Mumia Abu-Jamal writes about - Lynne Stewart, the activist lawyer, - 10 years in prison. Mood:
loud Now Playing: Lynne Stewart, the activist lawyer, was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
[col. writ. 7/18/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Lynne Stewart, the activist lawyer, was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison.
This outstanding lawyer, a 70 year old grandmother, who is facing the serious threat of breast cancer, was originally sentenced to 2 years and 4 months, but the federal appeals court apparently felt that wasn't enough.
The same appeals courts that traditionally reverses the convictions of cops who torture or kill Black citizens, and who traditionally rely on the judgments of the trial courts, reversed Stewart's sentence as not tough enough.
So much for judicial tradition.
For Lynne's tradition wasn't that of the tony, tie and tails law firms of downtown Manhattan. She didn't represent the rich, the powerful, the well-heeled.
She represented the poor, the oppressed, the destitute and the dispossessed; the Black, the Latino, the Arab, the damned; those whom Frantz Fanon famously called 'the wretched of the earth.'
A juxtaposition: Many, many lawyers on the Office of Legal Counsel, in the White House, the CIA, and the Defense Dept. violated criminal laws, the military legal code, the Geneva Conventions, and the Convention Against Torture (CAT) [not to mention the U.S. Constitution!] to aid and abet violations of law -- for years.
Guess how many of them faced trial? Guess how many of them will in future?
How many of them will ever face prison?
None, None -- and none.
For their crimes were on behalf of the powerful; the state; hence their immunity.
Or consider what is know in international law as the 'supreme crime': wars of aggression.
Iraq will be a basket case for generations, thanks to American arrogance and greed.
Will anybody be brought to book for this crime, that shattered a nation, that sent millions into exile, and killed perhaps a million men, women and children?
Don't hold your breath.
There are still black sites, secret prisons, where tortures happen daily. There is still extraordinary renditions - clear violations of the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
But politicians are doing it - not to 'protect' the nation -- but to secure elections. Torture for votes.
And a 70 year old grandmother, a lawyer, is sent to prison for 10 years - for violating a prison rule that is an unconstitutional relic of the so-called war on terror.
Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).
That Anthony Graber broke the law in early March is indisputable. He raced his Honda motorcycle down Interstate 95 in Maryland at 80 mph, popping a wheelie, roaring past cars and swerving across traffic lanes.
But it wasn't his daredevil stunt that has the 25-year-old staff sergeant for the Maryland Air National Guard facing the possibility of 16 years in prison. For that, he was issued a speeding ticket. It was the video that Graber posted on YouTube one week later -- taken with his helmet camera -- of a plainclothes state trooper cutting him off and drawing a gun during the traffic stop near Baltimore.
In early April, state police officers raided Graber's parents' home in Abingdon, Md. They confiscated his camera, computers and external hard drives. Graber was indicted for allegedly violating state wiretap laws by recording the trooper without his consent.
Arrests such as Graber's are becoming more common along with the proliferation of portable video cameras and cell-phone recorders. Videos of alleged police misconduct have become hot items on the Internet. YouTube still features Graber's encounter along with numerous other witness videos. "The message is clearly, 'Don't criticize the police,'" said David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland who is part of Graber's defense team. "With these charges, anyone who would even think to record the police is now justifiably in fear that they will also be criminally charged."
Carlos Miller, a Miami journalist who runs the blog "Photography Is Not a Crime," said he has documented about 10 arrests since he started keeping track in 2007. Miller himself has been arrested twice for photographing the police. He won one case on appeal, he said, while the other was thrown out after the officer twice failed to appear in court.
"They're just regular citizens with a cell-phone camera who happen to come upon a situation," Miller said. "If cops are doing their jobs, they shouldn't worry."
The ACLU of Florida filed a First Amendment lawsuit last month on behalf of a model who was arrested February 2009 in Boynton Beach. Fla. Her crime: videotaping an encounter between police officers and her teenage son at a movie theater. Prosecutors refused to file charges against Sharron Tasha Ford and her son.
Videotaping as a Tool for Citizens
"The police have cameras in their cars. I watch cops on TV," Ford said. "I'm very hurt by what happened. A lot of people are being abused by police in the same way."
Ford's lawyer, James Green, called videotaping "probably the most effective way to protect citizens against police officers who exaggerate or lie."
"Judges and juries want to believe law enforcement," he said. "They want to believe police officers and unless you have credible evidence to contradict police officers, it's often very difficult to get judges or juries to believe the word of a citizen over a police officer."
In Palm Beach County, Fla., Greenacres resident Peter Ballance, 63, who has Asperger's syndrome and has to record conversations to help his memory, settled a civil lawsuit for $100,000 last year. In August 2005, police officers tackled and arrested Ballance for refusing to turn off his tape recorder.
"You know what," said the officer, according to court documents, "I still don't want that recording device on."
"Well, it's on," Ballance replied.
"It is a third-degree felony," the cop said. "If you want to push it, you can go to jail for it."
"Well, I'm pushing it now," Ballance said.
Ballance snapped pictures of the officers. One of the cops delivered a blindside tackle. Ballance had to be treated for injuries and cardiac symptoms at a hospital on the way to the county jail. At the hospital, officers refused to let Ballance use his recorders to communicate with doctors, court papers said.
In Portsmouth, N.H., earlier this month, Adam Whitman, 20, and his brother were charged with wiretapping, a felony in the state for videotaping police on the Fourth of July when they were called to a party and ended up arresting 20 people, many for underage drinking.
A police spokesman told ABCNews.com that the wiretapping charges were being dropped.
Witness Videos on the Rise
Across the country, arrests such as these highlight the growing role of witness video in law enforcement. A dozen states require all parties to consent before a recording is made if there is a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Virginia and New York require one-party consent. Only in Massachusetts and Illinois is it illegal for people to make an audio recording of people without their consent.
"The argument is, 'Well, can a police officer beside the highway have a private conversation with somebody that they pull over?'" said Joseph Cassilly, the Harford County prosecutor handling Graber's case.
Cassilly added, "Suppose a police officer pulled you over and he wanted to have a talk with you. 'Sir, I smell alcohol on your breath. Can you talk to me about how much you've had to drink? Would you want somebody else to stop by and record that and put it on the Internet?"
Rocah of the ACLU disagreed. "It's not that recording any conversation is illegal without consent. It's that recording a private conversation is illegal without consent," he said. "So then the question is, 'Are the words of a police officer spoken on duty, in uniform, in public a 'private conversation.' And every court that has ever considered that question has said that they are not."
Rocah said actual wiretapping prosecutions, though rare, are happening more frequently. But intimidation with the threat of arrest for taping the police is much more common.
"Prosecution is only the most extreme end of a continuum of police and official intimidation and there's a lot of intimidation that goes on and has been going on short of prosecution," he said. "It's far more frequent for an officer to just say, 'You can't record or give me your camera or give me your cell phone and if you don't I'm going to arrest you. Very few people want to test the veracity of that threat and so comply. It's much more difficult to document, much more prevalent and equally improper."
New Video, Old Debate
In many jurisdictions, the police themselves record encounters with the public with dashboard cameras in their cars.
"Police and governmental recording of citizens is becoming more pervasive and to say that government can record you but you can't record, it speaks volumes about the mentality of people in government," Rocah said. "It's supposed to be the other way around: They work for us; we don't work for them."
Dead Mind Concert Mood:
celebratory Now Playing: I have this concert on file contact me for the download Topic: SMILE SMILE SMILE Subject: 5/8/77 - The truth at lastNewsgroups: rec.music.gdeadView: Complete Thread (10 articles) | Original FormatDate: 1999/04/23Contact me at iamjoe-anybody.com if you know this didnt happen or if it did.There's been a lot of talk lately about the legendary fake show on 5/8/77. I've kept my silence on the subject for 22 years ... now it's finally time to come clean on the whole subject.The whole idea began back in late 1969/early 1970. The Department of Defense and the CIA were very disappointed by the way the Vietnam Warwas progressing. Not only were we losing but, more importantly, the US public did not approve of the war and, worse yet, weren't believing everything the military said about what was happening. This was an unprecidented event. Every other recent war was viewed positively by the public ... or at least with apathy in the case of Korea. Something had to be done. They decided to take a page from the Soviets and experiment with mind control.Together with Disney and a fledgling computer company called Microsoft, they set out to prove that brainwashing could really work on the very people who opposed them: the hippies.It isn't widely known but Cornell was actually the second test of these mind control procedures. The first occurred in mid-1975 and was a dismal failure. 2 major mistakes were made. First, they picked the one time that the Deadwere not touring. This created all sorts of problems with the subject audience. The more serious mistake was in not updating the criteria of the experiment. Due to typical government inefficiency, they used the 1969 version of the Dead that was playing when the program was conceived. The sudden appearance of Pigpen, who had died 2 years earlier, litterally blew the minds of those in attendance. 6 months were spent erasing all traces of the "show" and carefully rebuilding as much of their minds as possible.The subjects were eventually released and most of them became evangelists, their only lingering memory of the whole experiment being an unshakeable belief that they'd witnessed a true miracle.Unfortunatly, no tapes have been found from this first experiment. That's a real shame because the version of Dark Star->St Stephen->Eleven->Lovelight used was supposedly the best ever. After a few drinks, the originalscientists still speak in awe about the music heard that day.By Nov 1977, everyone was ready for the second test. This time, they learned from their mistakes. A small group of college students (including yours truely) were hired to attend shows from 1976 through 1977. Our job wasto collect tapes of the Dead's performances, select which tunes to use, and to help identify subjects for the upcomming experiment. The location and date were chosen with equal care. It was a off-day during the tour and thelocation close enough to the real concerts to be believed. Of more importance was the late snowfall that day. That unusual and easily confirmed event provided the glue that would hold the implanted memories together. Even now 22 years later, people "remembering" that concert use almostidentical words to discribe leaving the show.Overall, the experiment was a great success. Of course, some people were given slightly different memories. Some, like Teddy Goodbear, "remember" taping the show and were even provided "Audience" tapes to further cement the hoax. Still others remember getting "horribly smashed" up front. None of this actually occured.A week after the "concert" experiment, a 2nd test was done on the town of Cornell itself. In order to perfect this hoax, the town itself must also be convinced that the concert took place. Disney had acquired owner- shipof all the local TV and radio stations through dummy corporations. Using special chips developed by Microsoft, they played sublimbminal messages to every man, woman and child in a 100 mile radius of Barton Hall. For the most part, this programming still holds today although somepeople did prove resistant to the message.As far as the source of the music, for the most part the list posted by "brew ziggins" is correct. The only mystery remaining is the Scarlet-> Fire. That was actually performed by the Dead specifically for this experiment.Since Jerry worked for the CIA, it was easy to convince him and the rest of the band to go along. Plus he liked the idea of "pranking" a large group of people like this. The fabled 2/6/77 "take a step back" rehearsal tape isalso from material taped for these experiments.The soundboard tapes in circulation were leaked by Betty O'Connell who edited the orginal tapes. I don't know if it was just a coincidence or not, but they were leaked at about the same time as the tapes recorded by Betty Cantor were found. In any event, they became part of the so-called "Betty Boards". Leaking these tapes also provided the first cracks in the hoax to appear since the tapes were distributed to people who were not in the experiment and who knew that no show was performed that day. It was necessary to obtain their silence through blackmail, bribery and in extreme cases, mind control itself. That's also how this "show" came to be listed in all the popular Dead show guides like DeadBase.So what's happened to these mind control techniques used in this experiment? I got out of the program in 1978 but it's obvious that they are still being used today. Microsoft has used this power to become one of the biggest, most influencial companies in history. They sure didn't become that big by providing quality products. It was used to shape public reation to the Gulf War. It's also clear that George Bush never understood the full power of these methods. After the Gulf War, the technology was leaked to a young governer who used them to be sucessfully elected to 2 terms as president and remain in power dispite facing numerous charges that should have seen him removed from office or even thrown in prision. There are also indications that this technology might explain the otherwise unbelievable popularityof rap music.That's the whole story. I'll probably end up in jail (or worse) for revealing this but it feels good to finally get the whole thing off my chest.
Seven years ago today, in a speech on the Iraq war, Sen. Ted Kennedy fired the first shot in an all-out assault on President George W. Bush's integrity. "All the evidence points to the conclusion," Kennedy said, that the Bush administration "put a spin on the intelligence and a spin on the truth." Later that day Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle told reporters Mr. Bush needed "to be forthcoming" about the absence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Columnist John Fund says you'll never guess who's funding ads critical of Obama's agenda. And, Columnist Mary Anastasia O'Grady looks into whether the just-passed Dodd-Frank financial reform measure is a quota bill.
Thus began a shameful episode in our political life whose poisonous fruits are still with us.
The next morning, Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry and John Edwards joined in. Sen. Kerry said, "It is time for a president who will face the truth and tell the truth." Mr. Edwards chimed in, "The administration has a problem with the truth."
The battering would continue, and it was a monument to hypocrisy and cynicism. All these Democrats had said, like Mr. Bush did, that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD. Of the 110 House and Senate Democrats who voted in October 2002 to authorize the use of force against his regime, 67 said in congressional debate that Saddam had these weapons. This didn't keep Democrats from later alleging something they knew was false—that the president had lied America into war.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham organized a bipartisan letter in December 2001 warning Mr. Bush that Saddam's "biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs . . . may be back to pre-Gulf War status," and enhanced by "longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." Yet two years later, he called for Mr. Bush's impeachment for having said Saddam had WMD.
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On July 9, 2004, Mr. Graham's fellow Democrat on Senate Intelligence, Jay Rockefeller, charged that the Bush administration "at all levels . . . used bad information to bolster the case for war." But in his remarks on Oct. 10, 2002, supporting the war resolution, he said that "Saddam's existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose real threats to America."
Even Kennedy, who opposed the war resolution, nonetheless said the month before the vote that Saddam's "pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated." But he warned if force were employed, the Iraqi dictator "may decide he has nothing to lose by using weapons of mass destruction himself or by sharing them with terrorists."
Then there was Al Gore, who charged on June 24, 2004, that Mr. Bush spent "prodigious amounts of energy convincing people of lies" and accused him of treason, bellowing that Mr. Bush "betrayed his country." Yet just a month before the war resolution debate, the former vice president said, "We know that [Saddam] has stored away secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Top Democrats led their party in making the "Bush lied, people died" charge because they wanted to defeat him in 2004. That didn't happen. Several bipartisan commissions would later catalogue the serious errors in the intelligence on which Mr. Bush and Democrats relied. But these commissions, particularly the Silberman-Robb report of March 31, 2005, found that the "Bush lied" charge was false. Still, the attacks hurt: When they began, less than a third of Americans believed the charge. Two years later, polls showed that just over half did.
About Karl Rove
Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.
Before Karl became known as "The Architect" of President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.
Karl writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, is a Newsweek columnist and is the author of the forthcoming book "Courage and Consequence" (Threshold Editions).
Email the author atKarl@Rove.comor visit him on the web atRove.com. Or, you can send a Tweet to @karlrove.
The damage extended beyond Mr. Bush's presidency. The attacks on Mr. Bush poisoned America's political discourse. Saying the commander-in-chief intentionally lied America into war is about the most serious accusation that can be leveled at a president. The charge was false—and it opened the way for politicians in both parties to move the debate from differences over issues into ad hominem attacks.
At the time, we in the Bush White House discussed responding but decided not to relitigate the past. That was wrong and my mistake: I should have insisted to the president that this was a dagger aimed at his administration's heart. What Democrats started seven years ago left us less united as a nation to confront foreign challenges and overcome America's enemies.
We know President Bush did not intentionally mislead the nation. Saddam Hussein was deposed and eventually hanged for his crimes. Iraq is a democracy and an ally instead of an enemy of America. Al Qaeda suffered tremendous blows in the "land between the two rivers." But Democrats lost more than the election in 2004. In telling lie after lie, week after week, many lost their honor and blackened their reputations.
Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
The ISO (Internationalist Socialist Organization) is having a discussion about the BP oil spill and how Capitalism is destroying the planet. They are saying that Socialism would be better and if oil production was state controlled then we would not have these disasters happen. I don't agree an here is why.
Socilaism is a moral philosophy as is capitalism. Today we tend to think of them both as sciences but they started as moral philosophies and remain so today. Socialism shares with captalism as far as I can tell, and I am not the only one saying this a economic growth worldview. Which is to say Industrialization is inevitable and we can and must continue to grow the economy. The big problem that I see with this is that we live on a finite planet and that there is only so much stuff that we can chew up and spitt out. A lot of people believe that science is going to save us, and I think that not only is this not possible it is foolish. This is coming from someone who has been studying peak oil for the last six years and believe it to be resl snd believe that we have already past it. What are your thaughts on the matter? And does anyone want to go with me on the 29th to debate tgis with the ISO? Thanks
In Marx' understanding, persons are commodified and degraded under the fetishism of market, capital and money where the market or profit are made central. Reductionism and alienation occur when life is reduced to the market economy, CEOs are stylized "job creators" and workers degraded as "cost factors."
In the 50s, we had a guns-and-butter economy without limits. Pushing the workers and increasing productivity was the panacea. In the 80s with the neoliberal counter-revolution, Reagan reduced the top tax rate from 71% to 24% and gave capital all freedom in the "trickle down" mythology. In the current financial crisis, pyromaniacs are called fire-fighters and speculators "investors." Trust will be more distant than a star until the financial sector is shriveled, working hours are reduced and redistribution occurs from top to bottom.
As the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, the economy should be a part of life, not a steamroller crushing creativity and self-determination.
Here is a link to an essay on Erich Fromm. The future will be brighter when we overcome our estrangement and send the architects of crisis back to the golf course!
I don't currently have the time to type the book that it takes to properly get into the subjects raised here, but let me point you to an excellent talk that addresses why socialism is necessary to save humanity and the planet.
How to solve the growth problem. Some of you said that I was wrong and then went on to say that Socialism would be like sipping oil from a glass rather than gorging at an all you can eat buffet. Then still others tried to make yourselves sound very intelligent and used a lot of big words.
The bottom line is this oil and fossil fuels ot finite and will run out this is an undisputed fact which we have known for a long time. Today most of out energy is made using fossil fuels. So with demand rising "growth" and this would happen in a socialist country as much as a capitalist country which is why the Soviet Union fell. The Soviet Union could not provide for the basic demands of it's population furthermore the educated class demanded more materials and a higher standard of living. Not to mention what happened to tha Arial Sea which is one of the worst enviromental disasters in history.
I don't believe science will save us so I refuse to believe in any political idialiogy thst believes in growth as the answer to societies proplems, and thank you Steve I totally agree.
The socialists seem to be forgetting or denying that BURNING OIL by itself is a global catastrophe. No leaking needed. A socialist economy could run a completely leak-proof, worker safe, even egalitarian etc., oil economy and the environment would still fall apart around us. Burning any fossil fuels IS JUST OUT OF THE QUESTION. Hydroelectric dams will destroy all of the global salmon runs if global warming doesn't. Dammed up rivers also produce huge amounts of greenhouse gasses by creating big anaerobic decaying pits of organic matter. Sometimes more greenhouse gasses than coal burning power plants. Look it up.
But let's be clear here, producing and maintaining solar panels, or windmills, or thermal generators, or whatever is also needlessly polutive, wasteful and harmful. Metal mining requires the destruction of huge tracts of land and poisons streams and rivers. It increasingly requires the use of large quantities of cyanide and other toxic chemicals. The production of plastic releases Dioxins (some of the most deadly compounds known), and then the plastics that we use continue to leak dioxins and other harmful chemicals into the general environment (wherever it is that they happen to be, in your home, outside, wherever). Recycling is also a chemical and energy intensive industrial process that harms the environment and is wasteful to the degree that eventually, as a system, it will run out of raw materials to circulate. Any way you cut it, fossil fuel and electric infrastructures are not sustainable. And by "not sustainable" I do not mean just mean "dirty and regrettable but still an option, if only a not so good one" that's not what "not sustainable" means! It doesn't mean "yucky, but workable." It means that IT PHYSICALLY CANNOT CONTINUE. A non-sustainable practice will stop itself from continuing either by completely depleting the resources it needs to continue OR by destroying the environment to the degree that human life cannot be sustained- whichever comes first. Heck, even a steam industry is not sustainable... most of the U.S. was deforested during or even before the early industrial revolution alone. Early Middle Eastern, African and European civilizations that practiced intensive grain agriculture were not sustainable (while it would appear on the other hand that indigenous milpa -maize, squash, beans, etc.- farming is rather sustainable). Most of the lifestyles that we have come to think of as "civilized" are just not sustainable.
But don't sweat it. Biologically modern humans have been around for 200,000 years. Large-scale industrial energy infrastructures have been around for roughly 100 years. That's less than 0.1% of the time that humans have been around. Meaning that I'm sure we'll be able to figure out how to live just fine again without that utterly frivolous, completely unnecessary crap. The ghosts of essentially all of your ancestors going back to the earliest humans would probably laugh in your face if you tried to tell them that "I can't imagine living without electricity! Certainly it can't be done!"
Whoa whoa whoa. Slowdown there. The person asking this question - who I assume to be you - asked for clarification, from a Socialist standpoint, about industrialization. Not the use of Fossil Fuels. The consumption of natural resources is an inevitability but the consumption of Fossil Fuels is not. Throughout this discussion I have maintain the orthodox Marxist view (which is not sustained by Leninist organizations) that Socialism is not possible without Capitalism first reaching a particular level of development. It is from the Capitalist's mindless industrialization that the peoples of the world become members of the Proletariat and in turn the conditions for a Socialist revolution are eventually made possible.
In Marx's time the issue of environmentalism wasn't nearly as pronounced and so it wasn't really an element of his work. But considering the fact that Marx did believe Capitalism would produce a set of conditions so terrible that it would cause a global class movement, its rational to say he would have included environmental degradation in his theory had he been living today. consumerism, global warming denial, and general complacency towards our environment are deeply ingrained in the Capitalist system. It is these characteristics, necessary to sustain the demand for consumer goods that fuel growth of the Capitalist system, that will invariably prevent the ruling class from acting in a manner that prevents some sort of catastrophe down the road. When this catastrophe occurs, it WILL indisputably demonstrate that Capitalist development is at the heart of the declining integrity of our planetary ecosystem. When this catastrophe occurs, Capitalism will be unable to cope with the massive, destabilizing strain it places on Global Markets. When this catastrophe occurs, it will compact with all the other insidious tyrannies that exist to maintain the system and burden the working class - political, social, intellectual, economic, etc.
It figures that such a culmination of events would be the spark that lights the proverbial fuse - causing that global awakening that precedes the true Socialist revolution predicted in Marx's work. This environmental catastrophe will inevitability be a crucial element and focus of the democratic, non-hierarchial reorganization of our planet; as the masses will seek to establish a system which will not repeat the disaster that was so horrific that it helped cause a historically unequaled paradigm shift the world over.
Because we are unavoidably moving towards a totally industrialized world today, by the time such an event occurs its logical to assume that industrialization will be even more prevalent. On a planet with a human population of billions - all of whom who are trained to operate and dependent on industry - it would be impossible to immediately abandon industry without causing starvation that in unlike any of our most horrible nightmares. But because these industries will be operated to SUSTAIN humanity rather than to simply perpetuate growth for profit, immediate steps - such as the abolition of Fossil Fuels and the mass adoption of Alternative Energies - will be immediately possible. As the jump in awareness that is necessary to operate a democratic, non-hierarchal society spurs on infinitely greater and more socially-mindful education, as the prosperity inherent to operating industry for need affords the masses more time to develop other skills, the process of slowly reducing the need for industrial dependency will steadily alter our economies and in turn the size/composition of the human race as whole. Conversely the depletion of the Earth's resources - slowed but ever present - will never allow a global society of collectively-orientated people to simply ignore the state of the Earth - thus insuring energies will be consistently dedicated to mitigating humanity's impact on the Earth.
Although all of the aforementioned is quite complicated (and will be even more so in practice), the fact that such a future is possible and well within the operating confines of SOME socialist thought I hope I have successfully helped you understand how it is simply not realistic to put Socialism on the same level as Capitalism. And to reiterate my emphasis on the world "some" large elements of what I've outlined here are simply structurally impossible under some forms of Socialist thought - primarily Leninist ones. As you have correctly stated the Soviet Union unilaterally failed to distinguish itself much less the "greatness" of Capitalism despite its barbarity. Leninist thought retains one of the most crucial and powerful elements of the Capitalist system - the necessity of hierarchal power structures due to what the perceive as the incompetency of the masses. When you keep hierarchy, you keep an unequal distribution of power. When you keep an unequal distribution of power, you establish the basis of a class system and when you have a class system you have class interests which compel some to control and exploit the people. It is this basic principle that has rendered all attempts at Leninist Socialism miserable failures with unforgivable loses of life. The ruling class of the Soviet Union - the beloved "professional revolutionaries" and "People's Party" worshiped by the Leninists - never care about the people just like their Capitalist counterparts; only the perpetuation and defense of their power and wealth. When these inherently selfish elements are steering the ships of our nations, they cannot be convinced to avoid the icebergs of ecological devastation that threaten to hurt everyone but them.
Analysis too many officials think taking photos is a crime.
Here’s why they’re wrong.
By Glenn Harlan Reynolds 7.20.10.
Today, most people walk around with a camera of some sort in their possession. Point-and-shoots, DSLRs and tiny video cams--not to mention cellphones--have become ubiquitous. And yet it seems that in many public locations, security officials are touchier than ever about letting people actually use those cameras. Our guardians of public safety often have the idea that shooting pictures in public places might be a precursor to some sort of terrorism. It's an understandable concern, but misguided. I believe there is a good case to be made that having lots of cameras in the hands of citizens makes us more, rather than less, safe.
Here's how bad it has gotten: Not long ago, an Amtrak representative did an interview with local TV station Fox 5 in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station to explain that you don't need a permit to take pictures there--only to be approached by a security guard who ordered them to stop filming without a permit.
Legally, it's pretty much always okay to take photos in a public place as long as you're not physically interfering with traffic or police operations. As Bert Krages, an attorney who specializes in photography-related legal problems and wrote Legal Handbook for Photographers, says, "The general rule is that if something is in a public place, you're entitled to photograph it." What's more, though national-security laws are often invoked when quashing photographers, Krages explains that "the Patriot Act does not restrict photography; neither does the Homeland Security Act." But this doesn't stop people from interfering with photographers, even in settings that don't seem much like national-security zones.
Tennessee law student Morgan Manning has compiled a list of incidents in which individuals were wrongly stopped. Cases like that of Seattle photographer Bogdan Mohora, who was arrested for taking pictures of police arresting a man and had his camera confiscated. Or NASA employee Walter Miller, who was stopped for photographing an art exhibit near the Indianapolis City-County Building and told that "homeland security" forbade photos of the facility. More recently, a CBS news crew was turned back from shooting the oil-fouled gulf coastline by two U.S. Coast Guard officers who said they were enforcing "BP's rules."
Unfortunately, Manning notes, although such hassling is generally illegal, it's hard for the average citizen to get redress in court--how do you calculate the value of deleted snapshots or photos never taken in the first place?
As the examples above demonstrate, it's a problem that stems as much from cluelessness at the bottom of the chain of command as from heavy-handedness at the top. The officers who crack down on photographers no doubt believe they are protecting public safety. But evidence that photography might be useful to terrorists is slim. According to security expert Bruce Schneier, head of security technology for British Telecom, terrorists don't typically photograph targets in advance. "Look at the 9/11 attacks, the Moscow and London subway bombings, the Fort Hood shooting--no photos," he says. "I'm not seeing a whole lot of plots that hinge on photography." On his blog, Schneier advises: "If you're harassed, it's almost certainly a law enforcement official, public or private, acting way beyond his authority."
Not surprisingly, police tend to be particularly sensitive about being photographed themselves. And many of the cases cited by Manning involve officers discouraging citizens from filming them while they go about their duties. Though one can understand their skittishness, the fact is, our ability to document the actions of public officials is an important freedom, one that can serve as a check against abuses.
Police and prosecutors in Maryland have been taking a particularly hard line. In one case, motorcycle rider Anthony Graber left his helmet cam on while he was pulled over by a state trooper. A grand jury indicted him on several violations of the state's wiretapping laws. If convicted on all charges, Graber could face up to 16 years in prison. In alleging that the GoPro video camera on Graber's helmet constituted a "surreptitious" wiretapping device, prosecutors are making the claim that a person recording his own arrest is violating the police officer's right to privacy.
This is the sort of thing you might be tempted simply to toss in the crazy file. But, in fact, this is one of the comparatively few issues that could merit a new federal civil rights law. Under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Congress is empowered to pass laws protecting civil rights against infringement by state and local officials, and that seems to be what's happening here. A clear federal law would limit cases, like Maryland's, in which local officials use their power to harass those who might keep an eye on them. Passing such a law would make us all safer.
Even in potential terrorism cases, the presence of lots of ordinary folks carrying cameras actually enhances public security. In the hours after the failed Times Square car-bomb attempt, officials searching for clues didn't just look at their own security-camera footage, they also sought out home movies shot by tourists.
So what should you do if you're taking photos and a security guard or police officer approaches you and tells you to stop? First, be polite. Security people have tough jobs and probably mean well. Ask them what legal authority they have to make you stop. (If you're in a public place, like a street, a park, etc., they have none; if you're in a private place, such as a shopping mall, they may have a basis for banning pictures.) Krages advises those hassled by security guards to threaten to call law enforcement. If it's an actual police officer who's telling you to stop shooting, ask to speak to a superior. And remember--you never have a legal duty to delete pictures you've taken.
More importantly, we need better education among security guards and law enforcement. In Britain, the country's police chiefs' association is attempting to educate officers about the rights of photographers. So far, nothing like that has happened in the U.S., but it should. Trying to block photography in public places is not only heavy-handed and wrong but, thanks to technology, basically useless. With the proliferation of cameras in just about every device we carry, digital photography has become too ubiquitous to stop. Let's have a truce in the war on photography and set our sights on the real bad guys. Who, it seems, don't carry cameras anyway.
Popular Mechanics contributing editor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, author of An Army of Davids (Nelson Current, 2006), teaches law at the University of Tennessee and blogs at Instapundit.
Marc 20 Anti Aer Protesters go to court - 3 Convictions and 3 Acquitals Mood:
bright Now Playing: Ant War March - Peace of the Action - John Gold, Cindy Sheehan, and Jim Veeder Topic: POLITICS
March 20 White House Arrest Trial Ends with 3 Convictions, 3 Acquittals
Monday, I spent a day in DC Superior Court supporting six anti-war activists on charges that arose from March 20 arrests at the White House while protesting the 7th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Elaine Brower and Matthis Chiroux were found guilty in a bench trial of "failure to obey a police order." LeFlora Cunningham-Walsh was found guilty of "crossing a police line." John Gold, Cindy Sheehan, and Jim Veeder were found not guilty of crossing the police line.
There are legal questions involved in the convictions which will likely be appealed. In the course of a permitted, peaceful march, at which symbolic cardboard coffins were left in front of buildings of the Veterans Affairs Offices and Halliburton, marchers dropped about a dozen of the coffins in front of the White House, in the designated "picture postcard" zone where tourists are always allowed, but political protest is not.
The prosecution produced a US Park Police video of the S.W.A.T. team leader Lieutenant Beck announcing, on a barely-audible bullhorn that the protest permit was revoked, and that everyone inside of an arbitrary police line of yellow tape and bike racks had to move. Police already had a continuous line of these bike racks and cops directly in front of the White House fence with plenty of safe space for them to "protect persons and property", that no one was attempting to challenge.
Where was the emergency or dangerous situation that the prosecution referred to which allegedly gave the park police the right to declare the "permit revoked?" Where was the threat to the area? Elaine Brower, who testified in her own defense, talked of years of opposition to the wars in which her son was deployed. She explained that she lay down on the sidewalk next to the symbolic coffins demanding an end to these illegitimate wars that have so adversely affected those military family members who stood beside her that day crying over the death of their sons. She argued that if tourists can be there at one moment taking photos unimpeded, why can't a permitted political protest be there at another?
Cindy Sheehan choked up on the stand, recounting her efforts after her son Casey was killed to stop the wars -- many miles of marching, thousands of speeches and interviews, her radio show, and even a run for Congress -- only to have a new, Democratic Congress and president expand the war in Afghanistan.
These activists all did the right thing in making visible non-violent protest, stepping beyond the bounds of what the government arbitrarily permits, and also refusing to accept any offer of a "plea bargain" in the process leading up to and on the day of the trial. All six defendants stood together in solidarity to demand their right to be heard and that all bogus charges are dismissed. Unfortunately, the end result was that three were ultimately convicted, and three were able to walk away with an acquittal.
That Saturday afternoon in March, Elaine and Matthis were calling on many more of the protesters standing there to join their impromptu action of lying on the sidewalk in front of the White House. If hundreds would have joined in, there likely would have been no arrests and no situation where the six arrested for basically a "traffic violation" were roughed up and held on cement floors in torturous conditions for 50+ hours. Given the max penalty for the infractions were fines, and no jail time, the government clearly was delivering a message that such protest will be riskier and more dangerous. None of them should have been convicted!
Dissent, truth-telling, and daring to speak about why these wars continue, through the Bush regime, escalating into the "change" we should be resisting, has to be our mission. While the Peace of the Action events attracted very few people last week, I applaud Cindy and those who came to protest. I also applaud those that were convicted who could have accepted the plea bargain from the government which ultimately allowed three others to have their charges dismissed.
The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.
The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.
Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million, said a person familiar with the project.
An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.
Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.
"The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government...feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security," said one internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother."
A U.S. military official called the program long overdue and said any intrusion into privacy is no greater than what the public already endures from traffic cameras. It's a logical extension of the work federal agencies have done in the past to protect physical attacks on critical infrastructure that could sabotage the government or key parts of the country, the official said.
U.S. intelligence officials have grown increasingly alarmed about what they believe to be Chinese and Russian surveillance of computer systems that control the electric grid and other U.S. infrastructure. Officials are unable to describe the full scope of the problem, however, because they have had limited ability to pull together all the private data.
Perfect Citizen will look at large, typically older computer control systems that were often designed without Internet connectivity or security in mind. Many of those systems—which run everything from subway systems to air-traffic control networks—have since been linked to the Internet, making them more efficient but also exposing them to cyber attack.
The goal is to close the "big, glaring holes" in the U.S.'s understanding of the nature of the cyber threat against its infrastructure, said one industry specialist familiar with the program. "We don't have a dedicated way to understand the problem."
The information gathered by Perfect Citizen could also have applications beyond the critical infrastructure sector, officials said, serving as a data bank that would also help companies and agencies who call upon NSA for help with investigations of cyber attacks, as Google did when it sustained a major attack late last year.
The U.S. government has for more than a decade claimed a national-security interest in privately owned critical infrastructure that, if attacked, could cause significant damage to the government or the economy. Initially, it established relationships with utility companies so it could, for instance, request that a power company seal a manhole that provides access to a key power line for a government agency.
With the growth in concern about cyber attacks, these relationships began to extend into the electronic arena, and the only U.S. agency equipped to manage electronic assessments of critical-infrastructure vulnerabilities is the NSA, government and industry officials said.
The NSA years ago began a small-scale effort to address this problem code-named April Strawberry, the military official said. The program researched vulnerabilities in computer networks running critical infrastructure and sought ways to close security holes.
That led to initial work on Perfect Citizen, which was a piecemeal effort to forge relationships with some companies, particularly energy companies, whose infrastructure is widely used across the country.
The classified program is now being expanded with funding from the multibillion-dollar Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, which started at the end of the Bush administration and has been continued by the Obama administration, officials said. With that infusion of money, the NSA is now seeking to map out intrusions into critical infrastructure across the country.
Because the program is still in the early stages, much remains to be worked out, such as which computer control systems will be monitored and how the data will be collected. NSA would likely start with the systems that have the most important security implications if attacked, such as electric, nuclear, and air-traffic-control systems, they said.
TEL AVIV — An Israeli military investigation into its naval takeover of a Gaza-bound flotilla six weeks ago found that it was plagued by errors of planning, intelligence and coordination but that the killings of nine Turks on board were justified, according to an official summary of the findings released Monday.
Giora Eiland, a retired major general who led the inquiry, presented his classified findings to the military chief of staff; they were not released to the public. But a statement issued by the military said that the investigators faulted the military for not knowing who was on board one of the ships. A senior officer involved in the report said that at least 65 Turkish Islamic militants armed with metal sticks and knives were on the flotilla’s main ship, and had vowed to fight any effort by the Israeli Navy to board.
“The team concluded that not all possible intelligence gathering methods were fully implemented and that the coordination between Navy Intelligence and the Israel Defense Intelligence was insufficient,” the report’s official summary said. “The team also pointed out that the anticipated level of violence used against the forces was underestimated.”
The investigators praised the commandos who rappelled onto the main ship from helicopters, saying that they “operated properly, with professionalism, bravery and resourcefulness.” They called the use of live fire justified. No dismissals were publicly recommended, but officers said some demotions or dismissals might occur.
The military’s investigation, carried out by eight officers, did not deal with larger policy issues like the legality or appropriateness of Israel’s blockade against Gaza or its takeover of the six-boat flotilla in international waters on May 31. A second investigation, led by a retired Supreme Court justice and including two foreign observers, has just begun its work. Neither, however, seems likely to satisfy demands for a full international investigation by the Turkish government. Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador from Tel Aviv and threatened further steps unless Israel issues an apology and sets up an international inquiry.
On Monday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey stood by his country’s demands. “We will be a close follower of our expectations until the end,” he said during a visit to Belgrade, Serbia, according to the online edition of Zaman, a Turkish daily with close links to the government.
Everything that happened on board the Turkish flotilla six weeks ago remains a matter of controversy — who shot first, how aggressive the passengers were, how violent the commandos became, whether the action was justified in international waters. The cargo proved unquestionably humanitarian in nature — hospital beds, medicines, clothing — but the goal of the flotilla was to challenge Israel’s authority over what goes in and out of Gaza.
General Eiland, a former national security adviser, said in his briefing that more ships might try to breach Israel’s Gaza blockade and so lessons from what happened on the Turkish flotilla were important.
In fact, a Libyan vessel arrived in the area of Crete on Monday, with its crew saying it was scheduled to reach Gaza on Wednesday. Israeli officials have vowed to prevent it from getting through.
Israel created a blockade against Gaza, both by land and sea, three years ago, after Hamas, which had won elections the previous year, took full control of the Palestinian coastal strip. The goal of the blockade was to put pressure on Hamas, which rejects Israel’s existence and was firing crude rockets at its southern communities. Hamas has held an Israeli soldier captive in Gaza for four years. Israel has thousands of Palestinian prisoners in its jails and also set Hamas leaders and militants as targets.
The blockade, joined by Egypt, has suffocated the Gazan economy and barred people from coming and going except in medical emergencies, although food has always been let in. Following the takeover of the flotilla and the deaths on board, international pressure forced Israel to ease the land blockade.
Now the blockade is largely limited to the sea and to materials, like steel, that Israel fears could be turned into weapons by Hamas. There remains, however, intense international opprobrium because of the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and the sense that the policy has done little to weaken Hamas.
General Eiland’s report finds that there was at least one gun on board because an Israeli soldier took a bullet in the knee that was not from an Israeli weapon. It also contends that Israeli soldiers most likely fired only after having been fired upon first.
“All the shooting was either when the soldiers were in immediate danger of their lives or when they had to rescue fellow soldiers,” said a senior official involved in the investigation, speaking under military rules of anonymity. He added that there were between four and six events in which Israeli soldiers were fired upon with live fire by those on board.
Passengers aboard the flotilla have mostly told a very different story, with some witnesses accusing the commandos of shooting randomly as they came aboard.
Dan Bilefsky contributed reporting from Diyarbakir, Turkey.
Last week I was getting ready to head out to DC for Peace of the Action’s Sizzlin’ Summer Protest when I got a call with a 202 (DC) area code. This is how the conversation went:
Me: Hello, this is Cindy.
Caller: Hello, my name is (I forget) from PM Realty in Washington, DC.
Me: And? What can I do for you?
Caller: I was looking at your website and I noticed that I represent one of the clients you are going to protest next week and I want to know what you are planning.
Me: I am protesting a lot of places, which do you represent?
Caller: I represent the landlord?
Me: The landlord of the White House? Can you please be more specific?
Caller: I represent the landlord where General Atomics has offices.
Me: Oh (this was what I thought he was talking about), and what do you want to know?
Caller: Well, exactly what do you have planned?
Me: Well, I can tell you what we don’t have planned—we aren’t going to call a drone strike on the building and drop a hellfire missile on it.
Caller: I have to protect my clients.
Me: From what? Peace activists?
Then I hung up.
Today, my colleague, Josh Smith and I went to 1899 Pennsylvania Ave where General Atomics has its offices to recon for our protest tomorrow. If you go to the website of General Atomics, not only will you find out exactly where its offices are (they are not hiding), you will find out that General Atomics builds Predator unmanned aerial vehicles that are used by the US military to drop Hellfire missiles from thousands of feet above on to mostly civilian targets and have killed thousands of innocent people.
When we arrived at the building that is directly across the street from the World Bank in the NW quadrant of DC, we walked right in the front door and right up to the front desk (Josh was wearing his Peace of the Action shirt) and asked a uniformed security guard what floor GA is on. She looked at a list on the desk and said: “Third floor.” We thanked her and left. The reason we wanted to confirm that GA is in the building is because when we protested at the Joint Command for the Gulf Disaster in New Orleans, there was some controversy if we were protesting at the right place.
So, Josh and I left GA and walked across the street to the CVS to grab a cold drink. We walked back across the street to head for the Metro at Faragut Wast, and three men were congregated in front of 1899 Penn Ave checking us out. Two of the men were “suits” and one was a black man who was dressed in street clothes, but with a badge around his neck.
I took some pictures of the entrance and the address, and the black man quickly approached us. He said: “We want to know why you entered the building and asked what floor General Atomics was on.”
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Security for General Atomics,” he answered.
Josh: “We asked because we wanted to know what floor it was on.”
Security: “Why do you want to know?”
Me: “It’s really none of your business.”
Josh: “Just stay away from us.”
Security: “Okay, okay.”
Then we walked away.
We cut through some buildings on the way to the Metro Station so I could find a bathroom. Josh and I went down to the train platform and were chatting about and chuckling about General Atomics being so concerned about a few people standing in front of their building with a banner, when Josh said: “Hey, isn’t that the security guy!?”
I turned around to where Josh was pointing, and sure enough, he was walking past us with a ball-cap on, carrying a backpack. When he saw that we recognized him, he sheepishly tipped his cap to us and said: “Hey, how’s it going?” Then he walked past us.
A train pulled up that wasn’t ours, so we jumped on it and tried to make our way back to where we were staying in a non-direct way.
So—what is this all about?
On Monday, my wallet was stolen and literally a few minutes after it was stolen, someone tried to use it at a DC Target Store to buy EXACTLY 911.00 worth of merchandise.
What are these evil “Jackwagons” up to?
What does Jackwagon mean? I don’t know, but I heard it today and liked it and without using profanity, it fits!
If you are able, join Peace of the Action as we protest an evil war profiteer in DC. (Safety in Numbers).