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The agonizing ecstasies

by Susie
Of male contraception!

Your turn, fellas.

Wells Fargo and their for-profit prisons

Wow. So this is what’s taken the place of mortgages as the banking cash cow? From Salon:

As Wells Fargo has grown over the years, using its bailout funds to gobble up rival Wachovia and expand to the East Coast, so has the U.S. prison population. By 2008, one in 100 American adults were either in jail or in prison – and one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34, many simply for non-violent offenses, justice not so much blind as bigoted. Overall, more than 2.3 million people are currently behind bars, up 50 percent in the last 15 years, the land of the free now accounting for a full quarter of the world’s prisoners.

These developments are not unrelated.

A driving force behind the push for ever-tougher sentences is the for-profit prison industry, in which Wells Fargo is a major investor. Flush with billions in bailout money and an economic system designed to siphon wealth from the working class to the idle rich, Wells Fargo has been busy expanding its stake in the GEO Group, the second largest private jailer in America. At the end of 2011, Wells Fargo was the company’s second-largest investor, holding 4.3 million shares valued at more than $72 million. By March 2012, its stake had grown to more than4.4 million shares worth $86.7 million.

Unfortunately, it’s a safe investment. While a 50 percent growth in the number of human beings our society cages in rape factories may sound impressive – or perhaps the word is “revolting” – a study released last year by the Justice Policy Institute found that the private prison industry grew by more than 350 percent over the last decade and a half. While other industries of course benefit from state-granted privileges, companies like GEO profit by the state literally kidnapping and handing them clientèle, particularly as of late about-to-be-deported immigrants, of which President Barack Obama has ensured there is a steady, record-breaking supply.

“All prisons are awful,” says Melanie Pinkert, an activist based in Washington, DC, who along with other members of Occupy DC’s “Criminal Injustice Committee” is helping lead a boycott of Wells Fargo, which just expanded to the nation’s capital. “But private prisons take it to the next level.” Indeed, a recent report from the U.S. Justice Department found that at one GEO-run juvenile facility in Mississippi, sexual abuse was endemic, “among the worst that we have seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.” According to the report, GEO staff demonstrated:
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‘Gateway sexual activity’

by Susie

Fundie Christians are, indeed, a bunch of control freaks. And much like their Middle Eastern sharia-loving counterparts, they won’t be happy until marriages are arranged by parents without the parties concerned actually even meeting before the ceremony. I suppose this law, if passed, will encourage hoards of flashlight-carrying volunteer Sex Police patrolling the local lovers’ lanes.

But really, it’s that they just can’t bear the thought of someone having unpunished fun somewhere:

MEMPHIS, TN – (WMC-TV) – Tennessee senators approved an update to the state’s abstinence-based sex education law that includes warnings against “gateway sexual activity.”

In a new family life instructions bill, holding hands and kissing could be considered gateways to sex. Planned Parenthood said that allowing state government to define local sex education curriculum could backfire.

According to a 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Study, 61 percent of Memphis City high school students and 27 percent of middle school students have had sex. That’s higher than the national average.

Planned Parenthood said these numbers are why a new sex education bill promoting abstinence is not realistic.

“If the state of Tennessee gets to create the curriculum, it has to create something that umbrella reflects everyone,” said Planned Parenthood Director of Education Elokin CaPese.

Tennessee House Bill 3621 and Senate Bill 3310 are currently up for debate.

In the bill, a uniformed policy on sex education is defined with terms like “gateway sexual activity.” Also listed are statewide instructions on how to teach family life curriculum.

[…] If an instructor goes beyond the curriculum, the bill gives parents more legal rights, stating, “The parent or legal guardian shall have a cause of action against the instructor or organization for actual damages.”

Let him fly

Dixie Chicks cover Patty Griffith:

I’m a racehorse

by Susie
Wild Flag, fronted by Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney:

It’s about time you wrote…

Big Oil’s propaganda gusher

From ThinkProgress:

A handful of outside groups, fueled by oil and coal dollars, are committing tens of millions to propel Big Oil to the forefront of the 2012 elections — outspending the Obama campaign on political energy ads by an overwhelming amount.

In the first three-and-a-half months of 2012, groups including Americans for Prosperity, American Petroleum Institute, Crossroads GPS, and American Energy Alliance have spent $16,750,000 on energy attack ads…

By comparison, the Obama campaign and his super PAC have spent at least $1.67 million defending the president’s energy record.

Anyone else for campaign finance reform?

He stays a stranger…

by Odd Man Out

By Odd Man Out

From The Telegraph:

A judge in Washington DC has allowed the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency to use a loophole to keep information from MPs that might include information about the complicity of UK authorities in extraordinary rendition.

Under US freedom of information laws, the release of documents to anyone representing a foreign government can be blocked.

According to the Independent [newspaper], the CIA won the ruling after the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition made a number of requests for information while members investigated the UK’s knowledge of torture against terror suspects.

Tony Lloyd, vice-chairman of the cross-party group, told the newspaper the judgment was “disappointing” and had been sought to avoid embarrassment.

“It suggests this material is not really something that affects national security or intelligence, but is being withheld to prevent the embarrassment of officials,” he said.

Imagine the arrogance — Britain, the closest ally of the United States, requests information from the U.S. about the activities of British officials and is essentially told to piss off. Is the court guarding information that’s merely embarrassing, or is the information potentially incriminating? So much for the pursuit of justice.

The news story is reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, which is party about U.S.-British cooperation on extraordinary rendition and torture, with Pierce Brosnan as a thinly veiled version of Tony Blair. Except that in this case you can’t say, “It’s only a movie.”

Goofy guy, goofy girl…

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