(No Nobel for Cheetolini): Trump scraps North Korea summit, warns Kim that military ready

I’m laughing over this only because in his mind, the Great Orange Menace probably already had a place picked out where it could be displayed for all the world to see.

Trump scraps North Korea summit, warns Kim that military ready

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday called off a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for next month, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility," and warned that the U.S. military was ready in the event of any reckless acts by North Korea.

Trump wrote a letter to Kim to announce his abrupt withdrawal from what would have been a first-ever meeting between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader in Singapore on June 12.

"Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," Trump wrote. "Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place."

Earlier on Thursday, North Korea had repeated its threat to pull out of the summit, which was intended to address concerns about its nuclear weapons program, and warned it was prepared for a nuclear showdown with Washington if necessary.

https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1IP1RY

But Cheets might not be looking at the big picture. Look at things from Kim’s side. He’s hate, hate, HATED in his own country. By everyone. What are the chances that he could finally be deposed if he left now? It wouldn’t take much considering that he’s killed so many just because they ‘disrespected’ him. It’s even (supposedly) official policy that not only does his shit not stink, he and the family don’t shit at all.

'Kim Jong-un doesn’t poo': Crazy facts all North Korea MUST believe – or else

*

According to the secretive state, the Kim family is too perfect to need the toilet like the rest of us.

It’s a claim repeated in an official biography of the late leader Kim Jong-il and confirmed by North Korean concentration camp survivor Kang Chol-hwan.

In his memoir, the Aquariums of Pyongyang, Mr Kang writes: “[They] were perfect beings, untarnished by any base human function.

“I was convinced, as we all were, that neither of them urinated or defecated. Who could imagine such things of gods?”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/520819...

Donny and Kimmy. Two of a kind. And they have the power to destroy us all.

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snoopydawg's picture

He saw what happened to Libya after Gaddafi gave up his. All the US had to do was not hold the war games with South Korea but I'm betting that the military and defense companies had a fit over that.

Why does this country have to do so miwar games in the first place? The countries that they are intimidating haven't moved somewhere else so they have to come up with a new game plan.

It's always about the Benjamin's!

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Our culture is gutter. We celebrate deviancy. We are corrupt. We are broke. We are holding a gun at the rest of the world’s head. We demand what is not justly ours

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg @snoopydawg

One hour after Kim blew up his nuclear testing site, having complied with all of Trump's demands, Trump called the whole thing off and started making invasive military threatening noises. As if what's being done to Iran hadn't already further solidified the certainty that an incremental global fascist take-over was now in high gear.

Pentagon's complaining that they need tons more money for everything because the system's falling apart from 'neglect', (overused in the War On The World,) billion-dollar planes aren't operational and China and other of the more immediately targeted-for-attack countries will/may no longer supply them with what they need for that endless source of missiles to attack everyone at once.

And all of those future 'wars' (attacks/invasions/war-crimes) are - gasp! - 'at risk'. Only the rest of everyone else's money can save the wars now, say the war-profiteers! And even that won't do it, because conventional missiles are going to run out. But the attacks/invasions/war-crimes can't just stop - there are goals of absolute PTB global dominance to be achieved.

https://www.rt.com/usa/427593-pentagon-report-munitions-bombs/?froisappi...

Fragile: Pentagon report raises alarm that US industry can’t support war for much longer
Published time: 23 May, 2018 20:51
Edited time: 24 May, 2018 08:20

Between globalization and nearly 20 years of constant warfare, the industrial part of the US military-industrial complex is not looking so good, putting future wars at risk, according to a new Pentagon report.

The Annual Industrial Capabilities report, published by the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, warns that reliance on foreign-sourced materials combined with “twenty years of intermittent conflict,” have put a strain on US manufacturers of weapons, parts and ammunition.

“While US national defense demands for materials are seldom unmet, there exist risks to their supply now and risks are anticipated in the foreseeable future,” the report says, describing the two broad trends as the scarcity of materials used in new technologies and the US’ growing reliance on foreign supply sources.

Both US economic security and national defense are at risk due to “high US import reliance on foreign countries who may become adversaries and cut off peacetime supply during future conflicts,” the report says.

One example is Dechlorane, a flame retardant used in insulation on all US missile systems. The sole source of the material is the Belgian company Occidental Chemical. Worse yet, the precursor to make Dechlorane used to come from China, but is no longer available, “so there is now no source for Dechlorane in the world.”

US fighter jets rely on Sidewinder and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles to dominate the skies, but what happens when they run out? The sole source of dimeryl diisocyanate, a key ingredient in the missiles’ propellant, has informed the Pentagon that it will be leaving the business soon, leaving the US with “no qualified source,” according to the report. ...

...With the US capability to produce vital parts and materials for weapons systems and ammunition dwindling, Washington is facing the risk that “a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts,” Defense News noted.

Munitions aren’t the only problem either. Maintenance has been hit just as hard by the years of “overuse and underfunding” of industrial infrastructure, according to the report. US naval shipyards, for example, have not been able to meet the maintenance needs, resulting in compounding problems. ...

And that's been just almost continuously bombing the hell out of the citizens of multiple smaller and poorer countries over decades... how are they going to conquer/obliterate the countries who've been nervously building up actual defenses against their global military monster and who now have the nerve to ally in self-defence?

And damn! People in targeted countries won't continue to sell them what they need to bomb the countries supplying them - what to do? TPTB have plans to attack everybody, all at once!!!

Turns out, the fall-back answer could be - nukes! Who'da figgured? And it took that great ally, The Psychopaths That Be in Britain, to figure this out! Because nukes don't work as a deterrent unless you use them on the people of countries who never wanted to be attacked in the first place - only more money for conventional arms (edit: to actually attack/invade them first with) can do that.

This might just be MIC blackmail for further billions whichever way - but the lucrative push for massive increases in nukes among the PTB amid continuing demands for every country not already under TPB control to divest themselves of any such much lower levels of nuclear deterrence so that they can be flattened/controlled more easily has become standard. (Thanks, Obama!)

https://www.rt.com/uk/427759-mod-funding-nuclear-russia/

We may have to use nukes if I don’t get more cash – UK Defence Secretary Williamson
Published time: 25 May, 2018 11:34

Not long after accusing Russia of planning to murder thousands of British people, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has warned the UK may have to use its nuclear weapons if it doesn’t get a bit more cash from the government.

Speaking on the future of modern warfare, the hawkish defence chief warned Britain may have to use its nuclear deterrence if the treasury does not release funds for more conventional weapons systems.

Williamson was speaking at the Royal United Services Institute’s Sea Power conference when he said: “You’ve got to talk about deterrence across the full spectrum right across the board.”

“If we do not have that conventional deterrence, and the ability to deter from conventional forces, then what we’ll find ourselves in, is a place that none of us wish to be in, and having to turn to the greatest deterrence of them all.”

The defence chief has quickly garnered a reputation for hawkish statements and alarming warnings to the British public, earlier this year stating that Russia has the ability to “cause thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths” in Britain.

Williamson’s comments come as the ministry of defence battles with the treasury for additional funding in autumn’s budget.

According to a recently released public accounts committee report, the MoD faces a potential funding shortfall that could reach as much £20 billion ($27bn). ...

...In the National Audit Office’s (NAO) first nuclear review in a decade, released last week, it identified a hole of £6 billion in the UK’s nuclear program.

A £10-billion contingency fund has already seen the MoD withdraw £600 million this year, after approval from Chancellor Philip Hammond.
'Rising Russia'

Pointing towards “Russia’s resurgence under President Putin,” Williamson also warned of a “rising China,” as well as threats posed from “non-state actors using drones to drop bombs, ballistic missiles to attack airports and anti-ship missiles to threaten our narrow shipping lanes as well as the new and evolving threats from cyber-attacks.” ...

Ummmmm, maybe if you chronically projecting psychopathic guys stop doing doing such things in attacking other people's countries to steal their stuff, we can all live and let live, rather than the few living high on the hog letting the rest of the world die for the rest of any possible profits to be made in the process of blood-letting?

Life without money may be impossible these days, but money without life is worthless.

Edited to shift an errant comma into place.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

CB's picture

to make these weapons more "user friendly" by reducing the collateral damage that so often gives these weapons a bad rap.

@Ellen North

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@CB

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

CB's picture

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@CB

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

CB's picture

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Amanda Matthews's picture

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

CB's picture

@CB

Dangerous, isolated and primed for war? North Korean clichés debunked

The cartoon caricature of the country glosses over recent developments in society. Yes it’s repressive and idiosyncratic, but not uniquely so argues Hazel Smith

Perhaps the most pervasive myth is that North Koreans are ignorant of the world outside, and believe everything the government tells them.

This is extended by the assumption that North Koreans are educationally backward, and lack the sophistication to understand the world beyond their borders.
...

Girls playing on the beach, hair salons and bored commuters: Tourist who took camera inside North Korea expecting to find 'really, really sad people' is shocked to discover a happy country

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2638213/Tourist-took-camera-insi...

DPRK 360

This project is the source of thousands of beautiful images of DPRK. If you are unaccustomed or easily offended by such images, please do not proceed further. If you are searching for sad and depressing images of North Korea, this is not the project for you. I offer a different perspective and show "the other side of the coin".

A word from Me

Ever since I started this project. I've encountered two extreme types of people. Those who oppose my project because they deemed it to glorify socialism (or communism); and those who approve of my project because they deemed it to be anti-capitalist. The last thing I want is for this project to become a tool for either side to use as ammunition against each other. I have received emails and private messages from anti-capitalistic individuals asking me to contribute my images for use in anti-capitalistic documentaries and propaganda. I have also been the target of anti-socialist individuals who publish criticisms to discredit me. All I can say is that the DPRK 360 project is nothing more than my own journey of discovery. I publish whatever I see and experience. What you see is what I saw in North Korea. I have been constantly asked why my photos did not show prison camps or starving people. Just think about it. How many travellers visit another country requesting to tour their prisons and slums? Would you do that in USA, Philippines, or even Singapore? I know there is no way my Singapore government would approve a tour of Changi Prison. So I say to both extreme camps... Anti-socialists friends reading this, you are absolutely entitled to your opinions and I will not get into any arguments with you. It was never my intention for my photos to offend you, but if they did, then please look away. Anti-capitalists friends reading this, I cannot allow my materials to be used to generate arguments with your opponents. I'm really sorry if you have expected my project to champion your cause. Now, to everyone else... Thank you for following my journey and viewing my images. I'm sure you are just as curious about North Korea as I am. It has been quite an experience and it has been my pleasure sharing everything with you. North Korea still has many unexplored places to visit and I'm always in the process of planning my next trip. Whatever I see and experience, I'll share them with you. No politics, no conflict. Just enjoy the photos please.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@CB

North Korea prison camps very much in working order

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/north-korea-prison-camps-...

Life inside a North Korea labour camp: ‘We were forced to throw rocks at a man being hanged’

Defector confined in Yodok concentration camp for 10 years

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-forced-labour-...

The horrifying truth about life in North Korea

http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/asia/the-horrifying-truth-abo...

North Korea SHOCK photos: What life is really like behind Kim Jong-un's iron curtain

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/886793/North-Korea-shock-photos-Kim...

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/657313/north-korea-war-kim-j...

Former guard reveals what life is like at a North Korean prison camp

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/dprk-north-korea-south-pri...

Yeah, it sounds like a lovely place to live. /s

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews

only the US, which previously bombed the impoverished country flat, lacks the same excuses for being backward and affected by a brutally inflicted country-wide disaster killing 20% of the population and flattening all infrastructure.

A justifiable fear within an already terrorized, double-decimated, violently impoverished and shell-shocked culture fosters repression here - while the pathological greed of the US PTB increasingly inflicts repression world-wide.

www.newsweek.com/us-forget-korean-war-led-crisis-north-592630

What War With North Korea Looked Like in the 1950s and Why It Matters Now
By Tom O'Connor On 5/4/17 at 9:23 AM

The brutality of the Korean War has largely been overlooked by U.S. history, but the conflict has long shaped Washington’s troubled political relationship, or lack thereof, with North Korea. As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threaten to ignite a new battle in the region, the scars of the past seem to resonate more powerfully in the Korean Peninsula than in the West.

During the course of the three-year war, which both sides accuse one another of provoking, the U.S. dropped 635,000 tons of explosives on North Korea, including 32,557 tons of napalm, an incendiary liquid that can clear forested areas and cause devastating burns to human skin. (In contrast, the U.S. used 503,000 tons of bombs during the entire Pacific theater of World War II, according to a 2009 study by The Asia-Pacific Journal.) In a 1984 interview, Air Force General Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, claimed U.S. bombs “killed off 20 percent of the population” and “targeted everything that moved in North Korea.” These acts, largely ignored by the U.S. collective memory, have deeply contributed to Pyongyang’s contempt for the U.S. and especially its ongoing military presence on the Korean Peninsula.

“Most Americans are completely unaware that we destroyed more cities in the North than we did in Japan or Germany during World War II.... Every North Korean knows about this, it’s drilled into their minds. We never hear about it,” historian and author Bruce Cumings told Newsweek by email Monday. ...

...The origins of the war have also been obscured in the West. Korea was divided in 1945 following the defeat in World War II of the Japanese Empire that occupied the peninsula. The territory was split between the Soviet Union in the north and the U.S. in the south. The victorious superpowers of World War II once fought alongside one another, but quickly became rivals based on opposing ideologies. Traditional U.S. accounts of the conflict begin with the North Korean army storming South Korean positions in June 1950 under the command of current leader Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, and his Soviet allies. It is important to note, however, that this offensive was preceded by the harsh repression of leftists by the right-wing, U.S.-backed government of South Korean President Syngman Rhee in the 1940s. ...

...After the war, North Korea’s characterization of the U.S. as evil imperialists on the verge of invading was further corroborated in Pyongyang’s view by U.S. interventions against Communist powers in Vietnam and Grenada and later against Middle Eastern leaders in Iraq and Libya. North Korea’s answer was to develop a nuclear deterrent, a program begun sometime in the 1980s under Kim Il Sung and steadfastly pursued by his heirs in the face of near unilateral condemnation abroad, which extends to Pyongyang’s traditional ally, China. ...

... Frequent characterizations of Kim Jong Un, like his father and grandfather before him, as an irrational despot or even cartoonish, quirky leader have persisted “because it’s easier,’ according to Town, than grasping the nuanced reality of a conflict in which things were rarely black-and-white. Since the Korean War ended more than a half century ago, North Korea’s poor human rights record and military expansion have received extensive media coverage, while Kim Jong Un’s efforts to stabilize the economy have gone relatively underreported. ...

Regarding the above, we can see how such inflicted appalling cruelty would affect the culture and how such inflicted and total destruction would impede progress.

Below, we see examples of enacted cruelty upon the most vulnerable by the same PTB, at home, where there has never been an invasion or any realistic threat of one, try as propaganda might to make it appear that such hazards 'forced' attacks/invasion/'regime change'/electoral meddling in other people's governments and countries, to profit corporate interests/billionaires bleeding the world for personal power and profit toward a micromanaged global hegemony.

And as horrendous as the various abuses may be of various governments abroad, (many claims made by the propagandists of the would-be invaders of multiple resource-rich/'geo-politically' important countries having been proven untrue) the odds are pretty good that, were the torture-promoting US PTB's to invade and occupy, as bad or worse would be inflicted - and almost certainly on a much larger scale. No problem with the Saudi's, either, as we know. But while the US still has the death penalty and no problem in killing even the belatedly-proven innocent or mentally incapable, the death penalty in, say, Syria is a problem requiring regime change.*

This following is very old, from 2004 - and either more's coming out or it's worsened since, as brutality becomes increasingly 'normalized' and such tortures inflicted by prison guards as scalding prisoners - even to death - in hot showers adjusted to allow for illegally hot temperatures, have been revealed.

(But in recent years, I've had a problem with searches showing only older stuff in sensitive areas and searches have been worsening to uselessness in some areas...)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2004/05/13/prisoner-abuse-how-different-are-us-...

May 13, 2004 8:00PM EDT
Prisoner Abuse: How Different are U.S. Prisons?

The sadistic abuse and sexual humiliation by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison has shocked most Americans—but not those of us familiar with U.S. jails and prisons. In American prisons today, wanton staff brutality and degrading treatment of inmates occur across the country with distressing frequency.

The Pentagon has said it wants to send more people to Iraq who have U.S. prison experience. But before it does, it should look closely at the human rights records of their prisons.

A federal judge in 1999 concluded that Texas prisons were pervaded by a “culture of sadistic and malicious violence.” In 1995, a federal judge found a stunning pattern of staff assaults, abusive use of electronic stun devices guns, beatings, and brutality at Pelican Bay Prison in California, and concluded the violence “appears to be open, acknowledged, tolerated and sometimes expressly approved” by high ranking corrections officials.

In recent years, U.S. prison inmates have been beaten with fists and batons, stomped on, kicked, shot, stunned with electronic devices, doused with chemical sprays, choked, and slammed face first onto concrete floors by the officers whose job it is to guard them. Inmates have ended up with broken jaws, smashed ribs, perforated eardrums, missing teeth, burn scars—not to mention psychological scars and emotional pain. Some have died.

Both men and women prisoners—but especially women—face staff rape and sexual abuse. Correctional officers will bribe, coerce, or violently force inmates into granting sexual favors, including oral sex or intercourse. Prison staff have laughed at and ignored the pleas of male prisoners seeking protection from rape by other inmates. ...

...Just this January, a videotape at a California facility captured two officers beating and kicking two inmates. One officer struck an inmate approximately twenty times in the face; another officer is shown kicking a handcuffed inmate in the head.

When Florida inmate Frank Valdez died in 1999, every rib in his body was broken, his corpse bore the imprint of boot marks, and his testicles were badly swollen; guards admitted having struggled with him, but denied they had used excessive force. They claimed most of his injuries had been “self-inflicted.”

In Maricopa County, Arizona, a sheriff who dresses male jail inmates in pink underwear introduced live “jail cam” broadcasts on the internet in 2000. Three cameras covered the holding and searching cells of the jail, including shots of strip searches, inmates bound in “restraint chairs,” and even, for a while, unobstructed views of women using the toilet. The broadcasts ended up being copied onto web porn sites.

Even detained children and youth are not immune from staff brutality and abuse. They too are kicked, beaten, punched, choked, and sexually preyed upon by adult staff. The Maryland State Police recently filed criminal assault charges against staff at a youth facility in Maryland because of an incident in which one guard restrained a youth while the three others kicked him and punched him in the face. In January 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice reported on terrible conditions at Arizona’s juvenile detentions centers, including sexual abuse of the children by staff members (and fellow inmates) that occurs “with disturbing frequency” and a level of physical abuse that is ”equally disturbing.”

When the news about Abu Ghraib broke, the Bush administration tried to suggest it was the work of a few rogue officers. But in over two decades of monitoring prisons in the United States and around the world, Human Rights Watch has learned that abusive officers do not operate in a vacuum. More typically, a culture of brutality has developed in which correctional officers know they can get away with excessive, unnecessary, or even purely malicious violence. In such prisons, senior officials have failed to communicate unequivocally—through training, staff supervision, investigations, and discipline—that abuse will not be tolerated.

The failures of senior prison officials in the United States are compounded, as in Abu Ghraib, by the absence of external scrutiny. Prisons are closed institutions from which the press, human rights groups, and members of the public are typically excluded. Independent expert inspections yielding public findings are rare, and usually occur only after the situation has become so bad that inmates have filed a lawsuit.

Perhaps if photos or videotapes of abuse in U.S. prisons were to circulate publicly, Americans would be galvanized to protest such treatment as they have the treatment of Iraqi prisoners. Absent such graphic and unavoidable evidence, it is all too likely that abuse will continue to be a part of many prison sentences.

The following is from 2011; for quite some time, it's been becoming more and even more difficult to search for and find previously seen articles in 'sensitive' areas which are recent and describe the nightmare better...

https://www.alternet.org/story/151732/21st-century_slaves%3A_how_corpora...

21st-Century Slaves: How Corporations Exploit Prison Labor
In the eyes of the corporation, inmate labor is a brilliant strategy in the eternal quest to maximize profit.
By Rania Khalek / AlterNet
July 21, 2011

There is one group of American workers so disenfranchised that corporations are able to get away with paying them wages that rival those of third-world sweatshops. These laborers have been legally stripped of their political, economic and social rights and ultimately relegated to second-class citizens. They are banned from unionizing, violently silenced from speaking out and forced to work for little to no wages. This marginalization renders them practically invisible, as they are kept hidden from society with no available recourse to improve their circumstances or change their plight.

They are the 2.3 million American prisoners locked behind bars where we cannot see or hear them. And they are modern-day slaves of the 21st century. ...

...The CEPR study observes that US prison rates are not just excessive in comparison to the rest of the world, they are also "substantially higher than our own longstanding history." The study finds that incarceration rates between 1880 and 1970 ranged from about "100 to 200 prisoners per 100,000 people." After 1980, the inmate population "began to grow much more rapidly than the overall population and the rate climbed from "about 220 in 1980 to 458 in 1990, 683 in 2000, and 753 in 2008." ...

...Michelle Alexander points out in her book The New Jim Crow that more black men "are in prison or jail, on probation or on parole than were enslaved in 1850." Higher rates of black drug arrests do not reflect higher rates of black drug offenses. In fact, whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales at roughly comparable rates.

Incentivizing Incarceration

Clearly, the US prison system is riddled with racism and classism, but it gets worse. As it turns out, private companies have a cheap, easy labor market, and it isn’t in China, Indonesia, Haiti, or Mexico. It’s right here in the land of the free, where large corporations increasingly employ prisoners as a source of cheap and sometimes free labor.

In the eyes of the corporation, inmate labor is a brilliant strategy in the eternal quest to maximize profit. By dipping into the prison labor pool, companies have their pick of workers who are not only cheap but easily controlled. Companies are free to avoid providing benefits like health insurance or sick days, while simultaneously paying little to no wages. They don’t need to worry about unions or demands for vacation time or raises. Inmates work full-time and are never late or absent because of family problems.

"If they refuse to work, they are moved to disciplinary housing and lose canteen privileges" along with "good time credit that reduces their sentences,” reports Chris Levister. To top it off, Abe Louise Young reports in The Nation that the federal government subsidizes the use of inmate labor by private companies through lucrative tax write-offs. Under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), private-sector employers receive a tax credit of $2,400 for every work release inmate they employ as a reward for hiring “risky target groups” and they can "earn back up to 40 percent of the wages they pay annually to target group workers." ...

...The exploitation of prison labor is by no means a new phenomenon. Jaron Browne, an organizer with People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), maps out how the exploitation of prison labor in America is rooted in slavery. The abolition of slavery dealt a devastating economic blow to the South following the loss of free labor after the Civil War. So in the late 19th century, "an extensive prison system was created in the South in order to maintain the racial and economic relationship of slavery," a mechanism responsible for re-enslaving black workers. Browne describes Louisiana’s famous Angola Prison to illustrate the intentional transformation from slave to inmate:

“In 1880, this 8000-acre family plantation was purchased by the state of Louisiana and converted into a prison. Slave quarters became cell units. Now expanded to 18,000 acres, the Angola plantation is tilled by prisoners working the land—a chilling picture of modern day chattel slavery.” ...

... Unfortunately, convict leasing was quickly replaced with equally despicable state-run chain gangs. Once again, stories of vicious abuse created enough public anger to abolish chain gangs by the 1950s. Nevertheless, the systems of prisoner exploitation never actually disappeared.

Today’s corporations can lease factories in prisons, as well as lease prisoners out to their factories. In many cases, private corporations are running prisons-for-profit, further incentivizing their stake in locking people up. The government is profiting as well, by running prison factories that operate as "multibillion-dollar industries in every state, and throughout the federal prison system," where prisoners are contracted out to major corporations by the state.

In the most extreme cases, we are even witnessing the reemergence of the chain gang. In Arizona, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” Joe Arpaio, requires his Maricopa County inmates to enroll in chain gangs to perform various community services or face lockdown with three other inmates in an 8-by-12-foot cell, for 23 hours a day. In June of this year, Arpaio started a female-only chain gang made up of women convicted of driving under the influence. In a press release he boasted that the inmates would be wearing pink T-shirts emblazoned with messages about drinking and driving.

The modern-day version of convict leasing was recently spotted in Georgia, where Governor Nathan Deal proposed sending unemployed probationers to work in Georgia's fields as a solution to a perceived labor shortage following the passage of the country’s most draconian anti-immigrant law. But his plan backfired when some of the probationers began walking off their jobs because the fieldwork was too strenuous.

There has also been a disturbing reemergence of the debtors’ prison, which should serve as an ominous sign of our dangerous reliance on prisons to manage any and all of society’s problems. According to the Wall Street Journal, "more than a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who can't or won't pay to be jailed." They found that judges "signed off on more than 5,000 such warrants since the start of 2010 in nine counties." It appears that any act that can be criminalized in the era of private prisons and inmate labor will certainly end in jail time, further increasing the ranks of the captive workforce. ...

...Some of the largest and most powerful corporations have a stake in the expansion of the prison labor market, including but not limited to IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom's, Revlon, Macy's, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. Between 1980 and 1994 alone, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Since the prison labor force has likely grown since then, it is safe to assume that the profits accrued from the use of prison labor have reached even higher levels.

In an article for Mother Jones, Caroline Winter details a number of mega-corporations that have profited off of inmates:

“In the 1990s, subcontractor Third Generation hired 35 female South Carolina inmates to sew lingerie and leisure wear for Victoria's Secret and JCPenney. In 1997, a California prison put two men in solitary for telling journalists they were ordered to replace 'Made in Honduras' labels on garments with 'Made in the USA.'"

According to Winter, the defense industry is a large part of the equation as well:

“Unicor, says that in addition to soldiers' uniforms, bedding, shoes, helmets, and flak vests, inmates have 'produced missile cables (including those used on the Patriot missiles during the Gulf War)' and 'wiring harnesses for jets and tanks.' In 1997, according to Prison Legal News, Boeing subcontractorMicroJet had prisoners cutting airplane components, paying $7 an hour for work that paid union wages of $30 on the outside.”

Oil companies have been known to exploit prison labor as well. Following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and irreparably damaged the Gulf of Mexico for generations to come, BP elected to hire Louisiana prison inmates to clean up its mess. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate of any state in the nation, 70 percent of which are African-American men. Coastal residents desperate for work, whose livelihoods had been destroyed by BP’s negligence, were outraged at BP’s use of free prison labor.

In the Nation article that exposed BP’s hiring of inmates, Abe Louise Young details how BP tried to cover up its use of prisoners by changing the inmates' clothing to give the illusion of civilian workers. But nine out of 10 residents of Grand Isle, Louisiana are white, while the cleanup workers were almost exclusively black, so BP’s ruse fooled very few people.

Private companies have long understood that prison labor can be as profitable as sweatshop workers in third-world countries with the added benefit of staying closer to home. Take Escod Industries, which in in the 1990s abandoned plans to open operations in Mexico and instead "moved to South Carolina, because the wages of American prisoners undercut those of de-unionized Mexican sweatshop workers," reports Josh Levine in a 1999 article that appeared in Perpective Magazine. The move was fueled by the state, which gave a $250,000 "equipment subsidy" to Escod along with industrial space at below-market rent. Other examples listed by Gordon Lafer in the American Prospect include Ohio's Honda supplier, which "pays its prison workers $2 an hour for the same work for which the UAW has fought for decades to be paid $20 to $30 an hour. Konica, which has hired prisoners to repair its copiers for less than 50 cents an hour. And in Oregon, where private companies can “lease” prisoners at a bargain price of $3 a day."

Even politicians have been known to tap into prison labor for their own personal use. In 1994, a contractor for GOP congressional candidate Jack Metcalf hired Washington state prisoners to call and remind voters he was pro-death penalty. After winning his campaign, he claimed to have no knowledge of the scandal. Perhaps this is why Senator John Ensign (R-NV) introduced a bill earlier this year to "require all low-security prisoners to work 50 hours a week." After all, The New York Times reminds us that "creating a national prison labor force has been a goal of his since he went to Congress in 1995."

In an unsettling turn of events lawmakers have begun ditching public employees in favor of free prison labor. The New York Times recently reported that states are "enlisting prison labor to close budget gaps" to offset cuts in "federal financing and dwindling tax revenue." At a time of record unemployment, inmates are being hired to "paint vehicles, clean courthouses, sweep campsites and perform many other services done before the recession by private contractors or government employees." In Wisconsin, prisoners are now taking up jobs that were once held by unionized workers, as a result of Governor Scott Walker’s contentious anti-union law. ...

... As unemployment on the outside increases, so too will crime and incarceration rates, and our 21st-century version of corporate slavery will continue to expand unless we do something about it.

So underpaid Americans are, and long have been, publicly subsidizing 'legalized' slavery for Corporate America, in The Land of The Free-For-All - and may will the richest man win!

America first needs regime change by her people and the establishment of democracy, before a government finally of, by and for the people can work out when and how it's actually appropriate to step in to actually help those in other sovereign countries who actually require humanitarian (not corporate-take-over) assistance.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HLjC53emUM

Assad Destroys US Reporter In Interview Exposes Zionist Propaganda
Matthew North
Published on 7 Jul 2017

In a recent interview held in Damascus, a US news reporter grilled Syria's President Bashar al-Assad with a barrage of questions surrounding allegations of human rights abuses and war crimes against the Syrian government, in a tense interview that at times saw Assad seemingly catch the Yahoo News reporter off guard with his sharp responses.

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency

Date: 10 February, 2017

The London ophthalmologist is actually pretty bright, for being merely an ignorant and bloodthirsty desert savage a doctor working with identifying and curing eye diseases, although medical school and such a career just might be demanding of a few brights after all - despite propaganda to the contrary.

He and his (once-British, now Syrian) wife are hated by TPTB and must be deposed for trying to improve the living standards of their people rather than bleeding them for The Right Corporate interests, of course. That's the unforgivable thing for the US/British PTB - anything else goes, as we know. Except withholding any of their own land from the Likud.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

CB's picture

@Amanda Matthews

They are reports from defectors who left in 1992/94 when North Korea was run by Kim Il-Sung. The Soviet Union had collapsed and no longer gave financial and material aid to North Korea after 1991 so living conditions rapidly degenerated. Combined with crop failures their was widespread starvation.

I'm not saying that life in North Korea is wonderful or that its leadership are paragons of virtue. All I said is that the majority of the 23 million do not hate their government. They know that life is better than it was in the past. If, in the future, North Korean's start to truly hate their leader en masse, Kim Jong-un will get overthrown. He knows this so he has been attempting to improve the peoples lives.

North Korea's real problem is the US would like full control of the Korean peninsula due to its proximity to both Russia and China. The US leadership could care less about the people.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@CB @CB

North Korea SHOCK photos: What life is really like behind Kim Jong-un's iron curtain

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Only Communist Party loyalists are allowed to live in the capital Pyongyang and those in smaller towns and cities or rural areas are forced to eke out a living.

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But according the UN World Food Programme, 18 million of North Korea’s 25 million people are dependent on state rationing, and an equal number of people are estimated to suffer from food poverty with 41 per cent of the population considered to be undernourished.

There are fears the horrors of the famine - a period the country’s leaders refer to as the “Arduous March” - will return as trade sanctions imposed in response to Kim Jong-un’s nuclear missile test program begin to bite and food and food shortages worsen.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/886793/North-Korea-shock-photos-Kim...

Is North Korea starving and killing its own people? Here’s the evidence

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Prison camps and executions
The CIA estimates the population of North Korea to be about 25 million people. Between 80,000 and 120,000 people are detained in one of the country’s massive prison camps for political prisoners, according to a 2014 estimate by the UN. That’s not including those in regular criminal prisons or labour camps. And, it’s fewer than there used to be.

“In the political prison camps of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the inmate population has been gradually eliminated through deliberate starvation, forced labour, executions, torture, rape and the denial of reproductive rights enforced through punishment, forced abortion and infanticide,” reads a UN special report on North Korea. “The commission estimates that hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have perished in these camps over the past five decades.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/3763158/north-korea-starvation-executions-pop...

North Korea defector reveals stark reality of life inside one of the world's most feared dictatorships

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North Korea is unlike anywhere else on Earth. Located in East Asia in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, it is the most secretive and isolated regime in the world. According to the UN, the overwhelming majority of its 25 million citizens endure starvation and live with the threat of the Gulag, forced labour camps and public execution.
While it can be easy to laugh at the country's state-sanctioned haircuts and dismiss Mr Kim a comedy figure, it remains one of the most feared dictatorships in the world.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/people/north-kor...

Yeah, who wouldn’t want to live in North Korea? It’s a pretty safe bet that the party apparatchiks loves them some Un. The rest of the country who aren’t so ‘special, probably not so much.

EDIT: Yesh/Yeah

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

studentofearth's picture

@CB we have been taught for decades. It is easier to discuss how bad our media or government than let go of the illusions they taught us.

Enjoyed the Haircut documentary mentioned in the 3rd video. - Thanks

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.

CB's picture

@studentofearth
conclusions and understandings as citizens of the earth rather than unconsciously follow a biased and politicized media. Ordinary people of all nations have more in common with each other than with their own governments.

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mimi's picture

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