Positive News from the USA

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6883
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby habal » 10 Nov 2015 21:16

Prison-$19/night + taxes.
Only in the USA
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34705968
US inmates charged per night in jail
By Jessica Lussenhop
BBC News Magazine
9 November 2015

A widespread practice in the US known as "pay to stay" charges jail inmates a daily fee while they are incarcerated. For those who are in and out of the local county or city lock-ups - particularly those struggling with addiction - that can lead to sky-high debts.

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby member_22733 » 10 Nov 2015 22:50

When I posted in the Indo-US thread about how the US is one of the harshest countries on planet earth to be a poor person, I was attacked and almost called a troll.

The above post by habal is an example for the harshness I mentioned.

If you are poor, God Almighty help you if you make any mistakes. Moreover, if you are poor, even the God Almighty may not be able to help you in avoiding the making of mistakes.

johneeG
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3473
Joined: 01 Jun 2009 12:47

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby johneeG » 10 Nov 2015 22:56

habal wrote:Prison-$19/night + taxes.
Only in the USA
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34705968
US inmates charged per night in jail
By Jessica Lussenhop
BBC News Magazine
9 November 2015

A widespread practice in the US known as "pay to stay" charges jail inmates a daily fee while they are incarcerated. For those who are in and out of the local county or city lock-ups - particularly those struggling with addiction - that can lead to sky-high debts.


:eek:

So, they are taxing the prisoners for their stay in prison. They are taxing the students for their education. The prisoners are in high debt by the time they complete their term. The students are in high debt by the time they complete their term. Yet, the govt itself is in a huge debt and keeps raising the debt ceiling. Where is all the money going? Why is the govt in such huge debt?

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby member_22733 » 10 Nov 2015 23:01

Look for the money in following places:
1) Bankers
2) Shares to C-level execs
3) 1% (which include 1 and 2 above).

Maximizing share holder (1%) profit by sucking the non-shareholders(99%) bone dry.

Once these prisoners get out, they will be hounded by collectors and it will screw their credit score. After that they will not get a loan for less than 25% (yes really 25%) interest rate (i.e it will double in 3.2 years or so). They will also find it difficult to get employment, which means they will have to resort to some "extra-legal" ways to make money to pay up the debt and that would put them right back in Prison. Driving up the shares of the bankers who bankrolled the prisoner and of the Prison industrial complex.

Slavery is alive and well folks. Just not advertised in quite the same way.

Prem
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21161
Joined: 01 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: Weighing and Waiting 8T Yconomy

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Prem » 11 Nov 2015 03:46


MurthyB
BRFite
Posts: 704
Joined: 18 Oct 2002 11:31
Location: "Visa Officer", Indian Consulate #13,451, Khost Province, Afghanistan

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby MurthyB » 11 Nov 2015 06:15

"Gentlemen, this is the communications department! We can't have journalism here!"

An illustrious lefty professor of "communications" Melissa Click, presumably a proponent of "freedom of speech" etc pushes away a reporter from covering left-wing protesters who want "privacy" while occupying a public, tax-supported space.

The prof appears @ 6:21


Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Singha » 11 Nov 2015 08:41

I was about to post the same. militant lefties share the same DNA all over.

Nick_S
BRFite
Posts: 516
Joined: 23 Jul 2011 16:05
Location: Abbatabad

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Nick_S » 12 Nov 2015 11:58

Angry Christian Mom Confronts Katy Perry's Dad

"I watched your daughter's video, ET. She is doing haram with demons on the video." :eek:

"Your daughter is sending my son to hell!" :((

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26gazVwh_w0

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 19 Nov 2015 06:36


Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20797
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Philip » 19 Nov 2015 13:51

The heart of rural America,where the great American dream is just to survive.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015 ... rest-towns
America's poorest white town: abandoned by coal, swallowed by drugs
In the first of a series of dispatches from the US’s poorest communities, we visit Beattyville, Kentucky, blighted by a lack of jobs and addiction to painkillers
Chris McGreal in Beattyville, Kentucky
Thursday 12 November 2015

Karen Jennings patted her heavily made up face, put on a sardonic smile and said she thought she looked good after all she’d been through.

“I was an alcoholic first. I got drunk and fell in the creek and broke my back. Then I got hooked on the painkillers,” the 59-year-old grandmother said.

Over the years, Jennings’ back healed but her addiction to powerful opioids remained. After the prescriptions dried up, she was drawn to the underground drug trade that defines eastern Kentucky today as coal, oil and timber once did.

Jennings spoke with startling frankness about her part in a plague gripping the isolated, fading towns dotting this part of Appalachia. Frontier communities steeped in the myth of self-reliance are now blighted by addiction to opioids – “hillbilly heroin” to those who use them. It’s a dependency bound up with economic despair and financed in part by the same welfare system that is staving off economic collapse across much of eastern Kentucky. It’s a crisis that crosses generations

One of those communities is Beattyville, recorded by a US census survey as the poorest white town – 98% of its 1,700 residents are white – in the country. It was also by one measure – the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2008-2012 of communities of more than 1,000 people, the latest statistics available at the time of reporting – among the four lowest income towns in the country. It is the first stop for a series of dispatches by the Guardian about the lives of those trying to do more than survive in places that seem the most remote from the aspirations and possibilities of the American Dream.

Beattyville sits at the northern tip of a belt of the most enduring rural poverty in America. The belt runs from eastern Kentucky through the Mississippi delta to the Texas border with Mexico, taking in two of the other towns – one overwhelmingly African American and the other exclusively Latino – at the bottom of the low income scale. The town at the very bottom of that census list is an outlier far to the west on an Indian reservation in Arizona.

The communities share common struggles in grappling with blighted histories and uncertain futures. People in Beattyville are not alone in wondering if their kind of rural town even has a future. To the young, such places can sometimes feel like traps in an age when social mobility in the US is diminishing and they face greater obstacles to a good education than other Americans.


At the same time, each of the towns is distinguished by problems not common to the rest. In Beattyville it is the drug epidemic, which has not only destroyed lives but has come to redefine a town whose fleeting embrace of prosperity a generation ago is still visible in some of its grander official buildings and homes near the heart of the town. Now they seem to accentuate the decline of a main street littered with ghost shops that haven’t seen business in years.

Jennings shook off her addiction after 15 years. She struggled to find work but eventually got a job serving in a restaurant that pays the $300 a month rent on her trailer home. She collects a small disability allowance from the government and volunteers at a food bank as a kind of atonement. Helping other people is, she said, her way of “getting through”: “I just want to serve God and do what I can for people here.”

It was at the local food bank that Jennings spilled out her story.

“There are lots of ways of getting drugs. The elderly sell their prescriptions to make up money to buy food. There are doctors and pharmacies that just want to make money out of it,” she said. “I was the manager of a fast food place. I used to buy from the customers. People could come in for a hamburger and do a drug transaction with me and no one would ever notice.”

Even as Jennings related the toll of drug abuse – the part it played in destroying at least some of her five marriages, the overdose that nearly cost her life and the letter she wrote to her doctor begging for the help that finally wrenched her off the pills – she spoke as if one step removed from the experience.

“You get hooked and you’re not yourself. You go on functioning. You do your job. But I really don’t see how I’m alive today,” she said.

It was only when Jennings got to the part about her son, Todd, a bank vice-president, that she faltered. “I lost my son three years ago from suicide. My lifestyle contributed to his depression. I take responsibility for my part of it,” she said.

Alex Dezanett lives in a tent pitched in a horse trailer in Beattyville. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

The cluster of people waiting their turn to collect a cardboard box containing tins of beef stew, macaroni and cheese instant dinners, bread, eggs and cereal passed no direct comment as Jennings recounted her history.

Some of them carried their own sense of defeat at having come to rely on government assistance and private largesse. But afterwards there was a whiff of suspicion from others who seemed to see the decades-long decline of their communities as a moral failing.

“I’m not one for helping people who don’t help themselves but sometimes you do the best you can and you still need help,” said 63-year-old Wilma Barrett who, after a lifetime of hard work farming and digging coal, was unsettled to find herself reliant on welfare payments and the food bank. “A lot of it’s our own fault. The Lord says work and if you don’t work and provide for yourself then there’s no reason why anyone else should. I know it’s easy to give up but the Lord tells us not to give up. Too many people here have given up.”

Hidden world

Eastern Kentucky falls within that part of Appalachia that has come to epitomise the white underclass in America ever since president Lyndon Johnson sat down on the porch of a wood cabin in the small town of Inez in 1964 and made it the face of his War on Poverty.

The president arrived virtually unannounced at the home of Tom Fletcher, a 38-year-old former coalminer who had not held a full-time job in two years and was struggling to feed eight children. The visit offered the rest of the US a disturbing glimpse into a largely hidden world where houses routinely lacked electricity and indoor plumbing, and children habitually failed to get enough to eat. The 1960 census records that one in five adults in the region could neither read nor write.

Half a century later, while poverty levels have fallen dramatically in some other parts of the country in good part thanks to Johnson, the economic gap between the region and much of the rest of America is as wide. And its deprivation is once again largely invisible to most of the country.

Johnson's war on poverty is about more than feeding and housing the poor

Beattyville’s median household income is just $12,361 (about £8,000) a year, placing it as the third lowest income town in the US, according to that Census Bureau 2008-12 survey.

Nationally, the median household income was $53,915 in 2012. In real terms, the income of people in Beattyville is lower than it was in 1980.

The town’s poverty rate is 44% above the national average. Half of its families live below the poverty line. That includes three-quarters of those with children, with the attendant consequences. More than one-third of teenagers drop out of high school or leave without graduating. Just 5% of residents have college degrees.

Surrounding communities are little better. Beattyville is the capital of Lee County, named after the commander of the Confederate army of Northern Virginia in the civil war, General Robert E Lee.

Five of the 10 poorest counties in the US run in a line through eastern Kentucky and they include Lee County. Life expectancy in the county is among the worst in the US, which is not unconnected to the fact that more than half the population is obese. Men lived an average of just 68.3 years in 2013, a little more than eight years short of the national average. Women lived 76.4 years on average, about five years short of national life expectancy.

An abandoned truck in Beattyville. Photograph: David Coyle/Team Coyle for the Guardian

A few months before he visited eastern Kentucky, Johnson said in his State of the Union address: “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptoms of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”

Over time, the focus of that effort shifted to inner-city poverty and many of the programmes Johnson launched came to be seen as aimed at minorities, even though to this day white people make up the largest number of beneficiaries.

But when the president sat on Fletcher’s porch in Inez, he had in mind rural poverty of an almost exclusively white region where the coal industry – which for a while provided jobs but not the much-promised prosperity – was already receding and people struggled for more than a basic income from the land.

Television pictures of Johnson’s visit presented Americans with a hardness of living in the midst of some of the greatest beauty the US has to offer. Life in a log cabin buried in the forest from which it was hewed is romantic until you have to collect water by bucket in the dead cold of winter.


The War on Poverty lives on through federal grants. Food stamps, employment programmes and disability allowance have cushioned many people from the harshest effects of the retreat of jobs from the region. Some families still struggle to put enough food on the table but their children are fed – if not well in the sense of healthily – at school.

Federal money also built Vivian Lunsford a new house – a spacious wooden bungalow with a balcony on two sides and forest to the back, constructed in a ravine just outside Beattyville. The narrow road from the town winds past simple log cabins buried in the trees.

“They’ve probably been there since the early 1900s,” she said. “I don’t know how people live in them. They’re real basic. Their only running water is the stream. But people just keep staying there. They don’t want to leave. It’s the pride. The heritage of that land.”

Trailers in Beattyville. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

Before getting the house Lunsford, 38, was unemployed and homeless. Her mother applied for a grant and a cut-rate mortgage on her daughter’s behalf without telling her, in order to build a more modern and spacious version of the old wood cabins. Lunsford repays the mortgage at $389 a month, less than it would cost to rent.

“There’s so much grant money went toward it that so long as I live there for 10 years I don’t have to pay that grant money back,” she said.

Lunsford was also able to land a job with the Beattyville housing association that built her home, which she shares these days with her partner and his school-age daughter.

“This place is notably poorer. You can’t just go out and get a job in McDonald’s. A Walmart is an hour away. I can go to my daddy’s in Florida and the world is like a different place. Here is more stuck in time,” she said.

“Our homeless situation is really different to a big city. It’s couch surfing. You’ve got lower income people, grandparents with their children and spouses living there with the grandchildren. They’re all crammed into this one house. There’s a lot of them.”

Other people on the waiting list for new homes – wooden bungalows or trailers – are what she calls “burn downs”, whose homes were destroyed by fire from candles, kerosene heaters or pot belly stoves. Many of those are in homes disconnected from electricity and other utilities to save money.

“Utility bills are outrageous in a trailer because they lack insulation. I have a little lady I’ve been helping with, Miss Nelly. She’s in her late 70s. Her electric bill in the wintertime here runs about $400 a month. She can’t afford that. Trailers don’t heat good,” she said. “Some people choose not to connect to utilities to save money. A lot of people here, their income is like between $500 and $700 a month. That’s all they get. That’s not a lot, especially if you’ve got kids and the price of gas and car insurance and you’ve got all these things that have to be paid.”

Still, the rehousing programme is not without its issues. Bob Ball built Lunsford’s home. He also built one for a man in his early 20s called Duke and his wife, both of whom were unemployed and had been living in a caravan.

Ball has since hired Duke as a worker. Federal money keeps the builder’s business alive but he still commented with a hint of disapproval at the government funding homes. “He got a new house so young. We all paid for that,” said Ball.

Through much of the 19th century, this part of the Bluegrass State was romanticised in stories of rugged frontiersmen and courageous hunters as the epitome of American self-reliance. None more so than Daniel Boone, a hunter and surveyor at the forefront of settling Kentucky. A good part of Lee County carves into a national forest named after him.

“Cultural heritage here is important,” said Dee Davis, whose family was from Lee County, though he grew up in a neighbouring county where he heads the Center for Rural Strategies. “The first bestselling novels were about this region. It was at one time the iconic America. This kind of frontier: white, noble. This was the iconography.”

By the time Johnson arrived a different image had taken hold – that of the anti-modern, moonshine swilling, gun toting, backwards “hillbilly”. The stereotype was perpetuated on television by a popular 1960s comedy show, The Beverly Hillbillies, in which unsophisticated mountain folk find oil on their land, get rich and move with their guns, bibles and Confederate sympathies to live among California’s millionaires.

In 2003, Davis led a campaign against a CBS plan to remake the comedy as reality television by setting up a poor Appalachian family in a Beverly Hills mansion. One mocking CBS executive remarked on the potential: “Imagine the episode where they have to interview maids.”

Davis beat back CBS but said the planned programme reflected a sense that white people living in poorer communities were blamed for their condition.

“There’s this feeling here like people are looking down on you. Feeling like it’s OK to laugh at you, to pity you. You’re not on the same common ground for comparison as someone who’s better off or living in a better place. That doesn’t mean it’s always true, it just means we feel that burden quickly. We’re primed to react to people we think are looking down on us. That they judge us for our clothes, judge us for our car, judge us for our income, the way we talk,” he said.

“This is the poorest congressional district in the United States. I grew up delivering furniture with my dad. No one ever said they were in poverty. That’s a word that’s used to judge people. You hear them say, I may be a poor man but we live a pretty good life for poor people. People refer to themselves as poor but they won’t refer to themselves as in poverty.”

Karen Jennings encountered the prejudice when she first left Beattyville.

“When I went to Louisville as a teenager to work in Waffle House I had this country accent. They laughed at me and asked if we even had bathrooms where I come from. People here are judged in the bigger cities and they resent that,” she said. “The difference is the cities hide their problems. Here it’s too small to hide them. There’s the drugs, and the poverty. There’s a lot of the old people come in here for food. The welfare isn’t enough. Three girls in my granddaughter’s class are pregnant. This is a hard place to grow up. People don’t hide it but they resent being judged for it.”

Drug epidemic
The cities hide their problems. Here it's too small to hide them. There's the drugs, and the poverty

The stereotype has evolved. Deepest Appalachia may still be thought of as backward and dirt poor but it’s now also widely known as in the grip of a prescription drug epidemic. Without prompting, it’s the first thing Steve Mays, Lee County’s de facto mayor, talks about.

Mays is the county’s judge-executive, an antiquated title that carries political but no judicial authority. His office is in Beattyville, where he was born and was a policeman for 16 years, half of them as chief of police.

“When I worked as a police officer and chief there was drugs here and we made a lot of busts, but things are getting worse,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of jobs here. Some people look for a way out. They haven’t accomplished what they wanted to and they’re just looking for that escape, I guess. They get that high and once it gets a hold of you they have a hard time getting away from it. They don’t think the future looks good for them or they don’t feel there’s any hope so they continue to stay on that drug.

“It’s people of all ages. You feel sorry for them. Good people. It takes their lives over. They do things you wouldn’t normally think they’d do. Stealing, writing bad cheques, younger girls prostitute themselves out for drugs.”

Mays feels the sting all the more acutely because his daughter was convicted of illegally obtaining drugs from a local pharmacy where she worked.

In 2013, drug overdoses accounted for 56% of all accidental deaths in Kentucky and an even higher proportion in the east of the state.

Leading the blight is a powerful and highly addictive opioid painkiller, OxyContin, known locally as “hillbilly heroin”. Typically it is ground down and injected or snorted to give an instant and powerful high.
Its misuse is so routine that the bulk of court cases reported in the local papers are drug related. Just about everyone in Beattyville has a story of the human cost. Some mention the decline of the town’s homecoming queen, Michele Moore, into addiction in the 1990s. Moore struggled by as a single mother living in a trailer home before she was stabbed to death by a man while the two were taking drugs.

At about that time, Beattyville’s police chief, Omer Noe , and the Lee County sheriff, Johnny Mann, were jailed for taking bribes to protect drug smugglers. Five years later, the next Lee County sheriff, Douglas Brandenburg, went to prison for a similar crime.

Amid the relentless destruction of life, there is little that shocks. But four years ago residents of Harlan County – a couple of hours’ drive to the south-east – were shaken by a series of deaths over six weeks of parents of members of the local boys and girls club. Eleven of the children watched a parent die.

Getting the drugs isn’t difficult. Elderly people sell their prescription drugs to supplement some of the lowest incomes in the US. The national average retirement income is about $21,500. In Beattyville it is $6,500.

Last year, a pharmacy owner in nearby Clay County, Terry Tenhet, was jailed for 10 years for illegally distributing hundreds of thousands of pills after police tied the prescriptions to several overdose deaths. In 2011 alone, he supplied more than 360,000 OxyContin pills in a county with only 21,000 residents. Those prescriptions were mostly written by doctors in other states.

Prosecutors alleged that for years a single pain clinic nearly 1,000 miles away in south Florida had provided the prescriptions for a quarter of the OxyContin sold in eastern Kentucky. The bus service to Florida is known to police and addicts alike as the “Oxy Express”.

In 2012, Dr Paul Volkman was sentenced to four life terms for writing illegal prescriptions for more than 3m pills from a clinic he ran in Portsmouth, Ohio, on the border with eastern Kentucky. Prosecutors said the prescriptions had contributed to dozens of overdose deaths.

Another doctor, David Procter, is serving 16 years in prison for running a “pill mill” at which at least four other doctors were involved in the illegal supply of drugs to eastern Kentucky.

There is little sympathy for doctors or pharmacists acting as dealers, but there is a view in Beattyville and surrounding towns that people have been exploited by something bigger than a few medics, largely because they are regarded as “backward”.

Davis said the drug companies aggressively pushed OxyContin and similar drugs in a region where, because of a mixture of the mining, the rigours of the outdoors and the weather, there was a higher demand for painkillers.

Here's this synthetic opium product and they sell it as regular pain medicine. They knew how highly addictive it was

“You couldn’t go to a doctor without seeing a merchant there. Here’s this synthetic opium product that’s supposed to be good for palliative care – cancer patients – and they start selling it as regular pain medicine. They knew how highly addictive it was and they sold it anyway,” he said. “I live in a town of 1,500 people with seven pharmacies as well as pain clinics and methadone clinics and the full backup industry. Everybody gets paid, doctors and pharmacists and lawyers.”

Recently released research shows that abuse of powerful opioid painkillers is in part responsible for a sharp rise in the death rate among white middle-aged Americans over the past two decades, particularly less-educated 45- to 54-year-olds. The report by academics at Princeton university also blamed misuse of alcohol and a rise in cheaper high quality heroin along with suicides. The researchers said they suspected that financial stress played a part in people taking their lives.

OxyContin’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, was penalised $634m by a federal court in 2007 for misrepresenting the drug’s addictive effects to doctors and patients. Purdue is now being sued by the Kentucky government. The state’s attorney general, Jack Conway, accuses the company of concealing information about the dangers of the drug in order to increase profits, and its salespeople of claiming OxyContin is less addictive and safer than it is.

“I want to hold them accountable in eastern Kentucky for what they did,” Conway told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “We have lost an entire generation.”

Purdue has denied the claim.

Late last year the Beattyville Enterprise reported that pharmacists in the town were appealing to drug companies for greater control over another prescription medicine, Neurontin, which is increasingly in demand and has been found at the scene of overdose deaths. Heroin use is also on the rise.

Ask where people get the money for drugs and just about everyone blames it on welfare in general and the trade in what is known locally as “pop” – soft drinks – in particular.

The west end of Main Street, Beattyville.
Close to 57% of Beattyville residents claim food stamps. They are paid by electronic transfer on the first of the month. That same day, cases of Pepsi and Coca-Cola are marked down sharply in supermarkets and disappear off the shelves, often paid for with food stamps.

They are then sold on to smaller stores at a lower price than they would pay a distributor, in effect turning several hundred dollars of food stamps into cash at about 50 cents on the dollar.

The “pop” scam has become shorthand in Beattyville among those who regard welfare as almost as big a blight as the drugs themselves.

“We have a lot of dope and the like around here,” said Wilma Barrett at the food bank. “Food stamps go to pay for it. You can see it happening and it’s sickening. It’s become a kind of trap for us out here.”

Courier, the mining company owner, took a similar line, saying welfare had dragged Beattyville down. “It’s made things worse. It’s disincentivised people from even trying. You can’t create a handout and expect people to pull themselves up. You have to give them the incentive to improve. I feel sadness that they’re being trapped,” he said.

Living on welfare

April Newman scoffed at the idea that she was trapped by welfare. She said it had kept her and her children, aged one to four years old, from near destitution after she escaped a bad six-year relationship.

“You definitely do feel resented because I resented myself. People look down on you for it,” she said.

In order to get free housing and financial assistance, Newman was obliged to sign on to a Kentucky programme providing financial assistance to low-income families with children in combination with training or volunteering. She receives a living allowance – not formally a pay cheque – of about $800 a month after signing up with AmeriCorps, a federally run national service organisation. She also receives $600 in food stamps. The state covers healthcare costs for the children.


“It’s hard to get by on that but I have learned. Being on my own and being a single mother, you have to learn to budget. So if I know that school clothes are coming up, or if Christmas is coming up, three to four months in advance, I start to slowly save. That way if things come up, I have the money for it. I’ve just learned to save really well,” she said.

Newman’s federal housing is in a stark block on the edge of town where she doesn’t feel particularly safe. “I won’t be living here long though. I’m actually going to try to do better and move out. You can’t raise children in places like that,” she said.

But to move out, she’ll need to pay the rent and the prospects for a full-time job are bleak.

Wilma Barrett does not have much sympathy for people in Newman’s position, even though she too has come to rely on government assistance.

“We owned a farm and we dig our own coal out of the hill. I had a heart attack and had to quit work four years ago. That’s when I started coming over [to the food bank],” she said. “I have a milk cow, chickens for eggs. We didn’t need a hog this year as we had some meat left in the freezer from last year.”

Barrett and her husband pull in about $1,100 a month in welfare payments and food stamps. But she has little time for younger people she regards as unwilling to work. “If you’re not picky about what you do, there’s always something. A job that pays $6 an hour is better than zero. I was raised on a farm with a couple of mules. I have three children and all of them know how to work.”

In the late 19th century, Beattyville was trumpeted by the investment company developing the town as “the gateway to the development of all the great mineral, lumber and agricultural resources” of eastern Kentucky.

“If a block of wood be thrown into the waters west of the mountains dividing Kentucky from Virginia it will wind its way between towering mountains and rich valleys until it floats over the dam at Beattyville. Eastern Kentucky cannot be developed without Beattyville becoming a large and important city,” it said.

It was not to be. Within a few years, railways had replaced rivers as the principal means of moving goods and the trains came nowhere near Beattyville. Neither did the highway system that spread across America over the 20th century.
In the end, what eastern Kentucky got was not development but plunder.

In his distinguished 1963 account of life in the region, Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area, Harry Caudill described the “greed and cunning of the coal magnates” who left behind few facilities but plenty of misery.

“From the beginning, the coal and timber companies insisted on keeping all, or nearly all, the wealth they produced,” wrote Caudill. “They were unwilling to plough more than a tiny part of the money they earned back into schools, libraries, health facilities and other institutions essential to a balanced, pleasant, productive and civilised society. The knowledge and guile of their managers enabled them to corrupt and cozen all too many of the region’s elected public officials and to thwart the legitimate aspirations of the people.”

Even during the War on Poverty, as billions of dollars were poured into the region, programmes were hijacked to serve politicians and money was diverted by members of Congress to prop up support in constituencies far from those for which it was intended.

Yet ask who is responsible for Beattyville’s woes today and fingers in the town frequently point at one man.

“Since Obama it’s got bad,” said Courier. “There’s the economy but also a lot of EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] regulations. There’s been a lot of changes in the law over the past two or three years with hollow mining. As for large-scale mining here, it’s finished. I employed 50 people at the peak. Now it’s six.”

The numbers don’t back up Courier’s claims. The industry has been in decline for decades. Coal production in eastern Kentucky has fallen by 63% since 2000. Mechanisation ate into the number of jobs long before that.
Abandoned coal, Beattyville.

Davis said there had been a political campaign by the mining industry to blame the government for the decline led by an industry-funded group, The Friends of Coal.

“In the coinciding of the decline of coal jobs and the corresponding decline in the economy, the Friends of Coal campaign went from car shows and football games to music events – it was very cultural – and began to deflect pressure on the industry to blaming government policy. They put up posters: Stop the war on coal,” he said.

“We’re in a place right now where a tonne of coal costs about $68 to mine in eastern Kentucky and about $12 to mine in Wyoming. They’re importing more Wyoming coal here than they’re using east Kentucky coal. But if you ask people why this is, it’s Obama. They won’t blame the market, they blame the policy. It’s been very convenient to shift it to the black guy.”

Hostility to the US’s first black president runs deep. In an editorial, Beattyville’s largest circulation newspaper, Three Forks Tradition, described Obama as “trying to destroy the United States as we know it”. It accused him of waging war on “Anglo-Saxon males, who work for a living, believe in God and the right to keep and bear arms” and called the president and his then attorney general, Eric Holder, “race baiters with blood on their hands”.

“He has driven racial wedges between the people that will take generations to heal,” the editorial said without irony.

Vivian Lunsford pushed a page torn from a small notepad across her desk at the housing association. The writing on it was in pencil in capital letters. It was a tribute to Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky senator who is the Republican leader in the US Senate. “Mitch will keep us good,” it said, adding he would protect Kentucky from people who were “against coal”.

“My stepdaughter wrote that,” said Lunsford. “She’s too young to think it for herself. God knows who put that into her head. It wasn’t me. But that’s how they think around here. She’s hears it at school. She hears it from her friends and their parents. You hear it a lot.
Another Beattyville resident offered a forthright assessment of Republican support in the town.

“It’s crazy, it really is. It’s not just this county, it’s the surrounding counties. There’s so many people on welfare and yet they vote Republican and it’s crazy. I’m embarrassed, I really am. I understand a lot of it’s because they’re afraid what colour is our president, and that’s what they go on,” the person said.

A few hours later the resident asked not to be named “because although every word I said is true it would upset people around here”.

Steve Mays, Lee County’s de facto mayor, is a Republican. He has a picture of McConnell on the shelf behind his desk. “I like Mitch. He’s very supportive of me when I need grants or something. He always tries to come through for me,” said Mays.

But just a few months earlier, McConnell had claimed “massive numbers” of people were receiving food stamps “who probably shouldn’t” and described the programme as “making it excessively easy to be non-productive”.

This put Mays in a bind. His party routinely demonises people who receive welfare – but many of his voters rely on it. Mays said he regarded welfare as “a trap”, but acknowledged that without it the town would die.

“It’s catch 22. I don’t know what you do. I see people who really need the help. I see them in this office every day. They struggle and couldn’t make it without it. But I see some people taking advantage of it too,” he said. “I’m not completely against welfare. I don’t think just anybody should get it, I don’t agree with that. There’s people that need it but it’s taken advantage of by people that could work. But I’m not one of those who says there shouldn’t be welfare.”

Still, he acknowledged the seeming contradiction of people voting for a party that was so scornful of the government assistance their town survived on.

“You’re right, Republicans are against that. But that’s not why people around here are registered Republican. It’s because of local candidates or family history. My dad was Republican. I’m raised a Republican and voting Republican. That’s just the way it is,” he said.

This is routinely, and sometimes sneeringly, characterised by Democrats in other parts of America as poor white people voting against their own interests. It’s a view that exasperates Davis.

Painkiller addiction: the plague that is sweeping the US

“They say, why aren’t these people voting their self-interest? People always vote their self-interest if they can see it. If they believe the government doesn’t work, if they believe that the Democrats don’t really give a shit about people like them, don’t want to be in the same room with them, they want their vote but don’t want to hang out with them, then as they see it they’re voting their self-interest,” he said.

So what’s the future?

“It’s bad. I don’t think rural America has a future,” said Courier. “The advantage rural areas had in the past of cheap labour is gone. We used to have a lot of little factories in this area but they’ve gone to Mexico or China. In rural areas housing is cheap but everything else costs more. Utility rates are higher. Food and transport are higher. Management doesn’t want to live in rural areas. Education is horrible here. This is a third-world county. My kids grew up here until they were eight or nine, then they went to school in Louisville [a 145-mile drive away]. I wouldn’t send them to school here.”

An abandoned railroad coal-loading station, Beattyville.

Mays worried that Beattyville and Lee County were losing their best educated while the most dependent remained. “These kids come out of high school and graduate with honours, and go on to graduate college. We’ve got a lot of them. There’s a lot of smart people here but there’s not a lot of opportunity for them here once they graduate college. Normally they won’t stay here. We need to find a way to encourage them to stay,” he said.

Just as the railways and highways bypassed Beattyville in the last century, so high-speed internet has failed to penetrate through to the town in more recent times. Most people rely on slow and expensive connections through satellite providers. It’s a further discouragement to businesses.

Mays said the county was rooting its hopes for the future in more rustic pastimes. “We’ve got rock climbing and four counties here just got together and invested in a recreation park for off-road vehicles. We’re trying to get canoes on the river. We’ve got a lot of cabins here and a lot of people coming here from all over this country. We’re trying to work on that aspect of it because that’s what we’ve got going for us. We just need a break,” said Mays.

“I feel positive about the future. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but Lee County. We’ve got our problems but we’ve got good people … I’ve seen people with a lot of money that wouldn’t give $10 to help somebody out but in this area even people who don’t have a lot, when somebody gets down and sick, or if they’ve got cancer, they band together and they raise as much money as they can for that person to help them.

“I feel like the drug problem is our biggest issue. Not only does it destroy lives but the economic situation. If a company’s not going to come in because they don’t have a lot of workforce to choose from, or don’t feel like they do, there’s your jobs gone. And then people that move out of here. A lot of people move out of here to bigger places to find jobs. So your population starts going down even more. I don’t know how to change that. I’m not smart enough to say how to do it. But if somehow it could be reined in, I think we could grow.”

So, is the American Dream dead in Beattyville?

“If you don’t experience the American Dream, if you’ve never been taken out of the box, I don’t think you believe in it,” said Vivian Lunsford: “People have to be able to see or feel it or touch it to believe.”

Ed Courier said it lived on, but only for those who escaped Beattyville. “There’s opportunities if you go to college. But not for those who stay here. This place is being left behind,” he said.

April Newman with Olivia aged two and one-year-old Jonathan. ‘I don’t want to stay here. I don’t want my children to stay here,’ she said. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

April Newman agreed with that sentiment. She saw her dream being fulfilled far from Beattyville. “I really want to be a teacher and I have to get out of this town to do that,” she said. “There’s no options here. I don’t want to stay here. I don’t want my children to stay here. There’s so much that goes on. It’s just really sad.”

Dee Davis said the American Dream lived on even for those who could not escape Beattyville, but in a different way. “It’s not the dream of the immigrants so much as the dream of being OK, of surviving,” he said.

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby member_22733 » 19 Nov 2015 23:04

^^^They are called pill billies. Sad sad stories.

Muppalla
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7089
Joined: 12 Jun 1999 11:31

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Muppalla » 20 Nov 2015 23:10

US house votes to halt Syrian refugees. Votes in favor 289 and against 137.
47 Democrats vote in favor.

Principles and values of great democratic and human rights are adhered by the honorable members of the greatest democratic institution of world's lone super power.

Prem
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21161
Joined: 01 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: Weighing and Waiting 8T Yconomy

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Prem » 21 Nov 2015 05:23


habal
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6883
Joined: 24 Dec 2009 18:46

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby habal » 21 Nov 2015 21:45

aala re aala bojitive newj aala ...


My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.
The place I call home no longer feels safe.
By Fay Wells
November 18
Fay Wells is vice president of strategy at a company in California.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/postever ... ative_1_na

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 21 Nov 2015 22:11

Prejident Trump Proposes Free Badges for American One Community Members

Donald Trump's words on Thursday detailing the revolting measures he's open to imposing on Muslim-Americans literally sent a shudder down my spine.

A non-Muslim friend of mine tweeted: "This literally made me cry."

Another tweeted: "I Will Stand Up For Muslim Citizens Because I Want Help When The GOP Come For ME."
Dean Obeidallah


Shockingly, Trump told Yahoo News that he would consider requiring Muslim-Americans to register with a government database, or worse, mandating that they carry special identification cards that note their faith.

The reaction to this idea, fairly or unfairly, by many on social media, was to accuse Trump of wanting to mimic laws that Nazis had imposed on Jews, including requiring them to wear a gold Star of David on their clothes.

After Trump confirmed that he would set up a database for Muslim-Americans, an NBC reporter asked him point blank: "Is there a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany?" A clearly annoyed Trump at first refused to respond, but then told the reporter, "You tell me," and walked away.

Just so it's clear, Trump did not suggest that Muslim-Americans should be required to wear a symbol that would visibly identify them as Muslims, such as a gold crescent. (On the other hand, he did not rule it out.) But the Nazis do offer guidance on the practical impact of laws that target a religious minority. As The Holocaust Center notes on its website, the Nazi-era laws that required Jews to publicly identify their faith was "one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else."

There's no doubt that making Muslims carry special religious identity cards or having to register with the government sends a clear message to other Americans that Muslims are different. That we, simply because of our faith, are less than fully American. I shudder to think where this may lead.

But Trump was not done in painting the hellish nightmare that awaits Muslims, and our country, if he's elected president. The GOP frontrunner explained that he was open to wholesale surveillance of Muslim-Americans and warrantless searches of mosques. He even praised past NYPD policies that spied on the New York City Muslim community as "great," despite the reality that this controversial program did not yield any leads or arrests. This means that under a Trump administration, Muslims would have fewer rights than other Americans simply because of our faith, which is no different than advocating for racial profiling of blacks or Latinos.

And Trump then doubled down on his recent proclamation that he was open to shutting down American mosques, noting he'd have "absolutely no choice" if "some bad things happen" in a mosque. Consequently, if two or three people in a mosque of say 500 did "bad things," the entire mosque would be shuttered. It would be as outrageous as closing down a mega church because two or three members firebombed an abortion clinic. Our system of justice punishes specific wrongdoers, not all who simply share the same faith or race of a criminal.

To be blunt, these ideas by Trump on how to deal with Muslims aren't original. They are very much akin to the ones anti-Muslim bigots have advocated in the past. Those people we can dismiss. But when the front-runner for a major political party starts parroting those alarming proposals, it's time that we all take notice.

Trump has shown us in this campaign that he has no qualms about stoking the flames of hatred for minorities in his quest for power. He has already done this to the Latino community with his despicable comments that Mexico is sending us "rapists" and other criminals.

So it's not surprising that Trump would use Muslim-bashing to score points because it plays well with GOP voters. In fact, a poll released earlier this week found that three-quarters of Republicans believe Islam is "at odds" with American values.

Regardless of why Trump is espousing these policies, his words must be bringing joy to ISIS. As I learned firsthand at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism earlier this year, ISIS hopes that Muslims in the West are demonized and discriminated against. Indeed, ISIS' operatives made that very point on social media after the Paris attack, expressing their hope that Muslims in Western countries would be victims of hate crimes.

Why? It's simple: ISIS hopes that when Muslims in the West are demonized, they will become alienated from the country in which they live. ISIS operatives believe then that their recruitment pitch that the West is at war with Islam will resonate more strongly. Consequently, ISIS is likely rooting for Trump's proposals to become law.

All of us want Americans to be safe from ISIS. But Trump's plan is both morally repugnant and ineffective. It doesn't make us safer, it sim
ply demonizes Muslim-Americans and could help ISIS recruit. That's truly a losing combination for America.

Paul
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3567
Joined: 25 Jun 1999 11:31
Contact:

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Paul » 21 Nov 2015 22:14

Once the Database is set up it will not stop at Muslims. So in this sense the Liberals are correct. WASP will use this to take out all inconvenient minorities. On top of it, they will leave the Islamist core intact after whittling it down to a manageable size.

Prem
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21161
Joined: 01 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: Weighing and Waiting 8T Yconomy

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Prem » 22 Nov 2015 00:37

We must know that true Muslims state will have color badge/path for Kaffirs to be identified all the time in public. There is no harm if Muslims themselve experience this part of Islamic dogma.

member_29172
BRFite
Posts: 375
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby member_29172 » 22 Nov 2015 02:55

Non muslims in muslim countries are treated worse. There is a need for reciprocity law in the UN, a nation's immigrant will be treated similar to how the nation's citizens are treated in the immigrant country. The difference between a moderate muslim and a jihadi is what organisation they belong to. The ideas are same, the extremist outlook is same, the view of kaffirs is the same.

Recently there is a #Exmuslim tag around where former muslims are coming out to support reforms in the medieval religious practices of islam, the reaction of muslims from all corners of world against these people gives you a fairly good idea of how moderate the moderate muslims are.

A large majority are openly advocating killing these ex-muslims. Around 90% of tweets from al-barbaria is in support of killing ex muslims. Girls, boys, young,old, arab, non arab.. doesn't matter.

A_Gupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11638
Joined: 23 Oct 2001 11:31
Contact:

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby A_Gupta » 22 Nov 2015 06:40

A lot of rhona-dhona in the NY Times about how the US is in danger of buckling under the threat of ISIS, blah blah, blah. Really sickening.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opini ... d=16738170

My response:
India lives next door to 180 million Pakistanis, from whom the Lashkar-e-Taiba and other outfits regularly recruit; supported by the state - the state which survives on IMF, US, Saudi & Chinese alms; sent every now and then across the border to wreak murder and mayhem. Pakistan is nuclear-armed too, and does not have a 'no-first-strike policy' either, so Pakistan is an existential threat to India. One of the recent ones was Gurdaspur July 27, gunmen attacked a bus and a police station and also planted bombs on railway tracks, which were mercifully found and defused in time. That was just one of them, 7 dead and 15 injured in that one, it could have been much worse.

India has no way out -- neither the US nor China will let that terrorism-sponsoring state wither away. Even without that, India can't really act decisively against the nuclear-armed Pakistani state.

India itself has 180 million Muslims, from whom an occasional one falls and gets recruited by the jihadis; but that's by far the exception, not the rule. There is no doubt that they are Indians; perhaps unlike the "enemy within" France. Still, some Indians do wonder.

Even so, I have not seen the fear, angst and hand-wringing among the Indian population, that is on display here, in the US, in the New York Times, after an attack that wasn't even here, but across a rather wide ocean.

Time for Americans to grow up, perhaps?

Shanu
BRFite
Posts: 201
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Shanu » 22 Nov 2015 10:23

^^ +1 A Gupta ji.

I find this rona dhona by Indians quite amusing. Here we have respected forum members even advocating India join the IS fight. What did the USA do after 26/11 that we have to be so grateful and considerate to their needs. They are still protecting David Headley, for crying out loud.

Condemn the terrorist activity and move on. Words are cheap. As many of us Indians lament that we are not a great power, I say, lets learn from the greatest power of them all - pay lip service and enjoy the show.

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 23 Nov 2015 01:11

America: Land of Free (kicks for) Speech

"That will never happen with me," Trump said after Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, let Black Lives Matter activists take over one of his events.
"I don't know if I'll do the fighting myself, or if other people will," Trump said then.
As Southall took blows on Saturday, Trump tried to press on with his stump speech, but paused to remark at the apparent disruption and said, "Get 'em the hell out of here."
Southall, who said his grandparents crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, compared the experience to facing a "lynch mob."
"I got punched in the face, I got punched in the neck. I got kicked in the chest. Kicked in the stomach. Somebody stepped on my hand," Southall said, describing his injuries in a phone call with CNN late Saturday.
Southall said the man in a blue-checkered shirt who appears to take a fighting stance in CNN's video of the altercation also choked him while he was on the ground. Southall said the choking only stopped when he punched the man in the groin. :rotfl:
A woman in the video can be heard shouting, "Don't choke him, don't choke him, don't choke him."
Southall and two other activists, including Carlos Havers of the National Action Network, entered the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex with tickets to Trump's rally after police outside the event moved their planned protest with a dozen other activists away from the entrance to the campaign event.
The plan, Southall and Havers said, was to protest the rhetoric Trump engages in on the campaign trail -- rhetoric that the two believe incited the violence they faced on Saturday.
"When you have a candidate going around spewing hatred and racism, that's to be expected," Havers said of the physical altercation. "He was really inciting the entire thing."

Yagnasri
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9820
Joined: 29 May 2007 18:03

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Yagnasri » 23 Nov 2015 10:53

Why you need to go to other peoples meeting and then protest when you can always protest outside or far away from that. I am sure there will be Tv Cams there also to cover them. Typical attempt to create a issue and show Trump bad where there is no need. With Hillary no one from GOP will vote for her and with Trump ( who at present seems to be the most likely candidate) no one from Dem P will vote for him. The next election in 2016 may not have any floating voters.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20797
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Philip » 23 Nov 2015 13:08

The American Nightmare. A sad commentary on the fate of the great Native American "Indian".

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015 ... est-towns-

A reservation town fighting alcoholism, obesity and ghosts from the past

In the Native American community of Blackwater, Arizona, gambling money flows from nearby casinos but personal incomes remain among the lowest in the US. Chris McGreal visits for the last in his series on America’s poorest towns

Part 1: America’s poorest white town: abandoned by coal, swallowed by drugs

Part 2: Poorest town in poorest state: segregation has gone, but so have the jobs

Part 3: America’s poorest border town: no immigration papers, no American Dream


Gila River Indian Community, known on the reservation as the GRIC, is defined to the outside world by something else these days: the highest rate of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Its people have probably been subjected to more medical studies of the disease than any other on the planet.

More than half of Blackwater’s residents live below the poverty line. Half of those have an income that is less than half the level set as the poverty line. About one-third of the working-age population is unemployed. Yet the numbers are only part of the story.

Gila River reservation has had its fleeting moments of fame – and infamy. It was the site of an internment camp for thousands of Japanese Americans during the second world war, over the objections of the tribes.

Towards the war’s end, Ira Hayes’s return from Japan brought a more welcome kind of attention. He is in the far left of the photograph as the American flag is lifted over Iwo Jima during the battle with the Japanese for the island. Within days, three of the six soldiers in the picture were dead.
US marines raise the American flag
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Ira Hayes and other US marines raise the American flag on Mount Suribachi, on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima in 1945. Photograph: Joe Rosenthal/AP

Years later, his life story was told in a film, The Outsider, where a white man, Tony Curtis, played the Native American hero. It also inspired a Johnny Cash hit, The Ballad of Ira Hayes, with lyrics touching on a bitter legacy that is the source of many of the reservation’s problems to this day:

The water grew Ira’s people’s crops

’Til the white man stole the water rights

And the sparklin’ water stopped.

The sparkling waters of the Gila river made the tribes who lived around it successful farmers. The river irrigated beans, corn and cotton. The Spanish brought new crops, wheat and watermelon, and cattle in the 17th century. By the 1850s, the tribes were prospering selling food and cotton to white settlers and miners.

The US government encouraged whites to trek west and populate Arizona territory by promising free land on condition it was cultivated. That required the settlers to irrigate from the Gila river. As their numbers grew, so more of the river was diverted, until it was reduced to a near trickle by the late 19th century.

Drought was the final blow. The tribes were forced to rely on food from the US government. It sent lard, white flour and canned meats, changing the eating habits of the Native Americans. Today, bread fried in lard is not only popular but regarded as traditional. The small game and birds their ancestors hunted gave way to fatty beef.

Photographs of the reservation’s beauty queens line a wall at the tribal headquarters in Sacaton. They are radiant and smiling. They are also what clothing manufacturers would describe as on the plus size.

Size matters because it represents fears for the future of the reservation’s young, even if it is a highly sensitive subject after Gila River’s residents were labelled the fattest people in America by the media.

Half of all working-age adults within the GRIC have type 2 diabetes. Among teenagers 15 to 19, the rate is more than 10 times that of the Native American population as a whole in the US. Close to nine out of 10 residents will be diagnosed with the disease by the age of 55.
An advert picturing sugar pouring from a can of Coca-Cola.
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
An ad from the reservation’s health department. Photograph: Handout

Two years ago, Blackwater community school warned the federal government in a grant application (pdf) that it had a high number of children with “unhealthy” weight levels on the reservation. “Unfortunately, many of the children at Blackwater community school are at risk to develop type 2 diabetes as children,” it added.

Diabetes increases the risk of heart attacks and kidney failure. At the elderly centre in Blackwater, Lidya said that of the 100 people she served lunch to every day, a dozen were on dialysis.

That it wasn’t always this way is clear from Pima people living in Mexico, where diabetes rates are considerably lower and about the same as in the rest of that country. Not only do Mexican Pima eat more healthily but they do more physical activity as farmers.

People on the reservation sometimes feel as if they are part of one large clinical study. The National Institutes of Health arrived five decades ago to try to account for the levels of obesity and diabetes. Almost all of the population is now involved in the research.
America's poorest white town: abandoned by coal, swallowed by drugs
Read more

An extraordinary number of academic papers have been written. Theories have come and gone, including of a gene that developed in the Pima to store body fat to cope with periods of famine, which has made it hard to shed excess weight.

The tribal authorities have responded with relentless health campaigns. Billboards promote “health and wellness fairs” and mass exercise drives in the parks. Stark warnings about diet spring from the community newspaper. The reservation’s health department placed an advert picturing sugar pouring from a can of Coca-Cola. There is no caption. Everyone understands.

The soft drinks and sugar industries would probably have pounced on such a graphic warning by any other public authority, but the same political rules do not apply on the reservation.

Casino revenues have paid for a well-equipped gym in Blackwater, and there’s an indoor basketball court next door that would be the envy of many American high schools. But the gym looks as though it is rarely visited and Alan Blackwater, chairman for the district that covers the town and surrounding area, laments that young people don’t use the basketball court much either.

“They barely come here except for community meetings,” he said. “We’ve got all kinds programmes. Walks. Prevention. That kind of stuff. It makes a difference for some people. Not everyone.”

Like many people in Blackwater, Alan Blackwater has diabetes. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

Blackwater was diagnosed with the disease in the 1990s. “I have diabetes. Practically everybody does. Eating the wrong kind of food, I guess. It took years and years and years before I changed my lifestyle,” he said. “I don’t take no medication. I eat the right kind of food now. I changed that. I exercise but not right now because I’ve got a bum knee.”

For all of the campaigns, diabetes rates continue to rise among young people.

Something else has been linked by the GRIC’s health department to the development of the disease: the stresses of reservation life, particularly “poverty, unemployment, crime, gang activity”.

Blackwater regards drug and alcohol excesses as a rite of passage. What does bother him is a new phenomenon: the gangs that seem woven into the fabric of life for young people on the reservation.
A farm worker ploughing a field, Blackwater, Arizona
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
A farm worker ploughing a field in Blackwater. Photograph: Steve Craft for the Guardian

In 2013, Blackwater community school applied for a grant to fund programmes to combat high rates of academic failure. It blamed a dropout rate of about 40% on drugs and gangs. “Gila River Indian Community has among the highest levels of gang, juvenile delinquency and substance abuse activities of any tribal community in the United States,” the school said in the application. “Phoenix gang members have been actively recruiting GRIC youth to join their gangs. There are an estimated 20 locally and nationally affiliated gangs established on GRIC.”

Gang members have armed themselves with semi automatic weapons and responsible for drive-by shootings. They are also deeply involved in the drug trade.

“Man, those people don’t work,” said Morgan. “I think it’s related to those social ills.”

Those social ills are documented in a series of US government reports about Indian reservations. A 2014 US Justice Department document on violence against Native American children (pdf) makes for shocking reading.

“Today, a vast majority of American Indian and Alaska Native children live in communities with alarmingly high rates of poverty, homelessness, drug abuse, alcoholism, suicide and victimization. Domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse are widespread,” it said.

The report cast the abuse in the context of “historical trauma caused by loss of home, land, culture and language and the subsequent abuse of generations of Native children in American boarding schools”.

“Every single day, a majority of American Indian and Alaska Native children are exposed to violence within the walls of their own homes,” the report said. “Sadly, [American Indian] children experience post-traumatic stress disorder at the same rate as veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and triple the rate of the general population.”

Physical abuse has been a factor in an epidemic of young people taking their own lives on Indian reservations. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second most common cause of death for American Indians aged 10 to 34. It is two and a half times the national average for the age group.
An abandoned house in the desert, Blackwater, Arizona
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
An abandoned house in the desert in Blackwater. Photograph: Steve Craft for the Guardian

Alan Blackwater lamented the death of a 16-year-old who took his own life in the town. “He was a good athlete. I don’t know if it was related to drugs,” he said. “We had a session where everybody came in and we talked about it.”

An 18-year-old student at Blackwater high school, Darius Jackson, was chosen as the reservation’s representative to a White House summit on American Indian youth last December.

“Youth suicide is an upcoming issue in my tribal community,” he told Arizona public broadcasting. “Young people are taking their lives at a young age, and we’re trying to get that to decrease.”

The Obama administration launched a Hope for Life day in September to “raise awareness in Indian country about suicide prevention”.

“Native communities suffer from a suicide rate that is more than twice the national average,” said the administration’s assistant secretary for Indian affairs, Kevin Washburn, in launching the initiative. “There is no greater tragedy in Indian country.”

The White House report also linked the high number of young suicides to alcohol and drug abuse.

The reservation’s political leaders shy away from public discussion of such sensitive issues, preferring to regard them as an internal matter for the tribes. Gila River’s president and several of its politicians declined to speak or did not reply to interview requests.

Zuzette Kisto, then public affairs director at the Gila River reservation, went so far as to try to prevent reservation residents from talking on the grounds of “sovereignty”. She said questions had to be approved by the tribal council “because of the nature of the information”.

Asked if this was not in conflict with the first amendment of the US constitution, assuring free speech and a free press, Kisto replied: “Not according to our community guidelines.”

“Anything you do have can be confiscated by the tribal police and you can be arrested for criminal trespass,” she added.
Mikhail Sundust, left, and Paul Molina in In Circles.
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Mikhail Sundust, left, and Paul Molina in In Circles. Photograph: PR

Other members of the community are more open. Roberto and Claude Jackson wrote and directed a film set around its gang culture, called In Circles. Its protagonist, a young artist called Isaac, returns from “living it up in Phoenix” to be drawn in to confrontation with one of the reservation’s gangs. The film, made for only about $2,000, is at times a bleak portrait of life within the Gila River Indian community, touching on drugs, violence and despair for young people, though the story is ultimately one of redemption.

The Jackson brothers were out to reflect reality while not succumbing to despair. But they were concerned at the reaction the film might receive from the community.

“I didn’t want to tell a story that felt a Native American exploitation film or anything to that effect. We also had in mind about how our community is and how tribal nations are perceived,” said Claude. “Robert and I did latch on to a story that had these gangster movie elements but also knew that because our protagonist was an artist, we show everyone that in the end he’s victorious.

“He makes the right decision. He doesn’t resort to violence. He wins out and that’s the best thing we can ask for in the story.

“People have come up to us and expressed their gratification. One gentleman who was paralysed from the waist down, he saw the movie and he was telling me that a lot of the aspects of the movie were very realistic to him. He said it in a way where he said he was that era and situation. The gangs and violence. He said, look at how I am right now. He was really taken with it.”

The brothers grew up just off the reservation in south Phoenix, although both have worked on the reservation for years. “We’re pretty much urban Indian, as they say,” said Claude, who is a successful criminal and civil lawyer after being sworn in at the Arizona bar.

“There are opportunities we have now that weren’t around a few generations ago. Those are being taken advantage of with a lot of community members getting their degrees and becoming professionals. We recently had someone graduate and get a medical degree. They’re getting into the education field as well,” he said.

Federal funding and casino revenues offer young people the chance to pursue an advanced education. Grants pay for university fees and some colleges offer scholarships to Native American students to encourage diversity.

Still, all of that is a reminder of the obstacles many young Native Americans face.

Blackwater community school said in its report to the federal government that dropout rates on the reservation, ranging from 34% to 42% depending on the school, are about four times the Arizona state average of 9%. This in turn contributes to high unemployment and low wages, the submission said. According to the census, no resident of Blackwater has a university degree.

Blackwater Baptist church sign in Blackwater. Photograph: Steve Craft for the Guardian

The tribes spent decades trying to revive the Gila river. The reservation’s leaders sent Ira Hayes to plead with leaders of Congress in Washington to pass a law restoring the water supply. It happened – but not until 2004.

The resulting settlement provided the reservation with enough water to supply a city the size of Washington DC and $680m to build aqueducts and irrigation systems.

After he returned to the reservation, Chuck Morgan got a job on construction of the waterways. “I started working on one end of it. Never thought I’d see it finished in my lifetime. They talked about it for a long time. Now I see it and it’s ‘wow’,” he said.

The reservation does not need anything like the amount of water it is now entitled to. In a desert region constantly battling drought and needing to provide for ever-growing cities, that puts the GRIC in a powerful and potentially profitable position.

Some on the reservation see the renewed flow of water as representing a revival that points the way back to traditional ways of life, including farming and foods, and a reversal of the diabetes epidemic.

But mostly hopes for the future are invested in the one-armed bandits and poker tables. Fifteen Indian tribes run casinos in Arizona, pulling in a total of nearly $2bn a year. They keep secret how much they make but, based on the number of gambling tables and machines, and revenue payments, the GRIC probably earns close to $250m a year.

Under agreements with the state, a slice helps to fund schools, hospitals, wildlife conservation and to promote tourism. The reservations give millions of dollars to causes of their own choice, such as food for the homeless and healthcare for poorer children.

In a reflection of the reversal of fortunes the tribes have enjoyed, Gila River reservation’s government has made individual donations running from a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000 to groups fighting child abuse, to research into diabetes, to a historical society, and to pay for body cameras for a police force of a town just beyond the reservation’s borders. It also donated $500,000 to a Phoenix homeless shelter.

This largesse, albeit as part of a politically forged agreement between the tribes and the state, prompted some on the Gila River reservation to ask why they weren’t getting their share.

The charge was led by Philbert Soroquisara, who questioned why casino revenues were being used to sponsor professional baseball and American football teams in Phoenix. He also accused the tribal government of becoming greedy with gaming revenues and of paying itself bonuses while most residents got nothing.

Multatuli
BRFite
Posts: 612
Joined: 06 Feb 2007 06:29
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Multatuli » 25 Nov 2015 06:57

Seven charged with murder in beating of teen at upstate New York church

Seven people who prosecutors say were involved in the beating death of a teenager during a counseling session at an upstate New York church were indicted on second-degree murder charges on Tuesday by a grand jury.

Lucas Leonard, 19, was beaten to death in October over 10 hours during a counseling session at the Word of Life Church in Chadwicks, New York, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Syracuse, prosecutors said.

His brother, Christopher, 17, received blunt force injuries when he was repeatedly struck during the same session, which was initiated because Lucas Leonard wanted to leave the congregation, prosecutors said.

The grand jury's indictment charged the brothers' father, Bruce Leonard, 65, with 13 criminal counts including second-degree murder, kidnapping and gang assault.

More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/ ... 3J20151125

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20797
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Philip » 25 Nov 2015 10:25

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015 ... o-released
Chicago officials release video showing police killing of Laquan McDonald
Dashcam footage of 2014 killing released on judge’s order
City prepared for backlash to video showing teenager being shot 16 times

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Austin » 25 Nov 2015 11:38

Chicago protesters march as police release video of officer shooting teen

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/24/us/la ... index.html

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 26 Nov 2015 01:10

What sort of Bojitive Neuj is this? The BN is:
Chicago's Fast-Gun Police scores 16 hits out of 16 shots in 15 seconds, within 6 seconds of arriving on scene.

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby member_22733 » 26 Nov 2015 13:06

The guy is a douche as far as opinions on India goes (white western dude of Brishit Pedigree), but he is spot on about Umrika's bositiveness here:

Image

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby member_22733 » 26 Nov 2015 23:28

Happy Turkey Massacre day everyone. Let us thank the Turkeys who sacrificed themselves in the honor of the Native American's cultural needs to welcome their illegal alien visitors from Europe.

Let us also observe 30 seconds of silence towards the Native Americans who sacrificed themselves to meet the needs of the illegal alien European visitors. The needs were simple: To take over the land and its resources.

Let us also not forget the Blacks, who willingly sacrificed their freedom to make the American economy competetive with the Brishits. Let us also thank the Chinese, on whose backs most of the western railroads were built and who later willingly subject themselves to the needs of the European illegal immigrants. The needs were enshrined in laws such as these : The 1924 Asian Exclusion Act. etc.

Thank You for your sacrifices. You made America Great.

JwalaMukhi
BRFite
Posts: 1635
Joined: 28 Mar 2007 18:27

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby JwalaMukhi » 27 Nov 2015 00:32

This is how NY times would report on evil yindoo festivals...
http://indiafacts.co.in/a-very-american-tradition/
In recent decades, increasing leisure time and lack of social cohesion has meant that the celebrations extend beyond the Thursday alone.

Students celebrate the Wednesday before as “Blackout Wednesday”, seen as an occasion for drunken revelry before they head to their parents’ homes for the holiday.

Thanksgiving Day mainly features gift-giving and a large Thanksgiving dinner, the center-piece of which is the consumption of the turkey carcass. The whole carcass, which has been carefully removed of entrails and blood, is stuffed with condiments, bread and then roasted in an oven.

In a patriarchal tradition, the man of the house cuts pieces of the dead bird and serves them to members of the family. At the end of the meal, the diner that gets a specific “wishbone” between the neck and breast of the turkey, breaks it, making a wish mentally.

After this Thursday, Americans mark the Friday as ‘Black Friday’, which is an occasion for people to spend money on buying electronic items and clothes. Shops mark this by opening early, by 6 AM.

We spoke to Randy, who goes to a State college in the Mid-West: “I am not sure I want to go home for Thanksgiving. My mother has divorced my stepfather and I am not sure which of her partners she wishes to celebrate her holiday with. It doesn’t matter, since I don’t like any of them.” He is not sure of his biological father’s identity and the last partner his mother had for more than five years is not inviting him.

Here's how native americans react.
http://news.yahoo.com/heres-native-amer ... 57108.html
"Evil, pure evil."
"Invader. He got lost coming here and he's the one that named us Indians 'cause he thought he was in India."
"Oh my god. Murderer, rapist."

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 27 Nov 2015 04:11

JW:

U forgot why Black Friday is called that -
Store employees who are sent to open the doors have the life expectancy of an ISIS SVBIED driver as the drunken greed-crazed mob that has been raging outside since 3AM stampedes through the store like the buffalo whom their ancestors massacred into extinction. Hospitals are on red alert for the stampede victims. Fist-fights and hair-pulling between shoppers is as common as fractured limbs for store employees, gunfights are rarer though becoming more common these days in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Heavily-armed police patrol the streets looking for minorities to shoot.

Hope IndiaFacts takes that addition with my compliments. :mrgreen:

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Singha » 27 Nov 2015 07:25

Long live da USA! :mrgreen:

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Singha » 27 Nov 2015 09:38

CBS Local

Los Angeles considers 'john letters' to fight prostitution
Washington Post - ‎6 hours ago‎
LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles City Hall proposal to send “john letters” to the owners of cars seen in areas known for prostitution has drawn criticism from a California civil liberties group.

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 28 Nov 2015 07:05


Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Austin » 29 Nov 2015 14:22

American Exceptionalism on Display


UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 29 Nov 2015 16:27

Gawdless Commie Pinko RT discovers Positive Neuj about American Religious Rites

Let me use this opportunity to learn a new technology: how to post a video at PeeAref


Black Friday: Americans Brawl Over Vegetable Steamers
Woman steals item from child, squabble ensues
Paul Joseph Watson - November 27, 2015 1978 Comments
A video out of Saginaw, Michigan shows Black Friday shoppers brawling over vegetable steamers, as one woman steals an item from a child before being physically attacked by the kid’s mother.
The clip shows shoppers tumbling over a pile of the vegetable steamers before one woman grabs a steamer being held by a child who looks under the age of 6. The mother of the child then tries to wrestle the box back off her as she screams, “Why are you being so aggressive – you’re scaring me!”
The individual who posted the video on YouTube was presumably an employee of the store, commenting that they didn’t want to be fired for making the footage public.
The video is yet another example of how Americans go nuts for products which they don’t really need and can’t really afford.
As we reported yesterday, Black Friday is a complete scam based around the myth that shoppers are getting discounts they wouldn’t get at any other time of the year.
In reality, stores enjoy higher profit margins during the holiday period because retailers artificially inflate prices of goods in the months before Black Friday in order to make the subsequent discounts look good in comparison.
Many of the same deals for which shoppers spend hours camped outside stores are also available online anyway, in some cases days in advance of Black Friday.
Mark Dice is also out performing his usual duty of shaming Thanksgiving shoppers who would rather camp on the street to buy a new flat screen TV than spend time with their families.
Suffice to say, there was no sign of any of the zombies clamoring to get into Barnes and Noble.

Expect many more scenes like the ones in the video below throughout the rest of the day.

Multatuli
BRFite
Posts: 612
Joined: 06 Feb 2007 06:29
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Multatuli » 02 Dec 2015 23:29

Old article but still very relevant.

Dow Chemical must finally help Bhopal disaster victims

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2 ... ctims.html

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14045
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby UlanBatori » 03 Dec 2015 02:33

3 more patriotic Americans exercising their Second Amendment Rights in San Bernardino:12 14 killed.

center for people with developmental disabilities, where as many as 20 people were shot Wednesday, authorities said....The shootings were in the conference center at the Inland Regional Center, the center's executive director, Lavinia Johnson, told CNN. She believes the county's Department of Public Health was having a holiday party there. Johnson said the fire alarm went off in her building, and people began to evacuate but then the order came to stay in place. Later police came and took people out of their offices.

Gagan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11209
Joined: 16 Apr 2008 22:25

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby Gagan » 03 Dec 2015 05:44

POSSIBLE PAKI ALERT !!!!!
Farookh Saeed, one of the terrorists identified on CNN !!!! California Shooting.

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Positive News from the USA

Postby member_22733 » 03 Dec 2015 05:50

For negative neuj sake. I hope it aint a Black guy and is 100% Baki. Please Krishna, Rama and jeebus.


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], ParGha and 46 guests