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Handcuffs

Denver activist charged with multiple felonies for informing jurors of their rights

© unknown
Last week, a Denver man was arrested and charged with multiple felonies, but not for stealing, committing fraud, or engaging in violent crime. He was targeted for attempting to educate jurors about their rights in the courtroom.

Mark Ianicelli, 56, set up a table outside of Lindsay-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver in order to educate jurors about jury nullification. Jury nullification is the process by which members of juries can nullify unjust laws by finding defendants charged with them not guilty.

Ianicelli is charged with tampering with a jury, a felony in Colorado that carries a minimum bond of $5,000. He was charged by the Denver District Attorney for seven counts of tampering, and has since bailed out of jail. Ianicelli was in the second day of a planned three-day outreach to educate jurors entering the courtroom about the power of jury nullification. He was handing out fliers when he was arrested. His goal was to inform potential jurors about a vital, centuries-old function of juries.

Comment: There is a precedent for this outrageous breach of justice: US: The Judicial Crackdown on Jury Rights Activists in Florida
The judge is claiming that FIJA activists are trying "to influence summoned jurors as they enter the courthouse" by handing them brochures. (Actually, the brochures are handed out to all who enter or leave the courthouse.) The brochures don't tell jurors how to vote on specific cases they merely inform them of one of their options. Sadly, the judge's view is that "Such occurrences severely impact the court's ability to conduct the efficient, prompt, and proper administration of justice"". Therefore, stopping the FIJA activists' exercise of free speech ""is necessary to serve the State's compelling interest in protecting the integrity of the jury system"". With this Orwellian statement judge Perry has given himself away. What could possibly be more conducive to ""protecting the integrity of the jury system"" than informing juries of one of their powers? Does the judge not want to see the jury system working as it should, as a check on tyrannical government? It would seem not, otherwise he would welcome the FIJA activists educational efforts at his court. Obviously, the judge likes his juries obedient and easily manipulated.
Welcome to the kangaroo court system where ignorance rules.


Magnify

The real election issues: Where candidates fear to tread

That the snarkier circles of political commentary thrill to the elephantine bellowings of Donald J. Trump only shows the pathetic limitations of the snarkists. They enjoy Trump's filterless mouth, his harsh goadings of the other presidential wannabes, and his supposed telepathic empathy for the suffering public outside the magic kingdom of DC.

Trump has one legitimate issue, immigration, plus a brief against the general incompetence of professional politicians, and a pocketful of grandiose claims about his majestic skills in business and deal-making. As business goes in this huckster's paradise, being a real estate developer is perhaps one click above being a car-dealer, and the fact that some of Trump's artful deals end up in bankruptcy court might argue against his self-proclaimed mastery. Hence, his relegation to the clown category.

What Trump represents most vividly in this moment of history is the astounding lack of seriousness among people who pretend to be political heavyweights. No one so far, including the lovable Bernie Sanders, has nailed a proper bill of grievances to the White House gate. A broad roster of dire issues facing this society ought to be self-evident. But since they are absent so far in the public discussion, here is my list of matters that serious candidates should dare to talk about (all things that a sitting president could take action on):

Comment: Don't hold your breath waiting for a candidate to address the real issues facing the United States and the American people. The corruption, rot and insidious nature of the US government and subsequent budding police state have become all encompassing and are easy to spot and describe - given a person searches for and considers alternative news. Instead of someone working to change the system and the obvious to anyone paying attention, we get Donald Trump and the three ring circus followed through a worthless and compromised media. This is a tragedy and it will be a miracle if millions of Americans survive with their lives in the coming years.


Black Cat

Monsanto being sued for knowingly contaminating Spokane River in Washington with PCBs

© Go Northwest! Videos / YouTube
Struggling with the pollution of the Spokane River, a town in the state of Washington is taking agrochemical giant Monsanto to court for selling chemicals that endanger human health and the environment, despite it allegedly having known of the hazard for decades.

The lawsuit, filed in a US District Court in Spokane, Washington, holds Monsanto accountable for pollutants flowing into the 111 miles (179 km) long Spokane River that stretches from northern Idaho to eastern Washington.

"Spokane filed a lawsuit to hold Monsanto Company responsible for PCB contamination that finds its way into the City's stormwater that flows into the Spokane River," Environmental Law Firms Baron & Budd and Gomez Trial Attorneys, representing Spokane said in a press release.

The city seeks "compensatory damages," lawyer's fees, interest and any other relief the court deems appropriate. The suit doesn't specify the actual sum of damages being sought from the Iowa-based company.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) chemical compounds were developed and made by Monsanto from the 1930s until 1979, when Congress banned them over danger they pose to humans and the environment.

Comment: Monsanto has a history of contaminating the areas near their facilities with herbicides and PCB's, then attempting to downplay the risks. The health of millions has been compromised by living near Monsanto plants as the company routinely dumped chemicals into nearby creeks and streams, landfills or allowed them to flow off the property with storm-water.


Family

Kansas: Welfare recipients to be limited to $25 ATM withdrawal

© www.kake.com
New rules for suffering families.
Kansas plans to keep a controversial $25 limit on ATM withdrawals by welfare recipients, despite the possibility that the restriction might violate federal law.

Legislation was passed earlier this year to raise the limit, or do away with it entirely, but a newly revised version of Kansas' welfare plan does not permit withdrawals of more than $25 per transaction per day. Out-of-state purchases also will be blocked.

A fee of $1 will be collected for every transaction, not including additional bank ATM fees.

Comment: Apparently Kansas could be in jeopardy of losing their TANF block grant funds if this restriction comes to pass. It is in conflict with federal statutes. The original bill was submitted to the Kansas legislature by the Kansas Dept. of Children and Families, a state agency that administers welfare in Kansas but that version did not cap ATM withdrawals. The cut to $25 was enacted legislation by the state senate. ATMs do not give out $5 increments so in reality, only $20 would be able to be withdrawn per day - minus the $1 fee assessed by the state. There is a "guarantee" provision that requires states to provide "adequate access" to benefits and "access to using or withdrawing assistance with minimal fees or charges."

According to those who study welfare, recipients usually prioritize the money for essentials.
Dorothy...it's time to get out of Kansas!


Handcuffs

Sheriff's Deputy handcuffed two third graders for having ADHD

© YouTube
A Sheriff's deputy in Kentucky is being sued after handcuffing two third graders for nothing other than them displaying the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD).

According to a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Children's Law Center, and Dinsmore & Shohl, an 8-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, were so young and small that the officer actually chose to handcuff them around their biceps instead of their wrists, as you can see in the disturbing video below...


Kenton County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Sumner of Covington, Kentucky (just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio), locked the handcuffs around the children's biceps. He contorted and forced their hands behind their backs in painful positions, while they screamed out in pain.

The boy in the video is being identified as S.R., and the girl as L.G. Both children were attacked by this deputy for behavior related to ADHD disabilities.

Neither child ended up being charged with any crime, because - put simply - they didn't commit any. The officer assaulted and abused them nevertheless, and now a case is pending to that effect.

"Shackling children is not okay. It is traumatizing, and in this case it is also illegal," Susan Mizner, disability counsel for the ACLU explained. "Using law enforcement to discipline students with disabilities only serves to traumatize children. It makes behavioral issues worse and interferes with the school's role in developing appropriate educational and behavioral plans for them."

The suit claims that the Kenton County Sheriff's Office violated the Americans with Disabilities Act through its treatment of these children.

"Kentucky's school personnel are prohibited from using restraints, especially mechanical restraints, to punish children or as a way to force behavior compliance," Kim Tandy, executive director of the Children's Law Center explained. "These regulations include school resource officers. These are not situations where law enforcement action was necessary."

S.R.'s mother, T.R. said that "it is heartbreaking to watch my little boy suffer because of this experience. It's hard for him to sleep, he has anxiety, and he is scared of seeing the officer in the school."

"School should be a safe place for children," she continued. "It should be a place they look forward to going to. Instead, this has turned into a continuing nightmare for my son."

Kenyon Meyer, an attorney with Dinsmore & Shohl, broke it down even further.

"There was no public safety threat in any of these instances that warranted throwing the regulations out the window and handcuffing these children. The school resource officer's involvement was harmful and unnecessary, and it escalated rather than helped the situations. We should expect that if school resource officers are in our school systems, their roles should be focused on safety and security, not discipline or punishment of special needs children."

Crusader

Lawsuit filed against public elementary school for punishing 7-year old with 'banishment' for not believing in God

Image
© greatschools.org
A lawsuit recently filed against a teacher at Forest Park Elementary School in Indiana alleged that a 7-year-old student was "banished" from sitting with other students at lunch after he revealed that he did not believe in God.

According to the lawsuit obtained by The Washington Post, second grade teacher Michelle Myer interrogated the student, who was identified with the initials A.B., about his religious beliefs after he told his classmates on the playground that he did not go to church because he did not believe in God.

As a result, the child was ordered to sit by himself during lunch for a three-day period.

"The defendant's actions caused great distress to A.B. and resulted in the child being ostracized by his peers past the three-day 'banishment.'"

"Ms. Meyer asked A.B. if he had told the girl that he did not believe in God and A.B. said he had and asked what he had done wrong," the lawsuit explained. "Ms. Meyer asked A.B. if he went to church, whether his family went to church, and whether his mother knew how he felt about God... She also asked A.B. if he believed that maybe God exists."

Several days later, Meyer sent A.B. to talk to another adult at the school, who "reinforced his feeling that he had done something very wrong," the lawsuit said.

Comment: Religion May Cause Brain Atrophy


Bulb

Compassionate politician: Russian MP proposes to send banned food to war-torn eastern Ukraine

© Sergey Pivovarov / RIA Novosti
Russian Emergencies Ministry employees during the inspection of the 23rd humanitarian aid convoy for Donbas at the Matveyev Kurgan border checkpoint in the Rostov Region.
A Russian MP from the center-left Fair Russia party has proposed to send banned contraband food seized at the border to the war-torn regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, which are suffering from a humanitarian crisis caused by the pro-Kiev military.

"The Russian Emergencies Ministry and non-government funds are currently providing aid to the South-Eastern regions of Ukraine, but this aid is not sufficient, especially considering the fact that the Kiev authorities have practically imposed a full blockade on the two republics," MP Andrey Krutov has written in an open letter to Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachev.

The lawmaker then asks the government to study the possibility of sending the banned foodstuffs seized at the Russian border to Lugansk and Donetsk instead of simply destroying them, as ordered by the presidential decree signed last week.

Krutov noted that since the beginning of the Ukrainian political crisis and the subsequent war in the southeast of the country, Russia has sent 34 truck convoys to Donbass to deliver over 41 tons of humanitarian aid.

Comment: It seems politicians in Russia are much more capable of thinking clearly and compassionately, which is something that is increasingly rare in the West.


Red Flag

Eleven red flag events presage transition to global financial crisis

© AFP
Are you ready for what is coming in August? All over America, economic, political and social tensions are building, and the next 30 days could turn out to be pivotal. In July, we saw things start to turn. As you will read about below, a major six year trendline for the S&P 500 was finally broken this month, Chinese stocks crashed, commodities crashed, and debt problems started erupting all over the planet. I fully expect that this next month (August) will be a month of transition as we enter an extremely chaotic time in the fall and winter. Things are unfolding in textbook fashion for another major global financial crisis in the months ahead, and yet most people refuse to see what is happening. In their blind optimism, they want to believe that things will somehow be different this time. Well, the coming months will definitely reveal who was right and who was wrong. The following are 11 red flag events that just happened as we enter the pivotal month of August 2015...

Comment: While the unwitting public is being lulled into complacency, those 'in the know' are preparing for what lies ahead: Signs that the American elite are feverishly preparing for something BIG


Heart - Black

"We saw fire eating the house": 18-month baby burned to death by Israeli settlers

Image

A man from Duma peeks into the bedroom in which toddler Ali Dawabsheh was burned to death
"This was the kitchen," the young man who led my friend Tovah and me to the house told me yesterday as I entered. "The bedroom is in the back."

The smell of burnt debris penetrated before I had the chance to process what I was seeing. A simple white stucco doorway, charred at the top, led into an interior so thoroughly scorched it was impossible to determine what I was looking at.

I was in the Nablus-area Palestinian village of Duma, where, earlier yesterday morning, Israeli settlers had poured flammable liquid into the window of the home in which I now stood, and then tossed molotov cocktails inside.

The mother (Reham) and the father (Sa'ad) and their 4-year old son (Ahmed) sustained severe burns and are currently fighting for their lives.

Their 18-month old son and brother, Ali Dawabsheh, was burned to death.


Comment: This is the horror that Palestinians endure at the hands of religious fanatics. The reality of this terror is so far removed from the West that it becomes somehow more permissible to feel outrage over the killing of a lion than over the murder of another human being, a child. Our collective conscience is stunted, and in its weakness bears a denied burden of responsibility. Conscience isn't ruled by the direction of an external authority telling us how to think and what to feel. It's not selectively turned on and off based on notions of acceptance. The Palestinians are suffering, and their suffering comes as a direct result of the cheapening of our own humanity.


People

Crowds cheer Bangladesh-India land swap after 70 years in limbo

© AFP Photo/Suvra Kanti Das
Jubilant crowds celebrated Saturday as Bangladesh and India swapped tiny pockets of land, ending one of the world's most intractable border disputes that has kept thousands in limbo for nearly seven decades.
Jubilant crowds celebrated Saturday as Bangladesh and India swapped tiny pockets of land, ending one of the world's most intractable border disputes that has kept thousands in limbo for nearly seven decades.

As the clock struck one minute past midnight (1801 GMT Friday), thousands of people who have been living without schools, clinics or power for a generation erupted in cheers of celebration for their new citizenship.

"We have been in the dark for 68 years," said Russel Khandaker, 20, as he danced with friends in the Dashiar Chhara enclave, which belonged to India but has now became part of Bangladesh.

"We've finally seen the light," he told AFP.

Comment: This is part of Modi's strategy to reduce the terrorist insurgencies that have plagued the north-eastern part of India for many decades.