Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,516
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,516
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$5 Million for Co-op Development in Madison
City government and cooperatives are working together to create opportunities for workers and neighborhoods
by Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo * GeoCoop.com * Jan. 28, 2015
It started with a conversation.
Kevin Gundlach, president of the South Central Federation of Labor in Madison, WI, had heard about Spain’s Mondragon cooperative complex and their union cooperatives in the U.S. He researched how labor could support cooperative development in this country. During his research, Gundlach read about the city of New York investing a million dollars for worker cooperative development. It sparked an idea for Madison.
Then he bumped into the mayor, Paul R. Soglin, at a community picnic. Gundlach told Soglin about his idea to have the city help with cooperative development, not just to create good jobs, but to support neighborhoods. The mayor, Gundlach, responded with: “This is something I’d been interested in as well.”
Soon after that conversation, Soglin initiated Madison’s Capitol Improvement Plan, “Co-operative Enterprises for Job Creation & Business Development.” This plan would authorize the city to spend $1 million each of five years starting in 2016 to fund “cooperative/worker-owned business formation for the purposes of job creation and general economic development in the city.”
The Madison Common Council, known as city councils or commissions in other cities, approved the initiative on Nov. 11, 2014. This allocation is the largest by a U.S. municipality. Earlier last year, New York allocated $1.2 million to help worker cooperative development.
City and community planners hope to use the money to not only create jobs and cooperatives, but to boost poor neighborhoods, form union cooperatives, create group entrepreneurship and to develop cross-sectoral cooperative collaboration.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Wed Jan 28, 2015, 04:02 PM (0 replies)
The Oligarch Party: Koch Bros Vow Nearly $1 Billion for 2016 Elections
The Koch Brothers announced the historic budget to donors and elected officials at an annual winter meeting
byDeirdre Fulton, staff writer * Common Dreams * Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The political network backed by right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaigns, a stunning amount on par with both the major political parties, the Washington Post reported Monday.
According to the Post, "he new $889 million goal reflects the anticipated budgets of all the allied groups that the network funds. Those resources will go into field operations, new data-driven technology and policy work, among other projects, along with likely media campaigns aimed at shaping the congressional and White House elections."
The Koch Brothers announced the historic budget to donors attending the annual winter meeting of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce in Palm Springs, California. About 450 donors and supporters attended the gathering, including four GOP presidential hopefuls (Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas) and six newly elected Republican senators.
"We have never seen this before," Sheila Krumholz, who runs the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, told USA Today. "There is no network akin to this one in terms of its complexity, scope and resources."
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:25 PM (0 replies)
The Invisible Man: Jeffrey Sterling, CIA Whistleblower
by Norman Solomon * Common Dreams * Jan 27, 2015
The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling — after his conviction Monday afternoon as a CIA whistleblower.
Sterling’s indictment four years ago received fleeting news coverage that recited the government’s charges. From the outset, the Justice Department portrayed him as bitter and vengeful — with the classic trash-the-whistleblower word “disgruntled” thrown in — all of which the mainline media dutifully recounted without any other perspective.
Year after year, Sterling’s case dragged through appellate courts, tangled up with the honorable refusal of journalist James Risen to in any way identify sources for his 2006 book State of War. While news stories or pundits occasionally turned their lens on Risen, they scarcely mentioned Sterling, whose life had been turned upside down — fired by the CIA early in the Bush administration after filing a racial discrimination lawsuit, and much later by the 10-count indictment that included seven counts under the Espionage Act.
Sterling was one of the very few African American case officers in the CIA. He became a whistleblower by virtue of going through channels to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2003 to inform staffers about the CIA’s ill-conceived, poorly executed and dangerous Operation Merlin, which had given a flawed design for a nuclear weapons component to Iran back in 2000.
Long story short, by the start of 2011, Sterling was up against the legal wall. While press-freedom groups and some others gradually rallied around Risen’s right to source confidentiality, Sterling remained the Invisible Man. ~snip~
As the whistleblower advocate Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project has said: “When journalists become targets, they have a community and a lobby of powerful advocates to go to for support. Whistleblowers are in the wilderness. … They’re indicted under the most serious charge you can level against an American: being an enemy of the state.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:12 PM (7 replies)
Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Isn't Secret, Says US Official, But Access To Text Is Highly Restricted
By David Sirota @davidsirota email@example.com on January 23 2015 3:42 PM
DAVOS, Switzerland -- The trade rules of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the U.S. and 11 Asian nations would cover nearly 40 percent of the world economy -- but don't ask what they are. Access to the text of the proposed deal is highly restricted. Nevertheless, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the Obama administration Friday at the World Economic Forum from intensifying criticism of its refusal to release the full text of the proposed TPP.
“We can always do better on transparency,” he said, but added that “there is no area of policy where there is closer collaboration between the executive and Congress than trade policy.” Froman, who said his office has held more than 1,600 briefings with lawmakers over the TPP, said his office also has released summaries of proposed provisions.
Yet the actual text of the agreement remains under lock and key. That represents a significant break from the Bush administration, which in 2001 published the text of a proposed multinational trade agreement with Latin American nations.
“It is incomprehensible to me that leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge of what’s in it,” wrote U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in a letter to Froman earlier this month.
Sanders’ office confirmed to International Business Times that congressional lawmakers are permitted to view the text of the agreement only in the Trade Representative’s office, without their own staff members or experts present. They are not allowed to take copies of the agreement back to Capitol Hill for deeper, independent evaluation.
Despite those restrictions, specific details of the agreement’s text have surfaced from unauthorized leaks -- some of which appear to contradict the Obama administration’s promises. Froman, for instance, said in Davos that “none of want to lower our health, safety or environmental standards,” yet one of the leaks showed the U.S. proposing to empower corporations to attempt to overturn domestic regulations, while critics say another leaked provision would help the pharmaceutical industry inflate the price of medicines in poor countries.
Froman and Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, the director-general of the World Trade Organization, were asked at the World Economic Forum why the TPP is being kept secret by the U.S. at the same time the European Union has just published the full text of a separate proposed trade agreement with the United States. If, as the Obama administration has argued about TPP, some confidentiality is necessary for frank negotiations, was the EU wrong to publish its full proposal?
Froman suggested that nations have varying definitions of transparency.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Mon Jan 26, 2015, 10:28 PM (2 replies)
What Happens When a Civilian Kills a Cop in Self Defense?
By Alex Henderson * AlterNet * January 21, 2015
The careless use of SWAT teams in no-knock drug raids -- when heavily armed police burst into a home without warning -- has resulted in a long list of innocent people being killed or seriously injured in the United States. 2014 alone found SWAT teams in Georgia senselessly killing businessman David Hooks and maiming toddler Bounkham “Baby Boo Boo” Phonesavanh. And when those raids victimize people who aren’t even selling drugs, narcotics officers seldom face criminal charges and are given every benefit of the doubt. But if, on the other hand, Americans shoot narcotics officers during militarized drug raids—perhaps believing that they are being robbed and are acting in self-defense—charges of first-degree murder are likely. The case of Marvin Louis Guy in Texas is a glaring example.
Guy, an African-American man who is now 50, was the target of a no-knock drug raid on May 9, 2014. Narcotics officers, operating on a tip from an informant who claimed that Guy was selling bags of cocaine, carried out a SWAT raid on his home in Killeen, Texas at around 5:30 AM—and Guy grabbed his gun and opened fire. Charles Dinwiddie, one of the officers, was hit and died two days later. Guy was charged with capital murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty despite his assertions that he thought he was acting in self-defense. Guy’s trial is scheduled for June of this year.
No drugs were found during a search of Guy’s home, only a glass pipe and a grinder—which indicates that Guy was, at worst, a recreational drug user and not a drug dealer. Journalist Radley Balko, author of the 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces, has commented on the case in the Washington Post, saying: “The fact that the police didn’t find any drugs in the house suggests that Marvin Louis Guy didn’t know he was shooting at cops. Drug dealer or no, unless he had a death wish, it’s unlikely that a guy would knowingly fire at police officers when he had nothing in the house that was particularly incriminating.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Jan 22, 2015, 04:00 PM (3 replies)
Coalition Of NYC Cops Seek Ouster Of 'Arrogant' PBA President Patrick Lynch
The Huffington Post * By Andres Jauregui * 01/21/2015
There's dissension in the ranks at the NYC Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, and the dissenters are looking to rout the union's current leadership. President Patrick Lynch, whose fiery rhetoric against Mayor Bill de Blasio made headlines in the wake of the Eric Garner protests and the murder of two NYPD officers in December, will face a challenger in the upcoming union election.
Brian Fusco, a 27-year NYPD veteran and PBA trustee representing South Brooklyn cops, announced his candidacy for the PBA presidency Tuesday. His coalition, dubbed "Strengthen the Shield," is looking to topple Lynch and his supporters within the union.
While Mayor de Blasio sought to calm the apparent divide between protesters and police after the murder of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, Lynch criticized both protesters and the Mayor.
"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said after the Dec. 20 shooting. "That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the Office of the Mayor."
New York voters widely disapproved of those comments, pollsters at Quinnipiac University revealed in a report last week.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Wed Jan 21, 2015, 09:50 PM (2 replies)
Serpico Gives First Camera Interview in Years: “Maybe all these Protesters aren’t really wrong”
By Jay Syrmopoulos * January 20, 2015 Free Thought Project
New York, N.Y. – The name Frank Serpico became synonymous with one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NYPD in the late 1960’s, after he exposed widespread corruption within the department, ultimately testifying before a grand jury after being injured in the line of duty.
Serpico is a retired American New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer who is famous for blowing the whistle on police corruption in the late 1960s and early 1970s, an act that compelled Mayor John V. Lindsay to appoint the landmark Knapp Commission to investigate the NYPD.
After crossing the “thin blue line” and testifying about corrupt officers involved in running guns, drugs and other illicit activity, Serpico became a target of the Blue Mafia.
Serpico was shot during a drug arrest attempt on February 3, 1971, at 778 Driggs Avenue, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Four officers from Brooklyn North received a tip that a drug deal was about to take place.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/serpico-camera-interview-years-id-fire-nypd-officers-turned-backs-mayor/#vl5XvrAaIOuolhUE.99
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Jan 20, 2015, 06:23 PM (14 replies)
New police radars can 'see' inside homes
USA Today * Brad Heath * Jan. 19, 2015
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies quietly deployed radars that let them effectively see inside homes, with little notice to the courts or the public.
WASHINGTON — At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.
Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person's house without first obtaining a search warrant.
The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.
Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages. But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:30 PM (29 replies)
Good Cop Files Lawsuit Against Corrupt Department That Told Him ‘If you snitch, your career is done’
Counter Current News * January 15, 2015 * by Reagan Ali and Jackson Marciana
Baltimore -- “Where are all the good cops?” Critics of police brutality and abuse of power often wonder this – sometimes aloud, often on social media. But there is an answer to that question – it’s not purely rhetorical – the “good cops” are driven out of work by the bad cops.
Far from being “a few bad apples,” Detective Joseph Crystal of the Baltimore Police Department says that he was targeted by other officers for trying to root out corruption. “If you snitch, your career is done,” one officer told him. He eventually became public enemy No. 1 inside the Baltimore Police Department. But before that, he was considered a rising star in law enforcement.
Crystal was the son of two NYPD cops, and was in charge of his police academy cadet class from the start. With only two years on the force, he was promoted to detective. “Being a cop was all I ever wanted to do,” he explains. “A dream come true.” But all of that changed after he came forward to report the 2011 beating of a drug suspect by another officer.
His testimony helped to secure convictions against the officer who beat the suspect and the sergeant who helped. But Crystal says that there was a systemic, pattern of abuse. “I never imagined that doing the right thing as a cop could cost me so much,” Crystal told reporters from the Daily News.
Now, Crystal is suing the Baltimore Police Department for failing to protect him from retaliation after he outed the bad cops in his department.
Watch the video and interview at this link:
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Mon Jan 19, 2015, 02:17 AM (7 replies)
UPDATE (1/15/15): Cops File Restraining Order Against Coroner, Prevent Further Investigation into Hanging Death
Georgetown, Ohio -- Zachary Goldson was called “trash” by police and found to be hanged to death in their custody. Before his death by hanging, police were also heard saying “Yeah, this motherfucker is getting a welcome party when we get to jail.” Dr. Judith Varnau with the Brown County Coroner was conducting a further investigation into the Sheriff’s department, after an earlier investigation determined that the death was a homicide by strangulation, according to reports.
The Coroner had issued several subpoenas to the Sheriff’s office for investigative materials relating to the manner in which Goldson died after being arrested. The Sheriff’s office employees responded by actually filing a restraining order on the coroner, preventing the investigation from continuing.
The Judge issued the restraining order, saying: “The Court finds and concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe…that sufficient doubt exists as to the coroner’s authority to conduct an inquest into Goldson’s death…that Defendant must be restrained from proceeding as indicated, and preservation of the status quo is necessary until this matter can come before the Court on a hearing.”
Interestingly, the Coroner was trying to gain information about the sprinkler system from which Goldson was found hanging. Some have said that sprinkler system is too high for one man to “commit suicide” by hanging himself from it, and thus required someone else to set up a noose and hang him from it.
If they have nothing to hide, then why would the sheriff’s office employees prevent further investigation into the case?
Continue reading full article at link for more details.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Jan 15, 2015, 06:17 PM (14 replies)