Archive | June 27, 2017

Five Eyes Nations to Force Tech Companies to introduce back-Doors*

Five Eyes Nations to Force Tech Companies to introduce back-Doors*

By Rebecca Hill

The Australian government looks set to take a hard line on encryption at this week’s Five Eyes meeting, and encourage the other nations in the network to jump on the back-door band wagon.

The Five Eyes nations – the U.K., United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – have an agreement to gather and share intelligence, and are meeting this week to discuss national security.

Talks are expected to focus on how to force tech companies to introduce back-doors into their previously encrypted products.

The U.K. government has already indicated it is thinking of going down this path – plans that have gone down like a lead balloon with tech experts and privacy campaigners – but its Australian counterpart has been more forthright in its praise of the idea.

In a statement, Australian attorney general George Brandis said that he would “raise the need to address ongoing challenges posed by terrorists and criminals using encryption” as his government’s priority issue at the Five Eyes meeting in Canada.

“These discussions will focus on the need to cooperate with service providers to ensure reasonable assistance is provided to law enforcement and security agencies,” Brandis said.

Meanwhile, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull used a speech this weekend to emphasise his government would be pushing for weaker encryption measures at the two-day meeting.

“The internet cannot be an ungoverned space,” he said.

“We cannot continue to allow terrorists and extremists to use the internet and the big social media and messaging platforms – most of which are hosted in the United States I should say – to spread their poison.”

He continued to say that one of the “key focuses” of the Five Eyes meeting would be on how to prevent terrorists and criminals from using “these extraordinary tools” – which he also acknowledged had been “such a blessing for mankind”.

Turnbull said that “the rule of law must prevail everywhere online was well as it does today in the analogue, offline world” – although arguably asking firms to introduce back doors would effectively open up Joe Public’s online interactions to interference in a way that the rule of law in the analogue world does not.

Meanwhile, the criminals would most likely get around the law by developing their own (illegal) encrypted messaging apps – y’know, because they’re criminals.

Turnbull said his government would raise the debate at the G20 summit on 7 and 8 July. The rotating presidency of the G20 currently lies with Germany, another nation that has recently come out in favour of anti-encryption laws.

Earlier this month, German interior minister Thomas de Maizière said the government was preparing a new law that would allow authorities to decipher and read private encrypted messages.

Source*

Related Topics:

The New Imperial Roman Empire*

The Five Eyes Silencing Snowden, Silencing Us*

The Entire Globalist System is Falling Apart

Nepal’s Military Set to Use Transcendental Meditation to Relieve Global Collective Stress and Stop War*

Rothschild Bank under Criminal Investigation over Missing $4bn in Global Corruption Probe*

Brzezinski Decries ‘Global Political Awakening’ During CFR Speech*

Global Elites Are Getting Ready To Blame You For The Coming Financial Crash*

G20 Meets In China To Fight Anti-Globalism and Usher In New World Order*

The U.S. Military Bid as a Global Force for Peace, and the Cabals Current Power Struggle *

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Trauma Has Trickled Down for Generations*

Trauma Has Trickled Down for Generations*

How symptoms of mental illness manifest in Black women, and the steps you can take toward healing.

By Angela Fichter

The shooting death of Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant mother of four, by Seattle police has brought anger and criticism yet again of the way police engage African Americans. The Seattle Police Department’s history of using excessive force and employing discriminatory practices against Black Seattleites prompted the 2011 U.S. Justice Department investigation into the SPD’s conduct, resulting in court-ordered reforms. In 2015, the SPD began training officers in crisis intervention for people with behavioral problems, but a pattern of criminalizing Black people persists.

Lyles called 911 on June 18 to report a break-in. Police say officers killed her because she had confronted them with a knife. The Lyles family says she was battling a recently discovered mental illness.

That doesn’t surprise Jennifer Henderson, a Seattle-based licensed mental health counselor with a special focus on Black mental health.

In 1925, Fred Goree, a brick mason and manager in the Negro Baseball League, was killed in St. Louis by White policemen on his way to a baseball game. Goree, who was 33 years old, was stopped in his brand-new Buick for allegedly speeding. When he protested for being unjustly targeted, he was beaten to death on a public street, shot twice, and left in a ditch. Black and White witnesses provided conflicting statements, and the officers were never convicted. He was the primary breadwinner for his family, which included his wife, three children, his mother, and 13 siblings.

Henderson is Goree’s granddaughter. Though she never knew her grandfather, she’s felt the impact of trauma throughout her personal life, including through her mother, whom she described as “guarded, emotionally cold, and disconnected at times.”

Henderson explains how trauma disproportionately impacts Black women and the steps they can take to heal.

Angela Fichter: How does trauma uniquely impact Black women?

Jenny Henderson: Black women start with a level of trauma that we’ve inherited genetically. The trickle-down effect of slavery, discrimination and oppression, in addition to the ongoing trauma we experience in our neighborhoods, including police brutality, has a compound effect.

Our basic family structure has been undermined over the years because our men have been removed from the family. [They’re] incarcerated at larger numbers for longer periods of time, often due to no behavior or fault of their own. That leaves many of us without the financial or emotional support we might otherwise have.

Fichter: How do symptoms of mental illness manifest in Black women?

Henderson: We definitely see symptoms of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and a heightened state of anxiety, tension, and fear … explosive anger with little or no provocation. It can be what you call hyper-vigilance, where a person is very much aware, or even frightened, of the environment, constantly [questioning] if there’s a dangerous situation to be aware of.

How many times have we seen an angry mom, throwing her kids around, cursing at them? This could likely be related to racial trauma they’ve [personally] experienced—racism in the workplace and out in the world.

Fichter: What about the “angry Black woman” stereotype?

Henderson: And why is she so angry? She’s angry because oftentimes she’s been traumatized firsthand, within the family, and through intergenerational trauma [trauma passed down through generations]. She may have been treated aggressively by the police, or is facing domestic violence or sexual abuse. So, naturally her ability to regulate her emotions is going to be drastically decreased. You see mood swings and angry, defensive behavior.

Women tend to internalize emotions and are more likely to be depressed in the way the trauma or dysfunction manifests; but with males, they tend to outwardly express emotion in a way that is socially acceptable for them, which is anger.

Fichter: How has repeated exposure to trauma impacted intimacy within Black communities?

Henderson: It comes back to trust—the ability to have faith in another person, to be open, and allow oneself to be vulnerable in sharing love, communicating emotion, and being completely transparent and honest.

Oftentimes, Black women do not have a partner at all, and when they do, there’s baggage because of the experiences of being slighted, missed opportunities, and having to go above and beyond just to be considered good enough. All of that impacts our relationships. It adds a heaviness to our heart that causes difficulty interacting with one another in a positive, loving, peaceful way.

Fichter: What are ways young Black girls can address self-care before an emotional or mental state spirals out of control?

Henderson: Prevention. Mentoring is incredibly important, and I don’t think it should wait until there’s a problem. There are groups and agencies, but many very seldom recruit or maintain mentors of color, and mentors [have to] have a sense of what these kids go through in life—what would motivate and inspire them, and what things to be cautious of during the mentoring process.

[My] son had a White mentor, who built a large high-powered motor toy gun, painted it grey, then took him out in public to shoot Nerf pellets at various targets.

That could have ended up tragically, just like Tamir Rice. These mentors need some training on those appropriate interactions. But with that education, mentoring can be an incredibly powerful tool to guide people in the right direction when they need it.

[In addition to community stigma, Henderson acknowledges the history of racism in the medical and health fields that has prevented many African Americans from seeking mental health care. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which monitors mental health service utilization among patients over 18, only around 8.6% of Black Americans used services, compared to 17.1% of Whites, between 2008 and 2012.

Black psychologists make up less than 6 percent of the nation’s practicing psychologists, but are growing in number, and most of them are women. Younger generations of African Americans are beginning to change their attitudes toward addressing mental health, and Henderson is starting to see younger patients.]

Fichter: What are your top three tips for Black women and girls struggling with their emotions and mental health?

Henderson: First and foremost, she should do everything within her power to learn about the greatness we come from, and the history of accomplishments excluded from our history books. [She must know] she comes from greatness and is capable and able to achieve greatness.

Reach out for help to everybody she can possibly think of: teachers, mentors, tutors, counselors at school, other women, and mental health agencies. Ask for what she needs, and if she doesn’t know what that is, she can still reach out and say,

“I need something, but I don’t know what it is. Can you help me figure it out?

I feel like I’m not enough, can do better, like I can be happier, and I don’t know how to do it.”

If she reaches out to somebody who can’t or doesn’t want to help, she shouldn’t stop there, but continue until she finds that support.

Trust your intuition. Learn how to tune in, listen, and follow it. Consistently, without exception, it will guide us toward what’s best and right for us, and toward opportunities that are better. Sometimes we need to leave where we are and listen to our intuition to know where we need to go.

Source*

Related Topics:

For Native Mothers, a Way to Give Birth That Overcomes Trauma*

Trauma and the Lineage of Illness*

Healing your Creativity after Trauma*

Trauma: Scholars Need to Be Real About the Issues We Face

An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma*

CPS Case against Texas Homeschool Family Dismissed but Children are Traumatized*

The Cabal Exploits Filipino Trauma with unneeded Polio Vaccines*

The New Imperial Roman Empire*

Black Women Targeted with Eugenics Drug*

Black Community Unites to Protect D.C. After Girls Go Missing*

Six Countries that Grew Filthy Rich from Enslaving Black People*

Black Woman in Evening Gown Faces Police in Baton Rouge*

Nixon Advisor Admitted War on Drugs Invented to Crush Anti-War and Black Movements*

Black NYPD Officers Sue the Department, Were Pressured to Meet Quotas of Black Arrests*

Serena Williams To #BlackLivesMatter ‘Keep It Up’*

Meet the Indian Women Trying to Take Down the Caste System*

Macron Faces Opposition Despite Absolute Majority in French National Assembly*

Macron Faces Opposition Despite Absolute Majority in French National Assembly*

By Abayomi Azikiwe

French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to have been in an advantageous position to govern Europe’s second most significant state in the aftermath of a resounding victory in the parliamentary elections on June 18 where La Republique en March (LaRem) won an overwhelming majority.

Nonetheless, in a matter of days Macron’s cabinet was marred by several resignations of ministers from the centrist Democratic Movement (MoDem) which has supported the ruling party. The announcement that these officials were the focus of a corruption investigation assured their departure since one key aspect of the president’s campaign pledges was the promise to maintain a transparent government.

Amid the scandal Macron reshuffled his cabinet replacing the departing ministers with individuals who are far less known in French national politics. Justice Minister Francois Bayrou along with European Affairs Minister Marielle de Sarnez, both of whom are MoDem party leading members, submitted their resignations from the cabinet on June 21. The news of their departures came just one day after Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard‘s unexpected resignation on June 20. Goulard is also with the MoDem party.

Allegations have surfaced that the MoDem misused European parliamentary funds to hire aids that were stationed in France. Even with these resignations of MoDem officials, LaRem still maintains an absolute majority.

Former Socialist government functionary Florence Parly, who has been employed at major French transport companies, was appointed as defense minister. Nicole Belloubet, considered an expert in the legal field, was designated to take over the justice ministry. Switching from the Ministry of Agriculture, Jacques Mezard, is being assigned to territorial planning. Stephane Travert, a Macron loyalist, will serve as agricultural minister.

On June 25, Macron’s former Socialist Party decided to cast its vote against a motion of confidence in the new government. Therefore, the Socialists will become key players in the opposition although they have been decimated by the ascendancy of the centrist LaRem which was founded only a year ago.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and President Emmanuel Macron

 

Socialists hold less than 40 seats in the National Assembly posing no threat to the ability of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to win approval of the cabinet and the policy initiatives which will be delivered in a speech on July 4. In addition to opposition from the Socialist Party, Macron will face ideologues in the conservative Les Républicains (LR) party, the putative far-left MPs from Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Unbowed party and Marine Le Pen’s neo-fascist National Front. One faction within the LR party, known as “the Constructives,” appears to be harboring a more moderate line on the new government.

Philippe, who is 47, is a member of the LRs, the center-right party. He was appointed by Macron as prime minister on May 15.

Macron, who has a background as an investment banker, and Philippe, a lawyer and member of the moderate right-wing, have made claims of bridging the traditional left-right political polarization in France. This notion of a third way, must be examined closely in regard to the actual policies that will be implemented inside the country and abroad.

Challenges to the French Labor Movement

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the LaRem majority government will be its efforts to institute reforms in labor law. These proposals will ostensibly make it much easier for employers to hire and terminate workers.

However, with high unemployment, miniscule growth rates and the decline in career jobs with unionized protection, the question remains whether the neo-liberal reforms will actually provide incentives for the creation of broader opportunities among working class people. In many ways developments in France are a reflection of the character of the labor markets in most western capitalist states since the mid-to-late 1970s.

French demonstrations against Macron a day after the May 7 elections (Source: Abayomi Azikiwe)

 

Foreign Policy magazine noted in a recent article written by George Ross who speculated on the potential for labour unrest in response to the Macron reforms, saying:

“well-protected jobs have declined and less secure service jobs have expanded, the labour market has become segmented between a diminishing number of workers with stable contracts and an expanding group in more precarious situations, a trend accentuated by lower growth and higher unemployment. Union membership has declined from nearly 30% of the workforce in the 1970s to 11% today — and much of that is concentrated in the public sector. Strikes, for which France was once notorious, have declined in parallel.” (June 20)”

In the United States which has the largest capitalist economy in the world where a series of recessions have occurred over the last 45 years, a similar situation for workers prevails. Unionization has gone down to 6.4% in the private sector and 34.4% in the public sector, totally 14.6 million workers.

This represents a dramatic downturn for representation of employees. In 1983, the first year that such statistics were compiled, 20.1 percent of workers were unionized constituting 17.7 million people. Consequently, the precipitous decline in union membership overall has weakened the capacity of the working class to challenge the imposition of draconian restructuring mandates that have resulted in the lowering of real wages in the U.S.

Since the public sector now has more than a 500 percent greater rate of unionization than private industry it is not surprising that large-scale attacks by the capitalist class have been leveled against civil servants and educational employees. Notions that privatization of municipal services and schools are inherently more efficient serves as a propagandistic cover for weakening and dismantling unions. This offensive against unionized employees coincides with the worsening of standards and social conditions within the large metropolitan areas related to educational quality and the maintenance of urban infrastructure.

In France, the trade unions could possibly wage the strongest resistance to the labor reforms proposed by the LaRem government. The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) has gone on record opposing the proposed efforts by Macron to further stifle the working class.

Although the CGT severed its links with the French Communist Party in 1995, the general strike of that year remains within the collective consciousness of the ruling elites. Protracted labor unrest in France would have a major impact on the European Union (EU) as a whole, potentially prompting public sector unions in other states to oppose further reforms and therefore dampening the efforts by both Paris and Berlin to forge closer ties in the absence of Britain’s departure (Brexit) from the continental economic project.

As Ross noted in the above-mentioned report in Foreign Policy,

“should the CGT decide to pull the trigger, it could push for public sector strikes, particularly in transportation, to try to bring France to a halt. It can anticipate at least some public support for this. France remains France: The country’s militant, left-leaning, and protest-prone subculture still exists, ready to be stimulated by labor action. La France Insoumise (France Unbowed), a coalition of radical left-wing groups led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who won just under 20 percent in the first round of the presidential election — about the same number that the now-eclipsed French Communist Party won in the 1970s — did reasonably well in the parliamentary vote and has talked of new resistance.”

“Centrist” Foreign Policy Merges with U.S. Imperatives on Russia

One significant indication of the international posture of the Macron-Philippe regime was the announcement that France will not recognize Crimea as being a part of the Russian Federation stemming from a 2014 referendum during the period of the aftermath of a right-wing coup in Ukraine which led to a civil war between Kiev and regions in the West of the country.

President of France Emmanuel Macron with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko

 

 

The new French president held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, in Paris after the June 24 visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Crimea. Poroshenko condemned Putin’s visit as a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. EU member-states recently agreed to extend their sanctions against Moscow accusing the Putin government of not honoring the Minsk Accords ostensibly aimed at ending the fighting between anti-Kiev forces and the western-backed regime of Poroshenko.

With the election of U.S. President Donald Trump in November partly based upon his pseudo-protectionist “America First” rhetoric and the vote by the British people to withdraw from the EU in June of last year, France and Germany are attempting to close ranks in order to salvage the more conventional brand of 21st century globalization. Nevertheless, with the fracturing of the western capitalist leaders involving differences over how to proceed in the current period may pose serious obstacles to a much-desired economic recovery in France.

Source*

Related Topics:

Macron to Put France in a ‘Permanent State of Emergency’*

Macron an American Trojan horse in the Elysee Palace*

Macron Dumps Parliamentary Candidate after Israel Lobby Pressure*

 

‘Rise like lions…’ Corbyn Bares his Soul at Glastonbury and Speaks Directly to the Dispossessed*

‘Rise like lions…’ Corbyn Bares his Soul at Glastonbury and Speaks Directly to the Dispossessed*

By Tom Coburg

At Glastonbury on 24 June, Jeremy Corbyn poured out his soul and spoke not just to the tens of thousands gathered there. But far beyond, to the nation as a whole and to the dispossessed of the world. It was a speech that needs no comment, so none is given:

At the end of the speech, he quoted possibly one of the most famous lines in English poetry. The poem, by Percy Bysshe Shelly, was written about the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, where an estimated 18 people were killed. Campaigners had gathered at St Peter’s Fields to demand a vote and a fairer, more just society.

In the poem, the ‘Masque of Anarchy’, Shelley ended with these lines:

“Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many – they are few.”

“Rise like lions”

Labour is still on a ‘war footing’ and is hoping for another general election soon. And Corbyn knows that the demographics are now in his favour. The young are the ones who want hope and have vision. Corbyn is offering to be part of that vision. We now all need to “rise like lions” to make that vision a reality.

Source*

Related Topics:

Jeremy Corbyn Praises Muslim Heroes of Grenfell Tower fire in Eid Message*

Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border*

Corbyn Re-elected as Britain’s Labour Leader*

Supreme Court Reinstates anti-Muslim Travel Ban*

Supreme Court Reinstates anti-Muslim Travel Ban*

By Tom Carter

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court voted 9-0 to allow portions of President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban to go into effect.

Seventy-two years after the Supreme Court’s infamous 1944 Korematsu decision upholding internment camps, curfews and military exclusion orders targeting people of Japanese ancestry, the court is once again authorizing state discrimination based on nationality.

“Very grateful for the 9-0 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court,” Trump promptly gloated on Twitter. “We must keep America SAFE!”

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump declared that he would impose a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” He signed a presidential decree shortly after taking office that temporarily banned travel from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. This executive order was later “watered down” to exclude several of its more provocative provisions, such as official discrimination in favor of Christian refugees, and to lift the ban in relation to Iraq.

The announcement of the anti-Muslim ban prompted major demonstrations at airports across the country, with protesters cheering fiercely when each traveler or refugee made it past the immigration authorities. Despite the use of the indistinct phrase “travel ban” in the media, the executive orders are broadly understood—by supporters as well as opponents—to be motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry. According to recent polls, a clear majority of Americans oppose the ban.

Lower federal courts quickly entered various emergency orders blocking parts of the ban from going into effect before its constitutionality could be litigated, with many judges expressing themselves in extraordinary terms. Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Roger Gregory, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote that the executive order “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.” He questioned whether the Constitution “remains a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace.”

Yesterday, the Supreme Court trampled over these lower court decisions, allowing part of the ban to go into effect pending a decision on the merits, which is expected in the upcoming October term.

In its order yesterday, the Supreme Court added the caveat that the travel ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” such as those who have family members or professional or academic connections in the U.S. However, the Supreme Court ruled, the ban can be enforced with respect to all “other foreign nationals.”

The caveat is a political compromise that does not have any legal significance. Its only purpose is to justify the cowardly capitulation by the court’s so-called liberal wing. The historic significance of yesterday’s decision is that Donald Trump’s presidential decree attacking Muslims, which was drafted by his fascistic advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, will be allowed to go into effect with the approval of all nine justices on the Supreme Court.

The unanimous decision, delivered “per curiam,” i.e., summarily by the court as a whole, bases itself on the “compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.” As all nine of the Supreme Court justices well know, the idea that the ban is in some way related to national security is a fraud that does not stand up to any kind of rational scrutiny.

Trump campaigned for president on the basis of anti-Muslim hatred, repeatedly shouting about “extreme vetting” of Muslims at his rallies. His anti-Muslim executive orders, the crude handiwork of white nationalists that Trump has ensconced in the West Wing, are an effort to give legal sanction to this sentiment. Former New York City Mayor and Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani bragged publicly that Trump consulted with him about how to craft an anti-Muslim executive order that would withstand legal scrutiny.

Moreover, notwithstanding the contortions of Trump’s lawyers, the ban makes no sense as a supposed “national security” measure. According to data gathered by Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina, none of the Muslim extremists who have engaged in terrorist attacks inside the United States since 2001 came from the six countries in question. Of the mere 36 extremists Professor Kurzman was able to identify, 18 were born in America and 14 emigrated as children, so the vast majority would not have been subject to any vetting procedure anyway.

The Supreme Court’s caveat about “bona fide relationships” is entirely arbitrary and has no basis in the presidential decree or any other statute or rule. As right-wing justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito wrote in a separate opinion, joined by Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court does not define what constitutes a “bona fide relationship” or a “credible claim” to such a relationship. Instead, these questions are delegated to Trump administration immigration authorities to apply as they see fit. If the Supreme Court is acknowledging President Trump’s power to issue the decree “to provide for the Nation’s security,” these three justices declared, then it should have allowed the anti-Muslim ban to go into effect in its entirety.

The participation of justices appointed by Democrats in this decision, including Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, explodes the pretenses of the Democratic Party to be interested in defending immigrants or democratic rights. Despite popular protests against the anti-Muslim ban, the Democratic Party has refused to mount any significant public campaign against Trump on this issue over the past six months. Instead, the party has focused all of its attention on denouncing Trump as insufficiently hostile to Russia, concentrating on forging alliances with the military and intelligence agencies as well as arch-reactionaries like John McCain.

The silence of the Democrats while the Trump administration attacks Muslims as part of a ruthless assault on democratic and social rights across the board exposes the party’s election-year posturing as worn-out lies worthy only of contempt. The Democratic Party represents war, inequality, reaction and repression.

Every election year, the American population is told that it must elect Democrats to prevent further shifts to the right on the Supreme Court. Whatever the ultimate fate of the anti-Muslim ban, yesterday’s decision should once and for all put such claims to rest.

Nor is this the only recent Supreme Court case in which the authoritarian and anti-democratic conclusion was reached by a unanimous vote. In 2014, at the request of the Obama administration, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 9-0 to grant immunity to police officers who killed a fleeing motorist and his passenger with a hail of 15 bullets.

As of this writing, no prominent Democrat has breathed a word about yesterday’s decision. The Twitter feeds of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are conspicuously silent about the Supreme Court’s attack on Muslims, as are many of the opinion columns of America’s major newspapers, which remain fixated on the Democratic Party’s anti-Russia campaign and the internecine strife roiling Washington.

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision rests on a decade-and-a-half of uninterrupted efforts—through the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations—to dismantle democratic rights and erect the legal infrastructure of a police state. Building on the Bush administration’s assertion of unchecked “wartime” and “emergency” powers wielded by the president, the Obama administration asserted the power to conduct unlimited spying on the American and world population, as well as to assassinate anyone, anywhere in the world, by presidential decree.

President Obama shielded Bush-era torturers and their accomplices from accountability, insisted on immunity for killer cops, flouted international law, invoked “state secrets” to shield his administration’s activities from the public, imposed military-police “lockdowns” of entire urban areas, and vigorously persecuted anyone who dared to expose official criminality. Thanks to the political atmosphere and legal precedents built up through a decade-and-a-half of the “war on terror,” the Supreme Court now sits on its hands while the president persecutes Muslims in the name of “the Nation’s security.”

At the same time that it allowed the anti-Muslim ban to go into effect, the Supreme Court signaled a further intensification of efforts to undermine the separation of church and state.

The court also ruled Monday that a Missouri church had a right to receive recycled tires to resurface its playground through a state assistance program, despite the Missouri constitution’s prohibition on conferring state benefits on religious institutions. While the stakes might appear relatively minor, the decision marks the first time in the Supreme Court’s history that it has decided that the U.S. Constitution positively requires the state to provide public funds directly to a church.

Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, for whom undermining the separation of church and state is a particular area of professional expertise, filed a concurring opinion in the Missouri case declaring that the church was the victim of “discrimination against religious exercise” and criticizing language in the majority opinion that would limit its future application.

Doubtless with the support of Gorsuch, the Supreme Court also announced Monday that it would hear the case of a Colorado cake decorator who refused to prepare a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. Lower courts already ruled that this bigoted gesture violated Colorado’s public accommodations law, which prohibits businesses from discriminating based on factors such as race, gender or sexual orientation. The cake decorator, Jack Phillips, is claiming that his act of discrimination represents “religious expression.”

Gorsuch has no problem with religious discrimination provided Muslims are the target. It is perhaps unfortunate for Gorsuch that the three decisions were all published on the same day. When Christians are denied the “right” to receive state funds or to discriminate against others, Gorsuch vibrates with righteous indignation. But Gorsuch would allow Trump’s measure persecuting Muslims to go into effect in its entirety.

Source*

Related Topics:

Another Appeals Court Rules ‘Muslim Ban’ Discriminatory*

U.S. Bans Most Electronic Devices on Flights from 8 Muslim Countries*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Israel: State-Sponsored Abduction of Yemenite Babies Call to recognize it as Crime against Humanity*

Israel: State-Sponsored Abduction of Yemenite Babies Call to recognize it as Crime against Humanity*

By Shiraz Grinbaum, Yotam Ronen

Over 2,000 Israeli Yemenite Jews and supporting activists gathered in Jerusalem last Wednesday to mark an annual day of awareness for what families say was a state-sponsored program to abduct Yemenite Jewish infants and other Israeli children born to parents who were recent immigrants from Arab countries.

Known as the Yemenite Children Affair, in the first decade after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, there was a systematic kidnapping of newborn Yemenite children, carried out by Israeli hospitals and government institutions. Mothers, who often were in Israel for a short time and did not speak Hebrew, would enter hospitals or other state facilities to give birth. Once the child was born medical staff told the parents the child died unexpectedly. Yet none of the families were shown bodies or burial documents. Many of the families did not practice any mourning ceremonies because they believed their missing children were still alive.

The babies who went missing, parents claim, were given away to childless Ashkenazi families (Jews of European descent–the dominant ethnic group in Israel at the time), leaving the Yemenite families with no answers regarding their children’s fate. In most cases, the families were told the children died unexpectedly.

There have been a few national state committees tasked with investigating the matter over the decades, but they were previously accused of ignoring real evidence and helping government efforts to cover up the affair. Following recent pressure by the third generation of Jewish Yemenite activists, part of the national archives and state protocols were disclosed to the public.

Last year Benjamin Netanyahu had more than 3,500 government files on the investigation into the disappearance of the children published online.  A Knesset committee followed up by confirming earlier this month that Yemenite babies died during the 1950s after state medical institutions conducted experiments on them. Despite the disclosures, the families are still in the dark regarding their relatives, and the matter is still an open wound in the Israeli society.

Seeking more answers, the Israeli nonprofit Amram organized the protest in Jerusalem last week under the title “Recognition, Justice, Healing,” calling on the government to open all of the national archives, which could allow for family reunification. The demonstrators also want the affair recognized as a crime against humanity.

This was the largest protest on the topic in the history of Israel to date.

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

 

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

“The son of Yitzak and Tamar Ma’touf.”(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

 

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

(Photo: Shiraz Grinbaum and Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org

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Temer Formally Accused of Corruption*

Temer Formally Accused of Corruption*

Brazilian Coup President Michel Temer

 

Temer could be suspended for 90 days while awaiting impeachment proceedings.

Brazil’s Attorney General Rodrigo Janot formally accused President Michel Temer and his aide Rodrigo Rocha Loures of corruption Monday, charging them with receiving bribes from meatpacking giant JBS, according to O Globo.

Janot sent the request for charges, with additional documents to follow on Tuesday, to the country’s Supreme Court, which will then send them to the lower chamber of Congress.

By law, criminal charges against a sitting president have to be approved by two-thirds of the lower house and only then can the Supreme Court issue a conviction. If approved by the lower house, Temer could be suspended for 90 days while awaiting impeachment proceedings.

In that possible scenario, current House Speaker Rodrigo Maia would assume the presidency.

According to a poll by Estadao, Temer might not have the support of lawmakers to block the process.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s federal police recommended charging Temer with obstruction of justice Monday, according to an official report.

Temer faces several accusations of corruption and spying, and according to Reuters, Janot will consider treating each investigation separately instead of presenting them all together, a move that could weaken his defense strategy.

The embattled politician, who was one of the main architects of a similar procedure against former President Dilma Rousseff, has been marred by endless political scandals revolving around the Operation Car Wash, or Lava Jato, investigations. In May, a wiretapped conversation with businessman Josley Batista, chairman of JBS, the largest meatpacking company in the country was released which appeared to reveal Temer endorsing a bribe to potential witnesses in the investigation.

In the recording, Temer was heard saying after being informed that hush money was being paid to the former head of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, “Look, you’ve got to keep that up.”

Last week, Brazilian federal police handed over their investigation to the court alleging that Temer accepted bribes in exchange for political favors from JBS. Police have also confirmed the authenticity of the recordings, which Temer insists have been tampered with.

Temer also denied other allegations, a report in a national magazine claiming that the country’s secret security service, known as Abin, spied on the judge in charge of the same corruption probe.

Temer’s numerous complications have led to a plummeting of support.

The survey by the Datafolha polling institute shows just 7 percent of those questioned approved of his administration, down from 9 percent in April.

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