From the July 1999 Idaho Observer:

Does North Idaho need more prisons?

This is the month we celebrate our American independence. Are we a free people when we have the largest prison population of any nation and a government increasingly based on Nazi style socialism? Is our “celebration” made even more pathetic by the fact that over half of those now in prison didn't harm anyone during the commission of their "crime?" Will our celebration be nothing more than a regulated remembrance of what is now history?

by Hari Heath

If you rape, murder, rob, assault, or defraud people, then after a just conviction, prison is the place for you. Legally, it's called a “mala en se” crime. Some act, which when done, is “bad in itself.”

On the other hand, our current regime of socialists often promote (create) another type of crime, legally known as “mala prohibita.” These crimes are “bad” because they are “prohibited.” The “there oughta be a law” lackeys in the legislatures and Congress manufacture these laws, in great abundance, for our own good -- and their great profit.

The key to telling these two types of crimes apart is by the victim.

In a “mala en se” crime such as assault the victim is the one who was assaulted, and the criminal is the perpetrator, i.e. the crime occurred because someone or their property was violated by someone else.

In a mala prohibita “crime” the victim is the defendant. No one was harmed or damaged by the acts of the person who is now called the “criminal.” Instead, the government is going to cause harm or damage to this manufactured criminal, because they no longer live in a free country and have violated one the umpteen no nos the legislative hordes have dumped on the law books.     Uncle Sam wants you to do as you're told and be good compliant citizen. Forced compliance with “government” mandates has become America's biggest business.

How bad can it get?

Now that you understand the difference between real crime and manufactured crime, how far has this new growth industry gone? According to a new study by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) some disturbing facts have come to light.

In 1998 more than one million nonviolent offenders were incarcerated in the United States. Our nonviolent prison population is larger than the combined populations of Alaska and Wyoming. It is three times the entire prison population of the European Union -- violent and nonviolent -- even though the EU has 100 million more people than the U.S. We have five times the number of nonviolent offenders filling American jails as India has in its entire prison system. And India is a country with approximately four times our population.

In the past twenty years, 77 percent of new prisoners were imprisoned for offenses that involved neither harm, nor the threat of harm, to a victim. Many of the 1.2 million nonviolent prisoners are there because of “mandatory sentence” and “three strikes” laws, and many of those are for drug related crimes, not the serial rapists and murderers they were ostensibly enacted to punish.

And at what cost?

Locking up 1.2 million nonviolent prisoners costs approximately $24 billion. This costs every man, woman and child in America $90 to incarcerate nonviolent “offenders.”

In other words, the average family of four spends $360 a year to lock people up who did not harm anyone during their “crime.” Your tax dollars at work.

We spend approximately $20,000 a year to incarcerate a nonviolent offender according to the JPI study. This is one and a half times what the federal government spends on welfare and six times what it spends on child care (a more benevolent socialist enterprise). We spend $100 million more every year building prisons than we do on building universities.

Not only does it cost the productive citizenry $20,000 a year to house a nonviolent offender, that prisoner is no longer a productive member of our society.

Except for the prison labor programs developed for the “prison industrial complex.” Some states have prison labor programs offering cheap labor close to home at a time when American businesses are already struggling from the “free trade” agreements that allow products into the U.S. made with cheap labor from developing countries.

And what causes this explosive incarceration rate? Many critics point to the increasingly punitive policies of the war on drugs -- a war that many former advocates now admit is a war that cannot be won by our current method -- the imposition of criminal penalties. Drug offenders now comprise 59 percent of federal inmates, as opposed to 16 percent in 1970.

And what about local jails? According to a recent article by David Bond, in Kootenai County two-thirds of the jail inmates are for misdemeanors -- traffic stops, drunk driving or simple drug possession charges. Fully one third of the county's felony cases are for drug charges.

Judge Marano said, “We don't make those decisions. The legislature puts an absolute lock on what we do. Driving without privileges is probably the most common new law violated. You can lose your license without paying your child support; and the legislature has decided that if you're a kid and you're not going to school, you can't drive.”

Champion turned Chump?

Kootenai County Commissioner Ron Rankin, once the champion in the battle for property tax relief when he was on the outside of government, got elected. Now, as a Commissioner he attempted to raise the local sales tax to pay for a new prison.

Helen Chenoweth has suggested that the problem with politicians in D.C. is that after a while the marble dust gets to them. The longer they stay in office, the more the marble dust affects their mind. Has the marble dust already begun clogging the synapses of Commissioner Rankin's mind? Is socialism that infectious?

The voters of Kootenai County said no -- we don't need more taxes for a bigger prison.

Mr. Rankin, instead of joining the more-socialism-is-better crowd in county government, how about passing a county ordinance that both recognizes the first paragraph of the state Constitution (Article 1, Section 1) “All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety,” and directs county law enforcement not to enforce any law unless there is a complaint from a victim. This is a simple enough ordinance that would save a lot of jail space and ultimately millions of county taxpayer's dollars. People might even learn to respect the police profession again.

But why bother with an ordinance that would make the land of the free and the home of the brave worth celebrating? If the people won't vote for more taxes and more prisons, call in the gestapo.

Nazi Troops March in Coeur d'Alene?

It began innocently enough. June 18, 1999, a motorcyclist, encouraged by patrons drinking outside the Iron Horse Bar, lit up his back tire in a display of noise, smoke and unused raw power, while two policemen watched. A few fist fights had broken out earlier. It was another Friday night in Sun City. The Classic Car Club was having a rally. Many classic car buffs from several states were invited to bring their cars for a car show downtown. The refurbished gems of our American car culture ran through the streets. The exuberant crowd of middle aged automobile enthusiasts was in party mode enjoying surfer music and 50's rock.

So what is a good (contemporary policeman) going to do with a crowd of Americans who are by nature free, enjoying life and pursuing happiness?

First wait until after the initial “crime” of doing a burnout on a motorcycle is well past. Then assemble a riot control team made up of 115 freshly trained policemen from six agencies outside of the area and agents from the Cd'A police. At least they have the decency to call them agencies so that the police agents are not called officers and thereby confused with a lawful police force derived from, and acting in accordance with, constitutional provisions (See the BRUSH FIRE page in last month's edition of The Idaho Observer).

A police column 100 men wide lined up and marched down the street ordering the crowd to disperse (hey, who's town is this anyway?). They fired rubber bullets and pepper mace when the crowd didn't immediately disperse as they were told to do. Hitler would have been proud.

Why? After the riots last year at the WSU campus in Pullman, our local “protectors” have been training once a week on how to handle unruly crowds. Finally they had a chance to practice on real people. Doesn't it feel good knowing that the government is here to help you?

According to eyewitness reports the police column swept through Sherman Avenue forcing the mostly middle aged and older crowd to flee. One older woman who wasn't able to keep up with the crowd turned to the police for help and was promptly knocked to the ground by them. Another younger man who had just finished work at a local establishment was sitting on a bench when a policeman twisted his arm and was about to beat him before another policeman stopped the assault. Many others were beaten and kicked by the police agents.

About 40 to 50 people were outside the Iron Horse Bar when police ordered them back into the bar. When all of them didn't immediately run through the one door to the establishment, the police opened up on them with pepper spray.

Fourteen people were arrested during this police-induced riot and put in Kootenai County's already overcrowded jail (see you should have voted for more taxes and more prisons -- we need them now). There were a few injuries reported among the innocent bystanders who got a first hand look at the beginnings of martial law in the U.S.S.A.

As one eyewitness said, “the cops lit the fuse.” Did the police ever consider what might have been the result if a diligent American exercised his Second Amendment right to secure a free state from the tyranny and terrorism evidenced by the police conduct? Was there a contingency plan in the event the police encountered armed resistance to their gestapo tactics during this police-manufactured riot? Just how far do they think state-sponsored terrorism can be pushed on American people who were only there to celebrate with their ancient icons of the American dream?

Fortunately, this more mature crowd didn't retaliate. Many of them should be able to afford lawyers who will eventually teach the local and imported gestapo that crime doesn't pay.

Does Coeur d'Alene need more prisons? If we clear out the nonviolent offenders who didn't harm anyone, there should be enough room for all the felons with a badge who just violated Idaho's Anti Terrorist Act in Idaho Code section 18-8101.

Richard Butler and his Aryan friends can stay home this year. The real Nazi's have already marched down Sherman Avenue -- without a parade permit.

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Hari Heath

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