Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Outlaw Tasers

Brutalization of the DOJ

ately, it seems that if local police all across America are not shooting and killing innocent citizens, then they are tasering harmless old folks and pregnant women.   Then, when they are brought to court to account for their crime, they invariably claim to have been in fear for their lives. This alarming and relatively new trend points to poor training at the Police Academies. And this abusive stance is not confined to big cities.  I do not know what the trainers are saying to these men and women, but by the time they get out onto the streets they have become brutally aggressive, when they are not being brutally defensive, and at other times simply brutal.

This civilization is not about that.

We are not yet a Third World or Emerging Nation where civil servants work for pittance and consider themselves lucky to be working at all.  As far as I know, they are well paid, and given early retirement with good livable retirement pay packages.  Nevertheless, look at the types of people who are hired.  There is a famous case in Hartford Connecticut,  where a man was not hired because he was deemed too smart.  So the policy is to hire only the low mentals.  And that is why these guys are so quick on the draw.  They are ten times more likely to be emotionally and psychologically underdeveloped, and the complaint is not merely the much too quickness of trigger-happy and all too frequently, racist cops, too concerned about citizens obeying their every little command immediately and far too lax about dealing sensitively, with troubled people in complex situations. We have heard cops complain that we are asking too much of them, by asking them to be heroic and aggressive when necessary, and then sensitive, when needed, and to immediately know the difference.  Instead we have far too many instances of thugs in uniform beating up and shooting children, and tasering pregnant women.  And always, the local mayor must side with the officer in question or else invite the threat of rancor and insurrection among the ranks of the police themselves, and their union.  What we have here is a good argument for hiring more intelligent and well-adjusted men and women to urban police departments.  Send the low mentals who can't restrain themselves from tasering innocent old ladies and the very young.

In the video below, we see the extreme example of police officers invading a law abiding citizen's home, and brutalizing him because they were too frightened of a 64 year old man who was obviously unarmed, and merely rising out of his chair after asking the police officers to leave his property.

They tasered him for no good reason!

In fact, it appears that they tasered him because he didn't beg for a taste of their boot leather.

If these goons are not found guilty and fired from the department dishonorably--- and made an example of by imprisonment for the maximum sentence, it will be just another instance of corruption at City Hall.  The detective in Washington DC, whom you will see in the video, is obviously on the side of police brutality.  He dances all around the issue, all the while making excuses for the cops' cowardice.  Brutalizing an injured 64 year old, unarmed man in his own home!  This was all a matter of police arrogance. This is a serious issue which demands much more discussion by civilians in dialogue with the City Halls leadership of most cities and towns across America, and upper level police officials.     

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ben Bernanke Translated

"Today the tyrant rules not by club or fist, but, disguised as a market researcher, he shepherds his flocks in the ways of utility and comfort."
: Marshall McLuhan - (1911-1980)

" enterprise, [is] a term that refers, in practice, to a system of public subsidy and private profit, with massive government intervention in the economy to maintain a welfare state for the rich." :
Noam Chomsky

"I Was Wrong Again!" What Ben Bernanke meant to say

The Fed chairman delivers a big, but boring, speech on the economy at Jackson Hole. Here's a translation

By Andrew Leonard

August 30, 2010 "Salon" --

As a man, Ben Bernanke is prone to understatement, a tendency that was reinforced very early in his term as chairman of the Federal Reserve when a dinner-party comment he made to CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo sent financial markets into a tizzy the next day. Therefore, any speech he gives -- in particular, major speeches on the state of the economy at a time of high national anxiety -- must be read through a special filter. I call this filter the Bernanke-Hype-ometer, and I have applied it to the address he gave at Jackson Hole, Wyo., Friday morning. (Bernanke comments in bold, followed by Hype-ometer translations.)

The annual meeting at Jackson Hole always provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on the economic and financial developments of the preceding year, and recently we have had a great deal on which to reflect.
Hey, just this morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis downgraded the second quarter GDP growth rate to a miserable 1.6 percent! So, even after juicing the economy every which way but loose the last two years, we're headed in completely the wrong direction. Congress won't do anything to help, so now everyone wants me to stop the bleeding.

However, although private final demand, output and employment have indeed been growing for more than a year, the pace of that growth recently appears somewhat less vigorous than we expected.
Remember how I was the wrongest person on the planet when I said the subprime mortgage bust was "contained" and wouldn't cause a worldwide financial crisis? Haha, man that was dumb. Well, guess what, I was wrong again earlier this year, when I decided the time was ripe for the Fed to stop bailing out the economy.
Incoming data on the labor market have remained disappointing.
The working class is unbelievably screwed. This is kind of bumming me out.

Overall, the incoming data suggest that the recovery of output and employment in the United States has slowed in recent months, to a pace somewhat weaker than most FOMC participants projected earlier this year.
Double-dip recession, here we come!

Despite the weaker data seen recently, the preconditions for a pickup in growth in 2011 appear to remain in place.
At this juncture, the risk of either an undesirable rise in inflation or of significant further disinflation seems low.
OK, sure, unemployment is in the toilet, but don't expect us to do too much about it, because the only thing we really care about is inflation, and as far as we are concerned, everything's fine on that front.

The FOMC has also acted to improve market functioning and to push longer-term interest rates lower through its large-scale purchases of agency debt, agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and longer-term Treasury securities, of which the Federal Reserve currently holds more than $2 trillion. The channels through which the Fed's purchases affect longer-term interest rates and financial conditions more generally have been subject to debate.

OK, let me lay it out for you. The one thing the Fed is really prepared to do to help the economy is to keep purchasing debt, such as Treasury securities. By keeping our unbelievably monster huge portfolio of debt high, we theoretically lower the cost of borrowing throughout the economy. That should spur faster growth. We stopped doing this a while back, but so many people started refinancing their mortgages that our holdings of mortgage-backed securities began to disappear, which, ironically, meant that by not acting, we were actually contributing to a tightening of the money supply. That's a big no-no when economic growth is flat-lining. So when the economy started to go downhill again, we changed our strategy -- but not until after a big fight with members of the conservative faction of the Federal Reserve Bank's Board of Governors who believe that even such a cautious step was far too aggressive. These guys just don't care about unemployment. Some of them even think it's time to start raising interest rates! Hahahahaha.

By agreeing to keep constant the size of the Federal Reserve's securities portfolio, the Committee avoided an undesirable passive tightening of policy that might otherwise have occurred. The decision also underscored the Committee's intent to maintain accommodative financial conditions as needed to support the recovery. We will continue to monitor economic developments closely and to evaluate whether additional monetary easing would be beneficial. In particular, the Committee is prepared to provide additional monetary accommodation through unconventional measures if it proves necessary, especially if the outlook were to deteriorate significantly.
I am not going to be responsible for yet another market crash. So I stomped all over the reactionaries, because even a blind man can see investor sentiment is as fragile as a 2-year-old on a sugar crash. I really don't want to be remembered as the Federal Reserve chairman who presided over TWO recessions. So let me tell you plainly: If the shit really hits the fan, we're going to open the taps wide open, buy every Treasury bond in sight, drop money from helicopters, and keep the U.S. economy on life support.

This is why, incidentally, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is back over 10,000 points. Yay me!

A rather different type of policy option, which has been proposed by a number of economists, would have the Committee increase its medium-term inflation goals above levels consistent with price stability. I see no support for this option on the FOMC.
Paul Krugman, who is one hell of a pain in the ass, believes that the Fed is far too concerned with keeping inflation low. He keeps whining about unemployment, and thinks that if we just did so much as announce that we are prepared to accept higher inflation, and then pursued monetary policy along those lines, the economy would get a steroid boost that would finally shake it out of its doldrums. Sorry, but that is completely nuts and it is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Ever! Please shut up, Paul.

Inflation expectations appear reasonably well-anchored, and both inflation expectations and actual inflation remain within a range consistent with price stability.
I know, I know, the Federal Reserve is entrusted by Congress with two mandates -- promoting full employment and keeping inflation low. But everyone knows that we only really care about price stability, so never mind what I said before about the shit hitting the fan. As long as inflation is fine, we're only going to take baby steps.

Despite this recent slowing, however, it is reasonable to expect some pickup in growth in 2011 and in subsequent years.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue. 

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon.