Jacob Williams — driving drunk — kills a motorcyclist, again!

Danny Sanchez and his daughter Megan

A New Mexico man sent to prison six years ago for killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk is back in jail on the same charges, this time for a crash that killed the brother of the judge who sentenced him.

The accident Saturday happened after a witness told KOB-TV that she called 911 twice to report seeing Jacob Williams, 27, driving erratically around her neighborhood near the town of Belen, about 30 miles south of Albuquerque.

But deputies failed to respond before a pickup that authorities said was driven by Williams veered over a center line, killing Daniel Sanchez, 51, and seriously injuring his 11-year-old daughter, Megan.

According to the criminal complaint, breath tests found Williams’ blood-alcohol level at 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit of 0.08.

State police said Daniel Sanchez died instantly. Megan, a passenger on her father’s motorcycle, has undergone at least two surgeries for injuries to her leg, a family member told the Albuquerque Journal.

Sanchez’s brother, state District Court Judge William Sanchez, of Los Lunas, presided over the 2008 case in which Williams pleaded guilty to felony charges of vehicular homicide, great bodily harm by vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

William Sanchez sentenced Williams to the maximum six years in prison allowed under the plea agreement.

In that case, authorities said Williams, then 21, failed to stop at an in August 2006 intersection in the town of Rio Communities and struck a motorcycle. That crash killed the motorcycle driver, Quin Sanchez, 42, of Belen, who was no relation to Daniel and William Sanchez.

Tragedy compounded by coincidence. By all accounts Daniel Sanchez was a hard-working dude, an electrician at the University of New Mexico. He’d stay after work a couple times a week to play basketball with other university employees. They played a memorial game, today, one player short. Reminiscing about just another good guy they worked and played with, how much he talked about his wife and kids.

Williams got a 6-year sentence the first time he killed someone, drunk and driving. With good behavior, he was out and on the streets, again after 3 years. He was returned to the slammer for parole violation after a few months and served the rest of his term. Every couple of years we get a case like this. A drunk killing innocents, outrage and a public call for severe penalties, laws that will keep killers off NM roads. Little or nothing happens.

Being drunk and dangerous is culturally acceptable. Booze distributors are powerful enough here that folks don’t even try to get a bill passed requiring a deposit on beer bottles, anymore. And New Mexico politicians are not among the most diligent of hacks – to begin with.

Williams pleaded Not Guilty – this time – today.

Thanks, Mike

Academics balk at proposal to ban personal blogging

Academics across the world are up in arms at a proposal to bar the senior members of the International Studies Association (ISA) from blogging. The proposal says:

“No editor of any ISA journal or member of any editorial team of an ISA journal can create or actively manage a blog unless it is an official blog of the editor’s journal or the editorial team’s journal.

This policy requires that all editors and members of editorial teams to apply this aspect of the code of conduct to their ISA journal commitments. All editorial members, both the editor in chief(s) and the board of editors/editorial teams, should maintain a complete separation of their journal responsibilities and their blog associations.”

Many members of the ISA, a professional association for scholars, practitioners and students in the field of international studies with more than 6,000 members from 80 countries, have erupted in protest at the proposal…

Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at Tufts university in Boston, said: “I cannot see how this can be a viable long-term policy… At best, it’s draconian, and at worst, an infringement of academic freedom…”

But Harvey Starr, the the South Carolina university professor who serves as the ISA president, said the ban would strengthen the organisation’s code of conduct.

He is quoted by Insider High Ed as saying: “The proposed policy is one response, not to blogs per se, but to issues that can arise with people confusing the personal blogs of the editors of ISA journals with the editorial policies for their journals. This proposal is trying to address that possible confusion.”

Baloney! Any reader who can’t differentiate between a blog produced for a specific journal and a personal blog should have their reading skills checked to see if they passed the 6th grade.

Regardless of the trimming and template for some personal blogs, those productions which represent a profession or sub-group, an organization, ISA journals in particular are clearly identified as such. Mr. Starr’s sophistry is sophomoronic.

Turning off your pacemaker?

Nobody really knows exactly how many Americans are walking around with pacemakers and defibrillators. But with surgeons implanting at least 225,000 pacemakers and 133,000 defibrillators each year, “there probably are a couple of million” out there now, said Dr. Paul S. Mueller…

The devices prolong lives, but “all those people will face decisions down the road,” Dr. Mueller said. “’Do I keep it going? Do I turn it off?’” Physicians have similar questions, including what kinds of patients confront these choices and who usually winds up making these decisions.

We know a bit more now that Dr. Mueller and his colleagues have reviewed the medical records of 150 Mayo Clinic patients who, over four years, requested that their devices be deactivated — the largest group of such patients examined to date. What the data show is that these patients are mostly male, quite old, very sick — and unprepared to deal with this issue.

“These patients typically are very ill. They’re approaching death,” said Dr. Mueller. Two-thirds were men; their median age was 79. In the years since they received their devices, many had developed other problems in addition to heart disease, including cancer and respiratory and neurological diseases.

Yet the majority hadn’t recorded their desire to deactivate their cardiac devices. More than half — a comparatively high proportion — had done what health care providers perennially urge and had prepared advance directives, but only one of those documents made any mention of cardiac technology…

“The consequence is, a huge number of surrogates had to make these decisions,” Dr. Daniel Matlock said in an interview, pointing out that about half of the requests for deactivation in the study came from surrogates. “Nobody wants that. People’s big concern at the end of life is not to burden their families…”

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