The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

 

Just added February 18 2012

The actually cost more and are more of a danger to the public.

A couple of thing from report.

A 1992 study by the New

Mexico Corrections Department showed that guards at a private CCA-run women’s correctional facility were pressured to issue disciplinary infractions to inmates that resulted in prolonging their incarceration out of a desire on the part of CCA executives to maximize quarterly dividends.

Prison-for-profit inmates were more likely to report a lack of structure in their day. The difference stems from the fact that public prisons force its inmates to participate in rehabilitation activities while the prisonfor- profit does little to promote these programs. another benefit to the private prison industry, because rehabilitated offenders do not fill private prison beds and therefore do not generate profits.

There fore private prison promote prisons to re-offend costing tax payer more money in the end.

Sometimes private prison operators are so greedy for revenue-generating human beings to fill their cells that they bribe judges to sentence children to serious jail time for the most minor and trivial of offenses.

The IRS sued CCA in 2002 after its audit of the company suggested it was abusing tax loopholes to avoid paying its share of federal taxes.

Some do not even pay their taxes. So they have to be sued to get them to pay them which cost tax payer more money.

Privatizing prisons remove responsibility from the state’s elected representatives and makes it more difficult for the facilities to be held accountable by the public.

Less Guards  working for less money caused safety issues for the guards, who are also not well trained either.

Not mentioned in the report.

There is also a job lose issue which was not mentioned. There are fewer Guards per capita working in private prisons then in state run ones. Privatization caused job losses.

The less people working the less income tax that is paid. The smaller wages also mean those guards are paying less taxes as well.

There is much more to read ans everyone should understand what has been happening so read the report and be informed.

A report of the Privatization of Prisons in the US

 

So lets start with a report from 2008.

There were only 2 million prisoners then.

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

by Vicky Pelaez

March 10, 2008

El Diario-La Prensa, New York

Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. “This multimillion-dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors.”

According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.

CRIME GOES DOWN, JAIL POPULATION GOES UP

According to reports by human rights organizations, these are the factors that increase the profit potential for those who invest in the prison industry complex:

. Jailing persons convicted of non-violent crimes, and long prison sentences for possession of microscopic quantities of illegal drugs. Federal law stipulates five years’ imprisonment without possibility of parole for possession of 5 grams of crack or 3.5 ounces of heroin, and 10 years for possession of less than 2 ounces of rock-cocaine or crack. A sentence of 5 years for cocaine powder requires possession of 500 grams – 100 times more than the quantity of rock cocaine for the same sentence. Most of those who use cocaine powder are white, middle-class or rich people, while mostly Blacks and Latinos use rock cocaine. In Texas, a person may be sentenced for up to two years’ imprisonment for possessing 4 ounces of marijuana. Here in New York, the 1973 Nelson Rockefeller anti-drug law provides for a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years to life for possession of 4 ounces of any illegal drug.

. The passage in 13 states of the “three strikes” laws (life in prison after being convicted of three felonies), made it necessary to build 20 new federal prisons. One of the most disturbing cases resulting from this measure was that of a prisoner who for stealing a car and two bicycles received three 25-year sentences.

. Longer sentences.

. The passage of laws that require minimum sentencing, without regard for circumstances.

. A large expansion of work by prisoners creating profits that motivate the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time.

. More punishment of prisoners, so as to lengthen their sentences.

HISTORY OF PRISON LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES

Prison labor has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of “hiring out prisoners” was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else’s land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery – which were almost never proven – and were then “hired out” for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of “hired-out” miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972.

During the post-Civil War period, Jim Crow racial segregation laws were imposed on every state, with legal segregation in schools, housing, marriages and many other aspects of daily life. “Today, a new set of markedly racist laws is imposing slave labor and sweatshops on the criminal justice system, now known as the prison industry complex,” comments the Left Business Observer.

Who is investing? 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.” At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous. There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.

Thanks to prison labor, the United States is once again an attractive location for investment in work that was designed for Third World labor markets. A company that operated a maquiladora (assembly plant in Mexico near the border) closed down its operations there and relocated to San Quentin State Prison in California. In Texas, a factory fired its 150 workers and contracted the services of prisoner-workers from the private Lockhart Texas prison, where circuit boards are assembled for companies like IBM and Compaq.

[Former] Oregon State Representative Kevin Mannix recently urged Nike to cut its production in Indonesia and bring it to his state, telling the shoe manufacturer that “there won’t be any transportation costs; we’re offering you competitive prison labor (here).”

PRIVATE PRISONS

The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling like hotcakes. Clinton’s program for cutting the federal workforce resulted in the Justice Departments contracting of private prison corporations for the incarceration of undocumented workers and high-security inmates.

Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost “good behavior time” at a rate eight times higher than those in state prisons.

IMPORTING AND EXPORTING INMATES

Profits are so good that now there is a new business: importing inmates with long sentences, meaning the worst criminals. When a federal judge ruled that overcrowding in Texas prisons was cruel and unusual punishment, the CCA signed contracts with sheriffs in poor counties to build and run new jails and share the profits. According to a December 1998 Atlantic Monthly magazine article, this program was backed by investors from Merrill-Lynch, Shearson-Lehman, American Express and Allstate, and the operation was scattered all over rural Texas. That state’s governor, Ann Richards, followed the example of Mario Cuomo in New York and built so many state prisons that the market became flooded, cutting into private prison profits.

After a law signed by Clinton in 1996 – ending court supervision and decisions – caused overcrowding and violent, unsafe conditions in federal prisons, private prison corporations in Texas began to contact other states whose prisons were overcrowded, offering “rent-a-cell” services in the CCA prisons located in small towns in Texas. The commission for a rent-a-cell salesman is $2.50 to $5.50 per day per bed. The county gets $1.50 for each prisoner.

STATISTICS

Ninety-seven percent of 125,000 federal inmates have been convicted of non-violent crimes. It is believed that more than half of the 623,000 inmates in municipal or county jails are innocent of the crimes they are accused of. Of these, the majority are awaiting trial. Two-thirds of the one million state prisoners have committed non-violent offenses. Sixteen percent of the country’s 2 million prisoners suffer from mental illness. Source

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 1-3

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 2-3

Billions Behind Bars – Inside America’s Prison Industry Part 3-3

The links below may explain why there are many innocent people in Jail.

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We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former NYPD detective testifies

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Fourteen Examples of Systemic Racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System -Prison Corruption

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Powell receives 18-month sentence in prison corruption case

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Judge: Guerra can’t re-indict

The Nov. 17 indictments that a grand jury returned charged Cheney and Gonzales with profiting from private prisons, neglecting conditions and stopping inquiries into assaults/

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From December 2006 7,000 a Year Die in U.S. Prisons

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In 2009:  People

  • On Probation 4,203,967
  • On Parole 819,308
  • In Jail  760,400
  • In Prison 1,524,513

Grand Total  7,225,800

In 2001

  • The average annual operating cost per state inmate in 2001 was $22,650, or $62.05 per day; among facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, it was $22,632 per inmate, or $62.01 per day.
  • In 2001 the average annual cost for state prisons per U.S. resident was $204, up from $49 in 1986.

Executions during 2009   52

Executions during  2010 46

Number of prisoners under sentence of death   3,173

Source

  • One out of 100 American adults are behind bars
  • One out of 32 Americans are on probation, parole or in prison.

This reliance on mass incarceration has created a thriving prison economy. The states and the federal government spends about $74 billion a year on corrections.

I tried to find the cost of the average trial, but couldn’t find much information on it. I imagine it would be  a lot.


From 2002 I did find this on Death Penalty Trials

Counties Struggle With High Cost
Of Prosecuting Death-Penalty Cases

January 9, 2002

By RUSSELL GOLD

When a Utah police chief was shot to death in July after responding to a call about a domestic dispute, tiny Uintah County’s decision to seek the death penalty was easy. “It was a law-enforcement officer in the line of duty,” says county attorney JoAnn Stringham.

Now comes the hard part: paying for the trial. So far, the county hopes to avoid raising taxes on its 25,959 citizens by spreading the as-yet undetermined costs over three fiscal years.

Other counties haven’t been as lucky. Jasper County, Texas, ran up a huge bill seeking a capital-murder conviction of three men accused of killing James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to death in a 1998 case that attracted national attention. (Two were sentenced to death; the third got life in prison.) The cost — $1.02 million to date, with other expenses expected — has strained the county’s $10 million annual budget, forcing a 6.7% increase in property taxes over two years to pay for the trial. County auditor Jonetta Nash says only a massive flood that wiped out roads and bridges in the late 1970s came close to the fiscal impact of the trial.

As a growing number of local governments are discovering, there is often a new twist on an old saying: Nothing is certain except the death penalty and higher taxes.

Just prosecuting a capital crime can cost an average of $200,000 to $300,000, according to a conservative estimate by the Texas Office of Court Administration. Add indigent-defense lawyers, an almost-automatic appeal and a trial transcript, and death-penalty cases can easily cost many times that amount.

The cost, county officials say, can be an unexpected and severe budgetary shock — much like a natural disaster, but without any federal relief to ease the strain. To pay up, counties must raise taxes, cut services, or both.

In research published last summer, Dartmouth College economist Katherine Baicker found that counties that bring a death-penalty case had a tax rate 1.6% higher than those that didn’t. Her statistical examination of 14 years of budget data from all 3,043 U.S. counties showed those with a death penalty also spent 3.3% less on law enforcement and highways. Ms. Baicker’s analysis found that the same pattern of raised taxes and spending cuts hits all death-penalty counties regardless of size.

In Texas, Dallas County is struggling to pay for concurrent cases against six prison escapees accused of killing a suburban policeman last year. Gov. Rick Perry gave the county $250,000 from discretionary funds to help.

The fiscal fallout can linger for years. In Mississippi, Quitman County raised taxes three times in the 1990s and took out a $150,000 loan to pay for the 1990 capital-murder trials of two men that went on for years. Now, the county is having trouble attracting a new tenant to a vacant warehouse because it has higher property taxes than any nearby county. A death-penalty case “is almost like lightning striking,” says county administrator Butch Scipper. “It is catastrophic to a small rural county.”

The issue has become more pressing as death-penalty case costs have pushed higher, says Jay Kimbrough, criminal-justice director for Gov. Perry. Among the causes: DNA tests and appellate-court decisions that require longer jury selection and more expensive defense attorneys.

Now local officials are pressing state governments for relief. In Texas, Jasper County’s experience helped persuade lawmakers last year to expand a program to help counties pay for the “extraordinary costs” of prosecuting capital-murder cases. (The discretionary funds given Dallas County last April were not part of this program.) State Rep. Bob Turner, who sponsored the legislation, says he was worried that smaller counties were “downgrading cases” — pursuing lesser charges rather than the death penalty — “to preclude the tremendous drain on the county budget.” While Mr. Turner says he knows of no specific examples, he says he often heard about the cost pressures during meetings with officials from the 17 mostly rural counties he represents.

A Trial ‘s TallyJasper County,Texas,spent more than $1.02 million bringing death penalty cases against three men for the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr. A breakdown of expenses:
Court-appointed defense attorneys 28.3%
Telephone, travel and misc 20.6
Salary for extra prosecutors 17.3
Jury, courthouse security, court reporter 15.5
Investigation 15.4
Psychiatric evaluation 2.9

Costs notwithstanding, county officials say they pursue the death penalty when the crime warrants it. “It is very expensive and it is very burdensome on communities, so that gives people pause,” says Arthur Eads, who was the district attorney in Killeen, Texas, for 24 years. But, he says, “I never felt the heat to do it or not to do it because of the money.”

Polk County, in east Texas, was the most recent county to receive state help. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the sentence of Johnny Paul Penry, convicted of fatally stabbing a woman in 1979, and sent the case back to Polk County for a third trial. County officials toted up the likely costs: $250 to $350 per hour for the forensic psychiatrist to review and testify about Mr. Penry’s medical records; $700 to copy his 1,500-page prison record; $20,000 to pay for hotels, meals and mileage for prosecutors, investigators and support staff when the trial is moved to a different county, as expected.

Total estimated cost: at least $200,000. In December, Polk received $100,000 from the state to help pay the bill.

Other states have begun to set up what amount to death-penalty risk pools, allowing counties to pay in annually and receive funds in the event of a death-penalty case. Utah created one of the first such pools in 1997 after “the legislature got tired of bailing out counties,” says Mark Nash, director of the Utah Prosecution Council.

Uintah was one of six Utah counties that didn’t participate in that state’s risk pool. The county, in the northeast corner of the state, had never had a death-penalty case until Roosevelt City police chief Cecil Gurr was shot and killed in July, just a few feet inside the county line.

Now, as the county struggles to pay for prosecuting the case, local officials are convinced the insurance is a good idea. In August, Uintah paid $21,500 to join the state risk pool — for the next death-penalty case. Source

So how much did it cost for all the trials. Do the math.

Executions during 2009   52

Executions during  2010 46

Number of prisoners  sentence of death   3,173

More on the cost of Death Penalty Trials in Washington State and other Goodies.

Documenting the high costs of pursuing the ultimate punishment in Washington state

Prison Legal News

Crime Statistics > Prisoners > Per capita (most recent) by country

Population in China was 1,330,044,544  in 2008 – about 4 times more people live in China then in the United States.

Population in United States was  303,824,640 in 2008

Both populations are a bit higher now.

Think about that when you check the statistics in the link below.

Crime Statistics > Number  of Prisoners  (most recent) by country

Guantanamo detainees must also be included ad the price of keeping them is high as well.

Is it physically possible to hang yourself when bound, masked and gagged.

More on  Guantanamo Bay

Marijuana: Public Enemy #1

by Robert C. Koehler

November 10, 2011

“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”

The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.

The scene is from Reefer Madness, arguably the dumbest movie ever made — but smugly at the emotional and ideological core of American drug policy for the last three-quarters of a century. The policy, which morphed in 1970 into an all-out “war” on drugs, has filled our prisons to bursting, created powerful criminal enterprises, launched a real war in Mexico and presided over the skyrocketing of recreational drug use in the United States. The war on drugs just may be a bigger disaster than the war on terror.

“The war on drugs, as it has been waged, has not only failed to curtail drug use; it has become a major public health liability in its own right,” writes Christopher Glenn Fichtner in his comprehensive new book on our disastrous war on a plant, Cannabanomics: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point (Well Mind Books).

Fichtner, a psychiatrist — he served as Illinois Director of Mental Health for several years — takes a long, hard look at the politics of irrationality and lays out a compelling diagnosis: “essentially, social or mass psychosis.” You can also throw in racism. The war on drugs is simply a race war by another name, fueled by fear of Mexican and African American culture, with the weight of law brought down on African Americans with wildly disproportionate severity:

“. . . during a period when the number of prison sentences for drug-related convictions increased dramatically for all drug offenders,” Fichtner writes, citing Illinois statistics between 1983 and 2002, “it increased for African Americans at roughly eight times the rate of increase seen for Caucasians.”

But reading Cannabanomics kept leaving me with the sense that there was a deeper irrationality to our anti-marijuana crusade than even the racism. For instance, “Examples abound,” he writes, “in which the application of mandatory minimum sentences has led to harsher penalties for marijuana offenses than for violent crimes ranging from battery through sexual assault and even to murder.”

And the violent enforcement of zero tolerance hasn’t been limited to the pursuit of recreational potheads. Those using cannabis medicinally have also been harassed, arrested and sometimes treated with such shocking violence you have to wonder whether the official paranoia about marijuana use — that it leads to mental derangement and violent behavior — is sheer projection.

For instance, early in the book Fichtner relates the story of Garry, a California man who used marijuana to relieve arthritic pain. Despite the fact that this was legal under state law, his house was raided by federal agents: “As he opened his front door, he was greeted by a battering ram and a physical takedown maneuver that left him with a dislocated left shoulder, right hand fractures, blunt head trauma, and a back injury that aggravated the arthritis for which he grew cannabis in his garage in the first place.”

Much of Cannabanomics is devoted to the extraordinary medicinal uses of marijuana, which has been called one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to the human race. It has been used, usually with little if any side effect, to alleviate chronic pain and chemo-induced nausea and relieve the symptoms of a stunning array of illnesses and conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, hepatitis C, AIDS, cancer, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s. The list goes on.

The herb has been “part of humanity’s medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded,” according to Dr. Gregory T. Carter, writing on the NORML website.

In light of this, our war against it — at extraordinary human and economic cost — illuminates a crying need for us to change the way we govern and look after ourselves. Another story Fichtner tells is about an Illinois man named Seth, who had suffered from epileptic seizures most of his life. He reluctantly tried using marijuana — one inhalation a day — because his prescribed medications weren’t helping much, and soon reduced the incidence of grand mal seizures from several per week to one or two per month.

The amazing part of this story, Fichtner notes, is that none of his doctors were willing even to discuss the therapeutic use of marijuana, though they were quick to recommend invasive procedures, including temporal lobe surgery. “. . .we Americans,” he writes, “live in a society in which it is acceptable practice for surgeons to destroy a piece of someone’s brain in order to prevent seizures but where use of marijuana for the same purpose . . . is a criminal offense.”

To my mind, it all smacks of the military-industrial metaphor that rules the American roost. We’re quick to seize on something as the enemy and organize ourselves blindly around its destruction, never stopping to notice that what we’re destroying is ourselves. In the case of the war on drugs, our “enemy” is our greatest ally. Source

Top 3 things YOU need to know about the private prison money scheme:

1) The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At $200 per immigrant a night, this is the “perfect” money scheme.

2) The players: CCA, Geo Group and MTC — combined currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

3)The money: These corporations spend $20 million a year lobbying legislators to get anti-immigrant laws approved and thus more inmates.

Join The Virtual Vigil and Occupation
Shut Down Stewart  http://mycuentame.org/immigrantsforsale/

Roberto Martinez-Medina died in CCA’s Stewart Detention Center in Georgia in 2009.

Medina had been arrested a month earlier for not having a driver’s license.

CCA profited off of Medina’s incarceration, and ensured a greater profit by denying him critical health care.

CCA has gone to great lengths to hush Medina’s death.

Sign the petition to demand an investigation into Medina’s death: http://immigrantsforsale.org
Pedro Guzman spent 19 months at CCA’s Stewart private detention because he missed an immigration order.

Authorities showed no mercy after Guzman explained the court order was sent to an old address.

CCA profited approximately $72,000 from Pedro’s detention.

Guzman’s wife Emily and only son Logan endured a painful and debilitating struggle to survive while they fought for Pedro’s release.

Doesn’t Pedro deserve to be reimbursed for his unjust detention? Tell CCA To Pay Pedro Back: http://tinyurl.com/paypedroback

Immigration detention: fastest growing incarceration system in the U.S.

The Harper Government in Canada wants to create Legislation similar to the Drug offenses in the US. Lets hope Canadians do not get coerced into this. Marijuana is not that bad. It has many uses medically and fewer violent crimes if any are committed because of it. Alcohol is far worse as far as crimes.  Those who use Marijuana are non violent.

If a police officer had a choice of going into a room with 20 Marijuana users or 20 drunk people the room with the Marijuana uses would be a much safer room. Drunk people are much more violent and much more dangerous. Marijuana users would be listening to music and eating. They don’t even bother to argue they just enjoy themselves. Drunk people fight and argue and alcohol is addictive where as Marijuana is not.

So I have to say Harper’s bill is wrong on many counts. If anything Marijuana should be legalized and the Government could regulate it and make profits/taxes on it. Open stores to have it sold etc.

It would eliminate grow ops and many other problems now associated with Marijuana.

If individuals grew their own or buy it from a Government store there would be no need for dealers and all the other problems now faced by police at this time.

Then the police could spend their time looking for dangerous criminals.

It would save a lot of money and make a lot of money.

End of a lot of problems.

Check the link below and get some insight as to how Medical Marijuana helps people and it is safer then many Pharmaceuticals.

It will even get rid of a headache.

The lobby groups who want to prevent the legalization of Marijuana are the Pharmaceutical companies. Not because it is dangerous, but because it would cut into their profits.

Medical Marijuana

The Harper Government in Canada wants to pass some of the similar laws  used in the US. Most pertaining to Drugs.  They are not affective in the US and will not be affective in Canada. The crimes committed in Canada have dropped. There are enough laws to cover all crimes in Canada as it is, so no new laws are necessary.  This will just put people a select group of people in prison longer, no stop crime.  Go to the link below and check it out. If you know any Canadians pass this on to them.  Seems Harper’s  Gov. passes many Bills and Canadians know nothing about them.

Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

Legalizing Marijuana  would create a lot of jobs something we all can agree on is needed. Maybe the drinkers would take up smoking Marijuana and make the world a safer place especially for women who are beaten by their drunken spouses.

Hemp growing and use has created many jobs.

Hemp was kept illegal and it is not even a drug because of Oil companies.  If there is one thing oil companies did not want it is Hemp on the market. Finally Hemp is making a comeback.

Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law all because of the Oil lobby. How foolish American are. Gas can be made from Hemp as can plastics and are better for the environment.

The US government would rather go to war for oil, kill millions while they do it, destroy everything in their path and pollute the land for years to come.

Hemp as fuel is safer to produce then it is to drill for oil.

Hemp does not need Pesticides or Herbicides either.

Ceasefire in the War on Drugs?

CIA Drug Trafficking over 50 years

Why do you think American troops are Guarding the Poppy Fields in Afghanistan? Afghanistan went from no Heroin to tons of Heroin.

Plus the US got their pipeline.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Cost of the war on Drugs in US

There have been over 4,000  Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested.

Police Brutality is becoming a growing problem.

Did You Know In the Wealthy United States of America, there were 1.3 million homeless as of December 30 2010. Guess what there are more now. Each year the homeless numbers grow in the US.

Check the link below for more information.

Occupy Wall Street Updates

How the War on Terror Has Militarized the Police

By Arthur Rizer & Joseph Hartman

Nov 7 2011

Over the past 10 years, law enforcement officials have begun to look and act more and more like soldiers. Here’s why we should be alarmed. 

At around 9:00 a.m. on May 5, 2011, officers with the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team surrounded the home of 26-year-old José Guerena, a former U.S. Marine and veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, to serve a search warrant for narcotics. As the officers approached, Guerena lay sleeping in his bedroom after working the graveyard shift at a local mine. When his wife Vanessa woke him up, screaming that she had seen a man outside the window pointing a gun at her, Guerena grabbed his AR-15 rifle, instructed Vanessa to hide in the closet with their four-year old son, and left the bedroom to investigate.

Within moments, and without Guerena firing a shot–or even switching his rifle off of “safety”–he lay dying, his body riddled with 60 bullets. A subsequent investigation revealed that the initial shot that prompted the S.W.A.T. team barrage came from a S.W.A.T. team gun, not Guerena’s. Guerena, reports later revealed, had no criminal record, and no narcotics were found at his home.

Sadly, the Guerenas are not alone; in recent years we have witnessed a proliferation in incidents of excessive, military-style force by police S.W.A.T. teams, which often make national headlines due to their sheer brutality. Why has it become routine for police departments to deploy black-garbed, body-armored S.W.A.T. teams for routine domestic police work? The answer to this question requires a closer examination of post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy and the War on Terror.

Ever since September 14, 2001, when President Bush declared war on terrorism, there has been a crucial, yet often unrecognized, shift in United States policy. Before 9/11, law enforcement possessed the primary responsibility for combating terrorism in the United States. Today, the military is at the tip of the anti-terrorism spear. This shift appears to be permanent: in 2006, the White House’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism confidently announced that the United States had “broken old orthodoxies that once confined our counterterrorism efforts primarily to the criminal justice domain.”

In an effort to remedy their relative inadequacy in dealing with terrorism on U.S. soil, police forces throughout the country have purchased military equipment, adopted military training, and sought to inculcate a “soldier’s mentality” among their ranks. Though the reasons for this increasing militarization of American police forces seem obvious, the dangerous side effects are somewhat less apparent.

Undoubtedly, American police departments have substantially increased their use of military-grade equipment and weaponry to perform their counterterrorism duties, adopting everything from body armor to, in some cases, attack helicopters.  The logic behind this is understandable. If superior, military-grade equipment helps the police catch more criminals and avert, or at least reduce, the threat of a domestic terror attack, then we ought deem it an instance of positive sharing of technology — right? Not necessarily. Indeed, experts in the legal community have raised serious concerns that allowing civilian law enforcement to use military technology runs the risk of blurring the distinction between soldiers and peace officers.

This is especially true in cases where, much to the chagrin of civil liberty advocates, police departments have employed their newly acquired military weaponry not only to combat terrorism but also for everyday patrolling. Before 9/11, the usual heavy weaponry available to a small-town police officer consisted of a standard pump-action shot gun, perhaps a high power rifle, and possibly a surplus M-16, which would usually have been kept in the trunk of the supervising officer’s vehicle. Now, police officers routinely walk the beat armed with assault rifles and garbed in black full-battle uniforms. When one of us, Arthur Rizer, returned from active duty in Iraq, he saw a police officer at the Minneapolis airport armed with a M4 carbine assault rifle — the very same rifle Arthur carried during his combat tour in Fallujah.

The extent of this weapon “inflation” does not stop with high-powered rifles, either. In recent years, police departments both large and small have acquired bazookas, machine guns, and even armored vehicles (mini-tanks) for use in domestic police work.

To assist them in deploying this new weaponry, police departments have also sought and received extensive military training and tactical instruction. Originally, only the largest of America’s big-city police departments maintained S.W.A.T. teams, and they were called upon only when no other peaceful option was available and a truly military-level response was necessary. Today, virtually every police department in the nation has one or more S.W.A.T. teams, the members of whom are often trained by and with United States special operations commandos. Furthermore, with the safety of their officers in mind, these departments now habitually deploy their S.W.A.T. teams for minor operations such as serving warrants. In short, “special” has quietly become “routine.”

The most serious consequence of the rapid militarization of American police forces, however, is the subtle evolution in the mentality of the “men in blue” from “peace officer” to soldier. This development is absolutely critical and represents a fundamental change in the nature of law enforcement. The primary mission of a police officer traditionally has been to “keep the peace.” Those whom an officer suspects to have committed a crime are treated as just that – suspects. Police officers are expected, under the rule of law, to protect the civil liberties of all citizens, even the “bad guys.” For domestic law enforcement, a suspect in custody remains innocent until proven guilty. Moreover, police officers operate among a largely friendly population and have traditionally been trained to solve problems using a complex legal system; the deployment of lethal violence is an absolute last resort.

Soldiers, by contrast, are trained to identify people they encounter as belonging to one of two groups — the enemy and the non-enemy — and they often reach this decision while surrounded by a population that considers the soldier an occupying force. Once this identification is made, a soldier’s mission is stark and simple: kill the enemy, “try” not to kill the non-enemy. Indeed, the Soldier’s Creed declares, “I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.” This is a far cry from the peace officer’s creed that expects its adherents “to protect and serve.”

The point here is not to suggest that police officers in the field should not take advantage of every tactic or piece of equipment that makes them safer as they carry out their often challenging and strenuous duties. Nor do I mean to suggest that a police officer, once trained in military tactics, will now seek to kill civilians. It is far too easy for Monday-morning quarterbacks to unfairly second-guess the way police officers perform their jobs while they are out on the streets waging what must, at times, feel like a war.

Notwithstanding this concern, however, Americans should remain mindful bringing military-style training to domestic law enforcement has real consequences. When police officers are dressed like soldiers, armed like soldiers, and trained like soldiers, it’s not surprising that they are beginning to act like soldiers. And remember: a soldier’s main objective is to kill the enemy. Source

José Guerena was innocent of any crime and yet the police shot him 60 times.  That say’s a lot about the reality America’s live in now.

Wake up America.  You live in a Violent Police State.

US Lawmakers Corruption “Busted”

Recent

Over 7,000 prisoners are held in Libya

ICC to Probe NATO, NTC War Crimes in Libya War

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

The Iran you will never see on American Television

Canada: Mohawk Elders looking for mass graves of Children that died in Residential Schools

Deaths in Afghanistan 5.6 million due to war

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2008 in US

The Toxic 100: Top Corporate Air Polluters in the United States

Rank Corporation Toxic score
(pounds released
x toxicity x
population exposure)
Minority share of health risk Low-income share of health risk

1

E.I. du Pont de Nemours

285,661

36.0%

17.3%

2

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

213,159

32.0%

22.5%

3

Dow Chemical

189,673

42.7%

13.%0

4

Bayer Group

172,773

24.3%

6.8%

5

Eastman Kodak

162,430

26.2%

13.4%

6

General Electric

149,061

32.4%

13.4%

7

Arcelor Mittal

134,573

61.6%

24.9%

8

US Steel

129,123

36.8%

17.8%

9

ExxonMobil

128,758

69.1%

25.4%

10

AK Steel Holding

101,428

7.9%

17.8%

11

Eastman Chemical

98,432

9.9%

25.4%

12

Duke Energy

93,174

20.3%

16.9%

13

ConocoPhillips

91,993

34.7%

15.1%

14

Precision Castparts

87,500

15.8%

9.8%

15

Alcoa

85,983

20.3%

15.2%

16

Valero Energy

83,993

59.9%

12.8%

17

Ford Motor

75,360

24.6%

11.7%

18

General Motors

73,248

29.5%

19.8%

19

Goodyear

67,632

27.3%

11.2%

20

E.ON

65,579

21.6%

15.6%

21

Matsushita Electric Indl

65,346

54.6%

15.7%

22

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold

63,911

62.1%

13.2%

23

Apollo Mgt. (Hexion Specialty Chemicals)

63,880

40.2%

13.1%

24

Avery Dennison

62,740

37.7%

14.8%

25

BASF

60,984

31.9%

13.3%

26

Owens Corning

59,609

42.6%

9.7%

27

Dominion Resources

58,642

29.3%

15.9%

28

Allegheny Technologies

58,375

8.3%

14.2%

29

BP

54,336

54.7%

11.3%

30

Honeywell International

50,417

42.1%

13.1%

31

International Paper

49,385

30.6%

16.2%

32

Ashland

43,492

30.7%

18.9%

33

Constellation Energy

42,972

35.5%

11.2%

34

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

41,773

57.0%

16.5%

35

AES

39,789

29.8%

15.1%

36

Progress Energy

38,027

24.0%

11.2%

37

Nucor

36,963

51.3%

21.2%

38

United Technologies

36,526

30.6%

7.6%

39

Timken

36,047

17.6%

17.4%

40

Berkshire Hathaway

35,285

37.8%

13.2%

41

SPX

34,559

39.8%

11.2%

42

Royal Dutch Shell

34,556

43.5%

13.8%

43

Southern Co

33,577

33.6%

12.5%

44

Allegheny Energy

31,539

10.2%

14.1%

45

American Electric

31,364

9.3%

124%

46

Reliant Energy

30,821

14.0%

10.7%

47

Boeing

30,453

33.7%

13.6%

48

General Dynamics

30,337

69.0%

20.9%

49

Occidental Petroleum

30,069

43.6%

16.9%

50

KeySpan

29,008

53.7%

17.8%

51

Lyondell Chemical

28,591

33.6%

14.9%

52

Sunoco

27,851

33.5%

16.6%

53

Anheuser-Busch Cos

27,032

41.0%

16.7%

54

Ball

25,709

38.5%

14.8%

55

Deere & Co

25,346

19.9%

15.6%

56

Procter & Gamble

25,238

41.2%

16.1%

57

Tesoro

24,708

24.6%

10.0%

58

Temple-Inland

24,537

47.0%

20.1%

59

Pfizer

24,508

38.3%

19.8%

60

Rowan Cos.

24,389

46.2%

21.6%

61

Leggett & Platt

23,870

28.2%

12.6%

62

Northrop Grumman

23,798

56.6%

22.6%

63

Weyerhaeuser

22,708

23.0%

17.1%

64

Rohm and Haas

22,489

40.9%

16.5%

65

Tyco International

22,115

32.7%

9.3%

66

Terex

21,730

17.3%

9.4%

67

Corning

20,942

17.6%

12.6%

68

Exelon

20,811

33.6%

13.6%

69

Fortune Brands

20,583

19.5%

8.0%

70

FirstEnergy

20,441

16.8%

10.0%

71

Suncor Energy

20,378

45.3%

12.9%

72

Crown Holdings

19,447

30.5%

14.3%

73

Masco

18,572

6.7%

12.0%

74

ThyssenKrupp Group

18,133

21.7%

12.1%

75

Textron

17,443

33.6%

13.6%

76

Sony

16,426

12.5%

5.3%

77

Mirant

16,337

42.4%

9.2%

78

RAG

16,080

52.9%

18.4%

79

Alcan

15,231

10.8%

12.1%

80

Huntsman

15,119

47.7%

20.4%

81

Bridgestone

14,952

15.9%

10.1%

82

Danaher

14,621

23.9%

15.7%

83

PPG Industries

14,300

23.2%

13.0%

84

Hess

13,687

66.5%

26.4%

85

Akzo Nobel

13,453

58.6%

25.2%

86

Dynegy Inc.

13,439

25.6%

10.1%

87

Federal-Mogul

13,435

28.0%

13.6%

88

Stanley Works

13,196

32.1%

10.2%

89

Komatsu

13,132

30.9%

19.2%

90

Saint-Gobain

13,012

38.6%

16.7%

91

PPL

12,972

11.6%

8.0%

92

Caterpillar

12,924

24.2%

11.0%

93

Smurfit-Stone Container

12,868

29.9%

12.0%

94

Siemens

12,649

32.8%

12.8%

95

MeadWestvaco

12,465

40.9%

18.3%

96

Marathon Oil

12,454

33.0%

14.3%

97

Emerson Electric

12,258

13.1%

15.1%

98

Northeast Utilities

11,115

11.7%

7.9%

99

National Oilwell Varco

11,042

78.0%

26.5%

100

Dana

10,638

36.2%

17.6%

Toxic 100 firms

4,713,588

34..%

15.2%

Other 500-list firms

459,798

31.1%

13.3%

Non-500-list firms

9,403,595

35.2%

15.5%

All Firms

14,576,982

34.8%

15.3%

U.S. population

31.8%

12.9

Source

Death Tolls from Wars Estimates include civilian and military casualties, and indirect deaths from conflict-related famine, disease, and disruptions as well as violent deaths.

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2002 in US

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

Alberta Oil Sands a Pollution Nightmare/ Air car videos at the bottom of the page.

Privatization, Pollution and Free Trade, WTO

Pollution Costs Trillions Annually

US Air Testing Bombs

Uranium Mining, Grand Canyon now at Risk, Dangers, Pollution, History

Depleated Uranium Information

Israel’s Dirty Nuclear Secrets, Human experiments and WMD

The world’s worst radiation hotspot

How UK oil company Trafigura tried to cover up African pollution disaster

A Few of the World’s most polluted places

New US gov’t study shows mercury in fish widespread


A Canadian doctor diagnoses U.S. healthcare

A few Differences to consider especially in cost saving with Universal Public Health Care.

The caricature of ‘socialized medicine’ is used by corporate interests to confuse Americans and maintain their bottom lines instead of patients’ health.

Universal health insurance is on the American policy agenda for the fifth time since World War II. In the 1960s, the U.S. chose public coverage for only the elderly and the very poor, while Canada opted for a universal program for hospitals and physicians’ services. As a policy analyst, I know there are lessons to be learned from studying the effect of different approaches in similar jurisdictions. But, as a Canadian with lots of American friends and relatives, I am saddened that Americans seem incapable of learning them.

Our countries are joined at the hip. We peacefully share a continent, a British heritage of representative government and now ownership of GM. And, until 50 years ago, we had similar health systems, healthcare costs and vital statistics.

The U.S.’ and Canada’s different health insurance decisions make up the world’s largest health policy experiment. And the results?

On coverage, all Canadians have insurance for hospital and physician services. There are no deductibles or co-pays. Most provinces also provide coverage for programs for home care, long-term care, pharmaceuticals and durable medical equipment, although there are co-pays.

On the U.S. side, 46 million people have no insurance, millions are underinsured and healthcare bills bankrupt more than 1 million Americans every year.

Lesson No. 1: A single-payer system would eliminate most U.S. coverage problems.

On costs, Canada spends 10% of its economy on healthcare; the U.S. spends 16%. The extra 6% of GDP amounts to more than $800 billion per year. The spending gap between the two nations is almost entirely because of higher overhead. Canadians don’t need thousands of actuaries to set premiums or thousands of lawyers to deny care. Even the U.S. Medicare program has 80% to 90% lower administrative costs than private Medicare Advantage policies. And providers and suppliers can’t charge as much when they have to deal with a single payer.

Lessons No. 2 and 3: Single-payer systems reduce duplicative administrative costs and can negotiate lower prices.

Because most of the difference in spending is for non-patient care, Canadians actually get more of most services. We see the doctor more often and take more drugs. We even have more lung transplant surgery. We do get less heart surgery, but not so much less that we are any more likely to die of heart attacks. And we now live nearly three years longer, and our infant mortality is 20% lower.

Lesson No. 4: Single-payer plans can deliver the goods because their funding goes to services, not overhead.

The Canadian system does have its problems, and these also provide important lessons. Notwithstanding a few well-publicized and misleading cases, Canadians needing urgent care get immediate treatment. But we do wait too long for much elective care, including appointments with family doctors and specialists and selected surgical procedures. We also do a poor job managing chronic disease.

However, according to the New York-based Commonwealth Fund, both the American and the Canadian systems fare badly in these areas. In fact, an April U.S. Government Accountability Office report noted that U.S. emergency room wait times have increased, and patients who should be seen immediately are now waiting an average of 28 minutes. The GAO has also raised concerns about two- to four-month waiting times for mammograms.

On closer examination, most of these problems have little to do with public insurance or even overall resources. Despite the delays, the GAO said there is enough mammogram capacity.

These problems are largely caused by our shared politico-cultural barriers to quality of care. In 19th century North America, doctors waged a campaign against quacks and snake-oil salesmen and attained a legislative monopoly on medical practice. In return, they promised to set and enforce standards of practice. By and large, it didn’t happen. And perverse incentives like fee-for-service make things even worse.

Using techniques like those championed by the Boston-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, providers can eliminate most delays. In Hamilton, Ontario, 17 psychiatrists have linked up with 100 family doctors and 80 social workers to offer some of the world’s best access to mental health services. And in Toronto, simple process improvements mean you can now get your hip assessed in one week and get a new one, if you need it, within a month.

Lesson No. 5: Canadian healthcare delivery problems have nothing to do with our single-payer system and can be fixed by re-engineering for quality.

U.S. health policy would be miles ahead if policymakers could learn these lessons. But they seem less interested in Canada’s, or any other nation’s, experience than ever. Why?

American democracy runs on money. Pharmaceutical and insurance companies have the fuel. Analysts see hundreds of billions of premiums wasted on overhead that could fund care for the uninsured. But industry executives and shareholders see bonuses and dividends.

Compounding the confusion is traditional American ignorance of what happens north of the border, which makes it easy to mislead people. Boilerplate anti-government rhetoric does the same. The U.S. media, legislators and even presidents have claimed that our “socialized” system doesn’t let us choose our own doctors. In fact, Canadians have free choice of physicians. It’s Americans these days who are restricted to “in-plan” doctors.

Unfortunately, many Americans won’t get to hear the straight goods because vested interests are promoting a caricature of the Canadian experience.

Michael M. Rachlis is a physician, health policy analyst and author in Toronto.

Source

What’s so great about private health insurance?

The bloody battle in Congress over a ‘public option’ ignores the insurers’ role in creating the nation’s healthcare crisis and their efforts to throttle reform.

By Michael Hiltzik And American point of view.

Throughout the heroic struggle in Congress to provide a “public option” in health insurance, one question never seems to get answered: Why are we so intent on protecting the private option? The “public option,” as followers of the debate know, is a government-sponsored health plan that would be available as an alternative to, and in competition with, the for-profit health insurance industry, otherwise known as the private option. On Friday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce narrowly passed a reform bill incorporating a public option resembling Medicare. It was a bloody fight among members of Congress, some of whom believe that the public option will give the government unwarranted power over healthcare, and all of whom enjoy government-provided healthcare that’s a lot better than what most of us get. But the battle is just beginning. After the committee vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that the health insurance industry will conduct a “shock and awe” campaign to kill the public option when Congress returns from vacation in September and starts debating the measure. We can expect to be overwhelmed with an industry ad campaign worth millions of dollars (remember Harry and Louise?) exhorting us to write our lawmakers to preserve the American way of healthcare. So it’s proper to remind ourselves what that American way entails. For if the insurers have proved anything over the last 15 years as the health crisis has gathered speed like an avalanche roaring downhill, it’s that they’re part of the problem, not the solution. The firms take billions of dollars out of the U.S. healthcare wallet as profits, while imposing enormous administrative costs on doctors, hospitals, employers and patients. They’ve introduced complexity into the system at every level. Your doctor has to fight them to get approval for the treatment he or she thinks is best for you. Your hospital has to fight them for approval for every day you’re laid up. Then they have to fight them to get their bills paid, and you do too. One Wendell Potter reminded a Senate committee in June that health insurance executives had assured Congress in 1993 that they would work to secure universal medical coverage and end denials of coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Then they moved heaven and earth to kill reform. They’ve made the same promises now, Potter observed. But they’re in an even better position to throttle reform. Mergers and acquisitions have turned the industry into a cartel of huge corporations. “The industry is bigger, richer and stronger, and it has a much tighter grip on our healthcare system,” he said. The last thing they want is a government program set up as their competition. Potter knows the insurers’ ways because he was a top executive in the industry for 20 years. But the hard numbers bear him out. The two largest insurers, WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group, each acquired 11 other insurers between 2000 and 2007. They now control a total of 67 million “covered lives” (that’s customers in health insurance-speak). This consolidation has produced functional monopolies in communities across America. The American Medical Assn. (itself no great fan of reform) found in a 2007 survey that in 76% of the country, defined as its major metropolitan statistical areas, one insurer had a share of 50% or more of the conventional insurance market. This phenomenon gives the companies enormous power to drive up premiums and maximize profits. Why do we tolerate this? The industry loves to promote surveys indicating that most Americans are “satisfied” with their current health insurance — 37% are “very satisfied” and 17% “extremely satisfied,” according to one such study. Yet these figures are misleading. Most people are satisfied with their current insurance because most people never have a complex encounter with the health insurance bureaucracy. Medical care generally follows the so-called 80-20 statistical pattern — 20% of patients consume 80% of care. If your typical encounter is an annual checkup or treatment of the kids’ sniffles, or even a serious but routine condition such as a heart attack, your experience is probably satisfactory. But it’s on the margins where the challenges exist. Anyone whose condition is even slightly out of the ordinary knows the sinking feeling of entering health insurance hell — pre-authorizations, denials, appeals, and days, weeks, even months wasted waiting for resolution. And that’s among people with affordable employer-paid insurance, an ever-shrinking cohort. The percentage of small and medium-sized businesses offering health coverage to employees shriveled to 38% from 67% between 1995 and 2008, according to the National Small Business Assn. Without reform, the number will continue to plummet. Meanwhile, people employed by big companies that offer a health plan are within a layoff notice of losing coverage for themselves or their families, joining America’s 46 million uninsured. Their only alternative right now is the individual market, where insurers scrutinize applicants’ medical histories, looking for reasons to turn them down or charge them exorbitant premiums. Have hay fever, asthma, a cholesterol pill prescription? Are you a woman of child-bearing age? You’re virtually uninsurable at an affordable cost. Even if you’re accepted, your carrier reserves the right to cancel your policy retroactively if it finds that you left even a tiny condition from years back off your application. The public option may be your lifeline — if it’s enacted. Signs of the industry’s mobilization against the public option are everywhere. I don’t claim clairvoyance for having predicted this development back in March; given the industry’s record on reform, a child could have done so. You’ve heard of the Blue Dog Democrats, those mostly rural conservatives who blocked a summertime vote on reform legislation on Capitol Hill? According to the Center for Public Integrity, the biggest backer of the Blue Dogs’ political action committee is the healthcare industry, which is on the path to pumping a total of $1.2 million into the PAC’s maw in the current 2009-10 election cycle. Then there’s the advocacy group called the Campaign for an American Solution, which describes itself as “a grass-roots effort . . . to build support for workable healthcare reform.” The organization owns up to being an “initiative” of America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, the industry’s chief lobbying arm. Unless I’ve missed a radical change in lawn and garden horticulture, you can’t get much further from the grass roots than to be a creation of the industry with the biggest stake in the debate. Despite all this, America’s health insurance plans, which helped create our dysfunctional world, are deferred to as though they’re a disinterested party. AHIP subtitled one of its policy papers “A Vision for Reform.” But are the insurers now, and have they ever been, anything other than a roadblock?

Source

The brutal truth about America’s healthcare

The Health Insurance Racket: Getting Rich by Denying Americans Care

Obama fights Health Care Reform Propaganda

Published in: on August 16, 2009 at 1:29 am  Comments Off on A Canadian doctor diagnoses U.S. healthcare  
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Pakistan gets $7.6 billion loan package from IMF

Supporters of Pakistan's opposition party Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Moment for Justice, take part in a rally against the U.S. missile strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Protesters urged Islamabad to sever ties with the United States over the strike _ highlighting the risks for Washington as it seeks to eliminate extremists along the Afghan border yet also support Pakistan's democratically elected government.
Supporters of Pakistan’s opposition party Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Moment for Justice, take part in a rally against the U.S. missile strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Protesters urged Islamabad to sever ties with the United States over the strike _ highlighting the risks for Washington as it seeks to eliminate extremists along the Afghan border yet also support Pakistan’s democratically elected government. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
By Chris Brummitt
November 25, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Pakistan, the front-line state in the battle against Islamist terrorism, has won final approval for a $7.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help stave off a possible economic meltdown.

The IMF said a first installment of $3.1 billion will be transferred immediately to the nuclear-armed country, which is battling surging violence by Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants and is increasingly seen in the West as key to stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan.

The IMF said the Pakistani economy had been badly hit by the worsening security situation, higher oil and food import prices and the global financial and credit crisis.

“By providing large financial support to Pakistan, the IMF is sending a strong signal to the donor community about the country’s improved macroeconomic prospects,” said IMF acting Chairman Takatoshi Kato in a statement released after the decision Monday in Washington, where the fund is based.

Pakistan’s young government had been reluctant to go to the IMF but had little choice after close allies — the “United States, China and Saudi Arabia” — turned down pleas for significant bilateral aid.

In mid-November, the IMF announced it had reached a preliminary agreement on the deal.

Opposition and nationalist lawmakers have criticized the government for turning to the fund, saying the IMF will impose “austerity measures” that will hurt ordinary Pakistanis, two-thirds of whom live on $2 dollar a day or less.

“This IMF loan the government is getting is in fact poison, and the nation has been forced to drink it,” said Javed Hashmi, a senior figure in the main opposition party, told reporters.

The loan removes the most pressing risk facing the country — that it would not be able to repay dollar-denominated government bonds due to mature early next year, said Muzammil Aslam, an economist at the Pakistani securities firm KASB.

Aslam and other economists said Pakistan’s government had already made some tough decisions, such as hiking the prices of fuel and electricity.

Many Pakistani economists and commentators argued that the country had no choice but to turn to the IMF. They say it is now critical that the money is well spent — always a worry in corruption-prone and chaotic Pakistan.

The IMF said in return for the money Pakistan had agreed to phase out energy subsidies, boost taxes and implement other money saving reforms. It said the World Bank would put in place a “comprehensive” social security net to shield the poor from any cuts.

In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this month, President Asif Ali Zardari said the loan was “a difficult pill, but one has to take medicine to get better,”

The loan will immediately boost Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves, which have seen a rapid decline that has seen the value of the rupee fall some 20 percent since March, and enable it to pay off foreign-denominated debt due to mature soon.

The currency has clawed back some ground in recent weeks as it became clear that the IMF would step in.

The country is also wracked by power cuts, the costs of essential goods are soaring and the stock market has plummeted amid waning investor confidence.

Pakistan is one of a number of countries including Hungary and Ukraine that has sought IMF assistance in the wake of the global credit crunch. However, its strategic importance in the U.S.-led war against terrorism makes its financial and political stability particularly critical for the international community.

U.S. officials say that militants sheltering in its lawless northwest are behind much of the violence in Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban threaten the success of the U.S.-led mission there seven years after the invasion.

They also say that al-Qaida’s leadership — including Osama bin Laden — has managed to regroup in the region, and is possibly plotting attacks on the West.

Pakistan’s army is batting militants in several parts of the northwest but some Western analysts and officials suspect elements within the security forces of sympathizing with the extremists.

Officials in Peshawar said Tuesday that gunmen kidnapped a Pakistani working on a U.S.-funded aid project in the region.

Police said the attackers seized the man from a convoy of relief vehicles in the Dir region on Monday. Other aid workers escaped after villagers fired on the attackers.

The U.N.’s World Food Program said the victim was distributing wheat and cooking oil on its behalf. WFP spokesman Amjad Jamal said the food was paid for by the U.S. government.

Jamal said it was unclear if Taliban militants were behind the kidnapping and that WFP had received no demands.

Source

If it were not for the war next door to them and the fact the US continues to attack them, they probably wouldn’t need  help. War after all does cost a lot.

Stopping the Attacks on Pakistani soil by the US, would be in everyone’s best interest.

“If America doesn’t stop attacks in tribal areas, we will prepare a lashkar [army] to attack US forces in Afghanistan,” tribal chief Malik Nasrullah announced in Miran Shah, north Waziristan’s largest city. “We will also seek support from the tribal elders in Afghanistan to fight jointly against America.”

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 9:33 pm  Comments Off on Pakistan gets $7.6 billion loan package from IMF  
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Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US


Links on company names lead to detailed company reports.

Rank

Corporation

Toxic score
(pounds released
x toxicity x
population exposure)

Millions of
pounds of toxic
air releases

Millions of
pounds of toxic
incineration transfers

1

E.I. du Pont de Nemours

285,661

12.73

23.00

2

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

213,159

12.92

0.00

3

Dow Chemical

189,673

11.12

42.02

4

Bayer Group

172,773

0.72

6.93

5

Eastman Kodak

162,430

2.66

0.36

6

General Electric

149,061

4.14

7.14

7

Arcelor Mittal

134,573

0.94

0.00

8

US Steel

129,123

2.21

0.09

9

ExxonMobil

128,758

12.70

0.39

10

AK Steel Holding

101,428

0.27

0.00

11

Eastman Chemical

98,432

6.98

0.31

12

Duke Energy

93,174

80.21

0.00

13

ConocoPhillips

91,993

6.56

0.01

14

Precision Castparts

87,500

0.09

0.02

15

Alcoa

85,983

13.11

0.15

16

Valero Energy

83,993

4.46

0.14

17

Ford Motor

75,360

6.24

0.00

18

General Motors

73,248

8.37

0.02

19

Goodyear

67,632

3.16

0.00

20

E.ON

65,579

20.96

0.00

21

Matsushita Electric Indl

65,346

0.06

0.00

22

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold

63,911

4.01

0.00

23

Apollo Mgt. (Hexion Specialty Chemicals)

63,880

1.06

2.80

24

Avery Dennison

62,740

0.21

1.09

25

BASF

60,984

4.60

2.05

26

Owens Corning

59,609

6.29

0.00

27

Dominion Resources

58,642

14.31

0.00

28

Allegheny Technologies

58,375

0.72

0.03

29

BP

54,336

5.42

0.19

30

Honeywell International

50,417

5.20

1.73

31

International Paper

49,385

44.75

0.01

32

Ashland

43,492

0.24

0.08

33

Constellation Energy

42,972

16.40

0.00

34

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

41,773

7.64

0.00

35

AES

39,789

10.41

0.00

36

Progress Energy

38,027

40.97

0.00

37

Nucor

36,963

0.49

0.00

38

United Technologies

36,526

0.11

0.00

39

Timken

36,047

0.06

0.00

40

Berkshire Hathaway

35,285

9.36

0.05

41

SPX

34,559

0.04

0.00

42

Royal Dutch Shell

34,556

2.95

4.79

43

Southern Co

33,577

76.67

0.00

44

Allegheny Energy

31,539

25.31

0.00

45

American Electric

31,364

91.41

0.00

46

Reliant Energy

30,821

34.39

0.00

47

Boeing

30,453

0.48

0.00

48

General Dynamics

30,337

0.48

0.06

49

Occidental Petroleum

30,069

1.09

2.38

50

KeySpan

29,008

1.16

0.00

51

Lyondell Chemical

28,591

15.52

3.09

52

Sunoco

27,851

2.99

0.39

53

Anheuser-Busch Cos

27,032

2.24

0.00

54

Ball

25,709

3.99

0.02

55

Deere & Co

25,346

0.36

0.00

56

Procter & Gamble

25,238

0.16

0.00

57

Tesoro

24,708

3.76

0.01

58

Temple-Inland

24,537

8.33

0.00

59

Pfizer

24,508

0.28

12.36

60

Rowan Cos.

24,389

0.08

0.00

61

Leggett & Platt

23,870

0.06

0.00

62

Northrop Grumman

23,798

0.46

0.05

63

Weyerhaeuser

22,708

17.56

0.00

64

Rohm and Haas

22,489

1.07

1.33

65

Tyco International

22,115

0.64

1.58

66

Terex

21,730

0.03

0.00

67

Corning

20,942

0.13

0.00

68

Exelon

20,811

0.97

0.00

69

Fortune Brands

20,583

1.84

0.00

70

FirstEnergy

20,441

16.72

0.00

71

Suncor Energy

20,378

0.12

0.00

72

Crown Holdings

19,447

3.50

0.00

73

Masco

18,572

3.47

0.00

74

ThyssenKrupp Group

18,133

0.51

0.01

75

Textron

17,443

0.30

0.08

76

Sony

16,426

0.16

0.02

77

Mirant

16,337

18.53

0.00

78

RAG

16,080

0.86

0.02

79

Alcan

15,231

0.90

0.00

80

Huntsman

15,119

1.84

8.01

81

Bridgestone

14,952

2.13

0.01

82

Danaher

14,621

0.06

0.00

83

PPG Industries

14,300

2.27

0.70

84

Hess

13,687

0.79

0.04

85

Akzo Nobel

13,453

0.51

0.27

86

Dynegy Inc.

13,439

3.57

0.00

87

Federal-Mogul

13,435

0.14

0.00

88

Stanley Works

13,196

0.11

0.00

89

Komatsu

13,132

0.00

0.00

90

Saint-Gobain

13,012

1.65

0.05

91

PPL

12,972

12.32

0.00

92

Caterpillar

12,924

0.35

0.00

93

Smurfit-Stone Container

12,868

17.93

0.01

94

Siemens

12,649

0.46

0.00

95

MeadWestvaco

12,465

8.81

0.00

96

Marathon Oil

12,454

1.49

0.04

97

Emerson Electric

12,258

0.15

0.00

98

Northeast Utilities

11,115

4.18

0.00

99

National Oilwell Varco

11,042

0.40

0.00

100

Dana

10,638

0.09

0.01

Explanatory notes:

  • Toxic score: Quantity of air releases and incineration transfers reported in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory for the year 2005, adjusted for dispersion through the environment, toxicity of chemicals and number of people impacted. Adjustments are from the EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators project. For details, see the technical notes.
  • Quantity of toxic air releases and incineration transfers: Millions of pounds of toxic chemicals released to the air on-site at each TRI facility or transferred off-site for incineration, without weighting for toxicity or population.
  • Coverage: This table presents the highest toxic scores for corporations that appear on certain Fortune, Forbes, and/or Standard & Poor’s top company lists in the year 2007. Individual facilities are assigned to corporate parents on the basis of the most current information on the ownership structure.

Source

The Top 10
Worst Pollution Problems

Also:

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2002 in US

Includes

2008 Reducing pollution

2008 Study details deadly cost of pollution

2008 California Air Pollution Kills More People Than Car Crashes, Study Shows

2008 Manila Metro’s air pollution kills 5,000 annually

2007 Pollution kills 750,000 in China every year

2007 Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says

2005 Environmental Pollution kills 5 million children a year, says WHO

2007 Shipping pollution kills 60,000 every year

2002 How pollution kills around the world

1998 Report Cites Declining Environment as Major Killer

World Bank Promotes Fossil Fuel Pollution


Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2002 in US

The Toxic 100: Top Corporate Air Polluters in the United States

This index identifies the top air polluters among corporations that appear in the “Fortune 500,” “Forbes 500,” and “Standard & Poor’s 500” lists of the country’s largest firms. 2002 list.

Rank Corporation Rank Corporation
1. E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. 51. The AES Corp.
2. United States Steel Corp. 52. Procter & Gamble Co.
3. ConocoPhillips 53. Lyondell Chemical Co.
4. General Electric Co. 54. Leggett & Platt Inc.
5. Eastman Kodak Co. 55. Sunoco Inc.
6. Exxon Mobil Corp. 56. Emerson Electric Co.
7. Ford Motor Co. 57. MeadWestvaco Corp.
8. (1) 58. FirstEnergy Corp.
9. Alcoa Inc. 59. Ball Corp.
10. Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) 60. Textron Inc.
11. The Dow Chemical Co. 61. Rowan Cos. Inc.
12. Eastman Chemical Co., Inc. 62. Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.
13. The Boeing Co. 63. Mirant Corp.
14. Nucor Corp. 64. Chevron Corp.
15. Georgia-Pacific Corp. 65. Southern Co.
16. AK Steel Holding Corp. 66. ArvinMeritor Inc.
17. Northrop Grumman Corp. 67. Lear Corp.
18. Deere & Co. 68. Visteon Corp.
19. Dominion Resources Inc. 69. Monsanto Co.
20. General Motors Corp. 70. 3M Co.
21. Delphi Corp. 71. Xcel Energy Inc.
22. Tesoro Corp. 72. Crown Holdings Inc.
23. Phelps Dodge Corp. 73. Rohm & Haas Co.
24. Temple-Inland Inc. 74. Federal-Mogul Corp.
25. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 75. PPG Industries Inc.
26. Allegheny Technologies Inc. 76. Great Lakes Chemical Corp.
27. International Paper Co. 77. ICI American Holdings Inc.
28. Valero Energy Corp. 78. Corning Inc.
29. Progress Energy Inc. 79. El Paso Corp.
30. Kerr-McGee Corp. 80. Heartland Industrial Partners LP
31. Danaher Corp. 81. Amerada Hess Corp.
32. Engelhard Corp. 82. Allegheny Energy Inc.
33. Constellation Energy Group Inc. 83. Exelon Corp.
34. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 84. Marathon Oil Co.
35. American Electric Power 85. Goodrich Corp.
36. Reliant Energy Inc. 86. Armstrong Holdings Inc.
37. Teco Energy Inc. 87. The Shaw Group Inc.
38. Becton, Dickinson & Co. 88. Praxair Inc.
39. Premcor Inc. 89. Pfizer Inc.
40. Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc. 90. Brunswick Corp.
41. Tyco International Ltd. 91. Ameren Corp.
42. Weyerhaeuser Co. 92. Dana Corp.
43. United Technologies Corp. (UTC) 93. Altria Group Inc.
44. Honeywell International Inc. 94. Hercules Inc.
45. Owens Corning 95. The Stanley Works
46. Duke Energy Corp. 96. Kimberly-Clark Corp.
47. Occidental Petroleum Co. 97. Harley-Davidson Inc.
48. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) 98. Mohawk Industries Inc.
49. Cinergy Corp. 99. Plum Creek Timber Co. L.P.
50. Ashland Inc. 100. Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Source


2008 Reducing pollution

2008 Study details deadly cost of pollution

2008 California Air Pollution Kills More People Than Car Crashes, Study Shows

2008 Manila Metro’s air pollution kills 5,000 annually

2007 Pollution kills 750,000 in China every year

2007 Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says

2005 Environmental Pollution kills 5 million children a year, says WHO

2007 Shipping pollution kills 60,000 every year

2002 How pollution kills around the world

1998 Report Cites Declining Environment as Major Killer

World Bank Promotes Fossil Fuel Pollution

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US

The World’s Top Ten Worst Pollution Problems 2007

  • Indoor air pollution: adverse air conditions in indoor spaces;
  • Urban air quality: adverse outdoor air conditions in urban areas;
  • Untreated sewage: untreated waste water;
  • Groundwater contamination: pollution of underground water sources as a result of human activity;
  • Contaminated surface water: pollution of rivers or shallow dug wells mainly used for drinking and cooking;
  • Artisanal gold mining: small scale mining activities that use the most basic methods to extract and process minerals and metals;
  • Industrial mining activities: larger scale mining activities with excessive mineral wastes;
  • Metals smelting and other processing: extractive, industrial, and pollutant-emitting processes;
  • Radioactive waste and uranium mining: pollution resulting from the improper management of uranium mine tailings and nuclear waste;
  • Used lead acid battery recycling: smelting of batteries used in cars, trucks and back-up power supplies.

Source