Wisdom and Wanderings

a dish of political and personal rants with a side order of curiosity

Category: War

Solitary Confinement

Cockatoo_Island_Isolation_Cells

This is quite harrowing and thought provoking. Many do not know the extent of the use of solitary confinement and the impact which it has. It’s not just putting a prisoner in a padded cell for a few hours till they calm down.

Solitary confinement amounts to torture: humans developed the ability to communicate for survival, the way we develop, connect and function is based upon integration into some sort of society, be that in a prison community or a family. To take that away from someone – no matter what they have done, be that their political views or their criminal record – is simply inhumane. Now I know a lot of people will say ‘as soon as you kill another person/commit x atrocity you revoke your human rights’ but, we must remember that not all murderers/’bad people’ are entirely sound in the head. Behavioural influences from childhood have an enormous impact on a person, and I cannot believe that a person who is genetically sound and has had an average upbringing willingly commits wrongful acts. But that’s a whole other subject. The point is, just because one person may have violated another persons human rights, what then gives the law makers and prison wardens the right to then become that violator?

Further mentally isolating a criminal is not the correct way to deal with people in such situations. We need to show that we are willing to rehabilitate prisoners. Even on a small scale, nurturing and educating them so they may give something back to society from behind the bars. Some prisoners have gone on to write serious academic papers through schemes which allow this. I’m well aware that many refuse to actively participate in rehabilitation schemes, but is it ever justified to simply say ‘right, I’m taking away every option you could possibly have and shoving you in a concrete cell’? It’s almost as inhumane as the death penalty.

I’m only speaking here for solitary confinement in standard prisons. When it’s done on political grounds in foreign countries that’s an even bigger issue, and if you’re interested I urge you to check out Amnesty International‘s website as they do a lot of work on this. I know this is a big political rant but we have to fight to end injustice, whether it’s overseas or in our own countries,
and we have to start now.

Nazi Nuns!

Well, not quite, but this is a really interesting bit of speculation on church involvement in the Holocaust. I say dig open to old church files and let us all know the secrets (I’ve been desperate to root around in the church archives since I read a Dan Brown book about 10 years go…that might not have been particularly accurate, but I’m sure there’s a lot of dirt!)

Check it all out here.

Drop what you’re doing, read this and take note.

It’s horrific how much goes unnoticed when it’s not on our doorstep. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/26/iraqis-cant-turn-backs-on-deadly-legacy

Potentially Controversial Rant

Today a man was killed in Woolwich in a religiously motivated attack.

This week a tornado hit Oklahoma.

These two events, bloody awful each of them in their own right, have been splattered all over the news. I’ve seen both of them everywhere equally because of the mixture of Americans and British I follow on Twitter and Instagram, but the extent to which people only care for their own was revealed today in the wake of the Woolwich attack.

 

  • The U.N. estimate that Syria’s civil war has claimed nearly 70,000 lives in just less than two years
  • On average, that’s 3,043 deaths a month and 0.311% of the total population

 

Why aren’t people posting prayer chains on Facebook for Syria? Why isn’t it trending on Twitter? Why isn’t there pictures of it all over Instagram? I know it’s been going on for a long time now, and perhaps we’re a little numb to the reality, but it doesn’t make it any less shocking and I can’t understand why it seems that people have stopped caring. Just because these people seem alien to us, and because they live so far away, we cannot simply let them be. I’m not saying a prayer chain or a trend or a picture will do much good, but these people, these victims of war need to be in our consciousness.

All over Facebook people are talking about defending our country over these sorts of attacks from religious warriors; why should our country be at the forefront? Does the person matter or the idea of the nation to which the person belongs?

We’re a hell of a long way off equality and valuing life for the sake of life as opposed to what it represents.