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Sat, 23 Jul 2016
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The role of police in U.S. public schools

© Fusion.net/screen grab
A new video out of Mentor, Ohio, shows a white police officer seemingly starting a physical confrontation with a black high school student after the student was reportedly spotted with an electronic cigarette on campus.

In the video, captured by a fellow student, an officer is seen repeatedly pushing the student before tackling him to the ground and handcuffing him. The student backs away from the officer after the first shove, seemingly in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

"Wait a second, why is the cop starting shit with him?" remarks an off-camera student who is watching the incident unfold.

Possession of nicotine or a tobacco product by a minor is, by all accounts, a minor infraction. In Ohio, it carries the penalty of a $100 fine, having to attend a tobacco education program, or both.

Or, as they used to do in my high school, authorities would just take it away from you. Case closed.

But that's not what happened here. The 16-year-old student was arrested on charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and given a smoking citation. He was also reportedly given a 10-day suspension, which the school later said it had reversed after video of the incident went viral.

In a press release, the Mentor Police Department said the student "became verbally abusive and physically defiant as he attempted to push his way past the officer in order to board a school bus," at which point the officer had to use force.

Comment: These so-called public servants are not held accountable to the very laws the citizens are. They are above the law. The presence of the police on school campuses is also about instilling fear and compliance with the emerging Police State. As society unravels, social unrest will spread, bringing with it more brutality and repression.


Texas trooper shoots motorcyclist in high speed chase, jump-kicks him off his motorcycle

© RT/Screengrab
In researching the Texas Department of Public Safety's history of using excessive force, the Austin American Statesman stumbled across footage of a high-speed police pursuit that lasted 38 miles and ended when the cop shot the suspect and forced him off his motorcycle with what the New York Daily News colorfully describes as a "leaping karate kick."

Just past midnight on December 23, 2012, in unincorporated Chambers County, Texas, 25-year-old Steven Gaydos ran a stop sign on his Suzuki 750. DPS Trooper Abraham Martinez, who happened to be waiting in a nearby parking lot, pulled out in his cop car in pursuit of the scofflaw motorcyclist.

But Gaydos didn't stop. And neither did Martinez. Hitting speeds of up to 130 miles an hour, Martinez followed Gaydos through nearly 40 miles of east Texas highway, and finally pulled alongside his target and, from the window of his vehicle, fired his .357 handgun four times. One of the bullets penetrated Gaydos' right thigh.

Injured, Gaydos finally pulled over and sat on his motorcycle to wait for police. Gaydos had been driving with a suspended license, and he hadn't wanted his motorcycle confiscated by police, but Gaydos' ability to flee had suddenly become more limited, what with the cop firing at him and the gunshot wound in the leg.

Martinez approached Gaydos on foot and launched an aerial kick directly into Gaydos' back, knocking the wounded motorcyclist onto the ground. Martinez promptly called for medical assistance, but the officer did receive three days of unpaid probation from DPS for violating excessive use of force regulations.

Comment: These cops are completely out of control. Cruelty and brutality are the norm and its only going to get worse - for everyone.
"Totalitarian systems accrue to themselves omnipotent power by first targeting and demonizing a defenseless minority. Poor African-Americans, like Muslims, have been stigmatized by elites and the mass media. The state, promising to combat the "lawlessness" of the demonized minority, demands that authorities be emancipated from the constraints of the law. Arguments like this one were used to justify the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror." But once any segment of the population is stripped of equality before the law, as poor people of color and Muslims have been, once police are permitted under the law to become omnipotent, brutal and systematically oppressive tactics are invariably employed against the wider society. The corporate state has no intention of carrying out legal reforms to curb the omnipotence of its organs of internal security. They were made omnipotent on purpose."

Oligarchic, corporate elites have created a society of captives


Chicago cop kills unarmed woman with impunity

© Reuters/ Pool
Chicago cops are rarely brought to trial when involved in fatal shootings. That's why the case of Detective Dante Servin gave people hope. But Servin has been acquitted, largely due to a minor miscalculation on the part of prosecutors: they may have charged him with the wrong crime.

While off-duty in 2012, Detective Servin was involved in a shooting which left an unarmed black woman dead. Sitting in his car parked along an alley on Chicago's West Side, Servin fired five shots, over his shoulder, in the direction of four individuals. The detective maintains that he felt threatened when one of the four, Antonio Cross, pulled a gun from his waistband and charged the car. Police on the scene found a cellphone on Cross, but no gun. Rekia Boyd, 22, was killed.

"Any reasonable person, any police officer especially, would've reacted in the exact same manner that I reacted," Servin told reporters on Tuesday. "And I'm glad to be alive. I saved my life that night. I'm glad that I'm not a police death statistic. Antonio Cross is a would-be cop killer, and that's all I have to say."

Comment: No reasonable person would behave or think this way. There was no gun! 'Feeling threatened' is apparently good enough for police to murder people. When you have trigger-happy, paranoid cops with little to no conscience trained to see the people they are supposed to protect as their enemy, it sets up the heinous conditions we're seeing play out today. To make matters worse we have the legal system and judges allowing this brutality through legalese nitpicking.

Despite going to trial for the shooting, Servin will now walk free after being acquitted by Judge Dennis Porter. That ruling came down to the prosecutors' decision to charge the detective with involuntary manslaughter instead of murder, and what many see as an unfair legal technicality.

Comment: How little judge Porter must value human life to pass such a judgment. A woman's life was taken, yet he quibbles over minutia. The judgement is clear: human life means nothing to the predators who govern society.


Heavy metal contamination found in water wells near Duke Energy coal ash dumps

A view of North Carolina's Dan River following a leak in a storm pipe at the bottom of a 27-acre coal ash pond operated by Duke Energy
Test results confirm that 'Duke's coal ash pits are leaking toxic pollutants into groundwater,' says attorney

North Carolina residents who live near Duke Energy coal ash dumps have been warned by state officials not to drink or cook with water from their wells, after testing showed evidence of heavy metal contamination exceeding state groundwater standards.

The nation's largest electricity company, Duke stores more than 150 million tons of coal ash—a byproduct of burning coal for energy—in 32 dumps at 14 power plants across the state. North Carolina's Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, passed in the wake of the devastating Dan River spill that released 99,000 tons of the toxic sludge, required Duke Energy to contract with private laboratories to collect samples at wells within 1,000 feet of power plants with coal ash ponds.

According to news reports, the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said Tuesday that tests of 87 of 145 private wells near eight Duke plants found elevated levels of substances including iron, chromium, and vanadium—all naturally occurring elements that are also found in coal ash.

The Associated Press reports that several of the letters sent to homeowners by DENR cited high levels of vanadium, with some readings "as high as 86 times the state groundwater standard." Vanadium is classified as hazardous by federal health officials; Duke's self-reported toxic release inventory from 2011 shows about 1.5 million pounds of vanadium released into the environment from Duke's coal-fired plants that year, with the bulk of it flowing into the company's ash pits.

Comment: As usual, the company is attempting to sidestep responsibility for its actions, in spite of the evidence of their culpability.

Last year's huge coal ash spill in North Carolina may cost Duke Energy $100M or the cost of a permit
Up to 82,000 tons of toxic coal ash spilled into North Carolina river from 'antiquated' storage pit


Michael Brown memorial tree destroyed, plaque stolen within a day of being dedicated in Ferguson

© blogs.riverfronttimes.com
One of the Michael Brown memorials, Ferguson, MO.
A tree dedicated to Michael Brown over the weekend in Ferguson, Mo., was damaged within a day, while a plaque accompanying the tree was stolen, according to the city. This tree, a sapling, was purchased by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association in Chicago. It was dedicated in January-Wabash Memorial Park on Saturday to Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old shot and killed by a white police officer in the summer.

Comment: One has to wonder who's destroying all the Michael Brown memorials. Are these inconsiderate pranks by kids or something more sinister? Fans of Darren Wilson and those folks who hate minorities would be the better bet in this situation.

Treasure Chest

No surprise: Tax cuts for poor and middle class, but not the rich, boost employment and investment

© Agence France-Presse/Jim Watson
Tax cuts for the rich do not lead to growth in jobs or investment, a study says.
The exact link between tax cuts and job growth has for years been a matter of fiery debate, from college economics departments to the chambers of Congress. Now, a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research could add some nuance to the dispute: Tax cuts do, in fact, boost employment and investment, just not when they're directed at the rich.

The study from Owen Zidar, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, found that tax cuts aimed at the top 10 percent of earners produce little stimulative effect on the overall economy. On the other hand, those aimed at the bottom 90 percent have a greater impact.

Zidar examined the short- to medium-term impact of tax changes at the state and federal levels going back to 1948. On the national level, he found a 1 percent gross domestic product (GDP) tax cut aimed at the bottom 90 percent translates to job growth of 2 to 5 percent, but the impact of a similar cut on the top 10 percent of earners has a negligible effect. He reached similar conclusions on the state level: Tax decreases for most of the population generated 5 percent employment growth, but yielded little change when applied to the top income bracket.

Comment: Fortunately there are some politicians who have some comprehension of what it really takes to boost the economy and have taken some steps in the right direction. If only there were more of them!

Minnesota governor taxed the rich and increased minimum wage - now his state's economy is flourishing

Arrow Down

The propaganda is working: A significant majority of Americans think the economy is good... and only getting better

© Unknown
Obama would like everyone to think that the U.S. is Disney Land when it is perilously close to becoming Mordor.
Americans' perception of President Obama's economic policies are on the mend according to a new report from CNN.

"For the first time since President Obama took office," says journalist Matt Egan, "a significant majority of Americans give the economy two thumbs up."

The findings are based on a poll conducted by CNN/ORC.

According to the poll 52% of Americans described the economy as "very or somewhat good."

By CNN standards this is considered a "significant majority." So significant, in fact, that the network contends it is great news from Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign because it shows how successful Democratic programs have been.

And things are only going to get better from here.

Comment: The signs for an imminent collapse in the U.S. economy are plentiful. Are you preparing?


Ignorance and indoctrination has made the United States a continent of sorrow

The ghastly spectacle of presidential debates on issues overly cooked in the media for decades (Israel and sexual preference, for example) will befall Americans within the blink of an eye. Of course they are not debates but well-rehearsed professional theater with the candidates, media questioners and audiences all acting out their assigned roles, on queue. Who has the appetite for it all? It is a hollow, unreal process and a rather sickening charade unless one is on some measure of hallucinogenic drug or drunk. At the proper stage of hallucination or inebriation the show turns into a sort of Looney Tunes cartoon making the time spent on the theater that is the American presidential election process somewhat tolerable.

A few more hits or swigs are necessary to endure the post-debate commentary on Fox, CNN, CBS, PBS or ABC. Depending on the mind altering substance used, the airhead punditry takes on the persona of the Three Stooges/Tractor Pull announcers. Caked in makeup and attached by wireless earphone to assistants who tell them what to say—the talking heads try to convince the audience that what they saw/heard was not what they saw/heard: In short, they try to spin sense on the nonsense uttered by this and that candidate. The media stooges extol the glorious exceptionalism of democratic style and process of the American presidential election process-and US elections in general—as though no other nation on earth actually holds elections.


Church defends New Jersey pastor accused of rape; 'think what you want', we've got 'nobody to answer to but God'

© Via Facebook
Elder Freddie Alexander
A church in New Jersey is standing by its pastor after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman for several years, starting when she was 17.

Pastor James E. Simmons Jr., 64, of New Life in Christ Ministries turned himself in to authorities last week after he was charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child.

Church elder Freddie Alexander told an applauding congregation on Sunday that the accusations against the pastor were the work of Satan.

"If Satan knew what he was doing to New Life, he wouldn't have done it. Because what Satan don't know, what he turn around and did is made New Life get closer... now, because of what Satan has done, he is bringing [us] together."

The elder warned Satan not to "mess with" the church, and denied the allegations against Simmons.

"We love our pastor," Alexander said. "They can say what they want. And I hope I get on YouTube, and I tell you this here. I love my pastor. I love God first, but I love my pastor, and I trust him. And I know that I know him, deep from part of my heart. In the pit of my heart, I know we're going to be exonerated. When our time comes, you will know."

"Think what you want," he added. "We're going to trust God. We've got to answer to nobody but God."

Alexander said Simmons had a "Godly heart" because he was praying for the woman who accused him of sex crimes.

Comment: Religious organizations are a playground for sexual predators. Listen to the SOTT editors interview with Dr. Anna Salter, author of the best-selling book, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children
Pierre: Something that is heartbreaking in your book is that apparently those kind of individuals target, above all they target the most empathetic ones, the most caring ones. One of your interviewee says "The reason I can be so successful" an inmate tells me "is I find people who really care about other people".

Dr. Salter: I have had offenders tell me that they love churches because people are more gullible in churches, that they look for the best in everyone. You know the real, oh gosh I don't know the word, but the truth is that offenders, predators don't just prey on our weaknesses, they prey on our strengths as well. They prey on the fact that many people are trusting, that they do look for the best in people, that they don't consider the worst in people. And those are natural victims for them. Most of them are not actually looking for a challenge, they're looking for the easiest victim.
See also: Men Who Hate Women: The Franklin Scandal and the Truth About Our Leaders


Irony alert: Ten wonderful things to be grateful for

Being grateful boosts your happiness. Ten wonderful things I'm grateful for.
© unknown
Since every volume on the nearly endless shelf of pop psychology self-help books recommends working up some gratitude as the key to happiness, I've conjured up a list of what I'm grateful for. (Please turn your irony setting on.)