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Showing posts from April 26, 2015

Suicide on the Great Sioux Nation

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[A discouraging problem and what some people are trying to do about it. Culture-loss, poverty, substance abuse, family violence are all major factors. *RON*]

By Jason Coppola, Truthout, 26 April 2015

Suicide arrives in waves on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

On Christmas Day, a 15-year-old Lakota girl took her own life. Soon afterward, a boy, just 14, took his.

Since then, a young man and six more girls, one as young as 12, have followed as this current wave continues to swell. There have been numerous additional attempts in the last few months on this South Dakota reservation of about 28,000 people.

The rate of suicide among Native youth in the United States is more than three times the national average. Very often that rate climbs even higher.

In March 2010, then president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Theresa Two Bulls declared a suicide state of emergency after a rise in the number of suicides. Current President John Yellow Bird Steele has now …

Why Bad News Is Good News

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[While the point of social media might be to maintain 'nice' conversations, the point of news is identify, document and evaluate events of import to the public interest. "Consuming bad news is evolutionarily adaptive, but the nature of the social Web might limit its supply." *RON*]
Paul Hiebert, Pacific Standard Magazine, 22 April 2015

If you read the news often enough, you’ll know the world is populated by corrupt politicians, rapacious bankers, perverted priests, racist college students, and several hordes of armed zealots. Our planet is not a kind place—at least, if you keep up with the latest media reports. In 2007, for example, the Pew Research Center released data showing that for the past two decades Americans have been mainly interested in the following types of news stories: United States-related war and terrorism, bad weather, and human-made and natural disasters. Crime and social violence, plus health and safety, also…

To help spread its message, the NSA has produced a coloring book. You know, for kids

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[The NSA: Capturing the hearts & minds of wee hackers-to-be in the surveillance state while they're still chewing on their crayons. *RON*]

By Dan Raile, Pando, 25 April 2015

By the time I found the National Security Agency booth on the expo floor at last week’s RSA Conference, all the best shwag was gone. The most prized giveaway was a faux-leather Post-it Note kit bearing the agency’s seal.

“We can’t print enough of those,” the agency rep manning the booth told me. “Next year, we are going to make the seal even bigger. Kids will really like that, like a badge to show their friends at school.”

Is it strange that the NSA, which takes such care to stay out of the public eye, should be so keen tocapture the attention and aspirations of the young?

While I wasn’t able to score any government-issue school supplies, and none of the representatives could tell me if the NSA was still operating out of the hermetic former AT&T fiber optic hub down t…

A Residence With Locking Doors And A Working Toilet Is All That's Needed To Justify A No-Knock Warrant

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[From the I-Love-the-Sound-of-Jackboots-in-the-Morning Department. *RON*]

Tim Cushing, TechDirt, 23 April 2015

No-knock warrants have become the strategy of first choice for many police departments. Most of these target those suspected of drug possession or sales, rather than the truly dangerous situations they should be reserved for. The rise in no-knock warrants has resulted in an increased number of deadly altercations. Cops have been shot in self-defense by residents who thought their homes were being invaded by criminals. Innocent parties have been wounded or killedbecause the element of surprise police feel is so essential in preventing the destruction of evidence puts cops -- often duded up in military gear -- into a mindset that demands violent reaction to any perceived threat. In these situations, the noise and confusion turns everything into a possible threat, even the motions of frightened people who don't have time to grasp the rea…

Crash Boys

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[More on the insanity that is Wall Street. Flash Crash culprit Navinder Singh Sarao is "not some kind of exception to the standard operating procedure in finance. He’s a parody of it." *RON*]

By Michael Lewis, Bloomberg View, 24 April 2015
The first question that arises from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s case against Navinder Singh Sarao is: Why did it take them five years to bring it?

A guy living with his parents next to London's Heathrow Airport enters a lot of big, phony orders to sell U.S. stock market futures; the market promptly collapses on May 6, 2010; it takes five years for the army of U.S. financial regulators to work out that there might be some connection between the two events. It makes no sense.

Trading on Speed

A bunch of news reports have suggested that the CFTC didn’t have the information available to it to make the case. After the flash crash, the commission focused exclusively on trades that had occurr…

Big Bank 'Crime of the Century' Results in Guess What? No Jail Time for Anyone

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[Despite the severity of the offenses, 'the government concluded that these crimes should be punished only through a financial penalty,' says Public Citizen. "Until the public has seen justice being done, in the shape of the bankers and traders carted off to face trials and retribution, the appalling transgressions of the banking sector will remain an open wound. Not only should the bankers face long jail sentences, but the ill-gotten assets should be reclaimed by the state as would be the case were they common or garden criminals." *RON*]

By Deirdre FultonCommon Dreams, 24 April 2015

While corporate watchdogs hailed the record $2.5 billion settlement paid by Deutsche Bank to U.S. and U.K. authorities for its rate-rigging role in the massive LIBOR scandal, some noted that the fine—while large—suggests that some institutions are still considered "too big to jail."

Authorities announced Thursday that Germany's bigg…