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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Report: US exerting pressure on ICC not to open war crimes probe against Israel

The US and other western powers have exerted pressure on the International Criminal Court at the Hague to prevent a war crimes probe of Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip, The Guardian reported on Monday, quoting former court officials.

During Operation Protective Edge, the Palestinian Authority has threatened to request that the court look into allegations that the civilian deaths in Gaza during the IDF's operation constitute a war crime.

According to the report, the issue is among the matters being discussed at cease-fire talks in Cairo.

Palestinians requested that the court probe Israel for war crimes in 2009 , following Operation Cast Lead, however that request came before the Palestinians were recognized as a non-member observer state at the United Nations in 2012.



IN CHARTS: The Militarization of America's Police


Workforce Investment Act Leaves Many Jobless and in Debt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When the financial crisis crippled the construction industry seven years ago, Joe DeGrella’s contracting company failed, leaving him looking for what he hoped would be the last job he would ever need.

He took each step in line with the advice of the federal government: He met with an unemployment counselor who provided him with a list of job titles the Labor Department determined to be in high demand, he picked from among colleges that offered government-certified job-training courses, and he received a federal retraining grant.

In 2009, Mr. DeGrella, began a course at Daymar College — a for-profit vocational institute in Louisville — to become a cardiology technician. Daymar officials told him he would have a well-paying job within weeks of graduation.

But after about two years of studying cardiovascular physiology and the mechanics of electrocardiograms, Mr. DeGrella, now 57, found himself jobless and $20,000 in debt. He moved into his sister’s basement and now works at an AutoZone.



Federal Appeals Court Demands Longer Sentence For Officer Who Delivered Brutal Beating

As outrage over the shooting of Michael Brown roils on, many are facing the all-too-real fear that the case will never see justice, even if it turns out the shooting was entirely unjustified. But one federal appeals court last week took a remarkable stand against leniency for police accountability. In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that 20 months in prison was not enough for a former DesMoines police officer who brutally beat a couple on their way home from the movies.

Erin Evans and Octavius Bonds were driving home from a date at the movies in 2008 when they were pulled over for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. From the start, then-officer Mersed Dautovic and his fellow white officer approached the young African American couple with hostility. When Evans, then 21, rolled down her window, Dautovic flung the door open, asking “Are you from America?” and if she was stupid. As a now-flustered Evans attempted to find the appropriate papers in her glove compartment, a second officer ordered her to get out of the car or be pepper sprayed.

What ensued from there was a chain of violence in which Evans was dragged from the car, flung onto the hood of the car and then onto the ground as she screamed for help. When Bonds, then 25, heard her screaming and tried to get out of the car, he was doused with pepper spray continuously, even when he tried to turn his face away from the officer. Bonds eventually grabbed Dautovic’s hand to resist, and then remembers being hit in the back of the head before he lost consciousness. When he awoke again, officers were standing over him with batons, beating him repeatedly, even as he lay in the fetal position and then possibly unconscious.

In the course of this beating, Bonds sustained a broken forearm, a split in his scalp that required seven stitches, a broken hand “so bad” that “two bones protruded through his skin” and bruises covering his body. Officers placed him face down on the road and continued to beat him, in what one witness called the motions of chopping wood. Others testified that as the officers waited for an ambulance, they left Bonds face-down on the road near the centerline, as other drivers had to swerve onto the road’s median so they didn’t run over Bonds’ head.



Monday Toon Roundup 2- The Rest







Monday Toon Roundup 1 War, Here and Abroad (graphic)




Today's Non Sequitur Toon: Bank Robbery

Sunday Ferguson Toons

Ferguson and the Rise of SWAT Armies

By Carl M. Cannon - August 17, 2014

Competing theories on curbing crime and keeping the peace in America’s teeming municipalities have long preoccupied law enforcement. “Community policing” is one approach. The harder-edged “proactive” policing is another. Now a new technique has forged itself into the national consciousness—“Ferguson policing,” let’s call it.

If Ferguson policing’s precepts are murky, perhaps that’s because its proponents don’t feel obliged to explain it to the media or community activists—cops just arrest them instead.

Who knew the 53-officer police force in Ferguson, Mo., even had all that military equipment and SWAT gear? Why do they have it? The answers to those questions—and how Missouri’s highway patrol ended (if only temporarily) four nights of rioting—take us back in time and into the rich history of the storied, influential, and sometimes notorious LAPD.

A century ago, about the time Hollywood was establishing itself, civic leaders in the City of Angels realized they had an actual metropolis on their hands. With the Progressive movement in vogue, reformers fashioned a city charter that diluted the power of political parties, thereby weakening patronage. As part of that process, they set out to create a professional police force not beholden to political bosses, and less corrupt than its counterparts back East.

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/08/17/ferguson_and_the_rise_of_swat_armies_123678.html

How Dare Mayor de Blasio Tell New Yorkers To Submit to the NYPD

By Natasha Lennard

August 17, 2014

This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio asked New Yorkers to be entirely irrational. With some incredulity-provoking remarks, the mayor did the equivalent of asking a well-reasoned atheist to get on their knees and pray anyway. He asked us to trust the police.

Specifically, de Blasio advised that New Yorkers should always submit to arrest when an NYPD officer decides to detain them. "When a police officer comes to the decision that it's time to arrest someone, that individual is obligated to submit to arrest," he said during a press conference in Harlem. "They will then have every opportunity for due process in our court system."

The problems with his suggestion are myriad. Firstly, he delivered them in the midst of national furor over the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black young man in Ferguson, Missouri, and just a few weeks after NYPD cops strangled Eric Garner to death on a Staten Island sidewalk.

In the last ten days, cops in Los Angeles killed two unarmed men — Ezell Ford, who suffered from mental illness, was reportedly lying on the ground when shot dead by the LAPD and, a week earlier, Omar Abrego was apparently fatally beaten by police during a traffic stop. With these deaths being just the latest incidents in a brutal pantheon, de Blasio's comments did the tacitly violent work of victim blaming.


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