phynedyning

Land of the (not so) free…

In Editorial on August 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

The United States the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies. In 2009 the United States had an incarceration rate of 730 prisoners for every 100,000 citizens.

“Freedom hating places” like Iran had 333 per 100,000 and the People’s Republic of China had 122 per 100,000. China has, roughly, four times the population of the United States and you are less likely to be snatched off the street by the mutaween (Iranian religious police) than you are to be snatched off the street by one of America’s crime-fighting heroes.

The “they hate us for our freedoms” refrain appears to be pretty hollow. Maybe, just maybe, they hate us because they’re afraid of our government? Maybe they don’t want US-style justice because US-style justice…isn’t justice?

And, as though it weren’t bad enough to be hauled off to the calaboose for playing dice, the good ole US of A has brought back that Dickens favorite, the Debtor’s Prison.

Gold old days!

The Wall Street Journal (2011) reported that two-thirds of the “free” states within the United States permit delinquent debtors to be jailed for not paying their bills. Even more problematic, is that the paperwork used by banks to shuffle folks off to the workhouse, are filled with inaccuracies and errors.

Ooopsie!

Other prisoners are consigned to empire dungeons simply because they dare to disagree with a bureaucrat.

Take the case of Michael Salman.

Salman, a born-again Christian who found Jesus (metaphorically) in prison, endeavored to build up a ministry and build a church in Phoenix, Arizona. His neighbors objected and Salman he became embroiled in a fight with them. His “nice” neighbors made fun of his jailhouse conversion and they hooted and pointed at his past as a gang member.

Let me get this straight.

A gang-banger goes to prison, gets religion, becomes a pastor, builds a church…

…and this is a bad thing?

Isn’t that what convicts are supposed to do? The early American model for jails and penitentiaries gave the convict a Bible and plenty of time to study it. They called their churchy jails, “reformatories”.

To be clear, Salman was not sent to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “Tent City” and forced to wear Sheriff Joe’s trademark pink undies because he was building a church.

Crazy man with a gun.

[It is worth mentioning that Arpaio built up an enormous sheriff’s posse where volunteers can assist Sheriff Joe with traffic control or they can elect to help Arpaio with his investigation into the birth certificate of President Barack Obama. Yes, Arpaio is that f*ckinig nuts and he carries a gun.]

Salman was sent to Arpaio’s gulag because he persisted in holding church services and Bible study at his house, which did not comply with building codes, as required for churches.

The thinking of the court that sent Salman to jail must have gone along these lines:

“He’s a reformed gang member with a history of gun violence. He thumbed his nose at a judge who ordered him to comply with codes. Let’s send him to jail where he can re-associate with gang members and violent men.”

Yeah, that’ll teach him.

[It is worthwhile to point out that the majority of the inmates held in the inhumane conditions in Arpaio’s Tent City have not been convicted of any crime. They are waiting for their turn at the American court (“Bring those guilty bastards in here.”) system.]

Hey, what’s a good police state without a few sadistic jailers to keep the inmates in line?

So, re-capping for readers:

America has more prison inmates than any other country in the world. To become a guest within the walls of those prisons you can: kill someone, rob someone, fail to pay a bill, or willfully refuse to put ground fault intercepting plug-ins in your bathroom.

Yessiree, it makes me mad enough want to write a letter to my senator in favor of ‘Murica marching off to deal with those freedom hating, slanty-eyed Iranians!

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