Tag Archives: Prisons

Random News: June 10, 2011

You may have missed these.

Pay no attention to the (absence of the) man behind the curtain. Newt Gingrich’s Buckhead (read ritzy Atlanta) office space looked vacant when the Atlanta Journal Constitution snapped these photos. What’s up Newt? Where are the structural supports for your campaign? Even if everyone jumped ship, shouldn’t there be stuff? Support staff? What gives?

Bizarre Behavior. Forget copper, these people cut down and stole a tree in almost broad daylight. Fortunately, someone was paying attention. Wonder what compelled them to do that? Scrap yard won’t pay for a tree.

Geek moment. The troubles of adding two new elements to the periodic table.

Another hotspot for trouble on the globe. China confronts Vietnam over disputed waters in South China Sea. The Middle East should not be our sole focus. Trouble in Southeast Asia might mean more “bad things” happening around the globe and inhibit Mr. Bernanke’s forecasts, or at least delay them, AGAIN.

Dangerous Games, that aren’t Games. Here’s an op-ed from the LATimes about the hazards California will encounter following court ordered inmate reductions. Wouldn’t you rather have plan than forced release?

Caffeine ban? Doubt it! Another LA Times opinion piece warns of the hazards of caffeine intake. This author, inexplicably, suggests banning caffeine. What? Get over it folks. You can’t take everything from us. Absences from work would increase, productivity would be down significantly. No, you cannot take my coffee. I draw the line here.

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Random News: June 8, 2011

Just when I thought I’d skip this morning…

A thought provoking argument against “green” energy. In his editorial, Robert Bryce argues that the damage to the environment caused by “green” energy mandates may not be worth the impact. 5 square miles of desert for 530 megawatts of power?

Treat an ulcer with cranberry juice. This mythbusting blog at the the NYTimes reports cranberry juice might help with the pain of ulcers. Strange but true.

Cooking news. If you’re not already, you can defrost meat with hot water and it works faster. Great news for me, I gave away the microwave a couple of years ago and I hate the taste of microwave defrosted meat. 10 minute defrost sounds great.

Definition of Cheating in a Relationship. Congressman Weiner’s dalliance brings up the issue: if he didn’t touch these women he texted, does that count as cheating? If he had some sort of romantic emotional connection with any woman, the answer would be yes. The story however sounds like he was getting cheap thrills not from the women but from the “taboo” act of sending the photos. But what do I know, I’m not in his head…Thankfully.

The Great School Lunch Debate: Pizza and Fries? Apparently Congress is still debating whether and/or how to change school lunches. I never ate the school lunch, peanut butter and jelly was just fine by me. The problem centers on WHO’s decision it really is? Pizza and french fry distributors and their lobbyists tout their nutritional benefits, the established supply chain, and the fact that kids are already accustomed to this food. Well, that never worked in the house in which I grew up. No, you can’t have french fries everyday. Pizza, really, no, maybe once per week. Providing children with a variety of foods will provide significantly more benefits than pizza and french fries everyday, unless you listen to the lobbyists. Perhaps children should band together and hire a lobbyist…wait these kids receive free lunches, by and large, if they can’t afford lunch how can afford a voice in Congress. Oh, well…who cares really, it’s just about the money, not the children!

And for my next trick…The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues to promise economic growth, in the future, somewhere down the road…when bad things stop happening…Then he’ll recommend an increase in interest rates. For those of us who are saving, we’re waiting. But that carrot looks really far off on the horizon this time, buddy.

Martha Stewart selling out? Martha’s looking to regain profitability. Watch and see what happens.

Building Codes on Trial, Homeowner loses. Food for thought, a man builds his home and now may be ordered to tear it down and could go to jail. Jail, you ask? He failed to obtain building permits from the government bureaucracy. Any thoughts?

Cutting Edge in California. As deadline looms, California struggles to reduce prison population. Why is the California prison population important to you? Trends usually start in the most populous states and filter down to less densely populated States. If the U.S. continues to imprison everyone that meets a law enforcement officer we will all be dealing with this issue sooner or later. If you care, get familiar with the issue now, the prison population debate will be coming to a state near you in the near future.

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Realistic Rehabilitation for Inmates

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility provides real, workable rehabilitation for their female inmates. What a concept! Teach inmates to use their ingenuity to create work for themselves to avoid the pitfalls of the job search. Convicted felons face a steep uphill climb when seeking employment and turning their lives around. For some committed souls, the repeated rejection leads to a return to a life of crime. Some prisons provide inmate training in skill sets that a convicted felon will NEVER be able to obtain a license. This circumstance creates unreasonable expectations in those who had false hope.

Teaching inmates to create and to plan provides significant life skills to people who may never have learned planning or tapped into their innate creativity. Hopefully, this will catch on. Corrections departments should take notice.

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Random News: June 2, 2011

News of the day, from my perspective.

Ethics? What are those? What about common sense? Octomom’s fertility doctor lost his medical license in California. He chose to place emotionally fragile women in a physically dangerous position (carrying too many children, not just Suleman). A woman on these hormone treatments, who will go to the lengths of the treatment for infertility, have trouble making routine daily decisions in some instances because of the medication. And his lawyer blames these women for the choices? (Yes, I know it’s his job…that might work with a jury, but the medical board?)

Extending their 15 minutes. The family of the balloon boy plan to auction off the balloon that didn’t carry the stowaway child. Their plan for auction profits is noble, for Japanese earthquake & tsunami relief. Still, are they only attempting to extend their 15 minutes of fame? They made the  announcement by video…

Reminder of where many Americans live. The local Athens weekly, The Flagpole, reminds us that 1 in 13 Americans lives behind bars. These folks rely on meager government resources for medical treatment, mental health services, shelter and sustenance. Yes, many are criminals. But…a better approach to rehabilitation and sustenance might find a reduction in this population. Politicians, don’t strain yourselves. Logic will give you a headache.

U.S. Attorney General Maybe Using Logic. Due to inconsistent “mandatory” sentences for crack cocaine which imposed much lengthier confinement than powder cocaine charges, Eric Holder endorses a plan to retroactively reduce sentences. How much money will that save the Feds in sustaining people in prison?

Insight, for all, Not Just Veterans. Benjamin Tupper wrote a telling opinion piece about the effects of anxiety on military veterans. Titled, Anxiety trumps Logic, the piece outlines his personal struggle with anxiety after leaving the military. I will suggest to you that in many places and many instances, anxiety of many varieties trumps logic. This condition permeates society. Anxiety creates fear, fear creates bad decisions. Hence, Congress and state legislatures make bad decisions out of fear of losing their jobs. In no way is their anxiety ANYWHERE near what our veterans suffer. But, the same base condition.

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Right Place, Right Time

Unfortunately for Judge Marvin Arrington, he routinely sits in judgment of young, black men wearing jumpsuits and shackles. One day, all the defendants in his courtroom were black. Right place, right time. He decided to have a tough love speech with the defendants and dismissed all the non-defendants, most particularly the white lawyers. This upset many of the white lawyers and others. So what? Judge Arrington is uniquely positioned to address the issue of street crime. An article on ajc.com quotes a psychiatrist from Harvard, who said what anyone who works in the criminal justice system already knows “it would’ve been easier for blacks in the courtroom to dismiss what he said, to feel that he was only trying to bring them down in front of white people.

“If they felt that way, they would become more defensive and unwilling to change.”

Judge Arrington sees the numbers. News reports of late state that 1 in 10 Americans is in prison. Hello! Get you heads out of the sand. Act! Do something!

Judge Arrington has teamed up with Bill Cosby. Apparently, the pair have given at least one speech together at an Atlanta school. As a country, we need to act more like a community when issues need to be resolved and less like a collection of spoiled children unable to care for our own needs without regard for the needs of others. Unless you want to live in a war zone.

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