Ferguson Revisited, Guns, Goldfish, and More Pre-Election Drama: Sept 04, 2015

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The Ferguson Report, Part 2: African-Americans: No Longer Cash Cow for the City?
By WhoWhatWhy
In our excerpts from The Ferguson Report, Part 1: Breathing While Black, and Other Offenses, we presented a number of shocking incidents that showed what African-Americans were subjected to every day by the Ferguson Police Department. These outrages were driven by racism at its rawest. But there was another dimension to this predatory behavior: Money. The more tickets the police wrote, the more money they earned for the city. And the more brownie points they earned for themselves. In Part 2 of this two-part series, we present excerpts that show — in appalling detail — how those in authority encouraged illegal predation, and even threatened punishment for police officers that preferred to play it straight. We also present a short happy report on some of the dramatic reforms that are taking place.


We’re pleased to introduce a new feature that will appear on our site and in our daily newsletter, replacing the current model. PICKS are articles from around the web, either selected by our editors or recommended by readers. 

These are articles or developments that struck us, and that we think you’ll find of interest. We are adopting a broad range of criteria for PICKS. They can be:

— updates or developments related to stories we have been covering

— stories on subjects we have not covered that relate to core areas we cover

— stories on subjects we have not covered and don’t match our core interests but that are noteworthy because they’re surprising, disturbing, enlightening, inspiring, amusing, etc. 

If you would like to recommend articles, videos, podcasts, etc. that you think your fellow readers would enjoy, please send them to picks@whowhatwhy.org.


PICKS for Sept 4, 2015:
California, in a landmark court settlement, is moving thousands of prisoners out of solitary confinement. Some have been isolated for three decades. They say that the way a society treats its prisoners says a lot about that society — so this is surely a hopeful development, because California was one of the worst. The isolation policy did have a purpose: keeping suspected gang members out of communication. But it could never really work, and it psychologically and emotionally destroyed already troubled individuals.

Been meaning to share an op-ed about the rising tide of mass killings, which among other things points out Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe trying to do something about it, and his frustrations. Among other things, early this year the NRA blocked a bill which would have barred … toddlers from using guns. Of course there was some justification, but … Eh Ptooey!

With all the candidates’ talk about government waste, it is interesting how few of them want to go after some of the biggest waste of all: private contracts given out by the Pentagon. At WhoWhatWhy, we periodically remind you of staggering boondoggles and tragic screw-ups in Afghanistan, but they just never seem to cease. The latest, reported by an Inspector General, is the most recent in an ongoing series of buildings commissioned by the military but then abandoned when they decided they didn’t need it. Total wasted so far on buildings? $42 million.

We just loooove Trump. They’re so wacky, it’s as good as stupid cat tricks. Today, we note a study showing that more than 60 percent of The Donald’s supporters think Barack Obama is … a Muslim born in another country. No matter how quintessentially establishment Obama proves himself to be, the thing just won’t go away for some people.

Here in the New World, we’ve got Trump on the rise, while the Old Country has Jeremy Corbyn. Talk about polar opposites. You may remember the term “quantitative easing” when it was applied to bailing out banks? Well Corbyn, an outsiderish member of the British House of Commons who is nonetheless currently leading in polls for the Labour Party leadership, wants “quantitative easing” for people. He wants the UK to stop focusing so much on the financial sector and to do morein the way of financing housing, energy, transportation, and digital projects.

And, on a lighter note, take a look at some of the world’s best aquatic plant designs for aquariums. Here are last year’s contest winners. Doesn’t your goldfish deserve the best?

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