Insight News

Feb 10th


Letter to the editor: Transit for livable communities

We are writing in response to your June 25 article about the launch of the Nice Ride bicycle sharing program. Bike Walk Twin Cities, a program of Transit for Livable Communities, administers the Minneapolis location of a federal non-motorized transportation pilot program to increase bicycling and walking and decrease driving. One of our strategic funding goals is to address cultural and economic gaps and improve access for underserved communities. We will continue to work with stakeholders and partners—including Nice Ride—to expand the network for bicycling, walking, and access to transit for a wide variety of users.

Will Dudus sing?

Christopher “Dudus” Coke is a man worth watching.  Coke is a Kingston, Jamaica resident who caused a state of emergency and got the leader of the country’s ruling party to put his political career and reputation on the line to keep him out of American courts.  The arrest of Christopher Coke was an urban spectacle, and his trial has the potential to revel a lot about American and Jamaican officials’ drug trade dealings.  If Coke sings much may be told about Jamaican and American officials’ involvement in illegal activities from the Caribbean to North America to England.

The case is an example of the “strong arm” of the United States government and its practices in the drug trade.  The US justice department had the alleged leader of the notorious Shower Posse gang on a "world's most dangerous" list, while a former Jamaican national security minister describes him as “probably the country’s most powerful man”.  The role and record of “Dudus” is result of alliances between U.S. imperialism and the predominately-Black island’s governing bourgeoisie.  Coke gained his mythical status as a linkage between Jamaica’s working class elements and the political ruling class elite that comprises the: Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP).

American gun rights

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that state and local governments can no longer restrict an individual’s right to own a firearm. However, the Court’s decision and supporting arguments left room for lawmakers to impose some restrictions on ownership and prevent easy access to guns while still protecting this basic right. In handing down its decision, the Court focused its attention on a case that challenged a 28-year-old Chicago ban on handguns. The decision is an extension of the Court’s 2008 ruling that the Second Amendment was not intended just for militias and did, in fact, extend to individuals.

While the ruling doesn’t guarantee cities will modify their gun ban laws, it does open the door for residents to legally challenge those laws and win. Officials in these cities, where there are high rates of gun crime, are upset and fear the Court’s decision will interfere with their ability to craft gun laws that reduce crime. That fear, however, may be unfounded. The Court made certain to note that the right to own a firearm is not the same as the right to possess and carry a firearm in any manner for whatever purpose. To that end, the Court does support restricting firearm ownership for felons and the mentally ill and encourages state and local efforts to close loopholes that allow individuals to purchase guns without a background check.

Federal immigration law needed

The federal government has moved forward with plans to sue the state of Arizona in an attempt to shut down its new immigration law, scheduled to go into effect on July 29.

The law, considered the country’s toughest immigration laws, gives police the right to detain immigrants if there is a reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally. Immigrants unable to produce documentation to show they are in the country legitimately will be arrested. The Justice Department has asked for an injunction to prevent the Arizona law from taking effect as planned; decisions on that request are expected in the next few weeks.


Independence and the right to private property

The right to private property was one of the central issues involved in the American Revolution.  The colonists’ cries of “taxation without representation” were but protests of what they saw as an unjust taking of private property.

The Declaration of Independence charges the King of England with engaging in 10 acts of abuse, of which half are offenses against private property.  Most significantly, the Declaration lists the pursuit of happiness as one of man’s primary inalienable rights.  The founders believed that liberty, happiness, and property were inextricably tied together.

Honoring Our Legacies

All of us have a responsibility to honor the leaders who came before us and paved our way. We have a special obligation to preserve the homes and other physical places that serve as a tangible connection between history and the next generation. Thousands of people who never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in person visit Atlanta every year to walk along Auburn Avenue, step inside the Heritage Sanctuary at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and tour the house at 501 Auburn where Dr. King was born. When they do, for a little while they have the chance to feel as if they were walking in Dr. King’s footsteps. There are many similar historical sites that play a key part in our shared story, and we need to support ongoing preservation attempts to keep these places—and the memories they hold—alive for our children and grandchildren.

Who should really be drug tested?

(NNPA) - Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has a proposal for the unemployed.  He wants them drug tested before they can receive unemployment benefits.  Hilarious!  With unemployment rates at 9.7 percent, with nearly six million Americans out of work for at least six months, with more than a million people without support since their unemployment benefits have run out, Hatch proposes drug testing for unemployed people.

He and some of his colleagues are actually the ones who need drug testing.  How could the Senate, by a vote of 57-42, prevent legislation that would have provided an unemployment benefit extension from moving forward?  What could they possibly have been thinking?  Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) described the action as “one of the worst moments I’ve seen in 25 years in the United States Senate.  In time of economic trouble, our country expects Democrats and Republicans to pull together.”  
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