Where are 1% of Americans?

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
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Grigoris
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Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:48 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:06 pm

Regular visits to a prison really clarified the absurdity of our justice system to me, especially the War on Drugs.
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Malcolm
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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:30 pm

Locked up for being black, mostly.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:37 pm

I watch QI regularly, but missed this one.
I guess Trump's response would be to celebrate that he has all these black prisoners available to build his wall.
It is a disgrace which could only be worse if they had executed them.
3 offences and you get life...........Trump himself must surely be there by now!
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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 pm

I have a fair amount of experience with people currently or formerly incarcerated. I don't believe the prisons or any industry should profit from forced labor. But the problem's deeper and bigger than that. If it were up to me, I'd put most of the money spent on prisons into education, job, mental health treatment etc. programs for poorer communities. But the reality is that change is difficult. In California they've been releasing people from prison and jails over the past few years and it''s not without controversies. You can't fix these things with a band-aid, nor can you fix them by ripping the band-aid off. Many of these criminals are released and they end up committing crimes again. From what I've seen too, people tend to come from families where being incarcerated, in gangs, in the drug world, is part of the culture they grow up in. Almost every person I've talked to incarcerated has a father or mother who also spent time in prison. Our early childhood memories and attachments lead people who would never want to grow up as dysfunctional as their parents to unconsciously end up making the same choices.

Here's some articles about what's happening in California.

http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-m ... story.html

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/new ... story.html

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:50 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 pm
I have a fair amount of experience with people currently or formerly incarcerated. I don't believe the prisons or any industry should profit from forced labor.
Sheeeeeit, that is the whole point of the 13th amendment, keeping slavery legal:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Required viewing for readers of this thread:

https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:30 pm
Locked up for being black, mostly.
Or poor, or both.

It happens here, too.

:jedi:
Kim

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:27 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:50 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 pm
I have a fair amount of experience with people currently or formerly incarcerated. I don't believe the prisons or any industry should profit from forced labor.
Sheeeeeit, that is the whole point of the 13th amendment, keeping slavery legal:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Required viewing for readers of this thread:

https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741
I don't have Netflix, but I did hear about this show. Yes, the whole system needs change. I could have sworn that the notion of prison was originally some sort of Quaker idea of rehabilitation and that it wasn't supposed to be punishment for the poor, as it was in debtor's prison back in the day. So, it's failed on those two counts.

The reality is a lot more complex, though. It sounds so sad, but then these are the people who committed assault, murder, armed robbery, rape. No one really wants these guys released and on the streets. And btw, a very good buddy of mine is a black man, who spent 9 years in state prison for a string of armed robberies. I'm sympathetic to the cause, just realistic.

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:38 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:27 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:50 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 pm
I have a fair amount of experience with people currently or formerly incarcerated. I don't believe the prisons or any industry should profit from forced labor.
Sheeeeeit, that is the whole point of the 13th amendment, keeping slavery legal:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Required viewing for readers of this thread:

https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741
I don't have Netflix, but I did hear about this show. Yes, the whole system needs change. I could have sworn that the notion of prison was originally some sort of Quaker idea of rehabilitation and that it wasn't supposed to be punishment for the poor, as it was in debtor's prison back in the day. So, it's failed on those two counts.

The reality is a lot more complex, though. It sounds so sad, but then these are the people who committed assault, murder, armed robbery, rape. No one really wants these guys released and on the streets. And btw, a very good buddy of mine is a black man, who spent 9 years in state prison for a string of armed robberies. I'm sympathetic to the cause, just realistic.
Most people who are convicted of crimes committed those crimes while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. This is an old article but I think it is still valid:
The report, which was released yesterday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, determined that of 1.7 million prisoners in 1996, 1.4 million had violated drug or alcohol laws, had been high when they committed their crimes, had stolen to support their habit or had a history of drug and alcohol abuse that led them to commit crimes.
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/01/09/us/dr ... mates.html

Norways's approach, OTOH,

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-norw ... ul-2014-12
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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TharpaChodron
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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:52 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:38 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:27 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:50 pm


Sheeeeeit, that is the whole point of the 13th amendment, keeping slavery legal:



Required viewing for readers of this thread:

https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741
I don't have Netflix, but I did hear about this show. Yes, the whole system needs change. I could have sworn that the notion of prison was originally some sort of Quaker idea of rehabilitation and that it wasn't supposed to be punishment for the poor, as it was in debtor's prison back in the day. So, it's failed on those two counts.

The reality is a lot more complex, though. It sounds so sad, but then these are the people who committed assault, murder, armed robbery, rape. No one really wants these guys released and on the streets. And btw, a very good buddy of mine is a black man, who spent 9 years in state prison for a string of armed robberies. I'm sympathetic to the cause, just realistic.
Most people who are convicted of crimes committed those crimes while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. This is an old article but I think it is still valid:
The report, which was released yesterday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, determined that of 1.7 million prisoners in 1996, 1.4 million had violated drug or alcohol laws, had been high when they committed their crimes, had stolen to support their habit or had a history of drug and alcohol abuse that led them to commit crimes.
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/01/09/us/dr ... mates.html

Norways's approach, OTOH,

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-norw ... ul-2014-12
Yes, I agree. I think our prisons should be more like drug treatment programs than anything. A choice to enter some drug treatment program is sometimes a differential response that is (if you can call it a choice) given to offenders rather than incarceration. But the drug addiction, poverty, mental illness combination is hard to kick when there isn't a viable other life choice available to many of these people.

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:59 pm

I read that article about Norway's prison system a while ago. I think they have some very good ideas.

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:08 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 pm
I have a fair amount of experience with people currently or formerly incarcerated. I don't believe the prisons or any industry should profit from forced labor. But the problem's deeper and bigger than that. If it were up to me, I'd put most of the money spent on prisons into education, job, mental health treatment etc. programs for poorer communities. But the reality is that change is difficult. In California they've been releasing people from prison and jails over the past few years and it''s not without controversies. You can't fix these things with a band-aid, nor can you fix them by ripping the band-aid off. Many of these criminals are released and they end up committing crimes again. From what I've seen too, people tend to come from families where being incarcerated, in gangs, in the drug world, is part of the culture they grow up in. Almost every person I've talked to incarcerated has a father or mother who also spent time in prison. Our early childhood memories and attachments lead people who would never want to grow up as dysfunctional as their parents to unconsciously end up making the same choices.

Here's some articles about what's happening in California.

http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-m ... story.html

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/new ... story.html
It' doesn't help that we do things like make people pay their own court costs when they are already in the hole, force them to go further into debt in prison, and then release them into a world where there are no opportunities other than returning to crime. There are for sure people in prison who are in need of moral re education, the problem is that in prison they do not get it, and then we dump them in the worst situations and expect they will somehow of the skills to turn over a new leaf.

This, and the fact that we disproportionately lock up minorities, often for victimless crimes.
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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:12 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:52 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:38 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:27 pm


I don't have Netflix, but I did hear about this show. Yes, the whole system needs change. I could have sworn that the notion of prison was originally some sort of Quaker idea of rehabilitation and that it wasn't supposed to be punishment for the poor, as it was in debtor's prison back in the day. So, it's failed on those two counts.

The reality is a lot more complex, though. It sounds so sad, but then these are the people who committed assault, murder, armed robbery, rape. No one really wants these guys released and on the streets. And btw, a very good buddy of mine is a black man, who spent 9 years in state prison for a string of armed robberies. I'm sympathetic to the cause, just realistic.
Most people who are convicted of crimes committed those crimes while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. This is an old article but I think it is still valid:
The report, which was released yesterday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, determined that of 1.7 million prisoners in 1996, 1.4 million had violated drug or alcohol laws, had been high when they committed their crimes, had stolen to support their habit or had a history of drug and alcohol abuse that led them to commit crimes.
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/01/09/us/dr ... mates.html

Norways's approach, OTOH,

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-norw ... ul-2014-12
Yes, I agree. I think our prisons should be more like drug treatment programs than anything. A choice to enter some drug treatment program is sometimes a differential response that is (if you can call it a choice) given to offenders rather than incarceration. But the drug addiction, poverty, mental illness combination is hard to kick when there isn't a viable other life choice available to many of these people.

I was amazed to find that the prison I volunteer at has zero staffed chemical dependency counselors or therapists. Despite having "prisoners bill of rights" posted all over which supposedly guarantee treatment to those who need it, the only treatment available in some places is prisoner-run AA and NA groups. Not putting down AA or NA, but it amazed me that the state wouldn't fork over money for a single counselor, because I also know how little they'd get paid...lol.
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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:02 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:12 am
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:52 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:38 pm


Most people who are convicted of crimes committed those crimes while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. This is an old article but I think it is still valid:


http://www.nytimes.com/1998/01/09/us/dr ... mates.html

Norways's approach, OTOH,

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-norw ... ul-2014-12
Yes, I agree. I think our prisons should be more like drug treatment programs than anything. A choice to enter some drug treatment program is sometimes a differential response that is (if you can call it a choice) given to offenders rather than incarceration. But the drug addiction, poverty, mental illness combination is hard to kick when there isn't a viable other life choice available to many of these people.

I was amazed to find that the prison I volunteer at has zero staffed chemical dependency counselors or therapists. Despite having "prisoners bill of rights" posted all over which supposedly guarantee treatment to those who need it, the only treatment available in some places is prisoner-run AA and NA groups. Not putting down AA or NA, but it amazed me that the state wouldn't fork over money for a single counselor, because I also know how little they'd get paid...lol.

I find that surprising, too. In my state we have programs in prison, but less in the jails. We also have drug courts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_court

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:08 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:02 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:12 am
TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:52 pm


Yes, I agree. I think our prisons should be more like drug treatment programs than anything. A choice to enter some drug treatment program is sometimes a differential response that is (if you can call it a choice) given to offenders rather than incarceration. But the drug addiction, poverty, mental illness combination is hard to kick when there isn't a viable other life choice available to many of these people.

I was amazed to find that the prison I volunteer at has zero staffed chemical dependency counselors or therapists. Despite having "prisoners bill of rights" posted all over which supposedly guarantee treatment to those who need it, the only treatment available in some places is prisoner-run AA and NA groups. Not putting down AA or NA, but it amazed me that the state wouldn't fork over money for a single counselor, because I also know how little they'd get paid...lol.

I find that surprising, too. In my state we have programs in prison, but less in the jails. We also have drug courts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_court

We do too, I know some prisons do have programs, I was just surprised this one did not. I imagine on the whole Washington is probably one of the "better" places one could go to prison, but I i'm guessing it varies a lot from facility to facility too.
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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:07 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:08 am
TharpaChodron wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:02 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:12 am



I was amazed to find that the prison I volunteer at has zero staffed chemical dependency counselors or therapists. Despite having "prisoners bill of rights" posted all over which supposedly guarantee treatment to those who need it, the only treatment available in some places is prisoner-run AA and NA groups. Not putting down AA or NA, but it amazed me that the state wouldn't fork over money for a single counselor, because I also know how little they'd get paid...lol.

I find that surprising, too. In my state we have programs in prison, but less in the jails. We also have drug courts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_court

We do too, I know some prisons do have programs, I was just surprised this one did not. I imagine on the whole Washington is probably one of the "better" places one could go to prison, but I i'm guessing it varies a lot from facility to facility too.
yeah, i'm sure. i've ended up watching MSNBC's Lockup:Oakland tonight lol

excuse the foul language, but it's a good song ;)


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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by shaunc » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:02 am

When I was younger and wilder a lawyer once told me.
"Jails aren't there to rehabilitate offenders, nor are they there to punish offenders, they're there to give society a break."
I suppose that they do that.

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:38 pm

shaunc wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:02 am
When I was younger and wilder a lawyer once told me.
"Jails aren't there to rehabilitate offenders, nor are they there to punish offenders, they're there to give society a break."
I suppose that they do that.
As my dad brought me to court for a pot possession charge when I was a kid he assured me, courts are not there to punish the middle class but to keep the lower classes under control.

When I was a law student I interned with the public defender in Manhattan. I saw kids getting hard time for heroin possession, but when the white kid from Bard College showed up with his private lawyer for serious felony possession, there was a little conference with the judge, ADA, and defense attorney, and then he got a diversion program.

Over the years I've had clients who had criminal backgrounds and at least two who were credibly innocent of the crimes they did state time for. Ruined their lives. Both black.

There is an effort to change in NY that has been going for 25 years now. Started after people caught up to the crack epidemic which destroyed what was left of inner cities after the late 60's riots, white flight and neglect of the 70's and 80's.

These days, crime rates are down in New York. Credit to the broken windows approach under Guiliani and Bloomberg who broke the street culture that made neighborhoods feel unsafe and chaotic, along with simultaneous development of a social work approach to young offenders and minor offenses. It also helps that economy is strong and unemployment is relatively low. Schools like Harlem Children's Zone https://hcz.org have been at work for a generation now working to transform whole communities. The results are showing. Still a long way to go.

Fixing this requires a full court press over generations. (Another sports analogy.)

Places like Chicago and Baltimore have not caught on to the approaches and you see it in how backward they are.

Probably will need to adapt these approaches for the meth/opioid epidemic in the exurbs and rural areas.
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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by DGA » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:34 pm

Recall democracy's old pal Erlichmann:
I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
https://harpers.org/archive/2016/04/legalize-it-all/

There's another factor at work. By locking up a significant portion of adult black males, statisticians were able to report that black unemployment was reduced. Mass incarceration, in other words, made Nixon and Reagan look better on paper.

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Re: Where are 1% of Americans?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:56 pm

DGA wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:34 pm
Recall democracy's old pal Erlichmann:
I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
https://harpers.org/archive/2016/04/legalize-it-all/

There's another factor at work. By locking up a significant portion of adult black males, statisticians were able to report that black unemployment was reduced. Mass incarceration, in other words, made Nixon and Reagan look better on paper.
Hence black leaders today have to be above reproach. They have to hit all the metrics that the white mainstream has set up as the gates to admission, and do better. Say what you will about Obama's policies and effectiveness as executive - both he and his wife excelled under the upper white middle class rules; his White House was remarkably free of scandal, and as a person, he is probably one of the most decent people who has lived in the White House. No doubt, all that added up to even more resentment that a black man could ace the professional class tests.

Hippies can just cut their hair and disappear back into the mainstream. Sometimes the only indication of their past is a wistful reminiscence of protesting and claiming to have been at Woodstock. I knew a guy who had been a Weathermen, and was on his way to the safe house that blew up in the East Village. He became a big executive at a multi-national corporation.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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