"Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote over a century ago about what he believed to be the most fundamental of rights, “the right to be left alone.” The NYPD’s surveillance program should make us question whether this right is no longer on the books. If you are taking your child to play soccer, if you are trying to feel less homesick by playing cricket, if you are watching a game at the local bar, you may have unwanted company. For the affected communities, it is a burden that speaks to the worst traditions of racism and collective punishment. If sports can’t be a place to actually exhale and relax, if our children become suspects just for signing up to play, then something is very wrong."

Not a Game: How the NYPD Uses Sports for Surveillance | The Nation

"

Yes, it is like comparing apples and oranges. That is the point though. We have built two very different societies with two very different sets of values. Takeesha was born into a world with limited opportunities, one where the black market has filled the void. In her world transgressions are resolved via violence, not lawyers. The law as applied to her is simple and stark, with little wiggle room.

Mr one-glove was born into a world with many options. The laws of his land are open for interpretation, and with the right lawyer one can navigate in the vast grey area and never do anything wrong. The rules are often written by and for Mr one-glove and his friends.

"

The wealthy ‘make mistakes’, the poor go to jail | Chris Arnade | Comment is free | theguardian.com

futurejournalismproject:

A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion hidden in secret tax havens by the end of 2010, according to a major study. — BBC

The figure is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.
The Price of Offshore Revisited was written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, for the Tax Justice Network.
Tax expert and UK government adviser John Whiting said he was sceptical that the amount hidden was so large.
Mr Whiting, tax policy director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “There clearly are some significant amounts hidden away, but if it really is that size what is being done with it all?”
Mr Henry said his $21tn is actually a conservative figure and the true scale could be $32tn…
…Mr Henry used data from the Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and national governments.
His study deals only with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts.
The report comes amid growing public and political concern about tax avoidance and evasion. Some authorities, including in Germany, have even paid for information on alleged tax evaders stolen from banks.
The group that commissioned the report, Tax Justice Network, campaigns against tax havens.

FJP: Impossibly large, no? If not, simply staggering.

futurejournalismproject:

A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion hidden in secret tax havens by the end of 2010, according to a major study. — BBC

The figure is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.

The Price of Offshore Revisited was written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, for the Tax Justice Network.

Tax expert and UK government adviser John Whiting said he was sceptical that the amount hidden was so large.

Mr Whiting, tax policy director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “There clearly are some significant amounts hidden away, but if it really is that size what is being done with it all?”

Mr Henry said his $21tn is actually a conservative figure and the true scale could be $32tn…

…Mr Henry used data from the Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and national governments.

His study deals only with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts.

The report comes amid growing public and political concern about tax avoidance and evasion. Some authorities, including in Germany, have even paid for information on alleged tax evaders stolen from banks.

The group that commissioned the report, Tax Justice Network, campaigns against tax havens.

FJP: Impossibly large, no? If not, simply staggering.

"

There is a flip side to this as well. I have helped others too. I am financially successful now; I pay a lot of taxes. I don’t mind because I know how taxes helped me to get to the fortunate position I am in today. I hope the taxes I pay will help some military wife give birth, a mother who needs help feed her child, help another child learn and fall in love with the written word, and help still another get through college. Likewise, I am in a socially advantageous position now, where I can help promote the work of others here and in other places. I do it because I can, because I think I should and because I remember those who helped me. It honors them and it sets the example for those I help to help those who follow them.

I know what I have been given and what I have taken. I know to whom I owe. I know that what work I have done and what I have achieved doesn’t exist in a vacuum or outside of a larger context, or without the work and investment of other people, both within the immediate scope of my life and outside of it. I like the idea that I pay it forward, both with the people I can help personally and with those who will never know that some small portion of their own hopefully good fortune is made possible by me.

So much of how their lives will be depends on them, of course, just as so much of how my life is has depended on my own actions. We all have to be the primary actors in our own lives. But so much of their lives will depend on others, too, people near and far. We all have to ask ourselves what role we play in the lives of others — in the lives of loved ones, in the lives of our community, in the life of our nation and in the life of our world. I know my own answer for this. It echoes the answer of those before me, who helped to get me where I am.

"

A Self-Made Man Looks At How He Made It

in which John Scalzi (Hugo-nominated author, journalist, editor, and more) examines the proposition that anyone in our society becomes successful entirely on his or her own efforts.

Derivatives: The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks

in which we see that JP Morgan Chase’s derivatives exposure is about $70 trillion dollars - equivalent to the entire world economy. And that’s just one of the dozen or so banks considered “too big to fail”.

SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of “something”, add contract & you have a derivative. Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill. This visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company’s total coverage for all cars. (via Derivatives - The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks)

Derivatives: The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks

in which we see that JP Morgan Chase’s derivatives exposure is about $70 trillion dollars - equivalent to the entire world economy. And that’s just one of the dozen or so banks considered “too big to fail”.

SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of “something”, add contract & you have a derivative. Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill. This visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company’s total coverage for all cars. (via Derivatives - The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks)

if you think this is about jealousy, class warfare, laziness, handouts, punishing success or any of the other standard BS that is often spouted when the topic of the income gap comes up, you’re wrong. this may be the best piece on the topic I’ve ever read.

youranonnews:




OUR POLLS — OCCUPY THE VOTE - ELECTION SEASON 2012
Announcing “OUR POLLS” - A new joint effort between Anonymous and the Occupy Movement to hold politicians accountable to the People.
Elected officials serve one purpose — to represent their constituents, the people who voted them into office. Last year, many of our elected officials let us down by giving in to deep-pocketed lobbyists and passing laws meant to boost corporate profits at the expense of individual liberty. 
Our Senators and Representatives showed how little they cared about personal freedoms when they voted overwhelmingly to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of individuals based merely on a suspicion or allegation of sympathizing with questionable groups or causes. This act is a prominent threat to the inalienable due process rights of every US citizen as laid out in the Constitution. It allows the military to engage in civilian law enforcement, and to suspend due process, habeas corpus or other constitutional guarantees when desired. Our congressmen passed one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in the history of the United States. Will we hold them accountable on election day?
Will we hold our elected officials accountable for supporting rigid Internet censorship laws such as SOPA, PIPA, HR 1981 and the ACTA treaty? The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) aimed to crack down on copyright infringement by restricting user access to websites that hosted or helped facilitate pirated content. SOPA and PIPA’s ambiguous, broad wording would have cast a wide censorship net around most of the Internet, thus creating questions of due process, burden of proof, and privacy violations. The proposed laws were lobbied and paid for by Hollywood, RIAA, MPAA and other massive media companies and would safeguard entertainment industry profits at the expense of essential freedoms, the Internet and constitutional civil liberties . Even if the goal was to merely regulate pirated content, the ambiguous wording demonstrates that the authors and supporters of SOPA and PIPA have little-to-no understanding of the Internet’s architecture or the frightening implications of the legislation. 
What can you do? You are one person. You have one vote. Use that vote on November 6 to hold your elected official accountable for supporting bills such as NDAA, SOPA and PIPA. 
We are calling on voters, activists and keyboard warriors under all banners to unite as a single force to unseat the elected representatives who threaten our essential freedoms and who were so quick to minimize our individual constitutional rights for a quick corporate profit. 
Follow @OurPolls and @AnonPAC for updates, news, leaks, and calls to action.

youranonnews:

OUR POLLS — OCCUPY THE VOTE - ELECTION SEASON 2012

Announcing “OUR POLLS” - A new joint effort between Anonymous and the Occupy Movement to hold politicians accountable to the People.

Elected officials serve one purpose — to represent their constituents, the people who voted them into office. Last year, many of our elected officials let us down by giving in to deep-pocketed lobbyists and passing laws meant to boost corporate profits at the expense of individual liberty. 

Our Senators and Representatives showed how little they cared about personal freedoms when they voted overwhelmingly to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of individuals based merely on a suspicion or allegation of sympathizing with questionable groups or causes. This act is a prominent threat to the inalienable due process rights of every US citizen as laid out in the Constitution. It allows the military to engage in civilian law enforcement, and to suspend due process, habeas corpus or other constitutional guarantees when desired. Our congressmen passed one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in the history of the United States. Will we hold them accountable on election day?

Will we hold our elected officials accountable for supporting rigid Internet censorship laws such as SOPA, PIPA, HR 1981 and the ACTA treaty? The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) aimed to crack down on copyright infringement by restricting user access to websites that hosted or helped facilitate pirated content. SOPA and PIPA’s ambiguous, broad wording would have cast a wide censorship net around most of the Internet, thus creating questions of due process, burden of proof, and privacy violations. The proposed laws were lobbied and paid for by Hollywood, RIAA, MPAA and other massive media companies and would safeguard entertainment industry profits at the expense of essential freedoms, the Internet and constitutional civil liberties . Even if the goal was to merely regulate pirated content, the ambiguous wording demonstrates that the authors and supporters of SOPA and PIPA have little-to-no understanding of the Internet’s architecture or the frightening implications of the legislation. 

What can you do? You are one person. You have one vote. Use that vote on November 6 to hold your elected official accountable for supporting bills such as NDAA, SOPA and PIPA. 

We are calling on voters, activists and keyboard warriors under all banners to unite as a single force to unseat the elected representatives who threaten our essential freedoms and who were so quick to minimize our individual constitutional rights for a quick corporate profit. 

Follow @OurPolls and @AnonPAC for updates, news, leaks, and calls to action.

(via wilwheaton)

These revelations should not come as a surprise. But what’s impressive is just how concentrated the giving is. Between them, these nine presidential Super PACs have raised more than $62 million. Of that money, almost half (48%) has come from just 22 individuals.

We’ve already seen just how potent these super PACs can be in the first few Republican primary contests. As the electoral season moves on, super PACs will likely expand to House and Senate races as well. If what we’ve seen so far is any indication, more and more political fundraising will be dominated by the handful of super-wealthy individuals and corporations who can and will spend seven figures. These kinds of contributions can change the dynamics of a political campaign, which gives these individuals incredible potential power. It cannot be a good thing for our electoral process. (via The presidential super PACs: five takeaways - Sunlight Foundation)

These revelations should not come as a surprise. But what’s impressive is just how concentrated the giving is. Between them, these nine presidential Super PACs have raised more than $62 million. Of that money, almost half (48%) has come from just 22 individuals.

We’ve already seen just how potent these super PACs can be in the first few Republican primary contests. As the electoral season moves on, super PACs will likely expand to House and Senate races as well. If what we’ve seen so far is any indication, more and more political fundraising will be dominated by the handful of super-wealthy individuals and corporations who can and will spend seven figures. These kinds of contributions can change the dynamics of a political campaign, which gives these individuals incredible potential power. It cannot be a good thing for our electoral process. (via The presidential super PACs: five takeaways - Sunlight Foundation)

"If we’re willing to spend $750 billion (so far) to make democracy in Iraq possible, we should be willing to spend one-twenty-fifth of that to make democracy in America work."

Lawrence Lessig in Republic, Lost (via think-progress)

Previously: Iraq war facts & stats

(via kateoplis)

(via kateoplis)

ilovecharts:

Americans Make Up Half of The World’s One %
beenthinking:


By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney January 4, 2012
It only takes $34,000 a year, after taxes, per person, to be among the richest 1% in the world….
(the rest of the story here)



kind of puts “we are the 99%” in a new light - if you’re making over $34K after-tax, you’re the 1%, globally speaking.

ilovecharts:

Americans Make Up Half of The World’s One %

beenthinking:

By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney January 4, 2012

It only takes $34,000 a year, after taxes, per person, to be among the richest 1% in the world….

(the rest of the story here)

kind of puts “we are the 99%” in a new light - if you’re making over $34K after-tax, you’re the 1%, globally speaking.