The Larger Constitutional Issues At Play in the Alex Wubbels Case

If we don’t hold police departments and officers accountable when they treat the least of our society as if they have no constitutional rights it is inevitable they will end up treating everyone the same way. And this case is simply a glimpse into that disturbing truth.

links available after the break

Continue reading

Advertisements

Arrest of University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels (Thank God Trump is Giving These Guys Grenade Launchers. WCPGW?)

by Scott Creighton

So basically the story here goes something like this:

the Salt Lake City Police Department got into a high speed chase with a suspect of some kind who was driving a truck. That truck wrecked into another truck and the suspect died at the site. The innocent victim in the second truck, collateral damage as it were, was severely burned and fell into a coma before being transported to the hospital. Upon the police getting there to said hospital, Detective Jeff Payne of the department’s blood draw unit demanded he be allowed to draw blood from the comatose innocent victim of the crash… I suppose so he couldn’t later sue the Salt Lake City Police Department for wrongful injury. You see, if Det. Payne had gotten a hold of the victim’s blood, then he could run off and run his own ‘special test’ and determine the guy was under the influence and therefore NOT ENTITLED TO SUE THE DEPARTMENT.

Nurse Alex Wubbels was the head nurse in charge at the ER that day and she told Det. Fascist “no” he couldn’t take this VICTIM”S blood so he could do his “special test” to it and “find” the victim was under the influence.

Continue reading

The Moral Equivalency Question: Justifying Violence Against People Who THINK THE WRONG WAY

The Nazis, the REAL Nazis, rounded up people who THOUGHT THE WRONG WAY and they justified that action to the public in a myriad of ways. One of which was they were destabilizing the country and presented a threat to the German people. Today the “moral equivalency” propaganda is doing the same exact thing. Ironic? No. Deliberate.

First they came for the alt-Right, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a protectionist.

Then they came for the Bernie-bros, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the bloggers and Youtubers and I did not speak out—
Because I didn’t have opinions of my own and didn’t dare think for myself.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

links available after the break

Continue reading

U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against Israel

(Talk about “collusion”)

from The Intercept

The criminalization of political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the west. In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing t-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal. On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as “the Palestine Exception” to free speech.

But now, a group of 43 Senators – 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats – want to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: anyone guilty of violating its prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000, and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

The proposed measure, called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), was introduced by Cardin on March 23. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC].” Indeed, AIPAC, in its 2017 Lobbying Agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year:

The bill’s co-sponsors include the senior Democrat in Washington, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, his New York colleague Kirsten Gillibrand, and several of the Senate’s more liberal members, such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Maria Cantwell of Washington. Illustrating the bipartisanship that AIPAC typically summons, it also includes several of the most right-wing Senators such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Marco Rubio of Florida.

A similar measure was introduced in the House on the same date by two Republicans and one Democrat. It already has amassed 234 co-sponsors: 63 Democrats and 174 Republicans. As in the Senate, AIPAC has assembled an impressive ideological diversity among supporters, predictably including many of the most right-wing House members –  Jason Chaffetz, Liz Cheney, Peter King – along with the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer.

Among the co-sponsors of the bill are several of the politicians who have become political celebrities by positioning themselves as media leaders of the anti-Trump #Resistance, including three California House members who have become heroes to Democrats and staples of the cable news circuit: Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell. These politicians, who have built a wide public following by posturing as opponents of authoritarianism, are sponsoring one of the most oppressive and authoritarian bills that has pended before Congress in quite some time

This pernicious bill highlights many vital yet typically ignored dynamics in Washington. First, journalists love to lament the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, yet the very mention of the word “Israel” causes most members of both parties to quickly snap into line in a show of unanimity that would make the regime of North Korea blush with envy. Even when virtually the entire world condemns Israeli aggression, or declares settlements illegal, the U.S. Congress – across party and ideological lines – finds virtually complete harmony in uniting against the world consensus and in defense of the Israeli government

AIPAC continues to be one of the most powerful, and pernicious, lobbying forces in the country. In what conceivable sense is it of benefit of Americans to turn them into felons for the crime of engaging in political activism in protest of a foreign nation’s government?..

[read more here]

Congress Votes to Free Up Big Business To Spy on You and Sell Your Most Private Data To Anyone Without Your Consent

by Scott Creighton

The “internet of everything” is big business. It’s big business, big opportunity and big control. It’s Big Brother. Today’s news exposes something awful. Not only are our congress-critters allowing for Big Business to turn everything you consider private into a commodity, but the fact is… THEY ALREADY DO IT.

Organizations like EFF are busy sending out mailers asking for donations so they can fight “the dismantling of broadband privacy” rules created back during the last moments of the Obama administration. Seems like a noble fight, doesn’t it? Accept, you never had those protections in the first place. Not during the Obama administration anyway.

The FCC’s rule titled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunication Services,” 81 Fed. Reg. 87274 (PDF), was put in place after a long fight on Dec. 2nd, 2016. It was set to go into effect on Dec. 4, 2017… long after the Trumpster was elected and his corrupt gaggle of neoliberal destroyers he calls his “administration” had plenty of time to undo the rule. A year in fact.

“The FCC rules were put in place in 2016 to prevent consumers’ private and sensitive information automatically getting into the hands of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon…. That rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 4, 2017.” RT

That RT evaluation of the rule is a bit misleading. It prevented these companies from monitizing your very personal information, not from collecting it. And it only prevented them from selling your most personal information IF YOU TOLD THEM THEY COULDN’T.

They have been collecting it since the USA Freedom Act and CISA went into effect. This rule was ONLY set to make sure customers had a choice to opt-out of the monitization part, essentially keeping Big Telecom from turning more of a profit on the data (more meaning, they are already paid by the government to collect and store said information for the purposes of “national security”)

Continue reading

Republicans push plan to gut Medicaid and slash taxes for the wealthy

by Kate Randall, WSWS

Top Trump administration officials appeared on the political talk shows Sunday morning to promote the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House Republican bill for the repeal and replacement of Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

The Republican proposal builds on the core features of Obamacare, designed to boost the profits of the private insurers and slash health care costs for the government and big business.

The ACHA seeks to strengthen the grip of the for-profit health care delivery system in America while making sweeping cuts to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor jointly funded by the federal government and the states. It also slashes financial assistance to low-income people seeking to purchase health coverage and cuts taxes for the wealthy and big business by an estimated $600 billion.

Continue reading

Trump Killed the TPP? Bullshit

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Cenk Uygur praised Trump for “killing” the TPP Monday. He kept citing a New York Times article during his video.

May 2012

Folks are all a tither about Donald Trump signing an executive order yesterday saying the US is no longer ready to sign the Trans Pacific Partnership (or TPP) with 11 other nations in the Asia Pacific and Mexico. This is supposedly some sign that Trump is going to keep at least some of his campaign promises and stand with the workers of this country.

Bullshit.

Continue reading