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Freedom is Not in Style: Controlling Our Fellowman



Matt 1:07
And this week, we are talking about the prison system. I don’t know if we actually decided that we were just talking about here in the US or globally. But there’s some interesting stats, I think that would help put things in context. context, the US is approximately 5% of the world population, yet we have 25% of the world’s prison population. That population has increased 700% since the 80s. And that’s around the time when mandatory sentencing kind of kicked in. So what were the big things that you guys saw? Like? I mean, I guess the question I was thinking about first is like, why why do we imprison people? what’s the what’s the base reasoning for that? It’s not without reason. It’s not just a reaction out of fear. But what is the reason that we imprison people?

Austin 2:00
Before, like, that stat 5% of the world’s population, but literally a quarter of the world’s prison population. So little a 20th of the total population, but a quarter of the prison, but that’s crazy. out of whack?

Matt 2:18
Well, that’s because we’re the land and the home of the brave, right.

Jen 2:22
Thinking about it.

Austin 2:24
In the world,

Jen 2:24
how many nations just kill people for things? Or chop off hands?

David 2:32
Yeah, but I wouldn’t think that that would be I wouldn’t think that that would be the thing. I think it’s mostly that other nations is have

Jen 2:39
less crime,

David 2:41
Oh dear crappy police forces.

Christina 2:44
That can be a thing as well.

David 2:46
I mean, I know, my, my experience with Costa Rican police is that it’s a crappy police force. Same as Mexican,

Austin 2:55
Lots of corruption. Lots of lots of not just I’m not saying Costa Rica. Lots of police forces are famous for corruption.

David 3:04
More More, more civilized. I mean, I guess more advanced country like that. I have some experience with Israel. I didn’t really see that many cops, either. I mean, it’s, it’s it, they were a little more. There, they’re a bit more chill. I mean, you do see them in places like you know, in Jerusalem and stuff like that, where you have the potential of having suicide or bombs, terror, terrorist attacks and stuff like that. But um,but I don’t think that there was a whole lot of more petty crime stuff, I guess, or whatever you call it.

Christina 3:49
Are you saying rules? laws are? More lax?

David 3:53
Possibly. Yeah.

Austin 3:55
There’s a lot of factors for sure.

Matt 3:57
Oh, sure.

Joanie 3:59
The history of behind the prison system and how we got to where we are. And there isn’t a whole lot there like imprisonment, it’s kind of always been a thing. But the one thing I thought of that we don’t do now is we don’t banish people. That used to be a thing as a advantage people outside your country, but now there’s really nowhere to go. So instead, we just lock them up. Because what else are you going to do? You don’t want them in society? That’s really the only option.

Austin 4:25
Send them to Australia,

Jen 4:27
or send them to Australia.

Matt 4:31
And I think I’m totally getting Joanie through Austin’s mic right now.

Christina 4:35
Yeah, I think so.

Austin 4:37
She’s muted.

Christina 4:38
There you go. Yeah.

Joanie 4:41
Well, did you hear anything? I said,

Christina 4:43
I could hear it. Yeah.

Matt 4:45
We can work with that. And, you know, post, but definitely good to fix that. Oh, I think one of the interesting things that I find is that whenever I’m watching some kind of, you know, outrageous policing action here in the United States, you know, something that’s causing outrage. A lot of the times I’m thinking like, do we just fund the system too much that these are the things that we’re going we’re choosing to police that we’re choosing to spend our, our effort and energy and money on? You know, obviously, there’s other places in the system that money could go. But I know like when I see it, you know, somebody’s being harassed for picking up garbage around their house,

Jen 5:27
as their job.

Matt 5:27
by 8 police officers. Like, what are we doing here? I remember

Joanie 5:33
hearing about that the churches that were handing out food did like homeless people in the corner, and ended up getting arrested

Austin 5:40
or children who don’t have a permit to sell lemonade on the sidewalk. I mean, that’s legit shit. So stupid.

Jen 5:51
And I think it goes back to Matt’s question like, why why do we imprison people on? I think it’s money?

David 5:57
Well, I mean, yeah. Have you ever have you seen also the the pair of military vehicles that they’ve bought that some Oh, boy, some of these places

Austin 6:09
have, like militarization of the police force? Yeah, it’s good thing.

David 6:14
Like these are like, you know, humongous, crazy vehicles. And I mean, for what, for what really, I mean,

Matt 6:29
depends where you’re at.

Jen 6:31
We live in a whole other area, and I don’t see police officers hardly ever like and, I’m driving all over the place for work. And I don’t see a police officer hardly ever. Right, I drive by the police station, and I might be a cop or two like in the parking lot. That’s about it.I don’t see them patrolling.

Matt 6:52
I think when we were down on the border in Arizona for a while, like when we went down to visit and they were they had like an MRAP parked at MRAP parked at an Elementary School, which is like a military grade vehicle. And we were pumping those out during the height of our, our time in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I think it’s so interesting that we have those for police one because it just totally changes the image of who the police are, what their mission is. Which on a on a border town. Is it admittedly sometimes different. But, man, the amount of maintenance required for those vehicles, amount of specialty maintenance, that is expensive.

Austin 7:34
I mean, it whoever said it comes back to money. I think it was you Jen, and it’s me, like clearly, it’s never about the money. It’s always about the morals and principles. My bad money is just as you know, it’s just aside. Just got so don’t follow the money. Whatever you do, what is it $75 billion dollars? Oh, yeah. So the number today $75 billion industry? Is the prison industry.

David 8:01
Actually, I saw one that said 185 billion.

Austin 8:04
Let me go again, it depends on how you count it, you know, but

in dollars or half dollars.

You include the police force in the prison? Yeah, yeah.

What the judges,

David 8:21
you know, this also included the judicial system and

Austin 8:25
and yeah. So but it’s I mean, it’s huge. And I coming back to that whole, like international comparison. Yeah, there are countries where you don’t have big prisons, because they just kill you. You know, or you have the guerrilla force. So I get it. It’s not that the US is the worst place. Yes, the stat is pretty crazy. But it isn’t exactly one of those stats that you can just take on the nose and say see where the worst again, like so, yeah, that’s a fair shake. At the same time, there’s culture that like we did an episode already on the Chinese social credit system. They’re introducing social credit as an attempt to let the community police itself. That’s one of the one of the interesting side notes that we found in our research was this, this idea that because China has essentially lost any sense of a higher power in the form of a deity, as a communist country, they’re largely atheist, or because they’re an atheist culture, at least, they read, the Chinese government has realized that moral behavior has declined significantly. And so the idea of being nice to your neighbor and not cutting in line and not stealing shit, and not beating each other up on the street, like they’re having a hard time controlling the world’s largest population. And so they introduced social credit as one of the ways to police each other. So when you see somebody jaywalking, you can report them in, you see somebody stealing something you can report them. And so again, you know, they don’t have a prison system like ours, they have a social credit system that if you do something stupid, you don’t get to travel. So really, it’s a broader subject of how does a country choose to punish bad behavior. And in some countries choose to kill you. Some countries choose to remove your ability to travel, some countries put you in prison, and so on, and so forth. And obviously, we’re talking about the US prison system. And then so to acknowledge the other options, I think, is good for an honest take on the subject. But then to be able to say, okay, we’re specifically talking about the prison concept. We understand it’s not the only one. But it is certainly one that I think we’re, we would all agree we’re doing very poorly. So I think for anybody who’s listening to this, and you know, what about this? What about it? Yeah, we get it. We’re acknowledging that. But this is something very specific to the United States. That fair.

Christina 11:08
Yeah. But I think you’re saying like, how are we doing about what’s the goal of the prison system? Like, if it’s to rehabilitate people, for sure,

Joanie 11:18
but it’s failing?

Christina 11:20
Exactly. If, if the goal is just to punish people? I mean, I guess we’re punishing them pretty well.I don’t know.

David 11:30
Literally screwing up their life.

Christina 11:31

Joanie 11:32
One of the stats I heard was that 60% of people that get out of prison returned to prison,

Christina 11:38
I think it’s like 67 or 68%.

Joanie 11:41
Now that they can go in, but then by being there is actually making them worse off than they were before. Because they literally having to fight for their life literally having to fight for food literally having to fight for everything,

Austin 11:53
and learning to become better criminals.

Joanie 11:55
Yes, exactly. That’s what I that’s one of the things I was listening to. So then they go out and just back

in, it’s almost out of necessity, that they’re learning to be better criminals,

right? It’s life or death.

Matt 12:06
And that that speaks to I know, my hook was talking about if you want it where you create lifelong felons is in prison, because the behavior that they have to have, whether it’s, if they’re in general, general population, you know, being warehoused with other, you know, literally stacked in bunks and giant rooms with other inmates, or they’re in solitary confinement, which is pretty horrible. You know, you’re creating a new person, that’s going to have attributes that are not the same as when they came in. And those attributes aren’t going to be any better for the most part. And it’s pretty weird. To hear that coming from a place called the Department of Corrections.

Christina 12:42
Well, and not even just what they learn while they’re in there, like once they get out, they don’t really have a leg to stand on, because they’re they’re not able to get student loans, public housing, food stamps. Yeah, very hard to get jobs are socially disconnected. There’s high rates of homelessnes and suicide, like, I wonder why I mean, gracious, it feels like, we’re just, we’re basically dehumanizing people, once they get once they get sentenced with something. It’s like we’re saying, Well, sorry, you made the bad choices sucks to be you. You’re forever stuck.

Joanie 13:23
When I first started researching this, I was watching like a prison documentary and was just horrified at what was going on. I was literally in shock. I had no idea what was going on. It’s like, how are we letting this happen? How are we not delving into prison reform? Like really, and I read and looks at that there are a lot of people that have tried to initiate you know, education and job training. And then it came down to funding and funding was pulled because they’re prisoners. They don’t deserve that stuff. So then we’re literally creating our own problems, sending them back into Society unprepared, uneducated and causing the same problem. But I did find out this was not widely publicized that President Trump just passed a bill in December 2018, the first step act? Has anyone else heard about that? I hadn’t even heard about that.

Austin 14:15
It was it wasn’t Kim Kardashian that was trying to work with him on that.

Joanie 14:19
I’m not sure.

Austin 14:21
And that’s what

homeboy, the rapper with to always where’s the MAGA hat?

Kanye, Kanye West. He was awesome.

Joanie 14:32
That’s right. I did hear that. Right. But if I found press release, both of them, were talking about it. a press release that was just from two months ago. So this is this is really, really new. But one of the things that he’s pushing for is vocational training that President Trump has been pushing for this act is vocational training and educational training and rehabilitating people so that when they do go back out there, legitimate citizens and can add back to society instead of just returning back to the prison system.

Christina 15:07
Well, that makes a lot of sense, because the amount of money that it costs if nothing else, I mean,it’s ridiculous. I, for one example, I was watching one video or said that the guy, one of her clients, I’m not sure exactly what she did. But she was in the system somehow. The guy was arrested for stealing a $3 bottle of orange juice, he served 50 days in jail. And then he racked up a $10,000 bill somehow I don’t know what all was involved in that. But supposedly justice was served in that case, because he paid for his bottle of juice. I mean, we paid $10,000 for a bottle of juice. How ridiculous is that? Or for another example of a guy who owed 1500 dollars in child support, he couldn’t pay any way he was gonna be able to pay in a timely manner. So he offered to go to jail for 30 days that

Jen 16:04
didn’t cancel out the bill.

Christina 16:07
No, the child didn’t get the support, it cost the taxpayers $1650

Joanie 16:13
shouldn’t even be an option. good and right.

Christina 16:16
But I mean, he was getting punished. And that to me, it points to the focus of the system is to punish people, period. And that doesn’t make sense. Like that’s a really old school way of thinking for sure.

Austin 16:30
And that comes back to I was like, Can we drill down into like the thing that puts all these people in there? Which is the culture of how do I put it. I don’t like what you’re doing so: “government help please please make him stop!” this bullshit of I disagree with what you’re doing. So my politician better make a law to punish you. It’s an it is a culture that we’ve had this massive, massive uptick in micromanagement social, social, constructing, social, constructing social, construction, constructing the word, trying to manipulate our social structure through law. Yeah, social engineering. That’s better word Thank you knew there was more common term. So that were you we’ve got these micro management, social engineering laws that are just coming out in droves. In in the form of add ons to the farm bill and frickin other crap that happens out of these budgets and that budget, like these little things, and there is I mean, it is a known fact that and the was Neil Gorsuch, the one of the Supreme Court justices, just recently, last week, came out and said, and in his opinion on some case, it I think he wrote the dissenting opinion. His thing was like the the judicial system has gotten so bad, to where it is so complex, and there are so many rules and so many laws, that there really is not a single person in existence who isn’t breaking at least a dozen laws, of which at least one of them is imprisonable, a personable offense.

Jen 18:28

Austin 18:29
That literally, there’s nobody in the United States who shouldn’t be in prison. And, okay, I mean, that’s just ridiculous. Yeah, sorry. Go ahead, Jen.

Jen 18:38
I was just gonna throw out a ridiculous law. It was around Halloween time. And I think it’s like Vermont or some, I don’t know, some state that says it’s, it’s against the law to go trick or treating if you’re over the age of 13. It was a big discussion, like how many of us after 13, where trick or treating will throw them in jail for?

Joanie 19:02
Literally, they’re throwing they said, at one point, there was a five year old kid that was in prison. And a little kid, I listened to two stories about that. Because there’s these private prisons that are making money off people. So they’re taking everybody in anybody they can, and literate kids being in

Jen 19:22
prison or juvie? Well,

Joanie 19:25
the juvenile detention centers are under private ownership. And what I was looking into wasn’t they were including that in the prison system. Definitely.

Matt 19:35
I think the easy answer with Austin is talking about is put sunset clauses on laws that way, you know, we have to revisit them every revisit them every 5-10 years. And and see, okay, do we still want this? Is this still make sense?

Austin 19:47
Or was this working right here? Is the culture changed? Has has the technology changed?

Joanie 19:55
Has the judge changed? Right?

Otherwise, you just have this this one way, you know, ramp of of laws being created, and going on the books and the book just getting thicker and thicker and thicker?

But that’s how most people believe is that there’s there’s a right and there’s a wrong there’s a yes. And there’s a know there’s a this is how it should be. And I think it’s very rare actually to find anybody that thinks you can change your mind, the society might change, the culture might change. Obviously, that’s something we all believe. I don’t think that’s as rampant as we would hope it would be.

Austin 20:28
and freedom is not in style.Sean Hannityhas the intro to show freedom is back in style. No, it’s not.And I’ve listened to your show, and I’m definitely more conservative than I am liberal. But the conservative crowd is just as control freaks, you know, freak oriented as the liberals, they just want to control different things. Don’t tell me freedom is in style when you’re the one who still decides what I get to be free with. Like, that’s, that is not. I mean, I think I’m a very loud and proud libertarian these days. Right? And sure, I get it libertarians, there’s certain platforms or whatever. And anytime you put yourself in a box, there’s always a caveat. But nonetheless, of the three major if there are three major political streams Libertarian, as is by far to me the closest to where I would go in, in the thing about that, I would say the reason that makes her is because I genuinely do disagree with many behaviors. I however, do not think that my opinion over your behavior should matter.

Joanie 21:45
Would you say overall the the Libertarian viewpoint on on this subject in particular, they have a viewpoint on

Austin 21:55
Oh Yeah! Libertarians on prison? On the Facebook group that I follow is … Darn it. Libertarian Facebook group I can’t think of the name of right now. But they regularly post stuff on prison, especially now with all of the states that are legalizing marijuana and realizing that the prisons are filled with people who are there because of marijuana.

Matt 22:15
Non violent drug offenders in Georgia. Yeah.

Austin 22:19
Why? Why now that the rules have changed? Why don’t they just immediately get out? Yeah, to and they’re in states that the words now legal?

Joanie 22:27
Wow, that they have retroactive.

David 22:31
California was trying to pass something like that. I don’t know if they ended up doing it or not. But that would make retro that would even clear their clear their record the record and everything. You know, it’s a lot of people that went to jail for drug possession. They had that record on their, on the record. And all the issues with getting jobs, stuff like that still apply to them, even though what they did is now legal.

Jen 23:05
But even though it’s it’s legal in the state, it’s still illegal federally, so they would still be breaking that law?

Matt 23:11
Sure. But, but the state is not making money off of it, the taxes. And the drug dealer that was you know, trying to make a living is behind bars.

David 23:30
a lot of these, like, if you have a record, if you This is the funny thing, if you have if you went to jail for any drug related crime, you cannot sell legal pot anymore.

Joanie 23:44

David 23:46
No, it’s not federal, but a lot of the states that have legalized recreational use, and so on and so forth, have have that in, like, if you if you went to jail for a drug related crime, then you can’t sell the legal stuff.

Austin 24:05
There’s, there’s an element to Hey, when it was illegal, you were breaking the law. It’s now legal doesn’t mean that you weren’t breaking the law two years ago. So I get elements of that. I think the component is then you have to do look at the desire for punishment. This punishment culture, this get em!! They’re different than me, culture is really the freaking, we’re just putting out more literally, every time something offensive happens on Twitter. There’s a group of people that become the anti offensive thing on Twitter, a coalition and started lobbying Congress to make the law against that small group of people?

Joanie 24:46
Well, here’s a good question that brings up because so many victims of crimes, or even the people want justice, they want justice served. So you know, we were talking about punishment. But what does it mean to enact justice? What is justice? Because it’s our justice system? It’s what is that creating?

Austin 25:09
that deserves air quotes.

Joanie 25:12
justice system? Yes.

Jen 25:15
I think there’s a lot of like, there’s a different way to value what law is broken. For example, if I get arrested for smoking pot and having a bong on me, that’s completely different as if I were to go kill somebody. And so well, there’s different levels, like has to reflect that somehow, because taking a life is completely different than I don’t know, doing something stupid, like running a light. And arguing with the police officer? I don’t know.

David 25:51
I feel like there’s a backstory there.

Jen 25:53
Oh, no, there isn’t. I was trying to think of some cool law that can be broken. And it was…

Matt 26:00
Give me flashbacks over here.

Jen 26:03
Ran some red lights sir?

Joanie 26:07
I heard your red light story. Yeah.

Matt 26:14
Oh, I think this is this kind of plays party to what you’re saying. I think one of the interesting things I came across as we were digging through this stuff is when I came across michael moore’s documentary, something about invade, you know, US evading the world, I forget what the title of it was. But the he invaded Norway, because of their prison system. And for comparison’s sake, Norway has about a 20% recidivism rate, like people within five years, like people will be back in jail at the 20%. Whereas in the US, I think somebody said earlier, 60 something percent, when I heard that Michael Moore gives it 80%. So who knows where his numbers are. But either way stark contrast. And if you were to look into the style of these of the prison systems are dramatically different. Like I would venture to say that a maximum security Norwegian’s prison is comparable to a minimum security prison in the US minimum, like minimum white collar, prison us. And the emphasis so much there is I love it. They’re like, we’re getting these people ready to be somebody’s neighbor again. And like, he was talking to a guy who was in for for homicide. He was in the kitchen, bunch of knives behind him. Nobody was concerned. You know, and then they had another prison that they highlighted, it was kind of a place where people reward place for people to go, or for comics to go to after they’ve been good. And the the other prisons, and these guys could go for a swim if they wanted to. They couldn’t swim all the way across the the land on the other side. Otherwise, that was an escape. But I think it just highlights the big difference in what why are we doing this? Is it because we’re going for justice? Is it because we’re allegation is because we want to create good neighbors for the future. And there’s a vastly different, no tree of progress to get you to each one of those.

Joanie 28:23
That’s a really hard subjects. We were even briefly talking about that the other day. Because there used to be Pell grants for prisoners that they could go to college and get a college education and come back and have skills. But you know, if some kid murders my son, I don’t want him getting free college. Like that’s not fair when my son has to pay for it. So I totally get why they pulled that. But at the same time, do you want that person going back into society with no skills other than learning how to deal drugs. And so it, I believe it should be more of a reform system, sure, serve your time you’re punished, you’re removed from society, because you messed up. But in the meantime, we need to train you how to be a good citizen. I think there are some people, you know, there is a whole nother side to it the mental side, there are some people who are just mentally unable to enter society again, and they should be locked up,

Jen 29:31
should they be in prison? Or should they be in a mental Ward?

Joanie 29:35
And that’s a good question. And I think a lot of people that are in prison should be in a mental Ward, but a lot of the funding for mental institutions has gone I know we have a real problem with that here in Michigan. There’s one location, that’s a lockdown facility. And it’s in high demand, because they’re there are people that should be there, but they can’t get there because there’s not funding for it.

Jen 29:57
And the state we’re in if if you’re a child and need wraparound care, you have to be go to a different state on entirely Yeah, place for the mental health piece.

David 30:10
How long is it? Sorry? How long? Is it conviction for murder? Does anybody know? It is vary wildly, unfortunately, first first degree or like the first degree is like premeditated or something like that, isn’t it? I don’t know. I? To be honest, I am completely ignorant about that. But I’m curious how long? How long somebody? How long of a period it would be that, that you would have to be in jail for? In I mean, if you think about it, like being away that long from society, and what happens to you mentally, I mean, gracious,

Joanie 30:47
according to I just googled it real quick. So not less than 10 years, nor more than 25 years for first degree murder.

Jen 30:55

David 30:56
even 10 years. I mean, I know.

Joanie 30:59
That’s a long time.

David 31:00
Yeah. And you’re you’re you don’t you lose your I imagine you lose your ability to handle social situations. I mean, you’re you’re hanging out with a bunch of guys for 10 years straight. And that’s all you see. And you can’t go wherever you want to go. And then to be a man

Christina 31:21
Assuming you were a man when you murdered someone. I guess.

Matt 31:24
it so here’s a fun vision exercise. Imagine it’s 1994 and you’ve killed somebody, you got the maximum, it’s 25 years you get out this year. Oh, my god

Joanie 31:34
From 1994 till now? Oh, the whole world’s changed. It’s a whole different world. Let alone what you’ve gone through in those years.

David 31:47
Imagine you don’t get any sort of psychological help coming out. You know,

Joanie 31:53
just and that’s what they’re aiming for. For. That’s what they’re aiming for. That’s what this act that President Trump just enacted what is to try and better equip people as they’re going out to become part of society again. So we’re headed in that direction, I at least feel as a as a culture, we’re heading that direction, because it can’t stay the way it is. I mean, 25% of the world’s population and prisoners in the United States, like something is really messed up here.

Austin 32:22
You just, you know, as with any running any business, or thinking about any concept like this, you know, if it’s all big machine, there’s only so many levers that you know, that you can pull to change the dynamics of what this machine is doing. And in this case, like, we could talk about what happens when we will get out and I still come back to why the fuck are there so many people in the prison? Yeah, I mean, to me, it is it’s it’s an input problem?

Joanie 32:52
Well, I can tell you why that’s what I looked into was the privatization of the prisons. They said from the 80s, before the 80s, it was all federally and state run, those prisons started to get overrun. So they started going into privatizing between the 80s. And think we said, the early 2000s, the amount of prisoners increased 700%. They said this did not match. In fact, in that time, the amount of crime has actually decreased. And it didn’t go along with the population increasing, it was purely prisoners in the amount of prisoners increasing. And it was because almost half of the 2.5 million people that are incarcerated are in privatized prisons, which means they are all about their shareholders. They’re all about making money. And heads are money. So the 10 year olds, the five year olds, getting them in the door, getting them in a bed is money. So they’ve been .I read a lot of articles about how they’ve been bribing judges, they spent $75 million on lobbyists trying to get laws passed, because as soon as you relax laws on drugs, relax laws on illegals, relax any laws, and you don’t have as many criminals, they’re not getting as many people in the door, they even have agreements with states that basically saying like, if 90 to 100% of their beds aren’t full, that the state has to pay the money to compensate them for it. So the state is just shutting people in these privatized prisons. So that’s, that’s why you have the laws. That’s why you have the amount of people that doesn’t your incentive position right there.

Austin 34:46
Right. No conflict of interest? No, it’s just totally good. I mean, you obviously have that. And then I still come back to our culture of the I keep thinking like, okay, so you go to China, and you have this, this issue of how do I control my neighbor? Right, you go to some other country that doesn’t do prison, they just kill you. It’s still How do I control my neighbor? And then you come here to the US state to the States, and it’s how do I control my neighbor in and I get, if your neighbor wants to kill your, your son, you probably want to control your neighbor. And I think there’s the obvious things of murder and rape and, and assault and violence and stuff like that. But the victimless crimes and this is the big libertarian thing, like if it’s the victimless crime of you know, I’m doing drugs, there’s no what I’m I am the victim of my own stupidity. Right. That they would they would have a whole list and I wish I probably should be more better prepared with with

Joanie 35:53

Austin 35:55
Yeah, that one, you know, like, it’s two consenting adults. Right, paying for service? Who is the person if the two people in it… go ahead?

Jen 36:04
The hard part on that is, how do you know it’s consensual? Yes, it’s consensual, but my pimp is threatening to kill me if I say otherwise. Or if I’m a meth addict, that’s great. But then I have a child in the corner who’s taken the chemo of meth to school, say, my mom and dad need help. So help me like, that’s so true. Like, I mean, those are the gray area

Matt 36:26
on the prostitution side of that thing. I mean, it’s a world of difference if it’s a legalized situation. Yeah.

Austin 36:33
Right. This is a clinical.

All they have to do is turn it into a war on drugs, or a war on prostitution or war on this. And suddenly what you have is, maybe you’ve seen like the war on drugs, like before the war on drugs started, it was about 7% of the US population that use drugs. Right? Yeah. And the overdosing was way, way lower the, the violent crime surrounding the drugs didn’t exist. The money in it was was moderate. And it was a normal industry. Like Joanie’s grandma was telling stories about how she was in nursing school she took cocaine is too

Joanie 37:16
close to go to the to the nurse’s station to get cocaine to stay up all night to study.

Jen 37:21
Well, cocaine was also in cough syrup, right?

Christina 37:23

Austin 37:24
Coca Cola. So but the moment

Joanie 37:28
they become a cocaine addict, imagine that,

Austin 37:30
right? Because you put a law on it. And then suddenly, you build a black market around it, you develop criminality around it, which of course attracts criminals, which of course, attracts violence, which of course attracts more money, because now, instead of buying it at the grocery store, I have to buy it, you know, in this seedy alley back here, where I gotta pay five times as much. And so there’s five times the amount of money and now you have this attraction for all this other stuff, and then you’ve got the prison system, and then you’ve got more laws around, then you get to hire more police with literally, these wars that we create, are, by and large, a financial racket that are a control mechanism to then create, where what you now have, and there is a movie that recently came out with Tom Cruise, that the CIA is literally the number one was literally the number one cocaine dealer in the United States. I don’t know if they still are in it’s not the point. The point is that literally Hollywood’s made a movie on it, and it is a based on a true story.

Joanie 38:31
Follow the money is the same for a reason.

Austin 38:33
Right, and so when the state becomes the ones that are the place where you where the 7% of the population needs to go, which by the way, the numbers haven’t changed, the bad numbers anyways, or the normal numbers haven’t changed. It’s still 7% of population who uses drugs, but the violence in the overdosing and all the crap that comes with it, because we have a criminal culture around it, that’s still there. So 40 years later, the war on drugs hasn’t worked. You know what we should, we should now do a war on gun, you know, on guns, and then we should do a war on religion. And then we should do because suddenly, you criminalize freedom, and what you build around it as a culture of control and manipulation and greed and all that other stuff that then the prison system thrives on, if you don’t have that culture, you have a fraction of the prisoners, and Ergo, you don’t have a prison system that’s merely besides it, it just fell off the chair, I think,

Christina 39:32
Oh, my, what is that verse in the Bible, the law came so that sin would increase.

Joanie 39:39
Because what you focus on is what you get. And that’s exactly what’s happened, the more laws you make, I’ll be on a personal example from this morning. So I was driving into work, I drive, I drive, you know, maybe five over I’m a pretty decent driver. But I had a cop behind me half the way into town. You can tell I was watching every single mile per hour, because now the law literally was behind me watching me. I literally pulled into a gas station and let him pass. I could just drag like normal the rest of where the law is, is that’s your focus. So my entire focus was, Am I breaking the law? Am I breaking the law, breaking the law? And that’s how this works. The more laws you have, the more people are focused on it. And the more prisoners you end up with.

Matt 40:27
I think one of my favorite parts the war on drugs, is that you take these drug offenders and you put them in prison. And then where is the where is the drug problem? In prison?

Joanie 40:37
prison? Yeah.

David 40:40
Well, it’s kind of crazy, like I was, for some reason, I went through the race thing, but um, the arrest the imprisonment of black people, has increased like crazy. And the, the violent crime like it’s, it’s, it’s kind of messed up because violent crime in the black communities has actually decreased. But the arrests have, basically have maintained the same amount, because they are getting arrested for drug possession, for possession of drug paraphernalia and all that stuff in it’s just kind of this whole, I mean, basically, is really reiterating what we were just talking about in regards to the whole war on drugs, it doesn’t work. And, you know, your I kind of had a funny idea or thought here when you guys were talking, I was like, you know, basically, it’s it’s college for criminals. Go to criminal college, learn how to become a criminal. In college

Joanie 41:53
exactly what it is. You’re right. Do you think you brought the African Americans and black people in prison? Do you think that’s a profiling thing? Or I didn’t look into that very much. I didn’t look at

David 42:06
Totally, totally think it’s a profiling thing. And it’s not I mean, I’m not saying it’s obviously not a good thing to profile.

Joanie 42:16

David 42:16
I mean, I’m going to put that out there. I don’t think it’s a good thing. But the fact remains that it happens. And the fact also remains that when it does happen, they’re going to get convicted because of these dumb laws. Because I mean, let’s let’s face I mean, everybody does pot,everybody does. Or, I mean, a lot of people, we don’t we don’t put that out there.

Matt 42:45
No, we don’t.

David 42:49
It’s not, it’s not I don’t think its as taboo as it was when I was growing up, for sure. It’s not go ahead. So

Matt 43:01
even if it’s not profiling now, what you have as a result of, you know, there, there was profiling. So there’s crime, police officers are attracted to crime. So now you’ve got more more police officers in an area naturally, they’re going to find more crime. And it’s Yes, the cycle, it’s no hard to break there. It’s kind of like,

Joanie 43:22
sorry, go ahead, Jen.

Jen 43:23
I was just talking about class like how there’s this, we’ve segregated our communities, and then poverty is kept them in those communities. And so there’s no crossover, there’s hardly, you know, opportunities for them to go to school to better their lives to increase their, their annual income so they can get out of this rut. And it’s almost like we have out of prison prisons within the communities in which we’ve kind of segregated people.

Matt 43:50
Sure, and everything you bring up, you know, economic stratification, and just the idea of like, people that have money, and are available, are able to dog

Joanie 44:01
This is Hop’s, by the way, the unofficial mascot.

Austin 44:09
Oh, boy,

Jen 44:10
economic something failed.

Matt 44:12
It just hit people with money can all of a sudden avoid prison? Because the government?

Jen 44:16
Or they can only do a six month term? Because they’re good athlete?

Austin 44:20
Sure, oh, boy,

Matt 44:22
oh, no, no, are there an actor or a show? Nobody knows when they get off or

Austin 44:28

David 44:29
You also have to look at, you know, you, you you have young men that are or Yeah, young, young men, young men, whatever that are that are going to prison. And that is a person that is a part of the family that will not be able to contribute to the family. So you’re destabilizing families in these areas that are the places that required the you know, I mean, if you’re living in a rough neighborhood, say your dad smokes pot, or whatever was smoking pot with his friends, cop comes, Dad goes to jail for however long he goes to jail for for pot. That’s not making money for my family. Guess who has to do that mom?

Matt 45:17
You know, he I guess he was home alone. Now.

Joanie 45:20
This unfortunate side effect that you have to I mean, in some ways. Now people coming out of prison are starting to get the vocational training and the education again. But you have to go to prison to get that. And and there’s a reason they were in prison in the first place. So there’s a whole nother side to it. What do we do to keep people out of prison? That’s not something I really looked into? I don’t know if anyone else did. That’s a huge thing. I do know, I kept hearing about some bill that was passed when Clinton was president. That I don’t know if anyone else knows about that, or heard into

Austin 45:59
3 strikes or?

Joanie 46:01
was it three songs. I know, it was something to do with if you had even it decrease the amount of drug possession that could get you into prison? Oh, yeah, have a very small amount and still go to prison. I know that was part of it. And that was something that was just recently repealed, to try and get. So these guys that have, you know, a couple smokes in their pocket, are going to prison and then coming out worse is trying to let’s do something different with those guys, let’s let’s reform them, let’s get them some drug addiction training, let’s get them you know, and not send them into the prison system. That’s, that’s, um,

David 46:43
Portugal. I remember, I watched the video quick before it was setting stuff up. But apparently Portugal does not have any drug laws at all. Like, you can do whatever you want. If I think they actually provide help for people that are, if you Man, I wish I would have paid attention to video a little bit better. But some, like if if you need help, if you’re a heroin addict, or whatever, and you need help, like the government will help you. They provide places where you can actually take heroin or opioids, I’ve heard and, and they give you like, clean syringes and stuff like that. And I know, I think Switzerland also has something very similar, like these places where you can go, if you’re, you’re addicted, you can go there, you can take shower, you can you can shoot up if you have to, with clean equipment and everything. Because there’s, I mean, there’s a lot of side effects or additional things that that that you can get from shooting up with dirty stuff. But on top of that, like those are places where if they need help, if they need psychological help, or if they’re trying to stop, then you have a place that will give these people the help that they need to be able to stop. And And apparently, that’s just had like an amazing, something like a 20% decrease in in, in opioid use in these places. I think that one was in, in particular, Switzerland, I again, did not watch the Portugal one in as much depth as I would have liked. But to me, that just makes sense. You know, if this is like, especially with hard stuff like heroin, and meth and all that stuff. If we have a place where these people, I can do it without feeling like it’s something that is, you know, super illegal or whatever. And if they need help, that they have it available to them. I think that shifts the concept from being like, Oh, we need to punish you because you’re sick, you know? And move it to Oh, you’re sick, we can help you. Let’s help these people.

Christina 49:27
Well, it sounds like it removes some a stigma that they’re not like a valid human, I guess sort of

Matt 49:36
critical. It makes sense. But I can understand the pushback, too, because you talk about you, you reference as a sickness. And then somebody might say, Well, I have, you know, type one diabetes. And you’re given this junkie, who’s got a self inflicted, you know, disease, Narconon, whatever it is that you know, that that are, you know, needles, all the things they need to do that, how about how about you give me needles, at least or whatever, you know, so I have ever I need for this non… I can understand choice, I can understand the pushback. But, you know,

Jen 50:07
I think it just goes into a bigger escalate of how messed up everything is how everything is tied to money. And when you follow the money, you can see why things are messed up.

Matt 50:19
Unfortunately, I think makes perfect sense.

Austin 50:24
Maybe we should talk about that next week.

I’m totally prepared for that one.

Jen 50:33
Because we are talking about money next time. Hmm.

Austin 50:40
To me, it is it’s it’s money. And again, control. Because there is a there is a cultural phenomenon that I like, the more and more you look, you see it you realize, oh my gosh, like everyone wants to everyone wants to control other people to create this, like safe space for themselves. And pick a topic, pick a side of the aisle and you will find a control freak. Right. And that is and and even, you know, the dirty laundry of the Libertarian Party is, I’m totally libertarian, totally libertarian totally. Well, except for that one issue, where I would like to control you. And, you know, that’s where you get the libertarian purists are like, get out of here, you know, libertarian, you know, selectively controlling, like, it’s, but it’s still this, you know, everyone’s got their pet issue, that and some people have like 20 of them. But you know, it is that what you know, pick your pet issue, pick that thing that happened to you, when you were a kid, I’m getting a little spiritual preachy for a second, like, pick that thing that really, really affected your life in a negative way that you have a deep passion for and that you realize, know, this is a really bad behavior, because it really, really hurt me or it really, really hurt my family or really, really hurt my brother, or my friend or whatever. And so you got to experience it in the shitiest way possible, as the victim or the friend of victim, and it is very, very, very real for you. Now, realize that your opinions of that are sewing are often so incredibly strong that that is most likely the thing that you’re totally cool with all sorts of freedom for all these other things except for that one thing, right? Because what happened to you was was terrible. And what happened around you was horrendous and legitimate. But now multiply that by a by a worldwide population of people where everyone has something shitty happy happened to them and their kid. Everyone has that story. And you realize that oh my gosh, if this is about trying to control each other to create create this space, this is a losing strategy. This is not a way to build a society. Yes, crap happens. Yes, it’s valid, yes, it’s legit. But if you want to start controlling other people with your pet pain, please back up and realize that is not going to change the world. That is not going to fix your problem. And it’s sure as heck isn’t going to create a better society where you actually are safe. Right? So control and punishment cannot be the answer. And there’s got to be in obviously, you know, I’ll speak for New Age Christianity, go check out newagechristianity.org I believe there’s plenty of other answers, I think Culture Of Honor by Danny silk. And, you know, there’s there’s plenty of non spirit answers. There’s plenty of great thinkers in the, in the political space and in the education space. But it, you know, yeah, control is really an easy answer when something hurt you. But if you back up and realize that there’s 7.7 billion people on this planet who’ve been hurt, and if we’re all trying to control each other to avoid that hurt, that’s not going to work.

Jen 54:12
It’s just going to create more hurt.

Austin 54:16
And then we’re going to get where we’ve got.

I’m done preaching.

Matt 54:22
Well, maybe we should take it around the circle here and get our last final thoughts. So we’ve been going for about an hour now. So ….. circle,

Jen 54:32
prisons…. ummm

Matt 54:35

Jen 54:36
Yeah… , no. There’s a, there’s a benefit, sometimes going first, and sometimes not so much. But I would say, going back to kind of just that God peace , and that the value piece, if if we all had the same standards of morals and kind of trusting that my neighbor is going to do the right thing, and they’re going to little loving, living prosperous life, then everything will be fine. But until we can get on that same page, I it’s an uphill battle.

Austin 55:15
For my party to jump off of Jen just said like, you do have to start somewhere. This you’re not going to flip the switch overnight and have an entire society where there’s honor. Right, you’re not going to get suddenly all the Democrats and Republicans waking you up and going, you know what you do make a valid point there. Right? Even if there is a valid point, they’ll never acknowledge it. So where do you start? And I’m not sure I necessarily have the answer. That’s the most well thought out. But I do believe the best place to start is to start looking at the laws that are literally they’re dead. You know, that whole, we see the sunset sunset laws are that, you know, the idea that the laws that are freaking Why are people in prison for something that’s now legal? Why are people you know, in prison for something that the cost more and requires and creates a worse scenario? I mean, just think there’s some common sense solutions. Oh, what a what a Washington DC phrase, common sense solution. But start somewhere, don’t try to tackle it all at once. But at the same time with the prison thing, like don’t take your freakin time there’s people’s real lives at stake. Yeah. So don’t like sit on your laurels and just figure it out eventually, like no get to work, but start somewhere.

Joanie 56:39
Yeah, I think you know, in in my intro is that, you know, the system is so fucked up beyond all recognition, people come out, so messed up. But people are realizing that and, you know, our president can only do as much as he can. I’m not a darn diehard Trump fan. But I believe is with a big step in, in moving towards prison reform. It is going to take time, there is the law of growth. And I believe our our world is headed in the direction of self government, and self realization. And it’s going to take time, unfortunately, it’s just going to take a lot of time. But having these conversations, having this conversation, getting the word out and talking about things, I think is part of the process. So I’m excited to be part of the process. I’m, I’m excited for people to hear this message and to start thinking about things. They’re talking about things and it’s it’s all part of it.

Christina 57:46
Yeah, totally. I think part of the problem is that a lot of people just aren’t aware of how big of an issue this kind of is. I mean, this is one issue, like we talked about a lot of issues. This is a there’s one that a lot of people aren’t aware of in detail at all. And to me, it goes back to people are valuable, regardless of if they’ve messed up. And so often we just write them off, once they’ve once someone as myself, they get written off. And I think that’s one of the things that we need to definitely change is just valuing people again, regardless of what kind of situation they came from. And one of the things that you were saying, Austin, about where people will that we’ve talked about, in general, why are people still in there for stuff that that’s now legal. And something that we didn’t bring up, I think, at least not that I recall, is the people that are in there that are wrongly convicted, and how, out of 100 people, just, for example, out of 100 people sentenced to death, four are likely innocent. And that’s, that’s sucks. And that’s not even. That’s not even like taking into account all the other people that are convicted that aren’t, that are innocent. I had too many notes. So I’m not finding where my statistic was, of how many of the estimated number of people that are that are wrongly convicted, but I think it was around. Now, I’m not gonna I’m not gonna butcher that, but I don’t know. But then as far as like people actually getting exonerated there, that is increasing, or it’s doing better than it was partly due to the DNA, evidence and stuff. But right now, it’s from what I could gather about three people per week are being exonerated. Which isn’t a ton, but it is something and those people, you know, it’s great that they’re not in prison anymore, but they have, a lot of times, no, they don’t get any help to they were still in the system, they still have the same kind of problems, but they’re just like kicked out, they don’t get any, like help with job placement, or any of that kind of stuff. A lot of them don’t get compensated at all, for the time that they were actually, the lives were taken away from that doesn’t make any sense either. So there’s just a lot of sides to this, that a lot of people don’t pay attention to, and I think it’s just valuable to, to be aware of, and to care about.

David 1:00:39
Um, the, the war on drugs, which is has caused, at least, if anything, been a catalyst for this whole prison issue is obviously a failure. We, we just, I mean, we, we honestly just need to find a better solution to this, I mean, if you, if you look at it from top to bottom, there, literally is not a single part of this whole situation that is beneficial to anybody. We, we aren’t, we aren’t helping these people, we are putting them in a horrible situation. And a lot of the reasons that we’re putting in putting them in there, our heart Don’t don’t even make sense anyways. And I think it’s, it’s something that we need to do something about, I mean, this this is, this is not a good situation for those people that think in prison, not a good situation for their families, is putting an unnecessary burden on them. And, and a lot of these people come from communities that aren’t super great in the first place, and and in the burden of having one less parent, one less child or whatever is, is sometimes the just too great, you know? So um, yeah, whatever, we need to do something about it, we we need to at least raise awareness about it. So yeah.

Matt 1:02:28
I think one of the big things I was brought up that really kind of struck a chord with me is just something that’s been sitting inside me for a while, and I’ve known it but just didn’t put words to it is is the idea of control. People trying to control other people. And, you know, what can we do about that, besides opening up our mind and going to the theepoch.org, we can, we can begin to honor the differences between us. So, you know, just thinking my life recently, like work, you know, working with somebody who has an entirely different temperament than I do. And, but it was so necessary, because you know, me as a natural go with the flow guy, if we were all go with the flow, guys, we might end up in a world of hurt at some point when we needed that detailed person who really sticks the rules.That said, not seeing somebody who’s different than us, and then trying to figure out how we can control them and get them to be more like us. So when you see some differences, don’t fear them, but try to honor them and see what kind of beauty they bring to the world.Yes, we all want to live in safe places like this, most of us do.

Jen 1:03:44
I like living on the edge.

Matt 1:03:47
I knew that there were people like you know the difference.

Austin 1:03:53

Matt 1:03:56
Yeah, we all want to live in a safe place. At the same time. I think it’s worth bringing forward that the those countries I mentioned for like the the Norwegian prison system, there were, there was an attorney and attorney’s office who kind of took all some of the money they had made from prosecuting, I think it was the California State Penitentiary system. They take some of that money they want from those those court cases, and then flew some some prison administrators from North Dakota, over to Norway, to go check that system out. And those administrators came back in tears and said, we’re hurting people. So come back to the Why are we doing this? And I think it has to be you know, I think that those Scandinavians might have the right idea of, you know, helping people be better neighbors. Maybe that’s

Austin 1:04:50
supposed to be with the Department of Justice. And the Department of Corrections. That’s supposed to be the wire. Right?

Matt 1:04:58
Right. So that’s, I mean, I, sometimes I try to police myself and think, am I being too naive here. But if it’s working somewhere else, if it’s merely a culture change a way that maybe it’s a culture change worth pursuing, because these are real people with real lives that are being impacted forever by a bad system. So that said, thanks for joining us this week. I think it was a pretty good one. You can find more stuff. More opinions on this on the theepoch.org and the podcast section you can find us on the social medias with @epochideas. You can find us on YouTube, like, subscribe, share all that good stuff, and it helps us a ton if you can’t, at this point in your life become a become a Patreon and, and just or, you know, when you’re on our site, and you find the mp3 is that are for sale for free. And you don’t have to donate, you’re not able to donate yet. You know, a way to help us out is by sharing our content with other people getting it in front of other people’s eyes. And that does this huge solid. I miss anything crew. You

Jen 1:06:18

Unknown Speaker 1:06:19
Alright, cool.

Austin 1:06:20
So what’s our What’s our phrase? We got a new one. They may remember.

Christina 1:06:26
Oh, conversations we’re having something like that. Yeah.

Jen 1:06:30
I thought it was: ” We sort of try”.

Matt 1:06:39
We sort of tried to have conversations worth having. Thanks for joining us. This isn’t the whole thing. We’re not we’re not experts. And we didn’t we didn’t go so deep into this that you know, the whole topics been exhausted. This is just a primer for you. So dig in! Have the conversation. Take care

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