01/20/19

Locked Up: How the Modern Prison-Industrial Complex Puts So Many Americans in Jail

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

The Prison-Industrial Complex: How a Profiting Prison Industry is Disarming America


Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.Arcesilaus, Greek philosopher and student of Plato on power and personal sovereignty

There’s no two ways about it: The United States of America and its 50 state governments love putting people in prison.

The U.S. has both the highest number of prisoners and the highest per capita incarceration rate in the modern world at 655 adults per 100,000. (It’s worth noting that China’s incarceration statistics are dubious, and they execute far more people than the United States. Indeed, the so-called People’s Republic executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined.)  Still, that’s more than 2.2 million Americans in state and federal prisons as well as county jails.

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01/17/19

Democrats undermine the special-ness of becoming an American

By: Lloyd Marcus

Delia, age 13, called Rush Limbaugh’s radio show seeking information for a school assignment.  She had to debate whether or not it should be easier for immigrants to become U.S. citizens.  Delia asked Rush his thoughts on the topic.

Here’s a small excerpt of Rush’s brilliant answer.

In order to preserve this country, it ought to be a very specific task for somebody, not a citizen, to become one.  If they come here via legal immigration, they do have to take a test.  And those who endeavor to become citizens and pass the test, it’s one of the most proud days of their lives.  If you’ve ever been to a naturalization ceremony or ever seen one televised, it’s one of the proudest days of their lives, to become, quote, unquote, an American.

I can personally testify to the truth of this statement in Rush’s answer: “it’s one of the proudest days of their lives, to become, quote, unquote, an American.”

For years, I sang my original song, “Celebrate America,” at monthly naturalization ceremonies in Maryland.  Every ceremony had a thousand people or more – applicants, families, and friends.  I enjoyed watching the excitement of the audience from my seat with dignitaries on stage behind the podium.

Citizenship ceremony in San Antonio, Texas (USAF photo by Diane Moffett).
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01/16/19

Stanford Bernstein Issued Yet Another Warning

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Tech stocks rallied after China ratcheted up stimulus to combat slowing growth.  The pound erased a decline against the dollar after British lawmakers overwhelmingly voted down a Brexit deal and planned a confidence vote on May’s government.

The potential stimulus in China and the weak data in our trading partner’s economies is spurring the belief of potentially looser monetary policies.

Earnings season accelerates today with the release of Bank America, and Goldman today and Netflix tomorrow.

To remind all, NFLX’s summer bombshell was the beginning catalyst for a selloff of the FAANG issues which in many regards abated at year end.

Stanford Bernstein issued a stark warning yesterday.  The company stated momentum stocks — those rising the most in the recent month and are closely connected to mega-sized technology companies — now display a valuation gap relative to losers, a gap that widened to levels not seen since the dot-com era of 2000 when this strategy tumbled 53% in the following six months.

The data is a sign of heightened risk in the popular strategy of chasing winners as money piles into the same names meaning a reversal could mean trouble.  Stanford Bernstein stated the spreads are much higher than they were in February 2009, a “catastrophic career-costing period for momentum.”  Additionally, the firm stated the PE ratios of high-momentum stocks are now double the price to earnings ratio of low-momentum shares.

What will happen today?

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.53%, Paris was up 0.17% and Frankfurt was down 0.17%. China was flat, Japan was down 0.55% and Hang Sang was up 0.27%.

The Dow should open flat. The 10-year is off 6/32 to yield 2.74%.

01/15/19

Ocasio-Cortez: Just As Fake As Socialism Itself

By: Frank Salvato

Just like the hollow promise given by Democrats when they passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, newly elected and former-waitress US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (P-NY), is waffling on whether or not she will refuse her salary during the so-called government shutdown. Ocasio-Cortez makes $174,000 annually as a US Representative.

The freshman Democrats shot her mouth off before the shutdown tweeting that Congress should “have some integrity” if the government should go unfunded by any impasse and refuse to take their salaries until all government workers could get paid.

Fast forward to the third week of the pay pause.

Facing the third week of the Democrats’ refusal to finance a border wall that they supported back in 2006, Ocasio-Cortez refused to respond to questions about whether she’d be accepting a paycheck while close to 800,000 federal go without. When queried by The New York Post last week on her decision, the 29-year-old representative said: “I’ve gotta run.”

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01/15/19

“Birth of the Prophet” event reveals power struggle between Egyptian president and grand imam

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

During Egypt’s Birth of the Prophet national holiday this past November, as per tradition the Egyptian president, Abdul Fatah Al Sisi, and the grand imam of Al Azhar Institute, Mohammed Al Tayib, accepted the invitation by the Egyptian Endowments Ministry to attend an annual religious event at the Al Azhar Institute.

President Al Sisi opened the event with his address to the gatherers. Directed at Al Tayib, he urged a renewal of discourse within Islam’s highest office. He zeroed in on the topic of Islam’s primitive husband “oral divorce” device. This was not the first time Al Sisi brought up the sensitive issue of reform. He had made an appeal one year earlier, only this time he went a step further.

Taking his cue from recent expressions by Egyptian thinkers and independent Islamic scholars who exposed the violence in the Quran and blamed the earliest interpretations found in Sunni books, Al Sisi suggested modification of the interpretations of the Sunah’s doctrinal verses regarding divorce. Ironically, it was Al Sisi’s government early last year that arrested, imprisoned, fined and censored the very Egyptian critics whose materials he used to defend his position before Al Ahzar.

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01/15/19

Nigerian Children Being Trafficked to Europe for Sex Slavery

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Remember back  in 2014 there was a devastating condition in Nigeria of abducted school girls? The Congressional Black Caucus back then demanded the girls be returned and the terror group be brought to justice.

Anyone wonder where the United Nations is on trafficking in Africa?

Anyway, at the time in 2014, Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Barbara Lee and Karen Bass (both D-CA) all gathered to hold a press conference outside the Nigerian embassy in Washington, DC to make declarations and demands.

As of March 2018, most of the 276 school girls have been freed and returned to their hometown, Dapchi, Nigeria. An estimated 60 escaped and others were sold, then released by Boko Haram while a few others were rescued.

But now there is another nasty condition and it is trafficking. Hello Europe?

Highly organised Nigerian gangs are earning “extremely high profits” from trafficking children into 12 European countries, including Ireland, for prostitution, according to the EU police agency.

Europol said victims generate a smuggling debt of between €30,000-€60,000 each — and that paying off the debts can take years.

The agency said Nigerian criminal groups are organised into cells, typically run by females, known as “madams,” with men working in supportive roles.

The Europol report on the trafficking and exploitation of underage victims said southern EU countries, such as Italy and Spain, are the main entry points for trafficked Nigerians.

It said victims are then forced into prostitution in both the two entry countries and 10 other member states, including Ireland.

It said Nigerian organised crime gangs pose a “great challenge” to EU law enforcement. It said they were well organised, but not structured like most other crime networks.

The Ramble: Human Trafficking and Boko Haram Refugees

“The typical Nigerian criminal group is not hierarchically structured but rather organised into cells, among which female suspects usually execute the core business [recruitment and exploitation], with male members having supportive roles,” said the report.

“Contrary to other criminal groups involved in human trafficking, where female members are generally employed as victim controllers, the figure of the ‘madam’, including acting as a ring leader, is central for the Nigerian THB [trafficking of human beings] business.”

The report said the cellular structure makes it easy to move victims and that if one cell is dismantled by police, the other cells can continue operating.

It said: “Nigerian networks generate extremely high criminal profits, as each victim is forced to pay back the organisation usually between €30,000 and €60,000.”

It said most victims of Nigerian gangs were aged between 15 and 17, though the reports documents children aged 11-15 and some aged six-10 and even under five.

The girls were often promised well-paid jobs. The gangs often involved family relatives to persuade the girls to move and in other cases use voodoo rituals.

It said victims are passed from trafficker to trafficker and are “frequently subjected to physical assaults” and subsequently sexually exploited.

About 9,000 Nigerian Women to Face Forced Prostitution in ...

So, where is the Congressional Black Caucus now? Well, they have moved on to water issues in Nigeria. Last July:

23 members from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) issued a letter of solidarity to the Our Water, Our Right Coalition in Nigeria which is leading an ongoing struggle for water access that has been sidelined for years by government attempts to privatize the water system. The letter makes direct connections between the struggle of the people of Lagos and that of people in U.S. cities like Flint and Detroit, Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Read more here.

Now we understand that trafficking of children is a selective scandal for the Democrats… those from Central and Latin America and those in Africa. Has anyone in the CBC spoken out to the media about the new conditions in Europe and Nigeria? Anyone?

One last item, this is not a new phenomenon:

In an interview with Reuters at the end of May, Julia Siluyanova of Russian anti-slavery group Alternativa said: “We discovered that about 30 [Nigerian women] were brought to the Confederations Cup in Moscow last year… we expect to face the same problem during the World Cup this year.”

Law enforcement agencies across Europe and other regions routinely rescue young Nigerian women who have been smuggled out of their home country to work in brothels.

Many are put through juju voodoo rituals before being smuggled abroad, during which they are convinced that their relatives will suffer death or serious illness if they refuse to follow the instructions of their traffickers.

In February, police in the UK and Spain arrested 12 members of an international Nigerian sex trafficking gang who were said to have pulled out their victims’ fingernails and made them eat raw chicken hearts during juju rituals.

01/15/19

PG&E Heads to Bankruptcy Due to Wildfire Liabilities

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

PG&E is the largest power company in the United States and is giving employees a 15-day notice of intent to file Chapter 11.

The catastrophic fires of 2017 and 2018 in California could reach upwards of $30 billion in damages and liability. The CEO has announced his exit and has been replaced on a temporary basis by the corporate lawyer, John Simon. PG&E serves 16 million customers and this legal process is not supposed to impact services for electric power or natural gas.

The November Camp fire that swept through a mountain community in California, killed 86 people and the property and business damage has yet to be estimated. It is estimated that PG&E has $1.5 billion in liquidity and could take as much as two years to recover from Chapter 11.

Meanwhile, there was quite the travel and play junket to Hawaii as those fires burned. What you say?

California lawmakers are no different from those in Congress taking little vacations at really bad times in the worst of bad judgement. (30+ Hispanic lawmakers, part of the BOLD PAC took a multi-lobby paid vacation to Puerto Rico during the government shutdown)

***

FNC: A group of California lawmakers took a trip to Hawaii with utility companies last year as wildfires wreaked havoc in their state.

During the junket, representatives from utility companies discussed with the bipartisan group of lawmakers just how much responsibility they should bear for wildfires – even as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) could be on the hook for several billions of dollars in damages for fires it caused over the past few years.

The utility companies are pushing for a new state law that would raise electricity prices to offset costs incurred from wildfires, according to The New York Times.

The annual event, hosted by the nonprofit Independent Voter Project, was held in Maui in November. PG&E executives did not attend the conference because of the wildfires, but representatives from San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison did, KABC-TV reported.

Those in attendance at the Wailea conference included California Assembly members Frank Bigelow, Bill Brough, Ian Calderon, Jim Cooper, Tom Daly, Heath Flora, Jim Frazier, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Freddie Rodriguez and Blanca Rubio. State Sens. Ben Hueso and Cathleen Galgiani also attended, nonprofit Consumer Watchdog reports.

Bigelow and Brough are Republicans. The rest of the group are Democrats.

Thanks to Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit that is dedicated to being a consumer advocate with regard to protecting taxpayers and taking on special interests regardless of party. Ah, but take caution, keep an eye on a possible financial bailout of PG&E. There are some energy billionaires out there that will lobby for financial assistance for PG&E.

It was just last June that a report was published revealing that PG&E has the makings of another Enron. For the highlights of that report, go here.

01/14/19

The Washington Post, Bezosgate, and the National Security State

By: Cliff Kincaid

The slogan of The Washington Post is “Democracy dies in darkness.” So I did a search of recent articles on its website about its billionaire owner, Jeff Bezos, who does business with the CIA and NSA and finds himself in the middle of a sex scandal that makes even liberals cringe. I found a story about his announced “split” with his wife in which a lawyer is quoted as saying “the couple’s amicable joint statement indicates that the split probably won’t be messy or protracted.” The lawyer added, “Sounds like they are making an effort to do this the right way and not make it into a public spectacle.”

The amicable statement has quickly turned into a public spectacle. The blockbuster from the National Enquirer is that, “Bezos —  a self-described ‘family man’ —  has been whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet, sending her raunchy messages and erotic selfies —  including one steamy picture too explicit to print here  —  and having secret rendezvous at palatial private estates.”

The “right way” to conduct a divorce has taken a cruel and nasty turn. “It’s going to be a beauty,” Trump said of the divorce. It’s a beauty that has turned ugly. His behavior, if the revelations are true, was immoral and reckless. On a personal level, he has embarrassed himself and his family. He and his wife have four children.   

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