September 30, 2018

FOIA request reveals family separation policy memo that officials denied existed. “The memo, first reported on by the Washington Post on April 26, but never previously published, provides evidence that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen signed off on a policy of family separation despite her repeated claims denying that there was such a policy.”

Human trafficking bill would likely expand government’s warrantless surveillance powers. “The process would increase the number of Suspicious Activity Reports filed by banks (already over a million each year), and the bill does not include any process for individuals (who may have been wrongly accused) to defend themselves or appeal…. The bill also gives the Treasury Department authority to create new regulations on information sharing that could expand warrantless surveillance under Section 314 of the Patriot Act (something Treasury has tried to do repeatedly).”

Department of Justice employee says her contract was not renewed after she protested against separations of migrant families. “Allison Hrabar, a now-former paralegal at the DOJ, said on Tuesday that she was fired the previous day ‘in retaliation for confronting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at dinner’.”   On the bright side, she reached her fundraising goal to cover her personal expenses.

Seymour Hersh – a lifetime of going after the stories that other reporters avoided. “Contrary to the Obama administration’s claims that the (bin Laden assassination) operation had been carried out without Pakistan’s knowledge, Hersh maintained that bin Laden had been living in Abbottabad under Pakistani control and that the United States had undertaken the raid jointly with Pakistani military intelligence.”

Customs and Border Patrol planning to scan all airline passengers’ faces before they board their international flights. “The report ends up concluding that (flight delays) and other logistical issues ‘pose significant risks to CBP scaling up the biometric program to process 100 percent of all departing passengers by 2021’.”

Hundreds of protesters turn out for Kavanaugh hearing. “As the dramatic hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, got underway, hundreds of protesters clashed on Capitol Hill – shutting down roads.”

Federal court hears case involving warrantless phone seizure. “While questioning only lasted 30 minutes, police took both of Burton’s phones when he arrived and told him they would be keeping them…. Police did not obtain a warrant to search the phones until two days later.”

Facebook is reportedly deactivating fake accounts used by law enforcement agencies to monitor protest groups. “In a letter to Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings dated Sept. 19, Facebook’s legal staff demands that the agency ‘cease all activities on Facebook that involve the use of fake accounts or impersonation of others’.”

Third accuser claims Kavanaugh and his friends drugged girls and then gang raped them. “During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me,” she said, adding that she was “drugged with Quaaludes or something similar . . . ”

Trump administration report predicts 4 degree C (7 F) rise in global temperatures by 2100, claims little can be done to stop it. “(Preventing this outcome) would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”   Bye-bye Mar-a-Lago!

House passes bill to make Trump tax cuts permanent. “The sweeping rewrite of the tax code that Republicans hustled through Congress late last year, signed into law by Trump as his signature legislative achievement, is expected to add about $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. The bill approved Friday would add another $545 billion through 2028…”

Most expensive warplane in history crashes near South Carolina airbase. “The announced per-unit price tag for the Marine Corps F-35B was $115.5 million.”

Fewer than 100 immigrants a year are charged with benefits fraud. “Qualified aliens, like lawful permanent residents (LPRs) or green card holders, are banned from means-tested programs for five years from their date of legal entry.”

Federal court hears student artist’s appeal over removal of his painting of a police shooting from a Capitol exhibition. “Stephen Ayers, the architect of the Capitol, removed… the untitled painting after police associations and Republican lawmakers protested the work as anti-police.”

Federal court hears Ferguson ‘debtors prison’ class action lawsuit brought by plaintiffs jailed for not paying fines and traffic tickets. “Fant and her co-plaintiffs say they languished in deplorable conditions inside the jails, forced to wear the same clothes for days and weeks.”

Senate Democrats introduce bill prohibiting U.S. first strike on Iran without Congressional approval. “The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018 demands that the president obtain congressional approval for any military action in Iran.”

Yet another politician adopts Jill Stein’s ‘Green New Deal’ plan, without giving her any credit. “Closing out the Labour Party’s annual conference on Wednesday, Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to end ‘greed-is-good’ capitalism and ‘kick-start a green jobs revolution’ as part of his ‘radical plan to rebuild and transform’ the United Kingdom.”

Trump administration rolls back safety regulation on oil and chemical trains. “The rule required trains carrying oil and other flammable materials—sometimes called ‘bomb trains’—to install electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes that decrease the likelihood of derailment by 2021.”

Amazon accused of conducting union prevention training at Whole Foods. “The training videos provide managers with tips and information on how to navigate around labor laws to prevent unionization efforts and how to express criticism toward union efforts without committing an unfair labor practice.”

ICE accused of violating court order by detaining Haitian man who grew up in Brooklyn. “… while (Danny Michel’s) two-decade struggle with U.S. immigration enforcement points to a system that has long been mired in intransigence veering on the absurd, his first night back after deportation, and ICE’s insistence on detaining him even after a judge had ruled that they couldn’t do so, speaks of an agency that is growing increasingly rogue — emboldened by the political moment to exert authority even where it has none, and to defy the rule of law even when it claims to be enforcing it.”

Former Chicago police commander Jon Burge dies at 70. “Andrew Wilson told (The Chicago Reader) he was subject to, in Conroy’s words ‘burns and electric shock, the shock delivered by two different devices to his genitals, his ears, his nose, and his fingers’ while being interrogated by officers under Burge’s command. Accusations from other victims reported by Conroy ranged (from) similar shocks to beatings to officers putting plastic bags over suspects’ heads; there were stories of burns from cigarettes and radiators that individuals in police custody were chained to.”

Espionage Act being misused against whistle-blowers. “The Espionage Act was originally aimed at protecting the country from spies who would leak information to foreign governments, not to the American people or the press.”

Brett Kavanaugh accused of lying about his merit-based admission to Yale. “Kavanaugh was a legacy at Yale, where his grandfather Everett Edward Kavanaugh went.”

U.S. military’s estimate of civilian casualties in war on IS is about 6 times lower than that of NGO. “The coalition fighting Islamic State militants said in a statement that during the month of August it had determined that an additional 53 civilians had been killed unintentionally, bringing the total to at least 1,114 civilian deaths since August 2014…. The monitoring group Airwars says at least 6,575 civilians have been killed by coalition strikes.”

Seven killed, more than 500 wounded during latest Gaza border protest. “Israeli soldiers shot dead seven Palestinians, including two boys, who were among thousands of people who thronged to the fortified Gaza Strip border on Friday as part of weekly protests launched half a year ago, Gaza health officials said.”

Egypt accused of targeting activists. “The systematic targeting of human rights defenders is yet another indication that the Egyptian Government is operating a zero-tolerance approach to dissent, which is often suppressed under the pretext of countering terrorism.”

September 30, 2018

September 24, 2018

North Carolina woman arrested for providing first aid to injured pets after hurricane. “The charges included 12 counts of practicing medicine without a veterinary license.”

Man sentenced to 20 years after cigarette heist. “Authorities say Spellman took 10 cartons of cigarettes from a stock room in the store manager’s office last December.”

Female law students say their professor is lying about not grooming them for Brett Kavanaugh clerkships. “I personally heard her state that it’s not an accident that all his clerks look like models.”

Second woman accuses Brett Kavanaugh. “In a (New Yorker) report by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, a Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh’s named Deborah Ramirez alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party.”

3D printer gun guy who battled the government and won is jailed after $500 hook up with under-aged woman who he met on an adult website. “… Mr. Wilson met the girl through a “sugar daddy” dating website, and they met in the parking lot of an Austin coffee shop before they drove to the hotel.”

Twenty Pinochet-era undercover police agents jailed for participation in political assassination program. “The crimes were committed under Operation Condor — a secret campaign to wipe out the opposition.”   Could Henry Kissinger be next? “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.”

September 24, 2018

September 23, 2018

Every Democratic Senator except Bernie Sanders votes to approve $674 billion military spending bill. “Six Republicans and independent Senator Bernie Sanders opposed it.”

Cities offering to pass on Amazon infrastructure costs to utility ratepayers. “In late August, for example, Bloomberg broke the story that Dominion Energy, Virginia’s largest utility company, got approval to pass onto its customers the $172 million cost of a power line that will run to Amazon’s new building.”

Coal ash spills into North Carolina river after Trump administration relaxes restrictions. “The Environmental Protection Agency in July relaxed Obama administration requirements that forced companies to keep a closer watch on coal ash disposal sites and their potential groundwater contamination — and signaled further revisions sought by industry are coming.”

Third man dies in series of beatings of men sleeping outside. “Santa Monica police are working with the Los Angeles Police Department to see if there’s a connection between the apparent beating death of a man found on the beach, and three brutal attacks on homeless men last weekend in downtown L.A.”

FEMA chief to reimburse government for private use of official vehicle. “Nielsen said in a statement that she had completed a review of a Department of Homeland Security inspector general report probing Long’s government vehicle use, which found that he had used government-owned cars for home-to-work transportation ‘without proper authorization’.”

Chicago prosecutors throw out cases of 18 suspects after allegations of fabricated charges. “Their accounts in large part mirror many of the previous allegations stemming from (Chicago police Sgt. Ronald) Watts’ decade-long run of corruption at Ida B. Wells, forcing residents and drug dealers alike to pay a “protection” tax or face bogus criminal charges for refusing to do so.”

Man arrested for Facebook threats against government officials. “A federal warrant was issued June 19 for the 27-year-old McAdoo man in connection to Facebook posts threatening to shoot Trump and a district attorney in Pennsylvania. Officials say he also threatened a police chief.”

Federal judge rules North Carolina law restricting agriculture workers’ unions is unconstitutional. “Under the law, The Farm Labor Organizing Committee would have to travel across the state to collect each [dues] payment because its members and employers are not permitted to transfer money directly from their paychecks.”

Federal judge rules that Dallas County bail schedule violates rights of poor prisoners. “(Judge) Godbey said the county judges routinely impose secured bond amounts recommended by automatic schedules that result in pretrial detention of the indigent in violation of their equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment.”

Michael Moore’s movie ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ doesn’t just go after Donald Trump. “In a series of scenes that will likely disturb many viewers, he dives deep into the ways that establishment Democrats have sold out the party’s ideals and their voters.”

ACLU sues New Mexico police departments for violating the state’s civil asset forfeiture law. “The Albuquerque Police Department, among others, refused to fully comply with the new state law claiming that it didn’t apply to their DWI vehicle seizure program.”

Facebook accused of being slow to remove threats against Myanmar human rights worker. “‘He is a Muslim. Muslims are dogs and need to be shot…. Don’t leave him alive. Remove his whole race. Time is ticking.’ The (U.N.) Mission reported this post to Facebook on four occasions; in each instance the response received was that the post was examined but ‘doesn’t go against one of [Facebook’s] specific Community Standards’.”

Google allegedly told employees to delete controversial memo. “The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have ‘unilateral access’ to the data.”

State Department policy on Yemen reportedly influenced by possible future weapons sales. “The legislative affairs staff, according to the Wall Street Journal, argued that restricting U.S. support would endanger billions of dollars in future weapons sales, including a massive sale of precision-guided munitions between Raytheon, a U.S. weapons manufacturer, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

Writer reveals themes of fascist political movements and their current use in U.S. politics. “(Jason) Stanley talks to Schechtman about what he believes are the ten pillars of fascist politics: the mythic past, propaganda, anti-intellectualism, unreality, hierarchy, victimhood, law and order, sexual anxiety, and appeals to the heartland. He explains how fascists have consistently used these elements to sow division and gain power.”

U.S. reportedly concealing number of Afghan government forces being killed by Taliban. “The figure of 400 Afghan soldiers and police officers killed last week leaked out of a meeting last weekend between Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the new American military commander, and Western diplomats in Kabul, according to two of those present, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was meant to be off the record.”


September 23, 2018

September 21, 2018

Public defenders protest after migrant is arrested during meeting with his lawyer. “Legal Aid client Genaro Rojas Hernandez was meeting with his lawyer in Brooklyn when ICE agents grabbed him.”

Released documents reveal government’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order to investigate journalists. “While civil liberties advocates have long suspected secret FISA court orders may be used (and abused) to conduct surveillance on journalists, the government—to our knowledge—has never acknowledged they have ever even contemplated doing so before the release of these documents today.”

Judge who sentenced woman to prison for voting reportedly broke election laws herself when she solicited employees for political donations. “… Grant Hayden, a law professor at Southern Methodist University, said it’s unfair for (Judge) Wilson to hold voters like Mason accountable for not knowing election rules and then claiming not to know rules herself.”

Former Border Patrol agent speaks out against use of excessive force and cruelty. “… if you use an intermediate weapon like [pepper] spray, Taser, or a baton, policy says you have to write a memo. But if you use a flashlight, you don’t have to write a memo, so it was always common knowledge: Use your flashlight.”

ICE accused of arresting family members as they attempt to reclaim detained children. “CNN reported Thursday that between July and early September, at least 41 people have been detained after attempting to retrieve their young family members from government-run detention facilities, which are now at 92 percent capacity with more than 13,000 children in custody.”

Woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault goes into hiding after death threats. “As you are aware, she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home.”

Activists groups unite against criminalization of protests. “Following the passage of a new state law, trespassing at a pipeline construction site has been deemed a felony in Louisiana rather than a misdemeanor.”

Facebook allegedly allowing job ads to be sent to men or young people only. “Submitted on behalf of three female workers, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and the hundreds of thousands of female workers CWA represents, the ACLU’s charges ‘allege that Facebook delivers job ads selectively based on age and sex categories that employers expressly choose, and that Facebook earns revenue from placing job ads that exclude women and older workers from receiving the ads’.”

Peace activist arrested for disrupting State Department official’s speech on war with Iran. “You are making a case for war with Iran. How did the war with Iraq turn out?”

NFL player Eric Reid is also apparently being blacklisted for anthem protests. “Everybody who plays at Reid’s level has a job and a well-paying contract except for Reid.”

Federal judge dismisses Georgia lawsuit demanding paper ballots. “Several computer experts with decades of experience between them testified that Georgia’s current voting system is susceptible to outside hackers serving foreign interests.”   Or to inside hackers serving domestic interests.

Nine environmentalist activists injured, one journalist dies in Germany during ancient forest arrests. “For the past six years activists have occupied the forest in an attempt to stop the planned expansion of a nearby open-pit coal mine.”

Police raid wrong apartment, are shot by frightened resident who thought it was a home invasion. “Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said Thursday afternoon at a news conference that a man who fired a shotgun at a nine-person team of officers from the Special Operations Division after they gained entry into his apartment was acting in self-defense of himself and his daughter.”

Ireland lifts ban on abortion. “The proposal is to allow elective abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and limited access to the 23rd week.”

Children of detained Uighurs reportedly being placed in orphanages by Chinese authorities. “An AP review of procurement notices in Xinjiang has found that since the start of last year, the government has budgeted more than $30 million (200 million Chinese yuan) to build or expand at least 45 orphanages, known variously as children’s ‘welfare centers’ and ‘protection centers’, with enough beds to house about 5,000 children.”

Oakland releases bodycam video from fatal 2015 police shooting. “Hogg, police said, was asleep in the drivers seat next to a pistol with an extended magazine.”

Alaska man who choked woman unconscious gets no jail time. “Justin Schneider served one year on house arrest with an ankle bracelet and is not slated to spend any time in jail over the August 2017 incident as a result of a deal.”


September 21, 2018

September 17, 2018

Widespread reports of New Yorkers unable to vote in Democratic primary election. “An untold number of primary voters are arriving at polling sites today only to find that their names are mysteriously missing from the voter rolls. Others have found that their registration has been quietly transferred to new election/assembly districts, or assigned to new parties without their knowledge.”

Border Patrol supervisor charged with four counts of murder. “A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been accused of going on a nearly two-week-long “serial killing spree” that came to an end on Saturday after he was arrested him in connection with the deaths of four women and the kidnapping of a fifth woman.”

Almost 1/3 of U.S. workforce earns less than $12 an hour. “Nearly 40 percent of full-time hourly workers know their work schedules just a week or less in advance.”

Police screenshot reveals that Massachusetts counter-terrorism Fusion Center is tracking activist groups. “The fact that state police, who are funded by our taxpayer dollars, are spending time monitoring groups on Facebook that opposed racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic violence, instead of those groups who perpetuate such violence, is abhorrent and should be examined under scrutiny.”

Humanitarian group facing charges for providing water to migrants stranded in desert. “In addition to the exhibits the government would like to have sealed, the motions filed this week provide the latest evidence that law enforcement actions taken against No More Deaths, an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tucson, are part of a campaign targeting the organization.”

Black employee questioned by undercover officers after caller reports him walking to work. “Police shut down the building and searched for (Reg) Andrade, a 14-year employee at the (University of Massachusetts) who works as a case manager in the disability services office.”

How researchers used Facebook ‘likes’ to profile the site’s users. “‘If I know 70 of your likes on Facebook, that’s enough to outdo what your friends know about you. If I know 150 likes that you clicked on Facebook, I know you better than your parents know you.’ And at 300 likes, (Michal) Kosinski intimated, the algorithm knows you better than you know yourself.”

FEMA directors says domestic violence may be to blame for high death toll in Puerto Rico after hurricane. “You know, the other thing that goes on,” Long added. “Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can’t blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody.”

Police and conservatives upset after North Carolina Dollar Store asks cops not to arrest ‘looters’. “On Twitter, the announcement angered conservatives, some of whom called on the the police to shoot people getting supplies from the Dollar Store after living for two days without power.”


September 17, 2018

September 15, 2018

Seven New York progressives win their Democratic primary elections. “… (State) Senator Martin Dilan, who was not part of the I.D.C., was defeated by Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist whose candidacy energized young voters in swaths of gentrifying Brooklyn, despite near-constant controversy in the final weeks of the campaign.”

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who was involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, was reportedly a White House intern during the Bill Clinton administration. “Get inspired and depressing reading that article about how Obama approached the mail room,” Page wrote Strzok on Jan. 19, 2017 – the last day of the Obama administration. “Needless to say, it was very different when I interned there under Clinton.”   No conflict of interest there!

Police search home of Dallas police shooting victim, find marijuana. “Although the search warrant affidavit for Jean’s apartment was made public on Thursday, the same the day as Jean’s funeral, one for (Officer) Guyger’s apartment wasn’t.”

10 years after Wall Street financial crisis, the world’s governments have taken on incomprehensible levels of  debt that future generations will have to pay off. “Global debt has ballooned over the past two decades: from $84 trillion at the turn of the century, to $173 trillion at the time of the 2008 financial crisis, to $250 trillion a decade after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse.”

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pleads guilty to unregistered foreign lobbying charges. “Court documents show that Manafort devised a complex and secretive lobbying campaign to rebrand (Ukrainian president) Yanukovych, who was dogged by corruption charges, as an earnest, pro-Western reformer.”

‘Early Days’ statue showing ‘fallen’ Native American’ removed by city of San Francisco. “Dozens of people watched and celebrated the removal of the statue, which showed a Native American man on the ground, gazing up toward conquering European figures.”

Former  Biscayne Bay, Florida police chief admits framing black men for burglaries. “(Raimundo) Atesiano, 52, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge of depriving the three suspects of their civil rights because he and the officers framed them.”

You, the taxpayer, paid $52,700 for motorized curtains for Nikki Haley’s $58,000 a month apartment. “The State Department spent $52,701 last year on motorized curtains for Nikki Haley’s official residence as ambassador to the United Nations at a time when the department was cutting its budget and freezing hiring.”

France admits to torturing and executing prisoners during Algerian War. “On Thursday, Macron’s statement said he ‘recognized, in the name of the French Republic, that Maurice Audin was tortured and then executed, or tortured to death, by soldiers who arrested him at home.’”

Police in Germany remove protesters from ancient forest to make way for coal mine. “The 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest, which is owned by RWE, has shrunk to less than 10% of its original size since the company began razing sections of it four decades ago, according to estimates by RWE and environmental activists.”

Brett Kavanaugh accuser claims she was attacked at party. “According to the New Yorker, Kavanaugh’s accuser says Kavanaugh ‘held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her’ at a party…. the woman says that during the attack Kavanaugh and a classmate turned up music to ‘conceal the sound of her protests’, and that he ‘covered her mouth with his hand’.”

Tennessee prosecutor reopens civil rights murder case of man murdered while registering blacks to vote.   “Three days after being taken to the jail, (Elbert) Williams’ body was found in the Hatchie River downstream of Brownsville, Tennessee.”

Jeff Bezos announces homeless charity after scuttling Seattle corporate tax that would have funded housing for the homeless. “Philanthropy will not solve income inequality or stagnant wages.”

15 groups are reportedly the source of 75% of anonymous ‘dark money’ donations. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce—which gets substantial funding from big banks, pharmaceutical companies and polluting industries—spent $130 million, and Crossroads GPS, co-founded by former White House strategist Karl Rove, spent $110 million. The third highest spender was the right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.”

NRA-TV runs bizarre piece showing Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends wearing Klan hoods as they speed down burning tracks. “How do you bring ethnic diversity to a show that literally has no ethnicities – because they’re trains!

The Brett Kavanaugh story that Facebook said was ‘fake news’. “So, to spell this all out, Kavanaugh believes that the way to determine whether the Constitution protects a particular unenumerated right is to apply the test the Supreme Court laid out in Glucksberg [i.e., that rights protected by the Constitution are rights which are ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’]. And the judge also thinks that ‘even a first-year law student could tell you’ that Roe is inconsistent with Glucksberg.”

Military officials planning Trump’s ‘tanks and missiles’ parade consulted with a foreign government, but they aren’t saying which one. “After a protracted process, some of which remains under active litigation, the Pentagon responded with 76 pages of emails. Most of them reference the unnamed foreign government.”

Google scientist resigns over company’s censored Chinese search engine and plan to store user data in China. “Due to my conviction that dissent is fundamental to functioning democracies, I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents.”   Actually, dissent is even more fundamental to non-functioning democracies and especially to non-democracies, because the press can no longer do the job of questioning the government’s version of reality.

Federal court rules that the Americans for Prosperity Foundation must reveal its top donors to California charity monitoring officials. “The Koch-funded foundation argued that the state donor filing rules violated the First Amendment, in that it discouraged people from donating because they would be exposed to threats and harassment.”

Texas and North Carolina voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement cases show the huge disparity between the severity of crimes and their level of punishment. “In a nutshell, these two cases illustrate why widespread in-person voter fraud is so rare while voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other crimes against democracy are so widespread: The former has a very low upside and a major downside; the latter has a major upside and no downside whatsoever.”

Millions of gallons of pig poop may flood North Carolina after days of heavy rain. “..there are still 62 of these factory swine operations storing more than 200 million gallons of animal waste generated each year in the 100-year floodplain.”

Protesters unhappy with market-based climate protection plans. “We cannot commodify the sacred and allow our lands and territories to be put into capitalist markets so that they can be traded to allow other corporations to continue to pollute our skies and destroy our communities’ rights, sovereignty, territories and ecological systems that we have relied on for millennia.”


September 15, 2018

September 13, 2018

Federal appeals court dismisses ‘incitement of violence’ lawsuit against President Trump. “The protesters alleged Trump incited violence against them at a March 2016 campaign rally at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville when the then-candidate yelled at five different times during his 35-minute speech to ‘get them out of here’.”

Andrew Cuomo aide reportedly pushed Cynthia Nixon boycott, divestment and sanctions story to the press, casting doubt on the campaign’s claim that it was not behind the anti-Semitism mailer. “On Friday, the top Cuomo campaign official was making a hard pitch for the Nixon-BDS story in a series of text messages coaxing the reporter to give it coverage.”   Cuomo campaign admits responsibility for Nixon anti-Semitism mailer. “Larry Schwartz who serves on our campaign in a volunteer capacity was reviewing mail pieces in an ad hoc fashion, but he only saw the positive section of the mailer and never saw the negative section.”

Donald Trump reportedly boasted on 9/11 that he now owned the tallest building in New York City, later claimed that ‘thousands and thousands’ of people, including ‘Arabs’, cheered as the WTC buildings fell. “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan…. And now it’s the tallest.”

American Psychological Association bans its members from working at Guantanamo. “Military psychologists advised on which techniques would take advantage of the weaknesses of individual detainees. And it was two psychologists, one an APA member, who designed the CIA’s whole ‘enhanced interrogation program’.”

World hunger at 10 year high. “The report estimates that the number of undernourished globally increased to 821 million in 2017; meaning that one in every nine people, does not have enough to eat.”

Brett Kavanaugh blames his personal debt on baseball ticket purchases. “In 2016, Kavanaugh reported between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt, according to his financial disclosures, which was spread out over three credit cards and a loan.”

Russian oligarch reportedly made suspicious money transfers to the U.S. after meeting with Trump campaign. “After the election, that New Jersey account sent money to a company controlled by Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime business associate of the Agalarovs and their representative at the Trump Tower meeting.”

Huge cache of bottled water found on Puerto Rican runway. “Hundreds of thousands of water bottles meant for victims of Hurricane Maria are still sitting at a Puerto Rico airport — nearly a year after the deadly storm, according to a report.”

Video of post election meeting reveals top Google executives were oblivious to popular discontent. “(Google co-founder Sergey) Brin says that ‘voting is not a rational act’ and that not all of Trump’s support can be attributed to ‘income disparity’. He suggests that Trump voters might have been motivated by boredom rather than legitimate concerns.”   Free trade and offshoring – Google them!

Seven NYPD officers arrested in connection with prostitution ring. “On Sept. 12, according to NY1 News, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau arrested two police officers, two detectives and three sergeants allegedly involved in the ring over the last three years.”

An estimated 12,800 migrant children still in government custody. “Detention facilities such as the one in Tornillo, Texas, are exempt from child welfare inspections that are required at similar facilities.”

Poll: 72% of Republicans trust President Trump more than the media. “Eight percent of black people trust Trump more than the media.”

FBI reportedly evacuated the public from Sunspot, New Mexico five days ago. “Some say the evacuation could be part of a government effort to cover up a discovery involving aliens, an impending solar flare or something else extra-planetary. Others on Reddit and elsewhere think the security issue may involve a foreign power attempting to use the observatory’s antennas to spy on nearby White Sands Missile Range.”

Sex offender held an additional 17 years while awaiting trial. “Before his September 2000 release, Los Angeles County prosecutors petitioned to commit (George) Vasquez to a state hospital as a sexually violent predator, citing in part his diagnosis as a pedophile. Over the next 17 years, Vasquez’s hearings and trial dates were delayed dozens of times so a series of six court-appointed attorneys could prepare for trial.”

Federal court hears lawsuit over public access to details of Arizona executions. “(Joseph Wood’s) lawsuit, which the First Amendment Coalition later picked up (after Wood’s almost 2 hour, 15 dose execution), claims that the new execution drugs were dangerously under-tested and that the state Department of Corrections’ policies of preserving the anonymity of staff involved in executions unnecessarily limited public access to important information such as the makeup, lot numbers, and expiration dates of lethal-injection drugs, as well as the qualifications of those administering the injections.”

776 groups opposing second round of Republican tax cuts. “Signed by AFL-CIO, Public Citizen,, and hundreds of other prominent progressive organizations, the letter warns that by aggressively pursuing yet another round of massive tax cuts for the rich, Republicans are setting the stage for a future attempt to slash key safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security.”

U.N. chief calls climate change an ‘existential threat’ to humanity. “If we do not change course by 2020, we could miss our chance to avoid the disastrous consequences of runaway climate change.”

Suspects in Salisbury nerve agent attack claim they were just tourists. “Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town.”

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi defends imprisonment of Reuters journalists. “… in her first public comments since the verdicts were handed down to Wa Lone, and Kyaw Soe Oo last week, Aung San Suu Kyi insisted their imprisonment was justified and that the case had ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’.”

European Court of Human Rights rules that Britain’s mass surveillance programs violated EU citizens’ human rights. “This is a major victory for the rights and freedom of people in the UK. It shows that there is – and should be – a limit to the extent that states can spy on their citizens.”

Pussy Riot activist hospitalized, may have been poisoned say his comrades. “(Pyotr) Verzilov was one of four members of the group to invade the pitch, dressed in a police officer’s uniform, during the World Cup final between France and Croatia.”

Family of four with an annual income of $24,601 are not poor, says the U.S. government. “A single individual making $1,060 a month would not be considered poor.”

CEO of Nostrum Laboratories defends 400% price hike for antibiotic. “I agree with Martin Shkreli that when he raised the price of his drug he was within his rights because he had to reward his shareholders.”

ABC accused of axing anti-Trump episode of ‘Black-ish’. “The episode reportedly included news footage of President Trump, the fatal ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville and the NFL kneeling protests started by Colin Kaepernick.”

September 13, 2018

September 11, 2018

Rogue state threatens war crimes tribunal. “The United States will retaliate against the International Criminal Court if it attempts to prosecute any Americans over actions taken in Afghanistan, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said Monday.”   What about the rendition and torture programs? The invasion of Iraq? Guantanamo?

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reportedly had no problem with NSA’s warrantless domestic data collection program. “‘… in my view, the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment,’ Kavanaugh wrote. ‘Therefore, plaintiffs cannot show a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim, and this Court was right to stay the District Court’s injunction against the Government’s program.'”

150 protest shooting of man in his apartment by ‘disoriented’ police officer. “Guyger, who was arrested Sunday on a charge of manslaughter, said that she was able to enter the apartment because the door was slightly ajar and that she initially believed she was in her own apartment. The attorney representing Jean’s family, Lee Merritt, told local TV station CBS 11 there are two witnesses who contradict Guyger’s statement to the Rangers.”   “Attorneys for Jean’s family say two witnesses told them details that contradict (Officer) Guyger’s account. ‘They heard knocking down the hallway followed by a woman’s voice that they believe to be officer Guyger saying, ‘Let me in. Let me in’,’ attorney Lee Merritt said.”

Federal judge expresses concern that federal prosecutors took Maria Butina’s text messages out of context and made misleading accusations to the press. “… (Judge Chutkan) also had a warning for prosecutors in the case, who recently acknowledged they had misinterpreted messages between Butina and a friend to make the false claim that she was trying to trade sex for a job.”

Florida appeals court rules that police need a warrant when collecting suspects’ phone calls and location data with a Stingray device. “Without a warrant, the government cannot: use technology to view information not visible to the naked eye, attach a device to property to monitor your location, search a cell phone in your possession without a warrant, or obtain real-time location information from the cell carrier.”

Georgia charter school to use corporal punishment to discipline students. “According to the consent form, ‘a student will be taken into an office behind closed doors. The student will place their hands on their knees or piece of furniture and will be struck on the buttocks with a paddle’.”   What’s next, ‘separate but equal’ classrooms?

Georgia election district accused of botching primary election. “… Habersham County sent a letter to voters that stated, ‘your address was found to have been placed in the wrong House District due to a past voting precinct redistricting issue’, according to a copy obtained by CNN. (County attorney Donnie) Hunt declined to say how many residents received the letter or how many total voters were determined to have been assigned to the wrong district.”

Bernie Sanders and Bill De Blasio fail to endorse Cynthia Nixon in New York Democratic primary. “Despite Nixon’s progressive brand of politics, which seemed to mirror the senator’s 2016 presidential campaign platform, Sanders largely stayed out of the race.”

Former FBI agents accused of participating in a conspiracy to leak politically damaging stories to the press. “On April 10, 2017, (Peter) Strzok texted Lisa Page the following message: ‘I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.’”

Bayou Bridge Pipeline construction stopped before court hearing. “We have been tased, pepper sprayed, put into choke holds, and beaten with batons to stop this illegal construction that (Energy Transfer Partners) was carrying out despite not having an easement for the land.”


September 11, 2018

September 10, 2018

An estimated 30,000 march in San Francisco climate change rally. “We’re sending a message to the elected officials and corporate executives gathering for the summit next week that we need equitable, community-led solutions, not profit-driven approaches like cap-and-trade that allow big polluters to buy and sell our right to clean air and a stable climate.”

An estimated 800 arrested at Russian protests opposing change in retirement age. “Next year, the retirement age for men and women gradually increase, and by 2036 it will have risen from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 60 for women.”   Should have done what they did in the U.S. – sneak the change through under the radar. Born after 1959? Guess what, you won’t be eligible for full retirement benefits until you’re 67. Life expectancy for U.S. males is now 76.

Cleveland Heights, Ohio police officer reportedly opens fire on fleeing drug suspects. “Cleveland Heights Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg declined to answer any questions at the scene after making a short statement. She did not identify the officer or the man taken into custody.”

Cambodian opposition leader released from prison, but after election. “(Kem Sokha’s) party was outlawed in November 2017, allowing the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to win all seats in the July 2018 general election, making Cambodia a de facto one-party state.”

Iranian missiles hit Kurdish rebel base in Iraq, Iraqi government protests. “In a statement published by the Tasnim news agency, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said seven short-range missiles had been fired on Saturday targeting a ‘terrorist’ base in the Iraqi Kurdish area.”

Russia accuses U.S. of dropping phosphorus bombs on IS positions in Syria. “A Pentagon spokesman denied that U.S. planes dropped phosphorus bombs.”

Google removes Russian opposition leader’s videos from YouTube after complaint from Russian government. “The series of YouTube videos featured (Alexei) Navalny inviting Russians to join demonstrations on Sunday, when polls suggest President Vladimir Putin’s former chief-of-staff Sergei Sobyanin will be comfortably re-elected as the capital’s mayor.”

More than 8,000 gallons of jet fuel flow into Indiana’s St. Marys river after pipeline springs a leak. “The clean up may take weeks, according to Decatur Mayor Kenneth L. Meyer.”

Mainstream Democratic politicians accused of faking left, going right. “In New Jersey, for instance, state Democratic lawmakers who spent years slamming Republican governor Chris Christie for refusing to pass a millionaires tax quickly delayed and then watered down the same tax proposal when Democrats reclaimed the governorship.”

CBS boss resigns after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct. “The announcement came after six more women accused Moonves of sexual assault and harassment in a report published on Sunday in the New Yorker magazine.”

Top cancer researcher accused of hiding financial ties to drug and health care firms. “From August 2013 through 2017, Baselga received nearly $3.5 million from nine companies, according to the federal Open Payments database, which compiles disclosures filed by drug and device companies.”

Democrats are embracing yesterday’s civil liberties villains just to annoy Trump.  “By uncritically glorifying law enforcement and intelligence officials who have tramped on civil liberties for decades in the name of fighting Trump, we may damage the cause of civil liberties long after Trump is gone.”

With Brett Kavanaugh dodging questions and documents being withheld, it’s tough for Senators to know whose nomination they are considering. “SEN. PATRICK LEAHY: When you were in the White House, did you ever work with John Yoo on the constitutional implications of any warrantless surveillance program? JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH: Well, I can’t—I can’t rule that—right in the wake of September 11th, it was all hands on deck on all fronts.”

Government accused of lying to the public about the war in Afghanistan. “The American military says the Afghan government effectively “controls or influences” 56 percent of the country. But that assessment relies on statistical sleight of hand. In many districts, the Afghan government controls only the district headquarters and military barracks, while the Taliban control the rest.”

Syrian government forces and Kurdish leftists clash in Qamishli. “Kurdish forces said seven of its fighters and 11 Syrian military were killed in the clashes.”

DARPA technology allows one person to telepathically control a drone swarm. “A person with a brain chip can now pilot a swarm of drones — or even advanced fighter jets, thanks to research funded by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.”   How wonderful.



September 10, 2018

September 8, 2018

Israeli diplomat reportedly claims to have cultivated influential black activists in the U.S., while pro-Israel group claims to have thwarted Black Lives Matter fundraiser. “I don’t know if you saw that this club ditched a Black Lives Matter event,” (Eric) Gallagher said to Kleinfeld, the undercover reporter. “One of our donors, we just put in a call to him and he put in a call to the place.”

After Barack Obama criticizes Trump administration for attacks on the press, journalist points out that while Trump talks trash, the Obama administration actually spied on journalists. “In 2013, the Obama Justice Department labeled then-Fox News reporter James Rosen a ‘criminal co-conspirator’ under the Espionage Act of 1917. And all because the reporter used a State Department contractor as a source for a story. Rosen was also labeled a ‘flight risk’. The Justice Department seized the records of at least five phone lines connected to Fox News. The federal law enforcement agency even seized the phone records of Rosen’s parents. The FBI also got a warrant to search Rosen’s emails from 2010.”

House majority leader calls anonymous New York Times editorial a ‘Deep State advertisement’. ““It has been clear for many years that there is a permanent political class in Washington that believes that it has a divine right to rule the American people.”

New York’s new multi-billion dollar bridge named after former governor, the father of the current governor. “(Governor Andrew) Cuomo, (Hillary) Clinton and dignitaries stood on the newest span of the $3.9 billion Mario Cuomo Bridge that’ll be fully open to traffic Saturday to unveil a plaque in honor of the governor’s father and to cut the ribbon ahead of the Sept. 13 primary election.”

Man who was beaten by Euclid, Ohio police officers in 2017 during traffic stop sues city. “Christopher McNeal, an attorney representing (Richard) Hubbard and (Yolimar) Tirado, said the beating was ‘one of the most egregious examples of police brutality captured on video’ since footage emerged in 1991 of Los Angeles police officers beating motorist Rodney King.”   Bystander video here:   Police dashcam footage with audio here:   If you don’t count the shootings, maybe…

Professor accused of acting as a go-between for Trump campaign and Russians may be dead. “The Democratic National Committee, which is suing Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks for interfering in the 2016 election, said in a court filing Friday that it believes all the defendants in the case have been served with the complaint, ‘with the exception of [Joseph] Mifsud (who is missing and may be deceased)’. The lawyers didn’t elaborate.”

Wikileaks security consultant missing. “The disappearance of Arjen Kamphuis, 46, has so far flummoxed a widening police investigation that has chased stray clues and false leads in Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.”

Chinese businessman to be deported from Kenya after calling the country’s residents ‘monkey people’ during angry tirade. “In the two and a half minute video shared on Twitter and elsewhere, Liu, who appears to be in the midst of a dispute with one of his employees, is recorded issuing a litany of racist slurs.”

International Criminal Court rules that it has jurisdiction over Rohingya ethnic cleansing crimes. “Thursday’s decision allows chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open a preliminary investigation into whether there is sufficient evidence of forced deportations, or other crimes against humanity, to press charges.”

Chicago hotel workers strike after contracts expire. “They will be picketing around-the-clock at all 25 hotels until an agreement is reached, said (UNITE HERE Local 1) spokeswoman Sarah Lyons.”

Some iPhone apps reportedly sending user location data to data brokers. “In many cases, the apps send precise locations and other sensitive, identifiable data ‘at all times, constantly’, and often with ‘little to no mention’ that location data will be shared with third-parties, say security researchers at the GuardianApp project.”

Nike on-line sales up 27% after Kaepernick ads. ““There was speculation that the Nike/Kaepernick campaign would lead to a drop in sales but the Edison Trends data does not support that theory.”

Massachusetts supreme court upholds state law banning corporations from making donations to political campaigns. “If corporate contributions were permitted, every time a political decision was made that helped or hurt a corporation’s interests, members of the public might wonder if the corporation’s political contributions – or lack thereof – played a role in the decision,” Chief Justice Ralph Gants wrote in Thursday’s 36-page ruling. “Both history and common sense have demonstrated that, when corporations make contributions to political candidates, there is a risk of corruption, both actual and perceived.”

Barack Obama endorses Medicare for All national health insurance scheme, 9 years too late to actually do anything about it. “While working to reform the U.S. for-profit healthcare system as president—and with majorities in both the House and the Senate—Obama hastily rejected the possibility of adopting a single-payer plan, claiming it would ‘represent a radical shift’ akin to right-wing proposals for all Americans to take on 100 percent of the responsibility of their healthcare costs.”

Former Trump foreign policy advisor gets 14 days in prison for lying to FBI investigators. “Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying about his communication with Kremlin-connected individuals regarding ‘dirt’ on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.”

Some of the sheriffs who cheered Trump’s attack on the press have also been the focus of critical news stories. “…rather than the usual sports stadium packed with partisans in red baseball caps, this tirade against the press was applauded by dozens of senior law enforcement officials in the splendour of the East Room of the White House.”

Walmart criticized for selling Soviet-theme apparel. “Lithuania on Friday urged American retail giant Walmart to stop selling T-shirts and hoodies with Soviet hammer and sickle symbols, insisting the image insults victims of often deadly Soviet-era persecution.”

Egypt sentences 75 protest leaders to death. “Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 817 people were killed on 14 August 2013, when Egyptian security forces attacked the camp at Rabaa al-Adawiya square in Cairo, in an act the watchdog labelled ‘likely crimes against humanity’.”   Killing people during a coup is only illegal if you lose. If you win, then it’s the losers who are guilty.

New York City internet kiosks suspected of being tools of mass surveillance. “Each kiosk has three cameras, 30 sensors, and heightened sight lines for viewing above crowds. Since plans for LinkNYC were first unveiled, journalists, residents, and civil liberties experts have raised concerns that the internet kiosks might be storing sensitive data about its users and possibly tracking their movements.”

Progressive and corporate democrat face off in New York attorney general primary debate. “The exchange, during which (Sean) Maloney was booed by the audience, was the latest of several instances where Maloney has claimed that African-American small bankers in his district were the primary beneficiaries of the deregulatory policies he favored. In reality, large mega-banks benefited far more from both of the votes (Zephyr) Teachout cited.”

Number arrested during protests against Brett Kavanaugh hearings hits 200+. “Sarsour told Reuters that her (Women’s March) group’s members accounted for 209 of the 212 arrests made Tuesday through Thursday, including nearly all of the 177 arrests within the hearing room.”


September 8, 2018