Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Sucks

So today on my blog I am going to be serious because I’m mad as hell and need to talk about the legal system in this country.

Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses is the most asinine law on the books to date and does nothing but cause massive overcrowding of all prisons and shifts power away from judges and into the hands of prosecutors.

If you don’t know what this is here’s a quick overview:

Mandatory minimum sentencing laws are laws which force a judge to hand down a minimum prison sentence for certain crimes, such as drug possession. These mandatory minimum sentences are set for possession of a drug over a certain amount and are set by Congress, not judges. Judges cannot lower these sentences, even for extenuating circumstances that would otherwise lessen the punishment.

This proves to be the biggest problem with mandatory minimum sentencing. Originally, these laws were passed to ensure that certain criminals served long prison sentences; these laws are cruel and ineffective. They have pointed out that these laws often unfairly target low-level offenders while the worst offenders tend to evade the system.

The saddest part of this whole equation is that this disproportionately impacts people of color.

One Example:

Texas law assigns penalties based on the weight of certain types of drugs, dividing the drugs into penalty groups to determine the type of felony and punishment range.

In Texas, possessing less than 1 gram of cocaine is a state jail felony with up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Whereas possessing 1 – 4 grams is a 2nd degree felony with possible punishment of 2 – 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Under federal law, selling 28 grams of crack cocaine triggers a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison, regardless of what a judge believes is a fair sentence.

One scenario;

  • 26 year old man with no criminal history:
  • College graduate
  • Given opioids by the truck load by doctors and coaches to be able to participate in athletics and “play through injuries”.
  • Young man graduates but is a full blown prescription med addict, how could he not be?
  • Can’t get prescriptions now so moves onto cheaper options to try and not be dope sick
  • Young man arrested in Idaho with just over 2 grams of whatever drug for personal use
  • Young man charged with drug trafficking and facing mandatory 3 years to life in prison based solely on amount of drug in his possession
    • The prosecutor does not have to prove this person was selling
    • The prosecutor does not care what circumstances led to the drug use
    • Wasn’t the intent to use mandatory minimums against “kingpins” and “middle-level dealers,” not the minor offenders to whom they have been applied

You can be certain that I will be standing in front of the legislature during the upcoming joint session to scream as loudly as possible about this idiotic law and try to change the incarceration of drug users who need treatment not prison.

If we spent the amount of money on treatment that we do on the incarceration of nonviolent low level drug offenders due to mandatory minimums the prisons in the United States wouldn’t be bursting at the seams.

Here are some articles or you can do a google search and find thousands or outcry’s for change

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/5-charts-show-mandatory-minimum-sentences-dont-work

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/05/15/mandatory-minimum-sentences-are-cruel-and-ineffective-sessions-wants-them-back/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.20b23d66a7d1

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/mandatory-minimum-sentencing-girlfriend-problem-757690/

 

The quick way to divorce

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My co-worker came in today so excited she was given a Rumba for Christmas.

This little gadget here: would be grounds for divorce in my house. Why you ask?

  • Anyone who knows me is aware that I LOVE to vacuum.
    • The only rooms in my house that have carpet are the bedrooms (which is both good and bad); the additional parts of the house have solid surface floors and throw rugs.
    • I added the rugs to ensure that the floors didn’t get scratched and honestly to provide additional areas for me to clean.
  • It baffles me that anyone would not want to vacuum, are you crazy?
    • I think the all the new electronic gadgets have created a bunch of lazy folks who can’t bend over anymore, my observation of course
    • Now Alexa is a whole other story, she can play music ha
  • Each time I turn on the vacuum that sound gives me such joy
    • I know that when I am done I get to see all the junk that has been sucked up
      • Dog hair, food, dirt, etc. (you have a visual of what you have accomplished)
      • The satisfaction of knowing how clean you have made the floors is great (this includes my cars)
    • Stress relief, yes it works no Xanax for me
      • Just think about it:
        • No one can talk to me when I’m vacuuming
        • The TV can’t be on because you can’t hear it
        • Anything left out the night before has to be picked up so I can vacuum
        • If you are sleeping, it’s time to get up
        • If you put in your headphones you can vacuum with Pharrell (HAPPY)
        • I have a valid reason to move the furniture
          • Last week I was lying in bed at 2 am thinking about how I was going to rearrange the bedroom when we got up
          • I know it’s a sickness don’t judge, ha
          • FYI, My husband loves the new layout, win win

I’m a Official Smarty

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I work approximately 12 minutes from my house and go down one road, no freeway commute for me. I decided for Christmas I would get myself a cheap (you know I’m cheap right) commuter car and here it is a used 2011 Smart Car. It has this funky little manual/automatic transmission that would probably make most people crazy because it hesitates when shifting and if you want a zippy car this is NOT it but for me it is perfect. I can literally park anywhere and if it takes a while to get up to speed ok. I am certainly in no hurry at 5:30 am on my way in.

And the funnest thing is this little thing is convertible so in the summer it is going to be Great. Apple car play and cruise control, who would  have thought. I sent a picture to my older brothers and they asked why I didn’t buy a bike with a motor, ha they are hilarious.

Anyway Super cute and fun and I will get it wrapped eventually with some crazy graphic.

Lets talk lashes

My best friend is the beauty guru and her lashes are amazing. I have gone and had lash extensions that made me crazy because I felt like I couldn’t wash my face, my issue but I have to wash off mascara.

So a few weeks ago my girl brought over lashes and schooled me on how to put them in easily. Ha right this is a lie, big fat lie. She showed me in like 5 minutes just glue, place, etc. I was going to a party, it took me 5 tries, a tube of glue and a whole lot of laughing but got them on.

I’m sure this is easy if you put lashes on daily but for me this was hilarious and difficult. I love them but good lord help me….

Reality TV reality

My husband asks me all the time why I watch reality TV. He is like why would you just want to watch a bunch of people screaming and calling each others bitches, ha. Well let me explain:

  1. My life seems super chill when I see these bitches (their word, not mine) screaming at each other all the time
  2. I see so many saggy boobs in belly button cut tops and dresses that I feel like my assets look pretty fan friction tactic.
    1. my mom always told me to keep them guessing and only show what you got to those who deserve to see it (so so so true)
  3. I feel smart and like my vocabulary is super advanced, some of the words I don’t even know what they mean and that is a good thing
  4. I recognize how materialistic most of these people are and it makes me appreciate the fact that I don’t want or need a fancy bag, car, house to impress people who probably can’t stand me or can’t remember my name.
    1. As Dave Ramsey would say why do you need a fancy car to impress people at a stop light you don’t know ;0)
    2. My velvet back pack from Target gets lots of compliments
  5. I recognize what people I don’t want to be around and how I would never allow people to speak to me.
    1. We know our worth and treasure the fantastic people we call friends
  6. I have learned to love my face, now this is not to say I don’t get botox on the regular and I am not opposed to maintenance to enhance your features but when I see you and don’t know who you are because your nose is missing or your lips are so big they look like they are going to pop, too too much…
  7. Last if you married into money and don’t do anything to contribute to the bottom line but demand at every turn bigger and better homes, cars, etc. you need to go.

I am so glad I am just a normal working woman who lives a quiet simple fantastic life with lotsa love.

 

The gratitude question

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Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

I love the holidays but not for the same reasons as most people. I love the holidays because it provides some much needed downtime and my boys are normally home. It has always been interesting to me that this is the only time of the year I ever hear or see anyone express gratitude. So my question is why? Every year they have holiday toy drives and let’s volunteer to serve holiday meals but what about the rest of the year.

I am very blessed to be employed and have a permanent place to call home. There are a lot of people who don’t have this and struggle daily just to find a safe place to sleep. I don’t know what the answer is to help solve this problem and the circumstances that lead to homelessness could impact any of us at anytime. I heard a statistic that each of us is just one paycheck away. Let that sink in for a moment.

What can I do to help create a brighter future for others and ensure I also remain self sufficient? Here are a few ideas:

  • Engage and talk to people
    • We never know someone’s story so be kind
    • Most people are willing and grateful to be treated no different than anyone else (I learned this when I worked in the corrections field)
      • respect and eye contact go a long way
  • Gather a group of friends and do a closet purge
    • We all have way to much stuff
      • I have crap in my closet that still has tags on it
    • Giving much needed clothing to those in need can change someone’s entire perspective and outlook
    • If you look good you feel good my mom used to say
  • When you travel take those free toiletries
    • These are the perfect size to put in a care bag for others
  • For women feminine hygiene items are key so pick up a few extra on your next trip to the store
    • Inexpensive and necessary
  • Spend as much on those in need as you do for xmas gifts
    • If you plan to spend $300 on gifts spend the same on items for any cause
    • I am passionate about St Judes, animals, veterans, and rehab centers
      • There are young people who get out of the military and rehab that have NO support

Last stop thinking that you NEED everything you see, Pay off those credit cards and cut them up, pay off your vehicle if you have one and drive it til the wheels fall off. Do you care if the person at the stop light thinks your car is great? Ugh no

I have committed to this and as of this month I have no debt other than my house and the student loan that I now am hitting hard to pay off in full. All of these saving can then be used to help others. Get inspired and do something great

 

 

Paella adventures

You all know I love to cook, I picked up a new paelo cookbook last week and decided the paella recipe sounded great. So here it is, I used chicken sausage instead of pork and supplemented with a whole gang of Thai chilies to spice it up. I loved it and it was the first time I’ve used saffron.

Don’t tell my son who hates cauliflower but there’s a whole head in this dish, ha, he had no clue. I just pulsed it as the recipe called for. Flavor was unbelievable. I can post the recipe if anyone is interested. This over 50 eating plan may be fun after all since my metabolism has decided it doesn’t want to work anymore.

Food changes and the gym will make it all ok

Brow adventures

let’s just be honest as we age our eye brows become sparse or for me pretty much non existent. I decided to go visit my bff’s brow lady this week, here is day 1. They are beautiful but dark, just the first step to the end goal. My husband said Burt from Sesame Street ha. I will post weekly progress but I’m juiced to see the final results.

Ok today was brow touch up, so beautiful

They are always DARK on day 1 but final will be Fantastic

Kitchen remodel a wrap

The kitchen remodel is done. 3 weeks front to back is amazing, my builder is the man. To see the before look at the previous post but I have outlets and lighting everywhere not to mention unlimited cabinet space. My husband will be thrilled when he sees it for the first time in person this week. I have sent pictures daily but you can’t appreciate it until you walk in.

Pets- a tribute to miss Daisy

For the last 15 years this sweet girl made our lives full. We originally got daisy when someone abandoned her with her puppy. She was dachshund and terrier and the smartest little fireball. Today she went to doggy heaven and will be missed dearly. Here’s a tribute to you little momma

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….