Mar 012014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and an feeling quite groggy, having just awakened.  Last night’s volunteer meeting went spectacularly well.  Two Oregon State University professors brought their sociology students to meet with my guys.  There were more than ever before.  In the groups I was in, I played a subdued role, facilitating communication, whenever I realized someone did not understand the jargon used by students and prisoners.  The students’ professors have taught them that the stereotypes, with which our society labels prisoners, are not accurate, but knowing it intellectually is no substitute for experiencing it in person.  My guys left them with a vastly improved outlook, and I could not be more proud of them.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:49 (average 5:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Unmistakable Proof That Something’s Wrong With Our Justice System

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With what I do, you don’t have to convince me.

From The New Yorker: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial anti-gay bill last night, telling reporters, “Let’s focus on discriminating against Mexicans.”

Governor Brewer said that while “the intentions behind this bill were obviously excellent,” she was worried that the bill “would distract us from our main mission of harassing, tormenting, and otherwise making life miserable for Mexicans.”

Although Governor Brewer said that she could foresee a time when Arizona might “branch out into discriminating against gays,” the decision to veto the anti-gay bill in the name of anti-immigrant pride was not difficult: “Arizona needs to stick to what it does best.”

Dang!! Is Andy on a roll with the Brewerstan Death Angel or what?

From Think Progress: Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill that sought to provide veterans with greater access to health care and education over an amendment aimed at increasing sanctions on Iran.

Democrats failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to overcome the GOP obstruction.

Republicans have been trying to get a vote on an Iran sanctions measure, which has stalled after experts and Obama administration officials convinced most members of the Democratic caucus that it would derail talks with Iran over its nuclear program and could lead to war.

Did I not tell you that, despite their protestations to the contrary, Republicans would find an excuse to obstruct Democratic legislation to help our veterans?

Cartoon:

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  16 Responses to “Open Thread–3/1/2014”

  1. 4:06 I didn't quite measure up here.

  2. Upworthy ~ It's "prison for profit" in the good old USA.

    New Yorker ~ Andy is definitely on a roll. The Death Angel is good fodder for his satire though.

    Think Progress ~ Our good friend in the Snate, Bernie Sanders, is not happy about this and is letting it be kinown any time someone gives him a chance to speak in public. You tell 'em, Bernie!                                  Didn't the RepubliCon artists protest in October of last year that they would never use veterans as pawns in a political game?

    Cartoon ~ When are the new ones starting? Oh yeah, Darrell Issa already started them but he hasn't found a witch yet.

     

  3. I suspect that the increase in prison population shown in your graph is a result of the "great success" of the War on Drugs".

  4. I watched a very interesting documentary and then followed up with reading a few books on the Salem Witch trials. It seems all this can be traced back to a very twisted monk who wrote: Malleus Maleficarum (1486). The handbook for how to detect, torture and try a witch. Though occasionally men were tried and killed but the real focus was women [technically the should be burned]. Those who always hold power by the mere fact that they give birth to the children, cook the food, and care for the family. Whether that power is flaunted by women is less relevant, than the fact that women can (physically) do things that a man can not. And you think we have a war on women now!

    Though it was claimed that the church gave their blessing to the recommendations in the Malleus Maleficarum, that was not true. Though I doubt that many men then or now have many qualms about keeping women under their thumbs.

    I find this game of blame for veterans benefits a replay of the same old song. Read some history folks, the US and the UK – in fact most countries love those boys dying in far away lands, but sure hate forking over money to care for them, whether that is education or health care. It's not a party issue, McCain should be screaming in favor of veterans, but take a look at his record. He rarely votes for the side of veterans, though he is one – he is also very wealthy and has no need for benefits.

    About Andy – TC we fell in the same ditch again.

    • No offense, but WRT your statement:

      ~~Though I doubt that many men then or now have many qualms about keeping women under their thumbs.

      Depending on how you define "many" – I might take strong exception to that broad brush condemnation.

      • Understandable you would feel so.  Do be aware that privilege looks very different depending on which side of it you are.

  5. Puzzle — 3:42  I hope I continue to measure up!

    Upworthy — The steepest increase appears to have started in the Reagan years.  Of course judicial appointments were more right wing and lasted through the Democratic years.  Then an additional increase during the Baby Bush years.  And wasn't that when "for profit prisons" really took hold?  It seems that profit trumps rehabilitation.  Profit seems to trump everything!

    The New Yorker — Andy has hit the mark yet again!  I have friends that travel to Arizona where her parents live for part of the year.  We have to agree not to discuss Arizona politics.  Unfortunately, they have been indoctrinated to a degree into "what Arizona does best".

    Think Progress — The Republicanus/Teabaggers living up to their credo "Profits and power before all else!"

    "Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill that sought to provide veterans with greater access to health care and education over an amendment aimed at increasing sanctions on Iran."

    The Republicanus/Teabaggers started 2 wars but have proven, more than once, that they are unwilling to see the devastating effects of war on people and unwilling to support the people they send into war . . . their human fodder.  They would rather wage "war" on another nation with the possibility of starting yet another war so that defence contractors and other corporations can make big profits.

    Cartoon — I wonder if we could send Jan Brewer back to 1692 Salem?

  6. Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill that sought to provide veterans with greater access to health care and education over an amendment aimed at increasing sanctions on Iran.

    This makes me very angry… :!:

    5:44 – Puzzle

     

     

  7. Thanks all.  Pooped!

  8. Thanks TC – so glad your meeting went so well, and very glad some academics are helping their students THINK for themselves! 

    Loved Andy again – he has her down pat, doesn't he?!  Re ThinkProgress – if after WWII the GI bill had failed like that – America would never have been the world power it became.

  9. 5:46  Talk about looking easy and being wicked.

    Upworthy – I also do not need convincing about prisons.  Besides the war on drugs (and partially in tandem with it) goes mandatory sentencing, which can lead to unbelievable disparities.

    Andy – I'm still impressed that she vetoed it at all.

    Think Progress – "Republicans have been trying to get a vote on an Iran sanctions measure, which has stalled after experts and Obama administration officials …" and don't forget a whole lot of petition signers.  I signed most of the petitions on this topic myself.

    Cartoon – "Witches" were burned in Europe all right (Joan of Arc was one) but not in Salem.  All the "witches" there were hanged.  Giles Corey (one of my heroes) was pressed to death because he refused to plead.  He knew if he entered a plea, no matter which way, his possessions would be confiscated, and he was determined to protect his family from destitution.

  10. Glad you guys showed the students who they really are.  Everyone, almost, has a preconceived notion of what a prisoner is supposed to be, until he or she actually knows someone  who has gone to prison.

    I believe that one of the biggest things things wrong with our justice system is the for profit prisons.  The other is the war on drugs.

    The New Yorker:  I can see Brewer thinking that very thing!

    Think Progress: I shared the article on Facebook.  I want as many people as  possible to know that theGOP is punishing veterans.

    Cartoon:  Those days could come again, most dems in the house feel they are being witch hunted all ready.