About 10 years ago I had cataract surgery on one of my eyes which aborted and which two corrective surgeries failed to heal so that I was left with only totally distorted vision in that eye. Needless to say I delayed a second operation on my remaining eye with apprehension that I might lose vision entirely. Finally I had to give in several months ago when even enlarged type of the computer was not accessible and so far so good. I can see normally again. In the interim I had resorted to the internet where I have a vast number of reliable information sources and TV and radio (npr which is also trustworthy) for information. The contrast between the distortions and opinions presented on most of our TV and radio channels is shocking — the materials to which most Americans are exposed there and upon which they base their judgments is simply a mixture of misinformation, half truths, trivia such as the latest child kidnapping,  gross murders, and outright lies.

MSNBC on the weekends seemed to be following this pattern with a focus on crime and punishment presumably designed to attract viewers obsessed with such grim stuff. Today, however, I decided to look in during the ad breaks in the U.S. Open tennis coverage. What I discovered despite presumed editorial restrictions by prison authorities was a graphic picture of what we are doing to our some two million prisoners — a majority of whom are by stats and visually minority group members. The guards in contrast are not. One has to assume that racism between guards and prisoners is rife — particularly when not under scrutiny. We saw what happened in our war territory prisons along these lines where Muslims were subject to horrendous abuse.

One has to see such things to realize that the U.S. with our 2 million citizens in jail is treating them in ways that we would not allow for animals in a zoo.

Not so long ago prisoners in some Southern prisons were simply murdered and buried anonymously in prison grave yards. Other Democratic nations do not do such things. We are the barbaric one.

What do you think?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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