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thinkahol *

UC Davis Professor Demands Chancellor Resign Over Pepper Spraying Of Students | The New... - 0 views

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    "police forced open their mouths and pepper-​sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-​five minutes after being pepper-​sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood."
thinkahol *

The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery? - 0 views

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    Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million - mostly Black and Hispanic - are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don't have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don't like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.
    There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, "no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens." The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world's prison population, but only 5% of the world's people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.
    What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?
thinkahol *

The Troubled Life of Nim Chimpsky by Peter Singer | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books - 0 views

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    "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
    -Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince

thinkahol *

GRITtv » Blog Archive » Michelle Alexander: End The Drug War: Face the New Ji... - 0 views

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    The NAACP has just passed a historic resolution demanding an end to the War on Drugs.  The resolution comes as young Black male unemployment hovers near 50 percent and the wealth gap's become a veritable gulf. So why is the forty-year-old "War on Drugs" public enemy number one for the nation's oldest civil rights organization? Well here's why:  it's not extraneous - it's central: the war on drugs is the engine of 21st century discrimination - an engine that has brought Jim Crow into the age of Barack Obama.     Author Michelle Alexander lays out the statistics -- and the stories --  of 21st Century Jim Crow in her ought-to-blow-your-socks off book: "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness." I had a chance to sit down with Alexander earlier this summer. We'll be posting the full interview in two parts.     "We have managed decades after the civil rights movement to create something like a caste system in the United States," says Alexander in part one here  "In major urban areas, the majority of African American men are either behind bars, under correctional control or saddled with criminal record and once branded as criminal or a felon, they're trapped for life in 2nd class status."     It's not just about people having a hard time getting ahead and climbing the ladder of success. It's about a rigged system. Sound familiar?  Like the Pew Research Center report on household wealth and the Great Recession -- the NAACP resolution story was a one-day news-blip - despite the fact that it pierces the by-your-bootstraps myth that is at the heart of - you pick it - the deficit, the stimulus, the tax code - every contemporary US economic debate.     White America just maybe ought to pay attention. With more and more Americans falling out of jobs and into debt, criminal records are a whole lot easier to come by than life-sustaining employment.  Contrary to the conventional media version, the "Drug War" story is not a people with problems
thinkahol *

Obama's new executive order on Guantanamo - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com - 0 views

  • As always, the most harmful aspect of the Obama legacy is that he has converted what were once controversial right-wing Bush policies into unchallenged bipartisan consensus, to endure indefinitely and without any opposition from either party.  And, to underscore the point once more:  Obama's plan as President (as opposed to as a candidate) was never to dismantle the Bush/Cheney system at Guantanamo; before Congress acted at all, his only objective was to preserve its core, defining features and then move that system to Illinois.
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    As always, the most harmful aspect of the Obama legacy is that he has converted what were once controversial right-wing Bush policies into unchallenged bipartisan consensus, to endure indefinitely and without any opposition from either party.
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