Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Let the CIA tell you why you need to be worried about your civil rights - one day only

Mid-Missouri will be graced today with two public talks by Ray McGovern, former CIA Analyst & renowned dissident. Attend either or them in Fulton & Columbia April 1 and hear him speak at Whiteman Air Force Base on Sunday April 6 during an anti-drone demonstration. Here are details... 
--The former intelligence analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) will be speaking at 7:30 p.m., TODAY April 1, in Rm. 204 of Strickland Hall (formerly the General Classroom Buidling on Rollins St.) on the MU Campus. The topic of his talk will be “Is NSA Short for ‘No Such Amendment?’ –Why We Should Care about the Bill of Rights.”  He will discuss civil liberties, whistleblowing, the National Security Administration and other elements of the surveillance state.
 
--McGovern will also speak at Tuesday, April 1 at 4:00 pm in Fulton MO on a similar topic in the Model Courtroom, Lower Level of the Burton Building (enter through building’s back entrance, from parking lot) on the William Woods University campus 
 
--At 2:00 pm, Sunday, April 6,  McGovern will again speak in a “Ground the Drones” peace demonstration at Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster MO. The base is one of several US facilities from where drones are targeted to attack various countries.  Brian Terrell, co-coordinator of Creative Voices for Nonviolence, who spent six months in prison for trespassing at the base last year during a drone protest, will also speak.  
 
Meet at 11:50 am for car-pooling from Columbia to Whiteman, in front of the Peace Nook, downtown at 804 E. Broadway.

A CIA analyst for 27 years, Ray McGovern’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the Daily Brief for then-President George H.W. Bush. He briefed one on one to President Ronald Reagan’s most senior national security advisers from 1981-85. McGovern received the CIA Intelligence Commendation Medal but returned the award years later on moral grounds. He helped form Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) in January 2003, to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to justify the war in Iraq.  

Additionally, he helped form the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (named after McGovern’s colleague at the CIA). McGovern and several other former intelligence officials went to Russia in October to honor Edward Snowden with the Sam Adams Award.

The mid-Missouri segment of his three-state tour is sponsored by MU Peace Studies, William Woods University’s Department of Legal Studies, Peaceworks, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Veterans for Peace and the full Mid-Missouri Peace Coalition. For info, contact 573-499-4585 or 573-875-0539. 

Hopefully, you’ll be able to attend any or a few of the events. My apologies if this is the first (quite late) word you’ve seen of the events. 

In solidarity, for peace with dignity and justice,
Jeff Stack
Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation
573-449-4585

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why we still need an NAACP - a little history

Thank you Mr. Buckley for your kind contribution to the development of understanding  and appreciation for the history we have shared as human beings in America - 

http://www.examiner.net/article/20140329/NEWS/140328618/10090/NEWS/?tag=2

We will need a NAACP until we all appreciate each other as people - not a color, class, sex, religion, certain ability level or sexual preference.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Oppose Child Abuse? Take a pinwheel to the Capitol on the 16th of April


Pinwheels For Prevention Ceremony

April 16, 2014, 12:00PM, Missouri Capitol South Lawn


Pinwheels represent Hope, health and happiness

END CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

SPECIAL GUESTS

The Honorable Marsha Haefner, Representative 94th District

The Honorable Kurt Schaefer, Senator 19th District


Pinwheels for Prevention™" is a public awareness campaign that puts a new spin on prevention. The campaign prioritizes prevention efforts, making sure child abuse and neglect never occur.  Sponsor a pinwheel or purchase a t-shirt at Missouri KidsFirst.org.

MissouriKidsFirst.org, 520 Dix Rd. Jefferson City MO, 65101 (573) 632-4600




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Return to your seats and tell the Missouri Legislature to expand medicaid - before Tuesday - click or call please

The tide is turning in the Missouri legislature...the attitude among our legislators is shifting from "We won't expand Medicaid" to "Let's find a way to get this done."
 
Next Tuesday, March 25, the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability will hold a hearing on HB 1901, a bill sponsored by Rep. Noel Torpey (R-Kansas City) that would expand Medicaid to 138% of the Federal Poverty.
 
We need as many people as possible on record in support of Medicaid Expansion. Whatever your reason for supporting Expansion - because it will save lives, allow our neighbors to go to the doctor, create jobs, or bring Missouri tax dollars back to our state - please submit your written testimony in support of Expansion.
 
Click here to submit your testimony on why Missouri should expand Medicaid. We will format, print and deliver your testimony to the Committee on Tuesday.
 
Submit your testimony now!

If you don't have a story you can still help by contacting our representatives. Tell them how you feel in email, on facebook and even by mail. The more they hear from us the more they will respond in kind.
You can find them here: www.house.mo.gov or just complete a google search. 

Reggie is still on death row and Jeff Ferguson is about to be murdered by the state

The Year of Discovery
Each year, the Justice for Reggie Campaign has published a newsletter highlighting the activities and events of the previous year. We choose a thematic concept that captures the year and given the evidence that came to light in 2013, we dubbed it "The Year of Discovery." 
     Those of you on the mailing list should be getting your copy of the newsletter very soon. For others, we have attached a copy here and will also upload it to our website and Facebook page.

Upcoming Execution
Without intervention from Gov. Nixon, Jeff Ferguson is scheduled to be executed on March 26 at 12:01 am. The St. Louis vigil will be Tuesday, March 25 from 8-9 pm. There is still much opposition to the secrecy surrounding the drugs used for lethal injection.
     Ferguson was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 abduction, rape, and murder of teenager Kelli Hall. Due to an alcohol-induced blackout, he reports having no memory of his involvement. Ferguson has steadfastly expressed remorse and taken responsibility for Ms. Hall’s death. He has been a model prisoner for over 20 years and his supporters lift up that transformation.

Jamala Rogers, Coordinator
JUSTICE for Reggie Campaign
P. O. Box 5277  St. LouisMO  63115
(314) 367-5959

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pinwheels Prevent Child Abuse - if you want them too.

SO MANY WAYS TO SUPPORT CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION.  JOIN US!  


Pinwheels for Prevention Ceremony 
April 16, 2014
12:00pm
Missouri State Capitol South Lawn

HELP END CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT 

SPECIAL GUEST
The Honorable Marsha Haefner, Representative 94th District
The Honorable Kurt Schaefer, Senator 19th District

Pinwheels Represent Hope, Health and Happiness

Black Farmers Disappointed . . . Again

Federal Judge's Decision Closes Black Farmers' Lawsuit, Leaves Some Disappointed

2014-03-17-JWB.EricHolder.jpg
A federal judge's recent ruling has finally settled outstanding issues in the black farmers' long-running lawsuit, nearly 30 years after I first started protesting discrimination by the United States Department of Agriculture, Congress and the Department of Justice U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman's recent ruling will put to rest the expectation of compensation that many farmers still hold. Our phone lines ring constantly from black farmers who either have been denied in the lawsuit's adjudication process or believe their applications to join the suit are still pending.
The deadline to join the case passed nearly two years ago, in May 2012. It took decades to reach that date, when the black farmer's bill we lobbied for over several for decades was signed into law on December 8, 2010. I wore out many pairs of shoes on Capitol Hill trying to persuade Congress to pass the Cobell Settlement legislation for $3.4 billion and the black farmers' settlement bill for $1.15 billion.
Of the 80,000 black farmers who filed late were eligible to take part in the settlement, over 17,000 plaintiffs received a $50,000 cash award and $12,500 in an IRS account to pay related taxes.
Because the settlement took decades to resolve many black farmers died waiting for justice. Many of their families are now dealing with heirs' claims. The remaining farmers received a denial letter. The National Black Farmers Association answers every call, but it's a frustrating process, for we have very limited resources and the farmers need and deserve answers.
Judge Friedman's recent decision provides clarity to black farmers who were denied in the settlement process. Read the ruling here.
Sadly, some of those still seeking compensation were the victims of fraud, the kind of scurrilous scams that usually turn up when a person or group receives a windfall. We get calls from black farmers who seem to think they have applied in the settlement process, despite my many warnings about schemers who charged some farmers a $100 fee and pretended to file their claims.
The settlement process was abused. There was no fee to file. There are no billions of dollars to compensate those who were denied in the settlement. The black farmer settlement is over and Judge Friedman's decision provided little hope for those who were denied in the process.
Our work is not finished. Black farmers still face unfair practices and still struggle to gain our rightful place in America's agriculture and food production systems. For example black farmers have yet to supply McDonald's with one egg or slice of lettuce or onion. Black families are welcomed as consumers. We're seen as good enough to purchase a Big Mac or Happy Meal but not good enough to sell to corporate producers. It's a sickening realization. This is an example of discrimination against a group of people. It contributes to the decline of the black farmer as well as loss of land.
With such injustices outstanding, I regret the need to discourage anyone's expectations, but I am obliged to provide the facts of the case. I know and understand that the judge's decision was not what the denied black farmers wanted to hear from the court. But I respect the decision. I and others worked hard and fought long to win payments to deserving black farmers. It is hurtful to know others come along and take advantage of some elderly black farmers who had already endured mistreatment by their own government.
Timeline
• May 13, 2011 -- Preliminary Approval granted by the Court
• June 3, 2011 -- Notice period -- Notice was sent to potential class members regarding when the Court was to conduct a Fairness Hearing to decide whether to grant final approval to the settlement and how class members could submit any comments or objections to the settlement.
• August 12, 2011 -- Objection deadline and deadline to submit a notice of intent to appear and speak at the fairness hearing.
• September 1, 2011 - Fairness Hearing to hear any objections and decide whether to grant final approval.
• October 27, 2011 -- Final Approval granted by the Court.
• November 14, 2011 -- May 11, 2012 -- Claim submission period
• May 11, 2012 -- CLAIM FORMS MUST HAVE BEEN POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN MAY 11, 2012.
• July 19, 2013 -- Claim adjudications -- The Court-appointed neutral third parties finished their review of all completed claims timely submitted by class members.
• August 2, 2013 -- Computation of settlement payments -- The claims administrator computed the number of approved claims and the amount of the awards to be paid to successful class members and prepared the formal accounting required by the settlement agreement.
• August 23, 2013 -- Approval of class counsel's motion for approval of payments -- As required by the settlement agreement, on August 6, class counsel filed with the Court a motion for approval of distribution of funds. This motion was unopposed, and the Court entered an order granting the motion on August 23.
• August 31, 2013 -- Claim determination letters mailed by the end of August to all successful class members as well as to class members whose claims were denied checks to be sent to successful class members approximately 30 days after the claim determination letters were mailed.