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The War They’re Winning

May 20, 2012

The History Channel’s been on an end of the world kick today with experts and pundits and various scholars, scientists and poppycocks telling us all the different ways that the world is doomed, the end is at hand.  But right now I’ve been thinking about a more localized problem.

Gangs and de-humanized people.

Both, I believe, a direct consequence of our lynch-mob mentality.  Convict them, sentence them, imprison them and keep them there.  Even as new technology shows us how many innocent men are in American prisons, this hang them high philosophy continues to flourish.  Our prisons are choked and the prisoners kept in a condition that would make a third world tinpot dictator blush.  This beacon of democracy imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than any other ‘first world’ country.

So I’m starting to sound like a bleeding heart fool ranting again.  Well I am one and proud of it, but today let us just consider this policy’s impact on us ‘normal’ people.

Penal professionals have long known that if a man is imprisoned for over ten years his chance of ever readjusting to life outside ranges from nil to next to nil.  Prisons destroy people, psychologically, socially, personally.  What comes out after long confinement is a warped personality, suited for prison life and nothing else.  This happens to anyone.  The fact that the people who end up in prison are usually damaged and malformed already, only makes the process easier.

What we end up with are people incapable of living “normal lives.”  A part of our population will never be able to escape criminality because they can do nothing else.  And the gangs in prison flourish and grow and now virtually rule parts of American cities.  Just as prohibition made the Mafia our drug laws are creating a shadow society of gangsters with no illusions on how to get things done.  Money and violence forces change and the gangs feel little of the restraint that holds police and politicians somewhat in check.

As long as we give them the power by making their product black market and high-priced, they will flourish and, if it hasn’t happened already, I’m sure they will start putting those even bigger crooks, congress men, on the payroll.  We know full well that our public servants and brave policemen are for sale to the highest bidder.  The drug boys have the money and influence to start changing policy.  If they have any business sense, they’ll make drug laws even more strident so prices will soar taking their profit margins along with them.

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