And The Winner Is...
Who knows? No word in the paper today as to who the ACLU picked for their 2009 Patriot Award, although mention of last night's meeting was made in yesterday's Times- Standard.
I've mentioned elsewhere, but not sure I mentioned it here, that I don't know where they came up with their list of Patriot candidates. Keep in mind the purpose of this award is to honor a local community member who, "...has demonstrated a patriotic commitment to defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties that the U.S. Constitution and laws of the U.S. guarantee,". With the exception of Tad Robinson, I don't see how any of the nominees fall within that category.
While Betty Chin might be due some type of humanitarian award for her efforts at feeding the homeless, I don't see feeding the homeless as contributing to individual rights, at least to where they'd fall within the purview of the ACLU.
While Larry Glass might have done some praiseworthy things around town, the Eureka True Ward Initiative shouldn't be an ACLU issue, either, as it's more of a city government housekeeping issue not involving individual rights. Besides, Larry has arguably acted against individual rights with his support of outdoors smoking ordinances and mandatory garbage service, among other things.
The Crisis Intervention Team? They're just doing their job in assisting mentally ill people. How does that involve individual rights?
You'd have to come up with a way to articulate how police review boards come within the purview of individual rights, but I'd say they certainly could fit the criteria. Saying Bonnie Neely deserves an award simply for voting for the Sheriff's review board is pushing it, though. If anyone is deserving of an award in regards that you'd have to look further down the line to the people who came up with, and developed, the idea in the first place.
Tad Robinson would be the only choice, seems to me, as I believe I've heard him argue against forced medication, among other things, before the Board of Supes. He does carry with him the dubious distinction of spending a month in jail for violating the 3 minute time limit for speaking at Board of Supervisor meetings. Still, he'll do, as far as I'm concerned.
Eric Kirk responded to one of my comments on this issue over at his blog that I disagreed with the choices simply because I disagreed with the nominee's opinions on issues, or some such. Not at all, I replied. I simply don't think the nominees meet the criteria the ACLU itself established.
It would be like the Libertarian Party of Humboldt County having a Humboldt Freedom Fighter For 2009 award and giving it to some guy or gal because they had the best floral display or largest pumpkin at the county fair. Would that make sense?
No word, even on the ACLU's Facebook page, as to who won the award yet. Haven't read the paper yet, though, so maybe it's in the hard copy?
Addendum: Ok. Page A2 in today's paper. Looks like the Crisis Intervention Team gets it. Whatever.