Cheers and jeers

Thumbs up to Facebook crime fighting, U.S. attorney; down to fraud, posturing

Cheers — to a crime-fighting Facebook page that helped land a suspect in jail on drug and weapons charges. Carol Dickson, a retired sheriff's deputy in Josephine County, started the "To Catch a Thief" Facebook page to help compensate for sharp cutbacks in sheriff's patrols when federal timber payments ended. Investigators reading the page checked out reported suspicious activity at the home of a Cave Junction man and found him in possession of methamphetamine, illegally selling medical marijuana and being a felon in possession of a gun.

Ordinarily, vigilante methods are less than ideal even when police forces are short-handed, but sharing information on social media is a safe way to alert authorities without trying to be amateur police officers.

Jeers — to the couple who managed to fraudulently collect more than $200,000 in Oregon welfare benefits while living in a $330,000 home in Nevada — and to the failure of the Oregon Department of Human Services to notice it was paying benefits to a single person at multiple addresses.

Cheers — to Amanda Marshall, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, for meeting with medical marijuana program representatives to explain what federal prosecutors are trying to accomplish with raids on medical marijuana growers in Southern Oregon.

It was the first time an Oregon U.S. attorney has met with the advisory committee to the state's medical marijuana program, and it was something Marshall did not have to do.

She stressed that her office is not out to prosecute medical marijuana patients, but wants to focus on people using the medical system as a cover to profit from illegal marijuana trafficking.

Jeers — to both sides in the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, who are attempting to use the stalemate to score political points, not solve the problem. President Obama is avoiding any real concessions because polls indicate the American public will blame House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans if automatic spending cuts and tax increases take place as scheduled. Boehner is doing likewise because he wants to point the finger at the Obama administration.

Jeers — to former 2nd District Congressman Wes Cooley for ... oh, never mind. That's just too easy.

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