That is so much worse than you were probably already imagining right?

What is that hamburger? How does a hamburger look like a… flattened zucchini slice?

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In June of 2018 the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General conducted an unannounced tour of Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark which is funny because this time it was DHS scaring cops by showing up without warning. Ah fuck the cops are here. No one likes to see the cops fuck with anyone unless it’s a group of more powerful cops fucking with smaller time cops then that is always very good. Surprise bitch the cops are here.

What did they find well it wasn’t great what they found there let me say that right upfront. If you somehow thought what they had found there was going to turn out to be normal and good then you’re probably reading the wrong newsletter buddy because a report released last week revealed sickening health and safety violations and a failure to report misconduct by guards among other things.

From 2015 to 2018 ICE paid three counties in New Jersey alone including Essex, Bergen, and Hudson Counties over $150 million according to WNYC. In Essex County they were holding around eight hundred such immigrants at the time of the inspection.

While protests have risen in New Jersey and around the country about such practices local politicians are often loathe to abandon the significant revenue stream the contracts provide saying things like it would result in a need to raise local taxes. People don’t want to pay higher taxes is something they say. Most people would rather have the immigrant torture mills run in their backyards without thinking about it they don’t actually come out and say but that’s the idea anyway.

The facility in question like many around the country contracts with ICE to house undocumented immigrants who are awaiting hearings on their immigration status or waiting to be deported and otherwise being made to eat shit both figuratively and literally.

The DHS report detailed a “host of food safety problems that could endanger the health of detainees.”

Among the issues they found were raw or expired meat, “open packages of raw chicken leaking blood all over refrigeration units,” and “slimy, foul-smelling lunch meat, which appeared to be spoiled.”

What is that hamburger? How does a hamburger look like a fucking… flattened zucchini slice? That is so much worse than you were probably already imagining right? What is that? What the fuck is that man?

“Although this mishandling of meats can spread salmonella, listeria, and E. coli, leading to serious foodborne illness, we observed facility staff serving this potentially spoiled meat to detainees,” the report found.

It puts the leftover bread in the bread bucket…

In interviews with detainees DHS heard of frequent complaints of vomiting and diarrhea. “For dinner, we were served meatballs that smell like fecal matter. The food was rotten,” one reported in a grievance. “The food that we received has been complete garbage, it’s becoming impossible to eat it. It gets worse every day. It literally looks like it came from the garbage dumpster; I have a stomach infection because of it and the nurse herself told me it was caused by the food,” said another.

Elsewhere they found unsanitary conditions in the living and shower facilities which were often moldy and littered with peeling paint.

“During our inspection, we found ongoing leaks in every housing unit holding detainees. We observed two of the leaks dripping directly onto detainee beds,” they reported.

“We also witnessed trash cans placed around the facility to catch water leaking from the ceiling. These leaks can cause mold and mildew growth, which can spread throughout the facility leading to serious health issues for detainees, including allergic reactions and persistent illnesses.”

One more thing is that the facility lacked outdoor recreation space which is required under ICE contracts and when a place like this isn’t even living up to the famous hospitality standards of ICE you know something has gone really wrong.

On top of the multitude of health violations the facility also failed to report a significant security incident in which a corrections officer left behind his loaded gun in the bathroom. Maybe he was dealing with a particularly serious bout of diarrhea from eating in the cafeteria and lost track of space and time as a long stretch on the shitter can often do to a person who is to say. Have you tried taking a shit without having your phone on you lately it’s wild. You just… sit there and think about the shit coming out.

A detainee working on a cleaning shift — $1.50 a day! — found the cop’s gun and reported it before anyone used it thankfully. I don’t know what might have happened due to I’ve never been to prison but it seems like having a loaded gun going around in one might be a disruption vis a vis morale. The guard was suspended for ninety days which really ended up being forty five and the detainee was told not to tell anyone and then they all never reported it to ICE so they wouldn’t get in trouble and risk having the money spigot turned off. The only people who hate the idea of snitching on their colleagues more than criminals are the cops.

The Economic Policy Institute just released a report of their own about a different type of prison with horrific conditions which is known as the American economy and that little turn right there is what we call commentary. Among the things they found were “rising wage inequality and sluggish hourly wage growth for the vast majority of workers” despite steady productivity growth. It’s hard to say where all of the value from the productivity growth is going if wage inequality is increasing maybe it’s just disappearing.

“Although the unemployment rate continued to fall and participation in the labor market continued to grow over the last year, most workers are experiencing moderate wage growth and even workers who have seen more significant gains are just making up ground lost during the Great Recession and slow recovery rather than getting ahead,” the report says.

They also found that from 2000 to 2018, “wage growth was strongest for the highest-wage workers, continuing the trend in rising wage inequality over the last four decades.”

Here’s an interesting complicating factor in the data as pointed out by the Washington Post. Due to how rich people are afforded all manner of allowances that people like us would never have even thought about the real wage growth disparity number is probably a lot worse than the report says because “for confidentiality reasons” wages are only recorded up to a certain point.

“All workers who report weekly earnings above $2,884.61 (annual earnings for full-year workers above $150,000) are recorded as having weekly earnings of exactly $2,884.61, to preserve the anonymity of respondents," [Elise] Gould writes. That top-code threshold hasn’t been updated since 1998. As a result, the survey is becoming less useful for tracking top incomes at a time when public concern over inequality is growing.

In other words when it comes to tracking wages for the richest among us they just put an arbitrary cap on it and say eh close enough.

You know who is pretty rich it’s the Walton family who own Walmart and they just had their best quarter in a decade leading to a $3.3 billion gain in the family fortune. Shares in Walmart rose 2.2% according to Bloomberg and so that means the family control $175.2 billion now a number that’s gone up $14 billion since 2019 began which was fifty two days ago. That’s $269.2 million a day which isn’t bad all things considered.

Here’s a really dumb take from the editor of a very dumb magazine called Quillette or as it means in Australian the small quill which you do not need to worry about if you post on Twitter fewer than thirty times a day.

She’s responding to uh compelling data from Rutger Bregman whose name you may recognize from his de-pantsing of Tucker Carlson on his own show which you should watch if you haven’t already. He also showed up at Davos recently and told all the rich turds there they suck shit more or less and things of that nature.

In any case that tweet there is not even the really dumb part of what Lehmann said because she goes on to say some other worse stuff which is how tweet threads work you start off with something dumb then you keep digging.

“I would say that most of the time, inequality and poverty in advanced economies cannot be solved via the simple redistribution of wealth,” she tweeted. “If you've ever worked, lived or spent actual time with people trapped in the underclass, the problem is not *lack of money*.”

“I've known people who have held down jobs and who are generally fine until the fortnightly paycheck comes, then it's a 3 day bender until they end up passed out somewhere or arrested. The cycle continues. This is not a problem caused by a lack of money,” she wrote and I agree with her that addicts deserve to live in squalor and die without being able to afford treatment I think we can all agree on that. They can’t be trusted with the money because who knows what they might do with it.

One thing I don’t understand is why people on the right are always so quick to worry about what poor people might do were they to come into money. You’ve probably heard even otherwise “liberal” people you know decline to give money to a homeless person because they don’t know what they are going to do with it right. I’d rather buy him a sandwich your friends says and then they don’t.

Why don’t those same people ever seem to worry about what the very wealthy are doing with their money? What are the Waltons doing with the $269.2 million the kindly stock market put into their rattling change coffee cup? I’d be really interested in hearing the answer to that. Probably not spending $269.2 million at the liquor store I think it’s safe to assume because rich people don’t do that they have a different addiction which is called having money that’s the normal kind of addiction and it’s also sometimes called success. You get the money and you horde the money and you look at the number as it gets bigger and bigger so big that you have a guy come in and tell you what the number is because at that point you’re so rich you don’t even need to read numbers you just listen to them and then at the end of the day you know it’s there. Ah, the large number you think to yourself.

There are all kinds of ways that addiction can destroy a person’s humanity and break them down into a hollow shell whose only goal each day is satiating the need for the substance be it alcohol or drugs or whatever else and that is not good we all know that but at least those sorts of addicts are actually using the thing they crave which you have to respect in a way. The drugs are not going to waste they are being consumed I can safely report that. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I went out and got drugs myself and then held onto them for safe keeping later. A money addict on the other hand just gets the money from their money dealer and sets it aside and after a while forgets it’s there because they don’t actually get high on possessing and having the money their real addiction is just taking it to make sure no one else can. No one could ever spend as much money as the Waltons have in a lifetime but to be able to prevent other people from having it? Now that is something you could really get off on.