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Stop Baiting RussiaRussia dissolved the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union in the 1990s, largely voluntarily. Such acts of good faith and confidence building have not been reciprocated by the US or NATO. Instead, the US has acted provocatively, through the CIA and US government funded NGOs such as NED and IRI, to foment anti-Russian "color revolutions" in Russia's near abroad and even in Russia itself. George Friedman, the founder and CEO of Stratfor, the ‘Shadow CIA’ firm, called the fascist-led coup in Ukraine “...the most blatant coup in history.” Also, the US encouraged the Georgian leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, to attack South Ossetia and Russian peace-keepers there. Russia has responded to these provocations with restraint. In 2008, Russia could have occupied Tblisi, the capital of Georgia, and arrested Saakashvili, but they chose not to, instead being satisfied to restore the status quo ante. The Crimean vote to rejoin Russia is quite similar to the Kosovar decision to leave Serbia in the 1990s, except that there had been no previous Russian-inspired coup in Serbia. Russia attempted to accommodate US interests regarding several cease fire agreements in Syria, but the US was unable or unwilling to fulfill its obligations under those agreements. Regarding the CIA report alleging Russian hacking, there is no evidence presented, and there is a disclaimer at the top of the report essentially disclaiming any confidence in the report. All countries perform signals intelligence, including the US. Furthermore, the report does not even allege that any data gathered through the alleged hacks was ever provided to Wikileaks. Julian Assange has stated that the source of the leaks was not a state actor, and Craig Murray, a former top ranking British diplomat, has said he knows the source, which was an insider in the Democratic Party itself, disgusted with what he/she had seen. The US and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to destroy each other several times over. A strategic exchange could well extinct all terrestrial vertebrates. High levels of tension between the US and Russia increase the likelihood of war through intelligence error. The US government should be working to reduce tensions and restart arms limitation/disarmament negotiations as required by the Non-proliferation Treaty, rather than playing a dangerous game of chicken.
Prison Activist Gassed in Clements Unit Prison, Texas Law Enforcement Is Violently Out of ControlOn Wednesday, December 21, 2016, a prisoner at the Texas Clements Unit, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, was gassed in his cell while handcuffed from behind. A letter written by Mr. Johnson to a supporter, dated December 22, 2016, reported that his gassing was “all retaliation for my involvement in exposing the foul abuses here." Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a well-known scholar and prison activist who has dedicated his efforts to exposing the civil and environmental injustices behind bars. His most recent letter also reads: “I'm in a gas-covered cell now. The law requires that they decontaminate a prisoner and his cell anytime they spray gas on him/her. They refused in my case. My sheets and bedding are covered in bright orange gas, underwear too, as is the cell wall." According to the supporter who received Rashid’s letter, she could smell the toxic gas as soon as she opened the envelope. The vicious treatment of Mr. Johnson is part of a clear pattern. There is evidently a culture among prison staff that encourages such sadistic behavior. What they have done and continue to do -- both to Mr. Johnson and to thousands of other victims -- constitutes a clear violation of basic human rights. A signed statement from prison guard Britta Townsend corroborates that Mr. Johnson was confined to a gassed cell that was not decontaminated and forced to sleep with sheets covered with the bright orange gas. According to Mr. Johnson, Ms. Townsend now fears that she will be targeted by her peers and higher ranking officers.
STOP BLAMING RUSSIA for U.S. Election ResultsThe hysteria over supposed Russian hacking costing Hillary the election is pathetic, and blaming Russia takes attention from the real issue, THAT the DNC, the DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT and the MEDIA rigged the DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, to ensure that their predetermined candidate would win the nomination. The content of the leaked emails only verified the obvious rigging. This rigging needs to be acknowledged and censured by the Democratic establishment, or it will continue. Suppose that Russia is responsible for the hacking; it could simply be emulating the actions of the self declared exceptional world leader. The U.S. has routinely manipulated elections, orchestrated coups and overthrown governments. The U.S. government and its media need to stop blaming and demonizing Russia, and the U.S. needs to see its actions as other countries see them, if it wants to lead effectively towards a more peaceful, sustainable world Democrats might be surprised to know how vitriolic anti Russia their elected representatives are. background: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/12/adam-schiff-russia-election-hack/511571/#article-comments http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=A04D321E-5F86-4FD6-AD8E-7F533E1C2845 http://rootsaction.org/news-a-views/1412-urgent-to-progressives-stop-fueling-the-anti-russia-frenzy http://www.unz.com/emargolis/moscow-attacks/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/...
Fire Cop Who Arrested Black Mom After White Man Attacked Her ChildOn Wednesday, December 21, 2016, a black mother, Ms. Jacqueline Craig, called the police in Fort Worth, Texas, after learning that an adult, white neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son for allegedly littering on the sidewalk. The unnamed police officer who arrived at the scene talked to all the parties involved, including the accused neighbor, who did not deny the assault. The police officer ignored the assault entirely to focus on the accusation of littering. Like the slogan "Make America Great Again," the cop's loaded question used coded, racist language and assumptions about black parenting to blame Ms. Craig for what happened to her child. “Well why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” he asked Craig. He proceeded to violently arrest Craig and her two under-aged daughters, all of which was filmed and posted online. In response to the incident, the Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald was quoted saying “I can’t call it racist. The officer was rude. There’s a difference between rude and racism.” However, the facts of this case suggest otherwise: a white man accused of the felonious act of assaulting a child was allowed to walk free while his black victims were arrested for daring to assert their humanity and rights. If the victims had been white and the assailant black, the outcome of this case would almost certainly have been completely different. Chief Fitzgerald ’s knee-jerk denial of the police officer’s racism, which itself is racist, has also led him to miss the magnitude of the criminal assault perpetrated against an entire family by a member of his force. Ms. Craig and her daughters did not merely suffer rude behavior; they were the victims of a violent and traumatic attack at the hands of a police officer at a moment when they were vulnerable and were asking for help. When the mother stood up to the man who assaulted her 7-year-old son, the police criminalized her parenting, excused the man who engaged in corporal violence against her child, arrested her and her two daughters violently, and threatened them with a stun gun. The outrageous Fort Worth incident is a microcosm of contemporary police racism in the 21st century United States. It shows the extent to which racist police contempt 1. dehumanizes and threatens the lives of black children and their families 2. prevents police from deploying reason as they carry out elementary duties 3. animates violent police responses to people of color 4. hinders accurate assessments of reality by their other officers With Donald Trump preparing to take office, we have seen numerous incidents in which people have asserted a right to be racist. This climate needs to change. The Black Lives Matter Movement and its most progressive proposals to demilitarize and demobilize the police are crucial. One place to start is with the demand for accountability when an egregious example of racism and police brutality is caught on film. The video: http://bit.ly/2ieWOzm Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/12/22/a-black-mother-told-police-a-white-man-assaulted-her-child-they-arrested-her-instead/?postshare=9641482457249082&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.f5c8cc7eff92
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.
SANITATION & DIGNITY for HOMELESS in SAN DIEGO NOW!San Diego can easily solve unsanitary and unhealthy conditions by taking action with a compassionate heart and existing budgets now. Here's how: * Provide bathrooms = SANISETTE works!! PIT STOP works!! (No cost to city; paid by advertising $) * Provide showers = LAVA MAE works!! (Non profit) * Provide laundry facilities = PORTA KLEEN works!! (GSA Contract Holder) Taking action now meets the immediate needs of the homeless and provides San Diego with image enhancement which money alone cannot buy. Tourist dollars will increase as a result. Please take action NOW, as the need is GREAT!
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/
Free Leonard PeltierLeonard Peltier was convicted of murder on "cooked" evidence after the Oglala uprising and has been in prison for over 40 years. He is suffering from cancer and should be pardoned, at the very least on humanitarian reasons. If there was really equal justice in this country, those responsible for poisoning the people of Flint, MI, for example, would be convicted and imprisoned. Peltier is not guilty, and testimony proves it. He is being held because the FBI insists on punishing him for an act he did not commit. For information on this case, see "Incident at Oglala" -- a film by Robert Redford.
Cancer in a Texas prisonIt's important because our loved ones die every day in Texas prisons. We are lead to believe that our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, etc... are just fine and the truth is far from it. My father died of cancer this past month and I feel that they could have let myself and our family know something. I know my father did wrong but to die in prison of cancer is not right. With little to no care or treatment, it was cruel and just wrong. They had more than enough time to tell me. You don't just wake up one day and have stage 4 lung cancer. There are stages that can't be over looked. My father suffered, I want answers and I'm not going to stop. I'm my father's only last hope and I feel no one should die from cancer in prison just because they don't want to pay for their care.
Confirm Merrick Garland in a recess appointmentThe repercussions of a Trump appointment to the Supreme Court will reverberate for decades, especially if he picks a rightwing ideologue who's young. Ensuring that Merrick Garland occupies the vacant seat on the Court is one concrete way to stave off the entrenchment of a rightwing majority that will potentially reverse decades of progress on civil rights, women's and labor rights, gay rights, environmental protection, and other critical issues. President Obama needs to strike some decisive blows before leaving office and this is one way to do it. The Democrats have no need to model gracious, accommodating behavior in light of the callous obstruction Senate Republicans have utilized for over six months to block President Obama's nominee. This obstruction has been compounded by the destructive campaign the Republicans unleashed this election season, and what they're prepared to bring on after Trump's inauguration.