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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Nate Beeler | NSA Sucks / media.cagle.com

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

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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.

Alexander Reed Kelly, Truthdig

Scheer%2C%20Hedges%20%7C%20They%20Know%20...%20Part%201.jpgMay 13, 2015 | Chris Hedges, Journalist and Author: Hi. I’m Chris Hedges. Welcome to The Real News.

I’m speaking with Robert Scheer, one of the premier journalists, certainly one of the journalists I admire most in the United States, the editor of Truthdig. And I write a column for Truthdig for Bob. And we’re talking about his new book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy, which is a brilliant explication of the security and surveillance apparatus and the fusion of government and corporate power into every aspect of our lives.

And let’s begin a little bit about how this started, how it began.

Robert Scheer, Journalist and Author: Well, I think the surveillance state has been with us in one form or another. You just go watch the movie Selma and look at what was done to Martin Luther King.

Alexander Reed Kelly is the Assistant Editor of Truthdig.

Full story … 

Utah high school decides not to include special needs students in yearbook

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  • “But it bothers me because it seems they’ve gone back in time to where we’re not including them. And we are going to tuck them away and say, ‘No, they don’t exist.'” --Amber’s mother, Leslee Bailey
  • Bully My Son at Your Own Risk

FaithGardner, Daily Kos

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Screen_Shot_2015-05-19_at_8.42.40_AM.png?1432050193Tue, May 19, 2015 | This year, Leslee Bailey was stunned when she saw that her daughter Amber wasn't included in the Blue Peak High School yearbook as she had been in past years. Amber has Down syndrome and takes classes in the Utah high school building.

For the last two years, the school has always included the 17 special needs students from the center in the yearbook. However, this year, a change was made.

FaithGardner is on the Daily Kos staff.

Full story … 

Related:

Bully My Son at Your Own Risk, Amelia, Huffington Post

  • This time the gay kid, my gay kid, got pissed. He fought back.
  • And the bully ran away.
  • Are shoulders pornographic?

1968 and the Invention of the American Police State

  • Baltimore's 1968 Holy Week Uprising was quite different from the events of this week. But the response to it helped set the stage for Freddie Gray.
  • Juan González on Walter Scott Shooting: When Will the Police Killings of Black Males Stop?

Daniel Denvir, City Lab / The Marshall Project

lead_large.jpg?GE2DGMBUGM2DMNRXFYYA====A photograph taken by the Baltimore City Police Department during the civil disturbances in April 1968. (James V. Kelly/Langsdale Library Special Collections)

Apr 30, 2015 | Many have looked back to Baltimore's 1968 Holy Week Uprising to understand the conflict gripping the city this week. But today's events have roots less in that year's civil unrest and more in the nationwide law-and-order movement that was erected on its ashes.

Enormous economic and political changes transformed American cities amid the 20th century's great black migration to the north. The upshot was both civil unrest and a conservative backlash to it. In Baltimore, the uprising and its leading critic, Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew, helped change American politics forever.

Daniel Denvir is a contributing writer to CityLab and a former staff reporter at Philadelphia City Paper.

Full story … 

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Related:

Juan González on Walter Scott Shooting: When Will the Police Killings of Black Males Stop? Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now! 

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Democracy Now! co-host Juan González discusses how video of the Walter Scott killing echoes other videos of police shootings, such as Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Eric Garner in New York City. "People wonder why the Black Lives Matter movement has grown and spread so rapidly across the country," González notes, "when people are seeing these videos where people who are shot and not even given immediate aid." González writes about the issue in his new column for the New York Daily News headlined "When Will the Killings of Black Males by Cops Cease?"

 

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.

One%20Nation%20Under%20Surveillance%20graphic.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

 

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