Monday, January 08, 2007

News of the Day, Monday, January 8, 2007

Five years into Afghanistan and the country's opium production is at an all-time high and government types, when allowed to be anonymous, think the levels getting in here have gone up as well. Good thorough article. / / / / People think we have these massive and comprehensive crim just data systems and stats out the wazoo. We sort of do, I know, but our record-keeping must make the computer gods shake and squirm. Here's a nice example of how it's not just a problem in the US. Britain, it seems, can't really tell us how people have walked away from their open jails. Not that it's important or anything. / / / / Time changes some things, other things not so much. Want to guess the US city with the most people who are regular drug users? San Fran come to mind? Ding, ding, ding. Nearly 13% of residents reported using an illicit drug in the last month. (Those surveyers must inspire great trust.) The national average, if you're wondering, was 8.1%. (Multiply that times the number of possible users here and tell me how that "War on Drugs" thing is going.) The city with the lowest use? Houston, where they take their drugs straight from the bottle or aluminum can. / / / / Good article here on the work release program in Madison, WI, and the folks who are trying to get through it. / / / / US News & World Report takes its turn on the recent increase in the violent crime rate and raises the necessary qualifiers before we take it all as gospel. / / / / Just what we need. From now on when you check in, will you be asked "smoking or nonsmoking? meth or non-meth?" And try not to get paranoid when you go through airport check-in and they run a swab over the luggage you've had sitting on the floor in a room covered in crystal dust. / / / / Finally, sometimes someone just cuts through the crap and says what no one wants to admit but is more likely true than what anyone else can come up with. From Governing's quote section:

“There isn’t enough money in the world to solve those problems, and no one should be led to believe that they can.”
Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Officer David E. Janssen, who will soon retire as the top administrator of the nation's largest county government, saying the major problems facing the region—such as overcrowded jails, failing medical services and chronic homelessness—are for the most part intractable.

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