Thursday, May 08, 2008

Buy American? U.S. Concentration Camps

Many conservatives urge us to buy American. They criticize Wal-Mart for selling products made in China. They point out that China has slave-labor camps.

Gary North posts this:

Concentration Camp Research Project

He says:

It lists the numbers of certain Presidential executive orders, and it provides a brief summary of each of them.

Then it lists empty military bases, supposedly owned by FEMA, that could serve as concentration camps under a declared national emergency.

Here is the page:

Friends of Liberty - FEMA CONCENTRATION CAMPS: Locations and Executive Orders

Looks like this page goes back to 2004 (cf. ref. to "Ashcroft").

Will Grigg tells the story of James L. Woodard, innocent man unjustly imprisoned for 27 years before DNA evidence freed him. Woodard was a trophy for the Dallas Prosecutor, who withheld from Woodard's defense attorney evidence that would have exonerated Woodard. Paul Craig Roberts has many such stories in The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Woodard's story was movingly chronicled on 60 Minutes.

Near the end of Grigg's post is this statistic (and an important link):

The U.S. Government and its various subsidiaries, as author Don Bacon recently pointed out, has in its custody 25 percent of the world's total prison population. The Prison-Industrial Complex is a huge and growing subsidized bonanza for government-funded contractors, as well as a surprising number of nominally private companies (from Microsoft to Toys 'R' Us) who profit from extremely low-cost prison labor.

That's right: The U.S., with a prison population that exceeds that of Communist China by 500,000, has its own "reform through labor" system that is the functional equivalent of China's much- and properly-condemned Laogai camps.

Roberts has a higher figure:

According to the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College in London, the US has 700,000 more of its citizens incarcerated than China, a country with a population four to five times larger than that of the US.

Anne Applebaum has shown that the dreaded Soviet gulag system was not exclusively hidden in Siberia, but criss-crossed Russian society in a network of structures that were not dramatically distinguishable from other businesses. Applebaum writes of the gulag system [pdf]:

there were camps in central Moscow where prisoners built apartment blocks or designed airplanes, camps in Krasnoyarsk where prisoners ran nuclear power plants, fishing camps on the Pacific coast. From Aktyubinsk to Yakutsk, there was not a single major population center that did not have its own local camp or camps, and there was not a single industry that did not employ prisoners. Over the years, prisoners built roads, railroads, power plants, and chemical factories. They manufactured weapons, furniture, machine tools, and even children’s toys. In the Soviet Union of the 1940s, the decade the camps reached their zenith, it would have been very difficult in many places to go about your daily business and not run into prisoners. It is no longer possible to argue, as some Western historians have done, that the camps were a marginal phenomenon or that they were known only to a small proportion of the population. On the contrary, they were central to the entire Soviet system.

The pro-union left would liken the Gulag system to the Wal-Marts that dot the American landscape. Except that Wal-Mart has 2,100,000 employees, while the U.S. prison industry employs 2,258,983 prisoners. Probably every Russian knew where a gualg was, and every American knows where a jail or prison is.

In addition to those who are incarcerated,

At yearend 2006, over 5 million adult men and women were under Federal, State, or local probation or parole jurisdiction; approximately 4,237,000 on probation and 798,200 on parole.

That line is copied and pasted directly from the Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics.


Who knows?

They walk among us.

Conservatives have made two errors: first, they oppose free trade. Our Creator has endowed all human beings with the freedom to travel and the freedom to voluntarily sign a contract for work with anyone who will employ them. Laws that say I can't hire a human being from another country or buy the fruits of his labor violate "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Second, conservatives believe "our" government is better than any other government. This is like believing that "our" muggers are better than the muggers of other nations.

And, quite possibly, an expanded network of the American Gulag is being readied for the immediate warehousing of "socially dangerous persons."

Why buy American?

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