Drinking Coffee in the Yard


One of the things that always bugs me about watching House Hunters1 is when people talk about how nice it will be to sit and drink coffee in the yard or on a balcony. Oh yes, this is lovely. I can imagine having my morning coffee here.

I’ve been drinking coffee every morning forever, but it’s never a sit-outside-and-enjoy production. I just drink coffee while I’m getting ready for the day. Today, though, I actually sat outside for a few minutes to enjoy my coffee in the yard. It was nice. I mean, it wasn’t so groundbreakingly amazing I’ll do it every day, but it was a pleasant way to spend a few minutes.

This is one of those weeks where I find out about a job opportunity that would result in a radical life change that might be kind of awesome. Move across the country, buy a house for practically nothing, live in a small town, practice law again, be closer to family. Does that sound good or stupid? I’m leaning more toward good, but it’s always hard to conceptualize the downsides of an idealized potential life that’s so different from your life now you can’t even really conceptualize any of it in a reliable manner. My biggest concern is how far we’d have to drive to get good beer. Not that far, it turns out, and we could always stock up.

You can live in a city and not do much because you don’t have much money. You can live in a small town and not do much even if you have money because there’s not much to do. The end result is kind of the same, right?

I’ve never been good at thinking about the future. Even if you asked me about my dreams, I’d be all, huh? Dreams? Even something more specific: Where do I want to be in 10 years? Hell, I’m lucky I know where I want to be tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s that I have a hard time delaying gratification (no future only now) or if it’s that I’ve always felt like it’s a little presumptuous to even assume you have a future (inside my head lurks a live-fast-die-young hypochondriac). And then you think about what you’d think about if you did think about dreams and how that fits with the dreams of your significant other and your kid, who doesn’t even know he has dreams yet but will one day, you hope.

Where are you and who are you and what are you doing when your dreams happen?
1. This is aside from the other things that bug me about watching House Hunters, which include but are not limited to people who are obsessed with granite countertops (Sidenote: Why do people call them countertops instead of counters? Is referring to them as counters a midwesternism? Does “top” really add anything? Is there secretly plywood under a granite veneer?) and stainless steel appliances, people who “need” man caves, people who look at and purchase McMansions, people who entertain (My parents used to call this “having company.”), people who have a billion dollars to spend on a house, people who talk about how perfectly good and cute kitchens and bathrooms will have to be gutted, and pretty much everything ever except other poor people buying hovels.

Homeless People Now Illegal in Denver

I don’t usually write about political stuff here, but the latest development in Denver has me so steaming mad I have to today. First of all, the civil unions bill was killed last night, which is gross. But what I want to talk about now is the fact that Denver pretty much made homeless people illegal.

I apologize in advance for how long this is going to be. In an effort to keep things as short as possible, here are some links where you can get more information about what’s going on, including a link to a pdf of the draft ordinance:

Here is the draft version of the ordinance:

Sec. 38-86.1. – Unauthorized camping on public or private property prohibited.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to camp upon any private property without the express written consent of the property owner or the owner’s agent, and only in such locations where camping may be conducted in accordance with any other applicable city law.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to camp upon any public property except in any location where camping has been expressly allowed by the officer or agency having the control, management and supervision of the public property in question.
(c) No law enforcement officer shall issue a citation, make an arrest or otherwise enforce this section against any person unless:
(1) The officer orally requests or orders the person to refrain from the alleged violation of this section and, if the person fails to comply after receiving the oral request or order, the officer tenders a written request or order to the person warning that if the person fails to comply the person may be cited or arrested for a violation of this section; and
(2) The officer attempts to ascertain whether the person is in need of medical or human services assistance, including but not limited to mental health treatment, drug or alcohol rehabilitation, or homeless services assistance. If the officer determines that the person may be in need of medical or human services assistance, the officer shall make reasonable efforts to contact and obtain the assistance of a designated human service outreach worker, who in turn shall assess the needs of the person and, if warranted, direct the person to an appropriate provider of medical or human services assistance in lieu of the person being cited or arrested for a violation of this section. If the officer is unable to obtain the assistance of a human services outreach worker, if the human services outreach worker determines that the person is not in need of medical or human services assistance, or if the person refuses to cooperate with the direction of the human services outreach worker, the officer may proceed to cite or arrest the person for a violation of this section so long as the warnings required by paragraph (1) of this subsection have been previously given.
(d) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Camp” means to reside or dwell temporarily in a place, with shelter, and conduct activities of daily living such as eating, sleeping or the storage of personal possessions in such place. The term “shelter” includes, without limitation, any tent, tarpaulin, lean-to, sleeping bag, bedroll, blankets, or any form of cover or protection from the elements other than clothing.
(2) “Designated human service outreach worker” shall mean any person designated in writing by the manager of the Denver Department of Human Services to assist law enforcement officers as provided in subsection (c), regardless of whether the person is an employee of the department of human services.
(3) “Public property” means, by way of illustration, any street, alley, sidewalk, pedestrian or transit mall, bike path, greenway, or any other structure or area encompassed within the public right-of-way; any park, parkway, mountain park, or other recreation facility; or any other grounds, buildings, or other facilities owned or leased by the City or by any other public owner, regardless of whether such public property is vacant or occupied and actively used for any public purpose.

My main problem here is that the law, as it currently stands (with no additional resources added to the Denver community as a result of the law) does nothing to solve the problem of homelessness. It just says Denver doesn’t want to deal with homeless people other than to allow for their arrest if the police feel like it.

A Hypothetical

The law is also, if I can be blunt (and I can), a stupid law. Let’s say a police officer finds a homeless guy (we’ll call him Ralph) sleeping on the 16th Street Mall at 2:00 a.m. Here’s what the ordinance says should happen. First, the officer orally tells Ralph to stop being homeless on the 16th Street Mall. I suppose Ralph could comply in one of two ways — he could magically obtain a home on the spot, or he could leave the 16th Street Mall and go be homeless somewhere else. Option 1 is impossible and option 2 doesn’t solve the problem because Ralph is still homeless. If he fails to comply, the officer gives him something in writing telling him that if he fails to comply, he may be cited or arrested. This is great because we totally need to use more paper, and if someone didn’t magically obtain a home on the spot or go be homeless somewhere else when verbally requested to do so, I’m sure receiving the same request in written form will make all the difference.

Then the real fun begins. The officer gets to “attempt[] to ascertain whether the person is in need of medical or human services assistance, including but not limited to mental health treatment, drug or alcohol rehabilitation, or homeless services assistance.” Before continuing with our hypothetical, I have some questions. Why does the officer just have to attempt? Shouldn’t she have to actually ascertain? What standards does she use when attempting to ascertain whether Ralph needs medical or human services assistance? Why doesn’t the ordinance provide these standards? Will there be standards (If so, who makes them?), or does an officer just get to use her own judgment? By the way, I hope serious crimes aren’t happening while this attempt to ascertain business is going on, because this ordinance doesn’t provide extra funding to the police to help with the extra work they’re going to have.

So, let’s say the officer determines that Ralph may be in need of human services assistance. Now she “shall make reasonable efforts to contact and obtain the assistance of a designated human service outreach worker.” What are reasonable efforts? Assuming she, through reasonable efforts, contacts a designated human service outreach worker, that worker “shall assess the needs of the person and, if warranted, direct the person to an appropriate provider of medical or human services assistance in lieu of the person being cited or arrested for a violation of this section.” How, exactly, does that work? Let’s call our designated human service outreach worker Bob, because that’s fewer letters. Does Bob make this assessment based only on what the officer tells him? Does the cop say, hey, Ralph, come use my phone so you can talk to Bob so Bob can assess your needs? Does the cop take Ralph to wherever Bob works so Ralph can stand in line with all the other homeless people who have been rounded up that night? How much time does this take? If Bob determines that Ralph needs human service assistance and directs him to an appropriate provider of human service assistance, does Ralph have to go right then even though the provider probably isn’t open in the middle of the night? While waiting at the door, will Ralph be approached by police and told to stop being homeless again, or does Ralph get a free pass for the rest of that night?

Now, let’s say our officer is unable to obtain the assistance of Bob or any other human service outreach workers. (How many human service outreach workers are working in the middle of the night in Denver every day? I assume [just kidding, I don't really] there are several, because this ordinance does not provide for additional human service outreach workers.) Let’s say Bob is in the bathroom and doesn’t answer his phone, and any other human service outreach workers are busy with other homeless people. In that case, the officer is free to arrest Ralph. Yay, Ralph goes to jail. This is great because Denver is rolling in extra tax dollars and jail space. If Bob determines that Ralph is not in need of medical or human service assistance, or Ralph refuses to cooperate with what Bob tells him to do, Ralph can be arrested. This is great for the reasons listed above.

I think it’s fair to interpret this ordinance as making homeless people illegal in Denver (compliance requires one to stop being homeless or leave the city or, I suppose if you want to get technical, sleeping outside with no shelter other than the clothes you’re wearing and no possessions you couldn’t store on your body, which would be dangerous in the winter and pretty much impossible), which I think is completely disgusting. I also think it’s unfair to require homeless people to sleep in shelters. And it’s ridiculous to have this law on the books while there is not nearly enough shelter space for the homeless people of Denver and there are not nearly enough resources to deal with homelessness. The right way to do things would’ve been to set up the resources and then, if necessary, start talking about making a law.

Support for the Anti-Homeless Law

As a side note, every comment I’ve seen on the internet that’s in favor of the law has been something like this:

  • I own a business and sometimes homeless people sleep by it. (This is especially rich coming from restaurant owners who opened restaurants in areas where many homeless people have been sleeping for years.) This makes me and my customers uncomfortable.
  • I see homeless people on the street. Sometimes they talk to me and ask me for money. This makes me uncomfortable.

Holy crap. You know what I do when a homeless person asks me for money? I generally decline to give him or her any money because I don’t have any. Then I go on my way. If it’s an especially egregious interaction, I might complain to Ben when I get home or write a blog post bitching about it. Because here’s the thing. Unlike the people who support this law because homeless people make them uncomfortable, I don’t believe I’m entitled to live in a world where nothing ever makes me feel uncomfortable. Hell, if I got to make things that make me uncomfortable declared illegal, people who support this ordinance would be illegal.

Let’s Talk About Albus Brooks

Here’s a fun (to me) tangent. To try to get an understanding of where he was coming from when drafting and sponsoring this ordinance, I spent some time on my City Councilman Albus Brooks’s Facebook page. I ended up becoming even more disgusted. The most recent post was this:

Tonight was not about winners or losers, it was about beginning a long process of providing smart services to individuals that need it the most. Time and patient application, not rhetoric, will reveal the true nature of this ordinance. Now it’s time to begin working on securing support for the next step-a 24 hour resource center.

I have so many questions. Shouldn’t the true nature of this ordinance have been revealed before it was passed? Shouldn’t Albus Brooks have begun working on securing support for the next step, a 24-hour resource center, before working to get this law passed? Shouldn’t he maybe have not only secured support but also built/established this center before working to get this law passed?

Here’s an exchange from the comments under the above entry:

Rachel: When I spoke at East High the day after you did, a girl said that you made the bill seem like a “bowl full of cherries” and she was dead on. Sketchy politicking, a lack of knowledge about the population this will affect, and a lack of humility in really listening to those who work with them. Bringing diverse communities together? When you have folks like Charlie Brown backing you on issues such as this, you know you have lost your roots.

Albus: Rachel, that was one girl, how about the whole class. You only get half the story, your view is flawed. To be apart of transformation you need to see the whole picture. Sad that we can’t work together because of pride. Smh

First of all, it’s a part. Second, I have more questions. Why does he think she only has half the story? Why hasn’t he told the other half? Why does he assume her view is flawed because she disagrees with him? How does Albus Brooks expect anyone to see the whole picture when he doesn’t even seem to know what it is? To what pride is he referring? How did he determine that they can’t work together? It sounds to me like he’s making a personal attack on Rachel. Also, I can’t take you seriously if you use “Smh” in a professional capacity. But hey, because Albus Brooks thinks personal attacks are cool, I think Albus Brooks is a dismissive, patronizing, smug elitist who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Scrolling through earlier entries on his Facebook page (which he lists on Twitter as his website, so I assume it functions as an official site), I discovered that when people left respectful comments that are critical of what was then the proposed law, he gave responses like this (extra assholery bolded):

I am disappointed you did not call our office and seek to understand what was being offered before you jump to conclusions. 1. When this bill is released it will be accompanied with 300-350 bed(please call me so I can give you detail…s 7203378888) 2. New services to the top 200 district court offenders ( which are all homeless) 3. We are currently in talks with the Mayors office to develop a 24 hr shelter through a public private partnership run by a non profit the first 24 hour resource center for homeless in this city. Lastly, I had businesses support me, but a GROUNDSWELL of D8 community support, would be happy to show you :) .
I am surprised at you, I thought you would at least call or email me to find out the facts before you jump to conclusions like everyone else. First i want to know what are you doing as an engaged residents is doing to get people off of the streets? It will take a the community but the community has not been engaged in what is actually going on there are only few advocates actually working on solutions and MANY naysayers throwing daggers. This is what I am doing with this bill 1. We opened up a church in our district house women who are homeless nightly 2. Waivers to increase shelter space in two specific shelters. 3. Working in conjunction with the Mayors office to develop a 24 hour resource center for homeless individuals.

The way he responds to concerned citizens is completely unacceptable. It’s not their job to call his office to hear his explanation. It’s his job to get his explanation out there. He sounds defensive and, frankly, a little creepy. The smiley face doesn’t help. His plans are vague and there is no evidence that any actual work has been completed. Where are the 300-350 beds (I added that “s” for him)? What are the new services to the top 200 offenders? Being “currently in talks” means nothing has actually happened. Having the support of businesses and a GROUNDSWELL of D8 community support does not negate the fact that some people disagree with this law or do anything to substantively address the issues. Some of the people who oppose this law, like me, live in D8. Also, asking a concerned citizen what he’s doing to get people off the streets is unacceptable and makes Albus Brooks look defensive. It also makes me think that if I ever contact Albus Brooks with a concern, he’ll just ask me what I’ve done to solve the problem, which is not really what I’m looking for from my Councilman. If the community has not been engaged, why hasn’t he been trying to get them engaged?

Finally, I respectfully suggest that he hire a professional editor.

I considered sending my concerns to Albus Brooks directly, but I don’t see the point of giving him the chance to say that he’s disappointed in me for forming an opinion based on the information he’s put out there or to virtually shake his head at me. Albus, you’re welcome to contact me should you like to discuss my concerns further.

All that said, maybe there is good news for the homeless people of Denver. I’m working on finding out his address (as you may have guessed, he did not return to the thread to post it) so I can let everyone know they’re invited to stay at Albus Brooks’s place.


Do you ever just want to

pack up all your shit and move somewhere?

I get the urge every, well, every once in a while. The last time it happened was 2003, which was also the year I started blogging. The first post I ever wrote, on 1/20/03, included this:

I’m listing a “Random Oregon town” at the top of my entry because I am convinced that what my life needs is a MOVE to someplace completely different from where I am now. After studying maps endlessly and jumping from Connecticut to Washington to Tennessee, we have just about settled on Oregon. The only question now is WHERE in Oregon.

(Sorry about the ALLCAPS; I really hate that.) I remember those days. Ben and I were living in a fantastic Oak Park condo but were poor as shit. I’d (stupidly) gone from a federal clerkship to being a pubic defender, which was a 50% pay cut (instead of being a sane person who goes from a federal clerkship to being an associate at a big firm, which doubles or triples your salary, or at least did back then). Being poor as shit eventually made me tired and bitter, which made me see cracks in the glory of the greater Chicagoland area. I started noticing the divide between rich and poor, which grew larger and larger, with me caught on the wrong side blah blah carried downstream blah blah powerless blah blah no more glorious lunch hours spent at Marshall Field’s, rest its soul, eating something delicious for lunch and buying whatever I wanted. I cried a lot and felt stuck and sick of it and wanted to get the hell out.

After Oregon came Washington, and we’d all but settled on Bellingham (I wanted to go somewhere smaller) before I realized that, because of my fear of flying, that was probably a bad idea because we’d never see our families because who wants to drive from Washington to Chicago and back. Colorado, we eventually figured, is different and pretty (I really wanted pretty) but not so far we couldn’t drive home for visits. We came out once to pick an area to live and again to find a place. Then we packed up all our shit and moved from Oak Park, IL to Nederland, CO, with no idea what we’d do after we got there.

I’d be lying a little bit if I said I didn’t sort of have the urge again these days. Sometimes I think about moving back to Illinois. The problem with Illinois, though, is that you (well, we) are Chicago people more than we’re Illinois people, and a problem with Chicago is that it’s big. One thing Denver has taught me is that it’s okay to be irrationally unwilling to deal with a commute. (Our entire life here, as Ben is wont to say, exists in a 5-mile radius.) We’re not going to find jobs and a nearby place to live that doesn’t suck in Chicago. We’d be spending too much time in cars or trains or whatever, and this is probably dumb, but that’s a really big deal to me. And it’s expensive — mad, crazy expensive compared to Denver.

This is for sale.

photo from listing website

Here’s where I get crazy, though. I find a random job for which I’m probably qualified. This random job isn’t in Chicago. It’s in a tiny little town somewhere in the middle of the state. As part of my due diligence, I find that houses in this town are cheap as shit. The job’s salary would allow us to live like low-level rock stars in this town, as much as you can live like low-level rock stars in a tiny little town somewhere in the middle of Illinois. (Here is where I understand my ultimate life paradox, which is that I can live where there’s lots of stuff to do and not have enough money to do any of it or I can live where there’s nothing to do and have money to do all of it. Either way, I’m not doing much of anything, so does it really matter?)

Then I find a 100-year-old church that is zoned for residential use for sale for, and I shit you not, less than $50,000. I could be the sugar mama attorney (as much as you can be a sugar mama attorney in a tiny little town….) and Ben can stay home with Soren and fix up the church into the world’s most awesome home and write a hilarious and witty how-to blog about the whole process and we’ll make so much money attorneying and church-fixing-upping-internetting eventually we’ll quit that shit and open a vegetarian restaurant/brewery (we already know what we’ll call our IPA), but shit that’ll have to be somewhere else because I reckon there isn’t much use for that sort of thing in a tiny little town.

This isn’t the kind of move that would be really practical for us. As much as I’d like to think we’d be seen as the town’s amusing, offbeat, hippie family, we’d probably piss everyone off with all our dogs and our requests that Soren not be given meat at Bobby’s birthday party. We’re more the kind of weird that works in a big city, I think. In a big city, nobody notices how many dogs you have, for example, unless you do roller derby and have eyebrow tattoos and your horse-sized dogs escape all the time and scare the neighborhood school children even though they’re actually very nice dogs, in which case you might run into a problem every now and then. I’ve always secretly wanted to be quirky small-town weird, whatever that is because I don’t even know and honestly I have some kind of stereotypical Stars Hollow shit in my head, but I’m just not.

I’d be lying a little bit if I said I didn’t kind of dream of a world where we live in a 100-year-old renovated church and I walk two blocks to my little attorney job in a little town. But practical me knows it’s the kind of thing I should look at and not touch, a crush but not the kind of relationship for which you move across the country.

I’m retired!

Today, I retired from the practice of law.

I know, right? Doesn’t that make me sound like a septuagenarian who got tired of shuffling down to the courthouse every day to inquire whether it pleases the court? In reality, it’s not so glamorous (if being a septuagenarian who got tired of shuffling down to the courthouse every day could be considered glamorous). The truth is, it probably won’t make much of a difference in anything.

When we moved to Colorado in 2003, I had been practicing law in Illinois for four years. I was one year shy of qualifying for reciprocity, which means that if I wanted to practice law in Colorado, I’d have to take the bar exam here.

I’m not gonna lie. Taking the bar exam was my least favorite thing I’ve ever done in life. It was awful. And it’s not like I didn’t enjoy studying for law-related stuff. Honestly, and not to brag (although I think it’s stupid to brag about shit like that), I kicked ass in law school. Shit, I graduated summa cum laude and was third in my class. (Full disclosure: I went to a low-ranked school.) That’s not representative of someone who doesn’t like to study law-related stuff. Hell, I loved studying law-related stuff. I was remarkably, freakishly, dorkily fond of law school. I enjoyed the gamesmanship as much as anything. It wasn’t just that you had to know the material. You had to know the material and you had to express what you knew in the manner each professor wanted to hear it (which implies that you also had to figure out what each professor wanted to hear and how he or she wanted to hear it). It was like a big puzzle and I loved the hell out of every second of it. My favorite was the professor who was incredibly hard on everybody. He was the stereotypical “mean” law school professor. One time, I raised my hand and said something in class and in response, he paused and then said, “Oh my God. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” I loved that shit, not because I have poor self-esteem or enjoy abuse, but because it was a game and it was a challenge. I rocked the hell out of every exam I took in his classes, and one time his comments to me were so fantastic (if I recall correctly, he might have drawn a smiley face) I had them hanging on my refrigerator until I graduated. I threw out most of my law school stuff, but I still have that page somewhere.

So you’d think I wouldn’t mind the bar exam, because it’s the biggest game of all. There are multiple choice questions designed to confuse you into picking the wrong answer. It’s incredibly stressful and awful and like it was designed to mess with your head. I must not have been nearly as bad ass as I thought I was, because the bar exam seriously messed with my head, which is stupid because I knew that’s what it was designed to do and I let it happen. I was powerless to resist its fuckitude. I remember taking the bar review class, which was bad but it wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it was spending hours and hours in the library, reviewing shit over and over and over and then going home and seeing all the assholes playing on the beach (I studied downtown and lived in Andersonville, so trips to and from studying often involved Lake  Shore Drive). I remember freaking out and bursting into tears for no reason. I remember thinking that if I failed (and there was always someone on Law Review who failed and holy crap I didn’t want to be that person), I’d have to find a new line of work because I was not going through this shit again. After the test, I went out to a bar with a bunch of peeps from law school and I couldn’t even be relieved it was over, because I was so afraid I failed. Then you have to wait months to get the results, and boy that’s awesome.

There was no way I was going through that shit again, so I decided that if I moved to a different state, I just wouldn’t practice law. And that was that. (Of course, I didn’t really think about what I’d actually, you know, do, so that was kind of stupid and resulted in some woeful underemployment before I went back to school to become a teacher and then found my current job.) But hey, making emotional decisions and acting on them without adequate thought or planning is how I roll, and roll I did, all the way to Nederland, Colorado.

Since moving to Colorado, I’ve registered as “inactive” every year and paid my $105 for the privilege of, well, nothing. I usually completely forget about registering and paying every year, which means I then pay another $25 for each month I’m late (as you can tell, I’m one of those people who’s kind of book smart but not so smart in any other way).

Today, I received an “urgent” email from the Illinois attorney registration people, informing me that, once again, I’m late and I need to hurry up and pay my shit before I’m removed from the master roll of attorneys (which is some bad shit, because if you’re removed from the master roll of attorneys and you don’t get back on and pay for all the months you were late, you have to take the bar exam if you ever want to practice law again). As you may know, I do not wish to take the bar exam again. And I like being on the master roll of attorneys. Wait, that should be capitalized. I’m on the Master Roll of Attorneys, bitches. Recognize.

Anyway, today I noticed you can change your status to “retired.” If you’re retired, you don’t have to register every year or pay $105. The only bad thing is that, if I ever want to change to active status, I’ll have to pay the active attorney fee (which is $200-something) for each year I was on retired status. Well, okay. I can live with that, because I hope I can presume that, if I ever move back to Illinois to practice law I’d have a job that pays me enough for this not to be an undue hardship. Right?

I just hope AARP doesn’t find me.

My thoughts on Willie D. Clark

When I worked as a criminal defense attorney, I represented many clients who could be considered “bad guys.” I had clients who committed theft, stalking, battery, and burglary; clients who got caught driving drunk three or four times; clients who were registered sex offenders. Of all those people, there was only one time I actually felt a little creeped out and like my client might actually be a bad guy — this was the time the prosecutor showed me pictures of what my client did to his girlfriend. (I used a coping technique I developed that time I tried to volunteer at the Anti Cruelty Society and they make you go though orientation, which involves watching a video of people euthanizing animals. This coping technique involves pretending you are looking at something you don’t want to see while actually looking just off to the side so you don’t actually see it.) The prosecutor was trying to rattle me before we presented our arguments on sentencing for a probation violation to the judge, and it totally would’ve worked had I actually looked at the pictures. (For the record, I don’t think it’s cool for a dude to beat his girlfriend. I do, however, strongly believe in the Constitution and the rights of individuals accused of crimes, especially their right to counsel.)

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Why an animal abuser deserves more jail time than a guy who kills someone.

Today I had to turn off the local sports radio station because it pissed me off so much. The discussion went something like this:

Michael Vick abused some dogs and got sent to prison for two years.

JR Smith was recklessly driving and killed a guy and got sent to jail for 30 days.

Therefore, the criminal justice system says dogs > humans.

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