Israel’s Illegal Army Of Occupation Must Be Withdrawn From Palestine

israeli-flagNote: I gave up blogging a while back because it appeared that few were reading them and fewer still were discussing them. However, I like expressing my opinions on public issues and so will resume periodic blog posts. If no one reads them, that’s their loss, not mine.

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Recently the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 which states that Israel’s settlement activity in Palestine constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity”. The resolution demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfill its obligation as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

I agree wholeheartedly with this resolution. But I would have taken it one step further. I believe Israel should be required to remove it’s army of occupation from Palestine IMMEDIATELY.

Here’s why. In 1967 the Palestinians and other Arab countries attacked Israel. Within a few weeks Israel defeated her enemies. Israel then put an army of occupation in Palestine. Now, half a century later, the occupation army is still there. Still worse, Israelis have been moving to Palestine, taking homes and land from Palestinians (often without paying for them) and building Israeli settlements on that land.

To help you understand how that feels to the Palestinians, consider the following. Suppose Germany had won World War II and then put an army occupation in the United States. Suppose that occupying force was still here. And, finally, suppose Gerrmans came here and took your home, and the homes of your neighbors, forcing you out and moving in to your and your neighbors homes. That would be manifestly unjust. So is what Israel is doing to the nation of Palestine.

Some of the Jewish settlers justify their settlements by saying Palestine, historically was part of Israel that had been called Judea and Samaria. The fact is those were separate kingdoms since at least the nine hundreds BC. That’s nearly 3,000 years ago. Calling Palestine part of Israel, based on history, just doesn’t work.

Israel’s army of occupation in the nation of Palestine is illegal. Israel should be required to remove those occupying forces. Our nation’s continuing support of Israel should be conditioned on their doing that. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen soon.

How I Will Vote On Propositions 62 and 66 On November 8

executionOn November 8, I will vote “Yes” on Proposition 62. Current California law allows a person convicted of first degree murder to be sentenced to death or to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Preposition 62 would prohibit the death penalty. The most serious penalty for first degree murder would be life in prison without possibility of parole.

I should tell you I have an unalterable moral belief that killing is never justified except if someone poses an immediate and serious threat to the life or health of others. You might consider that as you read the following.

However, I have additional reasons for wanting us to eliminate the death penalty.

First of all, the person sentenced to execution may not have committed the crime for which he or she was sentenced to death. For example, a March 17, 2015 article in the Washington Post reports that 8,466 death sentences were imposed across the United States from 1973 through 2013. However, 890 of the convictions were later overturned. by the courts. Executing these 890 people would have denied them the opportunity to prove their innocence. 890 innocent people would have been wrongly executed,

Second, the death sentence has a disproportionate effect on African Americans. According to the US Census Bureau, African American are a little over 13% of the US population. However, they are 34% of the population on death row, and awaiting execution.

Finally there is the fact that the death penalty is ineffective deterrent to murder. According to the official California Voter’s Guide, issued by the California Secretary of State’s office, 930 individuals in California received the death penalty since 1978.

If you tried to do something repeatedly since 1978, and failed 930 times, would you say you were successful? I sure wouldn’t.

I will vote for Proposition 62. I hope you will also.

On November 8, I will vote “No” on Proposition 66.

According to the supporters of Proposition 66, the purpose of Proposition 66 is to “to speed up the death penalty appeals system while ensuring that no innocent person is ever executed.”

As noted above, the death sentence is an ineffective way of stopping murders and has historically been unfair to African Americans.

Additional problems with Proposition 66 are as follows. It puts a limit of 5 years on all appeals of a death sentence. In the past many appeals processes have required much more time. The application of a five year sentence is arbitrary and may deprive many innocent accused people the opportunity to prove their innocence or that their conviction resulted from some violation of the fair judicial process, such as inadequate representation by their attorneys.

The Proposition tries to speed the process by saying the State Supreme Court will require attorneys to represent defendants in death penalty cases. Attorneys who are forced into such service may do less than all they can to represent these defendants.

On November 8 I will vote “No” on Proposition 66. I hope you will also.

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Why It Is Very Important To Vote On November 8

Black Votes Count Too
Black Votes Count Too!

It would be a disaster if Donald Trump became our next President. With his temper, he might just throw an Atom Bomb or two at people or nations who anger him.

Also, If the Republicans retain control of the US Senate, and Trump becomes President, they could put several arch conservatives on the Supreme Court who could do a lot of damage to justice and equality in our nation.

By contrast, If Clinton wins, and Democrats get control of the Senate, they could put several more reasonable candidates on the Supreme Court. In this case, the court could become a champion of real justice in this nation.

As it happens, both of the candidates running to replace retiring Senator Boxer are Democrats. So we can’t help Democrats gain control of the US Senate.

But, there are several ballot measures on our ballot this year. Some of them can have life or death consequences for people in our state. Others will have a definite impact on the quality of life here. So, it is important that we all vote on the ballot initiatives.

That will be a challenge. There are 17 ballot measures. But I will try to help you decide by publishing posts, with my opinions, on some or all of those measures.

Also, The California League of Women Voters gives a very good (and brief) summary of what each of the ballot measures would do.

To See the summary, click HERE.

Below, in this post, you will see how several major organizations urge you to vote on the measures. I may not agree with all their recommendations. However, they are respectable organizations, and it is worth considering their recommendations.

To see the recommendations of the California Council of Churches, Impact click HERE.

To see the recommendations of the California League of Women Voters HERE.

To see the recommendations of Equality California click HERE.

To see the recommendations of the Los Angeles Times click HERE.

I will be gone for about a week, But then I will issue posts with my take on some or all of the ballot initiatives.

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TO SEE ANY COMMENTS AND DISCUSSION ON THIS POST CLICK HERE.

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TO MAKE YOUR OWN COMMENT

Just click on the words “Leave A Comment” at the bottom of this post and type in your comment. If instead of “Leave A Comment,” you see the word “Comments” with a number in front of it, click on that word “Comments”, scroll down to and click on “Leave A Reply.” Any and all responses will be welcome, as long as they are respectful and do not promote hate.

If you like what you read, you can subscribe to the blog and get E-mail notifications whenever I add a new post to the blog. That will enable you to go to the blog and read the latest post. To subscribe, click on the green “Follow” button on the left side near the top of this post.

Please tell your friends about this blog and encourage them to visit it at: 4justiceturnleft.org

Not All Republicans Are The Son’s Of The Devil

 

Capitol_Building_Full_View

Many of us consider all Democrats to be good and all Republicans to be bad. Others believe the opposite. Sadly, this Assumption seems even more true in Congress and the mutual animosity between the members of the two parties has resulted in either killing important legislation, or delaying it so long that the country faces serious problems.

The fight against the Zika virus is a perfect example. Last February the President asked Congress for $1.9 billion in new funds to fight the Zika virus. As of July 18, no funding legislation had been approved, and Congress is out of session until September 5.

The members of both parties refused to compromise in ways that would have enabled passage of the legislation. Now it appears that the federal government will run out of money to fight Zika in a week or two,

Too often Congress misses opportunities to work together on good legislation. These days the Republican party in Congress Is dominated by conservative Republicans. And that has killed a lot of good legislation.

But, if good people from both parties worked together on good legislation that coalition might have enough votes to overcome the conservative blockade.

For example, a group of Republican legislators, called reform conservatives, has expressed the following principles which could provide an opportunity for Democrats and the reform conservatives to enact good compromise legislation.

Some of those Republican principles are:

On Tax Cuts – No more tax cuts for wealthy people (those with income over $250,000 per year).
Reduce taxes on low and middle income people.

Global Trade – Promote global trade agreements, but provide help to workers who lose jobs, as the result of global trade. For example, offer training in new occupations that are still in demand in this country.

Social Security And Medicare – Don’t entirely privatize Social Security and Medicare. And ensure those that stay in these programs will have those benefits when they get old.

Universal Health Care – Acknowledge it is here to stay. But make it more market oriented.

Immigration – Oppose mass deportation. Promote the economic benefits of legalizing immigrants who are in the country illegally. Reduce the entry of low skill immigrants.

I think there are plenty of things in the above that Democrats should find interesting. If they and the reform Republicans have serious and respectful conversations, they might agree on several bills. And, working together, they might have enough votes to overcome the objections of ultra conservative Republicans,

TO SEE THE COMMENTS AND DISCUSSION ON THIS POST CLICK HERE.

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This post has a link, at its bottom that readers can use to comment on the post. Just click on the words “Leave A Reply” and then type in your comment. Any and all responses will be welcome, as long as they are respectful and do not promote hate.

If you like what you read, you can subscribe to the blog and get E-mail notifications whenever I add a new post to the blog. That will enable you to go to the blog and read the latest post. To subscribe, click on the green “Follow” button on the left side near the top of this post.

I hope you will also tell your friends about this blog and encourage them to visit it at:

4justiceturnleft.org

I look forward to having interesting conversations with you.

Boyce Hinman

Discrimination At The Ballot Box

your-vote-6769429In recent blog posts I’ve discussed how SOME police officers mis-treat African Americans and, in particular, young male African Americans. In this post I will discuss how some voting tools are used to deny the vote to African Americans and Latinos.

It’s important to know about these things so we can fight them when that becomes necessary.

First, lets discuss the technique of changing the size and shape of election districts. Suppose you have a large minority community that lives close together. And suppose they are all in one legislative district and that they are close to being the majority of the people in that district. In that situation, it is highly likely that the voters can elect a minority person to represent them.

But suppose the state legislature divides that district into ten new districts that each include only 10% of that minority community. And the new districts are drawn, or shaped, in a way that
White voters are strong majorities in each new district.

The result could be that minority voters would be a very small percentage of the voters in each new district. That greatly reduces the chance of ever getting a minority candidate elected to office.

Recently a US appeals court invalidated two of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts because they were designed to do just that. The court said the law that created these districts was enacted ‘with discriminatory intent. It ordered the state to redraw those districts to include more minority voters so they had at least a chance to elect minority candidates to Congress.

And, lest you think this only happens in the south, recently a federal judge struck down a string of restrictive Wisconsin election laws saying they were tailored to benefit the Republicans who enacted them and unfairly disenfranchised minority voters. The court said, redraw the districts more fairly.

In 1977 San Francisco redrew its Board of Supervisors election district in a way that benefited the LGBT community. Prior to 1977 the Board has eleven members. But they were, in effect all in one voting district. Voters from throughout the city voted on a long list of candidates. And the 11 candidates who got the most votes became Supervisors.

This arrangement disadvantaged LGBT candidates. LGBT people were a large minority in the city and most of them lived in the Castro area. But there were not enough of them to get their candidates among the top 11 vote getters.

In 1977 San Francisco divided the city into 11 Supervisory districts. One of those districts was centered in the Castro area. So it was mostly Castro area residents who voted for a Supervisor for that election district. As a result, for the first time, a gay man (Harvey Milk) was elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

We must be on guard against people who redraw voting districts to disenfranchise minorities.

TO SEE THE COMMENTS AND DISCUSSION ON THIS POST CLICK HERE.

That’s all for now, but in future posts I will discuss other ways that bigots use to deny Blacks and Hispanics the right to vote.
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This post has link, at the bottom of the post, that readers can use to comment on the post. Just click on the words “Leave A Reply” and then type in your comment. Any and all responses will be welcome, as long as they are respectful and do not promote hate.

If you like what you read, you can subscribe to the blog and get E-mail notifications whenever I add a new post to the blog. That will enable you to go to the blog and read the latest post. To subscribe, click on the green “Follow” button on the left side near the top of this post.

I hope you will also tell your friends about this blog and encourage them to visit it at:

4justiceturnleft.org

I look forward to having interesting conversations with you.

Boyce Hinman

The Man Who Would Be King

King Donald I
King Donald, I

You may think that someone as crazy as Donald Trump could not possibly win the election and become our President. But, early in the primary season, everyone said he could not possibly defeat all the other candidates and become the Republican candidate for president. We must not just assume that Trump can’t win the election in November.

To make sure Trump does not become President we must all go to the polls, vote for Hillary Clinton and persuade all our friends to do the same. Clinton was certainly not my first choice, but if too many of us fail to vote, for Clinton, Trump may just become President.

So, why is that so bad? Consider the following.

Just after he finished college Trump was ordered to report to his draft board. However he was exempted from military service because of bone spurs in his heals. The exemption was granted even though he regularly played football, tennis and squash.

Do we really want this man to become our President?

Trump criticized the Muslim father who spoke at the Democratic convention and whose son had died in Iraq, while serving in the US Army. The father spoke of the sacrifice their son had made in service to this country and of the sad sacrifice of his parents who lost their son.

Trump said “I’ve sacrificed too… by creating jobs”. So what is he saying? Does he mean in creating those jobs he profited only in the billions of dollars when otherwise he might have profited in the trillions?

Do we really want Donald Trump to become our President?

Trump says, as President, he would be really good for American workers. So how does that promise square with reality?

The workers, at a hotel Trump owns in Las Vegas, voted to join a union. Ever since the vote, Donald Trump’s managers have fought unionization every step of the way. They filed 15 objections with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging intimidation and forgery by union officials. After the claims were either withdrawn by Trump or dismissed by the labor board, the union was officially certified as bargaining agent for the workers.

But the Trump Organization still refused to negotiate, and, recently, at the last possible moment, the hotel filed for a review of the case with the labor board in Washington, further putting off contract talks.

Do we really want this man to become our President?

Last June Donald Trump attacked a federal judge presiding over civil fraud lawsuits against Trump University. Trump said the judge’s Mexican heritage creates an absolute conflict of interest and so the judge should remove himself from the trial.

Does he mean that no female judge should preside over a trial on the subject of a woman’s right to choose? Does he mean that no gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender judge should preside over a trial about LGBT discrimination? Note” it was a gay federal judge in San Francisco who ruled that proposition 8 violated the US constitution. That led to the final overturning of proposition 8.

All this suggests that Trump, as President, might bully judges who disagree with him. That could seriously undermine the independence of the judiciary.

Do we really want this man to become our President?

If not, we must all go out and voted for Hillary Clinton and get all our friends and family to do the same.

TO SEE THE COMMENTS AND DISCUSSION ON THIS POST CLICK HERE.

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This post has link, at the bottom of the post, that readers can use to comment on the post. Just click on the words “Leave A Reply” and then type in your comment. Any and all responses will be welcome, as long as they are respectful and do not promote hate.

If you like what you read, you can subscribe to the blog and get E-mail notifications whenever I add a new post to the blog. That will enable you to go to the blog and read the latest post. To subscribe, click on the green “Follow” button on the left side near the top of this post.

I hope you will also tell your friends about this blog and encourage them to visit it at:

4justiceturnleft.org

I look forward to having interesting conversations with you.
Boyce Hinman

Justice Denied

black-lives-matter-lol1Today’s New York Times reported that all charges against the 6 police officers who arrested Freddy Gray, in Baltimore, were dropped. Gray died in police custody and after he was transported in a police vehicle. They did not buckle him in in the vehicle, as required by police guidelines.

Three of the officers were found not guilty, one trail closed with a hung jury.

The prosecutor said the police department refused to provide vital information, about the incident, that could have enabled the prosecutor to get convictions in the case.

My own experience tells me that this could be true. In 1980, Larry and I moved to Sacramento. For the next 4 years our neighbors tried to drive us out of the neighborhood.. We got rocks through our windows several times. Threatening notes were pinned to our garage door. The house was egged countless times.

Towards the end, we were getting multiple threatening phone calls, 50 calls in one night. At our request the phone company tracked the phone calls and turned over the phone number from which they were coming to the Sheriff’s office..

The prosecutor asked the Sheriff’s office to give the prosecutor that phone number. Several times the Sheriff’s office sent other useless information. Finally the prosecutor threatened to take the Sheriff to court. Then the information was sent to the prosecutor.

That resulted in a conviction and all the harassment ended.

We still need to wring prejudice out of our criminal justice system.

Boyce Hinman