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redstateupdate.net
 
number 90  02.11.07
source : Economic Policy Institute
May Day  
March in
Chicago
redstat
archive
verbatim
archive
redstat
Weather:  Cold Comfort
source: World Resources
Institute
"It would be helpful if we
opened up ANWR. I
think it's a mistake not
to. And I would urge you
all to travel up there and
take a look at it and you
can make the
determination as to how
beautiful that country is."
Washington DC 03.29.01
verbatim                                                                         number 17.5
Data compiled by police officials in
New York City and Washington, D.C.
appears to contain evidence of racial
profiling in stops of motorists and
pedestrians, leading local community
activists to call for changes to
departmental procedures. Statistics
released by the NYPD reveal that 55
percent of people detained for so-
called “stop and frisks” last year
were black, and more than 30
percent were Hispanic, while 11
percent were white. In Washington,
black and Latino pedestrians were
significantly more likely to be stopped
than whites in two trendy
neighborhoods, according to D.C.
Police figures. In both cities, the total
number of such stops has risen
sharply in recent years.

New York police performed more
than 508,000 “stop and frisks” in
2006, compared with less than
100,000 in
2002. In more than 89 percent of
these incidents the suspects were
non-white. 55.2 percent of those
stopped and searched were black,
according to the data. US Census
Bureau figures show that the
population of New York City is about
44 percent white, 28 percent
Hispanic, and 25 percent black.
Complaints to authorities about
police abuses during the impromptu
searches have also increased
significantly since 2002.
Departmental spokesmen denied
allegations of profiling, calling the
stops “an essential law enforcement
tool.”

Similar statistical anomalies in D.C.
were largely confined to the districts
of Georgetown and Adams-Morgan,
wealthy neighborhoods popular with
tourists. Officials vowed to improve
diversity training for police assigned
to those areas.                         
it's all
true
Russian officials reported that a
snowfall of yellow, green and orange
blanketed a 1000-mile area in the oil
and gas producing region of Omsk.  

The Russian Ministry of Emergency
Situations announced to residents of
the region that, while the snow did
not appear to be radioactive, they
should refrain from using the oddly
colored snow for household or
industrial purposes.  Residents were
also advised to keep pets and farm
animals indoors.

The neighboring regions of Tomsk
and
Tyumen also reported having
received yellow and green colored
snow fall earlier this winter.  

The region’s environmental
prosecutor said in a statement
that officials “cannot give
explanations to the snow, which is
oily to the touch and has a
pronounced rotten smell.”  Tests
so far have revealed that the
snow has elevated levels of iron.  

Meteorologists reported that a
“creamy pink” snow fell in Russia
last winter.    
                              it's all
true
verbatim                                                               number 17.4
"Interestingly enough, a
lot of sheikhs have
decided to join in the
fight...they're tired of
foreigners and killers in
their midst...
...that's what the
commanders have told
me, and they believe we
have a good opportunity
to really crush this
group of folks."
Fort Benning GA 01.11.07
A delegation representing Inuit
peoples from four countries will
appear before the
Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights to present their
claim that the impact of global
warming on their environment
and culture constitutes a
human rights violation. The
commission, which is affiliated
with the Organization of
American States, agreed to
hold hearings on the issue
after rejecting a similar request
in December. The Inuit group
is expected to argue that US
energy and environmental
policies have had particularly
adverse effects for their
remote Arctic communities.

The delegation will be headed
by  activist and Nobel Peace
Prize nominee Sheila
Watt-Cloutier of the Inuit
Circumpolar
Conference. In a petition to the
commission, the Inuit and their legal
team stated, “The impacts of climate
change, caused by acts and
omissions by the US, violate the Inuit’
s fundamental human rights
protected by the American
Declaration of the Rights and Duties
of Man and other international
instruments.”  The group represents
Inuit from the US, Canada,
Greenland, and Russia.

Scientific studies have shown that
polar regions are uniquely
susceptible to the effects of global
warming. Rising sea levels resulting
from melting sea ice are threatening
coastal communities in the Arctic;
entire villages have already been
forced to relocate. The Inuit
complaint may ultimately be referred
to the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights, but the US does not consider
itself bound by the court's
decisions.            
it's all true
A study of public schools in
Philadelphia has found that
schools that receive extra
funding and are managed by
private for-profit entities fared
no better than schools that
were simply restructured and
that received no additional
funding.  

According to the Rand
Corpora-tion, academic gains
were seen in both traditionally
managed public schools and
privately operated schools,
but  “despite additional per-
pupil resources, privately
operated schools did not
produce average increases in
student achievement.”  The
group’s study found that,
although the privately
controlled schools received
more funding, “there were no
statistically significant effects,
positive or negative, in reading
or math.”

The Philadelphia public school
system embarked on a long-
term experiment in 2002 to
determine if privately managed
schools would increase test
scores and serve students
more effectively.  The study
was initiated after the state of
Pennsylvania took over the
200,000-student Philadelphia
school district due to continual
under performance.

The school board and
members of an appointed
School Reform Commission
hired a new CEO for the
school system who made
sweeping changes that
included hiring private
companies to manage 45
schools.  Various for- profit
companies, including The
Edison Corporation and
Victory Schools and two
universities managed the
schools.   
it's all true
A conservative think tank that
received more than half a million
dollars in contributions from the oil
giant Exxon between 2004 and 2006,
was discovered to have offered
$10,000 to any scientist who would
write a study or report that is critical
of a United Nations study which found
that global warming exists and is
caused primarily by the burning of
fossil fuels.  The American Enterprise
Institute also offered to pay for travel
and other expenses associated with
producing a paper or monograph that
criticized the study and
challenged its basic premise.

The think tank told the scientists it
solicited that it wanted to sponsor
a paper that “thoughtfully exposes
the limitations” of the climate
models used by the UN.  A critique
of the study was needed
“especially as it bears on potential
policy responses to climate
change.”       
it's all true
Street Searches a Suspicious Activity
Inuit Among Endangered
Species
Enterprising Institute Bribes Scribes
Freaky Flurries Fuel Fears
Real wage changes by
wage percentile,
2004-2005
0.0
1.0
-1.0
%
10th          50th           95th
Wage Percentile
india            japan           russia           china              us
6m
2m
4m
Carbon dioxide
emissions in
metric  tons,
by country
For Bobby Bowden, 2006 was a
tough year. The most successful
football coach in NCAA Division I-A
history led his Florida State
Seminoles to a 7-6 record, the
second-worst season in his 31 years
on the job, finishing out of contention
for a major bowl appearance and
failing to win the Atlantic Coast
Conference championship for only
the third time in the last 15 years. But
Bowden was able to extend one
impressive streak: his decade-long
run as Florida’s highest-paid public
employee.

Bowden’s total compensation of
$2,023,689 is more than four times
the amount earned by State
University System Chancellor Mark
Rosenberg, and more than 15 times
the salary of Florida Governor
Charlie Crist. Statewide, four of the
five top-paid public employees are
college football or basketball
coaches, and Florida is not unique:
in most states the best-compensated
employees are college coaches.
According to a recent investigation
by
USA Today, in 2006 nine college
football coaches made more than $2
million, as pressures increase for
Division I-A institutions to lure
coaching superstars to increase the
visibility and revenues of their
programs.

The trend toward higher salaries has
gained momentum as colleges secure
lucrative multimedia and
merchandising deals. In 1996,
Bowden was the first college coach to
be guaranteed $1 million; by 1999
there were five such contracts. For
the 2006 season, at least 42 of the
119 Division I-A programs were
paying their head coaches $1 million
or more in guaranteed
compensation, according to
USA
Today
. The newspaper reported that
the average salary package for a top
college football coach was $950,000,
a figure that does not include
benefits, incentive bonuses, and a
vast array of perks that have become
common, including cars, housing,
vacations, country club
memberships, and a percentage of
ticket sales for games.

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops
has a contract that guarantees $3
million a year, and Iowa coach Kirk
Ferentz reportedly received more
than $4.5 million in 2006, including
special bonuses. Salaries at the top
schools exceed many NFL contracts.
After compiling a 15-17 record in two
seasons as head coach of the Miami
Dolphins, Nick Saban shocked many
observers when he returned to the
college ranks, but his eight-year, $32
million deal with the University of
Alabama is much more attractive—
and marginally more secure—than
most NFL head coaching contracts.
In contrast,
Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith,
who led his team to this year’s
Super Bowl and was last season’s
NFL Coach of the Year, was paid
$1.35 million in 2006.

NCAA president Myles Brand has
acknowledged that salaries have
been inflated by frenzied
competition among the elite
programs to sign high-profile
coaches. Many Division I-A
schools even pay $500,000 a
year, or more, for top assistants,
such as offensive or defensive
coordinators. Speaking at an
event last week in Holland,
Michigan, Brand told his
audience, “We’re struggling a
little bit, at a number of colleges,
on the fiscal responsibility.”

Many administrators, athletic
directors, and university alumni
and booster associations defend
the stratospheric salaries, arguing
that successful football and
basketball programs generate
revenues that help fund less
popular sports and activities. But
NCAA statistics reveal that in
2006 only six Division I-A athletic
departments were profitable. The
remainder, more than 90 percent,
tap into the university’s general
fund or student fees to balance
their budgets.        
it's all true
College Coaches' Compensation a Lesson in Educational
Priorities
Privateers Can't
Propel Performance
An internal government study of
immigration detention centers in the
US found that detainees’ medical
needs are often neglected, they are
exposed to unsafe and unsanitary
conditions, they are degraded and, in
one incident, sexually assaulted.

The Department of Homeland
Security’s inspector general released
the report after reviewing several
facilities where immigrants who have
been arrested by police departments
and border agents, but whose status
has not been determined, are held to
await a hearing.  The conditions
under which they are confined were
found by the inspector general’s
office to be dangerous, unsanitary
and in violation of rules established
by the US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Agency. The study
reviewed five detention centers
focusing on standards regarding
health care, environmental health
and safety, general conditions of
confinement and reports of abuse.  

The standards set by ICE require the
provision of “adequate and
appropriate custody management of
detainees until a decision is
rendered” regarding their
deportation.  The inspector’s report
found 196 of 481 detainees’ non-
emergency medical requests were
not responded to in the time frames
demanded by the regulations.  The
researchers also found that of eight
detainees who were on hunger
strikes, only one received the
medical attention that is required by
the ICE’s regulations.

The investigators also reviewed the
systems that are required by
regulation for detainees to report
grievances and
submit complaints to the
administrators of the facilities.  39
detainee requests were examined
by the investigators who found
that ICE deportation officials
“could not substantiate that they
responded to and answered 38 of
39” of the requests within the time
frame required by policy.  
Detainees reported various
incidents, including being
photographed with cell-phone
cameras by guards as they
showered.

In the case of one of the centers
reviewed, 8 of 9 monthly reports
revealed the presence of
“rats/mice and cockroaches”.  

The investigators also reported
the theft of over $300,000 from
detainees who were housed in a
single detention center.      
it's all
true
The House Committee on Oversight
and Governmental Reform held
hearings recently where US officials
and government contracted private
security firms, such as Blackwater
USA and Kellog, Brown and Root, a
subsidiary of Halliburton, were
questioned about billions of dollars
worth of no-bid contracts and
allegations of fraud, waste and
mismanagement.

The committee also heard testimony
from the families of employees of
Blackwater who were killed by
insurgents in an ambush in Fallujah
and whose bodies were later
mutilated by a mob.  The families
charged that the company spent very
little of the millions
of dollars it received from the US
government to protect its employees
and was concerned only with what
they characterized as “war
profiteering”. The panel’s chairman,
Henry Waxman (D-CA) said that
“money for protective equipment took
a back seat to…contractor profits.”

The committee also explored the
disappearance of billions of US tax
dollars in Iraq, some of these monies
were allegedly directed to train and
equip insurgents who used the funds
to attack Americans and US interests
in the occupied country.

In a notable single instance of
neglect,  
Washington sent money to US
administrators in Iraq that was not
officially tallied but was instead
weighed and amounted to 363
tons of US $100 dollar bills that
was handed out by the “truck
load” with no indication as to how
the cash was spent. The US  
administrator in Iraq, L. Paul
Bremer, told the committee that
he personally gave away $12
billion and another $800 million
was stolen by US appointed Iraqi
ministers.  What became of the
remainder of the uncounted
millions is a mystery to this day.  
Bremer told the committee that
the  fraud, waste and theft
reflected “a good policy, poorly
implemented.”        
it's all true
Bremer, Blackwater Burned Billions in Baghdad
Boondoggle
Immigrants Experience Third-World Conditions in US
Facilities
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