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IMG_3011
Longwood Gardens. August, 2012 by joanneleon
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

~Mother Teresa





Something's Got to Give by Matt Pless @Occupy this Album
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News



NYPD spy program against Muslim community produced no leads

The New York City Police Department’s heavily-criticized spying on Muslim residents did not produce any leads or help any investigations of terrorist activities, in a report a civil rights group calls a “vindication” of the city’s Muslim community. ...

The discovery of the unit led to criticism from civil rights groups, and CAIR had called on the state legislature to investigate the practice, though Rep. Peter King (R-NY) at one point denied the department was engaging in racial profiling.

“All they got from it was a complete chill in relations with the Muslim community and its leaders, who they spied on as they were meeting with them,” Hooper said.

NYPD's Muslim surveillance 'ineffective'
New York police force acknowledges failure of controversial secret monitoring to produce terrorism leads.


Illinois Nuke, Coal Plants Dumping Millions of Gallons of Near 100-Degree Water into Waterways

As fish die in record numbers across Illinois this summer because of the intense heat and drought, state officials are granting power plants special exemptions to flush massive amounts of hot water into already stressed lakes and rivers.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is allowing power plants to dump hundreds of millions of gallons of water per day at temperatures approaching 100 degrees into the state's waterways, the Tribune has learned.

Temperature-sensitive fish already have been swimming deeper to find cooler water or have been abandoning environmentally inhospitable areas during the heat and drought. But with power plant operators dumping hot water at record amounts, environmentalists say the fish, along with the rivers and lakes they live in, could face increased risk.

Human Rights Critics of Russia and Ecuador Parade Their Own Hypocrisy

Readers of the American and British press over the past month have been inundated with righteous condemnations of Ecuador's poor record on press freedoms. Is this because western media outlets have suddenly developed a new-found devotion to defending civil liberties in Latin America? Please. To pose the question is to mock it.

It's because feigning concern for these oppressive measures is a convenient instrument for demeaning and punishing Ecuador for the supreme crime of defying the US and its western allies. The government of President Rafael Correa granted asylum to western establishmentarians' most despised figure, Julian Assange, and Correa's government then loudly condemned Britain's implied threats to invade its embassy. Ecuador must therefore be publicly flogged for its impertinence, and its press freedom record is a readily available whip. As a fun bonus, denunciations of Correa's media oppression is a cheap and easy way to deride Assange's supposed hypocrisy.

(Apparently, activists should only seek asylum from countries with pristine human rights records, whichever countries those might be: a newly concocted standard that was conspicuously missing during the saga of blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng at the US embassy; I don't recall any western media outlets accusing Guangcheng of hypocrisy for seeking refuge from a country that indefinitely imprisons people with no charges, attacked Iraq, assassinates its own citizens with no due process on the secret orders of the president, bombs funerals and rescuers in Pakistan, uses extreme force and mass arrests to try to obliterate the peaceful Occupy protest movement, wages an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, prosecutes its Muslim citizens for posting YouTube videos critical of US foreign policy, embraces and arms the world's most oppressive regimes, and imprisoned Muslim journalists for years at Guantánamo and elsewhere with no charges of any kind.)

A Pulled Scoop Shows U.S. Fought to Keep Haitian Wages Down (UPDATED)

Let’s do a little math. Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year.

Zooming in on specific companies helps clarify this even more. As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year, and presumably it would pass on at least some of its higher labor costs to consumers.

At Guantanamo tribunals, don't mention the "T" word

CIA agents have written books about it. Former President George W. Bush has explained why he thought it was necessary and legal. Yet the al Qaeda suspects who were subjected to so-called harsh interrogation techniques, and the lawyers charged with defending them at the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, are not allowed to talk about the treatment they consider torture.

Defense attorneys say that and other Kafkaesque legal restrictions on what they can discuss with their clients and raise in the courtroom undermine their ability to mount a proper defense on charges that could lead to the death penalty. ...

Prosecutors say every utterance of the alleged al Qaeda murderers, and what their lawyers in turn pass on to the court, must be strictly monitored precisely because of the defendants' intimate personal knowledge of highly classified CIA interrogation methods they endured in the agency's clandestine overseas prisons.

"Everything is presumptively top secret. So if my client had a tuna fish sandwich for lunch, I couldn't tell you that," Cheryl Bormann, who represents defendant Walid bin Attash, said after the May arraignment of the men charged with plotting the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Record radiation in fish off Japan nuclear plant

A pair of greenlings have shown the highest level of radioactive caesium detected in fish and shellfish caught in waters off Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, its operator said Tuesday.

The fishes, captured 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) off the plant on August 1, registered 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said -- 258 times the level the government deems safe for consumption.

Ecuador invites UK to Assange talks
President Rafael Correa says UK must guarantee it will not enter embassy where WikiLeaks founder has taken shelter.

"Despite that rude, impertinent and unacceptable remark, we're still open to dialogue," President Rafael Correa said on Tuesday, referring to a statement issued by William Hague, UK foreign secretary, last week.

"We don't expect an apology, but of course we expect Britain to retract the extremely serious mistake they made when they issued the threat that they could violate our diplomatic mission to arrest Mr Julian Assange."





Blog Posts of Interest


Yves Smith: "Our Coming Rentcropper Society"

The NYPD Will Record Your Opposition to Drone Strikes by emptywheel

NYPD’s Search for Cafes in Which Terrorists Would Be Comfortable by emptywheel

NATO: “Afghanistan Will Not Unravel After Withdrawal” — Probably Because It’s Unraveling Now by Jim White

Climate Change SOS Wednesday : What did you do once you knew? by boatsie (part of the impressive Climate Change SOS blogathon -- schedule for today's blogathon diaries is in this diary)







MATT PLESS - Glassy Eyes





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We are ready for some serious change. We are ready to take up the tools of a free and analytic press to peacefully undermine the stranglehold of the kleptocrats on our battered democracy. We are ready to expose and publicize their greed, lies and illegal machinations and hold their enablers in government and the media to account. Are you in?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
 ~ Margaret Mead

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