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August 06, 2011

Conservative think-tank promotes sentencing laws, prison labor

Huge corporations fund right-wing think-tank. Right-wing think tank pushes Truth in Sentencing bills and create the largest prison population in world history. Huge corporations hire prisoners at slave-labor wages to make stuff to sell at full price. Now: Why can't you/your kid get a job? The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor | The Nation
The breaded chicken patty your child bites into at school may have been made by a worker earning twenty cents an hour, not in a faraway country, but by a member of an invisible American workforce: prisoners. At the Union Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Florida, inmates from a nearby lower-security prison manufacture tons of processed beef, chicken and pork for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), a privately held non-profit corporation that operates the state’s forty-one work programs. In addition to processed food, PRIDE’s website reveals an array of products for sale through contracts with private companies, from eyeglasses to office furniture, to be shipped from a distribution center in Florida to businesses across the US. PRIDE boasts that its work programs are “designed to provide vocational training, to improve prison security, to reduce the cost of state government, and to promote the rehabilitation of the state inmates.” Although a wide variety of goods have long been produced by state and federal prisoners for the US government—license plates are the classic example, with more recent contracts including everything from guided missile parts to the solar panels powering government buildings—prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program). While much has been written about prison labor in the past several years, these forces, which have driven its expansion, remain largely unknown. Somewhat more familiar is ALEC’s instrumental role in the explosion of the US prison population in the past few decades. ALEC helped pioneer some of the toughest sentencing laws on the books today, like mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders, “three strikes” laws, and “truth in sentencing” laws. In 1995 alone, ALEC’s Truth in Sentencing Act was signed into law in twenty-five states.

August 04, 2011

Israel to build 900 more homes on Palestinian land

BBC News - Israel approves 900 East Jerusalem settlement homes
The Israeli government has given final approval for more than 900 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem. The move, to build houses for Jewish families in the settlement of Har Homa, has been criticised by peace groups as cynical. But the Israeli government says it will help address the country's housing shortage. Har Homa is one of the largest and most controversial Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. It is regarded, under international law, as occupied Palestinian land, but Israel says it is part of its territory. The Israeli interior ministry has now given final approval for 930 new homes in Har Homa, which is already home to more than 9,000 people.

August 02, 2011

Conservative blogger who inspired Anders Breivik comes to his defense in murdering 30 children

Pam Geller is just an awful human being. She is the person responsible for the shitstorm that fell on the so-called Ground Zero Mosque (note: said mosque is not a mosque, nor is it at Ground Zero). When the Oslo terrorist's manifesto was full of references to her work, she responded by looking at a picture of the children who were murdered and saying that they didn't look very Norwegian to her. Presumably this means she thinks they deserved it. And she has the nerve to call herself a christian. Pam Geller Justifies Breivik’s Terror: Youth Camp Had More ‘Middle Eastern or Mixed’ Races Than ‘Pure Norwegian’ | ThinkProgress
Popular hate blogger Pam Geller has received scrutiny in recent days as the public became aware that the right-wing terrorist in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, had praised her blog and thoroughly cited her writing in his political manifesto. After a number of blogs made the connection, as well as the New York Times, the Atlantic, and other major outlets, Geller became incensed and began lashing out at her critics. In a post defending herself yesterday, Geller — who has called Obama “President Jihad” and claimed that Arab language classes are a plot to subvert the United States — reached a new low. Geller justifies Breivik’s attack on the Norwegian Labour Party summer youth camp because she says the camp is part of an anti-Israel “indoctrination training center.” She says the victims would have grown up to become “future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole.” To get her point across, Geller posts a picture of the youth camp children Breivik targeted. The picture was taken on the Utoya island camp about 24 hours before Breivik killed over 30 children, so it is likely Geller is mocking many of the victims. Under the picture, Geller writes: “Note the faces which are more MIddle [sic] Eastern or mixed than pure Norwegian.”

July 29, 2011

Chinese pickpocket uses chopsticks to steal cellphone

Well This Is Something You Don’t See Every Day of the Day - The Daily What