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Member since: Wed Oct 7, 2015, 07:51 AM
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Why are Milwaukee’s black babies dying?

By: Daniel Dale Washington Bureau, The Toronto Star

"The infant mortality rate for the city’s white babies is similar to Canada’s. The death rate for its black babies compares to the Gaza Strip.

MILWAUKEE—Dasia Oliver, eight months pregnant and working at Walmart, didn’t particularly want to spend her free time in a hospital class on safe sleeping for babies.
Then she thought of a friend whose baby died in bed this summer. Then she thought of the brother she never met. He died in bed as a baby, too.

“I’d rather sit here for an hour,” Oliver, a 20-year-old black woman, said at the hospital in November, “than be planning a funeral.”
There are a whole lot of baby funerals in Milwaukee. At most of them, it is a black mom crying over the casket.
Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in America. Its white infants die at around the same rate as infants in Canada. Its black infants die at around the same rate as infants in the Gaza Strip.

Five deaths per 1,000 births for white babies. Fifteen deaths per 1,000 births for black babies.
“Babies just dying every day,” said Mary Love, 25 and expecting her third child, at the popular Blanket of Love prenatal class held weekly at a black church. “It’s not making no sense.” "

Denelle McManus with her son Cordae, 4. McManus's other son, Tavion, died after eight days in the hospital following his premature birth in 2007. Two-thirds of black infant deaths in Milwaukee are the result of premature birth.



The bottom 40% of the American workforce continues to suffer in the shadows.

Baltimore police trial resumes after Freddie Gray arrest video draws tears

Source: Reuters

The trial of a Baltimore police officer charged with manslaughter in the death of a young black man is due to resume on Friday, a day after prosecutors showed a video of his arrest that reduced his family to tears.

Officer William Porter has also been charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in the April death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

On Thursday, Gray's mother and other relatives wept as a cellphone video, taken by bystander Kevin Moore, showed Gray screaming as he was arrested and people yelling at police.

Gray died a week after being taken into custody for fleeing from an officer and possessing a knife.

Porter, 26, is one of three black officers charged in the case. He could be sentenced to more than 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

He is the first of six officers to go on trial in Baltimore City Circuit Court in connection with Gray's death, which triggered riots and intensified a U.S. debate on the use of excessive force by police, especially against black men.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-baltimore-police-idUSKBN0TN12F20151204#JfBJzfAlQzOoWJmS.97

"People Who Become Cops Tend to Have Authoritarian Personality Characteristics
Research shows a correlation between police behavior and authoritarianism.

There have been many articles written about the political personality types of the police. One of the most influential is the 1972 work, The Police Personality: Fact or Fiction by Robert Balch. He explores several questions in an effort to crystallize the various arguments in the research on police psychology: are authoritarian personality types more likely to choose police work as a profession? Are police more or less likely to have authoritarian personality types than the general public? Does being a police officer exacerbate authoritarian impulses?

On the topic of authoritarianism and police, Balch summarized one of the main veins of thinking from the literature at that time:

a. Conventionalism: rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values.

b. Authoritarian Submission: submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the ingroup.

c. Authoritarian Aggression: tendency to be on the lookout for, and to condemn, reject, and punish people who violate conventional values.

d. Anti-intraception: opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded.

e. Superstition and Stereotypy: the belief in mystical determinants of the individual's fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories.

f. Power and "toughness": preoccupation with the dominance-submission, strong-weak, leader-follower dimension; identification with power figures; overemphasis upon the conventionalized attributes of the ego; exaggerated assertion of strength and toughness.

g. Destructiveness and Cynicism: generalized hostility, vilification of the human.

h. Projectivity: The disposition to believe that wild and dangerous things go on in the world; the projection outwards of unconscious emotional impulses.

i. Sex: Exaggerated concern with sexual "goings on." "


U.S. trade deficit widens as exports hit three-year low

Source: Reuters

Dec 4 - The U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly in October as exports fell to a three-year low, suggesting that trade could again weigh on economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap rose 3.4 percent to $43.9 billion, a sign that the worst of the drag from a stronger dollar was far from over. September's trade deficit was revised up to $42.5 billion from the previously reported $40.8 billion. The government revised trade figures going back to April to incorporate more comprehensive and updated quarterly and monthly data.

Economists had forecast the trade gap shrinking to $40.5 billion in October. When adjusted for inflation, the deficit increased to $60.33 billion from $57.37 billion in September.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-trade-idUSKBN0TN1GM20151204#7iaaQ1ATKk2I0iUC.97

Do our never ending trade deficits really matter? Seems like they do...

"Many attempts have been made to create economic excuses for the trade deficit. A frequently heard claim is that trade deficits do not matter, while others argue that “the trade balance is generally determined by macroeconomic factors.”1 Both views suggest that trade deficits will be largely unresponsive to trade policies, and may be safely ignored, as long as the nation is following sound macroeconomic policies.

These laissez-faire views are both wrong and dangerous to the health of our economy. One major source of confusion is the use of simple correlations, or economic identities, in the place of meaningful economic analysis of the causes of our trade problems. The most recent Economic Report of the President makes this mistake in several places, as shown below. The Report emphasizes the accounting relationship between savings and investment without sufficiently examining the cause of changes in these variables. Improvements in our trade balance, through increased exports, can increase income and hence raise national savings, thereby reducing our reliance on imported capital while creating better jobs in the economy at the same time. If, on the other hand, we ignore the trade deficit, our incomes will continue to stagnate and the risks of an economic collapse will grow in the future."

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