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The Pentagon, corporations and slave labor in U.S. prisons

first_imgThis article was originally published in Workers World June 11, 2011.It is not only federal prisons that contract out prison labor to top corporations. State prisons that used forced prison labor in plantations, laundries and highway chain gangs increasingly seek to sell prison labor to corporations trolling the globe in search of the cheapest possible labor.One agency asks: “Are you experiencing high employee turnover? Worried about the costs of employee benefits? Unhappy with out-of-state or offshore suppliers? Getting hit by overseas competition? Having trouble motivating your workforce? Thinking about expansion space? Then Washington State Department of Corrections Private Sector Partnerships is for you.” (educate-yourself.org, July 25, 2005)Major corporations profiting from the slave labor of prisoners include Motorola, Compaq, Honeywell, Microsoft, Boeing, Revlon, Chevron, TWA, Victoria’s Secret and Eddie Bauer.IBM, Texas Instruments and Dell get circuit boards made by Texas prisoners. Tennessee inmates sew jeans for Kmart and JCPenney. Tens of thousands of youth flipping hamburgers for minimum wages at McDonald’s wear uniforms sewn by prison workers, who are forced to work for much less.In California, as in many states, prisoners who refuse to work are moved to disciplinary housing and lose canteen privileges, as well as “good time” credit, which slices hard time off their sentences.Systematic abuse, beatings, prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation and lack of medical care make U.S. prison conditions among the worst in the world. Ironically, working under grueling conditions for pennies an hour is treated as a “perk” for good behavior.In December [2010], Georgia inmates went on strike and refused to leave their cells at six prisons for more than a week. In one of the largest prison protests in U.S. history, prisoners spoke of being forced to work seven days a week for no pay. Prisoners were beaten if they refused to work.Private prisons for profitIn the ruthless search to maximize profits and grab hold of every possible source of income, almost every public agency and social service is being outsourced to private for-profit contractors.In the U.S. military, this means there are now more private contractors and mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan than there are U.S. or NATO soldiers.In cities and states across the U.S., hospitals, medical care facilities, schools, cafeterias, road maintenance, water supply services, sewage departments, sanitation, airports and tens of thousands of social programs that receive public funding are being contracted out to for-profit corporations. Anything publicly owned and paid for by generations of past workers’ taxes — from libraries to concert halls and parks — is being sold or leased at fire sale prices.All this is motivated and lobbied for by right-wing think tanks like that set up by Koch Industries and their owners, Charles and David Koch, as a way to cut costs, lower wages and pensions, and undercut public service unions.The most gruesome privatizations are the hundreds of for-profit prisons being established.The inmate population in private for-profit prisons tripled between 1987 and 2007. By 2007, there were 264 such prison facilities, housing almost 99,000 adult prisoners. (house.leg.state.mn.us, Feb. 24, 2009) Companies operating such facilities include the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group Inc. and Community Education Centers.Prison bonds provide a lucrative return for capitalist investors such as Merrill Lynch, Shearson Lehman, American Express and Allstate. Prisoners are traded from one state to another — based on the most profitable arrangements.Militarism and prisonsHand-in-hand with the military-industrial complex, U.S. imperialism has created a massive prison-industrial complex that generates billions of dollars annually for businesses and industries profiting from mass incarceration.For decades, workers in the U.S. have been assured that they benefit from imperialist looting by the giant multinational corporations. But today more than half the federal budget is absorbed by the costs of maintaining the military machine and the corporations, which are guaranteed profits for equipping the Pentagon. That is the only budget category in federal spending that is guaranteed to increase by at least 5% per year — at a time when every social program is being cut to the bone.The sheer economic weight of militarism seeps into the fabric of society at every level. It fuels racism and reaction. The political influence of the Pentagon and the giant military and oil corporations — with their thousands of high-paid lobbyists, media pundits and network of links into every police force in the country — fuels growing repression and an expanding prison population.The military, oil and banking conglomerates, interlinked with the police and prisons, have a stranglehold on the U.S. capitalist economy and reins of political power, regardless of who is president or what political party is in office. The very survival of these global corporations is based on immediate maximization of profits. They are driven to seize every resource and source of potential profits.Thoroughly rational solutions are proposed, whenever the human and economic cost of militarism and repression is discussed. The billions spent for war and fantastically destructive weapons systems could provide five to seven times more jobs if spent on desperately needed social services, education and rebuilding essential infrastructure. Or it could provide free university education, considering the fact that it costs far more to imprison people than to educate them.Why aren’t such reasonable solutions ever chosen? Military contracts generate far larger guaranteed profits to the military and the oil industries, which have a decisive influence on the U.S. economy.The prison-industrial complex — including the prison system, prison labor, private prisons, police and repressive apparatus and their continuing expansion — are a greater source of profit and are reinforced by the climate of racism and reaction. Most rational and socially useful solutions are not considered viable options.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Two journalists prosecuted after questioning President Putin about regional corruption

first_img June 2, 2021 Find out more “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” May 28, 2021 Find out more News “We ask you to intervene so that the chief editor of Nyaryana Vinder can continue to do her job of informing the public and that the legal action taken against her is dropped.”The paper’s staff said Butov had been trying to remove Cherubina for a long time and had pressed the matter during a session of the local parliament last winter. The paper’s managing editor, Andrei Jdankin, said she had been dismissed because the paper was reporting on the murky administration of the region. The deputy general prosecutor for the Northwestern Region, Vladimir Jubrin, said five criminal investigations into Butov’s activities were under way. Reporters Without Borders is also concerned about legal action taken against Dina Oyun, editor of the news website Tuva-Online, since she denounced electoral fraud in the small Siberian republic of Tuva, also at the 24 June Kremlin press conference. RSF_en BelarusEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information News to go further Follow the news on Belarus July 9, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two journalists prosecuted after questioning President Putin about regional corruption Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown BelarusEurope – Central Asia May 27, 2021 Find out more Organisation Legal action was started on 7 July against Olga Cherubina, former editor of the local government paper Nyaryana Vinder, in the Nenets far northern autonomous region, for “abusing her position,” after being sacked a week earlier when one of her reporters asked President Vladimir Putin about corruption at a 24 June Kremlin press conference.The freelance reporter, Alexei Vasilivetsky, had mentioned the involvement of Nenets regional governor Vladimir Butov in corruption. Putin promised he would raise the matter with general state prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov and the next day a warrant was issued for Butov’s arrest from “abusing his position.”In a letter to Ustinov, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard expressed his concern at the unjustified dismissal of Cherubina and the legal action against her. “If the Russian Federation’s courts have decided to do something about the corruption of the Nenets authorities, it is also their duty to see the sacking and legal action against Cherubina for what it is – an attempt to silence those who talk about Gov. Butov’s embezzlement,” he said. News News Receive email alertslast_img read more

Luke Messer Challenges Opponents to Participate in Two More Senate Primary Debates

first_imgLuke Messer today challenged his primary opponents to participate in two more debates before the Indiana Senate Republican Primary on May 8th.In the Americans for Prosperity debate this week, Messer was the adult on stage and stayed above the back and forth between his two primary opponents. Messer was and is “laser focused on beating Joe Donnelly.”“Debates give Hoosier Republicans a chance to hear from all of us and make their own decision on who they think is the best candidate to defeat Joe Donnelly in November,” Messer said. “Hoosiers ought to know the broken U.S. Senate and Joe Donnelly are standing in the way of President Trump’s agenda. I’m laser focused on defeating Joe Donnelly and eager to share our winning message with more Hoosiers.”Messer took aim at Democrat Joe Donnelly and the broken U.S. Senate during Tuesday’s debate. Multiple media accounts singled out Messer as the candidate who kept his focus on Joe Donnelly.“Messer focused his attacks on Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly… while portraying himself as the only adult among the candidates,” said the Associated Press account on the debate. Messer “stayed above the fray” and “stood largely unscathed in the middle,” according to other accounts.In one key moment during the debate, Messer called out his primary opponents for attacking one another instead of Joe Donnelly.“I’ll tell you who most likes this exchange — Joe Donnelly,” Messer said. “The only way Democrats can win in this state is when Republicans are divided and throw stones at each other.”The day before the debate, Messer led his primary opponents in another Senate primary poll conducted by Indy Politics Political Pulse. Messer also won the Indiana State Republican Party’s U.S. Senate Straw Poll in January, which has been called the first major bellwether in the race.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Sag Harbor Man Faces Upgrade Charges in Fatal DWI Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Sag Harbor man was indicted on upgraded charges after he allegedly drove drunk and caused a crash that killed his passenger, whose body the suspect then dumped last summer, authorities said.Sean Ludwick, 42, pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, speeding and various traffic offenses Monday at Suffolk County court. He previously pleaded not guilty to charges he was initially arrested for, including driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.Southampton Town Police have said the Ludwick, a New York City real estate developer, was driving his Porsche on Rolling Hill Court East when he lost control of his car and crashed into a telephone pole at 2 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.His passenger, 53-year-old Paul Hansen of Sag Harbor, was killed in the crash. Prosecutors said forensic evidence indicated that Ludwick removed the victim’s body from his car and drove away, leaving the remains within feet of Hansen’s driveway. Ludwick’s blood alcohol content was .18 percent four hours after the crash, authorities said.Investigators found the mangled rims of the damaged Porsche left a trail of gouged pavement to Woodvale Street, approximately a quarter-mile from the crash, where police found Ludwick standing by his wrecked car when he was arrested, prosecutors said.Ludwick is free on $1 million bond. Judge Fernando Camacho ordered him to surrender his passport.last_img read more

Jokowi’s son-in-law officially joins PDI-P in bid to run for Medan mayor

first_imgThe son-in-law of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Bobby Nasution, officially registered himself as a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) on Thursday in a bid to run in the 2020 Medan mayoral race in North Sumatra, in September.Bobby officially became a member of the PDI-P after signing a statement letter at the PDI-P North Sumatra office on Thursday afternoon.Bobby said he decided to join the PDI-P to follow in the footsteps of his father-in-law, President Jokowi, who is also a member of the party.”Any son must want to follow in the footsteps of his father,” Bobby told the press after his inauguration as a party member.Bobby refuted the claim that he had to be a member of the PDI-P to receive support from the party for the 2020 Medan mayoral election.”There’s no requirement that I have to be a member of any party [to receive support for the mayoral election]. Like I said, I just want to follow in the footsteps of my [father-in-law],” Bobby said.Read also: Jokowi vows he ‘won’t be campaigning’ for son, son-in-law in upcoming mayoral racesBobby said he had not received an official recommendation from any party to run in the election. He also said he had not chosen a deputy candidate.”I haven’t got a recommendation [letter] yet. I’m frustrated to think about [choosing] a deputy candidate,” he said.Bobby expressed hope that he would receive support from other parties in the upcoming election.”Even though I am a member of the PDI-P, I hope to gain support from all parties to develop and build Medan,” he said.Head of the North Sumatra chapter of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Japorman Saragih, said there were two party members that would run in the 2020 election, namely Bobby and the city’s acting mayor, Akhyar Nasution.”Both [party members] still have a great chance [to be nominated as a mayor candidate], but [the final decision] will be with chairwoman Ibu Megawati. Nobody knows [who will be nominated as the party’s candidate] except [Megawati],” Japorman said.He explained that the PDI-P would seek to form a coalition with other parties in the 2020 mayoral election.[RA::Three parties ready to nominate Gibran if PDI-P picks another candidate in Surakartahttps://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/02/15/three-parties-ready-to-nominate-gibran-if-pdi-p-picks-another-candidate-in-surakarta.html]”The PDI-P is open [to a coalition], we can’t work alone. We need cooperation,” he said.Last month, the Golkar Party joined the NasDem Party in announcing its support for Bobby’s plan to run for Medan mayor.“We have long supported Bobby and were waiting for the right moment to nominate him,” Golkar deputy secretary-general Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tanjung told reporters after opening Golkar’s North Sumatra regional conference in Medan on Monday.NasDem chairman Surya Paloh said the party decided to support Bobby as the President’s son-in-law had earned the top spot in the party’s recent internal survey.“We will give our utmost support to Bobby. He did well in our survey — too well, even,” Surya said. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Warriors mailbag: How will Warriors fare against Portland in Game 3?

first_imgPORTLAND, Ore — Unlike in the regular season, Warriors fans appear more interested in talking about the actual games than all the off-season speculation.No doubt, Warriors fans will have questions about Kevin Durant’s pending free agency. But they also have questions on Durant’s injury, too. They are also intrigued on how the Warriors will fare against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Lots of good messages to clear out of the inbox.I’ll …last_img read more

Shoving Fossils Onto Darwin’s Timeline

first_imgFossils do not tell a Darwinian story unless they are forced into his narrative.DinosaursJurassic dinosaurs trotted between Africa and Europe (Phys.org). People probably hadn’t thought that T. rex had to be a long-distance swimmer. How, then, did tracks of tyrannosaur-like dinosaurs get across oceans? Darwin, we have a problem! Similar dinosaur tracks have been found on two moyboy paleo-continents named Gondwana and Laurasia. This should not be. In order to rescue dinosaurs for Darwin, Spanish evolutionists got creative with their storytelling (evidence not required), adding some futureware and vaporware.To confirm these data, the group of researchers stresses that more studies are needed, especially to answer an important question: how did the dinosaurs pass between Laurasia and Gondwana? “The answer is problematic because geological studies indicate that there was a deep sea between the two continents,” stresses the scientist.The presence of the same species in such distant places forces scientists to propose dispersal routes between continents during the Mesozoic, the time during which dinosaurs lived. These large animals were thus able to move between Africa and Europe on land masses with short emersion periods and through southern Italy and the Balkans or through Iberia (what is nowadays the Iberian Peninsula).In this case, selection pressure is acting on the evolutionists, forcing them to evolve more fantastic stories.How life blossomed after the dinosaurs died (Science). Once upon a time, a very finely-tuned asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs but saved the butterflies. That’s the common Darwinian tale. In order to keep the scenario intact, Elizabeth Pennisi allows Darwinians to shove things around. She finds a group of storytellers in Corral Bluffs, Colorado, using divination techniques on fossil skulls inside a concretion. It takes several tries to perceive the vision. They return, studying 6,000 leaves and numerous bones of small animals. What they conclude from their divination exercise can only mean one thing: that Darwinism went on a high-speed burst of creation after the asteroid hit.Plants and animals came back much faster than thought, with plants spurring mammals to diversify, the team reports online in Science this week. “They get almost the whole picture, which is quite exciting,” says functional anatomist Amy Chew of Brown University. “This high-resolution integrated record really tells us what’s going on.”It doesn’t take much to excite Darwinists. Even falsification can do it, because they love the challenge of rescuing Darwin from evidence.Shoving pieces of pollen and volcanic dust into their predetermined slots on the geologic column, Ian Miller and Tyler Lyson invent a “palm period,” a “pecan pie” period and a “protein bar period” on their chart to get their colleagues’ mouths watering before lunch. They grin, feeling they have fostered a coherent evolutionary scenario on the listener, provided they are allowed to turn up the evolutionary supercharger and play with the temperature dial at will. After lunch, the guests enjoy the sermon on climate change.At New Scientist, Ruby Prosser Scully swallows the protein bar in one gulp without checking the label:This growth spurt coincided with the appearance of the first legume – which Lyson calls the “protein bar moment” – since it probably provided the calories needed to drive this rapid growth.When the researchers looked back through the climate record, they found that these three bursts of mammal evolution seem to coincide with temperature increases of about 5°C. This suggests that the rise of mammals was helped along by a more tropical climate that enhanced plant growth and hence increased the food supply for animals, says Lyson….Having such a detailed picture of the way ecosystems recovered after the last extinction event may help us predict what will happen following the sixth mass extinction, which some experts believe is happening now as a result of rapid climate change, says Gregory Webb at the University of Queensland, Australia.MammalsMammals’ complex spines are linked to high metabolisms; we’re learning how they evolved (Phys.org). Vertebral spines are common on many fossil mammals. The question is not whether they evolved, but how they evolved, because as Phillip Johnson had shown, evolution is predetermined as the only explanation they will accept. From that premise, evolutionists feel free to shove fossils into the miracle column.Mammals’ backbones are weird. Compared to other four-legged animals like reptiles, mammal spines are a complex mix of sections of differently-shaped bones. Our Frankenstein’s monster backbones are a key component of mammals evolving the ability to move in a bunch of different ways—compare a cheetah running, a person walking, a bat flying, and a whale swimming.It’s a bunch, all right (what teenage Darwin convert wrote this? Frankenstein, really?). Well, however the backbones evolved, it “was marked by big, dramatic evolutionary changes,” the young disciple writes. Those chance mutations must have come in a burst of cosmic rays, pregnant with evolutionary gemmules. Mammals received these gifts cheerfully, spending them on high metabolisms as well as monster backbones. Stephanie Pierce of Harvard feels free to pile on the miracles: “and some changes in in backbone complexity evolved at about the same time that other features associated with a more active lifestyle evolved, like fur or specialized muscles for breathing.”To impress readers, the divination experts show how it all works out on their computer program. The miracles occur in “quick bursts, rather than a super-slow, gradual pathway,” they say. If this sounds confusing, it’s because evolutionary divination is only clear to the wizards who have had the proper training.“This study helps us answer an age-old question—how did life become so complex?” says Jones. By looking at this example system, we show that discreet changes, when added up over the millennia, can produce what seems at first glance to be a long-term trend. The evolution of complexity is, dare I say it, complex!”Everything looks nice and neat on the Darwin timeline because the fossils were shoved there.One of the reasons that Inquisitors in the 16th century banned Bibles in the common language was to avoid confusing the peasants with the contradictions between what the Bible said and what they saw the priesthood doing and teaching. Only the experts, they warned, were able to read the Scriptures correctly and without confusion. Will a day come when modern Darwinists will ban the reading of Origin of Species for similar reasons? It goes to show that details like the rate of evolution (slow and gradual vs punctuated or rapid) are far less important than maintaining the foundation of naturalism.(Visited 422 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享2last_img read more

Protea Hotels extends Africa footprint

first_img4 April 2013 South Africa’s Protea Hospitality Group has signed an agreement that will see it continue its west African expansion through the opening of a hotel in Takoradi in southwest Ghana. The agreement was signed in March, and brings the group’s tally to nine countries on the continent in which hotels are operating. It also brings the portfolio value of the company to over US$100-million. The Protea Hotel Select Takoradi is expected to open in the southwestern coastal city in early 2014. “West Africa is booming,” Protea Hospitality Group CEO, Arthur Gillis, said in a statement. “Ghana’s economic growth is predicted to be greater than 7% in 2013, which is nothing short of miraculous in the current global climate, and Nigeria isn’t far behind. “Working with our local partners, I know this hotel is just the first of many that we will be developing in Ghana, a country that welcomes companies bringing specialist African expertise and brand stability into its economy,” he said. The new 130-room hotel will become one of six hotels currently under construction in other African countries. There are two properties in Nigeria and one each in Zambia, Uganda and South Africa in addition to the Takoradi property. “Our aim is to ultimately grow with Ghana and Nigeria, to become stronger with these countries as we work alongside local hospitality investors to stimulate the economy and provide the best possible service to domestic and international business and leisure travellers,” Gillis said. East Africa is also presenting numerous hospitality opportunities, particularly Zambia and Uganda. “A number of countries in east Africa are also showing significant growth, despite troubled regions like Somalia and Sudan,” he said. “Uganda is one of those countries with a predicted growth rate of around 5% this year, and our hotel development there underpins our belief in its political stability and growing economy. The group’s 30-year history operating in Africa and network of partners will assist in achieving its expansion plans, according to Gillis. “Partnerships are key to making it work in Africa, as is growing a brand that is trusted to be by Africans for Africans.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Be Flexible In Your Approach to Selling

first_imgIn science, when you do an experiment A invariably leads to B. When you repeat this experiment, you can be certain that A will result in B. This is how science works.Selling is a complex, dynamic human interaction. Complex, dynamic human interactions are not science. The variables are so great that there is no way to ensure that A results in B every time. There may be propensity for A to result in B, and much of your experience may point to this being true. But that is not science.In sales A sometimes equals B. Other times in sales, A equals C. Other times A equals D. Where you get into trouble is believing that A always equals B.When different results are possible, the person selecting the choice of action needs to be aware of and thoughtful about making the right choice. This means you must get beyond the belief that there is a single choice, because a single choice is no choice at all. It’s a decision.Mixed martial arts started with the UFC. When it first began, it was based on the idea that one person in one form of fighting would compete against a person who studied a different form. This would have a boxer in competition with a wrestler. Or you would have a Brazilian jujitsu master fight a kickboxer. That lasted for about a decade until everyone learned to grapple.Once everyone was dangerous on the ground, the combatants decided to stand back up. Now they know Brazilian jujitsu, Muay Thai boxing, traditional boxing, and probably judo. They no longer have undying commitments to a single art, because a single art no longer serves them. They want competency in as many disciplines as possible.And this is exactly how you should think about sales. You should not be slavishly devoted to any single idea or discipline, knowing that real power and effectiveness comes from knowing what choices are available, and making the right choice in the moment of truth. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Girl living with monkeys rescued

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