Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Double number of ex-cons join the US army

The US army doubled its use of "moral waivers" for enlisted soldiers last year to cope with the demands of the Iraq war, allowing sex offenders, people convicted of making terrorist threats, and child abusers into the military, new records released yesterday showed.

The army gave out 511 moral waivers to soldiers with felony convictions last year. Criminals got 249 army waivers in 2006, a sign that the demand for US forces in Iraq has forced a sharp increase in the number of criminals allowed on the battlefield.

The felons accepted into the army and marines included 87 soldiers convicted of assault or maiming, 130 convicted of non-cannabis-related drug offences, seven convicted of making terrorist threats, and two convicted of indecent behaviour with a child. Waivers were also granted to 500 burglars and thieves, 19 arsonists and nine sex offenders.

The new data were released by the oversight committee of the House of Representatives. Henry Waxman, the Democratic chairman of the oversight panel, said that while "providing opportunities to individuals who have served their sentences and rehabilitated themselves" is important, the waivers are a sign that the US military is stretched too thin.

The number of moral waivers in the military, mostly for misdemeanours such as speeding fines, reached 34,476 in 2006, or nearly 20% of all enlisted soldiers, according to the Palm Centre at the University of California. Recruits with felony convictions are more likely than other soldiers to drop out or be released from the military.

More than one felony conviction disqualifies recruits from the army or marines, but the navy and air force can admit those with multiple offences.

Monday, April 21, 2008

American Drug War

Documentary about the failed, 'War On Drugs', and how the Government is connected to the Drug Trade.

35 years after Nixon started the war on drugs, we have over one million non-violent drug offenders living behind bars.The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure? Inspired by the death of four family members from "legal drugs" Texas filmmaker Kevin Booth sets out to discover why the Drug War has become such a big failure. Three and a half years in the making, the film follows gang members, former DEA agents, CIA officers, narcotics officers, judges, politicians, prisoners and celebrities. Most notably the film befriends Freeway Ricky Ross; the man many accuse for starting the Crack epidemic, who after being arrested discovered that his cocaine source had been working for the CIA.AMERICAN DRUG WAR shows how money, power and greed have corrupted not just drug pushers and dope fiends, but an entire government. More importantly, it shows what can be done about it. This is not some 'pro-drug' stoner film, but a collection of expert testimonials from the ground troops on the front lines of the drug war, the ones who are fighting it and the ones who are living it.After 4 years of production including several sold out test screenings in New York, Austin & Los Angeles, the final version of American Drug War "the last white hope" is locked and loaded.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tax-free Internet shopping days could be numbered

If tax-hungry politicians get their way, the days of ordering items over the Internet and not paying sales tax may become just a fond memory.

Right now, if a California resident orders something from Seattle-based Amazon.com, for instance, he or she won't be charged sales tax at the time of purchase. That's because Amazon doesn't have offices in the state of California.

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The Truth About “High-End” Cables?

So you’ve just spent a bundle on a new HDTV or a home theater system. You’re about to head for the register, and the salesperson suggests that since you’ve invested so much in your system, it needs expensive cables to give you optimal performance.

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