Fields: Random Thoughts No. 12 On Prisons, Norman Braman and Al Lamberti

Guest Columnist

Scott Has Wrong Solution to a Real Problem

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott has proposed a billion dollar cut in the Department of Corrections budget of $2.4 billion.

Scott wants to cut staff, salaries and inmate health care–bad idea.

Scott wants prisoners to grow vegetables to feed themselves–good idea.

He does not propose reducing the number of inmates one whit. Overall, it’s a prescription for an Attica riot.
Here are some better ideas:

  1. Require a couple of ounces of pot before it is a felony?  Make small amounts of cocaine a misdemeanor like it is in most other states?
  2. Revisit the onerous mandatory minimums that require 15 years in prison (at $25,000 a year to incarcerate that’s about $375,000) for ten or fifteen Oxycodone pills.
  3. Give certain white collar criminals a corporal punishment alternative.  Getting your ass publicly whipped–along with probation and restitution–is cheaper and might be a more effective way of discouraging recidivism by someone who has written a bunch of bad checks or used stolen credit cards.
  4. Consider releasing elderly prisoners whose healthcare costs us a fortune. 

 I welcome your ideas.

 Three Cheers For Norman Braman

Norman Braman is a geriatric billionaire who could be spending all his time enjoying his money and his grandchildren. 

Instead he has chosen to fight in the public arena for the things he believes in. 

Unlike the Reagan-Bush “Spend and Borrow Republicans’, he is the kind of traditional “Bean Counter Republican of which there are, unfortunately, fewer and fewer.

In 1982, he led a successful campaign against a city sales tax to renovate the Miami Orange Bowl for the Dolphine.  

In 1999, he helped defeat a one-cent sales tax for mass transit that would have cost taxpayers billions.

He single-handedly funded the unsuccessful fight against tax dollars going to build the Marlins a baseball stadium.  He fought to force the Marlins to reveal their financing. 

Subsequent events have proved he was right about both.

He is now threatening to fund a recall of the folks–beginning with Mayor Carlos Alvarez–who put Dade County (I still believe it should be called  Dade County, not Miami-Dade County) behind the financial Eight Ball.

It may be another lost cause but as Clarence Darrow once observed: “Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.

Like England in 1066, Dade County would benefit from a Norman Conquest.

In This Fiscal War There Is No Room For Armchair Generals

With a threat of firing, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti persuaded a number of Detention Deputies to become civilian employees and take an $11,000 pay cut.

Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez is imposing similar draconian measures on his employees.

Both should be willing to take cuts of 25 percent and donate it back to the general revenue funds! 

Earlier I wrote a piece that laid out a plan for a graduated cut in government worker paychecks above $50,000. It called for elected officials to take a flat 25% pay cut.

What about it, Al?

Don’t you understand or even care how demoralizing it is to ask the troops to sacrifice while you insulate yourself from similar consequences?

I guess in BSO, the grunts get a pay cut and the bosses get a chauffeur.

What Will Alex Trebek Say?

We have all heard about IMB’s “Deep Blue that defeated World Chess Champion Gary Kasparovwho stormed off in a huff.

They have now developed “Watson (named after IBM founder Tom Watson) which has been programmed to win at “Jeopardy”.

Before you think it’s just a collection of facts, consider that this computer has to understand things like puns.  The algorithms and computing power are incredible. 

Here are two Watson got in head to head competition with former “Jeopardy” champions.

  1. “He conquered the world and then the Best Seller List.
  2.  “It’s a candy bar that dispenses final justice.

 Make sure you put your answer in the form of a question.

 Does the Pope Have Alzheimer’s?

On his recent trip Britain, Pope Benny XVI seemed to have a problem with recalling the facts.

Sorry Benny, but the Nazi’s were not atheists as you said. 

The Big Four — Hitler, Goebbels, Goring and Himmler –were all nominal Catholics until the day they died.   They constantly made references to god in speeches.

Not one of the “Big Four or anyone else was ex-communicated for organizing war and genocide.  The important thing for the Vatican is that they never got divorced.

Forced to discuss the sex abuse scandal Benny XVI uniformly referred to “The Church, but not one time to himself and his personal involvement in the cover-up of numerous cases.  Instead he confined himself to the classic “mistakes were made.

I think somebody forgot to take his meds.

7 Responses to “Fields: Random Thoughts No. 12 On Prisons, Norman Braman and Al Lamberti”

  1. Mikey says:

    Get rid of Fields’ biased ramblings about Catholics and the Pope. Not only is he wrong, but he is intolerant.

  2. SAM FIELDS says:


    So if I don’t like the leadership of a government or a group then I must be a racist or worse.


    If you don’t like Netanyahu then you must be anti-Semitic

    If you don’t like Jesse Jackson you must be a racist.

    If you don’t like Obama you must be a traitor.

    Growup: If you have the balls I suggest you check out the photos on the attached link.

    I would be happy to debate the moral standards of Benny the Scumbag anywhere and anytime including at a Catholic Church

  3. watcher says:

    Sam…you are right on the facts..but Mikey has this thing “faith”..that you and I don’t have…..Mikey will never get you so we need to figure out how to get him to find a way the understand us…

  4. S only says:

    If you don’t like what Sam writes, don’t read it. Or comment with your own thoughts, Or, ask Buddy if you can write your own opinion piece…

  5. John Dough says:

    Sam Fields is dumb as a box of rocks. The last sheriff to have a driver was felon Ken Jenne.

    As for the control room deputies, sworn status is not needed for a bunch of individuals who merely open and close doores all day. Numerous other facilities around the country use civilians for the same position. Maybe Sheriff Al should allow CCA to take over. The jailers would be screaming for status then.

    As a constitutional officer, there is no provision to reduce your pay check. It is set by law. Sheriff Al cannot reject it.

    The Buddy Nevins column has been in the gutter since Sam Fields has been allowed to participate.

  6. SAM FIELDS says:

    Thgat’s why I said he could donate the money back.

  7. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Dough,

    I have been in the Broward jail a thousand times. Do we really want people in the control booth who are not required or even trained to put themselves in harms way?

    When the next fight breaks out all of the staff should be able to put it down quickly to avoid it turning into a riot.

    This short sided money saving idea means employee flexibility is reduced.

    It will take about five seconds before malevolent prisoners figure out the points of vulnerability.

    This could be avoided if everyone, beginning with the Sheriff, took a 1% pay cut