BACKGROUND: US now has 'parallel Supreme Court' making secret law

Is any kind of meaningful democracy possible in a régime of secret law? — This is the question raised by the lead article in Sunday’s *New York Times*, which said that the FISA court “has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come.”[1] — Its “rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny,” Eric Lichtblau reported.

“In one of the court’s most important decisions, the judges have expanded the use in terrorism cases of a legal principle known as the ‘special needs’ doctrine and carved out an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures.” 

COMMENT: This is comparable to the U.S. national security state’s invention of a “state secrets” doctrine early in the nuclear era. — As UFPPC said in a statement in a year ago, ( http://www.ufppc.org/ufppc-statements-mainmenu-29/11025/ ) “pervasive secrecy will make democracy untenable in the long run. — Pervasive secrecy means that the American public is unable to evaluate properly the behavior of nations and groups that the U.S. regards as adversaries or enemies. — Their overtly hostile acts, which are usually presented as ‘aggressive,’ are often defensive in nature. — And all too often, the U.S. government is going so far as to consider the efforts of American citizens to maintain open government to be hostile acts as well.” — This is precisely what has happened to Edward Snowden. –Mark] In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

Public banking conference on lifestream tomorrow (Sunday)

Don’t miss the Public Banking Conference on lifestream.  Speakers will include Ellen Brown, Matt Taibbi, Gar Alperovitz, and Birgitta Jonsdottir. Thanks to John Repp and Cindy Cole will represent Washington State there!
The Public Banking Institute is having their annual conference in San Francisco beginning at 1:00 PM tomorrow, Sunday, June 2nd, 3rd and 4th.   If you have some time you can stream it live:  Here is the URL http://www.publicbankinginamerica.org/streaming-live

Watch "Is Social Security Broke?" online, or tonight on Comcast channel 77

For May 31, 2013 – in King County, tune to Comcast channel 77, 8:00 PM

Or click  Is Social Security Broke? for on-demand view.

“Social Security has not contributed one dime to The Debt; it has been cash positive ever since its start in 1935”, emphasizes Robby Stern of Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans.

“Social Security has ideological enemies. Most enemies are on the republican side. Most enemies are in a class not much dependent on social security.”
The Social Security Trust Funds – nearly three trillion – subsidized Bush Era tax breaks to elites. The same elites want to privatize Social Security and never pay back a dime.
Social Security operates better than “pay as you go” with surpluses. The noise over Social Security is just cheesy republicanism.
Guest Robby Stern of Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans sets the record straight. “Social Security affects us all: the retired, the soon-to-retire and everyone else paying into the system.” It is vital we know TRUTH from “scare politics” when it comes to Social Security.

Warning: citizens must engage NOW or forfeit this vital social safety net to a class of “have too much” elites!

A program to eliminate poverty

We need to create and act on a program to eliminate poverty by 2020, including a federally supported jobs program. Working people in the wealthiest country in the world have a right to full employment at a living wage, to collective bargaining in the workplace, compensation for disability, and reliable pensions and social security benefits. We need to Rescind NAFTA, WTO, and CAFTA and stop negotiating TPPP in secret. We can enact living-wage legislation so that one full-time income or two half-time incomes can support a family. We can protect the social safety net & strengthen social security by raising the cap on payroll taxes.

   The Real Numbers: Half of America in Poverty — and It’s Creeping toward 75% | Alternet

The too big to fail banks should be broken up. Instead we should support a diverse banking environment including public banks, community banks, and credit unions which encourage low-interest loans for small businesses, student loans, & upgrading our failing infrastructure. Lastly, we should redirect military spending to domestic needs. Bank bailouts and war spending have hollowed out our economy and caused the greatest wealth disparity in the U.S. since the 1920’s.
None of these ideas are radically new.  Roosevelt had the WPA; the Glass-Steagle Act was passed after Depression; we once enjoyed more banking choices, including public banking;  President Johnson raised Social Security benefits that lifted many people out of poverty;  Head Start and school meals programs were funded; it was possible to send our kids to college without accruing huge debts; and we used to have a more progressive taxation system.

Conference call with Rocky Anderson and Ralph Nader, Sat May 4

A CONVERSATION WITH
ROCKY ANDERSON AND RALPH NADER

Rocky Anderson and Ralph Nader

Raise the Minimum Wage

Saturday, MAY 4
12 PM ET / 11 AM CT / 10 AM MT/ 9 AM PT
for one hour

RSVP below.

You will receive an acknowledgement via email containing the call-in instructions.

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Ralph Nader is a well known political activist, attorney, lecturer and consumer advocate, who gained notoriety as a crusader of car safety reform in the ’60s. In 1971, he founded the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and has continued to be an opponent of unchecked corporate power. He entered the U.S. presidential race multiple times in the ’90s and ’00s, as an Independent and as the Green Party nominee. (Learn more athttp://nader.org/.)

Currently, Mr. Nader with the Center for the Study of Responsive Law, has launched Time for a Raise to increase the federal minimum wage as a measure to help lift people out of poverty and improve the economy as a whole. The CEO of Wal-Mart earns $11,000/hr while his employees earn $7.25/hr, a rate that when adjusted for inflation is lower than the pay rate of Wal-Mart employees in 1972. While worker productivity has markedly increased since the 70’s, income has stagnated since then for most wage earners. Learn how raising the minimum wage will help to left all boats and what you can do to help real people in the new economy. A question and answer period will follow the discussion. (RSVP below.)

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Website: Time for a Raise
Minimum Wage Raise Essential to Fix Our Economy
The Cruel Gap Between CEO Pay and the Stagnant Minimum Wage
April: Show Up To Catch Up With 1968
Getting Tough on Devastating Corporate Crime
Walmart Bosses: Time for a Decision
Time for a Sales Tax on Wall Street

Effective and doable

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PUBLIC STATE BANKS OR WALL STREET BANKS: THE CHOICE IS OURS

If you missed last Saturday’s “Banking for We the People” call, then you missed a great discussion about an elegant yet simple economic solution, which helps states save huge sums of taxpayer dollars and shores up local economies.JP-public-banks-recording-150x220.png

We heard from Rocky Anderson and Ellen Brown, the foremost thought leader in the country today on the issue of Public Banking. Ellen talked about the North Dakota state bank, which helped that state survive–without incident–the 2008 Wall Street-created economic crash that brought other states to their knees.

Listen to the recording.

Economics is not the sexiest subject, but we all know that it is at the root of much injustice for a growing community of Americans. Public banks in the model of North Dakota’s provide competition and huge savings compared to Wall Street banks, which use our taxpayer dollars for their private benefit while providing no public benefit. Not only do we not benefit in the profit-making, we are left holding the bag when their risky investments fail.

Listen to the recording.

We think once a person understands how public banks work, there will be very few, if any, who won’t support the development of public state banks. After you listen to the recording, please enter any questions or comments you might have in the comments box at the bottom of this page. While you’re there, check out the background material we’ve provided to increase understanding.

The Justice Party National Steering Committee

Public Banking Conference Call – April 6, 2013 – RSVP NOW!

WebOfDebt
Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt, is the inspiration and thought leader behind the Public Banking Institute, where she serves as Chairman and President. Ellen will discuss the benefits of public banking, the disadvantages of the current banking system and what we can do to take control of our banking system so it works for us, not against us. Please spend an hour with us for…A DISCUSSION with ROCKY ANDERSON and ELLEN BROWN, author of WEB of DEBT Saturday, April 6 12 PM ET // 11 AM CT // 10 AM MT// 9 AM PT for one hour RSVP at this link: http://www.justicepartyusa.org/public_banking_conference_call You will receive an acknowledgement via email containing the call-in instructions.
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Banks use our public money (taxes) to invest and generate profits for themselves and their shareholders.

Citizens United bill stalled in State Senate

Please sign onto the petition to get the WA state legislature to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment clarifying that:

  1. Only human beings, not corporations, are persons under the United States Constitution.
  2. Money is not speech and the donation of money to a political campaign is not a form of constitutionally protected speech.Therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.

Overturn Citizens United: Get corporate money out of politicsA bill addressing these concerns got enough votes to pass in the House last week and now rests in the hands of the Government Operations Committee in the Senate.  If you live in the 31st, 17th, 18th, or 20th legislative district, you have a critical role to play in the next step because your senator happens to be one of the Republicans on that committee.  The three Democrats on the committee have already come out in support.  Please call your senator today to urge him or her to support HJM 4001!  Here is the contact info:

Pam Roach (chair)     31st LD     360-786-7660     pam.roach@leg.wa.gov
Don Benton                 17th LD     360-786-7632    don.benton@leg.wa.gov
Ann Rivers                   18th LD     360-786-7634    ann.rivers@leg.wa.gov
John Braun                  20th LD     360-786-7638    john.braun@leg.wa.gov

Call script:

Hello, my name is (your full name), and I’m a constituent. I live in (your city or town).
I urge Senator ___________________ to vote in favor of bill HJM 4001 in the Government Operations Committee.
HJM 4001 calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to enable us to get big money out of our elections.
This bill has passed in the House and deserves a vote in the Senate.
Thank you.
April 3 is the deadline for our bill to make it out of committee, so NOW is the time to turn up the heat.  Please reply to this email if you know anyone (or organization) in your area I could contact about getting more people to call.  This is NOT a Republican/Democrat or Liberal/Conservative issue; this is a moral issue about the character of our country.  Is it about “We the People” or “We the Corporations”?  There should not be any debate on this.

Thanks so much for your support on this critical issue!

(via Jonathan Tong, Occupy Seattle, Get Money Out of Politics working group)

Conference call about indefinite detention and the NDAA, with Rocky Anderson

You are invited to participate in this conference call on the NDAA and indefinite detention.  Shahid Bhuttar and Rocky Anderson will speak, and there will be time for questions

http://www.justicepartyusa.org/indefinite_detention_conference_call

You are invited to participate:  Indefinite Detention Conference Call, Saturday, March 9

Part of the Justice Party mission is to raise awareness, inspire, organize, and mobilize people of broad diversity in collaborative movement-building in order to realize our Vision of a peaceful nation and world where social, economic, and environmental justice prevail.

The issue of indefinite detention is a clear injustice, which must be righted if we are to retain our constitutionally protected civil liberties. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has an outstanding record fighting for our rights.  The Justice Party invites you to attend:

Indefinite Detention Conference Call

Rocky Anderson and Shahid Buttar image

A discussion with Rocky Anderson & Shahid Buttar of BORDC

 12:00 PM ET // 11:00 AM CT // 10:00 AM MT // 9:00 AM PT

After you register below, look for an email from us containing the call-in details.

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To prepare, please read the following:

Local campaign to restore due process and the right to trial

San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously rejects NDAA

Montana House Votes 97-1 to approve anti-NDAA bill

BORDC works on numerous issues related to the Bill of Rights, including use of body scanners by the TSA. Please see:

EPIC sues over body scanners with Chip Pitts as plaintiff

March 09, 2013 at 12pm – 1pm