A U.S. Justice Department report released showed that a record 7 million people -- or one in every 32 American adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole at the end of last year. Of the total, 2.2 million were in prison or jail.
Seems like another #1 ranking for the USA. And this is from 2006. As the economy has worsened, I imagine the situation has gotten progressively worse. This is an interesting distinction because there currently isn't a domestic war in process. Well, perhaps we should reconfigure that assessment. There's ALWAYS a war going on in the U.S. When our political leaders have a problem with an issue, they like to declare war on it. War on drugs, war on illiteracy, war on AIDS, war on poverty... At least the Obama administration tends to tone down the rhetoric. Maybe they should ramp it up. Michelle Obama seems concerned about the childhood obesity epidemic. Why not declare war on overweight, sedentary children? Maybe she could team up with Maury Povich and send them all too some kind of "fat kids boot camp." His drill instructors (usually angry black men) could help whip Ethan and Toby into shape.
And by the way, here's a thought. One of the best public relations ideas that came out of the White House was the vegetable garden. Seems simple enough. Have the children plant a garden and harvest some vegetables. WHY ISN'T THIS A NATIONAL DIRECTIVE? Wouldn't it be a great idea to have every public elementary school grow fresh vegetables? How crazy is that? Why hasn't anyone ever suggested this? You could even set up a farmers market type situation and use the proceeds for the school. Maybe teach the children the market value of a cucumber or tomato. It would make for a simple math project - let's evaluate why that one red pepper at Kroger costs $6.99/lb. I know, it's out of season and I need "color" for my salad of field greens. Or the worst case scenario, donate the food to a local homeless shelter. Would it really be the crime of the century if young Holden or Trayvon had to eat a carrot? Seems like it would be a win-win scenario.
Regardless, out of the near 200 countries on the planet earth, we can proudly assert our #1 ranking in regard to how we incarcerate the highest percentage of our population. You would think that this runs counter-intuitive. If we're the greatest country on the planet, why would we be throwing the greatest percentage of our citizens in jail? Nonetheless, this is a statement of fact - we are the planetary leader in incarceration.
And since I wanted to complete my top 10 list of #1 rankings, here's a decent one. The United States is the most heavily medicated country in the world. We are the leading consumer of prescription drugs on a per capita basis! And guess which state is #1? Yep, you guess it - West, by god stand up say like you mean it, Virginia. It's true! I'm honored to conclude on this note since it's so close to home. Regrettably, I'm not presently "on" anything. Still I feel qualified to weigh in based on my observances. Seems like all my friends and acquaintances take some type of medication. I suppose I could too, if I applied myself. Of course, I don't have health insurance. I prefer a simple, more holistic approach. I once tried prayer, but that only works with things you can't see. One of my favorite websites is
Wouldn't a kind and noble god address the needs of a triple amputee child in Kabul before tending to Aunt Helen's high cholesterol? Just something to think about.
It boggles my mind how everyone goes running to the doctor for their "ailments." My favorite is back pain. Ohhh Saffy, my back hurts! I ask you, whose fucking back does not hurt? Ooooh Saffy, my arm is numb! I don't know, maybe you slept on it wrong. And it seems like there's a pill for everything conceivable. I like the breakdown of medications for obsessive compulsive emotional disorders. Agoraphobia (fear of crowds) - you need this specific type of downer so you can "get a grip" and "maintain composure" at the exhilarating Lady Gaga concert. Don't give into your fears and sell that ticket. What a conundrum - you must see the Gaga but you're afraid of the large crowd. How will you endure? What's a reasonable coping procedure? Fear of changing a diaper - If confronted with this dilemma, I think I'd need a cocktail of anything you got. I once saw an expose on some weirdo woman with OCD. She had one of those large area rugs with the little tassel, fringy things on both ends. She'd have to spend an hour every morning combing the damn extensions. Here's a thought - maybe get a rug without the fucking cilia hairlike shit, or better yet, throw the fucking thing in the dumpster. I recommend the one at the Washington Ave. Convenient or Triadelphia Middle School.
Again, it seems to run counter-intuitive. If we're the greatest country with the greatest people, why are we the most medicated? Wouldn't logic dictate that such an excellent population be less beholden to prescription drugs. Shouldn't we be the least medicated or maybe somewhere in the middle of the pack? But, lo and behold, we're #1. So there you have it. That rounds out some specific #1 rankings for Uncle Sam.