Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Except it isn’t, apparently we haven’t had enough of the docudrama propaganda style worthy of the political right’s reputation as religious, delusional individuals running for or holding public office, only coming from a left, liberal, progressive film maker solidifying them as out there, social welfare, social justice, managed healthcare, government dependence, do it like they do in Scandinavia, fork over half your income in taxes and watch the government take care of you coddled idiots.  Moore known for his work being heavy on the drama, low on the documenting anything but people’s reaction to skewed stimuli, posing loaded questions already asked and answered with no new perspectives and moving us no closer to solutions to real, existing problems. Yet even after Bowling for Columbine everything from questioning the validity of bowling as a phys. Ed. credit to the larger question of if schools are adequately providing for kid’s needs, subtext preparing them for the world, the real world, implications they clearly aren’t. And complaining about Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s ‘easy access to guns’ despite having a history of arrests, juvenile detention, counseling sessions and drug dependencies citing extreme examples of supposed gun carelessness; giving away a gun with the opening of a bank account in one area and mandatory gun ownership in one U.S. municipality. None of which was a part of the state where Harris and Klebold lived nor did they contribute to either how the 2 got their weapons or what ultimately happened at Columbine high school; conveniently forgotten, having an unscrupulous or unknowing person buy firearms for them, the number of homemade pipe bombs, constructed from instructions on the internet using materials gotten at any hardware and/or farm supply store, never detonated in the event known as the Columbine massacre. The award winning, that really should frighten us, Fahrenheit 9/11 blaming the corporate media for the ‘disastrous’ premature election of George W. Bush, the Florida recounts, hanging chads and so on to him spelling election fraud, complicated, ‘uncovered’ relationships between the Bush family and the government, Bush and Saudi Arabia, possibly the Bin Laden family related to oil exploration supposedly funded by the latter, calling all the above a conflict of interest not serving Americans; real reason for the war in Afghanistan, helped by a media fanned culture of fear and the U.S. patriot act, a natural gas pipeline to the Indian ocean. Adjacently the war in Iraq, Moore describes the relatively happy lives lived by the citizens there before the U.S. invasion as compared to after; portraying the cost to American family members complete with how the lower class and poor people are essentially being used as cannon fodder while the better off never have to enlist; forget we’ve heard this since the Vietnam draft dodgers were exposed trickling down through the decades. Nothing mentioned about the bad intelligence received by the Bush administration, people in Bush’s ‘inner circle’ possibly manipulating him, news footage broadcast saying Saddam Husain had nothing to do with 9-11, that we went there instead looking for WMD (weapons of mass destruction) after Husain had been in a back and forth tug of war with U.N. inspectors lasting years; underlying subtext, to prevent the next 9-11 ever reaching our shores, devastating our country. Interesting how idyllic the Iraqi’s lives were supposed to be considering the rape rooms and mass genocide discovered; those families doubtlessly have a different view regardless of whether they hate the U.S. for their ‘invasion.’ No word either on how Moore explained Bush’s 2004 reelection, only expressed at the time a fervent hope it would impact said election; somehow we don’t think keeping Bush in office is what he had in mind.  Or Sicko comparing and contrasting America’s healthcare system to other major westernized nations even communist Cuba, basically showing how everyone has their act together but ours; low cost of prescription drugs, no cost to the most disadvantaged, disabled and elderly, that in France  the French government provides many social services, such as health care, public education (including universities), vacation and day care for $1 an hour and neonatal support that includes cooking, cleaning, and laundry services for new mothers. Conspicuously absent, known horror stories with managed care people waiting on obscenely long waiting lists, removing their own teeth because dentists take too long to get to or the Canadian father who  brought his disabled daughter to the U.S. and was impressed by the immediate, compassionate care she was given. American doctors bragging still today about the number of kids, people in Europe who aren’t on medication, whether it’s better authoritative parenting meaning no ADHD type drugs, no alphabet soup of disorders sticking to the more severe clinical mainstream when they do diagnose even children, more apt for parenting classes instead, or physicians not afraid to tell people to eat healthier, exercise, lay off the cheeseburgers and go for a walk as opposed to hand them a pill and send them on their way; either to avoid confrontations with unruly patients or the kick back they get from conglomerate pharmaceutical companies. We haven’t learned our lesson on how good, how polished, how funny, how thought provoking propaganda can look; we’re still hungry for more largely because it feeds our conspiracy theories, gives us all the more reason to hate people, entities we didn’t much like in the first place, fan the flames of hot button issues we feel passionate about or believe proves our country, the world is going to hell in a hand basket, take your pick.

Now Michael Moore has done it again in Where to Invade Next based on an even more fictitious and ridiculous premise than his prior films, what if our leaders brought him in to help save the country, which he attempts to do by mock invading other, largely European, countries for ideas that would help America if implemented here. Does he realize how much he sounds like Sacha Baron Cohen, made famous for his portrayal of Borat, a Kazakhstani visiting and trying to understand America; stirring controversy with his later film and character Admiral General Aladeen “the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed”— the Republic of Wadiya? The Dictator reportedly based on Libya dictatorian leader Muammar Gaddafi alive and well at the film’s release; Baron Cohen causing an uproar at that year’s academy awards when he alerted press he planned on coming to the event in character complete with “a pair of uniformed female bodyguards (resembling Gaddafi’s Amazonian Guard) and wielding an urn purportedly containing the ashes of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, which the actor spilled onto E! host Ryan Seacrest. The ashes were later reported to be pancake mix.” Difference, as we would all too soon find out, Baron Cohen’s satire was all too accurate and all too real using humor to wake us all to the atrocity of letting this man run a country; contrasted to Moore who has gathered all the hotly contested, debated domestic issues of the day from school lunches to an overt push we should become like Amsterdam making all drugs legal, manipulating facts and rehashing old arguments for hype, a phenomenon reoccurring through all popular documentaries since his first, his or someone else’s. It’s similarity to Waiting for Superman and the twin duo push to upend the American education system for the better in Geoffrey Canada and Michelle Ree is uncanny. The problem with Were to Invade, beyond the absurdity of its foundation, isn’t that so many countries are getting it right and we’re getting it wrong, or that we haven’t won a war since WWII, times have changed, isn’t just that he blatantly ignores problems had by these countries he presents as virtual utopias compared to us; it’s a combination of who these, sometimes tiny, obscure countries are and the much bigger why we’re not getting it right and other places are. Example, those delicious school lunches found abroad implying both great nutrition and great taste, but we aren’t revamping school cafeteria food because someone came up with the bright, logical idea kids would be more inclined to eat it if it wasn’t green goo passing for vegetables, mystery meat and ever redundant baked beans, because parents became concerned about the unidentified ingredients in their child’s school provided food,  neither are they as a matter of fact; like them, we are doing it to fight an obesity epidemic. An epidemic recent research shows might not have been an epidemic after all, obviously one we didn’t understand as infant, toddler and preschool obesity rates decline almost without explanation despite initiatives such as the first lady’s let’s move campaign, obesity rates unchanged around the globe. Growing arguments and evidence what America needs isn’t better preschool, k-12 ed., longer school days, school years, more, math, more English, foreign language, teachers with heightened credentials, homework or no homework, yes unhindered by financial barriers access to post-secondary education. However infinitely more important, degree programs tailored specifically to existing jobs, employers willing to engage in the most basic job training, are competent in hiring workers they need and willing to hire the full complement of workers required, not just the minimum they can function with, employers willing to give the desired real work experience not just demand it; problems not seen in the European construct.  Notice equally pay for equal work was not mentioned and paid maternity leave was; why, because most European countries remain struggling in this arena. Women seen as less, giving less to their job for the sole reason they bare children, take state sanctioned, time off suspending the momentum of their careers. Glaring too, women’s rights were discussed only in the confines of Tunisia and an Islamic revolution only keeping their existing rights, no thought to expanding them, due to protests circa 2011; who knows what will happen in the future considering the fervor of both the Islamic state and passion of Islamic radicals and a bank in Iceland who survived the financial crisis by being run by women, not solid polices even post crisis. Woefully glossed over, Europe’s 10% unemployment rate roughly region wide, protests in countries like France, not so many years ago, when people there, largely the young, college students couldn’t get jobs eerily reminiscent of occupy Wall Street for us; downright riots at U.K. universities when they did start charging nominal fees for post-secondary education as part of austerity measures there. Their royal family making international headlines when the queen was asked to cut back on expenses or the disrepair of palace spaces was made public.

And the countries that are ‘getting it right’ aren’t getting it as right as we think they are, definitively not as right as Moore’s piecemeal clips lead us to believe they are; take Portugal, another country where all drugs are legal thus no one is ever arrested for drug possession and thousands to millions aren’t clogging up prison beds, which should be reserved for the worst of the worst, languishing for years without the defining thing they need to lead a criminal free existence— treatment.  Apart from the moral, religion centered argument why drugs are still illegal in the United States, drug possession sends you to jail, there is what people do on drugs; a wide ranging gauntlet of criminal activity theft and robbery to support a habit, to vicious murders and beatings occurring due to drug induced hallucinations, being crazed on speed, crank, street names for various types of Methamphetamine, driving under the influence of aforementioned  drugs, injuring, killing people in the process. Or the consequences of having an employee who is tweaked out on meth, high on crack, dangers they pose to fellow workers and your company’s bottom line getting them fired; subsequently unable to pay for their habit, if it were legal, leaving us with the just listed habit related crime, regardless. Could reasoning behind Portugal’s legalization be they don’t see this class of drugs in their country along with bath salts, crocodile that destroys the body resulting in limb amputation; it’s hard to picture a speed freak holding down a job even there, not being seen as a liability? Granted we can talk all day about the connection between the end of prohibition, giving those workers something to do and marijuana hysteria in America laid out in books like Refer Madness that slowly graduated to other drugs, our failed war on drugs chiefly failed because of how we speak to young people about drugs, couching all illegal ones as the same, carrying the same harmful effects, which they don’t and when young people find that out ignore everything else said. The futility of locking people up for life for small self consumable amounts of  any drug, but especially pot, under tough on crime 3 strikes laws that were only ever meant for violent offenders carried over by anti-crime zealots backed by fervent voters. But making all drugs present on our shores legal can’t be a viable answer precisely because of the ones we have. Chief catalyst behind legalizing pot, in states where it has been, is that it is a natural substance with comparatively low effects on a person under its influence, showing medical uses in various forms, producing calm in almost all users; as opposed to stuff made from drain cleaner, motor oil and resulting in a high just manufacturing it.  We hope this “Norway’s prisons, where convicted murderers bake bread, go on nature hikes and record hip-hop albums [about] picking the flowers and ignoring the weeds,” as do many Norwegian citizens no doubt, isn’t where convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik resides. Especially after public pressure brought in a second state psychiatrist declaring him sane and fit for trial, serving his minimum10 year sentence, possibility of life if deemed still a threat to society. Yes prisons are meant to be rehabilitative alongside enforcing punitive conditions as a deterrent to future wrongdoing; rightfully acknowledged America has a lot to learn about ending its carceral state and revolving door recidivism directly tied to the stigma of having been in jail, inability to get a job after serving one’s time. But baking bread, going on nature hikes and recording hip-hop albums doesn’t seem punitive enough for heinous crimes on par with what happened to British student Meredith Kercher in Italy, isn’t effective in erasing the racist dogma causing Anders Behring Breivik to do what he did, nor the psychopathology of a serial killer, rapist, child molester. Neither are America’s prisons wholly one dimensional, there are programs pairing young offenders with a buddy to attend college level classes, many have gotten everything from their GED to law degrees during incarceration; what we desperately need in conjunction with making sure persons in jail are genuinely guilty, rather than victims of mistaken identity, looking strikingly like another person, victim of a cop, investigator, detective’s obsession to get who they believe is ‘their man,’ ceasing locking people up for months, years on erroneous, nuisance charges is, an understanding once a person has served their time they have earned a clean slate, if on parole they were given parole for sound reasons of first time, minor offense, good behavior, genuine effort to turn their life around. To that end, they deserve a shot at a job particularly one unrelated to their offense.  Contrary to painting them as the apex of freedom and joy, other countries have employed so called fat taxes on junk and high calorie foods, sugar taxes aimed at sodas, cakes and cookies; Hungry and France both to be exact despite its dismal failure in Denmark and a 2014 E.U. report saying they do work, equally cautioning it could drive consumers to cheaper products, still grappling with their own obesity problems. France banned Ketchup and limited cream sauces in their school lunches, a-la 2012, and MacDonald’s there is referred to as Mcdope, obesity still paramount on the government’s mind prevalent among the population, and it’s not merely the import of the American fast food chains. Menu items change slightly owing to international region; look at China, McDonald’s there isn’t likely to sell combo meals of burgers and fries but burgers with a side of corn.  Or that in the 6 years it took Moore to craft his latest masterpiece food fed to American kids is no longer crap and they still won’t eat it less because it isn’t junk, isn’t fast-food and simply because they’ve done nothing to make it kid friendly, taste good.  At least we haven’t had to resort to the tactic of French lunch ladies— frying the broccoli. Copenhagen has ridiculously high gas prices dwarfing ours by a mile and most get around on bicycles as if it were the end of the 19th century, turn of the 20th not headed into the 16th year of the 21st.  Yes the social services are wonderful but French daycare is mandatory by age 3 along with it potty training, England’s adorable prince George is scantly 2 and recently enrolled in nursery school, preschool; so much for a toddlerhood, something American parents would balk at either as too much too soon or robbing them of critical bonding time with their still very young child. Utopia this is not.

Of course Slovenia “a country 99 percent of Americans could not find on a map with 20 guesses,” that way due to it not being a world power player, prominent in global Olympic events, if you watch them on TV, not known for significant landmarks, renowned food, popular commercial products, can afford to provide no cost college educations to citizens and the relatively small influx of foreign students including Americans who can’t afford the astronomical costs at home.  It has a population fractionally small compared to the U.S.; it’s exactly what arises when looking at why we can’t export Copenhagen climate policies and attitudes, say you could get them to swallow a 28% gas tax as something other than a ploy for the government to make money, approach the almost obsessive compulsive competition to reduce personal, family energy consumption the same way some approach fitness and weight loss, fall in line with taking a bike, to take a train, to walk 20 minutes to grandma’s house kids in tow, forgive wind swept, helmet head men in business suites, a huge feat alone. It would still fail because they also possess a fraction of the landmass, the size of Minnesota, common thread throughout Europe meaning mass transit is much more achievable sans bullet trains and high speed rails, already killing thousands in China, when they inevitably crash; probably the partial secret behind “an Italian couple who have barely middle-class jobs by American standards, and who eat lunch at home together every day,” they don’t have to afford initial expense, fuel, insurance and upkeep attached to a vehicle. Then there is the looming question of where these Americans flocking to Slovenia for a zero dollars, no student loan bills education are going to work unless they plan on permanently moving there; because, you can bet if 99% of Americans can’t find it on a map, 99% of employers won’t accept a degree from there when considering a job applicant. Never mind Moore’s plug of the country has essentially put an end to a hitherto little known free education source than anything else when they decide they can’t adequately serve their citizens and accommodate overwhelming numbers of foreign students.  Finland may boast no homework and a complete turnaround of where their education system was a few years ago, but if the latest PISA international student assessment results are any indication Finland has emerging problems not correlated with recent immigrants before the Syrian refugee crisis. Additionally how do they know they are doing better if they have eliminated standardized tests and why are they still participating in the PISA, not that it matters providing Finish kids, students and adult graduates of education can get jobs, live well. Especially accounting for how many power player, known countries achieve such envy worthy results by cheating.  Dido with the services readily provided to citizens in the countries showcased, Europe’s commitment to government aided national wellbeing is legendary, yet they can do so because they support a fraction of the population America does. France at 64 plus million has nearly 4 times less the people than the United States, tiny Slovenia slightly over 2 million, Norway just above 5 million, Germany the closest to cracking 100 million at 80 and change; not until you include the entire European Union do you exceed the U.S. population of 300 million with just shy of 750 million spread over approximately 28 countries. Easily explaining the Salon interviewer quote “even Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim National Front, does not advocate major cuts to healthcare or retirement benefits. (Although she would surely like to restrict who gets them.) Britain’s governing Conservative Party has eaten away at the National Health Service in some ways, but would never be so foolish as to propose abolishing it.” Completing that sentence is the phrase not yet, present push for change and active opposition speak a situation embodied by the concept it’s only a matter of time, whether they do it holding America up as the example or not.  Further if you want a cautionary tale exemplifying too much of a good thing, where the typified European largesse can land entire nations, look at Greece; lavish government retirement packages, early retirement, government paid everything leading to a debt crisis and violent riots in the streets and abysmal austerity measures singularly serving to make things worse. Here is where their collective 10% unemployment rate comes into play or the U.K., whole E.U. really, suffering a perpetually sluggish economy; unlike the analogy of a guy holding an i-phone touting American genius and someone coming back at him talking about the 321 mass shootings in 2015, argument what does one have to do with the other— essentially nothing.  There is indeed a correlation between services given and jobless rates, wages eared, even rates of homelessness; it matters not singularly because that unemployment rate is significantly higher than our highest numbers in the height of the recession, housing greater significance when you factor in each country individually, smaller populations, their independence and autonomy even within E.U. membership where it applies and goes directly to how long can this continue and effected countries sustain themselves?  An entirely separate issue from how are we going to continue to pay for these things, keep the low cost $1 an hour daycare and neonatal support that includes cooking, cleaning, and laundry services for new mothers, is keeping people believing in the education and employment systems, striving to do well, attend universities, obtain more than a medial job. The heart of some of the education faltering in America is kids who no longer see the value of education, k-12 or post-secondary. They understand it’s a racket, a game and refuse to participate, refuse to give 100,110% effort knowing they will get little to nothing in return. Bill Maher had a point when challenging Donald Trump’s assessment of things “we’re not winning because kids in China make our i-phones;” reminding us Japan has been in a recession for 30 years and that we, America, were the only ones to survive the financial crisis relatively intact.

True when most Americans think of the government helping people with things like healthcare, retirement, child care, education, they think of programs deemed welfare, persons who couldn’t do it on their own, too lazy or stupid to earn a pay check, addicted to drugs and drawing food stamps, generations living in public, subsidized housing who know more working those systems and getting those benefits than they do about education, job opportunities, work habits, aspiring to nothing else. Goes without saying most are entrenched stereotypes long ago proven beyond doubt untrue, thought processes, ideologies entrenched in racism perpetuated stereotypes consistently keeping minorities and people of color in medial level jobs, unable to move up career ladders, possessing less access to higher education virtually forcing them into these situations. That that ‘welfare queen’ mentioned in article one below is a ‘welfare queen’ because her race, bitter circumstance, lack of money for beauty/fashion school to cut hair, tailor clothing for a living is why she gets by on ‘welfare’ doing hair and suite alterations in the neighborhood for folks job interviews. Reality that sure some dime a dozen thug in your ‘hood’ would “tease you about being a nerd, but told the other drug dealers not to mess with you because you were going to college,” or dope dealing Cousin X bought your school supplies. A good-for-nothing-drunk-of-an-uncle who fixed cars that helped folks get to work probably drinks so much because he never got to go to mechanic training to fix cars for a living, too busy working minimum wage to help his mom/dad support his brothers and sisters, or if he did, no one would give him a job, there aren’t enough of those type jobs in his dilapidated F-town. Because he is black and ‘lives there’ his options to seek treatment, try to get sober are far more limited than whites. Mychal Denzel Smith hit the nail on the head when he said: “What the “bad blacks” have understood better than the mouthpieces of respectability is that under white supremacy we won’t all “make it.” Under the current system, there isn’t room for all of us at the table, no matter how high our pants are pulled up or how great our diction. In order for some of us to achieve, the “bad blacks” sacrificed themselves.” Another thing holding back a higher, better standard of living outside the racial components was summed up perfectly in the following reader comment: “What Michael Moore and other advocates of social democracy have to overcome is that most Americans still believe that success is built on hard work and individual effort. The majority of middle class and upper class Americans aren’t willing to face higher marginal tax rates for the benefit of expanding social programs.” Forget the question of marginally higher tax rates, Americans making it stubbornly unwilling to pay a little more for the less fortunate,  government aid, state paid for education, government guaranteed minimum health, minimum standards of living erodes staunch American independence teaching people to be dependent on aid as opposed to supporting themselves according to decriers.  This falls in with the generalization about millennials, gen Y as coddled, wanting things handed to them, the feared wussification of America because some dare for a kinder, gentler approach; why Donald Trump resonates with the angry, white dinosaurs who in some native cultures would be pushed out to sea to make room for everyone else. Protestant work ethic, that has never worked, and simultaneously taken to the extreme in full swing proliferating the idea you must work your fingers to the bone or your mind to the brink; and if you don’t, usually can’t, do either, you are unworthy of basic sustenance, shelter, clothing, medical care. To be our current definition of success it means 18 hour days, always being on, answering e-mails long after hours, coughing your sick germs all over your co-workers as much about showing dedication to boss and company, you being the only worker who can do X task, handhold that new huge account, than fear of not having a job when you go back germ free. You’re not the success you could be, making that upper middle class living, you’re poor, just scarping by because you refuse to put in the hours (effort). Sentiment being why should I pay, help pay for their educations so they can major in Peruvian bongo drums, lesbian dance theory, where Beyoncé is literally a class then complain about being unable to get a job, land back on their parent’s couch? Never realizing Peruvian bongo drums, lesbian dance theory are elective classes not degree fields or the ‘failure’ had by students in marketing, business, engineering, law to obtain a degree related job. Religious minding members of public and government alike can’t imagine providing the kind of post natal care they do in France, think of all the teen/unwed mothers it would encourage, agree with the college health services blacklisting the graduate students in the Coach purse welfare mom story though her place in graduate school indicates she’s at least 23; young but certainly not a teen mom. Utterly misunderstood you arrive at the same goal of less unwanted/unplanned pregnancies, yes with comprehensive healthcare, but also comprehensive sex education, access to birth control rather than calling primary methods moral sacrilege while pronouncing withholding sex in a marriage situation witchcraft, leaving abstinence only or a mess of children as the only morally sanctioned option. Resounding question why should I pay for some woman who can’t keep her legs closed?  Too many in love with the classic American tale of success, loading all your possessions into a beat up vehicle, making your way cross-country for a dream, how you turned the 5, 50 or 500 dollars in your pocket into a franchise, a known business, an empire littered throughout historical fiction of what is fast approaching the last century. Oblivious to the indisputable fact Augie March and Tom Joad were products of fiction, historical fiction yes but fiction nonetheless.

No, America doesn’t need ‘a little time in the timeout room’ [though their politicians might, but not nearly as much as the YouTube compilation video of government official fisticuffs the world over] and certainly not for ‘running around the world’ claiming: “You need democracy! Now you need democracy!;” translation from oversimplified speak to concrete foreign policy good or bad, helping countries who would shake off the oppression of dictatorship whether it was lending political support in Egypt or joint military air support with NATO allies in Libya, what we should have done in terms of intervention in Syria. Remember by his own theories the war in Afghanistan was about a natural gas pipeline to the Indian ocean; the war in Iraq was long speculated to be about oil rather than weapons, humanitarian aspects. If anything they need a time out from conservative politicians saying you need religion now, you need religion now, you need my version of Jesus now; oh and to preserve the American way of life, the idyllic, wholesome values of yesteryear you must adopt my standing on so called moral issues now and we must return to the 1950’s now, now coupled with the religious voters who let their ‘biblical’ principles override reason on every level. Above all else America needs to find solutions that work for her and her people; citizens aren’t willing to fork over half their hard earned income in taxes for government housing, a vehicle, healthcare, child care, free education as far as your mind can take you; then what are we willing to do?  Where can we balance positives of what they are doing and keep our individualistic, from nothing success stories heritage?  What can we do to make affordable childcare not an oxymoron without daycare, preschool becoming a mandatory state run institution; how do insurance companies need to be structured to provide needed care and coverage to every person paying out of their pocket or relying on the government, partially subsidized government healthcare? How do we turn America’s business community mindset around to pay people a living wage instead of sitting on literally billions in profits while average workers qualify for food stamps less for their extravagance and speaking more to the low wages being paid? How do we compel them to stop hording the ‘secrets’ to available jobs, steps to achieving job title X, give the in demand experience instead of holding out their hand gimmie, gimmie, gimmie, don’t have a myriad of skills, no job for you?  When will we recognize, remember the French are characterized as food snobs for a reason, others are education snobs and rather than twist ourselves inside out worrying about what another country is doing, own our individual identity, provide well rounded, good tasting food to school children, educate them in a way that fosters knowledge and learning not regurgitated test answers, cease arguments over content or format, shunning interactive technology  to bring children up to an adult level to keep pace with habitual cheaters in a race that doesn’t matter anyway?  At what point do we say our overly punitive, in many cases, repetitive carceral state isn’t working so let’s try what other places have been using to rousing success or at least do something about these thug police officers frankly exterminating black and brown people because they can; get rid of F-towns Fenton, Felton, Fergusson, and I don’t mean demolish them, but stop making it ok to forget these places exist, that people live there, make their lives there, need jobs there?  So it isn’t a case of bad schools lead to more and more people fed into the great maw of the prison system, resort to drugs to cope and criminality to survive. We don’t need to legalize all drugs to stop tacking on minor possession charges to something else, a traffic stop when said stop was not for impairment, to understand in possession cases where selling wasn’t clearly the indicated intent treatment better serves both society and the person than jail. They don’t have to be baking bread, going on nature hikes and recording hip-hop albums to have increased access to rehabilitative opportunities education, evaluation and testing for treatable learning deficits and disabilities, psychological services, diagnostics, counseling and medication, warranted neurological exams for inmates with chronic impulse control problems guards notice something is clearly off with a prisoner toward end goal: treatment, a more productive, functional citizen.  Unfortunately America, the people making the lion’s share of the decisions will come to these conclusions about the same time Michael Moore decides to grow up, decides if he wants to be taken remotely seriously it can’t be all propaganda, bad humor and skewed information—which means of course about half past never.