He is not being honest

Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson has stated that his job is to keep the people of Bristol County safe, but his actual job is to run his jail.

He does not patrol our streets. He does not respond to our 911 calls.

He is supposed to run his jails in such a way that after their incarceration, inmates reenter the community with better attitudes and prepared to live lives that contribute to it, not threaten it with the possibility of future crimes. They are supposed to become better people for themselves and the community. They should have been shown that what contributed to their rejection of law has alternatives and can be overcome.

And if, like most of us, they have lived law abiding lives with exception of the one error in judgment or act of desperation that led to a pretrial, temporary incarceration, or have been found guilty of a crime requiring a short jail sentence, they should not be forced to change their attitude into one that leads them to commit further crimes by the very system whose job it is not to produce criminals

Rehabilitation programs work better at doing this than strong statements not backed up by real actions while running a jail that has the highest rate of suicides of all the state’s county jails, that lacks the necessary counseling for inmates who need it and people in jail for the first time in their lives and may not be adjusting well to that, harassing and bullying inmates that may not be white or straight, where there is overcrowding and chain gangs, no effective drug treatment programs, overuse of solitary confinement, overcharging for canteen and phone calls from which the sheriff takes a cut, or denying the necessary prescription drugs to those who need them.

The sheriff loves displays of authority and will look for opportunities to intimidate not only his inmates, but the general public.

One evening as law abiding citizens, who had attended a meeting on the sheriff’s ICE cooperation actions, a meeting to which the public was invited by the sheriff, were leaving the meeting room and exiting the building, they were greeted by deputy sheriffs and the K-9 van with barking dogs in it. There was no need for this display. It was obviously meant to intimidate those in attendance, especially since the majority of those in attendance opposed the sheriff’s exaggerated cooperation with ICE and had asked questions that called for him to account for his actions and his many exaggerated and false statements about the community members he holds to stereotypes and white supremacist talking points.

Rather than turning people away from their criminal habits or modifying their attitudes that would go a long way to changing how they behave, the treatment at the Bristol County House of Corrections promotes hatred of the legal system and all connected to it, and those who support it.

The treatment at the county jail promotes anger, self-destructive tendencies, and a high state of anxiety.

This is neither doing his real job, nor keeping anyone safe

The sheriff has said, “Our firm, demanding approach to corrections works well”, and, “Jail is not a country club. That’s why once you’ve done time in the Bristol County House of Corrections, you won’t want to come back.” However, twice in the last five years his rate of recidivism was the highest in the state, and whether in the top spot or his consistent place closest to it, his recidivism rate has been in the 40% and above range. That means that almost half of those released from his jail do, in fact, return.

His methods do not work, and his tough talk, though colorful, is empty words.  He is not keeping us safe as obviously he is not doing what he should be doing for our safety.

If he were to chose running the jail properly instead of participating in racist anti-immigration rallies, running wherever there is a microphone, a television camera, or a right wing talk show, his recidivism and suicide rates would not be so abnormally high.

He needs to stop promoting himself as the new Joe Arpaio, and do the job he was elected to do, and when questioned produce valid facts and studies to put substance behind his bullet point, fact deficient claims as he consistently chooses  not to do now..

At the congressional hearings on Facebook

After the spectacle of the old men of congress attempting to ask  Mark Zuckerberg questions related to computers and the internet, if the youth of the United States do not see why it is important that they not only vote, but step forward to run for office, they cannot complain about the world they allowed to continue as it is, nor can they blame anyone else for the old guys staying around.

They need to be the change.

They need to take control of the world they will spend the rest of their lives in, and realize that that time will be longer than their lives have been so far.

The other victims

Anyone with a pet, especially a dog, knows that when we move the clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall it has no influence on them or their biological clocks. They continue their daily activities probably wondering why we get off track for such long periods of time.

Animals do not adjust well to the artificial world we create that ignores the natural one

Deer continue to take the same trails they always have even when we put down a multi-lane highway.

In the book The Once And Future King by T.H. White, Merlin turns Arthur, the future king, into a goose so that he can fly over the land to learn that the borders on the map are drawn there by man and are not natural but artificial, and they mean nothing to anything other than man.

Now on the Southern border we are about to really throw things out of whack by putting up a wall.

The wall could cut off a Texas wildlife refuge and the habitat of big, beautiful cats.

The 654 miles of walls and fences already on the US-Mexico border have screwed up the environment there as they’ve cut off, isolated, and reduced populations of some of the rarest and most amazing animals, and have created miles of roads through wilderness areas.

There are 25 million acres of protected US public lands within 100 miles of the border, and this has made it ecologically rich with three mountain chains, the two largest deserts in North America, six wildlife refuges, six national parks, tribal lands, wilderness areas, and conservation areas.

On Mexico’s side of the border there are areas like El Pinacate y Gran Desierto Altar, which abuts the US Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and parts of the Organ Pipe National Monument and Barry M. Goldwater Range in Arizona.

At the west end of the border a key salt marsh, the Tijuana Estuary, is the habitat for some 400 species of migrating birds, and on the east end birds and butterflies migrate through the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It has been estimated that there are 134 mammal, 178 reptile, and 57 amphibian species living within about 30 miles of the border, and of these 50 species and three subspecies are surviving only because The United States and Mexico have worked hard to conserve them.

Fences bisect species with specialized habitats, with the majority of the population on one side and the others having to exist separated from it, and this reduces gene flow and breeding and that can lead to a greater risk of extinction.

Fences also restrict animals’ access to water sources.

Right now, about two-thirds, or 1,350 miles, of the border remains unfenced so migratory and wandering animals can still move freely, but the big, beautiful wall is planned to close this off, and this wall could also affect flood plains like the Rio Grande floodplain, and this is likely to cause floods.

The planned wall will not just affect animals on the U.S. side of the border, but will have an effect on the Mexican side, and Mexico might not like their ecology adversely affected without its input.

 

 

 

 

Our new Secretary of State

The United States may not have a Secretary of State to take care of necessary diplomacy, but we have the perfect stand in, Ivanka Trump.

Last week she went to Peru with her husband to join Vice President Mike Pence for the Summit of the Americas, a meeting of all of the leaders of the 35 nations that make up North and South America. President Trump had been scheduled to attend, but stayed home decided to address the chemical bombing attack in Syria.

Ivanka was

“Excited to join the US Delegation to @SummitAmericas in Peru, where we will discuss the importance of public-private collaboration to promote investment & sustainable development. I look forward to highlighting our women’s economic empowerment efforts in the region.”

After she revealed the details of a new economic program to help empower women of the Americas, she met some heads of state and discussed issues relating to the theme of this year’s conference, “Democratic Governance Against Corruption”, a topic we can be sure she knows much about.

Congress didn’t confirm her for this. And although she isn’t qualified and has no diplomatic experience, her father is the president, so that is all that is needed.

Isn’t that we all got jobs for which we had no qualifications?

Daddy?

 

Why is the GOP actually leaving Congress?

The generally assumed reason that so many Republicans are choosing not to seek reelection in 2018 is that they are jumping from a sinking ship.

But they knew, long before he was even the party’s nominated candidate, that Trump was not presidential material, yet they had been backing him after his inauguration no matter how bizarre and destructive his rhetoric and actions have been to the country and their party.

Most of the Republicans did not enter congress rich, but became so during their tenure. They have consistently voted to cut taxes and bestow advantages on the country’s rich, and in so doing they either benefited from that at the time, or saw they were heading in that direction and would eventually benefit as well.

With the passage of the latest Republican tax bill, they reached the optimum point of the benefits  possible, and clearly saw there could be no more as explaining them could reveal the true nature of the charade. What was there is enough.

Their work is done.

All that is left now is to retire with a good pension and good benefits while enjoying the advantages they created for themselves in the name of the working class who will see no benefits, at least not in numbers that justify the bill.

Paul Ryan is a standout example.

When his father died, Ryan used his inherited Social Security benefits to pay for college. He did not earn those benefits, he got what his father had paid into. He calls Social Security an entitlement because for him it was, while it is not for those who pay into it.

He wants to raise the age to 70 for people to start receiving their full Social Security benefit amount while he retires at top pension with a Cadillac health care program at the age of 48.

And now he can choose any of the high paying jobs that will be offered him by those he worked in congress to benefit, and can take advantage of the tax bill he helped create.

He is not leaving a sinking ship just as the others aren’t. He and they are leaving to enjoy what they planned for and what they worked for while having done little for the benefit of those they were supposed to work for and represent.

They are the eunuchs leaving the Forbidden City with their testicles in the jars that hold them with as much treasure as they can carry out before anyone takes notice.

Does he even pay attention?

 

The Irony of yet another time that Trump wants to blame everyone else for his troubles, this time he claims the enemy is specifically all those Democrats running the Russian probe and the “raid” on the offices of Michael Cohen , his attorney.

But the reality is, those in charge of all of this are:

Mueller a republican appointed by Trump,
Rod Rosenstein a republican appointed by Trump,
FBI Director Chris Wray appointed by trump, and                                     U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman also appointed by Trump.

So it is hard to understand upon what he bases his claim,

“These are the most biased group of people. These people have the biggest conflicts of interest I’ve ever seen. Democrats, all, or just about all, either democrats or a couple of Republicans that worked for [former] President Obama.”