You can tell you’re in the Bible Belt when you see more churches than Starbucks
Down here (
- from the movie `Life Of David Gale'
A group I’m involved with, the Real Change Organizing Project, has recently taken up the cause of not building a new prison in
I’ve always felt the worse thing about prisons is that the powers-that-be always find a way to fill them. Prison population in this country went from 19,000 in 1980 to 251,200 in 1999 no doubt in large part to the countries ill-advised war on drugs.
But it wasn’t until recent years, when I stopped writing just about sports and took a shot at more real world stuff, that I discovered the whole concept of privatizing prisons. Prisons just like wars and TV news has become nothing more than a way to make money. And that means more prisoners. Dick Cheney’s company, Halliburton, is involved in prisons.
Sometimes it’s hard to find who actually owns your neighborhood prison. A
However, I did stumble across one of the great Internet rumors which is that former Price Is Right game show host and Happy Gilmour star Bob Barker, owns 90% of the prisons and makes $3,000 on every prisoner. If you don’t watch game shows this is the guy who’s always yelling for people to ``come on down.’’ Insert your own joke about Bob Barker greeting prisoners here.
It turns out that Bob Barker Company of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. is in fact American’s leading detention supplier (and we all thank them for that). But this Bob Barker has nothing to do with game shows. It’s actually a family run business that started with plumbing and now even provides the telephones at the prison in
Nevertheless, there are people who still believe that TV’s Bob Barker, who also tells people to neuter their pets, runs our nation’s prison system. It makes for a good blog posting but I’ve always felt that the really ridiculous conspiracy theories just get in the way of those that have some truth to them. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.