The Miller’s Tale

jcbboss

You want an allegory for life in 2015 America? Here it is: A $100 million world-class racetrack facility is being abandoned by its builders, at least in part because the State of Utah has identified the land beneath it as a great place to build a prison. That’s right. With all the open land in that state, the place they want to lock up non-violent drug offenders and people who don’t pay 100% of their child support just happens to be Miller Motorsports Park.

When I said as much for Road&Track in my new Boss 302 FRS article, the editorial team decided to walk it back after readers pointed out that it wasn’t a done deal. That’s their privilege, and in their place I probably would have done the same thing. When you have the kind of *ahem* massive and demographically stellar readership that the R&T website enjoys, it pays to not go off half-cocked. I regret not being more specific in the original article and causing them the trouble.

But since we’re on my website now, I can say this: Fuck the prison-industrial complex. Fuck the states who can’t think of anything better to do with up to up to one in five hundred of their citizens besides toss them behind bars. Fuck minimum sentencing, fuck mandatory sentencing, fuck race-based parole selection criteria, fuck the system that would rather throw people away than rehabilitate them, fuck the system that has ensured that about eight percent of Americans are convicted felons, fuck the people who build McMansions from the proceeds of incarcerating people, fuck our dearly retired Senator Voinovich who passed minimum-sentencing bills that filled Ohio’s prisons to the brim and then awarded prison-building contracts to his own family.

You want a definition of freedom? It’s grabbing fifth gear past the flag tower at Miller and hearing the five-liter roar as the needle spins past the “160” mark. It’s being in sole control of a thrilling and thoroughly capable race car with only your own talent and education making the difference between an incandescent hot lap and a smoking hole in the wall. It’s the roller-coaster drop in your stomach as you stand on the brake at the end of that long straight just enough to let you bend through Turn One.

That’s freedom. And if they tear that down to make yet another prison, then “they” are the enemies of freedom. But who among us would raise the knife and call, “Sic semper tyrannis”?

19 Replies to “The Miller’s Tale”

  1. Avatar-Nate

    Thank you Jack ;

    Once again you have shone the light of truth , this time about the un American prisons for profit power grab .

    -Nate

    Reply
  2. AvatarJohn Gardner

    Jack:

    The Miller Family owns a 900-acre parcel ACROSS THE STREET from the racetrack. It’s where our Desert Racing Course for the Raptor Assault program is. 500 acres of that parcel have been offered to the state as consideration for a new state prison. It is one of five sites being considered in northern Utah, and one of two in Tooele County. The residents of Tooele Country have vociferously let it be known that they do not want the prison here; there would be big issues with providing water and electricity to the Miller site. Even if the prison does go to the Miller Family’s property, it will in no way affect the racetrack.

    John Gardner
    Miller Motorsports Park

    Reply
    • AvatarDingo

      On a sidenote. The Millers have one of the largest collections of Cobra’s and GT40’s in the world. While attending an event at the motor park the Millers were generous enough to let my son and I view the collection. Seeing my 16yo son weeping with joy for being allowed to sit in a GT40 raced at Lemans is a sight I will never forget. Thank you Miller family for this precious memory.

      Reply
    • Avataromer333

      I should have read all the replies before commenting. Good to know.

      I still stand by the rest of my comment.

      Reply
  3. AvatarHogie roll

    Prison industrial complex cronies and associated law for profit abusers are at the top of the list when the time comes.

    Reply
    • AvatarNick d

      The most vile example of the prison complex has to be the California corrections officers Union lobbying to get the nation’s strictest 3 strikes passed via ballot initiative in 1994. They are feeding off the lives of humans.

      And California ballot initiaves are a great example of why we should stick with representative government.

      Reply
  4. Avatarjz78817

    do you know how refreshing it is to encounter someone whose social/political views are pragmatic rather than dogmatic.

    Reply
  5. Avatarjeff zekas

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2011 – about 0.94% of adults in the U.S. resident population. This is less than one percent of the population, not eight percent as you stated. As for your statement, “Fuck minimum sentencing, fuck mandatory sentencing”– When your son gets raped by a three time child molester, than you will see the reason for these laws. The Three Strikes law and similar laws were created because, prior to such legislation, prison was a “revolving door” wherein convicts would quickly be freed and then commit more crimes. You state, “”Fuck race-based parole selection criteria”– never seen that. I HAVE seen how dangerous convicts, whether black, white, Hispanic, Asian or other, are not given parole because they showed no remorse, and were a danger to society. We actually had one convict jump over the table during a parole hearing and attack a staff member. You want to release that guy? And as for your statement “fuck the system that would rather throw people away than rehabilitate them”- been there, done that. In my 18 years as a Correctional Officer, we tried rehabilitation, job training, drug counselling, you name it. We (meaning the state) do NOT want inmates to go to prison, because it costs $35K a year to house them. We parole them. We put them in halfway houses. We release thousands of “non violent” offenders. But guess what? Convicts (at least the ones I met) DON’T WANT TO GO STRAIGHT. Or as Rocky, a New Jersey gangster once said to me, “Why should I be a welder for $35 an hour when I can make five thousand bucks a week dealing drugs?” You want to reduce crime, Jack? Have folks teach PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and RESPECT FOR OTHERS. Teach young men to father their kids, instead of ditching the baby mom of their kid, wherein she goes on welfare. Create jobs. Teach respect for ALL races. I would say that ninety-nine percent of the convicts I met came from single parent homes. They were “raised” by the shotcallers and gangbangers, not their families. They were taught to hate cops and hate other races at an early age. Their loyalty is to the Bloods, or the Crips, or the Eme, not to law or society. The greatest tyranny is not government, but lawlessness and anarchy, which is the current condition of many ghettos in America. Thank you for listening.

    Reply
    • JackJack Post author

      Jeff,

      Just as a matter of clarification, I stated that eight percent of Americans were convicted felons. Regarding incarceration percentage, I stated that “… the states who can’t think of anything better to do with up to up to one in five hundred of their citizens besides toss them behind bars.”

      One in five hundred is 0.2%. The number you stated is 0.94%. However, as you know, incarceration is heavily male-based (and where, I ask, are the cries about “glass ceilings” in prison admissions?) so in reality nearly two percent of men are incarerated.

      One in fifty by your numbers.

      Here in Ohio, it was well-known for years that white offenders were often denied parole to keep the prison’s racial balance vaguely to guidelines.

      I think we can both agree that, once exposed to the correctional system for more than a fleeting amount of time, few people will ever return to “normal”. I agree that some people need to be put in prison. However, the statistics show that the United States very nearly leads the world in incarceration rates despite having lower levels of poverty and violence than the other countries with which it shares the leaderboard.

      That’s a result of policy, not of Americans all being Crips or Bloods.

      I’m not naive enough to think that America could get along without a single jail. But I’m also not naive enough to think that the current level of incarceration is necessary. This system turns single offenders into career criminals more effectively than it protects the public.

      As far as three-time child molesters go, if it were legal to kill such people in the act I think you’d see less of it. Sometimes, Hammurabi had it right.

      Reply
      • Avatarjz78817

        I’m not a staunch opponent to capital punishment,* I just think the standard of proof should be greater than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” a prison sentence can be vacated if it was incorrect, an execution cannot.

        *I do find it distasteful how liberally certain areas want to apply it, though.

        Reply
      • Avatarjeff zekas

        All I can say is: I was a Libertarian until I worked in prison. Now, after seeing how dangerous these sociopaths are, I believe in harsh punishment. We have more convicts because we have more freedom- freedom to choose, both right AND wrong.

        Reply
  6. Avataromer333

    I’m moving to Salt Lake City in a couple weeks, and I agree this is straight up bullshit. Utah’s nowhere near as populated as California (where I live now), and I seriously doubt a majority of the land is either protected or used for agriculture (like California)

    I’m also in total agreement with fuck mandatory minimum sentences and and the rest of the “let’s build prisons instead of making the schools better and giving hungry people food” mindset. We’re not animals, we’re goddamn American citizens.

    Reply

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