Home / WSSN Stories (page 49)

WSSN Stories

State Lawmaker Wants to Tax Companies That Profit from Prisons

By Manny Otiko, California Black Media

With the current national focus on law and order, some statewide organizations and lawmakers are working on what they say are solutions that promote investment in young people and reduce California’s privately-owned prison population. Assemblymember Tony Thurmond has sponsored AB 43, a bill that would levy a 10 percent tax on “private prisons and prison-related services.”

The bill is aimed at what experts call the Prison Industrial Complex, a process where the correctional system turns inmates and their families into sources of revenue. Inmates and their families have complained about exorbitant fees charged for making calls to and from prison. Also, some privately-owned companies have contracts with states to employ inmates. However, inmates are often paid way below minimum wage, allowing firms to maximize their profits. 

Thurmond said the Prison Industrial Complex is a “modern form of slavery.” He was motivated to sponsor the legislation after watching Ava Duvernay’s documentary “13th.”

“We want the state to switch from investing in prisons to investing in schools,” said Thurmond, a former social worker who is also running for state superintendent of public instruction.

Thurmond’s legislation would raise funds that would go to prison prevention programs and universal preschool. Funds would be deposited in the State Incarceration Prevention Fund. 

There have been some policies that have been said to contribute to the rise in prison population. From The War on Drugs to California’s “Three Strikes” law policies have all been said to have caused overcrowding situation that led to a Federal judge ordering a decrease in the state’s prison population. 

According to the bill, California currently spends about $4.5 billion per year on the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Some of that money also trickles down to companies that provide services to inmates. According to an article in the East Bay Times, CoreCivic, a company that owns several private facilities in the state, has received $2 billion from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  

“Companies continue to profit as a result of high state incarceration rates. These for-profit companies provide necessary goods and services to state facilities, often at a markup. In effect, taxpayers are stuck footing the bill, enabling companies to see large profits for goods and services due to California’s prison population,” says the proposed bill.

AB 43 is supported by the California Teachers Association, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, California Nurses Association, Californians for Justice, and First 5 Association of California. The bill will be voted on later this month. 

Thurmond and supporters of the bill say that investing in early education and prison prevention programs are key to stopping the School-to-Prison pipeline. 

“Children who start kindergarten behind, are more likely to stay behind – a trend that feeds into the school-to-prison pipeline,” said Moira Kenney, executive director of the First 5 Association of California. “Early interventions like quality child care and preschool can break this cycle and put children on a path that leads to success in school and in life.”

But not everyone is happy about AB 43. 

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB/CA) said the bill would harm small companies who want to do business with the state. NFIB/CA placed AB 43 on it’s “The Good, The Bad and Ugly” list. According to NFIB/CA State Communications Director Shawn Lewis, the list tracks bills that could negatively impact small business. 

“Imposing a tax on a business that has been awarded a state contract is punitive and counterproductive to the goals of keeping costs down and creating jobs,” said Ken DeVore, NFIB legislative director, in a letter to Thurmond. “Such a tax serves no purpose for the state, and will only hurt small business.” 

Innovative New ‘Gotcha’ GPS Tracking Device Helps Parents Locate Lost Kids

Find My Everything Inc. is excited to announce today the release of its practical and exceptionally functional tracking apparatus that will enable users to locate misplaced or stolen personal items no matter where they are. Company founder and CEO, Taylor Baloney is the smart young inventor of ‘Gotcha’ GPS Tracking Device. Using a downloaded smartphone application, the device will help track and find anything, including purses, backpacks, luggage, and even kids. Available in variety of styles, designs, and colors to appeal to consumers of all ages, the tracking device will be about the size of a keychain, which can be attached to handbags, wallets, pets, and other essential items with a small clip.

The tracking device will be linked to an app on a smartphone or tablet to aid when needing to locate misplaced or stolen items. Consumers will be able to locate items using the GPS map on their screens. The app will also activate a beeping sound from the tracking device, so the closer the user is to the missing item, the louder the sound. Users can input multiple trackers onto the app, and each one will have a different little picture or name on the GPS map. The locator service—which functions anywhere in the U.S. that has cellular coverage – will run on the cloud, and data transmitted from the tracking device to the user’s smartphone or tablet.

As currently designed in the technical drawings and 3-D models, the invention has unique features not presently available in the marketplace.

* View a message from the tracking device inventor
* Be among the first to order your watch tracking device at a special pre-order discounted price at www.findmyeverything.org/products.

Today’s society is always seeking new ways to make our lives more convenient and less stressful. Baloney agrees, which is precisely why she developed this product. “I have a passionate sense of pride about this concept,” said inventor Taylor Baloney. “I believe that it deserves vigilant attention and consideration. A great many markets exist for such an innovative concept like ‘Find My Everything’ GPS Tracking Device as consumers everywhere will appreciate the benefits and convenience this product provides. General supply stores like Wal-Mart and Target; retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens; and specialized stores like Best Buy and Office Depot would be logical retailers for both products.”

 

GOTCHA’ GPS WATCH TRACKER REVIEW:

Google Security and Privacy Product Manager, Michee Smith, tested the Gotcha GPS Tracking Device by having her kindergartner wear the watch tracker during the day for a week. “I found the device is extremely accurate! On my mobile app, I was able to view everywhere she went,” Smith said. “And my daughter had the ability to send an emergency call to me and a message.” The computer engineer continued, “The app has a cool feature that allows the user to replay the location over a couple of days. I also like that the device has a step counter, so it incorporates a bit of health awareness as well. The watch is well designed for kids in that it doesn’t have games, so my child didn’t get distracted while at school. All in all, I think it’s a great product, especially for a mom like me that wants the peace to know my children are safe and in the place where they’re supposed to be.”

Find My Everything Inc. is committed to becoming one of the world’s premier technologies (solutions) to locate certain items, which seem to frequently disappear. The Company specializes in locating items that tend to disappear frequently. “This viable solution will provide the utmost quality, value, and effectiveness in achieving the optimal performance and desired results,” Baloney commented. “As revered business professionals and community advocates, we are focused on achieving our goal by taking actions in the present that will create a sustainable and bright future.”

About Find My Everything Inc.
Founded in 2016 by CEO, Taylor Baloney, Find My Everything Inc. is a company she launched to create and develop her product—the ‘Gotcha’ GPS Tracking Device. Baloney conceived the idea to develop the product after having lost and recovered her iPhone using Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ app. The inventor teamed up for the development of this project with Idea Design Studio, and together they used their collaborative experience to transform this idea into a marketable platform.

Combining new school technology with old school customer service, “Find My Everything Inc.” is dedicated to ensuring that its products are designed with innovative and creative technology, while delivering excellent service to its consumers. (www.FindMyEverything.org)

“Hell or Repentance… Whatcha Gonna Do…Repent or Go to Hell?”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

You see concerning His own Word, God said: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: IT SHALL NOT… RETURN UNTO ME VOID….” [Isaiah 55:11]. I want you to know that this is absolute authority speaking. There are no conditions attached, no restrictions and no limitations. This statement indicates the sovereignty of the One who spoke the Word and the absolute perfection of the Word spoken. And He said that, “The Wages of Sin is Death!”  Now what part of Sin equals Death do you not understand that you continue to sin? Paul asks, “What shall [you] say then? Shall [you] continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid… [Romans 6:1-2]

Now I know some of you have said, “I’m so sick of her talking about Sin, Hell and Repentance, it just makes me sick.” Well you might as well just vomit, because God has entrusted me with a ministry where there are, “No Corners Cut, No Round-About Way and No Pacifying! Rebuke, Correction and then Hope,  in that order exactly. Besides, if I don’t [teach] on “Sin, Hell or Repentance”, then I’m not [teaching] the whole counsel of God – [Acts 20:27]. That means the whole truth – the Woes along with the Blessings [Romans 11:22]. If I don’t [teach] on Hell, I will go to Hell! If anyone in the five-fold ministry neglects to warn, then according to [Ezekiel 3:17-21] then the sinner’s blood is on [their] hands, and I be doggone if your blood will be on my hands! David understood this – [Psalm 51:14]. Paul lived by this principle – [Acts 20:26-27] and James warned about the responsibility – [James 3:1].  If I don’t [teach] on Hell, you may go there! I want you to know that a message on Sin, Hell and Repentance is a “signpost.” It is an opportunity for you to consider where you are going and to change direction if necessary. While the words Hell, Sin and Repentance may have been dropped out of some pulpits, they have not dropped out of the Word of God. 

The Mandate for Repentance – The first sermon Jesus preached was one of repentance: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” [Matthew 4:17]. And in the last message He gave to the church in [Revelation 3:19]. And in [Luke 13:1-5] Jesus again preached a message of Repentance. Twice in this passage Jesus stated emphatically: “I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” You see, the same Scriptures that call for us to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, advises us to repent or else we shall die.” Make no mistake about it… “If you do not repent, God will sharpen his sword bend His bow and made it ready.” [Psalm 7:12] For it [His Word] is written and settled in Heaven. [Psalms 119:89.] So do not delude yourself. “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me.” [Hebrews 3:8-9]. I tell you, you may never have another day to repent in. Therefore, says the voice of wisdom, “repent now.” Jesus says, “Come now, let us reason together, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” [Isaiah 1:18].

“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.  Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” [Proverbs 8:32-36].