CONTENTS NOVEMBER 7, 2000
Click. Last Billionaire Boys Club case ends with dismissal.
Click. THE BRAINS AND GURUS BEHIND BUSH.
Click. WACKENHUT OPENS FOR-PROFIT "MENTAL HEALTH" FACILITY.
Click. WHAT'S UP WITH THE WITCHES OUT THERE? ARE THEY SUPPORTING BUSH?
If George W Bush triumphs, however, Washington will have to brace itself for a cultural tidal wave rolling in from Texas. If elected, the governor from Austin would inevitably bring a new crowd of advisers, wonks, gurus and hangers-on from the governor's mansion in Austin.
There will be many immediate changes. Overnight, cowboy boots will become de rigueur with business suits, and the Texas twang (in both its authentic and ersatz varieties) will reverberate around the cafes of Georgetown.
But beneath the froth, there will be another, more profound, cultural transformation at the epicentre of the world's sole superpower. Gore has the reputation of making key decisions on his own. To know him is to know who is going to be behind the wheel.
Bush is an entirely different kind of operator. He keeps normal business hours, and expects his team to agree on a policy decision and present it to him in digestible form, rather like Ronald Reagan. So, as with Reagan, the identity of those advisers will take on a particular significance for the US and the world should America swing right today.
They are, to say the least, a pretty interesting bunch - a different tribe entirely from the slick, pragmatic New Democrats in power at the moment. They have more in common with the Reaganauts than the subsequent court run by Bush the Elder.
Bush's key economic adviser is Larry Lindsey, an early adherent from the Reagan era of supply-side economics. The doctrine (famously derided as "voodoo economics" by the governor's dad), provides an academic rationale for giving tax cuts to the rich. The theory is that rich people would invest their windfall in the stock market, providing a morale-boosting injection of funds and investment capital to create jobs, providing "trickle-down" wealth to the ordinary people. The supply-siders thus provide a do-gooder gloss to the Bush tax-cut plan, which would hand $81bn (60% of the total reduction) to the richest 13m taxpayers.
The foreign affairs team also has an 80s feel to it. Condoleeza Rice, the likely national security adviser in the event of a Bush win, worked for the governor's father, but is a child of the cold-war mentality which reigned supreme under Reagan. Together with Paul Wolfowitz (another hard-line Reaganaut and possible defence secretary), she advocates a much tougher, adversarial stance towards Russia and China, and a much more hard-headed assessment of vital national interests, stripped of the humanitarian interventions which have flourished under the Clinton-Gore administration.
In terms of economic and foreign policy then, a Bush White House is likely to be merely a throwback. It is the underlying ethos (what the governor would undoubtedly call "the heart") of a future Republican administration that would be truly exotic, even bizarre.
Bush's favourite slogan "compassionate conservatism" is no empty jingle - it is actually borrowed from a body of work by a pair of obscure conservative gurus, whose influence would surely grow exponentially if the Republicans recapture the White House. One is Myron Magnet, a cultural hawk from the right-wing Manhattan Institute. His rival for George W's heart and soul is a Marxist turned born-again Christian from Texas, Marvin Olasky, who believes the whole machinery of state-provided social welfare should be scrapped in favour of a return to 19th-century-style religious charities and soup kitchens.
Olasky has come on a long intellectual journey. Born into a Boston Jewish family in 1950, he renounced his religion at the age of 14 and became an avowed atheist. At Yale, he joined the Communist party and in 1972 travelled to Moscow on a Russian freighter, to prove his Marxist-Leninist ardour.
His 180-degree transformation came only a year later, apparently as a result of watching a lot of Hollywood westerns. He was doing a graduate degree in American culture at the University of Michigan, focusing on US cinema. He later said that the profound moral sense of right and wrong he found in the western genre, raised in his Marxist mind the nagging question: "What if there is a God?"
The answer seems to have been not far behind, because Olasky quickly renounced his Communist affiliation, and converted to evangelical Christianity.
He now teaches journalism at the University of Texas, but most of his effort is spent in publishing a right-wing Christian conservative journal ambitiously called World (largely devoted to the denunciation of Bill Clinton and all his evils) and running the church he founded in Austin, the Redeemer Presbyterian.
The Redeemer church teaches that women have no place in leadership, having already engineered the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Olasky once said that there was "a certain shame attached" to the idea of voting for a woman, because it meant that men had failed in their role.
Olasky also believes that liberal journalists have "holes in their souls" and practice "the religion of Zeus", which came as something of a surprise to the east-coast press. "What could he mean?" they wondered. Frank Rich, a veteran columnist at the New York Times, and one of those accused of having a hole in his soul, said: "He still hasn't told me whether the religion of Zeus goes in for Bar Mitzvahs."
These distractions aside, the driving force behind Olasky's church work and his prolific writing is the war against social welfare. His 1992 book, The Tragedy of American Compassion, argues that the Great Society programmes launched in the 1960s sapped the moral strength from the poor by providing a prop: "Every time we tell someone he is a victim, every time we say he deserves a special break today, every time we hand out charity to someone capable of working, we are hurting rather than helping," he argued.
Instead, Olasky teaches that charity should be channelled through faith-based organisations, which would distribute largesse accompanied by the required religious fortification, to counter the character-rotting impact of giving things away for nothing. To stand up his conclusions, he once dressed up as a beggar and wandered the streets, reporting back that although he was given food and shelter, his true craving, for a bible, was left unfulfilled.
Olasky's golden age for Christian charitable works was the 1890s, when the grateful poor were ministered to by "slum angels" who gave "gladly" through "Jesus's love". It is Thatcherism plus God.
All this explains a lot about what has been going on over the past five years in Texas, where social services and government health care have been under intense pressure, even as Governor Bush was informing the rest of the world of his heartfelt compassion.
Myron Magnet is cut from similar cloth as Olasky. The conservative prophet sports big Dickensian bushy whiskers (apparently inspired by a stay at Cambridge University), and a Victorian philosophy to match. His seminal work, The Dream and the Nightmare, espouses many of the same ideas as Olasky, arguing that many of the country's present social problems are a direct result of the 60s counterculture, which "permitted, even celebrated, behaviour that when poor people practice it will imprison them inextricably in poverty."
Bush said the book "really helped crystallise some of my thinking about cultures, changing cultures, and of part of the legacy of my generation". The underlying philosophy has surfaced in his campaign rhetoric in the form of his biting criticism of the philosophy of "If it feels good, do it".
From an examination of the brains behind Bush's catchphrases, this is more than a promise not to have oral sex in the Oval Office. It suggests a Bush victory next week would bring a new political class to town which looks backwards for its inspiration, not just to the halcyon days of Reagan, but far further, to a bygone Victorian age where there were bibles in the soup kitchens, and the poor knew their place.
|Subject:||Florida: Wackenhut opens for-profit "mental health" facility|
|Author:||David Oaks - Support Coalition|
THE PRISON INDUSTRY & PSYCHIATRIC INDUSTRY ARE MERGING:
The iron prison is merging with the chemical prison.
Get ready for "Psych. Crime, Incorporated."
See industry news releases below [feel free to redistribute].
Florida: Wackenhut opens for-profit mental health facility.
PR Newswire October 31, 2000
Atlantic Shores Healthcare Opens New South Florida State Hospital Campus/Facility
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla.
This week's opening of the new South Florida State Hospital campus marks the most visible milestone yet for the nation's first comprehensive state psychiatric hospital to be fully privatized.
The dramatic changes at the hospital began in November 1998, when Atlantic Shores Healthcare, Inc. began operating the facility in an unprecedented public-private partnership agreement with the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Staff members have already begun working from their offices at the new campus, while the remainder of the facilities -- including treatment and residential facilities -- will be phased into service over the next few weeks, according to Sal Barbera, hospital administrator. Phase I of the new residential and treatment centers will be operational by November 1, with the balance of the project being completed by year-end, according to Barbera. He noted that the new design provides varied housing alternatives along with on-site medical facilities.
"In addition to its unique privatized status, South Florida State Hospital is one of the first new comprehensive public mental health facilities to be built in decades," said Dr. George C. Zoley, chairman of the board for Atlantic Shores Healthcare, Inc. "We, therefore, have the opportunity to create a national model, implementing innovative programs that reflect today's best practices in psychiatric treatment, while also improving operational efficiency."
Among the more than 100 attendees attending opening ceremonies on October 27 were Dr. Zoley; Carol M. Brown, president of Atlantic Shores Healthcare, Inc.; Dale W. Frick, vice president for mental health services; Celeste Putnam, director of mental
health programs for the Department of Children and Families; Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth; State Senator Howard Forman; State Representatives
Debby Sanderson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz; and numerous other state officials, mental healthcare professionals, advocates and guests.
The new campus has as its focal point a village-like Town Center complete with clock tower, gazebo, covered walkways and ornamental landscaping. By creating an environment that permits maximum person-to-person interaction, this design will play
a central role in helping the residents prepare for their return to the community, Barbera explained.
"The distinctly non-institutional atmosphere not only improves the mental health care experience for those we serve, it also plays an integral role in their treatment and recovery," said Barbera, the hospital's chief executive.
Key milestones achieved since privatization include full accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, for the first time in the hospital's 40-plus year history. JCAHO accreditation was achieved in September 1999, ten months earlier than required by Atlantic Shores' contract with the department of Children and Families.
A variety of other indicators reflect significant improvement. Both admissions and discharges during the 1999-2000 state fiscal year were at their highest levels in a decade, while only 3.4 percent of those discharged were readmitted within 30 days
-- a rate nearly 50 percent below JCAHO-accredited state hospitals' national average.
"People are admitted to South Florida State Hospital with a specific psychiatric diagnosis, and are progressing through a documented treatment plan," Barbera explained. As a result, the average length of stay for those newly admitted to the hospital has also dropped dramatically. As of Nov. 1, 1998, the average length of stay was 8.27 years. For those admitted since then, the average length of stay is just 185 days.
"In addition, the treatment experience has been greatly enhanced," Barbera added. As an example, he cited the hospital's success in significantly reducing the use of restraints prior to moving to the new campus. In the year prior to Atlantic Shores' management, the hospital recorded an average of 21.6 restraint events each month. By contrast, after intensive staff training in Crisis Prevention Intervention, the hospital has now achieved three consecutive months with no restraint incidents at all. Likewise, the use of seclusion has also been reduced significantly, and is now far below the national average of JCAHO-accredited state hospitals.
A variety of initiatives are underway to expand the hospital's role as a community mental healthcare education resource. Atlantic Shores has created a formal relationship with Nova Southeastern University to provide medical student training and
occupational therapy programs, and other university affiliations are being developed. On its new campus, the hospital will provide meeting space for community mental healthcare groups, and the Administration Building will host nationally recognized art shows showcasing work of the mentally ill. "Shelters and Structures," the first of those
shows, opens to the public with the opening of the hospital, with works from the permanent collection of the National Exhibition of Art by the Mentally Ill.
"With the support of the Florida Department of Children and Families, we have been able to make remarkable progress," Barbera added. "We look forward to continuing to work closely with community-based facilities in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties to provide ongoing leadership in the mental health system." Atlantic Shores
Healthcare, Inc. is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and also manages the Atlantic Shores Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, a 74-bed accredited psychiatric healthcare facility. The company provides comprehensive health and mental health
care services in both the public and private sectors. It has over 500 healthcare and mental health professionals and the experience of administrative operations in clinical and residential settings. Atlantic Shores Healthcare, Inc. is a subsidiary of Wackenhut Corrections Corporation (NYSE: WHC).
SOURCE Atlantic Shores Healthcare, Inc.
CONTACT: Linda Lewis, Atlantic Shores Healthcare, 954-428-4477, or
; or Patrick Cannan, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation,
Netherlands Antilles: Contract signed with Wackenhut. We tried to stop them but oh well.
Wackenhut Corrections To Provide ManagementConsultant Services For Netherlands
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ --
Wackenhut Corrections Corporation announced today that its subsidiary Wackenhut Corrections Corporation N.V. (WCCNV) signed a contract with the Government of the Netherlands Antilles for management consultant services at the Koraal Specht
Prison facility in Curacao. The contract, which is effective immediately, is for an initial term of twelve months and will generate revenues totaling $3.8 million.
Dr. George C. Zoley, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Wackenhut Corrections, said, "We welcome this opportunity to extend our private-public partnership with the Netherlands Antilles and look forward to working with the
Government to develop Koraal Specht Prison. Our management consultant agreement is specifically designed to turn Koraal Specht prison into a safe, secure and efficient correctional facility that allows for and facilitates a humane level of incarceration consistent with international standards for inmates, employees, volunteers and
The Netherlands Antilles is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and includes the islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maartin, and is located thirty miles off the coast of Venezuela.
WCC is the industry leader in the international corrections market, with awards or contracts for 55 percent of the private prison beds located outside the United States. The Company has contracts/awards to manage 55 correctional/detention facilities in
North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand with a total of 39,522 beds. The Company also provides prisoner transportation services; electronic monitoring for home detainees; correctional health care; and mental health
To join international resistance to forced psychiatry: http://www.MindFreedom.org
Last Billionaire Boys Club case ends with dismissal.
By Eric Brazil
OF THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER STAFF 11/7/00
REDWOOD CITY - A San Mateo County judge has dismissed murder and kidnapping charges against the last remaining defendant in the Billionaire Boys Club case.
Judge Carl Holm brought the 16-year-old case against Reza Eslaminia to an abrupt end Monday after barring the testimony of an indispensable prosecution witness.
Eslaminia was among five men charged in the 1984 kidnapping and death of his father, Hedayat Eslaminia, a former high-ranking official in the shah of Iran's security apparatus.
Without the testimony of Dean Karny, who is living under an assumed identity at an undisclosed location under the federal witness protection program, "we do not have sufficient evidence to prosecute" Eslaminia, said Deputy Attorney General Eugene Kaster.
In the wake of the ruling, Eslaminia was both elated and subdued.
"It's slowly beginning to sink in, and I am cherishing this moment, because I always believed in my innocence and I fought for it against all odds," he said. "We live in a great country. It allows an innocent person to sit in prison, but the system corrects those errors."
Despite ruling for Eslaminia, Holm encouraged Kaster not to drop the case, which had been scheduled for trial on Feb. 20.
"I want this appealed. I am not infallible," said the judge. Kaster told The Examiner he had not decided whether he would pursue an appeal.
The case against Eslaminia is built essentially on Karny's testimony.
"It's going to come down to a credibility contest," said Lawrence A. Gibbs, the Berkeley lawyer who argued the motion to preclude Karny's testimony, prior to Monday's ruling.
Karny was once the No. 2 man in the Billionaire Boys Club, a group of mostly affluent young Southern Californians who devised various get-rich-quick schemes and turned to murder to recoup their losses when they failed.
Karny confessed to participating in two murders, including that of Eslaminia's father, Hedayat, who was abducted from his Belmont apartment on July 30, 1984, and smothered in a locked steamer trunk en route to Los Angeles with his kidnappers.
Karny was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony against Eslaminia and three other defendants and admitted to the federal witness program.
He has refused to disclose his whereabouts or the identity he assumed upon entering the program.
That refusal, Judge Holm concluded, denies Eslaminia the constitutional right to confront and cross-examine the principal witness against him. And that right - "held hostage by the federal government" - trumps the vitality of the witness protection program, the judge ruled.
Holm observed that federal law made it a crime for anyone in the witness protection program to divulge specifics about it and that Karny could "take the Fifth" - the constitutional amendment against sel-incrimination - had he been called to the witness stand. In that case, his testimony would probably have been barred, he said.
Eslaminia was convicted of murder and kidnapping by a San Mateo County jury in 1988 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The prosecution's theory of the case is that Eslaminia, hating his father and hoping to obtain his wealth, conspired with Billionaire Boys Club members to extort it from him - by torture, if necessary. Hedayat Eslaminia's death was an unintended consequence of that plot, according to the theory.
Eslaminia, who had met BBC members just 24 days before his father's death, has consistently maintained his innocence, arguing that he had no motive to join the plot. Not only did he not hate his father, but he knew that his father was jobless, broke and had resorted to shoplifting, Eslaminia said.
The Billionaire Boys Club has become one of the most factually complex cases in the history of California jurisprudence, generating rooms full of trial and hearing transcripts, police reports and evidence.
Eslaminia's appeal lasted a decade, time which he spent in a maximum security section of Folsom prison.
On Feb. 18, 1998, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reduced the convictions of Eslaminia and his co-defendant, Arben "Ben" Dosti. It found that the trial had been fatally tainted by the jury's exposure to an inadmissible tape recording of an interview with Eslaminia's then-homeless brother which undercut the defense.
On Aug. 4, Dosti, 38, pleaded guilty to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter and kidnapping in connection with Hedayat Eslaminia's death. Under the plea bargain, he will serve no more prison time.
Gibbs, who is the 21st lawyer Eslaminia has had since his arrest, prevailed in his argument to preclude Karny's testimony by citing a recent case decided by the California Supreme Court.
The court held that even where testifying places a witness in great danger - the case involved a prison gang murder - it is a violation of the Confrontation Clause of the constitution for a crucial prosecution witness to testify without disclosing his identity.
Ironically, the three men accused of actually kidnapping and bringing about the death of Hedayat Eslaminia are no longer defendants. Charges against Joe Hunt, the BBC's charismatic leader, were dismissed after a San Mateo County jury deadlocked in his trial. Charges were subsequently dismissed against Jim Pittman, the BBC's muscle man and enforcer, who recently died. And Karny, who studied law, took and passed the California Bar examination, has been free for 16 years. Hunt continues to serve life without possibility of parole for the murder of Ron Levin of Beverly Hills, a reputed con man who failed to come through on a deal with the BBC.
THAT OLD TIME RELIGION IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!