by Scott Creighton
I just watched John Oliver (reactionary right activism presented as left-cover comedy) do a segment on Obama’s new prison reform agenda and I was quite sickened by it. He failed to mention anything to do with the prison-industrial-complex when talking about how mandatory minimum sentencing laws were pushed over the past 30 year or so and also failed to mention the fact that the biggest supporters of this new agenda just happen to be the reactionary/neoliberal Koch brothers.
His segment uses the same heart-stringing pulling tricks any other standard propaganda utilizes including children crying because “mommy” is in jail for helping sell crack (lots of crack) to addicts, ruining their lives forever. It also used deception in that most states have repealed or at least softened mandatory minimum sentencing laws over the last decade and even California’s “three strikes” law now states someone can’t be given life unless that last strike is a serious violent crime.
I hate John Oliver. The last segment I saw of his was pushing for having the federal government ease restrictions on food “sell by” dates and give Big Business some tax money (or big tax breaks) for “donating” that outdated food to shelters or other hungry folks. Also mentioned in that little clip is the call for making it harder for someone to sue Big Business when they get sick from eating that deregulated, tax-dime paid for food they were given. That’s right: Big Business has found a way to curb some of their losses in the commercial grocery business and John Oliver is their go-to guy to help them sell it as “progressive”
The prison reform bill John Oliver alludes to, the one his segment says has the most bi-partisan support of any other legislation, is called the “Corrections Oversight, Recidivism Reduction, and Eliminating Costs for Taxpayers In Our National System Act of 2015 or the CORRECTIONS Act” by Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] (Introduced 02/11/2015)
It should be noted that John never mentions the name of the legislation, probably because the producers at his HBO show don’t want his “progressive” listeners to look it up and read a little bit about it.
Here’s the “correction”: it establishes a system by which EVERY PRISON must make contact with “private entities” in order to establish what they call “recidivism reduction programs” and the prisoners who are mandated to participate will work for those “private entities” for low or next to no pay in exchange for a slight reduction in their sentence.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is slave labor.
Filed under: Fascism, fascism in America, Fascism², Neoliberalizing America, Prison "reform" plan, Prison Industrial Complex, Prison Reform 2015, Scott Creighton | 22 Comments »