I just read about the new trend in Wisconsin of replacing union and public sector workers with prisoners! I know many of you who have followed my diaries and blogging, know that I predicted just such a move was on the horizon - and in fact have been posting links to other articles about prisoners being used by banks to clean and fix-up foreclosed homes, taking over care and maintenance of cemeteries and municipal buildings and grounds. This has been happening much more often in several "Red" states over the past couple of years.
I cautioned that if eliminating collective bargaining and the voice of public sector workers succeeded, it would open the door to a flood of the use of prisoners for such work as civilians were replaced by inmates.
As many other reprehensible things have been accomplished by Conservatives of late, Wisconsin has become the "Showroom" for those initiatives. Sadly we can expect Ohio, Michigan, Maine, Florida, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma (among others) to quickly follow Governor Walker's example. Kasich in Ohio is working toward every initiative put in place in Wisconsin as this is written. He is privatizing his prisons, working on destabilizing labor, defunding education and putting the voucher system in place, disenfranchising voters and as an ALEC co-founder with Paul Weyrich and Henry Hyde, he has a long-time working relationship with Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group, two of ALEC's initial corporate members.
Below is a contemporary picture of America's new "Slave Master" as he works hard for Conservative initiatives funded by the likes of Koch, Boeing and other big corporations as they pursue an agenda of replacing American workers with free prisoner labor.
The day after Walker signed the legislation ending collective bargaining, union and public workers returned to Madison to protest his action:
All of today's restrictive and nefarious Conservative initiatives being put in place across our nation - state by state - can be tracked back to, and laid at the feet of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). For thirty years now they have worked toward this time in our history, where the minority would ultimately control the states and through them our national policies. Now we can plainly and clearly see why they fight so hard to keep the feds out of state policies - knowing that most of their agenda will not fly on the federal level, and they don't want them to be able to interfere as they subvert critical state policies.
First, ALEC created criminal justice laws to imprison more people than any other nation or culture in the history of the world. Then they offered up "model legislation" (Prison Industries Act) to allow their corporate members and benefactors access to that huge captive workforce and assisted others to enact policy to reduce any wage paid to the inmate workers. This created a 21st Century styled "legal" Slave Labor pool to draw from as they replaced civilian workers with prisoners. This prison labor agenda is a huge cash cow for ALEC and their members. It brings in millions that can then be used to initiate other conservative activities and programs to further their goals.
Two years ago I prophesied that imprisoning immigrants and transferring public sector jobs with prisoners were next on ALEC's agenda - and as of this morning, both have become reality. All "follow-the-money" roads lead back to ALEC...and the Koch brothers, Boeing, AT&T PhRMA, Insurance and Investment corporations. I'm genuinely saddened that I was unable to convince more citizens that my warnings were based upon research and predictions upon past performance of ALEC and the corporate elite. Maybe I wasn't persistent enough - or my voice not sufficiently loud to overcome the disinformation being disseminated by ALEC through the MSM. Whatever the case, it is now fact and has become a part of our National history, and puts a huge "win" in ALEC's war chest under the "Labor" initiative heading.
I'm hopeful that NOW some of the disbelievers will realize that those of us who have been investigating ALEC and their agenda involving labor and prisons will realize that our words were not just some kind of political rhetoric and begin to join our activism to stop ALEC completely! This has to be done before there are absolutely no jobs left to American workers and every penny of wealth is owned by the top 1% of our society. It is coming to that as DK Diarist arendt so succinctly demonstrated in the recent Diary: "The Scramble for America - The banksters bring neo-colonialism home"
In an effort of demonstrating why I continue to warn about the serious consequences of the activities of ALEC through the manipulations of Charles Koch and others belonging to ALEC...I have been cautioning students that they are on the front lines in this war (have no doubt this is a war for democracy being waged across our land) based upon the following facts;
"Financially controlled universities such as: Christendom College, College of the Ozarks, Franciscan University, Grove City College, Harding University, Hillsdale College, The King's College, Liberty University, Patrick Henry College, Regent University, Saint Vincent College, Thomas Aquinas College, Thomas More College, and Wisconsin Lutheran College. All of these are supported, funded or have departments operating under grants from Charles Koch or one or more of his “Foundations.”
A 1998 report titled: “Uncovering the Right on Campus: A Guide to Resisting Conservative Attacks on Equality and Social Justice," provides this:
“According to the study, a network of more than a dozen national conservative foundations with annual budgets ranging from $160,000 to $5 million are coordinating the agendas of many conservative campus activities nationwide. Those agendas, according to the study, are uniformly anti-affirmative action, anti-feminist, anti-environmentalist and anti-gay rights.
“For example, according to the study, Michigan's conservative Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, with assets exceeding $130 million, made $85,000 in campus grants in the 1994-95 academic year. And Michigan's Earhart Foundation, nearly one-third the size of the DeVos foundation, donated $87,000 to campus organizations in the same year. All told, conservative foundations have been funding campus groups to the tune of $10 million to $20 million a year since the 1980s, say the authors of the report.”
Today the amounts spent on funding these conservative universities is quite possibly more than double the amount(s) of funding spent on such efforts back in 1998. Not only are conservative groups, individuals and organizations spending millions to train college students in conservative matters and principles at colleges like George mason University where the Mercatur Center is under the control of Charles Koch…they are also paying non-conservative colleges for the right to pick and choose both the Professors hired and the curriculum taught.
It was recently reported that Charles Koch paid $1.5 million to Florida State University in the form of a grant, on the condition that Koch’s operatives would have a free hand in selecting professors and approving publications. The simmering controversy sheds light on the vast influence of the Koch political machine, which spans from the top conservative think tanks, Republican politicians, a small army of contracted lobbyists, and Tea Party front groups in nearly every state. After the story about this broke in the St. Petersburg Times,Think Progress did a report exposing that FSU was merely the latest in such “purchases” by Koch;
“Koch virtually owns much of George Mason University, another public university, through grants and direct control over think tanks within the school. For instance, Koch controls the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, an institute that set much of the Bush administration’s environmental deregulation policy. And similar conditional agreements have been made with schools like Clemson and West Virginia University. ThinkProgress has analyzed data from the Charles Koch Foundation, and found that this trend is actually much larger than previously known. Many of the Koch university grants finance far right, pro-polluter professors, and dictate that students read Charles Koch’s book as part of their academic study.”
The article identified several other colleges where such deals had been made between state and private Universities and Koch:
• West Virginia University - accepting at least $480,000 from Koch.
• Troy University - The Charles Koch Foundation, along with the Manuel Johnson and the BB&T Foundation, provided Troy University, a public university, a gift of $3.6 million to establish the Center for Political Economy last year.
• Utah State University - The Charles Koch Foundation has given nearly $700,000 to Utah State University, mostly for the Huntsman School of Business.
Charles Koch Foundation grants, along with direct Koch Industries grants, are distributed to dozens of other universities around the country every year, to both public and private institutions. Some programs, like the Charles Koch Student Research Colloquium at Beloit College, are funded by grants of little over $130,000 and simply support conservative speakers on campuses.
Budget constraints and other problems at universities have allowed a small set of oligarchs to use school donations to interfere with academic integrity on campuses. A group of hedge fund managers, working through the Manhattan Institute’s Veritas Fund, have created entire departments dedicated to advancing failed supply side ideas and climate skepticism. John Allison, the former CEO of BB&T Bank, a bailout recipient, has used his corporation’s money to force college campuses to adopt Ayn Rand readings into their programs.
Overall, Koch is a dominant player when it comes to meddling with academic integrity. Part of the effort is coordinated through operatives like Richard Fink, who doubles as a vice president at Koch’s corporate lobbying office. Through an organization called the Association of Private Enterprise Education, Koch organizes these corporate-funded university departments into a powerful intellectual movement. The organization allows Koch staffers in Washington DC to request certain types of studies, interfere with hiring decisions, and reward loyal free market academics with hefty research grants.
If you think for one moment that this is not a planned and well thought out battle plan that includes pursuing recruitment of a new crop of ultraconservatives from our colleges and universities...check out these words from Eric Heubeck's 2000 Treatise; "The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement" under the heading "New Traditionalists Must Concentrate on Students and Young Adults" based upon the teaching and writings of Paul Weyrich, ALEC and Heritage Foundation's co-founder:
"The new movement will inevitably be geared toward children and young adults, especially their education. We will accomplish the goal of retaking our country only when large numbers of young people are educated outside of the indoctrinating environment of many public and private schools, universities, and of course, the popular culture. At this point in their lives, many of their ideas are still in the formative stage, the more so the younger they are. Furthermore, young adults (of college age and above) should be given a large role in the organization of the New Traditionalist movement, as many older people, because of work and family life, simply do not have the time to devote to reading, discussion, and action (and all three are equally important). They also often lack the necessary energy, enthusiasm, and idealism that is prevalent in youth. However, retirees could also make a valuable contribution to the movement.
College students must be a key audience for our movement, since they are free of excessive time commitments and they find themselves in an environment that (theoretically) encourages activism and exposure to new ideas. We should consider creating alternative fraternities where traditionalists can live, interact with each other, learn from each other, socialize with each other. New Traditionalist fraternities can help replicate lifestyles from the past--emulate "civilized" behavior from the past--by discussing traditionalist ideas, literature, and art, and then acting based on what has been learned. Members of the fraternities and collegiate study groups should build each other up in every possible way: in terms of public speaking skills, debating skills, physical fitness, intellect, manners, aesthetic sense. It is imperative that our ideas be lived and not merely discussed.
A basic problem is that most bright, creative, dynamic, energetic young people with leadership skills become leftists, and this is why most student leaders--who eventually become the leaders of society--tend to be leftists. New Traditionalist fraternities and collegiate study groups can help reverse that tendency."
To me this is not merely frightening, it explains the push for defunding public education and installing the current initiative of "voucher systems" on a state by state basis. Time and again this "Treatise" has been shown to be the mantra used by ALEC and the Koch brothers for the past decade plus. Reading Heubeck's full essay, is chilling and is why I based the predictions of the eventual pursuit of immigration incarceration and displacing civilian workers with prisoners by this cabal.
This is why I am grateful to, and applaud the efforts of the University and college students in Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and elsewhere who have taken notice and picked up the standard of my generation to carry this battle forward. A major battle in this war is being silently fought right there on their campuses. The Conservative faction are led by General's such as Charles and David Koch, the DeVos and Scaife Families under the ALEC banner. They have a war chest filled to capacity and state legislators in their pockets...the students and their supporters have truth and the vote on their side. Both have to be used to the fullest extent possible to overcome and prevail. For if they lose this battle, all of us have a dim future.
Prison incarceration, Privatization, Prison Industries and Buying Colleges and their Curriculum's are only a small part of the overall concept and agenda. Deregulation, Voter ID disenfranchisement, repealing healthcare and like objectives make up another small part of that agenda. A visit to ALEC's Model Legislation page fills me with dread and fear for our future as a society and nation...it should have the same impact upon you as well.
Collectively their goal is Dominion over society and our governments. If we continue to ignore this fact, we are doomed to to their succeeding...just sayin'.
Please join us or help fund our Protest ALEC demonstration in New Orleans on August 5th. Visit Protest ALEC and take part in helping us defeat and abolish this cabal completely - for the sake of all of us - before it is simply put, too damn late...
Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 8:46 AM PT: A rare - but important video - of ALEC co-founder, Paul Weyrich speaking at a Christian Conference in 1980 on his idea of suppressing voters.