“I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me”

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The Daily Kos has an article “I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me” that quotes a Los Angeles police officer.

Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies. [...]

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

The article then invites a discussion. Here is what I contributed.

To understand this issue from all sides you have to imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes. There are a wide variety of shoes you have to consider.

As a white male who gets stopped by the police once every 5 or 1o years, I have no problem giving utmost deference to the police officer (who has a gun) and showing that officer every respect whether he or she deserves it or not. As a result, almost every interaction I have had with a policeman has ended quite well for me and for the policeman.

The other set of shoes I can imagine is that of a black man who may get stopped for similar reasons that I get stopped every 5 or 10 years, but it happens maybe several times a year, or a month, or a week, or even a day. I know, and he probably knows what the right way to handle the situation would be, but can we expect him to have the saintly control to keep his emotions in check? Of course the other advantage that this black man may not have is that I can expect the police officer to treat me civilly if I show the proper deference. It works nearly 100% of the time for me. I doubt a black man could get that percentage of success. Also I have never had to contemplate the loss of a job because I was delayed by an unwarranted police stop, nor the issue of protecting my family from the results of such a stop. If a person is faced with that situation, their ability to control themselves might get compromised.

Putting myself in the shoes of the policeman or woman, I can see that he or she is dealing with a different population of people than I have to regularly deal with. I can tolerate a lot of disrespect, because I am pretty sure of myself and my own value as a human being. One would hope a policeman could also tolerate that disrespect. As a parent, I can tolerate some angry words from my child, because I know that things can get said that are not really meant in the heat of an argument. Apparently some police officers cannot even tolerate that in their own families. On the other hand, I don’t have to tolerate the constant level of disrespect that some officers might face depending on the particular job they find themselves in. The odds of the dangers for me of allowing disrespect may be a lot lower than what a police officers faces.

So, in the face of all of what we have learned by standing in different sets of shoes, we need to figure out what set of standards we want to set for both the police and the public.

Let me add that there are probably many police officers who get the respect they want because they show respect to the people they deal with. There are also police officers who get some disrespect because they show disrespect.

I am also reminded that for most of my working life I got the proper respect on the job from my peers and from my bosses. When I didn’t, I had the option (and I took it) of getting another job. Not everyone finds themselves in such a lucky situation, and therefore can afford a higher tolerance level for disrespect in a few other situations.

Regulators Punting on “Too Big to Fail” Problem of Repo, Looking to Install Yet Another Bailout Vehicle

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Naked Capitalism has the article Regulators Punting on “Too Big to Fail” Problem of Repo, Looking to Install Yet Another Bailout Vehicle.

The post-crisis era is rife with band-aid-over-gunshot-wound approaches to deep-seated weakness in the financial system. Perversely, because the authorities were able to keep the system from falling apart, albeit via a raft of overt and covert subsidies to the perps, they’ve reacted as if all that needs to be done is a series of fixes rather than more fundamental interventions. One glaring example is a critically important funding mechanism, repo, for firms that hold large inventories of securities and/or enter into derivative positions, such as major capital markets firms like Goldman, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays, as well as hedge funds. Here, the authorities have been giving way to industry demands that will assure that repo, which was bailed out in the crisis, will be bailed out again.

It was hard for me to pick a short excerpt that would give you the gist of the problem. The above will have to do. I found the article quite fascinating.

To give you an idea of how seriously I treat this issue, I have decided that any large cash holdings in my investment portfolio will be in short term Treasuries rather than in Money Market funds. The interest is so low in either one of these vehicles, that the safety of Treasuries far outweighs any extra money (if there even is any) that I could earn in a money market fund.

This decision is not just hypothetical. Quite a while ago, I sold a stock position, and could not find a suitable stock investment to replace it. I put the money in Treasuries. About nine or so months later, I am still waiting for a stock investment that is worth the risk. What I don’t lose in the money held in Treasuries will more than make up for the dividends I didn’t earn from an investment in a stock.

Deconstructing Fed Vice Chair’s Grim Economic Forecast

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The Real News Network has the interview Deconstructing Fed Vice Chair’s Grim Economic Forecast.

EPSTEIN: … Now, what he’s leaving out in these three factors are factors such as the distribution of income and wealth and the level of aggregate demand in the economy, as emphasized by John Maynard Keynes. So you can have a lot of growth in technology, you can have a lot of growth in population, but if you don’t have demand, nobody’s going to buy the products that these factories are producing. And if income distribution is tilted way towards the rich who don’t consume very much, you’re not going to have much demand.

I just do not understand why it is so hard for the main stream economists and the FED to understand what has been well known in economics since the 1930s. Why is this theory which fits the facts so well ignored in favor of a theory that just keeps failing to explain the solution to the problem? All the effort to apply the solutions from the wrong theory have produced anemic results, yet they cling to this theory which keeps failing to produce the results that it predicts that it should.

You’d think that eventually these people would wake up to the fact that it is the theory that is wrong, not the failure of the real world to behave according to the theory.

Race For Attorney General: Warren Tolman And Maura Healey

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The Maura Healey Campaigb sent me the link to the discussion below.

I think we have two excellent candidates for the office of Attorney General. I know nothing about Warren Tolman’s executive ability to run the office of Attorney General. I think that Maura Healy has demonstrated that ability. Whether or not that should be a pivotal issue is something the voters will decide.

At least Tolman had a chance to clear up the issue of why he thinks the Attorney General has the authority to implement mandatory “smart gun” technology as he seems to claim in his political ad.

The Real Fiscal Responsibility Talk Show Pilot Project by Joe Firestone

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New Economic Perspectives has the article The Real Fiscal Responsibility Talk Show Pilot Project by Joe Firestone

The instant gratification gem of the article is the posting of the interview with Stephanie Kelton.

The interview gives a simple explanation of the following statements in the article by Joe Firestone:

Once people understand the expanded policy space implications of fiat currency systems they will know that any budget cuts or tax increases or rejections of new legislation on solvency or financial scarcity grounds alone are unjustified. And they will know that all the troubles caused by refusals to pass full employment, Medicare for All, new energy foundations, educational reform, infrastructure reinvention, extensions of the social safety net, and other highly desirable fiscal policies create gratuitous and cruel individual and societal hardships for most of us. All proposals to cut entitlements and the social safety net on grounds of cost or so-called future liabilities are equally unjustified, and certain to cause entirely unnecessary suffering.

These spending cuts on purely deficit reduction grounds harm America. They sell it short. They damage future generations. They prevent us from seriously considering new and innovative policy proposals which address a number of our problems simultaneously such as this one, and in so doing hurt our ability to adapt to change and challenge. They must be eliminated as a factor in politics once and for all if we are to progress as a nation.

One of the things that has to happen is that the MMT idea gets repeated as often (more often) as the false economic doctrine of balanced budgets and austerity. Stephanie Kelton and her fellow MMTers have to keep it up, and the rest of us have to multiply their voices.

Making that happen is what the article is really about. As Joe Firestone explains:

Our goal for this pilot project is to raise $30,000 to create the six programs. Please help us to meet this goal at our indiegogo site. If we can do it, and then get the program picked up, our voice may be the decisive one in defeating the austerians and their policies, and in opening the way to create the America of economic opportunity and social justice we all long for.

Helping to fund this project may be one of the best ways you can spend your money to try to turn this country around. Once we get the economy moving in the direction of working for everyone, this will diminish the problem of excess income inequality which in turn will lead to a better functioning economy for everyone – a positive feedback loop if you will.

Steve and Sharon Spend Money On Infrastructure To Stimulate The Economy

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If the government won’t spend money on infrastructure to stimulate the economy, the I will.  See, I put my money where my mouth is when it comes to economic theory.

See the slide show directly without WordPress as an intermediary.

If you have trouble seeing the pictures, let me just tell you that we paved our driveway.

Warren plans Israel trip after midterm elections

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The Boston Globe has the article Warren plans Israel trip after midterm elections.

WASHINGTON – With Hillary Clinton seeming to express a more hawkish view of world affairs than President Obama and publicly questioning his decisions on Syria, liberals may be wondering what an Elizabeth Warren alternative would look like.
In general, Warren seems anti-interventionist and takes a skeptical eye to any US military action. In February, during her only speech on foreign policy in the year and a half since she took office, she warned of using military might without considering the implications.

Ever since my previous post Hillary Clinton: The Goldwater Girl Reveals Herself in an Atlantic Interview,  I have been thinking that I hope Elizabeth Warren will come up with a credible counter-strategy to Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy statements.  I saw that as a necessity if she ever decides to run for President in 2016.  The Boston Globe has exactly figured out what I have been wondering.

The article reminds me of the few times that Warren has made foreign policy pronouncements other than to back whatever Obama has said.  It gives me hope that Warren can be a counter-weight to the Clintonistas in the Democratic Party.

20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

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Yahoo has the story 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes.

It is amazing that these people can see the problem, but pretend not to see the obvious solution.

There needs to be international coordination of tax laws. There are countries that don’t want to play along, and want to offer low taxes for a fee that is large enough to support the small population. The rest of the international community can decide how they want to deal with those countries. No trade agreements or special tariffs for those countries might be some ideas.

It was George W that put a stop to the efforts at coordination. I don’t know if those efforts have been restarted.

For those people who think lowering taxes will increase business investment enough to make a difference, I have to ask “What part of no freakin’ customers do you not understand?” If there are not enough customers to buy stuff, why would any company want to invest in producing more stuff?

Watch Elizabeth Warren Push The Bank Regulators

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Elizabeth Warren has a post on her Facebook page where she says the following:

Last week, federal regulators acknowledged that all of the biggest banks remain Too Big to Fail. I’ve pushed these regulators to use the full extent of their authority, including breaking up the biggest banks, to make sure no bank’s failure can bring down the economy again.

Her posts leads to an article in USA Today and ultimately to the video below.

As the USA article says:

While the legislative process in Washington seems to be broken, congressional oversight shows occasional signs of being alive and kicking.

Case in point: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., skewered Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen at a hearing in July on the subject of living wills that large banks are supposed to be submitting — credible plans on how bankruptcy of these behemoths could be handled in a rapid and orderly fashion without taxpayer bailouts.

Maybe what these plans may need to have is an estimated time that would be required to liquidate the banks with the proposed plan.

We need to make sure that the voters know that at least some parts of our government are working and just who the people are that are making it work.

Obama slams reporter’s right-wing adopted talking point as bogus

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The Daily Kos has the article Obama slams reporter’s right-wing adopted talking point as bogus.  The article provided the following excerpt of a transcript from the video below.

What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision. Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government. In order for us to maintain troops in Iraq, we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government and we needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system.
So let’s just be clear: The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because the Iraqis were—a majority of Iraqis did not want U.S. troops there, and politically they could not pass the kind of laws that would be required to protect our troops in Iraq.

This is the kind of answer the President needs to give more often. He needs to educate the voters on why the premise of the question is all wrong. I have no idea how we get this answer to the Faux Noise viewers. The more we propagate this around the internet, the more chances that people, at least on the fringe of Faux Noise viewers, might stumble across this.

It won’t work to claim that placing the blame on George Bush is putting it in the wrong place. If George Bush did it, he has to own it. Nobody else should be forced to take ownership of what George Bush did.