Friday, November 14, 2014

While Brownback et. al. attack the Judiciary ...



Kansas Supreme Court Justice Allegucci seated bottom, left.
Below words from his son, Scott Allegrucci, a young man I met several years ago on the barricades for Kansas renewable energy autonomy, and into the chambers of the statehouse. He won my respect then and afterwards for all his work.  I had no idea then who his father was, but share with you this thunderous grief all Kansans must surely feel with his father's passing:

My father died Saturday morning. His obituary is below. 


First, some words my uncle shared with me when I called that morning to tell him his brother was gone:

On a day of unbounded loss, he is square;
Not flawless, but no other near his worth.

"Not flawless, but no other near his worth." Indeed.
Donald L. Allegrucci
September 19, 1936 – November 8, 2014


Former Kansas Supreme Court Justice and State Senator Donald L. Allegrucci died peacefully in his home with family on November 8th, 2014 following a hard battle with mesothelioma.

A 20-year member of the Kansas Supreme Court, Allegrucci was known as an incredibly tough but fair jurist. His career was one of distinction and dedication to the law and to protecting the constitutional rights of all people. He believed an independent and impartial judiciary is the sacred right and final protection for every person in our democracy.

Prior to his service on the District Court and then the Supreme Court, Allegrucci earned experience in front of the bench as a prosecuting attorney and as an attorney in private practice. It has been reported that legal professionals came from around the area to watch Allegrucci as a young prosecuting attorney in the courtroom. He was always well prepared, articulate and relentless in prosecuting criminals and in protecting the rights of individuals.

Allegrucci represented Crawford and Cherokee Counties in the Kansas Senate from 1976-1980. In his work as an elected official, Allegrucci was known as a man of his word. When he made a commitment, he kept it.

Throughout his life of public service, Allegrucci was dedicated to social justice and equality. He was a sportsman and gun owner who, as a legislator, advanced common sense gun control legislation in order to protect Kansans, especially law enforcement. He was an advocate for women’s rights who prosecuted the last illegal abortion case to the Supreme Court of Kansas prior to a woman’s right to control her own reproductive health being established by the U.S. Supreme Court. He was a former prosecutor who, as a State Senator, fought strongly against the death penalty as discriminatory – applied unevenly and unjustly. He later called for repeal of the death penalty based upon its ineffectiveness and exorbitant cost to the state.

A timeline of the highlights of Allegrucci’s education and professional life:

  • • Signed at 17-years-old to play professional baseball for the New York Yankees farm system 1954 - 1955. Traveling with teams throughout the South, Allegrucci was appalled at the Jim Crow laws he and his teammates encountered.
  • • Worked as a fire suppression crew member for the United States Forest Service in Idaho and Washington – 1957 - 1958
  • • Graduate of Pittsburg State Teachers College (now Pittsburg State University) – 1959; named Outstanding Alumni - 2003
  • • U.S. Air Force pilot cadet training and Air Force Reserves – 1959-1966
  • • Graduate of Washburn Law School - 1963
  • • Assistant County Attorney, Butler County, Kansas – 1963-1966
  • • Director of Mid-Kansas CAP – Community Action Program – 1966-1968
  • • Attorney in private practice – Pittsburg, Kansas – 1967-1981
  • • Kansas State Senator – 1976-1980
  • • District Court Judge – 1982- 1986
  • • Justice of Kansas Supreme Court – 1986-2007

Allegrucci was an accomplished athlete and outdoor enthusiast. Stories of his exploits with area sports teams are legendary, from grade school to high school to his time as a Golden Gloves champion boxer. He continued to play rough-and-tumble basketball at the YMCA in Pittsburg and Topeka until he was 70. He played softball on community teams and participated in the Senior Olympics. He bicycled until shortly before his final illness. As his way to relax after arduous terms on the Court, he motorcycled around the western United States to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and across the eastern half of the country to Nova Scotia and across Canada. He ran daily for most of his life and enjoyed hiking in the Rocky Mountains with his family.

His competitiveness and excellence in sports, his successful public service career, his devotion to his family and his commitment to justice and fairness for the environment, communities and people are well-known, and to a great degree the actions associated with these commitments defined who he was as a person. He displayed tenacity, independence, loyalty, competence, honesty, protectiveness and duty in all aspects of his life.

Allegrucci was born in Pittsburg, Kansas, September 19, 1936, to Nello and Josephine Allegrucci. He and Joyce Thompson were married on November 30, 1963 and have two sons, Scott Allegrucci, Lawrence, KS, Bo Allegrucci, Lincoln, NE and grandson Nello Allegrucci, Lawrence. He is also survived by his brother Robert Allegrucci (Lori Sims) of Blue Ridge, GA along with numerous extended family members.

Justice Allegrucci will be cremated and private services held at a later date according to his wishes.

The Allegrucci family suggests memorial contributions in Justice Don Allegrucci’s honor be made to Earthjustice (“because the Earth needs a good lawyer”) or to The Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Memorial contributions may be sent to Earthjustice or The Stowers Institute c/o The Far Shore, PO Box 863, Lawrence, KS 66044.

The family is grateful to the people of Stowers Institute, Kansas City, MO, for excellence in cancer and other critical medical research and guidance over many years and to the people of Midland Care Hospice, Topeka, KS for their most compassionate end-of-life care and support. The Allegrucci’s thank extended family and friends for their ongoing concern and comfort.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Amanda Marcotte: WHY IT'S HARDER FOR RELIGIONS TO CON THEIR FOLLOWERS @ AlterNet

Veterans / Armistice Day, 2014 TCBH Radio Special


For the Veterans Day /Armistice Day edition of PRN’s “This Can’t Be Happening!” program, host Dave Lindorff invited on folksinger-songwriter and Iraq Veteran Against the War activist Emily Yates, and ThisCantBeHappening.net colleague and Vietnam War veteran and peace activist John Grant. Emily, who was just convicted in a kangaroo federal court in Philly of misdemeanor assault against four burly National Park Police who last year pounced on her in Independence Park, just opposite where the Founders inked the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Her “crime” — not leaving the park grounds when they told her to, without giving her any reason. Emily, who served two tours in Iraq talks about the irony of “serving” her country as it descends into being a police state. John talks about the growing recognition that veterans of America’s imperial wars are just being given lip service by the public and the government on holidays like this one.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

R.I.P. Tomas Young, Iraq Veteran Against the War

Monday, November 10, 2014

TmServo433: $$$$ BE DAMNED, 1 KS DEM STARES DOWN 37 HATE MAILS & WINS @ Daily Kos

Uncle Academic's Post-Election Digest & Analysis

WARNING! ALL LINKS CLICKED WILL CLOSE THIS WINDOW.   Press the "Ctrl" or "Command" button, another window will open.

FOCUS: Robert Parry | Obama's Last Chance


Robert Parry, Consortium News
Parry writes: "The Democrats clearly deserved to lose on Tuesday, though the Republicans may not have deserved to win. Indeed, there was almost a yin-yang quality to the Democratic rout/Republican victory in which the Democrats played into almost all the Republican themes, making the outcome feel inevitable."
READ MORE

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26-year old founder of U.S. UnCut sends open letter to Democrats on young voter disillusion

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How Native Americans beat the Kochs in 'America's most competitive' congressional district

=============================How President Obama can still help millions of Americans--and screw the GOP


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How about some good news, Florida? 10 things to make you smile even after the election


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Lake on Recovering From the Midterms; Hormats on Foreign Policy and Partisan Politics (AmericasDemocrats.org's Netcast for Week of Nov 9, 2014)
First, the midterm elections did not produce the outcomes progressives worked for, but Democratic strategist Celinda Lake has some thoughts on how the party can recover the next time around.

Next, foreign policy is too important to be caught up in partisan politics, says former Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats. He also has some thoughts about what went wrong in Iraq.

Then, Bill Press talks with Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller about the president's message following the midterms and what comes next.

And Jim Hightower gives his commentary on surrealistic rule in the Silicon Valley.=============================


Six Ways Americans Voted Against Corporate Power (Nation of Change)



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Elizabeth Warren: It's Time to Work on America's Agenda (Washington Post OpEd)


Check out the right-on comment by justadog222 at 3:17 PM EST today (08 Nov 14). The article also draws out the standard Republican laissez faire scorn.


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The reasons the Dems were crushed, and the likely lesson they'll take from the crushing (Daily Kos)


If you need to sound off about the election, Daily Kos is the best place to do it.
We have an active community of thousands of writers with a wide range of ideas about what progressives and Democrats should do next.
We have an audience that numbers in the millions, and blog posts from our community are regularly read by tens of thousands—even hundreds of thousands—of people.
We have a recommending system that allow people to show their appreciation for each other, and for our most recommended content to receive more visibility.

Here are some post-election thoughts from our community diaries—progressives and Democrats like you who read Daily Kos. We don't endorse all of the ideas they share, but we do want to hear what people have to say.

We would be honored to have you chime in, and offer your perspective, too. You can do so by signing up here or logging in here.
The reasons the Dems were crushed, and the likely lesson they’ll take from the crushing
Where in the world can I go?
Enough already! Here is what I’m going to do, going forward.
Seriously, the Democrats have lost their minds
Democrats have their Schlitz Beer reckoning
How the Kansas Democratic Party drove itself to near extinction
Upset liberals are overthinking this election
Last night finally did it
MSNBC is right about this
Dear Democratic Party, Are you ready to fight yet?
Tuesday’s hangover: Historically low turnout is American democracy’s black eye Add your thoughts. Sign up and start blogging here, or log in and start blogging here.



Additional blog posts (on what has traction and what doesn't) that are on today's home page at The Daily Kos, but provided here with permanent links:


The view from California: Top election storylines from the Golden State, Part 1


Spying on students: Are we raising a generation comfortable with being under surveillance?

The Man Who Made the Democratic Party What It Is Today

Howard Dean slams Democrats: 'Where the hell is the Democratic Party'

Why Nancy Didn't Vote

Wisconsin: They deserved it ....

A Non-Voting View

To the Democratics who tanked

The 9% Have Spoken
What Florida Tells Us


President Obama must seize this moment and stake his claim to historical greatness

When you're done mourning these elections, what are you organizing for?

Ain't gonna let no Republicans turn me round!

Abbreviated pundit round-up

Sunday Talk: Perspective, please!

Yep, it was a record-breaking election for dark money

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Anne Hodgdon: "SLITTING MY WRISTS" @ Kansas State Board of Healing Arts

KSBOHA member Anne Hodgdon is suffering.
Posted on Facebook as news reports of false "endorsements" from KSU Coach Bill Snyder, FHSU President emeritus for Sen. Pat Roberts were published.  Anne Hodgdon is a "public member" of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, appointed by Brownback, and one of several anti-abortion activists on it.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, KSBOHA Anne Hodgdon, Gov. Sam Brownback



USDOJ: U. S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, DISTRICT OF KANSAS

U.S. Attorney Will Monitor
Election Complaints In Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 29, 2014

KANSAS CITY, KAN. - A federal prosecutor will be on duty during election day to respond promptly to complaints of possible election fraud and voting rights violations in Kansas, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon Patton will be available to the public at 913-551-6730 while the polls are open on Nov. 4.

“Anyone who has evidence of possible electoral corruption or voting rights abuses should call my office immediately,” Grissom said.

Grissom said he does not expect any problems during the voting, but warned that there are penalties under federal law for any efforts to fraudulently influence the outcome of the election or to improperly prevent another person from exercising the right to vote.


As the lawyer in the Kansas U.S. Attorney’s Office responsible for election matters, Patton will join other federal prosecutors across the nation as part of the election-day program of the U.S. Department of Justice. They will be responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department headquarters.

The FBI’s Kansas City Field Office will also have Special Agents available to receive allegations of election fraud, intimidation, suppression, and other election abuses. The public can provide information regarding possible election crimes to the FBI’s Kansas City Field Office’s toll-free hotline, 1-855-527-2847, or email kcpctip@ic.fbi.gov .

Citizen complaints about possible violations of the federal voting rights laws can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington by phone at 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767, by fax at 202-307-3961, by email to voting.section@usdoj.gov, or by complaint form at http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/votintake/index.php.

Any questions involving state or local issues may be referred to the Elections Division of the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office at 785-296-4561 or 1-800-262-8683, or to the pertinent county election office.

Editorial Staff Report: THE INSIDE STORY OF MATT TAIBBI'S DEPARTURE FROM FIRST LOOK MEDIA @ The Intercept

Stafff Report: THE KOCH 130 @ Mother Jones Magazine

Curbside Saturday, Nov. 1st, 2014, outside Charles Koch's Wichita mansion.
[Excerpt] ... This project, an effort to track the breadth of the Kochs' philanthropic influence, builds on several years of reporting (which culminated in Dan Schulman's book, Sons of Wichita, and our cover story "Koch vs. Koch"), news stories, as well as data from tax filings and the organizations' websites. (See more about our methodology below.) What follows is by no means exhaustive. It's the first round of a project that we'll continue to expand and update; please leave suggestions and tips in the comments. ...  [End of Excerpt]

Read more, follow the Koch money at Mother Jones Magazine.

Barbara Shelly: KS GOP SCRAPES BOTTOM WITH NEW MAILERS FOR BROWNBACK @ Kansas City Star Ed/Op

Sounds more like what the KS GOP would like to do to their economic victims.

Staff Report: KOCH SON HEADS BIGGEST FERTILIZER PROJECT IN COMPANY HISTORY @ Wichita Business Journal

Friday, October 31, 2014

David Swanson: DAVE LINDORFF ON UKRAINE & WHY THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING! @ Talk Nation Radio

Frequent RFK Guest Ray McGovern: FORMER C.I.A. ANALYST ARRESTED WHILE TRYING TO ATTEND GEN. PETRAEUS N.Y.C. EVENT @ FireDogLake

John Grant: THOMAS FRIEDMAN COMES IN FROM THE COLD WAR @ This Can't Be Happening!

Thomas Friedman, "love bombed by Vietnamese." Modern-day Ho Chi Minh City, formerly "Saigon."

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has discovered that the Vietnam War was not really about stopping communism. That was an emotional delusion. The Vietnam War, he writes, was about anti-colonial nationalism, what the Vietnamese called liberation from a French/American military yoke. When the Vietnamese beat the French, its patron, the United States of America, took up that militarist yoke. Then it took the Vietnamese 21 more years of terrible slaughter before the Americans gave it up.

That’s the narrative Friedman has recognized. The pathetic irony is that the Vietnamese admired America and loved the Americans they fought with during World War Two against the Japanese. The 1945 decision to turn against our WWII ally has to be one of the saddest betrayals in world history.

I’m a Vietnam veteran. I was a young radio direction finder in the military operations in the mountains west of Pleiku along the Cambodian border. My job was to locate radio operators so our forces could use all available means of mechanized death to destroy entire Vietnamese units and anyone else who got in the way. I didn’t discover what Friedman has discovered until the late seventies, after maturing and reading a host of highly respected books of history. Before that, I had been a good American and had dutifully accepted the national narrative lie that the evil North Vietnamese had without provocation invaded the innocent nation of South Vietnam.

As a good, pliant soldier I learned to hate the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong guerrillas. We called them gooks, dinks, zips and slopes. We treated all Vietnamese like dogs. We killed them up close and in great numbers. We killed between two and three million of them. They managed to kill 58,000 of us. More on both sides were maimed; families were destroyed; and in Vietnam many thousands simply went missing, doomed to wander as improperly buried ghosts. We destroyed without a thought; we ecologically poisoned much of the land. The legacy is horrible.

While it took me a while to come to this realization, the American and International Peace Movement had figured out the anti-colonial meta-narrative long before all the killing began. Some say President Franklin Roosevelt was inclined to support the anti-colonial, nationalist impulse Friedman has recognized. Thanks to a cerebral hemorrhage, we’ll never know what FDR might have done. Harry Truman, the senator from Missouri put on the ticket to replace the controversial left-leaning VP Henry Wallace, had little sympathy for these anti-colonial, nationalist impulses. He was influenced by the rising Cold War fears. The decision in 1945 to support French re-colonization turned out to be a choice for 30 years of the cruelest sort of war on the Vietnamese. As Friedman’s revelation suggests, it didn’t have to happen.

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromised five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2526

WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT:

There is a reason this site bears the distinction, proudly declared on our masthead, of being: "The only news organization in the US to be labeled a threat by the Department of Homeland Security." It's because we are completely uncowed by the growing threat of the US national security state and its spies and police. We boldly exposed the FBI's ignoring, or worse, of a plot to execute Occupy Movement leaders with silencer-equipped sniper rifles, the Homeland Security Department's leading role in orchestrating the national crackdown on Occupy encampments, the CIA employment of a murderous US consular "employee" in Pakistan, and the identities of three US station chiefs outed one after another in Pakistan (none of the US corporate media, and indeed only two or three alternative news outlets dared challenge the US law barring publishing the identities of US spies, though they had already been outed by news many news organizations outside the US.

Mark Binelli: THE GREAT KANSAS TEA PARTY DISASTER @ Rolling Stone Magazine


[Excerpt]  ...  In 1996, after Brownback won the Senate seat vacated by Dole, he quickly turned his position on the Judiciary Committee into "a platform for a high-profile war against gay marriage, porn and abortion," wrote Jeff Sharlet in the 2006 Rolling Stone profile. But while his willingness to deny evolution and hold up drawings by seven-year-olds of embryos during debates about stem-cell research tended to attract the most attention from reporters, it also proved a handy distraction.

From the beginning, Brownback, who married into one of the most prominent families in Kansas, had received support not just from "values voters" but also from the moneyed, quasi-libertarian side of the conservative movement – in particular, Wichita-based Koch Industries. A Koch-linked firm called Triad Management Services pumped $400,000 into his campaign for senator, helping him defeat former Lt. Gov. Sheila Frahm, a pro-choice moderate backed by the Kansas GOP establishment. Since then, no one has donated more to Brownback than the Koch brothers, and Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity provided vociferous endorsements of his tax plan.

Once Brownback was elected governor in 2010, the biggest obstacle to his fiscal agenda turned out, surprisingly, to be a group of senators from his own party, who recoiled from the most extreme of Brownback's proposals. The tax plan he had worked up eliminated most state income taxes on nearly 200,000 businesses and sharply reduced taxes on the wealthy.  ... [End of Excerpt]

Read more at Rolling Stone Magazine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Post-Apocalypse Halloween Curb Party


Jen Hayden: WORST SoS IN NATION WASTING MORE Ks TAX $$$$ @ Daily Kos

Naming names. [Excerpt]

When the Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, withdrew his name from the race for U.S. Senate in Kansas, Kris Kobach—the worst secretary of state in the nation—interfered in the race by trying to prevent Taylor from withdrawing and then trying to force Democrats to name a new nominee. After numerous court challenges, he was eventually forced to raise the white flag and butt out of the race. Now the state of Kansas has revealed that his partisan legal sideshow cost taxpayers $34,627 in fees paid to an outside law firm. Kris Kobach hired Bradley Schlozman of the Hinkle Law Firm, a Wichita-based attorney. Bradley Schlozman himself is no stranger to controversy. He was appointed by the Department of Justice by George W. Bush and was investigated for discriminating against so-called "liberal applicants":

[End of Excerpt]

Read other names and dollars at Daily Kos.

Michael Mahoney (Video): RAND PAUL CAMPAIGNS KANSAS FOR BROWNBACK, ROBERTS @ KMBC

Roxana Hegeman: THIRD LOAN TO BROWNBACK'S CAMPAIGN HAS RUNNING MATE QUIET @ Wichita Eagle

Bill Wilson: GEORGE ABLAH DIES, WICHITA ELITE MOURNS @ Wichita Business Journal

Tanya H. Lee: STOLEN INDIAN MONEY USED BY KOCH BROS. AGAINST INDIANS @ Indian Country Today Media Network News