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How many Americans know that America has privatized prisons, the shares of which are listed on stock exchanges? Free market ideologues provided cover for corrupt Republican politicians to divert taxpayers’ hard-earned money to favored political insiders with the false claim that prisons run by private owners are more cost effective. A Mother Jones reporter took a job as a private prison guard and found that private prisons are places of unimaginable violence. In response to the report published in Mother Jones, high ranking US Department of Justice officials have said that the federal government will cease contracting with privatized prisons.http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/department-justice-plans-end-private-prison

Republicans learned to use libertarian “free market” ideologues in order to feather their own nests. Privatization, favored by libertarians, is the Republican way of turning public functions into million dollar businesses for themselves and their friends. In the case of the armed forces, the privatized parts of the US military are multi-billion dollar businesses.

Most Americans are too brainwashed to understand that Obamacare is not “socialized medicine.” Obamacare is privatized medicine. Obama permitted the private insurance companies to write Obamacare. What Obamacare does is to divert federal subsidies into the pockets of private insurance companies. The deductibles and co-pays are so high that those who qualify for the subsidized premiums cannot afford to use the policies.

Republicans intend to privatize Medicare and Social Security. The road to Medicare privatization is the small percentage of medical billings that Medicare pays. Medical care providers are beginning to find that it is unprofitable to provide care to Medicare patients. When doctors cease to provide care under Medicare, the massive payroll tax revenues will be diverted into the hands of “more efficient” private providers.

The road to Social Security privatization is the “reform” of the consumer price index, which under-measures inflation in order to deny Social Security recipients cost-of-living-adjustments. The continuing decline in the real value of Social Security benefits will result in large-scale economic distress. This distress will be used to discredit the Social Security system and to privatize it.

Whenever you hear “privatization,” you are hearing the formation of a scam that will create riches for insiders while taking the public to the cleaners.

(Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: American Prisons 
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  1. Privatization, like most government euphemisms, is the wrong word. This isn’t private, libertarian, or anything akin to them.

    This is old world mercantilism, something like the British East India Company, a for-profit enterprise that availed itself of government instruments of coercion (including actual wars of conquest) in order to make money.

    That is absolutely what ObamaCare is, and it’s what the for-profit prisons are. And in general, any time the government gets involved in things from banking to land use, that’s what it’s going to turn out to be.

    There really is no solution to this except a return to the idea that government must be limited to its constitutionally enumerated powers.

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    • Agree: John Jeremiah Smith
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  2. woodNfish says:

    I think a little research will show that the private prisons have a better track record than the government prisons where there is no accountability.

    When I was a kid growing up in Florida we used to pass chain gangs on the highways doing road work. Prisoners should do hard labor and pay for their incarceration. It should not be on the backs of tax payers.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    Prisoners should do hard labor and pay for their incarceration. It should not be on the backs of tax payers.
     
    I suspect that to be an uninformed opinion that you will cling to dearly,until the day that you are jailed for 30 days for not paying a parking ticket.
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  3. @woodNfish
    I think a little research will show that the private prisons have a better track record than the government prisons where there is no accountability.

    When I was a kid growing up in Florida we used to pass chain gangs on the highways doing road work. Prisoners should do hard labor and pay for their incarceration. It should not be on the backs of tax payers.

    Prisoners should do hard labor and pay for their incarceration. It should not be on the backs of tax payers.

    I suspect that to be an uninformed opinion that you will cling to dearly,until the day that you are jailed for 30 days for not paying a parking ticket.

    Read More
    • Replies: @woodNfish
    I suspect that you consider every opinion that does not agree with your own to be "uninformed". There is a big difference between time in the county jail and prison. If you want an echo chamber, this isn't it.
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  4. woodNfish says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    Prisoners should do hard labor and pay for their incarceration. It should not be on the backs of tax payers.
     
    I suspect that to be an uninformed opinion that you will cling to dearly,until the day that you are jailed for 30 days for not paying a parking ticket.

    I suspect that you consider every opinion that does not agree with your own to be “uninformed”. There is a big difference between time in the county jail and prison. If you want an echo chamber, this isn’t it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Nobody is jailed for not paying a parking ticket ... they are jailed for not paying the tens of thousands of dollars of additional fees and fines that result from not paying (or successfully contesting, as if that were possible) the original parking ticket.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    There is a big difference between time in the county jail and prison.
     
    Lulz. Oh, no, there isn't.
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  5. Take a look at the timing of the DOJ announcement and ask yourself how many of our best and brightest in DC might have been front-running this trade.

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  6. @woodNfish
    I suspect that you consider every opinion that does not agree with your own to be "uninformed". There is a big difference between time in the county jail and prison. If you want an echo chamber, this isn't it.

    Nobody is jailed for not paying a parking ticket … they are jailed for not paying the tens of thousands of dollars of additional fees and fines that result from not paying (or successfully contesting, as if that were possible) the original parking ticket.

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    • Replies: @woodNfish
    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.
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  7. woodNfish says:
    @The Alarmist
    Nobody is jailed for not paying a parking ticket ... they are jailed for not paying the tens of thousands of dollars of additional fees and fines that result from not paying (or successfully contesting, as if that were possible) the original parking ticket.

    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Yep, sorry!
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.
     
    The "example" is privatized jails. Since you appear to believe that a jail is not a prison, the "example" also applies to privatized prisons. Now, you seem to be a bit of "law'n'order b'god" promoter -- a believer in punishment and retribution, etc. So, let's not discuss "jail" and/or "prison" in any other terms.

    Privatization of Federal prisons is now proscribed. However, state and local prisons can be privatized at the option of state legislatures and county councils. If you believe for a second that the craving of state and local legislatures for revenue will not soon create conditions where TCMITS (The Common Man In The Street) can be slapped into a privatized prison for offenses as minor as parking tickets .... sir, you would be sorely delusional. It already happens in some mid-Atlantic jurisdictions. When you're getting your butt kicked daily by sadistic private prison guards, you give me a call and tell me all about the "echo chamber".

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down. I do not expect you to share my opinion, but spare us all the self-righteous crappola.
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  8. @woodNfish
    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.

    Yep, sorry!

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    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    Man, I'm feeling the love. Maybe you two should get a room! Ha!
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  9. @The Alarmist
    Yep, sorry!

    Man, I’m feeling the love. Maybe you two should get a room! Ha!

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  10. @woodNfish
    I suspect that you consider every opinion that does not agree with your own to be "uninformed". There is a big difference between time in the county jail and prison. If you want an echo chamber, this isn't it.

    There is a big difference between time in the county jail and prison.

    Lulz. Oh, no, there isn’t.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Fidelios Automata
    Ha ha, here in Maricopa County AZ it might just be worse. :-)
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  11. @woodNfish
    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.

    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.

    The “example” is privatized jails. Since you appear to believe that a jail is not a prison, the “example” also applies to privatized prisons. Now, you seem to be a bit of “law’n’order b’god” promoter — a believer in punishment and retribution, etc. So, let’s not discuss “jail” and/or “prison” in any other terms.

    Privatization of Federal prisons is now proscribed. However, state and local prisons can be privatized at the option of state legislatures and county councils. If you believe for a second that the craving of state and local legislatures for revenue will not soon create conditions where TCMITS (The Common Man In The Street) can be slapped into a privatized prison for offenses as minor as parking tickets …. sir, you would be sorely delusional. It already happens in some mid-Atlantic jurisdictions. When you’re getting your butt kicked daily by sadistic private prison guards, you give me a call and tell me all about the “echo chamber”.

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down. I do not expect you to share my opinion, but spare us all the self-righteous crappola.

    Read More
    • Replies: @woodNfish

    A corrupt government abuses its citizens.
     
    I agree, but you can still go fuck yourself you self-righteous prick.
    , @TomSchmidt
    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.
    , @TomSchmidt
    By the way, with the exception of your command of English, you're probably my kinda people:

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down.
     
    I would strongly recommend that you read the book Debt, by David Graeber. It deflates a lot of the neoliberal circle-jerking about the hypocrisy of their debt peonage.
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  12. woodNfish says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.
     
    The "example" is privatized jails. Since you appear to believe that a jail is not a prison, the "example" also applies to privatized prisons. Now, you seem to be a bit of "law'n'order b'god" promoter -- a believer in punishment and retribution, etc. So, let's not discuss "jail" and/or "prison" in any other terms.

    Privatization of Federal prisons is now proscribed. However, state and local prisons can be privatized at the option of state legislatures and county councils. If you believe for a second that the craving of state and local legislatures for revenue will not soon create conditions where TCMITS (The Common Man In The Street) can be slapped into a privatized prison for offenses as minor as parking tickets .... sir, you would be sorely delusional. It already happens in some mid-Atlantic jurisdictions. When you're getting your butt kicked daily by sadistic private prison guards, you give me a call and tell me all about the "echo chamber".

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down. I do not expect you to share my opinion, but spare us all the self-righteous crappola.

    A corrupt government abuses its citizens.

    I agree, but you can still go fuck yourself you self-righteous prick.

    Read More
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  13. @John Jeremiah Smith

    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.
     
    The "example" is privatized jails. Since you appear to believe that a jail is not a prison, the "example" also applies to privatized prisons. Now, you seem to be a bit of "law'n'order b'god" promoter -- a believer in punishment and retribution, etc. So, let's not discuss "jail" and/or "prison" in any other terms.

    Privatization of Federal prisons is now proscribed. However, state and local prisons can be privatized at the option of state legislatures and county councils. If you believe for a second that the craving of state and local legislatures for revenue will not soon create conditions where TCMITS (The Common Man In The Street) can be slapped into a privatized prison for offenses as minor as parking tickets .... sir, you would be sorely delusional. It already happens in some mid-Atlantic jurisdictions. When you're getting your butt kicked daily by sadistic private prison guards, you give me a call and tell me all about the "echo chamber".

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down. I do not expect you to share my opinion, but spare us all the self-righteous crappola.

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.
     
    Wrong. Go look up both words at dictionarydotcom.
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  14. Not all privatization is bad, but I’ve seen very few instances where it went well. Consider how western financial interests raped the Russian people in the 1990′s.
    In my view, privatization of a government function such as prisons only makes that function worse. These companies turn their monopoly privilege into obscene profits. Worse still, the prison companies lobby for harsher laws and longer sentences to help keep their facilities full.

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  15. @John Jeremiah Smith

    There is a big difference between time in the county jail and prison.
     
    Lulz. Oh, no, there isn't.

    Ha ha, here in Maricopa County AZ it might just be worse. :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    Ha ha, here in Maricopa County AZ it might just be worse.
     
    Har, yeah, could be. But ... wait a minute ... a tent in a desert, surrounded by guard towers ... is that a prison or a jail? :-)
    , @RadicalCenter
    Was going to make the same comment about here in Los Angeles County. Gee, I wonder what the commonality between the two counties might be.
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  16. @TomSchmidt
    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.

    Wrong. Go look up both words at dictionarydotcom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Wrong is awfully binary. I wrote:

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.
     
    Allow me to quote from this website, which seeks to answer the question What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

    At the most basic level, the fundamental difference between jail and prison is the length of stay for inmates. Think short-term and long-term. Jails are usually run by local law enforcement and/or local government agencies, and are designed to hold inmates awaiting trial or serving a short sentence. Often “short” is designated as a misdemeanor conviction versus a felony, so in some instances where misdemeanor sentences are run consecutively, one may spend more than a year in jail. ... Prisons, on the other hand, are typically operated by either a state government or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). These are designed to hold individuals convicted of more serious crimes, typically any felony.
     
    Now, if you want to explain for two paragraphs, you make these sorts of distinctions. I'd grade my answer "incomplete." If it were submitted on a criminal justice exam, it'd probably garner 8 or 9 out of 10 points. Dunno, don't teach that.

    YOU, however, would receive a failing grade for feedback. Accept any input as a gift, and build upon it. Try it, you'll find people want to be around you more. This guy gets no sleep and is awfully lonely.

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  17. @Fidelios Automata
    Ha ha, here in Maricopa County AZ it might just be worse. :-)

    Ha ha, here in Maricopa County AZ it might just be worse.

    Har, yeah, could be. But … wait a minute … a tent in a desert, surrounded by guard towers … is that a prison or a jail? :-)

    Read More
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  18. I’ve had dealings with at least four murderers in my life. Dealings extensive enough to give me a good idea of what kind of people they were. I don’t imagine running a prison is an easy task, certainly not one I want to do, nor do I think I am qualified to sit in judgement of those who do.

    “Thank God we got penitentiaries!”

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  19. @John Jeremiah Smith

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.
     
    Wrong. Go look up both words at dictionarydotcom.

    Wrong is awfully binary. I wrote:

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.

    Allow me to quote from this website, which seeks to answer the question What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

    At the most basic level, the fundamental difference between jail and prison is the length of stay for inmates. Think short-term and long-term. Jails are usually run by local law enforcement and/or local government agencies, and are designed to hold inmates awaiting trial or serving a short sentence. Often “short” is designated as a misdemeanor conviction versus a felony, so in some instances where misdemeanor sentences are run consecutively, one may spend more than a year in jail. … Prisons, on the other hand, are typically operated by either a state government or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). These are designed to hold individuals convicted of more serious crimes, typically any felony.

    Now, if you want to explain for two paragraphs, you make these sorts of distinctions. I’d grade my answer “incomplete.” If it were submitted on a criminal justice exam, it’d probably garner 8 or 9 out of 10 points. Dunno, don’t teach that.

    YOU, however, would receive a failing grade for feedback. Accept any input as a gift, and build upon it. Try it, you’ll find people want to be around you more. This guy gets no sleep and is awfully lonely.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    YOU, however, would receive a failing grade for feedback.
     
    But an A+ for accuracy. The words "jail" and "prison" are interchangeable. Your objection

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.
     
    is didactic and incorrect. Yes, I'm sure. It isn't a big deal, and you certainly have a right to believe (deep down inside) anything and everything you like. Go right ahead -- doesn't bother me at all.
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  20. @TomSchmidt
    Wrong is awfully binary. I wrote:

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.
     
    Allow me to quote from this website, which seeks to answer the question What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

    At the most basic level, the fundamental difference between jail and prison is the length of stay for inmates. Think short-term and long-term. Jails are usually run by local law enforcement and/or local government agencies, and are designed to hold inmates awaiting trial or serving a short sentence. Often “short” is designated as a misdemeanor conviction versus a felony, so in some instances where misdemeanor sentences are run consecutively, one may spend more than a year in jail. ... Prisons, on the other hand, are typically operated by either a state government or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). These are designed to hold individuals convicted of more serious crimes, typically any felony.
     
    Now, if you want to explain for two paragraphs, you make these sorts of distinctions. I'd grade my answer "incomplete." If it were submitted on a criminal justice exam, it'd probably garner 8 or 9 out of 10 points. Dunno, don't teach that.

    YOU, however, would receive a failing grade for feedback. Accept any input as a gift, and build upon it. Try it, you'll find people want to be around you more. This guy gets no sleep and is awfully lonely.

    YOU, however, would receive a failing grade for feedback.

    But an A+ for accuracy. The words “jail” and “prison” are interchangeable. Your objection

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.

    is didactic and incorrect. Yes, I’m sure. It isn’t a big deal, and you certainly have a right to believe (deep down inside) anything and everything you like. Go right ahead — doesn’t bother me at all.

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  21. But an A+ for accuracy. The words “jail” and “prison” are interchangeable.

    Any word is interchangeable if you don’t care about meaning. Their meanings, however, are not the same. You’d get at best a C- from me. And your obstinate refusal to cite any of your assertions would likely have you in my own personal black hole of Calcutta.

    Let’s try a different tack. La Wik tells us:

    Remand or pre-trial detention is the process of keeping a person who has been arrested in custody before conviction. Those charged with serious crimes may be held in a remand prison until trial or sentencing. Varying terminology is used, but “remand” is generally used in common law jurisdictions. Continued detention after conviction is referred to as imprisonment.

    Because imprisonment without trial is contrary to the presumption of innocence, in liberal democracies pre-trial detention is usually subject to safeguards and restrictions. If it is not necessary in the public interest to remand an accused person in custody, they are released on bail.

    Try differentiating for people between “remand prison” where people AREN’T “imprisoned,” and a prison where people ARE imprisoned. Thus, at the court complex in New York, we use the term “jail” for people not yet convicted, and “prison” for those “imprisoned.” Note that no one is “imprisoned” until after conviction.

    English… what a concept.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
    Sorry, you are not permitted "mission creep". Let's stick with your original assertion:

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.
     
    Wrong, because "jail" and "prison" are functionally identical terms.

    Another way of looking at it would be to substitute one for the other synonymous term as applied, thus "jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and jail is where you go after you get convicted of a crime", as well as " prison is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime".

    You attempted to differentiate two words that have the same meaning.

    This has been mildly entertaining, but I have lost interest. Ciao, baby, ciao.
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  22. utu says:

    “Whenever you hear “privatization,” you are hearing the formation of a scam that will create riches for insiders while taking the public to the cleaners.” – Absolutely. It is always a scam for enrichment. Unfortunately too many Americans falls for it. In particular the libertarians who are not the smartest Americans.

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  23. @TomSchmidt
    But an A+ for accuracy. The words “jail” and “prison” are interchangeable.

    Any word is interchangeable if you don't care about meaning. Their meanings, however, are not the same. You'd get at best a C- from me. And your obstinate refusal to cite any of your assertions would likely have you in my own personal black hole of Calcutta.

    Let's try a different tack. La Wik tells us:

    Remand or pre-trial detention is the process of keeping a person who has been arrested in custody before conviction. Those charged with serious crimes may be held in a remand prison until trial or sentencing. Varying terminology is used, but "remand" is generally used in common law jurisdictions. Continued detention after conviction is referred to as imprisonment.

    Because imprisonment without trial is contrary to the presumption of innocence, in liberal democracies pre-trial detention is usually subject to safeguards and restrictions. If it is not necessary in the public interest to remand an accused person in custody, they are released on bail.
     
    Try differentiating for people between "remand prison" where people AREN'T "imprisoned," and a prison where people ARE imprisoned. Thus, at the court complex in New York, we use the term "jail" for people not yet convicted, and "prison" for those "imprisoned." Note that no one is "imprisoned" until after conviction.

    English... what a concept.

    Sorry, you are not permitted “mission creep”. Let’s stick with your original assertion:

    Just so you know: jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime.

    Wrong, because “jail” and “prison” are functionally identical terms.

    Another way of looking at it would be to substitute one for the other synonymous term as applied, thus “jail is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and jail is where you go after you get convicted of a crime”, as well as ” prison is where you go before you get convicted of a crime, and prison is where you go after you get convicted of a crime”.

    You attempted to differentiate two words that have the same meaning.

    This has been mildly entertaining, but I have lost interest. Ciao, baby, ciao.

    Read More
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  24. @Fidelios Automata
    Ha ha, here in Maricopa County AZ it might just be worse. :-)

    Was going to make the same comment about here in Los Angeles County. Gee, I wonder what the commonality between the two counties might be.

    Read More
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  25. Wrong, because “jail” and “prison” are functionally identical terms.

    (What is your love affair with the word “wrong?” You on a McLaughlin bender after that great man’s passing? Ah, to see him dine with Jesuitical blade flashing upon your sallow rhetorical flesh! Do send me the link to your replacement show on PBS.)

    I have given you two links showing that they identify different parts of the criminal justice system that serve different purposes. Now, you might quibble that “misdemeanors” are in fact crimes, despite the excellent Woody Allen title of “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Can a person be “imprisoned” without sentencing? Conviction leads to imprisonment.

    Here’s La Wik about Riker’s Island:

    The Rikers Island complex, which consists of ten jails, holds local offenders who are awaiting trial and cannot afford, obtain, or were not given bail from a judge; those serving sentences of one year or less; and those temporarily placed there pending transfer to another facility.[8] Rikers Island is therefore not a prison by US terminology, which typically holds offenders serving longer-term sentences.

    ciao, baby, ciao.
    Aw, fiddlesticks!

    Hey, you don’t even need to cite me in the future when you correct some poor shmoe who doesn’t know the difference between a gaol and a prison in the USA (or at least NewYork.)

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "Can a person be “imprisoned” without sentencing? Conviction leads to imprisonment."
     
    Depends on your point of view. From the State's viewpoint, you may merely be held in detention, but from your own viewpoint you will certainly feel like you are imprisoned. But here is one to scramble your reasoning ... if it isn't imprisonment, then why do sentences upon conviction frequently give credit for time already served?
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    Here’s La Wik about Riker’s Island:
     
    How DARE you quote Wikipoofia? Pistols at dawn! Hell, two pistols at dawn!

    I think there's two people here who are indulging in the blood sport of drawing excessively fine lines for increasingly silly reasons. Obviously, the choice of "prison" or "jail" is entirely dependent upon context. Ah, context, what a concept, eh? -- definitely one that allows a clear distinction between "gaol" and "jail".
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  26. @John Jeremiah Smith

    You are referring to a comment I never made, and I agree with you. The example Smith used was BS, but so was his initial comment.
     
    The "example" is privatized jails. Since you appear to believe that a jail is not a prison, the "example" also applies to privatized prisons. Now, you seem to be a bit of "law'n'order b'god" promoter -- a believer in punishment and retribution, etc. So, let's not discuss "jail" and/or "prison" in any other terms.

    Privatization of Federal prisons is now proscribed. However, state and local prisons can be privatized at the option of state legislatures and county councils. If you believe for a second that the craving of state and local legislatures for revenue will not soon create conditions where TCMITS (The Common Man In The Street) can be slapped into a privatized prison for offenses as minor as parking tickets .... sir, you would be sorely delusional. It already happens in some mid-Atlantic jurisdictions. When you're getting your butt kicked daily by sadistic private prison guards, you give me a call and tell me all about the "echo chamber".

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down. I do not expect you to share my opinion, but spare us all the self-righteous crappola.

    By the way, with the exception of your command of English, you’re probably my kinda people:

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down.

    I would strongly recommend that you read the book Debt, by David Graeber. It deflates a lot of the neoliberal circle-jerking about the hypocrisy of their debt peonage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    I would strongly recommend that you read the book Debt, by David Graeber. It deflates a lot of the neoliberal circle-jerking about the hypocrisy of their debt peonage.
     
    Government debt is a pillar of neo-feudalism. Debt invariably produces a necessity for tax increases, which cement the pernicious interdependence of peasant and prince.
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  27. How much access do incarcerated people have to the internet, you know, to make comments on websites? Certainly they’ve got a lot of time on their hands.

    Might explain a few things.

    Mostly male? Check.
    Lots of anger? Check.

    Read More
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  28. @TomSchmidt
    Wrong, because “jail” and “prison” are functionally identical terms.

    (What is your love affair with the word "wrong?" You on a McLaughlin bender after that great man's passing? Ah, to see him dine with Jesuitical blade flashing upon your sallow rhetorical flesh! Do send me the link to your replacement show on PBS.)

    I have given you two links showing that they identify different parts of the criminal justice system that serve different purposes. Now, you might quibble that "misdemeanors" are in fact crimes, despite the excellent Woody Allen title of "Crimes and Misdemeanors." Can a person be "imprisoned" without sentencing? Conviction leads to imprisonment.

    Here's La Wik about Riker's Island:

    The Rikers Island complex, which consists of ten jails, holds local offenders who are awaiting trial and cannot afford, obtain, or were not given bail from a judge; those serving sentences of one year or less; and those temporarily placed there pending transfer to another facility.[8] Rikers Island is therefore not a prison by US terminology, which typically holds offenders serving longer-term sentences.
     
    ciao, baby, ciao.
    Aw, fiddlesticks!

    Hey, you don't even need to cite me in the future when you correct some poor shmoe who doesn't know the difference between a gaol and a prison in the USA (or at least NewYork.)

    “Can a person be “imprisoned” without sentencing? Conviction leads to imprisonment.”

    Depends on your point of view. From the State’s viewpoint, you may merely be held in detention, but from your own viewpoint you will certainly feel like you are imprisoned. But here is one to scramble your reasoning … if it isn’t imprisonment, then why do sentences upon conviction frequently give credit for time already served?

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    As I noted to JJS, if you COULD get out on bail but paying bail will endebt your whole family (even just paying the interest on the bond), then there is no functional difference. You can avoid jail most of the time by posting bond; you cannot avoid prison by doing so.

    Which leads to an intriguing question: why couldn't people actually imprisoned after sentencing post a bond, like a bail bond, that would allow them to not live at the expense of the state? It would avoid the punishment that is prison, and also set up a fatal incentive for the state to convict people as a profit-making enterprise (which private prisons already create, of course). It would also allow the wealthy to buy their way out of their crimes, but you could scale the required bond to the size of the felon's wealth. You want to be "free," you skip the bond. You want to keep your wealth, you abide by just laws. (We would have to eliminate malum prohibitum as causes for felony, and restore mens rea. Comey's decision not to prosecute Hillary because of lack of "intent" is promising in this regard.)

    I wonder if there is any scholarship on this.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. @TomSchmidt
    Wrong, because “jail” and “prison” are functionally identical terms.

    (What is your love affair with the word "wrong?" You on a McLaughlin bender after that great man's passing? Ah, to see him dine with Jesuitical blade flashing upon your sallow rhetorical flesh! Do send me the link to your replacement show on PBS.)

    I have given you two links showing that they identify different parts of the criminal justice system that serve different purposes. Now, you might quibble that "misdemeanors" are in fact crimes, despite the excellent Woody Allen title of "Crimes and Misdemeanors." Can a person be "imprisoned" without sentencing? Conviction leads to imprisonment.

    Here's La Wik about Riker's Island:

    The Rikers Island complex, which consists of ten jails, holds local offenders who are awaiting trial and cannot afford, obtain, or were not given bail from a judge; those serving sentences of one year or less; and those temporarily placed there pending transfer to another facility.[8] Rikers Island is therefore not a prison by US terminology, which typically holds offenders serving longer-term sentences.
     
    ciao, baby, ciao.
    Aw, fiddlesticks!

    Hey, you don't even need to cite me in the future when you correct some poor shmoe who doesn't know the difference between a gaol and a prison in the USA (or at least NewYork.)

    Here’s La Wik about Riker’s Island:

    How DARE you quote Wikipoofia? Pistols at dawn! Hell, two pistols at dawn!

    I think there’s two people here who are indulging in the blood sport of drawing excessively fine lines for increasingly silly reasons. Obviously, the choice of “prison” or “jail” is entirely dependent upon context. Ah, context, what a concept, eh? — definitely one that allows a clear distinction between “gaol” and “jail”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Indeed. I had to check the etymology of prison and jail. I had guessed one was Anglo-Saxon, and one French, but both came into modern English from those gaolers of the Anglo Saxons, the French.

    Functionally, if you're in jail awaiting trial and you cannot afford bail, or the 10% interest a bail bondsman charges (oh, and all the other egregious charges, like those for phoning home to maintain some human contact), it doesn't make a difference that you could, theoretically, be out. The state, using its resources to pick on the weak (and often justifiably, in cases of malum in se), imposes an insuperable burden. They make the cost of obtaining justice so high that it's cheaper to plead to something you didn't do. Brick by brick, this builds a police state.

    The middle classes, which thought that this would only happen to the poor, or the colored, are in for a rude shock. The game will continue until both stop charging at the red banner held up by the elite. That time is coming, either now with Trump, or soon with a less-conflicted man of the left.
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  30. @TomSchmidt
    By the way, with the exception of your command of English, you're probably my kinda people:

    Our government is corrupt. A corrupt government abuses its citizens. That abuse starts at the bottom of the income ladder, and climbs slowly until the entire system breaks down.
     
    I would strongly recommend that you read the book Debt, by David Graeber. It deflates a lot of the neoliberal circle-jerking about the hypocrisy of their debt peonage.

    I would strongly recommend that you read the book Debt, by David Graeber. It deflates a lot of the neoliberal circle-jerking about the hypocrisy of their debt peonage.

    Government debt is a pillar of neo-feudalism. Debt invariably produces a necessity for tax increases, which cement the pernicious interdependence of peasant and prince.

    Read More
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  31. You’re correct about that, but your knowledge is incomplete. There are some surprises in the book; there certainly were for me. It turns out that the idea of money replacing a barter economy was made up out of whole cloth by Adam Smith. He, it turns out, plagiarized the pin factory narrative from a Medieval Persian writer.

    The whole concept of commodity money is intricately linked to slavery. With Nixon’s closing of the gold window in 1971, Graeber posits we have entered a new era, one in which credit and debt move from the world of gold or FRNs back into the realm of social exchange, similar to the Middle Ages (oh, and note that “Feudalism” would actually be an improvement over the current situation, as a serf had obligations to his lord, but the lord also had obligations to his serfs. The power elite in DC feel absolutely no obligations to their debt slaves.) he notes that Gold and commodity money necessarily centralize, and that using forms of credit that are not anonymous necessarily decentralize.

    In short, there are some major upsides to the ongoing collapse of the existing order.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    It turns out that the idea of money replacing a barter economy was made up out of whole cloth by Adam Smith.
     
    Apropos of which, let's all read the Bezemer/Hudson article refd on the homepage. Takes a while to get through ...
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  32. @John Jeremiah Smith

    Here’s La Wik about Riker’s Island:
     
    How DARE you quote Wikipoofia? Pistols at dawn! Hell, two pistols at dawn!

    I think there's two people here who are indulging in the blood sport of drawing excessively fine lines for increasingly silly reasons. Obviously, the choice of "prison" or "jail" is entirely dependent upon context. Ah, context, what a concept, eh? -- definitely one that allows a clear distinction between "gaol" and "jail".

    Indeed. I had to check the etymology of prison and jail. I had guessed one was Anglo-Saxon, and one French, but both came into modern English from those gaolers of the Anglo Saxons, the French.

    Functionally, if you’re in jail awaiting trial and you cannot afford bail, or the 10% interest a bail bondsman charges (oh, and all the other egregious charges, like those for phoning home to maintain some human contact), it doesn’t make a difference that you could, theoretically, be out. The state, using its resources to pick on the weak (and often justifiably, in cases of malum in se), imposes an insuperable burden. They make the cost of obtaining justice so high that it’s cheaper to plead to something you didn’t do. Brick by brick, this builds a police state.

    The middle classes, which thought that this would only happen to the poor, or the colored, are in for a rude shock. The game will continue until both stop charging at the red banner held up by the elite. That time is coming, either now with Trump, or soon with a less-conflicted man of the left.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    The middle classes, which thought that this would only happen to the poor, or the colored, are in for a rude shock.
     
    Ja. I mentioned that "coming soon to a jurisdiction near you" factor in post #11.
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  33. @The Alarmist

    "Can a person be “imprisoned” without sentencing? Conviction leads to imprisonment."
     
    Depends on your point of view. From the State's viewpoint, you may merely be held in detention, but from your own viewpoint you will certainly feel like you are imprisoned. But here is one to scramble your reasoning ... if it isn't imprisonment, then why do sentences upon conviction frequently give credit for time already served?

    As I noted to JJS, if you COULD get out on bail but paying bail will endebt your whole family (even just paying the interest on the bond), then there is no functional difference. You can avoid jail most of the time by posting bond; you cannot avoid prison by doing so.

    Which leads to an intriguing question: why couldn’t people actually imprisoned after sentencing post a bond, like a bail bond, that would allow them to not live at the expense of the state? It would avoid the punishment that is prison, and also set up a fatal incentive for the state to convict people as a profit-making enterprise (which private prisons already create, of course). It would also allow the wealthy to buy their way out of their crimes, but you could scale the required bond to the size of the felon’s wealth. You want to be “free,” you skip the bond. You want to keep your wealth, you abide by just laws. (We would have to eliminate malum prohibitum as causes for felony, and restore mens rea. Comey’s decision not to prosecute Hillary because of lack of “intent” is promising in this regard.)

    I wonder if there is any scholarship on this.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. @TomSchmidt
    You're correct about that, but your knowledge is incomplete. There are some surprises in the book; there certainly were for me. It turns out that the idea of money replacing a barter economy was made up out of whole cloth by Adam Smith. He, it turns out, plagiarized the pin factory narrative from a Medieval Persian writer.

    The whole concept of commodity money is intricately linked to slavery. With Nixon's closing of the gold window in 1971, Graeber posits we have entered a new era, one in which credit and debt move from the world of gold or FRNs back into the realm of social exchange, similar to the Middle Ages (oh, and note that "Feudalism" would actually be an improvement over the current situation, as a serf had obligations to his lord, but the lord also had obligations to his serfs. The power elite in DC feel absolutely no obligations to their debt slaves.) he notes that Gold and commodity money necessarily centralize, and that using forms of credit that are not anonymous necessarily decentralize.

    In short, there are some major upsides to the ongoing collapse of the existing order.

    It turns out that the idea of money replacing a barter economy was made up out of whole cloth by Adam Smith.

    Apropos of which, let’s all read the Bezemer/Hudson article refd on the homepage. Takes a while to get through …

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Indeed.

    You'll find, if you read the book Debt, that one of Graeber's major sources for modern-era finance is in fact Michael Hudson.
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  35. @TomSchmidt
    Indeed. I had to check the etymology of prison and jail. I had guessed one was Anglo-Saxon, and one French, but both came into modern English from those gaolers of the Anglo Saxons, the French.

    Functionally, if you're in jail awaiting trial and you cannot afford bail, or the 10% interest a bail bondsman charges (oh, and all the other egregious charges, like those for phoning home to maintain some human contact), it doesn't make a difference that you could, theoretically, be out. The state, using its resources to pick on the weak (and often justifiably, in cases of malum in se), imposes an insuperable burden. They make the cost of obtaining justice so high that it's cheaper to plead to something you didn't do. Brick by brick, this builds a police state.

    The middle classes, which thought that this would only happen to the poor, or the colored, are in for a rude shock. The game will continue until both stop charging at the red banner held up by the elite. That time is coming, either now with Trump, or soon with a less-conflicted man of the left.

    The middle classes, which thought that this would only happen to the poor, or the colored, are in for a rude shock.

    Ja. I mentioned that “coming soon to a jurisdiction near you” factor in post #11.

    Read More
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  36. 10% interest a bail bondsman charges

    This is one area where Kentucky has actually done the right thing. We banned bail bondsmen and bounty hunting. For your bail/bond you make what ever payment to the state and if by some chance you are found not guilty or the charges are dropped you get all your money back. If you are guilty, the bail is applied to any fines you are sentenced to pay.

    But in Kentucky, the counties run a racket where they overbuild jail capacity then they contract with the state to hold low security state prisoners instead of sending them to state facilities. Nice way for the elected jailer to pad his budget. Of course county tax payers are still stuck paying the bonds used to finance the new shiny jailhouse.

    Read More
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  37. Prisoners should choose which privatized prison will incarcerate them.

    The judge only decides how many years the prisoner will be incarcerated, not which privatized prison will incarcerate the prisoner.

    This would eliminate the problem of a privatized prison paying bribes to a judge for more prisoners.

    It would also incentivize privatized prisons to compete for prisoners by offering the best living conditions for prisoners.

    Read More
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  38. ten miles says:

    Know someone who had to serve a month for a DUI (No, not me). They were in the county jail for two weeks and the county “workhouse” for two weeks.

    Food: In jail it was grown by inmates. Decent, but very small portions. They were generous with the bread, but the bread was not very good. Relatives could put money on the prisoner’s account so they could use vending machines, which were extrodinarily overpriced. Drinks were awful.
    The food at the workhouse was brought by a company called Aramark and was gruel-like according to my friend. Bones in the baloney, literally. Cold red-runny-beans, tasteless small cup of kool-aid to wash it down.
    Vending machines for extremely overpriced e-cigs in both places.

    Comfort: Very cold thermostadt, inmates get a shower every two days, no clocks anywhere and no windows (inmates have no sense of time, and are not told when they ask. 3 to a closet-sized cell. One of the inmates sleeps on a floor mat. Not much room for exercise unless outside cell. Inmates get one hour a day outside in yard. A few old paperbacks to read, TV in common area. Inmates are miserable.

    Communication: A company contracted handles calls. The make the relatives pay several fees, and its a dollar-a-minute thereafter. The first call (15 minute max) was $35. Its $15 for 15 minutes thereafter.

    Cell size is the big eye opener. Smelling other people’s B.O. all day, and the nutrition I deficient gruel-food are the hardest thing for the inmate to adjust to. People need B-vitamins, and they don’t get that. TV is on junk daytime pablum. The mind and body atropy. If you have a cousin or pal who has driven after a few drinks in the past, warn them if you love em’.

    Read More
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  39. @John Jeremiah Smith

    It turns out that the idea of money replacing a barter economy was made up out of whole cloth by Adam Smith.
     
    Apropos of which, let's all read the Bezemer/Hudson article refd on the homepage. Takes a while to get through ...

    Indeed.

    You’ll find, if you read the book Debt, that one of Graeber’s major sources for modern-era finance is in fact Michael Hudson.

    Read More
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  40. I believe in vigilante justice. That is my preferred form of privatization of the criminal justice system.

    Read More
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