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Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:28 PM PDT

Hands Up/Don't Shoot: Occupy & Terrify

by dkmich

Our government is broke.  We need to cut food stamps, Social Security, and make a profit off of student loans.   Wars are expensive, and the defense budget needs more money because freedom god damn it!  

(Detroit Free Press) -- Michigan police departments have armed themselves with grenade launchers, armored vehicles, automatic rifles and other equipment — 128,000 items in all, worth an estimated $43 million — under a federal program that allows police to obtain surplus gear free from the U.S. military.

A Free Press review of items transferred from the military since 2006 shows Michigan law enforcement agencies have received 17 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles or MRAPs, built to counter roadside bombs; 1,795 M16 rifles, the U.S. military's combat weapon of choice; 696 M14 rifles; 530 bayonet and scabbards; 165 utility trucks; 32 12-gauge, riot-type shotguns; nine grenade launchers; and three observation helicopters.

Want to know how many of your tax dollars are being spent to militarize the police in your state?   Maybe you'd like to know how much and what kind of military equipment is waiting for you around the corner.   Follow me below the fold.
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Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 12:03 PM PDT

Terrify and Occupy

by dkmich

Short and sweet, tell him to get the WAR and SPY toys the hell out of our communities.  

Federal Officials Rethink Giving Excess Military Gear To Police

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee will review the program to determine if the Defense Department's surplus equipment is being used as intended.
https://www.levin.senate.gov/...

Phone (202) 224-6221
Fax (202) 224-1388

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At Netroots Nation, many panelists and the awesome Reverend Barber told us dissent was good and necessary and had to be directed at both parties.   They made the case for moral accountability regardless of party, and they warned us not to turn a blind eye to injustice and immorality no matter which party was peddling it.  

At Netroots Nation, we were exposed to the professional left and the activist left, and we heard two speeches.

Two speeches. One, amid metal detectors, disruptive protesters and a house full of press; the other, given in the cadence of an all-night revival, seen by almost nobody on the media risers. But together, they displayed the twin political preoccupations of a Netroots Nation at a crossroads, caught between the straitjacket of political dysfunction and the historical imperative of moral reconstruction. They symbolized where the progressive political movement, nine years on from its infancy as just a bunch of bloggers who wanted to put a face to each other’s names, stands today, and perhaps where it needs to go.
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Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:39 AM PDT

We are all right-wingers now....

by dkmich

Thomas Frank, What's the Matter With Kansas, interviews Adolph Reed, Jr., professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and contributor to The Nation,  on his essay in the current issue of Harpers in which he "assesses the situation under President Obama - and manages to throw bucket after bucket of cold water over a Democratic Party that is still exulting after its big win in 2012."   The article in Harper's is behind a pay wall, but Frank's interview is not.  

I want to entice you over to Salon to read the entire interview , but I'm having a hard time cutting it down to something manageable enough to inform and yet not violate copyright.   So I took a shot at it below the fold.  

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A very interesting and eye-opening article from HuffPo on pot, legal or otherwise, and driving under the influence.

Driving while stoned isn't a good idea, and it's a crime in all 50 states, some of which have set blood-test limits for marijuana. But unlike blood alcohol content, THC blood levels don't have much to do with impairment. Cannabis metabolites remain in fat cells after you stop smoking and can be detected for as long as three months in frequent pot smokers -- including many medical marijuana patients, who regularly have elevated THC blood levels.

Where Your Past Pot Smoking Can Get You A DUI

If they can't jail you for possession, they'll jail you for a DUI.  This could prove to be even more insidious and lucrative to law enforcement than the old drug war.

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Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 02:40 PM PST

XL, Koch Brothers, & Third Way

by dkmich

Because global warming isn't bad enough....

What is at issue in the Keystone XL and Alberta tar sands matter and governmental policies that will determine whether the tar-sands oil will undercut the production-costs of normal oil.  Right now, normal oil costs far less to mine, process, and get to market (because tar sands oil is so dirty and so land-locked). However, if the Kochs win, then the existing governmental policies will change in ways that will eliminate this cost-advantage of normal oil. The result of that would be increased sales and and burning of the tar-sands oil, and thus reduced sales and burning of cleaner oil. That would throw into the atmosphere "more than $70 billion in additional damages associated with climate change over 50 years." However, that added $70 billion would be the added harms to the entire world, not to the owners of the tar sands.
Because the Koch brothers aren't already rich enough....
The benefits to Koch Industries, from this competitive re-allignment in favor of tar-sands oil, have been estimated to be around $100 billion. This would add about $45 billion to the net worth of David Koch, $45 billion to the net worth of Charles Koch, and $15 billion to the net worth of Elaine Marshall. (David and Charles would then become the two wealthiest individuals in the world.)
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Warren is the only one out there with a clue or a bat.   No accountability in Washington, NSA, Pentagon, Education, DOJ, or any place else infiltrated and own by the Wall Street crooks.  

Time to bury RWNJs and Clinton's Third Way Democrats.   If we don't, the whole freaking country will be in bankruptcy with Detroit.  

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Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:11 PM PDT

While everyone's focused on XL.....

by dkmich

When a ruptured pipeline spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into a North Dakota wheat field last month, a state health official said it was “the best place it could’ve occurred” — far from population centers and water supplies.

But what if a similar spill occurs in the worst place?

lake view photo straits-of-mackinac-458x304_zps93b5b72a.jpg

(Photo by Joel Dinda via Creative Commons)
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Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:19 AM PDT

dkos needs to keep up with the group

by dkmich

I am certainly not a part of the social media generation, but even I know enough about Twitter to make dailykos and its content more effective.    In two minutes, I found two prime examples of how dkos could be more effective in creating change than just using petitions to get its message out.

Example #1

How CNN's "Both Sides Do It" Coverage of the Shutdown Failed Massively

This diary is on the wreck list.    When tweeted, it goes nowhere.   With a couple of simple changes, it turns into this and flies through the twitterverse:

How @CNN #BothSidesDoIt Coverage of the #Shutdown Failed Massively.

Example #2

Unions will 'fight to the death to stop cuts to Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid' can become this:

@barackobama Unions will 'fight to the death to stop cuts to #Social Security and #Medicare and #Medicaid' http://www.dailykos.com/.... via @dailykos

Hash tags and @ in the titles would improve the effectiveness of tweeted diaries.   It would also be nice if the links were ow.ly or bit.ly.    dkos needs to catch up to the times.   Blogging is great, but social media will get the word out and better promote the blog.

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Talk about waking up to good news on a beautiful and rainy fall day, this is it.   Bernie Sanders is on the Budget Conference Committee.  The only thing that could make it better would be Elizabeth Warren by his side.

From Bernie's website:

Sen. Bernie Sanders was appointed to a Senate and House budget conference committee to create a long-term budget plan by Dec. 13 to avert another government shutdown. A member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders said he looks forward to developing an alternative to the stopgap, sequestration-level budget that Congress approved late Wednesday as part of an agreement to reopen the government. “I am excited about being a member of the budget conference committee and I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to end the absurdity of sequestration and to develop a budget which works for all Americans. In my view, it is imperative that this new budget helps us create the millions of jobs we desperately need and does not balance the budget on the backs of working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor,” Sanders said.
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Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 05:29 AM PDT

Nameless and Shameless

by dkmich

I saw this story in the Huffington Post, and I was disgusted and angered.   I have been sending it to media outlets and posters on dailykos that do a much better job of writing than I do - particularly of late - in the hopes someone would write it up and bring some heat to the incident.

The story starts with a typical joint task force drug raid on 8 Mile in Detroit, and it comes down in typical style with two elderly and medically impaired women being the object of police brutality.   Where it takes a truly macabre turn is when the women try to identify their abusers so they can sue them.   Then the court and government sanctioned cover up begins.  

Below the cheetoh, I've included as much of the article as I dare.   Please read it and help to turn up the heat.   These women and those so called law enforcement officers deserve their day in court.

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Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 02:28 PM PDT

End the War on Drugs

by dkmich

and quit turning out kids into criminals.  

 We are criminalizing more people faster than any country on the globe.
Since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world. Although prison populations are increasing in some parts of the world, the natural rate of incarceration for countries comparable to the United States tends to stay around 100 prisoners per 100,000 population. The U.S. rate is 500 prisoners per 100,000 residents, or about 1.6 million prisoners in 2010, according to the latest available data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).1

Men make up 90 percent of the prison and local jail population, and they have an imprisonment rate 14 times higher than the rate for women.  And these men are overwhelmingly young:  Incarceration rates are highest for those in their 20s and early 30s.  

Prisoners also tend to be less educated: The average state prisoner has a 10th grade education, and about 70 percent have not completed high school.  

Incarceration rates are significantly higher for blacks and Latinos than for whites. In 2010, black men were incarcerated at a rate of 3,074 per 100,000 residents; Latinos were incarcerated at 1,258 per 100,000, and white men were incarcerated at 459 per 100,000.  

Since 2007, however, the incarceration rate in the United States has tapered slightly and the 2010 prison population saw a decline—of 0.3 percent—for the first time since 1972, according to the BJS.

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