Thursday, 23 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

The opening day of the major league baseball season is when I start to live again until October when pro basketball and NFL football take over and the fan in me goes into a long winter sleep. I'm not a full-time fan of anything I haven't tried to play. (Hence no ice hockey or lacrosse.) Traumatically, when it dawned on me as a kid that I wasn't going to be the next Chicago Cubs pitching whiz – yes, the all-time loser Cubs! – I beamed myself down to being a mere avid spectator, first at live games at Wrigley, Ebbets and Chavez Ravine's Dodger field, now couch-potatoing on TV.

Today, attorneys for activist Daniel McGowan at the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following update on his situation: 

Daniel McGowan is back at the halfway house where he has been residing after a week that was by turns difficult, disturbing and ridiculous. To recap: on Monday, April 1, Daniel published an opinion piece on the Huffington Post titled “Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech.” On Thursday, April 4, Daniel was picked up by U.S. Marshals from the halfway house and taken into custody at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was issued an “incident report” indicating that his Huffington Post blog post violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from “publishing under a byline.”  The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010. On Friday, April 5, after we brought Daniel’s unjust detention to the BOP’s attention, he was released from MDC, and the incident report was expunged. 

On Sunday, April 14 (just a few days away) the people of Venezuela will vote for a new president to succeed the late Hugo Chavez.

This election will be enormously significant, not just for Venezuela, but also for the entire Latin American and Caribbean region; indeed, in many respects, crucial to the destinies of many countries in the developing world.

There are reports circulating today that Washington is busy interfering in the election campaign with the objective of determining an outcome that will serve its imperial interests in the Americas.

With President Obama's new spending blueprint delivered to congress, there can be no more question about it: the Wall street wing of the democratic party has completely taken over and won. How decisive is the victory? The wall street wing of the democratic party, has given the "we-are all in this together-lets look out for our neighbor- America is capable of a grand new deal " wing of the democratic party" a rooffie and dragged it around from house party to house party, raping it- handing off to friends so the rape can be repeated and then posting the pictures of the rape to twitter. That is how brutal Obama's grand betrayal is.

Shih-Wei Su was jailed for 12 years on attempted murder charges before a federal appeals court overturned his conviction, finding that a Queens prosecutor had "knowingly elicited false testimony" in sending him to prison. The city eventually paid Su $3.5 million.

The prosecutor received a private reprimand.

Jabbar Collins served 15 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit before his conviction was thrown out in 2010. Michael Vecchione, a senior Brooklyn prosecutor, had withheld critical evidence during trial, a federal judge determined. Collins has filed a $150 million lawsuit against the city.

Across the U.S. on Thursday, street protests will support prisoners detained at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo who are engaged in a large-scale hunger strike, which began in early February. Some are now in critical condition.

"The vast majority of the 166 men have been held for more than eleven years without any charge or fair trial, with no end to their detention in sight. The Obama administration must take swift measures to humanely address the immediate causes of the hunger strike and fulfill its promise to close the Guantanamo" says a statement from World Can't Wait andWitness Against Torture.

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation today to break up banks that have grown so large that the Justice Department fears the financial system would be at risk if criminal charges were filed against them.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the Justice Department may not pursue criminal cases against big banks because filing charges could "have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy."

As a general rule, musicians, artists, and writers, as well as those possessed of an ardor for self-awareness and a commitment to political activism have been advised to avoid a habitual retreat to comfort zones...to take note of the criteria that causes one's pulse to quicken, brings flop sweat to the brow, causes sphincters to seize up, and delivers mortification to the mind. In order to quicken imagination and avoid banality, it is imperative to explore the fears that cause one to awaken in the darkest of night to stare bug-eyed at the ceiling until dawn; to embrace discomfort; to shun crackpot complacency; to wander through the teeming polis of the psyche, and, in so doing, to not only stray and mingle among the outcasts, demimonde and mad, but proceed to the locked-down wards of the region's lunatic asylum, and make an exhausting inquest into the nature of the hopeless cases that have been hidden from public view.

Throughout the course of human affairs, scheming elitists -- let's call them the Plundering Class -- have devoted their days conceiving strategies and executing agendas that serve to enrich the fortunes of a ruthless few (namely themselves) by an exploitation of the harried and hapless multitudes. They scheme, hire silver tongued flacks and muster soldiers to do their biding, while, all too often, the rest of us squander the fleeting days of our finite lives in their service. They plot while we hope. They hoard the bounty of the world while we hoard resentments (generally misplaced upon those equally as power-bereft as we are).

County jails in New Jersey are packed with individuals who are incarcerated solely because they cannot afford their often nominal bail amounts, according to a new report released today by Luminosity in partnership with the Drug Policy Alliance.

The New Jersey Jail Population Analysis: Identifying Opportunities to Safely and Responsibly Reduce the Jail Populationexamined county corrections data from 19 of the 21 state counties and found that:

  • On any given day, nearly seventy-five percent of the 15,000 individuals in New Jersey jails are awaiting trial rather than serving a sentence.
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Speakout

SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

The opening day of the major league baseball season is when I start to live again until October when pro basketball and NFL football take over and the fan in me goes into a long winter sleep. I'm not a full-time fan of anything I haven't tried to play. (Hence no ice hockey or lacrosse.) Traumatically, when it dawned on me as a kid that I wasn't going to be the next Chicago Cubs pitching whiz – yes, the all-time loser Cubs! – I beamed myself down to being a mere avid spectator, first at live games at Wrigley, Ebbets and Chavez Ravine's Dodger field, now couch-potatoing on TV.

Today, attorneys for activist Daniel McGowan at the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following update on his situation: 

Daniel McGowan is back at the halfway house where he has been residing after a week that was by turns difficult, disturbing and ridiculous. To recap: on Monday, April 1, Daniel published an opinion piece on the Huffington Post titled “Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech.” On Thursday, April 4, Daniel was picked up by U.S. Marshals from the halfway house and taken into custody at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was issued an “incident report” indicating that his Huffington Post blog post violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from “publishing under a byline.”  The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010. On Friday, April 5, after we brought Daniel’s unjust detention to the BOP’s attention, he was released from MDC, and the incident report was expunged. 

On Sunday, April 14 (just a few days away) the people of Venezuela will vote for a new president to succeed the late Hugo Chavez.

This election will be enormously significant, not just for Venezuela, but also for the entire Latin American and Caribbean region; indeed, in many respects, crucial to the destinies of many countries in the developing world.

There are reports circulating today that Washington is busy interfering in the election campaign with the objective of determining an outcome that will serve its imperial interests in the Americas.

With President Obama's new spending blueprint delivered to congress, there can be no more question about it: the Wall street wing of the democratic party has completely taken over and won. How decisive is the victory? The wall street wing of the democratic party, has given the "we-are all in this together-lets look out for our neighbor- America is capable of a grand new deal " wing of the democratic party" a rooffie and dragged it around from house party to house party, raping it- handing off to friends so the rape can be repeated and then posting the pictures of the rape to twitter. That is how brutal Obama's grand betrayal is.

Shih-Wei Su was jailed for 12 years on attempted murder charges before a federal appeals court overturned his conviction, finding that a Queens prosecutor had "knowingly elicited false testimony" in sending him to prison. The city eventually paid Su $3.5 million.

The prosecutor received a private reprimand.

Jabbar Collins served 15 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit before his conviction was thrown out in 2010. Michael Vecchione, a senior Brooklyn prosecutor, had withheld critical evidence during trial, a federal judge determined. Collins has filed a $150 million lawsuit against the city.

Across the U.S. on Thursday, street protests will support prisoners detained at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo who are engaged in a large-scale hunger strike, which began in early February. Some are now in critical condition.

"The vast majority of the 166 men have been held for more than eleven years without any charge or fair trial, with no end to their detention in sight. The Obama administration must take swift measures to humanely address the immediate causes of the hunger strike and fulfill its promise to close the Guantanamo" says a statement from World Can't Wait andWitness Against Torture.

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation today to break up banks that have grown so large that the Justice Department fears the financial system would be at risk if criminal charges were filed against them.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the Justice Department may not pursue criminal cases against big banks because filing charges could "have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy."

As a general rule, musicians, artists, and writers, as well as those possessed of an ardor for self-awareness and a commitment to political activism have been advised to avoid a habitual retreat to comfort zones...to take note of the criteria that causes one's pulse to quicken, brings flop sweat to the brow, causes sphincters to seize up, and delivers mortification to the mind. In order to quicken imagination and avoid banality, it is imperative to explore the fears that cause one to awaken in the darkest of night to stare bug-eyed at the ceiling until dawn; to embrace discomfort; to shun crackpot complacency; to wander through the teeming polis of the psyche, and, in so doing, to not only stray and mingle among the outcasts, demimonde and mad, but proceed to the locked-down wards of the region's lunatic asylum, and make an exhausting inquest into the nature of the hopeless cases that have been hidden from public view.

Throughout the course of human affairs, scheming elitists -- let's call them the Plundering Class -- have devoted their days conceiving strategies and executing agendas that serve to enrich the fortunes of a ruthless few (namely themselves) by an exploitation of the harried and hapless multitudes. They scheme, hire silver tongued flacks and muster soldiers to do their biding, while, all too often, the rest of us squander the fleeting days of our finite lives in their service. They plot while we hope. They hoard the bounty of the world while we hoard resentments (generally misplaced upon those equally as power-bereft as we are).

County jails in New Jersey are packed with individuals who are incarcerated solely because they cannot afford their often nominal bail amounts, according to a new report released today by Luminosity in partnership with the Drug Policy Alliance.

The New Jersey Jail Population Analysis: Identifying Opportunities to Safely and Responsibly Reduce the Jail Populationexamined county corrections data from 19 of the 21 state counties and found that:

  • On any given day, nearly seventy-five percent of the 15,000 individuals in New Jersey jails are awaiting trial rather than serving a sentence.