Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the snowpacalypse edition

Snow Days
I get it that weather is hard to predict sometimes, really I do.  I understand that the geography of this place I call home makes doing so even harder sometimes.  Honest.

But seriously???

Last month we had a storm that dumped a ton of snow which actually stuck and made the streets in my neighborhood impossible for me to navigate in my beast of a van.  The snow was on the ground well before 5am, the time that they are supposed to make the decisions. The schools weren't called, but I kept the kids home because I knew from years of experience that I'd be digging out my car before I even made it out of the neighborhood.

There have been times where school buses have literally run off the road here because they refused to call school.  Our district, for whatever reason, is a hold out.  We frequently are the only ones going to school on days like that when the rest of the damn state calls a snow day.

This time, the powers that be at the district gave in and called it.  The roads aren't even covered with snow, and there is maybe two inches.  Maybe.

A few years ago, they refused to call school the day that the streets were a nightmare...then called the following day.  When the sun was shining, the snow was rapidly melting, and all the streets has been cleared.

Explain.

Picking on Pregnant Women
Every single time I go to the grocery store, I'm subjected to racks of tabloids with pictures of Kim Kardashian's pregnant ass.  Before her, they had Jessica Simpson to make fun of.  She'll be gracing covers soon again since she is pregnant for the second time.  The captions are all obnoxious, making reference to how much they weigh, how much they've gained, how they CAN'T STOP EATING!!!

Here's the thing, assholes.

Growing a baby requires a lot of energy.  These women have been raked over the coals for their bodies for years and are probably more conscious of it than normal women already are.  The ONE FREAKING TIME you get to eat whatever you want in your damn life is when you are pregnant. Leave them alone.

I've known women who put on 80+ pounds with each pregnancy.  I know women who barely put on 10 and walked out of the hospital lighter than they started.  I know women who were able to lose all the baby weight eventually and many more who never have.  Pregnancy makes some permanent changes to your physical being, and it is the most magical time in many women's lives.

How about we leave them the hell alone???

I know looking back that I probably looked like a damn hot mess when I was pregnant, but I didn't know it then. I thought I was beautiful. I thought my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to, even if it wasn't perfect and cover-worthy.  I felt amazing.

AND THAT IS WHAT WOMEN ARE SUPPOSED TO FEEL.

I get that I'm biased about this because I am a doula.  I'm crunchy as hell.  I have a herd of children of my own and would totally have more. I think breastfeeding is beautiful too.  As a photographer, my favorite shoots are of pregnant women, then a few weeks later with their babies. I can tell you this - out of all the experiences I have had in my life, I've never seen women look more strong and beautiful than they do the first time they hold their newborn babies.

You might never catch me defending Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson again, so enjoy this one.

Refusing Guilty Pleas
Though I don't talk about it much, I used to work in the L.A. County District Attorney's Office as an intern. I was there during OJ's civil trial, and it was an interesting place to be, for sure.  I worked primarily in asset forfeiture (which is seriously the most boring field), but sat in for several trials, one of which was a double murder trial.

As much as I love the Constitution, I don't think I could ever have the stomach to work in criminal defense, certainly not after some of the things I have seen.  I'm not even sure I could stomach working in the D.A's office anymore, and cases like the James Holmes one are why.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how he and his attorneys had offered up a guilty plea in exchange for life in prison.  Though he didn't seem to be phased by taking the lives of other people, he's afraid of his own death as a result for what he did, so the offer was made.

Taking the offer would mean that a trial could be avoided.  All the expenses could be avoided.  The government would save a ton of money.  The creative lawyering that inevitably shows up in these cases would not happen.  People wouldn't be forced to relive the whole experience, no one would be required to testify.  He would spend his entire life in prison without the possibility of parole, which saves money in the long run too since there would be no appeals or parole hearings.

The prosecution refused the plea, insisting that they are going for the death penalty.  In Colorado, the death penalty is only pursued in 3% of eligible cases and imposed in less than 1% of cases.  One inmate has been executed here since the 1970's.  A bill was just killed in committee last week to abolish the death penalty here, only after the Governor stated publicly that he believes the people of Colorado still want the death penalty.  It had the votes to pass.

The reasons given for refusing the plea primarily have to do with the families of the victims and some informal poll about victims in general.  Putting Holmes to death is seen by some as the only way to justice, even if all of the following are true:

- they are giving up a guilty plea here and aren't guaranteed a conviction at trial

- he may not be sentenced to death even if convicted

- there are mandatory appeals for capital offenses

- the trial will cost the government a tremendous amount of money

- his mental condition is at issue, creating ample grounds for appeal and delay of execution

- he will most likely never actually be put to death

- the state is thinking about abolishing the death penalty and commuting sentences as it is

- killing him won't bring back any of his victims

- putting someone to death is far more costly than keeping them in prison for life

- the money spent on the trial and appeals could be better spent in law enforcement and mental health to prevent things like this from happening in the future

Is vengeance really enough of a reason?

In some ways, Colorado is still a part of the Old West, hell bent on revenge, even if it makes no logical sense.

2 comments:

  1. in a case like his... I personally think the appeal process is what's wrong - there is no "rehab" for him, there is no "future" for him why should the tax payers even have to pay to FEED and HOUSE him going forward. There is not one tiny ounce of doubt it was him that did it - I personally believe that no one who commits murder is "sane" by definition, so "insane" doesn't come into play for me. So in a case like this, I think death is obvious and should be swift.
    If someone has *no chance at parole* - why do we keep them alive? to what end? It just costs us $$ and contributes to over crowding.

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  2. I'm not a big fan of either Jessica Simpson or Kim K, but I think it's disgusting how people treat them. And really? They wouldn't accept the plea deal from Holmes? That's absolutely nuts to me.

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