Judge Rules That Kansas Law Targeting Israel Boycotts impedes Free Speech

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Kansas temporarily blocked a law that barred state contractors from boycotting Israel. Citing that it impeded on the peoples rights of freedom of speech in America.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote in his decision that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that:

The First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law.


Several states have enacted laws in recent years amid an increasingly visible movement protesting Israel’s policies toward Palestinians. The Israeli Occupational Force has been met with plenty criticism over the years for excessive force & war crimes.

Early on in July of 2017 a bill that would criminalise boycotts against Israel was signed by 45 US senators and 237 congressman.

The so-called “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” would impose fines of up to $250,000 on any US citizen “engaged in interstate or foreign commerce” who supports a boycott of Israeli goods and services.

The US has long defended Israel in territorial disputes in the Middle East, even as the Israeli military has expanded into areas that are assigned to the Palestinians by international law.

Back in 2016 during the Obama administrations final year, the U.S. finalized a deal to give Israel $38 Billion in Military Aid, the largest of its kind ever, American and Israeli officials said. This is a increase of roughly 27 percent on the money pledged in the last agreement, which was signed in 2007.

Below are some other quick fact charts from IfAmericaKnew.org, click here for sources:

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Trey Gowdy announces he won’t be seeking re-election

Rep. Trey Gowdy released the following statement today announcing that he will leave Congress at the end of this term and return to work in the justice system. Here is his full statement:

“Words cannot adequately express my gratitude to the people of South Carolina for the privilege of representing them in the House of Representatives.

The Upstate of South Carolina has an incredible depth and breadth of assets including numerous women and men capable of representing us. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve in the People’s House and-prior to Congress-to advocate on behalf of justice in our court systems.

I will not be filing for re-election to Congress nor seeking any other political or elected office; instead I will be returning to the justice system. Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress, and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system. As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding.

There is no perfect time to make this announcement, but with filing opening in six weeks, it is important to give the women and men in South Carolina who might be interested in serving ample time to reflect on the decision.

To my wife, Terri, and our two children, Watson and Abigail: thank you for all you sacrificed, missed, or did alone so I could serve as both a prosecutor and a member of the House.

To my parents and my three sisters: thank you for having confidence in me and high expectations for me, even when I did not.

To the women and men I worked with at the South Carolina Court of Appeals, the United States District Court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, and in Congress: thank you for the texture, depth and joy you added to life.

To the law enforcement officers and victims of crime: thank you for personifying courage.

To those across South Carolina and our country who, over the past 7 years, have expressed words of encouragement, accountability and even criticism: thank you. All are needed for those in public service.

The book of Ecclesiastes teaches us there is a time and a season for all things. There is a time to start and a time to end. There is a time to come and a time to go. This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system.”

New York city takes on Big Pharma over opioid crisis

Since 2000, overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers have risen dramatically, with more than 14,000 deaths in 2014 attributed to prescription painkiller overdose. Three commonly prescribed opioid medications are Vicodin, OxyContin, and morphine.

The United States is currently suffering one of the worst drug epidemics we have seen. More kids are currently dying from opioid overdose is then those that died during the HIV epidemic. But that fact doesn’t appear to bother pharmaceutical companies. They lack empathy from the harm that its legal drugs are causing is also well-known. But that may be about to change. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is giving these companies cause to be concerned with a major lawsuit.

“It’s time for Big Pharma to pay for what they’ve done,” he said — an echo from two weeks earlier where he spoke of “big oil” during a news conference on the climate change lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Mayor de Blasio is holding Big Pharma directly responsible for fueling the Opioid crisis, according to New York Times reports. This isn’t the first time that de Blasio is taking legal action against an entire industry, since he is also suing Big Oil for its huge role in making climate change the global threat that it is today while sitting on facts.

In any case, the legal document pins many of the underlying problems that allowed the Opioid crisis to grow as much as it had on the companies making these drugs. Among the accusations that the lawsuit makes is the misrepresentation of these products as well as encouraging distributors to absolutely flood target cities with opioids.

The companies named in the lawsuit include the following: Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Cephalon, Purdue Pharma, Watson , Endo, Teva, and Janssen, which is a combination of both manufacturers and distributors. This isn’t the first time that a city actually sued entire industries over the harm that they caused with their products.

Back in the 90s, the tobacco industry was forced to make changes to how it markets its products following the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. If the NYC and other cities’ lawsuits pan out, the same changes could be seen in the pharmaceutical industry.


Watch this video to learn more:

https://youtu.be/uFgg-3PHWaw

2 ex-detectives testify about force’s robberies & extortions

Two former Baltimore Department detectives testified Monday about a series of shameless robberies, along with other illegal activities by a rogue police unit. The indicted, now ex-detectives, Evodio Hendrix & Jemell Rayam, who each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, took the stand in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in fashionable jail jumpsuits.

They are among six other former policemen who have also pleaded guilty and among four who are cooperating with the government during the trial of two detectives fighting corruption charges.

Mr.Rayam testified about a July 2016 robbery of a married couple who were handcuffed after they were seen leaving Home Depot and taken to a police substation nicknamed “The Barn,” even though there was absolutely zero evidence that they had committed any crime at the time.

The indictment alleges that Gun Trace Task Force supervisor Sgt. Wayne Jenkins posed as a federal official during their interrogation.

After Ronald Hamilton disclosed that he had about $40,000 in cash at the couple’s house outside the city, the Gun Trace Task Force detectives drove the handcuffed couple to their Carroll County property, called a relative to pick up their children, and then searched the ‘suspects’ house looking for cash, according to Rayam’s testimony .

They robbed $20,000 before they called other law enforcement agencies to the couple’s home, Rayam testified, saying he “took the cash and put it in the police cruiser that we were driving.”

He testified the detectives divided up the money and went out celebrating that night blowing the money at two casinos.

Hendrix testified earlier on in the day about a $100,000 robbery from a safe following a home invasion that prosecutors are saying involved Detective Marcus Taylor. He said Mr.Taylor held the camera during the subsequent staging of police body-camera video to make it seem like legitimate police business.

Hendrix testified that Taylor used part of his $20,000 share from that illegal payday to build a deck addition at his town house. Taylor and Detective Daniel Hersl have pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering and robbery, standing strong on their defense.

Jenkins kept two duffel bags in his cruiser ready with gear including; black ski masks, a grappling hook, a sledgehammer, and also a machete, according to Hendrix’s testimony.

This current ongoing trial is one of the largest scandals in the city police force’s history. This all comes as a monitoring team is overseeing court-ordered reforms as part of a federal consent decree reached last January between Baltimore and the U.S. Justice Department due to discriminatory and unconstitutional policing.

Dozens of cases handled by unit members have been dropped by prosecutors since detectives were indicted in March. Davis, who was recently fired as commissioner, disbanded the Gun Trace Task Force last year, describing the indicted officers as “1930s-style gangsters.” The time is now for nationwide Police reform, to many times we hear stories like this within departments with people who swore to protect the very ones they’re robbing.

US set to resume accepting refugees in from 11 countries Trump deemed to be ‘high risk’

The US will resume refugee admissions from 11 countries after halting any admissions from those countries last October to conduct a 90-day security review.

Some senior administration officials said Monday that the admissions are set to resume with added security screenings, including more in-depth interviews.

President Trump temporarily halted refugee admissions from 11 “high-risk” countries last October, when he signed an executive order ending his temporary ban on refugee admissions.

Officials did not elaborate on any of the new additional screening measures, but did say that many of the changes will be implemented before June of this year.


US homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday:

“We will be rolling out new security measures for applicants from high-risk countries which will seek to prevent the program from being exploited by terrorists, criminals and fraudsters.”


Meanwhile officials would not confirm which of the 11 countries were subject of the announcement, at the end of 2016, higher-security screening was put in place for Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

No refugees that have been admitted to the US have been implicated in a single major fatal terrorist attack since the Refugee Act of 1980, according to an analysis of terrorism and immigration by the Cato Institute.

The United States already has the most vigorous refugee referral and vetting process, which by the way, can take up to two years and involves background checks with several federal agencies, on top of other interviews & medical checks.

The Latest – Your Berning Week

Giovanni LoPiccolo

Welcome to The Latest – Your Berning Week, where we give you the biggest stories and incidents of the week in a small briefing and some perspective/opinions on the issue. You can read the full articles on the official Berning Media Network website for more information.

 

Sunday, January 21st

  • United States government enters third day in shutdown.
  • Republicans and Donald Trump attempt to shift blame onto Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, trying to make “Schumer Shutdown” a thing.
  • Hundreds of thousands of men and women gather once again in momentous Women’s Marches around the country.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the blame-game being started by both the Republicans and Democrats, but we can surely say that it is Donald Trump’s fault. President Trump has not made any indication that he’s willing to make a deal or compromise. His efforts on including border wall funding and immigration solutions in such a compromise are nonexistent. He wants to be seen as the man who brought together all peoples, but is doing the direct opposite. No surprise here. To the Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer has some explaining to do on his willingness to give up on DACA. Seems that we should have a new Minority Leader in the Senate, since this man truly does not represent the needs of the Democratic Party, which is trying to move more left lately (Thanks to Bernie Sanders and a few others).

In regard to the Women’s Marches, it’s a sign of hope and a beacon of light in this dark era we continue to wander around in. The Trump Administration is trying to pick us off one by one, by race, creed, sexual orientation, etc., but it won’t happen. It’s good to see that there are still hundreds of thousands, and even millions of us, that are against this reactionary agenda and Administration.

 

Monday, January 22nd

  • Olympic Gold Medalist, Aly Raisman confronts US Olympic team doctor, Larry Nassar on being sexually assaulted. Ms. Raisman also confronted the US Olympic Committee for allowing such behavior and assault to persist for years on end.
  • Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Israel is met with substantial protests by Palestinian Leaders.

 

Aly Raisman is one of many women coming forward and grabbing the bulls by the horn, in a sense, in controlling how this fight goes. Women, and men too, need to support each other in standing up for one another because these disgusting individuals can’t go unpunished. Her ferocity with the US Olympic Committee is reassuring as well, for we those who sit by and watch the crime happen are just as guilty as those who committed it.

The Palestinians have every right to protest Mike Pence’s visit, since the man is just a pawn of Donald Trump’s agenda. The decision to name Jerusalem the irrefutable capital of Israel was a reckless and really an inappropriate thing to do. On one hand, the Jewish people have suffered immense pain throughout history and should be compensated. But, pushing out one population to fit in another is not right either. The US needs to take a position on helping both the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as punish them both for acting aggressively (economically through sanctions) towards each other. The end goal is to establish a home for both peoples, to establish peace in the region. Choosing a side, in this situation, doesn’t do anyone good. The Israeli government’s actions being taken to quell any independent news of the revolts and protests must be met with significant discipline.

 

Tuesday, January 23rd

  • School shooting takes place in a Kentucky high school, leaving two 15 year old students dead. Fourteen students were wounded, nine of which were shot directly, and the other five not injured by gunfire.
  • Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announces that shooter will be charged with murder and attempted murder.

This is an act of terror taking place in our homes far too often, and an act only responded with by “thoughts and prayers”. This excuse to answering to mass shootings has been overused, it’s disheartening and disappointing that our legislators aren’t taking further action on gun control. Democrats, liberals, and progressives don’t want to take away your guns! We want to ensure the safety of all people in every community, town, city, and state. We want to make sure that someone who isn’t stable, mentally or emotionally, shouldn’t have guns. Is it really that ridiculous to want to make sure crazy people don’t have guns? Come on, this isn’t about taking away our Second Amendment Right, it’s about bringing some sanity and safety.

 

Wednesday, January 24th

  • Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon becomes richest man in the world and reaches highest net-worth after the launch of Amazon Go.

Any real news here? Not really. Just another company head becoming even more wealthy as the rest of the nation and world loses out. The rest of us as in the 99%. Of course this coincides greatly with the GOP’s tax plan that is surely going to give Mr. Bezos even more money.

 

Thursday, January 25th

  • In a commune within the City of Milan, Italy, Pioltello, a devastating train crash leaving 3 confirmed dead and over 100 injured. The crash happened at the Pioltello Limito Station where two train cars derailed, causing the crash.

 

Friday, January 26th

  • Donald Trump joins numerous world leaders in Davos, Switzerland on a forum on economics. Promotes message of America First
  • Is met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel stating the following on such isolation, “Ever since the Roman Empire, ever since the Chinese Wall, we know that shutting ourselves off doesn’t help to protect your borders,” she said. “You also need good cooperation with your neighbors, you need good agreements, valid agreements that are respected.

Yet again, the real leader of the free world gives the Donald another important history lesson. Shutting yourself out does you no good. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has recently won a fourth term, showing that this woman knows what she’s doing and what she’s talking about. Her openness to welcoming fleeing refugees, maintaining social welfare policies and expanding them, and even keeping Vladimir Putin in place, are examples of what a true leader is like. Donald Trump is a mere child, he is overshadowed by a powerful woman who is the face of western democracy and the face of an inclusive global community. I’m completely fine with having Chancellor Merkel hold the mantle of Leader of the Free World, for our commander-in-chief neither shows it or deserves it.

 

 

 

Sources:
https://berningmedianetwork.com/
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/01/trump-inner-car-salesman-davos-speech
https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/22/headlines