We Are Change http://wearechange.org Be the Change You Wish to See in the World. Tue, 30 Jun 2015 02:51:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NEW STUDY: Heavy Metal and Punk Music Does NOT Make You Angry http://wearechange.org/36026/ http://wearechange.org/36026/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 02:49:39 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36026 We Are Change

(ANTIMEDIA) According to a new study by the University […]

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(ANTIMEDIA) According to a new study by the University of Queensland, Australia, “extreme music” does not cause anger in listeners, but instead may help with processing.
The study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, focused on “extreme” genres of music, including heavy metal, emo, hardcore, punk, screamo, and various subgenres. Drs. Genevieve Dingle and Leah Sharman studied 39 regular listeners of extreme music between the ages of 18 and 34.
The participants were monitored while describing topics that inspired anger or irritation, and then while listening to 10 minutes of songs of their choice. This was followed by 10 minutes of silence. The researchers concluded that metal music relaxed participants as effectively as sitting in silence.
“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions,” Sharman told The Guardian. “When experiencing anger, extreme-music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger.”
The study found that the music helped the participants feel active and inspired. “Results showed levels of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt,” they wrote. Sharman also noted that despite participants choosing songs with themes of anger, aggression, isolation, and sadness, they were using the music to enhance happiness.
The researchers also note the limitations of their study and call for more research. “Further research is required to replicate these findings in naturalistic social contexts, and to investigate the potential contributions of individual listener variables on the relationship between extreme music listening and anger processing,” they noted.
The study goes against the traditional mainstream narrative that angry music (or video games) will create angry, violent people. This reasoning has long been applied in attempts to ban or censor music. One famous example of this occurred in 1984. Dee Snider of the band Twister Sister spoke to Congress about the allegations that heavy music was making children crazy. Snider spoke before Congress, arguing against Al Gore’s censorship plan. Meanwhile, Al Gore’s wife, Tipper Gore—founder of Parents Music Resource Center—was leading the call for censorship. Hilarity ensued:

 

Despite what the conservative parasite class would have you believe, metal and punk will not rot your brain! In fact, for many people, music is a gateway to rebellion and revolution! There will not be a real, lasting rEvolution without the artists—and that includes music—so throw on your favorite revolutionary groove and start building the future you want to see.
BONUS! For the readers who support Anti-Media and enjoy punk or heavy music, I would like to suggest a brilliant band that has amazing, well-written (and researched) lyrics that will get you pumped and educate you! Check out Molotov Solution! Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, MS has insane drumming and low, crunchy guitar riffs! The vocals (and again, the lyrics!) from Nick Arthur are awesome for any fan of extreme metal! Check out “Divide and Conquer” from the album, Insurrection! The lyrics are extremely timely with recent events in the U.S. and even feature a quote from Mark Twain!

 

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SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere http://wearechange.org/scotus-same-sex-marriage-decision-may-have-just-legalized-the-concealed-carry-of-loaded-firearms-across-all-50-states-nullifying-gun-laws-everywhere/ http://wearechange.org/scotus-same-sex-marriage-decision-may-have-just-legalized-the-concealed-carry-of-loaded-firearms-across-all-50-states-nullifying-gun-laws-everywhere/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 01:57:08 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36022 We Are Change

(NaturalNews) The legal argument of gay marriage propon […]

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(NaturalNews) The legal argument of gay marriage proponents is that because gay marriage is legal in a majority of states, that “right” cannot be infringed by the remaining states which opposed gay marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court, in granting this new, nationwide right to gay marriage, cited the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, Section 1, which states:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The actual ruling text of the SCOTUS decision makes it clear that its “equal protection” logic would apply universally to concealed carry gun rights which already exist in a majority of states:

(1) The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs… When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed. Applying these tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution.

Similarly, the right to keep and bear arms has also long been protected by the Constitution and affirmed in multiple Supreme Court decisions, as early as last year. “In District of Columbia v Heller (2008) — the SCOTUS ruled that the 2nd Amendment rights were ‘fundamental’ in and of themselves as well as ‘fundamental to the Nation’s scheme of ordered liberty'” writes Hawkins at Breitbart.com.

If this right to keep and bear arms (and to carry concealed firearms) is already recognized in some states, then by the Supreme Court’s own precedent on gay marriage, that right cannot be denied in ANY state!

SCOTUS may have nullified gun control laws by legalizing gay marriage

The Supreme Court, in other words, appears to have just nullified gun control laws all across America.

As Bob Owens writes on BearingArms.com, “By using the Constitution in such a manner, the Court argues that the Due Process Clause extends ‘certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy’ accepted in a majority of states across the state lines of a handful of states that still banned the practice. The vast majority of states are ‘shall issue’ on the matter of issuing concealed carry permits, and enjoy reciprocity with a large number of other states.”

He continues:

I’ll be driving through the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York in several weeks, places that until yesterday I did not have a legal right to concealed carry. As of today, with this decision, it would seem that these states and the District must honor my concealed carry permit, or violate my constitutional rights under the 14th and Second Amendment.

AWR Hawkins, writing for Breitbart.com, adds:

When the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that every state must recognize same sex marriages, they used a basis for judgement that will not easily stop at same sex marriage. In fact, it is a basis for judgement that should offer itself to national reciprocity of concealed carry permits and permit holders.

“Equal protection” must now apply to all things, not just gay marriage

The fascinating part of the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage is that it sets a precedent of a principled interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment which must now be applied to everything.

The Supreme Court, in other words, just made the argument for nullifying most gun control laws across America. As explained again by Bob Owens in another article on BearingArms.com:

…[I]f there is any intellectual and logical consistency in the Supreme Court’s arguments at all, the ‘due process’ argument must be applied as equally to state and local gun laws, sweeping them aside entirely, and reaffirming the clear command in the Second Amendment that, ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

All, state and local on concealed and open carry would seem to be invalidated, and citizens should be allowed to carry firearms, either openly or concealed, anywhere they want to go.

Dare the Court dare claim that the 14th Amendment’s due process clause only applies in specific and narrow instances?

That’s the thing about court decisions, you see: we can’t just pick and choose where they apply. A powerful new principle of “equal protection” must now be interpreted across all issues, not just the narrow issue of same-sex marriage.

As Marc Greendorfer explains in his amicus brief to the court:

One day, the Court will have to explain how sweeping restrictions on every aspect of firearms ownership and use can be upheld yet traditional and long-standing regulations on marriage cannot be tolerated in any form or in any jurisdiction.

In other words, if the Court is to have any logical consistency at all, it will have no choice but to declare nearly all gun control laws nationwide to be null and void, in precisely the same way it just declared all “marriage control” laws to be null and void. After all, “equal protection” must be equal, or it has no meaning at all (and the Supreme Court itself becomes a total joke).

That’s how freedom works: It’s not just freedom for YOUR favorite issues, but freedom for other issues, too

You can’t discriminate against people based on their personal beliefs, you see. So if gay couples’ right to be married must be universally recognized across all states, then gun owners’ right to carry firearms must also be universally recognized across all states. That’s the way freedom works: once a principle is affirmed and set into the history of interpretation of law, it must be applied universally.

I can already see the comedic bumper stickers from all this: IF YOU GET TO MARRY, WE GET TO CARRY!

In essence, the U.S. Supreme Court just handed the NRA the very argument it might now use to nullify gun restriction laws everywhere. The NRA merely needs to file suit in a lower court, cite the Obergefall decision, and kick the lawsuit all the way back up the chain to SCOTUS. There, the Court must decide in a manner consistent with the same-sex marriage “rights,” or else it will cease to carry any real authority at all.

The realization of all this, of course, will drive many of the same-sex marriage lobbyists absolutely insane. They did not see this unintended consequence of “equal protection” being applied to other topics. But that’s how equality actually works, isn’t it? Equality means the principle is equally applied to other contexts.

Gay gun rights advocates are no doubt thrilled with this realization

You might be surprised, by the way, to learn that there is a group of gay gun rights advocates who must now be double-thrilled to learn the implications of all this. The group is called the Pink Pistols, and this list of local chapters shows they have members all across the nation, from New York to Texas. Their slogan? “Armed gays don’t get bashed.” Gotta love it!

Anyone who believes in universal freedom, not selective freedom, should support both the rights of people to be gay as well as be armed for self defense. If you happen to both gay and armed, check out the Pink Pistols.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/050237_SCOTUS_gun_laws_same-sex_marriage.html#ixzz3eVSoNF1O

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Badly Sourced War Propagators: Is The MainStream Media Simply Another Mouthpiece? http://wearechange.org/badly-sourced-war-propagators-is-the-mainstream-media-simply-another-mouthpiece/ http://wearechange.org/badly-sourced-war-propagators-is-the-mainstream-media-simply-another-mouthpiece/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:35:13 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36015 We Are Change

(MindSetAThreat.com)A recent interview aired on CNN, in […]

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(MindSetAThreat.com)A recent interview aired on CNN, in which Sunday Times ‘journalist’ Tom Harper attempted to defend his report that the Edward Snowden Leaks jeopardized the safety of British spies, turned out to be a perfect example of everything wrong with mainstream journalism. The CNN anchor asked Harper how he knew what he was claiming was true. Hilarity ensued:

 

Effectively what Harper just admitted is: I write what I’m told to.

This is somewhat endemic throughout the mainstream media. In this case the ‘journalist’ in question was called out for his badly sourced report, even by members within the mainstream media. But what happens when a lot more is at stake? A government is reluctant to bring a country to war if there’s a lacking in public support. Public support often stems from the information we are given through the media. So what happens when the media toes the official line, without question, in the build up to a war?

Iraq war, Mainstream and WMDs-

Iraq was invaded in 2003 and then militarily occupied for nearly a decade. Regardless of what you think about the ‘official’ 9/11 narrative, Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks. In fact, 15 out of the 19 hijackers were from the U.S’s and Britain’s close ally Saudi Arabia. Although the public’s emotional reaction to 9/11 played a huge in role in building support for the Iraq war, the threat of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) was the cherry on the cake of manufacturing public support for a war with Iraq.

The invasion of Iraq by the joint forces of the U.S, U.K, Australia and Poland led to deaths of 100,000s of civilians and the subsequent power vacuum that led to the rise of ISIS. There were no weapons of mass destruction. All of that blood shed was based on falsified evidence that was presented in a way to manufacture a threat that never existed. Those who ordered the invasion of a country under false pretenses should be held accountable and trialed for war crimes but so too should those who propagated such a destructive lie be held accountable.

Taking one example-being the New York Times, a prestigious paper read all over the world. The New York Times toed the line of WMD’s in 2002. Namely the ‘aluminum tube’ narrative propagated by Colin Powell. Powell consciously lied about about WMD’s and one of the most well respected newspapers in the world held his hand in articles such as ‘ Threats and responces: The Iraqis; U.S says Hussein Intensifies Quest For A-bomb Parts’. Just like Harper’s badly sourced claims of endangering British Spies, the NYT’s article from 2002 completely lacks any legitimate evidence of Iraq building weapons of mass destruction .It simply toes the official line and with disastrous consequences. The article quotes numerous statements from government officials but fails to critically analyze the theory that the aluminum tubes in question were specifically designed for building an A-bomb and lacks any counter-narrative presenting a different viewpoint.

A set of technical experts from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge, Livermore, and Los Alamos National Laboratories reviewed the CIA analysis and disagreed with this interpretation because the tube dimensions were far from ideal for this purpose. In fact, the dimensions and the aluminum alloy were identical to those of tubes acquired for rockets by Iraq in the 1980s. Furthermore, the Iraqis had developed and tested centrifuges before the first Gulf War that were much more capable than those that could have been built with the imported tubes according to a report from the Union Of Concerned Scientists. The report also found that there was endemic altering and concealing of scientific information throughout government agencies.

Did the media take on the same nature of concealment and alteration of scientific information as the political establishment? A report on Media Coverage of Weapons of Mass Destruction’ conducted by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland indicates that it did and it certainly is not limited to the NYTs. The study evaluated American and British media coverage of events relating to weapons of mass destruction during recent periods when WMD were big stories.The study was based on reporting by four US newspapers (The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post), two London papers (The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian), three newsweeklies (Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, The Economist) and the radio programs “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio. It’s findings-

by October 2002, a year after the September 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s repeated linkages of terrorism, WMD, and Iraq had engrained the three as a triple threat in the American media. The US and UK media covered in the study tended to merely reiterate the Bush administration’s formulation of the “War on Terror”

When Bush stated that Americans were vulnerable to WMD in the hands of terrorists, the media effectively magnified those fears by prioritizing that news. Front-page and top-of-the-news stories led with the President’s analysis. Where alternative perspectives were presented in the coverage, they tended to be buried

when many journalists actively questioned White House and Pentagon’s pronouncements, they continued to accept the administration’s set of priorities. If the White House acted like a WMD story was important, so too did the media. If the White House ignored a story (or an angle on a story), the media were likely to as well.

Weren’t these war mongering neo-cons lucky to have a mass media so complacent, so unquestionably loyal to their cause that they parrot their lies right on cue and without expressing the slightest bit of doubt?

Surely we have all learned from our mistakes, right?

Let’s take a look at a more recent conflict. The Ukrainian conflict to be specific. Let’s see how the mainstream media reported on the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Will the media toe the official line when presented with no factual evidence just like the WMDs fiasco?

The New York Times, The Washington Post and Russia Invading Ukraine…or maybe not

Since the U.S state department’s neo-nazi led coup in Ukraine and the subsequent civil war that followed from the the shelling of residential areas by the new regime in Kiev, accusations backed up with absolutely no evidence that Russia has moved or is preparing to move troops inside of Ukraine have been making headlines in the west. For example:

An article in the New York Times August 27th 2014: ” Russia reinforced what Western and Ukrainian officials described as a stealth invasion on Wednesday , sending armored troops across the border as it expanded the conflict to a new section of Ukrainian territory”

The article continues,

“The United States has photographs that show the Russian artillery moved into Ukraine, American officials say. One photo dated last Thursday, shown to a New York Times reporter, shows Russian military units moving self-propelled artillery into Ukraine. Another photo, dated Saturday, shows the artillery in firing positions in Ukraine.”

But these photographs were never made public…or didn’t exist. We are just supposed to take The NYT’s word for it. After all their track record is pretty good, right?

Or lets take the Washington post’s article from Nov. 13:

“U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove told reporters in Bulgaria that NATO had observed Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops enter Ukraine across a completely wide-open border with Russia in the previous two days.”

or the Wall Street Journal’s article March 28th:

“Russian troops massing near Ukraine are actively concealing their positions and establishing supply lines that could be used in a prolonged deployment, ratcheting up concerns that Moscow is preparing for another [sic] major incursion and not conducting exercises as it claims, US officials said.”

Russia never invaded Ukraine. In fact, French military intelligence admitted their was no evidence to back up these claims perpetuated consistently by Washington, Downing street and the new regime in Kiev then parroted by the MSM.

This is just one more example of the nature of mainstream media. Another recent example is The NYTs mimicking of Washington’s attempt to frame the Syrian Government for a chemical weapons attack. The attack was largely de-bunked and if fact implicated the NATO backed Syrian rebels in the alternative media and bull horned in the mainstream media. The NYTs article pointed the blame for the Aug 21 attack towards the Syrian government but later was forced to rethink it’s assumptions when more contrary evidence appeared in a new article titled ‘New Study Refines View Of Sarin Attack In Syria’.

Although as investigative journalist Robert Parry points out, “you’d be forgiven if you missed the Times’ embarrassing confession, since it was buried on page 8, below the fold, 18 paragraphs into a story under the not-so-eye-catching title, “New Study Refines View Of Sarin Attack in Syria.”

The MSM parrots statements made by ‘officials’ without ever questioning not only the motive behind such statements but excepts that information without a shred of evidence. Tom Harper’s awkward admission of simply regurgitating what the official line is should be seen as a microcosm example of what journalism has become. So, why has journalism become just another mouthpiece for government and corporate interest? It’s most likely to do with the revolving door from news media to politics, the oligarchical consolidation of media ownership, pleasing shareholders and even covert operations making use of media to manipulate public opinion like operation mockingbird.

If that sounds a bit crazy to you, here’s a report on German Journalist, Udo Ulfkotte’s recent book ‘Bought Journalists’ in which he claims he was paid by the CIA and German intelligence to write pro-NATO stories.

 

Luckily there’s a solution. The internet has given a platform to those who previously would of gone totally un-noticed. Alternative media has been thriving in the age of the internet. Sites like WeAreChange, TheCorbett Report, StormCloudsGathering and the Anti-Media (and hopefully this website) bring ethical, watchdog-style and truthful journalism back into the public sphere. No shareholders to please, no pay-offs, no bullsh*t. Just real journalism.

 

OG story:

http://mindsetsathreat.com/2015/06/28/153/

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Two Mississippi Cops Killed Shows Police Deaths Rare http://wearechange.org/two-mississippi-cops-killed-shows-police-deaths-rare/ http://wearechange.org/two-mississippi-cops-killed-shows-police-deaths-rare/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 06:04:37 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36008 We Are Change

(copblock.org) Two Hattiesburg Mississippi police offic […]

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(copblock.org) Two Hattiesburg Mississippi police officers were shot and killed Saturday night during a traffic stop. The suspects fled the scene in a police cruiser, and abandoned it later. Officer Benjamin Deen, and Liquori Tate both died at the hospital from their wounds. Deen was “Officer of the Year” in 2012, and Tate was a rookie. Hattiesburg Law Enforcement conducted a manhunt for the killers, and arrested Marvin and Curtis Banks as well as Joanie Collaway around 1:15am at different locations around the city. Marvin Banks and Joanie Calloway were charged with two counts of Capital Murder, and Curtis was charged with 2 counts of accessory. Motive for the shooting is still unknown.

The two officers were the first Hattiesburg officers to die in the line of duty in thirty years. This statistic supports the well known fact that Law Enforcement is not as dangerous as well designed propaganda would have you believe. In fact, Police Officer doesn’t even break the top ten most dangerous jobs. You are more likely to die on the job as a Truck Driver, or as a Construction Worker than you are as a Police Officer. In fact the FBI released information stating that American crime rates are at an all time low when it comes to violence, with the exception of one demographic. That demographic segment of the population is…

COPS! Yes you read that right, according to the FBI the average American citizen is less likely to perpetrate an act of aggression against you, than one of the very people sworn to protect you.

For more information on deadly careers that actually benefit society, rather than parasites who are “Just doing their job” or “Just following their orders”, check out the top ten most dangerous jobs list. You might be surprised at who the people who are risking their lives daily to make sure that your life continues to run smoothly.

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Contact lost with Freedom Flotilla flagship en route for Gaza http://wearechange.org/contact-lost-with-freedom-flotilla-flagship-en-route-for-gaza/ http://wearechange.org/contact-lost-with-freedom-flotilla-flagship-en-route-for-gaza/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 05:30:11 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36005 We Are Change

(beforeitsnews.com) Palestinians hold flags as they rid […]

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(beforeitsnews.com) Palestinians hold flags as they ride a boat during a rally marking the 5th anniversary of the Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla incident, at the seaport of Gaza City May 31, 2015. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem)
Contact has been lost with the Swedish boat Marianne, which had been leading the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla, after other boats turned back. The IDF announced that they intercepted and searched the vessel which had tried to “breach the maritime blockade.”

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition lost contact with the flagship of the flotilla at 10:57pm GMT, the organization said. The vessel was some 100 nautical miles from its destination at when it happened.

The Israeli navy has engaged the vessel, boarded and searched it, the Israeli Defense Forces’ spokesman Peter Lerner confirmed. He said the Marian is now being escorted to Ashdod Port after ignoring “repeated appeals to change course.”

Earlier, the Coalition confirmed that three vessels which are part of the flotilla turned back to their ports of origin, as was part of the original plan.

“The three sailing boats accompanying and supporting the “Marianne” (“Rachel”, “Vittorio” and “Juliano II”) are changing their course and will be heading back to their ports of origin,” it announced.

“Political representatives, journalists, peace activists on board, a total number of 29 sailors, have assisted the Marianne and its people towards their long and difficult journey, which has always remained to end the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza.”

The four vessels which departed from various ports in Greece on Saturday attempted to break the eight-year long Palestinian blockade, a news release on the campaign’s official webpage said. This time, some 70 people were on board, including former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and Spanish MEP Ana Maria Miranda Paza.

Israeli officials said on Sunday they would not allow the boats to reach the shores of Gaza.

“The Foreign Ministry and all other relevant bodies, mostly the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and the Prime Minister’s Office, are fully prepared for the arrival of the flotilla. We are ready for every possible scenario,” the ministry’s spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said on Sunday, as quoted by The Times of Israel.

“It won’t reach Gaza,” he announced. “The State of Israel won’t let that happen,” the official said, adding that the organizers of the flotilla have themselves declared their aim to be the breakage of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, which Jerusalem says “is legal according to international law.”

In 2011, a report by a UN investigative committee implied that Israel has the right to stop Gaza-bound vessels, The Times of Israel reported. On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he believed “a flotilla will not help to address the dire situation in Gaza,” but urged Israel to “lift all closures, with due consideration of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”

READ MORE: ‘Freedom Flotilla’: Activists set sail for Gaza to break Israel blockade

While Israel says the blockade is intended to prevent Hamas from getting weapons and other materials that could potentially be used to attack it, the flotilla allegedly only had humanitarian aid set to be delivered to the people of Gaza.

There are other “acceptable and accessible” ways for Palestinians-addressed help in Gaza, Nahshon said, adding that “if they [the flotilla] want to make a statement to break the blockade, we won’t allow that.”

A number of politicians and activists in Israel do not support such uncompromising position, arguing that the flotilla is peaceful and poses no danger to the country’s security. Sending in troops could further seal Israel’s image as an “aggressor,” The Times of Israel said, citing a former Knesset member and prominent far-left activist Uri Avnery.

In 2010, a similar attempt to break the blockade with the “Freedom Flotilla” ended in bloodshed. Israeli troops then boarded a Gaza-bound vessel in international waters. Nine pro-Palestinian activists made a stand against the military with rods and knives, with the clashes having resulted in the deaths of the flotilla team members.

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Australian Government May Soon Use Armed Drones from the U.S. http://wearechange.org/australian-government-may-soon-use-armed-drones-from-the-u-s/ http://wearechange.org/australian-government-may-soon-use-armed-drones-from-the-u-s/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 04:50:43 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=36002 We Are Change

(truthinmedia.com) An Australian Senate committee has a […]

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(truthinmedia.com) An Australian Senate committee has approved the purchase of armed drones drones from the United States.

The Senate Foreign Affairs released a report calling on Australia’s Department of Defence to make sure armed unmanned vehicles are only operated by Australian military.
News Australia writes:

“In the report, tabled in parliament on Thursday, the Senate foreign affairs, defence and trade committee said the coming Force Structure Review was likely to contain an option for the acquisition of unmanned platforms capable of carrying weapons.”

A policy statement governing the deployment of armed unmanned platforms should be clearly articulated by the Australian government,” it said.”

The report says the drones may be used only in accordance with “Australia’s international legal obligations.” Australia already operates drones for surveillance in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The Department of Defence said armed drones are an inevitably for the nation. Defence did acknowledge moral and ethical questions regarding drones and other autonomous weapons systems.

The purchase of drone aircraft from the U.S. has been expected since at least February of 2015, when Darren Chester, Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, said “It would be remiss of Australia not to continue to develop our knowledge of this technology to ensure we are able to gain the greatest benefit from unmanned aerial systems and the best protection for our troops on future operations.”

Currently Britain is the only nation flying armed U.S. drones. It would appear that Australia will become number two as the United States continues to export weapons of war and murder.

The announcement from Australia comes as forty-four veterans of the United States Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines have launched a campaign calling on drone operators to refuse to fly drone surveillance and attack missions. The veterans are working with KnowDrones.com to distribute a letter and airing a 15-second television commercial as part of the “Refuse to Fly” initiative.

The use of armed drones by Britain and Australia should not be a surprise, however. The two nations are walking nearly identical paths towards tyrannical government and a mass surveillance state.

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Posing Questions of Photographic Ethics http://wearechange.org/posing-questions-of-photographic-ethics/ http://wearechange.org/posing-questions-of-photographic-ethics/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 02:05:01 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=35999 We Are Change

(NYtimes.com) Most curators hope to get glowing reviews […]

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(NYtimes.com) Most curators hope to get glowing reviews and popular acclaim when they mount an exhibit. Michael Kamber, on the other hand, is expecting some blowback for his latest show, “Altered Images: 150 Years of Posed and Manipulated Documentary Photography,” which opens this weekend at the Bronx Documentary Center.

And he’s perfectly O.K. with that.

“I think there will be some unhappy people,” said Mr. Kamber, a photojournalist and founder of the center. “That’s good. If people would stop faking photos, then they wouldn’t have to be worried about being called out.”

The exhibit, a selection of well-known images that have been altered, staged or faked, is an indictment of some modern practices, and practitioners, of photojournalism. At a time when veteran photographers are being replaced by newcomers or untrained “citizen journalists,” it also raises important questions about the profession’s future amid increasing doubts about the veracity of images.

Mr. Kamber, who covered the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and conflicts in Africa for The New York Times, would be infuriated whenever he saw photographers pose images in the field or alter them in postprocessing.

“I’ve lost friends who put their lives on the line to get it right, and then you have people faking it,” said Mr. Kamber, who was close to both Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, who were killed in Libya. “It’s a betrayal. Just get it right. Don’t change things, don’t direct your subjects, don’t lie in your captions, don’t move pixels. Get it right. That’s what we’re here to do.”

The exhibit, which consists of more than 40 images, catalogs some of the darker moments in the history of photojournalism. And there is enough material to leave many news organizations red-faced: National Geographic for digitally moving Egyptian pyramids; Time magazine for darkening O.?J. Simpson’s skin color; Magnum and Pictures of the Year International for a dramatic award-winning image by Paolo Pellegrin with a misleading caption (below); Associated Press and Reuters for moving digitally altered scenes from the Middle East; and The New York Times for publishing a posed photograph in 2002 of a boy holding a toy gun outside an Arabian-foods grocery.

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A screen shot of Paolo Pellegrin’s image of Shane Keller on the Pictures of the Year International website. Mr. Pellegrin won first place in the Photographer of the Year — Freelance/Agency category. The photo was included in more than one award-winning contest entry.
A screen shot of Paolo Pellegrin’s image of Shane Keller on the Pictures of the Year International website. Mr. Pellegrin won first place in the Photographer of the Year — Freelance/Agency category. The photo was included in more than one award-winning contest entry.Credit
More recently, during the rioting in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, who was injured while in police custody, an image circulated widely on social media that purported to show the city burning. It had actually been taken in Venezuela.

During this year’s World Press photo contest, about 20 percent of the entrants that reached the second-to-last round of judging were disqualified for significantly altering images in post processing and Giovanni Troilo was stripped of a first prize in the face of charges of misrepresentation and posing images (the photographer said he had “made a mistake,” but had not intended to deceive). In the vigorous debate that followed, some ridiculed the concept of “objective photojournalism” as philosophically tenuous in a postmodern world.

Mr. Kamber said he was inspired to do the show when Phil Leonian, a longtime New York studio photographer, called him in the aftermath of the debate over manipulated images in the World Press contest. Mr. Leonian encouraged him to mount an exhibit and financed it.

The exhibit shows that there have been ethical issues from the very beginning of photojournalism. Roger Fenton’s “Valley of the Shadow of Death,” made in 1855 during the Crimean War, was the first well-known conflict photograph and a forerunner of modern photojournalism. But there are two negatives taken by Mr. Fenton at the same location — one showing the road littered with cannonballs and the other with the cannonballs at the side of the road, which means that someone moved them.

The show also refers to Robert Capa’s classic “Falling Soldier” photo from the Spanish Civil War, an image that has been widely challenged as staged.

Posing was common in 19th-century conflict photos by Mr. Fenton and the Civil War photographers Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner. Smaller cameras and faster film in the 1930s allowed photographers to stop motion and capture candid moments, which, in turn, spurred a set of ethical standards that demanded accuracy in journalistic photographs.

But as 20th-century technology allowed for more “truthful” images, the advent of digital photography has made it easier to produce misleading images. There are more cases of posed and manipulated images today than ever before, Mr. Kamber said.

“I think the main reason is that photography is a lot more democratic today and I think that’s great,” Mr. Kamber, 51, said. “But 20 years ago there were more staff photographers, and they knew very clearly that altering a photo was a fireable offense. Newspapers are laying off photographers by the hundreds, and there are all these young freelancers who have not been properly trained in what is or is not allowable or ethical.”

When Mr. Kamber was a young freelancer, his editors looked at his contact sheets and could more easily tell if a photograph had been posed by studying the frames before and after. Today photojournalists send in single images from the field and can easily alter them on their laptop or smartphone.

Mr. Kamber proudly admits that he is from “the old school” and sees good journalism as the front line of democracy. The public must have faith in the veracity of photojournalists, he said.

“People say that using a different lens or moving two feet to the left will change the perspective,” Mr. Kamber said. “Sure, but there has to be some integrity. I have to know that what I’m seeing on the page was exactly what was in front of you when you snapped the shutter and that you did not set the photo up or manipulate it.”

The exhibit, of which Bianca Farrow was a co-curator, is not intended to impose a viewpoint, but to prompt discussion about what is and is not allowable in photojournalism and documentary photography.

“Different news organizations have different standards and different contests have different standards,” Mr. Kamber said. “This is a discussion that we must have before we’ve destroyed all credibility in photojournalism.”

“Altered Images: 150 Years of Posed and Manipulated Documentary Photography,” will be open from this weekend at the Bronx Documentary Center until Aug. 2.

Follow @followbdc, @JamesEstrin and @nytimesphoto on Twitter. Lens is also on Facebook and Instagram.

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Israel asking US for 50% increase in next defense package http://wearechange.org/israel-asking-us-for-50-increase-in-next-defense-package/ http://wearechange.org/israel-asking-us-for-50-increase-in-next-defense-package/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 17:01:21 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=35996 We Are Change

Raise would bring annual military funding to $4.5 billi […]

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Raise would bring annual military funding to $4.5 billion; US, Israeli officials in talks for 10-year deal

its annual defense assistance package by half, to an average $4.5 billion.

Defense News reported this weekend that Israel and US officials have in recent months begun negotiations on the next 10-year aid package.
The previous package, negotiated by the George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert governments in 2007, averaged $3 billion of assistance each year, for a total of $30 billion, from 2007-2017.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants that to increase to $42-45 billion over the 2018-2028 period, Defense News reported, adding that President Barack Obama during his March 2013 visit to Israel “endorsed in principle” that range.

Defense News quoted “US and Israeli experts” as saying that the amount would be separate from any package the United States offered Israel as compensation for the Iran nuclear deal now being negotiated between Iran and the major powers.

Like the defense assistance package currently in place, it is also separate from the $1.2 billion in materiel the United States stores in Israel and which under certain conditions is available for Israeli use, and from the approximately $500 million in US funds provided to Israeli anti-missile development each year.

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US military pays Syrian rebels up to $400 per month: Pentagon http://wearechange.org/us-military-pays-syrian-rebels-up-to-400-per-month-pentagon/ http://wearechange.org/us-military-pays-syrian-rebels-up-to-400-per-month-pentagon/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:56:51 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=35993 We Are Change

(BNews24) Syrian rebels receiving US military training […]

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(BNews24) Syrian rebels receiving US military training to battle Islamic State militants are being paid $250 to $400 per month, depending on their skills, performance and leadership position, the Pentagon said on Monday.

It was not immediately clear how many Syrian rebels were currently being paid. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, said last week that up to 200 Syrian fighters were undergoing training. A further 1,500 have completed the necessary screening.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in May that Syrian fighters participating in the US-led mission would receive “some compensation,” but he gave no figures.

Navy Commander Elissa Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said trainees were each receiving a stipend.

Some 6,000 Syrians have volunteered to participate in the US effort to train and equip a politically moderate Syrian military force. Warren said last week the effort had moved more slowly than expected due to complications vetting volunteers and bringing them out of Syria for the training.

Navy Captain Scott Rye, a spokesman for the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-Syria, said a number had quit or been excluded, including a group who left together about 10 days ago.

Reasons for leaving included “everything from volunteers showing up without ID (identity) papers to being underage, to being unfit for training,” Rye said.

He declined to say how many fighters had left in total, but said: “The group that quit all quit at the same time after training for several weeks. This was unusual, and I would deem it a one-time event.”

He said it was not indicative of the overall program, adding that more than 1,000 new volunteers had signed up for the program since the group withdrew.

Rye denied a news report that the group withdrew because its members did not want to sign a contract agreeing not to fight the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

He said that, while US officials had been clear the program was to train fighters to combat Islamic State, the only document participants had to sign was one committing them to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, a mandate issued by the US Congress.

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Supreme Court Says You Can Legally Tell Cops To Go F Themselves http://wearechange.org/supreme-court-says-you-can-legally-tell-cops-to-go-f-themselves/ http://wearechange.org/supreme-court-says-you-can-legally-tell-cops-to-go-f-themselves/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:27:12 +0000 http://wearechange.org/?p=35990 We Are Change

(CounterCurrentNews) Cops would have you think it is a […]

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(CounterCurrentNews) Cops would have you think it is a crime to disrespect a police officer in any way. Cussing them out or giving them the middle finger? Totally illegal… right?

Well there is some great news for people who want to tell the cops to go “F” themselves, or use the “F-word” in any way against the police.

The Washington State Supreme Court just ruled on Thursday that using such language against the police is completely protected by the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court opinion ruled that the charges in a 2011 “obstruction of justice” case must be thrown out. The court ruled that this charge was purely invented, trumped up by the officers and illegal.

In that case, the police were called to a Seattle home due to an alleged disturbance.

A 17-year-old juvenile, who has been identified as “Jordan” by her lawyer, to protect her identity, was upset at the officers who she believed had no business being there. But Jordan’s mother, allegedly had asked police to “remove her intoxicated and belligerent daughter.”

Being “belligerent” isn’t exactly a crime though. And “removing” a child from the home of their parent because they parent calls 911, is a bit more complicated than Jordan’s mother apparently believed.

Being upset with the entire situation, Jordan dropped the “F-bomb” on the police. For her troubles and frustration, the police charged her with obstruction of justice… all over a word.

Associate Chief Justice Charles Johnson said, in the court’s majority opinion, that even though Jordan’s “words may have been disrespectful, discourteous and annoying, they are nonetheless constitutionally protected.”

Seattle Police spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb along with the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild said that they saw this ruling coming.

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“I think all of us in this profession have been yelled at and called things not suitable for a family audience,” Whitcomb said in an interview with the Seattle Times.

Whitcomb acknowledged that police officers often encounter such language, and that he realizes it is not legal for officers to charge someone just for using words they don’t like.

Ron Smith, the head of the officers guild, said he accepts that this is a matter of Constitutionally-protected, first amendment rights.

“We live in a country where burning the sacred U.S. flag is protected speech, so it is not surprising that no matter how vile the language is directed toward a police officer, that speech is, too, protected,” Smith acknowledged.

(Article by Jackson Marciana; h/t to International Business Times)

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