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Overcriminalization

Mainstream Media Now Advocating “All Citizens” Spend Time In Prison As “Service” To Country

By Claire Bernish

Corporate media achieved a new level of absurdity last week, when Jesse Ball, writing for the Los Angeles Times, suggested every American be required to spend a stint behind bars every ten years as a veritable guarantee to improve conditions of incarceration in the United States.

In the piece titled, “Everyone should go to jail, say, once every ten years,” Ball writes,

A notable demand that is made upon the citizens of the United States of America is that of jury duty. Although many despise, hate and avoid it, there is a general sense that the task is necessary. We believe a society is only just if everyone shares in the apportionment of guilt.

To this demand of jury duty, I would like to add another, and in the same spirit. I propose that all citizens of the United States of America should serve a brief sentence of incarceration in our maximum-security penitentiaries. This service, which would occur for each person once in a decade, would help ensure that the quality of life within our prisons is sufficient for the keeping of human beings.

Without foreknowledge on length of stay and other details, citizens would languish behind the same bars as convicted criminals under Ball’s proposal — albeit in a section separated from offenders, assumedly not to confuse jailers and inmates, or endanger anyone serving ‘incarceration duty.’

But Ball misses the point — feeding the elephant in the room of overcriminalization of daily life, excessive laws, and, worst by far of all, the normalization of incarceration as conditional to the American way of life — lecturing all of us to walk a mile in the shoes of the convicted rather than declaring the brazen failures of the Injustice System evidence enough, itself, for dismantling the whole dysfunctional mess.

After all, according to the Prison Policy Institute, the United States now cages some 2.3 million of its roughly 326.5 million total people — the largest per capita incarcerated persons of any nation on the entire planet.

An interplanetary traveler would logically conclude it a prison nation — or, at least, one astonishingly rife with thugs, murderers, thieves, and worse.

Even the more law-and-order, authoritarian among us could see the flaws evident in a system claiming freedom, while locking away proportionally more than even the dictatorial fascist regimes our troops putatively combat.

While undoubtedly posited from a place of compassion as a plea for ethics in imprisonment, Ball’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek proposal unfortunately evinces the frequency with which Band-aids are applied as a fix for gaping structural flaws which should otherwise condemn the system to demolishment.                      

But, worst of all, this proposition capriciously normalizes the American Incarceration State.

Consider how those 2.3 million souls wound up stuffed into the cramped confines of the nation’s myriad federal, state, and local facilities; or, worse — judging by a voluminous body of anecdotal accounts — one of the altogether notorious prisons-for-profit, managed by private corporations intent only on thrift in housing its human commodities to save the State some pennies.

Most of the convicted behind bars have committed nonviolent crime — but moralizing on personal vice and legislation enacted sanctimoniously against substances have exploded the nation’s prison population to alarming proportions.

A court or jury decision of guilt in no way can be characterized on par with ‘laws’ governing ethics and human rights — for, if a candid observation of inmate records were ventured, a sweeping sum could be said to have landed in prison by violating the State’s prohibition on the cannabis plant.

And not violently so.

Forgetting for a moment ‘the law is the law,’ to describe a society as just, which chooses to not only cement unjust ideas into law, but imprison violators of aberrant legislation — particularly in cases of medicinal use — must be the pinnacle of hypocritical pomposity, if not the telltale heart of a dying empire.

Sure, forcing (on penalty of prison?!) yet more behind bars to prove how base the conditions behind bars might actually assist the vocal calling to improve conditions behind bars, but if so many have been locked there for reasons only justifiable for the violation interned in the print of legal tomes, the plan is an exercise in pure futility.

Unless it simply normalizes prison life as a veritable inevitability — might as well prepare for the eventuality some offensive chunk of life will be wasted rotting between the torrid walls of a prison cell.

The irony, palpable.

No, we do not need to send the relatively innocent to prison to endure torturously foul food and varying degrees of inhospitability to prove locking people in cages does nothing to curb crime — indeed, the opposite is arguably true.

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It’s the system, broken — not people’s compassion.

Juries convict based on flawed evidence, evidence omitted by technicality, and an embarrassing list of other inexcusable conditions accumulated on the books over centuries — and more laws and regulations find their way to the ledger every day.

They’re creating additional ways to make you a criminal — so, in that sense, Ball might be onto something.

‘Get ready for prison, dear young people, by the time you’re an adult, there won’t be a thing you can do without somehow breaking the law,’ the writer unintentionally asserts between the lines.

“I wonder,” Ball continues, “once all you citizens of the United States are passing in and out of prison on a regular basis, will the conditions there not seem singularly urgent? Just picture congressmen, priests, stock traders, truck drivers, people of every faith, color, description, all for once sharing in something.”

Sharing in the memory of peering out from inside prison walls isn’t conducive to solving the issue of mass incarceration.

Scrapping unjust, unethical, amoral, and otherwise ludicrous laws governing every conceivable aspect of daily life, however, is.

Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter:@Subversive_Pen. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

http://www.activistpost.com/2017/07/mainstream-media-now-advocating-citizens-spend-time-prison-service-country.html

St. Cloud Times Continues Biased Reporting

LFR BlogLFR

Last week, I wrote this post about this St. Cloud Times editorial.

The Times owes the citizens of this community, especially Granite City Baptist Church, an apology for their vile, hate-filled editorial. Throughout their editorial, the Times used words that agitated. It started in the opening paragraph of their editorial when they said “And so it continues — this tour of anti-Islam, anti-immigrant, fear-mongering speakers who parachute in to St. Cloud, spread their messages of hate and misinformation and then (convenient only for them) leave.” It continued, saying that Usama Dakdok’s presentation has “become well-known for his evil schtick about how Islam is a “savage cult” and that Muslims will soon dominate this country.”

The Times instructed people to listen “to local faith leaders, not Dakdok.”

The Times covered the Friday night presentation relatively fairly in their news section. I wrote this article to highlight the vandalism visited upon Granite City Baptist Church prior to Friday night’s presentation. What’s missing is the Times’ editorial telling people to stand with Granite City Baptist Church in denouncing this vandalism.

Perhaps, that’s because the Times’ editorial included this:

Based on news reports, it’s a classic example of Dakdok’s strategy: Pick smaller cities and rural communities where Muslims are new and few (if any) in number and deliver his toxic message. Plus, of course, collect the obligatory free-will offering. Then pack up and leave — quick, before the waves of hate he’s fostered can crest across the community. (And before people can research for themselves his message.)

Faced with such a despicable dump-and-run tactic, this board urges faith leaders across St. Cloud and all of Central Minnesota to speak up again. Use their influential voices, their powerful sermons, their compassionate followers and even the Times Opinion section to refute Dakdok’s divisive message.

The Times spent a bunch of bandwidth talking about Dakdok’s hateful schtick. Now that the protesters have committed an act of vandalism, it’s possible that the Times might want to get this episode behind them. This isn’t a proud moment for the St. Cloud Times or for Mark Jaede. Jaede issued this press release through the SCSU Announce listserv:

CounterprotestAnnouncement

The next day, the Times published its hate-filled editorial.

What a surprise.

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 PostHeaderIcon About Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring Blog gets its name because there was alot of democracy breaking out worldwide when I first started blogging. Putin, Kuchma & Yanukovich had tried stealing an election from Yuschchenko in the Ukraine, which started the Orange Revolution. The first election had just taken place in Afghanistan. The ‘Purple Finger’ elections in Iraq were right around the corner. The images of the ink-stained fingers from Iraq’s election on January 30, 2005 so fired up the Lebanese living under Syria’s thumb that the Syrians assassinated Rafiq Harriri, starting the Cedar Revolution.

During this blog’s short history, I’ve written about the incredible history being made before my eyes. I’ve written about Kuwait becoming the first Arab country to have a woman serving in their cabinet. I’ve written about the municipal elections that the House of Saud ‘permitted’ just last year. I’ve written about Egypt’s changing their laws to have contested elections. There’s still alot of reform needed in these countries but I believe that the 21st Century will be known as the Democracy Century when its history is written.

Just as there are historical events happening in the Middle East, likewise there are historical decisions facing Americans, decisions that determine what type of country we’ll live in.

The types of judges that get confirmed will tell us whether we’re a nation that reveres the wisdom of our Founding Fathers or if we’ll tolerate a majority of Supreme Court justices dictate the Constitution’s meaning. Should we choose the latter course, we should expect that Supreme Court to set policy without ‘We the People’ having a say in the policies.

The next President, and to a lesser extent, the next Congress, will tell us whether we’re serious as a nation of enforcing our borders and whether we’ll take the GWOT seriously. The stakes couldn’t be higher!!! Making the right decisions in November, 2006 will determine whether we have Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner demanding real immigration reform or whether Chairman Conyers will hold impeachment hearings over a policy dispute.

Making the right decisions in November, 2006 will determine whether we have Chairman Leahy confirming a Justice O’Connor clone or whether we have Chairman Specter confirming a Chief Justice Roberts.

While those decisions don’t rank up there with the decision to declare our independance from English rule, they are nonetheless big decisions that will affect this generation & much of the next generation of Americans.

This blog is committed to being an advocate for making decisions using logic & intelligence & verifiable facts. Come along for the ride.

NEWSWEEK

Charges Filed Following Discovery of Missing Minnesota Sisters

12_16_Rucki_charges_01
Following the discovery of Gianna Rucki, left, and her sister Samantha Rucki, who had been missing since 2013, a county prosecuting attorney has charged Gina and Douglas Dahlen and Dede Evavold with deprivation of parental rights. NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN
FILED UNDER: U.S.

The owners of a Minnesota horse ranch, where last month police discovered two sisters who had vanished in 2013, are now facing charges and possible prison time, in the latest turn in a bizarre case involving the missing teenage girls who have said they were hiding from an abusive father.

The prosecuting attorney in Dakota County, Minnesota, charged ranch owners Gina and Douglas Dahlen on December 11 with deprivation of custodial rights for their involvement in the disappearance of teenage sisters Samantha and Gianna Rucki. An acquaintance of the couple, Dede Evavold, is facing the same charges.

Continue Reading: http://www.newsweek.com/charges-filed-after-discovery-missing-rucki-sisters-406061

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