Monday, August 25, 2014
Pattern Crimes: The second largest source of income for the city of Ferguson, MO is the $2.6 million it gathers from fines levied on its citizens for parking, speeding, jay walking and the like. Ferguson is, of course, a white-run black community where "86% of vehicle stops involved a black motorist, who is twice as likely to be searched as a white driver and also twice as likely to be arrested. The average black household in Ferguson is hit with three warrants a year, resulting in the loss of $300 to fines and fees. And if you can't pay the fine or cover the fees, you go to jail. Welcome to Ferguson, MO, where Michael Brown was stopped for jaywalking.
Echo: Israel's former national security advisor, General Giora Eiland advocates cutting off all food and water to Gaza and starving 1.8 million Palestinians into submission. That such a blockade would amount to a war crime is accademic, for the US is making sure the UN does not take official notice of Israel's ongoing crimes against humanity.
Take A Load Off, Fannie : The Canadian Shield – geologically the northern part of North America – is still rebounding after miles of ice weighed it down during the last Ice Age. In a similar way, enough surface water has evaporated from California that some parts of California's mountains have been uplifted about half an inch in the past 18 months. That's a lot of weight to lose – even if it's just water. Hum along.
In The Wings: To some degree the housing 'recovery' is a mirage. A lot of delinquent homeowners – 22 million of them - got their mortgages modified under one program or another. Most of them had been delinquent and about 70% of them will be again. But the modifications temporarily took them out of the delinquency column. A significant part of the slowdown in foreclosures was due to the lenders and servicers getting caught fiddling with the foreclosure paperwork and had to pretty much stop cheating, which slowed the foreclosure rates significantly. Now they've worked out (or covered up) the problems. Look both ways before crossing.
"Illusory Promises": In Texas, if your boss tells you not to worry about your job, worry. The state Supreme Court has ruled that it is perfectly all right for employers to lie to their employees.
No Desert, Either: “Of all the self-interested scams perpetrated by school "reformers" against public education, the school voucher scam may be the most dishonest. In their undiluted form, these programs are a sop to right wingers and religious fanatics convinced that teaching children that the Founding Fathers were all upstanding Christian gentlemen and evolution should be doubted somehow prepares them for life in the 21st century. [The legislature] is seeking to push at-risk students...into nonpublic schools in order to avoid the cost of providing them a sound, basic education in public schools. - Judge Robert Hobgood, who found North Carolina's 'Opportunity Scholarship Program' to be "unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt."
Relocation: Tony Abbot's troglodytic campaign of environmental rape has spread from the Great Barrier Reef to Peru, where new laws have been passed giving mining companies the right to despoil the land, the air and the water in any way that's profitable. To ensure their unimpeded assault on the country's environment the the government has granted wide powers to the police to quell any eco-protest. Amusingly, Peru will be the host of the UN Climate Change Conference.
Porn O'Graph: The Edge.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:54 AM