Is there any reason to be homeless?

In the US, running out of money can definitely cause homelessness. And there are lots of ways to run out of money. Lots of ways bill can get too big to pay. Lots of ways income can vanish. When you can’t pay your mortgage or your taxes or your rent, you become homeless. More and more, our politics is designed to remove safety nets and punish the unsuccessful. The people Donald J. Trump calls ‘losers’ aren’t just homeless. They’re often hungry and ill. And they are often victims of street crime.

The fear of running out of money is very great in the US. The stronger that fear gets, the fewer people want to pay taxes to keep a safety net in place. It’s a deliberate, vicious cycle.

Answer by Ed Caruthers:

In the US, running out of money can definitely cause homelessness. And there are lots of ways to run out of money. Lots of ways bill can get too big to pay. Lots of ways income can vanish. When you can’t pay your mortgage or your taxes or your rent, you become homeless. More and more, our politics is designed to remove safety nets and punish the unsuccessful. The people Donald Trump calls “losers” aren’t just homeless. They’re often hungry and ill. And they are often victims of street crime.

The fear of running out of money is very great in the US. The stronger that fear gets, the fewer people want to pay taxes to keep a safety net in place. It’s an evil cycle. And it’s intentional.

Is there any reason to be homeless?

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What are the chances that Hillary Clinton actually stands up to Wall Street and the Billionaire class?

* What do you mean by ‘the monied class’? I’m a successful lawyer who backs Hillary Clinton largely because of her long championship of liberal issues, especially children’s rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and other minority rights. Am I part of the ‘monied class’?

I suggest that Clinton, like other solid progressive and liberal leaders, will be tough on wealthy interests when appropriate and work cooperatively with them when appropriate.  Teddy Roosevelt did. So did FDR. So did Lbj. So did President Bill Clinton So did Barack Obama So does Governor Jerry Brown in California.

Study her actual record, read her stands on the issues, find some relatively unbiased sources, and draw your own conclusions.

Madam President: Is Hillary Clinton About to Become the Most Powerful Woman Ever?

 

Answer by Andrew Weill:

This whole notion that Clinton is “bought” by “the monied class” strikes me as highly inaccurate.

Let’s note a few points:

  • Clinton is detested and feared by her Republican rivals, who paint her as a dangerous liberal.
  • Clinton has a plan for more effective regulation of Wall Street, which many consider to be more sensible than Sanders’ plan.  See What Hillary Clinton Gets (and Bernie Sanders Doesn’t) About Wall Street – The New Yorker
  • What do you mean by “the monied class”? I’m a successful lawyer who backs Clinton largely because of her long championship of liberal issues, especially children’s rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and other minority rights.  Am I part of the evil “monied class”?
  • As to speaking fees, no one has ever shown that Clinton has altered a stance due to money donations. It’s largely sheer fantasy:  she got high speaking fees, so those must be bribes, or the Clinton Foundation got large donations, so those must be bribes.  There are rather more obvious explanations, however. She got high speaking fees because she was a highly sought speaker. The foundation got large donations because it does important work and attracted major donors. Not everything merits a dark conspiratorial explanation.

I suggest that Clinton, like other solid progressive and liberal leaders, will be tough on wealthy interests when appropriate and work cooperatively with them when appropriate.  Teddy Roosevelt did. So did FDR. So did LBJ. So did Bill Clinton. So did Obama. So does Governor Jerry Brown in California.

Study her actual record, read her stands on the issues, find some relatively unbiased sources, and draw your own conclusions.

What are the chances that Hillary Clinton actually stands up to Wall Street and the Billionaire class?

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Jennifer Shahade : Queen with a castle.

Jennifer Shahade_edit

I feel that a lot of people have a very serious approach to poker.  A studious approach. So they (chess and poker) definitely are similar in that they don’t want to have a 9-to-5. A lot of chess and poker players have that artistic-streak in them where they want to like just live life on their own terms.  Sunday’s the really big poker day.  Poker is more attached to the real-world; there’s more interest in making as much 💵 as possible and staying-afloat.  You can’t blame them because the only way to make 💵 in poker is to have 💵. It’s a microcosm of a business (or life). If you don’t have 💵 to invest in a game — even if it’s a really good-game, you can’t play in it, then you can’t make that 💵.  That’s why people in poker are obsessed with 💵 — which you don’t see in chess as much. (Chess is) more like an artist’s-life where money just represents time. They need it to keep playing.

  • Jennifer Shahade is a professional poker player and two-time United States women’s chess champion.  www.jennifershahade.com

An Interview with Philly Chess and Poker Pro Jennifer Shahade | News | Philadelphia Magazine

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Attorney Michael Ratner dead at 72 (1943-2016); Lead counsel for Julian Assange; Wikileaks : The passing of a legend.

Michael Ratner***

We send our deepest condolences to his family and to all of those who knew and loved him. Family members say Michael was born with the ’empathy gene,’ which made him a wonderful and loyal friend. While a law student at Columbia University in 1968 this empathy and compassion helped him find his political focus during student against the Vietnam War. While participating in a building occupation on campus Michael was pushed to the ground and beaten by the police. Seeing his bloodied-classmates who were, like him, standing up for what’s right, he decided he would always stand on the side of the oppressed and against the oppressor.

A law student was pushed down; a radical rose up.

As Michael said; ‘Events like this created the activists of the generation and I never looked back; I declared that I was going to spend my life on the side of justice and non-violence.’ Which is exactly what Michael did until his last-breath. After law school,; Michael was drawn to the Center for Constitutional Rights; it would be his political home for over 40 years.

He started as a staff attorney on the same day as another lost CCR hero, Rhonda Copelon, who along with other CCR colleagues, built gender work into the Center’s portfolio in the early 1970s. Through the years, Michael came to embrace international law as a key tool for the Center through the counsel of Rhonda and former CCR Vice President, Peter Weiss. This work, along with Michael’s tenacity and spirit remain the defining features of CCR 50 years after it was founded.

Michael was the organizational bridge between the work of CCR’s founders, from whom he learned how to litigate boldly and work with social movements, and our current generation of lawyers and advocates. He was a mentor and inspiration to generations of law students and lawyers who have come through CCR. Twenty-four years ago, the Center’s current Executive Director, Vince Warren, was one of these students.

He shared his thoughts upon first meeting Michael as a CCR Ella Baker Intern: ‘He lived the vision for how a radical people’s lawyer could almost literally shift the world for the most precarious in our society, by shifting the ground under the most powerful. But what really shifted, was me. Hearing his stories of representing clients and political movements from every corner of the globe, I came to see how I could use my law degree for something extraordinary and eternal. It was my honor to have later served with him on CCR’s Board and to work in partnership as the Executive Director of the organization we both cherished.’

In accepting the Center’s Relentless Radical Award in 2012, Michael explained why he chose to spend his career in partnership with CCR: ‘I believed then and I still believe today, that it is the place that will change the world. I am as excited to walk into the Center today as I was that first day. And I still believe it is the place that will change the world.’ Jules Lobel, CCR’s Board President and frequent CCR co-counsel with Michael, shared ‘Michael was the moral and political compass for me and CCR. He was the spirit of the Center: his approach to litigation and working with communities, his fortitude in waging long running campaigns, and the values he held dear. These will outlive him and continue to impact CCR’s work for generations.’

Michael had the vision to see things on the horizon — things that others barely glimpsed, often dismissed, or were convinced simply didn’t exist.

From his work at CCR challenging US imperialism and oppression through policies of brutal militarism from Central America, Iraq and at home, Michael stood for peaceful conflict resolution and accountability for the inevitable abuse that accompanies the use of force. He never shied away from a fight, no matter the odds; indeed, it is likely he specifically selected the cases with the longest odds. After all, those involved in these cases were most in need of solidarity, support and a legal ally.

This was obvious in the years he spent dedicated to exposing conditions facing Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and advocating for adherence to international law and recognition of their human rights. Katherine Franke, CCR’s Board Chair, reflects on the legacy that Michael has left us with: ‘He was among the most visionary lawyers of our generation, holding the U.S. government accountable when it went to war illegally, tortured its citizens, withheld state secrets, limited the rights of a free press, persecuted political dissidents and in countless other contexts. There has hardly been a progressive social movement in the last 45 years that Michael hasn’t been part of, contributing his phenomenally creative and cutting edge legal mind. All of us who treasure freedom and oppose oppressive state violence owe a debt of gratitude to Michael Ratner.’

Michael’s special gift was his ability to turn an urgent problem into a meaningful, hard-hitting lawsuit. He sometimes won in court, but he always won in the court of public opinion; even if it took the rest of the world a decade to get there. Among his many iconic wins was gaining freedom for HIV+ Haitians held at Guantánamo Bay in 1993. This experience prepared him to recognize what was at stake when the first men were transferred to Guantánamo in 2001 — he knew that this was an attempt to place them beyond the reach of the law, the courts, reporters or lawyers.

Within months of the 9/11 attacks Michael had made a compelling case for why CCR, alone among U.S. organizations, and at the great risk of losing support, should take up the challenge to these detentions. No target was too daunting; Michael went after dictators, torturers, corporations, and the military, and he challenged the impunity of government officials everywhere.

Famously antiwar, he represented members of Congress three times over two decades in challenges to executive war making, and he represented solidarity activists who fought for peace. He fought in domestic and international legal forums for the victims of U.S. oppression in Central America, to end the illegal U.S. blockade of Cuba, and for independence for Puerto Rico. Most recently, he represented journalist Julian Assange and Wikileaks in support of whistleblowers who expose abuses and provide access to information; two things a democracy needs to be both morally accountable and functional.

Michael dedicated his life to the most important justice causes of the last half century. He was the second wave of people’s lawyers at CCR, its first Legal Director, and longtime Board Member and Board President; and as such helped shape the course of the work for four decades. He is survived by the legacy he created at CCR. We were undeservedly fortunate to have had so much of Michael’s vision, time and leadership over these many years. We send his wife Karen Ranucci, and children Jake and Ana, and the rest of his close-knit family a heartfelt embrace from the entire CCR family.

We close with Michael’s words: ‘There is not the same sense of strength in struggle that you can change things, not as there was in the ‘60s and ‘70s. You get to the point where you have a very conservative government and you feel like you are only a flickering-light. But we have to keep the light lit.’

We will keep the light lit for you Michael.

– Vincent Warren

http://ccrjustice.org/home/blog/2016/05/12/ccr-mourns-loss-hero-michael-ratner

CCR Mourns The Loss of a Hero – Michael Ratner | Center for Constitutional Rights

ccrjustice.org Thursday, May 12th, 2016, 9:27 AM PST USA

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Attorney Michael Ratner dead at 72 (1943-2016); Lead counsel for Julian Assange; Wikileaks. ‘Today we mourn; tomorrow we carry on his work’ – http://ccrjustice.org

 

From the Attica Riots, where he filed on behalf of prisoners killed and injured, to Julian AssangeMichael Ratner defended, investigated and spoke up for victims of Human Rights abuses all over the world. For 45 years, Michael brought cases with the Center for Constitutional Rights in U.S. courts related to war, torture, and other atrocities, sometimes committed by the U.S., sometimes by other regimes or corporations; from El Salvador (where in 1988, he brought the first challenge under the War Powers Resolution to the use of US troops), Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua (suing U.S. officials in 1988 on behalf of Nicaraguans raped, murdered and tortured by U.S.-backed contras), Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala, to Yugoslavia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq, and Israel. In 1991, he led the center’s challenge to the authority of President George H.W. Bush to go to war against Iraq without congressional consent. A decade later, he would become a leading critic of the George W. Bush administration, filing lawsuits related to Guantánamo, torture, domestic surveillance and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Seeking to hold the George W. Bush administration officials accountable for torture, he turned to filing cases under the principle of Universal jurisdiction in international courts — in Germany, Spain, Canada, Switzerland, and France. Michael dedicated his life to the most important fights for justice of the last half century.

When Michael decided to take on U.S. policies of indefinite detention at Guantanamo in January 2002, it was not a popular position. With Michael, the Center for Constitutional Rights became the first human rights organization to stand up for the rights of Guantanamo detainees, and Michael was a founding member of the Guantanamo Bay Bar Association, a group that grew to over 500 attorneys from all over the country working pro bono to provide representation to the men at Guantanamo that has been called the largest mass defense effort in U.S. history. Michael acted as counsel in the landmark case Rasul v. Bush and after two and a half years of litigation, CCR and co-counsel won the first Guantanamo case in the high court.

As an attorney, writer, speaker, educator, activist, and as the President of the Center for Constitutional Rights for so many years, Michael Ratner’s passion was not just for the law but for the struggle for Justice and Peace. Michael’s work on Central America, Haiti, surveillance, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, whistleblowers, war powers, and Palestine (where he helped launch the group Palestine Legal) to defend the rights of protesters in the U.S. calling for Palestinian human rights) will not soon be matched (nor forgotten). Michael’s leadership and generous spirit have shown the way for new generations of social justice lawyers. He helped found the ECCHR – European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights bringing CCR’s style of lawyering, which he helped shape, to Europe, where the legal culture was less familiar with Public interest lawyers and filing suits to press for social change. He worked with CCR and the Bertha Justice Institute on programs to educate junior lawyers, working in partnership with front-line organizations around the world and fostering artistic partnerships that bring the issues he championed his entire life to a wider audience.

Michael’s legacy is the sea of people he has touched—his family, his clients, his allies, his colleagues, and all of the young lawyers he has inspired.

Today we mourn. Tomorrow we carry on his work.

Viva La Revolución

http://ccrjustice.org/…/12/ccr-mourns-loss-hero-michael-rat…

https://www.facebook.com/notes/todd-akira-morikawa/attorney-michael-ratner-dead-at-72-1943-2016-lead-counsel-for-julian-assange-wik/10154196952599314?pnref=story

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Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email cleared by FBI probe; zero evidence of any incriminating evidence; no charges.  

Hillary Clinton‘s closest aides, including longtime adviser Huma Abedin, have provided interviews to federal investigators, as the FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the security of her private email server nears completion, say U.S. officials to CNN. Hillary Clinton has maintained from the beginning of the Republican-fueled investigation that she did nothing wrong; the FBI is well on their way to finding that she was telling the truth the whole time.

Republicans have bet the farm on their hope that The Smoking Gun would turn up and Hillary would be indicted and face court proceedings. When the FBI releases an official report concluding Hillary Clinton appears to be acting as is proper and just; it will be another crushing-blow to the GOP’s hopes for victory in the US Presidential election on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016.

Congressional Republicans have wasted millions of dollars investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails; it is apparent that they will have nothing to show for their efforts, but Donald J. Trump as their presidential nominee, and the potential for a landslide defeat in November.

Judy Montoya, Maleko Mark Swearingen and Ann Oshiro-Kauwe shared.

 

cf. http://www.dailynewsbin.com/news/colin-powell-says-hillary-clintons-email-is-a-non-issue/23756 via Prosy Delacruz

www.politicususa.com

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Hillary 2.0 

Hillary Clinton accomplishments:

• As chair of the Legal Services Corporation, tripled the budget — despite President Ronald Reagan‘s epeated attempts to kill the program.

• As chairwoman of the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, successfully brought core classes like physics, math, foreign languages and music to more than 200 high schools, and increased the number of high school graduates going to college by 25% within four years.

• Led the fight for Universal Healthcare in the early 1990s.

• As one of the most prominent women in the world, she went to China and proclaimed that ‘Women’s rightss are Human Rights.’  As Secretary of State, she reprised that; saying, ‘Gay Rights are Human Rights.’

• A leader in the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which to this day helps millions of uninsured children access healthcare.

• As First Lady, helped shepherd the Adoption and Safe Families Act to passage, which changed the way the country looked at adoption — focusing on the needs of children ahead of all other needs. It was an idea that she herself helped develop two years before and one that ultimately increased foster adoptions by more than 60%.

• Broke the glass ceiling repeatedly, serving as the first female senator from the state of New York and the first former First Lady ever to win elective office.

• As Senator for New York on 9/11; helped secure $21,000,000,000 ($21 billion) to rebuild the city — and fought to pass legislation to provide first responders with health care.

• As a Senator, advocated for veterans and service-members. On the Senate Armed Services Committee, she introduced legislation to help family members care for veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury. She also worked across the aisle (with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham) to expand health care access for members of the National Guard and reservists. For those who had lost loved ones who served, she worked to increase military survivor benefits from $12,000 to $100,000. Fought successfully to keep the Niagra Falls Air Reserve Station open, saving 800 jobs in New York.

• In the Senate, championed Immigration reform, serving as a key member fighting to pass the DREAM Act.

• In the Senate, co-wrote a law that requires drug companies to actually safety-test drugs before they are prescribed to children — and to relabel drugs with information about safety and dosing for children.

• In the Senate, ‘led the charge’ on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which ensured that companies could be held accountable for equal-pay discrimination.

• As Secretary of State, played a key role in the decision-making behind the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

• As Secretary of State, promoted American interests in China. During that period, exports to China increased 50%.

•. As Secretary of State, brought China and Russia to the table — leading to the harshest-ever sanctions on Iran. This effort ultimately resulted in the nuclear deal with Iran, which more than any other action may have kept the United States from going to war.

• As Secretary of State, achieved the New START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

• Also in Russia, achieved a number of successes on that front: in addition to the New START treaty, she got Russia to agree to bring sanctions against Iran and convinced Russia to abstain from a UN Security Council resolution granting intervention in Libya.

• As Secretary of State, personally negotiated a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

• As Secretary of State, created a new position—the ‘Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues,’ which works to promote women politically, economically, and socially around the world.

 

www.armisticedesigns.com

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