What are the civilized countries of the world? Of those how many report accurately everything that they do? I guess Tibet is in full accord with what China does to it. I guess many African nations are in full accord with what their neighbors do to them. I am sure that there are many in Central America that are loving what history has provided for them. Shall we go to South America? How about The Balkan Countries in the last 15 years? No nothing has happened in any of those places that resembles the gross atrocities occuring daily in the USA. Wait Is Georgia a country or a state?
I remember in 1969 talking to my cousin in Odense Denmark about politics. He thumped his little red book, and told me how stupid te american activists rioting were. They were nothing but a bunch of spoiled children using their fathers money to play. Real change he said came from battle and overrunning the government. Is that any better?
BTW Utah still uses the firing squad method
And isn't it a conundrum? We don't want to execute so we incarerate those who break the law. What does that give us? More people incarerated than any other country. I personally would like to see a better method to dealing with crime but what would it be? Allowing all crime so there is no crime? Let anyone do what they want whenever? Crime happens. What do you do about it or do we just stick our heads in the sand and ignore it?
The public acceptance of that exact concept is what allowed the Weimar Republic to morph into the Third Reich. Those "few infringements upon our basic freedoms" are always rationalized as "necessary to guarantee national security" and before you know it the types of abuses we're seeing in Iraq now will begin to happen on U.S. soil. All it takes right now for your family to be rousted in the night, yourself arrested and thrown into prison without recourse to legal counsel or any due process of law whatsoever is for the President to declare you an "enemy combatant".
Originally Posted by mrcallow
We have historically occupied the moral high ground in relation to banana republics and other repressive police states, but we are quickly devolving into one of them. There is nothing in the Fifth Amendment about "enemy combatants". When those in power break the rules in the name of expediency, we cease to be a nation of laws. And it's happening before our very eyes.
I agree as long as other countries are suspect we shouldn't worry about our behavior.
What does a high incarceration rate say about a country? I don't know, maybe it says that a good number of the citizens don't agree with the laws or that the punishment is excessive or that we have an environment that builds criminals or that our law enforcement and judicial system is top notch (anyone know how OJ is doing with his hunt for Nichole's killer?). And it isn't as if we are afraid of killing them as well as jailing.
No mater how you slice it a high incarceration rate says nothing good about this country.
The majority of folks behind bars in this country are non-violent drug offenders.
Sort of like our own little "ethnic cleansing " program.
Again, just the facts, there is fairly good information available from AI on the number of people behind bars here and worldwide.
Of course human rights abuses anywhere are unacceptable and unfortunately all too common. I think (just a guess) that it is the hypocrisy in the US that makes folks a little nauseous.
LOL, Yes and how many are in prison in China? Ask Nelson Mandella what he was held for?
As for saying it is mostly drug offenders in jail? Well isn't it illegal to traffic and use illicit drugs? I personally think all not just a segment of the populace should be held to the same standards. That is a law that has been around for a while. If you want change. then do something about it. go run for office instead of being an arm chair politician. If a nobody African American back in the early 60's could without money influence a nation so can you. (Martin Luther King). If you do legalize drugs I hope you also realize that then they have no valid way of coming back and saying that they should sue those who sold them drugs because their health and life suffered as a result. Just like I think that is assanine that people today are suing the tobacco industry because they have cancer. They know the risks they can live with the consequences. On the other hand we also have laws about drunk driving. Isn't it about time those that kill or physically harm irrebacally have to take responsibility for their actions? What about the dead beat dads who don't pay child support? They leave their children to suffer for their actions, but it would hurt their little sensibilities to take responsibility. There are a lot of things you can change. DO IT. Now is the time for action. Use your words and do something proactive.
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I just read this entire thread for the first time.
Anyone care to join me for a drink? Or several?
China :1.51 million, for a rate of 117 per 100,000
Most of them for political reasons, lots of opium addicts, but not a jailable offense.
I'm not sure I agree that legalizing drugs is a good idea or is the answer to the incarceration issue.
I have extensive experience- (thousand of hours and some of in not in an "armchair") doing volunteer work in drug treatment and social work...
but I guess I've been wasting my time, because obviously all the black and hispanic men in prison in this country for being drug addicts (average sentance for possesion: approx 3X white offender for identical quantity) deserve to be there because they just didn't have the moral fiber and good ol' fashioned gumption to rise above their circumstances.
As a person who makes mistakes, I guess I tend to empathize with folks rather than adopt a self-rightous posture.
The population of prisons are represented disproportionately by the poor. Almost without exception the candidate with the most money wins the election.
Might there be a connection -- something along the lines of money buys justice as well as access if not the actual laws?
Q. Who wrote the seatbelt laws?
1. Our benevolent legislators
2. The demanding public
3. The insurance industry
Q. If I steal the investments of thousands via the accounting frauds that are being prosecuted today do you think I will spend as much time behind bars as an indigent California man with 3 petty larceny convictions?
To quote myself see above. I made that statement before you decided (mobtown) that I didn't want the same for all!
Originally Posted by Aggie
As for volunteer work, No I have never done volunteer social work. I got paid to do it. I'm horrible I made money doing it. It helped me eek out a living straight out of college. During that time I saw a father who repeatedly was in court for child abuse take a belt and put his daughter eye out in one of the incidents. Another time a man who we had restraining orders against legally killed his wife. I saw welfare fraud, and I saw those who desperatley needed it, not get help. I spent three years doing this before I couldn't handle the frustration any longer. As for more poor people in jail than the rest of the populace, isn't that more to do with their legal representation? Yeah I agree it takes money to get good legal help. Wouldn't it be nice if there was more pro bono work done by attornies?
Do not get me started on Insurance companies. They manage to rape the public coming and going. Most like to wait out the insured person hoping they will give up or die, rather than fight to get what they paid to be covered for. Ever read the arisa laws? Now that will make you froth at the mouth. This country needs insurance reform. Instead of enacting more laws that make insurance mandatory, make the insurance companies accountable and liable for what they do. Also since they are so good at discounting service to providers, wouldn't it be nice if we could discount what we pay to them? I really hate the fact that some bean counter in an insurance company can diagnose and tell DR.'s what they can prescribe to the public. Before I go further on this rant I will quit.
As for only the rich get elected, Bull pucky. Nice you give up without trying. If you want it bad enough there are ways to get your name out there. Use the internet. If everyone in this country feels the same as you, you can get funds from them. Just like others though, you will have to start out small office and work your way up. That I agree with you on, if you want a high office, you do need the bucks up front to get your name out there. Use the group here, they can be a basis of ideas to help you get elected.
Politics is a great way to lose ethics and spend other people's money. :rolleyes: