me that the drug sniffing dogs are a means to avoid following due process."
@David - I look forward to that case as I'm also very interested in their decision regarding GPS tracking devises without warrants.