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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
December 8, 2014

NAFTA did more harm than good for Mexico

One immediate result of NAFTA was the export of cheap, subsidized American corn into Mexico and the consequent bankruptcy of about 2 million individual Mexican maize farmers, who then found poverty-wage work on large Mexican corporate farms, with American companies along the border or, crossing the border, throughout the United States.

Mexican manufacturing — e.g., of farm implements — was wiped out. Real Mexican wage levels in general have declined since NAFTA and 20 million Mexicans now live in food poverty. With the Mexican economy, largely rural, decimated, it became more dependent on the trade of drugs into the United States. The drug cartel money and power now reaches into Mexican government and police — as seen in the massacre of 43 students in Iguala, south of Mexico City.

Since NAFTA in 1994, a half-million jobless Mexicans per year on average have migrated into the United States, and our current trade deficit with Mexico is about $50 billion per year. The general U.S. trade deficit with trade deal partners is about $300 billion per year — i.e., we operate that policy at a consistent, large loss.

Despite the common-sense-expected reduction in American manufacturing, jobs and wages that accompanies trade deal outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing to cheaper countries, the current administration and Congress are trying to push through more such corporate-friendly trade deals with Asian and European countries using a “fast track” up-down vote procedure that avoids public debate that would reveal details upsetting to the American public.


December 7, 2014

No Charges For Cop Who Broke Face Of Handcuffed Woman In Patrol Car

A local prosecutor announced on Friday he would not seek criminal charges against a Seattle police officer who was shown on video throwing a bone-breaking punch at a woman who was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg (pictured above), whose office handles felony cases in the area, said he would not seek a felony charge against officer Adley Shepherd, 38, according to the Seattle Times newspaper.

Satterberg declined to file charges despite the urging of Seattle's city attorney, whose office said the punch "undoubtedly met the felony standard," the newspaper reported. The city attorney's office, however, has no jurisdiction to handle felony cases, according to the Times.

The punch in question reportedly took place in June when Shepherd was responding to a domestic violence call.


December 6, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch to play Marvel's Doctor Strange

Marvel Studios have confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch will play Doctor Strange in a movie adaptation of the popular comic set to hit cinemas in late 2016.

Confirmation of the film’s lead comes after months of speculation and a Twitter “Cumberbacklash” from some who were unhappy the Sherlock star was linked to the role.

“Stephen Strange’s story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity,” said Producer Kevin Feige. “In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character.”

The film, directed by Scott Derrickson with a screenplay by Jon Spaights, follows a neurosurgeon whose hands are ruined in a car crash before he becomes the "mightiest magician in the cosmos", Sorcerer Supreme, and protects the world from supernatural threats.


December 6, 2014

Oh. My. God. This country is in meltdown...

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 15-year-old boy died after losing too much blood when his legs were severed in what police believe was an intentional attack outside the Somali Center of Kansas City Thursday evening.

He was rushed into surgery at Children’s Mercy Hospital, but did not survive.

The child was getting into a car outside the Somali Center when he was hit by a man driving an SUV near Admiral Boulevard and The Paseo at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

“It became pretty clear that this was not an accidental crash, there is a considerable amount of evidence that leads us to believe it was intentional,” Sergeant Bill Mahoney with KCPD said.

According to some witnesses, the suspect is a man in his 30s and known to them. They say he is also from Somalia, but that he has a history of hating Muslims.


December 5, 2014

I'm hearing the same thing over and over: Statewide anti-bullying programs are a joke.

I've been hearing it in California and I heard it a couple of months ago in Michigan. Local school districts are not implementing statewide anti-bullying policies. As a matter of fact, there is a boy playing 7th grade basketball for my son's school even though he attends the middle school across the street. Bullying from teammates was so bad he walked over and begged to play for us. He's a great kid and we're happy to have him, but I thought that, even though public schools are stuck with bad kids, sports participation is still supposed to be a privilege. I guess we have a long way to go.

December 4, 2014

Rep. Peter King on ‘Obese’ Eric Garner: ‘If You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Talk’

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) followed up on his tweet thanking the grand jury for deciding not to indict the officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold by explaining his take on the case to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday evening. Despite the video evidence of Garner repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” as officers tackled him the ground and choked him until he ultimately died, King would not allow that excessive force had been used.

“First of all, the death was tragic, and our hearts have to go out to the Garner family,” King began. Getting that obligatory statement out of the way, the congressman reiterated that he does not believe the officer should have been indicted and proceeded to defend the police actions.

“If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died for this,” King said of Garner. “The police had no reason to know he was in serious condition.” On Garner repeating “I can’t breathe,” King said, “the fact of the matter is, if you can’t breathe, you can’t talk.” He even suggested that Garner may have been faking those symptoms so the police would go easier on him.

“People are saying very casually that this was done out of racial motives or violation of civil rights,” he continued. “There’s not a hint there that anyone used any racial epithet.” He said he has “no doubt” that a “350 pound white guy” would have been treated the same way.


November 30, 2014

A simple guide to the sudden collapse in oil prices

The news in the markets is dramatic: Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude oil -- often used as a benchmark of U.S. prices -- dropped below $70 per barrel for the first time since 2010. This continues a dramatic price slump for oil, which cost over $100 per barrel as recently as June.

The shift has markedly reduced average U.S. gasoline prices (which are now well below $3 per gallon) and may bolster the U.S. economy heading into the Christmas spending season -- by putting considerably more money in consumers' wallets.

But what's driving this slump -- which is quickly becoming the single most important economic story of 2014 (and maybe 2015)? There's one short-term reason and three longer-term reasons.


November 30, 2014

Giuliani: Blacks Have 'Responsibility' To Reduce Need For Police Presence

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani again weighed in on tensions between members of the black community and police officers in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

Giuliani said that he thinks that some police officers do discriminate against blacks, but he went on to say that blacks are partially responsible for that.

"There is more interaction and more unfair interaction among police officers, white and black, in the black community than in the white community. And I think some of that responsibility is on the police department and on police departments to train their officers better and to make their police departments much more diversified," Giuliani said Sunday. "But I think just as much, if not more, responsibility is on the black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned in such large numbers to the black community."

Giuliani then brought up crime statistics similar to those he cited a week ago.

"It’s because blacks commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group in our society. And when I assigned police officers with Commissioner Bratton and Commissioner Safir, we did it based on statistics. We didn’t do it based on race. If there were a lot of murders in a community, we put a lot of police officers there," he said.


November 30, 2014

Woman Stabbed Husband For Starting Thanksgiving Dinner Without Her

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Police say a Pennsylvania woman chased her boyfriend around a dining room and stabbed him in the chest because he started eating Thanksgiving dinner while she slept off a bender.

Authorities say Jacklyn Blake confessed to officers who responded to her Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-ba-ree) home Thursday. Officers found her boyfriend inside holding a towel over his chest. He was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The 47-year-old Blake is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, simple assault, reckless endangerment and making terroristic threats. It wasn't clear if she has a lawyer.

According to police, Blake's boyfriend says she'd been drunk earlier in the day and attacked him after waking up from a nap. He says she stabbed him and then threw the knife, striking him just below the left eye.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
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Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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