HARVESTING CITIZENS: A View From Both sides by Chas. A
This topic can be viewed as a "loaded" question. What do you mean, Chas?
On the positive side, I can explain that my premise is that all societies actually "harvest" their youth by (eventually) turning them into productive citizens. We generally set a goal of 18 years old for those who which to enter the military or have specific skill set— such as athletics (Kevin Garnet, who entered the NBA directly from Farragut H.S. in Chicago) or music (Jennifer Hudson, 18 who turned pro after an appearance on Fox TV's "American Idol)" or entrepreneurship as more than several teen "wizards" have started Internet businesses and projects. Others have learned a family trade or business and slip in the back door on the way to V.P.
For others, the plan is to enroll in college and become a professional in the white collar world or at least attend a tech school and go into a needed field such as court stenographer or lab assistant. Unfortunately, that initial college degree is no guarantee of success; some recent graduates are tending bar but it's at least a job. Previously, it has been determined that college grads earn 2-3X as much over a lifetime that those with a diploma from a regular high school. Exeter Acad. Might be a different story.
The remainder of youths can be in jeopardy as few will "hang on" to their original jobs (if any) to become a manager at McDonalds. 1 understand that the Manager position at K-Mart is a real cut-throat job as they are usually "cut loose" after 7 years unless they have moved up to Dist. Mgr. Some sharp high school graduates can take the postal service exam or apply to the police or fire academy or enter training to become a prison guard on their 18lh birthday. High school one day and Department of Corrections the next. One other basis requirement might be: no PEL convictions. A simple domestic abuse conviction can also deter a police candidate by denying the right to carry a gun.
On the negative side, the very same dialogue from the previous paragraph may entail the harvesting of
"customers," more often than not: young men "of color" and those with poor job skills. You can make some good money running a meth lab or dealing drugs but of course—it's not legal. At one point in the last decade Wisconsin had more Black men of college age in prison than enrolled in college. Approximately one in three Black men will find themselves incarcerated at one point in their lives. A cynic would say that these "citizens" are being harvested by society as "customers" for the prison- industrial complex which has gained ascendancy during the past 20 years in the U.S.
Of course this scheme can be a salvation to any rural area of the state which needs to augment the job (and tax) base in (correctly forecasted) tough economic times. After all, if three kids grow up on a farm, two of them will probably have to look else¬where for employment. It is no coincidence that prisons have been built in New Lisbon, Redgranite, Boscobel, Prairie du Chien, Union Grove, and Mauston. Yes, Mauston! After original opposition by some, most residents might now agree that the facility there (SRSTC) has been an economic boom. The landfill and water treatment situation might be another story.
This last example is the inevitable story of the extension of the incarceration of (former) citizens—many incarcerated since their youth—under the pretext of "dangerousness," a.k.a. civil commitment Ch. 980—right "smack dab" in the midst of the criminal code. Who did they (the legislators) think they were fooling?
So, not everyone can be instantly successful at 18 like Lebron James or Michael J. Fox but for many inner city kids, the choice is only one or the other— all or nothing. The "Nothing" means many years in prison or short terms and repeat incarcerations—as these people are also harvested—as clients of the state and non-contributors to society. The more that we encourage non¬productive "citizens," the closer we come to the breakdown of society.
PINK RIBBONS SAVE LIVES
by Chas. A
On the first Sunday in October, all the NFL foot¬ball teams joined to bring awareness to breast cancer treatment and prevention by wearing pink on their uniforms, helmets, shoes, and wherever possible. Every member of every team was showing solidarity with their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and girlfriends—many in danger—through genetics—but other victims have been found with Vitamin D defi¬ciency. Breast cancer is the #1 killer of females in the U.S. Unlike prostate cancer in men which usually strikes much later in life, breast cancer can strike at much younger ages and is a dire threat to the female population.
By now, everyone knows that the best prevention is self-inspection and care. Mammograms have been a controversial topic but have been effective in some regards.
How to prevent and control? If the malignancy is spotted early, the protocol is routine with chemo and radiation treatment. Cancer Treatment Specialists of America have founded a complete industry to address this problem.
Drug treatment is equally controversial. How can we establish effective drugs which will not bankrupt the health care system or insurance companies? The solicitation of cancer research donations is meant to help formulate a cure and various government and university researchers have taken up the cause. Conversely, the major drug companies are motivated to spend millions on this cause—in the hope of major
profits upon success.
Investor-driven schemes may or may not be the most effective. The market place may prove to be the best method but so far—no one has found a "miracle cure."
Government agencies routinely award major grants to university researchers in hope that their expertise— not profit driven—will prevail. There have been false starts and false hope but these scientists are less likely to issue false reports or minimize the side effect of such treatment.
In any case, the threat continues. In 2002-06 half the women diagnosed were less than 61 years of age. White women have a higher incidence than Blacks from age 45. The state of Hawaii has the highest rate. In 2009, an estimated 192,000 new cases of invasive cancer were expected—as well as 62,000 cases of in situ breast cancer. Increased diagnosis occurred after 1980 because of more prevalent use of mammography which is very effective in spotting DC1S (ductal carcinogen in situ), 80% of such. These cancers are not easily determined by self-examination.
A more radical approach to the problem (for those deemed at high risk) would be partial or complete mastectomy but that is not easy for me to contemplate as a male writer. The best care gives you the best chance to survive. Look at the statistics of the rich and famous. Elizabeth Glazer left a husband (Starsky & Hutch) and a young son. He has been spotted in several on-screen continuations of his parents' careers. Many others have survived but we don't hear about all the wives and grandmothers who have succumbed unless we have personal involvement. God bless them all and keep them safe in eternity.