Monday, December 11, 2006

Of HOPE and Charity: Some Interesting Stories & A Few Thoughts

,A few stories "ripped from the headlines." if you will:

I. Newsday Reports on Suffolk County New York Drug Dealers as Murderers Initiative
Yesterday's edition of Newsday had this story on a new policing initiative. Seems a lot of kids are dying of drug overdosing. Their stories do not get reported because the Cause of Death is normally reported as accidental. Parents and other family members do not want the publicity. Suffolk County NY however has decided to try to treat these cases as murders or manslaughter and seek to find the drug dealers who help these young people become corpses.
I have often wondered over the years why this wasn't done already. After all giving a kid "Smack" or "Dust" seems no different than handing a suicidal person a gun. In fact it is probably worse. At least the suicide wants to die, usually not the intent in the latter case.
On the other hand I am reminded of the John Belushi case where fellow user was accused of helping Belushi die by providing the drugs to him. The trick here is to use this charge against pushers. People who live their lives primarily in the sale of drugs. I am not talking about a fellow "hype" or user, I mean the prosecutions ought to be pointed at big dealers. The other positive of this is to get the serious nature of these drugs and of being involved in these drugs out in the open so maybe the deaths of these naive kids will not be in vain.

II. The Children of Hope Need YOU!!

Two abandoned infants are buried next to each other in Holy Rood Catholic Cemetery. Both carry the last name "HOPE."

My friend Tim Jaccard had the grim task of burying each infant. Tim is a hero in my book. He fought and obtained state approval for the safe haven program where young mothers can drop kids off at a site that will take the kids no questions asked. They can give up the kids and leave. It is saving lives. Getting the word out is still tough especially among minority and immigrant kids. Tim is in charge of the Children of Hope Foundation. He works with these young mothers and mothers to be and talks them down from the fear and into the world of adoption. He and his foundation have saved numerous kids, both Moms and infants. I hope this Christmas, Tim can focus on those he saved rather than the two he lost in the last month. Click here to send a donation.


III. Speaking of Donations, Only You can save Meals on Wheels

If you were a shut in and had no way to get food, what would you do? Who would you turn to?
About 100 people sick infirm and needy turn to Meals on Wheels Huntington, Inc. They are there day after day meal after meal helping to make a difference in the lives of these people.
They are about to go out of business. They have less than 60 days before they lose their home. Seems their building is dilapidated and the Red Cross (owner of the building)can't keep it up anymore.
"Meals" present rent is Two Hundred Fifty Dollars a month, their new rent in a new place will be a minimum of One Thousand Dollars a month, Unless... They can find an angel. A Horace P. Bogardus. A landlord who has say 300 sq. Feet of space that he can give or rent to them so they can keep up their life giving work. ARE YOU THAT ANGEL???? If so call them at 631-271-5150. Remember what Father O'Malley said about good deeds helping to cure an bad heart...

IV. A New Blog From A New Arena

I do not usually write about a new blog unless I see it putting out a lot of posts. On the other hand, most new blawgs do not start off with a mention in the venerable Volokh Conspiracy on of American BLawg lands most popular blogs.
So what makes this one different. Well it is written by former US District Court Judge H Lee Sorokin of the Jersey Branch of the US District Court. It is written in a no nonsense style and it appears the judge is not happy with the way the American government and especially the Executive branch is treating the US Constitution. So far the Blog X JUDGE is getting a lot of hits and a lot of comments. Some of which a judge would not usually hear. Welcome to the Blogoshpere your honor. Keep your helmet on and keep on writing.

V. THEY'RE CONGRESSMEN NOT TRIAL LAWYERS

What a surprise, the Congressman named to chair the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE (now there is an oxymoron if ever there was one) doesn't know the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni Muslim. He also doesn't know which one supplies Al Queda (Sunnis) and which ones support Hamas (Shiites). We're already off to a rollicking start...
Hattip: Volokh Conspiracy

VI Facebook Follies Can Hurt Your Job Prospects

DUH????!!!! Need we say more?

VI. Is the Rabbi "The Grinch That Stole Christmas??" NOPE! It's His Lawyer!!

Constitutional law is probably the hardest subject to grasp, especially when it comes to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

This story tells why lawyers who are not well schooled in the area of First amendment protections should stay away from giving advice on it to laymen, especially those that think they are aggrieved.

Seems the good people who run the Seattle-Tacoma airport wanted to spread a little seasonal cheer. They put up a couple of Christmas Tree displays. A local rabbi, rather than write to them and ask them to come up with some other displays next year, ran to the press and said "They better put up a Menorah or I am going to Sue!!"

The people who run the airport not having time to figure out the establishment clause issues, decided that they would just be Skipping Christmas this year.

His Lawyer a personal injury and sometimes criminal lawyer says ""They've darkened the hall instead of turning the lights up," said Bogomilsky's lawyer, Harvey Grad (this is a bad link but I just couldn't give him anymore free publicity, you'll have to get it yourself). "There is a concern here that the Jewish community will be portrayed as the Grinch."

No Harve the Jewish community isn't the grinch, it is the person who told Rabbi Bogomilsky that he could demand a Menorah.

You see, A Christmas Tree, Reindeer, Santa Claus, and Frosty the Snowman, are not religious symbols. They are symbols of the season. A Nativity Scene are Religious symbols, just as is a Menorah.

A Dreidel is not however a Religious symbol and is what the Rabbi should have asked for. Moreover, you should have advised the Rabbi not to make a federal case of it this year, but to ask and see how it went next year. If things were unchanged THEN you should have advised him to sue... Then again you and your client wouldn't have gotten any publicity...

I bet it sure seemed like a good idea at the time though. Next time leave the heavy lifting to the First amendment guys and stick with the winter's slip and falls...

UPDATE:
The Christmas Trees are back up in Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The Rabbi has agreed to drop his potential lawsuit and suprise: the trees reappeared. Hmmm I didn't know Christmas Trees were afraid of lawsuits... you learn something everyday.
Of course, maybe they all just read this post and they learned something about the establishment clause...Nah.
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