Sunday, February 10, 2013

Well you wake up in the mornin´ you hear the work bell ring
And they march you to the table to see the same old thing.
Ain´t no food upon the table and no pork up in the pan.
But you better not complain boy you get in trouble with the man.

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a everlovin´ light on me.

Yonder come miss Rosie, how in the world did you know?
By the way she wears her apron, and the clothes she wore.
Umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand;
She come to see the gov´nor, she wants to free her man.

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a everlovin´ light on me.

If you´re ever in Houston, well, you better do the right;
You better not gamble, there, you better not fight, at all
Or the sheriff will grab ya and the boys will bring you down.
The next thing you know, boy, Oh! You´re prison bound.

serpico: what becomes of a cop with a conscience...,

Serpico on Serpico
wikipedia | Frank Serpico was born in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest child of Vincenzo and Maria Giovanna Serpico, Italian immigrants from Marigliano, in the province of Naples, Campania. At age 18, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed for two years in Korea. He then worked as a part-time private investigator and as a youth counselor while attending Brooklyn College.[3]
NYPD career

In September 1959, Serpico joined the New York Police Department as a probationary patrolman. He became a full patrolman on March 5, 1960. He was assigned to the 81st precinct, then worked for the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) for two years.[4] He was finally assigned to work plainclothes, where he uncovered widespread corruption.[3]

Serpico was a plainclothes police officer working in Brooklyn and the Bronx to expose vice racketeering. To expose those who did, Serpico risked his own life and safety.[3] In 1967 he reported credible evidence of widespread systematic police corruption. Nothing happened[5] until he met another police officer, David Durk, who helped him. Serpico believed his partners knew about secret meetings with police investigators. Finally, Serpico contributed to an April 25, 1970, New York Times front-page story on widespread corruption in the NYPD.[5] Mayor John V. Lindsay appointed a five-member panel to investigate charges of police corruption. The panel became the Knapp Commission, named after its chairman, Whitman Knapp.
Shooting and public interest

Serpico was shot during a drug arrest attempt on February 3, 1971, at 778 Driggs Avenue, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Four officers from Brooklyn North received a tip that a drug deal was about to take place.

Two policemen, Gary Roteman and Arthur Cesare, stayed outside, while the third, Paul Halley, stood in front of the apartment building. Serpico climbed up the fire escape, entered by the fire escape door, went downstairs, listened for the password, then followed two suspects outside.[6]

The police arrested the young suspects, found one had two bags of heroin. Halley stayed with the suspects, and Roteman told Serpico (who spoke Spanish), to make a fake purchase attempt to get the drug dealers to open the door. The police went to the third-floor landing. Serpico knocked on the door, keeping his hand on his 9mm Browning Hi-Power. The door opened a few inches, just far enough to wedge his body in. Serpico called for help, but his fellow officers ignored him.[6]

Serpico was then shot in the face with a .22 LR pistol. The bullet struck just below the eye and lodged at the top of his jaw. He fell to the floor, and began to bleed profusely. His police colleagues refused to make a "10-13", a dispatch to police headquarters indicating that an officer has been shot.[6] An elderly man who lived in the next apartment called the emergency services and reported that a man had been shot. The stranger stayed with Serpico.[6] A police car arrived. Unaware that Serpico was one of them, the officers took him to Greenpoint Hospital.

The bullet had severed an auditory nerve, leaving him deaf in one ear, and he has suffered chronic pain from bullet fragments lodged in his brain. He was visited the day after the shooting by Mayor John V. Lindsay and Police Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy, and the police department harassed him with hourly bed checks. He survived and testified before the Knapp Commission.

The circumstances surrounding Serpico's shooting quickly came into question. Serpico, who was armed during the drug raid, had been shot only after briefly turning away from the suspect when he realized that the two officers who had accompanied him to the scene were not following him into the apartment, raising the question whether Serpico had actually been brought to the apartment by his colleagues to be executed.

On May 3, 1971, New York Metro Magazine published an article about Serpico titled "Portrait of an Honest Cop". On May 10, 1971, Serpico testified at the departmental trial of an NYPD lieutenant who was accused of taking bribes from gamblers.

who is the greater threat to public safety?

DailyMail | Los Angeles police have been accused of resorting to 'street justice' in the hunt for suspected killer ex-cop Christopher Dorner, after they mistakenly shot a 71-year-old woman delivering newspapers and left her truck riddled with bullets.

The victim, Emma Hernandez, said the officers did not give any warning or commands and just began firing at her blue pickup truck, according to her attorney. Her 47-year-old daughter was a passenger in the car at the time.

'Tragically, we believe this is a case of mistaken identity,' Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said about the incident.

Hernandez was shot twice in the back and was hospitalized in stable condition. Her daughter, Margie Carranza, was a passenger in the truck at the time of the shooting. She was wounded by glass from the shattered window.

The two women were distributing copies of the Los Angeles Times before the terrifying incident. They were driving an aqua blue Toyota Tacoma unlike the description of the Dorner's vehicle, a gray Nissan Titan.

When police began firing and gunshots entered through the back windshield of the truck, the terrified women just 'covered their faces and huddled down,' the attorney for the two victims told the Los Angeles Times.

The police gunfire came from officers who were protecting a department captain and his family who had been included on the fugitive's hit list.

Six LAPD officers who had fired at Hernandez's vehicle have been placed on administrative leave.

The women's lawyer, Glen Jonas, told the Times LAPD not follow protocol or the rules of engagement before they decided to exercise deadly force.

'With no warning, no command, or no instructions, LAPD opened fire on their vehicle,' Jonas said.

'This wasn't even close,' their attorney said.

'This was two petite Latina women versus a large black man, with a different vehicle, different color. The police didn't take the time to do the identification.  They didn't give  the "suspect" the opportunity to surrender. So the whole thing was just mishandled, and we expect that the city will acknowledge that and go from there.'

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith says the department's Chief Charlie Beck met with the women in their Torrance home Saturday to apologize and tell them he had arranged for someone to donate a new pickup truck.

The truck will be donated early this week, Smith said.

wait, wasn't django's truck burnt-out at big bear mountain?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

that didn't take long...,

Associated Press | Where Dorner sees himself as a warrior, others see someone much different. The 6-foot, 270-pounder is a physical hulk who — despite his size — seemed to battle deep-seated insecurities, lived with his mother and cracked under the pressures of police work. Court and police files show that Dorner once began weeping while on duty in a patrol car, awkwardly flashed his police badge on a first date and told a girlfriend he kept his emotions bottled up.

Those who study the psyches of criminals said Dorner's aggressive and self-aggrandizing rant indicates a classic case of malignant narcissist personality disorder. Some people with the disorder are extremely thin-skinned and vengeful, said Mary Ellen O'Toole, a retired FBI profiler.

They may seem insecure, she said, but in reality their rages — and even tears — are extreme reactions to real or imagined criticisms because they have such grandiose visions of themselves.

"He's putting in his manifesto that he's going to use all the training he received as an LAPD officer and as a military officer to basically hold Southern California hostage, and to be there when you least expect it," she said. "Is he deadly? Yes. Of course he has killed people."

"But is he capable of taking on some 1,000 officers looking for him? That's someone with a personality disorder," she said.

deep disillusionment...,

enidnews | The military stresses integrity. It is apparently a lesson learned well by two Vance Air Force Base students.

An Enid church is a little richer today thanks to the integrity of Lt. Andrew Baugher, a Marine student at Vance, and Ensign Chris Dorner, a Navy student pilot.

The two were driving into Enid Sunday afternoon when they spotted a bank bag in the middle of the road.

After turning around, they picked up the bag and found it contained nearly $8,000. They promptly took the bag to the Enid Police Department

The money belongs to Enid Korean Church of Grace, 724 W. Randolph, and the bag contained $7,792 in cash and checks.

“I thought it was a wallet. We turned around and found it was a bank envelope,” Baugher said. “We opened it and found plenty of cash in there.”

Baugher said the pair did not know if the money was lost or stolen, but took it to the police department.

“I thought it was a piece of cardboard,” Dorner said. “When we passed it I thought it was a large purse and turned around.”

When the two opened the envelope, they saw the checks and the church’s deposit slip.

hoisting the wicked...,

Fist tap Big Don.

Friday, February 08, 2013

they are obama's favorite weapon...,

what does it mean for the president to have an unaccountable paramilitary assassination force?

guardian | The film Dirty Wars, which premiered at Sundance, can be viewed, as Amy Goodman sees it, as an important narrative of excesses in the global "war on terror". It is also a record of something scary for those of us at home – and uncovers the biggest story, I would say, in our nation's contemporary history.

Though they wisely refrain from drawing inferences, Scahill and Rowley have uncovered the facts of a new unaccountable power in America and the world that has the potential to shape domestic and international events in an unprecedented way. The film tracks the Joint Special Operations Command (JSoc), a network of highly-trained, completely unaccountable US assassins, armed with ever-expanding "kill lists". It was JSoc that ran the operation behind the Navy Seal team six that killed bin Laden.

Scahill and Rowley track this new model of US warfare that strikes at civilians and insurgents alike – in 70 countries. They interview former JSoc assassins, who are shell-shocked at how the "kill lists" they are given keep expanding, even as they eliminate more and more people.

Our conventional forces are subject to international laws of war: they are accountable for crimes in courts martial; and they run according to a clear chain of command. As much as the US military may fall short of these standards at times, it is a model of lawfulness compared with JSoc, which has far greater scope to undertake the commission of extra-legal operations – and unimaginable crimes.

JSoc morphs the secretive, unaccountable mercenary model of private military contracting, which Scahill identified in Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, into a hybrid with the firepower and intelligence backup of our full state resources. The Hill reports that JSoc is now seeking more "flexibility" to expand its operations globally.

JSoc operates outside the traditional chain of command; it reports directly to the president of the United States. In the words of Wired magazine:
"JSoc operates with practically no accountability."
Scahill calls JSoc the president's "paramilitary". Its budget, which may be in the billions, is secret.

What does it means for the president to have an unaccountable paramilitary force, which can assassinate anyone anywhere in the world?

does this mean we're not the good guys anymore?

guardian | The full extent of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme has been laid bare with the publication of a report showing there is evidence that more than a quarter of the world's governments covertly offered support.

A 213-page report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organisation, says that at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe.

So widespread and extensive was the participation of governments across the world that it is now clear the CIA could not have operated its programme without their support, according to the OSJI.

"There is no doubt that high-ranking Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorising human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition, and the impunity that they have enjoyed to date remains a matter of significant concern," the report says.

"But responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable."

Thursday, February 07, 2013

twenty four facts about detroit that will shock you...,

How the ruins of Detroit are a warning for America
economicollapseblog | Once upon a time it was a symbol of everything that America was doing right, but today it has been transformed into a rotting, decaying, post-apocalyptic hellhole.  Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.  It was the greatest manufacturing city the world had ever seen, and the rest of the globe looked at Detroit with a sense of awe and wonder.  But now the city of Detroit has become a bad joke to the rest of the world.  Unemployment is rampant, 60 percent of the children are living in poverty and the city government is on the verge of bankruptcy.  They say that Detroit is just a matter of "weeks or months" away from running out of cash, and when Detroit does declare bankruptcy it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States.  But don't look down on Detroit, because the truth is that Detroit is really a metaphor for what is happening to America as a whole.  In the United States today, our manufacturing infrastructure has been gutted, poverty is absolutely exploding and we are rapidly approaching national bankruptcy.  Detroit may have gotten there first, but the rest of the country will follow soon enough.
Back during the boom years, Detroit was known for making great cars.  Today, it is known for scenes of desolation and decay.  It is full of vandalized homes, abandoned schools and empty factories.  The following description of what Detroit looks like at this point is from an article by Barry Yeoman...
It’s hard to describe the city’s physical landscape without producing what Detroiters call “ruin porn.” Brick houses with bays and turrets sit windowless or boarded up. Whole blocks, even clusters of blocks, have been bulldozed. Retail strips have been reduced to a dollar store here, a storefront church there, and a whole lot of plywood in between. Not a single chain supermarket remains.
So what caused the downfall of one of the greatest cities on earth?

Well, here is a hint...

Between December 2000 and December 2010, 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
When you are a manufacturing area, and you lose half of your manufacturing jobs over the course of a single decade, of course things are going to get really, really bad.

So just how bad have things gotten in Detroit?

yale suing former student borrowers...,

bloomberg | Needy U.S. borrowers are defaulting on almost $1 billion in federal student loans earmarked for the poor, leaving schools such as Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania with little choice except to sue their graduates.

The record defaults on federal Perkins loans may jeopardize the prospects of current students since they are part of a revolving fund that colleges give to students who show extraordinary financial hardship.

Yale, Penn and George Washington University have all sued former students over nonpayment, court records show. While no one tracks the number of lawsuits, students defaulted on $964 million in Perkins loans in the year ended June 2011, 20 percent more than five years earlier, government data show. Unlike most student loans -- distributed and collected by the federal government -- Perkins loans are administered by colleges, which use repayment money to lend to other poor students.

“If you borrow to go to school, it may not be just the government that ends up coming after you if you can’t pay,” said Deanne Loonin, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in Boston. “We offer credit very easily.” If the student doesn’t benefit financially from the education, “the government or the school comes after them very aggressively.”

Perkins Pot The increase in the amount of defaulted loans among poor students comes as President Barack Obama says he wants to expand access to college for working-class families and increase funding for the Perkins program. Under his proposal, the pot for Perkins loans would increase to $8.5 billion from about $1 billion. The Education Department would service the loans instead of colleges.

Aaron Graff, a farmer’s son from Denver, graduated from George Washington in 2010 with the help of $62,500 in scholarships over two years, according to his financial-aid award letters. He defaulted on $4,000 in Perkins loans.

Graff, 30, said he hasn’t been able to find a full-time job. He earns $800 a month from teaching high-school equivalency courses and restores basements for extra money. He said he is trying to pay off other student loans first because they were co-signed by his parents.

“I live on the bare minimum,” he said. “It’s not like I’m defaulting on my student loans to live the lavish life. I’m defaulting on my loans because I really don’t have it.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

the price of metaphor is eternal vigilance...,

organelle | Julian Jaynes gives us an inspiringly provocative model of the phases of the evolution of the inward connectivity we experience as consciousness, and he builds it around the changing spacialization of the inward stage, the place we think, and how it might have evolved over even relatively short amounts of time. Though I will refer to his ideas regularly because they offer convenient and salient models, what I have to offer differs and I hope may deepen the value we may retrieve from his inspiration. His concepts orient themselves around gods, metaphor, consciousness, and unique specializations in each of these domains across time. He proposes a fascinating and enthusiastically crafted speculative ladder of ascent and its histories in his book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. In this work, he exchanges the idea of a long emergence for a model of sudden emergence in relation to crisis — one that was devastating, and unexpected — beginning perhaps 3500 years ago — or ~63 generations ago. Whether or not his timelines are accurate, many of his noticings about the relationship between metaphor and consciouness are sublime. In his models to be bicameral is to be in common or constant contact with a supersentience, and when one refers to gods, angels, or messengers — it is this supersentience which is being referred to.

Jaynes’ central thesis is that consciousness we understand and experience was the result of a variety of radical terrestrial and social upheavals — over a period of several hundred years theoretically located between 1800 to 1300 B.C. These resulted in significant general changes in what it meant to be human, and our experience of consciousness, community, self, and cognition. Prior to these changes, he posits a ’bicameral’ consciousness, where the analog self is still in its formative moments, and is largely ‘ruled’ over by a semi-hallucinatory relationship with gods — personal and public — whose wills are intoned in an inward space that will later become the analog self, and the place of ‘me’. He is positing a ladder of ascension to complex representational consciousness which is emergent from the genesis and elaboration of inward stages or space. As each step on the ladder is achieved, the previous steps are conserved in a position that is now (where it was not before) observable from ‘outside’ — in essence all of this occurs this happens in a single space, the mind.

The gods were, in his theory, biocognitive products of emerging social and neuropsychic responses to larger scales of social connectivity which emanated primarily from synthesis of complexly evolved right-brain cognition in human groups of relatively stable and organized nature. They gods were ‘present’ because they were *heard/experienced as though present nearby, or within oneself. They were apparent in consensus and intimate contact with symbols of authority or sovereignty. Visually hallucinatory communication was less common, at least by the time in question in Jaynes’ work.

*[One interpretation is that this is a matter of the neurological precursor elements of the brain momentarily adopting control of the auditory system in order to re-assemble local authority. To do this, these features would act in concert, and mimetically adopt whatever general shape was equivalent to ‘the penultimate local authority’. This might be a person in a position of mastery, such as a ruler or parent — or it could be a god. It could also be a kind of simulated personage, a conglomerate from various sources.]

Jaynes portrays the connective aspect of the bicameral mind as a psychoemotional communications network which was uniquely implemented across a variety of cultures, while sharing a general and obvious template of organization and function. The connective nature of bicameral voices was a source of unification, identity, authorization, and real communication. People from a given community or place, under the authority of their shared bicamerally experienced god(s) and messengers, could cognitively sense what the relationship of another person, people, animal, or experience was to their god. Thus the local god(s) functioned as much as lexicons as they did as authorities — for it was only in relation to the god-holophore-characters that experience or information could be made sense of at all. I generally agree with his thesis that before we were ourselves, we were like the experiential agents of a god or gods still deeply enmeshed in learning and establishing themselves and their collective sentience potentials. When ripe, these would be exemplified in the human cogniscia of specific locales and societies.

The social networks of the periods in Jaynes’ focus (and perhaps many of our own) were spiral-ring networks organized around a central hub. This hub, in general, led to god, god’s messenger, or the domain of gods. Near the hub, there were often ‘special servants’ of various sorts. Simultaneously, many individuals appear to have had personal gods, or something of a analgous nature, such as the guardian angel metaphor we are still familiar with in the modern moment.

anonymous spanks banksters...,

WaPo | Anonymous is continuing its protest of federal computer crime law. Members claiming to be part of the hacking collective Sunday posted the names and contact information of over 4,000 banking executives to the government Web site of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center. The file is no longer available on the government Web site, which was inaccessible as of Tuesday morning.

The file was posted to the Web site Sunday night and publicized through a Twitter account associated with an Anonymous initiative called “OpLastResort,” a report from ZDNet said. The information in the file includes professional and personal contact information for bank presidents, chief operating officers and others, and log-in information. A quick check of several of the officials’ names shows they are currently employed at the banks listed in the file, indicating that the information is fairly recent. Some of the data in the file may have come from Federal Reserve computers.

The Federal Reserve acknowledged the attack in a Tuesday statement. “The Federal Reserve system is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product. The exposure was fixed shortly after discovery. It is no longer an issue. This incident did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve system,” spokesman Jim Strader said.

The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center did not respond to requests for comment.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

reinventing the world order? umm, no....,

dailyreckoning | Most people today use technologies without a clue to the larger picture of what is really happening to the structure of the world because of them. People are staring at the trees and not noticing the gigantic, growing, and ever expanding forest, much less considering the meaning of it all.

This is an attempt to provide a larger look, starting with one of the most beautiful images on the entire Web. It comes from This site lights up a tiny pixel for every public communication sent through Twitter.

What you see serves as a proxy for the growth of global communication networks far more complex and voluminous than most people imagine. The reach extends far beyond that of any regime in the world. By comparison, the control that government has over the planet, as egregious and ghastly as it is, is miniscule.
This puts into perspective the $3 million that the Eurocrats are spending to skew upcoming elections in favor of centralized solutions and put down Euroskeptics. It cannot be done. Governments think they can control this, but they can’t.

Twitter was born in 2006, but its present form was built by users themselves. The developers made the infrastructure and let it happen. It is not only about just telling your friends what you had for lunch. It serves its users — each of whom has exactly as much power as any other — as a portal to the entire digital universe.

six israeli security chiefs stun the world...,

amanpour | Six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secretive internal security service, have spoken out as a group for the first time and are making stunning revelations.

The men who were responsible for keeping Israel safe from terrorists now say they are afraid for Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish state.

Israeli film director Dror Moreh managed to get them all to sit down for his new documentary: “The Gatekeepers.” It is the story of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories, as told by the people at the crossroads of some of the most crucial moments in the security history of the country.

“If there is someone who understands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s those guys,” the director told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Against the backdrop of the currently frozen peace process, all six argue – to varying degrees – that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is bad for the state of Israel.

The oldest amongst the former chiefs, Avraham Shalom, says Israel lost touch with how to coexist with the Palestinians as far back as the aftermath of the Six Day War of 1967, with the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, when the country started doubling down on terrorism.

“We forgot about the Palestinian issue,” Shalom says in the film.

A major impediment to a meaningful strategy, they say, are the Jewish extremists inside Israel – people like the Jewish Israeli who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, or the 1980 plot to blow up the Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine in Jerusalem.

A central theme of the documentary is the idea that Israel has incredible tactics, but lacks long-term strategy. That is to say, the security apparatus is able to pacify terrorists, but if operations do not support a move toward a peace settlement, then they are meaningless.

Moreh said he was shocked to hear Avraham Shalom, Austrian-born and a refugee of the Nazis, compare the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories to Germany’s occupation of Europe.

Monday, February 04, 2013

guns, cities and the death of hadiya pendleton...,

Time | Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton became the Windy City’s 42nd homicide this year when she was gunned down by an unknown attacker near her high school on Jan. 29. But the 15-year-old honor student’s death has had reverberations beyond her hometown — she had performed in President Obama’s inauguration parade just a week before, and her tragic end was mourned by celebrities and mentioned during Congressional hearings on gun violence. Still, although many have been quick to tie her tragic death to the need for stricter gun control measures, it’s an awkward comparison: Chicago has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, and most of the national debate on gun violence has focused on rifles and assault weapons, not a handgun like the one that killed Pendleton. Clearly, there’s more at work here.

For a deeper look at the problem, TIME talked to University of Chicago Crime Lab Director Jens Ludwig about urban crime, federal gun legislation and what can be done to end Chicago’s senseless string of gun deaths.

With all the debate over assault weapons, could the needle now be turning toward urban violence? After all, the majority of homicides in this country take place in inner cities.

I think when you look at President Obama’s proposal, it seems to me that he had places like Chicago in mind, not just Newtown, Conn. A lot of things in this set of initiatives are important for addressing gun violence like the sort we have in Chicago. I saw a quote from a mayor recently — not Chicago’s — that said what we’re experiencing is ‘slow motion mass murder’. The vast majority of gun homicides are in urban settings, not mass shootings in suburban schools. The fact that the administration’s proposals paid attention to that is very encouraging.

Focusing on Chicago, which has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, what is happening to make things go so awry when a city like New York has seen a reduction in gun homicides?

There are a couple things worth keeping in mind when looking at Chicago. Other than Hawaii, no state is an island. Almost none of the guns used in these homicides were first purchased here because we don’t have gun stores in Chicago. They were purchased either somewhere else in Illinois or in a state with weaker laws. Because borders are so porous, it is hard for cities to regulate their way out of this problem. This is an area where federal legislation could have a more pronounced impact than city or state legislation. Like air quality, what happens in one state can have an impact on what happens in another state.

Now a couple of things make Chicago different than New York City. The level of economic disadvantage, the deep concentration of poverty on the South and West sides is different than what you’d find in New York. A second thing to keep in mind is that the Chicago city and Illinois state budgets have been hit very hard by the Great Recession. My sense is that when I look at New York’s budget, they haven’t been hit nearly as bad as other cities. In the recession’s ground zero, Detroit and Las Vegas, homicide rates have increased 30% to 60%. The roles of budget conditions have not received enough attention in addressing the crime and violence problems.

police lie because they know that no one cares about these people...,

NYTimes | Mr. Keane, in his Chronicle article, offered two major reasons the police lie so much. First, because they can. Police officers “know that in a swearing match between a drug defendant and a police officer, the judge always rules in favor of the officer.” At worst, the case will be dismissed, but the officer is free to continue business as usual. Second, criminal defendants are typically poor and uneducated, often belong to a racial minority, and often have a criminal record.  “Police know that no one cares about these people,” Mr. Keane explained.

All true, but there is more to the story than that.

Police departments have been rewarded in recent years for the sheer numbers of stops, searches and arrests. In the war on drugs, federal grant programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program have encouraged state and local law enforcement agencies to boost drug arrests in order to compete for millions of dollars in funding. Agencies receive cash rewards for arresting high numbers of people for drug offenses, no matter how minor the offenses or how weak the evidence. Law enforcement has increasingly become a numbers game. And as it has, police officers’ tendency to regard procedural rules as optional and to lie and distort the facts has grown as well. Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs — in Tulia, Tex. and Oakland, Calif., for example — have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in.

THE pressure to boost arrest numbers is not limited to drug law enforcement. Even where no clear financial incentives exist, the “get tough” movement has warped police culture to such a degree that police chiefs and individual officers feel pressured to meet stop-and-frisk or arrest quotas in order to prove their “productivity.”

For the record, the New York City police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, denies that his department has arrest quotas. Such denials are mandatory, given that quotas are illegal under state law. But as the Urban Justice Center’s Police Reform Organizing Project has documented, numerous officers have contradicted Mr. Kelly. In 2010, a New York City police officer named Adil Polanco told a local ABC News reporter that “our primary job is not to help anybody, our primary job is not to assist anybody, our primary job is to get those numbers and come back with them.” He continued: “At the end of the night you have to come back with something.  You have to write somebody, you have to arrest somebody, even if the crime is not committed, the number’s there. So our choice is to come up with the number.” Fist tap Arnach.

absolutely nothing will come of this...,

kansascity | Jennifer Jones was driving westbound on Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard last week when she did something many drivers have done: She inadvertently cut off another driver.

But in this case, an occupant of the other vehicle escalated the temporary situation into a permanent tragedy. He opened fire into Jones’ van, hitting her in the side and killing her.

The killing was one of 15 in Kansas City last month — the most killings logged in January in nearly 20 years.
The alarming amount of bloodshed prompted state Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Democrat from Kansas City, to host a forum Saturday to discuss solutions to prevent homicides.

“Right now in the black community, we’re not valuing life,” he said. “There is a lack of respect for ourselves and our own lives.”

Read more here:

Sunday, February 03, 2013

do what you're supposed to do, or you get what's coming...,

More impressed with this cat than I am with myself. His patience, professionalism and preparation for dealing with riff-raff is exceptionally commendable. Every week, I see one or more bus drivers - men and women alike - beset by unreasonable, hostile and assaultive, and filthy and disgusting-smelling riders. Sadly, our metro bus drivers are denied any kind of right to self-defense and are required to put up with ungodly levels of abuse. In fact, the only recourse permitted the bus drivers is to stop the bus, call the police, and seriously inconvenience any other passenger on that bus - all of whom are required to wait until the police arrive, the "dispute" is settled, and the unruly passenger is taken away by the police. 

There are three stellar old school bus drivers who - much like this mall manager - are simply not having it. These drivers aggressively confront any and all infractions of clearly written bus policy and implement zero tolerance for the benefit of the passengers on the buses which they operate. In support of these drivers, I and a couple of other male passengers have entered into intervention agreements with the drivers - freeing them to a great extent to further exercise confrontational zero tolerance knowing that there are other men on the bus who respect the thankless and stressful job the drivers are trying to do, and who will physically remove riff-raff for the benefit of the common good and to protect the conscientious drivers.