Solstice, June 21

The billion-dollar secretive business of jailing children
NY Times
— The “nonprofit” [yeah, sure] Southwest Key Programs has won at least $955 million in federal contracts since 2015 to run “shelters” [aka jails] and provide other services to immigrant children in federal custody. Its “shelter” for migrant boys at a former Walmart Supercenter in South Texas has been the focus of nationwide scrutiny, but Southwest Key is but one player in the lucrative, secretive world of the migrant-shelter business. About a dozen contractors operate more than 30 “facilities” in Texas alone, with numerous others contracted for about 100 “shelters” in 16 other states.
√ Note to NYT: Decades ago, most news outfits replaced the “nonprofit” with “not for profit,” which is slightly less misleading. The Salvation Army runs “shelters.” Its occupants can leave at will. These outfits run prisons, with inmates who cannot leave.
Non profit? According to a form filed with the IRS in 2016, Southwest Key’s top guy was paid $770,000 and its top financial officer made $530,000.

First lady to visit jailed children
CBS News (no link, don’t bother)
Bold-faced lies highlighted in black
dog-pony-juggle— “First Lady Melania Trump has arrived in Texas to take part in briefings and tours at a nonprofit social services center for children who have entered the United States illegally and a customs and border patrol processing center,” the White House’s Office of the First Lady said in a statement. “Her goals are to thank law enforcement and social services providers for their hard work, lend support and hear more on how the administration can build upon the already existing efforts to reunite children with their families.”

Supremes: States can collect tax from online sellers
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – States have authority to force online retailers to collect sales taxes, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, siding with South Dakota in its high-profile fight with e-commerce companies.
— The justices, in a 5-4 ruling against Wayfair Inc., Inc. and Newegg Inc, overturned a 1992 Supreme Court precedent that had barred states from requiring businesses with no “physical presence” in that state, to collect sales taxes.
— The court, in a ruling authored by conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, revived a 2016 South Dakota law that required larger out-of-state e-commerce companies to collect sales tax.

Immigrant kids say they were abused in Virginia shelter
–Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.
— The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

GOP muddlers once again suck at immigration reform
— House Republicans spent weeks crafting a “compromise” immigration bill slated to hit the House floor Thursday — one that tracks with President Donald Trump’s call to beef up border security and shield Dreamers from deportation.
— But the only question going into the big vote is how badly it fails.

13-year old charged with felony for recording meeting with principal
Illinois Policy magazine
— On Feb. 16, 2018, Paul Boron, 13, was called to the principal’s office at Manteno Middle School after failing to attend a number of detentions. Before meeting Principal David Conrad and Assistant Principal Nathan Short, he began recording audio on his cellphone.
— Boron said he argued with Conrad and Short for approximately 10 minutes in the reception area of the school secretary’s office, with the door open to the hallway. When Boron told Conrad and Short he was recording, Conrad allegedly told Boron he was committing a felony and promptly ended the conversation.

Online news mostly bullshit, Americans say in survey
— Americans believe 39 percent of news in newspapers, on TV or on the radio is misinformation — but their views of social media are even worse. They believe 65 percent of news on social media is made up or can’t be verified as accurate.
graph 2_0

“White civil rights” rally OK’d for DC in August

Mining to begin at former national monument
— A Canadian mining firm says it will move forward with plans to mine minerals from land that was previously part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.
— Last December, President Trump removed nearly half of the Grand Staircase-Escalante from protection, as well as part of the Bears Ears National Monument, which is also in Utah. The move was the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

AT&T trickery helps kill California Net Neutrality law
— AT&T leaned heavily on California lawmakers, using procedural trickery and misleading studies to severely weaken and ultimately kill a once-promising state net neutrality law.

Public defender rips gov’t so-called plan to reunite jailed kids, parents
Raw Story
— “You would never know from the agent’s testimony that we’re dealing with a parent who has been separated from a child,” Hanshew wrote. “That is not mentioned in the complaint. The prosecutor asks no questions about the child. At no point do they discuss the child. The child might as well not exist.”

“I can’t understand this,” the judge said. “If someone at the jail takes your wallet, they give you a receipt. They take your kids, and you get nothing? Not even a slip of paper?”

Viruses, bacteria, fungi in brain may play role in Alzheimer’s
— The most detailed molecular analysis of hundreds of brains from people who died with Alzheimer’s disease lends support to an idea that has struggled for funding, been rejected by top journals, and met with ridicule from the Alzheimer’s orthodoxy: that viruses, bacteria, or fungi in the brain play a role in the devastating neurodegenerative disease.

Just about nothing will tear white Jesus freaks away from Trump
(Not even wailing from Baby Prisons)
√ The writer of this article does not know how to write a news story, so let me save you her long boring prologue. Bottom line: White Jesus freaks fear and loathe immigrants.

Amway Queen (and temporary head of US education) closes 1,200 civil rights cases
… data analysis shows that the Trump administration is less likely than its predecessor to find wrongdoing by school districts on issues ranging from racial and sexual harassment to meeting educational needs of disabled students.

Next version of opioids will deliver pain relief without addiction
The Conversation
(By Tom Che, UNC Chapel Hill)
— My colleagues and I in Bryan Roth’s lab have recently solved the atomic structure of a morphine-like drug interacting with an opioid receptor, and now we are using this atomic snapshot to design new drugs that block pain but without the euphoria that leads to addiction.

What the hell has happened to baseball?
USA Today
For the first time ever, there are more strikeouts than hits.

strike-out— The game is simply devoid of action, with players striking out, walking or hitting home runs in 34 percent of their plate appearances. So, for more than a third of every game, there’s not a fielder involved in the action.
— The average time between balls put in play, according to “Sports Illustrated,” is a staggering 3 minutes, 45 seconds.

Sex assault on airplanes way up, says FBI


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