Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cops use taser on man who wouldn't leave library

Evanston police say a man who refused to leave the Evanston Public Library Monday evening became combative when confronted by officers, charged toward the library employee who'd asked him to leave and ended up being tasered by officers trying to subdue him.
Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says the incident happened on the third floor of the downtown library about 7:55 p.m.
Parrott says the library patron, Michael R. Boyer, 41, of the 2000 block of W. Jarvis in Rogers Park, has now been charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, resisting police and aggravated assault.

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What To Watch Out For In The Supreme Court’s Big Remaining Cases

The Supreme Court is in the home stretch. There are just three days left in this term — Wednesday, Thursday and next Monday — when the justices are scheduled to hand down opinions. Until these cases are decided, however, the fate of women seeking reproductive care, workers and their unions, criminal suspects with cell phones and a president thwarted by a recalcitrant Senate remain uncertain. Here’s a few things to watch out for in seven of the biggest cases that are still pending before the Court:

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Police Officer: ‘Policing Mostly Became a Response to the 911 Call Machine’

For three years in the early 1970s, journalist Studs Terkel gathered stories from a variety of American workers. He then compiled them into Working, an oral-history collection that went on to become a classic. Four decades after its publication, Working is more relevant than ever. Terkel, who regularly contributed to In These Times, once wrote, “I know the good fight—the fight for democracy, for civil rights, for the rights of workers has a future, for these values will live on in the pages of In These Times.” In honor of that sentiment and of Working’s 40th anniversary, ITT writers have invited a broad range of American workers to describe what they do, in their own words. More "Working at 40" stories can be found here.
In Working, Terkel interviewed two Chicago police officers, Vincent Maher and Renault Robinson, both of whom were dissatisfied with their jobs. Maher, a white cop, complained, “We have lost complete contact with the people. They get the assumption that we’re gonna be called to the scene for one purpose—to become violent to make an arrest.” Meanwhile, Robinson, a black cop, was sharply critical of the Chicago Police Department’s emphasis on arresting its way out of crime. Robinson organized the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League “to improve relationships between the black community and the police” because "as policeman, we were the only organized group that could do something about it.”

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STUDY: Economic Hardship Makes People More Racially Biased

The economic collapse of the late 2000s hurt most Americans—but not equally. In fact, according to a 2011 Pew study (visualized above), while median household wealth dropped by 16 percent for white Americans, it dropped a stunning 53 percent for African-Americans.
What accounts for this dramatic disparity? Traditional explanations tend to focus on structural economic factors, such as the fact that African American families had a higher proportion of their total wealth tied up in the vulnerable housing market, and that they were targeted by predatory lenders. But according to a new paper just out in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that may not be the full explanation. It looks as though a more subtle form of racial bias may have played a role as well—thanks to psychological factors that, in a recession, tend to make those biases worse.
The new study is by Amy Krosch and David Amodio of New York University. Amodio in particular has extensively studied what are called "implicit" racial biases: Uncontrolled prejudices that manifest themselves in our split-second reactions to images or in other cognitive tests. According to one estimate, for instance, 75 percent of whites harbor these subtle, subconscious biases in favor of other whites, and against blacks.

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The Case Against Cracking Down On An Anti-Abortion Group That Deceived Voters

Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), an anti-abortion group, wanted to run a billboard claiming that former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) “voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion.” But their proposed billboard did not tell the truth. The basis for SBA’s allegation was that the Affordable Care Act, which Driehaus supported, somehow authorized funding for abortions. But this is simply untrue. Not only does the federal Hyde Amendment forbid federal funding of abortion, but Obamacare also contains two additional provisions limiting abortion coverage. It permits each state to forbid health plans sold on the Obamacare exchange in their state from covering abortion entirely, and it requires states that do allow these plans to cover abortion to separate out federal funding to ensure that not one penny of it goes to fund abortion.
So SBA was either lying when they made this allegation against Driehaus, or they did not understand how the Affordable Care Act works.

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The Three Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Poverty

Rather than confront poverty by extending jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, endorsing a higher minimum wage, or supporting jobs programs, conservative Republicans are taking a different tack.
They’re peddling three big lies about poverty. To wit:
Lie #1: Economic growth reduces poverty.
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“The best anti-poverty program,” wrote Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, in the Wall Street Journal, “is economic growth.” Wrong. Since the late 1970s, the economy has grown 147 percent per capita but almost nothing has trickled down. The typical American worker is earning just about what he or she earned three decades ago, adjusted for inflation.
Meanwhile, the share of Americans in poverty remains around 15 percent. That’s even higher than it was in the early 1970s.
How can the economy have grown so much while most people’s wages go nowhere and the poor remain poor? Because almost all the gains have gone to the top.

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Eugenics Behind Bars

I was sterilized in 1976 when I was 23 years old. My paternalistic doctor visited me the day after la operación and assumed I would be relieved to not have the “burden” of using birth control or worrying about periods.
He was so wrong. I sued him, and the manufacturers of the Dalkon Shield that caused my sterilization. After winning a settlement that opened the door for thousands of women to initiate malpractice lawsuits against this defective intrauterine device (IUD), I naively thought we had seen the end of sterilization atrocities. After all, the first federal guidelines prohibiting sterilization abuse were also implemented in 1976. Not only should these guidelines have ended sterilization abuses, they should have ended the racist, sexist, and classist eugenical thinking my doctor shared that underlay such policies.
Unfortunately, that is not so, at least in California.

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