The Widdershins

Archive for October 13th, 2011

Welcome to the new (but not necessarily improved) You Ess Of A.  In this alternative universe, all problems are solved by cutting services to the masses and improving life for the chosen few.  In other words, comfort the comfortable, and afflict the afflicted.

Our House of Representatives refuses to authorize much of any expenditure unless an offsetting cut can be made.  Therefore, there is less money going out in any number of instances, and our social safety net, once the model for the industrialized nations of the world, has sprouted some serious holes.  This appears to be okey-dokey with the Enabler In Chief, who is so desperate to be the Facilitator In Chief that he hasn’t really found a concession that he’s unwilling to make.  Obama seems to believe that he appears to be rational, while I believe that he is ineffectual.

Some cuts are inconvenient – fewer busses, reduced hours at the library or public pools, longer lines for permits at City Hall due to decreased staffing.  Others are deadly, or potentially so.

One case in point is that of Topeka, Kansas.  The city of Topeka has actually decriminalized domestic violence in order to save money.  Read this and weep – literally:

AP) TOPEKA, Kan. – Suspects in Topeka domestic violence cases are leaving jail
without being charged, and advocates for abuse survivors say victims are growing
more scared amid a public squabble over who should pay to prosecute the

The mayor and council of Kansas’ capital city made a dramatic move Tuesday
night in their ongoing clash with county officials by voting to repeal the
city’s ordinance against domestic violence.

The intent is to force the county’s district attorney to back away from a
budget-driven decision to stop prosecuting misdemeanors committed inside the
city limits _ including domestic assault and battery not involving a weapon.

Advocates for victims of abuse slammed all sides of the debate. They’re angry
with the district attorney over his decision, furious with the mayor and City
Council for repealing the ordinance and frustrated that officials can’t resolve
the budget dispute.

It’s been a month since new prosecutions of domestic violence stopped in

“It’s a slam in our face,” Claudine Dombrowski, an abuse survivor from Topeka,
told the council. She showed her frustration by throwing dice down on the podium
as she spoke, saying, “Roll the dice _ that’s what we’re playing here.”

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor contends the county commission
forced his decision to cut the budget by 10 percent in 2012, with his office
still swamped by felony cases. The city’s leaders argue that it can’t afford to
create the services for domestic abuse victims and rent jail space from the
county for suspects.

Also Tuesday night, the City Council authorized Dan Stanley, the interim city
manager, to negotiate with county officials over the prosecution of domestic
violence cases. He advocated repealing the ordinance, arguing it will help the
city in talks with the county.

“I think it draws a line in the sand,” he said. “It says we will remove all
ambiguity from this question, and we will negotiate from a position of

Taylor’s spokesman, Dakota Loomis, called the city’s decision “drastic and
unprecedented” but said Taylor would re-evaluate his position.

Isn’t this the damndest thing that you have ever heard?  Women are now collateral damage in a funding dispute.  I, for one, am not holding my breath awaiting Governor Sam Brownback to ride in for the rescue.

Here’s another dinger:

Rescue workers in Alameda, California were forced to watch as a man drowned
after they realized they could not save him because they did not possess the
proper certifications for water rescue required to legally do so.

Had the workers attempted a rescue without the legal certifications, they could have
faced lawsuits leading to massive fines and career ending rulings.

The victim was a suicidal man who waded into the waters to take his own life.
Onlookers, including police, firemen and other rescue workers were forced to
watch from the water’s edge hopelessly.

in fact, because of certifications and laws, rescue workers could not even legally enter the water
to retrieve the body after the man had died. The police asked an onlooker to do
it for them.

Alameda is an island city surrounded by water. Yet, its emergency personal remains un-certified for water rescues. City officials are blaming budget cuts, but refused to give specifics and are investigating the matter.

I am speechless.  It would be hard to live with yourself after this one.

And my personal favorite:

Camden County, Georgia is considering an “inmates-to-firefighters” program as one way to keep residents’ fire insurance costs from more than doubling, according to The Florida Times-Union. The program is one of multiple options Camden’s Board of County Commissioners are considering, but officials say hiring inmates as firefighters would be more cost-effective than the other options, saving the county more than $500,000 per year.

Camden County’s decision comes as localities around the country are curbing police, fire department and other services to cope with shrinking budgets. The Stevens Point Fire Department in Stevens Point, Wisconsin is aiming to trim its budget by more than $140,000 through overtime changes and other measures, according to The Stevens Point Journal. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in March that he wanted to cut the fire department’s ranks to deal with looming budget deficits, according to the Gotham Gazette.

And it’s not just fire departments that are experiencing the squeeze. Public-sector job cuts have slowed the recovery, even as the private sector made gains. Government officials slashed 34,000 jobs in September, while the private sector created jobs, according to The Department of Labor.

Camden’s inmates-to-firefighters program isn’t the only way former criminals are getting put to work in Georgia.

After the state passed a law in the summer cracking down on undocumented immigrants, Georgia farmers complained that they couldn’t produce at the levels they were accustomed to because the migrant laborers who pick berries and cucumbers were too fearful of deportation to come to work. In response Republican Governor Nathan Deal started an experiment where he made crews of unemployed probationers available for farmers to hire to replace the migrant workers.

Camden County is the last stop in coastal Georgia before crossing the Florida line.  It’s a lovely area, and I have to wonder how the locals will feel about this jim dandy idea.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with prisoners earning some money.  However, firefighting is a learned skill that you just can’t accomplish with a couple of quick inservices,  Also, I might as a resident have just a little trepidation about a burgler in my house, even if he were armed with a fire hose.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

This is an open thread.

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Blog Archive

October 2011
« Sep   Nov »

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
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Marching for their lives

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Manafort’s Jail Photo

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