Saturday, 11 January 2014

When Plain Old Prison Isn't Enough

In 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik finished his killing spree in Norway....he'd ended the lives of seventy-seven folks.  The vast majority under the age of seventeen.  Most folks in Norway felt that the court episode was a formal thing, and he'd just quietly rot away in prison for the rest of his life.

Well....he's been in a prison a while now, and he's become more of a problem.

He now complains in a significant way of jail-room and strip searches.  He believes it's a bit unfair.  He's sent letters off to various news media folks....including the Wall Street Journal....to note this unfairness.

His book?  Oh, that's an interesting piece.  He now says that he's just finished a one-thousand page book, and working on getting a publisher to review and publish it.  The odds of any Norwegian publisher touching it?  Zero chance.  Any publisher in Europe or the US?  There might be one or two who will examine this....but at one thousand pages....it'll be a question if it's untouchable.

I kinda think that it might go self-publish....but even the folks at Amazon will be hesitant to include it on their possible books.

His latest comments?  Well....he says that he's devised a way to turn his Playstation 2, some long screws, and several pieces of paper....into a weapon.  I would imagine the prison guards are reviewing the book on allowances, and if they can retain the Playstation 2.  He probably wasn't bright in suggesting this, and losing the Playstation might be a pretty big drag on a long prison term.

There are these guys who go off to prison, and bluntly need to be given a shovel, some sand, and two hundred sand-bags a day to fill.  They've got excess energy and think they got into prison for no real reason, and it's just unfair.

Book Review: The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and New Deal

By Robert Murphy.

Historians are lousy at economics, and economic experts are lousy at history.  So this book kinda fills in the gaps and tells the story of the 1920s lead-up to the Wall Street collapse, what Hoover did, and how Roosevelt really screwed up by making the depression last longer.

It's a fair read.   Fifty percent of the book is loaded with facts and statistics, with a good read.  The other fifty percent....economic analysis which would bore most history enthusiasts to death.

As a kid growing up, the depression era took about two pages out of the high school history book, and the teacher would spend a week on the era.  Too much money spent and the evil capitalists at Wall Street, along with the term "roaring twenties" as the thing to remember. It didn't make much sense to me as a kid.

Later, in college....the episode came up in a history class taught at Louisiana Tech.  I remember the professor getting the question in the middle of the class....that these wordy explanation didn't exactly put facts on the board or make any sense.

The professor stopped the class for a minute, and simply laid in this two-minute explanation that Roosevelt was a guy who had never run a business in his life, and knew absolutely nothing about finance or business.  The dozen or so people around him....his personal staff....they were of the same variety.  So they baked up various gimmicks which looked good in a college class or on thesis paper.....but would never function right in real life or in the business world.

It was a harsh reality moment.  As the professor summed it up....the depression might have ended to some minor degree as the war starts....only because the personal staff got pushed out and business men were brought in to run America finally.....but it's only really over when Roosevelt is dead and six-feet under.

The book kinda goes in this same direction, but hundreds of details about what worked, what failed, and how lousy incompetence in the White House really made America overall suffer.

It's worth the read if you have interest in the 1930s, the depression, and the business world.  Otherwise?  I might skip it because it really goes deep into finance and economics, which isn't a topic that most folks enjoy reading over.