Monday, January 22, 2007

News of the Day, Monday, January 22, 2007

Quick hits, running out of hours in the day, plans to deal with that on the way, more news shortly! Until then, let's alert you to these good items:
  • Good news, Mexico cracking down on drug lords. Bad news, using the military in big way for first time in its history, adding a new element to that always politically stable country.
  • A legislator in KS wants higher penalties for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. Raises interesting question of how illegal immigrants can report to probation or parole officers that I hadn't thought of before.
  • MS seems to be having good luck with its 14 adult and 4 juvie drug courts, at least according to the state drug court coordinator.
  • They need more prosecutors in SC to handle DUI cases since the police officers authorized to act as prosecutors in these magistrate cases feel, sort of, you know, not like real attorneys. The problem? Well, money. You surprised?
  • Life's just never easy. WV has been using methadone programs. Now overdose deaths from that drug are increasing. Now what? . . . Seriously, if you have any great ideas, send them to them.
  • Finally, your science lesson for the day. First, two articles on studies of altruism, one on the selection advantages that might have seen to spread of genes that favored altruistic behavior and one on identification of the area of the brain that seems to determine how altruistic each of us is. Not corrections sentencing, you say? Just better info on the determinants of whether we think of others in our actions or just take everything for ourselves? Well, I guess you're right. Sorry. No way we'd ever try to monkey with the mechanisms they're looking at, for good or bad. Second, research on the multiple genetic traits that seem to have to blend to produce schizophrenia and their possible effects on physical traits, like elements of facial features. Given that prisons and jails are now our state mental institutions in most states, this has direct application clearly to us, as the mental health folks in our dept of corrections in OK confirm. (I'm a little afraid, though, because they're saying that the physical trait most indicative of the illness has something to do with the big toe. I'm not sure I want to know, but, if I find out, and don't puke, I'll let you know.)

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