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Commentary

Dumb Ass Hall of Fame: Sheriff Craig Rowland

This far into an election year, it is more than past time to revive the old “Dumb Ass Hall of Fame” feature. Why have I waited so long?  I’ve been busy with a lot of non-blog related work, for one thing. Then, given that the early election cycle was clogged up by foaming mouth idiots like Rick Santorum and the other 15 or so candidates that were jammed into the Republican Clown Car, followed by a month of “douchebags on the range” out at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (I’ve been there, by the way–it’s nice, you should go once all the piles of shit those guys left around are cleaned up), I was quite literally overwhelmed by idiocy. Time to get back on the horse–indeed, there is actually, at present, a backlog of of Dumb Asses waiting for enshrinement.

sheriff-craig-rowlandOur newest inductee is Bingham County (Idaho) County Sheriff Craig Rowland who, in response to a new piece of state legislation that creates a “a statewide system for collecting and tracking DNA evidence of sexual assault,” ranted that it was unnecessary for a statewide system because most rapes are false reports.

“I really believe the Legislature needs to take a strong look at allowing law enforcement to do their job and not try to dictate what we need to do. I think they’re trying to help, I really do,” Rowland said, in a televised interview, adding, “They need to let us decide if we’re going to send the kit and when we send the kits in. Because the majority of our rapes— not to say that we don’t have rapes, we do—but the majority of our rapes that are called in, are actually consensual sex. “

Where the hell do I start with this one?  Oh, how about the absolutely chilling effect this must have on victims of sexual assault not just in Bingham County, but anywhere? Victims of sexual assault stay quiet for numerous reasons, among them fear of their attacker coming after them again, in retribution, and fear of not being believed–and Rowland has just shown that those outcomes are entirely possible. A woman has to be thinking, “if I go and make a statement, and they don’t believe me, will the attacker be waiting for me when I go home?”

The new law mandates that all alleged rapes will be tested, and all kits will be submitted, while under the current system law enforcement agencies have the right to determine the necessity for a kit and, by extension, the validity of the assusations–without actually processing any evidence.  It’s simple to imagine all the stereotypes of powerful and/or connected alleged perpetrators benefiting from their status at the expense of less influential victims. And these hypothetical attackers wouldn’t necessarily be big shots. If I’m a cop, it is quite likely I’d give a benefit of a doubt to my cousin’s step son, or maybe the guy from my bowling team, or my preacher, or another cop.  Under the current system, I don’t have to do a rape kit–I can just say, “this allegation isn’t believable,” mark the sexual encounter (if I even accept that it happened) as consensual, and send everyone on their way. If the bill passes, the cops will be required to send the process and sent the kit.

Now, forget for just a moment about the effects on the victim, or about the fact that potential attackers who hear his words are likely to be emboldened by them, and think for a minute about a Sheriff who, in these days of police video scandals, is actually stupid enough to look into a camera and say, “most rape victims are lying about it.” He’s not exactly winning the self-awareness competition, is he? Even if he had data on his side, the guy has to be an utter idiot to not consider the attention he would get.  And yet he is The Law. Go figure.

Of course, after a world of media attention rained down on Rowland, he went back to television, briefly blamed the station for misrepresenting his words, then offered up a boilerplate apology in which he admits that his words were misinterpreted–note the passive voice–then complains that since the initial interview he and his family have been threatened and cyber-bullied.  Or so he says. In my opinion, most incidents of Dumb Ass Sheriffs alleging bullying are not true.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/state/idaho/article66150892.html#storylink=cpy

 

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Christmas Photo I Like sheer awesomeness Uncategorized

Skiing Santa

Have you been to Driggs, Idaho?  If you have, then you’ll know this is pretty much run of the mill stuff.  I pinched these from my friend Teresa, who lives there. The name of guy on the skis is Jesse Cooke, and right now he’s my hero. These pics will go viral momentarily…
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Photo I Took

Full of Hot Air

Two blogs I follow gave me balloon pictures this weekend–the closest I’ve come to divine inspiration in a while. Who am I to sass the gods of inspiration?  From the deep back days of film, some people I used to know, and some balloons.

Driggs, Idaho July 4, 1991

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Old Scans_552

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Uncategorized

On The Way To Table Mountain, 1996

It’s been a short couple of decades, and a long four years….

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Short/Micro/Flash Fiction

An Hour From Boise (another excerpt from an abandoned story)

Motorcycle_CopThere’s this pit of the stomach feeling, I know you know it, when you blaze over the crest of a slope on the highway with the Pogues blaring Streams of Whiskey from a dozen speakers and that big block Chevy 454 thundering backup, and the unmistakable profile of a Ford Police Interceptor crouches on the median like a sullen lion. There’s no time to brake, no place to go, the speedo jiggling somewhere north of ninety.  You reel it in causally, will he buy it that the beast got away from you—and your normally grandmother-like driving—and what about those hippie-dippy girls in the backseat, stinking of patchouli and peanut butter.  The pretty one, the one with the freckles in her cleavage and the ice blue eyes, is snoring like a drunk.  It’s likely she is, in fact, still drunk—and god knows what else.  You don’t even want to know what she’s got in her purse, or if she’s got a prescription for that, and if so, what for?  Maybe it won’t even matter.