Historical Political Events for February 15

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Year Event
1869 Charges of treason against Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, were dropped.
1898 A mysterious explosion on the battleship U.S.S. Maine in the Havana harbor occurred. Despite the fact that the cause of the explosion was unexplained and that Spain conceded to every U.S. demand except Cuban independence to avoid war, the explosion on the Maine was the cause of the U.S. declaration of war on Spain and the occupation of Cuba.
1933 President-elect Roosevelt (D) escaped an assassination attempt in Miami that claimed the life of Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak.
1989 The Soviet Union announced that the last of its troops had left Afghanistan, after more than nine years of military intervention.
1990 President George Bush (R) and the presidents of Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia signed an agreement in Cartagena pledging cooperation in the drug war. [All voluntary, of course.]
2000 On this day, according to the Justice Policy Institute, the U.S. [a.k.a., "The Land of the Free"] Prison and Jail population passed the 2,000,000 mark. "Our current rate of incarceration is six to 10 times that of most industrialized countries. We have more prisoners in one state, California, than do the nations of France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Singapore and the Netherlands combined.", according to the Institute. Per the DOJ, as of June 2006, the prison population had grown to 2,245,189, and the "Incarceration Rate" had grown in 10 years from 600 to 750 (per 100,000 citizens) . [I understand that Americans thrive on ideological beliefs and care not for facts, but the choice here seems to be that either we are a nation of law-breakers (and growing) or we live in a "Police State" (and growing).]
2011 Today's Example of a Most Interesting Government Purchase - From the Missile Defense Agency: "Indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract to provide advisory and assistance services" to the U.S. military's Missile Defense Agency. For $281.7 million each to 4 firms.
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
In the last 35 years the total number incarcerated has exploded from less than 300,000 in 1970 to more than 7 times that number now. Today the US is number one not only in its total prison population but in the highest number per 100,000 population imprisoned -- 690. Only Russia is a close second with 675 while in South Africa it's 400, England -- 125, France -- 90, Sweden -- 60 and Italy -- 40. Would anyone suggest the US is 17 times more non-law-abiding than Italy, or is there a simpler explanation?
. . .
The for-profit side of running a gulag began to explode during the Reagan years when incarceration rates began increasing dramatically. . .

    — Steve Lendman, in "The US Gulag Prison System", 4/21/06
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