While this weekend is now the beginning of Day Light Savings time, some are asking if this is an exercise in uselessness. The idea in mind when DST was extended earlier in the year, was to conserve energy. If people have one more hour at night of light, it is said that they will use less energy on lights. Critics point out that while it is true that people will be using less energy at night by using lights, this is mostly offset by the use of lights in the morning, in which there will be one less hour of light. A study in Australia, where several states passed similar laws making DST earlier in the year, while some did not. The study looked at the energy used by two states, one that had not changed the DST and one that had, and it showed that there was no savings of energy by the state that had made the change.
A case involving a deaf suspect in South Dakota is raising questions about who can be put to death by the state. The defense is claiming that Daphne Wright, being deaf, does not have a fair chance to defend herself in the court room. The defense filed a motion, claiming that to put Wright to death would be cruel and unusual punishment. The jury is being selected for the trial, where Wright is being charged with abduction, murder and dismemberment. The victim of the alleged crimes is another deaf womyn, Darlene VanderGeisen, who the defendant believed was attempting to interfere in a relationship between the defendant and another womyn. National institutes for disabled people are making statements supporting equal treatment for disabled people everywhere, including in the court room. The prosecution saying, that there was not different laws and different standards for different people. Andrew Imparato, said that to give a defendant special consideration because of deafness implies that they are unaware of their actions and supports negative stereo types. The defense claims complicated legal terms are not present in sign language and that the operation of the court and the process of translation, which often takes longer than the spoken testimony, puts the defendant at a disadvantage in the court room.
"There were times when I was praying and when I felt I was doing things that were wrong. But I was still doing them," Newt Gingrich said during an interview with Focus on the Families James Dobson. "I look back on those as periods of weakness and periods that I'm not only not proud of, but I would deeply urge my children and grandchildren not to follow in my footsteps." This is the first time that Gingrich has talked about his affair, and could be a preparation for a presidential run in 2008. Gingrich goes on to admit that while he was leading a charge against then President Clinton, he was himself having an affair. While he may be making moves towards a presidential run, I find it hard to believe that he anything like a credible chance for office, among the conservatives that will be needed for the Republican nomination, or among the general population that is used to seeing him as a very polarizing figure.
A self-described pedophile has posted pictures of Barack Obama's two children on his web page, calling them an "angelic duo". Barack's presidential campaign has threatened to filed legal action against Lindsay Ashford, who rated the presidential candidates based on the cuteness of their underage children. A lawyer who has handled similar cases, has stated that there are free speech issues that are being overlooked here, and that the public has a right to make a statement about the candidates and their families. As a journalism student, I understand that a public figure such as Obama, gives up a lot of privacy by putting himself in the public eye. I question how this works when it is applied to members of his family, and most of all when it is applied to underage members of his family. Another lawyer adds that even pedophiles have a right to freedom of speech, as long as they do not cross a line, they should not be disturbed. An Example of crossing the line would be, suggesting that an action be taken towards the children, such as finding them or taking them.
The man who abducted Clay Moore from a bus stop last month has been arrested by authorities. Vicente Ignacio Beltran-Moreno, 22, had fled to his native land of Mexico, and agreed to return after several days of negotiations. Clay was grabbed on Feb 25th, waiting at a bus stop on his way to school. He was taken away in a red pick-up truck and tied up in the woods with duct tape about 20 miles away. The boy used a safety pin to free himself from the bounds of the tape and found his way out of the woods. Authorities believe that Clay was taken at random, and that Moreno hoped that he could get a ransom for him.
While Giuliani in his run for president is banking on the events of 9-11 and his actions in the days that follow, he is running up against what would be a key supporter. The Firefighters Union is opposing Giuliani based on actions that were taken after the attacks that the union believes were disrespectful of the firefighters that died that day. A few of those actions were the reduction of the number of workers at ground zero, and the "scoop and dump" clean up methods that were used to expedite the clean up of the site. A letter sent to the press, detailing the unions stand against Giuliani, also claims that he was more interested in the recovery of the gold and silver at ground zero, saying that the recovery operations at the site changed after those resources had been recovered. A copy of the letter can be found here.
Another important backer is evangelical may not be willing to support Giuliani either. One leader says that his divorce history makes it hard to support him as a candidate for president. While conservative might be able to support a candidate that has had a divorce, Giuliani has had three, but the nature of the divorces and marriages raises its own questions. Richard Land, noted that Giuliani's divorce from television personality Donna Hanover was like a divorce on steroids. The public embarrassment of Hanover is going to be a hard sell, even if you can set aside Giuliani's stand on pro-choice and pro-gun control. Giuliani had dated his third wife publicly while still being married to Hanover. While John McCain has been married twice, he has acknowledged his mistakes, and as a war hero has less to defend when it comes to character.
Gordon Dick, a 30-year-old web marketing specialist from England has sued a company for spam he claims to have received in his e-mail. The lawsuit, which he won in court resulted in winnings of $1,445 in damages and $1,190 in court costs. While most people just delete e-mail and go on their way, Dick compared the actions of spammers to someone throwing rocks through your window. He called it anti-social behavior and said that the company should not have been engaged in it. He claims that his address was taken from a form without his permission. The company sued defended their actions, saying that his e-mail address was taken by mistake, and that the e-mails that they were sending were not spam.
President Bush in response to calls for a pardon of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has said that he will stay out of the case until it has run its legal course. This of course begs the question, by those of us who would oppose any pardon of Libby as a corruption of justice, if he will pardon Libby at some later time. Libby has been convicted in a case involving perjury and obstruction of justice, this relates to his involvement in the leaking of the under-cover CIA officer. Defense attorneys for Libby are seeking a new trial for Libby, stating that their number one goal is to see the charges against him removed. While pardons are the right of a president, recent presidents have used the right seldom and often at the end of their terms, President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, and President Bush senior pardoned Caspar Weinberger. I doubt that any action would be taken by the president until the end of his term, when the fallout would be escapable for him. It would also be too late for voters to take revenge on the party in general. With the American populations short memory span, the next election cycle would be too distant for a pardon to have much of an impact.
Two bodies of decomposing toddlers have been found under a house in San Antonio. The two bodies were found in plastic bags late Tuesday by residents who were trying to locate the source of a foul odor. The had reportedly been smelling the odor for as long as two weeks. While the ages of the children are unknown, but police believe that they were between the ages of 6 months and 2 years old. Tina Vara, said that her sister had lived at the house with a boyfriend and a 5-month-old and a girl who was 1 1/2- year old girl. Family members said that they have had no contact with the womyn, Valerie Lopez since she has started living with her current boyfriend.