Wednesday, July 28, 2010

America Has Too Many Laws, Too Many People In Prisons, Bohemian Grove Time Of Year

David Brooks
David Sirota
Maureen Dowd

"A new poll shows that Congress' approval rating is at a record low of 11 percent. The other 89 percent are going to withhold judgment until Congress actually does something." – Jay Leno
"Vice President Joe Biden has declared that the heavy lifting is over for the year, and it's time to begin campaigning and talking about the White House's accomplishments. The heavy lifting might be over, but it sounds like the heavy shoveling is just beginning." – Jay Leno
"WikiLeaks has posted over 90,000 classified documents about the war in Afghanistan. The Pentagon is outraged, the White House is furious, but British Petroleum is relieved: 'Finally, a leak we had nothing to do with.'" – Jay Leno

I spent most of yesterday standing in lines at Comcast, among other things. I had to replace my router and switch out the cable modem, then wait on the phone for a customer service representative to switch the thing on from their end. Hopefully, they are working fine and I won't have any more interruptions in my Inernet service... While I was at the library getting books for myself and my sister, I was accosted by a man wanting me to sign a petition that would make it harder for people in jail to be released, at least that was his pitch. I didn't read it because I decided not to sign it. He became hostile and started yelling at me after I told him my reasons for saying no to him: that I wanted less people in jail, less laws that could land you in jail, and that I believed in forgiveness and redemption.

More than our political systems are broken, our justice system is bloated, corrupt, and rarely does justice for those who put their faith in it. Our prisons are overcrowded, and, as the linked article in the Economist says: "Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little..."

"Justice is harsher in America than in any other rich country. Between 2.3m and 2.4m Americans are behind bars, roughly one in every 100 adults. If those on parole or probation are included, one adult in 31 is under “correctional” supervision. As a proportion of its total population, America incarcerates five times more people than Britain, nine times more than Germany and 12 times more than Japan. Overcrowding is the norm. Federal prisons house 60% more inmates than they were designed for. State lock-ups are only slightly less stuffed.

The system has three big flaws, say criminologists. First, it puts too many people away for too long. Second, it criminalises acts that need not be criminalised. Third, it is unpredictable. Many laws, especially federal ones, are so vaguely written that people cannot easily tell whether they have broken them"

Our legislatures have spent over 200 years creating laws, yet have never looked to repeal the badly written ones, the dumb ones, or the overly punitive ones. Either laws need sunset clauses on them, or for every law that a legislature now passes, they must also repeal one...

States and counties are finding that they can't afford to keep so many people in prisons, and we haven't produced many successful programs that keeps people from coming back to jail once they are released. We need to think outside of the box. Jails were considered as a last resort during the time when we wrote the Constitution. In many places, moral theory was practiced - that someone could be rehabilitated by living with a decent, churchgoing family. We could translate this into modern times. For example, if a church has more than 100 members and if they wish to maintain tax exempt status, they must establish a program designed to ease ex-cons back into society and accepted as members of the church.... Colleges that accept federal grant money should accept a certain number of ex-cons on scholarships... you get my drift.

We are exporting our broken system to places like Iraq and Afghanistan, grafting a dysfunctional system onto an already crooked tree. These two countries have been recognized as two of the most corrupt governments, not only before we became military partners with them, but corruption has gotten worse since we've occupied them. The Pentagon estimates that there is at least $9.1 billion that it can't account for, it assumes that it all went to projects withing the countries, yet there are no tangible results that can be pointed out. Iraq still doesn't have reliable electricity, or running water, or garbage disposal, or enough medicines in their hospitals. Yet almost every government official has bought a luxury villa in the UAE or in Europe. It's no wonder why they are reluctant to form a new government and let someone else have access to the golden goose... Our American generals, too, like to buy their farms in virginia and ranches in Colorado, be able to put as much in their bank accounts as a neighboring CEO does, graft among our top ranking military is a time honored tradition that is a taboo to look into.

Graft is a problem the world over. In many places it is considered the norm. Russia has the worst corruption of their police officials, and it's a fact of life condoned and encouraged by Vladimeer Putin, so what are ya gonna do? People are upset that the Pakistani intelligence have been playing both sides of the fence, supporting both the US and the Taliban, but they have been doing just that for at least 30 years. They are not going to change overnight because we give them a couple of drones to play with. China has the worst judicial system, the idea of fairness is a farce. And their are still countries out there ruled by cruel military fueled dictators that we sell guns to and sent economic support, others, like Haiti, that we never allow to have a decent and honest government.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, I wanted to bring it around to the idea of graft and dishonesty spawning conspiracy theories. Whenever money is being stolen, by government officials, military generals, or corporations, their is always a conspiracy to do so and to cover up. Most information that is "classified" is to keep embarrassing information from going public. That is why the Pentagon has gone ballistic and wants to find who leaked so many documents to wikileaks.

The NY Times has an article about how there are not many protesters at the Bohemian Grove gathering this year. the gathering takes place every year in the redwoods in Northern California, near the Russian River. Members from international businesses and governments meet here to schmooze, consume alcohol, and partake in fake druid-like ceremonies. The festivities start during the first night with everyone wearing a hooded robe, gathering in front of a 40 foot high concrete owl, and chanting while a wicker man is burned alive as a sacrifice... You used to be able to buy an investigative DVD on this from the Alex Jones website, but they have purged it in favor of their new favorite conspiracies about Barack Obama. People used to line up outside and protest, because it is men only, and there is a high level of security to keep the curious away, and really, just what do 2,500 middle aged men, the captains of industry and leaders of government, do for two weeks alone in the redwoods? Have the elegant, old world pageants devolved into wearing hoodies, stumbling around in the dark and pissing on trees? Does that now pass for tradition?
"A teary-eyed toast, then, to this wooded womb, followed by soulful consideration of one’s connection to greatness while urinating beside a skyscraping redwood. Who knows what titan of industry, what head of government — what Bohemian! — has relieved himself in this very spot?"
Because the rituals are centered around Germanic rituals that also take place during midsummer in the Black Forest, there are theories linking them to the Illuminati and other groups who would conspire to plot out your lives. It is true that both Dick Cheney and George W Bush attended during the same year, and hours afterwards Mr Bush announced that his running mate would be Mr Cheney; so maybe some deals are made in the dark woods after burning effigies, while secret service men make sure there are no prying eyes... Even the satanic leader of the parrot-heads himself, Mr Jimmy Buffet, is a known member, so maybe you can get a cheeseburger in paradise...

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree! Good on you for telling it like it is to that ignorant SOB who got mad at you for not signing that idiotic petition.


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