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Americans: TSA abuse is fine, just don't make me pay for my bags!


Yet another article in the mainstream press with people whingeing about the fact that they have to -- gasp! -- pay a few extra bucks to carry on and/or check their luggage.  

Bearing the Pain of Affirmative Action: The Shame of Clarence Thomas

By John Grant

 
    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows that the captain lied ...
    Everybody knows the deal is rotten
    Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
    For your ribbons and bows

                                       - Leonard Cohen
 

In honor of our Supreme Court I’ve decided to start this piece with a prayer.

Kangaroo court convicts Occupy protester: DA Cyrus Vance Jr., Prosecutor for the Rich

By Dave Lindorff


Two and a half years after the Occupy Wall Street movement took the country by storm, injecting topics like income inequality and class war into the realm of permissible national political discourse for the first time since the 1930s, the nation’s legal machinery of repression has come down like a proverbial ton of bricks on the movement just as nationally coordinated police repression crushed its physical manifestation in late 2011.


Cecily McMillan, Victim of Police Assault, Found Guilty, In Jail

In the continuing cavalcade of innocent people put in prison in this country -- the vast majority of whom are poor and/or people of color -- we now add Cecily McMillan, an Occupy activist who was assaulted by a New York City cop and who is now in jail for it.

You read that right. She was assaulted by him. Yet she is in jail. And he -- with a history of committing abuse -- is walking free.  

Cover-up in progress?: The Case of the Dead Brazilian Torturer Gets Murkier

By Michael Uhl


They haven't killed him yet.

Paulo Malhaes, the confessed Brazilian torturer whose death I recently reported on this site may not have been murdered after all. At least that’s what police investigating the case have been loudly proclaiming for the past week.

TSA pinches pot purveyor on plane

Danger! Danger! Pot on a plane! TSA to the rescue!  

I’m so glad the brave men and women of the TSA rifle through our luggage, leave cheeky notes, and in general stick their noses in our business. Because otherwise, we would all be in danger of being blown out of the sky due to concealed greenery.

Killing of leaders was being planned: Exposing the Federal Government’s Plan to Crush the Occupy Movement (Part I)

By Dave Lindorff


  Listen to Dave Lindorff explain on Santa Barbara radio KCSB's Radio Occupy program how the federal government, in collusion with state and local police, and possibly with private bank and oil company security firms, planned to use "suppressed sniper fire" to assassinate the leaders of Occupy Houston, and perhaps also the leaders of other Occupy Movement actions around the country.

Academic freedom under attack: A Conversation with Prof. Nel about an Attempt to Fire Tenured Faculty for their Private Online

By Dave Lindorff

 

This week's "This Can't Be Happening!" radio program on PRN radio features an interview with Dr. Phil Nel, a distinguished professor of English at Kansas State University, and an outspoken opponent of a current effort by the Kansas Board of Regents to impose a new "social media policy" on all the state's public higher education institutions -- a policy that would allow administrators to fire even tenured faculty for posting statements that "damage" the school or negatively impact "harmony" on campus.

 

Israeli Hypocrisy: Business as Usual

             On Sunday, April 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on U.S. television, denouncing progress made in reconciliation talks between Fatah, which ostensibly controls the West Bank, and Hamas, the democratically-elected government in the Gaza Strip.


            According to CNN: “Netanyahu said he and Secretary of State John Kerry recently applauded that some progress was being made toward a peace agreement. ‘And then the next day, we were both shocked,  there's no other word, we were absolutely stupefied that President Abbas embraced the terrorist organization Hamas that seeks Israel's destruction,’ he said on ‘Face the Nation.’”

A new proposal mocks Net Neutrality: FCC Wants to Give Corporations Their Own Internet

By Alfredo Lopez


When a federal court trashed its "net neutrality" compromise policy in January, the Federal Communications Commission assured us that the Internet we knew and depended on was safe. Most activists didn't believe federal officials and this past week the FCC demonstrated how realistic our cynicism was.

The Night of the Generals: When Brazilians were Tortured and Disappeared

By Michael Uhl


“The Face of Evil,” flashed the eye catching headline in Brazil’s major daily on a morning late this March, and the accompanying photo of Army lieutenant-colonel Paulo Malhaes, retired, could not have portrayed a more convincing ogre had it been photo shopped by central casting. Malhaes, a self-described torturer and murderer operated in the early 1970′s, the most repressive period in Brazil’s harsh era of prolonged military rule,

Forty Years After the Carnation Revolution

Portugal as a Model for a New Socialism?

by Leila Dregger

 

Preliminary note of the author:
In this text the words socialism and communism are used synonymously. I see their differentiation and the rift, which has been stretched between their representatives, as no longer appropriate today. This article is directed toward all those interested in justice, solidarity and freedom.

 

 

President Obama: Commutation for Weldon Angelos - 55 years for marijuana

Lisa Angelos:

My brother Weldon Angelos, has already been in a federal penitentiary for 10 years.  He faces 45 more years in prison.  All because he sold small amounts of marijuana and possessed – only possessed, didn’t use – guns at the same time! Even the judge who sentenced Weldon disagreed with the mandatory sentence of 55 years.

The father of two young boys and a daughter, Weldon had never before been in trouble with the law.  He was convicted when he was 24 years old of selling small amounts of marijuana to a federal law enforcement informant three times.  The informant testified that a gun was present (never displayed or used) during two of the pot deals.  

When police officers presented a warrant for Weldon’s arrest, he consented to a search of his apartment, where officers found some marijuana, a handgun in his briefcase, and two guns in a locked safe. 

End the Drug War: Happy Pot Legalization Day!

A Special Report today on the issue of ending Marijuana Prohibition and the massively destructive War on Drugs, by TCBH! collective journalist Linn Washington, Jr. and three students in his Temple University journalism class:


Marijuana: Facts and Falacies, by Linn Washington


More Pre-Check propaganda and more TSA fraud

Another bs article about the bs program that is Pre-Check. And, of course, a discussion thread full of comments by the Special People o-woe-is-me-ing their fate.

The bigger threat is the National Security Agency: Despite Heart Bleed, the Internet’s Alive and Well!

By Alfredo Lopez


Some are calling it a "worst nightmare". There have been dire predictions that it represents the end of the Internet or that there is, in fact, no real Internet security or that Free and Open Source Software is dangerous to use.

One thing is sure. The week-old saga of the Heart Bleed flaw (or bug) and its potential exploits has shown more light on the Internet and its security issues than anything else in recent memory.

TSA anticipates matzo transportation spree

The Jewish holiday of Passover is here (April 14th-22nd). And rest assured: the crack teams of the TSA are ready for it. Since we all know how respectful the TSA is of people’s private belongingsdignity, and integrity, you can count on safe passage for your religious artifacts.  

TSA again denies ID, denies disabled woman

Yet another person, a disabled person in this case, has been abused by the TSA. In Los Angeles last week, Sherry Wright was traveling with her disabled, wheelchair-bound sister Heidi when they approached the checkpoint at LAX. Heidi had a stroke 10 years ago and can no longer speak. When Sherry presented their ID documentation — perfectly valid IDs, as indicated on the TSA's own website — the nitwit in blue balked. First he demanded that the mute Heidi speak, even after being told she couldn’t; then he denied passage to the women, claiming that Heidi’s expired driver’s license wasn’t valid ID.

Humanity Versus a Corrupt State: Coups and Cash Machines in Rio de Janeiro

Humanity Versus a Corrupt State: 

Coups and Cash Machines in Rio de Janeiro


By John Grant

 

John Brennan ordered to pay $500 for TSA protest

We have an update on the case of John Brennan, the man who stripped naked at a TSA checkpoint in April of 2012.

USAID used fake Twitter to try and oust a government!: The Hummingbird Tweet: An Espionage Tale

By Alfredo Lopez

For two years, starting in 2010, the United States Agency for International Development ran a social networking service -- similar to Twitter -- for the Cuban people. Its long-term objective was to forment popular revolt against the government and de-stabilize the country.

A program to take over human communications?: The Drones of Facebook (and the NSA)

By Alfredo Lopez

 

"Connectivity," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a CNN interview last year, "is a human right."

A program to take over human communications?: The Drones of Facebook (and the NSA)

By Alfredo Lopez

 

"Connectivity," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a CNN interview last year, "is a human right."

Jason is back: more stories from TSA hell

Our whistleblower buddy Jason Harrington has written another exposé. We were the first site in the blabbosphere to publicize Harrington’s TSA tell-all blog, calledTaking Sense Away. That was two years ago. And we wrote about him several times thereafter.

Clueless or Callous?: Philly's DA Professes Dubious Expertise on Prejudice

By Linn Washington Jr.


Philadelphia’s District Attorney, Rufus Seth Williams, the first African-American in Pennsylvania to hold a powerful top prosecutor post, persistently projects himself as an expert on racism.

Commendably Williams has acknowledged the corrosive impact of racism within the criminal justice system.

What are they hiding?: Some Serious Problems with the FBI’s Killing of a Witness in Florida

By Dave Lindorff


In the voluminous report issued by Florida State’s Attorney Jeff Ashton’s Office on the killing in Orlando last May 22 of a witness/suspect under interrogation by the FBI -- an investigation that concluded that the shooting was “justified” -- there is not a single mention of the bruise and contusion on the left side of Todashev’s head.


Follow the Money: Three Energy Export Congressional Hearings, Climate Undiscussed

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (yes, three!) U.S. Congressional Committees held hearings this week on the U.S. using its newfangled oil and gas bounty as a blunt tool to fend off Russian dominance of the global gas market.

U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu at the U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Photo Credit:  U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Though 14 combined witnesses testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power and U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, not a single environmental voice received an invitation. Climate change and environmental concerns were only voiced by two witnesses. 

Using the ongoing regional tumult as a rationale to discuss exports of U.S. oil and gas obtained mainly via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), the lack of discussion on climate change doesn't mean the issue isn't important to national security types.

Indeed, the Pentagon's recently published Quadrennial Defense Review coins climate change a "threat force multiplier" that could lead to resource scarcity and resource wars. Though directly related to rampant resource extraction and global oil and gas marketing, with fracking's accompanying climate change and ecological impacts, "threat force multiplication" impacts of climate change went undiscussed. 

With another LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminal approved by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Coos Bay, Ore., to non-Free Trade Agreement countries on March 24 (the seventh so far, with two dozen still pending), the heat is on to export U.S. fracked oil and gas to the global market.   

So, why wasn't the LNG climate trump card discussed in a loud and clear way? Well, just consider the source: ten of the witnesses had ties in one way or another to the oil and gas industry.

Did the FBI Snuff a Boston Marathon Bombing Witness? Dark Questions About a Deadly FBI Interrogation in Orlando

By Dave Lindorff


(This article was written as an exclusive for Counterpunch magazine, where the full story can be read, along with photos of the crime scene)


TSA fraud and waste nothing new

As usual, the mainstream media are a day late and a dollar short. The Los Angeles Times not only has an article reporting information that's been out there for years, but even the headline to the article is inaccurate and equivocal: "Enhanced airport security may waste money, study says." 

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