Prisoners Have Cooties

     So the ever-so-wise guys in Congress have declared that it’s too dangerous to bring prisoners from Guantanamo to the U. S.
     Our prisons can’t hold them, they’d turn gangbangers into suicide bombers, and/or their auras would spread through penitentiary walls swine-flu-like into the populace.
     Or something like that.
     Fair enough. But are you wondering what I’m wondering?
     Why are the prisons good enough to hold all the rapists and murderers and Ponzi schemers and serial jaywalkers that are there now? Aren’t you feeling a tad unsafe now that Congress has pointed out how unreliable the prisons are?
     Clearly this is an emergency that needs to be dealt with immediately. We must take all our prisoners out of their jails and ship them … somewhere.
     You’re probably wondering where.
     I have the perfect answer but I’m going to give you a moment to consider it to see if you can come up with it too.
     While you’re thinking, allow me to point out the economic advantages of exiling wrongdoers. We save the costs of prisons, we don’t have to build any more, and we don’t have to feed and guard all those people.
     And here’s another bonus: we suddenly have a huge source of low-cost housing for all the people who’ve gone through a foreclosure.
     Former prison living is environmentally friendly too. All you have to do is walk from your cozy two-bunker to your job in the license plate-making factory.
     There are even fitness facilities right there.
     But back to the prisoner relocation site. Have you got it?
     Guantanamo isn’t big enough. So that’s out.
     There are lots of uninhabited islands out in the middle of the ocean (or at least I think there are), but they tend to be kind of small. We’d use them up too quickly.
     Mexico is a possibility – sort of as a balance of trade type thing. But they’d probably just come back.
     Here’s the solution: put them on a nice-looking cargo ship and send them off on a pleasant, slow cruise – along the coast of Somalia.
     Problem solved.
     
     THOUGHT CRIME. One of the other odd and mildly-annoying stories in the news last week was the controversy over when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about waterboarding those guys who can’t possibly be handled in the U. S.
     Apparently it’s more important to go after someone who might have known something had happened than to go after the people who actually did the stuff she might have heard about.
     She’s also worse than the people who think the stuff she heard about was perfectly fine – especially since some of those guys are now saying she’s bad because she’d heard about the torture they think was fine.
     I’m not going to defend people who have heard about things and not done anything. I am going to point out that there were people who thought that, say, those Bernie Madoff fund returns couldn’t be for real.
     Maybe we ought to prosecute those guys for not saying anything before we cast too many aspersions on Madoff.
     It’s only fair.
     
     CROSS-UNDRESSING. I’m not quite sure what to make of this, so I’m just going to point this out: a U. S. Ninth Circuit three-judge panel has split on the issue of whether a female guard touching a male prisoner’s private parts through his underwear is unconstitutional.
     The two women judges on the panel thought it was fine.
     The male judge was horrified.
     Of course the really surprising part of all of this was that the prisoner complained.
     Check out Byrd v. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department for not only 34 pages of discussion of this vital issue but a fine addition for your collection of weird judicial footnotes. In footnote 2 you’ll discover that a strip search doesn’t necessarily mean the subject was fully unclothed.
     It’s important to be clear on these issues.

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