Prison for Immigrants is BIG BUSINESS$$$

As local governments and states attempt to address budget shortfalls a new phenomenon is becoming more prevalent as it already has in certain pockets across the nation.

Prisons once only used to house those found guilty of committing crimes against society have been found to be a financial windfall for governments and the for profit private corporations that run them.

These facilities which were originally constructed to house and punish our nations law breakers yet they have found a new use although one they were not designed for and new private prisons again not designed to temporarily house detainees are being built everyday across this nation.

Rather than being detained to await quick deportation these unfortunate individuals are being housed in prisons which are designed for punishment even though these immigrants have been convicted of No crime. Also with language barriers and no access to any legal counsel some will be housed like convicts for quite a bit of time even years are not out of the question and are becoming increasingly normal for those exposed to this new realm of hell on Earth.

Guilt or innocence is no longer part of the equation, only a lack of a Green-Card will guarantee a spot in this ever growing industry. No longer just a place for those who commit murder, rape or bank robberies etc the only needed criteria is the lack of a U.S. Green-Card. The maxim, “Liberty & Justice for All” is of no consequence here punishment is guaranteed even if it is not warranted.

Now in Southwest Ranches, Florida the local government is cashing in thanks to the U.S. government by beginning to build what will ultimately be the Largest immigration detention center in America. The payoff will be a 4% cut of the profits from the For-Profit private agency hired to house these unfortunate human beings.

There is Big Money to be made here as other sites are also being contemplated in San Antonio, Texas, Essex County, New Jersey and Orange County, California.

The latest and greatest will of course be run by Corrections Corporation of America this nations largest private prison corporation. Immigration detention and housing are big business as they provide 12% or almost $200 million yearly to CCA’s corporate bottom line.

This new 1500 bed facility is expected to generate $1.5 million per year to CCA and local officials are now speaking of the commission they will receive for every filled bed.

No matter that this affluent communities residents do not want to have CCA as a neighbor dollar signs are blurring, distorting and blocking lines of communication. One official wrote, “I have been fully advised by our DC contacts that we should remain fully quiet on this one and to let our DC Leaders help without sparking a fire that will make it more difficult for them to assist”. The official who wrote the above referenced text is also a partner in one of Florida’s largest lobbying firms.

While the status of the illegal immigration issue has been garnering numerous news reports and even government legislation little if anything has actually been accomplished. Former President George W. Bush even signed legislation to build fences along our southern border with Mexico while also increasing the number of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) agents.

However even legislation that has passed and been signed by the president is of little use when after signing the legislation President Bush never properly funded the program. The gesture while quelling public sentiment in the end did little to address the issue as no profit margins could be realized by the ever growing private for profit business sector or their lobbyists.

The Department of Homeland Security came to the conclusion that the mass detention of these individuals was the answer to the problem. It is of little surprise that this thought process will only enrich the for profit prison industry along with their lobbyists and the campaign coffers of the legislator’s involved.

Somewhere along the lines of 50% of immigrants detained in the U.S. are held in for profit facilities and these companies are trying more everyday to corner the market and increase profit margins as they grab up higher and higher shares of their needed customers or should I say prisoners.

It has become a self fulfilling prophecy as these facilities are built that they need to keep these prisoners coming to continue to grow the profits of their corporations.

The immigration detention figures speak for themselves in 1994 daily inmate counts stood at 6,785. In 2001 the figure had risen to 20,249 and by 2010 the count had risen to 31,200, this final figure was a 450% increase from 1994. Of course this only added to the financial profits of these for profit prison corporations while literally doing nothing to address illegal immigration into the United States.

However it did enrich a few particular segments of society; the private prisons, lobbyists and the campaign funds of various legislators. There was even a journalistic segment done by NPR (National Public Radio) that covered how the private prison industry had quietly behind the scenes helped to draft self-serving legislation in Arizona (Arizona Senate Bill 1070). There was also an Out and Out Lie that a Government official used quite often to justify the passing of the legislation and even though the proof that the statement was in fact a lie the official never changed their tune. No illegal had murdered a rancher a legal U.S. citizen had, oh well so much for facts.

The new state statute was extreme in it’s scope and polarizing across the nation. The new law requires police in Arizona to ask people for their immigration papers during traffic stops using an Undefined-Reasonable-Suspicion procedure that the person may be in this country of 300 million+ illegally.

Legislation was also passed in Alabama which is still feeling it’s effects with dwindling school populations and less funding dollars for those still in need of an education. Farm crops rotted in the field as Americans would not or could not do the work all to the dismay of farmers losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. With 7 million immigrants in the U.S. workforce and American workers are not the least bit interested in the jobs they hold or held to whom will America turn for this labor?

Over 15% of our national population is of Hispanic or Latino decent nationwide. However in the western regions of this country of which Arizona clearly falls into 42% of the citizens are either Hispanic or Latino. And Arizona is not the only state that wants to jump on this cash cow to enrich the states coffers several other states are following their lead hoping to cash in on this new captive audience to fill their bank accounts.

Again Immigration-Reform has taken a back seat to creating an enormously profitable enterprise for both the states and the private corporations. Rather then proposing, legislating, enacting and addressing immigration reform, states and the federal government are attempting and succeeding in cashing in on this issue.

The Director of ICE John Morton stated, “This isn’t a question of whether or not we will detain people. We will detain people, and we will detain them on a grand scale”. It is of little consequence that the vast majority of detainees present no danger to the public or are expected to flee the country. A cottage prison industry has been built and by God prisoners are needed to fill the beds within, there is money to be made and no one is going to stand in the way.

Even though $2 billion dollars a year is being spent housing people who should not be in jail in the first place is inhumane, wasteful and fails to address immigration reform in anyway the American taxpayer is on the hook for funding this charade.

NOTE THE LACK OF CORRELATION TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND VIOLENT CRIMES BELOW;

This subcontracting of America is continuing unabated from national security, foreign mercenaries, private prisons and the list goes on all the while our countries standing in the World community is suffering yet no one seems to care. Neither would you if you were a Bought-&-Paid for legislator or a corporation receiving untold funds thanks to your successful lobbying efforts.

Presently each immigrant inmate costs $166 dollars per day as the United States rapidly approaches 2.5 million of it’s citizens incarcerated for real-crimes and we are known across the globe as The-World’s-Jailer do we want to add to this horrific distinction?

Our prisons today are inhumane warehouse facilities with at least 20% of the population suffering from mental illness do we want to compound the problem. Over $70 billion dollars a year are spent housing our Real criminals a 660% increase from 1982-2006. Do we want to see the same exponential increase in our housing of illegal immigrants under even harsher confinement conditions?

In 2001 the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported it cost $62.01 per day to house an inmate. In 2009 the state of California reported it’s cost at $129.04 per day.

With private prisons charging $166 dollars per day this would be a profit margin any CEO would be proud of and would be continually trying to refill or increase the numbers of captive clients. Lobbyists would be beating down the doors of our elected officials in their attempts to further privatize the incarceration industry. Politicians as in the past will be happy to take the campaign contributions realized after successful legislation to this end, the full privatization of a once federal and state controlled job.

Why will our Washington legislators never effectively address illegal immigration in this country. It all comes down to money as is usually the case representing the United States citizen as they swore an oath to do has become nothing more than meaningless words. Corporations and Lobbyists control the USA, it’s government and it’s citizens to think otherwise is a fools paradise.

Americans can go to sleep every night in their comfortable beds after a nice dinner that was more than likely brought to them from slave waged illegal immigrants.

Drug addicts can continue to buy their illegal drug of choice. While our government does not condone it they do nothing to stop the illegal drug trade between the United States and Mexico, we even supply them with the needed ingredients, corporations need to make profits. However if we Truly wished as a nation to slow the tide of illegal drugs the U.S. could stop American corporations from selling Mexico the precursors for drug manufacture.

No one needs to worry about the countless innocent immigrants suffering often for years housed in prisons which were not created to Detain them, why even bother to think about it?

Only trying to find a better life cost this illegal his life.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) American Patriots Of Our Time!

The nascent U.S. movement collectively known as OWS does not have a written constitution or a codified plethora of documents laying out in detail any specific agenda. So they are scoffed upon by the political elites and corporations across America.

The United States Congress has written and promulgated tens of thousands of documents, chock full of executive summaries, reams of studies and a specific set of rules, procedures and decorum laid out in a dizzying fashion. Most bought and paid for by Lobbying firms and their never-ending supply of cash fed by large corporations with their corporate backers. Even current & former members of congress are not well versed in all of these and other facets of congressional life and it’s implications. On to many occasions for it to be some type of anomaly congressional members have stated they do not even read the bills they pass in the U.S. House & Senate.

What Occupy Wall Street does have is a great number of ordinary U.S. citizens all under the umbrella of being sick and tired of our current system. They rail against banks & investment houses who almost brought our country to it’s collapse along with the top 1% who assisted in almost destroying this country. To me this appears to be a comprehensive cohesive structure even if reams of paper are not present speaking volumes yet saying nothing, like in corporate or government settings.Their words still resonate and this movement grows everyday.

Little if any accountability was exerted or accepted during the U.S. current recession and even though these institutions behind our near collapse have mission statements, comprehensive studies, etc. All of these are written on paper that is as worthless as all the rules and studies. For these bastions of a free market society believe they are accountable to no one other than the shareholders of the corporations and quite often even the shareholders are left under-the-bus, lifeless and no longer needed. Or the shareholder who is now financially destroyed can no longer buy a ticket to have a hand worth playing.

The citizens of this country have quietly raged at the excesses of corporate America, wall-street, banks and our current Worthless Do-Nothing Congress. However these have been fleeting moments then it’s on to watching the so-called leader in news propaganda machine. There under the cloak of being fair and honest the populace is indoctrinated, reeducated and shown the errors of their ways. On these programs that hours, so-called journalist makes fun and sport of these people who are in essence fighting for America before what little is left is swallowed whole by the elitist 1%ers.

Yet under duress by the thugs who represent law enforcement as they are beaten, pepper sprayed, hit with rubber bullets, unjustly incarcerated and then released without charge. These American Patriots stand for those to fearful or lazy to stand up for themselves or their rights as Americans.

Our founding fathers fought against tyranny and oppression and are now hundreds of years later are regarded as Heroes as they were in their day and age.

When our country was attacked from within and there were those who wished to tear our country apart all for their love of money coupled with their oppression of those they felt were inferior and deserved to be abused and tortured. Our countrymen fought and died for this country to make it a better place for All Americans. The man who lead us in this battle for our souls was then assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Again Abraham Lincoln and his complementaries along with George Washington was regarded then as now as Patriots. They offered the best America had to offer, they fought for All Americans and what was Right, Honorable and Just.

The British at the time of the Colonial War looked down upon George Washington as an inferior 1%er that could be crushed out of hand. How wrong they were just as many people of this country looked down upon Abraham Lincoln. How did this many of simple means reunite this country and help enormously in the early stages of our national history, he only did what he thought was Right and Just.

Well these are just a few of the many Patriots who were underestimated by the elitists of the various times. Yet they flourished as did our country and today these nascent patriots known simply as Occupy Wall Street or OWS are being called upon to be the Patriots of this age.

They are unlikely heroes as were those before them yet their profound importance again cannot be diminished or simply be pushed aside. Even though our current 24hr news cycles may move on to other subject matter the voices of OWS and the 99% of whom they represent, will not just go away.

So while they fight this war for the American soul and what is right and just in this country they should Never be underestimated.

They are American Patriots who are being oppressed and attempts to marginalize their movement will ultimately fail.

Is our United Stated Congress fighting for the 99% of it’s citizens, NO.

Are the Patriots of OWS being oppressed, abused mistreated while they present themselves in peaceful protests to attempt to correctly realign America’s moral compass, YES.

May God or the heavens, Buddha and other forms of spirituality give them strength. Let us all the 99% think of them daily and keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Let us all hope that America the nation can again find it’s moral compass. Or better yet become involved in your area or even travel to the areas across this nation where the movement is strongest, for we all are one people with common goals.

Maybe again we can become the land of the free and the brave a melting pot of peoples where everyone has the same opportunities to live happy and prosperous lives without tyranny or oppression by the few against the many.

For the sake of our country, or children and our souls we must find a place of common ground of fairness in life and liberty in our lifetimes. Now we are the 300 million+ being led by the 1% elitists who are not concerned or the least bit interested in anyone’s future but there own.

OWS is simply fighting for the rights of all Americans, they are the Patriots of our time!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Black Farmers’ $1.2bil Settlement 1 more step to Justice!

With a recent judicial decision a $1.2 billion dollar government settlement for black farmers moved another step towards a realized gain and closure for the affected parties.

The USDA’s Civil Rights History is far from being even close to a level playing field when dealing with this nations black farmers. For decades they were collectively denied any assistance or Loans, while their white-counterparts had no problems with assistance or loans.

This case was originally filed in 1997 as thousands of these unfortunate farmers were penalized for trying to earn an honest living via farming in America’s Heartlands for themselves and their families.

President Barack Obama said, “This agreement will provide overdue relief and justice to African American farmers, and bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on”.

The head of the National Black Farmers Association via CNN, stated, “So many farmers had given up hope that this would ever come to pass”. While it will now take about one year to review and access the farmers after this is done these fine men & women will receive their long overdue justice.

Unfortunately black farmers now only make up 1% of our nation’s ranches and farms. This was not the case in the 1920 period when black farmers constituted 14% of US farms and ranches.

It is profoundly saddening that Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (once a Tea-Party favorite) voiced the opinion that the settlement was a waste of federal money, along with other Republicans. Bachmann also said, ” When money is diverted to inefficient projects, like the Pigford project, where there seems to be proof-positive of fraud, we can’t afford $2 billion (she was only off by $800 million and still painfully misguided) in potentially fraudulent claims when that money can be used to benefit the people along the Mississippi River and the Missouri River”.

Here we are in the 21st century and still past misdeeds regarding this countries treatment of it’s black citizens via various means of discrimination are still being dealt with and not yet completed near the end of 2011.

So many affluent voices are heard that affirmative action and racial prejudice are things of the past in our history? Seriously,,,, Lynchings of unfortunate blacks were still occurring in 1967 with regularity, hate crimes still occur today.

I’m 52, white (caucasian) and I don’t think it that much of a past history issue for me. My older sister was Literally Kicked out of the state of Florida by the authorities for dating a black man in 1967.

My parents I later found out where also threatened with jail terms, this occurred when my sister went to a convenience store to get a soda. My parents had apparently been charged with making sure that my elder sister was never out of their sight. Yet she innocently went to the store to get a soda pop which was about four blocks from our home and my parents were threatened with jail.

My father a white man had a top-secret security clearance as he supervised the construction of parts for the USA’s growing nuclear arsenal. He could never talk about what he did at work which was very strange, however a small little piece of information was finally found out, nuclear bomb parts were his trade. We were Very middle class with private schools and never were without food or the latest clothing or household items.

It was not until I was 10 years of age I even found out that my elder sister existed. She just happened to visit while not warmly accepted by my father, imagine my surprise. Here was this very nice articulate, intelligent and funny person, my sister (an accountant by trade), why did it take an accidental meeting for this family heirloom to arrive in my life.

Well my sister dated black men and had married a wonderful black man named Marvin and they had two children Lisa & David, two beautiful outstanding children, now adults.

Racial disparities still surround us in our prisons and jails where blacks are over-represented because of unfair sentencing guidelines and extremely poor legal representation, yes some are criminals, however this does not explain the racial disparity found in our legal system.

In the workplace having just retired from a fortune 250 company at the age of 52 -wanting to live the rest of my days as I want to and being financially able to do so- from my own observations prejudice is still rampant. I know of white-supremacists in my own large metropolitan city and have friends who are prejudiced at an alarming rate, it’s quite disturbing.

Imagine my surprise when in the 1980’s my beautiful niece came to visit Florida. We were both the same age group ( I was a year older) she was so beautiful on the outside and the inside and we became fast friends, my Niece who was held from me for so many years. I still recall the time my best friend said, ” Who’s the N***** with you?”. My anger was immediate and in no uncertain terms I made him aware to never speak that word again around me.

So no one in this day and age should turn their back on Any of our fellow countrymen or women. Nor should they try to say that racism isn’t still very prevalent as many would like us to believe. Maybe some day in this country People will just be that People, however for now this is still not the case, especially in the south.

Kudos to these farmers and I am quite sure the monetary amount does not make up for the treatment they endured.

For the few who might read this maybe you might consider giving our fellow citizens a fair chance be they Black, Indian, Latino, Mexican or any other race they are all human beings. They are all just humans trying find their way in life and to care for themselves and their loved ones.

Is this not what we all strive for, so before you make a racist comment about anyone or prejudge them because of the color of their skin maybe you could reflect and then Think-Before-You-Speak.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

US Government asking Google to remove content Google say’s, NO

The United States of America now has the distinction of coming in 3rd Worldwide in regards to requests made with Google to remove content.

Many law enforcement agencies are now asking Google to remove Youtube content which they believe is defamatory? Law enforcement is asking for videos depicting possible Police Brutality to be removed.

However quite often Google (the world wide standard search engine) is refusing many of these requests.

Google is putting out a Transparency Report with this being one of the issues covered. During the first half of 2011 there were 757 requests, 80% were related to defamation in the re-quester’s mind as this is how they were classified by the search engine giant.

The company did comply with 63% out of all those submitted by the government entities. However in many cases they did not so a big pat on the back to them for standing up for free-speech.

Also during this period the US government requested information on 5,950 users which they complied with 93% of these which came from government agencies/entities.

So this is a possibly cautionary tale on how our government in the USA is conducting itself and attempting to throttle free speech.

Kudos to Google for taking a stand and watching out for America’s right to know!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

The End of Journalism and Confidential Sources the Constitution be Damned!

Journalists across the globe have much to worry about if present legislation in Germany makes its way to the United States. Many European nations have began the practice of retaining all their countrymen’s communications since the 9/11 attack in New York.

The German Bundestag or parliament has now drafted legislation which would make their collection of all data including all voice communications received by the countries journalists which would effectively end the freedom of the press or allow for confidential sources to expect anonymity.

The future does not look bright for Germanys many news gathering organizations as confidential sources will no longer be afforded to secretly reveal any information. As all data that the German press receives will be available for the government to collect and quite possibly go on the attack against once confidential sources.

For a concerned German citizen to send an email, fax, text or voice communication they would be taking their life in their own hands. While they might attempt to alert the press of government malfeasance or inappropriate conduct the government will then know who they are and this will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press.

The bill if passed would take effect on January 1st, 2008 and it will remove any and all protection of a journalist’s sources in regards to Internet and Telecommunications information they might receive.

This legislation will destroy the freedom of the press in Germany and Christoph Gusy an authority on constitutional law points out that, “An enormous hole is being torn in the freedom of the press; Protection of sources will be largely left up to the judgment of law enforcement agencies. This de facto puts an end to confidentiality.”

The editor in chief of the German public television network ZDF was quoted as saying, “If the state holds confidential information for a period of preventive detention, this amounts to an attack on the very foundation of our work.”

The legislation requires all of Germany’s telecom providers to retain all communications data from their customers, all landline and mobile calls, faxes, text messages and e-mails. This would mean that all electronic communications in Germany would be recorded whether the parties concerned are under investigation or not.

There are many critics of the German governments attempt to destroy the freedom of the press and its attempts to violate the principle of communications secrecy and the right to privacy in the information age.

The general public in Germany is largely unaware that their Justice Ministry wants to remove two levels of the right to refuse to give evidence to the government. Only defense lawyers and members of the clergy would be allotted a top level which would not allow for them to be wiretapped and their private communications would still be private.

The press would not be afforded this protection as they would fall into the second class bearers of secrets and would be forced to reveal the sources which would effectively end the freedom of the press in Germany. The day of confidential sources in reporting would come to an end and the people and the press of Germany would suffer the penalty.

The right to a free press would be left up to the local magistrate who would work with and by all accounts for the prosecution.

A former Justice Minister described the proposed legislation as, “opening a massive gateway to access information that journalists possess, and then decide if it may be used or not”. While Christoph Gusy an authority on constitutional law points out that by that time it would already be to late, “There’s not an investigator in the world who would spontaneously forget new information that he has discovered”.

The legislation would have a chilling effect on the press as no one would pass sensitive information, especially from a government agency, if they assumed that the police and domestic security officials were recording all forms of communication.

For those brave journalists who once reported on government corruption or corporate misdeeds this law would in effect end an historic era. Where once the freedom of the press was regarded as an important facet of information and whose journalists were provided some protection from persecution by the government this would no longer be the case.

The journalists in Germany are fighting back and attempting to apply as much pressure as possible to avoid the introduction of this current legislation and some government officials are listening. There are some proposals that are gaining some strength with the government only being allowed access to their data if the reporter was a suspect of a serious criminal offense, of course this would be left up to the prosecutors discretion.

Still the politicians of Germany have little regard for the journalists of their country and they are not at all inclined to give them anymore protection than is minimally needed as they believe the power of the state overrides the freedom of the press.

The prosecutors of Germany want full access to various journalists’ confidential sources for use in whatever action they might feel prudent and they are applying as much pressure as possibly to make that a reality.

The ZDF television editor in chief is beside himself with the governments attempts to destroy the once confidential resources so desperately needed in reporting that he stated, “These days, with the free press already treading on thin ice, this is a devastating blow.”

The government official who introduced the legislation doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about as she believes she was following a European guideline. She is just following a European Union directive which makes the collection of all data a mandatory requirement.

She is quick to point out that the German requirements are less than the other European nations who will retain data for longer than 24 months this in comparison to Germanys six month retention policy.

Throughout history journalists have fought for their right to publish the truth and confidential sources have only strengthened this honorable tradition. Also during this period corrupt governments and corporations have wanted to squash these freedoms so that they may do as the please without any outside interference.

Government officials have often attacked the journalists by invoking the war on terror or any other term at their disposal to attack the media who might find out about government malfeasance or maybe government sponsored torture or the violation of citizen’s rights.

The days of Freedom of the Press may be coming to an end for our European counterparts and it is only logical to assume the American government and our current administration will only attempt to pass a similar law in the near or distant future.

What will our world be like when our journalists and reporters are no longer allowed to effectively report the news, will we just turn on state sponsored television to learn all we need to know?

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

 

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