So, Republican pols and their spineless Democratic bretheren started in on a sure fire political issue: WAR ON CRIME! No flaccid softness here. Lock ‘em up! Build more prisons! Three Strikes and you’re out! Smoke a joint, go to prison! Hang ‘em all! So they started building prisons all over the state and when that wasn’t enough, started privatizing the prisons – big money to be made, more prisoners, more per diem profit!
But, being Republicans, the pols also signed onto the Grover Norquistian Blood Oath – NO NEW TAXES!
So, mo’ prisons, mo’ prisoners, mo’ guards and no additional taxes to pay for it all.
So the Supreme Court has ruled that the overcrowded prisons constitute cruel and unusual punishment and in order t get the proper occupancy numbers down, the State, which is broke, now has to either build more prisons or re-shuffle them from state back to counties, which are also broke. Or release prisoners, many of whom will return to prey on their communities.
So, please tell me, just what about this mess was not predicable? Right. None of it.
Dr. Phil Rules
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Congress yesterday. I have long since stopped reading about the Israel/Palestine issue. It’s such a tangled pile of intractable pick-up-sticks that even fifteen minutes worth of contemplating which stick to carefully lift first without toppling the whole pile makes my head explode.
But here’s what I do know: Both side in this bitter battle are faced with TV’s Dr. Phil’s Great Basic Question: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
Or, in the case of Israel/Palestine, Do you want to be right or do you want to be . . . dead, or permanently dispossessed and displaced, or under constant threat of random violence or . . . . or . . . .?
That ultimate question that can only be answered by both parties. I can only hope and pray they both have the courage to chose life.
On The Other Hand
Or maybe peace in the middle east will be overtaken by larger events: Another volcano has erupted in Iceland, an astonishing number of tornadoes has and continues to devastate the center of the country, and Preacher Harold Camping has re-figured his Judgement Day. It will come Oct 21, which is a relief since I won’t have to buy Halloween candy again this year.
Meantime, God Bless Chicago. They’re starting to greenscape the place since by mid century they predict that global warming will result in a Chicago environment more akin to Alabama than Canada. So, out with the doomed beech trees, bring on the Magnolias and put start repaving the streets to deal with the massive deluge of warm southern rains they’ll be getting.
Well, finally, a civic government actually leaning forward, looking into a future that can’t be ignored or wished away, carefully considering the unavoidable consequences of present day events, then actually doing something about it now.
Chi-caaaago, Chi-caaago, that toddling town!