Are subsidies and incentives worth much, the last prom in Onamia, Mr. Johnson's opus, we're more preoccupied with our phones than each other, and Love unplugged.
As I mentioned in 5x8 this morning, the New York Post printed a photograph of a man who had just been pushed in front of a New York City subway train. Moments after the freelance photographer took the picture, the man was dead.
What is to be gained by publishing the picture? It's a question that haunts journalists who make these decisions.
It's fairly easy for me to say "nothing," and then I recalled one of the most compelling photographs I've ever seen.
I was living in Boston in June 1975, not far from the spot where the great photographer Stanley Foreman took this picture of Diana Bryant, and the girl, Tiare Jones, when the fire escape collapsed. They'd sought shelter on it when fire engulfed their apartment. A radio traffic reporter landed his helicopter on the building trying to save them when it gave way. A fire ladder was just inches from reaching them.
Such are the frailties of life.
For this picture, Foreman was awarded a Pulitzer. And Boston strengthened its fire code.
"We're squeamish because news pictures of the dead and dying are of real people and real events. If a news image works, it penetrates, lingers, forces our attention to the events involving death that it depicts," Barbie Zelizer, the author of About To Die: How News Images Move the Public, said in an interview with Slate last year. "If a news image works, it doesn't disappear when we cast aside the newspaper, dim the TV or turn off the Internet. That may be more intrusion than most people are willing to allow."
Images of the moment of death stay with us in a way a few paragraphs in a newspaper cannot. This image of a Loyalist's moment of death in the Spanish Civil War haunts us still.
As does the moment when Lee Harvey Oswald was killed in 1963.
"Where images of dead bodies often push viewers away, creating a sense of distance and objectification, images of impending death do the opposite: They often draw viewers in, fostering engagement, creating empathy and subjective involvement, inviting debate," Zelizer said.
You're a 95-year-old man whose home has been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Where do you start to pick up the pieces when you're 95? You don't. A bunch of "kids" do it for you.
But, of course, there are thousands more victims of Hurricane Sandy. Even the home of pizza, itself, is on the rocks.(1 Comments)
Corey Curtis, 44, of Racine, Wisconsin keeps having kids -- nine so far with six women. He owes $50,000 in back child support and another $40,000 in interest, the Journal Times reports.
"It's too bad the court doesn't have the authority to sterilize," Racine County Circuit Court Judge Tim Boyle said at a hearing.
That's when the prosecutor piped up that a 2001 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling found that a judge could order people not to procreate unless they keep up to date on support payments.
Then, Boyle so ordered Mr. Curtis to abstain.
The 2001 case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which had no interest in reviewing it.
It's not the first time the original Wisconsin case was used to try to prevent pregnancy. In Texas in 2008, for example, Felicia Salazar, a 20-year old mother, was sentenced to 10 years probation for not protecting her 19-month-old daughter from abuse at the hands of her father. The judge ordered her not to get pregnant during her probation.
In the original Wisconsin case, the justices concluded the order doesn't prevent a man from sowing constitutional oats...
Applying the relevant standard here, we find that the condition is not overly broad because it does not eliminate Oakley's ability to exercise his constitutional right to procreate. He can satisfy the condition of probation by making efforts to support his children as required by law. Judge Hazlewood placed no limit on the number of children Oakley could have. Instead, the requirement is that Oakley acknowledge the requirements of the law and support his present and any future children. If Oakley decides to continue his present course of conduct--intentionally refusing to pay child support--he will face eight years in prison regardless of how many children he has. Furthermore, this condition will expire at the end of his term of probation. He may then decide to have more children, but of course, if he continues to intentionally refuse to support his children, the State could charge him again under § 948.22(2). Rather, because Oakley can satisfy this condition by not intentionally refusing to support his current nine children and any future children as required by the law, we find that the condition is narrowly tailored to serve the State's compelling interest of having parents support their children. It is also narrowly tailored to serve the State's compelling interest in rehabilitating Oakley through probation rather than prison. The alternative to probation with conditions--incarceration for eight years--would have further victimized his children. And it is undoubtedly much broader than this conditional impingement on his procreative freedom for it would deprive him of his fundamental right to be free from physical restraint. Simply stated, Judge Hazlewood preserved much of Oakley's liberty by imposing probation with conditions rather than the more punitive option of imprisonment. See State v. Evans, 77 Wis. 2d 225, 230, 252 N.W.2d 664 (1977) ("Whether sentence 'is withheld or imposed and stayed, a convicted person's status as a probationer is a matter of grace or privilege and not a right' made possible by the legislature.")
But in a dissent, Justice Ann Bradley claimed finances as a requirement of procreation creates an unequal world...
... by allowing the right to procreate to be subjected to financial qualifications, the majority imbues a fundamental liberty interest with a sliding scale of wealth. Men and women in America are free to have children, as many as they desire. They may do so without the means to support the children and may later suffer legal consequences as a result of the inability to provide support. However, the right to have a child has never been rationed on the basis of wealth.
Privacy and ethics laws can't possibly keep up with the pace of medical technology.
The latest evidence of this is a Wall St. Journal story last week that reported on the medical implant devices being installed in people. They're beaming back information to, in this case, Fridley-based Medtronic, which can only give it to a patient's doctor and a patient's hospital, not the patient.
At the same time, though, Medtronic is planning to make money off the data by, perhaps, selling it to insurance companies.
If patients get a look at their own data, doctors are worried they won't know what it means, or worse, they'll overreact to what they think it means.
That theme is becoming clear, too, in a fascinating , infrequent series on NPR about genome sequencing. The latest installment focuses on the debate over whole genome sequencing on babies. If it reveals a particular medical future, what right does the child have to that data -- or to not have that data?
"In theory it sounds absolutely fantastic," says sociologist Stefan Timmermans, who studies newborn screening at UCLA. "The reality is that there's a lot of uncertainty about each of the data points you receive. So if people start making health decisions or life-or-death decisions based on information that is so tenuous at this point, I think this could indeed be a nightmare scenario."
A nightmare, because parents could easily become overwhelmed with confusing or ambiguous information about the health of their baby during one of the most sensitive times in their lives.
There's plenty of evidence that parents already often overreact to the relatively small amount of data that they're getting from little spots of blood collected at birth. Bioethicist Mark Rothstein of the University of Louisville says the tests can lead to so-called vulnerable child syndrome.
These children "are viewed as medically vulnerable and medically frail," Rothstein says. "And so while all the other kids are riding bikes and climbing trees, these kids are sort of sitting in a corner. So they can't even enjoy a normal childhood."
Long-term, it seems, there are also questions of whether insurance companies should ever get ahold of your DNA sequencing to help determine if you're a risky bet.(1 Comments)
In the aftermath of the killing of a popular police officer, it's only human nature to want someone to pay, and pay quickly. Sometimes, real life doesn't work that way and there are good reasons it doesn't.
Ryan Larson was released from jail today after prosecutors said they don't have enough evidence to charge him in the shooting death of Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker last week.
If ever there was a compelling reason for news organizations to abide by their occasional policy of not naming suspects until a person is actually charged with a crime, this case may be it. But they didn't and, already, social media is following a sadly predictable path.
"They better get him. They can't let him get away with this," one reader of WCCO's Jason DeRusha commented on his Facebook page.
"He might want to fear for his life," another said.
"That's just not right!!" said a third.
Releasing Larson doesn't mean he didn't do it. It doesn't mean he did do it. It means the justice system works.
What happens when it doesn't?
Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee think they know. The two served 25 years in prison for the 1977 murder of an Iowa police officer. The Iowa Supreme Court freed the pair in 2003 after it found prosecutors concealed reports about another man seen near the crime scene with a shotgun, and two key witnesses recanted their testimony. They said cops pressured them into implicating Harrington and McGee.
A year ago in Georgia, seven of the nine non-police witnesses recanted their original testimony that Troy Davis killed a police officer. A group of experts, including one from Minnesota, testified that the evidence presented in the case may have led to the wrong man being charged.
Georgia executed him anyway.
"We're in the business of making sure that we convict guilty people and, at the same time, exonerate innocent folks," Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistant Superintendent Drew Evans tells the Star Tribune.
We live in a TV-crime-drama world. Over the course of an hour, we expect crimes to be solved. But real life is more complicated and sometimes it takes time to make sure that justice is done.
And sometimes we just have to accept that it's time well spent.(7 Comments)
Somewhere out there -- probably within a few blocks' walk of where you are -- there's a down-and-out person who needs a helping hand.
Jeffrey Hillman might be the reason he/she doesn't get one.
Hillman is the apparently homeless man without shoes who was the beneficiary of the kindness of New York police officer Larry DePrimo, who spent his own money buying the guy some news boots and socks.
Over the weekend, the New York Times found Hillman has already jettisoned the boots because they're valuable. And today it was determined that Hillman isn't homeless, either. He lives in a rent-free apartment from the federal benefits he gets for being a vet.
New York Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond, however, knows what a lot of folks might be thinking. "They might have housing," Diamond tells CBS News, "but that's not the end of story." Diamond said he hopes the fact that Hillman isn't the helpless homeless person the original story suggested he was doesn't discourage people from helping those who really are.
Is it disappointing that part of the story has unraveled? Sure. But it was first and foremost the story of a cop who cared.
It's also a troubling tale of a guy who had his life together, and then didn't.(6 Comments)