2020: The Year of Disremembering and Disassembly

2020 has been a year of contemporaneous contemplation hanged by the bridle of dismay. We have been forced to leap from the cliff, together, Zombie-like, from crisis to crises. We drowned in foolish Tweet after Tweet and now, as a new horizon presents itself to us for celebration, and referral in 2021, we cannot stop but to hope against the losses we served, and the punishments we received, over the last four years.

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The Face of Medicare Fraud

I have heard over the last couple of years a number of ideas about why the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as Obamacare by its enemies (side note — if you hear someone refer to it as this, you can be assured that their arguments will be heavily one-sided and based more on talking points than reality) is a bad idea. Some of them include the notion that people will, out of greed, opt to pay a penalty for not having insurance and then get it when they absolutely need to do so based on knowing they will not be denied due to a pre-existing condition. Another is the argument that since Medicare is bloated and not functioning as is, introducing reform will do nothing to help it.

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Walmart Pepper Spray for the Holidays

How I imagine people getting good deals when shopping before the holidays — researching stores online, finding out about sales, getting coupons, and even getting up a little early to go to a store that is having an early morning sale. How I don’t ever imagine people getting good deals but what one person unfortunately did this holiday season — pepper sprayed people in the face to get the video games she wanted.

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Princeton or Prison?

It costs a lot of money to house prisoners in cells when the idea is no longer reformation, but rather separation and dissonant punishment:

One year at Princeton University: $37,000. One year at a New Jersey state prison: $44,000.

Prison and college “are the two most divergent paths one can take in life,” Joseph Staten, an info-graphic researcher with Public Administration, says. Whereas one is a positive experience that increases lifetime earning potential, the other is a near dead end, which is why Staten found it striking that the lion’s share of government funding goes toward incarceration.

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Believing in a Cruel God

My email Inbox and my Facebook page have been overflowing with hate ever since the publication of my article — If Republicans Won Their Wants — and the comments stream for that article have to be cleansed daily because people can’t abide our comments policy and disagree without cursing or calling names.

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If Republicans Won their Wants

I don’t think there’s any doubt now that the GOP is the Party of Punishment. Republicans relish their ongoing, self-mandate, to publicly humiliate and destroy anyone who doesn’t go along with their party plan.  The latest victim of their wrath is University of Wisconsin Professor William Cronon.

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Why We Write Carceral Nation

“The Economist” just published a fantastic analysis of the American justice system in a piece called — “Rough Justice in America: Too Many Laws, Too Many Prisoners” — and when one in 99 citizens is doing time, we need to re-examine the social fabric of our nation and start asking what went wrong with crime deterrence and inmate rehabilitation.  We write this Carceral Nation blog to help unskew injustice in a dangerous world.

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