Tag & Release

Recently, former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini wrote a letter to the editor of the UA's newspaper, The Daily Wildcat. The letter was in response to an op-ed expressing concern over DeConcini's involvement with CCA (Corrections Corp. of America) as a member of its board of directors.  DeConcini is also a member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

In the letter, he calls the students' concerns "irresponsible journalism", and tells them to stay off his lawn.  Ok, I made that last part up. He stated that, "The CCA took no role in the creation or passage of SB1070."

I'm not sure which to be offended by.  The lie itself, or the insult to my intelligence.  CCA, MTC, Gov. Brewer, Russel Pearce, and the glue that binds them all: ALEC, all had a great deal of input on that legislation.  They were scouting areas close to the border for potential prison sites a year before anyone heard of SB1070. 

DeConcini also stated that the CCA doesn't involve itself with regard to sentencing or incarceration legislation (see the beginning of the previous paragraph).  This is demonstrably false.  They've been lobbying for tougher sentencing laws for decades.

The concept of attaching a profit motive to the loss of anyone's liberty is something which I find abhorrent.  It obviously lends itself to abuse by both the private and public sector.  For the private sector, profit of course. For the government, I suspect it's kind of a tag and release program. They get your fingerprints, your DNA, and those pesky civil rights, including that of voting.

It's something that cheapens the concept of liberty itself. Society must necessarily bear a burden when taking someone's freedom.  Otherwise, freedom becomes just another commodity to be bought and sold.

Over the last two decades, I've seen rights slowly and insidiously transformed into privileges granted by the state.  I can see a future where those who can afford it, order items off the Bill of Rights as though it were a fast food menu.

If bearing this burden leaves a bad taste in your mouth, too bad.

If being a free society were easy, everyone would do it.