Currently viewing the tag: "california"
We should take his guitar so we can be REALLY tough on crime!

We should take his guitar so we can be REALLY tough on crime!

Oh, hey, look at me over at The Daily Beast!

In which I try to talk to people who are overly focused on private prisons, but have the right idea of “something is wrong with the American prisons system.” There is a libertarian kicker at the end.

In the last few years, as a surprisingly bipartisan backlash against American over-criminalization has grown, many justice reformers have noticed, and rightfully critiqued, private prisons. The stalwart American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is uncomfortable  with the idea of profiteering from mass incarceration and notes that the industry’s bread and butter is putting and keeping people behind bars. The Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and some Catholic dioceses, are starting to come out in opposition to the multibillion-dollar private prison industry. Liberal outlets like Think Progress and Alternet publish fearful exposes about these powerful, amoral corporations.

And they have good points, these upset people. They note how private prisonsheld 128,195 people back in December 2010. That’s only about 5.5 percent of the total population behind bars (including county jails); but that number shot up 37 percent between 2002 and 2009. Critics point to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison corporation, which employs eight lobbyists and have waged multimillion-dollar efforts to influence laws and politics.

The rest here

1024px-Map_of_USA_showing_state_namesThe most Montana thing I have ever done is be carried across a raging creek by a Missouri rancher who left the state on a bus when he was a teenager in the 1940s.

The most Tennessee thing I have ever done was eat Prince’s Hot Chicken, black-eyed peas, and potato soup on the same day I had moonshine and listened to a fiddle.

The most Virginia thing I have ever done is know my friend S.T. at all, and also to visit Confederate graves with him.

The most Maryland thing I have ever done is visit somewhere in Baltimore that wasn’t the Inner Harbor.

The most Nevada thing I have ever done is accidentally walk outside of a Vegas motel room while on the phone, then stare in horrified fascination at my instantly blackened feet.

The most Nebraska thing I have ever done is be bored by Nebraska and Kansas.

The most Colorado thing I have ever done is listen to “Hot for Teacher” while driving through the majestic Rocky Mountains and experiencing snow, rain, and sunshine in alarmingly rapid succession.

The most Texas and Georgia things I have ever done are both go to the airport. (That is also the most Germany thing I have ever done.)

The most West Virginia thing I have ever done is visit a yard sale being put on by fierce, mean-eyed folks who seem to have come straight down from the holler. They had nothing to say to our kind, and no salesman or woman politeness to offer. When mom and I finally left, an old man sitting on a nearby porch gave us a curt, yet strangely sympathetic nod and wave.

The most Kentucky thing I have ever done is buy Everclear for $7.99.

The most California thing I have ever done is be born in Hollywood Memorial Hospital.

The most Ohio thing I have ever done is be an asshole.

The most North Dakota thing I have ever done is be cold as hell in Fargo on a bus.

The most Wyoming thing I have ever done is be unable to find a place to sleep.

The most Utah thing I have ever done is listen to my sister complain about some Mormons

The most North Carolina thing I have ever done is shoot a semi-automatic with Calvin T., after visiting a promisingly off-putting Army Surplus store.

The most Washington, DC thing I have ever done is see Al Franken walking by through the window of the taxi I was taking to the RT studio. Second place, go to brunch one time or another.

The most New York City thing I have ever done is tied between being in the same bar as Andrew Kirell and Anthony L. Fisher and not having any interest in anything in the state besides the city of New York.

The most Pennsylvania thing I have ever done is walk Pickett’s Charge.

The most Pittsburgh thing I have ever done is accidentally slip into a Pittsburgh accent when I say “Howler’s” (it’s a bar). Second place is swear to leave soon.

Oakland, California

Oakland, California

Concrete Blonde! Another band that feels like imaginary LA: That is the one that mixes the 60s, the late 70s, the 80s, and the early 90s. That is also Dad tending bar and taking over the LA Times letters. Mom hanging out with Peter Scolari and getting hit on by John Hurt while waiting tables. They meet. They go see Stop Making Sense, they have a few kids. Exene Cervenka lives down the street at some point. Everyone reads Joan Didion and watches cool-MTV until we have to move because of crackhead neighbors and because I get asthma and pneumonia  Soundtrack by the Talking Heads, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, The Cars, X, and the Blasters. Plus, Kingdom Come, I suppose. If only because I don’t remember living in LA, but I do remember the first I saw Uncle Dan without his hair metal hair.

Anyway, this is an anti-cop song, for an added bonus.

The greatest song about a dusty Bible that there is, which is impressive since the other one is by Hank Williams Sr. Fun fact: my friend Bob is still apologizing for going to see the Fox Hunt one night in Pittsburgh. I was taking a nap, he did not wake me up.

Latent Chatham University impulses coming up for me here, but I would love if Tegan and Sara always were this rockin’ and catchy.

One of my favorites by the Stanley Brothers. It makes me want to love the Lord in a way that only Ralph Stanley can.

Took me long enough. Sheesh.