Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “zero tolerance”

Jail for the Privileged and Profiteers – Roger Ingalls

Another city jail opens its doors to corruption. Fremont, California over build their incarceration capacity by a factor of six so now they’ve decided to lower their vacancy rate by renting out the open cells in an attempt to turn a quarter of a million dollar profit. On the surface it sounds like a good idea because the city fixes a planning mistake and they also make money to spend elsewhere. But these profit motivated jailing programs have proven corrupt and beneficial to mainly the privileged.

Obviously, these programs cater to the wealthier members of society. As an example, if someone breaks the law and is sentenced to jail time, instead of serving time in a crowded county jail they can appeal to the judge for movement to a city facility if they pay a daily rental fee. In the case of Fremont, the daily fee is $155. If you have extra money, you can buy your way into a nicer jail with fewer prisoners and a less stressful environment. So, two criminals with the same offence with different monetary standings will serve different sentences. The poorer guy gets hell while the richer one gets a more privileged stay. Sentencing for crime should not be based on a criminal’s wealth.

picture by thinkprogress.org

picture by thinkprogress.org

Another problem with for profit jails is financial corruption. Again, it’s already been proven that judges can get bought. A for profit juvenile jail in Pennsylvania kicked back $2.6 million to two judges for keeping their facility at capacity; the infamous Kids for Cash Scandal. Offences that normally resulted in suspension from school for a few days often put teenagers in juvy-jail for months. The judges hid behind a position of zero tolerance but in actuality it was payola time.

For profit incarceration is also driving the criminalization of basic human behavior. Many of the prisons built over the past twenty years are constructed and managed by companies on the stock exchange. Many facilities originally built by local governments are now being handed over to for profit companies. Do you wonder why crime reports state that violent crimes are down but then the next report says the prison population is increasing? To attract stock investors, publicly traded incarceration companies need to grow revenue quarterly and annually…that’s how Wall Street and their financial institutions work. More prisoners equal more dollars and rehabilitation is a dirty word. These huge prison companies and their large work force hire lobbyists and political marketing firms to promote the passing of new laws or rally against movements that try to do away with bad laws that criminalize normal human behavior. Again, these companies need bodies behind bars to make money.

Jailing for the purpose of profit is a corruption of justice.

Ant People – Roger Ingalls

Recently, I read an article about the similarities between ant colonies and the human brain. Basically, an ant colony, as a whole, learns in the same manner as a single human brain. A single ant may not be smart but a bunch of ants leap-frogging each other in bits of temporary knowledge will complete a task and the path to success is chemically marked or memorized. Our brains work the same way and the number of right and wrong turns we take in trial and error learning is almost identical to an ant colony.

Social Insects by Emma Adair and Jane Garver. By creating a closed environment, there was ample room for ant-people and onlookers alike. (Photo by Ben Grad)

Social Insects by Emma Adair and Jane Garver. By creating a closed environment, there was ample room for ant-people and onlookers alike. (Photo by Ben Grad)

After thinking about this study, I realized that people are becoming more like ants. Every aspect of life is being simplified, monitored, variety-limited and generally dumbed down. Here are a few of many examples:

1)      Zero tolerance for this or that is another way of saying don’t think, it just yes, no, black or white. In many aspects of life we are no longer allowed to study a situation and then make a smart or compromised decision.

2)      Electronic monetary system is quickly becoming the rule. If you don’t have a credit or ATM card it’s near impossible to function. Cash payment and bartering are almost extinct. This is a government and big bank control issue.

3)      Institutional food distribution is limiting our choices. Drive down any major road in any part of the country and it’s like you’re continuously driving around the block where you live. It’s all the same; McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell and so on. Every freeway exit has the same crap.

4)      Almost a repeat of 3 above: Institutional product distribution is limiting our choices. Drive down any major road in any part of the country and it’s like you’re continuously driving around the block where you live. It’s all the same; Walmart, Lowes, Kmart and so on. Every freeway exit has the same crap.

5)      Repeat again: Industrialized agriculture drives affordability of vegetation-foods to a limited variety of grain crops such as, corn, wheat and soybean. These starchy crops are multi-purpose and generate revenue in many markets (animal feed, people feed, food additives, liquid fuels…). Grain crops are chemically grown with basic macro-elements (npk) and are void of essential micro-nutrients. Even leafy greens or other non-grain vegetation-foods and factory farmed with macro-elements. Limited variety and limited nutritional benefits.

6)      Protein foods also lack variety. Fish, beef and other meat variety are industrially raised and fed on cheap nutrient-low grain diets that are unnatural. The end food product for humans is, again, void of essential micro-nutrients.

7)      All our religions must be monotheistic. If we don’t believe in one god we are considered weird. We must conform to a one leader authoritarian based belief system. Complex thinking that lacks reverence for authority is forbidden because free thinkers are hard to control.

The majority of us now want and do the same things; smart phones, credit cards, cars, kids and homes with green manicured lawns. We are being groomed for easy control and corporate profit.

We are ants.

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