Penn. Judges Plead Guilty To Taking Bribes For Placing Youths in Privately Owned Jails
An unprecedented case of judicial corruption is unfolding in Pennsylvania. Several hundred families have filed a class-action lawsuit against two former judges whove pleaded guilty to taking bribes in return for placing youths in privately owned jails. Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan are said to have received $2.6 million for ensuring juvenile suspects were jailed in prisons operated by the companies PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care. Some of the youths were jailed over the objections of their probation officers. An estimated 5,000 juveniles have been sentenced by Ciavarella since the scheme started in 2002. We speak to two youths sentenced by Ciavarella and to Bob Schwartz of the Juvenile Law Center.
Engineers and visitors tour an exploratory well in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region. Photograph: Reuters
Government offers humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in country’s future energy industry
Britain is involved in a secret high-stakes dash for oil in Somalia, with the government offering humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in the beleaguered country’s future energy industry.
Riven by two decades of conflict that have seen the emergence of a dangerous Islamic insurgency, Somalia is routinely described as the world’s most comprehensively “failed” state, as well as one of its poorest. Its coastline has become a haven for pirates preying on international shipping in the Indian Ocean. Read the rest of this entry →
Part of an interview here at Occupy Jacksonville I gave that starts to scratch the surface of what we are doing here. Most of the press refuses to understand that this is about the money and of course our local officials are intentionally obtuse about why we are here.
So why are we here? We are here to change our government and try to change the system of legal bribery we currently have. It’s true we all have other issues that we are passionate about but this is the reason we are here. The difference we want to make is about making it possible for people to run for office without having to collect the most bribes or be the most bought guy standing.
Why protest Wall Street when the government is the problem? Our elected officials are mere employees of multinational corporations now, so we can pressure them all they want but it won’t do any good. They do as they are told and the lobbyists act like middle management. Lobbying groups and think tanks do all the leg work and collect a lot of the bribe moneyto fund the campaigns. They makethepromisestoinsure they have a high paying job when they leave office.
When we vote out a politician it only means he gets a promotion and if they collect enough bribes maybe they can run one of the multinational corporations that run the lobbyists and own our politicians. Our elected officials have become whores ready to do the bidding of the highest bidder.
So again why Wall Street and not the corporations themselves? Two reasons in my opinion. The first is simple, all these corporations are traded on Wall Street. The second has to do with the sheer greed that led to the collapse of our economy. These people don’t do anything but make money. They don’t produce anything and if they make money the big Wall Street brokers get a cut and when they tank a 401k they still make money. They drive up prices on goods and services without ever doing anything real. I can’t think of a better symbol of the owners of our government.
So why do people still buy things from these companies? First answer is that we have nothing against people making a buck by producing a product. There is nothing wrong with producing a product that people want. What I object to is them buying our elected officials in exchange for loopholes that make it possible for a hugely profitable company to pay no taxes and still get a big subsidy. Elected officials say the poor are a drain because they pay little in taxes and get money for food and other essentials and yet they quickly rush to give billions to companies that make billions already and pay no taxes. Bribes are cheaper than taxes. [see video below] Read the rest of this entry →