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Reposted from jpmassar by jpmassar

Police pull up suddenly on some young black men. One of them runs. A cops gives chase. "Shots fired." One more dead. "I feared for my life."

This is a script that is running on loopback in cities large and small across America. But it's a script that some say might become less popular if there was an unimpeachable witness to the play - video as it happened.

The Oakland Police have had body video cameras for some years now. Three years ago to this day, late into the night of May 5th, 2012, Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso was wearing his camera as he and his partner cruised East Oakland. Spotting 18 year old Alan Blueford and his two companions "walking while black," the script played itself out.

photo vigil-dove-release_zpsc87ardsd.jpg

As officer Masso approached the young men he turned on his body camera. But when Alan took off running and he began a footchase he TURNED IT OFF. Alan ran into the midst of a street party and the event was witnessed by a number of people, but despite the gathering no video was recorded.

Alan Blueford's parents will never know for sure what happened just minutes after midnight. They do know that Alan died then in the street with three bullets to his chest. Witness testimony is conflicted and Masso's testimony - in which he admits to essentially having a PTSD episode before firing his weapon(1) - is riddled with inconsistencies and is contradicted by the evidence. The fact that Miguel Masso took one of the four shots he fired in his own foot further compounds the fog. A camera might have shown what Masso should have seen, rather than what he says he thought he saw.

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Reposted from Paul Hogarth by Paul Hogarth
Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco chief of staff Dan Bernal meets with our coalition against fast track to accept the petitions.
Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco chief of staff Dan Bernal meets with Daily Kos, CREDO Action, Sum of Us, Electronic Frontier Foundation & Corporate Accountability International
As House Republicans and the White House whip votes to pass fast-track legislation for the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, passage depends on House Democrats—and everyone knows it.

Daily Kos members have been very engaged on pressuring Congress to reject Fast Track, and we have been working with coalition partners like CREDO Action, Public Citizen, Sum of Us, Corporate Accountability International, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Food & Water Watch.

Today, I joined a delegation from these groups—all of whom are San Francisco constituents of Nancy Pelosi—to the House minority leader’s office as we delivered 160,000+ signatures against fast track.

“In 2014, Leader Pelosi said no to fast track for the TPP and now she has a chance to be a hero again,” said Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director at CREDO Action. “If Leader Pelosi uses her power and influence to lead Democrats in the House to stop Fast Track, that will mean the end for the TPP.”

President Obama is meeting with 30-odd House members today from the conservative “New Democrat Caucus,” hoping to peel off just enough Democratic votes to pass fast-track. That is why our petition delivery today was so important.

Since Friday, Daily Kos has generated over 1,400 constituent phone calls to House Democrats. If your member of Congress is a Democrat, please call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 today or tomorrow and leave the following message with your member’s office:

I am one of your constituents. As a Democrat, I am urging you to stand up for working people and say NO to a secret corporate trade deal that will ship jobs overseas and endanger our environment. Please vote NO on fast-track approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
House Democrats are under a lot of pressure, so we need to keep enough in line. Please make a quick phone call.
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Reposted from Paul Hogarth by Paul Hogarth
Christopher Casey of the Consumer's Union runs a de-brief of activists opposed to the Comcast merger after the CPUC hearing on March 12, 2015
Christopher Casey of the Consumer's Union leads a de-brief after activists attended a hearing at the C.P.U.C. to oppose Comcast's merger with TimeWarner.
This morning, I attended the California Public Utilities Commission hearing in San Francisco to oppose Comcast’s merger with TimeWarner. If the merger is approved, Comcast would control every major cable and broadband market in California—serving up to 84 percent of all households.

Daily Kos and other independent websites could not exist without a diverse and decentralized media, and it’s a threat that we take seriously. Which is why we joined the Consumer’s Union, Courage Campaign, Media Alliance and others today to oppose the merger–and have collected over 22,000 signatures from Daily Kos members in California.

The C.P.U.C. has a long history of being cozy with the industries it regulates, with its former President possibly facing criminal charges—and its public hearing process is less open than other bodies I have spoken to in my career.

That’s why today’s hearing was so important to get our voices heard.

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Reposted from Pgonzalez by Paul Hogarth Editor's Note: Last week, we delivered a Daily Kos petition to the Federal Reserve office in San Francisco to oppose this bank merger. They have responded by saying they will hold hearings, which is a big coup. -- Paul Hogarth
Last Monday, a delegation of community advocates traveled to the Federal Reserve to deliver 15,000 Daily Kos petitions along with a letter from 51 state and national organizations addressed to the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The letter and petitions built on months of opposition to a proposed, controversial bank merger that would combine two banks with troubled histories to create a “Systemically Important Financial Institution, aka a Too Big To Fail Bank.  

Four days later, the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that they would hold a public hearing on this merger in Los Angeles on February 26, 2015.

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Reposted from Shockwave by Shockwave

Susan Bonilla photo Susan Bonilla large_zpssy8w5lux.jpg

A special election on May 19 will determine whether Susan Bonilla or Steve Glazer gets to be a California Senator representing the 7th Senate district.  Susan came 2nd in the March 17th primary.  

Glazer received 38,411 in the primary while Bonilla got 28,389, about 10,000 votes less.  However,  the next candidate was Joan Buchanan who received 25,534 and she endorsed Bonilla.

True, the Republican in the race came 4th and received 18,281 and endorsed Glazer (another red light when a Republican endorses a Democrat) before withdrawing from the race 1 month before the March primary.  So many of the votes Glazer received were probably Republicans.  Republicans that voted for Michaela Hertle even after she withdrew will probably not participate in the special election.  So it will be close and we can make a difference.

“I am endorsing Steve Glazer for California State Senate District 7.  Mr. Glazer has proven that he can work with Republicans and Democrats alike to find common sense solutions to our state’s needs”, said Hertle.  “He is not beholden to labor or other special interests, as seen by his opposition to BART strikes.”
The choice in ths special election in DailyKos' backyard is clear, Susan Bonilla, a great Democrat or Steve Galzer a blue dog.
7th CA senate district photo 7th district_zpsjjj7grw3.jpg

I'm far from the district but as a Single Payer activist I will do what I can to support Susan.  She is all for Single Payer, Glazer is not.  And we need Single Payer supporters in Sacramento so that what happened in 2012 doesn't happen again and so we can get to Single Payer however convoluted the road map has become in the era of Obamacare.

Untitled photo Untitled-2.jpg

As a matter of fact, the recently launched Single Payer PAC has picked Susan as the first candidate to support.  You can donate to her campaign via PayPal on the PAC page or donate to her campaign directly via ActBlue on her website.

Single Payer PAC Susan Bonilla photo Single Payer PAC_zpsehno0eil.jpg

Another red light, SF Gate seems to endorse Glazer;

Steve Glazer: A moderate Democrat, actually;

It’s true Glazer has business support. But that’s because private enterprise needs Democrats who are, as California Chamber of Commerce Veep Marty Wilson put it, “reform-minded” and “will stand up to the unions.” The chambers’ JOBSPac has spent more than $180,000 to help elect Glazer, a Democrat who helped push through a big tax increase, because the chamber is desperate to elect Democrats willing to buck the left’s entrenched interests.
 And those progressives in the  Chamber of Commers obviously love Glazer even if he is a Dem.

If you still have doubts, compare the endorsements of  Bonilla vs. Glazer. Interestingly, Governor Jerry Brown has not endorsed Glazer even though he is one of his top advisors;

Glazer is known as Jerry Brown's leading political strategist.
A yellow light at least IMO.

And this from Calbuzz;

Op-Ed: Why Unions Back Bonilla Over Glazer

Bipartisan Bonilla: Experience is one reason labor backs Bonilla. A former high school English teacher, she has built a reputation in the Capitol as a workhorse who tackles tough issues. Susan has teamed up with Gov. Jerry Brown on a landmark restructuring of the state’s local education funding formula, and won bipartisan praise for her handling of the “Uber” bill last year as chair of the Assembly’s Business and Professions Committee.
On income inequality, Glazer has refused to support an increase in the minimum wage, a bread-and-butter Democratic issue supported by Bonilla, not to mention President Obama and Gov. Brown.

When Glazer was asked about the minimum wage at a candidate forum last year, he replied that, “Most of these jobs are being provided by small business people in our communities. I think you should talk to them. I think they’ll tell you things aren’t so grand,” hardly what we expect from someone running as a Democrat anywhere, especially in one of the wealthier enclaves of California.

Glazer also has angered environmentalists by suggesting that he’d push for unspecified major changes in the state’s landmark California Environmental Quality Act (better known as CEQA). By contrast, Bonilla, scored 81 percent on the California League of Conservation Voters scorecard.

Bill Clinton, Jerry Brown and Dianne Feinstein are all moderate Democrats. But none has crossed labor like Steve Glazer. He is pushing policies that damage the middle class and reflect the California Chamber of Commerce‘s agenda. His victory would signal that there is not much difference between Democrats and Republicans on economic issues. That is precisely what corporate interests want in California.
So if you want a better Democrat in Sacramento and if you are a supporter of Single Payer, please get involved or at least donate.
Discuss

Sat May 02, 2015 at 05:11 PM PDT

R.I.P. A Garden Grew in Oakland Today.

by jpmassar

Reposted from jpmassar by jpmassar

Oscar Grant Plaza filled Saturday afternoon with a couple hundred people come to the first #BlackSpring event in Oakland. The organizers came up with a great idea, an its already spread across the twitterverse.



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Reposted from jpmassar by jpmassar

A simple tweetpic essay.




Putting the final touches on chalk art at Oscar Grant Plaza before the march arrives. The March in Solidarity Against Police Terror, called by ILWU Local 10 and community organizations united against murder by police, left the Port of Oakland as scheduled at 10:00 AM and arrived at Oscar Grant Plaza outside of City Hall in downtown Oakland at 11:30 AM.



The pre-march rally at the Port of Oakland. Mollie Costello, of the Alan Blueford Center for Justice, revs up a crowd that reached nearly one thousand people.

Out of the Port, into West Oakland.



The post-march rally at Oscar Grant Plaza. I'm in there! One of more than a thousand.





More tweetpics and tweetvideos below.

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Reposted from Connect! Unite! Act! by smileycreek
A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us at Daily Kos every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Daily Kos readers.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.

Have You Ever Been Helped by a Self-Help Book?


Stop Having Problems self help book I'm still touched by the optimism (if not the occasional outright chicanery) of the self-help and pop psychology movements of the 1970's. Remember Transactional Analysis? Remember when you discovered your inner child needed braces? Did you ever experience the euphoria that accompanied the first chapter of a new book that so clearly identified your basic problem-- and promised to solve it in a few easy chapters? The advice may have been facile or questionable, but it was a way for a bookish young adult lacking in mentors to figure out the mystery of other people.

Self-help books (especially the juicy ones about sex) gave me something I was otherwise lacking-- adult advice, encouragement, and strategies for navigating a confusing world. One (now dated) book in particular helped me through a trying time when I was in my 2i0's. Called Stress and the American Woman it explained how stress physically affects women and outlined the body-mind connection in a way that made complete sense to me. Best of all it was practical and offered an array of techniques including progressive relaxation, self-hypnosis and meditation for calming an overactive sympathetic nervous system. I still use all three. My best coping skills at that age (sadly) all came from a book. It seems to me stress relief techniques and basic cognitive therapy principles should be available to all young adults.

Here's a few titles I could easily bring to mind from that time of life. How many do you recall?

I'm Ok You're OK
The Peter Pan Syndrome
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask)
Inner Child
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
How to Be Your Own Best Friend
Dianetics
Open Marriage
Passages
The Joy of Sex
What Color is Your Parachute
Games People Play

I'm still a sucker for advice. Not that I want to take it, but I'm curious as to what people have to offer, which lead me to the thoroughly charming Life Lessons by a 90 year old, featuring my favorite piece of perspective:

# 40:
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s,
we’d grab ours back.

Which basically really does sum it up.

Carlin self help

How about you? Where has your favorite source of written life advice come from?

Latest Updates on Regional Meet-Up News Can Be Found Below the Orange Group Hug.
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Reposted from jpmassar by jpmassar

It wasn't the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day. Or even the Eleventh Month. It was, though, the 14th Day of Fourth Month of the Fourth Year in the War to Save the Berkeley Post Office and Fight Postal Privatization.

On that day, April 14th, 2015, Federal District Court Judge William Alsup proclaimed a stalemate. He declared that the lawsuit, City of Berkeley v United States Postal Service, which sought to enjoin the Postal Service from selling the Post Office building at 2000 Allston Way, was moot - for lack of there being a buyer. (The prospective buyer, a local developer, had backed out from the purchase in December, 2014.)

But in conjunction with declaring the sale moot, he forced the Postal Service to admit that they were rescinding their decision to relocate Postal Services elsewhere, out of the building. More importantly, he made it clear that should the Postal Service attempt to sell the building at any point in the next five years they must provide 42 days notice and, should the City of Berkeley refile the suit at that point, the case would end up back in court before him.

Two days later, eight god-warrior enemies of privatization sat on the (still public!) steps of the Post Office, relieved yet still wary.


 photo peeps-after-dismissal-4-16-15_zpsgujuwfsx.jpg

From left to right, back to front: Thor, Ares, Indra, Pakhet, Athena, Ku, Kali, Tumatauenga.
(appearing in mortal guise all)


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Reposted from Connect! Unite! Act! by smileycreek
A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us at Daily Kos every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Daily Kos readers.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.

Do You Appreciate Either Bats or Haiku?


Today, April 17th, is both National Bat Appreciation Day (the flying kind, not the swinging kind) and National Haiku Poetry Day.
H

Or, if you prefer, you can combine the two.

bats-in-blanketsNo one here would be shocked to hear we had bats in our belfrey several years ago. I've always been fond of them, as they are considered highly auspicious to the Chinese. The homonym for the word "bat" is the same as that for "fortune" or "blessings."

The first indication of our new housemates was the mystifying little black dots that kept appearing on the glass coffee table in the living room. The next sign was the high-pitched squeakings and scrabblings directly overhead. Soon it was clear there were bats -- many bats -- in the tiny attic crawl space, and just as clearly they had to go, but how to get rid of them? The crack under the eaves they were flying in and out of was a good 40 feet off the ground. Besides, we wanted them to hang around, not only because they're a protected endangered species but because they eat mosquitoes.

For the first step, pNut studied commercial bat boxes and then built the tiny mammals two new boxes to move into, once we could figure out how to get them out of the attic.

Batshit

Bat guano drifts like
Black snow from my ceiling fan
Built them a new home

low bat house
Bat box to the left of upstairs window, adorned with golden bats.

After several weeks of studying the bats' numbers and habits we convinced our macho Santa Cruz mountains friend Robert, who was used to tall ladders, to humanely relocate the little fellas. For weeks we counted the bats as they flew out the tiny crack under the eaves at dusk. One evening, after all had left the roost and were on the wing, Robert climbed the tall metal extension ladder he'd lashed to the side of the house and emptied a can of spray insulation foam into the cracks. He angrily climbed back down after being stung by a wasp but we gradually cajoled him into climbing back up to install the second bat box over the now sealed entrance.  

It was a few weeks until the bats returned, but they never found their way back inside, and soon little bat guano pellets began to regularly appear beneath the two gilded bat boxes.


Bats' Revenge

Zyante Robert
Ascends the silver ladder
Ow! Wasp bite! I quit!

bat house
Naturally, they chose the highest and most inaccessible peak for their domicile.

How about you?
Ever had to evict tiny livestock without harming them?
Ever written haiku?

If not, consider this an open thread!


Latest Updates on Regional Meet-Up News Can Be Found Below the Orange Group Hug.
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Reposted from jpmassar by jpmassar

In Oakland, California, every McDonald's in the city but one was shut down beginning at 8:00 AM for an hour in a coordinated  show of force to demand $15 and a union.

All the actions then converged on the remaining McDonald's - at 45th & Telegraph - for a final shutdown action.  Robert Reich, UC Professor and former Secretary of Labor, visited the action and may have spoken.

This afternoon at 1:00 PM there will be a march from Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland to Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley Campus, where the largest rally ever in the East Bay for the Fight for $15 will be being held.  Thousands are expected, converging from all over Northern California.

Below are tweetpics from actions around the globe on this International Day of Action in the fight for a living wage.

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Reposted from Connect! Unite! Act! by smileycreek
A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us at Daily Kos every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Daily Kos readers.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.

What Story or Stories Stuck With You This Week?



1) That Right There is What Patriotism Looks Like

I can't get it out of my mind, the first interview on Wednesday night with Feidin Santana, the young man who revealed his video of Walter Scott's murder after carefully considering the ramifications to everyone. His calm idealism about what is right, the earnestness with which he struggled to be precise about what he actually registered at the time versus what he saw later on his video, and his openness about his fear of reprisal made him the most heart-breakingly perfect man to be behind that camera.

It was his final words that addressed the gap between the ideal United States and the reality he had just taken in that made me well up and have kept a hold on me ever since.

If you haven't watched the whole thing, please find time to do so. You will love this man's integrity. Otherwise, forward to his final comment at 12:30.

(My own transcription, not an official one. Any errors are mine.)

Anything you want to add? Anything I didn't ask you?

Well, I guess I um....This is a very complicated situation and I'm from Dominican Republic. And in Dominican Republic we look for the authority of the United States, you know, we follow over here you know, the way it's treated over here you know, the people, you know? Not just Dominican Republic, the whole Hispanic countries, you know, and all over the world.

You look up to us?

Yes. I don't think this is a good way, to, you know, for us to see this, you know?

What do you hope happens because you captured that scene on your cell phone? What do you want to come from this?

Well I hope, like I say, I'm putting myself out here to talk and to express this cannot be happening. Not just in north Charleston, but in the whole nation, I would say in the whole world. This needs to stop. The cops taking advantage of their power, to the minority and to the people.

I wonder what lessons Feidin Santana has learned and will continue to learn. I want to say he learned that empathy and truth and justice are strong enough to overpower very real and justified fear. I want him to continue to believe that the only way your country can reach its ideal is for you to push it towards that ideal.




2) On a Lighter Note: Driving Lessons

I can't get this one out of my head either, for different reasons. Put yourself in the young lady's shoes when you read that, for security reasons, Secret Service Agents Taught Malia How to Drive.

Now, I don't know what your learning-to-drive experience was like, but I have a feeling this arrangement made for some highly illuminating instructions, far more informative than if she'd gone out to drive around the parking lot with her dad slamming his imaginary brakes.

And, while Malia still has to be followed by security, she still can get in her car and drive away, probably once or twice around the traffic circles and then back home, but hey. She gets to drive. And she's being taught how to drive by bad-asses.

What lessons would you like the Secret Service to give you?

Latest Updates on Regional Meet-Up News Can Be Found Below the Orange Group Hug.
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