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Prison Reform, Finally

President Trump is doing a great job of getting prison reform through. And, boy am I glad. Many people who agree with me on many issues don't on prison reform. But there is no excuse for current prison statistics. I'm not giving any in this post but they are readily available all over the Internet (and some in the video below).

First, some backstory.

Marc, the Canadian who sometimes posts here on OL, is a close friend of mine. He's Jewish and supports Faith Goldy. Like me, he named two of his kids after Ayn Rand characters. Also, like me, he loves black people and the black culture. He loves rap more than I do, though. :) 

Anyway, he sent me the link to the following video about prison reform (and involving a rapper, of course :) ). Somehow that email disappeared. But the video didn't and neither did my response.

The video is by a Canadian progressive named David Doel. He presents parts of an interview between rapper Meek Mill and CNN host Michael Smerconish on prison reform. All throughout the video, Doel makes his analysis.

The title Doel gave his video is: "Meek Mill Schools CNN Host With Black American Reality."

In terms of agreeing with the gist of this, it almost looks like a slam dunk, right? I mean, who could disagree 

But I know this situation in more ways than just the press, including personal involvement in some of the issues, so I wrote back the following. Enjoy:

Quote

David Doel is the closest you have to a formal young communist in Canada. He probably won't own up to a formal tie since Russia is out of favor with the left right now, but that's what he is.

Also, he doesn't just call Faith Goldy a "white nationalist." He calls her a "white supremacist." He knows better, but he still calls her that. See what he said in the comments to the article below--and that was just two months ago:

 

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/09/26/white-nationalist-faith-goldy-says-she-stands-with-doug-ford-as-ontarios-premier-is-once-again-urged-to-denounce-her.html

 

Now, a few comments on what he said because he mixes truth with omission. 

As an aside the CNN dude was like the straight guy (or fall guy or stooge) in a comedy act. My God! Since when would a CNN pundit ever, ever say openly he would carry a gun? LOL... Who the hell does he think he's fooling? (Actually, he did do a decent job as the doe-eyed straight guy full of wonder at never having thought of all this before. :) )

But to start, I believe everything the rapper said. I also believe he did a lot of bad shit he doesn't own up to in public (and, frankly, I approve that he does not own up). Life from his perspective has pros and cons, but that's not what's really at stake. From what little I saw of his CNN interview in this video, the rapper is the chicken and the CNN dude is the wolf. The chicken is thinking he is outsmarting the wolf. Heh... Another wolf, David Doel, is making a story out of this to make sure there is always plenty of fried chicken for the wolves.

Let's look below the surface so you will understand what I'm talking about.


1. Here's how the prison system works in the US--all to the favor of the crony corporatists. Prisons are private. I'm not that well-studied on the details of this, but I do know the pattern. And, like everything the government gets involved with, it calls what is really going on by the opposite name. "Private prisons" are not really private. Why? They are missing one fundamental component to be truly private--private paying customers. The government is the ONLY customer of private prisons. Here's the game: every inmate the prison holds equals a paycheck from the government to the "private prison company."

What could possibly go wrong? :) 

Just to be clear, private prisons are a gigantic con job run by government-business insiders. Every prisoner results in a cash payment from the taxpayers to the "private prison," but ultimately the money gets divvied up through front companies and the like.

On the government side, this con need laws and aggressive cops on the take to put as many people away as possible. When no crimes are committed, they need laws that will make crimes out of thin air. And they need cops to lie. (That's part of what the rapper was talking about, although he probably believes cops lying is due to racism. It isn't. It's all about the money.) btw - Not all cops are dirty. Just the dirty ones are.

On the private side, they need the prisons to teach inmates lots of skills in the criminal life so, when they are released, they will likely commit crimes and be caught again. And don't think the dirty cops are not watching them when they get out. I believe (although I don't have proof) that inmates are taught specific cons and techniques as "tells" for the dirty cops to find them easier once they are out.

Oh yeah. Let's not forget. For everything to flow nicely, they need a super-complicated set of books and financial entanglements. And that is exactly what they've got.

That is the prison system here.


2. The elitists constantly run one of the biggest propaganda con jobs to keep this private prison system operating and safe from detection by the general public: racism. 

Here in the US, just like there in Canada, racism exists in a super-tiny portion of the population. Not in the general population. But the press constantly campaigns against it as if it were a thing. If it's not, why does the media keep doing it?

That points to the hidden part of the con. When you look behind the labyrinth of front companies, payoffs, backroom deals and so on, you will find that the people who own those private prison schemes also own the parent companies of the press--including and especially CNN.


3. Bill Clinton, when he was president, delivered big-time for both the elitist establishment and the Democrats in general when he sponsored and signed laws against crack cocaine. He filled prisons with felons over simple possession and, since black neighborhoods were targeted by crack dealers, most of those incarcerated were black males. 

Just think about that. Why black males if the issue was possession only? Don't black women get addicted to crack, too? And for that matter, don't people in other races and cultures get addicted to crack? (I, for one, know they do. :) )

Let's not forget that crack was invented by the CIA during the Reagan years to fund gun running in Nicaragua that Congress would not authorize. (This is all on record.) Once the administration changed, the CIA and military people who set that up and ran it did not change. They didn't go away. During the Bush Senior years, crack was spreading everywhere to make those assholes money. But once Clinton got in, crack suddenly became mostly a black neighborhood thing. What a coincidence. At that very time, the newly privatized prisons started filling up with black inmates. That's not proof of anything, but it sure as hell makes a pattern. Dumping crack into black neighborhoods with crooked cops waiting to pounce for simple possession looks like it was all done on purpose at all levels, making for very happy corrupt elitist insiders.

But Clinton delivered for the Democrat Party, too. With black males leaving black neighborhoods for prison, and loose sex constantly encouraged as part of the culture (you didn't think this was spontaneous and only spontaneous, did you?), the result was a shit-load of single mothers. These women needed money to raise their kids. The Dems gave them government money in exchange for votes (from them and their families and friends). 

That's why the Democrats, that is the party of the KKK in former years, now gets most of the black vote. Why do blacks concentrate in ghettos instead of thinning out through the culture and country? Free sex. Free money. Lots of drugs. The coolness factor glamorizing ghettos from entertainment industry. It's a natural attraction. But it's also one of the biggest bait and switches in the US right now. (Thankfully, many blacks are waking up, studying, seeking a more moral and productive life, moving out of the hoods, and getting away from government money.) 


4. President Trump has been supporting the prison reform bill, which will stick a dagger into the heart of this nasty dehumanizing corrupt system. But guess who is trying to gum it up? Establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats in Congress, that's who. It's tricky because too many black people have or had family in prison and they, as voters, just want the nightmare to end. So the establishment elitists need to pander to them and say they are for prison reform, at least give that impression. But they also want to keep milking the cash cow, not barbecue it. They don't give a fuck about blacks except for using them as a cash crop.

In the end, I think President Trump will get it done. 

And guess who spearheaded this prison reform movement? Jared Kushner, a rich Jew. Notice that nobody notices...


5. Now look at David Doel's comments and see if the topics above--the glaring omissions, not one of which he talked about--don't take some of the moral sheen off his heroic crusading posture. That motherfucker wants power, not social reform. By hollering racism and saying poor neighborhoods need more money, and look at all those poor victims, and look at evil society for keeping them corralled in poverty and injustice by racism, all he's doing is perpetuating the black oppression machine, not helping to destroy it. 

Just look at David Doel on that video. Does he eat well? Does he have fine clothes? Etc.? Damn straight he does. In other words, he's got his. So now he can concentrate on his posture: the brooding intellectual bummed out at the injustice of it all... That is, right before he goes to a fancy restaurant to share his spiritual angst and virtue with those who ooh and aah at him for his concern for the downtrodden (as they complain that the salmon was a bit dry, when will they fire that incompetent French chef and get a decent one?).

Anyway, that's all for now.

Whew! 

That whole thing gets me mad.

Just to be clear, the crony corporatist private prison scam is not the only cash cow these establishment elitist assholes milk in black ghettos. It's merely the one among many I talked about.

And it's true. I really do get riled up about this.

Michael

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Dayaamm!

After all that, not even a grunt yet?

But a wheel paradox from Aristotle gets thousands of replies?

Hmmmm...

This topic obviously is not high on the list of interests.

Let me try a different approach.

Whoever does not agree with me is a poo-poo head!

So there!

:) 

Michael

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3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Whoever does not agree with me is a poo-poo head!

Sticks and stones...

Funny thing, I saw your post and recalled that we'd argued about this some years ago.  Turns out no, it was on another site.  You can preview the rebuttals I might be likely to employ:

http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/23506-self-labeled-objectivists-and-private-prisons/&do=findComment&comment=293155

IMO politicians have been running in a "tough-on-crime" arms-race since Dukakis (probably forever); it's all about persuasion, narrative control, and ultimately getting votes.  Private prisons aren't a serious causal issue, IMO.  You're concerned that these companies make campaign contributions to the more "tough-on-crime" candidate?  I expect they direct their contributions to the more "private prisons are ok" candidate, whichever party they belong to.  Is there data on the subject?

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The video at the top of this thread seems to be more about judicial system than about prison reform. 

On the topic of prison reform, here is the way they do it in the country of origin of the current world chess champion.

 

 

But maybe we should get rid of prisons and government. Here is how Stefan Molyneux imagines might happen in a world without government.

 

 

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5 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

You're concerned that these companies make campaign contributions to the more "tough-on-crime" candidate?

Dennis,

Did you read what I wrote?

I can't grok your question as having any connection with anything I wrote.

btw - Just for the record, I've never posted on Objectivism Online. I have talked to their administration offline (right here on OL's private messages, for that matter), but I've never posted over there.

They're mostly good kids, though. I like them.

:) 

Also, for the record, you are not a poo-poo head. You just proved it. You posted. I released the "agree with me" standard, which was nothing more than a mini publicity stunt, anyway. :) 

Michael

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I haven't had a gander at the reform legislation said to be up for a vote in the US Congress.  As I understand the 'private' prisons situation in the US, these can also be styled "for-profit prisons."

Here's a video from RT that suggests the 'for profit' prison industry favours the passage of the reform bill/s:

Description:  "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he will allow a vote on criminal justice reform legislation. The “First Step Act” lessens mandatory minimum sentencing and gives judges more discretion in non-violent drug cases, but it only applies to federal prisoners. RT America’s Rachel Blevins joins Scottie Nell Hughes to explain why for-profit prison corporations support the legislation and what they stand to gain from it."

 

I'll come up to speed with the legislation contents and implications, but thought to include a couple of stories by Shane Bauer. He's the fellow that went "undercover" as a journalist after having been hired as a guard in a Louisiana private facility. 

The True History of America's Private Prison Industry
My four months as a private prison guard

Here's a relatively harsh-fair look at the First Step Act and its levels of support in various constituencies: The Criminal-Justice Reform Bill Is Both Historic and Disappointing

Quote

[...]

Lawmakers have wrangled for five years over criminal-justice reform, but after months of recalcitrance, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday that he would allow a floor vote on Congress’ latest effort, the First Step Act. The Kentucky Republican had appeared sympathetic to hardline opponents like Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, but ultimately relented in the face of the bill’s broad support.

How broad? The First Step Act is supported by President Donald Trump, who enthusiastically campaigned on tough-on-crime policies, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is waging a legal war against his administration. A coalition of prominent conservative and religious organizations also backed the legislation, as well as some high-profile law-enforcement groups. So have some liberal organizations, though many progressives have mixed feelings about the bill. The House passed a version of it in May in a 360-59 vote.

This unusual coalition is one of many reasons why the First Step Act might be the strangest piece of legislation in the Trump era. It’s both groundbreaking and meager, both heartening and disappointing—a long-overdue retreat from decades of inhumane policy, but also an insufficiently small step toward a more conscientious approach to crime and punishment.

One of the bill’s central provisions expands what’s known as the “safety valve,” which allows federal judges to ignore mandatory minimums in sentencing defendants who commit nonviolent, low-level crimes. Another provision reworks the three-strikes requirement for drug-related felonies: Instead of a life sentence, someone sentenced under it would receive only 25 years in prison. Modest though these changes are, they would not apply retroactively.

The bill’s reforms for already incarcerated people are slightly more forceful. One provision would allow eligible federal prisoners to claim an extra seven days of credit for good behavior each year. This change would apply retroactively, bringing thousands of current inmates even closer to release. The First Step Act would also continue a program established in 2007 to help move elderly and terminally ill prisoners into home confinement. It would also require the Bureau of Prisons to tabulate how many prisoners are granted compassionate release, so lawmakers can insure the agency isn’t refusing to apply it.

Liberals may find some of the central provisions to be insufficient to the overall challenge of mass incarceration. Part of this can be attributed to the federal government’s modest role in criminal justice; the overwhelming majority of American prisoners are tried, sentenced, and incarcerated by the states. [...]

 

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3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Dennis,

Did you read what I wrote?

I can't grok your question as having any connection with anything I wrote.

btw - Just for the record, I've never posted on Objectivism Online. I have talked to their administration offline (right here on OL's private messages, for that matter), but I've never posted over there.

They're mostly good kids, though. I like them.

:) 

Also, for the record, you are not a poo-poo head. You just proved it. You posted. I released the "agree with me" standard, which was nothing more than a mini publicity stunt, anyway. :) 

Michael

I asked if you were concerned that companies operating for-profit prisons make campaign contributions to the more "tough-on-crime" candidate.  This ties in to your first numbered point, specifically when you wrote "On the government side, this con need laws and aggressive cops on the take to put as many people away as possible. When no crimes are committed, they need laws that will make crimes out of thin air."  Grok now, water brother?  There might be data available on who these companies direct campaign contributions to, and in what kind of volume.  I seriously doubt they're even remotely as influential as say, the NRA. 

Clarification: when I wrote that "we'd argued about this some years ago" I meant there'd been a discussion on OL.  But there hadn't, I'd taken part in a discussion on OO, where it was me vs. everyone else. 

FWIW, I haven't boned up on the latest reform proposal, but if it's simply a matter of preventing miscarriages of justice like these:

http://reason.com/blog/2016/08/30/obama-commutes-sentences-of-111-more-fed

then I'm all in.

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Further to my ignorance of American justice ...

3 hours ago, william.scherk said:

 The Criminal-Justice Reform Bill Is Both Historic and Disappointing

Quote

[...]Part of this can be attributed to the federal government’s modest role in criminal justice; the overwhelming majority of American prisoners are tried, sentenced, and incarcerated by the states. [...]

The parts of the 4D picture that I don't get or fully comprehend is whether or not this is a function of court-type (federal versus state trials) or law (federal versus state crimes/lawbook) or length of incarceration (proportionate to sentenced time to be served -- 'city jail' versus 'county jail' versus state prison versus federal prison).

Since our lawyers have departed for The Lake, I expect I'll have to educate myself.

In Canada, reform of the justice system starts at the top, cabinet level. Justice Minister Trudeau started off the modern rounds back in 1967, with massive changes to the Criminal Code.  Each wave of reform has a small or large backlash, which usually settles into boredom. Gay marriage, abortion, marijuana. Yawn.

Up here we have city jails/cells/remand centres, which hold a population generally going somewhere else, either to court the next morning or to trial if not bailed, or to testimony if already sentenced to prison.  You don't get sentenced to sixty days in county or city jail here, though you might count 'served time'  under remand or protective custody of some sort.

There are provincial and federal penitentiaries but the difference between their populations is that the provincial jails only hold folks sentenced to terms of less than two years.  If two years and a day, you go to federal hoosegow.  Young offenders are the responsibility of each province.

The unifying thing in Canada is a fiction of the Crown. It serves the same function as The State (as in State Attorney/District Attorney/Justice Department). All prisoners are, in a sense, kept at the pleasure of/under the authority of the Crown (which in this case is the institution, Queen Elizabeth here having zero authority).

In BC prisons are called 'correctional centres.'  Some detention centres  have unique names and seem like they are 'city jails,' but they ain't. So the Saint John's Lockup in Newfoundland is actually one of "Her Majesty's Penitentiaries."

The Vancouver City Jail (a remand centre) is now 'social housing.' Or, "bridge housing," as the poverty-industry calls it.

Yes, we have Sheriffs! But they don't do any US-style sheriffing at all.

There are a variety of weird courts that are 'local' solutions to recidivism/'over-incarceration,' which may be involved in smaller charges. In Vancouver there is a Community Court, where 'sentences' are given in a social-services sense: "You are condemned to rehabilitation in a clean and secure home, with addiction treatment and assistance getting your shit together so you don't steal bikes for oxycodone anymore. First stops Detox, TB&HIV treatment. Next!"

 

 

Edited by william.scherk
A single quote mark, if you believe me

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4 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

I asked if you were concerned that companies operating for-profit prisons make campaign contributions to the more "tough-on-crime" candidate.  This ties in to your first numbered point, specifically when you wrote "On the government side, this con need laws and aggressive cops on the take to put as many people away as possible. When no crimes are committed, they need laws that will make crimes out of thin air."  Grok now, water brother?

Dennis,

That made it worse.

Political contributions, "tough on crime candidates" etc., have nothing to do with my point.

The entire private prison system is an elitist scam irrespective of anything, including elections. That's my point.

With a corollary that this elitist scam has decimated and made inner city black communities more vulnerable and more excessively violent than they already were, all at the same time. The elitist scam treats blacks like livestock.

The elitist scam has managed to exist irrespective of who got elected. They sold it as capitalism and free market. so, to that extent, they needed free market people in power at the time. Tough on crime had nothing to do with it. But since then the politicians have not mattered for the scam to continue. The profits don't go to elect politicians. They ultimately go into the pockets of the elitist insiders after laundering. That's what the scam exists for (like all scams :) ).

There's another point I did not cover, but I believe. Punishment and rehabilitation are not either-or. You can--and should--have both. But that's a different issue for another time--except for one aspect. Making them either-or and getting people riled up and polarized over this false assumption provides an excellent smokescreen to perpetuate the elitist scam.

You're very intelligent and didn't get this from my words, so I must have been horrible at written expression in this post.

I'll try to get better.

Michael

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4 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

... if it's simply a matter of preventing miscarriages of justice like these:

http://reason.com/blog/2016/08/30/obama-commutes-sentences-of-111-more-fed

then I'm all in.

Dennis,

That is my point.

Except in Obama's case, the deal was for him to commute one while turning a blind eye when his elitist insiders incarcerated another 1,000 to make up for it. And don't forget the gravy--let them take the stuff of the newly incarcerated through civil forfeiture while they were at it.

It's a good job if you can get it and become an insider...

God, I don't know how these people sleep at night. These insiders are the modern version of slave-holders from centuries past. Same mentality and soul.

Michael

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8 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Dennis,

That made it worse.

Political contributions, "tough on crime candidates" etc., have nothing to do with my point.

The entire private prison system is an elitist scam irrespective of anything, including elections. That's my point.

With a corollary that this elitist scam has decimated and made inner city black communities more vulnerable and more excessively violent than they already were, all at the same time. The elitist scam treats blacks like livestock.

The elitist scam has managed to exist irrespective of who got elected. They sold it as capitalism and free market. so, to that extent, they needed free market people in power at the time. Tough on crime had nothing to do with it. But since then the politicians have not mattered for the scam to continue. The profits don't go to elect politicians. They ultimately go into the pockets of the elitist insiders after laundering. That's what the scam exists for (like all scams :) ).

There's another point I did not cover, but I believe. Punishment and rehabilitation are not either-or. You can--and should--have both. But that's a different issue for another time--except for one aspect. Making them either-or and getting people riled up and polarized over this false assumption provides an excellent smokescreen to perpetuate the elitist scam.

You're very intelligent and didn't get this from my words, so I must have been horrible at written expression in this post.

I'll try to get better.

Michael

According to the ACLU, no friend to the idea of for-profit prisons, they account for only 7% of State prisoners and 18% of Federal prisoners. 

https://www.aclu.org/issues/smart-justice/mass-incarceration/private-prisons

To blame them for decimating inner city black communities is a rather much.  They date from the 1980's, the Nancy Reagan Just-Say-No era.  But Thomas Sowell (among others) traces the decline/reversals in the black community to the War on Poverty, the 1960's.

https://civilrights.findlaw.com/other-constitutional-rights/private-jails-in-the-united-states.html

Elitist insiders invented crack cocaine in order to grow the prison population so they could maximize their profits?  I've got a better one, elitist dentists introduced heroin into the hippie culture, which originally was all about pot and LSD (the good drugs), because heroin addiction ruins teeth, leading to increased demand for the services of dentists.  That's the conspiracy theory uncovered through the plot of the novel Inherent Vice.  

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6 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

Elitist insiders invented crack cocaine in order to grow the prison population so they could maximize their profits?  I've got a better one, elitist dentists introduced heroin into the hippie culture, which originally was all about pot and LSD (the good drugs), because heroin addiction ruins teeth, leading to increased demand for the services of dentists.  That's the conspiracy theory uncovered through the plot of the novel Inherent Vice.  

Dennis,

It's all good unless your name is Gary Webb.

I prefer people like him to Big Brother for exposing the corruption of Big Brother and the Deep State (although Gary did not use the term "Deep State" back then).

btw - I read him back when he was still alive, back when I was still in Brazil, so this topic is not new to me. Anybody who can commit suicide with two gunshot wounds to the head gets my attention.

Nowadays Big Brother says the existence of the Deep State is a right-wing conspiracy theory. And some people actually believe it.

And I look on in awe.

:) 

Michael

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27 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

To blame them for decimating inner city black communities is a rather much.

Dennis,

Before you characterize my comment as being the whole hog, let me remind folks that I said this scheme is just ONE manner of elitists milking ghettos.

There are a whole bunch of ways, but they always result in single black mothers and black males in jail doing hard time for small crime and Big Brother doing its thing with them.

So, no, it's not "rather much." It's the exact size for the scam to be able to exist and the perpetrators to get away with it.

If this were the only game in town, it would be too blatant to continue and would soon go out of business.

Regardless, President Trump is now pulling the teeth out of that scam.

Michael

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8 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

And don't forget the gravy--let them take the stuff of the newly incarcerated through civil forfeiture while they were at it.

Now you're really talking about a scam of epic proportions.  I don't think we're talking gravy, them's the potatoes. 

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On 12/11/2018 at 9:52 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I wrote back the following. Enjoy:

Quote

David Doel is the closest you have to a formal young communist in Canada.

David Doel ran for federal office (in Oakville riding) at the last election. He got just over 2% of the vote.  He ran for the Green Party.

Quote
Quote

He probably won't own up to a formal tie since Russia is out of favor with the left right now, but that's what he is.

Formally he is tied to the Green Party. Ergo, he's a formal young communist? How do we decide these things?

The spectrum just lost four colours ...

Edited by william.scherk
Orange is the colour of the New Democrats, Red the colour of the Liberals, Blue the Colour of the Conservatives. No communists have ever been elected to federal office.

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On 12/13/2018 at 10:28 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Dennis,

That made it worse.

Political contributions, "tough on crime candidates" etc., have nothing to do with my point.

The entire private prison system is an elitist scam irrespective of anything, including elections. That's my point. 

With a corollary that this elitist scam has decimated and made inner city black communities more vulnerable and more excessively violent than they already were, all at the same time. The elitist scam treats blacks like livestock.

The elitist scam has managed to exist irrespective of who got elected. They sold it as capitalism and free market. so, to that extent, they needed free market people in power at the time. Tough on crime had nothing to do with it. But since then the politicians have not mattered for the scam to continue. The profits don't go to elect politicians. They ultimately go into the pockets of the elitist insiders after laundering. That's what the scam exists for (like all scams :) ).

There's another point I did not cover, but I believe. Punishment and rehabilitation are not either-or. You can--and should--have both. But that's a different issue for another time--except for one aspect. Making them either-or and getting people riled up and polarized over this false assumption provides an excellent smokescreen to perpetuate the elitist scam.

You're very intelligent and didn't get this from my words, so I must have been horrible at written expression in this post.

I'll try to get better.

Michael

"Shawshank Redemption." "Cool Hand Luke." "Pappillon." however it is spelled. "Escape from Alcatraz." Isn't it odd how we feel real empathy for actors playing people in prison, but that feeling may not stretch into real life? Maybe not as much feeling as for Tom Hank's character in "Castaway," but you like the prisoners but despise the wardens.   

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I think someone cited this, but I may be wrong. Some snips from Walter E. Williams in The Daily Signal:

How appropriate would it be for a major publicly held American company to hire a person with a history of having publicly made the following statements and many others like them? In the interest of brevity, I shall list only four: “The world could get by just fine with zero black people.” “It’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old black men.” “Dumbass f—ing black people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”  “Are black people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only being fit to live underground like groveling bilious goblins?”

I think most Americans would find such blatant racism despicable and would condemn any company that knowingly hired such a person. Leftists of every stripe would be in an uproar, demanding the dismissal of such an employee. College students and their professors would picket any company that hired such a person.

I could be wrong about this, so I’d truly like any employer who’d hire such a person to come forward. Most Americans would see such statements as racist, but consider this: Suppose we slightly changed the wording of each statement, replacing the word “black” with “white.” For example, “The world could get by just fine with zero white people.”

Would you consider that statement to be just as racist? I would hope you’d answer in the affirmative. They’re all racist statements. The racist statements about white people were made by Sarah Jeong, one of the newest members of The New York Times’ editorial board. end quote

The joke is the jokes were about, white folks. The writer was of south Korean descent and Walter is a person of darker skin and large brain.  

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17 minutes ago, Peter said:

I think someone cited this, but I may be wrong.

Click and go ...

walterWilliams.png

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Our supreme court is such an ugly and old-modern thing.  

6903072200_9a3dcfc139_b.jpg

The nine appointees inside did a bit of reform within their margin, removing a lawful financial leech on offenders: pay X now or go to hoosegow.

The headline doesn't say it all. "Mandatory payments for minor offences unconstitutional, top court rules."

Bylined Teresa Wright. She's no poet, but has a nice punchy old-fashioned CP style.

Quote

In a 7-2 decision delivered Friday morning in Ottawa, the Supreme Court found the mandatory victim surcharge puts a crushing financial burden on poor people and places them under constant threat of being arrested and jailed if they do not pay.

"Judges have been forced to impose a one-size-fits all punishment which does not take into account the individual's ability to pay," Justice Sheilah Martin writes in the majority's decision.[...]

The case brought to the Supreme Court was that of Alex Boudreault, a high-school dropout who had never held a steady job and who pleaded guilty in September 2013 to four counts relating to breaches of probation orders.

A few months later, the Quebec man pleaded guilty to several other counts, including breaking and entering, possession of stolen property and assault with a weapon.

In 2015, a Quebec court sentenced Boudreault to 36 months in prison and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of $1,400 -- rejecting his argument the fee infringed the charter guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.

The Quebec Court of Appeal dismissed Boudreault's challenge of that ruling last year.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear Boudreault's case as well as six similar ones that were grouped together to form the basis of Friday's ruling. The offenders in all seven cases argued they couldn't afford the surcharges, and all seven were living in poverty with physical and mental illnesses. Many also struggled with addictions.

[...] The government can remedy this by changing the law to reflect this decision, Martin noted in her ruling. In the meantime those stuck with surcharges will have to seek relief in the courts one by one, she added.

[...]

Friday's ruling did come with a dissenting opinion. Justice Suzanne Cote wrote she disagreed that the surcharge violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and would have dismissed the appeals.

But a majority agreed with Martin that the fee is unconstitutional.

"Put simply, it is cruel and it is unusual," Martin wrote.

I am optimistic about federal sentencing reform in the USA. It's not pure apple pie, but it makes sense in libertarian, rational terms -- it is appealing across boundaries.  Strong leadership in DC could remove arbitrary cruelties and inefficiences of the "redemption industries," be they for-profit or no. It's interesting that Mulvaney was given another plate to spin as White House chief of staff come January. He has a solid understanding of how legislation gets massed, moving, and done, and has contacts in the deeps of the machinery. I think Trump should claim credit if all the efforts come to a big conclusion.

I am mid-dive into the state of the 50 states' punition industries and varied reforms platted and negotiating in the legislatures and executive agencies. The chief initial finding is that states are reducing their incarceration rates per capita.

Also of note for Canadians reading, federalism in criminal affairs is way more robust down there, it seems. "States rights" to have independent justice systems with perhaps-peculiar local features seems permanent. So there may always be a slight difference in law between Louisiana and Texas and Oklahoma.  So a 'provincial/state Crown' may do battle in court with a 'federal Crown,' which strikes a Canuck as a little bit weird.

Or maybe I am missing essential congruities between north and not.  The Quebec 'Crown' system does indeed throw challenges at the feds. But I guess the final puzzle is whether a decision like our 7-2 on mandatory fees, if made by the US supremes, would that decision strike out a state right to compulsory levies on offenders?  Would it apply in all jurisdictions (as it must in Canada due to our unitary criminal code)?

Edited by william.scherk
Individual opinions may differ ... but I roll seven

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On the topic of private prisons, here is a perspective from Candace Owens, who I totally respect. Her perspective is different than mine, albeit, I focus on the corruption side while she focuses on the prisoners.

She did something I did not do. She went to a private prison and interviewed people. I don't believe she staged a false narrative and I don't believe it is easy to dupe her, so I have to take into account what I saw in the video below. It's a little heavy on talk about God at times, but that's to be expected in a video of this nature.

I'm not fully convinced it's all lollipops and roses like it seems in the video, but, after seeing the video, a crack of looking deeper has formed in my perspective. It's better for me to set the anger aside and look more before letting 'er fly again.

Regardless of how it ends up, when a private company only has the government as a paying customer, that's not private enterprise. And if private prisons are paid by the inmate, that's a temptation to fill the place up.

If I end up being wrong on this, though, I'll say it.

Michael

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33 minutes ago, Jules Troy said:

Michael it reminds me of the underground black market organ “donor” rings.

Jules,

Yeah. I get that creepy feeling, too. But that might be a bias because I have harbored an enormous disgust of Clinton's crack law for years. (That's the root of the massive imbalance.)

Don't forget. I used to be a crack head.

:) 

I'm going to look deeper...

Michael

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22 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jules,

Yeah. I get that creepy feeling, too. But that might be a bias because I have harbored an enormous disgust of Clinton's crack law for years. (That's the root of the massive imbalance.)

Don't forget. I used to be a crack head.

:) 

I'm going to look deeper...

Michael

A few years ago over on RoR I had an interesting discussion on the war on drugs.

http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/GeneralForum/0408.shtml#8

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