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G_j

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Gender: Male
Current location: NC
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 39,671

Journal Archives

Moyers & Co. United States of ALEC

http://billmoyers.com/episode/preview-the-united-states-of-alec/

Preview: United States of ALEC
September 25, 2012

This week’s show explores a scheme involving state politicians and powerful corporations to remake America, one state house at a time.

Update x3: MICHIGAN: HOLY F*CKING SH*T.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/28/1165527/-MICHIGAN-HOLY-F-CKING-SH-T-Spread-the-word-on-this-NOW

Hyperbole? Hair on Fire? Sky is Falling?

Absolutely.

If you or anyone you know and care about live in Michigan, or if you care whatsoever about the public school system in this country--or, for that matter, education of our children in general--I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read up on Michigan State House Bills 6004 & 5923, and State Senate Bills 1358 & 620.

If you think I'm over-hyping this issue, read the following letter, posted earlier today on the Bloomfield Hills School District website by superintendent Rob Glass. I repeat: This was posted by the superintendent of the BLOOMFIELD HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT.

As in, one of the wealthiest and most Republican areas in Michigan.

As in, Mitt Romney's home town, also the home town of Cranbrook.

Believe me, Rob Glass is NOT known for panicking or over-hyping issues, and I guarantee you that he's gonna catch a lot of flack for speaking out so strongly on a political issue--especially speaking out against a series of bills being pushed--HARD--by Republican Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican-held state legislature.

An urgent call to action from Superintendent Rob Glass

Posted: November 28, 2012

Dear Parents and Citizens: This is an urgent call to action affecting your Bloomfield Hills Schools and public education in Michigan. A package of bills designed to corporatize and dismantle public education is being hastily pushed through this current ‘lame duck’ legislative session. If we do not take immediate action, I believe great damage will be done to public education, including our school system. We have just three weeks to take action before it’s too late. The bills are:

House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358: Would expand a separate and statewide school district (the EAA) overseen by a governor-appointed chancellor and functioning outside the authority of the State Board of Education or state school superintendent. These schools are exempt from the same laws and quality measures of community-governed public schools. The EAA can seize unused school buildings (built and financed by local taxpayers) and force sale or lease to charter, non-public or EAA schools.

House Bill 5923: Creates several new forms of charter and online schools with no limit on the number. Bundled with HB 6004/SB1358, many of these schools could be created by the EAA. Public schools are not allowed to create these new schools unless they charter them. Selective enrollment/dis-enrollment policies will likely lead to greater segregation in our public schools. This bill creates new schools without changing the overall funding available, further diluting resources for community-governed public schools.

Senate Bill 620: Known as the ‘Parent Trigger’ bill, this would allow the lowest achieving 5% of schools to be converted to a charter school while allowing parents or teachers to petition for the desired reform model. This bill will not directly affect our district, but disenfranchises voters, ends their local control, and unconstitutionally hands taxpayer-owned property over to for-profit companies. Characterized as parent-empowerment, this bill does little to develop deep, community-wide parent engagement and organization.

I’ve never considered myself a conspiracy theorist—until now. This package of bills is the latest in a yearlong barrage of ideologically-driven bills designed to weaken and defund locally-controlled public education, handing scarce taxpayer dollars over to for-profit entities operating under a different set of rules. I believe this is fundamentally wrong. State School Superintendent Mike Flanagan and State Board of Education President John Austin and others have also expressed various concerns, as has the Detroit Free Press.

We embrace change, innovation and personalization.We’re passionate about providing choices and options for students. We compete strongly in the educational marketplace. We must never stop improving. This is not a laissez faire plea to defend the status quo. This is about making sure this tidal wave of untested legislation does not sweep away the valued programs our local community has proudly built into its cherished school system. If you are concerned about these bills, please do the following:

--Attend one of the following grassroots legislative meetings.

​--Stay informed by registering for updates through ‘Capwiz.’

--Call and e-mail your legislator and respectfully ask them to OPPOSE these bills (see contact information below).

--​Enlist ten others to do the same, and please remain active.

​Public education in Michigan can and must remain strong, but it will only happen if we act NOW.

Sincerely, Rob Glass, Superintendent

Legislative Contact information:

Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
Email Address: Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov
Tel: 517.335.7858 (Constituent Services)

41st State Rep District (Troy) Representative Marty Knollenberg (R)
N0890 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
Email Address: MartyKnollenberg@house.mi.gov
Tel: 517.373.1783

13th State Senate District (City BH) Senator John Pappageorge (R)
1020 Farnum Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Email Address: SenJPappageorge@senate.michigan.gov
Tel: 517.373.2523

40th State Rep District (Blfld. Twp/City) Representative Chuck Moss (R)
S0889 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
Email: ChuckMoss@house.mi.gov
Tel: 517.373.8670

15th State Senate District (West Bloomfield) Senator Mike Kowall (R)
305 Farnum Building
P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909
Email: SenMKowall@senate.michigan.gov
Tel: 517.373.1758

39th State Rep District (West Bloomfield) Representative Lisa Brown (D)
S0888 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Email: lisabrown@house.mi.gov
Tel: 517.373.1799

War on Wolves: Reform the Federal Wildlife-Killing Program

It's just unfair. Hunters and outfitters are picking off the wolves of Yellowstone National Park. Call upon officials to create a buffer zone to protect them: http://wg.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=10181.0

Reform the Federal Wildlife-Killing Program

Urge Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to reform Wildlife Services from the federal government's top wildlife killers to a program that can truly resolve wildlife conflicts.

http://secure.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=2443&fb_action_ids=4602717198872&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582
~~

http://www.wolfcenter.org/pdf/Benerfits-Wolves.pdf

[IMG][/IMG]

Bipartisan Resolution to Compel White House to Release Legal Justification for Drone Strikes

http://kucinich.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=312882

Kucinich, Paul and Holt Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Compel White House to Release Legal Justification for Drone Strikes



Related Documents

Resolution of Inquiry


Washington, Nov 28 -

Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Ron Paul (R-TX) and Rush Holt Jr. (D-NJ) today introduced H. Res. 819, a resolution of inquiry to compel the Administration to release documents which it reportedly uses as the legal justification for the use of drones to assassinate people abroad, including United States citizens, without trial. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, our drone strikes have killed more than 3,000 people including as many as 1,105 innocent civilians since 2002.

“We must reject the notion that protecting our national security requires revoking the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens. No President can act as judge, jury and executioner, and any attempt to do so is in direct violation of our Constitution which gives our citizens a right to life and a fair trial.

“According to a memorandum prepared by the White House Office of Legal Counsel, when the United States conducts such an attack it is legal. The Congress and the American people have a right to know this legal framework. Congress has an obligation as the sole authority under the Constitution to declare war to know how the use of force abroad is being used, especially against U.S. citizens,” said Kucinich.

Congressman Kucinich today introduced a Resolution of Inquiry, a resolution used to compel information from the White House, which, if passed, would require the White House to make the Office of Legal Counsel memo available to Congress.

“Our strikes are creating a legal precedent that the world will emulate. From Iran to China, other nations are very close to developing comparable technology. If Congress doesn’t act to ensure proper oversight and legal authority for the use of this technology, the consequences could be dire for the American people,” said Kucinich.

See a copy of the legislation here. Under the parliamentary procedure of a Resolution of Inquiry, the resolution must be sent to committee and considered under expedited rules.

Suffocating The World... about those bags...

http://www.learnstuff.com/suffocating-the-world/


You’re standing in line at the grocery store when you realize that you don’t have your reusable bag. You’ll have to get a plastic bag. Again. You feel bad for a moment and then think that it’s just one bag. But it isn’t …

In the U.S. alone, 280 billion plastic bags are used each year, which is enough to stretch around the earth nearly 30,000 times. Making and using plastic bags has more repercussions than you might think. Check out the following infographic to see how exactly plastic bags affect our cities, our environment and even our economy.

http://www.learnstuff.com/suffocating-the-world/

if you begin to forget how poor you are, Christmas is here to make sure

you don't forget..

The Rollicking Life Of Larry Hagman



http://www.celebstoner.com/201108148084/news/celebstoner-news/larry-hagman-on-psychedelic-drugs.html

Larry Hagman on Psychedelic Drugs
Sunday, 14 August 2011 13:36

Veteran TV actor Larry Hagman took his share of drugs during the '60s. Encouraged by Jack Nicholson, Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing on Dallas, began to regularly smoke marijuana. Musician David Crosby introduced him to LSD, which Hagman calls "such a profound experience that it changed my pattern of life and my way of thinking.”

In today's New York Times, he relates a story about taking mescaline on an Indian reservation:

"Well, I was in a hut with about 10 young Indian boys. I took this stuff and got real sick, but after a while that passed, and I looked down and I had bird’s claws, bird’s feet and fur instead of feathers. I thought, Well, golly, this is interesting. I flew around the hut, and then I flew through the wall and flew around the reservation and came back. It was a heavy-duty spiritual thing. I wouldn’t particularly want to do it again, but it was a wonderful experience. I’m sure it was an out-of-body experience. And I enjoyed flying too...

"For me, gave me great compassion and a love of everything. It comes into play in your permanent psyche."


The Rollicking Life Of Larry Hagman

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/magazine/the-rollicking-life-of-larry-hagman.html?_r=2&ref=magazine

40 People Stop Keystone XL Construction: Four Lock to Machinery, Nacogdoches Student and Two Others

Source: tarsandsblockade.org

BREAKING: 40 People Stop Keystone XL Construction: Four Lock to Machinery, Nacogdoches Student and Two Others Launch a New Tree Blockade


November 19, 2012

UPDATE: 10:40 am – Solidarity actions take off in Minneapolis and San Francisco

Solidarity actions took off this morning with a banner drop overlooking Minneapolis. In San Francisco, demonstrators rallied outside the Canadian Consulate in the financial district, demanding that Canada withdraw its support for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and gathering strength for the continued push to hold recently elected US politicians accountable to the will of the American people to combat climate change.


UPDATE: 9:30 am – TransCanada workers return to lock down site with police officers and video equipment

TransCanada workers were overheard telling the police that they want the blockaders out. Police are calling for reinforcements and getting out flexicuffs.

UPDATE: 9:10 am – All construction stopped at site of lock down; workers have completely left site

Workers intending to continue construction of the Keystone XL pipeline have completely abandoned all plans to work today at the site of our lock down and have left the site. A crew of blockaders will maintain a presence there while reinforcements are being sent to the new tree blockade to support Lizzy and the other blockaders whose lives are being threatened by the police.

UPDATE: 8:40 am – Police threatening to cut support lines for tree blockaders

UPDATE: 8:15 am – Police officers arrive on site at Angelina River tree blockade

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest updates.

Day of Action Sees Dozens Walk On to Work Site as the Nacogdoches Community Rallies with Affected Landowners at Lake Nacogdoches to Protect Fresh Water Supply from Toxic Tar Sands

NACOGDOCHES, TX – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2012 8:00AM – Today, four people locked themselves to heavy machinery used along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route. They were joined by several others forming a human chain to block the movement of heavy machinery onsite, while more than 30 people walked onto the same construction site to halt work early this morning. Meanwhile, three others launched a new tree blockade at a crossing of the Angelina River, suspending themselves from 50 foot pine trees with life lines anchored to heavy machinery, effectively blocking the entirety of Keystone XL’s path. Today’s Day of Action is in solidarity with local landowners struggling to protect their water and land from TransCanada’s toxic tar sands pipeline.

Keystone XL would cross 16 large rivers in Texas, including the site of today’s latest tree blockade, the scenic Angelina River. Nestled amongst 50 foot pine trees in forested bottomlands, the tree blockaders have settled in for a long standoff in protection of their fresh drinking and agricultural water. The waters downstream feed into the popular Sam Rayburn Reservoir, the largest lake entirely within the state of Texas, renowned for its angling opportunities and competitions.

“Tar Sands Blockade stands with all communities affected by the Canadian tar sands. From indigenous nations in Alberta, Canada to the besieged refinery neighborhoods of the American Gulf Coast where the tar sands will be refined, there’s a groundswell of resistance demanding an end to toxic tar sands exploitation. Today’s events simply mark the latest in our sustained, community-based civil disobedience campaign, and many more communities are destined to rise up to defend their homes from TransCanada’s fraud, bullying, and reckless endangerment of their lives and fresh water,” insisted Ron Seifert, a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson.

Included amongst the Angelina tree sitters is local Stephen F. Austin State University student, Lizzy Alvarado, 21, an Austin-born, third-year cinematography major. Leading outdoor excursions for other local youth and having helped found the Nacogdoches Rat Skulls, an all female cycling-advocacy organization, Alvarado is an active member of the Nacogdoches community.

“I climbed this tree in honor of all the landowners who have been bullied mercilessly into signing easement contracts and who were then silenced through fear by TransCanada’s threat of endless litigation. That’s not what this country stands for in my mind, and if we don’t take a stand here to secure our rights now, then it will keep happening to everyone,” proclaimed Alvarado. “What’s happening isn’t just threatening my community’s drinking water but it will threaten that of all communities along the pipeline’s path.“

While these multisite actions halted Keystone XL construction this morning, local community members rallied at Lake Nacogdoches to further highlight the threats Keystone XL poses to the community’s watershed and public health. These events around the Nacogdoches area coincide with a week’s worth of events in solidarity with Tar Sands Blockade. Scheduled to occur in over 40 communities around the world, these actions highlight the urgent need to address the climate crisis.

Some actions have targeted policy makers or financial institutions bankrolling dirty energy projects while others rallied to address the damage done by Hurricane Sandy through community organizing and connecting extreme weather to extreme extraction. Yesterday in Washington, DC, more than 3,000 gathered at the White House to call on President Obama to reject the permit for the northern segment of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. Other actions are scheduled to happen today and later this week.

Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and climate justice organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

“From the Sandy-decimate streets of New York City to these piney woods here in East Texas, communities are resisting dangerous corporations like TransCanada. These solidarity actions are part of a burgeoning movement of ordinary folks coming together in their neighborhoods, schools, and community centers to draw the connections between extreme extraction like tar sands exploitation and extreme weather like the droughts devastating farmers and ranchers all over Texas and the Midwest. Today we rally to build a future where all people and the planet are healthy and thriving,” said Kim Huynh, a spokesperson for the Tar Sands Blockade.


Read more: http://tarsandsblockade.org/12th-action/

Don't let Wall Street sideline Elizabeth Warren.

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/warren_banking/?rc=fb_share1&r_by=-3200513-_TrD1Lx


Don't let Wall Street sideline Elizabeth Warren.


Elizabeth Warren's victory over Scott Brown means that Massachusetts will soon be represented by the strongest voice for Wall Street accountability in the Senate.

But Wall Street-friendly politicians and lobbyists in DC have started a whisper campaign to keep Warren off of the Senate Banking Committee -- the one Senate committee that would most directly empower her to fight for consumers and stand up to Wall Street banks.

Don't let Wall Street sideline Elizabeth Warren.

Speak out to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give Elizabeth Warren a seat on the Senate Banking Committee.

We've seen this before. Elizabeth Warren was effectively blocked from heading up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- which she conceived of, advocated for and ultimately helped start up -- by DC insiders who didn't want such a strong advocate of banking reform in charge of the Wall Street watchdog she helped create.

She then ran for Senate and won. Now it's up to us to have her back and ensure that when she gets to the Senate she can be the fierce and effective advocate we so desperately need.

Elizabeth Warren is a clear choice for the Senate Banking Committee. She is a respected Harvard professor and one of the country’s leading experts on bankruptcy law who spent her career focused on the financial struggles of middle class families.

What's more, she has proven time and again that that she is willing to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of consumers, which is why Washington and Wall Street insiders are trying to keep her off the Senate Banking Committee.

Speak out to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give Elizabeth Warren a seat on the Senate Banking Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hearing from banking industry lobbyists and conservative Democrats who don't want Elizabeth Warren on the banking committee. Now he needs to hear from us.

Put simply, there are far too few people in power who are as ready, willing and able to stand up to Wall Street banks as she is.

And whether it's speaking out against a secret bailout of AIG or demanding Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, resign from the Board of the New York Fed, she has continued to carry the torch to this day.

Warren accomplished all of this before she was elected to the Senate. Just imagine what she'll be able to do if she's allowed to fully leverage the legislative and oversight powers of a sitting senator on the main committee for Wall Street legislation.

Speak out to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give Elizabeth Warren a seat on the Senate Banking Committee.

Other things McCain might have learned if he didn't skip the Benghazi hearing

Other things McCain might have learned if he didn't skip the Benghazi hearing

Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:53 AM PST.
by Laura ClawsonFollow .

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/16/1162248/-McCain-s-Rice-rage-would-be-better-directed-at-the-CIA


Sen. John McCain has been on a rage bender against United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, claiming her comments five days after the killings in Benghazi were totally outrageous and irresponsible and how dare she.
Here's what Rice said:


...we'll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions. But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy—
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mm-Hm.

SUSAN RICE: —sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that—in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.
And here's what the CIA's talking points for Rice said:

"The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.
Kinda similar, no? So basically John McCain's entire hissy fit about how Susan Rice is not fit for office and he's going to filibuster her because Americans died and it's somehow her fault is because five days later she competently delivered CIA talking points. Of course, we all know it's really because he's still bitter he got trounced in 2008.

(Via The Maddow Blog)
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