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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:03 PM
Number of posts: 3,183

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Black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing

On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with."

That's a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force. Based on what I experienced as a black man serving in the St. Louis Police Department for five years, I agree with him. I worked with men and women who became cops for all the right reasons — they really wanted to help make their communities better. And I worked with people like the president of my police academy class, who sent out an email after President Obama won the 2008 election that included the statement, "I can't believe I live in a country full of ni**er lovers!!!!!!!!" He patrolled the streets in St. Louis in a number of black communities with the authority to act under the color of law."

That remaining 70 percent of officers are highly susceptible to the culture in a given department. In the absence of any real effort to challenge department cultures, they become part of the problem. If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist, or if a number of officers in their department are racist, they may end up doing terrible things."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu May 28, 2015, 06:55 PM (14 replies)

Republicans’ 2016 math problem, explained in two charts



The 2016 electorate, demographically speaking, will be worse for Republicans than 2012. And unless Republicans can begin winning more of the non-white vote, the 2020 election will be worse for the party than the 2016 election. And 2024 will be worse than, well, you get the idea."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue May 26, 2015, 11:11 AM (6 replies)

Nevada’s most distinctive cause of death linked to run-ins with the law

Nevada’s most distinctive cause of death — though not its most frequent — isn’t a disease.

It’s encounters with law enforcement, according to a new state-by-state report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Encounters with law enforcement in this case does not include executions.

The study maps out how geography factors into the prevalence of rare killers. For 22 states, the total number of these types of deaths was under 100.

The Silver State falls into that group, with deaths by so-called legal intervention at 82, a rate 2.8 times the national average, said Francis Boscoe of the New York State Cancer Registry and the lead researcher in the study.

Researchers couldn’t identify a clear reason why death by legal intervention garnered the most distinction in Nevada as well as New Mexico and Oregon.
The report is based on data from 2001 through 2010. The number of officer-involved shootings in Southern Nevada has decreased since then, after changes in policy and training with Las Vegas police."

*The most distinctive cause of death is defined by location quotient, which is used in business to quantify how concentrated a particular industry, occupation or demographic group is compared to the national average. Location quotient can reveal what makes a state unique."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun May 24, 2015, 11:35 PM (5 replies)

Solitary Confinement is a Whole Other Monster Especially for Juvenile Offenders

A correctional facility is a difficult situation to be in, but solitary confinement is a whole other monster. There’s no getting away from the pounding sounds resonating endlessly, the animalistic cries coming from all ends of the unit, and the pained screams of frustration gone ignored by the correctional officers.

Granted, solitary confinement was created for a reason. However, if a juvenile offender was deemed a risk to the safety of other inmates or prison staff, the corrections officers were instructed to use all force necessary to stop whatever dangerous behavior the juvenile offender was engaging in and place them in solitary confinement. To be surrounded by those sounds for 22 hours or more a day, locked in a small cell with little to no light of day behind a steel door, and for months or years at a time is cruel and inhumane.

Isolation can cause serious psychological, physical and developmental harm to these young offenders, often times leading to the development of serious mental health issues and attempts of suicide. The psychological impact of solitary confinement is so great, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry even published a policy statement on the topic, saying that the consequences of solitary confinement on juvenile offenders, due to their developmental vulnerability, include depression, anxiety and psychosis and put them at risk of adverse reactions."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri May 22, 2015, 01:28 PM (1 replies)

Prisons for profit

Many voters are familiar with political payola. For instance, Big Corporation’s crony capitalism: Big Pharma’s 12 percent R&D (Research and Development) and 18 percent net-profit with copycat drugs; and Big Banking’s Federal Reserve System with its quantitative easing.

For the Republican Party of Florida, there is a new way to game the system. It is the private prison industry that has become one of the major financial contributors to the Republican Party’s ample coffers. Apparently, the incarceration and oppression of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens plays second fiddle to the party’s need for corporate sponsors.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is one of its biggest beneficiaries. Rubio’s history of close ties to the nation’s second largest for-profit prison company, GEO Group, stretches back to his days as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. During that period, GEO was awarded a state contract for $110 million. GEO and Corrections Corp. of America now rake in a combined $3.3 billion in annual revenue and the private federal prison population more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to the Justice Policy Institute. Over his career, Rubio has received nearly $40,000 from GEO. "

*The Republican Party of Florida PAC (Political Action Committee) has received nearly $2.5 million from GEO and Corrections Corps. of America since 1989."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu May 21, 2015, 11:27 PM (2 replies)

Girl Scouts welcomes transgender girls

(CNN)Transgender girls are welcome in the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a stance that has attracted controversy from some conservative groups over the past week.

"Our position is not new," said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA's chief girl expert. "It conforms with our continuous commitment to inclusivity."

*Claiming that Girl Scouts has lost its "moral compass," the American Family Association created an online petition on May 13 to ask the organization to restrict its membership to "biological girls." It's attracted more than 38,000 e-signatures as of Wednesday.

A day after the petition was created, Archibald wrote a blog post citing Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low as the source of diversity that is essential to the organization.

"Our mission to build 'girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place' extends to all members, and through our program, girls develop the necessary leadership skills to advance diversity and promote tolerance," Archibald wrote.

The Girl Scouts' stance means that one of the most popular activities for girls is clearly accessible to transgender girls, said Ellen Kahn, director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Children, Youth & Families program, which focuses on LGBT rights.

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu May 21, 2015, 07:56 PM (6 replies)

How Dead Voters Could Determine the 2016 Election

Ask a political pundit about the demographics of the U.S.’s major parties and most would admit that the Republicans are an aging bunch. However, fewer talk about how the natural progression of aging is dying. It’s no liberal conspiracy: Republicans are dying and it’s starting to look like it will significantly impair the GOP’s chances of winning a presidential election anytime soon.

Politico reporter Daniel McGraw decided to crunch the numbers using existing voter information and life expectancy figures. McGraw’s data suggests that 2.75 million voters for Mitt Romney in 2012 will be dead by the next presidential election. By comparison, only 2.3 million Barack Obama voters will be dead. That’s a net loss of nearly half a million voters for the Republican Party.

As old voters die, new voters come of age. Unfortunately for the GOP, new voters are not registering as Republicans at equivalent rates to the dearly departed. New and young voters are almost twice as likely to identify as liberal, meaning that the Democratic Party is gaining more ground in the presidential election with each passing year. The circle of life is not favorable for conservative politics."

*Although the Republican Party is not likely to die off along with its voters thanks to its stronghold on dozens of solidly red states, this overall nationwide trend is going to make a conservative presidential run increasingly difficult – at least without making some serious changes."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed May 20, 2015, 12:15 PM (4 replies)

Was students' police brutality art inappropriate for school show?

Artwork depicting scenes of police brutality displayed in a Westfield High School art show set off a firestorm of comments last week from police supporters who called the images "a gross misrepresentation," "ignorant" and "one-sided."

Others said the artwork shouldn't be censored and felt it was fair to solicit the perceptions of the students."

The school has stood behind the teacher and the project. Westfield Superintendent Margaret Dolan has said the teacher was encouraging students to look at more than one side of an issue.

The story also resonated with our readers who wrote in more than 1,000 comments.

Here, a sampling of what readers had to say. Some comments have been edited for length."

"The teacher that allowed this should be fired. Any artwork for a kids art show shouldn't depict violence, sex or drugs. The place for that art is in adult world."

" I applaud the Superintendent for sticking up for the freedom for students to express opinions. It wasn't meant to say all police are bad, but was a reflection of what is happening across the nation."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue May 19, 2015, 11:32 AM (11 replies)

Let's stop saying bad police officers are rare. Fact is they're plentiful from coast to coast.

A regular refrain from politicians who speak on the issue of police brutality is that bad police officers, be they corrupt or brutal or racist or sexist, are rare. If by rare, we mean that it is rare for a police officer to be convicted for brutality or corruption or anything else, then yes, you are right, convictions are outrageously rare. Only about 1% of police officers who kill someone are ever convicted for misconduct of any kind, even though the evidence routinely and overwhelmingly shows that police misconduct far outpaces convictions.

I'd like to suggest three new ways for you to consider just how widespread police brutality and corruption and ugliness truly are in the United States.

1. The ugliness knows no geographical or political boundaries. It's truly nationwide.

Not including police departments that are currently being investigated, such as the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department currently has enforced agreements in which it was forced to intervene in widespread problems with police departments and jails and juvenile detention centers in almost every state in the country.

Often thought to be the most liberal big city in America, the San Francisco Police Department, while being investigated for corruption, was also found to have a deep and horrendous problem with racism.

The same thing happened in Ft. Lauderdale.

And in Miami.

And Ohio.

And Baton Rouge.

And New Jersey.

And Georgia.

And, of course, Ferguson.

*For millions of Americans, this issue is the most important issue in our nation. It's time we act like it."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat May 16, 2015, 09:30 AM (51 replies)

Rise Of Robot Pets Seen In An Overpopulated World

The prospect of robopets and virtual pets is not as far-fetched as we may think, according to University of Melbourne animal welfare researcher Dr Jean-Loup Rault.

His paper in the latest edition of Frontiers in Veterinary Science argues pets will soon become a luxury in an overpopulated world and the future may lie in chips and circuits that mimic the real thing.

“It might sound surreal for us to have robotic or virtual pets, but it could be totally normal for the next generation,” Dr Rault said.

“It’s not a question of centuries from now. If 10 billion human beings live on the planet in 2050 as predicted, it’s likely to occur sooner than we think. If you’d described Facebook to someone 20 years ago, they’d think you were crazy. But we are already seeing people form strong emotional bonds with robot dogs in Japan.

“Pet robotics has come a long way from the Tamagotchi craze of the mid-90s. In Japan, people are becoming so attached to their robot dogs that they hold funerals for them when the circuits die.”


Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu May 14, 2015, 09:32 AM (12 replies)
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