Land of the Free?

Today we celebrate our nation's birthday. Hot dogs, apple pie, but where's the freedom?

As you enjoy the holiday, take a moment to consider the reality of how far we have deviated from what was envisioned by the nation's Founding Fathers. Realize that this so-called land of the free is actually the most oppressive country in the world, literally. From international militant imperialism, to how our government treats its own people.

1 out of 100 American adults are in prison.

The United States has more people living in prison than than any other country on the planet.

One out of four people on Earth who are incarcerated live in an American penitentiary. This does not include the millions of Americans on probation, parole, or other supervised conditional release.

The U.S. incarceration rate per-capita far exceeds any other country including Iraq, Iran, Russia, or even Communist China.

China has roughly 4 times as many people as the U.S. but nearly a million fewer prisoners. Although China comes in second place for total prisoners, their per-capita rate is actually far lower then most countries and doesn't even hold a candle to the U.S. per-capita incarceration rate.

In 2013, the U.S. was in fifth place for the number of prisoners executed. China did execute more people, but not nearly enough to account for such a drastically smaller prison population both in raw numbers and per-capita.

The U.S. is the only country in the Western hemisphere who executes prisoners.

The number of Americans killed by police since 9/11 now exceeds the number of troops killed in the Iraq war.

The U.S. prisoner population has more than quadrupled since 1980.

The single largest driver in the increase in the federal prison population since 1998 is longer sentences for drug offenders.

The average inmate in minimum-security federal prison costs $21,000 each year. The average inmate in maximum-security federal prisons costs $33,000 each year. Federal prison costs are expected to rise to 30 percent of the Department of Justice's budget by 2020.

The most serious charge against 51 percent of Federal inmates is a drug offense. Only four percent are in for robbery and only one percent are in for homicide.

So can we really celebrate freedom today when there are so many Americans imprisoned, often for non-violent petty offenses? Can we really celebrate freedom when Everything is Illegal?

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