In this time of economic uncertainty and shrinking tax revenues, government agencies are being forced to cut costs right and left. Our prisons are no exception. Our prison population over the past two decades has soared to a record-bursting 2.3 million Americans in prison or jail. (Personally, I blame Hollywood celebutantes Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for the overcrowding problem.)
Just less than 1% of the US population is currently incarcerated – in part thanks to my neighbor’s 22-year old stoner son Justin, who is serving 3 months for drinking, driving and smelling like urine while trying to order take-out at Highway tollbooth Exit 7A, which he apparently mistook for a Dominos Pizza. I believe the specific charge was “acting like an obnoxious moron in a public place” or something like that.
The USA has more people in prison than any other country in the world – one more achievement about which Americans can proudly shout “We’re Number One.” The cost to house all these charming folks is staggering. Check out these startling statistics:
Recently, my daughter Rachel and I took a vacation to visit friends and family in the Eastern USA. As part of our holiday adventure, we spent a night in world-famous Niagara Falls, NY. This short visit was a high point of our vacation – except for one small disappointment – our accommodations at the Quality Hotel and Suites, Niagara Falls, NY. (Yes, it’s a real hotel.)
If you would like a relaxing, restful, clean hotel room for an evening, might I propose an alternate place of lodging? But if unexpected surprises are what you look for in your vacation destination, then the Quality Hotel and Suites, Niagara Falls, NY may be just the thrill ride for you.
Below is a copy of my actual thank-you letter to the hotel after our recent stay. (Disclaimer: the photos below are not actual photos from the Quality Hotel and Suites, Niagara Falls, NY and were not included in the letter I sent. I include them here to give you a sense of the adventure we experienced. – tj) Read More…
Finally a youth sports league has realized that when it comes to our kids, winning isn’t everything. (More on that below.) For too long, we parents have been pushing our kids way too hard, telling them they need to get passing grades in school if they want to get into a top flight college, or nagging them to do their chores now rather than waiting till, say, never, or harping on them relentlessly to practice their piano longer than fourteen minutes a week if they want to do well in their recital next week.
We are constantly pushing our kids way too hard to achieve, try harder, and be nicer to their younger sister, to the point that we are forgetting one fundamental point – that no matter how much of a snot-nosed brat they are when we ask them to help put away the dishes for the third time, no matter how much they whine that “Angela’s parents let her have Internet on her cell phone – why can’t I?”, our kids are all winners in this game called life.