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Abuse of Discretion -



Article by Steven Darby McDonald
© 2015
  1. One only needs to look around to see the results. Shops everywhere are closed or going out of business. Bookstores that have been open for over 20 years are gone. Restaurants are lucky to see 50% of their prior attendance nightly. Public parks and libraries are closed. The casinos appear deserted. Dentists are struggling to pull in patients with creative offers and drastically reduced fees for laser whitening of teeth. Washington State has added dozens of jobs at its DSHS offices to handle the largest load of new applicants in its history. Yet, strangely enough, if you had stayed home and watched TV you would not have known any of this is taking place because all you see are the smiling faces at all types of recreational places enjoying all types of fun-filled activities.
  1. Nothing could be further from the truth. Welcome to the real world.
  1. Those of us who are not millionaires are starting to feel the cold, and we know the true reality of the situation because it’s affecting our lives and the lives of our loved ones on a daily basis. A stagnant morass has begun to paralyze us which clinicians claim is depression and we need medications to treat. It stems from the sense that no matter how hard we work or how hard we look for a decent job, we are not going to get ahead or find employment at a level which we deserve. We simply are going nowhere fast.
  1. We are further led to believe by pseudo-pundits that these things are somehow our fault for not trying harder. Or we made the wrong decision somewhere down the line. Yet in reality, it’s the decision makers of our state who are to blame in conjunction with the politicians who run the country and have allowed their influence to be bought by special interests or to sell out the American way of life so foreigners can become wealthy at our expense, and now to our demise.

  2. Now they even claim it’s our “duty” to spend billions of your tax dollars to build schools in Iraq and Afghanistan to pull their people out of economic stagnation so they can have a better way of life! What’s wrong with this picture? Just look around you.
  1. Another example of this is the building of Washington State’s prison system based on contrived fear advanced by special interests and controlled by powerful unions that petty criminals should be locked up for life. And that Washington State’s prosecutors should be allowed to deceive the public into believing that this makes good political sense and be able to twist and pervert the facts of a crime into making a finding that a much more serious crime had in fact occurred.

  2. Or mislead the public into a false finding that Initiative Measure 593, Washington’s Three-Strikes Law, was only meant for the “worst of the worst” and “most serious violent offenses” the way the ballot measure assured the population it was for. Yet Mr. McDonald’s and hundreds of others’ second degree robbery convictions were classified as only a “violent’ offense. Then four years later the seriousness level was changed to encompass a much higher degree of criminal activity, a most serious violent, just so it could be counted as a predicate felony to grow the Washington State prison system and send hundreds of people to prison for life for offenses they pled out to in order to receive jail time, timer served, or reduced sentences, all 10, 20 and 30 years before Initiative 593 was enacted in 1993.
  1. What could be fairer?
  1. Because of the avarice of select individuals mentioned throughout this site to outrightly deceive the public into believing that common criminals should be locked up forever – see who really benefits from this injustice in the below news article written April 24, 2011 by Everett Herald writer Scott North, and its not the public – all state social, educational, medical services and entitlements are either being stopped altogether or severely curtailed. As again shown on The Impact June 17, 2011 when Washington’s Chief Economist, Arun Raha announced a day after Governor Gregoire signed the new budget he had been forced to downsize his revenue projections for the next quarter by $183 million dollars. In fact he claimed his economic forecast had a “four (4) times greater chance of being downsized” over the coming 2011-2013 biennium budget cycle.
  1.  What’s obvious is that he’d have a better chance at success by gazing into a crystal ball!
  1. This is not some disgruntled life-sentenced inmate’s assessment of the situation, but the truth. And its going to be getting worse and worse as the economic situation is fully appreciated. In essence, you are no longer required to be a purchaser of goods and services because others in foreign lands have usurped your purchasing power as their economic status has been upgraded by our new financial policies and new fiscal policies established by NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), in conjunction with the outsourcing of American work to foreign corporations that perform this work outside of the US or inside at reduced rates, which has gutted the US workforce.[1]
  1. As a consequence, these policies and the mismanagement of assets at the urging of special interests (enactment of Three-Strikes legislation which has been cleverly applied to minor offenses at the urging of powerful unions to build Washington’s prison system and maintain staff levels as a business requires) have led to the financial quagmire we are experiencing today. Our state’s tax base will continue to erode as the economy slowly adjusts to its new standing, supporting only a fraction of our once fair and equitable social services that were so important to our country so it could continue and be strong, turn out the best and the brightest students, cope with the occasional loss of job or medical care, and support for those who could not care for themselves through catastrophic injury or abandonment.
  1. The worse part of our “new economy” due to the loss of these strategic services will be a weakening of moral values through the conniving to access services, and the overall loss of civility towards those who have it all. The feeling of abandonment when you have done nothing wrong to deserve such is a powerful motivating force as you sit by helplessly and watch those you love suffer and your life turned upside down.
  1. Such symptoms will open up a new Pandora’s Box of troubles for the government as contempt breeds deceit at all levels.  
  1. Support for some of these conclusions was apparent May 13, 2011 when KBTC aired Inside Olympia with Doug Porter from Washington’s Health Care Authority and later Senators Karen Keiser and Randi Becker representing Washington’s Health Care Committee. If you missed this show it might be a good thing because if you fall under any of their new proposed changes, many of which have now become law, you would definitely be outraged to learn that Washington’s Rural Health Care Centers will be closing in addition to the fact that if you are living in your own home with a severe/chronic medical condition with the assistance of a caregiver, you will be forced to move to a state nursing home, cleverly renamed as something else.
  1. Your new “home” will be designated a “Primary Care Medical Home.” You will be assigned a bed with many other people, none of whom you know and with none of the many amenities you once enjoyed while living in your own home. The new strangers you meet will now be required to take care of you as you sleep side by side. This is identical to the way they have set up their prison hospital care units.
  1. During the show they repeatedly spoke of the “unintended consequences” that will develop with their new “Coordinated Care System” that would have to be worked out as they crop up.
  1. In addition to this, there will be what they call “Optional Service Cuts” coming that will affect you and your children. These will completely eliminate: “glasses, dental, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy” if you need them. Prostheses as well will not be covered. You will no longer be allowed to receive the medication that was prescribed by the clinician unless you pay the difference between it and some other type that is supposedly similar and much cheaper.
  1. After all the hoopla encouraged by the apparently union-controlled KCPQ TV station due to the murder of a female staff member by a serial rapist sex offender, Channel 13 recently broadcast completely false and misleading inflammatory facts to the public about prison life here at Monroe Correctional Complex/WSR. The truth was finally told by Scott North in his April 24, 2011 Everett Herald article entitled: “Are we paying too much for prisoners?” (See article below.)
  1. The union’s claims advanced through disgruntled employees trying to curry favor and support from the public for more guards positions and higher pay because the prison’s inmates “enjoy flat screen TVs and cable free”, was put in its proper perspective. We or our families pay for these things, which in reality are then used to gain compliance by the administration. Violate a rule, and you lose your ability to watch your TV or listen to your radio.
  1. As for the proxy’s claims we are “served donuts, fried chicken or pizza,” wrong again. These things inmates buy from monies derived from working within the prison or sent in by their family members. All profits from these activities are in turn returned to those most needy within the community. This instills a sense of purpose of doing the right thing in people who generally don’t do the right thing. They are made aware of which charitable organization will receive the proceeds, and even make recommendations as to who should receive what.
  1. All this pertinent information was conspicuously absent from the reality of the situation, while their union stroked the passions and the prejudices of the public with nonsensical crap which Channel 13 gleefully broadcast without conducting the slightest type of investigation to determine if it was accurate or not.
  1. Which it wasn’t.
  1. According to Mr. North’s article, the real culprit is exposed, and it’s not the cost of pizza and chicken. It’s the $159 million that is paid as salaries and benefits for corrections officers which is then combined with related services and costs Washington taxpayers almost $100/day to keep each inmate in prison.
  1. In special cases where constant medical care is required to care for the inmate the cost comes to $72,000 a year according to the Governor. Cases like where an inmate has Advanced End-Stage Liver Disease (ESLD) and related health issues as many do. These then require constant monitoring, increasing costs exponentially.
  1. So next time you apply for state assistance for education, health care or a teaching position, remember these facts when they tell you there’s nothing left. It’s not because inmates are dining on pizza at Monroe Correctional that they purchased with their own money or are watching flat screen TVs that they bought from working at a prison industries job which only instills a sense of responsibility.
  1. It’s because the powerful guards’ union has hoodwinked the public into believing that it was a good idea to lock up a purse thief for the rest of his life. Or an alleged doormat burner, so they could artificially grow an industry and create a business that has ruined you or your loved ones’ way of life. [2]
  1. That these types of individuals should be held responsible for the horrific acts of others (i.e. “the worst of the worst”) simply because they are incarcerated is morally reprehensible and no longer economically feasible. Accordingly, it’s time for a change.
  1. These decisions which have been made for you, or you were misled into making, are now adding to the fact that your children will no longer have a better life than you had. Further, they will continue to significantly erode your comfort zone and what’s left of your quality of life.
  1. See tab entitled “Contact Information” on this site for further information on people you can contact who may be able to reverse this destructive trend or make a difference. Or you can email me at:
Thank you.
Steven Darby McDonald
© July 2015


[1] For a thorough assessment of this situation read Allison Stanger’s One Nation under Contract to see just how perverse these policies really are. And see her projections for the future harm these policies will cause the American work force as well as its population, as your safety net is exhausted building roads and schools in Afghanistan and Iraq in addition to buying books and computers for their children to use.
[2] You’re not the only ones tricked by these tactics of deceit to create an artificial economy. Read, “Throwing Away the Key,” by Ashley Nellis. Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 23, No. I, pp 27-32 (2010);, for what this policy is actually costing the American public.