No, the rich aren't "job creators"

Jobs are created when consumers are prosperous enough to purchase goods and services, not when rich assholes who gamed the system gamble their ill-gotten loot.

Challenging the myth of the job creator (baltimoresun.com)

A lot of his money came from being an early investor in Amazon. But MR. Hanauer does not think this makes him a job creator. "Amazon didn't create any jobs," Hanauer said in a recent Seattle Times interview. "Amazon probably destroyed a million jobs in our economy."

The way Mr. Hanauer sees it, leaders in our capitalist democracy need to account for the employment-killing side of the modern market where new technologies and efficiencies have eliminated old jobs and not created nearly enough new ones to replace them. In a controversial TED talk in 2012, Mr. Hanauer castigated policymakers who subscribe to the false faith that rich people and businesses will provide all the jobs we need, if only they do not have to pay much in taxes.

shooting at innocent people violated LAPD policy...but not so badly as to get shooters fired

So in LA, if you're a cop who shoots two innocent women, no criminal charges will be filed, it's just a "policy violation" and you might face a slap on the wrist. It's not like you'll be found too incompetent to keep your job, no. Why? Because guarding one of their own is far, far more important than the lives of ordinary citizens. Another fine example of cop privilege.

LAPD shooting in ex-cop manhunt violated policy (Yahoo News)

A civilian oversight board has determined that eight Los Angeles police officers violated department policy when they mistakenly opened fire on two women during the manhunt for rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

The Police Commission's decision announced Tuesday leaves the question of disciplinary measures to Police Chief Charlie Beck....

Margie Carranza and her then 71-year-old mother, Emma Hernandez, were delivering newspapers around 5 a.m. when LAPD officers guarding the Torrance home of a target named in Dorner's online manifesto blasted at least 100 rounds at their pickup.

student tased into brain damage by Texas cop

Missed this one when it happened. The quickness of ill-trained American police to reach for this potentially-lethal electrical torture device is a national shame. Not to say the Taser doesn't have a proper place on the use-of-force continuum, but it's a go-to far too often for cops who don't know how to control a situation with presence, voice, and lower levels of force -- or who just get pissed off and think it's their right to administer some "street justice" via electric shock. The case also illustrates the hazards to students of having so-called "resource officers" in schools.

Texas student tased by police exits coma, enters rehabilitation, attorney says (CNN)

A 17-year-old Texas student who spent 52 days in a medically induced coma after police used a Taser on him at school entered a full-time rehabilitation facility Friday, his family's attorney said.

Noe Nino de Rivera was transported to the hospital on November 20 after Bastrop County Sheriff's Deputy Randy McMillan, serving as a school resource officer, used the device on him after the teen tried to defuse a school fight involving two girls, one of them his girlfriend, said attorney Adam Loewy.

The parents have filed a lawsuit alleging their son never posed a threat to the deputy and that Nino de Rivera suffered a permanent brain injury when he hit the ground after McMillan tased the teen.

Missouri executed man while his appeal was pending

And this is why "state's rights" is an inadequate political-legal philosophy: state governments can sometimes be even more brutal, thuggish, and criminal than the feds.

Missouri Executed This Man While His Appeal Was Pending in Court (The Atlantic)

Asked repeatedly not to execute Smulls while appeals were pending, state officials failed even to respond to emails from defense attorneys that night while corrections officials went ahead with the execution. Smulls thus was pronounced dead four minutes before the Supreme Court denied his final stay request. This was not an accident or some bureaucratic misunderstanding and did not come as a surprise to Smulls’ lawyers. They say it was the third straight execution in Missouri in which corrections officials went ahead with lethal injection before the courts were through with the condemned man's appeals.*

new spill at Freedom Industries' Charleston site

And this is why we need the corporate death penalty, serious jail time for the official of criminal corporations, and the ability to claw back profits from investors when a corporation is criminally negligent.

Eyewitness News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bob Aaron, Heath Harrison) -- Another spill has been reported at Freedom Industries facility near Charleston.

An excavator ripped into a pipe containing water and crude MCHM Thursday night.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said the material spilled into a cutoff trench and did not reach the Elk River. The pipe was not listed on the maps of Freedom Industries' grounds.

B.D.S. scares the Israeli government

Momentum is growing to finally end a great injustice.

Why Israel Fears the Boycott

These days, Israel seems as terrified by the “exponential” growth of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or B.D.S.) movement as it is by Iran’s rising clout in the region. Last June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu effectively declared B.D.S. a strategic threat. Calling it the “delegitimization” movement, he assigned the overall responsibility for fighting it to his Strategic Affairs Ministry. But B.D.S. doesn’t pose an existential threat to Israel; it poses a serious challenge to Israel’s system of oppression of the Palestinian people, which is the root cause of its growing worldwide isolation.

...

Begun in 2005 by the largest trade union federations and organizations in Palestinian society, B.D.S. calls for ending Israel’s 1967 occupation, “recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,” and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and lands from which they were forcibly displaced and dispossessed in 1948.

Why should Israel, a nuclear power with a strong economy, feel so vulnerable to a nonviolent human rights movement?

mythology of human trafficking

"Human trafficking", in the sense of people being abducted and forced to work either in sweatshops or in brothels, does exist. But the idea that large number of women within the U.S. are being enslaved as prostitutes is not accurate, and the picture of the Super Bowl as a hotbed of sex slavery is just wrong:

The Super Bowl of Sex Trafficking?

No data actually support the notion that increased sex trafficking accompanies the Super Bowl. The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, a network of nongovernmental organizations, published a report in 2011 examining the record on sex trafficking related to World Cup soccer games, the Olympics and the Super Bowl. It found that, “despite massive media attention, law enforcement measures and efforts by prostitution abolitionist groups, there is no empirical evidence that trafficking for prostitution increases around large sporting events.”

Human Rights Watch condemns drug criminalization

More and more people are seeing the obvious. It's just a shame that it has taken decades and so many ruined lives.

'Drug Criminalization Inherently Incompatible with Human Rights,' Says Human Rights Watch (Alternet)

On the same day as the President's address, Human Rights Watch released their annual watch report, in which they declared that "drug criminalization is inherently incompatible with human rights."

The report makes note of how drug laws further entrench the wildly unequal nature of the American criminal justice system, where blacks are ten times more likely to receive a drug conviction than whites despite similar rates of using and selling. It also noted the now familiar statistic that 2.2 million people in the world's oldest constitutional republic are in prison or jail, the highest number in the world--a figure fattened by the number of those incarcerated for low-level drug offenses.

former TSA screener tells all

Jason Edward Harrington gives us the inside story on the TSA, especially the farce of the Rapiscan Systems full-body scanners:

Dear America, I Saw You Naked (POLITICO Magazine)

At the conclusion of our crash course, one of the officers in our class asked him to tell us, off the record, what he really thought about the machines.

“They’re shit,” he said, shrugging. He said we wouldn’t be able to distinguish plastic explosives from body fat and that guns were practically invisible if they were turned sideways in a pocket.

We quickly found out the trainer was not kidding: Officers discovered that the machines were good at detecting just about everything besides cleverly hidden explosives and guns. The only thing more absurd than how poorly the full-body scanners performed was the incredible amount of time the machines wasted for everyone.

why vilifying and hurtful speech is important

Ken White nails it:

Your Criticism of My Holocaust Analogy Is Like Yet ANOTHER Holocaust | Popehat

Vigorous and hurtful and unpleasant speech is what we have instead of violence. Our ability to level such viscerally satisfying attacks on speech we don't like is a crucial part of what convinces us, as a nation, not to censor speech we don't like. In Europe, Tom Perkins might face official sanctions for saying the wrong thing about the Holocaust; here, he faces late-night jokes and insulting cartoons and the contempt of many. I like our way better.

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