You are browsing the archive for 2013 June 12.

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Patients, Doctors and Nurses Gather in Albany for Press Conference and Rally to Demand NY Senate Pass Medical Marijuana Bill Immediately

June 12, 2013 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Overwhelming Majority of New Yorkers Support Allowing Medical Marijuana for Patients in Need

Albany — Today, dozens of patients living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions travelled from around the state to demand that the New York State Senate pass the Compassionate Care Act (S.4406/Savino) immediately. The bill, which would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, would allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Sen. Paul Appears on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper- 6/12/2013

June 12, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Paul Appears on Fox's Your World With Neil Cavuto- 6/12/2013

June 12, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Fox News Op-Ed: Sorry, Mr. Obama, the Constitution is not negotiable

June 12, 2013 in Politics & Elections

In the United States, we are supposed to have a government that is limited with its parameters established by our Constitution. This notion that the federal government can monitor everyone’s phone data is a major departure from how Americans have traditionally viewed the role of government.
If this is acceptable practice, as the White House and many in both parties now say it is, then there are literally no constitutional protections that can be guaranteed anymore to citizens.
In the name of security, say our leaders, the Constitution has become negotiable.

This is what the White House is saying when it defends the National Security Agency’s gathering of Verizon’s client data en masse, or what President Obama calls a ‘modest encroachment’ on our rights, as he assures us that ‘Nobody is listening to your phone calls.’

Perhaps he can also assure us that nobody at the Internal Revenue Service is targeting political dissidents.
Perhaps he can assure us that nobody at the Justice Department is seizing reporters’ phone records.
Sorry, Mr. President, but ‘trust me’ is not good enough.

President Obama says, ‘You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.’ But we couldn’t have 100 percent security even if we turned America into a total police state-something too many seem eager for-because there’s no such thing as a risk free society.

When balancing liberty against security, the American tradition has always been to err on the side of liberty. Targeting potential terror suspects by obtaining a warrant is an ‘inconvenience’ the Founders’ intentionally put upon the government in order to protect the privacy of citizens.
Now this president turns this core constitutional principle on its head.

There are also Republicans who seem to want more power for government and less for citizens. One senator, a particularly zealous defender of the surveillance state, has said that he would be fine with ‘censoring the mail’ if ‘necessary’ to keep us safe.

This senator would open citizens’ mail, detain them indefinitely if he decided they were dangerous, claw his way through their trash, peek in their bedrooms if he decided they were an enemy, and then if they dared to ask for a lawyer, he would bark: ‘Shut up! You don’t get a lawyer!’

Such arrogance and tone deafness!

A government as omnipotent as this may be powerful enough to spy on all of its citizens all of the time, but doesn’t seem to be able …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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On This Day in 1913

June 12, 2013 in Economics

By Christopher Westley

Congress had just passed the Underwood Tariff (reinstating the federal income tax following the passage of the 16th Amendment) and, miracle of miracles, the stock market began to slump.  While the trade-off for passing the income tax was a reduction in tariff rates—this way, the tax’s proponents could claim pro-trade motivations—the powers-that-were wanted to inflate the currency to counter any adverse economic effects of the new tax.  They thus began promoting  the need for a currency bill that would consolidate many competing currencies into one that would be both subject to legal tender law and administered by a federal agency.

From the New York Times (“Hostile Action to Currency Now” June 12, 1913, p. 4):

From the time the tariff bill reached the Senate a month ago Republican Senators have been trying to obtain promises that a currency bill will not be pushed.  Democrats have evinced in private an equal earnestness in their desires to go home as soon as the tariff bill is out of the way.  The possibility of increasing the present financial uncertainty by threats of immediate tariff revision merely supplied another argument.

As a matter of fact, [President Wilson] has let it be known that he wishes prompt currency revision to supply easy money for what hardships might arise in the first months of reduced protection.  The inference was openly drawn by Senator Tillman in discussing the letter he received from the President that the Republicans want to block currency revision for the simple purpose of giving full headway to any [financial] panic which might arise and which could be ascribed to the Democratic customs policy.  The shortage of the money in New York, London, Berlin, and Paris, which, of course, cannot be attributed to the promise of reduced protection in the United States, would thus seem to be another argument for the prompt provision of an elastic currency.

We now know that Wilson would get his way and that, in fact, he surely knew legislation had already been drawn up in secret in Jekyll Island, Georgia, less than three years earlier by leaders from the public and private sectors who were waiting for such a political environment to introduce it.  In November 2010, the Fed held a conference to commemorate this meeting, entitled “A Return to Jekyll Island.”  The Fed’s return, however, occurred some nine months following the Mises Institute’s conference at Jekyll Island, entitled “The Birth and Death …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Poverty and Progress: Realities and Myths about Global Poverty

June 12, 2013 in Economics

In his new book, Poverty and Progress: Realities and Myths about Global Poverty, renowned development economist Deepak Lal draws on 50 years of experience around the globe to describe developing-country realities and rectify misguided notions about economic progress. Unique among books that have emerged in recent years on world poverty, Poverty and Progress directly confronts intellectual fads of the West and dismantles a wide range of myths that have obscured an astounding achievement: the unprecedented spread of economic progress around the world that is eliminating the scourge of mass poverty.

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Source: CATO HEADLINES

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More GOP Idiocy: 'The Incidence of Rape Resulting in Pregnancy Are Very Low'

June 12, 2013 in Blogs

By Laura Clawson, Daily Kos

And it's not even Todd Akin who said it.


 

After the 2012 elections, Republicans vowed not to be tripped up by any more Todd Akin-style comments alienating women voters by minimizing rape, defying science, and sheer force of idiocy. Apparently Rep. Trent Franks did not get that message, though. Franks is pushing a bill that would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks, and in opposing a Democratic amendment creating exceptions for rape and incest, he had this to say:

“The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

Actually, as we all found out after Akin's claim that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” pregnancy from rape is not rare at all. But Republicans like Todd Akin and Trent Franks don't really give a damn how rare or common it is for women to face an unwanted pregnancy after being raped. That's what absolutism is—there is absolutely no circumstance under which they are willing to allow a woman to decide to end a pregnancy. Rape and incest just don't register for them.

Franks went on to echo the logic of Ron Paul's “honest rape” comments: There shouldn't need to be a post-20 weeks rape and incest exception because ”when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours.” So not only does he reject the facts on pregnancy and rape, he doesn't begin to get all the reasons women don't always immediately report rape.

And while the party's post-2012 rebranding efforts have tried to keep top Republicans from publicly saying this kind of stuff, no exceptions for rape or incest remains the official Republican position on abortion.

 

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Judge: Unpaid Interns on "Black Swan" Film Should Have Been Paid

June 12, 2013 in Blogs

By Kristen Gwynne, AlterNet

In a big victory for production interns, a federal judge granted class-action status to a suit against Fox Searchlight Pictures.


A federal judge granted class-action certification to a lawsuit challenging Fox Searchlight Pictures' use of unpaid production interns yesterday. Two interns on Fox's blockbuster film “Black Swan” filed the lawsuit in 2011, claiming that the company's internship program violated New York Labor Law, particularly minimum wage and overtime. Judge William Pauley ruled that the internship was advantageous to employers, who used unpaid interns for positions that should have been paid.

Their tasks included answering phones, ordering lunch, and making travel plans for other employees, while tracking purchase orders, taking out the trash, and putting together office furniture. 

“They worked as paid employees work, providing an immediate advantage to their employer and perfomed low-level tasks not requiring specialized training,” Judge Pauley said, “The benefits they may have received — such as the knowledge of how a production or accounting office functions or references for future jobs — are the results of simply having worked as any other employee works, not of internships designed to be uniquely educational to the interns and of little utility to the employer. They received nothing approximating the education they would receive in an academic setting or vocational school.” 

Fox told the Hollywood Reporter they are “very disappointed” with the “erroneous” rulings, and “will seek to have them reversed by the 2nd Circuit as quickly as possible.”

As NBC News notes, “The 'Black Swan' case was the first in a series of lawsuits filed by unpaid interns”:

In February 2012, a former Harper’s Bazaar intern sued Hearst Magazines, asserting that she regularly worked 40 to 55 hours a week without being paid. Last July, a federal court ruled that the plaintiff could proceed with her lawsuit as a collective action, certifying a class of all unpaid interns who worked in the company’s magazines division since February 2009. This February, an unpaid intern sued Elite Model Management, seeking $50 million.

After a lawsuit brought by unpaid interns, Charlie Rose and his production company announced last December that they would pay back wages …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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REMARKS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY: Sen. Rand Paul’s Keynote Speech at Immigration Forum

June 12, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today offered the following speech at a forum on immigration, organized by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.
Por favor disculpen mi Espanol. Como creci en Houston -es un poco ‘espanglish y un poco Tex Mex.
It’s great to be here with you today.
As we continue to debate immigration in Congress this week, I think sometimes the human factor gets lost. When discussing the issue, I think it’s important to remember that we’re talking about people, not just policy.
We’re not talking about criminals we’re talking about immigrant workers caught up in a failed government visa program.
I think it’s always important that we put a human face on immigration and not just talk about numbers and statistics.
I can’t think about immigration without thinking about my own family.
My German great-grandparents didn’t speak much English when they came to America. They didn’t have much, but they also didn’t ask for much-all they wanted was an opportunity.
They began in America peddling vegetables. They finally got that opportunity when they started a dairy business in their garage, scraping together a living, raising a family, and constantly working to give their children a better life than they had.
My great-grandfather came to America in the 1880s. His father died after only six months in America. At 14, my great-grandfather was alone.
He survived and ultimately thrived in his new country with a new language. In their home and their church they spoke German.
As the son of immigrants, my grandfather, who only had an 8th grade education, would live to see his own children all go to college. They became ministers, professors, doctors and accountants and one of them became a Congressman.
My family’s story is like that of millions of others who came to this country. Every generation of immigrants wants these opportunities.
The problem we face today is: How do we now reflect this in our 21st century immigration policy?
It is absolutely vital for both the success of our immigration policy and for the purposes of national security that we finally secure our borders.
Not to stop most immigrants from coming-we welcome them and in fact should seek to increase legal immigration.
The Republican Party must embrace more legal immigration.
Unfortunately, like many of the major debates in Washington, immigration has become …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Policy Mic Op-Ed: The NSA is Spying on You ? Here is How You Should Fight Back

June 12, 2013 in Politics & Elections

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, ‘Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.’ Meanwhile, our president claims that we cannot have 100% security and 100% privacy and that as a society we have to make some choices. To that I say, no Mr. President, we don’t.
Let’s look, for example, at the recent attacks in Boston. Our government was violating our rights, trolling through millions of phone records, sifting through mountains of data and yet still didn’t notice, or didn’t notice enough, that one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was traveling to Chechnya. Perhaps instead of treating every American as a potential terror suspect, the government should concentrate on more targeted analysis and an analysis that doesn’t violate the Bill of Rights.
This assault on personal privacy affects the Facebook generation more than anyone else. Your generation is completely digitized and uploaded. Everything you do is traceable via phone, email and bank records. And it is you, more than anyone, who should be outraged by this astounding assault on your constitutional right to personal privacy.
I hear people say, ‘Well if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then the government will leave you alone.’ But over the last month and a half, this administration has proved that they will target anyone. Under this administration, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has targeted political dissidents, the Department of Justice has seized reporters’ phone records, and now we’ve learned the NSA seized an unlimited amount of Verizon’s client data. So, do you really expect us to trust a government that admittedly targets innocent citizens without probable cause? These overreaching acts are unacceptable under any president, whether Democrat or Republican.
This issue has made for some strange bedfellows in Washington. You have some of my fellow Republicans – I like to call moss-covered – defending Barack Obama’s violation of your rights. Meanwhile, I am being joined by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), left-leaning journalist Glenn Greenwald, and Republican Congressman and author of the Patriot Act, Jim Sensebrenner (R-Wisc.).
It is clear that this issue is not about party politics. It is about protecting the civil liberties that our Founding Fathers fought a revolution for. And issues such as this really show you how your political leaders feel about your rights.
What should frustrate you this most is the hypocrisy of it all. In December 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama threatened …read more

Source: RAND PAUL