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99th_Monkey

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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 03:39 PM
Number of posts: 19,326

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Yet another Casualty of Income Inequality: State Budgets aka education/infrastructure

This is a particularly disturbing article, since I had just posted these two OPs a few days ago:
Why the fuck is The Fed setting the stage to bankrupt local municipalities?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025516037
The Fed Just Imposed Financial Austerity on the States
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025525925

These two things coming to light within a few days of each other, is striking to me. I mean really. WTF is going on here? Nothing other than the steady deliberate beggaring of working people and their local communities by a handful of obscenely wealthy oligarchs, leeches who presume to be "entitled" to rape, plunder and pillage everything and everyone in sight.

Think Greece. Think Detroit. <--Our Future, brought to you by The 1%

HOW DO WE STOP THIS? ... OR HAS THE TRAIN LEFT THE STATION?




Rising Income Inequality Is Taking A Toll On State Revenues
AP * 09/15/2014 12:23 am EDT Updated: 09/15/2014 11:59 am EDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A national increase in income inequality appears to be negatively affecting tax revenues in Missouri and other states, according to a new report from a credit rating agency.

The report by Standard & Poor's notes that Missouri's average annual tax revenue growth has declined sharply over recent decades. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Missouri averaged more than 9 percent annual growth. But from 2000 to 2009, it averaged just 1.8 percent growth.

Over the past several decades, household incomes have risen significantly faster for the top 1 percent of earners nationwide than for median households — a trend that economics refer to as the income gap, or income inequality.

The Standard & Poor's report examined the tax revenues in 10 states that rely heavily on income taxes, including Missouri, and 10 other states that depend more significantly on sales taxes for their revenues. "The findings from our research indicate that tax revenue growth slows as income inequality rises, regardless of a state's tax structure," said the report, written by S&P credit analysis Gabriel Petek.

In Missouri's sales-tax dependent neighbor of Tennessee, for example, the average annual tax revenue growth has declined from 9 percent in the period of the 1950s through 1970s to 3.8 percent during 2000 through 2009. Although Missouri had a sharper decline than Tennessee, the report found that the rise of income inequality generally had a stronger negative effect on the group of sales-tax-reliant states than the income-tax dependent states.

The report concludes that income inequality is an economic problem — with financial implications for states — and that states are unlikely to be able to fully offset it by changing their tax policies.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/15/inequality-state-taxes_n_5820348.html?utm_hp_ref=business

Empire - The Rise of the Oligarchs

This could NOT be more timely IMHO. We've been had big-time by
domestic economic terrorists. Where is our Smedley Butler?

#t=26

Surprise, surprise! "Contractors Ready to Cash In On ISIS War"

Contractors Ready to Cash In On ISIS War
WORLD NEWS * 09.13.14

Obama pledged that the war against ISIS won’t be fought with U.S. ground troops. He didn’t say anything about contractors, who see this as “the next big meal ticket.”

America’s rapidly-expanding war against ISIS won’t involve large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground, President Obama is promising. And it’s clear that airstrikes alone won’t beat back the extremist group. Which means that if the President wants to have any hope of meeting his far-reaching goal of destroying ISIS, he’s going to have to rely on private military contractors. At least, that’s what the contractors are hoping.

At the height of the Iraq war, these firms hired hundreds of thousands of people: guns-for-hire, IT geeks, logistics specialists, interrogators, and short order cooks to ladle out the slop at the military cafeteria. Over time, some of those contractors became the symbol for everything that was wrong with the Iraq war: hugely expensive, ineffective, and indifferent to Iraqi life. Contractors were at the middle of the war’s biggest scandals, from Abu Ghraib to Nissour Square. And it was the abductions and murder of Blackwater contractors that sparked one of Iraq's biggest battles.

None of the five current and former contractors who spoke with The Daily Beast expected a replay of last decade’s Iraq war. But they all said a major opportunity was coming—both for them, and for Obama, who could use the private armies as a way to conceal just how many people will be fighting in this new conflict.

“Iraq this time around is not going to be as big as it was before,” said Roger Carstens, a former special operations officer who has served as a contracted military adviser in Somalia and Afghanistan. “That said, this new war will present an opportunity for the companies that have a resident train and advising capability to contribute to this new effort.”

President Obama has asked Congress to authorize $500 million to train a new Syrian opposition out of Saudi Arabia. That money would be part of a $5 billion fund Obama requested this spring from Congress to help train and equip U.S. allies to fight terrorists. One U.S. military contractor working in Iraq who asked not to be named said, “I can tell you the contractor-expat community is abuzz thinking this will lead to more work. We expect a much larger footprint than he is showing right now.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/13/contractors-ready-to-cash-in-on-isis-war.html

Beheadings at ‘record levels’: Saudi Arabia executes dozens in deadly August

I guess some beheadings are more "acceptable" than others.

Beheadings at ‘record levels’: Saudi Arabia executes dozens in deadly August
AUGUST 26, 2014 1:56PM * News.com

A PERSON has been put to death in Saudi Arabia almost every day this month with the country expected to have added to that figure with the execution of its 23rd inmate yesterday. Hajras al-Qurey will become the latest person to be executed in the last three weeks with human rights groups horrified by what they are calling a surge in executions.

The execution of al-Qurey will top off a deadly week around the world with the beheading of an Egyptian man by Libya armed groups and the execution of 18 informers by Hamas, according to Amnesty International. Human rights groups have been unable to confirm whether his execution has yet taken place.

Last Monday four men — two sets of brothers Hadi bin Saleh Abdullah al-Mutlaq and Awad bin Saleh Abdullah al-Mutlaq along with Mufrih bin Jaber Zayd al-Yami and Ali bin Jaber Zayd al-Yami — were beheaded.

http://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/beheadings-at-record-levels-saudi-arabia-executes-dozens-in-deadly-august/story-fnh81ifq-1227037172765

Human-rights based Police Training? Absolutely. But ONLY in Europe

Foreword
Police training is the first and most significant step towards shaping more effective and professional policing in the future. Human rights-based training helps participants to proactively respect and protect fundamental rights. It ensures that the use of force is exercised in accordance with the principles of legality, necessity and proportionality – principles that are fundamental to the development of just societies. Such training will therefore enable police officers to fulfil the role envisaged for them in the European Union’s roadmap for work in the area of justice, freedom and security.
This training manual seeks to help foster a relationship of trust between police and society as a whole and in all its diversity, focusing therefore on the rights to non-discrimination, dignity and life. A series of surveys and projects by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has underscored the link between trust in the authorities and the enjoyment of fundamental rights. Where trust exists, crime reporting levels will rise; more crimes will therefore be addressed, delivering justice to victims. By safe- guarding all citizens’ fundamental rights, police officers will engender trust throughout society, contributing to a virtuous circle that will encourage the reporting of crime, contribute to more effective crime fighting, enhance justice for victims and reduce societal tensions.

FRA developed the Fundamental rights-based police training manual in close cooperation with the Association of European Police Colleges, the European Police College and their networks of national police academies to help build such trust and further the establish- ment of common policing standards that respect the principles of fundamental rights. Our intention is to enhance police profession- alism and effectiveness throughout the European Union by providing police trainers with a practical, hands-on tool that helps to integrate fundamental rights into police training.
Morten Kjaerum
Director of the FRA

TABLE OF CONTENTS
MODULE 1: BASICS OF HUMAN RIGHTS00 Introduction............................................................................................................................................... 23 Activity: Understanding the basics of human rights............................................................................................24
Handout – Basic ideas and concepts of human rights.......................................................................................26 Briefing notes .............................................................................................................................................................. 27
1. What are human rights? ................................................................................................................................
2. What types of human rights are there? ...................................................................................................... 28
3. What do human rights do?..........................................................................................................................29
4. What obligations exist under human rights?..............................................................................................30
5. Where are human rights embodied in law and how are they monitored? ............................................ 32

MODULE 2: POLICING FROM A HUMAN RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE0
Activity: Policing from a human rights perspective..............................................................................................46
Handout 1 – Discussing police and human rights...............................................................................................49
Handout 2 – Practical human rights examples...................................................................................................50

MORE IN THE PDF FILE:
http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2013-fundamental-rights-based-police-training_en_0.pdf

Texas Cops Shoot Schizophrenic 80 Times, Then do Fist-Bump

TEXAS POLICE SHOOT SCHIZOPHRENIC 80 TIMES, FACE UNRECOGNIZABLE, FIST BUMP AFTER
Posted on September 4, 2014 * by Joshua Schwitzerlett

Officials are investigating a shooting that occurred in Laredo, Texas early Saturday morning. Family members of the the deceased claim that police officers unloaded approximately 80 rounds at their son, a schizophrenic known to the local police department.

He was armed with a replica pellet pistol.

Around 1:50 a.m. Saturday morning, six police officers arrived on the scene of the Gateway Truck Stop to find Jose Walter Garza. Within five minutes of arrival, the officers began firing at Garza. Officials have not confirmed the number of shots that were fired. “We are looking at all possible aspects, hoping to speak to all possible people who are eyewitnesses or may have had a run in with this individual,” investigator Joe E. Baeza told NYDaily News. “There’s a lot of ground to cover.”

The investigation may should start with the officers the mentally-ill victim has interacted with in the past. According to NYDaily, Garza had a been arrested and was no stranger to the police department. “Garza was well known to officers: he’d been arrested by the local department 30 different times, on charges ranging from assault of a public servant and theft to assault causing bodily injury and criminal trespassing.”

Family members of Garza wonder why the police had to respond with such brutal force and admit that Garza had run-ins with police in the past. “He’s a good kid,” Andrea Martinez said. “Why didn’t they shoot him in the leg or something? Not like that.” The Loredo Morning Times obtained surveillance footage from the gas station that shows scenes from the shooting. At about 1:25, you can see officers standing over Garza’s body engage in what appears to be a “fist bump.” The video does not show the shooting itself but the body does fall into the scene afterward. The video shows Garza’s body.



http://ringoffireradio.com/2014/09/texas-police-shot-schizophrenic-with-pellet-gun-80-times-fist-bump-after/

Iran banished from Meeting to Aid Iraq: It's ‘Not Appropriate,’ Says Kerry

Iran’s Participation in Meeting to Aid Iraq Is ‘Not Appropriate,’ Says Kerry
By MICHAEL R. GORDONSEPT. 12, 2014

ANKARA, Turkey — Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that “it would not be appropriate” for Iran to attend an international conference on the security crisis in Iraq that is to be held in Paris next week because of what he called the role that Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force is playing in the fighting in neighboring Syria.

France is the host of the Monday meeting, which is to coordinate aid to the new Iraqi government for its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. French officials have left open the possibility that Iran might attend.

But during a visit here to consult with Turkish officials on the international effort against ISIS, Mr. Kerry said he opposed including Iran. “Under the circumstances, at this moment in time, it would not be right for any number of reasons,” said Mr. Kerry, who noted that the French had not consulted with him on the question. “Iran has been deeply involved with its forces on the ground in Syria,” Mr. Kerry said. He also called Iran a “state sponsor of terror in various places.”

In recent weeks, speculation has risen that the fight against ISIS might present an opportunity for the United States and Iran to make common cause against a mutual foe and so improve relations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/world/middleeast/kerry-opposes-irans-inclusion-in-iraq-security-talks.html?action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East®ion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=article

US Intelligence Official: No Evidence ISIL Is Planning Imminent Attack on the US

Gee, I wonder why so many people think ISIS is about to blow up shit in the US?

Where are those pitchforks? Workers Are Constantly on Edge of the Knife

Remember this the next time you ask -- in response to latest travesty -- "where is the outrage?"

"Workers Are Constantly on the Edge of the Knife"
Friday, 12 September 2014 * By Amy B Dean, Truthout | Interview

Picture your typical week: Maybe you have a doctor's appointment or a child's music performance to attend. You may have urgent errands to run on your day off from work. Now, imagine having to achieve these things without knowing your actual work schedule, knowing that at any moment you could be called in to work - or that you could hustle to get to your job and then be told that you're not needed after all, or maybe sent home after only getting an hour's work.

Under what is known as "just-in-time scheduling," employers increasingly require that their employees remain constantly on call and give them little advance notice about schedules. Large retail employers have begun using digital scheduling systems that detect minute fluctuations in business throughout the day and tailor employees' work hours to the precise times when customers are most likely to shop. Instead of using this technology to make life easier and more predictable for everyone, they are using it to maximize profits at their employees' expense. These practices are making it impossible for employees to live normal lives.

Sometimes, employees have told researchers, workers don't know what hours they are scheduled until they show up to punch in. Or, an employee shows up for a scheduled shift and is told to go home - effectively denying that person their day's pay. The impact is a sense of constant precarious living. "Just-in-time scheduling" deprives employees of the ability to plan their lives, to schedule childcare, attend family events or take care of their own health. It also means many employees don't get to work enough hours at one job to make ends meet. This unpredictability of such employment is especially problematic for the 7.5 million part-time workers who say they wish to have full-time positions.

The most abusive forms of "just-in-time scheduling" reflect a wider trend. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47 percent of hourly-wage workers aged 26-32 say they get a week or less of advance notice about what hours they have to work.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26120-workers-are-constantly-on-the-edge-of-the-knife

The Fed Just Imposed Financial Austerity on the States

Yesterday, I posted about this too, here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025516037
This article however delves deeper and goes into much more detailed analysis than the one I posted yesterday, so I'm putting it up.

The Fed Just Imposed Financial Austerity on the States
By Pam Martens & Russ Martens * September 4, 2014

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors, together with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – the top regulators of Wall Street’s largest banks – finalized liquidity rules yesterday that make absolutely no sense to anyone with a historical perspective on how Wall Street operates in a crisis.

The Federal regulators adopted a new rule that requires the country’s largest banks – those with $250 billion or more in total assets – to hold an increased level of newly defined “high quality liquid assets” (HQLA) in order to meet a potential run on the bank during a credit crisis. In addition to U.S. Treasury securities and other instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (agency debt), the regulators have included some dubious instruments while shunning others with a higher safety profile.

Bizarrely, the Fed and its regulatory siblings included investment grade corporate bonds, the majority of which do not trade on an exchange, and more stunningly, stocks in the Russell 1000, as meeting the definition of high quality liquid assets, while excluding all municipal bonds – even general obligation municipal bonds from states with a far higher credit standing and safety profile than BBB-rated corporate bonds.

This, rightfully, has state treasurers in an uproar. The five largest Wall Street banks control the majority of deposits in the country. By disqualifying municipal bonds from the category of liquid assets, the biggest banks are likely to trim back their holdings in munis which could raise the cost or limit the ability for states, counties, cities and school districts to issue muni bonds to build schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs. This is a particularly strange position for a Fed that is worried about subpar economic growth.

http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/09/the-fed-just-imposed-financial-austerity-on-the-states/
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