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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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Juvenile Injustice on Display in “Kids for Cash”

A preview of the documentary film "Kids for Cash" which looks at the private prison scandal in which two Pennsylvania judges sentenced children to incarceration in return for payoffs.


After Charlie Balasavage’s parents bought him a red scooter it was discovered that it had previously been stolen. After his visit to Ciavarella’s court, the 14-year-old went on to spend five years in the correctional system.


For making a fake MySpace page ridiculing her high school’s assistant principal, Hillary Transue was sentenced to three months in a juvenile detention center, her First Amendment rights be damned.


But behind Conahan and Ciavarella’s law and order stance was more than just an overzealous preoccupation with rules, regulations and school safety. These judges had a corrupt motive: Pennsylvania Child Care and a sister company paid them $2.6 million. These payoffs were rationalized as being “finder’s fees.”

However, as the truth emerged and local investigative reporter Terrie Morgan-Besecker and talk show host Steve Corbett, along with the Juvenile Law Center, sounded the alarm, the public perception was that these “finder’s fees” were actually kickbacks and bribes to the judges for helping to close a public facility and replace it with a private for-profit lockup, which they proceeded to supply with cannon fodder in the form of children and teenagers. Both judges are serving time in federal prison for racketeering.

Before reading the article, I wasn't aware that the US, Somalia and South Sudan were the only UN-member countries not to sign the U.N.’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

Disposable Commodities - NOT

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on reproductive rights

Creative Protests Hit Scott Walker in Wake of John Doe Emails


As the unethical and possibly illegal behavior of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his administration comes under public scrutiny with the release of documents relating to the first John Doe investigation, the creativity of citizens who have maintained a three-year vigil in the Wisconsin State Capitol against Walker’s policies has flourished.

This week, veteran protester Genie Ogden installed a display/information table on the first floor of the Capitol rotunda offering information about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its influence on Wisconsin state government.


At the center of Ogden’s ALEC display is a miniature diorama of the Capitol with a hunk of cheese on top, surrounded by palm trees and protest signs on toothpicks stuck into green and gold playdough.

It’s an homage to the days when tens of thousands of people occupied the Capitol for weeks, routinely marching around the building in support of workers rights as Fox News made every effort to depict them as “violent protesters,” using a video shot in California showing two men arguing, with palm trees in the background.

What we'll be leaving behind, and what we won't.

Vote no, because, um, sosholism.

Naming your pet

The counter argument has already been made, and won.

Wisconsin Justices To Decide On Criminal Probe Involving Their Own Campaign Donors


A criminal probe in Wisconsin targets several major spenders on state supreme court races. Yet the justices who benefited from that spending will likely get to decide whether this probe moves forward. Wisconsin prosecutors have been conducting a 2011-2012 campaign finance investigation targeting Republican candidates in the 2011 and 2012 recall elections and interest groups that spent money to support them. Though some targets of the investigation have not been publicly named, two business groups and a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker (R) have been named as targets.

State campaign finance law prohibits independent spenders—many of which can accept unlimited, secret contributions for political ads—from “coordinating” with candidates’ campaigns. According to the Wall Street Journal, the trial court judge found that the groups did not cross the line into “coordinating” with Republican candidates because the groups’ ads did not explicitly ask voters to “vote for” or “against” candidates. After the court of appeals allowed the investigation to move forward, the groups on Wednesday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear the case and potentially end the investigation.

Two of the targets of the investigation — Wisconsin Club for Growth and Citizens for a Strong America — are also big spenders on judicial races. Indeed, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, the two groups spent $1.8 million in 2011 on just one candidate — conservative Justice David Prosser.

Yet, despite the potential conflict of interest presented by Prosser and some of his colleagues sitting on a case that concerns his donors, they are under no obligation to recuse. The court’s recusal rule was co-written by a third business group, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, that reportedly spent more than $5 million supporting conservative members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Under this rule, justices are free to sit on cases involving their donors.

The Woodstock, Illinois Opera House is looking for a full-time production manager

Great venue, great town. Sounds like a good job for the right person too ...


Due to retirement, the City of Woodstock is seeking qualified applicants for Production Manager with the Woodstock Opera House. This full-time exempt position coordinates technical theatrical scenery, lighting and sound for all public performances in the Opera House, Stage Left Café and Square Park Bandstand; organizes and assigns personnel and equipment; supervises personnel training; purchases and maintains production equipment. Work is performed under the direction of the Opera House Managing Director.

Min. Qual.: Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Production, Theatre or Fine Arts (MFA degree in Theatre preferred); 5 years’ theatre scenery, stage lighting, sound and design production experience, at more than one venue; valid driver’s license with good record; ability to obtain CPR and first aid certifications, and to be federally licensed to manufacture, possess and use pyrotechnic materials. Salary Range: $58,498 - $90,833 DOQ, with full benefits package of group health & dental insurance, benefit time and IMRF retirement plan.

Qualified candidates may submit a current resume and cover letter—clearly outlining relevant experience and education—to: humanresources@woodstockil.gov no later than Friday, March 4, 2014. Formal applications will be sent to the most qualified candidates and must be returned by the specified due date in order to receive consideration. The City reserves the right to select only the most qualified applicants for an interview. EOE
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