01.28.14

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News Snapshot: The Decline of Civility

Posted in News Roundup at 3:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News from the past fortnight, for the most demonstrating lack of civil rights and sometimes disregard for human life

NDAA Indefinite Detention

  • States Say “Stop” to NDAA

    TAC, which describes itself as “a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism,” has drawn up model resolutions for any state, county, town or other political subdivisions whose leaders want to officially state their displeasure with federal military policy during the “war on terror.”

  • Wall Street Journal Takes Notice: Nullification “Trend Is Spreading”

    Although some self-described “conservatives” now claim that nullification is unconstitutional, others view nullification as a proper and constitutional approach for checking federal overreach and are working to apply this approach through state legislatures. Taking notice, the Wall Street Journal published an article on its website sketching the various efforts across the country to nullify unconstitutional acts of the federal government.

  • THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT – HAS CONGRESS GRANTED OBAMA FREE REIN TO INSTITUTE MARTIAL LAW?

    The controversial provision authorizes the military, under presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, detain without trial and hold indefinitely American citizens thought to “represent an enduring security threat to the United States.” – See more at: http://www.libertynewsonline.com/article_301_34724.php#sthash.2MqOqgzr.dpuf

Rape

Police

  • All Of Us Need To Be Very Afraid Now: “Peace Officers” Who Beat Homeless Mentally Ill Man To Death Somehow Found Not Guilty

    Astonishingly, infuriatingly, two former Fullerton, California cops have been acquitted on all charges after savagely beating to death Kelly Thomas, 37, a mentally ill homeless man who died five days after being set upon by Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli and four other officers. The attack, caught on surveillance video, led to days of protests, the recall of three City Council members and the resignation of a police chief whose department has a long history of violent abuse. Thomas’ father Ron, a former deputy sheriff, said the defense “lied continuously” during the trial and the family will likely pursue civil charges in the death of his son, who a year after his death was cleared of the stupid bogus charges – trying to get into locked cars in a bus parking lot – police came up with in a pathetic attempt to justify their cold-blooded, fist-punching murder. Since the verdict, people have held vigils and protests at a makeshift memorial where Thomas died; one sign carries Thomas’ picture before the beating and proclaims, “No one can hurt u now.” Also, the FBI has said it will review the evidence for federal civil rights violations. There is both raw and shorter, edited video of the attack: It captures Ramos snapping on rubber gloves, smacking his fists together and sneering to Thomas, “See these fists? They’re gonna fuck you up,” followed, many vicious punches later, by Thomas writihing on the ground repeatedly crying out for help and his father. Warning: stomach-churningly graphic and heart-poundingly disturbing, all of it.

  • Kelly Thomas case: Chief to fight ex-cop’s effort to win back job
  • Texas cops handcuff man after he gave change to homeless person

    Houston resident Greg Snider claims he was arrested and held for more than an hour after local police mistakenly targeted him as a criminal, all for giving a homeless man a few quarters.

    Snider said he had pulled into a local parking lot in order to make a phone call when a homeless man came up to him and asked for some spare cash. Snider claims he gave the man 75 cents and left to continue on his way.

    “I had no idea at all what was about to happen,” he told KPRC Local 2 News.

    As soon as Snider merged onto a local freeway, however, police followed him with flashing lights and sirens, ordering him to pull over.

  • Police Officers’ Lawyer Claims Being Tased Is Hilarious

    Oddly enough, cops (and lawyers for cops) from halfway around the world are no different than our local variety. This isn’t solely an “American” problem. Excessive force is used, the victim complains, and once the court battle ensues, the justifications for the use of force are presented, which often sound completely insane to those not well-versed in the art of defending abusive cops.

  • A Message to the Police from the American People

Ukraine

Surveillance

UK

  • UK Man Jailed For Not Giving Police Thumbstick Password

    The question of whether or not citizens should be compelled to give up their passwords to law enforcement is not going to go away. What with different agencies in different countries attempting to do more searches of technology at borders, on the mainland, and around the world, the law is eventually going to have to settle whether these kinds of searches and forced compliance are in good standing with the fourth and fifth amendments of our constitution or the governing laws of other nations.

  • 84 YEAR OLD CANADIAN WITH DEMENTIA DIES IN HANDCUFFS AT UK IMMIGRATION CENTRE

    The Chief Inspector of UK Prisons has accused a privately run UK Immigration Detention Centre at London’s Heathrow Airport of ‘a shocking loss of humanity’ after a terminally ill dementia sufferer died in hospital, restrained in handcuffs.

    Alois Dvorzak, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease spent the last five hours of his life in handcuffs, and passed away still wearing them. The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, write in his report:

  • The lost girls: Department of Health to act on reports of illegal abortions by gender

    The Department of Health has launched an investigation into claims that illegal abortions of female foetuses are taking place among some families living within ethnic communities in Britain who seek to ensure that they have sons.

  • London Underground workers to strike against ticket office closures
  • The need to protect the internet from ‘astroturfing’ grows ever more urgent

    The tobacco industry does it, the US Air Force clearly wants to … astroturfing – the use of sophisticated software to drown out real people on web forums – is on the rise. How do we stop it?

  • The BBC must declare the interests of its contributors, or lose our trust

    The BBC seems happy to be used as a covert propaganda outlet by tobacco, fossil fuel and other controversial companies

  • European Parliament’s LIBE Stands (Up) for Liberty

    Perhaps the most depressing aspects of the Snowden affair has been not the fact that everything we do online is being spied upon, but the fact that few people in the UK seem to care. That’s partly because the UK is in it up to its neck, thanks to the complicity of GCHQ in most of the NSA’s crimes, and partly because the UK government has been so mealy-mouthed in its response. Its claims that everything it has done has been lawful is based on the fact that the only law that regulates such online spying activity – the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act – dates back to 2000, and is so utterly out of date that it is trivially easy to circumvent its puny safeguards.

    [..]

    Again, you can see just how bold and specific the recommendations are. Moraes and his colleagues are to be congratulated for pulling together such a high-quality report, on a such a complex and evolving situation, in such a short time. Let’s hope the European Parliament supports the conclusions, and the European Commission agrees to work towards their implementation.

War on Dissidents

  • The Internet’s Own Boy: Film on Aaron Swartz Captures Late Activist’s Struggle for Online Freedom

    One year ago this month, the young Internet freedom activist and groundbreaking programmer Aaron Swartz took his own life. Swartz died shortly before he was set to go to trial for downloading millions of academic articles from servers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology based on the belief that the articles should be freely available online. At the time he committed suicide, Swartz was facing 35 years in prison, a penalty supporters called excessively harsh. Today we spend the hour looking at the new documentary, “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.” We play excerpts of the film and speak with Swartz’s father Robert, his brother Noah, his lawyer Elliot Peters, and filmmaker Brian Knappenberger.

    [...]

    “It’s just incomprehensible, the notion that Aaron should be a felon and go to jail for something that was clearly not illegal, and he did nothing wrong. He was innocent. And to be railroaded on this basis was a complete distortion and corruption of the criminal justice system.”

  • Hackers Leak A Disturbing Walmart Guide on ‘How to Silence Workers’

    An internal Walmart memo was leaked yesterday, describing how to discourage workers from coming together for action. This document, leaked by Anonymous “Hacktivists” demanded absolute loyalty to Walmart. It further instructed that any and all signs of worker discontent be reported to supervisors immediately.

Prohibition

  • High-ranked DEA agent quits job to work for legal marijuana industry

    The chief of operations at the United States Drug Enforcement Agency said only last week that increased efforts as of late to legalize marijuana across the country is scaring his fellow officials at the DEA. Others, however, have a much different take.

  • It took longer for Ohio inmate to die than it takes to read this post

    So, the state of Ohio conducted a little experiment Thursday: Can you execute someone using just two drugs?
    And the result? Why, yes you can. But it wasn’t quick, and it may not have been painless.

    First, a little background.

    The executed man, Dennis McGuire, was convicted in 1994 of raping and murdering Joy Stewart, 22, who was eight months’ pregnant. And he eventually confessed to the crime. So there’s no doubting his guilt.

Bahrain and Turkey

WikiLeaks

  • WikiLeaks, Through Journalists’ Eyes

    Recently, Bill Keller, former executive editor of the New York Times, and Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer/blogger/journalist who broke the Snowden NSA story discussed opinions on the ethics and methods of journalism.

  • Chelsea Manning wins 2014 SAAII Award

    The Sam Adams Asso­ci­ates for Integ­rity in Intel­li­gence (SAAII) have voted over­whelm­ingly to present the 2014 Sam Adams Award for Integ­rity in Intel­li­gence to Chelsea (formerly Brad­ley) Manning.

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