Years of living dangerously

Aug 20, 2014 20:06 UTC

Yesterday, the Islamic State released footage of the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was captured in Syria two years ago. The group also says it may execute another American journalist depending on the next moves of President Obama.

Reuters reports that the gruesome decapitation video seemed to suggest that the Islamic State was opening a new anti-U.S. front that could result in attacks on U.S. interests or even American soil. “The stronger the war against the States gets, the better this will help hesitant brothers to join us,” said one Islamic militant.

Iraq has by far been the most dangerous country for journalists over the past two decades, with 165 journalist deaths there since 1992.

But press freedom is threatened even in countries that don’t necessarily resort to violence against journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the countries with the most journalists in prison include Turkey, China, Iran, Eritrea, and Vietnam:

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Why would anyone go to any of these places except for glory …..

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Poor and poorer

Aug 18, 2014 19:11 UTC

Like a lot of U.S. suburban areas around the country, Ferguson, Missouri is getting poorer. Underlying the weeks-long protests against the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager happening in the small suburban city north of St. Louis this month is a rapid demographic shift. Today, the Brookings Institution takes a look at how the poverty rate has changed in just the last decade:




Just how much poorer has Ferguson gotten? “The city’s unemployment rate rose from less than 5 percent in 2000 to over 13 percent in 2010-12. For those residents who were employed, inflation-adjusted average earnings fell by one-third,” writes Elizabeth Kneebone (who, it should be noted, has literally written the book on this trend). And Ferguson is not alone. In the first decade of the 21st century, poverty rates grew in suburban areas around the country, and already poor areas saw poverty become more concentrated.

Kneebone points out that one of the issues with increasing suburban poverty (besides, well, everything) is one of scale: “Ferguson is just one of 91 jurisdictions in St. Louis County. This often translates into inadequate resources and capacity to respond to growing needs and can complicate efforts to connect residents with economic opportunities that offer a path out of poverty,” she writes.

Think about that for a moment. Whatever the failings of the war on urban poverty, suburban poverty stands to become an even bigger problem.


There is no excuse for looting, shooting, and throwing molotov cocktails. Period.

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The diversity of American police forces

Aug 14, 2014 19:33 UTC

Does the local police force reflect the racial makeup of your community? According to an interactive chart created by the Washington Post today — following this week’s protests over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in the largely black community of Ferguson, Missouri — the answer is probably not.


The Post analyzed Census Bureau data, finding that that the vast majority of cities have a police presence that is a lot whiter than their population.

The dots in blue are cities where the police force is more white than the community. The gray are cities where the opposite is true. One of the most interesting things about this chart is the prevalence of dots at the very top: that’s where 100 percent of the police force is white, even when the community is relatively diverse.

Check out the full interactive for more detail.

And here, Reuters looks at the Ferguson PD specific situation:


This is what happens when people don’t vote.
Also too many small departments without proper oversight that ignore diversity issues.
It’s just common sense, the police should reflect the community they serve then the anti police mob have to find other issues.

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