Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath With #MLK’s Bible
January 19, 2013 C-SPAN
Amen. Signal boost,
One of my hopes in the coming year is that the labor movement, Occupy and the new unrest among native/indigenous people (Idle No More) can coalesce into a true liberatory force; though we might have our divisions, our commonalities should be our focus.
From our friends at Union 4 Workers
With the US’s dramatic expansion of drone use for both surveillance and targeted bombings, a veritable arms race in unmanned aerial vehicles has begun, prompting concern from some in Washington worried about international rivals using drones like the US does.
“The number of countries that have acquired or developed drones expanded to more than 75, up from about 40 in 2005, according to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress,” USA Today reports.
Both China and Japan are working on sophisticated drone technology as their territorial disputes get more intense. Pakistan is also attempting to acquire armed drone systems, apparently with help from China. And Iran is known to have fielded their own drones.
Even the United Nations has expressed interest in acquiring their own drones, reportedly for use in peacekeeping missions.
The proliferation of drone technology is justifiably generating some concern in Washington. The prospect of other countries using drones in the same lawless, lethal, unaccountable way the US has is unnerving to Americans, who have long believed they should not be subject to the rules everybody else must follow.
“When we possess such weaponry, it turns out there is nothing unnerving or disturbing, apocalyptic or dystopian about it,” Tom Engelhardt observes in Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050.
But “when the first Iranian or Russian or Chinese missile-armed drones start knocking off their chosen sets of ‘terrorists,’ we won’t like it one bit,” Engelhardt warns. “Then let’s see what we think about the right of any nation to summarily execute its enemies—and anyone else in the vicinity—by drone.”
How Anonymous hacking exposed Steubenville HS rape case
January 5, 2013
At an August football party in Steubenville, Ohio, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by multiple athletes as she lay unconscious. Now, because of social media, horrific details of the case have been leaked to the masses, inspiring a call for increased accountability and a protest planned for this Saturday.
While two boys were arrested and charged in relation to the alleged rape, several others have been accused of playing a role in the crime, either by watching without intervening or disseminating photographs of the attack. Due to the small town’s close-knit nature, accusations of a coverup have emerged.
According to various reports, an alleged “rape crew” dragged the young girl from party to party before she finally passed out. Testimony from witnesses suggests that she faced multiple sexual assaults while she was unconscious. One tweet suggests she may have been urinated on.
The victim did not realize she had been raped until she heard about the photographs, and then saw the images. One image shows two football players carrying the girl — who has not been identified because she is a minor — by her hands and ankles, as she hangs limp above the ground. The New York Timesreported that another image shows her lying naked on the floor.
Despite the disturbing nature of the case, for months only Alexandria Goddard of Prinniefied.com reported on the rape, documenting social media evidence with screenshots and suggesting a handful of perpetrators were to blame. Now that the hacktivist collective Anonymous has taken an interest in the case, new details are emerging. Photographs and other evidence on social media have raised questions about local authorities’ investigation.
After demanding a public apology from the boys they identified by name as the so-called “rape crew” by January 1, the rape-specific arm of Anonymous, KnightSec, released a disturbing video of a teenage boy who appears to be speaking moments after the rape occured. In it, he laughs at how the unconscious girl is “deader than Trayvon Martin,” was raped “quicker than Mike Tyson” and “more than [by] the Duke lacrosse team.” The same boy tweeted about the night, with disturbing posts like “Song of the night is definitely ‘Rape Me’ by Nirvana,” “you don’t sleep through a wang in the butthole,” and “some people deserve to be peed on.”
While Anonymous appears to have uncovered information that mainstream journalists could not, the police released a statement following the video’s release saying that law enforcement was aware of the footage and had interviewed the teen who made it. While police say witnesses have not heeded their calls to come forward, there appears to be an abundance of evidence suggesting other individuals were involved. But according to the New York Times, deleted images were unretrievable:
Eventually, 15 phones and 2 iPads were confiscated and analyzed by a cyber crime expert at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. That expert could not retrieve deleted photographs and videos on most of the phones.
In the end, the expert recovered two naked photographs of the girl. One photograph showed the girl face down on the floor at one party, naked with her arms tucked beneath her, according to testimony given at a hearing in October. The other photograph was not described. Both photographs were found on Mays’s iPhone. No photograph or video showed anyone involved in a sexual act with the girl.
Anonymous complaints and chatter on the Internet about a less than fully aggressive investigation have perhaps not surprisingly proliferated.
Adding to the Anonymous-led conspiracy theory is that Steubenville High head coach Reno Saccoccia did not bench or in any way suspend the players involved.
This incident happened nearly five months ago, but this case is finally starting to cause some outrage on a national scale. Coincidentally, after the House GOP let the Violence Against Women Act expire on January 2, Sen. Patty Murray is expected to reintroduce VAWA this year.
But smashing rape culture must go beyond an act of legislation. As writer Jessica Valenti for The Nation wrote:
“We live in a country where politicians call rape a “gift from God” and suggest that women regularly lie about being raped. Where a group of young men in high school think so little of sexual assault that they thought it was fine—hilarious, even—to post pictures online of a passed out rape victim, and to live-tweet the rape, joking about the victim being urinated on. We live in a country where media as revered as The New York Times finds it necessary to describe an 11-year-old gang rape victim as “wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.” Where a woman can be fired because her boss finds her “irresistable” and a woman’s rape case falls flat because she isn’t married.
It’s time to acknowledge that the rape epidemic in the United States is not just about the crimes themselves, but our own cultural and political willful ignorance.
Rape is as American as apple pie—until we own that, nothing will change.”
Teens joke about gang rape at #steubenvillehigh . Chilling video leaked. Rape culture must end now!@KYAnonymous http://huff.to/VC7EMk — https://twitter.com/MBennettSmith/status/286654386145476608
Also: #Anonymous Leaks Horrifying Video of Steubenville High Schoolers Joking About Raping a Teenager ‘Deader than Trayvon Martin’ — http://jezebel.com/5972553/anonymous-leaks-horrifying-video-of-steubenville-high-schoolers-joking-about-raping-a-teenager-deader-than-trayvon-martin
#KnightSec … https://twitter.com/KYAnonymous … #OpRollRedRoll
8pm UK 26/12/12 exiledsurfer interviews #Tyler leak platform anons @Ajacx_Anon & @ANONUkIre — http://www.artificialeyes.tv/node/998
Also: AnonUKIre Tyler 26.12.2012 — http://www.spreaker.com/user/minitrue/anonukire_tyler_26_12_2012
Activists with Occupy Los Angeles have filed suit against the city for what they allege was harsh police treatment as they were swept off City Hall grounds over a year ago, court documents show.
An estimated 1,400 officers drove about 300 demonstrators off the grounds on November 30, 2011; the activists had been camping out for eight weeks to support the Occupy Wall Street movement against economic inequality and wealth disparities.
In the federal suit filed in US District Court in California’s central district on December 20, five people are suing in the class action lawsuit meant to represent 292 people detained in the raid.
The suit names the city and county of LA, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LA Police Department Chief Charlie Beck.
The activists claim they were denied food and water for hours while being detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center, at a jail in Van Nuys or on a bus to the detention center. Others allege they were refused access to bathroom facilities, and told to urinate or defecate on themselves.
Two of the five named plaintiffs were journalists, a videographer and a radio reporter, the documents add.
Occupy’s camp in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in late 2011 spawned similar protests in cities around the world as the movement tapped into widespread resentment over the economic slump, persistent unemployment and anger at financial practices.
Illegal pot farmers destroying public forests, polluting rivers with dangerous pesticides. The farmers are poisoning wildlife, rare trees, and drinking water supplies throughout northern California.
The marijuana boom that came with the sudden rise of medical cannabis in California has wreaked havoc on the fragile habitats of the North Coast and other parts of California. With little or no oversight, farmers have illegally mowed down timber, graded mountaintops flat for sprawling greenhouses, dispersed poisons and pesticides, drained streams and polluted watersheds.
Because marijuana is unregulated in California and illegal under federal law, most growers still operate in the shadows, and scientists have little hard data on their collective effect. But they are getting ever more ugly snapshots.
“Did you hear? It’s the sound of their world collapsing” — http://roarmag.org/2012/12/subcomandante-marcos-declaration-ezln/
The Zapatistas are back! From the dark of night, the command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has just released the following communiqué.
(translation at link)