Category: yvtvmvfedoes

Diabetes 2 more common.

Diabetes 2 more common.

first_imgWhich Kind of Diabetes? Type 1: “If we can influence our children’s behavior, we can reduce the chance they’ll get type 2 diabetes,” Freeman said. “We owe it to our children to do our part.”More informationYou can find more on diabetes from these Web sites: In just the past 30 years, the percentage of children and teens who are overweight has more than doubled. A University of Georgia scientist said many overweight children are among a growing group with type 2 diabetes. “That’s an unusual type of diabetes for children to have,” said Janine Freeman, an Extension Service nutrition specialist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “Type 2 is usually associated with overweight adults.”Type 2 diabetes can be managed by healthy eating and regular physical activity, Freeman said. But it may require medication. Insulin treatment is used if other changes don’t bring the diabetes under control.More overweight kidsMost of the increase in overweight children has been since the late 1970s. It coincides with the rise of video and computer games and other computer uses.Freeman said children spend an average of almost three and a half hours every day watching television. “Television viewing plays a major role in how much — or how little — activity children get,” she said.That lack of physical activity is one of many reasons more children and teens are overweight.Another big reason is poor eating habits. More than 84 percent of children and teens eat too much fat. More than 91 percent eat too much saturated fat. Almost one-third of all children and teens eat less than one serving per day of a nonfried vegetable. “Since obesity is a big diabetes factor, we need to try to influence what children eat and how much activity they get,” Freeman said. “We know that in this age group, it’s sometimes hard to get children to do what’s best for their health.” The body becomes resistant to its own insulin. Occurs mostly in overweight adults. Can be managed by healthy eating and regular physical activity, but may require medication. Insulin treatment is used if these changes don’ot bring the diabetes under control. < http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/index.htm> < http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/diabetes.htm > < http://www.diabetes.org/ > Set a good example. Children look to their parents and adults close to them for examples in eating and physical activity habits. If you want the kids close to you to make healthy choices, you must also. Increase the entire family’s activity level. Make sure everyone has a balanced diet. Type 2: She said studies show minority children have a much higher risk of the disease than Caucasian children. Though scientists don’t know why, they believe it’s partly because resistance to insulin varies among races at different levels of obesity. Advice for preventionBut regardless of race, Freeman said staying healthy and within healthy weight ranges can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in children. To help, she offers this advice. Requires insulin by injection or infusion pump to treat. Limit television or computer time. Set an hour of play time for every half-hour in front of the TV, computer or video game set. Make sure outdoor play equipment is handy and safe. Keep all kinds of balls, safe bicycles or other sports gear ready. Notice which activities kids enjoy and encourage them to do them more. Try to find community activities or leagues where they can play with others. Playing with friends can also help build social and leadership skills. Play with them. Start family or neighborhood ball games. Go walking or biking together. “Children tend to be like their parents,” Freeman said. “Getting them to be more active may mean you need to be more active.” Skip the cookie, soft drink and chip aisles at the grocery store. Stock up on more healthful alternatives like fresh fruits and vegetables. Though fruit drinks are full of vitamins, they pack a lot of sugar and calories. Eat at home more. Freeman said it’s hard to avoid high-fat food if you eat at fast-food restaurants often. Serve lean meats and lots of fresh vegetables. Try to limit high-fat cooking, too. The pancreas stops producing insulin. Usually occurs in children and young adults who are not overweight. last_img read more

Georgia’s biofuel future

Georgia’s biofuel future

first_img* In 2011 ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by an average of $1.09 per gallon.* Regular grade gasoline prices averaged $3.52 per gallon in 2011, but would have been closer to $4.60 per gallon without the inclusion of more than 13 billion gallons of lower-priced ethanol.* The average American household consumed 1,124 gallons of gasoline in 2011, meaning ethanol reduced average household spending at the pump by more than $1,200.* Since 2000 ethanol has kept gasoline prices an average of $0.29 per gallon cheaper than they otherwise would have been.* Based on the $0.29-per-gallon average annual savings, ethanol has helped save American drivers and the economy more than $477 billion in gasoline expenditures since 2000 – an average of $39.8 billion a year.Ethanol plants shutting downAs I write this, several corn ethanol plants in the Midwest are shutting down due to the high cost of corn. The one ethanol plant in south Georgia continues to operate under bankruptcy. Corn prices continue to rise as hot, dry conditions grip the Corn Belt. So even though using ethanol as a fuel has lots of economic advantages, producing ethanol from corn is not the long-term answer to our energy problems. Georgia’s biofuel future is dependent upon finding ways to use other feedstocks to make energy. One promising development came from Tulane University, which announced in the late summer of 2011 the discovery of a Clostridium-genus bacterium that can convert nearly any form of cellulose into isobutanol. Butanol has some advantages over ethanol. It better tolerates water contamination and is less corrosive than ethanol. It is more suitable for distribution through existing gasoline pipelines, but at around $4.00 per gallon, the prices for isobutanol far outstrip the $2.20 per gallon pricing for fuel ethanol. Some corn ethanol plants are looking at the option of converting to biobutanol production. DuPont and BP plan to make biobutanol the first product of their joint effort to develop, produce and market next-generation biofuels. In Europe the Swiss company Butalco is developing genetically modified yeasts for the production of biobutanol from cellulosic materials.Our bioenergy experts know a lot more than I do about these developments and trends, but from my perspective, UGA Extension needs to be prepared to help advise our growers and agribusinesses on how to best capitalize on this major change looming over the horizon. The biofuel era is coming to Georgia. A couple of years ago, I pushed to have a statewide University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent training initiative on biofuels. Some may argue that this was premature given the fact that the biofuel industry in Georgia was in its infancy. But growers were, and still are, being tempted to get into the biomass production business, and I thought it was time that Cooperative Extension get prepared for the inevitable onslaught of questions that will come with this agricultural revolution. Once this train starts moving…I still believe the biofuel era is coming to Georgia. Currently, the risks and uncertainties of anything new are holding things back, but once this train starts moving, it’s going to be a fast one. Perhaps we’re still a breakthrough or two away from the start of this race, but progress is happening daily and entrepreneurs are working hard to be on the ground floor when biofuel production really starts to generate big money.Up to this point, ethanol production in the U.S. has been almost totally from corn. There are some major tradeoffs associated with that kind of biofuel production system. The real revolution won’t start until we can start making biofuels from waste products and nonfood/feed sources. Even so, peer-reviewed research has shown some pretty incredible economic advantages of using corn ethanol for fuel.Ethanol advantageslast_img read more

Olympics: Panama’s Saladino to jump far in London

Olympics: Panama’s Saladino to jump far in London

first_imgBy Dialogo July 20, 2012 PANAMA CITY, Panama – Of the seven members of Panama’s Olympic delegation, one really stands out: Irving Saladino. The 29-year-old long jumper will try to become just the third man – and the second since 1906 –in Olympic history to win consecutive gold medals, a feat accomplished by Americans Myer Prinstein (1904, 1906) and Carl Lewis (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996). But it won’t be easy for Saladino, the country’s first and only Olympic gold medalist who is in his final stages of training for the London Games after undergoing surgery to mend his left knee. Saladino, who will carry his country’s flag at the Opening Ceremony on July 27, first started feeling discomfort in his knee in 2005 but chose to play through the pain, though it hurt his performance. Saladino, who will be competing in his third Olympics after failing to reach the medal round in Athens in 2004, is focusing on sprinting and controlling the aerial part of his jump. “We want to return with the gold,” Saladino said during a recent interview with Infosurhoy.com. “We’ve worked really hard physically and mentally to win the gold despite my being injured and having a knee operation. We’ve made a superhuman effort and I feel physically fit and ready to give my all.” His goal is to surpass the 8.40 meter jump, a mark his trainer, Florencio Aguilar, considers the baseline for an Olympic contender. Saladino, who was introduced to the sport at age 11 by his older brother, David, more than met that challenge at the 2007 Long Jump World Championship in Osaka, Japan, where he leaped a distance of 8.57 meters. His most recent personal best was in Holland, at the 2008 Hengelo meet, where he jumped 8.73 meters. At the 2008 Olympics, he jumped 8.34 meters to top silver medalist Godfrey Mokoena of South Africa (8.24 meters) and Cuba’s Ibrahim Camejo (8.2 meters), as Saladino won his country’s first medal since 1948. Saladino hopes the London Games will mark a breakthrough for Panama, which will send two more athletes to London as it did to Beijing. “All of them have worked with great discipline to get the kind of scores that would earn them a place at the Olympics,” he said. “The most significant thing is that these athletes are coming to see how they need to rely on their own efforts because waiting around for the country’s sporting organizations won’t be enough. They’ve woken up and they really want to represent Panama by giving their very best.” Saladino’s respect extends beyond his fellow Panamanians. “Latin American athletes are heroes who must forge their own road in order to bring glory to their country since we don’t have the resources of the first world,” he added. “This fact, along with the medals, is what we display every time we go out to represent our country and our continent.”last_img read more

The Business of Drug Trafficking in Brazil’s Favelas

The Business of Drug Trafficking in Brazil’s Favelas

first_imgThe popular imagination normally takes a simplistic view of the “business” that controls more than 1,000 favelas in Rio de Janeiro. People normally presume that it is just young people carrying a bag of drugs in one hand and an AK-47 in the other. But it is not like that. Among the staff, it is common to find very well paid attorneys and/or legal advisors who work to impede arrests or make them difficult, guide depositions, or lead negotiations. They are normally persons with strategic connections who do not stay in the interior of the community, but they give out their cell phone numbers and make themselves available 24 hours a day. Oversight on the activities is performed by an accountant. It is not unusual to find specialized professionals with a university education in accounting or economics serving in this branch. An interesting quirk is that this segment does not usually use banks. They stockpile cash and precious metals in holes with false bottoms in strategic locations in the interior of the community under their command. Depending on the security and size of the favela, this activity could be concentrated at one or more facilities. When various types of drugs arrive in the communities, they are not ready to be sold. Prior to their arrival, they are transported in several forms, such as pressed and water-proof tablets. Stock oversight is also a highly sensitive activity. Just one tablet of PBC (cocaine paste) weighing a kilogram costs around US$1,500 in Rio de Janeiro, and the profit margin is about 900 percent. We also can identify persons working in the roles of social communications advisors or psychological operations. The goal is to gain the community’s support, recruit more people to work within the system, and demoralize the security forces and rival factions. These factions normally have institutional connections with other partners with whom they share a common interest, be it permanent or temporary. They generally prefer to remain discreet, sending more invoices and not calling the public’s attention to themselves, to keep the state from waging police operations against them to satisfy a public outcry. Partners in these connections can include the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), other crime factions (domestic or international), political parties, terrorist organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In general, they commonly have a rigid hierarchy, with well-defined leadership, and a great deal of respect for orders issued by leaders in prison. One example of this was when a wave of violent attacks was unleashed upon Rio de Janeiro in November 2010, culminating in the occupation of the Alemão Complex by the Brazilian Army. A very important figure in the staff is the person in charge of bribing government personnel who could cause trouble for the Firm. This delicate and quiet process usually occurs by offering personal favors and money to police, politicians, informants, court officials, and other members of the system. When these procedures do not work, they start to apply pressure through threats to the targeted persons themselves or their families, until they capitulate or resign their position. Another procedure used in some of the structures is installing kitchen equipment. Using that equipment, the employees do not need to leave the workplace for meals, which improves oversight. The production center usually employs a significant number of persons who are paid according to how much they produce. Many of them work with masks and gloves to prevent poisoning. The next stage is processing the drugs by diluting them, mixing them with other compounds, and packaging them according to the amount to be sold. The persons who work in this activity are chosen for their trustworthiness, and they are accustomed to being subjected to rigorous checks on entering and exiting the workplace. Outsourced activities The commander for this activity is a person who enjoys the “favela capo’s” absolute confidence. Normally, this “commander” plans escape routes from areas belonging to rival factions. In principle, a favela has two distinct systems that work hand in hand: Surveillance/Alert and Response Force. The names may vary, but this is the usual structure. This activity in support of the surveillance system is customarily the point of entry for recruits and the beginning of a career within the drug-trafficking structure. In fact, children begin as messengers or being responsible for recharging and delivering batteries for radios and smartphones. Only after they demonstrate efficiency and commitment will they be entrusted with other tasks in the surveillance structure. Most of them dream of trading in their radios for rifles. Therefore, some of these youth temporarily interrupt their “careers” to join the Armed Forces, with a view at receiving Military training and then joining the ranks of the armed units. There also are “well-heeled” men. These intermediaries are usually people who have privileged access to places frequented by those with a good deal of purchasing power but are not willing to travel to the favelas to buy their drugs. These sites can be high schools, universities, VIP box seats at large events, parties, luxury condominiums, and other, similar places. This propaganda war has even expanded to the Internet in a variety of ways, including social media. Videos glorifying drug trafficking are edited with sound tracks and images of police being shot, executions of traitors, and faction fraternizing while members are armed. An example of this is the “Iraque de Janeiro” series on YouTube, posted in 2011. Each “favela capo,” like the CEO of any other company, likes to surround himself with trusted persons who are competent in the performance of their duties. Drug trafficking in the favelas functions as a business school that regularly accepts “students” at 6 or 7 years old. Over the years, they work in different positions and gain a more comprehensive notion of the business. This trusted group usually functions as staff for the local leader. Conclusion The preoccupation with security is one of the most notable activities in the business and, normally, the “favela capo” delegates this responsibility to his most trusted associate. By Dialogo December 31, 2015 I have another conclusion with regard to the security horizon:The business of security in Rio de Janeiro has a pyramid structure, with a rigid hierarchy within several structures. To achieve higher efficiency, the organizations use several processes adapted from legal businesses with managerial methods specific to each organization. The recruiters find a universe of candidates full of human resources which are poor, in terrible condition and who operate within a space where ethics are relative, such that what matters is loyalty to the criminal faction or its leader. Very interesting article, which shows us Argentines the way, the consequences of erratic Argentine policies regarding preventing and repressing drug trafficking. Methods, efforts, equipment and above all awareness and motivation for its agencies and agents, in coordination with the Justice system, and international cooperation, above all with countries such as Brazil, who have taken to the fight seriously. For instance: Dr. Oscar Acevedo Crio, Inspector RAO, criminal lawyer. A curtain hiding the power of trafficking, breaking laws and defying society…read and see the power of trafficking and its evils…share to bear witness of your condemnation We have to intensify the fight against the production, distribution and use of drugs. If demand increases, fighting it gets ever more difficult. Therefore, the focus against drug addiction must be comprehensive. Decreasing trafficking and production must be carried out along with a reduction in drug use. As long as drug use continues, production and selling will continue. Of course, it’s not enough to reduce production and selling, but it is fundamental. In this sense, we have to carry out persuasive campaigns to promote contempt for drugs and for drug addicts, of course in addition to considering producers and traffickers the enemies of humankind, of youth and of the society at large. We have to make not taking drugs a worthy value. It more courageous and more manly to disdain drug use than to surrender to it. Using drugs is an act of moral and human cowardice. He who refuses to use is courageous, he who yields to temptation is cowardly. Even youthful values such as who is more macho and more masculine should be inverted. The drug user or the one who has the courage to reject them? Masculinity is much more vigorous when one is better able to reject the temptation of drugs. Using drugs is for cowards or homosexuals because they are unable to say NO to what is evil and cowardly about using drugs in order to feel courageous. A courageous man does not use drugs to court a girl nor to challenge an adversary. Drugs and courage are enemies. Great! Yes, this is what I wrote in this text and others. Search them. Thank you. Cheers! Basically, the soldiers’ work consists of protecting the favelas from invasion by rival factions and police operations. When they are unable to do this, they must be able to slow down the enemy so their leader and his staff can safely flee through escape routes that were identified and planned in advance. The spotters must sound the alarm in time for the Response Force to be effective. The graffiti on the community’s walls also reinforces the leaders’ popularity and indicates which criminal faction dominates that area at the time. The lack of government control over NGOs also provides a dangerous amount of influence and legitimizes activities and persons involved with crime and illegal activities. Sometimes, it even rises to the level of political connections and the election of drug trafficker’s allies. Dealing drugs To increase the community’s acceptance of the organization and to recruit volunteers, the organizations conduct narco-populist activities where the “favela capos” try to present themselves as community benefactors, distributing medicine, building materials, and food. *Commanded the pacification of the Rio de Janeiro favelas (2011-2012); Brazilian Army Special Forces; Master’s in Military Sciences. During the time I led the occupation of the Alemão and Penha favela complexes, I spent a lot of time studying the business of drug trafficking in Rio’s hillsides. In addition to my life as a native of Rio de Janeiro, I had my own, personal observations on the ground; I had read a wide range of scientific texts; and I interviewed subordinates, sociologists, local residents, police, informants, traffickers, ex-traffickers, and ex-convicts. My intent was to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of drug trafficking to combat it more successfully. Another activity is to sponsor funk dances and traditional parties, for holidays such as Christmas or Easter. At these events and within the communities, it is common to hear funk lyrics that glamorize drug trafficking and explicit sex. Normally, the organizations hire people to develop this musical genre, which has become like a calling card for several communities. It is also perfectly normal to find famous artists, athletes, bands, singers, and dance troupes participating in the festivities. The accountants also oversee other lucrative activities. One of the management processes they developed that most caught my attention was the diversification of drug traffickers’ sources of revenue. Providing gas, water, cable TV, and transportation (motorcycle taxi, vans, and delivery trucks) are often held as monopolies by the favela capos. When this is not the case, those who legally run such services periodically have to pay a tax so their business can operate. Naturally, the fee is compulsory. I remember having a few experiences where we asked outside companies to provide those services in the interior, and all of them said they were not allowed to conduct business in that area. This is one of the reasons that encourages rival criminal factions to invade and conquer a favela. In the same way, corrupt members of law enforcement take advantage of incursion operations to sack those treasures. This is one of the main reasons that criminal factions even have heavy weaponry – that is, to protect themselves from invasion. With smartphones, traffickers send text, voice, or image messages. Meanwhile, the use of multi-channel talk-about radios remains the most common method of communication because it is the cheapest – you only need to recharge the batteries. Soldiers for the traffickers enjoy a certain glamour within the community. The status symbol is the firearm, which is displayed ostentatiously on the street and at funk dances. The bigger the weapon’s caliber, the higher the position within the hierarchy. This position is normally achieved through friendship, trust, and services rendered to the structure. These criminals receive good wages, are feared, and besieged by a significant contingent of young ladies looking for gifts and status. This symbiosis ends up being one of the biggest incentives for recruitment for impoverished youth. The payments to members of this structure are usually a fixed amount and occur weekly. Production Center There is no pretension that our work is finished here; we must still help people realize more fully what is happening in this environment where we can only see the tip of the iceberg. During our research, we were able to identify several processes that, in order to maintain efficiency and continuity of operations, would need certain functioning structures. We can visualize structures including staff, security, logistics, outsourcing of services, and commercialization of drugs, among others. Staff Traditionally called the Firm, the buying and selling of drugs in the favelas is a business with a capital “B,” which in turn is part of something much larger than itself. The main organized crime factions in Rio de Janeiro have similar management systems; they seek to adapt the most successful processes from traditional companies; and – as much as they can – they exploit loopholes in the law and in the culture of society. They always seek efficiency. In some places, in order to increase productivity and reduce waste, each drug is assigned one day each week for processing. For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays, it is cocaine; on Tuesdays, it is marijuana; and so on. The most popular drugs are cocaine, marijuana, hashish and Ecstasy. Whenever possible, they avoid selling crack because the customers deteriorate too quickly. Area Security Command The more profitable the favela’s drug business, the larger the Firm’s structure. The management processes used by these structures usually operate similarly to those of rival criminal factions. The primary factors in deciding how to structure the business are often the favela’s geography and human element. Ordinarily, there is a “General Manager” for the area who appoints a manager for each drug. Each drug, in turn, has a vendor for each price point. For example, one person only sells 15 cocaine powder packages priced at 15 Brazilian reals (US$ 3.84) and someone else only sells 5 cocaine powder packages at 5 reals (US$ 1.28), and so on. There are rigorous controls, and the competition between vendors is fierce, because they all work on commission and submit their accounts regularly. This way, there may be more than one vendor and more than one drug assailing the addicts when they come to the points of sale. The number of points of sale also depends on the community’s size, geography, and security. Normally, surveillance is performed by unarmed children and adolescents positioned in locations with an advantageous view to supervise access to the community. They are known as “spotters” or “falcons,” depending on the place. Their methods of communications vary. To send a message or sound the alarm, they use older, rudimentary methods, such as messengers, flares, or colored kites launched into the sky. There are a variety of services that are necessary for the business to function well, but can be done by persons outside the organizational structure who are well paid for performing them. For example, people working at a point of drug sales with their manager, vendors, spotters, and soldiers working security all need logistical support. Food can be provided by the nearest restaurant/bar or by a local housewife, depending on what is convenient. Likewise, the scouting of restrooms to meet physiological demands may also be a paid service. There are other needs, too, like recharging radio and smartphone batteries. Transportation is another activity that can see motorcycle taxi drivers looking for clients at the entrance to the community, delivering drugs, delivering messages, or even transporting a member of the system. Normally, one of the larger and more profitable favelas under the crime faction’s control is adopted as a sort of headquarters and the other communities come to be seen as sort of franchises. In this scenario, weapons, drug caches, and the so-called “soldiers” for drug traffickers can be some of the assistance rendered between the participants or their partners (in the communities). The business of drug trafficking in the favelas has a pyramidal structure with a rigid hierarchy within various structures. To obtain greater efficiency, the organizations use various processes adapted from legal companies with forms of management that are specific to each organization. Recruiters find a candidate pool full of human resources that are impoverished, miserable, and that operate in an environment where ethics are relative, so that what matters is loyalty to the criminal faction or its leader. We can see that there is always some sort of purchases and acquisitions section, primarily for drugs and weapons. This is a logistical activity that is directly tied to overseeing the supply of drugs, weapons, and ammunition. Diversification of the acquisition processes and the supply sources are geared towards guaranteeing continuity of operations, given that the business involves an extremely high-risk activity. last_img read more

New panel gives advice to trial court staff attorneys

New panel gives advice to trial court staff attorneys

first_imgMark D. Killian Managing EditorA trial court staff attorney may participate in Law Week projects where the lawyer provides a general overview of the law, but may not provide specific answers to legal questions posed by members of the public.That’s the advice from the first opinion of the Florida Trial Court Staff Attorneys Association’s Ethics Advisory Committee. Opinion Number: 2001-01The FTCSAA was founded in 2000 for the purposes of promoting research and administrative efficiency for the benefit of the state court system and to provide a forum for members to meet and discuss procedures, policies, and solutions. Its Ethics Advisory Committee is charged with rendering advisory opinions to staff attorneys who interpret the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct, the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, and other relevant authorities. Its opinions are advisory only and the FTCSAA said in the event that a committee opinion conflicts with a policy or procedure instituted by the chief judge of the inquiring lawyer’s circuit, the chief judge is the final arbiter of all such staff attorney matters pursuant to F.S §43.26 and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050. Law Week A trial court staff attorney asked the panel if it was permissible for her to participate in a local bar’s Law Week project, which involves a panel of lawyers going into the alternative public school for young pregnant women and entertaining questions in a variety of legal areas.The panel said while Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.060(b) prohibits the practice of law by a trial court staff attorney, the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has opined that a judge’s research aides are not prohibited by judicial canons in participating in the volunteer lawyers project, which is primarily a screening service for subsequent attorney referral and/or taking pro bono cases, where the aides are limited to conducting clinics and do not take any pro bono cases. The JEAC has also opined that a judge delivering lectures to the general public regarding an area of the law, as well as writing a purely informational newspaper column regarding legal issues, were permitted activities under Canons 4 and 5, as they were an activity to improve the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.“This committee unanimously finds that this proposed activity is not prohibited by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.060(b) or the Code of Judicial Conduct,” the FTCSAA panel said. “Further, this activity promotes the objectives placed upon lawyers, including trial court staff attorneys, by The Florida Bar.”The committee, however, cautions that staff attorneys should be careful to answer only general questions to avoid the suggestion that the staff attorney’s judge would rule a certain way. The panel also said if during the discussion the staff lawyer receives factually specific details regarding a case that will come before his judge, the staff attorney should disqualify himself from the matter, “as well as suggest to the judge presiding over the particular matter to also disqualify himself or herself in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety.”Another staff attorney said he also would like to participate in a Law Week project that involves volunteer lawyers setting up “shop” in a local mall for the purpose of answering questions posed by the patrons of the mall. The questions typically involve areas such as real estate, personal injury, landlord and tenant, etc. The lawyers are not permitted to recruit clients and are there simply to answer questions. If necessary, the lawyers refer people to the local bar association which, in turn, maintains a list of lawyers who are specialists in the various areas and are prepared to handle cases that may be referred.“A majority of this committee finds that this proposed activity is proscribed by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.060(b) and the Code of Judicial Conduct,” the committee said. “Participation in the mall project would inevitably require the staff attorney to answer factually specific questions, i.e., to provide legal advice, regarding a matter that is likely to come before his or her judge(s).”The committee said such factually specific participation would interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties.“Due to the volume of cases filed in circuit courts, the staff attorney would be placing himself or herself in a position that has the potential for disqualification in numerous cases that may come before his or her judge(s), as well as creating an appearance of impropriety,” the panel said.For more information contact Beth Terry, senior judicial staff attorney and chair of the Florida Trial Court Staff Attorneys Association Ethics Advisory Committee, telephone (386) 239-7794; fax (386) 239-7833, or atbterry@ circuit7.org. February 1, 2002 Managing Editor Regular News New panel gives advice to trial court staff attorneyscenter_img New panel gives advice to trial court staff attorneyslast_img read more

Compliance culture scoreboard: How does your credit union rate?

Compliance culture scoreboard: How does your credit union rate?

first_imgWhen regulators discuss the root causes of the problems in a financial institution’s Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering programs, invariably the cause that comes out at the top of their list is a weak culture of compliance. These points come from an advisory by FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.The regulatory agencies have found that poor BSA performance is as much about the culture of a financial institution as it is about the products, services, customers, and geographic location of the business. How does your compliance culture measure up? Give your financial institution an honest assessment of how well it measures up in each of the six areas below.Compliance Cuture ScoreboardRate your organization’s success in each category on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being strong and 5 being weak. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Charter review deserves time

Charter review deserves time

first_imgMayor Meg Kelly has formed a new Charter Review Commission comprised of the commissioners and deputies, to review the existing charter and propose improvements. Fortunately, the 2016-17 Charter Commission produced a compendium of recommendations in this direction (separate from the Council Manager proposal) that the new commission would do well to consider.Amending the existing charter was our hedge against the possibility that the council/manager proposal was defeated at the polls. So in this way, at least, the mayor’s initiative is in keeping with the former commission’s mandate. If the new commission’s proposal is on the November ballot, there will be plenty of time and space to comment.For now, advocates of charter change need to lower their voices so that the discussion can be heard how the commissioners want to change things. We also need to give Mayor Kelly the consideration due to anyone who enters a competitive election and ends up on top. The voters made their choice, and the outcome deserves its time on the stage.GORDON BOYDSaratoga SpringsThe writer was treasurer of the 2016-17 Charter Review Commission.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionLast November’s referendum on the Saratoga Springs City Charter produced an excruciatingly close result. The 10-vote margin against change, out of more than 9,000 cast has, if anything, amplified the voices on both sides who want the issue to be settled their way. As a member of the former Charter Review Commission and an activist in the Yes campaign, I think it is in everyone’s best interest at this point to lower the volume and give the community a breather.last_img read more

A Young Lawyer’s Counter Arguments For Why Cannabis Should Not Be Legalised

A Young Lawyer’s Counter Arguments For Why Cannabis Should Not Be Legalised

first_imgREFERENCEShttps://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/Ho7aga-Adults-convicted-and-sentenced-data-notes-and-trends-dec2019-v3.0.pdfhttps://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/research_and_statistics/over-representation-of-maori-in-the-criminal-justice-system/2.0-criminal-justice-system-bias-and-amplification/2.2-prosecutions-and-convictionshttps://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/strategic_reports/breaking_the_cycle_our_drug_and_alcohol_strategy_through_to_2020https://www.moh.govt.nz/notebook/nbbooks.nsf/0/b0d88c5d60fc5cb8cc256ad1006ffa51/$FILE/drugs-2001.pdf ERIN SHIN (her nickname) is a lawyer working at a commercial law firm in Auckland. She graduated from the University of Auckland in BA (English/ Politics) and LLB.  She is a member of the Asia-Pacific chapter of the J Reuben Clark Law Society and she has special interest in Religious Freedom and issues relating to International Security.  In her spare time, she enjoys keeping active and listening to political lectures. Recently I was invited by a friend to watch a three hour YouTube discussion between Joe Rogan of the Joe Rogan Experience and Johann Hari on the topic of drug law reform.  I thought it would be very relevant considering our referendum coming up.  After watching the video, my friend felt that the legalisation of all drugs in New Zealand would not be such a bad idea.  This opinion piece is a summary of Johann’s main points followed by my counter arguments on why cannabis, as well as all other “criminal” drugs under our Misuse of Drugs Act should remain under the criminal penal system in New Zealand.  This is also a personal response to my friend who like many others in good faith are asking the right questions, but remain unsure.Johann Hari is a Scottish-Swiss journalist who travelled all over the world speaking to addicts and looking at the drug laws of many different countries.  What I appreciated most was how Johann humanised the addicts and their experiences.  I agree with Johann’s call for more compassionate treatment for those battling addiction and a need for deeper social dialogue on drug law reform and the way we address addiction in our policies.  I also appreciated the insight of what other countries did to address this issue.Addiction is not just a chemical issueJohann argues that the source of addiction is not driven solely by chemical reactions in our brain. The physical explanation on its own is not a sufficient understanding of why people become addicts because there is so much more to addiction than exposure to the drug itself.  For example, your grandmother on a high dose of heroin after a hip surgery will not get addicted to this Class A drug, but addicts on much lower forms of drugs are.  Why is that, he asks.  If addiction was solely based on the chemical reactions of our brain to a drug, the potency of that drug should be the only relevant factor in determining who becomes and does not become addicted.  Another example Johann shares is the fact that many United States soldiers were taking heroin while serving in the jungles of Vietnam.  The government was worried that soldiers would go home with addiction problems, but to their relief and surprise most did not, because life at home was that much more worth living than the immediate realities of war.  These examples tell us that addiction is also a deeply psychological, emotional, social and cultural matter, and not purely chemical or scientific.I appreciate Johann shedding light on these aspects to addiction.  But I find his point limited in its application to the extent that I do not think anyone in New Zealand has ever argued that addiction was purely a physical or chemical phenomenon.  In fact, the push for sentencing reforms from punitive to more restorative measures, the availability of addiction recovery programs in prisons (at times mandatory, and available voluntarily), addiction recovery programs for the general public, the clean syringe programs, our social welfare system, free counselling over the phone, the discretionary nature of charges for possession and use of drugs all point to the fact that New Zealand as a country has not approached this issue in a purely “scientific” way.The Rat CageJohann shares the experiment of the two rat cages to strengthen his position for the legalisation of all drugs.  In the first cage, the rat in isolation has access to two bottles of water, one is drugged and the other is not.  In this empty cage, the rat quickly becomes addicted to the drugged water, overdoses and dies.  In the second cage the rats are given a rat park and other rat friends.  Surprisingly, when placed in this rat community, the rats did not want to drink the drugged water.  And even if they did, it would drink intermittently and never overdosed.I agree this example highlights the need to come together as a community in order to address and beat the harmful effects of drugs.  It highlights the social factors that add to a person’s susceptibility to drug addiction.  I believe it also provides an allegory of the realities of societal inequalities rooted in poverty.  On this, I just want to add a further dimension to the situational narrative.  I recognise that many are born into circumstances that I can only imagine are terrible at the best of times.  The realities of broken homes, abuse, childhood traumas, mental health issues are real and unthinkably painful, and the alternative of sedative escapism may seem to be for the sufferer, the most humane option.  However, as important as the experiences of those in the first cage are, I would say (without any pride) that a majority of us live in the second cage.  A cage that represents a life of comparative privilege, a life which includes responsibilities (family, societal, employment, religious or otherwise), a life full of meaningful relationships, and one full of hope and a sense of purpose for the future ahead.  In both cages, the cannabis “water” has a big red cross next to it, albeit a red light many ignore.  Pursuant to section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, the possession and use of cannabis (Class C) is a criminal offence and anyone guilty of it faces a fine up to $500, or a maximum prison sentence of up to 3 months.The NZ Drug Foundation claims that around half of Kiwis aged 15-45 admit to trying weed at least once in their lifetime.  So I am not saying that the value of deterrence by criminalisation is watertight, or that it needs to be.  In fact, I would say statistics point towards a populist acceptance that weed is “not that bad” especially on the scale of criminal culpability.  My only criticism of the way that Johann frames this example in his arguments is that he centres his reasoning around the need for decriminalisation from the perspective of those in the first cage only, and from the perspective of only those who are already heavily addicted.  I agree that for those people the threat of a criminal conviction is ineffective.  However, his arguments fail to address not just the perspectives of the majority of people living in the second cage, but also the effectiveness of criminalisation on the majority of people who are not currently addicted.  The questions he fails to balance with his arguments are as follows.  What about the people who steer well clear from the possibility of addiction due to the hopes and dreams they may forfeit as a result?  Are those values worth protecting in and of themselves?  Does the criminalisation of drugs add any weight to its deterrence?  If so, how much value or weight does it provide in our decision making?  How much public health costs are we saving from those who stay well away?  I recognise that deterrence may be difficult to quantify.  However, my argument is not that deterrence is the only reason people stay away from drugs, but if we are looking at changing a whole system from what we have had for so long to something we claim will be better, I argue that we need a fuller and more robust evaluation of the current system before radical changes are made.The need for connection and getting rid of shameJohann explains that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it is connection.  Inflicting emotional pain and shaming addicts only feeds that addiction.  Imprisonment and solitude increases the deprivation of things that make life meaningful.  Addiction is often linked to past traumatic experiences which add layers of complexities to the addiction.  By shaming, stigmatising, and creating barriers to re-connection it makes it more difficult for addicts to recover and those underlying issues are unable to be fully addressed.  Johann is certain that only compassionate treatment and counselling helps this recovery process and the puritanism or moral high-groundedness of criminalisation and labelling is not a good approach to take.I do not claim to be an expert on what helps and does not help our addicts.  Neither do I fully understand the extent of the “best” type of treatment one would require.  But I do agree that humanised, personal connection would be necessary for anyone recovering from any sort of addiction and that imprisonment and solitude on its own would not be an effective approach.  In saying so, I do not think that this is the only purpose and value of the Misuse of Drugs Act.  I am not saying Johann’s considerations are unnecessary, rather that the purpose of the Act is so much broader and wider than just “helping out the addicts.”Puritanism and moral high-groundedness is an approach taken on many legislative issues, not just our laws on drugs.  The reality is that our laws are made up of musts, and must nots, of shall and shall nots.  Puritanism is a system of values based on a belief that if one acts in a “fallen” way, shame will follow because by nature, we are social creatures.  Call this self-righteousness if you will, but this value acts as an effective deterrence for many who do subscribe to it, and it is a universal principle of our criminal justice systems.  From a social psychological point of view, where public shame is attributed to a particular behaviour, people (and I mean especially those in that second rat cage) are less likely to carry out undesirable or anti-social actions.  Puritanism is a fundamental reasoning for the need for justice and law itself.  No where else in secular society is there a stronger call for the separation of right from wrong, of the sanctioned from the taboo, than in our criminal code.  What I fear we are doing when we decriminalise something that society agrees and knows should be kept strictly minimised and controlled is to abandon the value of puritan deterrence altogether.  Instead of fighting to break down the “wrongs” of the current system to make it more “right”, we are giving up on that fight altogether and instead re-defining the wrong as a sufficient substitute of the right.  Although social factors do apply, drug addiction is no respecter of persons.  It does not care if you are a white, high-flying, National-voting conservative.  Everyone is susceptible to addiction, and I am weary that decriminalisation will send the wrong message to the younger generation that cannabis is “not harmful”, that it is something that is “okay” or “normal” or just another option to smoking.  I am by no means advocating a full puritanistic approach to drug law reform, neither am I saying laws should serve the privileged over the disadvantaged.  I am merely calling for the need to recognise that the law seeks to serve all people for the greater good, and a more critical understanding of the psychological and social nature of everyone it seeks to regulate.I would also argue that by no means has New Zealand taken a strictly puritanistic approach to drug control.  As of 19 August 2019, through the Misuse of Drug Act Amendment Bill, police must avoid prosecution of possession and/ or the use of drug charges in cases where a health-based approach may be more beneficial.  Section 7(5) of the bill reads “…it is affirmed that there is a discretion to prosecute for an offence against subsection (1)(a) (possession or use), and a prosecution should not be brought unless it is required in the public interest”.  I would even argue that well prior to this amendment, police in practice have been very reluctant to seek prosecution solely for possession or use.  From the short 11 months working at the Hamilton District Court, I saw first hand that most drug related offences were for those participating in the organised manufacture and distribution of drugs.  Where you have convictions for possession, the charge was one of a number of other charges against a person offending under the influence of drugs (assault and reckless driving being the most common just from what I saw).  Not once did I see a person imprisoned solely on the grounds of possession of any drug, and rarely did I see a conviction of possession only, unless a negotiation had been made prior where the more serious charge was dropped in favour of the lighter charge of possession.  Rather than the question of legalisation, I argue that the questions we should instead be asking are, are there further reforms we can make to encourage and incentivise the employment and full re-integration of the addicts and convicted?  What are the barriers we still need to address to better assist our returning addicts?  How can we minimise the social stigmatism and the shame placed on the addicts?There has been criticism that our recent amendment is not good enough, that the police should in fact take into consideration the interest of the individual being charged as opposed to the interest of the general public at large.  Perhaps this is a valid criticism which I won’t get into here.  But I would say that the recent amendment clearly highlights the availability and scope for further reform that is both sensible and realistic.  This amendment led by the Green party was heralded as a major step forward.  And I would agree that it bridges the gap between the realities of cannabis use with the need for a clear “puritan” expectation against the misuse of cannabis.  This bill came into effect only months after the Labour government’s announcement that a $1.9 billion “well-being budget” will be available to address the nation’s mental health and AOD (alcohol and other drug) addiction.  I admit this is a recent development, and we are yet to see further progress on this.  I personally think it is a positive progress and importantly, a manageable one in the right direction and in the right domain.  I note that the National party’s policy towards AOD addiction support for those convicted does not differ greatly from Labour’s.  So it seems as though a general consensus between the major parties can be reached on this important issue.What about Switzerland and Portugal? In the discussion, Johann uses his hometown Switzerland as a successful example of drug reform.  He explains that there was a major opioid crisis in Switzerland from the 80s right into the early 2000s.  The Ministry of Health in Switzerland pushed for the legalisation of opioid as a way of addressing Switzerland’s opioid crisis.  Clinics were created where addicts could have the safest possible version of the drug, and carry on with their lives with support and connection.  These are not rehab centres and no pressure is applied to the addict to cut back on their intake.  Johann claims that almost everyone he met there did in fact cut back overtime.  And since drug law reforms, no one has died from an opioid overdose.  Swiss people are quite conservative he says, but nearly 70% of the citizens voted to keep the reforms because of the huge reduction in crime they saw on their streets.  Portugal was another example of a legalisation success story briefly mentioned.For both countries, the reforms were seen as a radical overhaul after months of policy research and extensive public health advice.  The changes were in response to what each respective government felt was a drug crisis.  I simply do not think New Zealand has reached a level of a “drug crisis” that is proportionate to the extreme reforms such as the one currently proposed.  In 2019, 75% of charges issued led to a conviction and the most common convicted offences were the following:  offences against justice (such as breaching a community sentence) 23%, traffic offences 22%, theft 11%, and assault 9%.  Of all convicted charges in 2019, drug related offences made up just 6% of those charges (Ministry of Justice Statistics 2019).  Since 2009, New Zealand’s overall conviction rate has continued to fall and in 2019 the rate of conviction fell another 4% compared to its previous year.  In light of such data, I believe New Zealand has made the appropriate reforms that have been proportionate to the drug related problems we are facing, so without diminishing the successful results of those other countries, I believe that it does not add any precedential value as to whether New Zealand should legalise cannabis.Furthermore, the proposed cannabis legalisation bill in New Zealand seeks to go one step further than the reforms carried out in Portugal.  Using the rat cage example, New Zealand seeks to remove that big red light from the drugged cannabis water, and then add a “for sale” sign over it, while the cannabis authority restrictions barely prevent us from adding bright neon “two for one sale” signs.  Simply put, our referendum seeks to not just decriminalise the use of cannabis but also legalise it, and most significantly, commercialise it by “strict” regulation.  Our bill seeks to take the following measures:  create a system of licensing for vendors, limit the maximum potency of products, put a ban on all advertising, restrict buyer age to 20 years or older, obtain government control of the product prices via taxes on THC, and also limit the total amount in the market via production caps.I am heavily sceptical of these regulations.I find it difficult to imagine the reality of a successful tightly-regulated cannabis regime where so many aspects of the line of production are controlled, from the growth of the plant, the sourcing of ingredients, to the sale, and finally the consumption of the product.  The government seeks to have a hand in all aspects of cannabis commercialisation.  This is by no means a traditional free market model, but it is nonetheless a profit generating one that will not be free from lobbyists who over time will push for de-regularisation.  The practical realities of administration and enforcement are massive and remain undiscussed.  How will the government control the ban on cannabis advertising especially with the availability of social media?  How will it limit home-grown cannabis to a maximum of two plants, or prevent “dangerous” production methods without overreaching citizens’ civil liberties?  How will it limit the maximum daily purchase to 14 grams per person?  Which portfolio will the regulatory body fall under, the Ministry of Business?  Ministry of Health?  Ministry of Justice?  Inland Revenue?  Whatever the structure of the new authority, the sheer volume of work required creates major risks and takes us into uncharted waters that not even the Portuguese provide a clear precedent for.The war on drugs creates a war for drugsJohann argues that legislation allows a government to reclaim the black market, bringing the issue from the dark into the light.  He uses the examples of Central and South American countries such as Columbia and Mexico where the cartel activities are on a level that we, in gun-free New Zealand, can only label as scary.  Johann argues that the problem with taking a war approach to drugs is that criminalisation fuels the criminal activity.  He also explains that the reason why THC levels in cannabis are so much higher and more potent than before is because of its criminalisation.  The more prohibited something is, smugglers will bring in stronger products in more compact spaces.My question is, why is it not possible to have a dual approach under one system?  A “tough” justice approach to manufacturers balanced with a more health and wellbeing model for the end user.  New Zealand as a country has explicitly rejected Trump’s call for a war on drugs.  Jacinda Ardern shared this position at the United Nations, stating that we will rather take a wellbeing approach.  This declaration was followed by substantive government funding so I would argue Johann’s criticisms bear minimal weight for us.  I also question the effectiveness of Johann’s trust in a government’s ability to retake the back market.  Even after the legalisation of cannabis, I would not be very surprised to find that a black market for the product still exists.  Dealers who do not wish to be constrained by the cannabis authority will continue to procure and sell cannabis illegally, and should the government relax on enforcement, cannabis with higher potency at competitive prices and with more attractive “designs” (e.g. confectionary cannabis) will be sold leaving those most vulnerable still at risk.I recognise there has been criticism by Law Professor Kylee Quince that the “discretionary” nature of the August 2019 amendment leaves room for personal judgments and bias of the police officer.  The criticism is that there is a disproportionate risk of prosecuting Maori in comparison to non-Maori especially where police are left to make such a judgment call.  It is also recognised that police are not in fact social workers, and this amendment puts an extra burden on officers who are required to choose whether he/she will pursue a charge.  To that I say police are already making judgment calls at each stage of the criminal justice process, from apprehension and arrest right through to sentencing.  This discretion is also not unique to police, but is exercised by judges, the parole board, and social workers.  There is a considerable degree of built-in discretion with respect to decision making for all criminal offences at every step of our justice system.  So if personal and racial bias is in fact a problematic reality, this is not a criticism uniquely applicable to drug related charges.  The amendment encourages no further personal or racial prejudice than to what was already present.  Furthermore, if this is something the law can and should address, it only adds to my argument that there is much scope for further reform within the criminal justice “umbrella.”The positives of cannabis Johann says that nobody talks about the positives of cannabis.  He claims it makes people (not patients on medical cannabis) more humble, and kinder.  It makes food and sex taste better.  I will not get into the negatives of cannabis.  I think if the stuff was as good as Johann claims, our doctors would be recommending its daily dosage.  Doctors do not do so for common sense reasons, but I do know they do advise us to cut down on our alcohol, coffee and tobacco intake.  I will also not get into the medicinal use of cannabis as I know that there are further ethical problems generated from this topic alone.Protecting our childrenJohan argues that we need to pull out drugs from dealers who do not care about our children, and put them instead into the hands of professional vendors who do ID checks.  An experience is shared of a police officer who had an “epiphany” for why drugs should be legalised.  This American officer shared an encounter he had with a teenager while carrying out an undercover drug bust.  The teenager came up to the officer (while he was undercover) and asked the officer to buy him alcohol from the nearby liquor store.  When the officer declined, the teenager then went to the dealer and bought drugs instead.I argue that the experience of the undercover cop is taken completely out of context, and also insinuates that teenagers are more likely to obtain illegal products that are harmful, as opposed to obtaining legal products that are just as harmful.  I would argue strongly that this is not the case.  Whatever illegal substance your child is on, alcohol or tobacco is being used at a much higher frequency.  It is well understood that cannabis is the third most common form of drug used (excluding caffeine).  The first and second most consumed drug being alcohol followed by tobacco and I would argue that the legalisation of those two products directly contributes to the higher level of consumption by both the underaged as well as the general public.  Should cannabis become commercialised, the only outcome we can expect is an increase in the general level of consumption.  We may even come to a point where we see weed stores as frequently as alcohol stores, and as cannabis consolidates its market presence, it may even overtake alcohol or tobacco in its popularity and demand.  Just as much as age restrictions fail to protect the underaged from alcohol and smoking, teenagers will find a way to skirt age restrictions on cannabis.Mental illness and drug addictionJohann finally argues that if drug addiction is a mental illness and there are many other mental disorders we currently do not criminalise, why do we only pick on drug addicts?  To that I say New Zealanders are well aware that mental health and AOD addictions are intimately connected.  What we cannot ignore is that both of these factors are also undeniably connected to one’s susceptibility to criminal activity.  Our Corrections Services statistics report that 91% of all prisoners suffer from mental illness and/or from AOD addiction.  We are not saying that all drug addicts become criminals.  But I do think we need to make it clear that while the criminalisation of drugs does not create criminals, too many criminals are drug dependant hence our collective agreement for the need to strictly control drugs (yes, even alcohol and tobacco).  Contrary to the “us versus them” narrative Johann uses, I know many Kiwis recognise and support the need for consistent funding and resource to support our addicts.  But again, I believe the best place for this to occur is within a carefully controlled environment of our very own justice system.  We cannot leave the wellbeing of our most vulnerable to the laws of supply and demand, and the calculations of profit and loss characteristic of a commercial market.  We cannot play politics with the health and wellbeing of our people.  For these reasons I will be voting, No.last_img read more

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