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Gender: Female
Hometown: Southern California
Current location: Orbiting
Member since: Tue Jun 7, 2011, 03:02 PM
Number of posts: 4,299

Journal Archives

Claremont Church Nativity Scene Replaces Jesus With Trayvon Martin

Rev. Dan Lewis stands by a Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church featuring
a depiction of Trayvon Martin. Artist John Zachary sought to draw attention to gun violence.
(Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

For several years, Zachary has brought his artistic interpretations of the Nativity — as well as the occasional controversy — to the church, as he used a scene that traditionally conveys themes of joy and innocence to spread messages of social justice. Over the last few years, his installations have touched on homelessness, poverty and acceptance of gay families.


Ask the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board: Where's the enforcement?

Are you going to allow Gerawan to be a Grinch?

From Omaha Steve's OP in GD

The state's Agricultural Labor Relations Board ordered the three-year contract into immediate effect on November 19, 2013, but Gerawan has refused to implement it. They are denying their workers the right to finally enjoy the benefits of union representation and hard fought improvements at their workplace. Besides including substantial wage increases, additional paid holidays -- such as Christmas Day, and other worker protections, the contract also provides retroactive pay for some of these benefits.

"We could use this extra money they owe us in delayed benefits to have an even happier holiday season. Unfortunately, Gerawan Farming continues to deny us that right,” said Guadalupe Martinez. "This has caused us - Gerawan workers - the inability to benefit from a union contract, adding much stress and frustration to us and our families this holiday season."

California Nullifies NDAA Indefinite Detention - Assembly Bill No. 351, CHAPTER 450

Link to LBN OP by StrictlyRockers

Source: California Legislative Information

Assembly Bill (AB) 351 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown yesterday. California is the third state to have passed legislation, which nullifies the unpopular federal provision. A selection of AB 351 reads:

The United States Constitution and the California Constitution provide for various civil liberties and other individual rights for a citizen of the United States and the State of California, including the right of habeas corpus, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to be informed of criminal charges brought against him or her.

Certain provisions of federal law affirm the authority of the President of the United States to use all necessary and appropriate force to detain specified persons who engaged in terrorist activities.


Before blaming Democrats, perhaps a little more history?

The advent of personal motor vehicles and the improvements in motorized buses caused the rapid disappearance of the tram from most western and Asian countries by the end of the 1950s (for example the first major UK city to completely abandon its trams was Manchester by January 1949). Continuing technical improvements in buses made them more reliable (than before), and a serious competitor to trams because they did not require the construction of costly infrastructure. [3] However, the demise of the streetcar came when lines were torn out of the major cities by "bus manufacturing or oil marketing companies for the specific purpose of replacing rail service with buses."


The General Motors streetcar conspiracy (also known as the Great American streetcar scandal) refers to allegations and convictions in relation to a program by General Motors (GM) and other companies who purchased and then dismantled streetcar and electric train systems in many American cities.

Between 1936 and 1950, National City Lines and Pacific City Lines—with investment from GM, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack Trucks, and the Federal Engineering Corporation—bought over 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities including Baltimore, Newark, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland and San Diego and converted them into bus operation. Several of the companies involved were convicted in 1949 of conspiracy to monopolize interstate commerce but were acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the ownership of these companies.

Some suggest that this program played a key role in the decline of public transit in cities across the United States; notably Edwin J. Quinby, who first drew attention to the program in 1946, and then Bradford C. Snell, an anti-trust attorney for the United States Senate whose controversial 1974 testimony to a Senate inquiry brought the issue to national awareness. Both Quinby and Snell argued that the deliberate destruction of streetcars was part of a larger strategy to push the United States into automobile dependency. Others say that independent economic factors brought about changes in the transit system, including the Great Depression, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, labor unrest, market forces, rapidly increasing traffic congestion, urban sprawl, taxation policies that favored private vehicle ownership, and general enthusiasm for the automobile. One writer on the subject has suggested that Snell and others fell into simplistic conspiracy theory thinking, bordering on paranoid delusions saying "Clearly, GM waged a war on electric traction. It was indeed an all out assault, but by no means the single reason for the failure of rapid transit. Also, it is just as clear that actions and inactions by government contributed significantly to the elimination of electric traction."


They are coming around (s l o w l y)

Netherlands apology for Indonesia 1940s killings

Dutch ambassador to Indonesia Tjeerd de Zwaan apologised for the "excesses committed by Dutch forces" between 1945 and Indonesia's independence in 1949.

A UN report at the time condemned the killings as deliberate and ruthless.

"Sometimes it is very important to be able to look back in order to be able to look one another straight in the eyes and be able to move forward together - and that of course is what this public apology and ceremony is all about," he said.


(Germany) Spying on Allies Fits Obama's Standoffish Profile and More Stories

All from Spiegel email 10/24/2013

Spying on Allies Fits Obama's Standoffish Profile

Diplomats are not surprised that the security agencies under US President Barack Obama have reportedly been monitoring close allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has failed to foster close relationships with other heads of state, causing much frustration around the world.

Out of Hand
Europe Furious Over US Spying Allegations

The newest allegations of US spying have unleashed a torrent of criticism and concern in Europe. If suspicions unearthed by SPIEGEL that the US tapped Chancellor Merkel's cell phone turn out to be true, the ramifications for trans-Atlantic ties could be immense.

Merkel's Phone
Spying Suspicions Put Obama in a Tight Spot

Berlin has reacted strongly to suspicions that US intelligence spied on Chancellor Merkel's mobile phone. If the accusations turn out to be true, it will put President Obama in a rather awkward position.

Hot Water
German Foreign Minister Summons US Ambassador

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has summoned the new American ambassador to Berlin over allegations the US has been tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

That's Just Not Done
Merkel Comments on Spying Allegations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke her silence Thursday over German allegations that US intelligence agencies tapped her cell phone. Upon arriving at an EU summit in Brussels, Merkel told reporters that the trust between Germany and the US "now has to be built anew."


NSA Scandal
Parliamentary Spying Inquiry Poses Challenges

New details continue to emerge over alleged US spying in Germany. A parliamentary investigation could provide clarity - but it also has limitations. The issue constitutes the first stress test for a future coalition government.

Spying Fallout
Conservative Calls for End of Data Pact

With members of his party calling for consequences in the NSA spying affair, a leading member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's sister party says he wants the EU to cancel its Safe Harbor data agreement with the US.

Edit to add new items 10/29

This is a link to a Spiegel page with links to a lot more of their NSA stories.

Edit to add link to links 11/26

Governor Brown signs bill, ends 710 Freeway street plan

A big victory for Southern California communities that have been fighting to block the extension of the 710 Freeway: South Pasadena is celebrating after Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill sealing the fate of the freeway surface extension plan.

Nearly 600 homes owned by Caltrans along the proposed 710 Corridor Project will soon be up for sale, expedited by a bill the governor signed. The bill also ensures the original surface-street project is dead. It's a win-win for those who oppose the freeway extension.

"This 710 has been a problem since the first time I was governor. So hopefully before I have to run again we'll get it solved," said Brown Tuesday of the ongoing 60-year battle.

South Pasadena neighbors say they are glad the homes in question will be returned to private ownership and the state will be getting some much-needed revenue.


Miami-Dade officer buys food for mom caught shoplifting

A police officer in south Florida was so moved by the plight of a struggling single mother who was caught shoplifting that she helped her out.

Miami-Dade Police Officer Vicki Thomas purchased $100 in groceries for Jessica Robles, who admitted she made a decision to shoplift groceries out of desperation.

"I asked her, 'Why would you do that? What would make you do that?' " said Thomas, the officer who stopped Robles. "And she said, 'My children are hungry."

Instead of taking Robles into custody, Thomas ran her criminal history and found nothing major. The officer saw Robles was not a habitual shoplifter, so she charged her with a misdemeanor and a notice to appear in court.

Thomas also took an extra step to help Robles and her children. "I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry," she said.


Daily reading of the news can lead one to think all the good drained out of Florida, not so!

It's been legal?

I invite you to follow the links in the above linked story, for more information like this:

In a statement to the AP, the EPA defended its oversight of offshore fracking, saying its system ensures the practice does not pollute the environment in a way that would endanger human health. Oil companies must obtain permits for wastewater and storm water discharges from production platforms that "ensure all fluids used in the drilling and production process will not adversely impact water quality," the statement said.

Oil companies also maintain that much of the fracking fluid is treated before being discharged into the sea. Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association, said fracking in general is safe and has "never been associated with any risk or harm to the environment" in over six decades in California.

California coastal regulators said they were unaware until recently that offshore fracking was even occurring, and are now asking oil companies proposing new offshore drilling projects if they will be fracking.

Because the area of concern is located more than three miles off the state's shoreline, federal regulators have jurisdiction over these offshore exploration efforts. However, the state can reject a permit in federal waters if the work endangers water quality.

Fracking Unfolds

Surfrider, along with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), recently broke the news that fracking has be used off California’s coast for decades. EDC obtained internal documents from the federal government clearly showing fracking was conducted more than a dozen times in the Santa Barbara channel and some frack-fluids were directly discharged into the ocean. As we struggled to understand how fracking could occur without regulators knowing, we decided to write a letter to the California Coastal Commission (CCC) asking for an investigation. As we were putting the final touches on that letter, our friends at CBD discovered fracking was also happening in states waters.

via email

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