in earnest and according to the principles outlined in the documents
that define our democratic republic, will ultimately, through our
vigilance, control and hope, result in complete and permanent,
Peaceful Victory against Fascism.
Brittany Wells Lomberk, Susan Smith, Timothy Heberlein
Draconian budget cuts proposed by Gov. Scott along with equally destructive proposals from the Florida Legislature has the potential to bring a wide range of constituencies – teachers, parents, police officers, firefighters, health care advocates, social workers, environmentalists – fighting under the progressive banner.
Budget cuts are something no Floridian can afford. We believe that Florida’s budget must be balanced responsibly through the elimination of unnecessary and unproductive sales tax exemptions and corporate income tax loopholes that cost Floridians more than $12 billion a year.
We ask that all Floridians who have a stake in this Governor's budget, those who stand to lose in favor of a corporation's gain, to stand united with us on March 8th. Supporters will be holding Awake the State rallies all over the state, including on the steps of the Capitol.
Alike our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin, our public sector employees are under attack. From the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Justice Administration are being defunded. Our environment has taken backseat to development. Our children in public schools will suffer with this governor's budget. We can't afford it. Stand United on March 8!
While not everyone will be able to travel to Tallahassee, Rick Scott will hear us from Tampa. This is not just a rally, this is a call to action! We will have ways for you to get involved and help save our state.
Ft. Lauderdale Food Not Bombs Raided by Police (firsthand account) by Jennifer Van Bergen on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 2:34pm
Brothers and sisters
For 4 and 1/2 years the young people at Food Not Bombs have been feeding the homeless in downtown Fort Lauderdale. In that time the city, police and the local businesses have been trying to shut them down, they want the homeless out of sight and mind in that more up-scale part of town. Recently the harassment against FNB has increased dramatically, it reach a very dangerous point last Thusday, below is a narrative in their words of what happened.
Note, there will be a solidarity action this Friday, more info coming soon.
Ray Del Papa
*** In the recent five months, tensions between the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and Food Not Bombs activists have escalated. Within this time, The FLPD has not only prevented multiple groups from sharing in Stranahan Park, but has installed a police surveillance tower in the park amidst repeated verbal assault against Food Not Bombs activists. On Thursday, February 17th, an FPL electricity inspection led to the power being turned off at the home of activists frequently the target of police harassment. The electricity bill had been paid prior to this. Several hours later, all tenants had left the house while a few guests remained. During this time, an unwarranted police raid took place under the premise of 'uninhabitable' living conditions. The house was deemed 'uninhabitable' due to the lack of electricity, which had been turned off that morning. House guests were pulled from the house and searched by over a dozen officers, who kicked in unlocked doors and, with a K-9 unit, searched the house with no specific intent. One female guest was frisked and inappropriately touched by a male officer.More troubling still, officers were questioning the political orientation of the house guests. They asked if the house was a 'militant training camp', and whether or not the guests were"terrorists" or affiliated with "black bloc". Before the FLPD left the house, they threatened to repeat raids weekly.
The Food Not Bombs activists in Fort Lauderdale are not involved in any of the activities suggested by the police. Rather, activities organized out of the house include free bike repair, FNB gatherings and sharing of food with the homeless, animal rights activities, candle making workshops, foreclosure & civil rights activism, etc. We,Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs, strongly condemn the intimidation tactics which include the police surveillance tower in Stranahan Park,unwarranted police raids, and the criminalization of community activism. Broward County officials have already targeted the poor and disenfranchised. Now the range has been expanded to include those who dare to help them. We call on South Florida activists to stand with us in solidarity as we struggle against the city's efforts to repress the homeless and community-based activism. In solidarity, Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs For more information, send an email to WDirect08@aol.com or SWAMPZine@gmail.com.
UPDATE: Fort Lauderdale Police returned to the activists home on Saturday, February 19th at around 9:00PM. The two officers did not attempt a repeat of Thursday's raid, but rather briefly insulted and intimidated one of the tenants and their guests. The police entered the house, with permission from the tenant but then left shortly afterward.
President, Writers Guild of America, East; Former senior writer, Bill Moyers JournalMichael Winship, 02.25.2011
Instead of screaming about the advances public employees have made to preserve health care, job security and economic justice, angry voters should be asking who has been keeping them from obtaining the same.
Mabili's show sun9jan11: Tucson Assasin Jared "lofner" (self-described terrorist) gabrielle giffords , judge Rowe killed, 2009 death threats after civil rights lawsuit ranchers v undocumented immigrant workers, rowe and family under protection by marshalls, ..
Huffington post: "WASHINGTON -- Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others on Saturday, may have ties to anti-Semitic, anti-immigration hate group American Renaissance, according to a leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security. ... American Renaissance is a white nationalist group that operates under a pseudo think tank called the New Century Foundation. The group runs a magazine and conferences based on eugenics and the superiority of whites, according to Southern Poverty Law Center. ... Hitler's Mein Kampf was listed as one of Loughner's favorite books. Giffords is the first Jewish U.S. representative to be elected in Arizona. Gabe Zimmerman, a Giffords aide who was killed in the shooting, was also Jewish. ... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/09/jared-loughner-youtube-videos-_n_806370.html
Chris Hedges on King and Malcolm http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/turning_kings_dream_into_a_nightmare_20100117/ : "In a speech titled “Beyond Vietnam” he gave at Riverside Church a year before his assassination, King called America the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” a quote that won’t make it into many Martin Luther King Day celebrations. King’s strident denunciation of the Vietnam War and economic injustice at the end of his life saw many white liberals, members of his own staff, as well as allies within the political power structure, turn against him. King and Malcolm, in the final days of their lives, were lonely men. " ----- He called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and said: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." from http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/pentagon-official-martin-luther-king-support-iraq-afghan-wars/
Another new bill introduced in the House would essentially rewrite the 14th Amendment. Republican Steve King of Iowa is proposing to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to end automatic citizenship for anyone born in the country. If passed, the law would bar children born to undocumented immigrants from being granted citizenship."
No Privacy: "Pandora is showing me some of your profile pictures and telling me what artists you like. Am I the only one creeped out by this??"
[also, "anonymous" googling on one computer shows FB friends, even though the only FB open on network is on another computer]
--------------- Home Foreclosures: "
NEW YORK (Reuters) – In a decision that may slow foreclosures nationwide, Massachusetts' highest court voided the seizure of two homes by Wells Fargo & Coand US Bancorp after the banks failed to show they held the mortgages at the time they foreclosed.
Bank shares fell, weighing on broader stock indexes, on fears the decision could threaten lenders' ability to work through hundreds of thousands of pending foreclosures."
MetroPCS has announced it will be offering three different pay-as-you-go mobile data plans that will make different parts of the web available depending on how much the customer pays.
The lowest plan, starting at $40 per month, offers unlimited talk, texting, web browsing, and access to YouTube, but blocks other streaming video sites, like Vimeo. The use of internet phone calling apps like Skype and the internet radio Pandora are also expected to be blocked."
House Republicans have killed the House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming. Meanwhile, Republicans have introduced at least three different bills aimed at blocking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act."
California Health Insurance Company Hikes Rates 59%
The health insurance company Blue Shield of California is coming under criticism after it announced plans to raise premiums by as much as 59 percent on nearly 200,000 Californians who buy health coverage on their own. If Blue Shield moves forward with the rate hike, it would be the third increase for the company’s customers since last fall."
Heidi and I co-host the Overnight Underground Show on 88.5 FM Tampa.
Last night when we showed up at the station to do our show, Bruce Wright and Alvaro Montaleagre (speaking on behalf of St. Pete for Peace) told us they were doing the show, and threatened to call the police if we didn't leave the station. Bruce left the show more than a year ago. We are entitled to a meeting with Randy Wynn regarding this, and if he gets a lot of emails asking for that meeting it should happen soon. His email is email@example.com
(ACLU) reveal a rising trend of patently unconstitutional practices in cash-strapped states, where a growing number of impoverished people are jailed for being unable to pay their legal fees - including charges for use of public defenders, a guaranteed right in the United States. The resurgence of these
Imprisoning probationers for failing to pay court debts was found unconstitutional in 1980, when Georgia resident Danny Bearden was sent to prison for two years when he could not pay $550 in legal fees, despite his efforts. In Bearden v. Georgia, the Supreme Court ruled that such practices violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment - but states throughout the country have begun openly disregarding these principles in their efforts to balance their budgets.
"People are emerging from the criminal justice process with significant debts that they cannot hope to repay," said Brennan Center Deputy Director Rebekah Diller. "As a result, these fees are creating new paths back to prison for those unable to pay."
According to the report, "defender fees often discourage individuals from exercising their constitutional right to an attorney - leading to wrongful convictions, over-incarceration and significant burdens on the operation of courts. In Michigan, for example, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association found that the threat of paying the full cost of assigned counsel resulted in misdemeanor defendants systematically waiving their right to counsel - at a rate of 95 percent in one county." In Virginia, defendants often face up to $1,235 per count for some felonies.
" The African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC) and the Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM) denounce the September 24, 2010 subpoenas and raids of the homes and offices of solidarity and anti-war activists in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan.
These raids, violating the civil rights of the targeted activists, were carried out by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force allegedly as part of an “ongoing investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force into activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”
Groups under attack include the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombia Action Network, the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee and Students for a Democratic Society.
APSC expresses our support for all these groups and individuals under attack by the US government.
We defend the right of all of us to stand in solidarity with all peoples anywhere in the world fighting to throw off the yoke of colonial violence, war and oppression imposed on them by the terrorist US government.
We affirm all of our unalienable rights to raise resources for movements for national liberation and justice.
The FBI said it searched eight homesin Minneapolis and Chicago as part of a terrorism investigation on Friday, and two subjects said the agency is targeting leaders of the anti-war movement.
FBI spokesman Steve Warfield told The Associated Press agents served six warrants in Minneapolis and two in Chicago. "These were search warrants only," Warfield said. "We're not anticipating any arrests at this time. They're seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism."
Warfield said he couldn't comment on whose homes were searched or give details on why because it's an ongoing investigation. "There's no imminent threat to the community," he said.
The searches were first reported by the Star Tribune.
Sundin said she wasn't certain exactly what kinds of information the FBI was after or who else had been searched in either city.
An FBI SWAT team entered first "and looked for pointy things. And then they left and the FBI agents came in and looked through everything in the house," she said.
The agents took "computers, several boxes of papers, everything related to data like discs," Sundin said.
Both Sundin and Kelly were organizers of a mass march on the first day of the Democratic National Convention in St. Paul two years ago, and recently appeared at a news conference to announce plans for another protest if Minneapolis is selected to hold the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
--------------------------------------------- email from aclu:
Justice Department Report Finds FBI Spied on American Protestors
Earlier this week, we learned that yet another Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) report has found malfeasance in the FBI. This time, the IG found the bureau spying on American citizens engaged in protests and other activities protected by the First Amendment. These investigations have led to several activists being inappropriately placed on terrorist watchlists.
The IG's investigation wasprompted by an ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which uncovered evidence in 2006 that the FBI was chilling political association by improperly investigating peaceful advocacy groups like Greenpeace and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The report concludes that the FBI was not spying on groups because of their political views. Rather, it was investigating them because they suspected the groups might commit crimes, which was okay under the FBI rules that existed at the time. By that logic, everyone can be subject to FBI investigation and possibly be included on a terrorist watchlist.
In 2002, the guidelines under then-Attorney General John Ashcroft required only the "possibility" of a federal crime. This guideline led activities like the FBI infiltrating a peace group that was doing nothing more nefarious than handing out anti-war leaflets in downtown Pittsburgh.
The official party platform declares an intent to make being gay illegal
By MATT VOLZ, Associated Press
At a time when gays have been gaining victories across the country, the Republican Party in Montana still wants to make homosexuality illegal.
The party adopted an official platform in June that keeps a long-held position in support of making homosexual acts illegal, a policy adopted after the Montana Supreme Court struck down such laws in 1997.
But going against the grain is the Montana GOP statement, which falls under the "Crime" section of the GOP platform. It states: "We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal."
through the end of the year and then receive a new bill for 2011. The fee is only $2.75/month and billed annually every start of the year. The bill will be coming from "Waste Services" and is separate from the St. Petersburg utility bill.
Bins, along with each resident's pick up date, will be sent with the first bill. Collection will be done once a week. Items that can be included in the recycling bin are the following: Plastic bottles and all plastics labeled 1-7 Glass: brown, green, clear Paper Cardboard and boxes (must be broken down FLAT) Aluminum & Metal cans However, at this time, the service is not available for condominiums or apartment buildings. To sign up and get your bins, call 727-572-6800.
http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/story.aspx?storyid=144515&catid=250 Peace activists plan counter-protest to Qur'an burning
TAMPA BAY, Florida -- It's recieved national attention. A Gainesville church is planning to burn a Qur'an on the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
But just days ahead of the event, a Bay area group is trying to spread the message of peace instead.
"St. Pete for Peace" members spent Sunday afternoon making up banners and signs.
They plan to hold them up during a peaceful counter-protest at the Dove World Church in Gainesville next Saturday.
One participant believes an entire religion shouldn't be on the hook for crimes committed by extremists nine years ago.
"We see that there's a wave of anti-muslim hysteria sweeping the country and we want to be a part of the other side, where we're sending a message of love and peace and understanding," said Chris Ernesto with St. Pete for Peace.
The city of Gainesville has already banned the Qur'an burning but the church still plans to go ahead with it and face the consequences.
details how it is now perfectly legal in nine states for the government to attach secret satellite tracking devices to your car and monitor you wherever you go, without a search warrant.
The law, which now applies in California and eight other Western states, stems from a case beginning in 2007 when federal agents of the DEA covertly attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle of an Oregon man they suspected of growing marijuana.
One Ninth Circuit judge has spoken out against the ruling however, noting that it essentially suggests that privacy is limited to those who can afford to completely close off their property with hi-tech security features such as electric gates, fences and security booths to stop anyone, including the government, sneaking
doesn’t exist,” he wrote. “No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter.”
they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state – with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.” the TIME
fact, Ron Paul believes, if you’re looking for real freedom, you should really go back to the core of the constitution and the bill of rights, which Beck and Palin do not fully endorse when you really look at their beliefs. Whether it be Palin’s support for starting more wars or Beck’s beliefs on paying the private Federal Reserve MORE interest on our money by means of a VAT tax.
Ron Paul believes the Tea Party is not about “left” or “right” like a lot of political pundits make it out to be. It’s about the constitution, and limited government.
Ex-US Cabinet Official Detained at Israeli Airport
A former cabinet official in the Clinton administration has revealed she was detained and interrogated for almost three hours at an Israeli airport last month. Donna Shalala served as Health and Human Services Secretary under President Clinton and is currently the president of the University of Miami. Shalala was apparently detained because she is of Lebanese descent. She was in Israel as part of a delegation of US university presidents organized by the American Jewish Congress.
ST. PETERSBURG — For months, the operators of BayWalk have weathered criticism about why they aren't filling up downtown's desolate retail complex with the tenants it needs to survive.
Now they are getting blasted by the lastremaining anchor tenant, Muvico Theaters, for not maintaining the complex well enough to encourage new tenants or entice customers to
From 2004 to 2009, Muvico's attendance at BayWalk has dropped by more than 50 percent. By comparison, attendance is down by an average of 2 percent at the chain's other eight theaters.
The company that operates BayWalk for owner CW Capital says it plans on spending $1.5 million to renovate the common areas of the complex and $4.5 million on repairs for tenant space. When the City Council approved ceding a public sidewalk to BayWalk in October, the renovations were promised to follow.
But with the one-year anniversary of that controversial vote three months away, the fixes haven't been made. And they won't be done until tenants are signed, said Thomas McGeachy, the managing principal of Cimenelli Real Estate Services of Florida.
Now about 80 percent empty,the complex has drawn so much concern that McGeachy and the owner's leasing agent, Curtis Rorebeck, had to assure council members in April that the project was close to signing major tenants.
But three months later, no new announcements have been made.
Muvico and the other tenants aren't the only ones awaiting BayWalk repairs. In the past year, the city has spent almost $300,000 to improve security and lighting at the promenade leading to BayWalk and the Mid Core garage at First Avenue N that's used by complex patrons.
The city is collecting less money in the Mid Core garage because of BayWalk's drop in attendance. According to the city's audit, there were 500,000 daily users of the garage in 2006. Last year, the number of users dropped by more than half, to 245,000.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, downtown St. Petersburg last year offered some of the lowest rental rates in Tampa Bay, a sure sign of low demand.http://www.AmericanWisdom.org
We need you to act immediately to undo a disturbing decision from the Obama administration. Remember all the hard work you and other ACLU activists did to defeat Rep. Stupak's draconian abortion coverage ban during the health care debate?
Well now, the White House has decided to voluntarily impose the ban for all women in the newly-created high risk insurance pools. What is disappointing is that there is nothing in the law that requires the Obama administration to impose this broad and highly restrictive abortion ban. It doesn't allow states to choose to cover abortion and it doesn't even give women the option to buy abortion coverage using their own money.
Unless the Administration reverses this decision, some of America's most vulnerable women—those with pre-existing conditions who have been denied health care coverage on the individual market—won't be able to purchase abortion coverage except in the case of rape or incest or to save the pregnant woman's life.
You and I know that every woman should be able to decide what is best for her health and her family. A pro-choice administration should know that too.
It's especially discouraging to impose a ban on women participating in a high-risk insurance pool who are particularly vulnerable and may have a special need for abortion. For example, because of the restriction, a woman with heart disease or diabetes might be compelled to carry a pregnancy to term despite its potentially damaging effect on her future health.
It's urgent that you send your message to President Obama right now. When you do, we'll also forward a copy to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, whose department is putting this unnecessary and harmful restriction into effect.
Thank you for acting on this urgent matter.
Laura W. Murphy Director, Washington Legislative Office
WASHINGTON -- The government says patients treated at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics will be able to use medical marijuana in the 14 states where it's legal.
The directive from the Department of Veterans Affairs is coming out in the week ahead. It's intended to clarify current policy that says veterans can be denied pain medications if they use illegal drugs.
Veterans groups long have complained that such language could bar patients from VA benefits if they were caught using medical marijuana.
The new guidance does not authorize VA doctors to begin prescribing medical marijuana, which is considered an illegal drug under federal law.
The Active Denial System (ADS), which cost about £42 million to develop, was on the brink of being deployed to disperse members of the Taliban as they attacked US forces.
The weapon, which causes immense pain to subjects but no lasting physical damage, was pulled from the war zone last week but US army chiefs in Afghanistan have stayed silent about the reason for the U-turn.
The ADS, which has been in development for almost 20 years, works by firing a beam of high-frequency waves at the speed of light.
The beam can cover a person’s entire body, causing agonising pain as it heats water and fat molecules beneath the skin’s surface.
The beam can hit someone up to a third of a mile away, and they are only relieved of the pain when they move out of the way.
The Attack of the Real Black Helicopter Gang: The IMF Is Coming for Your Social Security
Last week, the IMF told the United States that it needs to start getting its budget deficit down. It put cutting Social Security at the top of the steps that the country should take to achieve deficit reduction. This one is more than a bit outrageous for two reasons.
First, the IMF deserves a substantial share of the blame for the economic crisis that gave us big deficits in the first place. The IMF is supposed to oversee the operations of the international financial system. According to standard economic theory, capital is supposed to flow from rich countries like the United States to poor countries to finance their development. In other words, the United States should be having a trade surplus, which would correspond to the money that we are investing in poor countries to finance their development.
However, the IMF messed up its management of financial crises so badly in the last 15 years that poor countries decided that they had to accumulate huge amounts of currency reserves in order to avoid ever being forced to deal with the IMF. This meant that capital was flowing in huge amounts in the wrong direction. One result of this reverse flow was that the United States ran a huge trade deficit instead of a trade surplus.
The trade deficit in the United States was a big part of the story of the housing bubble. The trade deficit cost millions of workers their jobs. This was one of ... Social Security. The vast majority of middle-income retirees have most of their wealth in their home equity. This home equity largely disappeared when the bubble burst. Maybe the IMF doesn't have access to house price series and data on wealth, because if they did, it's hard to believe that they would advocate further harm to some of the main victims of their policy failure.
The other reason that the IMF's call for cutting Social Security benefits is infuriating is the incredible hypocrisy involved. The average Social Security benefit is just under $1,200 a month. No one can collect benefits until they reach the age of 62. By contrast, many IMF economists first qualify for benefits in their early 50s. They can begin drawing pensions at age 51 or 52 of more than $100,000 a year.
This means that we have IMF economists, who failed disastrously at their jobs, who can draw six-figure pensions at age 52, telling ordinary workers that they have to take a cut in their $14,000 a year Social Security benefits that they can't start getting until age 62. Now that is real black helicopter material.
South Korea's military has deployed machine-gun-toting robots along the heavily fortified border with North Korea, and a related promo video delivers more shock and awe than Kim Jong-Il singing the blues.
Samsung Techwin and other firms developed the SGR-1 robots, and they have been installed on a trial basis at a post in the central part of the Demilitarized Zone, Yonhap News quoted military officials as saying.
The $200,000 SGR-1s are remote-operatedsentry bots that work in tandem with cameras and radar systems. They can detect intruders with heat and motion sensors, and challenge them through audio and video communications. The bots can also fire on targets with 5.5-millimeter machine guns and 40-millimeter automatic grenade launchers.
The officials didn't say how many bots were set up, but they will be installed throughout the 160-mile DMZ if the trial, which runs through the end of this year, is successful. Tensions along the DMZ are already high following the sinking of the South's warship Cheonan in March.
Huh said the robots cannot automatically fire on targets, and require human permission to attack, adding, "The SGR-1 can and will prevent wars." -------------------------------------------------- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERhoNYj9_fg
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