- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Law Enforcement
- Post Office
- Retirement and Healthcare
Tell Jamie Raskin: Stop fueling a dangerous new Cold WarConsider the rhetoric from one of the most promising new House members, Democrat Jamie Raskin, at a recent rally near the Washington Monument. Reading from a prepared text, Raskin warmed up by declaring that “Donald Trump is the hoax perpetrated on the Americans by the Russians.” Soon the congressman named such varied countries as Hungary, the Philippines, Syria and Venezuela, and immediately proclaimed: “All the despots, dictators and kleptocrats have found each other, and Vladimir Putin is the ringleader of the unfree world.” He even blamed Vladimir Putin for Brexit. Watch the speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKml53OjzGY Later, asked about factual errors in his speech, Raskin floundered during a filmed interview with The Real News. Watch the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce0X7_48vGY Read "Dangerous Discourse: When Progressives Sound Like Demagogues," by Norman Solomon: http://rootsaction.org/news-a-views/1535-dangerous-discourse-when-progressives-sound-like-demagogues
California Prisoners Bear the Brunt of Statewide Water ShortageIn the wake of the state’s most severe drought in memory, California Governor Jerry Brown issued mandatory statewide water restrictions that require all public agencies to reduce their water consumption by 25 percent. Officials at the 34 prisons operated by the California Department of Corrections have responded by restricting inmates' showers, ability to flush their cells' toilets, and access to laundry services and clean clothes, according to interviews with inmates. Showers are running only three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for a total of four hours, providing a little over an hour for hundreds of prisoners to take turns bathing on shower days. Any prisoner caught in the showers for more than 5 minutes, washing clothes while showers are running, bird bathing or flushing the toilets in their assigned cell could face disciplinary action, including 30 days added to their prison sentence (CDC-115 Rules Violation Report). Prison officials have been instructed to shut off water fountains, outdoor showers, and to stop hosing down sidewalks. As a result, California prisoners are denied water-breaks throughout the day and are refused the hygienic practice of washing off sweat after a workout. Women's prisons in particular have struggled with sanitary upkeep since the implementation of CDCR’s water conservation program. Shower and toilet restrictions affect female prisoners on their menstrual cycles most directly. CDCR’s water conservation program began in 2006 with a pilot project to install flush-restricting valves on toilets at nearly one-third of all California adult institutions, resulting in a host of unsanitary conditions ranging from foul odor to overflowing toilets. Water conservation methods have only grown more aggressive within the recent decade and California prisoners have borne the brunt of health and safety hazards associated with aggressive yet inadequate conservation planning. If California is serious about water conservation and water-use reduction in its prisons, state officials should consider developing policies that promote the depopulation of overcrowded state facilities -- starting with releasing disabled people, the elderly and non-violent offenders. Reducing the numbers of people incarcerated unnecessarily could result in significant water savings and help to make the prison environment more adaptable and suitable for rehabilitation. Other methods of reducing water waste, without violating the human rights of the imprisoned, can include updating sinks, toilets, showers, and appliances with advanced water-saving fixtures. Sign this petition to California Governor Jerry Brown asking him to immediately end all water conservation methods that violate the human rights of people in prison. Sources: http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ff-to-save-water-california-turns-off-prison-showers-20150709-story.html https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/california-prisons-are-restricting-shower-and-toilet-use-to-fight-the-historic-drought-626 http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2010/04/california-prisons-reduce-water-consumption/ http://www.inmate.com/prison-articles/california-prisoners-affected-by-drought.htm
Tell Barbara Lee: Stop spreading Russophobia and fueling a new Cold WarBarbara Lee represents Berkeley and Oakland and nearby areas in Congress (13th CD). She has built a reputation as an advocate for peace and civil liberties. She was the lone vote in Congress against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that has been used to justify US wars/bombing/drone killing since 9/11. Most recently she opposed and spoke out against Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria in April. But lately Representative Lee may be taking a dangerous turn. At a recent town hall Lee hosted Malcolm Nance, MSNBC analyst and former U.S. intelligence agent who is one of the premier neo-McCarthyists and Russia bashers in the country. Nance not only pushed the dubious narrative that Russia “stole the election.” He went into a rant about the Russian people saying “Russia is an intensely conservative nation. They have a serf-slave mentality. They are passionately and intensely insincere…” AND "There is nothing we should do that's friendly to the Russians. They've gone from Communists to Autocrats." This is nothing more than xenophobia and war-mongering. It is part of a campaign by establishment Democrats and the mass media that seeks to: • Deflect blame for Clinton’s defeat from the discredited politics of the corporate Democrats to the Russians. • Push an aggressive stance toward Russia that could lead to a direct military confrontation and possible nuclear war. Many of us are constituents of Barbara Lee and have voted for her in past elections. We urge her to: • Cease and desist from spreading/enabling this warmongering. • Condemn xenophobia whether it is directed against Muslims or Russians. • Reaffirm her support for peace and opposition to all wars of aggression.
Petition for a moratorium regarding joint US/South Korea war exercisesNorth Korea views these joint war exercises as highly provocative, & they often cite them as a compelling reason why they feel they need to arm themselves & make threatening gestures. Technically the US & South Korea are still at war with North Korea. An armistice was signed but no peace treaty. Although most Americans don't even know this, the North Koreans are highly aware of this fact, & it greatly informs their their hostile rhetoric & actions. Offering North Korea a war exercises moratorium would be a 'carrot' for which the US & South Korea would expect some visible reduction in the hostile threats & actions coming from the North. Not only would this offer cost zero dollars, it would save the big dollars it costs to implement these war exercises.
Stop European Parliament from using disinformation and attacking Minsk II agreementA vast majority of MEPs in the European parliament elected to be responsible for relations to the Ukrainian parliament have used their position to spread disinformation and attack the Minsk II agreement. It is of utmost importance for building peace that different actors do not deny facts on the ground trying to falsely blame the opponent for acts committed by the side in the conflict EU supports. It is also of great importance that diplomatic efforts to end the conflict and human suffering be honored. The Minsk II agreement is endorsed by the UN Security Council, i.e. at highest possible international level. Attacks against the Minsk II agreement by the vast majority of MEPs given the responsibility for addressing the Ukrainian conflict is unacceptable. We demand that the constituencies in the European parliament immediately address the concern this creates for EU as a democratic community basing its decision on facts and not disinformation, a community willing to say yes to peace and support diplomatic efforts endorsed by the UN. Europe needs peace now. The greatest humanitarian catastrophe in Europe which is threatening the health and life of millions of people in Eastern Ukraine must be solved. The way the West says that Russia is the only actor who must follow the Minsk II agreement is creating passivity and prolonged human suffering. On the ground, the Ukrainian forces and the volunteer battalions have advanced in what is labelled as a ”creeping offensive”. This means that the Ukrainian forces are advancing into the grey zone and this is in breach of the Minsk II agreement. On the ground Ukrainian ultra nationalist also have since January illegally blocked the railway transport between Ukraine and Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics in order to totally break the economies of Donbass and Ukraine apart. This economic blockade is in breach of the Minsk II agreement and a threat to the economy of both the Ukraine and DPR and LPR who are tied together by treade iun cola and ore for power stations and steel mills. President Poroshenko strongly oppose the illegal blockade but cannot force the ultranationalist to follow the law. During a session in the European Parliament on the 14th of February 2017, the situation was presented in an erroneous way by Anna Maria Corozza Bildt, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Rebecca Harms, Dariusz Rosati, Sandra Kalniete, and several others in the European Parliament’s Ukraine delegation. They explicitly tried to undermine the Minsk II agreement by using false statements about the ongoing escalation of the conflict to avoid criticism against the aggressor that currently is Ukraine. A country responsible for a creeping offensive unable or not willing any longer to maintain law and order and thus letting ultra nationalists enforce an economic blockader against the Minsk II agreement. Find more back ground material at the campaign web site.
A Call to Action for Mark Clarke at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NYMr. Mark Clarke was arrested on April 27, 2016 along with 119 other people in the largest "gang" raid in NYC history. They are now known as the Bronx 120. https://www.bronx120.org/ Indicted on the basis of "evidence" such as social media surveillance, "association" and the NYPD's highly discriminatory criteria for identifying "gang members," the Bronx 120 face federal charges from a DA's office that boasts a 90+% conviction rate. Being charged under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act of 1970 allows for all 120 young men to be implicated in the same 8 alleged murders dating back to 2007. Since the shock-and-awe style raid by 700 militarized law enforcement officials from 6 different agencies last April, the state has employed numerous scare tactics against the Bronx 120 and their loved ones in an attempt to silence opposition to this blatant abuse of authority. Mark Clarke has been sent to Metropolitan Detention Center, the federal prison in Brooklyn, to await trial. Since Mark has been at MDC, other prisoners have reported multiple personal attacks against him by MDC correctional officers, including being denied family visits, being shot with rubber bullets and sprayed with tear gas while in his cell. Although Mark has documented psychiatric issues since his imprisonment last April, he has been denied visits to the psychiatric unit at MDC, despite multiple requests from his mother. Mr. Clarke has been in solitary confinement since September 14, 2016 and will be until October 2017 unless we act on his behalf. Please use this link to donate to the Bronx 120 Commissary and Legal Fund. Because this is a very large federal case, there is a shortage of local lawyers with the experience needed to take it on. This fundraiser will go towards helping to get additional legal support and contribute to commissary. https://www.youcaring.com/targets-of-the-eastchester-raids-and-their-families-640725 Please call these MDC officials to ensure that the warden and others know that people are aware of the situation and put pressure on them to allow family visits and phone calls for Mr. Mark Clarke. Phone: 718-840-4200 (Ext: 5549 Case Manager Demosphenes) (Ext: 5141 Warden's Secretary) Key points to mention when you call/leave a message: --Mr. Clarke needs to be allowed visits and be allowed phone calls. --All documentation about his continued segregation needs to be released to his family.
Don't give an Oscar to "The White Helmets"The netflix movie titled “The White Helmets” is one of the contenders to win the 2017 Academy Award for best “short documentary”. Here is why the movie should NOT receive this award. * It is more infomercial than real documentary. The film-makers never set foot in Syria. Some footage from inside Syria appears staged. * Claims that the “White Helmets” are apolitical volunteers are false. White Helmet leaders actively campaign for US/NATO enforced “No Fly Zone”. The White Helmets only operate in areas controlled by the armed opposition, primarily Nusra/Al Qaeda. * “The White Helmets” organization is a creation of foreign powers supporting the ‘Contra’ war to overthrow the government of Syria. The White Helmets were initiated by a British military contractor with major funding from the USA and UK. The “White Helmets” brand is managed by a New York based marketing company called “The Syria Campaign” directed by an Irish American woman who has never been to Syria. This is primarily a media campaign with the netflix movie being one of their promotions. * The White Helmets stole the name Syrian Civil Defence from the legitimate organization which has existed since the 1950’s and which is a founding member of the International Civil Defense Organization. When armed terrorists invaded Aleppo in late 2012, they stole equipment and killed real volunteer rescue workers from the authentic Syrian Civil Defence. * Claims that “White Helmets” are unarmed are untrue. Photos and videos show their members carrying arms and celebrating Nusra/AlQaeda military victories. * Claims that the White Helmets have saved 80,000 lives are nonsense. In fact there are very few civilians living in the zones controlled by 'Contra' terrorists in Syria where the White Helmets operate. * When the Syrian Government recaptured east Aleppo in December 2016, nearly all civilians rushed into the protection of the government controlled areas. They described abuse by the “terrorists” and how civilians who tried to flee had been killed by the armed groups. They described how the “White Helmets” prioritized support to the armed fighters and did little to help civilians. * In late December 2016 Nusra / Al Qaeda terrorists seized the villages, spring and water pumping station in the Barada Valley that supplies clean water to Damascus. They poisoned the water, then blew up the pumping station stopping the flow of water to 5 million people in Damascus. The White Helmets were among the groups allied with Nusra carrying out this atrocity. “The White Helmets” movie is symbolic of the disinformation and deceit in the war on Syria. “The White Helmets” movie deserves an award for advertising and war propaganda but NOT as a documentary movie. For detailed information see the exposes of the White Helmets by writers such as Jan Oberg, Vanessa Beeley, Rick Sterling, Max Blumenthal, Scott Ritter. Jan Oberg provides a listing with links in his extensive article "Just How Grey are the White Helmets and Their Backers?" See the 5 minute video titled "The White Helmets - Al Qaeda with a Facelift".
End American Occupation Of Planet EarthThe United States spends $1.4 trillion a year on its military budget, including its many intel agencies, veteran affairs and so forth. This astounding figure is more than double what the entire rest of the world spends on theirs. A significant portion of that destructive waste goes to maintaining an over-reaching empire's 748 foreign military bases; a planet-wide occupation. As to how much is spent on external forces by the rest of the world? Threat of force and withdrawn support are the only means of extorting these sites. And exposing this blackmail further is SOFA, the agreement which binds countries to never charge a soldier with anything, even frequent gang-rape and murder. Meanwhile we are told we must endure cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, and environmental protection... Maybe if we left the world alone it would do the same. America has been by far the most warring of countries in history. Folks might like us better if we would set the waging of endless wars aside for a while, maybe forever. It's a sure thing that Wall Street won't like the new arrangement as there's a profit to be made in every body bag...but they'll just have to find a nicer replacement.
Re-investigate and Remember the USS LIBERTYsee all the You Tube videos and research the USS LIBERTY INCIDENT. Also search OPERATION CYANIDE. The attempted sinking of the USS LIBERTY was a part of OPERATION CYANIDE. The USS LIBERTY was an American Navy spy ship. It was attacked 50 years ago on June 8, 1967. The official version of the cause was that it was a case of mistaken identity. In many experts opinion this was a cover-up and needs to be re-investigated and remembered as the Japanese attack on Hawaii is remembered...as a day of rememberance.
Democracy busted? Fix it with 28th Amendment.America is also founded to uphold common hoped-for benefits which unite us (as described in The Preamble to the US Constitution). These are: justice, civil order, common defense [not the preemptive kind], general welfare [not corporate welfare], and preserving for future generations ("our posterity") the benefits we wish for ourselves and fellow citizens. By many measures, these values, too, are not being realized. What's the solution? A constitutional amendment that ensures fair elections, and provides new means to nominate and hold new officeholders accountable to We The People: A six-month probationary period for new electees to enforce accountability. Vote of confidence/budget impasse provisions that increase control of government by the electorate. Automatic nationwide voter registration, thumbprint verified, updated by motor vehicle license and/or payroll records. Stricter requirements and enforcement of tamper-proof, hack-proof, and fully auditable elections. Why not go through Congress? Since the Congress is part of the problem to be solved, the usual route of sending it through Congress would not work. Article V of the US Constitution spells out the steps by which amendments to the Constitution can be made, which includes ratification by 3/4 of state legislatures. This new proposed bill will be sent to state legislatures once it has been circulated and endorsed. It requires endorsement by 2/3 of state legislatures to call for a vote and passage by 3/4 to be ratified.
People of the U.S. and World Ask ICC to Prosecute U.S. War CrimesThe ICC is degrading rather than enhancing the idea of international justice by giving a free pass to Western war makers. The United States has itself given a free pass to its war makers, kidnappers, torturers, and assassins. The U.S. president-elect and his advisors openly plan to violate laws against war, torture, and the targeting of civilians. The people of the United States and the world need the ICC to fulfill its mission and step in where domestic justice has failed. * * * * * Preliminary ICC report on consideration of investigating U.S. crimes in Afghanistan and at secret sites in other countries: https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf * * * * * New York Times report: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/world/asia/united-states-torture-afghanistan-international-criminal-court.html?_r=1 * * * * * Congressman Ted Lieu on U.S. and Saudi war crimes in Yemen: https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/in-the-news/us-congressman-john-kerry-are-we-committing-war-crimes-yemen * * * * * John LaForge article: http://worldbeyondwar.org/torture-charges-us-considered-international-criminal-court/