Well, amongst the usual glut of lunacy that accumulates in in my email (e.g. a "phishing" notice that my Bank of Nova Scotia Accounts were frozen until I returned to retch up all my vital information - I actually have fond memories of Nova Scotia, though no bank accounts) my dear friend, POTFP, forwarded me an OpEd I'd missed in the Times, Recession Behind Bars". I digress for a moment to say, Pal, if you are going to present Two Liars, how could you possibly miss liar-on-the-left's droll statement to the press that "The charges against the owners of Studio 54 are a sham" (as the Feds rolled out the financial records on carts behind him) which rang about as truthful as his (delusional?) insistence, "I do not have AIDS!" in Angels in America. Maybe we need to "team up" once in a while. As you know, my head swims with useless data.
I admit from the outset that the story of Jack Henry Abbott, self-taught prison philosopher/psychopath, "progeny" and spoil of Norman Mailer, who emerged from 25 years of prison only to murder & return to prison before the parole papers were dry, leaves me with a coldness for writings such as Kenneth E. Hartman submitted to the NY Times. In particular, my eyes were drawn to the fact that he is the author of the "forthcoming" Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind Bars." Perhaps it's the mention of "redemption," his unnecessary use of the word, "schadenfreude," or maybe it's just memories of Norman Mailer. I'm not sure, but I'm also not sure it matters, if only because I was there, surrounded by liars in places where lying is an acceptable and expected - though infrequently unacknowledged - manner of daily life, and I can only imagine death. I am reminded of Clinkshrink's dilemma in identifying a patient, who may or may not have needed preventative medication, when presenting information differed from what the computerized record indicated (I couldn't find the specific post, but if you ask - nicely - I'm sure a ShrinkRapper will direct you). In fact, lying without a perceivable reason or benefit is symptomatic of psychopathy. Dilemma? Yeah, dilemma. Why? Because voracity is an unknown quantity in the forensic setting. Or at least a clinician can begin to believe as such. I only ask you to imagine an environment that, at the least, promotes a certain paranoia that everyone is lying.
Hartman, however, makes several interesting observations: 1) while CA is a "blue" state, it is, at least on paper, "red" on crime, and in my own observation, with a BIG intolerant magnet for the mentally ill (in my town, for example, building a baseball stadium "downtown," attracting (pardon me) white people several summer days & evenings per week results in some rejoicing in the "end of urban blight" - blight as in "scary homeless mentall ill" who all come out of hiding when the Padres predictably tank); 2) Simply put, in my tenure, a lot of folks "managed" the CDCR - save Rod Blagojevich, but there's still time before he switches teams - with little impact, driven by a governor and legislature that consistently flaunt the state's constitution requirement of a timely balanced budget and federal judges nudged awake to toothlessly threaten them; and 3) I validate Mr. Hartman's observation that the "construction bubble" in CA drove developers to within yelling distance of the fences of some of CA's meanest and highest security correctional facilities. Perhaps it's time to finally jump on one sitting 100 yards outside the gates of CIM (see post below)? While the CDCR did, in fact, attach the "R" (as in "Rehabilitation") to its nomme de guerre, Hartman is incorrect in stating “Costs be damned; lock ’em up and be done with it” was an unofficial motto. Oh, and an all-inmates' shout out to scumbag Richard Allen Davis who pretty much single-handedly sealed the "3 Strike" crime sweep nationally by murdering Polly Klass. Mr. Hartman is in the "life-with-no-parole" category for murder, and while I do not mock his "redemption" in the least, better it was achieved at the State Prison at Lancaster, rather than any institutions I might frequent. You always knew when a once great Russian priest & scholar began his eulogy with, "We are not his/her judge, God is his/her judge..." that there was a question, undoubtedly related to truth. And so it goes...
And finally, I ponder the physicians' - and in specific, the psychiatrist's - role in this forensic moral, medical, & fiscal "recession" of the Golden State? Appear "medical" & don't be a sucker? And in the words of another gifted writer, Walter Chinaski, "Drinks for all my friends!"