Council and City Get a Unique Introduction to Council Candidate Daniel Watts

james-wattsThose either in attendance on Tuesday night at the Davis City Council meeting or watching on TV got a unique introduction to Council Candidate Daniel Watts.  In his ballot statement he states flatly that Davis City Government is broken and he will fix it.  That may be a raison d’etre for the Davis Vanguard, however, Mr. Watts apparently has something very different in mind and he means it.

He states in his ballot statement, “Repeal unconstitutional ordinances banning “annoying” conduct and “bawdy” language (Municipal Code Sections 26.01.010 and 26.01.100).”  Audiences on Tuesday would get a sense for exactly what Mr. Watts means by that.  It turns out, according to City Attorney Harriet Steiner, he was at least partially correct.

Daniel Watts, a law student at King Hall and the co-chair of the Student-Chapter of the ACLU at UC Davis School of Law took aim at the city’s apparently antiquated municipal code to great effect on Tuesday.  He introduced his colleagues and said, “We’re here because there are two provisions in the Davis Municipal code that conflict with the first amendment of the US Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court.”

The first provision bans obscene language in Davis and the second is “annoying persons on the street.”  He said, “Now the two of these clearly violate the first amendment.”

In question is Municipal Code 26.01.100 which states:

“No person shall utter in the presence of any two or more persons bawdy, lewd or obscene words or epithets, or shall address to another any word, language or expression having a tendency to create a breach of the peace.”

Likewise, Municipal code 26.01.010 says:

“No person shall in any public place be guilty of conduct annoying to persons passing or being upon the streets or public grounds or upon adjacent premises.”

Toward the former code, he referenced Cohen v. California, and said:

“‘One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.’  Words have emotive impact and using profanity, lewd words, and epithets, that says something.  It expresses meaning, and there’s a reason why people use those words.  So to put words off limits also puts certain ideas off limits.  Even if you don’t those words, the ideas have a right to be expressed.”

In the latter code, he argued that in addition to using poor grammar, it is both vague and over-broad and the supreme court has used those criteria to strike down laws in first amendment cases.  He cited an identical law from Cincinnati that was invalidated by the court in the early 1970s.

Mr. Watts said that he sent a letter to the city attorney over a month ago and received no reply.  Ms. Steiner after public comments acknowledged receiving the letter and said that she had thought a response had gone out from her office.

Mr. Watts laid out three options, the city can repeal the law, they can litigate, and the third option, “when I’m on city council, I’ll repeal the law myself.”

Apparently Mr. Watts does not realize that if he were elected to city council, he could not repeal the law himself unless he convinced two of his colleagues to join him.

Sam Jubalier spoke as well claiming this was not an attack on the city, but rather they want the city council to right a past wrong.  He said they preferred the city council to do it rather than going through the expense of court time.

“In our view, and considering that we gave the city attorney notice in our view, we’d like to see the city ordinances invalidated by March 29.  And if they’re not, we’re planning on filing a suit to have them invalidated in federal court for the Eastern District of California.”

Harriet Steiner responded:

“I do agree that at least one of the ordinances that was mentioned is unconstitutional and has been unconstitutional since before I was the city attorney.  As you know the council has not done a review of the code because we haven’t wanted to spend the time and energy doing it.  The city has not enforced either of those ordinances probably for over twenty years.  I do also know from associates at my office, that these ordinances are used a teaching tool by UC Davis law school, generally on an annual basis.

I have no problem bringing to the council a recommendation to repeal them, since we don’t use them.  The US Supreme Court has invalidated other ordinances that are similar, it’s just that we have not put the time and energy into doing it.  However, it’s not happening before March 29, because as council is aware, you don’t meet again until March 30 and we have not put together the information to bring it forward.  This hasn’t been a high priority.”

Councilmember Sue Greenwald quipped, “Do you think maybe we should consult with the law school to make sure it’s okay with them to remove the teaching tool?”

Mr. Watts and his associates will clearly have to learn that the city does not and really cannot move that quickly.  March 29 was less than two weeks from the date of the Council meeting and as City Attorney Harriet Steiner pointed out, the council does not even meet again until March 30.

He also may consider the fact that as a Councilmember he would not be able to do anything without majority support on council.  So while Mr. Watts is well-versed on the law it would appear, he has a lot to learn about municipal government.

There is also the fact that since this measure has apparently not been enforced in at least twenty years and would not be enforced by the police department, there is no urgency.  Many jurisdictions even states have antiquated laws on their books that are never enforced, but due to the fact that it is time-consuming and costly to change, are left there until documents get a review or re-write or until someone like Mr. Watts brings it to the city’s attention.

Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of it all is that Daniel Watts was absolutely correct in terms of his interpretation of the law and City Attorney admitted it.

Thanks to the leadership of Mr. Watts, Davis residents will now be free to annoy their neighbors while using “bawdy” language on the streets.  Now that is an introduction to Davis political life that many will not soon forget.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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85 Comments

  1. alanpryor

    It is about time someone stood up and took on the oppressive powers that be who use antiquated and draconian laws to stifle our freedoms and control us. I personally have been threatened many, many times over the years with arrest if my behavior did not conform to the norms and standards established by the current regime. Merely the threat of enforcement of these silly laws emotionally enslaved me to the ruling class and their henchmen.

    No, it is not the Davis City Council and police that have used these threats to oppress me…it is my wife and her sisters. Now I can proudly wear my matching plaid Bermuda shorts, tennis shoes, and beret in public and refer to people I don’t like as “buttheads” and “asses” without the constant overhanging threat that I will be incarcerated for annoying them in public.

    Finally, I really get what this whole tea-bagger thing is all about! I like Krovoza for CC but this Daniel Watts guy otherwise seems to be the whole package… Let Freedom Ring!!

  2. davisite2

    Candidate Watts appears to be the “flip-side” of retiring Mayor Ruth Asmundson who declared the use of acronyms off-limits from the dais at the first meeting over which she presided. She “ordered” the rest of the Council to place 25 cents in the mayor’s anti-acronym jar for each violation…. it really didn’t sound like she was fooling although I don’t believe it ever materialized.

  3. davisite2

    ….just what we need.. a full-time law student(Watts) and a full-time junior city planner(Vergis) on the dais. We pay a lot of money for staff legal and city planning expertise. What we do need is Council representation that directs city legal and city planning staff to support a vision of Davis’ future that resonates with the citizens of Davis.

  4. Rich Rifkin

    [b]HARRIET:[/b] [i]”The city has not enforced either of those ordinances probably for over twenty years. … I have no problem bringing to the council a recommendation to repeal them, since we don’t use them.”[/i]

    I personally don’t get too excited about laws which are never enforced. Nevertheless, if the community agrees the laws are unjust or the SCOTUS tells us they are not constitutional, it does make sense to remove them. In fact, if it is not too expensive (in lawyer costs), it’s not such a bad idea to go over all of our ordinances on a periodic basis and remove those which are unenforced, unenforceable or no longer have relevance.

  5. davisite2

    David: I outlined my voting choice and reasoning in my posting for your “5 candidates…..” piece. I hoped that it would generate a thoughtful discussion but it appeared to generate only one comment, i.e.
    ” bullet voting is stupid!”. I am certainly open to new information that would alter my plan which now is to bullet vote for Joe Krovosa.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    Well there will be plenty of information coming out in the new few weeks. Right now I am completely open as to what I will do.

    For my thoughts now, you would have to convince me long and hard to convince me to bullet vote for a guy who supported Covell Village, and is endorsed by among others, Lois Wolk, Helen Thomson, and Stephen Souza.

  7. Rich Rifkin

    [b]RUST:[/b] [i]”Just what we need, a council member associated with the ACLU. NOT!!!”[/i]

    Speaking for myself, as someone who abhors the extremism of the ACLU and the terrible and irreperable damage court decisions won by the ACLU and their affiliates have caused our country*, I think you should keep in mind three things when choosing whom to support in a race for the Davis City Council:

    1) If you look hard enough, there will be some position or opinion or association every single candidate has which is anathema to you. It is misguided to hold one candidate’s affiliation with the ACLU against him, while you remain ignorant of associations or positions other candidates have which might seem equally repellent from your point of view; and

    2) As David Greenwald writes in this piece, it takes a majority of three on the council to enact or repeal our ordinances. So there is not much to worry about if Mr. Watts is out on an island on issues involving civil liberties; and

    3) The most important business the city council does — spending our tax dollars to provide police, fire, road, parks, recreation and other services for our community; and determining the regulatory environment in which we grow or don’t grow our stock of housing and commerce — is not going to be affected by a person’s involvement with the ACLU.

    Despite point #3, there are areas of council business for which one’s beliefs about civil liberties apply. For example, I can imagine a strict civil libertarian opposing restrictions on open containers of alcohol. Obviously, the speech laws which so agitate Mr. Watts were at one time a part of the council’s business.

    My take is that, even if you strongly disagree with an ACLU approach to these types of questions which might come before the city council, you have to weigh them in the larger context of decisions the council makes.

    I would not preclude a candidate who I agree with on the most important business of the council just because I don’t necessarily share his views on the issues of lesser importance.

    ——————

    *Literally millions of Americans have been materially harmed by the decision in Lessard vs. Schmidt. That was the 1972 court case which nationally emptied out our psychiatric hospitals. The result has been nearly 40 years of endemic homelessness for the mentally ill, a great surge of revolving door imprisonment for the mentally ill, a great increase in the number of brutal crimes committed by the untreated seriously mentally ill, and the destruction of tens of thousands of families because they cannot get treatment for their seriously mentally ill loved ones. Just a few weeks ago in Washington, two police officers were murdered by a man with untreated schizophrenia. His parents wanted to have him committed ([url]http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/05/parents-pentagon-shooter-warned-authorities/[/url]) to a psychiatric hospital, where he could get treatment. But our civil libertarian laws prevented that. And now he is dead, and the 6 children of the police officers who were killed will grow up fatherless. Good job, ACLU.

  8. davisite2

    Let me just add that I have considered Watts as my second vote . I do not think that a second vote for him seriously threatens my reasoning for a bullet vote for Krovosa although it is not beyond reason that there will be some voters who will choose to bullet vote for Watts who otherwise, if he were not on the ballot, would have voted for Krovosa.

  9. David M. Greenwald

    Good point Rich, I would also add, that knowing Rusty’s view on development from past discussions, it would be ironic if he voted against Watts due to that issue and instead supported candidates who were opposed to him on development issues.

    At this point, it’s easy for me to be a bit more scrutinizing since I have no allegiances to any of the candidates. I have met with two of the candidates and like them personally. I’d like to meet with the other candidates as well to see what they are about.

  10. davisite2

    “….is endorsed by among others, Lois Wolk, Helen Thomson, and Stephen Souza.”

    IMO, he’s the best of the lot that has a chance to sit on the dais. The real question is has he been “seduced”, by the blandishments of Lois and Helen, that he has a bright future in politics if he gets on the ol’ boy political gravy- train heading for the Assembly. If so, then he could turn out to be another Saylor. We’ll see.

  11. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”… my plan … is to bullet vote for Joe [b]Krovosa[/b] … my reasoning for a bullet vote for [b]Krovosa[/b] … there will be some voters who … would have voted for [b]Krovosa[/b].”[/i]

    Davisite No. 2: His name happens to be Krovoza ([url]http://joeforcitycouncil.org/?page_id=157[/url]), not Krovosa.

    [i]”… he could turn out to be another Saylor.”[/i]

    Joe Krovoza is also endorsed by Don Saylor.

    I think it’s unwise to hold the endorsers of a candidate against a candidate, unless you also have reason to believe that the candidate endorses the views of his endorsers, or worse, owes his endorsers a favor, which he will repay once in office.

  12. Rich Rifkin

    I got a detail wrong above–

    Correction: “… two police officers were murdered by a man with [s]untreated schizophrenia[/s] [b]untreated bipolar disorder and manic depression with hallucinations[/b].”

  13. David M. Greenwald

    “Joe Krovoza is also endorsed by Don Saylor.”

    He is? It appears that Saylor has endorsed Vergis and Swanson and signed their papers, did he also endorse Kroovoza?

  14. Rich Rifkin

    From Krovoza’s web page, which I linked above:

    [i]”[b]Elected Officials:[/b] United States Representative Mike Thompson; State Senator Lois Wolk; State Assemblymember Mariko Yamada; Yolo County Supervisors Jim Provenza and Helen Thomson; Davis City Council Member Stephen Souza, Sue Greenwald and [u]Don Saylor[/u]; Davis School Board Members: Gina Daleiden, Sheila Allen, Katie Wynne (Student Representative), Richard Harris & Tim Taylor.”[/i]

  15. Adrienne Kandel

    My bigger question to Mr. Watts, if he’s reading this, is about credit card purchases. The Enterprise article introducing his candidacy says Daniel Watts believes the City should forbid merchants from charging for small credit card purchases. Daniel, if you’re there, did you really say that? Credit card companies make profits off small business, skimming 1 to 3 percent of gross credit-card-assisted sales revenue, I’ve read. I’m going to guess they also have a minimum charge per purchase. So merchants have to charge more on all their goods; it’s a sales tax but big corporations get the revenues. Personally, I pay by other means than credit card when I can conveniently do so, just because I don’t want to give Visa or Mastercard money that could otherwise go to the Co-op or Avid Reader.
    Adrienne Kandel

  16. David M. Greenwald

    Adrienne, not sure, but this is directly from his candidate statement:

    “Require Davis businesses to obey state law, eliminate fees for credit card purchases. See Cal. Civ. Code. 1748.1.”

  17. Don Shor

    “Daniel Watts believes the City should forbid merchants from charging for small credit card purchases.”
    It doesn’t matter what he thinks. It is a violation of our merchant agreements with Visa and MasterCard (and more-or-less with American Express) to do that. Mr. Watts shouldn’t be taking public positions on topics he is uneducated about. It would take him about one minute on the internet, and maybe two minutes on Davis Wiki, to learn the rules.

  18. roger bockrath

    re: Rich Rifkin’s remark blaming the A.C.L.U. for nationally emptying out our mental hospitals with the Lessard vs. Schmidt precedent. I find his reasoning simplistic. Lessard did not empty out the nation’s mental hospitals. What the case did accomplish was protecting the rights of the mentally ill, and others deemed to be problematic by the powers that be, from being involuntarily incarcerated without some semblance of due process. The judges who used Lessard to overturn a history of getting rid of people by the use of involuntary incarceration complained that in 1963 (before Lessard), three times as many Americans were confined in mental institutions than were in all of the State and Federal prisons. Women who stood up to abusive husbands were often the victims of such involuntary incarcerations. Many thanks to the A.C.L.U. for taking a stand for protecting the rights of these abused individuals.

    It seems to me that the primary reason we have so many homeless mentally ill is a government obsessed with funneling billions to the military industrial good ol boys network instead of providing it’s citizens with health care! My years of providing care to diagnosed chronic schizophrenics has led me to believe that the vast majority are so haunted and sleepless that they have little energy to do much more than smoke cigarettes all day long and represent absolutely no threat to anybody. Does anybody remember when Ronald Reagan cut the funding for all the mental hospitals in California? That’s when we started seeing people begging at the entrances to our grocery stores.The dramatic increase in mentally ill people on our streets had absolutely nothing to do with the A.C.L.U.’s efforts to protect the civil rights of people illegally incarcerated. Heaven help us when we have no more A.C.L.U. to protect us from the abuses of power!

  19. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Lessard did not empty out the nation’s mental hospitals.”[/i]

    It most certainly did. Since Lessard, something like 97% of the beds in public psychiatric hospitals have been eliminated, largely because Lessard (and subsequent decisions which followed the same rotten logic) prevented psychiatric patients to be held involuntarily, unless they posed an imminent danger to themselves or others. In literally hundreds of thousands of cases, people who did not meet the standard established by Lessard were let out of hospitals and dead, in jail or homeless in weeks. That is what Mr. Bockrath and the extremist civil libertarians call “freedom.”

    [i]”What the case did accomplish was protecting the rights of the mentally ill …”[/i]

    Let me ask you a serious question: When someone is suffering from schizophrenia or from bipolar disorder with hallucinations, like John Patrick Bedell ([url]http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-03-04/news/18376405_1_pentagon-police-officers-brazen-attack[/url]) how are you “protecting his rights” by not treating him in a psychiatric hospital?

    This kind of ideological slavering to “civil liberties,” without ever considering the terrible consequences it brings about and the millions it victimizes, is exactly why I hate the ACLU.

    I could never be a Nazi, a Communist or a Libertarian, because these sorts of extemist ideologies always will throw out common sense and decency in the name of their extremist causes, just the way you dismiss the harm done to and by Mr. Bedell.

    [i]”The judges who used Lessard to overturn a history of getting rid of people by the use of involuntary incarceration complained that in 1963 (before Lessard), three times as many Americans were confined in mental institutions than were in all of the State and Federal prisons.”[/url]

    Now, as a result of Lessard, 50 percent of all people incarcerated in federal and state prisons in a year’s time, and 25% at any one given point in time, will be people suffering from severe mental illness. A decade ago there were 250,000 mental patients in prison. Now there are about 400,000. The [url]PBS documentary programs, Frontline[/url], just recently aired an episode which documents how the lack of involuntary medical care for the seriously mentally ill has led to a cycle of homelessness, incarceration, release, homelessness and reincarceration. But that God for the ACLU these folks now are “free!”

    [i]”Many thanks to the A.C.L.U. for taking a stand for protecting the rights of these abused individuals.”[/i]

    Yeah, the Lessard decision and its heirs sure have made life better for the seriously mentally ill. It’s good that you are so heartless, you can actually believe your ideology is not causing so much harm.

    [i]”It seems to me that the primary reason we have so many homeless mentally ill is a government obsessed with funneling billions to the military industrial good ol boys network instead of providing it’s citizens with health care!”[/i]

    It’s fun for you to just make up facts like this. But why not just deal with reality. The reason we have hundreds of thousands of homeless mentally ill is because they are not being treated with anti-psychotic medications involuntarily, in or out of institutions. The great majority of homeless (and imprisoned) mentally ill with serious disorders respond extremely well to medications. They can lead productive lives. However, because of their illnesses (compounded by anagnosia), they don’t follow through and continue to take their medications, even when the meds themselves are free to them (as is the case with anyone on SSDI).

  20. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”My years of providing care to diagnosed chronic schizophrenics has led me to believe that the vast majority are so haunted and sleepless that they have little energy to do much more than smoke cigarettes all day long and represent absolutely no threat to anybody.”[/i]

    Most schizophrenics are in fact no threat to anybody. However, there are two serious problems with you statement: 1) They are very often a threat to themselves ([url]http://www.suicide.org/schizophrenia-and-suicide.html[/url]). About 40% of people with untreated schizophrenia will attempt suicide. And about 10% are successful. They are also, when suffering a psychotic episode, often a danger to family members. They also tend to commit a large number of impulse or otherwise senselss crimes, resulting in their going to prison over and over again, as seen in the case of the bipolar man who stole cheese from Nugget Market; and 2) these people who you think it is just fine as long as “they have little energy to do much more than smoke cigarettes all day long” are, in the vast majority of cases, easily treated with very good anti-psychotic medications and thus could work and enjoy productive lives if they got treatment. But because of Lessard, et al., they very often go untreated and wind-up homeless and then in prison.

    [i]”Does anybody remember when Ronald Reagan cut the funding for all the mental hospitals in California?”[/i]

    Reagan is not faultless in the crisis of the homeless mentally ill. However, you have this fact wrong, as well. The funding for public mental hospitals in California came about after the Lantermann-Petris-Short Act of 1969, when Reagan was governor. Its main author was a left-wing ACLU advocate named Nicholas Petris. It preceded Lessard (which was in a federal court in Milwaukee, WI), but it did much the same thing.

    What Reagan proposed three years afterward was to then cut all funding to mental hospitals. But this proposal was never implemented. In the years following Lantermann-Petris, about 200 people in California were murdered by recently released mental patients who had been discharged from state hospitals, due to that law. In the wake of these highly publicized killings — the most notorious happened in Santa Cruz, where a patient with untreated schizophrenia killed 13 people in a few days, including a Catholic priest — the legislature decided to restore all funding for our state hospitals. The problem, though, was not with funding. The problem was with the new laws, which made involuntary treatment and involuntary hospitalization practically impossible.

    [i]”That’s when we started seeing people begging at the entrances to our grocery stores.”[/i]

    It’s too bad you have all of your “facts” wrong. Your explanation ignores the reality that the great upsurge in homelessness among the mentally ill in the mid-1970s and beyond took place all over the United States. Because of Lantermann-Petris, it started here a bit sooner. But because of the federal case in Lessard, the mentally ill homeless surge you saw in front of your “grocery stores” was equally prevalent in the 49 states and DC where Reagan was not governor.

    Ironically, of course, Reagan was not the governor in Colorado, either. That is the state which, due to Lessard, could not involuntarily treat John Hinckley, Jr., despite his parents extensive efforts to get their son treated. Hinckley, of course, very nearly killed Reagan, in order to “prove his love for Jodie Foster.”

    [i]”The dramatic increase in mentally ill people on our streets had absolutely nothing to do with the A.C.L.U.’s efforts to protect the civil rights of people illegally incarcerated.”[/i]

    That statement is tragically laughable. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Your statement is equivalent to sayin that the Nazi Party had nothing to do with the Holocaust.

    The reality of Lessard and its heirs has been the greatest destruction of lives and the greatest affront against decency in American history since World War II. It has greatly shortened the lives of the seriously mentally ill, leading to tens of thousands of suicides which could have been prevented. It has also led to almost as many killings of the mentally ill by police and others who either with or without malice did not know how to deal with someone in a psychotic state. It is responsible for almost all of our chronic homelessness problem. And it has resulted in now 400,000 people with serious mental illness to be in prison, today.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    Here are 10 stories of victims of Lessard in today’s newspapers:

    1. ([url]http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2010/03/20/opinion/7124963.txt[/url]) [i]”A 2-year-old Rehoboth boy died Friday at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, where he was taken Thursday after he was allegedly beaten by his mother. Kim Peno, 38, of 19 Blanding Road, was being held without bail in connection with the incident. She reportedly has a history of mental illness and is to be examined Monday to determine if she is competent to stand trial.”[/i]

    2. ([url]http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/minnesota/winona-mn-toilet-threat-cops-mar-17-2010[/url]) [i]”After he was released from the hospital for erratic behavior, 50-year-old Scott Mark Halverson holed himself up in his bathroom on the 600 block of East Wabasha Street on Sunday. When police broke into his bathroom just before 10:30 p.m., Halverson was covered in cuts and holding a toilet, ripped up from the floor, over his head. …
    Earlier that day, Halverson was taken to Winona Health for mental health hold after police received a report he was off his medication and behaving erratically.”[/i]

    3. ([url]http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/theblotter/2011371734_would_be_vampire_accused_in_bo.html[/url]) [i]A mentally ill man who caused a bomb scare in downtown Seattle last when he walked into a homeless shelter wearing what appeared to be a pipe bomb and claiming to be a vampire was charged Wednesday with threats to bomb or injure property. Vladimir Lestat Augustine, 33, was arrested Friday morning after police said he walked into the front lobby of the Union Gospel Mission, announced that he was a vampire and demanded to be let into the day room so he could feast on the people inside, court charging papers said. Augustine, whose body was wrapped in black electrical tape, then told staff at the mission that he was “a space cowboy,” and raised his arm to show a metal object taped to his body. Augustine announced that he was armed with a bomb. … Authorities say that Augustine has a history of mental illness. He had been in King County Mental Health Court the day before his arrest on a previous drug charge, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.[/i]

    4. ([url]http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/03/17/990022/make-kendras-law-permanent.html[/url]) This story regards the renewal of Kendra’s Law in New York, which reverses Lessard: [i]”When it was first proposed, in response to the death of a young Western New York woman pushed to her death in front of a New York City subway train, it drew support from this page despite concerns about possible coercion of the mentally ill. But in the decade since it was passed in 1999, a decade during which it passed one five-year renewal, the system of court orders with safeguards has worked—and, more importantly, the law has proven effective.

    The law allows judges to order certain mentally ill people to remain on violence-prevention medication as a condition of release and, if that doesn’t work, to order involuntary committal to mental hospitals if shown to be a danger to themselves or others. The orders stem from a request by close family members or care providers and need a psychiatrist’s approval, and the hospitalization is only long enough to re-establish medication.”[/i]

    In California, we have a very similar law, here called Laura’s Law. It was written by Helen Thomson of Davis. Unfortunately, Laura’s Law has never been funded and thus has made no difference. We still are living under ACLU tyrrany.

    5. ([url]http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/Daily-Police-Blotter-Jogger-Finds-Pipe-Bomb-Mom-Stabbed-in-Park-88206937.html[/url]) [i]”A young mother is now paralyzed from the waist down after being attacked in a park. Brandi Todd, 28, was sitting on a park bench and watching her children play at a park in Stephenville on Sunday when a man walked up and stabbed her in the back, police said. Michael Howard, 42, who was arrested in connection with the attack, is in the Erath County jail. According to investigators, Howard admitted to attacking Todd, said he is mentally ill and could only say that “something took over” as his reason for the attack. Police said Howard has a history of mental illness and that he told them he was angry with a mental health care organization for not giving him the help he needed.”[/i]

  22. Rich Rifkin

    6. ([url]http://www.freep.com/article/20100316/NEWS03/3160346/1001/News/Son-is-guilty-in-stabbing-deaths-of-parents[/url]) [i]”An Oakland County jury deliberated less than a day before finding a former White Lake Township man guilty — but mentally ill — in the stabbing deaths of his parents more than a year ago. … Ott stabbed his parents to death in their White Lake Township home early on the morning of Feb. 21, 2008, authorities said. He took two butcher knives from the kitchen — one as a backup, he would later tell police — and stabbed his sleeping mother, Barbara Ott, 57, more than 20 times. He then waited outside the bathroom door, and when his father, Michael Ott, 57, emerged from the shower, wrapped in a towel, he stabbed him to death.”[/i]

    7. ([url]http://www.theindychannel.com/news/22853052/detail.html[/url]) [i]”A woman who left her 2-year-old son in a car to go shopping couldn’t remember where she’d parked the car, resulting in her arrest, police said. Sparks was arrested on a child neglect charge. Police said she has a history of mental illness.”[/i]

    8. ([url]http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D9EDUOU02.html[/url]) [i]”A parishioner accused of stabbing a south Texas Roman Catholic priest nearly 20 times has been sentenced to 12 years in prison as part of a plea deal. … Rodriguez has a history of mental illness but was declared competent for trial.”[/i]

    9. ([url]http://www.dailyworld.com/article/20100309/NEWS01/3090309[/url]) [i]”A competency hearing for Sandra Joseph, charged with the 2009 Mardi Gras death of her 11-year-old son, is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. in the St. Landry Parish Criminal Annex Building on Courthouse Square in Opelousas. … At the time of her arrest, Joseph was described by police as very confused and unaware of her actions. A month earlier, Joseph had been placed on forced leave from her job at the Lafayette office of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, a division of the Louisiana Department of Social Services, for exhibiting what her employer described as manic and paranoid behavior.”[/i]

    10. ([url]http://www.columbuslocalnews.com/articles/2010/03/09/northland_news/news/police_beat/nnshooting_20100308_0340pm_5.txt[/url]) [i]”Columbus police said an officer was transported to Ohio State University Medical Center in stable condition after being shot by a man in the Northland area, who subsequently was discovered dead from a gunshot wound. … Upon arrival, Officers Sean Nonn and Ricky Crum knocked on the door to the apartment, and were met with gunfire as the man, identified as Ryan Clayton, 26, began shooting through the door, striking Bonn in his leg, Columbus Police Sgt. The man reportedly had a history of mental illness.”[/i]

  23. roger bockrath

    Cool Rich,
    I’m now officially a civil rights extremist! I don’t think I have ever been called that name before. I like it! You know Rich, I can’t help but notice that you seem a bit excited about this subject of mental health and the illegal incarceration of the mentally ill. Do you have some personal experience that perhaps leads you to believe that locking up and heavily medicating mentally ill people is somehow in their best interest?

    My experience with the mentally ill looks like this: When California’s mental hospitals became unavailable to the mentally ill, the not for profit residential treatment facility industry sprung up to fill the need. When I was employed by Marin Parents for Mental Recovery, we would typically reduce a patients meds by about 50% percent as soon as they came to live at one of our facilities. They almost immediately stopped slobbering on themselves and began to talk again. By treating them with love and respect, no matter how bizarre their behavior, we found that folks who had been less than alive were back among the living. Eventually, some even graduated to working in a small Crepe restaurant where they were taught rudimentary employment skills. And a very few of our residents made it out the door to live in group rentals and even their own apartments. Their quality of life, while by no means normal, was greatly improved over what it had been when they were locked up and medicated into submission. They had been given a chance to be alive instead of being warehoused for the convenience of society. They were no longer being punished for something they had no control over!

    The residential model is not without it’s problems. During the four years I helped out at our facilities, two of the residents that I knew on a daily basis committed suicide, both by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. But I would submit that, tortured as these folks were, their lives were made much more livable than they had been during their period of involuntary incarceration. There were occasional affronts to the community committed by our residents, but never any form of violent behavior towards others.

    These folks were the lucky ones. They got to live in a loving atmosphere. Many other mentally ill people fell through the cracks in the system and ended up behind bars, or homeless or even dead. I think that blaming the inherent problems in dealing with mentally ill citizens on the A.C.L.U. or the Lessard precedent or Ronald Reagan or Nicholous Petris tends to oversimplify a huge problem. But I think that we can agree that throwing mentally ill citizens out on the street and providing them with zero support is probably not going to make the problem go away.

    I would urge anybody tempted to blame the 400,000 mentally ill Americans locked in prisons on the A.C.L.U. to remember that, here in” the land of the free”, we have a higher percentage of our citizens locked up in prisons than any other country in the world. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Just read all the examples of mentally ill people loosing it that Rich posted while I was out. They are prime examples of why we need to stop ignoring mental health problems. It costs society more to lock these folks up than it does to create a humane system to treat their mental illness.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”You know Rich, I can’t help but notice that you seem a bit excited about this subject of mental health and the illegal incarceration of the mentally ill.”[/i]

    I am very excited about it. I am devastated by how we mistreat the seriously mentally ill due to the civil liberty extremist laws you support. I believe our epidemic of homelessness and imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of seriously mentally ill people is the most important crisis in our nation and the most egregious problem we need to solve.

    [i]”Do you have some personal experience that perhaps leads you to believe that locking up and heavily medicating mentally ill people is somehow in their best interest?”[/i]

    Yes. I have a family member I love very much who has paranoid schizophrenia. His was a bit unusual in that it struck him in his mid-to-late 30s. Most times, that illness attacks its victims in their teens or twenties. However, he was a very smart guy. So it is possible he had this disease for much longer than we knew and was able to cover it up.

    He was leading a nice life as a custom home builder in the Bay Area. He made a good living, loved his wife and gainfully employed full-time about 12 people. Yet as his disease took over his mind, he became more and more paranoid, ultimately gathering a great arsenal of guns and ammunition to (as he said) “protect myself from the CIA and the Martians” who he believed had placed listening devices in the walls and ceiling of his home.

    When my relative was treated with anti-psychotic medications, he became his old self again. He did have some negative side effects from the drugs — most notably, they made him feel lethargic. But in general they worked very well and he was able to get along and go along.

    However, after a month or two on drugs, he invariably stopped taking them and no one could force him to take them. Two times he was held on a 72 hour mental health hold (after psychotic, violent episodes); and other times he was thrown in jail, once after he fired over 500 rounds of ammunition with his many guns (which thankfully were taken away).

    Because of Lessard, he could not be forced to take his meds. So he kept getting more and more ill and impossible to live with. His wife had to leave him for her own safety. He destroyed his business and (as far as I know) ended up living in the gutter. I don’t know where he is now or if he is in prison or dead.

    I have met dozens of people who have family members with this illness and they have stories which are identical. Everyone I know who has a loved one with this condition wants the person to be forcibly treated with anti-psychotics. Every one.

    It is only extremist ideologues who think “freedom!” is the ultimate value who feel otherwise.

    [i]”My experience with the mentally ill looks like this: When California’s mental hospitals became unavailable to the mentally ill, the not for profit residential treatment facility industry sprung up to fill the need. When I was employed by Marin Parents for Mental Recovery, we would typically reduce a patients meds by about 50% percent as soon as they came to live at one of our facilities.”[/i]

    I was under the impression that you are a photographer/photo journalist. Are you also a medical doctor?

    [i]”They almost immediately stopped slobbering on themselves and began to talk again. By treating them with love and respect, no matter how bizarre their behavior, we found that folks who had been less than alive were back among the living.”[/i]

    When is this period you are speaking of?

    [i]”Eventually, some even graduated to working in a small Crepe restaurant where they were taught rudimentary employment skills.”[/i]

    This story sounds like you were dealing with people who had mental retardation*, not serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia. People who have schizophrenia and manic depression and bipolar, if treated with anti-psychotics, don’t need “rudimentary employment skills.” They are very often teachers, lawyers, doctors, skilled tradesmen, etc.

    (*It is the case that hospitals like Napa State Hospital at one time treated both the mentally ill and mixed with them patients with limited intellectual abilities. A friend of my family, who is retarded, was one such patient. He now lives happily with supervision in Woodland. It was, pardon the term, crazy to put him in a mental hospital like Napa.)

  25. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”And a very few of our residents made it out the door to live in group rentals and even their own apartments.”[/i]

    New York state has a very good program which provides permanent, supervised housing for people who suffer from serious mental illness. Here is a New York Times story you should read about it ([url]http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/nyregion/04neediest.html[/url]). The key to that program, as with every successful program for treating the mentally ill, is that they must be forced to take their medications. Every program which gives a “choice” to the patient has failed. Every one. There are no exceptions anywhere.

    [i]”Their quality of life, while by no means normal, was greatly improved over what it had been when they were locked up and medicated into submission.”[/i]

    I am getting the feeling that you formed a mental image of what a psychiatric hospital is a long time ago — perhaps you read anti-psychiatric books by people like Ken Kesey or Thomas Szasz? — and you have hung on to this image regardless of reality today.

    Most people with serious mental diseases like schizophrenia don’t need to be hospitalized for very long at all. Except when their meds are just not working for them — this can happen after some time on a certain drug — and they experience a psychotic episode, they can live perfectly well in their communities with some supervision. The key is that they need to be taking their anti-psychotic medications. The drugs work extremely well for most patients. But the patients need to be looked after and supervised, to make sure they take their regimen. Some patients are disorganized and disorderly people, and thus taking a drug 3 times a day to control psychosis is impossible for them without a guardian helping them. Many don’t understand that they are mentally ill, esp. once they go off of their drugs.

    [i]”They had been given a chance to be alive instead of being warehoused for the convenience of society.”[/i]

    Mental hospitals don’t warehouse patients. They treat them, usually very well, with anti-psychotic meds. Where the mentally ill are being warehoused is in our prisons. You seem to ignore the fact that in 1970 we had less than 1% of our prison population with mental illness, and now it is 25% on a given day and 50% over the course of a year (due to the revolving door).

    [i]”They were no longer being punished for something they had no control over!”[/i]

    That is exactly what your ACLU “remedy” has caused. Seriously mentally ill people used to get treatment. However, without treatment, they have no control over their actions (when their minds are malfunctioning), and for that we are punishing them in prisons and on the streets.

    [i]”The residential model is not without it’s problems. During the four years I helped out at our facilities, two of the residents that I knew on a daily basis committed suicide, both by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.”[/i]

    From 1975-1985, the successful suicide rate among the seriously mentally ill went up over 1000% and the life expectancy among the seriously mentally ill (over a longer time frame) declined by almost 20 years. Thanks, ACLU!

  26. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”But I would submit that, tortured as these folks were, their lives were made much more livable than they had been during their period of involuntary incarceration.”[/i]

    You ignore the most important fact: 400,000 people with untreated serious mental illnesses are today locked up in our state and federal prisons. Is that not a disastrous situation in your opinion?

    [i]”Many other mentally ill people fell through the cracks in the system and ended up behind bars, or homeless or even dead.”[/i]

    And this ALL has taken place and continues to take place because of the ACLU mentality.

    [i]”I think that blaming the inherent problems in dealing with mentally ill citizens on the A.C.L.U. or the Lessard precedent or Ronald Reagan or Nicholous Petris tends to oversimplify a huge problem.”[/i]

    If you take away Petris, Lessard and the ACLU, you don’t have a chronic homeless crisis in the United States today. You don’t have hundreds of thousands of homeless in our prisons.

    Look at New York, since it passed Kendra’s Law 10 years ago. Their population of mentally ill inmates has declined by 75% in 10 years. Why? Because they reversed the Petris-Lessard laws and are forcibly treating the mentally ill for the benefit of the mentally ill and it works. Of the 25% who are still locked up in New York prisons, the vast majority are serving very long sentences for crimes committed before Kendra’s Law.

    That law is not a panacea. Nothing is. Consider this case, for example ([url]http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/nyregion/08neediest.html?_r=1[/url]), where an untreated schizophrenic went on a shooting spree targeting everyone wearing red, because he thought he was fighting against the Bloods street gang. The Polish immigrant whose life was destroyed when he was shot by the man with untreated schizophrenia was anything but a gangster. He was a carpenter, from Solidarity, who made the mistake of putting on a red t-shirt on a hot day to walk his dog.

    [i]”But I think that we can agree that throwing mentally ill citizens out on the street and providing them with zero support is probably not going to make the problem go away.”[/i]

    It is probably impossible for me to get through to you, because you are holding onto old notions from 40 years ago and to a rigid ideology. However, your diagnosis here misses the key point: The victims of Lessard wind up in the street and prison because we are not forcibly treating them. That is the only solution. All the other crap is just crap.

    [i]”I would urge anybody tempted to blame the 400,000 mentally ill Americans locked in prisons on the A.C.L.U. to remember that, here in” the land of the free”, we have a higher percentage of our citizens locked up in prisons than any other country in the world. What’s wrong with this picture?”[/i]

    The reason for this is in part because of Lessard. Take those 400,000 out of prison and our percentage goes down.

    I am definitely not one who believes in long incarceration of criminals. You likely missed my March 3 column ([url]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-iCrgpX1jNM/S5x3nR6is6I/AAAAAAAAAaQ/9codWtltt_M/s1600-h/Prisons+vs+Higher+Education.jpg[/url]) in which I discussed this very topic. However, you seem to want to shift the blame for having these 400,000 in prison to everyone but the people who caused it: the ACLU and its acolytes.

    [i]”It costs society more to lock these folks up than it does to create a humane system to treat their mental illness.”[/i]

    There is only one way to help these patients: to force treatment on them.

    That does not mean locking them up in psychiatric hospitals. That means having a system in which they have guardians who oversee their care and make sure they are taking their meds. And if they don’t, they are locked up temporarily, put back on their meds, and required as a condition of release to stay medicated.

  27. wdf1

    He also may consider the fact that as a Councilmember he would not be able to do anything without majority support on council. So while Mr. Watts is well-versed on the law it would appear, he has a lot to learn about municipal government.

    Do you have to have a majority to put something on a meeting agenda? If not, then it would seem an easy matter to ask something to be put on the agenda. And then who on the city council is going to put the time and effort to keep an obsolete law on the books?

  28. Rich Rifkin

    [b]DON:[b] [i]”does it disqualify Daniel Watts from the city council?”[/i]

    I answered that earlier:

    [b]RIF 8:59 A.M.:[/b] [i]”My take is that, even if you strongly disagree with an ACLU approach to these types of questions which might come before the city council, you have to weigh them in the larger context of decisions the council makes.

    “I would not preclude a candidate who I agree with on the most important business of the council just because I don’t necessarily share his views on the issues of lesser importance.”[/i]

    [b]DON[/b] [i]”does this 1972 court decision negate everything else the ACLU has done?”[/i]

    No. But anyone who or any group which allows ideology to trump common sense and common decency is, in my view, horribly wrong and horribly misguided.

    I said this before, but it bears repeating (and perhaps is lost in my heated anti-ACLU rants above): the ACLU and its affiliated attorneys fought for years for decisions like Lessard and deserve full blame for holding such an unreasonable position. However, it was not the ACLU who ruled in favor of Lessard. (She was a psychotic woman, actually a school teacher, who had been held and treated against her will in a Wisconsin asylum.) It was the federal court judge (whose name I forget) and later appeals courts which upheld Lessard. So it is one thing to condemn the ACLU’s position and its defenders, as I do. But it is much more serious and blameworthy what the judge and later judges and various politicians decided. The ACLU does not have the power to tell courts what to do.

    It should be noted that the basis for the judge’s decision in the Lessard case–which has been in more recent cases seriously rebuked and laughed at by serious brain scientists–was his reading of a quackish, unresearched, anti-scientific attack on psychiatry by a incredibly strange medical doctor named Thomas Szasz, called “The Myth of Mental Illness.” (Dr. Szasz’s manifesto was largely a copy of a Scottish author’s work, which had likewise argued that there really was no such thing as mental illness.) It all grew out of a left-wing anti-science movement which was a response to the development of atomic weaponry during WW2.

    The anti-psychiatry aspect of that movement in the late 1960s became popular among some people in the far-left who thought schizophrenia was essentially a form of “tripping” on psychedelic medications without having to take hallucinagenic drugs. In other words, they believed that we should all be trying to achieve the state of mind that psychotics had achieved. Anyone who was treating a schizophrenic with anti-psychotic medications, which had only become effective for the first time in the early 1950s, was just bringing him down from his high. (Timothy Leary, of course, was the most outspoken person with this point of view. Ken Kesey also said much the same thing at the time.)

    There was also a small, right-wing anti-science movement which opposed psychiatry. Its leader was L. Ron Hubbard (whose cultish followers to this day take a very strong anti-science, anti-psychiatry stance) and various activists in the John Birch Society. They did not have any effect on the Lessard decision. They were convinced that psychiatry as a profession, and anti-psychotic medications in particular, were part of a Jewish plot* to control the world. (Hubbard was a virulent anti-Semite, as were almost all Birchers.) The most important person they influenced was Frank Lanterman, who was himself a Bircher. Lanterman tried to convince Reagan that psychiatry was “bunk.” However, Reagan never voiced those views. His reason for wanting to close the mental hospitals was, from what I understand, just an effort to save money. He deserves blame for signing the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act.

    *Oddly enough, Dr. Thomas Szasz, the man whose book influenced the Lessard decision, was himself Jewish. The Scot whose work he re-wrote was not.

  29. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]So, Rich, does this 1972 court decision negate everything else the ACLU has done, and does it disqualify Daniel Watts from the city council?[/i]

    Don, you might think from what Rich is saying that the ACLU filed or argued Lessard v. Schmidt. But they didn’t. The case was handled by a publicly funded legal aid group called Milwaukee Legal Services, now known as Legal Action of Wisconsin.

    I also found no connection between the ACLU and either the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act or Nicholas C. Petris. I tried searches in Google, Google News Archives, and Google Books.

  30. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I also found no connection between the ACLU and either the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act or Nicholas C. Petris.”[/i]

    From the Petris oral history ([url]http://www.archive.org/stream/petrisnicholascali00petrrich/petrisnicholascali00petrrich_djvu.txt[/url]) by Gabrielle Morris: [quote]MORRIS: Did you get a lot of opposition from boards of supervisors around the state?

    PETRIS: Oh, yes, of course. The boards were against it, the Conference of
    Local Mental Health Directors was against it. There was tremendous opposition from all over the place. But we just hung in there, and we just fought. We had a great ally in Frank Lanterman. When they took a look at Petris at one end and Lanterman at the other, Petris being one of the most liberal members of the senate and had been in the assembly, Lanterman the most conservative assemblyman, they figured it can’t be all that bad if these two guys are both for it.

    The ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] showed up and supported it, and boy, he really raked them over the coals. He said, “Where in the hell have you people been? I’ve been working on this problem for years, I could never get your attention. This is a basic constitutional, fundamental issue of the right to have the right thing done for these people. Glad to see you, but you’re very, very late.”[/quote] As to the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, you need to check out the background of Thomas Zander, who was also involved with the ACLU in Wisconsin.

    It is true the ACLU had no direct role in the Lessard case. If I said it did, I take that back. My point was that left-wing civil libertarians (often those influenced by the anti-science movement of the left) were at the vanguard in the effort to empty out the mental hospitals and Lessard case was taken up as a result of that movement. Thomas Zander was the LAS lawyer who, as a believer that mental illness did not exist and as a civil liberties extremist, fought against all involuntary hospitalization for mental illness in Wisconsin. In other states, such as New York, the court cases were won by ACLU lawyers or lawyers who represented state-affiliates. In many cases, the private lawyers who argued against involuntary holds were only informally affiliated with the ACLU, having joined them in other cases.

  31. Neutral

    Don, here’s the referenced section:

    1748.1. (a) No retailer in any sales, service, or lease transaction
    with a consumer may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to
    use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar
    means. A retailer may, however, offer discounts for the purpose of
    inducing payment by cash, check, or other means not involving the use
    of a credit card, provided that the discount is offered to all
    prospective buyers.

    Has nothing to do with your card agreements.

  32. Plankton

    Whether the rest of you can see it or not, this candidate has just declared how irrelevant one can be. Who gives a sh*t about unenforced ordinances when The Budget is what’s at issue?

  33. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]It is true the ACLU had no direct role in the Lessard case. If I said it did, I take that back. My point was that left-wing civil libertarians (often those influenced by the anti-science movement of the left) were at the vanguard in the effort to empty out the mental hospitals and Lessard case was taken up as a result of that movement.[/i]

    Your point is guilt by association. The US and Western European countries deinstitutionalized mental health care for a wide variety of reasons. Phrases like “Good job, ACLU”, “why I hate the ACLU”, and “If you take away Petris, Lessard and the ACLU” smack of a paranoid conspiracy theory. If not for the civil protections that you enjoy thanks to cases like Lessard v Schmidt, two doctors could in principle diagnose you as crazy and have you locked up. In fact, in the Communist Soviet Union, many political dissidents were persecuted with involuntary mental treatment ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punitive_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union[/url]). That is exactly what “left-wing” civil libertarians would like to prevent.

  34. Don Shor

    Neutral: “Don, here’s the referenced section:

    1748.1. (a) No retailer in any sales, service, or lease transaction
    with a consumer may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to
    use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar
    means. …
    Has nothing to do with your card agreements.”

    The state law is redundant. Our merchant agreements already prohibit that. If a merchant does it, and it bothers you, mention it to the owner. If it really bothers you, you can report them to Visa/MC. No need to involve the local constabulary.

  35. David Suder

    2 questions for Don:

    1) Does your merchant agreement allow a merchant to set a minimum value for credit card purchases?
    2) Are the agreements between the merchant and VISA or MC, or between the merchant and processor?

    There are merchants in town who set a minimum value for credit card purchases.

  36. davisite2

    To our Moderator(Don Shor):

    What happened to the rule that going completly off-topic warrants deletion?
    Rich Rifkin’s comments above appear ripe for deletion according to the Vanguard rules. In addition, his calling posters, “morons!” in the thread for the article”Coop Board Unanimously Rejects Initiative”(March 17) also was left unchallenged and not deleted. For those who would like to read some my comments( as a Coop member who was involved in defending this ADVISORY initiative’s right to be on the ballot), look for it using the Search box as it has been removed from the “latest” list.

  37. Don Shor

    Hi Davisite,
    Rich’s comments were tangentially related, as he was originally criticizing Dan for his ACLU affiliation and explaining what his disagreement with the ACLU was. I agree it’s gotten pretty far afield, so it would be preferable now to consider that the mental illness issue has been fully discussed on this thread.
    I did remove at least one “moron” reference in the thread before, and asked him to avoid name-calling. I will repeat here for everyone: please avoid name-calling. Items in the “latest” list drop down automatically.
    Don

  38. Don Shor

    2 questions for Don:
    1) Does your merchant agreement allow a merchant to set a minimum value for credit card purchases?
    2) Are the agreements between the merchant and VISA or MC, or between the merchant and processor?

    1. No. Any kind of limit violates the terms of service.
    2. The agreement is with Visa and MC.

    There are merchants in town who set a minimum value for credit card purchases.
    There are, and they are violating the terms of their merchant agreement.

  39. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]Yes. Exactly.[/i]

    Look, Rich. I understand the predicament of your close relative who has schizophrenia. And I’m fine with Laura’s Law, which isn’t being enforced solely because of California’s screwed up budget attitude. But none of it has anything to do with the fact that Daniel Watts is in the ACLU. This is only a tiny fraction of the ACLU’s work, an ACLU faction has gone on record with the opposite stand, and the ACLU is only a minor player in the whole question of involuntary commitment. In fact, the ACLU has fought many more cases in favor of mental health care than against it.

    Anyway Watts is an…interesting…idealist. He ran for governor as a member of the Green Party.

  40. davisite2

    Thanks for the clarification, Don.. I was not insinuating that the Coop initiative piece was removed for some nefarious reason… only that I came onto this article several days after it had been presented and I thought it would be useful for Vanguard readers to go back and read some FACTS about how this ADVISORY initiative was dealt with by the Coop board.

  41. davisite2

    David: The two columns for “latest” and “most read” only appear to be updated on the right. If both were updated, we would have twice the number of previous and most up-to-date list of “latest” and “most read”.

  42. davisite2

    If Watts launches a campaign with professional lawn signs and other campaign pieces that require substantial campaign funding, look for the names of those who contribute. Watts has the potential to siphon off the most “idealistic” progressives who just might bullet vote(vote only for him) and deny Krovoza their vote. We saw this strategy when Saylor’s former campaign manager was active in supporting a “UCD candidate” for Council in the hope lessening Stan Forbe’s UCD student vote count.

  43. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”But none of it has anything to do with the fact that Daniel Watts is in the ACLU.”[/i]

    Agreed. If Watts holds views similar to Sue and Lamar on long-term budgeting, I might vote for him.

    Two things which concern me about student candidates in general, though, are:

    1) their depth of ties to Davis. That is, I want someone who has been here some number of years and plans on remaining a part of Davis for a long time after he leaves office*. That stability of place suggests to me the candidate will be more likely to look out for the long-term interests of our community; and

    2) their youth and inexperience. As a law student, surely Watts has the intellectual wattage to understand the issues and formulate reasonable ideas on many topics and to study up on those he doesn’t yet know much about. But with more years lived comes more areas of life one has learned to deal with, more mistakes made and more lessons learned from those mistakes. I think back to when I was in my mid-20s and realize now how little I knew then. I think an ideal candidate is a bit longer in the tooth.

    I won’t preclude voting for any one candidate for any of those reasons, but they are things I keep in mind.

    *There may be others, but the only member of the city council I can think of who moved away from Davis soon after her term in office was up is Suzy Boyd, who retired to Lake Shasta to be nearer one of her children. Bob Black moved out of Davis, too, but long after leaving the city council. I think there may have been one other in my lifetime, a guy who was a minister, who left mid-term because his church transferred him out of our area. But his name escapes me and he might have been on the school board. Anyhow, for the most part, the ex-members of the city council have mostly hung around.

  44. roger bockrath

    Note: I dropped out of this discussion thread due to scheduling conflicts and now see a request to drop the tangential thread regarding A.C.L.U. involvement (or lack of involvement) in Rich Rifkin’s relative’s struggles with mental illness. So please bear with me as I attempt to close my thoughts on the matter and get on with preparing my tax return! r.b.

    Rich

    I’m very sorry to hear you have a family member who suffers from mental illness. I just got the feeling that your zeal on the subject was more than I would expect from somebody not directly affected.
    From the perspective of a person lucky enough not to have any mentally ill relatives (that I am aware of) I’m not sure I would agree that the mental health is THE most egregious problem we have to solve in the U.S., but I can certainly understand why you might feel the way you do. I know that trying to advocate for a relative, who is unable to do so for themselves, can turn into a real nightmare.

    From your story about your relative it sounds like anti-psychotic meds have come a long way since I was involved in the mental health industry some 35 years ago. Back then patients were coming through our door so overmedicated with phenothyazines (sp?) that they were zombies. We were always successful in cajoling them into taking there meds. We never found it necessary to force anybody to do anything. My point is simply that, given a well funded mental health system, those people who currently fall through the cracks and become statistics would receive the care they so desperately need before it becomes necessary to force anything on them. My experience has been that
    forced mental health treatments are always for the convenience of society and never reflect what’s best for the sick person.

    I couldn’t agree with you more that having 400,000 mentally ill citizens locked up in prison is a crime. I just think that your attack on the A.C.L.U. is misplaced. Taking away the civil rights of people who happen to become mentally ill is not going to keep them out of prison. What will keep those unfortunate people out of prison is funding the mental health system to the point where they are cared for so they don’t end up like your relative. In order to accomplish that we are going to have to give up spending half the money that is spent on military, on the entire planet, to “protect” 5% of it’s inhabitants. The real crime here is spending obscene amounts of money on killing people instead of caring for them.

    “I was under the impression that you are a photographer/photo journalist. Are you also a medical doctor?”

    Rich, I am flattered that you know anything about me. I have yet to google your name, but perhaps I should. I was once a photojournalist, I also worked in the mental health industry, though not as a clinician. I also founded Survival Inc. the largest non-profit recycling operation in California. You won’t find that on Google. I have done a lot of stuff. Life is short. We gotta do more than sit in front of a computer all day!

  45. roger bockrath

    “This story sounds like you were dealing with people who had mental retardation*, not serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia. People who have schizophrenia and manic depression and bipolar, if treated with anti-psychotics, don’t need “rudimentary employment skills.” They are very often teachers, lawyers, doctors, skilled tradesmen, etc”.

    The program in which I helped out specialized in 18-35 year old chronic schizophrenics. Because the disease typically presents in ones teens, many of our residents had never become teachers,lawyers,doctors or skilled tradesmen. They needed basic life skills training. They needed to be taught that showing up to work consistently is the number one requirement for holding a job. Those kinds of skills are very difficult to teach in a forced treatment environment. Our charges were anything but retarded. Many were extremely bright. One of the two who committed suicide, that I mentioned earlier, was a concert level pianist, but unfortunately, an Olympic Level Cigarette smoker.

    “There is only one way to help these patients: to force treatment on them. 

That does not mean locking them up in psychiatric hospitals. That means having a system in which they have guardians who oversee their care and make sure they are taking their meds. And if they don’t, they are locked up temporarily, put back on their meds, and required as a condition of release to stay medicated”.

    So in closing this way too long thread that has wandered off the main subject I just want to tell Rich that what you are suggesting above is essentially what we were doing in the late 70s except we found no need to force treatment of temporarily lock anybody up. We were able to get conformity simply by treating these unfortunate individuals with love and respect. Had these folks not had their civil rights restored their opportunity to try and have a life would have never come about.

    Also, in light of the information that the A.C.L.U. apparently had little to nothing to do with the Lessard precedent, I would hope that Rich would find some more deserving recipient for his anger over the way his relative was treated by the system. I can think of several! The A.C.L.U. has successful reversed a long list of government abuses. We all enjoy a great many freedoms that would be long gone absent the intervention of the A.C.L.U. If I am a civil rights extremist, as Rich has labeled me, as a result of my involvement with the A.C.L.U., then I proudly wear the name!
    p.s. Sorry again readers for this diversion from the main thread question about Daniel Watts’ appropriateness for the City Council due to his involvement in the A.C.L.U. From my prospective it’s a huge plus! r.b.

  46. davisite2

    Roger Bockrath: As the individual who raised the issue of this discussion being off-topic, I appreciate your lengthy “off-topic” comment above. Yes… “love and respect”…is key to truly helping these unfortunate individuals. But, here’s the rub… this means well-financed programs that require more of our tax dollars… Less drugging and incarceration in mental hospitals with more outpatient services tailored to the patient’s individual needs is the direction that “love and respect” demands. Are we willing to “pony-up”?

  47. roger bockrath

    davisite2:
    I suppose that asking Americans to pony-up to help their neighbors with a disease most folks are afraid to even think about is a tall order. I had lunch with Jerry Brown and the director of the non profit with whom I worked back when Jerry was Governor in the late 70s. He was blown away by the progress that could be made with people who had been considered a lost cause and he thought Californians would get behind similar programs. Then Governor Moonbeam went away and the programs have struggled ever since. Maybe it’s time to bring back Jerry and lead the country again!

  48. Daniel

    “… as a Councilmember he would not be able to do anything without majority support on council. …Mr. Watts …has a lot to learn about municipal government.

    Of course I realize that proposals require a majority vote. It’s absurd to imply I don’t understand that. Would you rather I qualify every statement with, “pending a majority vote of the council, I will accomplish [insert goal here]”? That’s obviously implied.

    Did candidate Obama say, “I hope to try to persuade a majority of the House to pass a balanced budget, then move that bill to the Senate, then wait for the Senate to pass a similar but not quite identical bill, then encourage a small committee of members of both houses to work out the kinks, then…”? No. He said, “I’ll balance the budget.” Is he ignorant? No. He’s concise.

    David Greenwald, please feel free to call my cell before running your next article, especially if you plan on hurling accusations of ignorance.

  49. Rich Rifkin

    RICH: [i]”It is true the ACLU had no direct role in the Lessard case.”[/i]

    ROGER: [i]”… in light of the information that the A.C.L.U. apparently had little to nothing to do with the Lessard precedent, I would hope that Rich would find some more deserving recipient for his anger over the way his relative was treated by the system.”[/i]

    My anger is at all ideological civil libertarians who think “liberty” whould trump all other values at all times, even when the result is terribly sick people becoming homeless, suicidal, imprisoned and so on. The ACLU is very much a part of our terrible history of not treating people with serious mental illnesses in the name of “liberty” above all.

    Lessard was followed up by many other cases — the sons of Lessard. Many of those were fought by the ACLU in opposition to involuntary hospitalization and forced treatment on people with serious mental diseases who otherwise will go untreated.

    The most important “son of Lessard” was O’Connor v. Donaldson ([url]http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=341[/url]). The ACLU argued in that landmark case against the involuntary hospitalization of a man named Kenneth Donaldson, who had paranoid schizophrenia (though seemed to be no danger to anyone).

    As it happens, I think the courts were right to allow Mr. Donaldson to be freed from his confinement in the Florida State Hospital. However, I would have made his liberty conditioned on the grounds that his family would have guardianship over him (or a court appointed guardian would play that role) to make sure he did not spiral downhill, and that, if he refused treatment for his schizophrenia, he could be involuntarily held until he was treated, even if he was not an “imminent threat.”

    The ACLU position is that only when someone is an “immenent threat” or “imminently in danger of suicide” can he be held against his will. It is that standard (reversed now in some states) which, for example, caused the release of Mr. Bedell from involuntary mental health care, just before he went to Washington, D.C. and murdered those two cops and then was himself killed in the hail of bullets.

  50. Rich Rifkin

    AP story today about what very often happens in the end to men with serious mental illness after a long cycle of psychosis, irrational crimes and a revolving prison door, never getting properly treated by psychiatrists: [quote] WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Authorities say a deputy fatally shot a man while serving a warrant in South Florida. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reports that two deputies went to the home of 45-year-old Allen H. Hunter Tuesday morning to arrest him on a felony charge of violating probation, but a struggle ensued.

    Hunter reportedly grabbed a metal baton from one of the deputies and began to hit him with it. The other deputy shocked Hunter with a stun gun, but it didn’t stop him. The first deputy recovered, drew his gun and shot Hunter dead. Records show Hunter had been arrested 15 times since 1987. Family members say he had a history of mental illness.[/quote]

  51. boombox1985

    Why doesn’t the article mention how stupid it was of the City Council to defend Unconstitutional laws, EVEN if they are antiquated and no longer enforced?

    So WHAT if it takes time and money to change the law…God forbid fat cat bureaucrats and local government try and run an effective government for once.

    Holy f**king s–t. This writer’s a MAJOR idiot.

  52. boombox1985

    1 more thing…..

    What’s the point of HAVING LAWS if 80% of the laws in the books are disregarded?

    All these old people on City Council needed to lay off the Prozac and start giving a sh-t about reality again.

  53. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]As it happens, I think the courts were right to allow Mr. Donaldson to be freed from his confinement in the Florida State Hospital.[/i]

    No kidding, Rich. It wasn’t just that Kenneth Donaldson posed no danger to himself or others. He spent 15 years in a psychiatric “hospital” with no due process and no psychiatric treatment either! Can you imagine being locked up in a funny farm for 15 years, together with criminally insane people, pleading for something better that simple imprisonment? Donaldson was freed not because of any change to him, but because the director, a tyrant who broke no laws, retired. Within months of that retirement, Donaldson was finally evaluated, freed, and then took a regular job. How can you be against the ACLU for arguing a case like that?

    That case, moreover, had nothing to do with any “imminent danger” standard. It also did not preclude the kind of monitoring that you suggest. The case was whether Donaldson had the standing to sue the hospital and its director for locking him up for 15 years without doing anything for him, without even trying. They even withheld information that could have set him free. The court ruled unanimously in his favor; again, can any decent person really disagree.

  54. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]The ACLU is very much a part of our terrible history of not treating people with serious mental illnesses in the name of “liberty” above all.[/i]

    Again, if the ACLU is part of any such history, O’Connor v Donaldson isn’t an example. The ACLU argued the case for Donaldson not because Donaldson got mental treatment, but because he didn’t. The way that the hospital defended its record was incredible. They claim that it was milieu therapy, which in their case meant just this: Getting locked up in the funny farm (the “milieu”) was the “therapy”.

  55. David M. Greenwald

    “Why doesn’t the article mention how stupid it was of the City Council to defend Unconstitutional laws, EVEN if they are antiquated and no longer enforced?”

    Because the writer doesn’t believe that the City Council is “Defending” unconstitutional laws. What’s happened is that the city has put a variety of laws on their books, some of these laws are fairly old, the city does not have a review process in place, so as laws fall out of use they are not removed. Given the current problems the city faces, does it make sense that they spent time and pay their city attorney to go through each law and determine whether it is constitutional and in use? Maybe it does, I don’t know.

  56. David M. Greenwald

    “What’s the point of HAVING LAWS if 80% of the laws in the books are disregarded?”

    80%? Where does that number come from? Do you have evidence to support the number being 80%? If it were 80%, you might have a point. I suspect it’s far far less than that however.

  57. J.R.

    Daniel said:
    “Did candidate Obama say, “I hope to try to persuade a majority of the House to pass a balanced budget, then move that bill to the Senate, then wait for the Senate to pass a similar but not quite identical bill, then encourage a small committee of members of both houses to work out the kinks, then…”? No. He said, “I’ll balance the budget.” Is he ignorant? No. He’s concise. “

    First of all Daniel, you’re no Obama.

    Secondly, if Obama said that he’ll balance the budget, then he’s a pathological liar.

    But in this case, I think it’s you, not him, that’s ignorant.

  58. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”He spent 15 years in a psychiatric “hospital” with no due process and no psychiatric treatment either!”[/i]

    It is my understanding that the reason he received no treatment was because he had the right to refuse it and that is what he did. That does not absolve the doctors in that hospital for not releasing him much sooner than they did. But it does explain why he never received, for example, clozapine.

    [i]”Within months of that retirement, Donaldson was finally evaluated, freed, and then took a regular job.”[/i]

    I don’t know what happened to Donaldson after 1977. He was a bright guy and I think he wrote a book about his experiences. But nevertheless, he was mentally ill, as well. Out on his own, not taking medication, not ever admitting that he even had schizophrenia, I cannot imagine he would have done very well for very long. Maybe a year, maybe two. But then his psychiatric problems would surely have caused him troubles. (You should know that he was diagnosed by about a dozen psychiatrists over the years as a paranoid schizophrenic, not just one or two; and due to multiple incidents at his jobs and with his wife and kids and finally with his parents in Florida, he was sent to that mental hospital where he was confined for 15 years.)

    [i]”How can you be against the ACLU for arguing a case like that?[/i]

    Because the “imminent danger” standard the ACLU (and other civil libertarians) have pushed for is not in the best interest of people with serious mental illnesses, most especially people who are apt to commit suicide not in an hour or two but likely in a week or two.

    [i]”That case, moreover, had nothing to do with any “imminent danger” standard.”[/i]

    As it was interpreted, it actually had everything to do with that standard, because Donaldson was the case upon which federal courts created that standard (as pushed for by civil libertarians).

    [i]”It also did not preclude the kind of monitoring that you suggest.”[/i]

    Insofar as the new standard cases like this set was, the patient’s right to liberty, short of him being an imminent threat to himself or others, trumps all other concerns for the patient’s welfare, you cannot have a nanny-system like I favor, where patients would be forced to take medications if they had serious disorders like schizophrenia.

    Why not? Because the patient (post-Donaldson) had the right to refuse all treatment. So while the language of Donaldson did not “preclude the kind of monitoring” I favor, the effect did.

  59. Rich Rifkin

    By the way, an oddity of the Donaldson lawsuit was that he sued under a “right to treatment” law in Florida. But Donaldson, himself, had always refused treatment, because he (mistakenly) believed he had no illness*. The upshot was that a “right to treatment” standard was not agreed upon by the Burger Court. Instead, the new standard, as Donaldson wanted, was a “right to refuse treatment.”

    *He also claimed at some point he was a Christian Scientist, and that excused him from treatment on religious grounds. I don’t believe, though, he ever was a member or practioner of that faith, other than when he tried that tactic.

  60. joemomma

    This reporter sounds like an idiot.

    I think he’s probably mad that the only thing he has to cover is city council meetings and can’t get a real job. So sad.

    Mr. Watts is just doing his job and I applaud him. No one ever said government moves quickly but certainly he is trying to jump start it.

    Obviously from the viewpoints of people like Mr. Greenwald, Davis is full of idiots.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I don’t know what happened to Donaldson after 1977. … I cannot imagine he would have done very well for very long.”[/i]

    I just found an obit of him, dying in Arizona in 1995 at age 87. It does not say anything about his life after 1982. However, if he lived on his own until the mid-1990s (or even to say age 80), that suggests he had more of a normal elderly existance than I suggested above.

  62. boombox1985

    IN RESPONSE TO THE IDIOT WRITER,,,,,,Only a true moron would be like “80%? Where’d you get that # from?” GUESS WHAT–it’s figurative, MORON.

    BUT YOU WOULDN’T KNOW, NOW WOULD YOU?

    Point is, laws that aren’t laws shouldn’t be laws. How hard is that to understand?

    VERY, judging by the likes of you and those idiots on City Council.

    They can suck a C**K!

    You too.

    HAHAHAHHAHA

  63. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]It is my understanding that the reason he received no treatment was because he had the right to refuse it and that is what he did.[/i]

    Your understanding is not the way that this case is described by either the US Court of Appeals ([url]http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/493/493.F2d.507.73-1843.html[/url]), or The US Supreme Court ([url]http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=422&invol=563[/url]). Donaldson himself freely admits that he refused medication, but medication is not the same thing as treatment. Treatment begins with regular evaluation by a psychiatrist. The court rulings describe a psychiatric ward that wanted to throw sedatives at Donaldson, but gave him almost no time with doctors. (Clozapine was not yet available.)

    In his name, the hospital also refused to release him to a halfway house in Minnesota, and they refused to release him to the care of a college friend. They refused grounds privileges, and they refused occupational therapy. They couldn’t explain to the courts why they had blown off so much of what Donaldson had wanted. Their argument was that they had acted in good faith.

    From the sound of it, this state hospital in Florida didn’t have the money for much real medical care. Even if they sedated their patients, and even if most of the patients really were crazy, it sounds like the psychiatric wing of this hospital wasn’t much more than a prison. And that is reflected in the Amicus briefs in O’Connor v Donaldson. The medical groups were all on Donaldson’s side. Law enforcement groups took O’Connor’s side.

    It is one thing to get permission to forcibly treat someone who truly needs mental health care. It is quite another to strip someone of his liberty, supposedly for his own good, and then say, sorry, we just don’t have money to treat you. Before any of these civil liberties cases, the money already often wasn’t there. Who is left to like forcible “treatment” that isn’t really treatment? Public safety officials, of course, because they don’t care what happens to the patients, they care about their power to enforce the peace.

    And that is where California now stands with Laura’s Law. The law is there to be used. The ACLU didn’t like Laura’s Law, but they lost the argument and even the ACLU was not united in its opposition. The problem now is that only one county in the state has funded this law. If we like Laura’s Law, we should pay for it; blaming the ACLU is completely out of place.

  64. boombox1985

    “[edit: if you can’t be civil, you will be banned. — Don]”

    Civil?

    I bleeped out my swear words, you prudes! What exactly is the “civil” way to tell the writer to fellate himself because I think he can’t tell the difference between literal and figurative speech?

  65. Rich Rifkin

    A farily typical Associated Press story today about untreated schizophrenia: [quote]FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man convicted of going on a rampage which killed a pedestrian and injured four others has been sentenced to life in prison.

    The Fayetteville Observer reported that a jury sentenced 31-year-old Abdullah El-Amin Shareef shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. The jury could have sentenced Shareef to the death penalty.

    Shareef was found guilty one week ago of murder and seven other charges, including attempted murder, related to the 40-mile rampage between Fayetteville and Wake County.

    Shareef had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorneys have said [b]he suffered from untreated paranoid schizophrenia[/b] at the time, and psychologists testified Shareef was psychotic shortly after the incident.

    Prosecutors argued that Shareef made “conscious decisions” such as hitting men who were alone and by fleeing to avoid arrest.[/quote]

  66. Rich Rifkin

    This story ([url]http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/28/opinion/la-oe-meier28-2010feb28[/url]) was in the L.A. Times last month. It’s written by a woman whose 52-year-old brother has untreated schizophrenia. Nothing she says is news at all to anyone who has a relative with this disease: [quote] We knew something was wrong from the time my brother was in high school. He moved into the garage when he was 17; moved to the backcountry and made a lean-to for a home when he was 20. He graduated from high school, and he’s smart. But he wandered aimlessly for years. We blamed the drugs. It was the ’70s, and he smoked a lot of marijuana.

    But then he began to carry guns and talk about people coming after him. It became obvious this was something more serious than drug use.

    One day he came home delusional, ranting and raving, screaming at the silent TV in the den. The family sought help from the local mental health association. There, we found sympathy and information. [b]Like many others with serious mental illness, my brother refused to believe he was sick, refused treatment.[/b] When he told my dad he was going to shoot him, we called the sheriff and had him committed to a psychiatric facility.

    They kept him three weeks, diagnosed him with schizophrenia and put him on medication. Then they released him, with medicine to take and an appointment to see a county psychiatrist. He finished the pills they sent him home with, [b]but he refused to see the doctor and never returned to the county mental health department.[/b]

    That was more than 20 years ago. My brother remains resistant to treatment, fearful, broke. But he’s luckier than many with this devastating illness. Many people with schizophrenia live on the streets; he lives in a mobile home my mother bought for him after my dad died. [/quote] If you read the rest of the story, you will see this guy is not just raving mad, but he was also the victim of a violent crime and he has fallen victim to financial deals he could not quite understand due to his illness.

    Yet, had he been forced to take medications, going back now 30 years ago, he could have led a good, productive life. But the fact that all that time we have decided to let patients make this choice, whether they want to take the drugs or not, they spiral downhill as this lady’s brother has. And they die young, after leading miserable lives.

  67. boombox1985

    Everyone knows that those rules are never enforced………….

    Until the big cheese gets PEEVED…

    See the parallels?

    I like how you guys deleted my comment that called you guys fascists and said, “Stop banning my “”bawdy”” language, You’re not the Davis Municipal Code!”

  68. boombox1985

    If those Unconstitutional laws are kept in place, they can be whipped out at some police officer’s convenience, sort of how you guys so “conveniently” chose to block my comments.

  69. boombox1985

    Again, you missed the point, Greenwald.

    I PREFER to make my point using language that offends you. Why? Because my bawdy language reflects my opinion of your bawdy article.

  70. David M. Greenwald

    No, you missed the point, you are able to post here only as long as you adhere to the basic parameters of the rules. It is irrelevant how you prefer to express yourself.

  71. boombox1985

    Actually, the point I was making was about the things that I disagree with in your article, not whether or not I can post here. So, YOU missed the point.

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