Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian in the U.S., speaks with Amy Goodman and Juan González of Democracy Now! about his recent exclusive report on the $80 million dollar effort led by the State Policy Network to undermine unions. The upcoming Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case will have a major impact on this effort. [Read more…]
By Peter Zschiesche
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the “Janus Case” and determine the legality of state laws that allow public employee union contracts to require all covered employees to pay at least a “fair share” fee to cover the union’s cost of negotiating and enforcing their agreement. There are 23 states that have such laws and California is one of them.
In 1977 the Supreme Court decided unanimously that yes, states could do that. But just a few years ago several of the current conservative Supreme Court Justices let it be known that they would be willing to revisit that 1977 decision. So the Janus case worked its way up the legal system. Now the Supreme Court has heard the Janus case and will announce their decision in the coming months. [Read more…]
Debate dodging, a suggestion of pay-to-play among her supporters, and the hint of a visit to a Thai whorehouse add up to bad news for “Law Enforcement’s Choice” for County District Attorney Summer Stephan.
The interim appointed DA has backed out of speaking with voters tonight at the City of Hope International Church in Lincoln Park at a forum that was supposed to feature both candidates for San Diego County District Attorney.
Organized by the Mid-City CAN (Community Advocacy Network) and San Diego Organizing Project, the event has been advertised for weeks on Facebook, drawing interest or commitments from over 500 people. [Read more…]
Any discussion about the criminal justice system needs to start and end with an acknowledgment of the role racism plays in the United States. The electoral contest for County District attorney in San Diego is no exception.
Now that billionaire George Soros is being accused of fomenting anarchy by supporting an anti-establishment candidate, this discussion needs to be expanded to include the stereotype of the rich Jew as an evil “other.” She doesn’t even have to use the word “Jew”, wink, wink.
I don’t believe appointed incumbent DA Summer Stephan and her backers in the law enforcement establishment think of themselves as racists or antisemites. I’m sure they’ll tell you some of their best friends are people of color. I’m sure our interim DA means well when she speaks of dealing with implicit bias. I’m sure she’s horrified by reading accounts of the Holocaust. [Read more…]
By Abby Zimet / Common Dreams
In another day of unfathomable cognitive dissonance, a blindingly heedless Melania unveiled her (stolen-from-Obama) initiative to keep kids safe from cyber-bullying and drugs so they can “do all they can to be best in everything” even as, in a galaxy really not very far from there, the soulless cretins of her philandering husband’s administration were doing everything in their depraved power to make life hell for said children.
Melania’s “Be Best” campaign – proving she can multi-task by both plagiarizing and committing heinous crimes against grammar – is based on “the pillars of well-being, social media and opioid abuse” (wait, what?), featuring a website and leaflet that turns out to be a page-by-page replica of an Obama-era Federal Trade Commission website and leaflet “Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online,” with very minor tweaks. [Read more…]
May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day as declared by the United Nations. This year’s theme is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law”.
By Mark Taylor Canfield / Daily Kos
Although this annual commemoration serves to highlight the struggle for press freedoms around the globe, the real work of securing these rights goes on daily in dozens of nations where reporters are threatened, jailed and killed.
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 262 reporters were imprisoned in 2017. 62 have been killed in 2018 and 58 are missing globally.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the press is facing major challenges from an adversarial presidential administration. [Read more…]
Suicides and attempts at self-harm in the San Diego County jail system remain an unsolved problem. And, despite reforms in sentencing, the cost of incarceration in California continues to grow.
Two studies released this week point to local and statewide issues concerning incarceration. I’ll start with the local one, especially since it is relevant to the June 5th elections.
Disability Rights California, which has federal authority to investigate conditions in adult and juvenile detention facilities throughout the state, has issued a detailed report on suicides in San Diego County’s Jail System. Reforms instituted by Sheriff Bill Gore, who has oversight of County facilities are too little and too late. [Read more…]
Attorney Steve Binder recalls being in kindergarten in Flint, Michigan, and he and other children were sometimes asked what they would like to be when they grew up. “We all replied doctor or lawyer or teacher. None of us responded ‘I want to be homeless and be a substance abuser.'”
And yet homeless populations are in every major city — and many are veterans. In San Diego alone, the latest count for homelessness is over 9,000, 30 percent of whom are veterans.
Binder, a retiring deputy public defender, has just been named a Community Hero for his creation of a Homeless Court Program in 1989. The honor is given by KPBS and the National Conflict Resolution Center. [Read more…]
Edward Sifuentes / American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties
On Tuesday, April 17, a majority of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors decided to support the Trump administration’s lawsuit against the State of California. The lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice, targets three California statutes, including the California Values Act that serves to keep state and local law enforcement agencies out of the business of mass detentions and mass deportations.
Supervisors Gaspar, Horn and Jacob voted to file an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit at the “first available opportunity” (most likely on appeal). Supervisor Cox voted against the proposal. Supervisor Roberts was absent from today’s meeting, but issued a statement last week urging his colleagues to “stay out of this issue.”
The following is the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties’ response to today’s action: [Read more…]
Barring intervention by courts or its governor, Alabama will kill an 83-year-old man on April 19; long-incarcerated for the 1989 mail-bomb killings of United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance and civil rights attorney Robert E. Robinson, Walter Moody, Jr.’s wizened, withered body, will, three decades after his crimes, be strapped to a gurney, pricked with a sharp needle (possibly many, many times), and pumped full of chemicals until he is dead.
Why? Other than the reactionary, regressive idea of “retribution” – whose flawed moral underpinning is interchangeable with bloodthirsty, wild, wild West revenge – how will justice be served? And, for whom? [Read more…]
The San Diego County Superior Court has formally ordered the San Diego Association of Governments to decertify its defective Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for 2011 the Regional Transportation Plan. SANDAG has also agreed to cover attorney’s fees in the amount of $1.7 million for the petitioners in this public interest case.
It has taken six long years to reach this point, with the lawsuit going to the California Supreme Court. The two precedent-setting court opinions arising from this case will guide SANDAG and other agencies in addressing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and public health impacts of regional transportation planning.
“The end of this battle is just the beginning of a brighter future for all San Diego County residents,” said Jana Clark, Cleveland National Forest Foundation Board member. “With this case resolved, SANDAG must now do what it should have done in the first place: plan for a more sustainable future for our region so that we can avoid the worst effects of climate change.” [Read more…]
Linda Brown, the schoolgirl at the heart of the Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit, died on Sunday, at the age of seventy-six. In this video recorded in 2004, she relates her memories of the situation that led her father to file the court case that ultimately led to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional. [Read more…]