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Larry Craig?

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Mammon
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Needless to say, I hope, I knew nothing about airport bathroom "activities" before all of this happened. I read the following Q&A about it (can you believe they have a Q&A about this??) and based on the police interview transcripts, I don't think the officer was incorrect. Just my opinion though.

http://www.slate.com/id/2173033/

Unfortunately, this is more information than most people would ever want to know; however, it may keep a few of you guys out of trouble in airport restrooms...particularly if you are innocently relieving yourself. :)

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Sometimes policemen make mistakes, and I think this arrest was a mistake.

Indeed. The audio tape and transcript of the interview with the senator shows the cops have a dicey case at best. The mismatch about which hand went under the stall wall is one example. There wasn't even a note passed to indicate a solicitation. If I were on the jury I couldn't convict him.

Cops do make mistakes. A lot of them actually. Most of them are minor and stupid mistakes. But it leads me to wonder that if they can't get the small stuff right, how many big mistakes do they make?

For instance, the cops in our area continue to insist that Mexican nationals or their descendants who are arrested here have hyphenated last names. Many use the dual last name format, where the last names are the father's and the mothers, respectively. The cops hyphenate it or incorrectly refer to the mother's last name as the arrested's surname, when it's not. This, in an area where people of Mexican or Spanish ancestry have been occupying long before whites or English-speaking people arrived.

You'd think they would have figured it out by now, or at least correct themselves when told they are wrong. In the paper we print the names correctly, and then the cops once in a while try to call us on it. We politely tell them that the names they furnished us are wrong, and that Associated Press style (which most papers use) calls for second references to use both last names. And they get arrogant and indignant, claiming we are attempting some politically correct spin, or we're anti-cop or have some other agenda. Um, yeah, our agenda is accuracy.

I even had one police chief in denial of the fact that I had spoken to the mother of a man slain by some local officers and she told me what is true given name was, which was different in spelling and order than what the cops have. It was one of those lame "agree to disagree" type of denials. He got even more pissed when I told him no, I will not agree to disagree, rather I will agree to what the truth is and he can choose to invent his own perception of the truth. It's really all about control and domination. They don't like being told their wrong.

I had an instance recently where I had a local deputy eat crow when he insisted that I had gone up this 15 percent grade topping 80 mph, which was impossible because my check-engine light had been on due to an error in my on-board computer, which throttles my engine down to where I cannot exceed 2,500 rpm - making it impossible physically to speed up that fast on a grade (or flat land for that matter). I showed him the light, recepits of attempts at repair and told him politeliy that I'd produce folks from Honda who would attest to this. I didn't get a ticket and he ended up admitting it must have been another car, given it was a stretch of road where there are no lights and it was dark. Even in acknowledging error, he wouldn't take responsibility - choosing to blame the dark or the lack of lights.

Granted, Craig should have fought it. But that was his error and now he will pay the price for it.

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The Wikipedia article on his arrest and previous allegations of homosexuality, cocaine use, and sex with pages is interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Craig#Controversy

I'm a little skeptical about the information in that entry because it doesn't meet the kinds of journalistic standards that we would use in order to publish that in my newspaper. I have not checked back to see if the Idaho Statesman printed the allegations that surfaced following the conviction, but the question of whether the newspaper where I work would print that would be answered only after a major newsroom discussion at a number of levels and possibly even a consultation with an ethics expert with Loyola Marymount in Chicago or the Poynter Institute.

I would assume that the Statesman didn't take it lightly, but I have witnessed the rush to print something really juicy, even if it's dicey at best. It's a totally subjective decision. Other times we've had proof of allegations or information that warranted publishing, but the desires of senior editors intervene to prevent publication, for a variety of reasons. I just get the sense based on my experience that it's really juicy, and journalists often fall back on the "he's a public figure" rationale to justify publication. That rationale has trumped the truth on more than one occasion in my experience. For my own judgment, just because someone says they had sex with someone or that they were solicited doesn't mean it's true. I need more proof.

Other citations in the Wikipedia entry were sketchy, two of them being cites to blogs that had no tangible proof. Anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, so when something is still hot in the news, take a healthy dose of skepticism.

Finally, I find it interesting that allegations of gayness often are made against very conservative, anti-gay or folks who are unsympathetic to gays - not just in politics. For some reason, almost universalliy my and my wife's gay friends seem to think that someone who is anti-gay is a closet gay or lesbian, or that they are homophobic because they are repressing their true gay selves. While that might be true in some cases, it could also be true among people who are not anti-gay. That adds to my further skepticism.

The real question is really "Who cares?" Who gets hurt when they are asked to have sex?

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The real question is really "Who cares?" Who gets hurt when they are asked to have sex?

My only issue with this whole thing is that many times, it is necessary for children to use pulic restrooms unattended. I'm thinking of mothers out with their sons that are too old to use the women's room and too young to use the men's room alone -- but they have too. Regardless of whether or not these kids are solicited themselves, children should not have to risk potentially witnessing anything sexual -- period. This is why sex in public restrooms is completely selfish (not the good kind of selfish :) ) and irresponsible.

Edited by Tabitha
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My only issue with this whole thing is that many times, it is necessary for children to use pulic restrooms unattended. I'm thinking of mothers out with their sons that are too old to use the women's room and too young to use the men's room alone -- but they have too. Regardless of whether or not these kids are solicited themselves, children should not have to risk potentially witnessing anything sexual -- period. This is why sex in public restrooms is completely selfish (not the good kind of selfish :) ) and irresponsible.

While it's true, children shouldn't be faced with sexual situations they are unprepared for, they could be solicited anywhere. The kind of solicitation said to occur during "cruising" or "cottaging" is done by communicating in code with foot and hand maneuvers. In the Craig case, supposedly moving his foot toward the cop's stall and moving his hand under the stall wall. A kid probably won't know or even notice that a foot moves slightly toward his stall.

We're not talking about someone just walking up to a kid and asking them for sex. That would fall under "annoying or molesting" in California statutes.

What I'm talking about is the cops using our tax dollars to set up stings in public bathrooms. That is a lot of work for very little return in terms of public safety and security.

The other issue is discrimination. Straight people solicit one another all the time in public, such as in bars or other venues. These stings, such as the Craig situation and a recent sting near a nude beach in our area were targeted at gays.

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While it's true, children shouldn't be faced with sexual situations they are unprepared for, they could be solicited anywhere. The kind of solicitation said to occur during "cruising" or "cottaging" is done by communicating in code with foot and hand maneuvers. In the Craig case, supposedly moving his foot toward the cop's stall and moving his hand under the stall wall. A kid probably won't know or even notice that a foot moves slightly toward his stall.

We're not talking about someone just walking up to a kid and asking them for sex. That would fall under "annoying or molesting" in California statutes.

What I'm talking about is the cops using our tax dollars to set up stings in public bathrooms. That is a lot of work for very little return in terms of public safety and security.

The other issue is discrimination. Straight people solicit one another all the time in public, such as in bars or other venues. These stings, such as the Craig situation and a recent sting near a nude beach in our area were targeted at gays.

Well, I hope soliciting children for sex would qualify for more than "annoying" (!)

Though I agree your post, I still think there's something to be said about one's degree of choice in regards to the use of venues. One can easily avoid a sketchy bar (straight or gay) where people meet for sex, but the same cannot be said for a restroom. When "you gotta go, you gotta go" and people (again, children, the mentally handicapped and others incapable of reason) should have the right to use a bathroom without being accosted or exposed to flagrant sexuality (regardless of the sexual orientation involved).

Granted, as you pointed out, Craig's situation was much different and pretty innocuous overall. And don't get me wrong; I'm certainly not advocating for making anything illegal. I just think people need to be respectful of the fact that certain places have certain purposes; not that this can or even should be enforced. I'm just venting about what I consider to be extreme idiocy.

This probably opens up a can of worms about the public vs. private domain....

Edited by Tabitha
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This whole situation brings up an arcane, yet interesting legal issue.

In a proper society airports would be privately owned and so any prohibition against consensual sexual acts inside them would be a matter of company policy instead of law. Obviously Senator Craig's conduct would have broken a company's implicit "sex policy" since his actions were clearly not in keeping with the intended purpose of a room filled with toilets and sinks. But would he have admitted it to a security guard who has no legal right to detain him, arrest him, interrogate him, or charge him? It is doubtful that the now-famous recording of the Senator's interrogation, much less his guilty plea, would have ever been made if he had been "stung" by an undercover security guard instead of a police officer. At worst, he probably would have just been banned from the airport.

Properly and legally, a citizen may only detain another when a crime has been witnessed by the citizen or if he has reasonable suspicion that the person committed the crime. Unlike a police officer, a security guard should not be able to arrest, or even detain, a citizen whom he believes has committed the unique crime of planning to commit a crime. Because any restricitions on freedom of speech must be as apparent as the sexual restrictions made by placing only toilets and sinks in a room, soliciting for sex inside a restroom cannot be treated as the same willful breech of company policy as actually having sex inside one is. It should be left exclusively to the government to conduct the detention, interrogation, arrest, and indictment if the crime of "intention to willfully breech a contract" has been committed.

Which brings me to my confusion. What I'm undecided about on is that with all of that said, should the law have been involved? If a privately-owned bathroom that had developed a reputation as a sex den it would be understandable that it's owners would try to do something about it. But by getting the police involved, would they have gone about it correctly? Is it appropriate (ie: is it a violation of the principles of limited, impartial government) for the police to conduct sting operations with the goal of catching potential policy - as opposed to potential law - breakers? Instead, it seems that if private citizens collect evidence that someone has planned to intentionally breech a contract they should bring it to the government instead of bringing in the government to do the collecting for them. Doesn't this second course of action subject the use of finite government resources to preemptively enforcing the infinite whims and wishes of property owners? Unlike actual contract breechers, potential contract breechers would be everywhere in a free society since private property, and all of the implicit agreements that it's use by another carry, would be everywhere also.

Edited by stephenmallory
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Well, I hope soliciting children for sex would qualify for more than "annoying" (!)

Though I agree your post, I still think there's something to be said about one's degree of choice in regards to the use of venues. One can easily avoid a sketchy bar (straight or gay) where people meet for sex, but the same cannot be said for a restroom. When "you gotta go, you gotta go" and people (again, children, the mentally handicapped and others incapable of reason) should have the right to use a bathroom without being accosted or exposed to flagrant sexuality (regardless of the sexual orientation involved).

Granted, as you pointed out, Craig's situation was much different and pretty innocuous overall. And don't get me wrong; I'm certainly not advocating for making anything illegal. I just think people need to be respectful of the fact that certain places have certain purposes; not that this can or even should be enforced. I'm just venting about what I consider to be extreme idiocy.

This probably opens up a can of worms about the public vs. private domain....

"Annoying" is a legal term used in California, and possibly other states, that refers to untoward comments or other activity against minors. For instance, a local teacher was found guilty by a jury of "annoying or molesting a minor under the age of 14" recently for French-kissing a 9-year-old girl last year. If he had done more, it would have gone up to "lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor." All of these kinds of actions fall under the general definition of child molestation, except non-physical actions that the state nonetheless considers crimes. Those include making dirty remarks, giving kids looks, following them around, taking pictures of them (in some contexts, like only their legs or something sexually suggestive) and the proverbial "Want some candy little girl?" solicitation for a ride home. Typically we see men prosecuted under the "annoying" statute. Believe me, as a newspaper editor whose audience is the world of average folks, as opposed to lawyers and cops, I find it annoying that they would use such a term (every pun intended).

I agree what you mean about mentally disabled people or kids. It's arguable that statutes to protect them are justified, which presumably something like California's "annoying or molesting" statute - a misdemeanor by the way (the others are felonies usually) - would fit that bill. While it would be merely offensive to the average adult, lots of other things are that don't warrant prosecution or the kinds of protections that vulnerable populations such as children could deserve.

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Sometimes policemen make mistakes, and I think this arrest was a mistake.

Not only was this arrest a mistake, it was unconstitutional.

The Constitution of the United States

Article. I.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Source: http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-...transcript.html

More: http://blog.sunvalleyonline.com/index.php/bryanfischer/2141/

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Actually, I believe that "Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace" is a particular term arising from English law that, like "high Crimes and Misdemeanors", has a meaning that does not necessarily comport with modern usage. It is my understanding that "Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace" has been interpreted to cover all criminal cases of every description. See, e.g. Williamson v. U.S., 207 U.S. 425 (1908). That would mean that the clause affords no protection to Senator Craig in this case.

Edited by Seeker
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Not only was this arrest a mistake, it was unconstitutional.

The Constitution of the United States

Article. I.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Source: http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-...transcript.html

More: http://blog.sunvalleyonline.com/index.php/bryanfischer/2141/

Fireball, if Sen. Craig thought the Capitol had moved into the asshole of the man in the next stall, then you might have a point. :P

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Even if he manages to avoid expulsion from the Senate, he won't have any committee chairmanships and so on -- and would have to face the voters at the next election anyway. He's bound to be gone in a matter of weeks, but watching him try to hold onto power is a sad spectacle indeed.

Say, how did you manage to embed that video? It doesn't work in my posts.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvMYgIAAkk"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvMYgIAAkk"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvMYgIAAkk" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

Edited by Seeker
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Even the left-wing liberal Washington Post newspaper admits right-wing conservative Larry Craig's arrest was improper:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7091401941.html

Mr. Craig's Plea

More than gestures should be required to charge someone with a crime.

Saturday, September 15, 2007; Page A16

AMINNESOTA court will probably reject the attempt of Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) to withdraw the guilty plea stemming from his arrest in a Minneapolis airport men's room, and rightly so. That doesn't mean that the sting operation that led to Mr. Craig's predicament was legitimate.

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Even if he manages to avoid expulsion from the Senate, he won't have any committee chairmanships and so on -- and would have to face the voters at the next election anyway. He's bound to be gone in a matter of weeks, but watching him try to hold onto power is a sad spectacle indeed.

Say, how did you manage to embed that video? It doesn't work in my posts.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvMYgIAAkk"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvMYgIAAkk"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvMYgIAAkk" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

You have to make sure that you look below where it says, "Post Options" and change "HTML off" to "HTML on." That ought to do it.

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