A measure of common sense and decency has suddenly arisen in Washington, D.C., where Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has unveiled a defense budget proposal that comes close to bringing the United States in line with the rest of the world and real twenty-first century needs.
The US has less than 5% of the world’s population, yet it accounts for 39% of the entire world’s spending on military. For comparison, China, with close to 20% of the world’s population, accounts for less than 10% of world military spending. US spending exceeds that of the next ELEVEN countries Continue reading
Just imagine an average guy entering the TSA security area of an international airport and attempting to pass through while carrying a loaded .45 pistol and with a second loaded magazine in his bag. Wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, and hustled off to a cell for transport to the local jail would be the normal turn of events, but for ultra right wing gun nut tea bagger state assemblyman and now gop gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly, they TSA cops apologized for the inconvenience and escorted him to the next available flight.
Donnelly, who first rose to fame as an organizer of the Minutemen and spent his recreational time patrolling the California-Mexico border, firearm in hand, was charged with a misdemeanor and given a fine and community service. Yep, not a minute of jail Continue reading
As the concept of Eminent Domain developed in common law over centuries, first in Europe and then in the United States, its purpose was noble, serving the common good, so important in fact that it became embodied in the Fifth and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution. Its traditional purpose was to empower governmental entitles to purchase private property at a fair price from land owners otherwise unwilling to sell, where the land was needed for a public purpose, such as for a highway, a park, or a government building.
This noble purpose was eliminated from the law of Eminent Domain by the US Supreme Court in 2005, Continue reading
It’s is late at night, I had a long day (but did get a lot done, three articles and several page updates) and then I tweeted this:
Venezuela + Ukraine are burning, West Virgina + North Carolina have poisoned water, drought in CA, snow in the south, world ends 3/1.
Then I posted it on Facebook and added this:
No room to add Fukushima radiation poisoning Japan and North America, Tea Bagger psycho lunatics, the continued existence of Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin who says it is the President’s fault for his racist rants, and the fact that criminal mastermind Darrell Issa who should be in prison is both the most dominant person in the teabagge House and the wealthiest person in Congress? Do we deserve to wake up on 3/2 and say, “What was that?”
I could add so much more: Continue reading
In two rulings from the US Supreme Court, each decided five-to-four, the Court’s conservative block has insulated BIG PHARMA from an innumerable number of injury claims from consumers who ingest their drugs and who then suffer significant injuries and damages, totally unaware of dangerous side effects of those drugs, which the Court has now said that drug manufacturers CANNOT divulge to the public. The Food and Drug Administration is now proposing new regulations to change this, and they have been met with a massive attack from BIG PHARMA.
First, the background: As part of the process for a new drug to be approved by the FDA, the manufacturer has to prepare and have approved that sheet of paper that comes with prescription drugs, that sheet that includes all of the known side effects of the drug. Once the manufacturer has obtained approval to market its new brand-name drug, it has an ongoing duty to update that information Continue reading
The ongoing legacy of decades of reagan and bush presidencies has been the flooding of the nations’ federal court system with hundreds of judges who have no more business being judges with lifetime tenure deciding the fate of hundreds of millions of Americans than of being appointed to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency after having run a horse jumping competition. The result has been thousands of judicial opinions deciding life or death and other monumental personal life changing matters based not on a knowledge of the Constitution and of other applicable laws, and the thoughtful interpretation thereof, but rather on partisan political and religious beliefs and outright bigotry. Continue reading
On Sept 29, 2013, a Tesoro oil pipeline was discovered to be leaking crude oil into North Dakota farmland. In excess of 20,000 barrels of crude leaked down as far as 30 feet into the earth. All available technology was enlisted to stop the leak and to clean up the environmental damage it caused. Almost five months have now passed since the event, and the cleanup, encompassing excavating, treating, and replacing soil, is no where near completion, with an estimate having just been released by Tesoro stating that the cleanup will take another two years.
As politicians and pundits bought and paid for by oil industry interests continue to lie about the necessity, safety, job creation and increase to domestic petroleum supply benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline, Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how long time Los Angeles County Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich had submitted a motion before the Board to eviscerate the First Amendment and add a religious symbol to the Los Angeles County Seal. Back in 2004, the Board had voted to remove a Christian cross from the seal, with Knabe and Antonovich being the only opposing votes. Last month, they obtained support from Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was not on the board in 2004, giving them a majority vote to disregard the United States Constitution and thoroughly piss off the millions of Los Angeles County residents who believe in the First Amendment Establishment Clause, Continue reading
One year ago today, in the midst of the multi-county manhunt for cop-killer Christopher Dorner, eight LA police officers themselves committed one of the most heinous acts against law-abiding citizens in the history of Los Angeles. I described this in detail a year ago in this post: “Outrageous Police Shooting Spree REQUIRES Charlie Beck & John J. Neu Be Fired”
This week, the Los Angeles Police Commission completed its investigation of the incident in which two innocent women were brutally ambushed and wounded, releasing detailed findings of how the incident unfolded, and concluding that the involved officers violated LAPD policy in using deadly force.
Yet, they will all go unpunished. Continue reading
In a report issued this past week, Oxfam International, a worldwide relief organization dedicated to finding practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and to making the voices of the poor able to influence local and global decisions that affect them, it was shown that the world’s 85 richest people own the same amount as the bottom half of the entire global population, which includes 3,500,000,000 people.
The report suggests the following ramifications: Continue reading
In 2007, the California legislature enacted AB 1471, a bill that amended CA Penal Code Section 12126 to require that new firearms sold in the state be equipped to microstamp onto bullet casings characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the weapon. The bill was signed into law by republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but did not go into effect for six years, until 2013.
Now, faced with such a reasonable and necessary aid to law enforcement to help solve serious crimes, gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson has with much fanfare joined Sturm, Ruger & Co. in refusing to comply with the requirement, instead choosing to stop selling firearms in California. Continue reading
The new West Covina City Council, featuring in its five seats three new members elected this past November, had a long, hard agenda last night, and I am very happy to be able to say that they did virtually everything the voters of West Covina wanted to see done by their elected council.
Among their actions, the council did the following:
The search for a new police chief had resulted in the selection of an experienced individual who had applied knowing full well the details of the compensation package, but who after being offered the position asked for a significant bonus added to his salary Continue reading