Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Using Tragedies to Glorify War Create More Tragedies

I don't want to speak badly about someone that was almost killed; and if I do many people may be more outraged with me than the causes of a lot of violence; which is part of what makes some of these propaganda tactics so effective. However it is now routine to glorify tragedies and distract from the causes of them and how to prevent them.

When it becomes politically incorrect to report the most effective ways to prevent tragedies and politically correct to glorify some of them then it is virtually impossible to prevent them; however challenging this propaganda makes it more likely.

When the script calls for it the Democratic Party often tries to portray itself as the scientific alternative to the Republicans who they portray as ideological fanatics; however they don't actually do a much better job when it comes to looking for the best research on any given subject; and their ideology seems to be watered down to suit the agendas of their financial backers. There have been at least three relatively recent incidents where this may have backfired and partially contributed to politicians, judges and lobbyists being shot; yet they're still not willing to look at the best research or admit that some of their own policies might have been partially responsible for failing to prevent many tragedies, including shootings that could be greatly reduced by improving education and child care not abandoning inner cities; or wars that are routinely fought based on lies.

It often seems as if they're beginning to believe their own propaganda, and in some cases their lies; and regrettably they refuse to let the best researchers that provide the biggest challenge to their propaganda to have a chance to correct them in a high profile manner.

Gabrielle Giffords is apparently a co-founder of "Americans for Responsible Solutions" and according to Gabrielle Giffords: Orlando and Jo Cox’s death show the horrors of gun violence 06/20/2016 she said, "I have said before, and I will say again: We all know there is no single solution to our gun violence problem, ..." which sounds very good; and it would be very good if they followed up on it by discussing all the contributing causes of violence and how it escalates; but they don't. The only solution they discuss seems to be gun control and they keep running around in circles with that issue never accomplishing anything.

Apparently Gabrielle Giffords wasn't even a supporter of gun control until after she was shot according to Giffords A Longtime Supporter of Gun Rights By April Girouard January 09, 2011 but now it seems to be the only thing that she discusses and she repeats the same arguments over and over again every time there is a shooting. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also made a similar statement when she was mayor of Baltimore and they had their problems with shootings; but then instead of discussing different contributing causes of violence she said that her idea of multiple solutions was gun control at the local city level, gun control at the state level and gun control at the national level.

Is that really the best they can ever come up with?

There really are many people at the grassroots level trying to discuss many more of the contributing causes of violence; unfortunately it doesn't serve the interests of the political class and they can't get an opportunity to present their ideas on the mainstream media. I went into this myself in a series of articles starting with Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows, which I consider the biggest contributing cause to escalating violence, and ending with Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit which includes grassroots efforts to address the causes of violent crime in abandoned inner cities. This included an article on gun control, How does gambling and gun control impact violent crime? which indicates that reasonable gun control can be a part of the solution, so I don't oppose their efforts to implement it; but it is almost certainly not the most important contributing cause of violence.

There should be no doubt that many social programs like improving education, day care, reducing poverty and maintaining a functioning economy where people have access to economic opportunities and health care, including mental health would be a major part of reducing violence. Yet few people from the political establishment discuss this.

Recently Gabrielle Giffords was honored with new U.S. warship bearing her name 06/10/2017 in a major ceremony that was attended by Hillary Clinton who she supported in the 2016 campaign. These ceremonies do nothing to solve many of the biggest problems in our society and are clearly designed to reinforce the belief that our military is here to defend us; however the vast majority of their activities have been based on lies that are routinely exposed in alternative media outlets and they're often so obvious like the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that even the mainstream media reports some of these lies.

Amazingly neither Gabrielle Giffords, Hillary Clinton or the vast majority of sitting members of congress are even discussing a "Stop Arming Terrorists" bill that was introduced five months ago to the House and two and a half months ago in the Senate according to, US government proves love for ISIS as bill to 'Stop Arming Terrorists' gets only 13 supporters 06/20/2017 This bill should be so obvious that it should have been introduced decades ago and passed. This should be a no-brainer, since many of the tyrants or revolutionaries we have armed in the past have turned the weapons we gave them against us, including the mujahedin which became the Taliban and Al-Qaeda Sadam Hussein the rebels that became ISIS and many more that could be listed easily with a modest amount of research.

Regrettably, even Bernie Sanders hasn’t co-sponsored this bill. He’s usually the best the Congress has to offer; however whether he’s distracted by other issues or might be under pressure from special interests, like any other politicians, even the best need to be reminded what we want and know that they’ll have support if they do it.

A dramatic ceremony naming a war ship after a victim of gun violence is considered newsworthy but reporting by the media or the majority of Congress on a bill so obvious that would reduce the risk of war dramatically isn't! How obvious and absurd can they be?

Gabrielle Giffords also has a history of catering to prejudices before she was shot and led to her support for many of the increased paranoia about illegal aliens being responsible for large amounts of crime even though the evidence doesn't support this at all as indicated in the following excerpts from Marie Gottschalk and another article following it:

Thanks to these fast-track programs, the number of criminal case filings in the judicial districts along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico has skyrocketed, paralyzing the courts. Processing so many petty border crossers without any criminal records has severely taxed the US Marshall Service and the federal courts, which must provide transportation, housing, food, defense attorneys, courtrooms, clerks, and judges. The $600 million border security plan that President Obama signed into law in the summer of 2010 failed to include any additional money for overworked courts or overworked defense attorneys handling immigration cases. At the time of his death in the 2011 Tucson shooting spree that severely injured Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Arizona’s chief federal judge John Roll was waiting to speak with the congresswoman to thank her for her efforts to secure more funding for federal courts overburdened with Operation Streamline cases.

Operation Streamline and related programs have severely compromised the rights and dignity of immigrant defendants. In some jurisdictions, Border Patrol attorneys have been deputized as special assistant U.S. attorneys to prosecute Operation Streamline cases. These deputies generally operate out of the Border Patrol offices with little oversight from the United States Attorney’s Office. Their dual appointments raise some troubling conflicts of interests, especially as concerns escalate about excessive use deadly and other force by Border Patrol agents and local residents along the Southwest border.

To handle the massive increase in immigration prosecutions, overtaxed courts have been conducting expedited hearings in which they arraign, convict, and sentence dozens of border crossers – sometimes upward of eighty or a hundred – en masse in a single court appearance. Human rights groups have denounced these as “rapid-fire group trials.” Immigrant defendants often arrive in courts shackled to one another after a brief meeting with a defense attorney that sometimes lasts barely five minutes. Since the number of public defenders has not increased to meet the tidal wave of new criminal investigations cases, an appointed defense attorney often represents dozens of clients in a single hearing. ....

When Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) announced in 2010 that the Obama administration would be sending 1,200 more National Guard troops to police the border with Mexico, she held up a photo of Robert Krentz, the soft spoken rancher shot to death weeks earlier on his ranch. After his death Krentz quickly became the poster child for the war on immigrants and a cause celebre among conservatives. Marie Gottschalk "Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics" 2015 p.223, 235

Gabrielle Giffords and John Roll both supported Operation Streamline which spent an enormous amount of resources on immigrants that had little or no criminal record and were just trying to earn a living. Gabrielle Giffords made a big issue of the death of Robert Krentz, which is tragic, and additional violence should be prevented as effectively as possible. However as I reported previously in Immigration Policy And Outsourcing Are Virtual Slavery, Immigrants are far less likely to commit violent crime. Statistics can easily be misrepresented, and politicians routinely do just that but The Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out a much more reliable report by The Sentencing Project (PDF) that I'm sure will stand up to scrutiny much better than the propaganda repeated over and over by the Trump administration and the mainstream media which pretends to do a good job debunking some of the lies from Trump. This report points out that, "1. Immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born citizens; 2. Higher levels of immigration in recent decades may have contributed to the historic drop in crime rates; 3. Police chiefs believe that intensifying immigration law enforcement undermines public safety; 4. Immigrants are under-represented in U.S. prisons."

This may not be much consolation the the family of Robert Krentz; however they never solved that case so they still don't know for certain that it was by an illegal alien. But they do suspect that it was probably drug related and even though violence is far lower than the rhetoric by those campaigning against immigrants, as indicated in an article below it should still be addressed. However once again past government policy has also contributed to that as demonstrated in and expose that has been reported in numerous books and the Kerry report and is finally being reported this week on a series from the History Channel. (The History Channel Is Finally Telling the Stunning Secret Story of the War on Drugs 06/18/2017) This show still doesn't cover more than a fraction of the participation of the CIA in allowing drugs to be run but it does cite some of the most credible source that have covered it previously and could lead some people to catch up by reading material from people like Celerino Castillo III who was a former DEA agent that blew the whistle on efforts to overlook drug running and Gary Webb author of "Dark Alliance," which starts with disclosures from the Kerry Committee Report that investigated drug running decades ago but kept coverage of this report to a minimum since then. Alfred McCoy also reported on how the CIA was involved in running heroin going back at least to the Vietnam war and continuing in the war in Afghanistan.

There's too much more on that to go into in a relatively short article, but it is far more important than this ceremony glorifying war and exposing it could do far more to reduce violence than demonizing immigrants.

The following article also explained at the time that Gabrielle Giffords called for increased border patrols how she was misrepresenting the threat by immigrants:

On Border Violence, Truth Pales Compared to Ideas By Randal C. Archibald June 19, 2010

When Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, announced that the Obama administration would send as many as 1,200 additional National Guard troops to bolster security at the Mexican border, she held up a photograph of Robert Krentz, a mild-mannered rancher who was shot to death this year on his vast property. The authorities suspected that the culprit was linked to smuggling.

“Robert Krentz really is the face behind the violence at the U.S.-Mexico border,” Ms. Giffords said.

It is a connection that those who support stronger enforcement of immigration laws and tighter borders often make: rising crime at the border necessitates tougher enforcement.

But the rate of violent crime at the border, and indeed across Arizona, has been declining, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as has illegal immigration, according to the Border Patrol. While thousands have been killed in Mexico’s drug wars, raising anxiety that the violence will spread to the United States, F.B.I. statistics show that Arizona is relatively safe.

That Mr. Krentz’s death nevertheless churned the emotionally charged immigration debate points to a fundamental truth: perception often trumps reality, sometimes affecting laws and society in the process.

Judith Gans, who studies immigration at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona, said that what social psychologists call self-serving perception bias seemed to be at play. Both sides in the immigration debate accept information that confirms their biases, she said, and discard, ignore or rationalize information that does not. There is no better example than the role of crime in Arizona’s tumultuous immigration debate.

“If an illegal immigrant commits a crime, this confirms our view that illegal immigrants are criminals,” Ms. Gans said. “If an illegal immigrant doesn’t commit a crime, either they just didn’t get caught or it’s a fluke of the situation.”

Ms. Gans noted that sponsors of Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law have made careers of promising to rid the state of illegal immigrants through tough legislation.

“Their repeated characterization of illegal immigrants as criminals — easy to do since they broke immigration laws — makes it easy for people to ignore statistics,” she said.

Moreover, crime statistics, however rosy, are abstract. It takes only one well-publicized crime, like Mr. Krentz’s shooting, to drive up fear. ....

For instance, statistics show that even as Arizona’s population swelled, buoyed in part by illegal immigrants funneling across the border, violent crime rates declined, to 447 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2008, the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available from the F.B.I. In 2000, the rate was 532 incidents per 100,000. Complete article

However, as I said this is little consolation to Robert Krentz or his family; but this is also related to foreign policy and oppression that has gone on in Latin America as well as the war on drugs and the history of that shows that the same activities that have supported the phony "War on Drugs" and allowed drug running from allies of the CIA also oppressed many Latin Americans and these oppressed people are much more likely to become violent, whether it is as part of a drug running operation by either the allies or enemies of the CIA or whether it is fleeing tyrants that are often supported by the United States. this includes Honduran refugees that were fleeing the coup which Hillary Clinton partially supported as Secretary of State.

It may not seem politically correct to criticize someone that has been shot and will not be the same again; however it is far worse to continue ignoring the root causes of violence and wars based on lies or to glorify that them with propaganda that enables anyone that speaks ill of the victims.

I still don't like speaking badly of Gabrielle Giffords or John Roll but the policies they supported didn't reduce violence at all and while they were demonizing immigrants they weren't paying attention to the mental health problems that contributed to Jared Loughner's mental illness and led to their own injuries. It isn't a guarantee that if they did more to defend education child care or repair abandoned inner cities in addition to addressing the other contributing causes of violence but it would have made it much less likely especially if they had begun reforming based on the best research decades ago, since some of the most effective solutions take time to show results.

Obama to Send Up to 1,200 Troops to Border By Randal C. Archibald May 25, 2010

Gabrielle Giffords: We need courage to face our gun-safety problem now 06/15/2017

"War Is A Racket" By Smedley Darlington Butler

Friday, June 16, 2017

Military Indoctrination Endangers Veterans and Public for Wars Based on Lies

Brandon Olsen
John Robert Neumann
Bryan Cage

Michael Wayne Pettigrew
Richard Rojas
Bryan Moles

If politicians want veterans to fight wars based on lies, they need to have them trained to obey orders without question!

This is done through their boot camp training process which as I have pointed out in numerous articles including Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment and Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize This indoctrination process uses Boot Camp hazing and intimidation to teach recruits to blindly obey orders without question, which is the opposite of what Stanley Milgram said his research was intended to accomplish. However his application for funds from the National Science Foundation was supported by the military and the Office of Naval Research, which is more concerned about obtaining obedience than teaching cadets to debate orders or whether or not the current war is based on lies or not.

It also teaches some of them, often the least stable, to deal with problems through violence, at least when they're ordered to, although they don't always limit their use of violence to when they're ordered to. Some of the most common victims of violence from veterans when they do overreact are often other veterans or their family members. There have been far more shootings from veterans that are dealing with PTSD or other problems than the vast majority of the public realize and the past few weeks have been no exception with several high profile incidents being reported, at least for a little while. There have also been a few more lower profile shootings, which seems to be happening at any given time, if anyone takes the time to look them up.

Intimidation tactics to pressure cadets to blindly obey orders and go along with what ever lies politicians come up with create the traumatic stress that leads to PTSD whether they go into combat or not! This is why so many of the shooters that have claimed to have PTSD never saw combat; they often followed arguments with other veterans or commanders that were pressuring them for one reason or another.

However the media rarely reports on how common they are and when they do they often only do it for a limited time and allow the most vocal deniers of the problem get the vast majority of air time. This is what they did following a couple reports from the New York Times and Colorado Gazette about eight to ten years ago. The high number of veteran shootings hasn't ended, although thorough reporting on it seems to have ended.

Fortunately some of the people that know more about it are most concerned about doing something about it also seem to be veterans. One of the most obvious solutions should be to allow more reasonable scrutiny when demanding that veterans follow orders without question, often even illegal orders. Veterans are often put in a position where if they obey illegal orders and it backfires, like at Abu Ghraib, the veterans at the bottom of the chain of command are the ones that take the blame, or if they refuse to obey illegal orders they also have to take the blame; and in some cases they're even ordered to be used as a human research subject without consent and intimidated and harassed if they refuse to obey.

I doubt if they tell many recruits when they enlist that they may be forced into medical research projects that increase profits for drug companies without respect for the wishes of the recruits, even though this has nothing to do with defense from an invasion from a hostile invasion.

Jeanette Jing uses a relatively brief video, Stop complaining that Hillary Clinton never admits her mistakes. She did admit one "mistake" 06/01/2017, that quickly summarizes the problem assuming some people are familiar with the details behind her one little "mistake." Scott Ritter and Mohamed ElBaradei both accurately reported that there were no weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq and just a couple months after it Joseph C. Wilson confirmed that this invasion was based on falsified evidence to justify this war. If Hillary Clinton or George Bush wanted to know that the war was based on lies they could have and should have yet they were never held accountable and both of them were given the media coverage they needed to get the nomination for a presidential run.

Thousands of veterans died for these lies, not to defend our freedom!

Yet if many of these veterans speak out against the war they're subjected to criminal arrest in many cases while the people that gave illegal orders based on lies continue getting positive treatment from the press that enable many of them to remain in office, while one military action after another based on lies continues.

Clearly all the rhetoric about how the military leadership and political establishment respect and honor the troops isn't nearly as accurate as they claim!

If they actually acted on a lot of their best rhetoric most of the wars based on lies wouldn't have happened and many of the veterans that have PTSD that causes problems at home of might contribute to the motives behind many mass shootings and suicides would be able to get treatment for it, or better yet they never would have had it in the first place if they didn't go thorough oppressive training that wouldn't be necessary if we weren't fighting wars based on lies.

Dwight Eisenhower seemed to understand this, at least to some degree when he wrote the following, although he didn't necessarily always act on it:

Crusade in Europe By Dwight David Eisenhower 1944

The capacity of Soldiers for absorbing punishment and enduring privations is almost inexhaustible so long as they believe they are getting a square deal, that their commanders are looking out for them, and that their own accomplishments are understood and appreciated. Any intimation that they are the victims of unfair treatment understandably arouses their anger and resentment, and the feeling can sweep through a command like wildfire. p.315

Eisenhower follows this up with a relatively trivial story about soldiers that were complaining about not being able to get chocolate bars or cigarettes and how he fixed it. This may be a good example, which the troops appreciate, even though it is relatively trivial, and it may have been for one of the few wars that were actually worthwhile; however, regrettably, he didn't do the same thing when he obeyed orders about fifteen years earlier to suppress the Bonus Army Protests after his objections were overruled. He also supported Coups in Iraq and Guatemala and his part in the build up to the Vietnam war. Even Eisenhower doesn't always follow up his best rhetoric with action; but he would be far better than most current politicians that are starting wars based on the most absurd lies.

I've posted several articles about this subject in the past and suspected that although I try to point out that it is the politicians, Military Commanders and psychologists that are primarily responsible for a large portion of the violence that are often committed by veterans that many veterans might think I'm trying to imply that all veterans are "damaged good" as some other responses to the New York Times and Colorado Gazette articles often seem to imply, but this isn't my intention; and fortunately most of the few responses that I've got from them are from veterans that seem to recognize that I might have a point even if they don't completely agree with me.

A lot of these veterans are opposed to wars based on lies and presumably recognize that pretending these problems don't exist will make them go away. When they speak out in rational ways to attempt to solve these problems they're demonstrating that many veterans aren't "damaged goods" at all, unfortunately when they speak out against the authorities, often with legitimate concerns they're treated poorly often ignored or, on some occasions even demonized.

In one example, where they were treated with contempt by John McCain according to, Senator McCain has Iraq war veterans arrested 01/25/2017, a veteran said “I did not sign up to protect oil or the interest of people lining their pockets,” but instead of hearing them out he ordered the police to arrest them. This was only reported in a low profile manner with no mention that I saw in the mainstream media.

If they really did want to put an end to wars based on lies these are the kind of people that they should be listening to and allowing a chance to get their views across to the majority of the public yet instead they have them arrested as quietly as possible and treat the progressive media outlets that actually report on it as fringe.

If we had good media coverage that reminded the public about all the lies used to lead us into war in the pat when there is another run up to war or if they were willing to cover grassroots candidates that were willing to discus it then it would be clear that they're maintaining an unnecessary permanent state of war for one reason or another and progressive grassroots candidates that want to spent money on education day care instead of wars could get elected.

As numerous researchers have shown, including some cited in past articles listed below one of the leading causes of escalating violence is early child abuse including corporal punishment that leads to escalating including bullying domestic violence and makes them more receptive to military hazing which is designed to teach blind obedience. This also creates the traumatic stress that causes PTSD and is used to divide troops against each other, and it explains part of the reason why some of the most common victims of violence related to PTSD is often other veterans.

James Hodgkinson, who the media is now obsessing with for obvious reasons, doesn’t appear to be a veteran; however, he does appear to have a troubled past and there have been many other mass shootings from other veterans where part of their troubled upbringing included military indoctrination including Micah Xavier Johnson and Gavin Long who killed eight police officers before being killed in what they must have known was a suicide mission like the one by Hodgkinson.

Chris Coumo recently said that Hodgkinson must be of “diseased mind” when talking to a congressman who initially claimed that the Sanders supporters should scale back their rhetoric, implying that they incited Hodgkinson’s rampage, before walking it back. I don’t dispute Cuomo’s claim that Hodgkinson must be of “diseased mind” or that Johnson and Long might also have had emotional problems; nor do I think they raised their complaints in an acceptable or affective manner. However when many people do raise their legitimate complaints in an apropiate manner the political establishment and media routinely marginalize them and those complaints rarely ever get addressed often at the expense of thousands of innocent lives.

I don’t recall Cuomo ever saying that the politicians that caused all these wars based on lies are of “diseased mind;” nor do I remember him ever saying that politicians and multinational corporations that caused thousands of death through pollution depriving people of health care outrageous working conditions in sweatshops that have collapsed or burned down, or executives that covered up faulty tires or ignition switches that lead to many automotive crashes or many other white collar crimes that cause deaths among the poor or middle class are of “diseased mind.”

Even though I don’t agree with the way Hodgkinson, Johnson and Long attempted to accomplish their goals and believe that it backfired on legitimate efforts to seek reform it should be clear that tragic as the murders or attempted murders they committed are, they’re trivial compared to the atrocities that lead to many more deaths caused by those in political power and the media that enables them to maintain power by refusing to cover many of the most important root causes of violence or legitimate grievances from the poor or middle classes.

The entire media is now talking about how both parties are demonstrating that they’re united, but for what? Are they united to continue ignoring the epidemic levels of corruption and a political system that only covers candidates that sweep many of the biggest problems under the rug?

There words will inevitably deny this; however their actions have already indicated that this is exactly what they’re united against.

John Kennedy once said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” When Long and Johnson came back from the military it is conceivable that they rethought things and realized that the wars they were trained to fight turned out to be based on lies and that the politicians that routinely betray veterans and their electorate aren’t protecting many abandoned inner cities or rural areas that are being polluted and deprived of economic or educational opportunities at all.

Even if this isn’t exactly what happened with Hodgkinson, Johnson and Long and their violent attacks were as much if not more related to emotional instability there are many more people with emotional problems. If the political establishment don’t fix the economic and social conditions that cause them they’re doing as much if not more to incite more attacks than protesters, that are peacefully trying to convince them to respond to the will of the people and provide much better educational opportunities for the public instead of the propaganda that enables the rich to use wars and crime problems to appeal to people emotions and elect corrupt politicians, partially by refusing to cover honest one.

If as John Kennedy said John Kennedy said, we want "to complete the revolution of the Americas--to build a Hemisphere where all men can hope for a suitable standard of living--and all can live out their lives in dignity and freedom," we won’t accomplish that goal by only listening to the greediest ideologues supporting a corporate agenda without regard for the most rational research into the causes of violence or global conflict.

The vast majority of the political establishment isn’t even willing to acknowledge that they don’t like it when we bomb them any more than we like it when they bomb us. The more we bomb their countries based on lies the more they will hate us and sympathize with those that fight against us.

Some things would be incredibly east to understand if people are willing to understand them.

Edit 06/17/2017: Shortly after posting this article Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of all charges for killing Philando Castile: 18 arrested as thousands protest verdict 06/17/2017 And during the unity game Paul Ryan said that “an attack on one of use is an attack on all of us,” in reference to the shooting of Steve Scalise. However to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t made any statements about an attack on Philando Castile being an attack on all of us. Nor has he said that efforts to take away health care or deprive us of environmental protection is an attack on all of us, which is of course what he is doing.

Apparently this isn’t the first time he used the same line he also said "We're all outraged. An attack on the people who protect us is an attack on all of us. Our hearts are with Dallas Police Department…. “ 07/08/2016 in response to the Dallas shooting and perhaps had similar claims for the Baton Rouge shooting.

As I said before I still don’t agree with the methods used by Hodgkinson, Johnson or Long and think that their methods backfired, especially since, to the best of my knowledge and more important Johnson’s or Long’s knowledge the police they killed weren’t involved in oppressive acts, which means that they were killing the wrong people even if they did think this was a justifiable way of defending black people. As it turns out one of the Slain Dallas Cops Might’ve Been A White Supremacist: Still A Hero? 07/13/2017 However it is unlikely that Johnson would have known about that and this means that his efforts to retaliate are still endangering innocent police officers as well as the rest of us.

If I were to think consider mitigating circumstances in a trial assuming these defendants had lived or that the current political establishment was put on trial for their crimes against the people, I would find much more mitigating circumstances for Johnson and Long since they were trained by the government to defend their country and taught to use force to do so, and after returning from service they might have realized they weren’t fighting to defend their own people at all but to defend the rich that were responsible for the wars based on lies, as well as depriving minorities of the economic and educational opportunities they need and standing by while police shoot over a thousand people per year.

I don’t see how there could be many if any justification for the political class starting wars based on lies and participating in epidemic levels of fraud that contributed to the conflict between the police and many poor people especially minorities.

Paul Ryan clearly seems to mean that an attack on members of the oligarchy is an attack on all of us; this doesn’t extend to an attack on the vast majority of the public!

His rhetoric, especially when backed up by patriotic music may sound great but as long as he continues to ignore the root causes of the social problems that led to these shootings they will continue to happen.

I’m not making an argument for mitigating circumstances for Long or Johnson because I want more shootings but because I want less or to stop them. As I have reported in some of the articles below there is an enormous amount of good research which could drastically reduce violence even more than it has already been reduced. However if the political establishment continues to refuse to listen to the best researchers and base their decisions on the propaganda from their campaign contributors or political operatives creating propaganda for them then reductions in violence that have occurred can be reversed.

As it is the recent one sided response by the political establishment almost guarantees that there will be more retaliatory attacks by unstable people who recognize that the political establishment is only willing to protect one segment of society at the expense of the rest.

If this is going to be avoided the best chance is if they listen to the peaceful protesters before it’s too late!

I went into some of these problems previously in the following articles about psychological manipulation and the root causes of violence and how they escalate, followed by additional articles of examples where veterans with PTSD or other problems have been unable to get the care they need or have been prosecuted for either obeying illegal orders or disobeying illegal orders:

Fundamentals of Psychology

Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment

Corruption or Bias in the American Psychological Association

Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize

Anti-violence social experiments could be part of a slippery slope

States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations

Teach a soldier to kill and he just might

Memorial Day Veteran Shootings Part of Much Larger Problem

John McCain really isn't a War Hero

American Psychological Association exposed again

Barack Obama betrayed Police Veterans and Blacks

Meet The Real Jigsaw Horror Psychologists

Veteran Murders Brings Wars Based on Lies Home!

"Boston Strong" propaganda downplays martial law

Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence?

Child abuse and bullying link in study long over due

The real victim rights advocates

Cause and Effect of Hatred

Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows

And these are some more examples of veterans that have responded violently possibly as a result of oppressive training in the military combined with earlier childhood abuse:

Bryan Cage who allegedly shot Va. Beach officer was retired Army veteran 06/14/2017

Orlando shooting: 'Disgruntled' ex-employee had planned shooting, investigators say 06/06/2017 John Robert Neumann, who later killed himself as responding officers were heading to the business, was an army veteran who was discharged in 1999.

Michael Wayne Pettigrew, a Man With Fake Gun at Orlando Airport Said He Wanted to Speak to the President: Police 05/31/2017 A mentally distressed former Marine who pointed a fake handgun at police in the Orlando International Airport and shouted "kill me" said he wanted to speak to the president, according to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday.

Pa. physician staying at Trump Hotel arrested with guns, 90 rounds of ammo in car 05/31/2017 Brian Moles served in the U.S. Navy from 1992 to 2006, according to AP.

Army veteran's throat slashed in fatal drug case 05/22/2017 El Paso police have arrested five people — including a Fort Bliss soldier and two former soldiers — in connection with the slaying of Tyler Kaden Croke on May 7 in an apartment on the East Side.

Woman killed and 22 injured as car hits Times Square crowd 05/18/2017 The 26-year-old driver, a US Navy veteran and US citizen, is in custody.

Richard Rojas, U.S. navy veteran charged with murder for mowing down pedestrians in Times Square 05/20/2017

Ishemer Ramsey, Butler County Marine, 21, charged with girlfriend's killing 06/12/2017

Mother defends war veteran son who shot her, killed her husband 06/06/2017

New Video Shows Army Veteran Shooting at Miccosukee Casino 03/21/2017

Joshua Stiles Army Vet Sought Mental Health Care Before Committing Murder-Suicide 05/23/2017

Washington Post Can't Stop Running Op-Eds by Lobbyists Pushing Their Clients' Weapons 05/26/2017

Wash. Post Doesn’t Disclose Writer Supporting Syria Strike Is A Lobbyist For Tomahawk Missile Manufacturer 04/11/2017

Montel Williams Is Bailing Out Criminal Snipers in Mexico 05/29/2017

Tx. Victim of deadly shooting behind local 7-Eleven was Army veteran 05/12/2017

Ca. Family: Man shot by doctor was a Marine veteran with PTSD 05/05/2017

Billings Montana veteran admits fatally shooting friend outside West End home in 2015 05/07/2017

NC Veteran who shot service dog on video found dead 05/08/2017

Tenn. veteran shot and killed while trying to stop domestic dispute outside IHOP 05/16/2017

Security Video Captures Murder of Justin Lampkins, a marine, Schaffer Also Wanted In Minnesota 05/2/2017

Dallas Tx. Army veteran arrested in shooting of Uber driver 05/16/2017

Officer Roy Oliver, an Iraq War Army veteran charged with murder in Jordan Edwards killing 05/06/2017 Records show that he was suspended for 16 hours and ordered to take anger management courses after he allegedly threw a fit about having to testify in court about a drunk driving case.

Erbie Lee Bowser Texas veteran gets life for 2013 shooting deaths of 4 women 05/1/2017

Edwin Fuentes shot, killed by Tustin police after standoff was Army veteran who struggled with PTSD, friend says 05/17/2017

Travis James Granger, Maine Army veteran fatally shot in Texas 05/18/2017

Maxx Tate Robinson Decorated war veteran pleads guilty to manslaughter in uncle's fatal shooting in Porter 06/13/2017

Laura Flores Messick charged with shooting, cutting US Army veteran boyfriend, after argument at home they shared 06/12/2017

Family of heroic veteran killed in gruesome grocery store shooting massacre needs YOUR help! 06/14/2017

US Army officer faces court martial for refusing Iraq deployment order 06/1/2017

Confessions from U.S. Soldiers in Iraq on the Brutal Treatment of Civilians 07/12/2007

Military Jailing Vietnam War Resisters 40 Years After They Refused to Serve 03/15/2006

Army Sergeant Accused of Waterboarding Four-Year-Old Daughter 02/09/2010

Sgt. James Brown, 26, Survived Two Tours in Iraq Only to Die Begging for His Life in Texas Jail 05/20/2015

Army Veteran Awaits Fate After Refusing Call To Deploy To Iraq 07/02/2008

“The capacity of Soldiers for absorbing punishment and enduring privations is almost inexhaustible so long as they believe they are getting a square deal, that their commanders are looking out for them, and that their own accomplishments are understood and appreciated.” GEN Dwight Eisenhower, 1944

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation Should Become a Priority Again!

Most people that rely on the mainstream media might not know it but there was an enormous amount of research dating back at least to the sixties that showed how to do a much better job reducing crime by addressing the root causes of crime.

The mainstream media hasn't been reporting it, but that research never ended and some people at the grassroots level learned from it; and even while the political establishment at the national level, and in many States, at the State level, were pushing get tough on crime policies that don't work, they continued addressing the root causes in some areas far better than others; and they've provided additional evidence about what works better.

Countries in Europe have also handled crime reduction very differently than in the United States and there is very little reporting in the mainstream media bout what they do differently and how it works but they have far lower violent crime and incarceration rates, and there is good reason to believe that the policies used in Europe and some areas in the United States are responsible for this.

Why is it so hard for many people to look at the areas with the lowest crime or other social problems and try to figure out what they might be doing right?

Would the vast majority of the public see how obvious it can be that this could help reduce many of our problems, whether it's crime, health care pollution or many other issues, if we had a media that actually reported on it?

I went into this more in a series of previous articles starting with Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows and including Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit which cites and experiment in Richmond, California to reduce crime that has what many people would consider shock value, that partly involves "Paying People Not to Kill" according to some articles. This is only part of the experiment that would be considered shocking to many people and it may not be the most important part but it has clearly had a lot of success for one reason or another.

Their murder rates have plummeted from a high of 45.9 per 100,000 in 2007 to 10.1 in 2014 which is still much higher than average but it has demonstrated that even in some of the worst abandoned inner cities community activism can make an enormous difference. Most other crime in Richmond has also gone down dramatically except theft which is stable and rape which has risen.

Boston is now conducting a similar experiment, as indicated below and Marie Gottschalk also points out how the United States has done things very different from Europe and that there are some differences within the country in the following excerpts from her book "Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics," including the "root causes approach," which means finding the causes of crime and preventing them, which should be an incredibly obvious and non-controversial way of reducing crime:

The U. S. approach to its returning citizens stands in striking contrast to how prisoners and ex-offenders are treated in other Western countries. The U.S. parole system “seems to be designed to catch a person doing something wrong, rather than provide the services to prevent an offense.” Western European countries “primarily use parole and probation services as a way of ensuring that the person is receiving appropriate services and treatment to help ensure reintegration into the community.” In Finland, for example, only about one in five people on parole has a supervision or surveillance component to their release. All released prisoners in Finland have access to services regardless of whether or not a parole officer is supervising them closely. In the United States, about 200,000 people are released from prison each year without supervision (either because it is the conclusion of their sentence or because they are under some kind of mandatory release). They are generally left largely on their own to integrate back into society without housing, employment, or other assistance. In Germany and France, punishment law and penal practices are expressly designed to avoid creating “any sense of status differentiation between prisoners and the general population. On the contrary, practices in both countries are supposed to dramatize the facts that inmates are just like everybody else.” Gottschalk "Caught" 2015 p.96-9

In launching his war on crime, Johnson linked it to the war on poverty. He stressed the need to address “root causes” of crime. So did several presidential commissions appointed in the 1960s to examine the causes of the crime wave and the numerous disturbances that gripped U.S. cities at the time, most notably the Watts riots of 1965. But the root causes approach – which called for addressing these problems by investing more in education, health, welfare, and social and economic programs, not just law enforcement – lost out in public debates for a number of reasons. ... Gottschalk "Caught" 2015 p.146-7

The focus on the prisons that Texas did not build has deflected attention away from the fact that Texas has been energetically disinvesting from the very items proven to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in the disadvantaged communities that hurt most by crime and by get-tough policies. These include high quality schools, good health care, and social services. It also has deflected attention from the fact that the budget crisis in Texas was not an act of nature but rather a crisis that was politically engineered by some of the very people who are being hailed as leaders in penal reform today.

In Texas and many other states, the political debate has centered on what is to be cut and on how to maneuver within a tight budget climate. The conversation ... Gottschalk "Caught" 2015 p.111-3

Europe, which provides much more services for former inmates and also provides better health care, child care and education has a much lower murder and incarceration rate than the United states according List of countries by intentional homicide rate Murder Rates Nationally and By State at DPIC and Comparison of United States incarceration rate with other countries. Almost all other developed countries including Europe, Australia, Canada, Greenland, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea have much lower murder rates and all have much lower incarceration rates than the United States.

The mainstream media provides almost no coverage of the best research on crime reduction; instead providing only one solution in a high profile manner, punishment as a deterrent, with very little discussion about how improved education child care or rehabilitation efforts that have been abandoned since the Kennedy and Johnson administrations attempted to address these issues. Since then both Republicans and Democrats have been promoting get tough on crime policies, including the death penalty, which don't reduce reduce crime nearly as much as addressing the root causes of crime.

Gottschalk claims that the incarceration rates can be cut dramatically without relying solely on reducing the root causes of crime which may take a long time; however it should be clear that the root causes also need to be reduced as well if we hope to reduce violence not just the incarceration rates.
I’m sure Gottschalk recognizes this but focuses on the incarceration rate since, with enough political pressure it should be possible to reduce that faster while it will take more time to improve child care and education along with other programs that reduce the root causes of crime in some areas, where they haven’t gotten started yet.

In the seventies when we were at the height of the cold war one of the reasons that we were taught that made us so much better than the USSR was that they incarcerated an outrageous percentage of their people in Gulags with outrageous human rights conditions. Now the country with the highest incarceration rates in by far the United States and there are growing reports about outrageous abuses in our prisons as bad as what was going on in the USSR.

This does little or nothing to reduce crime; and even does the opposite, since people held in prison where they're kept in a violent environment may become more violent, not less, now that most rehabilitation efforts have been eliminated and replaced with "get tough on crime policies."

What the media rarely ever mentions is that a large segment of our society never has a first chance to to get a decent education and have reasonable economic opportunities that leave them desperate and inevitably lead to more crime. A large part of the reason for this is relentless efforts to cut many of the programs that improve the quality of life like the ones that Gottschalk reports that Texas is cutting. Texas isn't actually among the most violent states according to their murder rates; however other Southern states which are also following the same policies are much higher and they also have higher incarceration rates. Also, since Texas is so diverse, their violent crime rates fluctuate more than small states; some of the cities with the lowest murder rates, including Austin are much more progressive, by most accounts than the rest of Texas; and El Paso, which has a high immigrant population, also has a low murder rate. Contrary to the propaganda repeated over and over again immigrants and Hispanics aren't more violent than Caucasians at all.  

As I have pointed out in previous articles the ones with the lowest murder rates are the ones that have been doing a better job addressing the root causes of crime in the long run. the ones with the highest murder rates are the ones that use the strictest get tough on crime policies including the death penalty. Only one of the states with the ten highest murder rates doesn't have the death penalty and six of the ones with the lowest don't; most of the states that don't have the death penalty are in the lower half, when it comes to murder rates.

There should be no doubt that social programs to reduce violence including teaching about how corporal punishment leads to escalating violence including child abuse bullying, domestic violence and murder. There should also be no doubt that when they ship all the jobs overseas and cut the resources for abandoned inner cities that they also contribute to major problems with crime.

Poor people without political connection are subject to the harshest punishments; while white collar criminals with political connections that cause all the poverty that leads to higher crime are almost never held accountable.

Although the vast majority of the national media isn't reporting it, there are a small number of local efforts to restore rehabilitation efforts like the following program in Boston:

For former gang members, making education pay By Cristela Guerra 05/19/2017 (Article Reposted under the fair use clause for educational purposes of copyright laws for additional details see Copyright Post-Script below.)

Alex Diaz, 30, of Dorchester worked during a math class at College Bound Dorchester.

Inside his 8- by 8-foot cell, Alex Diaz looked at his daughter’s pictures every day.

On the prison walls, she remained 5 years old. Outside, she grew taller, older.

He spent the first eight years of his daughter’s life incarcerated. His daughter was his blood, his kin, but his gang had been his other family.

Her photos kept him looking toward the future. That, and the encouraging phone calls of a longtime friend he had grown up with, Francisco Depina. They’d both belonged to gangs as teenagers.

The streets were their second homes. Neither expected a second chance.

This fall, Diaz will be paid to study at a community college, while also receiving social and emotional support. It’s part of an initiative called Boston Uncornered, started by the education nonprofit College Bound Dorchester. Diaz, who is 30 years old, is one of 40 former gang members being compensated to resume their education.

“Everyone out there has a genius in them, they’re smart,” said Depina, a college readiness adviser with College Bound Dorchester. “They have a potential to do a lot of things, but just like me, people have shut doors in their face so many times that they sat there and believed that. But that is not true.”

The goal of Boston Uncornered is to engage with 900 former gang members, convicted felons, and high school dropouts, and to eventually enroll 250 in college over three years.

The program pays participants $400 a week, to focus on school, tutoring, and work-based learning as an alternative to making money on the streets, officials say.

The project will cost close to $18 million over three years. Program officials have already raised $4.8 million through private and public grants and donations. Boston Uncornered will work with researchers from MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University to evaluate the program.

“We see gang members and gang-involved youth as the means to community change,” said Mark Culliton, CEO of College Bound Dorchester. “Not as a problem, not as somebody to save, but as agents of change.”

This is the hope: that former gang members, who can be powerful figures in their communities, will use their leadership qualities to motivate and inspire others to change their lives.

On the street, Diaz was “Ace.” He dropped out of high school in ninth grade and committed a series of misdemeanors and felonies, including possession of a firearm, armed robbery, and kidnapping. Tattooed on Diaz’s forearms are headstones bearing the names of family members who died while he was behind bars. He got out in 2013.

“It ain’t worth it,” Diaz said. “It really ain’t. It ain’t worth it. I didn’t just mess up my life, I also messed up the people that I love’s life because I wasn’t around for them, I couldn’t support them, or I couldn’t even be there when they needed me.”

It took time to get used to the outside world, Diaz said. He found himself still wearing flip-flops in the shower, still sitting so he could see everything around him at all times.

The scariest moment was seeing his daughter, Diaz said.

“My actually seeing her, holding her. It kind of made me feel like the man I should’ve been when I first had her,” Diaz said. “Instead of still acting a fool and running the streets.”

Francisco Depina posed for a portrait at College Bound Dorchester.

He apologized, promised to be there for her, and to make no mistakes. She told him I love you.

Diaz’s exam for a high school equivalency degree is in a week. He’s planning to study automotive technology at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, so he can work in his father’s automotive garage.

Antonio Franklin, 31, got out of prison last year, after serving 10 years for assaulting a police officer. Behind bars, he wrote poetry to free his thoughts. Now, freedom is being able to spend time with his family and attending Bunker Hill Community College in the fall. He plans to study sociology. He dreams of being a motivational speaker for kids and is expecting his first child. He wishes someone would’ve given him this advice:

“There’s other things in life than this little box you’re trying to put yourself into,” Franklin said. “Life is about going places, seeing things. If you want to keep yourself stuck in that one place, you’re going to miss out on everything.”

It took Depina years to realize his potential. He didn’t know the word “goal” as a young man. The only goal he knew was achieved while running down the soccer field, not striving in life.

A teacher once told him he was going to end up dead or in jail. He never forgot that.

Depina, who’s 32, was kicked out of a school, out of a vocational training program, and his family’s home. His neighbors called him a bad influence. Now, they say “good morning” as he leaves for work.

He wants to be a better man for his 3-year-old son.

Depina’s job at College Bound is to check on students, appearing with them if they have a day in court, helping them focus on school. He and Diaz made a promise they would enroll in Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology together. He’s going to study computer engineering.

“This is not a job for me. This is personal,” Depina said. “Because I get to walk in my neighborhood and talk to young men living the lifestyle that I left behind. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because it wasn’t easy for me, but you just have to keep trying, not giving up.” Original article

This program has a lot in common with the one in Richmond, California; however it focuses more on education and providing more opportunities if the former gang members stay out of trouble than “paying them not to kill each other,” as some people referred to the program in Richmond. This should be far less controversial, however many conservatives will inevitably consider it “coddling” gang members.

However if the programs that conservatives promote routinely fail to work that should raise doubts about their effectiveness.

This program still claims that they’re getting a “second chance” without questioning whether many of them ever had a first chance. Many of these former gang members almost certainly were raised in areas that had a lot of violence and very low quality schools. These are the schools that Jonathan Kozol wrote about in “Death At An Early Age” where he taught back in the sixties.

His efforts to expose use of corporal punishment in schools helped bring that to an end and inevitably led to longer term reductions in violence, since this has been proven to lead to escalating violence, since it teaches children to respond to their problems with violence.

Unfortunately the vast majority of research presented by the traditional media presents the police as the primary and often sole solution to stop murder, as the following article indicates, where the police chief admits that he doesn’t “know how you stop that,” referring to a murder that he couldn’t have anticipated. They only briefly mention that “poverty and a lack of opportunities,” are part of the problem without giving the local leaders that want to address this more opportunity to make their point.

Boston’s homicides up slightly, shootings down 12/31/2016

In mid-June, Andrew Flonory was shot and killed in Mattapan. Two months later, Ailton Goncalves was shot in the head while hanging out with friends in Uphams Corner. On a morning last month, Anthony Toombs was killed while sitting in a car in Roxbury.

All three killings were gang-related, police and prosecutors have said.

There have been 46 killings in Boston so far in 2016, six more than in 2015. Though the number of homicides is lower than in many other major cities, gang-related homicides remain a troubling portion of the killings in Boston. Police say they continue to focus resources on the most violent parts of the city, but some crimes, officials say, are nearly impossible to prevent.

“We can’t be everywhere, every day,” said Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans. “A shooting at 4 a.m. behind Heath Street . . . I don’t know how you stop that.” .....

Community leaders who work with at-risk youth say poverty and a lack of opportunities are among the root causes of violence in the city’s neighborhoods. Original article

Regrettably there is little or no effort by most police departments or media outlets to recognize the long term contributing causes of violence; however when they first introduced what they call community policing in the nineties in the Boston area that wasn’t supposed to be the way it was handled.

When I first read about it they reported that police would often show up to domestic calls with a social worker, as well as police officers, that were trained for different purposes. Presumably the social worker would have helped try to provide counseling that police weren’t trained to provide.

If they did a better job counseling people on how to resolve their disputes they would be much less likely to escalate to a point where the police needed to be called. Additional resources put into schools or day care centers could also cut down dramatically on the long term contributing causes of violence.

Unfortunately a growing amount of the special interests with political clout is far more concerned with profiting off of crime or preserving job security for themselves than they are with reducing crime.

Gottschalk also writes about how private prisons are lobbying to increase incarceration rates or prevent efforts to reduce them and prison guard unions are also lobbying to do the same thing although they often prefer to avoid privatization and surprisingly many politicians are complying. This escalated under the Clinton administration with the draconian crime bill that led to large increases in incarceration.

And as the following excerpt shows some of the biggest corporations are trying to take advantage of an exception in the thirteenth amendment to allow slave labor for inmates:

The goal of turning prisons into moneymaking machines or at least ensuring that they pay their own way isn’t that far-fetched. The United States has a long history of exploiting inmate labor to make prisons and penal farms highly productive and lucrative. ….

At the same time that legislators have been pushing back against UNICOR, they have been pushing hard to liberate the private sector to enter the inmate labor market in a big way. With the decline of organized labor and the onset of the neo-liberal era in the closing decades of the twentieth century, the hard fought restrictions on the sale of prison made good and the use of prison labor have been eroding. …..

A who’s who of corporate America – including Wal-Mart, Victoria’s Secret, Boeing, and Starbucks – discovered the potential windfall of a captive labor force as their subcontractors began to harness penal labor. .....

As with many penal innovations in the age of mass incarceration, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative lobbying organization, has been a key player in liberating the private sector to employ penal labor and expand privatization of corrections. .....

At one point, it contracted out female chain gangs to Martori Farms, one of Wal-Mart’s leading suppliers. The women worked for fifty cents an hour, far below the prevailing wage, in blistering heat without proper water, breaks, or protection from the sun. Gottschalk "Caught" 2015 p.58-63)

One cannot talk about crime in the streets today without talking about crime in the suites. Over the past four decades, the public obsession with getting tougher on street crime coincided with the retreat of the state in regulating corporate malfeasance — everything from hedge funds to credit default swaps to workplace safety. Keeping the focus on street crime was a convenient strategy to shift public attention and resources from crime in the suites to crime in the streets. (Marie Gottschalk "Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics" 2015 p.280-1)

Conservatives Against Incarceration? Marie Gottschalk Fiscal conservatives were never going to bring down the carceral state. A broader fight against social inequality is needed. 12/23/2016

Many corporations are more concerned with finding a way to increase their profits instead of reducing crime and they’re have an enormous amount of success lobbying the government to put these priorities ahead of the best interest of the vast majority of the public, especially in more authoritarian parts of the country, including the South where they’re more susceptible to “get tough on crime” policies that allow for a return of slavery.

When a growing portion of the political or economic system has a financial incentive to find more people guilty of crimes instead of trying to find out the most effective way of preventing them that should be a major concern to everyone.

Another major issue which both Marie Gottschalk and Michelle Alexander should have covered more on was the war on Drugs and how the Kerry Committee Report and follow up research by Gary Webb exposed how the CIA was looking the other way while drug runners were bringing in cocaine to the United States to finance the Contra War in the eighties.

This should not be considered wild conspiracy theory since it came largely from a congressional investigation, although it received very little media attention. Congresswoman Maxine Waters also investigated it and wrote the forward for Gary Webb’s book confirming large portions of it, including many of his sources which were government documents, in addition to the Kerry Report. Nor should we assume that it has ended since additional researchers including Alfred McCoy and Robert Parry have disclosed additional drug running since then.

It is too much to go into in this article but it shows that a large portion if not all of the increased incarceration was a result of blatant entrapment by our own government.

Selections from the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy chaired by Senator John F. Kerry

Gary Webb “Dark Alliance”

Program offers ex-cons way out 05/19/2017

Building a Prison-to-School Pipeline Formerly incarcerated undergrads started a group on campus to offer mentoring, support, and advocacy to other onetime inmates. 12/12/2016

Portugal’s Example: What Happened After It Decriminalized All Drugs, From Weed to Heroin 04/19/2016

Copyright Post-Script: In a functioning democracy the public needs to have access to the educational material they need to make informed decisions about policies that affect them, which is presumably part of the reason they made the fair use clause of copyright laws in the first place. Regrettably these laws have been leaning more towards corporations that control far more of the media than they ever had before.

The mainstream media is now controlled by six oligarchies. These six oligarchies now control over ninety percent of the media that is available nationwide and they were initially required to provide a public service in return for their favorable treatment from the government.

Since the first requirement that any political candidate need to win higher office beyond the local level, is name recognition these six oligarchies can and do use their control of the media to provide an enormous advantage to candidates they favor and that collect an enormous amount of money from multinational corporations. This means that in addition to controlling the vast majority of propaganda given to the public these oligarchies can ensure that only candidates they cover are considered viable, which is a major reason for many of the draconian policies that favor the rich come from politicians that pretend to be progressive during campaigns.

To put it bluntly they rig elections by rigging the media coverage and intellectual property laws that give them consolidated control of the media and restrict the ability of many others to spread information as fast help them do this.

Many of us were taught that this was exactly what the First Amendment was designed to prevent.

Copyright laws and other intellectual property laws are making it far more difficult to distribute the most credible research to the public. These oligarchies get a large portion of their funding through advertising revenue which comes from other oligarchies that control almost all of the economic system, and these advertising expenses are passed on to consumers as part of the cost of business, yet the media isn’t accountable to the public that indirectly finances them much if at all.

The vast majority of the public isn’t even aware of a large amount of the policy discussions that are only circulated in academic institutions. This is a major part of the reason why they’ve been able to escalate the epidemic levels of incarceration and cut back on the services that would prevent it. Many of the best researchers that truly want to implement policies that benefit the public almost certainly object to using intellectual property laws to slow down or prevent easy access to the public to important discussion that impacts them; however they’re presumably overruled by those with the most political clout.

Instead of reporting on the causes of crime they media repeats the same conservative propaganda over and over again even though it is the least reliable research and has proven to fail.

One small example of the limited excerpts that is taking place in the academic world is the following excerpt reviewing Gottschalk’s book from an employee of Minnesota Department of Corrections:

So readers should not be surprised when she makes no reference to personal pathologies of offenders, such as poor parenting, antisocial activities, etc. Her focus is societal pathologies. ....

However, her recommendations to deal with the crisis of the carceral state are far less profound than her scathing critique, and they are largely a regurgitation of other scholars in the field. ....

Roger Baburam is corrections program director at the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Copyright of Corrections Today is the property of American Correctional Association and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

This review is relatively trivial, but it is just a sample of an enormous amount of work that is restricted to the vast majority of the public, thanks to intellectual property laws, whether it is proprietary information or work protected by copyright that can only be circulated with permission.

Many of these non-fiction studies are being used to develop public policy but the vast majority of the public doesn’t have access to it all. In a democratic society this is unacceptable. 

His claim that she “makes no reference to personal pathologies of offenders, such as poor parenting, antisocial activities,” isn’t quite true, but it isn’t her primary focus; and she does recommend that we invest more in the programs that help solve these problems, which many get tough on crime advocates don’t do.

His claim that “largely a regurgitation of other scholars in the field,” may also be partly true; however who are all these other “scholars in the field,” and why aren’t the media covering them? Allowing a fraction of one percent to control the vast majority of propaganda used for political purposes contradicts the clear intent of the First Amendment!

In a functioning democracy using copyright or intellectual property laws to deprive the majority of the public of the information they need to participate in the decision making process is entirely unacceptable.

Gottschalk even cites one example in her books where a private prison claimed that details around the death of an inmate were trade secrets so they shouldn’t have to disclose it. No reasonable person would seriously believe that trade secrecy laws should be used to cover up the circumstances of a death that could potentially be a murder or a result of excessive use of force. The fact that they even tried it should be outrageous and it should get an enormous amount of attention.

Trade secrecy laws being used to hide corruption aren’t limited to the private prison industry; it is wide spread in just about all industries controlled by oligarchies. Susan Linn and Juliet Schor have both written about how proprietary information laws are used to keep secret research into psychological manipulation of children to increase effectiveness of deceptive advertising; Harriet Washington has written about how proprietary information laws have been used to help keep secret unethical medical research that would outrage many people if they knew about it and many other good authors that get little or no promotional help from the mainstream media have reported on how proprietary information laws are used to hide the use of sweatshop labor and that competing companies are often making their products in the same sweat shop or that they often use slotting fees to create an interlocking oligarchy, which essentially means that it isn’t a free market at all; proprietary information laws enable many disasters that endanger lives including cuts in safety that leads to disaster like the Deep Horizon oil spill, the ignition malfunction problem that cost people their lives the Firestone tire problem where they were falling apart causing many accidents and many more safety problem.

Then when the best authors report on this they have a hard time getting any promotion for their books from the mainstream media and copyright laws prevent them from spreading the information at a much quicker pace.

There may be some justification to call for new ways to finance research, in some cases but under the current circumstances the vast majority of this research is being funded one way or another, often with help from tax payer subsidies, or through other subsidies passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for consumer goods. This includes some revenue that is being provided by various corporations that are part of the contributing causes of violence like Insurance and Gambling institutions as indicated in some of the articles listed below.

The mainstream media collects an enormous amount of advertising revenue from gambling and insurance companies as well as other corporations like Wal-Mart, Victoria’s Secret, Boeing, and Starbucks that are profiting off of prison slave labor and ahs a financial incentive to minimize coverage of how they’re contributing indirectly to crime.

Fortunately it is unlikely that they would be inclined to issue cease and desist letters which is the typical first step for complaints about copyright violations since it would take too much efforts and if they did they might have to make their arguments in court and be known for trying to suppress educational information that could reduce crime and violence. Or at least if this is a low profile article, since it would only draw more attention to it, and if they debate the legitimacy of the draconian use of copyright laws to restrict access to educational material that the public needs it would increase attention to it and a growing portion of the public would realize how this is corrupting the democratic process.

They learned that this might backfire in the McLibel case when a relatively small effort to distribute leaflets in one local area turned into a major lawsuit that was reported worldwide drawing much more attention to poor labor practices by McDonalds than the leaflets did; so now they avoid lawsuits and try to minimize circulation of critical reviews, at least partly by ignoring it.

If the working class were more aware of how the educated class is using proprietary or secret information to establish political policies that affect them in a manner that enriches those at the top, which they are currently doing they would be much more likely to stand up to the current political establishment.

Many of the best researchers that are truly concerned about reducing crime realize that it is as important to distribute this material as widely as possible as it is to finance the research and that we should consider different ways to fund research.

It is often not the authors that copyright laws were initially intended to protect that are trying to enforce draconian copyright laws at all, but the copyright lawyers and publishing companies that are far more concerned about making a profit than actually providing a service.

I went into this in more detail in a couple articles about Copyright below. There are also many more about reducing the root causes of crime, including how income inequality increases crime, outsourcing, insurance gambling and many other contributing causes of violence and how to prevent them.

Marie Gottschalk "Caught: The Prison State" (additional excerpts)

Copyright Bureaucracy

Copyright violators are thought criminals

Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows

Does lack of education increase violent crime? Religion?

How much does Income Inequality Affects Crime Rates?

States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations

Teach a soldier to kill and he just might

The tragedy of gambling politics in United States

How does gambling and gun control impact violent crime?

Politics, not technology, caused botched executions

Troy, Cameron, Gary all innocent? And executed?

Democrats do a bad job on crime; Republicans and the Media are worse!!

Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit

Life Insurance and media companies are encouraging lots of murders

Union Busting adds to corrupt bureaucracy and incites crime

For-Profit Insurance is Government Authorized Crime Syndicate

Walmart’s “Restorative Justice” Endangers Public Without Reducing Crime