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Tom Tomorrow | A World Gone Mad / images.dailykos.com

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Prison Reform: Justice vs. Revenge

  • It’s nearly impossible to claim that the current system, where inmates languish in long-term punishment centers and return to a world they’re even less prepared for than when they entered, is fair. And inmates know it.
  • Part 1: Justice v. Revenge: The Question Beneath the Question of Prison Reform 
  • Part 2: Virtue Ethics: Justice vs. Revenge

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: Justice v. Revenge: The Question Beneath the Question of Prison Reform

  • This article is part of It’s Your Fault, The Cubit’s series on blame in contemporary society. In her contribution to the series, journalist Xarissa Holdaway examines the American prison system and the fragile relationships among rehabilitation, containment, and revenge.
  • For more on blame, read the introductory post or explore the full series

Xarissa Holdaway, Religion Digest

shutterstock_1594674-690x460.jpg July 23, 2015 When Louis Dwight died in 1853, the Boston Courier lamented, “we know not who can succeed him; but it is to be hoped that some individual of like spirit and capabilities may be found to take his place.” Dwight was a prominent advocate of prison reform and the founder of the Boston Prison Discipline Society. The Courier obituary did not mince words about the importance of Dwight’s organization: “it would be a very serious evil,” they wrote, “for the society to suspend its operations.”

Dwight was part of a generation of reformers that advocated for more humane conditions in American prisons. Believing that discipline, religion, and encouragement—not punishment—were the keys to successfully returning inmates to society, Dwight spent his career encouraging prisons to adopt regulations that allowed prisoners to attend Sunday schools and spend time out of their cells. Dwight, along with reformers like Dorothea Dix, was responding to nightmarish prison conditions: jails that functioned as warehouses for the mentally ill, widespread imprisonment for debt, and inmates kept in solitary confinement for years at a time or in filthy, unheated, and vermin-ridden cells.

Xarissa Holdaway is a writer living in New York City and the deputy editor for digital at Charlie Rose.

Full story … 



Part 2: Virtue Ethics: Justice vs. Revenge

When we fail to recognize the danger of this desire to harm, we also fail to recognize the society we create when we promote harm or what sort of people we create when we ask them to torture or kill.

Secular Ethics

2014/02/143232-144579.jpg?itok=3Cv3Iia8February 10, 2012 | What is the difference between justice and revenge?

We can certainly point out that justice concerns the proper punishment for bad behavior while revenge can be any kind of punishment for any perceived slight.  If that’s the only difference, however, then it seems that justice is merely a type of revenge.

I propose a further difference, which concerns virtue ethics:  true justice is motivated by the desire to establish a better society; revenge is motivated by the desire to harm.  That is, of course, if we actually wish to make justice a noble pursuit instead of an expression of barbarism that conveniently has some social benefit.

Full story … 

Special Report | The Sandra Bland Story: Week Ending July 25, 2015

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  • "I can't keep up with the number of people whose existence is being reduced to a hashtag, at the rate cops are realizing their GI Joe fantasies." --Anon
  • 7 New Items including:
  • A sign for Sandra Bland: 'Signal lane change or sheriff may kill you'
  • Sandra Bland Was Murdered
  • Sandra Bland's death brings attention to suicides in jail
  • #SayHerName: Protests Demand Justice for Sandra Bland & Black Teen Found Dead in Jail 1 Day Later
  • Dispute Over Sandra Bland’s Mental State Follows Death in a Texas Jail
  • CNN panel explodes after ex-cop says Sandra Bland died because she was ‘arrogant from the beginning’
  • “If I die in police custody”: Why Sandra Bland’s death is just the latest evidence that Black America is under attack.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

la-na-sandra-bland-wall-20150724-001/400/16x9A few days after Sandra Bland’s July 13 death in jail, this sign was put up near the spot where she was pulled over and arrested by a Texas state trooper. Prairie View residents don’t know who posted the sign.

A sign for Sandra Bland: 'Signal lane change or sheriff may kill you', Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles (CA) Times

July 24, 2015, 8:30 p.m. The sign was homemade, all but two words written in black on white strips of paper attached to a wrought iron fence facing University Drive, the gateway to Prairie View A&M University.

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Sandra Bland Was Murdered, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

July 24, 2015 | Suicide or not, police are responsible for Sandra Bland's death.

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Sandra Bland's death brings attention to suicides in jail, Chicago (IL) Tribune

July 24, 2015 | The death of Naperville native Sandra Bland in a Texas jail cell – ruled a suicide by authorities – has sparked widespread outrage over the way police allowed a seemingly innocuous traffic stop to spiral out of control and lead to her arrest on assault charges.

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SayHerName: Protests Demand Justice for Sandra Bland & Black Teen Found Dead in Jail 1 Day Later, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Sandra%20Bland%20Protest_0.jpgThursday, July 23, 2015 | In Texas, new information has emerged about the arrest of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old African-American woman found dead in a jail cell in what authorities claim was a suicide by hanging. Bland was stopped for not signaling a lane change. Dash cam video shows Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia forced her from her car, threatening to "light [her] up," after she failed to put out her cigarette. Now, Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith says Bland told jailers she had previously attempted suicide. But an attorney for Bland’s family said relatives have no evidence of a prior suicide attempt. A local ABC station meanwhile obtained a voicemail Bland left for a friend while in jail. Video of Bland’s arrest shows her accusing police of slamming her head into the ground and saying, "I can’t even hear." Texas authorities have denied claims the 52-minute police dash cam video they released was edited, telling Mother Jones the apparent glitches in the video resulted from a YouTube upload error. Meanwhile, hundreds gathered in New York to honor Sandra Bland and highlight the case of Kindra Chapman, an 18-year-old African-American woman found dead in an Alabama jail cell one day after Sandra Bland was found dead. Protesters also honored India Clarke, the 10th transgender woman murdered so far this year. Tune in Friday when we will speak with Bland’s family and their attorney.

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5- Dispute Over Sandra Bland’s Mental State Follows Death in a Texas Jail, David Montgomery and Michael WinesI, Guardian

July 22, 2015 | A 28-year-old woman whose arrest this month during a traffic stop ended with her hanging death in a county jail cell told officials that she tried last year to kill herself, the Texas sheriff who oversees the jail said on Wednesday. But the jailers did not put her on suicide watch, and her family’s lawyer said that relatives had no evidence that she had ever tried to commit suicide or struggled with depression.

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CNN panel explodes after ex-cop says Sandra Bland died because she was ‘arrogant from the beginning’, David Edwards, Raw Story

22 Jul 2015 | CNN contributor and former NYPD detective Harry Houck argued on Tuesday that a Texas woman would not have died in police custody if she had not been “arrogant from the very beginning.  

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“If I die in police custody”: Why Sandra Bland’s death is just the latest evidence that Black America is under attack, Brittney Cooper, Salon

Wednesday Jul 22, 2015 | No one should end up dead after a routine police stop, but Sandra Bland did. This country has much to answer for.

 

The Battle Over Planned Parenthood

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  • Now, somehow, we’ve come to a decidedly indecent place that, yes, even in an emergency, a corporation’s beliefs are more important than a woman’s life.
  • Part 1: Everything You Need To Know About The Anti-Abortion Groups Trying To Discredit Planned Parenthood
  • Part 2: The Real Stakes In The Manufactured Controversy Over Planned Parenthood

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: Everything You Need To Know About The Anti-Abortion Groups Trying To Discredit Planned Parenthood

There are a few things to keep in mind about the group of activists pushing this media narrative.

Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress

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AP_110407042990-1024x682.jpgJul 21, 2015 | Controversy is swirling around Planned Parenthood following the release of several videos claiming that the national women’s health organization is inappropriately profiting from the sale of aborted fetuses. On the surface, the allegations are quite concerning. However, the story takes on a different tone when considering the source of the inflammatory claims.

On Tuesday, the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress released a video depicting a Planned Parenthood employee discussing the cost of handling a fetal tissue sample. Right-wing outlets are describing the video’s subject, Dr. Mary Gatter, the president of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors’ Council, as “haggling over baby-part pricing.”

Tara Culp-Ressler is a Senior Editor at ThinkProgress. She was previously a Health Editor, Health Reporter, and Editorial Assistant for the site.

Full story … 



Part 2: The Real Stakes In The Manufactured Controversy Over Planned Parenthood

  • The real story is unfolding on the state level.
  • Bernie Sanders exposed! A shocking look at his views on rape and violence against women.

Tara Culp-ResslerThink Progress

/AP_522519016840-1024x736.jpgNow that an anti-abortion group has released two inflammatory videos selectively edited to cast Planned Parenthood in an unflattering light, the national women’s health organization is embroiled in controversy that’s already showing signs of influencing the 2016 presidential campaign. But much of the political bluster doesn’t reflect what’s actually at stake if abortion opponents successfully leverage a legislative campaign against Planned Parenthood’s funding.

The videos, released by a group called the Center for Medical Progress, depict secret recordings of Planned Parenthood employees speaking frankly about fetal tissue donation, which has been characterized on the right as “selling aborted baby parts.” Anti-choice activists with a long history of targeting the organization are seizing on the materials as new evidence to support their position that Planned Parenthood employs immoral practices and should be defunded.

Tara Culp-Ressler is a Senior Editor at Think Progress. She was previously a Health Editor, Health Reporter, and Editorial Assistant for the site.

Full story … 

Related:

Bernie Sanders exposed! A shocking look at his views on rape and violence against women, Katie McDonough, Salon 

  • A shocking 1972 essay was just the tip of the iceberg. Salon dives deeper
  • Bernie is the Rand and Ron Paul of the Left on Women's Issues!

Poor-Shaming 2.0

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  • Republicans want to humiliate low-income households that qualify for aid to access the Internet.
  • Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

Jim Hightower, Other Words

/Hightower-No-Internet-Graciollo-Dotcom-600x398.jpgJuly 15, 2015 | Being poor means a life of sacrifices, frustrations, and constant struggle. So what is it about Republican officeholders that causes them to go out of their way to make life even harder for low-income people?

GOP governors, Congress critters, and other officials are making access to all kinds of public assistance, especially food stamps, as burdensome and humiliating as possible. The latest example comes from the two Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission.

Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

Full story … 

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Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor, Chris Steele, AlterNet / Zuccotti Park Press

  • Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on our country's brutal class warfare -- and why it's ultimately so one-sided.
  • This is an excerpt from the just released second edition of Noam Chomsky’s  “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” edited by Greg Ruggiero and published by Zuccotti Park Press.
  • Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 
  • The global plutocracy

 
Section(s): 

Special Project | Cops Behaving Badly: Week Ending July 25, 2015

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  • "I can't keep up with the number of people whose existence is being reduced to a hashtag, at the rate cops are realizing their GI Joe fantasies." --Anon
  • 9 New Items including:
    • Charles Pierce | The 35-Year-Old Georgia Mother Who Was Shot and Killed by Police
    • 15 Things Your City Can Do Right Now To End Police Brutality
    • 40 Reasons US Jails And Prisons Are Full Of Black And Poor People
    • The result of the breakdown of the white biker family
    • 1968 and the Invention of the American Police State
    • Juan González on Walter Scott Shooting: When Will the Police Killings of Black Males Stop?
    • #BlackLivesMatter | Did You Hear … ?
    • Florida Death Camps? Record 346 Inmates Died While Locked in Florida Prisons in 2014
    • DOJ Report | Philadelphia Police Shot 400 People In 7 Years

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

David G. Brown

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Charles Pierce | The 35-Year-Old Georgia Mother Who Was Shot and Killed by Police, Charles Pierce, Esquire

  • Pierce writes: "This has been a long year already regarding the phenomenon of how police come to kill the people they are sworn to serve. The places are established and iconic - Ferguson, Baltimore, the first bad scene in Charleston." 
  • The tragic story of Caroline Small, a name you need to know.
  • 15 Things Your City Can Do Right Now To End Police Brutality
  • The Not-So-Great White North

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15 Things Your City Can Do Right Now To End Police Brutality, Zak Cheney-Rice, Mic.com

How, besides protesting, can we actually make sure no more black people are killed, beaten or tortured by the police? And how can we promote justice and equity in law enforcement more generally? The Center for Popular Democracy and Policy Link have partnered with various protesters and street-level organizers to find some concrete solutions to this problem.

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40 Reasons US Jails And Prisons Are Full Of Black And Poor People, Bill Quigley, Countercurrents.org

What does it say about our society that it uses its jails and prisons as the primary detention facilities for poor and black and brown people who have been racially targeted and jail them with the mentally ill and chemically dependent?

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The result of the breakdown of the white biker family, Joanna Rothkopf, Salon

  • Nine were killed in a shootout in Texas, but no one asks if absent fathers are to blame.
  • #WacoThugs perfectly encapsulates what's wrong with response to Waco shooting
  • B.B. King and our blatant racial revisionism: The South still denies the roots of "America's music"

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1968 and the Invention of the American Police State, Daniel Denvir, City Lab / The Marshall Project

  • Baltimore's 1968 Holy Week Uprising was quite different from the events of this week. But the response to it helped set the stage for Freddie Gray.
  • Juan González on Walter Scott Shooting: When Will the Police Killings of Black Males Stop?

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Juan González on Walter Scott Shooting: When Will the Police Killings of Black Males Stop? Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! co-host Juan González discusses how video of the Walter Scott killing echoes other videos of police shootings, such as Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Eric Garner in New York City. "People wonder why the Black Lives Matter movement has grown and spread so rapidly across the country," González notes, "when people are seeing these videos where people who are shot and not even given immediate aid." González writes about the issue in his new column for the New York Daily News headlined "When Will the Killings of Black Males by Cops Cease?"

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#BlackLivesMatter | Did You Hear … ? / www.facebook.com

Did you hear about the black man killed by police this month? No, the other one.

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Florida Death Camps? Record 346 Inmates Died While Locked in Florida Prisons in 2014, Jay Syrmopoulos, Free Thought Project

Rogue law enforcers need to have an example made out of them. They should not only lose their jobs but they should be indicted, convicted of murder and given the maximum penalty allowed.

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DOJ Report | Philadelphia Police Shot 400 People In 7 Years, Simon McCormack, Huffington Post

Yet President Barack Obama appointed Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who has already cost the tax payers millions in settlements for hundreds of civil rights violations, to lead a committee to stop civil rights violations.

 

11 things the rest of the world does so much better than America

  • When it comes to food waste, vacation time and student loans, the U.S. is anything but a beacon for the free world.
  • Even tiny countries like Ecuador, Nepal and Estonia are kicking our butts in certain areas.
  • 10 Ways America Has Come to Resemble a Banana Republic.

Larry Schwartz, AlterNet

643857a3-654e-4929-99e7-d23028711499.jpgFriday, Jul 10, 2015 | America! Land of the free, home of the brave, and the greatest country on the face of the planet, right? A country with seemingly limitless natural resources, and according to many politicians, anointed by God herself to lead the world out of the wilderness and into a bright new age of liberty and justice for all. Too bad the road to that vision is pockmarked with so many potholes, because we haven’t raised enough taxes on people who can afford to pay to fill them.

Americans, maybe more than anyone on Earth, are guilty of the sin of hubris and excessive pride. As the great Greek poets of the ancient world have taught us, hubris can lead to some really bad outcomes.The reality is that a good portion of the rest of the world has far outpaced the United States in things like healthcare. While the U.S. has painstakingly cobbled together a convoluted insurance-friendly monster called Obamacare (remarkable mostly for how much better it is than what we had), the rest of the developed world enjoys one-payer government healthcare that outperforms the U.S. in both cost and quality of care. The proof is in the pudding; they live longer than Americans.

But healthcare is not the only way America lags behind the rest of the world. Here are 11 things other countries do better than us. 

Larry Schwartz is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with a focus on health, science and American history.

Full story … 

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10 Ways America Has Come to Resemble a Banana Republic, Alex Henderson, AlterNet 

  • What will it take for America to reverse its dramatic decline?
  • America’s Descent Into Madness
  • Yes, we could change. So why don't we?

Chris Hedges on Bernie Sanders and the Corporate Democrats

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  • "And we have to begin to build movements that are divorced from the Democratic and Republican parties. My fear is that by this time next year, Bernie Sanders is running around once again repeating this mantra of the least worst and stoking fears against whoever the Republican candidate is. And we’ve gone nowhere.”
  • The Bernie Sanders hoax

Russell Mokhiber, Counterpunch

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Tom%20Stiglich%20%7C%20Political%20Nausea%20Bag%20copy.jpgBernie Sanders is the only major party candidate for President who favors a single payer national health insurance system.

What’s not to like?

That was the question Ralph Nader asked Chris Hedges on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.

Russell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.

Full story … 

Related:

The Bernie Sanders hoax, Eddie Zipperer, The Hill

  • This Sanders hype (is) really about "the media trying to sensationalize an otherwise dreadfully boring Democratic primary." --Dr. Paul Rutledge, associate professor of political science at the University of West Georgia
  • The Sanders Trap
  • Socialism According to Eugene V. Debs

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