Archive for the ‘ Democratic Mandates ’ Category

Why a Medical Examiner Called Eric Garner’s Death a ‘Homicide’

TIME

New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner on July 17 when he grabbed him by the neck and, with other officers, threw him to the ground and pinned him there. But did he commit homicide? And if so, was it a crime?

Everyone from Charles Barkley to Judge Andrew Napolitano has weighed in with an opinion on the matter. The resulting confusion has the potential to take the hard, painful question of equal justice in America and make it harder and more painful.

The key to clearing up the confusion is to understand the difference between two uses of the word “homicide” and to focus not on the medical cause of Garner’s death but on Pantaleo’s behavior.

On Aug. 1, a New York City medical examiner determined that the cause of death in the Garner case was “homicide,” specifically the neck compressions from the Pantaleo’s chokehold and…

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OpEdNews – Article: Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest.

 

 

 

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been stripped of legal immunity for acts of torture against US citizens authorized while he was in office.   The 7th Circuit made the ruling in the case of two American contractors who were tortured by the US military in Iraq after uncovering a smuggling ring within an Iraqi security company.  The company was under contract to the Department of Defense.   The company was assisting Iraqi insurgent groups in the “mass acquisition” of American weapons. 

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Cheney, the simple-minded sadist is next!  Bush won’t leave his cul-de-sac unless he has fifty henchmen surrounding him.  I love it when the bad guys get theirs!

OpEdNews – Article: Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest..

When They Came for Me

When the Nazis came for the Communists, I remained silent; I was not a Communist.

When they locked up the Social Democrats, I remained silent; I was not a Social Democrat.

When they came for the Trade Unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a Trade Unionist.

When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I was not a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.

Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a Protestant pastor and social activist.

I want to bring your attention to this passage as written by Martin Niemöller for reasons that will become obvious to you as time goes forward in this period of social and economic evolution within the United States, as well as the global arena. The author is summarizing the events that led to Nazi Germany’s ability to unite an entire country under a common belief, a philosophy that was froth with inconsistencies.  Everyone should have, to some degree, a working knowledge of that era, so I won’t go into details.

Let’s change the names to protect the innocent… so to speak, and see how these writings fit present day America:

When the Right came for the Senior citizens, I remained silent; I was not a Senior citizen.

When they locked up the Social Democrats, I remained silent; I was not a Social Democrat.

When they came for the Trade Unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a Trade Unionist.

When they came for the Lower Classes, I remained silent; I wasn’t in the Lower Classes.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.

It has been said that America was as close to being a dictatorship under the Bush Administration as ever before – The Patriot Act set the stage for what we see today – in a broader sense; .  I have enclosed a copy of the summary of what the PATRIOT Act does… USA PATRIOT Act.

“The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.” 

Before someone goes off on a tangent, I am sighting the Patriot Act here to put emphasis on the discreet way in which laws are passed which can enhances the capability to do other things that are even more bizarre in nature – the Patriot Act has its validity in the grand scheme of protecting America, but there were other entities encompassed in the Patriot Act that were in place before the Patriot Act was passed that did the same job.  So why did we need a ‘new’ law to do what was already a law?

The Military Commission Act of 2006 as originally signed by President Bush took aim at the rights of an accused as granted under the Habeas Corpus Act… you simply have to be declared a ‘domestic terrorist’ and you lose your right to representation, time you can be held without charges, and the right to an attorney – furthermore, your trial, if you are granted one will, be at the discretion of the entity that had you arrested and detained.

The Military Commission Act was revised in 2009 to appease its critics, but the controversy remains as to whether a U.S citizen can be tried under this Act.  Consider that the Combatant Status Review Tribunal decides whether you will be tried as an ‘alien’ or U. S. citizen – the new changes, that to some degree set guidelines for the Combatant Status Review Tribunal were requested by President Obama.  Based upon the new determination, you have a three step process that must include ‘substantial’ evidence to classify you as a hostile or unlawful enemy combatant.   You will have the right to Habeas Corpus and a trial by your ‘peers’, or a military tribunal if you do not qualify or meet all three of the steps of determination!

The text of the law states that its “purpose” is to “establish procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses triable by military commission.” While the most controversial provisions in the law refer to “alien unlawful enemy combatants”, section 948a refers to “unlawful enemy combatants” (not explicitly excluding US citizens).

What I am saying is this:

Changes are being made to the laws in many States and at the Federal Congressional level by the 2010 wave of Republicans that were ushered into our State and Federal Congresses with a mandate the Right foolishly believes is validated by the 2010 election results, this may be so, but surely no one envisioned what is currently taking place.  No one envisioned that ‘entitlements’ were going to be cut, degraded; no one believed that our Unions were going to be pushed to the curb like new fallen snow with hopes that they would melt and fade away in the Spring; no one believed that laws that have been on the books… having passed challenge after challenge are now being changed – precedence is a mainstay of Judicial law, and yet, we see clearly that these changes are being made.  No one believed that controversial laws, having been struck down by the courts, would be enacted in spite of the rulings by our courts!

No citizen is standing to voice concern… we are silent – until it is our turn to be subjected to the new order!  Therein lays the dilemma… the crack in the wall that will release a flood of laws systematically taking away your rights – all under the pretense of prosecuting terrorist.

In a democracy, silence is not golden; it is condonance in the face of injustices; it is fear, where the thought of reprisal fosters control – Rodney A. Davis

U.S. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. : News

Conyers Introduces Deficit Neutral Full Employment and Training Bill

(202) 225-5543_Contact: Nicole Triplett
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Washington DC– Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) today introduced H.R. 870, the “Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act,” a comprehensive and innovative federal and local government job creation and training bill that would create millions of new jobs for the nation’s unemployed. Local jobs would be created through a partnership between the Department of Labor, state, and local governments, non-profit community organizations, and small businesses. Under the Act, jobs would be created in the fields of construction, infrastructure repairs, green jobs, education, health care, and neighborhood renovation. The Act’s Full Employment Trust Fund would provide federal funding for local community-based job creation and training initiatives until full employment is reached in the United States. The Act is deficit neutral and fully funded through a modest tax on Wall Street stock and bond transactions.

“Today, there are millions of Americans who want a job, but can’t find one,” said Conyers.  “The inability to find meaningful and sustainable work strips our fellow citizens of their basic right to have access to food, housing, health care, freedom of movement, and perhaps, most importantly, the ability to pursue life with a sense of dignity and meaning.  High levels of unemployment are unacceptable and immoral in the wealthiest nation in the world. Thus, I believe it is critical that the federal government empower states, local governments, non-profits, and small businesses to create jobs during an economic downturn.
My “Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act” would allow local government officials to work with community leaders to come up with an effective job creation program, based on each community’s respective needs—be it improvements in infrastructure, housing, energy efficiency, education, or health care. The private sector will also benefit if millions of new jobs are created through improvements in our nation’s aging and crumbling infrastructure.  New orders for brick, concrete, steel, aluminum, and plastics mean new jobs in America’s plants and factories and a rebirth of American manufacturing.
Lastly, because we exist in a period when concerns about government debt loom large in many minds, my legislation will be fully funded by a tax on Wall Street speculation and will not add a dime to the federal debt.  Wall Street was responsible for the financial crisis that began in 2008 and continues to affect us today.  Having already received significant assistance from the federal government, it is only fair that Wall Street now pay Main Street back by helping put America back to work.”  Official Site address for the Congressman: John Conyers

Fact Checker – Haley Barbours Medicaid fantasy

Haley Barbours Medicaid fantasy

By Glenn Kessler

“We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they cant afford their co-payment.”–Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour,

Feb. 27, 2011

Haley Barbours colorful remark, made to The Washington Post while attending a National Governors Association meeting in Washington this week, recalls Ronald Reagans description of a “welfare queen” living high on government largess, driving a Cadillac. In Reagans telling, she bilked the government out of $150,000, when the actual case involved $8,000.

The Mississippi Republican, who is mulling a presidential run in 2012, worked for Reagan as director of the White House Office of Political Affairs in 1985-1986. Could Barbour have picked up some tips from the Great Communicator? Reagans anecdote ultimately was deemed exaggerated and aberrational, but it created a lasting image that fed popular distrust of the welfare system.Lets see if there is any basis for Barbours claim.

via Fact Checker – Haley Barbours Medicaid fantasy.

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This guy is just an outright liar with no conscientiousness what so ever!

Rep. Steve King Pledges “Smackdown” on Planned Parenthood | Mother Jones

Rep. Steve King Pledges “Smackdown” on Planned Parenthood

| Sat Feb. 12, 2011 12:51 PM PST

This past week, House Republicans launched an all-out war on Planned Parenthood, vowing to cut $327 million in federal family planning funding.The organization, of course, does not use federal money for abortions—the Hyde Amendment forbids that—but nonetheless House GOPers have Planned Parenthood in their crosshairs.

Here at the conservative CPAC conference, I spoke with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) about the Planned Parenthood battle. King rivals Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who has led the charge to deny federal funds to the organization, in his loathing for Planned Parenthood and his zealotry on the issue of abortion, among others. (At a hearing last Tuesday, King went into gory detail describing what he called “fetal dismemberment” when debating a tax-centric bill on federal funding for abortions.) He told me the group’s practices are “ghoulish and ghastly and gruesome,” and that Planned Parenthood engages in “child prostitution and illegal immigration.”

We talked briefly about an undercover video from a pro-life group showing a Planned Parenthood counselor giving a fake “pimp” advice about health services for his supposed under-age prostitutes (a set-up similar to one orchestrated by James O’Keefe that targeted the now-defunct ACORN). That counselor was summarily fired, and the organization reported the incident to the authorities. But when I asked King about the funding fight and the video, he said Planned Parenthood “is deserving of something far more severe than Congress will be able to deliver to them before the videos came out.”

Planned Parenthood has admitted that one counselor made a mistake, but correctly asserts it handled the issue properly. King didn’t agree. “I believe that the videos we saw of ACORN accurately reflected the activities of ACORN and the culture of ACORN, and the videos we have seen of Planned Parenthood accurately reflect the culture and the activities of Planned Parenthood.” On the funding battle, King pledged a “smackdown vote to shut down every dollar going to Planned Parenthood.”

But does the bill have any chance whatsoever in the Democratically-controlled Senate, I asked. King didn’t miss a beat:

Harry Reid can defend those ghoulish and ghastly and gruesome practices that Planned Parenthood is advocating along with child prostitution and illegal immigration. He can play defense on that. They didn’t do very well in the Senate when they tried to defend ACORN. I don’t think they’ll do any better this time.

No matter what happens in the Senate, he concluded, the fight will rage on in the House. “Mike Pence is determined,” King said. “I don’t think he’s going to back off. And I will not.”

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What is it about the Republican Party and Conservatives that drives them to enact laws that crush the very Constitution that they are sworn to protect.  Where it possible, I believe that any changes that they could make would lend cause to a revolt among the lower and middle classes of this nation.

The burdens of supporting the privilege is becoming heavier with each Congressional session!

 

 

Rep. Steve King Pledges “Smackdown” on Planned Parenthood | Mother Jones.

The largest slave revolt in U.S. history is commemorated | NOLA.com

Littice Bacon-Blood, The Times-Picayune By Littice Bacon-Blood, The Times-Picayune

More than a century before the first modern-day civil rights march, there was Charles Deslondesand his make-do army of more than 200 enslaved men battling with hoes, axes and cane knives for that most basic human right: freedom.

RevoltEnlargeDAVID GRUNFELD / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE The 200 year anniversary of the 1811 Slave Revolt in St. John and St. Charles Parishes that reverberated around the country because of the large number of enslaved people involved, the organized nature of it, and oddly enough -some say it finally demonstrated that all was not well among those held in bondage. Destrehan Plantation, along with Tulane University and African American Museum in Treme are hosting a yearlong look at the uprising that stared Jan. 8, 1811 through a series of events and exhibits. The commemoration starts with the exhibit opening at Destrehan on Jan. 8, 2011.Revolt gallery (8 photos)  

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They spoke different languages, came from various parts of the United States, Africa and Haiti, and lived miles apart on plantations along the German Coast of Louisiana. Yet after years of planning at clandestine meetings under the constant threat of immediate death, they staged a revolt on Jan. 8, 1811, that historians say is the largest uprising of enslaved people in this country.

“Slavery was very harsh and cruel, but the slaves themselves were not mindless chattel with no aspirations and no basis for humanity,” said John Hankins, executive director of the New Orleans African American Museum.“This revolt demonstrates that there were people willing to make the ultimate sacrifices to better not just themselves but other people.”

A year of events planned

To mark the 200 year anniversary of that revolt, Destrehan Plantation, in conjunction with Tulane University and the African American Museum, located in Treme, is organizing a yearlong look at the uprising that reverberated around the fledgling nation because of the large number of enslaved people involved, its military strategy and oddly enough, because it demonstrated that all was not well among those held in bondage.

“I don’t think the United States as a whole understood that the enslaved black population were as unhappy as they were,” said Hazel Taylor, the special project coordinator at Destrehan Plantation. “Slave owners had a tendency to say that (slaves) were happy. What this did was put awareness on the people who were being oppressed.”

map-revolt-010411.jpgView full size

The revolt, which started in St. John the Baptist Parish about 30 miles west of New Orleans, also raised awareness of the harshness of the slave system and fueled the abolitionist movement, Taylor said.

My great-grandmother was a slave – just one hundred forty-eight years ago.

The largest slave revolt in U.S. history is commemorated | NOLA.com.