A few year ago my son and I took the a bus from Malmö to Falsterbo, in southern Sweden. It was a beautiful late-summer day. We stumbled across a long pier out in to the North Sea (or is it the Baltic Sea? The location off the southern tip of Sweden always makes it unclear to me.). We saw a number of different birds and bugs, but then ran across what appeared to be seals in the cold, dark northern waters. As it turns out, there is a nature reserve called Måkläppen that is home to seals and gray seals.
Categorized by genus/species, placed chronologically by common name
American Tree Sparrow
American White Pelican
Cape May Warbler*
Eastern Goldfinch - See American Goldfinch
Eastern Wood Pewee
Eurasian Collared Dove
Eurasian Tree Sparrow*
Great Black-backed Gull*
Great Blue Heron
Great Grey Shrike
Great Spotted Woodpecker*
Greater White-Fronted Goose*
Lesser Black-backed Gull*
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
Northern Shrike - See Great Grey Shrike
Eastern Fox Squirrel
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Groundhog - See Woodchuck
Ground Squirrel - See Eastern Chipmunk
Last summer I spent 22 days in Russia getting tutored in the Russian language by a tutor at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. I stayed in the dorm, as well, to get the full immersion experience.
…in order to fix the disparity between white arrests and black arrests, and white incarceration and black incarceration.
From the Des Moines Register:
Black adults and white adults use illegal drugs at roughly the same rates. But being black in this country means being 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug possession. In Iowa the statistics are especially appalling.
A black person in this state is seven times more likely to be arrested for possessing drugs, according to a new ACLU/Human Rights Watch report. Only one state, Montana, has a wider racial disparity.
The report, based on FBI and other government data, documents the devastation of enforcing drug laws that result in the arrest of more than one million Americans each year. Thousands of people cycle through jail, lose jobs, owe crippling fines and are haunted by criminal records. A felony conviction in Iowa means automatically losing your right to vote. Republicans and Democrats alike agree there is a need for comprehensive justice reform, which includes reducing sentences, eliminating mandatory minimums and investing in alternatives to jail and prison…In Iowa, 3 percent of residents are African-American, while 23 percent of state prison inmates are black…
They should begin by doing what several other states have done: pass legislation to ban racial profiling by law enforcement.
While a nice gesture, we (Iowans) need to be a little more radical in our solutions if we want to make a difference. The Editorial offers, as a solution, a law that would ban racial profiling. Well, racial profiling is already illegal. That is, no police officer can arrest someone and base probable cause on the individual’s race (nor can they use race to support “reasonable suspicion” for a Terry-style stop). No officer admits to racial profiling anyway. An officer who is profiling is going to give a race-neutral reason for the stop (traffic violation, etc.), and attorneys already have the ability to challenge those stops as pretextual in nature.
To make a real difference, we should be talking about decriminalizing marijuana completely, and decriminalizing the use and possession of other drugs, in general. Adults have every right to use drugs should they choose to do so (just like they can eat or drink whatever they choose, or engage in any type of consensual relationship with another adult, should they choose to) as long as they are not doing the drugs in a way that endangers others (driving while intoxicated, using around or while in charge of children, etc.). Not only is decriminalizing drug use a liberty issue for the individual, but it actually achieves the results the War on Drugs was supposed to achieve (as Portugal has shown).
Even if people want a distinction between using drugs and selling drugs, selling drugs should never land someone in prison for 25 or even 10 years. Selling drugs should not make you a felon. There will always be a market for drugs (illegal or otherwise), and ruining people’s lives for selling them serves no purpose (since it has no effect on eliminating the drug market). The felony convictions, while doing nothing to stem the flow of drugs, contribute to and perpetuate poverty and unemployment – especially in minority communities. (As an aside, in my personal experience, it is not about minorities being singled out so much as it is those in the lower socio-economic sphere of society – and it just so happens that minorities are disproportionately poor (a legacy of our embarrassing history)).
In Iowa, consider that sexual abuse, robbery, home invasion, assaults with injury, etc., can get you 5-10 years in prison (more or less, as well, depending on the facts), while having a bag of crack cocaine can get you the same or worse – up to 25 years in some cases. The worst drug possession is better than the “best” sexual assault, yet sexual predators regularly get less time than drug dealers (accompanying violence aside, of course).
We need serious reform, and a ban on racial profiling isn’t it.
Via the QC Times:
A Davenport man, one of three charged in connection with the stabbing and beating death of 29-year-old Romane Nunn Sr., has pleaded not guilty.
Terrell G. Bloch, 45, of Davenport, waived his right to a formal arraignment Thursday and filed his plea through his attorney, Michael Motto Jr., in Scott County District Court.
Via the QC Times:
A Davenport teen has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the shooting death of 15-year-old Ayana Culbreath.
Trevor D. Owens, 17, filed his written plea to first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon or an adjudicated delinquent, through his appointed attorney, Assistant Public Defender Derek Jones, on Tuesday.
Jones also filed a motion this week to withdraw from the case, saying that his continued representation would be a conflict of interest because the public defender’s office has or is currently representing 14 prosecution witnesses identified in the trial information.
On Wednesday, District Court Judge Mark Cleve granted Jones’ motion and appointed Michael Motto Jr. to represent him.
I suppose this could be considered a graphic video, as the eel is filleted alive.
This “chapter” produced 4 trials for me, personally. The last one is finally done.
Sex offender Melvin T. Lucier heard the word he’s heard three times before in a Scott County courtroom: Guilty.
A Scott County jury deliberated nearly 20 minutes Wednesday before finding the 55-year-old guilty of one count of third-degree sex abuse for abusing a then 12 or 13 year old boy in 2011 or 2012.
More than two hours later, Scott County District Court Judge Joel Barrows sentenced him to up to 25 years in prison, which will be served back-to-back with multiple life sentences for sexually abusing three girls
Today, Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
“Finding Karadzic guilty of the Srebrenica genocide, judge O-Gon Kwon said that after Bosnian Serb forces attacked and seized the UN-protected enclave in July 1995, a “plan to destroy the Muslim population” was implemented in an organised way.”
I was able to visit the Srebrenica Memorial last December on a quiet, windless day. It’s a pretty eerie place, set off by the abundant fog, the lack of any noise whatsoever, and the backdrop of forest in the surrounding Dinaric Alps.
Another mistrial (back-to-back mistrials for me):
An “inappropriate” comment by a prospective juror this week led a Scott County judge to declare a mistrial for two brothers accused of beating a man at a Davenport strip club in October.
The comment was made Monday during the first day of jury selection for Kamden Shelton, 24, and Juan Shelton, 32, who are charged with attempted murder and willful injury causing serious injury.
Continue Reading »
Via the QC Times:
An inadvertent comment from a prospective juror questioned to sit on the jury for four-time convicted child sex offender Melvin T. Lucier led a Scott County District Court judge to declare a mistrial Monday morning.
The decision by Judge Joel Barrow came less than an hour into jury selection in Lucier’s fourth sex abuse trial.
Prior to Monday’s trial, Barrows granted a motion filed by defense attorney Michael Motto seeking to bar any mention or testimony regarding Lucier’s prior convictions or that he already is a convicted sex offender.
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INSECTS, ARACHNIDS, MYRIAPODS & GASTROPODS
Categorized by family, placed chronologically by common name
- Bars & Drinks
- Book Review
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Health & Medicine
- In Flight
- Mississippi River
- People and Faces
- Photo Hunt
- Rivers and Waterways
- Street Shots
- The Seven Seas
Assassin Bugs (Reduviidae)
Bee Flies (Bombyliidae)
Blow Flies (Calliphoridae)
Brown Lacewings (Hemerobiidae)
Bumble Bees, etc. (Apidae)
Carrion Beetles (Silphidae)
Cellar Spiders (Pholcidae)
Centipedes, House (Scutigeridae)
Common Sawflies (Tenthredinidae)
Crane Flies (Tipulidae)
Ermine Moths (Yponomeutidae)
Flower Flies - See Syrphid Flies
Funnel-Web Spiders (Agelenidae)
Ground Beetles (Carabidae)
Honey Bees - See Bumble Bees, etc.
Hornets - See Yellowjackets, etc.
Hover Flies - See Syrphid Flies
Ichneumon Wasps (Ichneumonidae)
Jumping Spiders (Salticidae)
Ladybird Beetles (Coccinellidae)
Leaf Beetles (Chrysomelidae)
Leaffooted Bugs (Coreidae)
Lightning Bugs - See Fireflies
Longhorned Beetles (Cerambycidae)
Mantid Flies (Mantispidae)
Minettia Flies (Minettia)
Narrow-Winged Damselflies (Coenagrionidae)
Paper Wasps - See Yellowjackets, etc.
Picture-Winged Flies (Ulidiidae)
Plant Bugs (Miridae)
Primitive Weevils (Brentidae)
Robber Flies (Asilidae)
Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae)
Scentless Plant Bugs (Rhopalidae)
Short-horned Grasshoppers (Acrididae)
Signal Flies (Platystomatidae)
Snout and Bark Beetles (Curculionidae)
Soft-Winged Flower Beetles (Melyridae)
Soldier Beetles (Cantharidae)
Soldier Flies (Stratiomyidae)
Sphinx Moths (Sphingidae)
Stink Bugs (Pentatomidae)
Sweat Bees (Halictidae)
Syrphid Flies (Syrphidae)
Tiger Moths (Arctiidae)
Tiphiid Wasps (Tiphiidae)
Yellowjackets, etc. (Vespidae)
Spider Lily - See Spiderwort
REPTILES and AMPHIBIANS
Common Garter Snake
Eastern Box Turtle*
Northern Fence Lizard*
Giant Sea Star*
Landscapes / Mountains
Planes / Trains / Autos / Boats
Rainbows / Clouds / Sky Formations
Rivers and Waterways
Signs, Billboards, etc.
Local Structures / Buildings
Sun and Moon