Thursday, December 24, 2015

Once Fallen's Christmas Wishlist

Hello all,

Whether or not you are religious (I know not all of us are), this is still the time of the year most of us spend time with family and share gifts with others. I'm not crazy about making requests, but I still have an operation to run, and even on Christmas day, I'll still be "on the clock." With that in mind, there are a few things I would like from my followers. I guess you could call it a Christmas wishlist. 

First and foremost, the plans for #OpGetSMART, the Anti-Registry Movement's Washington DC event on April 5-6, is pretty much set in stone. As with most projects, #OpGetSMART will only be successful if we invest money and manpower into this event. I want everyone willing to attend to come to DC, and if you can't, then consider donating to the event. Brochures and other props to be used for the event cost money, after all, and we also hope to help offset some of the costs of being in DC. If you want more information, including obtaining a copy of the Field Guide for the event, email me at If you are attending the event, plan early because we are hosting the event during a peak time for DC traveling. 

Second, because December is a very slow time of the year, I'm extending the Job & Welfare Survey for another month. At this point, I've had 155 completed survey, but only 12 of those were completed this month. That's understandable, since the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is extremely slow. Thus, i'm asking that you share this very important survey, which will help better advise folks on employment issues. Here is the link to the survey:

In a little over a week, voting for the 2015 Shiitake Awards will begin. This is my favorite project so I hope that voter turnout will be good. 

That is a short list, but I never feel I ask for much. I feel 2015 was a year full of disappointments (not with the cause but with the social climate), as it seems the level of sex offender legislation increased over previous years, and with International Megan's Law, residency law battles in Wisconsin and NY state, the blowback against releasing illegally detained "patients" at the MN civil commitment centers, and Michigan looking to reinstate "child safety zones" all looming on the horizon, we need to step up our game in 2016. Who is with me?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Muslim and Sex Offender Panics: NIMBYism as the Common Bond

(Note: For those unfamiliar with the term, NIMBY is an acronym for "Not In My Back Yard.")

It has not yet two full weeks since the mass shooting in San Bernardino, and already there had been a spate of NIMBYism regarding people from Muslim-controlled countries. Even before the shooting, America was already in full NIMBY mode after the attacks on Paris. Because one of the Paris shooters was suspected of entering France posing as a Syrian refugee, a number of US states have vowed not to accept any Syrian refugees. Toupeed Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has made waves with his vow to ban Muslims from the US, a move that has a lot of support among Republican voters. Even Trump's critics have openly expressed their fears of Muslims. 

Just look at this New York Times article on American fears about Muslims in the wake of the recent shooting. Beverly Swanburg, 73, from Milford, NH said, “We should not let any more in, any more immigrants from Mexico or Muslim... [They] went to the shooting range the day before. Somebody there should have looked at them as Muslims at a shooting range and paid a little more attention.” Darlene Linares, 19, a supporter of the Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders in San Bernardino,  added that her mother, who immigrated from El Salvador in 1995, was on board with Mr. Trump. “My mom actually agrees,” she said. “She thinks that Muslims are all the same.” Arleigh Clemens, 78, a retired construction worker from North Liberty, Iowa, used a mathematical analogy. “Let’s say you have a jar with 10,000 M&Ms, and only 10 of them are poisoned,” he said. “Would you eat them?” Our fears border on the absurd, as MSN reports that a growing number of Americans now fear "Jihad Brides," foreign-born brides who support the Islamic State group could marry Americans to come to the U.S. to carry out extremist missions.

These fearful Americans are also doing whatever they can to make Muslims in America as uncomfortable as possible. The NY Times reported one Muslim woman who shared her story of being harassed and insulted in a grocery store on Facebook had nearly 300 replies, some from other American Muslims on their experiences with bias — being called a “raghead” or a “Christian killer,” being almost run over, being told to go home, as if home were not here. Many offered solidarity and solace.

Perhaps the scariest response to Muslim Panic has been the presence of armed citizen groups like the  so-called "Three Percenters," armed "Patriots" that have been blamed for threats and vandalism against lawmakers, police and Muslims alike. An MSN article stated the following about these groups: "Followers appear to consist mainly of white, male, conservative gun owners who believe the nation has been pushed to a tipping point by socialists in government aiming to disarm them, strip their constitutional rights and take their property, according to groups that track anti-government movements." Their founder, a former militia member named Michael B. "Mike" Vanderboegh, stresses what he calls "armed civil disobedience." Ironically, people fearing their own loss of rights, particularly gun ownership rights, are quite content with trampling on the rights of others. (As an aside, I have yet to see any real push to take away the right to own firearms. Those folks complaining about gun rights are complaining about background checks and gun restrictions in government buildings and private businesses.)

In Mesa, AZ, similar acts of NIMBYism were conducted against that other group of which Americans tend to share an equally unhealthy fear-- sex offenders. In response to a halfway house for registered citizens opening up in the neighborhood, a group of about 50 white, middle class neighbors organized to attempt to chase them out of the neighborhood. In a news story for ABC 15, Mesa resident Chris Vogt stated, "We are going to make them as uncomfortable as possible." In the subsequent protest against the halfway house, one of the protesters trespassed on the property and started shouting at the reporter and the woman running the halfway house, shouting, Time to go!" When asked to leave the property, the old, white man with the Duck Dynasty beard angrily retorted, "Kiss my royal [unintelligible by I assume he said rectum]." The news report also added “We have verified a zoning violation for operation of a group care facility in a single family residence, without proper zoning entitlement,” said Darren Gerard with the county. Thus, the program is likely to be shut down before it even begins. 

I can't help but to notice the glaring similarities between these two forms of NIMBYism. In both instances, a series of isolated incidents have raised public fears to a level of absurdity matched only by the reactionary responses to this rare threat. People equate Muslim with "terrorist" just as people equate registered citizen with "pedophile." The typical response is various forms of NIMBYism. About 30 states, primarily in the Midwestern and Southern states, have declared they will do all they can to exclude Syrian Refugees from relocating to their states. About 30 states have some form of residency restriction laws, again concentrated in Midwestern and Southern states. We have illegally detained suspected terrorists indefinitely in offshore centers, while states like Minnesota have detained a number of convicted sex offenders who have served out their sentences but have been declared a threat to the public based on an arbitrary system. Protesters harass Muslims; protesters harass registered citizens. People have attacked Muslims and burn down Mosques; people have murdered registered citizens and have even burned down their homes. People want reduced civil rights for Muslim immigrants and visitors; people also push for reduced rights for registered citizens. Muslims and registered citizens alike are unwanted in many communities. Of course, we don't talk about Muslims being raped in prison with glee the way we do a sex offender.

In this country, "stereotypical kidnappings," the event we fear most and the event we use to justify these tough-on-sex-crime laws, are very rare events. In this country, "stereotypical terrorism" is an extremely rare event, and yet, the entirety of the latest Republican presidential debate focused on the "threat of terrorism." While we focus so much of our fears and public policies on these two extremely rare events, issues of greater importance, such as police brutality (far more Americans have been killed by cops than by terrorists and sex offenders combined), are not adequately being addressed. Problems do not get resolved by allowing fear to cloud judgment.

I know many of you are reluctant to make comparisons like this, but, to use a famous quote from the Star Wars movie, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." But law-abiding and peaceful Muslims, folks labeled as "sex offenders," and a host of other unpopular groups in America have felt the effects of this philosophy. While the quote may have been uttered by a fictional character, the words are a harsh reality.

Muslims are taking to the streets to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices espoused by the American people. I hope registered citizens and their loved ones learn to do the same. On April 5 & 6, 2016, the Anti-Registry Movement will be at the steps of the US Supreme Court, the NCMEC, and the SMART Office to educate the public and politicians in an innovative way, and we invite you to join us. If you cannot, support the cause by donating to the upcoming #OpGetSMART. You can donate directly to Once Fallen through PayPal at or mail donations to Derek Logue, 8258 Monon Ave. #3, Cincinnati, OH 45216. (You don't have to specify it is for #OpGetSMART, as all donations I receive between now and April will be for the event.)

If we don't fight for ourselves, who will fight for us? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT: Once Fallen DOES NOT Endorse, support, or promote ANY books by Shaun Webb

It is not often I make a public statement concerning an individual but I feel I must. Once Fallen has tried to promote individuals who write books or make videos or design websites and the like. Let's be honest, not everyone has the talent to write books or make videos or run websites. But I try to promote people even when their work does not appeal to me. 

Shaun Webb is a self-published author and has written a few books, including A Motion For Innocence, Behind the Brick, and Lost Youth: A True Story. Like most people who solicit me for possible inclusion of their books onto my website, I generally ask for a copy of their work to review. I have read all three of Shaun's books I mentioned, and while they were nothing worth writing home about, I offered a favorable review in return for the free books because I figured a few of you could overlook the lack of writing talent and support a fellow registrant in need. 

HOWEVER, recently Shaun became upset with me over a trifling issue, and because of his recent online behavior (aligning yourself with the likes of Valerie "Valigator" Parkhurst is not helping your cause), I rescinded my generous offer of a favorable review. Shaun has a history of harassing anyone who posts negative reviews, and has been banned from Goodreads numerous times. 

As of this moment, Once Fallen does not endorse, support or promote any of Shaun Webb's books. I would not have felt the need to state this publicly except for the fact he sent a nasty message stating he was going to continue to use my name and likeness to promote his books. DEREK LOGUE AND ONCE FALLEN DOES NOT ENDORSE, PROMOTE, OR SUPPORT THE WORKS OF SHAUN WEBB. 

If you see any favorable reports an any of Shaun Webb's books using the name Derek W. Logue (or any variation of my name), or as (or any variation of my organizational name), please send an email informing me of this development at

ADDENDUM: It seem Shaun Webb does not understand the concept of "Fair Use," but using one's name and likeness for commercial purposes does NOT fall under Fair Use. That is yet another example of his ineptitude in regards to legal issues. I expect nothing less from a guy who can't even understand the difference between "vial" (a glass container) and "vile" (people like Shaun and his friend Valigator).

Shaun Webb has been added to the AZ Unites anti-vigilante blog. Fellow activists, be warned, don't trust him. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Derek's Day in DC

On Tuesday, 10/27 and Wednesday, 10/28, I went to Washington DC to scout locations for the upcoming operation known as Operation Get SMART, an event to be held the first week of April 2016 as well as shoot video for a couple of upcoming projects. (It was also a bit of an early birthday present for myself, a I turned 39 on October 31).

Since Dennis Sobin from the Safe Streets Arts Foundation offered a hand and has already posted a video of my trip online, I thought I would discuss my trip. My primary goal was to scout the locations of the April operation. The theme for the ad is calling in the Calvary and it is time we take chaaaarge on DC. After all, John Walsh and the legislators have declared war on registered citizens and their families long ago, and it is time we fight back. 

After talking with Dennis Sobin, we made plans to visit the US Senate offices, stating with my senator, Rob Portman, who was among the first to meet John Walsh as he is lobbying for more funding for the Adam Walsh Act. I, for one, have not tried lobbying in Washington so I figured I'd try to meet a senator or two. If Johnny can do it, I can at least give it a whirl. 

It was actually Dennis's idea that I wear the Calvary uniform (I rented it only to cut a promo for OpGetSMART), but it turned out to be a good idea, It certainly got attention, and it became a talking point to curious legislative aides in each of the 16 offices. Dennis decided to film the experience in hopes that my fellow activists will find the experience encouraging. Keep in mind this was a rather spur-of-the-moment decision so I had little preparation time. Dennis printed out some of those "Cost of the AWA" brochures from the SOSEN website for me and we rode to the Russell Senate Building to start with Sen. Portman. 

You can see Dennis's video here:

Senators are busy folks but their offices have secretaries or legislative aides manning the office at all times. With cameras rolling, I pitched my idea to abolish the AWA, or at least defund it, and offered a brochure. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until I reached the office of VA Senator Mark Warner. The staff there were a bit standoff-ish but I left my brochure and moved on to the next office. It was then we were approached by two Capitol Cops. They are like the Keystone Cops but they are at the Capitol, so lets call them the Kapitol Kops. 

So the Kapitol Kops stopped us because one of the guys in the Virginia Office apparently took offense to Sobin filming the meetings. After all, they asked him to leave and after they told him to stop filming, she stood outside the office while I talked to them. They must have been stalling me to get them there. These Kapitol Kops weren't the worst I've seen but I was very unimpressed with the black female cop. She asked me why I was there, and so I offered the same statement I was giving everyone that day, that I wanted the Adam Walsh Act repealed in favor of evidence-based laws. The female cop then made the snide remark "That'll  never happen," so I reminded her that if laws were always subject to popular opinion, slavery would never have been abolished. It seems she got the message. 

Dennis Sobin got the names of the Kapitol Kops and promised to contact the ACLU about it. Sobin left to attend other meetings so I stayed behind to continue my mission to visit the offices of US Senators and pass out brochures. 

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful as I visited the rest of the offices before I ran out of fliers. Aside from the Virginia office, everyone listened to my speech, took my brochure, and thanked me for stopping by. No one was rude to me, and they were all curious as to who this guy was entering their office in a civil war uniform. I saw both Alabama Senator offices, Ted Cruz's office, the North Dakota office (complete with bison head because they "love their Buffaloes"), and ending my day at the office of Mike Lee of Utah. There was a lone female secretary in the office so it was obvious the Senator wasn't available. But, it was my last brochure so I gave my usual speech. The secretary seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say, and instead of the usual three minute blurb, the conversation  lasted about half an hour, and i was asked a lot of good questions. I left that day feeling hopeful that if a few more of us took the time to do stuff like this,, we could make waves even in a place like Washington DC.

On April 5 and 6, 2016, I will be back in DC, and I hope a few more anti-registry activists will join me. You can join me as we demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court, or you can spend the day walking the halls of the legislature like I did. Bring your own Union soldier costume-- it was a hit for me :)

-- A big assist came from Dennis Sobin of the Safe Streets arts Foundation AND the Idiots Registry. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Challenge to the Dr. Drew Show (and why most opinions about the Jared Fogle case aren't worth a five dollar footlong)

Everyone has been having a field day with the revelation that former Subway sandwich spokesman Jared Fogle is pleading guilty to both possession of child pornography AND having sex with a couple of teenage prostitutes. Of course, we've had to endure more five dollar footlong comments in the past 72 hours than in 15 years of Jared's Subway ads. 

The New York Post engaging in its usual fashion. 
But aside from the juvenile humor and the endless barrage of stories shoveling the piles of bovine excrement to mountainous proportions from folks looking to put in their two cent's worth into the conversation (such as this tripe from "Hollywood jail consultant Larry Levine"), very little is being said other than fueling the flames of ignorance and hatred among the uneducated masses. 

Of course, I'd somehow get sucked into this media circus, if only for a moment. 

After returning for an extended trip to the great state of Oregon to visit a friend/ fellow activist and enjoy some well-deserved R&R, I was finally getting back into the swing of things. (Of course, even on my "vacation," I still took calls and emails from registered citizens in need of advice as well as engaged in a couple of protests. Then again, I find public demonstrations a great stress reliever). I missed an email so I got a text from the producer from the Dr. Drew Show. The subject for my segment was Jared Fogle, of course. I wasn't really ecstatic about the subject matter but since this was to be my FOURTH appearance on Dr. Drew's HLN brouhaha, why reject the challenge and the chance for exposure for Once Fallen, right? 

Unfortunately, I experienced a bit of a technical issue no thanks to McAfee's Virus Software deciding that the best time to pester me with updates was 9:30pm, just as I'm having a live Skype interview. Because of that unexpected problem, I wasn't sure that what I said was even aired, but I was later assured my comment made it on-air. I figured (rightfully) that I'd only have one moment to say what I feel is important, that because of the stigma of being called "sex offender" is so great, there are barriers to those who recognize they need help for sexual deviancy but cannot find the help. (I must admit, because of the technical difficulties I flubbed the words but I managed to get the words out, though not as eloquently as I just typed). So it wasn't my best performance, and I'm sure they knew I was having technical issues so they never returned to me.

HOWEVER, I so wish I was able to rebut the statements that came after my statement. 

First off, I have to say, who the hell is Omarosa, and why is she a panelist? I'm willing to bet when you hear the name Omarosa you probably envision a samurai, but no, she's just a washed-up reality star best known for being a nasty piece of work on the first season of Donald Trump's old reality show "The Apprentice." This is the washed-up reality star had to say:

"I disagree. There is a lot of outlets. If you have a problem, there are doctors, psychologists, sociologist, you can go and turn yourself into the police. The problem is that people saying that they do not know, you really do. Because if you get street justice, it is a lot worse than what you are going if you turn yourself in."

Dr. Drew, THIS is why you don't get washed-up reality stars to join in on serious discussions. 

Allow me to explain why Omarosa's comment is stupid. First, no one is going to turn themselves over to the police or even talk to a shrink if they are having deviant sexual thoughts. Why would anyone put themselves through such abuse? Lets say someone has deviant thoughts but has not acted on them and is disturbed by them. Say this man goes to a shrink to get help. Say this man has a wife and kids. This man tells the shrink about these issues. What do you THINK will happen to this poor guy? This man will be reported to the police (Geez, has ANYONE ever heard of CAPTA, aka "mandatory reporting of child abuse" signed into law by Richard "I'm not a Crook" Nixon?). He will be investigated and his name is dragged through the mud. Ultimately, even if it has been determined that the man never acted on these feelings, he will be labeled, shamed, and threatened by people in society. Who in their right minds would rat themselves out KNOWING this is the end result?

Dr. Drew himself wasn't any better. In fact, in my four times on the show, I have yet to see him get a factoid about sex offender right. I'm being a little harsh on my gracious host and all, but his attitude on the show was too dismissive. "Go to Sex Addicts anonymous, S.A. Go there now," the doctor says. I support these Anonymous groups and all, but SA and related Anonymous groups tend to deal primarily with sexual addictions of a general nature. It is hard to imagine that guys who "merely" cheat on their wives or spend time watching adult transvestite midget bondage porn will be willing to share space with a guy baring his soul about an attraction to children. Yes, there ARE online groups like "Virtuous Pedophiles" or "B4U-Act," but they are not as easy to find as you may think. Also, these groups have been attacked by online vigilante thugs like Perverted Justice and Anonymous and at times, members of such groups have been outed and personally attacked

I could rip Drew over calling 17 year olds "children," but that's a rant for a different day. However, I will say that in some states, having sex with a 17 year old is legal. 

This stereotype is getting too old. I think
it is time we retire it. 
The truth is, we've been so adept at treating the sex offender as "monsters" that we've enabled those with sexual deviancy engage in cognitive dissonance. "Monsters" are old men wearing wrinkly trenchcoats with pockets full of candy and puppies luring kids into rusty vans. Thus, when Uncle Mike or Father John or kindly Mr. Smith are accused of sex crimes, those who know them can't believe. Why, they're nice guys! Jared Fogle had such a great story and a million-dollar charity helping kids get skinny! But now that he's outed as a sex offender, people are saying they "knew it all along," "he looked creepy," and the like. No, folks, you DIDN'T know, so sit down and grab a tall glass of "Shut The Hell Up." 

Thank God the Washington Post had the decency to write a bastion of reason in this sea of incompetence!  (I strongly advise you to CLICK HERE AND READ IT!) Admittedly, they proved my points a bit better than I did on the Dr. Drew show. It does point out that our trained response to sex offenders is actually impeding our understanding of them. Calling all sex offenders "monsters" certainly does a great disservice to the discussion. No amount of TV panel discussions with D-Listers, entertaining as they are, will amount to the price of a Subway sandwich. 

If Dr. Drew (or any other TV show) wants to have a REAL discussion about sex crime prevention, there are few things you need to do. First, replace Omarosa with a bona fide expert like Fred Berlin, Karl Hanson, Emily Horowitz, Jill Levenson, Richard Tewksbury, Lisa Sample, Eric S. Janus, or the researcher with arguably the coolest-sounding name in the research business, Crysanthi Leon. Of course, Once Fallen should be in it. If you want the other side to be represented, then being on some celebrity advocate like John Walsh, Mark Lunsford, or even Ron Book and his airheaded daughter Lauren to the show. Lets pit folks with more than a passing interest in the topic against each other. Sure, I'd still be arguing with idiots, but I'd take Walsh over Omarosa any day. At least we'll stay on topic. And most of all, that show will be as informative as it is entertaining.

So to the "New" Dr. Drew show, I just pitched my idea for you. You've had me on four times now, so I know you can make this happen. It might even be your best show ever! Maybe. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Introducing the Once Fallen ICoN Newsletter for Corrlinks users

Some of you may be familiar with CorrLinks. For those who are unaware, Corrlinks is  an email service allowing inmates in federal prison (as well as some prisons in Iowa, Minnesota, and Oklahoma) to send and receive emails. Of course, it is text-only, so PDF files or photos cannot be sent through the Corrlinks system, and letters are limited to 13,000 CHARACTERS, not words. It is a very limited system but it is still a fast and easy way to pass along pertinent info. 

Once Fallen, with the help of those on the inside, is proud to announce the publication of the "Informational CorrLinks Newsletter" (ICoN), a text-only newsletter sharing sex-offender information free of charge to CorrLinks users. 

The ICoN offers summaries of recent court decisions, inmate letters, treatment issues, activist info, and other useful information to inmates who will be forced to register as sex offenders upon their release. In addition, Once Fallen will answer inmate inquiries as much as possible. 

If you have a loved one who is incarcerated and has a Corrlinks account who wants to receive these newsletters, have him send a request to

You can also email me at if you want a copy of this newsletter to send to a loved one behind bars. 

Volume 1 (Spring 2015) is already currently available, and issues can be sent any time, so if in the future someone wants older editions, I can send it to them at any time.

ADDENDUM: I have added a page on Once Fallen where you can download all volumes of the CorrLinks newsletter. Below is the link:

Note: Apparently not all SOs have access to Corrlinks due to restrictions. That's why I have made it available to folks to print separately.

Program Statements and policies for Federal Inmates.  Chapter 14 of that document covers computer access.  See below:

P.S. 4500.11 Trust Fund/Deposit Fund Manual

Chapter 14 - Trust Fund Limited Inmates Computer System
     14.9 - System Access
          a. Program/Service Exclusions
                1) Sex offenders: Inmates who's offense, conduct, or other personal history indicates a propensity to offend through the use of email or jeopardize the safety, security, orderly operation of the correction facility, or protection of the pubic or staff, should be seriously considered for restriction.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rally In Tally HD Video with commentary

Below is my video review of the 2015 Rally in Tally. The coverage of the event is pretty comprehensive, and now people will need a better excuse to not attend future events besides fear of arrest.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A quick update about the Rally In Tally

The JTC Camp display that was part of the Rally in Tally

I know everyone is wondering what happened at the Rally. I had technical difficulties so I could not live stream as I hoped to do. There will be a full report on the Rally but it is safe to say that Lauren's Kids spent a lot of money to try to censor us. We were completely blocked off by a tight wall of uniformed FDLE motorcycle cops, they used colored smoke to hide the Books as they RAN past us, and, according to some reports, even threatened us with arrest. Lauren's Kids alluded to us and how they were going to deal with us on her website. However, we were there, and there was some press coverage:

-- Tom Madison is interviewed and given a moment in the WCTV vid (can anyone record it for us?)

-- I got coverage in the Florida Politics website, though for some reason they said we identified ourselves as Anonymous members. I did no such thing.

Here's the thing-- the local news was more concerned about FSU QB Jameis Winston's crab legs theft than the Lauren's Kids event. None of the local media gave it any significant coverage save for a generic AP blurb. I would have though they would have received more press, but what little coverage was there included us. Lauren failed to completely censor us but they pulled out all the stops.

A couple of independent film crews also recorded us for future projects for this is all the immediate coverage for now.

There will be an open conference call on Monday, April 27, at 8pm EST.

Call in # 712-775-7031

Meeting ID # 490-643-495

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ron Book, Lauren Book, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and the GEO Group connection

On April 22, 2015, members of the Anti-Registry Movement will be at the Florida State House at the corner of Monroe and Alapachee in Tallahassee, FL. We will be protesting the efforts of the Book family as they help promote Florida's "Scorched Earth" policy. 

There are many reasons to protest the Book family, but there is one major detail that most of us have not considered. At last year's event, Gov. Rick Scott gave his blessing to Lauren's Kids. Rick Scott is a major supporter of the private prison industry, so much so he hosted a $10,000-per-seat fundraiser at the home of GEO Group's president, who lives in Boca Raton. A number of people protested Scott's fundraiser because they understand just how bad private prisons run by GEO group can be. 

Last November, Lauren Book opened a political committee called Leadership for Broward. It had raised $423,750 -- much of that from Ron Book's past and present clients, including the GEO Group, who donated $25,000. So Ron Book and Lauren both have connections with the GEO Group. 

GEO Group has been immersed in a number of controversies over the years and has been sued hundreds of times. "Violence abuse and death" apparently run rampant in GEO Group private prisons. Perhaps one of the most egregious cases involves Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi, sued in 2012 in federal court. Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk." 

Among the conditions described in a report against the facility in 2012:
  • Prison staff had sex with incarcerated youth, which investigators called "among the worst that we've seen in any facility anywhere in the nation."
  • Poorly trained guards brutally beat youth and used excessive pepper spray as a first response.
  • The prison showed "deliberate indifference" to prisoners possessing homemade knives, which were used in gang fights and inmate rapes.
  • Some guards had gang affiliations — a finding confirmed to NPR last year by former inmate Justin Bowling.
The former mayor of Walnut Grove was convicted of witness tampering after telling a female inmate not to rat him out for having sex with her. He served only seven months. 

There are lots of lawsuits against GEO Group but this one stands out because of the level of sexual abuse rampant in this case. I want you to wrap your minds around the concept of Lauren Book, "Sexual Abuse Survivor/ Educator/ Advocate" pocketing $25,000 from a corporation that ran an institution with the most rampant sexual abuse cases in the entire nation! This is right up there with that Oprah Winfrey orphanage controversy from a few years ago. 

This is also something that bothers me because I was inside a facility called the "Eufaula Adolescent Center" for a year, a place that was closed in 1996 for similar issues. My only reason for being sent to such a horrific place was because I was abandoned by my family as a teenager and became a ward of the state, and no foster homes would take teenage boys in my area. Thus, I was in this hellhole for over a year for no reason at all. I was not a juvenile delinquent, nor was I ever charged with a crime. Info on the facility is sparse, but over two decades later, I still remember the abuse and maltreatment I received at that place. My time there made me distrusting of the police and the courts. Imagine that-- a kid never in trouble with the law but dragged through the courts and the police simply for being abandoned. But I guess that does not matter to most people. 

Lauren Book claims to stand up for children, yet she takes money from a corporation that abused children. That is hypocrisy at its finest. That is simply another reason I will be joining those protesting in Tallahassee on April 22. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Food stamps and Registered Sex Offenders: What you need to know

This morning I received an email from a Registered Citizen who recently applied for food stamps and was denied due to his status as a Registered Citizen. After getting some background information, I'm pretty sure this man was wrongfully denied food stamps and I told him to appeal it. I believe his appeal will be successful.

I'm sure some of you heard by now that "sex offenders can't get food stamps" because of a provision of last year's "Farm Bill" (H.R.2642 — 113th Congress [2013-2014], officially called the Agricultural Act of 2014.) Well, what you might have heard is only partly true. 

Last year's farm bill did contain a section  that denied food stamp eligibility to "certain convicted felons." This amendment was known as the "Vitter Amendment," for the diaper-fetishist Louisiana Senator David Vitter. However, this provision is actually pretty limited. Below is the so-called "Vitter Amendment" added to last year's farm bill.

(Note: eAdvocate pointed out that part (c), which prevents the amendment from being applied retroactively, is NOT a part of the original Vitter Amendment; the Senate version of the Farm Bill (S954) which failed to pass in the House; instead the House copied the Vitter amendment into their version of the Farm bill with the added section (c) to their version, which became law.  Vitter's idea was source of Registered Citizens denials.)


(a) In General.--Section 6 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015) is amended by adding at the end the following"

``(r) Disqualification for Certain Convicted Felons.--

``(1) In general.--An individual shall not be eligible for benefits under this Act if--

``(A) the individual is convicted of--

``(i) aggravated sexual abuse under section 2241 of title 18, United States Code;
``(ii) murder under section 1111 of title 18, United States Code;
``(iii) an offense under chapter 110 of title 18, United States Code;
``(iv) a Federal or State offense involving sexual assault, as defined in 40002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13925(a)); or
``(v) an offense under State law determined by the Attorney General to be substantially similar to an offense described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii); and

``(B) the individual is not in compliance with the terms of the sentence of the individual or the restrictions under subsection (k).

``(2) Effects on assistance and benefits for others.--The amount of benefits otherwise required to be provided to an eligible household under this Act shall be determined by considering the individual to whom paragraph (1) applies not to be a member of the household, except that the income and resources of the individual shall be considered to be income and resources of the household.

``(3) Enforcement.--Each State shall require each individual applying for benefits under this Act to attest to whether the individual, or any member of the household of the individual, has been convicted of a crime described in paragraph (1).''.

(b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 5(a) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2014(a)) is amended in the second sentence by striking ``sections 6(b), 6(d)(2), and 6(g)'' and inserting 
``subsections (b), (d)(2), (g), and (r) of section 6''.

(c) Inapplicability to Convictions Occurring on or Before Enactment.--The amendments made by this section shall not apply to a conviction if the conviction is for conduct occurring on or before the date of enactment of this Act.

Sections (B) and (c) are in emphasized in bold and underline because the criteria for food stamp ineligibility is specific to certain conditions. It is NOT a blanket provision. First, the food stamp ban does NOT apply to anyone convicted for a crime that was committed on or before the bill passed (it was officially signed into law or "enrolled" as Public Law No: 113-79 on February 7, 2014.). Second, this provision" prohibits anyone convicted of aggravated sexual abuse, murder, sexual exploitation and abuse of children, sexual assault as defined in the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, or a similar State law, and who is also not in compliance with the terms of their sentence or a fleeing felon from receiving SNAP benefits." In other words, if you are not registering or obeying the conditions of your sentence, or if you are a fleeing felon, you are ineligible for food stamps. 

If you were not convicted for a crime that took place on or before February 7, 2014, you are still eligible for food stamps. If you were convicted for a crime that took place after February 7, 2014, you are STILL eligible for food stamps so long as you abide by registration laws and don't have any active warrants out for your arrest. If you are denied simply based upon sex offender status, you can successfully appeal for eligibility.

You may, however, have to present a copy of Section 4008 of the Farm Bill as evidence, as 7 USC 2015 (r) does not mention the fact the farm bill, as signed, was not intended to apply to anyone convicted before or on February 7, 2014. You can also provide a copy of this USDA memo as further proof of the interpretation of the law as non-retroactive and only applicable to absconded registrants (See page 6, "Section 4008" of the memo). 

Law professor Corey Yung believes it is unlikely this bill will ever be applied retroactively, but when it comes to the rights of  Registered Citizens, I've learned to never say never. But for now, you are eligible for food stamps as a Registered Citizen for the most part. 

One last note, if the Vitter Amendment does apply to you and you are disqualified from food stamp eligibility, whatever income you bring into the household is still counted against the rest of your household for determining eligibility. (See the italicized portion of the Vitter Amendment above.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What a "Scorched Earth" policy really means

"With the stroke of Governor Scott’s pen, our state today sent a strong message – Florida is scorched earth for all those seeking to harm our children." -- Don Gaetz, Florida Senator

"We want to make Florida scorched earth for these sexually violent predators... We want to make our laws the toughest in the nation."-- State Senator Rob Bradley.

If you are a person who feels semantic arguments are valid, as I am, then it irks you when terms and phrases are used in an improper context. I wonder at times just how much thought FloriDUH legislators put into their so-called "scorched earth" policy for Registered Citizens. 

Just what does "scorched earth" mean exactly? In the most basic of definitions Scorched Earth is a military strategy in which a retreating army destroys any and all resources that the retreating army feels might be useful to the enemy army-- food, fuel, even people. Despite a ban on destroying food supplies per the Geneva Convention, the practice is still employed today. It is a desperation tactic by a defeated and retreating army. 

Does this mean that the FloriDUH legislature is admitting they are losing the "war on sex offenders?" 

At any rate, military terminology and tactics against American citizens, no matter how undesirable you may view them, has proven to be a disservice. You see, in times of war, civilian casualties are to be expected, so dropping bombs in a residential area and blowing up schools or an aspirin-manufacturing plant is considered acceptable. War tends treat every citizen of a foreign nation, or simply those with ties to that nation, as an enemy combatant. This leads to hastily-made blanket policies, like the mass "internment" (concentration camps) of Japanese Americans during World War II, a policy never overturned by the US Supreme Court. In times of war, rights can be taken away and "martial law" can be imposed. 

The imposition of military tactics and terminology has been damaging to American citizens. Since the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign in 1964, Americans have endured a "war on crime," followed by a "war on drugs," a "war on terror," and a "war on child abuse," of which a "war on sex offenders" becomes a relative extension. The problem with the militarization of culture is the promotion of violence that tends to follow. After all, the militarization of our police forces has only led to the increased police brutality that has in turn led to greater distrust of the police by many people in society. The war on drugs did not stop the cartels, it merely filled up our prisons with non-violent 

Just as with other wars, the "war on sex offenders" has a marked "enemy." Because the military mentality is a simple "us versus them" mentality, society can turn a blind eye to a little corruption from a sheriff running entrapment stings because he's targeting alleged online predators. But the label "sex offender" is a granfalloon, an association of diverse people whose only relation to one another is an arbitrary label given by the government. A "sex offender" can indeed be a rapist or child molester, and some can be pedophiles. The term "sex offender" can also mean anyone forced to register as a "sex offender" even if we are discussing a 10 year old child, teens having consensual relations with each other, married men having sex with their wives in a secluded area of a public park, teens taking nude selfies, or some guy who grabbed the arm of a 14 year old girl to chastise her for stepping in front of his moving car

"If it saves just one child" should have always end with an asterisk, because the "one child" obviously does not include the kids landing on the list. I suppose those "save the children/ just one child" types see a few kids on the list as acceptable casualties in this "war on sex offenders." They find it hard to let even one person off the registry even if that person landed on the registry as a child. Hell, they might even echo the sentiment of one US attorney who successfully added a 10 year old kid to the list, declaring this was the "best thing" that could have happened to the kid. Or, perhaps they could be the audience members cheering Erin Brockovich as she justifies adding a 10-year-old to the sex offender list

Treating a social issue like a war is a great disservice. Preident Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty" eventually became a war against the poor, not a war to reduce the poverty the poor experiences. Declaring a "scorched earth" policy is not going to resolve the issue of sexual abuse; it merely adds to the growing number of "acceptable" casualties. I doubt FloriDUH will see a marked decrease in registered citizens or sex crime rates (because most sex crimes are committed by people with no previous sex crime arrests) despite their "scorched earth" policies. perhaps it is time they eliminate the military rhetoric and use a solution based on facts and evidence rather than political bloviation. 

We can only hope that soon the Florida legislators realize their asinine "scorched earth" tactics are merely desperation tactics of a losing army. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Feminist Hypocrisy: Even the common definition of "Feminism" is misleading

I do not consider myself a "Feminist." I believe even the definition of Feminism that our culture bandies around is inaccurate. Wikipedia defines Feminism like this:

"Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies which share a common stated aim: to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women."

That isn't Feminism, that is equality. There is indeed such a thing as "Masculinism," which Wikipedia defines in the following way:

"Masculism (or masculinism) is political, cultural, and economic movements which aim to establish and defend political, economic, and social rights and participation in society for men and boys."

Thus, if you believe that both sexes should be treated equally in every aspect of life, you are a Masculinist-Feminist. How can you be two things that are polar opposites of each other? Or, to quote Wikipedia once more, "In this regard, [Masculinism] is the counterpart of feminism, which seeks to achieve the same goals but from a contradistinct viewpoint."

I'm focusing on one key point in my morning rant. You see, I have a few associates who identify themselves as "Feminists." One day, one of them suggested I was a Feminist because I believe in equality (but interestingly enough, she did not say I was a "Masculinist"). It is a bit absurd to me, because I'm by no means a Feminist.

I do indeed believe in equality. As a criminal justice legal reformist, I would love to see equality between the sexes in sentencing policies. In fact, I'd love to see women sentenced the same way as men. When I see a story of a "hot (female) teacher" caught having sex with a student, the teacher gets a light sentence, and society tends not to label this female teacher as a "predator" or "pedophile." We don't take female sex offenders seriously at all. In fact, just Google "hottest female sex offenders," and you'll find 19 lists before you find a single article criticizing the fact we HAVE hottest female sex offender lists. (It is worth noting on the criticism article, a link to a petition for outraged readers was given-- it obtained a whopping 142 signatures. So much for the outrage.)

Here is an actual statement from one of these "hottest female sex offender lists:"

First off, I don’t see anything wrong with female sex offenders. The only time where it would be wrong is if the boy is under the age of 12 or 13. Otherwise female sex offenders or female rapists are oxymorons. (I never used oxymoron in a sentence before, I hope I’m using it right). Women can’t force themselves on young men because even at the young age of 12 and 13 boys have more strength than women. That’s a fact, Google it. Now this doesn’t take into account the scrawny little emo kids of today, they can definitely be raped by a woman, but any normal looking boy can’t. Furthermore any boy that age would welcome being “raped” by their teachers. Shit, personally if my 8th grade science teacher, Ms. Metler forced herself on me, I would lay back and pretend to struggle while she weakly pinned me down and let her “rape” the shit out of me. Secondly, to all the “victims” who told the police, what the fuck were you thinking? Tell your friends instead. Post that shit on your facebook, be proud of yourself. What the hell is wrong with you? And what the hell is wrong with the” victims” fathers? You fathers should not be telling the authorities and getting these women in trouble. You should be high fiving your sons and asking them if you can get a piece of that ass, on back to school night.

It should go without saying that if the gender was reversed in our scenario (male teacher), we want to "bury this pervert under the jail," the male teacher is generally given stiffer penalties and we refer to this man as a "monster, pedophile, and pervert." I could not find a "hottest male sex offender list. I doubt you'll find a male sex offender who received a lenient sentence because he was "too pretty for prison."

It is also worth noting that even Feminist researchers found that female sex offenders get lesser penalties than male sex offenders. These actually seemed somewhat surprised by their findings, as the study was based off a Feminist concept called the "evil woman hypothesis," which argues that sentencing may be harsher for women who are committing crimes that are outside there gender roles. They set out to determine whether the "evil woman" hypothesis is true but merely confirmed a fact easily observed by our culture-- female sex offenders are simply not taken as seriously as male sex offenders.

However, the Feminist researchers could not accept the fact, so instead of simply admitting the criminal justice system treats women more lenient as a whole, they attribute it to the "chivalry hypothesis:"

Women are not sentenced any more harshly than men, and in fact, it appears as if the criminal justice system actually treats women more leniently than men. Although there is no support in the current study for the evil woman hypothesis, it can be argued that the current study reveals evidence lending support to the chivalry hypothesis. […] This leads to the supposition that women, regardless of the departure from social and gender norms committed in concurrence with the offense for which they are being sentenced, continue to be viewed as individuals who should be protected by the justice system. 

In other words, blame the "Patriarchy."

No matter how you cut it, women are not treated equally in the criminal justice system. So where is the outrage, and where are the hordes of Tumblrinas, SJWs, and online feminist rage goddesses condemning the practice of an unequal criminal justice system where one gender is given preference over another? Where? Seriously, where are they, because I've been looking for them for a while, and I'm usually good at finding things.

I'm all for equality, rather than an -ism. Isms as applied to people are schisms and divisions, after all. I am all for equal sentencing between men and women. Lets give women the same sentences, the same threats of murder and castration, and the same stigma as the men. Or, lets sentence men equally as lenient when a "hot male" teacher has sex with a student, or any similar situation that would be considered "statutory rape." Whichever way you choose, be it lesser or harsher punishment, I say we should at least make it equal for the sexes. Which, according to the Feminist definition of Feminism, supposedly makes me a "Feminist" (imagine me literally rolling on the floor laughing when I wrote this, because I actually did).

Seriously, that definition should really be revised.