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August 20, 2007

Whatever happened to double jeopardy?

Man on trial again over 1971 crime he already served time for

How the hell is this legal? A man is put back in prison after decades for the same crime--serving time twice for the same conviction.

Thirty-five years ago, a San Francisco school bus driver was convicted of shooting a uniformed officer with a pistol, seriously wounding him.

Much has changed since then for Richard O'Neal, now 58. After serving four years in prison, he became a popular city maintenance man. His wife was slain. He became a single father, then a grandfather. He built a steady life.

Now O'Neal is back behind bars, though he never committed another crime.

State prosecutors say O'Neal should be punished further in connection with the attack in February 1971. The principle of double jeopardy protects him from being tried again for assault - the crime that sent him to prison in 1972. But prosecutors say they can now prove the shooting was an "overt act" in a broader conspiracy to kill officers.

The arrest of O'Neal, one of nine alleged ex-members of the Black Liberation Army charged in January with conspiracy, has outraged relatives and friends.

August 19, 2007

Most mothers can't choose to "opt-out" and stay at home

The working wounded / Most women don't have a choice to stay home with kids

This piece is basically a huge fuck you to the New York Times and its ridiculous ongoing mothers-who-opt-out coverage, which is somehow being called "The Mommy Wars." Though I'd really rather see actually mommy wars: women with infants strapped to their chests diving for cover behind bassinets, lobbing dirty diaper grenades, screaming into baby monitors for air support.

The debate over whether mothers of young children should opt out of full-time work, and instead stay home with their kids, has important implications for all mothers, but the vast majority of those mothers are being excluded from the conversation. The vocabulary of the discussion -- opt out, choose to stay home -- reveals its bias: It assumes that all mothers can make a choice that, in actuality, very few mothers are in a position to make.

For most mothers, working full time is not a choice to be weighed against having a family; it's a necessity in order to support a family. Working-class, low-income and single mothers -- mothers who cannot rely on a rich spouse -- are being unfairly judged for a choice they did not have the privilege to make.

It's easy to open a newspaper and get the impression that parenting is a challenge faced only by upper-middle-class people. The summer months bring the problem into stark relief. According to the media, now is the time mothers are facing the challenges that arise when school lets out: Should children enroll in science or soccer camp? And how to schedule each child's respective activities and still have time to schedule family vacation?

(via Feministing)

Medicare will no longer pay for hospital errors

Medicare Says It Won’t Cover Hospital Errors - New York Times

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 — In a significant policy change, Bush administration officials say that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating preventable errors, injuries and infections that occur in hospitals, a move they say could save lives and millions of dollars.

Private insurers are considering similar changes, which they said could multiply the savings and benefits for patients.

Under the new rules, to be published next week, Medicare will not pay hospitals for the costs of treating certain “conditions that could reasonably have been prevented.”

Among the conditions that will be affected are bedsores, or pressure ulcers; injuries caused by falls; and infections resulting from the prolonged use of catheters in blood vessels or the bladder.

August 18, 2007

US Military Practices Genetic Discrimination in Denying Benefits

US Military Practices Genetic Discrimination in Denying Benefits

Eric Miller's career as an Army Ranger wasn't ended by a battlefield wound, but his DNA.

Lurking in his genes was a mutation that made him vulnerable to uncontrolled tumor growth. After suffering back pain during a tour in Afghanistan, he underwent three surgeries to remove tumors from his brain and spine that left him with numbness throughout the left side of his body.

So began his journey into a dreaded scenario of the genetic age.

Because he was born with the mutation, the Army argued it bore no responsibility for his illness and medically discharged him in 2005 without the disability benefits or health insurance he needed to fight his disease.

"The Army didn't give me anything," said Miller, 28, a seven-year veteran who is training to join the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

August 17, 2007

Silly loser boy, you're not gay, you're just a fucking dork

Savage Love | HUMP! Is Coming!I am a single guy......