Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens spoke at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston about how it is essential and appropriate for Supreme Court Justices to consider politics when deciding on Constitutional questions.
Stevens has written a book entitled, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution” and calls for severe restrictions on gun rights; as well as curbing free speech.
In this book, Stevens proposes these changes to the US Constitution:
• Measure to redraw district lines for political advantage
• Abolish the death penalty
• Limit money political candidates and supporters of campaigns
• Stricter gun control
• Abolish states’ sovereign immunity
Stevens said: “The first four would nullify judge-made rules, the fifth would expedite the demise of the death penalty, and the sixth would confine the coverage of the Second Amendment to the area intended by its authors.”
In his book, Stevens details “six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens.”
In 1997, Stevens dissented in the case Printz v. United States and still insists that Congress needs to alter current federal gun law enforcement.
Two years ago, Stevens said that America should do ““whatever we could to prevent [another Sandy Hook shooting] from happening again.”
Read THE REST HERE: Occupy Corporatism
April 12th Meeting #224 What Really Happened at Waco and Why Will It Happen Again?
Stuart Nelson, (PhD Agnotology) and long time activist, researcher featured guest of several talk radio hosts, and member of the volunteer team that rebuilt the Branch Davidian church, will expose a very different view of the horrific siege we all saw unfold 21 years ago in Waco. Our so-called media reported government lies over and over again. Finally, Stuart will show how this kind of attack has happened and will happen again if we the people don’t stop those who deliberately shock the nation’s psyche in order to feed their obsession for power and wealth. We must never forget all the victims of April 19th,1993 in Waco Tx…. including you.
THIS is why you pay your Tax? Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on Obama family last year, perks questioned in new book
1 Billion to get re-selected… Billion$ more to keep the Obama’s happy. People are homeless, jobless, and starving out here Cousin Barry!
Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.
In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.
Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.
Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”
“The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday.
“The press has been so slow in picking up on this extraordinary increase in the president’s expenses,” Gray told TheDC. (RELATED: Five shocking truths about Michelle Obama)
Specifically, Gray said taxpayer dollars are subsidizing Obama’s re-election effort when he uses Air Force One to jet across the country campaigning.
When the trip is deemed political, it’s customary for the president to pay the equivalent of a first class commercial ticket for certain passengers. But Gray says that hardly covers the taxpayer cost of flying the president and his staffers around on Air Force One.
“When the United States’ billion-dollar air armada is being used politically, is it fair to taxpayers that we only be reimbursed by the president’s campaign committee for the value of one first-class commercial ticket for each passenger who is deemed aboard ‘for political purposes?’” Gray asks in the book.
“And is that bargain-price advantage fair to those opposing an incumbent president?” (SEE ALSO: Millions of taxpayer dollars used for Disney World conference)
In the book, Gray admits Americans want their president to be safe and comfortable but argues the system should be reformed to stop the amount of unquestioned perks given to the president.
“There is no mechanism for anyone’s objection if a president were to pay his chief of staff $5,000,000 a year,” he told TheDC. “And nothing but a president’s conscience can dissuade him from buying his own reelection with use of some public money.”
Aside from a salary, the president gets a $50,000 a year expense account, a $100,000 travel account, $19,000 entertainment budget and an additional million for “unanticipated needs,” he notes.
Read more: Daily Caller
More details are coming out of a forthcoming Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA, including black site prison locations and wrongful detentions, but there are also some new details on interrogation techniques.
While the CIA reportedly used torture methods deployed by the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea—including sleep deprivation and isolation—the agency took it a step further for Abu Zubaydah, a detainee who was subjected to all 10 torture techniques used by the CIA, according to a report from Al Jazeera.
In addition to being stuffed inside a pet crate, such as the ones that are used to transport dogs, for two weeks, Zubaydah was also shackled at the wrists and hung to the ceiling of his cell, all the while loud music was played on an endless loop.
Days after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and a return to the company after an 18-year breakup, The Ultimate Warrior has died, according to a statement posted on the WWE website. He was 54.
A cause of death was not released.
The news, posted late Tuesday night, led to a flood of tributes from fans and WWE performers and officials.
In the statement, the company said, “WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. …
“We are grateful just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans.”
2014 WWE Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior speaks: Raw, April 7, 2014
Ultimate Warrior talks about his legendary career
The Ultimate Warrior joins a long list of wrestlers who died prematurely
In dying unexpectedly on Tuesday, the professional wrestler known as the Ultimate Warrior (né James Hellwig) had this in common with many of his contemporaries: He expired long before his time.
Professional wrestlers of Warrior’s generation (he was 54) have experienced a mortality rate that would be considered a crisis and a scandal if it happened in some other context — say, to football players, racecar drivers or boxers.
Marshall Philips (Aka Philip Marshall) has seen and written about things the intelligence community doesn’t want people talking about – much less writing books about. When Philips, his two kids and the family dog turn up with a single bullet in each of their heads the day after two “Federal Agents” came looking for a “highly classified” photograph, carefully constructed stories painting Philips as a mentally disturbed “conspiracy theorist” begin appearing in the local paper. But investigative journalist Madison Freeman doesn’t buy the “murder-suicide” angle offered by local authorities. And when the highly classified photo continues to elude the Agents, nobody is safe. (Based on actual events.)
Eric Stacey (Screenwriter, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor), grew up in Hollywood. Over a career spanning thirty years, Eric worked in film and television as an actor, production assistant,
writer, assistant director and editor on features, series and industrials. After co-producing the six hour PBS travel series, “America’s Scenic Rail Journeys,” Eric decided to begin making his own films. In 1998, Eric’s documentary, “The Waldorf Promise,” won the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle. A number of documentaries followed, as well as Eric’s first feature, “Director’s Cut: Metalface,”
(2003) a micro-budget comedy-horror film (Best Horror/Comedy – Shriekfest). NOTE: The Philips kids watch a clip from “Metalface” the night before they are discovered murdered. In 2007, having become a permanent resident of Portland, Oregon, Eric teamed up with documentarian Jane Turville to make the acclaimed documentary, “A Passion for Sustainability,” focusing on twelve Oregon businesses following the principles of The Natural Step movement (PBS). Eric’s second feature (2011) is “Purple Mind,” about an Iraq combat veteran’s struggle adjusting to civilian life while suffering the effects of PTSD. (Ytinifni Pictures – available from WalMart, Best Buy and online) (Browse all of Eric’s films at the Landfall Productions website)
“Unthinkable: An Airline Captain’s Story” is partially based on the investigation of the Philip Marshall “murder-suicide” by Wayne Madsen. Mr. Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and columnist. He has written for The Village Voice, The Progressive, Counterpunch, Online Journal, CorpWatch, Multinational Monitor, News Insider, In These Times, and The American Conservative. His columns have appeared in The Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Columbus Dispatch, Sacramento Bee, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among others.
Mr. Madsen is the author of The Handbook of Personal Data Protection (London: Macmillan, 1992), an acclaimed reference book on international data protection law; Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999 (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999); co-author of America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II (Dandelion, 2003); author of Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops & Brass Plates; Overthrow a Fascist Regime on $15 a Day; The Manufacturing of a President: the CIA’s Insertion of Barack H. Obama, Jr. into the White House; L’Affaire Petraeus; and National Security Agency Surveillance: Reflections and Revelations. Madsen has been a regular contributor on RT and PressTV. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. Madsen has taken on Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on their television shows. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a terrorism investigation judicial inquiry of the French government. Madsen has some twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation. Madsen was a Senior Fellow for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a privacy public advocacy organization.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Is About Obama’s Terror-Suspect Kill List, Say the Film’s Directors
There are currently no plans to screen Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the White House, as far as the film’s directors have heard. But if it makes it to the White House family theater, President Obama would be watching one big-budget, action-packed, and Scarlett Johansson-starring critique of his controversial terror-suspect “kill list.”
This isn’t me reading things into a mainstream comic-book movie. It’s what the directors themselves will tell you.
“[Marvel] said they wanted to make a political thriller,” Joe Russo, who directed the film with his brother Anthony, tells Mother Jones. “So we said if you want to make a political thriller, all the great political thrillers have very current issues in them that reflect the anxiety of the audience…That gives it an immediacy, it makes it relevant. So [Anthony] and I just looked at the issues that were causing anxiety for us, because we read a lot and are politically inclined. And a lot of that stuff had to do with civil liberties issues, drone strikes, the president’s kill list, preemptive technology”—all themes they worked into the film, working closely with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
In The Winter Soldier, Captain America and the rest of the heroes (played by Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, and so on) confront the government program Project Insight, which involves three Helicarriers (gigantic autonomous killer drones, basically) that are fed large amounts of data and intel. The Helicarriers process the data to identify and preemptively eliminate potential threats to national and global security. And though the film’s topical parts were all crafted prior to the NSA revelations, the directors say it’s no accident that data mining is a key element of the plot: “It was all leading up to Snowden,” Joe says. “It was all in the ether [already], it was all part of the zeitgeist. The Snowden stuff actually happened while we were shooting.”
The politics of The Winter Soldier fit comfortably into the Russo brothers’ oeuvre, which has included plenty of political satire and commentary. Prior to The Winter Soldier, the duo was best known for directing episodes of Arrested Development, which produced some of the finest satire of the Bush era and Iraq War, and Community, which is also peppered with solid political humor and jabs. (As for their go-to sources for news and politics, Anthony’s top two are the the New York Times and NPR, while Joe’s are Digg and Reddit.) The day I interviewed them, they happened to be in Washington, DC, to meet with the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus.
According to Joe, the brothers pushed to make their Captain America political thriller even more political and topical than it initially was. “There were already things in the script that just needed to be pulled out to make it more [relevant],” he recalls. One of the film’s stars, Robert Redford, was approached for the role in large part because he starred in the 1975 political thriller Three Days of the Condor.
“[That film] was a big influence on this movie,” Joe says. “You could really call this movie ‘Three Days of Captain America,’ if you wanted to. The structure is so similar…We felt like we had a decent shot at getting [Redford] because the script had a political component to it and we thought that might motivate him.”
But don’t take any of this to mean the film is a stern lecture on American foreign policy. It’s thrilling as hell, and also the best to emerge in the recent string of Marvel movies. “We’re action fetishists,” Joe says. “And we love ’70s thrillers.” The brothers drew on the influence of some of their favorite action-flick moments: The famous bank heist and shootout in Michael Mann’s Heat. William Friedkin’s The French Connection. John Schlesinger’s Marathon Man. John McTiernan’s Predator. Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption. (And for the Washington, DC-set car chase in The Winter Soldier, the brothers consulted YouTube, searching for videos of actual car chases. One video—wherein two escaped convicts in Brazil get stuck in traffic and plow through cars as police pursue them on foot—was especially helpful.) “Choreographing action, it’s like choreographing a Broadway show,” Anthony says.
But at the heart of the explosion and melee -filled film are the political themes, including targeted killing. “The question is where do you stop?” Joe says. “If there are 100 people we can kill to make us safer, do we do it? What if we find out there’s 1,000? What if we find out there’s 10,000? What if it’s a million? At what point do you stop?”
Here’s a clip from the new Captain America:
Read More at Mother Jones
In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, John Singleton accused the major Hollywood studios of refusing to let black filmakers direct black-themed films.
“They ain’t letting the black people tell the stories,” the Oscar-nominated director told a group of students at Loyola Marymount University. “[Studio executives say] ‘We’re going to take your stories but, you know what? You’re going to go starve over here and we’re not going to let you get a job.’ The so-called liberals that are in Hollywood now are not as good as their parents or ancestors. They feel that they’re not racist. They grew up with hip-hop, so [they] can’t be racist. ‘I like Jay Z, but that don’t mean I got to give you a job,’ ” Singleton said.
Continue Reading at DailySurge.com
Mayor Emanuel’s loudest opponent isn’t a local politician or the Chicago Teacher Union’s Karen Lewis. That honor goes to the teens in the slam poetry group TEAM Englewood, whose latest poem verbally eviscerates the Mayor.
Competing in the semi-finals of the youth poetry competition Louder Than a Bomb, TEAM Englewood read a poem titled, “Hide Your Schools, Hide Your Homes, Hide Your Children, ‘Cause He’s Wrecking it All.” TEAM Englewood Community Academy‘s Dallas Battle, Kenyatta Tolbert, Alicia Hinton and David Holmes leave no mystery when it comes to the target of their poem, the second line makes it quite clear: “Rahm Emanuel is single handedly destroying our city.”
Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB) is the biggest youth poetry festival in the world. Founded in 2001 by Kevin Coval and Anna West and run out of Young Chicago Authors — an after-school program that offers workshops to teens across Chicago — LTAB pits teams of high school students against each other in a poetic battle royal. Competition or not, winning isn’t the focus of LTAB, as seen through one of their mottos: “The point is not the points, the point is the poetry.”
Through poetry, TEAM Englewood is able to humanize their neighborhood in a way that the media — which tends to only associate Englewood with their high homicide rate – often fails at. “When people think of Englewood, they have their stereotypes,” said coach Dave Stieber. “This experience let’s everyone know they’re regular kids.”
The closings of Chicago schools and clinics, City Hall’s use of TIF funds and plans to build a railroad freight yard where Englewood residents still live are subjects criticized in TEAM Englewood’s poem. It rips into Mayor Emanuel for decisions that have affected communities like Englewood significantly more than others — and not necessarily in a good way.
Considering the fact that teens aren’t usually into the minutia of local politics, it’s easy to assume the coaches may have been heavy handed with their influence. Ask coach Missy Hughes, and she’ll say that is not the case “The kids will write the large ideas about what frustrates them societally,” said Hughes.”Then the coaches come in and get them to focus on what’s affecting them and their world and neighborhood directly.”
The coaches do this by encouraging the kids to independently research the topics they’re talking about.
What did TEAM Englewood’s research yield? According to coach Hughes, “The kids went and did their research and came back and said, ‘He’s even worse than we thought.’”
Talking to TEAM Englewood poets Dallas Battle and David Holmes, it’s easy to see that the passion and a need for poetry comes straight from the students.
To Battle, who joined TEAM Englewood this school year, poetry is a way to be heard. “It’s the only way I can get hundreds of people to listen to me,” she said.
“I want to show people how twisted politics can really be,” said Holmes. “Rahm Emanuel says we have no money for schools, but we have money to build a new DePaul stadium and other stuff downtown?”
What does Mayor Emanuel think of the video?
Mayor Emanuel has yet to share his opinion on the poem. To his credit, he did attend Louder Than a Bomb a few years ago and even donated to Young Chicago Authors after loosing a bet with his Twitter doppelgänger. It seems doubtful he’ll be making another donation anytime soon…
What do Holmes and Battle think he’d say if he saw it? David thinks Mayor Emanuel “would be flabbergasted.”
“He should be offended,” said Dallas. “‘Cause that’s what we were going for.”
According to coach Hughes, the poets only had one question after finishing the poem: “Where can we perform this in front of Rahm Emanuel?”
Hopefully they get their chance.
The Louder Than a Bomb finals are March 18th at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Though TEAM Englewood won’t be competing in the finals, they will be performing their poem at the finals as they accept the Chuck D. Lyrical Terrorist Award. Find out how you can donate to Young Chicago Authors here.
TEAM Englewood is Kenyatta Tolbert, Alicia Hinton, Dallas Battle and David Holmes. They were coached by Dave Stieber and Missy Hughes with assistance from Kelly Rushek, Jeremey Johnson and Robb Telfer.
More anti Russian / Pro Cold War Propaganda…
On the FX show The Americans, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, a typical suburban couple in the 1980s. Two kids, nice house, they run a travel agency together. They’re also spies for the Soviet Union, moles sent to live among us. And their kids have no idea.
The Americans, which just started its second season, may be the first spy show created by a former spy. Joe Weisberg worked for the CIA in the early ‘90s, just as the Cold War was ending. He came from a very liberal family, so joining the CIA was a bit of a rebellion.
Yet after some time inside the organization, he started to doubt what the CIA was doing. “It was all kind of BS,” he says. “The intelligence they were providing wasn’t worth anything to the US government. But what you did to collect that intelligence was ask people to really risk their lives — for a lot of nothing.”
Weisberg also had a passion for writing. And that eventually led him to Hollywood. After Russian agents were found working undercover in the US in 2010, Weisberg got a call from DreamWorks executives. Weisberg decided to reset the events during the Reagan era.
There was one clear advantage to setting a spy show in the 1980s: no cell phones. “Philip can’t pick up a phone and call Elizabeth and say, ‘get out of there!’” Weisberg says. He’s also proud to show off what agents could do in the analog era, without great technology, when they had to rely more on brains, guile, and sometimes their bodies.
And there’s another unusual aspect to the show. The CIA keeps a close eye on Weisberg’s scripts to make sure that he doesn’t give away tradecraft he learned while at the Agency.
Though spying provides the tension in the show, at its heart The Americans is about a marriage. Elizabeth and Philip’s marriage was arranged by the KGB, but has become more and more authentic for the characters. “It’s the emotional underpinning,” Weisberg says, “It comes before the spy drama, it comes before the thriller aspects.”