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I’m in a real ethical dillemma about how our laws should treat sex offenders who have served their time and are out in the real world. Right now they’re restricting where they can live. Forcing them to inform their neighbors of their past crimes. Listing them in directories. Permanently and publicly branding each one a Menace to Society.On one hand, people want a safe neighborhood for their children to grow up in. The thought of having your young child sexually molested is a horrible concept, and an event that would permanently scar both the child and your entire family. If someone did it once, he may do it again. Let’s keep him as far away from our families as possible. But on the other hand, not all sex offenders are pedophiles. Not all sex offenders are repeat offenders. And if we need to force these people into a life of severe restriction and public humiliation, why let them out of jail at all? What kind of a life is that? Why is a second chance at a respectable life totally out of the question? Curt Woodward of the AP described a good chunk of the debate in his article, “Sex offender ban debated by task force” (which addressed the bill in a WA county to keep sex offenders from living near schools or daycares):

“Restricting where sex offenders can live may not stop a lot of crime, but the practice is still valuable because it makes Washingtonians feel safer, some members of a state task force believe.”

Everything is about feeling safe these days. Do you really think you can stop a determined psycho by telling him not to buy a house near a school? Likewise, do you think you can really stop a determined terrorist from attacking by scanning us all at the airport? We kick the people we’re afraid of in hopes they’ll back down. But what if we’re really just pissing them off? Forcing people into a corner only enrages them. On a close-to-home note, there are 597 known sex offenders in the city of San Francisco. How do I know? PervWatch.org is a new website seeking to list and map all sex offenders in every state (so far they have California, New York, Texas and Florida up). They told me.And when I click the names of these offenders to view their mugshots and crimes, it sends chills down my spine. Makes me want to look over my shoulder at night. Makes me afraid. Makes me want to lock them back up. God, if I had a daughter, I’d tell her to stay away from these men. I wouldn’t let her out alone. Let’s just stay inside all the time and not meet anyone new ever. Come to think of it, the people we already know can’t be trusted either. It’s just too damned dangerous out there. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” -Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Heads up, this content is 15 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

You know, the kinds that connect the world and constantly process new ideas and provide you with useful tools? I found them, thanks to Seth Godin. They’re here: Emily Chang – eHubAll of them.(Holy constant updates, Batman!)

Heads up, this content is 15 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

President Bush, in a rare display of leadership and responsibility, appealled to Americans to “pitch in” and cut down on their driving. Apparently the constant increase in energy use by the American people has finally met the reality of limited oil supply head-on (with the help of a few hurricanes). The New York Times Article continues…

‘ “People just need to recognize that the storms have caused disruption,” [Bush] added, and that if Americans are able to avoid going “on a trip that’s not essential, that would be helpful.” ‘

Amazing. He’s actually asking us to conserve our resources. Because…

‘Households are on pace to spend an average of $4,500 on energy this year, up about $500 from last year and $900 more than in 2003, according to Global Insight, a research firm.’

…and apparently it’s not a good thing that the average person keeps costing more to keep adequately energized. Why didn’t he say this earlier? Well, let’s see…

‘In 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney said, “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it cannot be the basis of a sound energy policy.” Also that year, Ari Fleischer, then Mr. Bush’s press secretary, responded to a question about reducing American energy consumption by saying “that’s a big no.””The president believes that it’s an American way of life,” Mr. Fleischer said. ‘

Oh.. of course. So in times of crisis asking us to conserve is a last resort. I’m sure as soon as this all blows over (no pun intended), he’ll tell us to start “driving as normal.” But how will he keep the oil flowing? Hmm…

‘Mr. Bush promised to dip further into the government’s petroleum reserve, if necessary, and to continue relaxing environmental and transportation rules in an effort to get more gasoline flowing.’

Of course! Use our oil at a faster rate and relax environmental policies! Why didn’t I think of that? Boy, I’m glad that when I’m 60, my grandchildren will have a beautiful toxic waste dump to waddle through beneath a grey smoky sky. Thanks Bush! You’ve cleared it all up for me!