Closing Thought–22Jan20

I live in Mississippi and from time I write about to doings in my state….I do not write much for I do not think that too many are interested in the policies and events in Mississippi

But since a good portion of the population of my state is in prison or have been in jail…I read an article about the so-called “restitution program”…..

Debtors’ prison may sound like a concept from another century. But the Marshall Project asserts that Mississippi is running a court-ordered restitution program that is essentially the same thing. The investigation found that judges sentence hundreds of people a year to one of four “restitution centers” around the state. There they must live while they work off court-ordered debts, including fees, fines, and restitution to victims. One big problem is that most of the workers have low-paying jobs, making their stays at the centers open-ended. And “centers” might be overstating things. One is described as a motel-turned-jail that is surrounded by razor wire. The residents sleep on prison-issued mattresses, eat the same food as inmates, and generally have the same restrictions.

“We don’t know of any other states that have a program quite like Mississippi’s,” says Sharon Brett of Harvard’s Criminal Justice Policy Program. The story by Anna Wolfe and Michelle Liu also includes this quote from Cliff Johnson of the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi. “Debtors’ prisons are an effective way of collecting money—as is kidnapping. But there are constitutional, public policy and moral barriers to such a regime.” The program has its defenders, including a judge who says it’s better than sending people to regular prison. One woman who went through it isn’t so sure. Annita Husband ended up escaping from her center. When caught, she went to prison for 10 months, about half as long as she would have spent at the center had she stayed and paid off the debt under its system.

I have thought that it was beyond time for reform in our penal systems and programs…..like why is there little training offered or educational programs?

While writing this draft more news about Mississippi penal system came to light……

Two inmates were beaten to death in a fight with other inmates in an understaffed Mississippi prison that has been shaken by other deadly violence in recent weeks, a coroner said. The state Department of Corrections on Tuesday confirmed the men died at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and said officials are investigating, the AP reports. “Both victims appear to have died from blunt force beating injuries,” said Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton. The department originally said the inmates died Monday night, but Burton later clarified that they died early Tuesday. Department spokeswoman Grace Simmons Fisher said the injuries occurred late Monday as the two inmates fought with other prisoners. “At this moment, it appears to be an isolated incident—not a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings,” the Department of Corrections said Tuesday.

Violence is a recurring problem in Mississippi prisons, where many jobs for guards are unfilled. Five inmates were killed and an undisclosed number of others inmates were injured during an outbreak of violence in Mississippi’s prison system between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3. Three of those five deaths were at Parchman. In addition to those deaths and the two on Tuesday, another inmate was found hanging in his cell Saturday night at Parchman. Burton said she was called Sunday to the prison, where Gabriel Carmen was found hanging the night before. She said corrections officials reported he had been irate and throwing feces before his death. An autopsy was being done. Prison officials said Carmen’s cell lock had been jammed from inside the cell. One of the inmates who died Tuesday was Timothy Hudspeth, 35, who was serving a 10-year sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The name of the other inmate was not immediately released because a chaplain was trying to reach his family.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 1

Finally the drama of the year has begun…..and all Americans are looking elsewhere….

I promised my reader that I would give them a running analysis of the trial so they could go about their lives……

The impeachment trial of President Trump has begun. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts gaveled the historic proceedings into session shortly after 1pm. First up: Senate Republicans and Democrats are haggling over the rules before opening arguments begin. Developments:

  • McConnell eases up: Mitch McConnell has loosened up on his short timeline and restrictions on evidence, reports the Hill. Each side will still get 24 hours to present its case, but that will be spread over three days, instead of two. Also, evidence will now be automatically admitted unless there’s a vote in opposition to it, per CNN. The changes came after Democrats said the original proposal amounted to a cover-up, because much of the proceedings would take place late at night. GOP Sen. Susan Collins pushed for the changes, too, reports Politico.
  • SOTU: The new timeline means the trial could overlap with Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4, notes the Hill. It could also, theoretically, be wrapped up by the end of the month, and sources say that’s the timeline McConnell has in mind—he wants to finish up in about 10 days.
  • Little chance: Democrats are expected to push for more changes in the trial rules as the day goes on, but McConnell has the votes to push through his resolution without further revision, reports Politico. As of this posting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had introduced four amendments to the rules and three have been voted down along party lines; senators broke for dinner before hearing debate on the fourth one. All of them have to do with subpoenaing documents (from the White House, State Department, Office of Budget and Management, and Mick Mulvaney). Schumer says he has a “series” of amendments to introduce. After he gets through those, the chamber will vote on McConnell’s underlying resolution, so the number of amendments proposed will dictate how late the day goes.
  • Trump weighs in: While in Davos, Switzerland, the president called the impeachment process a “total hoax,” reports NBC News. “It’s a witch hunt that’s been going on for years and it’s, frankly, it’s disgraceful,” the president told reporters. Later, he tweeted, “READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!”
  • His attorney: In a brief opening statement Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said the president did nothing wrong. “We believe that once you hear those initial presentations, the only conclusion will be that the president has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
  • Silence: Senators can’t bring cell phones or other electronic devices into the Senate chamber during the trial, reports CNN. Not only that, but they can’t talk, period, while presentations are being made. It will “be a new experience for a lot of my colleagues (to) not be able to talk and not be able to consult our email or text messages,” says GOP Sen. John Cornyn. “But we’ll live through it.” He adds: “It’s obviously a very serious and grave matter so we should be paying attention.” CNN notes there are rumors some senators may be wearing Apple watches on the floor.
  • “Remarkably like seventh grade”: Later in the day, CNN noted some senators appeared “restless” while others were taking copious notes in an effort to keep busy; still later, the news organization noted senators could be seen passing notes to each other, breaking the rules by whispering to each other and sometimes even laughing, chewing gum, sharing candy, absentmindedly clicking pens to the annoyance of their colleagues, yawning, and even, in some cases, apparently nodding off briefly. It compared the atmosphere, at times, to “remarkably like seventh grade” and the senators to “bored students in a particularly long lecture.”
  • No Bolton? It remains up in the air whether Democrats will be able to force witnesses to testify. But even if they can, don’t expect John Bolton to appear. The former national security adviser says he would be willing to do so, but Trump’s legal team and Senate Republicans are working to make sure that doesn’t happen no matter what, reports the Washington Post. Trump would invoke executive privilege, and the White House might go to the federal courts to make sure Bolton complies.

All in all……this was the Greek play without the chorus……at times it was a comedy and others a tragedy…..

All that aside history was made……

I shall return tomorrow with more stuff.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Clinton Needs To STFU!

In 2016 Clinton lost the presidency to Trump and she has been butt hurt ever since…..she keeps inserting herself into just about every political situation, in person or through words….

Clinton has decided that she can influence the population to vote for more of her cronies on Wall Street…..

She just cannot STFU…..

If you were wondering why the hashtag #NobodyLikesHim was trending on Twitter on Tuesday, it’s because the Hollywood Reporter dropped a big election-tied bomb. In a chat to promote the upcoming Hulu documentary Hillary, Hillary Clinton was asked to confirm that she said the following in the film about Bernie Sanders: “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” Asked if she still felt that way, Clinton replied, “Yes,” noting what she says is a toxic, misogynistic culture among his supporters that Sanders won’t address. She also wouldn’t pledge to endorse or campaign for him if he’s the Democratic nominee: “I’m not going to go there yet.” As for whether she’d ever jump back into the ring herself, Clinton said, “I have had so many people [urge me to]. Every day.”

But while “I’m grateful for people’s confidence … I did think it was right for me to step back. I’ll do anything I can to defeat the current incumbent.” Meanwhile, Sanders had an apology for Joe Biden on Monday after one of Sanders’ surrogates, law professor Zephyr Teachout, published a Guardian op-ed accusing Biden of having a “corruption problem” and being a “weak candidate.” Teachout claimed Biden “has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans.” “It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way,” Sanders tells CBS News. “I’m sorry that that op-ed appeared.” Biden’s response: “Thanks for acknowledging this, Bernie. These kinds of attacks have no place in this primary. Let’s all keep our focus on making Donald Trump a one-term president.” More of the Clinton interview here.

She is a back stabbing political hack that could win an election that was hers and hers alone because she was a terrible candidate that thought the American voter owed her and would kiss her butt because of the popularity of her husband.

Clinton needs to STFU and spend her declining years playing with the grand kids…..and leave politics to the young.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is Up With Middle East Policy?

I was trained in the diplomacy and conflict management in college and I then went to work in the Middle East as an analyst….after living in the region for 6 years I have learned that there is always more to the policies than what we see, read or hear…..

First where are the troops stationed in the Middle East?

The US has between 60,000 and 70,000 troops in the Middle East, according to the US Central Command, and has announced plans to deploy thousands of additional troops to the region amid the heightened tensions.

This map shows where US soldiers are deployed in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as some of the major bases they are stationed at in the region.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2020/01/military-presence-middle-east-afghanistan-200113120612249.html

I understood Bush’s policies and that of Obama as well….neither was a policy that I thought would succeed….then Trump was elected and the policy became obfuscated and in coherent…..

Donald Trump’s decision to kill Qassim Suleimani, the most influential figure in Iran other than the Ayatollah Khamenei, will increase the terrorist threat to the United States and the global community. Suleimani’s death has already provoked widespread outrage in Iraq and Iran among the Shiia populations. Prior to the killing, Iraqi leaders were campaigning against Iran’s military presence in their country. Now, the Iraqi Parliament has called for the removal of the U.S. military presence. The decision has created more tactical and terrorist opportunities for the Islamic State as the United States has decided to cease operations against the Islamic State.

Trump’s decision has undermined fundamental U.S. decisions in every way, particularly the need to forestall terrorist threats; protect friends and allies; and prevent Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Trump administration has enhanced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to improve relations with Iraq and Iran; caused controversy and even dissent within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and further exposed the instability and ignorance of Trump’s national security team. Since the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, the European co-signers of that agreement along with Russia and China, have questioned the wisdom of Washington’s international actions.

The Incoherence of U.S. Policy in the Middle East

I see no continuity in our Middle East policy…..chaos and knee jerk decisions seem to be the rule of the day.

I fear that this approach will just make the region more dangerous and solve no problems.

Where did it all begin?

Well with World War One and the Sykes-Picot…..but beyond that where did the whirlwind we have today get its fuel?

In the long history of imperial folly and recklessness, nothing compares to U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf. Yes, the British shouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan in 1838, and, yes, JFK shouldn’t have backed the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in November 1963. If they had thought things through more carefully, one wouldn’t have lost an entire army in the retreat from Kabul while the other wouldn’t have stumbled into a dozen-year-long quagmire that would leave the US military depleted and demoralized – not to mention killing more than a million or more Vietnamese.

But those were momentary miscalculations compared to the slow-motion disaster in the gulf. For nearly half a century, every US president – liberal, conservative, or whatever – has pumped up a regional arms race that has set the stage for ever more destructive wars. The death and destruction have been incalculable. Yet not once throughout the long sorry saga have Americans paused for even a moment to consider where it was all going.

Who Created the Persian Gulf Tinderbox?

Where will it all end?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”