Archive for July, 2012
If you’re not familiar with ’em, Buckyballs are magnetized BBs packaged with instructions and shape-making challenges. They’re weirdly hypnotic, s0 we leave ours on the bar to see who makes what during idle chatter ’round the kitchen; they’re a hit with friends and guests. This week the Federal government issued a stop-sale order for Buckyballs ’cause too many parents fail to pay attention to what their kids put in their mouths and too few know the difference between kiddie toys and adult brain teasers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) called Buckyballs a serious “ingestion hazard” and convinced 10 retailers, including Amazon.com, to stop selling them (the manufacturer has refused to voluntarily withdraw the product from the market). I say, kudos to manufacturer Maxfield & Oberton: idiot parenting’s the real hazard here. Yet we’re left with a panel of stiffs in Washington again protecting us from ourselves.
Why have Americans been surrendering their sense of personal responsibility at such a disturbing rate? Soon we’ll all end up a bunch of trained seals with our heads tilted back, lolling from side to side and waitin’ for someone to drop a fish into our mouths. (more…)
What could gnaw at you more than knowing you hit a pedestrian and raced away? What if the person was dead – and all over the news? Knowing a little something of what the guy who hit me endured, I can’t help but wonder about the fugitives from a recent string of hit ‘n run fatalities in L.A.
In 2003 I was hit by a rather tightly wound individual (read: dickhead) driving a brand new Jaguar S-Type who left me for dead in the middle of the intersection at Lincoln Blvd & Rose Ct. in Venice, CA. Bystanders tended to me while good Samaritans yelled to each other about the direction in which the Jaguar had fled. I awoke in the middle of the commotion, looking up at the June sky and feeling freezing cold. My head was being held very still above a pool of blood. I was beginning to hyperventilate, which made some lady above me cry.
A man ran up and yelled, “Here! Here! I have his address! I followed him to some condos up that way!” I heard a stampede of boots and feet running for cars, then several peel outs. By then several cops had arrived, seeking a culprit to question or cuff and being unleashed like that is what Badges live for.
And the creation of its page coincides with the crumbling of the walls around that secret society of thugs known as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. With its members turning on each other and the Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. finally being exposed for the Academy of Excessive Force it’s always been, I figured it was time to share what it’s been like to bring this story to market. (more…)
When I was doing time here in California, inmates used to joke about prisoners in other states unlucky enough to be plucked from their general populations to serve as private prison guinea pigs. Though we heard some volunteered, it was said most were too doped up to argue or had requested an out-of-state transfer without knowing where they’d be going or how their receiving facilities were being run. Suckers.
They were doomed and we were fortunate that California hosted no privately operated prisons at the time: some southern states had several up and running. But with Bank of America investing hugely in the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), followed by Wells Fargo and others, for-profit prisons were about to explode. (more…)