XIAM007

Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Saturday, 28 February 2015

North Carolina just made it legal for lobbying firms to purchase prostitutes to service politicians -

North Carolina just made it legal for lobbying firms to purchase prostitutes to service politicians - 



North Carolina’s State Ethics Committee has just opened up a major problem for their state — they just made it legal for lobbying firms to purchase prostitutes to service politicians. The Committee’s determination that sex had no value and that sex between a lobbyist and politician was nothing to report or in any way questionable means that a major loophole has opened up for lobbying firms. Now lobbying firms can hire people with the explicit goal to seduce and fornicate with politicians in order to garner favor.

In other terms, lobbying firms can hire people who can offer sexual services for politicians, and they don’t even need to register. now, before it is said that it is being misinterpreted, here is the actual letter from the Ethics Committee, titled “Sexual Favors or Sexual Acts as a Gift or ‘Thing of Value.'” In it, they declared that these relations have no monetary value, so do not need to be reported. In addition, they declared that if the person is not registered as a lobbyist, there was never any point of concern, even if the service was paid for by a third-party. In other words, lobbyists can hire people expressly for a politician to use in a carnal manner, even if the politician asks for or otherwise indicates their desire for such a service.

Even more disturbing are the long-term implications. Let us say a politician does partake, yet the person who paid for the night of temptation was a less than honest broker. A few hidden cameras, some veiled threat that did not cross the line into blackmail territory, a night of infidelity could put a politician into a less honorable group’s pocket without major cost, and all now rendered perfectly legal by the Ethics Committee of North Carolina.

Lobbying is a practice which needs to end for the good of the republic. When our founders agreed that the people have the right to redress grievances and to petition the government, that did not mean corporations or trade groups being granted superior access to the people themselves. Money is not speech, liberty is not anarchy — freedom for all, not just for the elite.

Read more - 
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/02/27/gifts-for-politicians/

Thursday, 26 February 2015

NASA's Dawn spacecraft releases images showing another Bright Spot on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres -

NASA's Dawn spacecraft releases images showing another Bright Spot on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres - 



The latest images captured by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft of the dwarf planet Ceres continues to baffle scientists as the photos reveal another significant bright spot on its surface.

The planet, which lies between Mars and Jupiter, has an average diameter of 590 miles and is the largest body in the main asteroid belt and is believed to contain a large amount of ice.

“Ceres’ bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin,” Chris Russell, a principal investigator for the Dawn mission, said in a news release from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“This maybe pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations,” Russell said.

Scientists hope to get a better view of Ceres in the next week as Dawn is scheduled to enter the planet’s orbit March 6. The bright spots that have captivated the world might soon come into sharper focus.

"The brightest spot continues to be too small to resolve with our camera, but despite its size it is brighter than anything else on Ceres,” Andreas Nathues, lead investigator for the framing camera team at the Max Planch Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, said in the release.

The Dawn spacecraft has already delivered more than 30,000 images of Vesta – the second largest body in the main asteroid belt – during an orbit in 2011 and 2012.

Read more - 
http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/02/26/nasa-dawn-spacecraft-releases-images-showing-another-bright-spot-on-ceres/

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims - plans to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body -

First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims - plans to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body - 



A surgeon says full-body transplants could become a reality in just two years.

Sergio Canavero, a doctor in Turin, Italy, has drawn up plans to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body and claims the procedures needed to carry out the operation are not far off.

Canavero hopes to assemble a team to explore the radical surgery in a project he is due to launch at a meeting for neurological surgeons in Maryland this June.

He has claimed for years that medical science has advanced to the point that a full body transplant is plausible, but the proposal has caused raised eyebrows, horror and profound disbelief in other surgeons.

The Italian doctor, who recently published a broad outline of how the surgery could be performed, told New Scientist magazine that he wanted to use body transplants to prolong the lives of people affected by terminal diseases.

“If society doesn’t want it, I won’t do it. But if people don’t want it, in the US or Europe, that doesn’t mean it won’t be done somewhere else,” he said. “I’m trying to go about this the right way, but before going to the moon, you want to make sure people will follow you.”

Putting aside the considerable technical issues involved in removing a living person’s head, grafting it to a dead body, reviving the reconstructed person and retraining their brain to use thousands of unfamiliar spinal cord nerves, the ethics are problematic.

The history of transplantation is full of cases where people hated their new appendages and had them removed. The psychological burden of emerging from anaesthetic with an entirely new body is firmly in uncharted territory. Another hitch is that medical ethics boards would almost certainly not approve experiments in primates to test whether the procedure works.

Advertisement

But Canavero wants to provoke a debate around these issues. “The real stumbling block is the ethics,” he told New Scientist. “Should this surgery be done at all? There are obviously going to be many people who disagree with it.”

The idea of body transplants – or head transplants, depending on the perspective – has been tried before. In 1970, Robert White led a team at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, US, that tried to transplant the head of one monkey on to the body of another. The surgeons stopped short of a full spinal cord transfer, so the monkey could not move its body.

A lull in attempted body transplants followed White’s experiments, but last year researchers at Harbin Medical University in China made some headway with mice. They hope to perfect a procedure they claim “will become a milestone of medical history and potentially could save millions of people”.

Despite Canavero’s enthusiasm, many surgeons and neuroscientists believe massive technical hurdles push full body transplants into the distant future. The starkest problem is that no one knows how to reconnect spinal nerves and make them work again. Were that possible, people paralysed by spinal injuries could have surgery to make them walk again.

“There is no evidence that the connectivity of cord and brain would lead to useful sentient or motor function following head transplantation,” Richard Borgens, director of the Center for Paralysis Research at Purdue University in Indiana, US, told New Scientist.

According to the procedure Canavero outlined this month, doctors would first cool the patient’s head and the donor’s body so their cells do not die during the operation. The neck is then cut through, the blood vessels linked up with thin tubes, and the spinal cord cut with an exceptionally sharp knife to minimise nerve damage. The recipient’s head is then moved on to the donor’s body.

The next stage is trickier. Canavero believes that the spinal cord nerves that would allow the recipient’s brain to talk to the donor’s body can be fused together using a substance called polyethylene glycol. To stop the patient moving, they must be kept in a coma for weeks. When they come round, Canavero believes they would be able to speak and feel their face, though he predicts they would need a year of physiotherapy before they could move the body.

“This is such an overwhelming project, the possibility of it happening is very unlikely,” Harry Goldsmith, professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, Davis, told the magazine.

Read more - 
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/25/first-full-body-transplant-two-years-away-surgeon-claim

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Japanese Robot Bear Nurses soon to care for rapidly ageing population -

Japanese Robot Bear Nurses soon to care for rapidly ageing population - 



Robotic nurses with cute bear faces developed by Japanese engineers could soon be the future carers of the nation's growing elderly population.

Japanese research institute Riken developed the Robear to support healthcare workers, with enough power to lift frail patients from bed and support unstable patients on their feet.

The Robear is based on an earlier model called RIBA, which was introduced in 2011. The upgraded Robear is about 90 kilograms lighter than its predecessor, capable of more subtle movements and sports an even cuter look.

"The polar cub-like look is aimed at radiating an atmosphere of strength, geniality and cleanliness at the same time," research leader Toshiharu Mukai said.

"We voted for this design among options presented by our designer. We hope to commercialise the robot in the not too distant future."

Japan's declining population puts it on course to lose half its workforce by 2060, and possibly its status as an economic superpower.

Despite calls for large-scale immigration into the racially homogenous country, residents remain reluctant, meaning an increasing reliance on robots, especially to perform physically difficult work.

This frequently combines with the country's love of all things cute, to produce machines with disarming faces and child-like voices.

Riken said it aimed to combat the burden Japan's ageing population would place on the healthcare system.

"As Japan is ageing with fewer children, the problem of a shortage in caregivers for the elderly is getting serious," Riken said in a statement.

"Expectations are high that robotics will help resolve this problem."

Read more - 
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/japans-robot-bears-elderly-carers-of-the-future/6255734

75% of Air and Rain Samples Contain Monsanto’s Round Up -

75% of Air and Rain Samples Contain Monsanto’s Round Up - 



A new study proves just how invasive Monsanto’s best selling chemicals are, revealing how herbicide toxins are appearing in 75% of rain and air samples.

Take a deep breath. Thanks to the massive use of herbicides across the planet, you likely just inhaled a dose of Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Round Up – at least according to the latest US Geological Survey published in the journal Enviromental Toxicology and Chemistry.

The chemical ingredient used in Round Up, known as glyphosate, as well as other ‘inert’ toxic chemicals, were found in over 75% of the air and rain samples tested from Mississippi in 2007 – a large river that cuts through the middle of the US, and is the basin in which hundreds of farms’ runoff drains.

An evaluation of numerous pesticides currently used were measured through water and air samples collected from 1995 to 2007 during growing season along the Mississippi Delta agricultural region. If 75% of samples containing Round Up isn’t shocking enough, there’s more:

Round Up chemicals were prevalent, but so were 37 other toxic compounds – all present in both rain and air samples.
Glyphosate was found in 86% of air samples, and 77% of rain samples.
Seven compounds in 1995 and five in 2007 were detected in more than 50% of both air and rain samples. Atrazine, metolachlor, and propanil were detected in more than 50% of the air and rain samples in both years.
Read: 3 Studies Proving Toxic Glyphosate in Urine, Blood, Breast Milk

The report states that 2 million kilograms of glyphosate were applied statewide in 2007, or 55% of the total herbicide flux for that year (~129 μg/m2), leading them to state the high prevalence of glyphosate in air and water “was not surprising.”

What is surprising is that these results are not becoming widely distributed until 2015.

This estimate, if correct, reveals that there has been an ~ 18 fold increase in glyphosate concentrations in air and water samples in only 12 years (1995-2007), and likely more since the samples were taken.

This means that our bodies have been under fire with biotech toxins, not just in the food we eat, but in the air we breathe, and the water we drink, for more than a decade.

The longer the period of exposure we are subjected to, you can bet the more diseases will crop up.

These toxins have cumulative and synergistic effects with other toxicants with incalculably complex results that produce far more harm together than glyphosate alone (i.e. synergistic toxicity).

If you want to breathe a sigh of relief, you’ll have to fight biotech. It isn’t just the food they are poisoning.

Read more: - 
http://naturalsociety.com/75-air-rain-samples-contain-monsantos-round/

An Idaho lawmaker gets lesson on female anatomy after asking if swallowed camera can be used for gynecological exam -

An Idaho lawmaker gets lesson on female anatomy after asking if swallowed camera can be used for gynecological exam - 



An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam. 

The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine. 

Barbieri later said that the question was rhetorical and intended to make a point. 

Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who said she has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill. She said some colonoscopy patients may swallow a small device to give doctors a closer look at parts of their colon. 

"Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?" Barbieri asked. 

Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina. 

"Fascinating. That makes sense," Barbieri said, amid the crowd's laughter. 

The committee approved the bill 13-4 on a party-line vote, where it now goes to the House floor for a full vote. Barbieri, who sits on the board of a crisis pregnancy center in northern Idaho, voted in favor of the legislation. 

The panel is considered one of the most conservative committees in Idaho's Republican-controlled Statehouse. Already this year, it has killed a proposal that would provide legal protections to gay and lesbian Idahoans and halted legislation proposed by a 14-year-old girl to designate the Idaho Giant Salamander as the official state amphibian. It has endorsed, however, a bill that would expand parental rights in Idaho law. 

Under HB154, abortion-inducing medication could not be administered through telemedicine - which does not currently happen in Idaho - and requires doctors to make "all reasonable efforts" to schedule a follow-up visit. The bill is backed by the anti-abortion group Idaho Choose Life. 

Anti-abortion advocates argue that the bill will protect women who may have an adverse reaction to abortion medication. Those opposed counter that the bill is an attempt to restrict abortions, pointing to women living in rural areas where access to clinics is already limited. 

Monday afternoon Barbieri told The Spokesman-Review that he adamantly supports the bill, and wasn't fazed by the social media attention his question garnered. 

"I was being rhetorical, because I was trying to make the point that equalizing a colonoscopy to this particular procedure was apples and oranges," he said. "So I was asking a rhetorical question that was designed to make her say that they weren't the same thing, and she did so. It was the response I wanted." 

The measure is one of several abortion-related bills Idaho lawmakers are considering this legislative session. 

This includes a proposed bill seeking to define the scope of telemedicine in Idaho, which somewhat overlaps with HB154, because it specifically bans doctors from prescribing abortion drugs via videoconferencing. Over in the Idaho Senate, lawmakers are considering a bill that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. 

"Children have no way to really challenge the forces that harm them and unborn children are especially susceptible to harm," said Republican Rep. Linden Bateman. "In my view, this may reduce the number of abortions." 

This isn't the first time Idaho lawmakers have received attention while debating abortion legislation. 

In 2013, Republican Rep. Ron Mendive drew audible gasps in a committee when he asked if the American Civil Liberties Union-Idaho's pro-abortion stance also meant they supported prostitution. A year prior, Republican Sen. Chuck Winder drew national criticism after he suggested on the Senate floor that a doctor should ask a woman who says she was raped could have been caused by "normal relations in a marriage."

Read more - 
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/24/idaho-pol-gets-lesson-on-female-anatomy-after-asking-if-swallowed-camera-can-be/?intcmp=latestnews

Fluoride in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain, warn scientists -

Fluoride in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain, warn scientists - 



Fluoride could be causing depression and weight gain and councils should stop adding it to drinking water to prevent tooth decay, scientists have warned.
A study of 98 per cent of GP practices in England found that high rates of underactive thyroid were 30 per cent more likely in areas of the greatest fluoridation.
It could mean that up to 15,000 people are suffering needlessly from thyroid problems which can cause depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles.
Last year Public Health England released a report saying fluoride was a ‘safe and effective’ way of improving dental health.
But new research from the University of Kent suggests that there is a spike in the number of cases of underactive thyroid in high fluoride areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England.

Lead author Professor Stephen Peckham, Centre for Health Service Studies, said: “I think it is concerning for people living in those areas.
“The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which doesn’t was particularly striking. There were nearly double the number of cases in Manchester.
“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems. I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health.”
In England, around 10 per cent of the population (6 million) live in areas with a naturally or artificially fluoridated water supply of 1 mg fluoride per litre of drinking water.
The researchers compared areas to records from 7935 general practices covering around 95 per cent of the English population in 2012-2013.
Rates of high underactive thyroid were at least 30 per cent more likely in practices located in areas with fluoride levels in excess of 0.3 mg/l.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water in varying amounts, depending on the region and it is also found in certain foods and drinks, including tea and fish. It helps combat tooth decay by making enamel more resistant to bacteria.
But previous studies have found that it inhibits the production of iodine, which is essential for a healthy thyroid.
The thyroid gland, which is found in the neck, regulates the metabolism as well as many other systems in the body.
An underactive thyroid can lead to depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles and affects 15 times more women than men, around 15 in 1,000 women.
The researchers say councils must rethink public health policy to fluoridate the water supply in a bid to protect the nation’s tooth health.
However Public Health England said that previous evidence overwhelmingly showed that fluoride in water was safe.
Dr Sandra White, Director of Dental Public Health at Public Health England, said: “Public Health England regularly reviews the evidence base for water fluoridation.
“The totality of evidence, accumulated over decades of research, tells us that water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure, and shows no association with reduced thyroid function.”
Other experts also warned that the study may have been skewed by population bias, a claim denied by the authors.
Prof David Coggon, Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Southampton, said: “It is quite possible that the observed association is a consequence of other ways in which the areas with higher fluoride differ from the rest of the country.
“There are substantially more rigorous epidemiological methods by which the research team could have tested their idea”
The research was published in the BMJs Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Read more - 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11430087/Fluoride-in-drinking-water-may-trigger-depression-and-weight-gain-warn-scientists.html

Monday, 23 February 2015

Children have fewer allergies when families do dishes by hand -

Children have fewer allergies when families do dishes by hand - 



Doing dishes the old-fashioned way — by hand — might help curb a modern-day problem: rising rates of childhood allergies, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Sweden found that children living in families that hand-washed their dishes were about 40 percent less likely to develop allergies compared with kids in homes that used a dishwasher, said study researcher Dr. Bill Hesselmar, an allergist at the University of Gothenburg Department of Pediatrics.

The researchers said they suspect that hand-washing dishes doesn't get them as clean as the dishwasher does, which is actually a good thing because it can help protect against allergies by exposing family members to more bacteria.

Under an idea known as the "hygiene hypothesis," some health researchers think that increased exposure to microbes during early life may stimulate children's immune systems, and that this stimulation may help reduce the risk that a child will develop allergies, the researchers wrote in their study, published online today (Feb. 23) in the journal Pediatrics.

Hand dishwashing is associated with other lifestyle factors that may also cause increased microbial exposure, Hesselmar told Live Science. For example, other studies have suggested that lower income levels, living in more crowded situations and immigration status are all linked with a reduced risk of allergies, and these three factors may also be associated with dishwashing practices. The researchers took these lifestyle factors into account in their analysis.

Although Hesselmar said the new findings were an "interesting observation," he said it is too soon to recommend hand-washing dishes as an allergy-prevention strategy.

Early exposures

In previous studies, living on a farm during early life, having many older siblings, growing up in developing countries and being born by vaginal delivery have all been linked with fewer allergies in children. But in the new study, the researchers wanted to investigate the factors in people's current daily lives that might have an impact on rising rates of childhood allergies. [9 Weirdest Allergies]

They analyzed data from more than 1,000 children living in two regions of Sweden. Parents completed questionnaires asking whether their 7- and 8-year-old children had eczema, asthma or seasonal allergies. Parents also were asked about their typical dishwashing practices, as well as how frequently their child ate fermented foods or farm-fresh foods, which have higher bacterial content than other foods.

Among the kids whose parents hand-washed dishes, allergy rates were even lower among the those who also ate more foods that were fermented or came directly from farms, according to the study.

These results held true even after the researchers took into account parents' allergy histories, whether a child attended day care and whether they were around pets as an infant — three factors that can also influence a child's risk of allergic diseases.

Two physicians at the University of California, San Francisco who wrote a commentary accompanying the study, said the results are interesting but that it's too soon to put them into practical use. 

They noted that one of the drawbacks of the findings is that, according to the hygiene hypothesis, early-life exposures to bacteria and germs would have the greatest effect on the immune system to prevent allergic conditions when they occur before 6 months of age. A six-month-old infant would have limited exposure to hand-washed dishes and utensils, especially if breast-fed.

The commentary concluded that more research is needed to understand how different lifestyle choices, such as dishwasher usage and microbial exposure in children, may influence allergic disease and prevention strategies. 

Read more - 
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/02/23/children-have-fewer-allergies-when-families-do-dishes-by-hand-study-finds/?intcmp=latestnews

9 surprising industries getting filthy rich from mass incarceration -

9 surprising industries getting filthy rich from mass incarceration - 



It’s no coincidence that the United States now imprisons more of its people than any other country in the world: mass incarceration has become a giant industry in the U.S., resulting in huge profits not only for private prison companies, but also, for everything from food companies and telecoms to all the businesses that are using prison labor to cut their manufacturing costs. The prison-industrial complex even has its own lobbyists: according to a 2011 report from the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), the U.S.’ largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and their competitor the GEO Group have both spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying forlonger prison sentences. And the American Bail Coalition has been lobbying for the bail bond industry for 23 years.

One of the main reasons so many people are imprisoned in the U.S. (which now has 25% of the world’s prisoners even though it comprises only 5% of the world’s population) is the war on drugs, which has brought with it draconian sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. In a 2013 report on Americans serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses, the American Civil Liberties Union found that 79% were incarcerated for drug-related convictions. Three-strikes laws, which mandate life without the possibility of parole after a third felony conviction, have also done a lot to expand the prison-industrial complex.

Reform is at odds with the agenda of many powerful industries. It’s well-known that private prison companies draw their profits from mass incarceration, but they’re not the only ones. Here are nine industries that are profiting quite handsomely from the prison-industrial complex and mass incarceration in the U.S.

1. Food Supply Companies: Supplying food for prisons can be extremely profitable. Just ask the Philadelphia-based Aramark Corporation, which brings in millions of dollars bringing food to around 600 prisons in North America. Aramark’s profits continue to roll in even when the company does a terrible job. In 2014, Aramark received fines of $98,000 and $200,000 from the state of Michigan for a long list of infractions, including meal shortages, unsanitary conditions (maggots found in the food, for example) and Aramark employees smuggling contraband into prisons. But such fines were a small price to pay in light of the fact that, in December 2013, Aramark signed a three-year, $145-million contract with the state of Michigan. Aramark has had problems in other states as well, including Kentucky (where corrections officers said poor food service led to a prison riot in 2009), Florida (where state officials ended a contract with Aramark after accusing the company of boosting corporate profits by skimping on meals) and Ohio (where Aramark employees have been fired for having sex with inmates).

2. Telecommunications: Although corporatists love to describe themselves as believers in free-market competition, the reality is that many of them do everything they can to rig the game, avoid competition and become monopolies. One telecom company that operates as a monopoly in many prisons is Global Tel* Link (GTL). The company has been making $500 million annually in profits thanks to its exclusive contracts with a long list of prisons. When prisoners make collect calls via GTL, the person accepting the call pays inflated rates of up to $1.13 per minute. GTL can get away with charging those rates because it doesn’t have to compete with other telecom companies in the prisons where it has exclusive contracts.

3. Healthcare Companies:Inside American prisons, decent healthcare is hard to come by. Corizon, a company that specializes in prison healthcare, is making an estimated $1.4 billion annually despite doing an abysmal job caring for those they are paid to treat. In 2012, seven sick prisoners died in a Louisville, Kentucky jail where Corizon was in charge of healthcare; the city of Louisville later canceled its contract with Corizon. In the video, Prison Profiteers, a Tucson, Arizona woman whose incarcerated son had hepatitis C was told by Corizon employees that they had “no protocol for treating” the disease, which is rampant in prisons.

4. Telemarketing and Call Centers: Many American corporations have moved their call centers to India, the Philippines, Honduras and other countries where they can get away with paying slave wages. But some Americans corporations in need of call centers have found an even cheaper source of labor: American inmates. USA Today reported in 2004 that 2,000 or more prisoners in the U.S. were working in call centers. About 80 of them were in Snake River Prison in Oregon, where inmates were being paid around $120-$185 a month for working full-time. When companies can get people to sell and promote products, handle customer service or make hotel reservations for 75 cents an hour, there is much incentive for keeping the prison-industrial complex alive.

5. Clothing Manufacturers: Prisoners are making a lot more than license plates these days. A wide variety of products are being manufactured in U.S. prisons, from office furniture and bedding to sinks, toilets and clothing. All kinds of clothing is made in American prisons: shirts, hats, pants, shoes, jackets, you name it. Even Victoria’s Secret has profited from the prison-industrial complex: in the 1990s, Victoria’s Secret subcontractor Third Generation hired 35 female inmates in North Carolina to sew lingerie.

6. The Technology Sector: Back in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, unionized manufacturing and packaging jobs were great for the American middle class. But that was before so many of those jobs were outsourced to Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and other countries with ultra-low wages and terrible working conditions. Some corporations, however, have found a source of ultra-cheap labor right in the U.S.: inmates, whose pay can be as low as 35 cents an hour. The technology sector has been willing to make use of prison labor. Exmark (a Microsoft subcontractor) used prisoners in Washington State for shrinkwrapping Microsoft products (including mouses and software) in the 1990s, and in 2003, Dell used federal prisoners for recycling desktop computers.

7. The Bail Industry: According to research by the ACLU and the Nation, the bail industry now pulls in $2 billion in revenue annually. They described the practices of bail bondsmen like Eric Amparan, who keeps 10% of a bail amount as a non-refundable fee even if the person is found innocent. The higher the bail amounts set by judges, the more bail bondsmen stand to make—and Prison Profiteers reported that between 2002 and 2011, the American Bail Coalition (a lobbying group for the bail industry) spent $3.1 million lobbying for judges to set higher bail amounts. Prison Profiteers also noted that average bail amounts increased substantially with the growth of the prison-industrial complex, going from $39,800 in 1992 (the year ABC was founded) to $89,900 in 2006.

8. Food Processing and Packaging: The prison-industrial complex not only uses companies like Aramark that bring food to prisoners, it can also use prison labor to process food for people on the outside. In 2008, Mother Jones’ Caroline Winter reported that in California alone, prisoners were processing “more than 680,000 pounds of beef, 400,000 pounds of chicken products, 450,000 gallons of milk, 280,000 loaves of bread, and 2.9 million eggs.” Winter reported that Signature Packaging Solutions, a Starbucks subcontractor, was using prisoners to package holiday coffees.

9. Agriculture: With more states fining farmers for hiring undocumented workers and fewer agricultural workers coming in from Mexico, the prison-industrial complex has been using more prisoners as a source of farm labor. This is happening everywhere from Georgia to Arizona to Idaho, where in 2014, State Sen. Patti Anne Lodge (a Republican) sponsored a bill allowing agricultural employers to hire prisoners. The bill was quickly signed into law by Idaho’s Republican governor C.L. Otter.

Read more - 
http://www.salon.com/2015/02/22/9_surprising_industries_getting_filthy_rich_from_mass_incarceration_partner/

Saturday, 21 February 2015

VIDEO: The worst of creepy Joe Biden - good grief! It’s a miracle he hasn’t been sued for sexual harassment -

VIDEO: The worst of creepy Joe Biden - good grief!  It’s a miracle he hasn’t been sued for sexual harassment -  



They’re bad enough when you view them as isolated incidents, but when viewed together…good grief!  It’s a miracle he hasn’t been sued for sexual harassment. 

here’s the video: