Stop Mass Incarceration & Endless War

The Genius Farm

The Genius Farm is using t-shirts to raise money to fund a computer programming class this summer in New Rochelle, NY.
Our class uses simple interventions discovered by psychologists to close the achievement gap.

Stop Mass Incarceration & Endless War t-shirt

“Stop Mass Incarceration & Endless War” T-shirts will be:
  • Grown in the USA with certified organic cotton
  • Made in the Carolinas
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks
  • Environmentally-friendly print process
  • Medium weight: 5.4 oz
To donate and receive t-shirt visit: GoFundMe/GeniusFarm
The Achievement Gap
For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.
When it comes to technology skills, the U.S. comes in last place  — right below Poland. In addition, there was a significant racial difference with non-whites scoring below whites.
Psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference. Terrance Jackson, the publisher of Pistis, adopted some of these simple interventions in a class called “Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson” that was offered to local 5th-8th graders at Larchmont Library. We are raising money to expand this program.

Across the U. S., an astonishing number of Black men have spent some time in prison, yet corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.

Ed Burns

It’s not a war on drugs. Don’t ever think it’s a war on drugs. It’s a war on the Blacks. It started as a war on the Blacks, it’s now spread to Hispanics and poor Whites. But initially it was a war on Blacks. And it was designed basically to take that energy that was coming out of the Civil Rights Movement and destroy it.
~ Ed Burns
Co-creator of “The Wire”


According to an article by Avinash Tharoor, Bank of America, Western Union, and JP Morgan, are among the institutions allegedly involved in the drug trade. Meanwhile, HSBC has admitted its laundering role, and evaded criminal prosecution by paying a fine of almost $2 billion. The lack of imprisonment of any bankers involved is indicative of the hypocritical nature of the drug war; an individual selling a few grams of drugs can face decades in prison, while a group of people that tacitly allow — and profit from — the trade of tons, escape incarceration.
According to the Corporate Crime Reporter:
Corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.Whether in bodies or injuries or dollars lost, corporate crime and violence wins by a landslide.
The FBI estimates, for example, that burglary and robbery – street crimes – costs the nation $3.8 billion a year.
The losses from a handful of major corporate frauds – Tyco, Adelphia, Worldcom, Enron – swamp the losses from all street robberies and burglaries combined.
Health care fraud alone costs Americans $100 billion to $400 billion a year.
The savings and loan fraud – which former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh called “the biggest white collar swindle in history” – cost us anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion.
David Simon

David Simon, co-creator of HBO’s “The Wire”

The factories are not going to be here anymore. We don’t need these people so the least we can do is hunt them. And when we hurt them we at least provide jobs for cops, DEA agents, lawyers and prison guards.
~ David Simon
Co-creator of HBO’s The Wire
The Law Needs Legitimacy

Killed by police

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath:
[L]egitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to fell like they have a voice—that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another….
[W]hen the law is applied in the absence of legitimacy, it does not produce obedience. It produces the opposite. It leads to backlash.
A man walks past a burning police vehicle

A man walks past a burning police vehicle in Baltimore. Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

“The stories in the news today reminded me of the sentiments of almost fifty years ago when many young Black people felt that policing for them was unfair.”

New York Times op-doc:
“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
Nick Mosby, a member of the Baltimore City Council:
This is bigger than Freddie Gray. This is about the social economics of poor urban America. These young guys are frustrated, they’re upset and unfortunately they’re displaying it in a very destructive manner. When folks are undereducated, unfortunately they don’t have the same intellectual voice to express it the way other people do, and that’s what we see through the violence today.

As stated by Councilmember Mosby, the problems are lack of education and lack of opportunities.
In addition to the law needing legitimacy in domestic policies, the law also needs legitimacy in foreign policy. Candidates for president and congress spent a great deal of time talking about ISIS, ISIL, or the Islamic State – a group that, so far, has not attacked the United States nor shown any signs of attacking the United States.
The War on Terror has become a business model.
According to a NPR report:
FBI Director James Comey said… that there is still no evidence that the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters had any contact with a foreign terrorist group like ISIS.
Yet, several candidates, in reaction to the shootings talk tough about the Islamic State. Trump regularly promises to “bomb the sh–” out of the Islamic State also to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.  Cruz promised to bomb the Islamic State “into oblivion.”
Such talk exposes the hypocrisy and insincerity of America’s declaration of war on “radical Islam.” One of America’s closest allies is Saudi Arabia. The State Department has recently approved a $1.29 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Yet, Saudi Arabia is the country most responsible for the rise of radical Islam, and the largest benefactor to Islamic terrorist organizations. On September 11, 2001, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. Mike Lofgren, who spent 20 years as a high-level staffer for various Republican senators, explains that “Saudi’s deep complicity in terrorism gets a nevermind from the State” because of its production of fossil fuels, but also because of its purchase of U.S. Treasuries and weapons.
In addition, Mike Lofgren writes how the war on terror has become a business model:
[James Risen’s Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War] has a simple and arresting thesis: the longest war in America’s history is pure nirvana for the greedy and unscrupulous. Whatever the architects of the war on terrorism thought they were doing, the Iraq War’s purpose rapidly evolved within the iron cage of the Washington public-private ecology into a rent-seeking opportunity for contractors and bureaucratic empire building for government employees. Its real, as opposed to ostensible, purpose seems to be endless, low-level war.
On the third day of his presidency, Barack Obama ordered his first drone strike on 23 January 2009, the inauguration of a counter-terrorism tactic likely to define Obama’s presidency in much of the Muslim world. Reportedly, the strikes did not hit the Taliban target Obama and the Central Intelligence Agency sought. Instead, they changed Faheem Qureshi’s life irrevocably.
Faheem Qureshi

Faheem Qureshi, who suffered serious injuries, including the loss of an eye, in the first drone strike ordered by President Obama. Photograph: Madiha Tahir

Two of Qureshi’s uncles, Mohammed Khalil and Mansoor Rehman, were killed. So was his 21-year-old cousin Aizazur Rehman Qureshi. It took nearly 40 days for Qureshi to emerge from a series of hospitals, all of which he spent in darkness. Shrapnel had punctured his stomach. Lacerations covered much of his upper body. Doctors operated on the entire left side of his body, which had sustained burns, and used laser surgery to repair his right eye. They could not save his left.
All Qureshi knows about Obama, he told the Guardian from Islamabad, “is what he has done to me and the people in Waziristan, and that is an act of tyranny. If there is a list of tyrants in the world, to me, Obama will be put on that list by his drone program.”
These issues regarding government, law enforcement, domestic policy, foreign policy, and legitimacy is discussed further in an earlier blog entry: Terrance Jackson for Congress.
We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can’t bomb it into peace. ~ Michael Franti
In May 2013 NPR’s Planet Money started a Kickstarter campaign to make a t-shirt and tell the story of how it was made.

Planet Money T-Shirt Kickstarter campaign

They used Kickstarter because it helped them answer a very important question: How many t-shirts should they make? And, for that matter, were there even enough people who wanted a Planet Money t-shirt to make the project viable?
Using labor from places such as Bangladesh and Columbia each t-shirt costed about $12.42.

T-Shirt costs

We will be making our own “Stop Mass Incarceration & Endless War” t-shirt using as many high-quality local inputs as possible.

One of the major problems that keeps garment manufacturing overseas and out of the United States is “fast fashion.” An explain in a video on Online MBA:
‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag. For the last two decades, clothing retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have popularized Fast Fashion among everyday consumers….
The Fast Fashion trend has also led to environmental concerns. Every year, the clothing industry produces 2 million tons of waste, emits 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, and uses 70 million tons of water; these figures have significantly risen in the years since Fast Fashion became a retailing standard.
Fast Fashion is also toxic; a Greenpeace Detox campaign report found residues of a variety of hazardous chemicals in clothing made by 20 global fashion brands.
We are buying new consumer products based on rapid changes in fashion that are engineered by corporations. This requires being dissatisfied with things we just bought and being seduced by the idea of instant gratification and novelty. It’s like we’re turning into children.

Killed by police


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