Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hobble Along

The United States of America has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Out of every 100,000 people, we keep 707 in jail. Russia’s at 470. China – 172. It is expensive. The average cost per prisoner in the US is $31, 286 (as of 2013) for a total outlay of $38 billion. Worse is the opportunity cost to the economy as a whole. Some inmates train guide dogs or make cabinets but most would be much more productive outside than in. To punish others in this country, we insist on punishing ourselves, but our redress does not have to be a two-way street.

We should hobble law-breakers.

Why build walls and hire guards to restrict movement when removing a foot from a leg costs next to nothing? In today’s information-based economy hands are important. You don’t need both feet to take orders at Zappos. You need them to run and climb fences, which might what got you thrown in jail in the first place. Hobbling offers an offender constant reminders of his or her errors, saves the country billions and maintains a usable workforce. It is quick, easy and I’m fairly certain presents a sound deterrent to future crimes.

With that, I announce that I am seeking the Republican nomination for President

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Reality 2016

There is a problem with the news and it needs to be fixed. I don’t want to avoid the press. I’m not some Unabomber ostrich. I keep my head up and out and want to know what’s going on. This presidential election – a year and a half from now - is making that much more difficult.

The candidates are not news. They are people talking. Were they next to you at a decent party, you would be doing your best to sidle away. They are not generally interesting or even truthful. They are, all of them, your friend’s friend who’s full of crap and yet there on the news, embodying a temporal barrier between you and something you might want to know. Or worse – they have replaced a genuine story.

It is true that we might be able to gain a sense of a candidate’s personality or temperament from the two-year telethon that is the presidential race. Those traits are important when comes time to fill in the dot. None of us need 18 months to decide if a person is reasonable or another caveman busting your wheel, saying, “Father drag, father’s father drag, you drag.”

I don’t care about the Real Housewives of anywhere. I care less
whether or not someone’s property gets flipped, yard crashed or a porcelain poodle is successfully pawned. If I do suddenly care, I can tune in. It should be the same for the presidential race.

The presidential race should get honest, admit it is a reality show and start scheduling like one. If you give a hoot, you can watch for a while. If you don’t, you don’t, leaving the news to the newsmakers. The sharks, the terrorists, people that love or hate flags and whoever licked that donut.

I promise to watch. When it gets interesting. Near the end.