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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Black lives like my father’s should matter. That’s why I’m endorsing Bernie Sanders.

By Erica Garner January 29 at 6:00 AM
Erica Garner is the eldest daughter of the late Eric Garner. She is an activist, mother and founder of the Garner Way Foundation.

When I talk to other black voters about this year’s presidential election, some seem ready to dismiss it. Why, they ask, should we continue to put our faith in a system that continues to fail us? And why trust leaders who don’t care about our lives?

I understand.

A year and a half ago, New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo barbarically choked my father, Eric Garner, on a Staten Island sidewalk in broad daylight. My father died that day. His death was ruled a homicide. Despite viral video footage of the incident, international media attention and widespread protests, our justice system failed to find Officer Pantaleo guilty of any crime. In fact, until a few weeks ago, the only person indicted in relation to the case was Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed it all.

As a daughter, I was devastated. As a citizen, I remain outraged — my father’s death was an absolute injustice, but not an uncommon one. By now, we know many of the other names all too well: Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Rekia Boyd. But it’s only thanks to the tireless work of organizers and protesters, who take to the streets and disrupt business as usual, that we know their names at all.



Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest










Friday TOON Roundup 2 - Bad Water

Friday TOON Roundup 1 - The Media and the GOP

Elizabeth Warren Challenges Clinton, Sanders to Prosecute Corporate Crime Better Than Obama

Three days before the Iowa caucuses, Senator Elizabeth Warren has released what might have been her closing argument had she been a candidate in the presidential race.

It’s a thorough indictment of a rigged system in Washington that allows corporate criminals to go free while those without the same power and influence get severely punished.

The report – a 12-page booklet entitled Rigged Justice: How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy — cites 20 well-documented civil and criminal cases from 2015 “in which the federal government failed to require meaningful accountability.”

Of the 20 cases, which span Wall Street, the auto industry, pharmaceuticals, natural resources, and more, only one resulted in any convictions to executives, and that was for a misdemeanor — in the Upper Big Branch mine case, where 29 Americans died.



Elizabeth Warren: One Way to Rebuild Our Institutions


WASHINGTON — WHILE presidential candidates from both parties feverishly pitch their legislative agendas, voters should also consider what presidents can do without Congress. Agency rules, executive actions and decisions about how vigorously to enforce certain laws will have an impact on every American, without a single new bill introduced in Congress.

The Obama administration has a substantial track record on agency rules and executive actions. It has used these tools to protect retirement savings, expand overtime pay, prohibit discrimination against L.G.B.T. employees who work for the government and federal contractors, and rein in carbon pollution. These accomplishments matter.

Whether the next president will build on them, or reverse them, is a central issue in the 2016 election. But the administration’s record on enforcement falls short — and federal enforcement of laws that already exist has received far too little attention on the campaign trail.

I just released a report examining 20 of the worst federal enforcement failures in 2015. Its conclusion: “Corporate criminals routinely escape meaningful prosecution for their misconduct.”

In a single year, in case after case, across many sectors of the economy, federal agencies caught big companies breaking the law — defrauding taxpayers, covering up deadly safety problems, even precipitating the financial collapse in 2008 — and let them off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist. Often, companies paid meager fines, which some will try to write off as a tax deduction.



HIV becoming resistant to key drug, study finds

Strains of the HIV virus are becoming resistant to an antiretroviral drug commonly used to prevent and fight it, research has suggested.

HIV was resistant to the drug Tenofovir in 60% of cases in several African countries according to the study, covering the period from 1998 to 2015.

The research, led by University College London, looked at around 2,000 HIV patients worldwide.

Lead author Dr Ravi Gupta said the results were "extremely concerning".


F-35 software overrun with bugs, DoD testing chief warns

The F-35's flight plan appears to have delays written all over it. A previously unreleased memo from Michael Gilmore, the Department of Defense's director for Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E), details a list of problems that will likely hold up the testing of the final configuration of the aircraft—and will mean the "Block 2B" aircraft now being delivered to the Marine Corps soon will continue to be full of software bugs for years to come. But officials with the F-35's Joint Program Office (JPO) have downplayed the seriousness of Gilmore's concerns, with one military member of the office taking to the Facebook page of a defense publication to call the memo "whining."

The concerns center largely on testing of software components—many of which the JPO has deferred to keep the program close to its schedule, and which JPO leadership has suggested would be a waste of time and money to fix now—since they are in interim releases of the F-35's systems and an entirely new set of software will be completed for the final version of the F-35. But with the Marine Corps and Air Force scheduled to fly as many as five F-35A and F-35B aircraft at the Farnborough International Air Show this summer, and production of the aircraft ramping up, so much uncertainty about the software could lead to even more complications down the road—particularly as weapons systems are added to the aircraft.

"The current 'official schedule' to complete full development and testing of all Block 3F capabilities by 31 July 31, 2017 is not realistic," Gilmore wrote in the memo dated from December, which was first obtained by Aviation Week. Making that schedule would require dropping "a significant number of currently planned test points, tripling the rate at which weapons delivery events have historically been conducted, and deferring resolution of significant operational deficiencies to Block 4"—a software upgrade the aircraft won't see until at least 2021.

Of particular concern to Gilmore was the F-35's "Autonomic Logistics Information System" (ALIS), which he said "continues to struggle in development with deferred requirements, late and incomplete deliveries, high manpower requirements, multiple deficiencies requiring work-arounds, and a complex architecture with likely (but largely untested) cyber deficiencies." ALIS is a system that spans from the aircraft itself to the entire supply chain for its maintenance and repair parts, and includes portable computing gear required to check if the right parts are installed properly before flight. The software is still a work in progress, and testing of potential security vulnerabilities—which could potentially keep aircraft from being able to take off—has largely been deferred for now while Lockheed Martin and the JPO focus on getting the software to actually work as intended.


Alabama schools now allowed to use non-certified teachers

Someone who is not a certified teacher can now teach your children in Alabama.

The State Board of Education approved a new category of educators called adjunct teachers.

The board says it is a way to solve the teacher shortage in Alabama for certain subjects.

An adjunct teacher is someone who has worked in a career field other than education, will work part time under a licensed teacher and has a high school diploma or equivalent.

Katy Bryan is a mother of two elementary school kids in Huntsville. In theory, under the new resolution, her kids could soon be taught by someone who does not have a state teaching certification. Bryan has some concerns with the idea.


How about paying them well, giving them job security and not denigrating them?

Toon: "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before"

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