"i must become the action of my fate" --June Jordan
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Posts tagged POLITICS


Here is a link to a list of companies that support Israel.

Also the site provides proof on how the companies support Israel financially. As part of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, boycotting these products is the first step. This is the least (seriously the least) we can do to support and help the Palestinians that must live under the Israeli Occupation.

California Appeals Court Approves Warrantless Cell Phone Searches During Traffic Stops 


I want to show you all something:

Do you see what that is?  That is a data retrieval device which police use to extract all the data off your phone.  Every e-mail.  Every text message.  Every app you’ve ever downloaded.  Every preference checked.  Every picture stored.  Every video file, potentially extending back for years, depending on the user, the phone, and the nature of their cell phone service.

I just want you to appreciate what the California Appeals Court said in this decision: that picture above?  The police can do that without securing a search warrant.  And the Supreme Court’s 4th Amendment jurisprudence is so atrocious right now that even if the police admit they screwed up, the evidence can still be admitted.

I suspect that many people from older generations (i.e. those likely to be judges) don’t fully comprehend how much personal, private information can be accessed via your cellphone these days.  It’s virtually the equivalent of having a living transcript of every personal letter you’ve ever written and every brief phone call you’ve ever made (often the form of a text message that might’ve taken place by voice 10-20 years ago).  In other words, these are records of things that no sane individual would keep in their car.  This is precisely the type of private information that the 4th Amendment is supposed to protect private citizens from being delivered to government without a warrant signed by a magistrate pursuant to a sworn affidavit from police which particularly describes the place to be searched, and the thing being searched for.

In some sense, the CA court of appeals’ hands may have been tied by the Supreme Court’s 4th Amendment jurisprudence; so I understand why they may have felt compelled to rule in this fashion.  But I feel that the analogy to private papers here is an important one.  Cell phones didn’t exist when the 4th Amendment was written.  It is precisely the job of the Courts to interpret the Constitution in light of social, cultural, and technological changes that the Founding Fathers could not possibly have accounted for.  Even with the Supreme Court’s awful 4th Amendment jurisprudence, I believe that there was room for the CA court of appeals to rule this search unconstitutional.  The sort of information accessible on a cell phone is exactly the sort of intimate, private information that police should not be able to get without a warrant.


Wall Street Occupiers, Protesting Till Whenever

For all the bedraggled look of the mattress-and-sleeping-bag-strewn camp, it has a structure and routine. A food station occupies the center of the park, where donated meals are disbursed, especially pizza and Popeyes chicken. Sympathizers from other states have been calling local shops and pizza parlors and, using their credit cards, ordering food to be delivered to the park.

There are information stations, a recycling center, a media center where a gasoline generator powers computers. At the east end sits the library, labeled cardboard boxes brimming with donated books: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, legal. There is a lost and found.

A medical station was outfitted with bins holding a broad array of remedies: cough drops, Maalox Maximum Strength, Clorox wipes, bee pollen granules. The main issues have been blisters, including some from handcuffs, and abrasions.

There are also a few therapists. Some out-of-work protesters are depressed. They need someone’s ear.

Elsewhere is a sanitation station, with designated sanitation workers who sweep the park. The park is without toilets, a problem that many of the protesters address by visiting a nearby McDonald’s.

The encampment even has a post-office box, established at a U.P.S. store, and has been receiving a steady flow of supportive letters and packages.

Quite a contrast from the tantrum du jour Teapublicans, isn’t it? This is what a grass roots protest movement looks like. — Ryking

I’ll be there soon. Can’t wait!


#OccupyManchester. More than 20,000 people are currently taking part in the protests against Britain’s Tory Party and massive government spending cuts. The pictures above are from Twitter users @Marvscouncil and @RichardSearle of protests in Albert Square. The hashtags being used for this are #OccupyManchester #OccupyMCR #antitorymarch #oct2demo.

Read the BBC story.

Thanks to Tumblr user revolutiontrainee for alerting me to this.

In Midst Of The #OccupyWallStreet Protests J.P. Morgan Chase recently Donates $4.6 Million to NYPD 

Why don’t they donate that to NYC Public Schools? Or Parks? Or the fucking MTA? 



“New York City Police Foundation — New York JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation.

“These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Dimon said. “We’re incredibly proud to help them build this program and let them know how much we value their hard work.”

Oh how the pieces fall together :) like a symphony.


This afternoon’s #OCCUPYWALLSTREET march has drawn thousands of people, by most accounts being the most well-attended march yet. They have shut down the Brooklyn Bridge to traffic as they march across its lanes. This came after an earlier march by the United Way and anti-poverty activists, which also shut down the bridge.

More photos:

Thumbing Through WikiLeaks' Fresh Batch of Diplomatic Cables 



WikiLeaks appeared to be emptying its file cabinets with the announcement of the release of over 55,000 U.S. diplomatic cables on Tuesday night. No major bombshells have been uncovered in the immediate wake of the data dump, but some bumps in the road suggests that the organization could be in some trouble. Not long after announcing the massive release, WikiLeaks tweeted that they were “under a sustained DOS attack and have regressed to backup servers” and soon thereafter reported that their “Californian DNS hoster, Dynadot, has received [and complied with] a PATRIOT act production order for information on Julian Assange.” The servers appeared to be back online Wednesday morning when the organization posted the rest of the cables.

The countries involved span the globe and represent some of America’s most tenuous international relationships. The sheer volume of the dump ensures that journalists and volunteers will be digging through the data for days, but WikiLeaks has made it easier for everyone. The cables are available at a searchable database and sorted based on the location of the U.S. Embassy involved: LibyaChinaIsraelRussiaVenezuelaIranGermany, AfghanistanFranceIndonesiaRwandaTurkeyPolandSyriaBahrainSouth AfricaSomalia. WikiLeaks has asked volunteers to tweet their findings with the #wlfind hashtag on Twitter, where we’ve found a few interesting revelations.

  • U.S. saw a benefit in the privatization of Libyan banks. ”There may be opportunities for increased private sector cooperation with U.S. banks and opportunities for the USG to help train Libya’s next generation of bankers.” [Full cable from March 2008]
  • Israel believed “the Palestinians are only Israel’s number four threat in the IDI’s assessment, following Iran, Syria, and Hizballah” [Full cable from December 2008]
  • The U.S. “Ask an Ambassador” query attracted some insults in Israel. “Most messages condemned the U.S. for “double standard” policies, with some asking why the U.S. did not take action to stop Israel. One message read, “Stop the Israeli violence in Lebanon. Zionist barbarians are killing babies. You are not a super power; only a super Masonic puppy.” [Full cable from August 2008]
  • Diplomats closely monitored Israel’s opinion of Bush during his re-election campaign. Among the quotes collected: “Conventional wisdom in Israel,” wrote a senior columnist from pluralist Yediot Aharonot on November 1, “is that Bush was and will be the ideal American president from Israel’s perspective. The best there is. Israel has no interest in seeing him replaced, and it has every interest in seeing him reelected.” [Full cable from December 2004]
  • Turks don’t like Americans, homosexuals, bikinis. “Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University conducted a face-to-face survey with 1,714 Turks on radicalism and extremism as measured by neighborhood tolerance in 34 cities. The poll revealed high levels of intolerance toward non-Muslim, American, homosexual, and non-married neighbors. It also revealed conservative attitudes toward atheists, alcohol consumption, and modern revealing clothes such as women’s bathing suits and shorts.” [Full cable from June 2009]
  • Iran got a hold of some German-made weapons equipment. “We want to advise German officials of information indicating that as of June 2009, two Iranian intermediary firms offered test equipment manufactured by the German firms Rohde & Schwarz and Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik (HBM) to Iran’s primary developer of liquid-fueled ballistic missiles, the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG).” [Full Cable from December 2009]
  • Anti-terrorism efforts in the Philippines included building “dual use” airports. “Our $10 million Philippine 1207 initiative would build upon existing U.S. Agency for International Development and Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines activity to improve dual-use infrastructure on the islands of Jolo and the neighboring island of Tawi-Tawi, where we have made significant gains in separating the terrorists from the population.” [Full cable from April 2007; report from an activist]
  • Salon’s Justin Elliott post about “a pair of fascinating cables about American citizens who are living in illegal West Bank settlemens” is also worth a look.

We’ll update this post with more interesting findings as they’re revealed, but based on recent news, some of WikiLeaks best secrets might be lost. Meanwhile, it was also reported earlier this week that former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg had destroyed a cache of 3,500 important documents, including Bank of America secrets and the U.S. no-fly list. Domscheit-Berg has since disputed that allegation.

The Atlantic Wire

omg WikiLeaks is beautiful look at all this even though a chunk of it was destroyed



Gaza Strip - 8.19.2011.

More on the story here. — Ryking



We Stopped Dreaming (by lhite)

Neil deGrasse Tyson killed it on last Friday’s Bill Maher talking about the defunding of the space program:

“First of all, let’s clarify what the NASA budget is. Do you realize that the $850 billion dollar bailout, that sum of money is greater than the entire 50-year running budget of NASA?

And so when someone says, “We don’t have enough money for this space probe,” I’m asking, no, it’s not that you don’t have enough money, it’s that the distribution of money that you’re spending is warped in some way that you are removing the only thing that gives people something to dream about tomorrow.

You remember the 60s and 70s. You didn’t have to go more than a week before there’s an article in Life magazine, “The Home of Tomorrow,” “The City of Tomorrow,” “Transportation of Tomorrow”. All of that ended in the 1970s. After we stopped going to the Moon, it all ended. We stopped dreaming.

And so I worry that the decision that Congress makes doesn’t factor in the consequences of those decisions on tomorrow. Tomorrow’s gone. They’re playing for the quarterly report, they’re playing for the next election cycle, and that is mortgaging the actual future of this nation, and the rest of the world is going to pass us by.”

To plan for the future, we not only have to envision it, but we have to at least make attempts — even if they fail — to achieve it.  We don’t anymore.

Can’t eat dreams.

Russia Expels Israel’s Military Attaché for Espionage
Israel’s military attaché in Moscow was arrested and expelled earlier this week, it was revealed on Wednesday, with sources saying that the top Israel Defense Forces officer was questioned over espionage suspicions. (click title for full article)

Russia Expels Israel’s Military Attaché for Espionage

Israel’s military attaché in Moscow was arrested and expelled earlier this week, it was revealed on Wednesday, with sources saying that the top Israel Defense Forces officer was questioned over espionage suspicions. (click title for full article)

You Do Not Have Health Insurance






The Baseline Scenario

You do not have health insurance. Let me repeat that. You do not have health insurance. (Unless you are over 65, in which case you do have health insurance. I’ll come back to that later.)

The point of insurance is to protect you against unlikely but damaging events. You are generally happy to pay premiums in all the years that nothing goes wrong (your house doesn’t burn down), because in exchange your insurer promises to be there in the one year that things do go wrong (your house burns down). That’s why, when shopping for insurance, you are supposed to look for a company that is financially sound – so they will be there when you need them.

If, like most people, your health coverage is through your employer or your spouse’s employer, that is not what you have. At some point in the future, you will get sick and need expensive health care. What are some of the things that could happen between now and then?

  • Your company could drop its health plan. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (see Table HIA-1), the percentage of the population covered by employer-based health insurance has fallen every year since 2000, from 64.2% to 59.3%.*
  • You could lose your job. I don’t think I need to tell anyone what the unemployment rate is these days.**
  • You could voluntarily leave your job, for example because you have to move to take care of an elderly relative.
  • You could get divorced from the spouse you depend on for health coverage.

For all of these reasons, you can’t count on your health insurer being there when you need it. That’s not insurance; that’s employer-subsidized health care for the duration of your employment.

Spread this around, the is a battle on in the US and you and your families future health is at stake.

Brothers, Can You Spare a Dime?

I just came across this book, again. Randomly. I have to say, without any equivocation, Fuck Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Claire. I truly do appreciate their investigative efforts, and have learned a great deal from their writing, but this book is a big problem.

You see, back in 2004, these guys were pushing the idea that, as the title of the book suggests, there is no difference b/w Bush & Kerry. I wrote an article, addressed to them & their online journal Counterpunch. I also sent it to my favorite free newspaper in the country, Eat the State!, which had published a number of my stories in the past, and also publishes a bi-weekly column from Cockburn & St. Claire.

Cockburn & St. Claire didn’t publish my article (which is fine). But they never responded or even acknowledged receipt of it, either (& I sent it at least 3 times.)

They did, though, put this book out aferwards.

You can read my article, Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

Advert ‘implied Gaza in Israel’

An Israeli tourism advert that showed the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as an undisputed part of Israel has been rejected by the advertising watchdog.

(Got me thinking about cartography & the politics of maps. Check out the next post, a poem by June Jordan)

Do Whatever It Takes.

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