Yes Indeed: Venezuela Coup Attempts are Aided by Washington (La Jornada, Mexico)
Mar01

Yes Indeed: Venezuela Coup Attempts are Aided by Washington (La Jornada, Mexico)

Since Hugo Chavez was first elected president of Venezuela in 1999, the country’s leaders have charged the United States with overtly and covertly working to undermine its government, which Washington regards as hostile to its interests. Never mind that according to former President Jimmy Carter, Venezuela has ‘the best electoral system in the world.’ For Mexico’s La Jornada, columnist Angel Guerra Cabrera...

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Justifiable Fear of a Creeping Police State (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany)
Mar01

Justifiable Fear of a Creeping Police State (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany)

The recently reported theft by American and British intelligence of SIM card codes for potentially billions of smart phones around the world may be a tipping point in thinking about how much crime a democracy is willing to allow its spies to commit. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung columnist Jasper von Altenbockum writes that ‘If even American or British intelligence agencies are so unscrupulous, others will be even more...

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Guantanamo: Interview with Nancy Hollander
Feb28

Guantanamo: Interview with Nancy Hollander

Nancy Hollander is a partner at the law firm of Freedman, Boyd, Hollander, Goldberg, Urias & Ward in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her practice is largely devoted to criminal cases, including those involving national security issues. She has also been counsel in numerous civil cases, forfeitures and administrative hearings, and has argued and won a case involving religious freedom in the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Hollander also...

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West Must Absorb: For Islamic State, the ‘End of Days’ has Begun (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)
Feb26

West Must Absorb: For Islamic State, the ‘End of Days’ has Begun (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

When it comes to combating the Islamic State, what is the West missing? For de Volkskrant, author Adjiedj Bakas writes of what the word ‘Caliphate’ means to followers of so-called ‘Caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: ‘It is the duty of a caliph to conduct war and continue to conquer territory until a select group of chosen believers establish utopia on earth. An important part of this jihad is the terror...

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How Selma and women’s inequality got tangled at the Oscars
Feb26

How Selma and women’s inequality got tangled at the Oscars

I am southern, southwest-Georgia-southern. My Oscar night boycott arose in part because of the Academy’s shameful treatment of Selma. But I have also grown weary of the uphill battle for equality for women of all colors. My husband and I saw Selma on the heels of the electrifying, Tony-award winning play, All The Way, which explored LBJ’s first year as president. Seattle playwright Robert Schenkkan won the 2014 Tony Award...

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Report Accuses Chicago Police Of Operating Domestic Equivalent Of A CIA Black Site
Feb25

Report Accuses Chicago Police Of Operating Domestic Equivalent Of A CIA Black Site

Spencer Ackerman of The Guardian has a report accusing the Chicago police of violating civil liberties, using a site comparable to CIA black sites used for terrorism suspects: The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. The facility, a nondescript...

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Gitmo comes to Chicago (Reader Guest Voice)
Feb25

Gitmo comes to Chicago (Reader Guest Voice)

Gitmo comes to Chicago by Slamful In an article from “The Guardian”, an investigation has revealed that Chicago Police Department has been using a warehouse referred to as “Homan Square” to detain people in a shocking abuse of civil rights in a time when it’s getting increasingly hard to shock people about the abuse of authority police routinely engage in. At this site suspects reportedly have been...

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We would miss Obamacare
Feb23

We would miss Obamacare

WASHINGTON — Will it take the repeal of the Affordable Care Act or its evisceration by the Supreme Court for us to appreciate what it’s actually done? Critics of the ACA are so insistent on pointing to the problems it has encountered — erroneous tax information to 800,000 taxpayers is the latest — that it was especially enlightening on Friday to talk with Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of Health and...

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Two Democratic Congressmen Propose Bills To Legalize Marijuana At Federal Level
Feb23

Two Democratic Congressmen Propose Bills To Legalize Marijuana At Federal Level

It is probably only a matter of time until marijuana prohibition ends. Like gay marriage, we will reach a tipping point where conservative opposition loses its impact. Also, like marriage equality, the majority of Democratic politicians will probably lag behind the country in openly adopting more liberal views, but two House Democrats have introduced bills to end marijuana prohibition. Sam Stein reports: Two congressmen filed separate...

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Guantanamo: Interview with Joseph Hickman
Feb22

Guantanamo: Interview with Joseph Hickman

Joseph Hickman spent most of his life in the military, first as a marine, then as a soldier in both the army and the National Guard. He has deployed on several military operations throughout the world, sometimes attached to foreign militaries. The recipient of more than twenty commendations and awards, Hickman was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal while he was stationed with the 629th Military...

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With ‘Nuclear Taboo’ Broken, Putin Threatens the Whole of Humanity (Rzeczpospolita, Poland)
Feb18

With ‘Nuclear Taboo’ Broken, Putin Threatens the Whole of Humanity (Rzeczpospolita, Poland)

This much is clear, the ceasefire agreed to in Minsk has done little to dampen the alarm felt by most east Europeans about what they perceive as Russian expansionism. In this column from Poland’s Rzeczpospolita, senior commentator Janusz Rolicki writes that Russia’s new military doctrine fails to renounce the first use of nuclear weapons, which until recently was the centerpiece of the contemporary world. Rolicki believes...

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Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration
Feb17

Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

A federal judge ruled that the executive action on immigration reform by U.S. President Barack Obama must be temporarily halted while a lawsuit against the president is dealt with. The federal government is expected to appeal the ruling. Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court in Texas ruled on Monday that the president’s executive...

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Calif. Senate: Undocumented Immigrants Need Path to Citizenship
Feb13

Calif. Senate: Undocumented Immigrants Need Path to Citizenship

Calif. Senate: Undocumented Immigrants Need Path to Citizenship by Chris Jennewein The California State Senate weighed into the national immigration debate Friday with a unanimous resolution urging Congress begin comprehensive immigration reform. California Republicans at a state level staked out a very different position than their counterparts in the South and Midwest, sponsoring a resolution that calls on Congress to find a way to...

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Reversing Plutocracy
Feb11

Reversing Plutocracy

Can it be done? Can American citizens roll back the actions of Congress and a conservative activist Supreme Court that are working to transform a flawed democracy into a plutocratic state? Currently, the situation looks grim with political changes already occurring on federal, state and local levels. Money has always played a role in politics, with corporations, unions, and wealthy people contributing funds to candidates for office....

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Germany’s Anti-Muslim Movement Spawns Anti-American Offshoot (Barbadillo, Italy)
Feb10

Germany’s Anti-Muslim Movement Spawns Anti-American Offshoot (Barbadillo, Italy)

Members of Germany’s anti-Islamization movement Pigeda have just launched a new one: European Patriots Against the Americanization of the West, aka/Pegada. The group, which is growing fast and held it’s first demonstration last month, calls the United States a ‘terrorist power,’ demands an end to U.S. spying and opposes the ‘colonialist’ Trans-Pacific Trade and Investment Partnership being...

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Munich Security Conference: U.S. and Germany Clash Over Salmon Canapés (Die Welt, Germany)
Feb10

Munich Security Conference: U.S. and Germany Clash Over Salmon Canapés (Die Welt, Germany)

U.S. and German leaders may pretend that disagreements over arming Ukraine have done nothing to shake relations between them, but reporting on the behind the scenes maneuvering at the ‘gastronomic highlight’ of the Munich Security Conference, Die Welt special correspondent Anna von Bayern informs that an icy atmosphere between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and German Defense Minister Defense Minister Ursula von der...

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Did the Supreme Court just tip its hand on gay marriage?
Feb09

Did the Supreme Court just tip its hand on gay marriage?

Did the Supreme Court just tip its hand on how it’s long-awaited ruling on gay marriage will come down? It sounds that way, as The Christian Science Monitor notes: The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to issue a stay of a federal judge’s ruling invalidating Alabama’s definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman, and requiring the state to begin allowing same-sex marriages Monday. Alabama thus becomes the 37th...

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A Quarter-Century Later, How Does the ADA Hold Up?
Feb04

A Quarter-Century Later, How Does the ADA Hold Up?

The general consensus when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is that you’d either have to be wildly inconsiderate or outrageously contrarian to suggest there’s something wrong with it. But, as you might have guessed, there are some legitimate criticisms of the ADA that aren’t founded on psychopathy. When it was first introduced, the main purpose of the ADA was to make it easier for people with disabilities to...

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Revenge Porn Plus Blackmail Equals 20 Years
Feb03

Revenge Porn Plus Blackmail Equals 20 Years

A California court sent a strong message to entrepreneurs who want to monetize revenge porn: Your crime is a felony and you could face decades in federal prison. That is what has happened to San Diego resident Kevin Bollaert, 28, who was found guilty on Monday of identity theft and extortion for posting nude and...

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Video: Police Appear To Draw Guns On Black Kids Throwing Snowballs
Feb01

Video: Police Appear To Draw Guns On Black Kids Throwing Snowballs

Department of WOW. I’ve seen many things and lived in several countries (India, Spain under Franco and right after the dictator died, briefly Bangladesh) and done stories from many (Cypress, Mexico) but never have seen anything like this. Crooks & Liars’ John Amato has a post about a video that seems to show police drawing guns on black youths who prompted a call to police about a snowball fight.. There is a video. I...

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