tagged w/ Lamar Smith
Congressman Lamar Smith Wants Political Approval Of Scientific Papers – Bill Clinton Is Still A Lying TurdBill Clinton: Hillary speculation is waste of time-Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas really does not understand science. Not scientific method, not scientific theories or laws, none of it.Bill Clinton: Hillary speculation is waste of time-Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas... more
Recently in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg proposed a ban on super-sized drinksand it seems more Americans are upset over the proposed prohibition than theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act. On Thursday, US lawmakers deliberated whetheror not the bill's overseas spying power should be re-established and used athome. FISA is one of several bills that are aiming at Internet freedom's forAmericans. David Seaman, host of The DL Show, gives us his take.
http://youtu.be/X6z9c5RmIgERecently in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg proposed a ban on super-sized drinksand it... more
Congress is calling SOPA a way to prevent online infringement and piracy. However, those committed to free speech rights and creative innovation know that this is nothing more than an attempt to compromise Internet security, free speech and creative license. As currently drafted the legislation would grant the government and other parties unprecedented power to force ISPs and search engines to redirect or block users' attempts to reach certain websites. This in turn would threaten the security and reliability of the Internet as a whole in creating other third party servers besides severely limiting free speech. And under SOPA's provisions ISPs would also be pressured to monitor user activities.
YouTube Video on how PROTECT IP / SOPA Act Breaks the Internet http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HGEUhCfQ464
House Bill - H.R.3261 - Stop Online Piracy Act (aka SOPA) http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/show
Senate Bill - S.968 - PROTECT IP Act of 2011 (aka PIPA)
All in all this is a direct attempt to limit free exchange of ideas on the Internet, the truly last bastion of freedom we have. Therefore, in response to the SOPA black out day scheduled for January 18 to coincide with witness testimony in Washington DC, we were hoping members of Current would also become involved in a site wide showing of solidarity for Internet freedom against SOPA.
Therefore, we are asking those interested in participating on January 18 to respond in this thread with the following responses: "Boycotting" or "Post about SOPA" to let us know how you intend to participate. We are also urging everyone to list this in all their groups and to come on January 18 to vote up all SOPA posts. Now we cannot force or limit anyone from posting on other topics, but to make a showing where the majority of articles on the front of the Community page would address this important topic with the responses reading "Stop SOPA" would send a message that we who use the Internet are serious about preserving its freedom.
Senate will vote on the Internet censorship on Tuesday, January 24th. You can find where your Members of Congress Stand on SOPA and PIPA http://projects.propublica.org/sopa/.
Click http://my.americancensorship.org/ to see what is happening in your state.
Please then participate on January 18 and respond in this thread so we have an idea of how many people here will participate in this show of web wide solidarity for freedom.
MotherForTruth / JanforGoreCongress is calling SOPA a way to prevent online infringement and piracy. However,... more
I stand with the participants of this video against SOPA/PIPA.
I AM FOR A FREE AND OPEN INTERNET.
DO you hear us, Congress?
Stand together today as a community and as a country and oppose PIPA and demand SOPA be left dead and not in a coma. Our freedom of expression, creativity and free speech are being threatened by those with the power and money to shut the Internet down to protect their own profits.
The Internet is the peoples' agora. KEEP IT FREE!
I will only be posting about PIPA today and voting all posts about it UP.
Please vote this up!I stand with the participants of this video against SOPA/PIPA. I AM FOR A FREE AND... more
The media's blackout of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's Protect IP Act (PIPA) started from Day 1, but you've been talking about it for months. Follow this thread throughout the day as we'll continue to round up the SOPA/PIPA conversation in the Current.com community, as well as Twitter.
Today marks a blackout on the part of several websites, including Wikipedia and Reddit, who are going dark to protest both bills.
To get started, here's a look from our partners at Crimson Hexagon at where the most social-network chatter about SOPA/PIPA has been happening (click on the graphic to see a larger version):
The media's blackout of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the... more
Weekly Diaspora: Texas Excludes Low-Income Latinos from Census, Expedites Visas for Wealthy Mexican ImmigrantsBy Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger
Newly released census figures show that the Latino population in the United States surged by 43 percent in the last 10 years, comprising 50 million people. According to New America Media’s Nina Martin, this marks the first decade since the 1960s when the number of Latino births exceeded the number of immigrants. But, the this increase notwithstanding, it seems that a sizable portion of the Latino population may not have been counted at all.
As Claudio Rowe reports at Equal Voice Newspaper / New America Media, officials in Hidalgo County, Texas, are planning to sue the federal government for failing to count as many as 300,000 Texas residents living along the U.S.-Mexico border. The residents, most of whom live in unincorporated subdivisions called colonias, are predominately U.S.-born Latinos (65 percent). Though community organizers spent months preparing families to participate in the census, the federal government failed to mail census forms to 95 percent of colonia residents—allegedly deeming them “hard to count.” The omission could lose the state tens of millions of dollars in social services funding over the next decade.
But that’s not all, as Rowe explains:
Aside from money, census undercounts can drastically affect political representation by triggering the redrawing of electoral districts. So across the nation, inaccurate population figures could affect elections for thousands of government offices over the next 10 years – everything from school board members to state representatives.
Texas redistricting discounts Latino population
In large part because of high Latino population growth, in fact, Texas is set to gain four new congressional districts—and the battle over their geographic make-up has already begun, despite the likely exclusion of several hundred thousand Texans.
Patrick Brendel of The American Independent notes that, while U.S. Reps. Lamar Smith (R) and Joe Barton (R) feud over whether the new districts should favor a particular political party, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) has filed a redistricting lawsuit against state leaders, alleging “that the population numbers being used for the State’s 2011 redistricting process “severely undercounts Latinos.” MALC’s petition adds:
“The creation of redistricting plans for Texas election districts using the defective 2010 census data discriminates against Latino voters and is not legally enforceable.”
Opponents argue that non-citizens shouldn’t be included in the census at all, because redrawing political districts to accommodate undocumented populations dilutes the voting power of actual citizens. How the U.S.-born colonia residents who were excluded from this census fit into that schema, however, remains unclear.
The whole debacle does elucidate one important point, though: Low-income Latinos and undocumented migrants are similarly marginalized by both state and local governments—regardless of their citizenship status.
Texas welcomes wealthy Mexican immigrants, rejects working class undocumented
At the Texas Observer, Melissa Del Bosque reinforces that point when she notes that, while U.S. immigration policy has grown increasingly hostile towards Mexican immigrants in general, the government has been remarkably accommodating toward wealthy Mexican immigrants. She reports that Texas border cities are doing everything they can to encourage Mexican investment in the state, even brokering deals with the federal government to expedite visas for wealthy investors eager to flee Mexico’s security crisis:
“If you are in Mexico City you would call Progreso Bridge and say, this is our credit card number, this is our plane, this is who is on it,” Hernan Gonzalez, the Weslaco EDC executive director, told the McAllen Monitor. “They would already be in a registry … and then the officers would come and clear you based upon when you are going to land.”
By contrast, only 2 percent of the 11,000 Mexicans who have sought asylum from cartel violence gained entry into the United States, according to the Texas Observer’s Susana Hayward. Del Bosque adds that “Mexicans who invest $500,000 or more in a company that creates at least 10 jobs can obtain U.S. residency in a matter of months,” thereby avoiding the growing immigration case backlog in the United States. (As of February 2011, the average waiting period for immigration cases was 467 days—a 44 percent increase since 2008.)
It’s a stark reminder that the escalating furor over immigration reform is as much about class as it is about race, nationality or culture.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Diaspora for a complete list of articles on immigration issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, and health care issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Pulse. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger Newly released census figures... more
by Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger
After commanding the world’s attention in 2010 with its cavalier stance on immigration, the Arizona state legislature is threatening—once again—to dominate national immigration discourse and policy.
This week, Arizona state Senator and Senate President-Elect Russell Pearce (R) spoke candidly with CNN’s Jessica Yellin about his plans to introduce a birthright citizenship bill in Arizona this coming January—a move likely to be echoed in the impending Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Invoking the hysterical “anchor baby” hype that dominated some right-wing circles earlier this year, Pearce intends to pass state legislation denying automatic (or “birthright”) citizenship to the the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Though birthright citizenship is constitutionally mandated under the 14th amendment and protected by Supreme Court precedent, it has nevertheless become a rallying cry for number of extremely anti-immigrant Republicans.
And while Pearce pushes the measure in Arizona, an influx of Republican U.S. representatives headed by Steve King (R-IA), the incoming chairman of the subcommittee that oversees immigration, will likely attempt to push a similar bill through Congress, according to Valeria Fernández at New America Media.
The plan, Fernández notes, is to take the contentious issue all the way to the (largely conservative) Supreme Court. But even if the issue makes it that far, it’s unlikely that the court would rule in its favor. This issue has reached the Supreme Court twice before (United States v. Wong Kim Arkin in 1898 and Pyler v. Doe in 1982) and in both cases the court maintained that birthright citizenship is constitutionally guaranteed.
Arizona: A model police state
As Pearce pushes the envelope on contentious immigration legislation in 2011, a flock of lawmakers from other states are scrambling to imitate his 2010 trailblazer, SB 1070—the controversial immigration law currently being challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice and a host of public interest organizations. Luke Johnson at the Washington Independent reports that legislators from 25 states are planning to introduce SB 1070 copycat bills next year. While the individual bills vary in scope and detail, they abide by the gist of SB 1070—criminalizing “illegal” immigrants, empowering or requiring law enforcement to ascertain and share the immigration status of individuals based on scant (or no) evidence, etc. Immigrant rights groups are concerned that the copycat bills would lead to racial profiling and the unlawful detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants without criminal records.
While few, if any, of the proposed measures are likely to pass unchallenged, the immense control Republicans now wield over state legislatures is cause for concern—as is the apparently immense influence Arizona lawmakers wield over their conservative neighbors.
Courtesy of the Washington Independent, here’s a breakdown of the states proposing copycat measures, and the likely outcomes:
Most likely to pass: Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina
Maybe: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia
Less Likely: Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island
Arizona’s ethnic studies ban goes into effect
Meanwhile, at the national level, the GOP plans to build support for its hard-line immigration agenda by propagating the fallacious notion that “illegal”immigrants steal American jobs and thus weaken the economy, according to Suzy Khimm at Mother Jones.
Accordingly, incoming House Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) hopes to expand the E-Verify program—a controversial, federally-managed electronic system that allows employers to check the immigration status of potential employees. The program is supposed to drive down undocumented immigration by helping employers identify and then avoid hiring undocumented immigrants, but it has taken heat lately after a study suggested it was inaccurate 50 percent of the time.
Again, the fate of this immigration initiative could be shaped by what happens in Arizona, where an employer sanctions law requiring businesses to enroll in E-Verify has been challenged by the United States Chamber of Commerce. The case was heard before the Supreme Court earlier this month, with the federal government challenging the law on many of the same grounds upon which it is challenging SB 1070—chiefly that it preempts federal law. If the court rules against the employer sanctions law, the ruling could present serious implications for the proposed expansion of E-Verify which, while voluntary, is already unpopular with businesses concerned about the program’s cost and accuracy.
Arizona remains center stage in immigration debate
In 2010, Arizona legislators dominated the national immigration debate. As evidenced by Sarah Kate Kramer’s recap of the year in immigration at Feet in 2 Worlds, immigration discourse and policy across the national centered on several key events in Arizona. Most notably, Arizona made history by passing SB 1070 and a host of other controversial bills including bans on ethnic studies and equal opportunity programs. A campaigning Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reinvented himself—from an immigrant sympathizer and DREAM Act supporter to a hard-line immigration hawk who just wants to “complete the danged fence.”
Perhaps the most powerful discourse- and policy-shaping tools wielded by Arizona officials, however, were simply lies. In March, public mania over border violence peaked after Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever erroneously claimed that Arizona rancher Robert N. Krentz Jr. was shot dead by an undocumented immigrant. Then, in June, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer made the outrageous (and widely disproven) claim that law enforcement agencies had found beheaded corpses in the Arizona desert.
Through the crafting of draconian immigration laws and the unabashed spread of misinformation, the Arizona legislature cast itself as a major player in the national immigration debate this year. Having done so, it looms as a a powerful force to be reckoned with in the next.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Diaspora for a complete list of articles on immigration issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, and health care issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Pulse. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger After commanding the... more
Know the enemies of the earth among us. If you've ever wondered why clean energy legislation is always stalled or voted down, consult this list of corrupt oil/coal company reps that also happen to be public officials. You may be shocked (or not) to find a representative from your home state on this unwanted list.Know the enemies of the earth among us. If you've ever wondered why clean energy... more
Eight years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the United States still has no reliable system for verifying that foreign visitors have left the country.Eight years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the United States still has no... more