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  • May 2011
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links for 2011-05-11

  • Quote:"If the election of America's first African-American president was expected to give blacks an economic boost, it hasn't emerged yet. Indeed, the percentage of African-American men with a job has dropped to its lowest level since records began in 1972, according to the government's monthly jobs report released last week.

    Even as the economy added a better-than-expected 244,000 jobs, the percentage of black males over 20 who are currently employed dropped slightly to 56.9, the Labor Department's April report shows. For whites, the equivalent figure is 68.1 percent.

    Before this recession, the percentage of black adult men with a job had never dropped below 60 percent, according to Labor Department statistics.

    // Brutal.

  • Quote:"The rate of soldiers hospitalized for having suicidal thoughts has soared a staggering 7,000% in the last five years, a new Pentagon report says.

    The report, which covers the period from the fourth year troops were in Afghanistan and the third year they were in Iraq, is the latest troubling survey on potential suicides in the military.

    * The Army reported last month there in March had been eight reported potential suicides involving soldiers who were not on active duty, and seven potential suicides among active duty soldiers.

    * A study released in March found the suicide rate for female soldiers tripled while at war between 2004 and 2009 compared to soldiers who were not overseas.

    * Five months ago, another survey found suicides had doubled among National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from 65 in 2009 to 145 in 2010.

    // Brutal.

  • Quote:"In April, NORML blogged about the U.S. Department of Justice, particularly U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane, threatening "civil and criminal legal remedies" (read: sanctions) against Washington state citizens, including state employees, who assist with or engage in the production or distribution of medical cannabis, "even if such activities are permitted under state law."

    The U.S. Attorneys' threats came in response to an inquiry from Gov. Chris Gregoire who most likely was seeking 'political cover' so that she could publicly 'justify' her veto of legislation (SB 5073) that sought to license and regulate the dispensing of medical cannabis to qualified persons, and would have enacted additional legal protections for patients who voluntarily participated in a statewide registry. The threats worked; Gov. Gregoire cited them in her veto statement Friday.

    // Bogus.

    (tags: drugwar obama)
  • Quote:"Laura Dennis’ son Graham had a pen knife and a Leatherman that school authorities found while they searched a team bus before it headed to a game. He now faces jail time and damage to his permanent record.

    “A police officer came and took him away in handcuffs and they said ‘Give us 40 minutes, we have to process him,’ Laura Dennis said. “So they did mug shots and they fingerprinted. I was able to pick him up from the police department 45 minutes later.”

    Doug Edsall’s son Casey had a lighter he also used to fix his lacrosse stick. The school classified it as an explosive device.

    // I think it's totally rational to treat high schoolers like prisoners, what social-psychological dynamic could be healthier? Zero-tolerance 4-ever.

  • Quote:"Jason Kubel deserves plenty of praise for continuing to thrive in the middle of an otherwise horrendous lineup. He hasn't driven in many runs because no one else can get on base, but Kubel is hitting .347/.400/.504 with three homers and 10 doubles in 34 games. Take out Kubel and the rest of the Twins' lineup has hit .216 with .297 slugging percentage. Seriously.

    // Dude.