Archive | March, 2013

BANKROLLING THE CROOKS

24 Mar

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Johann Wagener 3-23-13

This was the headline in 2009

WASHINGTON — JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday made the case that the government should step aside and allow big banks to fail when they mismanage their investments.

But Dimon’s own bank, the biggest in the U.S., received a $25 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008. At least one Democratic senator said JPMorgan would have collapsed — and Dimon would have been out of a job — if the government hadn’t come to its aid.

 

And here is the headline today;

 

$16 billion.

That’s how much JPMorgan Chase has paid in fines, settlements and other litigation expenses in the last four years alone. 

More than half of that amount, $8.5 billion, was paid out in fines and settlements as the result of illegal actions taken by bank executives.

$8.5 billion is almost 12 percent of the net income the mega-bank brought in during the same period. The Price of Evil at JPMorgan Chase

So, if my math is correct it looks like taxpayers gave JP and the gang the money to bail themselves out of jail. Rather than letting them fail and throw their execs in jail we kicked in $25 billion in tax dollars to keep them afloat which allowed them to recover, repay the loan and the $16 billion in fines (so far) which they would not have been able to without the bailout. 

The US government is actually subsidizing criminal organizations and no one seem the wiser. 

 

TOO MUCH CHEEK?

24 Mar

CIRCLE JERK: A metaphor for any group activity performed for personal gratification.

 

 

TOO MUCH CHEEK
Johann Wagener 3-23-13

Leave it to the Self-Centered, Ego-centric, Narcissitic Western culture to screw up a perfectly designed Eastern practice of meditation and exercise by turning it into a fashion show.

The Looney tunes Lululemon devotees are complaining that there hot and flimsy tights are exposing too much booty.  It’s no wonder that they are having problems since the focus is more on style, fashion, and socializing than on practicing Yoga. Lululemon lovers buy into healthy lifestyle 

The pitch sounds like something out of a cult film;

For a relatively small but growing circle of fitness fanatics, glimpses of the Lululemon Athletica brand act as a signal.

Running by someone in a distinctive, neon-striped hoodie or seeing a co-worker bring lunch in the same reusable red shopping bag covered with the company manifesto — “friends are more important than money,” “breathe deeply” — are both signs that two people have been initiated into the same tribe, one that worships healthy living, tight-knit communities and colorful athletic apparel.

The company’s loyal followers rave like obsessive groupies. “Once you go Lululemon, you never go back,” says 24-year-old Nitasha Khetarpal, of Valencia, Calif.

As usual, it’s all about making money by hyping up something that historically has done very well as it was; just a simple quasi form of mediation and exercise with a focus on mental and physical health and reconnecting with our “true” selves which allows us to “empty” our minds of all that “self-centered” chatter about how good (or bad) we look, is our outfit color coordinated, or am I better at this than the person next to me?

For those who actually want to learn and practice Yoga they are wasting their time if they remain caught up in the silliness going on in the marketplace. Fashion shows, and “feel good” sale pitches is “not Yoga.”

All one needs to learn and practice Yoga is a willingness to put aside the hype, and put on a pair of loose fitting, neutral colored cotton pants (and shirt), sit down, shut up, and listen to the silence. Simply put, that’s “traditional Yoga”.

Modern Yoga versus Traditional Yoga

SCORE ANOTHER HIT FOR THE GUN CULTURE

23 Mar

ARMING THE KIDS

Johann Wagener 3-27-13

 

Some of the more zealous gun enthusiasts have suggested arming school teachers (and even kids) so that everyone will be on a equal playing field when, inevitably, the shooting starts.  How is that going to work now that infants are being targeted by kids?

 

2 teens arrested in slaying of Ga. infant in stroller

THE BUSH/CHENEY LEGACY

23 Mar

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A BLISSFUL DEATH

23 Mar

From “the Bliss Point” to “the Breaking Point” – America’s War on the Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.Image

KILLING AND SELLING OUR CHILDREN

23 Mar

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HALL OF SHAME: a failure to meet your own standards of behavior

 

 

KILLING AND SELLING OUR CHILDREN
Johann Wagener 3-22-13

The United States is not only becoming infamous for putting the gun industry ahead of the safety of its children, it is also putting the interests of the prison industry ahead of the care of their children by literally  allowing them to be sold into slavery. Corrupt Juvenile Justice Leaves Mark On Pa. Kids

By “privatizing” our prison system we have literally transformed it into a “slave market” where humans are bought and sold for profit. This in turn has turned the judicial system into a slave market which is now a breeding ground for corrupt individuals like those who were recently convicted in PA;

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist William Ecenbarger tells a story that seems to be pulled right from Charles Dickens: a judge sends young people to a detention center, in exchange for kickbacks from the facility’s owner.

The judge was Mark Ciavarella and he presided over a courtroom in Luzerne County, Pa. He sent thousands of kids to detention centers for minor offenses – things that used to result in a three-day suspension from class.

 

William Ecenbarger is author of “Kids for Cash.” (Susan Ecenbarger)

Luzerne County’s president judge, Michael Conahan, was also implicated in the “Kids for Cash” scandal, for using his budgetary discretion to stop funding the county’s public youth detention facility. He also agreed to generate costs that could be billed to taxpayers in exchange for kickbacks.

Prosecutors say the two judges secretly received more than $2.6 million in kickbacks. In 2011, Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison and Conahan was sentenced to 17.5 years.

Some might say, justice was served, but they are sorely mistaken. These judges were nothing more than “scapegoats” used to distract us from the real problem; The “for-profit” private prison industry.

Click on this site: Mid-Atlantic Youth Services, Corp

Here’s a little of how they taste of how they pedal their services;

Our Mission 
The mission of Mid-Atlantic Youth Services, Corp. (MAYS) is to provide high-quality healthcare, education, and treatment services to our youth through supportive partnerships with those we serve (courts, families, youth, and the community). We accomplish our mission by providing a safe, nurturing, and structured environment that promotes positive changes in the health and well-being of youth, allowing them to return 
to their communities while remaining alcohol, drug, and crime free.


http://www.midatlanticyouth.com/about/images/arrow_title.jpg The MAYS Difference 
A defining difference with MAYS is that we have the ability to house, care for, and treat nearly any juvenile. Our multiple-licensed facilities allow us to serve kids across a wide range of offenses and disorders, unlike the unidimensional focus common among most providers.

We know you have high concerns and expectations. After all, these are youths with special demands who require a disciplined and all-encompassing treatment plan to make them well. We address the “whole” child, with services that expressly target the uniqueness of their conduct, character and condition. We understand who influences the youth in our care, so we focus on constant relationship building with anyone who can affect their futures – judges, courts, families, communities, affiliate providers and influencers…all will find us very accommodating.

Our programs and services are all done with master level therapists and educators, concentrating on the same, very real, very reachable goals; family reunification and a return as productive members of the community, as well as a fresh start on life. Long or short, all roads to recovery start with a single, life altering step. Let us lead the way.

 What this institution and the many more like it don’t say is that their real mission is to fill the beds and keep them full. The true incentive not rehabilitation, but long-term incarceration very similar to our healthcare industry that focuses on intervention rather than prevention. It boils down to simply making a “profit.”

That is the core of the problem with any service-oriented organization that has to maintain a “captive” clientele in order to survive.

The healthcare system is beginning to address this by rewarding those who keep people healthy rather than those who just step in when things are bad. The profit then is on health, not disease.

The same holds true with the criminal justice industry which is why there should not be any incentive to keep people incarcerated but rather to reward those that are actually rehabilitated and/or habituatedin order to diminish criminal behavior.

the us slave market is booming

23 Mar

and it includes selling our children to private penal institutions that do nothing more than warehouse them at tax-payers expense.

 

Judges, Mark Ciavarella & Michael Conahan Guilty in Scheme to Jail Youths for Profit » Titania – Ethical Creative Society

 

 

 

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China’s extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)

 

 

U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations