NJ worst in the US for racist jailtime. Ban book about it from prisons.


New Jersey bans book about racist NJ policies

❝ “At least two New Jersey state prisons have banned inmates from reading a highly praised book that links racial discrimination and mass incarceration.”

❝ “Michelle Alexander’s 2012 book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is off limits to inmates as a matter of policy at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton and Southern State Correctional Facility in Delmont, according to documents provided in response to a public records request from the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU chapter plans to send a letter to state corrections officials on Monday demanding access to the book for inmates in the state, which the group said has the worst U.S. black-white incarceration disparity.

“The New Jim Crow chronicles how people of color are shut out of society by mass incarceration,” the letter states. “That the very prisoners who experience the worst racial disparity in incarceration in the country should be prohibited from reading a book whose precise purpose is to examine and educate about that disparity adds insult to injury.”

People who make racist rules always claim they aren’t racists. Conservatives and chickenshit moderates call that progress.

Fighting back and winning is progress.

Billion$ + 10 years = No air traffic control modernization, No final price tag, No end date

The Federal Aviation Administration has little to show for a decade of work on modernizing air traffic control, and faces barriers and billions more in spending to realize its full benefits, says a report released last Tuesday by a government watchdog.

The FAA estimates it will spend a total $5.7 billion to finish its current work on six “transformational” technology programs at the heart of its NextGen modernization effort, said the report by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general. But the agency’s current efforts don’t fully implement the programs, and there are no timetables or cost estimates for completion…

Moreover, there has been “significant ambiguity both within FAA and the aviation community about expectations for NextGen,” including the ability of core programs to deliver important new capabilities, the report said.

Most of the airline industry has made privatizing air traffic control their top legislative goal — with Congressman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., as their champion. They have the support of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union that represents controllers. Paul Rinaldi, the union’s president, said controllers have lost faith in FAA’s modernization effort and want the new air traffic tools they see in use in other countries like Canada, which has privatized air traffic operations.

Most Democrats, other FAA unions and segments of the aviation industry, like business aircraft operators, are opposed to privatization.

“The inspector general’s report at most faults the FAA for describing NextGen programs as ‘transformational’ when they really just improve how the FAA manages air traffic,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the senior Democrat on the transportation committee.

It is far from clear that privatizing the air traffic control system would expedite NextGen and address the issues raised in the inspector general’s report, he said…

Air traffic control never recovered from the Reagan lockout in 1981. The United States muddled through with crap performance made acceptable by the Reagan White House and obedient flunkies in Congress. Trouble is that style of work remained in place over the decades since. Little attention paid to how computer systems have been modernized in both installation and use, common software and updates – and a helluva lot more traffic.

And then there are the lobbyists fiddling how anything is sold to the federal government and where that has gotten to following Reagan models – and Clinton copies of Reagan models.

Call for a car-phone ban is about as stupid as banning passengers – How about a ban on stupid bans?

The National Transportation Safety Board’s big, bold stroke encouraging all states to prohibit drivers from using cell phones faces a long, tortuous process in the nation’s statehouses…

This political reality stands out: Since states began legislating distracted driving or cell phone use in 2000, none has gone so far as to impose a complete ban on mobile devices behind the wheel, and only one state — Alaska — has considered such a blanket prohibition, just this year…

Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said opponents don’t like big government intrusions and savor their personal freedoms. “This is a controversial issue so you can assume it’s not going to pass right away,” Harsha said. “It’s going to take a long time for legislatures to pass laws, and a long time for states to begin to enforce the laws, and then a long time for behavior to start to change.

“The first seat-belt law was passed in the mid-’80s, and we’re now at 84 percent of drivers who are buckled up nationwide,” even though all states now have laws requiring drivers and passengers to wear seat belts, Harsha said…

In the past 10 years the NTSB has increasingly sought to limit the use of portable electronic devices — recommending bans for novice drivers, school bus drivers and commercial truckers. Tuesday’s recommendation, if adopted by states, would outlaw nonemergency phone calls and texting by operators of every vehicle on the road…

The initiative would apply to hands-free as well as hand-held devices, but devices installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer would be allowed, the NTSB said…

“There’s conflicting evidence” on whether hands-free cell phone conversations would be as unsafe as those by hand-helds, Harsha said, adding that more “definitive research” is needed. “If it shows both are unsafe, then a total ban may make the most sense,” she said.

There already are beaucoup studies proving that distractions are the cause – not the effect. The source of distraction affecting the human brain ranges from your passenger [if you have one] shouting “look at that!” – to noticing a particularly attractive member of the opposite sex in another car [depending on your gender identification I guess] – to a particularly uncomfortable gas pain.

Give mental pause whilst driving today – and reflect upon the artificial need for politicians to pass regulations to impress upon their peers and constituents alike that they’re earning their keep.