Abolish legalized theft

Over the last several years, as the debate about ending the drug war has grown, so has the debate about ending a practice of legal theft known as civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture, unlike criminal asset forfeiture, does not require the person ever be charged with or convicted of any offense deemed illegal under either federal or state law. Under federal law, property may be seized based upon probable cause that the property was linked to a crime. The property owner can then challenge the seizure, and must prove to a judge that either the property was not used in connection to a crime, or that he was unaware his property was somehow used in a crime. Continue reading

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URGENT: Patriot Act's funeral?

By DownsizeDC.org Could the sun really be setting on the Patriot Act? #Section215 #PatriotAct

On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul, with help from Senator Ron Wyden, spent 11 hours on the Senate floor demanding amendments to the USA Freedom Act to better protect our privacy from NSA spying.

This “filibuster” also created an opportunity to let some provisions of the Patriot Act die…
Section 215, which the NSA used to justify their bulk spying, expires on May 31, midnight.
The Senate and House are in recess all of next week.
The two chambers might not be able to agree on either USA Freedom amendments or …read more

Source:: https://downsizedc.org/blog/urgent-patriot-acts-funeral

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British Columbia Newspaper Carries Op-Ed in Favor of Proportional Representation

By Richard Winger The Nelson Star, a daily newspaper in British Columbia, has this op-ed advocating proportional representation for Canada. The author is Danette Moule of Fairvote Canada. …read more

Source:: http://ballot-access.org/2015/05/21/british-columbia-newspaper-carries-op-ed-in-favor-of-proportional-representation/

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Major California Newspapers Provide Misinformation About May 19 Special Legislative Election

By Richard Winger On May 19, California held a special election to fill the vacant State Senate seat, 7th district, in Contra Costa County. Steve Glazer, an anti-union Democrat, was elected. Stories about his election victory in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Jose Mercury News, all said that the top-two system was responsible for Glazer’s win.
In reality, all California special elections 1967-2010 used a blanket primary. All candidates ran on a single primary ballot and all voters used that ballot. If someone got 50% that person was elected. Otherwise there was a …read more

Source:: http://ballot-access.org/2015/05/21/major-california-newspapers-provide-misinformation-about-may-19-special-legislative-election/

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While Mainstream Rap Pushes “B**ches & Money,” Artist Immortal Technique Tackles the Police State

By John Vibes Underground hip-hop artist Immortal Technique has always been outspoken on important issues like government corruption and police brutality. In a series of recent interviews about the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, he is speaking out again.
Technique has been protesting against, and rapping about police brutality for decades, long before the issue was thrust into the mainstream with the recent high profile police murders.
In the interview about Michael Brown, Technique talks about how rappers are afraid to be controversial, and afraid to discuss police brutality and other issues that may give them bad press. He goes on to explain …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/immortal-technique-discusses-eric-garner-mike-brown-interviews/

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Infuriating Video of Drunken Cop, Illustrates Just How Crooked the Thin Blue Line has Become

By Matt Agorist Jersey City, NJ — Sgt. Vincent Corso, a Jersey City cop, was out for a drunken and reckless drive on January 30, 2014, when he was stopped by a Robbinsville police officer.
At the beginning of the stop, Corso tried to claim that he was “on the job,” and that he should be let go.
“Are we OK here?” Corso asks.
“Yeah, just sit in your car,” Robinson Police Officer Shawn Bruton says.
When Officer Barbara Borges arrives, the situation then escalated.
“Do we have a problem?” Corso asks her.
“Yeah, we do have a problem,” she says. “You’re intoxicated and you’re driving a motor vehicle.”
A …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/infuriating-video-drunken-cop-illustrates-crooked-thin-blue-line/

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Fox News and CNN Announce Debate Criteria for First Two Republican Presidential Primary Debates

By Richard Winger On May 20, Fox News announced the rules on who will be invited into the August 6, 2015 Republican presidential debate. Also on May 20, CNN announced the rules for the September 16 debate. The Republican National Committee had earlier decided not to set any rules, and to let the networks sponsoring the debates make the rules.
The August 6 Fox debate will invite the top ten candidates, as measured by polls. The CNN September 16 debates will be in two parts. One will be for the top ten candidates, as shown by polls. The other …read more

Source:: http://ballot-access.org/2015/05/20/fox-news-and-cnn-announce-debate-criteria-for-first-two-republican-presidential-primary-debates/

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Indonesian Newspaper Carries Interesting Analysis of Advantages and Disadvantages of Proportional Representation

By Richard Winger The Jakarta Post has this analysis of Britain’s electoral system, compared with Indonesia’s system. Indonesia uses proportional representation. The author is an Indonesian political scientist who works in Great Britain. …read more

Source:: http://ballot-access.org/2015/05/20/indonesian-newspaper-carries-interesting-analysis-of-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-proportional-representation/

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City of Criminals or Runaway Police State? 1 in 8 New Yorkers has an Open Arrest Warrant

By John Vibes New York City, New York – Police Commissioner Bill Bratton of the NYPD recently proposed a plan that would grant amnesty for over 1 million people with open warrants for low-level offenses, inadvertently revealing that 1 in 7 New Yorkers have warrants for their arrest.
According to The United States Census Bureau the population of New York City is 8.406 million. The number of people who currently have open arrest warrants is 1.2 million. That means that 1 in 8 people in the city is currently under the threat of imprisonment for things like “drinking in public” or “disorderly conduct.”
These statistics …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/1-7-yorkers-warrants-arrest-small-offenses/

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It’s Official, Police Lives Matter, MORE: Obama Signs “Blue Alert” Bill for Cops Who May be In Trouble

By John Vibes Washington DC – This week, President Obama signed a bill that will create a national alert system for the capture of anyone who hurts or makes a threat against a police officer. The new bill further solidifies the fact that the lives of police officers are seen as more valuable than that of the average citizen.
The new bill would create a system that would be comparable to the Amber Alerts used to find abducted children, but would likely be taken far more seriously.
USA Today Reports:
The law requires the Justice Department to create a notification system relating to assaults on police …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/obama-signs-bill-creating-blue-alert-warning-system-protect-cops/

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Bills passed in Congress, 2015

By DownsizeDC.org You can see the bills Congress has passed so far this year. We will continue to update throughout the year…


…read more

Source:: https://downsizedc.org/blog/bills-passed-in-congress-2015

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Ralph Nader Op-Ed Discusses 2016 Presidential Campaign

By Richard Winger Ralph Nader has this op-ed in The Morning Call, daily newspaper published in Allentown, Pennsylvania. …read more

Source:: http://ballot-access.org/2015/05/19/ralph-nader-op-ed-discusses-2016-presidential-campaign/

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Innocent Man Who Spent 40 Years in Prison, Suing the Cops Who Put Him There

By The Free Thought Project RT.com
Ricky Jackson, who spent 39 years in jail for a murder he did not commit, is suing the police officers who allegedly helped frame him. Jackson was convicted on the testimony of a 12-year-old boy who didn’t see the crime and later retracted his statement.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday against the city of Cleveland, alleges that eight officers, including detectives and their superiors, were involved in framing Jackson and brothers Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman for the killing of salesman Harold Franks, which occurred in the Cleveland area in 1975. Three of the officers involved in the case have …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/innocent-man-spent-40-years-prison-suing-cops-put/

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Supreme Court Allows for Unscrupulous Cops to be Sued for Deliberately Concealing Evidence

By John Vibes Los Angeles, California – This week, it was reported that the U.S. Supreme Court will allow a lawsuit against the LAPD for covering up evidence that would have prevented a man from sitting in jail for 27 months prior to his trial. Lawyers for the LAPD recently filed an appeal, arguing that since the man had not stood trial yet, that it was OK for them to conceal the evidence during his detainment. However, the Supreme court has now struck down the appeal, allowing the lawsuit to continue.
The lawsuit was initially filed by Michael Walker, a man who is now …read more

Source:: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/supreme-court-lawsuit-lapd-withholding-evidence/

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