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tv   Americas Lawyer with Mike Papantonio  RT  August 13, 2017 8:29pm-9:01pm EDT

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most people in the united states tend to believe that we're ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to the rights of our citizens we criticize them publicly admonish other countries when they violate the civil rights of their people but we often turn a blind eye to the abuses kirit it right here on our own soil there is no shortage of oppressed groups here in the us the list seemingly is inless of different groups that have been attacked by the government the media law enforcement agencies but one group that's often overlooked in these discussions is the oppression of the native american population since the very first days of our republic native americans have been pushed aside quite literally to make way for wealthy white landowners we stripped them of their land they lived on for centuries so we could create new settlements and expand our territories and in the centuries since that time things haven't gotten any better in the eight hundred thirty s.
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congress passed the indian removal act that forced native americans from their homelands in the south to areas in the western part of the country it was this piece of legislation that led to the infamous trail of tears were native americans were forced to migrate from the american south to the west where thousands of people died along the way from exposure disease and mounted and malnutrition and the reasons though the reason those politicians did this was because gold had been discovered on native land in the government wanted to get their hands on that gold now fast forward almost two hundred years and we still see similar scenarios playing out with native americans and land rights in the dakota access pipeline saga when the standing right sue attempted to halt the dangerous and unnecessary construction of the dakota access pipeline through their sacred lands they were met by federal agents who did everything in their power to push protesting native americans off the side the land rights of the standing rock sioux were completely
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ignored so that an oil company could strike modern gold on their property oil that's almost an everyday occurrence in the relationship between the feds and they'd of americans. on the issue of health care native americans have been consistently treated like second class citizens by the federal government whatever the native american believe they own has always been there for the taking including what we'll talk about tonight their health the indian health service is a branch of the federal government that helps provide health care services for native american citizens but there are so underfunded that they're almost useless to address the growing medical needs of the native population according to the most recent numbers available indian health services provides a little over two thousand dollars per native american for their health care each year while the average cost of health care for u.s. citizens is closer to eight thousand dollars per year not only is the funding inadequate but the health care facilities that election except this funding to
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treat native americans are few and far between leaving that population with virtually no health care options if they don't live near a facility so it's no surprise that the native american population in the united states has been hit probably harder than any other group by the opioid catastrophe . joining me now to talk about this is attorney peter measure. of peter let's start with the opioid issue why are abuse rates so high with native americans why why are we seeing this huge increase in that population. well the abuse rates are high across america in general but on the indian reservations the native americans are twice as high as any any person in any other community to reservations or twice as high and quite frankly at the end of the day you have to boil it down to the lack
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of health care i mean these indian reservations the native americans have been forced over generations to live hundreds of miles in the middle of nowhere where they have almost no access to health care so scripts and opiates have become a easy quick solution. on the reservations to fix problems that have been building for generations but we always see the feds doing something to make life worse for native americans but has the government played any role in furthering this epidemic within the native population or are they even attempted to fix the problem that's obvious to anybody who simply makes the drive across the reservation . it is and i quite frankly to really understand this one has to go out and look at where these native americans live on these reservations they're literally out in the middle of nowhere so each touched on it in your in your opening about the federal government the lack of funding for health care two thousand dollars per
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native american that lives on reservations when the true cost is more like eight thousand think about the complete disparity that. a native american as opposed to some lives in an urban area has to health care so if you're in it or urban area you're close it's easily accessible could even be right down the street on the other hand on these data american reservations we have put them hundreds of miles out in the middle of nowhere with almost no access to health care and we've said just good luck you have to look at the history of how the native americans ended up on these reservations as we forced them out of their lands and through the generations is continued for example. native americans the children have been removed from their homes at a time sixteen times more often than white americans and european americans we've removed them from their homes we've put them into into other homes out in suburban
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urban areas off the reservation strip them of their identities and then oftentimes at eighteen dump them back into the reservation so this is been a history of policy driven by the federal government over hundreds of years that has decimated the foundation of these communities stripped them of their identity stripped them of their place to live and then put them in the middle of nowhere with no access to health care and we wonder why there's a problem well peter we know this just on the opioid issue we know that the companies the distributors they follow despair that's the best way they can i can put it if you look at all the places that the opioid catastrophe has taken place the industry followed areas where there were. population despair lack of jobs lack of income lack of possibilities and so the indian the indian nation in across the country has been in this has been really a demographic target for the overweight industry and i think what's more important
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to me is why in the heck why why didn't that why hasn't the corporate media reported on this why hasn't the i.o.c. has why haven't they taken some leadership in getting ahead of this problem that seems to be so serious within the within the native american population what is your take. well let's address the corporate media first corporate media spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year advertising in our t.v. stations and mainline media so when the when it comes to asking corporate the regular mainstream media to report on these issues nobody wants to touch it because if they do they might be might be cutting off at the knees the sacrosanct funding from the pharmaceutical companies that pay for the advertising whether be t.v. or newspapers or online so as a result this is all been kind of hush hush that these companies have targeted the lowest and on the social economic ladder and marketed anybody with
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a medicaid card is is where they where they focus their attention on so at the end of the day you're not seeing this story in the meat mainstream press until just very recently no one's heard this story for the last six seven eight eight until the last six seven eight months and quite frankly that's been driven by a grassroots effort that has got the story of front and quite frankly in the trial lawyers that are acting as private attorney generals filing cases across the country getting this this issue out in front and now you're seeing people talk about it ok so the same type of lawsuit for example you and paul feral and. many lawyers i was one of lowers include in the lawsuit filed in ohio for example you file the rico claim you file the many types of claims against both the manufacturers and distributors those same case types of cases can be filed on behalf of the american indians of that population will they be included in cases like that as you go forward. yes or the native americans are pursuing their claims
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very similar to any city or municipality would the the indian nation the reservations are sovereign nations and they have the the right in the ability to bring a claim on behalf of the damages they've caused in incurred and the cost to fix the mess the cost to clean up the problem and quite frankly at this the cleanest and the biggest problem causers are the distributors which were charged by the federal government when they created the controlled substance act in one nine hundred seventy that it was completely forseeable that there was going to be diversion because the addictive nature of these opiates they knew there were going to be problems they knew there were going to be doctors writing scripts in pill mills they knew there were going to be people that abuse these so they put the distributors in place to act as a gatekeeper to control the narcotics and schedule two drugs from manufacturers to the pharmacies and not only did they not do their job but they
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built their entire business model around focusing on these areas in the people that were most at risk and not only did they not report it to the d.a. is they were charged to under the cea they did absolutely nothing and shipped and made hundreds of millions of billions of dollars on an annual basis mckesson c.e.o. which was one of the targets in the defendant the mckesson was one of the name defendants mckesson c.e.o. made one hundred sixty million dollars last year in bonuses in compensation for delivering schedule to narcotics in a completely. just devoid of all of their responsibilities to identify problem areas or diversion and peter in this discussion i've we're focusing on the in the in nation because they have been most effective i mean if you look at the numbers they are startling what we're finding from from what the all the literature everything we're saying is that after the opioids come in and they are. dicked so
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many of these people are absolutely living in total despair and you don't understand that until you drive across the reservation but after that happens then comes the tail of the problem which is the black tar heroin heroin of the meth all different types of drugs that follow that and we see that base is that kind of how things are occurring in the in the indian reservations from what you're seeing firsthand. the reservations that we've seen firsthand have twice the number of heroin deaths and opiate addiction problems as you see in in mainstream america the reservations have been hardest hit they're the ones that are that are suffering from the biggest or shouldering the biggest weight of the heroin opioid epidemic and quite frankly just like they have over generations the native americans have been shoved aside and no one is focusing on the story and they're the the forgotten people it's very sad to see what's happening on the reservations
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and quite frankly no one's paying attention or peter thanks for joining me coming up i want to talk about another destructive herbicide brought to you by monsanto that's next. our culture is awash in lives dominated by streams of never ending electronic hallucinations that birthed fiction until they are indistinguishable we have become the most building society on politics as a species of the endless and needless political politicians more than just celebrity are two ruling parties are in reality one party corporate. those who attempt to punk. rock university designed to push through the teen and exploitation the little pop force so far to the margins of society
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including by a public broadcasting system that has sold its soul for corporate money that we might as well be mice squeaking against an apple but squeak we must. are you a low s. the to the a. perfect me or perfectly. clean the to me. curious. shut up.
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shut up or. shut. the sucker. to. the to a much lower. lower . than that a. little . bit. on the right thanks to. you it. was her. lawyer. a lower monsanto is
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wrecking havoc once again with one of the herbicides died kamba hundreds of farmers in arkansas filed complaints about di campbell while states like missouri were forced to temporarily banned its use with tennessee also banning it shortly thereafter joining me now is attorney bev randall's bev what is di cam and why exactly was it being used in the first place and sent it almost sounds like a bit like story to me when i think back on that disaster by thing dupont was manufacturer of that but what's your take on this overall. well the camp is on its own herbicide it's been around actually in use since about the late one nine hundred sixty s. but it was for use in very very small amounts on not very much of the acreage nationally anyway and but monsanto decided about ten years ago that they wanted to make monsoon make their herbicide so that the premier this diet can buy herbicide
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and so they marketed they produce and market it what are called the extra six cents system is called the extend system and what it is is the seed and then the corresponding herbicide to be used with it is die campa but the problem with the camera is that it is extremely volatile which means it's very difficult for it to stay on target so when one farmer spray it on their crops they're campbell resistant crops it then goes off target and then harms other people's vegetation everything from their crops to trees on a mental isn't everything it's really wreaking havoc as you said what's your involvement with this situation what kind of damages are farmers complaining about where do you see this damage going i mean because obviously it's just limited missouri and arkansas and tennessee i think we're going to find a lot of these cases along the gulf coast. so what is your take on the damages here . well we have filed two losses we were actually the first law
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firm to get involved in this litigation we filed the first lawsuit last november on behalf of better farms better farms is the largest peach producer in the surrey and they had been damaged by the camp a drift and volatility in two thousand and fifteen and sixteen and then also the farmers been being damaged this year as well we also filed a class action lawsuit in january because we were being contacted by smaller operations people who didn't have the sorts of damage that better farms has experience but still they were being damaged and they wanted to seek redress so we filed that lawsuit in january and it's at the time it was it was targeting ten states just because those were the ten affected states as we call them we had to make that our national class action and others are has sent sand i think beginning in june of this year out of the filed lawsuits as well what we're hearing from farmers is that they're they are they're soybeans. and they are their
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produce everything you can think of really is being damaged by this stuff if their product is not da campbell resistant and very few crops and fact right now are the camber resistant mostly there are not isn't a better approach i mean you know the american public has every reason to be concerned about class actions i mean there's a difference just so people understand the difference between what we call mass toward case and the class action case when we look at men like the better way to handle given like was case by case that a faction friends of mine down in south florida handled that project and it started off as a class the class really never addressed kind of that small grower is you're talking about in a really took a small grower going to trial one by one by putting together a national group of lawyers who were able to do that across the country are coming when i read the story about the class on this i had the same concern that i don't
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know the class action actually solves problems for the people who really need specific address to their specific problem what is your take on that i've been doing this thirty five years and that's just my take after looking at where this is developing. well you know mike i think that we are going to have to see how it plays out we obviously feel like a class would be is appropriate under the this set of circumstances because class looks at things as you know like numerosity and typicality and there are certain aspects of this that are just across the board no matter who you talk to no matter what kind of crops but yes there are things that are going to have to be flushed out like for instance. the process by the top for determining what folks damages are because there are some people who maybe have fifty acres and they're being impacted there's another farmer that we are lawyers spoke with recently and that farmers talking about you know tens of thousands of acres so people have
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a different option about how they how they want to proceed and eyes and they're going to they're going to be a lot of lawyers involved in this and there already are and i do think that that as it continues to play out we're going to have to determine the best way to seek redress for each individual person because at the end of the day it's about the farmers who are being damaged not the lawyers not the companies it's about the farmers after arkansas initially banned cameras use in that state monsanto made a statement as if this is if they wanted to comply is this is that they plan to go along with the demands of this of this we've seen this month said it was notorious about saying one thing or doing another we see it with roundup we've seen it time and from again with g.m.o. it's just there it is there in low to try to put everybody's gee whiz we're going to solve the problem is just work with us and then nothing is really solved don't you already see that happening in here because i think the documents in this case
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are going to be overwhelming where the company has known about these from for quite a while what's your take. i believe you're exactly right the documents are going to be key and in fact we just had a scheduling conference with the court yesterday and the batter taze and so that case is we've got a scheduling letter for that now we've got a trial date for that that's going to be april nineteenth of two thousand one hundred and so when discovery starts we are going to start saying i believe exactly what you just said we're going to start saying that they knew about this and in fact we know that they knew of the problems with the volatility in the drift of this product because there were university scientists studying it for years however monsanto wouldn't allow any university researchers to study their particular product now why would that be because they say that they have all white will help out in favor of the rearguard if you think about just to test these things and i think the same thing is going to develop here with your case but anyway look stay
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out there stay with the five this is a company that absolutely rarely plays by the rules thanks for joining me thank you for having me mike. u.s. attorney general jeff sessions of the new order encouraging law enforcement officers to use civil asset forfeiture more frequently this is something officers used to seize a suspect property without even prove no proof at all that they committed any crime for more on this i'm joined by molly barrows legal journalist a trial lawyer magazine molly this is really hard to get your arms around but they're saying that it doesn't make any difference whether you actually committed a crime the very fact we found you around this may be marijuana we're going to be able to take your car cocaine we're going to take your entire house that's what this is about the police officers did everything even if there's not a crime involved for that particular owner of that car or the particular owner of
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the property that's exactly right and in fact the burden in the past has been on the owner of the property to prove. they weren't involved in a crime if they wanted to get their property back while eric holder attorney general under president obama did away with this program about two years ago put a stop to it because there were concerns about abuse for a number of reasons which we can get into here in a minute but jeff sessions has decided to reinstate this pretty controversial program and the point that he said the reason they want to do it is to basically defund organized crime and start using that money that they take from these criminals to reinforce law enforcement provide more support for victims buy vehicles bulletproof vests that sort of thing. stealing from people that may not have even been involved in the crime i mean that's all it is when they're told to do away with his law one of the few things they're able to really ago thought was noteworthy he says look it's the equivalent of somebody who doesn't who who owns a house has nothing to do with the crime doesn't know about the ground who loses
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their house in the process let me read you what sessions said when he announced the intent of the order he said with care and professionalism we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crumb adoptive forfeitures or appropriate as is sharing with our partners so we say he's saying that even with no criminal activity on the part of the people you're taking the property from right it's ok because it's so we want to share with the police officers i mean did i get there right now that's exactly what they want to do they want to share with federal law enforcement and the centrally the way that it works is state and local police departments can rely on the federal law and order if they want to confiscate something under state law they can keep it but there are more strict guidelines for example thirteen states now require that a conviction be in place before you basically confiscate somebody's property but if you confiscate it under the federal program then you share twenty percent of what
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you take as a state or local law enforcement agency and you keep the rest because they have more permissive guidelines and that's where eric holder saw the potential for abuse . and also there were studies done a number of say is that showed that the majority of money being taken was valued at ten grand or less when the whole point of this program to begin left was to be a big slap in the face a big punch and they got to the illegal drug trade talk and billions of dollars they were trying to go after scarface type drug cartels and instead they're hidden pore neighborhoods low time drug dealers and taking raking in millions sixty five million dollars in the year before eric holder did away with another image story coming out of the drive administration and finally died some good news for medical marijuana users the massachusetts supreme judicial court issued a first of its kind ruling that employees can't be fired for using medical marijuana in his ruling chief justice ralph gantt said the company's policy prohibiting any use of marijuana is applied against a handicapped employee who is being treated with marijuana by a licensed physician for her medical condition the term
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a nation of the employee for violating that policy effectively denies a handicapped employee the opportunity of a reasonable accommodation and therefore according this judge it's appropriately recognized as a handicap discrimination this case this case came out of a medical marijuana patient losing her job after her first day at work the company knew she would test positive for cannabis if she took a drug test because of her doctor prescribing it and to treat her crones disease she was told no problem with that at first that's what she was told but that changed quickly she took him to court and won not only for herself but for all medical marijuana users in massachusetts strikingly states like colorado and california where recreational use of cannabis is legal doesn't protect those residents from losing their jobs if they use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes hopefully this decision is going to set the record straight especially for those who need medical marijuana that's all for not be sure to check out our new
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web site a l dot law and you can actually talk to an attorney about. any of the stories we cover on the show and find us at facebook at facebook dot com slash r t america's lawyer haven't told anyone this is america's lawyer where every week we tell you the stories the corporate media is ordered not to tell because their advertisers won't let them have a great night. i'm going to just look at your watch it's hard to see.
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called the feeling of something. every in the world should experience the job and you'll get it on the old the old. the old according to just. look at the modern world come along for the ride.
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the mission of news with you is to go to the people tell their side of the story our stories are well sourced we don't hide. i do anything from the public and i don't think the mainstream media in this country can say that i think average viewer knows that r.t. america has a different perspective so that we're not hearing one echo chamber that mainstream media is constantly spewing. we're not beholden to any corporate sponsor no one tells us what to cover how long the coverage or how to say that's the beauty of archie america. we hear both sides we hear from both sides and we question more that drugs not letting anything get in your way to bring it home to the american people. there's a real irony going. you know that i don't blame the banks responsible choice new people and there is always well that's what was always seen in supposed to be
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a little more area now a wholesale surveillance you feel you have always milo's you and who doesn't and trump has used social media like a boy like always our lead story goes it's garbage real genuine. all the world's a stage and all the news companies merely players but what kind of parties are into america play r.t. america offers more artsy american personal. in many ways the news landscape is just like the real news big names good actors bad actors and in the end you could never know you're on. the park you need all the world's a stage all the world's a stage all the world's a stage and we are definitely
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a player. one person is killed as a call rams into a crowd protesting against a white nationalist unite the riot rally in virginia president condemns the violence while his national security adviser told what happened to terrorism. and in other stories this week on t.v. launches a campaign to bring home russian speaking children left by the islamic state following the liberation in iran. and and back.


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