Costs of the drug war: A new series

As of February 25, 2017 nearly 50% of the prisoners in the Federal Prison system were doing time for drug offenses.  81,813 prisoner.

The percentage is likely quite a bit higher than that, because many drug addicts end up in prison on different charges altogether, burglary, larceny, and property offenses, for instance.

While it does not appear that the Bureau of Prisons has released its costs for the 2016 Fiscal Year at this time, in 2015 it cost an average of $31,997 per year to keep  someone in the prison system (total daily cost and support cost).

For the people housed in Federal Prisons due to drug charges, that was $3 billion spent in 2015 alone. That’s just the tip of the iceberg: the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report in December 2016 which showed that across the country:

3,789,000 people on probation

870,500 people on parole

728,200 people in local jails

1,526,800 people in state and federal prisons.

I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but believe me, I’m going to start looking. All I will say right now is that is a huge amount of money being spent rather needlessly.

VP Mike Pence either issued an empty threat, or else…

Today, Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea against further provocations that might “the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region”, citing the recent U.S. attacks against targets in Syria and Afghanistan as examples of our new administrations toughness.

This is horrifying. Or it should be.

In Afghanistan, we recently dropped a single (albeit, quite large) bomb on insurgent forces who have almost no means to projecting force against anything of value to us, while in Syria, we launched a more diverse strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles against a single target. And, as in Afghanistan, Syria is more or less incapable of sustained attacks against us or our allies.

Not saying that Israel isn’t a U.S. ally, but because their military forces would overwhelm Syria’s, they are borderline immune to Syrian reprisals.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is vastly different.

We can’t drop a single 15,000lb bomb on a North Korean target, sit back and pat ourselves on the back. Nor can we launch a few cruise missiles into the DPRK and exclaim how we offered a show of force.

Either of those scenarios would lead to instant reprisal against our allies, South Korea and Japan. Afterall, the north has an estimated 13,000 pieces of artillery positioned along their southern border, along with missiles capable of reaching Japan.

There shouldn’t be any need to speculate about the consequences of either or both of those actions – it should be clear that the results of any strike against the North create a cascade of events that would be catastrophic to all – South Korea, Japan, China, and we can’t forget the people who continue to suffer under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.

I only hope that cooler heads in the Administration prevail upon our President and Vice President to not chalk up their recent “successes” in Syria and Afghanistan as reason to rattle their sabres toward a country who’s guns are pointed outwards and whose leadership has everything to lose if they DON’T respond to a provocation.

Will someone give James Woods a job, please?

We need to lobby the “Hollywood Elite” to rehire James Woods, so that he can be remembered for things like his portrayal of Father McFeely, rather than his Twitter page.

Seriously.

Continue reading Will someone give James Woods a job, please?

[TWD] Who’s going to get it?

Now that the third presidential debate is behind us and voting day is still a couple of weeks ahead of us, it’s time to discuss an issue of almost greater importance. Namely, who’s going to die this Sunday?

Continue reading [TWD] Who’s going to get it?

Trumps nonsensical position on ISIS

Donald Trump has talked tough on ISIS for his entire campaign. After the border wall that he thinks Mexico will pay for, vague promises to bring back jobs onshore even though his own companies have done the opposite, one of his other “promises” has been to deal effectively with ISIS.

Continue reading Trumps nonsensical position on ISIS

TABLE: Terrorism compared to other causes of death in the U.S.

This table originally accompanied “Terrors outsized effect on the election“.

Continue reading TABLE: Terrorism compared to other causes of death in the U.S.

Terrors outsized effect on the election

I’ve been hesitant to chime in on the Trump Tapes, thinking “What can I add that hasn’t already been said?”. With an eternity of time between now and election day, the revelations from about Trumps womanizing/penchant for sexual assaults will certainly get old.

Continue reading Terrors outsized effect on the election

Russians, Wikileaks, and Infowars, Oh My!

United States Government accuses Russian Government of political hacking in order to help bolster the candidacy of Donald Trump, only to see Wikileaks dump a 2,000 emails from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta an hour later.

Continue reading Russians, Wikileaks, and Infowars, Oh My!

Trump disrespects our soldiers (again) to move argument away from tax returns

After a long weekend of getting seared by the press and social media about his leaked 1995 tax returns, Donald Trump came out determined to shift the discussion elsewhere. And he did, by opening a never been tried before attack AGAINST our nations vets, by questioning the strength of those who returned from the battlefield with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Continue reading Trump disrespects our soldiers (again) to move argument away from tax returns

The story of Trump’s Tax Returns is not over yet.

Late Saturday night, the New York Times published the first page of several of Donald Trump’s tax returns that were filed in 1995. While his opponents claim triumph in establishing that Trump hasn’t been paying much in the way of taxes for many years. While anyone to the Left of Trump is calling this a victory, it needs to be emphasized that this almost certainly isn’t the information that Trump has been so desperate to hide from his supporters.

Continue reading The story of Trump’s Tax Returns is not over yet.