November 3, 2009

Anderson Cooper Brings Heather Ellis Story to Mainstream Media




What are your thoughts on this case?

5 comments:

zflynn said...

Normally I would file this case under "Who Gives a Sh+t", largely due to the fact that it seems Heather Ellis, certainly in this situation, was the type of as*hole you want to avoid at any cost and are relieved if and when they finally shut up and go away. And I'm not one to buy into the racism nonsense, which is a phrase that is only reported nationally when used by the professionally seething blacks whenever the extremely large chips on their shoulders are disturbed (or they imagine are disturbed) and more often than not used to rally around some of the most loathsome and vile characters within the black community that all it really accomplishes is to alienate anyone other than equally touchy blacks and those of other races with guilt complexes.

That aside, what bothers me about this case is the possible draconian prison sentence Ms. Ellis may be facing. I'll concur all evidence points to the fact that she was offensive, abusive and perhaps even guilty of some minor crimes but other than the fact she is probably an offensive as+hole (which is more of an annoyance than a real crime) the case against her is largely chickensh+t. America has a serious problem with jailing people, often for long stretches and too frequently for what until recently has always been seen as minor incidents, the only so-called felony being "assaulting an officer" after they cut themselves slamming you to the ground for "resisting arrest". Oddly, these charges stand on their own with the initial charge (why the cop was stopping you) is dropped.

Americans need to wake up to the fact that they are setting world records jailing people (whites, blacks, and all others included). And they need to realize they should be alarmed and not gleeful someone else is "getting what's coming to them". We have the only Prisons for Profit system in the world, where very wealthy corporate enterprises (one of the fastest growth industries the past two decades) make lots of money for every one they throw in jail. You and I pay it in our taxes, pay off these rich profiteers. That, on top of a government that's getting more authoritarian every day, should scare the living crap out of everyone; not to mention a complete violation of the fourth amendment as well as corruption and obscene perversion of the judicial system. Instead people laugh with glee that someone they dislike is "going away" and only cry when it happens to someone like them.

Blacks and whites need to forget the whole idiotic race argument here and talk about real justice, which means getting back to a system that doesn't throw the book at everyone, sometimes for merely bad social gaffs and behavior. Probation and public humiliation would be about as severe a sentence Ms. Ellis needs here, certainly not prison. As+holes are everywhere and I don't like them any more than the next guy or gal but I sure don't think filling up our Prisons for Profit system solves anything other than turn us into a modern nightmare.

Villager said...

ZFlynn - I truly think that you are on target with your thoughts about America putting too many people in jail for things that don't require imprisonment. Parole and shame are both great tools to use. Have you seen the prison reform proposed by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)? Do you think that his proposal makes sense?

zflynn said...

Dear Villager:
On the face Sen. Webb's proposals seem to be headed in the right direction, but I don't have much in-depth knowledge of his bill, I will study it more. It appears it will probably make a great read and be supported by thoughtful and rational people; but, sadly, as you probably realize too well, society and politics are not run by the thoughtful and rational. The vast bulk of Americans are neither but instead are emotional over reactors driven by pervasive fears, insecurities and exaggerated self-importance (these last three are all inter-related). All the players in the Ellis case seem to have fallen predominantly in this latter category, as are tragically most players in other incidents you read, hear or see. Most people waste their time fighting over quite meaningless straw dog issues, largely oriented towards what others are doing: gay marriage, recreational drug use, others’ beliefs, perceived thoughts, what they say, write, etc.; all with the intent of looking for some horrific sin they can imagine the others possess and can be severely punished accordingly. Hence: it’s the classic scapegoat syndrome, only now it’s become so pervasive and accelerated that self reflection and examination are nearly non-existent in the US of A. Too many people think they have to defend themselves (including their embarrassing flaws they try so hard to hide) by the most common ruse: strike out at others before they get attacked. We are all human with feet of clay and societies have never been perfect, maybe not even very good, but lately we really seem to be heading in the completely wrong direction and the general population has developed a very nasty and sadistic blood thirst. Just look at most of so-called entertainment, news and “reality” shows on TV that displays overt and poorly disguised cruelty for proof of the too common mean streak in modern society. Our Prisons for Profit system could not remotely exist without complicit cooperation by way too many “common folk”. As an experiment, approach an average person on the street or even in a blog and inform them that our jails are a profit making venture. Some of them will look at you (or respond) blankly (probably intentionally) not comprehending and/or almost universally they will say that it’s because certain guilty people need to be rooted out and jailed. The average person cannot talk about anything topical without thinking of who needs to go to jail for often the most insignificant and trite nonsense.

The pendulum swings in humanity are sometimes short and sometimes long. I’m really hoping this is the tail end of a pass in the wrong direction and not the beginning of a long, ugly swing into a period of new record breaking horrors. I don’t feel particularly optimistic, our Prisons for Profit system is not the only massive looting taking place by a long shot: the Military Industrial Congressional Complex is thriving as never before, the Wall Street and banking crooks (Goldman Sachs, et. al..) are doing multi-trillion dollar thefts, you almost can’t look anywhere and not see massive looting taking place these days with all the politicians past and present complicit in these thefts. Unfortunately, it’s this type of massive scale looting that predominates in a crashing society. And all the average man and woman can do is piss and moan about how their neighbor’s to blame somehow for some sort of perceived moral transgression? I’m afraid Webb’s bill will outright fail or get so badly watered down as to be an insulting show piece at best that’s utterly worthless otherwise. Until the average American stops shouting and pointing fingers at others and takes some time for serious inter-reflection, or at least learns how to mind his/her own business kindly and peacefully, we’re screwed as far as being able to turn things around in the direction of a decent, humane society.

Villager said...

ZFlynn - I appreciate your comments. The issue of prisons-for-profit is something that needs to be dealth with. Sen. Webb is trying, but I guess it is up to more of us to take up the call. I'll see if I can't blog on this topic in the coming days and weeks...

zflynn said...

Great idea, Villager, most Americans have no clue the prisons are a money making venture and maybe if we can wake people up my cynical, pessimistic outlook will eventually be for naught...okay, I won't go that far but maybe not as bad as I predict.