Ask me anything
Did our ancestors abolish slavery? Did we rid our society of the iniquitous parasites that feed on the lack of liberty and freedom promised to humanity by our most moral ethos? Have the parasites simply slipped under the skin of lady liberty only to emerge with a new carapace? The slave holders are now Ceo’s and the slave merchants are Wardens. I’m sad to say that slavery is alive and well in America, and the rest of the world.
An article by Rania Khalek, 21st Century Slaves: How Corporation’s Exploit Prison Labor, Rania clearly outlines how the slavery market simply turned into a prison market by using a loophole in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that allows prisoners to be used for forced labor. Have things have now become so easy for those who would use other peoples lives for their advantage that they can blatantly do the exact same things the slave holders did over 150 years ago? We may have come to a point in society that people actually think it’s alright to treat people in the same exact way as then. It’s seems we have forgotten the lessons of the past.
Some people may say “well as long as it’s drug users and thugs, then it’s okay.” I know this because I used to say it. But I have a new vision, I’ve seen the other side of the wall and realized those drug users are your kids who were busted for smoking pot, and the thugs used to be those kids but have been released and re-offended because the system is set up against them. Can you imagine trying to get a job in a world that won’t hire you because of your record. So even if you believe in forgiveness and change, the system doesn’t. There may be one good thing in all of this, our new slavery is an almost equal opportunity slavery. That’s not really true though. Over 60% of southern inmates are black and 98% of all inmates are men. Are men worse than women, are blacks worse than whites?
Every institution we’ve utilized (educational, rehabilitative, productive, militaristic, psychiatric, governmental) has purported to make us better. Instead, what it seems these systems have done is define us by using their limited knowledge of us and thereby made us worse. We let them lock us in cages… in rooms… and cubicles: to think… to learn… to produce. It may work in a few cases but does it really work for most of us, does it? Are we educated to our best potential, more rehabilitated, more productive? Really? Are we more adaptable to changing environments, economic seasons, and the world’s political upheavals? Are we safer from the terrorists all way across the world because the government is watching us at work, or in our cars… or on the internet? Would you feel better if it wasn’t the government watching you, but corporations? What if they were in charge of our hospitals, our schools, our food, our international diplomacy… your safety? Not to scare you but they are! Is the government is too large and institutionalized to be effective at creating a civil society capable of providing an optimal environment for education, economic growth, and personal safety? This maybe true, but do you think corporations have your best interests at heart? Do you really think they care about America… the world we all live in… the world ‘you’ live in? Their vote counts more than yours because they have more money to line politicians pockets. Maybe we should go back to our bases, our foundations, and rethink everything.
Control is paramount. Whether it is people who are in the workplace, school, military, hospital, or prison. Or whether it is a resource mined from the ground, grown in feed lots, or large monotonus fields of just a few crops. Everything is under Control.
You have barely have any say in the food you eat. Almost everything in the supermarket is drained of all things that can go bad (which is usually the healthy part). It’s all catered to our desires which by the way are cultured by advertising. You might as well be in a cage and fed all the things they want you to eat, just like the chickens in in the farms that are so unhealthy they can’t even walk.
I would think that prisoners would be a prime example of the horrible truth about the food we eat. The hugely over processed food substances that most prisoners eat are severely devoid of nutrients (In schools the diet is even worse). According to certain studies violent aggression within prisons decreased by 37% when prisoners were given diets with proper nutrition especially Omega 3 Fatty acids, which is a significant jump. I dare to extrapolate this finding to outside the walls; to the diets of children in schools, and the general diets of people in particular.
I see hope on the horizon though. Bard College in New York State holds classes for a few lucky inmates at Eastern State Correctional Facility. Many prisoners earn liberal arts degrees and of those selected less than 1% have reoffended. At Bard growing organic vegetables is a way for people who grew up on asphault with poor diets to reconnect with our closest connection to nature, food. Other Food & Prison Programs are:
Just An Image
I’m a little confused by this picture. As I was searching through images of feedlots and the horrible real life conditions on corporate farms I came across this photo of a Texas Longhorn bull in a bucolic pasture apparently healthy and happy (honestly it makes me yearn for Texas). But when I clicked on the link it brought me to a blogsite of a business innovation speaker who mostly deals with farms and feedlots. In the same article as this picture he speaks of the wonderful accomplishments of cattle ranchers (who we should now call feedlot managers) in Sonoma, Ca. whose dairies and feedlots have “upwards of 30,000 to 40,000” head of cattle. I’m guessing the feedlots he speaks of don’t look as pastoral as this picture. There seems to be a bit of false advertising afoot.
To play the devils advocate he did bring up a few points about the WWF, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds conducting talks about the the projected rise in the future world population, and the need for sustainable food production to keep up with the demand. So at least he’s thinking about these important issues. But I wonder as I read through his words if he truly understands the realities of food production in America and chooses to twist the truth, or if he’s also hypnotized by the lull of Industry advertising?
I can’t stop myself. I look at the the title I say to myself “You shouldn’t read this. It will only piss you off or depress you by bringing back those bad memories!” But I can’t stop myself. It’s as if my brain is still trying to solve a problem that I long ago gave up trying to fix.
This is the best article an Super Max prisons I’ve read so far. Funny, it’s written by an art historian. When I read Foucault’s Discipline and Punishment he mentioned towards the end of the book that maybe prisons weren’t to correct evil behavior per se, but to quiet the political opponents of those in power. I know that this argument sounds as if it were reaching a precarious distance to justify itself but after spending time in a SuperMAX I can relate. They are made to shut people up, and to break the spirit of those who resist. Sure… if the people being locked up were mass murderers and corrupt politicians then maybe it works. But all to often it’s mentally ill, politically charged prisoners, and prisoners who were caught in a rock and a hard place and had to defend themselves from either other prisoners or guards.
So as a person who has seen the other side of the wall should I keep my mouth shut and say nothing, or should I give my opinion on what I have seen? I will say now that the only reason I believe that SuperMax exist is to torture those who won’t conform to mainstream ideals, period.
For many years Norway has had the lowest recidivism rate in the world, 20%. But let’s not look to those damn socialist’s whose european fascist ways are destroying the world and the idea of Capitalism. It’s is about getting to the top, and how can we get to the top if we don’t shove some people down and keep them down. That way we don’t actually have to try to be better, or trust anyone, or use patience to help some one we are in competition with. Those people want our resources. How am I going to get rich if there is too much competition in the market place? My children might not ever be able to waste food, and throw away resources in an impulsive manner if there are not enough resources to keep for myself and my family.
I mean look at this, how is anybody supposed to learn that we don’t care about them, and they should give up and kill themselves when they live in quarters like this. My God! There is actually a window they can see out of. How are they supposed to know that they are worthless if we treat them as if there is some sort of forgiveness out there. Holy Cow, and let’s dare not let them believe that they will ever have hope of living in the same world as Me. Especially when I’ve done everything thing right! Why should they ever have hope of having a family and a nice house if they screwed up once. Don’t they know that there is a permanent record that follows them wherever they go!
“I’m getting to the top of this heap!” That’s our way of life. Just like in this Monolith made by a an artist who understands the Human Condition, Gustav Vigeland. Wait that doesn’t sound American or even Anglo for that matter. Hey wait where is this sculpter from? Norway… ? Hmmm… ?
Looking into artists with whose basic goal is social activism. Nicholas Lampert has some interesting collages that although simple, simply tell a story in the most efficient way possible.
Imagine Pompeii except this time the natural disaster is caused by us, and millions more will die. The only thing left will be the underwater remains of civilizaations that destroyed themselves. Now in Pompei there is a little sympathy felt by the viewer of the ruins. But I wonder if anyone will feel sorry for us when we’re all gone?
No not everything will be destroyed. It probably won’t look like Waterworld but there will be catastrophic changes. Maybe not everyone will die but our world will be a drastically different scene. However, it is all up to us! There are 7 billion of us. If we all put our heads together I’m sure we’ed have enough man power or solve any problem. But only if we could just stop fighting each other!
When the river rises the poor get displaced, not the people powerful though. They can afford land on higher ground. Sounds like sound advice. Recent research into Post Katrina & Post Irene hurricane reports show that places where prisons reside are usually in areas prone to flooding and therefore the cost of land is low. I can just hear the super conservatives say to themselves, “Good Riddance!” As if the world is getting a good cleansing if nature wipes a prison away.
But what some of these people fail to realize time and time again is that the world they make for us (the prisoners) is the world they make for themselves and their children. If it’s alright to let other people die because of the stereotype you’ve given them then it’s alright for us to think the same of them if the situations, by chance, were reversed. But that’s not how people think. Everyone tends to believe that they are good and of course only the bad people are bad. What they never realize is that most bad people simply got stuck in a bad situation and need help getting out.
I posit however many citizens don’t actually care about other people. I believe that people still have the tendency to judge others and then throw them under their own feet so they may stand higher without actually being better. Maybe I’m cynical, maybe this is not always true, but for the most part people are selfish and intolerant, until the occasional natural disaster. Only then do we begin to see how small we are in the universe. Only then can we see that we need help, and we need all the help we can get. Well… for some people, maybe not those in the Super Dome.
It was reported that when certain prisoners in Orleans Correctional Facility tried to flee the rushing waters they were shot at by guards. In Honduras, a prison fire broke out and the prisoners (excuse me, people) who tried to save themselves from the fire were shot at. In Puerto Rico a driver of a police van drove into flood waters and instead of helping the prisoners shackled to the seat he just walked away from the vehicle and saved himself.
What needs to be understood is that everyone in a prison is a person who has rights. Some haven’t even been prosecuted yet and are not fully charged with a crime and therefore could be innocent (if this is the connection you need to believe this that the attitudes the American public has towards people in prison are wrong). Others are simply lost souls, that need a place to live that is far away from society where they can live in relative safety and peace. If we truly are more good than the people we put in prison then we could provide that level of civility. Remember, some of those prisoners are people just like you that thought they would never end up in a place like that. Believe me I know.
tumblrbot asked: WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?
My earliest human memory was that the window sill was not the same color as the wall.
Advertisement… it’s the number one way to influence the buying and selling of products. If a person wants to get the word out about something they must effectively advertise, or else just sit around and wait for someone to listen or buy something. All politicians, business men, religious leaders, and artists know that in order to spread knowledge about yourself and what you’re doing you must find your audience and make sure they take in what you have to say. In fact reality is skewed by the advertisement media.
Rhetoric to certain people listening can become truth. Corporations and Public relations firms know this to be true and have it down to a scientific method. This was horrifyingly exposited in the BBC Documentary “The Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis. In where he explains how Sigmund Freud mentored his nephew Edward Bernays (The father of corporate public relations in America) in the art of using peoples fears and desire to control demand for a product through advertising. One of Edwards first and largest clients was Phillip-Morris. If you should decide to watch this documentary I warn you that you will feel a sense of complete naivete and helplessness.
However, don’t despair. You have allies. There are many groups of people trying to fight the effects of this hypnosis. The snake that has wrapped itself throughout the fabric of our society. Magazines likeAdbusters do their best to break the spell of blind consumerism that corporations have jinxed us with. I truly believe that humor can save us. It’s the pithy and satirical work of this magazine and the work of groups like the Billboard Liberation Front that cause us to question our given (or sold) reality. I believe that the B.L.F. actually interrupts the corporate message right at the moment of transference. Using the same media that the company uses to get to your psyche.
Then with the the money from the multi million dollar lawsuit against big tobacco the truth.com hit the air waves with the same type of poignant satire. TV at the time was the most important way into an Americans head. The example that really jarred my reality for a second was the april fools commercial. Either I was nieve or it was a really good play on advertisement but they had me fooled until the very end.