Maureen O'Connor, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, has come out swinging — and hard — against a proposed constitutional amendment that would make Ohio a haven for criminal fentanyl possession under the guise of criminal justice reform. She writes:
Issue 1 would make the possession of powdered fentanyl in amounts less than 20 grams a misdemeanor with only probation as the consequence. This means that a drug offender caught with less than 20 grams walks away with no possibility of jail time. Since the lethal dose of fentanyl is just 2 milligrams (one-thousandth of a gram), 19 grams of fentanyl is enough to kill approximately 10,000 people. So if Issue 1 passes, an offender charged with possession of 19 grams of fentanyl would automatically get probation and could only be charged with a misdemeanor. Issue 1 does this by constitutionally dictating that any drug possession conviction that is now a Felony 4 or Felony 5 would be reduced to a misdemeanor. The requirement of probation ties the hands of the judge when it comes to sentencing. The judge MUST sentence an individual to probation for these offenses under Issue 1. This is unconscionable. Drug dealers would be incentivized to distribute fentanyl in amounts less than 20 grams so those caught possessing it would avoid incarceration.
The ballot issue has become a pet project of the left — Mark Zuckerberg has donated $1 million to the effort.
"Who wouldn’t want to set up their drug distribution business in Ohio knowing that possessing 19 grams of fentanyl or lethal amounts of other drugs would result only in a first class misdemeanor with mandatory probation?" O'Connor asks.
I despise these emotion-driven ballot initiatives that reduce complicated legislative issues down to pithy slogans. There's a reason our founding fathers rejected a pure democracy. Unfortunately, many states, including Ohio, baked such mechanisms into their state constitutions. As a result, state legislatures have been forced to write laws conforming to these often ridiculous constitutional amendments. One of the worst, in my opinion, was the ballot initiative that embedded casino gambling in Ohio's constitution. Proponents, after failing to convince the legislature to legalize casinos, turned to the citizenry. After failing multiple times to convince voters to support them, they finally succeeded in an emotion-driven campaign funded by casino owners, who literally wrote the amendment, giving themselves favorable tax bennies (or so they thought... more on that below).
As a result, much to my home state's disgrace, the Ohio Constitution now looks like a real estate deed:
But the casino owners screwed up the language and Kasich had to bail them out when they threatened to bolt the state. I wrote in 2013 at Ohio Conservative Review:
The casinos wrote themselves a bad deal (in their opinion) when they crafted the amendment and wanted the governor to fix it. Construction on the casinos stopped, and a stalemate ensued.
Instead of taking the issue back to the voters in order to remedy the “bad deal” Ohioans imposed upon themselves at the ballot box, Kasich, faced with losing billions in casino tax dollars he planned to use to plug his budget holes, struck a closed-door deal with the owners, reducing their [commercial activity tax] liability and expanding gambling through video lottery terminals (VLTs) in one swift move. He signed a memorandum of understanding that included a long list of promises the state would make to keep the casino owners happy. Casino operators would pay millions more in upfront fees (violating the fees voters approved in the constitutional amendment), while sheltering a large portion of their income from the CAT. The state would expand gambling in the state and sell licences for the operation of VLTs at seven horse race tracks, six of which are controlled by casino interests.
So much for the rule of law.
Remember the Trump-supporting Brit whose crowdfund campaign for a Baby-Kahn blimp out-raised the Baby-Trump blimp campaign back in July? He raised £59,207, ($77,055 in U.S. dollars) but not in time to have a giant balloon dissing the London mayor ready in time for President Trump's visit.
This may jog your memory:
Proposed Baby Kahn:
Yanny Bruere, a law student and free speech advocate, stayed true to his word.
He went with a giant bikini-clad Kahn balloon, apparently in reference to London Mayor Sadiq Khan's anti-body-shaming campaign.
The balloon is set to fly at a "beach party" event in London on Saturday:
What if they made a movie about Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and didn't include an American flag?
The late Neil Armstrong’s 1969 trip to the moon may have been “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” but it was also a massive achievement for the United States.
One of Armstrong’s first orders of business was to proudly plant the American flag, after all.
But Ryan Gosling, the Canadian actor who plays Armstrong in “First Man,” Hollywood’s rendition of the moon landing, told the Telegraph the magic moment was intentionally omitted from the big screen because Armstrong’s achievement “transcended countries and borders.”
“First Man” is getting rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival, but critics noted the unpatriotically sanitized flick is missing something important, and Gosling explained he worked with French-Canadian director Damien Chazelle and the Armstrong family to decide on its key moments.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it,” he said. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”
I'm glad the moon landing was a "human achievement." Can we now bill the rest of the world for some of the $200 billion ($25 billion in 1967 dollars) spent by American taxpayers to get there?
Back in the 1960s, there was very little "outsourcing." Almost every single one of those 400,000 people who laid hands on one or more elements of the moon mission -- the Saturn V rocket, the command module, the service module, and the lunar lander -- were American.
American corporations designed the system that took us to the moon. American workers built it. The American taxpayer paid for it. And Americans flew the damn bird. It is historically inaccurate and terribly, terribly unfair not to recognize the one nation that achieved the impossible dream of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth by showing the planting of the flag on the surface of another heavenly body.
Holy Hamburger! The left is calling for a boycott of In-N-Out Burger because the corporation had the temerity to donate money to the California Republican Party.
A public filing shows a $25,000 donation from the California-based chain to the California Republican Party. Following revelations of the donation, Eric Bauman, Chair of the California Democratic Party, asked "Et tu In-N-Out?" before calling on others to boycott.
The hashtag, #BoycottInNOut, was quickly picked up by disgruntled fans who were disappointed at the donation. Others observed that the burger chain's donation is unsurprising—the firm is based in Irvine, California, which is part of the heavily Republican Orange County. One Twitter user, who said they would not join the boycott, wrote, "Of course they like the CA GOP, they proselytize on all their food with hidden [Bible verses]." (In-N-Out places discreet Bible verses on its packaging.)
The burger chain has also made donations across the aisle. Fortune found that campaign finance filings show a 2017 donation of $30,000 and a 2018 donation of $50,000 to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a political action committee that provides support for business-friendly Democrats.
"Et tu" what? So the company becomes one of the tens of thousands of companies that donate to the GOP? Are you going to boycott them all?
The left is very possessive of some professions and industries. Try working for a tech giant in Silicon Valley and supporting Republicans. Or let on that you're a conservative if you're a college teacher. In either case, you open yourself up to ridicule and exclusion.
Nothing illegal or even wrong with trying to start a boycott against a company whose politics you disagree with. It just shows how petty and stupid our politics has become.
Read more here.