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Sen. Paul Introduces Constitutional Amendment

October 21, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul last week introduced S.J. Res. 25, a Constitutional amendment that would hold government officials to the same standard as the American people. The amendment states that ‘Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.’ The amendment also contains two provisions that apply that same principle to the Executive Branch and Judicial Branch of the federal government. The amendment text can be found below:

S.J.RES.25
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to applying laws equally to the citizens of the United States and the Federal Government. (Introduced in Senate – IS)
SJ 25 IS
113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. J. RES. 25
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to applying laws equally to the citizens of the United States and the Federal Government.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 11, 2013
Mr. PAUL introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to applying laws equally to the citizens of the United States and the Federal Government.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States:
‘Article–
‘Section 1. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.
‘Section 2. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to the executive branch of Government, including the President, Vice President, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and all other officers of the United States, including those provided for under this Constitution and by law, and inferior officers to the President established by law.
‘Section 3. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, including the Chief Justice, and judges of such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
‘Section 4. Nothing …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Texas Republican Judge Switches Party, Denouncing GOP as Party of Bigots and Hate-Mongers

October 21, 2013 in Blogs

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet

GOP now known for “pettiness and bigotry.”


A Republican Judge from San Antonio, Texas, has announced he is quitting the GOP and will seek re-election as a Democrat, saying that he can no longer be part of political party whose identity is based on hate, bigotry and destrying people’s lives.

Bexar County Judge Carlo R. Key made his announcement in a YouTube campaign video, where the image shifts between the judge sitting at his bench and screenshots of Republicans—from Sen. Teed Cruz to state politicians—boosting their agenda or career by harming others.

Key’s words speak for themselves. Here’s a transcript, where he ends by urging others who share his moderate temperament and respectful demeanor to join him.

I have tried to live a life of principles. These principles have been shaped by mi familia, my community and my country. In fact, it is my dedication to these principles which has lead me to the law in the first place and has guided me to becoming a judge. These values are simple. I believe that justice demands fairness. It demands careful and intelligent probing of evidence. And above all else, justice can only be served without prejudice toward race, color, creed or whom you choose to love.

These principles have served as the bedrock upon which my rulings have been made. They are also my driving force. That is why I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party. For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to character assassination. Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake. I have not left the Republican Party. It left me.

I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their ecomonic status. I will not be a member of a party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Police Throw Man in Jail After Mistaking Jolly Ranchers for Crystal Meth

October 21, 2013 in Blogs

By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet

Drug War inspired police work at its best.


For any New Yorker that still needs convincing of how essential stop-and-frisk tactics are to keeping them safe, some intrepid NYPD police work has taken hard candies off the street. 

According to a lawsuit brought against the NYPD by Love Olatunjiojo, police arrested and held the 25-year-old man for 24 hours after mistaking Jolly Ranchers for crystal meth, reports theNew York Daily News. Olatunjiojo and a friend had just made the purchase — at the It’Sugar candy emporium in Brooklyn — when police approached and searched the two men. According to the complaint, obtained by the Smoking Gun, “Finding only candy, including the Jolly Rancher candy mentioned, the officers repeatedly searched Plaintiff and told him “it was only a matter of time before they found something.'”

After the search Olatunjiojo was hauled off to jail and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree — a class A misdemeanor. Police continued doing a great job by sending the suspicious hard candy to the NYPD crime lab where a “gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis” was conducted on the ”two “red crystalline rocks of solid material” and four “blue crystalline rocks of solid material,” according to the complaint. 

When the lab found no controlled substances in the hard candy, they wrote in big block letters on the report: NO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE IDENTIFIED, NOTIFY DISTRICT ATTORNEY. 

Despite the clear instructions, the suit alleges that the DA did nothing about this until 4 months later, when Olatunjiojo appeared in court on September 19th, 2013. That's when the case was finally dismissed. 

As the Huffington Post points out, between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, the city paid out $22.8 million to settle civil rights abuse cases against the NYPD. 

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Source: ALTERNET

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A Retrospective

October 21, 2013 in History

October 21, 2013 1:58 p.m.

This fall American Experience is celebrating 25 years on the air. We have celebrated with a staff spirit week (we each dressed up as our favorite American Experience documentary) and we just finished a Best Film Ever bracket (winner: Abraham & Mary Lincoln, though so many people complained that their favorite was not included that we may just have to do another!)

To date, we have produced 287 documentaries, over 399 hours and 428 nights of original television programming. In this 3-minute video retrospective, our longtime editor has collected some of our best, most moving, and most controversial film moments.

Which is your favorite?

…read more

Source: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

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Koch Brothers Could Earn $100 Billion in Tar Sands Profit if Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved

October 21, 2013 in Blogs

By Meteor Blades, Daily Kos

KXL will create a cash cow on steroids for the Kochs.


Authors of a 40-page report by the liberal think-tank International Forum on Globalization have concluded that the billionaire duo, David and Charles Koch, stand to make as much as $100 billion in profits from their holdings in the tar sands of Alberta if President Obama approves the Keystone XL pipeline. Because it would cross the boundary between Canada and the United States, the pipeline, which would connect the tar sands to refineries on the Texas gulf coast, requires a presidential permit based on U.S. national interest. Given the mandates of the review process, a decision isn't likely until early 2014.

Boiled down to the essentials of its executive summary, the IFG report—Billionaires' Carbon Bomb: The Koch Brothers and the Keystone XL Pipeline—states:

By better connecting Canadian tar sands to U.S. refineries and their growing export markets, KXL will create a cash cow on steroids for the Kochs. KXL would worsen today's chances for controlling carbon by enormously expanding the Kochs' financial war chest thereby increasing their ability to influence U.S. carbon pollution policymaking and undermine urgent global climate cooperation.

IFG's special report reveals that Koch Industries' role in KXL includes:

2 million or more potential acres in Alberta with tar sands (and emissions) exceeding Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips combined;

$53 million in Koch Cash for front groups and politicians who are pushing to fast-track KXL;

$100 billion in potential profits due to KXL, or 1 million times more than the average KXL worker's wage over the life of the pipeline.

The resulting rise in the pace and scale of Canadian crude oil consumption will make more money faster for the Kochs, who stand to personally profit from KXL more than any other individuals, even Exxon executives.

Approval of the pipeline, the report's authors add, would give the Kochs “more money to ramp up their already successful attacks against Americans' voting rights, labor rights, pollution controls, and other public interest protections.”

The Kochs, with a combined net worth of $92 billion, have been the leaders in financial support for climate change denialist propaganda, surpassing even Exxon's massive support …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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AFL-CIO Head to Democrats: Cut Social Security or Medicare, And We'll 'End Your Career'

October 21, 2013 in Blogs

By Alex Kane, AlterNet

Richard Trumka's blunt remarks were made Monday to a conference for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


A leading labor union is bluntly telling Democrats that if they try to reduce Social Security or Medicare, the union would go after them electorally. The Huffington Post’s Dave Jamieson reports that Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, will deliver that message in a speech Monday to a conference for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

“No politician … I don’t care the political party … will get away with cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Don’t try it,” Trumka said in Las Vegas. “This warning goes double for Democrats. We will never forget. We will never forgive. And we will never stop working to end your career.”

The AFL-CIO said that the threat to “end” the careers of Democrats who supported those  cuts also applies to the issue of chained CPI, which refers to a plan floated by Democrats that would reduce annual increases to Social Security beneficiaries by changing how the cost of living affects Social Security payments.

The remarks from Trumka and the AFL-CIO signal a willingness to fight on the issue as budget negotiations continue in Washington. Trumka says that instead of reducing Social Security, the U.S. should increase it.

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Florida High School Named After KKK Founder — in 2013

October 21, 2013 in Blogs

By Annie-Rose Strasser, Think Progress

One Jacksonville resident launched a Change.org petition that has so far garnered over 150,000 signatures, asking the Duval County School Board to change the name.


 

Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, home to the fighting Confederate Rebels, is named after a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and confederate general. It has been since 1959, when administrators changed the name to show their defiance to school integration laws enforced by Brown v Board of Education. But town residents, fed up with kowtowing to racial extremists, are looking to change that.

One Jacksonville resident launched a Change.org petition that has so far garnered over 150,000 signatures, asking the Duval County School Board to change the name. The board members are only people with the power to do so — and, back in 2008, they voted against a name change by a vote of 5 to 2.

“I don’t want my daughter, or any student, going to a school named under those circumstances,” the petition’s author, resident Omotayo Richmond writes, “This is a bad look for Florida — with so much racial division in our state, renaming Forrest High would be a step toward healing.”

Richmond has some high-profile opponents: The KKK is getting involved in the fight.

All seven members of the board received a letter from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan urging them not to consider a name-change. It calls the school’s namesake a “valiant man of honor,” and justifies the KKK as “a group of vigilance to protect defenseless southerners from criminal activities perpetrated against them by Yankee carpet baggers, scalawags, and many bestial blacks and other criminal elements out for revenge or just taking part in criminal mischief.”

One school board member spoke out against the letter, saying, “At first I thought it might be some sort of a gag or political stunt and then as I looked into it, I found out that it was an actual organization … I was outraged by it.”

The school’s superintendent, Dr. Nikolai Vitti, agrees. “I don’t think it sends the right message to the African-American community. I also don’t think …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Coming November 8: A Seminar for High School and College Students

October 21, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Coming to the Mises Institute and online November 8:

How Does an Economy Grow? is the next in our series of seminars for high school and college students. Attendance is open to homeschool, public, or private high school students and their chaperones or teachers, and college students. Through the generosity of one of our donors this seminar is free to everyone. To attend the live sessions, at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, fill out the registration form at the bottom of this page. In addition, all of the sessions will be broadcast live and can be viewed either from the homepage of Mises.org or through the Mises Academy here on the day of the event. Special thanks to an anonymous donor for making this event possible.

See the full event description.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Mises’s Ideas Desperately Needed

October 21, 2013 in Economics

By John P. Cochran

Kurt Schuler at Free Banking has a nice post, Mises-Grinder Combo, where he highlights Walter Grinder’s remembrance of Mises: A nice read about brief interaction of two leaders of the liberty movement.

After mentioning a recent email from Walter, who just turned 75 Kurt writes

Walter modestly did not mention a remembrance he himself wrote less than a year after Mises died. I just came across it yesterday. It is noteworthy in particular for these prophetic sentences:

In fact, signs around us make it seem likely that Mises’ influence will be stronger in years to come than it ever was during his lifetime. Both the present frightening objective conditions and the current subjective malaise make it clear that Ludwig von Mises’ ideas are more desperately needed now than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930′s. One thing is certain, if the international market system as it has developed over the past 200 years is to survive, then the ideas of Mises must be understood and implemented. The alternative is far too horribly regressive to contemplate.

We are again at a crossroads where the alternative “far too horribly regressive to contemplate” is again rearing its ugly head. The ideas of Mises the Austrain are more alive now, than then and even more urgently neded. Do all you can to spread these timeless ideas.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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New In the Store: Frank Fetter’s ‘Economic Principles’

October 21, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

EBOKSS130

Now available in the store as an ebook: Frank Fetter’s book Economic Principles.

Frank A. Fetter was a leading American follower of Carl Menger and the early Austrians. He was the first economist to develop a complete statement of the pure time preference theory of interest, and he revolutionized the theory of rent which had been developed by David Ricardo and the classical economists and was still accepted by economists 100 years later.

Both Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard were heavily influenced by Fetter’s writings. Economic Principles is the culmination of Fetter’s work and provides a complete and systematic exposition of economic theory based on the Austrian subjective-value approach. Murray Rothbard mentioned it as one of the great economics treatises written before the First World War.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE