Otherwise, I shall be cynical and presume that "the cost of failure" is likely to involve wholesale prosecutions, widespread asset forfeiture (hey, they set the precedent!) and extraordinary renditions to The Hague.
Vice President Dick Cheney is, by far and away, the most powerful man in the
"Cheney's muscular views on presidential power,
What happened? Opportunity happened, at long last, George W. Bush and 9/11
war in Iraq presented Dick Cheney with the means to fulfill his decades-old
The Autistic Agenda in Second Life
Autistics and Aspies stake out their turf in Second Life. Resources, meeting places, cultural and educatonal areas - and a plan to take over the world! Ok, just Porcupine. For now.
Over the last two or three decades ... simple tools have expanded the ability for individuals of no particular means to build their own enterprises - everything from dotcoms to fast food chains to publishing empires. The actual cost of doing business has plummeted...This trend, along with parallel trends in web 2.0 apps and emerging technologies like the possibility of a 3D web overlay, as 2nd Life is essentially beta-testing hold enormous possibilities for business. But that's "business" with a small b. Large corporations may find themselves in dire competition with a multitude of medium to small businesses who have learned that they no longer need corporate infrastructure to achieve what only a DuPont or Ford could a hundred or even 50 years ago.
The Smalkowski case attracted national attention after Nicole Smalkowski was kicked off of the girls' basketball team after refusing to stand in a circle with her teammates on the gymnasium floor of the Hardesty public High School and recite the "Lord's Prayer." After school officials learned that she and her family were Atheists, lies were created about her as grounds to take her off of the team.
When her father Chuck discovered conclusively that public school and law enforcement officials had lied to him about his 15 year old daughter, he and Nicole and her mother Nadia went to the home of principal Lloyd Buckley to attempt to discuss the matter with him. Outside of his front fence, the principal struck Chuck, who blocked the blow. Both men fell to the ground and Buckley sustained minor injuries, the provable origins of which were strikingly contrary to his under oath trial testimony. Buckley then took out misdemeanor criminal assault charges against Chuck. After Smalkowski rejected the offer to drop the charges if he and his Atheist family left the state, the charges were raised to a felony. Chuck called American Atheists for help.
In its 2005 annual report, the Corrections Corporation of America laid out what's at stake for a prison industry facing reform:Our growth is generally dependent upon our ability to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new correctional and detention facilities ... The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.... Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions that could lower minimum sentences for some nonviolent crimes and make more inmates eligible for early release ... Also, sentencing alternatives under consideration could put some offenders on probation with electronic monitors who would otherwise be incarcerated. Similarly, reductions in crime rates could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities.
The reforms described by the rather alarmed-sounding CCA mirror those that Pew and other advocates herald as a way to curb the growing prison crisis -- and it appears that lawmakers are finally willing to hear them. "What we're seeing is state leaders around the country starting to call time out," said Pew researcher Susan K. Urahn during the Post's online chat. "We are seeing activity in several states where legislators from both parties are saying, 'We aren't getting our money's worth out of prisons.'" So, for example, "for the same amount of money, you could keep one inmate behind bars for an additional year, or you could provide treatment and intensive supervision for several others -- and cut the recidivism rate considerably." But who will provide treatment -- and how about those electric monitors? Like prison construction itself, prison "reform" will largely amount to trading in one set of services for another.
Others continue to defend the sweeping policies that got us here in the first place. "The fact that we have a large prison population by itself is not a central problem because it has contributed to the extraordinary increase in public safety we have had in this country," conservative sociologist James Q. Wilson told the Washington Post. Hardly unbiased criticism, given that Wilson was one of the intellectual engines behind the "broken windows" theory that helped get us into this mess. (And tell that to black or Latino families who experience the criminal justice system's harshest excesses -- from children growing up without their parents to parents paying crippling phone fees to reach their children. Or tell that to now-elderly prisoners living out their final days behind bars, whose threat to society is negligible and whose failing health makes them highly vulnerable -- and hugely expensive to care for.)