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We kick the ass of the ruling class

#F20 National Occupy Day In Support of Prisoners: Statement from Formerly Incarcerated People

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 19, 2012, 12:34 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

natl day for prisoners

Updated with new cities and actions! This Monday, Feb. 20th, is the National Occupy Day of Action In Support of Prisoners. For information on events in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Durham, Eureka, Fresno, Indio, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, SF Bay Area, and Washington, DC, see here. Prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary will refuse food in solidarity on Monday.

The following statement was issued by a group of formerly-incarcerated members of All of Us Or None and Occupy For Prisoners. For more about why this protest has been called, see below.

To the Occupy Oakland family, all supporters of Occupy Oakland, and the larger Occupy Wall Street movement:

We are writing to appreciate everyone who has ever supported PEOPLE inside jails, prisons, and detention facilities throughout the country. We are also writing to ask for support from everyone planning to participate in February 20th National Day of Occupy in Support of Prisoners. PEOPLE in prisons – a nice name for cages – as well as formerly imprisoned PEOPLE, are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in our society. We have been labeled as “offenders”, “criminals”, “convicts”, “ex-offenders”, “ex-cons”, and many other dehumanizing terms, and are scapegoated for causing society’s fundamental problems. We are PEOPLE, and not the labels they use. The real “criminals” are those who run Wall Street, who are responsible for genocide, racism, xenophobia, and all forms of discrimination. They lead the attacks against communities throughout America.

Feb 20th is a National Day to support PEOPLE inside cages who express their solidarity with the 99% and to support PEOPLE seeking social, economic, and other forms of justice. With the help of our supporters, allies, and larger communities, we aim to create a safe space to allow the voices of PEOPLE in captivity to be heard.

Many of us inside as well as out in the “free” world live by a code of conduct and support self-determination. We strive to build and follow leadership in our collective and public actions. We do not advance individual agendas over our collective needs. We further pledge to treat each other with respect and not allow differences to divide us, to accept responsibility for any acts that may have caused harm to our families, our communities or ourselves, and to play an active role in making our communities safe for everyone.

Seldom if ever, are people inside asked or given a safe space to tell their stories. The broader Occupy Oakland and general public need to know what is going on inside these cages, how the bottom of the 99% are treated by the 1%, and the need to meaningfully include people inside as we build our collective efforts.

We ask everyone reading these words to support our efforts to create a safe, secure and genuinely inclusive space for people inside, and to build a genuine role for their voices in the February 20th National Day of Occupy in Support of Prisoners. We do not want to create or exacerbate conditions that endanger anyone’s freedom. We know police have attacked our sisters and brothers at Occupy encampments all over the country. We ask everyone participating to remember that for many of us even a mass arrest could escalate to a parole violation and a return to prison. We also want to guarantee the safety of family members with loved ones inside because they are the lifeline for PEOPLE in cages.

We ask you to be our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers!

With Humility,

Formerly-Incarcerated People from All of Us or None and Occupy for Prisoners

Original Call-out from Occupy Oakland

“We are calling for February 20th, 2012 to be a ‘National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.’

“In the Bay Area we will ‘Occupy San Quentin,’ to stand in solidarity with the people confined within its walls and to demand the end of the incarceration as a means of containing those dispossessed by unjust social policies.

Reasons

Prisons have become a central institution in American society, integral to our politics, economy and our culture.

Between 1976 and 2000, the United States built on average a new prison each week and the number of imprisoned Americans increased tenfold.

Prison has made the threat of torture part of everyday life for millions of individuals in the United States, especially the 7.3 million people—who are disproportionately people of color—currently incarcerated or under correctional supervision.

Imprisonment itself is a form of torture. The typical American prison, juvenile hall and detainment camp is designed to maximize degradation, brutalization, and dehumanization.

Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. Between 1970 and 1995, the incarceration of African Americans increased 7 times. Currently African Americans make up 12 % of the population in the U.S. but 53% of the nation’s prison population. There are more African Americans under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.

The prison system is the most visible example of policies of punitive containment of the most marginalized and oppressed in our society. Prior to incarceration, 2/3 of all prisoners lived in conditions of economic hardship. While the perpetrators of white-collar crime largely go free.

In addition, the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated that in 2008 alone there was a loss in economic input associated with people released from prison equal to $57 billion to $65 billion.

We call on Occupies across the country to support:

  1. Abolishing unjust sentences, such as the Death Penalty, Life Without the Possibility of Parole, Three Strikes, Juvenile Life Without Parole, and the practice of trying children as adults.

  2. Standing in solidarity with movements initiated by prisoners and taking action to support prisoner demands, including the Georgia Prison Strike and the Pelican Bay/California Prisoners Hunger Strikes.

  3. Freeing political prisoners, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Lynne Stewart, B. Manning and Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, a Black Panther Party member incarcerated since 1969.

  4. Demanding an end to the repression of activists, specifically the targeting of African Americans and those with histories of incarceration, such as Khali in Occupy Oakland who could now face a life sentence, on trumped-up charges, and many others being falsely charged after only exercising their First Amendment rights.

  5. Demanding an end to the brutality of the current system, including the torture of those who have lived for many years in Secured Housing Units (SHUs) or in solitary confinement.

  6. Demanding that our tax money spent on isolating, harming and killing prisoners, instead be invested in improving the quality of life for all and be spent on education, housing, health care, mental health care and other human services which contribute to the public good.

193 Comments

193 Comments


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[-] 8 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I read a great book several years ago called The Real War On Crime. It was a report from the National Criminal Justice Commission and is on the reading list of many university criminal justice curriculums, Fordham for sure. It detailed what was driving up our unprecedented incarceration rate (far, far higher than any other country in the world) which was victimless non-violent drug abusers, and longer and longer sentences with often no rehabilitaion.

Nils Christie, a criminologist suggests a frightening scenario when he said, "the RAW MATERIAL is prisoners, and industry will do what is necessary to guarantee a steady supply. For the supply of prisoners to grow, criminal justice policies must ensure a sufficient number of incarcerated Americans regardless of whether crime is rising or the incarceration is necessary." This was incredible to me when I read this the first time...and it still is.

A Wall St Journal article in 1994 asserted that, "...the private corrections industry uses the war against crime as a lucrative business market much the way the defense industry used the threat of Communism during the Cold War." The article went on to suggest that, "the prison-industrial complex.......is based on an "IRON TRIANGLE between government bureaucracy, private industry, and politicians. The three entities create interlocking financial and political interests to push for....expansion of the criminal justice system.".......... If this wasn't enough, the book goes on to say that........ the PIC involves some of the biggest investment banks on Wall St including Goldman Sachs.This is shameful and alarming to me, and it should be to all of us.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You should see the PBS special : Slavery by another name.

This has happened before and if allowed will happen again. Greed/corruption/abuse/slavery all in the name of the all mighty dollar.

[-] 3 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, I saw that special a couple of nights ago. It is both sad and amazing to me how people can compromise their morals for money.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Not just that, but that it was so pervasive and yet largely unknown. How does that happen without cooperation and support?

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

It had the support of all the people that benefited from the corrupt system. The rest of the populace either were manipulated or asleep much like we were until now.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That and scared shitless. I am so glad that we have an internet to communicate over or much that is going on right now would still be unknown.

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[-] 2 points by nicky2 (46) 2 years ago

I saw this last night . . it was heartbreaking and chilling. Very few knew and no one cared.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That is why we need to learn from the past, to see that it does not happen again, and to unite in common cause to fight the corruption that is out in plain view.

[-] 2 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

In case anyone knows a lawyer who wants to make a difference, I have a pending court case against a credit card company that I am handling in pro per.

I'd like to fight off the artificially manifested legal pressure credit card companies continue to unnecessarily inflict on millions of people.

My goal is to replace the present aggressive protocol regarding credit card penalties, fees and ongoing interest rate charges with a written promise by the debtor to resume payments when employed again. on just the debt that was owed when the person could no longer make payments.

This small shift on how debt is viewed and treated could create a massive shift in financial emotional terrorism, which can eventually lead to petty crimes and jail.

[-] 0 points by AmericanCitizen (0) 2 years ago

Ummm... what's wrong with the concept that if you borrow money you are obligated to pay it back? If you pay it back on time, you can avoid the interest payments and penalties. If you can't afford to pay it back, don't borrow it! Shred the damn' cards and close the accounts!

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

AC, you are referring to just one type of credit card transaction. There are numerouis reasons people borrow from credit card companies.

I don't think it helps the discussion to ponder why everyone does do the same thing. I think what is important that all debt eventually gets paid without turning people into forever debtors because they have an emergency that causes them to delay making a payment.

it's ludicrous to believe that if someone borrowed 5 grand, had been making payments on time, than because there is a medical emergency, a family member needs caretaking, or they lost their job and can't find another one, that they should both have their credit score scarred, AND, also own 10 or 15 grand as well.

[-] -1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

The lenders are loosing money for every month that goes by without any interest and they would likely pass that on to those actually making payments. As someone who is fortunate enough to be able to make my payments on time, I would object to this. While I feel for those who are unable to pay on time, I do not want my rates going up.

[-] 1 points by lottaluck (5) 2 years ago

The word is losing, not loosing. Further, I'd like to know how it is that you are "fortunate" enough to be able to make your payments. Do you get a monthly gift from Zeus? Or is it only that you get more in your paycheck than your work is actually worth?

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I guess I am just fortunate to have a good paying job. A lot of people don't.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

Except that the banks are not losing money. The banks get the money at zero interest from the government, then charge 13% to 24% in most instances. If someone has a medical emergency, has lost a job due to downsizing, or is caretaking for a family member, simply repaying a debt over time with no new interest rate charges, fees or penalties is the ideal solution.

However, if that person is penalized with ongoing interest rate charges even when there is a compelling reason, this just creates a debtor's nation and is one of the reasons that leads to people taking desperate measures.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

They are loosing money if no interest accrues because that money that they loaned to the non-payer could have been loaned to someone who would pay. It is a lost opportunity cost and it is naive to think that they don't pass on that cost in the form of higher interest rates to those who do make the payments.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

You are envisioning the economy as an endless supply of money and resources.

The economy is tanking and continues to tank because of the instilled fabrication that there must always be never ending economic growth.

Anything short of never ending economic growth is supposed to strike fear into society and allow for rampant foreclosures and labeling people as bad credit risks who must then pay exorbitant interest rate charges for the rest of their lives because they have been scarlet lettered by the banks.

Never ending economic growth is the plan instigated by the rich elite that has now led to economic fraud in the form of foreclosures and high interest rates that actually tip millions of americans into more debt when a lower interest rate would actually allow them to get out of debt.

Manufactured debt is the predecessor to war as overuse of resources, (a result of people having to work way too many hours to pay off obscene interest rate charges) leads to military intrusion to insure key resource supply lines are not interrupted.

What the world needs now is a consumer's right to declare DEBT NEUTRALITY which would allow people who behave humanely, the right to pay down their existing debts with lowered interest rates, and no penalties or fees, so they can become less encumbered by a system that is rigged like a pyramid scheme for the benefit of the rich elite.

[-] 1 points by lottaluck (5) 2 years ago

I liked your beginning. I think your end is nonsensical claptrap. Has the system been rigged to benefit the wealthy? Sure. Are new rules turned around the other way the answer? No way. A strong and self-sustaining economy does not require endless growth. Only big-government models require this. Under Liberty, an economy only needs acceptance to do well. The trouble we have today is that everyone thinks they know best how and what people should do. That, and they've put far too much authority in government for things that are better handled by the people directly involved.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I like the idea corporate transparency

people should be allowed to discuss the finances of the corporation they work for

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I see no refutation of the ending, so why insult something you don't even address. So to be clear, in your world, if a family member needs caregiving, resulting in the caregiver not being able to work and take care of that person, a person should think about paying that monthly credit card bill first, even if it means abandoning the family member needing family care so the can keep working.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I think you are looking way too deeply into my statement above. I am not inferring an endless supply of money. Quite the opposite actually.

Suppose I lend Bob and Jim $1000 each at a variable interest rate. Bob stops payments and his interest stops accruing. So now my money is locked up and I am not even getting any interest. What recourse do I have? I'll just raise the rates on Jim, who makes his payments every month, to make up for the money I am loosing on Bob.

I own a dental practice and I used to allow people who couldn't afford work to pay it off in installments. Too many people stopped making payments though and I was forced to raise my fees to make up for the lost money. So in the end, my patients who always paid on time were the ones who were hurt, and now I don't allow payment plans at all. It is really pretty unfortunate for everyone involved.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

in this scenario,

the banker must always make money and has control of the market price

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

How do you figure? What is to prevent Jim from just handing me the balance one day to pay off his loan if the rate gets too high? Then I am not making any interest until I can find a new borrower.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the option to charge Jim more was assumed

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I said in the example that it is a variable interest rate.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

O.K.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

You had a solution to your problem. Offer extended payment plans to anyone who would sign up for a automatic payment plan where a certain amount of money is taken out every month from their bank account.

I think you are personalizing the situation too much. Banks cannot deal with anybody one on one. Because credit card companies don't deliver the proper customer attention that might be needed, they make A LOT MORE MONEY, enough money that the bank presidents are taking 20 million dollar bonuses home every year.

This is not about you versus me, or Jim versus Bob. It's about people who have a legitimate emergency or crisis and need to take a time out. If the credit card companies had been more cooperative all along, the person who had to stop paying five years ago but could have started paying again three years ago would have kept the flow of money stable.

Instead the credit card companies want to pulverize anybody who has a legitimate reason for not being able to make a payment, then they use their obscene "profit versus people employed operandi" to send out the next 5 million mailers.

Credit Card Companies just want anybody they can get on the hook for debt so if that person can't make a payment, they turn into an indentured debtor for life, with their debt and ever accruing interest rate charges following them whereever they go.

I went ahead and wrote an article based on the issue of Debt Neutrality. http://www.occupynews.blogspot.com/2012/02/debt-neutrality-how-debt-neutrality.html

[-] 0 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

I believe you are missing " personal responsibility" in this discussion. Way too many people are spending money they do not have on things they do not "have to have"! The credit card holder that exposes him or herself with high debt to the high interest rates of a credit card company should not be paid for by all the responsible people that do pay their bills on time. Whenever I read what the average credit card debt is per person, it leaves me wondering what were these people thinking as they look at big HD TV on the wall. Don't blame the card companies for people's irresponsible and bad spending habits. I see kids today that do not know "want", only "have".

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

There are a lot of people who had medical emergencies, could have been involved in an auto accident not of their doing, are taking care of a family member, and as a result of any of those reasons, might be unable to work for a while.

Banks don't care.

The irony of the big screen comment is that going out on the town can cost 50 to 100 bucks without blinking too much.

So based on seeing two movies a month on the town, a big screen tv would pay for itself within one year.

I'm not advocating people walk away from their debts, I am advocating debt neutrality while a person is dealing with a real life issue that is preventing them from working at that time.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

people go to the theater to get out

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

A question Matt: do you go out on cash or credit?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

debit

credit cards would have taken when debit cards came out

(since people used to carry credit as opposed to large sums of cash)

if they were not allowed to engage in predatory loans

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Which is really cash, but It is to your advantage to use credit and pay off end of each month. But you are spending within your means with both methods, which is the entire point of my discussion here.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

if I want to pay attention to credit card bills

I'd rather not

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

Excellent point Matt, so would that mean that if they stay in and watch on a big screen they are actually being frugal over the course of a year's time?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

depends how often they go

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

replying to the response below, this is primarily true if one has attached extension speakers to make the sound sound more vivid.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

If the person or family stays in two extra nights a month because of their big screen TV, they have basically saved the equivalent money as to going out more often.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

tv doesn't need to be big screen

once locked in a show, not really paying attention to screen size

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a time out in life. you should not be in a position where credit card debt is so large to cause a disaster when life emergencies come along. You are argument is backwards. Do not get into credit card debt in the first place. As for the going out comment, when times are tough, you don't go out. You should not spend what you do not have, which is the whole point: fiscal responsibility.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

bullshit. There is such a thing as a time out in life, the banks got a huge one when they got their bailout.

You do realize where you're posting, right?

The belief in no timeouts is a driving factor in how bank executives keep getting their annual 25 million dollar bonuses coming no matter how badly they have done in the prior year.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

I was referring to people. Why do ask " where I'm posting"? Is this your personal forum or are you being exclusionary with the 99%?

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

In response to your comment below, debt and credit card responsibility and bank bailouts and bonuses are COMPLETELY related.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Again, I am referring to personal debt and credit card responsibility .

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I am pointing out the irony in you saying that people don't deserve a time out after....drum rollll please....

The banks get bailed out, the people got sold out.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

We were talking about debt and credit card responsibility, not bank bailouts and bonuses. two different subjects.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I remember as a kid, when I wanted something and my mom would say, "we can't afford it." Those are words that you rarely hear people say today, and I was not fond of those words back then... but I came to use them a lot when I became a parent.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

You were taught the fiscal lesson very well, I hated saying that to my kids also when they were young. But you learn to do without and you came out just fine. I did well in my lifetime so far and have the means for a lot of things but I still retain my parents philosophy. Depression era parents gave us all some good lessons on how to survive and make good decisions. Let's hope we all do the same for the following generations.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, i see kids today that get swamped with toys and stuff at Christmas, and throughout the year. Does it make them any happier? I don't think so. My ex-wife who was from New Zealand seemed to continue the education that my parents gave me on fiscal responsibility. She was amazed at how spoiled kids were in this country, and she was determined not to let that happen to our kids. So she really led the way. Time does heal all wounds...doesn't it?

Our kids seemed to have had much more fun playing in the box that the new refridgerator came in than having a whole mess of toys that we would have went into hock for. They did tell me years later that they felt a little slighted at the time,especially in their adolescence for our unusual way of doing things...but they also said that they were going to raise their kids in the same way. So we were vindicated in the end! lol

We were very fortunate though being able to travel to different places in the world with them, which helped enable them to look at life through 'wide eyes', and not the narrow ones that so many people look at life through.

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[-] 2 points by Quark (236) 2 years ago

George Carlin said the same thing in his last show. He called it the hopeless pyramid that the Owners of the World rely on to keep their power.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Carlin was more than a comedian, he knew what was going on when few other people did.

[-] -1 points by owsleader2013 (-1) 2 years ago

Don't forget that Obama's #1 patron that paid for his election was Dimon of Goldman-Sachs.

But this is all meaningless, as the biggest gorilla in the debate is the Public Employee prison unions, which make being a prison guard the best paying job in America.

Best of all SEIU and public prison unions bankroll the OWS.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Jamie Dimon was with Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase but, although I don't know for sure, they are probably just as bad as Goldman Sachs is, in financing the prison-industrial complex. If you are looking at me to defend Obama, you are asking the wrong person. I took part in a protest when he came to NYC fund-raising.

The explosion in the incarceration rate in this country over the last thirty years was truly a bi-partisan effort. Even in liberal states such as Vermont, my former governor, Howard Dean D was closing down hospitals that provided care for people with addictions, etc., and building new prisons. I remember writing a letter to the editor criticizing him for that.... which appeared in the Rutland Herald. I even remember the ending of that letter, "....in any event we do not need a gulag Vermont."

It is not unions alone that affect all social policy, or the PIC in particular. Rather it is, as I pointed out earlier in another post... the IRON TRIANGLE... where government bureacracy...politicians..and private enterprise push for policies that benefit them financially...and for the most part they are to the detriment of the rest of us. We simply need a transparent, accountable system that is devoid of all special interests if we are going to solve any of our problems in a way that works and is cost-effective.

Over the years, many people have said that unions are no longer necessary, but when you have 28.? per cent of the wealth concentrated with the very wealthy...that is a problem. It has not been that kind of number since 1928...and before Reagan took office, it was under 10 per cent....so I believe the need for unions if quite clear.

If you have not already guessed by now...this is not about partisan politics for me like it is for some...rather it is about right and wrong. What has been going on in this country for the past thirty years or more is simply WRONG on a whole bunch of different levels. We need tranparency and accountability if we are going to solve our problems in a cost effective manner...that works.

[-] -1 points by owsleader2013 (-1) 2 years ago

So sorry, I meant 'Corzine' when I wrote Dimon.

Corzine & Bankfein are GoldmanSachs CEO's and they both financed OBAMA & BUSH.

Dimon is just another asshole like Corzine that has long been part of the DNC machine, that makes and creates our politicians.

But behind the scenes Goldman-Sachs run's the western-world imperialism,

Corzine paid for Obama's election.

Today Corzine got caught stealing $3Billion from USA farmers, yet since he bankrolled Obama's 2008 campaign with his money as ex-ceo of GoldmanSachs, Corzine has NO fear of prison, because He OWNS Obama.


Prisons. The prison industrial complex is the fastest growing biz in the USA, in all states the public prison union is the most powerful player in politic's, all politicians are beholden to the prison unions.

In order for the prison biz to grow, you must create MORE criminals. Thus everyone today will be sent to guantanamo, by that I mean every city or community will have its own guantanamo, and the gaurds will all be paid $100k/year or more, courtesy of union politics and taxpayer easy-money.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, I agree Corzine is an ass. He bought his Governorship by flinging money all over NJ, and then after he made a mess of things here, he proceeded to run MF Global into the ground, and a whole huge pile of money was not only lost and but simply unaccounted for.

You are also right that prison unions are a real problem, but so are private prisons, as they are not in business to lose money. Like I implied, and quoted in my first post, criminal justice policicies are adjusted... more things have become criminal...and there are longer and longer sentences doled out... to ensure that they have a constant supply of "RAW MATERIAL"... or people to you and me.

As far as Guantanamo Bay goes, I was there for a year in '94-'95 working a month on and off when the Haitian and Cuban refugees were taken in there. I woud not want to be there now in any capacity though.

[-] 6 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago
  • This is a very important issue. Because America's criminal justice system has collapsed.

  • A brilliant book was just written by the late William Stuntz, titled "The Collapse of American Criminal Justice."

  • http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674051751

  • Stuntz was a highly regarded professor of Criminal Law at Harvard.

  • Among the many things Stuntz says in his book are that the poor and minorities are being hammered. Unfairly.

  • Think about what is going on in America right now. Our so-called "democracy" has become a sham because the corporate money and other influences are drowning out the voices of the vast majority of us -- thank you Citizens United!

  • But a more pernicious thing is going unnoticed. The more ex-felons we have in society, the fewer people who are likely to vote Democratic.

  • By every measure -- sheer numbers, or number of prisoners per 1000 population, etc. -- America has the most people in jails and prisons.

  • Thus we have fewer people in society who can vote for those evil Democrats.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

why would prisoners vote democrat ?

or was that a typo and really democratic

[-] 1 points by lottaluck (5) 2 years ago

I find it interesting that you assume convicted felons will vote Democrat. Is that really the message you want to carry to the rest of the world? I can see the ad campaign:

"Nine out of ten felons vote Democrat--you should too."

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[-] 3 points by PatrickOxOethafulm (35) 2 years ago

free bradley manning

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[-] 2 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

While this may sound like a tough sell, it makes no sense to not do the little things.

The rationalization used by law officials is that prison is not a hotel, it should not be comfortable, that way people don't want to come back.

However, mattresses that are too thin, having the trash can next to the exercise machine, these are just a couple of things that could be improved, I'm sure there are others.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the trash can next to the dish station is there for the dish washer only

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I was told once that exercise machines are sometimes found next to where the trash is put by the inmates. Exercise should be done where there is plenty of relatively fresh air to breathe.

And too thin of a mattress, or only one thin blanket, if that is going on, why?

[-] 2 points by WooHoo (15) 2 years ago

Now there's a cause America can get behind, support for prisoners.

[-] 2 points by Zabralkan (13) 2 years ago

Greetings! I wanted to ask if this leaflet is in Spanish, so that I can spread it in my country, since here in Chile we have the very same problem with the repression to the students and the workers that have been occupying the schools and mines last year. Now that our fight stopped because every single leadership told us that free education would come with Piñera. Now we are much more repressed, our fighters are imprisoned , and day by day public education gets worsen.

[-] 1 points by Zabralkan (13) 2 years ago

I wanted to ask about the leaflet to start changing the things. I won't be sitting around hoping for change when we can coordinate our fight internationally. After all, the mining companies that loot and plunder Chile are the ones that oppress you in America, the imperialist companies in the wall street (90% of our production leaves chile to go to the Wall Street). Our fight is one, as we do have better chances of triumph if we fence the parasites that make us pay the crisis all around the world. So, is there any way to start coordinated actions?

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

I have seen many Chileans working in Australia and they say the same as you Zabraikan.Be strong,the world is going to change.

[-] 0 points by lottaluck (5) 2 years ago

Really? How? For better? Or worse?

[-] 0 points by lottaluck (5) 2 years ago

I feel your pain. Unfortunately, we're heading your way. What I suggest is going to be dangerous for you. Stop fighting for democracy. They will only say that you already have democracy. Instead, fight for Liberty. It's a dangerous pursuit, but always righteous and beloved by GOD. Here's what I say:

The way of GOD is freedom. The way of Man is tyranny. Liberty is Man's acceptance of GOD's way. I choose GOD and Liberty!

[-] 2 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

Wouldn't be more productive to focus on the root of these prisons? Like mybe, I don't know, the WAR ON DRUGS!? There are some prisoners that can rot, namely murderers, rapists, corrupt politicians, terrorists and thieves, but people that simply smoke or deal pot is a waste of our tax money and are the back bone for these private prisons. Just end the wasteful war and legalize marijuana, that's it, OWS.

[-] 1 points by Zabralkan (13) 2 years ago

The problem are not those kind of prisoners. The problem is that each time we got out to fight they jail us and keep us as hostages to show everyone who dares to raise only a finger -not even talk about occupying a plaza or a school- what is their destiny. No fight can even hope to triumph if it doesn't fight for the release of his own kind from the claws of the bourgeoisie and the capitalism.

[-] 0 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

Whatever you say Marx.

[-] 1 points by Zabralkan (13) 2 years ago

Read the leaflet "Free political prisoners and end repression to activists". It seems you where never repressed by the police.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

Either way, capitalism isn't going anywhere, trying to change it is futile.

[-] 2 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

what we operate in right now is not capitalism. Capitalism would have let the banks fail. Capitalism would not have put so many people in homes they couldn't afford, with loans that they had no real means to pay back.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

I agree, it's more mercantilism.

[-] 2 points by Zabralkan (13) 2 years ago

Well then, I am a big fan of the Spanish outraged y'know? "Let's be realistic, let's dream the impossible". What do you fight for, if you have no hope of changing anything?

[-] 2 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

I don't want to abolish capitalism but rather fix it.

[-] 0 points by Mrrotten (18) 2 years ago

I agree w the former, disagree w the latter part of you statement. Change takes time but I don't think it's in any way an exercise in futility to first expose a dysfunctional economic/ political system and then attempt to implement something "better". OWS has already started a new dialogue that didn't exist just 5 or 6 months ago.

[-] 1 points by Gileos (309) 2 years ago

Sorry man but its existed for a long time. Go read the communist manifesto.

[-] 1 points by Mrrotten (18) 2 years ago

The dialogue you are referring to is/ was extremely small, if not irrelevant- as long as middle class, primarily white, America was doing ok. My point was that since OWS blew up, the dialogue, esp but not limited to Corp influence , has greatly expanded reaching the highest levels of Gov + Corp elites.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

Unfortunately, climate change doesn't give us time, we either fix our system, or die.

[-] 2 points by hedleymnn (14) 2 years ago

Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo the fucking climate change has doomed us all bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

What's your point?

[-] 1 points by Mrrotten (18) 2 years ago

Exactly.

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[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I agree with legalizing, but just look at what a batlle it is to have medical marijuana accepted for people that need it to reduce the vomiting from cancer drugs. The elite have a marvelous ability to obfuscate the issue, so thay anyone who proposes legalization is considered a pot-head, and therefore should not be listened to.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

I don't think so, I've read it will become a legitimate issue in the 2016 election because now 50% of Americans want it legal and 70% want medical marijuana legal.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I hope you're right. I don't think most people want us to be in all the wars we seem to always be in and it doen't seem to matter.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

I hope I'm right too!:)

[-] 1 points by hrthrthrt (4) 2 years ago

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[-] 1 points by EddieB49 (0) 2 years ago

Wall Street's top CEO Duncan Niederauer collects a $4 million bonus while his ex-wife and the REAL mother of his eldest daughter collects food stamps!!! Way to go Niederauer!!!!

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[-] 1 points by bobjr508atyahoocom (22) from Nantucket, MA 2 years ago

hey um....im wondering...... are some of us forgetting that there are still prisoners in these prisons..... THAT DESERVE TO BE THERE?!!!!! I know there might be a few that are there for the same reasons as oh I dont know....mahatma ghandi...nelson mandela...even jesus h. christ himself was arrested. can anyone tell me what is the percentage of hardened criminals in prison that need to stay there? whats the percentage of us good honest moral left wing progressive hell raisers in prison that we need to worry about?

[-] 1 points by bobjr508atyahoocom (22) from Nantucket, MA 2 years ago

We should own stock in some of these corporations we despise so much. corrections corp. bank of america (aka skank of america) etc. we should consider incorporating occupy wall st....somehow get it traded on the nasdaq and nyse....then buy stock in cca and BA etc. we need to get together and incorporate....then we will fight on level terrain. we will decide how well the corp. does....how big the ceo's bonus is.....and how much all his junior executive yes men get.

[-] 1 points by i8jomomma (80) 2 years ago

keep up the good work

[-] 1 points by Justice4all (133) 2 years ago

First new rule of war. Since all the wars are really pushed by those who run this false system, anytime war is declared their asses have to be the first ones on the battlefront. Better yet their asses and their families be the first ones sent to fight it. Heres a gun, bulletproof vest, walkie talkie, and a blanket to stay warm at night--have a nice day and thanks for stopping! Just watch how fast all these false wars and made up enemies cease to exist when they have to fight their own false battles! No more war!! No more false flag operations getting us into wars!! No more sending the poverty stricken and brainwashed off to fight these diseased wars only made for the profits of the upper echelons in society!! No more murdering of true leaders, poets, sons and daughters of light trying to raise mankind to its true purpose!! Its their war have them fight them!! End the Fed the IRS and the Patriot Act!! These are the main driving forces behind all these crimes and taking away of more and more of our freedoms til they are all gone. Peace, love and decency for all mankind!! That is our main reason for being here not the false world situation we've been made to live. Love, light and peace to all!!

[-] 1 points by lottaluck (5) 2 years ago

I read here a lot of complaints about what shouldn't be. What are your solutions? How do you want to bring about what should be? Mine are fewer laws, less government, more Liberty. In any case, we'll still have prisons (unless you like summary execution).

[-] 1 points by Justice4all (133) 2 years ago

What those who really run the system ahve done is create a new form of slavery. In 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve, the United States as it was supposed to be officially died and a new form of slavery was created. in 1914 World War 1 began and the Military Industrial Complex was born and the human race has been guinea pigs to the war machine and the money it ultimately serves the elite with ever since. Now, they are spinning the story as the economies getting better and the job market is recovering. Thats because when the system we have is challenged as it has been (created by the Occupy Wall Street movement), they will move to save their empire and to ensure it by giving the people a dangling carrot just enough to suffice and take the heat off. They can decide whether to create or destroy, to give hope or misery. It all depends ultimately on their systems survival. We have to stop being pawns and the new slaves that have been created by turning up the heat even more and not becoming relaxed and complacent as they are counting on. They may create a better economy to make the people comfortable, but we have been down this road so many times as a people we can already see how its going to go. How long will it be until we are "hit" again by a so called enemy and a new war begins and the corporate interests run it as they do so well? Then the economy again falters, unemployment skyrockets, and we the people have to play this out once again. We must push without quit to end the Federal Reserve and the IRS!! These are the two most destructive, evil and are the driving force behind this tyrranical society that has been created for us to enjoy just so much. We first and foremost need to have them stop dangling a carrot for us and allowing us to go through this same pattern over and over and over and over etc, etc etc again and again and again. They will always create an enemy for us to fear and hate. They will always decide when the so called good times, bad times and horrific times humanity faces. As long as we have the few freedoms we have left we must use them to stop being experimented on like rats in a maze. By the time the next war begins, in a decade or so, we will see two or three more freedoms taken away and that will do it for us, as the final nail will be driven in. They already have the playbook to follow and know exactly what their going to do. The only monkeywrench for them is for us to not get complacent, as they know we always do and play out their final hand. Inside I think we all know this truth but always allow it to happen. Lets not this time--lets get the system back to the way it was supposed to be!! End the Fed--End the IRS and ultimately end our slavery!!

[-] 1 points by samplocracy (26) 2 years ago

oakland you guys are an inspriation.... i have a blog on direct democracy if you are interested you can check it out here: http://samplocracy.wordpress.com/

[-] 1 points by UnityCoalition (3) 2 years ago

To: Prime Minister Miss Joy Waymire [Libertarian] Prime Minister Roseanne Barr [Green Tea] Prime Minister Ralph Beach [Libertarian] Secretary Rhett Smith [Green] Cc: All Voters and Non Voters From: Secretary James Ogle [Free Parliamentary] Subject: USP Day to Day Updates 2/20/2012


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  1. Nominations for the 8th USA Parliament Election of 2012
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  1. Nominations for the 8th USA Parliament Election of 2012 http://usparliament.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=535

Thomas Liu [Pre-Democratic] self nominated on 2/20/2012 Elizabeth [Green Tea] self nominated on 2/19/2012 Jacob Covich [Catholic Trotskyist] self nominated on 2/19/2012 Rick Santorum [Republican] nominated by Jim Doyle on 2/15/2012 Victoria Peterson [Independent] nominated by Jim Doyle on 2/15/2012 John Carter [Green] self nominated on 2/13/2012 Larry Sckwarczynski [Green] nominated by Rhett Smith of 2/9/2012 Celisa Godwin [Green] self nominated on 2/8/2012 John Smith [Registered Democrat] self nominated on 2/7/2012 Jim Spahr [Comedy Central] self nominated on 2/6/2012 Keyantwon Stephens [Libertarian] nominated by Ralph Beach on 2/5/2012 Thomas Robert Stevens [Objectivist] self nominated on 2/5/2012 Alden Link [Objectivist] nominated by Thomas Robert Stevens on 2/5/2012 Sam Sloan [Libertarian] nominated by Thomas Robert Stevens on 2/5/2012 Anilise Stewart [I Follow Who I Believe In] self nominated on 2/4/2012 Jong-pil Park [Democratic] self nominated on 2/4/2012 Bobert Nagan [Wiccan Free Liberal] self nominated on 2/4/2012 John Liquori [Green Tea] self nominated on 2/3/2012 Richard A. Weir [Libertarian Socialist] self nominated on 2/3/2012

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  1. St. Clair/Cottonwood (MN) Mini-state Parliament (ss8-9) http://www.usparliament.org/ss8-9.php

MMP Elizabeth [Green Tea] self nominated on 2/19/2012 MMP=member of mini-state parliament)


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[-] 1 points by DonHawkins (37) 2 years ago

http://knowledge321.wordpress.com trying a new approuch.......

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

American prisoners as slave labour for the war machine.Check it out www.workers.org/2011/us/pentagon_0609/

[-] 1 points by notthatyoucare (2) 2 years ago

Did you know that the billionaires who are hosting and close personal friends of Michelle Obama and Barack this weekend fired their head ski instructor in 2011 because he was trying to get a living wage for the people who worked under the billionaires? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/01/lee-mulcahy-fired-by-aspe_n_817141.html These close friends of Michelle and Barry are on the boards of several banks and are enemies of the 99%.

[-] 1 points by bigbangbilly (594) 2 years ago

The threat of prison is one reason why we don't have a leader.

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 2 years ago

Should we ask all those Corporations that use Prison Labor to Create Their Product Where are the Jobs? (How about all that extra money they give to Political Campaigns)

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

Exactly zoom,they are only fractionally worse off than Walmart associates.

[-] 1 points by marga (82) 2 years ago

We will eventually get all none violent prisoners out. OWS you shouldn't have to tough it out much longer putting yourself in the line of fire. Science is hammering down hard on governments and their educational sysytem. Take time to warch this video http://youtu.be/ceEog1XS5OI to stay informed where we're heading. i want to see those prisoners front the ones who send them there as long as there is no blood. My son spend 2 years in prison for settling his own dispute. He exercised his freedom to defend himself and the law got involved. That was in 1982 and he never been any kind of trouble since but ruined his life for good. He cant get a decent job because he got a record. Living in Arkansas with Mike Huckebee as our master you are fixed in place. But i truly don't see any government survive. All barriers will be lifted and the only rule you have to follow is the group people you chose to be with because you will have rules no matter where you go. Locking people up in prison and using crime against humanity will no longer be tolerated. We got a long way to go yet, but together we can do it.

[-] 1 points by ChingarraSan (1) from Clearlake, CA 2 years ago

The WAR ON DRUGS has failed! It has been, and always will be nothing but a scam on the American People. Prohibition of anything is a joke. All it does is allow for individual rights to be trampled. In that respect it is political in nature. If you consider who benefits from drug policy, it's plain to see! Follow the money and watch who the beneficiaries are. Police agencies, city, county, state, and federal. The court system! Lawyers who prosecute and defend. And, the prison system who not only collect large sums of taxpayer funds to incarcerate, but also make huge profits from the slave labor provided by the captive inmates! And the international drug cartels who in some cases are more powerful than the military of some nations! The government says we must win the war on drugs! If they actually wanted to win, they would simply decriminalize all drugs! By eliminating the BLACK MARKET, there would be no profit motive left. The criminal element involved in drug trafficking would move on to other things, and the war on drugs would be won instantly! The truth is, that too many agencies of government rely on the vast amount of money being ripped off from taxpayers, to want the WAR ON DRUGS to end. And, that's only part of the story! Consider how the BLACK MARKET inflates the price of illegal drugs, and creates huge amounts of cash money which allows the climate of corruption in police agencies to take place! The time to DECRIMINALIZE DRUGS IS NOW! Just the savings realized from the release of millions of minor drug offenders, would be better used to fund the pressing needs of productive programs in government, which would benefit all citizens.

[-] 1 points by lottaluck (5) 2 years ago

You are correct, sir. But you neglect to include the non-profit, anti-whatever wing of the government funded propaganda machine. A lot of self-righteous folks now make an "honest" living denouncing drugs. Meanwhile, you can't really believe that the gangsters now thriving on the illegal drug trade are going to go away.They have criminal ways and will continue them. No simple answer is as simple as it appears. Still and all, I agree with you. But then again, I've never believed the war on drugs was ever an honest effort to stop drug use. Its primary purpose has always been control of the general populace through so-called protection..

[-] 1 points by ccchicky (2) 2 years ago

I volunteer in a ministry for women who have been impacted by incarceration. it has been one of the most eye opening and humbling experiences of my life. Kairos Outside is sister to Kairos, which is Christian based program that delivers hope and love to people who incarcerated. we minister to women who have been impacted through knowing someone who has been incarcerated or has been. I've seen wonderful miracles occur every time I participate as a volunteer. I have never been incarcerated, but this struggle was laid on my heart when my brother participated in a debate about recidivism about 35 years ago. Kairos and Kairos outside are good programs to be involved in if you want to help, inside or out, and are male of female. I encourage everyone interested in bringing hope to people who need it most to volunteer for a weekend "retreat." You will help others, yourself and get an education about our justice system. Thanks for listening. http://www.kairosprisonministry.org/ -annie

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

The world needs more people like you.

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[-] 1 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 2 years ago

During Prohibition, it wasn't the people who consumed alcohol who were likely to go to jail, it was the Suffragettes. The women on the forefront of the women's movement who were demanding equal rights to vote were thrown in jails, where they were force-fed to break hunger strikes (often gruel with brandy in it, ironically), and many of them were also assaulted by their guards.

Governments have been using prisons as a form of social control since the first prison was built. Their primary objective before was to stifle social and political unrest, and their goal now is much the same, combined with a ruthless business plan by these large corporations to get paid billions of dollars annually to keep people (PEOPLE) in cages.

It's probably worth mentioning that one of the first acts Ron Paul would make after taking office would be to free non-violent drug offenders, which make up the vast majority of those imprisoned, especially the disproportionate number of people of color.

Hopefully those of us who still have our right to vote will use it.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

"During Prohibition, it wasn't the people who consumed alcohol who were likely to go to jail, it was the Suffragettes."

Huh?

Prohibition became law in 1919. Women suffrage became law in 1920. Except for a part of one single year, there were no "Suffragettes" during Prohibition.

[-] 1 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 2 years ago

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-beer-travelers/2010/07/prohibition-and-womens-suffrage.html

The first year of Prohibition was the last (and widely considered most violent) year of women not having equal voting rights.

"With women increasingly becoming opposed to the drinking ways of men (and the men that drank, drank plenty- 90 fifths of 80 proof liquor every year per capita...and thats before we account for all the people that did not drink), the big brewers realized that women's suffrage could pose a serious threat to them: having been granted the power to vote, women would significantly buttress the ranks of the anti-prohibition movement. From the link above: As a result, the brewers, the most powerful forces on the anti-Prohibition side, vowed in the resolution passed in 1871 by the U.S. Brewers' Association, to opposed women's suffrage anywhere and everywhere because they saw the vote for women would be their downfall. The more they opposed women's suffrage, the more it did turn women against them. The brewers would resort to dirty tactics, fabricating stories and paying off editors; all that was missing in the slew of false journalism was a blackboard and crocodile tears really. With the brewers resorting to every means of manipulation possible, and their opposition to extending the right to vote to women, prohibition became an even more popular idea, particularly amongst women. It is no coincidence that Prohibition and universal suffrage were both enacted in 1920 (the latter being formally ratified)."

My point is exactly that the government has a long and storied history of aligning with the interests of big business to oppressively prevent undesirable minorities from voting in ways that will adversely affect the corporations.

If the last year of the Occupy movement is the same as the first year of a huge paradigm shift in politics and business, will you think those two things are unrelated as well?

*Also worth noting - Cannabis prohibition does basically the same thing in reverse... rather than keeping disenfranchised people from voting for fear they will enact a prohibition of alcohol, we now have a prohibition of cannabis enacted which very effectively removes disenfranchised people from the voting pool. Cause, meet Effect. Effect, I believe you've known Cause for a while now.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

First, that you for the clarification. I clearly missed the point of what you were saying, and I'm happy to be corrected. I thought you were talking about a different time frame. You had said "during" prohibition, rather than the period leading up to it.

"My point is exactly that the government has a long and storied history of aligning with the interests of big business to oppressively prevent undesirable minorities from voting in ways that will adversely affect the corporations."

But the brewers were not the government. (Although the tax revenue from alcohol was substantial.) The government's interest in preventing the Women's vote was, frankly, simpler: Men were plain old sexists, pure and simple.

A agree with your overall contention, however, that various cadres within government have always tried to suppress the vote, usually to specific groups, completely. And the latest push in terms of State issued IDs are the newest example. This time, it is one side, rather than both, doing the disenfranchising. Those more likely to be without such IDs are African Americans and Hispanics, more likely to vote Democrat than Republiard.

I do, however, take issue with the introduction of pot prohibition into the picture. The conclusions are arguable, and the impression bringing it up serves only reinforces that notion that OWS is a group of drug addled hippies. It has no positive place in a voter suppression discussion. I, for example, strongly oppose the use of pot. And while I believe it should be decriminalized, I don't favor its complete legalization, either. And I'm not in favor of voter suppression of any kind. Most members of Congress are far more conservative in their views than me, and they also have to pander to those who oppose legalizing pot in order to get elected. Voter suppression is not the issue there. (In fact, it may be the opposite: one is less likely to go to the polling station if one is stoned out of his/her mind. LOL)

[-] 1 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 2 years ago

Cannabis prohibition is absolutely voter suppression. If you've been convicted of a felony, you can't vote. People of color are exponentially more likely to be targeted for certain behavior than white people, more likely to be charged, more likely to be convicted, and more likely to do real time. On a day of solidarity with those in cages, my heart especially goes out to the nonviolent drug offenders. You may not personally condone their (personal) choices, but you can't ignore the fact that the drug war represents a multi-billion-dollar effort to effectively silence the voices and votes of a large number of minorities who statistically would be voting democrat.

http://www.alternet.org/rights/49782/

http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/race-and-drug-war

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Cannabis smoking is not a felony. Nor do I really care. The drug war has been engaged for a wide variety of reason, not the least of which is public disapproval of illicit drug use. But that's not the point. The point is that bringing it up as a central issue in OWS only serves to paint OWS as a bunch of druggies. Whether it is an accurate assessment or not is besides the point. The point is if you want to gain public support, you don't turn the public off by asserting your right to get high. It's about the dumbest thing to do, in fact.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

Prohibition is a main tool of the Kleptocrats,so you should care.We need to dismantle their tool kit to find the Democracy they stole.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

First restore the Democracy. To do that gather enough public support to insist on change. Taking about your right to do drugs doesn't exactly win that support in this country. In fact, it reduces it.

Keep your eyes on the prize. That prize in not drugs, it is democracy. Once you achieve that, all other issues can be brought to the table. By insisting on talking about the right to take drugs, you make that likelihood more distant. And it tars the movement with smear of being druggies. You hurt the cause by doing so.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

The ending of prohibition is part of the regaining of the Democratic process.You can`t have one without the other.Suppressed freedoms erode society and allow dictatorial outcomes.It is the eroded freedom I find most unjust.Just look at the supposed freedom of speech and right of peaceful assembly.The status quo is placing a prohibition on demonstrating in any way they can.By enacting new bylaws or using antiquated ones to attack the Occupy Movement.I am not getting ahead of myself as I believe to regain Democracy this part of the process is hand in glove.Now for the record,I do not use recreational drugs.The "Running Man Corporation of America"will soon try to prohibit free speech{via selective corporate media reporting]and right of assembly to protest unjust laws or grievances{via creating new public nuisance laws or some other suppressive action]My call to end prohibition should not hurt the cause,it should actually strengthen it,because the eroding of basic freedoms is how this has all come to be.We have allowed the 1% to dictate to us for too long and their takeover is almost complete.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

OK, let me try this one more, last time.

To make democratic change possible requires a critical mass of supporters. Alienating those supporters is the best way to insure failure. Emphasizing the "right" to take drugs is among the fastest ways to alienate the majority of potential supporters. Doing so is self defeating and idiotic. Period, end of sentence.

[-] 2 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

the idea the public support would be hurt by a call to decriminalize is laughable, Many police unions are against prohibition. So are we alienating those people??? The people most against legalization are also against Welfare, subsidized housing, Contraception coverage for women in religious facility, homosexuality, so on and so forth. I could care less what those haters want, and what alienates them. They are so far up the propaganda train that no matter what we do, they look at us as hippies, drug users, malcontents, because that is how Major media describes us. Why should a drug user be a bad thing? Why is it that a major pharmaceutical has to make money off of me before I am a legitimate member of society, not marginalized by those who think themselves better?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Most polls show that the majority of Americans do not favor legalization of what are now illicit drugs. You want to alienate them? Fine, just keep harping on this, the most stupid topic that OWS could be concentrating on at the moment.

Focus on economic inequity. Focus on the criminality of the 1%. Focus or restoring democracy. If you focus on drug legalization, you are shooting yourself in the foot. If you focus on the other issues, you have a chance of addressing legalization more effectively down the road. At the very best, you are putting the cart before the horse with this issue..

[-] 1 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 2 years ago

On an original news story about prisoner solidarity, I posted 3 comments which were germane to the article. You responded with 7 comments about not talking about it, because it will divide the movement. Irony?

Also, it doesn't help to have people inside the movement constantly talking about how poorly we are perceived.

"only reinforces that notion that OWS is a group of drug addled hippies" "bringing it up as a central issue in OWS only serves to paint OWS as a bunch of druggies" "And it tars the movement with smear of being druggies" "OWS has already been painted as a drug addled group of hippies"

The funny thing is, when I talk to people in the real world about Occupy, I hear a lot of things. College students, socialists, class war, naive, nouveau-hippie, BlackBloc, rioters, people just looking for an excuse to bust out their camping gear, etc. Perhaps you should consider what the people reading this article are going to get from the comments.

It's kind of like having someone repeat over and over that they aren't a child molester. The impression you get isn't 'Wow, this person is really not a child molester.' It's more like 'OK, whatever you say, pedobear.'

Or, to put it more succinctly, "Fine, just keep harping on this, the most stupid topic that OWS could be concentrating on at the moment."

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

Again, I do not care what the Hypocritical Tea Party haters want, as they would have us all regress to a pre 1900 society if they could. As for what most polls show, that is a sampling of a very small group of people usually less than 10000, more often closer to 1000. That does not represent anyone, not to mention, you must examine who has paid for the poll, before you can correctly interpret the results.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The majority of Americans are not the Tea Party. (Thank God.)

As to statistical sampling as a polling method, it has proven very accurate in most things, and gives a very good indication of what people are for or against, especially when various polls, using different methodology and varying sampling criteria all correlate.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

It seems to be getting a life of its own.I waited until the wind changed to see what others thought and to see if you had form,it appears you have.The whole concept of protestation against unjust principles is diversity of thought and the ability to reach out with them.There is no pretend in the Occupy Movement and all grievances are justified,the status quo are monitoring it all and the best way to let them know how fucking pissed off we really are is to tell the fucking truth.Don`t bother me again.

[-] 2 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

I have no problem being a team player.If you believe this to be so destructive to the cause then I go along with you.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

You're right the prize is democracy and when we can get that, we can fix most of the problems in our society devoid of special interests to a big degee. However discussing the issues that are most egregiously wrong in an intelligent way does not take away from our noble cause. Rather, it adds to the reasons that we have to have a democracy that is representative of the people.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Discussing the drug laws is not discussing the most egregious issues. It is one issue, and one sure to turn off the majority of the very people we want support from. OWS has already been painted as a drug addled group of hippies, and those who don't know what we stand for are more likely to accept that narrative if we ourselves keep talking about legalizing drugs as a "major" issue.

As A discussion, it should tabled. There is already plenty on our plate without having to tackle such a contentious topic. I say stick to the essentials: economic equity and political corruption. Once those are behind us, more controversial and debatable topics can be addressed. Let's not give the opposition more to distort. Let's not make things so easy for them.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

The Draconian drug laws and their consequences is a topic that is being debated amongst liberals and conservatives for the first time in a long time, and it is not because some want to 'light up' after the debate. We have at least gotten past that point, finally. I do understand your point of view and realize that you are here for the same reasons that I am for the most part. The thing that drives me crazy is people who keep trying to bring 'this' back to partisan politics. I suspect that is because that is the only battleground they have ever known.

As this movement becomes more and more diversified, which it definitely has become...it becomes more and more difficult for 'them' to categoize us as anything, but concerned citizens who want a better democracy. Every time I go to NYC, I see that diversity, kids who have graduated from some of the best universities in the country..to other young people who know the terms and meanings of derivatives,CDOs, no doc loans, and sub-prime loans are. There are profs and former Wall St. employees teaching classes...little old ladies knitting hats for the demonstrators, and yes people like me who is the father of three dynamic young ladies who know that some things in life are worth fighting for...etc.... etc. My point is this movement will soon, if it hasn't already passed the point of for any reasonable person to accept that this is a bunch of dirty hippies or wannabes complaining about not being able to get something for nothing.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I appreciate the reply. I share the concerns about the draconiam drug laws, and also understand the institutional racism embedded in them. I wish I was as sanguine, though, about the health and broad based appeal of this movement as you are, and respond strongly when I see what I believe are threats to its viability. Perhaps I over-react, but this issue is one I feel would best be tabled until the movement has accomplished its more fundamental aims. It can then be tackled calmly and reasonably, from a public health care, rather than criminal perspective. Right now, I see too many risks from a PR point of view.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

My views might be different and more similar to yours if I were to only go by what is around me in the conservative area that I live in...The people that live in such places are the people that we have to reach out to...and some still don't understand what this is really about...right and wrong, very basically. Maybe you are right..that the drug war should be off-limits for a while...and maybe I have drank too much of the OWS kool-aide...but I am like a race-horse trying to get out of the gate on this one...the prison-industrial complex. It bothers me that much.

Something like 80-90% of the populace believe that congress is useless and the country is going in the wrong direction. That tells me that this movement has a chance at reaching well into the center and center right on the political spectrum. So it annoys the hell out of me when people turn this into partisan politics because by doing so, we lose the chance to reach out to the right....as everyone digs their heels in...we find ourselves back to point A.

I appreciate your efforts in wanting this movement succeed too.

[-] 1 points by Bayraba (24) 2 years ago

Yes, while we're at it, stop making 'illegal' what people choose to take into their one bodies and which was legal well into the past century.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes criminalizing victimless crimes is a relatively new phenomena in our society....even patrons caught in speak-easys during Prohibition weren't arrested.....and that (victimless crimes) more than anything else is what has driven up our incarceration rates into stratosphere. The terrible irony is that much of the money that is used to build and maintain prisons could have went to education which would have given people more opportunities, hence lessening the chance they would have got involved in drugs in the first place..

Many of our younger people and minorities in particular have been the most victimized by this corrupt system. They do not need to be thrown in jails with violent criminals, but rather they need rehabilitation, which is more effective and a lot less expensive. The problem with rehabilitating people is.....it is not near the money-maker for the corrupt status quo that the prison-industrial complex is!

[-] 2 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

If people could intake, consume, outtake, and then leave their place of residence, sure. But people do abuse the simplest things. Texting while driving????

Really?

The idea that people are actually looking at the keypad or screen on a small cellphone rather than on the road, even for as little as one or two seconds, is absolutely insane, selfish, and criminal in my opinion. Not only that, it takes the eyes a bit of time to refocus from up close to far away, from two different sets of lighting contrast.

If people are going to text and drive, they're going to drive while high or drunk as well.

Then there is the issue of being under the influence while at work. And then, there is the issue of people who actually partially destroy their body and then society has to pay hundred's of thousands of dollars in what could have been unnecessary medical care.

It's just not an easy problem to solve.

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

U assume that most people are not "high" most of the time. What percentage of the population takes some prescription or otc pill during the day? That is just as "high". I agree with the texting and driving. Stupid, very stupid. Just as is have 10Inch screens in the dashboard. Even navigation devices are distracting. Not to mention, Passengers. TBH, we simply need to get our automated driving tech up and running, and all those issues become moot. Seems pretty stupid to do anything else.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

There's something comical about sitting in a car that drives itself. No more back seat driving, don't want to upset "Hal", now do we?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

You are right about the prescription drugs that are far too readily prescribed by doctor's..quacks to me..being a real problem. I have had this conversation with one of my daughters who is a public defender, and my sister who has had a long career in social work and teaching...and both agree that for the most part pharmaceutical remedies are not really remedies at all.

I remember my sister having a very difficult time with adolescence. She, to put it in euphemistic layman terms was very high-strung and was very difficult to handle for my parents and all the family. She got through those tumultuous years, but not before becoming a druggie, chain smoker, and quitting high school in her third year despite being very intelligent. Through the love and support of family and good friends, she went on to finish high school at night, then went onto the community college part-time, then full time to finish and get her masters degree. She also became a marathon runner...3hrs., 13 mins in the Boston Marathon and a high school track and field coach, and raised a beautiful young girl who went on to get her Phd. from William and Mary.

There is little doubt in my mind, and no doubt in hers that had she been brought up today...she would have been prescribed Ritalin or one of the other harmful drugs to quell her rebellious behavior. Instead it was family and friends who refused to give up on her, that she was able to channel that energy into a productive life. It is a marvelous story and one that I am happy to share in the hopes others can benefit from it.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

Well OccupyNews,prohibition does not stop the complaints you mention.Prohibition is nothing other than a control factor of the Kleptocrats and their governmental minions.We want an end to prohibition,when do we want it,NOW.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

The question is, is making liquor no different than growing Marijuana, or is it more complicated than that? Apparently marijuana was banned because it was amazing versatile and that threatened some existing mega millionaires.

I think the smell of a tomato plant can get a person high, it's just that nobody has let the public in on the secret.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

Look we are on the same wavelength to a point.Prohibition is making the mega rich richer as they have a pool of slaves imprisoned.It stops convicted druggies from voting,If after a half of a Century of prohibition has not made any effect against drug use,then it never will.Prohibition is feeding crime from the law enforcement,users pushers and government involvement.The world is waiting for America to do something to end this insidious and unjustified prohibition.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

Prohibition is specifically about liquor. I am assuming we are talking about other forms of intoxicants. I think marijuana changes people. However, if people want to smoke it, maybe they should so they can become the kind of person they were destined to be.

I would presuppose that if everybody took marijuana was able to take it, 33% would somehow improve, 33% would remain nearly the same, and 33% would be the worse for it.

[-] 2 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

Oh OccupyNews Im so sorry you are so sheltered.Prohibition is all about drugs.It makes criminals of young pot smokers.It enables law enforcement to engage in bribery and graft.It allows Politicians to do the same.It supplies corporations with slave labour in prisons to further their profit.The majority of prisoners are in for drug related matters.The list of wrongs with prohibition is very long indeed.If the house is on fire we hose it out or call the fire brigade,we do not arrest everyone in the district for arson just in case it was deliberate.We do not ban matches or lighters and we certainly do not make a criminal of the youth that accidentally left the popcorn maker on that started it,and we do not make popcorn makers illegal with possession of one being a criminal act liable to imprisonment and taking away your right to vote.Why is it that the US is only at war with countries with oil and drugs?Its because the elite want both of those things,lots of profit in both.Prohibition allows for so much injustice that it`s time it went the same as in the 1930s,OUT.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

when I was five years old, I tried my dad's cigarettes. I would light the cigarette on the gas stove and then run outside through the snow to our unattached garage, by then the cigarette would be out. I got so frustrated after about 10 failed attempts I really lit the cigarette and I really inhaled hard once I got to the garage, I gasped, and hated the experience immensely.

When I was six years old, I discovered the otherworldly pleasure of looking through a multi-planed glass prism, while standing. When I wanted to get really high, I would actually try and take a step forward while holding the prism to my eye. I would only do this once a month, or sometimes way longer in between, it was the way I found to "get high" and I treated it as a special occasion to only be done rarely.

I've had no desire for any drug, prescription or otherwise. I actually get ill anytime I am downwind of cigarette smoke, even outside. I feel blessed.

[-] 2 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

Hey OccupyNews,good on you,just stay that way,the world could do with a lot more of your kind.Just to let you know I do not use recreational drugs,period.But I am against the war on drugs as it has done too much evil on this earth.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That's cute. I like that, but how's your eyesight today? Just kidding.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I see pinwheels.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

If my memory serves me correctly, it was DuPont and Randolph Hearst who would have been two of the people hurt most by the legalization and use of hemp and marijuana. DuPont for his synthetic rope, cloth, etc industry., and Hearst for his vast tracts of forest/pulp that he owned, and used for his publishing enterptises.

And yes the smell of a tomato can get you high...but only if it is a Jersey. Remember, you can bad-mouth NJ all you want..no problem...we know it is indefensibly f***ed-up, but do not say anything bad about our tomatoes!

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

lol, I think the tomato plant itself has some type of aroma that may be intoxicating. So could it be that people want marijuana because it is forbidden, but a tomato plant, that is not forbidden, is not considered a drug when maybe it is?

Oh the irony if that were true.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes oh the irony in that. Have you ever past through a garden of chest high tomato plants...WOW...the smell!? They sell candles with all types of aromas, but I never came across a tomato scented candle. We're getting off-subject here I think..lol

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I grow tomatoes and I even had a couple of plants survive the California winter so far. One plant is sprawling in so many directions I had to remove the post and replace it with a rickety ladder so I could place all vines on different steps.

Yes, the smell of the actual tomato plant is pretty amazing, so is the color, and one doesn't even have to burn them.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Here in NJ people use wire cages mostly and cloth that go around the plant. I help a friend with her garden and some of the plants grow to over five feet tall, and they are chock-a-block full of tomatoes. We plant the rows 30" apart and 24" between plants, and that is tight. In NYC, you can order Jersey tomatoes in some fancy restaurants for a premium price. I think it is the acidity sandy soil beneath the top soil that makes them so good.... or maybe it's the near-by nuclear power plant! :-)

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

30 by 24, interesting because I ended up planting mine about that same distance apart. One plant that has so far survived the winter would not stay on the wooden pole even though I had velcro tie downs.

The plants get taller and weaker in the winter and if they have any tomatoes on them the weight causes the plant to slide downward, hence the ladder. I'm making my own mulch from all kinds of fruit rinds so if I add that to this years plants maybe I'll get some fruity tasting tomatoes.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We have had a very mild winter here in NJ too, but even so the plants would never survive past October. If there are any green tomatoes on them, we usually pick them and wrap them in newspaper and put them in a dark place where they eventually ripen up. That method is used more in Vermont where one of daughters live, and the tomatoes don't ripen as readily because the summers are cooler. That daughter also makes her own mulch. She has a gardening business, and has a famous movie star as one of her clients and I have seen her work all day in other people's gardens and then come home and work for hours in her own.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I haven't used the green bin in over a year now. All fruit and vegetable scraps go onto the ground, then a layer of dirt is put over them to keep the flies away.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

There was no 'reply' to click on under your last post, anyway, there is method behind your madness then, eh? :-) It is good to experiment to see if that tomato plant bears fruit this year, but I bet it wouldn't do as well as a new plant does. Let me know.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

You may be right about that. Their still hanging on. However, a new plant that accidentally sprouted amidst the tomatoes I had put into the ground for recycling already has a tiny tomato on it and continues to grow quickly.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

My one daughter is much better at all that than me. I know that she has a small separate area fenced off where she heaps all the scraps and stuff. She advises the whole family on gardening matters including her two sisters in AK. Doesn't heat and darkness speed the decomposition process up though?

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

That's why I only put a thin layer of dirt over the scraps. The sun can still heat it up, and the layer of dirt keeps the flies away.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, I know drug addiction is not an easy problem to solve, but it should definitely be a priority for our society to deal with. I just don't think that throwing these mostly young people in prison with violent criminals is the answer, and neither do most other altruistic people.

In the suburbs that I live in, we have had a rash of teen suicides. One night about two miles from me, three teens drove their car into the local elementary school at a high rate of speed.They had a suicide pact, according to the boy who did not join them. Two of the three teens came from middle to upper middle-class families, and the father of one of them was a town councilman in the same little town where the school was located. I felt especially aggrieved because it was the same little school that I had attended as a youth.

Had those teens been caught with the drugs they had beforehand, should they had went to prison, and been thrown in amongst violent criminals. I don't think so. They needed help, and they wouldn't have gotten it there. It is also doubtful that they would have gone to jail because they were from the white suburbs. That would all be different though if they were from the inner-city, and of a different color. We continue to incarcerate people of color at a much higher rate, and for longer and longer sentences...and it has little to do with what works best for them, or society in general. Instead it has a lot to do with what works best for the prison-industrial complex. I know that it is hard to believe. It was for me too, until I read that book The Real War On Crime, which was a report from a commission....and I have learned more since then about this corrupt system.

As far as making mistakes...we all do make them, don't we? I'm not a real religious person, but this seems appropiate: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

And yet, if they had been put into a juvenile detention hall, might they not appreciate their lives more once they got out?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, that may have been the answer along with rehabilitation. There is a big difference though between juvenile detention halls and being in a prison with murderers and the like for years.The problem remains ...as long as the prison-industrial complex is alive and well, we have not and still aren't even looking for the best answers.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

The best answer Odin is to end this insidious crime,that is prohibition.Then social reality will take over.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I agree that the best course is decriminalization, but the corrupt system that benefits monetarily from the war on drugs are masters at equating decriminalization with condoning drug use, as I am sure you know. Most people are hoodwinked and don't seem to have the intellectual capacity to understand that difference....and I say that humbly as I am no intellectual myself. Just imagine if only half the money that was spent on this crazy war was spent on job training and education...how much better society on the whole would be.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

Excellent comment Odin,betterment of society is the goal.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Everyone should watch the PBS special - Prohibition.

It takes a very in depth and detailed look into how the idea started, then how it came to be, then the realization that it could not be enforced.

Prohibition and the drug war have a lot in common.

The special offers an opportunity for considered thought.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 2 years ago

They are the same thing.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

In many ways. Yes they are.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Thanks, I will look for this PBS documentary because as you can probably tell I have a real interest in social policies and the detrimental effect that money has in shaping them. There is a really good book that I read several years ago that concerns consensual crimes. It is called Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do by Peter McWilliams. It's a great book..easy to put down and pick up later, and the quotes from well-known people that are on almost every page are well worth it alone.

The author, Mr. McWilliams, while dying of cancer cultivated his own marijuana plants so that he could alleviate the pain and reduce the vomiting that he was experiencing. The feds went after him mercilessly making him take mandatory urine tests while he was nearing his death-bed, and the judge refused to let him enter this factor in his defense for growing these plants. Even the well respected conservative, libertarian, politcal philosopher William Buckley came to his defense..While I could not find Mr. Buckley's very eloquent plea to the judge and this corrupt system on Mr. McWilliam's behalf, I do remember that it went right to the heart of being a human being. The judge stood his ground though!!

Mr. McWilliams at age 50 died in his bath tub, not from his cancer which was finally in remission, but from the drugs that caused the nausea. In other words...he CHOKED on his own vomit. I had meant to send him a letter of support before he died, but never did, much to my regret, so consider this post as my TRIBUTE to his legacy.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing, many people do not begin to understand some of the things done ( or denied ) to people suffering from illness that could be helped by an allowance of use by prescription. Blind IL-legalization is wrong, limited legalization as a controlled substance would be a step in the right direction.

How many people have been killed in the so called drug war? How many were criminals of distribution and sale and how many were innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time? On both sides of the boarder.

How many people are in jail because they were caught buying and using illegal drugs. How much time are they spending in prison for committing non-violent crime, for committing a crime that only hurt themselves.

Hell even white collar criminals that steal billions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of victims, leaving the victims broke and homeless don't even get prosecuted.

What is wrong with this picture?

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I have thought about that cruel irony too....non-violent drug abusers spending years in jail...while the people who have caused untold misery to millions of people throughout the world not only getting off scot-free, but still making huge salaries and bonuses to boot! The ultimate in justice would be to make a swap of residences...the corrupt politicians and bankers should fill the prisons, and the n/v drug abusers could receive rehabilitation in the real criminals' swanky homes!! Yes that would be JUSTICE to me.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26307) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

The real criminals should lose everything they have that's for sure.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

Not having a debt neutrality designation for the 99% ties into the industrial-prison complex, or is the prison-industrial complex?

http://www.occupynews.blogspot.com/2012/02/debt-neutrality-how-debt-neutrality.html

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Having non-violent drug abusers in rehabilitation programs and possibly temporary detention is a whole lot more cost effective than housing them in with murderers and rapers for years... Most alstruistic experts who do not benefit monetarily from the corrupt status quo would also say that it works a lot better too.

Why do you think the DRACONIAN drug laws are beginning to be repealed albeit far too slow, and non-violent drug abusers are being let out of prison long before their sentences are finished? I can tell you why. First though, I ASSURE YOU, it is not because the self-serving experts suddenly had an epiphany and ...realized that the far less expensive rehabilitation ..works best!.. The answer is... are you ready..... states are running out of money..they are going bankrupt.....and probably nowhere is the problem more acute than in TEXAS which has long had one of the the highest incarceration rates in the country. THAT is why there is starting to be a much too slow turn-around in criminal justice policies. It is simply getting more and more difficult for politicians who supported and benefited... from the prison-industrial complex policies to tell their constituents that we have no money for education...but we must keep non-violent drug abusers behind bars!!..LOL...

What has been going on this country for the past thirty years where incarceration rates have sky-rocketed... has been ludicrous ...and we have wasted so many young lives, and billions and billions of dollars in feeding this corrupt system. Once again from a previous post: This is shameful to me..and it should be shameful to all of us!!

                   **IT'S A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES**

I am going to issue a challenge. Without googling, and just from remembering what I had learned years ago, I would bet money that most of the states with the highest incarceration rates also do the worst jobs in educating their kids. Is it a bet?

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

And what is the prize?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Would you settle for a cyber ((((hug))))? Donm't forget that I said 'most.'

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

I would agree with your premise. But then the question becomes, why do states not have enough in their budget for education. Is it a rural issue, where the more spread out the students are, the harder it is to offer great education?

Or is it the other way around, is it inner city schools that languish because of the concentration of kids versus state revenue?

Anybody have the answer?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

"why do states not have enough...for education." It is because they don't allocate enough for education because they don't think education is that important, don't have the tax base, or simply don't have enough left over after spending millions/billions imprisoning non-violnet drug abusers. Rehabilitation costs anywhere from one sixth to one third as much as incarceration does...and like I said it usually works out better for the victim as well as the tax-payer.

Only a couple of days ago Governor Christie (yes I know he is an arrogant ass) came out and said that NJ is going to put more emphasis on rehabilitation than incarceration. That is only beginning to happen as states are running out of money, and they know that they can't keep on wasting money on imprisoning druggies for years...while cutting aid to education, etc. If we have stupid prioities based who benefits monetarily...rather than what works best... other important programs that benefit from state or federal aid will be put in jeopardy.

I know in NJ the rural or suburban schools fair better than the cities in terms of educating their kids. I would think that would be true throughout the country in most cases. Funding of schools differs from state to state, and I know that NJ is prioritizing bringing city schools up to par by trying different programs. Mark Zuckerberg...facebook founder.. donated one hundred million dollars to up-grade Newark schools a couple of years ago too.

[-] 1 points by OccupyNews (1183) 2 years ago

And yet, a new problem emerging is jobs being cut and in exchange the CEO's get millions in bonuses. There is NO WAY to contact google by phone.

Imagine if Google hired 15,000 operators and put them in shifts of 5,000, if banks hired 50,000 people to monitor people who are having hardships. Instead, the banks hire 5,000 people and robo call and harass people over and over even if they cannot pay at that moment.

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 2 years ago

Drugs are not just for the poor and uneducated. This shows how little you know about actual drug use. Ignorance does not help the cause.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I know that drug use is "not just for the poor and uneducated", and I am sorry if I left that impression. I just put up another post in response to OccupyNews. Please read that. Thank You.

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[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

And you believe what convicted criminals tell you? You ready to invite them into your home?

[-] 0 points by getajobufags (-5) 2 years ago

What a waste of time. Prepare for the race war. U OWS suck fat cock of govt.

[-] 0 points by getajobufags (-5) 2 years ago

We should move toward public executions. All prisoners should work a hard labor job. No tv, no mail, no books, no free time. 20 hrs a day hard labor. Homosexuals should be executed on sight, with pedophiles. Gay marriage is a atroicity that will destroy america. Ship the niggers and homos back to the deserts of africa.

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[-] 0 points by notthatyoucare (2) 2 years ago

Michelle Obama is vacationing on our dime with billionaires who in 2011 fired their head ski instructor for trying to shame them into paying their workers a living wage. Why do Barry and the Queen have friends like this? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/01/lee-mulcahy-fired-by-aspe_n_817141.html

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[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Hmmm.... So if all non white inmates are released will it be alright?

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[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

What the increase in incarceration since the 70s actually represents is the increase in drug use, much to the detriment of all Americans. There is no country in the world that is more sympathetic... but what we actually need in America, which everyone associated with criminality fully understands, is a return to corporal punishment.

The criminal justice system is just a pacifier to a sick society; our passivity fails in a society so permeated with irresponsible and uncivil behavior.

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[-] -1 points by tomahawk99 (-26) 2 years ago

the U.S. has no political prisoners. these guys have committed real crimes

[-] -3 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Yes, privately run prisons are bad. But rest assured that the vast majority of inmates in State prisons are supposed to be there.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Still true.

[+] -5 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Yeah. All those child molesters are just victims of the corporate prison complex. All those poor murderers! Those rapists Those wall street assholes! All victims!!!i. Think I know who the real assholes are......

[-] 2 points by ahbregman (18) 2 years ago

No one is calling for the end to all prisons and the release of violent criminals, you are being naive and ignorant to the truths of these systems. Try and educate yourself on the matters you find so important to respond to with facetious and ridiculous statements, the discussions here have real merit and deserve more than your brief, un-educated response. Humorous at best.

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[-] -2 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

I know more about that system than you do. This whole thread is nothing but filthy liberal stupidity.

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