In For A Penny: Debtors’ Prison In The USA

Debtors; Prison – Anywhere, USA

“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”

– Mahatma Ghandi
 
“The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.”
– James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr.

 

I had a different post in mind for this week … until I read about the following news item that just made me sick:

Lisa Lindsay, a breast cancer survivor in Illinois, was arrested for a disputed $280 medical bill, which in fact she was told she did not have to pay. Nevertheless, the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and the next thing she knew, local State Troopers bombarded her home and hauled her off to jail in handcuffs. (Insert painful pregnant pause here) Yes, apparently in the United States of America – the home of the co-called ‘free’, debtors’ prisons, previously abolished in the 1830’s, are making a comeback.

You read this news item (links below) and you get the idea that there has to be more to this story. You get the feeling that the thousands of dollars that went into the arrest of this poor breast cancer survivor, over a billing error, just doesn’t make sense. But it’s true.

Folks, something is very wrong in the United States of America. Something that defies all logic and what might be referred to as ‘humanity’. Something that should be an insult to all … but it’s not. Instead, its ‘business’ as usual. It seems the game of ‘life’ is really just a game of ‘Monopoly’ to the government and Big Business. No money? Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go …

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Not Born On The Fourth Of July

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
– Francis Scott Key, The Star Spangled Spammer
Today is Independence Day for the United States of America. It’s also two days before my birthday. I thought I’d just mention that. Yes, I could have been a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the 4th of July. My mom had gone into the hospital on the day with contractions. I once asked her about being in labor on the holiday, but she just claims she remember being sick with nausea, and throwing up while a trailer for the film, ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’, was being shown on TV.
Meanwhile, a little rambunctious bouncing baby boy, yet to be born, bided his time and stayed put, opting to be fashionably late. Mutiny on Bounty, indeed! Actually, this wasn’t my mom’s first brush with near-holiday births; years before, my sister was born on December 30th, just missing out on a New Years birth by oh so little. So near misses was pretty much par for the course for our mother, as was our penchant to screw with her timing.