Monthly Archives: December 2014

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Serpico’s still angry about police in Americaserpico featured

Only a few years ago, a cop who was in the same 81st Precinct I started in, Adrian Schoolcraft, was actually taken to a psych ward and handcuffed to a gurney for six days after he tried to complain about corruption – they [other cops] wanted him to keep to a quota of summonses, and he wasn’t complying. No one would have believed him except he hid a tape recorder in his room, and recorded them making their demands. Now he’s like me, an outcast.

 

43 years after he was shot at the scene of an arrest then left to die by his fellow officers, the now-78-year-old Frank Serpico is still refusing to keep schtum about the state of the police in the USA. In the article we’ve linked to above, Serpico discusses his wealth of knowledge on US policing over his lifetime and up to today, his status as a hero to some but persona non grata to others, and the six simple rules that could restore some lawfulness to US law enforcement.

 

Featured image: Paramount

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Are our leaders psychopaths?

In what academics call neoclassical economics, human beings are largely rational, self-interested decision-makers. This stereotypical human, often referred to as Homo economicus, is a creature of coldly calculated selfishness, dispassionately maximizing its best interests even if that comes at the expense of others.

The researchers artificially controlled the behaviors of the partners in some rounds of the game, so that the research participant would find out that they received $10 from their partner and then be asked how much they would give in return. Those people acting like HE [Homo Economicus] gave their partners no money, even after experiencing the generosity of the anonymous person they were paired with.

I know. Cold.

This explains the actions of those in the banking sector. It’s exactly why the industry needs strong regulation. Incidents such as the child abuse scandals in Westminster suggest the same mentality in those running the country. Indeed, there is quite a revolving door between the banking sector and government.

MP Penny Mordaunt wants to send 60-year-olds into blazing buildings, and she’s doing it for you

There are certain politicians that make it really easy to make fun of modern politics. UKIP, for instance, on the whole continues to make UK politics seem like some absurd comedy; see, for example, the UKIP candidate that recently blamed painkillers for turning him into a horrible racist and homophobe, or the fact that the party is currently looking to take £1.5 million in EU funding to form a new pan-European political party that opposes the EU.

Today, though, we’re going to be focusing on the recent actions of Splash superstar and occasional Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt, and that’s for two reasons. First of all, as Mordaunt has publicly admitted that she approaches politics as some giggling schoolgirl that says “cock” in front of the headmaster for a bet, we feel it’s acceptable to write about her with the same kind of reverence she gives to her profession. Second of all and most importantly, despite being responsible for fire and emergencies, Mordaunt seems to have very little understanding of what it takes to be a firefighter.

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It’s time for a brighter future

Every day, the news feeds us depressing statistics and headlines. The politicians’ polished visages spew the same tired answers and heighten the fear factor. It seems like everything is going wrong and we are all doomed to fail.

This doesn’t feel right. Think about your own life. Do you live your life paralysed in fear of attack and spend most of your days thinking how you could cut costs to deal with spiraling debt? Or do you have hope and ambition for your future, and work towards your goals one day at a time? Do you smile, cry, laugh and love? I would hope for most of you, the second vision resonates more clearly, but it appears our elected representatives do not exhibit the same humanity.

So why are we in this situation, and what’s the solution? Well if I was to thoroughly attempt to answer both those questions you would undoubtedly get tired and put on a brew before you reached the end. But I’ve got a few ideas, so I’ll try to keep it light and we’ll see how we get on.

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Researchers achieve 40% solar efficiency

Solar_panels_in_OgiinuurGreat to see scientific progress is being made in renewables despite the lack of funding for renewable research — just £29m a year between 2000 and 2009 in the UK. Meanwhile, subsidies for fossil fuels are growing, in 2012 amounting to £323bn worldwide compared to £60bn for renewables, a ratio of 5:1. The UK Government has capped renewable subsidies at £200m a year while simultaneously subsidising fossil fuels to the tune of £757m a year and spending £418m a year in oil exploration.

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Police asked university for list of attendees at fracking debate

What are they up to?

Kent police said they needed to assess “the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety”.

The request follows disclosures that police have been monitoring political activities at universities around the country, and spying on groups that use non-violent methods to further their aims. Last year it was revealed that police attempted to recruit an activist to become an informant and pass on information about Cambridge University students and other protesters.

Asked why it had requested the list, the force said: “Kent police assesses the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety and appropriately allocate resources. Police attendance was not required during the meeting, but the Dover district chief inspector did attend the event as an interested stakeholder.”

They declined to explain why the inspector would be an “interested stakeholder”.

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US budget funds war and repression

Attached to the funding bill are hundreds of policy measures, many of them added at the last minute with no public discussion and, in many cases, without most congressmen or senators even being aware of what was being proposed before they rubber-stamped the bill. These include, most notoriously, the repeal of a major section of the Dodd-Frank legislation that sought to place some restrictions on the speculative activities of the banks following the 2008 financial crash.

more than 80 cents out of every dollar in the funding bill, is devoted to killing, spying on, imprisoning or otherwise oppressing the people of the world, including the American people.

Are we the bad guys?

26, out of 119 – that’s how many ‘War on Terror’ suspects subjected to CIA torture were eventually found totally innocent, according to this week’s Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, or the summary report of CIA torture by the US Senate. (The remaining 93, by the way, includes suspects about whom those inside the CIA were undecided on, or whom were deemed to pose no further threat.) The report also finds not just that torture was ineffective in yielding information, but that it led to detainees fabricating information, resulting in faulty intelligence.

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#PornProtest (NSFW)

Today Shamocracy.org went along to Westminster to witness the largest group face-sitting in history set against the backdrop of the Houses of Parliament. The face-sitting was intended to pull in the journalists, which it certainly did in the hundreds. The cause for the protest was not lost with three main speeches from Obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman, Jerry Barnett from Sex and Censorship and Jane Fae from the Consenting Adult Action Network regarding the banning of a number of sex acts from online pornography which is not just an assault on the pornographic industry but also on free speech.  The list of acts is very arbitrary and focussed on acts which traditionally derive more pleasure for women than men including female ejaculation and face sitting.

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