Saturday, April 09, 2016

No jail time for Denny

Denny Hastert should not become US prison member two million, two hundred thousand and one. We've already got that many souls languishing in 6,125 joints consisting of state, federal, Indian, local and juvenile facilities. While the US has just 4.4% of the world's population it warehouses 22% of the worlds prisoners. Our incarceration rate of 716 per 100,000 is second highest in the world, only exceeded by Seychelles' 899 per hundred thousand. But with a population of just 83,000, Seychelles has a mere 746 prisoners.

US prison population exploded in the 1980's and 90's, largely due to draconian crime and sentencing guidelines that were essentially racist and class based. The legacy of those policies is an $80 billion annual price tag that exceeds the GDP of 133 nations. Even worse is the catastrophic effect those policies have had on minority and poor communities; a stain on any claim we make for the righteousness of our society.

Jail should be reserved only for those who represent a physical or financial threat to society by their inability to control their criminal impulses. All others can be handled in less costly and more humane ways such as home confinement except for time out for community service.

Regardless of the heinousness of Hastert's behavior 35 to 50 years ago, imprisoning the shell of a man broken in body and spirit, unable to care for basic human functions and quite likely near death, does nothing sitting in a prison hospital wheel chair except waste money and show the ignorance and callousness of our society.

The Denny Hastert who was two heartbeats away from the presidency became a prisoner of his own making ten months ago upon his indictment. The man who know every soul in his small town of Yorkville, IL has vanished within the recesses of his own tortured soul.

That is punishment enough.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Just wonderin'

Do you suppose when Gov. Rauner has trouble sleeping...instead of sheep, does he count all the people who've got laid off, dropped out of school or got stiffed for the goods and services they provided the state in good faith months ago? Just wonderin'.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Neocon money on Cruz over The Donald

The neocons who helped launch our criminal war against Iraq have been mostly sidelined since the election of Barack Obama. But they see Ted Cruz as their ticket back to power and unfettered war on Islam. They want nothing to do with The Donald, who, in calling out Bush's lies to attack Iraq, lies they put in his unintelligible mouth, is the only Republican honest enough to charge him, inadvertently, with war crimes. They revel in Cruz'splan to tear up the 5 Power-Iran nuclear agreement, the most war preventing measure of the past generation. He pledges to utterly destroy ISIS, even if it makes the sand glow in the Middle East, an unsubtle reference to nuking what is merely a rag tag group of ten to twenty thousand members dispersed among millions of innocents. Cruz loves empire building up to Russia's doorstep through NATO, even though that may be the most likely tripwire to another US-Russia nuclear confrontation. Most important, Cruz grovels at the feet of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, a leader who is arguably Cruz's real Commander In Chief. The neocon assault against The Donald, led by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, Charles Krauthammer and others, does not serve the interests of peace. President Carter was correct in tabbing the fanatically Evangelical Dominionist Cruz a bigger threat to peace than soulless panderer The Donald, who like a broken clock, gets it right twice a day, at least regarding criminal war.