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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Special Project | The Fight for American Rights and Liberties: Week Ending August 8, 2015

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  • Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
  • 9 New items including:
    • Series | They Know Everything About You, Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex
    • John Oliver Gets Edward Snowden to Crack
    • Ferguson report: Perversion of court system, rampant racism
    • The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'
    • LAPD officers shoot and kill homeless man after street altercation
    • UN Anti-torture Panel Grills US Officials
    • Civil Rights Pioneer: America's Discriminatory Election Landscape Worst in 50 Years
    • We Already Know Who Won the 2014 Election
    • You don’t “have nothing to hide”: How privacy breaches are quietly controlling you

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Pavel Constantin 

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Series | They Know Everything About You, Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex, Alexander Reed Kelly, Truthdig 

In the first part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy,” Scheer says the U.S. government and private industry have merged to turn the Internet into a massive machine for simultaneously selling to and spying on Americans.

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John Oliver Gets Edward Snowden to Crack, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • 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). 

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Ferguson report: Perversion of court system, rampant racism, Mary Turck, maryturck.com 

  • The report is as appalling as it is important, and it should be required reading and study in criminal justice classes, especially for future police officers.
  • No time to read the whole DOJ report? Read my summary.

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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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UN Anti-torture Panel Grills US Officials, John Heilprin, Newsmax

(US officials)  faced a barrage of questions from the 10-member UN Committee on Torture on how the (US) was dealing with rectifying and providing redress for acknowledged abuses during the "war on terror."

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Civil Rights Pioneer: America's Discriminatory Election Landscape Worst in 50 Years, Wade Henderson, AlterNet

  • The targets are Americans who have struggled the most for the right to vote.
  • The Latest Affirmative Action Decision Isn't Just About Race

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We Already Know Who Won the 2014 Election, Wendy Weiser and Lawrence Norden, Huffington Post

This is the democracy the Roberts Court has brought us -- one in which politicians feel free to deprive targeted constituencies of the vote and special interests feel free to buy up elections.

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You don’t “have nothing to hide”: How privacy breaches are quietly controlling you, Falguni A. Smith, Salon

  • Government data collection is scary for many reasons. But least understood: what it does to our personal creativity
  • The Senate is about to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act?

 

Disabled Americans Are Worse Off In The Job Market Than They Were 25 Years Ago

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The failures of the ADA are manifest in the reduced life chances of millions of Americans living with disabilities. Having a separate policy and enforcement mechanism reinforces the idea that disabled people are different and should be seen differently by the law. What has developed is a separate and unequal policy system where the rights of people with disabilities are interpreted far differently than the rights of other disadvantaged groups.

David Pettinicchio, Talking Points Memo

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c_fill,fl_keep_iptc,g_faces,h_365,w_652/oebnornma7keu9tfzciq.jpg AP Photo / Charles Tasnadi

July  29, 2015 | Twenty-five years ago this past Sunday, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. Today, people with disabilities are less likely to be employed than they were before the law was enacted. Workers with disabilities earn, on average, about $14,000 less than similar workers without disabilities. About one in every three disabled Americans lives in poverty.

When George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law in 1990, hopes were high for a revolutionary improvement in the lives of people with disabilities. What can explain this law’s colossal failure?

David Pettinicchio is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and the author of numerous articles and essays on social inequality and disability. He is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.

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Series | They Know Everything About You, Part 6: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the culture of violence in the United States

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  • In perhaps the liveliest portion (sixth) of the seven part interview on The Real News Network, Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges discuss the culture of violence in the United States as their opposing views on American history come to light.
  • Part 5: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Respecting America's Founding Fathers 
  • Part 4: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges For the Corporatist State, Information Is Control
  • Part 3: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security State
  • Part 2: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy
  • Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex

Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Truthdig

Scheer%20%26%20Hedges%20Native%20Americans%20Fighting%20in%20Battle.jpgJune 2, 2015 | Hi. Welcome back. I’m Chris Hedges for The Real News. And I’m speaking with Robert Scheer about his new book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy. We have in previous discussions had some dispute about whether we are destroying it or whether it’s destroyed. And we’re going to try and talk in this last section a little bit about the culture of violence in the United States, which makes it very different from many other countries—Canada would be a good example—and how in a moment of societal breakdown that violence will manifest itself.

So let me begin. We are a deeply violent culture. We always have been. It is the nature of imperialism, which—of course, we colonized ourselves, and in a way that’s very different from Europe, with the subjugation and campaigns of genocide against Native Americans. The whole institution of slavery was one that was kept in force by coercion, and then the subjugation of African-Americans after emancipation through convict leasing, up to Jim Crow laws, up to the current system of mass incarceration, which of course targets, as Michelle Alexander has pointed out, primarily people of color, poor people of color. We have one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the industrialized world, 83 weapons, I think, per 100 Americans. I believe I have that figure right. Not only are there young African-American men that are killed week after week after week, even after these killings are caught on videotape and in most cases the police are not charged. I mean, since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, we’d had 11 people shot dead in the St. Louis area. And that’s just writ large. We have these bizarre school shootings, largely carried out by people who come out of the white survivalist cult. It’s not violence by African-Americans. Adam Lanza’s mother was a survivalist. And then we have proto-fascist entities—the Christian right, Tea Party, militias, the Minutemen, and others who celebrate not only the gun culture, but celebrate or, I think, express those fundamental tenets of fascism, which is where you direct your rage and legitimate despair towards the vulnerable, towards undocumented workers, Muslims, homosexuals, liberals, intellectuals, feminists. And in a moment of breakdown—and I think we are headed for some type of breakdown—all of these groups are empowered to express themselves in our society through violence.

Natasha Hakimi Zapata is an Assistant Editor of Truthdig.

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Series | They Know Everything About You, Part 5: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Respecting America's Founding Fathers 

In this (fifth) installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges discuss the Founding Fathers, FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the persecution of Chelsea Manning in this sweeping conversation.

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Part 4: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges For the Corporatist State, Information Is Control

In this installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges drill into the motivations for the collusion between big tech companies and the U.S. government.

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Part 3: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security State, Kasia Anderson, Truthdig

In this installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges drill into the motivations for the collusion between big tech companies and the U.S. government.

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Part 2: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy, Kasia Anderson, Truthdig

In this second part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy,” Scheer says the safeguards written into the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans against abuses of their civil liberties don’t exactly apply to violations by the private sector.

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Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex, Alexander Reed KellyTruthdig

In the first part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy,” Scheer says the U.S. government and private industry have merged to turn the Internet into a massive machine for simultaneously selling to and spying on Americans.

 

 

 

 

 

I am Alena': life as a trans woman where survival means living as Christopher

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If Caitlyn Jenner represents an elite gender transition, Alena represents those left behind. Her mother’s disapproval, the threat of violence in the deep south and a lack of medical care means she must live in a male body she considers a ‘shell’

Ed Pilkington, Guardian (US) 

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Mae%20Ryan%20%7C%20Alena.jpg‘There’s nothing here for me’: Alena describes the reality of her life as a trans woman in southern Georgia. Video and all photographs by Mae Ryan

Friday 24 July 2015 | At 8pm on Sunday, Alena Bradford will settle down like millions of other Americans in front of her TV set for the start of I Am Cait, the reality show following the gender transition of Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner. The eight-part series on the E! channel will tell a story, as Jenner puts it, “about getting to be who you really are”.

It promises to be a gripping viewing experience, given the controversial and deeply personal nature of its subject matter. But there will be few people across the country who will be watching quite as intensely as Alena.

Ed Pilkington is the chief reporter for Guardian US. He is a former national and foreign editor of the paper, and author of Beyond the Mother Country.

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The Disability Community Presents 25 Years of the ADA!

  • Saturday, July 26, 2015, 12 noon – 4:00 p.m.
  • Celebrate the 25th ADA Anniversary!
  • Family Day at the Minnesota History Center!
  • FREE Admission!
  • Schedule of activities and events for the 25th Anniversary Celebration!

Minnesota State Council on Disabilities (MSCOD)

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ada-color-logo-1-300x199.jpgThe Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD) and the Minnesota disability community are planning events and activities to recognize the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. These events and activities are made possible in part by Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) and the Minnesota History Center.

The ADA is a landmark civil rights law granting protection against discrimination for people with disabilities. Among its provisions, the law prohibits discrimination in the workplace and establishes clear requirements for physical and programmatic accessibility and accommodations. It took many decades of activism to secure equal rights for people with disabilities that culminated in the signing of this historic civil rights legislation. The ADA provided and continues to provide inclusion of millions of people with disabilities into the mainstream of American life.

Schedule of activities and events for the 25th Anniversary Celebration

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Series | They Know Everything About You, Part 5: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Respecting America's Founding Fathers

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  • In this (5th) installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges discuss the Founding Fathers, FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the persecution of Chelsea Manning in this sweeping conversation.
  • Part 4: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges For the Corporatist State, Information Is Control
  • Part 3: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security State
  • Part 2: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy
  • Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex

Alexander Reed Kelly, Truthdig

8029/8050183257_981b26e50b.jpgMay 30, 2015 | Chris Hedges, Journalist and author: Welcome back. I’m Chris Hedges. This is The Real News.

I wouldn’t say they are destroying democracy; I would say they have destroyed democracy. You have held up throughout this conversation the founding fathers. And I want to go back to Thomas Paine, who was the real radical, who called for—he didn’t use the word socialism, but a type of socialism, who was an abolitionist, who was a proponent of direct democracy, which the founding fathers were not, who opposed the genocidal campaigns against Native Americans, which all of the founding fathers embraced with relish, who wanted rights for women. And I think Zinn points out that all of these freedoms that you talk about were reserved for a very small, select group of largely slave-holding white males, our aristocratic class, who replaced the aristocratic class of Britain, and that it was—Washington, by the time he was president, was the wealthiest person in the United States, largely by seizing Indian lands with land speculators and selling it for profit—of course, he himself was a large slaveholder—And that through the constitutional conventions that were held after independence, you really saw a rolling back of that populism and radicalism that Paine, who himself became a pariah, spoke so eloquently about, and of course Common Sense and his journalism were used to fuel—most of the people fighting the revolution were yeoman farmers.

Alexander Reed Kelly is an Assistant Editor of Truthdig.

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Part 4: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges For the Corporatist State, Information Is ControlKasia Anderson, Truthdig

In this (4th) installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges drill into the motivations for the collusion between big tech companies and the U.S. government.

Part 3: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security State, Kasia AndersonTruthdig

In this (3rd) installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges drill into the motivations for the collusion between big tech companies and the U.S. government.

Part 2: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy, Kasia AndersonTruthdig

In this second part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy,” Scheer says the safeguards written into the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans against abuses of their civil liberties don’t exactly apply to violations by the private sector.

Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex, Alexander Reed KellyTruthdig

In the first part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy,” Scheer says the U.S. government and private industry have merged to turn the Internet into a massive machine for simultaneously selling to and spying on Americans.

Series | They Know Everything About You, Part 4: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges For the Corporatist State, Information Is Control

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  • In this installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges drill into the motivations for the collusion between big tech companies and the U.S. government.
  • The end result: Control of Americans’ data leads to control of citizens themselves. Or, as Hedges succinctly puts it, “When they have everything on you, they control you. And they have everything on us.”
  • Part 3: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security State
  • Part 2: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy
  • Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex

Kasia Anderson, Truthdig

Scheer%20%26%20Hedges%20%7C%20%2522They%20Know%20Everything%20...%2522%20%284%3A7%29.jpgMay 26, 2015 | Chris Hedges:  Hi. I’m Chris Hedges for The Real News. Welcome back to part four of my discussion with Robert Scheer about his book They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.

Let’s get into this issue that we discussed at the end of part three about the reaction on the part of private corporations Google, Apple, and others, because the exposure of their complicity with the security and surveillance state (which, as you point out, is global) hurts their business model (they are beginning to create systems of encryption), and whether you think that that will be an effective check on this intrusion of the security and surveillance apparatus into our personal lives.

Kasia Anderson is an Assistant Editor of Truthdig <http://www.truthdig.com>.

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Part 3: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security StateKasia Anderson, Truthdig

In this installment of their seven-part interview series Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges drill into the motivations for the collusion between big tech companies and the U.S. government.

###

Part 2: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy, Kasia Anderson, Truthdig

In this second part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy,” Scheer says the safeguards written into the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans against abuses of their civil liberties don’t exactly apply to violations by the private sector.

###

Part 1: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex, Alexander Reed Kelly, Truthdig

In the first part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy,” Scheer says the U.S. government and private industry have merged to turn the Internet into a massive machine for simultaneously selling to and spying on Americans.

 

What Happens When Housing Becomes Unaffordable for People With Disabilities

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The United States is facing a major problem when it comes to supporting the disability community. It’s clearly necessary to increase federal benefits to people with disabilities, as well as state programs that provide assistance with costs like paying personal care attendants and affording food. 

s.e. smith, care2

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3144/3143136.large.jpgJune 19, 2015 | A new report from disability advocacy groups shows that housing costs in the United States are climbing beyond the reach of people with disabilities, with housing costs in some rental markets exceeding 100 percent of average monthly Social Security Income (SSI) benefits. This poses a huge cost burden to people with disabilities in the United States and illustrates the urgent need to adjust benefits so they keep pace with inflation, ensuring that households aren’t struggling to afford the basic costs of living. Without such measures, people with disabilities may be forced to make dangerous housing choices, or they may be forced into institutional settings — which could mean that the government is violating the integration mandate in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Under the ADA, people with disabilities must be housed in community settings if such housing is appropriate and their desire to live in their communities can be reasonably accommodated. This was affirmed in a 1999 Supreme Court decision which explicitly called the government to task on the issue. For the government, the mandate is crystal clear: Any reasonable steps must be taken to help people with disabilities live in their communities, whether that’s independently, in mixed residential settings, or in halfway houses with support. Yet, the housing crisis could force people with disabilities into the very facilities they’re fighting to escape.

s.e. smith is a writer, agitator, and commentator, with a focus on particularly gender, prison reform, disability rights, environmental justice, queerness, class, and the intersections thereof. smith delights in amplifying the voices of those who are often silenced and challenging dominant ideas about justice, equality, and liberation.

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