Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution.
His “kids for cash” program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary.
Put him under the jail.
Ok but what abovet the company that benefited from these people being locked up?
(Source: thefreelioness, via progressivepost)
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania public school districts would be required to post “In God We Trust” in every school building under legislation that advanced out of a committee in the state House of Representatives this week.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny, passed the House Education Committee on Wednesday by a 14-to-9 vote, with only one Democrat and one Republican crossing party lines.
The National Motto Display Act, as it is titled, credits James Pollock, a 19th century Pennsylvania governor, for putting the term on coins while serving as director of the U.S. Mint. The measure would require schools to post it by using a mounted plaque, student artwork or some other form.
Saccone said the motto would fit well with the state’s local history curriculum and appears to be widely supported by his constituents.
“It’s 500-to-1 back home, people are for it,” he said Thursday, adding that he believed it also would pass the Legislature overwhelmingly.
“I’m sure the media’s going to try to beat it down,” he said. “That’s par for the course.”
Saccone is a Baptist who also sponsored a “day of prayer” resolution in the House earlier this year to make April 30 “National Fast Day.” It was patterned after a similar designation by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago.
During the committee hearing, he said, opponents raised questions about whether the measure would withstand a court challenge and concerns that it might trivialize the motto.
“This isn’t about evangelizing,” Saccone said. “This is about celebrating our national motto.”
“In God We Trust” became the national motto under a 1956 law signed by President Dwight Eisenhower.
Janice Rael, vice president of the Delaware Valley chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the proposal promotes religion over the absence of religion. She opposes the proposal.
“The last time I checked, God was religious,” Rael said. “The government should be neutral, and with this legislation the government is not neutral, the government is taking a position.”
I am just blown away by what guys spend they legislative time on. This is their nonsense idea to help our ailing schools? Bring back E Pluribus Unum as the national motto and put that up for kids to see. That’s actually a message worth teaching them. Out of many, one; as opposed to In God We Trust, which is essentially the opposite sentiment.
The History of the Pledge of Allegiance I.e How a Catholic men’s club and a newly baptized POTUS shat all over the first amendment.
In 1951, the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, also began including the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. In New York City, on April 30, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend the text of their Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by addition of the words “under God” after the words “one nation.” Over the next two years, the idea spread throughout Knights of Columbus organizations nationwide. On August 21, 1952, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus at its annual meeting adopted a resolution urging that the change be made universal and copies of this resolution were sent to the President, the Vice President (as Presiding Officer of the Senate) and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The National Fraternal Congress meeting in Boston on September 24, 1952, adopted a similar resolution upon the recommendation of its president, Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart. Several State Fraternal Congresses acted likewise almost immediately thereafter. This campaign led to several official attempts to prompt Congress to adopt the Knights of Columbus’ policy for the entire nation. These attempts were eventually a success.
At the suggestion of a correspondent, Representative Louis C. Rabaut of Michigan sponsored a resolution to add the words “under God” to the Pledge in 1953.
Prior to February 1954, no endeavor to get the Pledge officially amended succeeded. The final successful push came from George MacPherson Docherty. Some American presidents honored Lincoln’s birthday by attending services at the church Lincoln attended, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church by sitting in Lincoln’s pew on the Sunday nearest February 12. On February 7, 1954, with President Eisenhower sitting in Lincoln’s pew, the church’s pastor, George MacPherson Docherty, delivered a sermon based on the Gettysburg Address titled “A New Birth of Freedom.” He argued that the nation’s might lay not in arms but its spirit and higher purpose. He noted that the Pledge’s sentiments could be those of any nation, that “there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life.” He cited Lincoln’s words “under God” as defining words that set the United States apart from other nations.
President Eisenhower had been baptized a Presbyterian very recently, just a year before. He responded enthusiastically to Docherty in a conversation following the service. Eisenhower acted on his suggestion the next day and on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. Eisenhower stated “From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty…. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.”
The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §4 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942.
On October 6, 1954 the National Executive Committee of the American Legion adopted a resolution, first approved by the Illinois American Legion Convention in August 1954, that formally recognized the Knights of Columbus for having initiated and brought forward the amendment to the Pledge of Allegiance.
"Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies."
An unsettling question (about schizophrenia) is whether the violent commands from these voices reflect our culture as much as they result from the disease process of the illness.
In the past few years I have been working with some colleagues at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Chennai, India, to compare the voice-hearing experience of people with schizophrenia in the United States and India.
The two groups of patients have much in common. Neither particularly likes hearing voices. Both report hearing mean and sometimes violent commands. But in our sample of 20 comparable cases from each country, the voices heard by patients in Chennai are considerably less violent than those heard by patients in San Mateo, Calif.
Describing his own voices, an American matter-of-factly explained, “Usually it’s like torturing people to take their eyes out with a fork, or cut off someone’s head and drink the blood, that kind of stuff.” Other Americans spoke of “war,” as in, “They want to take me to war with them,” or their “suicide voice” asking, “Why don’t you end your life?”
In Chennai, the commanding voices often instructed people to do domestic chores — to cook, clean, eat, bathe, to “go to the kitchen, prepare food.” To be sure, some Chennai patients reported disgusting commands — in one case, a woman heard the god Hanuman insist that she drink out of a toilet bowl. But in Chennai, the horrible voices people reported seemed more focused on sex. Another woman said: “Male voice, very vulgar words, and raw. I would cry.”
These observations suggest that local culture may shape the way people with schizophrenia pay attention to the complex auditory phenomena generated by the disorder and so shift what the voices say and how they say it. Indeed, that is the premise of a new patient-driven movement, more active in Europe than in the United States, which argues that if you treat unsettling voices with dignity and respect, you can change them.
There is general agreement among interested observers that, over the past two decades, Americans have grown increasingly indifferent to the often-demonstrated fact of their ignorance of even the most basic scientific discoveries of the last four centuries, and increasingly unconcerned that US K-12 students generally tie for last place in knowledge of math and science, in comparisons among 70 or more nations.
An actual and naked hostility to science and scholarship has been tied up seemingly inextricably with political and religious ultra-conservatism. This attitude of distrust and dislike of science, mathematics and rational thought in general very obviously has an entirely negative educational impact. And ultimately, such hostile attitudes must result in an ever-increasing popularity for various pseudosciences, particularly those which can adapt themselves to the prevailing political and religious dogmas.
-Science v Pseudoscience
"We cannot have a just society that applies the principle of accountability to the powerless and the principle of forgiveness to the powerful. This is the America in which we currently reside."