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Archive for July 18th, 2007

Scary…

Report: Gang Suppression Doesn’t Work

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Anti-gang legislation and police crackdowns are failing so badly that they are strengthening the criminal organizations and making U.S. cities more dangerous, according to a report being released Wednesday.
Mass arrests, stiff prison sentences often served with other gang members and other strategies that focus on law enforcement rather than intervention actually strengthen gang ties and further marginalize angry young men, according to the
Justice Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank that advocates alternatives to incarceration.
“We’re talking about 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds whose involvement in gangs is likely to be ephemeral unless they are pulled off the street and put in prison, where they will come out with much stronger gang allegiances,” said Judith Greene, co-author of “Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies.” The report is based on interviews and analysis of hundreds of pages of previously published statistics and reports. And though it is valid and accurate, the ideas raised in it are not new, said Arthur Lurigio, a psychologist and criminal justice professor at Loyola University of Chicago. “These approaches, although they sound novel, are just old wine in new bottles,” he said. “Gang crime and violence in poor urban neighborhoods have been a problem since the latter parts of the 19th century.”
Lurigio, other academics and gang intervention workers have echoed elements of the report that found gangs need to be viewed as a symptom of other problems in poor
communities, such as violence, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and unemployment.
The report says Los Angeles and Chicago are losing the war on gangs because
they focus on law enforcement and are short on intervention.
It cites a report this year by civil rights attorney Connie Rice, who was hired by Los Angeles to evaluate its failing anti-gang programs. Her report called for an initiative to provide jobs and recreational programs in impoverished neighborhoods.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton both commended Rice’s report. But in February, they unveiled a strategy that focused on targeting the city’s worst gangs with arrests and civil injunctions that prohibit known gang members from associating with one another in public.
Rice describes the city’s policy on arresting the city’s estimated 39,000 gang
members as “stuck on stupid.”
Wes McBride, executive director of the California Gang Investigators Association, dismissed the findings of the report, which he said was written by “thug-huggers.” The investigators association is a professional organization for police officers.
“Are they saying we can’t put a thief in jail, we can’t put a murderer in jail, that we should spank them, put a diaper on them, pat them on the bottom, hug them and let them go?” McBride said. “It’s obviously a think tank report, and they didn’t leave their ivory tower and spend any time on the streets.”
“Gang Wars” also criticizes politicians who overstate the threat of criminal gangs and seek tougher sentences.
Greene specifically criticized a bill introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would make it illegal to be a member of a criminal gang and would make it easier to prosecute some minors as adults.
But Feinstein spokesman Scott Gerber said the bill also calls for spending more than $400 million on gang prevention and intervention programs, which he said would be the largest single investment of its kind.

Yes scary, but I’m with Wes McBride here in that what does this think tank want? Hold gangmember’s hands and ask them to stop the violence. How much intervention is needed?
When should it start? What is going on in the jail system after the gang members are convicted?

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Staying along the line of the bosses post of Europe’s plight with it’s taxes and welfare system, I came along this article on Boortz’s website today.

Irritation grows over taxes

Norwegians are among the most heavily taxed people in the world, and that in turn has made Norway one of the most expensive countries in which to live. Most accept the taxes they’re ordered to pay on income and even net worth and property, but growing numbers are publicly complaining about sky-high taxes on everything from cars to fuel to consumer goods.
Norwegians differentiate between skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes) and the latter is the most hated. They’re what causes a glass of house wine at an Oslo restaurant to cost the equivalent of nearly USD 16, or a gallon of gas to cost nearly USD 9 at current exchange rates.
“It’s clear that taxes are much too high in oil-rich Norway,” Oslo resident Gro Pettersen told newspaper Aftenposten. “It’s sick!”
The taxes placed on new cars, which can more than double the price of the car itself, are another bone of contention, even though most Norwegians support measures to protect the environment. “The car tax is much too high, but so are most all the other avgifter also,” said Ernst Bendiksen of the northern city of Vadsø, where Norwegians are far more dependent on their cars than those living in cities with good public transit systems. “We certainly don’t get anything in return for them.”
A study conducted by research firm MMI for the Norwegian Tax Payers Association (Skattebetalerforeningen) showed that the most hated taxes are those on new cars and a transfer tax levied when real estate changes hands. The so-called dokumentavgift on real estate transactions, which implies that it’s meant to cover the costs of property registration, costs homebuyers around 2.5 percent of the purchase price.
Three of four Norwegians believe that’s too high, according to the MMI study, and absolutely no one believed it was too low. With even a modest flat in Oslo costing a few million kroner these days, the tax amounts to a fair bit of change.
Regressive inequalityThe study also showed that 67 percent of the population think Norway’s inheritance taxes are too high, while 63 percent think fuel taxes are too high. Norway’s hefty 25 percent VAT (like a sales tax) on nearly all consumer items is considered too high by 53 percent of the population. Only 32 percent, meanwhile, believed tobacco taxes are too high, while 44 percent believed liquor taxes are too high.
The user taxes, or avgifter, are also unpopular because they’re largely regressive taxes that hit people with low incomes much harder than those with high incomes. Filling the car’s gas tank, and paying the taxes that requires, is much more expensive for someone earning NOK 300,000 than it is for a car owner earning NOK 900,000.
The head of the tax payers’ association, Jon Stordrange, said he thinks user taxes should be adjusted to reflect actual costs inflicted on society. “Then I think people would have more respect for the system,” he said.

WOW!!! “skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes)… dokumentavgift on real estate transactions, which implies that it’s meant to cover the costs of property registration, costs homebuyers around 2.5 percent of the purchase price.”
That’s just friggin bananas. I would start a damn riot on that shit there! 2.5 percent on taxes just to sell a house and cover expenses for filing paperwork and such! Lets do some easy math on this!
Lets say for a Norweigan to sell his house of $100, 000 (keeping the number simple for the mathematically inclined!), the taxes would be $2500! That goes right to the government folks! Not the mortgage companies, lawyers, etc! This is just highway robbery!

Now! What i wanted to know is where do these taxes REALLY pay for, so I looked around a bit on the web (I just can’t fly over there and ask you know!). Here’s what I found courtesy of Thinkquest:

The Norwegian welfare system

The welfare system in Norway is made to take care of all the inhabitants of the nation, “from the cradle to the grave”. From the day they are born, all Norwegians are members of National Social Insurance. Being a member of the National Social Insurance is in fact mandatory. The National Social Insurance guarantees a number of benefits for the population: Free health care, free hospitalization and immunizations.
A 100% wage compensated maternity leave for 42 weeks for the mother, 4 weeks’ fully paid leave for the father. (Alternatively one year on 80% of salary) Almost 70% of the fathers take this opportunity to be home with their newborn child. Every family receives child allowance for each child, until the child is 16 years old.
Single parents receive double child allowance. Children receive free dental care until they are 18 years old. For 19 – and 20-year-olds the Social Insurance gives a 75% discount. (This dental care does not include braces or other orthodontics.)
A minimum pension when a person retires. Retirement age: normally 67, lower for some professions.The welfare system is financed through taxes. A working Norwegian pays between 30% and 40 % of his income in taxes (depending on how much he earns). A part of the taxes goes to the National Social Insurance fund and secures the insurance and benefits for the person himself and the non-working persons (children, the elderly).
The welfare system is run by the state. Norwegians have a loyal, friendly relationship with the state, as it is looked upon as someone you can turn to for help. Receiving welfare benefits is not regarded as shameful; it is something everyone receives and takes advantage of.

Read that last line again! “Receiving welfare benefits is not regarded as shameful; it is something everyone receives and takes advantage of.” WHAT KIND OF MINDSET IS THAT! Like Michael Savage says, “Liberalism is a mental disorder!” That it is indeed. One side note; one look thinkquest.org at its website and you’ll see where they stand on the side of politics. A little hint is it’s not to the right! lmao

Here’s Britannica’s synopsis of Norway’s welfare and government system. No where have I seen how Norway pays its, “Compulsory membership” or it’s high rate of taxes for that matter.
Media bias anyone? lol

Now the real question is this folks: can we afford Sen. Hillary Clinton to be our next president so she may try to have her way with convincing the idiots that we need “Universal heathcare?”
I think not folks.

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