29 November 2007

The YouTube/CNN Republican Debate

I watched the Republican/YouTube/CNN debate yesterday...oh my. I'm so not with those people. It made me want to run away to another country, for certain. Skewed priorities...antagonistic to the rest of the world. The only two candidates that seemed to have a semblance of compassion and understanding were Huckabee (surprise) and Ron Paul...(although all the answers on criminalising abortion were a bit frightening) Frankly...if the Dems field Hillary (which is the Republican wetdream) this country is going to hell without the handbasket. I've been watching CCTV9 NewsHour (even the graphics are ripped off from Lehrer's PBS program)...China just sent thousands of troops to darfur as peacekeepers, China has a spacecraft orbiting the moon...China is investing heavily in alternative energy...China is reaching out to Europe, Africa, The Middle East...China plans on placing a space station in permanent orbit soon...China and Russia plan on building a permanent moon base...China and Russia plan on sending men to Mars...The Chinese Space Program is akin to JFKs imperative...of course, China isn't squandering their wealth on foreign interventionism... The USA is a dying ember...glowing with anger...destroying the last vestige of what was thought to be a mighty oak. Two of the questions in particular stood out to me in the debate. One youtuber held up a 'Holy Bible" and asked if each of the candidates believe every word of this book...a little equivocation from a few...saying 'allegorical stories aren't literal'...but for the most part...all of them said, it's the inspired word of god. Another question...with a confederate flag hanging on the wall...what do you thing of this symbol? Racist, Proud, Tradition?... Roe v Wade is going down...especially if the court gets any more packed with 'conservative idiots'...the same conservatives who were speaking about Reagan's limited government (he increased the size of government and instituted programs antithetical to many of their ideas...)...about Reagan's 'budget cuts and tax cuts'...Reagan ballooned the debt from 700 billions to nearly 4 trillion dollars...while increasing the tax on the working class (FICA doubled)...and raiding the very trust fund he and greenspan devised...common for reporters to still say that SS is a pay as you go system...while the Reagan tax increase was to allow boomers to put money into a trust fund to cover their future benefits, not to cover deficit spending to support the increased wealth of defense contractors and crony capitalists...Scam...the media is in cahoots. No one calls 'em on the reality of Reagan...and since the Republicans don't want to run on Bush's legacy...they'll take the Reagan fall back...and the 'consumers' are going to fall for it. Puke.

25 November 2007

Fear, Privatisation and the USA's Prison Population

The USA is the world's undisputed leader in locking up people in prisons or jails. That includes Russia and even China, with more than three times our population. We build more prisons than schools. Per capita and by sheer numbers we have the largest prison population in the world. The public and private prison construction gravy train keeps rollin' along...if you build it, they will come. ~The nations prison population has increased eightfold since 1970...it keeps going up even though crime rates are at 1973 levels. ~For the same crimes, American prisoners receive sentences twice as long as English prisoners, three times as long as Canadians, four times as long as the Dutch, five to ten times as long as the French, and five times as long as Swedes. JFA Associates, a Washington think tank that conducts research and policy analysis in the criminal-justice and corrections fields commissioned a report entitled, "Unlocking America: Why and How to Reduce America's Prison Population"...in which a major trend fueling the prison surge is underlined...It is the rising portion of the prison population involving mostly nonviolent drug offenders imprisoned for technical violations of their parole or probation. According to the report, more than half of all annual admissions to state prisons involve such parole or probation violators. From the report: "For those suggesting that by incarcerating people for non-felony crimes or noncompliance with the terms of probation or parole we are preventing more serious crimes to occur...there is no scientific data to support such a claim." It turns out that not only is war good business, but so is crime...will they turn out to be the USA's only businesses? A tip of the hat to Ruben Rosario...from the StPaul Pioneer Press.

As the world burns

Vietnam: As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too muc...