I JUST RECEIVED THIS IMPORTANT PETITION EFFORT VIA EMAIL. PLEASE, SHARE IT AROUND! PEACE~ As of yesterday, gas prices are the highest in U.S. history—we just passed the 1981 record, even adjusted for inflation.1 Prices could reach $4.00 per gallon in parts of the country, just in time to crimp summer vacation plans. As consumers suffer, the oil industry continues to reap the windfall—breaking profit records on an almost quarterly basis. It's outrageous!
Enough is enough. Hearings start today on H.R. 1252, a House bill that would make gas price gouging a federal crime, punishable by 10 years in prison. Speaker Pelosi has said she'll move the bill to a vote this week—if there's the two-thirds majority required to fast track the bill through the process.2
Oil company lobbyists are frantically trying to stop the bill. Your representative needs to hear from you today. Will you sign our petition asking Congress to pass the price-gouging bill—and then send it to your friends?
"Gasoline price gouging should be made a federal crime before the summer price increases hurt more American families."
Rep Bart Stupak (D-MI), sponsor of the House bill said this of his motivation to introduce the legislation:
"In April ... crude oil was $7 a barrel cheaper than last year (but) gas prices were almost 50 cents a gallon higher. Clearly there's more at play than simply the world crude oil market."3
In April, more than two-thirds of Americans reported that their gas bills were causing financial crunches, with a full third saying it was having a "serious" impact on their families.4
That same month, the top two US companies, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco, announced a combined $14 billion in first quarter profits.5
It seems like even the oil industry has gone too far this time, and it's time to balance the scales. The Senate passed a price-gouging measure out of committee last week, and the House bill now has over 100 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
The oil industry is nervous. They've sent their lobbyists to the Hill in full force to stop—or at least weaken—these bills, and they're pulling out all the stops. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry front group of more than 400 oil and gas companies, even threatened that new laws could increase gas prices more.6
Enough is enough. This summer, we can stop Big Oil from profiting at the expense of American families. Can you sign the petition to ask your representative to make gasoline a price gouging a federal crime now?
2. "Debate on [H.R. 1252], offered by Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, D-Mich., will kick off Tuesday with a hearing in Stupak's subcommittee. It is possible that an Energy and Commerce markup will follow. But Democratic leaders might opt to bring the bill up to the floor under suspension of House rules by Wednesday." Excerpted from National Journal's Congress Daily, Monday, May 21, 2007
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U.S. eyes $500 mln ammunition sale to Iraq 04 May 2007 The Bush regime told Congress on Friday of plans to sell Iraq about 400 million rounds of small arms ammunition, 170,000 grenades, demolition explosives and other military gear and services valued at up to $508 million. As part of the proposed package, the United States would sell 170,000 40mm HEDP grenades, 80,000 C-4 1-1/4 pound plastic explosive packets and 4.2 million feet of detonating cord.
Troops at Odds With Ethics Standards 05 May 2007 More than one-third of U.S. soldiers in Iraq surveyed by the Army said they believe torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about 'insurgents,' the Pentagon disclosed yesterday. Four in 10 said they approve of such illegal abuse if it would save the life of a fellow soldier. In addition, about two-thirds of Marines and half the Army troops surveyed said they would not report a team member for mistreating a civilian or for destroying civilian property unnecessarily. "Less than half of Soldiers and Marines believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect," the Army report stated.
Iran accuses US of terrorism in Iraq --Mottaki slams detention of Iranians by American forces 05 May 2007 Iran accused the United States of terrorist acts in Iraq during an international meeting on Friday aimed at discussing security cooperation in the war-torn country. "To create a safe haven for those terrorists who try to turn Iraqi territory into a base for attacking Iraq’s neighbours should be condemned," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at the conference. "Mr Mottaki was referring to countries which, like the United States, carry out acts of terrorism in Iraq," he said. "When the United States arrests five Iranian diplomats in Iraq, it is an act of terrorism," he said on condition of anonymity.
Iraqi lawmakers demand U.S. withdrawal 02 May 2007 As calls in the U.S. Congress grow for a scheduled troop withdrawal from Iraq, similar demands are escalating in Iraq's National Assembly. Some 133 Iraqi lawmakers from different political blocs, calling themselves the "free deputies," signed a document demanding a scheduled withdrawal of the U.S.-led 'multinational' troops from their country, according to the Sadrist bloc in Parliament.
Projectile Bomb Attacks Hit Record High in Iraq --U.S. Says Weapons Are Made in Iran 04 May 2007 Attacks in Iraq involving lethal weapons that U.S. officials say are made in Iran hit a record high last month, despite 'efforts' to crack down on networks supplying the armor-piercing weapons known as explosively formed projectiles, according to a senior U.S. commander. The number of attacks with the projectiles rose to 65 in April, said Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who oversees day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq.
Five U.S. Soldiers Killed, 11 Wounded in Iraq 04 May 2007 Five American soldiers were killed and 11 others were wounded in four separate attacks in Iraq, the Defense Department announced today, as a top U.S. military official predicted more service members will die in the coming weeks.
Beleaguered Iraqis now fear their own security forces more than the insurgents 04 May 2007 "Be careful," warned a senior Iraqi government official living in the Green Zone in Baghdad, "be very careful and above all do not trust the police or the army." He added that the level of insecurity in the Iraqi capital is as bad now as it was before the US drive to make the city safe came into operation in February. The so-called "surge", the dispatch of 20,000 extra American troops to Iraq with the prime mission of getting control of Baghdad, is visibly failing.
US Republican presidential hopefuls insist on victory in Iraq 04 May 2007 A packed field of Republican White House hopefuls vowed to pursue victory in Iraq and castigated anti-war Democrats Thursday, in their first head-to-head showdown of the 2008 campaign. [Uh, all that's left is the surrender ceremony, whereupon the occupation forces --Blackwater USA, Halliburton and KBR --lay down their explosives, close their detention centers, and flee. --LRP]
Clinton Proposes Vote to Reverse Authorizing War 04 May 2007 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, joining Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, proposed Thursday that Congress repeal the authority it gave President [sic] Bush in 2002 to invade Iraq.
Many Prisoners at Guantánamo Rebuff Lawyers 05 May 2007 Many of the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are no longer cooperating with their lawyers, adding a largely invisible struggle between the lawyers and their own clients to the legal battle over the Bush regime’s detention policies... The prisoners’ resistance appears to have been fueled by frustration over their long detention and suspicion about whether their lawyers are working for the government, as well as anti-American sentiment, some of the documents and interviews show.
Another Guantanamo outrage (The Boston Globe) 03 May 2007 Unwilling to close Guantanamo, bring its prisoners to US soil, and let them fight their detention in US courts, the Bush administration now wants to shutter the one window the outside world has on the Kafkaesque conditions in the camp. It is proposing to clamp down on the prisoners' only nonmilitary contacts, their lawyers... The last thing the government should do is further limit the prisoners' rights with the proposed restrictions on their lawyers. Those attorneys, most of whom are working on a pro-bono basis, are the thin line that is keeping Guantanamo from becoming a gulag.
Some 1,600 displaced in Afghanistan after US air raids(IRIN) 03 May 2007 Almost 1,600 families have been displaced and many others need urgent humanitarian assistance two days after US war planes bombed several villages in the Shindand district of the western province of Herat, Afghan officials said. Reports of displacement follow claims that up to 60 civilians may have died in the fighting.
British soldier killed in Afghanistan 03 May 2007 A British soldier was killed in fighting with militants in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday. A spokesman for the ministry had no further details but said the next-of-kin of the soldier had been informed.
Army: Milblogging is "Therapy," Media is "Threat" By Noah Shachtman 02 May 2007 To the Army's 1st Information Operations Command, the "media" is just another threat -- along with "al Qaeda," "hackers," and "drug cartels." Military bloggers are even lower than that: just poor saps looking for a "therapeutic" way to get out their feelings. No wonder the Army has put out new rules that could very well kill the sites off. I've pasted a couple of screenshots below. But it's really worth checking out the Information Operation Command's whole presentation on "OPSEC in the Blogosphere," obtained by Steven Aftergood's Secrecy News.
Is This What the Army Thinks of Us? By Paul McLeary 03 May 2007 It looks like it's official: the United States Army thinks that American reporters are a threat to national security. Thanks to some great sleuthing by Wired's "Danger Room" blogger Noah Shachtman, the Army's new operational security guidelines (OPSEC) hit the Web in a big way yesterday... Shachtman reproduces a slide from the new "OPSEC in the Blogosphere," document, which lists and ranks "Categories of Threat." Under "traditional domestic threats" we find hackers and militia groups, while "non-traditional" threats include drug cartels, and -- yes -- the media. Just to put that into some perspective, the foreign "non-traditional threats" are listed as warlords, and Al Qaeda. In other words, the Army has figuratively and literally put the media in the same box as Al Qaeda, warlords, and drug cartels.
Blair 'set to stand down as MP after elections' 04 May 2007 Tony Blair is preparing to stand down as an MP rather than stay on in Parliament after he resigns as Prime Minister, according to authoritative reports circulating at Westminister today.
Blair set for ambassador role in Africa 04 May 2007 Tony Blair is to become a roving ambassador in Africa and the Middle East when he leaves Downing Street in an attempt to rebuild his tarnished reputation. The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the Prime Minister is to spurn the chance to earn up to £10 million a year on the international lecture circuit by concentrating on raising money for his new Blair Foundation, which will fund humanitarian work in Africa.
Ecuador refuses US maneuvers 04 May 2007 Ecuador has refused to participate in the UNITAS 2007 maneuvers because of an unacceptable attitude on the part of the United States.
CIA agents' trial scheduled in Italy 04 May 2007 A judge in Milan Friday cleared the way for the trial of 26 CIA agents and two former Italian intelligence officials over the abduction [and torture] of a Muslim cleric. Constitutional Judge Simone Luerti denied the government's claim that prosecutors overstepped in bringing the charges, ANSA reported.
FBI opening far fewer civil rights inquiries --Terrorism supersedes hate crimes, police abuse 25 Apr 2007 The FBI touts civil rights enforcement as a top priority, but the number of investigations into such cases -- from hate crimes to the actions of rogue police officers -- has fallen sharply, raising concerns that victims are left with nowhere else to turn. Pressed by the Bush regime to beef up counterterrorism ranks, the FBI has pulled agents off civil rights and slashed the number of criminal investigations conducted nationwide.
'If they are going to do training for torture, are they going to do that on the site? We don't know.'Blackwater Rising By Chuck Goudie 02 May 2007 The world's most controversial security service is now open for business in Illinois... According to critics, Blackwater is nothing more than a corporate warlord, based in North Carolina, with a payroll of hired gunslingers-- hundreds of them now protecting diplomats and contractors in Iraq... The firm has received hundreds of millions of dollars in State Department security contracts the past few years. But Blackwater also has a law enforcement training division. And the company says the facility it just opened in northern Illinois is for police training.
Rove, Still In the Mix By Michael Isikoff 03 May 2007 Deputy chief of staff Karl Rove participated in a hastily called meeting at the White House two months ago. The subject: The firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. The purpose: to coach a top Justice Department official heading to Capitol Hill to testify on the prosecutorial purge on what he should say. Now some investigators are saying that Rove’s attendance at the meeting shows that the president’s [sic] chief political adviser may have been involved in an attempt to mislead Congress—one more reason they are demanding to see his e-mails and force him to testify under oath.
College student charged with threatening Hillary Clinton 04 May 2007 A 19-year-old Louisiana State University student was being held Friday on $1 million bail, accused of planning an attack against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. State District Judge Mike Erwin set bail after Richard Ryan Wargo of Shreveport, Louisiana, was booked on charges of terrorizing, communicating false information of planned arson and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
State looks to pull anti-Bush license plate 03 May 2007 Heather Moriah loves the personalized license plates on her silver Prius encouraging the impeachment of President [sic] George W. Bush. But somebody doesn’t agree. And that somebody complained to the state. Now, the South Dakota Division of Motor Vehicles is trying to recall the plates -- which read MPEACHW. And if Moriah doesn’t turn them in voluntarily, the state might send law-enforcement officers to pick them up.
Oops!TSA computer hard drive missing 04 May 2007 The Transportation Security Administration is trying to find a missing computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employee records. Authorities realized Thursday the hard drive was missing from a controlled area at TSA headquarters.
US govt says to reduce bird flu testing during '07 04 May 2007 The United States will test fewer wild birds during 2007 for the avian influenza virus than it did a year ago, government officials said on Friday... "There are several theories on how (high-pathogenic H5N1) could get here, if you go by the wild migratory birds theory Alaska is the most likely spot," said Nicholas Throckmorton with the Interior Department. [No, a US Army lab is the most likely spot. See: Scientists Recreate 1918 Flu and See Parallels to Bird Flu 18 Jan 2007.]
U.S. Issues Guidelines on Use of Face Masks in Flu Pandemic 04 May 2007 If a flu pandemic ever emerges, surgical masks "should be considered" by anyone entering a crowd, and thicker industrial masks "should be considered" for anyone taking care of the sick, federal health officials said yesterday as they finally released guidelines for mask use.
USDA: 20 mln birds on farms may have had bad feed 04 May 2007 The U.S. Agriculture [Agribusiness] Department said on Friday as many as 20 million chickens currently on U.S. farms in several states may have been fed contaminated feed. A USDA official said the birds must be held until the government can complete a risk assessment to determine if they can be processed. [OMFG! The Bush regime is going to allow the corpora-terrorists to 'rocess' the contaminated chickens!!!]
Petfood recall widens on cross-contamination 04 May 2007 A major pet food recall has expanded again as manufacturer Menu Foods Income Fund revealed evidence of cross-contamination by some cat and dog food pulled since March.
Big Pharma Gets its Hooks into Seton Hall Law School (Corporate Crime Reporter) 01 May 2007 For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has marinated the medical profession in millions of dollars of free samples, lunches, trips, and fees. The goal – influence, power, profits. Now, the industry has another target – the legal profession. Last week, industry leaders Schering-Plough Corporation, sanofi-aventis, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol Myers Squibb and the pharma law firm Gibbons PC – announced that they will donate a total of $9.1 million to establish the Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey.
Italy's largest river drying up 04 May 2007 Italy declared a state of emergency in northern and central regions on Friday due to fears of drought following unusually warm and dry weather. Farmers have been fretting as Italy's largest river, the Po, has dried up in recent months.
Growling Cat Stops Mail Carriers From Delivering to Home 04 May 2007 Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will deter the postal carrier from his appointed duty. But apparently a "threatening" cat does. John Samborski, of Winnipeg, received a letter from Canada Post stating that due to his cat Shadow's alleged growling, carriers will no longer deliver mail to his home.
CLGers, we need your support. http://www.legitgov.org/#contribute Or, please mail a check or money order to the CLG: Citizens for Legitimate Government (CLG) P.O. Box 1142 Bristol, CT 06011-1142 Contributions to CLG are not tax deductible.
[Previous lead stories:] Insurgents 'right to take on US' 03 May 2007 'Insurgents' in Iraq are right to try to force US troops out of the country, a former British army commander has said. Gen Sir Michael Rose also told the BBC's Newsnight programme that the US and the UK must "admit defeat" and stop fighting "a hopeless war" in Iraq. Iraqi insurgents would not give in, he said. "I don't excuse them for some of the terrible things they do, but I do understand why they are resisting." Sir Michael has written a book drawing similarities between the tactics of insurgents and George Washington's men in America's War of Independence.
US inspector general for Iraq under investigation 02 May 2007 Stuart Bowen, the U.S. special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction whose office has uncovered abuse of both Iraqi and U.S. funds, is under investigation himself, a White House spokeswoman said on Wednesday. Bowen heads the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, or SIGIR.
Iraq says U.S.-backed oil law sent to parliament 02 May 2007 The Iraqi government has sent to parliament a landmark draft oil law, the oil minister said on Wednesday. Parliamentary officials, however, said they were unaware the bill had been submitted to the legislature.
Each day WE allow President Bush and his administration to remain in office is the more We The People and Congress appear to condone: Growing disrespect for the United States - from within and from without; multitudes of deaths, tortures, disabilities - to our own people and others; crimes against all humanity; loss of patriotism in truth (and LIFE) for our troops; NO compassion for our own needy citizens, veterans, and others around the globe; crimes against our very globe; and, so much more! Truly, the Clinton Impeachment did make the U. S. Looks rather silly to others, so now with Bush's lies causing extensive deaths and destruction - while still sending innocent troops into war with other innocent peoples - no one can respect the USA any longer for patriotism nor moral decency! We are in so many extremely shameful situations -- in war and at home -- and it is certainly time to set a good example while restoring order and respect by finally impeaching these inhumane, unpatriotic, lying, habitual criminals, and get our great nation healthy and respectful again! P.S. Raise your hand if you realize to feel a twitch of shame every time you hear of suicides by veterans and young adults~~~~~
Dear US Citizens, Through his official site, we have a website to collect donations for John Edwards. Please, at least check it out. Donations go straight to them. http://johnedwards.com/action/contribute/mygrassroots/?page_id=MjgxMjA I also like Dennis Kucinich. I like Hillary & Barak, but they have no trouble getting enough campaign funds. John Edwards is a very decent human being, the type our great nation sorely needs!!! Thank you! ~The Angel Power Emporium~
It was a surreal spectacle to see the vice president attacking the Democratic plan for Iraq by arguing that it's "been called 'slow bleed'". Now, how exactly did that coined description end up coming out of the mouth of every corporate media toady out there, except for the fact that Cheney himself directly ORDERED them through his underlings to say it? It's reminiscent of when they would plant stories in the New York Times and then rely on the same stories as justifying authority for what they were doing.
You bet we want to slow down the bleeding (as opposed to the accelerating bleeding which is going on now). In fact, we want to STOP the bleeding altogether, and the amputations and the deaths too. And now at least we have a Senate bill which proposes a withdrawal timetable. While we agree with Senator Feingold in supporting it that the measure is still not binding enough, the Republicans are confident that can defeat it, which is the only reason they are allowing an actual vote.
Well, maybe, if enough of us call and email them we can make them a little less confident in defying the clear will of the American AND the Iraqi people. Especially if you have any Republican senators they need to reminded of when they are next up for re-election. And all of our Democratic senators need to hear from us so that they present a united front.
Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this message to everyone else you know.
Global warming isn't a problem our children will face—it's a reality today and it’s accelerating much faster than ever predicted.
We cannot wait until the next president is elected to begin to take action on global warming. We all must take responsibility and do our part to stop global warming today—even if the current government refuses to act.
That's why today I’m announcing my commitment to make my campaign "carbon neutral"—meaning we will offset the impact of all our energy use to ensure that our campaign does not contribute to global warming.
To achieve carbon neutrality, we’re taking two big steps. First, we’re implementing a number of simple but effective techniques to conserve energy in our national and field offices. And I’ve asked my staff to take concrete steps to reduce their own energy consumption. Conserving energy now is the single biggest thing we all can do as individuals to combat global warming.
But presidential campaigns by their nature use an enormous amount of energy for travel and operations. Which is why today I have also directed the campaign to purchase carbon offsets that support alternative energy production to neutralize the global warming impact from our travel and office energy use.
Carbon offsets are an expensive proposition for a national campaign—but I believe it is an investment for our planet that we simply must make.
Global warming is bigger than any political party, any election—and certainly any one campaign—and good ideas for achieving carbon neutrality should be shared freely.
I'd like to hear your ideas on how we—all of us on this campaign, and throughout America—can reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide.
We weren't the first campaign to declare our efforts to become carbon neutral. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack had announced carbon neutrality for his campaign shortly before he withdrew a few weeks ago.
Currently, we're the only campaign in either party to make the carbon neutral pledge—but we hope we won’t be for long. Global warming doesn't stop at party lines and neither should our commitment to preventing it.
I hope that you will do your part as well to stop global warming by taking action to conserve energy in your home, office and personal life.
"Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances." -From the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Fact Sheet
As part of the March on the Pentagon, World Can’t Wait plans a contingent of 200 dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods representing the detainees held indefinitely and tortured at Guantanamo Bay and around the world. The orange jumpsuit has come to symbolize the crimes of the Bush administration.
Silently, but powerfully, the “detainee” in an orange jumpsuit makes the case against the horrors of the Bush wars. People are forced to examine a vivid image of what cannot be denied: the Military Commissions Act of 2006 legalizes torture, indefinite detention, and the abolition of the historical right of habeas corpus.
Dems Lay Down for Bush's Next War: The People Must Go "From Protest to Resistance" Saturday, March on the Pentagon!
By Sunsara Taylor, 3/14/07
Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran...The measure provides nearly $100 billion to pay for fighting in two wars, and includes more money than the president requested for operations in Afghanistan and what Democrats called training and equipment shortages. -AP, March 13, 2007
For all the criticism on the left, Democratic strategists say they are counting on most of the antiwar lawmakers to realize that this current spending bill is the best they can get . N Y Times, March 14
You could close your eyes and pretend it isn’t happening.
Pretend that the new Democratic Congress -- after four years of torture, mass murder and war crimes against the people of Iraq -- didn’t just promise the War-Criminal-In-Chief that they would do nothing to stop a new and even more dangerous war against Iran.
Pretend that these same Democrats -- who have sold you out so many times and at the cost of so many lives -- didn’t just promise to give the president more money than he even asked for to fight his current wars!
Pretend that somehow history -- and the people of the Middle East -- will forgive you for meeting this news with passivity, silence or at best &ldquorotest as usual.”
Or you could open your eyes and confront the nightmares engulfing millions of people in the Middle East and endangering people around the world that only people living in this country can bring to a halt.
You can get on a bus, hop on a train, purchase an airline ticket, or pile into a van and get your butt to Washington DC on March 17 to march across the bridge and encircle the Pentagon, before the eyes of the world! Read more…
Sincerely, Debra Sweet Director, The World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime
Our latest round of bumper stickers may be our most popular yet—they're flying off the shelves. Since Wednesday, folks have ordered over to 275,000 stickers!
The bad news is that means there are just a few left. We wanted to give you a heads up, since these stickers could be gone before the day is over. If you haven't ordered a sticker yet (they're FREE!), please click below to get yours now.
With the president sending more troops to Iraq and threatening Iran, it's more important than ever that we get our message across: We don't want endless war; we want our troops home safe.
Hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members are going to put these stickers on their cars, bikes, doors, windows, and ice chests. Together, we'll make sure our leaders see this message everywhere they turn. The more of us there are, the louder our message will be.
These bumper stickers are high-quality, two-color stickers that will look great wherever you stick 'em. Click below to get your free bumper sticker—no strings attached!
–Nita, Carrie, Matt, Marika, Marc, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team Monday, March 12th, 2007
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Federal court rules against dying medical marijuana patient
A medical marijuana patient whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive does not have a constitutional right to stay alive, a federal appeals court ruled today.
Angel Raich, a California mother of two, uses marijuana to treat life-threatening wasting syndrome, seizures, an inoperable brain tumor, and severe chronic pain. "The court has just sentenced me to death," she said after the ruling. "My doctors agree that medical cannabis is essential to my very survival, and the government did not even contest the medical evidence ... If we don't have a right to live, what do we have left?"
Raich's lawyers argued that because her doctors believe medical marijuana is essential to her survival, prosecuting her would violate the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment guarantee that no person may be "deprived of life ... without due process of law."
In its decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there is not yet a constitutional right "to make a life-shaping decision on a physician's advice to use medical marijuana to preserve bodily integrity, avoid intolerable pain, and preserve life, when all other prescribed medications and remedies have failed."
But — significantly — the court suggested that a right to medical marijuana could eventually be recognized as fundamental. The ruling says: "For now, federal law is blind to the wisdom of a future day when the right to use medical marijuana to alleviate excruciating pain may be deemed fundamental. Although that day has not yet dawned, considering that during the last ten years eleven states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, that day may be upon us sooner than expected."
MPP's grants program has paid for much of Raich's litigation. Visit www.mpp.org/news to read some of the news coverage of the decision.
Because the federal courts have refused to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest, it's all the more imperative that Congress act to change federal law. MPP has led the fight in Congress over the last four years, with a record 163 House members voting for a medical marijuana amendment last summer. And, since the Democratic takeover of Congress in November, the congressional outlook for medical marijuana is now better than it has been since I co-founded MPP 12 years ago.
In fact, we have a real chance of passing federal legislation to protect medical marijuana patients this year, but we need you to stand with us. If you agree that seriously ill people should not have to live in fear of armed federal agents breaking down their doors to take away their medicine, would you please make a financial contribution to our lobbying work today?
Our track record of success is growing every year, and we can get the job done. But we're 100% dependent on supporters like you to fund our work.
Rob Kampia Executive Director Marijuana Policy Project Washington, D.C.
P.S. Today also brought happier legal news, when a federal judge in San Francisco dismissed charges against marijuana policy activist Ed Rosenthal on grounds of "vindictive prosecution." Rosenthal was sentenced in 2003 to a single day in prison after a jury found him guilty of violating federal law by growing marijuana for patients. That conviction was overturned last year, and the government filed new charges, including four counts of tax evasion and one count of money laundering. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer today dismissed those charges, ruling that the prosecutors appeared to be retaliating against Rosenthal for publicly criticizing the government.
P.P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $3.0 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2007. This means that your donation today will be doubled.
Angel Raich can be arrested for using the only medicine that keeps her alive, court rules.
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Congressional committees are now demanding the testimony of Karl Rove in the investigation into reasons behind the firings of eight US attorneys. Senator Charles Schumer, who has helped lead the Senate Judiciary Committee's examination of the dismissals of the federal prosecutors, cited new reports connecting Rove to those who wanted to oust at least one of the US attorneys.
Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush's authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war.
Under a little-noticed provision in the USA Patriot Act, the Treasury Department has ordered severe restrictions against foreign banks or countries for reasons beyond the stated purpose of the law and without producing evidence.
David Bacon | Guest Workers Fired After Protesting Slavelike Conditions
David Bacon writes: "Hundreds of guest workers from India are protesting conditions in a Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard that immigrant-rights activists compare to slavery. Many gathered in a church on March 11 in this Gulf Coast port after their employer, Signal International, threatened to send some of the workers home. Signal is a large corporation that repairs and services oil-drilling platforms around the world."
A coalition of more than 140 international, non-governmental organizations and women's groups is gratified that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expressing public support for the creation of a new UN agency for women.
A Quarter of US War Vets Diagnosed With Mental Disorder (How deplorable!!!!!)
A quarter of the Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans treated with US government-funded health care have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to a study published Monday. And when psychosocial disorders such as domestic violence were taken into account, the number of war veterans suffering from mental illnesses rose to 31 percent.
J. Sri Raman | Bush's Democracy Project in Bangladesh and Nepal
J. Sri Raman writes: "Who says that President George Bush and his men and women promote democracy only by destructive wars? They do so also through creative, unconventional diplomacy. Look at their latest achievements in Bangladesh and Nepal. In both these countries bordering India, whose ruling establishment is enlisted in the Bush crusade to save democracy (especially 'emerging' democracies), the cause has hit a major roadblock. And it is representatives of Washington who has placed a mega-sized boulder on the path to much-awaited elections in both cases."
VIDEO | Activists Announce Protests at Pentagon and on Campuses
By Geoffrey Millard, Lance Page and Scott Galindez
On Saturday, March 17, anti-war activists from around the country will gather near the Vietnam Memorial and march to the Pentagon. This event comes 40 years after the historic march on the Pentagon which many observers saw as a turning point in the movement against the Vietnam War. Student organizers are also planning events on campuses around the country between March 15 and 20.
VIDEO | Canaries in the Mine: Inuit Warn World of Human Cost of Climate Change
"Global warming is a human rights issue," says Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit activist and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. In her lifetime, Watt-Cloutier has witnessed the drastic effects of climate change that threaten her community's livelihood and cultural identity. Watt-Cloutier testified in a hearing on March 1, 2007 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights which was set up to investigate the relationship between human rights and climate change in North and South America. The hearing was a result of a petition that she and 62 other Inuit in Alaska and Canada filed in 2005 in an attempt to hold the United States accountable for its failure to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
Essentials of Life
Center is a home-based
We choose this
designation for many
reasons, mostly to
freedom. Freedom of
important to us. We
If you're outside soon
after nightfall this week
around 10 p.m. your local
you may notice a large
and slender triangle high
in the southern sky, a
display of two stars and
U.S. investigators have
recovered and returned
historical documents that
were stolen two decades
ago from Russia's
letters by Catherine the
Great and composer Pyotr