From the December 2006 Idaho Observer:
How government treats itís "wards"
Government stewardship of national parks brings bugs, diseases and then it prescribes fires to burn it all; government stewardship of lands known as "military bases" has created ecological disasters of an extent that will only be realized when their armed and top-secret occupation is withdrawn. With regard to humans, government recommends poisoning children immediately after convenient Cesarean births; recommends a nutritional regimen top heavy in chemicals and additives of known toxicity and demands that parents kowtow to its parenting and education plans for children or face having them forcibly removed from the home and placed in foster care. Under this type of government-prescribed, court-sanctioned insanity, adult humans are kidnapped, charged, tried, convicted, sentenced and imprisoned (real commission of an actual crime is not a prerequisite for being treated like this). Once behind bars and out of site of the public, the courts are effectively encouraging the for-profit enterprises capitalizing on human misery to poison, starve and medically neglect its "wards." That the courts can "presume" government correctness in all this is either an admission that destroying the air, land, sea and all the creatures on Earth is a correct function of government or that by not hearing, seeing or speaking of government evil means it does not exist.
Following is a slightly edited letter to the editor that was so well-timed itís appropriate place was within the framework of our theme for pages 11-14 this month.
I am writing your paper in response to the article that was printed in the Nov. 2006 edition of The IO entitled "Sentenced to serve time and body parts?" I have a one-word comment that sums up the article: "BRILLIANT!" I am a naturopath currently sentenced to 13 years in the Department of Corrections in southeastern Colorado. I have devoted my life to natural health and healing, to the point that I have gone to prison for those beliefs. I have lost everything as a result, including my marriage. I have been saddled with trumped up charges for using alternative therapies against cancer and other diseases that the establishment would rather be "lost for all time." Two sources for these therapies would be "Healing Photons: The Science arid Art of Blood Irradiation Therapy," by Ken Dillon, Ph.D and "World Without Cancer" by G. Edward Griffin. I am unfamiliar of any provision in the Constitution that allows the government to dictate what kind of therapy a citizen can choose for their healthcare, but then, the government created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to "protect" us. I would also like to reference Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of The Declaration of Independence, who wrote:
"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorshipí...To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic...and have no place in a republic...The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom as well as religious freedom."
I donít know if Dr. Rush was blessed with clairvoyance, but upon consideration of the state of affairs this country is in presently, he was correct. The FDA, and private-interest groups such as the American Medical Association and Big Pharma have the funding and the political influence to interfere with our "freedom of choice" in matters of healthcare. We can talk about this, but what can be done to affect change?
The facility I am incarcerated in is nothing more than a watered-down version of a Nazi Concentration Camp in a lot of aspects. The healthcare here is a joke. If one gets injured, you are given a band-aid and some naproxen. The medical department categorically denies inmates here effective healthcare. It costs an inmate $5 to send a medical request for service and $10 for "emergency" services. Take into account, that if an inmate does not have any outside means of support, net earnings for one month of "state pay," after restitution and child support are deducted, is $9.60. There is no indigency program here, so inmates have to buy soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other items most people on the outside view as basic necessities. I have seen scores of inmates with teeth that have gone rotten and had to be removed and guys who have been bitten by insects and spiders only to contract staph infections because their bodies are so malnourished and the medical care so poor that simple bug bites can be fatal.
I have also witnessed people with chronic conditions such as arthritis, knee problems, lupus, and other conditions receive marginal treatment, at best.
From what I have researched, upon sentence being passed, the "convict" becomes a "ward of the state." Blackís Law Dictionary defines this as, "A person, especially a child or incompetent, placed by the court under the care and supervision of a guardian or conservator."
Furthermore, Colorado Revised Statute 15-14-102(15) defines "ward" as an individual for whom a guardian has been appointed. In the case of inmates, said "guardian" is the state.
Given this, what is an inmate to do to seek relief? I mean, real, effective, and pragmatic relief? From what I have found, there is no direct route to this end. The administration will bog the inmate down in a quagmire of grievance and appeal processes to the point that treatment of any medical condition goes unaddressed for months. This is not effective stewardship of the "wards of the state" in my opinion.
The editor raised another excellent point with respect to nutrition. I have first-hand knowledge of the food here and how it is prepared. I was assigned to the kitchen for my first seven months in this facility. The amount of processed foods, artificial sweeteners, over-cooking processes and general lack of concern (among prisoners and prison staff alike) with respect to nutrition is shocking. In the comparatively short time I have been imprisoned, I have been forced to drink and bathe in more chlorinated water than I had in my entire life before becoming a "ward of the state." I am also given a choice: Eat the packaged and chemically-processed enzymatically-dead and artificially-sweetened food they feed us or starve. I feel as if this is one giant "cancer experiment" where the test subjects are inmates...Nazi medical experiments, anyone? The dietician who has signed her name to the "approved menu" needs to go back to school and take some courses on basic nutrition, some biochemistry classes and do a little reading on what causes cancer. How anyone could sign off on the diet to which we wards of the state are being subjected as "healthful" is beyond me.
Personal experience has also shown that the prisons in this state are the number two industry, second only to tourism. Without public awareness and direct action, this industry will thrive for years to come. Iím sure that Colorado is not the only state that makes a substantial amount of money from full prisons. I believe that the victims in this case are the inmates and the citizens of the state. The only people who could possibly benefit from this are the shareholders of the corporations profiting from this miserable industry. It is most unfortunate that these united States of America have become a corporate welfare state controlled by special interest money, corrupt politicians and a broken legal systemóall held in place by a gullible population that believes what the mainstream broadcast and print media tells them is the truth.
Prior to coming to prison, I, too, had a preconceived, mainstream media-created notion that all people in prison deserved to be there. After fighting my own legal battle for over two years, being treated unjustly by the American justice industry...ah, I mean "system," I have changed my thoughts on the matter. I was prejudiced, ignorant, and very naive prior to living in this government-sanctioned institution/industry. To all of you reading this, please do not make the same error in judgment as I have. If you know someone who is incarcerated, get to know the workings of their facility. Get familiar with the types of laws and rights that they have in their jurisdiction. You folks on the "outside" have far more latitude to help and more resources to do something.
In closing, I am new to this whole lifestyle. I got a subscription to The Idaho Observer as a source to reach out to like-minded individuals and groups to help affect change. I have learned, the hard way, that the government does not have my best interest in mind, but rather, is a for-profit enterprise and I am just a commodity. ~Brian OíConnell
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