The Rich Get Richer And The Poor Go To Jail

From John Whitehead at Counterpunch:

Now Sessions has given state courts the green light to resume their practice of jailing individuals who are unable to pay the hefty fines imposed by the American police state. In doing so, Sessions has once again shown himself to be not only a shill for the Deep State but an enemy of the people.

Renewing federal incentives for civil asset forfeiture was not enough for Atty. Gen. Sessions. The American Injustice System must squeeze every last drop of blood from poor American turnips.

This is not justice.

This is yet another example of how greed and profit-incentives have not only perverted policing in America but have corrupted the entire criminal justice system.

As the Harvard Law Review concludes:

[A]s policing becomes a way to generate revenue, police start to “see the people they’re supposed to be serving not as citizens with rights, but as potential sources of revenue, as lawbreakers to be caught.” This approach creates a fugitive underclass on the run from police not to hide illicit activity but to avoid arrest for debt or seizure of their purportedly suspicious assets… In turn, communities … begin to see police not as trusted partners but as an occupying army constantly harassing them to raise money to pay their salaries and buy new weapons. This needs to end.

Crime rates go down and incarceration goes up:

Ask yourself this: at a time when crime rates across the country remain at historic lows (despite Sessions’ inaccurate claims to the contrary), why does the prison population continue to grow?

The prison population continues to grow because of a glut of laws that criminalize activities that should certainly not be outlawed, let alone result in jail time. Overcriminalization continues to plague the country because of legislators who work hand-in-hand with corporations to adopt laws that favor the corporate balance sheet. And when it comes to incarceration, the corporate balance sheet weighs heavily in favor of locking up more individuals in government-run and private prisons.

It ain't cheap and families, children and entire neighborhoods pay the price:

According to The Atlantic, “America spends $80 billion a year incarcerating 2.4 million people.” But the costs don’t end there. “When someone goes to prison, nearly 65 percent of families are suddenly unable to pay for basic needs such as food and housing… About 70 percent of those families are caring for children under the age of 18.”

More money! More money!

Then there are the marked-up costs levied against the inmate by private companies that provide services and products to government prisons. Cereal and soup for five times the market price. $15 for a short phone call.

Here are two examples from my personal experience in L.A. County Jails: a 25 cent Top Ramen costs $1.15. Two tablespoons of peanut butter in a sleeve are 65 cents.

Don't forget penalties, fees and interest!

Washington state charges a 12% interest rate on all its criminal debt. Florida adds a 40% fee that goes into the pockets of a private collections agency. In California, penalties can raise a $100 fine to $490, or $815 if the initial deadline is missed. A $500 traffic ticket can actually cost $1,953, even if it is paid on time.

Fighting crime has nothing to do with law enforcement:

Now you can shrug all of this away as a consequence of committing a crime, but that just doesn’t cut it. Especially not when average Americans are being jailed for such so-called crimes as eating SpaghettiOs (police mistook them for methamphetamine), not wearing a seatbelt, littering, jaywalking, having homemade soap (police mistook the soap for cocaine), profanity, spitting on the ground, farting, loitering and twerking.

There is no room in the American police state for self-righteousness. Not when we are all guilty until proven innocent.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/08/a-tale-of-two-americas-where-the...

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snoopydawg's picture

When one gets to have a rule that says the prisons must have a90% occupancy rate, they are going to make sure they fulfill them. The article is beyond disgusting because it describes the abhorrent behavior of the ruling class and its war against our humanity. Trump is driving in the final nail on the coffin of this country. This has been in the works since Reagan if not longer. Dereliction of government is what this should be called. The tax bill is an obscene transfer of wealth that is the setup to dismantle our safety net starting with the programs that help the most vulnerable and then it's going to keep taking from the middle class and then.... until ? what? Adding to this is the deregulation of every rule that was put in place for our protection. Air and water will be polluted back to how they were before Nixon created the EPA. Oceans are already full of toxic chemicals and they are rolling back the weal protections put in place after the BP disaster. The DAPL has leaked 5 times since it was finished and the pipeline company is building more.

Civil asset forfeiture is unconstitutional! What laws state that cops can keep people's money if they haven't committed a crime? None that I'm aware of. In a country that has a justice system that is only for the 1%, the rule of law is just a suggestion. There are so many things our government is doing to us that the SC has failed to protect us from. This is more collusion between the ruling class and us peons.

Not only poorer, but dead too.

Police Killed 29 People Last Week

Two weeks ago a man was killed by the police because someone had him swatted. Most new sites focused on the person who called the cops and not on why the Hell they killed him. There have been very few cops that have been convicted of murder in the last couple of decades. Mainly because they are protected by their unions and because AGs don't want to bring charges against them. Even when they are charged, juries let them off because of cop worshiping.

But we need to change Iran's regime because of their crackdown on protesters. When will another country say that we need to have ours changed? It's long overdue.

(edited)

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To really control a country, you must first control its courts. Then whatever you do is legal and anything the opposition does is illegal

Meteor Man's picture

@snoopydawg

Americans Killed by Cops Now Outnumber Americans Killed in Iraq War

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/americans-killed-cops-outnumber-america...

Do the PTB actually want a violent deadly response from protesters? It sure looks like it. Considering the provocation I am surprised at how peaceful protests have remained.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

snoopydawg's picture

@Meteor Man

And they're probably wondering why we haven't tried it yet. They have certainly gotten their practice in just in case we do rise up. The militarization of the police started in 1994. Another legacy of Bubba's that's still having horrible effects on the country.

People who are arrested for crack cocaine are sentenced up to 100 times as long as those who are caught using powder cocaine. Up to 100 times as long. Another war on the poor. (see article for details)

5000 people were killed in the last decade by the police and 4489 were killed in Iraq since the start of the war. Yeah, I'd say we have a problem in this country. And people say that we don't live in a police state. I wish they'd open their damn eyes.

IMG_0254.JPG

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9 users have voted.

To really control a country, you must first control its courts. Then whatever you do is legal and anything the opposition does is illegal

Meteor Man's picture

A follow up article at Counterpunch John Whitehead answers my question:

It gets worse.

You see, it’s not just that the U.S. government appears unconcerned about the fact that Americans are dying at the hands of the police.

Right now, the U.S. government is actively doing everything in its power to ensure that the killing spree continues.

Back to the beginning of the article, Obama syncophant Ta-Nehisi Coates got something right once:

“The warlords of history are still kicking our heads in, and no one, not our fathers, not our Gods, is coming to save us.”

— Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates

Here's the trigger for Whitehead's article:

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled: it will not hear the case of Young v. Borders.

Despite the fact that a 26-year-old man was gunned down by police who banged on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failed to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shot and killed the innocent homeowner who answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense, the justices of the high court refused to intervene to address police misconduct.

After listing several additional examples of straight up homicide by cop, Whitehead targets the particular tactic that SCOTUS refused to even grant a hearing about:

Although “knock-and-talk” policing has become a thinly veiled, warrantless—lethal—exercise by which citizens are coerced and intimidated into “talking” with heavily armed police who “knock” on their doors in the middle of the night, the Supreme Court will not make the government play by the rules of the Constitution.

The lesson to be learned: the U.S. Supreme Court will not save us.

No one is coming to save us: not the courts, not the legislatures, and not the president.

An emphatic follow-up condemnation:

Americans are dying at the hands of the police, and the U.S. government doesn’t care.

The author covers MLK history and quotes that are right on target, and asks:

The nation is still being buffeted by economic instability, racial inequality, injustice, police brutality, government misconduct and a rising discontent on the part of the populace.

I can’t help but wonder what Martin Luther King Jr. would have to say to about his dream today.

Here's what we can do about it and exactly what c99p is all about:

This is no time to stand silently on the sidelines. It’s a time for anger and reform. Most importantly, it’s a time for making ourselves heard. And there is no better time to act than the present.

Take some time right now and start your own brushfire for freedom. Learn about the issues and then take a stand: attend local government meetings, contact your representatives, raise awareness within your community, and generally make your voice heard.

It’s midnight in America right now. But the real question is, will there be a dawn?

That’s up to you and me. The future is in our hands.

www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/10/justice-denied-why-the-govenment-is-not-...

Amen brother Whitehead and rest assured that everybody at c99p is going to keep on keepin' on.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@Meteor Man
Thanks so much for another important essay and another great comment among those on this thread!

You probably know far more about this than I, but thought I'd better get these out somewhere, for which this seems a highly relevant discussion.

Had just scribbled some (hopefully reasonably accurate - the dog's been very bored and hyper and I had a number of excursions between actually jotting down thoughts on what I'd been watching, upon return, but these aren't double-checked) notes for personal reference, in some cases with my personal commentary mixed in, and am including them, hurriedly sorta-adapted for posting, in case anyone needs to know why I believe that these are worth watching.

********************************************

Important, last few minutes in video following explains how 1917 entry in Congressional record shows how J. P. Morgan took over the 25 most influential US newspapers to control American perceptions, via The Council of Foreign Relations which he, among others, founded for the purpose of world domination by private self-interests.

This ought to be posted on right-wing sites as well, by someone not having Internet/computer problems especially if they know how to set the video to start with that last bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4GL6Av_I5E

Propaganda Buries Facts & Manipulates Emotions - Abby Martin with Chris Hedges
Poole Vine

Published on 27 Dec 2017

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Chris Hedges,philosophy,document,science,technology,discover,document discover, Physicists,debate,religion,atheism,Philosophy Of Science (Idea), talks , talk show,Atheist,Interview

The Red Scare used to crush the working class, this now dusted off for recycling by those creating hell-of-Earth for (what will, if not stopped, be very short-lived) short-term profiteering and control...

The public are to be spectators of what their 'betters' do to them, their countries and their planet, as also famously quoted from a statement by a proudly reality-unhinged member of the Bush Admin, while the delusional disinherit the Earth and all within it, in the hope of finally having it all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX8BnNwptLA

Chris Hedges interviews Noam Chomsky , The Best Speech Of All Time
Poole Vine

Published on 27 Dec 2017

======================
Chris Hedges,philosophy,document,science,technology,discover,document discover, Physicists,debate,religion,atheism,Philosophy Of Science (Idea), talks , talk show,Atheist,Interview

Freaking amazed that this (following) killer documentary got on TV, public or no, anywhere... apparently, as stated toward the end of the video, by a 9/11 truth-seeker, this is the only one in the country to present 'alternative' (non-corporate-approved) voices. (Jotted down notes rather randomly, although most people here probably know all this, lol, or can show any inaccuracies/potentially misleading slants/nuance.) There is a funding drive set around this, which should be skimmed-past-able if videos load normally for you. I had to wait and watch in sections whenever the loading stopped, although I think this powerful and informative video well worth any effort.

Please note that these random personal notes, intended to remind myself of video content in the future, may include my personal views and I may have phrased these in a slanted manner or incorrectly.

Early info provided also pertains to JP Morgan, et al, secretively establishing financial control over the US, (as mentioned at the end of the top video) in this instance by creating the Federal Reserve Act, forming a banking cartel toward their own monopoly and economic control. Although they ultimately had to change the title specifying a banking cartel agreement to 'The Federal Reserve Act', to have it passed, Woodrow Wilson, in return for their help in being elected, agreed to pass this into law. So, the American people have to be subject to this bankster's cartel agreement controlling their government's finance - consisting of their tax money, their pool of public funding of the public good - or be imprisoned. The government must borrow money from this private cartel and pay interest on this debt using taxpayer money raised through income tax - in my estimation probably explaining, at least in part, why the Republicans previously created so much more public debt than once did the Dems, while draining the public purse and redirecting public money away from the public good. That massive debt, for which citizens are liable, created by money borrowed and provided to further profit such as banksters and other corporations, especially the MIC, constitutes further 'legal' robbery enacted on the American citizen, with trillions now vanishing into black holes of budgetary confusion in this looting phase.

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying that he believes that 'banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies'.

Apparently the US Constitution forbids creating money out of debt?( No wonder ALEC's been pushing for a Constitutional Convention, amid dire warnings of a 'run-away Convention' which apparently, once initiated, can't be controlled...)

What's described as 'the Suicide Economy', Wall St. running government to the destruction of life...

And, after a discussion interspersed with fund-raising, gets into corporations controlling government, agriculture, virtually eliminating the small farmer and more sustainable systems, and deciding what foods are available and that the 99% can access and eat, as determined by profit levels for The Right People, regardless of health and environmental issues.

What's described as agricultural suicide.

Text quote says that Wikileaks cable showed that the US conspired to retaliate painfully, over the long term, against European nations if they resisted GMOs. Blackwater (through subsidiary Total Intelligence) apparently sought to become the 'intel arm' of Monsanto, offering operatives to infiltrate groups of activists organizing against the multinational biotech firm. (Again, my interjection: The Psychopaths That Be have no 'allies', only those useful to them - or Disposables who are not.)

Says (very roughly phrased here) that such companies as Monsanto are claiming patents over native seeds and forcing utter control by themselves over the food supply, so that they can profit from fertilizers, chemicals, seeds every season, destroying communities, soil, the environment, to create a market monopoly for the polluting GMO/petrochemical industry. No big surprise...

I'd heard about the mass deaths of Indian Farmers (given at 1/2 million in the video) unable to afford the unsustainable contracts with Monsanto, but apparently many haven't. They typically suicide by drinking pesticide, to protest the company.

Such corporations hate people for their freedom of choice, which they are rapidly disposing of, in more than just their permitted electoral choices.

This has to be viewed...

Toward the end of the documentary, in a chilling segment on the corporate-protecting surveillance state, involving the stripping of American's rights, militarized police brutality toward protesters, etc., there's a statement made that the US military asks recruits if they'd be willing to fire upon Americans if asked to do so by their leaders; apparently the numbers indicating 'yes' are said to now be be 'amazingly high'... and, a little further along, speaks of the need for awareness and that revolution occurs in the consciousness.

Another speaker says that the revolution against the economic take-over is really an economic revolution.

And another points out that a species that is not sustainable goes extinct.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0UVafdAoII

American Empire: An Act of Collective Madness
Colorado Public Television

Streamed live on 17 Sep 2016

The following is highly pertinent. One example among too many to list: EU Common Market essential strategy in 4th Nazi Reich. Bilderberg on record as being involved in organizing this.

We have been conditioned to laugh at, or disapprove of, those drawing easily recognizable parallels between current 'ruling class' fascist actions, attitudes and general psychology (fascism being the method of rule most natural to psychopaths, more comfortable with corporate/authoritarian/psychopath-run institutions incapable of humanity and with machines than with alien-to-them empathetic and conscience-ridden humans who must be manipulated and 'messy' democracy run by public-protective law limiting their personal desires and abuses) and their previous Nazi counterparts for a reason. Because they actually are carried over from that culture and maintained in a pathological corporate and political culture infiltrated and infected by this previously. And our noticing this makes them nervous.

As has become more and more evident, the Nazi scientists and others salvaged via such as Project Paper Clip and brought into American (and other countries) industry and government were, indeed, for the purpose of organizing a far more carefully planned and executed version of fascist global takeover and those forming this group are indeed very close to completion of their takeover. And that's what's forming the overarching 'Shadow Government/Deep State/whatever you choose to call it' running the US (and other countries) with no regard either for individual (non-billionaire) or global life and an absolute disdain for the concept of democracy, as has been progressively more blatantly shown. And it is this that America and Americans, as well as the rest of the world, are being so callously and viciously drained and used for. Especially regarding the US military and global surveillance state, grown (at the fiscal and democratic expense of the American public,) large enough to subdue the world which once banded together to take them down when they believed themselves unstoppable - or so they believe. It's still 99-1 odds against the Psychopaths That Be.

As Corbett said, back in 2014, since secrecy is their byword, exposure is key.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yONSTDDNYc

Why We Must Oppose Bilderberg
corbettreport

Published on 30 May 2014

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=9338

As the Bilderbergers gather in Denmark to discuss this year's agenda, James Corbett presents "Why We Must Oppose Bilderberg" to the We The People Anti-Bilderberg Conference taking place in Copenhagen. Learn more about the history, aims, and goals of the Bilderberg Group, why they must be opposed, and how best to do it on this special edition of The Corbett Report podcast.

Just barely have started watching this, but am taking a break. Pretty sure I've watched this before but want to go over these while they're still available on the intertubz.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYhWlgACP2c

Beyond Bilderberg
corbettreport

Published on 31 May 2013

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7435

The alt media has done a remarkable job of raising awareness of the Bilderberg meetings in the last few years. Now, as this year's conference gets set to kick off in Watford, UK, this year's protest is shaping up to be the largest one yet. But as hopeful as this growing Bilderberg awareness is, there is always the question: what other meetings, conferences and groups are flying under the radar while the alt media is fixated on the Bilderbergers? Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we explore what lies beyond Bilderberg.

'Know thine enemy' is an even more important precept when dealing with psychopaths, who cannot be reached on an empathetic human level for which they lack brain function/capacity, perceiving life as consisting of useful/not-useful machines, and therefore cannot comprehend or regard humanity in either sense as anything but an exploitable 'weakness' to be manipulated in the achievement of personal desires forming all that they can perceive.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.