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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

5 once-prestigious jobs that are now B-List

(MarketWatch) Once upon a time, parents couldn’t stop bragging when their sons or daughters were studying to be lawyers or family doctors. But thanks to our changing job market — and the fact that college and graduate school costs have ballooned — some of these formerly brass-ring jobs are losing their luster. Here are five once-prestigious jobs that aren’t quite what they used to be.


Overall enrollment in law school has plummeted to a 27-year low and enrollment of first-year law students to a 40-year low, according to a report on annual enrollment released in December by the American Bar Association. That’s likely because those considering becoming lawyers know two things: 1) they’ll likely face relatively dismal job prospects upon graduation, and 2) they’ll likely have a ton of debt coming out of law school.

A report released last year by the National Association for Law Placement found that overall employment for recent law grads fell for the sixth straight year in 2013 (to 84.5%); unemployment specifically among 2013 grads was 12.9%, a slight uptick from a year prior. And even those who are employed may not be getting rich — the median starting salary is $62,000, down 13% over the past six years — and still far from the cushy six figures Mom was probably hoping for.

Furthermore, they’ll often contend with six-figure debt. According to the New America Foundation, the typical debt load (undergrad and graduate debt combined) for those who go to law school is nearly $141,000 among those who borrow money — an increase of more than $51,000 from 2004, which is climbing faster than that of many other professions. That means law grads who had to borrow money are likely to face typical monthly payments of nearly $1,200, which can be hard to shoulder if you don’t land a six-figure job. .............................(more)


NRA still aiming at illusory ‘monsters’

Jul 29 2015 12:01 am

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who presides over a state with a high rate of gun violence and a low quality of gun laws, is shocked. “We never would’ve imagined it would’ve happened in Louisiana or Lafayette,” he said after last week’s movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Jindal responded with a kind of gunner jujitsu, calling for other states to emulate the sloppy standards of Louisiana, which has loose gun laws and has largely failed to supply mental-health records to the criminal background check system, although a law signed by Jindal now requires it. Louisiana has the nation’s second-highest rate of death by firearm.

“How could this have happened?” is perhaps the most dishonest question in all of gun land. American gun culture is impressively pervasive, remarkably influential and reliably deadly. Give the gun lobby its due: It gets results.

It also gives the angry, paranoid and armed a collective voice. John Russell Houser, the cantankerous 59-year-old who opened fire at a showing of “Trainwreck” in Lafayette, seems to have dabbled in Hitler love. But his online complaints also echo the decline-and-fall narrative of National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre. ................(more)


Cornel West and Richard Wolff talk about capitalism and white supremacy with Laura Flanders

The Economics of Net Neutrality

from Dollars & Sense:

The Economics of Net Neutrality
First in an article series: MONEY YELLS!—Market Power and Corporate Control of Information.


On February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a headline-dominating decision to regulate Internet providers through “net neutrality” principles, in a milestone for freedom of information and for popular activism. The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision was the outcome of opposing forces, both representing a “backlash.” The conservative paper had previously observed that if the agency moved forward with this regulatory stance, it would face a “Telecom Backlash” from Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, or their trade association, which had won court cases against the FCC’s earlier efforts to impose some net neutrality rules.

But the smashing victory was driven by another force that the Journal elsewhere called a “Public Backlash”—engaged people and activist groups who were often themselves unsatisfied by the FCC’s earlier positions. The FCC was swamped by the staggering volume of public comments filed—four million, with the press reporting that the “overwhelming majority of the comments supported common-carrier style rules,” the central requirement of net neutrality. The activist success in this backlash-off was importantly aided by the telecom industry’s own conflicting interests in the complex and rapidly evolving information marketplace, which created important opportunities for perceptive activists to exploit.

Not Neutering Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is the principle that data should be treated equally by network operators like Internet service providers (ISPs), the companies that transmit your online information packets through their cable or wireless services. This equality would rule out practices like an ISP blocking access to a website run by a competitor, or discrimination in service, where companies that can afford it get access to “fast lanes” that deliver their data more efficiently, while smaller sites that can’t cough up the money get relegated to the slow lanes.

A lack of net neutrality standards would have two broad consequences. One has to do with the prices paid for Internet access at reasonable speeds. The concern is that ISPs would create an “artificial scarcity” (see glossary sidebar) in information markets, allowing them to charge significant amounts to firms that can pay. Artificial scarcity describes to markets where production technology allows for an abundant supply, plenty to satisfy the consumption requirements for the whole market, but in which suppliers are able to restrict the amount produced. This often applies to markets characterized by intellectual property laws, like copyrights or patents, which limit lawful production to companies holding these licenses and thus possessing a monopoly. Profits are elevated with higher prices, but this cuts off some part of the market from consumption, making the product or service “artificially” scarce. For example, without net neutrality an ISP might charge streaming movie firms for faster service, leading those firms to raise their prices to a level that some consumers can’t afford. ................(more)


Clinton & the Coup: Amid Protests in Honduras, Ex-President on Hillary’s Role in His 2009 Ouster

Published on Jul 28, 2015

http://democracynow.org - In Honduras, as many as 25,000 people marched Friday demanding the resignation of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández. The protests come six years after a coup ousted Honduras’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. In an exclusive interview, Zelaya talks about the new protest movement, the fallout from the 2009 coup, and Hillary Clinton’s role in his ouster. "On the one hand, [the Obama administration] condemned the coup, but on the other hand, they were negotiating with the leaders of the coup," Zelaya said. "And Secretary Clinton lent herself to that, maintaining that ambiguity of U.S. policy to Honduras, which has resulted in a process of distrust and instability of Latin American governments in relation to U.S. foreign policies." While the United States publicly supported Zelaya’s return to power, newly released emails show Clinton was attempting to set up a back channel of communication with Roberto Micheletti, who was installed as Honduran president after the coup. In one email, Clinton referenced lobbyist and former President Clinton adviser Lanny Davis. She wrote, "Can he help me talk w Micheletti?" At the time, Davis was working for the Honduran chapter of the Business Council of Latin America, which supported the coup. In another email, Thomas Shannon, the State Department’s lead negotiator for the Honduras talks, refers to Manuel Zelaya as a "failed" leader.

Why Does God Only Talk To Crazy Criminal Republicans?

Published on Jul 28, 2015

Many of the GOP’s 2016 frontrunners are giving credit to one thing for their biggest inspiration to run for president: God. God has spoken, and he has, on record, asked Rick Perry, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee to run for president. Why is God so infatuated with having a Republican as president?

Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss this.

Follow more of our stories at http://www.RingofFireRadio.com

A shade shady: Scott Walker and the Milwaukee Bucks' new arena

UPDATE: The Wisconsin state Assembly voted Tuesday to spend $250 million in public monies on a new stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks. No one spoke against the measure, which passed on a 52-34 vote. The bill, which has already passed the Senate, awaits Gov. Scott Walker’s signature.

* * *

The history of the push for new sports stadiums in the United States is a well-documented and oft-repeated tale of corporate welfare, bilked taxpayers, gentrification and dedicated fans held hostage by powerful and politically connected owners.

Shady details of such projects appear all the more ridiculous when juxtaposed with the real problems cities face. In his book “A People’s History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play,” Dave Zirin posits, “The building of publicly funded stadiums has become a substitute for anything resembling urban policy.”

Some may assume the quest for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, then, amounts to new wine in an old bottle. Start the chorus now: The owners want a new facility for their National Basketball Association (NBA) team, and they want state politicians on board. They also want about $250 million in public funding, the same amount cut from the University of Wisconsin system in the 2015 budget, approved July 15 by the Wisconsin Senate in a 21-10 vote on SB 209 during a full-floor session lasting just 45 minutes. The arena deal bill awaits a final vote in the Assembly, expected to take place Tuesday.

But in Wisconsin, the political and economic chicanery seems even more ridiculous than usual because it involves a sophisticated public relations and lobbying campaign and some of the most powerful political figures in both the state and the country. Truthdig has learned many details about the operation based on an investigation of hundreds of documents obtained via Wisconsin’s Public Records Law.

But first the basics: Why build a new arena to begin with, and who sold it to whom? The answers to these questions begin to illuminate the great power politics of the arena in the Badger State. ...............(more)


Seattle officer who arrested black man for walking with a golf club ‘should be fired’

A white Seattle officer should be fired for biased and improper policing after she arrested an elderly black man using a golf club as a cane during a walk last summer, the director of a police watchdog group said on Tuesday.

The Office of Professional Accountability found Seattle patrol officer Cynthia Whitlatch engaged in biased policing, among other policy violations, when she arrested William Wingate, now 70, last July, the group’s civilian director Pierce Murphy said.

“After careful review and consideration of all the evidence, I recommended that the Chief of Police sustain the allegations and end the involved officer’s employment,” said Murphy.

The recommendations come after a U.S. District Court approved new de-escalation policies for the Seattle police department, which has been under federal monitoring for excessive force.


In Seattle, Wingate sued the city and the arresting officer, seeking about $750,000 in damages for racial discrimination, violation of his civil rights and “substantial humiliation, mental and emotional distress.” The case is pending.

Wingate, a military veteran who requires a cane to walk, was using the golf club as a crutch, according to court papers. His arrest sparked protests. Charges against Wingate were dropped after his arrest and the police department has apologized. ........(more)


‘Deal with it yourself': New Mexico firefighter hangs up on 911 caller trying to save dying teen

After a teenager was shot and killed at a party in June, an Albuquerque firefighter who answered the emergency call hung up on a friend who was trying frantically to save his life.

Jaydon Chavez-Silver, 17, had just arrived at the party when someone opened fire. As he lay dying, a female friend began CPR and called 9-1-1, KRQE reports.

“I’m doing CPR as we speak. I’m keeping him alive,” the young female caller can be heard saying. “Just stay with me, okay, okay. There you go. Good job Jaydon.”

Firefighter Matthew Sanchez was working at the dispatch center that night, can be heard asking twice whether the boy was breathing.

“He’s barely breathing. How many times do I have to f***ing tell you?” the girl angrily responds.

At that point, Sanchez says, “OK, you know what ma’am, you could deal with it yourself. I’m not gonna deal with this, okay?” ................(more)


Kansas City hotel supervisor hangs ‘slave doll’ to make fun of Sandra Bland

A Kansas City, Missouri hotel could face a protest after a local attorney published a picture of a “slave doll” hung from a doorway by a white supervisor in an attempt to mock Sandra Bland, KCTV-TV reported on Monday night.

The attorney, Stacy Shaw, posted the image on Monday, saying the doll was set up in a break area with a “noose” made from a plastic trash bag. Authorities in Waller County, Texas, said they found Bland hanged in her jail cell earlier this month.


“I was deeply disappointed and outraged that in 2015 in a city that I love that there could be such blatant intolerance and racism that was present in the workplace,” she said, adding that she has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday morning to share more information regarding both the incident and an anti-racism rally she plans to organize.

The hotel’s general manager, John Parker, confirmed in a statement that the incident occurred on July 21, while describing it as “completely inconsistent” with the hotel’s culture. He also said management investigated the doll the following day.

“Immediately following the investigation, the employee was terminated, Friday, July 24th, prior to the start of their next shift,” Parker’s statement read. “The Adam’s Mark Kansas City is committed to maintaining a positive working environment free of unlawful harassment.” ................(more)


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