Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why am I in this handbasket and why is it getting so warm?

Drowning in our own garbage.

Let the United States Holy Wars begin!  Lo, the Lord sayeth, smite them, smite them, smite them!!

Surviving the flesh eating virus, lightning, and boobs.

The dangers of for-profit schools and prisons, and why the Republicans are embracing them wholeheartedly: More bodies, more money to wring out of them, and no oversight! Such a deal! Quality of schooling and dedication to returning prisoners to society are not involved:
Leonard invokes the “numerous lawsuits” against a company called Corinthian Colleges, including one in which a former admissions officer described high-pressure, even bullying recruitment tactics at one of the company’s schools, Everest: “The ultimate goal was to essentially make [potential students] wallow in their grief,” the admission officer’s affidavit says, feel that pain of having accomplished nothing in life, and then use that pain as their “reasons” to compel the leads to schedule an in-person meeting with an Everest admissions representative. A spokesman for Corinthian denied this account of its recruiting, but, as Leonard writes, “there’s little question that an obsessive focus on constantly boosting enrollment is crucial to survival in the for-profit college world. Sky-high withdrawal rates plague the industry.”
Further down in the same article:
Chang’s series in the Times-Picayune, meanwhile, took a close look at how it is that Louisiana nearly doubled its prison population in the past twenty years, to become the state with the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the country—the highest in the world, in fact. (Adam Gopnik has written for The New Yorker about our mass-incarceration culture.) What Chang finds is a system under which the state began housing the majority of its inmates in for-profit facilities, many of them run by cash-strapped local sheriffs and some by private prison companies. Both have a financial incentive to keep the prisons full— like hotels, prisons in Louisiana don’t want any vacancies. “If the inmate count drops, sheriffs bleed money,” writes Chang. “Their constituents lose jobs. The prison lobby ensures this does not happen by thwarting nearly every reform that could result in fewer people behind bars.”

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