Prison Nation

 

We live in a cruel nation. Most of the jobs once filled by the middle class have been sent to impoverished countries where there are no environmental restraints, people work for 3 collars an hour, a 14-hour day.

So where can the local US one percent make money? In prisons. The US has the greatest number of the incarcerated in people the world. It’s a money maker.

So, what was the behavior of New York’s Riker’s Prison during the recent weather disaster. There was a  loss of electrical power? As a consequence, Rikers had no heat, no showers, no cooking. The place was 30 degrees. I heard on the radio that NY’s Governor Cuomo sent blankets to the place.  Good, I thought with relief. Then I heard the blankets had not been distributed. How could that happen? The laziness of guards in such an extreme situation could not be possible. Could it?

But that news was wrong. The blanked situation had been twisted into a lesser crime. I heard the news say that Cuomo’s blankets were distributed to the intended recipients. It was given to the workers. Only.

Oh no! Oh yes.

The prisoners are there to make the prison money. Inmates are not there for rehabilitation. Not since “rough on crime.”. Got to fill those cells. Elected officials are elected for that purpose. Actually, prisons are run to make money, to collect federal and state and local funding.

Have we heard the Riker’s blanket scandal? Newspapers are largely owned by the same corporations that are owned by the same people who own the prisons. They do not reveal their hand.

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Prisoner Nation We live in a cruel nation. Most of the jobs once filled by the middle class have been sent to impoverished countries where there are no environmental restraints, people work for 3 collars an hour, a 14-hour day. So where can the local US one percent make money? In prisons. The US has the greatest number of the incarcerated in people the world. It’s a money maker. So, what was the behavior of New York’s Riker’s Prison during the recent weather disaster. There was a loss of electrical power? As a consequence, Rikers had no heat, no showers, no cooking. The place was 30 degrees. I heard on the radio that NY’s Governor Cuomo sent blankets to the place. Good, I thought with relief. Then I heard the blankets had not been distributed. How could that happen? The laziness of guards in such an extreme situation could not be possible. Could it? But that news was wrong. The blanked situation had been twisted into a lesser crime. I heard the news say that Cuomo’s blankets were distributed to the intended recipients. It was given to the workers. Only. Oh no! Oh yes. The prisoners are there to make the prison money. Inmates are not there for rehabilitation. Not since “rough on crime.”. Got to fill those cells. Elected officials are elected for that purpose. Actually, prisons are run to make money, to collect federal and state and local funding. Have we heard the Riker’s blanket scandal? Newspapers are largely owned by the same corporations that are owned by the same people who own the prisons. They do not reveal their hand.

We live in a cruel nation. Most of the jobs once filled by the middle class have been sent to impoverished countries where there are no environmental restraints, people work for 3 dollars an hour, a 14-hour day.

So where can the local US one percent make money? In prisons. The US has the greatest number of the incarcerated in people the world. It’s a money maker.

So, what was the behavior of New York’s Rikers Prison during the recent weather disaster. There was a  loss of electrical power.  As a consequence, Rikers had no heat, no showers, no cooking. The place was 30 degrees. I heard on the radio that NY’s Governor Cuomo sent blankets to the place.  Good, I thought with relief. Then I heard the blankets had not been distributed. How could that happen? The laziness of guards in such an extreme situation could not be possible. Could it?

But that news was wrong. The blanked situation had been twisted into a lesser crime. I heard the news say that Cuomo’s blankets were distributed to the intended recipients. It was given to the workers. Only.

Oh no! Oh yes.

The prisoners are there to make the prison money. Inmates are not there for rehabilitation. Not since “tough on crime.” Got to fill those cells. Elected officials are elected for that purpose. Actually, prisons are run to make money, to collect federal and state and local funding.

Have we heard the Riker’s blanket scandal? Newspapers are largely owned by the same corporations that are owned by the same people who own the prisons. They do not reveal their hand.

 

 

 

Watching Disaster Spread

Let’s think about how those who profit from the oil or gas or coal. They seem to believe that when the end comes for the rest of us, that they will be saved by money. You know the rich on the upper deck of the Titanic got into the rescue boats and perhaps 500 of them survived. A very few in that unique killing event.

But what about the poison they create which effects us all? What about the chemicals in almost everything we eat? What about the storms and drought, the edible plants dying in the spreading desert, disease causing bugs coming to us northerners as winter becomes too warm to kill them, bugs that will bite and sicken and kill us: Lyme Disease, Dengue fever, malaria, and on and on…. The oil/gas/coal people, the money people if they even pay attention to it believe they will survive.

Last week, the Trump administration decided to send seismic waves of sound through the Atlantic to find oil. Oil! Just what we need more of to heat the planet to the point where little or nothing lives. The sound will deafen most of the listening mammals, the seals and porpoises and destroy just about every other small, ocean-living creature for a thousand miles.

Trudeau, the so-called moderate PM in Canada, is attempting to sell the tar sands oil to us and to whatever country will buy it. Tar sands oil is so contaminated with soil, clay, sand, water and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil that it grinds holes  in the common pipes until they burst and contaminate huge sections of land and water. Trudeau also acts as if he is a compassionate live-forever person.

I call it a sickness. The super-rich need to rape Mother Earth to have “more” money. They force pipes deep into the earth to extract oil. These pipes leak, sometimes explode and burn for days. When oil pipes leak or burst into the ocean they create a dead zone. Oil owners put a chemical which makes the oil debris sink as if it is harmless. It is only a ploy; Nothing can live there in the oil waste.

They put unnamed chemicals (protected by ownership) into the soil to extract gas. These chemicals travel underground and poison the water in nearby wells. They blast off the tops of mountains to gather coal. Those living in villages down below the mines are flooded and murdered by the deluge of coal ash released by the breaking walls of coal ash waste pits. Chinese cities, some Polish cities have un-breathable air due to the pollution of burning coal.

The super rich oil/gas/coal barons give into their need to extract more. They cannot imagine investing in non-polluting energy from wind, rain, geothermal. They cannot think of stopping the expansion of wealth. They do not think of leaving the world a better place. Creating “green jobs” would benefit us all.

As a result, the world is going up in flames.

And we, the ordinary citizen, allow it.

 

Rape the Earth

Those who own the earth we live on are gamblers who set the stakes. For them, it all boils down to money. It is a conversion factor of life into chips. The one who has the most chips when the tally closes, wins. Closure is set by mass extinction.

People are called to mine various resources. Zooming ahead to the finish line does not support life. Take Mountain Top Removal. Miners no longer work underground. Most are replaced by machines. The mountain top is shaved down to the line of coal. Soil and chemicals fall into streams. The land is polluted. There are landslides which kill people. Money makes the decision. More coal to sell the world’s great polluter.

Some dig for oil, for precious metals, diamonds for this or that. Some go into factory farming. They do monocropping which sets us up for a virus that will wipe out all we eat. They use chemicals that kill insects including the Monarch butterfly and will kill us as well; They raise animals in vast numbers. Chickens and turkeys and pigs are raised in tiny spaces. Cattle are also kept from grazing and eat out of vats of corn. Chickens are bred to have such huge breasts they can barely walk. Many fall and are trampled. All are upset by crowding and by not the living in open fields to eat worms and bugs and plants and run about. Most are given anti biotics to ward off pre-harvest death. The anti-biotic remains in their flesh which we eventually consume. Among other consequences, we soon will be unreactive to antibiotics when we need them to fight infection. People will die from a cut on their leg.

Since the factory farm animals, number in the thousands, their shit and piss, falls into pipes beneath the floor then collected and drained into huge ponds. Hurricanes pass over capturing the waste if releases onto all in its path. Some factory farms blow the waste into the air when the pond gets too full. This spray rains down on locals whose houses lose all value. The people who live in this flood of waste lead hellish lives.

What about the politicians who set the rules to protect their citizens but hide their eyes from consequences? Take Jerry Brown, Governor of California who mourns the huge number of fires ravaging California. Incidentally, prisoners are paid $2/day to fire fight. They are not given enough instruction to be professional fire fighters once released from prison. Is that another save money proposition for those who own the prisons?

What is the gambler’s stake in these catastrophes? Who profits by ignoring it. The soil is dry from drought. That is the consequence of the Greenhouse effect. There is less ice to melt and set the soil. The trees lack water to fight flames. Planes spread chemicals to limit sun, which also rains down onto the soil and into the roots of tree which kills them. Governments deny this activity or call it research. But we can see and test it. Trees poisoned by sky chemicals easily burst into flames when fire comes near.

The politician, here Jerry Brown, states helpless consternation with fires and says it can only get worse. But wait! Jerry Brown is allowing oil wells to be dug in California. The oil which is sold then heats the atmosphere which creates the flames. Is Brown too stupid to see the connection. Or is a payoff in his pocket? How many politicians are gambling now, hoping to miss the final extinction before becoming wealthy?

Do Something

Government will do nothing for us. The price for candidates running for office is paid for by corporations which later will determine their vote. Slaves, servants, gold diggers, addicts, “buy me” people will make pleasant speeches to the common person about all the good they will do but once elected you are ignored and forgotten. Speeches go in the “seduce them” file undoubtedly to be used again.

Are we commoners to give up and fade away? Are we to beg alms from such as these? Come on, now friend. The bank door is closed.  Be real. We have-to come together, stand together, think together. We need to choose people to vote for from our neighborhood, people we know. If they do not come through once in office, we throw them out. We do not fall for Madison Avenue publicity images and lies. We have-to ignore pressure to turn against one another in order to divide us. white against black, man against woman, hetero against homo, “Americans” against Muslims, anti-teachers, anti-newspapers and on and on. We are being manipulated to vent our rage against people who are in the same boat as we are rather than against politicians that steal from us.

Should we join unions? Yes. In union there is strength. Do not listen to those who hold the purse full of your unpaid wages, trying to convince you that joining a union robs you of your freedom. Speaking together with one voice has power. The corporate elected whore worries. Unions inform that person, you/we will not vote for you again unless we get better wages, health care, retirement benefits, vacation time, job security, like you once promised? Hold the politician’s feet to the fire. They need to feel the heat.

Get together with neighbors and share community tasks. Find your specialty. Make sure that everyone has enough to eat. Do not throw away usable stuff including food. Think about pollution. Eat locally grown foods in season, so that you are not burning fuel to get Thai fruit in winter. Pay your local farmer a good price. Practice NIMBY (Not in my back yard) and decide how big your yard is. No destruction to be allowed there.

Fight to keep your water free of corporate waste. Don’t go to sleep after the election. Know what your elected officials are doing. Are your schools in good shape, supplies provided along with breakfast and lunch? Are teachers rewarded for good teaching; if you are doing NIMBY and your yard includes distant parks, fight against digging for oil in the Arctic where all kinds of animals reproduce. Love polar bears and wolves and eagles and whales and plankton and krill and… “45” wants to look at financial loss when deciding what to preserve. Say “No!” to that. He wants to put decision making about what to protect in the hands of states which lack the money and will to protect almost anything. Don’t let our government end the Endangered Species Act because it interferes with profit. If oil is more important than the preservation of life for a politician addicted to the buck, vote him/her out!

Turn off the TV and internet. Stop enacting a state of helpless non-existence. Enter the world of people, animals, plants. Revel in what you can do to help and do it.

 

Do Something

Government will do nothing for us. The price for candidates running for office is paid for by corporations which later will determine their vote. Slaves, servants, gold diggers, addicts, “buy me” people will make pleasant speeches to the common person about all the good they will do but once elected you are ignored and forgotten. Speeches go in the seduce them file undoubtedly to be used again.

Are we commoners to give up and fade away? Are we to beg alms from such as these? Come on, now friend. The bank door is closed.  Be real. We have-to come together, stand together, think together. We need to choose people to vote for from our neighborhood, people we know. If they do not come through once in office, we throw them out. We do not fall for Madison Avenue publicity images and lies. We have-to ignore pressure to turn against one another in order to divide us. white against black, man against woman, hetero against homo, “Americans” against Muslims, anti-teachers, anti-newspapers and on and on. We are being manipulated to vent our rage against people who are in the same boat as we rather than against politicians that steal from us.

Should we join unions? Yes. In union there is strength. Do not listen to those who hold the purse full of your unpaid wages, trying to convince you that joining a union robs you of your freedom. Speaking together with one voice has power. The corporate elected whore worries. Unions inform that person, you/we will not vote for you again unless we get better wages, health care, retirement benefits, vacation time, job security, like you once promised. Hold the politician’s feet to the fire. They need to feel the heat.

Get together with neighbors and share community tasks. Find your specialty. Make sure that everyone has enough to eat. Do not throw away usable stuff including food. Think about pollution. Eat locally grown foods in season, so that you are not burning fuel to get Thai fruit in winter. Pay your local farmer a good price. Practice NIMBY (Not in my back yard) and decide how big your yard is. No destruction to be allowed there.

Fight to keep your water free of corporate waste. Don’t go to sleep after the election. Know what your elected officials are doing. Are your schools in good shape, supplies provided along with breakfast and lunch? Are teachers rewarded for good teaching; if you are doing NIMBY and your yard includes distant parks, fight against digging for oil in the Arctic where all kinds of animals reproduce. Love polar bears and wolves and eagles and whales and plankton and krill and… “45” wants to look at financial loss when deciding what to preserve. Say “No!” to that. He wants to put decision making about what to protect in the hands of states which lack the money and will to protect almost anything. Don’t let our government end the Endangered Species Act because it interferes with profit. If oil is more important than the preservation of life for a politician addicted to the buck, vote him/her out!

Turn off the TV and internet. Stop enacting a state of helpless non-existence. Enter the world of people, animals, plants. Revel in what you can do to help and do it.

 

  Don’t Be Seduced by the Good Stuff

 

A friend said, “but conservation isn’t all bad.” Well, this caveat doesn’t address the larger issue. It has to do with the difference between conservation and environmental justice. Conservatism frequently is deluded. It points to some very good thing we are doing, gets our eyes and minds focused on it so that we miss an extremely threatening larger picture which has to do with extraction. Your government/corporation buys a thousand acres of forest in Africa which gives the fossil fuel industry, carbon credits which it can spend by digging up and burning carbon for power in the field across the tracks where poor people live.

The wood industry also cuts a piece of the carbon pie by buying distant forests. Now it can cut down easily accessible wood everywhere because of the wood they’ve “saved.” Those who know hurl expletives at conservation societies which endorse this practice of an ungodly trade. Conservation rings its hands in pain and comes up with another non-solution. Save a tree or a bunch of trees. A tree sitter saves one redwood tree from cutting by sitting in it for a year while saws sound around her. A community of tree lovers force the politicos who would sell all the trees to create a half-acre park.

All the trees of same species are connected through their roots which travel for miles. Sometimes a forest of trees is actually one mother tree that spreads and raises seemingly new trees from a common root. Ancient forests grow old together. They send nutrients to failing trees as well as warnings of infestation which the younger ones ward off with shared nasty sap. The elders shelter the young and keep them from getting too much light so that their trunks grow dense and strong.

The single trees planted along the road side have a short life. Their roots, often sawed off when endangering water pipes, reach no tree brethren. Cows raised to become burgers in the deforested and grass planted Amazon watch the top soil washed away in the rainy season. City dwellers get their Amazon hamburger and lose the oxygen they need to live.

Naomi Klein speaks of disaster capitalism. A company or a nations’ so-called helping agency swoops down on a flooded country and/or allows the disaster to expand so that after most of the local citizens are dead or moved away they buy it for a song. Right now, Puerto Rico’s public schools are being nixed for charters. Public tax money sucked into the maw of those into education for profit. Creating electric lines that work is ceded by the bought-out PR governor to a US company which does not have tools to do the work, all the while ignoring locals who can do it. And on and on. The foreign agency currently circling to eat its prey, creates a local governing body that will allow it. They put up hotels for the rich along recovered beaches. They scoop up natural resources. They plunder and call it conservation.

Conservation is a flag behind which extractors hide. The little the conservationist saves at the cost of all that is connected tears the web of life. Those who own the fracking companies want to sell fracked oil by telling you that it is harmless as your property explodes in earth quakes and your sink provides water you can light with a match. Coal dealers sell cheap while breathable air vanishes in China (which is way ahead of us now in the solar industry which Trump has severely limited with his 30 percent import tax). The air grey with car exhaust in New Delhi destroys the lungs of the young, frail, and elderly but car dealers say look at the cars available now that more people can afford. It’s like being on a highway to extinction. But we can’t even see the view.

We need to recognize that we are part of the “all.” The living world is our life. Its survival is connected to our own. Enjoy the beauty of a living world. How rich that makes us. Become informed. Don’t be seduced. Don’t succumb to a monster that sings a pretty song.