Balancing Altruism and Self-Interest in Government

Charles Kuralt

Ron Wolff: No doubt some of the “conservatives” (for lack of a better label — generally I dislike labels as oversimplifications) who read my articles feel that I spend too much energy denigrating our society. I can almost hear them say “If you love Denmark so much, why don’t you move there?”

Can Math and Science Help Solve Crime?

Andrea Bertozzi, Martin Short, and Jeffrey Brantingham

Stuart Wolpert: “Criminal offenders are essentially hunter-gatherers; they forage for opportunities to commit crimes,” said Brantingham, a UCLA associate professor of anthropology. “The behaviors that a hunter-gatherer uses to choose a wildebeest versus a gazelle are the same calculations a criminal uses to choose a Honda versus a Lexus.” Predicting crime and devising better crime-prevention strategies requires “a mechanistic explanation. . .” says Brantingham.

Schwarzenegger’s Prison Plan Ignores Racial History

Michelle Alexander: The skyrocketing incarceration rates of the past three decades have not affected all segments of California’s population equally. African Americans and Latinos have been hardest hit, thanks largely to the war on drugs — a war that has targeted people of color for drug crimes, even though studies show they are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites.

A Sick Society Normalizes Gun Violence

Murder

David A. Love: Based on the lack of an adequate public policy response to America’s gun problem, one must conclude that these firearm deaths are viewed as collateral damage, the price society is willing to pay for a so-called “free” society of gun ownership rights.

Supremes Murder the First Amendment: Whaddaya Gonna Do?

Supreme Court Decision

Gary Coseri: I hacked the computer of Barack Obama. “Mr. President,” I wrote, “this can’t be happening. This can’t be right. Didn’t you say something about ‘hope’ and ‘change’; no more politics as usual? Wasn’t that you?” He wrote back that he was always glad to hear from “the People.” And that the FBI would soon be knocking on my door. Which is what happened. And it was true: They wear bad shoes!

Perseverance

Corporate vote

Timothy V. Gatto: The pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance companies along with their Congressional minions stopped any real hope of true health reform. The current package is a windfall for health insurers, giving the 50,000,000 new clients who must take health insurance or pay a fine. That doesn’t sound very progressive to me.

Stop Wasting Money on the Death Penalty!

Death Penalty

Natasha Minsker: let’s consider something the governor can actually do right now to make a serious dent in the corrections budget: convert all 700 death sentences in California to permanent imprisonment saving the state $1 billion over the next five years.

Is Texas Still Executing Mentally Disabled Prisoners?

death penalty

Denkowski loses his license, 17 men on death row may have their cases re-evaluated, according to the Alexandra Andrews: Observer. But some have already been executed. In one case, Denkowski first determined that an inmate was mentally disabled but changed his mind when prison guards found books in his cell. The inmate said later that he stacked the books to use as a chair.

DHS Announces New Security Precaution: Underwear Inspection

Boxer Shorts

Charley James: According to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, news reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the man accused to trying to blow up NW253 – concealed explosives in his underpants are accurate “so we want to be sure that, along with making people walk barefoot through check points, and banning shampoo and deodorant, no one is trying to sneak explosives aboard in their knickers.”

New York’s Juvenile Prisons Are a Crime

Juvenile-hall

If you can judge a society by the way it treats its children, then New York fails in a big way. In fact, the Empire State should be found guilty of child abuse and neglect. The New York Times recently reported on the deplorable state of New York’s juvenile justice system. Gov. David Paterson appointed [...]

Overcrowded Prisons in California

Prisoner

Damaged for life and very hard pressed are the people who have paid their debt to society. They unfortunately get the verdict that keeps on punishing. They are also very unlikely to get married, often living alone in a life of quiet desperation.

ACORN ‘Not Guilty’

Fox-and-Acorn

The accusations put ACORN in a situation similar to a man who is asked, “when did you stop beating your wife?” Even though the accusations weren’t true, ACORN was put on the defensive, and lacked the resources to respond effectively to the onslaught of negative publicity.

Will We Ever Stop the Killings?

Gun-violence

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert last April 24th estimated 12,000 Americans are shot dead each year, 2,000 of them children, and 70,000 more are wounded but survive. Read my personal story.

Black People: It’s Time to Nut Up or Shut Up

mitrice

On any other occasion, had the Los Angeles Police Department arrested and booked a young Black female and then let her go in the middle of the night without her purse, car, or cell phone, in the middle of nowhere never to be seen again—Black people would be screaming off with their heads.

Two GOP-Appointed Judges Shame America

tools-of-torture

Surely, hundreds of foreign prisoners tortured in an illegal war made by the U.S., or their survivors, are supplicants entitled to a fair hearing, not non-persons to be brushed aside as judges Silberman and Kavanaugh have done this past week.

Troy Anthony Davis Update

Troy Anthony Davis continues to fight for justice. He has been on death row since 1991. During his time there, Davis has received three stays of execution.  In August 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Troy Davis the chance to present crucial evidence in court that may prove his innocence. This video which was produced [...]

School to Prison Pipeline

School to Prison Pipeline

Public forum: Is There a School to Prison Pipeline at the Pasadena Unified School District? Soaring dropout rates, rising suspensions and expulsions, police on campus, overly harsh one-size-fits-all discipline policies, high poverty rates, court involvement and juvenile detention all suggest the pipeline to prison is present at the Pasadena Unified School District. Join us to [...]