FOLIO

Perspective

Chuck Shepherd In November, an exhaustive American Civil Liberties Union report showed more than 3,200 people are serving life sentences in the U.S. for non-violent offenses (about 80 percent for drug crimes). Most were sentenced under “three-strikes”-type laws in which the final straw might be for trivial drug possession, for instance, or for petty theft, like a $159-jacket shoplifting in Louisiana, or a two-jersey theft from Foot Locker. Said the jacket thief Timothy Jackson, “I know that for my crime I had to do some time but … I’ve met people here whose crimes are a lot badder with way …

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Not My Fault

Chuck Shepherd Conscience-Cleansing: Greg Gulbransen of Oyster Bay, N.Y., announced in September he was about to sue the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for dragging its feet in implementing the Gulbransen-inspired 2007 federal legislation that he said would save lives, especially those of toddlers. The unimplemented law would force car manufacturers to install rear-facing cameras as standard equipment, a cause Gulbransen embraced after accidentally, fatally, backing over his own toddler in the family’s BMW SUV.

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‘Masculine’ Values

Chuck Shepherd Breakaway former officials of the Boy Scouts of America met in Nashville in September to establish a Scouts-type organization that can freely discourage homosexuality, with one leader promising Fox News the result would be “a more masculine” program. Another prominent attendee, also quoted in the dispatch, described his sorrow at the BSA’s embrace of gay boys. Since the issue broke, he said, “I’ve cried a river.”

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Karma

Chuck Shepherd Larry Poulos was stopped on an Arlington, Tex., street in September, bleeding from a head wound and complaining he’d just been robbed by two men. A friend of Poulos later corroborated that, but police also learned the money Poulos had was proceeds of his having robbed a credit union earlier that night. He was treated for his wounds and then arrested.

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Ironies

Chuck Shepherd Seattle City Council voted in October to seize a waterfront parking lot by eminent domain from the 103-year-old owner after negotiations to buy the property on the open market broke down. The state is funding a six-year tunnel-digging project in the area, and the city decided it needs the property for not-yet-specified uses. The city said it plans to operate a parking lot on one part of the property.

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Compelling Explanations

Chuck Shepherd The Bank of England, arguing before the U.K.’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in October, warned against limiting bonuses bankers have come to expect from their lucrative deals — because that might encroach on their “human rights.” The Bank suggested it’s a human rights violation to even ask senior executives to show they tried to comply with banking laws — because it’s the government’s job to prove violations.

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Yellow and Brown Values

Chuck Shepherd A Swedish TV show, “Biss och Kajs,” found itself in the spotlight in November — in Russia, where government-run television apparently used it to send a political message to Ukraine by highlighting the program’s theme of teaching kids about bodily functions. The episode Russia chose featured three bulkily costumed actors sitting around talking — one dressed in yellow, one in brown and the other unmistakably as a large, nude human posterior. “Biss och Kajs” is highly regarded in Sweden; “biss” and “kajs” refer, respectively, to the yellow and brown functions. Ukraine (against Russia’s wishes) is considering a trade …

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Slow Magic Makes “Music by Your Imaginary Friend”

SLOW MAGIC with LE GINGE and MAZIK 9 p.m. Dec. 20 The Original Café Eleven, 501 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach Tickets: $8 460-9311, originalcafe11.com Nick McGregor Contemporary electronic music is obsessed 
 with the larger-than-life DJ. In Las Vegas, superstar names like Skrillex, Deadmau5 and will.i.am make upward of $250,000 a night based on their reputation alone. That makes the anonymity of Slow Magic, a one-person electronic outfit (a frontman in a colorful handmade animal mask and tasseled zebra-stripe tunic) so refreshing. Though the man behind Slow Magic has successfully kept his identity hidden for two years, describing …

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Make JAX 2025 a Reality

Aschelle Morgan I hate “potential.” There, I said it. I unabashedly and irrevocably despise the word, the concept and its effect on the way we as a community define success. The ease with which it rolls off the tongue, the way its density builds stagnant air; this nine-letter word suppresses the oxygen to the flame of progress we so desperately want for our city. Enough’s enough, Jacksonville: I am hereby taking a stand against potential, and I hope you will join me. I am incredibly proud to call myself a Jacksonville native and true advocate for my hometown that I …

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Gregg Allman Comes Home

GREGG ALLMAN with JJ GREY & MOFRO 9 p.m. Dec. 31 The Florida Theatre, 128 E. Forsyth St., Downtown Tickets: $53-$103 355-2787, floridatheatre.com Isaac Weeks Gregg Allman, co-founder of seminal Southern rock band The Allman Brothers, returns to Jacksonville to help ring in the New Year. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and one of Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time performs at The Florida Theatre as the headliner in a New Year’s Eve concert with Jacksonville natives JJ Grey & Mofro. Allman took a moment to talk about life on the road with Folio Weekly, but …

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