In his dissent in McCleskey v. Kemp, Justice William Brennan turned a famous phrase that has long resonated with criminal justice reformers. In upholding Georgia’s capital sentencing system, the majority expressed concern about Eighth Amendment claims based on statistics revealing racial disparities in the application of the death penalty, fearing that such claims “would open the door to widespread challenges to all aspects of criminal sentencing.” Justice Brennan lamented that “on its face, such a statement seems to suggest a fear of too much justice.”
Disconcertingly, almost everyone seriously involved in debates over the modern administration of death penalty seemingly has a fear of too much capital justice. This essay seeks to explain this practical reality of modern death penalty advocacy in order to spotlight the problems it necessarily creates for any sustained efforts to improve the modern death penalty. By unpacking the fear of too much capital justice among capital ...
Montgomery v. Louisiana arrived at the Supreme Court at the intersection of three conceptually challenging and jurisprudentially opaque areas of law. First, Montgomery came to the Court as an Eighth Amendment case requiring the Justices to struggle yet again with the counter-majoritarian question of what limits the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause puts on government powers to impose certain sentences on certain defendants for certain crimes. Second, Montgomery came to the Court as a retroactivity case requiring the Justices to struggle with the practical question of how new constitutional rules are to apply to old and seemingly settled criminal judgments. Third, Montgomery became a federalism case because the Justices, when granting certiorari review, added the jurisdictional question of whether the Court even had authority to review how Louisiana had implemented the Supreme Court’s prior decisions on Eighth Amendment and retroactivity issues.
In this short essay, I briefly ...
Press Release – New Zealand Government The Government is taking steps to ensure that small grocery businesses can continue to hold liquor licences, Associate Justice Minister Mark Mitchell announced today.Hon Mark Mitchell Associate Minister of Justice 30 June 2017 Changes recognise tobacco tax increases The Government is taking steps to ensure that small grocery businesses […]
SFL SUCCESS STORY: Jessica Murphy SFL North America Campus Coordinator in Wisconsin gets threatened for speaking out Jessica Murphy, a Campus Coordinator in Wisconsin, recently had a blog post published by the MacIver Institute, a free market think tank based in Wisconsin. In her blog, Jessica highlighted the ‘Top Five Wasteful Classes’ provided by the University of Wisconsin system, which is a system of public universities funded by the Wisconsin taxpayer. One of the classes the blog targeted as wasteful was Teaching for Social Justice, a course whose syllabus specifically aims to instill in the teachers of tomorrow a sensitivity to address injustices viewed through a lens of identity politics giving sex/race/class/sexuality a prominent place in the course’s analysis. As Jessica said in her blog post, “A […]
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A brand new entry in the Alphadia series!
Full-fledged fantasy RPG experience with stunning 3D battles!
Due to high memory usage, it is not recommended that multiple applications are used simultaneously while playing Alphadia Genesis.
Doing so could cause the game to fail to load or force quit. Therefore, we ask you free up any available memory before playing.
Alphadia Genesis boasts a rich multifaceted story that revolves around Fray, an Archleign's guild member and Corone, a knight in the Ghalzabine Army. As their journey progresses and conflicting national interests come to the forefront, it becomes apparent that it will take more than a little work on both their parts if their relationship is to weather the boding storm on the horizon.
Having been at peace for only 15 years since the end of the Energi War, the kingdoms of Archleign and Ghalzabine are once again thrust onto center stage after a murder perpetrated by a clone, whose rights and freedoms they both lobbied for, comes to light.
Hoping the treaty signed to end the use of clones for conventional warfare has not been violated, a joint-investigative team is put together to find out the cause and bring those responsible to justice. However, things then appear to be far more volatile than anyone could have first imagined...
▼Dramatic Event Scenes
With a voice cast of many notable Japanese actors and actresses lend...
Ranbir Kapoor appears to have worked really hard to ace the act in his next — Jagga Jasoos. The actor shed nearly 11 kg of flab to do justice with the character of a school boy in the upcoming musical adventure directed by Anurag Basu. Also, this is his first project as a producer. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif in the lead and Pritam is the music composer. Known to be a director's actor, Ranbir Kapoor effortlessly slips into his onscreen characters. The actor has been associated with the project for over a year. His admirers are
NetSquared organizers bring together the nonprofit technology community for face-to-face meetings ... but we all know that meetings are boring! Admit it, you sometimes dread going to those all-staff assemblies. Luckily for you, our NetSquared leaders are super creative when planning their #Tech4Good events. "Meetings" come in diverse and innovative formats like Mississauga, Canada's Geek Talk — Coffee and Convo; Pangani, Tanzania's Social Media Surgery ; and Birmingham, United Kingdom's Summer Tech for Good Social in a local pub. Join us at your local group. It will be fun — we promise! Find your closest NetSquared group Upcoming Tech for Good Events This roundup of face-to-face nonprofit tech events includes meetups from NetSquared , NTEN's Tech Clubs , and other awesome organizations. If you're holding monthly events gathering the #nptech community, let me know , and I'll include you in the next community calendar. Or, apply today to start your own NetSquared group. Africa The targets need to be linked like so: --> Jump to events in North America or go international with events in Africa and Middle East Asia and Pacific Rim Europe and United Kingdom Central and South America ## North America ## Africa ## Europe ## Asia and Pacific Rim --> North America Monday, July 3, 2017 Mississauga, Ontario: Geek Talk — Coffee and Convo Wednesday, July 5, 2017 San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Thursday, July 6, 2017 San Francisco, California: Tech for Good Monthly Mixer Friday, July 07, 2017 Saint Paul, Minnesota: Tips and Tools to Doll Up Your Data | Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (Free) Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Naples, Florida: How to use Technology to Communicate and Manage Volunteers Vancouver, British Columbia: Full Spectrum Civic Engagement Columbus, Ohio: Nonprofit IT Forum Boston, Massachusetts: Tech Networks of Boston Roundtable: Nonprofit Organizations, Civic Data, and Civic Faith Phoenix, Arizona: Phoenix: QuickBooks Made Easy Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Los Angeles, California: Summer Social Phoenix, Arizona: Data Management: What Nonprofits Need to Know San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Monday, July 17, 2017 Kitchener, Ontario: Mail Management Tuesday, July 18, 2017 Greensburg, Pennsylvania: Bagels and Bytes — Westmoreland Marietta, Georgia: Easy SEO Fixes for Your Nonprofit Jasper, Indiana: Social Media Wednesday, July 19, 2017 San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Portland, Oregon: QuickBooks Made Easy Thursday, July 20, 2017 Seattle, Washington: QuickBooks Made Easy Friday, July 21, 2017 San Francisco, California: Mobile Apps for Change Demo Day at the Salvation Army Monday, July 24, 2017 Nanaimo, British Columbia: "Free Money" (Microsoft Volume Licensing and Google for Nonprofits) Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Buffalo, New York: Why Nonprofits Should Use TechSoup and NetSquared Houston, Texas: Net2Houston Refresh! Wednesday, July 26, 2017 San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Friday, July 28, 2017 Seattle, Washington: Roundtable for New Nonprofit Executives Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Naples, Florida: Tech4Good SWFL Meeting Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Bagels and Bytes — Allegheny Wednesday, August 2, 2017 San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Phoenix, Arizona: Defining and Targeting Your Audience: Marketing for Nonprofits Thursday, August 3, 2017 Cleveland, Ohio: How to Remarket to Website Visitors via Facebook and Twitter Monday, August 7, 2017 Mississauga, Ontario: Geek Talk — Coffee and Convo Tuesday, August 8, 2017 Columbus, Ohio: Nonprofit IT Forum Ottawa, Ontario: Review Progress on Data Analysis Projects Wednesday, August 9, 2017 San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Los Angeles, California: Web Accessibility: Designing Inclusive User Experiences Friday, August 11, 2017 Saint Paul, Minnesota: Optimizing Your Communications for Mobile | Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (Free) Wednesday, August 16, 2017 San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: The Internet of Things: You Only Live Twice? Tuesday, August 22, 2017 Houston, Texas: Net2Houston Refresh! Wednesday, August 23, 2017 San Francisco, California: Code for America Civic Hack Night Asia and Pacific Rim Saturday, July 15, 2017 Jakarta, Indonesia: Strategy of Data Collection for Nonprofits Tuesday, August 15, 2017 Jakarta, Indonesia: YouTube for Nonprofits Africa and Middle East Saturday, July 1, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Monday, July 3, 2017 Beirut, Lebanon: Lebanon's Digital Big Bang — An AltCity Info Session Friday, July 7, 2017 Mukono, Uganda: Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Kibiribiri Primary School Saturday, July 8, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Bamenda, Cameroon: How to Create Digital Stories Friday, July 14, 2017 Mukono, Uganda Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Kibiribiri Primary School Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Saint John Kaama Primary Saturday, July 15, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Friday, July 21, 2017 Mukono, Uganda Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Kibiribiri Primary School Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Saint John Kaama Primary Saturday, July 22, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Friday, July 28, 2017 Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Creating Apps and Other Tech Mukono, Uganda: Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Saint John Kaama Primary Saturday, July 29, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Pangani, Tanzania: Social Media Surgery: WhatsApp for Farmers and Livestock Keepers Sunday, July 30, 2017 Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Monthly Meeting of Local Members Friday, August 4, 2017 Mukono, Uganda: Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Kibiribiri Primary School Saturday, August 5, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Wednesday, August 9, 2017 Bamenda, Cameroon: How to Create Digital Stories Friday, August 11, 2017 Mukono, Uganda Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Kibiribiri Primary School Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Saint John Kaama Primary Saturday, August 12, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Friday, August 18, 2017 Mukono, Uganda Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Kibiribiri Primary School Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Saint John Kaama Primary Saturday, August 19, 2017 Bunda, Tanzania: Microsoft Cloud Computing Friday, August 25, 2017 Mukono, Uganda: Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Kibiribiri Primary School Second Term 2017 Solar Mobile Computer Training Meetup for Saint John Kaama Primary Saturday, August 26, 2017 Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Monthly Meeting of Local Members Sunday, August 27, 2017 Pangani, Tanzania: Social Media Surgery: Instagram for Farmers and Livestock Keepers Europe and United Kingdom Saturday, July 1, 2017 Saint-Étienne , France: Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre 2017 Monday, July 3, 2017 Edinburgh, United Kingdom: One Digital Meetup Leith Tuesday, July 4, 2017 Saint-Étienne , France: Rencontres Professionnelles du Logiciel Libre Monday, July 10, 2017 Birmingham, United Kingdom: Data Analysis for Nonprofits Tuesday, July 11, 2017 West Bridgford, United Kingdom: User Research and Service Design — Lunch and Learn for Nottinghamshire County Council Staff Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Cambridge, United Kingdom Social Media Surgery — Hands-on Help with Social Media Tech for Good — Law and Justice Tuesday, July 18, 2017 Bath, United Kingdom: Design for All — Technology for Everyone, Accessibility, and User Experience Thursday, July 20, 2017 Milngavie, United Kingdom: One Digital Meetup Milngavie Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Renens, Switzerland: OpenLab: Visite du Fablab de Renens Dublin, Ireland: Design Thinking For Good: IBM Health Corps Tuesday, August 1, 2017 West Bridgford, United Kingdom: Organisation Design — Lunch and Learn for Nottinghamshire County Council Staff Wednesday, August 9, 2017 Cambridge, United Kingdom: Social Media Surgery — Hands-on Help with Social Media Monday, August 14, 2017 Birmingham, United Kingdom: Summer Tech for Good Social Tuesday, August 29, 2017 Paudex, Switzerland: RdV4-0.ch: 2. Objets Connectés — IoT Renens, Switzerland: OpenLab: Visite du Fablab de Renens Thursday, August 31, 2017 Edinburgh, United Kingdom: One Digital Meetup Edinburgh Image : Michele Mateus / CC BY Siobhan Aspinall with Umbrella at The Digital Nonprofit 201 : Elijah van der Giessen via Michele Mateus / CC BY-NC 2.0 --> spanhidden
Bullets and blades blast and slice across Battlerealm as Jake Gallows, the Punisher of 2099, brute forces his way into “Marvel Contest of Champions” as the game’s 100th character.
We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Character Designer Simon Cameron about what makes this particular Punisher tick like a time bomb.
Marvel.com: I gotta ask, how much effort does it take for The Collector to reach through the past and future to snatch up a specimen?
Gabriel Frizzera: The Punisher 2099 was captured in the original batch of Champions for The Contest. But it wasn’t necessary for Collector to reach through time, since Jake Gallows had travelled back to the 21st century to execute Carnage, as part of an initiative by the future Hydra regime to punish criminals in different timelines. They’re very proactive at the Secret Empire— they won’t let small things like the space-time continuum get in the way of their punishment!
Marvel.com: And what makes Jake Gallows so special that he gets to fight it out in The Contest?
Gabriel Frizzera: Gallows was one of the characters Marvel allowed us to redesign for the CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS comic book, and appeared briefly in the last issue—before being quickly dispatched by Frank Castle. We had plans to put him in the game for a while, and when the opportunity to do a Secret Empire tie-in came about, we decided to have him as the villain. Turns out he’s also our 100th playable character, so it worked out great that he’s one of our original designs!
Marvel.com: 100 characters is a super cool milestone, and outside of Angela, this may be my favorite looking combatant in “Contest of Champions.” Seriously, this Punisher looks absolutely awesome! What can you tell us about his design?
Gabriel Frizzera: We are fond of his ‘90s garish outfit and gadgets, but we wanted to push him to look more like a “futuristic shock-police on steroids.” The central piece of the design is the chest skull made of knives and guns—which teleport into his hands; not a second to spare in the future. His whole arsenal is white to contrast with the black and red suit, but also to speak to the nature of 2099’s technology: all weapons would be freshly formed and reconfigured on the spot by nanotechnology. His original concept had way more weapons—like mag-blades on his arms and an electro-baton—and a tactical helmet, which ended up having to be cut for memory reasons. But we kept his bad-ass disintegrating gun and “Grenazers”!
Punisher 2099 in Marvel Contest of Champions
Punisher 2099 in Marvel Contest of Champions
Punisher 2099 in Marvel Contest of Champions
Marvel.com: Aside from his bad ass new look, what sets him apart from Frank Castle?
Gabriel Frizzera: We joke in the office that Jake Gallows makes Frank Castle look like a soft-hearted hippie! We had a lot of fun writing the contrast between the two, the same way other writers love to contrast Frank Castle among more “straight” heroes like Captain America. In the story, when placed between Jake Gallows’ and Steve Rogers’ radically different views of justice, Frank Castle is forced to admit he might be a bit closer to Cap than the fanatic Punisher 2099. It was fun for me to write dialogue where Gallows calls Castle a “half-measure,” the same way Castle called Matt Murdock [“Marvel’s Daredevil” on Netflix]. That shows how far Punisher 2099 has strayed into villainous territory.
Marvel.com: Tell me a little about Punisher 2099’s abilities…
Simon Cameron: Punisher 2099 gets much of his strength from his Nano-Tech, which is powered by the Nano-Tech Battery. This charge builds over time, and his Special 1 gives him an Overcharge Passive effect, giving him additional Nano-Tech charge for a few seconds. This charge is spent by a number of automatically triggered effects—things like: Triggering a Heal Block on an Opponent when they trigger a Regeneration Buff, Draining the Charge to Regenerate Punisher 2099 if his Health drops below a threshold, or adding a Stun effect to his Heavy Attack. He also enters an Overdrive mode if his Charge reaches 100%. This drains his Charge over time, but grants him additional Attack, and reduces the amount of Power his Opponent gains when they’re struck by Punisher’s attacks.
Marvel.com: And what’s Retribution 2099 all about?
Simon Cameron: Retribution 2099 is Punisher’s Signature Ability. It lets him start the fight with his Nano-Tech Battery partially charged; it also adds a new automatically triggered effect to spend his Nano-Tech Charge on. This ability triggers when his opponent hits full power, draining a small amount of it, and power locking them for a couple seconds. It’s a little like a Special 3 get out of jail free card.
Marvel.com: And when can we hope to bring the Punisher’s weapon mastery to bear on the bad guys?
Simon Cameron: Punisher 2099 opens fire on The Contest June 29!
Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!
L’avocat français, Roland Rappaport, qui s’était engagé dans la défense des militants du FLN, durant la guerre de Libération nationale est décédé lundi à Paris à l’âge de 83 ans, a-t-on appris, hier, auprès de ses proches.
Le défunt était également l’avocat de la famille de Maurice Audin, jeune mathématicien qui militait auprès du peuple algérien pour son indépendance, enlevé puis assassiné par les parachutistes français en juin 1957. Rencontré en 2015 à la cérémonie de célébration du 1er Novembre 1954, organisée par l’ambassade d’Algérie en France, l’avocat avait demandé une suite au bouleversant témoignage d’un Algérien au Quotidien d’Oran, publié en août 2014, sur le lieu des restes du militant anticolonialiste. Il avait rencontré, en janvier 2016, le ministre des Moudjahidine, Tayeb Zitouni, lors de sa visite historique en France qui l’avait invité en Algérie. Roland Rappaport, d’obédience communiste devenu avocat en 1956, a commencé sa carrière en soutenant la guerre de libération du peuple algérien par la dénonciation de la torture. Il était membre du Parti communiste français de 1949 à 1979, et président du Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP) en 1988 et 1989. Il est considéré par ses confrères comme l’homme des indignations devant toutes les formes d’injustice ou de discrimination. Roland Rappaport fut d’abord l’homme des indignations devant toutes les formes d’injustice ou de discrimination, des passions et des combats de toujours, depuis son engagement contre la torture en Algérie et sa défense de Josette Audin et de ses enfants pour que la vérité soit faite sur les conditions et la responsabilité de la France dans la mort de Maurice Audin, a écrit le Syndicat des avocats français (SAF) dans un hommage publié sur son site. De son vivant, il a défendu, entre autres, au procès Barbie, Sabine Zlatin, fondatrice de la colonie d’Izieu dans laquelle des enfants juifs trouvèrent refuge pendant l’occupation nazie et des pilotes de ligne et leur famille, en particulier au procès du crash du Concorde.
A l’occasion du 25e anniversaire de son assassinat, El Watan Week-end a choisi de revenir sur un épisode peu connu de la vie de Mohamed Boudiaf.
Vendredi 21 juin 1963. Midi. Pont d’Hydra. Un homme filiforme, habillé d’un complet veston, marche à petits pas. Deux individus à la mine patibulaire l’accostent. Bref échange.
L’homme est embarqué dans la Peugeot 404 garée sur cette route. Mohamed Boudiaf vient d’être enlevé par le commando du président Ahmed Ben Bella. Dans son livre Où va l’Algérie, il en donne le signalement : l’un des agents dénommé Mohamed S., quinquagénaire, est un ex-agent zélé de la police des renseignements généraux et de la DST à Alger où il a sévi lors des événements de mai 1945 et de l’arraisonnement de l’avion des Cinq en octobre 1956. Le second agent, «plus replet et aux gestes brusques», est un «militant» «parfaitement imbu de son rôle et pénétré de son importance policière».
Demandant à Boudiaf de se mettre à leur disposition au nom de la SM, ils l’embarquent dans la berline qui démarre en trombe. Itinéraire : la colonne Voirol, chemin Beaurepaire, clinique des Orangers et arrivée dans une villa «fleurie» des environs.
Boudiaf, extrêmement fatigué, est fouillé «des pieds à la tête». Mais aucun des agents ne lui explique les raisons de son arrestation et qui en sont les commanditaires. Il décide alors d’entamer une grève de la faim. «Kidnappé dans le plus grand secret, emmené dans une villa inhabitée sans explication, je ne peux que trouver une allure macabre à toute cette aventure», écrit le «séquestré» dans ce qui devient son journal, qu’il entame le jour même de son interpellation.
Durant quatre jours, Boudiaf, qui a été arrêté une première fois une année plus tôt à M’sila (30 juillet 1962), où il est parti dans sa famille des Ouled Madi, cherche désespérément à «communiquer avec les villas voisines, sans résultat». Il décide alors d’écrire à l’«autorité mystérieuse» qui a ordonné son enlèvement.
Le lundi, il est embarqué en voiture vers le siège de la gendarmerie (actuellement groupement de gendarmerie d’Alger, Bab J’did). Entouré à son arrivée à la caserne par une dizaine de gendarmes, mitraillettes au poing, «un peu curieux, un peu fébriles», il reconnaît leur chef, le colonel Ahmed Bencherif, qui lui dit, pince-sans-rire, que la chambre qui lui est réservée dans cette caserne coloniale vaut mieux que celle de la prison de la Santé où il était détenu.
Chez les Boudiaf et les militants du Parti de la révolution socialiste (PRS), créé en septembre 1962, c’est la stupéfaction et la rage. «Le problème, c’est qu’on ne savait pas s’il était vivant ou mort. On pensait qu’il était fini et qu’il allait être exécuté», raconte à El Watan Week-end Nacer Boudiaf, âgé à l’époque de 8 ans. Rencontrant leur père pour la première fois une année seulement auparavant, Nacer et sa fratrie (Kheireddine, Fella et Samia) le voient disparaître à nouveau.
L’oncle Aïssa décide d’aller à la police d’Hydra où les agents «ont nié être au courant de cette affaire». Le frère prend alors l’initiative d’entrer en contact avec certains compagnons de l’ancien coordonnateur du FLN. «Mehri m’a promis d’intercéder en sa faveur auprès de Boumediène. Mais il ne fait rien. Je suis entré en contact avec Bitat. Après un moment d’attente devant sa maison à la rue Bachir Ibrahimi (El Biar), il me reçoit dans le jardin tout en jetant des coups d’œil à droite et à gauche comme s’il y avait des yeux pour le guetter», signale Aïssa dans un entretien à El Khabar hebdo.
Le PRS publie dans l’après-midi de l’arrestation un communiqué. L’alerte a été donnée par Rachid Krim, «le fils spirituel de Boudiaf et son chef de cabinet en 1992», actuellement à Paris. L’arrestation de Boudiaf par le président Ben Bella a marqué le clan. «J’ai un oncle, Moussa, actuellement décédé. Il était le premier ambassadeur de l’Algérie à Genève.
C’est un ancien militant qui s’est retiré après le kidnapping de Boudiaf par les sbires de Ben Bella», témoigne Nacer, amer. Le pouvoir décide de faire évacuer d’Alger l’encombrant opposant. Le 26 juin, Boudiaf, embastillé dans la caserne de la Haute-Casbah, est réveillé à quatre heures du matin pour être emmené à l’aérodrome de Chéraga, où l’hélicoptère prend l’air en direction de Oued Norson. A bord, il est rejoint par d’autres militants, eux aussi arrêtés par les hommes de Ben Bella : Ali Allouache, ancien porte-parole de la wilaya IV, Moussa Kebaïli et Mohand Akli Benyounes, dit Daniel, anciens de la Fédération de France du FLN. Arrivé à Oued Norson, le groupe est embarqué à bord de voitures légères en direction de Sidi Bel Abbès, Saïda, Mecheria, Aïn Safra et Beni Ounif. Complètement éreintés par un voyage de mille kilomètres, Boudiaf et ses compagnons arrivent à Colomb Béchar à la tombée de la nuit.
Tsabit : détenus dans une école désaffectée
«Je suis épuisé après ce long voyage, survenu au sixième jour de ma grève de la faim, je décide d’interrompre mon jeûne, croyant candidement qu’à Colomb Béchar le régime politique va nous être appliqué et que nous pourrons engager une grève dans de meilleures conditions», fait remarquer Boudiaf, qui décide d’écrire une lettre au colonel, commandant de la Région militaire. Le 4 juillet, les séquestrés seront dirigés plus au sud où, leur dit-on, ils seront «plus à l’aise» ! Ils seront transbahutés dans d’énormes camions Berliet vers le camp Colonel Lotfi, à Tsabit, localité située à 65 km au nord de la ville d’Adrar, capitale du Touat. La chambre réservée aux prisonniers dans ce qui fut probablement une école de construction récente est trop exiguë : 5 mètres sur trois. Là, dans la caserne Lotfi, Boudiaf arrive à «dialoguer en imagination» avec le colonel, de son nom d’état civil, Ben Ali Boudghène, mort au combat à Béchar avec des dizaines de ses compagnons.
«Ce héros, nous ne le renierons pas ! Nous n’abandonnons pas la lutte pour que notre peuple soit le seul maître de son destin», écrit Boudiaf dans son journal en date du 8 juillet. Souffrant des conditions de détention — chaleur suffocante (60°), manque de nourriture —, mais ne subissant pas de sévices particuliers (Aïssa Boudiaf évoque des tortures dans son témoignage), le groupe entame à partir du 15 juillet une grève de la faim. Entre-temps, le pouvoir a décidé de communiquer sur les détenus du Touat. N’indiquant pas où il été interpellé et par quel service, le ministre de la Justice, Amar Bentoumi, a admis en conférence de presse que Boudiaf avait été «appréhendé vendredi 21 juin 1963 en fin de matinée alors qu’il sortait de chez lui». Dans le discours prononcé au Caroubier (Alger), à l’occasion de l’indépendance, le président Ben Bella a «brodé, précise Boudiaf, sur le thème du complot aux ramifications lointaines». Le raïs reprend, en employant sa rhétorique habituelle, les mêmes accusations lors d’une tournée dans le Constantinois.
«Ces derniers temps, nous avons arrêté cinq personnes qui ont traité avec le gouvernement français et avec le colonialisme pour instaurer un climat à la Tshombé», signale-t-il. Interrogé par le journaliste français de la RTF (Cinq colonnes à la Une), Georges De Caunes, Ben Bella reconnaît : «Oui, Boudiaf a été arrêté parce qu’il avait des agissements que j’estime dangereux». Il parle aussi d’un complot fomenté par son ancien codétenu du château d’Aulnoy avec la complicité du Ppésident Bourguiba. Face à ces accusations, aucune réaction indignée des compagnons de Boudiaf. Exceptée celle de Hocine Aït Ahmed qui a interpellé Ben Bella à l’Assemblée. L’ancien capitaine de l’ALN Si El Hafidh Yaha parle dans ses mémoires (FFS contre dictature, Koukou) d’une entrevue entre Aït Ahmed et le raïs lors d’une réception organisée en l’honneur de son ami Fethi Dib, responsable des moukhabarat égyptien, et proche de Gamal Abdel Nasser. Le défunt président du FFS rapporte à Yaha la réaction de son interlocuteur : «Ben Bella est buté. Il est décidé à continuer dans sa politique de répression et d’arrestations.
Il m’a dit que toute personne qui s’opposera à lui ira les rejoindre en prison». Les prisonniers, détenus dans des conditions difficiles à l’extrême-sud du pays, dénoncent l’aveuglement d’un pouvoir «pré-dictatorial» : ni procès ni même d’interrogatoires dans les lieux où ils sont détenus. «Depuis notre enlèvement, aucun de nous n’a été interrogé. Nous ne savons même pas ce qu’on nous reproche. La vérité est ailleurs : il s’agit d’une basse vengeance personnelle, inspirée par la peur panique devant la montée du mécontentement populaire», estime Tayeb El Watani, dont les activités (entretien à la veille de son arrestation avec le journaliste Paul Marie de la Gorce) dérangeaient le locataire de la Villa-Joly. Petite concession : un poste radio qui leur permet de suivre et de commenter l’actualité. Boudiaf en fait état dans son journal : discours populistes de Ben Bella, démission de Ferhat Abbès de la présidence de l’Assemblée, crise du FFS, conflit avec le Maroc, etc.
Remontée vers le Nord
Après une vingtaine de jours passés à Tsabit, Boudiaf et ses compagnons, toujours en grève de la faim, sont emmenés par avion à Béchar, avant d’être transférés à Saïda par Beni Ounif (même itinéraire que le premier).
Là, ils seront détenus dans la caserne de gendarmerie de la ville des Eaux, où des médecins dépêchés d’Oran tentent de les persuader de cesser leur grève. Refus. «Rien de nouveau et la grève continue. Mes compagnons sont aussi fatigués et traînent leur faim et leur mauvaise humeur, n’espérant plus rien». Saïda, 7 août. Hospitalisation après aggravation de la situation des détenus. Le groupe décide, le 15 août, d’arrêter sa grève de la faim qui a duré 32 jours «pour reprendre des forces en vue d’une autre action». Conséquence fâcheuse de l’action : ils ont perdu chacun au moins une quinzaine de kilos.
«J’ai demandé une bascule pour avoir une idée de mon poids. J’ai été moi-même étonné de la perte de 18 kilos, de 69-70 kilos, mon poids normal, je ne pèse plus que 51 kilos. Mes deux autres compagnons (Kebaïli a été libéré, ndlr) en sont au même point de faiblesse ; l’un et l’autre ont perdu en moyenne 15 kilos. Nous sommes devenus de véritables squelettes désarticulés, incapables du plus petit effort.» 13 août. Boudiaf réussit à envoyer des lettres, l’une à sa femme et l’autre à son frère, pour mettre à nu «les mensonges des déclarations gouvernementales».
Agée de 33 ans, sa femme sera elle aussi internée et ne sera libérée qu’après l’intervention de Sellami Zohra, M’silie et future épouse de Ben Bella, explique Nacer. Les autorités qui ont évoqué un accord avec l’opposition ont décidé de libérer en novembre Boudiaf et ses compagnons, rejoints plus tôt par Salah Boubnider, dit Sawt El Arab. Partis à Sidi Bel Abbès, ils se retrouveront à la caserne de gendarmerie de Bab J’did, après une autre grève de la faim (44 jours pour Boudiaf, après près de 5 mois de détention). 15 novembre. Il est 21h30 quand Boudiaf est ramené chez lui «à la surprise de (sa) famille qui ne s’attendait pas à (le) revoir de sitôt».
«C’est ainsi que je recouvris la liberté, de la même façon qu’une certaine matinée du 21 juin, je l’avais perdue», s’étonne-t-il. L’inénarrable journaliste, alors correspondant du Monde à Alger, Jean-François Kahn, décrit le mieux l’état d’esprit de l’ancien détenu de Tsabit : «Fidèle à son personnage, dur et tranchant, le même éclat dans le regard et les mains nerveuses, tel est apparu M. Mohamed Boudiaf à sa sortie de prison. Apparemment peu affecté par sa détention, mais légèrement amaigri, l’ancien prisonnier d’Aulnoy s’est tout de suite replongé dans son élément.»
Black Lives Should Matter Long Before They're Lost
It's easier to rally people with an injustice and a clear and appealing villain to point to than with prescriptive measures that are likely to help others avoid similar terrible outcomes.
This is especially true when prescriptive measures involve advising people to take responsibility and to take a hard look at problems in a community that could be changed, in part, with more responsible behaviors.
I've blogged previously about the problem of out-of-wedlock births and single motherhood in the black community.
Jason L. Riley at the WSJ takes a different tack, but is still looking at the framework of society for a lot of black people with the question in the subhead of his piece -- "why not focus on bad schools and job-killing regulations?"
On a certain level, the decision by BLM activists to single out policing as a major obstacle to black advancement has always defied comprehension. Police shootings have fallen dramatically in recent decades. In New York City, for example, cops shot 314 people in 1971, 93 of them fatally. In 2015, New York police shot 23 people, killing eight. Which means that police shootings and fatalities in the nation's most populous city have declined by more than 90% over the past 4½ decades.
A 2016 paper released by Harvard economist Roland Fryer examined the use of force by police since 2000 in some of the country's largest urban areas and found that "blacks are 23.8 percent less likely to be shot at by police relative to whites."
In theory, there is no reason these activists couldn't play a more useful role in helping blacks overcome obstacles and take advantage of opportunities that were unavailable to previous generations. But that would mean abandoning nonsensical narratives that scapegoat law enforcement for high black crime rates and instead picking more substantive fights with fellow progressives.
Why not side with the hundreds of thousands of black children nationwide who linger on waiting lists for charter schools that have a proven record of narrowing the achievement gap? Why side with progressive politicians who stunt the growth of charters out of deference to powerful teachers unions that oppose school choice?
...Of course, improving educational and employment prospects for the black underclass would lower black crime rates and thus go a long way toward reducing encounters with police, the goal that is so near and dear to the Black Lives Matter movement. It's a win-win, but first the activists have to decide whether the real goal is to help black people or to help themselves.
Important point there at the end -- one I think few people consider (thanks to how race issues are now the third rail of discussion and debate today). I sometimes get hundreds of retweets and shares of a blog post, but never those about race. At least a few of those must be at least a little interesting to people, but again, major no-go area.
Oh, and on the job-killing regulations, consider how the government is trying to put moms who earn money caring for others' children in their homes out of business. As I blogged previously:
Mothers have taken care of other mothers' children throughout human history, usually without death or horrible things happening. There should be no reason why a mother cannot be the judge of whether the person she wishes to leave her child with is a safe bet, rather than having the state intervene.
This regulation also keeps poor women who are mothers from having an income by taking in children and caring for them. Again, women have done this throughout human history. Yes, there's always a chance a child will be injured -- maybe in the parent's own home. But a child can still be injured in that *perfectly regulated* hothouse of government regulation. Regulation is mostly keeping the childcare "industry" safe from those who'd like to enter without going to college and jumping through 26 hoops.
Take That "Cultural Appropriation" Ban All The Way
I've had this idea, vis a vis the college students and others screeching that Israel must be boycotted. I strongly suggest they take the first step and toss their iPhones (Israeli technology within) and refuse life-saving medical care that stems from Israeli researchers' discoveries.
At Foundation for Economic Education, Pierre-Guy Veer applies this to those seeking to ban "cultural appropriation" -- which I like to think of as human cultural and intellectual progress. Imagine, "No, no, that fire thing is our shit -- don't be cooking your meat or we'll come club you with big rocks."
After years of complaining about such "problems" as a white chef cooking Mexican food or about "insensitive" Halloween costumes, it looks like Social Justice Warriors have finally prevailed. The United Nations will soon discuss, at the demand of indigenous groups, a ban on so-called cultural appropriation in order to "expand intellectual-property regulations to protect things like Indigenous designs, dances, words and traditional medicines."
It is rather ironic that those Natives would only want to ban "appropriation" of "their" culture. Why not push it to its logical conclusion and call for a ban on all cultural appropriation? This means that they would have to forgo every single technology that was imported from the rest of the world since 1492. In other words, they would have to abandon mathematics, writing, any form of metal casting, currency, all languages not originally from Pre-Columbus America, modern medicine, etc.
They would also not have beer.
Any takers? Yoohoo?
Veer traces what I think of as Canadian cheese fries:
Through contacts with other people from other cultures, any given cultural idea or tradition has become better. Take poutine for example. This meal composed of French fries, curd cheese and brown gravy has become a cultural symbol of Quebec. Some Quebecers are complaining that Canada is "appropriating" it as a national symbol and that there are poutine festivals from coast to coast. This is a rather strange way to celebrate the fact that what used to be seen as vulgar junk food is now seen as almost a delicacy with many variations - with sausage, chicken, hot sauce, etc.
This "appropriation" should be celebrated because it shows that "poutine culture" is alive and well. Had it been kept within the border of Quebec, it might not even exist today since stagnation and lack of evolution is what kills ideas. Imagine for a moment that Céline Dion had decided not to start singing in English because she wanted to remain "Québécoise pure laine". Despite all her talents, she would have likely run out of authors to interpret and would unlikely have become one of the best-selling artists on the planet of all time.A slow death is what awaits Native culture if they have it their way
And considering that narrower range of French-speaking culture, she might even have stopped singing.
This slow death is what awaits Native culture if they have it their way. Keeping "non-Natives" from using traditions not typically associated with them means that only a handful would be exposed to it. Fewer people showing an interest means that their products and ideas will get less exposure and will, therefore, become a sociological or archaeological artifact rather than a living idea, limited to a few multicultural festivals.
I tweeted this and got this back:
I also enjoy seeing people protest capitalism using their iPhones and social media. Supporting capitalism to protest it. Like buying this. pic.twitter.com/KxG9ErrvX8
Last week, I had the honor to give a gallery talk on the Library of Congress exhibit, Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration. As a co-curator for the exhibit, I had helped in doing legal research for information about the cases portrayed by the drawings in the exhibit. At the talk, I spoke about […]
The endangered North Atlantic right whale is just one of the marine animals that seismic testing off the East Coast would harm.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Imagine an underwater blast so loud that it can be heard by marine mammals that are 2,500 miles away. That’s the level of noise generated when companies fire airguns to blast the ocean floor with sound in order to find oil and gas deposits.
Such seismic testing could begin soon off the U.S. East Coast after Trump ordered federal agencies to reconsider the Obama administration’s five-year ban on offshore drilling in the Atlantic. On June 6, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed five authorizations for companies on the hunt for oil and gas. These companies want to conduct seismic surveys of the Atlantic seabed.
The noise would have serious impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, which rely heavily on sound to communicate, navigate and find prey. Flooding the ocean with noise from seismic surveys could inflict permanent hearing damage on these creatures, leaving them deaf and stranded. At the very least, seismic blasts would disrupt the animals’ behavior hundreds of thousands of times and could drive them away from vital habitats.
By granting these five proposed authorizations, the National Marine Fisheries Service would allow marine mammals to become casualties of oil and gas exploration. But it’s not too late—the service is taking public comments on these proposed authorizations until July 6. Below, you can tell the service to deny these dangerous permits, and protect whales and dolphins from seismic airgun blasting.
Approximate volume of seismic airgun blasting underwater. For a little perspective, one of the loudest animals, the blue whale, makes calls louder than 180 decibels. When you go up by 10 decibels, it means a sound gets 10 times more intense. So a seismic airgun blast is 1 million times more intense than a blue whale call—powerful enough to deafen one of these massive creatures.
How far seismic blasts can travel underwater—approximately the distance from New York City to Los Angeles. That means it’s possible for a whale near Florida to hear seismic surveys operating off the coast of South Carolina.
Area of the Atlantic Ocean that the proposed seismic airgun surveys would blast. The airguns discharge resounding booms at 12 to 16 second intervals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for months on end.
Approximate number of times in one year that whales and dolphins will be harassed by seismic blasting, according to permits drafted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The service estimates that nearly 2,000 of the exposures will be loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss, which would severely impede the marine mammals’ ability to communicate and find food.
Species of marine mammals that the National Marine Fisheries Service would allow companies to harm, if the agency’s proposed authorizations are finalized. Six of these species are endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including the North Atlantic Right Whale—a critically endangered species with a population of less than 500.
The EPA has said that pesticide protections would prevent at least a thousand acute poisonings every year.
This past January, three brothers—ages 7, 9 and 11—and their 17-year-old sister, died in their home in Amarillo, Texas, because a highly toxic restricted-use pesticide was improperly applied in their home.
And just two years ago, a family on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands and another family in Florida were poisoned after applicators grossly misused restricted-use pesticides. The vacationing father and his children were paralyzed; in Florida, the family’s 10-year old son suffered significant brain damage.
These kinds of tragedies prompted the federal government to enact long overdue updates to the Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule, also known as the CPA Rule. Designed to protect lives from restricted-use pesticides—some of the most hazardous chemicals that can only be used by certified professionals—the rule hadn’t been updated since Nixon was in office.
The EPA’s revised protections were supposed to go into effect in March, but Trump's new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, delayed the CPA Rule from going into effect for at least a year. This month, Earthjustice and Farmworker Justice sued the EPA for this unlawful delay.
By delaying this rule, the Trump administration is putting workers, children and families at risk.
The CPA Rule ensures that children are not allowed to apply restricted-use pesticides and that certified applicators get updated annual trainings. It also requires applicators to have access to essential information about the products they use, so that they can wear appropriate protective gear and know what they’ve been exposed to if accidents happen.
By delaying this rule, the Trump administration is putting workers, children and families at risk. They are allowing poorly trained pesticide applicators to handle the most dangerous chemicals in the fields where we grow our food, where we work and where we live.
Although urban dwellers sporadically face these dangerous pesticides in businesses, homes and schools; there are roughly one million farmworkers who, together with their families, face pesticide exposures on a daily basis. As a second generation Chicana who comes from a lineage of laborers, farmworkers, and in general, a population whose children are nearly twiceas likely to attend schools in close proximity to use of hazardous pesticides, the EPA’s delay of the CPA Rule is unacceptable to me on a deeply personal level.
We know that in some areas, 16-year-old kids are applying restricted-use pesticides because there is no minimum age limit for the roughly one million certified applicators nationwide. Moreover, most of the farmworkers facing the gravest pesticide risks are not just migrants, they are often low-income Spanish and indigenous language speakers who need these protections the most.
The EPA estimates that as many as 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides every year, yet the agency is still delaying action.
The EPA estimates that as many as 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides every year, yet the agency is still delaying action. For perspective, this is like saying that we know every inhabitant in a U.S. town will suffer severe pesticide poisoning each year, but we simply prefer not to take action.
The EPA itself said that the now-delayed rule, which was developed after years of reviews, would prevent at least a thousand acute poisonings every year. While this isn’t enough to get to where we need to be, in a society that values all lives alike, this is a much-needed start. None of us should be OK with delaying life-saving rules.
The federal government may be eager to bow to industry barons who care more about profit than life, but we the people have to defend our families and the most vulnerable populations. So while it’s clear that we can’t count on the Trump administration to do the right thing, we can use the power of the law to force them into action.
I’m sponsoring the Fair Representation Act because Congress is broken. It is hyper-partisan. It is far too polarized. The FRA creates a structure where members of Congress are incentivized to work together. This is the right thing to do to give voters the strong voice that they deserve in our elections.
--Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08)
On June 26, 2017, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced H.R. 3057: The Fair Representation Act. He was joined by co-sponsors Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Ro Khanna (D-CA). This is a historic moment. The Fair Representation Act is the most comprehensive approach to reforming congressional elections in United States history. It would truly realize the vision of the House of Representatives as “The People’s House.”
The Fair Representation Act
FairVote has called for expanding the use of multi-winner ranked choice voting in United States elections since its founding 25 years ago. Ranked choice voting can replace the broken, zero-sum, winner-take-all system - in which the biggest group of voters in a district are the only ones earning representation - with fair representation for all. In this era of fierce partisan divisions, nowhere needs this change more than the House of Representatives.
Under the Fair Representation Act, every state would use ranked choice voting to elect its Representatives. Voters would be free to rank their choices without fear of “spoilers.” Instead of only one candidate winning with the most votes, several candidates would win based on how many votes they earn. For example, in a state like Oklahoma or Connecticut that elects 5 winners, 17% of voters can elect 1 of the 5 winners; 34% of voters can elect 2 of the 5 winners; and so on. A majority of voters can always elect a majority of seats, and everyone earns their fair share.
States that elect up to 5 winners will not need any districts at all. Larger states will use districts, but the districts will elect 3, 4, or 5 winners each. That means that a state like Massachusetts that elects 9 Representatives will divide into equal thirds, with each of the three districts electing 3 winners with ranked choice voting. To adopt a district map, these states will form independent redistricting commissions composed of ordinary state citizens (not politicians or lobbyists) who will operate transparently and hold hearings around the state to find the district map that makes the most sense for their state.
The use of ranked choice voting in multi-winner elections will transform the House of Representatives. The current system only allows the biggest group of voters in each district to win representation, all other voices are silenced. As a result, there are millions of voters who prefer Democrats stuck in safe Republican districts and millions of voters who prefer Republicans stuck in safe Democratic districts, women and people of color are under-represented, and everyone has too few choices. The Fair Representation Act can elevate those voices, giving them more power to elect candidates they support and who will go to Congress to work for them.
A Historic Moment
Under the Constitution, Congress has the responsibility to act when our federal elections are not working. It has acted on that responsibility many times in the past, passing laws changing how we elect Congress in 1842 (requiring single-winner districts), 1872 (equal populations per representative), 1901 (requiring that districts be “compact”), 1929 (repealing the requirement to use districts), and 1967 (re-imposing the requirement to use districts). It has been 50 years since Congress has acted in this arena, even as the current system fails to deliver on the promise of a representative House.
Representative Beyer has shown tremendous leadership in holding Congress to its constitutional responsibilities. The attention it attracted from the public demonstrates the hunger that voters have for a more empowering system. FairVote livestreamed Rep. Beyer’s press conference, which was viewed over 44,000 times and ultimately reached over 554,000 people.
The day after the bill’s introduction, Rep. Beyer published an opinion piece in the Washington Post explaining why he introduced the Act. It begins “Democracy is in crisis. Even as the country is deeply divided along class and ideological lines, it seems to be unified in its frustration with our current brand of politics.” Other voices have also weighed in on the need for the Fair Representation Act, including:
David Daley interviewed Rep. Don Beyer on why he’s sponsoring the Fair Representation Act. That Q & A was published in Salon this week.
As more media coverage happens in the coming days and weeks, we'll add it to the list on our website.
You Can Help the Fair Representation Act Gain Momentum
Now that the vehicle for transforming elections to the U.S. House of Representatives is a bill in Congress, you can help to move the conversation forward. Contact your Representative today to ask them to support the Fair Representation Act. You can find your Representative here, and email them a letter supporting the Fair Representation Act. A sample letter is provided here. You also could consider calling your Member, which increases their likelihood of responding. Better still would be to form a group to have a meeting with your Member and their district office staff.
Finally, we want to keep adding names to our petition in support of the Act. We currently have over 1500 signatures. Please consider sharing the petition online and drawing people’s attention to our new video and our public resources, at FairRepresentation.com.
최고재판소 재판관 가운데, 최고재판소 장관은 내각의 지명에 근거해 천황이 임명한다.최고재판소 판사의 임명은 내각이 실시해, 천황이 인증한다.이른바 인증관의 하나이다.덧붙여서 최고재판소 재판관의 정원이 장관을 포함해 15명으로 되어 있는 것은, 1947년 최고재판소 발족시의 내각의 국무 대신의 정원이 내각총리대신을 포함해 15명 이내로 되어 있는 규정을 모방했다고 생각되고 있는.
최고재판소 재판관은 「식견이 높게 법률의 소양이 있는 40세 이상의 사람으로부터 임명된다」라고 정해져 있다(재판소법 제 41조).다만, 50세 이하의 사람이 임명된 예는 없다.1964년 1월 31일 이후는, 전원이 60세 이상으로부터 선택되고 있다.정년은 70세.
식견이 높게 법률의 소양이 있는로 판단되면 법조 자격을 가지지 않는 사람으로부터도 등용할 수 있지만, 적어도 10명은 10년 이상의 재판관 경험 또는 20년 이상의 법률 전문가(검찰관, 변호사, 간이 재판소 판사, 대학 법학부 교수, 대학 법학부준교수) 경험을 가지는 사람으로부터 등용해야 한다(재판소법 제 41조).또, 재판관의 결격 사유인 「다른 법률이 정하는데보다 일반의 관리에게 임명될 수 없는 사람」 「금고이상의 형에 처해진 사람」 「탄핵 재판소의 파면의 재판을 받은 사람」에 해당하는 경우(재판소법 제 46조), 국민 심사로 파면되고 나서 5년이 경과하고 있지 않는 경우(국민 심사법 제 35조)는, 최고재판소 재판관에게 임명될 수 없다.
최고재판소 재판관의 출신 딴사람수추이
최고재판소 재판관은, 하급 재판소의 판사를 맡은 재판관 뿐만이 아니라, 검찰관・변호사・행정관・학식 경험자(법학의 교수등 )로부터도 임명된다.이것은 최고재판소가 법률의 운용이나 해석에 최종판단을 내리기 위해서, 다양한 입장의 법률 전문가의 견해를 반영하기 위해(때문에)이다고 설명되고 있다.
최고재판소 재판관 15명의 출신 분야별 인원수는, 1970년대 이후 대개, 재판관 출신 6명, 변호사 출신 4명, 검찰관 출신 2명, 행정관 출신 2명, 법학자 출신 1명이 되고 있다.각 소법정의 구성도, 특정 분야의 출신자가 집중하지 않게 배려된다.
재판관이 퇴관 했다(퇴관 할 예정이 있다) 때는, 같은 출신 분야로부터 후임이 선택되는 것이 통례이다.적임자가 없는 경우등에는 인원수 배분이 일시적으로 바뀌기도 한다.
「후보자에 대해서는, (아) 주로 재판관, 변호사, 검찰관의 경우는, 최고재판소 장관으로부터 복수 후보자에 대하고 제시를 받아(이) 행정, 외교를 포함한 학식 경험자에 대해서는, 원칙 내각 관방에서 후보자를 전형해, 어느 경우도 내각총리대신의 판단을 바라본 위에 각의 결정한다.」라고 여겨지고 있다.덧붙여 후보자의 전형은 비공표로 여겨지는.
도쿄 고등 법원 장관을 필두로, 다른 지방의 고등 법원 장관등에서 취임하는 사례가 많은.
일본국 헌법에 따라 재판관으로서의 신분이 보장된다.정년・사망을 따로 하면, 본인의 의사에 의해 파면되는 것은 아래와 같은 경우에 한정되어 임명자인 천황, 지명권을 가지는 내각, 최고재판소의 장인 최고재판소 장관이 파면할 수 없다.이것은, 공판을 운영해 나갈 뿐만 아니라, 행정부등이 파면권한을 가지고 있으면, 그것을 구실에 행정부가 상대가 되어 있는 재판의 공판에 불공평이 생길 우려가 있기 때문에(위해)이다.
또, 각자에게 1명의 최고재판소 재판관 비서관이 배치되어 기밀에 관한 사무를 손바닥등키라고 있다.
법조 자격을 가지지 않는 사람이 최고재판소 재판관으로 취임했을 경우, 변호사법 제6조에 의해 변호사가 되는 자격을 얻는다.이 변호사 자격은 국민 심사로 파면되어도 박탈되지 않는다.
현재의 최고재판소 재판관
2017년4월 10일 현재의 최고재판소 재판관은 이하와 같다(디폴트로는 착임순서에 배열, 임명 연월일의 열의 소트 버튼으로 원래의 순서로 돌아온다).재판관의 퇴관 예정일은, 70세가 되는 생일의 전날의 일자(최고재판소 재판관의 정년은 70세로 되어 있기 위해, 임기는 최장으로 70세 생일의 전날까지된다).불신임율은, 최고재판소 재판관 국민 심사에 대하고, 유효 표수 중 「파면을 가능으로 하는 투표」(×표)의 비율.
2012년 12월 26일에 스도우 마사히코가 정년 퇴관 했지만, 동시기에 행해진 제46회 중의원 의원 총선거의 영향으로 후임의 인사가 진행되지 않고, 최고재판소 재판관의 자리는 2012년 12월 27일부터 2013년 2월 5일까지의 41일간에 걸쳐서 한 명 빈자리 상태가 계속 되고 있었다.
2013년 2월 6일에 스도우의 후임으로서 취임한 오니마루인가 있고는, 사상 5명째의 여성의 최고재판소 재판관이다.오니마루의 취임에 의해, 현직의 최고재판소 재판관 15 명중 3명이 여성이 되어, 사상최초째라고 최고재판소의 모든 소법정에 여성의 재판관이 각 1명씩 소속하는 체제가 되었다(제1소법정=사쿠라이 류자, 제2 소법정=오니마루인가 있는, 제3소법정=오카베 기요코).이 체제는, 사쿠라이가 정년 퇴관 하는 2017년 1월 15일까지 계속 되었다.
Mwakilishi kutoka Mtandao wa Kodi Tanzania (TTJC), Grace Masalakulangwa akiwasilisha ripoti ya utafiti ya One Billion Question iliyotafitiwa na shirika la ISCEJIE katika Mkutano uliowakutanisha wadau wa Elimu na Wenyeviti wa Chama cha Walimu ngazi ya mikoa ya Tanzania Bara iliyofanyika jijini Dar es Salaam.
Afisa Mradi wa Elimu kutoka TENMET, Alistidia Kamugisha akifungua mkutano na kuwaelezea malengo ya mkutano huo wa siku mbili kwa wadau wa elimu na Chama cha Walimu Tanzania uliofanyika katika ukumbi wa Hoteli ya Blue Pearl jijini Dar es Salaam.
Mratibu wa Mtandao wa Elimu Tanzania (TENMET), Cathleen Sekwao akitoa mada kuhusu umuhimu wa ukusanyaji wa rasilimali za ndani na kuwekeza katika kuboresha sekta ya elimu hususani kwa mtoto wa kike na maslahi ya walimu katika mkutano uliowakutanisha wanachama wa chama cha walimu Tanzania (CWT/TTU).
Meneja Mradi wa Elimu kutoka shirika la ActionAid Tanzania Ndugu Karoli Kadeghe akiwasilisha changamoto zinazoikabili elimu msingi hapa nchini ikiwa ni pamoja na upungufu wa vyumba vya madarasa, upungufu wa walimu kwenye mkutano uliowakutanisha wadau wa elimu pamoja baadhi ya viongozi wa Chama cha Walimu ngazi ya mikoa ya Tanzania Bara iliyofanyika jijini Dar es Salaam.
Baadhi ya wadau wa elimu nchini Tanzania wakichangia mada kwenye mkutano uliowakutanisha ili kujadili kodi na ubora wa elimu hapa nchini Tanzania kwenye mkutano uliofanyika jijini Dar
Shirika la ActionAid-Tanzania, Mtandao wa Elimu Tanzania, Shirika la Maendeleo ya Elimu Singida-MEDO na Mtandao wa Asasi za Kiraia-KINGONET kwa pamoja wanatekeleza mradi wa uhamasishaji utoaji elimu bora kupitia rasilmali zetu wenyewe ( PROMOTING QUALITY EDUCATION THROUGH PROGRESSIVE DOMESTIC RESOURCE MOBILIZATION) unaotekelezwa huko Kilwa na Singida Vijijini kwa ngazi ya wilaya kwa kufanya kazi na kamati za shule na klabu za haki za watoto shuleni. Kitaifa MRADI Huo unalenga kufanya utetezi wa mabadiliko ya kisera na sheria hasa suala la ulipaji kodi, ukusanyaji kodi kwa haki (tax Justice), uzibaji wa mianya ya uvujaji wa kodi ili makusanyo yaongezeke na yagharimie huduma bora kwa wananchi wa Tanzania hususani kuboresha utoaji wa Elimu bora Nchini.
Mratibu wa Mtandao wa Elimu Tanzania Bi. Cathleen Sekwao akifungua mkutano huo aligusia pia kuhusu “utoaji wa huduma za jamii hapa nchini unakabiliwa na ufinyu wa fedha, wote tu mashahidi kuwa hadi kufikia mwezi Machi, 2017 serikali ilikuwa imetoa asilimia 34 tu ya bajeti yote ya 2016/2017. Jambo hili lina madhara makubwa katika utoaji wa huduma za jamii hasa elimu msingi yenye ubora hasakwa mtoto wa kike”.
Aliongelea pia serikali kushindwa kutoa asilimia mia moja ya fedha za kutekeleza bajeti ya 2016/2017 tafiti zinaonyesha kuwa Tanzania inapoteza fedha nyingi kupitia misamaha ya kodi.
Meneja Mradi wa Elimu kutoka shirika la ActionAid Tanzania Ndugu Karoli Kadeghe aliwasilisha changamoto zinazoikabili elimu msingi hapa nchini ikiwa ni pamoja na: Upungufu wa vyumba vya madarasa, Upungufu wa ofisi za walimu, Upungufu wa vyoo vya wanafunzi,Uwiano usiokubalika kitaratibu wa mwalimu na wanafunzi, Shule nyingine kukosa kabisa walimu wa kike.
Upungufu wa nyumba za walimu, fedha za ruzuku zisizotosheleza, utegemezi wa bajeti ya nchi za nje unaoathiri pia bajeti ya elimu na kusababisha Serikali kushindwa kugharimia kiufanisi utoaji wa elimu, mgawanyo wa ruzuku usiozingatia mahitaji halisi ya wenye uhitaji maalumu, jinsia na mahitaji ya kijiografia na pia shule changa na zile ambazo ni kongwe, Kuwa na mipango ya kibaguzi-Shule inayofanya vizuri ndiyo inapewa fedha(payment for results- P4R) kutoka mpango wa BRN bila kujali mizania ya usawa wa mazingira kati ya shule na shule, Kukosekana kwa mafunzo kazini kwa walimu, Kutopandishwa madaraja walimu, Kutolipwa kwa wakati stahiki za walimu wanaohamishwa/kustaafu mfano pesa ya usafiri.
Mratibu wa Inter Faith Standing Committee Bi. Grace Masalakulangwa aliwasilisha kuhusu Utafiti wa Ripoti ya “1 Billion Question” iliyojikita kubaini upotevu wa kodi katika sekta ya madini au uziduaji katika wilaya za Kilwa, Tarime na Geita. Utafiti huo umebaini serikali inapoteza takribani dola bilioni 1.83 sawa na Tsh trilioni 4.09 kwa mwaka kupitia misamaha ya kodi, uhamishaji wa fedha nje ya nchi bila kufuata utaratibu, kushindwa kutoza kodi sekta isiyo rasmi na aina nyingine za ukwepaji kodi.
Washiriki mbalimbali wakichangia katika mkutano huo, walishauri serikali kuboresha ukusanyaji wa kodi na utengaji wa bajeti katika sekta ya maendeleo hususani sekta ya elimu. Baadhi ya washiriki walichangia pia kukosekana kwa ufanisi na maendeleo yenye tija katika sekta ya Elimu kutokana na usimamizi mbovu wa elimu, serikali kushindwa kuwekeza katika elimu, kuwepo kwa wizara mbili zinazosimamia elimu na muda mwingine kuingiliana kwa majukumu pamoja na kutozingatiwa katika maslahi ya walimu.
Ephraim, UT—The Sanpete County Judicial Nominating Commission has scheduled a meeting on July 10, 2017, to select candidates for the vacancies in the Ephraim and Moroni Justice Courts to replace Judge Ivo Peterson who will retire effective June 30, 2017. more »
Anthony Murgio, 33, of Tampa, Florida, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for running a Bitcoin exchange connected to hackers. The exchange was used to launder more than $10 million worth of funds, authorities reported.
Both Murgio and Yuri Lebedev, 39, of St. John’s, Florida, operated Coin.mx through a fraudulent company called “Collectables Club.” According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the illegal Bitcoin exchange used the firm’s misleading name to open financial accounts at banks pretending to be a “members-only association of individuals who discussed, bought, and sold collectible items and memorabilia.” Murgio and Lebedev, along with other co-conspirators, violated bank and credit card company rules and regulations by “deliberately misidentifying and miscoding Coin.mx customers’ credit and debit card transactions.”
“Lies conceived and deployed by Murgio permeated every aspect of Coin.mx’s operation, including its use of front companies, like Collectables Club and Currency Enthusiasts, to try to conceal the illicit nature of the operation,” the Department of Justice stated in its sentencing submission.
On January 9, Murgio pled guilty to three counts regarding operating Coin.mx, which processed over $10 million worth of illegal Bitcoin transactions. Murgio ran the Bitcoin exchange between October 2013 and July 2015 for Gery Shalon, 33, an Israeli citizen who was responsible for hacking at least nine companies, including JPMorgan Chase, E-Trade Financial Corporation and Dow Jones. Coin.mx sold bitcoins that came from illegal online transactions, such as victim payments to ransomware attackers who sought to launder the cryptocurrencies clean.
“I screwed up badly and made serious mistakes and misjudgments,” Murgio said, showing remorse, to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan at his sentencing.
Shalon, along with Ziv Orenstein, 42, compromised data on approximately 76 million household customers and 7 million businesses by hacking the nine companies. U.S. officials described their operation as a “diversified criminal conglomerate” responsible for the largest theft of valuable information from a U.S. bank. The compromised data included the names of customers, along with email addresses and phone numbers. Authorities collected evidence stating that Murgio exchanged cash for the bitcoins of Shalon’s criminal gang. Israeli police arrested Shalon and Orenstein in July 2015, and they were extradited to the United States in June 2016. Both are facing serious charges, including aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and money laundering.
“Mr. Murgio led an effort based on ambition and greed,” and constructed on a “pyramid of lies,” Judge Nathan said during the sentencing hearing at the Manhattan federal court.
On March 17, a Manhattan jury found Lebedev and his co-conspirator Trevon Gross, 52, of New Jersey, guilty of charges connected to a bribery scheme in an attempt to hide the illegal activities of Coin.mx from financial institutes and regulators. Both of the defendants are facing a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Judge Nathan scheduled the sentencing hearing of Lebedev and Gross for July 20, 2017.
Murgio’s father, Michael Murgio, 66, was also involved in the Coin.mx case. In October, the father plead guilty to “making a false statement to the National Credit Union Administration on behalf of his son.” By making a plea deal, Michael Murgio managed to avoid additional charges in the case, including “conspiracy to make corrupt payments with intent to influence an officer of a financial institution and making corrupt payments.” Judge Nathan sentenced the elder Murgio to one year of probation along with a $12,000 fine.
The FBI arrested both Lebedev and Murgio on July 23, 2015, for “running an unlicensed bitcoin exchange with the goal of helping individuals launder money.”
Despite the prosecution’s request for 10 to 12 years and seven months behind bars, the Manhattan federal court sentenced Murgio to five and a half years in prison. According to Reuters, Judge Nathan considered Murgio’s “generosity to friends and support to his family” and imposed a prison sentence half as long as the prosecutor recommended.
Judge Nathan has scheduled a hearing on September 1 to decide on the amount of fines, forfeiture and restitution Murgio has to pay to the state. The operator of the illegal Bitcoin exchange remains free on bail.
Česká justice má opravdu veliký problém. Je jím neomluvitelná a trestuhodná neodbornost soudních znalců. Nedbalost, která může člověka dostat za mříže. Proč k tomu vedení české justice stále mlčí a nezakročilo již dříve?
Hello my sweetest honey bunny money! Happy Summer! Did you know that the female Supreme Court justices are 3 times more likely to be interrupted than their male colleagues? Believe it. Also, a brave Mormon girl comes out in front of her congregation and is shut down by adult men with bad wigs. And finally, Fast Company pop culture editor Joe Berkowitz takes us through his new book AWAY WITH WORDS and the dark world of pun competitions. Now that's what I call purrrfect. Is that a pun?
This week Erin watched RuPaul's Drag Race with gay-legend-icon-star Trixie Mattel and Bryan had to deal with his riff raff neighbors. Also Ireland, which is progressive on gay marriage, has a long way to go with abortion rights which can still be punishable by 14 years in prison! And Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama was found guilty of standing in the way of gay marriage and removed from office. Bye girl.
What comes to mind when you think of classic New Jersey attractions? Chances are, the places in your memory are still in existence today. New Jersey is filled with classic attractions that families and visitors have enjoyed for decades. Why not make some plans to revisit them this year?
1. Land of Make Believe - Hope, NJ
I asked a few friends on Facebook if I could borrow their photos from Land of Make Believe (lovingly referred to as LoMB) and so many people came forward with pictures of their fun times that I had trouble choosing which shots to use! This classic New Jersey attraction, located in Hope, New Jersey, has been in business for over 60 years. Featuring rides, roller coasters, a water park, picnic area and more. Families have loved this place for generations. Cleanliness, location, family-friendly activities and good value are just some of the reasons why LoMB has been a classic staple in New Jersey family travels for so many years!
Photo cred thanks to L. Soos, S. Ho-Tai, S. Wright, H. Sherwin and J. Augustine
2. Space Farms Zoo & Museum - Sussex, NJ
Ask most New Jersey residents if they have been to Space Farms Zoo and Museum, and they usually answer with a smile. Space Farms had its humble beginnings in 1927, and the Space family has maintained it ever since. I can still vividly remember our first class field trip there in the mid-1980's, when Goliath the bear was still alive. Visitors will find it largely unchanged since the past, featuring acres of animals, picnic areas, a museum, classic cars and so much more. Check out their website or read my blog post review about this unforgettable New Jersey location.
3. Turtle Back Zoo - West Orange, NJ
Turtle Back Zoo opened in 1963, and it was also a favorite field trip location for many children back in the 1970's and 80's (and still, today!). The zoo has come a long way since its early days, with expansions, aquariums, additions and play areas included for children. You can still find giant turtles in their midst, as well as their famous wandering peacocks (but leave them alone, please!). You also can't forget family favorites like the train ride, pony rides, and the beautiful carousel. Turtle Back Zoo is open year round, and in my opinion, is one of the best classic New Jersey attractions out there. Read my blog post all about the zoo, or visit their website to find out more information.
4. Wild West City - Stanhope, NJ
What I remember most about Wild West City is the TV commercial (or radio commercial) that played over and over again during the late 1970's and early 80's. It featured the voice and piano playing of New Jersey's own Uncle Floyd, if you remember him. They still use this song on Wild West City's website, if you feel the need for a flashback! Like most New Jersey classic attractions, it hasn't changed much since you last visited! It has been family owned and operated on and off since 1956, and features live-action shows, stagecoach rides, pony rides, train rides, panning for gold, mini golf, and a whole lot more. Guests should know that they still reenact legendary western gunfights in a safe manner (you can read all about their gun policy here). One of the best things about Wild West City is that there really isn't anything else like it in New Jersey, so catch it while you can.
photo cred J. Caramucci
5. Lucy the Elephant, Margate, NJ
There are classic lighthouses and monuments in New Jersey, but Lucy the Elephant takes the cake. Built in the 1800's, you can purchase a guided tour to see what's inside this cheeky elephant. If you prefer to walk around outside of her and take photos, you can do that for free (there is also a gift shop, which I hear has some adorable memorabilia), but I recommend the tour as you get to see some great views from Lucy's height! It's right by the ocean and there is a little snack shop and outdoor seating, too. Check their website for operating hours and ticket info.
Photo cred S. Wright
Photo cred S. Wright
6. Storybook Land - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Storybook Land has been operational since 1955. That's over 60 years of entertainment in The Garden State! Visitors fondly recall its whimsical statues of fairytale friends, and get a kick out of posing their children next to familiar sites from their own childhood. Everything at Storybook Land seems to have a cute, retro feel to it, from snack shops shaped like a watering can to colorful trains picking up passengers. They are open Fall and Winter, too, with wonderful displays at Christmastime. At Storybook Land, you pay one admission price for unlimited rides, and their location nestled in the trees keeps you cool in the summertime, too.
photo cred R. Levitan
7. Christmas Ice Caverns - Fairfield, NJ
The Christmas Ice Caverns in Fairfield are near and dear to my heart. This adorable, animated Christmas display has been entertaining visitors since 1972. Generations of families return every season to see the new additions and to throw their pennies into its magical wishing waters. Guests walk through an indoor 'cavern' (a path, basically) to view all of the displays, and can even meet Santa at the end of the journey. Admission cost is ridiculously low, and kids of all ages seem to enjoy what it offers. Read all about this classic Christmas display in my blog post, or visit the Ice Caverns website for more information about their operating hours.
8. Sterling Hill Mining Museum - Ogdensburg
Let's face it, rocks are cool. Mines are even cooler. Rocks, minerals, and mines in our own state with a rich history are the coolest of all. The history of Sterling Hill Mining Museum is so long and complex that I would fail to do it justice here. So I urge you to read all about its history on their website and then plan your own visit here. There's so much to do and see, including a tour of the mine, a museum, an observatory, memorials, fossils, collections and more. There's a snack bar and panning, as well as a cool museum store and fluorescent rocks.
photo cred. L. Schwartz
9. Waterloo Village - Stanhope, NJ
Waterloo Village in Stanhope is open to the public for walking, hiking and exploring. If you've visited before, you might remember this little restored village, featuring a 400-year old Lenape establishment and a little port along the Morris Canal. There's a blacksmith shop, general store, sawmills, gristmills and even historic houses. It's still a popular site for field trips, and they hold many educational workshops and events throughout the year. Check their Facebook page for more information!
photo by Chuck Walsh, Wikimedia Commons
10. Bowcraft Amusement Park - Scotch Plains
Bowcraft Amusement Park may be small, but it's a fun place to spend your day. The history of the park dates back to 1946, and even included a miniature golf course in the 1980's (that was later removed to add more parking). Classic, fun rides and a convenient location to the highway make this a favorite spot for kids and families. Bowcraft is a great location for birthday parties and events, and they even hold special seasonal activities like Easter egg hunts and a Sukkos spectacular for Jewish guests.
photo cred M. Augustine
One last thing to note is that the New Jersey shore is filled with classic attractions. When I asked friends and family about their favorite vintage New Jersey sites, many of them mentioned shore arcades, rides, piers and boardwalks. There were so many, I figured they deserve a post of their own. So stay tuned for classic New Jersey Shore attractions, coming soon!
This week Erin discusses her post Beyonce performance emotions, and Bryan shares the lies and songs he used to con his boyfriend into dating him. Also, the pope says the church should ask forgiveness for the way they treated women and gay people, but thats just a baby step, and Supreme Court justices say hell naw to Texas TRAP laws. Plus Guest Jen Kirkman is here to talk about temp work, bulk shopping at Top Shop, and her new book “I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself”
Fourteen years ago today, Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, arguably the most influential and beloved person from Maharashtra, died at the age of 81. He left behind a gargantuan legacy in the form of his books, plays, songs, movies, essays, social work, but more than that, the lasting impact he has had on Maharashtra. Every couple of years, I translate one of his essays or short stories on this blog. This time, I have chosen Antu Barva, a fictionalized life sketch that he created as an amalgam of several people he knew in Konkan. It is not exactly LOL funny, but is light-hearted while still tugging at your heart-strings. It is meant as a depiction of the tough life in Konkan in the middle of the 20th century, and the sort of complex and poignant characters such a life spawns. But as somber as the basic subject matter is, PuLa manages to inject humor into it, even if the humor is dark. When I first read Antu Barva, I just read it as a slightly humorous life sketch. As I have re-read it and re-heard its narration over the years, I have come to recognize it as something beyond just that. It is one of PuLa's best allegorical social commentaries in my opinion. He was duly recognized for Vyakti Aani Valli, the book that this sketch appears in, with a Sahitya Akademi Puraskaar. In that book, I think this is THE most impressive and multi-layered sketch. For years, I considered translating Antu Barva here but was too intimidated given how nuanced it is. PuLa gave Antu a specific Konkani "voice" (in text form as well as when he narrated the sketch for TV) that is impossible to translate. No matter how well I tried, I thought I would end up doing injustice to the original work. This is in addition to the usual difficulties in translating PuLa's wordplay and nuanced observations. So it is with a great sense of trepidation that I am even attempting this today. A LOT will get lost in translation. But I hope PuLa's fans will forgive me any errors. Because I think this particular piece is one of the greatest literary achievements from an Indian and it deserves a wider audience. Miss you, PuLa. Bhool-chook maaf kara.
Ratnagiri's middle lane has been home to some towering personalities over the years. God used a unique formula when creating these people. These people tend to be a metaphorical amalgam of Ratnagiri's most famous products - sweet mango, rough jackfruit, hard coconut, irritating colocasia leaves, and intense betel nuts whose one bite will make your heart jump up your throat.
It is in this unique Ratnagiri soil that Antu Barva grew and ripened. Actually, Antu's age doesn't really justify people casually calling him just "Antu". When I first met him 12-14 years ago, not just his stubble, but even the hair on his ears and chest had turned white. His teeth had mostly gone "Annu Gogtya".
Going Annu Gogtya = falling.
This is an idomatic phrase that Antu Barva coined. A lawyer from Ratnagiri named Annu Gogte has been standing in the local elections for many years. Standing and then falling. Repeatedly, without even coming close to winning. So even if a bucket falls in a well, Antu asks "has the bucket gone Annu?"
When someone is talking about old Antu, they just refer to him in the singular casual "Antu". As it is, characters from Konkan are quite singular. But no one calls Antu just "Antu" to his face. They call him Antu sheth!
True blue Brahmin Antu got this trader caste suffix "sheth" decades ago. After all Antu himself had committed a sin justifying this demotion. During the first world war, Antu started a shop near the docks. It failed spectacularly even before the Treaty of Versailles. But that short-lived stint as a shopkeeper was enough to turn Antu into Antu sheth.
After that, no one remembers Antu doing anything specific to make a living. He manages to somehow score at least two square meals a day from somewhere. He has a little plot of land with a garden that has a couple of dozen coconut and Alphonso mango trees, sprinkled with the odd jackfruit and tamarind tree. He has a little single-room shack on that land. He has the right to draw water from the nearby well. Antu sheth manages to get by on all this.
I first met Antu at Bapu Hegishte's store. I had gone there to buy some cigarettes when Antu's face peered out from behind a newspaper. He slid his reading glasses up his forehead and said,
"You're Lawyer saheb's son-in-law, right?"
"Yes" I replied.
"Ahha! I recognized you right away! Please, have a seat, please. Bapu, some tea for our jawaibapu (a respectful term for son-in-law)!"
I had no idea who this guy was, suddenly acting so familiar. Antu sheth himself explained,
"Your father-in-law is a good friend of mine. Tell him Antu Barva said hello."
"Hmmm....when did you come from Pune?"
"Two days ago."
"Of course....the first Diwali after you got married....haha...ask him for a Ford car!"
"He is your friend. Why don't you tell him?"
"Haha, you're from Pune after all. Can't get the last word with you." he laughed. "So...staying long or just a flying visit?"
"Just a short trip. I'm leaving in a couple of days."
"Excellent! It's always good to keep such visits short. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that. Don't end up like that Kasopkar's son-in-law. He set up camp for six months. Finally Kasopkar lost his patience and made him plow his land! When a son-in-law stays with you for too long, he starts feeling like a pain in the neck, right?"
"You're right." I nodded.
"Bapusheth, I hope you recognized our lawyer's son-in-law. We are both your father-in-law's clients, jawaibapu."
Bapu Hegishte smiled and folded his hands in greeting.
"Welcome. Would you like to have some tea?" he asked.
"No, it's okay. It's really hot right now."
"Of course, it's always going to be hot in Ratnagiri!" Antu jumped in. "You can't sleep in a cowshed and then complain about the stink of cow piss! If Ratnagiri had cool weather, they'd have called it Shimla, not Ratnagiri!"
Before I could say anything, Antu continued,
"But the heat is way worse in your neighborhood with all those houses next to each other. Come to my garden near the beach. My garden is...how do you say...."aircondition"!"
Antu sheth said the last words in English and laughed, and then added,
"That's our country joke, jawaibapu!"
Then he addressed Hegishte again.
"Bapusheth, did you know our jawaibapu here is a writer? Writes plays and movies and what not. Behave properly when he is around or he'll write a hilarious farce about you."
The pride I felt on my fame having spread even to someone like Antu Barva was dashed by Bapu Hegishte's next question. Bapusheth looked me up and down carefully for a few seconds and said,
"What do you do?"
"What the hell do you mean what does he do?" Antu thundered. "Are you insane, Hegishte? Take out that pile of raddi old newspapers and open them. You'll see his name and picture in dozens of places! He makes movies!"
"Movies!!?? Really??" Hegishte's expression changed to one of wonderment and he looked at me as if I was God.
"Jawaibapu, speaking of movies, can I ask you a question if you don't mind?"
I could see the naughty expression on Antusheth's face as he asked me this.
"Sure, go ahead."
"How much money do you make from one movie?"
This wasn't my first trip to Konkan. So by now, I had gotten used to dealing with such intensely personal questions.
"That really varies from movie to movie." I deflected.
"But still....I mean I have read that you get like a million or a million and a half."
"No way! There isn't nearly that kind of money in Marathi films."
"Yeah, but still. Even if you don't get fistfuls, you must be getting at least 2-3 pinchfulls?"
"You get it sometimes, and also lose it sometimes." I stuck to being vague.
"Well of course, it's a business after all. When it comes to business, you win some, you lose some. It's all part of the game."
Antu sheth got philosophical. But only for a moment.
"Can I ask you one more question? Only if you don't get angry."
"What's there to get angry about? Go ahead."
"Well..you know....whatever we read about these film actresses in magazines and all....is that real or is it fake like Gangadhar Basthe's "real" Belgaum butter?"
"What do you mean all this about film actresses?" I kept a straight face and pretended to not get what he was saying.
"Quite a skillful guy you are, jawaibapu. Skillful! You'll make a great witness in court!" Antu sheth was having none of it. "All this about film actresses as in...the whole index finger nostril thing."
I didn't immediately get what he meant by the whole index finger nostril thing. So Antu sheth gently tapped his index finger against his nostril and winked. Fortunately, before I had to say anything, a waiter arrived with the tea Hegishte had ordered.
"Looks like all the cows in Ratnagiri are still pregnant, Jhampya!" Antu made a sarcastic remark to the waiter on the color of the tea. And then he poured the tea in the saucer and started slurping it.
Actually, Antu sheth could have just said to the waiter in plain words that the tea was low on milk. But he preferred the "all the cows are still pregnant" phrasing. Why just Antu sheth? Almost everyone from that middle lane in Ratnagiri spoke in that sarcastic obtuse way.
By now, Antu sheth and I have become good friends. In the last decade or so, whenever I have gone to Ratnagiri, I have spent time with him. He always included me in his group of friends, taught me the ganjifa card games they played. And over the years, I heard a lot monologues on the odd philosophy of life that those men in their 60s had developed.
I even learned all the idiomatic phrases the group had come up with. They all dressed similar. A cotton loincloth from the waist below, a small cotton scarf on the shoulder, worn-out sandals, one hand holding a walking stick, and the other holding a jackfruit. Dressed like that, Antu sheth would roam around in the neighborhood calling his friends to join him every afternoon.
"Govindbhat! Wanna play a couple of hands?"
"Paranjape? Are you awake or have you turned into a python?"
I too became a part of their card game gang. If once in a while, the card game wasn't really panning out well, Antu would put the cards down and say to me,
"Jawaibapu, why don't you sing a Malkauns or something? Godbolya, bash a little tabla with our guest. Khaju sheth, open your decrepit harmonium."
And then we'd have an impromptu jam session for a bit at Antu sheth's orders.
"Jawaibapu, your pipes are kick-ass!" he'd compliment my singing in his unique way.
Every other year or so, I'd visit Ratnagiri and attend Antu sheth's court. But with each visit, the court seemed to be getting smaller.
"Antu sheth, haven't seen Damu kaka around." I asked once.
"Who? Damu Nene? He is living it up! I am told Rambha is rubbing oil on his bald head, and Urvashi is airing him with a fan!"
"What do you mean what? Damu Nene got transferred from Ratnagiri!" and Antu Sheth pointed to the sky.
"Oh!" I finally understood what he meant. "I am so sorry. I had no idea."
"Why would you have any idea about it? Do you think that they're going to announce on the radio that Damu Nene has croaked? His family did pay for an obituary in the newspaper though. Heh, they wrote he was loving, caring, friendly, pious, and what not. What do the newspaper folks care? As long as you are paying, they will publish any nonsense."
Antu continued in his characteristic manner.
"Damu Nene and loving? Hmpf! Even when he was lying dead on the pyre, the furrow on his brow was intact! One day he decided to sleep outdoors because it was too hot. They found him dead the next morning. Lucky bugger. Died on Ashadhi Ekadashi too! So there were two processions from Ratnagiri that day. One for Lord Vithoba and another for Damu Nene. Damu died on Ashadhi. And then on Dussehra, Dattu Paranjape crossed the border and did seemolanghan. The first guy croaked, the second guy croaked.....now waiting for the third. They say things happen in three."
Antu looked at me mischievously and shrugged.
And that's the essence of Antu Barva for you. Standing at less than 5 feet, bronze-fair complexion, small pockmarks on his face, small gray eyes, creased skin belying his advanced age, half his teeth fallen....or "gone Annu"...leading to a new habit of poking his tongue through the gaps while talking.... and with all this, weighing in at barely 100 lbs.
Every aspect of Antu Barva's earthly existence was getting worn out with each passing year except for two - the nasal booming voice and the slick intelligence fed by decades of rubbing coconut oil on his head.
It wasn't just Antu sheth. Almost all the men his age from that part of Ratnagiri were of a similar bent....which was a crooked bent. Their language was unnecessarily complex and their attitude exceedingly cynical. They didn't feel happy if someone did well, and didn't feel sad if a tragedy befell someone. There was no joy for births, no mourning for deaths. Most of them apart from Antu didn't really like music, but didn't dislike it either. And when it came to food, the taste and flavors didn't matter, as long as their belly got filled. The engine of their life never really faltered when it ran out of steam, nor did it go fast when it did have some steam. But the road their lives took was like every road in Konkan- serpentine.
That's the hand life had dealt them. Even though their lives were full of the wholesome coconut tree, their fates and thus their tastes leaned less towards the sweet creamy inside of the coconut, and more towards its tough shell.
One summer, a second-rate theater company from Mumbai was touring Ratnagiri staging Ram Ganesh Gadkari's famous play Ekach Pyala. I went to watch it. The production was barely competent in the first act. At intermission, I walked outside to the hissing clinks of soda bottles being opened. Under a Kitson lamp, I saw Antu sheth's diminutive form. He was talking to the fur-cap clad manager of the theater company.
"So....how's the attendance?" Antu sheth asked.
"Not bad." the manager gruffly replied.
"Not bad? Most of the chairs seem empty. Why don't you let me in for half price?"
"No way!" the manager shook his head rudely.
"Why are you brushing me away like a lizard? I heard the first act from out here anyway. The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good."
[aside - in the early-to-mid 20th century in orthodox Maharashtra, it was taboo for women to perform on stage. So much like in Shakespeare's days, female parts were usually played by men. The legendary Bal Gandharva excelled at this and one of his most famous roles was playing Sindhu in the first staging of Ekach Pyala.]
"The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good." Antu sheth said. "He sang 'lage hridayi hurhur' like a squeaking mouse. Did you ever hear how Bal Gandharva sang it?"
The manager got pissed off.
"I'm not begging you to come watch it!" he thundered.
"But the town is full of your advertising boards begging us to come watch it." Antu sheth instantly replied. "And yesterday your people were going door to door with fliers. As it is, it's mainly empty chairs you are showing this play to. How about four annas?"
"Four annas? What is this? A monkey performing on the street?"
"That's better than this! They perform first and then circulate a plate for money. Why don't you try that? If the next act is better than the first one, I'll pay you an extra four annas!"
The people standing around them started laughing and the manager got even more upset. That's when Antu sheth noticed me.
"Namaskar, jawaibapu! How's it going? How's Ekach Pyala?"
"It's okay." I said.
"I'm sure you got a complimentary pass. You're from the same community. I have heard that barbers don't charge each other for shaves."
"No, nothing like that. See, I bought a ticket."
"Then why a wishy-washy response like "it's okay"? You've paid hard-earned money for this, haven't you? Assert your rights as a paying customer. Call it what it is. Utter crap. Especially that guy playing Sindhu is totally useless!"
"What do you mean the guy playing Sindhu? It's a woman playing the role." I told him.
"WHAT??" Antu sheth looked genuinely shocked. "You're kidding me! That voice and that built! If she decides, she can lift Sudhakar up like a baby! Sindhu indeed.......more like Sindhudurg!"
"So you watched the play after all?"
"For a few minutes. Moved the curtains from the window and had a peek. Hmpf! Even gypsy performers are better than these idiots."
Antu sheth spat out another unsolicited opinion and walked away.
But that's pretty much what his life was - spitting out unsolicited opinions. I knew Antu for so many years, but I never found out much about his family situation. Once Anna Sane from Antu's court had let slip a mention of his son.
"What? Antu sheth has a son?" I asked.
"Of course he has a son. Not only that, his son is a Collector!" Anna Sane nonchalantly said.
"Yup. He's in charge of collecting tickets on Byculla station." he deadpanned without letting a single muscle move.
"Doesn't look like he helps out his father financially."
"He does sometimes. When he can. He has his own family. Besides, a Western Railway compartment has been attached to a Central Railway train."
A PhD student could do a dissertation on those guys' peculiar idioms and phrases. I was well-versed in the language by now but it took me a few moments to realize that this was code for an inter-religion marriage.
"So you see, Antu sheth has trouble with his post-bath rituals at his son's place. Plus apparently his son is also into some other Anglicized habits if you know what I mean. So how can Antu sheth spend too much time there? Still, once Antu sheth swallowed all the insults and went to Mumbai to see his grandson. Came back looking like he had messed up a math problem."
"Every Dussehra and Diwali, Antu gets his son's love in the form of a money order. Not much, maybe 5-10 rupees. For a few days after that, Antu acts like he's won the lottery and splurges as much as he can. Which isn't much."
"Understandable." I said. "After all, how much can a ticket collector's pay be?"
"Yeah, the pay is pretty meager. But one hears that a ticket collector can also make a little more on the side, especially in holiday season if you know what I mean." Anna said. "Nothing wrong with it of course. If he has an opportunity to make some money, why shouldn't he? You know how it is in this country. If you get caught taking a ten rupee bribe, they put a striped cap on your head and send you to prison. But if you get caught taking a million rupee bribe, they put a Gandhi cap on your head and send you to Parliament! Democraticaly elected people's representative!"
Politics was the most favorite topic for Antu sheth and his buddies to express their unique opinions on. They had profound thoughts on every politician and party. One year, there was a famine in Konkan. Konkan is always facing a famine as it is. But this particular one was so bad that in Antu sheth's words it had "been approved under the Famine Act".
Nehru was touring the famine-hit parts of Konkan. He visited Ratnagiri for a speech and the whole town was caught up in Nehru-mania. One evening, someone asked Antu sheth,
"Antu sheth, I didn't see you at the speech?"
"Whose speech? Nehru's? Hmpf!" Antu sheth's disdain was obvious. "What nonsense. There's a famine here. Stop giving speeches. Give us food! This is like seeing a man drowning and instead of saving him, reading from the Quran to ensure that he doesn't end up in hell. Utterly useless. But everyone else is stupid. Oh, Nehru is here? He is giving a speech? He gives great speeches! Let's go! Bloody lemmings!"
"And now that Nehru is in Ratnagiri, what did they do? Idiots took him to show the house, room, and bed where Lokmanya Tilak was born! Morons. Tell me, did god appear in Gangadhar Tilak's dreams and tell him that your wife is going to give birth to a great leader? How would anyone even remember what bed Tilak was born on? But who cares? They just showed Nehru some random room and bed and bluffed - this is where Tilak first went WAAAAAAAAAA."
"Morons! Where's the proof? Where's the proof? Did they get the midwife from Tilak's birth to certify the bed? Hmpf! Forget Tilak. It's been a 100 years since he was born. You tell me. Can your own mother confidently identify the room and the bed where she gave birth to you? Go ask her and then tell me about Nehru and Tilak."
And so ended the rant.
I always wondered if there was anything or anyone in the world that Antu sheth and his friends had respect for. If they ever had a polite dignified response for anything at all.
Somebody's son became a Professor. And Antu's response,
"Professor? In a circus?There used to be this Professor Chhatre in circuses performing magic tricks."
Someone opened a new store. And Antu's response,
"Tell him to have a bankruptcy form ready. It'll save time when the inevitable happens."
Who knows what school of philosophy these guys followed. More than half of them survived on money orders from children and relatives. They saved money from that and file lawsuits for the strangest reasons. Every lawsuit is stuck in delayed hearing dates. These guys have a big beautiful sea coast, coconut trees, gardens, everything you could reasonably hope for to be happy. But that apparent prosperity gets punctured by an occasional bout of misfortune and all that remains is an impenetrable shield of gallows humor.
Somehow the topic of Gandhi came up. And Antu sheth got on his soap box.
"Gandhi? What Gandhi? Traveled all over the world, but never came to Ratnagiri! Because he was smart. He knew that here, no one gives a damn about his loincloth or his walking stick. We are all just as naked and just as skinny. And his obsession with spinning khadi. It's all useless. Our own Shambhu sheth. All his life, he followed Gandhi's teachings and spun khadi for his clothes. Forget the British government, even Ratnagiri's Collector Gilligan didn't fear his "civil disobedience". And you're talking about Gandhi."
"Then there are all his hunger strikes and fasts. Half of Konkan is hungry and fasting, and not by choice. Someone who is well-fed will find something remarkable about hunger strikes. What do we care? Don't get me wrong. I am not saying Gandhi wasn't a great man. He was. But in our books, under what column should we make an entry for his greatness? And if you are talking about independence, then that had nothing to do with Gandhi, or Tilak or Savarkar."
"So did independence just fall out of the sky?" I asked him.
"It's up to you to find out where it fell out of." Antu replied. "One thing I am sure of is that the Brits left because they got bored. What more was left for them to loot? Their Raj business started making a loss, so they effectively declared bankruptcy and went home. The potter left with his pottery, and we sit here cradling his leftover broken pieces. This is all just a cycle of life and bigger than anything we can comprehend. It's not British rule, nor is it Nehru's rule, nor people's rule, nor anyone's rule. It's the creator's rule."
"So how did your creator end up siding with the British?" I asked.
"Don't be silly. The creator is sitting pretty on his throne. He just played a small game."
"A game that translated into 150 years of slavery?"
"It's 150 years for you and me." Antu sheth was steadfast. "The almighty's wrist watch doesn't move forward by even one second unless a thousand years go by for us. In his eyes and on his scale, all this is just a minor game that lasted barely a millisecond."
When these emaciated old men started spouting this philosophy on the front yards of that impoverished middle lane in Ratnagiri, with dark shadows formed by the dim light of their age-worn oil lamps dancing on their wrinkled faces, my heart couldn't help but shudder.
"Socialism? What socialism? All nonsense, I tell you. Not even two mango leaves are alike. And these guys want to pretend all men are equal. In the creator's eyes, each individual is unique. How are they going to have equal opportunities or equal outcomes? But everyone is just blabbering....socialism is coming. Just like that Ratnagiri's legislator is saying...Konkan Railway is coming, Konkan Railway is coming. Sure, Konkan Railway is coming. And it's tracks are going through where one-armed Pandu Gurav's toilet used to be. Even if it does, is it going to make Pandu's shoulder stump sprout an arm? What difference will it make?"
"And without an arm to plow his field or pick his crops, no matter what you do with that damn railway, what good is it going to do him? He is still the same. Just because India became independent, does not mean that Hari Sathe's lazy eye got fixed. Nor did Mahadev Godbole's paunch disappear. Nothing really changed. Even in the fabled Ram Rajya, Ram didn't uproot Hanuman's tail and attach it to his own ass. No. Ram stayed a man, and Hanuman stayed a monkey."
At such times, it almost seem like the Goddess of Wisdom Saraswati is sitting on Antu sheth's tongue.
"You're right." I said.
"Don't just say I am right for the heck of it to be polite. If I am wrong, say that and correct me. You might be younger than me when it comes to age, but when it comes to education, you are my elder, jawaibapu!"
Once in a while, Antu sheth will say something genuinely from his heart, without any sarcasm. But there is always some burning issue close to his heart underlying what he says.
The last few years, I could not go to Ratnagiri as often as I used to. In the meanwhile, Ratnagiri finally got electricity, its own college, tar roads, and all other features of 20th century life. When I met him after that, I said,
"Antu sheth, your Ratnagiri has now become posh! Electric lights and everything. Did your house get an electric connection?"
"No, not yet. But it's good that it's dark. Tomorrow even if I do get electricity, what is there to look at in that bright light? A penniless life? Who needs electricity to look at chipped walls and leaking shingles? It's better that my poverty stays hidden in darkness."
And then he laughed loudly for a full minute like it was a joke.
This time I saw that his teeth had gone almost completely Annu Gogte. I also learned that a couple of more friends of his had passed on and that the card game court was emptier than ever. For a change, I spotted a sense of love, longing, and kindness in the way Antu sheth spoke. I guess the empty seats at his card games were starting to make a place in his heart.
"Joglekar's son got a big promotion and moved to Delhi!" Antu sheth voluntarily shared some pleasant news without his customary sarcastic rejoinder. "Took his old man to Kashi, Haridwar, Vishweshwar, Hrishikesh and all. Fed a 100 brahmins there. Old man Joglekar was thoughtful enough to get me a small sealed pot with water from the Ganga. When you come visit next time, jawaibapu, you'll probably see that the seal has been broken and the water was poured down my throat if you know what I mean."
The next time I visited Ratnagiri, fortunately Antu sheth's Ganga water pot was still sealed.
"Wow, jawaibapu, wow! Congratulations! I heard you're going to England! Congratulations! Have a great trip. Just one "request" for you. Now I have to speak with you in English. So a "request"."
"Go see the Kohinoor diamond once. For some reason, it's an obsession I have always had, the Kohinoor diamond. I can't go see it, but you do it on my behalf. And then come back and tell me how it looks. See all the sights in London and Paris and everything!"
For some reason, I was overcome with a desire to touch his feet, something I had never done before. Right there on the street, I bent down and touched his feet.
"Live a long life!" Antu sheth touched my head gently. "You are a good person, which is why you are so successful."
I said goodbye and started to leave. I had barely gone four steps when I suddenly heard the familiar
"Yes, Antu sheth?" I turned around.
"Forgot to ask you one thing. Are you going alone or with your wife?"
"Both of us are going."
"That's good. Don't mind me, I just had a nagging doubt, so I asked. You are going far away to learn something new. So I was reminded of Devayani's tale from mythology. Hahaha. Convey my blessings to your wife too. I am telling you, your good fortune is all because of her. That's all life is eventually about - the right woman."
Antu sheth paused and continued.
"Let me tell you something. Just between us. My wife passed away 40 years ago. Since then, the alphonso mango tree near my door has stopped flowering. When she was around, the tree yielded hundreds of mangoes every year. But since she left.....you know....fate can take really strange turns. Sorry, I am rambling. Anyway, safe travels. So when are you leaving from Ratnagiri?"
"Tomorrow morning by bus."
"Direct Ratnagiri to Mumbai?"
"Good call. Once someone completes that journey, then even traveling around the world seems easy in comparison. The other day Tatya Jog made the trip. He is still trying to locate all his bones. Told me some 7-8 bones are missing!"
And he started laughing hard with his mouth wide open. I noticed that there was only one tooth remaining that hadn't gone Annu Gogte.
The next morning at 5 AM at the bus stand, I again heard the familiar cry,
Antu sheth approached me and gave me a small paper pouch.
"I know you don't believe in god, jawaibapu, but do me a favor and keep this in your pocket. It is holy ash. It will keep you safe. You are going to London by air, so this small pouch shouldn't add too much weight to your luggage."
I put the pouch in my pocket. As the bus got going, I saw Antu sheth lift his shirt and gently wipe tears from his small blinking gray eyes. In that dim dawn light, seeing his bony chest and his concave stomach which had all but touched his back suddenly tugged at my heart.
Just like Konkan's jackfruit, it's people taste sweet only when they ripen for a long time.
TOMÁŠ ZDECHOVSKÝ Česká justice má opravdu veliký problém. Je jím neomluvitelná a trestuhodná neodbornost soudních znalců. Nedbalost, která může člověka dostat za mříže. Proč k tomu vedení české justice stále mlčí a nezakročilo již dříve? Ano, je tomu skutečně tak a kvůli jednomu z těchto případů, jemuž se budu věnovat v tomto článku, nedávno obdržel […]
It's time to sit back, relax, and pop open your very best plastic bottle of Chardonnay. This week, Erin takes a new political party in Britain called Justice for Men and Boys (J4MB) to task. And Bryan looks at the biggest gay marriage case that the Supreme Court will hear. Will it be the biggest gay decision ever in America? Will Bryan and Erin watch "Cake?" Do either of them know what clam-diggers are? Find out now!
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Chicago may be known as the "second city" but she is second to none, honey! Bryan and Erin take the stage at The Empty Bottle in Chicago to talk about one huge week for gays and ladies - the overturning of DOMA by the Supreme Court and the unstoppable Wendy Davis of Texas. They also dish about the Blackhawks hockey team (believe it) and play a nasty game of Would You Rather. Would you rather listen to this episode or eat out Justice Scalia? Ball's in your court, shady.
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Happy Erin's Birthday! Yup, it was the first lady of Throwing Shade's birthday, and everyone missed it - including Bryan! This week, Bryan and Erin tackle Justice Scalia's homophobic remarks before the Prop 8 hearing, the possible outlaw of abortions in North Dakota, and the semen stains found on Bryan's wall. Hey now, you're an all star! Get paid!
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Listen to a little over 13 minutes of things we didn't have time to include in episode 11. We're in Sundance until Wednesday, so please be patient while we carefully craft episode 12 out of gossip, injustices, and glue.
In this post-Christmas episode, guns and The Duggars are brought up one too many times, along with strip clubs, Rick Perry's hard stance on abortion, recalled French implants, Taylor Lauter's fake People Magazine cover and we talk about the video appropriately titled "Thrown Like a Rag Doll for Tryin' It". This episode is what dreams are made of.
People with family members who were killed by undocumented immigrants meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on June 29, 2017.
On Thursday, the House passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which proposes to withhold federal funding from localities that refuse to cooperate with Trump administration immigration measures aimed at criminal noncitizens and other undocumented people. The bill would also allow individuals and close family members of individuals who are victims of felonies committed by undocumented immigrants who have been released from local or state custody against the advice of federal authorities to file suit against states.
The day before, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, called on Congress to work on bipartisan immigration and criminal justice law reforms, adding that cities could use more federal assistance to fight terrorism and crime, and provide mental illness, substance abuse, and reentry programs.
Landrieu said in a letter to House members that local leaders do not want their law enforcement officers involved in federal immigration detention activities, nor do they want to be put in legal jeopardy for possible violations of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. (A related bill known as Kate’s Law would establish new mandatory minimum prison terms for deported criminals who return to the United States.)
The sanctuary cities battle, like so many of Trump’s hastily conceived and poorly executed policies, appears headed for another showdown, either when the bills arrive in the Senate, or, in the unlikely event that the upper chamber drums up the 60 votes needed to approve them, almost certainly in the courts.
While the Trumpian turmoil is new, past presidents’ attempts to compel localities to comply with federal policies have met with mixed success. A new report, “Reagan vs. Cities: The 20th Century Battle Over South African Apartheid & Lessons for the Trump Era,” from Jobs to Move America and the Center for Media and Democracy, details the 40th president’s efforts to stamp out the U.S. anti-apartheid movement by several means, including denying federal funds to cities and states that took actions against companies that did business in South Africa.
The report explores the mixed outcomes for two cities that sought to stand their ground against this federal overreach. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the backing of the Justice Department, threatened New York City with the loss of transportation dollars unless the city revoked a local ordinance preventing city officials from contracting with businesses that operated in South Africa or used materials from the country. Although Mayor Ed Koch complained all the way up to President Ronald Reagan, the feisty New Yorker finally backed down, declined to take the matter to the courts, and finally reworked the measure to satisfy federal officials and preserve the city’s federal funding.
Two years later, Baltimore, which had crafted a local ordinance requiring city pension funds to divest $1.1 billion from entities that did business with South Africa, also came under fire. The trustees of the pensions funds and the funds’ beneficiaries (who feared significant financial losses in the short timeframe the funds had to comply with the divestment ordinance) joined forces to take the city to court.
The State Department and the National Security Council submitted briefs supporting the trustees and beneficiaries. But Baltimore ultimately prevailed in the state courts, and the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. By 1991, nearly 100 cities in 28 states had taken a variety of actions against companies doing business in South Africa.
Although an early attempt by Trump to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities was roundly criticized as unconstitutional (the president aimed to usurp powers granted to Congress) and ultimately blocked by a federal judge, Republicans in Congress have stepped up to take their turn at the issue. Federal courts likely will have the final word on whether the federal government can compel states to assist in immigration enforcement activities or whether such provisions infringe on state powers.
Congress can indeed attach conditions to funding, especially if the funding is related to a specific purpose like law enforcement. Since the Supreme Court has indicated its willingness to consider wider immigration questions like those posed by the administration’s travel ban, it is unlikely that the high court would decline to weigh in, as it did in the Baltimore pension funds question.
Like the anti-apartheid activists, sanctuary cities supporters may find that public response to the crisis may compel different responses from Washington. Grassroots efforts to protect undocumented people have sprouted up all over the country; nearly 650 of the country’s more than 3,000 counties have placed limitations on local law enforcement assistance to federal immigration detention efforts.
But the support for such measures is far from solid in the country at large. Lawmakers in more than 30 states have introduced bills to curb cities’ abilities to weigh in on immigration enforcement. A new Gallup poll shows that Americans’ interests in decreasing the numbers of immigrants admitted to the country have not shifted dramatically.
The “Reagan vs. Cities” report also notes that in addition to cutting off federal funds and other measures, Trump’s tactics include “a public relations strategy aimed at vilifying opponents.” The court of public opinion, however, isn’t always malleable. Reagan may have been the “great communicator,” but he was mostly unable to compel cities and states to abandon divestment and other economic strategies aimed at crippling South African apartheid. Trump, if anything, is more of a great alienator than communicator, who will ultimately run up against the numerical impossibility of deporting millions of undocumented people.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown, at podium, celebrates Oregon's first year of an automatic voter registration program with a news conference, where she said that in the November election, over 97,000 ballots were cast by new voters registered by the so-called motor voter program. Hazelnuts contained in the bags in the foreground represent the 270,000 Oregonians who were registered to vote by the program.
The national battle over voting rights and “voter fraud” will play out in Washington over the next months in relation to the Kobach-Pence commission and the resistance to it. But in the meantime, issues have been joined this spring in state legislative sessions around the country. And the resulting scorecard may surprise you.
Back in November, when the dust settled after the election, the numbers on partisan control of legislatures seemed stark and frightening for advocates of voting rights and election reform. Republicans controlled both chambers in 31 states, and had the full “trifecta,” including the governor, in 24. In sharp contrast, Democrats controlled both houses in only 13 states, and had trifectas in a mere six. Looking at these numbers, at the post-Shelby decision absence of Voting Rights Act preclearance protections, and at the radically changed posture of the Justice Department, many feared an onslaught of voter-suppression legislation that would create an even more diminished electorate for the elections of 2018.
Well, it’s now the end of June, and while some legislatures are still in session, the great majority have finished their business for the year. Several states have indeed passed bad bills. But, overall, the results are significantly better, both in staving off voter-suppression efforts and in expanding voting rights and voting access, than one might have expected as the sessions began.
First, A Few Real Successes
Perhaps the most remarkable outcome this year is in Illinois, which has a Democratic legislature and a conservative Republican governor, Bruce Rauner. Last year, the legislature passed an automatic voter registration (AVR) bill with bipartisan support, but Rauner vetoed it.
Under automatic voter registration, people who go to the DMV, and potentially other agencies as well, are automatically put on the voter roll, unless they opt out. In Oregon, which was the first adopter, AVR has added several hundred thousand voters to the rolls.
In Illinois, an AVR bill was reintroduced this year and, remarkably, passed both chambers with unanimous votes. While Rauner has 60 days to sign the bill, all indications are that he will, joining Illinois with eight other states and the District of Columbia where AVR is being implemented, and showing that maybe, at least in Illinois, encouraging people to register and vote doesn’t seem like a partisan trick.
The victory was also the work of a broad and determined coalition of voting-rights and election-reform advocacy groups, under the rubric of Just Democracy. Brian Gladstein, Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois and one of the leaders of the coalition said:
This bill will bring over one million eligible voters into the electoral process in Illinois. During a time of heightened partisanship in Springfield and across the nation, we have demonstrated that breaking down barriers to the ballot box can be achieved and supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
AVR still has a good chance to pass in other states. In Rhode Island, an AVR bill passed the House unanimously and a positive vote in the Senate is expected shortly. Governor Gina Raimondo has said she will sign it if it comes to her desk. In Massachusetts, where the legislative session goes on all year, an AVR bill with 102 legislative sponsors has been heard in committee (23 speakers in favor and none against), and could be before the full legislature in the fall.
In some other states, AVR made headway but was eventually blocked. These include Maine, New Mexico, and Nevada. In Nevada’s case, the bill passed both houses, but was vetoed by Republican Governor Brian Sandoval. A ballot initiative on AVR now goes to the voters, who will have the chance to approve it in the November 2018 general election.
In addition to automatic voter registration, other real gains were made. Utah expanded opportunities for early voting and absentee voting. New Jersey improved its processes for military voters and Indiana improved its registration process at the motor vehicle department.
Another issue where progress was made, though halting and slow, is restoration of the right to vote for citizens with felony convictions. Forty-nine bills were introduced in 16 states to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people who have served their sentences. A real victory occurred in Wyoming, which enacted a bill providing that people who completed their sentence after January 1, 2010, do not need to submit an application for restoration of voting rights and will automatically be issued a certificate of restoration.
In Florida, where 1.7 million citizens can’t vote due to the state’s lifetime ban on voting by people with felony convictions (1.5 million have fully completed their sentences), the broad and bipartisan Florida Rights Restoration Coalition has made major strides. The Florida Supreme Court has approved language for a proposed ballot initiative to restore voting rights to ex-felons; now the job is collecting 700,000 signatures on the petition in order to be on the ballot in November 2018.
In Minnesota, the Restore the Vote Coalition got a bill to more effectively restore voting rights through one house of the legislature. And in Nebraska, the state’s conservative unicameral legislature passed a bill to restore voting rights to citizens upon release from incarceration by a 27-13 margin, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Pete Ricketts. (Nebraska voting-rights advocates also derailed a proposed constitutional amendment requiring voter ID.)
Now for the Bad News
To be clear, and clear-eyed, the move to make voting more difficult and restricted continues, and several states enacted laws designed to limit the vote in one way or another. The forces bent on restricting the vote have won significant victories over the last several years, though many of the laws have been successfully challenged in court. In fact, of the worst voter-restriction bills that passed this year, a majority were actually efforts to re-pass laws struck down in court, altered in order to make them more judicially acceptable.
· Iowa enacted a law, championed by Secretary of State Paul Pate, which includes restrictions on voter-registration drives; hindrances to Election Day, early, and absentee voting; strict voter-ID requirements; and—most troublesome—the right to purge voter rolls of “non-citizen” names without any clarity on who and how such decisions to purge are made. This could lead to significant numbers of eligible voters being disenfranchised.
· New Hampshire passed a bill restricting registration for students and low-income voters by requiring proof of residency for those who register 30 days before the election, with investigation and criminal penalties for failure to comply. (A component to eliminate same-day registration was dropped from the bill.)
· In Arkansas, a voter-ID law, modified after courts struck down an earlier, similar law, was passed and signed. The law reinstates the requirement that a voter must provide one of a narrow choice of IDs at the polls. In addition, the legislature put a constitutional amendment requiring voter ID on the 2018 ballot.
· In North Dakota, the only state that doesn’t require voter registration at all, the governor signed strict voter-ID requirements into law. The bill was softened somewhat, particularly in regard to the Native American community, to avoid the fate of the 2016 version of the law, which was struck down in court.
Why Less Carnage?
No one wants to be naïvely optimistic, or to underestimate how much damage has already been done in states by determined efforts at voter suppression. Racially charged and politically motivated efforts continue at every level to find ways to discourage people from registering and voting. In the wake of Shelby, these efforts have multiplied and will continue to do so.
But, overall, the results in the 2017 legislative sessions were not nearly as bad as seemed likely last November. There was not a deluge of major voter-suppression legislation. Some bad bills were passed, a number were weakened as they made their way through the legislative process, and a significant number were sidetracked along the way. Two main reasons for this seem clear.
First, the courts, both state and federal, have played a significant role in preventing extreme assaults on voting. Prodded by strong litigation efforts from voting-rights organizations, in state after state, courts have found voter-suppression efforts unconstitutional, blocking their implementation. In addition to the direct effects of the cases, their cumulative impact has been to caution and restrain advocates of restrictive legislation from overreaching.
Second, it is deeply encouraging to see the growing power, sophistication, and rapid response capabilities of the movement for an inclusive democracy. In state after state, coalitions were activated, or created, to fight back against the efforts to stifle, shrink, and bleach the vote.
And the advocates didn’t just play defense. Despite the potentially unfavorable partisan makeup in so many states, the affirmative action for expanding the right and ability to vote continues to make headway—winning in some states, gathering momentum for future victories in others.
And there is one other cause for optimism worth noting. I recently attended a conference of 200 legislators and election officials from around the country, co-convened by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Democracy Fund. The focus of the event was election technology and administration. There was strong and bipartisan support for improving election machinery, combating the challenges of cybersecurity, and fighting for adequate funding to run elections in the best way possible. This is one of the reasons that online registration and automatic voter registration are making real progress; they are technical improvements as well as access expansions. The election officials take their responsibilities seriously, and if legislators, state and national, would take their cues, bipartisan progress just might become more possible.
Thanks to Cecily Hines for research and perspective for this column.
Travelers wait in line near an Emirates ticket counter at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
A limited version of President Trump’s controversial travel ban is back in place after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could impose restrictions on certain foreign travelers and refugees. The constant back-and-forth rulings have created a bureaucratic nightmare for those involved in the refugee resettlement process, and Thursday’s developments promise even more disruption.
While President Trump proclaimed victory, refugee and human rights advocates have been on tenterhooks this week. The high court’s decision was certainly a blow to opponents of the ban, but just how hard that blow is will depend on the Trump administration’s next moves.
The government’s new guidelines would significantly limit the total number of noncitizens and refugees that can enter the country, according to a State Department background briefing Thursday afternoon. The department released its guidance just four hours before the ban is scheduled to go into effect. However, the Department of Homeland Security, which controls border enforcement, has not issued its own guidance on the new policies.
During its short but turbulent existence, two versions of the travel ban have been issued, blocked by federal courts, and now given the go-ahead with certain restrictions. But the Supreme Court decision and the subsequent federal guidelines do not reassure refugees advocates. “Nothing is off the table when it comes to this travel ban,” says Justin Cox, a National Immigration Law Center (NILC) staff attorney. “We can’t assume smooth sailing.”
On Monday, the justices said that they would wait until October to hear two cases regarding Trump’s travel ban. Until then, the high court granted a partial stay to injunctions freezing the controversial executive order, allowing a limited version of the travel ban to go into effect.
Noncitizens who can show they have a “bona fide relationship” with a “person or entity” in the United States will be allowed to enter the country, as will anyone who has already been issued a visa. People who cannot prove that they have a close relationship with a U.S. citizen will be banned from entering the country for 90 days if they are from the six Muslim-majority countries included in the executive order. That time period increases to 120 days for refugees from any country who have not yet received permission to enter the U.S.
The high court gave a few examples of what constituted a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S., such as visiting a relative or traveling to work or study, but stopped short of providing comprehensive definitions, preferring to leave the work of coming up with more nuanced characterizations to the federal government and lower courts.
But under the new guidelines, relatives only include immediate family members already in the country: parents, spouses, children, adult sons or daughters, sons- or daughters-in-law, and siblings. Grandparents were not included in the guidelines.
Refugees who have already been admitted to the U.S. and are booked to travel before July 6 will be exempt from the ban. A senior administration official said that the fate of those who’ve been booked travel after that date would be addressed at a later time. The briefers also said that establishing valid connections with American entities by refugees would need to be “formal” and “documented”: Simply being connected to a resettlement agency would not be sufficient. Roughly one-third of refugees waiting to be admitted do not have family ties in the United States, according to resettlement agency estimates.
“This is an unduly restrictive approach,” says Eleanor Acer, director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program. “Refugees who go through multiple security entities, are approved by the DHS [Department of Homeland Security], vetted by various government agencies, and have long relationships with resettlement agencies should all be viewed as having requisite bona fide relationships.”
The limited ban could still leave thousands of people in limbo. “This isn’t like postponing a vacation,” says Melanie Nezer, vice president of policy and advocacy at HIAS, a Maryland-based Jewish resettlement agency. “These are life or death situations that refugees could be forced to remain in.”
Of the top 10 countries for total numbers of refugees granted permission to enter the United States during the last fiscal year, only three—Somalia, Syria, and Iran—were listed in Trump’s original executive order. Iraq is also among the top 10, and there are tens of thousands of people who worked with the U.S. government who are waiting to get clearance to resettle in this country. Under these current guidelines, it’s not clear if they would be granted entry.
The reinstated ban has stoked fears of a return to the chaos that played out in airports across the country following the haphazard rollout of Trump’s first executive order.
Naureen Shah, Amnesty International’s senior director of campaigns announced that the organization would be sending researchers to airports to “monitor how the ban is being implemented.”
“There’s going to be massive confusion in airports around the world,” says Acer, who anticipates a heightened legal response to refugees connected to resettlement agencies being blocked from entering the country.
In his partial dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas warned that the court’s decision would “invite a flood of litigation”—a comment that will likely prove prescient in the months to come. Lawsuits challenging the original and updated versions of the travel ban have inundated federal courts.
“I expect that we’ll be back in court soon,” says Cox of the NILC. “No one is going to take this lying down.”
Critics of the ban argue that refugees are already the most rigorously vetted group allowed into the U.S., undergoing a process that can take up to two years or more. “I don’t know how much more extreme the vetting can get, frankly,” says Cornell law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr.
This new wave of uncertainty unfolds at a time when the number of approved refugees approved to enter the U.S. had just started to bounce back after Trump’s initial immigration restrictions. Resettlement numbers plummeted in the wake of Trump’s first two attempted travel bans: In January, the U.S. admitted nearly 7,000 refugees admitted by March that number had declined to just 2,000 in March, according to State Department data.
More than 46,000 refugees have been admitted and resettled in the U.S. in fiscal 2017, nearly reaching the 50,000 limit that Trump had specified in his original executive order, but still a long way off from the 110,000 ceiling that the Obama administration had put in place.
The Supreme Court allowed the U.S. to cap refugee arrivals, but justices did not allow the Trump administration to prohibit refugees with bona fide relationships, even if “the 50,000-person cap has been reached or exceeded.”
Officials at HIAS, one of nine agencies that work with the State Department to resettle refugees, were already worried they wouldn’t hit their resettlement targets before the travel ban was reinstated. Even in the “best-case” scenario, the agency expects to resettle 1,400 fewer than they had been approved to resettle at the beginning of the fiscal year. Other resettlement agencies have reported similar drops.
“The program changes on an almost weekly basis,” says Nezer. According to Nezer, these changes in policy can stall refugee case processing. That can often result in medical and security clearances expiring, which in turn creates even lengthier delays.
Trump had originally ordered federal agencies to wait 72 hours after the court’s decision to implement the ban. Trump maintains that the ban is necessary to protect the nation from terrorist activities and praised the court’s decision as “a clear victory for our national security.”
Republicans call on Ginsburg to recuse herself in travel ban case
Corrected: Fifty-eight Republican lawmakers are calling on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself in the travel ban case that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Read the full story at ABA Journal
Despite exposés and embarrassments, hundreds of judges preside in New York without law degrees
The news releases are sent out with considerable regularity, brief and basic accounts of actions taken by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct: A judge is sanctioned for misconduct on the bench; another agrees to give up their job because of questionable behavior in his or her private life. Read the full story at ABA Journal
Globe-trotting attorneys offer new-era strategies for efficient business travel
In this age of ever-changing rules and regulations, business travel can be more difficult than ever. The reality is that the more preparation and planning that go into a business trip, the more likely it will be a success. Read the full story at ABA Journal
How to be your own advocate at work without stepping on toes (podcast)
Even trained advocates don’t get everything they want at work. But what are some good strategies for knowing when to accept a manager’s decision, or continue to press for what you want? Read the full story at ABA Journal
Trump's Labor Dept. Tells Court It Will Revise Obama's Overtime Rule
The U.S. Labor Department told a federal appeals court Friday that while it intends to revise the Obama-era rule that made millions of workers eligible for overtime pay the agency will continue to defend its authority to create and enforce such a regulation. Read the full story at The National Law Journal
Karen Bernal is a movement activist, having worked in labor, progressive Democratic Party politics and social justice issues. She is the newly elected chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, having returned to that post after a four-year hiatus. She was also co-chair of California’s Bernie Sanders delegates to the 2016 Democratic More
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a blanket term referring to non-litigious methods of resolving legal disputes. Mainstream media and legal commentary endorse these alternatives as providing win-win, power balancing situations for all parties involved, whether corporate citizens, or natural persons. Taking into account zealous adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by corporate and political elites it More
In cities and towns from New Delhi to New York the socio-political policies that led to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London are being repeated; redevelopment and gentrification, the influx of corporate money and the expelling of the poor, including families that have lived in an area for generations. To this, add austerity, the More
“It is also a story of deceit and lies, of institutional defensiveness defeating truth and justice. It is evidence of a culture of denial within South Yorkshire Police.” — Anne Burkett, BBC, Apr 27, 2016 It took 28 years for the tables to turn on the South Yorkshire police regarding the Hillsborough disaster that took More
Oxfam welcomes the announcement yesterday by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) that it has filed an official complaint with the certification body, SGS Qualifor, who carried out the certification of the UK-based New Forests Company’s plantations in Uganda.
The announcement follows a report published by Oxfam on 22 September that detailed how at least 22,000 people were evicted – some violently – without consent or compensation to make way for the New Forests Company (NFC) plantations.
According to documents seen by Oxfam, despite ongoing court cases and media coverage saying that there had been violence, the auditors said that the dispute over tenure had been ‘resolved’ and that there were ‘no reported incidents of violence’.
“The New Forests Company has relied on the FSC certification to show that there were no ongoing problems and in order to secure international investment. The evidence suggests otherwise and the FSC complaint to its certifiers shows clearly that they too have concerns that something went wrong in Uganda,” said Katia Maia, head of Oxfam’s GROW campaign.
“The New Forests Company must now end the denials and take action to bring justice to the communities in Uganda, starting by appointing an independent chairperson to lead the investigation they have committed to. Thousands of people claim to have lost their land and have seen their livelihoods deteriorate as a result of these evictions. Many say they are no longer able to adequately feed their families or send their children to school,” said Maia.
In addition to the FSC announcement, the World Bank – an investor in the New Forests Company through its commercial lending arm, the International Finance Corporation – has called on the NFC to open up to a full investigation into claims of bad practice in its Uganda forestry projects.
Oxfam is calling on NFC to ensure the investigation is transparent and led by an independent chairperson, who has the authority to appoint the investigatory body and who can ensure that the input and protection of the communities is guaranteed in the process.
The New Forests Company must now end the denials and take action to bring justice to the communities in Uganda.
Head of Oxfam’s GROW campaign
Notes to editors:
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies investments for adhering to best operating practices regarding labor, social and environmental issues. The certification criteria include human rights and “demonstrated and uncontested, clearly defined, long-term land tenure and use rights (Principle 2).”
London-based New Forests Company (NFC) would seem to be the design blueprint of how a young modern company should conduct a major land investment in Africa in a responsible way. Oxfam’s investigations reveal, however, that serious allegations by people who were evicted from land to make way for NFC’s operations remain unresolved. How will the company respond?
Today, the people evicted from the land are desperate, having been driven into poverty and landlessness. In some instances they say they were subjected to violence and their property, crops, and livestock destroyed. They say they were not properly consulted, have been offered no adequate compensation, and have received no alternative land.
Oxfam believes that the affected communities in Kiboga and Mubende deserve to have their case heard and to see justice done.
In Oxfam’s view, NFC and its financial backers must be held to account for the lost livelihoods and shattered lives of families evicted from the land they farmed. Oxfam is calling on NFC and its investors to:
Hold a full investigation into the events in Kiboga and Mubende, and make the terms of reference for the investigation and its findings, public;
Commit to a transparent and accountable process to provide justice for the affected communities and, in consultation with affected communities and local and national authorities, ensure the provision of alternative land and compensation for lost homes, crops, livestock, and livelihoods;
Provide damages for any abuses found to have been suffered by affected communities;
Where failures are found, commit to reform their policies, standards, and procedures, so that such abuses can never happen again.
* * *
Uganda land case update, 8 July 2013
In September 2011, Oxfam profiled a land deal in Uganda in which villagers were being evicted to make way for timber plantations. Read an update about the case.
It was a busy term for the U.S. Supreme Court on immigration, with the justices weighing in on a diverse mix of issues, including citizenship-stripping, ineffective lawyering and, of course, the president's revised travel ban. But although the high...(read more)
It’s been a proper busy news week and with more days and more time we could have written twice as many posts this week. Nonetheless, our Friday post gives us a chance to catch up. We’ll try to do the week some justice and also pick up a few slightly different pieces but goodness knows […]
We look at this poll every year, more or less. This year's results are unexpected: American confidence in institutions is up, at a level not seen since Obama first took office.
More, this poll defies the trendline I've been worried about over previous years. The decline in faith in institutions has chiefly affected the non-coercive institutions: the consistently highly placed winners were the police, the military, and the criminal justice system. Congress, newspapers, churches -- all the non-coercive branches fared worse and worse. This year, that reversed to some degree.
There's a big partisan split in a couple of places, especially faith in the Presidency (swings near fifty points for both parties) and newspapers (way up among Democrats, down somewhat among Republicans). SCOTUS shows a zero shift among Democrats, but a big gain among Republicans -- no doubt the outcome of the Gorsuch fight.
But that doesn't hold everywhere. Many institutions show compatible shifts, including things like organized labor (Republicans up by two, Democrats by a little more), church (1/3), and public schools (9/5). At least some of the ways in which we deal with each other nonviolently are tracking up a bit, and that's kind of surprising given the political climate.
[/center] [center] Artist: Culture Title: Two Sevens Clash (40th Anniversary Edition) Year Of Release: 1977/2017 Label: VP Music Group, Inc Genre: Reggae, Roots/Lovers Rock Quality: MP3 CBR, 320 kbps Total Time: 1:25:52 Total Size: 196 MB [/center] One of the masterpieces of the roots era, no album better defines its time and place than Two Sevens Clash, which encompasses both the religious fervor of its day and the rich sounds of contemporary Jamaica. Avowed Rastafarians, Culture had formed in 1976, and cut two singles before beginning work on their debut album with producers the Mighty Two (aka Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson). Their second single, "Two Sevens Clash," would title the album and provide its focal point. The song swept across the island like a wildfire, its power fed by the apocalyptic fever that held the island in its clutches throughout late 1976 and into 1977. (Rastafarians believed the apocalypse would begin when the two sevens clashed, with July 7, 1977, when the four sevens clashed, the most fearsome date of concern.) However, the song itself was fearless, celebrating the impending apocalypse, while simultaneously reminding listeners of a series of prophesies by Marcus Garvey and twinning them to the island's current state. For those of true faith, the end of the world did not spell doom, but release from the misery of life into the eternal and heavenly arms of Jah. Thus, Clash is filled with a sense of joy mixed with deep spirituality, and a belief that historical injustice was soon to be righted. The music, provided by the Revolutionaries, perfectly complements the lyrics' ultimate optimism, and is quite distinct from most dread albums of the period. Although definitely rootsy, Culture had a lighter sound than most of their contemporaries. Not for them the radical anger of Black Uhuru, the fire of Burning Spear (although Hill's singsong delivery was obviously influenced by Winston Rodney), nor even the hymnal devotion of the Abyssinians. In fact, Clash is one of the most eclectic albums of the day, a wondrous blend of styles and sounds. Often the vocal trio works in a totally different style from the band, as on "Calling Rasta Far I," where the close harmonies, dread-based but African-tinged, entwine around a straight reggae backing. Several of the songs are rocksteady-esque with a rootsy rhythm, most notably the infectious "See Them Come"; others are performed in a rockers style, with "I'm Alone in the Wilderness" an exquisite blend of guitar and vocal harmonies. One of the best tracks, "Get Ready to Ride the Lion to Zion," is a superb hybrid of roots, rocksteady, and burbling electro wizardry; its roaring lion (created who knows how) is a brilliant piece of musical theater. "Natty Dread Take Over" twines together roots rhythms, close harmonies, and big-band swing, while even funk and hints of calypso put in appearances elsewhere on the album. Inevitably, the roots genre was defined by its minor-key melodies, filled with a sense of melancholy, and emphasized by most groups' lyrics. But for a brief moment, roots possibilities were endless. Sadly, no other group followed Culture's lead, and even the trio itself did not take advantage of it, especially after parting ways with Gibbs. When Culture re-emerged in the mid-'80s, they swiftly moved into a reggae lite/world music mode a world apart from where they started. Thus, Clash remains forever in a class all its own. [Shanachie issued a 30th anniversary edition of the album in 2007 that adds expanded liner notes and five extra tracks made up of dubs and 12" mixes.] Tracklist: 01. Culture - Calling Rasta for I 02. Culture - I'm Alone in the Wilderness 03. Culture - Pirate Days 04. Culture - Two Sevens Clash 05. Culture - I'm Not Ashamed 06. Culture - Get Ready to Ride the Lion to Zion 07. Culture - Black Starliner Must Come 08. Culture - Jah Pretty Face 09. Culture - See Them a Come 10. Culture - Natty Dread Taking Over 11. Culture - Two Sevens Clash Prophecy Revealed (feat. Mr. Bojangles) 12. The Mighty Two - Fulfillment 13. Culture - I'm Not Ashamed Under Tight Wraps (feat. I Roy) 14. The Mighty Two - I Am Not Ashamed (Version) 15. Culture - See Them a Come Mask Mi Mask (feat. Prince Weedy) 16. Culture - Informer 17. The Mighty Two - Informer (Version) 18. Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - State of Emergncy 19. Shorty the President - Natty Pass His GCE 20. Culture - Natty Dread Taking Over Invasion (feat. I-Roy) 21. Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - Natty Gone Clear --
In a 2015 pastoral letter on the same-sex marriage debate, themed ‘Don’t mess with marriage’, the Catholic Bishops of Australia observed that “At this time in history, there is much discussion about the meaning of marriage”.
In Malta, although certain laws were introduced that directly or indirectly changed the meaning of marriage, unfortunately, there was little debate both in Parliament and in the social arena. The government has now declared it will introduce ‘same-sex marriage’. I am convinced that if a debate takes place, the stand of the Catholic Church might be of great help to all those of goodwill who would like to make the right choice for the common good.
Justice requires us to treat people fairly and, therefore, not to make arbitrary, groundless distinctions.
Thus, we must treat like cases alike and different cases differently. It, therefore, follows that if the union between a man and a woman is different from other unions then justice demands that we treat that union accordingly.
Marriage is an institution designed to support people of the opposite sex to be faithful to each other and to the children of their union. This truth is not only based on faith but also on...
La comisión fiscalizadora de crímenes del castrismo investiga las denuncias de los tres holguineros en huelga de hambre DDC | Holguín | 28 de Junio de 2017 – 23:43 CEST. La Comisión Internacional de Crímenes de Lesa Humanidad del Castrismo (JusticeCuba) señaló que está investigando las denuncias de los tres hermanos Miranda Leyva, en huelga […]
June 29 (BTA) - In a position statement addressed to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of judicial reform and the Justice Minister, eight business associations Thursday reiterated their calls for real and substantial judicial reform. "The judicial reform is far from complete and the process must continue for the simple reason that this is a pre-condition for the Bulgarian nation to achieve true prosperity," the statement goes.
Tim Heaphy '91, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia and partner at Hunton & Williams, discusses the sometimes-complex relationship between victims of crimes and the criminal justice system.
Jacqueline F. Ward Talevi of the District Court for Virginia’s 23rd Judicial District discusses her work developing a mental health docket program that provides alternative sentencing options for defendants with serious mental illnesses who commit misdemeanors. Talevi spoke at a symposium sponsored by the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law, “Criminal Justice and Mental Illness.”
The 88th William Minor Lile Moot Court Competition features third-year students Tuba Ahmed, Kyle Cole, Danielle Desaulniers and Adam Stempel. Presiding are Judge Patricia Millett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Pamela Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and Justice David Stras of the Supreme Court of Minnesota.
Dozens of tabletop games over the years have alluded to the mobster world of The Godfather, and a few have even offered an actual licensed take on the classic film of New York mafia, with its devastating betrayals and family intrigue. But until Corleone’s Empire, I’ve never played a game that so perfectly captures the mood and themes of that memorable movie. Designer Eric M. Lang has been behind some of the most thematically rich and rewarding tabletop games of recent years, and publisher CMON has an eye for stellar production values. Add in some truly evocative art from Karl Kopinski, and The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire nails the setting and tone of Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece, while simultaneously offering a rousing and fast-paced game of strategy and sudden, devastating treachery.
Corleone’s Empire is a game of worker placement and area control. Two to five players each take on the role of a New York crime family, working to shake down businesses across the boroughs, complete jobs like extortions and backroom deals, and bribe allies into cooperation with your nefarious activities. Don Corleone looms over your criminal projects as the Godfather of organized crime in the city, and you must be careful to launder and hide away your money, as the excess will go in tribute to him at the end of each act. Along the way, it’s your acquisition of illegal goods like guns, booze, blood money, and eventually, narcotics, which fuel your illicit affairs. Turf changes hands all the time, new businesses open for exploitation, and minions are murdered in violent car bomb explosions and drive-by shootings; figures regularly move from the board spaces into the Hudson River after they meet an untimely end. The theming is richly imagined and appropriately tied up in crime and sudden dramatic turns of fate that reshape the contours of the session.
CMON has established a reputation for its great miniatures and top-notch art, and both are in full evidence throughout Corleone’s Empire. The rulebook and cards are filled with brooding character art of the city’s mid-20th century criminals and civic officials. Individual uncolored miniatures are detailed and varied, offering up different visuals for each family Don, Consigliere, and Heir. A horse-head token indicates first-turn status. Every player even has a literal metal suitcase that holds laundered money away from prying eyes. And the New York board map is thoughtfully designed and attractive, appropriately appointed without ever feeling crowded, even in the game’s later busy turns. Everything reinforces and recalls the film. I’m also a big fan of the board’s use of shapes tied to the bases of individual minis and components; even newcomers to the game can quickly grasp where each piece should be played, from hexagonal control markers to square spots that match your family’s thug minis.
Corleone's Empire supports two to five players, but plays best with four or five
The clever nods to the movie would be for naught without a solid game framework. Behind the mafioso concept, smartly structured and briskly paced gameplay unfolds. Split into four roughly similar acts, the game layers on complexity through the gradual introduction of new figures, businesses, allies, and resources. Reach Act II, and your Consigliere mini joins the team. Bid more than your opponents, and perhaps you can lure the Mayor to aid your family in Act III. Risk entry into the dangerous world of narcotics in the late game, and you’ve got a new flexible resource that can help fuel any job.
In the most important phase of each act, players take turns deploying their miniatures onto designated spots across New York City, shaking down businesses like the Barbershop, Korean Laundry, and Gun Dealership, and acquiring the designated resource. Have the most figures in an area, and you gain control of that borough in the subsequent turn, meaning you get a piece of the action every time a player hits up that business in the future. Gathered resources let you complete jobs, which usually offer both concrete rewards and a way to screw over your opponents; you gain money (or launder it) while potentially killing off opponent pieces in key locations across the board. Your own carefully laid plans can be shattered by an opposing player’s machinations. If that sort of messing with each other angers you, Corleone’s Empire is likely to frustrate almost constantly. For me, the sudden changes in fortune communicated a delightful nod to the precipitous and dramatic turns of the movie. In the end, it’s a combination of acquired money, control exerted around the city, and jobs completed that determine the crime family that will rule New York and win the game.
For a game with so many interlocking systems of resources, control points, and different paths to money and victory, I’m impressed by the ease of play. Down time between turns is very low, as each figure’s placement on the board has a clearly marked consequence and acquisition. In my experience, the game is at its best with four or five players, as interlocking webs of alliances accrue, and players in the lead are suddenly ganged up upon by other players who feel threatened. The abrupt and disastrous falls from a hard-won lead are painful, but bearable since the game completes in a moderate playtime; a two-hour session is enough to finish one game, and for most player groups, that might even be enough to try a second run on the same evening of play, allowing new alliances and grudges to form.
Each player called a small tin "metal suitcase" to store their money and completed job cards
Strangers to The Godfather may be stymied by the constant references to the movie. But it’s clear that’s a sacrifice that the designer is willing to make, foregoing overt explanations about things like the taking or leaving of canolis, for instance, and instead letting players recognize narrative flavors and moments wherever they can find them. The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire does justice to its inspiration, and the dip into gangster fantasies is a welcome change of pace from more fantastical settings.
If Corleone’s Empire sounds like a good fit for your friends, you won’t have long to wait to track down a copy; pre-orders are available now, and official launch is July 28th of this year. If you’re looking for something of a different flavor than tommy guns and restaurant assassinations, make sure and click on the Top of the Table banner below and check out some other recent recommendations. If you’d like some additional personal recommendations or advice on tabletop games, feel free to drop me a line via email or Twitter – I’m always happy to share some suggestions to find the perfect gaming fit for your group.
Associate Justice David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court analyzes U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s past rulings and writing to make some predictions about how he may rule if his nomination is approved.
Robin Steinberg, founder of the Bronx Defenders, talks about her work as a public defender for indigent clients and describes ways that law students can get involved in “shaping” the justice they want to see in the world.
Duke Law professor Jedediah Purdy gives the 3rd Lillian Stone Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Policy: “Environmental Justice, Again.” He discusses the history of the American environmental movement, focusing on the broader movement’s relationship to environmental justice concepts.
Katie Redford ’95, co-founder of EarthRights International, a non-governmental organization focusing on human rights and environmental justice, discusses current trends, threats and opportunities in human rights lawyering.
University of Virginia School of Law professor A. Benjamin Spencer discusses the state of civil procedure and why it matters in connection to access to the courts and the U.S. justice system. Spencer spoke during the Alumni Board and Council lunch.
Andrew K. Block Jr., former director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law and an attorney who has reformed state law concerning youths, talks about his work as director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice.
Slate's Dahlia Lithwick and UVA Law professors John Harrison, Frederick Schauer and moderator Micah Schwartzman discussed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's legacy and looked ahead to the battle over his successor.
Slate's Dahlia Lithwick and UVA Law professors John Harrison, Frederick Schauer and moderator Micah Schwartzman discussed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's legacy and looked ahead to the battle over his successor.
UVA Law graduate Corban Addison is the author of three international best-selling novels, "A Walk Across the Sun," "The Garden of Burning Sand," and "The Tears of Dark Water." An attorney, activist and world traveler, Addison brings attention to human rights crises around the world through
The parole board of Israel's Prison Service on Thursday granted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert early release from his 27-month corruption sentence, in perhaps the final chapter of a stunning fall from grace that forced him from office amid the last serious round of peace talks with the Palestinians. Israel's Justice Ministry had objected to Olmert's early release after asking police last week to investigate whether he committed a "criminal offense" when his lawyer was caught leaving the prison with a chapter of his unpublished book that contained "sensitive security issues."
Chicago police, federal agents and prosecutors are launching a new initiative Friday to stem the flow of illegal firearms in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant gun violence that President Donald Trump says is at “epidemic proportions.” Trump’s remark on Twitter came ahead of an announcement by Chicago police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the formation of the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office acknowledged that an additional 20 ATF agents have been sent to Chicago. State police, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors will target illegal guns and repeat gun offenders, Chicago police said. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement Thursday night that “we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago.” Trump tweeted Friday morning that “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help.” In January, he warned Chicago about its high number of homicides, saying on Twitter that he is ready to “send in the Feds.” Adam Collins, spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said the city wants federal help. “Six months ago we made it clear that we would welcome additional federal support, and six months later we appreciate the 20 new ATF agents that are now arriving,” Collins said in an email. But as the police department released figures that show the number of homicides, shooting incidents and shooting victims has dropped, Collins said “the progress CPD has made this year has happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested.” In fact, earlier this week, officials announced that the ATF had loaned the city a van outfitted with ballistic testing equipment to help police more quickly solve gun crimes. Trump’s latest tweet said there have been 1,714 shootings in Chicago this year. According to the police department, there have been 1,703 shooting victims. There were 1,935 shooting victims in the city during the same period last year. Also, there have been 1,360 shooting incidents so far this year — 224 less than were reported during the same period in 2016. So far this year, there have been 320 homicides compared to 322 by this time last year, according to the police department. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking Friday on the Fox News Channel’s morning show, “Fox & Friends,” said the Justice Department is “sending in additional gun investigators” to Chicago and that he has urged the U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute gun cases aggressively. “The police have been demoralized in many ways,” he said. “In many ways, the policies in Chicago have not been working. Murders are way, way too high. It is critical for the people of Chicago’s public safety that we begin to work together here and deport violent criminals that have been convicted. They need to not be a sanctuary city, they need to be protecting the people of Chicago from violent criminals.” Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement late Thursday that federal and Cook County prosecutors plan to develop new strategies to prosecute gun crimes and offenders. Sessions last week pledged federal assistance to 12 cities to help them develop individualized, long-term strategies to fight violence. But Chicago was not among them. The Justice Department said that’s because Chicago was already […]
Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a vote of confidence Friday to former FBI director Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, but he also said he hoped the investigation could “move forward and come to an end sooner rather than later.” The attorney general’s comments during a “Fox & Friends” interview were his most expansive to date on the Justice Department’s appointment last month of Mueller to run the investigation. “Mr. Mueller is someone I’ve known a long time, and I’ve had confidence in him over the years,” said Sessions, an Alabama Republican who served for years on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel that oversees the FBI. Those remarks stand in contrast to a drumbeat of Republican criticism of the special counsel’s investigation, including from President Donald Trump, who on the same show last week contended that Mueller was “very, very good friends” with fired FBI director James Comey and characterized that relationship as “very bothersome.” Republicans have also raised conflict-of-interest concerns by noting that some lawyers on Mueller’s investigative team have previously contributed to Democratic candidates, though federal law and department policy does not permit the special counsel to take into consideration the political affiliations of a potential hire. Sessions said he was hopeful the investigation would conclude sooner than later, a point White House staff has repeatedly made, and he did suggest that questions about the composition of Mueller’s staff could be fair game. “We expect integrity from every person involved in this investigation. Mr. Mueller is entitled, lawfully, I guess, at this point, to hire who he desires,” Sessions said, “but I think he should look for people who have strength and credibility by all people.” Mueller was appointed FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush and held the position for 12 years. (AP)
L'ouvrage se veut la traduction concrète de cette préoccupation essentielle : comment mener à son terme un processus judiciaire, tant en demande qu'en défense ? Comment vaincre successivement les embuches d'un procès, depuis l'introduction de l'action et le choix de la juridiction adéquate, jusqu'à l'exécution du jugement, à titre provisoire ou définitif ? L'Europe est également très présente par la jurisprudence de la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme sur le procès équitable et par les règles communautaires. Le lecteur prendra rapidement conscience que, loin d'être une pure technique, la procédure est au service de la réalisation concrète des droits. Sans elle, les droits ne sont que des leurres, au mieux, des espoirs. Complet sur le fond et synthétique en la forme, assorti d'exercices pratiques, l'ouvrage épouse une présentation claire et pédagogique adaptée aux étudiants en licence ou en master de droit, mais également aux candidats au concours d'entrée à l'Ecole nationale de la magistrature ou à l'examen d'entrée à l'école du barreau. Par ailleurs, par son souci de revenir sans cesse aux grands principes du droit du procès contemporain, il donne satisfaction à tous ceux qui, juges, avocats, greffiers huissiers de justice ou simples amateurs de droit, sont en quête d'une présentation éclairée et éclairante de la matière.
Theresa May’s decision to exit ECJ has made David Davis’s job much more difficult, says former chief of staff
Theresa May’s “absolutist” stance on Britain leaving the jurisdiction of the European court of justice has “hamstrung” David Davis in negotiations with Brussels, according to the Brexit secretary’s former chief of staff.
James Chapman, who worked for George Osborne before serving as Davis’s chief of staff until shortly before the election, said May’s insistence that the ECJ must not have oversight once Britain leaves the EU, revealed in her party conference speech last year, had made the negotiators’ task more difficult.
Our society treats those in poverty as moral failures, whose voices of concern are a sign of ingratitude
It remains hard to grasp the enormity of the Grenfell Tower fire. There is the catastrophe itself: Grenfell, quite simply, is the deadliest fire to have raged on our soil in over a century. Even the blitz didn’t start a single fire as hard to escape from as that which began in a single flat in North Kensington on 14 June 2017.
From a social justice activist, to a hockey Hall of Famer, to the voice of a big green ogre. The second annual Order of Canada has been issued today, celebrating 99 Canadians for outstanding achievement in a range of sectors. Included on the list are...
Campaign aims to bring African militia leader Joseph Kony to justice for war crimes and for enlisting children as soldiers. By Gil Kaufman
<P>A campaign to stop the nearly 30-year, brutal rule of African militia leader Joseph Kony became a viral sensation this week. <a href="http://kony2012.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com" target="_blank">"Kony 2012,"</a> started by the group Invisible Children, aims to make Kony's face so famous that authorities will finally be able to arrest him and try him for his crimes. </P><P> </P><P>A 30-minute <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc" target="_blank">documentary</a> released on Monday is one of the keys to the campaign, and as of Thursday it had gotten more than 26 million views. The video details the atrocities carried out by Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army. The campaign appears to be working, as at one point on Wednesday, Invisible Children and #stopkony were trending higher on Twitter than Peyton Manning or the new iPad. </P><P> </P><P>Since 1987, human rights officials say Kony has forcefully abducted more than 60,000 children to be soldiers in his army and reportedly raped, mutilated and killed civilians in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and displaced more than 2 million people. The leader is wanted for committing atrocities by the International Criminal Court and is being hunted down by 100 U.S. Special Forces advisers and local troops in four Central African nations, according to the <a href="http://bit.ly/AyrDyz"><I>Associated Press.</I></a> </P><P> </P><P>Kony 2012 is an effort to capture Kony and disarm the LRA before a reported window of opportunity closes. One way it plans to do that is by encouraging users to directly message a variety of stars to make use of their Twitter ubiquity to get the word out. Among those listed on the site are: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Jay-Z, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Ryan Seacrest and Ellen DeGeneres, along with a number of major policymakers. </P><P> </P><P>When users click on the celebs' photos, a tweet pops up that reads: Help us end #LRA violence. Visit kony2012.com to find out why and how. @timtebow Join us for #KONY2012. </P><P> </P><P><a href="http://act.mtv.com/posts/invisible-children-video-joseph-kony/">Get More on Invisible Children at ACT.MTV.com.</a></p>
"An impulsive act of heroism thrusts an arrogant young man into the limelight of Shanghai as China begins to form its own Justice League of powerful heroes. As the government creates their own Superman, will they live to regret the person they've chosen? Rising from the ashes of SUPERMAN: THE FINAL DAYS OF SUPERMAN and the death of the Man of Steel, will this New Super-Man step up to the challenge, or be crushed under the weight of his hubris and inexperience? Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang
NEA teachers' union nixes longtime gadfly's bid to cover convention
When the USA’s largest teachers’ union gathers in Boston this weekend for its annual business meeting, a longtime journalist and gadfly who has dutifully covered the gathering for nearly two decades won’t be there.
Mike Antonucci, a Sacramento-based freelancer and consultant whose Education Intelligence Agency newsletter has made him perhaps the best-sourced reporter covering the National Education Association (NEA), said this week that his request for media credentials had been denied — apparently because he has also, for several months, been a columnist for a news outlet that is sharply critical of unions.
It’s the first time since 1998 that Antonucci won’t cover NEA’s Representative Assembly (RA).
“All these years they’ve considered me a reporter, but now apparently they’ve decided I’m not,” he said in an interview.
Antonucci, 58, has long made his living writing and consulting about labor issues. His Education Intelligence Agency is a private, for-profit, "one-man contract research firm" focused on the inner workings of teachers’ unions. It also publishes periodic reports on public school finances and education labor.
But for the past 11 months, Antonucci has also written a column for the online education news outlet The74, a non-profit site co-founded by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, whose advocacy group, the Partnership for Educational Justice, is closely aligned with the K-12 education reform movement.
That apparently stuck in the craw of union leaders, despite the fact that Antonucci for decades has openly criticized the union. NEA spokeswoman Staci Maiers said The74"does not meet journalistic standards as a credible news outlet, so we were unable to issue a media credential."
Resisting Cultural Appropriation: A Human Response to the Inhumanity of Privilege
When I posted K. Tempest Bradford’s argument “that cultural appropriation is indefensible,” the first comment I received (from a white man) suggested cultural appropriation is unavoidable, mostly discounting Bradford’s challenges.
Once I replied, the same person added: “The solution is to change the power relationships, not to erect artificial cultural walls.”
First, when so-called racial minorities speak against inequity, whites often fail to listen, shouting over or offering the condescending “yes, but”—in the same way men correct and marginalize when women confront sexism and misogyny.
In the situation above, the typical white male moderate or even self-proclaimed progressive response is at play, something like “Let’s work toward a color-blind society!”
This ploy fails on several layers.
As noted already, it fails because the response replaces a willingness to listen, to value the perspective, and then to act in alliance.
But more broadly, the premise is also flawed because the goal is not to be a color-blind society or to eradicate cultural (or racial, or gender) walls, but to make our identifiable differences worthy of equal celebration and to insure that those differences never stand as markers for injustice, inequity, and dehumanization.
Trump's proposed cuts to education funding creates friction in charter school community
his should be a time of celebration for charter school advocates. Both President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have focused their education agenda on providing parents with more choices, which include charter schools. The number of charter schools continues to grow, with nearly 3,000 charter schools enrolling nearly 3 million students nationally.
But instead, Trump’s and DeVos’ endorsement of charter schools is driving a wedge between traditional allies and is threatening to undermine the bipartisan support charter schools have received almost throughout the quarter century since they emerged on the education landscape.
In a remarkably frank speech earlier this month, Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance of Charter Schools, acknowledged at her organization’s annual conference in Washington D.C. that “the Trump administration’s policies have put us in a difficult spot.”
The difficulty, she explained, is that the Trump administration is proposing a $168 million increase in funding for the Charter Schools Program, on top of the current level of $333 million, while at the same time cutting other education funding. Most of the charter program funds are used to help new charter schools get off the ground. Trump is also proposing adding $1 billion to the Title 1 program for low-income students to allow parents to send their children to any public school of their choice, which could include charter schools.
The key job in the federal government in terms of civil rights enforcement is the leader of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Trump has selected Eric Dreiband, who has represented numerous clients accused of violating civil rights laws. Activists are outraged. The selection of Dreiband is in keeping with
The Los Angeles Times editorial board published an editorial today chastising the California Teachers Association for resisting privatization of public education via charters. I assume that this editorial was in no way influenced by Eli Broad, who subsidizes the Times’ education coverage, which is a blatant
Joan Kramer, a hero of public libraries, public education, and the common good, died a few days ago. Joan was a hero to all who knew and loved her. This is a tribute from some of her friends who knew her well. Here she is testifying before
This is an alarming story, prepared by the Center for Public Integrity. . Teaching materials are being distributed by the fossil fuel industry to elementary schools. It begins: “Jennifer Merritt’s first-graders at Jefferson Elementary School in
The National Education Policy Center has released new research on virtual charter schools that shows variation among those in different states, though all have poor academic results: Key Takeaway: Case studies from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute suggest that policymakers should prioritize understanding and improving virtual school performance before permitting further growth Pre
Nancy E. Bailey writes here about current efforts to put children with disabilities on a computer and call it “personalized learning” and “inclusion.” It is neither. “Personalized learning must not be mistaken for inclusion. The reality is that it’s student isolation! “Inclusion is generally defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. Doing school
This comment by a reader called amontana Teacger continues a discussion of the value of AP courses. My observation: AP courses are a big money-maker for the College Board, which on its face is nonprofit, but aggressively pursues opportunities to generate revenues, like claiming that access to AP courses promotes equity. Other posts are here and here . Montana Teacher writes: “Thank you for all of
Tomorrow I will be 79! My older sister says that it’s all downhill from here, but I’m not going anywhere, not without raising a ruckus. Carol Burris has created a giant birthday card for me. I hope you will consider signing it. https://networkforpubliceducation.org/2017/06/help-wish-diane-happy-birthday/ This will be the first time in my life that I ever asked anyone to sign a birthday card that
Education Week reports on the plans of billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan to redesign American education. They have launched something called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative–or CZI Initiative–to carry out their plan for “personalized learning”‘( I.e., “depersonalized learning”) to remake education into whatever they think in their limited experience is best. They have hired J
Today is the first Student Data Deletion Day. This is a parent’s response to the obscene amounts of personal data collected about every child. Why do they do it? Because they can, and because you let them. Please open to see the many links. As usual, this is an excerpt: “Our K-12 public schools are collecting an enormous amount of data about our kids that will pre-determine whether their dream sc
My dear friend and ally, Phyllis Bush, started a blog to write about her experience with cancer, which she insists on calling cancer schmanzer. She is feeling better . She is cleaning closets. She is ready for the fight for her life. Phyllis keeps me informed about the corporate and billionaire funded effort to destroy public education in Indiana. She is a fighter. She is a founding board member
In 1859 French acrobat Blondin (born Jean Francois Gravelet) crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched. In 1906 the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act became law. In 1908 the "Tunguska event" occurred when a meteorite exploded over Siberia, completely leveling about 800 square miles of forest. In 1921 President Harding appointed former President Taft Chief Justice of the United States. In 1934 Adolf Hitler began his "blood purge" of political and military leaders in Germany. In 1936 the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was published in New York. In 1962 Los Angeles Dodger Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax pitched his first no-hitter in a game with the New York Mets. In 1963 Pope Paul VI was crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1971 a Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 were found dead inside their spacecraft after it had returned to Earth; also on this day, the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the minimum voting age to 18, was ratified when Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. In 1984 John Turner was sworn in as Canada's 17th prime minister, succeeding Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In 1985 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days. In 2004 a federal appeals court approved an antitrust settlement Microsoft had negotiated with the Justice Department; also on this day, the Iraqis took legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 of his top lieutenants, a first step toward the ousted dictator's expected trial for crimes against humanity; and, after nearly seven years of travel, the international Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn's orbit.
There was a time when Sofia Coppola could be at an awards show and overlooked as a famous daughter; not anymore, not for years now since LOST IN TRANSLATION.
But in her new film, THE BEGUILED, which is a retool of a 1971 Clint Eastwood starrer, she really comes of age as a visionary writer/director. Even in what is considered a remake of a movie based on a novel by Thomas Cullinan, it has a distinctive feel that's all hers. The film opens June 23 in New York and LA, wider on June 30.
With an all-star cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning, you get a sense of why this movie won Best Director at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival. Picture a Southern all-girls boarding school during the battle-weary Civil War era, and a wounded enemy soldier appears. John McBurney (Colin Farrell) adds testosterone to a very delicate and well-mannered yet highly complex microcosm of women led by a formidable Headmistress named Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman).
“This is my dream cast,” Sofia Coppola admits. “When I was writing it, I was picturing Nicole as Miss Martha. She always surprises me. Watching her, I’ve never seen anyone like that, she does so many different things at once.” She adds that the whole cast is on a par with Kidman. You want to use a word like confection for the ethereal feel, but that description doesn’t do justice to the depth of rich multi-layered images that float on the screen like Spanish moss.
“This is very much a Sofia film,” Colin Farrell explains. “It’s very much aesthetically beautiful. She wrote every word of this. Her way feels maybe more right than some [as far as directing], there’s an immense lack of tension on the set, very playful. She’s incredibly easygoing and generous to her core it seems.”
Farrell is underscoring the fact that a remake can often feel like a re-do of someone else’s vision. But if you look at the 1971 version, two minutes into the film, Eastwood is literally hitting on a twelve year old, with “not too young for kisses.” And even though the fabulous Geraldine Page stars as his Miss Martha, there’s a creepy feel to their interplay, down the line.
So that’s essentially the breaking point for the 2017 Beguiled. It takes a left turn at the way the heightened sexual tension is framed.
“I didn’t know the movie and I watched it, and it really stayed in my mind. I watched it. It was so weird, and I thought ‘how would I do my version?’” I thought it would be interesting to do the same story but from the female characters' point of view.”
Elle Fanning, who plays Alicia, describes her character as kind of an empowered seductress, but still innocent in a real way. “Anything Sofia does I think is incredible, it was also like, ‘yeah.’ Because it was all these girls and women — and Colin of course— they hold the power.”
“The original film had been made from a guy’s point of view, so I went back to the book. Because I just liked the premise,” Coppola adds. “It’s such a crazy, extreme premise about power between men and women in such an extreme situation. The idea of looking at wartime from the point of view of the women left behind.”
“You try to make it personal. Try to relate to the characters because it’s such a different time. And yet I loved that it had elements that were familiar to me, this feminine beautiful world. A beautiful feminine world with violence and very gothic.”
“My tendency is to be on the subtle side. Colin was teasing me: ‘Oh, this is an action movie to you, there’s guns... there’s blood.’ It’s been fun to have this mix of beautiful dresses and a little gore. We had smoke machines everyday, and candlelight… a really ethereal look that is specific to this story.”
“Colin is a good sport about being our sex object in the movie, but he has to be dangerous and threatening, and romantic in the movie.” Farrell plays a mercenary soldier paid $300 off the boat from Ireland to fight as a Yankee, so he's neither North nor South, but emblematic of the unspoken ever-present struggle for control between the sexes.
When the crushing attractions flare up between Farrell’s character and the many flavors of female in this strange closed world hunkered down under siege of musket fire in a distance, Beguiled really poses some interesting questions about how women express their sexuality. Yet there’s a brutality to their mannered world that Farrell’s soldier-on-the-mend only begins to realize when it’s too late.
Not that every movie needs a memorable line, but when his John McBurney yells out “You Vengeful Bitches,” in a thick Irish accent, it’s an instant classic. Probably because Nicole Kidman’s Miss Martha is so poised and possibly inherently evil at the same time, in a nice way.
Kirsten Dunst, who plays wronged love interest Edwina, sums up Sofia Coppola’s deft directing hand best, as “she doesn’t second guess herself. I’ve known her for so long, I’m working with my friend, you can’t really beat that.”
Since he is outnumbered in this eerie thriller, Colin Farrell gets the last word. “I’m surrounded by extraordinary talent. Watching these extraordinary women do extraordinary work. There’s an amazing sense of camaraderie. It’s been a joy.”
Don’t miss what the women have in store for their wounded houseguest, it’s a very rewarding fight to the finish.
Focus Features awards-buzzworthy film THE BEGUILED rolls out in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, June 23, with wider release on June 30.
Directed by Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation,” “Somewhere”)
Written by Sofia Coppola, based on the novel by Thomas Cullinan and the screenplay by Albert Maltz and Grimes Grice
Starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard.
While everyone is still wondering how Republicans could ever seriously fix their health care bills that drop 22 to 23 million Americans with a few more insane amendments, voting rights is about to take a huge hit:
The Republican presidential tactic of crippling agencies you don't like by putting either the incompetent or the actively hostile in charge of them (continues) ... Kris Kobach, the godfather of the national movement to suppress the votes of people the GOP would prefer not to exercise the franchise (was) named as vice-chairman of his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a snipe hunt the only apparent purpose of which is maintaining the fiction that masses of people, many of them brown, are gaming our elections.
Here's the most damning news that might just alert us to specific Republican governors who take the bait:
Kobach wrote a letter to his fellow secretaries of state that left many jaws on the floor. From The Kansas City Star: In a Wednesday letter, Kobach asked the Connecticut secretary of state's office to provide the commission with all publicly available voter roll data, including the full names of all registered voters along with their addresses, dates of birth, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, voting history and other personal information ... he sent similar letters to election officials in every state. Quite simply, any secretary of state who complies with this request is either too stupid to hold the job, or is in sympathy with Kobach's goal of whitewashing the electorate. Alex Padilla, the Secretary of State for California, said, "California's participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President's Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections." Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill was a bit more discreet: "The courts have repudiated his methods on multiple occasions but often after the damage has been done to voters. Given Secretary Kobach's history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this commission."
BREAKING: Scott Walker gives up voter information to Trump's big government demands. Hey, we just had a recount too. All is well?
Wisconsin elections officials said Friday that they'll sell some voter information to a presidential commission investigating election fraud. Administrator Mike Haas issued a statement Friday saying data is available for purchase and the commission must release it to buyers, adding that the commission routinely sells the information to political parties, candidates and researchers. The commission would charge the presidential panel $12,500 for the data.
Having done a lot of research on "the right to vote," I found that despite the guarantee in the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments...with help from the Voting Rights Act (now destroyed by activist conservative Justices), voting seems to be the least defended squishy right ever. In fact, I could make the argument that women and African Americans were definitely given the right to vote, but anyone else including white guys...nope.
What if Obama did this? Always the best test against hypocritical Republican policy:
As Vanita Gupta points out in that same K.C. Star report, if someone in the Obama administration had made this request, at the very least, there would be a full week of howler monkeys screaming about federalism from every perch in every conservative think-tank in the jungle. At the most, there would be hearing after hearing about the Obama administration's plan to seed thousands of the president's fellow Kenyans in every crucial precinct in Ohio and Florida. What's more important, though, is that the national campaign to roll back voting rights now has reached the highest levels of government, with the blessing of the president* and the president*-in-waiting. This is the final step backwards across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
So here is the second requested cap. I was actually pretty intrigued by the idea and hopefully did it justice. From, who we'll call Anonymous 2 (certainly a lot of you Anonymous people out there!) the request below:
"Captions where the guy's manhood is turned into a dildo by a cute girl, making him slowly turn into a girl with the dildo being used on her to make the change permanent if she orgasms"
FIFA gave Sudan’s Football Federation (SFA) until June 30 to avoid an international ban from football by reinstating the FIFA-recognised SFA chairman and board of directors. The international governing body of football has warned Sudan that it’ll face suspension from world football in case it failed to overturn an order by the ministry of justice […]
Most Americans live in places that get snow in the winter. As children, they probably went sledding at least a few times. But today, some places are trying to ban sledding because it can be dangerous! Towns with sled hills are afraid somebody will get hurt, and the town will be sued.
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[…] Okorie, in a letter wrote to the Chief Judge of the High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to revoke the bail granted to Kanu, accusing the IPOB leader of infringing on the bail conditions granted to him by the […]
Barack Obama's Justice Department on Monday announced that Citigroup would pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with the seamy financial products the bank had marketed to an unsuspecting public, causing vast damage to the economy. Citigroup is the too-big-to-fail bank that was allowed to form only when...
This week's unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming a robust Fourth Amendment protection for cellphone data is an enormously important victory for privacy rights in the digital age. It is also a reminder that support as well as opposition to civil liberty these days can come from unexpected quarters. Or maybe it is no longer much...
Honey Kisaragi is an office worker by day but when the occasion calls, the ginger-haired android changes into the crime-fighting Cutie Honey who slashes hoodlums with her sword and is propelled into action by the twin incentives of love and justice. Griffon presents a 1/7 scale figure of Cutie Honey which measures 31.5cm or 12.40" in height and her sword dubbed the "Silver Fleurette" is included.
Preorders are welcome to ship in late July 2017 at US$128.90. Product Specs Manufacturer: Griffon Enterprises Dimension: H31.5cm (12.40") Product SKU: 4582221158303 Japanese Title: キューティーハニー ～ソフトバスト・コンパチver.～ Territory/Language: Japan
Families of child victims of sexual assault are not being informed about the accused walking out on bail despite the law mandating that such information be conveyed, a PIL in Delhi High Court has said. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar sought the stand of the Ministry of […]
IT'S TOO LATE TO RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA – Ankko Briggs
Prominent resource control crusader, Ankko Briggs, has backed down on her call for the restructuring of the country. Briggs said making such move at this time in the life of the nation was too late.
She rather called for the parting of ways by the different sections of the country. In a position made known on Wednesday amid the call for restructuring by several prominent individuals and groups, Briggs said the restructuring of the country should have been long done before the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan or the National Conference held in 2014. She said at the time, nobody understood why she stood on the side of restructuring the country.
Now Briggs said that call is coming too late. She said what will work for the country at this time is for the different regions to go their separate ways. Briggs said: “Going by the figures, the North is getting over 60 per cent of the total local government allocations and even when we come to the states as well they also receive far more than the Southern states.
“Again, if you go to the National Assembly, they are far more in numbers, especially in the House of Representatives, and so by the time there is a motion or bill, which they are not in support of, ends up being frustrated or not being passed at all. “A good example is the PIB that had to spent over 10 years in the National Assembly.
“How can this continue?”
According to the renowned advocate for resource control in the Niger Delta, the time for restructuring Nigeria was long gone owing to the fact that it had become another political tool in the hands of the ruling elites, whose plan is to increase revenue allocation to some parts of the country currently agitating, but then retain the same form of governance, which has bred institutional injustice in the country.
Briggs said: “For me, calling for restructuring now is too late we want to go our separate ways because you see what they are calling restructuring is not what restructuring is. “Restructuring to them is that the status quo should remain and perharps a little increase in revenue to agitating regions, but the real restructuring is when everybody keeps what you have, even if it is only water that you have, and if you can sell it, sell it.
“So anything apart from that is not restructuring. “What is federalism? “This is where you have the states, which are the federating units. “So a federation means that every component is autonomous to itself within that nation. “So how can the Federal Government be interested in building hospitals in Abia State or building a university in Rivers State? “Nigeria is a good example of how impossible to run a government.
“How can one man alone, who is of a different culture, language, religion run or oversee the rest of the people of over 400 ethnic groups as if he is overseeing his own personal property or estate? “He cannot do it right because he doesn’t know my culture and so how can he make decisions that will be 100 per cent appealing to me because the things I would put into consideration if I am to make the same decisions will be totally different.
“People even say that I don’t fight other people’s battle, but that is not true. “I can fight the Igbo man’s battle because I understand his way of life and culture to a very large extent because my grandmother is Igbo and I can speak Igbo language well too, I can understand them, I can work with them and if I am working with them and I make decisions for my people and Igbo people, I won’t go wrong because I know what to do.
“Now reverse the case and ask me to make decisions for the Hausa-Fulani man or the Muslim man, I will make a terrible decision and this is because I don’t understand them. “So this is what we are saying that someone who doesn’t understand a people cannot make any good decision for them.
“If this simple conditions are not met, governance will fail and that is what has happened in the real sense, it has failed in Nigeria. “The then military leadership under General Abdusalami Abubakar had a rare opportunity of gathering Nigerians together to come up with a document meant to be the constitution, but it was bungled because what happened was that one man just sat down and made sure that the document was written to favour a particular section of the country and he called it the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Nigerian constitution is the only constitution in the world that tells a lie against itself and its people, when its first sentence says: ‘We the people.’ “That statement is a lie.
“There was never a gathering of any people or group of persons to discuss any constitution. “Do you also know that the constitution was designed to work against people who are not Muslims as the word Islam, Muslim, Sharia or Mosque was mentioned over 200 times, while the word Christian or Church was never mentioned in the constitution? “And you say that same constitution is me
Very good product. Looks amazing!!I would post a pic, but it would just not do the flake justice, so here is a short video clip. I painted my whole motorcycle with this flake over a base coat black and it turned out awesome! The flake is green, but in light you can see every color and it has an orange glow about it.
This is a magical fantasy world where epic heroes fight in a war to defend the kingdom with top strategy and a rush of inspiration. Battle with Death Knights and fight alongside with knights, dragons, wizard, ice queen, and other ancient gods in the adventure field!
The forces of evil amass. Why do they march? Where is their home? No one knows. The prophets' vision is cloudy. The geomancers see little in their maps. Everyone else? They flee. The Allied Kingdoms struggle to survive. Life and all its purpose has no meaning to these fiends. Fields rot. Woods burn. The common folk suffer. Devastation is happening! The Allied Kingdoms have one choice: defend, defend, defend. Are you ready?
Realm Defense is a tower defense game that challenges veteran players. Use a huge variety of powers and abilities to vanquish wave after wave of menace for over 100 levels. Travel through lush forests, snow covered mountains, and epic desert as you face off against armies of slimes, goblins, skeletons, and more.
Deploy rapid-fire archers! Carve walls on the map with magic beams! Fire roaring cannons! Summon allies! Realm Defense offers variety and challenge. Overcome incredible odds with strategy and wit! Rescue helpless villagers, collect important resources, and recruit legendary heroes with deadly abilities along the way to stop evil in this standout tower defense game.
• 100+ levels with various game play modes • Multiple worlds to play with 4 different towers each • Compete in tournament to show off your tower defense skills and win big prize • Powerful heroes with unique abilities to aid you: Fee the Archer launches a deadly Kill Shot, Lancelot the Knight unleashes the Fist of Justice, Smoulder the Dragon rains down Heat Seeker fireballs and many more • Face off against epic bosses including a Skeleton Mage that rides a giant slime and zaps your heroes and a bomb tossing, mammoth riding Goblin King • Huge variety of enemies offer multiple challenges: Burn your enemy, freeze them, and more with 4 spells to cast in battle • Beautiful landscapes and character animations
PLEASE NOTE! This game is free to play and made by people who love tower defense games. We sincerely hope you enjoy our work!
Recent changes: - Opening a New Realm: Sunstorm Sands with its first 20 levels out of 40. - Brand new levels of Shattered Realms, new game modes. - New Heroes: Sethos the Sand King and Helios the Phoenix - Discover the story of Fee by interacting with her after battles, and upgrade new hero ability levels. - Hero level cap increases to 20. - Players in Tournament Master league and above will be reset to Gold league in July. - Bug fix.
Most of us will never know what really happens behind bars. Prisons are generally off limits to the public and press, but a national prisoner strike on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison riot is drawing new attention to the conditions in many of our nation's jails. This hour, what should a prison be?
How The Attica Prison Riot Fueled Mass Incarceration in America; Working Undercover As A Private Prison Guard; In Defense of Flogging; Norway's Unusual Approach to Imprisonment; How To Reduce Mass Incarceration; Exploring the Emotional Roots of Justice.
Thousands of protesters are on the road from Ankara to Istanbul on the 'March for Justice'
The head of Turkey's secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu stands at the head of the march in a demonstration to protest against the 25-year-prison term handed down to fellow party member Enis Berberoglu for espionage.
He is expected to arrive to Istanbul's Maltepe prison on July 9 where Berberoglu is imprisoned.
00.13 CHP LEADER KEMAL KILICDAROGLU MARCH
00.20 PEOPLE MORE MARCH
00.25 VOX POP1 (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ACTIVIST, OZNUR OZKOK, SAYING:
"Wherever Kilicdaroglu goes, wherever justice goes we will follow it and end there. It may go to eternity, we do not care, we will walk."
00.33 VOX POP2 (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ACTIVIST, MEHMET YIGIT, SAYING:
"I had to join this march. I have to join for my son, for my daughter, for all our children. Everybody needs to take to the streets."
00.42 Berberoglu was the first CHP lawmaker to be imprisoned in a government crackdown that followed the attempted military coup in July 2016. More than 50,000 people have been jailed and more than 150,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs.
Despite the lack of project posting, things are a brewin in the Urben home. I'm hoping to share our latest project this weekend, but I must be patient.
For now I'll share a few goodies I picked up recently:
A miter box for $7.99 at Goodwill... I have so many projects in store for you, mister miter. Mark can't understand why I don't just use his compound miter saw and I guess I could, but there is something to be said for not having to get out the mitersaw, set up a workspace and all that jazz. Now I can just set this puppy on the table and have some instant gratification.
This beauty was only $2.99 and absolutely perfect! The moment I saw it, I knew its purpose! I'll share later.
Another gorgemous piece $3.99 at the GW
This puppy will be painted, distressed and hung in the *newly remodeled* powder room.
Look at the detail in this frame! Can't wait to purdy it up. It was a buck.
I have plans for this as well. Ashley thinks it looks like a toilet seat. Wait until she sees it when it gets a coat of paint. $2.00
This picture doesn't do this shabby little shelf justice. It's perfect! I splurged a little and spent $8
That's all for now. Crossing my fingers that I can share our big project this weekend!!
WARNING! SPOILERS ARE SWIMMING AROUND WITHIN! WARNING! In the last Justice League movie subtitled, War, the movie ended with the heroes tentatively considering forming some kind of “league” to better defend the world. In this movie they finally come up … Continue reading →
WARNING! IMMENSE AMOUNT OF SPOILERS WITHIN! WARNING! By the time Season One of Young Justice was done and over, at the time, as I mentioned in the review of that season, I had only seen the opening two-parter, the ending … Continue reading →
The Abuja High Court sitting in Apo, Gudu District, on Friday, dismissed a certificate forgery suit filed by one Mr. Uchenna Nnadi against Sen. Andy Uba. Justice Valentine Ashi said the law says that he who asserts must prove; and that the plaintiff had failed to lead the court with further evidence. Ashi said that […]
On June 30, 1921, President Warren Harding announced that former President William Howard Taft would become the new Chief Justice of the United States. To this day, Taft remains as the only person to hold the top position in the executive and judicial branches.
Conceding what had seemed to have become inevitable, the Justice Department asked a federal appeals court on Wednesday to put an end to the long-running legal fight against the Washington, D.C., pro football team over the use of the trademarks protecting its name, the “Redskins.”
Legislative amendments and regulations that will better protect subcontractors and suppliers in the building trades come into effect today, June 30.
Amendments to the Builders’ Lien Act will allow for the earlier release of financial holdbacks to those in the building trades who complete their work on construction projects. New regulations will also ensure notice is given when a construction project is substantially completed.
The requirement to give notice does not apply to owners who are having work done on their residential properties if the contract or work is less than $75,000.
“When homes or commercial buildings are under construction, everyone should be paid in full for their work in a timely manner,” said Justice Minister Mark Furey, Minister responsible for the act. “These changes will allow electricians, plumbers, and other subcontractors to be paid sooner for their work.
“These regulations will also make sure that everyone knows when important stages of a project have been reached.”
The amendments to the act were passed in 2013 and 2014. The changes should also result in savings for the industry and improve productivity.
“The changes to the Builders’ Lien Act will free up money, allowing it to flow back into the economy earlier,” said Duncan Williams, president, Construction Association of Nova Scotia. “The changes will enable contractors to reinvest in their companies, people and capital.
“We hope to see significant improvements in productivity for all in the construction pyramid.”
NOTE : voici une déclaration conjointe du ministre de l’Education et du Développement de la petite enfance, Zach Churchill, et de la présidente du Syndicat des enseignants de la Nouvelle-Écosse (SENE), Liette Doucet, en réaction à la publication du rapport d’étape de la Commission sur l’intégration dans l’éducation. Le rapport d’étape de la commission se trouve à l’adresse suivante : http://inclusiveedns.ca.Nous accueillons favorablement le rapport d’étape et nous remercions la commission pour son travail jusqu’à maintenant. La commission se penche sur un problème complexe dans un domaine où nous savons que nous pouvons apporter des améliorations.
Le rapport montre des signes encourageants. Il est clair que la commission veut aller au cœur du problème.
Le Ministère commencera immédiatement à donner suite à toutes les recommandations, y compris les deux mesures entreprises aujourd’hui.
Le Ministère a confié au vérificateur général la demande concernant la vérification des formules de financement, des processus d’affectation des ressources et des dispositifs de transparence financière.
Nous avons demandé aux recteurs des universités qui offrent des programmes de baccalauréat en éducation de travailler avec nous dans le cadre du groupe de travail sur le baccalauréat, et ce, pour veiller à ce que les recommandations de la commission concernant la formation actuelle des enseignants pour l’intégration dans l’éducation soient une priorité.
Nous avons demandé aux ministres de la Santé et du Mieux-être, des Services communautaires et de la Justice de mettre sur pied immédiatement une équipe pour donner suite aux recommandations concernant la collaboration entre les ministères et entre les agences pertinentes.
Le Syndicat des enseignants est d’avis que le modèle actuel d’intégration dans l’éducation ne répond pas aux besoins des élèves et de leur famille et il est également d’accord avec la conclusion selon laquelle le modèle doit être remplacé. Il examinera le rapport d’étape de manière plus approfondie et il attend avec impatience de travailler avec la commission à l’élaboration d’un nouveau modèle qui répondra mieux aux divers besoins des élèves en matière d’apprentissage.
Le syndicat est particulièrement encouragé par le fait que la commission recommande d’examiner la question du nombre de dossiers à gérer et celle des proportions actuelles pour la dotation en personnel. Les enseignants spécialisés ont un criant besoin de ressources et de dispositifs de soutien supplémentaires.
Nous sommes heureux de savoir que la commission prévoie parler aux parties intéressées cet automne. Il est important de prendre en considération toutes les perspectives et de consulter les personnes qui pourraient être visées par les recommandations à venir. Tous les parents veulent que leur enfant réussisse et notre système scolaire doit œuvrer en ce sens et apporter le soutien nécessaire. ? Voici une occasion d’entamer les discussions que nous savons nécessaires et de travailler ensemble dans l’intérêt supérieur de tous les élèves dans nos classes.
NOTE: The following is a joint statement from Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill and Liette Doucet, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, in response to the release of the interim report by the Commission on Inclusive Education. The commission’s report is available at http://inclusiveedns.ca. We welcome the interim report and thank the commission for its work so far. It is dealing with a complex issue in an area in which we know we can do better.
There are encouraging signs within the report. It’s clear the commission wants to dig deep and get to the heart of the issue.
The department will begin to act on all the recommendations immediately, including the following two actions initiated today.
The department has referred the request to review the funding formula, resource allocation processes and fiscal accountability measures for inclusive education to the auditor general.
Presidents of the universities offering education programs, have been asked to work with us, through the Bachelor of Education Review Working Group, to ensure the commission’s recommendations for enhanced teacher preparation on inclusive education are a priority.
The ministers of Health and Wellness, Community Services and Justice have been asked to immediately establish a team to complete work on recommendations regarding interdepartmental and interagency collaboration.
The NSTU feels that the current inclusive education model is not meeting the needs of students and their families and agrees with the conclusion that it needs to be replaced. It will review the interim report more thoroughly and looks forward to working with the commission in the development of a new model that will better meet the diverse learning needs of students.
The union is particularly encouraged that the commission is looking at examining caseloads and current ratios for staffing. Specialist teachers are in dire need of more supports and resources.
We are pleased the commission plans to speak with stakeholders this fall. It’s important all perspectives, and those potentially impacted by any future recommendations, are considered. Every parent wants their child to succeed, and that’s what our school system needs to support. ? This is an opportunity to have the discussions we know are necessary and to work together in the best interest of all those in our classrooms.
Le communiqué du Président, diffusé vendredi soir à la télévision nationale, annonçant qu’il est malade, a laissé place à une véritable spéculation sur son état de santé.
C‘est une première en République démocratique du Congo. En 57 ans d’histoire post-indépendance, jamais un Chef de l’Etat n’a annulé son discours à la nation. Celui-ci, censé célébrer la fin de l’occupation belge, était spécifiquement attendu cette année, alors que le pays traverse une crise politique, une situation économique dégradante et une situation sécuritaire volatile. « Je regrette que, pour des raisons de santé, je ne puis, cette année, vous adresser mon message de manière traditionnelle« , dit le message du Président diffusé à la RTNC. Joseph Kabila a également appelé la population à célébrer l’indépendance dans le calme et la méditation. « C’est un manque de respect envers ce peuple et une preuve que Monsieur Kabila est arrivé à sa fin. Il n’est plus capable de diriger ce pays. Manquer du respect au peuple, dans un jour aussi spécial pour notre nation et prétendre continuer à diriger le pays est totalement inacceptable« , lance le député Jean-Claude Vuemba, membre du Rassemblement depuis Londres.
Le député congolais n’est pas le seul à s’offusquer de cette situation. Néanmoins, si le message du président surprend, c’est surtout son état de santé qui a laissé place à des questionnements. Car, durant ses 16 ans au pouvoir, Joseph Kabila s’est rarement absenté pour des telles raisons. « Ca doit alors être grave« , avance un analyste politique. « Il y a deux situations à envisager: soit il est vraiment souffrant, ce qui est peu probable, soit il y a vraiment des problèmes sérieux au sein du pouvoir« , ajoute-t-il. Sur Twitter, Jean-Pierre Kambila, directeur de cabinet adjoint du président, s’étonne que l’on en fasse un sujet à débat: « Étrange en quoi ? Un homme qui attrape la grippe après un long périple. Les présidents sont des humains, peut être un peu spéciaux« , dit-il. « Le président a donc une grippe? où il est simplement fatigué de nous lire de mensonges? » interroge un autre internaute. « Il manquait simplement quoi dire. 16 ans après, c’est quoi son bilan? Il nous a ramené en arrière, nous laissant des guerres et des attaques en plein jour dans la capitale. Le pays a régressé. Les gens souffrent. Le Franc congolais ne vaut plus grand-chose… qu’aurait-il pu nous dire face à cela?« , interroge le député Vuemba. La situation reste tendue tant au pays que dans la capitale. La nouvelle attaque, hier après-midi, d’un commissariat en plein jour, a précipité le déploiement de l’armée et de la police dans les principales artères de Kinshasa. A Kintambo, l’Ouest de la capitale, une forte présence de la Garde Républicaine, fortement armée, est observée depuis le début de la soirée. Les éléments de l’armée sont également vus au centre-ville, sur l’avenue de la Justice, et au niveau de l’avenue de la Libération (ex-24 novembre). Le défilé du 30 juin, jour de l’indépendance en République démocratique du Congo, qui célèbre la fin de la domination coloniale belge, a même été annulé. Les autorités évoquent des raisons sécuritaires, mais aussi la situation politique tendue. politico.cd
Former residents of an Ontario, Canada, psychiatric facility have been given the green light to proceed with a class action civil suit against two psychiatrists who, for years, carried out torturous treatment programs. Given the nature of the torturous “treatment” residents were subjected to, one can only wonder why the named psychiatrists are not being held criminally responsible for the acknowledged abuses.
Justice Perell explained that “the three programs ... implemented by the doctors.... were torture and a degradation of human dignity.”
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the biggest church–state case of the term: Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer. Americans United gave a quick run-down of the opinion when it was released, but now it’s time to look ahead at what the decision means for the future.
Here's how GST will affect your dating game As India prepares for its midnight tryst with GST on Friday, your dating game may see a change come July, with pretty much everything you indulge in during your romantic rendezvous coming under the new tax regime.
GST will be India's 'economic freedom': Anil Ambani Ambani said the world has seen nothing like this before and in less than 48 hours, India will emerge as the biggest free and democratic market in the history of humankind. He also said there are moments in the life of a nation when history is made not in small steps of incremental gain but in giant leaps of ambition.
Only the brave will take on Air India: Anand Mahindra Media reports have speculated that Tata Group could buy a stake in Air India, which it owned before the carrier was nationalised nearly 70 years ago. Tata is yet to comment. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is to head a committee to decide the quantum of Air India disinvestment
Ice-free areas of Antarctica to increase by 2100: Study Ice-free areas may increase in Antarctica by 25 per cent due to climate change, leading to drastic changes in the continent's biodiversity, a study warns. They found the melting ice could create up to 17,000 square kilometre of new ice-free area across Antarctica.
Rare Siamese crocodile eggs found in Cambodia Conservationists have found a nest with 19 eggs from one of the world's most endangered crocodiles. It is boosting hopes for species threatened by poachers and habitat loss. Researchers believe only 400 adults still exist in the wild, the baby crocodiles will be raised at a conservation centre
Iraqi zoo gives rare glimpse of white lion An Iraqi zoo showed off a rare white lion cub to mark the animal's first birthday this week, as officials revealed that they hoped to welcome another of the rare big cats in the coming weeks.
NASA's quieter supersonic jet closer to reality The US space agency completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA's planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.
Yoga not as safe as thought: Study Yoga may not be as safe as popularly believed, say scientists who have found that the ancient Indian meditative practice may causes muscle and bone pain and even exacerbate existing injuries.
Moto Z2 smartphone with 64GB internal storage, 4GB RAM spotted online Lenovo-owned Motorola recently launched its Moto Z2 Play modular smartphone. It seems that the company is now gearing up for the launch of its flagship sibling – Moto Z2. The alleged handset has been spotted on GFXBench benchmarking website, hinting at some of its specifications.
Without sentencing, verdict not complete; case against Dossa abates The death of Mustafa Dossa before the pronouncement of sentence has resulted in abatement of his trial. His trial thus cannot be said to culminate into a judgment. Though the fact will remain that the court had found him guilty, however the further process of convicting and sentencing him having remained incomplete, no appeal can lie against an incomplete judgment, said retired high court judge Justice P D Kode.
'Taakis' razed, turned into swanky commercial bldgs Popularly known as taakis, single screen theatres of the Old City are fast becoming a rarity in the area south of Musi river. With several being either demolished, largely abandoned or turned into swanky commercial complexes, residents, who are film aficionados, have few options left in the Old City.
DVAC is probing gutka scam, Tamil Nadu CM says Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday informed the assembly that the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption is conducting a probe based on a communique sent by the Chennai city police commissioner to the home secretary on the sale of banned gutka by anti-socials, in connivance with a minister and some police officials.
Cheoki to turn into satellite station As the city prepares for Ardh Kumbh 2019, the facilities at Cheoki station of NCR would also be upgraded.An amount of Rs 50 crore has been earmarked for the purpose.
GST: Fishing nets, ropes to get costlier Thousands of fishermen are now worried about their livelihood as they have to invest more in fishing net and rope when the Goods and Service Tax (GST) comes into being on July 1.
CHICAGO – Chicago police, federal agents and prosecutors are launching a new initiative Friday to stem the flow of illegal firearms in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant gun violence that President Donald Trump says is at "epidemic proportions."
Trump's remark on Twitter came ahead of an announcement by Chicago police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the formation of the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office acknowledged that an additional 20 ATF agents have been sent to Chicago.
State police, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors will target illegal guns and repeat gun offenders, Chicago police said. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement Thursday night that "we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago."
Trump tweeted Friday morning that "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help." In January, he warned Chicago about its high number of homicides, saying on Twitter that he is ready to "send in the Feds."
Adam Collins, spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said the city wants federal help.
"Six months ago we made it clear that we would welcome additional federal support, and six months later we appreciate the 20 new ATF agents that are now arriving," Collins said in an email. But as the police department released figures that show the number of homicides, shooting incidents and shooting victims has dropped, Collins said "the progress CPD has made this year has happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested."
In fact, earlier this week, officials announced that the ATF had loaned the city a van outfitted with ballistic testing equipment to help police more quickly solve gun crimes.
Trump's latest tweet said there have been 1,714 shootings in Chicago this year. According to the police department, there have been 1,703 shooting victims. There were 1,935 shooting victims in the city during the same period last year. Also, there have been 1,360 shooting incidents so far this year — 224 less than were reported during the same period in 2016. So far this year, there have been 320 homicides compared to 322 by this time last year, according to the police department.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking Friday on the Fox News Channel's morning show, "Fox & Friends," said the Justice Department is "sending in additional gun investigators" to Chicago and that he has urged the U.S. attorney's office to prosecute gun cases aggressively.
"The police have been demoralized in many ways," he said. "In many ways, the policies in Chicago have not been working. Murders are way, way too high. It is critical for the people of Chicago's public safety that we begin to work together here and deport violent criminals that have been convicted. They need to not be a sanctuary city, they need to be protecting the people of Chicago from violent criminals."
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement late Thursday that federal and Cook County prosecutors plan to develop new strategies to prosecute gun crimes and offenders.
On Friday, Sessions said the Justice Department will send more federal prosecutors to "prioritize prosecutions to reduce gun violence."
Sessions last week pledged federal assistance to 12 cities to help them develop individualized, long-term strategies to fight violence. But Chicago was not among them.
The Justice Department said that's because Chicago was already part of a similar Justice Department program called the Violence Reduction Network, which began in 2014. Under that initiative, federal agents teamed up with their local counterparts to share resources and intelligence.
The Justice Department spokesman said the department will keep working with cities including Chicago under the new crime-fighting program, called the Public Safety Partnership. And he noted that dozens of additional ATF agents had "surged" into Chicago so far this year.
UAE Concerned About US House Passing 9/11 Bill The House bill will allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts The UAE has expressed concern about the US Congress passing the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ last week. The House bill, passed last Friday, will allow the families of […]
Mexico City. Throughout the country there are more than a thousand clandestine graves, in which 2,114 human skulls have been found, according to the report Violence and Terror: Findings on Clandestine Graves in Mexico , carried out jointly by various academic and human rights organizations.
During the presentation of the study, Jorge Ruiz and Mónica Meltis, two of the authors of the paper, explained that the methodology of the analysis consisted of gathering hemerographic notes on the subject and data sent by the prosecutors of several states of the Republic , via transparency requests.
Ruiz said that only 12 state procuratorial offices provided information on the clandestine graves found in their territories (Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Coahuila, Durango, Sonora, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Campeche and Quintana Roo), meanwhile the others stated that they had no data on them or were not obliged to provide them.
Another point that draws attention is that prosecutors of some of the entities with the highest levels of violence in the country, such as Guerrero, Jalisco and Chihuahua, are among those who denied having information on the matter. Likewise, the vast majority of state prosecutors did not give figures on how many bodies were identified, while federal agencies such as the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of National Defense provided incomplete numbers.
According to the study, the states with the largest number of clandestine graves are Guerrero (59), Jalisco (53), Chihuahua (47), Coahuila (45), Tamaulipas (40), Nuevo Leon (33) and Michoacán .
Also, the municipalities that concentrated the largest percentage of graves were Durango, Durango (21 percent); San Fernando, Tamaulipas (12 percent); Acapulco, Guerrero (6 percent); La Barca, Jalisco (5 percent); Juárez, Nuevo Leon (5 percent), and Taxco, Guerrero (4 percent).
The country’s decades-long, military-led crackdown on drug cartels has resulted in hundreds of “disappeared” people, with many that are missing or who have been murdered, having no known links to criminal gangs.
Over 250 human skulls were discovered at the Colinas de Santa Fe area, near the Veracruz harbor. Earliest traces of the mass grave were found in August by the Colectivo Solecito, a grassroots organization of relatives of Mexico’s disappeared. Ortiz, who is in charge of investigating the discovery, believes the skulls belong to victims of drug cartels. He is currently waiting for US $1.8 million dollars promised by the Mexican government to buy sample materials to identify the remains.
In March, Veracruz Attorney General Jorge Winckler Ortiz accused the Mexican Government of knowing about the mass grave of at least 242 bodies that were discovered in his state earlier that month.
“It is impossible for anyone to have realized what happened here, with the vehicles that were coming in and out, if not with the complicity of government authority,” Ortiz said and added: "I do not understand how else." HispanTV reports.
Despite having to depend on federal authorities who are believed to be “complicit” in the case, Ortiz continues to work independently with families to find answers.
"They give us just the bones but at least I have them. I can keep (them) somewhere ... I can put a flower on (them)," Colectivo Solecito member Martha Gonzalez told CNN en Español. "And I can know that they are really there and resting." Veracruz, one of Mexico’s most violent states, is home to armed conflict between drug cartels Los Zetas and Jalisco Nueva Generacion. Within the last year, over 120 graves of suspected drug war victims have been discovered, Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior . Many believe Mexico’s federal government is involved in both recruiting members for these cartels and hiding the bodies of victims. One day for example, policemen in Culiacan were filmed arresting eight young men before handing them over to what was believed to be an organized crime group. The incident echoed the circumstances that led to the disappearance of 43 students at the Ayotzinapa teachers' college, which sparked international outcry more than two years ago.
In 2016, more than 20,000 homicides were reported across Mexico, the highest level registered since Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in 2012.
Disappearances Still Rising in Mexico 2 Years After Ayotzinapa
“Despite this alarming estimate, Mexico has still not realized how serious was the situation of disappearances,” said CNDH state official Ismael Eslava, adding that over 80 percent of the cases were concentrated in 11 out of the 31 states in the country: Guerrero, Nuevo Leon, Veracruz, Zacatecas, Coahuila, Colima, San Luis Potosi, Durango, Jalisco and Sonora.
Most of them are related to confrontations between rival drug cartels, sometimes with the support of authorities, said the report, which based its conclusions on over 500 requests before state and federal courts to find their relatives.
Relatives welcomed the report as an improvement on the usual work of the CNDH, often criticized for reluctantly investigating the cases of disappearances or human rights abuses, especially when they involve local or federal authorities.
The relatives of the victims complained that they have to carry out the search themselves for their loved ones, as the state fails to guarantee justice. However, running such investigations usually exposes them to death threats and other risks.
Between 2007 and September 2016, a total of 855 illegal mass graves were found across Mexico according to the official estimate, while a staggering 30,000 people were reported disappeared, according to a report by the National Commission of Human Rights.
Despite a growing nonprofit sector, job training and social justice groups are in peril.
Oakland’s skyrocketing rents are affecting more than just low-income households. Now, the same nonprofit organizations that serve low-income people are beginning to suffer from the high-rents harming their clients.…
When I was invited to the mic at Justice Snow's storytelling Writ Large last year, I chucked the tennis ball for my dog, Zoe, and shouted yes, into the phone, without thought. Want to do this? Yes! Want to taste that? Yes! Wanna go there? […]
Now that October Term 2016 is over and the history of the Supreme Court has turned another page, there’s time to relax and savor the riches of a good book related to the court. Below is a list, by no means comprehensive, of mostly recent books. Included among them are books by the justices themselves, […]
"There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice.
Charles Roth is the Director of Litigation at the National Immigrant Justice Center. NIJC filed or joined amicus briefs in seven of the cases discussed below. Most deportation orders are entered in obscurity, without counsel, without even an immigration judge to do the honors. This term, immigration was on the front pages, and the Supreme […]
Justice for state abuse survivors: 6 July 2017 New Zealanders who were abused as children and vulnerable adults while in state care are calling on other survivors and supporters to join them at parliament on Thursday 6 July as they present an open ...
Ronnie Moran has had a unique life. His 49 years service as player, coach, assistant manager, caretaker manager and more included some of Liverpool Football Club s most successful eras and he became one of the most respected figures in the game. And his son, Paul, had a unique life. As a football fanatic, he was able to get close to the inner sanctum of the rampant red machine. He got on the team bus, in the dressing room, got behind the scenes at the famous Melwood training ground and even went to the chippy for the players! Now he wants to help preserve his dad's memories in a book that will do justice to a Liverpool legend. Mr Liverpool: Ronnie Moran: is the official life story of one of the most important men in the history of one of European football's giant clubs.
From growing up in the suburbs of his home city, he joined his idols on the football pitch as a player, helping them to promotion from the old Second Division before going on to win the league title as part of Bill Shankly s Anfield revolution. Moving into the backroom team he went on to serve under managers such as Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish, the club winning 26 of its 41 major honours while Ronnie was coaching. He even got to lead the Reds out at Wembley in 1992 as caretaker manager as his side won the FA Cup.
Moran's career was one of dedication, excellence and longevity as he completed 49 seasons on the staff in his various roles, working with some of the best players this country has ever seen. Written by Arnie Baldursson and Carl Clemente of the highly-respected website lfchistory.net, this book is packed with memories from dozens of those players as well as being a historical record of a career which is unlikely to ever be repeated at any top-flight club. Although he now suffers from vascular dementia, Ronnie's own recollections from across the decades are brought together, while his son provides stories and insight into a special time for the Morans and the club. With forewords from Roy Evans and Phil Thompson, and contributions from legends such as Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen, Bruce Grobbelaar and Jamie Carragher, this book will fascinate Liverpool fans. Backed by the club itself, no collection of books on the greatest figures in LFC history is complete without Mr Liverpool: Ronnie Moran.
[Episcopal Diocese of Northern California] A great movement doesn’t always begin with great big steps. And young people in the Diocese of Northern California are discovering that when it comes to racial reconciliation and environmental justice, the small steps they are taking may help others to understand what it takes to break down barriers and truly […]
What if you could decide who lives or dies? Based on the classic manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note tells the story of a high school student who acquires a notebook with a special power – writing a person’s name in the notebook results in that person’s death! Netflix has released the first … Continue reading Justice Is Coming Trailer: Death Note→
“He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Please share on social media. Print this entry
Grande figure de la vie politique française et féministe convaincue, Simone Veil, qui a porté la loi sur l'interruption volontaire de grossesse (IVG) et qui incarnait aux yeux des Français la mémoire de la Shoah, est décédée vendredi matin à 89 ans.
"Ma mère est morte ce matin à son domicile. Elle allait avoir 90 ans le 13 juillet", a annoncé à l'AFP l'avocat Jean Veil, fils de cette centriste historique attachée aux valeurs morales et républicaines.
Membre du Conseil constitutionnel de 1998 à 2007, Simone Veil s'était notamment illustrée en faisant voter en 1974 la loi portant son nom sur l'IVG. Elle était alors ministre de la Santé sous la présidence de Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.
Son difficile combat pour faire adopter cette loi -contre une partie de la droite- a fait d'elle, pour longtemps, la personnalité politique la plus populaire de France.
Née le 13 juillet 1927 à Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), Simone Veil est une rescapée des camps de la mort, où elle avait été déportée à 16 ans. Elle avait rencontré à Sciences Po Antoine Veil qui deviendra son mari.
Son décès a suscité une pluie de réactions unanimes dans toute la classe politique.
"Puisse son exemple inspirer nos compatriotes, qui y trouveront le meilleur de la France", a notamment tweeté le chef de l’État Emmanuel Macron. "En Simone Veil, la France perd une de ses plus éminentes figures", a-t-il ajouté dans un communiqué.
L'ancien président Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, qui en avait fait sa ministre, s'est, lui, dit "bouleversé", souhaitant que la "vie exemplaire" de cette "femme exceptionnelle", "reste une référence pour tous les jeunes d'aujourd'hui".
- Elle "reste immortelle" -
François Hollande a aussi salué auprès de l'AFP une femme qui "a incarné la dignité, le courage et la droiture", une des "grandes consciences" de la France, tandis que son prédécesseur, Nicolas Sarkozy a loué une femme qu'il a "admirée", "aimée" et qui "reste immortelle".
Pour la présidente du Front national Marine Le Pen, Simone Veil est "une femme qui aura incontestablement marqué de son empreinte la vie politique française".
Elle "appartient au meilleur de notre Histoire. Et son nom vivra dans notre gratitude pour toujours", a réagi le leader de La France insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
La maire PS de Paris Anne Hidalgo a fait savoir qu'elle comptait attribuer son nom à "un lieu marquant de la capitale".
Hors de la sphère politique, le Planning familial a notamment exprimé son "immense tristesse", tandis que le grand rabbin de France, Haïm Korsia a rendu hommage à une femme "déterminée et toujours digne". "Toutes les femmes la pleurent et lui disent leur immense reconnaissance", a salué la philosophe féministe Élisabeth Badinter.
- Présidente du Parlement européen -
Simone Veil avait commencé en 1956 sa carrière dans la magistrature, comme substitut à l'administration centrale du ministère de la Justice. Elle a été la première femme à devenir secrétaire général du Conseil supérieur de la magistrature (1970-74).
Entrée en politique en 1974, comme ministre de la Santé dans le gouvernement Chirac, elle le demeurera dans les trois gouvernements Barre, se voyant adjoindre la Sécurité sociale en 1977-78, la Famille en 1978-79.
Tête de liste UDF lors des élections au Parlement européen en 1979, elle avait renoncé à son poste ministériel pour présider le Parlement européen (1979-1982). Réélue en 1984 et 1989, elle siégera au Parlement jusqu'en 1993.
De 1993 à 1995, Simone Veil a été ministre d’État, ministre des Affaires sociales, de la Santé et de la Ville, dans le gouvernement Balladur.
Soutien de Raymond Barre à l'élection présidentielle de 1988, elle avait rallié Édouard Balladur dans la course à l’Élysée en 1995, puis soutenu Nicolas Sarkozy en 2007, se montrant très critique à l'encontre du centriste François Bayrou. Elle avait défendu le "oui" au référendum de 2005 sur la Constitution européenne.
En 2007, elle a écrit une autobiographie à succès "Une vie", dans laquelle cette ennemie de la langue de bois au fort caractère racontait son destin de rescapée des camps, son athéisme, son féminisme.
En 2008, elle avait été élue à l'Académie française et, en 2012, élevée à la dignité de grand'croix, plus la haute distinction de l'Ordre de la Légion d'honneur.
Lors de l'une de ses dernières apparitions publiques, elle était présente en octobre 2012 au côté de Jean-Louis Borloo au congrès fondateur de l'UDI. La première carte d'adhérent du nouveau parti centriste porte son nom.
Le numéro trois du Vatican, le cardinal George Pell, inculpé jeudi en Australie pour abus sexuels, a clamé son innocence avant d'annoncer son intention de rentrer en Australie pour se défendre, avec le soutien du Saint-Siège.
"Je suis innocent, ces accusations sont fausses", a martelé l'argentier du Saint-Siège dans une courte déclaration lue jeudi matin devant la presse au Vatican.
"L'idée même d'abus sexuel m'est odieuse", a-t-il déclaré, en dénonçant une entreprise "sans relâche de démolition de (son) image" durant l'enquête. "J'ai toujours été complétement cohérent et clair dans mon rejet total de ces allégations", a insisté le cardinal.
"J'ai hâte d'avoir enfin l'occasion d'aller devant un tribunal", a dit George Pell, en annonçant prendre un congé provisoire du Vatican. Il a consulté ses avocats et son médecin pour fixer la date de son retour en Australie, où il a été convoqué par le tribunal de première instance de Melbourne (sud-est) le 18 juillet.
"La procédure de justice m'offre désormais l'occasion de blanchir mon nom et de revenir ici à Rome pour travailler", a-t-il conclu.
Le Saint-Siège a pour sa part accepté "le congé" du prélat sans exiger sa démission, dans un communiqué particulièrement élogieux, soulignant "l'honnêteté" et "le dévouement énergique" du cardinal en charge depuis trois ans de réformer la gestion des affaires économiques au sein de la Curie (gouvernement du Saint-Siège).
Plus haut représentant de l'Eglise catholique en Australie, le prélat de 76 ans est le ministre de l'Economie du Vatican. Il est donc le plus éminent ecclésiastique mis en cause dans une affaire de ce type.
Il avait été interrogé à Rome par la police australienne en octobre.
"La police (de l'Etat) de Victoria a inculpé George Pell pour des délits d'agressions sexuelles anciennes", a déclaré à la presse le commissaire adjoint Shane Patton. "Il y a de nombreux plaignants liés à ces accusations".
L'officier n'a donné aucune précision sur les faits pour lesquels le cardinal est inculpé, ni sur l'âge des victimes présumées.
-'In dubio pro reo'-
L'avocat de deux hommes qui ont porté plainte contre Mgr Pell a affirmé que ses deux clients, qui souhaitent conserver l'anonymat, étaient "ravis".
"Cela a été très dur pour eux d'oser sortir du rang", a déclaré Ingrid Irwin au Melbourne Herald Sun. "Accuser quelqu'un qui pour certains n'est autre que l'adjoint de Dieu leur a créé beaucoup de problèmes."
L'annonce de cette inculpation coïncide avec la fin d'une longue enquête nationale portant sur les réponses institutionnelles apportées en Australie aux abus sexuels commis sur des enfants, finalement demandée par le gouvernement en 2012 après une décennie de pressions de la part des victimes.
La commission d'enquête royale ayant conduit pendant quatre ans ces investigations a recueilli des témoignages éprouvants de milliers de victimes.
Pell L'avocate présidant ces travaux, Gail Furness, avait annoncé en février que 4.444 faits de pédophilie avaient été signalés aux autorités de l'Eglise australienne et qu'entre 1950 et 2010, "7% des prêtres étaient des auteurs présumés" d'abus sexuels sur des enfants.
La moyenne d'âge des victimes était de 10 ans pour les filles et de 11 ans pour les garçons. Des 1.880 pédophiles présumés, 90% étaient des hommes.
Le cardinal Pell avait été entendu trois fois dans ce cadre et a reconnu devant la commission d'enquête avoir "failli" dans sa gestion des prêtres pédophiles dans l'Etat de Victoria dans les années 1970.
L'ecclésiastique avait été ordonné prêtre en 1966 à Rome, avant de revenir en Australie en 1971 où il avait gravi les échelons de la hiérarchie catholique.
Nommé archevêque de Melbourne en 1996, puis de Sydney en 2001, il avait été accusé en 2002 d'abus sexuels pour des faits présumés très anciens mais avait été innocenté par la suite.
Il avait été choisi en 2014 par le pape François pour mettre davantage de transparence dans les finances du Vatican.
Interrogé sur les soupçons pesant sur le cardinal Pell, le pape avait en août 2016 mis en avant la présomption d'innocence.
"Il ne serait pas correct de juger avant la conclusion de cette enquête", avait-il dit lors d'une conférence de presse. "Il y a des doutes, et +in dubio pro reo+ (le doute doit profiter à l'accusé). Nous devons éviter tout procès médiatique, un procès qui s'appuie sur les ragots."
L'ancien Premier ministre israélien, ex-, qui purge une peine de 27 mois de prison pour corruption, va bénéficier d'une libération anticipée et devrait être relâché dimanche, a indiqué son avocat jeudi.
"Le comité (de libération conditionnelle) a accepté tous nos arguments", a affirmé Me Shani Illouz à la radio publique israélienne. "Olmert sera libéré dimanche", a précisé l'avocat, soulignant cependant que le ministère de la Justice pourrait faire appel de la décision.
Chef du gouvernement de 2006 à 2009 et âgé de 71 ans, Ehud Olmert emprisonné depuis février 2016, est le premier ex-chef de gouvernement israélien à purger une peine de prison.
M. Olmert avait demandé une réduction de peine, mais aucune raison n'a été donnée dans l'immédiat quant à la décision sur une libération anticipée. Une déclaration sur l'affaire devrait être publiée ultérieurement.
S'il est libéré dimanche, il aura purgé les deux tiers de sa peine de prison.
Il avait démissionné du poste de Premier ministre en septembre 2008, la police ayant recommandé son inculpation pour pots-de-vin, mais il a exercé ses fonctions jusqu'à mars 2009, quand le dirigeant du parti Likoud, Benjamin Netanyahu, a prêté serment comme Premier ministre, un poste qu'il occupe toujours.
M. Olmert est le dernier Premier ministre israélien à s'être investi dans des négociations, intensives mais infructueuses, pour faire la paix avec les Palestiniens.
La décision du comité de libération conditionnelle survient quelques jours après son hospitalisation, le 20 juin, après des douleurs à la poitrine.
L'ancien Premier ministre a subi des examens médicaux dont les résultats ont montré qu'il était en bonne santé, et est retourné en prison.
- Vague de soutien -
Une photo de M. Olmert, hagard, dans des tenues d'hôpital mangeant avec des ustensiles en plastique a été partagée sur les réseaux sociaux, suscitant une vague de soutien au sein de l'opinion publique mais aussi de la classe politique et des appels ont été lancés pour sa libération anticipée.
Mais en dépit d'une libération anticipée immédiate, M. Olmert pourrait faire face à de nouvelles poursuites pénales.
L'ancien Premier ministre est en effet au centre d'une polémique, après une perquisition de la police ordonnée par le Parquet à la mi-juin dans les bureaux de son éditeur pour saisir les manuscrits de ses mémoires, qu'il est en train d'écrire.
La police a confisqué les documents dans les bureaux de Yediot Books, maison d'édition appartenant au quotidien à grand tirage Yediot Aharonot, considéré comme critique vis-à-vis du Premier ministre Netanyahu.
Le ministère de la Justice avait indiqué que certains des passages des mémoires de M. Olmert contiendraient des informations classifiées "susceptibles de porter gravement atteinte à la sécurité de l'Etat".
Selon le Yediot Aharonot, lors de sa perquisition, la police a aussi saisi le manuscrit d'un livre que le journaliste Ben Caspit, considéré comme un critique virulent de M. Netanyahu, est en train d'écrire sur le Premier ministre, ainsi que le manuscrit d'un ouvrage de l'ex-ministre de la Défense Moshé Yaalon, considéré comme un adversaire politique de M. Netanyahu.
Toujours selon le quotidien, la police a perquisitionné le domicile de l'éditeur qui travaille sur les mémoires de Ehud Olmert pour Yediot Books.
L'enquête se poursuit et le bureau du Procureur doit annoncer dans les prochains jours si M. Olmert sera poursuivi dans cette affaire.
La peine de prison, au départ de 27 mois, portait sur une peine de 18 mois pour des pots-de-vin touchés dans le cadre du pharaonique projet immobilier Holyland à Jérusalem lorsqu'il était maire de la ville, entre 1993 et 2003, et huit mois d'incarcération pour une affaire de fraude et corruption outre un mois pour entrave à la justice.
A New York jury has concluded that a tower located in Manhattan can be seized by the US government. The nonprofit organization that owns the building was determined to be in violation of US sanctions against Iran.
The Alavi foundation, the company which is a majority owner of the tower, is accused of concealing the knowledge that its minority owner and partner company, Assa Corp, was a front for Iran, according to Reuters.
Acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim said that
"for over a decade, hiding in plain sight, this 36-story Manhattan office tower secretly served as a front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of US sanctions laws. In this trial, 650 Fifth Avenue's secret was laid bare for all to see, and today's jury verdict affirms what we have been alleging since 2008: that through all the efforts to sanction and isolate Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, the owners of 650 Fifth Avenue gave the Iranian government a critical foothold in the very heart of Manhattan through which Iran successfully circumvented US economic sanctions," a Department of Justice press release stated.
The jury said that the US government had confirmed that the property was traceable, or involved in money laundering. The government wanted to seize the building, which may be worth close to $1 billion, in pursuance of benefiting people with legal judgments against Iran in relation to bombings or other attacks, Reuters reported.
From a Justice Department letter to the court, sent Wednesday: The United States respectfully responds to this Court’s order of June 21, 2017, directing the parties to state their positions on the need for oral argument in the above-captioned case. The United States concurs with appellant Pro-Football, Inc., that oral argument is unnecessary. The Supreme […]
Justice Ginsburg's opinion striking down a Colorado law that required wrongfully convicted individuals to prove their innocence in a civil compensation suit could impact government's seizure of property under asset-forfeiture laws.
Gov. Matt Bevin has restored the rights to vote and hold public office for 284 Kentuckians with felony criminal records, though he says the action is pending background checks by the state Justice Cabinet. State law strips people convicted of felonies of their civil rights to vote, run for office, serve on a jury and […]
At CARE, we seek a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and people live with dignity and security. This has been our vision since 1945, when we were founded to send lifesaving CARE Packages® to survivors of World War II. Today, CARE is a global leader in the movement […]
Deux plaintes viennent d'être déposées devant la justice française avec un objectif commun : faire la
lumière sur le rôle de la France dans le génocide des Tutsis au Rwanda. L'une, déposée par trois associations, vise la BNP Paribas ; l'autre, portée par l'association Survie, cible des responsables politiques français en poste à l'époque.
« Nous avions déjà porté plainte en 2015, mais cette plainte avait été rejetée, au motif, notamment, que des ministres ne peuvent être jugés que par la Cour de Justice de la République. Le Parquet avait alors considéré que la plainte ne visait que les ministres et le président de la République d’alors, mais il y a en fait énormément d’autres responsabilités qui sont à rechercher dans les cabinets ministériels ou chez les responsables militaires », explique Thomas Borrel, porte-parole de Survie. « Cette fois, en nous constituant partie civile, nous espérons bien pousser le Parquet à ouvrir une instruction », pointe-t-il.
Des armes livrées malgré l’embargo
La seconde plainte a été déposée le même jour par Sherpa, le Collectif des parties civiles pour le Rwanda et Ibuka France. Selon ces associations, BNP Paribas se serait rendu coupable de « complicité de génocide, complicités de crimes de guerre et de complicité de crimes contre l’Humanité » en permettant, en plein génocide, le financement de l’achat d’un important stock d’armes par le gouvernement rwandais, alors qu’un embargo avait été décrété par les Nations unies le 17 mai 1994.
Les ONG pointent du doigt la Banque nationale de Paris − devenue depuis la BNP Paribas −, qui selon elles auraient autorisé deux transferts depuis le compte détenu chez elle par la Banque nationale du Rwanda vers un compte au nom de Petrus Willem Ehlers dans la banque suisse UBP. Des fonds qui, selon Sherpa, auraient permis à Théoneste Bagosora – surnommé le « cerveau du génocide » et condamné à 35 ans de prison en appel en 2011 – d’acheter 80 tonnes d’armes, kalachnikovs et munitions, livrées les 16 et 20 juin 1994 à Goma, au Zaïre (actuelle RDC), avant d’être transportées vers le Rwanda voisin. Une livraison confirmée par le colonel Bagosora lors de son procès devant le tribunal international pour le Rwanda, qui a précisé que ces armes avaient servi à « aller donner un coup de main à Kigali ».
Une vente d’arme scellée aux Seychelles
Les transferts visés par la plainte contre BNP Paribas portent sur un montant global de 1,3 millions de dollars (soit l’équivalent de 1,1 millions d’euros). Le bénéficiaire, le Sud-Africain Petrus Willem Ehlers, dirige alors la société Delta Aero qui sert d’intermédiaire dans des ventes d’armes.
La vente d’arme a été finalisée aux Seychelles le 17 juin 1994, entre le vendeur d’armes sud-africain et le colonel rwandais Théoneste Bagosora. Celui-ci, bénéficiant de complicités, fournit un faux certificat de destination finale, afin de contourner l’embargo pesant sur le Rwanda en faisant croire que le contrat a été passé par le Zaïre.
Le simple fait que le montant soit si élevé, en provenance de la Banque nationale du Rwanda, aurait dû, à l’époque, alerter la BNP
« À l’époque, nous étions en plein embargo de l’ONU. Les ordres de virements de la Banque nationale du Rwanda auraient dû être particulièrement surveillés. D’autres banques ont d’ailleurs gelé les fonds de la BNR, notamment la banque Bruxelles Lambert. Le simple fait que le montant soit si élevé, en provenance de la Banque nationale du Rwanda, aurait dû, à l’époque, alerter la BNP », estime Marie-Laure Guislain, directrice du contentieux au sein de Sherpa. Sur la dimension pénale de la plainte, elle précise que la complicité de génocide ne suppose pas « d’intention génocidaire », mais « d’avoir su que l’acte allait servir à la commission d’un génocide ».
Une affaire connue depuis 1995
Pour l’instant, la BNP Paribas ne fait aucun commentaire. « Nous avons appris le dépôt de cette plainte par voie médiatique, nous ne disposons pas des éléments suffisants pour la commenter », se contente de répondre à Jeune Afrique Olivier Durbize, responsable de la communication du géant bancaire français.
L’affaire est pourtant ancienne. « Les questions de trafic d’armes malgré l’embargo ont été levées dès 1995 par Human Rights Watch, ce qui avait débouché sur la mise en place d’une commission d’enquête de l’ONU », souligne Jacques Morel, auteur de La France au cœur du génocide des Tutsi (éd. L’Esprit frappeur). Les deux versements visés par la plainte contre BNP Paribas, tout comme le nom de l’intermédiaire sud-africain, figurent d’ailleurs en toutes lettres dans le rapport de la Commission internationale d’enquête des Nations unies sur les livraisons d’armes illicites dans la région des Grands Lacs, remis en 1998 à Kofi Annan. À l’époque, la commission avait noté que le ministère français des Affaires étrangères, sollicité sur ce dossier, n’avait pas donné suite.
Les différents protagonistes assurent que l’initiative n’a pas été coordonnée. « Nous n’avons appris la volonté de Sherpa de déposer plainte contre BNP Paribas qu’en début de semaine », explique ainsi Thomas Borrel. Du côté de Sherpa, on assure également que la coïncidence n’est pas calculée. « Ce que cette plainte veut aussi montrer aux nouveaux élus, c’est l’importance de la loi sur le devoir de vigilance », insiste Marie-Laure Guislain, de Sherpa. Quelques semaines seulement après son arrivée à l’Élysée, Emmanuel Macron est désormais prévenu : les plaies laissées béantes en France par le génocide des Tutsis au Rwanda ne sont pas encore refermées.
SHERPA, N'EST PAS CE QUE LES "PANAFRICANISTES" NOUS FONT CROIRE.
SHERPA, association luttant contre les crimes économiques, vient de traduire en justice, une des grandes banques françaises, pour complicité de génocide au Rwanda. Cette banque aurait, pendant le génocide contre les tutsi, financé les achats d'armes qui ont permis de massacrer les Tutsi et les Hutu modérés, alors que le Rwanda fût en ce temps là sous embargo
C'est le lieu d'envoyer un camouflet à ceux qui intoxiquent les africains, que cette ONG, qui fait saisir les Biens de certains dirigeants africains seraient le bras armé de l'Etat français. Ces manipulateurs des consciences, oublient de dire, que SHERPA a plus de dossiers contre la France que ceux des africains. Quelques exemples :
SHERPA poursuit Sarkozy pour financement illicite venant de Lybie . SHERPA poursuit TOTAL, pour des malversations financières en Birmanie. SHERPA poursuit Bollore pour exploitation des ouvriers au Cameroun. SHERPA poursuit le cimentier LAFARGE, pour financement de terrorisme en Syrie. ....etc. Organiser les tables rondes rien que pour faire croire que C est l'Etat Français qui veut nuire à Obiang, Bongo, et Sassou, relève d'une malhonnête intellectuelle. Par Jules Marie Kemajou
Après les fuites du « Bild », la Fédération internationale a publié le rapport d’enquête sur l’attribution controversée des Mondiaux 2018 et 2022, organisés par la Russie et par le Qatar.
Les dirigeants de la Fédération internationale de football (FIFA) ont préféré se donner du temps pour réagir, évitant de communiquer « à chaud ». Il faut dire que l’instance mondiale risquait d’être prise dans la tempête alors que le quotidien allemand Bild a commencé à publier, lundi 26 juin, des extraits du rapport d’enquête sur l’attribution controversée des Mondiaux 2018 et 2022, respectivement à la Russie et au Qatar. Sur plusieurs jours, le journal va révéler, au compte-gouttes, des éléments de ce document confidentiel de quatre cent trente pages, rédigé par l’ex-procureur américain Michael Garcia.
Dénonçant la « fuite illégale » du Bild, la FIFA a décidé de publier ledit rapport sur son site en intégralité. Conservé dans un coffre par Marco Villiger, directeur juridique et secrétaire général adjoint de la FIFA, ledit rapport Garcia n’avait jamais été dévoilé par l’instance malgré un vote en ce sens du comité exécutif de la Fédération, en décembre 2014. « Il aurait dû être publié il y a longtemps », insiste le Nord-Irlandais Jim Boyce, ex-vice-président de la FIFA (2011-2015), qui militait à l’époque pour la parution du document.
Deux millions de dollars versés à une fillette de 10 ans
Selon les premiers éléments publiés par Bild, deux millions de dollars ont été versés au moment de l’attribution des Mondiaux « sur le livret d’épargne » de la fille — âgée alors de 10 ans — du Brésilien Ricardo Teixeira, alors membre du comité exécutif de la FIFA et aujourd’hui inculpé par la justice américaine de corruption. « Un ancien membre exécutif de la FIFAa félicité des membres de la Fédération qatarie et les a remerciés par mail pour un virement de plusieurs centaines de milliers d’euros » juste après l’attribution de la compétition au Qatar, le 2 décembre 2010, écrit Bild. Le journal ajoute que « trois membres exécutifs de la FIFA disposant d’un droit de vote [Ricardo Teixeira, l’Argentin Julio Grondona et le Paraguayen Nicolas Leoz] sont allés à une fête à Rio dans un jet privé de la Fédération qatarie de football avant le vote pour l’attribution de la compétition ». Quant à l’Aspire Academy, vaste complexe sportif qatari, et à son patron, Andreas Bleicher, ils ont également « été impliqués de manière décisive dans la manipulation des membres de la FIFA disposant d’un droit de vote ». Bild révèle également que Charles Botta, expert zurichois de l’immobilier sportif et époux de l’assistante de l’ex- président de la FIFA Sepp Blatter (1998-2015), aurait tenté d’approcher le Qatar pour ses affaires. La légende allemande Franz Beckenbauer, membre du comité exécutif de la Fédération de 2007 à 2011, et son homme de confiance, Fedor Radmann, sont également mentionnés dans le rapport.
Une attribution non remise en cause
Le 13 novembre 2014, la FIFA avait mis en ligne la synthèse réalisée à partir du rapport Garcia par le président de la chambre de jugement du comité d’éthique de la FIFA, l’Allemand Hans-Joachim Eckert. Ce dernier avait estimé, en substance, que si des « conduites douteuses » avaient bien accompagné le processus d’attribution du Mondial 2022 au Qatar, elles ne pouvaient être qualifiées de faits de « corruption » et remettre en cause le vote du 2 décembre 2010. « La décision du président de la chambre de jugement contient plusieurs présentations incomplètes et erronées des faits et conclusions détaillés dans le rapport », avait riposté Michael Garcia, qui avait vainement exigé la parution du document dans son intégralité. L’enquêteur américain avait démissionné deux jours avant que le comité exécutif de la FIFA ne se prononce pour la publication de son rapport « sous une forme appropriée » et « une fois que les procédures en cours concernant plusieurs individus [seraient] terminées ». Contacté par Le Monde en décembre 2016, le porte-parole de M. Eckert confirmait que, outre le comité d’éthique de la FIFA, « seul M. Villiger [le directeur juridique], et personne d’autre », avait « accès » au rapport. Or, selon nos informations, le document a été consulté, avant leur radiation, par Sepp Blatter et par son secrétaire général français (2007-2015), Jérôme Valcke. Qui avait alors, à la FIFA, le pouvoir de publier ce rapport ? « Hans-Joachim Eckert a la pleine autorité de décider de la publication du rapport Garcia, répondait alors au Monde son porte-parole. Néanmoins, aussi longtemps qu’il y a des procédures “éthiques” et la possibilité que d’autres soient ouvertes dans le futur, une publication du rapport est impossible à ce stade. Cela n’entraverait pas seulement les enquêtes du comité d’éthique, mais aussi affecterait négativement les droits des personnes concernées avant qu’une décision soit prise. » M. Eckert n’a guère eu le temps de donner son accord, puisque son mandat — tout comme celui de Cornel Borbely, le successeur de Michael Garcia à la tête de la chambre d’investigation du comité d’éthique — n’a pas été renouvelé par la FIFA lors de son 67e congrès, en mai.
Pièces du puzzle
MM. Eckert et Villiger ne sont toutefois pas les seuls à détenir ce rapport. A la suite d’une plainte de la FIFA, en novembre 2014, une copie du document avait été transmise au procureur suisse Michael Lauber. A ce jour, ce dernier a relevé cent soixante-dix-huit « annonces [d’activités suspectes] pour soupçons de blanchiment d’argent » dans son enquête, dont plusieurs volets concernent l’attribution des Mondiaux 2018 et 2022. Ceux qui ont eu accès au rapport Garcia sont catégoriques : le document ne contient aucune preuve déterminante qui pourrait entraîner la remise en cause du vote du 2 décembre 2010 sur le plan juridique. Mais les nombreuses pièces du puzzle sont assez compromettantes pour déclencher une tornade médiatique. « Cela dépend de ce que vous entendez par “smoking gun”, confie au Monde, sous couvert de l’anonymat, une source qui a lu le rapport. Une conclusion plausible peut être suffisante pour un journaliste, mais elle n’a pas toujours de valeur juridique, par exemple, devant une cour civile. Donc, on peut arriver à une telle conclusion, même si elle n’est pas suffisamment étayée par des preuves. » Une manière de dire que, dans cette affaire, la frontière entre l’éthique et le cadre légal est particulièrement ténue. A ce jour, treize des vingt-deux membres du comité exécutif qui ont participé au scrutin d’attribution du 2 décembre 2010 ont été soit inculpés, soit suspendus, soit écartés, soit avertis par la FIFA en raison du « Qatargate » ou pour d’autres dossiers. Source: lemonde.fr
(Beirut) – Allegations are emerging of Iraqi forces beating and unlawfully killing men and boys fleeing Mosul in the final phase of the battle against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today.
Four witnesses told Human Rights Watch that they saw Iraqi forces beat unarmed men and boys fleeing the fighting within the last seven days, and said they also obtained information about Iraqi forces executing unarmed men during this time period.
“As Iraqi forces are poised to retake the entire city of Mosul, allegations of unlawful killings and beatings significantly raise concerns for the civilians there who have been living under ISIS control,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Iraqi forces are promising liberation, but they need to find out what’s happening now and stop any abuse.”
One witness said that three Emergency Response Division and Iraqi Security Force (ISF) members on a key route for civilians fleeing the city boasted to him that they were executing captured unarmed men who were thought to be ISIS-affiliated instead of detaining them. The Emergency Response Division and ISF fighters, stationed three kilometers from the heaviest fighting in the Old City, said they made an exception for elderly men, the witness said.
Two other witnesses said they saw Iraqi uniformed soldiers pick at least six men and boys out of crowds of fleeing civilians at a checkpoint, beat them, and drive them away. They said they saw soldiers pick out another man, beat him, and then move him into a building they were using as a base. One of the witnesses said that soldiers later said they had killed him.
“I have heard of countless abuses and executions in this battle,” one witness said. “But what’s changed is that in this final phase fighters are no longer hiding what they are doing and are comfortable allowing us to witness the abuses first-hand.”
The same witness said that earlier this week, he heard three screams coming from a building being used by the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), after which fighters from the unit ushered him away. That afternoon in another neighborhood of west Mosul, the witness saw two CTS fighters take down the corpse of an alleged ISIS fighter that had been strung up to an electrical pole, and stone the body before taking a few photos of each other posing with it.
That night, he said, a CTS fighter also showed him a video of a severely beaten man who the fighter said was an ISIS prisoner. In the video the CTS fighter shoots and kills the unarmed detainee, he said.
In the days before, the man said he saw five Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint pick out at least 10 men over a period of an hour, beat them, and drag them toward a building the soldiers were using as a base. He said that one of the men the soldiers were beating was wounded and that he had arrived with his family from a front-line field hospital. The witness said that as he was leaving the area he saw the soldiers single out more and more men, beat them and take them away, but lost count of how many.
An article published in a Swedish outlet on June 28, 2017, by a Swedish journalist who was on the front-line says that a Federal Police officer boasted about decapitating at least 50 men with knives and beating others, with fellow officers watching, cheering, and sometimes filming. The article said the Federal Police backed up these claims with photos and videos.
Throughout the operation to retake Mosul, Human Rights Watch has documented Iraqi forces detaining and holding thousands of men and boys in inhumane conditions without charge, and in some cases torturing and executing them, under the guise of a screening them for ISIS-affiliation. In May 2016, Iraqi forces retook the city of Fallujah from ISIS, but in the operation committed horrific abuses, including executions, torture, and the disappearance of over 600 men whose bodies have yet to be found.
Human Rights Watch has raised concerns regarding allegations of ill-treatment, torture, and executions numerous times in meetings with Iraqi officials in Baghdad as well as with representatives from US-led coalition member countries. Human Rights Watch does not know of a single transparent investigation into abuses by Iraqi armed forces, any instances of commanders being held accountable for abuse, or any victims of abuse receiving compensation.
Iraqi criminal justice authorities should investigate all alleged crimes, including unlawful killings and mutilation of corpses, committed by any party in the conflict in a prompt, transparent, and effective manner, up to the highest levels of responsibility. Those found criminally responsible should be appropriately prosecuted. Extrajudicial executions and torture during an armed conflict are war crimes. Despoiling dead bodies and other outrages on personal dignity are violations of the laws of armed conflict and may amount to war crimes.
“Reports of unlawful executions and beatings by Iraqi soldiers should be enough to raise concern among the highest ranks in Baghdad and among members of the international coalition combatting ISIS,” Fakih said. “Iraqi officials should translate that concern into accountability for war crimes.”
The Supreme Court has set July 4 to rule on an application filed by National Democratic Congress (NDC) businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, seeking to temporarily halt his oral examination by the Attorney General over the GH 51.2 million supposed judgement debt paid to him by the state. The court, presided over by sole judge, Justice A.A. Benin, i ...
As Memphis prepares for a 4th of July weekend, members and guests of the Memphis chapter of the NAACP are still savoring some moments last weekend from the organization’s centennial anniversary luncheon — particularly from keynoters Melissa Harris-Perry, former MSNBC host and Wake Forest professor, and Harold Ford Jr., the onetime Memphis congressman who now works on Wall Street and keeps his hand in politically, also on MSNBC.
There were notable things happening before keynoters Harris-Perry and Ford took their star turns, of course. Local NAACP president Deidre Malone and MC Mearl Purvis kept things moving from the dais, and a series of local dignitaries, including Ford’s successor, current 9th District congressman Steve Cohen and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, had some trenchant things to say — Cohen about the perils of the Trump presidency, Strickland about the need to boost African Americans’ share of local business opportunities.
Arguably, though, the best crowd reaction early on was to remarks by longtime civil rights activist Jocelyn Wurzburg, who (along with Shannon Brown and Roquita Coleman-Williams) was one of three official co-chairs for the event, held at the East Memphis Hilton last Saturday and devoted to the theme “Reflecting on the Past, Remaining Focused on the Future: 100 Years of Civil Rights and Human Rights Advocacy.”
Wurzburg, recipient of numerous citations and the person for whom Tennessee Human Rights Commission's annual Civil Rights Legacy award was named, conflated two tales. The first was about being embarrassed in her early youth when her mother, without asking, signed her up as a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy; the second detailed her response, during a visit to New Orleans, when a resident of that city lamented Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s recent removal of Confederate memorials, including a statue of Robert E. Lee.
The New Orleans native insisted that Lee had been done an injustice, in that the Civil War, in which he led a Southern army, had not been done on behalf of slavery. Wurzburg countered that, “as a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, I can assure you it was.”
Harris-Perry, utilizing her erstwhile media chops, would wow the NAACP audience with a deceptively stream-of-consciousness rendition, including flamboyant hand-and-arm gestures, of what was actually a tightly organized dramatic presentation, aptly illustrated by a series of slides.
And along with her mastery of the medium (two actually; that of television and that of the lecture hall) came several provocative messages. One was both powerful and original: Taking off from her declaration that America had elected a president who was both “a racist and a pussy-grabber,” she formulated a convincing argument that racial domination, in its various forms, had depended on a distinctly physical domination of black women.
Slavery, which had involved the calculated and merciless separation of children from their mothers, had continued “through us,” Harris-Perry declared. To maintain the current stratified social system, she suggested, “Black women have to give birth,” and thereby to yield up to others “not only the product of our labor but our labor….The people who run this joint are pussy-grabbers.” That, she said, was “the reality of our wombs.”
Noting the incidence of black domestic servants in her paternal ancestry visi-a-vis the fact that her mother’s side was white and relatively privileged, Harris-Perry identified strongly with the former and with the idea of building “from the bottom,” a moral that she said would apply both to the advancement of the NAACP and the redevelopment of a dilapidated Democratic Party. “You always have to start with the least of these, literally, Jesus said. If you start at the top, you will miss so much. If you start at the bottom, you will miss nothing.”
Harris-Perry was the proverbial Hard Act to Follow, but Ford, who came next and last, managed to do just fine.
Professing that he was “glad to be home,” the former 9th District Congressman (who came within an ace of winning a Senate seat as a Democrat in 2006) executed an artful segue from Harris-Perry. Elaborating on the theme of “the power of women,” he recalled the importance of women teachers in his early education, extolled the helpful role played by “women in this district” in the development of his political career, and did some verbal doting on his 4 ½-year-old daughter Georgia.
Ford then shifted to the subject of change and to what he saw as a geometrically increasing demand for it in the society of today, treating the abrupt shift by American voters to Obama in 2008 and, even more precipitously, to Trump in 2016 as a case in point. The silver lining was the fact, as he saw it, that yet another political shift in a wholly different direction could happen, and relatively quickly.
“People want change, and they want it now,” he said, noting the pell-mell transformations of public technology, like the ever-escalating rise in photography via cell phone. He recalled being told two years ago that, within five years from that point, “97 percent of all the pictures in the world” would have been taken.
Ford closed on a note of optimism: “We’ve got to be daring and not afraid of change.” He quoted Babe Ruth to the effect that “Yesterday’s home runs do not win tomorrow’s ball games.”
In hour two of Here & Now's June 29, 2017 full broadcast, President Trump's revised travel ban is set to take effect Thursday night. We check in with NPR's Joel Rose about the expected effects of the new travel rules. Also, the Supreme Court's first term with Justice Neil Gorsuch came to a close this week. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg joins us for a look at Gorsuch's opinions and the future of the Supreme Court. And shares of Blue Apron began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, as the meal delivery kit company faces a number of challenges.
Since Burns accepted the position 22 years ago this month, he built the Center into a space for around 30 community groups to meet to a hub providing cultural programs, public policy and recreational programming, mental health and social services, and meeting space to more than 6,000 folks a week
Burns’ work at the Center will be remembered by many. His pioneering spirit that helped the Center through its early years during the onset of the HIV/AIDS crisis. His commitment to forge partnerships with allied progressive movements has left a mark on LGBT activism.
“Richard Burns has been the driving force of the Center for the past 22 years,” said Center Board President Bruce Anderson in a statement. “His vision, perseverance and dedication to the LGBT Liberation Movement secures his position as one of the more important social justice leaders in the country today.”
Toylab bloggers have made no secret that they are excited about the direction of Valiant Entertainment. With the launch of X-O Manowar comic, the upcoming Secret Weapons series and of course the upcoming live action Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe. We are thrilled to bring you an interview with one of the star's from Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe, Ciera Foster. Ciera Foster is playing one of my favorite Valiant characters, Livewire. When casting for Ninjak vs was going on I openly wondered if they would find an actress who could portray the mixture of intelligence and bad assness that is Livewire and with Ciera they just flat out nailed it. She is intelligent, beautiful, and a good person as well. On top of all that she brings a legit athletic and martial arts resume to the table. Toylab's Marvel Matt sought out Ciera on questions about playing Livewire and she kindly answered.
If you love Valiant, if you are curious about Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe then you need to read this interview. Ciera has an infectious enthusiasm for playing Livewire that has pushed my excitement for seeing her in action to 11. Divinity #0 - Ciera Foster - Livewire Cover As part of highlighting the Ninjak vs film Valiant is releasing a series of variant covers featuring the actors. The Ciera Foster - Livewire cover will come out with Divinity #0. It looks amazing!
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Ciera we are very excited to see you play Livewire in Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe. What was the first thing that excited you as an actress about playing Livewire?
Firstly, thank you and the enthusiasm is certainly mutual!!! Thinking how to respond to that question is a bit tricky because it's a loaded answer. - The first thing that comes to mind is hands down the simple fact that I am a comic book, cartoon, video game fan. Yes, ME!!! I grew up with my older brother Nick and my guy cousins Keion and Cedric and we practically lived (and still do I might add) all things superhero,... seriously! But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I love playing Livewire not only because of what she is "a superhero" but because of WHO she is. Livewire is a natural leader with boundless compassion yet yields uncompromising strength. She's both admired and respected and hates wrongdoing particularly at the cost of the defenseless. Daily I'm blown away at the blessing of playing this character whose values are so aligned with my own. She continues to amaze me. With my background in athletics and my previous and current endeavors in the humanitarian field I couldn't have written a better character for me to play, which is a credit to the founding creators and the current exceptional team of writers working for and with Valiant. Speaking of Valiant I legitimately cannot answer this question without acknowledging how thrilled I am (Not to mention damn proud) to be a part of the Valiant Universe. I know I could easily sound biased but the fact is the more anyone delves into Valiant the more apparent it will be that there is no other major super universe with as much diversity in character, craftsmanship, and artistry plus overall badassness. From Harbinger, to Faith, to Bloodshot to one of my favorites Britannia (Just to name a few). I mean seriously it doesn't get more diverse than that! No slight on other comic universes but Valiant isn't creating a league of its own, it already is one. People are just seeing it on a larger scale and that makes me pretty damn excited to be your Livewire.
Livewire is the star of a comic series coming out called Secret Weapons have you been able to get a preview of that?
Valiant does a phenomenal job of providing us plenty of material. But it's no secret as Valiant continues to get bigger and bigger that our CEO Dinesh Shamdasani and VP of marketing Hunter Gorinson have made secrecy Valiant's "Secret Weapon" (See what I did there...) - I have a bit of a preview on the way from H.Q. but the hard hitting stuff I get to read with everyone else, which is cool with me. I get to share the journey as a fan and with the fans. I think that's important as an artist especially when playing a comic book character to be along for the ride at the same pace. Otherwise it's easy to project stuff onto to the scene or character that hasn't happened. Which I feel does everyone an injustice. - I've certainly done my research and since the book is about the emergence of the Harbinger program, I'm just as excited as the Valiant fans.
Livewire may seem like the star but I believe my character has the honor of being somewhat of a guiding force for some incredible new characters that will be introduced. I personally love that. It is my understanding Secret Weapons conceptually challenges the notion of being a "misfit". I believe the world could use a little more of that these days.
The Bat and the Sun is producing the series how did you meet them and get the part as Livewire?
Ciera Foster playing Livewire in Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe
Pure hustle. I went to audition almost two years ago for a role I submitted myself for. It was an extremely small, low budget, independent project. I have managers and agents of course but I like to search out new creative challenges for myself (Maybe that is the artist/athlete in me) because the role was pretty controversial and the project as I stated didn't pay much. I'd just gotten back from holiday, when I received the callback and I was pretty tired but I love what I do and I don't miss auditions so I went happily and did my thing. - I didn't get the part lol!
Apparently, I just wasn't right for the role, but the director liked my energy and work. He looked at my resume and said, "I gotta ask you about your martial arts and athletic background..." I filled him and the assistant CD in. Per usual I started geeking out over my love for superheroes. He told he might have a referral for me. I left and that was that. I had no expectations. I actually forgot until months later I got a phone call from Aaron Schoenke to play Storm for Bat in the Sun's Wonder Woman vs. Wolverine. After about 5 minutes of me talking about Ororo Munroe's history a little Street Fighter, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and a dash of Mortal Kombat I got the part. Almost a year later I got another phone call out of the blue from Aaron, I remember his exact words.
"Are you available next month to work? ... There is a thing...Its cool....really cool....you'll like it...I can't tell anything else but if you interested I think you should audition for it....that's all I can say. I'll be in touch."
Yep, it was at that moment for exactly 17 seconds I thought I'd finally got the call to be a real life spy LOL. Auditioning for Livewire was actually not too far off. A week later I got another call then another with limited info. I was sent audition sides (1-2 pages of material) I was told to send them back the same day as soon as possible. Reading the small bit of information I was given about the character (Still almost nothing not even a mention of Valiant) I had to make choices based off of a combination of training and instinct. I even overrode some of the direction I was given. As I worked on it with my older brother Nick we let our knowledge and passion of superheroes guide us. We had so little info we worked on it all over about three hours straight (discussing it constantly) until it felt right. I sent in my taped audition to Aaron and Sean at Bat in the Sun. After that Bat in the Sun sent it to Valiant in New York. About ten minutes later Aaron texted me I got the part - No better feeling. I know I didn't know someone, there were no favors, just my hard work paying off step by step. The best woman got the job. I was (am) Livewire.
The Valiant Universe is full of bad asses and Livewire is one of the biggest bad asses of them all, what was it like to film action sequences in Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe?
What a fun question. It's literally a dream come true. As long as I can remember I've pretended to be a superhero, ninja, secret agent, etc. This is a lot cooler because its for real! I LIVE for this stuff! As you mentioned being such a powerful character one of the most powerful in the entire Valiant Universe especially as a woman is beyond exhilarating. When we film the fight scenes in particular I enter into a whole other zone. It's like a shark when they smell blood ...Was that too crazy LOL. I spent ample time on set not only on Livewire as a character but her characteristics in combat which is a huge part of the storytelling. As an artist but above all as a fan, I can tell a lot about character by the way they fight. I think a lot of comic hero heads would agree.
I fused my knowledge of the character with martial arts, artistry, and comics together to give Livewire an action personality that is so dynamic. I truly hope our fans and viewers enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed portraying it. Ultimately, a large part of Livewire is her fighting because that’s when you see how powerful she is when it all becomes unleashed. It gives me chills just thinking about it!
None of it would be possible without the involvement of the Valiant heads Dinish Shamdasani (CEO) and Joshua Johns (Dir. of Digital Media / Development) giving me the freedom to be an artist and working so collaboratively with Bat in the Sun. All of the fights in Ninjak Vs would be a nothing without the full cast and crew (Seriously you've seen our cast, athletes for days.) Credit is especially due to our director Aaron Schenoke he was born to create epic fight and action sequences. The direction let alone the vision of Aaron and his father Sean Schenoke combined is priceless. Lastly, but certainly not least our special affects composer Nikolay Zamkovoy is just a beast and creative genius that kills it every time.
You were an NCAA athlete and have trained heavily in martial arts. Can you go into you're training in martial arts and did that help you land this role.
My dad is a 7th degree black belt and Tang Soo Do master. He was also sparring partners with the legendary Chuck Norris. My father trained me in his dojo where I had to attend classes until I was about eleven. We also trained at the park outside of class. After a break my mother kept me involved in Taekwondo and Karate. When I was twelve I was recruited to play basketball. I traded theater club at the time for basketball practice in hopes of earning a scholarship. I played basketball for eleven years straight including competitive national and international summer leagues. As my skills developed I began to only play "up" on teams with athletes older than me. The same happened in high school by the end of my freshmen year I was on varsity already and playing in regional finals. Club or school ball I was always on regional, sectional, or state championship teams. I also played competitive softball two years, track and field for three years (undefeated), and was recruited to play volleyball at the collegiate level. More often than not I was the captain on many of my teams especially through college. I was a COAA California State Championship finalist. From there I was recruited to SoCal where I became an NCAA athlete and received a scholarship to play basketball.
Afterwards I returned to martial arts mainly Taekwondo testing for my black belt, while also pursuing my acting career. During both regular school and acting school I also attended two film fighting schools. I attended Theatrical Academy of Combat under the instruction of Dan and Jan Spreaker who choreographed the films Hook and Master and Commander. There I learned my film fighting foundation and weapons technique. My best weapons are the broad sword, quarter staff, and the cutlass. After that I attended Film Fighting LA under the instruction of Robert Goodwin who helped train Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man. There was a big emphasis of the three points of Shaolin Kung Fu Martial Arts Method which I fell in love with. The school incorporated several art forms of camera fighting, stunt work, wrestling and firearms. I've also had to do various training for a variety of roles and I still take classes and workshops. I will never stop learning and improving, I love this expression of the body and I'm blessed with the physicality to do something dynamic with it.
What does it feel like to join the ranks of Super Heroes? Playing Livewire makes you into a role model how does that change your mindset?
Playing Livewire doesn't change my mindset in regard to being a role model its quite the opposite, it affirms it. I've always had something inside of me pushing me to help others and to inspire. Its simple really, acting is my passion but helping others is my purpose. As I reflect on my career and life up to this point it adds up to this moment, this platform. When I was in college I was a paid activist for the CAA California Teachers Association I fought for educational rights, teacher rights and fair tuition costs. I was one of three student activist ambassadors hired by the CAA to represent SQE Students for Quality Education in which I was trained on activism techniques and school reform. My job was to bridge the gap between legislation and student rights.
In athletics as an NCAA athlete I was the captain and placed in charge of the team community service out reach programs. As an artist I've been to Haiti as an ambassador to Artists for Peace and Justice founded by writer/director Paul Haggis. I'm also an ambassador for the Water Underground Project and supporter of Children International. Now more than ever I feel these experiences have been part of a greater purpose which supersedes fame and popularity and has everything to do with passion. I say all this only to make the point that now I am Livewire, I am just getting started. Be it a student athlete captain, activist, ambassador, acting class, or even growing up at home I've always been held to a higher standard. Livewire just raised the bar. I'm apart of something much bigger than myself. As you stated I realize that makes me a role model, especially for little girls and young women. Challenge Accepted.
There have not been many black female super heroes in live action media? Halle Berry comes to mind as Storm in X-Men but mind is drawing blanks on others. At any rate it is a very small club of actresses that you are joining, does that add meaning to portrayal of Livewire.
I know what this means and I don't take it for granted. I'm humbled and honored, I think about it daily. People write me and post things about me regarding that very point. It's a blessing and a privilege. I always wanted to be a superhero but besides Storm there were no other heroes in all of the great universes that looked like me. It was a bit disheartening as a kid. Naturally, I assumed I'd play Storm if there ever were a Strom Origins film developed. This was my goal. By the way Alexandra Shipp is killing that role. But I realize now I was only thinking at the level of what I was shown possible. In the emerging age of the female lead heroine / superhero and with me as Livewire as a lead female superhero of color I take great pride and happiness in knowing that girls and boys of all races and backgrounds will see me and other upcoming heroes, and know that anything is possible. The best part is one day it won't even be a thought and the word "Black" or "Female" hero won't be a big deal. We will all just be superheroes from all walks of life representing everyone. That said let me clearly say in this moment in time I'm extremely proud to hold the torch for both female heroines and heroes of color until the goal of visibility amongst both is reached.
What is the future of Livewire? We know that Valiant has a variety of film projects in the future. Will Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe lead to role in those projects?
All I can say is that I'm blessed to be a part of something very special. I'm the face of Livewire for the first time, ever. To be so well received playing a character that was seemingly physically designed for me and virtually my whole life has been preparing me to play is pure joy. I'm certainly enjoying every minute of it. Since my character reveal and trailer premier/panel discussion at NYC Comic Con reception and the over all presence of this remarkable character continuing to expand. As you noted for the first time since the dawn of Valiant a series highlighting Livewire is being released now in Secret Weapons. That's major. Additionally, you mentioned its no secret Valiant is developing films. Eric Heisserer the Oscar nominated screen writer for Arrival not only wrote Secret Weapons but is writing the Harbinger film as well. To me what that says for not only the future of my character but the future of Valiant Comics and comics period is not lost on me. Playing Livewire as an artist (Especially a woman) being considered a fan-favorite character and being a fan myself means the world to me. I would love to play Livewire in the Harbinger films. I am Livewire. I was born to do this. I also look forward to continue to expanding and growing with the fans. We have the best fans hands down, period. I feel we are in this journey together and I mean that with everything in me. - Ninjak is something special, the Valiant Universe is special. The fans are beyond special. Valiant Entertainment / Valiant Digital are doing amazing things in both entertainment and comics. Valiant is so creative they plan things out far in advance. I think we will just have to stay tuned to see what unfolds.
What is the coolest moment you have had at a Convention since becoming Livewire?
When Bobby Leet a father of two recognized me walking around Comic Con NYC during my press day. The trailer and character reveal were not until the following day but he was such a big Valiant fan that he already knew who I was and asked for a picture. That memory sticks out to me as clear as day. He was the first one, we still follow each other on Instagram. By far to me the most impactful moment was the next day at the trailer premier and panel discussion. A guy (granted he was dressed as Armstrong lol) came up to me with tears in his eyes. He said he'd grown up reading the original Valiant Comics when he was a kid. He was so overwhelmed he could barely talk. He said Livewire was one of his favorite characters and he was emotional because I was everything he'd imagined her to be and more. The man said my being Livewire and the entire Ninjak Vs. experience was overwhelming and surreal for him. He assured me his tears were that of joy. I could feel his emotion then and now. I gave him a hug and thanked him. I still have the picture we took. I have many incredible moments with Valiant fans but that one will always be in my heart. It was at that moment that I truly realized what it meant to be and "Stay Valiant".
As you can Ciera is already a real hero and doing great things with this role I recommend checking her out on social media and her website. Also look for her at Cons as I expect her to be going to a few.
Marvel Studios /TV has announced that Inhumans will be a new show appearing on ABC and will premiere in fall of 2017. The series first 2 episodes will be shot in Imax Cameras and will debut in movie theaters across the country.
Trailer 1: There are still a few things that worry me about this. However they do look better in motion. I am not seeing much use of Powers either and I think that would be something you would sneak into the trailer. I also think they need address why Blackbolt can't speak. Yes, many of Toylab's readers are experts on Blackbolt but he is still pretty unknown outside of Marvel fanboys.
Synopsis: The Inhuman Royal Family remains isolated in their amazing technological city of Attilan. Attilan is capable of flying and has remained hidden from human eyes by resting on the Moon. The powerful and silent ruler of the Inhumans Black Bolt is challenged by his brother Maximus. Maximus wants the Inhumans to go to Earth and take their rightful place as its rulers. When denied by Blackbolt, Maximus leads a coup that sees Black Bolt and a close group of followers hiding on Earth where they find a new purpose.
Background: The series will not focus on the Inhuman characters in Agents of SHIELD (Though it would not surprise me if they appeared). Instead the show will focus on the classic Inhuman characters of the Inhuman Royal Family. The show will be set in the modern day and will be set both on Earth and the Moon. The addition of the Moon as a set means that Attilan and the Blue Side of the Moon will very likely be a setting for the show.
The show / film showing with Imax will be the first time that a show and Imax have joined in such away. The Marvel press release as posted on Marvel.com states:
ABC, IMAX and Marvel Television also intend to work together to create a joint marketing and promotion plan for the series across their proprietary media platforms--which would be the first such cross-platform marketing launch of a television series. Today’s agreement also marks IMAX’s first time as a financing participant in a TV pilot and series.
Major news in the Marvel press release was on the focus of the series:
Marvel’s "The Inhumans" will explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.
This should mean that all of the Inhuman characters will be on the table for Agents of SHIELD and this new Inhumans show.
I think it is safe to say that Inhuman's film has officially been canceled and this show is a replacement to tell some of the same story that was planned for the film. There has been speculation building for years on what Marvel will end up doing with the Inhumans and now we finally know.
What do you think? Are you excited? Disappointed? Please let me know.
Pictures The first picture of the Cast was released fans noticed that Black Bolt did not have his mask which is his iconic look. A user of ComicBookMovie.com named Seon. Created this edited version of the picture. I think this looks so much better and there is not reason why Marvel vs ABC could do something similar.
Teaser Video: First teaser does not show any characters but we do hear the voices and learn about the issues that the group will face. It sounds like some of the series Inhuman (After terregenisis cloud) storylines could be mined here. Though it will be different because Blackbolt left the Royal Family during that storyline and here he is very much in place as the ruler of the group. The voices in the narration are one male and one female. The male is certainly Maximus the Mad as seems to be plotting the overthrow of his brother and calls for the Freedom of all Inhumans. He talking to a female who says what he is saying is treason. I doubt that is Medusa, my guess is that it is Crystal. Overall really like this teaser, its very short but sets the mood. Really wish they had just gone this route instead of the stiff looking Entertainment Weekly shoot.
Pictures and Posters from Series:
Actual Casting Call Notes for Inhumans:
From the Hashtag show the Casting notes for the Inhumans has been released. Keep in mind that the names for the characters coded. However, if you know anything about the Inhumans its pretty easy to decode.
Source: The Hash Tag Show
It generally looks like they will be sticking to the classic looks of the characters: Toylab Bloggers added the suspected character names to the character descriptions so that those are not official.
Broderick: Male. 30-40. Caucasian. Can say volumes with just a look. Strong, thoughtful and private, he’s unaccustomed to being questioned or feeling a need to answer to anyone, to an extent that can verge on arrogance. Series regular.
Marjorie: Female. 30-40. Caucasian. An elegant and intelligent advisor to her husband, she struggles to find her place outside of their relationship, as others tend to view her as just a pretty face. Strong and resourceful, she’s not afraid to break the rules when the situation demands it. Series regular.
Maximus the Mad: Marty: 30-40. Caucasian. Broderick’s younger brother; he is intelligent, charming, and articulate. He comes across as a man of the people but secretly covets power. Series regular. Karnak: Kevin: Male. 30-40. Open. Slight of build, his mind is his greatest asset. Always prepared with a plan, his outlook on life is the glass is always half-empty and often cracked and dirty as well. Though his outlook can be grim, he has a droll, dry sense of humor. Series regular. Gorgon: Grady: Male. 25-35. Open. Impetuous and brash, he has serious impulse control issues which frequently get him into trouble whether its women, booze, or fighting. He loves life and lives in the moment for better or worse. Series regular. Crystal: Christine: Female. 18-25 to play 18. Caucasian. Soulful but still learning the ways of the world, she has the arrogance of youth. Impetuous and independent she is also deeply devoted to her family. Series regular. Triton: Timothy: Male. 25-35. Open. SFXMU required. Supremely athletic. The ultimate picture of cool. He’s calm under pressure and willing to do anything to get the job done.
Sir Kent's thoughts on the Inhumans Thoughts on the Inhuman Show and Casting from our infamous Guest Blogger Sir Kent!
The Internet and comic geeks alike were all abuzz this week over the MOSTLY confirmed news that MARVEL is planning a GARGANTUAN (LOVE using such words) and ambitious introduction for a group that had been first reported to be D.O.A. The news of THE INHUMANS FINALLY getting not only a big screen, I-Max only treatment but, being tied into a T.V. series was not only enough to make me fuck a duck but about as overdue as this month's Netflix membership is from me (Don't worry bitches, I’ll get to you!). Speaking of ducks, a very brief history of The Inhumans. They were created by way back in 1965. Until recently, they never really had a long running comic of their own. They just kinda showed up at major events throughout Marvel history and much like the Terrigen Mist that gives them their powers, disappeared again. They were originally genetically enhanced humans that had been experimented upon by an alien race called The Kree.
(If you don't know who they are, you ain't a fan! And SHAME ON YOU!) The Kree created the Terrigen Crystals as a way to not only bring out and modify any hidden ability each person may have had but, the ultimate goal was to have them blend into different races throughout the galaxy and wait for orders to try and take over. Which explains their unique and individual appearance. I could go on and on because of their sudden resurgence of popularity thanks to A.O.S. (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
But I will spare you that because the BIGGEST question of the week is HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK??? Marvel...by the way BRA-F'BEEP'IN’-VO MARVEL! This is an endeavor that has NEVER been done before and if executed correctly, could spell a new way of movies and T.V. for years to come. Marvels plan is to have The Inhumans have a big screen run only only I-Max or I-Max 3-D screens. THEN spin that into a T.V. series.
This is simply GENIUS and ballsy thinking but, the story, the writing and the casting has got to be about as balls on as it was for DEADPOOL! Which brings me to the gist (Dirty but proper English term! Ya GOTTA love those, don't you?) WHO WILL PLAY THE ROYAL FAMILY??? This in it of itself is a HUGE problem because you have a bunch of start who think they are “TOO GOOD” to appear on the small screen! I said it once before and I’ll say it again.
If the great Samuel muthuf'BEEPin’ Jackson can appear TWICE on A.O.S. then NONE of you muthuf'BEEPa’s have an excuse! Except for being dick’s...thats always an excuse. Here is what I'm thinking should be the short list of consideration for the key members of The Royal Family (Of Inhumans. Not THAT Royal Family. DIPSH'BEEP!)
For the role of KING BLACKBOLT the first that comes to mind would be Vin Diesel BUT that dumbfuck probably would be one of those dicks that wouldn't do T.V.! I could see that so my next choice would be Jessie Williams of GREY’s ANATOMY fame. Just because, physically, he fits the role to a t. It adds a certain level of color so that this won't turn into FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. (Or as I call it, The Oscars all over again! HAH! Could there BE a cast anymore white? Oh wait...trump. I’m sad again)
My choice to play CRYSTAL would be Gillian Jacobs of COMMUNITY fame because HELLO. I mean LOOK AT HER! SHE IS CRYSTAL! Put her in something skin tight, add special effects and BOOM!
My choice for QUEEN MEDUSA would be Christina Hendricks of BAD SANTA 2 and MAD MEN. Tits, ass and red hair. Need I say more?
An obvious choice to stay on that “Not too white” line of thinking is my boy KARNAK. Interesting note about Karnak. He wasn't introduced to the terrigen gas like everybody else. His mother wanted him to build his abilities naturally. So she sent him away to a monastery where he mastered his sensory abilities and martial arts prowess. Now, he can see weakness and flaws in anything and exploit it with his skills.
He is a natural tactician as well. My choice to play him could only be Daniel Wu of INTO THE BADLANDS fame. If you ain't checked out this A & E series, you really need to.
An easy pick for GORGON who is arguably the second strongest of the group would have to be Jason Momoa of STARGATE ATLANTIS and JUSTICE LEAGUE fame. He would play the shit of of a guy who could cause seismic tremors with his cloven hooves.
So there you have it. There is my bright ideas for who would fill out this cast well and hopefully wouldn't act like a bunch of dicks making the transition from the big screen to T.V. What do you think?
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Here is the information on the prior Inhuman Movie.
Inhumans Movie - News, Casting, Speculations, and Rumors
Scheduled Release date: Nov 2nd, 2018
Description: Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was quoted saying this about the movie: “November 3, 2018 will introduce dozens of characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe," ... "We really do believe the Inhumans can be a franchise or a series of franchise unto themselves. They have dozens of powers and an amazing social structure. With our 20th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we wanted to continue to refine what that universe is about." Source Marvel.com
Update Oct 9, 2015: No More Inhumans Movie?
There is a rumor circulating NYCC and has been reported by Bleedingcool news that the Inhumans film may no longer be on Marvel's slate. Some speculate that has to do with a disagreement between Marvel's film and TV divisions. Others conclude that this means that Marvel may be working on a deal with Fox to bring over the X-Men franchise. For the moment this is all very much rumor and speculation. Bleedingcool does insist though that it has reliable sources to this rumor. It would be unclear if true what this would mean for the plot of Agents of SHIELD. Agents of SHIELD has built up the ideas of Inhumans for the past 3 years. Would this give the show free reign introduce the Royal Family or does it put their future seasons in a quagmire?
Update: Oct 12, 2015 Devin Faraci addressed the rumor circulating from the BleedingCoolNews article. According to him there is no delay or cancelation of the Inhuman film.
Just talked to one of my Marvel sources. Said if INHUMANS was canceled no one would be more surprised than Marvel Studios.
Breaking: Within the hour, Trump once again showed he is mentally unstable by insulting the married co-hosts of a daytime morning talk show. Yes, this comes from the President of the United States of America. This is not normal. This is stuff that a mean, spoiled 14 year old with no filter would say:
If you want to know what "He just set the Internet on fire" means, go to any social media site right now. (And it's good to see Melania's anti cyber-bullying initiative is going very well.)
Edit: Even Fox News called the comments "shocking":
Every website of every Texas appellate court has been down for over 24 hours. The official word is a "power outage." It should be noted there was an epidemic of world wide hacking incidents this week via ransomware. Hmmmm.
A young couple decides to shoot a youtube video in hopes of it going viral. The plan: Have her fire a gun at him while he is holding a heavy book which will stop the bullet. The result: The bullet goes through the book and he dies. The gal, 19 and pregnant, tweeted this before the incident:
This was floating around yesterday: Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and Sen. Ted Cruz finally posed for a picture together. That's freaky.
Stay with me here. I guy in Texas gets thrown in the Brownsville PD jail. A detention officer then says he was assaulted in the jail by the guy. Guy gets charged with Assault on a Public Servant. Guy says he didn't do it but agrees to plead guilty to get probation. The guy then screws up the probation by not going to drug rehab and is sentenced to prison. Four years into his sentence it is discovered that the "incident" was videotaped by police, the video was not turned over when the case was pending, and the video shows the guy did not commit any assault. The police had lied and suppressed evidence. He is released. He then actually gets Texas' highest criminal court to declare him "actually innocent" -- something which is next to impossible to do. He then files a civil rights lawsuit against Brownsville and wins $2.3 million. This week, the ridiculous Fifth Circuit overturned the verdict. Why? Since the guy originally pled guilty that kills his claim. If you are confused, welcome to the club.
Who was the judge who authored the opinion? The guy below who is semi-retired. Before being appointed as judge, he was in private practice for almost thirty years working on "estates, trusts, and taxation." Yes, this is the guy who can make decisions that concern the complicated and often corrupt world that is the criminal justice system.
Newspaper lede: "Waller County district Judge Albert McCraig on Wednesday dismissed a perjury charge filed against Trooper Brian Encinia in connection with the death of Sandra Bland." Actually, the prosecutor asked the charges be dismissed. I don't know why.
Yesterday it was announced that there were no drugs or alcohol at the party or in the system of Jordan Edwards -- the teenager who was murdered by a Balch Springs officer as the kid was a passenger in a car that was driving away. Question: What difference does it make?
Shoutout to the WBAP crew for having the Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy on this morning and then, once he was off the phone, joking that the paper only had one reader. Specifically, it was Brian Estridge.
And Another (Michigan). It might just be a court update.
This is amazing. The White House gives a daily list of the news they think you should read. Thank you, comrade.
I haven't read the story, but what must your musical accomplishments be in order to officially be referred to as a "rapper"?:
Today we celebrate world-renowned poet, statesman, and human rights activist Victor Hugo. The final chapter of his epic novel Les Misérables was published on this date in 1862.
Before he turned 30, Hugo was already an established poet, dramatist, artist, and novelist. Today's Doodle depicts some of his best-known works, including Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) (1831) and the poetry collection Les Contemplations (1856). Between those milestones, Hugo began his legendary novel Les Misérables, about social injustice, redemption, and revolution.
By the time Les Misérables was published in 1862, Hugo had been exiled almost 10 years for his political views. During that time, he produced three poetry collections, plus numerous books about social and economic disparity, including Les Travailleursde la Mer (Toilers of the Sea) and L’Homme Qui Rit (The Man Who Laughs). Hugo later founded the Association Litteraire et Artistique Internationale to support artists’ rights.
Hugo appeared on a French banknote and is honored with streets, parks, hiking trails, and statues in most large French cities, as well as in Guernsey, where he lived in exile. Today's Doodle is a fitting addition to the long list of tributes to the venerable Victor Hugo.
One day, I thought, I’d write a book about all the amazing games I’ve played. And in my Holy Book of Amazing Games I’ve Played, the ones that focus solely on fisticuffs wouldn’t even get their own page, never mind a chapter. I just don’t find them that compelling. Yeah, beating up your mates once […]
OG n Sharon are joined by C.J. Page whom has continued tirelessly to advocate for the rights of prisoners n the state of Mississippi. Thr MDOC has gotten away with the mistreatment n abuse of inmates housed within the bowels of its system. Strides are being made to bring an end to this Atrocious n Corrupt Beast. Join us as we update the community or current events n efforts n provide intel on how to join the fight n push for better living conditions n treatment within MDOC....Tune in with the realest show on Blog Talk Radio..The Movement720. .
Its a cold January in the Chesapeake Bay area, but Cool Down Café manager Val Deniston has plenty to sweat overlike catering a book club event, testing recipes for her Granddads cookbook, and catching the author of a deadly tale of murder. . .The last thing Val needs in her life is an unsolved murder, especially when the victim, an actor famed for impersonating Edgar Allan Poe, happens to be dressed exactly like her Granddad. To keep an eye on Granddad, whose latest job takes him to the home of Rick Usher, a local author inspired by Poe, Val gets herself hired as a cook in Ricks House of Usher. When she discovers the actor wasnt the only one doing an impersonation, separating the innocent from the murderous becomes a real-life horror story. But Val must decipher a killers M.O. sooner rather than later . . . or she can forget about finding poetic justice.
Let's see if we can catalogue all the horrendous invectives Mika throws at the President of the United States: mentally ill, in a way; narcissist; not well; ignorant; does not believe the rules apply to him. Then she suggests that he's guilty of "obstruction of justice" or "abuse of power." Why? Because he responded in kind to her and her beau? Is that why? Is it all because someone dared to answer the day-after-day lies and vitriol they have thrown his way? Huh? Mr, President, you've definitely touched a nerve! Good for you!
Antigovernment extremists and militia-types looking to bash federal law enforcement just got a new drumbeat – one to replace the worn-out tropes arising from the 1990s tragedies at Ruby Ridge and Waco.
The new theme-card is this week’s indictment of an FBI agent – a member of the bureau’s elite Hostage Rescue Team – who is accused of an attempted cover-up during last year’s fatal shooting of an occupier at an Oregon wildlife refuge.
In a five-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in Portland, W. Joseph Astarita is accused of three counts of making false statements – lying to supervisors – and two additional counts of obstruction of justice.
“For an extremist movement whose bread-and-butter is conspiracy theories about governmental violence, overreach and deception, this case is like a lottery windfall,” Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, told Hatewatch.
The recent indictment of an FBI agent for lying will fuel fair-right conspiracy theories over the justified shooting of antigovernment activist LaVoy Finicum, seen here during the occupation of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (AP Images/Rick Bowmer)
Astarita, a 40-year-old FBI veteran, was part of its specially trained hostage rescue squad deployed early last year to Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the illegal, armed takeover of the federal preserve by Ammon and Ryan Bundy and assorted militia and antigovernment extremists.
The Oregon siege came two years after an earlier standoff at Bunkerville, Nevada, involving the Bundys and their father, Cliven Bundy, and assorted militia players. They subsequently were charged with pointing firearms at federal agents involved in a failed attempt in April 2014 to roundup Bundy’s cattle for nonpayment of federal grazing fees.
During the 2016 siege in Oregon, occupier Robert LaVoy Finicum of Nevada was fatally shot by Oregon State Police as they and FBI agents attempted to stop three vehicles and arrest their occupants driving away from the refuge.
His death – caught on FBI surveillance video -- almost immediately seemed to further galvanize factions in radical right, antigovernment circles.
Astarita is accused of firing two shots that both missed as Finicum got out of his truck and attempted to reach for a gun after plowing the vehicle into a snow bank at the police roadblock.
After the shooting, the indictment alleges Astarita lied to three FBI supervisors and failed to disclose that he fired his weapon to the FBI’s Shooting Response Team.
The indictment was returned after an 18-month long investigation by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice working with detectives from the Deschutes County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office.
Billy J. Williams, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, said the alleged cover-up doesn’t call into question earlier investigative findings that Oregon State Police were fully justified in using deadly force against Finicum.
But already there’s evidence that antigovernment, militia extremists aren’t buying that official U.S. government line and, instead, are pointing to the Finicum shooting and its alleged cover-up as examples of what they call federal government excesses and corruption.
“What did I tell you?” Washington state militia organizer Gavin Seim posted on Facebook after the indictment was announced. He disputed claims by the FBI and the Oregon State Police that the shooting of Finicum was justified.
“The diversion indictment is not about justice,” Seim ranted, “rather it is designed to give them the narrative so they can spin it as if they are accountable.”
Finicum’s widow, Jeanette Finicum, a featured speaker at last weekend’s “Red Pill” gathering of assorted antigovernment extremists and conspiracy theorists in Montana, claims the federal cover-up in her husband’s death is much broader.
After the FBI agent was indicted, she told media outlets that she was “grateful,” but still believes “other officers were involved in the cover-up.”
Some in militia and antigovernment ranks continue to maintain, without any forensic evidence, that Finicum was “murdered” by FBI agents and state police.
Levin, who studies extremists and hate crimes in his position as a professor at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, said the Oregon case serves up the perfect ingredients for antigovernment conspiracy buffs and bashers.
“Finicum already was on his way to becoming a new, folkloric hero in the extremist, Patriot movement,” Levin said, referring to Patriot-depictions of the Nevada rancher and foster parent as a quirky, horseback-riding, Constitution-and-gun-loving Patriot who was cut-down by murderous federal agents.
“What was missing was a real overt hook of government over-reach, violence and cover-up, and now, with this indictment, all those elements are there for the Patriots who want to believe this stuff,” he said.
Antigovernment extremists, as they did after Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco the following year, like to bolster their message by citing such “catalytic events” involving folkloric victims with any hint of federal law enforcement overreach or cover-up.
In contrast, following the FBI’s 1996 standoff with the Montana Freemen, the longest siege in the bureau’s history, where there were arrests without gunfire and no casualties on either side, there were no legacy claims left for antigovernment proponents and fuel for the Patriot movement.
“After the Freeman standoff ended peacefully, it knocked the wind out of the movement,” Levin said.
“In any extremist movement,” Levin said, “you not only need heroes, you need villains, and here you have it wrapped all into one.”
Even some gun owners angry at new NRA recruitment video; a lawyer who battled discrimination suits picked to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; sovereign citizen cases on the rise; and more.
Talking Points Memo: A Washington labor lawyer who defended large companies against discrimination lawsuits is picked by the Trump Administration to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
NBC-Connecticut: Shirt covered with anti-Muslim slurs left outside the home of the president of the Islamic Center of Central Connecticut.
Media Matters: Newt Gingrich calls the Congressional Budget Office “part of the deep state.”
Students at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High used the lessons they’ve learned in class to make a difference in their community. The school hosted a math social justice day in May. Students invited their families and members of the community to view projects they created that fused mathematics with social justice. “I feel the entire point […]
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort belatedly registered as a foreign agent for a pro- Russia group in Ukraine, disclosing that his firm was paid slightly more than $ 17 million over two years, according to documents filed with the Justice...
“Family of 2-Year Old Killed after State Police Chase Question Its Necessity,” reads the absurd headline in Friday morning’s New Orleans Advocate describing another tragedy involving the city’s criminals. The young girl’s great grandmother criticized the police for pursuing a car with stolen license plates on a chase that went the considerable distance from downtown […]
MISE EN EXAMEN - Au chapitre justice, Marine Le Pen a été mise en examen pour abus de confiance et complicité d’abus de confiance dans le cadre de l’enquête sur les assistants parlementaires d’eurodéputés du Front national. Elle déposera un recours lundi prochain.
Under the general direction of the Chief Judge, administers the non-judicial functions of the Trial and Family Divisions of the 9th Circuit Court and Probate Court, Office of the Friend of the Court and the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home. Directs the human resources, budgetary, calendar and caseflow management, business, information management systems and technology, facilities operations and recordkeeping of the 9th Circuit Court and the Probate Court. Collaborates with subordinate unit administrators and managers to evaluate data management and courtroom technology requirements of the Courts and develops plans, strategies and specific proposals to meet those needs. Directs the planning, design, development, implementation, administration and improvement of policies, procedures and programs to promote public access to justice for all members of the public, maximize the use of judicial and other resources, increase the efficiency of court operation, and enhance service to the public. Directs the development of short and long range plans and strategies to ensure the availability of programs and resources to effect the fair and impartial administration of justice, and actively engage the community in improving outcomes for juvenile and adult offenders. Serves as a member of the County/Court negotiating team in the negotiation of labor agreements with the collective bargaining organizations representing employees of the Courts. Manages the administration of employee discipline involving possible termination of employment, responds to selected employee grievances, and participates in arbitration of grievances. Ensures compliance with state and federal law. Directs the development of the annual operating, personnel and capital County budget requests of the operating units of the Courts, delivers the budget presentation, administers approved budgets, reviews budget expenditures and revenues, and directs operating units to develop recommended responses to budget shortfalls in order to maintain the fiscal integrity of the Courts. Plans, develops and controls operating and capital budgets, develops and submits proposals for external funding; and develops proposals for innovative programs to improve outcomes for youth ordered into detention. Identifies external funding and develops and/or directs the development of innovative proposals for submission to funding agencies. Manages the business operations of the Courts, and negotiates and administers contracts with consultants, contractual service providers, vendors and other parties. Develops, designs, implements, and improves programs and services, in collaboration with staff throughout juvenile services, to meet the Court’s goals for successful community integration of at-risk youth in the juvenile justice system. Monitors new and pending federal and state legislation, rules, regulations, judicial precedents and administrative rulings with respect to criminal, civil and domestic relations litigation, adjudication of estates, mental and legal competency of adults, and other probate matters; adjudication of offenses by and detention of juveniles; and other matters under the jurisdiction of the Circuit and Probate Courts; and ensures that policies, procedures, practices and programs are modified to maintain compliance. Develops organizational performance measures for the Courts and prepares the annual report. Ensures substantive and procedural compliance with all Michigan Court Rules and State Court Administrator’s Office requirements in the daily operations of the Court and the review and reporting of Court performance. Develops and implements quality assurance and quality control protocols for Court programs and services, and implements continuous improvement in caseflow management, adult and juvenile treatment services, community resource utilization, child support collection, guardianship services, and other prog
If you’re a real estate business professional, and you’re not giving importance to multifamily marketing, then you probably are not doing justice with your business. You need to think in a smarter and better manner so that you can get the results you want. Your marketing plan for the real estate sector needs to be […]
Annual anti-Black racism training for police, Tasers for all front-line officers and the collection of race-based data were among the key recommendations delivered by the jury Friday at the coroner’s inquest into the death of Andrew Loku.
Before handing down its 39 recommendations, the five-person jury also declared Loku’s death a homicide, although that finding carries no legal weight. The 45-year-old father of five was shot and killed by Toronto police Const. Andrew Doyle on July 5, 2015.
Other non-binding recommendations delivered by the jury Friday include:
Provincial collection of race-based data relating to all interactions involving police and persons in crisis, as well as funding for research and analysis of the data. The results of the analysis should be made public.
Exposing officers in training “to the perspectives and lived experience of racialized communities, the Black community and individuals with mental health issues and/or addictions.”
Amending the annual use-of-force recertification to include qualification in areas including mental health, anti-racism, and particularly anti-Black racism.
A continued emphasis on alternative methods of communication and de-escalation when an individual does not comply with the police challenge.
A 24/7 telephone crisis support line for individuals living in supportive housing and in mental health and addictions programs.
Additional funding for more nurses in order to staff mobile crisis intervention teams in each Toronto police division, 24 hours a day.
Additional funding for 911 operators to allow them to begin the de-escalation process during 911 calls.
Funding and supporting the participation of members of the mental health and addictions community, racialized communities and the Black community in training at police colleges.
Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, declined to lay criminal charges against Doyle last year, finding the use of force to be justified. The decision and the lack of transparency around the SIU’s investigation were met with outrage and sparked a protest outside police headquarters by Black Lives Matter Toronto that lasted 15 days.
“If the police had followed the training, if the police had de-escalated, if the police had taken a bit more time then Andrew would still be here and there wouldn’t be the need for these types of recommendations,” Loku family lawyer Jonathan Shime said Friday.
“That being said, we heard about three weeks of evidence that covered a broad range of issues, and I think the jury listened very well, and most importantly, they really got that this proved to be another case — one more, too many — of a Black man dying at the hands of the police.
“The reality is, statistically, Black men are dying disproportionately at the hands of police in Toronto and Ontario, and police forces across the province need to figure out why that is and come to terms with that and ensure there are zero deaths of anybody, Black or white, at the hands of the police.”
The inquest had featured a long list of participants, including lawyers for Toronto police and its board, the Toronto Police Association, the Black Action Defence Committee (BADC), the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Empowerment Council, and Across Boundaries, a mental health organization serving racialized communities.
The parties were sometimes at odds about the purpose of the inquest, with tensions rising around the role racism may have played in Loku’s death.
While overseeing coroner Dr. John Carlisle had allowed for implicit, or unconscious bias to be part of the scope of the inquest, racism was not — leading to an 11th hour motion to allow for the explicit mention of racism.
“If these recommendations are adopted and put into force, I think we can avoid future deaths like Andrew’s,” said Across Boundaries’ lawyer, Howard Morton, who urged the government and police to immediately begin implementing the recommendations.
“This jury really got it. Right from the get-go, you could tell they were attentive, they asked very relevant questions, and they were completely open to our suggestion that anti-Black racism was clearly within the scope of this inquest.”
Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Sandy Hudson told the Star that some recommendations were promising, but highlighted that many have already been proposed before at previous inquests, attracting little or no action on the part of the police and government.
“This is the issue with the whole inquest process, where these recommendations are merely suggestions that police officers and the powers-that-be can choose to listen to or not listen to, and we’ve heard over the inquest process that they choose not to listen to them,” she said.
In more than two weeks of witness testimony and evidence, the jury heard the detailed circumstances of Loku’s 2015 fatal shooting, including from the officer who pulled the trigger.
Doyle, a 13-year police veteran, testified that he shot Loku as he advanced toward him, hammer raised, in the hallway of his apartment building, which is leased by CMHA to house people with mental health challenges.
Both Doyle and the rookie officer he was mentoring, Const. Haim Queroub, said they had been shouting at Loku to drop the hammer prior to the shooting.
In his closing address to the jury, Shime had stressed that Loku did not have to die, and was shot because “they let their fear of a black man with a hammer (8.5 metres) away overcome what should have been a compassionate and humane response.
“If only they had let compassion guide them instead of fear, if only they had let good sense and training guide them instead of panic, if only they had followed a multitude of recommendations made by previous inquests, then Andrew would be alive today.”
WASHINGTON (AP) " Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a vote of confidence Friday to former FBI director Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, but he also said he hoped the probe could "move forward and come to an end sooner rather than later."The attorney general's comments during a "Fox & Friends" interview were his most expansive to date on the Justice Department's appointment last month of [...]
Number 311, the board read. A mess of a room sprawled with clothes aplenty. There were just so many of them! You think you’ve packed them all and the trolley bag’s zipped up and done with, only to find more of them lying about hidden under the bed, on the window grills or even in between the bundle of books. And then you would start all over again.
But then calling our room a mess would do injustice to the rooms of archi(tect) students; home to unwashed vessels of noodles and poster paints alike, and un-bathed artists sprawled on the floor with models/charts stacked on their beds (do forgive me for this reveal). While the most that our room had were piles of cloth. And lots of fallen hair.
So the three of us ran about the room scrounging for missing stuff, discovering things none of us owned, and figuring there was a shortage of bags or cartons to fill everything with. Soon enough we were perched on our ‘master’ bed of five we were so proud of, munching on chips and sighing sadly over our roomie no.4 and 5 who had an exam the next day and so couldn’t join in our celebration. It’s cruel to have our exams end on different days, don’t you think? So much for our much awaited last roomie-hangout. There we were, talking in hushed voices in the dark so as to not wake the poor ones beside us, wondering how a year had gone by all too sudden.
Here’s a throwback to the first few dragging months of college. Back when we found a class so quiet and boys so boring they wouldn’t even talk (alright maybe they thought the same about us). Back when we made it to 8 am classes ‘early’ and had mess food three times a day. Back when we played badminton hoping to shed some weight, and had lazy evening discussions to get our class hyped up, although it never worked. Those were the days...
Who would’ve known that in another few months, our sleep cycle would shift to the class hours, our breakfasts to biscuits gobbled during the morning classes, and our free evenings to ... to … well we couldn’t even tell where they vanished to! One day we were reading the college blog as a desperate fresher in search of assurances, and the next we’re already getting calls of inquiry from school juniors aspiring to follow our footsteps. When did the in-between happen?
That night as the three of us drifted off to dreamland, we were done filtering out memories to hold dear, outweighing the little disappointments we’d put a finger to. Those days of late night dancing and ice cream treats in the room. Getting locked up in the mess among the many night outs writing play scripts. Common room birthday parties and group studies. Small escapades to the city that the others may smirk at, but ones to relish all the same. Weekends of togetherness, hollering shamelessly for our teams, never minding being on the top position or the very last. DJ nights and prank calls. Crushes and couples. Laughter and love. . .
With the luggage neatly tucked in the car’s hatchback, I settled down to skim through WhatsApp. There it was, a message that screamed for attention amidst the many others.
He lifted his heavy eyelids very slowly, as though it was too stressful a task. Sunlight was flooding the room. He realized that he had fallen asleep midway through something. But what? Though his vision was blurred, it was just enough to tell him that someone was asleep on his lap. His grandson.
His quivering fingers gently stroked the young dark hair, recalling for a moment how he once had the same. The muscles on his face stressed to pull a smile, but his wrinkles seemed to get in the way. He contented himself by merely smiling from the inside.
“Daddy, you’re awake.” His daughter called out, and she was smiling. “The little guy’s grown up ain’t he?” she said, patting her son. “Mmh.” Her father managed to say, hoping she knew he was smiling. She had a tiny cup in hand, filled with some kind of tonic. He still hadn’t gotten used to his medicines, no matter how many times he’s had to have it. He let her feed him nevertheless, more so because he was helpless rather than the need to get better. What was the point anyway? His time was now close.
He did nothing, said very little, and was flopped in a chair all day. Lost in a world of his own that he himself couldn’t remember later on, his life revolved around the small moments spent with his children. Helplessness wasn’t the word he preferred, he liked to think of it instead as peacefulness.
The party was soon joined by his son as well. They laughed away like any other day, and he was content despite the pain in his chest. If not his physical body, atleast his soul did heal. The drowsiness was creeping back into him, now overpowering what little energy he held.
Slowly, he crossed into oblivion. He was peaceful, and he was content. Maybe his face did not show it, but he was smiling at the time. It wasn’t the end after all, for a cycle has no beginning nor end, and such was life.
Multiple airlines have been using mental health as a tactic to remove pilots who report safety, stand up for what's right, or just piss off the wrong person. The airline does this because they cannot fire someone for reporting safety, especially if the pilots have no performance problems. I've been writing a series of posts about this over the previous few weeks, and will be using much of this research in the next novel: Flight For Justice.
This week I was advised by a pilot that an airline's on staff doctor falsified records of a disability, and submitted those forms to the insurance company. While the pilot has been out for three years now, having just realized those false records existed, without any idea what to do, the pilot contacted the FBI who advised that pilot to contact the FAA. Another pilot contacted the Deputy Flight Surgeon, and he told the pilot to report the doctor to the medical board. There might be a little "passing the buck" because either nobody knows what to do, or they all know what is happening and avoidance is the best strategy. Time will tell on that.
Another pilot, from a different airline, was told that when the company pulls the pilot for any reason, that pilot can access the disability funds without being disabled. So, the pilot lined through the forms where it said disability and wrote "medical hold status", and then the pilot's doctor wrote, "No diagnosis" on the forms, confirming the pilot was fine. The pilot wrote a cover letter that began with:
"My name is ( ) I am a pilot for ( ) and I am in a medical hold status, awaiting release back to the flight line. To ensure there is no misunderstanding, I do not have a disability, and in no way claim to have one. However, as indicated by the below email from ( )she advised to fill out the paperwork and apply for benefits, as I am in a medical hold status"
The above pilot was placed on disability insurance (which is a better option with half-pay, than no pay) for 3 months. But there is something wrong with this entire process, especially when there are people who need help for serious illnesses that are not being covered. But I digress, as did the following conversation:
Harvey Watt Agent: "Every quarter your doctor must fill out the form that you still have the disabling condition. "
Pilot: "But I don't have a disabling condition. I have a first class medical, and my doctor wrote a letter stating I had no condition."
Harvey Watt Agent: "Okay, then your doctor needs to write a letter stating no status change."
Pilot: "You're telling me that I have to see a doctor, to fill out a form, to verify I'm fine in order to continue my disability payments?"
Harvey Watt Agent: "Yes!"
Truth is Stranger Than Fiction
This pilot contemplated the process and decided to make another call. The pilot had filled out the forms and submitted them to the insurance company that stated no condition, supported by the pilot's doctors and the FAA. Thus, the pilot wondered how they were able to send a disability check. The pilot contacted Harvey Watt & Co. and asked the agent what condition was in the pilot's medical records, all the while expecting to hear "Medical Hold Status."
Pilot: "Can you tell me my condition?"
Harvey Watt Agent: "Bipolar disorder."
Pilot: "But that's not what my forms stated. I filled them out. Who made that claim?"
Harvey Watt Agent: "The airline."
Pilot: "Who specifically at the airline?"
Harvey Watt Agent: The Airline's on staff doctor, Dr. ( )"
Thus it appears that even though the pilot is fine, confirmed by multiple specialists, punctuated by the FAA issuing a first class medical certificate, the Airline can pull the pilot, then the Airline's doctor will send a message to the insurance company with a fraudulent and false diagnosis, and the insurance company pays the pilot. The question is:
Why would an Insurance Company Pay
a disability claim for a healthy pilot?
It appears that this is the same at all airlines, as they use the same insurance company: Harvey Watt & Co. Now the expense for the insurance company is limited, as there is an interesting way the airlines are coding a mental health disability, and limiting the liability for the insurance company. They categorize mental health under substance abuse. Yes...
Mental Health, in the eyes of the airlines
is equivalent to being an alcoholic.
I hope you get pissed about this and call the American's with Disabilities, the FAA, your local senator... whomever you call to express your grave concerns. But this is wrong on so many levels. Another issue that will find its way into Flight For Justice.
There is just another little twist. One of the pilots is collecting disability insurance from the airline per Harvey Watt without a disability, yet Harvey Watt also manages a mutual aid that the pilot has paid into with the union. However, the pilot cannot not receive benefits from the mutual aid portion, because they pilot does not have a medical issue and holds a first class medical certificate. The question has to be asked, why one, and not the other, especially since the same insurance company is behind both groups?
Back to the insurance... I am now aware of over a hundred of these events, at many different airlines. Thus, a hundred events for 2-3 years of half pay adds up to a large piece of change. Something is amiss with all this, and will be addressed in the novel too.
What do you think the connection is?
Why would the insurance company be complicit by paying pilots disability insurance who are perfectly fine, yet are being pulled for fictional mental health issues?
For whomever comes up with the best, most creative, and sinister reason as to why this insurance issue is occurring will be credited in the novel for their idea, and receive an autographed hardback of Flight For Justice. If you know the truth, all the better. The airlines are funding this insurance plan, and they are pulling pilots. But why is the insurance company paying?
His fingers were too accustomed to punching buttons. The slight touch and brush on the screen seemed complicated to him. He carried it around as if it were an antique piece of crystal, afraid he might damage it. He couldn’t understand why everyone took the trouble to get hold of them. The funniest thing was how they called it ‘smartphones’, for he felt if anyone were smart they wouldn't buy such touch phones in the first place.
“Trust me dad, this one is way better! You just need to get used to it.” He was told repeatedly, and this was the only reason he still kept it. After all, how could he dispose of a gift from his own son? So he rubbed his fingers on the mobile screen everyday and discovered that it was indeed interesting. For it would surprise him with each brush of a finger...randomly calling some old friend he’d lost touch with, or displaying the live cricket scores, or sometimes even showing the weather conditions in Chicago…if only he’d been living there!
He’d sit in his rocking chair with those heavy round spectacles on. The newspaper; his oldest friend, would be by his side. It always told him of the ever changing world, and remained unchanged itself. He hoped it would survive in this growing digitized world.
His reverie was interrupted by the slow, trudging footsteps he was so familiar to. There was a creak as the second rocking chair in the room was occupied.
“Any new accident calls today?” asked its occupant. He shook his head, his not-so-smartphone (as he liked to call it) in hand, “No. But what’s this? I see myself. S'that the selfie camera they talking about ehh? Looky here!”
His partner craned her neck from her chair to get a better view. The screen froze with the two of their pretty, wrinkled faces.
“Ha! We took a selfie!” he exclaimed. “Let me see it.” She said, putting on her own pair of spectacles. Holding the phone gingerly, she peered at the screen only inches away from her nose and broke into a laugh too.
The two rocking chairs creaked in a homely rhythm as they tried another selfie. His life had become dull after retirement, being all about daily chores. But there was just one thing that he always loved but never confessed - her company. And this togetherness was something he cherished very much.
Česká justice má opravdu veliký problém. Je jím neomluvitelná a trestuhodná neodbornost soudních znalců. Nedbalost, která může člověka dostat za mříže. Proč k tomu vedení české justice stále mlčí a nezakročilo již dříve?
Although Joss Whedon’s attention is currently on the reshoots for November’s Justice League movie, the Avengers helmer also has one eye on his next DC project, the Batgirl solo movie, and it seems we may be close to hearing who’ll be taking on the role of Barbara Gordon in the film. Now, this rumour comes by […]
Warner Bros.’ criticial and commercial success Wonder Woman has reached another box office milestone this week, having surpassed Suicide Squad ($325.1 million) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330.36 million) to become the highest-grossing instalment of the DC Extended Universe in North America. Wonder Woman has grossed $330.53 million in just 28 days, whereas […]
The in-house counsel for the Intercept received a subpoena from the Justice Department for all communications between journalist Barrett Brown and the editor, Roger Hodge, who he worked with at the media organization. The subpoena...
The Flickering Myth team react… SEE ALSO: Read the Flickering Myth Reactions to Black Panther, The Dark Tower, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, Inhumans, and more The first trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle landed online yesterday [watch it here], but what did our writers think of it? Shaun Munro: It doesn’t […]
[NEWS] Jurors of Criminal Court 'C' at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia have handed down a guilty verdict against two former employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA). The ex-employees are Joseph Weeks and Linda Sumowood.
In a new court filing, lawyers for the state and for a Hawaii imam say guidance the Trump administration issued Thursday takes too narrow a view of what family relationships qualify to exempt a foreigner from the travel ban and would deny admission to refugees who should be exempt from the ban due to their connections to a U.S. resettlement agency.
"This Court should clarify as soon as possible that the Supreme Court meant what it said, and that foreign nationals that credibly claim connections with this country cannot be denied entry under the President’s illegal Order," Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin and private counsel Neal Katyal wrote in a motion filed Thursday with U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson.
Administration officials also angered immigrant advocacy groups by declaring that refugees would not be considered to have U.S. ties simply because they had already been assigned to a U.S. refugee resettlement agency that had begun to make plans for their arrival.
"It is extremely difficult to see how a foreign national with an agreement to give a lecture within the United States may be considered to have a 'formal, documented' relationship with an entity in the United States. ... but a refugee with a guarantee of a local sponsor and a place to live cannot," the Hawaii state motion says.
Do that and you gut the order. Which is the idea.
And Judge Derrick Watson, who had previously decided that he should determine immigration and refugee policy for the country, is the perfect judge to come to with this. The Supreme Court allowed enough wiggle room for exactly this kind of thing.
The goal is to essentially prevent the order from being enforced. And, in this case, to poke so many holes in it that it can be nullified and will hardly keep anyone out.
"There are 20,000 to 25,000 refugees not yet here who are already clients of refugee resettlement agencies who have been preparing for their arrival," said Justin Cox, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center.
And then it'll be a million.
President Trump had the full authority needed for his first executive order. Going through the courts won't work. Right now everything rests on Justice Kennedy to do the right thing. Even if he somehow does, the decision will probably be watered down enough to leave wriggle room for... exactly what we're seeing now. Executive authority will be diminished and activist judges will keep seizing control of immigration policy.
Every time you think Congress has hit rock bottom, they manage to exceed your expectations.
The House Armed Services Committee’s annual defense policy bill will include a provision requiring a Defense Department report on the effects of climate change on military installations.
Why? You're wondering.
Why is the Pentagon going to be wasting time providing ammo and employment to leftists to continue Obama's corruption of the military into a social justice organization instead of focusing on the somewhat more pressing national security threats that we face, ranging from terrorism to nuclear war to China's escalation?
Why are we going to see these same reports and the leftists writing them being touted in a larger push to impose carbon taxes and other Warmunist plans to raise the prices of everything with the profits going to their special interests and agendas?
Because a Dem proposed it and enough Pubs backed it.
The amendment — brought up by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) in the readiness portion of Wednesday’s markup — instructs each military service to come up with a list of the top 10 military installations likely to be affected by climate change over the next 20 years.
Such a provision aims to ensure that the Defense Department “is prepared to address the effects of a changing climate on threat assessments, resources and readiness,” according to the amendment language.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was the sole lawmaker to speak out against the amendment, claiming it instructs the Pentagon “to take their eye off the ball.”
“We have heard testimony in front of this committee consistently about the array of imminent threats we face … the Russians, Chinese, ISIS, al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea. … There is simply no way that you can argue that climate change is one of those threats. Not even close,” she said. “There is no evidence that climate change causes war.”
She continued: “North Korea is not developing nuclear tipped ICBMs because the climate’s changing. ISIS and al Qaeda are not attacking the West because of the weather.”
You would think that this would be the Republican position... you would think.
But several of her Republican colleagues, including Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), disagreed with her take.
“There is a line in the play ‘1776’ about the Declaration of Independence: ‘I’ve never seen, heard nor smelled an issue so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about.’ There’s nothing dangerous about talking about it. It’s a report,” Bishop said.
I'm glad that Bishop is taking his inspiration for national security policy from musicals.
There's a big difference between "talking about it" and making it a priority to produce reports validating a leftist talking point. How about having the Pentagon produce reports discussing the threat of Islamic immigration to bases.
Suddenly, that will be an issue too dangerous to be talked about. Even though it, unlike the Great Flying Global Warming Monster whom the left worships, is actually a national security threat.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) backed up Bishop’s line of thinking. “It’s just a report and there are strategic implications that we need to be aware of,” he said.
That's politese for "I have no idea hat any of this is about, but let me stay on the safe side and not stick my neck out."
Rep. Susan Davis (R-Calif.) called the amendment “a start.”
Climate change “is one of those issues that is sort of in that bucket that we ignore at our own peril,” Davis said.
The leftist corruption of the GOP is another of those issues.
This is what happens when there's no organized agenda, no comprehensive messaging, and no understanding of the threats and problems we face.
The rule of thumb is that the media cares a great deal about police shootings but shrugs at FBI shootings. That's because, from their perspective, the police are more likely to shoot the wrong people, e.g drug dealers blessed with black skin privilege, and the FBI is more likely to shoot the right people, militia members.
Even while the media wept buckets of tears over every thug shot while attacking a police officer, the LaVoy Finicum case received thumbs up from the media. Government protesters, unlike drug dealers, deserved to be shot. And so the media was, very predictably, caught flatfooted by the latest development.
An FBI agent has been indicted on federal accusations that he lied about firing at Robert "LaVoy" Finicum last year as police arrested the leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.
The agent will face allegations of making a false statement with intent to obstruct justice, according to sources familiar with the case.
Investigators said a member of the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team fired at Finicum as his 2015 Dodge pickup truck crashed into a snow bank at a roadblock on U.S. 395. Finicum had just sped away from a surprise traffic stop on the rural highway as the occupation leaders traveled off the refuge to a community meeting Jan. 26, 2016.
The agent's bullets didn't hit Finicum, 54, an Arizona rancher who was the spokesman for the armed takeover of the federal sanctuary near Burns in Harney County. Moments later, state police troopers shot Finicum three times after he emerged from his white truck and reached for his inner jacket pocket, where police said he had a loaded 9mm handgun. One bullet pierced his heart, an autopsy found.
Note the similarity to some of the left's favorite BLM shootings and the media's utter lack of interest.
The issue here is that the FBI agent lied about the shooting. This is, in theory, a cover-up rather than a crime, prosecution. But you have to ask the question, if shooting at Finicum was justified, why lie about it? And if the original shot fired was lied about, how much can we trust any part of the story. Was he really reaching for a gun? Or was that a convenient way to get rid of a political nuisance?
The whole Bundy crackdown was an outrageous abuse of power. But here's the opening lines of the NBC coverage of the shooting death.
A cowboy-hat-wearing Mormon rancher who died during the arrests of his fellow Oregon occupiers on Tuesday night had vowed weeks ago never to be taken alive by authorities.
LaVoy Finicum, one of the protesters' de facto spokesmen, died after shots were fired when police stopped the group on Highway 395 as they headed to a public meeting. Five of his cohorts were arrested at the scene, officials said.
I don't have to tell you that this is dramatically different than the way NBC and the rest of the media cover the latest drug dealer shot by police story. They certainly don't shove a misleading implied justification for it right in the first sentence.
Barack Obama's former attorney general, Eric Holder, on Friday told the "career men and women" at the FBI and Justice Department to "be prepared, be strong," warning that tough times are ahead for them.
The Justice Department is giving up the legal fight over the name of the Washington Redskins.
In a letter to a federal appeals court, the department said last week's Supreme Court decision in favor of an Asian American band calling itself the Slants means the NFL team will prevail in a legal battle...
In response to the President’s Executive Order directing the EPA to revise the controversial rule redefining “waters of the United States” issued in 2015, EPA proposes to withdraw the rule, codify preexisting rules and guidance, and then issue a new … Continue reading →
Another Freemen-on-the-Land suit has bitten the dust as the provincial legal system continues its effort to exterminate so-called Organized Pseudolegal Commercial litigation by the ideology’s adherents. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Murray Blok told “Robert John: of the familymacmillan” that the esoteric and bizarre theories invoked for tax evasion and other mischief-making purposes were ridiculous claptrap. […]
My guess is the parents are hardcore drug users. The child had NO FAT on her poor little body. Despicable. Voluntary manslaughter seems light to me. They watched their infant child slowly waste away to nothing, day after day, doing nothing. Not offering food, which they obviously consumed. Why is this not deliberate murder?
Justice simple. Lock them up, give them nothing but water and let them slowly die, or commit suicide.
Feel Good About the Markets? Maybe You Shouldn’t Read This
By JAMES B. STEWART .
Traders outside the New York Stock Exchange. Investors have seemed oblivious to claims of Russian interference in the election, the firing of the F.B.I. director and other political turmoil.Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Throughout the turbulence of his first months in office, President Trump has been able to point to one bastion of support: the stock market. Earlier this month he tweeted the “great economic news” he thinks the mainstream media has been ignoring: The Dow Jones industrial average was up 16 percent and the Nasdaq up 19.5 percent since his election. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Rossmaintained that the Trump administration had bestowed $4 trillion in gains on investors.
Investors have seemingly been oblivious to claims of Russian interference in the election, the firing of a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the appointment of a special prosecutor. As the second quarter ends this week, 2017 has so far been a banner year, with major indexes hitting records.
But as the bull market rolls on, some see storm clouds on the horizon. “Valuations are high and it’s one of the longest and largest bull markets in history,” said James Stack, president of InvesTech Research. “Bull markets don’t last forever. So the question is, when will the music stop?”
Investors “are on a knife’s edge,” said Michael J. Kelly, global head of asset allocation for PineBridge Investments. With many still scarred by the financial crisis, “they see a potential disaster around every corner.”
This month the so-called Faang stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, which have led the market’s rally — faced a sudden downdraft, which many market watchers called a warning of turbulent times to come.
On June 14, the Federal Reserveraised short-term interest rates for the second time this year, a move that was widely expected and barely caused a market ripple. But more ominously for stock investors, the Fed also said it would reduce its $4.2 trillion balance sheet and taper its purchases of longer-term government bonds (though it didn’t say how fast), bringing to an end the quantitative easing it undertook after the financial crisis.
And then there’s Mr. Trump himself, whose unpredictability and erratic behavior still have the potential to rattle markets.
So I asked some prominent investors and market analysts whether they were pulling back from stocks, and how they viewed these latest developments.
A Crack in the Faang Stocks
After some of the Faang stocks plunged over 3 percent on June 9, Goldman Sachs compared them to the leading stocks of the tech bubble. But by the end of the month they’d recovered and were again approaching all-time highs.
There’s no question that these market darlings, which together have accounted for a disproportionate percentage of the market’s gains, are expensive, and getting more so. Price-to-earnings ratios range from 39 (Facebook) to 187 (Amazon). Their market caps are so huge they dominate the indexes.
They show up not only in so-called growth funds, but also in value and low-volatility funds. Should they embark on a sustained plunge, a bear market could quickly follow.
The tremor in June was “a warning shot across the bow,” said Bill Smead, the founder of Smead Capital Management in Seattle. The Faang stocks “are showing all the classic signs of being overcooked,” he added. “What magazine hasn’t had Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg on the cover?
There’s no question this can end very badly. But the market can stay irrational for a very long time.
My sense is that there’s one big blowout rally left in these stocks.”
Mr. Stack noted that the Faang stocks had brief sell-offs last June and October, only to rebound. Still, he said, “the Faang stocks will be among the hardest hit in the next bear market due to the amount of money that flowed into them and the high expectations that have driven them higher.”
But like Mr. Smead, he doesn’t expect that to be imminent. “We’re not buying them, but we’re not necessarily saying sell,” Mr. Stack said. He urged investors to rebalance portfolios that have become too heavily weighted in these stocks.
A Tightening Federal Reserve
Everyone I interviewed agreed that the Fed is the most likely catalyst for the next bear market, but that may still be years away.
“Historically it’s difficult to find a bear market that wasn’t triggered to some extent by the Fed,” Mr. Smead said. “But I don’t think unwinding the long bond position as gradually as they’re going to will have a significant impact. What would have an impact is if the Fed is forced to raise rates faster than everyone anticipates. The Fed has prepared investors for one more rate hike this year. That’s where the potential surprise could come. If we see two or three by year’s end, we’re going to see definite headwinds and maybe a market top of some significance.”
Mr. Kelly said the Fed had plenty of room to maneuver before stocks start to be affected. “We just had a once-in-70-year crisis that left very long scars. Businesses basically didn’t invest for eight years. In tightening, the Fed is acknowledging that a monetary policy built on a very fragile economic backdrop is no longer appropriate. But we’re just getting to the point now where people are crawling out of their shells and we’re seeing more normal economic activity.”
Mr. Kelly said bull markets typically last another three to four years after such a point in the economic cycle, and can even go another eight or nine. “Bull markets die from excess, not old age,” he said.
Mr. Smead agreed. “There’s no question we’re getting closer to normal rates,” he said. “That will be difficult for the stock market when it happens. People will be less willing to be adventurous. But that’s still years away.”
Over at InvesTech Research, “we’re still quite bullish,” Mr. Stack said. “We’re not increasing cash reserves. We are rebalancing towards more defensive and out-of-favor sectors, like consumer staples and health care.”
‘I Wouldn’t Call It a Trump Rally’
“The risks don’t lie with potential charges of obstruction of justice or even impeachment,” Mr. Stack said. “For political mayhem to upset the economic apple cart, it has to irreparably damage confidence at the consumer and business level. So far we don’t see that happening. Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment measures are at 16-year highs, and C.E.O. confidence in April was the highest since 2004.”
Nor have investors given up hope that a Republican Congress will still deliver business-friendly corporate tax reform and a pro-growth overhaul of the tax code, despite the president’s troubles.
At the same time, “Trump shouldn’t be looking to the market for vindication,” Mr. Smead said. “I wouldn’t call it a Trump rally. He’s basically riding on the Obama years. “
His bottom line: “We don’t pay much attention to politics, and that’s been a good thing.”
Contact: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, June 30, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams:
On June 29, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, on trial for 29 counts of bribery, extortion and fraud, abruptly pleaded guilty to bribery. He was immediately remanded to jail by a judge who pronounced himself " Source: Catholic League
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the biggest church–state case of the term: Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer. Americans United gave a quick run-down of the opinion when it was released, but now it’s time to look ahead at what the decision means for the future.
Participating at the appellate and trial court level in redistricting litigation brought under the U.S. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a... From Brennan Center for Justice - Fri, 09 Jun 2017 18:58:12 GMT - View all New York, NY jobs
[Deutsche Welle] Le procès qui a débuté jeudi contre le géant pétrolier Shell est le fruit d'une lutte acharnée de quatre veuves ogonis déterminées à ce que justice soit faite après l'exécution de leurs maris dans les années 1990.
At its 63rd meeting, on 18 April, the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, in connection with the examination of the fourth report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Somalia (document S/2016/1098), agreed to address the following messages through a public statement issued by the Chair of the Working Group.
To all the parties to the armed conflict in Somalia, including the Somali National Army, Somali regional security forces, clan militias and, in particular, the armed groups operating in Somalia, including Al‑Shabaab and Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamaʽa:
(a) Strongly condemning all violations and abuses committed against children in Somalia and their increase since 2015 and urging all parties to the conflict to immediately end and prevent all violations of applicable international law involving the recruitment and use of children, abduction, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access and to comply with their obligations under international law;
(c) Welcoming the efforts made by the Federal Government of Somalia since the previous conclusions of the Working Group and calling upon the Government to swiftly and fully implement the two action plans signed in 2012, including by releasing immediately and without preconditions all children from their ranks and through the criminalization of the recruitment and use of children, the issuance of command orders prohibiting and sanctioning the recruitment and use of children and other violations and abuses against children in armed conflict, the establishment of age assessment mechanisms in their recruitment process and the screening of troops;
(d) Also welcoming the ratification by the Federal Government of Somalia of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, strongly encouraging the Government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict and urging federal and regional authorities to swiftly align federal or regional legislation with the international obligations of Somalia under the Convention;
(e) Strongly urging all armed groups, in particular Al-Shabaab, to immediately and without preconditions release all children associated with them and end and prevent further recruitment and use of children, including re-recruitment of children who have been released;
(f) Expressing deep concern about the high number of children killed or maimed, as a direct or indirect result of hostilities between parties to the armed conflict and of incidents of indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population, including those involving aerial bombardment, and calling upon all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality enshrined therein;
(g) Expressing grave concern about the high number of cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated against children and urging all parties to the armed conflict to take immediate and specific measures to put an end to and prevent the perpetration of rape and other forms of sexual violence against children by members of their respective groups;
(h) Calling upon all parties to the armed conflict to comply with applicable international law and to respect the civilian character of schools and hospitals, including their personnel, and to end and prevent attacks or threats of attacks against those institutions and their personnel, as well as the military use of schools and hospitals, in violation of applicable international law;
(i) Urging armed groups, in particular Al-Shabaab, to cease the abduction of children and all violations and abuses committed against abducted children and to immediately release without preconditions all abducted children in their captivity to relevant civilian child protection actors;
(j) Calling upon all parties to the armed conflict to allow and facilitate full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to children, respect the exclusively humanitarian nature and impartiality of humanitarian aid and respect the work of all United Nations humanitarian agencies and other humanitarian actors, without distinction;
(k) Expressing grave concern about the detention of children on national security charges in violation of applicable international law, as well as about the use of detained children as spies in intelligence operations and counter-terrorism activities, and urging the Federal Government of Somalia to comply with its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular that the deprivation of liberty of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period and be guided by the best interests of the child;
(l) Welcoming the willingness of the Federal Government of Somalia to address these issues and urging it to fulfil its commitments under the Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups (Paris Principles), which it has endorsed, and the standard operating procedures for the reception and handover of children separated from armed groups signed by the Federal Government of Somalia, including by treating children associated with armed groups primarily as victims;
(m) Encouraging the Federal Government of Somalia to focus on sustainable reintegration opportunities for children affected by armed conflict, including the sensitization of communities to avoid the stigmatization of these children, while taking into account the specific needs of boys and girls, as well as of children with disabilities, orphans and unaccompanied children;
(n) Welcoming the fact that, on 5 October 2016, 26 of 64 children detained since March 2016 for their alleged association with Al-Shabaab were released by the Puntland authorities and handed over to the United Nations, while condemning the sentencing to death and heavy prison sentences of children for their alleged association with Al-Shabaab, in violation of their obligations under international law;
(o) Urging the Puntland authorities to review the heavy prison sentences against the children remaining in detention for their alleged association with Al‑Shabaab in accordance with applicable international law and to continue to work with the United Nations to support swift reintegration and reunification with their families in their regions of origin and rehabilitation;
(p) Calling upon all non-State armed groups to publicly express their commitment and take active steps to end and prevent all violations and abuses committed against children and to enter into dialogue with the United Nations to prepare, adopt and implement without delay action plans to end and prevent violations and abuses against children in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004), 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011) and 2225 (2015);
(q) Expressing deep concern over the lack of accountability for violations and abuses committed against children and calling for an end to impunity by ensuring that all perpetrators of violations and abuses are swiftly brought to justice and held accountable, including through timely and systematic investigation and prosecution;
(r) Welcoming the commitments made by the African Union and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to peace and security in Somalia and to the protection of children affected by armed conflict in Somalia and urging the African Union and troop-contributing countries to take all necessary measures to end and prevent violations and abuses against children, including fully implementing the Force Commander’s directive on the protection of children’s rights and complying with the standing operating procedures on the handover of children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups signed by the Federal Government of Somalia, and to ensure accountability for perpetrators by undertaking prompt, thorough and transparent independent investigations of any allegations of violations and abuses committed by their troops;
(s) Recalling that the Security Council, in its resolution 2317 (2016), recalled the financial and travel measures imposed by resolution 2002 (2011), which apply to individuals and entities designated by the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea in accordance with paragraph 43 of resolution 2093 (2013), for actions that threaten the peace, stability or security of Somalia, such as:
(i) Recruitment or use of children in armed conflict in Somalia by political or military leaders in violation of applicable international law;
(ii) Violation of applicable international law in Somalia involving the targeting of civilians, including children and women in situations of armed conflict, including killing and maiming, sexual and gender-based violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, and abduction and forced displacement;
(iii) Obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Somalia or access to or the distribution of humanitarian assistance in Somalia;
(t) Expressing the readiness of the Working Group to communicate to the Security Council and to the Committee pertinent information with a view to assisting them in the imposition of targeted measures on perpetrators.
To community and religious leaders:
(a) Emphasizing their important role in enhancing the protection of children in armed conflict;
(b) Urging them to publicly condemn and continue to advocate ending and preventing violations and abuses against children, in particular those involving the recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, abductions, attacks and threats of attacks against schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.
The limited nature of the inquiry and Moore-Bick’s history raise doubts over whether decision-makers involved will be held accountable – and they must be
• Ishmahil Blagrove is a coordinator for Justice 4 Grenfell
In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, following the initial emergency services effort accompanied by many impromptu volunteer relief efforts to assist the survivors of the lethal inferno, the public and victims are demanding information and legal action against those responsible. There is a clear case to investigate and prosecute. High-rise fires of this scale and lethality are not supposed to be possible. And very little assistance or information has been forthcoming from the authorities.
Michel Barnier wants Luxembourg court to be able to issue penalty for breaking any future citizens’ rights or divorce bill pact
The European court of justice should have the power to fine the UK even once it leaves the EU, according to the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.
The court in Luxembourg should be able to “request a lump sum or a penalty payment” from the British government or the EU if either side breaks a future agreement on citizens’ rights or the UK’s divorce bill.
Happy Sunday everyone! If you participated in the readathon yesterday, you probably are sleeping off your book buzz. I'm almost never able to block off an entire day in the fall, but my thoughts are always with you guys. One of these years I swear I'm going to run away to the beach for one of these events.
The weather has cooled off again...low to mid 80's in the day and low 60's at night. Major cold front!!! It is a pleasure to go on our walks, or sit out at night with a cocktail. Here is a picture I took on a long walk yesterday, just around the corner from a neighborhood. I love that about Florida. There is nature everywhere.
It was a typical week for me this week. My son's first homecoming activities occurred daily (themed dress days, the parade and football game Friday, and the dance last night). My daughter threw out her back somehow, so she has been down for the count for a couple of days. I feel like I am the downtrodden servant! I took a treadmill stress test because I'd been having heart palpitations, and I passed with flying colors. It is nice to know I haven't lost my mojo! So my conclusion is heart palpitations = teenagers + menopause. Something for you young 'uns to look forward to.
The best day of the entire week seems to be, without a doubt, SUNDAY! Granted, it is a day full of the kids scrambling to get chores and homework done, but it also includes THE WALKING DEAD. The season opener last week was epic. My daughter and I have rewatched it three times. I have looked forward to today all week. I know, I'm obsessed. So sue me.
My reading, at least in print, has been dismal. I can't manage to propel my way through "Purge" by Sofi Oksanen. I have progressed a little but can't get interested. I'll keep trying for a little bit longer, but I'm really dying to read "House of Leaves" and "The Paying Guests", so I'm close to losing my patience. I did take a break yesterday and read "Relish" by Lucy Knisley, which is a short graphic novel. (I read "French Milk" a few years ago, a graphic memoir of her time in France.) Adorable.
Audio is the only way I get anything done these days. I finished "The Innocent Sleep" by Karen Perry. It is a domestic drama and mystery about a missing child, but has twists in it that made it a surprisingly intriguing listen. Plus the Irish-accented narrators were incredible. I also quickly got through "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica which I rated four stars but easily could have been swayed to five. I'm still thinking about it even now...a kidnapping gone wrong, with much more emotion and character bonding than your normal read. Then I FINALLY got "World of Trouble" on audio from the library. I loaded it in about 30 minutes and plunged into the third and final installment of a story about the final days on earth before an asteroid takes it out, from the perspective an earnest police officer. Great stuff! I'm not sure what is on the agenda today. Usually I don't have a whole lot of say in the matter. My son is putting in some community service hours with the Orlando Police Department, which is part of his Criminal Justice magnet program at school. Maybe a walk. Maybe some reading. Maybe a little Walking Dead!! Hope everyone has a nice relaxing day to rest up for another week!
For all the spectacles the Vatican tends to witness, this one was simply surreal.
At the same dais where the Pope's major documents are unveiled and the global press briefed on Catholicism's showcase events – on what's usually one of the most joyous feasts of the year – today the Curia's third-ranking cardinal addressed his new fate as the church's most senior figure by far to face criminal charges of sexual abuse:
To understand the full import of Cardinal George Pell's return to Australia to appear in court and "clear my name," there's more to it than his current profile as the founding Secretary for the Economy, initially entrusted by Pope Francis with sweeping powers over finances and personnel across the Holy See's sprawling apparatus.
Indeed, what makes the 76 year-old prelate's quick move to go home for an 18 July initial hearing so significant is that Pell has not returned to his homeland since departing in early 2014 to take up his Vatican post – neither for the late 2014 installation of his hand-picked successor in Sydney, Archbishop Anthony Fisher, nor for what became a four day summons to testify before the national inquiry on religious institutions' handling of child abuse, obtained by video link from Rome.
With the scenario of a first-ever court process against a cardinal on sex crimes alleged by "multiple claimants" – the precise nature of which have not been clarified by law enforcement in his native state of Victoria – the Italian media's traditional summer "soap opera" involving the church is now set, albeit some 4,000 miles afield.
Still, despite the inevitable circus that will surround the scrutiny on one of the top rank's most enduring figures – a presence on the global scene over some two decades – for the apex of the Catholic world, it just doesn't get more serious than this.
For starters, even as Pell announced his own "leave" from his Vatican duties – and the Holy See's lead spokesman, Greg Burke, indicated that the cardinal would not "participate in public liturgies" for the duration of the judicial process – the moves amount to a de facto suspension from ministry.
Regardless of whose volition spurred the act, a recusal of the kind is without precedent for a top Curial official. What's more, however, while two decades of revelations of abuse and cover-up have been treated as a political football among the church's ideological camps, Pell is one of the few major prelates whose trajectory and alliances cut across partisan lines.
Long a favorite of the Catholic right for his unapologetic approach to moral teachings, the Oxford-trained onetime fullback – who's long relished his reputation for being a "bull in a china shop" – was initially tapped by then-Pope Benedict XVI to take the helm of the Congregation for Bishops in 2009, a move which would've made the Aussie the first prelate from the English-speaking world to oversee the all-powerful body that recommends candidates for appointments to the pontiff.
In response, what was widely perceived in Rome as a "smear campaign" went into overdrive, raising the specter of a 2002 allegation of abuse against the cardinal which dated to the 1960s. Though Pell had been cleared years earlier by an internal probe chartered by the archdiocese of Sydney, conducted by a retired judge – during which he stood aside as archbishop for several months – the ferocity of opposition to Benedict's plan led the now-retired Pope to scuttle the move before it was formally made. (Along the way, however, Pell's hard-charging style saw him successfully tackle another high-wire Vatican mission: as chair of the Vox Clara committee of senior prelates tasked with managing English liturgical translations, he led the push that brought the group's major project – the long-stymied overhaul of the Roman Missal – to completion and a historic implementation across the Anglophone world in 2011.)
Of course, that wouldn't be the end of the story. Perceived by many as angling for a Roman office from his days as an auxiliary in Melbourne – when, as one Curialist recalled, Pell "was always showing up" at the Vatican – the 2012 outbreak of the Vatileaks fiasco provided the cardinal with an opportunity for payback, and Benedict took him up on it, bringing Pell into an ad hoc group of cardinal-advisers Papa Ratzinger had convened on tackling the crisis.
Months later, the election of Pope Francis would surprisingly bring the Australian's rebound to its zenith – with his profile as a blunt, sharp-elbowed manager (and one seen as wronged by the Vatican's old guard), Pell's temporal acumen landed him a seat on the new pontiff's "Gang of 8" for the reform of the Curia (below), arguably the most surprising choice for the group given his conservative leanings.
Less than a year afterward, Francis would deliver the ultimate call – with the new Pope and his "crown council" determined to clean up the famously murky orbit of the Holy See's finances, Pell was unveiled as the choice to consolidate all control of budgets and investments under one umbrella, a first-ever CFO to replace the small village of separate entities which oversaw various pieces of the books, with varying degrees of success.
To say that the Aussie was ready would be an understatement – Pell's full-time arrival in Rome came shortly after the opening of the Domus Australia, a onetime convent converted into a hostel and event center for pilgrims from Down Under, with an ample living space already created for himself.
To be sure, though, if there was one area that the natives guarded more jealously than appointments, it was the money – and Francis' putting Pell in charge of it was greeted as something of an apocalyptic event. Unlike Benedict, however, Papa Bergoglio's Italian stubbornness wouldn't be as easily conquered.
At least, that's how it seemed at the start. While Francis has stood by his man – re-confirming the cardinal's position after he reached the retirement age of 75 last year – the Curia's penchant for bureaucratic turf-war has challenged Pell's mandate at practically every turn and made significant inroads against the new bureau's initial remit, most prominently in last year's move to suspend a first-ever external audit of all Vatican entities, which had been ordered by the Secretariat.
At the same time, the financial reform hit another major speed-bump last week as Libero Milone – the freshly empowered auditor-general hired by Pell's team – suddenly resigned from the post as reports on the move spoke of an unspecified "ugly situation" that could "get worse."
Amid the fallout from Milone's surprise departure, the Council for the Economy – the mixed group of 15 top prelates and lay experts to which Pell's Secretariat reports – had already summoned its members to an extraordinary meeting set for early July in Rome to discuss the way forward. With the new development of the charges against the cardinal-prefect – and no clarity yet on the leadership of the Economy office in the wake of Pell's leave for the court case – any long-term resolutions just became considerably more difficult.
Back in Australia, meanwhile, the indictment has come as a fresh firestorm for a church already struggling under a cloud of abuse developments. With the cardinal's polarizing shadow ever looming large despite years of absence from the scene, the nation's hierarchy has spent 2017 bracing for what's widely expected to be a damning report from the national inquiry on sex-abuse in religious institutions, which is due by the end of its mandate in mid-December.
Beyond the wide attention – and equal heaping of scorn – that Pell's 2016 testimony to the Royal Commission drew, the Australian archbishops were likewise deposed at length by the panel last February. And in another moment of major impact, a rising star of the Aussie bench – Vietnamese-born Franciscan Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta – revealed to the probe that he had been a victim of abuse by a cleric.
All the while, another major shoe from Rome is likely soon to drop: the Pope's appointment of the next archbishop of Melbourne – already a critical move given the city's place as the continent's largest local church, yet now even more of a "hot seat" as the venue for Pell's state trial on the charges.
In a letter released after the charges were filed, Sydney's Fisher – himself a civil lawyer – warned his clergy and people that his predecessor's return to face justice "will be unsettling for many of us."
While defending Pell as "a man of integrity in his dealings with others... a thoroughly decent man," the archbishop emphasized that "we must now allow the impartial pursuit of justice," adding that the church "is not responsible" for the cardinal's legal costs and won't be footing them.
Keeping with Australian conventions for the accused, a recent biography which levied a new allegation of abuse by Pell has been pulled from sale in Victoria pending the trial. On another context note, the southern coastal state does not allow cameras in its courts, so the impending hearings will not be filmed nor televised.
Earlier this month Norway, Denmark and Switzerland did something surprising.
Norway announced that it was demanding the return of its money from the Palestinian Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Secretariat, for the latter's funding of a Palestinian women's group that built a youth center near Nablus named for PLO mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi.
Denmark followed, announcing it was cutting off all funding to the group.
And last week, the Swiss parliament passed a resolution directing the government to amend Swiss law to block funding of NGOs "involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions."
For years, the Israeli government has been urging these and other European governments to stop funding such groups, to no avail. What explains their abrupt change of heart?
In two words: Donald Trump.
For years, the Obama administration quietly encouraged the Europeans to fund these groups and to ratchet up their anti-Israel positions. Doing so, the former administration believed, would coerce Israel to make concessions to the PLO.
But now, Trump and his advisers are delivering the opposite message. And, as the actions by Denmark, Norway and Switzerland show, the new message is beginning to be received.
If the US administration keeps moving forward on this trajectory, it can do far more than suspend funding for one terrorism-supporting Palestinian NGO. It can shut down the entire BDS industry before Trump finishes his current term in office.
To understand what can and ought to be done, it is first important to understand the nature of the BDS movement. Under the catchphrase BDS, two separate campaigns against Israel and against Jews are being carried out.
The first BDS campaign is a campaign of economic warfare. The focal point of that campaign is Europe. The purpose of the campaign is to harm Israel's economy by enacting discriminatory, anti-Israel trade policies and encouraging unofficial consumer and business boycotts of Israeli firms and products.
The US Congress can end this economic war against Israel by passing laws penalizing European states for engaging in trade practices that breach the World Trade Organization treaties. The US Treasury Department can also push strongly and effectively for such an end in its trade negotiations with the EU. The Treasury Department can also investigate whether and how EU trade practices toward Israel constitute unlawful barriers to trade.
Unlike the situation in Europe, where the BDS economic war against Israel is fairly advanced, efforts in the US to mount economic boycotts of Israel hit an iceberg early on due to the swift preemptive actions taken by state legislatures.
In 2015, then-South Carolina governor Nikki Haley became the first governor to sign a law barring her state government from doing business or investing in companies that boycott Israel. Last week Kansas became the 21st US state to pass an anti-BDS law along the same lines. Last month, all 50 state governors declared opposition to BDS.
The second BDS campaign being carried out against Israel is a form of political and social warfare.
Its epicenter is US academia. Its purpose is to erode US support for Israel, by making it politically unacceptable and socially devastating to publicly voice support for Israel on college campuses and more generally in leftist circles.
As is the case with the economic BDS campaign, the best way to defeat political BDS is through state and federal government action. If state and federal governments withheld funding to universities and colleges that permit BDS groups to operate on their campuses, campus administrators, who to date have refused to lift a finger against these hate groups, would be forced into action.
If the US Education and Justice departments opened civil rights investigations against major BDS groups for antisemitic bigotry, campus administrators would finally begin banning them from their campuses.
For many Israelis, the notion that defeating BDS is a job for the US government rather than for grassroots, American Jewish activists, will come as a surprise.
When Israelis think about the BDS movement, they tend to think that the American Jewish community is the place to turn for assistance.
This is not merely incorrect.
As two studies published in the last few weeks show, the notion that Israel can look to the American Jewish community for help with anything is becoming increasingly dubious.
To be sure, there are several American Jewish groups that devote massive resources to combating BDS on campuses. But their actions are tactical.
They fight specific BDS resolutions coming to votes before student councils. They train pro-Israel students to defend Israel to their peers.
While helpful, none of these actions constitutes a serious challenge to the movement.
On a strategic level, the effective moves made to date against BDS have been initiated by Republicans.
Alan Clemmons, the South Carolina lawmaker who initiated the anti-BDS bill in his statehouse and has since gone on to spearhead the state government anti-BDS drive nationally, is a Christian Zionist.
Clemmons didn't act out of concern for South Carolinian Jews. The Jewish community of South Carolina numbers a mere 20,000 members. The state-by-state anti-economic BDS campaign is neither the brainchild of any major Jewish group nor the product of their efforts.
So, too, to the extent that the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress take action to defeat BDS on campuses and in Europe, they won't be answering the call of their Jewish constituents. American Jews vote overwhelmingly for the increasingly anti-Israel Democratic Party. And while making up a mere 2% of the US population, American Jews contributed 50% of the donations to the Democratic Party in the 2016 elections.
This then brings us to the two studies of the American Jewish community and its future trajectory.
The first study was published by the Jewish Agency's Jewish People Policy Institute. It analyzes the data from the 2013 Pew survey of American Jewish attitudes. The Pew survey demonstrated that the Jewish identity of American Jews is growing increasingly attenuated and superficial.
Famously, the study noted that while 19% of American Jews said that they view observance of Jewish law as an essential part of their Jewish identity, 42% said they viewed having a good sense of humor as an essential part of their Jewish identity.
The JPPI study analyzed the Pew data regarding rates of marriage and childbearing among American Jews aged 24-54. The study started with the data on intermarriage. Sixty percent of non-haredi American Jews are married to non-Jews. A mere 32% of married American Jews are raising their children as Jewish to some degree.
From there, the JPPI study considered marriage and childbirth rates in general. It works out that a mere 50% of American Jews between 24 and 54 are married. And a mere 40% of American Jews between those ages have children living with them. In other words, the majority of adult American Jews are childless.
The JPPI study tells us two important things.
First, in the coming years there will be far fewer American Jews. Second, among those who are Jewish, their Jewish identity will continue to weaken.
Clearly, it would be unwise for Israel to believe that it can depend on such a community to secure its interests in the US for the long haul.
The second study shows that not only can Israel not expect the American Jewish community to help it maintain its alliance with the US. The number of American Jews willing to spearhead anti-Israel campaigns is likely to grow in the coming years.
The second study was produced by Brand Israel, a group of public relations experts that for the past decade has been trying to change the way young Americans think about Israel. The idea was to discuss aspects of Israel that have nothing to do with the Palestinians, with an emphasis on Israel as a hi-tech power. The hope was that by branding Israel as the Start-Up Nation, leftists, who support the Palestinians, would still support Israel.
Fern Oppenheim, one of the leaders of Brand Israel, presented the conclusions of an analysis of the group's work at the Herzliya Conference this week and discussed them with the media. It works out that the PR campaign backfired.
Far from inspiring increased support for Israel, Oppenheim argued that the hi-tech-centric branding campaign made leftist American Jews even more anti-Israel. She related that over the past decade, there has been an 18-point drop in support for Israel among US Jewish students.
To remedy the situation, which she referred to as "devastating," Oppenheim recommended changing the conversation from hi-tech to "shared values."
The problem with Oppenheim's recommendation is that it ignores the problem.
Young American Jews aren't turning against Israel because their values are different from Israeli values. By and large, they have the same values as Israeli society. And if they know anything about Israel, they know that their values aren't in conflict with Israeli values.
Young American Jews are turning on Israel for two reasons. First, they don't care that they are Jewish and as a consequence, see no reason to stick their necks out on Israel's behalf.
And second, due in large part to the political BDS campaign on college campuses, supporting Israel requires them to endanger or relinquish their ideological home on the Left. Since their leftist identities are far stronger than their Jewish identities, young American Jews are joining the BDS mob in increasing numbers.
This then brings us back to BDS.
The only way to diminish the groundswell of American Jews who are becoming hostile toward Israel is to defeat the forces of political BDS on campuses. To do this, Israel should turn not to the Jewish community but to evangelical Christians, the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress.
As for the American Jews, Israel needs to stop viewing the community as a resource and begin to view it as a community in crisis. To this end, the most significant contribution Israel can make to the American Jewish community - particularly to non-Orthodox American Jews - is to encourage them to make aliya. Assuming that current trends will continue, the only way non-Orthodox American Jews can have faith their grandchildren will be Jewish is for a significant number of them to make aliya.
No, this won't appeal to all American Jews. But nothing Israel does will. Israel's job isn't to reach the unreachable. It is to protect its alliance with the US and to help the Jews that remain in the room.
Recent articles by the IPT and other news organizations have addressed the growing concerns regarding the upcoming release of over a hundred inmates convicted of terrorism related crimes. Experts have spoken on the lack of a bona fide strategy that will address the unique security issues presented when a terrorist is released. The need for post release specialized supervision programs is clear.
The one idea that should not be on the table is to allow them to re-enter prisons to speak with inmates as a religious volunteer. Yet this is exactly what has happened in the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) for the last two years.
Edwin Lorenzo Lemmons, also known as Asad al Salaam, is an employee of the Muslim Chaplain Services of Virginia. He is licensed in the state as an Islamic clergyman authorized to perform marriages and other religious ceremonies. He has been issued a statewide pass to enter any VADOC facility and speak with inmates. He is currently teaching a class in Arabic for inmates. He is also an ex-offender. While that in itself is not unusual, many ex-offenders, in a desire to give back and help others in similar situations, have successfully done so. This particular ex-offender, Edwin Lorenzo Lemmons, (FBI # 939113RA3), is quite unique.
Lemmons' criminal history began in a small rural community in upstate New York. His parents had sent him there from Chicago in hopes of protecting him from the scourge of gang violence and drugs. His first arrest occurred when he was a teenager, and for the next two years he amassed charges ranging from DUI to Burglary, Assault, and finally, Robbery. The last charge resulted in his being sentenced to a term of 2-4 years in a New York State prison. Upon his entrance to a Reception and Classification facility in April of 1996, he declared his religion as Christian. A few months later, after meeting with several inmates of Middle Eastern descent, one, a former Colonel in the Yemeni army and the other, a member of Hamas, Mr. Lemmons informed his counselor that he was changing his religious affiliation to Islam. Following that development, he began to attend Arabic classes taught by another inmate in the Cayuga Correctional Facility. The inmate teacher's name was Abdel Nasser Zaben.
Abdel Zaben, a Palestinian, was born in Jordan in 1969. He illegally entered the United States in 1990, arrested by the NYPD in 1993 for Kidnapping and Robbery, and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Zaben was also the target of an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force who had received confidential information that he had sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden and was recruiting disenfranchised inmates to his group for training and to fight in the Jihad. At the time he first met with Edwin Lemmons, Zaben worked as a clerk for the prison's Islamic Chaplain . For the next two years he tutored Lemmons in both Arabic and the Koran. When the time for Lemmons' release from prison drew near, inmate Zaben provided him with names and contact information of individuals in the Middle East who would assist Lemmons in his travel and studies.
Following his release, in the fall of 1998, Lemmons had his parole supervision transferred to Florida, and enrolled in the Islamic Center of Gainesville. In March 2000, Lemmons made his first trip overseas to the Middle East. Upon his return from Jordan through New York's JFK Airport and then on to Gainesville, Florida, he approached the president of the Islamic center and asked about fighting in the jihad overseas. The then-president, Mohamed Bahmaid, in an interview with members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, stated that he tried to discourage Lemmons from any future overseas travel. Lemmons did not heed his advice. Four months later Lemmons made another trip overseas, this time to Egypt. He stayed for three months and while there, according to a reliable source who knew both Lemmons and Zaben, he received "underground tactical training."
Later, while under surveillance by the JTTF, Lemmons was observed at a firing range in Melbourne, Florida with two other individuals, firing AK 47's and SKS assault rifles. They were practicing tactical maneuvers known as "cover & concealment." In addition, authorities received credible information from a reliable source that described Lemmons as someone with extremist Islamic views similar to that of the Taliban. Lemmons himself admitted to extremist views in a recorded conversation with inmate Abdel Zaben. The majority of Lemmon's conversations with Zaben were in Arabic and required the use of government translators. The translators often remarked as to the skill and scholarly approach to the language that Lemmons had acquired. That development caused concern with investigators in June 2003 when monitoring a conversation between Lemmons and Zaben. Lemmons kept saying over and over to Zaben that he needed to learn how to say "Big Truck" in Arabic. He was fluent in Arabic and knew precisely how to say those words. Why was he repeating the phrase, "Big Truck"? Investigators believed this was a coded message about a possible future attack that Lemmons was to be involved with.
That is why on September 6, 2003, members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Lemmons in the Orlando airport as he returned from yet another trip to the Middle East. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. But this was no ordinary gun case. This was the result of a joint investigation dubbed "Operation Hades" which included investigators from my Office, the NYPD, the NYSP, and the JTTF. The goal of the investigation was to determine the level of Islamic radicalization in the prison system both here and abroad and also to identify and neutralize any radicalizing influences.
Lemmons was only one of the many radicals we uncovered.
As a result of his plea arrangement, he received a sentence of twenty seven months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He was released from prison on May 12, 2006. He continued to have contact with Abdel Zaben and other individuals in the Middle East whom he met during his travels. He has never recanted his extremist views.
The question arises as to why the Muslim Chaplains Services of Virginia would hire someone holding such extremist views. Perhaps they were unaware of Lemmons' background, or perhaps they share the same beliefs as Mr. Lemmons. The MCSVA is a non-profit organization incorporated in 2003 whose stated mission is "to serve incarcerated individuals, ex-offenders, and their families." To accomplish that goal, MCSVA has received funding from various organizations including the Islamic Relief (IRUSA), an organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Its former global affiliate and current partner organization Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) was banned from operating in Israel on allegations the charity funneled funds to Hamas. Later the same year, the United Arab Emirates declared IRW to be a terrorist group.
One of the MCSVA board members, Sa'ad El-Amin, pled guilty to Tax Fraud and sentenced to 37 months in a federal prison. Adding to this, MCSVA is now employing an individual who was radicalized in prison and has spoken of fighting and dying for jihad, namely Edwin Lorenzo Lemmons, also known as Asad al Salaam
Allowing an individual with such radical Islamic views to meet, teach, and influence a particularly vulnerable group of society, incarcerated men and women, is in direct opposition to the FBI's Correctional Intelligence Initiative which seeks to detect, deter, and disrupt the level of violent extremism and radicalization in correctional institutions. It specifically speaks of preventing un-vetted religious clergy and volunteers with extremist views from any interaction with inmates. The DOJ Inspector General's Office has also spoken of this security concern. That inmates could be radicalized while incarcerated and then carry out terrorist attacks after release is a very real concern both here and in abroad.
It seems incredulous to me that, in light of the recent terrorist attacks in the UK and other European countries, carried out in part by individuals radicalized in prison, someone with Mr. Lemmons' background would be allowed to reenter a prison, let alone teach inmates.
When notified of Lemmons' well documented criminal activity since his release from a New York State prison, Melissa Welch, the Operations Support Manager for VADOC, whose office oversees religious volunteers, stated that the approval to allow Mr. Lemmons to visit and teach inmates in Virginia was granted by her predecessor in 2015. She went on to say that the agency is in the process of reviewing how Edwin Lemmons slipped through the cracks and what action VADOC will need to take to correct the security error.
Three crucial steps will be necessary to effectively neutralize this egregious security breach. First, Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke should immediately suspend Mr. Lemmons' authorization to enter any correctional facility. Second, an audit/investigation into how religious volunteers are vetted should be conducted, and changes made, to prevent individuals with prior convictions for terror related crimes to gain access to any correctional facility. And thirdly, a list of the names of all the inmates, both in custody or released, who attended any classes or services conducted by Mr. Lemmons should be forwarded to the National Joint Terrorism Task Force that has oversight for the Correctional Intelligence Initiative Program.
Failing to implement these steps will only increase the level of radicalizing influences in the U.S. prison system.
Allowing a fox into the hen house does irreparable harm to all. Allowing a terrorist back into prison will only do the same.
Stern notes — as I"ve tirelessly and tiresomely noted — that the Arkansas Supreme Court and Gorsuch were wrong in claiming a "biological" ground for the discrimination. If Arkansas attempted to require disclosure of biological parentage on birth certificates of all parents, they might have a point. It doesn't. An artificial insemination statute specifically allows a non-biological parent (father) to be listed as parent. Arkansas just didn't allow the law to cover same-sex couples.
Stern figures that the dissent was Gorsuch's anti-gay philosophy at work. He wants to resist granting same-sex couples the full "constellation" of marital benefits provided in the Obergfell same-sex marriage ruling. Stern speculates that Gorsuch was trying to provide a roadmap to biological justification for rulings hostile to gay rights
But he got one thing flatly wrong.
First, he wrote that the court should have dismissed the appeal because “in this particular case and all others of its kind, the state agrees, the female spouse of the birth mother must be listed on birth certificates too.” What? That issue lay at the heart of this case—but Gorsuch has it exactly backward: Arkansas explicitly refused to list “the female spouse of the birth mother” on birth certificates. That’s how the case wound up at the Supreme Court in the first place.
This is important. Because other courts will note the dissent for ill reasons. The Arkansas case was mentioned in the Texas Supreme Courtdecision I wrote about earlier today. There, the court seems to be encouraging a strategy to make gay couples fight for every single of the hundreds of rights granted by law to married couples. They'll have to disprove a presumption that there's a rational reason for differentiating in every case between rights of gay married couples and straight couples.
Coincidentally, I received some documents from the Arkansas Health Department today in response to an FOI request. I was looking for some explanation for their change of heart over a couple of days this week, when the Department decided to go ahead and follow Supreme Court precedent on birth certificates rather than wait for an Arkansas Supreme Court hearing to formalize the order. They allowed same-sex parents to amend birth certificates for children born of artificial insemination to same-sex couples.
Among the information I received were text messages between Robert Brech, general counsel at the Health Department, and Ann Purvis, the department deputy director.
Brech commented that Colin Jorgensen, who'd defended the state law for the attorney general's office, had said that the decision seem limited and Arkansas's situation could have been fixed with a simple change to the state's statute dealing with artificial insemination.
Purvis: No so sure. Let me read again more closely.
I think the Ark. Supreme Court may take its direction from Gorsuch's dissent.
Brech: I hope they do.
I do think the court will take Gorsuch's lead. Given that the majority would have read it, wouldn't they have made it clear it wasn't limited.
They can't even write a 3 or 4 page opinion that is clear? Wonder about other states as well.
The case, and the discussion, illustrate how hard this can be if the state chooses to make it so. Women can become pregnant by means other than artificial insemination for purposes of motherhood in a marriage with another woman. Women can use donor eggs for pregnancy. And never mind the milkman scenario for straight couples. Will the Arkansas Supreme Court and legislature head down a path that requires interrogation of ALL parents on means of conception or onlyof same-sex couples? This could be easy, but in Arkansas it won't be. The legislature long ago should have granted presumed parental status to both parents in a married couple at birth,. not sought as Justice Jo Hart did, to cook up some flimsy biological excuse for discrimination.
As Stern wrote in tearing apart Gorsuch's work:
But that’s not going to work, because state family law is not just about biology. There is no state in the country that limits either legal parentage or birth certificates to biological parents.
Kobach has led efforts to suppress votes in Kansas and has participated in highly flawed efforts to investigate voter rolls nationally. He's a pal of Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin.
Now he's sent a letter to all 50 states in advance of the first meeting.
The information requested includes the names, addresses, birthdates, political party v(if recorded), last four digits of the voter's Social Security Number and which elections the voter has participated in since 2006, for every registered voter in the country.
Kobach, who is also Kansas' Republican secretary of state, did not say how the commission plans to use the data other than to help it "fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting."
If history repeats, he'll drum up some bogus matching lists, heavily flawed because, for example, the fact that five or six people with the same name, say Jose Cruz or Roosevelt Washington to give you the idea of what Kobach hopes to find, exist in several states isn't evidence of voter fraud.
Vanita Gupta, former head of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, boiled it down to this on Twitter:
The letter @KrisKobach1787 is sending to states confirms: Pence and Kobach are laying the groundwork for voter suppression, plain & simple.
The Kentucky secretary of state has told Kobach to stuff it.
I've asked Mark Martin's office if it intends to comply with Kobach's request. UPDATE: His spokesman, Chris Powell, says Arkansas has not received the letter.
I also sent an e-mail to former Democratic state Rep. David Dunn, now a lobbyist at the Arkansas Capitol, for his response to this. He was appointed to this panel thanks to friendship with Mark Martin. I wondered what he thought of the witch hunt in which he's been enlisted. No response as yet.
Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D), who released the copy of Kobach’s letter sent to her, issued a statement saying that, while they’ll be turning over the data, they’ll also be requesting from Kobach’s commission “any memos, meeting minutes or additional information as state officials have not been told precisely what the Commission is looking for.”
“This lack of openness is all the more concerning, considering that the Vice Chair of the Commission, Kris Kobach, has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas,” Merrill said. “The courts have repudiated his methods on multiple occasions but often after the damage has been done to voters. Given Secretary Kobach’s history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this Commission.”
David Dunn, where are you?
The League of Women Voters' Chris Carson had this to say:Vir
“There is no justification for this giant fishing expedition. The Commission itself is a distraction from the real issue of voter suppression, and that efforts to ‘investigate voter fraud’ threaten our most fundamental voting rights.
“This most recent move by Mr. Kobach is an indicator that the so-called Election ‘Integrity’ Commission is not interested in facts, but false accusations and dangerous policy recommendations.
“State laws govern the release of voter registration information, and, at a minimum, election officials must follow those laws before releasing data. "
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said: "I have no intention of honoring this request." California, Massachusetts and Kentucky aren't going along either. UPDATE: Add Rhode Island. UPDATE: Add Indiana!
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So many reality shows on TV. MTV Splitsvilla is great if you love to check out fights on the street between two random people. MTV Roadies is great if you are an adult but your brain is still 8 years old. If you are into dance and you get kicks by watching people dance in outrageous costumes, then I suggest you don’t sleep for more than 3 hours a day because there are reality dance shows all the time. There is something called In Your Fest. Do check it out. It is extreme crap. Next thing, cookery shows on music channels. Presenting VJ Juhi’s culinary delights on Channel V’s Red Hot Chilli Peppers every Saturday at 11.30 a.m. By the time it boils, you check out this cool track – The latest bollywood movie song played for the ten thousandth time. Launchpad is the only saving grace right now, but I dread the day when Launchpad will have to hunt for bands. Good bands take years to develop, and a launchpad every year will mean bad bands and crap music that will be polished and decorated for television.
Elections, the biggest reality show, are hitting the house this month. Channel V is running a campaign called “Vote ya Vaat”. The idea is simple, you vote or else you will be in a very bad shape because this very cruel, evil government will be elected and you will be persecuted and left deformed and malfunctioning beyond any hope of repair. There was a time when the campaigns would go “VOTE FOR ME” and now they take the easy way out and just about everyone says “GO VOTE”. Politicians come on Channel V – self proclaimed youth icons – and ask you to vote. I suspect they cut the part where they say “For Me” and just show the first part where they say “Vote”. Times of India – that great epitome of freedom, justice and equality – have gotten into the act with some Lead India type campaign. I have made up my mind. I will vote. Hence, we will get a clean, honest and efficient government this time. Obviously. Don’t vote for change, and don’t vote for an upset, just go and vote.
My favourite sporting nation has always been Argentina, thanks to Maradona and Sabatini. Now, Argentina lost to Bolivia 1-6 on April fool’s Day. It was soccer (not tennis) but then besides the inauspicious day (any astrologer would agree), I feel it was the altitude that got to the Argentineans. Playing in La Paz is no joke, and although Bolivia is ranked 50 places below Argentina in the FIFA rankings, they are the number one team when you play in La Paz. Teach the Bolivians to hold a bat, and they will give the Indian team a run for their money in cricket atop La Paz.
Maneka Gandhi has been in the news lately, thanks to Varun Gandhi and Mayawati. I used to get moved by the tales of cruelty towards animals narrated by Maneka Gandhi on TV in the series called “Heads and Tails”. It was touching, but it did not change my life (or my non-veg diet) and I did not fall in love with animals. At home, we never had pets when I was small. Maybe that’s why I was and I still am, indifferent to the two pets we have right now – a dog and a cat. My sis is into pets big time and hence the pets exist. The cat is no problem. We have had a pet cat for quite some time now. When one cat would die, my sister would get another. Almost like recycling. Cats don’t bark. Dogs do. And the one pet dog we have, does bark loud and for no reason. That is one reason I am not very appreciative of the pet dog. For some reason, he starts howling and screaming in the middle of nothing. It’s not like he has seen a stranger or something unfamiliar. Maybe it’s his innate desire to get some attention in this world where everyone is so focussed on avoiding pink slips amidst the economic meltdown. But I don’t get it. Why does the dog make dumb, loud, crazy noises when everything else around is still? One more reason the cat scores is the fact that she does not come near you sniffing your feet in anticipation of an egg coming out of your toes any moment. The dog does. Now I love my pet dog as long as he stays away from me. I have this ‘you live and let me live’ policy. It can be also interpreted as a ‘you leave me alone and I leave you alone’ policy. The dog does not get it.
And yeah, the good old lady Madonna has been stopped from adopting another baby from Malawi. I don’t think she is doing the right thing by adopting a second baby from the same country. Just for kicks, she should be asked to adopt from some other country. There is Djibouti, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Lesotho and many countries to choose from. Madonna is a funny one. If you are a young woman, Madonna will smooch you. If you are older, she probably wants you as a nanny. If you are a child, Madonna will adopt you. And if you are a guy, she might marry you. Okay, if you are a young guy, she might be looking at just a brief fling. But still wherever you go, Madonna may get you. She always is in the papers or somewhere near you. Omnipresent, I say.
Remember Jack and the beanstalk? If you ever make a movie on the story, remember to cast Dev Patel as the beanstalk. By the way, the beanstalk is dating the 4th sexiest woman in the world. Wow! Imagine the fate of Frieda Pinto’s classmates at St. Xavier’s. I’m sure some of them were thinking of Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie when the 4th sexiest woman in the world was sitting next to them in class. The most important lesson from it all – never ignore any girls in your vicinity, you never know when they might climb up on the sexy rating scale (whatever that is!)
It will be time to bid adieu to Goa soon. Just when I am getting into the groove, its Mumbai calling... bah!!!
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Let's face it… Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures hit gold back in 2010 when the first Despicable Me movie made its way into theaters. With great characters, funny lines and a solid story, it delighted audiences, especially the adorable little yellow Minions. Due to its success, it was followed in 2013 by its sequel along with the spinoff films starring the Minions. It spawned a plethora of merchandising opportunities and the Minions even have their own amusement park ride. This year, in anticipation of the July 4th holiday, Gru (Steve Carell; The Office), Lucy (Kristen Wiig; Bridesmaids), the girls and all the Minions are back in Despicable Me 3.
After marrying Lucy, Gru turned from a life of crime to a secret agent bringing justice to the world. However, when his nemesis Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker; South Park) slips through his fingers yet again, Gru is fired by the new head of the AVL. Without a job and unsure of what to do, he gets an unexpected visit and discovers he has a twin brother, Dru (Carell) who needs Gru's help. So Gru, Lucy and the girls head to Fredonia to meet this long lost family member.
Living in a big house as a successful pig farmer, Dru has a secret that their father, who Gru thought had died, was actually a successful villain. Now that he has passed away, Dru wants Gru to show him how to be a villain but Gru explains he left all that behind for marriage and kids. However, When Bratt steals the most expensive Diamond in the world, the brothers go on a quest to steal it back. Along the way they have their bumps and bruises but ultimately come to an emotional reconciliation.
Once thing the film has going for it is its talented cast. Carell is excellent at his voiceover work and Gru is a well know and recognizable character. His turn at Dru is also well done, as he makes two distinct but similar voices. Wiig is great as Lucy and her voice has a warm tone to it that is appealing. Parker's Bratt has a rougher edge which is perfect for the villain he plays. Of the three girls, Nev Scharrel's (Clippings) Agnes is absolutely adorable and she manages to steal the show a few times. Of course, those adorable little, yellow guys –the Minions- are very much the scene stealers as well, though they don't appear too much throughout the hour and a half running time.
The soundtrack, filled with ‘80's pop tunes and original songs from Pharrell Williams, adds to the overall upbeat feel of the film and gives off an aura of general happiness. The animation is excellent but I expect no less from an Illuminations Production. Vibrant colors permeate the screen making everything bright and joyous.
The film has a lot going for it yet, somehow, it just doesn't have the same feel as the first two films and drags a little. While it offers up a few laughs, there wasn't enough to offset the moments that lag in between. I didn't especially like the Balthazar Bratt character and found him rather annoying, which may have diminished my enthusiasm for the movie. Carell has stated he doesn't know that he would reprise his role as Gru in a fourth film (but did insist he would be willing to do a cameo in future Minions movies) and I think he makes a wise choice.
While I love the Minions and the Girls (especially Agnes) and I like the family aspect of them, Lucy and Gru, I just didn't like this third installment as much as I did the first two. However, if you are a fan and have little ones, you should take some time this summer and make a family outing to the movie.
About Allison Hazlett-Rose Allison Hazlett-Rose has always had a passion for the arts and uses her organization skills to help keep FlickDirect prosperous. Mrs. Hazlett-Rose oversees and supervises the correspondents and critics that are part of the FlickDirect team. Mrs. Hazlett-Rose attended Hofstra University where she earned her bachelors degree in communications and is a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has picked her state’s solicitor general to serve as the newest member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Patrick Wyrick, 35, has been the solicitor general in the state attorney general’s office since 2011. He will succeed Steven Taylor, who is retiring. Wyrick will serve as a justice from Oklahoma’s 2nd Judicial District, which encompasses much of southeastern Oklahoma. Wyrick was one of three finalists for the job. The other finalists were Bryan County District Judge Mark Campbell and LeFlore County District Judge Jonathan Sullivan . In a written statement from the governor’s office, Wyrick, a native of Atoka, said it’s an honor to represent his hometown district on the court. “I will continue to work hard and do my best to serve the people of this great state. I have committed myself to public service, and my years as Oklahoma solicitor general have offered me the opportunity to routinely litigate cases before the Supreme Court. I am uniquely familiar with the
The Oklahoma Supreme Court will have a vacant seat in January, and a handful of people hope to fill the position, including a top aide to Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Oklahoma’s Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick is one of four people up for the Supreme Court seat held retiring Justice Steven Taylor. Wyrick is the chief litigator in the AG’s office and he leads the federalism unit, which has sued the government on environmental and other matters, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports: Wyrick’s hometown is listed as Atoka. Prospective justices must be registered to vote in the soon-to-be-vacant Supreme Court judicial district, which encompasses much of southeastern Oklahoma. According to an online profile, Wyrick attended law school until 2007. After clerking in federal court for a year, he worked for an Oklahoma City law firm until 2011 when Pruitt hired him. Wyrick did not return a phone call requesting comment. The other candidates are all district judges in southeastern Oklahoma
Anti-abortion laws. A Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol. An overhaul of the workers’ compensation system. Controversial rejections of all or parts of these legislative actions by the Oklahoma Supreme Court – coupled with a push by national and state conservative groups – have led to a steady march of bills over the past decade that would alter the process for choosing state Supreme Court and Appeals courts justices. The 2016 legislative session was no exception. The Oklahoma House and Senate approved measures to change the way the state’s most powerful judges are selected, although none of the proposals became law or made it to the November ballot. The bills failed to pass because of several factors, including concern about over-politicizing the judicial selection process; disagreements between House and Senate Republicans; opposition by Democrats, and lobbying by the Oklahoma Bar Association. But if previous sessions going back to at least 2008 are any indication, similar
The Oklahoma Supreme Court Monday reaffirmed its decision that a Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the capitol grounds. The high court denied Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s request for a rehearing. The state supreme court justices found nothing of merit to rehear the case. They ruled on June 30 that the monument was in violation of the state constitution’s ban on using public money for religious purposes. American Civil Liberties Union legal director Brady Henderson says he expected the court’s decision to reaffirm. “We understood when we saw the order of June 30, the original decision in the case, that it was both factually accurate and legal correct. We didn’t have much concern about the court wanting to change its result,” Henderson said. Republican state Representative John Paul Jordan of Yukon filed an amendment to change that provision of the constitution in 2016. He wasn’t surprised by the court’s denial of a rehearing. “A lot of times what happens is with a judge
The Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision to order a Ten Commandments monument removed from the state Capitol grounds has so angered conservatives in the Legislature that some Republicans are calling for justices to be impeached. Others want to amend the Bill of Rights in the 108-year-old state constitution. The outcry immediately followed the court's 7-2 decision Tuesday that the monument violates the Oklahoma constitution's ban on using public property to benefit a religion. Some state legislators want a public vote on whether to repeal that ban from the constitution, but state Rep. Kevin Calvey is calling for justices to be impeached. The president of the Oklahoma Bar Association, David Poarch, says calling for impeachment when a ruling doesn't go in your favor is a dangerous precedent.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has elected John Reif of Tulsa to serve as the high court's new chief justice, effective Jan. 1. The court announced the results of its elections on Tuesday. The nine-member court also elected Justice Douglas Combs of Shawnee as vice chief justice. Reif will replace Chief Justice Tom Colbert, who will rotate out of the chief justice position. Both Reif and Combs were appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court by Democratic Gov. Brad Henry. Reif was a longtime judge on the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, and Combs is a former district judge for Pottawatomie County. The chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court typically rotates every two years. ____________________________________ KGOU produces journalism in the public interest, essential to an informed electorate. Help support informative, in-depth journalism with a donation online , or contact our Membership department.
An attorney says the Oklahoma Legislature engaged in "unprecedented expansion" of its authority when it passed legislation repealing Common Core education standards for English and math. Attorney Robert McCampbell made the comments Tuesday during oral arguments before the state Supreme Court in a lawsuit that alleges the legislation is unconstitutional. The lawsuit alleges lawmakers violated the state Board of Education's constitutional authority over the "supervision of instruction in the public schools" when they repealed Common Core standards scheduled to go into effect in the upcoming school year. But Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick argued that rulemaking is a legislative function and that the Legislature has supreme authority to pass laws. The case was argued about a month before students return to the classroom. Justices did not indicate when they may rule. ------------------------------------------------- KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on
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