Later On

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

Archive for March 8th, 2015

America’s enmity toward education

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Teachers are leaving the profession in droves and fewer are selecting teaching as a career because teachers are jerked around by city and state governments, get very little respect, and are paid poorly—who needs that? So the US education system is not on a good track, though by God some states have had great success in busting up teacher’s unions so they can cut teacher salaries and remove protections—like they can now fire teachers who teach evolution as a fact of biological science.

And another aspect of how the US views education:

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Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 5:52 pm

Posted in Education, Government

More skewing of the law: She Runs S.E.C. He’s a Lawyer. Recusals and Headaches Ensue.

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Peter Eavis and Ben Protess write in the NY Times:

Their legal careers, and by extension their marriage, are the stuff of lore. Mary Jo White leads the Securities and Exchange Commission; her husband, John, practices law at an old-guard firm as elite as the corporations it represents. Together, they are a legal power couple that straddles Wall Street and Washington like few others.

Their careers, however, can at times collide, generating headaches for the S.E.C. as it pursues wrongdoing in the nation’s financial markets, according to interviews with lawyers and a review of federal records. In the nearly two years since Ms. White took over the agency, she has had to recuse herself from more than four dozen enforcement investigations, the interviews and records show, sometimes delaying settlements and opening the door, in at least one case, to a lighter punishment.

The interviews and records detail for the first time the extent of Ms. White’s recusals and the implications of her absence. When ethics rules force her out of cases, the S.E.C. loses her expertise as a former federal prosecutor who has pledged a tough line on Wall Street, underscoring the unintended consequences of recruiting government officials from the small world of the legal elite.

Ms. White has sat out of cases that involve Debevoise & Plimpton, where she worked as a defense lawyer, and her clients there, which included JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America’s former chief executive. Those restrictions, which account for most of her recusals, end in April.

But in a surprising twist, Ms. White will have to keep sitting out cases that involve her husband’s firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore. So far, she has had to recuse herself from at least 10 investigations into clients of Cravath, interviews and records show, including some that came before Ms. White joined the agency and at least four that involved Mr. White himself.

Because of ethics rules that Ms. White follows, she must leave all Cravath cases in the hands of the commission. Without Ms. White, some cases have split the agency’s four remaining commissioners, pitting two Democrats who have endorsed the public uproar over financial wrongdoing against two Republicans who have expressed reservations about levying big corporate fines. Ms. White, a former United States attorney in Manhattan who promotes big fines and admissions of wrongdoing, would otherwise provide the deciding fifth vote.

The prospect of a party-line stalemate without her has helped shape a case against the Computer Sciences Corporation, a large technology company suspected of accounting irregularities. Knowing that they faced a split commission, S.E.C. enforcement officials discussed the case with at least one Republican commissioner, focusing on the size of the financial penalty. After those discussions and negotiations with Cravath, the officials agreed to settle for $190 million, tens of millions of dollars less than the agency originally pressed for, according to lawyers briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition that they not be named. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 3:12 pm

Selma and Ferguson

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Jelani Cobb has a powerful article in the New Yorker:

The report of the Department of Justice investigation into the Ferguson Police Department, catalyzed by the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer, confirmed everything that we knew and included a great deal that we hadn’t imagined. The report is a litany of flawed procedures, racial biases, municipal graft, and bureaucratic callousness. It confirms the reasons for local skepticism toward the Ferguson police, yet the sheer volume of misdeeds manages to make its testimony seem like understatement. The release of the report, just days before the first black President attended the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday, in Selma, made this week feel whipsawed by progress and stagnation.

This past summer, I arrived in Ferguson four days after Michael Brown’s death, in August, and began talking with people in the Canfield Drive community, where he had been shot by the police officer Darren Wilson. Conversations about Brown’s death often dovetailed with broader assessments of aggressive policing, the onerous ticketing and fines that made many people afraid to leave their communities, and the bureaucracy that enabled these problems. This is why the news that the Department of Justice found insufficient cause to file federal charges against Darren Wilson pales in light of the Ferguson report, released on the same day.

On the afternoon that preceded the first chaotic hail of tear gas and flash grenades from Ferguson police, in response to the initial round of protests that followed Brown’s death, I talked with Etefia Umana and Malik Ahmed, two longtime activists in the greater St. Louis area, both of whom are part of a community organization called Better Family Life. Ahmed pointedly told me that Brown’s death was a product of the relentless drive to generate revenue on the backs of poor people and to use the police as the chief mechanism for achieving it. He told me about residents who had quit their jobs because minor traffic violations had grown into huge financial burdens and arrest warrants. People reasoned that driving to work made them more vulnerable to being pulled over and arrested. Better Family Life began sponsoring an annual warrant-amnesty day with the municipal court. By the organization’s estimates, as many as four thousand people would come to the local high school to have their cases adjudicated, or to negotiate for additional time to pay court fees.

The hundred and two pages of D.O.J. findings read like a script about police corruption: a man who is sitting in his car after playing basketball in a public park is detained by an officer, accused of being a pedophile, and given eight citations. A woman who calls the police to report a domestic disturbance is arrested for a code violation. A clergyman pumping gas into a church van is handcuffed, detained, and insulted by a police officer investigating a theft at a nearby Dollar Store. From the safe remove of a television screen, the bedlam that erupted following the grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson, in November, was commonly derided as an example of black lawlessness. But people who lived in Brown’s community understood that, in fact, lawlessness had been rampant long before that November night, and that it was far from a uniformly black concern.

Race has blinded us to a good deal of what has happened on the streets of Ferguson. Subtract the reflexive recrimination and defensiveness attending Brown’s skin color, and it becomes clear that the Department of Justice report is not simply about racial profiling but also about corruption, though that word is never used in the report. The fact that the primary victims of this corruption are black, and the fact that the people who turned Ferguson’s city services into a revenue machine are white, means that it takes more time and effort to recognize what was happening in Ferguson as graft. If we have learned anything new from the D.O.J. report, it is about the ways in which racism facilitated corruption, and the way that stereotypical views of black criminality camouflaged a practice of targeting—and all but extorting revenue from—African-American residents.

National Review led its coverage of the report with the headline “The Injustice the DOJ Uncovered in Ferguson Wasn’t Racism.” Of the report’s findings, Ian Tuttle, who wrote the accompanying article, argued,

But what the material in the report reveals is less a culture of racial animus than one of predatory government: “Ferguson’s law enforcement practices,” states the report, “are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.” In the interest of expanding its treasury, Ferguson has employed its police department — 58 officers, policing a town of 21,000 — as an enforcer of the myriad municipal regulations that, rigorously enforced, nickel-and-dime the citizenry to the local government’s benefit. This is the injustice on which the Justice Department has stumbled, which helps to explain the city’s racial tensions — and which merits urgent correction.

To arrive at this point, one must conclude that multiple reports of police hurling racial epithets at black residents and a string of racially derisive jokes e-mailed between Ferguson court and police officials do not represent “a culture of racial animus.” One would have to overlook the fact that blacks in Ferguson were searched by police twice as often as whites, despite the fact that they were twenty-six per cent less likely to be carrying contraband, suggesting that race in itself constituted a basis for suspicion. That suspicion fell not only on impoverished people who happened to be African-American but also on black business owners and clergy members.

This hesitance to reckon with the fullest implications of Ferguson was not confined to conservative critics. In his speech in Selma on Saturday, even President Obama spun the damning findings into a more optimistic narrative: . . .

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Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 3:10 pm

Two Prominent Judges Take Bizarre Action in Occupy Wall Street Case

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One has to wonder why a judge would, uninvited, reverse his own decision from six months earlier. Was the fix in? Was pressure brought to bear? WTF is going on? Pam Martens writes at Wall Street on Parade:

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has a slogan: “The constitution won’t defend itself.” Today, the dedicated attorneys that battle for the little guy at PCJF must be thinking – “the constitution won’t be defended by flip-flopping judges either.”

PCJF finds itself in a uniquely bizarre situation. Two prominent judges with brain-trust status on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Manhattan, have overturned their own decision that they handed down just six months ago. That’s strange enough but what really has tongues wagging in legal circles is that they reversed themselves with no party asking them for a rehearing. The case had been accepted for an en banc (full court) hearing at the Second Circuit when the two suddenly reversed themselves.

The case involves Occupy Wall Street – the largest protest movement against Wall Street bankers’ pillaging of the 99 percent with impunity from Washington since Wall Street first began trading under the Buttonwood tree in lower Manhattan. PCJF had filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of approximately 700 Occupy Wall Street peaceful protesters who had been herded and corralled on the Brooklyn Bridge by the NYPD on October 1, 2011, then arrested en masse. Three days after the mass arrest, PCJF filed the class action lawsuit.

The case was first heard at the U.S. District Court level by Judge Jed Rakoff, the same Judge who attempted to stop the cozy deals between Washington and Citigroup and was himself slapped down by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

PCJF submitted video footage to the District Court showing that the NYPD led and escorted the marchers onto the Bridge, thus suggesting to the marchers that the police were allowing the procession to cross the Bridge. Police then blocked the means of dispersal from both the front and back end of the procession, removing any possibility of marchers being able to disperse even if they had heard an order to disperse.

Judge Rakoff handed down a 29-page decision on June 7, 2012, dismissing the claims against the City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly but allowing the claims against the individual arresting police officers to move forward.

Judge Jed Rakoff wrote in the opening sentences of his decision:

“What a huge debt this nation owes to its ‘troublemakers.’ From Thomas Paine to Martin Luther King, Jr., they have forced us to focus on problems we would prefer to downplay or ignore. Yet it is often only with hindsight that we can distinguish those troublemakers who brought us to our senses from those who were simply…troublemakers. Prudence, and respect for the constitutional rights to free speech and free association, therefore dictate that the legal system cut all non-violent protesters a fair amount of slack.”

Concerns of an unseen hand operating between Washington and Wall Street to quash protesters demands for a realignment of their democracy finds substance in the fact that the Department of Homeland Security had funded a high-tech, joint spy center in the heart of Wall Street where the New York Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and other Wall Street mega banks had their own personnel working alongside NYPD officers to spy on the activities of Occupy Wall Street protesters as well as law abiding citizens on the streets.

Additionally, PCJF filed Freedom of Information Act requests and learned that the Department of Homeland Security was closely monitoring the social media prowess of the protesters and how much media saturation they were receiving. In one October 2011 memo, an agent wrote:

“Social media and the organic emergence of online communities have driven the rapid expansion of the OWS movement. In New York, OWS leaders have also formed ad hoc committees to organize protesters and manage communications, logistics, and security. The OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park features a medical station, distribution point for food and water, and a media center complete with generators and wireless Internet. Organizers hold general assembly meetings twice a day and have established committees and working groups including an Internet Working Group and a Direct Action Committee, which plans protest activities and works to maintain peaceful and controlled demonstrations. This high level of organization has allowed OWS to sustain its operations, disseminate its message, and garner increasing levels of support.”

Manhattan, of course, is home to more Wall Street-minted billionaires than any other part of the world. And at the time of the police arrests and later acts of police brutality against both protesters and observers, the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, was himself a Wall Street-minted billionaire. This video submission in another lawsuit shows how the NYPD interpreted its orders under the 1 percent reign of Wall Street, Washington, and the Manhattan billionaires’ club.

The Brooklyn Bridge arrest case was appealed to the Second Circuit. On August 21, 2014, the Court handed down a 2-1 decision affirming the lower court’s decision and allowing the case to proceed to trial.

The decision was written by Judge Gerald E. Lynch, an Obama appointee to the Court in 2009 who ranked first in his class at Regis High School, Columbia College, and the Columbia University School of Law. Concurring in the decision was Judge Guido Calabresi, former Dean of the Yale Law School who has served on the Second Circuit since 1994. At the time of the first decision, the two Judges agreed on the following in affirming the lower court’s decision and allowing the case to move forward:

“…defendants’ assertions of what the officers understood are unsupported by the Complaint or the record, which do not provide any details as to what any individual defendant knew or saw of the events leading up to the arrests. Further, to the extent that defendants’ arguments rest on a markedly different characterization of the events of the protest than those alleged by plaintiffs, we are unable to consider the resulting factual dispute at this stage. We must take the Complaint’s allegations as true when considering defendants’ motion to dismiss, as they are not ‘blatantly contradicted’ or ‘utterly discredited’ by the submitted videos and still images, Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).”

The De Blasio administration, which progressives had high hopes for, sought to overturn the decision, apparently seeking to continue the unrestricted ability to quash peaceful protests through mass arrests. It asked for and received an order for an en banc (full court) review of the decision. But before the Court could issue its schedule for the en banc proceedings, Judges Lynch and Calabresi abruptly reversed their own decision on February 23, 2015.

After previously writing that they were “unable to consider the resulting factual dispute at this stage” and “must take the Complaint’s allegations as true,” the Judges now assert that “the facts alleged in the Complaint, and those depicted in the videos, do not bear out plaintiffs’ legal conclusion that the officers’ actions constituted ‘an actual and apparent grant of permission’ to the demonstrators to utilize the roadway.” Judge Lynch wrote both the first and the reversed decision.

What happened to the standard that the Judges must accept the “allegations as true” and leave it to a jury of one’s peers to decide the dispute? We just don’t know.

. . .

Continue reading.

The American justice system increasingly seems corrupted to the core—misconduct by prosecutors goes unpunished; police shootings are always “justified”; Ferguson seems to be blowing off the damning DoJ report; Alabama judges are openly defying Supreme Court decisions; corrections officers who beat an inmate almost to death are allowed simply to quit their jobs, no punishment meted out. The whole enterprise is starting to stink.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement

Another fight worth fighting: Making sure children get vaccinated on schedule

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Michael Specter writes in the New Yorker:

Even in an era defined by profound technological advances, the practice of medicine remains an art as well a science—a fact that often frustrates both physicians and their patients. For many conditions, solutions are not simple and there are rarely easy answers. There are exceptions, of course; perhaps the most notable among them has been the success of vaccines.

Until recently, in the United States and other wealthy countries, diseases such as measles, pertussis and rotavirus—which kill hundreds of thousands of infants in the developing world each year—had virtually disappeared. Both measles and pertussis are now back, largely because increasing numbers of children remain unvaccinated. Vaccines are the most powerful public-health tool that pediatricians possess. Unfortunately, there are people (a minority, but a dangerous one) who just don’t care.

Many of these people don’t approve of the vaccine schedule set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they seek to spread the shots over a longer time period than the one recommended. This has presented American pediatricians with a stark new challenge to their Hippocratic Oaths. Which does more harm: delaying scheduled vaccines and reducing their effectiveness, or refusing to delay and running the risk that parents will simply not vaccinate their children at all?

It’s a terrible choice, forced almost wholly by the notion (which is demonstrably untrue) that if a child receives “too many vaccines too soon” it could overwhelm his or her immune system. A study published this week in the journal Pediatrics provides the best proof yet that a large majority of doctors agree to the delays. Ninety-three per cent of those surveyed for the study reported that they had been asked, at least once, to delay vaccines. The physicians acquiesce in overwhelming numbers—two thirds said they do so at least occasionally—even though most of them don’t want to, and even though they are aware that data clearly show that such delays put their patients (and those around them) at increased risk.

Nobody can dispute that the number of vaccines has grown significantly. A hundred years ago, children received a single vaccine: smallpox. By 1962, that number had grown to five (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and the M.M.R.). Today, the C.D.C. advises that children be vaccinated for fourteen diseases before age six, on a recommended schedule that usually includes twenty-nine shots, sometimes several at once. Vaccines worry parents, in part because of of an old, unfounded, and ultimately discredited theory that children who receive measles vaccines develop autism at higher rates than other children. (They don’t, as has been demonstrated in dozens of studies carried out throughout the world.)

That baseless concern, publicized by activists such as Jenny McCarthy, morphed into a movement to spread out the timing of vaccines in order to protect children from a possible shock to their immune systems. But there simply is no such threat. Because progress in molecular biology has made it possible to create vaccines with fewer antigens, children’s systems are now exposed to far less of a burden than was the case in the past. The smallpox vaccine, for example, contained two hundred proteins—all separate molecules. All together, the vaccines that children routinely receive today contain fewer than a hundred and fifty.

The number of bacteria that live on the nose of a newborn child or on the surface of his or her throat is in the trillions. “Those bacteria have between 2,000 and 6,000 immunological components and consequently our body makes grams of antibody to combat these bacteria,” Paul Offit, the chief of the infectious-diseases division at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has written. “The number of immunological challenges contained in vaccines is not figuratively, it is literally a drop in the ocean of what you encounter every day.” Offit has long been one of the nation’s most prominent proponents of vaccines—and he has long been vilified for his stance.

Pediatricians spend, on average, less than twenty minutes with each patient—often far less—and they usually have to cover a lot of ground. . .

Continue reading.

Ignorance persists because the ignorant really prefer the certainty of their convictions to gaining actual knowledge.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 2:46 pm

If Women Want More Representation on Wikipedia, They Need to Edit It Themselves

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And, speaking of remaking the country and our culture, take a look at this article at Motherboard by Kaleigh Rogers. As Elizabeth Warren recently said in another context, we must fight for our ideals. We cannot simply hope. The article begins:

The Wikipedia​ page for American gospel and folk singer Bessie Jones is disappointingly sparse. Despite being one of the most influential artists of her time—she even sang at Jimmy Ca​rter’s inauguration—Jones’s page is limited to a condensed biography and a partial discography. So this weekend, at the second annual Art + Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon, Samantha Sunne, a 24 year old journalist in New York, was working to expand it.

“She was actually a hugely influential folk music and blues singer in the early 20th century,” Sunne explained. “I’m kind of a music geek so I know a lot about her from other sources. The Library of Congress has a lot of her recordings. I’m trying to fill this out a little more and there’s also mistakes here, so I’m correcting those.”

The edit-a-thon is a global event that brings together volunteers to beef up the entries on women, feminism, and the arts. The flagship event was hosted at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, but more than 70 satellite sites hosted the event across 11 countries, with participants ranging from experienced editors to first-timers.

Art + Feminism is a collective of editors and volunteers who seek to increase the coverage of women and the arts on the mammoth resource. Wikipedia has reported that only 13 percent of its editors are women and while they make efforts to balance the coverage, research has sho​wn that the Wikipedia pages about women are very different from the Wikipedia pages about men (women’s pages, for example, were more likely to focus on their personal relationships than their accomplishments).

The Wikimedia Foundation (the head organization that oversees Wikipedia), has tried to increase its number of women editors, but for one reason or another, women aren’t participating as much in the cultivation of the site.

“The initial barriers to entry are both technical and social,” Jacqueline Mabey, an artist and one of the founders of Art + Feminism, told me. “It’s a social platform. It has all these rules and regulations that are not immediately apparent. So the training we have developed is for beginner editors to show them how to jump in, get involved, start small, and build to something bigger.”

The first edit-a-thon took place last y​ear on a smaller scale but attracted a positive reception. This year, the Wikimedia Foundation awarded Art + Feminism a $​14,175 grant to expand the event, allowing it to provide refreshments, child care, and more training for the participants. MoMA also donated the use of the space and the group had support from other organizations like the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts.

On Saturday, volunteers showed up at a steady pace . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Daily life, Writing

Extremely impressive speech by President Obama

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Here’s the text of the speech. James Fallows has a good post that includes a video of the speech:

I’ve been in transit or offline all of today and didn’t see President Obama’s Selma speech in real time. I’m catching up with it now, very late at night, and had a reaction different from the good job/bad job assessment I can’t help giving (as a one-time speechwriter) to most political discourse.

I thought this was a very good job, in written presentation and in delivery, as far as I can judge via YouTube. But for me that takes second place to my overwhelming reaction of gratitude: for once, a public figure expressing exactly how I feel.

I think this speech (official text here) will move to the front of the public statements by which Obama hopes to be remembered in the long run. Of course I’m biased because I agree with him, but the case would be this:

Obama’s career-making speech at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston, which I happened to be in the hall to witness, was unforgettable political theater, the obvious arrival of a star, but its text is not, in fact, that impressive on re-reading. It assured Americans that they could easily move past Red/Blue tribal divisions. Isn’t it pretty to think so.

Obama’s speech on race relations in America, in Philadelphia seven years ago, saved his campaign and thus was again a history-changing performance. Before that speech, it seemed possible that he would be forced from the race by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright “God damn America!” furore. But I don’t think its actual discussion of race relations will be studied for enlightenment in years to come.

Obama’s speech today, again declaring my bias in agreeing with him, differs from those of most other national figures, most of the time, in stating with concise complexity what is indeed exceptional about this American experiment.

I first lived outside my native country at age 21, when I went to graduate school in the superficially similar setting of England. Those next few years began for me the process that has continued ever since, when living in the U.S. or abroad: that of recognizing how exceptional the American ambition is, and how much my own tribal identities start with being American.

These are the parts of Obama’s speech that rang truest to me, after spending much of my life thinking about the country from afar, with emphasis added: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 2:27 pm

Hold prosecutors accountable to restore faith in the justice system

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An excellent post with some outrageous examples of prosecutorial misconduct that goes unpunished. The punishment for prosecutors who misuse their powers should be swift and severe because they have such great power over people’s lives.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 11:30 am

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement

Muck Reads

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Via email from ProPublica:

It wasn’t shocking that he was beaten. It was shocking that the story got out. The most violent encounters at Attica, a maximum-security prison in New York with a brutal history, are usually handled internally, outside public view. So it was surprising when the severe beating of an inmate in 2011 went public. Three guards pulled George Williams from his cell for what they saw as talking back. By the end of the night Williams had two broken legs, a broken shoulder, a fractured orbital bone, blood in his sinuses and multiple lacerations and contusions. Prison protocol typically dictated that Williams be put him in solitary confinement. But that wasn’t the case. The officer running solitary confinement that night decided that Williams was too hurt to be thrown into “the box.” The three guards who beat Williams recently went to trial. They struck a deal, pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of misconduct and quit their jobs. — The New York Times and The Marshall Project via @L_willen.

How $161 million turned into $1.8 billion. Last summer, the Texas Department of Public Safety began an enforcement effort in the Rio Grande Valley. A week before sending off its performance review to lawmakers, the value of the drugs seized increased dramatically from $161 million to nearly $2 billion, The Austin American-Statesman reports. The change is due to a shift in the methodology used to calculate the value of the drugs seized. DPS now looks at retail prices compiled by the White House, rather than wholesale prices specific to Texas. Criminologists believe that this skews the picture of the seizures since retail prices vary from region to region. And the change in methodology comes at a time when state leaders want to increase how much is spent on border operations. The proposed budget is more than the last seven years of state border spending combined. — The Austin American-Statesman via @JinATX and @ApprovedAmerica

Oil and gas companies don’t clean up after themselves. Oil and gas companies are required to restore all drill sites in Colorado once they have completed their work. This includes reviving-vegetation, erosion control, eradication of weeds, etc. Yet more than half of the nearly 50,000 inactive wells are not fully restored, and 72 percent of the work sites have been “in the process” for five years or more. The Denver Post also found Colorado’s laws are not as strict as laws in other states. Industry officials say restoration takes more time and is more costly than expected. Environmentalists say the state needs to work harder to make sure industry fulfills its obligations. “If land isn’t restored, it won’t be of use for anything else other than oil and gas,” says the director of an oil-and-gas accountability organization. — The Denver Post via @Brizzyc

All body parts are not equal when it comes to workers’ compensation. Over the past decade, legislators at the behest of businesses and insurance companies have dismantled a century-long compact between workers and employers. This week, ProPublica and NPR published several stories that looked deeply at the results of these changes. Reporters Michael Grabell of ProPublica and Howard Berkes of NPR found that your body parts, if lost on the job, are not worth the same in each state. Compensation for losing an eye in Alabama, for example, is 10 times less than compensation for losing an eye in Pennsylvania. We also uncovered that despite complaints from business that workers’ comp premiums are out of control, the rates are the lowest they have been in 25 years. — ProPublica by @MichaelGrabell and @hberkes

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2015 at 10:49 am

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