Thursday, May 19, 2011

I gave up drinking for a 4th month stint once...

...just to prove to myself that I could do it. I have to say the experience was refreshing, and sobering in the best of ways. It helped me reconsider my priorities, and how those corrolated with my behavior. But I noticed a strange craving for ice-cream creeping up in me those 4 months that hasn't completely gone away. This video represents that new and disturbing craving:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Private Prison Corps. Benefitting from Crackdowns

illegal immigrant Pictures, Images and Photos

Some more specifics on the Corrections Corporation of America referred to in an NPR exposé of the lobbyists behind Arizona Senate Bill 1070,


"[Corrections Corporation of America] says its facilities perform as well as or better than regular ICE facilities or state prisons: "We view ourselves as part of the system, and a complement to what our government partners do. Both our government partners and our industries have evolved over the last 30 years and don't view it through that frame. We are trying to partner with them and be a complement to the existing system." And it vehemently denies that its business harms the public good — indeed, it claims to trim budgets and provide a more flexible alternative to the public prison industry. Still, many of the industry's critics regard its work as repugnant under any circumstance, because of the perverse incentive of CCA and others to increase the volume of people behind bars, with an emphasis on people ill-suited to advocating for their release. CCA's business model is similar to that of the hotel industry, in that profits come from filling beds with paying customers. And just as the Bellagio markets hard to persuade travel agents to bring their customers to Las Vegas, CCA lobbies hard to get state corrections departments to send their clients to Club CCA.

Its lobbying arm spends on average $1 million to $2 million annually — a minuscule amount, CCA says, compared with the lobbying efforts of comparably sized companies and other organizations, such as public employee unions. In fact, the amount is slightly above average for corporations of its size, as judged by publicly available lobbying records maintained by the website OpenSecrets. CCA's opponents, however, say they are more concerned about the effect of the lobbying than the number of dollars spent. They claim the lobbying has resulted in harsher laws, and thus more demand for CCA bed space."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lesbic Jams on a Rainy Day

A Note For Those Who Advocate "English-Only" Policies

While putting together an encyclopedia entry on Latino struggle, I came across an observation from Rumbaut & Portes from their Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America anthology:

"Forceful assimilationism does not seek to expel newcomers but to integrate them as quickly as possible into the American mainstrean. English immersion and the rapid loss of languages and cultures promoted by assimilationist policies weaken immigrant parents' authority and help drive a wedge between generations [...] The paradox, is that, in seeking to make 'good Americans' out of the second generation, English immersion and similar programs undermine the single resource poor immigrant youths have to succeed: namely, the social capital inherent in their families and co-ethnic communities. In the programmatic scenario promoted by forceful assimilationism, schools and immigrant families work at cross-purposes, with negative consequences for both" (315).

This suggests the fundamentally maliciousness of English only policy that seeks to actually eliminate the possibility of upward mobility for immigrant communities and instead producing what the authors describe as a "rainbow underclass."