Los Angeles' largest oil production company is abruptly beginning below-ground operations in the West Adams and Jefferson Park neighborhoods in possible preparation for fracking at the sites. The work is taking place despite a 10-0 vote in favor of a moratorium on fracking by the LA City Council on February 28 and overwhelming support for a fracking moratorium at the Democratic state convention held not far from the two locations this weekend.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
"Wow. What a tragedy. For the Senate. For the country. For Debo.
This how the Senate, and other people with power and resources, view civil rights attorneys. 'Adegbile came under fire for his representation of a convicted killer of a police officer and his leadership tenure at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.' I was an LDF attorney. I helped spring former Black Panther leader Geronimo Pratt from prison after 27 years for a crime he did not commit. I helped reform the LA County Sheriff's Department through the historic Thomas class action. I helped overturn the conviction and death sentence of an indigent black man on Death Row in Georgia for rape, sodomy and murder of a six year old girl. The state then dropped all charges for lack of evidence. Rejecting Debo is a slap in the face of civil rights lawyers who represent unpopular people in unpopular causes.
Plus, Debo was a child star on Sesame Street.
My LDF colleague Bill Lann Lee was acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Justice Department under Clinton - but Bill never did criminal defense work, and even he was never confirmed by the Senate.
Ambitious young lawyers will be inspired to follow safe career paths as prosecutors and corporate lawyers. Like Sonya Sotomayor.
And people wonder why it is so hard to do the work we do.
We would do it all over again."
Propelled by passionate grass-roots environmentalists, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an anti-fracking moratorium on February 28, finally landing the issue in the center of California politics.
Unlike New York or Pennsylvania, where active fracking has triggered a widespread protest, the issue in California is more a potential threat than an in-your-backyard reality. The exception is Kern County, the long center of California's drilling operations. Massive fracking operations are predicted, however, across the vast Monterey Shale region, which encompasses the Central Valley and reaches parts of the Los Angeles basin and Santa Barbara. Some experts project the Monterey Shale formation to contain fifteen billion barrels of oil.
Haven't the Republicans, the neo-conservatives and the mainstream media been telling us all these years that America won the Cold War? They spoke too soon. From the residue of the old Soviet Union, a new nationalist, nuclear-armed, resource-rich Russia has risen to challenge Western claims of triumphalism. The new Cold War is upon us, and the American elites have no suggestions except to fight it again.
Fernando Gonzales became the second member of the Cuban Five to be repatriated to his homeland when he arrived at Havana's Jose Marti airport on Friday. His prison term cut from nineteen to fifteen years, it was a long journey for Gonzales from a desert cell in Arizona to his release in Havana.
This was one deportation to celebrate.
Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing a presidential run. While it can still be called off, volunteers already are eyeing Iowa and New Hampshire, a database is being prepared, and factions being formed, and its only winter 2014.
The US national security elite, mainstream media, and therefore most of the American people, are in strategic denial of the fact that the Taliban are winning the war in Afghanistan. Why is the denial "strategic"? Because our government and military establishment cannot easily admit failure without damaging our super-power status and their multiple careers. However, such a denial also risks never learning the lessons.
Cuban players were the best in major league baseball last year, and their rise will further thaw the frozen relations between our countries.
The impact of the new Cuban players last season was "unprecedented", in the view of Baltimore Orioles owner John Angelos, whose team played a series in Cuba and Baltimore in 1999. "We took the Orioles there not to get defectors but as a vehicle to get Americans to be aware of the common ground," he told me. The common ground is widening.
The peace and justice movement should realize that we've played a role in undermining public support for direct US military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Egypt and Iran. In several cases we have helped galvanize congressional opposition -Iraq, Afghanistan - and seen AIPAC rebuffed by Obama over the crisis in Iran. US drone attacks have declined in part because of public resistance. While it's impossible for the peace forces to claim "victory" given the massive suffering and squandering of resources, it's important to realize that grass-roots activism has a relevance which is irritating to the self-anointed national security experts and clandestine services.