All posts by Arn

Jill Stein Comes To Colorado

Jill Stein will bring her message of People & Planet over Profits to the Colorado this coming Saturday & Sunday August 27th & 28th.

Green US Senatorial candidate Arn Menconi will join Jill at all of the events and Green State House candidate Robert Lee Worthey will join Jill and Arn at the Mercury Cafe in Denver.

COLORADO SPRINGS
Saturday, August 27
Rally and March for PEACE, CLIMATE AND JUSTICE
Acacia Park, 115 E Platte Ave, Colorado Springs
12 noon

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
730 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs
Time: 1:30 pm

FORT COLLINS
Saturday, August 27
Avogadro’s Number, 605 S Mason St, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Time: 6:30 pm

DENVER
Sunday, August 28
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St, Denver, CO 80205
Time: 1 pm

BOULDER
Sunday, August 28
Glen Miller Ballroom, CU Boulder Campus
Time: 7 pm

All events are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible.

You’ll be able to meet and greet with local Green Party chapters as well as the candidates.

All events are free, but donations gladly accepted.

Please R.S.V.P. here: http://www.jill2016.com/events

Campaigning begins now, and we need you NOW.

We are beginning to phone bank for our candidates, and all it takes is an internet connection, your phone and your favorite spot at home. It’s all self-paced work, but there are often deadlines and objectives involved.

Sign up here: www.arnmenconi.com/volunteer

The Need For Independent Prosecutors

If our understanding of the human nature has taught us anything it is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Acting with no fear of repercussion is an absolute power. In order to check this absolute power it is essential to institute an independent prosecutor procedure for instances of officer involved shootings. An effective independent prosecutor could bring a sense of accountability to law enforcement that will lead to increase trust and decreased tensions with communities of color.

A former New York state Chief Judge once stated that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” Looking at our Nation’s state of affairs, it is safe to say that a police officer is nothing like a ham sandwich. While numbers can be boring, in this instance they are illuminating and staggering.

  • With respects getting a grand jury to indict à they imply it’s easy to indict, because it is. The numbers bear this out.
    • In 2010, out of 162,00 cases that U.S. attorneys prosecuted in federal court- they failed to return a grand jury indictment a grand total of 11 time, which equates to .00006790%.

When it comes to prosecutors and police officers, however, these numbers are NEARLY REVERSED. Exact, nationwide figures are very difficult to nail down since data on officer-involved shootings is very difficult to find, as it is not mandated to track by any agency.

There are some individual examples are able to give a window into these statistics.

  • In a particular Texas county, a grand jury has not indicted a Houston police officer since 2004.
  • In Dallas the picture painted is nearly as incomprehensible. In a review of 81 officers involved shooting over a 4-year period, only 1 returned an indictment.
  • According to a fairly comprehensive study conducted by Bowling Green State University, of the thousands of officer-involved shootings between 2005-2015, only 54 officers have been charged.

These shocking numbers paint a clear picture of two separate and distinct legal processes, one for law enforcement officers, and another, much less lenient process for the rest of us.

The conflicts of interest in these situations are far too much to ignore. Prosecutors work hand-in-glove with law enforcement officers on a daily basis. These officers gather the evidence prosecutors need for convictions. This team-like partnership inevitably leads to a conflict of interest when the defendant is an officer. An independent prosecutor is an essential check on police powers, and our entire government is built upon a system of appropriate checks and balances. Without this vital check justice will never be served.

Works Cited

Colorado’s Big Fat Lie Referendum

Big business and industry with heavyweight financial donors are trying to change Colorado’s constitution. Right now, there are people petitioning to get an initiative on the ballot that will seriously affect Coloradans. It is called Raise the Bar.

Governor Hickenlooper and others with financial interests are backing the amendment. Raise the Bar seeks to make it more difficult to get new amendments passed in Colorado. Often state legislators do not represent the majority of Colorado citizens. They have not passed legislation to ban fracking, raise the minimum wage, label GMOs or implement single payer healthcare. Donors are controlling our representatives, so it is often up to grassroots movements to create real change. Through Raise the Bar, the political and corporate establishments are trying to make it more difficult for citizens to get what we need and to push legislation that we want. (Anti-fracking, community-rights activists turn to civil disobedience following Colorado Supreme Court ruling )

So far, the campaign behind Raise the Bar has raised more than $250,000. The Utah-based Colorado Dairy Farmers Trust has contributed $100,000 of that money. The trust has the same address as the Dairy Farmers of America. Many voters are unaware of the fact that Dairy Farmers of America has been involved in major lawsuits and alleged conspiracies. In 2014, Dairy Farmers of America and its marketing branch Dairy Marketing Services settled a five-year lawsuit that alleged the organizations conspired with Dean Foods to manipulate raw milk prices in the northeast United States. (Dairy Farmers of America Settle Lawsuit Alleging Conspiracy to Drive Down Raw Milk Prices). In 2007, another group of dairy farmers had filed suit against Both the Dairy Farmers of America and Dean Foods, alleging that they had made a deal to eliminate competition in the Southeast. (Southeast Milk Antitrust Litigation Website )

What does this have to do with Colorado? Well, the CEO of Dean Foods at the time of the lawsuits was Gregg Engles, who was raised primarily in Denver and admitted to the bar in Colorado. Engles’ ally in the Dean acquisition was Gary Hanman, who was the chief executive officer of the Dairy Farmers of America. Mr. Hanman was questioned in an investigation into whether or not the Nixon administration bolstered milk price supports after the dairy industry made a pledge of $2 million in campaign contributions. Then in 2007, Mr. Hanman and the Dairy Farmers of America were made to pay a $12 million fine for charges of manipulating milk futures. It is also interesting to note that during George W. Bush’s second term as President the Justice Department conducted a 26-month antitrust investigation into the dairy industry. The Justice Department recommended that action should be taken against Dean Foods and the Dairy Farmers of America, but no charges were filed. (In Dairy Industry Consolidation, Lush Paydays)

All of this raises questions about the organizations and money behind Raise the Bar. “Out-of-state” interests with a history of questionable actions are contributing large sums of money to the campaign. The actions by both Dean Foods and the Dairy Farmers of America hurt small farmers and eventually put many out of business. Colorado cannot afford to be manipulated by corrupt money interests.

Raise the Bar is an attempt to further take power away from the people of Colorado and give it to moneyed interests. The extremely stringent requirements are designed to crush grassroots citizens’ initiatives that would benefit the majority of Coloradans. Only well-funded interests could afford to propose a ballot initiative. In 1996 and 2008 voters rejected attempts to change the initiative process as it related to constitutional amendments. (Raise the Bar wants to make it harder to change Colorado’s constitution) This latest affront to Coloradans is an effort to limit oversight and regulation of the oil and gas industry.

The Colorado constitution establishes the rights of residents to “promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” We have the right to amend our constitution without paying millions of dollars in advertising and marketing. When we see the petition we need to reject it, and let our friends, neighbors and family know that they should not sign it. There will not be organized opposition to the proposal, because big business is backing it. I want to ensure that in the future we can collect signatures to get amendments that we need, those things that our representatives will not fight for. Please stand with me and tell your friends about Raise the Bar. We have to make sure that our voices can be heard. I will continue to stand with you for free and fair elections and for a democracy that represents the needs of the citizens.

Works Cited

We Are An Empire

I keep getting asked to help explain to friends what I think is happening and what to do about this endless war.

It’s not that there’s an Illuminati that makes the decisions on how the world is run. It’s just that like the person who likes the corner office and parking spot, our representatives like power. And corporations like profit and need to keep representatives there working for their end game.

The biggest profits are in multi-national corporations such as finance, defense, oil, big pharma, and agriculture; therefore, our representatives are going to make rules that make the biggest donors to their campaigns richer.

Or if you prefer to use senior George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove’s own words back in 2002: “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he said. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study, too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

So if the U.S. is an empire or a plutocracy, why do I make stopping the war my No. 1 issue and not campaign finance or climate change to make a difference?

Because I believe my taxes are going to the killing of innocent lives, injuring children, creating more homeless and destroying generations. I believe murder is wrong, and I can’t live with myself indirectly killing people. Even if it doesn’t make a difference, I can’t turn my back on my own evils.

I’m 56 and witnessed the lies for each of the wars where none were for imminent attacks. We fought in Afghanistan, the country where all empires go to die, and 14 years later are still not winning. In Iraq for oil. Against al-Qaida and now ISIS.

So when we drop bombs on cities, villages, hospital and schools, are we killing the good guys, too? But we don’t see that. We are told we need to stop these barbarians, but what is your definition of a barbarian? I think I am if I let genocide occur.

Vote Arn Menconi for U.S. Senate

How the U.S. Sells Arms to Foreign Countries

TOP SECRET – HOW U.S. SELLS ARMS
(warning this could get your server investigated)

All arms sales are proposed by the President and then Congress gets to approve certain dollar amount deals to non-NATO members.

Obama is off to Saudi in a few days and Congress is concerned that he will sell them more weapons. In the past year alone he has sold them over $40 BILLION (record breaking – more than any nation ever). Bi-Partisan Senate bill is trying to block Obama’s ability to sell them anymore weapons.

Foreign leaders approach the US with shopping lists and then our gov’t decides whether to sell it… and our gov’t then orders the weapons from arms manufacturers. Unlike Congress any public sector corp is not allowed to lobby customers (no gifts or entertainment whatsoever). The Gov’t controls the bidding process… so our Gov’t is the world’s largest arms dealer. They control the whole process and they are allowed to take gifts and entertainment from both sides. Two years ago, I was at the Capitol during an Arms convention for Congress.

They were blatant about their sales.

Here’s how Congress approves weapon sales:
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL31675.pdf

And see if you can get these links to open:

Stop Endless Wars & Nuclear Arms Train Wreck

My #1 reason for running for U.S. Senator is to end endless wars. And in explaining why, I simply quote Pope Francis’ speech to Congress last September:

“Being at the service of dialogue and peace,” he said, “also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.” -Pope Francis

The Trillion-Dollar military industrial, congressional, security, media couples is running the U.S.’s foreign policy, economy and stealing from providing domestically what our country needs most for infrastructure, health care, education and climate justice.

More than anything, it’s killing innocent people, breeding terrorism and destroying countries and cultures. No country can be great if we sell our moral principles for the profits of war.

Over the past year, I interviewed scholars, journalists and former National Security officials on how the U.S.’s foreign policy has evolved to be so misguided & corrupt.

Here are some of my interviews from my YouTube station:



Also, listen to my interview with Daniel Ellsberg — America’s first whistleblower .

Take a moment to listen to Amy Goodman from Democracy Now explains Obama’s Trillion-Dollar Nuclear program.

Vijay Prasad on Saudi Arabia & U.S Role in Human Right Violations

Why & How does the U.S and Saudi Arabia commit war crimes over decades through finance deals & arm sales.

Vijay Prashad​ gives us his insight into the framework on how the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia operates in Yemen and Syria through military interventionism.

American’s rarely get the opportunity to understand or Capitalistic Military Intervention foreign policy that is killing innocent people and destroying countries.

Vijay Prasad takes us through the history with his unique scholarship and wisdom that is making him one of the most influential moral teachers today.

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013), Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK, 2012), (co-edited with Paul Amar) Dispatches from the Arab Spring (2013), and No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (Leftward Press, 2015). Vijay’s latest book is Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation. Vijay is the chief editor at Leftward Press, and writes regularly for The Hindu, Frontline, Jadaliyya, Counterpunch, Himal and Bol.

It’s helpful to understand more about Mr. Prasad’s points of view thorough his interviews with Chris Hedges: The Militarism of U.S. Diplomacy. Also, Mr. Prasad’s interview with Paul Jay: Carnage in Syria a Product of US Empowerment of Saudi Arabia:

My Gun Control Platform

For the record, I believe hunters and adults should have the ability to own some types of guns. What I’m not blind to is that the NRA wants people to think that the 2nd Amendment was written to protect their rights.

The Amendment is only 27 words: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” While the NRA emphasizes only the last 14 words, the U.S. Supreme Court and appeals courts have focused on “well-regulated militia” and “security of a free State” to rule that Second Amendment rights are reserved to states and their militias – nowadays, the National Guards.

The truth is — and one would hardly know it from the mass media — that since the Supreme Court’s unanimous Miller decision in 1939, all federal appeals courts, whether dominated by liberals or conservatives, have agreed that the Second Amendment does not confer gun rights on individuals. The NRA view, opposed even by such right-wing judges as Robert Bork, has been consistently rejected.

I want sensible gun law.

  1. require background checks on all gun purchasers;
  2. license firearm owners;
  3. register all firearms;
  4. regulate firearms dealers and ammunition sellers;
  5. require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms;
  6. impose a waiting period before the sale of a firearm;
  7. limit firearm purchases to one per person every 90 days
Classes of Weapons
Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines

This updated model law, published in December 2012, bans assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines using an approach that is stronger and more comprehensive than the former federal ban.

  • Sales and Transfers
  • Universal Background Checks
  • Requires background checks on all prospective firearm purchasers, closing a loophole in federal law that allows private firearm sellers (i.e., unlicensed persons) to sell guns without conducting background checks.
Gun Dealers and Other Sellers
Regulating Gun Dealers

Supplements federal law by requiring, among other things, that dealers obtain a local permit, conduct employee background checks and obtain liability insurance. Also prohibits dealers from operating in residential neighborhoods and near other “sensitive” areas, such as schools, playgrounds and places of worship.

The Gun Owners’ Safety and Responsibility Ordinance

Requires any person seeking to own, possess, purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm to obtain a firearm safety certificate, which obligates the applicant to successfully complete a safety training course that includes live firing, a safe-handling demonstration and a written test of firearm laws. Firearm owners also must register their firearms and notify law enforcement when their weapons are lost or stolen. In addition, the model requires that gun owners safely store their firearms in the home to prevent access by children and other unauthorized users.

Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms

Requires any firearm owner or possessor to report the loss or theft of his or her firearm to law enforcement within 48 hours of the time he or she knew or reasonably should have known of the loss or theft.

Firearms in Public Places

Regulating the Carrying and Possession of Firearms in Public Places
Establishes rules for the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms in public and prohibitions for carrying guns in public under certain circumstances. This model legislation prohibits the carrying of exposed firearms, and limits the carrying of concealed guns to persons issued a permit pursuant to a detailed, discretionary permitting process.

http://smartgunlaws.org/model-gun-laws/

Until 1990, there had not been an earlier federal Supreme Court cases individual rights to bear arms. It’s always based on a collective right not and individual right.

In June of 1788, 4 remaining states didn’t want to ratify the Constitution of the United States based on the 2nd Amendment. Arguing for the Federalist was James Madison and for the anti-federalist was George Mason and Patrick Henry. One point had to do with the militia of universal or select. The founders decided to leave it up to Congress.

The militia was discredited in the Revolutionary War. Washington wanted a professional army. The second part was that Virginia was 44% black, slaves. The southern states were afraid of slave revolt and that if the Militia was called up by the Federal government they would leave the state and unable to defend it’s against a revolt from the slaves. The anti-Federalist raised the following. That the Constitution does not give the federal government to eliminate slavery, but it did give Congress the exclusive power to arm the Militia. The states only get to call up the militia if their is an invasion. Congress gets to call up the Militia for an insurrection.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment had roots in protecting states from losing a militia to protect itself against a revolt of slaves not individual rights to form a militia to arm themselves against government. The problem is that modern day interpretation is deciding on what is legal. For example, you can’t carry a gun into government but can be a terrorist and buy one. You can carry a concealed weapon in some states but not others. You can own a machine gun but you can own a semi-automatic. There is no way anyone can claim that the second amendment gave individuals the right to bear arms. They can say it gave the states to.

http://nccpodcasts.podbean.com/e/resolved-the-second-amendment-protects-the-individuals-right-to-own-and-carry-a-gun/?token=b2e9a0cb17bb553eacfa812427addb09#.VmTbUbXtBoo.facebook

Let’s Ban Fracking in Colorado

Why I’m For Banning Fracking

Fossil fuel production and consumption have led to huge profits for corporations while they despoil our environment, face us all with health hazards and are the number one contributors to climate change. We have been digging and pumping up oil, gas and coal and burning it for decades. Now the fossil frontier is currently pushing us into extreme extraction such as fracking, tar sands, Arctic drilling, etc. that establishes us even further as a fossil fuel addicted society.

This needs to stop before it is too late. We need to leave these finite fossil fuels in the ground.

Fracking was first banned in Vermont in 2012 and in the entire state of New York in 2014. In contrast, the money fracking brings in, all the jobs it affords us and the economic boom it has brought to Colorado has blinded us to the hidden environmental and health costs we are paying now and will continue to pay for a long time after the oil and gas companies leave.

Let’s not be ignorant of the facts. By injecting water and chemicals under pressure into the ground, the rock fractures and releases coveted gases. The fractures created by this also function as pathways to our drinking water. The Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act–this regulatory exclusion is often referred to as the “the Halliburton Loophole”.

This is a tragic example of our politicians in Congress being bought by mega-industries instead of acting in the best interest of the American public.
That isn’t all. The fractures also affect geologic faults which lead to earthquakes such as those seen along the Front Range. During the fracking process chemicals spill into the soil resulting in more ground water contamination.

Furthermore, the disposal of these secret chemical mixtures is an environmental challenge.

The methane that is released during the fracking process gets into our air and combines with sunlight to create ozone in the same way that car emissions combine with sunlight in Los Angeles resulting in smog. This is not healthy for any of us, especially those with respiratory issues. There are days when our own Rocky Mountains can’t be seen from the Front Range due to smog. Methane has also proven to be volatile and creates a potential hazard for fiery blow outs.

As it stands today, the oil and gas industry is at a standstill due to over-producing which exceeded storage capabilities. This is why gas prices are so low right now and one reason the stock market is faltering. This is classic boom and bust industry behavior that reaps huge profits one day and leaves behind a legacy of environmental and economic damage.

The fracking wells that are already in place will produce for decades to come. Do we really need more wells drilled when more environmentally friendly alternatives are being developed? Do we really want an industry to come in and reap huge profits, buy off our representatives, and slowly but surely contaminate our soil and water? Flint, Michigan has a man-made disaster with their drinking supply that took a few short years to manifest. Fracking is just another source of insidious drinking water contamination and I stand against this ticking time bomb.

Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the best solution for people, the environment and a sustainable future for all. I will fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground and our children’s children safe.

Resources:

How Sen Bennet Protects Big Pharma

Bernie Sanders Grills FDA Nominee Over Drug Prices While Sen. Bennet the Democrat From CO Pays Drug Companies Homage.

This is difference between a Senator who fights for you and one that is in bed with Big Pharma. I’ll fight like Bernie as your Colorado U.S. Senator.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4578284/sen-bennet-vs-sen-sanders-whos-fighting-harder

Can you trust Senator Bennet to Represent You?

Sen Bennet’s 7th biggest contributor is DeVita Healthcare. He’s received $35,000 from them. They defrauded government funded programs. 53% of their revenues come from government programs.

Senator Michael Bennet sits on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, filling the seat opened up by the death of Senator Edward Kennedy.

I won’t take Corporate Money. I hope you will support citizens democracy not corporate democracy.

Look at DeVita where he gets his campaign money from and decide for yourself:

http://www.rightinginjustice.com/news/2015/07/16/the-fraud-list-davita-healthcare-partners-inc-a-fraud-settlement-record-breaker/

Total fines paid last year by DaVita $850 million. Only one of many fines but no jail for execs.
http://www.reuters.com/article/davita-healthcr-lawsuit-idUSL1N0XV2Y520150504

How the Big Pharm companies tried to cover up their mess: http://www.propublica.org/article/dialysis-pr-leak-the-plan-to-spin-our-investigation

How to see the money flow from DeVita to Sen. Bennet – https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000021951 and

http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2012/12/04/michael_bennet_has_had_fast_rise/

How much he get’s from DeVita

https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2016&cid=N00030608&type=I&newmem=N