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Number of posts: 11,638
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,638
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Atlanta-area police shoot dead unarmed and naked African American man
*Dekalb County police say Anthony Hill, 27, was ‘acting deranged’
*Police chief says the man ran at an officer before he was shot dead
Tuesday 10 March 2015 * Jessica Glenza * The Guardian
The Georgia bureau of investigation has opened an inquiry into the police shooting of a naked, unarmed and possibly mentally ill man on Monday in DeKalb County.
Anthony Hill, 27, was shot by a police officer at The Heights apartment complex where he lived, just east of Atlanta. Police arrived and encountered Hill after a 911 caller reported a nude man wandering the complex and “acting deranged”, at about 1pm on Monday, according to DeKalb County police.
A seven-year veteran of the county police force responded to the call. Hill, who was black, reportedly ran at the officer who ordered him to stop before shooting him twice in the upper torso. “The caller reported the man had taken off all of his clothes and was just running throughout the entire complex during the time we received the call,” the DeKalb County police chief, Cedric Alexander, said in a press conference. Alexander said the officer, who has not been named, was suspended pending an investigation.
Hill was “running around” the complex, “crawling around on the ground naked” and hanging off of balconies when police arrived, according to Alexander. On Twitter, activists picked up the man’s name as a hashtag in calls for change, and others reported he may have had a history of mental illness.
The shooting comes on the heels of a police shooting in Wisconsin, where a 19-year-old unarmed man was shot by police over the weekend, prompting several days of protests.
DeKalb County police have faced criticism over their response to other 911 calls. In January, police shot a man who called 911 after coming home to find his girlfriend stabbed. The man allegedly confronted a police officer, who he thought could have been the intruder, with a gun only to be shot himself, according to local media.
Alexander said the investigation was immediately handed over to the Georgia bureau of investigation “as a result of what’s going on here, across this country”.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Mar 10, 2015, 08:10 PM (14 replies)
What Did Monsanto Show Bill Nye to Make Him Fall "in Love" With GMOs?
By Tom Philpott * Wed Mar. 4, 2015 * Mother Jones
Bill Nye, the bow-tied erstwhile kids' TV host, onetime dancer with the stars, and tireless champion of evolution and climate science, was never a virulent or wild-eyed critic of genetically modified crops. Back in 2005, he did a pretty nuanced episode of his TV show on it, the takeaway of which was hardly fire-breathing denunciation: "Let's farm responsibly, let's require labels on our foods, and let's carefully test these foods case by case."
In his book Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, published just last November, Nye reiterated these points. His concern about GMOs centered mainly on unintended consequences of growing them over large expanses—he cited the example of crops engineered to resist herbicides, which have been linked pretty decisively to the decline of monarch butterflies, which rely on abundant milkweeds, which in turn have been largely wiped out in the Midwest by GMO-enabled herbicide use. Nye praised certain GMOs, such as corn engineered to repel certain insects, but concluded that "if you're asking me, we should stop introducing genes from one species into another," because "we just can't know what will happen to other species in that modified species' ecosystem."
Now, Nye's doubts have evidently fallen away like milkweeds under a fine mist of herbicide. In a February interview filmed backstage on Bill Maher's HBO show (starting about 3:40 in the below video), Nye volunteered that he was working on a revision of the GMO section of Undeniable. He gave no details, just that he "went to Monsanto and I spent a lot of time with the scientists there." As a result, he added with a grin, "I have revised my outlook, and am very excited about telling the world. When you're in love, you want to tell the world!"
Monsanto's longtime chief technology officer, Robb Fraley, responded to the interview with an approving tweet featuring a photo of Nye at company HQ:
Tweet: "Thanks @BillNye for visit & advancing #science understanding. Look forward to more discussion! http://bit.ly/1EUeUuu * 9:01 AM - 27 Feb 2015
It will be interesting to hear what wonders within Monsanto's R&D labs turned Nye from a nuanced GMO skeptic to a proud champion.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Mar 10, 2015, 06:11 PM (124 replies)
So the EU nations want to 'not allow' ISDS tribunals to restrict their 'right to regulate' (to protect the environment).
Well then, what about the USA? Will the USA retain the 'right to regulate' without being threatened with
lawsuits from greedy corporations who are fouling the environment for profit?
To me this whole idea of ISDS litigation amounts to an abrogation of national sovereignty to unbridled corporate greed, at a time when we need to do MORE to protect the environment not less.
TTIP must not allow companies to sue EU countries for environmental laws, say MPs
Committee calls for European countries to retain right to protect the environment with
impunity in negotiations for EU-US trade deal
by Karl Mathiesen * Monday 9 March 2015 * The Guardian
A major free trade deal should not allow US companies to sue European nations when they pass environmental laws that hurt their profits, MPs said on Tuesday. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is being negotiated between the EU and US, may contain a mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). This would allow investors and companies to sue countries when they introduce laws that restrict their business practices.
A report by the UK’s parliamentary environmental audit committee (EAC) said: “EU states must retain their ‘right to regulate’, but a TTIP treaty text that enshrines such a safeguard will be meaningless if the prospect of ISDS litigation produces a chilling effect on future regulation-setting.”
Joan Walley, the committee’s chair, said that once the trade treaty is signed it must include a guarantee that states could protect the environment with impunity. “Any dispute settlement provision must unambiguously deny US companies any opportunity to sue us when we look to introduce necessary environmental or public health safeguards,” said Walley, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North.
In 2011, Phillip Morris infamously sued the Australian government, via an ISDS clause in their free trade agreement with Hong Kong, over laws enforcing plain packaging on cigarettes. The case is ongoing.
Because of these risks, the EAC said “a compelling case for the inclusion of an ISDS in TTIP has not yet been made”.
The report also found that any attempt to align EU environmental safeguards with those in the US, which are generally seen to be weaker, could result in a “race to the bottom” in which protection was watered down to the lowest common denominator.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Mar 10, 2015, 02:16 PM (0 replies)
More sabre rattling from the WH? What's a progressive peacenik to think?
Obama Declares Venezuela A Threat To U.S. National Security
Reuters * 03/09/2015 * By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Monday declaring Venezuela a national security threat, sanctioning seven individuals and expressing concern about the Venezuelan government's treatment of political opponents.
"Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.
"We are deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government's efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents. Venezuela's problems cannot be solved by criminalizing dissent," he added.
The White House said the executive order targeted people whose actions undermined democratic processes or institutions, had committed acts of violence or abuse of human rights, were involved in prohibiting or penalizing freedom of expression, or were government officials involved in public corruption.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Mon Mar 9, 2015, 02:55 PM (140 replies)
POLICE in the United States have launched an appeal to the public to try and curb the amount of recordings of black people getting shot turning up online. The plea comes after a video was posted on YouTube showing LAPD officers struggling with a homeless man in broad daylight before shooting him to death.
Officers responding to a burglary call in the impoverished Skid Row area of LA got into an altercation with a homeless man known only as “Africa”, before opting to end the struggle by the application of bullets to the heads.
The video, the latest in the “US cops shoot black people” genre, was met with fury from across the online community, which led the chief of police in Los Angeles issuing a heartfelt statement to the public.
“It is with great regret that I inform you all here about the recording of 6 of my officers shooting a homeless man turning up online,” said Mike Lockhard, wiping tears from his eyes. “In these trying times, we would appeal to those of you with smart phones, tablets or Super 8 video cameras, to please refrain from capturing footage of our officers as they kill people on the streets. It’s really, really making us look bad folks. Knock it off”.
The killing in LA brings the number of black people shot to death by police this year to an unconfirmed amount, as everyone has kinda stopped counting at this stage.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Mar 5, 2015, 09:31 PM (5 replies)
Yes, Black America Fears The Police. Here's Why.
03/05/2015 * HuffPo/Salon * By Nikole Hannah-Jones
Last July 4, my family and I went to Long Island to celebrate the holiday with a friend and her family. After eating some barbecue, a group of us decided to take a walk along the ocean. The mood on the beach that day was festive. Music from a nearby party pulsed through the haze of sizzling meat. Lovers strolled hand in hand. Giggling children chased each other along the boardwalk.
Most of the foot traffic was heading in one direction, but then two teenage girls came toward us, moving stiffly against the flow, both of them looking nervously to their right. "He's got a gun," one of them said in a low voice.
I turned my gaze to follow theirs, and was clasping my 4-year-old daughter's hand when a young man extended his arm and fired off multiple shots along the busy street running parallel to the boardwalk. Snatching my daughter up into my arms, I joined the throng of screaming revelers running away from the gunfire and toward the water.
The shots stopped as quickly as they had started. The man disappeared between some buildings. Chest heaving, hands shaking, I tried to calm my crying daughter, while my husband, friends and I all looked at one another in breathless disbelief. I turned to check on Hunter, a high school intern from Oregon who was staying with my family for a few weeks, but she was on the phone.
"Someone was just shooting on the beach," she said, between gulps of air, to the person on the line.
Unable to imagine whom she would be calling at that moment, I asked her, somewhat indignantly, if she couldn't have waited until we got to safety before calling her mom.
"No," she said. "I am talking to the police."
My friends and I locked eyes in stunned silence. Between the four adults, we hold six degrees. Three of us are journalists. And not one of us had thought to call the police. We had not even considered it.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Mar 5, 2015, 06:17 PM (4 replies)
Dishonest White House Response to Warren's Attack on Secret Panels in Trade Deals
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 * By Yves Smith * Naked Capitalism | Truth Out dot com
Elizabeth Warren is clearly getting on the Administration’s nerves.
The Massachusetts senator has come out forcefully against the misleadingly named trade deals, the TransPacific Partnership and its ugly sister, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Mind you, these treaties are not about trade. Trade is already substantially liberalized and in keeping, only five of the 29 chapters of the TransPacific Partnership deal with tariffs.
What these pacts are primarily intended to do is strengthen intellectual property laws to help US software and entertainment companies, along with Big Pharma, increase their hefty profits, and to aid multinational by permitting the greatly increased use of secret, conflict-ridden arbitration panels that allow foreign investors to sue governments over laws that they contend reduced potential future profits. I am not making that up.
Warren focused on the so-called investor-state dispute settlement process in a Washington Post op-ed last week. We’ve discussed these panels in gory detail in previous posts.
That article led the White House to issue a “lady doth protest too much” rebuttal that we’ll shred shortly. But let’s first review the state of play.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Mar 3, 2015, 08:25 PM (4 replies)
DoD Releases “Evidence” of Snowden’s Damages to National Security… and it’s COMPLETELY Redacted
By Carey Wedler * March 1, 2015 * The AntiMedia
Per a Freedom of Information Act Request lawsuit filed by Vice News, the Department of Defense has released a report on the damaging effects of Edward Snowden’s 2013 NSA leaks. The only problem? It’s redacted. Entirely. Not a crumb of evidence was present in the “evidence” the government released.
The “assessment” is made up of multiple reports collectively over 100 pages long and was released by the Defense Intelligence Agency, a wing of the Department of Defense. It was made by two dozen DIA analysts and is fully blocked out, save for several headings. For example:
* “Talking Points”
* “Compromised Information”
The redacted reports were constructed from September 2013 to April 2014. According to a declaration signed by the DIA’s FOIA office chair, Aleysia Williams, it was used by DOD “leadership” to “mitigate the harm caused to national security” by Snowden.
David Leatherwood, the DIA’s director of operations, said that to do this, secrecy must be employed (as usual). He alleged:
Further, at a conference on Monday, NSA chief Mike Rogers claimed of the Snowden leaks:
“Anyone who thinks this has not had an impact… doesn’t know what they are talking about.”
Since Edward Snowden exposed the expansive spying practices of the federal government, authorities like Rogers have claimed that the former CIA and NSA analyst compromised national security. However, they are yet to provide a single instance of their claims. They have not even been able to prove that the NSA’s bulk data collection has an effect on terrorism whatsoever.
More here: http://theantimedia.org/dod-releases-evidence-of-snowdens-damages-to-national-security/
Another link: http://theweek.com/speedreads/541288/government-releases-completely-censored-pages-proof-snowden-damaged-national-security
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sun Mar 1, 2015, 11:00 PM (44 replies)
Americans Favor Legalizing Pot and Criminalizing Congress
BY ANDY BOROWITZ * The New Yorker * Feb. 26, 2015
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—By a huge majority, Americans support laws legalizing marijuana and criminalizing Congress, according to a poll released on Thursday. While the poll reflects a relaxation of attitudes about recreational pot use, it also suggests that many Americans now view membership in Congress as a problem ravaging the nation.
Harland Dorrinson, an activist who has spent years mobilizing support for the criminalization of Congress, said that “this poll reinforces what many of us have been saying for a long time: Congress destroys lives.”
“I’ve seen productive members of society get involved with Congress and completely lose the will to work,” he said. “They just sit there, totally numb and out of touch with reality.”
He noted that the once prevalent view that membership in Congress was “harmless” is now being discredited. “If you look at what happens to someone’s brain after ten, twenty, or even thirty years in Congress, it’s devastating,” he said. “There is severe impairment.”
Additionally, he warned that Congress is a “gateway elective office” that leads many to try running for President.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Feb 26, 2015, 05:00 PM (2 replies)
It's a rather longish article, but makes some valid points IMHO.
GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT:
How dirty media brought down Oregon’s clean-energy governor and his activist fiancée
By John de Graaf * The Grist * Feb. 25, 2015
I know and admire Cylvia Hayes.
I support the initiatives that she actively promoted.
I have no special knowledge of her financial dealings.
Regardless, I believe the recent attacks on Hayes and her fiancé, former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), have been sensationalized, and are at best misleading. They feel like more of a witch hunt than honest muckraking. Indeed, there was little real muck to rake. A close look at the public record and the media stories attacking the couple reveals a pattern of innuendo, conflicting accusations, and shameless scandal mongering. But before we get to that, let’s go over some background.
Much More: http://grist.org/politics/how-dirty-media-brought-down-oregons-clean-energy-governor-and-his-activist-fiancee/
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Feb 26, 2015, 03:31 PM (10 replies)