Saturday, May 9, 2009

In Which There Is No U.S. Prison Tough Enough To Detain The Detainees

On Thursday's (May 7) show, TRMS did the very funny segment above on the ludicrous "Not in my backyard!" meme regarding the housing of Gitmo detainees in the U.S. You know, because those serial killers we have in prison are escaping ALL the time! How can we be expected to live with terrorists running through our streets?

What if you spent $27 million on a prison, and no prisoners came? According to an article in the May 18th issue of Time, that very scenario happened in the town of Hardin, Montana. Hardin built a state of the art, maximum security prison with the hopes that it would provide jobs for 100 of its local citizens. Due to politicking here and there, it is empty, and Hardin is going broke trying to pay for the prison. Gitmo detainees in Hardin. Seems a good fit, yes? Well, while some members of the town (there are 3600 of them) are open to the idea, Montana's Congressional members say, "no way!" Say it with me, "Not in my backyard!"

Former Michigan Governor John Engler (hate.) suggests that Michigan could make a billion dollars a year housing the dreaded Gitmo detainees in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Rep. Stupak who represents an Upper Peninsula district says he's open to the idea, but would want to see local support first. One of the prisons is a maximum security prison in Munising. I have been to Munising numerous times, and consider Alger County to be one of the prettiest places on earth. I have hiked it, I have biked it, I have driven ALL over that county, looking for waterfalls, and I never saw a prison. So I suspect having more prisoners in that prison will not impact the local scenery much. Locals are said to be cautiously interested. UPers are cautious about everything, so that's nothing new.

Let's be sensible. As Rachel says above, it's ridiculous to suppose we can't safely house criminals anywhere but Cuba.

Please to enjoy, these idyllic scenes from Alger County, Michigan: P.S. It really looks like this.

Munising Falls Trail
Wagner Falls

Pictured Rocks - Miner's Castle

ETA: "O Fortuna" from Orff's Carmina Burana, and played in the clip above about 82 times, has been scaring the shit out of me as long as I can remember. Whenever my father played it I would hide under my bed. Many years later, "friends" of mine tricked me into going to see a friend singing the cantata. Still scary after all these years. And sometimes I get it stuck in my head for days. I've even resorted to humming the horrific "Pina Colada Song" in attempts to dislodge it. Oh God. Sigh. "If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain..."


  1. Seems like a no-brainer: empty prison here, prisoners, what qualifies an "enemy combatant" to be more able to escape our maimum security prisons? The Bushie fear card they carry, I suppose!
    My Little Man has been doing his own version of "O Fortuna" ever since he saw it on Rachel's show...his little 9 year old falsetto is a bit of a crack-up, but I don't have the heart to tell him it's not scary when he does it! :)
    Great photos, CEP! Makes me wish I was in a profession where I could take time off in September!

  2. Gosh, those pictures are pretty.

    I'm baffled by the way some people talk about terrorists as if they've got superpowers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't even think most of them are known for their intelligence. They just hate people and are willing to blow themselves up. Take away their bombs and box-cutters and lock them in a room, and what can they do? Yell obscenities at the guards? God, anything but that!

  3. Thank God for you guys commenting! The number of hits keeps going up (over 2000!), but I feel alone in the wilderness sometimes. Hello? Anybody there?

    MP, I have been giggling for quite sometime imagining your Little Man, "Dum dum dum dum." Everything sounds scarier in Latin. I know, I majored in it.

    Yank, of course they will probably be yelling the obscenities in a language the guards don't understand. "Quel horrible!!"