As anyone who has followed my blogs since 2003, this has been a pet issue for me. America, Here's Your Competition is a flier that a friend of mine and I produced in 2003, right after I read Pete Hoekstra's May 20, 2003 speech on the Congressional Record.
Last night, Glenn Beck reported about a company that had to let 80 employees go because the White House Czar is giving these jobs to Prisoners. Glenn tells us that it was Pete Hoekstra and Dave Camp who put out a press release and brought it to Glenn's attention.
Before you watch this clip of Glenn's show last night, where he talks about this, please, please, pay close attention to what's reported on the front page of the flier, and call, email or fax Glenn Beck, tell him he REALLY needs to research and report more on this issue.
Keep in mind ladies and gentleman, and I am going to quote from the Congressional Record here,
"Mr. Speaker, tonight I want to spend a few minutes talking about one of the fastest growing companies in America today. It pays its workers somewhere between 23 cents an hour and $1.15 an hour. It has a wide array of products. It pays no Federal taxes, it pays no State or local taxes. As I said, it is one of the fastest growing companies in America today."
"Well, let me tell you that the company that is the fast growing company is called Federal Prison Industries. The customer is the American taxpayer as represented by the Federal Government. The company is called Federal Prison Industries. Its other name is UNICOR, and this is UNICOR's annual report for 2002, which was just released."Now do you understand why we have the "Patriot Act", "The War On Drugs" and all those other laws that violate our most basic and fundamental Unalienable Rights? Follow the money people. Why are we sending our children to prison for smoking pot? Why are we criminalizing behavior? Because non-violent criminals are better and more productive INMATE LABOR than REAL criminals.
I still have the entire transcript from the Congressional Record of May 20, 2003 if anyone is interested in reading it. Most of you know how to contact me, but if you don't, just leave me your email address in a comment and I will send it to you. It's a real eye opener.
It's important to note that Pete Hoekstra wasn't trying to put an end to UNICOR, he only wanted to get his bill passed that would end Mandatory Sourcing on Government Contracts.
It was when I let Pete know that I had launched my new web site with the flier on it (do to lack of funds, the site is no longer up) Pete was able to get his bill passed by the house. Then it went to the Senate where our own Michigan Senators Stabenow and Levin put the mandatory sourcing rule back in.
On October 6, 2008 I posted a letter written by a prisoner to the Idaho Observer.
By Randal Steen, 48, a union journeyman millwright by trade, is the father of four children and four grandchildren. He is currently six years into a 15-year sentence for a non-violent drug offense.
"You are sentenced to consume $150,000 to $600,000 in taxpayer dollars for your prison stay. While lawmakers cite the ever-growing cost of incarceration as a public necessity, you will learn that 10 percent of that amount goes towards your daily needs, while the other 90 percent pays for a bloated prison bureaucracy immune from any cost-benefit analysis. These tax dollars will be siphoned from school programs, child care, and job training, all of which do make communities healthy and safe and save $millions in the process. Despite the media frenzy that portrays society seething with crime, you’ll learn that relatively few prisoners represent a danger to our communities; we’re mad at most felons, not scared of them. So, you’ll wonder why the majority of prisoners aren’t on home arrest, a logical move that would save millions of dollars and obviate the need for more prison"
"You are sentenced to bear the wrath of a misinformed society. While you’re experiencing everything I just said, you will be told how easy you have it. The media will find your Christmas meal more news-worthy than the damage caused by law-makers who jostle for the next ‘get tough’ policy at the expense of society’s wellbeing. Your privilege to have this once-a-year meal will be presented as so outrageous, a debate will ensue over which ‘luxury’ to take away next. Politicians will focus on violent sociopaths and pronounce their horrific crimes as a yardslide to measure the innate danger and incorrigibility of all law-breakers, including you.
"Finally, as perhaps the most perverse component of your sentence, I hereby prohibit society from ever listening to you. Your comments on crime and punishment will be ignored. You, as well as others, will see the big picture, but few will care about the politics of crime and its role in our growing prison population. You will know that most prisoners are guilty of breaking the law, but only a few need to be separated from society. You will know that it is the reporting and sensationalism of crime that has skyrocketed, not crime itself."
Can you think of a better reason to become a Fully Informed Juror and exercise your right to Jury Nullification of any bad law?