Showing posts from October 17, 2015

What Could Raising Taxes on the 1% Do? Surprising Amounts

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[Puts some real numbers to tax increases for the wealthy - you need to go about 60% of the way down the article to see them. Of course the rich actually spend a good deal to make their incomes look small compared with their wealth, precisely so they can pay as little tax as possible. *RON*]

By Patricia Cohen, New York Times, 16 October 2015

When it comes to paying taxes, most Americans think the wealthy do not pay their fair share.

There is a sharp divide, however, between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to taxing the rich, who provide most of the cash for political campaigns.

All the Republican tax proposals, in fact, cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Democrats, on the other hand, are prepared to raise taxes at the top, though they have not been very specific about how they would do so.

“Right now, the wealthy pay too little,” Hillary Rodham Clinton said at this week’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas, “and the middle class pays too muc…

2 Cops Tortured A Young Black Man In A Holding Cell Until He Died. They Were Just Acquitted.

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[The Black Injustice Tipping Point. You can see some video in the original article, but I refuse to duplicate it here. "A 2012 study found that half of all people killed by police have a mental illness. Inmates with mental illness are routinely abused by corrections officers. A Human Rights Watch report found that officers often beat inmates bloody, breaking their body parts, and used stun guns and chemical sprays." *RON*]
By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, Think Progress, 17 October 2015
A jury acquitted two former sheriff’s deputies of involuntary manslaughter on Friday after the death of a black college student inside a Savannah, Georgia jail holding cell on New Year’s Day.

Matthew Ajibade, 22, died from blunt force trauma after he was tasered several times while strapped in a restraint chair.

A Chatham County Superior Court jury did convict the former deputies of lesser charges: Jason Kenny was found guilty of cruelty to an inmate, while Maxine Ev…

Pope Francis’s First Crisis

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[The palace revolt has begun. *RON*]
By Alexander Stille, New Yorker, 16 October 2015

The honeymoon for Pope Francis is over—at least in Rome. The first two weeks of the Synod on the Family have been characterized by open rebellion, corridor intrigue, leaked documents, accusations of lack of transparency, and sharp divisions among the bishops and cardinals. In the first real crisis of his papacy, Francis finds himself in the position of enjoying a rare degree of popularity among the public but facing an unusual degree of dissent within an institution generally so respectful of hierarchy.

There was some inkling of this during the Pope’s triumphant visit to the U.S. “If a conclave were to be held today, Francis would be lucky to get ten votes,” a Vatican source told me at the time. “He gets an A-plus on public relations, but an F on all the rest.” This statement was certainly an exaggeration, but it reflected genuine unease within the Roman curia. An…

Wealth therapy tackles woes of the rich: 'It’s really isolating to have lots of money'

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[It's impossible to draw a clean line between reality and satire nowadays. It’s tough at the top. As one psychological counsellor to the 1% says: ‘I am not necessarily comparing it to what people of color have to go through, but …’ *RON*]

Jana Kasperkevic, The Guardian, 17 October 2015
It’s a rainy Wednesday morning and Clay Cockrell is sitting in his office at Columbus Circle across the street from 1 Central Park West, which houses Trump International Hotel and Tower. In front of the tower is Central Park, where Cockrell holds his popular walk and talk therapy sessions.

Dressed in comfortable pants and a flannel shirt, Cockrell, a former Wall Street worker turned therapist, spends large parts of his days walking through Central Park or the Battery Park in downtown Manhattan near Wall Street, as a confidant and counsellor to some of the New York’s wealthiest.

Neanderthals ‘kept our early ancestors out of Europe’

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[A new interpretation of early relations between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals. Ancient teeth found in China suggest Homo sapiens was outwitted by its rivals. *RON*]
Robin McKie, The Guardian, 17 October 2015
The discovery of a hoard of ancient human teeth in a Chinese cave has forced scientists to reconsider our species’ relations with our closest evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals. The find, revealed in the science journal Nature, shows modern humans must have left their African homeland and reached southern China more than 80,000 years ago.

This unexpectedly early date contrasts with our ancestors’ far more recent arrival in Europe - about 45,000 years ago – and suggests Homo sapiens was prevented, for some reason, from moving there for tens of thousands of years. Anthropologist María Martinón-Torres, from University College London – a member of the team that made the discovery – is confident of the reason. She blames the Neanderthals.

Harper: Tension Between Courts, Government Part Of Canadian System

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[Bullshit. Tension only exists between the Supreme Court and a government that believes in neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights. *RON*]
By Stephanie Levitz, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 16 October 2015

QUEBEC — For nearly a decade, Stephen Harper's government has found itself at odds with a judiciary that often strikes down laws and regulations crafted to reflect Conservative ideology and values the party says are shared by most Canadians.

And while court decisions have also forced the Conservatives to confront difficult social and moral questions about drug use, prostitution and doctor-assisted suicide, the relationship between the two branches of government is as it should be, Harper said Friday.

"We're not planning to change the system," he said after a campaign speech in Quebec City.

"This kind of tension is part of the constitutional system of our country."

Young man who died after B.C. attack was overwhelmed, couldn't pay rent: chief

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[The Harper Plan for Canada is still working as intended. Bridge River Indian Band Chief Susan James said staff at First Nations administration offices are often tasked with implementing government-funded assistance programs that leave people feeling short-changed and blaming the office workers. "The staff have to deal with forcing members to live under what was being imposed upon them (by government)." *RON*]
Dirk Meissner, Canadian Press, 17 October 2015

VICTORIA — A 22-year-old man who went on a rampage and injured 11 people at the office of a British Columbia First Nation lashed out when life became too overwhelming, the band's chief says.

Bridge River Indian Band Chief Susan James said band staff were working with the young man to try and find stable housing and a way to pay his rent.

He walked into the band office Wednesday morning and went around attacking people with a weapon. Two of the victims remain in critical condition an…

Ottawa police urge Muslim women to report abuse

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[The Harper campaign is working just as planned. Abuse of Muslim women by the public prompts police to appeal to victims to come forward. National Council of Canadian Muslims says women who wear niqab have been "vilified by politicians." See also: Increase in anti-Muslim incidents. *RON*]

By Colin Perkel, Canadian Press / Ottawa Star, 16 October 2015

TORONTO—A series of incidents against Muslim women in Ottawa has prompted the city’s police to issue an appeal to others who may have been victimized to come forward.

In an email this week to members of the Muslim community, Staff-Sgt. David Zackrias urged the reporting of all forms of abuse.

“In recent days, female members of Ottawa’s Muslim community have voiced concerns about safety, following incidents of verbal abuse towards them, by strangers,” Zackrias states.

“If these types of incidents are not reported, little can be done to help other members of the community from also being vic…