Ron LeFlore (update)

May 8, 2007

Current events rarely impinge on the constant whining sound of the musty squandered past here on Cardboard Gods, but I thought I should pass along the news that the recently featured Ron LeFlore is headed back behind bars.

My first thought on hearing this, I have to admit, was “Hm, what kind of comic material can I generate?” I’m not alone, I guess: I learned the news about LeFlore from a link on Baseball Think Factory, where the accompanying conversation was an exchange of one-liners (my favorite, from a poster named Wilson AlphaMeat, was “Maybe he’ll be discovered again.”). To salve my conscience over this, I am also providing a link to “The American Prison Nightmare,” a New York Review of Books article surveying some recent books that shed disturbing new light on our failing prison system. According to the article, things don’t look too good for Ron LeFlore:


[Confronting Confinement: A Report of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons] tells us that America’s prisons are dangerously overcrowded, unnecessarily violent, excessively reliant on physical segregation, breeding grounds of infectious disease, lacking in meaningful programs for inmates, and staffed by underpaid and undertrained guards in a culture that promotes abuse. What is more, prisoners’ ability to legally challenge their living conditions has been curtailed by a congressional roadblock called the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, which has cut in half the number of inmates filing civil rights complaints.

And things don’t look too good for any of us, really, the article pointing out that the failing prison system hurts the entire society:

Bruce Western makes a crucial point at the start of his important book, Punishment and Inequality in America: “If prisons affected no one except the criminals on the inside, they would matter less.” But with more than two million Americans behind bars, the impact of mass incarceration is impossible to contain. Their fate affects the taxpayers who support them, the guards who guard them, the families they leave behind, and the communities to which they return. Not even the war in Iraq escapes the reach of prison culture; Sergeant Charles Graner, the villain of Abu Ghraib, worked as a Pennsylvania prison guard.


  1. 1.  As BTF’s Wilson AlphaMeat, I’m adding this to my “brush with greatness” list. It’s ahead of the time Dan Quayle mispronounced my last name (Riley) but behind the time Glenn Robinson tried to cheat off me during the SATs and was then ineligible his freshman year.

  2. 2.  Dang, you couldn’t help the Big Dog out a little, Riloy, er, Relay, er, whatever your difficult-to-pronounce name is?

  3. 3.  The addition of the short Google ads creates a nicely haiku-like counterpoint to these posts.

    The ads change with every viewing, adding their impermanent grace note to the roll of careers and jobs long past chronicled here.

    Reduce/Avoid Prison Time
    Federal & State Prison Mitigation Specialists. Reduce Prison Time

    The Premier Prison Manual
    “From an insider, this manual has all the answers” Robert Shapiro

    This batch reads as if they were meant for Ron himself. Or for us? Ask not for whom the ad runs . . . just don’t get caught with the goods on you.

  4. 4.  I’ve studiously ignored the ads for the most part, but you’re right, they can sometimes add an interesting tint, like how pollution adds color to a sunset. Just now the ad was for “fake beards,” which I have to guess is some randomly-generated attachment to the “Mustache Ride” miniseries of a few weeks ago.

  5. 5.  I would have liked to help Glenn, but there were something like six different versions of the test distributed throughout the room. I could tell that he had a different one, but I don’t think he knew. Anyway, because of his piss poor scores, he never found a good job and I’m a rich and famous paralegal.

    My ads were the Reduce/Avoid Prison Time one and this:
    Daisuke Matsuzaka Photos
    Phenom’s Boston Debut Collectible Authentic Limited Edition – $119.95

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