provinceorstate:district of columbia

  • Uber to pay $148 million in data breach settlement

    Uber has agreed to pay $148 million to settle a data breach that affected some 57 million customers in 2016. The agreement was with the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to resolve their legal inquiries on this matter, Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West said in a statement released Wednesday. The data breach affected 50 million riders and 7 million drivers ; around 600,000 driver license numbers for U.S. drivers were also included in the breach. Uber’s (...)

    #Uber #données #procès #hacking

  • DreamHost ordered to hand over data on anti-Trump website: The criminalization of political dissent - World Socialist Web Site

    In a chilling attack on free speech, a District of Columbia Superior Court judge Thursday ordered the web hosting company DreamHost to make available to the Trump administration vast amounts of data related to a website,, which organized protests against Trump’s inauguration in January.

  • Five ThirtyHeight
    Gun Deaths In America


    The data in this interactive graphic comes primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Multiple Cause of Death database, which is derived from death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is widely considered the most comprehensive estimate of firearm deaths. In keeping with the CDC’s practice, deaths of non-U.S. residents that take place in the U.S. (about 50 per year) are excluded. All figures are averages from the years 2012 to 2014, except for police shootings of civilians, which are from 2014.

    The “homicides” category includes deaths by both assault and legal intervention (primarily shootings by police officers). “Young men” are those ages 15 to 34; “women” are ages 15 and older. Because the CDC’s estimates of police shootings are unreliable, we used estimates from non-governmental sources. Our figure is for 2014, the first year for which such estimates are generally available. (For more on the data we used, see Carl Bialik’s story on police shootings.)

    For shootings of police officers, we used the FBI’s count of law enforcement officers “feloniously killed” by firearms in the line of duty. This figure excludes accidental shootings. The FBI counts all killings of federal, state and local law enforcement officers who meet certain criteria, including that they were sworn officers who ordinarily carried a badge and a gun.

    For mass shootings, we used Mother Jones’s database of public mass shootings. For 2012 and earlier, Mother Jones includes only incidents in which at least four people (excluding the shooter) were killed; beginning in 2013, Mother Jones lowered the threshold to three fatalities. In order to use a consistent definition, we excluded the one incident in 2013-14 in which exactly three people were killed.

    For terrorism gun deaths, we used the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. Our count of fatalities excludes perpetrators killed during their attacks. There was one incident, the 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that qualified as both an act of terrorism and a mass shooting. Seven law-enforcement officers were killed in incidents that the terrorism database classifies as acts of terrorism.

    Population totals (used to calculate death rates per 100,000 people) are based on 2012-14 American Community Survey microdata from the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS project. As a result, death rates will not perfectly match official figures from the CDC, which are based on a different set of numbers from the Census Bureau. Racial and ethnic categories are mutually exclusive: All people who were designated as Hispanic in the CDC data are coded as “Hispanic” in ours; all other racial categories are non-Hispanic. “Native American” includes American Indians and Alaska Natives.

    Data and code for this project are available on our GitHub page.”

  • Law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did last year

    "Here’s an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did. Martin Armstrong pointed this out at his blog, Armstrong Economics, last week.

    Officers can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime — yes, really! — through the highly controversial practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Last year, according to the Institute for Justice, the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.

    Armstrong claims that “the police are now taking more assets than the criminals,” but this isn’t exactly right: The FBI also tracks property losses from larceny and theft, in addition to plain ol’ burglary. If you add up all the property stolen in 2014, from burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and other means, you arrive at roughly $12.3 billion, according to the FBI. That’s more than double the federal asset forfeiture haul."

    Law to Clean Up ‘Nuisances’ Costs Innocent People Their Homes

    Stop and seize
    Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

    • Jeff Sessions wants police to take more cash from American citizens

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said he’d be issuing a new directive this week aimed at increasing police seizures of cash and property.

      “We hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture — especially for drug traffickers,” Sessions said in his prepared remarks for a speech to the National District Attorney’s Association in Minneapolis. “With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.”

      Asset forfeiture is a disputed practice that allows law enforcement officials to permanently take money and goods from individuals suspected of crime. There is little disagreement among lawmakers, authorities and criminal justice reformers that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.” But in many cases, neither a criminal conviction nor even a criminal charge is necessary — under forfeiture laws in most states and at the federal level, mere suspicion of wrongdoing is enough to allow police to seize items permanently.

    • Jeff Sessions Just Made it Easier For Law Enforcement to Seize Your Assets Even If You Haven’t Been Convicted of A Crime

      The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it will be restarting the controversial “adoptive forfeiture” program, which allows local police departments and law enforcement agencies to seize the property of people suspected of a crime, even if they haven’t been charged with or convicted of one.

      This particular federal asset forfeiture program, which is a very lucrative revenue source for local enforcement, was shut down by the Obama administration, but the Washington Post reports that in the 12 months before then-Attorney General Eric Holder shut the program down in 2015, state and local authorities took in $65 million that they then shared with federal agencies.

    • Weekend Read: How ’highway robbery’ allows police to seize cash, property

      Law enforcement may keep some or all of what they take, depending on the state. In 13 states and the District of Columbia, agencies are not required to record or report what they’ve taken — or how much it’s worth, or why it was confiscated in the first place.

      It’s a power that opens the door for abuse by law enforcement, particularly cash-strapped agencies. Fortunately, 24 states have implemented reforms and even more have debated curbing the practice.

      But this week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to expand forfeiture on a federal level.

      “We plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures,” Sessions said in prepared remarks delivered Monday to the National District Attorneys Association. “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.”

      But because a person does not need to have been convicted of – nor even charged with – a crime to have assets seized, it is often not criminals targeted by law enforcement. As Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in March:

      These forfeiture operations frequently target the poor and other groups least able to defend their interests in forfeiture proceedings. … They are more likely to use cash than alternative forms of payment, like credit cards, which may be less susceptible to forfeiture. And they are more likely to suffer in their daily lives while they litigate for the return of a critical item of property, such as a car or a home.

  • Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule - The New York Times

    Dealing a legal blow to the Trump administration, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot suspend an Obama-era rule to restrict methane emissions from new oil and gas wells.

    The 2-to-1 decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a legal setback for Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, who is trying to roll back dozens of Obama-era environmental regulations. The ruling signals that the Trump administration’s efforts to simply delay environmental and public health actions are likely to face an uphill battle in the courts and require a more painstaking process.

    #Environnement #USA #contre-pouvoirs

  • États-Unis : des juifs s’élèvent contre le lobby pro-israélien
    Par Armin Arefi | Modifié le 28/03/2017

    Des centaines de juifs américains ont manifesté dimanche à Washington pour dénoncer le soutien de l’AIPAC à l’occupation israélienne. Une première.

    La politique de l’État d’Israël ne fait pas l’unanimité auprès de la communauté juive des États-Unis. Voilà l’un des enseignements inattendus de la conférence annuelle de l’AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), le puissant lobby pro-israélien aux États-Unis. Pendant que près de 18 000 personnes – un record – étaient réunies dimanche à l’intérieur du centre de convention de Washington pour appeler au soutien inconditionnel de l’État hébreu, des centaines de jeunes juifs américains étaient massés devant le bâtiment pour manifester leur refus de soutenir l’occupation israélienne en territoire palestinien.

    Over 1000 protesters streaming out of #ResistAIPAC changing "If not now, when," through the Red Sea to our freedom. #JewishResistance
    — IfNotNow (@IfNotNowOrg) 26 mars 2017

    « If not now, when ? (Si ce n’est pas maintenant, alors quand ?) », scandait une foule de manifestants en marchant vers le centre de conférence, en référence à la déclaration de Hillel Hazaken, dit Hillel l’Ancien, une des plus grandes figures du judaïsme. « Ce n’est pas parce qu’on est juif que notre soutien à Israël doit être inconditionnel », explique au Point Yonah Lieberman, l’un des cofondateurs d’IfNotNow, un mouvement juif américain qui se dit apolitique et à l’origine du rassemblement. « La communauté juive américaine a un rôle-clé dans le soutien à l’occupation. Or celle-ci est un cauchemar pour les Palestiniens et un désastre moral tant pour ceux qui l’administrent que pour ceux qui la soutiennent. »(...)

    • Les assaillants de l’enseignant arabe devant l’AIPAC accusés de crimes racistes
      Yosef Steynovitz, du Canada et Rami Lubranicki du New Jersey ont participé aux manifestations qui ont eu lieu à Washington devant le Convention Center de Washington
      JTA 31 mars 2017,

      WASHINGTON – Deux hommes ont été accusés de crimes racistes, après avoir attaqué un enseignant arabe. Il s’agirait de deux membres de la Ligue de Défense Juive, devant l’endroit où s’est tenue la conférence annuelle de l’AIPAC cette semaine à Washington

      Le rapport diffusé jeudi par le département de police du District of Columbia a identifié Kamal Nafyeh comme étant la victime.

      Le magazine +972 qui a relayé l’attaque de jeudi, a indiqué que Nafyeh, 55 ans, est un enseignant du Central Piedmont Community College de Charlotte. Selon le site de l’école de la Caroline du Nord, Nafyeh y enseigne la technologie des réseaux depuis 16 ans.

      Le rapport de police n’a pas nommé les attaquants, mais une porte-parole de la police les a identifiés. Il s’agit de Yosef Steynovitz, 32 ans, du Canada, qui a été accusé de coups et blessures graves, et Rami Lubranicki, 59 ans, d’Howell, dans le New Jersey, accusée d’attaque à main armée.

      Dans les deux cas, les chefs d’accusation « suspicion de crime raciste et « islamophobie » ont été ajoutés. Les crimes racistes, s’ils s’ajoutent à une condamnation, alourdiront la peine.

      Selon le rapport de police, Nafyeh a déclaré avoir eu une « altercation verbale » avec Steynovitz, qui l’a « frappé dans la zone du visage ». Nafyeh est tombé à terre, selon le rapport, et Lubranicki l’a frappé dans les côtes et a touché son œil droit avec un bâton de bois.

      Ben White, un journaliste indépendant, a publié des photos des blessures de Nafyeh.

      55-year-old Palestinian-American professor Kamal Nayfeh was brutally beaten outside AIPAC conference

      — Ben White (@benabyad) March 29, 2017

      Le JTA s’est tourné vers les profils LinkedIn de Steynovitz et de Lubranicki pour qu’ils suppriment sur les accusations dont ils font l’objet, mais n’a obtenu aucune réponse.

      En 2014, Lubranicki est apparu sur The Glazov Group, une chaîne d’information conservatrice sur YouTube, comme le fondateur du groupe American Bikers Against Jihad. Il s’est décrit comme un juif américain né en Israël.

      Meir Weinstein, qui serait le directeur de la JDL canadienne, a diffusé une vidéo sur Facebook, indiquant que les individus affiliés au groupe n’ont agi que par légitime défense. Weinstein a présumé que l’incident était le fruit d’une vidéo « savamment montée ».

      « Nous allons diffuser davantage d’information pour remettre les choses dans leur contexte », a-t-il ajouté.

      L’équipe du Times of Israel a contribué à cet article.

      #AIPAC, #Washington, #Ligue_de_Défense_Juive,

  • District Mobility: Multimodal Transportation in the District of Washington


    Multimodal Transportation

    District Mobility is a tool to visualize multimodal transportation system performance within the District of Columbia as part of the District Department of Transportation District Mobility Project. Select a story to find out more.
    District Context
    Moving forward
    More Information

    #cartographie #réseaux #circulation #transport #états-unis #transport

  • Google investit dans une startup qui prédit la date de décès du patient - Express [FR]

    Le fonds d’investissement GV (ancien Google Ventures) vient d’injecter 32 millions de dollars dans #Aspire_Health, une startup qui a développé un algorithme qui peut prédire exactement lorsqu’un malade va décéder dans les douze mois qui suivent. Ces prédictions concernent les personnes qui sont dans leur dernière année de vie.

    Aspire Health a calculé qu’un quart des frais d’assurance maladie aux Etats-Unis (au total 150 milliards de dollars) est dépensé pour les personnes qui vont mourir en l’espace d’un an. En prévoyant la date exacte du décès d’un malade, la société veut limiter les traitements onéreux (et les désagréments physiques qui y sont liés) et se concentrer sur les soins palliatifs à domicile et le confort du patient.

    « Nous pouvons dire quels patients vont mourir dans une semaine, six semaines ou un an », explique le co-fondateur et chirurgien William Frist. « Nous pouvons dire aux assureurs : Combien vous coûtent ces patients ? Nous pouvons prendre en charge leurs soins pour moins de frais et le malade en sera également plus heureux ».

  • Maternal Mortality Rate in U.S. Rises, Defying Global Trend, Study Finds - The New York Times

    Another analysis this month looked at increases by state and found particularly high rates in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Georgia and Arkansas, especially among black women. (…)

    How is it that the United States, a country with some of the most cutting-edge medical treatments, has some of the worst maternal mortality rates in the developed world?

    (…) the increase in recent years has been driven by heart problems and other chronic medical conditions, like diabetes, which has increased sharply in the population. Researchers have theorized that an increase in obesity — particularly acute among poor black women, who have much higher rates of maternal mortality than whites — may be contributing to the problem.

    (...) “People may think this is happening because the U.S. has more minorities and poor people,” he said. “But even if you limit the analysis to whites, we would still rank behind all other industrialized countries.”

    #santé #indicateurs #femmes #États-Unis

  • 1.4 Million Adults Identify As Transgender In America, Study Says : The Two-Way : NPR

    A map of the U.S. shows the number of adults who identify as transgender by state. Darker colors indicate a higher percentage.
    Williams Institute

    The numbers fluctuate by state, but they also double the findings from a decade ago: An estimated 1.4 million people – around 0.6 percent of U.S. adults — identify as transgender, according to a new study.
    The fully urban District of Columbia has the highest percentage of adults who identify as transgender, with 14,550 people — around 2.77 percent of the federal district’s population.

    Several states have 100,000 or more people who identify as transgender, according to the researchers: California, with 218,000; Florida, with 100,300; and Texas, with 125,350.

    The highest percentages of adults identifying as transgender per state were found in Hawaii, California, Georgia, and New Mexico — all with 0.8 percent — followed by Texas and Florida with 0.7 percent, according to the study.

    Five states were found to have the lowest percentages of transgender-identified adults, all with 0.3 percent: North Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota.

    • L’étude How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States ?

      et sa méthodologie dans le résumé

      This report utilizes data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender nationally and in all 50 states.
      To estimate the population by state, we relied on multilevel regression and post-stratification.

      Dans le détail de la méthodologie, il s’agit d’un module optionnel (par état) de l’enquête nationale de la CDC.

      Since this question is included in an optional module, some states did not ask this question while others did. The 19 states that did ask this question include: Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

      In total, 0.52% of BRFSS respondents in these states identified as transgender, and 151,456 respondents answered this question.

      Et les détails sur le questionnaire

      The BRFSS contains optional module questionnaires in addition to its standard questionnaire for each state.9 The 2014 BRFSS had 19 optional modules that states were able to opt-into. One of the modules contained the following question:
      Do you consider yourself to be transgender?
      • Yes
      • No

      [If Yes] Do you consider yourself to be male-to-female, female-to-male, or gender non-conforming?
      If the interviewer is asked for a definition of transgender, they respond:
      Some people describe themselves as transgender when they experience a different gender identity from their sex at birth. For example, a person born into a male body, but who feels female or lives as a woman would be transgender. Some transgender people change their physical appearance so that it matches their internal gender identity. Some transgender people take hormones and some have surgery. A transgender person may be of any sexual orientation – straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

  • Asia Times Online :: Kerry becomes first war casualty
    By M K Bhadrakumar

    (...) Within hours all hell broke loose. The high drama was neatly captured by the well-known Nigerian-American novelist Teju Cole (author of Open City), who twittered:

    Kerry: We won’t attack ... if you do this impossible thing. Syria? Oh, We’ll do it. Russia: They’ll do it. UN: They’ll do it. Kerry: Shit!

    All sorts of conspiracy theories have since popped up - including that a secret Russian-American plan is afoot to help Obama to beat a decent retreat from war plan against Syria. But the honest truth is Kerry made yet another gaffe, and this time it took a life of its own.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (who plays ice hockey by the way) crashed into Kerry within a split second to grab the puck:

    We [Russia] do not know if Syria agrees to this, but if placing the chemical weapons under international control helps avoid military strikes, then we will immediately get to work on this.

    We are calling on the Syrian authorities to reach agreement, not only on putting chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and then joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

    We have already handed over this proposal to [Syrian foreign minister Walid] Muallem, who is in Moscow, and hope for a quick and positive answer.

    Muallem, of course, didn’t even bother to consult Damascus:

    I have attentively listened to Mr Lavrov’s statement. I declare that Syria, guided by its concern for the lives of its citizens and the security of the country, welcomes the Russian initiative.

    Indeed, it is not that Russia and Syria were taking advantage of the time difference between Washington and London (from where Kerry spoke.) Even David Cameron got deceived. The British prime minister said the excellent Russian plan to place Syria’s stockpiles under international control is "hugely welcome’’.

    A fire-fighting operation began no sooner than folks in Washington heard about Kerry’s offer and the Russian plan and the Syrian response, et al. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf called her boss’s words “hypothetical” and “rhetorical” and poured cold water on the Russian plan as "highly unlikely’’. She clarified, “Secretary [Kerry] was not making a proposal.” (...)

  • Fermeture des écoles publiques à Chicago et à Washington (où les écoles seront offerts à des exploitants privés...)

    DC mayor to offer closed schools to charter operators - World Socialist Web Site

    DC mayor to offer closed schools to charter operators
    By Nick Barrickman
    23 May 2013

    A new announcement by Vincent C. Gray, Democratic mayor of Washington, DC would see 12 former public facilities opened up for long-term leasing to charter schools in the District of Columbia, with an additional four receiving short-term rights. The announcement comes days after the rejection of an injunction in Federal court which was intended to halt the planned closures of 15 public schools this year and next.


    Chicago officials release final list of 49 school closures - World Socialist Web Site

    Chicago officials release final list of 49 school closures
    By Kristina Betinis
    23 May 2013

    In the face of mass opposition, the Chicago Board of Education released its final list of school closings Tuesday, announcing the closure of 49 elementary schools and one high school program this year. The city has shuttered public schools every year since 2001, but the latest round is the largest yet, and one of the biggest mass shutdown of schools in US history.

    #éducation #école #enfance #états-unis

  • Jeff Reisig - District Attorney of Yolo County - Accused of Racketeering

    In an almost unprecedented turn of events and somewhat ironically, a local official in the State of California who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses is now accused of criminal conduct.

    Court documents filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia reveal that the highly controversial District Attorney of Yolo County Jeff Reisig is accused of violating the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

    RICO is a federal law that authorizes a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. RICO focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be held civilly liable for the crimes that they ordered others to commit or which they assisted in committing.

    The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering action by Marina Del Rey-based legal scholar Daniel Dydzak, alleges that Jeff Reisig and his deputies/investigators engaged in an “unlawful search and seizure” and that Mr. Reisig and State Bar of California employee Tom Layton (who according to sources is part of an ongoing “ambulance chasing” scheme the Girardi Syndicate operates in San Bernardino County vis-a-vis a satellite office located in San Bernardino and managed by Thomas Girardi’s son-in-law, David Lira) shared with third parties materials obtained during the search.

    The suit further alleges that Reisig conspired to participate in a RICO enterprise, as well as participated in the commission of two or more racketeering activities acting as “accomplice.”

  • The audacity of dope via @opironet

    The drug’s legal status is messy: although medical marijuana is legal in 18 states and in the District of Columbia, cannabis is illegal elsewhere in America

    Pendant ce temps, en France

    Dominique Broc, le coordinateur national des Cannabis Social Clubs Français vient de sortir de sa garde-a-vue, ce vendredi 22 février 2013.
    Alors qu’il devait être hospitalisé hier matin pour une série d’examens importants, les forces de l’ordre sont intervenues à son domicile jeudi 21 février à 7h50 pour l’interpeller et saisir les plantes de cannabis ainsi que le matériel de culture du Cannabis Social Club dont il est membre.
    Comme pour lui signifier qu’il commettait de graves infractions, la police a également saisi son matériel informatique et son téléphone portable, ses outils indispensables pour assurer la coordination nationale du mouvement des Cannabis Social Clubs Français.

    Cannabis Sans Frontières - Communiqué N°75 : Le pouvoir politique français montre son vrai visage.,792.html

    contexte :
    Voir aussi : et

  • Single Moms Can’t Be Scapegoated for the Murder Rate Anymore « Family Inequality

    As the year draws to a close, the Washington Post reports that the District of Columbia is heading for a historic low number of homicides: fewer than 100 for 2012. That’s down from the highs of about 450 per year at the start of the 1990s (while the population is about the same size).

    Not mentioned in the story: the breakdown of the family. That’s surprising, because it was a big part of the story 20 years ago, when D.C. was the murder capital of the country during a national crime wave. I think single mothers—especially those who were raising their kids back in the 1990s—deserve an apology from the conventional-wisdom purveyors of that time.

  • NOM’s Post Election Freak-out: Attack Starbucks, Defend Calif.
    BY Neal Broverman
    November 10 2012 1:25 PM ET
    NOM president Brian Brown

    After the antigay National Organization for Marriage was handed four stinging defeats on Tuesday, with voters endorsing marriage equality in three states and shutting down a divisive ban in another, the group is reeling.

    The American Independent got wind of an emergency conference call on Thursday where the group and its leader, Brian Brown, plotted their next moves. The group’s mission is to “defend traditional marriage” by denying marriage rights to same-sex couples, but their fortunes took a massive turn for the worse on Tuesday when Maine, Maryland, and Washington voters endorsed same-sex marriage at the polls, upping the number of states with marriage equality to nine, as well as the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, Minnesota voters rejected a divisive constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, as well.

    Brown believes their failures had to do with being outspent, as well as GOP candidate Mitt Romney not pushing his opposition to same-sex marriage enough and Republican strategist Karl Rove focusing on economic issues instead of social ones; the latter point goes counter to dozens of polls that put the economy at the top of the electorate’s concerns.

    According to The American Independent, Brown promised to keep up the fight against same-sex marriage and asked his followers for more money. The group is also going after corporations like Starbucks which publicly advocate for marriage equality. NOM’s plan is to garner support in the Middle East, an area hostile to same-sex marriage and an area the coffee chain is interested in expanding in.

    “[Starbucks’s] international outreach is where we can have the most effect,” Brown said. “So for example, in Qatar, in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this. These are not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India. So we have done some of this; we’ve got to do a lot more.”

    Brown and NOM political director Frank Schubert also believe that their losses on Tuesday will help them with Supreme Court battles. Their hope is the high court, set to decide whether to take on challenges to California’s Prop. 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, will not consider gay and lesbian people a “suspect class” now that voters in four states refused to discriminate against them. Judges often describe groups who are routinely subject to bias as members of a “suspect class,” and legislation passed against such groups is often scrutinized. How NOM will convince the Supreme Court that gays are now free of discrimination, especially since they can be legally fired in many states and are denied marriage rights in the majority of them, is unclear.

    NOM is concerned with the next wave of states looking toward marriage equality, including Delaware, Rhode Island, Illinois, and California; the latter could see marriage equality reinstated this month, should the Supreme Court accept a lower court ruling that struck down the Golden State’s narrowly-approved constitutional marriage equality ban.


    A former employee of the State Bar of California — who California Governor Jerry Brown appointed to the Contra Costa County Superior Court bench under questionable circumstances involving his cousin, former California Public Utility Commissioner Geoffrey Brown — is accused in federal court of committing myriad financial crimes and acts of fraud.

    Documents filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia reveal that Judy Johnson of Rodeo allegedly engaged in predicate acts of racketeering through and by means of money laundering, mail and bank fraud, as well as conversion of funds.

    Johnson, female, black, is no stranger to financial schemes. For the past 8 years, she has been quietly serving as the president of an entity with a misleading name (California Consumer Protection Foundation AKA “CCPF”). This entity absorbed close to $30 million in class action cy pres awards, as well as fines and settlements imposed by the California Public Utilities Commission on utility companies. CCPF forwarded those funds to mostly questionable ACORN-like entities in South Los Angeles or to an entity headed by Michael Shames known as UCAN — presently under federal grand jury investigation in San Diego.

    It appears that Johnson misused her position with the State Bar of California as “clout” to obtain cy pres awards from the settlement of class actions prosecuted and defended by various law firms in courts and before the CPUC. In addition, while never prosecuted for the scheme, some have speculated that Johnson and cohorts Robert Hawley (whom Johnson labeled the “Wizard of OZ”) and Starr Babcock were “in” on a financial scheme perpetrated by former State Bar employee Sharon Pearl, who was lightly prosecuted by then-attorney general Jerry Brown, cousin of Geoffrey Brown.

    The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering action by Marina Del Rey-based community activist Daniel Dydzak, also names as a defendants Starr Babcock and Robert Hawley.

    According to confidential sources familiar with the situation, Dydzak filed the suit in Washington DC, because he is extremely concerned that given the caliber of the defendants and the fact that they are in control of the justice system in California, they will seek to injure him in various ways, including in seeking to somehow derail the suit.

    According to these sources, Tom Layton, investigator from the State Bar of California who is well connected with Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, in the past paid a visit to Dydzak’s neighborhood, and sought to convince his neighbors to falsely accuse Dydzak of various acts of misconduct, including providing improper and unlawful legal counsel.


    A former partner of Los Angeles-based Buchalter Nemer — who California Governor Jerry Brown appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court bench under questionable circumstances involving his cousin, former California Public Utility Commissioner Geoff Brown — is accused in federal court of committing myriad financial crimes and acts of fraud.

    Documents filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia reveal that Holly Fujie of Los Angeles allegedly engaged in predicate acts of racketeering through and by means of money laundering, mail and bank fraud, as well as conversion of funds.

    The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering action by Marina Del Rey-based community activist Daniel Dydzak, also names as a defendant Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles and Eric George — the son of the controversial former chief justice of California, Ronald George.

    Both Holly Fujie and Eric George were directors of Bet Tzedek, an entity which obtained millions of dollars from the various trusts funds maintained and operated by the State Bar of California, as well as funds from the California Bar Foundation, where Holly Fujie presently serves as the vice-president.

    Both the State Bar of California and the California Bar Foundation are under the direct control of the California Supreme Court.

    The various legal trust funds maintained by the State Bar of California are overseen by the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission where, coincidently, Holly Fujie also served as director.

    Heading the commission is David Lash of O’Melveny & Myers, another lawyer who is a director of Bet Tzedek, and Bonnie Rubin of 1st Century Bank — a bank owned by former president of the State Bar of California Alan Rothenberg. Coincidently, Eric George is part owner of 1st Century Bank.

    Dydzak alleges in his lawsuits that part of the millions originated from the State Bar of California and its foundation headed to Bet Tzedek were embezzled by the various actors and were siphoned to off shore bank accounts.

    Bet Tzedek is headed by CEO Sandor “Sandy” Samuels — former Chief Trial Counsel at embattled Countywide Financial Services — who according to Dydzak was appointed President and CEO of Bet Tzedek largely due to his working knowledge of how to operate an enterprise which engages in myriad financial crimes.

    According to confidential sources familiar with the situation, Dydzak filed the suit in Washington DC, because he is extremely concerned that given the caliber of the defendants and the fact that they are in control of the justice system in California, they will seek to injure him in various ways, including in seeking to somehow derail the suit.

    According to these sources, Tom Layton, investigator from the State Bar of California who is well connected with Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, in the past paid a visit to Dydzak’s neighborhood, and sought to convince his neighbors to falsely accuse Dydzak of various acts of misconduct, including providing improper and unlawful legal counsel.

    Key words:
    California Governor Jerry Brown, Holly Fujie, Buchalter Nemer, California Public Utility Commission, Geoff Brown, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Eric George, Ronald George, State Bar of California, California Bar Foundation, California Supreme Court, Legal Services Trust Fund Commission, David Lash, O’Melveny & Myers, 1st Century Bank , Alan Rothenberg, Tom Layton

  • Judge Orders Syria and Iran to Pay $332M in State-Sponsored Terrorism Case

    In what one attorney calls the first judgment of its kind, U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth recently ordered Iran and Syria to pay $332 million for their role in a 2006 suicide attack in Israel that killed eleven people.

    The family of Daniel Wultz, an American sixteen-year-old killed in the attack, sued the Iranian and Syrian government in 2008 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Wultz family accused both countries of providing financial and other material support to the group responsible for the attack, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

    In an opinion (PDF)opinion published Monday, Lamberth found that both countries were liable for the attack under the state-sponsored terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Robert Tolchin of the Berman Law Office in Brooklyn, NY, the Wultz family’s lawyer, said he believed this was the first judgment ever entered in a U.S. court against Syria for supporting a terrorist attack in Israel.

  • Docteur Barack et Mister Obama - Gauches | blog à gauche de Thibault Dumas

    Le positionnement du nouveau président démocrate tout au long de la campagne sur les questions de société est révélateur de cette ambivalence. Sur le contrôle des armes à feux son « agenda » n’est pas tranché : il est pour l’interdiction des armes d’assaut et le contrôle du casier judiciaire de l’acheteur sans remettre en cause la vente libre (2e amendement). Pourtant lorsque qu’on creuse un peu, on trouve que Obama est noté F par la NRA (voir les notations), « véritable ennemi des armes à feu ». On découvre que lors de son mandat au Sénat de l’Illinois (1996-2004) il a porté des lois fédérales très régulatrices en la matière. De même au Sénat américain il a voté pour l’interdiction des armes à feux dans le District of Columbia (DC) en 2008. Les exemples sont pléthoriques. Sur la peine de mort la aussi beaucoup de prudence dans son programme : il est pour la peine de mort dans les cas les plus extrêmes (violeurs d’enfants). Quand on se penche sur sa carrière à Chicago on trouve qu’il

    #politique #usa