Bet you thought the silly season ended with the last presidential primary. Wrong. It just continues at the state and local levels. Yesterday Arizona and Florida held theirs. Here are some the more notable results. Arizona: Republican Sen. John McCain has also won the primary race for his Senate seat. His main opponent in this …
Aug 31 2016
Apr 27 2016
While the majority of the political world was focused on the five Eastern state primaries, a unique debate took place Monday night. Senatorial hopefuls Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Rep. David jolly (R-FL) participated in Florida Open Debate for U.S. Senate. They are both vying for the Senate seat vacated by Marco Rubio and both …
Mar 10 2016
“I Feared for my Life!” says mini George Zimmerman Gun-loving Florida mom shot by 4-year-old son hours after bragging he ‘gets jacked up’ to shoot Travis Gettys, Raw Story A gun-loving social media activist was shot and wounded Tuesday by her 4-year-old son while driving. Investigators said Jamie Gilt was driving a four-door pickup truck …
Nov 22 2014
Transgender Day of Celebration is a new event, totally non-standardized, which has been added at the End of Transgender Day of Awareness, as a time we can remember and acknowledge the good things that have happened to us as we integrated into our new lives.
A dinner and community gathering to share in each other’s company, meet new trans*-identified friends and give thanks for the love and support of our community. We will also be having a clothing exchange, so bring your pre-transition clothes that’ve been wasting away in the closet!
Transgender Day of Celebration is an opportunity for trans people and all who love them to come together and celebrate. We celebrate our own trans lives, and we celebrate the trans people whose lives have touched ours.
–Jamez Terry, MCC Boston
I’m integrating some stories from unusual sources to help establish the mood.
Nov 15 2014
In times of trouble federally and at the state level, the battle for equal treatment and access moves to the local level.
In recent times I have written about current attempts to move us forward in South Florida and Northeast Ohio.
Jul 06 2013
Francisco Alvarado at Banana Republic nails it: The Christian Family Coalition Hates Transgender People Too. Not surprisingly, the CFC opposes legal protections and the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for gender-variant people.
The Miami-Dade County Commission is considering an amendment to the county’s human rights ordinance that would protect transfolk from discrimination. In response CFC executive director Anthony Vedrugo is rallying his unholy band to show up at the Commission’s July 8 meeting to oppose the measure. You can see the message Vedrugo fired off to his
gang of ruffians followers on the inside.
Mar 25 2012
The tragic murder of a 17 year old black walking home in the rain by a so-called neighborhood watchman who apparently chased him down and shot him because this young black man “looked suspicious” has dominated the news this past week. It has the media and the country enraged about the law in Florida that allowed the perpetrator to not just walk away, but walk away never having been questioned by the police about what occurred and walk away with the gun that killed an unarmed child. This man is still free, still unquestioned by authorities and still armed.
MSNBC’s Up with Chris dedicated its entire two hours to a discussion about the public call for justice, how these “Stand Your Ground” laws that allowed his assailant to walk were passed by state legislatures and the ramifications. The Up w/ Chris Hayes panel, The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Nation‘s Liliana Segura, the Bernard Center’s Michelle Bernard, and former police officer Peter Moskos, discuss the case in detail and the national cause it has become.
Lisa Graves, the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, joins the Up w/ Chris Hayes panelists to discuss “Stand Your Ground” and the nationwide gun lobby.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes and his panel share what they know from the week’s news, including reports that the number of justified homicides in Florida has increased since the state’s “Stand Your Ground” bill was signed into law.
Dec 17 2011
Some encouraging news in the on going call for an investigation into foreclosure fraud, Sen Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called for Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the fraud before letting the bank off with a pitiful settlement $20 billion and a “get out of jail” card for criminal charges, She also demanded a full investigation into robo-signing scandal and ‘pump and dump’ mortgage bubble scheme:
I am concerned that recently reported settlement proposals will effectively absolve these financial institutions of substantial civil and criminal liability in one of the largest alleged fraud schemes during the financial crisis. Specifically, I am concerned that the proposed settlement includes a release from liability that may be far too sweeping, does not adequately compensate victims, does not require enough of banks to reform the system that led to the crisis in the first place, and is being made before all the facts are known and without the backing of a full inquiry into the size and scope of the alleged fraud.
Without a thorough investigation, it is impossible to truly estimate just how pervasive the defects in the foreclosure and securitization process are. Continued reports of wrongful foreclosures, forged documents, and an inability of servicers and banks to prove chain of title and the legal right to foreclosure, raises the very alarming possibility that these defects were endemic to the mortgage servicing industry across the country. The sheer magnitude of the potential fallout from these defects demands that we undertake a full investigation to uncover the true scope of wrongdoing before providing blanket immunity to the perpetrators.
I am also concerned that reports of a settlement in the range of $20 billion, as recently reported, may not adequately compensate the victims of the foreclosure crisis. As a result of the pump-and-dump scheme perpetrated by the nation’s largest banks that inflated – and burst – the housing bubble, an estimated 14 million Americans are underwater, owing $700 billion more on their homes than those homes are worth. A $20 billion settlement is woefully inadequate to compensate the wrongfully evicted or homeowners struggling to stay in their homes. Much more should be required of banks to provide meaningful help underwater homeowners and compensate foreclosure fraud victims.
And some good news for homeowners facing foreclosure in Florida:
WEST PALM BEACH – Homeowners in foreclosure may have a better chance of getting a true trial, instead of a quickie judgment, following a 4th District Court of Appeal decision that requires banks to prove ownership of the note at the time they file for repossession.
The ruling Wednesday in Palm Beach County was heralded by foreclosure defense attorneys who said it may even force banks to dismiss some cases and start over with new paperwork.[..]
Wednesday’s ruling was on the case of Robert McLean vs. JPMorgan Chase, and involved a 2009 Broward County foreclosure.
According to the decision, which reversed a lower court’s verdict in favor of the bank, Chase originally filed the foreclosure claiming the note – basically the IOU from the borrower – was “lost, stolen or destroyed.”
The claim has been made thousands of times as lenders rushed without the proper documentation to take back homes tangled up in the real estate boom’s securitization frenzy.
Although most notes are found before a final foreclosure judgment is entered, the 4th DCA said the note also must be correctly dated and endorsed to show ownership before the foreclosure was initially filed – something that Chase didn’t have, according to the ruling. The court also questioned a mortgage assignment made to Chase that was dated three days after the foreclosure was initially filed.
If there is substantial doubt about the note, the bank should dismiss and refile the case or the homeowner should be entitled to an evidentiary hearing instead of a more hasty “summary judgment,” the ruling said.
Feb 14 2011
If there is ever to be any effective pushback against the hegemony of capital, we will need bases of power, organized expressions of sustained popular resistance to exploitation and repression. The contemporary political landscape of neoliberal media message management, social atomization and political alienation can seem harsh and desolate for those of us looking for direction, for effective means of participation and expression of solidarity.
Today I’ll take a look at the struggle of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for some measure of justice and dignity in the fruit and vegetable fields of Florida, their history, the impressive solidarity network they have built, some recent victories, and some ongoing and upcoming efforts and actions that offer us all an opportunity to participate in solidarity.
Jan 04 2011
Since Christmas we’ve been talking about the story of Betsie Gallardo, a woman who is dying of cancer in a Florida prison.
When we last met, she was being starved to death, literally, at the direction of the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC), who had decided not only to withhold further treatment for her inoperable cancer, but to withdraw nutritional support as well.
Her adopted mother is fighting to have her discharged from prison so that she can die at home-and the DOC have recommended that she be released.
On December 9th, Florida’s Board of Executive Clemency (“the Board”) chose to ignore the DOC advice.
Since then, thanks to a whole bunch of outside pressure, things have changed, for the better, which we’ll be talking about today.
On January 5th, the Board meets again-and if we do this right, we can bring some closure to this story.
Dec 29 2010
If you were with us on Christmas Day you heard the story of Betsie Gallardo, who, unless something changes quickly, is going to be intentionally starved to death in a Florida prison after being convicted of spitting on a cop.
In fairness, the State did not decide simply to starve her; instead, the Department of Corrections (DOC) first chose to withhold any further treatment for her inoperable cancer…and then they decided to starve her to death.
Her adopted mother is trying to get her released on humanitarian grounds; the DOC recommended in October that she be allowed to go home and die, the Florida Parole Commission refused.
Governor Charlie Crist chairs the Executive Clemency Board, who could also agree to let her go…and so far, they’ve also refused to take action.
Funny thing is, the Governor and his Board have been more than willing to step in when other Floridians requested pardons and commutations, even in situations that seemed a lot less dire.
Today, we’re going to look at that history-and to be honest, as with many things in the Sunshine State, from the outside…it all looks a bit bizarre.
Dec 25 2010
There are many gifts to be given and received this holiday season; some that you can wrap and put under a tree, and some so intangible and ethereal that they cannot be held within the boundaries of paper and ribbon.
Instead, they exist within the boundaries of our hearts.
Among those intangible presents, few matter more than the chance to be with those we love-and at the time of our death, it’s the most important thing of all.
We have a chance to bring all of this to a dying woman and her family-but the only way it can happen is if we convince the Florida Department of Corrections not to kill her first.
It’s not a tale of light and joy-but if we get lucky, there could still be a happy ending.