Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page
Some more on prisons for profit, and not for much of anything else.
Oh, no. I’ve been tracking ProPublica’s (and others’) account of the emergence of the privatized prison system in the US, and it’s frightening. And even more so to think of it finding a place in Canada. Privatizing social works and services is a generally bad idea and in prisons, as with medical care and education, all the more fraught. Private prisons exist by housing prisoners, meaning that the more the local juridical system produces them, the better the locality where the private prison is located (employment, taxes). It goes further. Prison labour is cheap and not unionized. These, alas, are not idle connections.
I tend to see the report cited here conservative, given the gross uncertainties regarding specific effects produced by the huge introduction of moisture into the atmosphere and the increased population densities….. And yet, no surprise, Canada joins the other wilfully blind polities in neglecting work on policy that would mitigate the inevitable damages.
A good account. The ‘Ndrangheta of Calabria are strong in Toronto, it seems. See, for instance, this article.
It’s an interesting article and is one of the few in the definitively mainstream US press that actually presses the claims of the administration to execute whomever they deem worthy of such extreme prejudice. But what I found interesting, too, was the rhetoric used in the account, in particular, the use of “lawyer” and “lawyerly,” and cognates, to describe Obama, his reasoning, and dodges. I suppose I found it interesting because the rhetoric was so obvious in its condemnation that I wondered, Why not simply say, I accuse! I think that would have carried greater not less moral weight. As it was, the article’s rhetorical ploys grated, and made me wonder if there was some other agenda at play demanding the sliming and indirection. Wouldn’t it have been more morally and ethically direct and honest simply to state the evidence (if not the facts), the reasoning, as surmised by witnesses and by the reporters and editors, and–at really any point–a clarion accusation and reasons for the accusation? For what it seems now is that Obama is worse for being a lawyer (and doing those slimy lawyer things we all know about, and they are always dodgy) than morally traducing not just the expectations his credulous voters held but the morals and ethics most people seem to hold. The state of war may legitimate the institutionalization of killing–not that that is good but it’s legally defensible–but killing by state institutions doesn’t make for defensible war; it doesn’t (necessarily) make it legitimate at all. (Foreign Policy has a fairly good critique and justified condemnation of the policy and acts coming out of it.)