Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Oh my gosh, BobOnARoll has been rolling way too much these days with barely enough time to pack unpack and pack again. The bedroom floor is strewn with 2 half full suitcases, laundry to put away, 6 pairs of shoes (all Merrell, of course), toilet kit, cameras, computer, wires and cords of various kinds, you name it. I either thrive in this chaos or I hate it and am not really sure. No time to think about that, ready, set, go.... !

After the return from London, it was almost an immediate pivot out to Passover in Chicago for a day and a half, then San Francisco for a 2nd Seder with Sue and family and a weekend of friends and family out there. Back early Monday morning, and tomorrow (Wed) I am on a plane again, this time to Stuttgart for Jase's opening there on Thurs evening and then on to a long weekend in Amsterdam. I'll come back home after that...or maybe just keep on going.

Oddly--and luckily--the political and economic systems of the country have been functioning reasonably well without my pungent commentary to keep things moving along.

Am not yet sure how an American will be greeted in Stuttgart--home to Mercedes and Porsche--but London was gaga over Obama and America and I imagine the Dutch will be happy campers about regime change in the USA, too. It's great to get back to Europe now and not have to explain myself and ourselves to incredulous western Europeans, which has been an unhappy chore during the prior eight years.

Jase pointed out a recent article in The New Yorker which equates the practice of solitary confinement in military and civilian prisons to torture, given the resulting psychotic/catatonic, and dissociative behaviors seen in persons who have been placed in solitary for as little as 30 days and many for much longer in US prisons. This excellent piece, along with an amazing factoid from last week's Economist about the rate of incarceration in America going from close to global averages in thr western world of about 100 per 100,000 people in the 1960s to now nearly 700 per 100,000 today, suggests that we are creating a fresh generation of mentally and psychologically impaired convicts who will have little chance in the outside world. And we keep on churning this vicious cycle of arrest conviction imprisonment and so forth.

We don't need a debate in this country about where to build more prisons. We need to confiscate the guns and change our drug laws so that we stop putting so many black young men behind bars who should be in treatment and counseling programs in the outside world.

See....haven't lost my touch after a week's hiatus. :)

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