Our man on the spot XII – by SPE

Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments


Our man on the spot – by SPE

Translation by Nikki Carter

I don’t know what I look like

Pelican Bay photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Pelican Bay photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

(Michael Montgomery, S.F. Chronicle, July 16, 2013)

‘For a quarter-century, California outlawed personal photographs for inmates held in isolation in special security housing units. Old and discolored photographs were the last pictures of the men seen by their families…At Pelican Bay security housing units…where inmates spend all their time in 8 by 10 foot cells with perforated steel doors or in small exercise pens, usually alone. There are no windows. [The photo ban’s affects] “We have family, nieces and nephews, who only knew my brother as the young man in the photograph,” said Marie Lenno…when she finally got a new photo of her brother, he was an aging bald man with graying facial hair…the federal lawsuit filed last year by a coalition of civil rights groups claims cruel and unusual punishment…and it asserts that a faulty review process has left at least 500 inmates stranded in the security units in solitary confinement for more than a decade…some men receive no visits with family or friends for years at a time, due to the prison’s remote location… in addition to the photo ban, inmates at Pelican Bay do not have mirrors in their cells…the whole system here seems to be geared at breaking down and destroying…family connections.’

American housing remains segregated

(Jeanine Bell, S.F. Chronicle, July 16, 2013)

‘More than 40 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, most housing in America remains segregated along racial lines…’

Aspirin hard on cancer

(N.Y. TimesScience, July 9, 2013)

‘The use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs significantly reduces the risk of cancer, but no one has been able to explain why.’

Illinois says OK to carry

(Ashby Jones, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2013)

‘Illinois has lifted its long-standing ban on concealed weapons, ending its distinction as the only state to prohibit its citizens from carrying fire arms outside the home.’

Weeds weeds weeds

(Science Times – July 16, 2013,)

‘Barnyard grass [which can out compete planted crops] has evolved into a master deceiver. It is known as a crop mimic because it has evolved to look just like rice. The base of the leaves has turned from pink to green, for example, and the leaves have become narrower. Blending into a rice field, the plants escape the notice of farmers trying to weed then out.’

On Wall Street a culture of greed?! [WELL, YEAH]

(Andrew Ross Sorkin, N.Y. Times, July 16, 2013)

‘”Our integrity and reputation depend on our ability to do the right thing,” says J.P. Morgan Chase. And yet a new report on industry insides says…[amongst other things] 24 % said they would ‘engage in insider trading to make $ 10 million if they thought they could get away with it.’

Inside the mind in solitary

7882453Wilbert Rideau says in his book In the Place of Justice about the excess use of solitary confinement in California prisons: “Deprived of all human contact, you lose your feeling of connectedness to the world. You lose your ability to make small talk, even with the guard who shoves your meal through the slot in the door. You live entirely in your head, for there is nothing else. You talk to yourself, answer yourself. You become paranoid, depressed sleepless. To ward off madness, you must give your mind something to do. In 1970 I counted the 355 rivets that held my steel door together over and over…I know something about solitary confinement, because I’ve been there. I spent a total of 12 years in various solitary confinement cells.”

Richer farmers bigger subsidies

(James B. Stewart, N.Y. Times – Business, July 20, 2013)

‘It’s hard to imagine a more widely reviled piece of legislation than the nearly $1 Trillion farm bill, [given] It’s widely ridiculed, handouts to wealthy farmers [Agribusiness] and preserves incentives…”The bigger picture is how can developing countries compete with our massive subsidies? Say Chris Chocola of the Club for Growth, [free market advocates] “You can talk about improving the plight of the poor in the Third World, but there’s no way they can compete with our farmers.’”

Drone killings in court!?

Target drone courtesy of Wikipedia.

Target drone courtesy of Wikipedia.

(Scott Sharp, N.Y. Times International, July 20, 2013)

‘In a lawsuit filed before Judge Rosemary M. Collyer…about the governments request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by relatives of three Americans, killed in drone strikes in Yemen in 2011…deputy assistant attorney general Brian Hauck… acknowledged that Americans targeted overseas do have rights, but he said they could not be enforced in court either before or after the Americans were killed’


Our man on the spot blogs:

Our man on the spot XIII

Our man on the spot XII (you are here)

Our man on the spot XI

Our man on the spot X

Our man on the spot IX

Our man on the spot VIII

Our man on the spot VII

Our man on the spot VI

Our man on the spot V

Our man on the spot IV


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