Tag Archives: current events

People watching is undeniably one form of recreation requiring little to no effort on the participants. It could practically be a sporting event. As a an observer of humans, I find it quite interesting how what is done is in so much opposition to what we say and do. For instance, a woman was walking along the sidewalk with a dog in her arms and a child on the leash. I wondered what she would do if the child walked on an ant pile, would she pick the child up, put the dog down, or hold the dog while screaming for someone to help the child.
Obesity is a huge problem, no pun intended, so why are there very few sidewalks that lead to the doors of businesses? Where are bicycle racks, and why are there no bike trails adjacent to parking lots? When was the last time anyone received an insurance rebate or discount for walking? Even in the produce department, I am puzzled by the amount of cakes, caramel spreads, chocolate dips, and other fattening enticements used to encourage purchasing healthy foods, but making them unhealthy. I understand the goal of the grocery store, like any business, is to make money, but should our gastrointestinal lust be taken advantage of in such a public manner?
I passed what appeared to be a homeless man talking on a cell phone. As I was watching, and listening to what was a loud endless conversation, I noticed the gentleman was not stopping the conversation to pause, ask questions, or wait before responding. Obviously no one was on the other end of this phone. Did the voices call him or did he place the call. Mental illness isn’t as sublime as we may like to believe it is.
As immigrant children are packed into buses and exported out of one state and imported into other states, I wonder what they see from the bus windows when they look out at the Americans, some who may look like them, but are holding up signs screaming for them to leave. Americans like to say we are a nation of God fearing, compassionate, people loving, open-minded citizens, but where were those people the day the buses rolled out of Texas and into California? I was reminded of a time when children walked to school in Little Rock, Arkansas while adults screamed and yelled at them to go away. In what was once considered a home of the brave, it appears that the bravest souls are those who enter with the hope of a possible future, not the ones who fear their presence. Propaganda through media coverage among fearful individuals who need to belong to a cause or group is insidious. It feeds on their fears and anxieties and paranoias.
What I have learned about society from watching people, is they never really change.

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TRUTHS & CONFESSIONS

Truths & Confessions
Getting tough on crime and the politics of interrogation

How many hours do you think it takes to get the truth as opposed to a confession? Ever wonder how many hours, days individuals are questioned before confessing to acts they never committed? What happens when the right to remain silence is exercised?
I asked a few political hopefuls to address the issue of time limits on interrogation. After a few hours, bits and pieces of information about a scene where a crime has taken place, not having basic needs met, how long will it take the average person to confess? I have never heard a lawyer ask about the length of time it took to get a confession or the conditions under which the confession was given. What is the rate of exchange for a confession?
The truth is gathered with evidence. Months of investigations can go by while the person of interest is walking around without confessing to anything. Yet, an individual who fits the profile of… or is in the area of… remains in custody being questioned as long as they are willing to speak. According to one source, “that one phone call is given when police are ready.”
Remaining silent may increase the incarceration time and more questioning. Lawyers may get the call from a client and by the time the lawyer arrives, their client may be unable to be found. Has the truth been reached by this time? Hardly!
Individuals may be questioned upwards 20 plus hours, fed information, viewed documents, and given so many stories that confusion sets in. The confession becomes a manipulated rendition of fractured facts. That is very far from truth. Yet, this is the how prisons are filled. It’s how people are named by friends and acquaintances even if they were out of town when events occurred.
So, I ask, should there be a time limit placed on interrogations? How many people does it take to interview an individual? If it cannot be done within 3 hours, maybe the skill sets are not there, or the person in custody is telling the truth. Prolonging the questioning will create the impression that the stories are changing, a presumed guilt, or an untruthful confession.
Maybe the reason politicians don’t feel the need the address time limits on questioning is because to get tough on crimes may mean getting tough about the way citizens are questioned. The criminalization of citizens may be too much of a reality for constituents who finance campaigns. But then too, how many cities thrive from the economic boom a prison population provides? If a seated candidate addresses the get tough on crime policies, begins investigating the interrogation process, will their career be over?
Election year or not, it is imperative for all of us to raise questions that are sometimes uncomfortable to face.

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