California Budget CDCR Prison Policy

Cutting $$ Out of California’s Prisons – The Real Numbers – UPDATED


There was much quarreling in the past two weeks about the proposed $1.2 billion dollars
that is slated to come out of California’s corrections budget. The implication has been that the proposed cuts would drastically impair public safety, triggering a virtual crime wave.

The fighting has amped up considerably in the wake of the murder of Lily Burk.

First of all, what many people may not realize is that, at this point, the argument is no longer about if that $1.2 billion will be cut. That number is part of the budget that the governor signed yesterday.

The question at hand is what will be cut from where
–all of which will not be decided until the legislature returns in mid-to-late August.

Earlier in the week, I spent an hour on the phone with the California legislative analyst’s office talking about the latest corrections cuts proposal—and what it means.

(A copy of the broad strokes of the suggested cuts may be found after the jump).

It was an instructive conversation. For one thing, analyst Paul Golaszewski told me that while there is some talk of early release for certain inmates under certain prescribed circumstances, no one is talking about releasing 27,000 prisoners. “We never saw a proposal like that,” he said. “Nothing even close.”

In other words, there will be no inmate dump, okay? So let us stop talking in those terms, shall we?

(I noted that Ron Kaye was still marching out the 27,000 figure
as recently as yesterday. He did it, as many have done this week, in reference to the alleged murderer of Lily Burk, Charlie Samuel:

“Well, there are going to be 27,000 just like him!” announced Kaye. “[Samuel] is someone who shot, kidnapped and…” And Kaye’s fact-free recitation went on from there.

Instead, why don’t we look at what is actually is on the table.


One of the lynch pins of the governor’s proposed CDCR budget cuts, has to do with reducing by 19,000 inmates what is called the ADP—or average daily population. This will supposedly produced a savings of $400,000—or around $21,000 per person per year.

(Whether that savings is close to accurate
is something that has been convincingly questioned by my former prison warden friend, David Winett. But we’ll yank apart the numbers on another day.)

Again—and I want to make sure this is clear—that does NOT mean that 19,000 people will be slated for early release.

Instead, the governor hopes to make that population reduction in the following ways:

1. ADP reduction strategy #1: changing certain property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

These felony-to-misdemeanor reductions would include things like writing bad checks, and receiving stolen goods. The point is, as misdemeanors they would be punished by jail time and/or probation instead of swelling the prison population. (You can see the entire list below.)

This part of the strategy doesn’t mean letting people out. It means not putting them in prison in the first place—yet still demanding that they be sanctioned for their actions.

2. ADP reduction strategy #2 – Using “alternative custody options” for lower-risk offenders.

Okay, here’s where the early release piece of the puzzle kicks in.

The governor would like to make certain inmates eligible to serve the last 12 months of their sentence under house arrest with GPS monitoring. The prisoners who might qualify are those low-level offenders with 12 months or less left on their sentence, elderly inmates, and very, very sick inmates.

However the proposal stipulates that the inmates would be chosen only with input from law enforcement, victims groups and other concerned citizens.

Yes, this means that certain people would get months, or even a year, shaved off of their sentences. But, instead of being warehoused in an overcrowded, violent facility that offers little opportunity to better oneself and every possibility of becoming further criminalized, with GPS monitoring and many of these inmates would be eligible to receive drug treatment and other services or training programs, that might better help them to succeed on the outside and not return to prison. Remember, all these people—every single one— will be getting out in 12 months or less anyway. Would you rather they were released from supervision in slightly better shape than when they went in? Or only further damaged—and then dumped in the community with zero preparation or transitional supervision? Just a question.


UPDATE: Here’s a report that KPCC’s Frank Stoltz did today (Friday) that has some additional details on this part of the proposal, plus Frank has some interesting takes on the matter from several who work in law enforcements—not all of whom agree with each other.


FYI: had the alleged killer of Lily Burk been released early from prison under such a program (Which he wasn’t. He served 80 percent of his sentence for petty burglary as is required for second time offenders) that means he would have had on a GPS ankle bracelet so that when he AWOLed from his “escort” last Friday, the guy who was to be with him during his afternoon away from the half way house where he was assigned by the court, the cops could have been immediately alerted and could have picked picked him up right away.

3. ADP reduction strategy # 3 – Commutation of the sentences of “Select Deportable Criminal Aliens”

At his discretion, the governor can commute the sentences of undocumented prisoners who are going to be deported the minute they leave lock up anyway. That way they can be transferred forthwith to the Feds who will deport them to their country of origin and we can stop paying the tens of thousands of dollars to act as their hoteliers. (The Lege Analyst told me that it costs either $49,000 or $23,000 a year to house one of our prisoners—depending upon what expenses you count when you do the math. Don’t ask. It’s way too confusing.)

Again, the only people eligible for this commutation
thing will be low level, nonviolent offenders. The petty drug dealer/user guys and the like. Anybody who has committed a serious crime will stay put.


There are a number of other parts to the plan.

1. One of them is reducing the number of people on parole by focusing on higher risk people, and increasing those parolee’s supervision by lessening caseloads for parole officers. This is basically a good idea that those who have studied California parole structure have long recommended. Instituting it now will cut the budget and also mean closer supervision for the high risk people who need it most.

2. The worst of new cuts is the proposal to snip out nearly all non-court-ordered rehabilitative programs from the prisons—such as substance abuse counseling, vocational training, and educational programs—for a savings of $175 million.

While there are some vague notes about replacing these programs with “distance learning”
and “inmate tutors.” this part of the budget cutting would seem to be penny wise and pound foolish in the extreme. With a 67 percent recidivism rate in the state, yanking the only programs that give people a shot at being better prepared to succeed in the non prison wold would seem….not smart. Better to cut anything else, and beef those up so that the people whom you parole every day, week month, year, are at least slightly less likely to return. If we want to cut the prison population, instituting proven methods to slow down the revolving door would seem like the best, the safest and most cost effective way to do so.

So take a look. This is only the beginning of the discussion. We will surely not agree about everything.

But as those who knew her continue to cope with the heartbreak of Lily Burk’s murder
—-and the rest of use read of the other horror of the week: the beating death of six-year old Dae’von Bailey, allegedly by his step-father—it would be a good thing if the pain of both those tragedies served to push us beyond our entrenched positions and knee-jerk political biases in order to engage in a reasoned discussion for the good of our troubled state.



Prison Population and Budget Reduction Package

July 2009

The Administration has proposed the following budget reduction package in response to the state’s fiscal crisis. It is estimated to save up to $1.2 billion if adopted by the Legislature in time to be fully implemented in the 2009-10 fiscal year.

New Population and Budget Reduction Proposals — The following proposals provide an outline for a new administrative and legislative budget package designed to reduce population and associated costs depending on the details and timing of implementation. Through these proposals, the Administration aims to reduce Average Daily Population (ADP) by 19,000, and costs by an estimated $400 million:

• Adjusting Property Crime Thresholds and/or Changing Crimes to Misdemeanors: The Administration proposes to change four misdemeanor/felonies, or “wobblers,” punishable by either imprisonment in state prison or in county jail, to straight misdemeanors. These crimes include two types of petty theft, receiving stolen property and writing bad checks. In addition, the Administration proposes updating the monetary threshold that determines whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony from $400 to $2,500. For vehicle theft where there is no monetary threshold specified a $2,500 threshold would be added. A summary of changes:

o Writing Bad Checks.

o Petty theft crimes (currently punishable as a felony if the person has a prior petty theft conviction; proposal would make all petty thefts punishable as misdemeanors).

o Receiving stolen property crimes.

o Grand theft crimes raised to $2,500. Vehicle theft crimes establish $2,500 threshold.

• Alternative Custody Options for Lower-Risk Offenders*: The Administration proposes alternative custody options for lower-risk offenders to reduce costs and strain on the state prison system. Certain offenders would be eligible to serve the last 12 months of their sentence under house arrest with GPS monitoring. House arrest may include placement in a residence, local program, hospital or treatment center. Detailed criteria will be established through the regulatory process, thereby taking full advantage of input by law enforcement, victims groups and other concerned citizens. Statutorily eligible inmates include:

o Inmates with 12 months or less remaining to serve
o Elderly inmates
o Medically infirm inmates

• Commutation of Select Deportable Criminal Aliens: The California Constitution provides the Governor the authority to commute prison sentences. For inmates who have been convicted of two or more felonies, the Governor’s commutation must be supported by the California Supreme Court. This plan involves those inmates who are currently serving prison sentences but who have been identified by federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials for deportation from the United States upon their release from state prison. If their sentences were commuted, these inmates would be taken into federal custody to be deported to their country of origin. The Governor and Secretary would review these on a case-by-case basis starting with lowest level offenders. The first group to be considered will by those inmates who have never committed a violent or sex offense and who have only felony in their entire adult criminal history.

Program Funding Reduction — The Administration is proposing to eliminate funding for some inmate and parole programs that are not court-ordered. These proposals are estimated to reduce costs by over $175 million. Impacted programs include a range of rehabilitative services, such as substance abuse counseling, vocational training, and educational programs. However, the Department is taking several innovative approaches to mitigate the reduction in funding. For example, CDCR will utilize a validated risk/needs assessment tool to focus resources on the inmates with the greatest risk to recidivate. This tool will also allow CDCR to place the right inmate in the needed program for only the prescribed period of time. In addition, CDCR will utilize distance learning, inmate tutors and fully-licensed inmate substance abuse counselors to greatly reduce the cost of providing education and substance abuse counseling.

Previous Budget Reduction Proposals — In April CDCR developed legislative proposals to address an unallocated cut to the agency budget ordered in the 2009-10 Budget Act. They could reduce CDCR’s Average Daily Population by 8,000 inmates through a shift of funds from parole supervision of low level offenders to those who are serious and violent, and other cost savings. The combination of the following general components are estimated to result in $410 million in savings in 2009-10.

• Risk-Based Parole Supervision and Lower Agent Caseloads*: Active parole supervision would be targeted to offenders with a serious or violent commitment history, sex offenders, and those assessed as high risk. The remaining offenders, largely low and moderate risk, nonviolent felons, would be placed on administrative or “banked” parole, but would continue to be subject to warrantless search and seizure by local police . CDCR will reduce parole caseload ratios from 70-1 to 45-1. This will improve supervision and services for those with the highest risk of reoffending. There will also be additional parole resources directed toward Fugitive Apprehension Teams and gang suppression units, and an increase of GPS units on high risk parolees in order to increase supervision.

• Staff Efficiencies through Elimination of Positions at DJJ and Headquarters: The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will streamline and eliminate positions in 2009-10, with a comprehensive staffing analysis expected to allow for the elimination of more positions in coming budget years. Positions will also be reduced at CDCR headquarters in Sacramento through increasing efficiencies.

• Positive Behavior and Rehabilitation Program Credit Enhancements*: Inmates who participate in and complete rehabilitation programs such as GED, college degrees, and vocational training, will be allowed to earn additional sentence credits. Credits will also be increased for discipline-free time served in county jail, during parole violations, or while waiting for programs to become available.

• Using GPS as Alternative Sanction: Parolees who commit certain parole violations will be eligible for placement on GPS supervision as an alternative to returning them to prison.

Additional Operational Savings — In addition to the new and previous budget and population reduction plans, the Administration will ask CDCR to come up with $100 million in unspecified operational savings, along with $48 million in savings by eliminating the Special Repairs Budget, $20 million by shifting AB 900 funds to existing capital outlays and $50 million in reductions to the contract medical budget.


  • The more poverty there is, the less effect police have. In a capitalist system, as poverty increases police will inevitably make less money, leaving many of them open to corruption. The extra law enforcement winds up becoming criminals themselves. So at the end of the day, you really don’t have extra police. Just more crime, with the same amount of honest, trustworthy police. Same goes for the border. As their union gets busted, ironically by politicians put into power by the very same people who claim to need the border patrol to keep Mexicans out, they’re more open to corruption, as well. Supply side conservatives live in some kind of fucking dreamworld where Americans will do the nation’s toughest jobs on the cheap. No. As it stands, only Mexicans seem to be willing to. So, either unemployed Americans need a collective gut check, or supply side conservatives are going to have to start getting more realistic. Call it socialism all you will. But all that’s going to save this country, at this point, is taxing the rich. Even more.

  • The pinche Robber Barons need to give us all thier money.
    We need more illegal aliens from Mexico to fix this country and make our country as great as Mexico !!!

    The 1% who make up the wealthy monopoly capitalist class, and their lackeys, always scream foul when someone points out the gross inequities of economics used to prop up these supply siders and robber barons. They like to keep it quiet and on the down low between themselves, but revert to screaming about class warfare when put in the spotlight by someone, and always use the old divide and conquer trick that is based on racism and xenophobia.

    Enough of the failed right wing trickle down theory of economics, aka dog eat dog until Masta drops the bone, If Obama continues to listen to Wall St lackeys like Geithner to the detriment of the people who need jobs, medical care, debt relief, and a say so in how our country is managed then he may find himself out of a job and kicking empty beer cans down the road !!!!

    When times get tough and jobs are scarce then the powers that be turn against the cheap labor pool (usually minorities, wherever in the world), and use the old “divide and conquer” scam to pit working people against themselves, usually using racism, xenophobia and nativism as tools to scapegoat a selected group and class. It’s an old old strategy that seems to work every time. MLK was tolerated as a spokesman for racial equality and civil rights but the minute he moved into the realm of representing all working people and had the temerity to represent and support the strike by the Memphis Sanitation Workers, and started speaking up for all workers rights he was attacked as a Commie agitator, provoking class warfare, and was quickly assassinated.

  • “The fighting has amped up considerably in the wake of the murder of Lily Burk.”

    With all due respect to the Burk family, and with as much recognition of the pain involved in this loss to friends and family as one not in that circle can reasonably assume, that’s a sad commentary on the state of discourse over our criminal justice woes. It’s an unmitigated tragedy, but if it’s what’s “amping up” this policy discussion it’s as sorry a commentary on our insane news cycle and damaged discourse as the Gates affair driving discussion over racial profiling. What kind of fucked up society is it that ignores pain, hurt, murder and injustice unless it’s visited on someone who fits the poster-child profile of media-manufactured empathy-fests and outrage feasts ? In all honesty I haven’t followed the Burks story beyond the basics because I don’t believe for a minute we can learn much about the reality or patterns of urban crime from such stories that are getting hyped by the press for myriad reasons. The temptation to over-draw conclusions from a single event is too great and in all likelihood the fact of massive media coverage will alter the police work and legal follow-up enough to pretty much exclude it from anybody’s “research project.” I know there’s an alternative perspective – that we can use this as a “teachable moment” – but I doubt any rational person will be able to cut through the media piling on with knee-jerk bullshit or the impulse of opportunists to manipulate hysteria around such events to promote bad policy.

    My two cents. (I feel badly for the parents and am appalled by the tragic death, but I haven’t felt the need to chime in because that’s so obvious it’s gone, for me, better without saying.)

  • And with all due respect, Celeste “we” aren’t coping with the heartbreak of Lily Burk’s murder – not even with the great poetry, and the understandable and admirable desire to connect. Even if we’re following this story intently we’re merely coping with trying to imagine such heartbreak. Which, I dare say, is pretty easy compared to coping with real heartbreak.

    Maybe I’m an asshole, but I don’t spend a lot of time following this kind of stuff because the media are masters at exquisitely manufactured empathy – especially when it comes to true crime and attractive people – and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not useful or enlightening or helps make me a better person to get sucked into that bullshit.

  • I just want to clarify that I’m glad there are smart, rational, extremely well-informed people such as yourself who are part of the focus on the Burk murder and how it might relate to larger issues – I just think that the media juggernaut and shallow emotionalism that’s more often than not blindered by class, short attention spans and parochialism will hold sway.

  • reg, good points all.

    You know that “coping” sentence bugged me last night when I wrote it. But I was too tired to figure out a better way to say what I was trying to say. After reading your comment, I did a very fast rewrite of the very last sentence that makes it a bit better, I think. So thanks for the note.

    With regard to Lily Burk’s death, the main danger is that it is being used with stunning illogic as a so-called “lesson” by those stumping for a particular kind of law-and-order position on sentencing and corrections policy.

    These kind of high profile tragedies have a way of translating themselves into very bad law in our state. I’m working on an op ed for the LA Times on that particular subject.

  • I was being a bit hard on you – but I really am loathe to express my feeliings about these things as though I’m sharing somebody’s pain when I know I’m not even close.

  • How many times have we driven by wrecks out on the freeway? Are we the fella who gawks or do we look away from the first response workers and their toil and say a quick prayer? I’ve been both. Thankfully age and its mellowing have prompted the latter reaction.

  • ADP reduction strategy #1: changing certain property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

    Atlanta renamed a crime-ridden street from Stewart Avenue to Metropolitan Boulevard (some boulevard). The renaming resulted in crime on Stewart Avenue dropping to zero! However, simply calling one thing by another name doesn’t change the reality, just as renaming something from a felony to a misdemenor doesn’t diminish its real level and the damage of the crime.

    – – –

    ADP reduction strategy #2 – Using “alternative custody options” for lower-risk offenders. Would you rather they were released from supervision in slightly better shape than when they went in?

    Almost nothing that liberals propose actually works like they claim it will, and it alwsya costs more than projected. Call me skeptical.

    – – –

    ADP reduction strategy # 3 – Commutation of the sentences of “Select Deportable Criminal Aliens”

    Know what? More money could be saved by better enforcement against illegal aliens and shipping them out before they have time to commit crimes.

    – – –

    THE REST…. The worst of new cuts is the proposal to snip out nearly all non-court-ordered rehabilitative programs from the prisons—such as substance abuse counseling, vocational training, and educational programs—for a savings of $175 million.

    Why not? You say they don’t work, anyway, and, why have them if we’re letting criminals out early to be healed at home under Strategy #2?

    Want a permanent solution to the high recidivism rate? Send criminals to Devil’s Island.

    – – –

    Jack’s M.: In a capitalist system, as poverty increases police will inevitably make less money, leaving many of them open to corruption.

    Yeah, all the cops are crooks. Right. The only reason that police go into the field is to be underpaid and then become crooked themselves through bribes. Nice view that you have there, JM.

    Tell me how poor the union prison guards are. Their high wages are a major financial problem.

    But, you might prefer the prison systems and pay structures in the former Soviet Union and Red China more than our current, awful capitalistic system.

    – – –

    JM: But all that’s going to save this country, at this point, is taxing the rich. Even more.

    Right, JM! Let’s raise their taxes to 95%, like we used to have, and watch how productivity sours…I mean soars! Have you ever read history? Have you even gone back just a short time to Roosevelt’s tax hikes on “the rich?”

    You have to be a student in one of our left-wing universities.

    – – –

    reg: Maybe I’m an asshole

    Let me remove any doubt and confirm, without my directly saying the words, that you are. I’ll forward this on to the “Archivist of Personal Epiphanies.”

  • Not at all, reg. It’s just that I find myself struggling with pronouns in this matter as so many of my friends are very close to the Burk/Drooz family.

    Nicely said, GJ.

  • Celeste: With regard to Lily Burk’s death, the main danger is that it is being used with stunning illogic as a so-called “lesson” by those stumping for a particular kind of law-and-order position on sentencing and corrections policy.

    Maybe you need to do “a very fast rewrite…that makes it a bit better.”

    – – –

    reg: I really am loathe to express my feeliings about these things as though I’m sharing somebody’s pain when I know I’m not even close.

    In judging your responses to people who don’t agree with you, I wouldn’t say that compassion is your long suit.

    – – –

    Gava Joe: Are we the fella who gawks or do we look away from the first response workers and their toil and say a quick prayer?

    Have you ever sat in a traffic jam for well over an hour because some driver did something really stupid, and you hoped that he got hurt at least a little to make up for the problems that he caused everyone else? Not saying that I have.

  • When it comes to bigoted, willfully ignorant, narcissisic folks like you, Woody, contempt is my “long suit.” No question about it. Fortunately, that’s a matter completely outside the realm of how I interact with relatively normal, generally well-intentioned and reasonably decent people.

    I’m not bouncing any more balls back on this thread, so now you’d better go find somebody else to try to play with…

  • reg, your “relatively normal, generally well-intentioned and reasonably decent people” are typically societal outcasts and leeches on the productive.

  • Dear Mister Woody, you must certainly be considered to be the lowest, white-livered specimen of humankind that ever encumbered the earth. You are vulgar sir. If I had my way you would be swinging by the neck from the nearest lamp post or telegraph pole. May God save you from the mental nastiness that you have been spreading broadcast here for years.

    PS However, I do admire your quality to dish it out and to take it.
    Good day

  • Readers: Stop casting aspersions and finding fault with Woody. If you can’t stand the Heat, stay out of the damn Kitchen. Woody’s comments are most _unsuitable_ for the Lower Orders; or for Women, or for Chaps of a Nervous Disposition. They are firmly instructed not to Read it, without the express permission of their Employer or Husband or Guardian (as Appropriate).

  • Just For the Record: I enjoy Being Intolerant and Judgemental; I Believe in Maintaining Standards; Having a Fine Sense of Discrimination; Shouting at Foreigners; And Sneering at the Hoi polloi.
    Nyuck Nyuck

  • I agree with Jack’s Mannequin and the Donkey from Highalnd Park we need more of these had working mexicans, and maybe some of those fine mexican cops.


    Received an interesting DOJ press release this afternoon that talks about the arrest of four local men involved in running guns and drugs for a Mexican drug cartel, right here in the San Gabriel Valley.

    An investigation into guns being trafficked from Arizona to California has led to the arrest of four individuals, one of whom sold several machine guns to a undercover operative and claimed to be tied to a Mexican drug cartel.

    The four defendants were arrested early this morning by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department. During the course of the 10-month investigation, authorities purchased or seized 50 firearms, including 17 guns that were discovered during the execution of search warrants this morning.

    During the investigation, an undercover operative made a series of gun purchases from three of the defendants. The purchases included guns similar to AK-47s, Uzis and AR-15s, some of which were fully automatic weapons.

    Those arrested today are:

    Edgardo Prado Casteneda, aka “Primo,” 26, of Azusa, who claimed to be a Southern California operative of the La Familia drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico;
    Vicente Garcia Jr., aka “Chevy,” 38, of Azusa;
    Steven Scott Blanks, 47, of Norco; and
    Victor Velasquez, aka “Fingers,” 34, of El Monte, who is accused of delivering a quarter-pound of methamphetamine that was purchased by the undercover operative.
    The four defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

  • I agree with Woody and as I’ve just started reading this blog base it on the facts he presented, not on any racial component. I don’t know who any of you are but the left traditionally has weakened the attempt to reduce crime in our state not strengthen it. The lefts attempt to weaken 3 Strikes, a tool that has reduced crime since it’s inception, is proof enough of their misguided thinking.

    I worked as a u/c narcotics detective in the 80’s, I retired from local law enforcement about 7 years ago and work at a different level of law enforcement now. In all my years I saw two people who gave up the drug life for a better life…2. Rehab programs are a joke and everyone knows it, the danger faced by correctional officers every day is real, they deserve their money.

    I agree with some of what Reg said but brother, the sharing of pain with others who might read or have friends who read this blog is a god thing, I speak from experience in being present at the death of too many young people and trying my best to share the burden with those who loved them.

    I challenge any of you to study a random amount of rap sheets of the most violent predators you can think of and show where they haven’t started out doing “petty” crimes and working their way up to the felony level. Some do it much quicker than others and the person who starts out as the worst type of offender is rare, except in one case…pedophiles.

    I like your blog Celeste, better comments here than in many others I’ve seen.

  • “I like your blog Celeste, better comments here than in many others I’ve seen.”

    Well, welcome Sure Fire. Our Celeste is a decent lady and plays fair. The only rules here are, elbows off the table and don’t slurp your soup, like Woodys accustomed to … Or you’ll get a quick wack on the hand; and Woodys gotten plenty of them!

  • So Sure Fire, with all due respect, don’t you think that your efforts as a u/c narc were pretty much wasted ? Do you think that the “Drug War” reduces crime ? Surely you couldn’t possibly believe that, having worked on the front lines. If the “drug war” is an example of how “conservatives” are going to make us all safer and fight crime more effectively, god help us. Too many liberals are wack on this issue as well, but I just wonder what a narcotics cop thinks he’s accomplished over the years, other than cashing a paycheck courtesy of taxpayers like me. (“You’re welcome!”)

    This isn’t “dispositive”- it’s a light-hearted video response to bullshit – but it certainly is more credible than the idiotic “drug warrior” commentary from the right…

  • The taxpayer line is old Reg, I don’t remember any taxpayer having my back when I was shot at or stabbed and had to have plastic surgery from dealing with societal scum. Earned every penny I ever made and believe me I gave you taxpayers your money’s worth. You’re welcome.

    None of my efforts were wasted, not any at any time. People like you always want to put out trash about the “drug war” but I fought the battle for a couple of reasons maybe others like you don’t realize. The big picture to me was the attempt to curtail the amount of gangsters and dopers we had coming to us in the future, I worked gangs and a multi-jurisdictional task force besides my station assignment…you’re welcome for that effort as well.

    I grew up where I worked and was involved in drugs when young, child of the late 60’s and early 70’s that I was. I knew many of the players I dealt with or some member of their family. When I went into law enforcement in the mid-70’s I saw from day one the tragedy of drugs, specifically the effect it hand on the children of dopers. It happened in my brother’s family and people with your though process seem to always give that part of the problem little attention.

    I worked drug families that included grandparents, parents and their kids and the way these youngsters were brought up gave us our gangsters and drug dealers of today. That and our lax immigration policies have put us where we are now. No amount of liberal rhetoric can change the stats that point to that truth. I was involved in hundreds of search warrants and bought food, cleaned and at times changed the diapers of the babies of people who were so neglectful of their own kids we had to take care of them. The legalization of drugs would make that problem go way up or are you not aware of what opiates and cns stimulants do to people and that the responsibility of taking care of their kids come way at the bottom of their priority list?

    I learned to cook meth and dealt with the trashiest people you’d ever want to meet, and for everyone I arrested a few more would pop up. The problem won’t go away if we legalize narcotics or not work the problem hard it will only get worse. Not you or any pseudo expert knows this better than people who have worked it.

    Whatever you think you’ve accomplished in whatever you do Reg is yours to own, but I never worked for only a paycheck and made my area safer for the good people, of all types, who lived there and was one of those “warriors” that bad guys had a healthy respect for.

    Now you can see what I believe and why.

  • A response to your FOX video Reg, straight from the Dutch.
    The way I look at this is while you might take an accidental bullet to the torso while having some good food your last happy memory in Amsterdam will be that you looked at pretty pictures in some museum.

    Amsterdam Tourist Guide
    Amsterdam News:
    Amsterdam Best Town To Live In Despite Top Crime Rate
    Amsterdam Tourist Information • Posted: April 23, 2007

    Amsterdam is the second most criminal town in the Netherlands. Nonetheless, the capital is the most attractive city in the Netherlands to live in, according to the Atlas for Municipalities presented earlier last Thursday.

    In the atlas, presented by the Foundation Atlas for Municipalities, Holland’s 50 largest municipalities are compared every year on 40 points.

    This year’s rankings show that relatively new cities, such as Almere, Purmerend and Spijkenisse, have become less attractive to people due to a scarcity of cultural institutions.

    The combination of an interesting city centre and extensive cultural and culinary offerings is popular. For this reason, towns like Groningen, Zwolle, Den Bosch, Eindhoven and Leiden are among the big gainers on the list.

    Amsterdam tops the list in spite of negative points, which include ranking 49th out of 50 in the area of safety, 43rd when it comes to poverty, and — related to the latter — 49th in the percentage of residents on welfare. Regarding the percentage of privately-owned housing, it is right at the bottom (50th).

    Poverty / Welfare

    Amsterdam is a powerful magnet for people from around the globe — including many refugees, legal and illegal immigrants. The city is home to people from some 185 different nationalities. Many immigrants who have settled here in recent decades come from a Muslim background. They often bring an extended family, have an extended birthrate, and tend to be disadvantaged by a lack of higher education. Most have come to Holland for economic reasons, while others are escaping war and other forms of violence.

    However, while Amsterdam — like all of Holland’s largest cities — is a multi-cultural society, Dutch culture in many ways clashes with the norms and values of Islam. This greatly hinders integration, even affecting second- or third generations. As a result there is ghetto-forming, along with the problems associated with mutual discrimination.

    Holland’s social welfare system has suffered both from the influx of relatively unskilled or unemployable immigrants, as well as from a changing work ethic — or perhaps we should say, lack of work ethic — that has seen a high percentage of people, from immigrant and local background alike, remain on welfare without valid reasons.*

    Amsterdam does have a high crime rate. Poverty amongst a relatively large percentage of the population likely plays a role. So does the presence of tourists. Pickpockets and other thieves have their hands full, so to speak.

    Much crime in Amsterdam is of a different nature, though. In recent years, a revenge-war amongst top criminals has resulted in a number of assassinations — with hits often taking place in public.
    The Positive

    Despite the presence of problems seen in any city, many factors contribute to Amsterdam’s livability. According to the Atlas for Municipalities, its large choice of cultural offerings, combined with the presence of a varied culinary selection, all set in a historical city, makes for happy citizens.

  • Boy Howdy! My money’s on the rockhard convictions Sure Fire’s brought from his career, BUT my contention has always been to let the chips fall where they may. People that are drawn to the meth life or the junkie life (which I am a 10 year vet)are only going to change WHEN THEY WANT TO. No amount of interdiction and incarceration, rehabs and meetings is going to transform a “samuels” to what I’ve created by my own gut-wrenching transformations. Drugs are an unforgiving mistress, and the dramatic finale for the relationship is simply to scream from the core: “ENOUGH”, then you pack your shit and walk out o’ there like you would with any controlling bitch. It can only be done with the full force of Self. Sorry, no God, no program, no substitute narcotic. Those aid, but the change comes from within. I suppose the bottom line if my thesis is correct, and the success I’ve seen is as rare as Sure Fire says they are then we can only resign ourselves to banging our heads on the wall, protecting the innocents at all costs, and kissing our asses goodbye. Unless if my Libertarian approach were adopted and we let this pandemic run its course, those inclined would poison themselves, and the drugs would lose their lustre. I have 35 yrs clean and sober by the way, and am probably so removed from the life that I’ve got no right to even darken these pages with my obscure views. Aw Hell! Legalize all that shit – let the chips fall where they may..
    PS: My money’s on the redundant “War On Drugs”, but only because I like my money.

  • I’ll be sure to check out Groningen the next time I’m in Holland…since Amsterdam is the “second most criminal city in the Netherlands.”

    (Given that it’s the largest and most “cosmopolitan,” I would have assumed it would be the first, but that shows how much I know. Incidentally, I just read that they’re closing 8 prisons in the Netherlands and laying off 1200 employees of the system because they don’t have enough criminals to fill the jails. In order to stave off the cutbacks, they might cut a deal with Belgium to take some of theirs. )

    I asked about your experiences and assessment re: the drug war, which I’m still curious about.

  • These politicians voted Against the Nathan Deal Amendment, that would Prevent Health Care Benefits to Illegal Aliens. Simply put–it’s not their BLOODY MONEY! So what! Do they care if taxpayers have to foot the behemoth bill, for anybody who snubs our laws and enters a sovereign country called America? The nationwide parasites are –CHEAP LABOR–businesses who could care less, because they pile up enormous profits. The corporate hierarchy have been having a field day–FOR DECADES. A foreign national gets hurt, their service manager or whoever the underling is, drives the maimed person and relinquishes any responsibility by dumping them on the emergency hospital entranceway. BINGO! nothing to pay!

    Perhaps Americans should find some old shoddy clothes, no shave, no haircut and enter every emergency room in our country in the millions? Speak a lot of gibberish and carry no identification with a small splinter in their finger, a touch of a fever or any minor condition. By federal law the hospital will have an emergency on a–EMERGENCY. I am afraid Americans have been Lemmings going over a proverbial cliff, since who knows when? We just keep paying and paying even more to the IRS, to support–ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Try getting free health care in any other country, other than societies in the European Union? A FAT CHANCE! We are literary being taxed to death, to give welfare to the business overlords.

    Even our Democrats who are trying to engineer health care for every American—INCLUDED 20 PLUS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND THEIR LARGE FAMILIES. Here are 29 Judas Iscariot’s, who sold the American people out–for a lot more than 13 pieces of silver? HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR. Capps (D-CA), Eshoo (D-CA), Harman (D-CA), Matsui (D-CA), McNerney (D-CA), Waxman (D-CA), DeGette (D-CO), Murphy (D-CT), Castor (D-FL), Rush (D-IL), Schakowsky (D-IL), Braley (D-IA), Sarbanes (D-MD), Markey (D-MA), Dingell (D-MI), Stupak (D-MI), Pallone (D-NJ), Weiner (D-NY), Butterfield (D-NC), Space (D-OH), Sutton (D-OH), Doyle (D-PA), Gordon (D-TN), Gonzalez (D-TX), Green (D-TX),Welch (D-VT), Christensen (D-VI), Inslee (D-WA) and Baldwin (D-WI). I’m afraid I would be banned if I used the right epithet, when leaving a comment for these so called lawmakers?

    These are the betrayers of–ALL–taxpayers. These 29 traitors gave illegal immigrants the right to pilfer your billfold and purse, while they sit in their Washington office collecting their 6 figure salaries. REMEMBER THEM AND THROW THEM OUT! DEMAND NO AMNESTY! NO FAMILY UNIFICATION KNOWN AS CHAIN MIGRATION! BUILD THE ORIGINAL FENCE! NO MORE HEALTH CARE OR ANY OTHER KIND OF BENEFITS FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. CLOSE THE BORDER AND STATION THE NATIONAL GUARD. $2.5 TRILLION DOLLARS, JUST IN RETIREMENT BENEFITS? Learn uncorrupted facts at NUMBERSUSA.
    Copy, Paste and Distribute freely

  • Surefire – I’m sorry I missed your actual response to my question when I scrolled back and saw your nutty google past on Amsterdam.

    There’s nothing in your response that really speaks to the larger question of drug war as strategy except your deeply embedded opinions based on personal experience as a cop. That’s pretty deep in one sense, and remarkably narrow at the same time. You may mock taxpayers who question the drug war as a massive waste and ripoff. I’m sure guys from the prison guards union – a group which routinely corrupts our political system in order to help grow their job sector – mock us as well and justify it with war stories.

    All I want is an effective anti-crime strategy and effective cops – not cowboys with attitude who think they’re saving the world by enforcing a drug policy that’s totally irrational and counterproductive. If you think that you’re giving best attention to the families of people involved in drugs by using limited resources in the current “Drug War” approach, I’m sure you’re sincere. You’re also totally off-the-wall and self-serving IMHO. Frankly, if I’m looking for “psuedo-experts” on the drug war, a guy with front-line tales patting himself on the back might be a great candidate for not seeing forests for trees. And there are plenty of cops who worked narcotics who see the whole criminalization treadmill as bullshit and futile. The evidence seems to me overwhelming that the Drug War makes all of the problems you refer to worse and sucks up resources that could better be used for intervention and treatment. Some of the best analysis of this comes not from liberals, incidentally but from conservatives. I’m not going to debate this further because I doubt its worth it to either of us. The top of your “Amsterdam” response about taking bullets and memories of pretty pictures, followed by a fucking ridiculous google paste up, tells me enough.

  • Celeste, with all the dialog concerning the multi billion dollar California prison system, and it’s deserved reputation as being bloated, broke, and ignominious in it’s failures in the eyes of the entire world. Wouldn’t it seem that this corrupt system of degradation and failure would be the first in line to be gutted and questioned as to it’s real worth to society? Instead education, health care, aid to the indigent and aged, and many other public commons institutions are being trimmed to the bone.
    I’m hearing from people who have family members incarcerated by the State of California that inmates without any money to buy additional food through legitimate means or through the underground pipeline found in most prisons, are living practically on bread and water.

    Bob Herbert writing in the New York Times today, on the overzealous arrest of Prof Gates, racial profiling, and the ridiculous ratio of minority’s incarcerated compared to whites (especially for drug offenses). Herbert gives us these statistics about black men incarcerated, and if included, Latinos would really bump up these horrible numbers.
    And am I wrong or am I getting a feeling that the tragic death of young Lily Burk is starting to be used by certain “segments “ of the population and press as Zeitgeist for promoting even further racist and class conscious get tough on crime laws and the propping up of the corrupted prison industrial complex?

    “Anyone counseling a less militant approach is counseling self-defeat. As of mid-2008, there were 4,777 black men imprisoned in America for every 100,000 black men in the population. By comparison, there were only 727 white male inmates per 100,000 white men.
    While whites use illegal drugs at substantially higher percentages than blacks, black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men.
    Most whites do not want to hear about racial problems, and President Obama would rather walk through fire than spend his time dealing with them. We’re never going to have a serious national conversation about race. So that leaves it up to ordinary black Americans to rant and to rave, to demonstrate and to lobby, to march and confront and to sue and generally do whatever is necessary to stop a continuing and deeply racist criminal justice outrage.”

  • Now Donkey Joto is the spokesman for blacks in America. The old cholo has sure progressed from his days as calling blacks “Low Down Mayates”.

    The only thing more obscene than the prison industrial complex is a hypocritical, ass-kissing, multiple personality pendejo.

  • Ay Dios Mio,

    Why not contribute to the conversation yourself rather than using the same, grindingly repetitive attack that refers to some past—real or mythical—from another blog?

    This is my last warning regarding bringing stuff from other blogs to attack people here. And you know precisely what I mean.

    Next time I’m deleting the comment.

    However, you are very welcome to bring your own views on matters. We would love to hear what you have to say.

    But this other BS is long past played out.

  • I will now attack the mythical robber baron gavachos on ad nauseum because that seems to be OK, and is not grindingly repetititive.

    To hell with the prison industrial complex and thier draconian ways !!!

    To hell with the white man who will not do the hard work of the expolited illegal aliens and wants to use the old divide and conquer when taken to task!!!

    To hell with the nativist and MinuteMen !!!!

    To hell with the xenophobic, racist and draconian LAPD who only arrest latinos !!!!

    To hell with trickle down theory enconomics and rich whites, we need to tax them at 99% !!!!

    I will scream about this on every blog, until the white gavacho elitist ruling class is defeated !!!!

  • ADM: RE: Reg & Woody:

    Fair question. I can understand there would seem to be a double standard. But Woody and Reg appear to enjoy the food fight and both participate pretty equally. It isn’t just one person attacking the other. And when they do their JANE-YOU-IGNORANT-SLUT act, it is in response to what’s being said in the present (although at times it does admittedly highjack the thread and get very, very boring).

    Most importantly, as you can see, they both also bring lots else in the way of commentary. It isn’t simply a one note attack.

    Hope that answers your question.

  • For what it’s worth, I have never attacked Woody with “multiple names.” I always use my one fake internet name, generated solely for Marc Cooper’s blog and migrated here and to Beautiful Horizons. I also find my exchanges with Woody incredibly boring and pointless. I obviously need some professional help.

  • You know Celeste, I don’t know if you read him but TaNehisi Coates at the Atlantic tosses people off his blog at the first sign their main purpose is to create trollish mischief or even just become a carping contrarian hawking a hardened POV and out to set everybody straight. He’s pretty ruthless. He also disciplines his regulars when threads start to go into Lalaland with a pretty firm hand. And you know what? Rather than shut down debate and honest disagreement, he’s got one of the most readable, smart comments threads on the internet. He demands a certain level of seriousness and a certain level of respect if you want to play. But it also seems like an exhausting effort. I can’t believe he stays abreast of hundreds of comments and keeps involved as discussion develops through the course of the day on various of his posts. Anyway, I used to just think blogs should let commenters run free and not trip. But I’m shifting to the belief that an editorial hand in a comments section forces folks to dialogue smarter. It starts to feel more like a class room full of earnest individuals mulling a topic than a bar room full of opinionated drunks trying to one up each other.

  • Incidentally, I have no problems over there because anyone as openly bigoted, unserious and obnoxious as Woody would get tossed after two comments so there’s no impulse to call anybody out as a total fool or get into a ridiculous grudge match.

  • I’ll have to look around over there, reg. I know TaNehisi Coates’s blog, of course, but I’m not at all familiar with the comments section.

    One of my issues, frankly, is time—particularly in the last two years. Yet, while my schedule will get nuts again soon, right now it’s a bit saner so perhaps I can start managing the commentary a bit more. I’ll give that idea some serious thought.

  • Incidentally, the Guardian “comments is free” picked up a long comment written by one of Coates’ commenters and printed it. Everybody who follows the comments over there thought that was pretty cool.

  • Thanks Celeste, I don’t respond to the trolls comments, no matter how ignorant, xenophobic and now homophobic (joto is a very low down word for a homosexual male in slang Spanish), or vitriolic. This is out of respect for you and your blog. If someone disagrees with what I have to say then please, be my guest and call me wrongheaded, a Socialist, a Commie, even nuts, no ai problema, because if this troll and her/his shape shifting ridiculous name calling is responded to then her/he has won and your fine blog would fall into a shit torrent of nonsensical name calling. I have seen this right wing ploy by this troll succeed at other blogs.

    Thanks again Celeste, your blog is too valuable and current to be reduced to facist fodder for lamebrains and the “it’s just common sense” clowns

  • Yes beware of facists, gavachos, robber barons, and “thier” right wing ploys such as divide and conquer !!!

    My abuelita has warned me about them gavachos for generations, NO MAS !!!

    There is a new Zeitgeist, in our society against the latinos, especially by the gavachos gentrifying the L.A. Eastside !!!!

    As Emilio Zapate would say, “I would rather die on my feet than be brought to my knees, and besando el culo of the elitist gavachos with all the feria !!!!

  • Celeste, regarding what Reg said about TaNehisi Coates being ruthless and a disciplinarian and using a firm hand … If you must get ruthless start with me, Cara Mia. Dicipline me with your hand cuffs, whips and leg irons. And by all means be wearing that black police uniform!!
    Querida, how long has it been since we’ve waltzed? I would die for you. I would kill for you. Either way, what bliss!!

  • If anybody should be censored it should be perverts like Gomez Alonzo, gag me with a spoon…I want to puke.

  • Reading comprehension problem Reg? You’re like so many others who have their left leaning education and feelings as the pillar of their thought and not the reality of what actually takes place in the actual world. Like I thought you just brushed that portion aside, it shows lots about you Reg. You sound greedy, it’s all about you it seems like, at least that’s the impression you’ve given me.

    For some Urban Legend type reason, which you seem to have grasped firmly, people like you have this picture of cops as unfeeling and uncaring brutes with little education. You are very wrong in my case, though when the situation warranted it I could get to brute level quickly, you should want that in your cops and trust that the vast majority of us will do it at the right time. Those closest to me would be the first ones to get rid of those who acted wrongly and made us look bad, we would do it based on what we knew though not on what some idiot lawyer, judge or politician spouted off about. That went the same for certain supervisors, and I retired as one with some rank.

    You asked my opinion which should be meaningless unless I give a little background which I write about and you call me “a guy with front-line tales patting himself on the back…”. Maybe you could tell me what experience you bring besides reading material and an apparent desire to see the war fought differently? I must have missed your strategy general, or did you forget to post it?

    Just so it’s clear Reg, there are wins and losses in the drug war, like any other war and the strategy I, and many of my friends, would employ to actually win it wouldn’t sit pretty with people like you. You know Reg people whose only stake in it appears to be trying to piss off others they disagree with because you think you’re smarter than all the real players involved.

    Don’t get all Oprah on this old brute but part of what I think we should do is the following. We have the intel to go after opiate and cocaine producers but most are located in other countries. Meth and weed production would need a different type strategy, I could go into that some other time but strides are taking place on both fronts. We are never going to stop a portion of the populations dependency, though mostly mental not physical, so attacking the source of it is what we should do if we had the actual balls to do what’s right for this nation. The governments where production takes place have been corrupted by the money associated with it so who cares their take, they going to come here and do something about it…nope.

    Now I’m sure you’re saying legalize it and the profit goes away and all it’s inherent evils, but no it won’t and what program that the government runs now are you happy with? There would be a black market that would play in and of course money corrupts weak people and there’s plenty of them that would subvert the program for their own financial gain, no different than the mortgage industry did. Medicinal weed has dispensaries being ripped off all the time now and the amount of young patients with prescriptions is astounding. That’s opened up a new cottage industry of those youngsters selling their medicinal pot. A kid in Glendora got murdered over his about 2 months ago, government is doing a great job right?

    I could write more but I’ll just stop and say that I fully agree with Java Joe.

  • This portion from the post you wrote Don Quixote is pretty telling and sad…“Anyone counseling a less militant approach is counseling self-defeat. As of mid-2008, there were 4,777 black men imprisoned in America for every 100,000 black men in the population. By comparison, there were only 727 white male inmates per 100,000 white men.
    While whites use illegal drugs at substantially higher percentages than blacks, black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men.”

    Maybe you should investigate your numbers a little more closely. In many instances Blacks are incarcerated due to sentencing laws that mandate they be put away due to past convictions, that’s not the story, for the most part, with Whites. Many members of the Black community demanded stricter enforcement in their neighborhoods due to the incidents of violence associated with drug crimes, and I’ve seen plea bargains that went down way to often where other violations were dropped and defendants were allowed to plea only to the drug crime. that kind of sentencing skewers the numbers a bit don’t you think?

    By the way Don, those prisoners you lament about with their bread and water diets, the majority don’t want to become productive citizens and could care less about education and reversing the path they decided to take long ago. You know it, I know it and their friends and families know it.

    You write in an entertaining fashion much as your wrong in your views.

    3 Strikes has reduced crime levels in some of L.A.’s most dangerous neighborhoods but people like you still gripe about sentencing that keeps the ordinary citizen safer.

  • 4:30 pm ,
    You are in the Presence of true Greatness! You are an insult to my intelligence! I demand that you log off immediately! You are confused; but this is your normal state. You are entitled to your own stupid opinion, but You are like a computer virus with the ego of a teen idol.
    You are living proof that Indians DID f**k buffalo! You are entering another dimension. A dimension of szzzt! Alas, you are intoxicated by the exuberance of your own verbosity! You are requested to refrain from speaking to Celeste. Leave the binary thinking to your CPU, and your bigotry in your quarters! Ha!

  • “you are intoxicated by the exuberance of your own verbosity”

    Who is really intoxicated, maybe to many Ramos Gin Fizz drinks? He or She vacillates from a creepy Don Juan/Juanita with sexual innuendos to espousing “their” imaginary “Greatness”… Someone please stick a gigantic fork in him or her …..

  • One last thing – you ask what personal experience I bring. You don’t want to know about my personal experience with narcs. If I judged you on that, I’d assume you belonged in jail.

  • “By the way Don, those prisoners you lament about with their bread and water diets, the majority don’t want to become productive citizens and could care less about education and reversing the path they decided to take long ago. You know it, I know it and their friends and families know it”

    Spoken like a true Torquemada and science be damned!

  • Sure Fire –

    I welcome your presence. Subjects related to policing crop up frequently and your perspective is helpful.

    I really don’t know what to think about the drug war. On the one hand, it really does create a lot of money for people naturally selected to be really bad – the drug gangsters. The more money and the more enforcement, the nastier they wlil get. OTOH some of these substances cause their users to be dangerous to others – especially the stimulants like cocaine variants and meth.

    As a child of the ’60s myself, I don’t see any reason that marijuana is illegal. Sure, people can become psychologically dependent on it, but that’s true of all sorts of things. It seems far more benign than alcohol, for example. So why make it illegal?

    Likewise, I wonder about the opiates. Sure, they frequently destroy users (although there are many cases of opiate abusers who have no significant impact on their lives under than the need to get their fix). If they were legal, would there be more or less crime? Would there be more or fewer addicts (my guess is more)? How much of that pathology associated with opium abuse is related to the effects of the drug, and how much of it is either pre-existing or a result of the criminal status it brings on the user, and the high prices the criminalization causes?

    While it is true that many criminals are also drugs users, the causation is far less clear.


  • You ask questions that needed detailed answers, don’t ask them if you don’t want a complete response. Probably should converse with someone you can intimidate with your wit and well thought out whining Reg, I’m not that guy. If you had personal experiences with narcs I’m sure it was through no fault of your own.

  • Science? What science? Eugenics maybe? The “science” Hitler tried to impliment? If IT were mainfest half my line and most of DQ’s would be eliminated. I don’t quite know why Sure Fire allied himself with any of “Java Joe’s” comments. If he were refering to this commenter I can only reiterate that I’d opt for complete lagalization across the board. Granted, old “Law Dogs” like our friend here have stood watch as best they were allowed, yet have somehow reached an impasse. Forgive the humor, it’s like a Mexican standoff. These cartels are coming. They’re forcing peasants to trek up here and grow their drugs on our land and profit greatly from the successes. We must look really stupid to these gangsters! My take is that maybe it’s time to let this huge infatuation with self-destruction run its course with anyone involved to a degree where they relinquish all their freedoms to substances. The dregs who’re bent on self-destruction will do so. Even the number of kids who need to test the waters will decrease because word will be universal,no more mysteries attached, and it will have been proven that it’s a dead end road. Now the Right side of the aisle will scorn my views and think they’re skewed because frankly i’d like the freedom to grow my own little victory garden just like my tomatoes and smoke my harvest in the company of friends maybe with a nice Sherry or Spanish Port. Am I a hypocrite?

  • “Probably should converse with someone you can intimidate”

    That appears to be your MO – I’ve got no interest in it…I guess I’ll stick to inquiring about the great “victories” in our drug war from people who at least project a capacity to be reflective.

  • More armchair shit from a liberal asshole who knows nothing…

    DAVID SIMON: Listen, if you could be Draconian and reduce drug use by locking people up, you might have an argument. But we are the jailing-est country on the planet right now. Two million people in prison. When I started as a police reporter, 33, 34 percent of the federal inmate population was violent offenders. Now it’s like, seven to eight percent. So, we’re locking up less violent people. More of them. The drugs are purer. They’ve not– they haven’t closed down a single drug corner that I know of in Baltimore for any length of time. It’s not working. And by the way this is not a Republican/Democrat thing. Because a lot of the most Draconian stuff came out of the Clinton Administration. This guy trying to maneuver to the center, in order not to be perceived as Leftist by a Republican Congress.

    BILL MOYERS: So, he did what?

    DAVID SIMON: Oh, I mean, you look at all the stuff that got added to the Federal Omnibus Crime Bill. All the new categories of crime and the Draconian nature. There’s all of this preceded him by a little bit. He reinforced it, which was the federal sentencing guidelines, which are just appalling. You know, he had-

    BILL MOYERS: Mandatory sentences, three strikes–

    DAVID SIMON: Loss of parole. And again, not merely for violent offenders, because again, the rate of violent offenders is going down. Federal prisons are full of people who got caught muling drugs, and got tarred with the whole amount of the drugs. It’s not what you were involved in or what you profited from. It’s what they can tar you with. You know, a federal prosecutor, basically, when he decides what to charge you with and how much, he’s basically the sentencing judge at that point. What they charge. And that’s, of course, corrupting. It’s, again, a stat.

    BILL MOYERS: It’s also clear from your work that you think the drug war has destroyed the policemen.

    DAVID SIMON: Absolutely. That’s the saddest thing in a way, is that, again, because the stats mean nothing. Because a drug arrest in Baltimore means nothing. Nothing. Real police work isn’t being done. In my city, the arrest rates for all major felonies have declined, precipitously, over the last 20 years. From murder to rape to robbery to assault.

    BILL MOYERS: Because?

    DAVID SIMON: Because to solve those crimes requires retroactive investigation. They have to be able to do a lot of things, in terms of gathering evidence that is substantive and meaningful police work. All you have to do to make a drug arrest is go in a guy’s pocket. You know? You don’t even need probable cause anymore in Baltimore. The guy who solves a rape or a robbery or a murder, he has one arrest stat. He’s going to court one day. The guy who has 40, 50, 60 drug arrests, even though they’re meaningless arrests, even though there’s no place to put them in the Maryland prison system, he’s going go to court 40 or 50 or 60 times. Ultimately, when it comes time to promote somebody, they look at the police computer. They’ll look and they’ll say, “This guy’s made 40 arrests last month. You only made one. He’s the Sergeant.” You know, or, “That’s the Lieutenant.” So the guys who basically play the stat game, they get promoted.

  • Sorry “Gava”, relied on memory instead of looking at your post again. I should have said I agreed with this take of yours, “People that are drawn to the meth life or the junkie life (which I am a 10 year vet)are only going to change WHEN THEY WANT TO.” That’s the only way I’ve seen people stop.

    Legalization isn’t an answer, it’s the lazy way to offer a solution. I always laugh when I read how drug offenders are non-violent, it’s so ridiculous. Maybe Gava having his herb and drinking his wine fits that description but the majority of users cops hook up these days are for meth and cocaine, drugs that stimulate, not relax people.

    I don’t know one cop that thinks it’s a big deal or waste their time on weeed arrests unless it’s large amounts or someone needs a lesson. That’s write, contempt of cop is real and a tool like any other, spirit of the law is what you want but the letter can be implied if it’s the answer to some idiots behavior. A ticket and a see you later for weed isn’t what puts people in prison, that’s a fantasy.

    The cartels are here and we’re going to see more violence like they see in Mexico ever day unless we react firmly. I don’t like paying taxes so I can pay for the neglected kids of people to weak to control themselves, bad enough I pay them to stuff the pockets of politicians and their friends. More liberal drug laws equals more use and not Gava or anyone else can say how long that would go on for, it’s just not worth the risk.

    Moyers and Simons chat means nothing.

  • Read the whole interview Reg? This tells me Simon, though smart, well spoken and with some serious credentials doesn’t have the answer either.

    DAVID SIMON: Oh, I would decriminalize drugs in a heartbeat. I would put all the interdiction money, all the incarceration money, all the enforcement money, all of the pretrial, all the prep, all of that cash, I would hurl it, as fast as I could, into drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the equivalent of the urban CCC, if it was New Deal-type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome, where we’re basically treating our underclass. The drug war’s war on the underclass now. That’s all it is. It has no other meaning.

    Totally crazy, the programs don’t work and there’s a percentage of the population that should always be locked up, I didn’t make it that way but recognize the truth of it.

  • I’ll have to agree with Gava Joe and others on this subject, that is, the call for the immediate decriminalization of marijuana, and IMO applied to all drugs. This in the face of not only the total and complete failure of the decades long “War On Drugs” but also recognizing that it should have been called instead “The War On The People”.
    Sure Fire, the only thing sure fire about your views are that they are based on nothing except your biased views and opinions, which in turn seem to be based not only on the failure of law enforcement vis a vis “The War On Drugs” but some cockamamie philosophy of “lock em up”, and that’ll be the solution.
    Well since you offer no scientific back up for your biased views, unlike Bob Herbert did in the NY Times, but only to keep trying to put forth your argument based on, on , what, a cops or jailers view of society? No thanks, your sides experiments with drug laws and a penal solution have been and continue to be a complete and total failure. The prisons are more crowded than ever, bursting at the seams with people there on drug offenses, the ratio of minority to white inmates speaks volumes on the rampant prejudice of the justice and penal systems of the country. The use of drugs and especially hard drugs like meth and smack is exploding throughout the country, both urban and rural, and the continued insanity of locking people up as a solution is not only counter productive but is obviously now based on the profit motive and racism (revisit the figures and ratio’s that Bob Herbert provides), the so called War On Drugs is now international in scope with many Latin American country’s and especially Mexico involved. But even though these Latin American country’s receive massive amounts of money from us, the US Taxpayers, to fight this ridiculous War On Drugs, it is failing miserably there too. And not only is the War on Drugs failing in places like Mexico, but is instead having the effect of destabilizing the whole country and costing thousands of lives in the process.
    Here’s an interesting development in the port city of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico where the drug cartels are actually employing and paying good wages including benefits to young poor people. Imagine, drug cartels in direct competition with other “legal” industry’s and paying better with more benefits. But some would say “It can’t happen here” Oh yeah.
    From the “Mex Files”

    Make work, not war
    27 July 2009 · 6 Comments
    The [Mexico City] News:
    Lázaro Cárdenas used to be a sleepy city before it became the international cargo hub it is today. Ships coming from Pacific Rim nations as well as South America unload their containers by the thousands every day, and the port authorities pride themselves on a seamless operation which moves containers through customs and out of the facility in less than 36 hours.
    In the past few years, however, this expediency and volume of trade did not go unnoticed by drug traffickers who have made the port a haven for themselves.
    Unfortunately, the growth of the port, the existence of a steel mill and other industries have proven insufficient to create jobs needed by up-and-coming generations.
    It is locally known, however, that drug traffickers are offering young men and women wages starting at 10,000 pesos a month. In addition, they offer them perks such as 100,000 pesos in life insurance, transportation, etc. And the young are flocking to the traffickers ranks.
    On the other hand, the federal government is at war with the gangs of traffickers who control the area. Now caravans of federal cops roam the streets of the city, instilling fear in the civilian population.
    As Samuel, a worker at the steel mill says, “you don’t fight narcotics traffickers with violence, when what is needed are jobs“.

    In closing, I would only say that until we as a society admit the failure of not only the War On Drugs, but our biased system of justice, and the profit motive behind expanding and draconian penal solutions then we unfortunately will experience many more tragic events of the Lilly Burk kind.

  • I read the whole interview and if you don’t think intervention with jobs and other programs can’t or don’t work in those neighborhoods, you’re crazy and a fucking misanthrope damaged by some career choices you made. Not my problem.

  • Incidentally, no one who looks at less absurd, dysfunctional approaches to drugs than the “Drug War” mentality – not me, not David Simon, not Mark Kleiman, not Milton Friedman, not William F. Buckley, not Curt Schmoke, not Joe MacNamare – have an “answer” because there isn’t an “answer.” Prohibition proved that. Rates of alcoholism and damage to people’s lives because of the drug are still way over what one would want. But the attempt to use police to put an end to it was crazy and counterproductive. This isn’t even a debate among rational people. I don’t recommend legalization of narcotics, incidentally, but I’d like to look at alternatives to how we treat the problem now. There are degrees of decriminalization and approaches that de-emphasize law enforcement at various levels of exchange and use, such as Holland or Portugal. Closing your eyes and standing on all of the busts you made – that didn’t do shit, by your own admission – isn’t buying you a lot of credibility in these discussions. Frankly, having read your contributions here, I think guys like you are part of the problem.

  • This from John Moore:
    Sure Fire –

    “I welcome your presence. Subjects related to policing crop up frequently and your perspective is helpful.”

    This from Reg:
    “you’re crazy and a fucking misanthrope damaged by some career choices you made. Not my problem.”

    This from GJ: I appreciate this forum and the discussion it provides. The rants that erupt from both sides of the aisle are dramatic and thought provoking. I don’t see any reason to drop F bombs and call derogatory names to some new input.Debate with decorum is a thing of beauty.

  • Incidentally, cops didn’t quit ridiculous marijuana busts because they’re smart, compassionate guys, primarily concerned with focusing their efforts to be most effective in protecting the public, who saw the light and changed their behavior. The reduction in “stupidly” arresting people for smoking pot was driven by a change in the laws and the public perception of marijuana moving from something that was heavily stigmatized to the more rational “who gives a shit?” When cops had the law and public opinon on their side, when it came to pot they acted like self-righteous, childish assholes. (Who knew ?)

  • Yeah, I shouldn’t have said “fucking” but the contempt and reductionist characterizations and assumptions reek from SureFire on this as well and I don’t feel a need to evade that fact. What I get from his personal experiences – aside from his emotion and pride in his own comittment to his job – is that nothing he did reduced the problem or the pain and that he doesn’t believe that people who live in neighborhoods where the drug culture has a major presence respond to anything even close the normal incentives of normal human beings. That is, I read him as believing that if alternatives to involvement in the drug life kids on the street wouldn’t give a shit and there would be no impact. I think that’s sick and a perverse view of a huge cohort of people. I’m no Pollyanna, but I’m disturbed by glib “you don’t know these scumbags because you’re a liberal” attitudes that essentially deny the humanity of residents of entire neighborhoods. For the record, I live in a neighborhood that’s predominantly black and which was hit hard by the crack epidemic of the ’80s – a couple of blocks from where Felix Mitchell grew up. At our local elementary school – 300 kids – we’ve got 100 adult mentors involved in after school programs. We need more interventions like that. (But I’m an armchair liberal reading about what goes on in SureFire’s “real world” , so fuck me…)

  • To clarify what bothers my about “SureFire” there’s this:

    DAVID SIMON: (proposing) drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the equivalent of the urban CCC, if it was New Deal-type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome…”

    SureFire: Totally crazy, the programs don’t work and there’s a percentage of the population that should always be locked up, I didn’t make it that way but recognize the truth of it. (end clip)

    That’s a very disturbing, twisted perspective IMHO – and I’m not comfortable with simply debating it. It also needs to be seen for what it is…the notion that no response based on incentivizing normal human relationships in neighborhoods that are “Drug War” turf is anything less than “crazy” and that busting down doors, increasing the police presence and locking people up is some sort of sufficient “solution” to the problems people in such neighborhoods face. I’m sorry, but that kind of attitude isn’t the sort of stuff I can “reasonably” debate. It’s the kind of stuff I reject. The only counterpart to anything that extreme would be if I told SureFire that he shouldn’t have carried a gun as a cop and should have just talked nice to people and maybe they would have responded better. I really think the implications of what he’s saying there are that crazy…it’s an “all or nothing” view through the narrowest of lenses, allowing one’s approach to an entire class of people be informed by what are really a perverse set of experiences as an u/c narc.

  • Reg – your #72 comment ran me back to that Beatle’s song “All the Lonely People”. Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave, no one was saved. Like the old boy believed his cause was right, did his best, and was ineffective, but he could walk away knowing he did his job, held his head up. You (we) aren’t going to change a damned thing here proselytizing about how things should be. We can only express opinion. The strength of our presentations is the only thing that MAY alter some positions, but certainly not with people who’ve dedicated their lives to an opposing method. You can jump my ass, it’s ballistics grade, but I hate to see some input that may lend insight to what we want to accomplish get driven off because you had to express your zeal. Lighten up.

  • Below is a Readers Digest condensed version of the all the above comments.

    Celeste…. “We need more taxes to fund poetry readings, drug rehabilitation programs, free–housing and other social programs for all the innocent victims of our society such Charlie Samuel. Charlie Samuel is the poor lost soul who is a “suspect” in the killing of Lily Burk. I will let you all know if the LAPD has made a proper arrest, I have an interview scheduled with Charlie Samuel, Charlie will tell me if he is innocent and now a victim of our unjust criminal justice system and incompetent LAPD.”

    Don Quackers……”Celeste we all know the LAPD are corrupt !!! Just ask any of my many innocent relatives serving time in our draconian prisons who are only fed bread and water. The robber barons and the rest of racist xenophobic gavachos are now using the murder of Lily Burk to arrest yet more innocent Mexicans and blacks !!! Our country is now like Nazi Germany !!! The only thing that’s going to save this country is taxing the rich gavachos and robber barons !!! We need to bring all the hard working Mexicans into the U.S. to save this country, and to hell with the nativists and lazy gavachos !!!!. I DO NOT, I DO NOT, post using other names such as Jack’s Mannequin or Gomez Adamms, it’s the “facists” like Mary Cummins !!!


    Sure Fire….”You candy ass liberals don’t know what it’s like being a bad-ass cop on the streets dealing with all the loser criminals in society. We should lock everybody up and throw away the key. Nobody can be reformed by reading poetry and a hug.

    Reg… “Sure Fire you’re crazy and a fucking misanthrope damaged by some career choices you made. Not my problem.”

    Reg… “ I meant to say …Sure Fire you’re a crazy dumb-ass and a fucking misanthrope damaged by some career choices you made. Not my problem.”

    Reg… “ Sorry I really meant to say …Sure Fire you’re a crazy son-of-a-bitch and a fucking misanthrope damaged by some career choices you made. Not my problem.”

    Gava Joe…”Can’t we all just get along, maybe if you guys could buy some a legal marijuana you could debate with decorum, it’s a thing of beauty.

  • Celeste, is the reactionary troll with the many names who posts up but says nothing, actually Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly?
    Your famous all over town Celeste!

  • All you do is shoot of your mouth Reg, you don’t know a thing about me where I worked, what I was involved in or what I’m involved in now. Internet big mouths like you are a dime a dozen, dealt with people plenty of times that shot off their mouths just like you and it means nothing, you’re just an obvious burn out with some schooling.

    You and some others here have made it clear you don’t care about anything except the write to be left alone to get high and the consequences will always be something you can control. Of course the stats say different but those types of facts can be tossed aside because they don’t fall into line with your foggy thinking.

    LEAP people have their reasons for the stance they take as those of us opposed to their thinking, if that makes people like me an “asshole” in your book I guess I can live with it. You haven’t answered a thing, you could care less about the drug use impact on the young like the greedy fool you sound like and you of course blame everything on the cops and the right wing. You’re a dope zealot and cop hater probably high when you read posts and it’s really remarkable you at some point came to the attention of law enforcement. How could that of happened, not your fault I know.

    Your reliance on programs that don’t work is like believing in fairy tales. All people like you want is an alternative to bad behavior that really doesn’t matter, need to be completed cause most don’t as the stats show or actually address the problem. The job programs, where are these jobs coming from and we’re supposed to give them to a group that never wants to work above those who’ve stayed out of trouble and might actually be reliable? Good thinking, maybe you also think more interaction between kids and pedophiles would fix their behavior. You’re amazing Reg.
    You’re just a burn out with a grudge, I’m sure your life is full of accomplishments you’re proud of.

  • “you just shoot your mouth off”

    “you don’t care about anything except the write (sic) to be left alone to get high”

    I don’t use drugs. Haven’t even touched pot in nearly 40 years and never used anything other than weed and occasional psychedelics when I was 19-23. But here I am – 63 years old and supposedly “high” when I’m reacting to your arrogant bilge.

    Fuck you. You’re as much of a mindless moron “shooting your mouth off” as Woody. You’ve had a more interesting life, but it hasn’t enhanced your intellectual or analytical competence.

    You’ve destroyed any credibility you might have had. I was concerned that my “asshole” verdict on you was in haste and unfair. Actually, it was prescient.

  • “maybe you also think more interaction between kids and pedophiles would fix their behavior”

    Just caught that grand finale. You really are Woodyesque. A perverted fuck. Go to hell. I’m through even reading your horseshit.

  • Great post by Celeste and discussion…well most of it…

    Regarding the budget crisis and the overcrowding in CA’s prisons, what happens when some communities, especially in other states, start WANTING prisoners too much?

    I’m sure these folks have the best of intentions, but it just doesn’t seem right…

  • Time to gum some late night snack and get to bed Reg, you’re just a light weight poser on a message board who lives to gripe. Have fun in your senility and grabbing at nurses before they tuck you in you fraud.

  • Sure, we should legalize all drugs. One of the victim kids people like you don’t care about Reg.

    A 4-year-old California boy may be permanently blinded after police say is father bit out one of his eyes and mutilated the other.

    Bakersfield police say 34-year-old Angel Vidal Mendoza appeared to e under the influence of PCP when he attacked the boy April 28.

    Afterwards police say Mendoza rolled his wheelchair outside and began hacking at his own legs with an ax.

    Four-year-old Angelo Mendoza Jr. told police, “my daddy ate my eyes.”

    Doctors at Mercy Hospital say it’s unclear whether Angelo will regain vision in his right eye.

    The boy’s mother wasn’t home at the time. Mendoza is due in court Wednesday. Charges include mayhem, torture and child cruelty. Jail officials say they don’t know whether he has an attorney.

  • SF failed to note whether this wheelchair bound psychotic father who eats eyes was even on drugs? Maybe he was just a blithering maniac? This has become like the scare tactics used by the prior President and his crime partner Cheney. If you demonstrate enough fear and horror they will capitulate and let you prosecute just any old war for as long as you fucking care to. Sorry Sure Fire. You failed to make your case. I’m voting to acquit. Maybe you should calm yourself down. Ease your stress and smoke a doobie.

  • Spare me your conspiracy theory bs Joe. I posted some continuation at the end of my post, great family and what did even his idiot brother say about stepping in to assist the kids of people like this? Notice where they found the PCP in the house? I know you and Mr. Warmth Reg don’t care, it’s all about the right to get high, but people need to protect kids, if you guys can argue that you’re evn bigger asses than you come off as in print.

    I don’t know many who smoke a little weed that act in the manner Mendoza did. This is the problem with idiots who believe all drugs should be legalized, they can’t seperate weed from more serious type drugs. What a couple of posers I’ve met here.

    Reg is a fraud with no game, enough said. Have fun in Amsterdam with your travel nurse old fella.

    Background Check of Mendoza Family

    Last Update: 5/20 4:26 pm

    Angelo Vidal Mendoza is scheduled to be in court Wednesday. He is accused of biting out one of his son’s eyes and mutilating the other, and is being charged with mayhem, torture, and child cruelty.

    Many are questioning why Mendoza would hurt his four-year-old boy. His brother spoke with 17 News Tuesday. He said his brother shared a strong bond with his son, Angelo Mendoza, Jr.

    “The way they looked at each other, you could just tell the love was there and it was just a shock to everybody,” Jesse Rosas explained. But Mendoza is no stranger to the criminal system and has led a violent life.

    According to his brother, Mendoza was stabbed six times and lost the use of his legs four years ago. In another case, one of Mendoza’s co-defendants was shot to death in 2007.
    Other convictions dating back to 1997 include battery, spousal abuse, and child endangerment in addition to being under the influence of PCP, the drug police say Mendoza was most likely on when hurting his son.
    In a letter to the court, Mendoza wrote requesting his name to be changed to “Vidal,” his father’s last name is serving life in San Quenton prison and called him “my childhood hero.”

    He also wrote, “everybody around me wanted to be like their Dad and so did I.”
    Mendoza’s brother Jesse Rosas is now seeking custody of his four-year-old nephew.

    “Even though stuff happened to him i want him to know that you know what, your family still cares about you. and we want him in our home where we can take care of him and give him the love that he needs.”

    And he has a message for others who have family members or friends who use powerful drugs like PCP. “If there’s anybody out there who notices a child is neglected or sees signs the parents are doing drugs, don’t be afraid to step in. Just go in there,” he says. “I mean you can probably prevent something like this from happening.”

    Angelo Mendoza’s live-in girlfriend, who is also the young boy’s mother, also has a criminal record. In 2006, Desirae Bermudez was charged for child endangerment in addition to being under the influence PCP.

    Police searched the couple’s home and found the drug in many places, including under a blanket with the Angelo Mendoza, Jr.

  • Keep digging asshole. Your only recourse is to keep repeating slanderous bullshit. You’re a fucking punk who hasn’t dealt with shit I’ve posted here except for your self-love. (That’s also known as masturbation.)

    GIving assholes with attitude a gun and a badge – yeah, that’s the ticket !!!

  • Well spoken Reg, bet all your friends on the ward or block are proud of you.

    Our conversation is over old man, have that warm milk and pill but hope you don’t dream about how the big bad police made you into the blithering poser you are now. Try Yoga, it worked wonders for my anger issues.

    Sweet dreams inmate.

  • “for everyone I arrested a few more would pop up”

    That’ll be quite the epitaph…

    Keep at that yoga.

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