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11.18 How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

News Media Matters

11.19 The Biggest Threat to Free Speech No One Is Talking About

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]

11.19 Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid

11.19 Trump’s Diminishing Power and Rising Rage

11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder

11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]

11.19 SNL explains Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s HQ2 strategy: trolling President Trump [2:55 SNL video]

11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]

11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]

11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]

11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]

11.17 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare

11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 Trump Is Starting to Panic

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High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

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11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]

11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]

11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

International & Futurism

11.18 New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit

11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]

11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

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  Updating Lynne Stewart's ''Love Struggle''

QUILTY OF BEING A LAWYER:

Updating Lynne Stewart's "Love Struggle"

by Stephen Lendman
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Republican and Democrat prosecutors demand maximum penalties against anyone they target - innocent or guilty, to punish using underhanded tactics to intimidate juries to convict, and tell defense lawyers to steer clear of unpopular clients or not defend them vigorously.

For millions worldwide, Lynne needs no introduction. For others: She worked selflessly, tirelessly, and heroically for 30 years as a human rights champion, defending America's poor, underprivileged, and unwanted - people never afforded due process and judicial fairness without an advocate like her. She knew the risks, yet took them until bogusly indicted on April 9, 2002 for:

  • "conspiring to defraud the United States;
  • conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorist activity;
  • providing and concealing material support to terrorist activity; and
  • two counts of making false statements."

The charges related to her alleged violation of Bureau of Prisons Special Administrative Measures (SAMS) that prohibit discussing topics the Justice Department rules outside "legal representation" - to inhibit a proper defense and obstruct justice for anyone DOJ wants to convict.

Her client was Sheik Abdel Rahman, a one-time CIA asset, convicted in 1995 and now serving a life sentence for "seditious conspiracy" for his alleged connection to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing despite convincing evidence of his innocence.

As an advocate for justice, Lynne was targeted, indicted, and after a seven month 2004 - 2005 show trial featuring the worst of McCarthy-like tactics, convicted on February 10, 2005 after 13 days of deliberation on all five counts. She was automatically disbarred, then sentenced on October 17, 2006 to 28 months imprisonment.

She remained free on bond until the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revoked it on November 17, 2009, ordering her surrender on November 19 at 5PM to be imprisoned at:

MCC-NY
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007
Prison number 53504-054

Though subject to change, she'll be resentenced on July 15, at which time her 28 month confinement may be sustained, reduced, or what friends and family fear, increased after the three-judge Appeals Court panel accused her of lying, called for a longer sentence, and remanded her case to District Court Judge John G. Koeltl for reconsideration.

It puts strong pressure on him to comply, despite, on sentencing, calling Lynne's character "extraordinary" and, believing a long imprisonment would be "an unreasonable result," citing "the somewhat atypical nature of Stewart's case (and) lack of evidence that any victim was harmed as a result of the charged offense."

Also that terrorism enhancement sentencing was "dramatically unreasonable in (her) case (because it grossly) overstate(d) the seriousness of (her) past conduct and the likelihood that (she would) repeat the offense. (Stewart) has no criminal history and yet (terrorism enhancement would) place (her) in the highest criminal history category equal to that of repeat felony offenders for the most serious offenses including murder and drug trafficking."

Ordinarily, if lawyers violate SAMs or other prison rules, it's handled administratively like restricting visitation rights or denying them. For doing her job, Lynne was criminally indicted to:

  • discredit, silence and disbar her; and
  • intimidate other lawyers not to defend unpopular clients too vigorously or face similar treatment.

Potential long imprisonment sends a strong message, what's for Obama administration prosecutors to consider after Judge Koeltl resentences.

Second Circuit Denies Full (En Banc) Rehearing

On February 23, the Appeals Court majority ruling denied Lynne's request, stating:

  • "the terrorism enhancement is the dominant sentencing consideration in this case. The district court erred in discounting it to zero. That is an error both procedural and substantive in nature, highlighting one reason that the two-step sequencing of review for procedural and substantive error makes so little sense in this case."
  • "....the abuse of her law license is a basis for enhancing Stewart's sentence....Stewart is reported as having expressed the view that she would do what she did again, but 'might handle it a little differently' to evade detection. So for her, supporting and promoting terrorism remains acceptable; anything else....is technique."
  • "Media reports (which require skeptical vetting) reflect that Stewart has promoted her criminal conduct as a matter of principle," including at a law school conference attended mostly by students, "seek(ing) to corrupt the young by enlisting (them) in the project of degrading legal practice."
  • "....the issue of substantive reasonableness may be obviated or mitigated following the district court's correction of the procedural error identified by the panel majority....this Court may have an opportunity after remand to reach issues that are not decided by the panel majority."

On July 15 or if rescheduled, the harsh Appeals Court message will weigh heavily on Judge Koeltl when he resentences.

As a result, Lynne's web site (lynnestewart.org) highlights the concern, saying:

"We need your support now more than ever!"

A petition to free her can be found on her site. Add your name to the hundreds who've signed, and support Lynne's struggle against prosecutorial injustice.

Lynne's Message

After being jailed, Lynne's web site published her letter to "Sisters and Brothers, Friends and Supporters," saying:

"Well the moment we all hoped would never come is upon us. Good bye to a good cup of coffee in the morning, a soft chair, the hugs of grandchildren and the smaller pleasures in life."

At that time, she was well treated "due to my lawyer team and your overwhelming support. While I have received 'celebrity' treatment here in MCC - high visibility - conditions for the other women are deplorable. Medical care, food, education, recreation are all at minimal levels. If it weren't for the unqualified bonds of sisterhood and the commissary it would be even more dismal."

At the end, she thanked supporters for showing up for her jailing, calling it a moment she'll always cherish. "The broad organizational representation was breathtaking and the love and politics expressed (the anger too) will keep me nourished through this."

Her final comment was vintage Lynne:

"Organize - Agitate, Agitate, Agitate! And write to me and others locked down by the Evil Empire.

Love Struggle, Lynne Stewart

On December 3, the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee's (LSDC) Pat Levasseur updated her status after a December 2 conference before Judge Koeltl discussing resentencing procedures. Under consideration was whether to do it "de novo" (starting over, disregarding his initial reasoning) or by clarifying and updating his October 2006 decision.

At issue is the Appeals Court opinion as well as Lynne's age (70) and health. Her blood pressure is "extremely high," and she needs bladder surgery. It's "not life threatening but increasingly uncomfortable," so it's essential to complete as soon as possible successfully.

LSDC plans public events on Lynne's behalf "in cooperation with others to fight for (her) sentence to remain 28 months."

Additional time will be cruel and unusual by any standard, yet Republican and Democrat prosecutors demand maximum penalties against anyone they target - innocent or guilty, to punish using underhanded tactics to intimidate juries to convict, and tell defense lawyers to steer clear of unpopular clients or not defend them vigorously.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on April 4, 2010.
 



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