A reader writes: "The UK Pirate Party is launching their 2015 crowdsourced policy platform for their manifesto leading to the 2015 general election." Read the rest
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What is a surprising is that the State Department never bothered to create an account for Clinton, The New York Times reported. Furthermore, her staff did not abide by the Federal Records Act, which requires government employees to preserve correspondence on departmental servers. Letters and emails by federal officials are considered government property and should thus remain in the public sphere, not private emails, so they can be used in the National Archives.
Only two months ago, in response to a new State Department federal record-keeping audit, Clinton’s advisers were forced to analyze thousands of personal emails. How many emails were in Clinton’s account is not clear, but as a result her aids turned over some 55,000 pages of emails that were selectively submitted to the authorities by her former staff.
— Doyle Industries (@DoyleGlobal) March 3, 2015
According to Clinton's spokesman, Nick Merrill, the former First Lady – and potential 2016 presidential candidate – defended her use of a personal account, claiming the 67-year-old is complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”
Merrill said that because the former secretary of state had been corresponding with other State Department officials at their government accounts, she had “every expectation they would be retained.” Nothing was mentioned about her correspondence with world leaders who do not use a state.gov account.
“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario – short of nuclear winter – where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath told NYT.
RT:Is it fair to characterize that perhaps police violence is increasing? Or is it just the public and the media talking about it more?
Robert Ganji: It is a good question, and I do not know what the absolute correct response is. It is certainly true that we are talking about it more. It certainly true that these issues are getting more public attention, a lot more media attention. In New York City, which I’m most familiar with, the issue of discriminatory and abusive policing began to get attention 2-3 years ago around the issue of stop and frisk. Bill de Blasio during the 2013 mayor campaign used the issue of stop and frisk and abusive policing as a centerpiece of his campaign. There was a famous ad in the NYC with his young son, who is obviously a son of de Blasio’s marriage with a black woman, so he is a black race child. He appears to be a black teenager, enormously charming and good looking, and he said: “vote for my father because he is going to eliminate abusive policing and discriminatory policing.”
— TIGERLILY (@tigerlilyysays) February 4, 2015
So in NYC it is an issue that has gotten a lot more attention than ever it has in the past. And it is also true nationally, with all the attention from the Michael Brown incident and the no indictment in that case. And the police shooting of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy in Cleveland. The Garner case in New York City where it was clearly a case of excessive force by the police and again no indictment. And then just recently we have the shooting of a homeless, colored man in Los Angeles getting a lot more attention than it would have gotten in my view certainly a year or two ago.
RT: So what about all that talk about body cameras? Do you see that as something that is necessary or do you think it might interrupt police activity?
RG: The body cameras we see as a positive step, as a constructive step but it won’t get to the heart of the problem. If the Eric Garner incident shows us anything – there you have a video- there is no body camera that is going to give you as clear film as to what actually happen than that video did. And still it resulted in no indictment of the police officers involved.
We think body cameras could be a constructive step. It could possibly curb an officer who might be inclined to be abusive or disrespectful. But again, we think it is more of a superficial step in the right direction. We need very strong measures being adopted by the politicians and police commissioners who are responsible for the police departments in order to get to the heart of the problem.
RT: So do you think this is more of a systemic thing, rather than adding more equipment to officers?
RG: The quota system is definitely a part of the heart of the problem. In New York despite Bratton’s denials, we clearly have a quota system within the NYPD. And officers, including officers of color and white officers, are under pressure every day and every week to make the numbers. That means stops. That means arrests. And that means some incidents.
Officers do not get credit for constructive interactions with the community. They only get credit within the department for punitive interactions. One officer said to me – and this is a very illuminating quote...he was one of the few officers who would publicly object to quotas because of such a fear of retaliation from the department. So he said to me, “if I happened to break up a fight between two boys in school and send them home – I don't get credit. If I help deliver a baby in an emergency – I don't get credit. I'll get high marks if I give out a seatbelt ticket or make an arrest.” And the reason why I think that quote is so illuminating is that it turns on its head the idea of good policing that most people have.
DEA special agent Matt Fairbanks, also a member of Utah's marijuana eradication team, testified against the bill recently, explaining how quickly growing a cash crop like marijuana could get out of hand and the devastation that happens to the environment.
“I deal in facts. I deal in science,” Fairbanks told a Senate committee.
“I have seen entire mountainsides subject to pesticides, harmful chemicals and deforestation and erosion. The ramifications to the flora and animal life – even rabbits that have cultivated a taste for marijuana. One of them refused to leave us and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone."
As noted by the Guardian, though, Fairbanks did not detail why growing marijuana would be more damaging than harvesting crops such as corn and wheat, both of which are grown using similar techniques and pesticides.
— Inquisitr News (@theinquisitr) March 2, 2015
The Utah bill under consideration would legalize edible marijuana, allowing it to be cultivated and sold in products such as brownies, candy and lozenges. It would also allow for indoor growing operations, with seed-to-sale tracking, testing and regulation. Patients would be issued a medical marijuana card and a debit card to process their payments.
The Utah Senate committee gave the bill its first hearing on Thursday, with comments from supporters and dissenters. The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Mark Madsen, said he began researching marijuana after having back pain for years. When his doctor recommended marijuana, he travelled to Colorado to try it through cannabis-infused gummy bears and an electronic-cigarette device.
Madsen said he found the treatment effective and added that if the state can push past years of propaganda and misunderstanding regarding pot, it would bring compassion and freedom to those who are suffering.
“This bill introduces a very small element of highly regulated freedom to willing patients and willing doctors,” Madsen said, according to the Associated Press.
Republican Sen. Todd Weiler told the committee when he was in Nevada recently he saw a billboard with a giant pot leaf on it.
“It said, 'Call Dr. Weed' and a phone number. Is that what we're [bringing] to Utah?” he said before casting one of the two dissenting votes.
The bill passed the Senate committee vote 3-2. Madsen is confident his bill will pass the GOP-controlled Senate, where it heads for debate. If passed, the bill then goes before the GOP-controlled House.