Obligatory Ted Kennedy Post
The same can be said of this blog post.
Verbal extremism in defense of civil liberties is no vice
Only a few years ago, making meth required an elaborate lab — with filthy containers simmering over open flames, cans of flammable liquids and hundreds of pills. The process gave off foul odors, sometimes sparked explosions and was so hard to conceal that dealers often "cooked" their drugs in rural areas.Actually, the story I linked to about “shake-and-bake” meth doesn’t say anything about banning pseudoephedrine; that’s just me extrapolating past drug-fighting trends into the future.
But now drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The "shake-and-bake" approach has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine — an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws that have been adopted across the nation to restrict large purchases of some cold medication.
"Somebody somewhere said 'Wait this requires a lot less pseudoephedrine, and I can fly under the radar,'" said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.
Walt Staton, a member of the group No More Deaths, left full water bottles in December in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge for the illegal immigrants who routinely pass through the 18,000-acre refuge, according to court documents. A judge sentenced him Tuesday to 300 hours of picking up trash on public property and a year of probation, No More Deaths said in a written statement. He is also banned from the refuge during that time, the group said.The story goes on to list plausible-sounding reasons why individual water bottles really would hurt area wildlife, and later adds:
Although the case involved only a misdemeanor charge, both sides used the divisive issue of illegal immigration in their arguments; Staton's lawyer argued that Staton's actions were humanitarian, but the government said otherwise.
Mike Hawkes of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge said Thursday that although he had no issue with groups leaving water out for illegal immigrants, "there's ways to do it without leaving plastic jugs out there." …. Hawkes said refuge officials and members of No More Deaths had met and were trying to come up with methods that don't involve plastic bottles.So maybe a misdemeanor littering charge and sentence picking up more of the same is perfectly sensible. But the prosecutors’ rationale is scary:
In a sentencing memo, the federal prosecutors wrote that Staton's "actions are not about humanitarian efforts, but about protesting the immigration policies of the United States, and aiding those that enter illegally into the United States."True. It’s also true that in this case, “aid illegal aliens” is exactly synonymous with “save people from dying of thirst in the desert.” Whatever damage illegal immigrants might do to my country isn't as bad as what the prosecutors do to my country by making a federal case out of that.
Noting the phrase scrawled on many of the plastic water jugs -- "buena suerte," or "good luck" in Spanish -- the prosecutors said, "The obvious conclusion is that the defendant and No More Deaths wish to aid illegal aliens in their entry attempt."