When I was young, I was told that exercise was good for me and that rest was good for me. I thought that was great, because it gave me the choice between the two. I chose rest every time! So a new study suggests that exercise might be bad for you. I love science!

Josh Barro writes on how we can get the Internet Sales Tax right. I’ve written on the subject here before. I think Barro’s plan is actually quite good. The real sticking point here is local taxes, where it is a burden for online retailers to have to conform. His streamlining idea would take care of it.

We’ll see if I get around to writing a post on this, but for now, Slate writer Emily Shire asks if being a 29 year old should qualify as an accomplishment. The answer is, if it’s by choice, yes. Shire attempts to be value-neutral in her analysis, but it’s steeped with judgment. The main problem here is that she doesn’t want to grant Lolo Jones any plaudits when her goal is the result of sexual attitudes that Shire disapproves of.

I’m not intending to pick on Nancy Pelosi by linking to this, wherein she suggests $1m a year is “middle class.” Rather, I point to this article because it really does bring out the populist in me. It’s not healthy the extent to which we are governed by people with life experiences and expectations so different from our own. Pelosi is hardly unique, in this regard.

Timeshares are on sale… for a penny. There’s a condo unit near my parents house where they can’t give the condos away because the maintenance fees alone are $1200 a month in a part of the country where people are not accustomed to paying that much in rent for an unroomy dwelling.

Abigail Pesta asks if teens should be jailed for sex offenses. Well some, but not the sex offenses she’s talking about. Mothers of sons that have found themselves on the hook are the perfect advocates for this issue, which really has no home base of support.

The FBI is apparently worried about the effect the transition to IPv6 will have on their investigations. It’s coming closer and closer. I know what IPv4 and IPv6 are, but need to read more about how I might be affected.


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14 Responses to Linkluster Michigan State Reps

  1. Φ says:

    I began the Pesta article prepared to be sympathetic. Sympathy quickly came in short supply.

    A couple of things jumped out. Pesta is especially cagey about the end state of the law she or any of these activist groups are seeking. If they have a specific goal, then we have something to talk about, but I suspect that the true answer will always be “more” (i.e., less). They’ve already won the Romeo and Juliet exemption, but now that’s not enough.

    Ken Thornsberry is an unlikely poster “dumb kid” for their case. Dumb he may be. He’s also big, pretty frickin’ scary looking, prone to assault and home and invasion, and with an apparent inability to follow a judge’s instructions. He (with the indulgence of his parents) brought this on himself. (For the record, I had sympathy for Mary Kaye LeTourneau too, right up to the point she disobeyed a direct order from a judge.)

    I will concede this much: it’s silly and counterproductive to keep Ken away from the girl now that she herself is over 18. So is treating her like a victim rather than an accomplice. The real victims here are the parents, struggling to raise children with good values in a culture (e.g., Emily Shire) hostile to those values, and with a practical and often legal liability for their children’s lapses. I have no qualms about bringing the law to their assistance, especially in Ken Thornsberry’s case.

  2. trumwill says:

    I’ve already written about where it ends for me. My model would have put the boy’s actions in misdemeanor range. Enough infractions and he may have ended up a felon in any case, though. Legality would only have required waiting until she was 15, so that might have made a difference.

    I understand where you’re coming from on the refusal to follow the judges instructions, but this was a situation of the state’s creation, in my mind, even if he navigated it very poorly. We shouldn’t have put him in this situation.

    I don’t oppose using the law to help certain boys away from certain girls, though I do oppose sending young men to jail for years on end in the course of doing so.

    Would it help if a whole lot of the resistance I get for my ideas is from feminists and women?

  3. trumwill says:

    One other thing I want to throw out there: The heavy-handedness of these laws really screw with power-dynamics. Not just with parents of daughters over their boyfriends, but parents of daughters over their daughters to abort, for example (I know of at least a couple cases where this card has been pulled). And girls over boys.

    I knew a 19/15 couple when I was younger. A few of us commented that if he ever pissed her off, she could send him to jail for a really long time. She was smarter, and arguably more mature than he was (he’s now 40 and dating 20-somethings). Likewise, there were some jealous girls who easily could have dropped the dime on it all. I can appreciate efforts to try to prevent 14 year old girls from having sex, but this is a heck of a hammer to use on that nail, even if there are reasons not to like Thornberry in particular.

  4. Φ says:

    Would it help if a whole lot of the resistance I get for my ideas is from feminists and women?

    Indeed, that is why I was initially sympathetic. I just couldn’t sustain it in the face of this particular set of facts.

    “Years on end” was, initially, a 1 year sentence (the article doesn’t say how much of it was actually served). Considering the aggravating circumstances, what is the alternative? “Counseling and treatment centers”? Seriously? Not only would that be guaranteed to be ineffective, it concedes too much to feminists. This is not pedophilia. It is not an illness needing “treatment”. This is normal heterosexual attraction unshackled from moral and social restraint. It’s a shame that Ken Thornsberry grew up without having internalized that restraint, but that doesn’t obligate the law to accommodate him.

  5. Φ says:

    this is a heck of a hammer

    I agree, and will concede this is the strongest argment made yet. And I, too, know of specific cases where Lolitas have used the law to extort men who want out of the relationship, or as a way of obtaining closure.

    I guess I could appeal to prosecutorial discretion, but that sounds lame, even to me. I’d like to think that judges and juries take into account the specific circumstances, but maybe that’s unworkable.

    Do we have any idea of what kind of case is more representative?

  6. Peter says:

    Ken Thornsberry is an unlikely poster “dumb kid” for their case. Dumb he may be. He’s also big, pretty frickin’ scary looking, prone to assault and home and invasion, and with an apparent inability to follow a judge’s instructions

    Scary looking? Not in the least. As for the assault and home invasion charges, they stemmed from a dust-up with the girlfriend’s father. It wasn’t like he was kicking down strangers’ doors and attacking them.

  7. Φ says:

    Not in the least.

    Are you even looking at the same pictures I’m looking at? He’s large, has tattoos, and at least one ear stud. Couple that with a lack of maturity, self-control, and sense of boundaries, and any rational person should be afraid of the result.

    As it happens, Thornsberry was lucky. Any such person having a “dustup” in my house over my daughter would leave it with a .45 Golden Sabre in his spine. Seriously, I get pissed just contemplating the prospect.

    This is not to deny that the law can be applied badly in many cases, as Trumwill describes. But this isn’t one of those cases. “Stay away from my daughter,” is something a man should have to say exactly once.

  8. Peter says:

    As it happens, Thornsberry was lucky. Any such person having a “dustup” in my house over my daughter would leave it with a .45 Golden Sabre in his spine.

    I’m as pro-gun as anyone, but that’s just silly. You’d find yourself charged with murder, or manslaughter at the very minimum, and even if you managed to beat the charges the costs of your defense would bankrupt you and your family. Basically, your life would be ruined. A much more sensible way to handle that kind of situation would be to give the recalcitrant young man a good thrashing with your fists.

  9. Φ says:

    a good thrashing with your fists.

    Again, are you looking at the picture? I’m not at all confident, between my age and his size, that I could actually give him a thrashing. And since Thornsberry isn’t black, the law in this situation takes the side of people assaulted in their own homes.

  10. Peter says:

    ’m not at all confident, between my age and his size, that I could actually give him a thrashing. And since Thornsberry isn’t black, the law in this situation takes the side of people assaulted in their own homes.

    None of the pictures show Thornsberry in a context from which we can judge his size. He does seem to be quite a bit taller than his mother, but she could be very small.
    As for the issue of his race, well, that’s squarely in the “sad but true” category. If Trayvon Martin had been a white delinquent no one outside Sanford would have any idea who George Zimmerman is.

    Getting back to Thornsberry, the real injustice is not that he got a 5-year prison term after violating his probation and continuing to see the girl, but that he got a one-year sentence in the original case. There’s no way, as a first offender, and given the circumstances of the case (only a 4-year age difference), that he should have gotten jail time. Probation and mental health counseling would have been far more appropriate. After he got out, and deliberately violated the probation, it was a different matter. At that point prison time was warranted.

  11. Φ says:

    My impression of his size is, of course, subjective, and if I am wrong, then of course I would have have no reason to escalate force. I believe that to be the last resort . . . as long as the list of “resorts” do not include “cowering in fear while somebody runs off with my 14 y.o. daughter.”

    As far as the prison sentence is concerned, I would be happy to settle for the minimum necessary to deter the behavior. Problem is, even the one-year and a judicial order didn’t accomplish this. Do you think “counseling” would have succeeded where those failed?

  12. trumwill says:

    Phi, I will grant “years on end” is a bit of an exaggeration. Sort of. Contra Peter, I actually do object to the second sentence. It doesn’t seem like the judge himself was too enthusiastic about it.

    My preferred approach is at least a brushback pitch or two. Something inconvenient, but that’s not going to derail his entire life. I agree that “counseling” is a crock, but I’d be looking more at significant time of community service. Maybe a GPS. Second time, maybe a weekend in jail to make the possibility “real.” The third time, I think we’ve got to start talking jail. Aggravating factors, as in Thornberry’s case, might bump it up a notch (weekend in jail on the first case).

    At no point, though, should we be talking sexual offender’s registry. And a life-derailing prison term should be a last resort, even if there are aggravating factors (unless the aggravating factors themselves warrant prison as crimes in their own right).

    More harm here was done to Thornberry than his victim(s).

    I’m not sure how typical this is. Frank Rodriguez got probation, but also had the registry slapped on him. I think that one of the problems with enforcement is that it’s likely going to rely on how airtight the case is rather than how egregious the offense. I wouldn’t want to rely on prosecutorial discretion if we’re talking about text messages or a pregnancy.

  13. Scarlet Knight says:

    O/T: Congrats to Stony Brook?!? on making the College World Series. First time for a team from the Mid-Atlantic since 1980, when John Franco and Frank Viola took the St John’s Red Men there. Peter and David Alexander must be proud.

    asks if being a 29 year old should qualify as an accomplishment.

    LOL No, of course not. Of course, you meant to ask if being a 29 y/o virgin should qualify as one. In that case, if you are most girl, then yes. If you are in the bottom 20% girls, then no. If you are most guys, then no. If you are in the top 20% of guys, then yes.

    Timeshares

    The modern form of the white elephant.

    Abigail Pesta

    The subject of the story, as others have said, is completely unsympathetic. Four years is A LOT at those ages. They didn’t even attend the same school. Sympathetic is an 18 year old guy getting busted for being with a 17 year 11 month girl. Or kids getting in trouble for playing doctor. (As an aside, when kids in my neighborhood played doctor, I was stuck in medical billing…)

    Part of the problem is that we don’t explain to boys what the age of consent laws are exactly. Then we wring our hands when they break the law. Just say: She has to be within four years of you, or over 16. Done and done.

  14. Scarlet Knight says:

    Four years can be a lot. Or not. It really depends on the individuals involved.

    Maybe so, but that’s why we need the laws: to protect young teenage girls from such losers.

    If you are a 18/19 guy and can only get a 14/15 girl, then you are a stone cold loser. We can’t take a chance on you reproducing.

    Ask Sheila about older loser guys trying to pick up younger girls. Her’s are at college, so the law isn’t there to protect them. We should protect 14/15 girls as a society.

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