KIDS FOR CASH
(directed by Robert May, 2014)
**** (out of 5)
> Here, we have another horror story, clearly demonstrating (again) how COMPLETELY FUCKED-UP WE ARE IN THIS COUNTRY. (Pardon my completely appropriate use of ALL CAPS…)
. The United States of America is a basket case. We are so busy building altars to the destructive fantasy of the imaginary “American Dream”, we cannot be bothered with simple human compassion. We are a punitive country- all stick and no carrot. We blame the poor and disenfranchised for their plight, when the playing field is not level and the bottom rungs on the ladder of upward mobility have been removed by social criminals like the Koch brothers. We stigmatize minority populations… like the undesirably ethnic, the homeless, women- and in this case: children. We throw people in jail and throw away the keys at the drop of a hat- for incredibly minor infractions, using stupid “No Tolerance” tactics that (surprise-surprise!) promote intolerance.
. Since 9/11, we have introduced this hateful dogma into the juvenile “justice” system, severely punishing children when they have the nerve to behave like… children! There is a strange (right-wing propagated) delusion that you can control a child’s undesirable behavior by threatening future consequences. That is what almost cluelessly corrupt Judge Mark Ciavarella had in mind, when he routinely kidnapped the children who came before his court, tricking their guardians into signing away their right to council, and wrenching them, sometimes for years at a time, away from their parents and families, removing them from school, shackling them like violent criminals and shipping them off to a private facility (aka “JAIL”) run by a fellow conspirator. All this, (thinks this criminally stupid ex-judge,) is justified, because after all- he had personally gone to their high schools and “told them” in assemblies that if they found themselves standing in front of his court- this is what he would do. They’ve been warned! And all the time, he was receiving cash kickbacks for funneling these “clients” to his gangster friend- to the tune of 2.2 million dollars! He will call it a “finder’s fee” until his dying day, which is likely to happen while he is still in prison. (That is just justice.)
. But the whole logic that jails children instead of treating them, is just as flawed and egregious as this “Kids For Cash” scheme. It’s just idiotic, as it goes against everything we know about the still-developing adolescent mind. The part of their brains that can calculate risk, or even contemplate future consequences of their own actions- the crucial center that controls judgment is just not fully developed until their mid-20’s. Children are not just little adults. They are fundamentally different beings- more impressionistic and impulsive, and much more vulnerable, demanding our care and nurturing, not our spite and fury. The fact that this wayward country of perverted priorities arrests about two million children every year, (and 95% of those for non-violent “crimes”,) is a national disgrace of the highest order. The fact that the U.S. spends $10,500 a year to educate a child, but $88,000 to incarcerate them, is not only state-sanctioned child abuse, it’s fiscal madness. When this criminal judge robbed these thousands of children (and their families) of their childhoods, he stole something that could never be replaced. Many of these kids are scarred for life. They suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and having been stigmatized as being “criminal”. Their self-images are so distorted, they often cannot adapt to normal life. Two-thirds of them never return to school- meaning their educations have also been stolen from them.
. But the truth is- as shocking as it is to contemplate, we don’t care much about our children. Not really. After all, kids are expensive and too lazy to work, they can’t vote and they don’t pay taxes- so they are nobody’s constituency. Children are basically powerless over their own environments, and we rarely ask their permission for anything. When they behave normally, we deem them a nuisance. The U.S. incarcerates nearly FIVE TIMES MORE children than any other country in the world. There is a term for this behavior: the word is “depraved”. Why do we stand for this? What is fundamentally wrong with us?
> Depraved, I say.
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© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.