The World Can’t Wait… Debra Sweet: Why I Will Be There

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Friday Night Fun and Culture DIY Musical Instruments

A prime aim of the growing Surveillance State

Remember though Surveillance is the prerogative of the Police State and Corporations, who hate the idea of a free press and investigative photography that might reveal among other things: Animal Abuse, Unsafe handling of foods (pesticide contamination etc), Police Abuse of citizens, Corporate Maleficence,  industrial pollution, the senseless slaughter of fish and sea mammals etc.

Citizens who photograph such things can be prosecuted on a variety of charges.

From Salon: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/08/19/surveillance/index.html

By Glenn Greenwald
Friday, Aug 19, 2011

Several weeks ago, a New York Times article by Noam Cohen examined the case of Aaron Swartz, the 24-year-old copyright reform advocate who was arrested in July, after allegedly downloading academic articles that had been placed behind a paywall, thus making them available for free online.  Swartz is now being prosecuted by the DOJ with obscene over-zealousness.  Despite not profiting (or trying to profit) in any way — the motive was making academic discourse available to the world for free — he’s charged with “felony counts including wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and recklessly damaging a protected computer” and “could face up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.”

The NYT article explored similarities between Swartz and Bradley Manning, another young activist being severely punished for alleged acts of freeing information without any profit to himself; the article quoted me as follows:

For Glenn Greenwald . . . it also makes sense that a young generation would view the Internet in political terms.

“How information is able to be distributed over the Internet, it is the free speech battle of our times,” he said in interview. “It can seem a technical, legalistic movement if you don’t think about it that way.”

He said that point was illustrated by his experience with WikiLeaks — and by how the Internet became a battleground as the site was attacked by hackers and as large companies tried to isolate WikiLeaks. Looking at that experience and the Swartz case, he said, “clearly the government knows that this is the prime battle, the front line for political control.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/08/19/surveillance/index.html

From The Long Beach Post:  http://www.lbpost.com/life/greggory/12188

Police Chief Confirms Detaining Photographers Within Departmental Policy

by Greggory Moore | No Destination
08.15.11

9:45am | Police Chief Jim McDonnell has confirmed that detaining photographers for taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value” is within Long Beach Police Department  policy.

McDonnell spoke for a follow-up story on a June 30 incidentin which Sander Roscoe Wolff, a Long Beach resident and regular contributor to Long Beach Post, was detained by Officer Asif Kahn for taking pictures of  a North Long Beach refinery.1

“If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery,” says McDonnell, “it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual.” McDonnell went on to say that whether said contact becomes detainment depends on the circumstances the officer encounters.

McDonnell says that while there is no police training specific to determining whether a photographer’s subject has “apparent esthetic value,” officers make such judgments “based on their overall training and experience” and will generally approach photographers not engaging in “regular tourist behavior.”

This policy apparently falls under the rubric of compiling Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) as outlined in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order No. 11, a March 2008 statement of the LAPD’s “policy …  to make every effort to accurately and appropriately gather, record and analyze information, of a criminal or non-criminal nature, that could indicate activity or intentions related to either foreign or domestic terrorism.”

Among the non-criminal behaviors “which shall be reported on a SAR” are the usage of binoculars and cameras (presumably when observing a building, although this is not specified), asking about an establishment’s hours of operation, taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value,” and taking notes.

Continue reading at:  http://www.lbpost.com/life/greggory/12188

Robert Reich Explains the Credit Downgrade

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This Is Getting Exciting

From Yes Magazine: http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/bill-mckibben-this-is-starting-to-get-exciting

The climate movement’s biggest civil disobedience action ever is about to take Washington by storm.

by Bill McKibben
posted Aug 18, 2011

This is starting to get exciting.

Five or six of us are hunched around a table in a small Washington office, shouting into phones and pecking away at keyboards as we count down toward the Saturday beginning of what looks like it will be the largest civil disobedience protest in the history of the American environmental movement.

We’ve got 2,000 people signed up to come to Washington and get arrested outside the White House between August 20 and September 3, all in an effort to persuade President Obama not to grant a permit for a new pipeline from the tar sands of Canada.

As momentum builds, we’re hearing from the famous and powerful: the wonderful Bernie Sanders just offered up a blogpost pointing out how many more jobs we’d create if we concentrated on clean energy; and the dynamic actor Mark Ruffalo chipped in a heartfelt video imploring people to head to Washington for the protest.

But it’s just as exciting to see the stream of inspiring commitments coming in from four Montana grandmothers (one of whom just happens to be Margot Kidder, otherwise known as Lois Lane), or a New York City college student who felt the hope of Obama’s 2008 victory, and also a little of the frustration many of us have shared since, pointing out the many times the president has “backed down from what could have been transformative confrontations with the defenders of the status quo.”  Which is exactly why so many of us will be wearing our Obama ’08 buttons when we get arrested: we want desperately to conjure up the surge of joy that came with that campaign.

Continue reading at:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/bill-mckibben-this-is-starting-to-get-exciting

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In wake of British riots, New York police prepare for unrest

From World Socialist Web Site: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/aug2011/nypd-a19.shtml

By Bill Van Auken
19 August 2011

New York police anti-riot units assembled last week at a training facility on Randall’s Island to prepare for an outbreak of civil unrest similar to those that have occurred recently in Britain.

The August 12 “mobilization exercises” brought together police from all five of the city’s boroughs, including specialized units such as mounted police and aviation.

The riot training was held just days after the New York City Police Department (NYPD) announced the formation of a new “juvenile justice unit,” which is to include detachments of cops assigned to troll Internet social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in search of any indication of impending disturbances.

During and after the British riots, police and politicians have launched a hysterical witch-hunt against social media, blaming its use for the spread of unrest across the country. Police have admitted that they contemplated shutting down Twitter and other sites and are still considering the use of such measures against any future disturbances.

A British court this week sentenced two young men to four years in prison for material they posted on Facebook dealing with the riots, although there is no evidence that their online activities had any connection to or resulted in any criminal actions.

The British riots were triggered by a police attack on a peaceful protest against the August 4 police shooting death of Mark Duggan, 29.

The British government and media have incessantly argued that the riots cannot be attributed to social conditions, but rather are the product of the moral failings—lack of responsibility, greed, etc.—of those involved.

The training mobilization of the NYPD, however, makes it more than clear that the ruling elite on the other side of the Atlantic is quite conscious that the conditions of social inequality, poverty, police abuse and attacks on social services and conditions that exist in both Britain and America can trigger an explosion in New York City.

Continue reading at:  http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/aug2011/nypd-a19.shtml

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Parents misled by advocates of single-sex education

From The Medical Xpress: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-08-parents-misled-advocates-single-sex.html

August 18, 2011

There is no scientific basis for teaching boys and girls separately, according to Lise Eliot from The Chicago Medical School. Her review reveals fundamental flaws in the arguments put forward by proponents of single-sex schools to justify the need of teaching teach boys and girls separately. Eliot shows that neuroscience has identified few reliable differences between boys’ and girls’ brains relevant to learning or education. Her work is published online in Springer’s journal Sex Roles.

The first issue Eliot highlights is that single-sex school advocates often claim differences between boys’ and girls’ brains based on studies carried out in and women. But such effects have rarely been found in children. It is also wrong to assume that children’s brains operate like adults’. In reality, they are works-in-progress, and much of what influences adult neural processing is due to individuals’ social and educational experience over their lifespan. Therefore the assumption that because in the brain are biological, they are necessarily fixed or ‘hardwired’ is incorrect.

Eliot then reviews seven specific claims often used to justify the need for sex-segregated learning: gender differences in the corpus collosum* and language lateralization**; differences in brain maturation rate and sequence between and ; gender differences in hearing, in vision and in the ; and learning; and finally preferred learning styles of boys and girls. For each one, she shows how the science has been misrepresented and its findings exaggerated to build a rationale for sex-segregated education, which misleads parents into believing there is a scientific basis for teaching boys and girls in separate classrooms.

Complete article at:  http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-08-parents-misled-advocates-single-sex.html

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