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Current location: NC
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Journal Archives

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


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...


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.


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


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


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.


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 .


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—

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)

Wendell Potter: Beyond Obamacare

We asked some of Moyers & Company’s recent guest thinkers for their instant reactions to the re-election of Barack Obama. They came back with unique and succinct responses that covered everything from Afghanistan and climate change to the “fiscal cliff” and Obamacare. Add your own reactions at the bottom of each post.


Beyond Obamacare

November 8, 2012
by Wendell Potter

The re-election of President Obama and, just as important, the Democrats’ retention of control of the Senate, means not only that health care reform can and will go forward, but that the groundwork can be laid to move beyond the Affordable Care Act. Had the Democrats lost, the insurance industry and other special interests that profit from our dysfunctional and inequitable health care system would have been back in the driver’s seat, and they would have slammed on the brakes and shifted the car into reverse to go back to the (for them) good old days that led to the U.S. having the most costly system in the world while 50 million of its people were uninsured.

The president’s re-election does not mean, however, that Obamacare will necessarily be implemented as Congress intended. Those special interests will now redouble their efforts to try to scare Americans into believing that the provisions of the law that might affect their profits will result in higher premiums. Expect to hear from insurance companies, for example, that Congress will have to allow them to continue their practices of discriminating against people because of their age. If not, coverage will become unaffordable for young families. Take it from me, they are very skillful at making us worry.

The president and congressional leaders will have to anticipate the special interests’ coming PR and lobbying campaigns and be ready with effective campaigns of their own to ensure that reform goes forward, not backward.

Suing the military on behalf of antiwar activists spied on by informant John Towery.


Utica Resident Taking U.S. Military to Court

November 2nd 2012

By Brendan Maslauskas Dunn

As the nation inches ever closer to election day, attorney Larry Hildes is preparing for an historic case he will argue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle, WA on behalf of myself and several other plaintiffs. The case is against the Military, or more specifically, the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and a long list of federal and law enforcement agencies. My plaintiffs and I are suing the military in the case Panagacos v Towery over violations of civil rights and civil liberties when we discovered a spy in our midst while engaged in antiwar activity around Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) just north of the city I once called home – Olympia, Washington.

Shortly after I moved to Olympia in 2006, the Army started to send Stryker military vehicles through the city’s port for the deployment of a Stryker Brigade to Iraq. Not wanting to wait for ineffective and pro-war politicians and government bureaucrats to intervene, I, along with hundreds of residents, decided to take direct action to delay, if not entirely stop, the military shipments.

The actions made national headlines and the antiwar group Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) took shape. Over the next few years, we took similar actions in Olympia, Tacoma and Aberdeen, Washington as the military sent more brigades, weapons and Stryker vehicles to and from the military base. Quite a few Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans joined us in PMR to help slow down the war machine.

In November of 2007, the actions of PMR were so effective that the Port of Olympia was completely shut down for more than a day. It was one of the largest and most under-reported victories of the antiwar movement. To this day, the military has not used the Port of Olympia for any shipments.

Rolling Jubilee: Buying Up Distressed Debt, Occupy Offshoot Bails Out the People, Not the Banks

watch, listen: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/15/rolling_jubilee_buying_up_distressed_debt

An offshoot of Occupy Wall Street has launched a new movement called "Rolling Jubilee" to buy distressed debt from financial firms, often for pennies on the dollar, and then canceling it so that borrowers do not have to repay. The people who incurred the debt in the first place then get a certified letter informing them they are off the hook. Typically, financial institutions sell debt for pennies on the dollar to third parties who either try to collect on it or bundle it up for resale. However, the Rolling Jubilee activists say they are buying up the debt in order to "liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal." Tonight, Rolling Jubilee is holding a sold-out benefit concert in New York City to continue its anti-debt fundraising. The group says it has already raised $129,000 through online donations, which is enough to buy approximately $2.5 million worth of defaulted loans, due to their steep markdowns. We’re joined by Pamela Brown, a Ph.D. student in sociology at the New School and one of the organizers of the Rolling Jubilee. She also is participating in the Occupy Sandy efforts to organize local relief efforts to people hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy. (Transcript to come. Check back soon.)

Pamela Brown, Ph.D. student in sociology at the New School and one of the organizers of Strike Debt, which recently launched Rolling Jubilee.
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