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Sen. Paul Introduces Legislation to Enact Congressional Transparency

November 7, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today introduced S.1663, Write the Laws Act, S.1664, One Subject at a Time Act, and S.1665, Read the Bills Act. These pieces of legislation will restore the Constitutional principle of separation of powers, end the practice of including more than one subject in a single bill, and preserve the Constitutional authority of Congress. The American people have a right to be part of the legislative process. They will also allow citizens sufficient time to read and give input to Members of Congress as they consider legislation impacting the lives of all Americans.
‘When I ran for office, I promised that if elected, I would increase transparency and accessibility in the U.S. Senate. I am proud today to introduce legislation that would require Congress to operate with more accountability to the American people,’ Sen. Paul said. ‘Too often in Congress, legislation is shoved through without hearings, amendments or debate. Elected officials are rarely given an adequate amount of time to read the bills in full, and unlike Rep. Nancy Pelosi, I believe we must read the bills before passing them into law. If we are to answer to the American people, it is imperative we pay close attention to how legislation is written and the subject matter it pertains to. These three bills will do just that.’

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Source: RAND PAUL

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New Mexico Patients and Veterans Fighting Employment Discrimination and Stigma from Medical Professionals that Create Barriers to Medical Marijuana

November 7, 2013 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

November 9: New Mexico State Rep. Antonio Maestas, Veterans and the Drug Policy Alliance Come Together to Share Stories and Answer Questions About Veterans’ Access to Medical Marijuana

Albuquerque — After many returning veterans seeking to enroll in New Mexico’s medical marijuana program to combat symptoms of PTSD and other qualifying conditions began sharing stories of obstacles they encountered from doctors and employers, and unnecessary stigma from the community, advocates, fellow veterans and policy makers are teaming up to host a public summit launching a new campaign addressing New Mexico’s military veterans’ legal access to medical marijuana.

November 7, 2013

Drug Policy Alliance

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Wounded Soldiers: They Didn't Know What They Were Getting Into

November 7, 2013 in Blogs

By Ann Jones, TomDispatch

Ann Jones reveals the real cost of war . . . American-style.


To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com  here.

Click here to buy a copy of They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars—The Untold Story by Ann Jones, the first TomDispatch original book (in conjunction with Haymarket Books). Jones' book takes us on a powerful journey from the devastating moment an American soldier is first wounded in rural Afghanistan to his return home for recovery. 

The last time I saw American soldiers in Afghanistan, they were silent. Knocked out by gunfire and explosions that left them grievously injured, as well as drugs administered by medics in the field, they were carried from medevac helicopters into a base hospital to be plugged into machines that would measure how much life they had left to save. They were bloody.  They were missing pieces of themselves. They were quiet.

It’s that silence I remember from the time I spent in trauma hospitals among the wounded and the dying and the dead. It was almost as if they had fled their own bodies, abandoning that bloodied flesh upon the gurneys to surgeons ready to have a go at salvation. Later, sometimes much later, they might return to inhabit whatever the doctors had managed to salvage.  They might take up those bodies or what was left of them and make them walk again, or run, or even ski. They might dress themselves, get a job, or conceive a child. But what I remember is the first days when they were swept up and dropped into the hospital so deathly still.

They were so unlike themselves. Or rather, unlike the American soldiers I had first seen in that country. Then, fired up by 9/11, they moved with the aggressive confidence of men high on their macho training and their own advance publicity.

I remember the very first American soldiers I saw in Afghanistan.  It must have been in 2002.  In those days, very few American troops were on the ground in that country — most were being readied …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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MI Police 'Pursue Charges' Against Homeowner Who Shot 19-Year-Old Black Woman Dead After She Knocked on His Door

November 7, 2013 in Blogs

By Rod Bastanmehr, AlterNet

But in a 'stand-your-ground' state, will they stick?


Police say they are seeking charges against the Dearborn Heights, Michigan resident who shot a young African-American woman dead after she knocked on his door for help after a car accident. But since Michigan has a “Stand-your-ground” law, many wonder if charges, even if filed, will stick, since the law gives wide latitude to homeowners who claim they felt threatened.

The facts, as have been reported by several news outlets, are as startling as they are outrageous, and have the family of the victim, Renisha McBride, both asking why and demanding action.

McBride, all of 19 years old, had a car accident at roughly 2:30 am on Saturday in Dearborn Heights, a predominantly white neighborhood of Detroit. Her cellphone battery dead, she knocked on the door of a home in the 16000 block of Outer Drive. As she turned to leave the porch, she was shot in the head with a shotgun. The homeowner, whom police have refused to name, was initially arrested and released, having apparently convnced police that he thought she was an intruder trying to break in.

“He shot her in the head, [and] for what? For knocking on his door,” McBride’s aunt, Bernita Spinks said to the Detroit Free Press. “If he felt scared or threatened, he should have called 911.” 

Police also reportedly mislead the family about where McBride's body was found. According to Raw Story, they were first  told that her body had been dumped near Warren Avenue, some blocks away, where it was later found by authorities. Police soon, however, recanted their prior statement, saying instead that the woman died on the home’s front porch. 

Race is an inescapable part of the story, McBride's family and other observers have pointed out, as is often the case when “Stand your ground” laws are applied to incidents where African Americans end up on the wrong end of the gun. McBride's murder follows the September 14 shooting of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, a Black former college football player, who was shot and killed by police in North Carolina while seeking asistance after a car …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Colorado Pot Tax

November 7, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Well, we probably all could see this one coming. The voters of Colorado voted to put taxes on the sale of newly legalized marijuana. The taxes add up to a 25% tax on marijuana consumers. However, marijuana prohibition probably increased the price of illegal marijuana by several hundred percent and people can always grown their own to avoid the taxes. Overall, it seems that cooler heads seem to be prevailing with President Obama reversing his position on enforcement and Dr. Sanjay Gupta reversing his position on legalizing marijuana.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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The Southwest Regional Mises Circle is Coming January 18

November 7, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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The Mises Institute presents the Southwest Regional Mises Circle in Houston, Texas, sponsored by Christopher P. Condon, Terence Murphree, and T.J. and Ida Goss.

The Police State: Know It When You See It

Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport
Saturday, January 18, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

In the modern United States, federal laws are now so numerous and written so broadly and vaguely, that it is nearly impossible to make it through the day without breaking at least one of them. In many cases, these accidental infractions, when prosecuted, carry stiff penalties and prison time. Business owners are especially at risk in the face of federal agencies with nearly-limitless resources and thousands of laws and regulations to choose from when seeking to shut down or punish business enterprises. The situation is even more precarious for citizens seeking to actually challenge the power of the state. From whistleblowers to journalists to run-of-the-mill political activists, the risk of prison terms and heavy fines becomes ever greater. And through it all, an enormous government apparatus of prisons, prosecutors, police, and bureaucrats remains well-funded, powerful, and nearly impossible to oppose in court. Join us to discuss these issues.

See mises.org/events for speaker information and a complete schedule and to register online.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Central Banks: The True Centers of Political Power

November 7, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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In today’s Mises Daily, Thorsten Polleit discusses central banks, fiat money, and inflation:

Central banks have been captured by commercial and investment banking interests. I would assume that they will do more of the same: manipulating markets first and foremost by suppressing interest rates and printing new money to keep banks and the financial industry afloat.

With central banks running wild, we’ll be moving toward even more severe “boom-and-bust” cycles, even bigger government, less freedom and liberty, a distribution of income and wealth which is increasingly at odds with true market forces.

Central banks will become the real centers of political power. You could even say they are on the way to assuming the role of a “Politburo.” Central banks will effectively decide who is going to get credit at what conditions. They will decide which governments, which banks, and which kind of business sectors and companies will flourish or go under. The truth is that if the fiat money regime is not brought to an end — either by political will or by economic collapse — the economies will end up in a kind of socialist-totalitarian dead-end. But I tend to be optimistic: namely, that the fiat money scheme will break down before such a situation is reached.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Rand Paul Speaks at the Liberty University Convocation – October 28, 2013

November 7, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Appalling: 17-year-old Rape Victim Harassed and Belittled by Florida Deputy

November 7, 2013 in Blogs

By Rod Bastanmehr, AlterNet

25-year veteran fired after telling victim 'I own you,' and badgering her with wildly inappropriate questions.


Florida Deputy Paul Martin, who came under fire for his questionable handling of a sexual assault case, was officially fired early this week after it was reported that he sexually harassed and intentionally intimidated a 17-year-old rape victim while handling her case. 

Based on the report released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office, the 25-year-veteran was reported saying “horrendous” things to the victim, telling her “I own you” and “I control you destiny” in regards to the case’s progress. 

Additionally, the victim stated that Martin asked inappropriate questions like whether the suspect “put it in [her] butt” and whether it hurt or not, despite the fact that, by Martin’s own admission, there had been no indication of anal rape. At one point, the officer implies that the situation was more akin to prostitution than it was rape, stating that the whole situation “sounds like [his] ex-wife.” 

Martin’s badgering of the victim didn’t end there. According to the report, he asked whether “the guy was just flirting or was he saying ‘let’s fuck?’”, and asking whether the suspect “thought she had nice tits.” Upon learning that the victim was with another female friend shortly before the altercation, Martin asked whether she was “into girls too.” When confronted with some of the victim’s accusations, Martin not only didn’t deny such statements, but admitted his line of questioning was a tactic meant to scare the 17-year-old girl. He said that he “was trying to make her feel uncomfortable.” 

If all that is not daming enough, the final traw came when a child protection investigator noticed the detective attempting to reach out to lift the victim’s shirt after she’d made a passing comment about intentionally cutting herself years prior. 

“I’m not going to tolerate it, I’m not going to have it,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri during a press conference addressing the incident. “He engaged in really what was horrendous conduct.”  

This doesn’t mark the first time that (now-former) Deputy Martin found himself in hot water. Early this year, in …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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WATCH: Jon Stewart and Team Ridicule Media's Election Night Crystal-Ball Gazing

November 7, 2013 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

“But what does it mean for 2016?”


Jon Stewart and his crackerjack election coverage team mimicked the mainstream media for its absurd prognosticating immediately in the wake of Tuesday night's election results. The media, Stewart estimated, spent about 10 minutes covering what actually happened, and the rest of the evening talking about what Terry McCauliffe's election  as Governor of Virginia means for Hillary Clinton's presumed presidential run, and what it all means to Ted Cruz and his fellow Tea Partiers in 2014 and 2016.

A quick montage of talking heads like Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash and more revealed that such “reporting” is one of their favorites things to do.

And why not? Because, as Stewart points out, they enjoy “making this bullshit up because there are absolutely no consequences for being wrong.”

Watch:

 

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Source: ALTERNET