BILL QUIGLEY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over two thousand six hundred arrests of activists protesting in the US. Research shows over 670 people have been arrested in protests inside the US already in 2011, over 1290 were arrested in 2010, and 665 arrested in 2009. These figures are certainly underestimate the number actually arrested as arrests in US protests are rarely covered by the mainstream media outlets which focus so intently on arrests of protestors in other countries.
Arrests at protest have been increasing each year since 2009. Those arrested include people protesting US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo, strip mining, home foreclosures, nuclear weapons, immigration policies, police brutality, mistreatment of hotel workers, budget cutbacks, Blackwater, the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, and right wing efforts to cut back collective bargaining.
These arrests illustrate that resistance to the injustices in and committed by the US is alive and well. Certainly there could and should be more, but it is important to recognize that people are fighting back against injustice.
Information on these arrests has been taken primarily from the newsletter The Nuclear Resister, which has been publishing reports of anti-nuclear resistance arrests since 1980, and anti-war actions since 1990.
Jack Cohen-Joppa, who with his partner Felice, edits The Nuclear Resister, told me "Over the last three decades, in the course of chronicling more than 100,000 arrests for nonviolent protest and resistance to nuclear power, nuclear weapons, torture, and war, we've noted a quadrennial decline as support for protest and resistance gets swallowed up by Presidential politicking. It has taken a couple of years, but the Hopeium addicts of 2008 are finally getting into recovery. We're again reporting a steady if slow rise in the numbers willing to risk arrest and imprisonment for acts of civil resistance. Today, for instance, there are more Americans serving time in prison for nuclear weapons protest than at any time in more than a decade."
In the list below I give the date of the protest arrest and a brief summary of the reason for the protest. After each date I have included the name of the organization which sponsored the protest. Check them out. Remember, they can jail the resisters but they cannot jail the resistance!
January 1, 2011. Nine women, ages 40 to 91, who brought solar panels to the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor were arrested for blocking the driveway at Entergy Corporation. Shut It Down.
January 5, 2011 and February 2, 2011. Five arrests were made of peace activists protesting at Vandenberg Air Force base, including a veteran of WWII. Vandenberg Witness.
January 11, 2011. Ten people protesting against the continued human rights violation of Guantanamo prison trying to deliver a letter to a federal judge were arrested at the federal building in Chicago, Illinois.
January 11, 2011. A sixty one year old grandmother protesting against excessive radiation was arrested for blocking the path of a utility truck in Sonoma County, California.
January 15, 2011. Twelve people protesting against Trident nuclear weapons at the Kitsap-Bangor naval base outside of Seattle, Washington were arrested - six on state charges of blocking the highway and six others on federal charges of trespass for crossing
Republicans do not look at voting and democracy the way most Wisconsin citizens do. For most of us, if you are legally a citizen, you have the right to vote.
Republicans, on the other hand, see voting as impeding their political power, a right that must be altered to favor its regime.
Wisconsin, more so than the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, makes obstructing voters very difficult. The fight to protect our right to vote is on. A legal challenge is certain.
Scott Walker and the Republicans want to obstruct voting, Wisconsin wants to keep this right.
From One Wisconsin Now:
First of all, the right to vote is guaranteed to citizens of Wisconsin in our state constitution. The right to rent a movie, open a checking account, go to the bar, get on an airplane or any other similar activity is not, and requiring an ID for these types of activities is not a barrier to exercising a constitutionally-protected right. Voter ID is fundamentally different.
There is absolutely no evidence of a widespread conspiracy to commit voter fraud. Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen has made prosecuting so-called voter fraud one of his top priorities. However, after a two year investigation into the 2008 election, Van Hollen has found a scant 11 potentially improper ballots out of nearly 3 million total votes cast. Of those, eight involved felons who voted while out in the community on probation or parole, a situation that voter ID would not remedy. That leaves 3 potentially bad votes out of 3,000,000 votes, or about 0.000001% of all votes cast. Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem.
The bill's authors, Republican Rep. Jeff Stone and Sen. Joe Leibham, have modeled their bill after Indiana's Voter ID law, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the Supreme Court case upholding Indiana?s Voter ID bill, the lower court found ?99 percent of Indiana?s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements.?
Wisconsin?s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. Those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill include:
- 23 percent of all elderly Wisconsinites over the age of 65
- 17 percent of white men and women
- 55 percent of all African American males and 49 percent of African American women
- 46 percent of Hispanic men and 59% of Hispanic women
- 78 percent of African American males age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24
[Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin, 6/05]
Yes, the bill as written does have a provision to provide free identification for some Wisconsinites. Each and every one of these people would have to take the time off (in many cases unpaid) from work or family obligations to flock to Wisconsin DMVs. However, access to the DMV is a problem in Wisconsin; Indiana provides its residents exponentially more access to its Department of Motor Vehicles offices to obtain identification.
Wisconsin and Indiana have similar voting age populations (4.35 million vs. 4,8 million), but Wisconsin is 50 percent larger geographically than Indiana (54,314 sq. miles vs. 35,870 sq. miles). Indiana not only provides its residents 50 percent more DMV offices than Wisconsin (140 to 91), but also nearly three times the total hours these facilities are open.
Twenty-six percent of Wisconsin?s 91 DMVs are open one day a month or less, while none of Indiana?s are open less than 100 days a year and nearly all are open over 250 days a year.
Wisconsin has only one DMV with weekend hours, while Indiana has 124 offices with weekend hours.
Three Wisconsin counties have no DMVs, no Indiana county is without a DMV.
Over half of Wisconsin?s 91 DMVs are open on a part-time basis, while Indiana provides full-time DMVs in every county. ...
The need to expand the numbers and operational hours of Wisconsin DMVs to provide appropriate access could increase the $70 million biennial Wisconsin DMV budget by as much as 50 percent on top of the current $5 million price tag to provide free identifications.
Requiring eligible voters to produce ID at the polls is an unnecessary hurdle to exercising our right to vote which will prevent many people from voting. The "widespread voter fraud" that this bill is aimed at "fixing" does not exist, and the microscopic number of double votes will be FAR outpaced by the number of people who will be prevented from voting by the voter ID requirement. In a time when Wisconsin faces a $3 billion budget deficit, we simply cannot afford to double the DMV budget. Voter ID is a big-government, budget-busting solution in search of a problem; a solution that will make it more difficult to practice our most fundamental right.
That is why we oppose voter ID.
Jibber your jabber
My psychologist has ordered me to write a book. She's been saying so for the last two years, but I've continued cranking out my blog articles, updating (can't be done) the Police Brutality (and Atrocity) Blog, and spending hours writing e-mails of self-expression to my friends, while occasionally communicating with my siblings.
I find the easiest siblings with whom to communicate are Timmy and Danny, the ones who are dead. Except in my dreams, they never give me any grief. They never disagree with me, try to shame me or disappointment me. I know exactly what I can expect from them and they always deliver.
I've decided to obey my therapist; when I do, things go well in my life, but when I don't then I waste thousands of dollars buying myself pain and heartache. And heartburn. Those are good reasons to listen to my therapist, so I've decided to write for an hour, cut my hair for an hour, write for an hour and see my therapist for an hour. It's like studying for a test. It's best done in pieces with respites in between.
So far, there are twenty pages, with fifteen of them coming from an earlier writing attempt. I have an outline and a focused topic and now I just need to put the meat on the bones. Have you ever tried putting meat on bones? It's only about five times harder than putting toothpaste back into the tube or retrieving ejaculate lost with a condom inside a woman's vagina.
Men don't worry about retrieving ejaculate from their partners' mouths and anuses. At least that's what I've heard. But, eventually they become concerned about the AIDS virus and sometimes they desperately wish they could do it all over again, but differently this time.
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Lance Mannion: Newt Gingrich being devoured by the monster he helped create.
The Wattree Chronicle: Is the attack on Prof. Melissa Harris-Perry?s article criticizing Prof. Cornel West due to male academic cronyism?
LT Saloon: Forget about those old nostalgic farms, now is the era of giant "sustainable farms" that taxpayers help support.
Bark Bark Woof Woof: Marriage equality in Minnesota and Tim Pawlenty's obituary.
Round-up by William K. Wolfrum; send tips to mbru [at] crooksandliars [dot] com.
TONY PEYSER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Does this plan really throw Grandma off of a cliff?
We should remind every elderly woman and man
It takes them there & Boehner shoves them off when Ryan
Is kneeling on all fours behind the heartless man with the tan.
Thanks, Paul Ryan! Stupid Democrats. But...the auto bailout has been a failure. Rising star, my a**. AIPAC mishigas. [...]
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Welcome to the Health and Fitness weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when[...]
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Visual source: Newseum
Democrat Wins G.O.P. Seat; Rebuke Seen to Medicare PlanABC:
Kathy Hochul?s victory in a conservative New York district deals a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party?s plan to overhaul Medicare.
In what can be taken as the first referendum on the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, Democrat Kathy Hochul picked up a Republican seat in western New York thanks in part to her ability to attach GOP candidate Jane Corwin to the budget's restructuring of Medicare.EJ Dionne:
Hochul getting this close to half the vote is astonishing in a district where in 2010 the Democratic candidate got just 26 percent of the vote. Even in the very good Democratic year of 2008, the Democratic nominee got just 40.5 percent. To get a sense of how this result might extrapolate elsewhere, look at very Republican Wyoming County. Hochul lost it, as President Obama did in 2008. But Hochul matched Obama?s 36 percent share of the vote. If every Democratic House candidate in 2012 could reach Obama?s 2008 vote share, Democrats would be back in control by a substantial margin.WaPo:
Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul won a House special election in western New York on Tuesday night, a Democratic triumph in a conservative district that many consider a referendum on House Republicans? efforts to reform Medicare...Politico:
Corwin?s struggles in what has long been a GOP district may provide a chilling effect for Republicans who were already hesitant to embrace the entitlement reform.
In New York, Democrats ran ads about the issue early and often, seeking to overcome a significant registration disadvantage in the Buffalo-area district. In the end, that strategy appeared to have worked.
Democrat Kathy Hochul has defeated Republican Jane Corwin in a western New York special election in a race that emerged as a political testing ground for the ambitious GOP blueprint to reform Medicare.Christopher Hahn:
Fueled by a late wave of commercials blasting Corwin over her support for the controversial House Republican budget plan, Hochul surged in a race that few initially expected her to prevail in.
This is an absolute rejection of Paul Ryan's budget plan and the GOP's overreach since taking the House. The Ryan Plan will go nowhere and members who voted for it are in jeopardy, especially freshmen.Georges C. Benjamin:
Tuesday's results will send shock waves in Washington. Ryan's Purina Plan is dead. The only remaining question is will any GOP senator facing re-election next year support it? I can't wait to see.
To be clear, Western New York might as well be West Texas. The voters in this very red district told the GOP that their plans don't work for them. I am looking forward to parsing the numbers in this race. Clearly Republicans crossed party lines to support Hochul.
It is now clear that health has taken its appropriate place as a focus for the concerns of Americans. While some may believe that it is only about Medicare - it is not - It is really about health and financial security. Medicare provides this for millions of elderly and disabled people. Medicaid is just as important to those that are low income, the disabled and anyone requiring long term care.
Efforts by some to undermine Medicaid will also have to justify why they want to pull the rug out from under beneficiaries. Quality, affordable health care will be a political issue this election cycle. Those that are for it will do better than those that are not.
It doesn't seem to have been polled in a while, but back in 2009 the auto bailout was extremely unpopular. But it's hard to imagine that Republicans are going to want to talk much about how they preferred to see Chrysler and GM liquidated. Nevertheless, if you forced them to, I'm sure they could come up with reasons why the turnaround in the industry proves nothing, and the bailout was still a bad idea.
What is even creepier is that he predicted this would happen not long ago.
Six months after predicting his own murder, a leading rainforest defender has reportedly been gunned down in the Brazilian Amazon. José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo, are said to have been killed in an ambush near their home in Nova Ipixuna, in Pará state, about 37 miles from Marabá.
According to a local newspaper, Diário do Pará, the couple had not had police protection despite getting frequent death threats because of their battle against illegal loggers and ranchers.
On Tuesday there were conflicting reports from about whether the killing happened on Monday night or Tuesday morning. A police spokesperson said there were reports of a "double homicide" at the settlement called Maçaranduba 2.