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Tag: New York

The Private Prison Problem

The Private Prison Problem

New Hampshire Dems Stick It To Greedy GOP | Addicting Info

On Friday, the Democratic controlled New Hampshire House voted 197-136 to ban the privatization of the state’s prison system. Whether this passes the Republican held (13-11) Senate is debatable but considering that last year there was movement to hand the prison system over to for-profit corporations, the move is significant.

From further down in the article –

The problem with private prisons is that they have absolutely no incentive to rehabilitate or even release prisoners. Early parole is bad for business. Reducing recidivism is really bad for business. Even more disturbing is the amount of money and effort the private prison industry puts into creating more jailable offenses, lengthening sentences and introducing mandatory sentencing for crimes as small as having a half-smoked joint in your pocket. That the industry is a big supporter of the War on Drugs goes without saying.

Private prisons cost more, have terrible safety and health records and several have been implicated in scandals to bribe judges to hand down harsher sentences in order to keep the prisons filled. This reprehensible behavior has even extended to the juvenile justice system. The logic is clear: kids that go to juvie tend to become adult criminals. Get’em while they’re young and you’ll have a customer for life.

Another dark facet of the Prison Industrial Complex is the push for “immigration crack-downs.” The industry is a major force behind the “sudden” urge for Republican-controlled states to arrest every person with brown skin they can find. Arizona’s now-infamous SB1070 was specifically created to make money for prison corporations who would then “share” their good fortune with the state. If you thought parking tickets were a nuisance, imagine being locked up for the sole purpose of closing your state’s budget shortfall.

New Hampshire Dems Stick It To Greedy GOP | Addicting Info

“no incentive to rehabilitate or even release prisoners”  I remember more than a decade ago when I was reading about a legislative attempt to soften the drug laws in New York state, when the rural members strongly objected. They objected on the grounds they would lose jobs from the private prisons, the principal employers in their districts. I was shocked. I thought the discussion should be about justice and what was right. Instead the legislature wound up talking about jobs and economic development in depressed areas.

We are at a turning point in the history of American criminal justice. Imprisonment rates are dropping for the first time in decades. There is considerable reconsideration of the “war on drugs.” There is increasing controversy over standards on forensic testing. We are confronted on a regular basis by the innocent who have spend years (often decades) behind bars for crimes they did not commit. We are dealing with the issue of prosecutorial overreach and misconduct (the Swartz case).

Change is in the air.

But the kind of changes being considered are hobbled by the fact that private industry makes a profit every day they keep a person in a private prison. After Citizens United, we are beset with corporate money damaging the chances of having an intelligent discussion and lobbying for even more incarceration as a panacea for all criminal justice problems.

Citizens United endangers every form of intelligent policy perverting every discourse into a discussion of who profits. There are other values besides money. One of our more precious values is to not be imprisoned without good reason.

One of the intelligent changes we need is the abolition of private prisons across the board in this nation, everyone of them. The precious right to freedom cannot coexist with a profit in denying it. It is long standing principle in American justice that a monetary interest in finding someone guilty is wrong. That is why we don’t have organ donors from death row. It would make sentencing people to death a more attractive option.

Imprisonment is a public function not a private one. It is a common burden on society because of a joint shared decision to use confinement as a means of justice.

It constantly needs rethinking because of its critical importance as an issue.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, National Prison Divestment Campaign:

Over the past decade, Wells Fargo Bank has advertised to Latinos through community outreach, Spanish-language advertising and programs that allow immigrants, without U.S. identification, to open bank accounts.

However, Wells Fargo has also invested in the GEO Group, the nation’s second largest private prison company, which operates private prisons and immigration detention centers, reports Univision and Salon.com.

Mary Moreno, the communications director for the National People’s Action Campaign, told Univision: “They’re trying to win over all these Latino customers, but at the same time they’re promoting prisons for immigrants. Profits should never be a motive for incarcerating people.”

From the web site, Prison Pork:

In the wake of the announcement that Florida Atlantic University would name its football stadium after private prison corporation GEO Group for a hefty price, an executive at the company is disseminating false and misleading information about the firm’s practices and documented abuses at its facilities.

In both a statement to reporters and an op-ed, GEO Vice President for Corporate Relations Pablo Paez has falsely claimed that horrific abuses at a GEO juvenile detention facility in Mississippi described by the Department of Justice as “systematic, egregious, and dangerous practices exacerbated by a lack of accountability and controls” occurred before GEO took control of the prison, even though both DOJ and court documents clearly show otherwise.  …

From the web site, Capital Weekly:

In three years, a private-prison construction and management company, the Corrections Corporation of America, has seen the value of its contracts with the state soar from nearly $23 million in 2006 to about $700 million three months ago – all without competitive bidding. Even in a state accustomed to high-dollar contracts, the 31-fold increase over three years is dramatic.
During the same period, the company’s campaign donations rose exponentially, from $36,750 in 2006, of which $25,000 went to the state Republican Party, to $233,500 in 2007-08 and nearly $139,000 in 2009.  The donations have gone to Democrats, Republicans and ballot measures. The company’s largest single contribution, $100,000, went to an unsuccessful budget-reform package pushed last year by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

From the web site, Spikes Mind:

How would you describe an industry that wants to put more Americans in prison and keep them there longer so that it can make more money?  In America today, approximately 130,000 people are locked up in private prisons that are being run by for-profit companies, and that number is growing very rapidly.  Overall, the U.S. has approximately 25 percent of the entire global prison population even though it only has 5 percent of the total global population.  The United States has the highest incarceration rate on the entire globe by far, and no nation in the history of the world has ever locked up more of its own citizens than we have.  Are we really such a cesspool of filth and decay that we need to lock up so many of our own people?  Or are there some other factors at work?  Could part of the problem be that we have allowed companies to lock up men and women in cages for profit?  The two largest private prison companies combined to bring in close to $3,000,000,000 in revenue in 2010, and the largest private prison companies have spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade.  Putting Americans behind bars has become very big business, and those companies have been given a perverse incentive to push for even more Americans to be locked up.  It is a system that is absolutely teeming with corruption, and it is going to get a lot worse unless someone does something about it.

From the web site, Friends of Justice:

In the wake of the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional facility scandal, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) announced that GEO Group — one of the largest private prison corporations in the U.S. — will no longer operate three correctional facilities in the state.  By July 20, the corporation will no longer manage the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional, East Mississippi Correctional, or the Marshall County Correctional facilities.

In 2010, reports emerged of sexual abuse, improper medical care, extended prisoner isolation, and violence among inmates at the Walnut Grove facility.  These reports sparked a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The lawsuit resulted in the removal of youth from the Walnut Grove facility. According to the Associated Press, MDOC also had concerns about incidents that occurred at the other GEO Group facilities in the state.

And from the web site, Wickersham’s Conscience:

By determining that an Alaska prisoner doesn’t have the right to recover money from a private prison contractor, the court has cut off the best single way to get a private prison contractor’s attention: by nibbling at their bottom line. In effect, the court is deciding that all prisoner litigation is chaff.

The mistake the court makes, WC thinks, is in treating public prisons and private prisons the same. They are not. As WC has argued before, a public prison has no motivation to keep a prisoner any longer than necessary. A private prison, paid a fixed amount per prisoner per day, has every incentive to keep the private prison census high, because it maximizes revenue. A private prison, for example, might be inclined to impose more discipline on prisoners because, under the system for credit for “good behavior,” it means the prisoners stay longer. And the private prison gets more money.

If Perotti’s “segregation” for  ”investigation of possible possession of escape paraphernalia” results in Perotti serving more time, even if the “investigation” was baseless, CCA is a net winner. Perotti – and the State of Alaska, which is paying CCA – are net losers. By failing to take into account or even to acknowledge the different situation presented by a private prison contractor.


Ethics Bob Journeys to Zuccotti Park, Home of Occupy Wall Street

"Thousands gather at the Subtreasury Buil...

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Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street; Ethics Bob

My buddy, Ethics Bob, has journeyed to the wilds of New York, in particular, the semi-encampment of Zuccotti Park, the home of Occupy Wall Street.

Here’s a little of what he has to say

Zuccotti Park was a friendly place, surprisingly orderly, contrary to expectations from television. People sweeping, others staffing the free food tent, others reading or cheerfully chatting with visitors like me. There was a library, several pet dogs (apparently OWS is dog-, not cat-friendly) and a few baskets seeking donations. I saw lots of American flags and posters, but nothing ugly or much beyond run-of-the-mill progressive political ideas.

That’s been my perception as well, that Occupy Wall Street is replaying elements from previous eras of American Progressivism. Certainly, you can catch glimpses of the Grange, early labor organizers like Samuel Gompers and more than a little Chautauqua.

But there is definitely some new stuff here. These guys are very media savvy and, however, much disdain the fact attracts, the truth is that the Occupy Wall Street Movement is part and parcel of the demonstrations across the Arab World a few months ago. Citizen activism is catchy like the flu. And there is a lot of this flu going around. I expect to see more and more in Europe as their austerity budgets kick in.

Please go to Ethics Bob’s web site. I have provided several links. You should never rely on one paragraph to get the whole sense of his writing.

James Pilant


Map of Wall Street and the surrounding streets...Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street « Ethics Bob

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Andi comments on the previous post – The 99 Percenters – Why is New York the Center of their Protests?

This is a comment on a previous post –  The 99 Percenters – Why is New York the Center of their Protests?

(The article was actually motivated by one of my reader’s comments on Facebook and while I hope there are elements of a call for economic justice implied in it, I didn’t have any ethical argument except for inequality itself – James Pilant)

Here’s Andi’s response to the post –

While reading this article, I wondered about the ethics and what the author wanted us to tell. Is it the question whether it is morally right that people do the protests in NY or is it the question if it’s ethically that 1 percent of the population in NY owns about 44 percent of all income?! Or is it the more general question whether it is ethically to do protests in the street?

To answer this question it is necessary to know the definition of an ethical decision. A decision is ethically if it affects others, has alternative courses of action and is perceived as ethically relevant by one or more parties.
By comparing the questions with the definition, it becomes clear that the second question cannot be discussed under ethical terms. Only the questions whether it is ethically to to protests or to do them in NY, has alternative courses of actions.
Therefore I focus on protests and try to state my opinion about it.

To answer the question with the postmodern ethical theory (= decision is morally right if the person follows his emotions in a situation), I would say that doing protests to point to abuses is morally okay because it is a good medium to raise high attention in the press and in tv newscasts. But that’s only half of the story. To answer this question in a more rational view, the combination of postmodern ethical theories and ethics of rights and justice is needed. Here the question of fair procedures or fair outcomes comes up.

Whether protests are morally right or wrong, is difficult. What do you think about the following questions?:

Can a protest really influence decisions that there are fair outcomes for everybody? Or is it only a way to highlight unfair procedures?

My great thanks to Andi for taking the time to comment and not just to comment but to comment with intelligence and insight. I want Andi to know that author identification is up to the contributor. If you want to be clearly identified with e-mail, blog links, etc.., you have only to ask and I will modify the posting.


James Pilant

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The 99 Percenters – Why is New York the Center of their Protests?

There are a lot of good reasons for centering the protests in New York, the proximity of the video and print media, the enormous number of opinion leaders in the area, and certainly the ability to recruit and maintain large numbers of protestors.

This would have been very difficult in Washington. Most of that city is a ghetto with little of the private infrastructure available in a modern metropolitan area.

But the history of Wall Street has to be a factor. It’s been a center of corporate power in the United States for almost two full centuries, and only the excesses of the Gilded Age rival the current levels of self-contentedness and pride among the wealthy today.

But there is also this article below. It has some powerful observations about why New York is such a good venue for the 99 percenters. —

Christopher Ketcham writing in McClatchy’s has a new article entitled –

Occupy Wall Street: The new populists?

The focal point, however, is specific: Manhattan. The capital of the finance corporations whose speculation, chicanery and outright fraud have produced havoc and pain for so many Americans. It sets the model nationally for a metastasizing economic regression: the maldistribution of wealth into the hands of the few.

Out of the 25 largest cities in the United States, New York is the most unequal when it comes to income distribution. In New York, the top 1 percent of households claimed 44 percent of all income during 2007 (the last year for which data are available). That’s almost twice the record-high levels among the 1 Percenters nationwide, who claimed 23.5 percent of all national income in 2007. During the housing bubble that ended in our current calamity, the average income for the 1 Percenters in New York went up 119 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of homeless in the city rose to an all-time high last year, with 113,000 men, women and children retreating night after night to municipal shelters. The real hourly median wage in New York between 1990 and 2007 fell by almost 9 percent. Young men and women age 25 to 34 with a bachelor’s degree and a year-round job in New York saw their earnings drop 6 percent. Middle-income New Yorkers – defined broadly as those earning between $29,000 and $167,000 – saw a 19% decrease in earnings. Almost 11 percent of the population in New York, about 900,000 people, lives in what the federal government describes as “deep poverty,” which for a four-person family means an income of $10,500; the average 1 Percenter household in New York makes about that same amount every day.

(Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/10/07/126534/occupy-wall-street-the-new-populists.html#ixzz1aKQk8zI2)

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Ten Worst American Cities for Murder – from the Star-Telegram

I have criminal justice students and they tend to believe that the cities like Los Angeles or New York are the leaders in murder. Their television induced wisdom is a problem. It disguises the developing geographic picture of crime, and that picture is of the most violent crimes moving more toward the South and Central United States.

The data, in particular the top cities for murder list below, surprises most people. I was shocked by the ranking of Anchorage. I went and had a look at the overall stats and while murder is bad compared to much of the United States, the rate of forcible rape is much, much worse than the rest of the country.

Here you are presented for your information – the top ten –

No. 1 – Detroit

No. 2 – Memphis

No. 3 – Springfield, Ill.

No. 4 – Flint, Mich.

No. 5 – Anchorage, Ak.

No. 6 – Lubbock

No. 7 – Stockton, Calif.

No. 8 – Tallahassee, Fla.

No. 9 – Las Vegas, Nev.

No. 10 – Rockford, Ill.

Read more: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/crime_time/2011/10/which-texas-city-do-you-suppose-made-the-forbes-list-of-most-dangerous-in-the-us.html#ixzz1aGVKxCO7

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Wall Street Protests Picking Up Speed

The Wall Street Protests are starting to catch on in the media. One major factor is that the protests have spread to 250 cities.

Old story? I don’t think so. I’m seeing a lot more serious articles. The one at the bottom of the page is from the venerable publication, Reuters.

The early coverage suggested that the protesters were crazed lefty’s with no vision and no ideas beside the bizarre. This suggests that much of the national media are effete snobs who don’t know anybody that make less than 250k a year. Unfortunately that is probably true. Here is a quote from Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake. –

Unsurprisingly, the corporate media continue to ignore and deride this movement. It will take independent outlets like Firedoglake and citizen journalists like yourself to give these protests the attention they deserve.

FDL has been covering Occupy Wall Street since day one, and the Dissenter’s intrepid Kevin Gosztola has been the premier source of information for those following the protest. He’s in Washington D.C. right now and will be heading to New York to report live from Occupy Wall Street.

Here’s a quote from Glen Greenwald

But for those who believe that protests are only worthwhile if they translate into quantifiable impact: the lack of organizational sophistication or messaging efficacy on the part of the Wall Street protest is a reason to support it and get involved in it, not turn one’s nose up at it and join in the media demonization. That’s what one actually sympathetic to its messaging (rather than pretending to be in order more effectively to discredit it) would do. Anyone who looks at mostly young citizens marching in the street protesting the corruption of Wall Street and the harm it spawns, and decides that what is warranted is mockery and scorn rather than support, is either not seeing things clearly or is motivated by objectives other than the ones being presented.

Well, they’re not laughing quite so much in the corporate media. They are less amused in the 24 hour news programs that long ago abandoned any attempt to inform the population resorting to popcorn for the mind – “If it bleeds it leads.” The moral bankruptcy of the journalist class is more and more evident every day.

I want change. The bottom 50% of this nation’s citizens have been shorn like sheep over and over again. It’s time for fairness and above all justice, long prison sentences for the malefactors who destroyed our economy, were bailed out by the government, and now enjoy huge profits. This is the antithesis of justice, a Bizarro society in which up is down and justice is for the “little people” (the ones that build and maintain this country by their hard work and honesty).

Here is Jack Shafer discussing his views of demonstrations. I suggest you go to Reuters and read the whole thing. Shafer is sort of a dinosaur from a different era but he does appear to be willing to learn from experience.

How to cover a demonstration. Or not. By Jack Shafer from Reuters –

The organizers of Occupy Wall Street (or non-organizers, as they would prefer it) have shown real media savvy by staging their demo where the network cameras and the New York Times are. Anything that happens in New York (especially Brooklyn!) is considered by New York media operations to be 100 times more interesting than anything that happens anywhere on the other side of the Hudson River. So what if the Occupy Wall Street message is muddled? The OWS pictures and energy are fresh, mostly because a mass, ongoing demo in New York is a relative novelty. How else to explain the New York Daily News‘ fevered blog coverage today: “Here’s the scene at Zuccotti Park. It is packed. There are about 3,000 people here.” No kidding?! 3,000?! That’s like the attendance at a Midwest high school football championship game!

The press corps would probably be doing more toe-dipping than immersion in its Occupy Wall Street coverage if not for the way it underestimated the rise of the Tea Party over the past couple of years. Just because a group’s message skews toward the inchoate and the emotional doesn’t mean that it doesn’t represent a worthy point of view. The non-organizers of the Occupy Wall Street have deliberately embraced this thought. As long as cameras are counting bodies and recording slogans, the harder work of defining the message can be postponed. The more important task is to introduce people who share frustrations to one another. One measure of OWS’s successful strategy is that labor unions are now joining the “movement.”

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Using Film to Teach – Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Using Film to Teach – Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

I used this film today in two classes. The students gave it rapt attention.

Here is the link. You click on it to see the film:

Triangle Factory Fire 1-2 (New York: A Documentary Film, Ep4).avi

Some of the teenage workers who jumped rather than be burned to death.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire is the story of an unregulated factory that burned. The doors were locked from the outside to prevent union organizers from entering. There was no fire exit and the upper floors were accessible by elevators, all of which were rapidly knocked out of service by the fire. A great number of the workers, perhaps most of the them, usually teenage girls, who in this day and age would normally be attending high school were trapped on the eighth, ninth and tenth floors. Fire engine ladders only reach six floors. Rather than burn to death the young girls jumped to their deaths.

The factory owners suffered no legal penalties for locking the doors from the outside or in fact any legal penalties as all. They had broken no law. They paid no damages for the dead or injured. The freedom to contract meant that if the dead had wanted protection they should have negotiated for it. After all the bargaining power of a large industrial organization is roughly equal to the bargaining power of a fourteen year old girl. Doesn’t the old fashioned days of self reliance dictate that these impovershed immigrants denied even bathrooms or breaks should have bought insurance if they worried about the lives?

The owners of the ill fated building opened a new factory with the same name up the block in a few weeks. Building inspectors found the doors blocked by stored sewing machines.

The great gentlemen on whose kindness and benevolence, the public depended for worker safety and fair treatment were little better than socially acceptable murderers.

We are told by many publication, including not just a few academics ( Do I need to mention the Chicago School of Economics?) that businesses freed of regulations will self regulate. It is in their best interest,we are told, not to bring unfavorable publicity and they will, of course, exercise good judgment. It seems to me that this historical incident as well as recent events such as the Wall Street meltdown and the gulf oil spill cast some doubt on the efficacy of free market fundamentalism.

But what are facts weighed against the beauty, the elegance of a utopian theory of human success?

When I began teaching, I would on occasion encounter a free market fundamentalist in the class. I made sure they had a opportunity to express their views – up to five minutes to address the class and any literature they wished to present copied and distributed to the class out of my allocation of copies. But in the last few years, they are no more of them. They have disappeared. My current students stand convinced that they are pawns in a badly played game. Many hold on to the idea that through their personal efforts that they will beat the odds of a cruel society where employment for many of them will be difficult because of the sheer numbers of those without jobs. I try to teach them every angle to give them a shot at success. I give negotiating tricks, explain unusual aspects of the law that can be used to a person’s advantage, and explain that lifelong personal development is critical to living a full and significant life. I try to build better human beings. It is a great challenge, not quite as easy as the canned lectures that come with the book and each chapter’s test bank. But that’s okay.

Teaching is an art that calls forth every ability, every insights, every experience to develop thinking significant human beings.

James Pilant


From the web site, Lingua Franca:

Over one hundred years ago, a tragic fire in New York City took the lives of 146 innocent young workers.  That horrendous afternoon, 275 girls started to collect their belongings as they were leaving work at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday.  At 4:46 p.m. the  NYFD Company 72 arrives at the Asch Building.  The fire is spreading towards the ninth and tenth floors, also the workplace for Triangle Shirtwaist Company employees.  Employees on the eighth floor head down, those on the tenth head to the roof, many on the ninth floor have nowhere to go.

Pauline Cuoio Pepe was a nineteen-year-old sewing machine operator at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. “It was all nice young Jewish girls who were engaged to be married. You should see the diamonds and everything. Those were the ones who threw themselves from the window,” Pepe told a Manhattan historian. “What the hell did they close the door for? What did they think we were going out with? What are we gonna do, steal a shirtwaist? Who the heck wanted a shirtwaist?” asked Pepe.

From the web site, Christian Science Monitor:

The fire was an important shot across the bow in the nation’s developing historical consciousness, says playwright and historian Daniel Czitrom, a Mount Holyoke College professor whose play “Triangle,” co-authored with Jack Gilhooley, opens in New York City in two weeks. “It marks the real start of the 20th century understanding of the role that government can have in our public life,” says Professor Czitrom, improving workplace safety and conditions for a largely invisible immigrant class.

Some 400,000 people – nearly 10 percent of the population of Manhattan at the time – turned out for the funeral procession, notes Kathy Newman, English professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “It has become a singular historical moment in the collective memory we have about ourselves as a country of immigrants,” she says. All the cultural iterations over the years, from the first poem published the day after the fire, up through Friday’s reading of all the names of those who died, form a collective memory of ourself as a nation, she adds.

From the web site, Experimental Geography in Practice, we have a work of art. You’ll have to paste the http into your address bar to see the video. JP

Terrible Karma: reverberations of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

created and curated by Adeola Enigbokan and Merle Patchett


From the web site, More to Explore, The Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center Blog:

A shirtwaist is a woman’s button-down blouse modeled on a man’s tailored shirt, a distinctly un-fussy garment compared to the general wardrobe maintained by 19th century woman. As the 20th century opened the shirtwaist was implicated in women’s growing professional freedoms, as well as in their continued workplace oppression.

Worn with a skirt and jacket, the shirtwaist offered the women who were starting to enter the workplace a garment choice more akin to the professional man’s suit than anything available before it. These liberating garments, however, were produced in factories that epitomized the dangerous, exploitive working conditions endured by early 20th century industrial workers before effective labor and safety legislation; workers who were overwhelmingly young, female, and recently immigrated.

And finally, from the web site, Working Class Perspectives:

The first lesson is a familiar one;  don’t mourn, organize.  If that sounds a little cold, let me explain.  The PBS documentary, Triangle Fire, shows that the fire followed on the heels of two years of concerted union organizing in sweatshops across the city.  The owners of the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory were particularly stubborn in their refusal to negotiate with the nascent garment workers union, even though some of the most militant union members were drawn from the Triangle Factory workforce.  The PBS film draws heavily on the work of David Von Drehle, now a Time magazine editor, who wrote Triangle Fire:  the Fire that Changed America in 2003.  In a recent interview he argued that we should not see the post-fire reforms as merely the emotional response of a city to the tragedy of the dead girls:

The reason reform happened was because those workers and their colleagues in the New York factories had begun organizing and had begun voting. They had organized an enormous strike in 1909-1910 and were forming coalitions with wealthy progressive leaders…The way change happens is not by having the best idea or by making the most emotional appeal. The way lasting change happens is by winning the attention of the vote-counting politicians, working the system.  Or as Mother Jones said, organize organize, organize.

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The Biker Code (via HDBikerGuy)

The Biker Code (via HDBikerGuy)

This is a lot more entertaining and probably much more moral than the codes of conduct created by corporations. It’s a fun read and something I didn’t expect to see written out. I was under the false assumption that it was more of an unwritten code like that of the gunfighter. Well, I learn things all the time while blogging.

James Pilant

Biker’s Code I ride purely, and only, because it is fun. I ride because I enjoy the freedom I feel from being exposed to the elements, and the vulnerability to the danger that is intrinsic to riding.I do not ride because it is fashionable to do so. I ride my machine, not wear it. My machine is not a symbol of status. It exists simply for me, and me alone. My machine is not a toy. It is an extension of my being, and I will treat it accordingly, wi … Read More

via HDBikerGuy

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New York Finally Investigating its Horrid Foreclosure Mills (via The Law Office of Avram E. Frisch LLC Blog)

This is a succinct account of what passes for the practice of law in one of those machine shop like law firms that the banks find so enticing. They save the banks literally billions of dollars by avoiding doing any but the most basic requirements of the law.

I appreciate this gentleman’s willingness to share his frustration online. Thanks!

James Pilant

According to today’s New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/09/business/09foreclose.html?_r=1, the New York attorney general is now investigating the worst foreclosure mill firm in the state, The Law Office of Steven J. Baum. I have had the privilege of facing Mr. Baum’s “law firm” on quite a few occasions, and it is some experience. The firm files 40% of all foreclosures in New York, but has only 70 lawyers on staff. They send per dorm la … Read More

via The Law Office of Avram E. Frisch LLC Blog

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