Attorney General Eric Holder plans to reduce the incarceration rate

August 12, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Good morning to all our friends:

As I pointed out in my Friday post, Incarceration is the new slavery, we imprison more people than any other nation on the planet.

The numbers are mindboggling. In 1980, we incarcerated 220 people per 100,000. Over the next 30 years, that rate more than tripled such that by 2010, we incarcerated 716 people per 100,000. Among major countries, Russia is a distant second place at 484 people per 100,000. The incarceration rate for countries in the developed world averages around 100 per 100,000 with some countries incarcerating people at substantially lower rates.

The Obama administration is planning to reduce the incarceration rate.

In a speech today in San Francisco before the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric Holder is going to announce a plan to accomplish that goal.

Reuters has the story:

“I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department’s charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels, will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences,” Holder is expected to say, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks provided by the Justice Department.

The plan also will include provisions for the early release of “inmates facing extraordinary or compelling circumstances – and who pose no threat to the public.”

Remains to be seen how effective this plan will be in a nation where providing the appearance of a functioning government appears to be more important than getting anything done.

Turning to another topic, we are waiting to see whether the Department of Justice will decide to prosecute George Zimmerman. Somehow I missed this article by William Yeomans, titled Can federal charges be brought against Zimmerman?

I think Yeomans does a good job explaining the law and the procedure for deciding whether to prosecute. He served as Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Justice Department official. He is a fellow in law and government at American University College of Law in Washington D.C.


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Slavery and environmental destruction are capitalism’s fatal flaws

August 10, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Good afternoon to all of our friends:

Greed or the search for ever higher profits is the engine that drives free market capitalism.

Labor unions and government regulation of corporations are widely regarded by Republicans and Democrats as unacceptable restrictions to free market capitalism. Incredibly, they believe the free market will regulate itself via the so-called “invisible hand” of greed.

This bizarre idea is the foundation of neoliberal economics and you can read all about it in Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.

Greed is God in the United States today and that is why we have seen so many corporations relocate and/or outsource millions of jobs to foreign countries where labor and taxes are cheap and there are no environmental regulations. The result: our economy is in ruins and nothing is being done to fix it.

The invisible hand of greed cannot regulate a free market since it neither restricts the exploitation of the environment to seize natural resources nor the enslavement of labor with which to produce products for sale with those resources.

I wrote yesterday about the mind boggling high rate of incarceration in this country despite low rates of violent crime to warn people that our criminal justice system is being used to enslave our brothers and sisters so that others might profit from their free labor.

Today’s article completes the larger picture.

Capitalism cannot regulate itself. Therefore, the government must regulate capitalism. Should it fail to do so, slavery and unlimited environmental destruction will necessarily result.

If there be a Satan, his name is Greed.


Please keep those donations coming. Although our situation is not as desperate, we are not out of the woods yet.

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