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Old 03-28-2012, 08:24 AM   #3251
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http://www.dailytech.com/Baffling+Il...ticle24276.htm

Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Mindless "Zombies"
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:05 PM   #3252
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:17 AM   #3253
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http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boing...-agencies.html

Nested layers of temp agencies allow WalMart's supply chain to shave pennies through terrible, illegal working conditions


Dave Jamieson has a long investigative feature in the Huffington Post about the lives of subcontracted temps in the American warehouse supply-chain. Jamieson describes a world of nested layers of temps -- "temp agencies that supervise temp agencies that deal with temp agencies" -- providing layers of plausible deniability for the titanic corporations on whose behalf all the work is conducted. The agencies are "fly-by-night," operating from "garages, convenience store parking lots and, in one case, a Super 8 motel room," which means that it's nearly impossible for workers to get redress for illegal treatment.

Combined with the economic downturn and the cuts to employment benefits and the social safety net, this creates a perfect storm for horrific working conditions in the warehouses that serve the largest companies in America, such as WalMart. Workers are illegally docked pay, denied access to toilet facilities (one worker interviewed for the story describes how she got a bladder infection because she wasn't allowed to use the toilet while working), paid less than minimum wage, and billed for their own pre-hire background checks.

Meanwhile, the companies at the top of the chain are thriving, turning over great profits even in the midst of recession, and claiming no responsibility for the working conditions that their subcontractors' subcontractors workers endure -- despite the deliberate creation of this many-arms'-length relationship for the purpose of dodging liability.

Quote:
Six lumpers at the warehouse filed a class-action lawsuit on the heels of the state investigation. Everardo Carrillo and his co-workers say they've been moving Walmart goods in a warehouse where the temperature regularly climbs to over 90 degrees, walking in and out of 53-foot-long steel containers that get even hotter baking in the Southern California sun. After working for a set hourly wage, the workers claim that a year and a half ago they were switched to a piece-rate pay plan -- an arrangement largely out of a bygone era. Their bosses told them they would earn "much more money" under the new scheme, which paid them according to the container, but their earnings actually fell, according to the lawsuit.

The workers claim it was never made clear how their pay was supposed to break down -- an allegation apparently bolstered by the state's investigation. They claim that when they complained about their confusing paychecks, their supervisors responded by sending them home without pay or refusing to give them work the following day. The lumpers were working on a temp basis. According to the lawsuit, the majority of workers were direct hires as recently as 2006; now, three out of every four workers are temps.

When asked if a Schneider executive could be interviewed about allegations from temp workers in its warehouses, a spokesperson sent HuffPost a statement, saying its labor suppliers are "separate corporate entities": "The only legal avenue which Schneider has to enforce their compliance would be to terminate the contract with these vendors. We have no plans to terminate the contracts with our vendors; our expectation is that they will comply with all applicable statutes, regulations and orders."

Walmart, whose products the workers were handling, also kept an arm's length from the charges. When HuffPost reported on the state investigation and lawsuit in October, a Walmart spokesman said the retailer is "not involved in this matter." When a similar lawsuit was filed in April in Illinois -- again, naming low-level companies contracted to move Walmart products -- the company asserted its distance from the allegations then as well, a spokesman noting that "the facility isn't operated by Walmart nor are the people who work in it employed by Walmart."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...comm_ref=false
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:03 PM   #3254
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http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...bubble/254792/

Writing in The Atlantic, Jordan Weissmann describes the popping of the "law school bubble," which saw large numbers of law-school enrollees who hoped to graduate into six-figure salaries but instead are facing "six figures of crushing debt and murky career prospects."

These new statistics are the latest evidence that young Americans are getting the hint that the market for lawyers is perhaps not what it once was. It wouldn't matter that fewer people were taking the LSAT if the same number of young folks were ultimately showing up for their first year of law school each fall. But that total seems to be dropping, too. According to the LSAC, the number of students who accepted admission to a law school dropped 8 percent last year, from 49,700, to 45,617 -- the smallest incoming class since at least 2002. (Last year's number isn't published on the Council's website yet, but was provided to me by a spokeswoman). The number of applications also dropped dramatically, which could force law schools to ease up on their mind bogglingly expensive tuition.

One might argue that the drop-offs in test takers and applicants are just the result of an improving economy. After all, more people go to law school when the broader job market is weak. But America's slowly brightening employment picture doesn't seem like a likely cause in this instance. At the AmLaw Daily, Matt Leichter forecasts the size of this year's final applicant pool per law school, and compares it to the trend in the United States' employment to population ratio. When this few people are working, you be expecting to see an increase in law school applications.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:14 PM   #3255
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http://hint.fm/wind/



Wind Map of the United States


Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg collaborated to create Wind Map, a visualization of the current wind flowing over the country right now, using data from the National Digital Forecast Database: Link - via Metafilter
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:26 AM   #3256
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http://arstechnica.com/science/news/...acroscopic.ars

Particle-wave duality demonstrated with largest molecules yet
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:04 AM   #3257
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/world...-the-internet/

World War 3.0 – Control of the Internet



Internet, for Vanity Fair:

I. Time Bomb
In 1979 the Dubai World Trade Centre dominated the skyline of Dubai City, on the horn of the Arabian Peninsula. Today, the World Trade Centre looks quaint, like an old egg carton stuck into the ground amid a phantasma­goric forest of skyscrapers. But come December the World Trade Centre will once more be the most important place in Dubai City—and, for a couple of weeks, one of the more important places in the world. Diplomats from 193 countries will converge there to renegotiate a United Nations treaty called the International Telecommunications Regulations. The sprawling document, which governs telephone, television, and radio networks, may be extended to cover the Internet, raising questions about who should control it, and how. Arrayed on one side will be representatives from the United States and other major Western powers, advocating what many call “Internet freedom,” a plastic concept that has been defined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the right to use the Internet to “express one’s views,” to “peacefully assemble,” and to “seek or share” information. The U.S. and most of its allies basically want to keep Internet governance the way it is: run by a small group of technical nonprofit and volunteer organizations, most of them based in the United States.

On the other side will be representatives from countries where governments want to place restrictions on how people use the Internet. These include Russia, China, Brazil, India, Iran, and a host of others. All of them have implemented or experimented with more intrusive monitoring of online activities than the U.S. is publicly known to practice. A number of countries have openly called for the creation of a “new global body” to oversee online policy. At the very least, they’d like to give the United Nations a great deal more control over the Internet.

Mediating these forces in Dubai will be a man named Hamadoun Touré. Charming and wily, he is a satellite engineer who was born in Mali, educated in the Soviet Union, and now lives in Geneva. He serves as secretary-general of the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U.).

Touré abjures pallid diplomatic doublespeak, instead opting for full-on self-contradiction that nonetheless leaves little doubt where his sympathies lie. In one breath Touré says, “The people who are trying to say that I.T.U. has an intention of taking over the management of the Internet simply do not know how the I.T.U. is functioning.” In the next, noting that Internet users in America represent only a tenth of the total, he says, “When an invention becomes used by billions across the world, it no longer remains the sole property of one nation, however powerful that nation might be. There should be a mechanism where many countries have an opportunity to have a say. I think that’s democratic. Do you think that’s democratic?”

There is a war under way for control of the Internet, and every day brings word of new clashes on a shifting and widening battlefront. Governments, corporations, criminals, anarchists—they all have their own war aims…

[continues in Vanity Fair]
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:07 AM   #3258
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0320142100.htm

Oil from Deepwater Horizon Disaster Entered Food Chain in the Gulf of Mexico

ScienceDaily (Mar. 20, 2012) — Since the explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, scientists have been working to understand the impact that this disaster has had on the environment. For months, crude oil gushed into the water at a rate of approximately 53,000 barrels per day before the well was capped on July 15, 2010. A new study confirms that oil from the Macondo well made it into the ocean's food chain through the tiniest of organisms, zooplankton.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:12 AM   #3259
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/03/goldm...fficking-site/

Goldman Sachs Owns Top Sex Trafficking Site


So good it must be true! Nicholas Kristof unearths yet more dirt on the banksters at Goldman, in the New York Times:

The biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a Web site called Backpage.com.

This emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are.

That mystery is solved. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake.

Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake in America’s leading Web site for prostitution ads. It began working frantically to unload its shares, and on Friday afternoon it called to say that it had just signed an agreement to sell its stake to management. “We had no influence over operations,” Andrea Raphael, a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman, told me.

Let’s back up for a moment. There’s no doubt that many escort ads on Backpage are placed by consenting adults. But it’s equally clear that Backpage plays a major role in the trafficking of minors or women who are coerced. In one recent case in New York City, prosecutors say that a 15-year-old girl was drugged, tied up, raped and sold to johns through Backpage and other sites.

Backpage has 70 percent of the market for prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a trade organization…

[continues in the New York Times]
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:16 AM   #3260
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/03/penns...s-to-patients/

Pennsylvania Bans Doctors From Disclosing Fracking Dangers To Patients


Via The Atlantic:

Under a new law, doctors in Pennsylvania can access information about chemicals used in natural gas extraction — but they won’t be able to share it with their patients. A provision buried in a law passed last month is drawing scrutiny from the public health and environmental community, who argue that it will “gag” doctors who want to raise concerns related to oil and gas extraction with the people they treat and the general public.

Pennsylvania is at the forefront in the debate over “fracking,” the process by which a high-pressure mixture of chemicals, sand, and water are blasted into rock to tap into the gas. Recent discoveries of great reserves in the Marcellus Shale region of the state prompted a rush to development, as have advancements in fracking technologies. But with those changes have come a number of concerns from citizens about potential environmental and health impacts from natural gas drilling.

There is good reason to be curious about exactly what’s in those fluids…

[continues at The Atlantic]
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:40 AM   #3261
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/collu...racked-online/

Warning, the results of this may scare you — it might be better if you didn’t know. From Mozilla:

Collusion is an experimental add-on for Firefox and allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements across the Web. It will show, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers.

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Old 04-02-2012, 10:49 AM   #3262
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http://www.neatorama.com/2012/03/30/...s-illustrated/



David McCandless of Information is Beautiful (he wrote the wonderful book The Visual Miscellaneum - I highly recommend it), came up with this clever visualization and examples of common logical fallacies.

Why, some of them are my favorite techniques to obfuscate people I love, and since they still love me, these must be the greatest things ever.
Take a look and see if your cherished logical fallacies are featured: Link - via Metafilter

http://www.informationisbeautiful.ne...cal-fallacies/
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #3263
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Sometimes, the headlines just write themselves. Here's what happened when the kaBOOM bus actually did go kaboom:

The 45-seat kaBOOM party bus was on its way to collect schoolchildren for an excursion when a tyre burst, near Mallala on Adelaide's northern outskirts.

The driver managed to pull over safely and was attempting to change the tyre when fire erupted.

Country Fire Service crews took half an hour to put out the blaze, which destroyed the bus which had a KABOOM1 numberplate.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #3264
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http://www.neatorama.com/2012/03/29/...-hand-in-hand/



Politicians always say that they listen to the voters, but if you want to find out how a certain population will vote, it's better to have a linguistics expert listen instead.

American linguist William Labov of the University of Pennsylvania, noted that voting patterns and political ideology are often demarcated by the "red versus blue" accents:

Labov points out that the residents of the Inland North [near the Great Lakes - ed.] have long-standing differences with their neighbors to the south, who speak what’s known as the Midland dialect. The two groups originated from distinct groups of settlers; the Inland Northerners migrated west from New England, while the Midlanders originated in Pennsylvania via the Appalachian region. Historically, the two settlement streams typically found themselves with sharply diverging political views and voting habits, with the northerners aligning much more closely with agenerally being more liberal ideology.

Labov suggests that it’s these deep-seated political disagreements that create an invisible borderline barring the encroachment of Northern Cities Vowels. When he looked at the relationship between voting patterns by county over the last three Presidential elections and the degree to which speakers in these counties shifted their vowels, he found a tight correlation between the two. And the states that have participated in the vowel shift have also tended to resist implementing the death penalty.

Do vowel-shifters sound more liberal to modern ears? Yes, at least to some extent. Labov had students in Bloomington, Indiana, listen to a vowel-shifting speaker from Detroit and a non-vowel-shifter from Indianapolis. The students rated both speakers as equal in probable intelligence, education and trustworthiness. They also didn’t think they would have different attitudes about abortion (both speakers were female). But they did think the vowel-shifting speaker was more likely to be in favor of gun control and affirmative action.


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cr...lels-politics/
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:36 AM   #3265
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http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boing...uition-hi.html

Students protesting tuition hikes pepper-sprayed by police in Santa Monica, CA


Interesting points in the article:

Last night at Santa Monica College (about 20 blocks from the beach here in Los Angeles, CA), police pepper-sprayed some thirty students in a crowd of about 150 protesters. The students want affordable education. They gathered during a meeting of the college's board of trustees to voice opposition to planned tuition hikes that would raise the cost of bread-and-butter courses during the summer session by as much as 400%. I was close enough to the location last night to hear helicopters and sirens as it happened.

The LA Times reports that Santa Monica police are today "trying to sort out" who used pepper-spray on the peacefully assembled students. Reports I heard last night indicated that the person or persons responsible were campus police, not Santa Monica police, who were called in later to secure the site.

One student eyewitness tweeted:

Pepper sprayed a room full of students and two children. A poor lil five year old got it in the face.

— Sarah Belknap (@mary_menville) April 4, 2012


There is apparently money for 3 cop choppers, pepper spray, batons, five squad cars, 8 ambulances, but no money for education.

— Sarah Belknap (@mary_menville) April 4, 2012

More eyewitness video plus photos of two of the victims follow, at the end of this Boing Boing post.

Student blogger zunguzungu in Berkeley, who has been covering student protests and campus police brutality throughout California, rounds up news link and posts about the incident this morning. An excerpt:

I have seen no allegation that any of the students were violent or even used civil disobedience; the main problem seems to have been — in the college president’s words — that the small boardroom wasn’t able to accommodate all of the students who wanted to speak: ”We expected some students, but we didn’t expect that big of a crowd with such enthusiasm.”

When students demanded entrance to the room the meeting was being held — a tiny room, with room for only a handful of outsiders (by a great coincidence) — the police went wild.

(...) How does this happen? How does pepper spray become the act of first resort? Even the anodyne phrasing of the LA Times admits that pepper spray was used proactively (“Several were also overcome when pepper spray was released just outside the meeting room as officers tried to break up the crowd”) and not in response to some kind of clear and present danger.

Or, rather, it was. A crowd must be dispersed before it does something, goes the logic of the new preemptive policing; a crowd is, itself, a clear and present danger. If you wait until the crowd actually does something, you’ve waited too long. And so you preempt it by striking first.

If you doubt that this is the way these people think, I’d invite you to read Jeff Young — the current assistant police chief at UCLA — writing his “operational review” of UC Berkeley’s police actions against protesters from last November 9th, and note that his main takeaway was that campus police should have probably been allowed to use pepper spray. For more successful protest management, he decides, what the police need is more force options. Perhaps Tasers?

More coverage of the incident: Santa Monica Patch (who were first and best on this as it broke, notably!), KTLA, LA CBS, NBC LA, LA Times story with background on the fee hikes.

Below, photos from "Lady Libertine" on Twitter: Marioly Gomez and Jasmine Gomez, two of the students she identifies as having been pepper-sprayed and assaulted by campus police at Santa Monica College last night.


***that was from the Boing Boing piece -

Why is pepper spray & such used so quick these days by Law Enforcement?
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #3266
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http://www.neatorama.com/2012/04/03/...ed-dandelions/



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Old 04-04-2012, 09:44 AM   #3267
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http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/incre...es-near-dallas

Multiple tornadoes touched down across the Dallas/Fort Worth area causing extensive damage yesterday. These pictures are pretty insane, especially the ones of the hail and semi-trucks.




Those are semi-trucks.





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Old 04-04-2012, 09:49 AM   #3268
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #3269
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New studies are showing that Chinese cities are slowly sinking as a result of rapid development and excess groundwater use. According to reports, as many as 50 cities across the country are affected by soil subsidence, including the country’s largest - Shanghai. Apparently, Shanghai has been slowly sinking for at least 90 years.

http://inhabitat.com/chinese-cities-...-rapid-growth/
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:00 AM   #3270
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http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120402.html

Tungurahua Erupts
Image Credit & Copyright: Patrick Taschler

Explanation: Volcano Tungurahua sometimes erupts spectacularly. Pictured above, molten rock so hot it glows visibly pours down the sides of the 5,000-meter high Tungurahua, while a cloud of dark ash is seen being ejected toward the left. Wispy white clouds flow around the lava-lit peak, while a star-lit sky shines in the distance. The above image was captured in 2006 as ash fell around the adventurous photographer. Located in Ecuador, Tungurahua has become active roughly every 90 years for the last 1,300 years.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #3271
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http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gene..._well_as_space

Crystals may be possible in time as well as space
Theory proposes objects in their lowest energy state can loop in the fourth dimension forever

By Alexandra Witze
March 24th, 2012; Vol.181 #6 (p. 8)
Text Size

What sounds like the title of a bad fantasy movie — time crystals — could be the next big thing in theoretical physics.

In two new papers, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Frank Wilczek lays out the mathematics of how an object moving in its lowest energy state could experience a sort of structure in time. Such a “time crystal” would be the temporal equivalent of an everyday crystal, in which atoms occupy positions that repeat periodically in space.

The work, done partly with physicist Alfred Shapere of the University of Kentucky, appeared February 12 on arXiv.org.

“We don’t know whether such things do exist in nature, but the surprise is that they can exist,” says Maulik Parikh, a physicist at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Scientists don’t know how important time crystals may turn out to be, or whether they have any practical application at all. But Wilczek, of MIT, says the concept reminds him of the excitement he felt when he helped describe a new class of fundamental particles, called anyons, in the early 1980s. “I had very much the same kind of feeling as I’m having here,” he says, “that I had found a new logical possibility for how matter might behave that opened up a new world with many possible directions.”

Wilczek dreamed up time crystals after teaching a class about classifying crystals in three dimensions and wondering why that structure couldn’t extend to the fourth dimension — time.

To visualize a time crystal, think of Earth looping back to its same location in space every 365¼ days; the planet repeats itself periodically as it moves through time. But a true time crystal is made not of a planet but of an object in its lowest energy state, like an electron stripped of all possible energy.

This object could endlessly loop in time, just as electrons in a superconductor could theoretically flow through space for all eternity. “It’s doing what it wants to do, and what it wants to do is move,” says Wilczek.

In a sense the time crystal would be a perpetual motion machine: If scientists could build one in a lab, it would run forever. Yet it wouldn’t violate the second law of thermodynamics because the crystal would be in its lowest energy state; no useful energy could be extracted from it.

Wilczek is already dreaming of extending the time crystal concept into imaginary time, a theoretical concept of the fourth dimension that runs in a different direction than the one people experience.

“I don’t know if this will be of lasting value at all,” he says, “but I’m having fun.”

Editor's Note: Frank Wilczek is a member of the board of Society for Science and the Public, which publishes Science News.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #3272
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/nypd-...juana-arrests/

policeonbikes.nypd_.shutterstockIn short, New York City cops put 50,000 people behind bars last year for marijuana possession — even though the state decriminalized it in 1977 — and they refuse to stop. Via Raw Story:

Police officers in New York are “manufacturing” criminal offenses by forcing people with small amounts of marijuana to reveal their drugs, according to a survey by public defenders.

Under New York law, possession of 25g or less of marijuana [merely] brings a $100 fine. Only when the drugs are in public view are the police permitted to make an arrest for drug possession. One in three respondents said police had forced them to take the marijuana out of pockets or from under clothes and produce it into public view.

In September last year, Kelly issued an order to officers not to arrest people caught with small amounts of marijuana. But the number of those arrested increased after the order was made. In all, about 50,000 people were arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession.

Reasons police stopped people who they subsequently arrested for marijuana included “furtive movements,” “suspicious bulges,” “being in a high crime area” and “other.” Legal experts and criminal justice scholars have claimed that stop and frisks-and the drug arrests that often result from them-routinely lead to fourth amendment violations and serve as pipeline for the nation’s bloated prison system.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:59 AM   #3273
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http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygree...hone-wiretaps/



These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps

Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union revealed a trove of documents it had obtained through Freedom of Information Requests to more than 200 police departments around the country. They show a pattern of police tracking cell phone locations and gathering other data like call logs without warrants, using devices that impersonate cell towers to intercept cellular signals, and encouraging officers to refrain from speaking about cell-tracking technology to the public, all detailed in a New York Times story.

But at least one document also details the day-to-day business of telecoms’ handing over of data to law enforcement, including a breakdown of every major carrier’s fees for every sort of data request from targeted wiretaps to so-called “tower dumps” that provide information on every user of certain cell tower. The guide, as provided by the Tucson, Arizona police department to the ACLU, is dated July 2009, and the fees it lists may be somewhat outdated. But representatives I reached by email at Verizon and AT&T both declined to detail any changes to the numbers.

Here are a few of the highlights from the fee data.

Wiretaps cost hundreds of dollars per target every month, generally paid at daily or monthly rates. To wiretap a customer’s phone, T-Mobile charges law enforcement a flat fee of $500 per target. Sprint’s wireless carrier Sprint Nextel requires police pay $400 per “market area” and per “technology” as well as a $10 per day fee, capped at $2,000. AT&T charges a $325 activation fee, plus $5 per day for data and $10 for audio. Verizon charges a $50 administrative fee plus $700 per month, per target.
Data requests for voicemail or text messages cost extra. AT&T demands $150 for access to a target’s voicemail, while Verizon charges $50 for access to text messages. Sprint offers the most detailed breakdown of fees for various kinds of data on a phone, asking $120 for pictures or video, $60 for email, $60 for voice mail and $30 for text messages.
All four telecom firms also offer so-called “tower dumps” that allow police to see the numbers of every user accessing a certain cell tower over a certain time at an hourly rate. AT&T charges $75 per tower per hour, with a minimum of two hours. Verizon charges between $30 and $60 per hour for each cell tower. T-Mobile demands $150 per cell tower per hour, and Sprint charges $50 per tower, seemingly without an hourly rate.
For location data, the carrier firms offer automated tools that let police track suspects in real time. Sprint charges $30 per month per target to use its L-Site program for location tracking. AT&T’s E911 tool costs $100 to activate and then $25 a day. T-Mobile charges a much pricier $100 per day.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:14 AM   #3274
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/why-d...ourt-justices/

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/03/just...ourt/singleton

Why Doesn’t The U.S. Just Start Electing Its Supreme Court Justices?


SCOTUSMichael Lind writes on Salon:

On Monday, we had another example of the Supreme Court’s ideological division: a 5-4 ruling, along partisan lines, giving police the right to conduct strip searches for any offense. This came on the heels of last week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, which led many observers to predict that the nation’s highest judicial body will strike down part or all of the controversial healthcare reform package.

But the hearings were instructive in other ways. They showed once again that political partisanship is closely correlated to a justice’s view of the law. And they proved that the Supreme Court once again is functioning, not as a court, but as a third house of the federal legislature.

The U.S. Constitution, like many state constitutions, really is two constitutions in one. There is the black-letter constitution, which consists of rules about which there is little or no dispute. Most of these have to do with qualifications for representatives, like Article I, Section 3, Clause 1, as amended: “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” Not a whole lot of room for interpretation there …

Read More: Salon
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:56 AM   #3275
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/the-s...america-a-map/



Via Domus, a map of the United States, in the form of its 259 most crucial infrastructural sites as revealed by a 2010 WikiLeaks release:

We might say with only slight exaggeration that the United States exists in its current state of economic and military well-being due to a peripheral constellation of sites found all over the world.

These far-flung locations—such as rare-earth mines, telecommunications hubs and vaccine suppliers—are like geopolitical buttresses, as important for the internal operations of the United States as its own homeland security.

However, this overseas network is neither seamless nor even necessarily identifiable as such. Rather, it is aggressively and deliberately discontiguous, and rarely acknowledged in any detail.

That is what made the controversial release by WikiLeaks, in December 2010, of a long list of key infrastructural sites deemed vital to the national security of the United States so interesting…

[More on Domus]


http://www.domusweb.it/en/architectu...nfrastructure/
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