Position Briefs

Monday, November 1, 2010

Forget Fascists... we're actually Nazi's now

Provocative title, I know.

I had to take a break for a few days.  I heard a story on NPR Frito be day morning that was profoundly disturbing.  And my anger It came through in my posts to MMFA on Friday, it came through in my work / in the office, and even my wife noticed it when I got home.  So I had to take a breather.  And you know what? A few days later, and I don't feel any less repulsed by it.

As if the Citizens United decision wasn't bad enough, NPR did a story about ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.  To put it gently, it's a non-profit that hooks up corporate shills and legislators for the purpose of getting really awful legislation passed, and obfuscating where it comes from, and just who's buying the legislator in question.  And because it's a non-profit, and they provide all the "scholarships," (an utterly Orwellian term that almost makes me throw-up in my mouth to use,) any disclosure the Legislator does make just say "ALEC."  NOT the corporation who's really buying them.  And what's more? Unlike with lobby groups (HOW the HELL is this not a lobby group?! WTF?!) Corporations actually get a TAX WRITE-OFF for their donations to ALEC!

So how does this make u s"Nazi's?"  Am I just being melodramatic?  I don't think so. Not anymore.

Do you know where the new, controversial Arizona immigration law came from?  Well, it came out of an ALEC conference.  And who else was in attendance at that conference? Why, the largest private prison company in the country: the Corrections Corporation of America. So follow me for a second here...

In case you were wondering, YES, they are a for-profit company.  They're traded on the NYSE.  You can look it up.  We actually have for-profit incarceration in this country! Maye I'm just a little slow, but I didn't know that. Of course, it's sold as a cost-cutting measure for states - just like everything else we should never even CONSIDER privatizing.  And sure enough: it's cheaper.  Problem is?  If the prisons aren't filled to at least 90-95% capacity, they don't make a profit.

So.... What to do... What to do?

Well... what they DID do was to craft a bill/ law specifically designed to get MORE PEOPLE thrown in prison!  That's the Arizona Immigration law, requiring police to arrest ANYONE who can't PROVE they're not in this country legally, ON THE SPOT.  And, putting aside the whole "innocent auntil proven guilty" implications, of course anyone with two brain cells to bounce together (which excluded most Conservatives apparently) realizes that this is a law aimed primarily at arresting Mexicans.

Now... normally a law like this might meet with some public backlash, so what to do... what to do...  Well... The politicians could take to the airwaves, making up all kinds of nonsense and slander to turn public sentiment against Illegalls, yes, but also against Mexicans as well as Immigrants in general.  (Hey: That fits right in with thier anti-Muslim agenda anyway, right?) 

So... You've got politicans using the media to vilify an already small and unpopular minority group, with few rights, and no means to recourse, spreading all kinds of false information about them and the affect they have on our society - much of it 180 derees divorced from reality - all to drum up support for a bill designed to do nothing else but to get as many members of this very minority group carted off to prison as possible.

Um... How is that NOT Nazi, exactly?  The only separating this from the gas chambers? Is the GAS!

And you know what?  Putting aside that we're not actually KILLING them - fair enough - from a certain POV, we're actually WORSE than the Nazi's.  Yeah, seriously.  Stay with me now... You see... Hitler, in his own perverse way, actually believed that what he was doing was right.  As despicable, and unimaginably inhuman as it was? His "final solution" was being done for purely idealistic reasons: to "save" Germany.  Of course... his ideals were utterly monstrous. But why are WE doing the same thing? Sure, the politicians would have you believe that it's all to "save" America.  (Sound familiar?) And in that way it's every bit as misguided as Hitler's persecution of the Jews was.  But the fact is? That's all bullshit. I almost wish they were being that twistedly idealistic about it.  The REAL reason we're vilifying and incarcerating Mexicans?

Is so that a for-profit corporation can make more money.

That's it.

And that's beyond fascist... that NAZI territory, plain and simple.  I've taken some time to try and view this from any other perspective and I just can't see one.  We're fucking Nazi's.  Congratulations America, you now incarcerate minorities for no greater, misguided "ideal" than INCREASED CORPORATE PROFITS.

And you know what? Goebbels would be utterly HUMBLED by what the Right has managed to do to OUR media.  HE had to at least make an EFFORT! OUR Right-Wing scumbags?  Have Fox News cheerleading for them, propagandizing for them, as a matter course, no longer even bothering to keep up the PRETENSE of doing otherwise... and MAKING A PROFIT DOING IT!!! And the rest of the media follows suit for fear of being branded as "Liberal biased!"  They've turned the media against their opposition, either vehemently or passively (which is far more effective anyway) and they didn't have to spend a single Penny of government money to do it!  Goebbels's could certainly have learn a thing or two from Murdoch, Ailes and company. He had to make an effort.  The Right in this country? Has made it the natural default perspective!

Anyway, I'm done.

For awhile, actually.

Seriously.

I'm going to take a little break.  I have to.  You can't wake up to the realization that your country incarcerates people for profit, and that politicians use the media to market the policty, FALSELY vilifying the people in question, and yet only one, single arm of this so-called "liberal media" (NPR) is even talking about it...and think that anything you can do or say is going to accomplish ANYTHING.  This story just... crushed me.  It swept away my last hope that this country even has a soul left to save.

George Carlin once said that fascism would not come to America in Brown-Shirts and Jack-Boots, but rather wearing Nike's.  Well... it's not about Nike, but the point was positively and prfoundly prophetic.  And it will simply not serve my mental health to keep railing against such utter hopelessness.  I need a little time to recharge my batteries.  Find a different direction to take this in.  So... we'll see how it and where it goes.

Oh, ad uh... BTW...

There's an election tomorrow.  So, vote. I guess.  It's supposed to be important... or something.

And just like Glenn Beck, I'm not going to tell you who to vote for.  Honestly, I don't really think it matters anymore anyway.  But UNLIKE Glenn Beck, I'm going to give you this advice:  WHATEVER you do, don't vote for


As three wise men once said...

"All we have to fear, is fear itself!" ~Franklin Roosevelt

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." ~Yoda

and, perhaps the most important lesson for these spineless, useless Democrats to learn:

"Given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, they'll choose the Republican every time" ~Harry Truman

...

WHY, with 20th Century icons like Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson to draw inspiration from, do they decide instead to take their lead from the likes of BILL CLINTON? 

WHY?!

9 comments:

  1. Well, I didn't know about any of this either, and just looked it all up for myself to double-check what you're saying...

    Well, fuck.

    Be careful, Eddie. Before long they'll extend such laws to bloggers who start digging too deep.

    I'm going to sit in my house and cry for a while. My hopes for this country are sitting right next to yours in the wastepaper basket.

    Just... goddamnit. I don't even know what to say about this. I knew this country was pretty corrupt, but openly racist laws designed to incarcerate minorities as a benefit to a publicly traded for-profit company? I think I just might sell my things and live in the woods.

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  2. Did you see Michael Moore's last film? In "Capitalism: A Love Story" there was a whole segment devoted to privatized JUVENILE DETENTION CENTERS!

    Check it out, if you haven't.

    And, yeah, I'm voting today.

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  3. @Metal Matt - I don't know if I'd sell your stuff just yet, but yeah, I had pretty muc the same reaction when I looked into it: "Well, fuck." LOL. Well said.

    @Craig D - No I haven't. I like what Michael Moore DOES but I have to admit that I find his films very difficult to get through. It's just hard to accpet that things are as bad as he makes them out to be. And the realization that they ARE would be easier to take of the same film didn't make it abundantly clear (to all but the most wild-eyed idealists) that you were powerless to do anything about it.

    I've got enough stress in my life WITHOUT watching Michael Moore films, TYVM. :)

    Of course... now that I'm writing a world that's every bit as shitty myself, maybe I'll have to dust him off and give him another try.

    Thank you both for your comments.

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  4. I saw that on The Rachel Maddow Show, it's sick.


    A few more anti-fear quotes for you:

    "When you live your life in fear, you never really live at all."

    "This world needs more God-Loving people and a lot less of God-fearing people."

    I think their mine.

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  5. Great job Eddie. Unfortunately though SB1070 was just the tip of the iceberg. CCA and the GEO Group each spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year lobbying state and federal governments. They lobby on immigration issues and to prevent oversight of their facilities. Not any sort of exceptional oversight; they lobby against merely being held to the same standards of public accountability as government-run prisons. The private prison industry rakes in multiple billions of dollars per year in taxpayer money, despite the fact that every single company has established a distinguishable track record of abuse, negligence, and human rights violations. CCA was actually behind California's 3-strikes law, which was another ALEC baby, before folks started to catch on to how ALEC was manipulating legislators. They've also worked on other mandatory sentencing structures - again, as you said, all in the name of profit. So while this may seem bad, just realize that what they did in Arizona is only a slight glimpse into the sick, sadistic world of private, for-profit incarceration.

    For way more on how terrible the private prison industry is, check out http://whyihatecca.blogspot.com

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  6. I'm genuinely astonished you didn't know about the private prison system, Eddie--it's been a fact of life (and a huge problem) for a few decades, now, particularly in California, where it's one of the most powerful lobbies. It didn't just back the three-strikes law there in the '90s--it has backed similar laws all over the U.S. It's a monstrous enterprise, just one of many in the U.S. devoted to creating and spreading misery in order to profit from it.

    No reason to let it run you away, though. It's the sort of thing that needs ranted against, as often as as much as possible, not dodged. Things are actually much worse than Michael Moore portrays them. That's why hell needs raising.

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  7. @Mike - Thanks for the info. I'll definietly check it out

    @Classic (and Mike) - I was AWARE of the fact that there were Private Prison Services being contracted out by the states, but I never really considered the implications of their "for profit" (or PUBLIC TRADED) status before, nor did I have any clue the extent of the influence they've had. (That we're bascially NAZI$ is not the kind of story you hear a lot about in the MSM!)

    And I've already found some other resources on the subject, not just the For-Profit Incarceration Business, but ALEC as well. And I think ALECWatch says it best:

    "So why haven't we ever heard of this group?"

    "Because corporate America doesn't want us to know. Close scrutiny reveals that ALEC is little more than a screen for hundreds of big corporations and trade associations to advance their legislative agendas in state capitals from coast to coast."

    And yeah, we all know that Big Oil sets the energy policies and Big Insurance sets the Health Care agenda and Big-D influences foreign policy. (Now we know HOW.) But as bad as all of those things are, they pale in comparison to the idea that we legislate towards and systematically conspire to lock people up as often as and for as long as posisble, and the media would rather report the stereotypes about the affected groups than to inform the public what's really going on. That is 100x worse than all of those othjer things combined. It's the difference between mere corruption and outright fascism. It's one thing to keep selling us something we don't need, but it's quite another to figure out new ways to lock us up for $$$.

    Like I said, I was aware that these services were contracted out, but, yeah, I guess I'm late to the party in terms of realizing the full implications and reach of this.

    As for runnign me away...? Nah. I'm not GOING anywhere. But I've got to find a different perspective from which to write from, because I honestly didn't realize how bad things were... How lost the Country I loved truly is. And I can't just rant and rant every day. It's just not healthy, necessary though it may be. Hey: The die will be cast tonight. So I may just take a little break to see how things start to shake out. (Not that we can't guess.) I've thought this before, and it's inevitable that someone will do or say something that will bring me back into it.

    But this for-profit prison lobby... Man if even I needed an issue that I could really focus on? This would be it. And let me tell you: If I asked any of the 100 people I interacted with today who ALECF was, or about the private prison lobby, only ONE would have any idea what I was talkign about, and HE'D actually be in favor of it, the asshole.

    If Glenn Beck were a Liberal? I'd say all his revolutionary rhetoric would have a pretty good point.

    So I don't know. I just got to REALLY figure out what I intend to do with this blog. Because thus far it's really been just random junk out of my head. Whatever I felt like talking (or ranting) about. And that's fine, I'm glad that some people found it meanginful, but... IDK. Maybe it should be more than that.

    I don't know.

    (That, and this is NOT my only web-project. It's my most prolific, but one of the others is starting to get some attention and I could use the time to work on IT. And it already HAS a meaningful purpose and mission, albeit an apolitical one.)

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  8. Eddie: I "hear" you, concerning as Michael Moore's films. "Bowling For Columbine" left me feeling emotionally manipulated and somehow, bamboozled. It put me off his stuff for a few years.

    I finally saw "Sicko" and "Capitalism" when the DVDs became available at the public library. Both are worth a look, says I.

    Now onto a new, brave era of obstructionism!

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  9. @Craig D,

    Hmmm, maybe I'll have to check them out. Thanks. And yes: On the brave, old world!

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