Daily Archives: July 29, 2011
I came across this prison in Norway, while reading an article about the confessed murdered, Anders Behring Breivik. There was speculation that he might be able to serve his time in one of the most enjoyable prisons out there. Although this was rumored, it is way more likely that he will be spending his days in the “Ila prison, which is less cushy than Halden, but still “a far cry” from the bare cells of American prisons.” In fact, this is where he currently has been spending time since his arrest, with little comfort. Breivik is in a cell with a toilet, table and chair. This seems more fitting than the prison that has become known as the most humane.
Yahoo – Halden Fengsel, opened last year outside of Oslo and houses around 250 male inmates.
The documentary photographer Alex Masi writes that the cells in Halden are equipped “with an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen TV and various comforts. They measure 12 [square meters--about 129 square feet] and are divided up into units (10 to 12) which share a living room and kitchen,” much like a college dorm. Time Magazine described the cells as resembling an Ikea showroom, complete with “stainless-steel countertops, wraparound sofas and birch-colored coffee tables.”
The art budget for the facility came in at more than a million dollars, Masi says, while the cells are brightly painted and lack bars on the windows. Inmates take specialty cooking classes or choose from many other courses at an in-prison high school. They can jog around the 75-acre wooded facility or even climb on the prison’s rock walls.
According to Time, prison guards are required to help each inmate make his sentence “as meaningful, enlightening and rehabilitating as possible.” About half of the prison guards are women, since research has suggested that a corps of female guards can help reduce aggression among the prison population. The unarmed guards eat meals and play games with prisoners.
According to Raf Sanchez at the Telegraph, the region’s governor, Are Hoidal, said at the prison’s opening ceremony that prisons should focus on “human rights and respect.”
“We want to build them up, give them confidence through education and work and have them leave as better people,” he said.
Sanchez adds that only 20 percent of Norwegian prisoners return to jail within two years of their release, a very low recidivism rate. (For comparison, a 1994 study suggested that more than 60 percent of released prisoners in America were arrested again within three years, while 51.8 percent returned to prison. The U.S. rate of incarceration also dwarfs Norway’s.)
According to Foreign Policy’s Robert Zeliger, most murderers in Norway serve 14 years or less. A criminal may only be sentenced to 21 years before the government must evaluate him or her for release. Those still deemed a threat to society receive an addition five-year sentence before undergoing another evaluation. “Life without parole” is not an option.
Here are a few more (not all) of the photos, provided by TIME:
According to BBC’s Article, “Apple has more cash on hand than the United States federal government, according to the company’s financial records.”
Apple’s quarterly financial report shows that the company responsible for the iPad, iPod and the iPhone now has $76.4 billion in reserve cash, while the Treasury Department is sitting on just $73.7 billion.
It seems crazy that our federal government is going through a recession and yet Apple is booming as far as income is concerned. Maybe the treasury department should get together with Apple’s accountants and discuss ways to help themselves (as well of all US citizens) out of this predicament.
Sadly, I understand why this may be occurring. How many people do you see buying iPhone’s, iPad’s, iAnything really? And if it breaks, they may bitch about getting another way due to the price, but they still dish out their money and plug back into the electronic world. Unfortunately, most everyone bitches about taxes, no matter how little or great they are, someone has something to complain about. So, while this is shocking, it’s not at all that surprising.
Cory Smit is just 29 years old and has been brought in for the fifth time for a DUI. The first arrest took place in 2004, followed by two arrests in 2005, another in 2008 and his most recent, this month in 2011.
The officers who arrested Smit said he had a blood alcohol level of .29 (more than double the legal limit) and became belligerent as they were trying to drive him to the station. Pepper spray was then used on the suspect after he repeatedly beat his head in the back of the patrol car.
You would think someone that has been through this as many times as he has, would know when to just sit back and relax. Also, he seems very fragile and could really hurt himself. ha.
A judge in Wisconsin has taken away his license for 40 months, will require him to take random urine tests and expects complete sobriety after 10 months in a prison work release program. I have a feeling the fifth times a charm
Patch – A 12-year-old girl was wounded by a ricocheting bullet Sunday evening in Banning, when her mother fired a tiny pistol she mistook for a cigarette lighter, police said.
A “juvenile gunshot victim” was reported about 5:40 p.m. Sunday and officers responded to the emergency room at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning police said in a statement.
Rachel Avila, 30, told police she and her 12-year-old daughter, both of Banning, were talking with friends in front of their mobile home in the 100 block of North Phillips Avenue when Avila found what she thought was a novelty cigarette lighter, police said.
The lighter resembled a miniature firearm and it was lying on the ground, Avila told police.
Avila picked it up and tried to light it by pulling the trigger, police said.
The first time Avila pulled the trigger, nothing happened. The second time she pulled the trigger, a .22-caliber bullet was fired, police said.
“The bullet struck the ground, and then ricocheted upward and entered her daughter’s upper right arm,” the police statement said.
The girl was taken to San Gorgonio Memorial, where she was treated and released, police said.
I find it very hard to believe that the mother assumed that a gun was a novelty lighter. Aren’t you normally familiar with the lighters you have around your house, especially novelty ones that look like guns. I’m also pretty damn sure it wasn’t as light a lighter. Apparently the case is being considered an accident at this time, but they’re still trying to figure out who the gun belongs too. Another thing that sounds rather fishy…someone just came and dropped off their .22 caliber gun at your house and mentioned nothing to you. Okay, sure, this makes perfect sense.
Dailymail - A mixed-race woman due to marry a white supremacist murder suspect has spoken out in support of her man.
Erica Herrera, who is half Hawaiian and half Hispanic, said despite prison inmate Curtis Allgier’s frightening appearance – with tattoos of swastikas and the word ‘skinhead’ covering his face – he is ‘kinder’ and ‘gentler’ than he is publicly portrayed.
Herrera, from Sacramento, California, plans to marry Allgier, 31, in a ceremony at the Utah State Prison in Draper on August 8.
The man has signs of hating everyone of “color” ON HIS FACE! Is he no longer a skinhead or does he just not understand that she is Hawaiian and Hispanic? This seems like the most ridiculous attempt to get attention I’ve ever seen. I’m surprised that white supremacists in the prison aren’t coming after this guy for disgracing their image. I mean, he’s the goddamn spokesman for white power…have you seen his face?! The best part though is the date he’s chosen to wed his ethnic beauty… Hitler’s birthday. Now, if he didn’t have those adorable tattoos all over his face I might just think he enjoyed marijuana, but I have a feeling this has a different meaning. Either way, congratulations to the couple no one saw coming.
Fox & Friends hopped into the wayback machine this morning to summon outrage about a post we published 23 days ago. They’re angry—like a lot of people—that we pointed to a man in photos distributed by the White House and AP as the likely head of the operation to kill bin Laden. In expressing that anger, they published a photo of a covert CIA agent. Way to go, Doocy.
Nearly a month ago, we published a photo distributed by the White House showing Barack Obama in the Situation Room during the operation to kill bin Laden. We noted that, based on circumstantial clues in an AP story about “John,” the anonymous CIA analyst who led the search for bin Laden, one of the men standing in the background was almost certainly “John.” (John Young at Cryptome was the first to point this out.)
People were mad! There were angry blog posts! Then the New York Observer announced that it had divined “John’s” identity and published more photos and potentially identifying details, but fell short of outing him. Then everyone continued going on about their lives.
Flash forward more than three weeks to this morning, when Fox News’ Steve Doocy for some strange reason invited former CIA agent Michael Scheuer on for a four-minute segment excoriating Gawker—”this lousy web site”—for “outing” a CIA agent. That’s not quite true, of course—we didn’t know the agent’s name and therefore didn’t publish it, so it was a partial outing at best.
But Doocy, as Mediaite patsy Tommy Christopher noted in the course of lecturing us on journalistic propriety, decided to publish the very same White House photo that we did. Which is an odd decision, seeing as how it features a photo of the very man he was upbraiding us for “outing.” (“We’re not going to identify who he is in that picture,” Doocy tells the audience, which certainly frustrated the efforts of any Islamist spook-hunters out there by keeping the list of potential suspects at an unmanageably high eight possible faces.)
Anyway, he’s there in the photo at the top of this post, right above the chyron reading “Pic of Suspected CIA Staffer Posted on Gawker.” He’s the tall one in the back. What’s worse, Doocy knowingly published an image of a covert agent. As the Observer story on “John” made clear, he was an overt, open, public CIA analyst at the time we published the White House photo featuring his face. His affiliation with the CIA was no secret. But after the Observer began making inquiries about his identity, the Agency suddenly moved him to covert status—apparently in an effort to intimidate the Observer and other news outlets pursuing his identity.
The Intelligence Identities Protection Act makes it a crime to engage in “a pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents,” Steve, so be careful. This is your first strike.
As for our response to Doocy and Christopher’s charges, this disconcertingly fair story on the matter from FoxNews.com, which ran several weeks ago, sums up our arguments.
Thank you again Fox News for making me crack a smile at your ridiculousness. And Gawker is a great site, so you really shouldn’t be so biased as to say it’s not.
Advocate – The California Supreme Court will hear arguments on September 6 as to whether proponents of Proposition 8 have the legal standing to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision striking down the ballot measure — one he issued nearly a year ago.
In February, the state’s highest court certified a question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where the case is currently on appeal, on whether under state law the backers of an initiative have “the authority to assert the State’s interest” when public officials refuse to do so.
“I am confident that the California Supreme Court will swiftly reach a decision on this question, and that this nation is now one step closer to seeing the dark walls of discrimination finally crumble,” said Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that has organized and funded the legal challenge to Prop. 8.
The Thursday press release via AFER:
San Francisco, CA – Today the Supreme Court of California announced that the hearing date for Perry v. Brown will be on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 10:00AM. The date announced is the very first day of the court’s fall calendar. The court will hear oral arguments on a question of whether under state law proponents of initiatives have standing to defend their initiatives when they are challenged in court. The question was certified to them by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit earlier this year.
In response to the court’s scheduling order, Chad Griffin, American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) Co-Founder and Board President, had the following to say: “I am very pleased that the Supreme Court of California calendared our case for the first day of their fall session. The governor and attorney general of California – and the United States District Court – all have found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. I am confident that the California Supreme Court will swiftly reach a decision on this question, and that this nation is now one step closer to seeing the dark walls of discrimination finally crumble.”
In a separate, but related matter – the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will hear AFER’s motion on August 29, 2011 requesting that the video recordings from our January 2010 trial be released to the public.
Casey Anthony, who legally did not kill her child but societally kinda did, has been offered $500,000 to pose nude for old rascal Larry Flynt’s Hustlermagazine.
Flynt says that he decided to throw the offer out after readers pleaded with him to get Tot Mom in the buff on the pages of his magazine. He told CNN:
“You’ve got men who say, ‘Hey, I want to see her in her birthday suit.’ There may be some sick individuals … but that’s what life is all about.”
Is it? I mean, is it wrong to hope that’s not what life is all about? Oh well.
Anyway, Casey Anthony’s people, she has people now, say that any reports that she’s talking with Hustler about doing this thing are “nonsense.” The only way to get Casey Anthony to that photo shoot would be to chloroform her and drag her there.