Why America Leads the World at Putting People in Cages

As Attorney General Eric Holder observed last summer, "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason." A new report from the National Research Council (NRC) analyzes the causes and consequences of the "historically unprecedented and internationally unique" expansion in the U.S. prison population since the early 1970s. That punitive binge left us with 2.2 million Americans behind bars and an incarceration rate "5 to 10 times higher than the rates in Western Europe and other democracies." In 2012, the report notes, "close to 25 percent of the world's prisoners were held in America's prisons, although the United States accounts for about 5 percent of the world's population."

How did that happen? In brief, American voters and politicians freaked out about crime, demanding ever tougher policies that increased the likelihood and length of incarceration. The report highlights three policies in particular: mandatory minimum sentences, "truth in sentencing" laws that limited or abolished parole, and "three strikes" laws imposing long terms (including life sentences) on repeat offenders. Stepped-up enforcement of drug prohibition magnified the impact of all those policies.

Contrary to what you might think, there is no clear relationship between the intensity of this response and the crime rates that ostensibly provoked it. "Over the four decades when incarceration rates steadily rose," the NRC report says, "U.S. crime rates showed no obvious trend: the rate of violent crime rose, then fell, rose again, then declined sharply." While most studies of the question find that all this imprisonment had some impact on crime through deterrence and incapacitation, the report says, the magnitude of the effect is "highly uncertain." In any event, the authors conclude, long prison terms are not a cost-effective way of preventing crime, given research showing that recidivism falls sharply as convicts age and that the likelihood of apprehension is more important in deterrence than the severity of the punishment. Furthermore, locking up the wrong people—in particular, nonviolent drug offenders—accomplishes nothing in terms of preventing predatory crime.

The crime-reducing effects of incarceration, of course, have to be weighed against the costs, not just in tax dollars but in lost liberty, missed earnings, abandoned families, weakened communities, alienation, and permanently impaired employment prospects. The authors emphasize that such costs are borne disproportionately by poor people with little education, blacks and Hispanics in particular. "We believe that the policies leading to high incarceration rates are not serving the country well," they conclude. "We are concerned that the United States has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits. Indeed, we believe that the high rates of incarceration themselves constitute a source of injustice and, possibly, social harm."

For Reason readers, who might use somewhat stronger language to describe this situation, the thought that our government too readily locks people in cages and keeps them there too long is not exactly novel. But the 464-page NRC report, which is available for free online (or for $75 as a paperback!), gathers together a wealth of detail about the costs and benefits of incarceration that can be used to win over anyone who still thinks building more prisons is a sound investment in public safety.

The report is well timed (I hope) to influence the current congressional debate over sentencing reform. So far, with the exception of the 2010 law that reduced federal crack sentences, state legislators have taken the lead in this area. "In recent years," the NRC report notes, "the federal prison system has continued to expand, while the state incarceration rate has declined. Between 2006 and 2011, more than half the states reduced their prison populations, and in 10 states the number of people incarcerated fell by 10 percent or more."  

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  • Hyperion||

    Because we're the originator and sole reason for the perpetuation of the WOD?

    I had an interesting conversation today at work. We were talking politics, not an every day thing. A guy that I agree with about almost everything, brought up the point that 'they', whoever they are, are now trying to make smoking pot legal. I asked the first time, 'and what's wrong with that?'. No response. The 2nd time, I said, 'which should have never been illegal in the first place'. Again, no response. I was looking for a good fight, with an opportunity to educate, but didn't get it this time. BTW, the guy is a Republican, but has a very libertarian stance on almost every issue I have ever discussed with him.

    Why are people, who are otherwise libertarian leaning, so fucking ignorant about drugs?

  • SusanM||

    Decades of "Drugz r bad, mkay?" cultural propaganda?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Quite literally this. The powers that be have been lying through their teeth for DECADES!

  • SusanM||

    Dunno if you're being facetious but yeah. From "Reefer Madness" on down to last night's Law & Order drug use has always been tied to the least conservative elements possible - jazz musicians, hippies, rockers, rappers and other undesirables.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yeah, but there's been lots of 'guns r bad' propaganda, too. The population Hyperion is talking about isn't quite as likely to be led around the nose by the media as it is to have its own views on why drugs r bad.

    For that matter, I doubt that most propagandists are as effective at inculcating their views as the general public believes; their best trick tends to be to draw focus away from the debate in subtle ways, not to have their side win it.

  • Hyperion||

    The population Hyperion is talking about isn't quite as likely to be led around the nose by the media as it is to have its own views on why drugs r bad.

    I assume the reason, is that he doesn't, or has never taken drugs, and has never even thought about the issue. Instead, he is getting this shit opinion from some GOP talking head, like Hannity.

    I know that he drinks, have had beers with him before. I'm not letting this go.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah, but there's been lots of 'guns r bad' propaganda, too. The population Hyperion is talking about isn't quite as likely to be led around the nose by the media as it is to have its own views on why drugs r bad.

    Eh I'd say their real life experience of guns counters the programming. But they don't have any counter programming for drugs. Unfortunate it's not easy to educate them like it is with a lot of anti gunners.

  • Redmanfms||

    Eh I'd say their real life experience of guns counters the programming. But they don't have any counter programming for drugs. Unfortunate it's not easy to educate them like it is with a lot of anti gunners.

    Nearly everyone I know knows somebody who has "ruined their life with drugs." The same can be said for alcohol, but the downward descent is frequently much more rapid with drugs than it is with alcohol, the "rock bottom" for drugs can also seemingly be more dramatic.

    There is a lot of propaganda about drugs, but people have enough anecdotal experience with seeing real people they know go to shit that the propaganda is much more believable.

    And really the only reason alcohol isn't compared on the same plane as other intoxicants is because of cultural penetration.

  • Robert||

    It's because of positive feedback between law & culture war. Certain activities being illegal pushes them into the counter-culture, and the existence of the counter-culture is what keeps them illegal.

  • Acosmist||

    They don't do drugs, so they really have no personal stake in it. People who do are weird, shiftless, probably lazy welfare mooches so fuck them. I think that is the thinking.

    Most people like you describe would NOT be the "BUT THE CHILDREN!!!" about the issue, but rather the way I described. It's hard for them to care because drugs are so far outside what they even understand.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    They don't do drugs, so they really have no personal stake in it.

    Why do people who bring the drug issue up with me assume I'm a user for advocating legalization? I don't do drugs. I did very little pot in college. My doctor fusses at me for not taking the Vicodin he prescribed. I've never been much of a drinker either.

  • Acosmist||

    If I were entirely honest with my parents about my drug legalization views, I would probably have to say "but I don't do them" as a precaution because that assumption would be made. Though I have openly said pot should be legal in my dad's presence.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    U R kinda boring, aren't you? ;-)

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    R U a teenager?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Only mentally.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    So am I. There's no cure.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    They don't do drugs, so they really have no personal stake in it. People who do are weird, shiftless, probably lazy welfare mooches so fuck them. I think that is the thinking.

    Most people like you describe would NOT be the "BUT THE CHILDREN!!!" about the issue, but rather the way I described. It's hard for them to care because drugs are so far outside what they even understand.

    This.

    Add to that the probability that he went home and had a drink, and this kind of thinking is doubly annoying. What people like this simply don't get is that most pot smokers (at least that I know) smoke pot in very similar ways that people drink. They're not high all day, but have a joint or two at night, just as many people have a beer after work.

  • Hyperion||

    Once again, proving the superiority of libertarians on civil rights, since we actually care about other peoples rights, even when it does not affect us personally.

    Only caring about our own rights have contributed to many cases of 'when they came for me', throughout all of history.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    Why are people, who are otherwise libertarian leaning, so fucking ignorant about drugs?

    A good friend who died a few years ago was very reasonable on political issues except the evils of drugs, and the virtues of police and public schools. On those three issues, he was completely irrational. No evidence could affect him, other than to make him angry.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Why are people, who are otherwise libertarian leaning, so fucking ignorant about drugs?


    Libertarianism as an ideology is attractive to people who are highly educated, fairly intelligent and self-motivated, and non-conformist. A fuck-ton of these people use drugs (doctors and math folks especially, IME), but a lot of people of that bent came by it the old-fashioned way: by being raised in an environment where failure was not accepted and where one was expected to learn from and respond to their failures. A big part of that in American culture is about not succumbing to vices that are socially destructive. Lots of people who are against drugs are foolishly confusing the damage done by *drugs* (which does exist, but which can also be managed), with the damage done by camping out in various drug subcultures and the damage of drug criminalization. The latter is a good thing to avoid; the former, something to be evaluated in the same manner as is done with alcohol.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The conflation of the harm done by drug use and the harm done by prohibition is one of the biggest factors in this kind of thinking. Most peo;le see drugs as positive correlated with violence, when it's the prohibition that not only sets the stage for violence, but actively encourages it. The key is arguing in a way that separates the two as mutually exclusive. There's more violence inflicted in a single drug raid than in decades worth of drug use.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The 'right people' (like Hannity) are telling them the 'facts' so they believe it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Because we're the originator and sole reason for the perpetuation of the WOD?

    I thought this was a joke at first. Anyone with any knowledge of Asian drug policy knows that America is hardly the sole reason the WOD is going on.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I think of lot of them are closet statists as far as drugs go because they have never done them and have no personal experience, not even close friends who do drugs. They have subconsciously picked up the Wo(S)D theme and are secretly afraid that if drugs were easily available, they might be tempted to try them and become addicted. Thus they are relieved that drugs remain illegal, but don't dare say so.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    This ain't the Links After Dark!!!!

  • Hyperion||

    Late Nite Links!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That too.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I shouldn't have posted that. It just increased the comment count, and people are going to think this is the late night links.

  • Pro Libertate||

    China has far more than we do, surely. Appalled with our system, but we at least appear to be reporting actual prison figures.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I might need a new liver one day. Leave China alone.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fair enough.

  • ||

    You only really need part of a liver.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    In 2012, the report notes, "close to 25 percent of the world's prisoners were held in America's prisons, although the United States accounts for about 5 percent of the world's population."

    How did that happen?


    This is actually a fairly complex subject to treat, as the explanation is multifaceted. I do believe that both the right and the left fail to take into account all of these reasons (good and bad).

    Relative to other types of punishment, imprisonment is relatively mild. Indeed, that is one reason that jails in the Middle East tend to have a much higher female population than is the case in Western countries: in those countries, this punishment is considered more mild than the fare reserved for male criminals.

    In practice, this means that countries with a more, ah, elastic standard of 'cruel and unusual' resort to using more methods than the one-size-fits-all incarceration method preferred in the West. These countries are also less likely to provide information on their justice systems (e.g., China).

    On the liberal end of the scale, the US tends to take its legal system more seriously than is the case in Europe, especially Southern Europe. This is a very bad thing in the case of bad laws (like drug laws), but a good thing in the case of good laws (like property laws or laws against violence). These two approaches consequently tend to fail in different ways, and conservatives and liberals end up talking past one another wrt these approaches.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Could we start distinguishing in these statistics among recidivist violent felons, first-time violent offenders, and drug-war casualties? How much of the expanded prison population is due to each category?

    The low rates of imprisonment in Western Europe are because (so far as I know) they have short sentences toward *all* crimes, including violent felonies up to murder. I can't find it now, but I read a European author who said the U.S. has less violent crime because violent people get longer sentences. He was just making a sociological observation, not suggesting that Europe emulate the American redneck cowboys.

    I would be pretty pissed if some recidivist violent felon got out of prison and killed me, because lengthy prison sentences are bad, mmkay?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Right, exactly. Indeed, one of the stronger utilitarian arguments for drug legalization is the idiocy of releasing violent felons in order to incarcerate more drug users. I don't think we want to say that, hey, the violent murderer should get 5-10 as a necessary consequence of ending the drug war.

  • Alan||

    Indeed, though in the case of murder one has to look at the circumstances. Many are crimes of passion (which tend to decrease with age)or otherwise a one-off. When deciding who to give long prison sentences to, we should really be looking at long-term tendencies of violence or disregard for the persons or property of others. These are the folks who are dangerous, because they have no internal reason for not committing further crimes - and in the cases of the dumb ones, they know no other way to make a living. That is why thieves have higher recidivism rates than murderers - and it is thieves and murderers (especially those convicted of more than one crime) that we should be considering for long prison sentences.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm glad you brought this up. America imprisons far too many people I would not want to change to the situation in Britain or much of Western Europe, which is really pretty sketch. More likely to get punished for breaking hate speech laws than say rioting. Granted, I do not know how much of that is lax enforcement and sentencing or welfarism or hoplophobia.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Furthermore, locking up the wrong people—in particular, nonviolent drug offenders—accomplishes nothing in terms of preventing predatory crime.

    In fact, it does the exact opposite. Beintg locked up with real criminals, you have a tendency to "learn the trade". Then, when they let you out, you have a felony conviction, and can't get a real job, and in many cases, can't get a decent apartment. So, you have little choice but to turn to crime.

    Also, prisons create lots of good paying union jobs for the COs. Not to mention the crony contractors that build the prisons. Face it. Prisons are great job creators.

  • Mr Whipple||

    And don't forget about the prosecutors, judges, defense attornewys, legal aids, court clerks, etc, etc, etc.

    Lots and lots of good jerbs.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Because keeping all the black folks in prison makes all the white folks feel safer. Oh I wasn't supposed to mention the acismra was I?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yeah, which is also why America is more capitalist-friendly than enlightened Western Europe: it just loves to feel some black face underneath its heel, unlike those centers of tolerance in Western Europe. In fact, all policies -- from gun control to abortion -- currently implemented by the US which are different from Western Europe arise from a deep-seated hatred of the black race and a desire to end it. It's so simple, it must be true. Surely there's nothing else which could account for this, and surely the fact that this policy coincides with recent history (1970s onwards) indicates a greater level of racism than was experienced even during the Jim Crow era. Goddamn those racist POS Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus, who made possible all of that purely racist legislation.

    Oh, not really what you were going for, was it.

  • Irish||

    Surely there's nothing else which could account for this, and surely the fact that this policy coincides with recent history (1970s onwards) indicates a greater level of racism than was experienced even during the Jim Crow era.

    IT, open your eyes, man. Don't you see that this policy was implemented in the '70s because nefarious white people were trying to find a replacement for Jim Crow?

    We couldn't blatantly bar black people from voting anymore, so we implemented the War on Drugs in order to put the darkies in prison.

    Of course, I wouldn't expect them to teach you this in America's KKKorporate run public skkkhools.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If you read the report, (which you can because the whole book is free on the Internet) there is a whole chapter on how race and the politics surrounding it are "the underlying causes of rising incarceration".

    Jus' sayin'

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    race and the politics surrounding it are "the underlying causes of rising incarceration"


    Even if true, this is a different claim than the one made above (which lays all the blame on white racists). I'll definitely agree that racial politics (on both sides) played a hand in the change in criminal justice policy; I wouldn't agree that it is fundamentally *the* reason else it would have diminished as an issue as time went on (and racism became less of a factor in the country). The 90s saw a great change in criminal justice at all levels of government (from Clinton's initiative down to Guiliani's governance); this same period saw polls showing a plurality of R primary voters in the South claim Colin Powell as their first choice for the R Presidential nominee in 1996.

    There is not a whole lot of explicit correlation between criminal justice and perceived white racism against blacks (however one would even measure such a thing concretely).

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I mean, I guess you could say that people angry at racist murderers getting let off by Southern juries during Jim Crow are included in that claim, but it really doesn't allow much room for finger-wagging at middle-class America for being a bunch of secret racists or whatever.

    (BTW, I have the same opinion of idiots who seem to think that Latin Americans are consumed by 'Viva La Raza' fervor or who think that all blacks have an unabated hatred of 'whitey'.)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'll definitely agree that racial politics (on both sides) played a hand in the change in criminal justice policy

    Check out pp.118-119.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Meanwhile Bonus Hockey!

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    I haven't liked trusting international statistics since I found out how differently crimes are viewed. When I was in Britain, all armed bank robberies were considered terrorism. Japan considered a son killing himself and the whole family of five four murders and a suicide, but if the father did it, it was five suicides.

  • Jordan||

    Crimes aren't actually counted as crimes in Britain until someone is convicted. So if they find a corpse riddled with bullet holes and never find the killer, that murder never makes the stats.

  • Redmanfms||

    Home invasion robberies are counted as burglaries.

    They do some odd stuff in Europe (especially Britain) that makes their overall violent crime rates appear much lower than they really are. Which is kind of sad, considering that even with the accounting tricks most of the nations in Western Europe have higher violent crime rates than the US.

    Britain's crime accounting would likely also explain why they have a lower murder rate on paper. When I worked over there I swear there was reporting of a stabbing/beating murder every day, and a shooting murder at least once a week.

  • Redmanfms||

    When I worked over there I swear there was reporting of a stabbing/beating murder every day, and a shooting murder at least once a week.

    And that was just regionally in the Southampton area, not all of Britain.

    Britain doesn't have a version of the UCR either, different police agencies in Britain have different crime tracking methodologies. I believe the Home Office just compiles what they are given and doesn't really attempt to fisk what constitutes a robbery, assault, etc in a consistent and uniform manner.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    One factor that is overlooked is the lobbying by various law enforcement unions (police and corrections) which actively support more criminal code and higher sentencing. So, our betters, not wanting to get the unions in a tizzy, give it to them.

    Law enforcement has become a jobs program, and you can't have piles of prison guards and overblown police registers if there are no criminals to catch, and so our government continues apace with making bad law in an effort to appease these very large lobbies.

  • Hyperion||

    What more appeasement, at this point, do they need? Everything is already illegal. Just put everyone in prison, who's not an elected official or one of their cronies.

    Look, I just solved the minimum wage and jerbz problems in one move.

  • Jordan||

    OT: Can't beat this May Day tribute:

    It is the First of May, a date traditionally associated with Marxism. Let us therefore pause today to remember that at least 100 million people were killed by Marxist governments in the 20th century, a number that dwarfs the predations of every other organized movement in human history.
  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Wow, one of the commenters reminds me of me!

  • Jordan||

    I LOLed.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I'd rather pause to think of all the productive work that goes on *without* the guiding hand of Father Government or the dialectic of an inbred German lunatic.

    I'd rather not remember socialism for its great successes in killing those they don't like.

  • Hyperion||

    at least 100 million people were killed by Marxist governments in the 20th century

    The right people were not in charge, yet. This time we can get the death toll down to half that, and still achieve utopia.

  • Irish||

    Let us therefore pause today to remember that at least 100 million people were killed by Marxist governments in the 20th century, a number that dwarfs the predations of every other organized movement in human history.

    KULAK LIES!

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I find it depressing how many progs will, rather than sensibly concede that communism is evil, will instead sputter moral equivalencies between "capitalism" (ie every non-socialist country) and communism.

    Because the Irish Potato Famine, World War I, and the Pinochet regime proves that capitalism is just as evil and we should thus follow the progressives down their Third Way toward socialism.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    the Irish Potato Famine, World War I, and the Pinochet regime proves that capitalism is just as evil


    Don't forget the "Late Victorian Holocausts" in British capitalist India, a meme on the left that just won't die.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Care to elaborate?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's the name of a book by Mike Davis positing that all of the famines in British India can be laid at the feet of liberal capitalism both in terms of intent and outcome (thus giving the hard left its own version of the Great Famine to blame liberals for). Particular emphasis is placed on the Great Famine of 1876.

  • Jordan||

    You know, it's funny* how progressives like to (rightly) point out our insane incarceration rate, and yet they turn right around and lobby for every voluntary trade under the sun to be made illegal.

    * not actually funny

  • Irish||

    You know, it's funny* how progressives like to (rightly) point out our insane incarceration rate, and yet they turn right around and lobby for every voluntary trade under the sun to be made illegal.

    It's also funny how progressives complain about black people going to jail for America's drug laws, but then lobby for tough gun laws that would end up sending those same black people to prison.*

    *Also not actually funny

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    lol Bruins

  • Dweebston||

    You people are the worst sort. I invest myself in one P.M. links/Indpendents-substitute, and you lot choose another to frequent. And now I'm too drunk and/or tired to transition.

    THANKS, GUYS.

  • Virginian||

    Up your game. I have two tabs and the Reasonable extension.

  • Dweebston||

    I refuse.

    There's this bullshit show Vikings on. And a lot of Jameson to go before I gotta cork it.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Somebody mentioned Grosse Point Blank the other day, and it inspired me to re-watch it. Classic.

  • Dweebston||

    Cusack?! After Hot Tub Time Machine, I mean... how could he ever top himself?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I've met him a couple of times. Clueless derp. But I like the neurotic characters he plays.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The best of Raw Story: Minimum Wage edition:

    Friend of Mr. Dobbs • 7 hours ago
    The free-market system advantages the wealthy, the CEO's, investors, and the stock holders, it does nothing for the minimum wage worker.

    If you are running a business do you make money by paying your employees more. Of course not.

    Do you make money by hiring more workers, simply, no.

    The way a company makes money is by having the least amount of workers doing as much work as possible for as little as possible.

    Republican's "Free-market." and "Trickle down economics" are what has this country to the point where even the middle class can barely make it these days, while a small portion of the wealthy rake in more than they know what to do with.

    Amazing how they have absolutely no idea how a business actually works and yet are still convinced they know everything about how the economy works.

    Bonus derp:


    Bob Dinitto • 3 hours ago
    I have an idea. Instead of abolishing the minimum wage, let's abolish capitalism.
  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Bob Dinitto is why I have guns. And I doubt he has any.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The best of Raw Story: Minimum Wage edition:

    Friend of Mr. Dobbs • 7 hours ago
    The free-market system advantages the wealthy, the CEO's, investors, and the stock holders, it does nothing for the minimum wage worker.

    If you are running a business do you make money by paying your employees more. Of course not.

    Do you make money by hiring more workers, simply, no.

    The way a company makes money is by having the least amount of workers doing as much work as possible for as little as possible.

    Republican's "Free-market." and "Trickle down economics" are what has this country to the point where even the middle class can barely make it these days, while a small portion of the wealthy rake in more than they know what to do with.

    Amazing how they have absolutely no idea how a business actually works and yet are still convinced they know everything about how the economy works.

    Bonus derp:


    Bob Dinitto • 3 hours ago
    I have an idea. Instead of abolishing the minimum wage, let's abolish capitalism.
  • Sevo||

    "The way a company makes money is by having the least amount of workers doing as much work as possible for as little as possible."

    So my question to the lefty asshole who wrote this is simple:
    Do you, when you go into a store, choose a product and then pay, oh, 10-20% higher than the price marked on that product?
    If not, why not?

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Born in Texas, he found himself riding the rails as a hobo in Depression-era America. At the outbreak of war, having got into a fight with US Nazis, he crossed the border into Canada and enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air force. He was eventually sent to Britain where he flew Spitfires over occupied France. Shot down in 1942 he was arrested by the Gestapo and incarcerated in the Stalag Luft III POW camp. There he proved one of the most ingenious escape organisers but was always caught. He was in solitary confinement when the so-called Great Escape took place. It probably saved his life as many of the escapees were shot on Hitler's orders. After the war he gained British citizenship and joined the BBC where he worked with Tony Benn. He became a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

  • Sevo||

    "He became a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain."

    Libertarians can feel proud!:
    "The [Communist Party of Great Britain] membership peaked during 1943, reaching around 60,000"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....at_Britain

  • lap83||

    OT: Top Gear pays tribute to Ayrton Senna, 20 years after his death

    (btw, Senna is on Netflix)

    http://www.topgear.com/uk/phot.....2014-05-01

  • MWG||

    An awesome documentary even if, like me, you couldn't give two shits about Formula 1.

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    Dinner out, hoops on the TV at the restaurant with the sound off. I don't normally watch so I'm surprised.
    They have replay for fouls?!
    Is there an approved acting instructor to feign the harm? One to coach the 'fouler' to pull the arm back in time if the camera it over the right shoulder?
    What do NBA tickets cost compared to a good production of, say The Grand Hotel? If I want theater, I might as well sit through an ALW show.

  • Dweebston||

    You're sure you can't just enjoy it as a game between professional adults? Is all the meta-game really necessary? Or is that the entire point?

  • Sevo||

    Dweebston|5.1.14 @ 11:55PM|#
    "You're sure you can't just enjoy it as a game between professional adults?"

    I remember the one and (AFIK) the only time "BAD ACTING" was flagged on an NFL kicker. It was called on Ray Wershing of the 9ers and it was so humorous the NFL seemingly told the refs never to call it again; refs don't make good theater critics.
    I'd call that "adult". Repeating it, not so much.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I care more about what you had for dinner.

  • Sevo||

    It was Perry's on the Embarcadero because of the patio seating overlooking the bay. Warm night.
    I had the fried chicken (which can be greasy, but not tonight). Wife had fin-fish special (I think it was tuna), also good.
    That chicken good? And how did you find a 3# bird? The local Costco never seems to have one under 5#.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Yeah, I had leftovers tonight. I think the 3 lbs is weight after cooking, which seems like a lot to me. I shredded the breast and tossed it in Mojo Criollo. Only 2 more lbs to go.

    I think I should probably fast until the West Coast BBQ classic. I plan on putting on at least 10 lbs.

  • Agammamon||

    So, I just caught something on tv, some show following a couple of Maricopa county sheriffs around.

    One stop they made because the vehicle owner had a suspended license - no insurance. In the process of impounding the vehicle they find a cd case with, like, a hundred dollars of spice in it. I'm thinking that maybe the guy could cut back on the spice and then be able to afford some cheap fly-by-night insurance that at least pretends to cover the insurance requirements. But that's just me being a responsible person.

    And I didn't know that spice was illegal in Arizona again.

  • Hawk Spitui||

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    WHAT IS HAPPENING

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

  • Agammamon||

    Wait..so he assaulted customers and employees and the store's response was to escort him out? How about calling police?

    Sigh, maybe because the guy didn't actually hurt anyone.

    And *misdemeanor sexual assault*? Really, is that what this country has come to?

  • ||

    Ultimate Spoiler!!

    Meera Reed is twin sister of Jon Snow and daughter of Howland Reed and Lyanna Stark.

    Lyanna Stark is a Warg and used her powers to control Rhaegar to spur Robert to join Ned in avenging the murder of his Brother and Father.

    Ned Stark is also a Warg and is why all his children are all Wargs

    Howland Reed taught Lyanna and Ned about their powers and used his own powers to posses Arthur Dayne to kill all the men at the Tower of Joy.

    Lyanna's soul lived (and died) in the Dire Wolf mother of all the cubs that the Stark children have.

  • Pulseguy||

    I don't mean to be critical about the US. I love the US and think it has added immeasurably to the world since its inception.

    I'm a Canadian, by the way.

    However, I have never ever met anyone in the world whom I would describe as a 'law and order' type, who was not American. I've never met policemen anywhere else who had bought into the 'its the law!!!' type of thinking as much as I have met average every day Americans.

    I think that is one reason. For some reason, the land of the free fights against it, chafes against it, constantly. Canadians demand less freedom, but I've never met a law and order type of Canadian. I've met a ton of smug ones who look down on everyone for not living and thinking in 'the correct' way. But, no one wants to toss everyone in jail either.

  • Alan||

    When this subject comes up, it is always good to have a reminder of what now appears to have been the primary cause for the crime wave - as a reminder, among other things, that every theory left, right, center, and other, was wrong:

    http://www.motherjones.com/env.....k-gasoline

  • Bob Mitchell||

    For Gods sake don't say it! They've gotten something right.

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