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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

The U.K. 'Can't Tell Its Terrorists from Its Journalists'

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By following these policies, British authorities have made themselves every bit as dangerous to the British people as the real or imagined threat of terrorism.

Alexander Reed Kelly, Truthdig 

5312645863_4e82cf2183_b.jpg Photo by bulliver (CC BY 2.0)

March 14, 2014 | Sarah Harrison, an editor at WikiLeaks who has also worked with NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, won’t return to her home country of England because she fears prosecution under terrorism laws for seeking to influence her government.

Harrison’s fear comes straight out of the language of the U.K. Terrorism Act of 2000. Writing in The Guardian, Harrison reports the act defines terrorism as “the use or threat of action [...] designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation” or which “is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause” or “is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.” Elsewhere the act defines “government” as the government of any country, including the United States.

In December 2010 Alexander Reed Kelly was arrested outside the White House while protesting America’s wars, with Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg and others, and a few weeks later he joined Truthdig in May 2011 as an assistant editor.

Full story … 

Related:

Pulitzer Vindicates: Snowden Journalists Win Top Honor, Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams

  • Guardian and Washington Post each honored with Pulitzer for Public Service
  • Following news of the honor, Snowden released a statement thanking the Pulitzer committee for recognizing those involved in the NSA reporting.

Eric Cantor is a delicate little flower (whose intellectual guide is Ann Coulter)


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  • To justify carrying water for the fringe right on immigration, GOP House leader whines that the president is mean.
  • Paul Ryan’s worthless attempt to save face: Why he’s still an overrated fraud

Heather Digby Parton, Salon

 

/eric_cantor-620x412.jpg Eric Cantor (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Friday, April 18, 2014 | If you are curious as to whom the Republican leadership truly respects and listens to about the proper policies for the party to follow, the answer might surprise you. Certainly one would expect that they’d listen to their strategists and pollsters. And it’s well known that they grant their donors the kind of fidelity one would normally only expect of 12th century knights of the realm. But if one is to judge by their approach to immigration, they are following the advice of the great oracle of wingnuttia, Ann Coulter.

Yesterday Democrats lamented the fact that the Senate immigration bill, passed over a year ago, still languishes in the House. The president made a mild comment suggesting that the American people are “ahead of the House Republicans” in this matter and would like to move ahead. He later called House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and they had a discussion of the issue after which Cantor released a pouty press release whining that the president is a big meanie.

Heather Digby Parton, also well-known as "Digby," writes political and cultural observations.

 

Full story … 

 

Related:

 

Paul Ryan’s worthless attempt to save face: Why he’s still an overrated fraud, Joan Walsh, Salon 

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  • From Ayn Rand to Charles Murray, he thinks the rich deserve their wealth and the poor are to blame for their misery
  • “Hi, I’m right here”: An open letter to Paul Ryan about poverty and empathy
  • Paul Ryan’s worst nightmare: Here’s the real way to cut poverty in America

Education Fails Children from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

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  • The education reform movement has failed in its effort to boost educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Part 1: Education is Not the Answer
  • Part 2: New York Schools Most Segregated in the Nation

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Education is Not the Answer

Everyone deserves a great public education, but better schools alone can’t fight inequality.

Dean Baker, Jacobin Magazine / Portside 

school.jpg?itok=TjtFqbhFFlickr / Noah Vaughn

April 14, 2014 | Portside Editor's Note: This article is from Class Action: An Activist Teacher’s Handbook, a joint project of Jacobin and the Chicago Teachers Union’s CORE. The booklet can be downloaded for free and print copies are still available.

It’s common in policy circles to claim that improving the quality of education in inner cities and impoverished rural areas is the answer to halting the growing gap between rich and poor. This view reflects not only illusions about the potential for substantially improving education for children from low- and moderate-income families without deeper economic and political shifts, but also a serious misunderstanding about the growth of inequality over the last three decades.

There should be no surprise, then, that the education reform movement has failed in its effort to boost educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dean Baker, Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) ; author, 'The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive'

Full story … 



Part 2: New York Schools Most Segregated in the Nation

  • Public school students in the state are increasingly isolated by race and class as the proportion of minority and poor students continues to grow.
  • UCLA report identifies alarming trends throughout the Empire State.

Jessica Epperly , Civil Rights Project

1964%2520school%2520protest_AP_2.jpg?itok=U0wb-6e-This Day in History: On Feb. 3, 1964, 464,000 New York City school children — almost half of the city’s student body — skipped school as part of a protest against segregation within their school system. Brooklyn Daily Eagle

March 26, 2014 | A report released today by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project finds that public school students in New York continue to be severely segregated. Public school students in the state are increasingly isolated by race and class as the proportion of minority and poor students continues to grow, according to the CRP report, New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future.”

The study explores trends in enrollment and school segregation patterns from 1989 to 2010 at the state and regional levels, including the New York City metropolitan areas of Long Island and the New York City District, and the upstate metropolitan areas of Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. 

The Civil Rights Project is now co-directed by Gary Orfield and Patricia Gándara, professors at UCLA. Its mission is to create a new generation of research in social science and law on the critical issues of civil rights and equal opportunity for racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

Full story … 

Pulitzer Vindicates: Snowden Journalists Win Top Honor

  • Guardian and Washington Post each honored with Pulitzer for Public Service
  • Following news of the honor, Snowden released a statement thanking the Pulitzer committee for recognizing those involved in the NSA reporting.

Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams

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imce-images/three_1.jpg Ewen MacAskill, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong to meet NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on June 10, 2013. (Photo by Laura Poitras)

Monday, April 14, 2014 | The Washington Post and the Guardian/US were both awarded one of journalism's top honors on Monday—the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service— for their separate but related reporting on the NSA's widespread surveillance documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill from the Guardian and the Washington Post's Barton Gellman sent shock waves across the globe for their reporting on the leaks—eliciting 7345/9488584149_041619c8df_n.jpgresponses from citizens and governments alike and spurring a new era of backlash against government intrusion.

Lauren McCauley, staff writer, Common Dreams

Full story … 

Related:

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras return to US, blame government for climate of fear, Adi Robertson, The Verge

  • "President Obama likes to parade around as some sort of King Solomon figure in between the excesses of the NSA and those who are raising concerns about it," he says. "The reality is that he presided over this out of control system for five years … I think he is one of the obstacles to reform, not a vehicle for it."
  • "I don't feel confident I can protect source material in the United States."
  • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?

Special Report | NSA Spying: Week Ending April 13, 2014

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  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • 8 New items including:
    • Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras return to US, blame government for climate of fear
    • In Times of Government Surveillance, Whose ‘Security’ Is at Stake?
    • Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    • Whistleblowers: Snowden’s A Hero; Intelligence Community’s Out Of Line
    • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?
    • Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress,
    • CIA caught spying on US Senate
    • German Television does first Edward Snowden Interview

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Taylor Jones

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras return to US, blame government for climate of fear, Adi Robertson, The Verge

  • "President Obama likes to parade around as some sort of King Solomon figure in between the excesses of the NSA and those who are raising concerns about it," he says. "The reality is that he presided over this out of control system for five years … I think he is one of the obstacles to reform, not a vehicle for it."
  • "I don't feel confident I can protect source material in the United States."
  • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?

###

In Times of Government Surveillance, Whose ‘Security’ Is at Stake? Noam Chomsky, In These Times

  • International relations scholar John Mearsheimer writes that 'The Obama administration, not surprisingly, initially claimed that the NSA's spying played a key role in thwarting 54 terrorist plots against the United States, implying it violated the Fourth Amendment for good reason. This was a lie, however.'
  • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever.

###

Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated, Ray Baker, The Real News Network 

  • After President Obama announced a proposal to end bulk metadata collection, Snowden supporters call on the government to reinstate his American passport and allow him to seek political asylum without government meddling 
  • Whistleblowers: Snowden’s A Hero; Intelligence Community’s Out Of Line

###

Whistleblowers: Snowden’s A Hero; Intelligence Community’s Out Of Line, Katie Rucke, Mint Press News

  • Bold statements go a long way for whistleblowers calling Edward Snowden a hero and bringing attention to the fact that the U.S. intelligence community has simply gone too far.
  • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? 

###

one-nation-under-surveillance.jpgThe House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? Trevor TimmGuardian (UK)

  • Obama's proposal isn't much better.
  • Special Report | NSA Spying: Week Ending February 16, 2014

###
 

Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress, Sabrina Siddiqui, sabrina.siddiqui@huffingtonpost.com, Huffington Post

  • 03/11/2014 | Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a staunch defender of government surveillance of ordinary citizens, took to the Senate floor Tuesday with the stunning accusation that the Central Intelligence Agency may have violated federal law to spy on Congress.
  • Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, railed against the CIA for compromising the legislative branch's oversight role -- a theme echoed by many of her Senate colleagues throughout the day. The outrage was palpable among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and some suggested CIA Director John Brennan should resign if the allegations are true. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has stuck up for intelligence agencies in the past, declared a potential war.

###

CIA caught spying on US Senate, Tom Carter, World Socialist Website

  • The revelations of CIA spying on Congress underscore the fact that America is run by an unelected, unaccountable military/intelligence apparatus. It is this apparatus, in conjunction with the corporate-financial elite, that dictates official policy in Washington, irrespective of which political party is in power.
  • Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress

###

German Television does first Edward Snowden Interview, Edward Snowden, OpEdNews

  • German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.
  • Coleen Rowley About Meeting with Edward Snowden in Moscow

 

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras return to US, blame government for climate of fear

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  • "President Obama likes to parade around as some sort of King Solomon figure in between the excesses of the NSA and those who are raising concerns about it," he says. "The reality is that he presided over this out of control system for five years … I think he is one of the obstacles to reform, not a vehicle for it."
  • "I don't feel confident I can protect source material in the United States."
  • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?

Adi Robertson, The Verge 

files/%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

Greenwald%20%26%20Poitras%20return%20to%20US.jpg April 11, 2014 At the presentation ceremony for the prestigious George Polk Awards in journalism, reporters were recognized for some of the biggest stories of the past year: the NFL’s indifference to concussions, the deliberate attempts by New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s office to create traffic jams, former Virginia governor Robert McConnell’s acceptance of illegal gifts. But one of the most dramatic moments was a series of text messages signaling the arrival of two journalists who helped reveal the large and hidden web of NSA surveillance: documentarian Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald.

The presentation of the Polk Award for national security reporting, which Poitras and Greenwald accepted alongside The Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill and The Washington Post’s Barton Gellman, marked the pair’s first visit to the United States since the initial leaks from Edward Snowden were published nearly a year ago. Immediately after the leaks, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called for Greenwald’s arrest and prosecution, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper obliquely referred to journalists who helped Snowden as "accomplices" during a Senate hearing in January. But the mood has calmed, and Greenwald now views the practical risk of returning as low, he told reporters in a press conference after the awards luncheon. Despite this, he says officials "deliberately created an environment where they wanted us to think there was a risk," refusing to tell Greenwald’s lawyers whether he might be indicted.

Adi Robertson: Nerd culture and tech policy correspondent, based in Brooklyn. World's least powerful cyborg.

Full story … 

Related:

The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? Trevor Timm <theguardian.com, Guardian (UK)

  • Rep Mike Rogers (R-IL), Congress' serial fabricator, has the audacity to call his new law the 'End Bulk Collection Act'. 
  • Obama's proposal isn't much better.
  • Special Report | NSA Spying: Week Ending February 16, 2014

Special Project | The Fight for American Rights and Liberties: Week Ending April 13, 2014

  • Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
  • 9 New items including:
    • In Times of Government Surveillance, Whose ‘Security’ Is at Stake?
    • Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    • Whistleblowers: Snowden’s A Hero; Intelligence Community’s Out Of Line
    • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?
    • Oxford Union Snowden Debate with Chris Hedges,
    • Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress
    • CIA caught spying on US Senate
    • Michele Bachmann Claims Gay People Have 'Bullied The American People' 
    • Ann Coulter likens U.S. demographic shift to ‘being raped,’ blames Democrats

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Mike Keefe 

In Times of Government Surveillance, Whose ‘Security’ Is at Stake? Noam Chomsky, In These Times

  • International relations scholar John Mearsheimer writes that 'The Obama administration, not surprisingly, initially claimed that the NSA's spying played a key role in thwarting 54 terrorist plots against the United States, implying it violated the Fourth Amendment for good reason. This was a lie, however.'
  • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever.

###

Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated, Ray Baker, The Real News Networ

  • After President Obama announced a proposal to end bulk metadata collection, Snowden supporters call on the government to reinstate his American passport and allow him to seek political asylum without government meddling 
  • Whistleblowers: Snowden’s A Hero; Intelligence Community’s Out Of Line

###

Whistleblowers: Snowden’s A Hero; Intelligence Community’s Out Of Line, Katie Rucke, Mint Press News

  • Bold statements go a long way for whistleblowers calling Edward Snowden a hero and bringing attention to the fact that the U.S. intelligence community has simply gone too far.
  • The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? 

###
 

The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform? Trevor Timm, Guardian (UK)

  • Obama's proposal isn't much better.
  • Special Report | NSA Spying: Week Ending February 16, 2014

###

Steve Sack

Oxford Union Snowden Debate with Chris Hedges, dandelionsalad

  • Moral Courage and Disobedience To Higher Authority Even At The Risk Of Persecution
  • Union Debate: “This House Would call Edward Snowden a hero”

***

Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress, Sabrina Siddiqui, sabrina.siddiqui@huffingtonpost.com, Huffington Post

  • 03/11/2014 | Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a staunch defender of government surveillance of ordinary citizens, took to the Senate floor Tuesday with the stunning accusation that the Central Intelligence Agency may have violated federal law to spy on Congress.
  • Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, railed against the CIA for compromising the legislative branch's oversight role -- a theme echoed by many of her Senate colleagues throughout the day. The outrage was palpable among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and some suggested CIA Director John Brennan should resign if the allegations are true. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has stuck up for intelligence agencies in the past, declared a potential war.

CIA caught spying on US Senate, Tom Carter, World Socialist Website

  • The revelations of CIA spying on Congress underscore the fact that America is run by an unelected, unaccountable military/intelligence apparatus. It is this apparatus, in conjunction with the corporate-financial elite, that dictates official policy in Washington, irrespective of which political party is in power.
  • Senators Okay With Spying On Citizens, But Outraged It Happened To Congress

###
 

Michele Bachmann Claims Gay People Have 'Bullied The American People' Mollie ReillyHuffington Post

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is still not pleased with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) decision to veto SB 1062 late last month.
  • In an interview with conservative radio host Lars Larson during last week's Conservative Political Action Conference, Bachmann said the downfall of the bill, which would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay individuals on religious grounds, illustrated how LGBT activists have "bullied" voters and politicians. 

###

Ann Coulter likens U.S. demographic shift to ‘being raped,’ blames Democrats, David FergusonRaw Story

  • She alleged that Democrats have been intentionally bringing more legal immigrants into the U.S. since 1965 in a long-term plot to gain electoral supremacy.
  • Michele Bachmann Claims Gay People Have 'Bullied The American People' 

 

Immigration Reform

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  • "Show me a thirty foot high wall and I'll show you a thirty-one foot long ladder." --Molly Ivins
  • Part 1: Immigrant families demand an immediate end to deportations
  • Part 2: Fortress America: How Walling Ourselves Off Can Kill

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

Part 1: Immigrant families demand an immediate end to deportations

John Bachtell, People's World

Uploads/deportations520x340.jpg Photo: Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

April 9 2014 | Fed up with seeing loved ones deported and families and communities broken up, 11 undocumented immigrants and their supporters were arrested after blocking an intersection near the Broadview Detention Center on Apr. 8.

The action capped a two-day walk by 100 marchers from the Chicago Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office to Broadview, a 13-mile trek. They were warmly welcomed at churches and community centers along the way.

John Bachtell is Illinois organizer for the Communist Party USA and a member of its National Board. He is active in labor, peace and justice struggles.

Full Story…

Part 2: Fortress America: How Walling Ourselves Off Can Kill

Trayvon Martin died inside a gated community; thousands of migrants have died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border fence. Is there a correlation between these deaths inside walls?

Alana de Hinojosa, AlterNet

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August 8, 2013  | It seems ironic that 23 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 21 years after the dismantling of South Africa’s white-enclave apartheid fences, walls have become  a political staple for a growing number of nation-states. Walls have popped up just about everywhere, erected along national borders, within national boundaries, encircling both democratic and authoritarian states. 

South Africa is now home to an increasing  number of gated communities, even since the end of apartheid rule. It seems like the world is humming the old adage “Good fences make good neighbors.”

But it’s time we ask ourselves, as Robert Frost did in his poem “Mending Wall,” if fences really do make good neighbors—especially in light of the lethal shooting of Trayvon Martin inside a gated community, and the ongoing proposals to beef up the death-zone of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Alana de Hinojosa is an intern at AlterNet. 

Full story…

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