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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/5/11

Rightwing Posse Solves Prison Glut -- Criminalize, Prosecute & Lockup

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Note Explosion After Reagan
Note Explosion After Reagan
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Who can barely wait for the rightwing revelation that explains away a telling national threshold -- why our "greatest nation ever" has more criminals behind bars than any other on the globe? In a rout, well more than twice anyone else.  Right, even autocratic regimes with secret police who wouldn't know habeas corpus if it crushed them.   We're the greatest, hands down, the kings of law and order.


There must be economy of scale, for how else can 5% of earthlings spend upwards of $50 billion perpetually housing 25% of all planetary inmates; the per capita tab for dangerous cell-dwellers, over 50 G's.  Do we Yanks relish excess or what, plus awarding us unenviable international bragging rights, especially to overseas dictators plagued by insurgencies: our "limited government" works, keeping millions of riffraff drawn to street insurgencies under wraps.


Nevertheless, today's wingbat GOP "solutions" to nation-sinking perils -- like that scourge of abortions (actually decreasing), or menacing public employee unions, or government stimulus during a huge recession -- are crusading for more laws to put more n'er-do-wells behind bars. Naturally, extremists overlook pedophiles or banksters, mass polluters or media liars wildly enriched by bearing false witness every day.  Why focus on true sinners when faux rogues abound -- needy, underfed children, pregnant, unwed mothers, mosque-building, imagined sharia law advocates, or demonic defenders of gay marriage, collective bargaining or Obama's birthplace?


Justifying Justifiable Homicide


Incarceration, of course, is only for miscreants not bad enough to deserve worse, like justifiable homicide.  That could now happen to "murdering" abortion doctors per three radical state proposals, and remember the calls for beheading whistleblowers (like Julian Assange).  And there's nothing wrong with capital punishment for three-time losers, the mentally ill on death row, or untried "terrorists" who manage to expire in prison, whether Gitmo or Bagram.


Then along comes my favorite Republican this month, pushing another kind of capital punishment without trial.  That would be Assemblyman Virgil Peck (R-Kansas), for whom 54,000 petitioned the governor there for his resignation -- and only because of his modest answer to illegal immigration: shoot people from helicopters, like wild hogs.  True, not Christian, nor uncivilized, but the cost-savings are undeniable.  This peckerhead urges nothing less than domestic shock and awe, a pre-emptive Bush Doctrine by which sharpshooters would eliminate messy arrests, expensive pesky trials or deportations.


Peck later apologized for his Tea Party wit, however reeking of immigrant-bashing, yet refuses to resign.  What with that plethora of violent jokes and images, if not laws, rolling off GOP tongues, we on the left must have defective funny bones for not getting his "joke." Such nastiness surpasses even "don't retreat, reload," but endorses firing away, verbally and with bullets, as if there's no accountability.  Makes one wonder what these Neanderthals boast about in private.


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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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