Saturday, May 18, 2013

"Scorpions for Breakfast?"

"Scorpions for Breakfast?"

Would you have walked away from someone who comes at you this way?

If you are a gentleman or a lady and do not wish to be disrespected or treated like trash, you probably would. Otherwise, you may be tempted to behave in the same way, without class or respect for yourself, let alone the one that you are speaking to.
However, there is a lot more to this story. The scorpions that are oozing with poison are much more than just this irrational spokesperson. They are using her and others in positions of authority to help them with their agenda. Their agenda is mostly focused on making money but, it has much more profound implications because the pawns in the game are all of us.

There is a major crisis in our country that is no secret at all. Major corporations are free to manipulate politics and to brainwash everyone with their unlimited resources. After the tragic decision of Citizens United V. FEC the flood of money to Super Political Action Committees has never been seen before. All you have to do is turn on the TV and see the amount of commercials paid for PACs trying to make us vote for the candidate of their choice.
One of these corporations is in the business of running private prisons to hold as many detainees as they can get their hands on and charge the taxpayers (those who are still out working) pay them to hold their family members locked up. In Arizona, the connection between the Governor and this corporation has been exposed. In the entire nation the current pursuit of these corporations to make undocumented immigrants be classified as criminals keeps their market profit margins looking very promising for their investors.
Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, holds the federal contract to house detainees in Arizona. The company bills $11 million per month in this one state alone. CBS 5 Investigates has learned that two of Governor Brewer’s top advisers have connections to CCA. Paul Senseman is the governor’s deputy chief of staff. He is also a former lobbyist for CCA. His wife is listed as a current lobbyist for the company. Chuck Coughlin is one of the governor’s policy advisers and her campaign chairman. Coughlin’s company, High Ground Public Affairs Consultants, currently lobbies for CCA
The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.3 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years. These trends have resulted in prison overcrowding and state governments being overwhelmed by the burden of funding a rapidly expanding penal system, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not the most effective means of achieving public safety.

Since the late 1990’s, the number of people held in immigration detention has exploded. On any given day, ICE detains over 33,000 immigrants; this is more than triple the number of beds since 1996. In the last 5 years alone, the annual number of immigrants detained and the costs of detaining them has doubled: In 2010, approximately 392,000 immigrants were detained, costing taxpayers $1.77 billion at an average of $122 a day per bed.

Nearly 2.5 million individuals have passed through immigration detention facilities since 2003. Jails and prisons across the United States hold increasing numbers of immigrants, many or most of whom have never been convicted of a crime. The labyrinth of detention encompasses local and state jails, federal immigration detention facilities, prisons, contracted jail spaces, and holding cells.

Our newly crowned Miss America Laura Kaeppeler, is a child of an imprisoned parent and she explains what they system is doing to children like her:
• Nationwide, more than two million children have a parent who is incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
• Children with imprisoned parents are almost six times more likely than their peers to become incarcerated at some point in their lives.
• About one in 40 children have an incarcerated father.
• More than ten million children have parents who were at one time imprisoned.
• About one in 359 children have an incarcerated mother.
• There is no one agency responsible for their welfare.
• Anger, isolation, sadness, fear, anxiety and guilt are commonly experienced emotions for these children.
• School failure, delinquency and intergenerational incarceration are common outcomes.

Business is good for the scorpions who explain that “At current incarceration rates, jail and prison populations would grow by about 121,000 between 2010 and 2015, or more than 24,000 per year on average,” Corrections Corp. said in a February presentation. Both “high recidivism” among felons and “inmate population growth following prior recessions” are highlighted as positives for the company in the 48-page report.
With about 2.3 million people in prisons and jails, the U.S. has the most convicts of any country, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King’s College London. The U.S. prison population rate of 756 per 100,000 people ranks higher than Russia’s (629 per 100,000) and Rwanda’s (604 per 100,000), and is also the highest in the world.
So the scorpions have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and in growing their client base with undocumented immigrants so that their profit margins may continue to grow. This is why they will continue to invest in buying votes:

With the exponential increase in government expenditure on immigration enforcement since 2001, the private prison industry accurately views immigration detention as a growth industry, and corporations have increasingly devoted their resources to lobbying for policies and programs that will increase their opportunities to do business with the government. Firstly, incarcerating anyone is expensive, with costs around the country averaging$79 per person per day. Jail maintenance and operations can be a significant portion of county budgets; in Broward County, FL, the jail represents 25¢ out of every tax dollar. ACCA is the largest private prison contractor in the U.S. ICE pays CCA about $90 a day per person to keep immigrants behind bars and to manage every aspect of detainees' lives, running its prison much as the government does. The main difference is that CCA locks people up for profit.

Among the five corporations with ICE contracts for which official federal lobbying records are currently available, the total expenditure on lobbying for 1999-2009 was $20,432,000. The biggest spenders were CCA ($18,002,000), and GEO ($2,065,000). Lobbying efforts targeted a wide spectrum of government entities, indicating a comprehensive strategy for influencing policy and legislation.

Entities lobbied include:
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Department of Justice
Bureau of Prisons
Office of Management and Budget
Both houses of Congress
Department of Labor
Department of Interior
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Administration for Families and Children

New laws have removed from judges much of their discretion to set a sentence that takes full account of the circumstances of the offence. Since no politician wants to be tarred as soft on crime, such laws, mandating minimum sentences, are seldom softened. On the contrary, they tend to get harder.
The size and cost of America’s prison system has skyrocketed during the last few decades, largely as a result of laws and policies that put more offenders behind bars and keep them there longer. Yet recidivism rates remain stubbornly high, and crime still is a major public concern.
State policy makers across the nation are asking whether soaring prison budgets are the best path to public safety. Increasingly, they are finding the answer is “No.”
State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America's Prisons
The fact is that people are caught in a vicious cycle. Once you have been convicted of a crime you cannot get student loans, you cannot get a decent job, you cannot get a good place to live, you cannot qualify for any programs and the world shuts every door in your face. Eventually you end up in a homeless shelter or go back to committing crime.
“State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons,” a new report by the Pew Center on the States, finds that despite massive increases in state spending on prisons, America’s national recidivism rate is stubbornly high, with more than four in 10 offenders returned to state prison within three years of their release.
Tougher policies have been good for CCA. Since the company started winning immigrant detention contracts in 2000, its stock has rebounded from about a dollar to $23.33, attracting investors such as William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, which is now its largest shareholder.
CCA has current contracts with ICE and other federal clients, as well as 19 state prison systems. Its largest competitor, the Geo Group, is slightly smaller, and together they account for more than $3 billion in gross revenues annually. The next-largest player, MTC, is privately held and does not disclose numbers, but the industry as a whole grosses just under $5 billion per year.
These scorpions have even turned against the states they work for. They constantly claim that they can build prisons cheaper, run them more efficiently, pay their guards less and keep the complaints lower. They want to end public prisons and have all prisoners housed in their facilities. However, the facts say differently as explained by the latest report by the National Institute of Corrections:
The claims that private prisons are more cost-efficient than similar publically-operated facilities are examined. Anyone thinking about contracting with a private correctional organization needs to read this report. This document discusses: the origins of private prisons; reemergence of private prison companies; developments in privatization; growth of privatization, 1999-2010; and the issues of private privatization—very little to no fiscal savings through cost containment, private prisons are not a local job creator, less services and lower safety, and politicization of privatization. “The available evidence does not point to any substantial benefits to privatizing prisons”
In conclusion, the need to awaken and stop being led like sheep to the slaughterhouse is now. We need to stop letting scorpions and their puppets make us fight each other with political demagogue. Behind all these so-called politics of conservative versus liberal, Republican versus Democrat, anti-immigrant versus pro-immigrants divisions, there are major forces at work. They are destroying the fabric of this nation! They are separating families! They are making us vicious and stupid animals that follow one trend or another! They are using us and only we can stop them.
We must demand that our legislators enact laws to disarm the power that the Supreme Court decision of United v. FEC has unleashed and we must stop treating each others as criminals. We must find a way to rehabilitate and not keep putting each other in jail. We must give discretion back to our judges so that they can evaluate cases on their merits. We must think of each other as one nation not as two rabid dogs tearing at each other while the scorpion vultures laugh and salivate waiting for our destruction.


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