Editors’ Choice

Posts selected by Moose editors

Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve and Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

This diary may seem a bit disjointed but each part is in fact related and I hope of interest to this group. Each of the components emanates from a beautiful beach and pertains to various environmental and geologic issues currently and historically in play in Whatcom County and Washington State.

2015-06-07 Pt. Whitehorn 021
Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve Beach

Some items can be seen as hopeful, positive, and far sighted like the State’s aquatic reserve program. Others are worrisome and seen by many as looming disasters waiting to happen such as the potential coal export terminal slated to be situated in this area. And finally, I describe some geology of how our beautiful region, including this beach became what it is today.

SCOTUS Watch – Monday, June 29th – UPDATE: AZ redistricting win, Death drug loss, EPA back to drawing board

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this term (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar normally calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year was no different as over the last two weeks we had Thursday and Friday opinion days. Today should be the last session of the term.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders and opinions starting at 9:30am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 8:30am Eastern.

These are the cases heard in the current term but not yet decided:
DECIDED: The districts can be set by the commission. Decision (PDF). The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the Federal District Court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
DECIDED: Oklahoma drugs are not cruel. Decision (PDF). A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
DECIDED: EPA must redo regulations looking at costs. Decision (PDF). Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

President Obama: “We must not allow ourselves to slip into comfortable silence again”

From the White House:

President Obama travels to the College of Charleston in South Carolina to deliver a eulogy for Reverend Clement Pinckney and 8 other congregation members of Emanuel AME who were killed on June 17, 2015. June 26, 2015.

President Obama:

Over the course of centuries, black churches served as “hush harbors” where slaves could worship in safety; praise houses where their free descendants could gather and shout hallelujah — rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad; bunkers for the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement. They have been, and continue to be, community centers where we organize for jobs and justice; places of scholarship and network; places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harm’s way, and told that they are beautiful and smart — and taught that they matter. That’s what happens in church.

That’s what the black church means. Our beating heart. The place where our dignity as a people is inviolate. When there’s no better example of this tradition than Mother Emanuel — a church built by blacks seeking liberty, burned to the ground because its founder sought to end slavery, only to rise up again, a Phoenix from these ashes.

On the Confederate flag and its removal:

For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. We see that now.

Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought — the cause of slavery — was wrong — the imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong. […]

For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career.

On the work ahead:

… it would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again. Once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on, to go back to business as usual — that’s what we so often do to avoid uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society. To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change — that’s how we lose our way again.

Full transcript below …

“The perpetrator has been arrested, but the killer is still at large,” said Rev. William Barber

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Reverend Doctor William Barber II, President of the North Carolina NAACP and a leader of the Moral Mondays Movement was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, about the massacre of the Charleston 9, and the demands to take down the Confederate flag.

Transcript and clip

SCOTUS Watch – Friday, June 26th – UPDATE: Court rules that same-sex marriage is a right

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this term (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar normally calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as last week we had our first Thursday opinion day and this week the court is adding Thursday and Friday.

The Friday Liveblog will start at 9:00am Eastern with opinions at 10:00am. We expect the last day of opinions to be Monday, June 29th after which the court will adjourn until the Fall term.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Obergefell v. Hodges. 6th Circuit overturned, ruling is for Obergefell and affirms a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. Decision 5-4, Kennedy writing majority. Opinion (PDF)

Johnson v. U.S. Ruling is for Johnson and that the Armed Career Criminal Act denies due process. Ruling is 8-1, with Scalia writing majority opinion. Opinion (PDF)

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:00am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
DECIDED: 6th Circuit overruled. Same-sex marriage is a right. The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the Federal District Court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

SCOTUS Watch – Thursday, June 25th – UPDATED: ACA Wins! Fair Housing Wins!

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this term (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as last week we had our first Thursday opinion day and this week the court is adding Thursday and Friday.

The Thursday Liveblog will start at 9:00am Eastern with opinions at 10:00am. Friday’s Liveblog will start at 9:00am Eastern also with opinions at 10:00am. We expect the last day of opinions to be Monday, June 29th after which the court will adjourn until the Fall term.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 

All eyes turn to the court

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 8:30am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– DECIDED: 4th Circuit Affirmed! Subsidies are available on Federal Exchange as well as State Exchange!!The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the Federal District Court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– DECIDED: 5th Circuit Affirmed! Disparate Impact Survives!! An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s mis-application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

The beautiful quilt of blackness

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I look at Romare Bearden’s “Patchwork Quilt” and I see blackness that is a beautiful collage, a fabric stitched together made up of many parts which have a deep spiritual meaning that many people want to see erased and torn asunder.

During times of pain and suffering it is too easy to forget that beauty, and to focus on all the negatives with which we are portrayed. When confronted by things racial in America, there are those who tell me they are colorblind. They attempt to negate me and mine and destroy all the meaning of my existence…to rob me of the joy of my being black.

Yes—joy.

SCOTUS Watch – Monday, June 22nd – UPDATED

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this term (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as last week we had our first Thursday opinion day (no word yet on this week) THERE WILL BE A THURSDAY OPINION DAY – Liveblog to start at 8:30am Eastern, opinions at 10:00am and also Friday at 10:00am.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Four cases
– The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel – 9th Circuit upheld in matter of turning over guest registries. The city has no right to the guest registries.
– Kimball v Marvel Entertainment LLC – Marvel wins. Lower court rulings upheld that the original holder of a patent is not entitled to royalties after the patent expires.
– Kingsley v Hendrickson – 7th Circuit overruled in a Due Process case granting protections to a jail inmate.
– Horne v Department of Agriculture – 9th Circuit overruled. Raisin farmer entitled to compensation for raisins seized in the excess raisin program.

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders and opinions starting at 9:30am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:00am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the Federal District Court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
DECIDED – 9th Circuit Upheld A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (the city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

President Obama: “I refuse to act as if this is the new normal”

The president spoke at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Friday. One of the topics was gun violence.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Obviously, the entire country has been shocked and heartbroken by what happened in Charleston. The nature of this attack — in a place of worship, where congregants invite in a stranger to worship with them, only to be gunned down — adds to the pain. The apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together. We have made great progress, but we have to be vigilant because it still lingers. And when it’s poisoning the minds of young people, it betrays our ideals and tears our democracy apart. […]

More than 11,000 Americans were killed by gun violence in 2013 alone — 11,000. […] At the very least, we should be able to talk about this issue as citizens, without demonizing all gun owners who are overwhelmingly law-abiding, but also without suggesting that any debate about this involves a wild-eyed plot to take everybody’s guns away.[…]

I remarked that it was very unlikely that this Congress would act. And some reporters, I think, took this as resignation. I want to be clear — I am not resigned. I have faith we will eventually do the right thing. (Applause.) I was simply making the point that we have to move public opinion. […]

We need a change in attitudes among everybody — lawful gun owners, those who are unfamiliar with guns. […]

And ultimately, Congress acts when the public insists on action.

Another “normal” that we should not accept: that people of color should always fear for their basic safety. This comment, by David Remnick at the New Yorker, highlights the issue:

No small part of our outrage and grief—particularly the outrage and grief of African-Americans—is the way the Charleston murders are part of a larger picture of American life, in which black men and women, going about their day-to-day lives, have so little confidence in their own safety. One appalling event after another reinforces the sense that the country’s political and law-enforcement institutions do not extend themselves as completely or as fairly as they do for whites.

THAT is what needs to change. Until people of color can feel safe going about their day, until the benefit of the doubt is extended to them … and their children … things will not be right. We need to demand a New Normal for fairness in America and shift public opinion so that protections are extended to all people of all races and genders and sexual orientations.

(Full context of the president’s remarks on gun violence are below …)

President Obama: “Hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals”

The President:

There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.

Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret. When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America. […]

… just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama … Dr. King said … “we must be concerned not merely with who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”