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California and the U.S.

U.S. drone policy: Sen. Rand Paul filibuster

April 4, 2013

Rand Paul’s filibuster opposing nominee John Brennan’s CIA appointment had relevant historical significance. In terms of the U.S. drone policy and the capacity for targeted killing of U.S. citizens, it is important to know targeted killing of U.S. citizens under a secret program is not new. As a result of a counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO), as many as 33 Black Panthers were targeted for killing.

Sacramento cancer rate dropped after shutdown of Rancho Seco reactor – 4,319 cancer cases prevented

April 2, 2013

The first long-term study of the full-population health impacts of the closure of a U.S. nuclear reactor found 4,319 fewer cancers over 20 years, with declines in cancer incidence in 28 of 31 categories – 14 of them statistically significant – including notable drops in cancer for women, Hispanics and children. At the heart of the article is the Rancho Seco nuclear reactor project in Sacramento County.

Why immigration reform is important

April 1, 2013

Just in time for Easter Sunday, television news stations are reporting that the “Gang of Eight” has reached a deal on immigration reform. This Gang of Eight, of course, is comprised of Republican and Democratic senators. The idea is to be a bipartisan committee that works together to solve America’s immigration issues.

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Is Pacifica one foot in the grave?

March 22, 2013

Pacifica invented public radio; since the beginning, Pacifica stations have been sponsored by listeners, with no corporate sponsorship or underwriting and thus no censorship. But the network faces many dire issues that its listeners need to know and that WBAI programmer Don Debar can knowledgeably talk about. Check out what Pacifica has not been telling its listener supporters …

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Supreme Court hears Voting Rights Act challenge: The legal fight to protect white power

March 15, 2013

Scalia has made it clear why this case is before the Court – it’s about race and white “race entitlement.” The Voting Rights Act was passed because no group is going to “apportion themselves out of power.” If the Court rules in favor of Shelby County in the face of its racist record, it will be doing nothing more than validating white power and racism.

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Court misses white racial entitlement

March 9, 2013

In oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the Voting Rights Act, Justice Antonin Scalia slandered the act as a “racial entitlement,” arguing, “whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” The justice proved once more that he is not a neutral arbiter of the Constitution but a right-wing activist with an agenda to enforce.

The sequester and the Tea Party plot

March 2, 2013

Tea Party Republicans are crowing about the “sequestration” cuts beginning March 1. “This will be the first significant Tea Party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,” says Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas. Sequestration is only the start. What they set out to do was not simply change Washington but eviscerate the U.S. government.

Yee introduces bill to aid young parents in foster care system

March 1, 2013

On Feb. 22, Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco-San Mateo, chair of the Senate Committee on Human Services, introduced legislation to assist pregnant teens and young parents in the foster care system. Legislation helps ensure access to child care, offers support to pregnant foster youth, and provides reproductive health education.

How the media tried to assassinate Chris Dorner

March 1, 2013

Christopher Jordan Dorner is dead, but his words and actions will continue to impact the Los Angeles area and beyond for quite some time. The former U.S. Navy lieutenant and Los Angeles police officer who is alleged to have shot and killed four people early in February was the subject of the largest manhunt in Southern California history.

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Obama administration official provides insights on U.S. Congo policy

February 23, 2013

On Monday, Feb. 11, outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson presented an outline of the Obama administration’s policy position on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The purpose of Ambassador Carson’s presentation was twofold: discussing why efforts should be redoubled to bring stability to the Congo and laying out a framework for “moving forward.”

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10 things you didn’t know about Rosa Parks

February 21, 2013

Feb. 4, 2013, marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Louise MaCauley Parks in Tuskegee, Alabama. Parks was born in the segregated South, where African Americans were subjected to daily humiliations aimed at maintaining the system of exploitation and national oppression which grew out of slavery and the failure of reconstruction.

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Chris Dorner is not the only one: Two officers, same stories, different outcomes

February 17, 2013

It has taken a Dorner manifesto and several targeted deaths to get LAPD to take notice. If you ask Sgt. Randy Franklin what he thinks of the LAPD today, he will tell you, “They lack integrity, honor, dignity, discipline, reverence for the law and respect for the people they swore to serve.” This comes straight from someone who believes that the greatest mistake in his life was joining the LAPD.

How law enforcement and media covered up the plan to burn Christopher Dorner alive

February 15, 2013

I listened through a police scanner as San Bernardino sheriffs gave the order to burn down the cabin where suspected murderer Christopher Dorner was allegedly hiding. Deputies were maneuvering a remote controlled demolition vehicle to the base of the cabin, using it to tear down the walls of the cabin where Dorner was hiding, and peering inside.

LAPD was never spooked by Christopher Dorner: Something don’t smell right

February 14, 2013

Over the past week, Southern Cali police had more than 1,000 officers combing mountains, stopping traffic on major freeways where cars were held up for hours, offering a million dollars, the highest reward ever offered for a wanted person in state history – and that’s just for starters. During the past week, LAPD shot three innocent people without identifying themselves as police officers.

Wanted dead, not alive: LAPD is afraid of what renegade cop Chris Dorner has to say

February 13, 2013

Let’s not be too quick to dismiss the “ranting” of renegade LAPD officer Chris Dorner. Dorner, a three-year police veteran and former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy who went rogue after being fired by the LAPD, has accused Los Angeles police of systematically using excessive force, of corruption, of being racist and of firing him for raising those issues through official channels.

Dorner case echoes California’s Black Panther past

February 12, 2013

Does someone who is hated by the general public – say, a killer or someone who threatens violence – deserve to have his concerns investigated? Christopher Dorner may be accused of murder, but that does not make him wrong about the nature of police in California, a history anyone from a city teenager to an aging Black Panther can recite.

Obama knows what ails Chicago: People need work

February 11, 2013

President Obama, who has organized, taught and represented this city, knows the situation well. He knows the guns are not made here. He knows Chicago’s tough gun laws are undermined by lax enforcement and lower standards outside the city. He knows that as the guns and drugs are flowing in, the jobs are flowing out.

Have we sold our souls by turning a blind eye to Obama’s drones?

February 11, 2013

Be wary of the attempts to get folks to buy into a concept that we once railed against called “preemptive strikes.” When Bush kicked this off, we hit the streets by the thousands. Obama doesn’t use that term, instead he invokes the image of us being in a life and death struggle against “evil terrorists.” As a result, many have checked their conscience at the door.

Cop-on-cop crime in LA: American blowback

February 8, 2013

In a letter titled only “Last Resort” and addressed to “America,” Christopher Dorner makes clear his grievances, his objectives and the rationale behind his actions – a chilling declaration of war on the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD has long played a vanguard role in white supremacist policing in the United States.

Judges grant California six additional months to cut prison population

January 31, 2013

On Tuesday, a panel of three federal judges granted California six additional months to comply with federal orders to reduce prison overcrowding. About six years ago, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson appointed federal receiver J. Clark Kelso to oversee the state’s prison health care system after determining that an average of one inmate per week died as a result of malpractice or neglect. In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its inmate population to help improve prison health care.

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