Apr 292016
 

Yesterday I arrived at OSP at about 5:30 to attend my guys’ annual banquet for half of over 100 prisoners in the group and their family guests.  The other half is next month.  The food was good and I talked to several of my guys and their families about how well they were doing and how their families should take pride in them and their accomplishments.  The President (inside) then went to the podium and addressed the assembly about me.  He talked about how long I had been coming in, about how I had almost died and lost my leg, about all the help I had provided for them over the years and about how fortunate they are that I am able to return on a limited basis,  I felt both surprised and overwhelmed.  I went to the front, took the mike and said a few words about how I consider working with such men a privilege, not a sacrifice,. thanked them for their welcome, and promised to keep working become able to expand my role over time.  When I returned home, I had a snack and went to bed,  It usually takes me a while to fall asleep, but I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.  Today, I’ve already had a nap and plan to rest.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 5:05).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From DenverBroncos.com: Standing tall at 6-feet-7-inches, Lynch was dynamic for the Tigers in his three seasons as their starting quarterback. In his best year, his junior season, he completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 3,778 yards with 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Lynch, a first team All-AAC selection in 2015, threw for 8,865 yards and 59 touchdowns in 38 career games at Memphis. The signal caller led the Tigers to bowl games in his last two seasons.

Lynch also has some wheels, compiling 687 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground.

 

May the Holy Ellipsoid Orb bathe Lynch  and all his teammates in its divine light!!

From Daily Kos: Another responsible gun owner, this time it was a retired NYPD officer who just didn’t feel safe enough to go to the doctor’s office without his trusty tool:

According to Nassau County police, the 77-year-old retired officer was in the office when he removed his licensed 10 mm semi-automatic pistol to show to the doctor.

The weapon accidentally discharged a round which struck the owner in the thigh and continued through his leg, striking the doctor in the right foot.

Both victims were taken to an area hospital for treatment of their nonlife threatening injuries.

This Republican ammosexual is so stupid that he actually shot the guy who could have treated him.

From YouTube (via Media Matters email): Rush Getting Flushed

Relegate him it a soap box on a street corner… but NOT MY street corner.

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Apr 282016
 

Pardon my brevity.  I needed a morning nap. and I need to get this done and up in time to go to the prison.  That’s actually a huge sacrifice, because today is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  The draft is tonight.  I hope my Broncos get a good first round pick.  Store to Door just left, so I have the rest of my groceries.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:35 (average 4:16).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Just how desperate is North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory to lay the blame for HB2 on anyone but himself? Well, this sitting governor has now released an attack email against a sitting mayor: Charlotte’s Jennifer Roberts. Nothing like punching downward—that’s what all the political analysts recommend. Jim Morrill has the details on McCrory’s latest re-election strategy, starting with the email’s headline:

“Roy Cooper Ally Jennifer Roberts Admitted She Thought About Leaving Out The Bathroom Mandate, But Pushed It Through Anyway,” a headline says. […]

McCrory’s email includes TV and radio clips of Roberts talking about House Bill 2. […]

“The clips … should help refresh your memory that the topic of bathrooms was first raised by the radical left when – over warnings from the governor and other state leaders that they should have left restroom norms way they were and focus on things … Roy Cooper’s allies decided to push through Charlotte’s radical bathroom mandate anyway,” said McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz.

Fact: Charlotte passed a measure that affirmed people’s judgment in making the appropriate bathroom choice.

Fact: North Carolina lawmakers passed a Big Brother bill dictating to people which bathrooms they must use, because apparently The People can’t be entrusted with such a decision.

This whole “Charlotte made us do it!” shtick is just ridiculous.

There is only one man who opted to sign HB2 into law, Hatefuhrer of the Republican Theocratic Dictatorship of McCrorystan, Par McCrory,

From The New Yorker: In choosing the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina as his running mate, Senator Ted Cruz hopes to tap into the immense popularity of one of the most beloved public figures in America.

Minutes after the news of Cruz’s selection leaked, political insiders called the choice of the wildly adored Fiorina a game-changer for the Cruz campaign.

“It’s no secret that Ted Cruz has some trouble with likeability,” the Republican strategist Harland Dorrinson said. “What better way to fix that than by choosing Carly Fiorina, a person everyone is absolutely crazy about?”

Fiorina’s reputation for winning the hearts of everyone she comes in contact with dates back to her days as the incredibly well-liked C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard and, before that, Lucent Technologies.

Andy may have screwed the pooch here. The HP employees, with whom I dealt regularly for years, all spoke of her in profane uncomplimentary terms, the most common rhyming with stitch. I think that TRUSed Uranus Cruz is so desperate that he’s offering a chance at the VP slot in hopes of getting lucky with Carly. His taste is as extreme as his policies.

From NY Times: Battered by four defeats in Tuesday night’s primaries, Bernie Sanders is planning to lay off hundreds of campaign staffers across the country and focus much of his remaining effort on winning the June 7 California primary.

That confirms the end of the nomination fight, but I will still vote for him in the Oregon Primary. On to the platform fight.

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0428TCPrison

I hope they let me out!!

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Apr 272016
 

I’m getting another late start today.  Julie came, sprayed and buffed me, and did some light cleaning.  My ISP was down for a bit. I’m ready for a Lona nap, but I don’t get to take one yet as Store to Door is coming with a big grocery order.  Here’s something I have hot said in a very long time.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day.  I’ll be leaving mid-afternoon, and returning late night.  I haven’t5 seen my guys in over six months, and I can’t wait!!  I will probably have articles tomorrow, but not Friday.  Store to Door just lost about 1/3 of my grocery order, so I just have no more time to spend in research.  This is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics:

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2151

1338

Delegates Won

4051

1632

1299

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

519

39

 

 

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

 

 

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

 

 

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

 

 

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

 

 

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

 

 

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Oregon

May 17

61 (13)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Kentucky

May 17

55 (5)

 

 

Primary

Closed

West Virginia

May 10

29 (8)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

 

 

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

11

13

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

95

67

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

12

9

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

27

25

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

59

32

Primary

Closed

New York

April 19

247 (44)

139

108

Primary

Closed

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

9

25

Caucus

Open

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

36

35

Primary

Open

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

79

77

Primary

Open

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

9

16

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

25

41

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

Hillary increased her lead by 58 delegates.  At this point I see no feasible way for Bernie to win.

From Daily KosThanks to Sanders to taking a first step on the path to helping to the Democratic Party unite and win this November!

“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as President and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be.  That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast.  That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street, financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.”

According to MSNBC, for the first time I have ever heard, he sent out a message congratulating Hillary Clinton on her victories tonight.

Kudos to Bernie and his campaign.  I think they realize that they can’t win. so to begin the healing process, they are changing their focus from the nomination to the platform. 

From Alternet: Stephen Colbert got down with some bathroom humor on Tuesday night’s show.

“Here’s the thing,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re male or female, what sex or gender identity someone is, I—and I mean this sincerely—do not want to share a bathroom with anyone. For two reasons: No. 1—and No. 2.”

Of course, he was not there to make sophomoric poop jokes; his target was the ridiculous and hateful political posturing around who gets to use which bathroom with whom.

 

Does he know how to pick a weirdo. or what?

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Apr 092016
 

I’m waiting for Lu to come for my shower.  She’s already over an hour late.  I’ll probably be scarce this week, as it’s 6 days until Infernal Revenue Day, I still have both personal taxes and taxes for my prison volunteer organization to do, and I also have three appointments, and a grocery delivery day this week,

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: San Antonio Independent School District Officer Joshua Kehm was captured on video brutally body-slamming a 12-year-old girl who attends Rhodes Middle School.

This is the Republican way to run schools and teach children,

From Alternet: When considering major themes in American history, which he often covers, filmmaker Ken Burns put racism at the top of the list.

 

I fully agree, but I think we had driven racism into the closet, before the Republican Party adopted it and brought it back into the mainstream.

From Crooks and Liars: Real Time host Bill Maher during his New Rules segment this Friday explains to what’s left of the "sane" wing of the Republican party why they should vote for Hillary Clinton this election cycle and focus on rebuilding their party instead. If we wind up with Clinton and Trump in the general, I expect a lot of the so-called "GOP establishment" will do exactly that.

 

And a bonus!!

Gotta love Bill!

Cartoon:

0409Cartoon

Republicans consider this a cruel hoax.

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Feb 162016
 

I’m feeling tired after a long day yesterday.  The Urologist told me my pee is grade A-1, and sent me for a blood test to make sure I don’t have prostate cancer.  With only three  legs, it’s harder to shred his toilet paper.

TCPee

Today is the the first day my helper friend takes over as shower-aide.  She’s due at noon, and I so hope she shows up. Also on tap is meal-prep.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:17 (average 4:57).  To do it, click here.  Hoe did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Sen. Mitch McConnell, in 2005, defending the absolute right of a sitting president to nominate judges.

"The Constitution of the United States is at stake.  Article II, Section 2 clearly provides that the President, and the President alone, nominates judges.  The Senate is empowered to give advice and consent.  But my Democratic colleagues want to change the rules.  They want to reinterpret the Constitution to require a supermajority for confirmation.  In effect, they would take away the power to nominate from the President and grant it to a minority of 41 Senators."

"[T]he Republican conference intends to restore the principle that, regardless of party, any President’s judicial nominees, after full debate, deserve a simple up-or-down vote.  I know that some of our colleagues wish that restoration of this principle were not required. But it is a measured step that my friends on the other side of the aisle have unfortunately made necessary. For the first time in 214 years, they have changed the Senate’s ‘advise and consent’ responsibilities to ‘advise and obstruct.’"

I partially agree with Bought Bitch Mitch?!!?  ARGH!!!!  I think I’m going to throw up!!

From The New Yorker: In a television appearance on Sunday, the leading Senate Republican warned President Obama “in no uncertain terms” against doing anything in his remaining three hundred and forty days in office.

“The President should be aware that, for all intents and purposes, his term in office is already over,” Mitch McConnell said on Fox News. “It’s not the time to start doing things when you have a mere eight thousand one hundred and sixty hours left.”

While acknowledging that the President has eleven months remaining in the White House, McConnell said that he and the President “have an honest disagreement about how long eleven months is.”

“The President believes it is almost one year,” he said. “I believe it is almost zero years. I’m not a mathematician, but I believe I am right.”

Andy, I’m so relieved! Now that’s the Bought Bitch Mitch I know and despise!!

From NY Times: States are finally backing away from the draconian sentencing policies that swept the country at the end of the last century, driving up prison costs and sending too many people to jail for too long, often for nonviolent offenses. Many are now trying to turn around the prison juggernaut by steering drug addicts into treatment instead of jail and retooling parole systems that once sent people back to prison for technical violations.

But the most effective way to keep people out of prison once they leave is to give them jobs skills that make them marketable employees. That, in turn, means restarting prison education programs that were shuttered beginning in the 1990s, when federal and state legislators cut funding to show how tough they were on crime.

President Obama pointed the country in the right direction last year by creating a pilot program that will allow a limited number of inmates to receive federal Pell Grants to take college courses behind bars. The program will include colleges that either run prison education programs or want to start them. So far, more than 200 schools in 47 states have expressed interest.

From my volunteer work I know this.  National average recidivism is 67%. Recidivism for prisoners that completed an Associates Degree in prison < 10%. Recidivism for prisoners that completed an Bachelors Degree in prison < 5%. Since the average cost to incarcerate a prisoner is around $80 per day, can America afford to NOT educate prisoners?

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Feb 142016
 

I’m hurrying, because I want to finish blogging before my friend gets here.  I hope loading the chair goes well, because if it does, I can go to the prison four times a year.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:34 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Extreme Religious Agony:

Woe!  Oh!  The misery!!  The Ellipsoid Orb has gone dark and its holy light will not shine fully until September.  Let the distraught tears of grief flow!

Short Takes:

From CNN: Justice Antonin Scalia’s death immediately triggered a monumental election-year battle in Washington over whether President Barack Obama should choose a successor who could tilt the Supreme Court toward liberals.

Within two hours of Scalia’s death being reported, presidential candidates along with Republican and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were feuding over whether Obama should appoint a replacement for the eloquent and outspoken Scalia or wait for the next administration to make a decision. The battle lines underscored the huge political stakes in the 2016 election, which could cement the ideological balance of the court for years to come.

Obama said Saturday he would nominate a successor "in due time," but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted the next administration should make the appointment.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," the Kentucky Republican said. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President."

While decency demands that I express condolences to those who loved him, truth demands that I say his death is a blessing to the American people, and could be salvation for the US Constitution. Bought Bitch Mitch has his head next to Ted’s TRUS. The American People have spoken on who they want to appoint Supreme Court Justices between 1/2013 and 1/2017. Obama should appoint a progressive right away.  I do feel sorry for Beelzebub.  His abode just became  strict constructionist.

From The New Yorker: Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was forced to leave Saturday night’s crucial Republican Presidential debate after suffering what aides called a “low-battery warning.”

Rubio’s abrupt departure occurred immediately following his opening statement, which started in a spirited manner but concluded with the senator uttering the word “Obama” no fewer than a dozen times in succession.

With the other candidates and debate moderators looking on, Rubio’s eyes appeared to roll back in his head, which fell forward and came to rest on his podium.

Dang Andy!! Maybe I need to upgrade his nickname to Border Booter Bot!!

From Washington Post: Six Republican presidential candidates debated Saturday night in South Carolina, just hours after the sudden news of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.

We’ve posted the complete transcript below, annotated with insight from Washington Post reporters.

If you have an unlimited supply of barf bags, and don’t mind a long, nasty read without a single good idea, click through for Clown Car Destruction Derby IX.

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Feb 132016
 

I’m running late, because I took a nap from Lona this morning.  I’m still quite busy.  Tomorrow a friend, with whom I have done volunteer work is stopping by to learn how to collapse my power chart and see if she can load it into her car.  If she can, we will probably go out for lunch.  My guys in prison are having a Community Impact meeting later this month, and since it’s in the Visiting Room, I may be able to go.  Monday I have a Urology appointment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:26 (average 7:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From CNN: Residents of Flint, Michigan, began getting gravely ill and in some cases dying in summer 2014 in one of the worst outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in U.S. history, and a county health director says attempts to find the source were hampered when the state wouldn’t request federal assistance.

Genesee County Health director Jim Henry tells CNN in an exclusive interview he believes deaths could have been prevented, but the health department could not get help from the state of Michigan or the Centers for Disease Control to find the source. Eventually, 87 people got Legionnaire’s and nine died.

Henry, who was a supervisor at the time of the outbreak, says state officials purposely kept the CDC away once the county wanted to look at the highly corrosive Flint River as the Legionnaire’s uptick began. The state had decided to switch the water supply source to the Flint River, and soon brown water began flowing from taps in the city… [emphasis added]

Even if Flint River water was not the source of the infection, Republican Sturmbannführer Snyder murdered nine people by covering up his water crime, because his cover-up  prevented the discovery of the source.

From Tampa Bay Times: The hedge fund manager boasted that he had traveled to "every country" in the world, studying overseas stock markets as he fine-tuned an investment strategy to capitalize on global companies’ suffering because of economic or political turmoil.

But the fund manager had an even more distinctive credential to showcase in his marketing material in June 2013: He was a "U.S. congressman," Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Now he is also among the leading Democratic candidates for one of Florida’s U.S. Senate seats.

This highly unusual dual role — a sitting House lawmaker running a hedge fund, which until recently had operations in the Cayman Islands — has led to an investigation of Grayson by the House Committee on Ethics .

The inquiry has become public, but emails and marketing documents obtained by the New York Times show the extent to which Grayson’s roles as a hedge fund manager and a member of Congress were intertwined, and how he promoted his international travels, some with congressional delegations, to solicit business.

Interviews and the documents show that Grayson told potential investors in his hedge fund that they should contribute money to the fund to capitalize on the unrest he observed around the world, and to take particular advantage when there was "blood in the streets."

I’m not going to hide from this story, because of my past support for Alan, and I do agree with the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, that Alan should leave the Senate race for Border Booter’s seat. Until and unless Alan can prove his innocence, he cannot succeed, anyway. However, Leg Hound Harry has also virtually convicted Alan. If he is guilty, he does deserve our censure, but allegations are not definitive proof, and Democrats need to stop running scared from Republicans and throwing our own under the bus, before the investigations conclude.  That said, I have to admit, it looks bad,  Maybe our readers from FL can enlighten us.

From PRWafch: In the face of the Republican-led Congress’ hostility to the IRS clarifying the rules for nonprofit political activity, the tax agency has apparently given up.

The IRS has granted nonprofit status to Karl Rove’s dark money political operation, Crossroads GPS, which for the past five years has pushed the legal envelope in order to influence elections but keep its donors secret.

Formed in the wake of Citizens United, Crossroads GPS has been one of the biggest secretly-funded political players, raising and spending $330 million on election-related ads attacking Democratic candidates or praising Republicans, but without doing anything that might be described as advancing "social welfare." Although the majority opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision endorsed disclosure of donors, in the five years following the decision, spending by secretly-funded 501(c)(4) nonprofits has exploded.

If Crossroads GPS can be granted nonprofit status, there may be few limits on how political operatives can use tax-exempt groups to dodge campaign finance disclosure laws. The Koch political network, for example, will have little fear of IRS enforcement as it spends almost $889 million this election cycle through its network of nonprofit groups.

If Rove Rat represents social welfare, rather than hidden election purchase, then this cat is really a dawg!

RoveRat

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Oct 252015
 

This essay comes from a friend of a friend.  I do not know who she is.  However, I have heard many stories from people who believed in the criminal justice system in this country, until they or a member of their family learned first hand that their experience was the polar opposite of what they had believed.  This is one mother’s reaction to such an experience.

July 26, 2015

0816thematrixWhat I want people to know is what I’ve learned over the past two years – how my life is upside down both philosophically and emotionally. Philosophically, because what I learned, believed about our justice system is just thrown under the bus. I am angry. Angry at people who are charged with our wonderful, ideal system and have perverted it and made us all accomplices in torture and harm. We were standing shoulder to shoulder with prison guards who abuse prisoners; DAs and police who lie, who give up honesty and integrity to convict.

We became part of the problem. Only we didn’t even realize there was a problem. They lie. They suck us in to be their accomplices. We asked no questions. We believed them. No. We believed the idea of a system. We believed they were the embodiment of truth. They kept us safe from people who would harm us, who were really terrible people.

But what do they do? “Lose” evidence, lie to protect themselves, serve as judge and jury to convict whom they have decided is guilty. Screw looking at evidence. How did they get to the place where they are in such a hallowed system of our country, protecting our country’s ideals, being the keeper for those ideals and now corrupting those ideals.

Am I naïve? Not now. Was I? Yes. But I’m in the company of the majority of our country. I listen over and over and OVER again to “I had no idea how this system works! I was shocked to learn how it really works.” Problem is – no one does know until it happens. No one believes until it does happen.

I’m angry that I was blindsided. Is it my fault? Should I have known better? WHY SHOULD I!?!! Where’s the disconnect here? That our system as taught to high-schoolers is just too much of a fairy tale? I should know better than to believe such a fairy tale could actually work? Are the people in the justice system just laughing at me for being so naive?

Or is the disconnect in how people have subverted the ideal? The people who have gotten used to having it their way? People who have decide they are smarter than tedious “truth and justice” and will improve a hopelessly naïve system?

Are we in The Matrix*? They have created this fake world that they’ve sold us on that every thing is right in our world, that they have the knowledge and expertise to keep it the ideal it is.

But behind their words and assurances that create the perfect illusion is a world of crumbling, moldy, derelict laws. A blighted world wildly out of control with more and more laws, penalties, and incarcerations for longer and longer times. A world destroyed with smoking embers, blown out, burned down buildings, haunted people. Out of sight behind the illusion they create with their paternalistic, mesmerizing lies! Do we choose to believe their lies because it’s just easier? No! I think we believe because we truly believe that they are the pillars of our justice system. We hear their excuses—which they call “reasons”—and that reinforces what we already instinctively believe.

But now pieces of their façade may be cracking. Can they hold it together and continue to make us believe their fake world? We know what is really behind their world of “safety, justice and truth”. We’ve seen and heard the destroyed lives, the money taken from society and spent to warehouse people and then return wasted people with wasted lives and difficult options. The LIES – The harm – The self-supporting arguments.

What will it take to bring down the phony façade of a tough on crime, retribution, vengeance model of justice and return us to where most people already think we are: convicting wrong-doers but with consideration of mitigating or extenuating circumstances, incarcerating only people who are a threat and then rehabilitating them so they can live as successful citizens. Giving people a chance to pay for their crime and then re-joining society. Being humans helping humans.

My passion. I want people to know what I’ve learned. I want to shock them awake to what our criminal justice system has become. No, ladies and gentlemen, it is not what you believe it is.

Unfortunately, most of you will never really find that out. No, it’s not fortunate that you will never have a loved one, or yourself, caught up in this horrible system. It’s not fortunate that you’ll never have an accusation made at you of something you never did. It’s not fortunate that you get to keep living oblivious to how our criminal justice system has lost its way in mandatory sentencing. Because unless you are unfortunate enough to have personal contact with this devastating system, you won’t try to do something about it.

(From Wikipedia: The Matrix movie depicts a dystopian [an imaginary community or society that is undesirable or frightening] future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called “the Matrix”, created by sentient machines to subdue the human population,)

Personally, I find what she has to say believable and compelling.

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Aug 282015
 

This anonymous essay comes from a friend of a friend with whom I do volunteer work.  I do not know who she is.  However, I have heard many stories from people who believed in the criminal justice system in this country, until they or a member of their family learned first hand that their experience was the polar opposite of what they had believed.  This is one mother’s reaction to such an experience.

July 26, 2015

0828thematrix5What I want people to know is what I’ve learned over the past two years – how my life is upside down both philosophically and emotionally. Philosophically, because what I learned, believed about our justice system is just thrown under the bus. I am angry. Angry at people who are charged with our wonderful, ideal system and have perverted it and made us all accomplices in torture and harm. We were standing shoulder to shoulder with prison guards who abuse prisoners; DAs and police who lie, who give up honesty and integrity to convict.

We became part of the problem. Only we didn’t even realize there was a problem. They lie. They suck us in to be their accomplices. We asked no questions. We believed them. No. We believed the idea of a system. We believed they were the embodiment of truth. They kept us safe from people who would harm us, who were really terrible people.

But what do they do? “Lose” evidence, lie to protect themselves, serve as judge and jury to convict whom they have decided is guilty. Screw looking at evidence. How did they get to the place where they are in such a hallowed system of our country, protecting our country’s ideals, being the keeper for those ideals and now corrupting those ideals.

Am I naïve? Not now. Was I? Yes. But I’m in the company of the majority of our country. I listen over and over and OVER again to “I had no idea how this system works! I was shocked to learn how it really works.” Problem is – no one does know until it happens. No one believes until it does happen.

I’m angry that I was blindsided. Is it my fault? Should I have known better? WHY SHOULD I!?!! Where’s the disconnect here? That our system as taught to high-schoolers is just too much of a fairy tale? I should know better than to believe such a fairy tale could actually work? Are the people in the justice system just laughing at me for being so naive?

Or is the disconnect in how people have subverted the ideal? The people who have gotten used to having it their way? People who have decide they are smarter than tedious “truth and justice” and will improve a hopelessly naïve system?

Are we in The Matrix*? They have created this fake world that they’ve sold us on that every thing is right in our world, that they have the knowledge and expertise to keep it the ideal it is.

But behind their words and assurances that create the perfect illusion is a world of crumbling, moldy, derelict laws. A blighted world wildly out of control with more and more laws, penalties, and incarcerations for longer and longer times. A world destroyed with smoking embers, blown out, burned down buildings, haunted people. Out of sight behind the illusion they create with their paternalistic, mesmerizing lies! Do we choose to believe their lies because it’s just easier? No! I think we believe because we truly believe that they are the pillars of our justice system. We hear their excuses—which they call “reasons”—and that reinforces what we already instinctively believe.

But now pieces of their façade may be cracking. Can they hold it together and continue to make us believe their fake world? We know what is really behind their world of “safety, justice and truth”. We’ve seen and heard the destroyed lives, the money taken from society and spent to warehouse people and then return wasted people with wasted lives and difficult options. The LIES – The harm – The self-supporting arguments.

What will it take to bring down the phony façade of a tough on crime, retribution, vengeance model of justice and return us to where most people already think we are: convicting wrong-doers but with consideration of mitigating or extenuating circumstances, incarcerating only people who are a threat and then rehabilitating them so they can live as successful citizens. Giving people a chance to pay for their crime and then re-joining society. Being humans helping humans.

My passion. I want people to know what I’ve learned. I want to shock them awake to what our criminal justice system has become. No, ladies and gentlemen, it is not what you believe it is.

Unfortunately, most of you will never really find that out. No, it’s not fortunate that you will never have a loved one, or yourself, caught up in this horrible system. It’s not fortunate that you’ll never have an accusation made at you of something you never did. It’s not fortunate that you get to keep living oblivious to how our criminal justice system has lost its way in mandatory sentencing. Because unless you are unfortunate enough to have personal contact with this devastating system, you won’t try to do something about it.

(From Wikipedia: The Matrix movie depicts a dystopian [an imaginary community or society that is undesirable or frightening] future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called "the Matrix", created by sentient machines to subdue the human population,)

Personally, I find what she has to say both believable and compelling.

Share
Aug 242015
 

I spoke with the prison’s head of Volunteer Services this morning and learned that the demand to pull my volunteer card dis not come from them.  It came from Security.  The problem is this.  Because of my COPD, I am more likely to suffer a medical emergency while climbing the stairs to the Activities floor than other people.  Were that to happen, they would have to call an ambulance and lock down the entire prison for my extraction.  Lockdowns are costly.  So there’s no way I could have gotten her to budge, as she was being overruled.  However, I did get one concession from her.  I will be able to enter the prison as a guest, not a volunteer (who can go to any venue), when my group’s events are boing held in the Visiting Room instead of the Activities Floor, as it is on the main level.  It’s still a huge loss.  I’ll be going from 2 to 3 times a month to 3 to 4 times a year and will have little opportunity for working on issues with them in depth.  But at least I got the most I could have gotten.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker:

Short TakesA rally featuring a racist speaker Friday night in Mobile attracted a crowd of just twenty thousand people, widely considered a disappointing turnout for a racist event in Alabama.

According to racist event planners in the state, a crowd of twenty thousand would rank the event as one of the smaller racist rallies in Alabama this year.

Organizers of the rally were quick to defend the size of the turnout. “There is always a lot of competition for the racist audience in Alabama,” an aide to the speaker said. “There were other racists speaking at other venues in the state Friday night. Plus, a lot of racists now prefer to stay at home and stream racist content on the Internet. Given all the options available to racists, I think twenty thousand is a solid number.”

Andy knows that Hairball picked AL for his rally because AL Republicans passed a Latino-hate law even worse than the infamous "papers please" law in AZ.

From Daily Kos (classic 2/2012): It is now the common wisdom of millions of interested parties that ALEC does not work for the vast majority of citizens, that it is a vicious corporate lobby and that it is thee main force behind the deterioration of personal liberties and workers’ rights in the United States.

Arguing against ALEC’s influence over state legislation has become more difficult thanks to efforts such as ALEC Exposed which display how similar bills advancing in GOP-controlled states are and from whence they originate.  Now, Florida Rep. Rachel Burgin (R-56), a 29 year old former legislative aide and graduate of Moody Bible Institute, has made the task of indicting ALEC for undue influence in state politics that much easier by forgetting to remove ALEC’s mission statement from a bill (PDF) she suddenly "decided” to propose.  This bill calls on the federal government to reduce taxes for corporations (HM 685).

Burgin discovered her error, but not before Common Blog spotted it:

Let us not forget where the bills Republicans introduce and pass, especially at the state level, are written.

From NY Times: …Whatever the precise mix of causes, what’s important now is that policy makers take seriously the possibility, I’d say probability, that excess savings and persistent global weakness is the new normal.

My sense is that there’s a deep-seated unwillingness, even among sophisticated officials, to accept this reality. Partly this is about special interests: Wall Street doesn’t want to hear that an unstable world requires strong financial regulation, and politicians who want to kill the welfare state don’t want to hear that government spending and debt aren’t problems in the current environment.

But there’s also, I believe, a sort of emotional prejudice against the very notion of global glut. Politicians and technocrats alike want to view themselves as serious people making hard choices — choices like cutting popular programs and raising interest rates. They don’t like being told that we’re in a world where seemingly tough-minded policies will actually make things worse. But we are, and they will.

This is the conclusion of an excellent Paul Krugman editorial. Click through to see how he got there.

Cartoon:

0824Cartoon

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