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29 January 2010

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straybaby

First, darn cute pic!!!



Giving up my fingerprints so I can walk and socialize dogs? Yeah right, like that's going to happen. Heck, I don't even "do" background checks, lol!~

Katrina

I guess I am having a slightly harder time understanding the big deal about being fingerprinted, and maybe that is because I work in an occupation where it is mandated. I work in a hospital for children in CA. Our volunteers go through pretty much the same screening process as our employees. Criminal background checks and drug screening are completed for employee and volunteer.



I have to admit, my fingerprints are mandated by the State because I am an RN and a Family Nurse Practitioner. My office mate seems to remember having to be fingerprinted to work here, but my son volunteered here last year and he did not have to be fingerprinted, just the background check and the drug testing.



Of course, this is human healthcare. But we have all seen the reports lately of shelters being broken into and dogs (especially the big dogs or "fad" dogs) being stolen. So, I am not really adverse to having volunteer fingerprints done. I am willing to have my mind changed though.

Christie Keith

There is no nexus between fingerprinting a dog walking volunteer and preventing abuse or crime. Where do you draw the line? I mean, if I went into every person's house every night and searched it, I bet I could prevent a lot of domestic violence and child abuse and welfare fraud and meth labs.



Would that trade-off of our freedom be worth it?



And more pragmatically, do you really think putting obstacles like this in the way of people VOLUNTEERING AT AN UNDER-FUNDED, UNDER-STAFFED SHELTER a good, sensible, rational idea? Just because it's no big deal to you doesn't mean it's not a huge deal-killer for many, perhaps most, people.



Hopefully most people.

Snoopy's Friend

It is difficult to imagine that finger printing would keep people away from volunteering - but I suppose it might. I never liked the idea of giving my fingerprints to get a driver's license but one just does what one needs to do in order to drive a car. I would think volunteering might be the same type of thing. People that love helping animals will bite the bullet so to speak - or at least I would.

H. Houlahan

What are they going to do with the fingerprints? Seriously?



Background checks -- now that's another matter.



The only time I've ever had to consent to a background check was for my current SAR unit.



Everyone else just takes my word for it. Including two ambulance corps. WTF?



Every time -- seriously, every time a prospective has given us the wiggums, they disappear when informed about the background check.

Christie Keith

I don’t understand how giving up fingerprints is the same as having our homes searched, with or without a warrant and justifiable cause? Homes can be searched anyway and if law enforcement thinks a crime is being committed, they don’t need a warrant.



All the cops reading this will be glad to know they no longer have to waste all that time gathering evidence and establishing probable cause.



Of COURSE law enforcement cannot search your house without a warrant because they think a crime is being committed. Nor can they get a warrant based on their belief that a crime is being committed.



They can enter premises without a warrant if there is an imminent threat of danger, or the imminent threat of destruction of evidence, but even then all they can do is secure the premises and wait for a warrant. In neither case can they search, they can only go in and assess the threat.



As to fingerprints, which are on my personal body, being less "mine" to control than my house, which is after all an inanimate object, I have to confess I don't understand that. Why do we have the fourth amendment, if not to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures?



No one has said that there is any REASON for getting fingerprints if you're going to volunteer for an animal shelter. No one is even ALLEGING it's "reasonable," and that is the constitutional litmus test.

Christie Keith

A background check doesn't bother me. Fingerprinting would stop me from volunteering, in fact, it would turn me against the organization or, if they had no choice (eg, a municipal shelter following city law), the governing body that required it.



Those who say, why would it bother you?, are IMO like those who would say, "If you have nothing to hide, why are you objecting to the government searching your house?"

Gina Spadafori

I realize that it's because they work with kids, not pets, but everyone who volunteers with youth sports (coaches like my brother, and my dad when he was alive) have to be fingerprinted, have a TB test and get a background check.



This barn door has been wide open for a long time, I think, and the horse is in the next county.



I was just at the grocery store, and was watching the night shift check in. The timeclock they're using now: They punch in their code and have their thumbprint read.



No, I'm not saying any of it is right, but I'm thinking giving up thumbprints and more is pretty widespread these days.

Mary Mary

... was just at the grocery store, and was watching the night shift check in. The timeclock they’re using now: They punch in their code and have their thumbprint read.





Comment by Gina Spadafori — January 29, 2010 @ 5:50 pm



Wow! Kind of creepy. On the other hand, it amazes me how anyone can "go missing" these days. If there were such a thing, I might wear (ON my body, not imbedded) a little metal tracking device. So they can find me if I forget to come home.



I did a contract gig for a big financial institution and was fingerprinted. I didn't care about it but I thought it was overkill. I had zero access to anything truly interesting.

C.L.H.

I had to submit to a criminal background check to be able to volunteer at my kids' school. No fingerprinting, though. That seemed reasonable enough. But think about all the pads of ink at all the banks for submitting thumbprints with checks to be cashed. People have been handing over their fingerprints for awhile. I just can't see any reason to fingerprint someone so they can volunteer at an animal shelter. That's ludicrous.

sandrafx

The government already has my fingerprints and I had to pass an FBI background check for work so I can't imagine what harm it would do if some other entity made me sick my thumb on a blotter.



I don't understand how giving up fingerprints is the same as having our homes searched, with or without a warrant and justifiable cause? Homes can be searched anyway and if law enforcement thinks a crime is being committed, they don't need a warrant.



Fingerprints just don't bother me - sorry if that is offensive to our blog hosts.



I'm more bothered by x-ray eyes at airports seeing my private parts than I am the thought of a thumb print.

Gina Spadafori

Fingerprints just don’t bother me - sorry if that is offensive to our blog hosts.



Comment by sandrafx — January 29, 2010



As if that ever stopped anyone! LOL!



Actually, I gotta say it doesn't bother me, either. I know it really should, but it doesn't. I figure in this day and age there's very little privacy left -- a fact of modern digital life. But then, when I got hired at the day job, I had to give up a whole lot more than my fingerprints. A sign of the times (I was hired just after 9/11), and if they wanted samples, well, it just didn't bother me that much. Gimmee the cup, point me to the bathroom.



As for flying, I hated the hassle before 9/11, and I've really hated it since. I'm going to Global Pet Expo, March in Orlando, and I'm dreading what the else we will have to endure because of the thankfully failed Christmas Day attack of the latest Ultra Religious Freakazoid.

Christie Keith

Gimmee the cup, point me to the bathroom.



There is NO situation in which I would do that willingly, either. Certainly if I had no other choice, such as to feed my family or because someone had a gun to my head...

Christie Keith

Interesting, I'm not usually the most libertarian chick in the room, LOL!

Lis

I’m more bothered by x-ray eyes at airports seeing my private parts than I am the thought of a thumb print.



The full-body scanners at airports don't show much detail of your body--most of them show little more than a cartoon outline of the body itself--and have a real purpose: detecting explosives. Even if we had intelligent behavioral profiling (which would help a lot more), the scanners, used selectively, would still add something to our safety. Whether it's enough to justify the invasion is another question, but at least it's not completely specious.



Fingerprinting of volunteer dog walkers at an animal shelter serves no purpose, especially not if it's in addition to a background check. It's just another reason for collecting our personal data and eliminating the idea of privacy.

sandrafx

If a crime is in progress and evidence is being destroyed or they have reasonable belief that someone's life is in danger.....I asked my criminal attorney husband.



The police just need to believe that such events are happening not that they know with 100% certainty that they are happening. Then the other issue is - will what they do, the search, hold up in court. Maybe not.



And if you ever watched "Cops" you see some of the flimsiest searches on the thinnest grounds possible. And I say out loud - they can't do that but yet they did.



I too see no reason to fingerprint volunteer rescue workers but I suppose there might be a good reason - trying to scare off people that want to do evil or something like that.

Lis

But think about all the pads of ink at all the banks for submitting thumbprints with checks to be cashed.



Where do you bank? Because I want to be sure I don't go there. Ever.



No bank has ever asked me for my thumbprint to cash a check.

Susan

In these days of computerized databases, you have no idea where that fingerprint will go or what it will be used for, for the rest of your life. I can hear some of you thinking, so what, I'm honest, if someday I break the law, then I deserve to be caught.



If that's how you feel, then you should march right up to your local police station and ask them to take mug shots, fingerprints, DNA samples, and confess to as many driving infractions as you can remember. But because I don't feel confident that I know what the future may bring in terms of laws and freedoms (I never would have predicted that the US would spy on its own citizens or commit torture), I'll hold on to my prints as long as I can.

C.L.H.

Our constitutional right to be "innocent until proven guilty" causes some problems. I respect the constitution and I don't want the government collecting information on me "just in case". However, I abhor the fact that repeat sex offenders, repeat drunk drivers, repeat animal abusers, etc. get out of prison and commit the same crimes over and over. Constitutionally, if they've "paid for their crime" then they're free to go about their business. So, the innocent wind up losing their rights so the scumbags can have theirs.

C.L.H.

Lis, My local Wells Fargo in Oregon has ink pads for anyone cashing a check who doesn't have an account with the bank. I don't think they're the only one.

sandrafx

KB what is so chill inspiring about my comment regarding giving up some freedoms. We live in a society where that is just exactly what civilized life entails.



My mother speaks of the time when living in the city everyone could leave their door unlock and also their car. Children could sit in cars waiting for their parents (not babies) but young children and no one would steal them or kidnap them. Animals were safe being tied up outside to a post. The thought of someone breaking in to your home to steal your pet was unheard of. The list goes on. It's not my world in particular - it is the world at large.

Leslie K

Have to side with Christie on this 1 ! It may be true we have less privacy than ever with everything online,but that doesn't mean I want more of my personal info available to anyone. If I had to do it for work I would,but not happily. To volunteer ? No way. I renewed my drivers license today & it totally freaks me out that they now have my name,birth date,a copy of my birth certificate,my Visa #'s,address,phone #,copy of my marriage licence,& ssn as well as my license # & plate info..Lets face it if any DMV employee wants to steal my identity they are all set !They even have our pix now with the digital photo licenses.

Susan Fox

I see what you're saying Christie, but when our county shelter was created, it was put under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Dept., which made it a law enforcement facility, so when I volunteered I had to get fingerprinted and they ran a basic background check, plus we all got ID cards that we had to wear. I'm not sure what they're doing now. I know they ditched the ID cards due to budget constraints, so I guess mine is a collector's item ;-).



I'm with you 100% on the "if you have nothing to hide you should let the police into your house" BS, but this felt different and I had no problem with it.

sandrafx

In all due fairness Christie you are right about the laws in place to safeguard our privacy and there is such a thing as "due process."



Maybe I'm jaded. Probably - no maybe about it.



As to the airport screening. I've seen the film of the x-rays and it is a bit too much for my comfort.



We need a sense of privacy in our lives and more and more it seems we are losing that safety net. I can only imagine that fingerprinting will become more commonplace over time.

Christie Keith

Several points:



I too see no reason to fingerprint volunteer rescue workers but I suppose there might be a good reason - trying to scare off people that want to do evil or something like that.



That is not a good reason! That's EXACTLY THE SAME as inspections of someone's home, to scare people into obeying the law/conforming. Is that the country you want to live in?



Banking: I've never been asked for a fingerprint at a bank. I wouldn't let them take my prints, either.



Shelters run by law enforcement: I understand that some agencies WANT my prints. They can WANT them, but what I'm saying is that, if I was required to submit to a search to volunteer at my local shelter, I'd refuse.



And thus, the animals lose.



Yes, I've been making talking about the lack of personal freedom from unreasonable searches we are in our society (I honestly think calling this issue one of "privacy" trivializes it in many people's minds so I don't use that term), but the REAL point in the post is that treating your potential volunteers, donors, adopters and fosterers like criminals and terrorists is not good for your organization or for homeless animals.

LauraS

Fingerprints are part of LiveScan background checks in California. Paid employees and volunteers who work with children, the elderly, or the disabled in California have to pass a LiveScan background check. I believe this includes search-and-rescue, nursing/assisted living homes, schools, day care facilities, public parks, coaches, etc.



Do you want people who have been convicted of animal cruelty or other violent crimes excluded as volunteers at your municipal animal shelter? If you think this is important, then a background check that includes fingerprinting is the way to do it.

K.B.

I decided a long time ago that I would be willing to give up some freedoms for the sake of safety.



Comment by sandrafx — January 30, 2010 @ 7:09 am





That sentence gave me the chills.



Is your world honestly THAT dangerous, or is it just that "danger" gets more airtime?



I'm not naive enough to think every place is safe, but I honestly believe that we are safer than most other places/eras (and I'm not just talking about the US here).



If your world IS that dangerous, then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.



All of this "security" isn't actually making our world more secure - it's just making all of us more scared and less trusting. Sad, isn't it??

Lis

Lis, My local Wells Fargo in Oregon has ink pads for anyone cashing a check who doesn’t have an account with the bank. I don’t think they’re the only one.



Well, it's hardly the first negative thing I've heard about doing business with Wells Fargo, so I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised.

sandrafx

I decided a long time ago that I would be willing to give up some freedoms for the sake of safety. It seems odd logic to equate fingerprinting at shelters to open up the door to your home and let the police in.



What kind of a country do I want to live in? We are not talking about having our homes invaded. We are talking about fingerprinting at shelters and rescues, for like LauraS states, the ultimate safety of the animals. Weeding out bad people who hurt and will hurt animals.



How many people volunteer at rescues to hurt the animals? Does the need for fingerprinting truly exist? Maybe not. I am not privy to the statistics or other information about people at rescues that just don't need to be there - for the safety of the animals/pets and perhaps other volunteers too.



Is our society becoming increasingly more dangerous so that to insure public safety we need more safeguards? And fingerprinting is an easy way to achieve these goals? Maybe.



Fingerprinting doesn't bother me. Home invasion does.

YesBiscuit!

I've made a practice of turning down jobs which require a drug test over the years strictly on principle. I've never so much as taken a hit off a joint in my entire life so it's not because I "have something to hide". I guess I'm just old fashioned enough to think there's something to the idea of you making a leap of faith in me and vice versa. There are no guarantees in life, with or without drug tests, and I can accept that. As for adding my fingerprints to the criminal database in order to pet dogs at your shelter - well thankfully, there are plenty of shelters who make no such requirement so I'd rather help one of them.

straybaby

Interesting, I’m not usually the most libertarian chick in the room, LOL!



Comment by Christie Keith — January 29, 2010 @ 7:09 pm



Neither am I, but ya gots some company in this room, lol!~ I don't do background checks, body fluids, DNA or fingerprints. So far, I've managed to work and support myself without having to and if I happen to look for a staff job, there are enough employers that don't subject you to the checks, I think I can manage. I was just looking for a place to live. 'Bad' enough I have a dog over 25lbs, but let LL's run background checks on me? I think not. I don't see them offering up theirs . . . . {grin}



Now, do you really think I would do it so I can walk dogs?! And when I think of all the fair weather dog walkers we get at the shelters, and all the walks the dogs prob wouldn't have gotten if we had treated all those well meaning folks, who wanted to take some pups for walks on a glorious day, like criminals. {sigh} And many fair weather walkers turn into longer term volunteers.



The number of people that show up who may want to harm an animal is really quite small compared to those with good intentions. The eyes and ears of staff and regular volunteers is generally sufficient. We aren't there to help and care for the animals just to let something happen to them after all. . .

Maria Shanley

Our local shelter would lose one of our volunteers immediately, as her abusive ex-husband is a cop, and I'm very sure she doesn't want her fingerprints in the system! Perfectly decent people have legitimate reasons for not wanting their information collected.

Eucritta

I'm with Christie on this one. Thing is, I don't see what particular value collecting biometric data on shelter volunteers would have, that might conceivably be better at preventing crime than improvements in ordinary security. So it seems to me it's mostly for show, and I'm not at all inclined to agree to it just to cover some bureaucrat's butt.

H. Houlahan

KB what is so chill inspiring about my comment regarding giving up some freedoms. We live in a society where that is just exactly what civilized life entails.



As the man said, liberty, safety, don't deserve either, look it up yourself.



Feel free to give up all the liberties you want in pursuit of a nerf cocoon of immortality, but don't come looking for mine.



My mother speaks of the time when living in the city everyone could leave their door unlock and also their car. Children could sit in cars waiting for their parents (not babies) but young children and no one would steal them or kidnap them. Animals were safe being tied up outside to a post. The thought of someone breaking in to your home to steal your pet was unheard of. The list goes on. It’s not my world in particular - it is the world at large.



Comment by sandrafx



The worst kind of nostalgia, the revisionist kind. As if crime was this new thing invented in 1978 or something. Yeah, nobody ever stole anything or hurt anyone before (insert date of imaginary everything went to hell time). That's why there was no such thing as locks -- just look at old houses, no locks on the doors and windows, right?



Crime rates have gone down in recent decades. The streets are far safer than they were when I was a free-range child coming home to an unlocked house, hopping on my bike to go into town, and tying my dog to a lamppost outside the library. (No one ever thought to bother the dog, but I did lose a couple of locked bikes in the years before those hardened steel U-locks were invented.)



Fox News, et. al. have just made sure you don't know it. Fear sells. You are buying. Thanks so much for supporting the industry of cringing dependency.



And the risk of someone snatching your kid from the car or your dog from the parking meter are beyond negligible.



The risk of someone calling the cops on you -- thanks, nanny culture -- is a bad one.

Lis

My mother speaks of the time when living in the city everyone could leave their door unlock and also their car. Children could sit in cars waiting for their parents (not babies) but young children and no one would steal them or kidnap them. Animals were safe being tied up outside to a post. The thought of someone breaking in to your home to steal your pet was unheard of. The list goes on. It’s not my world in particular - it is the world at large.



Your mother is fantasizing.



Children got kidnapped, pets got stolen, homes got broken into, and, my favorite, couples died in what were called "suicide pacts"--what are now more correctly identified as murder-suicides.



What was different--aside from, as Houlie says, the crime rate being much higher then than it is now--is that you didn't hear about these things if they happened outside your own community. The Lindbergh kidnapping was national news only because everything associated with Charles Lindbergh was national news. You didn't hear about J. Random Person, living a thousand miles away from you, whose toddler was kidnapped and later found dead, or never found at all. You wouldn't hear about a pet theft that happened outside your own neighborhood.



Now, these things make the national news,and even though crimes have gone down dramatically, people who just look at the news and don't look at the statistics or at the change in crime reporting, feel less safe.



But feeling it doesn't make it so.

Kim Thornton

Thank you, Lis and Heather. I am constantly pointing out (primarily to end-timers and older people who do nothing but watch the news all day) that the only reason disasters and crimes seem so common is that we've got 24/7 worldwide news telling us about them--again and again and again.

sandrafx

If you truly believe your life is so secure and safe and beyond harm, then don't lock your car, leave your house unlocked, leave your pets outside unattended, leave the cell phone and your purse in plain view in your unlocked car, let your children go home with strangers - need I go on.



You too believe crime is an issue otherwise you wouldn't take precautions. It suits you to think that we don't need laws and rules but your actions prove otherwise.

Christie Keith

Sandra, you just engaged in the logical fallacy known as reductio ad absurdum -- carrying something out to the point of absurdity as a way of discrediting an argument you can't otherwise refute.



We weren't arguing about whether the world is or isn't dangerous; you said the world had become MORE dangerous and used that as a justification for sacrificing freedom.



When someone then makes an argument that the world is not more dangerous than it was, and thus that can't be used to justify diminishing our freedoms, you come back saying, "Fine! Then put your laptop out in the car and leave it unlocked and then tell me the world's not dangerous."



But no one DID say that.

Lis

Well, first off, unless you are following me around, you have no idea what my actions are.



However, we're saying that the crime rate is much lower than it was in "the good old days," not that crime doesn't exist. Beyond that, the effort involved in locking my car and my house is trivial, well worth doing for a small decrease in risk. That crime prevention or avoidance doesn't justify giving away basic liberties, the right to privacy, and the presumption of innocence, does not mean that no risk mitigation at all is justified.



I have locks on my doors; I don't have, or want, or think I need, private armed security defending my house 24/7. And, as it happens, I live in a city that many people in my state are afraid to visit because of the scary news coverage about it.

K.B.

KB what is so chill inspiring about my comment regarding giving up some freedoms. We live in a society where that is just exactly what civilized life entails.



Comment by sandrafx — January 30, 2010 @ 10:38 am



No, that ISN'T what civilization is all about. Not at all. In a civilized society, we shouldn't have to choose between freedom and safety. To take it to an absurd conclusion, to be as safe as possible, the government should lock us all up to prevent all crime.



That's not civilization - that's tyranny.

sandrafx

In society we all agree to behave in certain ways that are advantageous to our mutual existence. We have laws in place to uphold these standards. The good old social contract theory.



We do not believe what people say, we believe how they act. Through their actions we can assume certain belief systems. Such as locking the doors, telling children not to talk with strangers, safeguarding property and valuables etc. We can only assume, if people are rational, that they act according to certain set beliefs. Their actions of safeguarding exist because they are needed in our society - ie to fight crime and danger. Otherwise we could all sleep under the stars every night and expect no harm to come to us and our young ones.



By social contract we agree to act according to certain standards for the good of all of us. And in that agreement we permit law enforcement to uphold rules and punish those that live outside of them, which is why we have prisons. To keep the law breakers away from the general public for the safety of the majority.



Freedom in its purest form does not exist in our society. We are free to pursue our goals but not free to hurt others or to act in ways that hurt others, like driving drunk, or slander or libel, or blaring music to annoy neighbors, or driving too fast, or beating your spouse and children. If you think ultimate freedom exists, then you need to go back to college and get a proper education.

Lis

Sandra, you're still doing that reductio ad absurdam--either we believe that crime exists, and therefore all measures any government agency claims will protect us are justified and not subject to objection or criticism, OR, we do not believe that crime exists, and therefore must not believe that any protective measures are necessary, and using even the most minimal protective measures is indicative of hypocrisy.



That's not the way it works. YOU claimed that the world is more dangerous than at some halcyon point in the past; several of us pointed out that in fact the crime rate has fallen significantly over the last several decades. We are not claiming that crime doesn't exist, or that there are no evil-doers in the world; we are not claiming that the risk is zero. We are pointing out the fact that the risk is less than it really was in the past, when you were less likely to hear about a kidnapping or murder several states, or even several cities, away, but the actual crime rate was much higher.



The 24/7 news cycle, the over-reporting of crime, and the fact that a kidnapping or child molestation case in Texas or Utah can be on the local news in Massachusetts and New York, makes many people feel less safe. That's not reality. Reality is that we're safer than we were, that there is less crime, less chance that you will be victimized in violent ways.



Most of this reduction in crime happened before the events of nine years ago handed a huge political advantage to people who think we should live in fear and hand over all our rights to the government. Children are made safer by teaching them to distinguish among adults and not treat every adult as an authority figure; they are not made safer by teaching them that any authority figure can demand all their personal information including biometric data at any time for any reason.



Because there is crime, we lock our doors, don't leave our pets unattended outside, and teach kids to recognize that not every adult should automatically be trusted and treated as an authority figure. This doesn't mean that a shelter needs to fingerprint volunteer dogwalkers who have already agreed to a more useful background check, or that a bank, which has already required me to show gov't-issued I.D., has any justifiable need to also take my thumbprint.

Rooster Shamblin

http://roostershamblin.wordpress.com/ would you please spend a few minutes checking out my blog. I am a farmer who has been raising over 50 breeds of chickens for the past 40 years.

Gina Spadafori

If you think ultimate freedom exists, then you need to go back to college and get a proper education.



Comment by sandrafx — January 30, 2010



See's Christie's comment, No. 38.



Ur doin' it again.

K.B.

Sandra, you seem to be missing the point.



Yes, there are laws. Yes, we have a "social contract". Yes, for the most part, we all obey the majority of the laws and customs, and we attempt to punish those that don't.



But "safety" and "freedom" are not opposites.



And please, refrain from commenting on your perceived lack of our educational credentials. Just because we don't agree with you doesn't mean we iz stooped and unedumicated.



As for "ultimate" freedom, yes, we all do have it. We are all free to do whatever the hell we want to. There are only two things that we MUST obey - death, and the fact we have to deal with the consequences of our actions. It's the latter that keeps many of us in line (and whatever karma/religious theory you believe in).

Eucritta

... if people are rational ....



Ah, well. But this is just it: people aren't all that rational. We tend to be a bit credulous and suggestible, and we often hold to erroneous beliefs buckle and thong, in the face of all evidence, if they conform to our biases. We're also pants at estimating risks, generally grossly overestimating the likelihood or danger of rare events, while discounting or ignoring common causes of injury or death.



Also, *my* grandmothers used to both snort inelegantly whenever anyone claimed there'd been less crime or violence in the past. If they were still living, I'd suggest a granny face-off. And I'd bet on my Bess. She could be a terror.

Gina Spadafori

I have actually long suspected that crime rates are relatively constant -- a certain percentage of people are evil, period.



Some crimes also seem more prevalent because they were largely unreported out of fear or shame, such as child molestation. (I'm sure there have been child molesting clergy at about the same rates since there HAVE been clergy.) Also, "date" rape which is just plain rape, but in the "good old days" girls and women were told such things were their own fault for being some way/dressing some way/drinking/making bad choices in men, etc. -- they brought it on themselves.



I actually *do* agree with Christie that giving personal bits up without cause is wrong. But I just don't get that worked up about body bits. Personally, I get more concerned about the bits that aren't so biological: Data trails of everything I buy, how I pay for it, what I owe on it, etc., etc. To me, the collection, analysis and sale of this information is much more intrusive than an impression of my fingerprints.

Christie Keith

I've been marathoning the show "West Wing" lately, and I remembered this scene, when the President is reconsidering his nominees for the US Supreme Court.



His first choice had written a paper when he was in law school that raised some red flags for the White House, and in attempting to convince the President that he needed to nominate someone else, Sam says to Toby and the President:

In the 20s and 30s it was the role of government. 50s and 60s it was civil rights. The next 20 years it will be about privacy. The Internet. Cell phones. Health records. And who's gay and who's not. Besides, in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?"

Christie Keith

I won't give my zip code when I buy something in a store, either... if they want my data for marketing analysis, they can pay more for it, LOL.



But biometric data -- body bits -- is more "us" legally than our financial or shopping data, and protecting it has to be more of a priority. Because the right to privacy of our own bodies protects our medical rights, our right to control our bodies, our reproductive systems, our DNA -- the abuses are so intensely personal and can paralyze us on a level that is far more profound and fundamental than having what we buy tracked.



Now, controlling or tracking what we read becomes about our minds and thoughts and even, I guess, our souls. That is, I think, deeper than even our bodies.



But the fact that it's gotten to the point where we have to consider whether our government can FORCE US to turn over our piss and our blood and our DNA and our fingerprints in the absence of any reasonable cause, or that it should be allowed to become so ubiquitous a practice that it's almost impossible to get a job without surrendering those things, and then PRIORITIZE THAT with whether our innermost thoughts should be probed by a system of tracking what we read... I mean, seriously. Game over.



And maybe it is. I don't know. But I know that my piss is mine and my blood is mine and my fingerprints are mine, and if someone wants them, they need to go through due process of law.



And if shelters want volunteers, then they need to find another way to prevent abusers from infiltrating their ranks, one that doesn't abuse our freedoms nor make us feel like criminals.

ericka

finger printed? Wow.



Where I volunteer there is always a 'floating Juvie' who is doing community hours helping clean cages. They also pet and play with the dogs and cats. I have witnessed a 'calmness' which these troubled youth experience when they pet a cat.



Okay, back to the finger printing... who decides people with 'a record' can't help animals. Just this past week, our shelter unveiled a brand new building. Volunteers and all the regular animal advocates in our city came to the grand opening. We helped cut the ribbons and clapped as the parade of dogs walked by to their new kennels.



Guess what? The week before, local inmates were brought in to carry the heavy stuff to the new digs. They did it for many reasons, and you can bet one reason was because helping animals in ANY WAY a person can...feels good.



Last thing...then I can sleep soundly tonight: Most dog profilers do not have experience with the breed they bash. I challenge every one of the Pitbull haters out there to spend 30 minutes with a pit bull, one-on-one, hanging out, and throwing a tennis ball. Then comment.

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