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Fri, 02 Dec 2022
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US court rules you need to be dumb to be a cop

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Can a person actually be "too smart" to be a cop in America?

A federal court's decision back in 2000 suggests that, yes, you actually can be.

Robert Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, scored a 33 on an intelligence test he took as part of the application process to become a police officer in the town of New London, Connecticut. The score meant Jordan had an IQ of 125.

The average score for police officers was a 21-22, or an IQ of 104. New London would only interview candidates who scored between 20 and 27.

Jordan sued the city alleging discrimination, but the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld that it wasn't discrimination. "Why?" you might ask. Because New London Police Department applied the same standard to everyone who applied to be a cop there.

And the theory behind it?

"Those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training," ABC News reported back then. While at least acknowledging the basic fact that such a policy might be "unwise," the court deemed it had a "rational basis" because it was put in place to lower cop turnover.

Arrow Up

Walmart forced to raise minimum wage at one-third of stores due to state mandates

walmart
Walmart, America's largest private employer, is being forced to raise its minimum wage payments for workers. The move could improve the lives of roughly one-third of its 1.3 million employees and reduce the burden on the government.

Since 21 states have adopted minimum wage increases either via legislative pressure or ballot initiatives, Walmart must now adjust base salaries at a third of its locations, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. The memo sent to store managers this month said the wage hikes are due to come into effect on January 1.

Walmart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan told Reuters that the company is making the changes to "ensure our stores in the 21 states comply with the law."

Thirteen states lifted the minimum wage in 2014, up from 10 states in 2013 and eight in 2012. The minimum wage increased 17 percent in South Dakota, to $8.50, and rose two percent in Arizona, to $8.05.

Comment: A recent legislative ruling has forced Walmart to recompense employees for lost wages, and another judge has ruled in favor of employees who were unlawfully intimidated for striking to protest low wages. Hopefully the tide is turning against Walmart's egregious labor policies, it's way past time!


Bomb

Five injured in Christmas Day arson attack on Swedish mosque

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© Reuters / Pontus Stenberg
Firemen work as smoke billows from the windows of a mosque in Eskilstuna December 25, 2014.
An arsonist has set a mosque ablaze in the southeastern Swedish town of Eskilstuna. The Christmas Day attack comes amidst heightened anti-immigration sentiment in the country.

Up to 20 people, including children, were in the mosque at the time of the attack, which occurred in a residential area of the medium-sized town on Thursday.

The fire erupted after 1 p.m. local time, in a prayer room which was housed on the ground floor of a tower block, after an attacker threw an incendiary device through the window. The space was reportedly used by the city's Somali association.

Comment: It is a disgrace to see people channel their anger against innocent people where they should be looking at their own governments for creating these situations where Muslims need to seek asylum in the first place.


Christmas Tree

Christmas in America: Growing poverty, unemployment and homelessness in the world's richest country

There's no way like the American Way
© Margaret Bourke-White
Washington is the grinch that stole Christmas. Bah Humbug defines its agenda.

Unprecedented in modern times. Privileged Americans never had it better. Ordinary ones face lump of coal harshness. Hard times keep getting harder.

Reflected in institutionalized inequality. Growing poverty. High unemployment. Multiples higher than phony Labor Department numbers. An epidemic of underemployment persists.

Jobs paying poverty or sub-poverty wages. With few or no benefits.

Households need two or three to get by.

Growing millions face "one impossible choice after another," according to Poverty USA. "(B)etween food and medicine(s), getting to work or paying the heating bill."

Census data show around half the population living in poverty or bordering it. In the world's richest country.

Affecting nearly 60% of children. America has a higher percent of working poor than any other industrialized country.

Human suffering is real. Neoliberal harshness is official policy. Force-fed austerity reflects it. Social injustice is rife.

Bipartisan complicity supports it. Ordinary people are increasingly on their own out of luck.

America's social contact is targeted for elimination. Disappearing when most needed. Monied interests alone are served.

Inequality is appalling. A race to the bottom persists. Class warfare defines it.

Most working Americans get by from paycheck to paycheck. One missed one away from possible homelessness, hunger and despair.

Inflation adjusted median household income keeps dropping. Americans have less to spend on increasingly more expensive goods and services.

People who eat. Drive cars. Pay rent. Service mortgages. Have medical expenses. Heat and/or air-condition residences.

Bizarro Earth

Good will to all men? Shop worker disperses homeless with freezing water, witness says

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© Wilko store (Image from wikipedia.org)
A shop worker has allegedly hosed homeless people seeking shelter outside a shop front with ice cold water to prevent them sleeping there. Police investigated the incident after a local woman reported the alleged assault on social media.

Tammi-Lee Connor, who lives in Canterbury, says she saw a shop worker at the local Wilkinsons using a hosepipe in an attempt to remove a group of homeless people. The force of the hose reportedly caused one man to fall over and hit his head.

Comment: Such a shame that some people view the homeless as less than human. Further, they never seem to think that they could ever find themselves in the same situation. Unfortunately, homelessness is quickly becoming a reality for many in this world.


Safe

Will they hang bankers again on Wall Street?

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What took place in Washington over the past two weeks with the repeal of Dodd Frank and then the effective repeal of the Volcker Rule sounds strikingly familiar to at least three previous periods in American History that led to total disaster.
There were of course the Northern "carpetbaggers", whom many in the South viewed as opportunists looking to exploit and profit from the region's misfortunes following the Civil War.The "carpetbaggers" would play a central role in shaping new southern governments during Reconstruction period who were joined by Southerners who saw economic gain in joining the Northerners in the exploitation of the South. There were called "scalawags".

Attention

'Stop blaming everything on Russia': heirs to 1917 revolutionary-era emigrants appeal to EU

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© RIA Novosti / Yury Abramochkin
A view of the Cathedrals of the Archangel and the Dormition in the Moscow's Kremlin.
Over 100 descendants of the Russian nobility residing outside the country have addressed European nations with a call to stop irrationally alienating Russia and give an unbiased appraisal to the current Ukrainian crisis.

The open letter written by Prince Dmitry Shakhovskoy and his wife, Princess Tamara, and signed by over 100 people representing the diaspora of the so-called first-wave emigration, was published by Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Thursday.

"The aggressive hostility that Russia is facing right now is lacking any rationality and the double standard policy is simply exceeding any limits," claim the authors of the message. "Russia is being accused of all crimes, it is pronounced guilty a priori and without any evidence, while other countries are shown surprising leniency, in particular when Human Rights are concerned," they letter reads.

"We cannot put up with daily slander targeting modern Russia, its leaders and its president, who are slapped with sanctions and smeared with dirt, in contradiction to basic reason."

Comment: Overcoming the psychopathic mindset of the EU/NATO/US and start thinking with reason and impartiality will indeed be the challenge for the coming new year.


Heart - Black

Woman who tried switching to empty seat on airplane to sleep jailed for 3 days

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© CBSNewYork
Jean Mamakos
A Long Island woman claims she was treated like a criminal and pulled off of a flight just because she wanted to change seats. As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported exclusively, the in-flight fight turned into a three-day stay in jail for the woman.

"They did handcuff me, there were three policemen that dragged me out of the plane," said Jean Mamakos. (And did they tell you what they were charging you with?) They said trespassing."

Mamakos, 68, of Huntington, held up her jeans to show where they were ripped, she says as she was pulled down the aisle of the plane. She never made it to her ski trip in Alaska.

Police in Seattle, where Mamakos and her ski club were changing planes, were called aboard the United aircraft to arrest her, McLogan reported.

One of the passengers recorded the incident.
Officer: "Do you want to come willingly or be arrested for trespass?"

Mamakos: "Whatever you have to do."

Officer: "OK."
Mamakos said she resisted the arrest because she had paid thousands in airfare for the round trip flight, and claims unfriendly flight attendants overreacted when she tried to move to an empty row after the doors closed for take off.

Comment: It is absolutely ridiculous that the airline would kick her off the plane after she went back to her seat. She wasn't being a disturbance any more. It's almost as if she was being punished for not buying the seat upgrade. The fact that police then arrested and put her in jail for 3 days is unconscionable. She deserves every penny of the $5 million she's suing for.


Christmas Lights

Government Grinch: California neighborhood threatened with fines over Christmas decorations

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© CBSLA.com
Orange County is threatening substantial fines to one neighborhood over their extreme Christmas decorations.

Twenty-one residents in Baudin Circle in Ladera Ranch say they received letters from the Orange County Public Works department, stating that their lights are safety hazards. Some homeowners at Baudin circle have taken pride in putting together an impressive Christmas lights show for ten years.

"We had to take down any cords that ran across our sidewalk, as well as any of the roads," resident Jeff Stover said.

The fines are said to be in the amount of $500 per day if the lights are not taken down by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

Comment: This looks to be more about generating revenue than concerns about safety. Surely there would be a better way to deal with this, but unfortunately, even local governments only know how to act through threats.


Eye 1

Judge rules Facebook must face lawsuit over reading users' private messages

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© Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Comment: It's likely that Facebook has done much more than just read people's private messages. They are probably aggregating tons of data and then passing it off to the U.S. government.


Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating its users' privacy by scanning the content of messages they send to other users for advertising purposes, a U.S. judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on Tuesday dismissed some state-law claims against the social media company but largely denied Facebook's bid to dismiss the lawsuit.

Facebook had argued that the alleged scanning of its users' messages was covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers occurring in the ordinary course of business.

But Hamilton said Facebook had "not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business."

Neither Facebook nor a lawyer for the plaintiffs responded to a request for comment Wednesday.