May 24, 2016

Federal Prison Rehab Program Reduces Sentences

Federal Prison Rehab Program Reduces Sentences

According to studies and statistics, a large portion of the federal prison population suffers from alcohol and drug dependency. Many offenders have major alcohol and drug problems before they are arrested and convicted for their crimes. To address these problems and help rehabilitate inmates, the Bureau of Prisons initiated a drug treatment program over 20 years ago. Over the last two decades, the program has helped thousands of inmates to turn their lives around before they are released from prison.

The Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program, RDAP, is an inpatient program mandated by federal law. For qualified prisoners who enter and complete the program, their sentence can be reduced by as much as one year. This reduced sentence time is in addition to the 54 days per year that inmates can earn if they remain infraction free while incarerated.

The exact amount of time that can be cut from a sentence depends on the initial sentence:

* Inmates sentenced to 37 months or more who complete the program will receive the full 12 months of early release.

* Inmates sentenced to 31 to 36 months can receive a nine month reduced sentence.

* Inmates sentenced to less than 31 months can receive a six month reduced sentence.

RDAP is the Bureau’s most intensive treatment program for alcohol and drug rehabilitation. It is held in a modified therapeutic community atmosphere where inmates experience living in a pro-social community, rather than in the general prison population. Inmates participate in a half-day of treatment programming and a half-day of school, work or vocational activities. The treatment program lasts nine months and takes approximately 500 hours to complete.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Bureau of Prisons have conducted numerous studies on the treatment program over the years. Research findings show that RDAP participants are significantly less likely to relapse with alcohol and drug problems after release than non-participating inmates. According to criminal defense attorneys of Michigan, the RDAP makes a significant difference in inmates' lives and helps them to return to normal life with greater success.

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for the RDAP, the inmate must have a verified alcohol abuse, narcotic drug or prescription drug problem that is documented in a pre-sentence investigation. If the sentencing judge recommends the inmate for the program, eligibility will increase. The inmate must be in a prison facility that offers the treatment program.

May 5, 2016

Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump Similarities

And the similarities don't stop there. Hitler and Trump have a lot more in common.

The context in which Adolf Hitler was elected is that he was first nominated and appointed as chancellor during a period in which multiple political parties were vying for power and there were successive minority governments and coalition governments.

At the time Hitler couldn't secure a majority because of a lot of the crazy/funny things he said. He was considered by many Germans to be a joke candidate, so far to the right wing that over half the population didn't even take him seriously.

In February 1933 the Reichstag building was set on fire (some say it was deliberately set by the Nazis, who claim it was set on fire by the communists). Whatever the cause, it led to a new election in March 1933.

After the fire suddenly the German people took Hitler more seriously. And it showed in the voting records.

Hitler and the NSDAP won 43.9% of the vote during the March 6th 1933 election, not enough for a majority, but enough that he was the clear victor.

Following the victory Hitler was given the power to create new laws for 4 years without needing the permission of the Reichstag. This unprecedented move allowed Hitler to have control over the government without having a majority.

Afterwards Hitler moved quickly to use police and military forces to secure his control over power, and to use new laws to slowly eradicate any opposition to his leadership. By August 1934 he became Fuhrer for life.

Now consider Donald Trump. He hasn't exactly won the Republican nomination. But he won enough that his political opponents eventually quit and Trump (original German name is Drumpf) became the de facto nomination of the Republican Party.

Trump didn't get a majority of party votes, although he did manage to get a majority of delegate votes (there is a difference). During polling of Republican voters Trump never got above 30% of the Republican vote. But he managed to get 1053 delegates of the 2473 delegates available before his opponents dropped out of the race.

As such Donald Trump doesn't even have the support of his own political party, let alone the support of the American people. Even his own political opponents within the Republican Party openly mock him.

Which brings me to my point, neither Hitler or Trump were taken seriously when they were nominated to take power.

Once he had power, Hitler never let go. He seized it, secured his power base, began waves of propaganda techniques to boost his popularity, he passed discriminatory laws to persecute the Jews (which ultimately led to the Holocaust, war crimes and genocide), he rounded up disabled people and had them surgically sterilized, and he gave the police unprecedented power to enforce Hitler's rule of law.

Trump in comparison has promised to ban Muslims from entering the USA, to deport Muslims, to pass discriminatory laws against immigrants (especially Mexicans, although anyone "brown" will do), and he has promised to give police more power and more guns (essentially rubber stamping the idea that "black lives don't matter").

Trump has not promised to sterilize disabled people, but he has openly made fun of a disabled person.

Okay, so here is the thing.

We need to take Donald Trump seriously.

Even though he is an idiot. An arrogant, entitled, moronic buffoon. We still need to take him seriously.

The President of the United States has access to nuclear weapons, and when asked about how he would deal with problems in the Middle East he responded by saying that nuclear weapons are on the table. This implies he intends to use them if the option is presented to him.

So really we are looking at a Hilter-esque presidential candidate, who if elected will have access to nuclear weapons... and he has implied that he would use nuclear weapons and risk nuclear war.

Now you might think "Oh Trump doesn't have a chance of winning."

Except that is what the Germans were thinking of Hitler in 1933. It didn't work out too well for Germany, their country was laid to waste 11 years later.

Interesting notes...

USA Voter Turnout in 2012: 54.9%

USA Voter Turnout in 2008: 57.1%

USA Voter Turnout in 2004: 55.7%

USA Voter Turnout in 2000: 50.3%

USA Voter Turnout in 1996: 49.0%

During the 2000 presidential election George W. Bush was elected with 47.9% of the people who voted... but only 50.3% of eligible Americans voted due to very low voter turnout. That means only 24.09% of Americans voted for Bush.

Meanwhile Al Gore got 48.4% of the votes (24.3% of the total eligible voters), but still lost because Jeb Bush and his cronies rigged the polling stations in Florida.

Voter turnout in Germany, March 6th 1933: 88.74%. The NSDAP got 43.91% of the votes. This means only 38.97% of Germans voted for Hitler.

History has shown that horrible leaders can be elected with just a small percentage of votes. If it happened to Hitler and Bush, it could happen to Trump.

December 30, 2015

Herr Trump and the Last Hurrah of White America

The United States of America is leaning dangerously towards the right wing as Donald Trump leads the Republican nomination for the presidency on a platform of ultra-right racism, fiscal irresponsibility and vague promises to "make America great again" - which is reusing Ronald Reagan's campaign slogan of "make America great".

Americans should be advised of the following things:

Donald Trump bankrupted multiple businesses, including a casino. How fiscally bad do you have to be to bankrupt a casino?

Donald Trump was born into wealth. He didn't become wealthy using business acumen, he is the result of his family's previous wealth and his own skill at swindling people out of their money - hence numerous lawsuits and allegations of fraud.

Donald Trump has been accused of defrauding Americans many times, but never convicted. That means he isn't just good at defrauding people, he is very good at getting away with it.

Donald Trump will say anything to win - including bashing Mexicans and Muslims in an effort to prop himself up with racist voters. Hey, it worked for Hitler, why not for Trump?

History shows us that Trump is a devout capitalist, interested only in himself and making himself richer. He has zero interest in helping the American people. Much more likely he will bankrupt the USA and sell much of it to China. Or Saudi Arabia.

Many of Trump's biggest financial supporters are from Saudi Arabia - just like the Bush family and Ronald Reagan. This sets an almost foregone conclusion that Trump actually has a chance to win the presidency. If the same people who backed the Bush family and Ronald Reagan into the White House could get those idiots into power, they could certainly get Trump into power too.

Which is bizarre when you consider the people who are supporting Trump in the USA - people who evidently don't know Trump is both proposing banning Muslims but is also receiving huge campaign donations from Muslims - are mostly white and mostly male, and uneducated.

So uneducated it even spawned a fake internet quote.

Fake or not, it doesn't matter. It raises a very valid point about the average intelligence of Republican voters in the USA. They're not just uneducated and stupid, they're downright ridiculously stupid.

And Donald Trump, a self professed genius, is playing right to the heart of Republican voters. He isn't talking about economics (or when he does, he basically just brags about the fact he is a billionaire) or the US national debt, slumping quality of education, household debt, poverty in America, the quality of health care in America or anything worth actually talking about, and instead he refocuses attention on how much he would bomb Muslims, how he would ban Muslims from the USA, promote hatred of Mexicans, force Mexico to build a wall across the border (there is already a fence, what more does he want?), and basically make meaningless platitudes and BS his way through debates.

And Republicans, those who can't even platitudes or know what the word means, eat it up like it is sugar-covered-sh*t and then think it is chocolate.

If elected - and it is looking more and more possible - Donald Trump will be the biggest loser in American politics. The most laughed at. The most powerless. The lamest of lamest ducks.


Because even Republicans, dumb as they are, will eventually realized when they have been swindled.

For fun have a look at George W. Bush's approval rating during his time in office. He left office with an approval rating of 33%, the lowest approval rating of any president in the history of the USA. Donald Trump can do one better. He can get an approval rating in the 20s or lower.

Now in the title you may have noticed we added the bit "the Last Hurrah of White America".

We chose this title because racism is fighting a losing battle in the USA. It is a matter of demographics and population growth. White people are currently in the majority in the USA, but during the next 45 years white people will lose that position of dominance and start the process of becoming a minority.

There are two main racial groups in the USA that are growing rapidly: Hispanics (not just from Mexico, but also Central and South America) and people who are mixed race - which is one of the reasons why the percentage of African Americans is not expected to increase, due to mixed race marriages/children - a phenomenon that is rapidly growing in the USA.

At present the best estimate is that white Americans will officially become a minority by 2044.

And let us be honest about this. The idea that white people (some of which are descended from former slave owners) might become a minority in a country that was once dominated by a hundred million Cherokee, Sioux and other "Amerindians" before white people showed up and started a mass genocide that wiped much of their culture away... Well that just freaks the hell out of white Republicans.

To them they think that they might see a return of slavery, but it would be white people who are the slaves. Or that the other races will band together to kill all the white people, just like white people did to Indigenous Americans (aka "Amerindians"). Utter nonsense, but that is what some white people think will happen.

So Donald Trump represents to white Republicans a sense of "hope" for the future, to help white people stave off the hordes of scary Mexicans and Muslims and other "brown people" that white Americans find so scary.

Ultimately the USA was a country born amidst racist genocide, endured over a century of racist slavery, struggled for over a century with racial divides of wealth, income, social status - and continues to struggle even now, despite electing a black president.

Racism is alive and well in the USA, and it is showing its ugly head in the form of Donald Trump.


November 4, 2015

Harper the Horrible

Want to have some fun! Google the words 'Harper the Horrible' and check out the results.

Results like:

S**t Harper Did

Why Not Harper?

Is Harper the worst prime minister in history?

Stephen Harper and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very ...

Harper the Bad Conservative

Reality Check: Is Harper's economic record as bad as ...

Harper Watch | Compiling the Harper Government's Assault on Democracy

The good and bad aspects of Stephen Harper's term as the Prime Minister of Canada

Conservatives grapple with the terrible death of a Syrian boy ...

In summary it starts to make you realize why so many Canadians despise Stephen Harper. And why approx. 80% of Canadians say they prefer Kim Campbell over Stephen Harper.

If you were to rank the following ten prime ministers by popularity, this is the order of how popular they are or were:

Jean Chretien
Pierre Trudeau
Brian Mulroney
Lester B. Pearson
John Diefenbaker
Joe Clark
Kim Campbell
Paul Martin
John Turner
Stephen Harper

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