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  #71  
Old Aug 11th 2016, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

For anyone interested, the infamous Rob Ford Crack Video is now legally permitted to be posted (and it has been).

It was part of a court case which is why the video hasn't been available, but the court case is over (charges withdrawn).

I don't have a link, I just know from Toronto media reports that it is online now.
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  #72  
Old Aug 12th 2016, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

My Cousin, from Toronto but now a political reporter in Newfoundland, visited today and mentioned that. He said it's just rather sad.
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  #73  
Old Aug 13th 2016, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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My Cousin, from Toronto but now a political reporter in Newfoundland, visited today and mentioned that. He said it's just rather sad.
If one of you guys is awake in the middle of the night with nothing to do, you might elaborate on this.

And if I'm awake in the middle of the night I'll read it.
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  #74  
Old Aug 15th 2016, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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If one of you guys is awake in the middle of the night with nothing to do, you might elaborate on this.

And if I'm awake in the middle of the night I'll read it.
Why don't you just download the video and watch it if you are curious?

Basically, the video depicts both a man and a situation that are both just rather sad/pathetic.
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  #75  
Old Aug 18th 2016, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

Unexpected good news: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-w...rivate-prisons

Quote:
U.S. Justice Department officials plan to phase out their use of private prisons to house federal inmates, reasoning that the contract facilities offer few benefits for public safety or taxpayers.

In making the decision, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates cited new findings by the Justice Department's inspector general, who concluded earlier this month that a pool of 14 privately contracted prisons reported more incidents of inmate contraband, higher rates of assaults and more uses of force than facilities run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

"They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and ... they do not maintain the same level of safety and security," Yates wrote in a memo Thursday....
Let us hope the states and localities follow the Federal lead here.
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  #76  
Old Aug 18th 2016, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Unexpected good news: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-w...rivate-prisons



Let us hope the states and localities follow the Federal lead here.
One can hope.

But I fear that the actual purpose or policy of outsourcing government has nothing do to with saving tax money or providing quality public services. The game seems to be all about enriching the grifter class (who are always politically well connected).

The whole private prison game and the school voucher game are notorious rip-offs of the taxpayer. Privatization always costs the taxpayer MORE and the quality of services always decline. But the grifters get rich and funnel some of those riches back into campaign contributions to keep the gravy train going.
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  #77  
Old Aug 18th 2016, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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One can hope.

But I fear that the actual purpose or policy of outsourcing government has nothing do to with saving tax money or providing quality public services. The game seems to be all about enriching the grifter class (who are always politically well connected).

The whole private prison game and the school voucher game are notorious rip-offs of the taxpayer. Privatization always costs the taxpayer MORE and the quality of services always decline. But the grifters get rich and funnel some of those riches back into campaign contributions to keep the gravy train going.
Hmmm. I agree WRT the prisons. I'm dubious about lumping private prisons and school vouchers together here though. Those sorts of privatization work in very different ways (esp. WRT to the "inmates" getting to choose where they go). And one could argue that operating the prisons if far more naturally the business of the state than education is.
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  #78  
Old Aug 18th 2016, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Hmmm. I agree WRT the prisons. I'm dubious about lumping private prisons and school vouchers together here though. Those sorts of privatization work in very different ways (esp. WRT to the "inmates" getting to choose where they go). And one could argue that operating the prisons if far more naturally the business of the state than education is.
I suggest you might read up on the mountain of evidence regarding the school voucher programs in the US. The only positive data they can show is always pure cherry-picking by self-funded studies. Actual independent studies almost always show them to be financial scams or worse than the public schools they replaced (usually both).

To be honest, I consider care for the education of youth to be a hundred times more important as a government service than caring for criminals. I honestly can't get too worked up when I hear that private prisons are more dangerous for the inmates than publicly run ones. Sure I'd prefer a better run system, but for scarce public dollars, I want to see them go to good public education programs, not prisons.
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  #79  
Old Aug 18th 2016, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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I suggest you might read up on the mountain of evidence regarding the school voucher programs in the US. The only positive data they can show is always pure cherry-picking by self-funded studies. Actual independent studies almost always show them to be financial scams or worse than the public schools they replaced (usually both).

To be honest, I consider care for the education of youth to be a hundred times more important as a government service than caring for criminals. I honestly can't get too worked up when I hear that private prisons are more dangerous for the inmates than publicly run ones. Sure I'd prefer a better run system, but for scarce public dollars, I want to see them go to good public education programs, not prisons.
A cursory review suggests that simply isn't the case. Legitimate study results are mixed and, if anything, seem to suggest voucher programs are usually (but not always) either neutral or mildly beneficial in terms test scores, graduation, and/or college admission. The Huffington Post (hardly a publication ideologically inclined toward voucher programs) has a good article about one of the most recent studies from Louisiana, which it acknowledges is an outlier in finding negative test results associated with voucher use.

Some studies with neutral to positive correlations are: here, here, here, and here. (All referenced in the Huff Post piece).

Trying to take a general view is hard though, since the rules for voucher programs vary dramatically between states/localities and it's extremely hard to control for key variables (e.g. What sort of private school is most likely to accept vouchers? What sort of teachers tend to work at such schools?)

But regardless of the results, my point was that, philosophically, the dangers of private prisons and private school vouchers are dramatically different. Primarily because the prison is only held accountable to the state, and thus if the state regulators can be corrupted, the prison is free to do what it wants. Whereas voucher-accepting schools are (to some degree, depending on the locality) accountable the state AND always accountable to student families. Prisons don't have to persuade convicts to choose them in order to profit. Private schools, however, must (both initially and persistently) persuade parents that they are superior to the always-available public school option.

Put another way, prison-related corruption stems in part from the fact that the inmates have no choice in which institution receives funding on their behalf, and thus the institutions have little incentive to address inmate needs if they can just buy off state regulators instead. When it comes to schools, that lack of choice is a problem which exists WITHOUT voucher programs, not because of them. It's what vouchers are meant to solve.
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  #80  
Old Aug 23rd 2016, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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A cursory review suggests that simply isn't the case. Legitimate study results are mixed and, if anything, seem to suggest voucher programs are usually (but not always) either neutral or mildly beneficial in terms test scores, graduation, and/or college admission. The Huffington Post (hardly a publication ideologically inclined toward voucher programs) has a good article about one of the most recent studies from Louisiana, which it acknowledges is an outlier in finding negative test results associated with voucher use.

Some studies with neutral to positive correlations are: here, here, here, and here. (All referenced in the Huff Post piece).

Trying to take a general view is hard though, since the rules for voucher programs vary dramatically between states/localities and it's extremely hard to control for key variables (e.g. What sort of private school is most likely to accept vouchers? What sort of teachers tend to work at such schools?)
When I have some more time, I'll post some of the negative studies on Charter schools. I will admit that there does seem to be a bit of a distinction in charter schools between those in the west or south (often smaller charter schools with a religious focus) and the situation in Pennsylvania, NY and Ohio where the big grift game is going on (corporate interests seeking to capture public tax revenues on a big scale) with results that are often worse than the failed schools they presume to replace.

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
But regardless of the results, my point was that, philosophically, the dangers of private prisons and private school vouchers are dramatically different. Primarily because the prison is only held accountable to the state, and thus if the state regulators can be corrupted, the prison is free to do what it wants. Whereas voucher-accepting schools are (to some degree, depending on the locality) accountable the state AND always accountable to student families. Prisons don't have to persuade convicts to choose them in order to profit. Private schools, however, must (both initially and persistently) persuade parents that they are superior to the always-available public school option.
I don't consider that distinction to be very significant. Prisons attract many 3rd party witness/activists/journalists who will complain about prisons.

And that's beside the fact that governments around the world have [historically] proven to be very, very good at abusing prisoners and preventing anyone from hearing about it - or being able to do anything about it because the government can be very powerful (far more powerful and dangerous than private prison operators).

Regardless, I applaud the move of federal government to manage prisons directly rather than outsourcing for one major reason - outsourcing of prisons creates a special interest group with a vested interest in maximizing the number of prisoners and the duration of sentences - and they will lobby for that using taxpayer money. That's a perverse incentive that makes privatized prisons a bad public policy no matter how well or poorly they treat their prisoners (their clients!).

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Put another way, prison-related corruption stems in part from the fact that the inmates have no choice in which institution receives funding on their behalf, and thus the institutions have little incentive to address inmate needs if they can just buy off state regulators instead. When it comes to schools, that lack of choice is a problem which exists WITHOUT voucher programs, not because of them. It's what vouchers are meant to solve.
I don't buy that argument at all. Prison operators have a very long history of abusing prisoners (brutality to the point of death), regardless if they are private market or government run.
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