We basically know how to fix everything that has gone wrong. It’s pretty basic stuff that is generally taught in freshman economics courses in college. Up until recently it was mostly uncontroversial stuff. We also have the capacity to do it and then some, as the credit markets keep signalling.
“I don’t know where you doctors lose your humanity, but you lose it. You know, if all of you at the beginning of your careers could get very sick and very scared for a while, you’d probably learn more from that than from anything else. You better start listening to your patients. They need to be heard. They need caring. They need compassion. They need attending to. You know, someday doctor Budd, you’re going to be on the other side of the table, and as angry as I am and as ANGRY as I always will be, I still wish you a better doctor than you were to me.”—
For the past several years, while the mainstream media was dutifully reporting on all things Kardashian or (more recently) a wholly manufactured debt-ceiling crisis, ordinary people were losing their health care, their homes, their jobs, and their savings. Those people have taken that narrative to Facebook and Twitter—just as citizens took to those alternative forms of media throughout the Middle East as part of the Arab Spring. And just to be clear: They aren’t holding up signs that say “I want Bill O’Reilly’s stuff.” They aren’t holding up signs that say “I am animated by toxic levels of envy and entitlement.” They are holding up signs that are perfectly and intrinsically clear: They want accountability for the banks that took their money, they want to end corporate control of government. They want their jobs back. They would like to feed their children. They want—wait, no, we want—to be heard by a media that has devoted four mind-numbing years to channeling and interpreting every word uttered by a member of the Palin family while ignoring the voices of everyone else.
And there’s this. The mainstream media thrives on simple solutions. It has no idea whatsoever of how to report on a story that isn’t about easy fixes so much as it is about anguished human frustration and fear. The media prides itself on its ability to tell you how to clear your clutter, regrout your shower, or purge your closet of anything that makes you look fat—in 24 minutes or less. It is bound to be flummoxed by a protest that offers up no happy endings. Luckily for us, #OWS doesn’t seem to care.
As a means of controlling crime, America’s prisons are notoriously inefficient and only minimally effective, often creating hardened criminals out of first-time offenders. The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, yet 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the past generation, the imprisonment rate per capita in this country has multiplied by five. There are 2.3 million Americans in prisons and jails. Spending on prisons has reached $77 billion a year.
Even as the prison population has grown, less than half of the inmates are serving time for violent crimes. Far too often, prison has become a warehouse for people with drug or alcohol addiction. More than half of the population has some form of mental illness.
-The New York Times. Falling Crime, Teeming Prisons. Republican senators have sabotaged the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, which would be an essential step toward major criminal justice reform. (via wisconsinforward)
Prisons are primarily about profit. And since prison corporations have a profit motive, they will skimp on costs and lobby the government to send more people their way. So far, it has been a fantastically lucrative business model.
“The truth is that this President has done a good job in what has been one of the most difficult periods of modern history. He saved the economy from ruin (until the Tea Party took over Congress) with a stimulus that was as large as possible given the political realities, presided over a stock market that fairly quickly recouped many of its losses, presided over almost consecutive monthly increases in private sector job growth (unfortunately balanced by monthly decreases in public sector jobs which I attribute to the GOP further starving government), enacted the only meaningful healthcare reform ever in our history, passed financial reform (no matter what the Left says, he did this), saved the auto industry (which Romney is on record opposing), fired the first salvo of the Arab Spring with his address in Cairo no less, drawn down our footprint in Iraq in a responsible way (and headed toward almost total withdrawal), stopped numerous terrorist attacks in this country, stopped torture as policy, repealed DADT, joined the international community in a measured and responsible way to bring down an odious tyrant in Qaddafi, and killed a whole generation of al Qaeda leaders. And taking out Osama bin Laden the way he did will go down as one of the bravest military actions in American history.
I know this President is not popular, and it is very unpopular to defend him in such a way. I don’t care. For this country to dump him for anyone on the other side would be a terrible thing. Progress is slow and painful, but we are doing it. Is that fashionable to say? No. Again, I don’t care.” [….]
I have been reading Andrew Sullivan for probably about ten years. A lot of my friends who are in politics dismiss him as not relevant. In my opinion, even though he’s on the center right, I still really like his blog and I find his views to be intriguing and sincere.
I once got an e-mail from Sullivan. He was just responding to an e-mail I sent him, but it was still very cool.
The insufferable National Review has a ban on linking to Sullivan’s blog, or even mentioning his name (zOMG he’s Voldemort!), so I also take that as a good reason to read him.
“Here’s your problem: if you start adding up unions and progressives and liberals and people too poor to pay income tax and people who wanna tax millionaires — wow, it’s gotta be tough to love America so much, but hate almost three-quarters of the people living in it.”—JON STEWART, on Eric Cantor and conservatives in general, on The Daily Show (via inothernews)
“There is a rumour going round that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.”—Terry Pratchett (via sirterrypratchett)
School librarians tell me that what the children read for fun, what they’ll actually spend their money on, are fantasy, science fiction and horror and, while they offer up a prayer of thanks that the kids are reading anything in this electronic age, this worries them.
…who had Andrew Napolitano as a guest. One thing (especially) started bothering me: using Starbucks as a positive metaphor for what would happen if everything was governed by “free market”. I mean, overpriced extravagance, pushing the small “indy” coffeeshops out of the market. Or maybe I’m just clueless…