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Thread: What do the prisons do with really old inmates?

  1. #1 What do the prisons do with really old inmates? 
    Time Lord
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    I'm just curious if anyone knows.

    Out in the free world, when a person gets too old to take care of themselves, a lot of them get sent to old person homes. I can't imagine prison would be any worse than those places. I guess in prison they wouldn't have a TV set to watch.

    Would probably be weird to be a prison guard watching over a detention center that specialized in very old inmates. Not much chance they'll try and escape, right?


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    ok this made me laugh at loud.......I think they make mattress's out of them....


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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I'm just curious if anyone knows.

    Out in the free world, when a person gets too old to take care of themselves, a lot of them get sent to old person homes. I can't imagine prison would be any worse than those places. I guess in prison they wouldn't have a TV set to watch.

    Would probably be weird to be a prison guard watching over a detention center that specialized in very old inmates. Not much chance they'll try and escape, right?
    Apparently that's becoming a big concern in cities across the US. Those elderly inmates that need 24 hour care, cost 3 times as much as regular inmates. But what do you do with old inmates that have no family that can take them if they let them out of the prison? You can't just dump elderly inmates out on the street. So you would still have to make sure they had the care they need, most likely some other state agency. That means the government is still going to bear the cost.

    Elderly Prison Population Growing
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I'm just curious if anyone knows.

    Out in the free world, when a person gets too old to take care of themselves, a lot of them get sent to old person homes. I can't imagine prison would be any worse than those places. I guess in prison they wouldn't have a TV set to watch.

    Would probably be weird to be a prison guard watching over a detention center that specialized in very old inmates. Not much chance they'll try and escape, right?
    Apparently that's becoming a big concern in cities across the US. Those elderly inmates that need 24 hour care, cost 3 times as much as regular inmates. But what do you do with old inmates that have no family that can take them if they let them out of the prison? You can't just dump elderly inmates out on the street. So you would still have to make sure they had the care they need, most likely some other state agency. That means the government is still going to bear the cost.

    Elderly Prison Population Growing
    I disagree. IT isn't the government that "bears" the cost. I believe what that means is that tax payers are footing the bill and continuing to bear the costs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I disagree. IT isn't the government that "bears" the cost. I believe what that means is that tax payers are footing the bill and continuing to bear the costs.
    I'm not sure what you are disagreeing to. If a government facility has to take care of the elderly inmate or released inmate, of course the tax payers foot the bill. Are you thinking the government functions without tax payer money?
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    There are prisons that are being used just for older, over 75, inmates but not many. Usually they just put them in regular prisons but in a segregated section that other "younger" inmates cannot get into.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    There are prisons that are being used just for older, over 75, inmates but not many. Usually they just put them in regular prisons but in a segregated section that other "younger" inmates cannot get into.
    I wonder what standard they use for when it's time to treat and older inmate any different from the general prison population?
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    I wonder what standard they use for when it's time to treat and older inmate any different from the general prison population?
    Debility, sickness, crippled with arthritis - much like other old folks. It's just a matter of judgement to find the right point to move them into lower security/higher medical care facilities. US states with 3 strikes=life sentence laws will need to think about how to finance these longer term care issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I disagree. IT isn't the government that "bears" the cost. I believe what that means is that tax payers are footing the bill and continuing to bear the costs.
    I'm not sure what you are disagreeing to. If a government facility has to take care of the elderly inmate or released inmate, of course the tax payers foot the bill. Are you thinking the government functions without tax payer money?
    Of course not! But it is the TAXPAYER that bears the cost, not the government. That was my point. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I'm just curious if anyone knows.

    Out in the free world, when a person gets too old to take care of themselves, a lot of them get sent to old person homes. I can't imagine prison would be any worse than those places. I guess in prison they wouldn't have a TV set to watch.

    Would probably be weird to be a prison guard watching over a detention center that specialized in very old inmates. Not much chance they'll try and escape, right?
    First off any care/old peoples home that is no better than a prison needs closing down straight away. My parents are knocking on a bit now but I certainly wouldn't put them in a home, the idea of anybody of any age just being shoved in a chair to watch television all day seems wrong.
    Peaople seem to be of the impression that when people get old they shouldn't or don't need/want to do anything any more, which is simply not true. Yes in many cases they arn't as physically able as when they were young so it means they may have mobility issues that need to be met but this is only to be expected. They are people just like you and me and many still like to do many of the things we do, my parents are still very active and like to be going here there and everywhere as do their friends who are of a similar age, mid to late 70's.

    But really we need to be asking here what are we keeping old people in prison for, most judges over here in the UK are fairly reluctant to send old people to prison, unless they really have committed some very bad crime to warrant it. So we have to first decide which old people should be in prison and then decide what sort of enviroment that should be. If we on the one hand are saying that only old people that have committed the worst possible crimes should reside in jail then we must also decide whether we are wanting those people to be there to serve as punishment or is it because they are still considered dangerous and a threat to the public.
    The answer to this question will have a greater influence over the conditions under which we should be incarcerating older people, do we want prison to still be as uncomfortable for them as say a 20 year old going into prison, or do we want to try and create something more akin to a secure care home.

    Other issues may also arise such as that of escape, I don't see that just because a person has gotten old they won't escape, perhaps it could well be the case that they are less able physically, but that does not automatically mean they wouldn't try or are incapable of such.

    We also have the issue of an ageing population in general, many prisoners could still be in prison well into their 70's,80's or 90's that were given life sentences when they were young. In times gone by the harsh prison regime and lower life expectancies might have mean't many such prisoners dying well before old age, but now this no longer always the case.

    So it may be that we should be reducing the number of people we are sending to prison in the first and that we are coming to a time when we should start to consider other alternatives to imprisonment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I'm just curious if anyone knows.

    Out in the free world, when a person gets too old to take care of themselves, a lot of them get sent to old person homes. I can't imagine prison would be any worse than those places. I guess in prison they wouldn't have a TV set to watch.

    Would probably be weird to be a prison guard watching over a detention center that specialized in very old inmates. Not much chance they'll try and escape, right?
    First off any care/old peoples home that is no better than a prison needs closing down straight away. My parents are knocking on a bit now but I certainly wouldn't put them in a home, the idea of anybody of any age just being shoved in a chair to watch television all day seems wrong.
    Peaople seem to be of the impression that when people get old they shouldn't or don't need/want to do anything any more, which is simply not true. Yes in many cases they arn't as physically able as when they were young so it means they may have mobility issues that need to be met but this is only to be expected. They are people just like you and me and many still like to do many of the things we do, my parents are still very active and like to be going here there and everywhere as do their friends who are of a similar age, mid to late 70's.

    But really we need to be asking here what are we keeping old people in prison for, most judges over here in the UK are fairly reluctant to send old people to prison, unless they really have committed some very bad crime to warrant it. So we have to first decide which old people should be in prison and then decide what sort of enviroment that should be. If we on the one hand are saying that only old people that have committed the worst possible crimes should reside in jail then we must also decide whether we are wanting those people to be there to serve as punishment or is it because they are still considered dangerous and a threat to the public.
    The answer to this question will have a greater influence over the conditions under which we should be incarcerating older people, do we want prison to still be as uncomfortable for them as say a 20 year old going into prison, or do we want to try and create something more akin to a secure care home.

    Other issues may also arise such as that of escape, I don't see that just because a person has gotten old they won't escape, perhaps it could well be the case that they are less able physically, but that does not automatically mean they wouldn't try or are incapable of such.

    We also have the issue of an ageing population in general, many prisoners could still be in prison well into their 70's,80's or 90's that were given life sentences when they were young. In times gone by the harsh prison regime and lower life expectancies might have mean't many such prisoners dying well before old age, but now this no longer always the case.

    So it may be that we should be reducing the number of people we are sending to prison in the first and that we are coming to a time when we should start to consider other alternatives to imprisonment.
    I think actually, that releasing an old person from prison would be rather cruel. They have nothing, likely no family and nowhere to go. At least in prison, they are fed, and have doctors and in some "Way" a social life. Just my humble opinion.
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    This will only makes sense to the Brits.

    I'm sorry for the lag in my response.
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    Prisons keep sick inmates in medical units within the prison system, not some other agency. Some states have prison wards/floors at hospitals, which are run like a prison within the hospital (restricted entry, run by the Dept or Corrections, security features, etc). If someone is deemed in their final months, some states grant a compassionate release typically to their grown children, but it is determined on a case-by-case basis.

    TVs are one of the best items to keep inmates busy, connected and informed. There are UN rules about such things.
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    Frankly, if Charles Manson, dies with no relief, has no family that I know of and in misery with no television, I will not be disheartened.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    TVs are one of the best items to keep inmates busy, connected and informed. There are UN rules about such things.
    The UN requires inmates to be provided with TV?!!??!?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    TVs are one of the best items to keep inmates busy, connected and informed. There are UN rules about such things.
    The UN requires inmates to be provided with TV?!!??!?
    I have never heard that before. But the US doesn't always follow what the UN says. However, the TV should be provided to prisoners, it gives the prison management another privilege they can take away from you, if your bad. If I was an old prisoner I surely wouldn't want to lose my TV privilege.
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    Eventually, I suppose they bury them.
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    Did a show at Atascadero years ago. It was plain creepy and the show was televised for some in their cells on a television.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    TVs are one of the best items to keep inmates busy, connected and informed. There are UN rules about such things.
    The UN requires inmates to be provided with TV?!!??!?
    No, not literally. The UN developed the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, of which the US is one of its signatories. These rules say that governments can't simply lock someone up, throw away the key, and merely push three meals under his/her door every day.

    Regarding contact with the outside world etc, these rules state —

    Contact with the outside world

    37. Prisoners shall be allowed under necessary supervision to communicate with their family and reputable friends at regular intervals, both by correspondence and by receiving visits.

    38. (1) Prisoners who are foreign nationals shall be allowed reasonable facilities to communicate with the diplomatic and consular representatives of the State to which they belong.

    (2) Prisoners who are nationals of States without diplomatic or consular representation in the country and refugees or stateless persons shall be allowed similar facilities to communicate with the diplomatic representative of the State which takes charge of their interests or any national or international authority whose task it is to protect such persons.

    39. Prisoners shall be kept informed regularly of the more important items of news by the reading of newspapers, periodicals or special institutional publications, by hearing wireless transmissions, by lectures or by any similar means as authorized or controlled by the administration.

    Books

    40. Every institution shall have a library for the use of all categories of prisoners, adequately stocked with both recreational and instructional books, and prisoners shall be encouraged to make full use of it.
    In societies where radios and TVs are common everyday means of contact with the rest of the world for non-prisoners, a lack of access to TV would probably be looked upon as an unnecessary deprivation and a violation of UN rules. The prisoners themselves or their families or loved ones pay for the radio and/or TV (unless the facility installs a TV in a common area, then the prison would probably buy it).

    And as I stated, prison officials know that TV is one of the best babysitters for prisoners. A high-ranking state official where I live once threatened to punish prisoners (more accurately, punish would-be prisoners in an attempt to reduce the soaring crime rate) by taking away their TVs, but he backed down from his threat, probably because prison officials told him that it would leave prisoners with nothing to do for much of the day. As the saying goes, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop".

    These UN rules also state that governments must give prisoners the opportunity to engage in significant amounts of meaningful work, and yet, many prisons fall far short of this requirement, probably because it means allowing prisoners to actually do something, which requires much more effort and control by the staff. Prison staff finds it much easier to take care of a prison full of couch potatoes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post

    These UN rules also state that governments must give prisoners the opportunity to engage in significant amounts of meaningful work, and yet, many prisons fall far short of this requirement, probably because it means allowing prisoners to actually do something, which requires much more effort and control by the staff. Prison staff finds it much easier to take care of a prison full of couch potatoes.
    Note: And when they get out and fall back to their criminal ways. A seasoned couch potato criminal will be easier to catch and put back in prison on the tax payer's bill, giving the prison staff more job security.
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    They say ~you are what you eat~, so maybe they are feeding them Solent Green before sending them to the Solent Green factory?


    (kidding aside, as was mentioned, ideally they should be kept and treated in adequate facilities)
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    Adequate does not include privilege. They committed a crime. Rewards are not required.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Adequate does not include privilege. They committed a crime. Rewards are not required.
    So I take it you are not in the rehabilitation camp. Seems to me to many people are willing to lock people up treat them like shit for whatever their sentence is and them let them out on society again. And that's after they've had plenty of time to learn more criminal skills. Doesn't take much imagination to realize they will be back sooner or later. What a wonderful system we have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Adequate does not include privilege. They committed a crime. Rewards are not required.
    So I take it you are not in the rehabilitation camp. Seems to me to many people are willing to lock people up treat them like shit for whatever their sentence is and them let them out on society again. And that's after they've had plenty of time to learn more criminal skills. Doesn't take much imagination to realize they will be back sooner or later. What a wonderful system we have.
    Something you don't know. My niece was murdered three years ago at the age of 24. It was premeditated. He threw her through a glass door, then put a 9 inch stab wound in her heart and then waited till she bled out, and then called 911 to report an "accident". on his cell phone, as he had cut the phone wires to the house. He was found guilty of 1st Degree and got 25 years. I have zero empathy for him. There was no remorse shown. I think his punishment is too kind. Then again, on this, I readily admit, I am biased. Her at the time 2 year old son, now has no mother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Adequate does not include privilege. They committed a crime. Rewards are not required.
    So I take it you are not in the rehabilitation camp. Seems to me to many people are willing to lock people up treat them like shit for whatever their sentence is and them let them out on society again. And that's after they've had plenty of time to learn more criminal skills. Doesn't take much imagination to realize they will be back sooner or later. What a wonderful system we have.
    Something you don't know. My niece was murdered three years ago at the age of 24. It was premeditated. He threw her through a glass door, then put a 9 inch stab wound in her heart and then waited till she bled out, and then called 911 to report an "accident". on his cell phone, as he had cut the phone wires to the house. He was found guilty of 1st Degree and got 25 years. I have zero empathy for him. There was no remorse shown. I think his punishment is too kind. Then again, on this, I readily admit, I am biased. Her at the time 2 year old son, now has no mother.
    I do sympathize with your loss and I understand your feeling. I would like to see those kind of crimes get life. But only a 25 year sentence and that criminal will be unleashed on society again. Most likely the only skills that criminal will have is more criminal skills and no good way to integrate back into society and become a productive citizen. Then after 25 years most prisoners will be acclimated to the prison routine and won't want to stay outside any longer than they have to, so they will commit more crimes until they get caught again. Somehow that whole system sucks big time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Adequate does not include privilege. They committed a crime. Rewards are not required.
    So I take it you are not in the rehabilitation camp. Seems to me to many people are willing to lock people up treat them like shit for whatever their sentence is and them let them out on society again. And that's after they've had plenty of time to learn more criminal skills. Doesn't take much imagination to realize they will be back sooner or later. What a wonderful system we have.
    Something you don't know. My niece was murdered three years ago at the age of 24. It was premeditated. He threw her through a glass door, then put a 9 inch stab wound in her heart and then waited till she bled out, and then called 911 to report an "accident". on his cell phone, as he had cut the phone wires to the house. He was found guilty of 1st Degree and got 25 years. I have zero empathy for him. There was no remorse shown. I think his punishment is too kind. Then again, on this, I readily admit, I am biased. Her at the time 2 year old son, now has no mother.
    I do sympathize with your loss and I understand your feeling. I would like to see those kind of crimes get life. But only a 25 year sentence and that criminal will be unleashed on society again. Most likely the only skills that criminal will have is more criminal skills and no good way to integrate back into society and become a productive citizen. Then after 25 years most prisoners will be acclimated to the prison routine and won't want to stay outside any longer than they have to, so they will commit more crimes until they get caught again. Somehow that whole system sucks big time.
    I would like to see them get capital punishment. I think sometimes the country of Singapore has a much better system of dealing with this sort of thing than we do. Do I feel it is inhuman. No. I agree with you that the only thing he will be good for in 25 years is more of the same. How many criminal's do we hear about that get rehabilitated and become a boon to society. I don't think you read many success stories. I know I am being a ginger on this subject. I do however believe in capital punishment for these types of crimes. I agree, our current system does not deter these criminals from repeating time after time, after time the same crimes or worse.
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    I know what ginger ale and ginger root are, but what does being a ginger mean?

    From my perspetive, prison and punishment are, almost, worse that no solution at all, like sweeping the dust under the carpet, because it does not solve the problem and gives the illusion you have a solution and that the situation is ok as is.
    ~ -so you have no guardrails on your 10th floor balcony to minimize the chance someone falls?
    - A what? Here we we use punishment, look there, the sign says its illegal to fall off and you get a 100$ fine if you do. ~

    It also sends this message
    ~The way to solve a problem is violence. Thats how we solve problems here. Killing is not wrong at all, we do it all the time, its very easy, all you need to do is tell yourself its justified, voila. Easy right? You want to kill someone, just say he or she deserved it. Bingo. Youre angry, suicidally depressed, insane, someones got to pay and they deserve it. Remember kids, killing is how we do it.~



    (Be back later)
    Last edited by icewendigo; July 5th, 2013 at 06:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    I know what ginger ale and ginger root are, but what does being a ginger mean?

    From my perspetive, prison and punishment are, almost, worse that no solution at all, like sweeping the dust under the carpet, because it does not solve the problem and gives the illusion you have a solution and that the situation is ok as is.
    ~ -so you have no guardrails on your 10th floor balcony to minimize the chance someone falls?
    - A what? Here we we use punishment, look there, the sign says its illegal to fall off and you get a 100$ fine if you do. ~

    It also sends this message
    ~The way to solve a problem is violence. Thats how we solve problems here. Killing is not wrong at all, we do it all the time, its very easy, all you need to do is tell yourself its justified, voila. Easy right? You want to kill someone, just say he or she deserved it. Bingo. Youre angry, suicidally depressed, insane, someones got to pay and they deserve it. Remember kids, killing is how we do it.~



    (Be back later)

    It is a common term. A ginger is a person whose hair is red. We have been associated with various personality characteristics. One is feisty, with a bit of a temper, loving, a little crazy, and a desire to find the laughter, being rather amorous and there are some other qualities that I shall not state in here. *Smile*

    (Be back later)[/QUOTE]
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  30. #29  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    These characteristics are quite interesting. I'll look into those other qualities you cant mention eventually to learn more about this cultural narrative.

    Color pigments appear to be very important from a cultural perspective. Is there a narrative or category associated with the pigments of the Iris? Are there "Green" Democrats or a set of qualities/characteristics associated with green eyes for example?
    Last edited by icewendigo; July 6th, 2013 at 09:52 AM.
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  31. #30  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Traditionally, the purpose of imprisoning a convicted criminal is three-fold — protecting society, punishing the wrongdoer, and rehabilitation the wrongdoer. However, for the last few decades, rehabilitation in many jurisdictions has all but vanished. And where I live, the Dept of Corrections is very fickle and feels obliged to conform to the whims and fancies of the public, so when the public raises its voice about crime, officials feel obliged to come down harder on those already in prison.

    If a prisoner has a reasonable/known chance at release (such as a five-year sentence, or life with possibility of parole), there is the obligation by society and corrections officials to prepare the inmate for such an eventuality. The last thing anyone wants is for a prisoner to serve 20 years in maximum security, or heaven forbid, 24/7 isolation, and then be released into society, even with a parole or probation officer and a long list of restrictions. That would be a very serious disaster waiting to happen. Society could blame the ex-prisoner (again), but the state would likely need to answer to the victim and/or the family for why it didn't prepare the prisoner for release.

    As for those with no chance of release, it's pretty cruel keeping them under tight screws for the rest of their lives, and so, for the well-behaved lifers, there's a humane obligation to let them live some sort of meaningful/productive lives. Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

    Lest we forget, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once said —

    “If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them; however, the line between good and evil runs through every human heart.
    Just as criminals would kill or abuse persons whom they refuse to tolerate, one of us would gladly kill or abuse those persons (aka criminals) whom we refuse to tolerate; however, the criminally-minded people merely have a lower threshold.
    Bad Robot and babe like this.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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