Patterico's Pontifications

1/1/2009

A Neighborly Feud Ends Up in Court

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 9:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last October, 88-year-old Ohio resident Edna Jester decided she had enough of her neighbor’s children leaving toys on her property, so she refused to return a $15 football that landed in her yard. As Jules Crittenden eloquently explained, she ended up arrested for petty theft:

“Cranky old dear gets tried [sic] of kids’ ball landing in her yard. OK, these things happen. Cranky old dear takes ball, refuses to give it back, even when cops ask her repeatedly. Cranky old dear gets arrested.”

Neighbors said there were two sides to the story and the prosecutor may have agreed since the case was later dropped. Now Edna has sued her neighbors:

“An 89-year-old Cincinnati area woman famously arrested for holding on to a neighbor kid’s football is now suing the boy’s parents. The lawsuit filed by Edna Jester’s attorney in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court claims she has suffered emotional distress because the next-door family’s footballs and other playthings keep landing in her yard.”

The neighbors, Paul and Kelly Tanis, say they have 5 kids and can’t afford a lawyer.

It’s a shame these neighbors can’t find a better way to resolve their disputes but I guess filing a lawsuit is better than some alternatives people choose. If possible, I’d send the case to mediation. They need to deal with the current issues but they also need a framework to avoid problems in the future.

— DRJ

The Surge in Afghanistan

Filed under: International,War — DRJ @ 3:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Bush Administration is implementing a surge in southern Afghanistan:

“Afghanistan’s southern rim, the Taliban’s spiritual birthplace and the country’s most violent region, has for the last two years been the domain of British, Canadian and Dutch soldiers. That’s about to change. In what amounts to an Afghan version of the surge in Iraq, the U.S. is preparing to pour at least 20,000 extra troops into the south, augmenting 12,500 NATO soldiers who have proved too few to cope with a Taliban insurgency that is fiercer than NATO leaders expected.”

The article states that, since 2006, U.S. forces have concentrated in eastern Afghanistan along the Pakistan border while the south was “policed by 8,500 British troops, 2,500 Canadians and 2,500 Dutch.” The plan is to surge additional American troops into southern Afghanistan that will ultimately be under the control of U.S. Brig. Gen. John Nicholson.

As in Iraq, the goal is to establish security in the area followed by a system of government as well as economic and humanitarian aid. Also like Iraq, the situation may initially be more dangerous for American troops:

“If we get the troops, they’re going to move into areas that haven’t been secured, and when we do that, the enemy is there, and we’re going to fight,” said Nicholson, who spent 16 months commanding a brigade of 10th Mountain Division troops in eastern Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007.

That fighting should eventually clear the way for security and governance to take hold, he said. “If you want to summarize that as it’s going to get worse before it gets better, that’s exactly what we’re talking about,” he said.”

The Iraq surge started with the Sunni Awakening in western Iraq, one of the hotbeds of the insurgency. But the eastern provinces near Pakistan — not the south — have been the problem in Afghanistan. Difficulty engaging the eastern tribes is one reason experts believe a surge won’t work in Afghanistan.

Perhaps this is a variation of the surge where the goal is to isolate the eastern provinces. If security, government, and improved conditions can be established in the south, NATO forces will have a base to expand east. Maybe that will encourage the people of the eastern provinces to accept the benefits realized by their southern neighbors.

— DRJ

Happy New Year 2009

Filed under: Real Life — DRJ @ 3:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Happy New Year!


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