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Archive for January, 2010

What should we do with sexual deviants that have served their time?

January 31st, 2010

Recently, a couple weeks ago or so, my wife pointed me to this article on CNN detailing the way inmates convicted for some especially heinous sex crimes are held indefinitely *after* they have served their entire sentence. These individuals are given no indication of when, or if, they will be released. The legislators enacting the laws, and the supreme court, have called this justice, I�m not convinced.

The confinement these people are being subjected to, for an indefinite amount of time, is, according to the law, for rehabilitation. The Supreme Court has declared this practice acceptable so long as it serves on as a way to rehabilitate the convicts and not to further punish them.

I’ve spoken before about the way ex-convicts are treated and why these felons are repeat offenders and it seems to me that the state has a somewhat lackadaisical view of what constitutes punishment, perhaps even a hypocritical one. Letââ?¬â?¢s take, for example, a murderer who is serving 10 years. If this murder misbehaves during his 10 years, perhaps he becomes embroiled in a prison brawl in the cafeteria and stabs a fellow inmate with a home made knife… like you might see on television, he would likely be ââ?¬Ë?prosecutedââ?¬â?¢ within the confines of the prison and if found guilty would most likely have additional time tacked onto his sentence or be placed in solitary confinement. In this case the prison sentence has determined that further restricting this individuals contact with the outside world is the appropriate way to discipline them. In the case of the sexual deviant, however, the state believes it is not punishment to further confine someone who has served their entire sentence, so long as they are being rehabilitated.

Not only is it clear that the prisoner�s confinement for rehabilitation is a form of additional punishment, It is obvious that the current implementation of this rehabilitation is horribly inefficient and not in the best interest of tax payers. Rehabilitation costs the government somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 million dollars annually, 150,000$ a year per individual. For the state governments implementing these policies this money comes after the massive cost of boarding and caring for these prisoners while they served their actual sentence.

The solution seems obvious to me. We should ship these prisoners directly to rehabilitation when they are taken into custody to serve their sentence. I donâ��t see why they should pay their time twice or I as a tax payer should pay for them twice. At the end�  of their sentence we should release them. If it is decided that they have ben rehabilitated then we can move them into the regular prison population for the remainder of their sentence.

I hear you. You are thinking, ââ?¬Å?Well, hot shot, what are we going to do with people who have finished serving their time and havenââ?¬â?¢t been rehabilitated yet?ââ?¬Â For them I think we already have solutions in place. Use of chemical castration drugs is a well established practice for ex-felons convicted of sex crimes, though not a practice I generally approve of, it also feels like a second punishment to me. I think the only responsible thing for us to do is to release these individuals into society and have them meet periodically with a parole officer and have them visit free rehabilitation sessions until they are deemed to no longer be a danger to society. This solution would allow tax payers to still save money because we would only pay for the counseling / therapy and it would provide the newly released criminal the freedom they deserve for serving the entirety of their sentence.

Any better ideas out there for both punishing these criminals and reintroducing them into society after they have done their time?

Author: T.J. Seabrooks Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Donate to Haiti

January 26th, 2010

TEXT “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to those in need.

The American Red Cross is working hard to assist those devastated by the recent earthquake in Haiti. The following is from their site:

This mobile fundraising initiative is a partnership between the American Red Cross, Mobile Accord and the mGive Foundation that is supported by the U.S. State Department.

Customers of participating wireless carriers can text message “HAITI” to 90999 and make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund. Donations will appear on customers’ monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. Message and data rates may apply. After sending your text message you will receive a confirmation text that asks you to reply “YES” if you intend to donate. After that, you will receive one more text asking you to reply “YES” if you want to receive text updates from the Red Cross. If you would like to opt-out from receiving future updates, you simply do not need to reply to this message, or you can send “STOP” to 90999. To see the terms applicable to donations, please visit www.mgive.com/A. Receipts for donations are available at www.mgive.org/receipt.

On January 12, a series of earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.5 to 7.3 devastated Haiti. The American Red Cross is working with its partners in the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network, including the Haitian Red Cross, and other partners to assist those affected by this disaster.

Your gift to the American Red Cross will support emergency relief and recovery efforts to help those people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Assistance provided by the American Red Cross may include deploying personnel, sending relief supplies, and providing financial resources.

Participating Carriers:

Alltel
AT&T
Cellular South
Cellcom
Cincinnati Bell
Cricket
nTelos
Sprint
T-Mobile
U.S. Cellular
Verizon Wireless
Virgin Mobile

I would like to encourage everyone who can to donate. Based on my experience and my conservative beliefs I know that the private sector is much better equipped to help people than the government. This is another chance to show the world how caring and compassionate people can be aside from all the terrible things we see on the news, and to show that the private sector can do a better job spending our money than the government does spending our tax dollars. I’ve already donated, and I hope that you will join me. Leave a comment below if you donate or if you already have.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Ford Adding Jobs is a Good Sign

January 26th, 2010

Ford is adding 1,200 jobs at it’s Chicago assembly plant to build the new Explorer SUV. This one is going to be based on a car body instead of the old truck body and will get better gas mileage than it’s previous versions. At least somebody is paying attention. Anyways, with all the gloom and doom I keep reading I thought I’d post a little bright spot. With automakers starting to add jobs instead of taking them away, I think the recovery could have a chance to take hold.

As for those who continue laura san giacomo pokies to say that everything is awful and we are headed for a depression, take a look at Apple. Revenue for last quarter was 15.7 BILLION. That is a 32% jump from last year and their best quarter ever. This comes a few weeks after Intel posted a huge profit for last quarter as well. People are clearly spending some money and many companies are doing very well. The one’s that aren’t just aren’t very well run. Maybe if we let them fail better companies would have a chance to take their place.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: Finance, General Politics Tags:

I Hope Senator Brown Can Help Save Us from this Fiscal Nightmare

January 22nd, 2010

I want to congratulate Senator-elect Brown on his amazing victory in Massachusetts. His victory means that the Democrats no longer have a 60-40 super-majority in the Senate. Hopefully he will stop the current fiscal nightmare from continuing. I read an interesting article recently by Michael Snyder from http://themostimportantnews.com/ and http://thetruthwins.com/. Our national debt is slowly killing us. Look at a few of these scary facts:

37 million Americans now receive food stamps, and the program is expanding at a pace of about 20,000 people a day. The United States of America is very quickly becoming a socialist welfare state.

The U.S. has allowed the total federal debt to balloon by 50% since 2006 to $12.3 trillion. The chart below is a bit outdated, but it does show the reckless expansion of U.S. government debt over the past several decades. To get an idea of where we are now, just add at least 3 trillion dollars on to the top of the chart….

So has the U.S. government learned anything from these mistakes? No. In fact, Senate Democrats on Wednesday proposed allowing the federal government to borrow an additional $2 trillion to pay its bills, a record increase that would allow the U.S. national debt to reach approximately $14.3 trillion.

So where will the U.S. government get the money? From the Federal Reserve of course. The Federal Reserve bought approximately 80 percent of all U.S. Treasury securities issued in 2009. In other words, the U.S. government is now being financed by a massive Ponzi scheme.

We can’t continue spending like drunken sailors forever. The fact that the Federal Reserve is buying most of the debt we are selling is a little ridiculous. Bernie Madoff was sent to jail for the rest of his life for doing what our government is doing. The Federal Reserve buying our treasuries and Social Security are bigger than any Ponzi scheme Madoff ran.

Let congress know with your vote this fall that you don’t approve.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: General Politics, Subsidies Tags:

SCOTUS Votes for more corporate money in campaign finance.

January 21st, 2010

In a decision that has people on both sides of the aisle pretty angry the Supreme Court of the United States of America today ruled 5 - 4 that severe restrictions on how corporations spend money to support campaigns was a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of political speech.

It seems this case was particularly interested in a film supporting Hilary Clinton created for the 2008 Presidential Election. Historically, it was believed that a provision of the McCain-Feingold Bill disallowed this. Now, however, the supposed restriction has been lifted by this decision.

This ruling doesn’t matter very much right now. This ruling hasn’t changed any of the laws regarding corporations donating to an individuals campaign, those remain intact. However, we should be worried about what happens going forward from here.

Will we next decide that corporations should be able to give money in any amount to candidates? I am mixed on this issue. On one side I think we need to consider the traditional libertarian stance regarding the government’s meddling. I don’t want my world regulated by the government. Unfortunately, this position fails to address the problem we currently have in American politics. One of the many things that keeps viable third parties from emerging is the issue of money and how much it takes to run a successful campaign, not to mention the money required to organize people and get a third party on the ballots in each state.

Some people want to believe that if a third party appealed to enough people then they would be able to raise enough money to be competitive. Sadly, 30 second videos and 90 minute films paid for by corporate interests, lobbying groups, and political action committees provide a cacophony of sound to drown out small-time candidates before they can even build a following.

Personally, I don’t want politics in my country to be driven by dollar signs. I don’t care about infringing on a person’s, or a corporation’s,  First Amendment freedom of political speech by restricting how much money they can give to a candidate. Frankly, I’m a bit appaled that money spent is what we think of as Fredom of Speech in this country now. For a country that was founded by a people unable to disagree with their monarch without fear of retribution you’d expect us to be happy with our ability to dissent, but instead we aren’t happy unless the wealthy can use their piles of cash as tools for change, the kind of change they think is best for them.

I don’t often agree with President Obama but this time he has summed up the issue perfectly calling this decision “a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics”. Though I definitely haven’t forgotten how big a part fund raising played in his campaign.

Author: T.J. Seabrooks Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

12 Signs That 2010 Is Going To Be A Really, Really Bad Year For The Democrats And The Obama Administration

January 17th, 2010

This is a guest post from Michael at Patriot Blogger. If you are interested in guest posting at Geek Politics, check out the guidelines here.

The 2010 election is still almost 10 months away, but already every indication is that if the election was held today, the Democrats would suffer a crushing defeat. So will things get better for the Democrats by the time election day rolls around? Well, actually the truth is that things are only likely to get worse for the Democrats and the Obama administration in 2010. As the U.S. economy continues to fall apart, and as health care and national security continue to take center stage on the national scene, an increasing number of voters are likely to become disenfranchised with the Democratic Party. The following are 12 signs that 2010 is going to be a really, really bad year for the Democrats and the Obama administration….

#1) Health care “reform” has been a total nightmare for Obama and the Democrats. The majority of Americans have been horrified to learn that the plan put forward by the Democrats will make purchasing health insurance mandatory, will raise taxes, will give the government unprecedented control over health care decisions, will result in much fewer health care choices for the average American and will push U.S. government deficits through the roof. Approval ratings for the health care “reform” bill have been hovering in the 30s, and considering that this is the centerpiece of the Democratic agenda, this is a really, really bad sign for Obama and the Democrats.

#2) In fact, more Americans than ever are sick and tired of the financial mess that the U.S. government is getting us all into. The truth is that the U.S. government is drowning under an absolute mountain of debt and all of the spending that Barack Obama is doing is only making it worse. To finance this debt, the U.S. Treasury has been forced to issue so many new bonds that the rest of the world cannot possibly buy them all. So who is buying them all up? The Federal Reserve. In fact, the Fed is now purchasing approximately 80 of all new U.S. debt.

#3) But even with all of this reckless government spending the unemployment situation in the U.S. is still absolutely brutal. When even Wal-Mart is closing stores you know things are really bad. Wal-Mart just announced this past week that it will close 10 money-losing Sam’s Club stores and will cut 1,500 jobs in order to reduce costs. So if even Wal-Mart has to shut down stores, what chance do other retailers have?

#4) In fact, some areas of the U.S. are a total economic nightmare at this point. The mayor of Detroit recently said that the real unemployment rate in his city is somewhere up around 50 percent. When things get that bad, the party out of power starts to look better and better.

#5) So just how bad are things when compared to past recessions? During the 2001 recession, the U.S. economy lost 2% of its jobs and it took four years to get them back. This time the U.S. economy

#6) The reality is that more Americans are in financial trouble than at any point in recent times. Americans are going broke at a staggering pace. 1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 - a 32 percent increase over 2008. This is not a trend that is going to help the Democrats.

#7) We are also seeing a record number of mortgage defaults. According to a report that was just released, delinquent home loans at government-controlled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac surged 20 percent from July to September. In fact, things are such a mess at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that the Obama administration recently removed the caps on the amount of financial assistance that the U.S. government will be giving these two entities. Whether or not Obama created this mess is not the issue. What is the issue is that an increasing number of Americans are blaming him for this mess.

#8) In fact, many analysts believe that the the housing crash is far from over. They say that a massive “second wave” of mortgage defaults is getting ready to hit the U.S. economy starting in 2010. In fact, this “second wave” is so frightening that even 60 minutes is reporting on it. When this second wave does hit, most Americans are going to place responsibility for it in the laps of the Obama administration.

#9) Now there is even concern that the recent global deep freeze could end up seriously affecting food prices in American supermarkets in 2010. As the past several decades have clearly shown, Americans tend to vote according to how their pocketbooks are doing, and if food prices shoot through the roof that will not help Obama and the Democrats at all.

#10) In addition, recent polls indicate that the majority of Americans are so concerned about terrorism that they would be willing to sacrifice certain freedoms in order to feel safer. Considering the fact that terrorism is considered to be an issue that greatly favors the Republicans, this has got to be very concerning to the Democrats.

#11) On the foreign policy front, Obama risks alienating the Jewish vote by continuing to insist that Israel give East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. The truth is that the Jewish vote is crucial for the Democrats and Obama in places like Florida, and by taking such a hardline anti-Israel position, Obama is not winning any new friends in the Jewish community.

#12) Also, Barack Obama is continuing to push for a treaty with Russia that would reduce the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal to approximately 10 percent of the size that it was at the height of the cold war. Such an irresponsible approach to national security is surely not going to win Obama and the Democrats many friends among moderate voters who are concerned about security issues.

Any way you cut it, 2010 is shaping up to be a very bad year for the Democrats. Barack Obama’s approval rating has already been plummeting like a rock, and there does not seem to be much hope of that turning around any time soon. In fact, if the signs above are any indication, the 2010 election could end up being really, really good to the Republicans. But with Obama still in the White House until at least 2012, will they be able to do much to clean up the mess?

Author: Derek Clark Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Why We Keep Losing Jobs

January 14th, 2010

There are several reasons for the continued job losses, and the economy isn’t the main one. This is from an article on CNBC, “A potential wave of new regulation and higher taxes may be scaring many businesses from hiring, prolonging any rebound in employment, say business groups and economists.”

Maybe if our congress would stop spending and taxing everything they can think of we could actually create some jobs. As noted by the 10.6 billion in revenue Intel had this quarter, the economy really isn’t that bad. Apparently somebody spent some money last quarter. Unfortunately, Congress and the White House think the answer to everything is to spend more money. The house just proposed spending 2.3 billion to create 17000 jobs. If you do the math that is $135,000 per job. That doesn’t seem to be a very good return if you ask me.

Between universal healthcare, carbon emissions, and random taxes just because they can, business owners don’t know what kind of costs they are going to have in the future.
“If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers,” Obama said about the banks. Wait a minute, the banks did pay back the TARP money plus interest. GM and Chrysler haven’t paid them back, but they are excluded from this tax. What in the world is this other than favoritism for Obama’s unions. Remove the uncertainty and you will get your jobs. There is no need to continue wasting billions and trillions of dollars trying to help the economy. The only thing it is doing is creating a debt that we cannot repay, a debt that is going to ruin us.

Another problem we have is the constant extension of unemployment benefits. I am really sorry if you have lost your job, but there is no reason for unemployment benefits to last a year. The only thing this does is give people a reason not to go back to work. Our current unemployment is about 10%, but the real unemployment is closer to 17%. The difference between those numbers? The extra 7% aren’t looking for a job. That isn’t being discouraged, that is being lazy. If I can’t pay my mortgage and feed my family, you can be sure that I won’t stop looking for a job. This is the product of government handouts.

Let me know if you wish Washington would remove the uncertainty and get out of the way so this recovery can have a chance.