When Justice Comes Out Perverted

At t=3:50 in this video, Joy asks, "How can it be .. that someone can spend three years in Rikers without being convicted of anything?"

She asks a valid question, no?

A long time ago, a dude named Habakkuk posed a similar question. It seems that some things never change. (You know.)

Julia Willoughby Nason, pictured here below, responds to Joy's question by saying,

"Working on this project I learned that Kalief's story is not unusual. The mass incarceration system in this country is a form of social and economic control .. and it's doing exactly what it's designed to do."

You might want to read that again .. or better yet, listen to her say it herself (at t=4:00).

Notice that she didnt say that incarceration in America was about justice, or that it was about preventing crime .. or even about law and order.

Rather she said that the mass incarceration system in America is about » social and economic control.

If jails and prisons and incarceration were really about justice and law-n-order and preventing crime ..

.. then a bunch of those Wall street fraudsters would be sitting in jail right now .. having wrecked the American economy in order to enrich themselves, and who did so much damage to so many hard-working American families.

But they aint. Why do you think this is? Go ahead and take a guess. I dare you.

Perhaps somebody should ask Larry Summers. I bet that he knows why justice in America comes out perverted.

A poor, black teenager does nothing wrong and he spends 3 years in jail (( with most of that time spent in solitary confinement )) which fucked him up so badly that he eventually killed himself.

While rich, old, white men commit fraud on a scale so vast that it brings the entire economy to the brink of collapse, and ruins the lives of millions of Americans .. and our government runs to their aid with truckloads of money and sympathy.

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Sitting here now, with the advantage of hindsight .. where we can see how economic inequality has worsened .. it has become clear, painfully clear, how our government orders its priorities.

Inequality per Thomas Piketty in his 2015 book titled Capital

Compare Julia's statement with the one that I made here:

"Now you might be tempted to think this an anomaly, but it is not. This is the System in all its glory .. caught on videotape. With a live-audio feed. (Oops.)"

I made that statement under a heading titled » Grinding Your Ass into the Pavement, after years of first-hand experience in dealing with the system. This is why her statement resonates with my own experiences.

Julia Willoughby Nason | Creator of TIME, The Kalief Browder Story

Look at the focus and intensity in her eyes. This is a smart girl here. I can actually feel my respect for her. This is not an easy thing to do that she did.

[ I do not know that I could do that .. because you will need to be pretty fucking strong .. in order to tackle stuff like this. Depressing, soul-crushing shit. And it's going to take a while, too.

Jay said that the series was "hard to watch." I bet. I can' help but wonder what Carl Hart thinks. ]

She is the creator of the 6-part documentary titled » TIME | The Kalief Browder Story

She reminds me of Lauren » smart-with-a-heart. Compassionate.

She is the polar opposite of Harry .. because she does indeed have what it takes to exercise empathy and compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves.

» Nason was Always #1

It probably means nothing .. but in my Nuke school class (of 40 students in Orlando) we had a Nason.

Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarineI dont even remember his first name.

Because everybody just called him Nason.

He was the smartest dude in our class.

Weekly they posted a list of class rankings on the wall.

And he was always #1. Always.

I was usually ranked #5, 6 or 7 .. along with my gay friend.

My buddy from the Bronx was usually ranked #2 or 3. He tried hard to catch Nason, but nobody could touch him. Nason was a quiet dude .. a man of few words.

There were 13 separate classes (of 40 students each) .. all total in my class. But we definitely had the coolest class.

We were not the smartest class .. but we were definitely the coolest. They seemed to stick all the characters in our class.

» Fuck, Yes

I was out on a walk earlier today, thinking about this .. because I have been beating this drum for a while now .. when the voice in my head said, "Dude, we got Jay Z and Harvey fucking Weinstein on the job."

TIME | The Kalief Browder Story

And I said (out loud), "Fuck, yes." ( John Oliver knows this feeling. "To you, sir, I say this: Cheers." This is why I love John Oliver. )

[ This article here is related, regarding the system in Texas. (Posted March 9, 2017) ]

[ Here is another article that is even more related. And here is another worth noting. ]

[ Oh, look at this .. this is a plan proposed by the mayor to close Rikers. Wow. (Posted June 22, 2017) ]

» Does Racism Somehow Lie at the Heart of the Oscar's Best Picture Fiasco?

Speaking of Harvey Weinstein the filmmaker .. oh, look at this .. today is Harvey's birthday. What are the chances of that? (1 in 365?)

I noticed this when I went to his Wikipedia page in order to grab the link. (Happy birthday Harvey.)

A part of me feels that this coincidence, where I happen to mention Harvey on his birthday, must mean something. But what? (I havent a clue. Very weird.)

Anyway .. I was going ask Harvey what he thought about the way that the Oscars (held three weeks ago on Feb 26) screwed up the presentation for Best Picture.

Best Picture fiasco at the 2017 Oscars on Feb 26 in Los Angeles

I want to ask him if he feels that racism was somehow involved in this very public, primetime fiasco.

Normally I would dismiss such notions as absurd. But it has become clear, recently, that such racist sentiments are far more prevalent in our society than most Americans had ever imagined.

Should I elaborate? Do I need to? Probably not. But I could. Many already have.

Nazi flag and Confederate flag marching together in Charlottesville, VA. August, 2017

It's not a pretty thing. I am sure that Ralph would agree.

» James Harris Jackson of Baltimore

James Harris Jackson of Baltimore in Manhattan court

This is a photo of James Harris Jackson, a 28 year old native of Baltimore and Army veteran who worked in military intelligence, and who traveled to New York City with the sole intention of killing black men .. which he did, unfortunately.

He killed a 66 year old black man, Timothy Caughman, who he stabbed to death .. for no other reason than the color of his skin.

Before stabbing and killing him, James Harris Jackson had never met Timothy Caughman. He knew nothing about him. He had no idea whether he was a righteous man or a scoundrel .. and clearly, he could care less.

The old man had never done anything to James Harris Jackson. He had never wronged his murderer. He had never even been to Baltimore, and he had no plans to visit that city.

So why would James Harris Jackson travel all the way to New York City to kill a 66 year old man who he had never met, and about whom he knew nothing?

» Dylann Roof of Charleston

Dylann Roof (23) pleads guilty to murdering 9 worshipers as they prayed in their church sanctuary in Charleston

This is a photo of Dylann Roof, proudly pleading guilty to murdering nine black worshipers as they prayed in their church sanctuary in Charleston. His story is even more disturbing than the one involving James Harris Jackson.

» Without Cause They Dug a Pit for My Soul

Dylann Roof had never been wronged by any of the people that he killed that day .. June 17, 2015. Notice any patterns?

» Jungian Psychology at Play

I find interesting the behaviors and the mindsets of these killers .. in light of Jungian psychology.

I mean, Dylann Roof, in his 2-hour interview with the two FBI agents .. sounded downright proud and even honored that he had committed his murderous deed in a church sanctuary.

His actions and unspoken subtext seems to be saying » "I killed a bunch of innocent people, who had been warm and welcoming toward me, both young and old, as they prayed in their church sanctuary. I am therefore a great man .. if not a bona fide hero."

» A Political Calculus at Work

Oscars Feb 26, 2017 Hosted by Jimmy KimmelThe Oscars is one of my favorite nights of the year.

I like how they get right into it .. into presenting awards.

I have been watching the Oscars for enough years now to realize that there is a political calculus at work behind the scenes.

I used to get upset when I had viewed all the films nominated for Best Picture and they somehow chose a film that I felt was not the best.

The Oscars make statements with their awards. Not always .. but certainly sometimes they do.

» Anybody but La La Land

I have not yet seen either La La Land or Moonlight.

But when I saw that they had awarded Best Director to Damien, and given Best Actress to Emma ..

.. I felt certain that they would give Best Picture to somebody else. To some other film.

I did not know who they would give it to .. because there were many excellent films fo choose from. But I felt confident that it would not be La La Land.

This is what my intuition was telling me while Warren Beaty was opening the envelope. Does this reasoning not reflect a political calculus at work behind the scenes?

Anyway .. when La La Land was announced, perhaps you can see why I felt in my bones, "Something is wrong here."

» I Couldnt Even Pick One of the Losers

I mean, picking the winner is much more difficult than picking a film that won't win. And I couldnt even do that.

Update » I have now seen both these films .. and I do indeed feel that La La Land is the better film .. by a considerable distance.

La La Land

There are many creative and artistic merits associated with Moonlight, sure .. I can see that. But I still feel that La La Land was considerably better.

The fact that Moonlight was even made .. this speaks. Does it not? It says more than any award could ever say.

I realize that such opinions are merely personal preference, and that I will naturally be able to identify more readily with the story and the characters in La La Land .. but that's my two cents. For what it's worth.

< end update .. saw those two films >

» My Theater Experience Going to See Malcolm X (Twice)

I want to tell Harvey about my experience when I went to see the movie Malcolm X, the biopic written and directed by Spike Lee.

I was working in Orange county at the time, running a complement of about a hundred nuclear dudes (.. and even some nuclear dudettes).

Malcolm X by Spike LeeIn the middle of the movie, I got called away, and had to go handle some emergent emergency.

Such things were not uncommon in the nuclear world.

But I was very much enjoying the movie, which stars Denzel as Malcolm.

So, a week later, I returned to see the feature in its entirety.

When I had emptied my pockets at home after that first aborted viewing, I noticed that I had been given a ticket to the wrong movie.

I normally dont examine my theater tickets very closely ..

.. because I am usually eager to get inside and find a good seat and catch all the previews .. to see what movies will be coming in the future.

But the second time that I went to see this film, I checked the ticket, and I had again been given a ticket to a different movie.

When I mentioned this error to the cashier (a young dude) he said, "It's okay," and waved me in.

He looked a lot like young Dylann Roof pictured here holding a Confederate flag in one hand and a gun in the other. The same gun that he used to murder nine black worshipers while they prayed in their church sanctuary in Charleston on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

Dylann Roof of Charleston pictured holding both a Confederate flag and a gun

I count nine flowers in the flower pot where his gun is pointed. It's probably just a coincidence.

So both times that I went to see this film (at the same theater) I had been given a ticket to a different film. Was this a mere coincidence? (I think not.)

This is why I feel that the notion of racism might have played a role in the Best Picture fiasco this year. What do you think, Harvey?

Somebody at PricewaterhouseCoopers perhaps? It's a valid question, no?

Suppose, for example, that La La Land had actually won the Oscar for Best Picture. Do you feel that there would have been a similar chance that a card for Moonlight would have been slipped into the envelope for Best Picture? (I dont.)

Supposedly the card inside read » Emma Stone (.. who was featured in La La Land). I would argue that Emma Stone has the whitest skin of any Oscar award winner to step up on stage this year.

Emma Stone with Stephen Colbert Sept 20, 2017

(I like Emma Stone. I mean, who doesnt?)

Do you feel that Trump's challenging of Obama's birth certificate was racist?

» People Tend to Project Themselves onto Others

To follow-up on Joy's question .. of » "How can it be..." I find myself contemplating some of the moral dynamics associated with the issues surrounding the manifold injustices that plague our criminal "justice" system.

Harry HouckHere I naturally reflect on my own experiences.

One of the things I have learned from the experiences in my life ..

.. is that nasty, hard-hearted people tend to project onto you their own nastiness and their hard-heartedness.

I cannot tell you the number of times that the thought passed thru my mind »

"This person who is accusing me of these truly horrific things .. obviously has no clue as to who I am. How can they be so wrong about me? So very, very wrong."

And the next thought, naturally, is always » "So then, where is all this hate and nastiness coming from?"

I guess this makes sense, if you think about it .. that nasty people would project on to you their own nastiness.

Because people tend to see the world, and the things in the world, through the lens of their own viewpoints and the experiences that have shaped their world-view and their view of life.

This principle works in the opposite direction also .. where sweet, kind and loving people will project their own sweetness and their own kindness and their own lovliness onto people who clearly deserve none of their projections. (And yes, I have stories. Dont tempt me.)

I am sure that you know exactly what I am talking about here.

» Setting Up People for Success vs Setting Them Up for Failure

Another thing that I want to address here .. is the concept of setting up people for success versus setting them up for failure. Because I have some firsthand experience along these lines.

» A Lot Can Happen in a Year

Ariana performs Dangerous Woman live on SNL March 12, 2016But first, I should probably mention that ..

I know today is the 1-year anniversary.

Of my Flirting with Danger entry.

(Dont think I forgot, girly.)

A lot can happen in a year .. both good and bad.

(Or even in a week.)

» Katy Perry

Speaking of the 1-year anniversary, girly .. what do you think of Katy Perry's LGBTQ award speech?

I read this thing about Katy Perry recently, where she is talking about Bon Appétit, and where she said that she was 'more conscious' .. than she had ever been before.

I thought this strange coming from her .. because I always considered her rather conscious already. (Russell, too.)

I also saw where she said, "I used to be the queen of innuendo. I woke up more, educated myself more."

I thought about that later .. tho I dont think that I am going to tell you what I thought.

Notice that here it says (at t=7:00) » "It is possible, although often difficult, for an individual to become aware of the underlying motives driving their beliefs and actions through honest and critical introspection."

Because this has been my experience .. most certainly. Key word » difficult. And while I agree that it is indeed 'possible,' I would add that it is not far from impossible. Not at all.

I bet that she will be happy to hear this news. I wonder what she thinks of this. (I wonder if she knows Masha.)

» Katy Drops the Mic at SNL Season Finale

Speaking of Katy Perry and her LGBTQ speech .. did you see her performance at the SNL season finale?

Katy Perry Swish Swish SNL season finale May 20, 2017

I was very much impressed. She kicked ass and she knew that she was kicking ass.

When she dropped he mic at the end, I thought, "Yeah, you can drop the mic with a performance like that."

Note that this section has been moved to its own page » A Lot Can Happen in a Year.

Today is the last full day of winter. Spring arrives tomorrow (March 20) at 3:28 AM PDT (West coast time).

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on March 19, 2017 3:19 PM.

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