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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Undocumented Immigrants Pay Billions in Taxes to Fund Programs They’re Banned From Using

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  • Randy Capps, the director of research for US programs with the Migration Policy Institute, told VICE News taxes are just a small part of the role immigrant workers play in the US economy. "The greatest contribution is the work," Capps said. "The biggest benefit is to society is from the work they're doing."
  • Special Project | Immigration Reform: Week of February 7, 2015

Meredith Hoffman, Vice News

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INS%20Visa%20Approval%20Stamp.jpgApril 13, 2015 | Undocumented immigrants are often portrayed as drains on the US economy that pay next to nothing in taxes while receiving free public education for their children, access to infrastructure, and protection from local police and fire departments. Researchers from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, have argued that the 11 million undocumented people estimated to be living in America create a fiscal deficit for the government.

But as American citizens and permanent residents file their taxes this week, the reality is that undocumented immigrants will also fork over billions worth of their hard-earned dollars to the IRS — and they could end up paying even more if they're ever granted legal status.

Meredith Hoffman, a freelance journalist in South America, has written for the New York Times and World Policy Journal, among others.

Full story … 

Related:

Special Project | Immigration Reform: Week of February 7, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • "Show me a thirty foot high wall and I'll show you a thirty-one foot long ladder." --Molly Ivins
  • 8 New items including:
    • Gaza in Arizona: The secret militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border
    • Aviva Chomsky | What's at Stake in the Border Debate
    • NCLR President: GOP Will Lose White House If Attitude On Child Refugees Continues
    • Jorge Ramos's Powerful Defense Of Immigrant Children In Border Crisis
    • How Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Congressional Republicans Created Child-Refugee Flood
    • Tea Party’s winning xenophobia: Why a broadly popular policy is all but dead
    • Immigration Reform
    • Leaked Photos Show Immigrant Children Packed In Crowded Texas Border Facilities

John Oliver Gets Edward Snowden to Crack

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  • Snowden is stunned to near-silence, not expecting such a contentious line of questioning from the bespectacled late-night host.
  • Part 1: John Oliver Makes Edward Snowden Squirm on ‘Last Week Tonight’
  • Part 2: Why John Oliver Can't Find Americans Who Know Edward Snowden's Name (It's Not About Snowden). 

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: John Oliver Makes Edward Snowden Squirm on ‘Last Week Tonight’

Strangely enough, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight conducted arguably the toughest interview with Edward Snowden, taking him to task on the leaked NSA documents.

Marlow Stern, Daily Beast

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver.

ne-nation-under-surveillance.jpg04/16/15 | Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked classified NSA documents to the media, thus exposing that American citizens were having their privacy infringed upon by a complex web of global government surveillance programs, has given loads of interviews. He’s even been profiled in Laura Poitras’s Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour.

And it took a comedian to get him to crack. 

On Sunday night’s episode of the HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the droll British satirist renewed his unwavering commitment to practicing real journalism by traveling to Moscow to interview Snowden. The interview was bookended with the series premiere, which featured Oliver interviewing former NSA director Keith Alexander.

Marlow Stern is an entertainment editor and writer for the Daily Beast and holds a masters degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 

Full story … 



Part 2: Why John Oliver Can't Find Americans Who Know Edward Snowden's Name (It's Not About Snowden). 

A large number of Americans, by choice, are remarkably unaware of virtually all political matters. The befuddled reactions of the Times Square interviewees when asked about Snowden illustrate …  a great deal about the full-scale political disengagement of a substantial chunk of the American population.

Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

04/16/2015 | On his HBO program last night, John Oliver devoted 30 minutes to a discussion of U.S. surveillance programs, advocating a much more substantive debate as the June 1 deadline for renewing the Patriot Act approaches (the full segment can be seen here). As part of that segment, Oliver broadcast an interview he conducted with Edward Snowden in Moscow, and to illustrate the point that an insufficient surveillance debate has been conducted, showed video of numerous people in Times Square saying they had no idea who Snowden is (or giving inaccurate answers about him). Oliver assured Snowden off-camera that they did not cherry-pick those “on the street” interviews but showed a representative sample.

Oliver’s overall discussion is good (and, naturally, quite funny), but the specific point he wants to make here is misguided. Contrary to what Oliver says, it’s actually not surprising at all that a large number of Americans are unaware of who Snowden is, nor does it say much at all about the surveillance debate. That’s because a large number of Americans, by choice, are remarkably unaware of virtually all political matters. The befuddled reactions of the Times Square interviewees when asked about Snowden illustrate little about the specific surveillance issue but a great deal about the full-scale political disengagement of a substantial chunk of the American population.

Glenn Greenwald, winner of the Polk Award for national security reporting, is an American columnist, blogger, and author. He was a columnist for Guardian US from August 2012 to October 2013. He was a columnist for Salon.com from 2007 to 2012.

Full story … 

Special Report | Join SOA Watch For The 2015 Spring Days Of Action!

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School of the Americas Watch is mobilizing this April for our Spring Days of Action (SDOA). Our 2015 SDOA theme is "Growing Stronger Together - Resisting the 'Drug War' Across the Americas". Will you help us take the message to Washington, DC?

SOA Watch

docs/Spring2015.jpgSunday, 22 February 2015 | Join us for actions in the streets and halls of Congress to hasten the end of the Drug War and its accompanying destruction. Part of social change is grassroots power, and we'll be having a welcome party, congressional visits, critical mass bike ride, concert, movement strategy session, and more! 

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Register to join us in D.C. April 22-25

SOA Watch will also be hosting a series of virtual lobby trainings in the lead up to the Spring Days of Action. For more information and to register, please click here.

The “Drug War” is militarizing, incarcerating, and killing communities in Latin America and in the U.S., especially traditionally oppressed peoples. Let's join join together this Spring to tell Congress the War on Drugs must end. 

Register for Spring Days of Action today! And register for our virtual lobby trainings, every other week leading up to the SDOA by clicking on this link.

The enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico proved once again that the disastrous results of U.S. military aid and training in Latin America are ongoing. Similarly, in Ferguson and other U.S. cities have reminded us that police militarization and the treatment of black and brown people as internal enemies are also major problems in the U.S., while putting into context what militarization looks like on the ground for so many in Latin America and beyond. Check out the video above of Arturo, SOA Watch's Legislative Organizer, work with others in the movement to confront Congressional Representatives about the War on Drugs in Mexico in January, 2015.

How to get to DC Where to stay in DC Local Organizing

Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Please contact Arturo  arturo@soaw.org or call (202) 234-3440.

SOA Watch, founded by Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990,  is an independent organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.

Full story … 

DOJ Report | Philadelphia Police Shot 400 People In 7 Years

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Yet President Barack Obama appointed Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who has already cost the tax payers millions in settlements for hundreds of civil rights violations, to lead a committee to stop civil rights violations.

Simon McCormack, Huffington Post

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need-more-fascism.png&q=90&w=795&h=470&zc=10President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. meet with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, professor of criminology, law and society at George Mason University. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

3/24/2015 | Philadelphia police officers were responsible for 400 civilian shootings over the last seven years, according to a new report from the Department of Justice.

The report also found that there was “an undercurrent of significant strife between the community” and the police.

This report looked at the number of times Philadelphia police officers shot someone between 2007 and 2013, finding nearly 400 such incidents over that seven-year span. Fifty-nine unarmed people were fatally shot over this period, and half of the unarmed people were shot because the officer saw something (like a cellphone) or some action (like a person pulling at the waist of their pants) and misidentified it as a threat, the report states.

Simon McCormack is a Crime and Weird News editor for the Huffington Post.

Full story … 

Related:

White House Forms Task Force to Address Police Brutality, Appoints Brutal & Abusive Cop to Lead It, John Vibes, The Free Thought Project 

  • This chief has already cost the tax payers millions in settlements for hundreds of civil rights violations, and now he supposed to lead a committee to stop civil rights violations?
  • Ferguson Grand Jury's Huge Mistakes

 

Special Project | Cops Behaving Badly: Week Ending March 21, 2015

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  • "I can't keep up with the number of people whose existence is being reduced to a hashtag, at the rate cops are realizing their GI Joe fantasies." --Anon
  • 8 New Items including:
    • Transformation of Community Policing Into Military Policing Sanctions Government Violence
    • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat
    • The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'
    • LAPD officers shoot and kill homeless man after street altercation
    • Woman sees images of black males as sniper targets; one is her brother
    • The NYPD's Work Stoppage Is Surreal
    • The Absurdist Theatre of the NYPD
    • Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are, Redditt Hudson

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Transformation of Community Policing Into Military Policing Sanctions Government Violence, Bob Koehler, BuzzFlash / Global Non-compliance

  • American lunacy, its out-of-control certainty that authorized violence has things under control. We need some kind of outside intervention. I fear the death of Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa won’t bring about the fundamental changes we need, any more than the tragedies that preceded it. We lack systems capable of holistic assessment of our problems; we lack systems that are not part of the problem.
  • When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat

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When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat, Simon Maloy, Salon

  • The debacle in Ferguson represents a near-total breakdown of our civic institutions. Here's why that's so scary
  • All hell has broken loose. 
  • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014

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The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site' Spencer Ackerman, Guardian US

  • Exclusive: Secret interrogation facility reveals aspects of war on terror in US
  • ‘They disappeared us’: protester details 17-hour shackling without basic rights
  • Accounts describe police brutality, missing 15-year-old and one man’s death
  • Latest: Follow the Guardian’s investigation into Chicago’s Homan Square
  • LAPD officers shoot and kill homeless man after street altercation

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LAPD officers shoot and kill homeless man after street altercation, Rory Carroll, Guardian US 

  • A video taken by a passerby appears to show police officers wrestling the man to the ground before shots are heard.
  • Civilian oversight and other reforms have improved the LAPD’s fearsome image … (but) critics say the force remains prone to racism and unneccessary force.
  • Gaza in Arizona: The secret militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border

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Woman sees images of black males as sniper targets; one is her brother, CNN

  • A woman was devastated to see her brother and other black men as targets, NBC6 reports
  • Police say they also use groups of white men, Hispanic men and white women.
  • Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are

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The NYPD's Work Stoppage Is Surreal, Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

  • In an alternate universe, the New York Police might have just solved the national community-policing controversy.
  • The Absurdist Theatre of the NYPD

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The Absurdist Theatre of the NYPD, Kasai Rex, Daily Good

  • When NYPD officers turned their backs on de Blasio, they also turned their backs on us.
  • The NYPD's Work Stoppage Is Surreal
  • Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are.

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Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are, Redditt Hudson, Washington (DC) Post 

There’s only one fix.

Robert Scheer: Liberation and Enslavement in the Same Tool

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Our historic respect for privacy has become victim to the national security state -- and the Web makes it easy.

Robert ScheerTruthdig

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snowden_cheney.jpgEdward Snowden, Dick Cheney (Credit: HBO/AP/Susan Walsh/Photo montage by Salon)

Mar 7, 2015 In an excerpt from his new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy,” Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer describes how leaders in business and government abuse the Internet to deprive people of the privacy that is essential to the creation of a strong, independent self.

In the excerpt, published at Salon, Scheer begins:

It’s true that snooping has been with us from the earliest gossip grapevines linking our grass huts. And we’ve endured modern forms of surveillance such as wiretaps and bugs. But those methods tended to be obvious—picture a couple of bored cops sitting over their coffee, listening on their earphones, transcribing tapes, filing folders. It was labor-intensive and tedious. But what we have today is different by several leaps and bounds. Old spying had to be selective, targeted. New spying is like a high-powered vacuum cleaner; one that scoops up every bit of information it comes across, even the extraneous or incomprehensible stuff.

Robert Scheer is Truthdig Editor-in-Chief. A journalist with over 30 years experience, Scheer has built his reputation on the strength of his social and political writing. His columns have appeared in newspapers across the country, and his in-depth interviews have made headlines. 

Full story … 

Deepening Our Inclusion of People With Disabilities

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  • Disability awareness and responsiveness is important to any organization, from large multi-national corporations to small local companies. 
  • GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled
  • Open Letter to the City of Bloomington, Minnesota: White People can time travel, Black People cannot – A short Memoir

Bonnie St. John, Huffington Post

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Bonnie%20St.%20John%20%7C%20Live%20Your%20Joy.jpg03/10/2015 | Bonnie: Nowadays, most major corporations have internal "Business Resource Groups" or BRGs to represent diverse communities of employees such as women, veterans, or Hispanic employees. What is special about a BRG for people with disabilities?

Deb Dagit: Disability is represented in all other dimensions of human difference including race, faith, and sexual orientation. Almost everyone will experience a temporary disability at some point in their lives and likely end up with one or more life-long disabilities as they grow older. Also, given that 20% of the U.S. population has a disability, virtually everyone has a friend or family member who qualifies, even if they don't have a disability themselves.

Bonnie St. John: Olympic Ski Medalist, Amputee, Rhodes Scholar, former White House Official, Corporate Leadership Expert, and Best-Selling Author

Full story … 

Related:

GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled, Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams

  • The claim that either the old-age or disability trust funds has run dry is 'one of the hoariest lies in the conservatives' playbook.'
  • New Budget Chair to cut Social Security! 

 

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Open Letter to the City of Bloomington, Minnesota: White People can time travel, Black People cannot – A short Memoir, Don Allen, The Independent Business News Network

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  • City of Bloomington and Mall of America officials must re-think their racist positions to get the black person(s) that organized the #blacklivesmatter rally and show them who is the boss. This racist legacy has traveled over space and time from slavery. Just put a sign on all the doors that says, “People a shade darker than khaki not welcomed.” Hey, we can always shop online…the Internet is truly colorblind.
  • Deepening Our Inclusion of People With Disabilities

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