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The United States has an enormous prison problem. A more-than-2.4-million-prisoner-sized problem, to be precise, locked up in the archipelago of federal penitentiaries, state corrections facilities, and local jailhouses that form the nation’s thriving prison-industrial complex. Since 1980, the number of incarcerated citizens in the US has more than quadrupled, an unprecedented rise that can attributed to four decades of tough-on-crime oneupmanship, and a draconian war on drugs.
Today, more than one out of every 100 Americans is behind bars, and the US has the largest prison population in the world, both in terms of the actual number of inmates and as a percentage of the total population. The numbers are staggering: The US incarceration rate is nearly 3.5 times higher than that of Mexico, a country that has spent the last decade in the throes of an actual drug war, and between five and ten times higher than those seen in Western Europe. There are more people locked up in the US than in China. In fact, the US is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite accounting for just 5 percent of the overall global population.
But the data gets even more disturbing when broken down at the state level. A recent analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative shows that while states like Louisiana have undoubtedly led America’s march toward mass incarceration, no state or region has been immune to the prison boom. And each state is a global aberration, with incarceration rates that compare to those found in isolated dictatorships and countries recovering from civil war.
Read the rest of the article on Vice at MASS INCARCERATION IN AMERICA
It is helpful to examine how the American media subtly influences audiences toward tolerating oppression when they should be resisting it. Illustrating this point, two major cable news hosts devoted airtime toward denigrating citizen activists’ efforts to hold the government accountable.
The topic of discussion earlier this week on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor was the subject of filming police officers during on-the job duties. Or, as host Bill O’Reilly describes it, “spying on the police.”
Mr. O’Reilly and guest commentator Megyn Kelly proceeded to attempt to marginalize a group known as Cop Block (www.copblock.org), which has dedicated a great deal of effort toward seeking accountability among police officers through the use of cameras.
The two hosts showed nothing but contempt toward the concept of filming police and the individuals who spend effort to do it.
“There’s enough stress on police, without these clowns chasing them around,” Mr. O’Reilly sneered.
“You’re riding down the road, trying to do your job, suddenly, its like, Paul Bunyan is after me!!” Ms. Kelly mocked, in reference to a clip of an activist who had a beard.
The loud-mouthed host shared the objection to the Texas activist’s appearance, saying, “the guy with a beard, he looks like a biker.”
Mr. O’Reilly said lamented that cops “have to deal with idiots — all day” and that they shouldn’t “have a camera in their face.”
Read the rest of the story here –> http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/fox-news-filming-cops/
Residents of Greenville, North Carolina were alarmed this week after finding armed Department of Homeland Security officers out in full force in their community. Many residents were concerned, thinking there must be an imminent terrorist threat – after all, DHS is a federal agency that’s supposed to protect the country from terrorist threats, so why else would armed Department of Homeland Security agents be in their neighborhoods?
No Terrorist threat, just a Show of Federal Force
According to News Channel WNCT 9 in Greenville, North Carolina, the Department of Homeland Security was not in town because of any specific threat, but was instead letting the community know they were “in the area.”
DHS officials told the news station that they were patrolling the city “as part of their community outreach to let people know that they are in the area.” So here you have a federal agency, in essence, posing as a local police force, in what appears to be an attempt to desensitize the public to their presence.
DHS Raids Small Town in Massive Show of Force
Last week, residents of Livingston, Illinois were surprised to see agents from the Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Patrol and local police agencies swarm a local grade school. The peaceful town of 850 had never seen anything like this, with one resident telling the local news, “When all the armored trucks started showing up and everything it made me kind of nervous.”
The National Police Force
DHS is the third largest federal agency, right behind the department of Veterans Affairs and Defense, employing over 240,000 full-time workers. The agency has basically become a national police force, or a standing army, which has some in congress becoming increasingly concerned.
Last month a bipartisan bill to reform the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) acquisition management was passed through the House. If passed by the Senate, the bill will require DHS to improve discipline, accountability and transparency in acquisition program management – in part, because of the enormous amount of money the agency has spent on projects like militarizing local police forces.
Over the last couple of years, DHS has handed out billions of dollars’ worth of grants and high-grade military equipment to small and rural police forces throughout the United States. From providing local law enforcement teams with mine-resistant armored vehicles straight from the battlefields in Afghanistan, to sending state and local police teams military weaponry, equipment and drones, the rise in military purchases funded by DHS has spurred the militarization of our nation’s police forces.
Stockpiling large amounts of Ammunition
DHS, along with an alarming number of federal agencies, have been stockpiling massive amounts of ammunition. From open purchase orders for over 1.6 billion rounds of ammo for the Department of Homeland Security, to the Transportation Administration, U.S. Postal Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration all placing massive ammo orders, our federal agencies are buying an alarming amount of ammunition. What exactly are they preparing for?
Large-Scale Spying on Americans using DHS Fusion Centers.
Read the rest of the article here: Homeland Security Starting to Police American Towns: Community Outreach to Desensitize Public
The following is a press release from CAL-FFL,
Democrat-authored Assembly Bill 1964 will further criminalize the sale of handguns to law-abiding, background-checked Californians.
ROSEVILLE, CA (July 18, 2014) — In a Legislative Update issued earlier today, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that he has signed Assembly Bill 1964 (Dickinson), a measure that will eliminate the “single shot” exemption to California’s Roster of “not unsafe” handguns. AB 1964’s changes to section 32100 of the California Penal Code, which will go into effect on January 1, 2015, will make it virtually impossible for law-abiding residents of the Golden State to acquire a “non-Roster” handgun in common use for lawful purposes, like self-defense.
In an October 11, 2013, veto message for Assemblyman Dickinson’s previous handgun ban attempt, Brown said, “AB 169 would close a loophole in the single-shot exemption. That makes sense.”
“I wish I could say that we were shocked by the Governor’s irrational decision to sign AB 1964,” explained Brandon Combs, president of California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees(CAL-FFL). “Sadly, the status quo for elitist Sacramento politicians is to ignore the Constitution and act with blatant hostility towards our Second Amendment civil rights and sound public policy.”
“While we are certainly disappointed by Governor Brown’s support of AB 1964, we are also more committed than ever to fight every last attack on our right to keep and bear arms,” Combs concluded. “This is just one bill of many on our radar, and we encourage our friends in the firearms community to steel their resolve and focus on the upcoming battles in August when the Legislature reconvenes.”
To read CAL-FFL’s veto request and for more information about AB 1964, please visit http://www.calffl.org/2014/07/cal-ffl-asks-gov-brown-veto-handgun-ban-bill-ab-1964.
Gun rights supporters can oppose the remaining gun control bills by sending a letter to members of the California Legislature and Governor Brown at http://www.DemandRights.org.
California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL) is California’s most tenacious and complete advocacy group for Second Amendment and related rights, with over 100,000 individual supporters and members including firearm dealers, training professionals, shooting ranges, collectors, gun owners, and others who participate in the firearms ecosystem. CAL-FFL advances the interests of its members and the general public through direct lobbying, legal actions, education, and public outreach.
Brandon Combs, President
[email protected] | (888) 541-3040