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"April Days" to Protest Drone Killing and Surveillance, Long Planned, Gets Boost From Opposition to Drone Use Inside the USBy Staff, April Days of Action | Press Release
A nationwide, month-long campaign of counter-drone teach-ins, rallies and protest, called "April Days of Action" by its organizers, will challenge the escalated use of drones for targeted assassination by the Obama Administration as well as domestic surveillance by police agencies around the United States. The actions will call for a total halt to drone killing and surveillance.
The campaign, that has been months in the making, is being boosted by a groundswell of domestic opposition to use of drones against American citizens in the United States, sparked by the leaking in February of a government "white paper" on drone targeting of United States citizens and the drone filibuster by United States Senator Rand Paul in early March.
Gun control presents the greatest test in recent memory of whether we still have a representative democracy in the United States. Despite national polls showing 92 per cent support for background checks, as well as strong support for several other proposals, the chances of any gun control legislation passing Congress this year are rapidly diminishing. If you favor any gun control legislation, now is the time to contact your senators and your representative in Congress, particularly if they are Republicans. It may be too late, but only enormous constituent pressure can alter the course of events.
We are supposed to have a representative democracy in the United States, but when it comes to gun control, the NRA and the gun manufacturers may overrule the popular will. No matter how many kids are killed.
During the contentious public Bay Delta Conservation Plan public meeting held in West Sacramento on March 20, Natural Resources Agency Deputy Director Jerry Meral twice evaded a question by Burt Wilson of Public Water News Service about water being used for fracking of oil and natural gas wells in California.
However, in a post on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) website the same day, Richard Stapler, Deputy Secretary for Communications of the California Natural Resources Agency, claimed that only 8 acre feet of water is used every year for hydraulic fracturing in California, in an apparent attempt to minimize the amount of water employed for fracking.
Part I – Something Is Rotten in the State of Israel
It is said that the devil has about him the smell of fire and brimstone (sulphur). Evil deeds are often described as "most foul." On the other hand, people who appear, accurately or not, as always innocent are described as "smelling like roses." There seems, then, to be a long standing, if improbable, association between behavior and smells.
The Israeli army has recently dedicated itself to demonstrating this association.
How do you solve Detroit's financial problems?
Unfortunately, emergency management has been the clarion call of local corporate media, the business elite and uninformed citizens. If measures were in place to ensure steady and improve incoming revenue, collect taxes and strengthen small business ventures, there would not be a need for an emergency manager to oversee the city's finances. We've been asked what are the options.
Mind snacking while walking to the Y, I glance over to the Elmwood Grill where there are normally a plethora of marked and unmarked Detroit police cars, hmmm, there are a couple of blue state police rides decorating the street. It hits me. All critters mark their territory. State boys are now running Detroit. Get used to it. I step up my pace — can't put the mind snack down. Are we on the cusp of neo-martial law with state police taking the lead? Dunno. But fear justifies a lot of bully actions designed to make you feel protected. Brown shirts are free.
Mind snacking is contagious.
Chicago Teachers Speak Out Against School Closings - CTU President Karen Lewis Statement on CPS School ClosingsBy Staff, Portside | Statement
"We are standing here today in the beautiful Mahaila Jackson elementary school in our city's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood. This school was named for one of the greatest gospel singers in our nation's history, a woman who sang at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral, a woman who was instrumental in our Civil Rights struggle. Unfortunately, we are gathered here today not to talk about this pioneer or even about how this school does an outstanding job of providing a great learning community for some of our special needs students. We are standing here because this school, along with scores of others, has been targeted for closure by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Chicago Public Schools district.
On March 1, Congress failed to avert the sequestration cliff. Drastic cuts to health care, infrastructure, environmental protection, education are occurring. Why? An examination of the cause of this failure threatens to undermine one of America's strongest held beliefs. It's a faith that starting political debate from middle ground will produce the best policy. Our confidence in starting from the "middle" appears rooted in a collective understanding of the nation's founding.
On September 15, 1787, the founding fathers completed the constitution convention and submitted a draft constitution for state ratification. After four months of effort, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and 52 others produced a document that has guided our nation for nearly 225 years. These men, conventional wisdom holds, were divinely inspired with a spirit collaboration and cooperation. They are nearly gods.
Bipartisan Legislation Introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) to Reduce Use of All Federal Mandatory MinimumsBy Staff, Drug Policy Alliance | Press Release
Today, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, S. 619, which will provide federal judges more discretion in sentencing all cases by allowing them to sentence below the mandatory minimum, if appropriate.
The proposed bill would provide greater flexibility in federal sentencing, and judges would no longer be handcuffed to giving out federal mandatory minimum sentences. The existing "safety valve" mechanism only applies in drug cases, but just under one fourth of drug law offenders have benefitted from it. The Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 would widen the existing safety valve application to all offenses.
The National Museum of American History, and a billionaire who has funded a new exhibit there, would like you to know that we're going to need more wars if we want to have freedom. Never mind that we seem to lose so many freedoms whenever we have wars. Never mind that so many nations have created more freedoms than we enjoy and done so without wars. In our case, war is the price of freedom. Hence the new exhibit: "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War."
The exhibit opens with these words: "Americans have gone to war to win their independence, expand their national boundaries, define their freedoms, and defend their interests around the globe." Those foolish, foolish Canadians: why, oh, why did they win their independence without a war? Think of all the people they might have killed! The exhibit is surprisingly, if minimally, honest about imperialism, at least in the early wars. The aim of conquering Canada is included, along with bogus excuses, as one of the motivations for the War of 1812.