Wednesday, March 30, 2011

11-03-30 Plutocracy in the USA // Plutocracia en los EE.UU. // 在美国富豪

Build Public Pressure to Boot Jeffrey Immelt

General Electric, America's largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits in 2010 and paid $0 in taxes -- that's right, zero dollars in taxes.
At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.
Adding insult to injury, Mr. Immelt is chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That's wrong. Mr. Immelt should not lead the administration's effort to create jobs.
Join Russ Feingold and sign Progressives United's petition for Mr. Immelt to resign from his position on President Obama's jobs panel today.
I believe General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt must step down from his position on the president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness -- and if he won't, President Obama must ask for his resignation.

11-03-30 Prison as a form of enslavement // La prisión como una forma de esclavitud // 监狱作为一种形式的奴役


More Black Men Now in Prison System than Were Enslaved


“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation.
Information Clearing House Newsletter
News You Won't Find On CNN
March 30, 2011

How to Waste Money and Lives: The American Prison System

By Celia Chazelle

In 1970, fewer than 200,000 Americans were incarcerated. Today, with some 2.3 million in prison or jail, the US has more people and a higher percentage of its population locked up than any other country.

11-03-30 The price of reckless banking regulation // El precio de la regulación bancaria imprudente // 银行监管的鲁莽价格

Reuters Canada

China economist blasts dollar dominance on eve of G20

Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:05am EDT

1 of 1Full Size
BEIJING (Reuters) - Dollar dominance is sowing the seeds of financial turmoil, and the solution is to promote new reserve currencies, a Chinese government economist said in a paper published on the eve of a G20 meeting about how to reform the global monetary system.
Although not an official policy statement, the paper by Xu Hongcai, a department deputy director at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, offered a window onto the domestic pressures bearing on Beijing to move away from a dollar-centric global economy.
The China Center, a top government think tank, has represented the Chinese government in organizing a forum on Thursday in Nanjing that will bring together finance ministers, central bankers and academics from the Group of 20 wealthy and developing economies.
Xu's paper, "Reform of the international monetary system under the G20 framework," was published in Chinese on the center's website this week (
"Nations around the world have no way of restricting dollar issuance by the Federal Reserve. The current international monetary system lacks both stability and fairness," Xu wrote.
He said the global monetary system had fallen into a "dollar trap." While it would be sensible to reduce dollar holdings in official currency reserves, nations cannot easily cut back, because doing so would only lead the dollar to weaken and so hit the value of their assets, he said.
China's dollar dilemma is particularly acute, though Xu did not say as much. China had $2.85 trillion in foreign exchange reserves at the end of last year, more than any other country. About two-thirds are estimated to be invested in dollars.
Beijing has repeatedly warned that loose U.S. monetary policy threatens the dollar, but it has continued to accumulate dollar assets at the same time, adding about $260 billion of Treasury securities last year, according to U.S. data.   Continued...

11-03-30 The Death Penalty in Louisiana // La pena de muerte en Louisiana // 在路易斯安那州的死刑

Supreme Court Firms Up State Immunity From Wrongful Conviction Lawsuits

By a ideologically right-left, 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today (PDF) that a wrongly convicted Louisiana man—who at one point was just weeks away from execution—isn't permitted to sue the DA's office that for 14 years sat on the evidence proving his innocence.
Jacob Sullum wrote about Connick v. Thompson in March of last year. As Sullum pointed out, while it's clear that prosecutors knew about the evidence for years (a bloody piece of cloth), there are competing theories about whether they knew they had to turn the cloth over and willfully withheld it anyway, or if they simply didn't know they were obligated to turn it over. (As Sullum also noted, it's hard to decide which scenario is worse.) The latter seems rather unlikely, even though during the civil trial, Orelans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick and his assistants apparently couldn't articulate the Brady Rule, the law requiring the disclosure of such evidence. Of course, the former—the willful misconduct—is also much harder to prove.
In any case, the Court's ruling today, taken with past rulings, further illustrates how the old mantra that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" seems to apply to everyone except for actual members of law enforcement.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, found that the failure of Connick (fun side note: he's the father of crooner Harry Connick, Jr.) to train his assistants on their obligation to turn over exculpatory evidence isn't negligent enough to subject the government that employs him to liability. Connick and his assistants themselves (an office with a long history of misconduct) were already protected from any personal liability by absolute prosecutorial immunity, a concept the Supreme Court essentially invented from whole cloth.
Keith Findley, President of the Innocence Network, comments:
"Basically, what the Court is saying is that because they are lawyers, there was no reason for the District Attorney to believe that his prosecutors might need training to be sure they are fulfilling their constitutional obligations to disclose information that might be useful to their defense. This logic completely ignores the reality of what happened to John Thompson who was sentenced to death by prosecutors who repeatedly failed in their obligation to disclose exculpatory information. No other profession is shielded from this complete lack of accountability."
The ruling also negates a $14 million jury award to John Thompson, the man wrongly convicted. It also means that for his 18 years in prison, 14 of which he spent on death row, Thompson will now at most get $150,000, the maximum compensation for a wrongful conviction allowed under Louisiana law.

11-03-30 Welcome Jamaica - Newest Country! // Bienvenido Jamaica - Pais Mas Reciente! // 欢迎牙买加 -最新的国家!


Newest Country

Last Visited March 30, 2011

11-03-30 Welcome United Kingdom! // Bienvenido Reino Unido! // 英国欢迎!

Last New Visitor

United Kingdom
Visited March 30, 2011

11-03-30 Welcome Mauritius - Newest Country! // Bienvenido Mauritius - Pais Mas Reciente! // 欢迎毛里求斯 -最新的国家!


Last New Visitor

Visited March 30, 2011