1. doubter says

    Thank you for using the term ‘social justice warrior’ in a positive manner. I think it’s time progressives reclaimed the term.

  2. remyporter says

    “Made possible by… viewers like you!”

    I like how they throw that line in there, but just slip right past it. “Subtle” barb.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    Don’t forget that our prison system are also brought to you by a bloodthristy AmeriKKKan public who equate cruelty with with justice.

  4. dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!" says

    De-lurking to say I agree with SC. Zoos are fucking gross, not matter how many cute baby animal videos they churn out.

  5. gog says

    The Senate hearing and an incredulous Al Franken… I could have died with how uncomfortable that was. John Oliver is the heir to the Daily Show crown. If Jon Stewart ever retires.

  6. lorn says

    IMHO the “viewers like you” line was a reference to how the public doesn’t know, doesn’t want to know, and breathlessly support anyone claiming to be ‘tough on crime’. The prisons are run with taxpayer’s money and how they are run is under the control of officials who run for office and get elected by “viewers like you”. In other words, if the public cared change could be made to happen.

  7. ck says

    lorn wrote:

    In other words, if the public cared change could be made to happen.

    Years ago, I would’ve agreed. However, since the rise of privately owned and operated prisons, I think this ‘industry’ has taken on a life of its own and now could not be killed simply because the majority of the public no longer supports it.

  8. unclefrogy says

    if the “public” knew how much the prison system was contributing to the crime rate and the rate that convicts go on to continue in a life of crime and how much that rate of crime effects the cost of many things besides government they would be appalled but the public is afraid of crime and angry that those they see as the cause.
    Those who commit crime and only want to punish which does not help the problem obviously.
    another example of stupid thinking about something without looking at what is really happening. Belief over reality!
    uncle frogy

  9. Moggie says

    American capitalism has successfully made “cartoonishly evil” respectable again.

  10. Zugswang says

    My brother was shadowing a state attorney when he was considering going to law school. One of the most depressing things he learned, as the attorney relayed to him: “Some time during the 1970s, our justice system went from imprisoning people who we were afraid of to imprisoning people we simply did not like.”

  11. Moggie says


    The crocodile’s right, too.

    Did you see this? Evidently ZSL (or at least the management) think it’s a swell idea to host rowdy drunken parties of thousands of punters at London Zoo late in the evening. Of course, this couldn’t possibly have a detrimental effect on animal welfare.

  12. Marc Abian says

    Could that C section sugar story be true? It does sound ridiculous.

    Not to imply that I’m not livid about the prisons in general.

  13. Pteryxx says

    Source for the C-section sugar story, reported by an Al Jazeera reporter who spoke to the patient directly: Link

    (warning for disturbing awfulness)

    While we were talking to Lori, Regan called from prison and described her ordeal living with the fist-sized opening in her abdomen.

    “It was the worst pain I’d ever felt in my life,” Regan said.

    When she did get care, she described seeing medical staff putting sugar in that wound.

    “They were taking the kitchen sugar and pouring it inside and putting wet gauze over it and taping it,” she said.

    We asked Regan if she actually saw prison officials opening up McDonald’s sugar packets and pouring the sugar inside her wound. “Yeah,” she said, adding that she was worried if it was sanitary.

    “I was scared,” she said. “You know, it’s prison, maybe these packets are old, if there’s something spilled on them and it dries, you know.”

  14. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Marc Abian, while I cannot say if that specific story is true, it isn’t sufficiently absurd for me to dismiss it out of hand – I’ve heard stories of prisoners with diabetes denied their insulin because the prison hadn’t budgeted enough in the “insulin” line item, for example.

    In other news, today in my psychiatric mental health lecture, the prof brought up the mass closures of mental hospitals in the 1970s and asked, “Where do you think those patients are today, and where the people who would have been institutionalized then are today?”

    There was a bit of chatter, and then she answered:
    (1) Some are living healthy, productive lives with the help of therapies that didn’t exist then
    (2) A small number (the ones with very severe illness and/or the ones with wealthy/connected relatives)
    (3) MANY are homeless
    (4) MANY MANY are in prison.

    The last two groups tend to cycle between prison and homelessness.

  15. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Er, (2) should read “a small number … are still inpatient.”

  16. tbtabby says

    I agree with the first comment. We should reclaim that term. And while we’re at it, we should reclaim the term “justice system” and use it to a refer to a system that metes out justice. What we have now can be more accurately described as a “revenge system.”

  17. says

    I became enamored with Al Franken during his Air America radio days. I was disappointed when he left but excited about his run for office. I donated to his champaign and happy that he’s in the senate.

  18. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    And weren’t there cases of judges receiving kickbacks from private prisons for providing them with more prisoners?

  19. says

    Zoos where at one time a place to see animal live that you couldn’t see elsewhere. But the last time I was at a zoo it was so foul I couldn’t in good faith return. The animal are not maintained well, it’s all about the bottom dollar.

    But the story over all brings up a better look at a privatized government. Recent laws passed that forbid video taping or pictures taken of food processing on company grounds. To what benefit is this other than the business. Private companies overseeing distribution of food and services in schools and prisons. We are seeing that the bottom dollar is more important than our societal health. Companies don’t focus on long term goals CEO’s want a quick buck and then jet, they have no interest in the companies success. They cut costs take massive bonuses and then after a couple years their gone, with all the millions they have obtained to do the same at the next business. They’re bleeding us dry, and when the money’s gone they are too. The worst part is we as people end up paying for all their deeds through welfare and government funded support, this is an atrocity that cannot continue. Look at what happened with AIG, Enron, and countless others that were bled dry by dubious CEO’s who cared nothing for the people their companies employed. Cutting costs has it’s limits but businesses don’t account for those limits because investors only want more money and aren’t there to protect the company or it’s employees. It is like America in every way they cut costs and don’t reinforce the infrastructure so when the pieces start to fail they just move on and let the people unfortunate enough to live there suffer the consequences. It happening in Detroit, hell it is happening everywhere at an alarming rate. Even the privatizing of healthcare has done more damage than benefit. My insurance used to cover all costs of my doctors visit, and I only paid about $20 a month for the insurance, now $120 dollars a month and until the deductible is met insurance only covers 40-60% of costs after that, it is 60-85% the higher being only in network providers and the percentages change a lot depending on the situation to as low as 25% even though I have a PPO. I should note this is with the same company I have worked at for many years.

  20. jackcowie says

    Makes me think of what the Defence Professor (a villain, but a brilliant character) says about Azkaban in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

    “Welcome, Mr. Potter, to your first encounter with the realities of politics. What do the wretched creatures in Azkaban have to offer any faction? Who would benefit from aiding them? A politician who openly sided with them would associate themselves with criminals, with weakness, with distasteful things that people would rather not think about. Alternatively, the politician could demonstrate their might and cruelty by calling for longer sentences; to make a display of strength requires a victim to crush beneath you, after all. And the populace applauds, for it is their instinct to back the winner.” A coldly amused laugh. “You see, Mr. Potter, no one ever quite believes that they will go to Azkaban, so they see no harm in it for themselves. As for what they inflict on others… I suppose you were once told that people care about that sort of thing? It is a lie, Mr. Potter, people don’t care in the slightest, and if you had not led a vastly sheltered childhood you would have noticed that long ago. Console yourself with this: those now prisoner in Azkaban voted for the same Ministers of Magic who pledged to move their cells closer to the Dementors. I admit, Mr. Potter, that I see little hope for democracy as an effective form of government, but I admire the poetry of how it makes its victims complicit in their own destruction.”

  21. lakitha tolbert says

    @jackcowie: Abso-fucking-lately. It’s long been my observation that any calamity that devastates the Black and Brown , will soon be coming to a suburb near you. ( in a couple of cases it already has-@Ariaflame: you’re talking about one of these cases: )

    When they can’t see enough profit from locking up PoC, they will turn to poor and middle class White people, the very people who voted them all into office bc they cared so much about crime. Sooner or later, everything that gets inflicted on us, comes back to bite them in the ass. And PoC aren’t going to help them with this or rally around their new cause. They’ve already burned their bridges with us with so much of their apathetic bulls***. Also we will have moved on to dealing with the next problem devastating our communities.

    Memorial Holocaust quote: