Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Caesar Rodney Institute and the prison abuse story: Redwaterlilly asking questions that need to be asked

Dave Burris has issued an impulsive, insulting, and idiotic fatwah [and, yes, Dave, it qualifies for all three adjectives] about the most recent Caesar Rodney Institute exclusive that only serves to detract from any serious evaluation of CRI's work:

Many of you wondered why the administration and the left went after and continue to go after CRI.

It’s because they’re scared of things like this.

Anyone who opposes the revelation of critical information by trying to shoot the messenger will be given no quarter. CRI has operated and will continue to operate as the highest example of Brandeis’ sunlight on the operation of government. Impressive.


Personally, I could care less who writes CRI material, except when it is substandard work with illegitimate use of source material, or when the author's identity and resume are germane to the conscious bias of the paper, and I will continue to report when CRI material fails to live up to any reasonable think-tank standard.

That said: my initial response to the level of reportage in the Sussex prison abuse case was positive--at least until Redwaterlilly [whose partner is a Corrections Officer] raised a number of important questions about the report, among them:

What really bothers me about the accusations is the fact that some of the parties involved are currently involved in civil suits and now they are trying to try this case in the newspapers...


And this:

Where is CRI when the Department of Corrections’ budget gets cut even though they need to do something about being understaffed but do not get to hire more Correctional Officers? DOC says that is it currently fully staffed or has only a few vacancies – but what fails to make the media is the fact that they are only a few people short of MINIMUM STAFFING – meaning staffing that covers the bare minimum and still causes officer’s to be told they can’t go home at the end of their shift but they have to work overtime — 8 HOURS OF OVERTIME – just to finally go home for 8 hours and then go to work again, leaving them with not enough time to eat and sleep considering travel time. MINIMUM staffing puts everybody at risk – the officers AND the inmates. People tend to forget that COs, just like prisoners, stay locked up in prison all day and go through some of the same stresses even though they do get to go home — eventually. The suicide rate among COs is extremely high for a reason.


This article should be must-reading for those who want to balance CRI's coverage of the issue.

Moreover, a point needs to be made to Dave Burris [Anyone who opposes the revelation of critical information by trying to shoot the messenger will be given no quarter] here and now: Redwaterlilly has raised substantive questions about the content of the CRI report, and has done so in a thoughtful, responsible way.

Outing her or her partner, or any other attempt to stifle debate and consideration of the material CRI releases into public view, is not something to be tolerated as part of rational discourse. This no quarter bullshit of yours is cute gamesmanship in some circles, and I am on record as being no particular fan of most pseudonymous blogging, but....

...somebody does need to remind you that, even by implication your words present a threat to people's real lives and you need to ratchet down that particular line of rhetoric.

26 comments:

Hube said...

So, Steve -- is it your implication that because some COs may be stressed, overworked, etc., and that because some of the parties involved are involved in litigation that that is somehow an excuse for mistreatment of prisoners?

Hmm... absolutely no excuse for mistreatment of heinous terrorists that could save American lives, but stress and overwork ARE an excuse for mistreatment of American prisoners.

As if our intel are under no stress ...

Steve Newton said...

Hube
I didn't take a position on RWL's counter-point, which you would have noticed if you read carefully enough. I pointed out that there are other issues to be discussed, and that my main point in the story was that nobody has any damn business issuing fatwahs regarding the bounds of what can and cannot be discussed here in the blogosphere.

Your attempt at making some sort of equivalence between this post (primarily process) and my position on torture is strained at best.

I have answered you on issues like Hiroshima etc. You didn't like or agree with my answers. That's your prerogative. But to suggest that I have not dealt with those issues is disingenuous. My standard for an acceptable argument is not whether you accept it; nor is your standard whether I accept it.

We don't agree on the issue of torture, and we are unlikely to convince each other to change our respective minds [I think you can parse that sentence, I got lost writing it].

So this pseudo-dialogue on the subject accomplishes .... nothing.

That's pretty much why I have stopped commenting on your posts on the subject. It is not getting either of us anywhere.

Dave said...

1. Get over yourself. WAY over.

2. CRI says in the report that the funding issues need to be addressed as well.

3. I see no character assassination on the part of Redwaterlily.

4. Although the term "no quarter" was probably not the best term given its military origins, I've been abundantly clear about where I stand. And none of it ever even came within a whiff of advocating, allowing, condoning or encouraging violence. Would that you showed as much concern for the guy who got the crap kicked out of him.

5. Get over yourself.

6. What Hube said.

Dave said...

And as far as Redwaterlily's argument as cited by you?

"Minimum staffing" never beat the crap out of anyone.

Almost every candidate I've been involved with has sought and earned the endorsement of the Correctional Officers Union, all on the basis of higher pay and staffing levels and improvements to the correction system.

But it's still not an excuse for beating the crap out of an inmate. Nor is staffing an excuse for the state of medical care in prisons.

I don't have time for this.

Hube said...

That's why I asked if "it was your implication," Steve. And your wording in this post can surely lead one to ask what I did. It's hardly "strained." After all, "This article should be must-reading for those who want to balance CRI's coverage of the issue"?? Again, even if CRI had mentioned what RWL wrote, how does that "balance" the issue of mistreatment?

Yes, I didn't agree w/your answers about Hiroshima etc. b/c they frankly made little sense to me, especially after reading your [continuing] damning criticisms of what the CIA has done to those poor little al Qaeda types.

Steve Newton said...

Ah, Dave....

You promise "no quarter" against bloggers criticizing CRI after outing kavips, flourishing the reputation of a think-tank the predominantly publishes ideological crap with little research base...

And I need to get over myself?

Either the overall body of CRI's work can stand on its merits, or it can't--your pontificating aside.

Go play in the street.

Macho Camacho said...

Wow, Steve, with a post that self-fellating, you're up to replace Fat Jason at Delaware Liberal!

CRI poops bigger than you. The paper Dave Burris wipes with has more substance.

Steve Newton said...

Macho
From an individual that RSmitty so accurately described, that's pretty fine praise.

By the way: if CRI does so well, how come all of its public traffic measures indicate so few people are reading it? And why aren't its "research reports" actually getting any media coverage?

Could it be that much of what CRI produces right now is--dare I say it?--poop?

Macho Camacho said...

It's not so much that you disgrace the true Libertarian cause---you do and that's forgiveable.

It's that you so publicly suck the c.cks of the biggest bunch of cheesy gay porn political losers at DL, and that is unforgivable.

I may be a spineless dick, but that still makes me a top. You are nothing but a "me too" spunk receptacle for Delaware's most pathetic faggot soapboxers in history.

You are, perhaps, the hole in which the scrotem pole is set.

downwithabsolutes said...

Macho Camacho,

I don't know who the hell you are, but you're turning into one of the most vicious, obnoxious anonymous bloggers this side of anonone. You're turning into that which you've sought to expose. Get over yourself.

downwithabsolutes said...

Now that I read your last comment again, Macho Camacho, I think it's fair to say that you're the most vile, ridiculous piece of shit to ever hide behind anonymity. EVER.

The fact that you would use such chickenshit cover to say what you've said about Steve just goes to show you the type of shithead you are.

Sorry for trashing this thread with my own obscenities, Steve. I just had to call this nutjob out.

tom said...

you know, maybe if we weren't the state with the highest prison rate in the country with the highest prison rate in the world we might be able to hire enough corrections officers.

instead of bitching about the prison budget being too low, maybe they should try not locking up so many people for things that shouldn't be crimes.

just a thought ...

Dave said...

"You promise "no quarter" against bloggers criticizing CRI after outing kavips."

No, Steve. I said people attacking the messenger. They can criticize the work all they want. But you can't put words in my mouth or ascribe motives to me that aren't there.

Your soulmate kavips personally attacked my friend. Perhaps you don't have friends, but I stick up for mine.

And Macho, you need to disappear. You're not helping, and you're creating sympathy for people who don't deserve it.

Dave said...

By the way, I'm sure you're right. I'm sure their "ideological poop" will have no impact.

None whatsoever.

(Oh, look. The correctional officers just got a venue to publicly make the case for more staff and more money.)

Suzanne said...

Again, let me make this clear — I am AGAINST prisoner abuse and FOR adequate medical care for prisoners. I am all for investigating reports of prisoner abuse. HOWEVER, I refuse to take CRIs report for granted, because it is aimed at making prisoners look good and DOC look bad and talks about hand picked inmates and releases only information about those prisoners that is Hube wrote: So, Steve -- is it your implication that because some COs may be stressed, overworked, etc., and that because some of the parties involved are involved in litigation that that is somehow an excuse for mistreatment of prisoners?


Hello - PLanet Earth to Hube - did you even READ what he wrote?

As for my point - let's write it a THIRd time - i will try to type in plain english so you cna understand it.

I am AGAINST prisoner abuse and FOR adequate medical care for prisoners. I am all for investigating reports of prisoner abuse and punishing the Officers involved, where the situation/circumstance shows that they abused their power.

The Stress and Overwork was mentioned WHERE IS CRI reporting on that - I did not write that they abuse becuase of, but that I fail to see reports on that by CRI.

AS for the child rapist that lost both his legs - I bet more then half the readership here on the blogs would say he should die the moment they read in the paper that he raped his niece. Double Standards anybody - even if it is just in your head?

suzanne said...

Sorry about the mistake in the reply - copied and pasted all weird..oh well

Dave said...

"Double Standards anybody - even if it is just in your head?"

So they judge whether people should have medical care based on what they're in for? If you commit a heinous crime, you don't deserve to have legs?

Maria Evans said...

First, you can say " I am AGAINST prisoner abuse and FOR adequate medical care for prisoners," all day long, but when Red says:

"Also, I wonder why CRI didn’t mention what Sudler, the diabetic that will need to have his last remaining leg amputated, is in prison for – probably because that would make him less the recipient of sympathy."

it makes me wonder...

And, speaking of wondering and not mentioning stuff, I wonder why Red didn't mention that the amputee guy apparently hasn't been convicted yet...from what I can tell he can't make bail but hasn't been to trial yet, someone correct me if I'm wrong on that...

Anyway, I don't like the implication that people in prison for certain things get what they deserve.

IMO if you go to jail you shouldn't be subjected to things like rape and beatings and medical neglect. Period. Prison never seems to rehabilitate, it just seems to churn out worse criminals. Hmmm...I wonder why...

Second, Steve, really, the minute I read the CRI report I assumed lawsuits. I'm surprised that "bothers" you. You don't think that a beaten up Sussex businessman is smart enough to file a suit?

Third, understaffing at prisons has been a continuing problem, but during the Minner Administration I think it went beyond just understaffing, I don't think they gave a crap about the prison system at all.

I want this Administration held accountable for making conditions safe for both COs and prisoners. It's about freaking time.

And lastly, when your partner is a CO, you, too, may be a little biased.

Hube said...

Hello - PLanet Earth to Hube - did you even READ what he wrote?

I sure did. And I stand by comments. Did you read them? Again -- it is quite easy to wonder about Steve's implication(s)based on what he wrote. And given how he's "explained" away past US atrocities but blasts recent CIA abuses as stuff that should never happen, that's even more fodder to wonder about his consistency.

Anonymous said...

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering the prisons."

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The House of the Dead

Obviously, we have a ways to go.

anonone

Macho Camacho said...

Thanks for the love. I only wish you had shown such affection for donviti and the other scrotem totems.

Focus your hatred. I have. I'm getting ready to mail a box of my own shit to one of the DLs at work! I already sent Jason a Christmas card that I rubbed all over my balls. I figure it's time for the next step.

Happy New Year fatboy! ;o)

Anonymous said...

Steve,

This clown M**** C***** is both personally threatening DL bloggers with physical harm and outing. You may want to consider removing her posts and links and banning future posts.

anonone

Macho Camacho said...

Waaah! Waaah!

Here comes the Waahmbulance!

1. I have never threatened physical harm to anyone.

2. I have outed no one who has not already outed themselves. Consider me an efficient search engine. BING!

Now shove that up your liberal pooter.

Mark H said...

Sorry, Steve this post may be a bit longer than I'd like.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was a Correctional Officer between 1988 and 1998 at DCC (Smyrna) and my wife still works at DCC so I know a little bit of what I"m about to say :)
1)RWL, sorry but the crime that anyone commits should HAVE NO BEARING on how he is treated. When I trained new officers I always advised them about inquiring into why the inmate was in prison. Just treat all of them the same and it shouldn't be a problem.
2) Hube, although not an excuse, shortness of staff in the prison and forced overtime certainly has an effect on one's judgment. Work 3 16 hour days in a row (and not by your choice) and see how short your fuse may be. Again, not an excuse, but probably a factor
3)Tom, you are quite correct. We as a state (and nation) really need to decide if we need to lock up everyone for every little thing.

Now, for the meat of the report. From my reading, I'm getting the idea that Lee Williams thinks that there is a "rogue" force of officers at SCI. Not sure if that's true, but I can say that in the 90's, it was certainly SCI's reputation that use of force was high there. But again, I'm speaking on reputation, not actual knowledge. And to be quite honest, the reputation that SCI may have may be clouding the report somewhat.
Also, the report still thinks CMS sucks :) OK, this isn't really news. They've sucked for a really long time. TRUE STORY: I was having chest pains on the midnight shift, walked to the nurses station, where they proceeded to tell me I was fine. They based this on the fact that I walked to the nurses station, not on actually doing anything (and they had a EKG machine there). Two months later, I had stents put in my arteries as I had/have Heart Disease. The problem with CMS (or any private agency that would run the health care for the prison) is that they base their profit on NOT providing treatment to inmates.

The basic problem I have with the report is that I think some of the recommendations are a bit " pie in the sky". We are expecting Correctional Officers (whose education required is a HS diploma) to get trained in Mental Health and Medical issues...AND WE JUST TOOK A BUNCH OF MONEY FROM THEM. Good Luck with that :)

AND WIMPY C (my name for you) send something in the mail to my workplace and if I'm in the right mood, we"ll file STATE and FEDERAL charges against your cowardly self

HEY A better name for you COWARDLY CAMACHO

Suzanne said...

OK - I am sorry for the misunderstanding - my point about the story was that if people heard that someone didn't get the medical care he needed then a lot of people will feel sorry for him - if they here he is a child rapist (and you really don't get charged with child rape unless there is enough cause for the prosecutors to believe they can win that case) then I would think at least half the people if not more that first felt sorry would not say he should rot in hell. Knowing that, CRI wrote its report purposely in a way that would make people feel negatively toward Correctional Officers and to shed a negative light on our Governor and Minner (in all fairness - much of the prison situation is the fault of her administration and I sincerely believe was a reaction to the Correctional Officers supposed unofficial work action when they wouldn't volunteer for overtime and the Minner administration tried to FORCE them to VOLUNTEER Oxymoron?)
I made it very clear that I believe these cases should get investigated and that adequate health care should be in place - HOWEVER, I also made it clear that that report would have a lot more impact on me and my thinking if it didn't come from the CRI and wasn't so one-sided even though they are supposedly a non-partisan "think-tank" (more tanking then thinking, I think).

Maria Evans said...

"...my point about the story was that if people heard that someone didn't get the medical care he needed then a lot of people will feel sorry for him - if they here he is a child rapist (and you really don't get charged with child rape unless there is enough cause for the prosecutors to believe they can win that case) then I would think at least half the people if not more that first felt sorry would not say he should rot in hell."

So you, THE PARTNER OF A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER, thought that telling people that the prisoner was an accused child rapist would make it so people would care less about the fact that there is a history of serious medical neglect at SCI?

Seriously, YOU'RE accusing CRI of being biased?