Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Number of posts: 9,004
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not THAT cable...
Posted by FourScore | Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:29 AM (1 replies)
Canadian man misses Super Bowl trip after 1981 pot bust denies him entry to U.S.
By Frank Schwab | Shutdown Corner – 8 hours ago
Myles Wilkinson won a fantasy football contest to attend Super Bowl XLVII, but his dreams of going to the big game went up in smoke because of a 1981 pot bust.
According to a story by the CBC, the 50-year Canadian man was denied entry to the United States this week because of a conviction for possession of two grams of marijuana over 30 years ago.
Wilkinson, a Seattle Seahawks fan from Vancouver Island, beat out almost four million other players to win the trip to see the San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens. But when he got to the airport on Thursday, U.S. customs agents brought up an arrest the man had when he was 19. They denied him entry to the country and ended any chance of making it down to New Orleans for a memorable weekend.
"I had two grams of cannabis. I paid a $50 fine," Wilkinson told CBC. "I can't believe that this is happening, for something that happened 32 years ago."
Posted by FourScore | Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:12 AM (8 replies)
This is an unbelievable, outrageous, infuriating and frightening story...
Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:28 AM PST
Our Autistic Son was Handcuffed and Arrested in School, We Were Not Notified
Note: Please sign this petition to help my son, and to halt the abuse of special education students in the school district referenced in this diary.
In December, 2012, a teenager went to his public school, much like any other day. The boy was an autistic special education student, who is significantly learning disabled and on a regimen of prescription medications for a number of psychiatric disorders. That day, the boy's parents began to worry when he did not come home after school.
What the parents did not know was that early on that morning, armed police officers had entered the boy's classroom, handcuffed him, and had taken him away to be interrogated without a call to his parents or any attorney, then locked up for several days.
The boy is our son.
The police action at the school was part of a "sting operation", which was secretly brought into local school district classrooms, with the assistance of key school administrators. Their goal was "identifying and purchasing illegal drugs from persons dealing".
The problem is, our son is not and never was a drug dealer.
There were plenty of news articles about how the sheriff's department heroically took down the 22-student "drug ring, with a picture of a kid being led away in handcuffs. The kid in the picture is our son.
And of course, the district was happy to tout their zero tolerance policy to the press, though zero tolerance has its fair share of critics, especially as relates to minorities and students with disabilities.
Many have linked the growth of the pipeline to zero-tolerance policies that removed educators’ discretion over how to properly respond to student misbehavior. The unintended effects of severe school discipline, often for minor infractions, include further alienation from the school setting, decreased graduation rates, and increased interaction with the criminal justice system.
Data shows the burden of this trend falls disproportionately on students of color and students with disabilities, who are punished more harshly and more frequently for the same infractions other kids engage in. According to national data from the Department of Education, African American students are 3 1/2 times more likely than their white peers to be suspended—and while they represented just 18 percent of the students in the sample, they accounted for 39 percent of expulsions. Of the total students arrested or referred to law enforcement nationally, 70 percent were Latino or African American. A groundbreaking study in Texas also found racial disparities in disciplinary decision.
Students with disabilities are also subjected to overly punitive discipline at far higher rates than their peers. In fact, they are more than twice as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions. And while they were only 12 percent of the students sampled by the Department of Education in their most recent data collection, they made up 70 percent of those subject to physical restraints. Both African American students and students with disabilities are also disproportionately subjected to the violent practice of corporal punishment.
On that very bad day, our son was arrested and handcuffed, in his classroom, in front of the other students, at approximately 8:30 a.m. We knew nothing about the arrest until around 3:45 p.m., after he didn't arrive home from school. After a series of frantic phone calls to the school, I spoke to the school's principal who then informed me of the arrest, with very few details, and a recommendation to contact the sheriff's department for more details.
During the time that had elapsed between his arrest, and our learning of the arrest, our son had been interrogated, without having been allowed to contact us. And of course, he had no attorney present.
Persuading personnel at the detention center to allow us to speak on the phone with our son was a challenge. And not until my wife notified the detention center's nurse that our son was going to require his round of medications each night and morning, and that it is documented that he engages in self-injurious behavior when his stress levels are elevated, were we allowed to speak with him.
We were not allowed to see him until day three, when he appeared in court, the same day as the other kids who had just been made participants in the school to prison pipeline.
The School to Prison Pipeline (STPP) is a nationwide system of local, state, and federal education and public safety policies that pushes students out of school and into the criminal justice system. The system disproportionately targets youth of color and youth with disabilities. Inequities in areas such as school discipline, policing practices, high-stakes testing, wealth and healthcare distribution, school “grading” systems, and the prison-industrial complex all contribute to the Pipeline.
The STPP operates directly and indirectly. Directly, schools send their students into the Pipeline through zero tolerance policies, and involving the police in minor discipline incidents. All too often school rules are enforced through metal detectors, pat-downs and frisks, arrests, and referrals to the juvenile justice system. And schools pressured to raise graduation and testing numbers can sometimes artificially achieve this by pushing out low-performing students into GED programs and the juvenile justice system.
Indirectly, schools push students towards the criminal justice system by excluding them from the learning environment and isolating them from their peer groups through suspension, expulsion, ineffective retention policies, transfers, and high-stakes testing requirements...
...Special education students represent 8.6% of public school students, but 32% of youth in juvenile detention nationwide.
Our son has great difficulties making friends, which is one of the hallmarks of those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), so my wife and I were thrilled when we learned, this past August, that our son had a new friend named Daniel. We had recently moved, and our son had just begun a new school year in a new school, within his same district, so to us, this new friendship seemed like a gift from the gods. Daniel was texting our son at a furious rate, yet each time we had our son invite Daniel over, there always seemed to be an excuse.
Daniel and our son had struck up a relationship in a class that they shared, and cell phone records show that during the course of a short period of time, our son received 59 texts from Daniel's number. Daniel was an undercover cop.
While there are some limitations to the information I can share, here is what I can provide at this time:
There are two components at play; the criminal and the educational.
On the criminal side, a judge ruled last week that my son's case will be dismissed after 6 months with no finding of guilt.
On the educational side, the district is attempting to permanently expel my son from all of their district schools. We have an expedited due process hearing scheduled against the district, and a favorable ruling would likely place our son back in his school, which is what he strongly desires. The first three days of the due process will occur next week. Without revealing more than I am able at this time, we believe we have a very strong case, and excellent legal representation. We also have made a rare move, in that we have opened the hearing to the press and the general public. We do have confirmation that the press will be present.
The district has shared that only three people within the district knew about the undercover operation while it was occurring, the Board President, the Superintendent, and the Director of Child Welfare and Attendance. Each time the petition at this link is signed, those three people, as well as all other board members receive the petition in their email. This puts them on notice that their actions in this matter will not remain a secret.
One final thought. Our son has been hurt, and much has been taken from him, including his ability to feel safe, and his ability to trust. We will never forget, we will never give up on our son, and we will never stop seeking justice.
5:22 PM PT: We got their attention!
Thanks for all the recs and good will, but mostly, thanks for signing the petition. The Director of Child Welfare and Attendance at the school district (one of the three who knew about this undercover operation) has just started sending out automated replies to all who signed the petition, questioning their authenticity.
If you get it, please reply to let him know you're for real. He will receive your message.
Posted by FourScore | Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:25 AM (24 replies)
Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:03 PM PST
Gomer Pyle marries his longtime partner
There is no way that Jim Nabors could have done this in his home state of Alabama.
The man beloved by millions for his portrayal of Gomer Pyle comes from Sylacauga, Alabama, a state which has previously voted overwhelmingly that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman.
But fortunately there are still states where intolerance has not won the day. And Nabors, 82, was able to marry his longtme partner Stan Cadwallader, 64, on Jan. 15 in Seattle.
"I'm 82 and he's in his 60s and so we've been together for 38 years and I'm not ashamed of people knowing, it's just that it was such a personal thing, I didn't tell anybody," Nabors said. "I'm very happy that I've had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I'm just very happy."
Nabors said he and Cadwallader traveled to Washington state, where gay marriages became legal in early December 2012. They were married at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
What can you say to that besides, "Well, Golllllllleeeeeeeee. Surprise, surprise, surprise."
Posted by FourScore | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:35 AM (6 replies)
Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:51 AM PST
Foul Play in the Senate
By BILL MOYERS and MICHAEL WINSHIP
The inauguration of a president is one of those spectacles of democracy that can make us remember we're part of something big and enduring. So for a few hours this past Monday the pomp and circumstance inspired us to think that government of, by, and for the people really is just that, despite the predatory threats that stalk it.
But the mood didn't last. Every now and then, as the cameras panned upward, the Capitol dome towering over the ceremony was a reminder of something the good feeling of the moment couldn't erase. It's the journalist's curse to have a good time spoiled by the reality beyond the pageantry. Just a couple of days before the inaugural festivities, the New York Times published some superb investigative reporting by the team of Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack, and their revelations were hard to forget, even at a time of celebration.
The story told us of a pharmaceutical giant called Amgen and three senators so close to it they might be entries on its balance sheet: Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and that powerful committee's ranking Republican, Orrin Hatch. A trio of perpetrators who treat the United States treasury as if it were a cash-and-carry annex of corporate America.
The Times story described how Amgen got a huge hidden gift from unnamed members of Congress and their staffers. They slipped an eleventh hour loophole into the New Year's Eve deal that kept the government from going over the fiscal cliff. When the sun rose in the morning, there it was, a richly embroidered loophole for Amgen that will cost taxpayers a cool half a billion dollars...
Posted by FourScore | Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:15 PM (19 replies)
How Obama Is Unraveling Reagan Republicanism
By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog
26 January 13
Soon after President Obama's second inaugural address, John Boehner said the White House would try "to annihilate the Republican Party" and "shove us into the dustbin of history."
Actually, the GOP is doing a pretty good job annihilating itself. As Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal put it, Republicans need to "stop being the stupid party."
The GOP crackup was probably inevitable. Inconsistencies and tensions within the GOP have been growing for years - ever since Ronald Reagan put together the coalition that became the modern Republican Party.
All President Obama has done is finally found ways to exploit these inconsistencies...
Posted by FourScore | Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:33 PM (1 replies)
Reporting Factory Farms Abuses to Be Considered "Act of Terrorism" If New Laws Pass
By Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins, AlterNet
26 January 13
Three states are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws and lawmakers in 10 other states introduced similar bills in 2011-2012.
How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an "act of terrorism" for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products.
And who better to write the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, designed to protect Big Ag and Big Energy, than the lawyers on the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force at the corporate-funded and infamous American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws aimed at preventing employees, journalists or activists from exposing illegal or unethical practices on factory farms. Lawmakers in 10 other states introduced similar bills in 2011-2012. The laws passed in three of those states: Missouri, Iowa and Utah. But consumer and animal-welfare activists prevented the laws from passing in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York and Tennessee.
In all, six states now have Ag-Gag laws, including North Dakota, Montana and Kansas, all of which passed the laws in 1990-1991, before the term "Ag-Gag" was coined.
Ag-Gag laws passed 20 years ago were focused more on deterring people from destroying property, or from either stealing animals or setting them free. Today's ALEC-inspired bills take direct aim at anyone who tries to expose horrific acts of animal cruelty, dangerous animal-handling practices that might lead to food safety issues, or blatant disregard for environmental laws designed to protect waterways from animal waste runoff. In the past, most of those exposes have resulted from undercover investigations of exactly the type Big Ag wants to make illegal...
MUCH MORE: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/15727-reporting-factory-farms-abuses-to-be-considered-qact-of-terrorismq-if-new-laws-pass
Posted by FourScore | Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:03 PM (10 replies)
What a brave kid!
High school senior comes out as LGBT while accepting award
By Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo! News | The Lookout
Coming out as LGBT is rarely easy, which makes Jacob Rudolph's story all the more impressive. When the high school student in Parsippany, N.J., came out, he did so in front of the entire school. His classmates responded with a standing ovation.
During the presentation of senior class awards, Rudolph was given the Class Actor award, an irony not lost on him. "Sure I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, I've been acting every single day of my life," Rudolph said. "You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not."
Most of you see me every day. You see me acting the part of "straight" Jacob, when I am in fact LGBT. Unlike millions of other LGBT teens who have had to act every day to avoid verbal harassment and physical violence, I'm not going to do it anymore. It's time to end the hate in our society and accept the people for who they are regardless of their sex, race, orientation, or whatever else may be holding back love and friendship. So take me, leave me, or move me out of the way. Because I am what I am, and that's how I'm going to act from now on.
Footage of Rodolph's speech and its positive reception was uploaded to the Web by his father, who noted on the video that it "took more guts to do than anything I've ever attempted in my life..."
Posted by FourScore | Thu Jan 24, 2013, 04:32 AM (10 replies)
An jaw-dropping list of quotes. No wonder my liberal Dad used to be a member.
AlterNet By Steven Rosenfeld
7 Uncovered Quotes That Show How Far off the Rails the NRA Has Gone
January 22, 2013 |
The 143-year-old National Rifle Association has not always been like today's NRA, fighting every gun control law as if the essence of American freedom depends on every citizen owning a gun. What follows are a series of shocking quotes taken from various academic histories of the NRA by top officials within the organization supporting reasonable gun control laws.
1. “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons,” said NRA President Karl T. Frederick, a 1920 Olympic gold-medal winner for marksmanship who became a lawyer, praising state gun control laws in Congress. He testified before the 1938 federal gun control law passed. “I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”
2. “We do think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States,” NRA Executive Vice-President Franklin Orth told Congress, shortly after Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy with an Italian military surplus rifle Oswald bought from a mail-order ad in the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine...
3. “There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons,” said California Gov. Ronald Reagan in May 1967, after two dozen Black Panther Party members walked into the California Statehouse carrying rifles to protest a gun-control bill. Reagan said guns were “a ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will...”
READ THE REST OF THEM HERE: http://www.alternet.org/print/civil-liberties/7-uncovered-quotes-show-how-far-rails-nra-has-gone
Posted by FourScore | Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:23 AM (4 replies)