Did you play it as a child? Did you see social dance at a dance in your school? Do you get your dance ideas from the dances at your local street fair, the street ball, or the public dance hall? If you have not, and it is something you can do and make a living from, are you willing to get a dance instructor to guide you through it? This is probably going to be a pretty busy dance for you and it could be quite a journey.
In a remarkable piece of foresight, President Obama has made a public call for an end to the use of solitary confinement as a punishment for nonviolent inmates in federal prisons and prisons run by the states. His comments are noteworthy for what they suggest about government officials, and about the current political climate:
President Obama has been trying for decades to end federal spending that punishes people for possessing and using drugs, by putting them in solitary confinement. A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts has found that the use of solitary confinement remains widespread, even in the wake of a series of federal court rulings that struck down the practice. “People are being punished for doing things that a lot of us take for granted,” Mr. Obama said Tuesday, speaking here at the National Governors Association summit. “This isn’t like you can’t do something in school, or you can’t do something in work — this is something that’s incredibly serious. And I’ve been really disappointed in our Congress and in our executive branch. We need to come up with new ways to deal with these problems.”
And here are the facts. For a start, the practice is a failure, because it increases drug and other drug use among prisoners by depressing morale within the prison. Some prisoners do not learn to use drugs, and others do not have time to find out what is available and choose not to use it in their cells if they decide they do not want to do it. By the time they do, they are already using it. So even if the government wants you to go to prison for possessing small amounts of a small amount of a very dangerous drug—perhaps for a short time while you get a grip on the concept of drug use—it doesn’t really care if you don’t decide to do it, as long as you’re in prison or you are incarcerated.
Moreover, the idea that any particular person is somehow more culpable than others simply for violating drug laws based on their racial background is simply absurd. It is a claim based on the notion that
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