EDITOR’S NOTE: Before we start this post, we want to make clear that we believe those who sexually assault others are scum of the earth. There are crimes such as theft or robbery that take one’s property. There are crimes such as assault and battery that take one’s health. There are crimes such as murder that take one’s life. To us, below only crimes of murder lies the crime of rape as rape (and sexual assault) takes one’s health and intimacy. Rapists are scum.
We have previously written about the change on college campuses concerning accusations of rape and sexual assault. The Federal Department of Education and Department of Justice are trying to force colleges to accept a lower standard of proof when if comes to claims of rape and sexual assault. On most campuses the previous standard was that the rape / assault “more likely than not” happened, a standard which is just below “beyond reasonable doubt.” The standard the government wants is a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a much lower standard.
The study does not agree with the “1 in 5″ women being sexually assaulted.
Thefull study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.
This clearly indicates that the narrative that college campuses are hotbeds of sexual assault and rape to be false. That is not to say that we should accept that any number of women should be assaulted or raped, but rather to fight the problem we must know the depth of the problem. Steps such as changing the burden of proof or denying accused people protections of due process will not help reduce the number of assaults. Instead what will happen, and what appears to be happening, is that more and more people are being falsely “convicted” in college tribunals of assault because of the lower standards. With the cost to both the alleged victim and the accused being so high, we must strive to maintain a system that protects both people.
Not only is the rate of assault lower, since 1997 the number of sexual assaults has been trending downward. It is still not where it should be as rape and sexual assault is a horrific crime. The only truly acceptable number of rapes and assaults is zero, but the downward trend is a good thing.
What is not a good thing is the number of unreported sexual assaults. (more…)
In meetings with bank officials, the feds made it clear that
the bankers have every right to provide services to such businesses, but warned them that doing so might put them at risk, too, and could almost certainly trigger more extensive audits than would be required of banks that don’t service such customers. Bankers depend for their very survival on those who regulate them and know a threat when they hear one. Many decided it would be wiser to quietly get rid of customers in such high-risk businesses.
As a result, customers of long-standing around the country had their lines of credit called and their accounts closed. The affected businesses were never officially told why, because the government made it clear to the banks that they would face criminal charges if they talked. Even as the feds were briefing bankers on the program and their need to protect themselves by choking off high-risk businesses, the Justice Department was refusing to brief Congress on what was going on.
We can argue whether payday loan companies are good or bad, but the fact of the matter is that they are legal in many states. In telling financial institutions to stop dealing with the payday loan companies, the DOJ was essentially taking an end run around the Congress and other agencies.
After achieving some success with the payday lending companies, the DOJ widened their net to other businesses. (more…)
A few days ago we posted how a court had struck down handgun laws in Washington, D.C. because they effectively banned weapons and therefore were contrary to the Second Amendment and previous Supreme Court rulings.
After the ruling, the City sought a 180 day stay of the decision which would allow them to craft new regulations on weapons in D.C. The lawyers for the opposing party agreed to a 90 day stay and eventually, that is what a judge agreed to as well.
So for now, the old, un-Constitutional rules are still in effect until the DC City Council can figure out what they can do next to try and deprive citizens of their rights.
As lawmakers get to work, D.C. police returned to past arrest practices. Ten minutes after the judge granted the reprieve at 1:20 p.m., Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier rescinded orders hurriedly issued Sunday night and told 4,000 officers that “all laws related to firearms regulations and crimes remain in effect.”
But the chief also reminded officers to handle firearms cases “with caution,” noting that the public may not be aware that the old gun laws are at least temporarily back in force.
Yesterday we posted how the Department of Justice was suing the Pennsylvania State Police over the physical testing standards used to applicants to the Police.
With nothing else on its plate to look into, the Department of Justice announced that it was suing the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) over the use of base physical standards as criteria to be selected for training as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, alleges that the physical fitness tests used by the state police between 2003 and the present excluded qualified women from consideration for hire as entry-level state troopers by
testing for physical skills that are not required to perform the job. The department also alleges that, during the relevant time period, the defendants’ use of physical fitness tests as part of a multi-step employment selection process disproportionately screened out female applicants, resulting in a disparate impact against those applicants.
According to the actual complaint, the DOJ says that there were two fitness tests administered to applicants. One test was administered from 2003 to 2009, and another test with more elements was administered between 2009 until 2012.
For the 2003 – 2009 test:
The 2003 PFT consisted of five events: (1) a 300-meter run; (2) sit-ups; (3) push-ups; (4) a vertical jump; and (5) a 1.5-mile run.
Male and female applicants were given different standard of performance to pass but more women failed the test percentage wise than men.
Under the theory of “disparate impact,” the DOJ now asserts that because women failed the test more than men, the test itself must discriminate against women. (more…)
A day without posting about the City of Satellite Beach!
(But the day is young and tonight is a City Council Meeting…..)
Yesterday the Florida Today newspaper published a letter to the editor from John Cielukowski of Cocoa Beach concerning the State of Florida’s cleansing of voter rolls prior to the upcoming election. Mr. Cielukowski’s letter is full of partisanship, often lacking in facts, and devoid of logical thinking.
Here is what he had to say:
Scott’s ‘witch-hunt’ voter purge blasted
Gov. Rick Scott is at it again. He is locked in a battle with the U.S. Justice Department regarding his witch-hunt to purge supposedly illegal voters from Florida’s voter lists.
To make matters worse, über conservative U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, is marching in step with our governor. The irony here is his complicity in this matter is removing many legally registered Hispanics from the voter lists.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney must be giddy about the work his Florida henchmen are doing to ensure a victory in our state.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, is correct in stating this purge is similar to the 2000 Florida election debacle. I guess our governor is trying to repeat the infamous voter purge by former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, taking more than 1,000 eligible voters off the voter rolls weeks before an election that was decided by 537 votes.
Voter fraud is an exaggerated and even nonexistent issue in Florida. The 48-hour turnaround rule to register also is unrealistic and just another big bump in the road for those who are newly registering to vote. Many are middle-class full-time employees who need much more time than 48 hours to fill out and submit their voter registration paperwork.
I believe we would not be revisiting this voter list injustice if the conservative sheep in this state had not elected a shady governor who was involved in Medicare fraud.
Mr. Cielukowski seems to think that ad hominem attacks adds to the credibility of his argument concerning this issue. It does not. It simply shows his partisanship on an issue upon which we all should agree – the desire to have fair elections.
As I was heading to the Capitol this (Tuesday) morning, I couldn’t help but think about the jolting news from my state: the Justice Department will sue Florida over its purge of voting rolls.
Being a native Floridian whose family came to Florida 183 years ago, and having served the people of my state for years, I simply cannot believe the state of Florida would deliberately make it more difficult for lawful citizens to vote.
But the governor did sign the new law last summer to reduce early voting days and blunt voter registration drives.
Then he launched this massive purge of the voter rolls — hunting for suspected noncitizens. And in so doing, he’s now defying federal authorities who say you cannot conduct a purge of voter rolls so close to an election.
The governor and his administration should ensure the credibility of our voter rolls. It should have a program to suppress fraud.
But above all else, the state must ensure that every lawful citizen who has the right to vote can do so without impediment.
It was a long time ago, but something Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said about voting rights seems appropriate again. Dr. King said, “The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions. It is democracy turned upside down.”
I hope the governor will heed those words.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
Let us say it here: Nelson is a partisan hack who doesn’t care one iota about the right to vote. Nelson only cares about Democrats winning elections by any means necessary. (more…)
The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville for discrimination against minority firefighters.
Firefighters seeking to be promoted within the Jacksonville (Florida) Fire Department must take a test. The test is one part of the process to be promoted. Statistically, African Americans are not passing the test as often as others. In addition, when they do pass the test, their scores are generally lower than other racial groups. The only “conclusion” one can reach is there must be discrimination within the test and the Jacksonville Fire Department – at least according to the DOJ.
This is the ol’ “disparate impact” theory which we have covered before. When Obama took office and appointed Eric Holder to the Attorney General spot, Holder said he would focus on cases of “disparate impact” rather than cases of actual discrimination.
As part of this shift, the Obama administration is planning a major revival of high-impact civil rights enforcement against policies, in areas ranging from housing to hiring, where statistics show that minorities fare disproportionately poorly. President George W. Bush’s appointees had discouraged such tactics, preferring to focus on individual cases in which there is evidence of intentional discrimination.
The problems with the DOJ’s claims in the Jacksonville case are many. First, unless the tests are asking “what is the secret handshake at meetings of the KKK?” it is difficult to see how a test can be discriminatory. If the test asks questions on procedures, regulations, safety, fire types, etc., we cannot see how the test itself is discriminatory. Answers are either right or wrong. In the case of a fire department, what happens when you have people in positions of authority who get questions dealing with the public safety wrong? Is the public better served by promoting people who can’t pass a test on subject matter pertaining to their job? (more…)
According to Cnet.com, today the Department of Justice will testify before Congress to increase penalties under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
At issue is the Act’s use of the term “exceeds authorized access.” When passed, the intent of the Act was to have the phrase apply to hacking or fraud on the internet. Now the Feds want to expand the meaning to “any violation of the Terms of Service of a website.”
Doesn’t sound like much, does it?
It does when you consider the ramifications. A letter signed by a group including the Electronic Foundation Frontier, the ACLU, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation highlights the problem:
Our primary concern – that this will lead to overbroad application of the law – is far from hypothetical. Three federal circuit courts have agreed that an employee who exceeds an employer’s network acceptable use policies can be prosecuted under the CFAA. At least one federal prosecutor has brought criminal charges
against a user of a social network who signed up under a pseudonym in violation of terms of service.
These activities should not be “computer crimes,” any more than they are crimes in the physical world. If, for example, an employee photocopies an employer’s document to give to a friend without that employer’s permission, there is no federal crime (though there may be, for example, a contractual violation). However, if an employee emails that document, there may be a CFAA violation. If a person assumes a fictitious identity at a party, there is no federal crime. Yet if they assume that same identity on a social network that prohibits pseudonyms, there may again be a CFAA violation. This is a gross misuse of the law. The CFAA should focus on malicious hacking and identity theft and not on criminalizing any behavior that happens to take place online in violation of terms of service or an acceptable use policy.
The Obama administration seems to have made it their mission to control the internet and the content on it. Twice the White House has set up websites so people can contact them when something is posted with which the administration disagrees. We have seen the Department of Homeland Security seize domains and domain names without any due process for the seizure.
In essence, the Obama Administration through the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security are is looking to make criminal what is essentially a civil matter.
That is dangerous.
But it doesn’t stop there.
In a letter to Congress, the DOJ is looking to further expand the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The letter calls for increases in the ability to seize assets of citizens and increasing penalties. For example, according to the Cnet article, uploading a copyrighted song or video to YouTube twice “becomes a pattern of racketeering.”
We may be paranoid, but to us this is a continued attack on the freedoms of Americans.