Tuesday, January 11, 2005

fish, prisons and cars

I don't eat fish because the world's oceans are being depleted in an uncontrolled, underregulated manner. I also don't wish to feel like an invader. Every year, the fishermen's nets must go deeper to bring in their catch, the shallower depths being depleted. The waters off the North African coast are emptied of fish by European boats, forcing the local landdwellars inland to nourish themselves, feeding on all sorts of exotic land creatures, threatening yet another ecosystem.

A diet of fruit, vegetables and grains lends itself much more easily to a managed replenshing ecosystem. 12 kilos of grain produce 1 kilo of beef. Better to eat a kilos of grain.

Prisons in general don't do a lick of good beyond getting dangerous people off the streets. They do little to reform and provide little in the way of education to their inhabitants. Take for example the food. Instead of feeding prisoners cheap processed sustenance and punishing them for preparing their own food, why not give them the chance to prepare their own food in community kitchens? They could learn new recipes and ways of preparing low-cost vegetables and grains in such manner as to make their lives more interesting and rewarding while actually lowering the cost of feeding them. And why not pro-actively give prisoners the opportunity to start their own businesses while behind bars. They could, for example, learn to make handmade leathergoods and porcelain and a whole range of price-fetching handicrafts. Painting and pottery could also be encouraged as business propositions. Naturally, these would be offered as incentives to be on one's best behavior.

The basic notion that prisons should be halls of punishment does not make things better and in fact eats up tax money. Instead, make them places where inhabitants can actually become productive citizens without even leaving the walls.

Another idea are prison sports leagues.

Cars are the single greatest waste of space, greatest polluters and most brutal killers and mamers on earth. If only a fraction of the money spent on automobiles were spent on public transportation, the world would be a much more beautiful, healthier place. I don't drive and don't encourage others to do so.


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