A short while ago I was asked why I fight corruption in Colorado. Here are the initial causes.
1. About ten years ago I began noticing the huge numbers of deer and elk in the area surrounding where I live and the massive damage they created. I became a wildlife law expert and started THINK. The state of Colorado has detailed laws to deal with this mankind-created environmental hazard but government officials simply refuse to perform their fiduciary and lawful duties. Unprovided remedies include providing “game damage” prevention materials, state liability for damage or failure to provide adequate damage prevention, permits to kill animals causing excessive damage, and annual reports to the General Assembly on numbers of animals, number of damage complaints, herd objectives, etc. Employees of the (now) Division of Parks and Wildlife do not do what they are required to do.
2. Employees of the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning department refuse to enforce their own rules. The county–the local government in Evergreen–has good, modern, updated zoning requirements. The problem is that they will not enforce them, even when notified (citizen notification is the only potential avenue for enforcement). Illegal signs, outbuildings, fences, lights, etc. are the norm. I am stumped as to why local government officials believe the virtual lack of zoning enforcement is a good thing and why and how they think they can get away with it.
3. By far the worst corruption I have ever seen is from Ted Mink and the Jefferson County Sheriff”s Department. Corruption is worst when it is by law enforcement employees . Crime is rampant in the Jefferson County foothills of Colorado. I have been told specifically that if I continue to report crime I will be in “danger.” On three firm occasions (and up to seven less “firm”) after reporting crimes sheriff’s deputies have come to my home to threaten me. There are no patrols. Speeding (50 mph in a 20 mph residential area), dumping, illegal use of parks, harassing neighbors, vandalism, etc. are the norm. Often when calling there is no response at all. There are no patrols. The sheriff’s department response to citizen complaints is clearly one of retaliation. And, to make matters worse, the local district attorney’s office refuses to prosecute–or even investigate–police misconduct and abuse.
These are just the reasons for getting me started… I have lived in or spent significant time in something like fourteen states. I have never experienced any like it. Colorado has excellent, modern, updated laws. Their enforcement is extremely lacking.
The FBI defines corruption as “a breach of trust” and that is my favorite, all-inclusive, and most general definition of the behavior. Frequently, and historically, corruption has been defined as a quid pro quo crime such as bribery, extortion, or graft. Personally, I consider corruption to be a lack of fiduciary responsibility or, more specifically, behaving as required by law. For the most public employees their jobs are clearly defined by local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Judgement is usually not required and of course illegal orders must not be followed. I believe failure to protect the people and their property as provided by law constitutes corruption.
I don’t like the word “activist” but I used it anyway. Correction: Seeking people to fight corruption. Public corruption is the worst.
Today I looked-up the director of parks and open space, Tom Hoby (email@example.com) when I saw an open space vehicle observing the noxious weeds in my neighborhood. The e-mail to Mr. Hoby is forthcoming. Also on my list is Casey Tighe; his campaign said something about auditing and accountability. Does he stand by it?
And then there is the issue of the fire board recall… I am glad to see concern, scrutiny, and action. Ooops, I am too late. It is over. The recall lost.
While I had heard of Oscar Wilde I really didn’t know much about him. I knew he was a playwright, poet, and humorist, and that he was known for being witty and controversial. I guess I also knew vaguely his two most famous works, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Thanks to movies I now know more and his life–rather his downfall–is a fascinating story. When I saw that Peter Finch and James Mason were in it I had to watch it. The 1960 film ages well–after all, it is set in the Victorian Age.
Wilde, who was married and had two children, eventually became homosexual. Wilde began an intimate relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, whose father, the powerful Marquess of Queensberry, disapproved. Queensberry publicly accused Wilde of being a sodomist. Wilde foolishly attempted to sue for libel but was subsequently convicted and imprisoned for sodomy and gross indecency. His career basically stopped, he was broke, and his health eventually failed.
He was destroyed by both his arrogance and outspokenness and the laws, mores, and public sentiments of the times. He was at the peak of his fame, wealth, and creativity when this occurred. Queensberry was the protagonist in Wilde’s downfall but Wilde himself brought it on: He egotistically fought the laws and will of the majority and he lost.
Wilde’s work is eloquent. His downfall is historic in its tragedy. Next up: the third movie of The Importance of Being Earnest (2002).
Yesterday marked the start of the next chapter in the Amanda Knox story with her first post-release interview. I made a point to watch it. There is meaning in it but it is tough to figure out. It was boring: the hour consisted mostly of a familiar summary of the overall case; there were maybe ten or fifteen minutes of Ms. Knox speaking. She was stoic and unemotional. She was serious. Her answers were brief. She looked good.
This morning I even braved the nonsense of Good Morning America to catch more. She smiled. She seemed a little more relaxed. A little more seeped out… She said she didn’t want to become jaded, negative, and angry like people she knew from prison. She wants to “make a difference.”
This last part–what she does with her life since exoneration–is the real reason to continue to watch her.
The book is out and the reviews are starting to come in. The reviews on Amazon reflect the continuing dichotomy of pubic opinion regarding the case and Ms. Knox. The one-star reviewers consist of people who consider Knox selfish, spoiled, dishonest, and–this is the really ugly part–guilty. The five-star reviews are compassionate, rational, and concerned; these people see the facts of the overall situation and not the personality or irrationality of a twenty year-old student. This has been the distinction concerning Ms. Knox from day one and it continues to this day.
When I saw the Knox-Sawyer interview I was initially confused. I felt disappointed and letdown. I expected to see an energetic, articulate, re-energized (and attractive) young woman standing up for herself. I expected, and wanted to see someone who was vengeful, and now, finally, well-armed. I wanted to see the beginnings of the next chapter, the fight back.
That isn’t what happened and now I realize why. She did look good, and that one I can come to grips with rather easily by considering it as fit, healthy, and nourished (thanks, Italian prison system). Then I recognized that she was articulate, just in her own somber, serious, brief way. Finally, the energetic, here’s-the-plan, vengeful part wasn’t there; my impression is Ms. Knox is still struggling with what it all means, plus, even though it will continue only in the circus theater some 8,000 miles away, it is not yet over. Regardless, my own disappointments are entirely my own business/problem. Amanda Knox never claimed to be an actor, lawyer, activist, or anything except a college student. As has been a characteristic of this case right from the beginning, maybe she is a little different. Maybe she acts in ways some people consider inappropriate or not like them. That is absolutely her prerogative.
From the NY Times book review:
“She’s a complete blank,” the playwright John Guare once said, trying to explain the public fascination with Amanda Knox, the American student accused (along with two men) of murdering her housemate Meredith Kercher during a sex escapade gone awry in Italy. “You can project anything on to her. Is she Henry James’s Daisy Miller, an innocent young girl who goes to Europe for experience? Or is she Louise Brooks, the woman who takes what she wants and destroys everything? Or is she Nancy Drew caught up in Kafka?”
I am only a partial fan of the above quote. Yes, certain events bring out who we really are… but the thought is not complete. We forget, Ms. Knox is an unknowing, unwilling participant. Participant in what?
Police and prosecutorial misconduct is what we will learn about in the months to come. Ms. Knox’s perspective on it will be a piece, but the overall issue is larger. It is nothing less than a wake-up call for us all, and it doesn’t just happen to immigrants and minorities in ghettos. “They knew what they were doing,” she said to Diane Sawyer, as well as “I trusted them.” Dozens of in-cahoots, experienced police officers picking on an alone, foreign, twenty year-old woman? That is hardly a fair fight. It is brutal and it is cowardly.
And then there is the prosecutor, who in Italy is also in charge of the investigation. Prosecuting based on the facts is legitimate public service; somebody has to do it. Anything less–the list to the left from Wiki contains only the criminal offenses–is a failure of fiduciary duty. “Political repression” notwithstanding they are all there; “American” and “sexually active” may be substituted for “racial.”
How will the political and judicial powers in Italy react? What will they do? And in the meantime… stop picking on Amanda Knox.
The world is a consumer review site.
Sometimes it is amazing how average people can be extremely articulate. On why:
“Somebody radicalized them, but it was not my brother, who just moved back to Russia,” he said. Asked what was behind his nephews’ actions, Tsarni said, “Being losers, not being able to settle themselves, and thereby just hating everyone who did.” He urged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to “turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured,” adding: “He put a shame on our family. He put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity.”
A sad and pretty accurate view of corruption:
Folks who get hired to positions of Head Coach and up (including AD, CEO, President of something, etc.) get hired as much for their knowledge of a particular industry as much as for their ability to perform damage control. Mike Gundy said himself that he was surprised that when he gained the Head Coaching job at Okie State that he had very little time to actually be involved in the coaching process. He stated that most of his time revolved around “putting out little fires” around the program, and then, with 120+ kids, another would arise and he would tend to that one.
These men are not only experts at protecting a program, but also at using those tools to protect themselves. Sometimes these tools are so blantantly flaunted that they think they won’t be caught in a trap when they say one thing and change their mind in reaction to public outcry the next day. This is why in situations like these I tend to believe the first thing out of people’s mouths, though it is by no means a fool proof rule.
I consider it highly likely that Pernetti show the President of Rutgers the video back in December, though it is also possible that he only said that in order to legitimize his response to the issue. I also consider it likely that with the current growing pressure, the President saw a way to save his job and that included denouncing Pernetti’s claim that he had shown the President the video. Now, every entity with billions of dollars to its name (including a University) understands that it is better to reach private settlements under the table than to risk potentially damaging, both financially and publicly, lawsuits. Therefore, I am of the opinion that the President knew what had been going on, allowed Pernetti to lead, but worked to cover his own ass as soon as the video came to light. I believe the terminology of Pernetti’s firing/resignation was negotiated like Jim Tressel’s and I believe that Pernetti was promised certain benefits under the table as a negotiation tactic to prevent him from publicly souring on Rutgers and airing out any dirty laundry, to prevent him from indicting the President, and in order to take care of this matter as quickly as possible, including limiting the damage that Rutgers must control.
What lawyers say is always trash. We have to go by their word in order to catch a conflict of statements because that may be all we have in a paper trail. However, human intuition often lies in conflict with such statements. Sandusky’s lawyers said what they could to get him off despite common sense and ohio’s lawyers and now Miami’s lawyers are saying whatever was/is necessary to limit damage control and cast a better image over their schools. It has nothing to do with a search for the truth. The profession of damage control is as old as Kings and tyrants. One seeks legitimization of their claims to power and another entity (usually spurned) seeks to undue their rule. Statues, art , money, and the sword are some of the oldest methods to contain damage and increase legitimacy. Lawyers are just the newest and best.
I don’t believe a thing released by Rutgers or their representatives.
When I called today to ask for the person responsible for this–Ted Mink–I was told he is unavailable. When I asked for the undersheriff I was hung up on.
I suppose I am like a lot of people in that I was initially drawn to this story by the idea of an attractive young woman accused of killing her college roommate. Certainly the prosecutors and the European press promoted the salacious–for the most part made-up–aspects of the story and a lot of us bought them. I even looked for updates after Ms. Knox returned to the United States. I missed it. It is a great story. I also hoped for some form of denouement, namely a correction of the wrongs and justice against the perpetrators.
I studied the case with fervor because of my interest in the facts, law, internet media, and international differences. There are many idiosyncrasies and circumstantial curiosities but eventually I reached the same conclusion that the initial original Italian appellate court did of not guilty. My reasoning is simple: There is not enough evidence, by American standards, to convict Ms. Knox (and Raffaele Sollecito) beyond a reasonable doubt of murder. Admittedly the other stuff associated with the case is tantalizing if not titillating but the bottom line is there is not enough evidence. Let me put this a slightly different way–the prosecutors failed to present enough evidence, therefore, there is not enough evidence. In the U.S. the trial is the only chance.
Italy is different and that is of course their peoples’ choice. But is it really what the people want?
On May 26, 2011, 11 members of the Italian parliament, led by Rocco Girlanda and all members of The People of Freedom Party founded by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, issued a document as an act of parliament addressed to Justice Minister Angelino Alfano. The document criticized the evidence that resulted in the Knox/Sollecito guilty verdicts, and the extended detention to which they were subject. Girlanda also addressed a letter to President Giorgio Napolitano, in Girlanda’s capacity as president of the Italy-USA Foundation, in which he wrote, “These distortions, not without reason, are fueling accusations against the administration of justice in our country.” (Source.)
My opinion is that in this case it is a waste and witchhunt. Have you ever heard of Salem, Massachusetts?
This, “truejustice.org,” is the best representation of the bizarre minority opposition. Here’s one Amanda junkie who bashes them… When the second trial was announced this week the Kercher family “welcomed” the decision to “find out the truth of what happened that night.” For me this brings to mind the issue of “justice.” I remember when Osama bin Laden was hunted down and killed; Obama–a lawyer and president–announced that “justice” had been done. I cannot dispute that the act was legitimate as an act of war and future security, but wouldn’t it be more accurate to call it “revenge?” Who’s to define justice? This case has been poured over by the entire world and anything new and substantive is hugely unlikely. It is revenge–unjustified revenge–not justice. Look, we’re all sorry your daughter and sibling was brutally killed. How often do you need to hear that? Please, heal, and for heaven’s sake stop the blame game. More rantings and ravings about sex games and conspiracy theories is not factual or constructive.
But I’m still happy this refuses to die. With the benefit of hindsight and perspectives of all those involved greater scrutiny will occur. Ms. Knox is safe from the Italian prisons, the all-night interrogations, and the circus-atmosphere courtrooms. We may yet see the epilogue I have been hoping for.
First, before I continue this mission, a shout out to Aaron Nimocks. Of course he exists, but it really is his name! A quick search revealed several websites of his. Parsimony. He was able to solve my arcane request with about twenty characters. Yeah it comes easier for him–I mean, he learned how to do it–than for say, me, but he still spent considerable time on my forum request. He came up with two solutions!
So back to the picture thing… this seems to be wrapping but not quite enough. Fixed: there’s an adjustment thing in the advanced settings.
A new theme called “Journalist.” It needs some pictures…
And the solution…
I guess I got lucky: the person who helped me is amazing.
I just have to ask. It would be great to meet a new friend and who knows… Why on earth would you write “Someone who is a yes person?”
“ejeanie,” I have to say you are one of the ugliest women I have ever seen in my life.
I am am single mom who is ready to start dating again. When I say dating that’s what I mean. I have no interest in remarrying (I have 2 ex husbands thats enough ). I enjoy my freedom but miss going out, conversing, sharing fun experiences or talking over the latest book I read. I have female friends but most of my male friends are married and 3 is a crowd. Having an intelligent discussion over beers or a glass of good wine is what I am looking for right now
I currently teach preschool (thought I would have a spouse to provide for me). JK I love what I do and who I work with. However I have reached th salary ceiling for my profession and need to think about a bit more to retire on. I am completing coursework to become a substance abuse counselor. I ‘d like to focus on women in shelter situations. Not a big money profession I know but I can’t resist the pull of helping people.
Another, perhaps compatible, but…
I am a happy person. Are you….
Someone who is a yes person?
Someone who wants to be on an adventure with me?
Someone who might open a door for me or give me a flower or a piece of dark chocolate?
Yet another. It is endless really.
The six things I could never do without:
My daughter, my career, car, the ocean, and many other things,
|Adj.||1.||crass- (of persons) so unrefined as to be lacking in discrimination and sensibility
unrefined – (used of persons and their behavior) not refined; uncouth; “how can a refined girl be drawn to such an unrefined man?”
“Shake your head girl with your ponytail.” It is Roxy Music, not Bowie.
From here; there may be some mitigating circumstances pertaining to a resolution, but that doesn’t change the offense.
The USPS wanted to sponsor a clean racing team. They put it in all the riders’ contracts that they could not dope. Not only did they dope, but also (it is alleged) the team turned out to be a criminal doping conspiracy run by Armstrong so that he could win races and get rich.
The Federal Claims Act covers knowingly causing a false statement or record to be made in order to induce the government to pay a false claim – in this case, $30M worth of them. Technically, each of the riders is liable (for treble damages plus civil fines), but of course, Armstrong was the ringleader, and he wound up with all the money.
Additionally, any favorable publicity the USPS may have reaped at the time of the team’s wins has now been offset by all the negative publicity and abuse heaped on them at the worst possible time.
That’s the case. Armstrong has apparently offered to pay $5M to settle it. The DOJ believes it can recover a lot more for American taxpayers in court.
The sermonizing, philosophical conclusions are that bad things come back to haunt you, etc… Practically, you can see the logic behind “deny, deny, deny.”
There is news every day and for now it is just about bail. This is a story that promises to be a blockbuster for months to come.
I remember Oscar Pistorius from the Olympics, especially his interviews. He and his relay teammates seemed like really nice guys, sort of like Lance Armstrong.
The man has some serious skeletons in his closet, many having to do with guns (restaurant incident, more licenses), and others having to do with an apparent ego, temper, partying (boat incident) and bullying personality.
Was it intentional? For now, and perhaps always, that will be debatable. Is he guilty? That is going to be the ongoing question. If you play with guns…