Custom Bengals Jersey Marijuana News From the Budget Bill

It’s that time of year when Congress actually gets things done, so they don’t have to work through the holidays. This is always a powerful incentive, and this year is no different. Paul Ryan actually bargained with Democrats instead of following the hotheads in his party into another government shutdown,Custom Bengals Jersey which bodes well for the future of the House of Representatives (and America at large). But, as with all big omnibus budget bills, this means all kinds of unrelated issues — from health care for 9/11 first responders to whether we export oil or not — are tossed into the giant,Youth Nike Carolina Panthers Custom Made Elite Team Color Black Football Jersey, must-pass bill. And along with the wave of other single-issue items came some good news for marijuana legal reformers.

Two riders to the big budget bill will continue to prevent the Department of Justice (which includes the Drug Enforcement Agency) from spending one thin dime to interfere with the implementation of state marijuana laws — even though all of those laws run counter to federal drug law. This is Congress using its famous “power of the purse” to zero out the federal budget for fighting against medical marijuana state laws and hemp cultivation state laws. The medical marijuana provision is already law, having been passed as part of the previous federal budget. It means the Drug Enforcement Agency cannot spend any money on harassing medical marijuana providers, as long as they’re faithfully following their state’s laws.

Or at least that’s the law’s intent. The Department of Justice has “interpreted” the law a little differently, which is why some U.S. Attorneys are still pursuing court cases against state-legal medical marijuana providers. Sooner or later, though, Personalized NFL Football Jersey the Attorney General is going to have to bow to the reality of the clear intent of this law and stop this legal harassment for good. Congress (and, by extension, The People) are telling the federal government not to spend any money on fighting a losing battle. That money should rightfully be spent on other drug enforcement, period.

Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority advocacy group, reacted to the news in a statement:

While marijuana was once treated like a dangerous third-rail by most elected officials, the inclusion of these provisions demonstrates how it has now become a mainstream issue at the forefront of American politics and policymaking. Polls show that a growing majority of voters support ending prohibition,Men’s Nike Customized New England Patriots Elite Throwback Red Alternate Football Jersey, and lawmakers can’t help but listen. This is the second year in a row that Congress is using the appropriations process to tell federal agents and prosecutors not to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. But so far the Department of Justice has taken the absurd position that these spending provisions don’t actually prevent them from going after patients and providers who operate legally under state policies. The intent of Congress is clear, and so is the will of the American people. Since the Justice Department is being so stubborn, the next step should be for lawmakers to pass permanent standalone legislation that goes beyond these temporary spending riders. Then the D.E.A. will have a much harder time undermining Congress and voters.

There was a second marijuana rider that made it into the budget bill as well, that actually expands a law that was included in last year’s budget. It prevents the Justice Department (and the D.E.A.) from spending any money to harass state industrial hemp production programs. As Angell notes: “The negotiators added a second hemp provision,Custom Panthers Jersey which has more teeth than existing law. It seems to be intended to stop the D.E.A. from interfering with the importation of hemp for state research programs, which is something they’ve done in the past (in Kentucky).” Mitch McConnell, who co-sponsored a hemp amendment earlier this year, may have had something to do with this, since he hails from Kentucky.

While all of this is good news, there were other commonsense reforms which unfortunately did not make it into the final bill. One would have allowed Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans (notably, to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) without retaliation, and would have also prevented the V.A. from denying services to any veteran who is a medical marijuana patient (as long as they follow their state’s laws). Another important reform that failed this year was a provision which would have prevented the federal government from punishing banks that do business with state-legal marijuana operations. This is a big stumbling block to the entire industry, and would have been a welcome change, but it looks like it’ll have to wait for another year.

Angell, however, remains optimistic about the future:

While we’d of course like to have seen Congress include provisions protecting veterans and allowing for banking access, there’s no denying that marijuana reformers have political momentum behind us. The federal government is on notice, more states are passing good laws and our movement is growing. We’re going to see even more spending provisions enacted next year, and perhaps even some standalone bills in the near future.

He’s right to feel the wind at his back. Marijuana legal reforms are now becoming if not commonplace in Washington, at least solidly within the realm of the conceivable. Both Republicans and Democrats are beginning to realize that big changes need to be made in the federal government’s decades-long War On Weed. These initial budget bill victories represent the first time that Congress is taking positive marijuana reform seriously since approximately the 1970s (pre-Nancy Reagan, in other words).Custom Patriots Jersey Serious bills are being proposed to solve targeted problems, but soon even that’s not going to be good enough. The fundamental way the federal government sees marijuana still needs changing, beginning with rescheduling it off of Schedule I in the list of dangerous controlled substances. This is going to take a little more time, but likely not all that much.

Next year could be the biggest “Year of the Marijuana Voter” America has yet seen. Outright recreational legalization (for adults) is probably going to be on the ballot in multiple states across the country in 2016. So far, four states and D.C. have pioneered this radical path, but the number of states with fully-legal Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey marijuana could easily double — or even triple — next year. This will likely set off a stampede, as other states greedily eye all those millions of tax dollars flowing in.

Politicians are starting to realize that there are a lot of pro-marijuana voters out there, and that many of them are “single-issue” voters — meaning it’s really the only reason they go to the polls. When even a Republican-led Congress begins dismantling the War On Weed (one tiny chip at a time),Youth Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey,then fundamental legal reform can’t be too far off.

Custom Bengals Jersey Mistrial underscores prosecutors’ tough task in Baltimore police cases

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A mistrial on Wednesday in the case of the first of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray shows the risk the city prosecutor took in moving aggressively to bring criminal charges, legal experts said.

Gray’s April death of injuries sustained while in police custody came at a time of high racial tensions in the United States following police killings of other black men in cities including New York and Ferguson,Custom Bengals Jersey Missouri, and sparked rioting and arson in the majority black city of 620,000 people.

The trial of Officer William Porter had been intended to lay the groundwork for the prosecutions of other officers involved in Gray’s death,Men’s Nike Carolina Panthers Custom Made Elite Team Color Black Football Jersey, plans that have been thrown into disarray by the inability of the jury to reach a verdict.

The mistrial could renew criticism that the state’s attorney,Personalized NFL Football Jersey Marilyn Mosby, overreached in bringing manslaughter and other serious charges against the officers, only a day after police completed their investigation into the death.

“She didn’t go where the evidence led her,” said Steven Levin, a former federal prosecutor and now a defense lawyer in Baltimore. “She went where constituents wanted her to go.”

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams has imposed a gag order on all attorneys involved in the case and Mosby’s office said it would have no comment on the mistrial.

TOUGH TO PROVE

Legal experts who followed the trial closely said the charges against Porter, Custom Panthers Jersey which included involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, made for a tough case to prove.

Prosecutors argued that Porter, who is also black, failed to buckle Gray’s seatbelt and then ignored his pleas for medical attention.

Porter testified he thought Gray was faking and that he was unaware the prisoner was in mortal danger until they arrived at the police station.Men’s Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Navy Blue Team Color Jersey Sale.

“This was an incredibly difficult legal case,” said David Jaros, a law professor at the University of Baltimore. “It’s hard to convict someone based on an omission under any circumstances.”

The case’s complexity stands in contrast to other recent instances in which officers have been criminally charged for killing suspects, including in Chicago where an officer was charged with murder for shooting a black teenager 16 times in an incident caught on video.

Andy Levy, a litigator in Baltimore, said Porter’s testimony, which he said appeared credible, undermined prosecutors’ effort to paint him as a criminal.

“It was difficult to make a villain out of Officer Porter,” he said. “This was not a police officer with a history of disciplinary infractions.”

Mosby’s decision in some sense serves as a counterpoint to the criticism leveled at authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York for failing to secure Youth Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Navy Blue Team Color Jersey Sale indictments for officers involved in the killing of unarmed black men, observers said.

“Not all prosecutors would have brought these charges,” Levy said. “It was a ballsy move on her part.”

It is unclear whether Porter will be retried before the other five trials. If Porter had been convicted,Custom Patriots Jersey the state planned to call him as a witness against Caesar Goodson, the van driver, whom Porter claimed to have told about Gray’s request for medical aid.

But legal experts said it was not clear prosecutors could have compelled Porter to testify, given that he might expose himself to potential federal civil charges. The U.S. Department of Justice has said it is investigating Gray’s death.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the mistrial,
Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey, Levy said, was the judge’s decision to dismiss the jurors after only 16 hours rather than force them to continue.

“Given the resources and the high visibility of the case, it seemed a little precipitous,” Levy said.

Earlier this year in the high-profile New York trial of Pedro Hernandez, accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York in 1979, the trial judge repeatedly instructed jurors to continue talking for more than a week after they first said they were deadlocked.

He finally declared a mistrial after 18 days of deliberations.

Justice Scalia, Custom Redskins Jersey Affirmative Action and the Perils of Oral Argument

Ever since the oral argument last week in the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas, which involves the constitutionality of the University of Texas’ affirmative action program, Justice Antonin Scalia has been castigated and excoriated by commentators,Custom Redskins Jersey mostly on the left, for asking the attorney for the University of Texas about the so-called “mismatch” objection to affirmative action. In Justice Scalia’s words: “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well.”

Although I often disagree with Justice Scalia, and although I emphatically disagree with him about the constitutionality of affirmative action, the outrage and condemnation sparked by this comment is completely unwarranted. Justice Scalia’s comment,Custom Broncos Jersey which asked about the merits of an argument frequently made against affirmative action, and which was made specifically in briefs before the Supreme Court in this very case, was perfectly appropriate. As is often the case, Justice Scalia might have helped himself by framing his comment in a more sensitive manner. But the plain and simple fact is that his question gave the attorney for the University of Texas an opportunity Men’s Nike Personalized Washington Redskins Elite Red Team Color Jersey for Sale to respond to one of the central arguments made against the constitutionality of affirmative action.

The “mismatch” argument runs more or less as follows. Colleges and universities generally admit students based on their academic achievements and potential, as reflected in their standardized test scores, their high school GPAs,Women’s Nike Custom Made Washiongton Redskins Elite Alternate Burgundy Red Jersey, and the nature of the courses they took in high school. These criteria have been shown to be reasonably good at predicting academic success at the college level.

When a college employs affirmative action, it typically admits some students who would not otherwise be admitted based on their academic credentials because their presence would add diversity to the institution and to the student body. Personalized Redskins Jersey Predictably, those students generally do less well academically in college, on average, than most students who are admitted solely on the basis of academic potential. This phenomenon may be exacerbated by a variety of factors, including a sometimes less than congenial or supportive atmosphere for minority students on campus, but it is a perfectly predictable consequence of admitting students, who would not otherwise be admitted on the basis of academic potential, whether because of affirmative action, because they are good football players, because they play the oboe, or because they are the children of potentially generous donors.

In the affirmative action context, as in the other settings, this raises the question whether the college is exploiting the students for its own ends — to achieve diversity — at the expense of the students’ own best interests. Put simply,Youth Nike Custom Made Washiongton Redskins Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey Cheap, is a student better off graduating in, say, the bottom 20 percent of a first tier college or in the top 20 percent of a second tier college?

This is not an easy question. If we were discussing your own kid, what would you think?

As a former Dean and Provost at the University of Chicago, I have had this conversation many times over the years with friends and former students who want advice about how to advise their own children. Most often, I’ve had this conversation with wealthy individuals who know they can get their kids into a top tier college, which hopes someday to receive a large gift in appreciation, but who know from their kids’ SAT scores and high school records that, purely on the basis of academic potential, their kids wouldn’t get into a top tier college.

What they worry about is the impact on their kids of “being in over their heads.” They worry in part about how good an education their kids will actually get if they’re in over their heads academically, and they worry in part about the effect of a mediocre college performance on their kids’ sense of self-confidence. As highly successful people themselves, they understand the importance of self-confidence. They worry that, if their kids barely get by in college, they will have their self-confidence beaten out of them. It’s often a tough call.

This is essentially what Justice Scalia was asking about. A number of social scientists have studied the “mismatch” theory and compared the experience of minority students who are the beneficiaries of affirmative action with those who have not benefited from affirmative action.Personalized Washington Redskins Jersey That is, the idea is to compare the experiences of college students with more or less equivalent academic potential, some of whom attend first tier and some of whom attend second tier colleges.

The results of these studies suggest that the concern that the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action are actually being harmed rather than helped is largely unfounded. In comparing these two groups, the data suggest that the students who attend the first tier schools do less well in terms of academic performance in college, but that they are as likely to graduate, as likely to have a satisfactory college experience, and as likely — indeed, more likely — to get good jobs upon graduation than their peers at second tier schools.

But, of course, there are also social scientists who disagree. Although the weight of authority at the moment appears to be on the side of those who find that affirmative action does, indeed, benefit its intended beneficiaries, the matter is still open to debate. Moreover, even if the matter were resolved with respect to the average student entering a college in an affirmative action program, this does not mean that everysuch student benefits from the experience. Depending on the background, self-confidence, and makeup of the student, the experience can either be a good one, or a not so good one. Indeed, that’s precisely what my rich friends worry about with respect to their own kids.

Now, in my own view, none of this has anything to do with the constitutionality of affirmative action. Rather, these are interesting details that should be taken into account by individual students and their families in making individual decisions for themselves. But my view of affirmative action, unfortunately, is not the view of the Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court’s view, it is Men’s Nike Washington Redskins Customized Elite Team Road Red White Two Tone Jersey unconstitutional for public institutions of higher education to take race into account in making admissions decisions unless they have a compelling interest for doing so. Even the possibility that the mismatch theory is correct, at least for some students, might be sufficient, under that standard, to invalidate affirmative action programs. That is bad constitutional law, but as long as it is the law of the land it is perfectly appropriate and sensible for a justice to ask about this.

It is time that we stopped condemning each other for asking hard questions, however much we might not like them.

Personalized Baltimore Ravens Jersey NBA referee reveals he is gay in wake of Rondo remark: report

New York (AFP) – Bill Kennedy, an NBA referee for 18 seasons, revealed that he is gay after being the subject of homophobic insults from Sacramento guard Rajon Rondo.

Rondo was banned on Friday for one game after repeated insults and a Personalized Baltimore Ravens Jersey confrontation with Kennedy during a December 3 game between the Kings and Boston at Mexico City. Kennedy ejected Rondo on two technical fouls to arouse the player’s anger.

“I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man,” Kennedy told Yahoo Sports. “I am following in the footsteps of others who have self-identified in the hopes that will send a message to young men and women in sports that you must allow no-one to make you feel ashamed of who you are.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver made a statement of support for Kennedy to Yahoo Sports.

“I wholeheartedly support Bill’s decision to live his life proudly and openly,” Silver said.

“Throughout his 18-year career with the league, Bill has excelled as a referee because of his passion, dedication and courage.Custom Baltimore Ravens Jersey Those qualities will continue to serve him well both as a game official and as a positive influence for others.

“While our league has made great progress, our work continues to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity.”Men’s Nike Baltimore Ravens Customized Elite Alternate Black Football Jersey.

Kennedy, 49, has officiated 1,056 NBA games and 68 playoff contests, including five NBA Finals contests. He also worked at the 2010 World Championships and 2012 London Olympics.

He was the second NBA referee to announce being gay, Violet Palmer making the same declaration in 2014 upon marrying her long-time partner.

National Basketball Referee’s Association general counsel Lee Seham told Yahoo Sports that other league referees back Kennedy.

“The NBA referees stand by Bill Kennedy for the job he does and who he is,” he said. “We stand against bigotry in all its forms.”Men’s Nike Baltimore Ravens Personalized Elite Team Color Purple Football Jersey.

Rondo will miss Sacramento’s game against Houston on Tuesday and lose $86,300 in salary as a result.Youth Nike Custom Baltimore Ravens Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey.

He is the third NBA player to be punished for an anti-gay slur, but the first to be suspended.

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 during the 2011 playoffs for making a slur towards a heckling fan and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant Customized Ravens Jersey was fined $100,000 for using an anti-gay slur towards a referee earlier that same season. Noah and Bryant later apologized for their remarks.

Customized Cardinals Jersey COP 21: In France, the (Clean Energy) Revolution Continues

As the world digests the historic global climate agreement reached by negotiators in Paris, here’s one thing that’s clear:

The agreement — coupled with the tremendous groundswell of action by investors, businesses and world leaders over the past two weeks — sends a clear market signal that the next phase of the clean energy revolution has begun.

2015-12-12-1449946174-9226883-cop21fotoagreement.JPG

Members of the U.S. Congress who insist on remaining stuck in the fossil-fuel past now seem little different than the entrenched monarchy during that other
Customized Cardinals Jersey revolution in France nearly 225 years ago, when King Louis XVI and his court refused to acknowledge the change their people demanded.

Policy — whether at the state level or the global level — drives action, and businesses are taking it. Consider what we witnessed in Paris over the last two weeks:

*More than 500 institutions representing $3.4 trillion in assets — institutions ranging from California’s biggest pension funds to Europe’s biggest insurance company –have agreed to divest their fossil fuel holdings. Look for much of that money to start flowing into clean energy.

*Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates announced a new fund that will invest billions of dollars in clean energy research and development over the next five years. In addition,Personalized Atlanta Falcons Jersey the United States and 19 other countries will invest even more on clean energy R&D, for a total of $20 billion over the next five years.

*Hundreds of companies big and small announced plans to take action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and increase their use of renewable energy. In the United States,Men’s Nike Atlanta Falcons Custom Made Elite Alternate All Black Football Jersey Shirt, more than 150 U.S. companies with a combined market capitalization of over $7 trillion laid out the details of their plans in the White House American Business Act on Climate pledge. About 500 more companies around the globe made similar pledges through the We Mean Business Coalition.

We’ve never seen this sort of action on climate change by the businesses that drive the world’s economy.

It’s simply tremendous.

What’s motivating captains of industry, from icons like Bill Gates to small and mid-size business owners like Troy Van Beek and Geoff Chapin,Men’s Nike Atlanta Falcons Personalized Elite Team Color Red NFL Football Jersey, is the clear realization of both the economic impacts and the economic opportunities that come with climate change.

Incomes in most countries will fall dramatically if climate change continues unchecked, according to Stanford University researchers.

In the United States, millions of homes and businesses along the nation’s coasts could be destroyed by storms and sea level rise; agricultural communities could be wiped out,Custom Atlanta Falcons Youth Jersey and construction and tourism industries could be thrown into turmoil, according to last year’s seminal Risky Business report.

Already, annual economic losses from weather-related disasters has risen from about $50 billion in the 1980s to almost $200 billion over the last decade, research from the World Bank and insurer Munich RE shows.

Conversely, the economic opportunities of dealing with climate change are positively huge.

Last year, more than $270 billion was invested in clean energy around the world, according to the United Nations Environment Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In the United States, more than 250,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs have been announced in every state in the country in the past three years alone, our research at Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) shows.Women’s Nike Customized Atlanta Falcons Elite Away White NFL Football Uniform.

And for an idea of the economic benefits that come with energy efficiency, consider just one state — California — where businesses and consumers have saved more than $90 billion on utility bills and hundreds of thousands of energy efficiency jobs have been created, thanks to smart state policies.

The agreement forged in Paris will drive more investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.Youth Nike Atlanta Falcons Personalized Elite Team Color Red NFL Football Jersey. It will create new investment sources for clean energy companies and entrepreneurs. And it will help to mitigate the growing economic impacts of climate change.

All of that will keep the clean energy revolution going. And that’s good for our economy and good for environment.

Customized Arizona Cardinals Youth Jersey I Made It Back In, Donald

WASHINGTON — I was out of the country when I learned that he didn’t want me to come back.

At 4:35 p.m. on Monday, as I worked out of my aunt’s home in the suburbs of Ottawa, Canada, I got an email: My just-issued U.S. visa was in my Pakistani passport and ready to be picked up. I began planning when I could go to the post office the next day. I wanted to see that literal stamp of approval in person — to touch it, to know I could return to the people I love, the work I love.Customized Arizona Cardinals Youth Jersey To actually hold the document would be a moment of triumph, a brief respite from the knowledge that my life in the U.S. exists solely at the pleasure of bureaucrats. I had a flight booked for Tuesday night. My suitcase — which I’d crammed full before leaving D.C., since it wasn’t clear how long the visa process might take — was ready to go.

Minutes later, The Huffington Post and scores of other outlets began reporting that Donald Trump, who’s leading the race to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016, wanted to stop all Muslims from entering the U.S. I started getting little news alerts on my phone, explaining that Trump was characterizing all Muslims(more than 1.5 billion of us) as “people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
Men’s Nike Personalized Arizona Cardinals Elite Red Team Color Jersey Cheap Each ping was a reminder that someone with a lot of money and a lot of popular support would like to keep me from returning to my friends and my life. I wondered whether I would trigger Trump’s “Muslim” alert. Would my name do me in? The country I was born in? My aversion to bacon? Perhaps we could negotiate if I mentioned that I quite like chorizo?

With my flight a day away, I hadn’t yet begun the routine I use to prepare for trips to the U.S. Government and airline guidelines explain some of what you need to collect. They don’t explain the code-switching bit: being conscious of what you wear, how you look, how you answer questions. A Pakistani friend once told me she always travels to the States in gear from her American university. It’s a way of signaling: I’m normal! I promise! I once told my brother that I’d mentioned to an immigration officer I might travel to Pakistan soon to visit my parents. Shocked, he texted back, “Oh, um.” It’s best,Personalized Arizona Cardinals Jersey Muslims tell each other, to be a bit vague to avoid setting off alarms. So we become a little more restrained, push ourselves a little further into the shadows — so far, in fact, that we’re almost choking on all the words we ought to be able to casually share.

I didn’t have any clothing that yelled “Yale,” but I did hack away at the scruff I’d let grow during my time away from the office. Cardinal rule: don’t allow yourself to look in any way like the archetype of the Muslim extremist.Youth Nike Customized Arizona Cardinals Elite Alternate Black Jersey Sale. (Even if you report on that variant of extremism — one of many, religious and otherwise, that regularly claim innocent lives — and know it’s not always lurking behind a beard.)

I collected the passport Tuesday morning. The stamp of approval awaited. After more than a year of worrying that it might elude me and shatter my vision of post-college life, there it was — the magical H-1B visa, distributed by randomized lottery to about 30 percent of foreigners hired by American firms each year.

I got to the Ottawa airport three hours early. I knew what I’d find there, and I knew it wouldn’t be as fun as a sparkling new acknowledgment of my right to be in the U.S. It was instead a reminder that I’d be silly to think I had such a right. What I and many others really have is a tenuous kind of privilege.

Muslims soon become accustomed to the back rooms behind U.S. immigration desks. I walked into a familiar too-bright space with signs explaining that electronic items were forbidden (no sobbing along to Adele here) and that I could be fined or jailed for interfering with border security officials.

A young Barack Obama, not a gray hair in sight, watched me from the opposite wall. Hanging slightly below his portrait was one of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. One of the legal minds behind Obama’s drone campaign, Johnson is also, I recalled, a top Washington socialite. There’s a painful irony in knowing that kind of detail, learning it as part of your job reporting on U.S. foreign policy, and still knowing you’re officially, legally,
Customized Cardinals Jersey an outsider. At this time a year ago, I remembered, I’d been at a Christmas party hosted by a top U.S. intelligence agency.

I lucked out, I told myself: I had the nicest immigration officer in the world. Or at least one who was a very good actor. The kind, chatty man going through my suitcase asked me questions about my time in Canada, my work in the U.S. and my ties to Pakistan that seemed more thoughtful than intrusive.Women’s Arizona Cardinals Nike Custom Made Elite Red Team Color Jersey Cheap. He stamped my passport, approving my entry to the U.S., and we wished each other a wonderful night.

Trump or no, I’d made it. It’d just be a matter of hours before I could step off the plane at Dulles International, collect my bag and head home. Take that, ya fascist!

It didn’t feel like a triumph, though. Instead, it felt like some insidious degree of Trump-ness had already instilled itself in me. That sense of “luck,” that craving for a sign that it’s all OK between me and the U.S.G. — that’s what I mean.

A masochist of the highest order, I spent the hours before my flight catching up on some national security reading. That’s how I spent 30 minutes on The New Yorker’s 2005 account of the Bush administration’s extraordinary rendition program, which snatched up terrorist suspects from airports — most of them males from the Muslim world — and shipped them to jails around the globe, where they were tortured into forced, often false confessions. I read about a well-educated Canadian engineer who was sent to his parents’ homeland, Syria, in late 2002. There, officials holding him on behalf of the U.S. “whipped his hands repeatedly with two-inch-thick electrical cables, and kept him in a windowless underground cell that he likened to a grave.”

That is not a fantasyland in which Trump is president. That is a past I can remember. That could have been me. The proponents of those U.S.-facilitated cable-whippings are still vocal, prominent and undeterred. I thought about my “luck” again, the luck that kept me safe during those years.Men’s Nike Arizona Cardinals Customized Elite Away White Jersey Sale. The thing about being lucky is how many around you, how many who look like you, are left unlucky. This kind of luck leaves you cheering one moment and breathless the next, your chest taut as you begin to feel like everything inside you could snap at any moment.

I’m lucky to have wonderful friends, mentors and co-workers, folks who sent me messages of support after Trump made his remarks.

I’m lucky to be represented by groups that fight for Muslims in America, and to know that everyone from the White House on down was willing to combat Trump’s rhetoric.

I’m lucky to have Obama in my corner — to an extent.

The president’s speech on Sunday was powerful. But I know it won’t take back the assaults he’s approved on Muslim civilians. And I doubt it will mean much to the throngs of Trump supporters, the radicalized former detainees who continue to threaten all of us, or the millions upon millions of people who have suffered under horrifying regimes in the Muslim world that the U.S. has backed.

Muslims deserve more. We deserve to have our humanity acknowledged — not only when an easy, laughable target like Trump challenges it, but also when it’s assaulted by America’s partners, by forces Washington can’t bring itself to care about and by the U.S. government itself. We deserve a conversation that features our voices and arguments from people other than conservatives competing to be the most hateful, or liberals sparring for the shiniest pluralistic credentials. I feel ill when I hear Republican presidential candidates talk about barring Muslim refugees from the country. But I don’t feel much better when I see liberals eager to bash American imperialism stay oddly silent about human rights violations by non-U.S. actors, and suggest that bloodthirsty dictators like Saddam Hussein are “better” for the world. Whose world is that? What kind of “better” is this?

Muslims shouldn’t have to rely on luck, on chance, to make it in. That’s not enough.

NOTE: Powers-that-be, please don’t read this as an invitation to cancel my visa. I just don’t know if I’ll get another one post-2016.

Personalized NE Patriots Jersey U.S. to propose major changes to vehicle crash ratings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Auto safety regulators on Tuesday will unveil a major overhaul to U.S. crash safety tests that will require automakers to add crash avoidance technologies to new vehicles if they want to gain the top, five-star ratings, documents showed.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing three new ratings for cars and trucks on pedestrian safety, crash worthiness and crash Personalized NE Patriots Jersey avoidance under its New Car Assessment Program, according to the document, which was reviewed by Reuters.

NHTSA’s proposal would push automakers to add forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, lower beam head lighting,Men’s Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Navy Blue Team Color Jersey Sale, semi-automatic headlamp beam switching, amber rear turn signals, rear automatic braking and pedestrian automatic emergency braking.

For the first time, NHTSA will base the crash test ratings for vehicles on whether the manufacturer has included certain crash avoidance technology. Automakers covet five-star ratings, so the new measures could effectively require manufacturers to make technology currently offered as pricey options on some vehicles standard equipment on all vehicles. That could save lives, but add to the costs of new vehicles.

The new ratings are scheduled to take effect in the 2019 model year.Customized Patriots Women’s Jersey NHTSA would add a new frontal crash test, new pedestrian crashworthiness testing and add two new advanced crash test dummies in testing that would detect additional injuries.

The scores from the three new ratings would be a factor in determining vehicles’ overall one-to-five-star crash ratings. Automakers would receive partial credit for advanced technologies that are not standard on all versions of individual vehicles.

NHTSA officials want to help consumers differentiate between vehicles.Men’s Nike Customized New England Patriots Elite Throwback Red Alternate Football Jersey. The tests are only to set crash ratings that are included on new car window stickers – not for crash tests needed in order for vehicles to be legally sold in the United States.

U.S. Congress recently passed a highway bill that requires NHTSA within one year to require that crash avoidance information is included on new vehicle window stickers.

Last month, NHTSA said it was adding two automatic emergency braking systems to recommended safety features, but it has repeatedly declined to propose mandating the technology.

In September, 10 major vehicle manufacturers said they have agreed in principle to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on all future vehicles, but they have not set a time frame.

In 2012, rear-end crashes killed 1,705 people and injured 547,000 in the United States.

NHTSA is releasing a request for comment and will give automakers and the public 60 days to respond. It expects to finalize the changes to the five-star program next year,Women’s Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Away White NFL Jersey Cheap, but the changes to the vehicle sticker will require formal rulemaking, which could take longer to finalize.

This is the latest effort to toughen the tests.

In 2007, the George W. Bush administration unveiled tougher car safety crash tests and added a side impact test to the five-star crash ratings.

At the time, the administration proposed giving automakers a letter grade for how quickly they added advanced technology systems to vehicles,Customized Patriots Jersey but that plan was later dropped.

NHTSA unveiled the program in 1978 as a way to encourage automakers to voluntarily invest in safety technologies. In the beginning, vehicles received pass/fail marks rather than stars, which started in 1994.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers – the trade group representing General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co,Youth Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Away White NFL Jersey Cheap, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG and others – said on Tuesday it was “pleased that NHTSA sees new safety technologies pioneered by automakers are performing well in the real world and should be featured in their consumer education program.”

The group added: “Crash-avoidance technologies can be life-saving innovations that we’re eager to see consumers embrace. Looking ahead, a significant portion of future highway safety gains will likely come from these advanced technologies.”

Customized Carolina Panthers Women’s Jersey What Business Leaders Need to Know About the Paris Climate Conference

World leaders and policymakers are meeting (defiantly) in Paris now to take on climate change. After 20 years of global negotiations that got us approximately nowhere near where the science tells us we need to be, this time looks different.Customized Carolina Panthers Women’s Jersey  The likelihood is high that over a hundred countries will accomplish something very important: coming to an agreement to cut carbon emissions dramatically.

These negotiations (known as COP21) are the latest in a series of meetings that began after the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed to at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and went into force in 1994. The 195 member Cheap Men’s Nike Carolina Panthers Custom Made Elite Team Color Black Football Jersey countries, or “parties,” hold a Conference of Parties (COP) annually, and this year is the 21st meeting.

These talks will reshape the global energy sector and every other industry that relies on energy — in other words, all of them.Customized Panthers Jersey Youth The impact on business will be profound, so it’s worth a quick overview of what the meeting is about and what business leaders can expect in its wake.

What will be the likely outcome out of the talks?

This time, nearly every country is entering the discussions with a legitimate commitment to cut carbon. And while the live negotiations are important, the key discussions, those within each country to decide what it could commit to, happened months ago.

In the past, negotiations have bogged down over a vicious cycle of two key related issues: 1) A strong belief in many developing countries that no deal should hamper their economic growth and that the developed nations created this mess and should take the lead in resolving it (a fair point); and 2) The richer countries, in return, balking at going first with no direct promise of reductions from the two largest countries (by population) in the world.

Things are very different today. The myth that creating a clean economy will damage the economy is crumbling, and all countries — but especially China and India — are coming in with serious offerings.Personalized Carolina Panthers Jersey So barring some unforeseen problem, an agreement to reduce carbon emissions between now and 2030 will come to fruition.

But it’s important to know three key things about these agreements, generally speaking:

  1. The commitments will vary greatly by country. The principle of differentiated responsibility based on historical contribution, and the need for economic Men’s Nike Personalized Carolina Panthers Elite Alternate Powder Blue NFL Jersey growth to bring people out of poverty, has won over the world. For example, the U.S. has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% (to 28% below its 2005 level) by 2025, the EU will cut emissions 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, and China will hit peak emissions by 2030 (or earlier), lower its emissions per unit of GDP by 65%, and increase use of renewables to 20% of energy consumption. The goals vary, but this is the first time in history that every country will agree to manage its emissions.
  2. They’re not exactly legally binding. There is virtually no chance that we’ll see a treaty with legal consequences if nations don’t live up to their commitments. There will likely be requirements on reporting — in his opening speech in Paris,
    Customized Panthers Jersey President Obama specifically talked about tracking and transparency — but the mechanisms for checking progress, and the openness that requires, will likely be a sticking point for years. But, as climate policy expert Aimee Christensen pointed out to me, “the recent momentum going into Paris is primarily driven by the improving economics of action (e.g., renewables are getting cheaper than fossil fuels) and global peer pressure.” The biggest countries are now applying that peer pressure; in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Paris speech, he said we need an “ambitious and binding agreement.”
  3. Even these significant achievements are insufficient. Two concrete agreements have come out of the previous 20 years of discussion: (a) the Kyoto Protocol, a general agreement to reduce greenhouse gases which the U.S. never ratified but the rest of world committed to; and (b) the much more specific 2009 Copenhagen consensus, where (nearly) everyone agreed that it would be wise to stop the warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F). The Paris commitments are much more aggressive, but even if countries meet their new goals, the world will likely warm 3 or 4 degrees anyway. This is not a minor problem; 4 degrees could be catastrophic, the World Bank says, with significant risk of great suffering,
    Women’s Nike Carolina Panthers Personalized Elite Team Color Black Football Jersey, extreme heat waves, declining food stocks, and severe economic costs.

All that said, these COP21 commitments, if met, will truly bend the curve of rising emissions for the first time. Paris is an important start, but everyone involved knows it’s just that — a start.

How is climate change already affecting businesses and the economy?

There’s real money at risk if we don’t address climate change. The direct economic impactsare already here and rising. As a Citi report estimated recently, the cost to the global economy of doing nothing could hit $72 trillion between now and mid-century.

Numbers like that are so large they can feel theoretical, but the impacts are also very real at the level of individual enterprises. Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman has said his company loses roughly €400 million annually from climate change and extreme weather.

Leading CEOs are seeing the work to manage climate change as a strategic and human imperative. Ken Powell, the CEO of General Mills says “human-caused greenhouse gas causes climate change and climate volatility and that’s going to stress the agricultural supply chain” — as in, the system that feeds us.

Many CEOs are going to Paris to speak at business-focused conferences running in parallel to the negotiations to show their support. When I asked Avery Dennison CEO Dean Scarborough about his keynote at the Sustainable Innovation Forum,Youth Nike Custom Carolina Panthers Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey, he made it clear why he cares: “Climate change threatens Avery Dennison’s supply chain, our customers’ businesses and the communities we’re part of. If we want to stay in business for the long-term, contributing to the fight against climate change is just smart strategy.”

Polman and Scarborough are joined in their concern by dozens of the world’s largest company CEOs. In just the last few months, oil giants issued a statement in support of a price on carbon, six of the world’s largest banks called for a strong climate deal, 81 American companies stood with President Obama, making more than 300 commitments to cut carbon or buy a lot more renewable energy, and the World Economic Forum gathered 78 large company CEOs to demand “bold action at COP21.”

And today, 100 big brands including Coca-Cola, Dupont, HP, Microsoft, Nike, and P&G are jointly running a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal supporting a strong deal in Paris and investment to build a low-carbon economy in the U.S.

In short, It’s a myth that business opposes action on climate change.

What shifts should companies expect, post-COP21?

Regulations will be shifting. The world’s governments will be setting new policies over the coming years to cut carbon emissions, which will dramatically change how we produce and use energy — in the course of just one generation. We’re going to have to break a few eggs in the largest industry in the world, the one that keeps all other sectors — and our society — running.

The U.S., for example, has already seen executive action to double car and truck fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from our utility sector through the Clean Power Plan, which forces every state to develop a strategy to bring emissions down at roughly the same pace the U.S. as a whole has committed to. Energy is already a large source of risk for most companies — with enormous volatility in the price of traditional sources — and any new policies will undoubtedly impact prices.

But there’s also a big upside here, as both public and private spheres must invest trillions to bring about a fundamental change in how business works. Clean economy investments, already clocking in at $300 billion per year, will be rising. Companies that can align themselves with this shift — with new technologies and services in energy, efficiency, material science, logistics, building controls, Men’s Nike Carolina Panthers Custom Made Elite Two Tone Team Alternate Black and Blue Jersey,transportation, big data, and much, much more — will find rapidly growing, multi-trillion-dollar markets and funding.

In the end, the meeting in Paris, and all the public and private sector commitments stemming from it, will greatly accelerate the shift that’s begun. We’ll get moving on the world’s most pressing challenge (and opportunity).

As Scarborough says, “Reducing emissions while still growing as a company is the defining business challenge of the 21st century…I’m representing Avery Dennison in Paris because we want to be as visible as possible in support of a climate agreement that finally gets the job done. There’s a sense that COP21 will be — must be — the transformative moment the world needs.”

The world’s leaders have assembled to move the needle for real. President Obama called for “a world marked not by conflict but by cooperation.” He summed up simply, “Let’s get to work.”

Custom Detroit Lions Youth Jersey Baltimore officer’s knowledge at heart of Freddie Gray trial

(Reuters) – The trial of a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of a black man from injuries suffered in custody is likely to focus on the officer’s medical expertise,Custom Detroit Lions Youth Jersey the victim’s history of claiming injury and even how closely the officer read his e-mail.

As the trial of Officer William Porter in the death of Freddie Gray goes into its first full week of testimony on Monday, prosecutors face a tough task.Men’s Nike Detroit Lions Customized Elite Team Color Light Blue NFL Football Jersey. They must prove the officer knew he was violating policy when he failed to secure Gray in a police van and did not get him medical help despite repeated pleas, legal experts said.

“The biggest doubt in the case comes down to what was going on in Officer Porter’s head,” said David Jaros, a University of Baltimore law professor.

He added that he was unsure that prosecutors could prove that Porter knew there was a high risk of death or serious injury by not getting Gray medical attention.

Porter, 26, is on trial in Baltimore City Circuit Court on charges that include involuntary manslaughter,Personalized Lions Jersey second-degree assault and misconduct.

He is the first of six Baltimore police officers to face trial in connection with Gray’s April death, which triggered rioting in the largely black city and Women’s Nike Detroit Lions Personalized Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey Shirt Cheap intensified a U.S. debate on the use of excessive force by police against minorities.

Gray was bundled into the van while handcuffed and shackled but not buckled into a seatbelt. He died from a spinal injury.

Porter, who is black, has told investigators he helped Gray onto a van bench and passed on Gray’s request for medical assistance to driver Officer Caesar Goodson and Sergeant Alicia White. None came until the van arrived at a police station.

The outcome of the six officers’ trials could influence U.S. prosecutors in bringing similar charges in cases of alleged police brutality,Custom Lions Jersey according to legal experts.

NEW POLICY

Warren Alperstein, a former Baltimore prosecutor, said the defense had shown that Porter may have been unaware of a new policy that mandated that all passengers fasten seat belts in police vehicles.

The policy was sent to officers three days before Gray’s arrest via an 80-page email, testimony has shown.

“I suspect that an argument grounded in common sense and logic will be made to the jury whereby the defense attorneys ask the jury,Youth Nike Detroit Lions Customized Elite Team Color Light Blue NFL Football Jersey, ‘Do you read every email you get within a day or two… without being prompted?'” Alperstein said.

Defense attorneys say Porter received 41 emails that day. There is no indication that the policy was announced to officers at roll call.Men’s Nike Personalized Detroit Lions Elite Team Road Blue White Two Tone NFL Jersey.

Porter was aware of Gray’s reputation for feigning injury during his frequent Customized Detroit Lions Women’s Jersey brushes with police in a bid to avoid going to jail, Jaros said.

Alperstein said medics called to examine Gray initially thought he had overdosed on drugs.

“If the paramedics couldn’t detect that it was a spinal cord injury, how could you expect an officer with barely two years on the force to distinguish whether it’s a fake injury or real?” he said.

Angels Kole Calhoun trade Cowgill to Indians, non-tender Nolan Ryan Jersey Ramos

ANAHEIM — The Angels Shirts traded outfielder Collin Cowgill to the Indians for cash considerations and non-tendered lefty reliever Cesar Ramos on Wednesday, the deadline to tender contracts to unsigned players.

Ramos was heading into his final season before free agency and was projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to make $1.7 million in 2016. Cowgill is slated to make about $1 million in arbitration and is controllable for three more years. The Angels Nolan Ryan Jersey are now roughly $22 million below the luxury-tax threshold.

Ramos was acquired from the Rays for pitching prospect Mark Sappington last offseason and turned in a solid year, posting a 2.75 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 2.87 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 65 appearances. But the 31-year-old Rod Carew Jersey was low in Mike Scioscia’s bullpen pecking order, used largely in mop-up duty. Starter-turned-reliever Jose Alvarez became Scioscia’s main matchup lefty down the stretch, even though he, like Ramos, is better-suited for multiple innings.

Cowgill, 29, has been a key fourth outfielder for the Angels over the past 2 1/2 years, serving as a late-game defender, pinch-runner and occasional starter against left-handed pitching. Cowgill’s departure leaves Efren Navarro, Todd Cunningham and Rafael Ortega, signed Tuesday, to compete for the fourth outfield spot, though the Angels Reggie Jackson Jersey — in desperate need for outfield depth in Triple-A — are expected to continue to add depth.

Teams non-tender players, or trade them just before the deadline, because they don’t want to pay them the salaries they’re owed via the arbitration process.

Starters Garrett Richards (projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to make $6.8 million) and Hector Santiago ($5.1 million), right fielder Kole Calhoun Jersey ($3.6 million) and reliever Fernando Salas ($2.2 million) are also arbitration-eligible this offseason. They were all tendered contracts.