Sunday, April 30, 2006

Colorado Beauty

For those who dont live in such a beautiful place, I thought I'd share some of the beauty of Colorado. This first pic is a sunset from a few weeks back. Note the little ones with the kites. In the first picture the kites were all down.

This next one has a kite up.

And here is just a random pic from highway 67 back in January (not much snow at the time)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Reform Plan For Congress

Congress needs changing. Everyone knows it. The question is how to do it, short of starting all over? With such a small amount of people to buy (435 Representatives), special interests find it very easy to get into a congressman's pocket. On the other hand, it is also necessary for the would-be politician to court and accept their favors if they want to get elected. The cost of elections will continue to rise as the message has to get out to more and more people thereby making the problem ever worse. Politicians needs money, special interests are able to raise money and influence and, make no mistake, Constitution-eroding "campaign finance reform" wont solve the problem. It wont even make a dent in it.

The Constitution says that representation "shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative" Currently there is one Representative for every 646,947 people. That is 21.5 times less representatives than the Founders envisioned. This is the reason that they are non-responsive to the Citizenry as well as beholden to special interests. You dont know your Congressman, and he doesnt know or care about you. How could he? How can you hold someone you dont know accountable for their actions? It simply isnt possible.

A quick and easy solution would be to get representation much closer to what the Constitution says. Granted, the Constitution doesnt require only 30,000 people to 1 Representative but our Founding Fathers were wise enough to know that much more would isolate the representative from the Citizens and make him something other than their Servant. Opening up the House to say 5,000 Reps would give us a representation ratio of 1:56,284 or if we went to 1:30,000 there would be 9,380 seats in the House.

Objections to the plan
Three objections would come up over this plan.
1) The increase in # couldnt be held in the House.
2) Representatives would be easier to buy.
3) It would be next to impossible to pass anything.

To this I would say, #1 is irrelevant. There is nothing keeping the House meeting where it does. A new building could be created to hold these new Representatives, the cost would be a pittance considering how much the Gov already spends. The second objection is rather ridiculous as Reps are extremely easy to buy now. But as they would be accountable to the Constituents back home it would be much harder to purchase influence and there would be considerable extra expense with the vastly greater number. Objection number three is my favorite. It is in fact, one of my reasons for supporting such an action. It would be hard to pass bills. There is a reason for that, it is because it would have to pass through a lot of people's BS filters as well as their conscience and beliefs.

To recap: increased Representation would provide for a more responsive (to the Citizenry) and accountable legislature. It would work to free the House from PACS and Special Interest groups (it is impossible to fully end the influence of the monied elite and it is foolish to try) It would result in more gridlock and at the same time legislation that truly represents the people would be easier to pass. As an added bonus, it would be much harder to pass the pork that is currently passed. It is highly unlikely that the 6-10 representatives from Colorado Springs would vote for a toe-nail clippings museum in Pennsylvania, nor would Pennsylvanian Reps vote for funding for our Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. This is just as it should be.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Speech Contraction

A recent ruling by the 9th Circuit (pdf) has ruled that a student cannot wear a message that may make "derogatory and injurious remarks directed at students' minority status such as race, religion, and sexual orientation." On the front, the T-shirt said, "Be Ashamed, Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned," and on the back, it said "Homosexuality is Shameful." This is of course hailed by the left in their rush to overthrow any Christian bonds this nation still has.

What isnt being thought of, is if speech can be limited in one way it can be limited in another. If today speaking against homosexuality is not allowed by courts and laws, what would happen if the Left's favorite boogeyman, Bible-thumping Christians actually took over the government? If, as the Left so vocally fears, those Christians install a theocratic government (hasnt happened yet, just what ARE the chances?) and outlaw gays and wiccans and the whole Kennedy Klan, then the Left's speech could equally be taken away.

Seems that the old saying is true, Never give any power to government that you wouldn't give to your worst enemy

Monday, April 24, 2006

Income Tax part II

I found an article today on that is perfect considering my little series on the Income Tax. Laurence M. Vance wrote a review/rebuke of Steve Forbes's new book Flat Tax Revolution. Mr Vance takes Forbes to task over his proposal for a progressive "flat" tax, but they both agree on the following which is instructive of what I spoke about last time.
Forbes' description of the Federal income tax code:

* A monster of a system.
* Abominably, appallingly confusing.
* A multi-headed hydra of countless brackets, deductions, and exemptions.
* Our horrifically heavy, appallingly complex, corruption-inducing tax code.

In addition to his accurate description of the horrific U.S. tax code, Forbes also correctly points out the huge costs of complying with the tax code. Compliance costs in terms of time have skyrocketed from an average of 17 hours and 7 minutes fifteen years ago to 28 hours and 30 minutes today. Lost productivity is in the billions of hours. The cost in dollars is now about $200 billion.

The U.S. tax code - with its "nine million word mountain of verbiage" - is so complex and "littered with impenetrable passages" that a fictional tax return given by Money magazine to forty-five tax preparers resulted in forty-five different calculations of the correct amount of tax due. This is not surprising since IRS employees (Forbes says that there are 97,440 of them) don't even give the same answers to tax questions. Forbes mentions a 2003 Treasury Department study, which found that callers to the IRS toll-free help lines "gave the wrong answers to tax-related questions more than 25 percent of the time."
Take a good look at that. The income tax code is now over 9 million words (the 7 million I quoted was a number I knew was getting old, but I'm too lazy (or smart)to try and count them on my own.) And more to the point, one tax return given to 45 different preparers ended up with 45 different totals? You cant even begin to tell me this doesnt fall under the Void for Vagueness doctrine. And those IRS employees giving out wrong answers? Nothing you can do about it. You cant sue them or the department, nor is their wrong info a defense for you.

Income tax... Illegal through and through and through.


This letter was recieved by the lead "singer" of Abinitio, a small local denver band. I put singer in quotes because he is a screamer/growler who uses no lyrics.

I would like to start off by saying that your opinion
on our music is completely irrelevant to ours.(sic)
Honestly your 1 page analysis on our performance last
night is nothing short of hilarious to all of us. The
fact that we didn't sound like "the great" Project 86
doesn't and will not affect in anyway our sleep
I have never listened to them and probably never will.
As far as we are concerned we played with August Burns
Red and the Showdown last night. If you had any sort
of knowledge about music whatsoever you would realize
that we OBVIOUSLY aren't targeting shallow minded
people such as yourself to listen to our music.
YES there are lyrics and they are posted on our
profile page.In fact I actually wrote a song about
individuals like you...but that's another story!
I truly hope that I never have to play in front of
anyone like you again(at least knowingly).
I find it very sad that you had nothing better to do
than write hate mail to us ,but if that is what you do
in your spare time...I guess your words speak for

As for me..the vocalist...I wish you were standing in
front so I could have grabbed your hair and screamed
in your face. I just got a good laugh from my
girlfriend (the one who you were obviously glaring at)
& the gross face you made only further lessened your
appearance!!You write a direct personal "diss" to me
for purposes unknown to me. My only explanation is
that you were dumbfounded by mine & the other guys'
undeniably good looks and amazing sex appeal!
That or the hole in my underwear?
Whatever the reason be you took this way too far and I
really hope for your sake that you

fondly Abinitio

The letter sent to them addressed thei lack of showmanship, such as stating on stage "I hate small talk," lack of gratefulness for the venue and other bands that made their appearance possible and their striking shop before the show was even over. Also there was a question of whether or not there are lyrics to any of their songs (it ceratinly doesnt appear so) What is interesting is that the only thing Abinitio addressed was the lyrics. They state they are available on their myspace page, when in reality they aren't. Not once was the hole in his underwear mentioned (yes he had a hole in his underwear or perhaps an undershirt)

If you had any sort of knowledge about music whatsoever you would realize that we OBVIOUSLY aren't targeting shallow minded people such as yourself to listen to our music.
Is he serious? Shallow minded? His singing is nothing but growls. I would posit that it takes a less intelligent/shallower listener to put up with such tripe.

I just got a good laugh from my girlfriend (the one who you were obviously glaring at) & the gross face you made only further lessened your appearance!!
WTF? Where did this come from? His girlfriend? Never mentioned as she is irrelevant to the bands performance (who knew or cared that she existed?)

My only explanation isthat you were dumbfounded by mine & the other guys' undeniably good looks and amazing sex appeal!
What the writer claims as sex appeal was really an appalingly bad attitude and an apparent dislike for career opportunities. Project 86 headlined this show and as such the people at the concert came to see them. Abinitio claims they have never listed to them? Not even to check out the many available music clips online? How asinine is that? How lazy? P86 is not the biggest band out there to be sure, but when opening for any band it is grace, good style and plain common sense to treat the opportunity as just that. An opportunity.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, the band was actually good. They are still young and have further improvements and refinements to make but they played just fine. It is their lead that makes them smell so bad.

To the band of Abinitio: If you ever want to go places with your music you are going to have to find another lead. No matter your talent, no matter how well you play, your lead speaks for the group. He is the one that the public sees and he personifies your group. He is your salesman. The lead you have now couldnt sell a life vest to a drowning man. Ditch him.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Income Tax Not Constitutional

As people are all pissy about the subject of taxation before the "due" date I decided to hold off on this until now. No doubt there are those who will simply accuse me of not paying my "fair share." (Note: the "fair share" argument is really just a whine and holds no weight in a discussion.) So here is the first in what is likely to be a topic on this blog for a while.

The current income tax was instituted in 1913 (not coincidentally the same year the Fed was created.) Now as a bit of history, Congress had passed an Income Tax as part of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894. This tax was decided by the United States Supreme Court to be unconstitutional in 1895. Why? Because it was a tax on "property" and it was a direct tax without respect to the census and therefore unapportioned.

Currently in the common vernacular we interpret "income" to be that which we take home from our jobs. That weekly paycheck (or for some of us, weakly paycheck) is not, in fact, income as defined by law, nor as considered by SCotUS. SCotUS has ruled that income in the legal sense arises from gain or increase arising from corporate activity. (Note 1) Now, in the abscence of gain there can be no "income" (Note 2)

SCotUS has also ruled that one's labor constitutes property (Note 3) and that "The property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable." (Note 4)

From these court cases it is easy to see that labor, the primary "income" for Americans (yes that includes office workers too,) is not taxable. This means that there is no "gross income" for which one would have to file a tax return. This also means that the FICA "Contribution" taxes also do not apply to you as you have no taxable income. This also means that there is no "fair share."

The current Income Tax code contains more than 7 million words. By way of comparison the KJV Bible has 791,328 words. Off the top of my head I can think of 8 different sects (Note 5) with differing opinions that these 791,328 words have spawned, learned men and scholars amongst them all. How many more opinions would 7,000,000+ words create? It is true, and been upheld in court, that even IRS employees and their publications cannot be counted on (or held liable) to give correct advice regarding the tax laws. The Void for Vagueness doctrine would seem to apply to this.

"It is a basic principle of due process that an enactment is void for vagueness if its prohibitions are not clearly defined. Vague laws offend several important values. First, because we assume that man is free to steer between lawful and unlawful conduct, we insist that laws give the person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, so that he may act accordingly. Vague laws may trap the innocent by not providing fair warning. Second, if arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement is to be prevented, laws must provide explicit standards for those who apply them. A vague law impermissibly delegates basic policy matters to policemen, judges, and juries for resolution on an ad hoc and subjective basis, with the attendant dangers of arbitrary and discriminatory application." (Note 6)

"Criminal statutes which fail to give due notice that an act has been made criminal before it is done are unconstitutional deprivations of due process of law." (Note 7)

Furthermore, when tax laws are vague they are to interpreted in favor of the "taxpayer."
“...if doubt exists as to the construction of a taxing statute, the doubt should be resolved in favor of the taxpayer..." (Note 8) and " Where the construction of a tax law is doubtful, the doubt is to be resolved in favor of whom upon which the tax is sought to be laid." (Note 9)

To sum up, the Income Tax law(s) is too vague to be enforcable and doesnt apply to anyone anyways.

Note 1: Doyle v. Mitchell Brothers Co., 247 U.S. 179, 185, 38 S.Ct. 467 and Stratton’s Independence v. Howbert, 231 U.S. 399, 414, 58 L.Ed. 285, 34 Sup.Ct.136

Note 2: Stratton’s Indep. v. Howbert , 231 U.S. 399; Doyle v. Mitchell, 247 U.S. 179; So. Pacific v. Lowe, 247 U.S. 330 (1918); Eisnerv. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189; Merchant’s Loan v. Smietanka, 255 U.S. 509

Note 3: Doyle v. Mitchell Brothers Co., 247 U.S. 179, 185, 38 S.Ct. 467 and Stratton’s Independence v. Howbert, 231 U.S. 399, 414, 58 L.Ed. 285, 34 Sup.Ct.136

Note 4: Butchers’ Union Co. v. Crescent City Co., 111 U.S. 746, 757 (concurring opinion of Justice Fields)

Note 5: Nazarene, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, NonDenominational, Friends, Quaker, Mennonite

Note 6: Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108 (1972)

Note 7: U.S. v. De Cadena, 105 F.Supp. 202, 204 (1952)

Note 8: Hassett v. Welch., 303 US 303, pp. 314 - 315, 82 L Ed 858. (1938)

Note 9: Spreckles Sugar Refining v. McClain, 192 U.S. 397, 416 (1904); Gould v. Gould, 245 U.S. 151, 153 (1917); Smietanka v. First Trust & Savings Bank, 257 U.S. 602, 606 (1922); Lucas v. Alexander, 279 U.S. 573, 577 (1929); Crooks v. Harrelson, 282 U.S. 55 (1930); Burnet v. Niagra Falls Brewing Co., 282 U.S. 648, 654 (1931); Miller v. Standard Nut Margarine Co., 284 U.S. 498, 508 (1932); Gregory v. Helvering, 293 U.S. 465, 469 (1935); Hassett v. Welch, 303 U.S. 303, 314 (1938); U.S. v. Batchelder, 442 U.S. 114, 123 (1978); Security Bank of Minnesota v. CIA, 994 F.2d 432, 436 (CA8 1993)


Voice of the Mogambo
The other side of the damned coin is that the flood of new illegal immigrants will be spending all that money and consuming all those services, keeping demand going higher, thus further increasing prices.
As Vox has pointed out, increased supply of laborers pushes the value of labor down (which means lower wages for all) and as Mogambo wrote in his latest rant, the illegals are also pushing prices up. Seems to be the best of both worlds eh?

Friday, April 14, 2006

This Is Why...

You carry a freaking GUN!
This was a totally unnecessary death. Totally! Bears are not going to be moved by humans wielding sticks, but as noted later a small caliber gun was fired at the bear and it took off.

A word of advice, dont use your first shot on the bear, shoot to the side so that the noise of it might scare it off.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pack Up Honey, We're Moving!

I found the perfect little town outside of L.A. It's called Vernon, city motto "Exclusively Industrial."

Looks like the city is ripe for some new politicians, and I am just the man to fill one of those. Per this article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune,there hasnt been elections in over 25 years, well till this much contested one. But more importantly, with only 90 registered voters and council pay over $600,000 a year, I think it is time for a move.

So long Colorado, you'll be missed!

Callin Evil Good

Malachi 2:17Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied [him]? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil [is] good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where [is] the God of judgment?

Everyone that does evil is good in the sight of the Lord.
This is a huge heresy that has taken root in modern culture and far too many churches. This is also known as "all good people go to heaven" or "there are multiple ways to get to heaven" or stating that all the religions are worshipping the same god (with the implication that it is G-d the Father.) This reasoning says that Muslims, Hindus, Pagans, Druids, Taoists, Wiccans, and Ancestor worshippers are all going to get to heaven (no mention of athiests and agnostics in this latter group.)

This is believed by many who call themselves Christian, despite Jesus' own words to the contrary. It is a wonder how so many can skip over such statements as "No man comes to the Father but through Me" and "he that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." The belief so tickles the ears and allays peoples fears that a loved one might go to hell that even pastors state it or avoid the stating the truth so as to not offend. (we could name names but to what point?)

The solution, of course, is to read the Scriptures and apply them to our lives and change our beliefs to align with the Word of G-d. Stop worrying about offending people and start waking them up from their stupor. Pastors, your job isnt to comfort, it is to lead people closer to Christ. As one wit once said "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Also to not be fearful of man or his opinions for we are told to not fear those who can kill the body, but to fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I hope that you have a wonderful Passover. Whether or not you celebrate it, remember that out Lord Jesus Christ was our Passover Lamb, the sacrifice for our sins. Remember that death came for all, but the obedient were spared.

Remember that this is a bittersweet day. For tho the faithful were spared, there were thousands upon thousands dead, their families in anguish. The Hebrews were aware of this, we should be also. Remember, pray and act. Reach out to those in darkness, to those for whom the Destoyer comes, for time is of the essence and no one knows the day nor the hour when they depart this world.


With gas prices on the rise again alternative fuels are on the minds of the people, when they arent thinking of immigration that is. One of those alternates is Ethanol. It is already placed in our gas in an attempt to reduce air pollution (someone please explain to me how using 10% more gas equals less pollution?!)

I stumbled across a site called, a liberal-leaning site (always watch the bias) that gives a great analasys of the stupidity of trying to use ethanol for a fuel substitute or even additive.

Per the site, Ethanol would cost us 7.87 a gallon (at the time of creation premium was 2.54) and that is using the most favorable numbers, those given by its proponents. To top it off, to provide the fuel consumed in 2004 would require that every single inch of ground in America, including Alaska) be used to grow corn. And then 50% more land.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Attention: Contact Users

Apparently there has been an outbreak of an infection which can lead to blindness, the greatest commonality at this time is Bausch & Lomb's ReNu contact solution OR one of the generic brands produced by them at their Greenville S.C. site. I think it important to note that it isnt the proven cause at this time, but why risk your eyes?

Officials Probe Eye Infection Outbreak
Apr 10 6:37 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer


Bausch & Lomb voluntarily suspended shipment of a contact lens solution after federal health officials linked it Monday to a fungal eye infection that can cause temporary blindness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 109 reports of Fusarium keratitis infection in patients in 17 states since June 2005.

Federal and state health officials have interviewed just 30 of those patients. However, of the 28 who wore soft contact lens, however(sic), 26 reported using Bausch & Lomb's ReNu brand contact lens solution or a generic type of solution also made by the Rochester, N.Y., company.

Bausch & Lomb said it would temporarily suspend shipments of ReNu with MoistureLoc made at its Greenville, S.C., plant.

"The CDC data released today are both troubling and perplexing, as there is an apparent disproportionate representation of U.S.- manufactured ReNu with MoistureLoc in the underlying data. The source of these infections has not been determined," company chairman and chief executive officer Ronald Zarrella said.

Without treatment, which can last two to three months, the infection can scar the cornea and blind its victims. Eight U.S. patients have required cornea transplants.

Soft contact users with eye redness or pain, tearing, increased light sensitivity, blurred vision or discharge should stop wearing contacts and contact a doctor immediately, said Dr. Malvina Eydelman, director of the FDA's Division of Ophthalmic and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices. The FDA also advises users to wash their hands well with soap and water before handling lenses and to follow cleaning and storage guidelines.

In addition, contact lens wearers who use ReNu with MoistureLoc should do so with caution, the FDA said.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Abortion Numbers

According to Planned Parenthood...

# of abortions per year. 1.31 million (2000)
or 3589 every day
or 358.9 every hour Planned Parenthood is open.

Costs per abortion
conception to 8 weeks = $372
8-16 weeks = $774
20+ weeks = $1179

Giving weight to the numbers PP gives, an approximate average of $561.09 per abortion

Per PP, taxpayer money is used for 13%
for an estimated total of $99,553,627.

The risk of death associated with abortion increases with the length of pregnancy, from one death for every 500,000 abortions at eight or fewer weeks to one per 27,000 at 16-20 weeks, and one per 8,000 at 21 or more weeks (AGI,2004). After 20 weeks gestation there is no statistically significant difference in maternal mortality rates between terminating a pregnancy by abortion and carrying it to term.
(for ease of use that is .2 per 100,000; 3.7 per 100,000; 12.5 per 100,000)

Compare the above rate to the maternal mortality rate of 7.7 per 100,000 pregnancies. Of those an estimated %88 to %98 could be prevented, leading to a %0.154 to 0.924 mortality rate for mothers who carry to term. (Source)

And then per PP, the black-robed priests gave a gem or a ruling when in Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists they ruled that when performing a postviability abortion, a physician must be permitted to use the method most likely to preserve the woman's health, even if it might endanger fetal survival.
Umm, isnt endangering "fetal survival" the entire point of an abortion?

With the one noted exception all info is pulled from Planned Parenthood's own website.

While You Were Sleeping

Gold is now at 597.30 and silver is at 12.42

One year ago it was at 426.50 and 7.14 respectively

Crude oil today is 68.19, one year ago (4-11-05) is was 53.71.

Increase over last year
Gold = %40.0
Silver = %73.9
Crude Oil = %26.9

Once again, it is a good time to have commodities. And if you were smart enough to have gotten some Norfed's before the price shot up you need to redeem those for the new $20s quickly.

Superheroes And Force

Found this essay written by Mike Godesky (slightly edited for brevity.)
A major theme of The Ultimates [a comic book] has been people’s failure to recognize the seriousness of the threat of supervillains and the need for an aggressive military response. Replace “supervillains” with “terrorists,” and the philosophy of The Ultimates is basically a defense of the Bush Doctrine. Even those superheroes not officially employed by the United States government are often depicted as agents of the government.

Comic book superheroes are not always recognized for their good deeds, though. Spider-Man is often mistaken for one of the criminals he has dedicated his life to fighting. This is thanks in no small part to Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson’s attempts to smear his character. However, it does bring to light an interesting question. There is very little difference between Spidey and his more patriotic counter-parts. In fact, he is often thought of as Marvel’s Superman. So why is Superman a paragon of American justice, while Spider-Man is a vigilante? For that matter, what gives any superhero the right to use the violent and destructive measures they so often employ?

The reader, however, knows that [the superhero's] actions were justified in order to serve the greater good.

And this idea of the greater good is how superheroes operate. The superhero is allowed to use any amount force to achieve his goals. No one else is. The idea involves what sociologist Max Weber called the monopoly of force. According to Weber, a state cannot be defined by its ends since there is no task both exclusive to and unique to the state. Rather, the state is defined as that body which has a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. In other words, state sanctioned use of force is the only kind of force that is morally acceptable. Only the state and those acting with the permission of the state are allowed to use physical violence.

Superheroes, in their quest to uphold the law, often have either explicit or implicit permission from the state to use force. Therefore, Superman is not considered a criminal in spite of his actions that normally would be considered criminal because the government in Superman’s world has decided that he is allowed to use such force. Others, such as the Punisher, do not have such an allowance. As a result, they are regarded as vigilantes.

Perhaps unconnected is this report that Bush is considering nuclear strikes upon Iran's nuclear facilities (Thanks to Triton on the link)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Moment Of Silence...

And a time for prayer!

Eaglewood and Birdie have lost their little one. Take a moment to lift them up in prayer.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Prisoners And Labor

Give the jobs Americans don’t want to prisoners not illegals
Body: Instead of giving prisoners luxuries such as in-cell televisions, pornographic materials, R, X, and NC-17 rated movies; personally owned computers,; in-cell coffee pots and microwave ovens; and expensive electronic musical instruments why dont we put them to work on the jobs American dont want. If youre in prison for a crime you did you should be busting your ass.

I got this today and felt that I should respond to this idea. Certainly the thought of putting prisoners to work has been tossed around in one form or another for quite some time. Various reasons are given but usually the whole matter isnt considered.

Why would we not want to give jobs to prisoners? The main reason is when these things have been done in the past (and are still being done) is that the State or perhaps the prison/contractor is the sole beneficiary of what amounts to slave labor. Moreover the State would then be making money on those they jailed, giving the State a perverse reason to lock up more people and hold them for longer.

It is possible to make such a venture work, be ethical and reduce recidivism rates all at the same time. Allow companies to set up shop and employ the prisoners in various trades which would be limited so as to not give a criminal the tools to become a better criminal (accounting and locksmithing are areas that come to mind.) The companies that come in would have to abide by all the same laws they would have to if the had hired someone off the street, most notably in the area of wages, so as to not provide any unfair competative advantage to said company. Obviously wages would be lower, but at least minimum wage. From these wages, 50% would go to reparations with most of the remainder being held in escrow so that when the prisoner is released he has some money (and a trade) to survive on without so much pressure to return to crime.

Once reparations have been made all the monies made would be placed into that escrow account. Alternatively, instead of being placed in escrow that money could go to the family of the prisoner in order to boost their ability to make it and not go on welfare or even turn to crime themselves. This would have the added benefit of ensuring a high percentage of prisoners willing to work as they would be able to provide something for their families as opposed to the State simply confiscating their labor to give to someone whom they have (likely) already shown they care little for.