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Gender: Male
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 24,065

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Bernie Sanders Is Right: 3 Billionaires Really Do Have More Wealth Than Half of America

And in addition to the 3 billionaires Bernie mentioned, we should also be worried about the expanding fortunes of multi-generational wealth dynasties

byChuck Collins

The wealthiest 3 billionaires in the U.S. – Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — now have as much wealth as the bottom half of the U.S. population combined.

Those were the first words spoken at last week’s 2020 Democratic Debate, citing a wealth inequality study by the Institute for Policy Studies.

In fact, Sen. Bernie Sanders mentioned the study, Billionaire Bonanza, several times during the debate.

(graph at link)

Fact checkers at The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN verified Sen. Sanders’ claims.

These extreme levels of wealth inequality are possible, in part, because the bottom fifth of U.S. households are underwater, with zero or negative net worth. And the next fifth has so few assets to fall back on that they live in fear of destitution.

“We’re developing into a plutocracy,” said former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.


@a_leesha1 on how racism is being normalised and legitimised from the top down


11 Phoenix Cops in Facebook Database Accused of Killing or Gravely Injuring People

In August 2017, Phoenix police Sergeant Sean Coutts changed his Facebook profile picture to a screenshot of a news story about an anti-Trump protester who police had shot in the genitals with a rubber bullet.

Six years earlier, the family of Tony Arambula settled a lawsuit against Coutts and the city of Phoenix for $1.75 million after one of Coutts' officers shot Arambula in the back six times and Coutts tried to cover it up, according to the lawsuit.

Arambula had called the police for help after an intruder broke into youngest son's bedroom. Arambula was still on the phone with 911 when one Phoenix cop stormed in and shot him six times. That officer can be heard confessing to his mistake on the 911 recording — and Coutts can be heard telling him, "Don't worry about it. I got your back. We clear?" (The officer later told internal affairs Arambula had pointed a gun at him, which was not true.)

Coutts is one of 11 Phoenix police officers whose Facebook posts were included in a database of offensive posts who is also alleged to have been directly involved in either the death or serious injury of people they were called to detain or assist. The database was created by the Plain View Project in an effort to catalog bigotry and racism among police officers nationwide.


A continuation of an earlier story
Phoenix Cops Bash Muslims, Call Black People Thugs in Shocking Facebook Posts

New Report Suggests 'High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to an End' in 2050

The climate change analysis was written by a former fossil fuel executive and backed by the former chief of Australia's military.

A harrowing scenario analysis of how human civilization might collapse in coming decades due to climate change has been endorsed by a former Australian defense chief and senior royal navy commander.

The analysis, published by the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, a think-tank in Melbourne, Australia, describes climate change as “a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilization” and sets out a plausible scenario of where business-as-usual could lead over the next 30 years.

The paper argues that the potentially “extremely serious outcomes” of climate-related security threats are often far more probable than conventionally assumed, but almost impossible to quantify because they “fall outside the human experience of the last thousand years.”

On our current trajectory, the report warns, “planetary and human systems [are] reaching a ‘point of no return’ by mid-century, in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to the breakdown of nations and the international order.”


Phoenix Cops Bash Muslims, Call Black People Thugs in Shocking Facebook Posts

"CONGRATULATIONS GEORGE ZIMMERMAN!!! Thank you for cleaning up our community one thug at a time," wrote Phoenix police officer Joshua Ankert on July 14, 2013, the day after Zimmerman was acquitted of murder for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Salary data available on the city's open data portal shows Ankert made $72,425 for his work with the Phoenix Police Department last year.

Ankert's post is one of hundreds of shocking social media posts made by Phoenix police officers dug up by the Plain View Project, a database launched over the weekend and created by a team of Philadelphia attorneys in an effort to catalog bigotry and racism among police officers nationwide.

The database includes 282 posts from current and former Phoenix police officers. Taken together, the posts reveal a chilling culture of intolerance and prejudice among Phoenix police officers, who frequently referred to black people as "thugs," called for violence against protesters, denounced Muslims as rapists, and joked about refusing to help citizens who criticized the police.


He had a D- rating in 2016 from the NRA

Im sure it is even worse now since he co sponsored quite a bit of gun control legislation since 2016.

NFL and players' union to study potential use of marijuana for pain management

The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed for the first time to cooperate in studying the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool for players, representing a possible shift in the league’s approach to an issue on which several players have been outspoken.

The exploration will take place as part of two new medical committees formed by the league and union that will provide recommendations on key medical issues. This also will include a review of teams’ policies and practices for the use of prescription medication by players.

In forming the committees, the NFL and NFLPA are addressing topics that were previously divisive for them. In recent years, some players have expressed frustration over the continued punishment of players who test positive for marijuana, even if it’s being used to help manage pain, at a time when more states are legalizing the drug.

“I think it’s a proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way,” Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said in a phone interview. “I think it demonstrates the spirit of cooperation we have around our health and safety issues. … Both of these committees are about providing the best health care we can to players.”


How extremists are reasserting themselves in mainstream GOP politics in Arizona

Russell Pearce stepped up to a podium in Gilbert, one of the more affluent and educated communities in Arizona.

He had bloodshed on his mind.

“We have stupid leaders, stupid politicians,” he told a crowd of Republicans. “And it’s time we start replacing those that refuse to stand up for the values that those have shed blood for. I’m grateful to be an American and I’m grateful to be a patriot. … I believe we owe it to our children and our grandchildren to preserve the freedoms we’ve enjoyed, that have been passed down to us by the shedding of blood. And it may take the shedding of blood to keep this republic, and I, for one, am willing to do whatever it takes.”

His remarks drew applause from Republicans in the crowd, many of whom sat in lawn chairs throughout the day to hear from a parade of conservative speakers who headlined the event.

There was a time not so long ago when Arizona’s Republican leaders would have spurned a grassroots gathering such as this “Patriotism over Socialism” rally, put on by the Tea Party Community.


Theresa May's spy chiefs were briefed on explosive Chistopher Steele dossier before Donald Trump

Read this Tweet thread





It goes on from there. Here is the final tweet


Theresa May’s spy chiefs were secretly briefed on an explosive dossier of claims about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia before the US president was made aware of its existence, The Telegraph can reveal.

The heads of MI5 and MI6 and one of Mrs May’s most trusted security advisers were told about former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s memos on the Trump campaign in the weeks after his November 2016 election victory.


EA Sports says it would be 'very interested' in rebooting NCAA Football


“I’d definitely would like to see it come back,” Robinson told 247Sports. “If they were to do a pool and asked kids if they want to be on NCAA football and if they want to bring NCAA back, a lot of kids would say yes although they wouldn’t get paid.”

About that … The story of NCAA football’s demise is a tale well worn at this point. Lawsuits over athlete likeness, including the landmark proceedings of Ed O’Bannon, ended the game’s circulation with the 2014 version. The courts ruled EA Sports had used athlete likeness without permission or compensation. EA Sports eventually paid out $60 million in settlements to athletes who appeared in its games between 2003-14, according to CBS Sports.

Thus ended NCAA Football for the modern generation. The NCAA did not renew its licensing agreement with EA, and though recent Madden games have featured colleges – EA individually licenses the brands from the schools – there has been little movement toward a new flagship college football game.

That could change soon.

The NCAA made a quiet yet potentially momentous announcement May 14 that it would create a working group to examine the issue of likeness in college athletics. Currently, athletes lack the right to monetize their name or brand. If the NCAA choose to alter its rules and allow athletes to capitalize on their image, it would potentially open an avenue for the return of NCAA Football.


Do it NCAA and end the monopsonic rule.

Monopsony in College Athletics—Posner
The most common type of cartel is an agreement among competitors not to sell their product below a fixed price that will generate monopoly profits for the parties to the agreement. But another type of cartel, termed monopsonistic (from the Greek words for “one” and “purchasing of food”) rather than monopolistic (one seller, versus one buyer in a monopsonized market), is an agreement among competitors not to pay more than a fixed price for a key input, such as labor. By agreeing to pay less, the cartel purchases less of the input (and perhaps of lower quality), because less is supplied at the lower price (and suppliers may lower quality to compensate, by reducing their costs, for the lower price they receive).

The National Collegiate Athletic Association behaves monopsonistically in forbidding its member colleges and universities to pay its athletes. Although cartels, including monopsonistic ones, are generally deemed to be illegal per se under American antitrust law, the NCAA’s monopsonistic behavior has thus far not been successfully challenged. The justification that the NCAA offers—that collegiate athletes are students and would be corrupted by being salaried—coupled with the fact that the members of the NCAA, and the NCAA itself, are formally not-for-profit institutions, have had sufficient appeal to enable the association to continue to impose and enforce its rule against paying student athletes, and a number of subsidiary rules designed to prevent the cheating by cartel members that plagues most cartels.

As Becker points out, were it not for the monopsonistic rule against paying student athletes, these athletes would be paid; the monopsony transfers wealth from them to their “employers,” the colleges. A further consequence is that college teams are smaller and, more important, of lower quality than they would be if the student athletes were paid.

One might ask why colleges choose to collude on the student athlete dimension rather than on some other dimension, such as tuition—agreeing to minimum tuition levels, or maximum scholarships. The answer I think lies in my earlier point—the “justification” (specious though it may be) that paying student athletes would corrupt the educational process, an argument that draws on a tradition of admiration for amateurism even in adult athletic competition, as in tennis until 1968. Efforts to fix the price for a college education would encounter sharper antitrust challenges—and indeed the Ivy League schools were forced by antitrust litigation to drop their attempt to limit competition in scholarship aid, a form of price fixing—in effect colluding on tuition discounts, which is what a scholarship is.
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