You are browsing the archive for 2014 November 24.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Police Misconduct, in Ferguson and Beyond

November 24, 2014 in Economics

The violence in Ferguson is inexcusable. But it should not be seen as primarily a reaction to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson. Rather, it should be seen as a reaction to years of racially charged policing and a discriminatory justice. Argues Cato scholar Walter Olson, “Our system for dealing with police use of deadly force is broken. …A system for review of police misconduct must take care to vindicate and protect the innocent cop, but it also needs to deliver a credible promise of justice to the communities being policed.”

…read more

Source: CATO HEADLINES

Avatar of admin

by admin

Bury Lenin's Body and the Rest of Communism: In Red Square He Lies in State, Mocking Humanity

November 24, 2014 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Moscow—Red Square remains one of the globe’s most iconic locales. Enter by walking past the statue of World War II general Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov on horseback. The Kremlin dominates on the right, GUM Department Store on the left, and St. Basil’s Cathedral looms in front. Before the Kremlin wall is a small, squat, pyramidal building: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin’s mausoleum.

The tomb may be most famous as the reviewing stand for Communist Party leaders. Studying who stood where was an important part of the game of Kremlinology. Who was to the General Secretary’s right and left, who was moving up or down in the Kremlin power ladder? No where was the leadership symbolism more dramatic.

Kremlinology has disappeared as an occupation. But the mausoleum remains. Along with Lenin’s body. Dressed in a black suit, his face is grim and his right fist is clenched, as if he was ready to smite the capitalists who now dominate even his own nation’s economy.

Lenin is one of history’s most consequential individuals. Without him there likely would have been no Bolshevik Revolution, slaughter of the Czarist royal family, and murderous civil war. No Joseph Stalin, brutal party purges, mass starvation in Ukraine, and Hitler-Stalin pact to fuel what became World War II. No post-conflict occupation of Eastern Europe and Cold War with the West. No Soviet support for China’s revolution and a mix of dictatorship and insurgency in smaller states around the globe. No North Korea and Korean War. No Cuban missile crisis. No Berlin Wall to fall in 1989. No tens of millions of people murdered by what Ronald Reagan rightly called the Evil Empire.

Of course, without Lenin there still would have been a Bolshevik movement. But it would have lacked his intellect, tactical skills, and, most important, determination. He promoted Marxist revolution while imprisoned and in exile. He insisted on dictatorial leadership within the social democratic party, holding his Bolshevik (“majority”) faction together against the Menshevik (“minority”) members and even some of his own supporters angered by his intransigence. So feared was he by his enemies that he became Germany’s secret weapon against Russia; in 1917 Berlin allowed him to travel in a sealed train from his exile in Zurich to Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) in order to spread the bacillus of radical revolution. And he did, with devastating effect.

Lenin pushed the Bolsheviks toward power as the authority of the moderate Provisional Government, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

America's Dangerous Double Standard on Air and Sea "Provocations"

November 24, 2014 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

The United States and its NATO allies are mightily agitated about the increase in Russian air and naval activity near the Baltic republics. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, alliance warplanes have scrambled 400 times in 2014 in response to Russian military flights, an increase of 50 percent over 2013. Western officials repeatedly denounce Moscow’s maneuvers as dangerous and provocative.

Statements by U.S. and NATO leaders, along with Western media accounts, foster the impression that Russian ships and aircraft arrogantly penetrate the airspace and territorial waters of alliance members. But when pressed, officials concede that the vast majority of incidents do not involve such illegality. Stoltenberg stated that most of the flights “are close to NATO airspace,” but he admitted that there were “a very limited number of violations.”

Reading the fine print of other Western complaints reveals similarly misleading imagery. Baltic leaders express anger that a Russian warship entered Latvia’s exclusive economic zone, but it turns out that the location was still some nine nautical miles outside the country’s territorial waters.Latvia’s Ministry of Defense fumed that Russian warships had “approached” Latvian waters some fifty times in 2014 and had “come close” to Latvian airspace some 200 times. Yet the Ministry did not cite verifiable violations of its territorial waters or airspace.

The United States needs to examine its own actions before it smugly denounces those of rival powers.”

The actual substance of other episodes likewise seems far less dramatic than the scare headlines that have become routine in the Western press. NATO F-16 jets intercepted a Russian Ilyushin transport plane over the Baltic Sea on November 12, after it “approached” Estonian and Lithuanian airspace. Similar incidents took place between NATO aircraft and Russian Su-27 fighter planes on November 15 and 17. Again, the Russian offense was that its aircraft were found “near Latvia’s territorial seas” in the former case and had “approached Estonian and Lithuanian airspace” in the latter. Despite such complaints, the encounters indisputably took place over international waters, Western governments acknowledged.

Calling the Russian actions provocative has some merit. Nations understandably become jittery when foreign ships and aircraft operate near their territory. That nervousness mounts when the foreign power has tense relations with one’s own country, and that is certainly the case, given the deterioration of relations between Russia and the NATO states in response to the Ukraine crisis. Adding …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Going Overboard at the Labor Board

November 24, 2014 in Economics

By Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

Whom do you work for? Such a simple question should not require a government agency to give an answer. However, the Obama administration, in its never-ending quest for power over individuals and businesses, has decided that it — rather than you or your employer — should determine whom you work for.

On Thursday, the Senate held a hearing for President Obama’s nominee for the National Labor Relations Board, Lauren McFerran, after the administration abruptly withdrew the nomination of the tainted Sharon Block for the same post. The nomination is slated to go to the full Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions next week and be put to a vote by the Senate during this lame-duck session.

The reason this nomination is important is that the administration is trying to overturn decades of settled law about who is responsible for the wages, benefits and other working conditions for the employees of franchises. Millions of Americans work for companies that franchise their brand names, operating systems and expertise to hundreds of thousands of small-business people. When you go to your neighborhood McDonald’s or a Hilton hotel, chances are it is not owned and operated by the McDonald’s or Hilton corporations, but by independent entrepreneurs. More than 700,000 franchises are operating in the United States, and McDonald’s alone has more than 3,000 franchisees.

The administration is trying to overturn decades of settled law about who is responsible for the wages, benefits and other working conditions for the employees of franchises.”

Most restaurant, hotel, auto repair and other basic business chains use the franchise business model for the simple fact that it works best for customers, the company that licenses its name and operating system, the small-business person who owns and operates the stores, and the employees. Opening a small business is risky, and most fail within three years. A small-business entrepreneur can greatly reduce the risk by acquiring a licensed franchise from a major company that has the know-how, experience and brand name that most small-business people lack. Advantages to the franchisers are that they can reduce their capital outlays as they expand their businesses and have the operations run by people who know the local market, are connected to the community, and have enormous financial incentive to make the business succeed.

The National Labor Relations Board has the responsibility to be an unbiased referee in disputes between labor unions and management and to make sure that U.S. labor regulations are followed. As union membership has fallen from more than a …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Sen. Paul Releases Declaration of War Against Islamic State

November 24, 2014 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today released a draft Declaration of War resolution against Islamic State (also known as ISIS) that he intends on introducing when Congress comes back into session in December.

As the New York Times reported today, Sen. Paul plans to introduce a resolution to declare war against the Islamic State, terminate the authority under the 2002 Iraq AUMF, and set a date for expiration of the 2001 Afghanistan AUMF.

‘When Congress comes back into session in December, I will introduce a resolution to declare war against ISIS. I believe the President must come to Congress to begin a war and that Congress has a duty to act. Right now, this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it,’ Sen. Paul said.

TEXT OF RESOLUTION:

Whereas Article I, section 8, of the United States Constitution provides, ”The Congress shall have the Power to . . . declare war”;

Whereas President George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention, lectured: ”The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress. Therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”;

Whereas James Madison, father of the Constitution, elaborated in a letter to Thomas Jefferson: ”The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the Legislature.”;
Whereas James Madison wrote in his Letters of Helvidius: ”In this case, the constitution has decided what shall not be deemed an executive authority; though it may not have clearly decided in every case what shall be so deemed. The declaring of war is expressly made a legislative function.”;

Whereas the organization referring to itself as the Islamic State has declared war on the United States and its allies; And

Whereas the Islamic State presents a clear and present danger to United States diplomatic facilities in the region, including our embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and

Whereas the Islamic State presents a clear and present danger to United States diplomatic facilities in the region, including our embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and consulate in Erbil, Iraq:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

Reviving Growth: A Cato Online Forum

November 24, 2014 in Economics

In conjunction with the upcoming conference on the future of U.S. economic growth, the Cato Institute has organized a special online forum to explore possible avenues for pro-growth policy reforms. We have reached out to leading economists and policy experts and challenged them to answer the following question: If you could wave a magic wand and make one or two policy or institutional changes to brighten the U.S. economy’s long-term growth prospects, what would you change and why? Their responses will all be made available here. We will post a few new essays each day in the run-up to the conference.

…read more

Source: CATO HEADLINES

Avatar of admin

by admin

Rudy Giuliani Accused of 'White Supremacy' for His Obsession with Black on Black Crime

November 24, 2014 in Blogs

By David Edwards, Raw Story

Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson told the former NYC mayor, “this is the defense mechanism of white supremacy at work in your mind.”


Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) is more focused on “black on black” crimes than police violence against African-Americans because of the “defense mechanism of white supremacy at work” in his mind, according to Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson.

Ahead of an anticipated grand jury decision on whether or not to charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson with the murder of Michael Brown, Giuliani told a panel on Meet the Press that they should be focusing on blacks that are “killed by other blacks.”

“I would like to see the attention paid to that, that you are paying to this,” the former mayor told Dyson and NAACP President and Brown family attorney Anthony Gray.

“First of all, most black people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail,” Dyson pointed out. “Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as an agent of the state to uphold the law. So in both cases, that’s a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn, which has exacerbated tensions that are deeply imbedded in American culture.”

“Black people who kill black people go to jail,” he added. “White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail. If a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking so long?”

“It is the reason for the heavy police presence in the black community,” Giuliani replied. “What about the poor black child that is killed by another black child? Why aren’t you protesting?”

“Those people go to jail. I do protest it, I’m a minister. They go to jail,” Dyson shot back. “Why don’t you talk about the way in which white policemen undercut the abilities of Americans to live?”

“So why don’t you cut it down so so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?” Giuliani asked.

“They don’t have to be. It’s a matter of the effect of the state occupying those forces, sir,” Dyson observed.

“How about 70 to 75 percent of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Personal Story: Why Doing Heroin with My Dad Were Some of the Happiest Days of My Life

November 24, 2014 in Blogs

By Jacqueline Burt, Salon.com

I know I should say those sordid hours were a waste of time, but they weren't.


“Look what I got,” my father said, holding up a little plastic bag.

I’d never shot heroin before, but I was curious about it, and always open to any substance that would alter my consciousness. I sat down next to my father, the man I’d grown to trust above all others, and held out my arm. That was the first day I did heroin with my father, but it wouldn’t be the last. What started out as an experiment quickly became a habit, a way of existence.

“People would think I was nuts to do this with my daughter,” my father said one afternoon as we sat in his room, surrounded by stacks of art magazines and CDs, sketchbooks and palettes. My father was a hoarder in the most creative, intellectual sense. “But this,” he gestured at the empty syringe and singed spoon on the table, “is a means to an end. Nothing else would facilitate the kinds of conversations we’ve had, the realizations we’ve come to.”

He was right. Heroin stripped away every painful memory that had ever stood between us, every trace of guilt and resentment, everything that had ever prevented anything but the purest possible soul communication.  And contrary to what many would have you believe, heroin is not an instant, one-way ticket to ruin. Heroin did not take over my life – until the day it ended my life.

* * *

I can honestly say I never expected to become so familiar with a drug, but then, I never expected to become familiar with my father, either. I was 18 years old when his letters started showing up in my mailbox. Each one addressed in his trademark penmanship, some strange cross between calligraphy and a madman’s scrawl, the envelopes were postmarked from various Louisiana locations: Houma. Baton Rouge. Seemingly exotic places I’d never seen or heard of growing up in Stamford, Connecticut – the same town where my father was born and raised. Of course, by the time my second birthday rolled …read more

Source: ALTERNET