Texas Discovers Heat Stroke Lowers Prison Population

hot-texas-heat-kills-prisoners-iTexas, the state of innovation. Privatization of prisons still costing too much? Prisons overcrowded? Over worked SWAT teams searching for pot and expired driver’s licenses from recidivists?  Texas discovers a brand new way to keep prison populations low and sheriffs still in the field spending that free, homeland security money. Don’t provide air conditioning and let mother nature take her course. 19 prisoners died from heat and the official reaction has been so what? They’re in prison aren’t they? Further that their protocols are sufficient.

We have significant protocols in place governing the movement of offenders early in the day for work assignments, we supply ice water and have fans and other equipment to increase air movement,” Livingston told the Houston Chronicle. “We believe the protocols are appropriate.”

Yep, 19 deaths is A OK by them. I think they’ve discovered something. Hey it was their choice to do the crime, now it’s time for consequences. It’s not like they happened all at once, just a few a year, for the most part. Clearly, they need to amp that up. You can see why prison officials don’t want to admit humans caused global warming and lose their god given justice that’s just gonna get better.

Population control used to include diseases, famine, floods, poor birthing environments, and wars. We can just use prisons to weed out those who shouldn’t have survived. You know rapists, murderers, drug users, drunk driving without a license, tax fraud–everything but not paying your grazing fees for 20 years. You know all of those crimes that prove their genes shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce. Give em a glimpse of hell.

It keeps the population down and then we won’t have any arguments over reproductive control because we’ll need every person we can get. What I don’t get is why bother with bringing them to prison. Just shoot em on arrest cuz you know they’re guilty, especially if they look poor or are a person of color.

Here’s Young Turks on it.

Jim Newman, bright and well  www.frontiersofreason.com

Step Off the Board or Be Killed, Chris Hedges & Dwayne Booth

dwayne_booth_usa_20131011_1909046903Chris Hedges has long reported on Wars from War. Now on Truthdig he posts on the beneficial myths of war, capitalism, and progress as evidenced by the decline of rights and equality for the sake of corporate profit.

The Decline of Peaceful Protest. Cecily McMillan—facing the possibility of seven years in prison for elbowing a plainclothes policeman in Zuccotti Park—is the latest victim of a cloaked offensive to destroy activist leaders. More.

The Rhetoric of Violence. The rage and nihilism that come from the frustrations of American life are expressed through violence. Our armed vigilantes and renegade gunmen are symptoms of a nation in terminal decline. To resist, we must build a revolutionary consciousness. Without one, random murder will become our national sport. More.

The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies. In “Moby Dick,” Herman Melville makes our murderous obsessions, our hubris, violent impulses, moral weakness and inevitable self-destruction visible in his chronicle of a whaling voyage. He is our foremost oracle. More.

The Crucible of Iraq. Fiction writer and poet Hassan Blasim in his new book burrows deeply into his homeland’s shattered culture. These riveting, lyrical short stories explicate the culture of war and give voice to the anguish of ordinary Iraqis. Blasim captures a surreal reality that eludes books about the war by journalists or military veterans. More.

Fighting the Militarized State. The government has asked the Supreme Court not to hear my appeal that challenges the right of the military to arrest U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely. More.

Suffering? Well, You Deserved it. An Oxford scholar warns that our outmoded economic model is a “warrant for inflicting pain” first on the poor and minorities and eventually on most of society. More.

In the talk “We are Either Gonna Step Off the Board or They’re Gonna Kill Us” Hedges discusses the culture of war.

  • The failure of War.
  • The suppressed ability of people to write about war in the last decade.
  • The 99% victimization of the people in War.
  • The blind murder of anyone beyond the perimeter in War.
  • The categorical difference in terrorism and oppression in war.
  • The inability of veterans to survive war intact.
  • The lack of the draft causing the murder of the poor.
  • The commodification of the soldier as mercenary.
  • The War on the planet as part of the War on each other.
  • The  unfettered expansion of capitalism causing the loss of humaneness, equality, and justice.
  • War as unimpeded income.
  • The forced sellout of Obama to corporate power, militarized civilian surveillance, and minority oppression.

It is a sobering and frightful exposure of just how much we have failed each other and the planet.

The second video with Dwayne Booth, who worked with Hedges, discusses himself as an artist and how art provides unique insight beyond the Getty Image bank.

Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com

Whoosh, Democracy Just Got Flushed

mccutcheonThe constitution is thorough in its structuring of representation to ensure the people get equal representation. Scalia and his thugs at SCOTUS violated all of that and put the people in a virtual serfdom by allowing huge donations to tribes of campaign candidates.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued one of its most significant campaign finance rulings ever, striking down the overall campaign contribution limits that currently prevented individuals from contributing more than $123,000 to candidates and party committees per election cycle.

The court did not strike down contribution limits per candidate (now $2,600) and per party committee (now $32,400), but the decision does overturn previous rules that restricted individuals from giving those maximum donations to dozens of candidates and several party committees.

This is worse than Citizen’s United which made a corporation have the rights of an individual. This means money the god of the wealthy can control politics creating a virtual contract for obeisance. Welcome to  political feudalism where a few  control politics by their vast wealth. A billionaire can now purchase an entire campaign, person by person, corporation by corporation.

If Clarence Thomas had had his way there would be no limits. Imagine if one billionaire could sponsor an entire political campaign. The worst justice ever.

Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the outcome of the case, but wrote separately to say that he would have gone further and wiped away all contribution limits.

What will the people do? For now they will blame themselves and follow the mythic mantra they are to blame, mistakenly thinking that anyone if they really wanted could become as rich as the richest. And when that continues to fail they will seek a religion that celebrates the poor and numbs the mind.

 “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”

After all, anyone can afford wishful thinking. What then? When they become more poor, destitute, and the tribes of wealth own even your vote they will blindly revolt to no good ends because they do not have any resources left but their very lives.

Your vote just becomes worthless. Elections are now corrupted and controlled by the wealthy.

Jim Newman, bright and well


Timidity Trap Delays Vital Action

timidityPaul Krugman discusses the reticence in liberals to really go for it as the Timidity Trap. Too afraid to speak and act out fully they go half way and fail.

And I’d argue that an important source of failure was what I’ve taken to calling the timidity trap — the consistent tendency of policy makers who have the right ideas in principle to go for half-measures in practice, and the way this timidity ends up backfiring, politically and even economically.

In other words, Yeats had it right: the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Just when will a pacifist kill someone to defend something worthy? What is your passion in humanity and would you die for it?

As a recent softer example, it also speaks how liberals got disgusted that one could openly express joy at Fred Phelps death. It seems unseemly. If liberals continued their distaste for Fred Phelps in his grave and after death, LGBTQ oppressors would get a stronger message that we really mean it when we say we support LGBTQ rights and won’t tolerate their oppression.

Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com

Closeted Atheists in Congress

Congressman Jeopardy ComputerI get it. Why would one come out atheist to hardships unless the benefits were great, integrity were important, or truth really did trump politics–or perhaps, atheism were becoming acceptable and to whom. Rush Holt is a good example and he is one of the most out.

Holt, a physicist, is the member who most pressed Darwin Day, a holiday celebrating evolution’s main man Charles Darwin. But does Holt’s love for science make him a nonbeliever? Is he part of Washington’s secret atheist crowd? Holt says no.

“I am a questioning believer, that’s probably the best way to put it,” he tells Whispers.

Holt wouldn’t even go as far to say that there should be more atheists in elected office. “I think Americans want to see skeptics involved in public policy, but not necessarily religious skeptics,” Holt told Whispers. “But people who think critically and skeptically, is what I’d say there.”

Holt’s reluctance to recommend that his colleagues be atheists, exemplifies the challenge of being part of that community on Capitol Hill. Edwina Rogers, the Republican lobbyist who turned heads in 2012 by taking over the reins of the Secular Coalition, says that there are indeed nonbelievers walking those halls. They just don’t talk about it.

Yet, they are coming out, in private.

“We did a survey, a one-on-one survey, where we went around and spoke in confidence to a number of senators and congressmen and about 32 told us, ‘well, yeah, I’m a nontheist,’” Rogers explained.

Oddly, this gives me hope. While I would prefer my politicians to be honest at least I am getting the feeling that there are more people sympathetic to atheism than admit it. Will these people, like unintending moles, surface when the time comes and support is needed or will this be one long extraction process where they come out in ones and twos?

Edwina Rogers is good person for this crowd as she is also a conservative and can speak to common ground. It will be interesting when atheists begin demanding discussion of conservative values. It really wasn’t long ago that being atheist didn’t mean being liberal.

Jim n

Obama On Roe v. Wade

ObamaWell said Mr. President…

“Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.”

“We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom.”

“And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”

Can someone give me a fist bump!