Jails, losing your mind, and political opportunism.

Ranty essay, folks. Just wanted to say a coupla things that have struck me in recent weeks and months.

I left TOP and a coupla other forums recently, primarily because "Hillary fans" (to be nice with terms here) were all but jumping on every suggestion that Sanders was a human being and not a monster. They were all but jumping on the slightest suggestion that Hillary wasn't a saint . . . and, to make this even more ludicrous, accused others of insisting Sanders was -- which I actually never saw. The cognitive disconnect in those discussions was off the charts, so I left. Well, when it came to TOP, the flags and the temporary ban kinda helped my decision.

;>)

But now, I'm getting another kind of vibe among some exiles. A kind of personal obsession with Hillary that seems to have lost sight of what is really wrong with her and the system she protects. This vibe isn't much better than the one emitted from her (irrationally) devoted fans, and it includes a not so "progressive" desire to see her jailed.

In my view, America has a very nasty, sadistic, immoral, highly authoritarian penal system. We tend to throw non-violent "criminals" into jail at the drop of a hat, especially when it's also a victimless crime. IMO, incarcerating non-violent persons, convicted of victimless crimes, is profoundly immoral and indefensible, as are the laws themselves which criminalize these things. They should all be abolished. If the only thing you can get Hillary on is her private email server, I find it indefensible and unforgivable, and especially not "progressive," to want to jail her. If you can convict her of war crimes and similarly violent offenses? That is a different story. But not email servers.

Okay, so enough of that. The other bothersome thing for me is the sudden use of the No Fly lists by Democrats and Republicans to score political points. I am an adamant proponent of strict gun safety controls, but I want it done the right way, honestly, not through gimmicks -- especially when they entail disingenuous usage of lists that shouldn't exist. Republicans are being disingenuous and hypocritical for suddenly getting religion about "due process," while at the same time protecting the "no due process" lists themselves. It's only because of the side effect of guns that they suddenly found religion about due process and the Constitution. But they'd get rid of the lists entirely if they were honest about it.

The Dems are not much better. If they're good civil libertarians, they'd be fighting to end those lists, not use them to further a weak effort at gun control. They'd have the guts to just come out and push for an Australia-like ban -- which has been resoundingly successful, btw. No mass shootings there since it was put into effect, and gun homicide rates cut in half. Make the case for an across the board ban on semis, require licensing, registration, smart gun tech and so on, and push relentlessly for it, push gun fanatics into a corner and force them to defend endless gun carnage. If the GOP can try to repeal Obamacare 60 times, the Dems can go after our dangerously lax gun laws just as relentlessly.

As the young kids used to say, rant off.

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gulfgal98's picture

I really like what you have to say here about our punitive culture. I think it has come from years of conditioning by our media and elected officials that has created an us versus them culture in which any small transgression should result in throwing the book at them. This is exactly why a young black man was shot to death in Ferguson, Mo. over what should have been a ticketable offense at best.

In addition, there is an anger out there toward those who have committed crimes that harmed a lot of people and who were not only NOT punished, but were rewarded as a result. The kinds of transgressions that HRC committed should have made her ineligible (as in spoiled meat) for nomination for President. Instead, she will very likely be the next President of this country. The two (or three) tier system of justice has made a lot of people angry.
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However, I see no real positive of jailing Clinton for her use of a private server which was clearly outside the operational rule of the SOS. Instead, I would like to see her banned from any public office henceforth. This is not due to any need for revenge on my part. But it is the only way I see to keep people who thumb their noses at the rules that everyone else must adhere to out of offices in which they are entrusted to act in the best interests of the citizens of this country.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"I am done with it all. Life is just a charade in which we are all unknowing pawns." ~gulfgal98

"However, I see no real positive of jailing Clinton for her use of a private server which was clearly outside the operational rule of the SOS."

Unfortunately, this goes much much deeper. The private server is merely a peep-hole. I fear saying this because I respect you, and I don't want you to tune me out, but, because I'm sometimes a pretty smart cookie, and this has my utmost attention. I need feedback.

Try looking through the reasons behind the server, and be rest assured, the struggle continues.

If this person isn't to face real any consequences our countries' rumble will become a growl.

I'm not only knowing, I'm really feeling this one Ms. GG.

I'm also willing to do the exact same thing for you.

edit: I seem to have a comma problem today. I'll probably keep doing it. Sorry.

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

Diomedes77's picture

Couldn't resist introducing a bit of Orphan Black, there.

;>)

Could you direct me to the best article(s) you know of, regarding Hillary's alleged offenses (connected to the email server). I haven't done any deep investigation of them, seeing all too many partisan attacks, driven by the GOP. As in, there is far too much white noise out there, and I just don't have the desire or the patience to sift through it.

I've spent my time looking deeply into other matters, and that time is limited and precious, as it is for all of us. Our "outrage" meters are finite, too, and I try to put these things into perspective.

In short, I'm looking for non-partisan, objective (to the degree possible) research, from seriously credible sources. Do you have any suggestions?

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There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.

-- Albert Camus

and hadn't thought of that. Lol

I have quite a bit of information. If you don't already know, I'm a Bernie supporter. What I have will no doubt reflect that. It should, however, supply links etc. I really do my best to be objective in regard to the resources I use.

Can we start at a particular time or, even better, a particular issue so you can see whether any of it interests you. Then, if you like, I'll share some more, maybe you could even throw your resources at me. Could be fun. Or not. I have way too much free time right now. Sorry.

edit: I put one o instead of two up there. I almost died.

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

Diomedes77's picture

we start with actual criminal activity, connected to the email server, or discovered during its investigation.

I think she, on behalf of capitalists and the system itself, and in keeping with state department tradition, illegally attempted to coerce other nations into privatizing their commons, but this is very difficult to prove. Tragically, that's been the norm for our government for decades, and it needs to stop. We have no right to force capitalism on others nations, but we've been its most aggressive pimp -- taking over for Britain, especially after WWI.

Her record on war should also be open to discovery. Her record on Wall Street, the surveillance state, her foundation, etc. All of it.

But, IMO, this shouldn't be about singling her out, to take her down. This should be done in service of a much broader and more important aim: Making it impossible for anyone to do as the Clintons have done. If this begins and ends with targeting Hillary, then it really is just a political witch hunt.

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There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.

-- Albert Camus

mjsmeme's picture

hunted witch down to allow for a bit of breathing room/time to get more folks on board.

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Diomedes77's picture

If this all comes to a head during the general, Trump could win. And as I've been saying in another thread, I think he's worse than Hillary. Can't stand either of them. But Trump is worse.

So, to me, folks are kidding themselves if they think the downfall of Clinton means the election of Sanders. The timing of this is waaay off for that to happen.

Non-partisan investigations, by independent, honest, public-minded citizens, should have begun years ago regarding Clinton. And two centuries ago when it comes to the system itself.

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There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.

-- Albert Camus

Who do you want as your President, Dubya or Tricky Dick? How about Tricky Dick or Hillary? or Dubya or Trump? We just need to get out of the freaking frame we're stuck in and Jill Stein helps us do that.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

gulfgal98's picture

or even three parts.

The first part is the one to which I directed my answer to Diomedes above and that is regarding the findings of the Office of the Inspector General for the State Department. This is the only report that we currently have available right now. This investigation of the OIG was into the policies and procedures of the State Depart. Its findings were extremely critical of how Clinton used a private server in her home to conduct State Depart. business when said use was against all policies and procedures for the State Dept., a document to which Clinton signed acknowledging said policies and procedures. There are no provisions for penalties under this investigation since Clinton is no longer an employee of the State Dept.

The second part which I did not include in my answer is the current criminal investigation being conducted by the FBI into whether or not Clinton "mishandled" certain documents of vital national concern by transmitting and receiving them via her personal server. I believe the focus of this investigation is limited to the scope of national security.

The third part seems to be something that no government agency is investigating and that is the relationship of the State Dept. under Clinton to the Clinton Foundation. If I remember correctly, Obama forbid Clinton from hiring Sidney Blumenthal and yet Blumenthal was in possession of information critical to the security of the US which he had received and transmitted to Clinton. Blumenthal was hired by the Clinton Foundation instead.

IMHO, the first part demonstrates Clinton's arrogance for abiding by the rules. The second part shows her carelessness with government materials. And the third part may be the smoking gun showing how Clinton used her role as Secretary of State to feather her own nest through the Clinton Foundation. It goes to the heart of corruption in our government.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"I am done with it all. Life is just a charade in which we are all unknowing pawns." ~gulfgal98

Diomedes77's picture

Can always learn new things and I'm also always open to new evidence. I just want it to be as objective and non-partisan as possible.

Thanks again, Gulfgal

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There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.

-- Albert Camus

gulfgal98's picture

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"I am done with it all. Life is just a charade in which we are all unknowing pawns." ~gulfgal98

mjsmeme's picture

20+ years. After all, IMHO, she is a predator, along with the rest of her clan, and needs to be restrained and monitored for our physical safety and that of our planet.

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I think you might be on to something there.

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

Lookout's picture

Seems our culture has devolved to the point of wanting to punish not reform. When something bad happens we don't go to root causes and how to repair problems, we look for people to blame. As though if it is his/her fault then we've solved the problem.

Gun control is a good example. Why do people commit these mass shootings? May be because our society is sick? Children going hungry, lack of health care, no jobs or only poorly paying ones, crumbling infrastructure and homelessness, and on and on...These are our big problems and they lead to desperation which results in insanity like mass killings.

We had a prison reformer last century in Alabama, Julia Tutwiler.

Known as the "angel of the prisons," Tutwiler pushed for many reforms of the Alabama penal system. Most significantly, she fought to separate female prisoners from male ones and to separate juveniles from hardened adult criminals—resulting in the first Boys' Industrial School. In addition, she demanded better prison sanitation and helped institute educational and religious opportunities for prisoners.[4] As a consequence of her advocacy, the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama was named in her honor.

How disappointed she would be at the prison with her name:
America's 10 Worst Prisons: Julia Tutwiler
Prisoners fear "that it's not safe to take a shower, that it's not safe to go to sleep...that you can be manipulated into sexual favors, it's really horrific." The conditions inside the prison are inhumane and unconstitutional, but the inmates have nowhere else to go. Tutwiler is the only women's prison in the state, and it holds a record 900 inmates, more than double its 400 capacity. The overcrowding, debilitating infrastructure, inadequate staffing and poor security (the entire prison has only three cameras) have provided an environment where these sexual offenses could thrive.

We've lost our way. In the never ending quest for ever more profit we do not care for the least among us...in fact we blame them for ills of our society.

As to Clinton's guilt, I see the foundation money laundering as much more damning than the use of the private server. Her sense of privilege is disgusting, but not criminal. I'm not after punishment, but justice.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Diomedes77's picture

I don't think many Americans realize how dangerous our prisons are.

Basically, when you sentence someone to prison, you're making it all too likely they'll be raped -- either by fellow inmates or guards. Raped, beaten, abused mentally and physically. And you're condemning them to likely permanent damage to their health.

Agree about the laundering. And I despise her stance on wars, the surveillance state, capitalism, etc. etc. Far too many things to criticize her about beyond the email servers. They're a distraction.

That said, I really do think some have made this all too personal, and have lost their bearings as a result. I see her more as a symptom than a monster herself. We need to "repeal and replace" the system that enables her to do what she does.

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There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.

-- Albert Camus

martianexpatriate's picture

I referred to jails as places of conservative education. Basically, we are willing to spend a lot of money to expose people to a lot of pain and train them in the skills of a criminal, but we are unwilling to train them for anything useful. This has the effect that one should logically expect.

At the same time that prisons have exploded in number all over the country, we've defunded programs to help the people inside get off drugs or gain any useful skill. It's basically an investment in chaos and death. We treat people like animals and throw them in a cage, then act surprised when the people who emerge years later commit crimes again. It's not as though we gave much other choise; no training, drug addictions ignored, and a society that doesn't want to hire people with a criminal record.

You can get revenge, or you can try to deal with people in a useful way. Statistically speaking, we know what works, and what we are doing isn't it.

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Diomedes77's picture

And recent studies have shown that states which have reduced their prison populations have also reduced their crime rates.

This, of course, doesn't necessarily prove cause and effect, but it does suggest that contrary to the screams of the "law and order" crowd, increased incarceration doesn't reduce crime. There is no proof of cause and effect there, either. And logic tells us it's simply not the case.

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There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.

-- Albert Camus

Hell, we don't care for Anyone not in the top 20% economically as a political priority. If we did, people wouldn't die when an interstate highway bridge collapsed Because it wouldn't have collapsed in the first place!The same with Flint, gun control,or. . . take your pick.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

That just has to have an exclamation point after it. Smile

In, I think, 1997, I went to work as a counselor for a mens' medium security prison. Not a caseworker/counselor, I ran the substance abuse treatment program for one of the 4 units. We turned 4 of the units into something much like non-profit treatment centers of the low bottom variety. A highly effective program model until it was bought and sold.

I was there 4 years. 8 hours a day/ five days a week. I never met anyone who should be there in that place, serving that type of sentence. And only one that caused me to have mixed feelings, who most definitely needed supervision, but not like that. I was fighting the system there, too. The men who lived there were fine. The security employees? One of them would spit on my feet If I had to walk by him, all the way up to where they accused me of something that had no name and I lost the fight with them. Nobody but my men wanted me there. It's not the men who are locked up like zoo animals, it's the bad bad bad people who get off on working there. You brought that up from the past quickly there!
Sorry, carried away.

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

mjsmeme's picture

who at the age of 16 was put in solitary for most of the 3 years that he spent in Rikers, for the crime, which he did not do, of stealing a backpack, and was eventually released without ever being charged. He tried to move forward with his life, went back to school and there he wrote a paper about solitary confinement, shortly before he became another child suicided by society. Reporting on this Democracy Now called Rikers a School for Suicide. http://www.democracynow.org/2016/6/3/a_school_for_suicide_how_kalief

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Lookout's picture

it is easy to get carried away. Imagine if we put those folks into productive situations. My buddy worked in the education unit of a prison and often said it was just circumstance than had him on the freedom side of the desk. Who should we blame (cause that's the game)?

There are solutions if we would try.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Diomedes77's picture

When on earth did we become such a callous, thoughtless nation as to believe a cop should be able to shoot to kill an unarmed teenager? I know most Americans don't believe that, but the debates surrounding the murder were intense enough to show us there is a large contingent who do believe it was justified.

I tried to point out, for instance, that if you took all the things Brown was allegedly guilty of -- jaywalking, petty theft, resisting arrest -- you might get a conviction of a year or two, which probably would have been suspended. So that warrants murdering him?

It's not a cop's job to play judge, jury and executioner on the street, and if he can't handle an unarmed teen, without fearing for his life (supposedly), he has no business on the streets in a position of authority. None. Nada. He's actually a danger to society if he can't.

As for Clinton: I wish the FBI had aggressively pursued this months and months ago, and worked overtime to make sure the findings were out, one way or another, with plenty of room to spare for a real race for the nomination. What may end up happening is that she will be found guilty of some offenses, in the midst of the general election, and that may tilt things to Trump. I find the prospect of a Trump presidency even more odious than a Clinton one, and I won't be voting for her, either. My vote will be for Stein, as it was in 2012.

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There is in me an anarchy and frightful disorder. Creating makes me die a thousand deaths, because it means making order, and my entire being rebels against order. But without it I would die, scattered to the winds.

-- Albert Camus

those bracelet things and 24 hour security. And she can fade away having failed to achieve her life long dream, and we don't have to be afraid of her anymore.

Oh, and she should have limited internet access.

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

mjsmeme's picture

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MsGrin's picture

...and not in the criminal justice system.

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'What we are left with is an agency mandated to ensure transparency and disclosure that is actually working to keep the public in the dark' - Ann M. Ravel, former FEC member

WindDancer13's picture

vast difference in white-collar prisons and those for the rest of us. The fact is that special arrangements would have to be made for HRC due to her around-the-clock security detail. While the examples in the following video are in other countries, this is what time for HRC would be like:

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Her losing the 2016 presidential election would serve justice even better than jail time, though.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass