pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti

pieceinthepuzzlehumanity:

If you were involved in Icelandic high finance in the runup to the recession, you might want to start watching your back.

That’s because the government has appointed a white collar crime bounty hunter who wants to haul your behind in (alive, to be sure).

LeMonde reporter Charlotte Chabas has a profile of Ólafur Þór Hauksson, a former local police lieutenant whom the Iceland government appointed to track down individuals likely to have helped sink the country’s banking sector during the credit crunch.

[Read More]

jayaprada

arielnietzsche:

Two Palestinian brothers were deported to Egypt by the US government despite their stateless status, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee stated today:

The brothers, originally from Gaza, were taken by ICE and the U.S. Air Marshalls from their children in Texas and sent to Egypt. The brothers do not have permission to stay in Egypt. Further, due to the blockade of Gaza and Israeli polices they cannot enter Palestine. The brothers are currently detained at the airport in Cairo, and appear likely to be detained indefinitely.

Movement in and out of Gaza has been severely restricted for years and Palestinians do not have control of the borders of their country; all of the land of historic Palestine is under the control of the Israeli apartheid government, aided and abetted by the US. Gaza has also endured five years of Israeli blockade, impacting all areas of life — a policy supported by the US government. Gaza also has yet to be rebuilt after Israel’s three weeks of attacks in the winter of 2008-09 — attacks that killed 1,400 Palestinians who had nowhere to flee, attacks which decimated civilian infrastructure and targeted schools and places of worship, and which were perpetrated with US-supplied weaponry.

Meanwhile, Palestinians advocating for their national rights in the US have been persecuted.

For example, Dr. Sami al-Arian is a stateless Palestinian who has lived in the US for more than 30 years and has been targeted for his political activity. He is under house arrest, awaiting deportation. His daughter, journalist Laila al-Arian, told The Electronic Intifada in 2010:

“…we really hope that there will be a country that will open its doors to a persecuted political prisoner and a victim of the Bush administration, a victim of a wave of anti-Palestinian activism. It’s mind-boggling that in the 21st century, there is a group of people who don’t have a country. Hopefully someone will be able to adopt him. It’s one more battle we have to fight.”

huffingtonpost

huffingtonpost:

While Republicans lambast the cost of implementing health care reform, a new report shows that their efforts to repeal the law have come at a major cost to taxpayers — to the tune of nearly $50 million.

The House of Representatives again voted to repeal President Obama’s signature health care law on Wednesday, marking the 33rd time Republicans have attempted to take down the legislation. The 32 previous repeal efforts faltered at the hands of the Democrat-controlled Senate; the latest attempt is unlikely to break that pattern.

According to a report by CBS News, these efforts, widely viewed as symbolic political maneuvers, come with a high price tag.

theamericanbear

theamericanbear:

“[It] may be worthwhile to look ahead a few generations to the millennium anniversary of one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights: the issuance of Magna Carta, the charter of English liberties imposed on King John in 1215. What we do right now, or fail to do, will determine what kind of world will greet that anniversary. It is not an attractive prospect – not least because the Great Charter is being shredded before our eyes.”

The first scholarly edition of the Magna Carta was published in 1759 by the English jurist William Blackstone, whose work was a source for U.S. constitutional law. It was entitled “The Great Charter and the Charter of the Forest,” following earlier practice. Both charters are highly significant today.

The first, the Charter of Liberties, is widely recognized to be the cornerstone of the fundamental rights of the English-speaking peoples – or as Winston Churchill put it more expansively, “the charter of every self-respecting man at any time in any land.”

In 1679 the Charter was enriched by the Habeas Corpus Act, formally titled “an Act for the better securing the liberty of the subject, and for prevention of imprisonment beyond the seas.” The modern harsher version is called “rendition” – imprisonment for the purpose of torture.

Along with much of English law, the Act was incorporated into the U.S. Constitution, which affirms that “the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended” except in case of rebellion or invasion. In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the rights guaranteed by this Act were “(c)onsidered by the Founders as the highest safeguard of liberty.”

More specifically, the Constitution provides that no “person (shall) be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law (and) a speedy and public trial” by peers.

The Department of Justice has recently explained that these guarantees are satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch, as Jo Becker and Scott Shane reported in TheNew York Times on May 29. Barack Obama, the constitutional lawyer in the White House, agreed. King John would have nodded with satisfaction.

The underlying principle of “presumption of innocence” has also been given an original interpretation. In the calculus of the president’s “kill list” of terrorists, “all military-age males in a strike zone” are in effect counted as combatants “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent,” Becker and Shane summarized. Thus post-assassination determination of innocence now suffices to maintain the sacred principle.

This is the merest sample of the dismantling of “the charter of every self-respecting man.”

Read the rest

fearandwar

You just have to watch the reaction of Ford, neocon Dan Senor, and Mike Barnacle to appreciate the soulless rot that leads people so cavalierly to defend and dismiss the continuous killing of innocent Muslims by the U.S. But it’s Ford’s smirking, self-satisfied, effete ignorance — from a warmonger whose delicately manicured hands have never been and will never be near any of the carnage he reflexively defends — that is particularly nauseating. Like most mindless defenders of U.S. violence, Ford just repeatedly utters the word “Terrorist” over and over like a hypnotic mantra.

Even after Junod describes the heinous death of the indisputably innocent American teeanger, Ford just smirks and pronounces that it’s better to Kill The Terrorists than to capture them. There’s nothing unique about Harold Ford, Jr. — as I said, he’s just the personification of the standard Beltway sicknesses, and the vacant “arguments” he makes to justify drones (“THE TERRORISTS!”) are the typical ones offered up — but there’s something about the way Harold Ford, Jr. speaks here, and who he is, that really vividly conveys what motivates this mindset

Glenn Greenwald discussing how Washington insiders view the drone program

It really is sickening to watch Harold Ford Jr. (who is eviscerated by Greenwald in the article) sit there and say it’s cheaper to kill “terrorists” than capture them. He’s talking about murdering people as if it is all just numbers on a spreadsheet.

(via fearandwar)

pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti

sinidentidades:

Courts and law enforcement agencies in the United States have asked Twitter to hand over user information far more than any other country, according to a transparency report released by the social networking website on Monday.

“Wednesday marks Independence Day here in the United States,” Jeremy Kessel, the legal policy manager for Twitter, said. “Beyond the fireworks and barbecue, July 4th serves as an important reminder of the need to hold governments accountable, especially on behalf of those who may not have a chance to do so themselves.”

Since January of this year, Twitter has received 679 requests for user account data from the United States. The country that made the second most requests for user information, Japan, has only made 98 requests. Canada and the United Kingdom each made 11 requests, while all other countries listed made less than ten.

The social networking website said it complied with 63 percent of the requests.

As more and more people tweet about their personal life, the amount of requests appears to have grown. Twitter has received more requests for user data in the first half of 2012 than in all of 2011, Kessel said.

Internet giant Google also releases biannual transparency reports. Its most recent report, from July to December 2011, found that the United States made 6,321 requests for user information. That number includes requests made by U.S. authorities on behalf of other governments. 

theamericanbear

President Obama recently announced an aid package of more than $130 million to fight the narcotraficantes (narco-traffickers) in Central and Latin America. The infusion of money was announced at the Summit of the Americas in April in Cartagena, Colombia, to head off criticism of the “war on drugs”—and spreading calls to declare it a failure and end it.

The White House wants the world to believe drug prohibition works, and to forget the murderous legacy of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Central and Latin America.

The CIA and the DEA have been directly involved in drug trafficking in the region for decades. They’ve trained, armed and funded death squads and right-wing paramilitary groups that share control of the lucrative drug trade. Corrupt officials at the highest levels of government and sections of the business class also profit enormously from the illicit drug trade.

Latin America has borne the brunt of the U.S.-led war on drugs that has turned several countries into virtual war zones full of massacres and mayhem. Drug cartels operate with near impunity and assassinate judges, journalists, mayors, police and anyone unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

No country wants to become the “next Mexico,” where more than 60,000 people have died in gruesome, drug-fueled violence. Over 250,000 have been internally displaced, and kidnapping for ransom is rife. In many parts of Mexico, drug cartels now battle openly with government forces for control of cities and towns.

The effects on the Mexican economy, in particular tourism, have been devastating. In Acapulco last year, 15 decapitated bodies were found on a walkway to a popular beach. Another 12 victims, including two police officers, were killed in the city on the same day. The drug war has turned Mexico into vast killing fields and economic wastelands.

political-linguaphile-deactivat

10 Worst Things Arizona’s Racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio Has Done

political-linguaphile:

  1. Forcing Women To Sleep In Their Own Menstrual Blood: In Arpaio’s jails, “female Latino LEP prisoners have been denied basic sanitary items. In some instances, female Latino LEP prisoners have been forced to remain with sheets or pants soiled from menstruation because of MCSO’s failure to ensure that detention officers provide language assistance in such circumstances.”
  2. Assaulting Pregnant Women: “[A]n MCSO officer stopped a Latina woman – a citizen of the United States and five months pregnant at the time – as she pulled into her driveway. After she exited her car, the officer then insisted that she sit on the hood of the car. When she refused, the officer grabbed her arms, pulled them behind her back, and slammed her, stomach first, into the vehicle three times. He then dragged her to the patrol car and shoved her into the backseat. He left her in the patrol car for approximately 30 minutes without air conditioning. The MCSO officer ultimately issued a citation for failure to provide identification.”
  3. Stalking Latino Women: “In another instance, during a crime suppression operation, two MCSO officers followed a Latina woman, a citizen of the United States, for a quarter of a mile to her home. The officers did not turn on their emergency lights, but insisted that the woman remain in her car when she attempted to exit the car and enter her home. The officers’ stated reasons for approaching the woman was a non-functioning license plate light. When the woman attempted to enter her home, the officers used force to take her to the ground, kneed her in the back, and handcuffed her. The woman was then taken to an MCSO substation, cited for ‘disorderly conduct,’ and returned home. The disorderly conduct citation was subsequently dismissed.”
  4. Criminalizing Being A Latino: “During raids, [Arpaio’s Criminal Enforcement Squad] typically seizes all Latinos present, whether they are listed on the warrant or not. For example, in one raid CES had a search warrant for 67 people, yet 109 people were detained. Fifty-nine people were arrested and 50 held for several hours before they were released. Those detained, but not on the warrant, were seized because they were Latino and present at the time of the raid. No legal justification existed for their detention.”
  5. 6. Ignoring Rape: Because of Arpaio’s obsessive focus on “low-level immigration offenses” his officers failed “to adequately respond to reports of sexual violence, including allegations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse of girls.” (note* I skipped #5 because ignoring rape is much more gross to me than their listed #5)

And that’s just a few of the many inhumane and disgusting crimes Joe Arpaio has committed against immigrants, and in some cases,  U.S. citizens. Click here to read about his widespread use of racial slurs, racial profiling, random and unlawful detention of Latinos, among other atrocities Sheriff Joe Arpaio is responsible for.

theamericanbear
The corpse of Osama bin Laden will be one of the most featured props used by Democrats to venerate the President as a Tough, Strong Warrior and to argue that he deserves re-election (it will probably be the second-most invoked tactic, right after progressive celebrations over how “cool” Obama is, in contrast to the nerdy and awkward Romney: courtesy of the same political faction still so angry (and rightfully so) that the 2000 election became a referendum on the candidate with whom one would prefer to have a beer).
Glenn Greenwald, Selective bin Laden leaking
sinidentidades

sinidentidades:

RIO DE JANEIRO — Communities in remote corners of Brazil’s Amazon jungle are facing repeated assaults and death threats from illegal loggers who want to steal their lands, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

The human rights group said there was no police presence in parts of Brazil’s northwestern Amazonas state and no investigation into illegal activities reportedly taking place there.

“Those living in the region are in danger,” it said in a statement, urging Brazilian authorities to protect local residents and stop the illegal logging.

The target of the invading land-grabbers known as “grileiros” and illegal loggers are small communities living from timber extraction in legally recognized reserves located south of the town of Labrea.

Many residents have fled the region fearing for their lives, Amnesty said.

Dinhana Nink was gunned down in front of her son in a nearby town in Rondonia state where she has sought refuge after her house was set ablaze, the statement said.

Community leader Nilcilene Miguel de Lima, who has denounced the influx of illegal loggers in the reserves, was beaten up, threatened with a pistol and had her house set ablaze. She has been under armed protection by federal agents since October, according to Amnesty.

In April, she had to be evacuated by authorities after her dog was shot in the head and killed, it said.

The police station covering the area is located hundreds of kilometers (miles) north of Labrea and can be reached only by air.

comedycentral
comedycentral:

Colbert at the TIME 100

Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall:  President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch.
Give it up everybody.  David Koch.
Little known fact — David, nice to see you again, sir.
Little known fact, David’s brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential.  Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million.  That’s kind of cheap, Dave.
Sure, he’s all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave’s always in the men’s room.  I’m sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat.
I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am — thank you, thank you — and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC.  And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there’s no way for you to ever know whether that’s a joke.
By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.

Colbert went totally Colbert on his fellow TIME 100 honorees the other night. Read the full speech here. You’ll be glad you did.

comedycentral:

Colbert at the TIME 100

Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall:  President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch.

Give it up everybody.  David Koch.

Little known fact — David, nice to see you again, sir.

Little known fact, David’s brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential.  Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million.  That’s kind of cheap, Dave.

Sure, he’s all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave’s always in the men’s room.  I’m sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat.

I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am — thank you, thank you — and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC.  And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there’s no way for you to ever know whether that’s a joke.

By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.

Colbert went totally Colbert on his fellow TIME 100 honorees the other night. Read the full speech here. You’ll be glad you did.