The very training that makes someone a good police officer can produce a frightening abuser, experts say.
For example, officers are trained to take control of every situation. They learn to interrogate suspects and to conduct effective surveillance. They learn how to pursue suspects and physically restrain them - in many cases, without leaving a mark. When they use force, they know how to provide legal justification.
This article is part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s continuing investigative report on the corruption in the Milwaukee Police Department. Early parts of the series can be found here and are absolutely worth reading.
As a means of controlling crime, America’s prisons are notoriously inefficient and only minimally effective, often creating hardened criminals out of first-time offenders. The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, yet 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the past generation, the imprisonment rate per capita in this country has multiplied by five. There are 2.3 million Americans in prisons and jails. Spending on prisons has reached $77 billion a year.
Even as the prison population has grown, less than half of the inmates are serving time for violent crimes. Far too often, prison has become a warehouse for people with drug or alcohol addiction. More than half of the population has some form of mental illness.
”—The New York Times. Falling Crime, Teeming Prisons. Republican senators have sabotaged the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, which would be an essential step toward major criminal justice reform.
In what some call a brazen, unprecedented power play, a key Republican wants quick passage of a bill that would immediately implement new districts in the state Senate while keeping current districts in the Assembly, giving the GOP a better chance at retaining control of both houses.
“Everybody’s success is predicated on the hard work of all of us. Nobody gets there on their own. So why should it be that the people that lose are hung out to dry? …For a group that doesn’t necessarily believe in evolution, it’s awfully Darwinian.”—
JON STEWART, on the conservative and libertarian notion that the government should not provide “safety nets” for the disadvantaged in our society, on The Daily Show.
“I’m not somebody who takes recalls lightly. But Scott Walker has governed so extremely and so recklessly, going right at the throat of working people when our families are suffering, that we have no choice.”— Russ Feingold.
“People here know beer. I’m usually happy to argue that New York City is the height of sophistication, but I could only cringe as I compared Wisconsin’s vast beer choices with the Amstel Lights and Stellas at many New York bars.” —Seth Kugel
that’s a great quote, but this article hits on everything that i love about madison. well done and insightful for a short trip.
The pay freeze on general wages comes just months after Walker and Republicans who run the Legislature required public workers to pay more for their health insurance and pensions and eliminated almost all collective bargaining for most of them.
And this is comes less than two weeks after it was revealed that Gov. Walker lied about his own pension contributions.
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”—Barack Obama
Republicans Turn Judicial Power Into a Campaign Issue
Republican presidential candidates are issuing biting and sustained attacks on the federal courts and the role they play in American life, reflecting and stoking skepticism among conservatives about the judiciary.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas favors term limits for Supreme Court justices. Representatives Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Ron Paul of Texas say they would forbid the court from deciding cases concerning same-sex marriage. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania want to abolish the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, calling it a “rogue” court that is “consistently radical.”
“The department tolerates misconduct. Prosecutors give cops career-saving deals. The commission reduces punishments when officers break the rules. As a result, police who have crossed to the other side of the law keep the power that comes with the badge. Meanwhile, citizens have no way of knowing whether the officers responsible for protecting them have tarnished records.”—
Justice Clarence Thomas was sworn in to the Supreme Court 20 years ago today. After two decades on the bench, he remains a legal outlier even on the conservative court. The results he reaches are often radical, and where his ideas come from even more so.
Gov. Walker called a special session of the state legislature to focus on jobs (since he is “focused like a laser beam" on jobs).
First up on the agenda for the legislature in this special session? Republicans introduce a bill to bring back abstinence only education, naturally. Schools teaching sex ed would be required to promote marriage and teach “abstinence skills.” Topics like anatomy, puberty, body image, healthy relationships, and the use of contraceptives would no longer be required.
“So what is the G.O.P. jobs plan? The answer, in large part, is to allow more pollution. But the reality is that more pollution wouldn’t solve our jobs problem. All it would do is make us poorer and sicker.”—Paul Krugman, Party of Pollution.
The suit argues the state constitution allows the Legislature to exclude felons and the incompetent from voting, but cannot restrict others from voting. The new photo ID law creates a new class of people who cannot vote - those without ID - and thus violates the state constitution, the suit argues.
“Be a model of civility. Be sincere. Keep your word. Be curious. Engage in intellectual discourse. Be open to negotiation, but know when to walk away from the table.”—words of wisdom from Russ Feingold.
“In recent weeks, a decidedly more populist Obama has tried to revive his political machine, asking his once obedient backers to call their congressmen to aid the passage of his worthy-but-inadequate jobs bill. Rather than flooding the phone lines, however, fed up citizens flooded the streets — with a much more ambitious agenda: to restore economic fairness in America. The Occupy Wall Street movement is a game changer because it gives progressives a voice apart from the president who refused to change the game.”—Rolling Stone. Obama, Occupy Wall Street, and the Rebirth of the Left. It’s a short, thought-provoking read that I highly recommend.
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has cast himself as the outsider, the pizza magnate with real-world experience who will bring fresh ideas to the nation’s capital. But Cain’s economic ideas, support and organization have close ties to two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes through their group Americans for Prosperity.
“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”— A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti
Gov. Scott Walker, who forced public workers to pay more for their pensions as part of a push to curb union rights, broke a campaign promise to pay the full cost of his own pension immediately after taking office in January.