Apr 23

Questlove on How Hip-Hop Failed Black America — Vulture

http://www.vulture.com/2014/04/questlove-on-how-hip-hop-failed-black-america.html

Apr 23

Introducing AISight: The slightly scary CCTV network completely run by AI | ITProPortal.com

http://www.itproportal.com/2014/04/16/aisight-the-surveillance-network-completely-run-by-ai/#ixzz2zciNYE8m

Apr 23

Italy: US Empire’s Mediterranean launchpad

http://rt.com/op-edge/us-italy-launch-pad-empire-613/

Apr 23

Disappearance of MH 370 flight: The trillion dollar question to the US and its intelligence services

http://rt.com/op-edge/disappearance-malaysian-airlines-flight-373/

Apr 23

Students’ choice Snowden takes up post as Glasgow University rector

http://rt.com/news/154308-snowden-glasgow-university-rector/

Apr 23

Article: #myNYPD Twitter call-out backfires for New York police department

When the New York police department invited people to tweet pictures of their dealings with “New York’s finest” with the hashtag #myNYPD, what could possibly go wrong?

The attempt at public outreach, however, backfired spectacularly when users flooded Twitter with hundreds of photos of police brutality during Occupy Wall Street, one of an 84-year-old man brutalised for jaywalking – and even a dog being frisked.

By midnight on Tuesday, more than 70,000 people had tweeted about police brutality, ridiculing the NYPD for a social media disaster and recalling the names of people shot dead by police.

Police officials declined to respond to questions about the comments, which were being posted at a rate of 10,000 an hour, or say who was behind the Twitter idea. But they did release a short statement.

“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community,” Kim Royster, an NYPD spokeswoman told the New York Daily News. “Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

The request for pictures, on the @NYPDNews Twitter page, had said: “Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD,” the message read. “It may be featured on our Facebook.”

It prompted a flood pictures of officers mistreating people and old newspaper headlines about unarmed people being shot dead by police. It also sparked similar hashtag trends – including #myLAPD – and attracted international attention.

Last year, Wall Street giant JP Morgan was at the centre of a social media storm when it invited Twitter users to send questions to an executive using the hashtag #AskJPM. The bank was deluged with vitriol. More than 8,000 responses were sent within a six-hour period, two-thirds of which were negative.

via http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/23/mynypd-twitter-call-out-new-york-police-backfires

Apr 23

The True NYC: Unaffordable For Regular People: Make Under $40K? Good Luck Renting An Apartment In NYC

According to the report, the median rent in New York City rose by 75 percent from 2000 to 2012, but thanks to two recessions, incomes actually declined during that period. Newly hip neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Fort Greene and Bushwick saw average rent increases of over 50 percent, which is probably not that shocking—Williamsburg and Greenpoint saw their average rents go from $737/month in 2000 to $1,297/month in 2012.

But the rent increases go beyond the newly Urban Outfitter-ed. According to the report, in Sunnyside and Woodside in Queens, average rents went from $943/month to $1,323/month; East Harlem saw an increase in average from $658 to $952, and Mott Haven/Hunts Point in The Bronx saw a monthly hike from $491 to $689. Only a few neighborhoods—the Upper East Side, Coney Island and Mid Island on Staten Island—saw a rent increase of under 10 percent, and not one neighborhood saw a decrease in rents.

More frustratingly, average incomes have actually decreased by about five percent since 2000, and the city lost about 400,000 apartments with rents under $1,000 in that 12 year period, which doesn’t bode well for anyone who needs lower-income housing. The report notes that in 2012, New York households earning between $20K and $40K spent 44 percent of their monthly income on rent, adding, “Although most New Yorkers probably feel that housing in the city is too expensive, it is primarily those earning under $40,000 who literally may not be able to find an apartment they can afford.”

via http://gothamist.com/2014/04/23/make_under_40k_good_luck_renting_an.php

Apr 23

Article: Economic Inequality: Another Answer

Here is one perspective on what the future has in store for us:

We have already returned to the levels of income inequality of the 1920s, and the concentration of wealth is heading toward the ratios of the 1890s. The social relations of the future, writes Piketty could resemble Jane Austen’s world, in which a tiny group of the wealthy employed vast armies of poorly paid servants.

The “Piketty” referred to in this quotation is Thomas Piketty, a French economist whose massive Capital in the Twenty-First Century has just been translated into English and published. Our problem today, says Jeff Faux, summarizing Piketty, is that

contrary to what we’re taught in Economics 101, markets appear to have no self-correcting mechanism that can halt the worsening misdistribution of wealth. If allowed to go unchecked, a tiny number of capitalists will own just about everything, with social consequences that Piketty sees as “potentially terrifying.”

What can—and should—be done about this problem? Again quoting Faux:

He sees no real alternative to global capitalism and has little interest in changing its inner workings through worker ownership, nationalization or the redevelopment or local or national markets. Like Keynes, his goal is to make markets a more efficient instruments for human progress. But although he supports the standard progressive agenda of financial regulation, public investment in education and infrastructure and aid to the poor, he thinks that in a globalized economy, capital is now beyond the control of any one country—even the United States. Efforts by individual nations to constrain capital will just chase away highly mobile private investment.

The ultimate solution, he writes, is a worldwide progressive tax on private capital.

via http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/04/economic-inequality-another-answer-2/

Apr 23

Article: The Failure of the Ukraine De-Escalation Agreement

The Failure of the Ukraine De-Escalation Agreement

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/23/the-failure-of-the-ukraine-de-escalation-agreement/

Apr 23

Article: Putin’s Dilemma

Putin’s Dilemma

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/23/putins-dilemma/

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