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Once punished, criminals deserve a second chance

One reason California’s recidivism rate is so high may be that we stopped supporting creative ways to enable a productive life once inmates got out.
Bernie Ward listens to a caller on his late-night radio show in 2003.
Bernie Ward listens to a caller on his late-night radio show in 2003. Dick Schmidt Sacramento Bee file
BY BRUCE MAIMAN
Special to The Bee
It was a troublesome Facebook post from a conservative talk show host at a Santa Rosa radio station. Promoting an upcoming segment, last week’s post read:

“Former KGO Radio Talk Show Host Bernie Ward, convicted of child pornography seven years ago, is going to be released from federal prison in time for Christmas. Where will he go? Are your children safe? Is he truly rehabilitated as he claims?”


In some 100 comments, most called Ward, who was politically liberal, all sorts of vile names in the firm conviction that “There is NO rehab for these kinds of animals!”

When exchanges between Ward’s maligners and a defender became heated, the Santa Rosa host, Melanie Morgan, warned that those engaging in “personal attacks, gross distortions … hateful diatribes or mean-spirited discussions” would be banned from her Facebook page and the radio station’s website.

As if her promotional tease isn’t a diatribe, personal attack or gross distortion by way of rhetorical wordplay? Why focus only on Ward? Are no other “threats” being released in time for Christmas?

I carry no water for Ward and bear no malice toward Morgan, but as a talk show host myself and a news consumer, I’ve always loathed such hyperbole. It dominates cable news as well as talk radio, audaciously playing to our worst emotions and fostering precisely the attitude that put us into the state prison mess we still face today.

In the 1980s, we decided our prisons should punish rather than rehabilitate. The inmate population quickly jumped from 20,000, where it had been since the 1960s, to some 170,000 at its height. The correctional workforce grew from 2,600 to 45,000, and with it, union clout and political influence that contributed millions of dollars to support punitive measures that lengthened sentences.

At the same time, once-great vocational programs that trained inmates to be butchers, landscapers and carpenters were largely shuttered. Today, just 10 percent of Folsom State Prison inmates can participate in what’s left of that institution’s vocational efforts. One reason California’s recidivism rate is 61 percent while the national average is only 40 percent may be that we became so obsessed with keeping people in prison we stopped supporting creative ways to enable a productive life once they got out.

“I do not regret and don’t feel it necessary to defend a news story that asks those questions,” Morgan told me in a spirited but friendly conversation. “They’re valid questions that society needs to consider.”

To me, though, the way they’re asked and the emotions they elicit only exacerbate the difficulties of reintegration. “Incarcerated people are constantly being dehumanized in the public’s imagination,” Jody Lewen, executive director of San Quentin’s Prison University Project, told me. “Sex offenders are the extreme end of that dehumanization spectrum.”

Last month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that restrictions in 2012’s Proposition 35 infringed on the free speech rights of registered sex offenders to communicate on the Internet. The plaintiffs had completed their sentences decades ago – decades, because, you know, sex offenders can never be rehabilitated.

Anyone empathizing with ex-cons wanting to start a new life, however, faces vilification. “I talk to staffers in Sacramento who say, ‘Our member understands this or that,’ but they’re afraid to say something for fear of offending constituents, and end up producing or supporting legislation that’s utterly counterproductive,” Lewen said.

Thus, lawmakers, fearful of losing their jobs, are held hostage by public fear fueled by a media constantly and provocatively overwhelming us with images and warnings that, while generating ratings, also make things feel worse than they actually are.

“I would encourage you to acknowledge that fear,” Lewen tells me.

I do. The fear and anger are understandable, and they are good motivators, but they are not good decision-makers.

Bernie Ward was convicted on one count – online distribution of child pornography. He was never charged, let alone accused, of molesting any children. Morgan’s questions are typical among the staunchly partisan, many of whom claim affinity for the Christian value of forgiveness, which lies at the heart of the gospel. It’s right there in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Why, then, the vitriol and Old Testament retribution? Should we never trust ex-cons who have served their time, been deemed by professionals to be rehabilitated, and who hope to be productive members of society?

That’s our system, no more or no less binding than that of a grand jury finding insufficient evidence to indict. Ward paid his debt. Why isn’t that enough?

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/bruc...rylink=cpy
The stats seem to show that there is no help for child molesters. But I don't think throwing out sentences like they're nothing helps anyone.
David Petraeus is being considered for a demotion

Pentagon Considering Retroactive Demotion for Gen. Petraeus - See more at: http://www.teaparty.org/pentagon-conside...9gSDI.dpuf
Hollande’s 75% ‘supertax’ reduced government tax revenues

France has said goodbye to its infamous 75% income tax on individuals earning more than 1 million euros this past weekend, returning to a top marginal income tax rate of 45%. The change, effective February 1, is a blow to the French Socialist party’s signature redistribution measure, the same remedy supported by popular French economist Thomas Piketty who predicted that “lots of other countries will inevitably follow this route.”

France’s 75% ‘supertax’ reduced government tax revenues through hindered economic growth and capital flight

Most memorably, the French supertax famously compelled French actor Gerard Depardieu to become a Russian citizen and relocate to Moscow for tax reasons. Notwithstanding, this trend of emigration persisted at the macro level as an estimated 2.5 million French citizens now live abroad in the U.K., Belgium and other countries sporting more competitive income tax rates.

As a result of a reduced labor supply and discouraged investment in France following the 75% top marginal income tax rate announced in September 2012, French revenues for 2013 came in at only 16 billion euros, a 14 billion euro shortfall below the French government’s expected 30 billion in tax collections.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonhartley/2...e98eee559b
Peter Schiff was right. US economy is headed towards recession or most likely another QE.

"Sales at U.S. retailers declined in December, raising concern about the momentum in consumer spending heading into 2016. Manufacturing in the U.S. contracted last month at the fastest pace in more than six years, hobbled by sluggish global growth and a rising U.S. dollar."


[Image: vvXAUDJ.png]
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35385445

'Putin is corrupt' says US Treasury
Not big news, but I like the quote from one of Australia's most hated PM's. He was a tool, but he did "stop the boats" and set up a solution for the govt. debt... and tried to shirtfront Putin. But he's pretty bang on with a quote below, and one from Howard too.

Abbot Addresses US Conservative Group

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has warned against indifference to the erosion of family in a speech to a US conservative, pro-Christian organisation.
Source: AAP
29 JAN 2016 - 6:31 AM UPDATED 4 HOURS AGO

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has warned traditional marriage has always been considered the heart of family and the institution needs to be passed on "undamaged" in a speech to a US conservative Christian organisation.

Mr Abbott told the Alliance Defending Freedom overnight that traditional family was the best social welfare system that mankind has ever devised, quoting John Howard.

"Policy-makers shouldn't be judgemental about people's personal choices but we can't be indifferent to the erosion of family given its consequences for the wider community," Mr Abbott said in the speech, as quoted by The Australian newspaper.

Mr Abbott reflected on the complex structures of families in modern times including his own family tree in which two of his sisters are divorced - one with a new partner and another with a same-sex partner.

"To me, my sisters' partners are first-class members of our extended family," he said.

He called for less ideology and more common sense in the marriage equality debate.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said it was a democracy and Mr Abbott was entitled to express his views.

"Tony Abbott can say whatever he wants to whomever he wants," Mr Pyne told the Nine Network.

"That's called freedom of speech."

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese also defended Mr Abbott's address.

"Tony Abbott can talk to whichever group of right wing nut jobs in the United States he likes, whichever one because there's lots of them as we're seeing at the moment with the right wing of politics in the US," he told the Nine Network.
the traditional family absolutely is the best social welfare system ever created.

it's based out of natural principles.

he is spot on with that.
States ditch electronic voting machines
17.3K44

By Cory Bennett - 11/02/14 09:00 AM EST

States ditch electronic voting machines
TheHill.com

States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day.

With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return to the pencil-and-paper voting that the new technology was supposed to replace.

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Nearly 70 percent of voters will be casting ballots by hand on Tuesday, according to Pamela Smith, president of election watchdog Verified Voting.
"Paper, even though it sounds kind of old school, it actually has properties that serve the elections really well," Smith said.

It’s an outcome few would have predicted after the 2000 election, when the battle over “hanging chads” in the Florida recount spurred a massive, $3 billion federal investment in electronic voting machines.

States at the time ditched punch cards and levers in favor of touch screens and ballot-scanners, with the perennial battleground state of Ohio spending $115 million alone on upgrades.

Smith said the mid-2000s might go down as the “heyday” of electronic voting.

Since then, states have failed to maintain the machines, partly due to budget shortfalls.

“There is simply no money to replace them,” said Michael Shamos, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University who has examined computerized voting systems in six states.

The lack of spending on the machines is a major problem because the electronic equipment wears out quickly. Smith recalled sitting in a meeting with Missouri election officials in 2012 where they complained 25 percent of their equipment had malfunctioned in preelection testing.

“You’re dealing with voting machines that are more than a decade old,” Smith said.

Roughly half of the states that significantly adopted electronic voting following the cash influx have started to move back toward paper.

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration in January warned that the deterioration of voting machines is an “impending crisis,” but House Republicans say the issue should be left to the states.

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who chairs the house committee that oversees federal elections and is a former Michigan secretary of State, said the cash infusion to the states in the mid-2000s was "unprecedented."

"State and local election officials should not rely on the federal government to replace voting machines that may be nearing the end of its useful life. Therefore, state and local election officials should recognize that they are responsible for upgrading their voting equipment as needed, and hopefully they are budgeting accordingly," Miller said in a statement to The Hill.

Some voters might welcome the return to punch voting, given that researchers have repeatedly proved the fallibility of individual e-voting machines.

One group from Princeton needed only seven minutes and simple hacking tools to install a computer program on a voting machine that took votes for one candidate and gave them to another.

More whimsically, two researchers showed they could install Pac-Man onto a touch-screen voting machine, leaving no detectable traces of their presence.

But concerns of widespread tampering are overblown, Shamos said.

“It’s something you can demonstrate under lab conditions,” he said. To translate it to an election-altering hack, “you would have to commit the perfect crime.”

“There's never been a proven case of manipulation of an electronic voting machine,” he said.

Voting machines are not connected to any network and not connected to each other, making them difficult to tamper with.

“These machines are not hooked up or networked in any way that would make them vulnerable to external access,” said Matt McClellan, press secretary for the Ohio secretary of State. “We’re confident that process is secure and the integrity is being maintained.”

“There’s no mechanism whereby viruses can pass from one machine to another,” Shamos agreed. Best-case scenario, “maybe I could fool a few people” and get several hundred votes “for my guy.”

Bryan Whitener, director of communications for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, noted that all electronic voting machines are tested and certified.

Many states, like Colorado, keep their machines under video surveillance with detailed records of when software is being installed.

When Ohio made the $115 million statewide switch to e-voting, it passed a law that all voting methods, including touch screens, must also generate a paper trail.

“It’s not just solely an electronic vote,” McClellan said.

More than 60 percent of states passed similar laws with the electronic switch. Some states moved preemptively; others were reactionary.

An electronic machine in North Carolina lost roughly 4,500 votes in a 2004 statewide race after it simply stopped recording votes. The race was ultimately decided by fewer than 2,000 votes.

“Now what do you do?” Smith asked. “You can’t really do a recount. There’s nothing to count.”

Within a year, the state passed a law requiring a paper back-up.

Paper trails are simply “more resilient,” Smith said.

Shamos said he expects the move back to paper ballots to continu

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/...g-machines
^ thats a step in the right direction.

Decided to make a come back here Smile

1. Russia Accuses Turkey Of Preparing Syria Invasion

Russia suspects Turkey may be secretly preparing to invade northern Syria after Ankara denied a Russian military plane access to its airspace as part of a treaty-mandated surveillance flight on Feb. 3, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page Thursday.

By denying the Russian surveillance flight access to airspace along the Turkey-Syria border, Moscow claims that Ankara has violated an international treaty known as Open Skies. The treaty aims to prevent military tensions by allowing nations to observe military deployments within a nation's border.


http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ide...58685.html


2. TPP protesters shut down central Auckland as ministers sign controversial deal

Earlier, central Auckland grounded to a halt as trade ministers signed the TPP. All streets around Sky City Convention Centre and motorway on and off ramps leading to the central business district were blocked by protesters.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/...NZH_FBpage


3. Saudi: ready to join ground operation in Syria

The spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s military said on Thursday the kingdom was ready to join any ground operation in Syria if required by the U.S.-led coalition.

"The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Islamic State) may agree to carry out in Syria," said military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri during an interview.

Asiri is spokesman for a separate Saudi-led Arab coalition which, since March, has conducted air strikes and ground operations in Yemen. This coalition supports the government there in its fight against Houthi rebels who seized much of the country and are backed by Iran.

Iran is also one of the main allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has been fighting an insurgency for about five years.

Saudi Arabia supports more moderate rebels against Assad's forces.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2016/02/...yria-.html

HAHA more moderate forces.


4. Germans Are Turning Sour On Angela Merkel

The German leader's approval ratings have fallen to 46 percent -- the lowest they've been since October 2011 -- from a high of 75 percent almost one year ago, according to a new Infratest/Dimap poll.

The reason is not hard to discern: As a refugee crisis engulfed the European continent last year, Merkel opened her country's doors, taking in over 1 million people. While her decision was praised by many abroad, she's now facing a backlash -- driven, in part, by violence in Germany and squabbles with neighboring countries.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ange...69c7a62cb1


5. Strauss-Kahn hired by Ukraine billionaire Viktor Pinchuk

Mr Strauss-Kahn resigned as IMF managing director in 2011, after being accused of a rape at a New York hotel - allegations which were later dismissed.
He will join a newly-formed supervisory board at Bank Credit-Dnepr.
Mr Pinchuk is the son-in-law of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and is reported to be worth $1.4bn (£1bn).Since then Mr Pinchuk has diversified into other industries, including banking.

Last month he settled a dispute with two other Ukrainian businessmen, over the 2004 purchase of a mining company in Ukraine.
The case, due to be heard in London, was expected to be one of the most expensive court cases in English legal history and promised to reveal details about the business dealings of some of Ukraine's wealthiest men.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35488200
^ WOW welcome back cellar door

great to see you back. missed your news curation!
lol. the NZ PM got a dildo to the face after the signing. Traitor

[Image: CafWQlCWcAAu5aJ.jpg:large]

2. TPP protesters shut down central Auckland as ministers sign controversial deal

Earlier, central Auckland grounded to a halt as trade ministers signed the TPP. All streets around Sky City Convention Centre and motorway on and off ramps leading to the central business district were blocked by protesters.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/...NZH_FBpage
shit just got real with Pope Mario:



Flashback: Outspoken NWO Opponent Poisoned

February 29, 2016

philip.jpg
Anti-NWO activist and writer Philip Jones (left) died Nov.24,2009 in Denmark after contracting "stomach cancer."


It's been more than seven years since the untimely death of our friend and colleague
Philip Jones at age 51.

Philip contributed many witty and outspoken articles to this and other websites which no doubt
drew attention from the forces of evil, who throughout history have used poison to exact their revenge.

This is as good a time as any to remember the fate of courageous souls who stand up for truth.







'To summarize, Philip John Jones, before his hospitalization and death, specifically stated that he had felt he had been a victim of an Illuminati "hit." '



Philip Jones - "Happy Danes" are NWO Guinea Pigs
------------------- Report from the Danish Gender Gulag


from 28 Nov. 2009
(Letter from "L.C. Vincent")

Dear Henry,

Your many correspondents regarding the untimely death of Philip John Jones must be forgiven their suspicions that his passing was somehow hastened by an unseen hand. Having had the privilege to have been in correspondence with Philip for several months before his sudden illness and death, Philip had, for whatever reason, decided to share his thoughts and suspicions about a peculiar incident that seemed to be growing in importance the more he pondered it.

Apparently, around 18 months ago, a woman began to correspond with Philip. According to her, she seemed very conversant with all things NWO, as well as apparently knowing a great deal about other esoteric and arcane subjects. She seemed to be in agreement with Philip's areas of research. They corresponded, and they decided to meet.

Dorte_Jensen_kobenhavn1.gif
This woman, Dorte Jensen, who was married with two daughters, introduced herself and her husband to Philip and his wife. Over time, this woman gained Philip's trust, and began to create concoctions of her own "vitamins" which she administered to Philip on a daily basis for several months.

Moreover, Philip described her as almost "....living in my bathroom..." that is to say, apart from her "vitamin" preparation for Philip, she seemed to spend an inordinate time in Philip's personal space, something he had noted out of curiosity and mentioned in writing to me.

Then, almost as quickly as this woman and her husband had appeared in his life, she withdrew from his life, "...taking all of her vitamins and every single ingredient with her...." according to Philip.

Approximately 3 months ago, Philip and his wife went to a restaurant and upon coming home, he became violently ill. From that day forward, his health rapidly declined. However, according to Philip, his suspicion was not that he had been poisoned at the restaurant, but that the "vitamins" had been the causal agent of his illness.

Philip SPECIFICALLY wrote to me that he had come to the conclusion that this "pair" were Illuminati agents, that her husband was her "handler" and that she, whose father had been in the military, was raised in a mind controlled environment. Many of the details of her behavior patterns, upon analysis and reflection, were classic mind-control responses, according to Philip's hindsight analysis.

To summarize, Philip John Jones, before his hospitalization and death, specifically stated that he had felt he had been a victim of an Illuminati "hit." Knowing all the intricate details of this relationship Philip chose to share with me, for reasons known only to him, would leave little doubt in any researcher's mind about what has transpired to end the life of one of the true giants of esoteric research on the subject of planetary control.

I share this for only one reason. I want everyone who ever read, enjoyed and benefited from the gifts of Philip John Jones' research and analysis to know that his life was terminated with extreme prejudice.

Despite this, Philip John Jones' writing and research will stand as a beacon, shining a light upon the darkness where the serpents -- and the Illuminati -- still dwell, from this day until their final extermination.
- See more at: http://henrymakow.com/#sthash.oQIo42MX.dpuf
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