Not new by any means…but still as relevant today as it was when it was released…
Not new by any means…but still as relevant today as it was when it was released…
Everyone should know what their rights are when dealing with law enforcement. The guy in this video nails it perfectly…polite, well versed, non-cooperative and firm in defending his rights & freedom.
“Apart from a full-fledged revolution initiated by the people against the corrupt federal government, it is highly likely that Congress will grant the FDA its funding increase, which will effectively turn up the heat of police state tyranny against American farmers and food growers. But the people can still make their voices heard by contacting their representatives and demanding that the FDA not receiving funding to implement the onerous provisions of FSMA.”
(NaturalNews) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested nearly $300 million in additional agency funding from Congress in order to implement the oppressive tenets of the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which will stifle American farmers and commercial food growers and potentially put many of them out of business. The FDA claims it is having to struggle through “tight budget times,” and insists that a roughly 17 percent budget increase over its 2013 budget will be needed for 2014.
If granted by Congress, the requested funding increase will bring the FDA’s overall operating budget to a massive $4.7 billion for the 2014 fiscal year, which is the highest it has ever been. This is in spite of the fact that FSMA is completely despotic, granting the FDA sweeping new authority over the cultivation, transport, and sale of food, particularly at the local level. As we covered many times in the past, FSMA will allow the FDA to preemptively regulate and control farmers and commercial food growers.” Full Story on Natural News
You can contact your Congressmen by visiting:
Food Safety Modernization Act Far More Costly Than Supporters Claimed (openmarket.org)
FDA requests $4.7 billion to implement food safety law (vitals.nbcnews.com)
Obama Administration Seeks FDA Funding Increase for FSMA Implementation (trackmycrop.wordpress.com)
Food Companies Must Prep For FDA & FSMA (drughealth.blogspot.com)
Q&A With Michael Taylor, Part I: The Next FSMA Rules and Imports (trackmycrop.wordpress.com)
White House Guts Food Safety Modernization Act, Testing Nixed (poisonedpets.com)
I’d like to point out that in the first article I link below, the author states that it is Republican-controlled legislatures who are responsible for private prisons…this is only partially the truth. Yes, organizations like ALEC and the prison industries they represent generally
bribe, er…give campaign contributions to Republican legislators…BUT… they are not at all above bribing contributing to Democratic lawmakers when it suits their purposes. Our very own former Democratic Guv’ner Bill Richardson received more campaign contributions from private prisons than any other policlown in the country at one point. Great shock that as soon as he was in power, private prison contracts in NM expanded, eh? (The REAL shock comes in the 2nd article linked here that talks about the fines our Republican Gov’ner Martinez just slapped our private prisons with.)
Bottom line is that private prisons and all of the various twisted off-spring of the industry are willing to do whatever it takes, work with whoever it takes and pay nearly whatever it takes to keep expanding their
slave trade industry and profit margins. It isn’t a matter of Right or Left anymore folks, it’s all about who can be bought and sold…both in our legislative bodies…and out here in our so-called ‘free’ society.
Think Progress, “In an unprecedented experiment fueled by budget concerns, Ohio sold a state prison to Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest private prison corporations in the country, in 2011. Within a year, a state audit of Lake Erie Correctional Institute, the nation’s first privately owned state prison, found rampant abuse and abysmal conditions well below state standards. The CCA prison was given another chance to pass, but flunked another inspection four months later.Independent reports continue to illuminate filthy, broken facilities, as well as much higher rates of crime and violence in and around the prison. On Tuesday, the ACLU of Ohio sent Ohio lawmakers a comprehensive timeline of the prison’s decline since CCA took over.
The Lake Erie prison is now reportedly overcrowded at 130 percent capacity, with single-person cells holding 3 inmates each, according to internal documents obtained by the ACLU. Assaults on guards and other inmates have skyrocketed by 40 percent.
In fact, on the same day the ACLU released their timeline, the Lake Erie prison had to tamp down a series of inmate fights that lead to the confinement of 500 inmates.
Private prison companies have been repeatedly caught cutting corners on space, sanitation, and staff in order to maximize their profits. As a result, deadly riots frequently break out at these facilities, sparked by poor food quality, lack of health care access, and unsanitary conditions.
Despite Lake Erie’s multiple violations of state standards, Ohio has stubbornly maintained its infatuation with private prisons. The state plans to outsource prison food to Aramark, a private vendor already under investigation in Kentucky for multiple contract violations, including serving old food that had not been stored properly and overbilling the state.
Republican-dominated state legislatures are all too eager to ignore the private prison industry’s dismal record. CCA and other companies like GEO are paying well to maintain their massively profitable government contracts; the industry spent $45 million on lobbying in the past decade. CCA has done especially well for itself, rebounding from near bankruptcy in 2000 to rake in a net income of $162 million in 2011.” Think Progress
New Mexico Slaps Private Prison Companies with $1.4 Million in Fines
Prison Legal News – “The departure of Bill Richardson as New Mexico’s governor has changed the previously lax business environment for the state’s private prison contractors. The new administration of Governor Susana Martinez is taking a more aggressive tone in demanding contractual compliance at privately-operated facilities that house state prisoners.
In March 2012, the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMDOC) imposed nearly $300,000 in fines against GEO Group, which operates three private prisons in the state. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) was also hit with $11,779 in fines for failing to properly staff the women’s prison in Grants.
Those fines were on top of another $1.1 million in penalties assessed in November 2011 due to GEO’s failure to adequately staff the Lea County Correctional Facility (LCCF). According to Shannon McReynolds, inspector general at the NMDOC, GEO Group agreed to pay the $1.1 million fine but was “not completely happy” about it. Additionally, the company agreed to spend $200,000 over the next year to recruit more employees at LCCF.
The penalties imposed against the company in March 2012, also for inadequate staffing, resulted from GEO’s failure to have enough guards in staffed positions at LCCF. There were also noncustodial positions, such as counselors for substance abuse and mental health treatment, that had remained vacant for more than 60 days.
Part of the $11,779 penalty against CCA came from not having enough guards at the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility. The largest part of the fine, $7,964.46, was due to CCA’s failure to release 15 prisoners on time. Records indicated that 13 of the 15 were released more than 30 days past their release date.
“These are taxpayer dollars that we are spending here,” McReynolds said. “When we spend these taxpayer dollars on these services, we need to make sure we’re getting those services.” New Mexico currently contracts with GEO Group and CCA to operate four facilities that hold state prisoners.
It was only after Governor Martinez took office that GEO and CCA had to worry about penalties for failing to fulfill their contractual obligations.” Full Article on PLN
American Police Force
Corrections Corporation of America
GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut)
Keefe Commissary Services
Management & Training Corporation
Maranatha Corrections LLC
Last week, I shared a story about the Levesque family in Terra Haute, Indiana who were forced to give up their pet chickens after the city abruptly decided that chickens are farm animals, not pets. Their story is both heartbreaking and infuriating and I’d like to ask the WordPress community to please support the Levesque’s as they fight to stop something like this from happening to other families – and to preserve their right to provide food (and education!) to their kids. Please take a moment to sign the petition below and then pass it around, email it, link it and share it as much as possible…
This fight isn’t just about one family in one city…laws and ordinances that restrict our ability to produce/grow our own food supply are popping up all over the place. If we do not fight them now, we will all pay the price (literally, at grocery stores when they are the only food source left) if we don’t stand up for ourselves – and each other – NOW.
Belle Plaine Discussing Urban Chickens (kcrg.com)
Connellsville Health Board cries foul to chicken farms in city (triblive.com)
More chickens allowed in Orlando (clickorlando.com)
Urban Chicken Bi-Laws in Winnipeg: What the CLUCK?! (mbfoodgeographies.wordpress.com)
Virginia government prosecutes homeowner with criminal charges for backyard chickens (secretsofthefed.com)
Hopewell’s growing backyard chicken business spurs “chicken chat” gatherings (nj.com)
Young Girl Rescues Family By Farming Chickens (nextworldtv.com)
Terra Haute Officials Force Family To Give Up Pet Chickens (misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com)
Is it cheaper to keep chickens or buy eggs? (chickentales.wordpress.com)
I guess I missed this at the time of the original shooting. Even though it’s slightly dated, I decided to share anyways just because it is so damned aggravating to see officers get away with carelessly breaking the law – and doing so without feeling any consequences for it. A man with no criminal history or background was shot by officers…while sleeping in his bed. Oopsy-daisy! They had the wrong person, it seems…and to pile insult atop injury, officers claim the shooting was “justified”…
“Only by sheer luck, the 29-year-old Dustin Theoharis from Auburn survived after being shot 16 times by two police officers who burst into his apartment without a warrant, looking for his arrested roommate’s gun.
Theoharis was crudely woken by two armed uniformed men who rushed into his room and started yelling out orders at him. He reacted in a way most people would, instinctively reaching for the flashlight by the bed. Detective Aaron Thompson and Corrections Officer Kris Rongen immediately responded by shooting the man 16 times.
Detective Benjamin Wheeler, one of four other officers present at the scene, came into the bedroom to find Theoharis in a pool of his blood and two baffled cops still in the state of shock. Luckily the man was rushed to the hospital fast enough for doctors to save his life.
Thompson and Rongen tried to justify their action by claiming that Theoharis reached for the gun, but no weapon was found in his room. The main reason this police action was organized was Theoharis’ roommate Nicholas Harrison, an ex-convict, failing to report for community supervision. Harrison was arrested before the raid and the police searched his place for weapons so they could charge him with parole violation.
The King County Prosecutor dropped all charges against the two officers, justifying the brutal shooting as a proper response to a “perceived risk” to their safety.”
I must confess that I never bothered to even look and see if our city has an ordinance against having hens before getting our girls a few weeks ago…I honestly don’t care what officials have to say about it; they have no right to dictate what I do in my yard s’long as I am not bothering or harming anyone… and should a problem arise, I will fight to keep my hens…and my personal freedom.
(WTHI) – “When you think of family pets, usually a dog or cat comes to mind, but for one Terre Haute family they say their life isn’t complete without the family hens. The only problem is their pets are a violation of city code.
It’s the kind of after school activity you see on a farm, collecting the eggs from the hen house.
“The prices (of eggs) in the store are almost two dollars a dozen with the exception of the holiday,” Kevin Levesque of Terre Haute said.
But the hen house we encountered is located on a backyard farm. Kevin Levesque’s in the city of Terre Haute.
“That was the baseline for it pretty much for more eggs and to teach the kids a little more than just a dog and a cat,” Levesque said.
But a few weeks ago the Levesques were told their hen house pets are a violation of city code; for having farm animals in a residential zone.
“If you look up the definition of farm animal at USLAW.org it doesn’t include chickens,” Kevin said.” Full Story Here
Excerpt from the Change.org Petition to help the Levesque’s in the fight for food freedom:
“For two years, Various city officials would tell people that as long as no neighbors complained, there was no ordinance against it. Now in 2013, we are suddenly being told that there are such ordinances disallowing chickens and that after 2 years we must now find another place for them. Meaning we must get rid of our family pets that our children have raised from 2 days old and grown to love.
We want the government to realize that chickens are important many citizens of Terre Haute. Major cities across the United States are coming to realize that chickens bring a Green initiative to their cities. Raising local chickens increase food awareness, reduce transportation cost, and supply the community with a level of sustainability. One example of this would be during emergency situations where government assistance can focus on other pressing issues as was the case in 2005 with the massive flooding that decimated so much farm land along the Wabash River and dislodged so many local citizens.
Chickens aren’t farm animals they are beautiful and entertaining pets that provide many benefits. Homegrown eggs are without hormones or chemicals, are higher in nutrients, lower in cholesterol, and taste 10 times better that store-bought. Chickens will eat anything that moves, meaning they eat ticks (that carry lyme disease), fleas, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, stink bugs, slugs, and even mice, baby rats, and small snakes. Chickens are fun, loving, and really should be considered domestic pets…”
- Robert Wadman, emeritus Weber State University criminal justice professor-
Excerpt, Standard Examiner – “Law enforcement officials agree: Police execute a “door kick” somewhere in Weber County, on average, once every week.
The forced entries range from a welfare check, when neighbors become concerned as newspapers pile up on someone’s porch and the family car is parked in the driveway.
At the other end of the spectrum are the full-on, SWAT-style raids with helmeted officers battering down a door unannounced, such as the Sept. 16, 2010, entry that left the suspect, Todd Blair, fatally shot.
Officials point to the frequency of door kicks, in police parlance, that occur without publicity or complaint as proof they’re benign — only a small percentage go awry. They steadfastly maintain they are crucial, the swift deployment necessary for officer safety and to keep suspects from destroying evidence.
But there are critics concerned about the increase in the commando-style entries, also known as a breach.
The American Civil Liberties Union recently announced a nationwide investigation of the “militarization” of police departments, simultaneously filing 255 public records requests in 24 states on March 6.
Among 18 Utah agencies whose records were requested are the Ogden, Roy and Brigham City police departments and the Weber and Cache county sheriff’s offices.
The agencies have been asked to provide data on SWAT team deployments and injuries during the deployments, weaponry used, and the level of funding for armament and equipment from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
The ACLU decried militarization as an erosion “of civil liberties encouraging increasingly aggressive policing.”
In the wake of high-profile, lethal-force incidents involving officers, police brass and prosecutors have defended the strong-arm tactics as necessary in an increasingly violent world.
“Officers plan for the worst and hope for the best,” said Ogden Police Lt. Will Cragun. “It’s easy to second-guess after the fact, but you need to get down in the dirt with us to know what’s going on.”
Officials typically point to recent mass shootings around the country as a constant reminder to officers to be on their guard.
Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham noted the Columbine High School shootings of 1999, where 12 students and a teacher were killed and 21 injured, moved him to make his department the first in the state to put A-4 automatic rifles in the trunks of all patrol cars.
“I will always err on the side of getting my officers home at the end of their shift,” he said.
In an earlier news story about the ACLU records request, Weber County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Klint Anderson said the problem is “the militarization of our criminals.”
Anderson said law enforcement is seeing “criminals who have military experience and military training.”
“They are better armed, better trained and more dangerous than before.”
Jim Retallick, veteran Ogden public defender, and other defense attorneys argue there are other ways to serve search warrants than the military-style door kicks.
“Hell yes, it’s getting dangerous,” Retallick said. “For seven people to get shot over marijuana is ridiculous.”
He is referring to the Jan. 4, 2012, forced-entry raid on the Ogden home of Matthew David Stewart. Six officers were shot, one fatally. Stewart was also wounded, hospitalized and jailed and now awaits trial, facing the death penalty…” Full Article Here
***Warning: Video Contains Graphic & Heartbreaking Footage***
Grow your garden outdoors, officials will bust you, fine you and demand that your ‘eyesore’ be removed from their cookie cutter communities…try to be nice and plant your veggies indoors where the neighbors can’t complain…and SWAT is going to come bust in your door and seize your uh…squash. After all, everyone knows that the only thing hydroponic equipment could ever be used for is growing that terrifying plant known as “Pot”, right?
The Activist Post – “Did you know that buying hydroponic growing equipment is now being used as probable cause for the government to raid your house?
Neither did Bob and Addie Harte, a Kansas couple who were raided by SWAT without a warrant last April because the authorities took notice of their purchase of indoor gardening items.
The illegal raid turned up “just six plants — three tomato plants, one melon plant and two butternut squash plants — growing in the basement”, and now the couple is suing the sheriff’s department.
The Associated Press reports:
~Two former CIA employees whose Kansashome was fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor growing supplies to raise vegetables.
Adlynn and Robert Harte sued this week to get more information about why sheriff’s deputies searched their home in the upscale Kansas City suburb of Leawood last April 20 as part of Operation Constant Gardener.~
It seem peculiar that the couple are former CIA agents. Perhaps government watches their former employees’ purchases more closely?
“With little or no other evidence of any illegal activity, law enforcement officers make the assumption that shoppers at the store are potential marijuana growers, even though the stores are most commonly frequented by backyard gardeners who grow organically or start seedlings indoors,” the lawsuit says.
“If this can happen to us and we are educated and have reasonable resources, how does somebody who maybe hasn’t led a perfect life supposed to be free in this country?” Adlynn Harte told the Associated Press.
The lawsuit says the Harte children (7 and 13) were traumatized when deputies wearing bullet-proof vests armed with assault rifles pounded on their door.
“It was just like on the cops TV shows,” Robert Harte told The Associated Press. “It was like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ ready to storm the compound.”
“You can’t go into people’s homes and conduct searches without probable cause,” said Harte’s attorney Cheryl Pilate.” Source
“Playful and theatrical by nature, Di Marzo gestured his umbrella toward the helicopter.
“I can’t believe I did that now,” Di Marzo said. “It really makes me shake every time I think about it.”
The Olympian – “A typical Tuesday morning for 42-year-old Michael Di Marzo quickly became a citywide multi-jurisdictional manhunt for him and what witnesses thought was a assault rifle in his hand.
Three schools were locked down and delayed as police scoured the area by ground and air, looking for a man described by a teenage tipster as wearing black clothes and a ski mask.
It wasn’t realized until hours later what was believed to be something along the lines of an AR-15 or AK-47 was more of a AU-15: a 15-inch compact “assault umbrella.”
The “ski mask” was a pulled-up black turtle neck sweater paired with a black watch cap.
Di Marzo had no idea he was at the center of the hunt as he continued about his day March 12, visiting his mother, who had been suffering from complications with diabetes, and doing errands around town.
He took his usual bus routes through town and returned home around 2 p.m., walking the rest of the way through his east Olympia neighborhood.
That’s when he noticed a helicopter overhead.
“I didn’t know what it was whether police or news or what, but it was circling a lot and seemed to be circling right over me a lot and it was shining this little green light,” Di Marzo said.
Playful and theatrical by nature, Di Marzo gestured his umbrella toward the helicopter.
“I can’t believe I did that now,” Di Marzo said. “It really makes me shake every time I think about it.
“I thought it was this oppressive thing; I don’t like how many helicopters fly over anyway.”
A neighbor shouted over to Di Marzo, telling him about the situation. He learned more after he got home and checked his message machine.
“The helicopter had followed me all the way down Quince to right above the house then flew off,” Di Marzo said.
It didn’t take long for police to come knocking at his door. Police had seen video footgage of Di Marzo riding the Transit City bus in the morning and had tracked him, Di Marzo said.
“That kind of freaked me out,” Di Marzo said…” Full Story
Guess anyone could get confused, eh?
Excerpts, The Economic Collapse Blog, “How would you describe an industry that wants to put more Americans in prison and keep them there longer so that it can make more money? In America today, approximately 130,000 people are locked up in private prisons that are being run by for-profit companies, and that number is growing very rapidly. Overall, the U.S. has approximately 25 percent of the entire global prison population even though it only has 5 percent of the total global population. The United States has the highest incarceration rate on the entire globe by far, and no nation in the history of the world has ever locked up more of its own citizens than we have. Are we really such a cesspool of filth and decay that we need to lock up so many of our own people? Or are there some other factors at work? Could part of the problem be that we have allowed companies to lock up men and women in cages for profit? The two largest private prison companies combined to bring in close to $3,000,000,000 in revenue in 2010, and the largest private prison companies have spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade. Putting Americans behind bars has become very big business, and those companies have been given a perverse incentive to push for even more Americans to be locked up. It is a system that is absolutely teeming with corruption, and it is going to get a lot worse unless someone does something about it…”
“…At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum. And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call “highly skilled positions…”
With well over 2 million people in jail – the U.S. has the world’s biggest prison population. But some are seeing the inside of a cell because dodgy judges are getting payback from the private sector…
“For more than 30 years, ALEC has been the ideal means of creating and delivering public policy ideas aimed at protecting and expanding our free society. Thanks to ALEC’s membership, the duly elected leaders of their state legislatures, Jeffersonian principles advise and inform legislative action across the country. Literally hundreds of dedicated ALEC members have worked together to create, develop, introduce and guide to enactment many of the cutting-edge, conservative policies that have now become the law in the states. Since its founding, ALEC has amassed an unmatched record of achieving ground-breaking changes in public policy. ALEC’s far-reaching national network of state legislators that crosses geographic and political boundaries, and affects all levels of government, is without equal. [Emphasis mine] No other organization in America today can claim as many valuable assets – both people and ideas – that have influence on as many key decision-making centers.” Learn More About ALEC
Wearing bulletproof vests and carrying 40-caliber Glock pistols, nine California Justice Department agents assembled outside a ranch-style house in a suburb east of Los Angeles. They were looking for a gun owner who’d recently spent two days in a mental hospital.
They knocked on the door and asked to come in. About 45 minutes later, they came away peacefully with three firearms…
Bloomberg News ”California is the only state that tracks and disarms people with legally registered guns who have lost the right to own them, according to Attorney General Kamala Harris. Almost 20,000 gun owners in the state are prohibited from possessing firearms, including convicted felons, those under a domestic violence restraining order or deemed mental unstable.
“What do we do about the guns that are already in the hands of persons who, by law, are considered too dangerous to possess them?” Harris said in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden after a Connecticut school shooting in December left 26 dead. She recommended that Biden, heading a White House review of gun policy, consider California as a national model.
As many as 200,000 people nationwide may no longer be qualified to own firearms, according to Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis. Other states may lack confiscation programs because they don’t track purchases as closely as California, which requires most weapons sales go through a licensed dealer and be reported…
…The no-gun list is compiled by cross-referencing files on almost 1 million handgun and assault-weapon owners with databases of new criminal records and involuntary mental-health commitments. About 15 to 20 names are added each day, according to the attorney general’s office.
Merely being in a database of registered gun owners and having a “disqualifying event,” such as a felony conviction or restraining order, isn’t sufficient evidence for a search warrant, Marsh said March 5 during raids in San Bernardino County. So the agents often must talk their way into a residence to look for weapons, he said.
At a house in Fontana, agents were looking for a gun owner with a criminal history of a sex offense, pimping, according to the attorney general’s office. Marsh said that while the woman appeared to be home, they got no answer at the door. Without a warrant, the agents couldn’t enter and had to leave empty- handed…
…The state Senate agreed March 7 to expand the seizure program using $24 million in surplus funds from fees that gun dealers charge buyers for background checks.” Full Story on Bloomberg News
Charged with a crime…*AHEM* for laughing too loudly…in your own damn apartment. Can you imagine??? I better start keep a rag handy to stuff in my mouth during moments of joy and humor because I have a ROARING laugh and gosh…I’d hate to be arrested for it should it ever offend the neighbors!
WFSB – “A Long Island man says he didn’t know it was a crime to laugh.
Robert Schiavelli of Rockville Centre was slapped with two summonses for “disturbing the peace.”
Police responded to his home on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 after receiving complaints from his next-door-neighbor that his loud laughs could be heard across the driveway.
The 42-year-old was charged with acting “in such a manner as to annoy, disturb, interfere with, obstruct, or be offensive to others.”
At his arraignment Tuesday, a judge declined to dismiss the charges.
Schiavelli told the New York Post his neighbor often taunts him due to his disability. He learned to deal with it by laughing him off.
Schiavelli suffers from seizures and neurological impairments.” Source
How nice to get a full video demonstration of the newly retrofitted ‘light armored’ tanks ready for deployment in New Mexico and W. Texas…yippeefreakingkayay!
Welcome to the Wild West, DHS style…
The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted
2,717* of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States. *An earlier version of this post included a figure of over 2,700 vehicles, as cited from the original RT link. This figure likely comes from a press release from Navistar Defense, mentioning delivery of 2,717 to the U.S. Marine Corps. A DHS Spokesman confirmed with Business Insider that they have only 16 nationwide.
For those of you who may be wondering…yes, I absolutely feel 100% safe and secure living here now that I know DHS is so well equipped as to be able to pluck us off the roadways (while not even having to worry about those pesky street mines!) as they drive…
…Oh…and if you actually believe me? Well…I’ve got some nice ocean front property for sale, too..!
These checkpoints are on every road leading out of Lost Causes. They are intimidating as hell; more often than not you feel like you’re getting swarmed as one agent leans in your window to question you and others run drug dogs and mirrors around your car. I’ve watched them grow from porta-potty sized outposts that were almost never open and usually manned by a single agent into something akin to the checkpoint you’d expect entering prison grounds. Millions and millions of dollars have been spent building these places up into outright terrifying and militarized monstrosities.
Checkpoints (some would say illegal checkpoints) have been popping up quite frequently in the USA. As you see in this video, you DO NOT have to comply with their question’s or demands. Don’t forget, you have rights.
A note of caution to folks who are not accustomed to the checkpoints or who may not be aware of the consequences of what can happen if they decide to challenge the agents…
Agents are armed. They have police dogs, tazers, pepper spray and of course, guns. LOTS of guns. Some seem to be young kids who either piss themselves…or overreact with attitude when their authority is challenged. Others are older men with a real abrasive attitude that jump on every word you say to screw with you. A few are polite and one or two have seemed apologetic for what they’re doing. It’s a game of roulette as to which type is likely to be pushing themselves into your space to question you so be prepared for anything. Agents assume innocent things are a sign of guilt – don’t remove your sunglasses? They assume you are hiding something and react accordingly. Don’t mute your stereo because you’re jamming to your favorite song? You’re a punk and probably have drugs. Smile and be too nice? You are a suspicious hippie bastard, better check you out.
I have seen people cuffed and down on their knees on concrete in the blazing sun…and I’ve seen cars being dismantled – and if I understand correctly, once they have turned your car into a completely disassembled scrap heap, they are under no obligation to RE-assemble the vehicle. Call a tow truck, the bill is on YOU even if you are 100% innocent of any wrongdoing. Keep that in mind if you’re asked to pull over into a secondary lane…once they get you there, you are pretty much screwed.
As I put my fingers to keyboard to type out an intro to this article, I took a long, deep breath & sighed…then I realized that act is almost a pre-post ritual for me these days. Either I am getting particularly ornery and snarky in my middle-young age or else the world around me is getting to be more insane by the minute…or both?
A man is facing a possible FIVE YEAR PRISON TERM…for releasing a bundle of balloons…tell me that doesn’t spin your head around backwards at least once…?!
From the Sun Sentinel – “Anthony Brasfield saw romance when he released a dozen heart-shaped balloons into the sky over Dania Beach with his sweetie. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper saw a felony.
Brasfield, 40, and his girlfriend, Shaquina Baxter, were in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Dania Beach Boulevard when he released the shiny red and silver mylar balloons and watched them float away Sunday morning.
Also watching the romantic gesture: an FHP trooper, who instead noted probable cause for an environmental crime.
Brasfield was charged with polluting to harm humans, animals, plants, etc. under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act.
Endangered marine turtle species and birds, such as wood storks and brown pelicans, seek refuge in John U. Lloyd State Park, about 1.5 miles east of the motel.
Between 2008 and 2012, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said there were 21 arrests statewide under the rarely used environmental crime statute. The third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.” Source: Sun Sentinel
That Florida would be the state to charge a man with a felony for releasing a batch o’ love balloons for his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day really isn’t all that shocking if you consider that this is the same state about to name a college stadium after a private prison corporation. I wonder if GEOGroup is really getting hard up for new
clients, er, customers…uh…prisoners..! and is applying pressure on state officials to provide more ’criminals’ for them…or if this officer is really such an ignorant hardass as to see no other possible choice (outrageous things like oh..a warning ticket, a few minutes of environmental education…) but to slap someone making a romantic (tho careless/stupid) gesture with a full out FELONY charge which will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the end?
There is nothing unintentional about what has happened with our incarceration rates and prison system in this country over the past 2 decades or so. Since the latest scheme of enslaving people has taken root in this country, everything has gone exactly according to the plans of the slave-owners, a.k.a. the private prison industry- which is supported and funded by the very legislators we elect.
To call the current system a ‘poverty trap’ is an understatement…it isn’t an accidental trap; it is intentional and well planned. Every time something is proven to reduce recidivism rates, that *something* is magically removed from the equation. Strong outside ties help prisoners? Well then, let’s move prisoners farther from home, charge outrageous rates for phone calls and then…ah yes…let’s go ALL out and mandate that prisoners only be allowed to receive 1 postcard a month instead of long letters from home…
And if poverty increases incarceration rates well by all means…let’s make it impossible for anyone even arrested to ever rise above the poverty and earn their way out of the system via legal employment. There is no profit to be made by allowing people to serve a short, fitting sentence for actual crimes (vs non-crimes such as drug use) and then letting them return to the free world and get on with the business of earning a real living wage and becoming part of productive society and our legislators (you know, those folks who own stock in prison companies or at the very least, accept
bribes campaign contributions from prison companies) damn well know it.
Excerpts, NYTimes- “The shift to tougher penal policies three decades ago was originally credited with helping people in poor neighborhoods by reducing crime. But now that America’s incarceration rate has risen to be the world’s highest, many social scientists find the social benefits to be far outweighed by the costs to those communities.
“Prison has become the new poverty trap,” said Bruce Western, a Harvard sociologist. “It has become a routine event for poor African-American men and their families, creating an enduring disadvantage at the very bottom of American society.”
Among African-Americans who have grown up during the era of mass incarceration, one in four has had a parent locked up at some point during childhood. For black men in their 20s and early 30s without a high school diploma, the incarceration rate is so high — nearly 40 percent nationwide — that they’re more likely to be behind bars than to have a job.
No one denies that some people belong in prison. Mr. Harris, now 47, and his wife, 45, agree that in his early 20s he deserved to be there. But they don’t see what good was accomplished by keeping him there for two decades, and neither do most of the researchers who have been analyzing the prison boom.
The number of Americans in state and federal prisons has quintupled since 1980, and a major reason is that prisoners serve longer terms than before. They remain inmates into middle age and old age, well beyond the peak age for crime…
…Epidemiologists have found that when the incarceration rate rises in a county, there tends to be a subsequent increase in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy, possibly because women have less power to require their partners to practice protected sex or remain monogamous.
When researchers try to explain why AIDS is much more prevalent among blacks than whites, they point to the consequences of incarceration, which disrupts steady relationships and can lead to high-risk sexual behavior. When sociologists look for causes of child poverty and juvenile delinquency, they link these problems to the incarceration…” Full Story Here
The world needs more thinking and more medicine like what is accomplished with projects like Unlikely Friends.
“The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world with one out of 32 Americans under criminal justice supervision. The rest of the world is intrigued by the paradox that the leading democracy in the free world imprisons so many of its citizens, 25% of the total prisoners worldwide.
UNLIKELY FRIENDS documents victims of brutal crimes who, through forgiveness, unexpectedly become friends with their perpetrators.
Finding a criminal justice system that has left them empty and unsupported, these victims of unspeakable crimes forgive out of a deep need to heal themselves, which in turn motivates the perpetrator to fully account for their actions and thereby begin the process of true rehabilitation.
These relationships, so unfathomable for most of us, open our thinking to new possibilities of how to transform a system ensconced in punishment and retribution to one of restorative justice that is based in humanity.”
Hate begets hate; healing begets healing…it is not a difficult concept to grasp but it isn’t one that is promoted nearly enough. All of the ridiculous fear-based propaganda like “TOUGH ON CRIME” has taken root in our society’s thought process and we are just now beginning to see and feel the ramifications of that school of thought…More prisons, more abuses, more crimes, more violence…more, more and more of everything that is unhealthy and damaging to us all.
Politricksters who stand to profit from the private prison industry have no reason to reverse anything they have accomplished so it is once again up to US – The People – to instigate the change. I don’t care if you are a ‘bleeding heart liberal’ that thinks we can abolish prisons entirely or an ‘uber-conservative rightwinger’ that is simply fed up with the exorbitant amount of your taxes being spent on prisons…it behooves all of us to do whatever is necessary to halt the revenge-based and profit-driven prison system from rooting itself even more deeply into our societies. (Yes, plural…ALL societies are at risk of being over-run and destroyed by this cancerous growth; it is NOT just an American problem.)
Proliferation, Paul Rucker
Animated mapping of the US Prison system set to original music.
Green Dots: 1778-1900
Yellow Dots: 1901-1940
Orange Dots: 1941-1980
Red Dots: 1981-2005
The only way to make an idea take hold and start to grow is to keep promoting it so please help spread the word (Loudly, repetitively and often!). The intent of this project is health-based and healing-based…but unless more people hear about it, there is little hope of the spark becoming a wildfire. If you also think it is time to stop the hate and turn towards true healing then fan the flames of forgiveness and share the message(s) and help promote projects like Unlikely Friends as much as you can…social media is our most powerful tool right now, I think and here is another opportunity to use it for good!
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This is…well…unnerving…and chilling.
(May 2012) Military assault demonstrations at the ISOF 2012 conference in Tampa bay, Florida. The participating SOF teams came from 10 allied nations: Australia, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Jordan, Norway, Poland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and included American SEALs, Green Berets, Air Force Combat Controllers, and US Marines. This year ISOF’s theme is “Building the Global SOF Partnership.” This is composed of mutually supporting partners working to identify and preemptively address problems, and helping to defeat the appeal of violent extremism.
So…you want a revolution, eh? Pissed off…fed up…you know bad things are going bump in the night but don’t know which way to turn for help when officers are murdering people – and pets – all over the place. Your government representatives have gone deaf and blind. Your online activity is not only not private, but can and will be used against you in court…doors are getting bashed in, your milk is no longer legal, your neighbors can vanish and be indefinitely detained & families are being terrorized by armed and masked SWAT men in the middle of the night…
It is time to do something…NOW!!
Enough is enough!! Our founding fathers would not have stood for this and neither should we!!
The time for a revolution is at hand…!
No one can deny that we are in dire straits both as a nation and as part of the global community of human beings…things are not good and changes absolutely must be made before we all end up in darker times and conditions than most of us could ever dream of living in – or even surviving. But…since it is premature to jump into a revolution…and it is obvious that we cannot continue on the path we’re on without serious negative consequences, where does that leave us?
I wish I could drop a big, happy rainbow here and say that there is no reason to worry, our leaders will all come to their senses soon and everything will be hunky-dory. I’d be a liar if I did. I honestly don’t think that things are going to be “okay” in the sense that we want for a long time to come still. The price of…everything…has risen so it seems. It’s not actually that prices are any higher – it’s that the dollar is lower, worth less…bottom line either way is that you get fewer items for more Monopoly Money than ever before. There is no denying the rise of the police state and ever tightening laws that are strangling us on every level from personal to business. The war machine is rolling over countries left, right and sideways; it is the Hexxus of Fern Gully, out of control and oozing death and destruction everywhere it goes. We find it acceptable to imprison citizens in order to satisfy corpo-political pigs and keep them all feeding at the trough of profit via human slavery…
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