Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Criminalizing The Poor

Cannonfire "The Cops Are Robbers":

Do the cops profit personally from these seizures? Oh yes:

As outlandish as these facts seem, this happens every day across the country to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Under federal law and the laws of 42 states, law enforcement officials are entitled to keep most (and sometimes all) of the money and property they seize. The money goes to pay for salaries, advanced equipment and, in one Texas county, travel to Hawaii for "training."

No wonder our cops are increasingly despised by the communities they are supposed to serve.
The cops have become robbers.

Pot Firing In CO

Court mulls legality of firing for pot use off job - Houston Chronicle:

Pot may be legal in Colorado, but you can still be fired for using it...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Koch Bought

Conflict Of Interest: George Will Again Uses His Column To Prop Up A Koch-Backed Candidate | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Weeks after appearing at a VIP dinner for the Koch brothers-backed political group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), George Will devoted his Washington Post column to promoting one of the Kochs' favored political candidates without disclosing the conflict of interest.

Last month, Politico reported on Will's attendance at a private dinner featuring an "exclusive group of major donors and VIPs" as part of AFP's Defending the American Dream summit. Despite repeated attempts by Media Matters, neither Will nor AFP would answer whether he had been paid for the appearance or compensated for his travel expenses. Will has repeatedly devoted column space in the past to promoting Koch-backed candidates and policy issues.

When the journalism group Society of Professional Journalists released its new Code of Ethics in September, the group's ethics chair cited Will's relationship with AFP -- and his refusal to disclose whether he had been paid by the group -- as the type of conflict journalists should try to avoid...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Crooked Fed

Elizabeth Warren calls for investigation of Federal Reserve - UPI.com:

"This American Life" did a program on Friday on the information obtained by Carmen Segarra from her time as a New York Fed bank examiner in 2012, where she investigated Goldman Sachs and began to notice the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was unwilling to support her allegation that the bank was missing policies regarding conflicts of interest. Now, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is calling for a congressional hearing to discuss corruption in the Federal Reserve Bank. She has already received support from Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio."These allegations deserve a full and thorough investigation, and American taxpayers deserve regulators who will fight each day on their behalf," Brown said in a statement...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tasering Kids

10-Year Old Tasered By Police On Career Day As A Lesson | Crooks and Liars:

...The lawsuit claims police officers drove their patrol cars onto the intermediate school campus, where Webb asked a group of boys which one would like to clean his patrol unit.

R.D. raised his hand to say he did not want to clean the police officer’s car.

Webb then said, according to the lawsuit, “Let me show what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” He then “shot his Taser gun at the boy’s chest,” said the family’s attorney Shannon Kennedy of the Kennedy Law Firm of Albuquerque.

I hope the judge or jury awards the kid millions and this cop goes to jail for a very, very long time. There is no excuse -- zero -- for that kind of sadistic behavior toward a kid, or anyone else for that matter.

Religion And Climate Change

Religious faith and the science of climate change united | News:

A union that may seem strange to some has been becoming increasingly common as of late: the idea that you can hold religious faith and also acknowledge the evidence that climate change due to human intervention is occurring...

Friday, September 26, 2014

American Made

Made in America: why American Giant didn't want to build factories in China | Business | theguardian.com:

...It’s a fallacy, Winthrop says, that in order to purchase an American-made product consumers either have to sacrifice quality or put up with high prices. When he considered factories in China, “I realized I was chasing the cheapest material, the cheapest labor,” he explains to the Guardian.

With main offices in San Francisco and staff of about 23, Winthrop works with five US-based factories to make basic wear like sweatshirts, shirts and now even sweatpants. Two of the factories are based in California, three in North Carolina.

“People want to buy American made products,” says Winthrop. “Sweatshirts, particularly, are an iconic American wear and no brand had owned or done a particularly good job with it”.

North Carolina “is still a million times easier than Shenzen,” he has told reporters...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Evil Coke

Hokay, I’m done with Coke | The Confluence:

...So, you might be wondering who is in this shadowy group that is supporting the attack on women’s reproductive rights and cutting social safety net programs to the bone. The usual suspects are here. But there are also a couple of surprises:

The most elite group, known as the Statesmen, whose members donated $250,000, included Aetna; Coca-Cola; Exxon Mobil; Koch Companies Public Sector, the lobbying arm of the highly political Koch Industries; Microsoft; Pfizer; UnitedHealth Group; and Walmart. The $100,000 Cabinet level included Aflac, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Novartis, Shell Oil, Verizon Communications and Walgreen.

Exxon, the Koch brothers and Pfizer don’t surprise me. But Coca-Cola and Microsoft? Really??

You mean every time I drink a diet Coke or buy another annoying Word license, I am contributing the the erosion of women’s rights or depriving some kid of food stamps?

Um, that’s disgusting.

I might not be able to get around Microsoft but I can definitely cut Coke out of my life. Boycotts might be ineffective but this is a personal choice and I’m not consciously contributing to my own demise.

Thieving Bosses

Employers Steal Three Times More From Workers Than All Robberies Combined:

The amount of money employers had to pay because they were found guilty of wage theft is nearly three times greater than all the money stolen in robberies, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

EPI gathered figures of money recovered for victims of wage theft — which occurs when an employer has workers perform tasks off the clock or pay for their own uniforms, violating labor laws — from the Department of Labor, state labor departments, state attorneys general, and research firms. In 2012, $933 million was paid in back wages for wage theft violations, although that figure is an under-count because there were six state departments of labor and five attorneys general the organization couldn’t contact...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HS Students vs. The Idiots

This Gives Me Hope - Esquire:

...Which is why what high school students and their teachers in Colorado are doing fills me with some small degree of hope for the future. In the middle of a brawl over wages, the new conservative majority on the local school board, and Colorado conservatives who often bury the needle on wingnuttery, is trying to bring something like the philosophy behind the concept Intelligent Design to the AP American History classes there.

The school board on Thursday tabled a proposal to form a controversial new curriculum review panel. The proposed criteria call for teaching materials promoting patriotism, respect for authority and the free-market system while avoiding material that would encourage or condone "civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law." "It's chilling," said school board member Lesley Dahlkemper, who typically clashes with the conservative majority. "Does it mean Jeffco will no longer study the civil rights movement, the Boston Tea Party or women's suffrage?"...