Category: U.S. Politics
[T]he war on drugs… is perpetuated by the Drug Prevention Industry. Thousands of jobs and billions of budget dollars are at stake here and must be protected at all costs. It’s a “jobs and the economy” outlook toward a social and health issue affecting real human lives, who are perceived as collateral damage.
Both of the main players in this game, drug cartels and the prevention industry, share a symbiotic relationship. It is so important to the success of drug cartels to keep drugs illegal that they fund, through shell corporations, political campaigns of law and order candidates. Thus both sides in this war have a common purpose and share a mutually beneficial outcome.
The lineup at an early-voting polling station in Columbus, Ohio, one of two democratic strongholds in what is thought to be the most critical swing state in Tuesday’s US Presidential election.
(Vis L.A. Times reporter Michael Finnegan.)
H/T: Stephen Puddicombe
The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson explains it in four terse sentences:
Europe has Greece. We have Mississippi. Europe uses the term “permanent bailouts.” We call it “Medicaid.”
And he illustrates the point with a map from the Economist:
[T]he poorest states like Mississippi, New Mexico, and West Virginia rely on ginormous transfers of federal taxes in the form of unemployment benefits and Medicaid. Like the United States, the euro zone is all on one currency. Unlike the United States, the euro zone collects a teensy share of total taxes at the EU level and has no legacy of permanent fiscal transfers from the richer countries, like Germany, to the poorer countries, like Greece. The result is the chaos playing over your computer screen day after day.
Here in the U.S., states like New Mexico and Alabama are always “in fiscal trouble.” But it’s not news. In the last 20 years, the seven states in orange and red in the graph have accepted federal money worth around 200% of their annual GDP. Perhaps you’ve had a bar debate about whether we should boot Mississippi from the union, but that sort of thing hasn’t made its way to Washington.
Every once in a while, between pleas from search engine optimizers, deposed African Generals, and cut-rate Viagra pushers, spam coughs up a gem. Like the 5,711-word message I just received from Father Yahweh, yea Jehovah, Most High God, aka Linda Newkirk of Little Rock, Arkansas. It began like this:
It can now be reported that many of the wildfires in the western United States have been started by highly trained and well equipped foreign terrorists. It can also be reported that these terrorists are also responsible for the numerous explosions that occured in Michigan on the 6th and 7th of June 2012. You may not of heard of the Michigan explosions as there has been a news blackout in place.
One of the major explosions in Michigan that sent radiation monitors thousands of times higher in two different locations was the result of a tactical nuclear weapon. The underground nuclear explosion and numerous smaller explosions, that were sometimes heard in rapid succession, were aimed at setting off the New Madrid Fault! The smaller explosions were created with scaler electromagnetic technology. Both the US and the USSR are known to have developed this type of tectonic plate weaponry.
The purpose of this email is to expose those who were behind the attacks. For reports and background information on what actually took place in and around the Michigan Indiana border, visit the following sites. Link here [deleted], and additional link here [deleted].
It has now been revealed that the attacks were carried out by Russian Special Forces who were brought into the USA under the guise of joint training excercises with the US Military. There is plenty of corroborating eyewitness testimony following the prophetic warning you are about to read. There are also descriptions of the expensive motorhomes they are travelling in.
You haven’t heard of those June 6 & 7 Michigan blasts, have you? What more proof do you need? As you may have guessed, the central figure behind this dastardly conspiracy is none other than Barack Obama. Newkirk knows this because T.M., the militant Communist wife of V. M., a “level-headed Russian scientist,” told Tom Fife as much way back in 1992, when none of us had ever heard of Obama. Fife was setting up a software development joint venture in Moscow with scientist-colleagues of V.M.’s when e visited the couple’s flat one evening, and T.M. just blurted the whole thing out.
What if I told you that you will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist? Yes, it is true. This is not some idle talk. He is already born and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of Presidents. He is what you call “Ivy League”. You don’t believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That’s right, a chocolate baby! And he’s going to be your President.”
Doesn’t that put your worries in perspective?
A marshmallow cannon, actually, and he shot it inside the White House.
Contrarian may be the only blogger you read who actually owns a marshmallow gun.
NYU grad student Josh Begley wrote a simple program (technically, a processing script) to capture a Google Earth arial image of every prison in the United States, then used the images as tiles to build a huge mosaic he calls Prison Map. The complete image is so vast, and takes so long to load as a website, Begley’s main site defaults to a 700-prison subset of the best images.
The United States is the prison capital of the world. This is not news to most people. When discussing the idea of mass incarceration, we often trot out numbers and dates and charts to explain the growth of imprisonment as both a historical phenomenon and a present-day reality. But what does the geography of incarceration in the US actually look like? Prison Map is my attempt to answer that question.
H/T: Nathan Yau
The ultra-conservative US Tea Party movement is taking a page from Stephen Harper’s playbook: gutting the census. Last week, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that would shutter several Census Bureau projects and programs. Robert Groves is the Bureau’s director:
My mother, a school board member in her tiny Maine town, had a bumper sticker that read, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” You might equally, if less pithily, say, “If you think the census is expensive, try not knowing what’s happening to your country’s population.”
Gathering statistical information about a country’s demographics has been a hallmark of civilized countries for centuries. The requirement for a decennial census is embedded in the US Constitution. Nothing better illustrates the no-nothing arrogance of neoconservatives, US and Canadian, than their contempt for evidence that might betray flaws in their ideology.
H/T: Nathan Yau
A Chinese engineer, on his first trip to the United States, a work assignment for his company, snapped this photo, reproduced today on James Fallows’s blog. Fallows asks his readers:
- Why did he take the photo?
- What happened next?
For the answers, go here.