…A Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You
I’m going to throw this out into the world and see what people think: the current mania for something called Whole30 and the fact that some 63 million people voted for Donald Trump (and continue to defend him to this day) are two sides of the same coin.
That is, huge numbers of people desperately want a simple — nay, simplistic — solution to a set of complicated problems.
In the olden days, people running organizations both private and public would toss out verkackte figures, be called out on their errors, and respond, “One day in the future, when we get computers in here, we won’t have problems like this!” Say your bank sent you an urgent message saying you were overdrawn even though you knew you’d tossed a pile of checks into your account the week before. It’d take days or even weeks for the institution to sort through all the numbers and then you’d get an apology note saying, Oops, our error. In the meantime, your account’d be frozen and you’d have to borrow the scratch to pay the month’s rent,
All because, probably, some pencil pusher had put a decimal point in the wrong place or some such trivial slip.
Well, now we’ve got computers in every possible here, both private and public, and — guess what — we’re still getting verkackte figures.
To wit: Monroe County jail commander Sam Crowe told the county council a couple of months ago that jail bookings had increased in a “staggering” manner from 2016 to 2017. The county jail, sed he, played gracious host last year to 53 percent more guests than the previous annum. Now that’s a gigantic jump. Naturally, wits and wags went searching under the cushions for all sorts of reasons why. The most popular explanation, just as naturally, was the drug epidemic. Everybody and her brother is addicted to, using, selling, or otherwise connected to opioids, meth, or junk, goes the conventional wisdom. So of course our jail is filling up faster than our dear president’s spanking new immigrant detention cages.
Um, oops, our error. Yesterday, Commander Crowe said, basically, Y’know that thing I said a couple of months ago? Forget it, wouldya?
The error, BTW, is proving to be a bone of contention between city and county badge-wearers and, perhaps, it’s even causing some internal harrumphing in county offices.
Turns out the county jail’s big hi-tech computer software is verkackte, at least in this case. Apparently, the jail’s Spillman Ally software, designed to keep track of things like jail bookings and other police and correctional facilities operations, is a bit too complicated for the county’s key punchers. At least that’s the opinion of Bloomington police chief Mike Diekhoff. In fact, Diekhoff even issued a public offer to Crowe et al to come by the B-ton cop shop and get some remedial lessons in using the software. Crowe, to read the catty comments in today’s Herald Times story, would like nothing better than for Diekhoff to mind his own goddamned business.
Then there’s this: A friend points out that Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain is nowhere to be found in the contretemps. He’s not quoted at all in the article, leading a cynic like me to suppose his stance is, Sammy, baby, this one’s on you. The county pays you a nice salary so go on now and take the heat.
Things were so much simpler in the old days when all a public official had to do was say, Gosh darn it, some sloppy clerk put the decimal point in the wrong place.