Thursday, December 29, 2011

Occupy Bishop arrested, wife beaten...

New Military Detention Powers Threaten Basic Rights

1 in 3 children and young adults will be arrested before age 23 in America

"I was astonished 44 years ago. Most people were," says criminologist Alfred Blumstein, a professor of operations research at the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, who served with criminologist Ron Christensen on President Lyndon Johnson's crime task force.

Alfred is even more astonished now. What is the source of his amazement?

Nearly one in three people will be arrested by the time they are 23, a study published Monday in Pediatrics found.

"Arrest is a pretty common experience," says Robert Brame, a criminologist at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and principal author of the study.

The new data show a sharp increase from a previous study that stunned the American public when it was published 44 years ago by criminologist Ron Christensen. That study found 22% of youth would be arrested by age 23. The latest study finds 30.2% of young people will be arrested by age 23.

Blumstein says the increase in arrests for young people in the latest study is unsurprising given several decades of tough crime policies...

Now, Blumstein says, youth may be arrested for drugs and domestic violence, which were unlikely offenses to attract police attention in the 1960s. "There's a lot more arresting going on now," he says.

This is a good time to remember that there are more incarcerated people in America than in any other "civilized" country as the New York Times reported in April, 2008.

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake FIJI REGION - 30th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck the Fiji Region at a depth of 513.6 km (319.2 miles), the quake hit at 03:46:15 UTC Friday 30th December 2011.
The epicenter was 9 km (5 miles) SSW of Ndoi Island, Fiji
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake HALMAHERA, INDONESIA - 30th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has struck Halmahera, Indonesia at a depth of 87.3 km (54.2 miles), the quake hit at 01:45:02 UTC Friday 30th December 2011.
The epicenter was 130 km (80 miles) NNE of Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake EASTERN TURKEY - 30th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck Eastern Turkey at a depth of just 2 km (1.2 miles - poorly constrained), the quake hit at 00:35:47 UTC Friday 30th December 2011.
The epicenter was 18 km (11.2 miles) West of Ozalp, Turkey
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake BOUGAINVILLE REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 29th Dec 2011

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck the Bougainville Region, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 505 km (313.8 miles), the quake hit at 22:25:50 UTC Thursday 29th December 2011.
The epicenter was 177 km (109 miles) NNW of Arawa, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA - 29th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake has struck Southwestern Siberia, Russia at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 21:33:58 UTC Thursday 29th December 2011.
The epicenter was 43 km (26.6 miles) North of Saryg-sep, Siberia, Russia
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO - 29th Dec 2011

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has struck offshore Chiapas, Mexico at a depth of 102 km (63.4 miles), the quake hit at 20:34:59 UTC Thursday 29th December 2011.
The epicenter was 59 km (36 miles) South of Tonala, Chiapas, Mexico
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time

Watching America's Decline And Fall

We don't live in our fears. We live in our hopes.

— Pittsburgh Steeler coach Mike Tomlin

In the "happy days" before its debt-based ponzi scheme fell apart in 2007-2008, the American Empire was already in decline. That decline was not apparent to all but a few observers. Most people are focused on the here and now. As long as things seem to be holding together, the longer-term trend is effectively invisible.

Even now, with the fact and consequences of the decline on display all around us, most observers do not see what is happening now as part of a longer-term trend. Everything must be seen in an historical context. I will illustrate this blindness by focusing on the failures of Federal regulators since the financial meltdown and the recent MF Global fiasco.

Perhaps you are aware that U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff opposed the proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settlement with Citigroup.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is heading on a collision course with the federal judge who thinks the agency has been too lenient on big banks accused of misdeeds.

The SEC's enforcement staff is expected to recommend to the five-person commission leading the agency that it vote to appeal last month's rejection by U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff of a proposed $285 million settlement between the SEC and Citigroup Inc., according to people familiar with the situation.

In his ruling, the New York judge denounced as "pocket change" a penalty agreed to by Citigroup as part of the settlement, claiming it was paltry compared with losses of more than $700 million suffered by investors in a $1 billion deal called Class V Funding III.

Judge Rakoff also attacked the boilerplate language used in many SEC settlements, where defendants neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.

If the allegations were correct, he wrote, "this is a very good deal for Citigroup," saying that it was hard to tell what the SEC got out of the agreement "other than a quick headline." Read More