tv [untitled] September 24, 2013 9:30pm-10:01pm EDT
welcome to break in the set i'm abby martin so this past july was the height of the get mobile hunger strike where one hundred six of the hundred sixty six detainees were starving themselves to protest their indefinite detention if it was more than half the prisoners taken such drastic measures the world media so larger largely ignored their plight of the past few months the number of hunger strikers has steadily dropped and just yesterday get my military officials affectively declared the strike to be over the military said it will stop issuing daily reports on a number of these protesters since only a core group of one thousand of them remain striking now considering how the response of a strike was force feeding the inmates is it any wonder why so many of them have given up as i demonstrate on this show force feeding is torture and a complete and utter violation of human rights going through this excruciating experience and day after day after day as unimaginable but just because so many detainees have reached the absolute limit of human suffering doesn't mean we should
you know it's not really my style to give props to someone who claims they are dane by god to be his right hand man on earth but i got to say i'm going to begin this new pope and i don't think i'm the only one. you know i freaking love this new pope pope francis you know i'm talking to right the pope are you guys watching this guy because you should be it's early but i'm thinking best pope ever be saying let's get back to the roots let's get back to serving people at one point and it's over call actually he calls the church the old hospital he's not afraid of anything and i think that's what's really getting these crowds of more than a million kids they're excited to see him it's pope mania. and his first album hasn't even dropped yet. that's right folks puns from across the spectrum seem to be love in the new pontiff for good reason to bob has been whistling a new tune attempt to rebrand the church i don't know maybe has something to do
with the tarnished legacy of rife with sexual abuse or exclusion of women gays and atheists just name a few sealed up often cisco has been quite busy asking parishioners worldwide to stop making issues like abortion contraception and gay marriage the primary focus of good policy ism wow almost sounds like francisco might just might be slightly in tune with the twenty first century just check out how he's doing on social media you know the facts is absolutely killing it on twitter just recently offered catholics reduced time in purgatory for a faithful follow perhaps the best shout out came from the treat of god who outed pope francis is either world's coolest pope or the world's most conservative hippie . i'm not sure that's entirely accurate i did find a few quotes from the holy bishop to give you an idea of where he stands on the real issues on women in the church and in society pope francis said quote the feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions the challenge is
this to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised although that's not a direct indorsement for women to become priests it doesn't seem like he's ruling that out either if you could call systems finally going to catch up with most of the world religions and allow women to rise to the highest ranks of the church but let's move on to that issue of homosexuality because that's where the pope is really starting things up saying that quote if someone is gay and he searches for the lord and has good will who might to judge. him but the huge change in tone from the last guy pope benedict the sixteenth who firmly held on to his archaic belief that homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder that finally the laws of nature have pope francis seems pretty firm about moving past these divisive issues of the. of the church and while some conservative catholics might be hyperventilating right about now i could really get behind a lot of what he's saying especially when it comes to what's truly important today's global society he said quote it is the consequence of
a global choice and economic system which leads to this tragedy and economic system which has as its center and idol called money. ok ok and the pope things that the love of money is the root of all evil wow but really the pope's critique of current crony capitalism is really just an extension of the core values of christianity stepping outside our comfort level to be generous kind to others and taking care of the poorest among us before i really get ahead of myself here none of this means that there will be a revolutionary transformation in the doctrine and practice of catholicism and i was refreshing that maybe to hear such a new progressive discourse coming from. i can't in good conscience indorse the catholic church i still feel very strongly about the fact that institutionalized religion is a main hinderance of progress in the world and has greatly inhibiting humanity's collective consciousness but that's the world we live in today so for now the change in tone promoting
a more inclusive and tolerant catholicism is something to celebrate. if you're a regular viewer of breaking the set you know i often criticize u.s. foreign policy but you know when it comes to syria i'm in lockstep agreement with obama on what needs to be done put this country mired in debt it's more important than ever to port our pocketbooks and make sure this war happens. i'm an obama supporter i support president obama but the president needs your help margaret in can't launch into another war without you and remember we voted for him in two thousand and eight and twenty twelve we promise to support him no matter what together we can do it that's why we here at the americans for whatever brag obama one did you know he's president say the have launched a kickstarter campaign to fund world war three in america is dead ass broke so our
goal is to raise one point six trillion dollars on behalf of the u.s. government has this hilarious sketch from the comedy group second city has gone viral so far racking up nearly two and a half million views it's literally i spoke to one of the creators behind the video tyler alexander and i first asked him why he thinks the sketch is so popular. i think people can relate to it that it's you know a big reason the other side of it is that it's really funny and it's just a really great piece satire so you know that it sort of came to be it's interesting . originally the writer john lewis said it was just an idea you know we took we took one look at it and you know we gave him a couple of notes he took those notes turned the script around it you know about two and a half hours at a production just order pretty much for illustrating the production and organizing our crew and everything like that you get your shot and produce. well it's actually
. i really really enjoyed it you know it's still a tense topic of conversation amidst the serious debate going on in the world right now have you received any backlash from obama supporters from putting out the sketch. that people don't understand that it's actually a piece of satire when some of the the most frustrated or vocally angry. and on either side of the coin i mean there is the funniest one that i think i saw was are that it's ten to see. are people that are. as a company and as a comedy brand for why mr all we're three. we actually want to stir all we're three . and really completely missed the point of the video if that we would start or anything like that. if you had just had to tune out completely some of the trolls because it just drives you insane but you know i think if you're not
offending people then you're not really doing your job at a certain extend you ever consider the sensitivities of your audience when you're writing comedy and how do you really balance that medium with politics and comedy if you're approaching a subject like that sure i mean the most important thing for us is not being afraid to make fun of those in power and it doesn't matter if they're republicans you know liberals you know neo cons it doesn't matter to us you know we wouldn't be doing. our audience a service if we were. taking shots at both sides so that includes obama that includes you know. george bush during his presidency so we need to make those that those we need to make fun of those in power that's what we have to do as a as a comedy brand that grace satirical sketch comedy that's politically charged and i just know not taken any side just going after everyone that's kind of what i try to
do with this show as well how would you say that the proliferation of social media . and kind of the evolution of the internet has changed or revolutionize the way sketch comedy is done. i think it's a lot more accessible that's for sure there is so much content out there just in general. you can find really great pieces of sketch comedy and satire online. you know so that's great on one side of the coin you can see more people writing more comedy on the other side of that is those people are also who are competing with you know for eyeballs and in the end we all want we're all proud of the work that we're doing and we all are people to see that so you know you tend to get lost a little bit as you tube has grown into service as a community is using technology to create this a content so what's next from you guys are you plant more political sketches or is this kind of a one time wonder you know we're constantly producing we're constantly you know
coming up with video ideas along with you know written ideas for the second city. and we're releasing that stuff weekly but yeah i mean definitely the political stuff is on the table and we're excited to do more well we need to laugh about what's going on to in order to elicit change taking so much tyler alexander everyone check it out whole areas sketch second city thanks so much. still ahead peter king is a tragic shooting affair monger against muslims again. that's all i want to. pick up something that is quite simply.
doesn't play. was no way. really they were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. and sold to the us and turned over to the us for. the sole the good neighbor in the law i. was saved with great ever. they wanted to turn me into a terrorist they wanted me to admit that i was a member of al qaeda the taliban that i fought with them. about time i didn't even know what al-qaeda is nevertheless there are people. raving of the start of. something is going to be done that's going to be done by me in the span of a short amount of time but it's going to impact me i'd be prosecuted but it's going to impact. a wife my daughter. the one time
a trap. on our. mission. cretaceous three months for three. months free. free. free. download free volunteer video for your media project a free video done to our teeth dot com. massive violence struck nairobi kenya last weekend when al shabaab militants held hundreds of people hostages shopping mall standoff resulted in a horrific three day gunfight between the kenyan military and the militants maybe more than sixty people dead and one hundred seventy five injured now details have emerged that at least two of the militants are american are going to be half of the
militant islamist group and that's where our favorite congressional of law. folk comes in see representative peter king has created a unique legacy of fear during his time in office thanks in large part to his memorable hearings on the radicalization of most americans aka mccarthyism two point zero and during those hearings king repeatedly warned congress about the threat of al shabaab outside the horn of africa. some argue that al-shabaab is only somali problem and the group will never strike outside the horn of africa region that kind of thinking is a glaring example of what the nine eleven commission called a failure of imagination we must face the reality that al shabaab is a growing threat to our homeland. a failure of imagination hire grows on that case let's build giant robots to fight the sea monsters from pacific rim you know as tragic as this massacre is al-shabaab is not an immediate threat to this country
look we have our own regular gun massacres to deal with here that doesn't stop king from using airtime to call for the racial profiling of american muslims. i would assume that the f.b.i. and local law enforcement are looking into those smiley murphy communities where you lead your indicators use your we're sources and resources to make sure that there's no follow up attempt here in the united states yes king's blanket approach suggests that law enforcement should hunt down every single somali american just in case one small problem though keeping tabs on every brown person in this country has proven itself ineffective king is from new york same state where police and gage in a decade line long spying program on local muslim communities and guess what they didn't get a single object that lead on one terrorist attack but king doesn't care about facts if he did he would have ended his witch hunt years ago oh no no he just wants to keep churning the gears of the islamophobia machine and we all know that fear sells
in the halls of congress so for being a bigoted fear monger peter king for the second time is my villain of the day hey one more time and i'll give him a one way ticket to mogadishu. for many the issue of prisoners' rights is out of sight out of mind but a recent hunger strike of nearly thirty thousand california and mates of your international tension with the condition of america's prisons the prisoners who began striking in july had banded together to call for an end to the use of extended solitary confinement a practice which many human rights groups have likened to torture now after two months of hunger strike in the prisoners and the protests to accept the promise of legislative hearings on the matter but the use of solitary is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to america's incarceration machine this country has only five
percent of the world's population that holds twenty five percent of the world's prisoners according to and he joins me now to discuss how it got to be this way as eugene career author of shackled and chained mass incarceration and capital of america thank you so much for coming on again thanks so much for having me a pleasure eugene i want to show this chart to our audience showing that no country incarcerates are higher percentage of population than the u.s. what is the main factor in this shocking statistic well i think the main factor behind this massive growth we've seen in the u.s. prison population what's come to be known as mass incarceration is really in the context of the development of u.s. capitalism that ultimately it was a surplus population problem what you have is if you see the post world war two period in the united states was a period of so-called rising prosperity it created amongst people does this feeling that life should continue to always get better living standards should get higher the civil rights movement raised a similar sort of. expectation among black americans that they would be integrated
into this quote unquote american dream but what we saw with the economic crisis of the one nine hundred seventy s. is not just a general rightward shift in the country but a decision that social services and jobs programs and creating jobs for people would go by the wayside which created with the rise of technology as well this issue of what are you going to do with this growing number of unemployed and underemployed people particularly those concentrated in the ghettos as it were the people of color black americans who have a traditional. revolutionary sort of rebellious legacy in the history of the country and that sort of confluence came together to create the policies of mass incarceration as we know them of course the drug war would come a little bit later providing a crucial fuel to that fire. people joke about how they need to go to prison to get health care and services your. state of affairs your book talks about the horrible conditions and these prisons you've likened him to actual torture chambers what do you mean by that well i mean it's an interesting point i mean you pointed out for example the california prison strike pelican bay has had five hundred five hundred
people who've been in solitary confinement for over ten years now the council of europe in two thousand and eleven said that anything over fourteen days in solitary confinement should be considered so that's just one example twenty five thousand people being held under solitary confinement but everything from generalized overcrowding with the federal prison system roughly thirty six percent overcapacity to food cost for example in two thousand and one the u.s. government estimated that people spend about eight dollars a day on food the year after that the key state of california was spending roughly two dollars a day. on food per prisoner so we can see a large degree and whether it is access to health care access to mental health and all these other things that exist the situation in prisons is quite dire indeed one thing that i thought was really fascinating that you point out is that a lot of these prisoners the overwhelming majority in fact don't have a trial by jury. talk about that yeah well you've got about eighty percent of
people who prison who never even really had a trial and i think there's a lot of things about that i mean obviously recently what we've seen is a public defender services happening all across the country and in the federal public defender service but beyond that things like these draconian sentences that exist under mandatory sentencing laws and so many different states and the federal level create a situation where people don't want to even take the chance of going to trial rather than going to prison because they feel that because of their legal counsel or the way the law. are written that they have absolutely no chance and so we see that the deck is kind of stacked against people really from jump street when it comes to you know a criminal trial you bring up a good point which is these minimum sentencing you know considering the massive overcrowding that we're seeing in prisons today why are these laws still in effect like the three strikes law well everyone good thing is that we're seeing that that's starting to move by the wayside but the real reason is because this issue of mass incarceration as a policy view has not really fully come around i mean you saw in the one nine
hundred eighty s. when reagan came in the first thing he did is he put in the very first thing one of the first things he did was put together an attorney general's task force which stated that the most important issue when it came to criminal justice in america was the need to have more prison beds and this sort of punitive law and order and mass incarceration set of policies is still had a wide variety of the political and economic elites view the issue of crime and how it should be dealt with eugene right now an african-american male who doesn't have a high school diploma is more likely to end up in prison than with a job really sad why is the justice system so disproportionately skewed against minorities well i think it goes back to the original point i made about sort of the surplus population problem and the fact that the african-american community is really the most oppressed community in this country and is sort of the further outside of the mainstream when it comes to employment and all of these other wealth building type issues and indicators education and so on and so forth so the laws that have existed to create mass incarceration have been aimed disproportionately
at those two who where african-americans are overrepresented ultimately that's what it comes down to and we see that it plays out sort of on that structural level and also you know for example seventy one percent of black men who are convicted of drug crimes end up in prison as opposed to sixty three percent of white men that could you know reflect a number of different things but i think it certainly reflects the biases of the judges the biases of the juries and so on and so forth so really it's very inception this issue of how to deal. with mass incarceration was how to deal with the problems in the quote unquote ghetto the perception that crime is mostly black people mostly poor black people and they live in certain neighborhoods how do we control them how do we make our police and prison policies match up with our need to not help these people not give them jobs not give them health care not improve their situation but just deal with them so we'll find a way to throw them in prison and make these listen to superficially and just argument to say that they have to you know they're inherently more criminal obviously when you look at the conviction rates of the same exact crime is white
versus black it's very apparent what's going on here you talked about the drug war very briefly i want to you elaborate on how much of this really has to do with the drug war i think quite a bit i mean a quarter of prisoners in this country are convicted of drugs but i think what's important realize is we mess incarceration policies first came in i mentioned reagan's report you didn't have the crack boom that would later happen in the eighty's and so what the crack epidemic in particular did and giving acceleration to the war on drugs was provide this kindling to the fire so things like mandatory sentencing which notably joe biden and other democrats like ted kennedy's so-called liberals were key bringing in these sort of things that before people were a little skeptical about when crack starts to happen. you start to see that as an impetus to bring in things like three strikes laws and other mass incarceration policies that might have been a little bit on the fringe in the early eighty's late seventy's but then because of the crack epidemic they were able to push these these punitive policies very heavily on the state and federal level let's talk about private prisons which is something that's expanding greatly in this country the whole argument that we hear
is that privatization was a lead to better conditions for prisoners less of a burden for the taxpayers of course what's your response well i would say that you know it's not borne out by the facts i mean one thing that we point out in the book which people can get shackled and chained dot com is this massive growth since one thousand nine hundred five in private prisons i mean obviously what we've seen through all the studies is there's no evidence whatsoever that private prisons cost less and in a number of cases they turn out to cost more to create scandals that are. so bad that they're not worth the issue in so many different ways they turned out to be more brutal and also you know the whole idea that people have to be incarcerated for profit and i think sixty five percent of private prisons the contracts they signed requires states and localities to put a certain number of people in the prison for you know the period of the contract so ultimately they're not concerned with corrective activities rehabilitation or anything like that just get as many people in the door as they possibly can and locking them up for profit yes it's been it's been also revealed that you know
payoffs from from people who are putting people in prison get cut back from these private prisons it's just a really shocking how kind of openly corrupt it is let's talk about the corrections corporation of america the umbrella company to kind of taking over this president for profit how they exploited prison labor for their own advantage well c.c.a. geo group all of them i mean the federal prisons they're now exploiting prison labor and a big way and it's sort of creating a new dynamic i mentioned the issue of social control and excess population but now you have this whole new billion dollar industry that's looking to use prisoners to exploit them when we see it whether they have them doing farm labor working for eight hundred companies taking reservations for things like american airlines wrapping nintendo games i mean almost anything you can think of these prisons both private and public are putting prisoners to work for extremely low wages the federal prison industry unicorn and those are the people who make military uniforms and repair that are destroyed in afghanistan the average high is the average salary for people working at unocal or is less than a dollar fifty per hour which is just shows the high level of almost slave type
wages was sweatshop wages no doubt that are happening in prisons and it's the biggest fortune five hundred companies like i said american airlines bank of america they're all involved in this was a really just modern day slavery i mean that is i don't. know i thought they were only making license plates until i heard that b.p. actually outsource prison labor to stage these photo ops of cleanups on the beach and i just couldn't believe that that was happening you know it's interesting eugene we repeat here. but the reason top bankers can't be prosecuted because of the devastating effect to have on the communities the company why is that same standard not applied to entire communities that are inflicted and destroyed by mass incarceration policies i mean you know it's a great point i mean it was unbelievable to hear eric holder say that people you know people who've been convicted of crimes in the economic crisis and of laundering drug money were too big to jail i think it just shows the reality of this system that it's a system that skewed towards the richest people the one percent if you will the
financial elites the ruling class and the poorest most oppressed people so that you know those who are considered the job creators and so on and so forth are able to live this gilded lifestyle and sort of fly above all of the double standards that are put out there and those who are at the lowest end of the totem pole are the ones who become really the blood of society those who have to put up with the worst forms of oppression living standard exploitation and the fact that they will put millions and millions of people in oppressed black communities in jail absolutely destroy so many of these communities and then do basically nothing towards wall street bankers is a clear clear indicator of what the priorities of our society really are indeed we are about thirty seconds left but please tell people where they can find your book and find out more about this issue of course so people can check the book out at. shackled and chained dot com they can also follow me on twitter at eugene per year i also write for liberation news liberation news dot org you can see some of my writings on this and other issues excellent work eugene peer shackled and chained mass incarceration in capital. thank you so much. for out for us here in d.c.
last time was a new alert animation scripts scare me a little bit. there is breaking news tonight and they are continuing to follow the breaking news the. alexander family cry tears of joy at it great things other than just had a theatrical read or get a court a wall around a lads there's a story made sort of movies playing out in real life. he smoked it when he walked into the house he looked fine half an hour later he jumped into his car and people were calling nine one one. see a car going one hundred miles an hour. traffic his car landed and it. was a horrible ending to a beautiful life. if you could have been american it could happen to any.
think a classic. over. did you know the price is the only industry specifically mention in the constitution and. that's because a free and open press is critical to our democracy which threaten all books. will. never go on i'm sorry and i'm going to show we reveal the picture of what's actually going point on we go beyond identifying the problem to try to fix rational debate a real discussion critical issues facing america by ready to join the movement then welcome to the big picture. i'm to arbonne a washington d.c. and.