There are journalists who are determined to report facts and make a constant effort to disclose the truth. That’s very important right now. Think Progress has started a fund, and if you are able to drop a few pennies, this is a good place to do so.
There are journalists who are determined to report facts and make a constant effort to disclose the truth. That’s very important right now. Think Progress has started a fund, and if you are able to drop a few pennies, this is a good place to do so.
Like most people, I’ve been having a bit of fun with Trump’s stupidity over Pence’s appearance at Hamilton, but it’s important to not get overwhelmed with this little distraction. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Trump does not plan to work as a president, or to treat the presidency as an actual political office. It would be more to point to change the name of this country to The Corporate Interests of the White One Percent, because that’s what is happening right under our collective nose. He plans to install his relatives into his “team” in spite of nepotism laws; he refuses to deal with his personal assets in the permitted ways; he’s more focused on the shoring up of his failing enterprises than anything else. Trump keeps handing key positions to very frightening people, who are more than willing to commit evil acts. So, sorry for the downer, but it’s important to keep up with what’s happening, rather than allow ourselves to be deluded by the idea that this presidency will just be a silly circus for the next four years. It may well be a silly circus, but it’s going to be a damn dangerous one, too.
Trump has decided on Sessions for Attorney General. Might as well change that to Inquisitor General, it’s much more suitable to Sessions’ inclinations and beliefs, which are frightening as all hells. Back when there was still some sanity in the republican party, they turned Sessions down for a federal judgeship as being too racist and extreme. That happened during the Reagan years. Yep. Starting to get an idea of what life might be like for everyone who is not pasty white? Combine Sessions being AG with Trump’s vow to reinstate stop and frisk. Do your homework on Sessions, because this news is every bit as bad as Bannon being appointed, perhaps worse. Sessions One. Sessions Two. Sessions Three. Sessions thinks anyone who smokes weed should not only be in prison, he thinks they shouldn’t get out. He’s also dead against the commutations of drug sentences President Obama recently signed.
Getting back to the President-elect for a bit, the kissing up is right on schedule, because you just don’t want to offend someone with all that money, right? We’re also marching straight into Kleptocracy, barely got to see Democracy leaving the building.
The 18-year-old man who drove through a crowd of 40 protestors was charged Friday with provoking assault and released on a $1,000 bond, police said.
Five people were injured when Nick Mahaffey rammed his white Nissan pickup truck into a group of Columbus Day protestors in Reno, Nevada, last week.
Police also charged two protesters involved in the incident. James Fletcher and Samuel Harry were both charged with simple battery, CBS News reported.
Officers with assault rifles, backed by a huge armored grenade launcher, square up to a crowd furiously denouncing the killing of a young black neighbor.
It is a scene which could have been taken from archive footage of Mogadishu in 1990s Somalia or countless other battles, but this conflict is closer to home — the streets of small-town America.
The images, captured in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, open “Do Not Resist” — a disturbing documentary charting the transformation of police across the US into forces that look like military units.
The explosive film is set to fuel an already bitter debate raging in America over heavy-handed law enforcement, following a litany of police killings of black men that have sparked protests from Ferguson and Charlotte to Chicago.
Director Craig Atkinson, whose movie is opening across the US having won best documentary feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, says the American law enforcement ethos has changed “from a mentality of peacekeepers to that of an occupying army.”
Another eye-opening scene shows officers in black fatigues firing volley after volley of automatic rounds at cardboard targets, as if they were preparing for war rather than to “protect and serve.”
A khaki-clad instructor explains that security forces must prepare for all kinds of attacks, “including the Islamic State.”
MRAPs, the armored trucks that protect troops from roadside bombs planted along the dusty roads of Iraq and Afghanistan, are now ubiquitous across the US.
In another shocking scene, a SWAT team arrives in an MRAP at a tree-lined street in Columbia, South Carolina, to execute a search warrant in a drug case.
The officers, whose equipment looks barely distinguishable from that of an infantry division, end up badly damaging a family home in a raid that nets a small amount of loose cannabis.
Atkinson’s father, a retired policeman from Detroit, Michigan, spent over a decade in one such SWAT team, the New York-based filmmaker explains.
“In his time, his team intervened 29 times in 13 years. Now they are taking part in 200 raids a year,” Atkinson tells AFP.
Campaigners against police militarization accept that SWAT teams and their heavy-duty hardware have a vital role in combatting the rare instances of terrorism in the US.
But they point out that, due to prolonged mission creep, this is no longer how these resources are used.
Peter Kraska, a criminology professor at the University of Eastern Kentucky, says there are now at least 50,000 SWAT raids a year, up from 3,000 in the 1980s.
Most of the activities of these highly specialized units have little to do with the reasons for their inception, such as dealing with hostage situations, terrorist attacks and drug cartels.
According to Atkinson, one of the architects of the “warrior culture” is a hugely successful police trainer named Dave Grossman, head of a consulting firm called the Killology Research Group.
“We are at war and you are the frontline troops in this war. What do you fight violence with? Superior violence,” Grossman hollers at an audience of mesmerized police in one session filmed for the documentary.
The retired army lieutenant colonel has lectured throughout the US, according to his website, and Atkinson believes his influence has spread to every American law enforcement agency.
For those who are woke, none of this will come as a surprise, but I’d say this is necessary viewing for us all, and this ongoing militarization not only must be stopped, it needs to be revoked. It’s time to take all those shiny toys away from all the bully boys out there. If cops want to continue playing military, I suggest they quit being a cop, and join up.
Via Raw Story.
While there is endless, pointless arguing here in uStates over whether or not some people are people enough to use a public lav, and whether or not it’s okey dokey to try and scope out whether or not someone has an approved set of genitals, with regressive assholes intent on doing damage, and making everyone feel unsafe, squabbling like fucking four year olds over who gets to be the dominant one, Japan get its oh so right. I’m ready to run away from home.
What does Japan care about? Utility, of course, but also comfort, design, and the sheer artistry that can be a public lav. The Japanese government awards a highly coveted Toilet of the Year award to spaces deemed worthy. And boy, do they have a whole lot of worthy.
After all, the government estimates that in our lifetime we spend up to 11 months in a bathroom. So why shouldn’t they be spaces that are clean, soothing and relaxing?
So, officials created a pamphlet (PDF) of public toilets they deemed exemplary, and distributed it earlier this year in hopes of elevating the entire public toilet industry. Here are a selection of government-approved public toilets.
And there are a lot of them! You’ll need to click over to Spoon & Tamago to see and read about them all, or hit the pdf. Here are some examples, and it sure would be nice if uStates could grow up and start focusing on what really matters, like grown up Japan:
Gallery Toto at Narita Airport Terminal 2 (Chiba)
At Narita Airport, Japan’s gateway to the world, an art installation-like lineup of toilets greet travelers. Here you’ll find iconic toilet-maker Toto’s latest toilet technology, which is of course available for public usage. We wrote about this project here.
Haneda Airport International Terminal (Tokyo)
At Haneda you’ll find a public bathroom that’s been specifically designed to aid and assist disabled travelers. Universal signage, wide passageways and even a toilet for service dogs makes this bathroom user-friendly for absolutely anyone.
Neopasa Shimizu Service Area (Tomei Expressway, Shizuoka)
Highway service areas usually have the grossest toilets. But not at Neopasa, where an oasis of clean and beautiful toilets await tired drivers and passengers. There are more than twice as many stalls in the ladies’ room, compared to the men’s, to combat longer lines. And a large monitor screen at the entrance even tells you which stalls are unoccupied.
Neopasa Surugawan Numazu Service Area (Tomei Expressway, Shizuoka)
This is the only service area along the Tomei Expressway that has views of the sea. So the operator decided to build their bathroom on the 2nd floor near the terrace and create a space where people want to go, not just because they have to go.
Via Spoon & Tamago, go look! Maybe we can all plan to run away together. I want to live in Hokkaido, though.
Some porn providers have decided to get political, and fight California’s Proposition 60. While I do think health is a major concern, I really don’t know enough about the porn industry in general to make any sort of statement about their particular health policies in regard to their actors. I would assume most actors do care about their health, and don’t take unnecessary risks, but again, I really don’t know. I might be one of ten people on the planet who is not a porn consumer. I certainly do understand the fight against part of the prop which states they can be sued, by anyone, at anytime. That seems more than a little dodgy to me. I’m also very uncomfortable when it comes to anyone trying to mandate another person’s bodily autonomy. I don’t want anyone telling me what I can and can’t do with myself, as I am my body. That should apply to everyone else as well. So, if I were still in SoCal, I’d be a no vote. Anyroad, as a political tactic, I foresee great success here.
Today, adult websites are taking away California’s porn. In protest of Proposition 60, a state bill mandating condoms in adult films, several sites are interrupting or entirely blocking access to California IP addresses. This includes the mainstream giant Vivid Video, as well as Evil Angel, Kink, Pink & White Productions, and Treasure Island Media. In-state visitors to these sites are met with a message instructing them to vote no on Prop 60 and, in some cases, warning that their porn might be permanently taken away if the bill passes.
This virtual strike coincides with a protest by roughly 100 adult performers planned later today outside of the Los Angeles headquarters of the Yes on 60 Campaign.
Prop 60, which is sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and will be on the ballot November 8, requires condoms in adult films shot within the state and also allows any resident in the state to sue producers and distributors of condomless porn. The adult industry is broadly opposed to the bill, primarily on the grounds that it violates performer choice and will push productions underground, making them less safe. Opponents also argue that by allowing lawsuits by everyday citizens the bill could expose producers and adult performers to stalkers, harassment, and privacy violations.
But at least three studios are considering the possibility of permanently blocking access to Californians if the bill passes — the thinking being that if Californians can’t see their content, maybe they can’t file lawsuits. Vivid’s website greets in-state visitors with a black screen bearing a “NO ON 60” icon and a message reading, “If you live in California and Prop 60 passes this is what your porn will look like.” Pink & White Productions’ pay sites greet all visitors with a pop-up reading, “IP BLOCK California? SAY IT AINT SO! If California Prop 60 passes, it could be” (although it’s possible to close it and navigate the sites). Kink’s site delivers a message reading, “This is what Californa will see on their favorite porn sites if PROPOSITION 60 passes.”
Mike Stabile, Kink’s spokesperson, told Vocativ, “Prop 60 isn’t a public health measure, it’s a public harassment measure for adult performers. If we have to block access to California in order to protect the performers who work with us, that’s what we’ll do. And should this initiative pass, it’s something we’ll be looking at doing in California on a permanent basis after November 8.”
Full story at Vocativ.
George Takei has an open letter at The Daily Beast, and a message many of us sorely need to hear. Just an excerpt from the middle here:
You see, I am ever an optimist. A poll taken in August of voters aged 18-34 showed that the vast majority favored Clinton over Trump—64 percent to 29 percent. That split tells me the same thing that the polls for same-sex marriage told us years ago: Over time, reason and fairness will win out, while bigotry and hatred literally would die off. In 20 years, you will all be in charge, and demonstrate far less appetite or patience for Trump’s brand of nativist rhetoric and race baiting. Trump and his supporters understand they are on borrowed time, and while they may seem resurgent today, this in fact could be their last chance to take control. Our country is rapidly moving on from their discredited and archaic worldview. Perhaps that is why the death throes of their campaign are so spectacular.
You are in many ways wiser to the world than your older counterparts. You came of age in a time where there was greater cause for skepticism, and you’re accustomed to the non-stop barrage of social media. Unlike your parents, you understand that we all live in an echo chamber, and that it is up to each of us to depart from it to hear alternative points of view. You are more likely to place your trust in science and embrace diversity, to reject hate while celebrating love in all its manifestations. You are more focused on racial justice and equality of opportunity than the two generations before you. And contrary to common myth, you are not disengaged. In this election cycle, millions of young voters made their concerns heard and very nearly succeeded in realigning the entire election. Nor are you impractical; even when your favored candidate did not succeed, you stuck by your convictions and goals, and in overwhelming numbers now support the party that will best advance them.
It's incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time pic.twitter.com/8G5G0daGVN
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) October 15, 2016
Yesterday, we took a look at the frightening views of Trump fanatics, who believe absolutely that every single journalism source is lying, that voter fraud is not just for real, but happening before any voting, and these believers are happily talking about assassination and bloodshed. This is a continuation of that story. Now that singular ass Sheriff Dave Clarke is on board, hollering for a mob. I am feeling physically stunned at this point, as if someone whacked me with a bat, attempting to recover my wits and make sense of the scene in front of me. How in the hell can most of us just be sitting here, an audience to this absolute insanity happening in front of our faces? No, I don’t know what to do either, but I am frightened. I grew up in the counter-culture, in a tumultuous time of great change, but for the most part, it was change for the better. The better of all people. The same cannot be said now. We have people who want to go backwards, and indulge in full scale colonial assault, again.
Most of the grumblings and musings of rebellion have come from everyday Trump voters, but on Saturday, Trump surrogate and Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke, an elected law official, tweeted that it’s “pitchforks and torches time” with a (stock) photo of an angry mob.
I guess Clarke figures he’ll be one of the “good negroes” who will be happily accepted by Trump and the mob he’s trying to incite. A Sheriff calling for riots. Are we sure this isn’t 1984?
Although more than 300 tribes have rallied in support of the Standing Rock Sioux’s stance against the routing of the Dakota Access oil pipeline under the Missouri River near their reservation, the support has not all been Native.
Nineteen U.S. city governments have passed resolutions or written letters opposing construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said in a statement on October 13.
From Seattle to Saint Paul and Minneapolis, to Cleveland, to Portland, Oregon, and all over Turtle Island, the resolutions have been streaming in for weeks. In California the cities of Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Oakland have sent in resolutions. So have Asheville, North Carolina; Sitka, Alaska, and Urbana, Illinois, the latter one of the four states that the pipeline will pass through.
The myriad resolutions being passed by city and municipal councils around the United States express solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and Indigenous Peoples in general. They reference everything from treaty rights and broken promises, to the common need for drinking water and the burgeoning of distrust in oil companies’ ability to ensure the safety of their pipelines.
This is good news, and I’m thankful to have such allies. Full story at ICTMN.
Just a few posts ago, I mentioned how embarrassing Ndakota has been lately. Apparently, the state I live in isn’t finished in the quest to scrape the bottom of the barrel, when it comes to stupid, ignorant, embarrassing, cringe-worthy, asshole antics. I do not take any pride in being surrounded by ignorant assholes who proudly wallow in bigotry and willful ignorance.
Bismarck, North Dakota–October 15, 2016 — A North Dakota state prosecutor has sought to charge award-winning journalist Amy Goodman with participating in a “riot” for filming an attack on Native American-led anti-pipeline protesters. The new charge comes after the prosecutor dropped criminal trespassing charges.
State’s Attorney Ladd R Erickson filed the new charges on Friday before District Judge John Grinsteiner who will decide on Monday (October 17) whether probable cause exists for the riot charge.
Goodman has travelled to North Dakota to face the charges and will appear at Morton County court on Monday at 1:30 pm local time (CDT) if the charges are approved.
“I came back to North Dakota to fight a trespass charge. They saw that they could never make that charge stick, so now they want to charge me with rioting, ” said Goodman. “I wasn’t trespassing, I wasn’t engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters.”
In an e-mail to Goodman’s attorney Tom Dickson on October 12, State’s Attorney Erickson admitted that there were “legal issues with proving the notice of trespassing requirements in the statute.” In an earlier email on October 12, Erickson wrote that Goodman “was not acting as a journalist,” despite that fact that the state’s criminal complaint recognized that, “Amy Goodman can be seen on the video …interviewing protesters.” In that email Erikson justified his quote in the Bismarck Tribune in which he had said that “She’s [Amy Goodman] a protester, basically. Everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions.” The First Amendment, of course, applies irrespective of the content of a reporter’s story.
The charge in State of North Dakota v. Amy Goodman, stems from Democracy Now!’s coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. On Saturday, September 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the pipeline company attacking protesters. The report showed guards unleashing dogs and using pepper spray and featured people with bite injuries and a dog with blood dripping from its mouth and nose.
Well, Mr. Erickson, thanks ever for helping to paint a picture of my state as one full of shit-for-brains bigots. Christ, I feel like I should just find a cave to hide in.
Via Democracy Now.
There is no denying how amazing internet access and social media has been for so many people who are marginalized and oppressed. Sites such as FB and Twitter have been empowering, and allowed for people to be able to stand together for social change. There’s also no denying the problems with social media, either. Both Facebook and Twitter are home to festering sewers of hate and abuse, and both have been reluctant, to say the least, to do anything about it. There’s plenty of talk from FB, all the time, but in reality, it seems the only thing FB is really serious about is not having any photo of a nipple anywhere, if that nipple is attached to a female body. The fairly new rollout of live streaming has already headed into problems, when a young man live streamed his suicide, and even though notified, FB took days before they finally managed to remove the video. That lack of action, and seeming lack of care earned a number of WTF, facebook! from users. Facebook is currently losing people to Snapchat, and even that hasn’t seemed to stir them to make seriously needed changes.
Now, social media is facing the problem of applications like Geofeedia, programs written for, and used by cops and homeland security. The Verge has a good story on this problem.
Yesterday, social media surveillance became a very real problem for Facebook and Twitter. An ACLU report revealed a CIA-funded tool called Geofeedia was being used by police to track data from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to aid in investigations. Documents show Baltimore police used the tool, called Geofeedia, during protests after the death of Freddie Gray, even feeding Instagram posts through a facial recognition system to find protestors with outstanding warrants.
Facebook and Twitter were quick to revoke Geofeedia’s access to social feeds — effectively shutting down the current version of the tool — but its broader implications are harder to dismiss. Facebook and Twitter can control direct access to their data, but they have much less control where the information goes. Now that police departments are looking to tweets and Instagrams for clues, stopping them may be harder than shutting down a single app.
The center of the issue is how Geofeedia was getting the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts it supplied to police. In each case, the company was drawing information directly from feeds supplied by the platforms: Facebook’s Topic Feed API, Instagram’s full API, and a feed supplied through Twitter’s social-data subsidiary GNIP. The feeds are meant to give developers direct, machine-friendly access to posts, making it easier to build software on top of the social networks. Typically, networks want developers building that software — it’s the same system that allows for third-party add-ons like VSCOCam and Tweetbot — but they control access with a Terms of Service and an API key that’s required to access the feeds.
After the ACLU report, Facebook and Twitter revoked those keys — but it’s worth considering how much that will set back similar tools in the future. Facebook and Twitter have complete control over their API keys, but both platforms have made it fairly easy to get one. Developers need to give a general description of the software they’re building and promise to abide by the Terms of Service, but there’s little enforcement and low-level terms of service violations are commonplace. Typically, that’s a good thing. The web was built on permissionless innovation, and heavy-handed enforcement efforts are often seen as bullying or arbitrary. But it also makes it hard for companies to ensure their data isn’t being used for anything controversial.
Geofeedia’s infractions are more subtle. Nominally, the company was violating Facebook’s provisions against reselling data and Twitter’s provisions against investigating and surveilling users. But the rise of big data has created countlessstartupsdevoted to mining insights from social media streams. People use that data for all sorts of things — trading stocks, spotting trends, or identifying influencers. When people start to get arrested because of that data, there’s an obvious chilling effect, but the distinction between selling data to police rather than a hedge fund is hard to pin down. The problem is with the clients rather than the behavior itself — and clients are easy to keep secret.
That ambiguity is a big part of why Geofeedia was able to stay on the platforms for so long. The company serves a wide range of clients — including “educational companies, cities, schools, sports teams, and the aviation sector,” in the CEO’s words. Absent a public shaming, there was no reason to think law enforcement clients would be any different. A similar case played out on Twitter earlier this year, when a company called Dataminr got in trouble for a contract selling Twitter analytics to the Department of Homeland Security. The company ultimately had to cancel the contract, faced with the prospect of losing access to Twitter’s data stream.
The full story is at The Verge.
Oct 14, 2016 — Winter is approaching fast here in North Dakota – and we’re not going anywhere. Dakota Access may think that they can simply wait us out, but we are here for the long haul.
That being said, we need supplies and support to survive here at camp. Dakota winters are no joke! We have created an Amazon wishlist with all sorts of gear for sleeping, staying warm, lighting our camp, and organizing our group. We’re hoping for tents, lanterns, phones for communicating between groups, and more. Take a look and see if there’s anything you can purchase and send to help us out: http://amzn.to/2dLiG1G
Thank you as always for your generosity!
Anna, Bobbi, and the Oceti Sakowin Youth.
Via Change.org. I will add my thank you thank you thank you to anyone who can help out. As usual, I’ll say that you don’t need money to help – spreading the word and signal boosting is incredibly important, so if you’re a social media person, please, pass this on, with all my gratitude.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and four other senators on Thursday called on President Barack Obama to order a comprehensive environmental review of a pipeline project that has stirred widespread opposition from Native Americans and environmental activists.
After a U.S. appeals court on Sunday night denied a request to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the senators asked Obama to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full environmental impact statement for a contested part of the route that includes stronger tribal consultation.
“The project’s current permits should be suspended and all construction stopped until a complete environmental and cultural review has been completed for the entire project,” said the letter by Sanders and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein, Ed Markey, Patrick Leahy and Benjamin Cardin.
In recent weeks, protests against the Dakota Access pipeline led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota drew international attention, prompting the U.S. government to temporarily block its construction on federal land.
On Tuesday, anti-pipeline activists in four states closed pipeline valves to halt the flow of crude through arteries transporting 15 percent of U.S. oil consumption..
When fully connected, the 1,100-mile (1,770 km) pipeline would be the first to carry crude directly to the U.S. Gulf from the Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada.
The $3.7 billion project is being built by the Dakota Access subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, which has vowed to complete construction.
“There must be a serious consideration of the full potential climate impacts of this pipeline prior to the Army Corps of Engineers approving any permits or easements for the Dakota Access pipeline,” the senators said.
Experts say that the full environmental review requested by the senators could take several months.
The U.S. appeal court’s ruling was the second time the federal judiciary rejected the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request to halt construction of the pipeline. On Sept. 9, a U.S. judge rejected a similar request.
Oh, so scrutiny would take a couple of months, golly, the agony for those poor, poor billionaires. Cry me a river, oil wašichu, cry me a river of clean, untainted water. Once again, we see just how much, and how easily Indigenous concerns are brushed aside, and treaties broken, again. And again. And again. My thanks to Senators Sanders, Feinstein, Markey, Leahy, and Cardin. Please, please keep the pressure on. I think everyone should remind the President of his visit to Standing Rock two years ago. How can it possibly be, in any way, to turn away from people who keep asking for justice? How long for people to wake the fuck up to all the lies, all the crimes committed by DA and Energy Transfer Partners? Remember when they swore up and down that the oil running through this travesty of a pipeline was “sweet and light”? The only people pointing out that that was a lie were Indigenous people who live in the Dakotas. I posted about that, and heard arguments and “oh no, you’re wrong.” No, we aren’t wrong. Oil lies, and it would be great if people would wake up to that fact, and stay woke. This is a disaster waiting to happen, to all of us.
Via Raw Story.