The horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of theaggressive and archaic worldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning.
While there other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none have engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes?
For example, even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically inflate ISIL’s threat to the Middle East andUnited States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the scale of the atrocities committed by Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to the United States.
People found guilty of Internet “trolling” in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined, following a number of high-profile case of abuse on Twitter (AFP Photo/Damien Meyer)
London (AFP) – People found guilty of Internet “trolling” in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined on Sunday, following a number of high-profile cases of abusive and threatening behaviour on Twitter.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “This is a law to combat cruelty — and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob.” (more…)
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted. (more…)
No pressure, Colorado and Washington, but the world is scrutinizing your every move.
That was the take-home message of an event today at the Brookings Institution, discussing the international impact of the move toward marijuana legalization at the state-level in the U.S. Laws passed in Colorado and Washington, with other states presumably to come, create a tension with the U.S. obligations toward three major international treaties governing drug control. Historically the U.S. has been a strong advocate of all three conventions, which “commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to recreational marijuana,” according to Brookings’ Wells Bennet.
The U.S. response to this tension has thusfar been to call for more “flexibility” in how countries interpret them. This policy was made explicit in recent remarks by Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, who last week at the United Nations said that “we have to be tolerant of different countries, in response to their own national circumstances and conditions, exploring and using different national drug control policies.” He went on: “How could I, a representative of the Government of the United States of America, be intolerant of a government that permits any experimentation with legalization of marijuana if two of the 50 states of the United States of America have chosen to walk down that road?” (more…)
In this video Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange talks to Sophia Lierenfeld who found herself at the annual pumpkin festival this year in New Hampshire as riots broke out. She wanted to know how in this random situation with only a cell phone what she could do to be an independent journalist and break the story.
Last month at Farm Aid 2014, I was lucky to meet Phillip Barker, a Black farmer who, like many minority farmers, lost much of his farmland as a result of discriminatory lending practices by banks and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, Phillip and his wife Dorathy farm the 20 acres they were able to hold on to in Oxford, North Carolina. Their farm is one of two Black dairy farming operations in the state of North Carolina. They also operate a nonprofit organization, Operation Spring Plant, which provides resources and training to minority and limited resource farmers, including a program that introduces young people to farming and provides youth leadership training. Phillip said one of his goals is to provide tools for the next generation and to help young people “come back to the farm to understand the wealth of the land.”
“Wealth of the land.” That’s a powerful phrase.
Phillip believes the next generation must see a sustainable livelihood from the land, but the wealth he refers to can’t be measured only in dollars. It is measured in the experience of working on the land, tending the soil, and caring for the animals and crops that grow from it. It’s measured in the ability to be independent, to feed himself and his family. It’s measured in the way he and Dorathy sustain and strengthen their community. It’s measured in being rooted to a place and passing something valuable to the next generation.
KEENE, N.H. —After a brief calm, riots near the area of Butler Court in Keene, New Hampshire, flared up again Saturday night.
Dozens of rioters threw objects at police and set fires near Blake Street around 9:30 p.m., as police officers wearing riot gear pushed the crowd back.
Earlier Saturday afternoon, Keene police say they fired pepper balls into a crowd of hundreds around the Butler Court and Wincester Street areas to diffuse the riot. Rioters threw glass bottles into the crowd and tore down street signs. (more…)
NYPD Lt. Jennara Cobb was fired two days after her Bronx conviction for leaking information to fellow cops in the ticket-fixing scandal, sources told the Daily News on Saturday.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton signed a termination order for the 38-year-old lieutenant on Friday, according to sources.
Cobb was convicted Wednesday in a nonjury trial of official misconduct and other charges, and faces up to a year behind bars at her Dec. 4 sentencing. The head of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association remained optimistic that Cobb would get her job back. (more…)
onsanto is donating $4.7 million to the campaign to oppose GMO labeling in Colorado.
Monday was the latest deadline for candidates and committees to report campaign contributions and expenditure to the Secretary of State’s office.
Monsanto’s contribution is the largest of the most recent reporting period from Sept. 11 to 24. The St. Louis-based agriculture company is a primary producer of genetically modified seeds.
The No on 105 committee has raised almost $10 million through Sept. 24, with Pepsico and Kraft Foods also giving more than $1 million each. The group begins running TV ads against the initiative this week. (more…)
Lavoro was arrested in May of this year when his neighbor reporte4d a “strange smell” emanating from his apartment. Rather than knocking on his door and asking what the smell was, the neighbor called the police. The police arrived, searched his house (probably illegally) and found that Lavoro had been making pot brownies.
Because Lavoro used hash oil to make the brownies, instead of marijuana, the state used the entire weight of the brownies – about 1.5 lbs. worth – to determine the amount of drugs possessed. Sugar, flour, and brownie mix all counted as drugs in the eyes of the law. This made the charge against him a first degree felony and if convicted he was set to serve five years to life. (more…)
October 16, 2014 – This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century. (more…)
Have Bill Gates and his eugenicist foundation’s crimes against humanity finally caught up with him? If the Supreme Court of India has anything to say about it, he will face the ramifications of poisoning millions of Indian children with vaccines.
A recent report published by Health Impact News shows that a vaccine empire built on lies can only go on for so long. The reports states:
“While fraud and corruption are revealed on almost a daily basis now in the vaccine industry, the U.S. mainstream media continues to largely ignore such stories. Outside the U.S., however, the vaccine empires are beginning to crumble, and English versions of the news in mainstream media outlets are available via the Internet.
One such country is India, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and their vaccine empire are under fire, including a pending lawsuit currently being investigated by the India Supreme Court.”
“They blew my granddaughter’s brains out. They killed her right before my eyes. I watched the light go out of her eyes.”
DETROIT, MI — A Special Response Team shattered a family’s window in the middle of the night, hurled a flashbang onto a couch next to a sleeping girl, then charged in and shot her in the head. The hyper-aggressive tactics were made worse by the fact that police had taken it upon themselves to raid both sides of a duplex, when their suspect was only known to reside in one of them.
On the evening of May 16, 2010, the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team (SRT) prepared for a surprise raid to arrest a wanted man. A surveillance unit had been monitoring the duplex in which he lived throughout the day and a no-knock raid was scheduled for just after midnight.
Police staged a so-called “safety briefing” shortly before the raid; undoubtedly focusing on their own safety rather than the safety of unknown innocents behind the doors they were about to kick in. Officers were briefed that they’d be entering a “possible dope den,” in which the suspect “might be armed” and might even possess “dangerous dogs.”
Police neglected to account for — or flatly disregarded — the safety of any potential children that might be present. Besides the glaring presence of toys strewn about the lawn and front porch, it is unlikely that investigators could have missed the presence of four young children and multi-generational family in the opposite unit during their surveillance of the duplex.
The raid commenced at roughly 12:40 a.m. The Special Response Team arrived in its armored vehicle with a warrant to arrest Chauncey Owens, who was known to stay with his fiancée at 4056 Lillibridge Street.
Armed with MP5 submachine guns, adrenaline, and an unhealthy fear for officer safety, the raiders shuffled past the toys that littered the front yard and ignored the two distinct street address signs hanging on either side of the shared porch of the multi-unit building; 4056 was on the left, 4054 was on the right.
A man named Mark Robinson was detained on the sidewalk while walking his dog, just before the raid. He repeatedly told officers, “There are children in the house,” yet his warnings went unheeded. He was pinned to the ground with officers’ boots on his neck and back, reported attorney Geoffrey Fieger.
The raid team was accompanied by an embedded cable TV crew, filming for A&E’s “The First 48.” With full bravado, the SRT put on a display of maximum force for the fans of police-state-adoring reality television.
Without warning, officers simultaneously attempted to breach entrances of two discrete living units of the duplex: the suspects’ location and the neighboring residence. What occurred at 4054 Lillibridge — where the suspect did NOT live — would be devastating.
In mere seconds, masked police officers stormed the porch and smashed the window of the neighbors’ downstairs apartment. They immediately tossed in a concussion grenade and kicked down the door. An officer discharged his rifle, and an innocent little girl named Aiyana Stanley-Jones was dead.
Amateur footage shot from the exterior of the building shows how quickly the raid unfolded:
From the footage above, the following timeline can be assessed:
0:24 — A dog detects the presence of police and begins to bark.
0:27 — Police being shouting indiscernibly.
0:28 — An officer uses a bludgeon to shatter the picture window of Aiyana’s residence. A flashbang grenade is thrown in immediately.
0:29 — The flashbang explodes inside Aiyana’s residence, lighting up the porch.
0:33 — A pop can be heard; presumably the fatal gunshot.
When the smoke cleared, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was found on the couch, covered with blood, with a gunshot to the head. She had been sleeping on the couch next to her grandmother, Mertilla Jones. A mere 3 seconds passed from the time of the first shouts until officers entered the home. Aiyana was shot in six seconds.
The grenade had fallen directly onto the couch, where it scorched Aiyana’s “Hannah Montana” blanket, and caused Ms. Jones to dive for the floor.
The trigger man was 37-year-old Officer Joseph Weekley, who both drovethe armored personnel carrier and led the team through Jones’s door. Wielding a ballistic shield and an MP5, the 14-year DPD veteran claimed that he lost control of his weapon, but not for the reason one would expect. He blamed Aiyana’s grandma.
Officer Weekley’s novel defense was that Mertilla Jones rose up as he entered the apartment and “reached for his gun.” In his version of events, contact with grandmother caused him to pull the trigger of his submachine gun, subsequently striking the sleeping girl.
Mertilla Jones gave a very different account. She said that she had been dozing in and out of sleep on the couch when she was startled by the shattering of glass and the deafening incendiary device hurled through the window. Ms. Jones claims she reached to protect her granddaughter and made no contact with any officer, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“They blew my granddaughter’s brains out,” said Ms. Jones. “They killed her right before my eyes. I watched the light go out of her eyes.”
Officer Weekley was no stranger to controversy. Previously during his six years on the Special Response Team, he had been named among several officers in a federal lawsuit regarding no-knock raid in which officers aimed rifles at small children and shot two family pets in 2007.
In addition to Aiyana, three other children were in the house at the time: Carlos (age four), Pierre (age two), and Christian (age three months). The capacity for mistakes in such a household was monumental
A Tennessee woman who fell behind on her yard work was cited by code enforcers and has served a stint in jail.
LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee woman who fell behind on her yard work was cited by code enforcers and has served a stint in jail over her overgrown yard.
Karen Holloway tells WVLT (http://bit.ly/1w6Nzkr) that the issue started in the summer, when the city sent a citation. She admits she didn’t properly maintain her yard in Lenoir City in East Tennessee and says it had overgrown trees and bushes, but she says she didn’t deserve jail time. She says she fell behind because of personal family issues. (more…)
The string of beheadings of American and British hostages at the hands of the Islamic State has drawn horror and intense media scrutiny the world over, redoubling international determination to defeat the extremist group.
But with IS dominating headlines, it is easy to forget that Saudi Arabia, a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council and a close ally of America in the war against the Islamist fighters, is itself routinely carrying out the practice of beheading.
Since January of this year, 59 people have been beheaded in Saudi Arabia under the country’s antiquated legal system based primarily around sharia law. (more…)
James Risen, an Investigative Journalist, and veteran New York Times Reporter, is now another name on the list of Journalists being prosecuted by the Obama Administration. Risen, whose reporting on warrantless wiretapping was published in 2006, is now facing jail time for the same material that earned him a Pulitzer Prize.
According to Democracy Now, Risen’s original story was supposed to be published in the New York Times prior to the Presidential election in 2004. However, the report was not published until 2006, because Risen was under “government pressure,” due to the fact that his article could have had an effect of the outcome between candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. (more…)
When the Eugenics Record Office opened its doors in 1910, the founding scientists were considered progressives, intent on applying classic genetics to breeding better citizens. Funding poured in from the Rockefeller family and the Carnegie Institution. Charles Davenport, a prolific Harvard biologist, and his colleague, Harry H. Laughlin, led the charge.
“There were many prominent New Yorkers involved in eugenics,” Dr. Tchen said. “It was initially about how to become more efficient as a modern society.”
Researchers sought out “unfit” families in the Manhattan slums and the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. They cataloged disabilities and undesirable traits, scribbling the exact dimensions of heads and arms.