Calilfornia marijuana Legalization debate gets interesting

California passes bill to counteract ‘disturbing’ Texas curriculum

Measure ensures Texas standards don’t ‘creep into our textbooks,’ senator tells Raw Story

The California Senate on Friday approved legislation that sends a clear message to Texas and textbook publishers: don’t mess with our kids’ minds.

“My bill begins the process of ensuring that California students will not end up being taught with Texas standards,” State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who authored and sponsored the legislation, said in an interview. Texas standards had better not “creep into our textbooks,” he said.

The S.B. 1451 measure – approved on a bipartisan vote of 25-5 – requires the California State Board of Education to examine and report any discrepancies between the new Texas standards and California’s standards. “At that point,” Yee told Raw Story, “we will make it very, very clear that we won’t accept textbooks that minimize the contributions of minorities and propagate the close connection between church and state.”

Continue reading

Study: Occupied Baghdad is least livable city on planet

The Iraq war is still being touted by Washington and the Pentagon as a war for progress and stability in the region. A study released May 26, however, reveals a radically different reality.

The Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Baghdad last in a list of “most livable cities.” The study took into account political, economic, ecological, social and cultural factors.

The result is not surprising considering the devastation brought on by the U.S.-led invasion. Sewage treatment plants, factories, schools, hospitals, and museums have been destroyed. As a result, Iraqi citizens now have scarce access to water and electricity.

The demolition of infrastructure is an important tactic in imperialist war and helps explain why the study found that, “A lack of security and stability continue to have a negative impact on Baghdad’s quality of living.”

The only benefactors from the occupation have been big corporations like BP, who got access to the giant Rumaila oil field. The citizens of Iraq continue to pay with their lives.

Gun Running, Drugs and Flamenco: US Army Human Terrain System Has It All

See also:  Nature: Shut Down Army’s Human Terrain Program

A member of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command management team in Afghanistan, according to sources, is a “gun runner.” That individual is allegedly listed in an “Federal Bureau of Investigation database” and has “ties to Ahmad Wali Khan Karzai and the drug business.”

Another Human Terrain System leader has apparently been accused by “local nationals…of being a pedophile—touching young Afghan children while out in the field and making disturbing comments about them.” Members of a US Army Stryker group in Afghanistan have made the same comments.

These comments appear outrageous but, then again, this is the US Army Human Terrain System. It’s a head-shaker that the US Army (TRADOC) and Lieutenant General William James Lennox Jr. heap praise upon it even as the US Congress, House Armed Services Committee, has said the program needs a good scrub, as reported by the authorities on HTS at Wired the Washington Independent.

HASC is to be applauded for this action. And it could not come at a better time.

Continue reading

Hells Angels ride no more in German state

The interior ministry of the north-German state Schleswig-Holstein has made membership in local chapters of the Hell’s Angels and Bandidos biker gangs illegal.

Over 300 police officers raided the headquarters of the “Hells Angels MC Charter Flensburg” und “Bandidos MC Probationary Chapter Neumuenster” on Thursday morning, as a ban against the groups came into effect.

Several apartments belonging to members of the groups were also searched to collect evidence relating to the clubs’ possessions. All told, 12 members of the Flensburg Hells Angels and 17 members of the Neumuenster Bandidos have been banned from publically belonging to their respective clubs. The clubs are considered deep rivals, and there have been several instances of violence between the two groups around Germany

According to Klaus Schlie, interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein, both clubs are in violation of penal law and go against the constitutional order. He said the goal of the clubs is to display criminal force in a certain area and to claim territorial rights over the other club using armed violence.

“This isn’t about harmless motorcycle clubs whose members meet each other for friendly trips on the weekend,” Schlie said, adding that, despite the bans against the clubs, “we can’t rule out the possibility of further violent conflicts.”

Continue reading

Local opposition to Arizona law sought

At Tuesday’s Beaumont Unified School District board meeting, trustee Mark Orozco called on his fellow board members to consider a resolution opposing Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law, which he pointed out gives police in that state the right to detain anyone who is suspected of being in this country illegally, or for failing to provide proper documentation of citizenship.

“Under the new law, Arizona police now are required to stop and question anyone they reasonably suspect of being undocumented,” said Orozco, who is a history teacher at Marshall School in Pomona. “I am deeply troubled, and as an educator, I am disturbed by the lessons this law teaches our children about democracy, inclusion and nondiscrimination.”

Orozco called Arizona’s law an attack on civil rights of Arizona’s Latino population, and likened the situation to the way Jews were treated in Germany prior to World War II, when they were required to carry documentation with them at all times.

“The right of undocumented immigrant children to a K-12 public education has long been protected,” Orozco said. “This legislation may be the start of a very slippery slope. What’s next? Will lawmakers require teachers, education-support professionals and school employees to act as immigration agents?”

Orozco said that he feared the impact that potentially oppressive measures could “impede on the mission of teaching and learning.”

“I understand that my peers and some members of the community will probably criticize me … but it needs to be said,” Orozco said during board comments at the end of the meeting. “I am speaking not just as a board member or public official, but also as a leader of our community and a concerned American citizen who cannot sit by and be silent.”

Continue reading

Maryland Citizens Face Felony Charges for Recording Cops

In Maryland, it is a felony to record thuggish cops as they push around skateboarding teenagers, beat sports patrons, and pull guns on motorists for speeding.

“Several Marylanders face felony charges for recording their arrests on camera, and others have been intimidated to shut their cameras off,” reports WJZ 23 in Baltimore.

Maryland cops are using a Maryland law that states conversations in private cannot be recorded without the consent of both people involved in order to go about their business of harassing, intimidating, and assaulting citizens.

It is legal according to Maryland’s attorney general for cops to videotape citizens with dashcams but illegal for citizens to do the same.

State authorities are upset after a video appeared on the internet showing the merciless beating of a university student by thug cops at the University of Maryland in April.

In 2009, a video surfaced showing a Baltimore cop pushing around and verbally assaulting a teenager. Numerous videos in other states show cops beating and even murdering citizens.

Click “read more” for videos.

Continue reading

Radley Balko on the Militarization of Police

2010 National Drug Control Strategy

President Obama’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy uses a multifaceted approach to combat drug abuse and drug use in America’s communities.

This Strategy “provides a collaborative and balanced approach that emphasizes community-based prevention, integration of evidence-based treatment into the health care system, innovations in the criminal justice system, and international partnerships to disrupt drug trafficking organizations. Because nearly all Americans are impacted by the consequences of drug use, the Strategy is designed to be relevant at the local level. Whether you are a parent looking for information, a community member interested in treatment resources, a police officer or local elected official searching for new approaches to drug-related crimes, or someone who wants to know more about the Administration’s drug policy, the National Drug Control Strategy will serve as a useful resource.”

Los Angeles teacher call for Mexican revolution in the US

News videographer at center of media battle after shooting video of abusive cops

Source

A freelance news videographer in Seattle lost his gig with a television station over a police abuse video they rejected after he posted the video on Youtube.

The video showed the customary abuse we expect from the Seattle Police Department; a cop kicking a detained suspect in the head after threatening to beat the “fucking Mexican piss” out of him.

It turned out, the suspect was completely innocent of armed robbery that got him detained.

Police then picked him up, brushed him off and sent him on his way.

The videographer, Jud Morris, ended up getting a video interview with the man, who had a fresh wound on his face from being face down on the ground, possibly from the kick that was caught on video.

The video also shows a female cop stomping on the suspect’s leg.

Morris, who was working for Q13 Fox news at the time, first approached them with the video, but they rejected it, telling him it was not newsworthy to see a cop kick an unarmed suspect in the head who later turns out to be innocent.

Morris, who as a freelancer owns all his work, then posted the video on Youtube.

He was fired the following day.

Continue reading

Washington Finally Feeling Drone War Backlash

Back in early 2009, when guys like David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum warned that the American drone war in Pakistan could create more terrorists than they kill, they were pilloried by the national security establishment for their views. Since the failed Times Square bombing — a terror attack allegedly in response to the drone strikes — Kilcullen and Exum’s take is quickly becoming conventional wisdom in Washington.

Continue reading

Forty years since the Kent State massacre

May 4 marks the 40th anniversary of the shootings of unarmed student protesters at Kent State University in northeast Ohio. The Ohio National Guard killed four students and wounded nine others at a rally against the Nixon administration’s decision to escalate the Vietnam War by invading neighboring Cambodia.

The four students who died were Allison B. Krause and Jeffrey Glenn Miller, who had participated in the antiwar protest, and two bystanders, Sandra Lee Scheuer and William Know Schroeder, who were walking between classes when the troops opened fire. Miller was killed instantly, Scheuer died within minutes, while Krause and Schroeder succumbed to their wounds after several hours.

One of the students wounded, Dean Kahler, 20, was a first-semester freshman who was a curious onlooker to the protest. A bullet cut his spinal column, leaving him in a wheelchair to this day.

At least 67 bullets were fired during the 13-second fusillade, and students were hit over a wide area. The closest of the victims, one of the wounded, was 71 feet from where the troops formed a firing line. The furthest, wounded in the neck, was 750 feet away. The four dead students were between 265 and 345 feet distant. None of the victims was armed or could have posed a physical threat to the guardsmen.

The Kent State Massacre was part of a wave of violent state repression that swept the United States in the aftermath of the April 30 television announcement by President Richard Nixon that US forces had crossed the border from Vietnam and invaded Cambodia.

Continue reading

Study Describes Difficulties of Latino Kids in U.S.

WASHINGTON – Latino children face obstacles in education and health that make their success as adults and their integration into society more difficult, the National Council of La Raza says in a study released Wednesday.

Latinos make up 22 percent of the country’s total population under age 18, a percentage that is predicted to grow in the coming years.

The examination of the basic statistics of that group reveals an “alarming” situation that must be corrected, says the report, which was put together by the NCLR’s Patricia Foxen and Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau.

Continue reading

YouTube Didn’t Delete M.I.A. Video, But Did Bury It

See the story here.

Assassin of Malcolm X freed on parole

Thomas Hagan, assassin of America’s civil rights leader Malcolm X, has been freed 45 years after he admitted to shooting Malcolm X in New York City.

“He was released today. His release was approved,” said Linda Foglia, spokesman for the New York State Department of Correctional Services on Tuesday.

Thomas Hagan, who confessed to the 1965 shooting of Malcolm X, had been partially free on work release for the last 22 years, although he was still required to spend two nights a week at a low-security Manhattan prison.
Continue reading

San Francisco City workers banned from official travel to Arizona

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today a moratorium on official city travel to Arizona after the state enacted a controversial new immigration law that directs local police to arrest those suspected of being in the country illegally.

The ban on city employee travel to Arizona takes effect immediately, although there are some exceptions, including for law enforcement officials investigating a crime, officials said. It’s unclear how many planned trips by city workers will be curtailed.

The move comes amid a cascade of criticism of Arizona’s law, which has been denounced by civil rights groups, some police officials and President Obama, who said it threatens to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Legal challenges are being weighed to overturn it.

San Francisco’s move comes as the Board of Supervisors introduced non-binding resolutions calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a boycott of Arizona because of the new law, which requires police to try to determine the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally. There are also online boycott campaigns calling for everything from a boycott of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team to the Grand Canyon.

Continue reading

Mexico warns citizens in Arizona

HTML clipboard

The Mexican government warned its citizens Tuesday to use extreme caution if visiting Arizona because of a tough new law that requires all immigrants and visitors to carry U.S.-issued documents or risk arrest.

And a government-affiliated agency that supports Mexicans living and working in the United States called for boycotts of Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns until those organizations rebuke the law.

“We are making a strong call to the Arizona government to retract this regressive and racist law that’s impacting not only residents of Arizona, but people in all 50 states and in Mexico as well,” said Raul Murillo, who works with the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, an autonomous agency of Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.

Continue reading

Deportation’s Harmful Effect on Children

This brief from the International Human Rights Law Clinic University of California, Berkeley School of Law , In the Child’s Best Interest? The Consequences of Losing a Lawful Immigrant Parent to Deportation states “Congress is considering a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws more than a decade after the enactment of strict immigration measures. Lawmakers should take this opportunity to reaffirm the nation’s historic commitment to family unity by addressing the discrete provisions that currently undermine it. Current U.S. immigration laws mandate deportation of lawful permanent resident (LPR) parents of thousands of U.S. citizen children, without providing these parents an opportunity to challenge their forced separations. Through a multi-disciplinary analysis, this policy brief examines the experiences of U.S. citizen children impacted by the forced deportation of their LPR parents and proposes ways to reform U.S. law consistent with domestic and international standards aimed to improve the lives of children.”

Continue reading

Paul Schrader: Transparency- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

The questions asked at most of my events and from people all over the county is, what are they hiding, and why is the sheriff and his command staff not open and available to the public.

As part of my fresh start approach to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, it will be my duty to see that the Department is above reproach in order to restore and retain the respect and trust of the public. My first objective is to make all areas of the Department transparent, especially the jails. There will be an open dialogue maintained with the community and community activists who have questions regarding the Department, including the jails.

In order to bring justice to those wronged and closure to those who have done right, I will have all internal investigations expedited. The community will know the truth, and Deputies will be treated fairly and in accordance with “The Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights”.

This is the right thing to do.  Check out my website at www.sheriffpaul.net and let’s work together for a TRANSPARENT Department.

Paul Schrader: Community Responsibility- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

My name is Paul Schrader, and I am running for the position of Sheriff-Coroner of San Bernardino County. My campaign is based on what we call the Fresh Start Initiative. My goal is to bring a Fresh Start to San Bernardino County that the citizens can be proud of, participate in, and see concrete, forward-looking solutions to the problems we face.

Community Responsibility- A Sheriff’s Department that accepts its responsibility to the community, and works with the community to improve
conditions for all.

The other day I was in Chino Hills. I was talking with a guy by the name of John. He said he would like to see the Department executives reaching out to the community, finding out what needs and concerns they have.  He said when he has tried to reach anyone of any rank, he is directed to a patrol deputy.  He is frustrated.

While in Victor Valley I talked to Helen. She had a few of her friends with her. She said she wanted a group to help bring the Department and community together. She said the Department said she could volunteer. She tried to call the Sheriff’s Office and was redirected to a patrol deputy. She does not want to be a volunteer, she would love to be part of a community group that could partner with the Department. She is frustrated.

I hear this throughout the county. Deputies are being utilized to answer questions that should go through Department executives. Our deputies are trying to provide law enforcement services and need tools to do the job even better.

I will have community groups in every area of the county. We will meet and work together, ensuring they are getting service needed in their area. I will be available to citizens. This is being done in Departments all over the State.

Dennis L. “Pinky” Stout got the message

Today I am announcing my decision not to seek the Office of District Attorney of San Bernardino County.

From a very early age all I dreamed about was being a public prosecutor.  After 17 years as a Deputy District Attorney, I realized my ultimate dream in 1994 when I was elected District Attorney.  I ran unopposed in 1998 and was reelected to a second term. During those eight years we accomplished a complete rebuild of the office from the ground up. We implemented over 50 new programs.

We positioned the office so that it could become the best prosecutorial agency in the state.

Continue reading

NAACP Elects Roslyn M. Brock To Chair Board Of Directors In Unanimous

NEW YORK, NY – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People named Roslyn McCallister Brock as Chair of the Board of Directors at its Annual Board Meeting on February 20 at the New York Hilton. Brock, 44, became the youngest ever and fourth woman to serve as Chair of the NAACP’s Board of Directors. A highly qualified candidate, her NAACP resumé boasts more than 25 years of service to the NAACP in many capacities, including as a youth board member, Youth and College State Conference President, board member, and Vice Chair to the Board of Directors. Brock also created the annual NAACP Leadership 500 Summit, and has served as Chair of the Board Convention Planning Committee. “As the NAACP ushers in a new generation, it is a great honor to be elected Chairman of the Board of this esteemed Association,” said NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “We are blessed with the opportunity to lead the fight for civil and human rights into another century, and I am honored to help the NAACP issue the clarion call while ensuring the future legacy of this great organization.” “We’re looking at a generational shift in our communities,” continued Brock. “We have a 48 year old President in the White House, an NAACP President who was 35 at the time of his election, and a 44 year old Board Chair. The wisdom of those who stood the test of time got us to this point, and the youth will lead the future success of our movement.”

Continue reading

Nebraska State Penitentiary Guards suspended over Facebook posting

Update: LINCOLN — Three Nebraska prison guards have been suspended after one allegedly posted Facebook comments expressing enjoyment at roughing up an inmate, and the others supported his actions. State prison officials said the three were suspended pending an investigation.

LINCOLN — A man who identified himself as a Nebraska State Penitentiary guard posted a Facebook comment this month expressing glee at roughing up a inmate.

“When you work in a prison a good day is getting to smash an inmates face into the ground. … for me today was a VERY good day,” stated the Web posting on the Facebook social networking site page of Caleb Bartels.

Two other men identified in state records as prison guards, Shawn Paulson and Derek Dickey, posted responses that appeared supportive, including this one from Dickey: “very satisfying isnt it!!!”

Now all three find themselves in hot water, with former State Sen. Ernest (Ernie) W. Chambers calling for their dismissal.

In a letter this week to Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, Chambers wrote that such “reprehensible misconduct” discussed so brazenly makes the three unfit to serve.

“Given the nature of their work and the power they exercise over inmates, they have shown themselves to lack fitness to hold employment,” Chambers wrote.

Continue reading

Major Drug Conference in Mexican Drug War Says Prohibition Has Failed, Calls for New Policy

Coming as Mexico‘s war on drugs turns bloodier by the day, the conference concluded that current prohibitionist policies are a disaster.

Editor’s Note: With 137 people killled last week in the Mexican drug war, a conference on this topic couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

On Monday and Tuesday in Mexico City, political figures, academics, social scientists, security experts, and activists from at least six countries came together for the Winds of Change: Drug Policy in the World conference sponsored by the Mexico City-based Collective for an Integrated Drug Policy (CUPHID). Coming as Mexico’s war on drugs turns bloodier by the day, the conference unsurprisingly concluded that current prohibitionist policies are a disaster.

“The principal conclusion is that we need a more integrated drug policy based on prevention, scientific evidence, and full respect for human rights,” summarized CUPHID president Jorge Hernandez Tinajero. “It remains clear that, yes, there exist alternatives to the current strategy.”

In a press release after the conference, CUPHID emphasized the following points:

  • The so-called war on drugs has failed and, without doubt, we need “winds of change” to advance toward alternative policies to address the problematic of drugs across the globe.
  • The prohibitionist paradigm has been ineffective, and furthermore, for the majority of countries it has implied grave violations of human rights and individual guarantees, discrimination, and social exclusion, as well as an escalation of violence that grows day by day, ever broadening the scope of impunity for organized crime.
  • Drugs are never going to disappear. Thus, a more realistic drug policy should focus on minimizing the harms associated with drug use – overdoses, blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS, and violence. This concept is known as “harm reduction,” and must be the backbone of any drug policy.

Study Links Religion and Racism

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus warned religious listeners against what today would be called “ingroup prejudice”: the tendency to think less of outsiders, especially those of another race.

The Samaritan, a member of a group despised by Israelites of that time, proves himself more charitable to an injured traveler than two members of the Jewish clergy.

Devout listeners startled by the Samaritan’s charity would have had to confront a difficult message: Piety and prejudice keep close company.

It appears not much has changed.

A meta-analysis of 55 independent studies carried out in the United States with more than 20,000 mostly Christian participants has found that members of religious congregations tend to harbor prejudiced views of other races.

In general, the more devout the community, the greater the racism, according to the authors of the analysis, led by Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at USC College and the USC Marshall School of Business. The study appears in the February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Continue reading

San Bernardino County sheriff says deputies will not ask immigration status on the street

In a department address Thursday, San Bernardino County’s sheriff reaffirmed positions on two hot-button topics, saying deputies would enforce medical marijuana laws though he feels they’re “greatly flawed,” and only broach someone’s immigration status inside jails.

Rod Hoops delivered a wide-ranging state of the department address, his first since being appointed last February, to a roomful of county leaders and sheriff’s staff. A theme was cost-saving measures he has already taken, and ones still in the works.

That’s when he noted the cooperation with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, which recently resulted in a new three-year agreement to help identify illegal immigrants booked into county jails.

Officials have said the program helps cut the long-term cost of housing such suspects. Jail staff is trained to screen inmates for their immigration status, and if applicable, refer them to ICE for possible deportation.

“We will not target anyone from a specific country, and our department does not enforce immigration laws,” Hoops said, emphasizing that screenings only take place in jails, not in contact deputies have on the street.

A local immigration advocate said later that his longstanding worry with the program still exists: that it often results in the deportation of individuals arrested for relatively minor offenses.

“Continuing the agreement undermines the trust in the community,” Emilio Amaya, executive director of the San Bernardino Community Service Center, said later by phone. “It gives argument to people who say they’re afraid to come forward and report crimes.”

Continue reading

SPLC Suit Wins $2.75 Million Settlement for Exploited Workers

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – In one of the largest settlements of its kind, an Arkansas forestry company has agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle the legal claims of foreign guest workers who say they were cheated out of the wages they earned planting trees for the company.

Superior Forestry Service Inc.’s agreement to pay more than 2,200 guest workers makes this one of the largest settlements ever reached under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the workers by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Farmworker Justice, the Legal Aid Justice Center and attorneys from two Chicago-based private law firms: Willenson Law, LLC and Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym. Superior Forestry is one of the largest forestry contractors in the United States.

The settlement received preliminary approval Thursday from U.S. District Judge William J. “Jim” Haynes II. It is subject to final approval following a fairness hearing in March.

“Guest workers are too often seen as disposable workers who can be cheated and exploited,” said Jim Knoepp, an attorney with the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project. “This settlement sends a powerful message that these workers have rights and that their employers will be held accountable.”

Continue reading

Let Dr. Aafia go home, Mr. President

Reading all those legal thrillers by John Grisham and watching Hollywood blockbusters that portray innocent individuals framed and ensnared by a powerful system, one always thought: Of course, these things do not happen in real life.

I am not so sure anymore though. The abduction, persecution and now conviction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated neuroscientist, by the U.S. authorities reads like a regulation Grisham thriller written for Hollywood.

Aafia disappeared with her three children on her way to Jinnah International Airport airport for Islamabad way back in 2003. Five years later, she was presented in a New York court in March 2008 as “a top al-Qaeda terrorist” and the “most dangerous woman on earth,” as United States Attorney General John Ashcroft put it.

The U.S. authorities claimed then that Aafia was captured near Ghazni governor’s office in Afghanistan with a bag that carried instructions on making explosives and a list of U.S. landmarks.

But more damningly, the U.S. authorities claimed that the frail mother of three attacked a team of eight U.S. soldiers, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Afghan officials in Ghazni with a highly sophisticated, heavy M-4 gun in Ghazni when they went to question her. Surprisingly though, it’s Aafia who ended up with two gunshot wounds, inflicted point blank. None of the officials she allegedly attacked sustained any injuries or wounds.

Last week, after months of courtroom drama and charade of a trial, Aafia was convicted of attempted murder and attacking U.S. soldiers and FBI officials with a deadly weapon.

Continue reading

12-year-old American arrested for doodling on desk

A 12-year-old girl from New York has been handcuffed and arrested by the police for doodling on the classroom desk, an incident that has shaken the US education system to its core.

Alexa Gonzales, a seventh grader at the Junior High School in Forest Hills, had written the words “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)” on the classroom desk with a green marker when the school principal decided to have her arrested by the New York City Police Department.

Consequently, Alexa’s hands was cuffed behind her back while she was escorted from school to the police precinct across the street in front of her teachers and her classmates.

“They put the handcuffs on me, and I couldn’t believe it,” Alexa told CNN. “I didn’t want them to see me being handcuffed, thinking I’m a bad person.”

Alexa missed three days of school because of the psychological ordeal she faced. Her mother said she spent those days throwing up, and she found it difficult to catch up on homework when she eventually returned to school.

The case has cast a dark shadow over the use of so-called zero tolerance policies adopted in schools in the US.

Continue reading

Phony US Marshal Apprehends, Deports Woman

A Hemet man who passed himself off as a U.S. Marshal was able to enter San Diego International Airport with a “prisoner” after convincing airport security officers he was a federal agent, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Suzanne Trevino, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said in a telephone interview that an investigation has revealed that someone who presented “falsified law enforcement documents” was able to get past security and eventually make it to a gate with a prisoner. The individual presented himself as a law enforcement officer and followed the proper procedures, including logging in, she said.

The agency learned about the incident after being contacted by “local law enforcement” about the potential breach in security.

“We are working with law enforcement and other departments to make sure this does not happen again,” Trevino said.

Trevino declined to discuss what law enforcement officers are required to do to verify their status, or what policy changes have taken place since the incident.

After the “prisoner” took off in a plane, Trevino said, the individual left the airport.

Continue reading

Arpaio Tactics Causing Fear And Loathing In Maricopa County

Sheriff Joe Arpaio‘s crusade against Maricopa County officials has created a “year-long emotional roller-coaster” for some county employees, they tell the Arizona Republic.

Arpaio, whose controversial immigration enforcement tactics have made him a nationally known figure, is reportedly being probed by a federal grand jury. The investigation is considering whether the sheriff abused his power by going after political opponents and others who crossed him, including several county supervisors and judges.

Continue reading

BART to pay $1.5 million to daughter of man shot by transit cop

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Officials have agreed to pay $1.5 million to the daughter of a man fatally shot in the back by a transit police officer on New Year’s Day 2009 in Oakland, California.

A bystander’s cell-phone video of the shooting on a transit platform was widely circulated on the Internet and on news shows.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit train system late Wednesday announced the settlement over the killing of Oscar Grant, 22.

“It’s been a little over a year since we experienced the tragic death of Oscar Grant,” BART Board President James Fang said. “No matter what anyone’s opinion of the case may be, the sad fact remains this incident has left Tatiana without a father. The $1.5 million settlement will provide financial support for her.” Grant’s daughter, Tatiana, is 5.

The video showed then-Officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, pulling his gun and shooting Grant in the back as another officer kneeled on Grant.

Continue reading

Lithuania opens Gulag prison camp for students

Deportation Day website

A recreated Joseph Stalin-era prison camp near Vilnius, a Gulag, has become a peculiar attraction for European Union students. Each day some 40 young people spend the day as prisoners under the surveillance of stern guards.

However, before putting on prisoners’ clothes with numbers, students visit the Genocide Museum and former KGB prison in the Lithuanian capital to learn basic facts about the notorious Gulag system.

The students are then “forced” to travel for one hour in an “authentic Soviet truck ZIL 157 K” to a forest bunker, as the website explaining the Deportation Day program says. Then, for the next two hours, they live through the experience of being “political prisoners”, which includes being interrogated by NKVD (security service) officers, shouted at and insulted by the guards. The roles are performed by professional actors. The “excursion” ends with the announcement of Stalin’s death and subsequent amnesty.

The program will continue until the beginning of March, with four hundred participants from 19 EU countries expected to take part in the role playing. On March 11, 2010, which marks 20 years of Lithuania’s independence, organizers plan to bring together victims of Stalin’s regime and young participants of the program to compare their experiences.

Continue reading

“Christian mafia” rules America

A group known as the “Christian mafia” is the oldest and arguably the most powerful and influential religious rights organization in the United States, says American author Jeff Sharlet.

He recently published a book entitled “The Family” in which he reveals how the group functions.

“It goes back to the 1930s. They don’t seek publicity. They like to refer to themselves as the ‘Christian mafia.’ The leaders say the more invisible you can make your organization the more influence it will have,” Sharlet told RT.

The group has “expansionist ideas of American power” that lead them to a very active role in foreign affairs, says the journalist.

In his book he describes, among other things, mechanisms through which the mafia influences other countries – mostly ones that are smaller and much weaker economically. For example, he claims The Family has been directly connected to Uganda’s new legislation that authorizes the execution of gays. Why do they need this? The answer is simple:

“There are a lot of policies they want to influence – gay laws and laws on abortion bring about economic changes,” Sharlet explains. “You go to a small country like Uganda or Somalia or Central America… A few US senators can have an outsized influence there and they can use those countries as guinea pigs for their religious right ideas. They can put into practice the very laws that they can’t get passed here.”

The idea is to sort of work from outside, the author says. “If you can build this in Central Asia, in Africa, even in Europe, all around the American empire, one day you look up and say – the rest of the world decided this is the way things should be.”

Trijicon: We’ll Stop Putting Bible Inscriptions On Military Rifle Scopes

Trijicon, the company that produces the military rifle scopes with Biblical inscriptions, will end the decades-old practice and provide the military with modification kits to remove the markings, ABC is reporting.

General David Howell Petraeus also addressed the scopes this morning, calling the matter “disturbing and a serious concern for me.” That’s a markedly different response from the United States Central Command spokesman who minimized the significance of the New Testament inscriptions this week, comparing them to “In God We Trust” on currency.

ABC reports:

Continue reading

Student: ‘Beating So Bad Thought I Was Going To Die’

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chief Nate Harper said three plainclothes officers have been reassigned during an internal investigation into the beating of an 18-year-old student violinist from the city’s Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6–12.

Police charged Jordan Miles, 18, with assault and resisting arrest Jan. 11 because, they said, he fought with the officers who thought a “heavy object” in his coat was a gun. It turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew.

Miles said he resisted because he thought the men were trying to abduct him and didn’t identify themselves as police

Miles’s family and attorney said he was hit with a stun gun and hospitalized after the violent Homewood struggle during which a chunk of his hair was yanked out and a tree branch went through his gums.

“I was accused for something I never had anything to do with,” said Miles, an honor student at CAPA. “I was completely innocent. They couldn’t find anything.”

Continue reading

Detention Deputies Sentenced In In-Custody Beating Death

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Two former Kern County Sheriff‘s detention deputies are behind bars serving their sentences for the beating death of an inmate over four years ago.

In August of 2005, James Moore died after a fight with deputies at the downtown jail.

Officers, at the time, said he became combative while being booked. But the Kern County District Attorney contended the fatal blows came while Moore was restrained on a gurney.

Continue reading

LEAP’s Cops and Clergy Initiative

We are pleased to officially announce Law Enforcement Against Prohibition‘s latest project, the Cops and Clergy Initiative.  The initiative features an unstoppable alliance of representatives of the faith and law enforcement communities collaborating to make speaking appearances at places of worship and in the media across the country.  Earlier this month in California, prohibitionist police and religious groups came out in force attempting to impede the progress of legislation that would legalize marijuana.  While the bill did pass the Assembly’s public safety committee, such public opposition to legalization and regulation from cops and clergy who perpetuate the failed war on drugs emphasizes the need for LEAP’s Cops and Clergy Initiative. Combining the experience, expertise and credibility of these two professions, the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative and the Ordinary People Society join LEAP in the effort to counter the prohibitionist’s standard use of those communities to thwart drug policy reform.

Please view our video, “Cops and Clergy Talk About the War on Drugs,” by clicking here.  If you are able to host a Cops and Clergy speaker at your place of worship or are interested in showing our video on your local public access station, please contact us at CopsAndClergy@leap.cc . Please visit www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com/Donate to support this project and all LEAP’s work.

Psychiatric disorders spiral among US troops

A new study indicates US troops who were withdrawn from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for medical reasons were increasingly evacuated for psychiatric reasons.

Psychiatric disorders rose from 2004 to 2007, despite an increased focus on treating mental health problems, the research study revealed on Friday.

Only 14 percent of troops taken out of combat operations on medical grounds during the four-year period were because of a combat injury, AFP reported.

The biggest single cause for a pullout was ‘musculo-skeletal’ and joint problems, which accounted for 24 percent of medical evacuations.

In contrast, psychiatric grounds accounted for five percent of evacuations in Iraq and six percent in Afghanistan in 2004; these figures rose to 14 and 11 percent respectively in 2007.

Researchers also said that repeat missions and declining public support for the Iraq war may partly account for the rise.

The study drew on data from more than 34,000 US personnel who had been evacuated to the main US military receiving hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.  [ Probably the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. ]

Steven P. Cohen of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore led the research team.

Lawsuit: NYPD routinely arrests students for non-crimes

ACLU: Racial element present in creation of ‘school-to-prison pipeline’

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by five students in the New York City school system against the New York City Police Department paints a picture of school officers who routinely abuse students and arrest them for non-criminal activities.

The lawsuit (PDF), brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of five students aged 13 to 18, says that school safety officers “have a long-standing pattern of abuse, unlawful arrests and excessive force against minority students who commit even minor infractions like talking back, being late for class or having a cell phone in school,” Courthouse News reports.

“Aggressive policing is stripping thousands of New York City students of their dignity and disrupting their ability to learn,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU said in a statement. “Despite mounting evidence of systemic misconduct by police personnel in the schools, the NYPD refuses to even acknowledge any problems with its school policing practices. We are confident that the courts will compel much-needed reform.”

One of the plaintiffs in the suit was 11 years old when she says she was “handcuffed and perp-walked into a police precinct for doing nothing more than doodling on a desk in erasable ink,” a lawyer for the students said.

Continue reading

Recording of Nazi officers who found Hitler’s body released

A tape recording of Nazi officers describing the moment they found Adolf Hitler‘s body in his Berlin bunker has been discovered.

The recording was made on October 25 1956 in a courtroom in Berchtesgaden, site of the Fuehrer’s mountaintop home in Bavaria. The court was convened to officially declare the former leader of Nazi Germany dead so that his fortune and rights to his book “Mein Kampf” could be seized by the state government.

Among those giving evidence that day were Otto Guensche, an SS officer, and Heinz Linge, a valet, who first discovered the corpses of Hitler and his new bride Eva Braun.

On the recording, discovered by researchers for the German Spiegel TV channel, the men speak under oath of entering the Fuehrer’s study after hearing shots ring out on April 30 1945.

“When I entered to my left I saw Hitler on the sofa,” said Linge, who died in 1980.

“Hitler had his head bent forward somewhat and I could see a bullet hole approximately the size of a penny on the right side of the temple.”

Continue reading

Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio Investigated by Federal Grand Jury

PHOENIX —  Two officials said Thursday night they have been subpoenaed to answer questions next week before a federal grand jury about a high-profile Arizona sheriff who gained attention for aggressively cracking down on illegal immigration.

In statements read by a county spokesman, Maricopa County Manager David Smith and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson said they met with a federal prosecutor to discuss the case and will testify Wednesday.

Wilson said the general subject of the inquiry was abuses by Sheriff Joseph M. “Joe” Arpaio‘s office. Neither Wilson nor Smith offered specifics, said county spokesman Richard de Uriarte, who spoke with the two officials Thursday night.

Arpaio is widely known for tough jail policies and pushing the bounds on local immigration efforts. He has led a dozen crime and immigration sweeps, some in heavily Latino areas.

Critics allege that some of Arpaio’s deputies racially profiled people during immigration sweeps. But Arpaio maintains that people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes.

Sheriff’s spokesman Brian Lee said Arpaio was declining to comment on reports of the investigation. “He has stated that we will conduct business as usual,” Lee said.

Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S attorney’s office in Phoenix, said she couldn’t confirm or deny a grand jury investigation.

Continue reading

Congressman seeking to bar Iranians from US

A US congressman has announced his plans to reintroduce the Stop Terrorists Entry Program (STEP) Act into Congress, which calls for the deportation of most Iranians without permanent resident status.

The STEP Act, a bill that was originally presented in 2003, would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to bar citizens of Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States.

Rep. James Gresham Barrett says he is reintroducing the STEP Act in response to the Fort Hood shooting, carried out by a US citizen, and the Christmas Day attempt to blow up an airplane over Detroit, attempted by a Nigerian national.

If passed, the bill would deport all Iranians on student visas, temporary work visas, exchange visas, and tourist visas from the United States within 60 days.

It would also make it illegal for Iranians to travel to the United States, though some exceptions could be made after “extensive federal screening.”

National Geographic’s ‘Border Wars’

National Geographic’s Border Wars: Incident Reports

National Geographic’s new series Border Wars premieres this Sunday, January 10. The series follows United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers at one of the busiest border crossings in the country, Nogales, Arizona and Heroica Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Cameras follow the CBP agents “as they use every means at their disposal – from high-tech stealth planes to basic wilderness skills – to track, catch and deport illegal immigrants.”

In addition to videos, photos, and behind-the-scenes video diaries, the companion website features Weekly Incident Reports and a Border Agent Simulation Game .

Additionally, the website features a webpage entitled Narco State , which includes video, photos, and facts on the area’s drug war.

Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail

Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.

But behind the scenes, it is now clear, the deaths had already generated thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry.

The documents, obtained over recent months by The Times and the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act, concern most of the 107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003, after the agency was created within the Department of Homeland Security.

The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds noncitizens while it tries to deport them.

But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse.

Continue reading

First Appearance of Oscar Grant murderer in Los Angeles Court

LOS ANGELES — Protesters have gathered outside a downtown Los Angeles courthouse where a former Bay Area Rapid Transit Police officer charged with killing an unarmed man at an Oakland train station is scheduled to make his first appearance.

Dozens of demonstrators lined the street, awaiting the arrival of 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle, who was scheduled to attend a pretrial hearing. The protesters were being monitored by about two dozen Los Angeles police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Mehserle is charged with the murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on an BART station platform on New Year’s Day 2009.

Witnesses captured the shooting on cell phone video. Grant was in custody at the time of the incident and was shot in the back after being ordered to lie on his stomach.

Mehserle’s lawyer has said the officer mistakenly pulled out his Taser instead of his handgun.

An Alameda County judge ruled in October that Mehserle’s trial should be moved out of Oakland because of excessive media coverage and racial tensions.

One protester who traveled to Los Angeles from the San Francisco Bay area told KTLA that they’re seeking justice not only for Grant, but for others like him across the nation.

“It’s not just an Oakland thing, it’s not just Oscar Grant. There have been many people killed in Los Angeles and in fact, police brutality is an epidemic across the country,” she said.

Mehserle has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Grant’s family is also expected to attend the hearing.

The trial is expected to begin in about six months.

In the last year 75 people were killed by Neo-Nazi in Russia

In 2009 218 aggressive xenophobia assaults were registered in Russia that resulted in 75 killed and at least 284 injured people, Antiracism.Ru reports.

The most popular targets were Uzbeks (14 murdered and 12 injured), Kyrgyz (8 murdered, 10 injured), Tajiks (7 murdered, 18 injured), Russians (7 murdered, 13 injured); the list of injured victims also includes 5 Kazakhs and 3 Turkmen.

Most of the assaults were registered in Moscow and the Moscow Oblast (33 murdered, 131 injured), St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast (8 murdered, 26 injured), Nizhniy Novgorod (5 murdered and at least 44 injured).

According to Antiracism.Ru, in 2008 belligerent nationals killed at least 128 and injured at least 394 people.

Here comes “Pinky” for his final disgrace

[ Before making a big mistake, insist that "Pinky" Stout debate Mike Ramos in public and make a recording available on the Internet.  This jerk can hardly tie his shoes.  He was put into office by the military/prison-industrial complex mafia bosses, in an era of secrecy and censorship.  He was chosen for his ignorant obedience.  Let's see how he looks when we can really see him. By the way, MID/PID scum:  You don't run this county any more. ]

———————————————————————————————————————
SAN BERNARDINO – Former district attorney Dennis Stout says he’s ‘committed’ to winning back his old job.

Stout is determined to root out government corruption…

“During eight years that I was district attorney, we prosecuted over fifty major corruption cases. By the time I completed my second term, corruption in San Bernardino County was pretty much under control. But, during the last seven years, it has reared its ugly head again.”

Stout did not seek re-election in 2002 and was replaced by Mike Ramos.

Stout expects to make a formal campaign announcement within two weeks. (INT)

Story Date: January 6, 2010

7,724 Slain in Mexico in 2009

MEXICO CITY – Last year was the deadliest in Mexico in the past decade, with 7,724 people killed in violent incidents attributed to organized crime, Mexico City daily El Universal said on Friday.

That total translates into an average of more than 21 homicides a day.

The newspaper, which has been keeping a daily tally of the number of deaths from Mexico’s drug war, said there have been 16,205 organized crime-related killings in Mexico since President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa took office in December 2006.

Chihuahua was far and away the most violent state in Mexico last year, with 3,250 murders, followed by Sinaloa (930), Durango (734), Guerrero (672), Baja California (444), Michoacan and Sonora, according to El Universal.

Mexican authorities do not provide homicide figures stemming from the cartels’ battles with each other and the security forces.

The Mexican government has deployed more than 40,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police nationwide to combat the drug cartels and other organized criminal outfits in the country’s most violence-ridden states.

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers