Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


antiquie's Journal
antiquie's Journal
October 19, 2015

How Michigan’s Emergency Management Law Poisoned Flint’s Children

Wed, 10/14/2015 - by C. Robert Gibson, occupy.com
Flint may have finally reconnected to Detroit’s water infrastructure, but the damage done to its population by the ill-advised connection to the Flint River is irreversible. If Michiganders are looking for someone to blame for the travesty in Flint, they need look no further than Governor Rick Snyder and the emergency manager Snyder appointed who unilaterally made a decision that put thousands of children and adults at serious risk.

Emergency Management Enforces Inequality

In 2011, one of the first actions of the Snyder administration and the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature was to pass Public Act 4 (PA 4), which strengthened the state’s controversial emergency manager (EM) law. To clarify, the EM law effectively erases the sovereignty of local governments by installing a state-appointed autocrat whose decisions can override city councils and mayors.

But PA 4 went a step further by allowing EMs to dissolve hard-won collective bargaining agreements between public sector unions and the state, cut pensions, and unilaterally decide to privatize public assets. PA 4 was so unpopular that the state’s unions successfully banded together, organized a ballot referendum to abolish the law, and got rid of it by a 52 to 48 margin. Just a month later, Snyder signed an entirely new EM bill into law, thumbing his nose at democracy.

While Snyder maintains the EM laws are necessary to save financially-insolvent municipalities from themselves, it’s worth noting that Snyder only enforces the laws in Democratic-voting, predominantly-black communities, even though some white, Republican-leaning cities and towns are in equally dire financial straits. The 2010 Census data shows that just 14.2 percent of Michigan’s residents are black – yet 80 percent of Michigan’s black residents have lived under an EM while Snyder has been governor.

For example, in Handy and Livingston counties, Cindy Denby and Bill Rogers – two Republican state representatives hailing from those districts, respectively – took on millions in debt to build expensive housing developments. After realizing these bad financial decisions put their lily-white districts at risk of being taken over by an EM, Denby and Rogers co-sponsored a bill that would allow a bailout of their towns with state tax dollars should insolvency be declared. Effectively, this means that the EM law creates two governments – sovereign ones for white, Republican-voting towns, and banana republics for majority-black communities, with a state-appointed dictator to make financial decisions on their behalf. Flint falls into the latter category. And that’s ultimately what led to the water crisis that poisoned Flint’s population.

Lots more
September 26, 2015

Kevin McCarthy Expected to Lead the House

Unlike Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat who held the Speaker’s job until 2011 and was aligned with leaders in Sacramento, McCarthy’s political agenda runs counter to much of what the Brown administration is trying to achieve, and he has not been shy about using his power in Washington to try to roll back some of the state’s landmark liberal policies.

McCarthy opposes California’s aggressive climate-change rules. He wants to jettison the high-speed rail project. He is pushing to divert more of the state’s scarce water to parched growers, despite loud protest from the Brown administration that such a move could irreparably damage the fragile ecosystems that are the backbone of California’s water system. From KTLA

Full story on LATimes.com but I couldn't access it.
July 1, 2015

"...and the aquifer just being sucked out”

From petronius' link:

An analysis by this newspaper shows a dramatic jump in well construction in seven San Joaquin Valley counties in 2013, with an even sharper increase this year {2014 March} as Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency:

• In the first month and a half of this year, Fresno County issued 124 new well permits, and Tulare County approved 182 -- a pace that is triple and double, respectively, the previous year.
• In Kern County, cotton king J.C. Boswell Farms drilled five ultra-deep 2,500-foot wells last year. Each one is as deep as two Empire State Buildings, stacked underground.
• A Chowchilla-based farm in Madera County has ordered 25 new wells for construction this year; a drill rig is likely to stay on that property all year.
• Stanislaus County issued nearly 150 drilling permits, with 100 for large wells, in fall 2013 -- compared with 35 well permits issued in fall 2012, with four large wells.
June 27, 2015

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)

"The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all ... The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands—the ownership and control of their livelihoods—are set at naught, we can have neither men's rights nor women's rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease."

Helen Keller, 1911[26]

May 30, 2015

Judge disqualifies all 250 prosecutors in Orange County; widespread corruption

On October 12, 2011, Orange County experienced the deadliest mass killing in its modern history. Scott Dekraai killed 8 people, including his ex-wife, in a Seal Beach beauty salon. He was arrested wearing full body armor just a few blocks away. Without a doubt, Dekraai was the perpetrator. A dozen surviving witnesses saw him. He admitted to the shooting early on. Yet, nearly four years later, the case against him has all but fallen apart.

It turns out that prosecutors and police officers committed an egregious violation of Dekraai's rights—so much so that Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals shocked everyone and removed the Orange County District Attorney's Office, and all 250 prosecutors, from having anything more to do with the case.

It turns out that Orange County has a secret system of evidence manufacturing and storage that they have used in countless cases, and the collusion is unraveling dozens of cases and may soon unravel the careers of countless prosecutors and law enforcement officers who've maintained it for decades. It's called TRED.

In recent months, we've learned, over the objections of the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), that the agency created TRED, a computerized records system in which deputies store information about in-custody defendants, including informants. Some of the data is trivial; other pieces contain vital, exculpatory evidence. But for a quarter of a century, OCSD management deemed TRED beyond the reach of any outside authority. In Dekraai, deputies Ben Garcia and Seth Tunstall committed perjury to hide the mere existence of TRED. Those lies didn't originate from blind loyalty, however. The concealed records show how prosecution teams slyly trampled the constitutional rights of defendants by employing informants—and then keeping clueless judges, juries and defense lawyers.

more on Kos
May 8, 2015

Government helps some kids, but...

Census Bureau: California still has highest U.S. poverty rate

25 Percent Of People In Mississippi Can't Afford Food

Measuring Access to Opportunity
The Supplemental Poverty Measure gauges the effectiveness of government programs in alleviating economic hardship. In a new data snapshot that explores the measure, KIDS COUNT calculates the national child poverty rate with and without government interventions. The supplemental measure shows that 11.2 million more kids would be living in poverty without key safety-net programs.
May 8, 2015

House CA-25: elected Waterboard member Gutzeit in to challenge Steve Knight

Democrats have landed their first potentially legit candidate to challenge freshman GOP Rep. Steve Knight, Santa Clarita water board member Maria Gutzeit, who announced a bid on Thursday. Gutzeit had reportedly spoken with the DCCC last month, and she actually has experience winning office (the water board is an elected body), which is not insignificant given how thin the Democratic bench is around these parts.

Knight's also a pitiful fundraiser, and since Mitt Romney only carried this blue-trending district by 2 points, it's possible Gutzeit could put it in play. But last year, Democrats were shut out of the general election because poor primary turnout allowed Knight and another Republican to move on to November. There's a risk this could happen again, particularly if other Democrats pile into the race, so if Gutzeit winds up being the favorite, she'll have to work hard to make sure she performs well enough in the primary.

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and Taniel. via email

May 5, 2015

CA Assembly Votes to Stop Denying MMJ Patients Organ Transplants

Assembly members have passed legislation, AB 258, to allow medical marijuana patients to receive organ transplants. The measure now awaits action from the Senate.

Hospitals frequently deny patients from receiving organ transplants solely based on their status as medicinal marijuana consumers. Assembly Bill 258 reads, "A hospital, physician and surgeon, procurement organization, or other person shall not determine the ultimate recipient of an anatomical gift based solely upon a potential recipient's status as a qualified patient, as defined in Section 711362.7, or based solely upon a positive test for the use of medical marijuana by a potential recipient who is a qualified patient."

Passage of AB 258 ends discriminatory practices facing medical marijuana patients.

Please visit NORML's 'Take Action Center' to contact your state senator and urge him/her to support this pending legislation.

For more information please visit California NORML.

The NORML Team

via email
April 24, 2015

California currently legal for medical use only:

California Medical Marijuana Law
Chronic pain
Multiple Sclerosis
Any debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been
"deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician"
No possession limits specified
Yes, but no cultivation limits are specified.

April 23, 2015

Study: Oral Cannabis Extracts Associated With Seizure Control In Children

Denver, CO: The administration of oral cannabis extracts is associated with the mitigation of seizures in adolescents with epilepsy, according to clinical data published this month in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.

Researchers from the Colorado Children's Hospital in Denver performed a retrospective chart review of 75 children who had been provided with cannabis extracts. Authors reported that 57 percent of subjects showed some level of improvement in seizure control while 33 percent reported a greater than 50 percent reduction in seizure frequency.

Researchers also reported "improved behavior/alertness" in one-third of subjects and improved motor skills in ten percent of treated patients. Adverse events were reported in 44 percent of subjects, 13 percent of which reported increased seizure activity. Overall, however, authors concluded that the extracts were "well tolerated by children."

Separate clinical trial results publicized last week at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology reported that the administration of a proprietary form of CBD (cannabidiol) extracts decreased seizure frequency by 54 percent over a 12-week period in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Survey data compiled by Stanford University in 2013 reported that the administration of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis decreased seizures in 16 of 19 patients with pediatric epilepsy.

Last February, the Epilepsy Foundation of America enacted a resolution in support of the "rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana."

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: [email protected]. Full text of the study, "Parental reporting of response to oral cannabis extracts for treatment of refractory epilepsy," appears in Epilepsy & Behavior.
via email

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Southern California
Current location: Orbiting
Member since: Tue Jun 7, 2011, 03:02 PM
Number of posts: 4,299
Latest Discussions»antiquie's Journal