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Alex Jones suspended from Twitter after tweet calling to end censorship
Published time: 15 Aug, 2018 05:50
Edited time: 15 Aug, 2018 12:25
https://on.rt.com/9cee
Alex Jones suspended from Twitter after tweet calling to end censorship
InfoWars host Alex Jones

Controversial right-wing commentator Alex Jones has been banned from tweeting after he posted a link to a video of himself calling on President Trump to “take action” against tech companies censoring his content.

Infowars Editor Paul Joseph Watson tweeted a screenshot of the notification sent by Twitter staff to Jones. According to Twitter, a tweet by Jones one day earlier was considered to be “targeted harassment,” and, as a result, the Infowars host would have his access to the social-media platform restricted for one week. Watson described the situation as “truly, monumentally, beyond stupid.”

Alex Jones has been suspended by Twitter for 7 days for a video talking about social media censorship. Truly, monumentally, beyond stupid. 😄

On the same day that the Infowars website was brought down by a cyber attack.

Will this madness ever end? pic.twitter.com/hXDzH2b7rT
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 14, 2018

In the video, Jones ranted about the censorship of conservative voices by Silicon Valley tech companies, directing much of his scorn at Apple CEO Tim Cook. He called his own ban from various tech platforms a “total anti-American attack,” and called on President Trump to “do something about it.” Along the way, he bashed Democrats, criticized the mainstream media, and accused Cook of working with the Chinese government to undermine America.

Jones’ Twitter page will remain visible for the duration of the ban, but he will not be able to tweet, retweet, follow, or like.

READ MORE: Who’ll host Alex Jones? Porn sites enter the infowars

Last week, Infowars found itself banned from the platforms of almost every major Silicon Valley company – including Facebook, YouTube, Apple, and Spotify – for violating their community standards and spreading ‘hate speech.’

Until Tuesday, Twitter was one of Jones’ last safe havens online, and CEO Jack Dorsey said that Jones would not be banned until he broke the site’s rules.

Jones’ excommunication was cheered by many in the US, including Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), who called Infowars “the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies.” He demanded even more censorship in the name of ‘saving democracy.’

Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 6, 2018

Jones’ supporters blasted the companies for censoring the rabble-rousing host, and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage called him a “victim of collusion by the big-tech giants.”

Whether you like @RealAlexJones and Infowars or not, he is undeniably the victim today of collusion by the big tech giants. What price free speech? https://t.co/DWroGYaWvk
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 6, 2018

While effectively banned from much of the internet, Jones still posted content to the Infowars website, and via the Infowars app, which has surged in popularity amid the furore. However, on Tuesday, the Infowars website went offline in what staff called a cyberattack. Upon landing on the site, visitors would simply find an error message, which was later replaced with a low-fi splash page directing them to several other affiliated sites.

They can refer to Alex Jones anyway they want to, Freedom of Speech, but censorship is censorship, are we gonna take it? I say Hell No! Facebook and Twitter can go bobbing for whatever they want, but censorship is censorship, and if we allow them to censor us, they will effectively destroy our First Amendment Rights, and move on the Second Amendment Rights and so forth.

China taking over and censoring the internet? And nobody did shit when Obama let the internet slip away from American control. Pussies!

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Wells Fargo’s 17-month nightmare, by Jackie Wattles, Ben Geier and Matt Egan

Wells Fargo’s 17-month nightmare
by Jackie Wattles, Ben Geier and Matt Egan @CNNMoney
February 5, 2018: 7:28 AM ET

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/05/news/companies/wells-fargo-timeline/index.html

Wells Fargo draws bipartisan anger from Congress
Regulators fined Wells Fargo in September 2016 for repeatedly creating fake customer accounts to juice the bank’s books. The fine was big — $185 million — but the allegations were shocking.

On Friday night, Wells Fargo was hit with one of the harshest punishments ever handed down by the Federal Reserve. Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest banks, won’t be allowed to expand its business until it convinces the Fed it has cleaned up its act. The bank agreed to replace four members of its board of directors.

The Fed cited Wells Fargo’s “pervasive and persistent misconduct.” The past 17 months have brought one bad headline after another. The bank’s culture of misconduct extended well beyond the original revelations.

Wells Fargo was dragged before Congress, put under the microscope by government officials, and embarrassed before its customers. A new CEO and management team were brought in, and the old regime lost millions of dollars in docked pay.

2016

September 8: Fake account scandal breaks wide open. Federal regulators reveal Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts without their customers knowing it. The bank is hit with a $185 million fine. Wells Fargo says 5,300 employees were fired for related reasons.

September 14: A government official tells CNN the Department of Justice has issued subpoenas in a probe related to the fake account scandal.

September 27: Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf forfeits pay. Stumpf says he will give up much of his 2016 salary, including a bonus and $41 million in stock awards. The first major executive leaves the company over the scandal. Carrie Tolstedt, who headed the division that created the fake accounts, steps down and forfeits some pay.

September 28: Wells Fargo is accused of illegally repossessing service members’ cars. The company agrees to pay $24 million to settle charges. The DOJ claims the bank took 413 cars without a court order, which violates federal law. The company apologizes and commits to refunds.

September 29: Wells Fargo promises to abandon unrealistic sales goals. Wells Fargo employees blamed their bosses for effectively encouraging fake accounts. Before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, CEO John Stumpf is accused of running “a criminal enterprise.”

October 5: California’s attorney general opens an investigation into possible identity fraud related to the fake accounts scandal.

October 12: CEO John Stumpf steps down. The company announces he will retire effective immediately.

November 3: SEC probe revealed. A new public filing from the bank discloses that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the bank for issues related to the creation of as many as 2 million fake accounts.

December 13: Wells Fargo is punished by federal regulators for actions unrelated to the fake accounts. The bank is dinged for failing to comply with certain provisions of Dodd-Frank, the post-2008 law meant to better regulate big banks and protect consumers.

2017

January 23: Wells Fargo acknowledges potential worker retaliation. The bank says there are signs it retaliated against workers who tried to blow the whistle on the fake accounts.

February 20: Four senior bank employees are fired. The employees either worked or used to work in Wells Fargo’s community banking division, which is at the center of the fake account scandal.

March 27: Federal agency accuses Wells Fargo of “egregious,” “discriminatory and illegal” practices. In an unusual move, a top federal banking regulator severely downgrades Wells Fargo’s community lending rating. The decision stems from factors beyond the fake account scandal.

March 27: Wells Fargo settles class action suit. The preliminary deal promises $110 million for wronged consumers.

April 10: Former executives are asked for money back. The bank claws back $75 million from two former executives for their roles in the fake accounts scandal, including another $28 million from former CEO John Stumpf. A new report from independent directors on the Wells Fargo board reveals the bank prepared an internal report in 2004 about practices that may encourage employees to create fake accounts.

April 21: The bank’s cost of a settlement goes up. The settlement in the class action suit is increased to $142 million.

June 14: New allegations about mortgages are leveled. In a new lawsuit, Wells Fargo is accused of modifying mortgages without authorization from the customers. That means some customers could have ended up paying the bank more than they owed. It’s unclear how many customers were affected. Wells Fargo says it “strongly denies” the claims.

July 27: New allegations about auto insurance are revealed. The bank admits it charged at least 570,000 customers for auto insurance they did not need. Wells Fargo says an internal review found about 20,000 customers may have defaulted on their car loans for related reasons.

August 4: Wells Fargo is sued for allegedly ripping off small businesses. A lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo of overcharging small businesses for credit card transactions by using a “deceptive” 63-page contract to confuse them.

August 31: More fake accounts are discovered. Wells Fargo says it has found 1.4 million additional phony accounts. This brings the total number of fake accounts to 3.5 million.

October 3: Wells Fargo says it wrongly fined mortgage clients. Wells Fargo admits that 110,000 mortgage holders were fined for missing a deadline — even though the delays were the company’s fault. The company pledges to refund the customers.

October 16: Regulators say Wells Fargo sold dangerous investments it didn’t understand. Regulators order the bank to pay back $3.4 million to brokerage customers because advisers recommended products that were “highly likely to lose value over time.” Wells Fargo does not admit to nor deny the charges.

November 13: Wells Fargo admits it illegally repossessed more service members’ cars. The company says it found that it had taken vehicles from another 450 service members. Wells Fargo agrees to pay an additional $5.4 million, according to the Justice Department. The company promises refunds.

2018

February 2: The Federal Reserve punishes Wells Fargo. In an unprecedented move, the Fed says the bank won’t be allowed to grow its assets until the bank cleans up its act. The bank also agrees to overhaul its board of directors.

–CNNMoney’s Donna Borak, Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Jill Disis contributed to this report.

ENENews: “70% of Japan’s agricultural and marine products are contaminated.”

Top Official: Over 60 million Japanese irradiated by Fukushima — Nuclear Expert: 50,000 sq. miles of Japan highly contaminated… Many millions need to be evacuated… Gov’t has decided to sacrifice them, it’s a serious crime — TV: More than 70% of country contaminated by radiation (VIDEOS)

 http://enenews.com/top-official-60-million-japanese-irradiated-fukushima-nuclear-expert-50000-square-miles-country-highly-contaminated-many-millions-be-evacuated-govt-decided-sacrifice-serious-crime-professor-70-l?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: April 12th, 2016 at 3:31 pm ET
By

Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added): [Radioactive] material has been dispersed, contaminating Tohoku, Kanto [Tokyo area], and western Japan… [The law says] that absolutely nothing may be removed from a radioactive management area in which the levels exceed 40,000 Becquerels per square meter… [H]ow much area has been contaminated beyond 40,000 Bq/m2… that answer is 140,000 km^2 [54,054 square miles]… Indeed, while centered on Fukushima, parts of Chiba and Tokyo have also been contaminated. The number of people living in what must be called a radiation-controlled area is in the millions, and could exceed ten million… I believe the government has the responsibility to evacuate these entire communities… the government decided to leave them exposed to the real danger of radiation. In my view, Fukushima should be declared inhabitable… but if that were to be done, it would likely bankrupt the countryThey’ve decided to sacrifice people… In my view, this is a serious crime committed by Japan’s ruling elite… [F]undamentally, people must not be forced to live in contaminated areas… First must come complete evacuation… [W]hen it comes to radiation… “removal of contaminants” is impossible… This stuff contaminates everything.

Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan, Apr 11, 2016 (at 2:15 in): The molten material broke through the pressure vessel and accumulated low down in the containment. Now what would have happened if this molten material had escaped from the containment?… A radius of 250 kilometers — which includes the city of Tokyo — anyone living in this area, if you count them up it comes to 50 million or 40% of the Japanese population, and they would all have had to be evacuated. As we know from Chernobyl, not just a couple of weeks, but 30 years or 40 years — it would have virtually meant the end of Japan. [Note: Many nuclear experts believe the molten fuel did in fact escape from the containment] Half the population was subject to radiation [Japan Population: 127 million]. That’s something that could just be imagined, for instance the event of losing a major war.

Arirang (Gov’t-funded Korean TV network), ‘Fukushima and Its Aftermath’, Mar 16, 2016 (at 6:45 in) — Prof. Kim Ik-Jung, Medical College at Dongguk Univ.: “When you look at the contamination map, about 70% of Japan is contaminated by radiation. That means that 70% of Japan’s agricultural and marine products are contaminated.”… According to PNAS, one of the five major scientific journals, over 70% of the land in Japan is contaminated by radiation.

Watch: Prime Minister Kan | Arirang’s Fukushima Special

ENENews: L.A. Times: “Ongoing fish famine” along US West Coast — “Dearth of food across ocean” — Severe fishery implosion — Supply has been low since 2011 — Gov’t Expert: “Looks very grim… It is hard to watch”

L.A. Times: “Ongoing fish famine” along US West Coast — “Dearth of food across ocean” — Severe fishery implosion — Supply has been low since 2011 — Gov’t Expert: “Looks very grim… It is hard to watch”
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-coastal-watch-20160225-story.html
Published: February 29th, 2016 at 9:58 am ET
By ENENews

L.A. Times, Feb 25, 2016 (emphasis added): Fewer sea lions have been stranded this year, but that’s a bad sign, scientists say… it’s a sign that the sea lion population is dwindling rather than recovering. An ongoing fish famine is preventing mothers from producing enough milk, resulting in smaller and less hardy pups. As of Monday, there had been 375 sea lion strandings so far in 2016… about 160 sea lions are found stranded during the first two months of a typical year… [L]ess available prey are hurting newly born sea lions the most, potentially slowing down the species’ population growth, scientists say. “It’s going to decline,” said Sharon Melin, wildlife biologist at the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center… During NOAA’s survey of the sea lion breeding grounds, Melin said, researchers saw more dead pups than usual. The increased mortality could cause fewer pups to become stranded because they’re dying before they can leave the islands, she said. The exact number of dead pups is not known… The pups… should have gained about 20 pounds in the last six months, Melin said, but they haven’t grown at all. “It still looks very grim this year,” Melin said…

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/feb/24/sea-lion-pup-strandings/
S.D. Union Tribune, Feb. 24, 2016: Record sea lion strandings are tapering off; Scientists say the trend may indicate dwindling population, not a recovery… SeaWorld San Diego typically rescues 200 marine mammals in any given year. Already this year, there are 147 sea lions in SeaWorld’s care, according to David Koontz, theme park spokesman… The low birth weight suggests that there isn’t adequate prey… “It’s a clear sign that there is a mismatch between supply and demand,” said Nate Manuta, a NOAA climate scientist… The dearth of food across the ocean isn’t harming the adult sea lions as much as the pups… Melin said more pups are leaving their mothers before they are ready, likely because of hunger… Because food supplies have been low for five years, the habits of the species have to adjust. “We are seeing adaptation,” Melin said, “even though it is hard to watch.”

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/west-coast-sardine-populations-long-sinking-look-even-worse-in-forecast/
Seattle Times, Feb 27, 2016: Sardines off the West Coast have continued on a steep decline, with populations this summer forecast to be down 93 percent from a 2007 peak, according to a draft assessment from the National Marine Fisheries Service… Last year, the sardine implosion was so severe that the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to call off the season that was scheduled to start in July for West Coast fleets… The stocks of sardines aged one year or older are forecast to be 64,422 metric tons, about a third lower than the 2015 assessment… Albert Carter, of Ocean Gold Seafood… who serves on a Pacific Fishery Management Council advisory committee, said… if populations have continued to decline, he does not expect a 2016 season.
http://enenews.com/officials-historic-crisis-affecting-west-coast-facing-fishery-disaster-very-never-before-be-exclamation-alarm-general-public-unprecedented-include-threat-extinction-salmon-runs-closure-sardine-fish
See also: Officials: “Historic crisis” along US West Coast… “We’re facing a fishery disaster”… “Very never-seen-before things”… Should be exclamation alarm to public — Extinction threat for salmon runs; Loss of sardines, squid, sea urchins, kelp; Massive sea star deaths; Marine mammal strandings… more

2016 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS THE HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE HUGH P. THOMPSON SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA January 27, 2016, 11 a.m. House Chambers, State Capitol

016 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS
THE HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE HUGH P. THOMPSON
SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA
January 27, 2016, 11 a.m.
House Chambers, State Capitol

Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, President Pro Tem Shafer, Speaker Pro Tem Jones, members of the General Assembly, my fellow judges and my fellow Georgians:
Good morning. Thank you for this annual tradition of inviting the Chief Justice to report on the State of Georgia’s Judiciary. Thanks in large part to your support and the support of our governor, as we move into 2016, I am pleased to tell you that your judicial branch of government is not only steady and secure, it is dynamic; it has momentum; and it is moving forward into the 21st century with a vitality and a commitment to meeting the inevitable changes before us.
Our mission remains the same: To protect individual rights and liberties, to uphold and interpret the rule of law, and to provide a forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes that is fair, impartial, and accessible to all.
Our judges are committed to these principles. Each day, throughout this state, they put on their black robes; they take their seat on the courtroom bench; and they work tirelessly to ensure that all citizens who come before them get justice.


Our Judicial Council is the policy-making body of the state’s judicial branch. It is made up of competent, committed leaders elected by their fellow judges and representing all classes of court. They are assisted by an Administrative Office of the Courts, which is under a new director – Cynthia Clanton – and has a renewed focus as an agency that serves judges and courts throughout Georgia.
A number of our judges have made the trip to be here today. Our judges are here today because the relationship we have with you is important. We share with you the same goal of serving the citizens of this great state. We could not do our work without your help and that of our governor.
On behalf of all of the judges, let me say we are extremely grateful to you members of the General Assembly for your judicial compensation appropriation last year.


Today I want to talk to you about Georgia’s 21st century courts – our vision for the future, the road we must travel to get there, and the accomplishments we have already achieved.
It has been said that, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Since a new state Constitution took effect in 1983, our population has nearly doubled to a little over 10 million, making us the 8th most populous state in the country. We are among the fastest growing states in the nation, and in less than four years, our population is projected to exceed 12 million.
Because it is good for our economy, we welcome that growth. Today, Georgia ranks
among states with the highest number of Fortune 500 companies, 20 of which have their global headquarters here; we have 72 four-year colleges and universities; we have the world’s busiest airport and we have two deep-water ports. Georgia is a gateway to the South, and for a growing number of people and businesses from around the world, it is a gateway to this country.
All of this growth produces litigation – increasingly complex litigation – and just as our state must prepare for this growth by ensuring we have enough roads and modes of transportation, enough doctors and hospitals, and enough power to reach people throughout the state, our courts also must be equipped and modernized for the 21st
century.
While our population has nearly doubled since 1983, the number of Georgia judges has
grown only 16 percent. We must work together to ensure that our judicial system has enough judges, staff and resources in the 21st century to fulfill the mission and constitutional duties our forefathers assigned to us.
A healthy, vibrant judiciary is absolutely critical to the economic development of our state. Thanks to many leaders in the judiciary, as well as to our partnership with the governor and to you in the legislature, we are well on our way to building a court system for the 21st century.


This time next year, with your support, we will have put into place an historic shift in the types of cases handled by the Georgia Supreme Court – the highest court in the state – and by the Court of Appeals – our intermediate appellate court. Thanks to Governor Deal’s Georgia Appellate Jurisdiction Review Commission, this realignment will bring the Supreme Court of Georgia in line with other state Supreme Courts, which handle only the most critical cases that potentially change the law. Serving on the Commission are two of my colleagues – Justice David Nahmias and Justice Keith Blackwell – as well as two judges from the Court of Appeals – Chief
Judge Sara Doyle and Judge Stephen Dillard.
I thank you, Justices and Judges, for your leadership.
Under the Georgia Constitution, Supreme Court justices collectively decide every case that comes before us. Currently the state’s highest court hears divorce and alimony cases; we hear cases involving wills; we hear cases involving titles to land; and we hear disputes over boundary lines.
But the Governor’s Commission, and a number of reports by other commissions and
committees issued since 1983, have recommended that such cases should be heard by our intermediate appeals court, not by our highest court.
Both of our courts are among the busiest in the nation. But unlike the Supreme Court, which sits as a full court with all seven justices participating in, and deciding, every case, the Court of Appeals sits in panels of three. With your approval last year of three new Court of Appeals judges, that court will now have five panels, so it will have the capacity to consider five times as many cases as the Supreme Court.
Modernization of the Supreme Court makes sense. In a 19th century court system, when
most of the wealth was tied up in land, maybe title to land cases were the most important. Maybe they had the greatest implications for the public at large. But as we move into the 21st century, that is no longer true.
In answer to questions such as who owns a strip of land, what does a will mean, and who should prevail in a divorce settlement or an alimony dispute, most judicial systems believe that three judges are enough to provide the parties with a full and fair consideration of their appeal. It no longer makes sense to have seven – or nine – justices collectively review these types of cases.
There is no doubt these cases will be in good hands with the Court of Appeals.
Let me emphasize that all these cases the Commission recommended shifting to the Court of Appeals are critically important to the parties involved.
Let me also emphasize that the purpose of this historic change is not to lessen the burden on the Supreme Court. Rather, the intent is to free up the state’s highest court to devote more time and energy to the most complex and the most difficult cases that have the greatest implications for the law and society at large.
We will therefore retain jurisdiction of constitutional challenges to the laws you enact, questions from the federal courts seeking authoritative rulings on Georgia law, election contests, murder and death penalty cases, and cases in which the Court of Appeals judges are equally divided.
Significantly, we want to be able to accept more of what we call “certiorari” cases
which are appeals of decisions by the Court of Appeals. The number of petitions filed in this category during the first quarter of the new docket year is nearly 14 percent higher this year over last. Yet due to the amount of appeals the law now requires us to take, we have had to reject the majority of the petitions for certiorari that we receive.
These cases are often the most complex – and the most consequential. They involve
issues of great importance to the legal system and the State as a whole. Or they involve an area of law that has become inconsistent and needs clarification.
Businesses and citizens need to know what the law allows them to do and what it does
not allow them to do. It is our job at the highest court to reduce any uncertainty and bring consistency and clarity to the law.
Under the Commission’s recommendations, our 21st century Georgia Supreme Court will
be able to accept more of these important appeals.


As we move into the 21st century, plans are being discussed to build the first state Judicial Building in Georgia’s history that will be dedicated solely to the judiciary. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership on this. The building that now houses the state’s highest court and the Court of Appeals was built in 1954 when Herman Tallmadge was governor. Back then, it made sense to combine the state judicial branch with part of the executive branch, by locating the Law Department in the same building.
But the world has changed since 1954, and the building we now occupy was not designed with visitors in mind. It was not designed with technology in mind. And it surely was not designed with security in mind. Indeed, it was designed to interconnect with neighboring buildings that housed other branches of government.
A proper Judicial Building is about more than bricks and mortar. Outside, this building will symbolize for generations to come the place where people will go to get final resolution of civil wrongs and injustices; where the government will go to safeguard its prosecution of criminals; and where defendants will go to appeal convictions and sentences to prison for life.
Inside such a building, the courtroom will reinforce the reality that what goes on here is serious and solemn; it is a place of great purpose, in the words of a federal judge. The parties and the lawyers will understand they are all on equal footing, because they are equal under the law.
There is a majesty about the law that gets played out in the courtroom. It is a hallowed place because it is where the truth must be told and where justice is born. The courtroom represents our democracy at its very best.
No, this building is not just about bricks and mortar. Rather it is a place that will house Georgia’s highest court where fairness, impartiality, and justice will reign for future generations.


We are no longer living in a 1950s Georgia. The courts of the 21st century must be
equipped to handle an increasingly diverse population. Living today in metropolitan Atlanta alone are more than 700,000 people who were born outside the United States. According to the Chamber of Commerce, today some 70 countries have a presence in Atlanta, in the form of a consulate or trade office. We must be ready to help resolve the disputes of international businesses that are increasingly locating in our state and capital. Our 21st century courts must be open, transparent and accessible to all. Our citizens’ confidence in their judicial system depends on it. We must be armed with qualified, certified interpreters, promote arbitration as an alternative to costly, courtroom-bound litigation, ensure that all those who cannot afford lawyers have an avenue toward justice, and be constantly updating technology with the aim of improving our courts’ efficiency while saving literally millions of dollars. For all of this, we need your help.


When I first became a judge, we had no email, no cell phones, no Internet. People didn’t Twitter or text, or post things on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. The most modern equipment we had was a mimeograph machine.
This past year, by Supreme Court order, we created for the first time a governance
structure to bring our use of technology into the 21st century. Chaired by my colleague Justice Harold Melton, and co-chaired by Douglas County Superior Court Judge David Emerson, this permanent Judicial Council Standing Committee on Technology will lead the judicial branch by providing guidance and oversight of its technology initiatives.
Our courts on their own are rapidly moving away from paper documents into the digital age. At the Supreme Court, lawyers must now electronically file all cases. This past year, we successfully launched the next phase by working with trial courts to begin transmitting their entire court record to us electronically. The Court of Appeals also now requires the e-filing of applications to appeal, and this year, will join the Supreme Court in accepting electronic trial records.

Our goal is to develop a uniform statewide electronic filing and retrieval system so that lawyers and others throughout the judiciary can file and access data the easiest way possible.
Using a single portal, attorneys will be able to file documents with trial courts and appellate courts – and retrieve them from any court in the state. This is the system advocated by our partner, President Bob Kaufman of the State Bar of Georgia, and by attorneys throughout the state.
Such a system will not only make our courts more efficient at huge savings, but it will make Georgia safer. When our trial judges conduct bond hearings, for example, they often lack critical information about the person before them. They usually have reports about any former convictions, but they may not have information about cases pending against the defendant in other courts. The technology exists now to ensure that they do.
Also on the horizon is the expanded use of videoconferencing – another electronic
improvement that will save money and protect citizens’ lives. After a conviction and sentence to prison, post-trial hearings require courts to send security teams to pick up the prisoner and bring him to court. Without encroaching on the constitutional right of confrontation, we could videoconference the inmate’s testimony from his prison cell. Again, the technology already exists.
Our Committee on Technology will be at the forefront of guiding our courts into the 21st century.


As Georgia grows, it grows more diverse.
Our Georgia courts are required by the federal government to provide language services free of charge to litigants and witnesses, not only in criminal cases but in civil cases as well.
Even for fluent English speakers, the judicial system can be confusing and unwelcoming.
My vision for Georgia’s judiciary in the 21st century is that every court, in every city and every county in Georgia, will have the capacity of serving all litigants, speaking any language, regardless of national origin, from the moment they enter the courthouse until the moment they leave. That means that on court websites, signs and forms will be available in multiple languages, that all court staff will have the tools they need to assist any customers, and that court proceedings will have instant access to the interpreters of the languages they need.
Chief Magistrate Kristina Blum of the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court has been
working hard to ensure access to justice for all those who come to her court, most of whom are representing themselves.
Recently her court created brochures that provide guidance for civil trials, family
violence matters, warrant applications, garnishments, and landlord-tenant disputes. These brochures provide basic information about each proceeding – what to expect and how best to present their case in court.
Judge Blum, who is in line to be president of the Council of Magistrate Judges and is a member of our Judicial Council, has had the brochures translated into Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese. Such non-legalese forms and tutorial videos that our citizens can understand go a long way toward building trust in the judicial system, and in our entire government.
The Supreme Court Commission on Interpreters, chaired by Justice Keith Blackwell, is
making significant strides in ensuring that our courts uphold the standards of due process. With the help of Commission member Jana Edmondson-Cooper, an energetic attorney with the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Commission is working around the state to educate judges,court administrators and lawyers on the judiciary’s responsibilities in providing language assistance.
The essence of due process is the opportunity to be heard. Our justice system is the envy of other countries because it is open and fair to everyone seeking justice. By helping those who have not yet mastered English, we reinforce the message that the doors to the best justice system in the world are open to everyone.
Our law demands it. Our Constitution demands it.


The courts of the 21st century will symbolize a new era. A turning point in our history occurred when we realized there was a smarter way to handle criminals.
Six years ago, my colleague and then Chief Justice Carol Hunstein accompanied
Representative Wendell Willard to Alabama to explore how that state was reforming its criminal justice system. Back in Georgia, Governor Deal seized the reins, brought together the three branches of government, and through extraordinary leadership, has made criminal justice reform a reality. Georgia is now a model for the nation.
Today, following an explosive growth in our prison population that doubled between
1990 and 2011 and caused corrections costs to top one billion dollars a year, last year our prison population was the lowest it has been in 10 years. Our recidivism rate is the lowest it’s been in three decades. And we have turned back the tide of rising costs.
For the last five years, the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform – created by the governor and your legislation – has been busy transforming our criminal justice system into one that does a better job of protecting public safety while holding non-violent offenders accountable and saving millions in taxpayer dollars. I am extremely grateful to this Council and commend the steady leadership of co-chairs Judge Michael Boggs of the Court of Appeals and Thomas Worthy of the State Bar of Georgia.
Throughout this historic reform, Georgia’s trial court judges have been in the trenches.
Our number one goal in criminal justice reform is to better protect the safety of our citizens.
Central to that goal is the development of our specialty courts – what some call accountability courts.
These courts have a proven track record of reducing recidivism rates and keeping our
citizens safe. Nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain free of arrest two years after completing the program, and the most conservative analyses show that drug courts reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options. Last year, these courts helped save Georgia more than $51 million in prison costs.
From the beginning, you in the legislature have steadfastly supported the growth in these courts, most recently appropriating more than $19 million for the current fiscal year.
Georgia now has 131 of these courts, which include drug courts, DUI courts, juvenile and adult mental health courts, and veterans courts. Today, only two judicial circuits in the state do not yet have a specialty court, and both are in the early stages of discussing the possibility of starting one. In addition to those already involved, last year alone, we added nearly 3500 new participants to these courts.
Behind that number are individual tales of lives changed and in some cases, lives saved.
Our judges, who see so much failure, take pride in these success stories. And so should you.

Chief Judge Richard Slaby of the Richmond County State Court, speaks with great pride of Judge David Watkins and the specialty courts that have grown under Judge Watkins’ direction. Today the recidivism rate among the Augusta participants is less than 10 percent.
The judges who run these courts are committed and deserve our thanks. We are grateful to leaders like Judge Slaby, who is President-Elect of the Council of State Court Judges and a member of our Judicial Council; to Judge Stephen Goss of the Dougherty Superior Court, whose mental health court has been recognized as one of the best mental health courts in our country; to Chief Judge Brenda Weaver, President of the Council of Superior Court Judges and a member of our Judicial Council. Judge Weaver of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit serves on the Council of
Accountability Court Judges of Georgia, which you created last year by statute. Its purpose is to improve the quality of our specialty courts through proven standards and practices, and it is chaired by Superior Court Judge Jason Deal of Hall County. Judge Deal’s dedication to the specialty court model in his community, and his guidance and encouragement to programs throughout the state, are described as invaluable by those who work with him.


We may not have a unified court system in Georgia. But we have judges unified in their commitment to our courts. Among our one thousand four hundred and fifty judges, Georgia has many fine leaders. I’ve told you about a number of them today. In closing, I want to mention two more.
When the United States Supreme Court issued its historic decision last year on same-sex marriage, our Council of Probate Court Judges led the way toward compliance. Three months before the ruling was issued, the judges met privately at the behest of the Council’s then president, Judge Chase Daughtrey of Cook County, and his successor, Judge Don Wilkes of Emanuel County. Together, they determined that regardless of what the Supreme Court decided, they would follow the law. Both Governor Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens also publicly announced they would respect the court’s decision, despite tremendous pressure to do otherwise.
These men are all great leaders who spared our state the turmoil other states endured. The bottom line is this: In Georgia, we may like the law, we may not like the law, but we follow the law.


The day-to-day business of the Georgia courts rarely makes the news. Rather judges,
their staff and clerks spend their days devoted to understanding the law, tediously pushing cases through to resolution, committed to ferreting out the truth and making the right decision. It is not easy, and they must often stand alone, knowing that when they sentence someone to prison, many lives hang in the balance between justice and mercy.
So I thank all of our leaders, and I thank all of our judges who are leading our courts into the 21st century.
May God bless them. May God bless you. And may God bless all the people of Georgia.
Thank you.

Fukushima fallout: Throwing radioactive caution to the wind – and sea Cynthia McKinney

Fukushima fallout: Throwing radioactive caution to the wind – and sea
Cynthia McKinney
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/319053-fukushima-fallout-radioactive-japan/

After serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the US House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the US Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the US presidency.
Published time: 19 Oct, 2015 11:08


An aerial view shows No. 4 (front L), No. 3 (front R), No. 2 (rear L) and No. 1 reactor buildings at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama town, Fukui prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo November 27, 2014. © Kyodo
An aerial view shows No. 4 (front L), No. 3 (front R), No. 2 (rear L) and No. 1 reactor buildings at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama town, Fukui prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo November 27, 2014. © Kyodo / Reuters
In the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power meltdown following the tsunami of March 11, 2011, the international community has totally failed in keeping the public properly informed and protected from the fallout.

Scientists and environmental officials continue to express concern, even now, at the unusual events and wonder about the causes. At the same time, the media present the facts, but fail to make any connection whatsoever to the ongoing state of affairs stemming from the tragic 2011 events at Fukushima.

Here are a few recent examples:

Seabird die-off reported around Kodiak, Alaska: A September 2015 audio report from Robin Corcoran, biologist from the Kodiak Wildlife National Refuge, confirms local reports that “emaciated” bird carcasses are washing up on Kodiak Island shores. Corcoran states that the birds were “showing up in places where people don’t normally see them . . . foraging, trying to find forage fish.”

© Toru Hanai
© Toru Hanai / Reuters

The KMXT narrator quoted Corcoran as saying it was unclear what caused the deaths but “could be related to the birds’ inability to catch forage fish,” while it was evident “the birds have no fat on their bodies and they don’t have any food in their digestive systems which indicates that they starved.”

Corcoran confirms that the last major bird die-off experienced in the region was January through March of 2012. The program concluded by stating that multiple species of birds have declined in number in other Alaska regions, according to surveys taken by the Wildlife Refuge. The next day, KTOO reported that Corcoran speculated on several causes for the die-off: “flight feather molt,”“whale die-offs,” or “harmful algal blooms . . . related to warm ocean temperatures.”

A few days before the Kodiak reports, The Daily Astorian headlined: “Scientists Searching for Answers in Bird Die-Off.” Julia Parish, speaking on behalf of the University of Washington’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, states that the spikes in deaths are two to three times higher than normal. Josh Saranpaa of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast was quoted as saying, “Every bird we’re seeing is starving to death. It’s pretty bad.” Saranpaa added, “When you see so many starving, something is not quite right out there.”

The warming ocean and the toxic algae bloom are offered as possible explanations for the die-offs. Warming oceans, it is explained, cause the fish to swim deeper than the birds can dive while the toxic algae bloom runs from California straight up to Alasak. Parish concludes that it has been a really “odd” year with multiple regional scale events. She says that there is not much that researchers can do except wait and watch.

Julia Reis of the Half Moon Bay Review writes with understatement, “There have been noticeable changes in the Pacific Ocean that have caused difficulties for marine life of late.”


© Shizuo Kambayashi
© Shizuo Kambayashi / Reuters

Gerry McChesney of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge says that the die-off has him all the more “baffled” because of the strip of cold water in his area full of food for these birds. In my mind’s eye, I can see McChesney scratching his head as I read that he considers poisoning, starvation, and El Nino as possible causes for the die-off. The article ends with the following comment by McChesney, “We might have to see some other problem in the ocean before we understand what’s causing the die-off.”

ENENews.com points to the problem of the massive die-off happening from San Diego to Alaska—all along the West Coast of the U.S. It highlights in various reports words like “strange,” “unprecedented,” “crazy,” “worst,” with this iconic quote from The Sacramento Bee: “Our gut tells us there is something going on in the marine environment.”

Behrens [1] published an open access 2012 model simulation of cesium 137 (137Cs) released into the Pacific Ocean as a result of the Fukushima incident and found that after the first two to three years, tracer elements descended to depths of more than 400 meters, reached the Hawaiian Islands after about two years, and North American territorial waters after about five to six years.

Although in decreased rates of concentration from the initial injection, the entire northern Pacific basin becomes saturated with tracer fluids in this simulation. This study finds that the radioactivity remains at about twice pre-Fukushima levels until about Year Nine when radioactivity tapers to pre-Fukushima levels. This research specifically does not investigate the biological effects of increased radioactivity in the Pacific Ocean.

In 2011, Lozano [2] investigated reports of man-made cesium atmospheric detection as far away as the Iberian Peninsula. Mangano and Sherman [3] take their 2015 investigation of Fukushima radiation exactly into a potentially politically uncomfortable, but essential space: biological effects. They look at “congenital anomalies” that occurred in the U.S. western states after the arrival of radioactive Fukushima Fallout. And they found that while in the rest of the U.S., birth defects decreased by almost four percentage points, on the U.S. West Coast, defects increased by thirteen percent.

View Dr. Sherman’s interview by Russia Today’s Thom Hartman where she explains the research.

Even U.S. soldiers are now experiencing Fukushima Fallout with exposure hitting home in health effects and birth defects. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explains how Fukushima radioactivity reaches ocean life from both air and sea discharges. These air, ground, or sea discharges, by the way, continue twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Arne Gundersen of Fairewinds.org estimates that by 2015 at least 23,000 tanker truckloads of radioactive water have been released into the Pacific Ocean “with no end in sight.”

Please tell me whatever happened to the Precautionary Principle in public policy? [4] Is profit more important than prudence? Finally, a 2015 study by Synolakis and Kanoglu [5] finds that the Fukushima tragedy was preventable. They conclude that due to design flaws, regulatory failures, and “arrogance and ignorance,” and concludes that Fukushima Daiichi was “a sitting duck waiting to be flooded.”

With all of this as background, the media provide coverage of marine anomalies mentioning global warming, even El Nino and toxic algae, while the elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation. It is this silence that is deafening! It makes me wonder who are the beneficiaries of the nuclear power business? Why is the nuclear power lobby so strong when the dangers are clearly so evident? Instead, we are told: “It is fossil fuels that are destroying the planet. Nuclear power is clean and safe.” I’m also told that nuclear power is a sign of modernity; it is the future. But solar, geothermal, and wind are rarely given a mention by these same individuals. I’m also told that by posing these questions, I’m fearmongering.

I do want to know why in the face of what appear to be Pacific Ocean die-offs, El Nino is mentioned and not the Fukushima-related elevated levels of radiation. As long as there is a palpable lack of transparency in the mainstream media’s ordinary coverage of extraordinary environmental events, that includes what one senses as a reticence to discuss the obvious, I predict that there will be a proliferation of citizen journalists and citizen scientists seizing upon each piece of new data trying to make sense out of a government-approved narrative that just doesn’t make sense—again.
US President Obama stated, “We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific.”

We should not rely on government officials to tell us the truth about the full extent of Fukushima’s fallout: Incredibly, Obama advised the people of the U.S. not to take precautionary measures beyond “staying informed.” Canada immediately suspended measurements of radiation around Vancouver. The government of Japan has not been trustworthy from the very beginning about the extent of the tragedy.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

ENENews: Gov’t Report: Plutonium detected in recent California air samples — “Fallout from Fukushima nuclear accident”

Gov’t Report: Plutonium detected in recent California air samples — “Fallout from Fukushima nuclear accident” may be to blame

Published: December 28th, 2015 at 6:54 pm ET
By ENENews
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156 comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (pdf), Sept 28, 2015 (emphasis added):

Ambient Air Radioactive Particulates
Composite samples were analyzed by alpha spectroscopy for plutonium-239+240, which was detected in 2 out of 206 samples taken in 2014. Detections at the Livermore Site and Livermore off-site locations [in California] for plutonium-239+240 are attributed to a number of factors including the following: resuspension of plutonium-contaminated soil (see Chapter 6); ambient air from historical operations; resuspended fallout from previous atmospheric testing; or fallout from the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The highest values and percentage of the DCS for the plutonium-239+240 detections were as follows: Livermore Site perimeter: 13.4 nBq/m3 (0.36 aCi/m3)… Livermore off-site locations: 10.4 nBq/m3 (0.28 aCi/m3).

See also: Official data shows U.S. hit with huge spike of ‘most dangerous’ radiation from Fukushima — Levels far exceeded federal regulatory limits — Alpha particles nearly 1,000 times normal; Includes plutonium — Gov’t workers in “fear of radiation”

I hope yall aren’t waiting around for the govt. to tell you that all will be ok. There is no health threat. It takes four or more years for cancer to set in. Fukushima has been pouring 400 tons of radioactive waste cocktail into the Pacific every day since 03/2011. Almost five (5) years now. Tell me, what do you think 5 years of waste cocktail did to the Pacific Ocean?