Yeah, but it’s a dry racism.

April 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Posted in civil rights, politics straight up, public safety | Leave a comment
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Salinas Valley, California. Large scale, commercial agriculture. This single California County (Monterey) shipped 20,096 carlots of lettuce in 1934, or forty-five percent of all carlot shipments in the United States. In the same year 73.8 percent of all United States carlot shipments were made from Monterey County, Imperial Valley, California (7,797 carlots) and Maricopa County, Arizona (4,697). Production of lettuce is largely in the hands of a comparatively small number of grower-shippers, many of whom operate in two or all three of these Counties. Labor is principally Mexican and Filipino in the fields, and white American in the packing sheds. Many workers follow the harvests from one valley to the other, since plantings are staggered to maintain a fairly even flow of lettuce to the Eastern markey throughout the year. 1939 February. Dorothea Lange, photograher. (Library of Congress)

Effective in late July or August 2010, Arizona police will have the right to arrest anyone they suspect is not a citizen or legal immigrant. But the fine folks of the Arizona legislature aren’t satisfied with simply having police hassle anyone who doesn’t “look right.” They have made it a crime to leave home without proof of immigration status. The penalty is six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

The first time it’s a misdemeanor but “repeat offenses would be a felony.”

Does anyone else get the feeling that some Arizonans want all non-Caucasians to permanently leave the state?

You can read the full text of the law here.

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UPDATE: This is what the people of Arizona have to look forward to:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Thanks, Crooks & Liars and 3TV for the video.

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How’s that airport security working out?

February 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Posted in Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, public safety, terrorism | Leave a comment
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A Delta Airlines jet is inspected on the tarmac at Narita international Airport outside Tokyo Sunday after a dead body was discovered in the landing gear bay. Jiji/Getty

(NYDailyNews) Japanese authorities were seeking American help Monday to identify a body found in the landing gear compartment of a plane that arrived in Tokyo from New York.

A mechanic made the grim discovery after Delta Flight 59 landed at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport about 6:05 p.m. local time Sunday, a Chiba prefecture police spokesman said.

(BusinessWeek) Tarmacs are supposed to be protected against intruders, so a man climbing onto the plane would have breached security wherever the incident began. The case highlights a possible weak spot in the safety crackdown ordered after a Nigerian man tried to blow up a Detroit-bound Delta flight on Dec. 25

Ya think?

“Dick” Shelby

February 5, 2010 at 11:38 am | Posted in politics straight up, public safety | Leave a comment
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Okay, kids, grab your phone. It’s time to make a call to “Dick” Shelby’s office.

"Dick" Shelby

Why?

Because he has placed a hold on votes for 70 — yes, kids, count ’em — 70 “nominees to be the top Intelligence officers at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security as well as the number three civilian at the Pentagon.”

That’s right, kids — in a time when, as Republicans like Shelby constantly remind us, we are at war, one Republican senator — allegedly without the knowledge or approval of the Senate Republican Minority Leader — is preventing positions critical to our national security from being filled by qualified nominees.

And why has “Dick” Shelby decided to take this radical, anti-American action?

Pork.

Apparently believing that he makes the final decision on what is or is not critical to the country’s national security, not the president, he’s holding the country hostage until two lucrative projects in Alabama are funded.

So please call “Dick” Shelby’s office at (202) 224-5744 and let him know that he is not the president and to stop playing games with national security.

And while you’re at it, let him know how much you appreciate the significant role he played in defeating consumer financial protection legislation in the Financial Services Committee.

The clueless Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had this to say about “Dick” Shelby’s scandalous and anti-American behavior “in a time of war”:

Senate Republican Minority "Leader" Mitch McConnell

“He is not able to be here at the moment to state his position,” said McConnell of Shelby. McConnell implied that that he’d rather go ahead with the votes. “Maybe we can in discussions with him make some progress on these sooner rather than later. but for the moment I’m constrained to object on his behalf,” said McConnell.

So give Minority Leader McConnell’s office as well — (202) 224-2541 — and let him know that it’s time he started acting like a leader and a patriotic American by directing “Dick” Shelby to allow votes on the nominees to these important national security positions to go forward.

UPDATE: In 2005, “Dick” Shelby said: “I firmly believe that each of the President’s nominees should be afforded a straight up-or-down vote. I do not think that any of us want to operate in an environment where federal judicial nominees must receive 60 votes in order to be confirmed. To that end I firmly support changing the Senate rules to require that a simple majority be necessary to confirm all judicial nominees, thus ending the continuous filibuster of them.

Of course, those were Bush administration nominees. “Dick” Shelby feels no such obligation to afford the nominees of President Obama a straight up or down vote.

Why does “Dick” Shelby hate democracy?

Robert Gibbs, White House spokesperson, got it right when he said, “If that’s not the poster child for how this town needs to change the way it works, I fear there won’t be a greater example of silliness throughout the entire year of 2010.”

Senate phone lines are open till 5:00 p.m., although it being Friday, I would recommend making your call by 4:30 p.m. Let’s give “Dick” something to think about over the weekend.

FURTHER UPDATE: Well, well, well. Not only is “Dick” Shelby holding up votes on 70 nominees for various important positions in order to force the government to fund two high-priced projects he wants for Alabama, he’s doing it as a favor for to Northrup Grumman, “a firm that has contributed more than $100,000 to the Alabama Republican over the course of his long political career.”

As long as you’re making a call to “Dick” Shelby to let him know that his despicable behavior is not appreciated, give a call to Kent Conrad, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and let him know how you feel about Alabama pork. Senator Conrad can be reached at (202) 224-2043.

ADDITIONAL FURTHER UPDATE:

The White House is not impressed by the antics of “Dick” Shelby, or his Republican colleagues.

Let’s be clear: Sen. Shelby is preventing qualified nominees who will help protect the American people from being confirmed. He’s not alone, though. This is just the latest example of this kind opposition for opposition’s sake that the President talked about earlier this week.. This strategy of obstruction is preventing qualified people from doing their jobs on behalf of the American people and it’s preventing real work from getting done in Washington. Every minute spent needlessly blocking noncontroversial nominees, many of whom go on to be confirmed by 70 or more votes or by voice vote (nine of the President’s nominees so far), is a minute not spent on the issues that matter to American families.

UPDATE 2/6/10:

Statement by Hari Sevugan, national press secretary for the DNC:

“President Obama has nominated qualified, talented people for critical vacancies related to our national security and other issues – and the President has called for an end to Washington politics as usual — but Republicans would rather play politics than do what is right. The American people are sick and tired of it. And, with Senator Shelby’s blanket hold on ALL nominees, they can no longer claim that their obstruction is about qualifications. It’s about politics plain and simple. And for putting politics ahead of the nation’s security they should be ashamed.”

Thanks Political Animal!

The United States’ Great Pacific Garbage Patch

October 17, 2009 at 11:45 am | Posted in environment, health, public safety | Leave a comment
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Click here to see the graphic in larger detail.

A mass of plastic in the Pacific, increasing tenfold each decade since 1945, is now the size of Texas and killing everything in its wake.

I call it the United States’ garbage patch because “in 1990, Americans used nearly seven times the world average in plastic … per capita.”  That rate increases every year.

It takes more than 400 years for plastics to photodegrade, they never biodegrade. As it disintegrates, the plastic becomes small enough to be ingested by aquatic organisms, including fish, mussels and birds, and winds up in our food chain.  Plastic in the ocean is killing whales and sea turtles.

Plastic bag bans are being instituted or considered in countries around the world.

UPDATE: This is one really sad and revolting result of the garbage people toss into the ocean.

Watch out, Sarah! You have competition!

July 16, 2009 at 10:31 am | Posted in palin, politics straight up, public safety | Leave a comment
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Catherine Crabill, the Republican Party Nominee in the 99th House District of Virginia, tells her supporters on July 15, 2009 that if they don’t like election results, they are justified in engaging in armed insurrection.

Protecting You From Yourself.

February 13, 2009 at 11:43 am | Posted in Historical, public safety | Leave a comment
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Sheldon Dick)

National guardsman with one-pounder, overlooking Chevrolet number nine and number four during strike at Flint, Michigan, January or February 1937. (Photo: Sheldon Dick)

(Police)The Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Department has acquired an armored personnel carrier complete with a turret-mounted .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun for its Special Response Team.

Sheriff Leon Lott told the Columbia State newspaper that he hoped the vehicle, named “The Peacemaker,” would let the bad guys know that his officers are serious.

“We don’t look at this as a killing machine,” Lott told the paper. “It’s going to keep the peace. We hope the fact that we have this is going to save lives. When something like this rolls up, it’s time to give up.”

“The Peacemaker” uses “a caliber of ammunition that even the U.S. military is reluctant to use against human targets (it’s generally reserved for use against armored vehicles) …

Radley Balko wrote a paper in 2006 titled “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America” that is available at the Cato Institute’s website.

Will South Carolina’s Governor, or any other, protect citizens from over-zealous police?

The Battle of Bulls Run had another major effect: Michigan Gov. Frank Murphy sent the National Guard to stand between the strikers and the police, allowing strikers to occupy the plants with little threat of forced eviction. Murphy’s courageous decision could have been political suicide, but he eventually became a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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