Committed 29 and Counting

This guy and I have been hanging out for 29 years. It seems crazy that over half my life I have spent with him. There have been many bumps and challenges and it takes commitment to make it last but it is so worth the effort. When we said the words for better or worse we meant it, I’m grateful for the journey, love, and joy he brings to my hyperactive self, ha. Happy Anniversary to us

I really want your feedback

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 7.14.20 PMThis blog post is just asking for those of you who follow me to provide your honest feedback. I would love to know what it is that you like about my blog, is it the posts are so random? That I tackle some serious topics at times? That I am honest and not afraid to be silly? Really just whatever.

I am asking because I am in the process of finishing my first book and I am also preparing for a podcast. I would love to talk about the topics and things that you want to hear or like. Please provide your thoughts: Ready GO……………..

Senator Lakey from Idaho wake up

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Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, should rethink his stated intention to deny a hearing for a bill reforming Idaho’s mandatory minimum sentencing system.

The bill is a bipartisan piece of legislation cosponsored by Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, and Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise. It passed the House in a 48-21 vote Monday.

But Lakey has indicated he won’t give the bill a hearing in the Senate, killing it while ducking a debate about an important issue facing the state. Instead, he plans to introduce his own, greatly watered-down version of the bill.

There’s an argument that the policy expertise of experienced chairmen can prevent bad legislation from passing, and that may be valid in some cases. But Lakey’s position flies in the face of most available evidence on this issue, undermining any claim to expertise he might make.

Decades of research on deterrence in the criminal justice system lead to a clear conclusion: Longer sentences don’t deter crime. Rather, what deters crime is the certainty of apprehension and punishment.

You’re likely to get a much greater reduction in drug trafficking by catching lots of drug dealers and giving them lighter sentences than by catching a few and sentencing them harshly.

Researchers have also dug deep to find whether longer prison stays reduce the risk that a convict will re-offend. Generally, those studies have found that a longer prison stay either has no detectable effect on recidivism rates or that a longer prison stay increases the risk of recidivism.

But tying judges’ hands to force longer sentences does have one predictable effect: It causes an explosion in the prison population. As a result of “tough on crime” mandatory minimum sentences throughout the nation, the U.S. has far and away the world’s highest incarceration rate. It’s about 20 percent higher than Cuba’s rate, nearly twice as high as Russia’s and almost six times as high as China’s.

Even El Salvador, a country beset by gangs with a murder rate 10 times higher than the U.S., has a lower incarceration rate.

More comparable societies, like England, France and Germany, typically have an incarceration rate that’s between one-fifth and one-tenth of ours. Despite their comparative laxity in sentencing, they generally have much lower crime rates as well.

Idaho’s prisons are so overcrowded that the state is paying a private prison company to house some 700 inmates at a facility in Texas. And the state has kicked around the idea of building a new prison. The estimated price-tag? Half a billion dollars. You could pay for a lot of additional law enforcement with that money. The total annual budget for the Idaho State Police last year was about $70 million.

In short, mandatory minimums are a great way of spending a lot of money and imposing a lot of pain, but they provide no clear benefit to society.

Lakey may disagree with the bill and the bulk of the empirical research, which clearly supports it. That’s fine. He should simply grant the bill a hearing, make his argument, and convince his committee to vote against it.

Unilaterally preventing Senate debate on a bipartisan, sensible piece of legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House, however, is unacceptable.

The Post Register’s editorial board consists of Publisher Travis Quast, Managing Editor Monte LaOrange and editorial writer Bryan Clark. Clark can be reached at 208-542-6751.

New book

I am writing a book, my oldest going to jail has prompted me to put in writing all the things through out the years that moms deal with.

Title: Mad as Hell

A Moms Journey

Keep watching I will post a link to it once it is available. Truly it is my way of dealing with stress while educating and making people laugh

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

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.

Water

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The past week I decided that I was not drinking nearly enough water. I figured that your water intake should be comparable to your wine intake, ha so I picked up this super cute new water bottle that is 24 ounces and determined it was good to drink 5 of these per day.

I have done a good job of taking the bottle everywhere I go but man the first week I spent more time in the restroom than I did at my desk. Maybe that was just my perception but good lord how many times can one person pee in a day, A LOT I tell you.

The health benefits of drinking water are also a motivator:

  1. Clears toxins- good bye wine
  2. Skin care- maintains turgidity
  3. Relieves constipation- not my issue
  4. Reduces hangover symptoms- again good bye wine
  5. Weight loss- um no I’ve gained 3 lbs, really???
  6. Improves brain function- my old brain needs this
  7. Regulates body temperature- I am the coldest woman in America so let’s hope this is true

I am back in the gym too, this should help eliminate the 3 lbs. of water hopefully but right now I feel like the attached photo. I am hoping that Jesus will come turn my water to wine soon.

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Mini banana cheesecakes

My youngest and his friend are visiting this weekend and his favorite thing in the world is banana cream pie. I decided to switch it up and make mini banana cheesecake and omg are they great. Plastic plate I know is super fancy, ha but these will be gone tonight. Glad I love to bake. Let me know if you want recipe.