Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for October 2014

Why Innocent People Plead Guilty

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Jed Rakoff writes in the NY Review of Books:

The criminal justice system in the United States today bears little relationship to what the Founding Fathers contemplated, what the movies and television portray, or what the average American believes.

To the Founding Fathers, the critical element in the system was the jury trial, which served not only as a truth-seeking mechanism and a means of achieving fairness, but also as a shield against tyranny. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”

The Sixth Amendment guarantees that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” The Constitution further guarantees that at the trial, the accused will have the assistance of counsel, who can confront and cross-examine his accusers and present evidence on the accused’s behalf. He may be convicted only if an impartial jury of his peers is unanimously of the view that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and so states, publicly, in its verdict.

The drama inherent in these guarantees is regularly portrayed in movies and television programs as an open battle played out in public before a judge and jury. But this is all a mirage. In actuality, our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone.

In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges were dismissed (either because of a mistake in fact or law or because the defendant had decided to cooperate), more than 97 percent of the remainder were resolved through plea bargains, and fewer than 3 percent went to trial. The plea bargains largely determined the sentences imposed.

While corresponding statistics for the fifty states combined are not available, it is a rare state where plea bargains do not similarly account for the resolution of at least 95 percent of the felony cases that are not dismissed; and again, the plea bargains usually determine the sentences, sometimes as a matter of law and otherwise as a matter of practice. Furthermore, in both the state and federal systems, the power to determine the terms of the plea bargain is, as a practical matter, lodged largely in the prosecutor, with the defense counsel having little say and the judge even less.

It was not always so. Until roughly the end of the Civil War, plea bargains were exceedingly rare. A criminal defendant would either go to trial or confess and plead guilty. If the defendant was convicted, the judge would have wide discretion to impose sentence; and that decision, made with little input from the parties, was subject only to the most modest appellate review.

After the Civil War, this began to change, chiefly because, as a result of the disruptions and dislocations that followed the war, as well as greatly increased immigration, crime rates rose considerably, and a way had to be found to dispose of cases without imposing an impossible burden on the criminal justice system. Plea bargains offered a way out: by pleading guilty to lesser charges in return for dismissal of the more serious charges, defendants could reduce their prison time, while the prosecution could resolve the case without burdening the system with more trials.

The practice of plea bargaining never really took hold in most other countries, where it was viewed as a kind of “devil’s pact” that allowed guilty defendants to avoid the full force of the law. But in the United States it became commonplace. And while the Supreme Court initially expressed reservations about the system of plea bargaining, eventually the Court came to approve of it, as an exercise in contractual negotiation between independent agents (the prosecutor and the defense counsel) that was helpful in making the system work. Similarly, academics, though somewhat bothered by the reduced role of judges, came to approve of plea bargaining as a system somewhat akin to a regulatory regime.

Thus, plea bargains came to account, in the years immediately following World War II, for the resolution of over 80 percent of all criminal cases. But even then, perhaps, there were enough cases still going to trial, and enough power remaining with defense counsel and with judges, to “keep the system honest.” By this I mean that a genuinely innocent defendant could still choose to go to trial without fearing that she might thereby subject herself to an extremely long prison term effectively dictated by the prosecutor.

All this changed in the 1970s and 1980s, and once again it was in reaction to rising crime rates. While the 1950s were a period of relatively low crime rates in the US, rates began to rise substantially in the 1960s, and by 1980 or so, serious crime in the US, much of it drug-related, was occurring at a frequency not seen for many decades. As a result, state and federal legislatures hugely increased the penalties for criminal violations. In New York, for example, the so-called “Rockefeller Laws,” enacted in 1973, dictated a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment for selling just two ounces (or possessing four ounces) of heroin, cocaine, or marijuana. In addition, in response to what was perceived as a tendency of too many judges to impose too lenient sentences, the new, enhanced sentences were frequently made mandatory and, in those thirty-seven states where judges were elected, many “soft” judges were defeated and “tough on crime” judges elected in their place.

At the federal level, Congress imposed mandatory minimum sentences for narcotics offenses, gun offenses, child pornography offenses, and much else besides. Sometimes, moreover, these mandatory sentences were required to be imposed consecutively. For example, federal law prescribes a mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment, and a maximum of life imprisonment, for participating in a conspiracy that distributes five kilograms or more of cocaine. But if the use of a weapon is involved in the conspiracy, the defendant, even if she had a low-level role in the conspiracy, must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of fifteen years’ imprisonment, i.e., ten years on the drug count and five years on the weapons count. And if two weapons are involved, the mandatory minimum rises to forty years, i.e., ten years on the drug count, five years on the first weapons count, and twenty-five years on the second weapons count—all of these sentences being mandatory, with the judge having no power to reduce them.

In addition to mandatory minimums, Congress in 1984 introduced—with bipartisan support—a regime of mandatory sentencing guidelines designed to avoid “irrational” sentencing disparities. Since these guidelines were not as draconian as the mandatory minimum sentences, and since they left judges with some limited discretion, it was not perceived at first how, perhaps even more than mandatory minimums, such a guidelines regime (which was enacted in many states as well) transferred power over sentencing away from judges and into the hands of prosecutors.

One thing that did become quickly apparent, however, was that these guidelines, along with mandatory minimums, were causing the virtual extinction of jury trials in federal criminal cases. Thus, whereas in 1980, 19 percent of all federal defendants went to trial, by 2000 the number had decreased to less than 6 percent and by 2010 to less than 3 percent, where it has remained ever since.

The reason for this is that the guidelines, like the mandatory minimums, provide prosecutors with weapons to bludgeon defendants into effectively coerced plea bargains. In the majority of criminal cases, a defense lawyer only meets her client when or shortly after the client is arrested, so that, at the outset, she is at a considerable informational disadvantage to the prosecutor. If, as is very often the case (despite the constitutional prohibition of “excessive bail”), bail is set so high that the client is detained, the defense lawyer has only modest opportunities, within the limited visiting hours and other arduous restrictions imposed by most jails, to interview her client and find out his version of the facts.

The prosecutor, by contrast, will typically have a full police report, complete with witness interviews and other evidence, shortly followed by grand jury testimony, forensic test reports, and follow-up investigations. While much of this may be one-sided and inaccurate—the National Academy of Science’s recently released report on the unreliability of eyewitness identification well illustrates the danger—it not only gives the prosecutor a huge advantage over the defense counsel but also makes the prosecutor confident, maybe overconfident, of the strength of his case.

Against this background, the information-deprived defense lawyer, typically within a few days after the arrest, meets with the overconfident prosecutor, who makes clear that, unless the case can be promptly resolved by a plea bargain, he intends to charge the defendant with the most severe offenses he can prove. Indeed, until late last year, federal prosecutors were under orders from a series of attorney generals to charge the defendant with the most serious charges that could be proved—unless, of course, the defendant was willing to enter into a plea bargain. If, however, the defendant wants to plead guilty, the prosecutor will offer him a considerably reduced charge—but only if the plea is agreed to promptly (thus saving the prosecutor valuable resources). Otherwise, he will charge the maximum, and, while he will not close the door to any later plea bargain, it will be to a higher-level offense than the one offered at the outset of the case.

In this typical situation, the prosecutor has all the advantages. . .

Continue reading.

As Lord Acton observed, “Power corrupts. Absolutely power corrupts absolutely.” US prosecutors have way too much power and we have repeatedly seen how they have become corrupted—and, even worse, they never suffer sanctions for such things as hiding evidence from the defense, sending innocent people to prison (including to death row). For a prosecutor to get so much as a rebuke is rare, and for them actually have to pay a price for their crimes—for that is what they are—is so rare one can say that it essentially does not happen, even in the most egregious cases.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Government, Law

Why the U.S. Has Fallen Behind in Internet Speed and Affordability

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How appropriate: All week I’ve been having to wait on connections, sometimes more than a minute. Claire Cain Miller writes in the NY Times:

America’s slow and expensive Internet is more than just an annoyance for people trying to watch “Happy Gilmore” on Netflix. Largely a consequence of monopoly providers, the sluggish service could have long-term economic consequences for American competitiveness.

Downloading a high-definition movie takes about seven seconds in Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Bucharest and Paris, and people pay as little as $30 a month for that connection. In Los Angeles, New York and Washington, downloading the same movie takes 1.4 minutes for people with the fastest Internet available, and they pay $300 a month for the privilege, according to The Cost of Connectivity, a report published Thursday by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.

The report compares Internet access in big American cities with access in Europe and Asia. Some surprising smaller American cities — Chattanooga, Tenn.; Kansas City (in both Kansas and Missouri); Lafayette, La.; and Bristol, Va. — tied for speed with the biggest cities abroad. In each, the high-speed Internet provider is not one of the big cable or phone companies that provide Internet to most of the United States, but a city-run network or start-up service.

The reason the United States lags many countries in both speed and affordability, according to people who study the issue, has nothing to do with technology. Instead, it is an economic policy problem — the lack of competition in the broadband industry. [Which is weird, because businessmen all say that they love competition, that competition is what makes America great, and so on—but they do everything in their power to avoid having to compete. – LG]

“It’s just very simple economics,” said Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School who studies antitrust and communications and was an adviser to the Federal Trade Commission. “The average market has one or two serious Internet providers, and they set their prices at monopoly or duopoly pricing.” . . .

Continue reading.

And the lack of competition is thanks to Congress, the FTC, the FCC, and other regulatory agencies who are not doing their jobs and thereby steadily weakening the US.

Even now the FCC is working its head off to destroy net neutrality. But note what Tom Wheeler of the FCC points out:

“Stop and let that sink in: Three-quarters of American homes have no competitive choice for the essential infrastructure for 21st-century economics and democracy,” Tom Wheeler, chairman of the F.C.C., said in a speech last month.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 3:35 pm

How one man’s private files ended up on Apple’s iCloud without his consent

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I also just got Yosemite—and after reading the article I went to System Preferences > iCloud, and yes, indeed, Apple was industriously copying my private data to the cloud without permission or notification: Contacts, Calendar, and some other programs. I unchecked those and I hope that my data are staying on my computer.

It seems pretty damn high-handed of Apple to help itself to my data and transfer it to the cloud, particularly without asking and without notifying me.

Craig Timber reports in the Washington Post:

After security researcher Jeffrey Paul upgraded the operating system on his MacBook Pro last week, he discovered that several of his personal files had found a new home – on the cloud. The computer had saved the files, which Paul thought resided only on his own encrypted hard drive, to a remote server Apple controlled.

“This is unacceptable,” thundered Paul, an American based in Berlin, on his personal blog a few days later. “Apple has taken local files on my computer not stored in iCloud and silently and without my permission uploaded them to their servers – across all applications, Apple and otherwise.”

He was not alone in either his frustration or surprise. Johns Hopkins University cryptographer Matthew D. Green tweeted his dismay after realizing that some private notes had found their way to iCloud. Bruce Schneier, another prominent cryptography expert, wrote a blog post calling the automatic saving function “both dangerous and poorly documented” by Apple.

The criticism was all the more notable because its target, Apple, had just enjoyed weeks of applause within the computer security community for releasing a bold new form of smartphone encryption capable of thwarting government searches – even when police got warrants. Yet here was an awkward flip side: Police still can gain access to files stored on cloud services, and Apple seemed determined to migrate more and more data to them.

The once-clear line between devices – such as Macs or iPhones – and proprietary cloud services is all but vanishing, security experts warn. And it isn’t just Apple doing it. Microsoft, Google and others increasingly are relying on cheap, easily accessible storage capacity to roll out new features for customers. Apple’s automatic saving function allows users to switch seamlessly between devices, without fear of losing documents or edits.

That’s great news if your Mac gets stolen and you need to buy a new one. But security experts such as Paul are asking, at what price in privacy?

“For me,” said Green in an interview, “this is really shocking. I’ve been taking a lot of confidential notes in business meetings in TextEdit” – one of the programs that automatically saves some files to iCloud.

Confusion about how devices and cloud services interact apparently was a factor in the theft of intimate photos of  dozens of Hollywood celebrities, such as Jennifer Lawrence, last summer. Their phones were secure, but the photos also were stored in online Apple accounts that, while protected by passwords, were vulnerable to hackers, experts say. It’s not clear the victims had any idea their personal photos were on the cloud, but they were — within the reach of highly skilled Internet creeps.

Paul’s concern is less freelance Internet creeps than the U.S. government, which as he noted in his blog post collects data from U.S. technology companies, including Apple, through the National Security Agency’s PRISM program. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 2:38 pm

Very good news: Senate Hearing Set on Secret Recordings at N.Y. Fed

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Jake Bernstein reports in ProPublica:

A U.S. Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing Nov. 21 on issues of regulatory capture following stories by ProPublica and This American Life about secret recordings made by an examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who chairs the panel’s Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection subcommittee, announced the hearing today.

Witnesses have not been named. In a statement, Johnson said the ProPublica and This American Life reports “are troubling because they raise new questions about regulators being captured by the financial institutions they regulate.”

The examiner, Carmen Segarra, secretly recorded approximately 46 hours of meetings with colleagues at the New York Fed and executives from Goldman Sachs as she examined Goldman’s policies, particularly those relating to conflicts of interest. She was fired after seven months on the job.

The recordings show regulators reluctance to push Goldman too hard for information and the New York Fed’s struggles to beef up its supervision of some of the nation’s biggest banks.

Segarra was dismissed after resisting pressure from higher-ups to change her conclusion that Goldman’s policies were insufficient.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the New York Fed has received new responsibility for supervising Wall Street’s biggest and riskiest financial institutions. That is despite an internal confidential report in 2009 that concluded that the New York Fed was too deferential to the institutions it oversaw and had a culture in which examiners feared speaking out.

The New York Fed has said Segarra was fired for performance reasons alone and issued a statement defending its record of bank oversight. [Yeah, right—I do not trust the NY Fed (or the SEC for that matter), and quite clearly the NY Fed fired the examiner simply because the examiner was being honest about Goldman Sach’s situation, something the NY Fed apparently feels is a firing offense. I do agree that some need to be fired for this, but it is not the examiner. – LG]

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 2:17 pm

Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’

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More on bad-faith politics, including flat-out lying, but a veteran lobbyist who endorses tactics that would shame most. Eric Lipton reports in the NY Times:

If the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, a veteran Washington political consultant told a room full of industry executives in a speech that was secretly recorded.

The blunt advice from the consultant, Richard Berman, the founder and chief executive of the Washington-based Berman & Company consulting firm, came as Mr. Berman solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance an advertising and public relations campaign called Big Green Radicals.

The company executives, Mr. Berman said in his speech, must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.

Think of this as an endless war,” Mr. Berman told the crowd at the June event in Colorado Springs, sponsored by the Western Energy Alliance, a group whose members include Devon Energy, Halliburton and Anadarko Petroleum, which specialize in extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. “And you have to budget for it.”

What Mr. Berman did not know — and what could now complicate his task of marginalizing environmental groups that want to impose limits on fracking — is that one of the energy industry executives recorded his remarks and was offended by them.

“That you have to play dirty to win,” said the executive, who provided a copy of the recording and the meeting agenda to The New York Times under the condition that his identity not be revealed. “It just left a bad taste in my mouth.” . . .

Continue reading.

The lobbyist is pretty clearly a sociopath. And it’s heartening that at least one executive saw the lobbyist’s approach for what it is. The complete speech is provided here, and note this introduction:

Speech by Richard Berman to Western Energy Alliance
Here is a complete transcript of a speech that Richard Berman, the founder and chief executive of Berman and Company, gave in June 2014 in Colorado Springs to a group of energy executives. He urged them to contribute several million dollars to a nonprofit organization he runs, with a promise that he would hide the origin of the money. The nonprofit would then create a campaign to attack environmental groups raising questions about fracking. The speech offers a rare glimpse into how Mr. Berman operates. This transcript was provided to The Times, which also has a copy of the actual recording. The transcript was shared with Mr. Berman, by The Times, before its publication.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Business, Politics

FBI pushing for more and more authority

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A few items from The Watch, Radley Balko’s column in the Washington Post, today by Lucy Steigerwald:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is requesting greater scopein their power to hack computers outside of their jurisdiction, including ones where the physical location of it is unclear.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says the FBI is being awfully vague about why this is so essential.
  • Other FBI news: In July several agents cut the internet to several suites in a Vegas hotel, then disguised themselves as the men come to fix it, all in order to gather evidence of illegal, high-stakes sports betting. One of the men’s lawyer says that this tactic sets an alarming precedent for law enforcement, and the case should be tossed out.
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is mad about all of this FBI stuff, and he is also not happy about the time the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made a fake Facebook page under a very real woman’s name in order to snag drug suspects. Leahy says such things may “erode the public’s trust in the judgment and integrity of law enforcement officers.”

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 12:24 pm

Palestinians not required to ride in the back of the bus—they are not allowed to ride the bus at all

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Israel has moved to a level of racism and segregation worse than the early 20th century American South—much worse, considering the level of attacks and deaths in Gaza. And we are funding that regime:

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.59.53 AM

From the link:

“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.”

– John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

* Source: The Congressional Research Service’s report “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” written by Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, dated April 11, 2014.

According to this report, the Obama Administration gave $3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel for the Fiscal Year 2014. In addition, the U.S contributed $504 million to the joint U.S.-Israel Missile Defense Program during FY 2014. If we include that number, American taxpayers give Israel $9.9 million per day.

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has been slowly phasing out economic aid to Israel and gradually replacing it with increased military aid. In 2007, the Bush Administration and the Israeli government agreed to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package FY 2009 to FY 2018. In 2012, the U.S. began giving Israel $3.1 billion a year (or an average of $8.5 million a day) and promised to provide that amount every year through FY 2018.

Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military aid (see how other nations compare). According to the CRS report, the President’s request for Israel for FY 2015 will encompass approximately 55% of total U.S. foreign military financing worldwide. According to the CRS report, “[a]nnual FMF grants to Israel represent 23% to 25% of the overall Israeli defense budget.”

Contrary to ordinary U.S. policy, Israel has been and continues to be allowed to use approximately 25% of this military aid to purchase equipment from Israeli manufacturers. According to CRS, “no other recipient of U.S. military assistance has been granted this benefit.” Thanks in part to this indirect U.S. subsidy, Israel’s arms industry has become one of the strongest in the world. “Between 2001 and 2008, it was the 7th largest arms supplier to the world with sales worth a total of 9.9 billion.”

The United States also contributes funds for a joint U.S.-Israeli Missile Defense Program designed to thwart short-range missiles and rockets fired by non-state actors (such as Hamas and Hezbollah) as well as mid- and longer-range ballistic missiles (this refers to Iran and/or Syria’s asenals). Arrow II, Arrow III, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome refer to different projects under the umbrella of this Missile Defense program. In 2014, the U.S. spent $504 million on this and plans to spend $272.7 million in 2015.

By all accounts the United States has given more money to Israel than to any other country. The Congressional Research Service’s conservative estimate of total cumulative US aid to Israel (not adjusted for inflation) from 1949 through 2014 is $121 billion.

An October 2013 Washington Report article “A Conservative Estimate of Total Direct U.S. Aid to Israel: $130 Billion,” by Shirl McArthur, puts the cumulative total even higher.

According to McArthur, “[T]he indirect or consequential costs to the American taxpayer as a result of Washington’s blind support for Israel exceed by many times the amount of direct U.S. aid to Israel. Some of these ‘indirect or consequential’ costs would include the costs to U.S. manufacturers of the Arab boycott, the costs to U.S. companies and consumers of the Arab oil embargo and consequent soaring oil prices as a result of U.S. support for Israel in the 1973 war, and the costs of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions on Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria. (For a discussion of these larger costs, see ‘The Costs to American Taxpayers of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: $3 Trillion,’ by the late Thomas R. Stauffer, June 2003 Washington Report, p. 20.)”

** Source: The Congressional Research Service’s Report “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians”, written by Jim Zanotti, Analyst in Middle Eastern Affairs, dated September 30, 2013.

According to the report, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 12:05 pm

The bad-faith GOP: Republicans Attack Democrats For Supporting Republican Demands

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Kevin Drum reports how Republicans are attacking Democrats who support Republican positions—at the link, note the election flyer castigating a Democratic candidate for “his vote for the terrifying Ryan budget.” Paul Ryan is a Republican and his budget is what the GOP supports.

This party simply operates in bad faith. But bad faith, criminal acts, blocking voters—whatever it takes to win. Next they’ll be spraying Democratic-leaning precincts with nerve gas.

UPDATE: Another tactic from the party of bad faith.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 11:22 am

Posted in Election, GOP

Officer Shot And Killed Psychiatric Patient While Transporting Him To The Hospital

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We really should have a good national database of police shootings, at a minimum those shootings that result in fatalities. Here’s yet another police officer shooting a mentally ill person to death. Needless police shootings—pets, mentally ill, people shopping in Wal-Mart—seem increasingly common, perhaps because there is no penalty associated with shooting someone: the officer says, “I feared for my safety,” and all’s well. Nicole Flatow reports at ThinkProgress:

Psychiatric patient Adam Daniel Lopp was being transferred to the hospital in a police vehicle when he was killed by an officer in Iredell County, North Carolina this week.

Sgt. Scott Culler, a Davidson County deputy, said he he shot and killed Lopp on the side of Interstate 40 because he was under attack. Lopp, a 41-year-old patient who was involuntarily committed, has no known criminal history — not even an arrest, and other deputies did not report any other trouble with Lopp, according to local reporting by NBC Charlotte.

The Iredell County Sheriff’s office said there was a confrontation betwen Culler and Lopp after Culler pulled over, and that it’s not clear whether the exchange started in the vehicle, which did not contain a partition sometimes used for transport in police cars. Culler called for back-up, but he shot Lopp before other officers reported to the scene. Culler had no injuries. A spokesman for the department declined to comment to ThinkProgress on whether Lopp was armed or was restrained during transport, but there is no indication that Lopp had access to a weapon.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is assessing whether criminal charges will be filed, and Culler is on administrative leave. But as a matter of department policy, Maj. Marty Byers of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department told local news outlet The Dispatch that it’s not recommended “at all” to transport patients who are admitted to psychiatric hospitals without a partition because it can threaten the safety of either the officer or the patient. He says his department advises officers to transport patients with a partition whenever possible. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 11:14 am

How a differential works

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I never knew:

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 9:09 am

Posted in Technology, Video

Verizon and AT&T ID’s being used to track users

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Really, Congress should take action—yeah, I know.  In ProPublica Julia Angwin and Jeff Larsen describe what’s happening:

Twitter’s mobile advertising arm enables its clients to use a hidden, undeletable tracking number created by Verizon to track user behavior on smartphones and tablets.

Wired and Forbes reported earlier this week that the two largest cellphone carriers in the United States, Verizon and AT&T, are adding the tracking number to their subscribers’ Internet activity, even when users opt out.

The data can be used by any site – even those with no relationship to the telecoms — to build a dossier about a person’s behavior on mobile devices – including which apps they use, what sites they visit and for how long.

MoPub, acquired by Twitter in 2013, bills itself as the “world’s largest mobile ad exchange.” It uses Verizon’s tag to track and target cellphone users for ads, according toinstructions for software developers posted on its website.

Twitter declined to comment.

AT&T said that its actions are part of a test. Verizon says it doesn’t sell information about the demographics of people who have opted out.

This controversial type of tracking, known in industry jargon as header enrichment, is the latest step in the mobile industry’s quest to track users on their devices. Google has proposed a new standard for Internet services that, among other things, would prevent header enrichment.

People using apps on tablets and smartphones present a challenge for companies that want to track behavior so they can target ads. Unlike on desktop computers, where users tend to connect to sites using a single Web browser that can be easily tracked by “cookies,” users on smartphones and tablets use many different apps that do not share information with each other.

For a while, ad trackers solved this problem by using a number that was build into each smartphone by Apple and Google. But under pressure from privacy critics, both companies took steps to secure these Device IDs, and began allowing their users to delete them, in the same way they could delete cookies in their desktop Web browser.

So the search for a better way to track mobile users continued. In 2010, two European telecom engineers proposed an Internet standard for telecom companies to track their users with a new kind of unique identifier. The proposal was eventually adopted as astandard by an industry group called the Open Mobile Alliance.

Telecoms began racing to find ways to use the new identifier. . .

Continue reading.

A sidebar in the article:

Does Your Phone Company Track You?

CHECK FOR TRACKING CODE Click from your smartphone or tablet (with Wi-Fi turned off) to see if your telecom provider is adding a tracking number. We don’t save any information.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 7:40 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Technology

Tagged with

Superb shave with Shavecraft #102 Slant

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SOTD 31 Oct 2014

What a great shave, and I have to say that Seifenglatt shaving soap is the real deal. Thanks to almightywhacko for pointing it out. I very easily achieved a thick, lubricious lather, and the shave itself was wonderful. Right now I like the #102 best of all the iKon slants, but I do recall when I was regularly using fountain pens that whenever I used a good pen I had not used for a while, I would think, “Wow! This pen is my favorite.” Then when I would switch to another pen from my collection, that one would seem to be my favorite. I think what happens is that on returning to something you like, the renewal of a familiar pleasure intensifies it.

Three passes with the Shavecraft #102 holding a Personna Lab Blue left a true BBS, with no nicks or burn. The handle is the iKon Bulldog.

A good splash of Pashana, and we enter the weekend’s foyer.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 October 2014 at 7:20 am

Posted in Shaving

Report To U.N. Calls Bullshit On Obama’s ‘Look Forward, Not Backwards’ Approach To Torture

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I was stunned when President Obama flatly stated that he would ignore the legal requirements to investigate credible allegations of torture—allegations that by the time of his statement we knew to be factual, but without knowledge of how vast the torture program was nor the details of those guilty of participating in the torture system, torture quite clearly being a crime under US (nd international) law. But President Obama did not seem bothered by it because, you see, the crimes had been committed in the past, so that we should not even look into them: “Look forward, not back,” something that must have puzzled law-enforcement agencies, whose total workload and responsibilities are dealing with crimes that took place in the past. However, I am sure it was heartening to criminals everywhere—and in particular those who had tortured people (some of them perfectly innocent of any wrong doing) and transported people to be tortured: The President has said that bad deeds done in the past are perfectly okay.

But now the dereliction of duty is starting to fester. Murtaza Hussein reports at The Intercept:

Months after President Obama frankly admitted that the United States had “tortured some folks” as part of the War on Terror, a new report submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture has been released that excoriates his administration for shielding the officials responsible from prosecution.

The report describes the post-9/11 torture program as “breathtaking in scope”, and indicts both the Bush and Obama administrations for complicity in it – the former through design and implementation, and the latter through its ongoing attempts to obstruct justice. Nothing that the program caused grievous harm to countless individuals and in many cases went as far as murder, the report calls for the United States to “promptly and impartially prosecute senior military and civilian officials responsible for authorizing, acquiescing, or consenting in any way to acts of torture.”

In specifically naming former President George W. Bush, Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo and former CIA contractor James Mitchell, among many others, as individuals sanctioned torture at the highest levels, the report highlights a gaping hole in President Obama’s promise to reassert America’s moral standing during his administration. Not only have the cited individuals not been charged with any crime for their role in the torture program, Obama has repeatedly reiterated his mantra of “looking forward, not backwards” to protect them from accountability.

Needless to say, you shouldn’t try that defense in court if you’re an ordinary American on trial for, say, a drug crime.

It’s also worth remembering that, horrific as it was, the torture regime described in the report was only a tiny part of the wide-ranging human rights abuses the United States committed after 9/11. It doesn’t even account for the network of prisons where hundreds of thousands of people were detained in Iraq and Afghanistan – many of whom suffered beatings, rape and murder at the hands of U.S. soldiers.

The environment that allowed such treatment as again authorized at the highest levels, but just as with the CIA program the only people to receive any legal sanction for these actions have been low-level soldiers who’ve essentially been used as scapegoats for the crimes of their superiors.

By refusing to prosecute Bush-era officials for their culpability in major human rights abuses such as the CIA program and Abu Ghraib, President Obama is not just failing to enforce justice but is essentiallyguaranteeing that such abuses will happen again in the future. His administration has demonstrated that even if government officials perpetrate the most heinous crimes imaginable, they will still be able to rely on their peers to conceal their wrongdoing and protect them from prosecution. This not only erodes the rule of law, it also helps create a culture of impunity that will inevitably give rise to such actions once again. . . .

Continue reading.

And it’s worth noting that Obama appointed John Brennan, deeply implicated in the torture program, to head the CIA, and has had people involved in the torture program trying to whitewash the Senate report on the torture program—while Obama refuses to declassify it.

Obama is quite clearly a willing accessory to the torture program, going to great lengths to protect those who did the torture and to prevent the US public from knowing exactly what happened. This is a dark blot on his record and reveals an aspect of his character worth considering.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 October 2014 at 12:20 pm

How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency

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Interesting story in Politico by Garrett Graff:

il Kerlikowske was hoping to make it through at least his first week on the job without being awakened in the middle of the night. President Barack Obama’s new head of Customs and Border Protection, Kerlikowske could have used a week of quiet as he began to figure out the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, with its 46,000 gun-carrying Customs officers and Border Patrol agents and massive $12.4 billion annual budget. He didn’t get it. On his sixth night after taking office in March, a Border Patrol agent’s single gunshot 1,500 miles away from Washington interrupted Kerlikowske’s sleep. The gunshot itself wasn’t all that surprising; Border Patrol agents regularly open fire on suspected smugglers, border crossers and people harassing them from across the Mexican line. So often, in fact, that the agency doesn’t even bother to release details on most shooting incidents. But this wasn’t a regular shooting incident.

Early the day before, while Kerlikowske, an affable career cop who had spent five years as Obama’s drug czar, was going about his meetings in CBP’s headquarters at Washington’s cavernous Ronald Reagan Building, three Honduran women had surrendered to a green-uniformed U.S. Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley.

That, too, was a common occurrence. “RGV,” as it’s known in the Border Patrol, has been the epicenter of this year’s “border crisis,” the latest in a long series that stretches back decades—crises that inevitably lead to calls for more money, more agents, more fences. In this year’s iteration, tens of thousands of people fleeing the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have journeyed through Mexico to turn themselves in at the U.S. border seeking asylum. Many of the refugees have been unaccompanied minors (“UACs” to the bureaucracy), a fact that strained the U.S. government response and unleashed critical 24-hour cable media coverage. RGV had been particularly flooded, and so the detention of the three Honduran women—a mother, her 14-year-old daughter and a second teen—around midday on March 12 shouldn’t have been anything other than routine.

Except that they surrendered to Esteban Manzanares.

Manzanares, a stocky 32-year-old agent who kept his head shaved short, was already under suspicion for misconduct—colleagues suspected he had let two border violators go free—but there was a huge backlog of misconduct cases at the inspector general’s field office in McAllen, Texas, and Manzanares was but one small unconfirmed red flag amid many along the southern border, so even under suspicion, he remained on duty with the Border Patrol.

Rather than detain the three Honduran women and bring them to the McAllen holding center, a 300-bed unit that some nights this spring hosted more than 1,000 people, Manzanares locked the women in the back of his Ford patrol truck—and drove them around the scrubland surrounding McAllen for an hour or two. It was a perfectly lovely South Texas day—sunny, low 70s, a bit cool for that time of year.

At 3:15 p.m., Manzanares texted his ex-wife, saying he wanted to be a good dad to their two children: “I want to help in any way I can but I am very limited.”

Then he stopped his truck in a wooded area. He raped both the mother and the daughter. He slit the mother’s wrists and tried to break the daughter’s neck, leaving them for dead in the brush.

He drove off with the third woman bound in his green-and-white heavy-duty Border Patrol truck with a red-and-blue light bar on top, a Department of Homeland Security logo on the door and a U.S. flag on the hood. Somewhere out in the borderlands, the agent left his third prisoner hidden, bound with duct tape.

Manzanares wrapped up his scheduled shift a little after 4 p.m. and returned his truck to the motor pool at the McAllen Border Patrol station, a huge new 68,000-square-foot facility constructed for $22.4 million as part of the agency’s influx of new agents and money over the past decade. Only at 5:45 p.m., his paperwork for the day completed, did he finally pull out of the Border Patrol station. His apartment was just three miles straight down the highway, past South Texas College and then a right turn at the Exxon station, but he wasn’t going straight home.

It was just around that time that other Border Patrol agents made a horrifying discovery, spotting one of the women Manzanares had left for dead wandering past a security camera—one link in the huge post-9/11 network of electronic eyes and sensors that now monitors the border region. Agents responded to the scene and after a brief search located both the injured mother and daughter, took them to the hospital and began looking for their attacker; the women described him as wearing green, so the agents suspected they were looking for one of their own.

They were, and he was not far away: After leaving work, Manzanares had retrieved the third victim and brought her back to his apartment in a housing complex, the last set of buildings before the Rio Grande that demarcates the two countries. The complex was home to a number of his Border Patrol colleagues—including his next-door neighbor and one across the hall. They all joked about how safe it was. Border Patrol agents seemed to be everywhere in McAllen these days, as the agency since 9/11 had become one of the region’s largest employers, a boon for one of the poorest metropolitan areas in the country. There were now some 3,200 agents in RGV—driving along the border, patrolling by boat, flying overhead in helicopters, working interior checkpoints, watching cameras, staffing the Border Patrol’s new overhead surveillance blimp, the latest high-tech toy cast off by the Pentagon and repurposed to protect the border.

Back inside his apartment, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 October 2014 at 11:44 am

An interesting look at the originators of Wonder Woman

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Who knew? In the NY Review of Books Sarah Kerr reviews two recent books on Wonder Woman, whose origins are quite astonishing. The review begins:

In 1978, David Levine drew the birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger wearing a leotard with stars below the waist, bouncing confidently off what looked at first like a trampoline. On second glance it was a springy contraceptive diaphragm. Of course: Sanger as Wonder Woman. (See illustration below.)

The choice of imagery was obvious. Many decades earlier, Sanger had argued that women should be taught about sex, its pleasures and consequences, and given the information and medical support they needed to determine their destinies as mothers (or as not-mothers, should they so choose). In cofounding America’s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn in 1916, Sanger launched a movement that would eventually complete the job of making contraception and reproductive medicine available in the United States and much of the world (even if rearguard legislative actions today keep the descendant of that early clinic, the now venerable Planned Parenthood, fighting to stay viable in America’s red states).

Wonder Woman was one of only a few symbols of womanhood who could be considered strong enough to win so big a battle. And she was enjoying a revival in the 1970s. In 1972, Gloria Steinem and the cofounders of Ms. magazine picked Wonder Woman to be the cover girl of its first issue. Ms. even helped publish a book, a culling of feminist-friendly story lines, that for decades was a much-used compilation of the comic’s early years. In the introduction, Steinem recalled the thrill she felt encountering at the age of eight this stunning, buff Amazon princess, flying by invisible airplane from her sheltered island to help America in World War II: “Looking back now at these Wonder Woman stories from the ’40s, I am amazed by the strength of their feminist message.”

It’s Jill Lepore’s contention in The Secret History of Wonder Woman that in looking back to the original Wonder Woman for a model, Steinem and her cofounders were on to more than a commercial hook. The superheroine, Lepore argues, has all along been a kind of “missing link” in American feminism—an imperfect but undeniable bridge between vastly distinct generations. Hiding in her kitschy story lines and scant costume were allusions to and visual tropes from old struggles for women’s freedom, and an occasional framing of battles like the right to a living wage and basic equality that have yet to be decisively won.

Wonder Woman stories showed women shackled in endless yards of ropes and chains—a constant theme in art from decades earlier demanding the right to vote. The traditional allegory of an island of Amazon princesses appears in feminist science fiction early in the twentieth century; the rhetoric of a nurturing, morally evolved strongwoman opposed to the war god Mars goes back even further. At the same time, the early comics often included a special insert, edited by a young female tennis champion and highlighting women heroes. Those chosen ranged from white suffragettes to Sojourner Truth to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, professional and sports pioneers, and a founder of the NAACP. It’s unlikely that any platform for American girls’ role models was as popular as this one until three decades later.

Wonder Woman was, in short, an explicitly feminist creation. Yet younger generations of feminists have lacked an awareness of the degree to which this is so, just as 1970s feminists were baffled when asked to identify pictures of the early suffragettes. So Wonder Woman is also the symbol of a culture-wide amnesia, part of the more general problem that American feminists can’t be inspired or taught the most useful lessons by their past until they gain a more cohesive sense of it.

On a literal level, too, Lepore has telling details to add to the feminist backstory of Wonder Woman. Officially, the comic (not a comic strip in a newspaper but a book following the serial adventures of a hero or in this case a heroine) was launched in 1941 by a man named William Moulton Marston. Marston, working under the name Charles Moulton, was without doubt the creator, but in practice he was assisted by his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway Marston (sometimes called Sadie, sometimes Betty), and by a younger woman, Olive Byrne, who had lived with the married couple for years. After Marston died, in 1947, Sadie and Olive would live together for several more decades. The trio’s domestic arrangement has often been called “polyamorous,” a shorthand label that doesn’t quite capture its alternating vibes of sexual fluidity, personal and professional fusion, and the convenience of its work–life balance. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 October 2014 at 9:49 am

Posted in Books

Not quite BBS—I see one reason why Feather may have gone to the AS-D2

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30 Oct 2014

Almightywhacko recommended this soap, of which I’d never heard. The maker has an Etsy store, however, with a good selection of soaps. I ordered several and this one is the Tobacco. The fragrance is like a good-quality tobacco, not overwhelming. When I smelled it, I thought immediately of Alt-Innsbruck as a good aftershave.

No problem at all in getting a very high-quality lather. Based on this first tub, it really is an excellent soap. It’s somewhat soft, though by no means so soft as some of the Italian soft soaps.

Today I did the entire shave with the loaner AS-D1 shown, and I see what the owner means: sometimes the head somehow does not allow the blade to engage. I got a good-enough shave, though not the BBS I get from my own AS-D1 (at least in my memory; I’ll use mine for tomorrow’s shave to confirm). And I was indeed using a Feather blade. This may indeed be the problem that prompted the AS-D2, which looks much the same but probably addresses this problem. (Massdrop.com is selling the D2 for $147.50 right now on a mass order—a few days left to join and order. Since the normal price is $200, that is a good savings.)

A good splash of Alt-Innsbruck, and we undertake another day.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 October 2014 at 8:53 am

Posted in Shaving

The Latest Threat to Global Food Security: Salt

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Salt build-up from irrigation has destroyed other societies. Brian Merchant writes in Motherboard:

Eating too much salt in your diet can beget a litany of adverse health effects—blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, cancer. That’s well documented. It’s not as well known that consuming too much salt can have similarly dire effects on the environment, and, by extension, our food supply. Salt degradation has caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage, mars an area of cropland the size of Manhattan every week, and has hit nearly one-fifth of the world’s farmland so far.

“Salts have damaging effects whether they are in excess amounts in the human body or in agricultural lands,” Manzoor Qadir, the lead author of an eye-opening new study on the subject, published by the United Nations’ Institute for Water, Environment and Health, told me in an email conversation.

“If salt degradation goes on unchecked, more and more land will be highly degraded leading to wasteland,” he said. “Restoring such lands will not be economically feasible at all.”

When farmers irrigate crops with water—even “good quality” freshwater—salt comes along for the ride. Without proper drainage systems, the salt can then accumulate in soil whenever water evaporates and leaves it behind, or plants suck out the ‘pure water’ and leave salt concentrated in the root zone. Once enough salt accumulates, it can cause a host of problems to the crops—not entirely unlike how a salt-heavy diet adversely impacts people.

“In terms of effects on crops, salt-induced land degradation results in reduction in plant growth rate, reduced yield, and in severe cases, total crop failure,” Qadir told me. This happens especially quickly in arid regions, which suggests the process may be accelerated by climate change.

The UN report brings some fairly astonishing findings—his team estimates that 2,000 hectares of farmland (nearly 8 square miles) of farmland is ruined daily by salt degradation. So far, nearly 20 percent of the world’s farmland has been degraded, an area approximately the size of France. . .

Continue reading.

This particular threat has been known for years if not decades, but again no action is taken: very like global warming in that it’s an enormous problem that is quite foreseeable and whose cause is known, but we find ourselves paralyzed into inaction, encouraged in that by those making money from the status quo.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 October 2014 at 6:02 pm

Some good lines by Sen. Elizabeth Warren

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From this article in the New Yorker:

“We can go through the list over and over, but at the end of every line is this: Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” she said in Englewood, Colorado. “I will tell you we can whimper about it, we can whine about it, or we can fight back. I’m here with Mark Udall so we can fight back.”

“Republicans, man, they ought to be wearing a T-shirt,” she said in Des Moines, Iowa. “The T-shirt should say: ‘I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.’ … We can hang back, we can whine about what the Republicans have done … or we can fight back. Me, I’m fighting back!”

Even on “The View,” Warren came across as a political pugilist who loves nothing more than climbing into the ring with the Republicans. “Under President Obama’s leadership, we fight to raise the minimum wage, we fight to reduce the interest rate on student loans, we fight for equal pay for equal work,” she told “CBS This Morning.” “It’s really about whose side do you stand on? And, for me, that’s the whole heart of it.”

Written by LeisureGuy

29 October 2014 at 4:29 pm

The US and gender equality

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A post at ThinkProgress by Bryce Covert begins:

The United States moved up a few slots in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report this year compared to last. But it still falls at number 20, behind less developed countries including Nicaragua, Rwanda, the Philippines, Burundi, and South Africa, as well as more developed peers like the Nordic countries, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, France, and Canada, among others. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 October 2014 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Daily life

Another way business takes over the government

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It burrows inside, like the trichinosis parasite into muscle. Read this op-ed in the NY Times by Clarence Ditlow and Ralph Nader:

WHEN regulators sleep and auto companies place profits over safety, safety defects pile up. A record number of vehicles — more than 50 million — have been recalled this year, a result of congressional hearings and Justice Department prosecutions, which exposed a mass of deadly defects that the auto industry had concealed.

From the Ford Explorer rollovers in the 1990s and Toyotas’ issue with unintended acceleration in the 2000s to the recent fatal consequences of defective General Motors ignition switches and Takata airbags, the auto companies hid defects to avoid recalls and save money. These and other major defects were first exposed by safety advocates who petitioned the government and by reporters in the tradition of Bob Irvin of The Detroit News, who wrote over 35 articles on Chevrolet engine mounts until General Motors agreed to recall 6.7 million vehicles in 1971.

These campaigners did the job the regulator should have done. Congress gave the Department of Transportation authority to regulate the auto industry through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — including subpoena authority to find defects. But it used this authority so infrequently after the ’70s that its acting administrator, David J. Friedman, told Congress this year that he didn’t even know it had the power. The N.H.T.S.A. also failed to require companies to disclose death-claim records in civil lawsuits over the Toyota accelerations, G.M. ignition switches and Takata airbags.

In order to prevent the risk of death or serious injury, Congress empowered the agency to oblige auto companies to use alternate suppliers and independent repair shops to manufacture parts and make repairs to expedite a recall fix. Yet the N.H.T.S.A. has never used this authority — even though it took General Motors from February to October to get enough parts to dealers to repair all the recalled ignition switches.

Only after a lengthy delay was the agency prodded, in 2009, into opening an investigation into whether the first two Honda recalls of Takata airbags were adequate. Although the agency asked tough questions, it quickly closed the investigation after Takata hired a former senior N.H.T.S.A. official to represent the company. The agency’s attitude, in short, was: Don’t bother us with the facts.

More facts did come out when BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota recalled millions of Takata airbags from 2010 to 2013. Still, the N.H.T.S.A. opened no investigations and ordered no recalls on the airbags. Honda also failed to disclose death and injury claims on Takata airbags, as required by law. Even now — after reports of a third death in the United States associated with the airbags — the N.H.T.S.A. refuses to order a national recall, as Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts have urged.

What explains this neglect? Over time, the N.H.T.S.A. has been captured by the industry it regulates. Through the ’70s, it aggressively litigated cases to force recalls, and it caught most defects early in the life of a vehicle. Beginning in the ’80s, however, numerous officials — including Diane K. Steed, Jerry Ralph Curry, Sue Bailey and David L. Strickland, who all served as head of the agency, and Erika Z. Jones, Jacqueline S. Glassman and Paul Jackson Rice, who all served as chief counsel to the agency — have gone on to become consultants, lawyers or expert witnesses for auto companies.

What’s more, the agency is heavily populated by former industry employees. Ms. Glassman, for example, had been a lawyer for Chrysler before working at the agency (and is now at a law firm that represents auto companies). The agency’s last non-acting administrator, Mr. Strickland, went to work in January of 2014 for a firm representing Chrysler — the same month the agency approved an inadequate recall of Chrysler Jeeps with fuel tanks liable to explode as a result of rear impacts.

Although Congress has given the N.H.T.S.A. regulatory tools that the agency failed to use, Congress has not given it the two things it needs most: sufficient funding, and the power to bring criminal penalties against auto companies. . .

Continue reading.

Or, Koch brothers fashion, like this in Texas. Worth the click—unbelievable, except unfortunately not.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 October 2014 at 2:44 pm

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