Protest prison privitization

Privitizing prisons  is a bad idea.  That makes the prison a business.  What do businesses typically do?  Increase profits, layoff workers, and look for ways to cut corners while increasing the customer base.  What does this mean if a prison is a business?  If companies make money from running prisons, obviously they will want more and more prisoners, and will lobby for more laws and stronger punishments.  America already has the largest prison population in the entire world.  The idea of executives plotting to increase prison populations, and hence their bankroll, should make us all queasy.

Prison should not be a place to cut corners.  Instead of locking people up and forgetting about them, we should be looking at ways to make inmates productive members of society so they can assimilate after release, instead of being career criminals. Programs that allow prisoners to train dogs have been very successful, and enjoy public support thanks to portrayal on TV.  Will those programs continue in a commercial prison, whose goal to make money?  Not likely.

Safety is also a concern.  If commercial prisons cut staff, that means both employees and inmates are less safe.  A report on NOW (http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/419/video.html) shows that privitized prisons have more security problems, including riots.

 

Hillary for VP

While I think Joe BIden has done a fine job as Vice-President, he needs to realize, for the good of the Democratic Party, that he is not the best person for the ticket.  First of all, the VP should be someone who can get voters fired up to re-elect Obama this year.  Second, the VP should be electable as President, to run once the current President’s terms have expired.  Biden, though popular and likable, has a very slim chance of becoming President in 2016.  Nor is he.  Instead, he should step aside and recommend Hillary Clinton become VP for Obama in this election.  Not only would it boost enthusiasm for Obama’s campaign, it would put Hillary in place for a near-certain Presidential win in 2016.  Many Democrats I know are disillusioned and disappointed with Obama’s performance so far.  Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has approval ratings above 60%.  I could list for pages all her accomplishments as Secretary of State.  Adding her to the ticket would generate enthusiasm and confidence in the Obama administration.  After the election, perhaps Obama would even solicit and listen to her advice on matters.  She has proven herself a master diplomat on all levels, while Obama still struggles to be effective.

Monsanto bought Beeologics

While researching colony collapse disorder, I came across a nice website called Beeologics, “dedicated to Restoring Bee Health.”  Then, off to the side, a small disclaimer stating Beeologics has been acquired by Monsanto.  Yes, one of the companies making systemic pesticides, which are suspected of causing colony collapse disorder, has bought an organization supposedly dedicated to bee health.  So, if we start hearing “news” coming from Beeologics that says chemicals are not to blame for bee deaths, be very suspicious.

Beeologics – Dedicated to Restoring Bee Health.

Honeybee die-off nearing a ‘critical point’

Bees are still dying at an alarming rate….so much that some beekeepers are applying for disaster aid….

Please take a moment to visualize the countryside dotted with busy, happy, healthy honeybees….

via Honeybee problem nearing a ‘critical point’ | Grist.

Don’t give up on drinkable tap water.

The more we resign ourselves to purchasing bottled water, the more power these companies have over our lives. We may think it’s a necessity to go to the store and purchase clean, pure water to drink. We lift heavy cases or bottles into our carts, cars, and homes, stacking and storing them. What if we expended this effort instead toward lobbying city officials to ensure that our tap water is just as pure? Besides saving ourselves money and strain, we could be helping to provide the same access to drinking water by the elderly, poor, and others who may not have the ability to go buy bottled water or have a fancy filtration system installed in their homes. Developing countries such as Bolivia are seeing drinking water as a public right, not something to be made profitable. Shouldn’t the United States at least be as civilized?

Besides, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, bottled water is bad for the environment, and often exploits the community which provides the water for the bottling company.  And don’t forget that chemicals from the plastic may be leaching into the water and causing health problems.

Review of Loopt.com

At some event I attended, I received a card that said I could get 5 free songs from Loopt.com if I downloaded the app to my mobile phone. I decided to check out the website first before committing to adding an app that is difficult to remove. On the site, I didn’t see any button for downloading music, and the main page was a blog post about “smartphone intervention week.” I thought this must be urging people to put away their phones for a week, but no…it was propaganda urging people to abandon their current phones and buy smartphones. Surprisingly, this has been “liked” by 75 people. This is called advertising, people. It is not news or culture. I threw the card away.

Blog at WordPress.com.