PNN - 1/18/15 Hunger and Thirst
Luis Cuevas 7:17pm
Walter Witter Dir. Ops 7:30pm
plm bch food bank
Dezeray – FNB 7:57pm
Save Our Rivers Speech 8:05pm
Mari-lynn Evans 8:15pm
Meredith Ockman 8:29pm
1. Princeton calls US an Oligarchy
This won’t come as a total shock, but there’s some new hard data to back up what we already suspect anecdotally: Our democracy is really an oligarchy.
Looking at actual policy and polling, researchers at Princeton concluded that the wealthiest Americans tend to get what they want, or at least they did between 1981 and 2002 (the time frame on which the study focuses).
“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” write Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, “while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”
Another quote from the peer-reviewed study: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”
For the record, the technical definition of an oligarchy is a country or institution controlled by a small group of people.
2. You are not the TARGET unless…
You’ll never guess how the North Miami Beach police got found out using mug shots of black citizens to practice their shooting. Army National Guard Sgt. Valerie Deant, a soldier who used the shooting range last month after the cops’ training session, recognized her brother’s face on one of the targets that had been pierced by bullets.
Though you’d be hard-pressed to come up a term other than racial profiling to describe this, the department’s police chief says it’s no such thing. He also added that no one will be punished for using actual citizens’ faces as targets.
And we wonder why the racial turmoil in this country has reached the boiling point.
The six targets left behind by police were found last month by Sgt Deant, a band member of the Florida Army National Guard.The photo of her brother Woody Deant had been taken after his arrest as a teenager for drag racing. It had been shot several times.
Mr Deant said he was “speechless” when he heard the news.
“Now I’m being used as a target? I’m not even living that life according to how they portrayed me as. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a career man. I work nine to five.”
Police Chief Dennis said they were “very very concerned” that one of the targets had been of a man who would be on the streets of North Miami Beach [and] said that the department would no longer use images of suspects they had arrested.
3. We are Raif Badawi -
1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for criticizing the Government
HINT: He wasn't in a free speech zone
4. Out with the Professors in with the Beauty Queens
Many years ago President Madique suggested that we should create FIU into the UCLA of Florida. I agree with him.
Does hosting the pageant and spending money elevate FIU into the UCLA of Florida ?
Bad P.R. can attract the wrong crowd to Miami. We need smart people. We need smart students, smart professors and smart, well connected and talented administrators.
Throughout the past few years, FIU has lost many good professors.
Now, we are attracting very beautiful women to FIU.
5. Congress Introduced 6 Abortion Bills in Its First 7 Days
By Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy, Yahoo News
17 January 15
Since Congress returned to session in the past week, six separate anti-abortion bills have been introduced in the House and Senate. These bills would do a number of things, including instilling a nationwide 20-week abortion ban and blocking funding to Planned Parenthood.
These bills would join the 231 other restrictions that have been placed on abortion on the state level in the past four years. Now, over half of the U.S. female population live in abortion-hostile states.
“The attacks waged on women’s health … have gotten out of hand,” Jamila Perritt, MD, medical director of Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington, D.C., said at a press conference this week. Perritt said that while many of the recently introduced legislative measures “claim to protect women” they instead endanger women by reinforcing non-scientific misinformation and proposing measures that would make abortion illegal — and thus unsafe.
Accessibility and legal status of abortion remain at risk as a result of “some scary myths out there” that are “accepted as fact” — and oftentimes used to back legislation to reduce, restrict, or limit abortion access, said Hal Lawrence, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in the press conference. “I want each woman to be able to make the decision that’s right for her,” Lawrence said, “and not be influenced by rumors that have been disproven by science.”
Here’s a breakdown of the six bills introduced by Congress in these early days of 2015 — and what they mean for women’s health care.
H.R. 36 seeks to implement a nationwide 20-week abortion ban. Bill co-sponsor Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) believes that there “are innocent and defenseless children who can not only feel pain, but who can survive outside of the womb in most cases, and who are torturously killed without even basic anesthesia.”
But research has shown that a fetus will not develop the nerves and neural capacity to experience pain until the third trimester. Plus, there is no evidence showing a fetus has ever survived outside of the womb before 21 weeks, and a fetus is not traditionally thought of as viable outside of the womb until 26 weeks.
As Perritt noted in the press conference, “the studies are pretty clear — at 20 weeks, there is no indication that nerves are developed [that can sense pain]. Abortion is really rare past 20 weeks and is [typically] incurred because of a set of complex circumstances” often pertaining to the health and safety of the mother, whose life is frequently at risk in such scenarios.
Introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-IA), this bill would ”prohibit discrimination against the unborn child on the basis of sex or gender, and for other purposes.” According to the bill, “experts have demonstrated that the sex-selection industry is on the rise and predict that it will continue to be a growing trend in the United States. Sex determination is always a necessary step to the procurement of a sex-selection abortion.”
Under this bill, women who seek an abortion for any reason not having to do with the sex of the fetus could potentially still be found guilty of a federal offense if they know the sex of the fetus at the time of abortion. Again, the majority of late-term abortions are performed because of tremendous dangers posed to the health of the mother; by the time such a woman might need such a medically necessary abortion, she might also know the sex of her fetus (which can typically be determined anywhere between 16 and 20 weeks gestation).
Right of Refusal within the Public Health Service Act (S.50)
“Refusal bills,” such as the just-introduced S. 50, allow health care professionals to refuse to provide an abortion to a woman based on their personal religious beliefs, even in an emergency. The bill applies not just to doctors and nurses, but also pharmacists and non-medical personnel including insurance company representatives and company-based human resources employees.
This newly introduced measure would amend the existing Public Health Service Act’s Title X, “the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services.”
“While it can be appropriate to allow individual providers to decline to provide certain medical services because of their personal objections or religious views, it is not appropriate for institutions at large to claim a ‘conscience,’ and to refuse to provide women with medically necessary information, referrals, or services canjeopardize their health,” says NARAL Pro-Choice America.
A 1996 amendment to the Public Health Service Act already prohibits the federal government, as well as state and local governments, from discriminating against “health care entities on the basis that an entity refuses to receive or provide abortion training, provide abortion care or abortion referrals, or provide referrals for abortion training.”
S. 51 and H.R. 217 Title X Amendments
S. 51 and H.R. 217 both focus on Title X family planning grants, which provide funding to organizations (such as Planned Parenthood) that provide a comprehensive array of reproductive health services. While abortion services are a small part of the services offered, the bulk of health care includes testing for sexually transmitted diseases, pap smears, well-woman exams, and infertility counseling.
If passed, these concurrent bills in the House and the Senate would prevent any funds for women’s health care from going to organizations that also provide abortions (even though the funds in question are already specifically earmarked to not pay for abortion services specifically).
The legislators behind the bills say they want to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortion — a moot point since this money is not allocated, and is in fact restricted from, abortion services. Rather, these bills would instead eliminate funding for many clinics and non-profits that are funded solely through these federal grants, thus disabling them from providing basic, essential health services to women.
Federal Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act (S. 78)
This bill is what is known as a TRAP (or, Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) bill, imposing restrictions and regulations more strict and stringent on abortion providers than other medical professionals.
According to RH Reality Check, which provides evidence-based analysis and data on sexual and reproductive health issues, S 78 would require physicians performing abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within an oftentimes restrictive geographical limit — something that has already been seen on the state level over the last few years.
In the press conference, ACOG’s Lawrence commented that there is “no benefit to these regulations” that are often invoked in the name of increased patient safety. Lawrence added that “colonoscopies have much higher risks but are performed at much less qualified centers” – with 33 percent of those having had a colonoscopy reporting some kind of post-procedure symptom – than many clinics that perform both medical and surgical abortions.
“Abortion has over a 99 percent safety record,” Perritt said at the press conference, clarifying that major complications from both medical and surgical abortion emerge “less than 1 percent of the time” — in other words, at the same rate of complications “experienced in miscarriage.”
6. Another FBI Entrapment
This is potentially one of the most bogus and crass attempts yet, as the FBI rushes to grandstand over what appears to be another case of entrapment, joined by a media keen to push the fear envelope in America in the wake of last week’s international terror event in Paris.
Eager to capitalize on the media wave generated by the Paris Attacks, jobsworth FBI agents decided to accelerate the frame-up of 20 year old Christopher Lee Cornell (photo, left) from Cincinnati, Ohio, claiming the youth was planning a “pipe bomb attack” against the nation’s Capitol in Washington DC.
Amazingly, US media jumped all over this story, trying to somehow tie it to Paris, and also claim that Cornell was “linked to ISIS”, and that this was somehow an “ISIS-inspired attack”, only no attack actually took place.
It was soon revealed that the young Cornell, who was employed part-time and living at home with his parents and who had “showed interest in converting to Islam”, was suddenly ‘befriended’ by another man who was playing the role of informant, under the direction of the FBI. The informant had pending criminal charges against him and as part of his plea, he had to work as a low-level undercover, or ‘confidential’ federal informant, working with the FBI to help to lead on, and eventually entrap new potential terror suspects.
The FBI admit that their informant was tasked to help ‘suspect’ Cornell “develop his plans” to supposedly carry out a random act of terror. In other words, the FBI’s snitch appears to have egged-on Cornell into fantasizing about terror attacks on Washington DC and choosing political targets. It is highly unlikely that Cornell would have conjured up such radical idea on his owns, or even gone to the gun store where he was reportedly ‘taken down’ by the FBI on Wednesday.
Incredibly, the FBI claimed that Cornell was “taking the final steps” to travel to Washington DC for “the attack”, when he allegedly purchased two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition from an Ohio gun store.
The FBI’s entrapment squad gallantly swooped-in to arrest Cornell and then charged him with “attempting to kill a U.S. government official in Washington DC”, even though he had not yet stepped foot outside of the local town. The FBI then goes on to claim – on the basis of their own criminal-turned-informant’s fantastic testimony – that Cornell had allegedly planned to detonate pipe bombs at national landmarks, and that “the suspect would have opened fire on any employees and officials fleeing after the explosions”, according to government documents.
According the Cornell’s father, John Cornell Sr., his son Chris only had $1200 saved in his bank account from his part-time job, and did not have the money or additional funds required to afford $800 for the fire arms he is said to have gone to purchase yesterday.
Cornell’s father stated live on air with CNN last night that the FBI would have had to give his son the money for the guns, because there was simply no way Chris could have afforded to buy such expensive firearms and ammunition – much less afford to travel to the capital in Washington DC for what the FBI claims would have been a ‘suicide mission’. “These guns cost almost $2,000. Where did that money come from? Well, it came from the FBI,” John Cornell Sr. said. “They set him up.”
The father maintains that there is no way his son could have contrived the alleged ‘terror plot’ on his own.
“He told me he had went to a mosque and now I know, in hindsight I know, he was meeting with an FBI agent,” he told ABC News. “And they were taking him somewhere, and they were filling his head with a lot of this garbage.”
There are also some reports circulating around this story, that the gun shop may have been contacted by FBI agents approximately two weeks before the arrest, in effect giving them a ‘heads up’ about the impending arrest.
The FBI first began targeting Cornell several months ago, after another informant tasked at monitoring social media had notified the agency that Cornell had developed opinions which seemed to support “jihad”using the Twitter alias, “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah”. Cornell is also accused of posting videos and statements (Tweets) which appear to have “expressed support for ISIS”.
Cornell is due to appear in court on Friday for face federal terrorism charges.
The formula for creating a ‘terror icon’ has been well-established in recent years, and with many well researched examples to compare with clearly appears to be another case of entrapment with Christopher Lee Cornell. Other real, successfully constructed and ‘would-be’ high-profile terror icons and patsies, including ‘Paris Shooter’ Amedi Coulibaby (see his compelling informant case here), ‘Ottawa Shooter’ Zehaf-Bibeau (see his informant story here), ‘Boston Bomber’ Tamerlan Tsarnaev (see his informant story here), ‘The Underwear Bomber’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab(see his patsy story here), Buford Rogers (read his informant story here), Jerad Miller (read his informant story here), Naji Mansour (read his informant story here), Quazi Mohammad Nafis (read his informant story here), Mohamed Osman Mohamud (read his informant story here), ‘OKC Bomber’ Timothy McVeigh (read his informant story here), and although unconfirmed to date, we have to consider the infamous ‘Sandy Hook Shooter’ Adam Lanza (see the MSM work overtime to validate his fictional role here).
7. Remembering Dr. King
Taking time to remember Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final campaign to see how far we’ve come
On Monday, the Center for American Progress will join much of the rest of the country in commemorating and celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Much has changed in the 47 years since his death, while some things remain stubbornly similar to when Dr. King was alive. Following the gains from the Civil Rights Movement, in 1968 Dr. King launched the Poor People’s Campaign to try and move beyond Jim Crow to address the economic difficulties of the poor. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, which Dr. King led at the time, drafted a letter addressed “to the President, Congress and Supreme Court of the United States” demanding “an economic and social bill of Rights.” Below is a partial list of the demands from the letter and a look at the progress, or lack thereof, we’ve made in reaching a more equitable society:
“The Right [sic] of every employable citizen to a decent job.”
From the letter: “According to the official statistics, Negro unemployment is twice that of whites. Yet even these scandalous figures profoundly understate the injustice. According to the “Sub-Employment Index” of the Department of Labor (which takes in poverty employment, part time unemployment, the number of people driven out of the labor market and the vast number of Negroes whose very existence is not reported in the official statistics) there are ghettoes in the United States with sub-employment rates ranging between 30% and 50%.”
- Progress made: The unemployment rate has declined from 10 percent at the height of the 2007-08 recession to 5.6 percent as of last month.
- Challenge ahead: The Black unemployment rate is more than “twice that of whites,” 10.4 percent compared to 4.8 percent. In addition, the Hispanic unemployment rate is at 6.5 percent.
“The right to the full benefits of modern science in health care.”
From the letter: “It is an abiding scandal of American society that infant morality [sic] and life expectancy vary according to social class-and that the babies of black and white poor die at birth more often than those of any other group and that those who survive still look forward to a truncated life span. Medicare has proved an enormous benefit to those over 65 years of age but the country has yet to extend coverage to millions of others who desperately need it. Every man, woman and child in America should be guaranteed medical care under the social security system.”
- Progress made: We have made substantial progress towards a right to health care in the last few years with the Affordable Care Act, and the uninsured rate is down to record lows. In addition, the life expectancy discrepancy between blacks and whites has shrunk from a 7-year difference in 1960 to a 3.7-year difference in 2010.
- Challenge ahead: The discrepancy between the advantaged and the disadvantaged in infant mortality remains unconscionably high.
“The right to an adequate education.”
From the letter: “Today, most experts believe that a students [sic] required twelve years of training in order to be prepared to a place in an automating society. At the same time, Negro schools are regularly so inferior that a good portion of the students are not even taught the basic educational skills and therefore become bored, resentful and drop out at the first opportunity. According to the 1967 Manpower Report of the Department of Labor, even those black youth who are determined enough to finish twelve grades have often, only received instruction up to an eighth grade level in crucial subjects.”
- Progress made: Today’s high school dropout rates are at record lows, with Hispanic dropout rates falling by nearly 60 percent over the last 20 years and Black dropouts rates falling by half.
- Challenge ahead: There is still a large discrepancy in college graduation rates: In 2012, “33.5 percent of Americans 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree,” but only “ 27.6 percent of blacks, 23.4 percent of Native Americans and 19.8 percent of Latinos hold at least a two-year degree.”
BOTTOM LINE: These statistics highlight an unfortunate truth in American society: there is still so much to do to achieve Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a nation where everyone is judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. But honoring Dr. King’s legacy means continuing that difficult and important work in the hopes of truly achieving it one day.
8. WHITEHOUSE APPROVED CIA INTRUSION INTO SENATE COMPUTER FILES
According to a report by the CIA Inspector General, the White House was informed of the CIA’s plan to hack US Senate computers to discover what was going to be in the Senate Torture Report. CIA Director John Brennan met with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough then ordered CIA employees to“use whatever means necessary” to find out what Senate investigators knew.
Given the White House’s role in the illegal hacking of Senate computers it becomes obvious why the Justice Department headed by President Obama-appointed Attorney General Eric Holder is not likely to bring charges against the CIA – charges against the CIA could lead back to the White House.
The specific content of the conversation between Brennan and McDonough is not disclosed but after the conversation Brennan instructed his subordinates at the CIA to trash the Constitution and engage in espionage activity against the US Senate.
Brennan’s consultation with McDonough also came before the CIA revealed the search to then-Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whose staff was the target of the snooping. The new information suggesting the White House was aware of — and did not stop — the CIA’s computer snooping is unlikely to improve the existing distrust between Senate committee members and the executive branch. Feinstein has said that the CIA’s computer search likely violated the constitutional separation of powers, an allegation the White House has declined to directly address.
The Oval Office’s prior knowledge of the controversial computer review will no doubt worsen the tensions that have erupted over the matter between the executive branch, its chief intelligence agency and the lawmakers tasked with their oversight.
Thought experiment for partisan Democrats – close your eyes and imagine President Bush did this. Feel the outrage? Go with that. This is absolutely outrageous criminal conduct and a smoking gun violation of the Constitution.
Luckily for the Obama Administration the present day political calculus works out well for them – they approved illegal spying on fellow Democrats to protect a torture program by a Republican administration. In other words, it is unlikely anyone will hold the White House accountable for this despite the clear evidence of wrongdoing because the politics is so muddled and the taint of corruption reaches so many varied hands.
And people say Washington isn’t bipartisan.
9. BUY-PARTISAN / FORMER DEMOCRAT Murphy selected for Intelligence Committee
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced late Wednesday that Congressman Patrick E. Murphy will join the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for the 114th Congress.
"It is a distinct privilege and humbling responsibility to be appointed to the House Intelligence Committee," said Congressman Murphy. "As we have witnessed in recent days and months, the rise in extremism and the growing threat of new types of terror require innovative solutions to ensure that our intelligence community is best equipped to handle national security threats. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the intelligence community to protect the values and freedoms that are intrinsic to our way of life."
Blood on the Mountain
PNN Host and News Director Rick Spisak welcomes Co-Host Luis Cuevas of Progressive Push.
We will be joined by Jennifer who will be launching her new PNN show in the coming week. “In the Stream” a journey in Art Music and Consciousness”
We will hear a report from Friday’s Clean Water Rally from Stuart Florida. BIG SUGAR still is Actively destroying not just Lake Okeechobee but her poisonous effluent is sent east and west to decimate wildlife on the Withalacoochee and the Indian River Estuary
We also will get an update from Dezeray from Food Not Bombs
on the Fort Lauderdale (Feeding the Homeless issue)
The Court Injunction has nearly run out - FNB is ready
Water Activist and Film Maker Mari-Lynn Evans will tell us the latest on West Virginia's Water POISONING and the ongoing Betrayal by her Civil Servants who are protecting Coal Companies, instead of West Virginians. (Watch for her film, "BLOOD ON THE MOUNTAIN" about this history of resource extraction in West Virginia.
Walter Witter Director of Operations for Palm Beach County's Food Bank will talk about feeding the hungry in Palm Beach County.
Meredith Ockman of NOW and Allen Hendricks of Equality Florida will discuss Marriage its not just for straight people anymore.
Our First Show of the Year (January 18th 7pm (Eastern) - Join Us Live, or Anytime
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