Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas behind bars

The title of this post is the headline of a story from the Odessa American interviewing inmates and family members about the emotional strain placed on them during the holiday season.

71 comments:

santa said...

DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SANTA AND TIGER WOODS? SANTA HAS 3 HO'S WHEREAS TIGER HAS 15 AND COUNTING...

Anonymous said...

WOW! Sounds like prison is a pretty depressing place around the Holidays. Yet another reason one should obey the laws of the land!

Anonymous said...

Sorta hard to feel sorry for lawbreakers. Humbug. Find some way to blame the public or someone else for the criminals bad behavior.

Merry Christmas....

Anonymous said...

he has (HAD/LOL) 15?! ..well!! what HAPPENED, was that he looked in the mirror, and repeated.."my name is Tiger.." so he therefore went out and purchased 15 ho ho hoz

Anonymous said...

Moral to this story: Live a law abiding life, stay out of prison and enjoy the holidays with your family!

Anonymous said...

We all have to remember, especially at Christmas that innocent people are in prison right now. We it is no stretch for me to feel tremendous compassion for them and their families!

I home we all have a peaceful New Year.

Anonymous said...

Since we're celebrating Christ's birth tomorrow, this reminder of His message may be helpful for 11;27, 12:20, and 1:23 -

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'

"Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?'

"Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'" (Matt. 25: 41-45)

If it's "hard to feel sorry for lawbreakers" then you've completely missed Christ's message. I feel sorry for anyone who would say that. I'd hate to be one of those to whom Christ said, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire ..."

Anonymous said...

What about the families, mothers, fathers and the children of the inmates. Do you have malice in your heart toward them as well? They have done nothing wrong. No matter what, a mother loves their children.

Anonymous said...

Let’s forget about the law breakers in prison and focus on ourselves and our joy during the holidays! In fact lets treat the inmates like crap so they will be completely without hope and stay in our revolving door prison system. There would be a lot of good folks who would be without a job if we focused on rehabilitation in Texas. There is big money in the prison business in Texas. The only down side is that us tax payers are paying a high price for the “Get tough on crime” many politicians spew out. I was a Chaplain in the criminal justice system and I have seen this from all sides.

2:22 you are spot on! It never stops amazing me how self many righteous “Good or Christian people don’t read the Bible or follow the teachings of Christ. Billy Gram once said he was afraid about 80% of the people sitting in church on Sunday were lost and didn’t have a clue. Based on my years as a Chaplain and minister I have to agree with Brother Gram.

May the love of Christ be with you and your family this Christmas season. Christmas is a good time to slow down for a moment and reflect on our life and how we are living. Do we serve Christ or do we let our evil human nature over take us. Just in case you need a little help, you might ask Christ to help you as you navigate life. Make the most of the time you have been given! If you slip and fall Jesus will be there to help up if you allow him to.

Oh well, what do I know, I am just an old retired prison Chaplain who dipped a few convicts in the cow trough.

Anonymous said...

Some start missing they families when they be locked up. Before that they be running the streets and doing they thing.

Anonymous said...

There was another sighting of Santa (Alan Walters) and his Elf (Will Harrell) at Corsicana and Mart today.

sunray's wench said...

We were watching coverage of the Senate voting for the Healthcare bill last night, and my daughter asked me why Americans thought is was wrong for children to get free healthcare. I explained that although most Americans are nice people, they do as a nation struggle with the concept of compassion. Sad to see I was right, if the posters above are a typical example of America. Or perhaps its just Texans.

Having a loved one in prison is very much like suffering a bereavement. Are you as callous to those who are spending Christmas alone because a loved one has died this year? People who DO obey the laws of the land can, and do, have family members in prison. Your smugness suggests that you have broken laws but just haven't been caught doing it yet, or more likely that you've broken laws you don't even know exist.

As for there being good people with no job if Texas focused on rehab, there is this little thing called retraining. I know Americans were caught off-guard by the recession (easy to understand if a nation refuses to look beyond its borders for anything), but the rest of the world knows that a job hasn't been "for life" for a couple of generations now and you have to be flexible if you want to remain employed. If Texas expanded the rehab side of things, there could well be MORE jobs available.

anon ex-Chaplain @ 5.04 ~ there you go again with the "us taxpayers" line. Are you seriously teling me that no TDCJ inmate or any of their families have ever paid taxes? Are you telling me that no one on parole or probation ever pays taxes? What about those who are released and are lucky enough to find employment, they surely don't pay taxes do they. I know you would rather pay no tax whatsoever, but in the real world, societies do not function in any other way. Your taxes also pay for the police, libraries, road repairs and street lighting....and when you were a Chaplain, who do you think was paying your wages?

Anonymous said...

Oh good grief, people! I have a tremendous amount of compassion for those who, through no fault of their own, experience hardship and adversity! This includes, incidentally, the true victims of crime!
Those, on the other hand, who made a decision to harm or take advantage of others are not VICTIMS! While they may be entitled to Christian forgiveness, this does not mean that they should not be punished by our government for their criminal misbehavior! People are responsible for their actions in this world, and most assuredly in the hereafter! It is certainly regrettable that families of criminals suffer due to the poor decisions of their loved ones. Nonetheless, their suffering was caused by the poor choices and bad decisions of some criminal! And to the criminal who has caused such misery for their family, all I can say is SHAME ON YOU!
God bless and Merry Christmas everyone!

Anonymous said...

Having my only son spend near to 10 of the last 12 Christmas's, it was hard on me more so than on him. True individuals need to obey the law so they stay out of jail, but as humans, we should have compassion. Many of those jailed have mental health illnesses that have not ever been addressed and although it is not an excuse for their behavior, it is part of the reason they continue to make poor decisions. I'm about to have breakfast with my parents and my son back in my hometown and I have to say, it's appreciated by all today.

I don't see that story line as being a means to blame the public or someone else for their behavior...it's a story about people who made wrong decisions that landed them in jail...and what it's like while they're spending Christmas behind bars.

Let's put alittle Christ in Christmas today please.

Anonymous said...

The Kennedy administration started the De institutionalization movement in order to protect the mentally ill and physically handicapped from the abuses and horrible conditions of the institutions we warehoused them in. The Reagan administration closed mental health facilities across the country leaving the disabled homeless and on the streets with no alternatives for housing or dealing with the very real issues that affected these individuals because the communities had neither the funds to cover the costs or the means to insure patients took their medication.

The results being “ It seems as if the deinstitutionalization movement backfired on itself as large numbers of the mentally ill, arrested for crimes they committed, came before the court system and were found guilty. They were sentenced to long prison terms. In states all over the nation where there was no community mental health system, prisons became de facto mental institutions. Instead of being reintegrated and rehabilitated into the community, the severely mentally ill were once again locked in.”

For decades, we have imprisoned those who would have and should have been treated for legitimate illnesses. I dare anyone to try to tell me that this is not how communities clean up “unsightly” problems on their streets. Add to that the numbers we have estimated should not be in prison due to faulty “science”, corrupt officials and those who took the deal to avoid longer sentences despite innocence. Those who made mistakes and are serving ridiculously long sentences because of tough on crime laws, but could have paid their debt to society and been reintegrated. The possible numbers of those who will be exonerated. I could go on, but I'm sure even the dimmest have caught the drift here.

How can one be so devoid of common compassion that even on Christmas they cannot feel for those who have through their own mistakes or circumstance been imprisoned? Or for their families? Shame on you. Especially for ignoring that being found guilty and sent to prison doesn't mean one is actually guilty of a crime.

Anonymous said...

Newsflash, 10:08...the vast overwhelming majority of inmates in the Texas prison system are neither innocent nor mentally ill! Instead, they are just mean, selfish, evil predators who would rather hurt and exploit others instead of following the law and earning an honest living! I think I speak for most Americans when I say that I'll enjoy my Christmas much more in with the comfortable knowledge that these predators are exactly where they need to be,...LOCKED UP!!!

Anonymous said...

10:37. I'll say a prayer for you.
Do YOU work in the criminal justice system? I do. And Newsflash, there is a large majority who are in the criminal justice system who ARE and do have mental illnesses that have gone untreated. An excuse for their criminal behavior? NO...but they need treatment of which they never get. Why? Because they are poor and people like YOU are selfish and don't see the need to help others.

But I'll pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Woman fatally knifes thug in subway attack, then flees on F train
BY Kerry Burke and John Lauinger
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Friday, December 25th 2009, 1:33 AM


Several thugs tried to drag a woman off a Queens subway train Thursday night, but she fought back and fatally stabbed one of her tormenters before fleeing on another train, police said.

The large group of men - perhaps as many as eight - surrounded the woman outside a chicken restaurant above the 21st St.-Queensbridge station about 9 p.m., police and a witness said.

The harassment, which may have included unwanted sexual advances toward the woman and grabbing, continued as she entered the subway station.

The woman broke free from the men and frantically ran down to the platform and hopped on an F train, with the thugs right behind.

"They tried to physically drag her off the train, but she fights back," one cop said.

The struggle continued as the group pulled her off the train and dragged her up the stairs to the mezzanine level.

At one point, the woman stabbed one of her attackers - identified by family as Thomas Winston, 29 - multiple times in the chest.

The woman then sprinted back down to the platform - with the thugs in hot pursuit, said witness Ricardo Josephs, 41.

"Seven or eight of them were chasing the woman," said Josephs, an MTA employee.

"They all jumped over the turnstiles after her," he continued. "She got on the Queens [-bound F] train. They tried to grab her; they tried to hold the train - but she got away."

Winston, who lives in a nearby shelter and has a 10-month-old daughter, was pronounced dead at a Manhattan hospital.

The woman was still in the wind Thursday night, police said. One police source said investigators suspect the woman was acting in self-defense.

Winston has numerous prior arrests, including several raps for sale of narcotics, most recently in September.

I guess they were innocent and misidentified. They need to be turned loose because we are so politically correct.

Anonymous said...

In response to anon 10:37.

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,"
said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.

"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge.
"Are they still in operation?"

"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."

"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.

"Both very busy, sir."

"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their
useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."

"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,"
returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down
for?"

"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.

"You wish to be anonymous?"

"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer.
I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned--they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."

"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."

"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides--excuse me--I don't know that."

Some things never change and Dickens captured it perfectly.

Anonymous said...

sunray's wench said...
We were watching coverage of the Senate voting for the Healthcare bill last night, and my daughter asked me why Americans thought is was wrong for children to get free healthcare. I explained that although most Americans are nice people, they do as a nation struggle with the concept of compassion. Sad to see I was right, if the posters above are a typical example of America. Or perhaps its just Texans.

Hi Sunray,

You seem to be willing to help people and I was wondering if you could give me some money to make my car and house payment this month. I don't have health insurance either and was wodering if you could give me about a $1000 to help pay my medical bills.

Waiting to see how compassionate you are.

Sincerely,

Down and out in NE Texas.

sunray's wench said...

@anon 11.39 ~ are your medical bills the result of having to see different doctors who are in the pockets of the insurance companies, and who tell you that you need certain drugs without investigating whether more exercise and a better diet may improve your health?

Use your car less and I'll send you an apple a day. The taxes that you pay will contribute to your medical care. Dont knock it till you've tried it.

Anonymous said...

11:18
Everybody runs around doing something. These guys run around in a pack chasing a woman. Grits runs around saying they're innocent. They're both at it non-stop.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 11:18! Some of these so-called "compassionate" hug-a-thug nuts on here are so busy making excuses for the sociopathic criminal element that they can't bring themselves to admit that there are lots of truly evil people in our midst who love nothing more than harming simple hard working, decent, law abiding citizens! How about some consideration for the real VICTIMS? Where is their justice? All I can think is that most of these apologists either have some warped, dysfunctional guilt complex of their own; or they are related to some CONvict!

I have no desire to coddle and better "understand" some rapist or child molestor! I just want them removed from society so the rest of us can go about our daily lives a little more safely!
As for the poster advocating Obamacare on this thread, all I can say is that it's real easy to feel "compassionate" when you're talking about taking away someone else's hard earned money and giving it to the government in support of another welfare givaway program!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:51,

I find it amazing the way you use the words “some convict”. Congratulations on expressing the loathing in your text. What you seem to not realize is that for one, at the rate the US is incarcerating it's citizens, there will soon be very few families that don't have “some convict” in the family tree. Secondly, the number of those “convicts” who are imprisoned for rape and child molestation are not nearly as high as you seem to believe or wish to imply.

Yes, there are truly horrible individuals out there. I would personally love the opportunity to eviscerate the one who broke my 80 some year old grandmothers arm and nose while stealing her purse and would do it with a rusty butter knife and a smile while humming We Wish You a Merry Christmas if the opportunity ever arose. But even in my distress over what happened to her, I still understand that not every individual imprisoned in this country is truly guilty of the crime they were accused of, are beyond redemption or are inherently evil.

For the record, I am not related to a convict. I do not believe in “coddling” rapists or child molesters. I also don't believe that our current legal system treats those accused of those crimes any better than the Spanish inquisition treated accused witches. Do you really believe that our population is so filled with the criminally inclined to justify the numbers of convictions put out every year by the Bureau of Justice Statistics? With conservative estimates saying that nearly ten thousand are wrongfully convicted every year and words like “ Thousands of suspects unable to afford lawyers are wrongly convicted each year because they are pressured to accept guilty pleas or have incompetent attorneys, the American Bar Association says in a report” coming to light, how can you vilify every convict? Perhaps you've missed the numbers of exonerations? Or the issues of corruption of one sort or another in the crime labs and the other many issues that put our legal system in question?

You speak of the “real VICTIMS”. Well having been a victim of a violent crime and let's assume that having been beaten and robbed myself, I do qualify as a victim. Even I can recognize that Draconian measures in prisons and the legal system don't make us any safer. That with more laws being created every year and more becoming felonies, we will have more and more felons many of whom did not commit violent crimes and should be allowed redeem themselves for their mistakes. And finally, that even if a convict committed a violent crime, it's not a guarantee that they will go on to commit another. I am not silly enough to believe that every criminal can change and redeem themselves, but neither do I believe that once branded a criminal, one cannot change. If you have some idea that every convict is beyond a shadow of a doubt guilty because they were convicted or that incarcerating every criminal who passes through the system for life will make your life a little more safe, then it is you who are deluded.

Anonymous said...

Down and out in NE Texas,

Get a bicycle. Think of what you'll save in insurance & car payments not to mention the cost of gas that can go for your house payments. Cut back on the meat and eat more fruit, vegetables and salads. Take the daily vitamins and I bet you'd not only cut your medical bills, but would be able to stop taking a good number of whatever meds they have you on.

Most Americans are under nourished and over medicated and don't get nearly enough exercise. And before you snarl at me, this American is nearly 50, has no insurance, goes for a checkup every two years, takes no medications and rides a bike four miles to work every day and back another four miles. Eats very little meat and takes a single multi vitamin in the morning with my coffee. Try not living like the “average American” for a while, you might find that you not only like it, but it improves your life considerably.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed/saddened/disgusted by some of these responses. My loved one is in jail. committed the crime and is paying the penalty.
hopes to come home and change his way of living life.. I'll support and help him as long as he plays by the rules.. I raised him and his sister the same way. She managed to stay on the right side of the law. Teaches school has a fam, etc. so SHUT UP you pompous asses who want to lock up everyone forever and pitch the key and suggest that the rest of us are just hug a thuggers...NOT SO..we hugga the ones we love..
and you better watch out...it may be YOUR heart break next...

you never know. no matter the life you lead what curve ball may come your way..I have lived that Curve for the last six years...don't be so judgmental until you walk in my shoes...

Pirate Rothbard said...

The US doesn't have a compassion deficit, in fact we give more than double what the British give to charity. The Republicans were right to oppose the health care bill because capitalism creates prosperity, it is very sad that the socialists triumphed, but at least Joe killed the public option and we can all be thankful for that.

Merry Christmas everyone, and I hope those of you who believe in God can sort out what the Bible says about correctional policy.

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~ giving to charity is an easy way to buy seats in heaven for an individual. Actually putting in place a system that includes every single person in a country to ensure that they get the healthcare they need, when they need it, without some beurocrat standing over the operating table with a calculator waiting for the moment when the insurance runs out and wont pay any further takes a lot more balls and compassion.

The UK had a "me now" society in the 1980s with Mrs Thatcher in charge. As a nation, we decided that her way was not our way, and voted her out.

What I dont understand is, you already pay taxes. They cover medical, security, education and other social costs. Would you want to live in a country where you could only call a policeman out if you had paid your insurance premium? How about only being able to send your child to school if you had paid your insurance premium? If you have a traffic accident, do you expect an ambulance to arrive and the fire department to be there to cut you out, without having to wait for the all-clear from an insurance company?

What is the difference between a universal fire service or education coverage and a universal healthcare coverage?

@ anon 12.51 ~ if I'd actually ever written excuses for a sociopath's behaviour, then you would be right to criticise. You see what you want to see, just as much as anyone else does. There are indeed people in prison who do not deserve to see the freeworld again, but equally there are many many more who will serve the sentence handed out by the courts you pay for with your taxes, and who will be released back into your community. And all of those criminals have families, the majority of which are tax payers too. If only it were that easy to divide a community into "criminal", "victim", "tax payer". But it simply isn't because most people fit into more than one of those categories.

Pirate Rothbard said...

"Would you want to live in a country where you could only call a policeman out if you had paid your insurance premium"

Exactly, that's the goal and that's where we need to be headed. Stealing is wrong, no matter whether it is called "taxation" or what noble goal is being used as a justification.

Donating to charity is a way to help someone without engaging in theft.

Americans do not donate because they want to get into heaven, I'm told that anyone who believes in Jesus can get into heaven, or that's how most Christians think.

Americans just care more about their fellow countrymen than people in other countries. Anyone can blame the system and vote to redistribute wealth. Those who really care will be willing to sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas everyone, and I hope those of you who believe in God can sort out what the Bible says about correctional policy.

Yet you would want them to ignore what he says about healthcare policy?

"Christians" like you will burn in Hell, if there is one.

Rage

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~
""Would you want to live in a country where you could only call a policeman out if you had paid your insurance premium"

Exactly, that's the goal and that's where we need to be headed. Stealing is wrong, no matter whether it is called "taxation" or what noble goal is being used as a justification."

Seriously? You think that contributing to the society you live in and take from every day is "stealing" by those elected by the same society to manage things?

This is fascinating logic Pirate. So, as a child, having been born not of your choosing but of your parents, if they had been killed in a vehicle accident and left you an orphan, would you have expected to be left by the side of the road to die, or would you prefer to be taken in to care of the authorities and given food, clothes etc? Or would you just rely on the milk of human kindness and expect some passer-by to pick you up, take you home and raise you as one of their own?

Two of these options would involve another individual handing over their money in some way to keep you alive. The third option would probably still mean someone somewhere paying some money to at least have the roadside cleaned.

Is it that you don't trust your elected officials to spend your money on the things they say they will? Or is it that you just dont want to give your money to anyone else but expect to be supported by having roads paved and lit and free schooling for your children including teachers who will obviously work for free because you dont want to contribute to their wages?

I'm confused at how long you think any society could possibly function on such a selfish basis - although it is helping me understand why so many people in America are currently in prison.

Pirate Rothbard said...

Per Ragita's comments,
for the record I am an atheist.

Sunray, there is a difference between wanting help and believing you are entitled to help. Everyone who is down and out might want help, but that doesn't mean it is ok to steal taxpayer property.

The more we move towards a pure capitalist system the better we all will be. Capitalism leads to higher rates of economic growth and higher living standards for everyone, including the poor. The evidence is overwhelming, but here is a primer: here

Pirate Rothbard said...

"Is it that you don't trust your elected officials to spend your money on the things they say they will? Or is it that you just dont want to give your money to anyone else but expect to be supported by having roads paved and lit and free schooling for your children including teachers who will obviously work for free because you dont want to contribute to their wages?"

Sunray, of course I don't trust politicians. But even if all politicians were decent people, socialism still wouldn't work. You can put a saint in charge of Medicare and it won't matter. The bureaucrats can't allocate resources as effectively as the free market system of prices, providers and consumers.

Public schools are a no brainer, get rid of them. Private schools can do a much better job.

A lot of libertarians support taxpayer supported roads because they believe it is something the private sector can't provide. (Unlike health care and education). However, I believe that roads can be completely privatized.

For now, we can move towards the privatization of roads by adopting a business model, converting many of our current roads into tollways.

sunray's wench said...

Pirate~ so let me get this absolutely straight in my head (and humour me if you will): you want a society / community where you get nothing unless you actually pay for it, and you only pay through insurance or at point of need, correct?

So only the people who actually have school-age children pay for schooling? Only the people who are elderly pay for their residential services? Only the people who are mentally ill pay for mental health services?

What happens if not enough people are willing to pay for, say, a library in your community? Does that mean that those who want a library have to go without?

Why is it so difficult to have a system of small contributions from everyone on a sliding scale dependent on how much is earned, which provides for essential services such as prison staff, healthcare and education, regardless of whether the individual actually has a school-aged child, a broken leg or has been burgled? It's really just another form of insurance, except you are paying a different money-taker.

The difficulty I have with your solution, is that it is usually when you are most in need and least able to pay (eg mental health services) that the whole thing falls apart.

Mark #1 said...

There really is no need to read a "primer" on unbridled capitalism, I think that anyone who understands history can look at the "higher living conditions" of the factory workers who labored in the industrial age. They had a more reality-based name for it back then, however: they called it "Social Darwinism." I wonder if Pirate is honest enough to sign up for that theory?

I admit this is all for amusement purposes only; the "capitalistic socialism" train left the station long, and our fellow Americans don't appear to have any interest in turning it around--or for reliving the "good 'ole days" of the robber barons. . .

Anonymous said...

One can always come up with excuses for bad behavior and going to prison. There are a few that should not be there but the vast majority are criminals. Just look at the lack of discipline training, common courtesy to folks and respecting the rights and belongings of others, then you have why the prisons are full. Families do not teach any of the Ten Commandements and their kids run over others to be first and get all they can from the government. What happened to personal responsibility? Stop the complaining and just do whats right and stay out of trouble!

TDCJ EX said...

1 ) A quick search on the Foundation for Teaching Economics returns some very interesting relationships ! Foundation for Teaching Economics = Castle rock foundation = the Coors family ( yes the Coors brewery owners) . The Castle Rock Foundation, has ties to special interest groups such as The Heritage Foundation and the Landmark Legal Foundation who is director happens to be Edwin Meese III . These guys believe only corporations are individuals that have rights and if they could would make breathing the wrong way a felony.

By the way some of these tough on crime types talk at least anonymously . They sound like the ones who should be in prison. They read like a few JFA lunatics who would convict and if they could execute / kill someone regardless of t innocence or guilt just to get revenge . Compassionate conservative is also a oxymoron .

Anon 1; 23 said
Moral to this story: Live a law abiding life, stay out of prison and enjoy the holidays with your family!
Try telling that to Timothy Cole, and his family, Kerry Max cook and his family or any of the 500 + and growing list of exonerates throughout the US.

Try telling that to the many thousands of innocent men and women who languish in prison .Do not even try to say there are not innocent people in prison that is a logical fallacy and mathematical improbability.. If 10% of the prison population is innocent, probably a low estimate . Try 250,000 innocent people in prison. Even one is too many!

What kind of morality are we talkng about ?

Donald said...

This Christmas was only the second of my career on which a client of mine was in custody, and I had two of them this year. You spend a part of your day thinking of them, and of their families. It's difficult.

As I commented the other day on DA Confidential, I had a guy before Judge Lynch last week trying to get him sprung for the holidays, and Hizzoner wouldn't do it. But he didn't put him on the bus to the TDC either, and nobody would have second-guessed him if he had, so the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the 167th.

Pirate Rothbard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pirate Rothbard said...

Sunray,

Yes of course I would love to see public libraries immediately closed. Same thing for mental health services.

I'm not denying that a system of taxation is "so hard", clearly our government and all other governments find it easy to steal. The point is that these programs harm incentive and they are based on force rather than voluntary transactions, like private insurance.

Mark you are right, few Americans are free market radicals like myself. We live in a society where homicides are common and so is taxation, but neither one is right. At the moment, the pro-freedom movement is on the defensive, but at least we killed the public option. We can also see progress in many of the states which have cut their budgets this year.

The industrial age was an incredible improvement for the poor in England. There were no plagues and the population increased dramatically. Many got a chance to live who would have died in another age. But the debate over whether quality of life improved is largely over. The debate now centers on when the industrial revolution
improved quality of life.
Some say 1810 some say 1850. But there can be no doubt that capitalism has improved the standards of living for the poor. Look at all the people in the inner city who have iPhones. Societies like North Korea don't produce that kind of prosperity.

TDJC-ex, thank you for the background information on the fte. I don't agree with everything conservatives believe but they often make good arguments for the free market.

Anonymous said...

How they think. Hollywood actor liberal on crime:

MJ: Speaking of blowback, why'd you sign the petition supporting Roman Polanski?

TG: Here is a 76-year-old guy. The girl involved, everyone involved, has said, Forgive, forget, it's over and done with—until suddenly the long arm of the law decides now is the time to strike. His behavior was not right, but I think what is going on is even more suspect.

Anonymous said...

P.S. That was in Mother Jones, their Holy Script. This how they talk when they talk to each other and there are no moderates around.

Anonymous said...

Freaks. You are the root cause of the prisons needs in the first place.

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~ "Yes of course I would love to see public libraries immediately closed. Same thing for mental health services. "

I want to thank you for explaining your thinking to me. And for doing so with at least a screen name instead of just another Anon. Doesn't matter if I agree with you or not, you have my respect for your ability to hold a conversation and for being open about what you believe in.

That said though, I still dont see how your totally free-market economy would work in today's world. I don't disagree that the Industrial Revolution was a good thing with hindsight, but I'm sure it didnt feel like it for the people who were unemployed and starved because they had been replaced by machines. And at the same time, the movement for philanthropy began to take hold - so some people must have been troubled by the numbers of the starving, imprisoned etc

Sticking with the mental health thing, can you explain to me how mental health services would exist in your community, if only ever paid for by those who had mental health issues themselves? Or how about a poor family who feel they can afford to have one child, but that one child is born with severe disabilities which obviously increases the parent's expenditure beyond what they had anticipated. What happens in your community then?

And how would you staff prisons? Who would pay for that in your community? You didn't answer my comment about teachers working for free, so am I to assume you would want the COs to work for nothing as well? Would that really be safe? Or would a free-market system also allow for inmates to charge the jailers for any work they did?

Coming from a country where open-market and semi-socialism policies have been practiced for alternate generations, I'm finding it hard to understand how a true free-market society could possibly work AND everyone be happy with it at the same time. I can see how SOME people would be happy with it, but not many, and certainly not most. And I dont think it could work in a country as large as America. Not even sure if it could work at State level, though I think in some states it might.

Pirate Rothbard said...

Sunray, as far as security in society without taxes, there are a lot of possibilities.

One possibility would be a system where businesses pay for "incarceration insurance". Basically, a company like Target would pay a fee so that whoever robbed their store would go to prison. There would be different plans, the more a company paid the longer its attackers would go to prison. The plans could also be marketed to gated communities, apartment complexes, individuals etc.

As far as mental health services, in a free society you would need to get insurance before you have problems. If you didn't do that, you night get help from your local church or your family or some other charity.

And if no one would help you, that is very sad, but it doesn't justify stealing.

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~ "As far as mental health services, in a free society you would need to get insurance before you have problems. If you didn't do that, you night get help from your local church or your family or some other charity."

Many people are born with mental disabilities. How are children to pay the insurance premiums in your community?

Basically, in your community, everyone has to pay a certain amount in "insurance" before they need the service, so that they can access that service if and when they need to, yes? Including paying a contribution to cover any children in their family until those children can also contribute, yes?

Welcome to the UK's National Insurance contribution scheme, which funds the NHS. Initiated by a Labour (what you would call socialist) government in 1948s and criticised by every Republican politician in the US during the recent healthcare debates. Can you see why I am confused?

Pirate Rothbard said...

Sunray I could not find any good links on this national health care insurance scheme you are talking about.

Suffice to say, if the system was supported by taxes, if it was regulated, if there were regulations against the competition or if people were forced to buy into it, there would be valid reasons to criticize it.

"Many people are born with mental disabilities. How are children to pay the insurance premiums in your community?"

I'll reiterate: in a free society you try to find a way to purchase goods and services without violating someone's property rights. In a free society insurance companies might start offering(they may already, I don't know) "disabled children's insurance" which you would purchase before the baby was conceived.

I will say this, in a free society the cost of medical care will go down dramatically. There will be no regulations saying who can be a doctor. You could go to someone with less knowledge, like an LVN, if you were poor. You could buy any drug you wanted without seeing a seeing a doctor. Doctor's would charge less because there would be no malpractice lawsuits.

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~ you need a link for the NHS??? OK, try this one: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Pages/NHSEngland.aspx


You said: "There will be no regulations saying who can be a doctor. You could go to someone with less knowledge, like an LVN, if you were poor. You could buy any drug you wanted without seeing a seeing a doctor. Doctor's would charge less because there would be no malpractice lawsuits."

Woah there, that's a big leap! No regulation at all on anyone mixing toilet cleaner with aspirin and calling it a cure for cancer? You might need this link too then: http://www.nice.org.uk/
because NICE are the people who decide for the UK which drugs are safe and which are not.

But where does this leave us in your hypothetical community with law enforcement and incarceration? In theory, everyone has a potential need to be served by a police force of some kind, so surely everyone may as well hand over their taxes to a single authority, instead of several insurance companies making up their own rules as they go along? I know you elect your Sheriffs in the US, but we dont do that in the UK. We dont elect our Judges either. It's not seen as something that should be a popularity contest.

You still havent answered where the money would come from to pay for the teachers or the Correctional Officers. The laws of supply and demand would seem a little screwed in your community if it happened to be in Texas where no one wants their money to go towards incarcerating criminals, yet just about everyone seems to want to lock up as many people as possible.

Pirate Rothbard said...

Sunray, parents will pay for their kids education and if they can't afford it that is too bad.

I've given you one possibility about how correctional officer's salaries could be financed, through the private market creating "incarceration insurance". Lets remember that our era has a prison fetish, but really there are other ways to punish someone, such as banishment or corporal punishment.

I do see that you do not agree with the idea of the privatization of law enforcement. But if you can't accept that public schools are a bad idea how are we going to get to that point?

TDCJ EX said...

Pirate, Taxation in the US is not stealing. We elect representatives to our legislatures , they in turn create legislation . Some of this legislation includes different forms of taxation and other means of generating revenue.

Disagreeing with how our tax money is raised and spent does not mean the money has been stolen from anyone.

While a total free-market system might work in Ayn Rand novels . In the real world, unregulated markets never work. The the concept is based on the idea that, A ) Corporations are individuals. B ) Corporations and individuals will through competition , be honest and fair. C ) Will due to competition create the best product for the best price. D ) People will treat each other respectfully and humanely, because it is in their self-interest to do so. E) because of the the preceding notions, there is little need for any rules regulations or laws, especially learning comes to regulating business. In a utopian society it might work.

Human history provides overwhelming evidence that the idea of totally unregulated markets and behavior does not work. Our current economic problems are a direct result of not regulating markets. In this case simply not enforcing laws.

As for healthcare, private insurance is the worst possible way to provide it. Insurance companies exist to make lots of money. Therefore, they will do whatever possible to insure they make lots of money. Paying for lots of healthcare is not in their interest they have incentive to deny care not provide it. Employer-based healthcare insurance is the worst of the worst possible way to provide healthcare. Employers do not want to pay insurance companies lots of money. So, they seek out the cheapest possible plan, in turn, the cheapest possible insurance plan provides the least possible healthcare.

A well regulated capitalist system does some things well, producing cars trucks, computers, television sets, etc. there is some things. You simply cannot do well at all, healthcare, among them. The idea of , if you can afford it too bad for you, now please die. Because horror of horrors, some billionaire might not have enough to buy his 8th mansion is just grotesques.

Possibly this. I've got mine Fuck you attitude contributes to crime , and legislators making more behaviors felonies carrying lengthy prison sentences. Just a thought.

It's nice to see all the "compassionate conservatives" showing their compassion . Interestingly, when they are on the receiving end of the (in) justice system . They discover the Bill of Rights and that it applies to individuals as well as corporations. They also developed a profound love for those pesky fourth fifth and sixth amendments they once despised as "technicalities."

If doctors do not like getting sued. Don't do things that will get them sued. When they do something wrong or whatever reason, admit it and pay for the damage they caused. But like everyone else. Nobody wants to admit they did something wrong and be held accountable. That's why we have civil suits to settle our differences.
Ironically, those who want tort reform, are the same people who want to lock people up and toss the key for the most petty of "crime." Perhaps it's all relative steal a few thousand with a weapon it's a felony that can land you in prison for 20+ years . Steal billions with the stroke of a pen, and you're a "financial genius."

So much for the "compassionate conservatives " endless whining about "moral relativism. "

Pirate Rothbard said...

Ex,

The majority elects politicians and the politicians oppress the minority.

"Paying for lots of healthcare is not in their interest they have incentive to deny care not provide it"

Of course insurance companies can and SHOULD deny care sometimes, otherwise they would go bankrupt. But if they deny care too much they will lose customers. So they have incentive to provide a level of care that the customers want.

Cheers,

Pirate

Anonymous said...

TDCJ Ex:
Since Obama has decided to start using Monolopy money we shouldn't worry how much of it our representatives spend.

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~ perhaps I've not stated my position clearly enough; I have nothing at all against the concept of paying for something at point-of-need/use. I have no problem with public (that's what we call fee-funded education in the UK, confusing, I know!) schools, insurance-based healthcare, or even private security / prison companies.

What I do have a problem with is your comment:
"...parents will pay for their kids education and if they can't afford it that is too bad."

Too bad for whom? The kids themselves, or the missed opportunity by the community to have a future cure for cancer, or brilliant engineer, or possibly a successful entrepreneur? Surely the free-market accepts the need for investment? Communities need to invest in their people too.

A life is not static. For most people, you have periods of work and of unemployment, good health and poor health, wealth and relative poverty. The community you are advocating feels like it is based on a static picture of an individual's circumstances. The basic facts are, you would struggle to earn enough to cover all the insurance payments you would need to make in order to cover yourself at the same level should you ever become unemployed. This is why most societies put in place a safety net, such as the NHS, because it is understood that a community is only as strong as it's weakest member.

I do agree with you that there are very under-used alternatives to the mass incarceration currently seen in the US and other western nations. I strongly support the idea of more probation and parole where the criminal can work and contribute financially to their supervision costs as well as to the community as a whole.

Loving this discussion :)

TDCJ EX said...

In an Pirate,

You , you wrote
"The majority elects politicians and the politicians oppress the minority. "

That might be true on some occasions, One reason politicians pass laws that are unpopular is because the majority of eligible voters do not vote . If they did, we would undoubtedly have very different laws and policies .

Most people are neither conservative , liberal or,now in vogue "centrist ". Most of us do not fit a single ideology A person for example could be in favor of ideas that are not in lockstep any ideology

The two party system is part of the problem . It isn't Constitutionally required .
The two dominant political parties have legislated a monopoly . A multiparty system would go a long ways towards making the legislative process more representative of the population and more people would vote .

Another problem is the winner take all system . A proportional system would produce a higher voter turnout , less divisiveness and more responsive government making better legislation .

insurance companies rarely provide the level of care their customers want.
The most common reason they do not change the health insurance companies is they don't have a choice .Their employer chooses who provides health insurance , and what level the of care will be . That's not a free market.

The idea of denying care for profit is frightening, morally and ethically troubling .
and part of why the health care is not compatible with unregulated free market. Profits will always come before anything else, that idea is morally repulsive.

If you want to see what cost driven healthcare looks like spend some time in TDCJ as a prisoner . You will be disgusted If anything that comes close to Palin's, death panels."

On different topic Sunray ,
I agree judges , prosecutors and sheriffs, should never be elected . They become politicians first , anything else is an afterthought . In places like Smith , Williamson , and Harris counties, to name a few . There justice does not exist, only win at all costs . The Constitution is just a piece of paper is not satire, it's reality .

The Smith County Courthouse statue of Themis,Greek goddess of justice is not blindfolded. Intentional or not it is a cruel reality for who have lost years of their lives in prison so that those in power , remained there , while those in prison paid a price they can never be fully compensated for. Some possibly the ultimate price .

Read , Chasing Justice by Kerry Max Cook . There are hundreds of cases out of Smith County that deserve reopening and at minimum, a new trial or simply dismissing the cases in the name of justice . Smith County is probably the best example of why we should never elect judges, prosecutors and sheriffs .

A few solutions to this problem are , term limits of no more than 10 years for judges, prosecutors and sheriffs . Along with a conditional appointment . Removing any immunity they have . Making them f accountable up to the maximum penalty they are legally able to seek, which could mean the death penalty, for their actions. Just as the rest of us are. That's just a beginning.

Until more people become aware of how expensive mass incarceration really it is well beyond the cost of incarceration itself. People don't see that yet .Only when a large number of white middle-class and upper-middle-class people are incarcerated, In particular those who are incarcerated for most 20s and 30s . When Biff and Buffy , spend 20 years in prison for their "youthful indiscretions" you can bet there will be criminal justice reform in the US. Or when the demographics of the US changes in the next decade or so .

All of this from healthcare to mass incarceration is not surprising when a few paranoid conspiracy theory wingnut's and a bloated drug addict can convince people to call themselves teabagger's.

Boyness said...

Jeez...reading this board is proof once again that most people who are stupid, illiterate, dumb or just plain ignorant will post stupid comments behind an anonymous veil. COWARDS!

Boyness said...

TDCJ EX said...
-----------------------------------
I just read your manifesto. You are a communist. Where do you freaks come from?

Anonymous said...

Poor Boy...I bet none of sleep tonight knowing you are so upset - Boy.

sunray's wench said...

Boyness ~ you really shouldn't use words that you don't understand the meaning of.

Pirate Rothbard said...

Sunray,

"Communities need to invest in their people too."

This is a euphimism for redistributing wealth from one group to sick children. Show me evidence that this actually creates wealth. If you take 100K from Pfeizer and give it to a sick child, you may prevent a great medicine from being discovered.

"For most people, you have periods of work and of unemployment, good health and poor health, wealth and relative poverty."

Not at all. I think that a free society can deal with these circumstances better than a socialist one. Insurance, religious organizations, charities, family connections, savings and responsible behavior are the best solutions for difficult circumstances.

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~ perhaps we should rename your exclusive community Darwinville. It seems only concerned with the survival of the fittest (as in, wealthiest and best connected). Surely by relying on charities and religious organisations to mop up the dregs in Darwinville, you are also abdicating your responsibility? Shouldn't you be wanting to outlaw all charitable donations as theft too, because the charities rely on the guilty feelings an appeal can raise in an individual?

If a resident of Darwinville died because they have no money, no family and no charity found them appealing, would they just be left to an air burial?

Pirate Rothbard said...

"Pirate ~ perhaps we should rename your exclusive community Darwinville."

Hmmm... I prefer Freedomville.


"Surely by relying on charities and religious organisations to mop up the dregs in Darwinville, you are also abdicating your responsibility?"

Not at all. In Freedomville everyone can practice any religion or ethical system they want, and if they feel they have a moral responsibility to help the poor they can act on that.

"If a resident of Darwinville died because they have no money, no family and no charity found them appealing, would they just be left to an air burial"

In Freedomville, if you die on someone elses property, they will have incentive to clean it up to remove the stench. If you die on your own property, your heirs will have incentive to clean it up. (Of course, many very poor poeople don't own land).

sunray's wench said...

Pirate ~ hmmm, that would be Freedomville as in America being the land of the free (except the 2 million incarcerated), but I'll roll with it :)

you said: "In Freedomville, if you die on someone elses property, they will have incentive to clean it up to remove the stench. "

Or I suppose, pay someone else to do it for them?

"If you die on your own property, your heirs will have incentive to clean it up. (Of course, many very poor poeople don't own land)."

And if you have no heirs? It is not beyond possibility that many people could have no living relatives at all and die in their own homes. What then?

Am I right to think that in Freedomville there would be a lot fewer laws too, thereby reducing the numbers of possible criminals and reducing the need for more Corrections staff / prisons?

Pirate Rothbard said...

"And if you have no heirs? It is not beyond possibility that many people could have no living relatives at all and die in their own homes. What then?"

If someone dies with no indication of who should inherit their property, then their property is fair game to be homesteaded by anyone. So the new homeowner would dispose of the body.

I believe taxation is theft, I also believe that any restrictions on an innocent person's behavior is a form of slavery. Of course that would not exist in Freedomville.

Boyness said...

sunray's wench said...

Boyness ~ you really shouldn't use words that you don't understand the meaning of.

12/28/2009 01:00:00 AM
-----------------------------------
You mean words you don't understand the meaning of...idiot!

Anonymous said...

Boy....you are the idiot; I did not give you permission to be on this post. Go to your room and shutup.

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

Boy....you are the idiot; I did not give you permission to be on this post. Go to your room and shutup.

12/29/2009 11:29:00 AM
==============================
EAT ME MORON!

Boyness said...

Bringing it down to name-calling shows what true idiots "anonymous cowards" truly are.

Anonymous said...

Sunray's Wench

"What I dont understand is, you already pay taxes."

Thats not completely true. About 50 percent don't pay or get a refund (EITC) of their taxes including social security and medicaid payroll taxes. The government has to borrow to make up the budget.

Otherwise who could argue with all the services being talked about here.

Also on incarceration, what percentage are status criminals from the failed war on drugs? Or eligible for parole and yet not paroled? Or not paroled due to waiting for non existant treatment for Chemical dependency?

I like being number 1, but to get the honor for number of prisoners, I'm not so sure.

Ham2mtr

Yes I know we must have law and order for our society to survive. (ah)

RAS said...

The more socialism expands (with the inevitable gov't inefficiencies), with higher taxes =less spending money, fewer potential homebuyers, fewer jobs in home construction, and on and on. How much does the average British citizen contribute to preventing starvation in Africa or Bangladesh? (through personal contributions or gov't aid thru taxes) How much from the average American? How many will die in Africa and elsewhere to pay for universal healthcare in the U.S.? Universal as in 'all but 19 million' I heard. Twenty years ago a Canadian I worked with paid 50% of his income in taxes and he worked in the oilfields, earning about an average salary. Also after we fix our healthcare where will the socialists go for healthcare that they can't get in their country or don't want to wait 6 to 12 months for?

Anonymous said...

RAS, you are badly misinformed.

Pirate Rothbard said...

Well I hope we opened up Sunray's eyes. I'm pretty sure she has not become a born again libertarian, but at least she has something to think about.

The closest we have to an unregulated market in the US is the dating market. Thank goodness I don't need to purchase malpractice insurance for that!