* OCCUPY CHICAGO – MAY 1
* OAKLAND POLICE BATTLE OCCUPY PROTESTERS
By David R. Baker, SFGate
Oakland police on Saturday fired tear gas and flash grenades at hundreds of Occupy supporters who tried to seize the long-closed Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center as their movement’s new home. More than 100 people were arrested.
Skirmishes between police in riot gear and demonstrators throwing paint cans and bottles erupted after a peaceful march that brought more than a thousand of the young movement’s supporters to downtown Oakland. The situation remained fluid well after dark, with police and demonstrators facing off on the downtown’s otherwise empty streets.
By early evening, arrests were continuing and three officers had suffered minor injuries. One woman was shot in the back at point-blank range with a beanbag gun and was hurried away by fellow demonstrators, her condition unknown. Oakland police called for reinforcements from nearby law enforcement agencies, with San Francisco’s police department sending an undisclosed number of officers. […]
* PARK POLICE TASE OCCUPY DC
The National Park Service previously stated:
“We don’t have any issues with these folks” and “The core of their First Amendment activity is that they occupy the site.”
* L.A. POLICE DEPARTMENT CONDUCTS JOINT EXERCISES WITH MILITARY
By Dan Bacher, Truthout
[…] Members of the Occupy movement were outraged by the joint exercises by the LA police and military, in light of the unprecedented campaign by the US government and local police agencies against the First Amendment, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
“Open to the public?” the Occupy LA Morning Report blog responded. “You mean the deployment of military assets in an urban area is supposed to be inconspicuous? The video of these ‘exercises’ would be something to behold, probably much like what we saw in Iron-Curtain Eastern Europe and Tiananmen Square. But since the NDAA 2012 was passed nothing seems surprising any more.”
“It appears America is preparing for war against its own citizens. I don’t know how else to put it. If someone can make a suggestion for another way of interpreting this, please do,” the blog stated.
Joint military exercises have also been conducted over Boston, Massachusetts and Little Rock, Arkansas over the past six months. […]
* RON PAUL AND THE LIBERTY OF BULLIES
By Paul Rosenberg, Aljazeera
|On January 12, a great blow was struck against freedom, if you subscribe to the philosophy of Ron Paul. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission voted 4-0to uphold its earlier finding that a Cincinnati landlord, Jamie Hein, had discriminated against a ten-year-old biracial girl by posting a “White Only” sign in June 2011, aimed at keeping her out of a swimming pool. According to Paul’s worldview, this was a grave and terrible blow to the white landlord’s liberty.The girl’s white father, however, sees things a bit differently.”My initial reaction to seeing the sign was of shock, disgust and outrage,” the girl’s father, Michael Gunn, said in brief comments the day the final decision was announced. The family quickly moved away, in order to protect their daughter from exposure to such humiliating bigotry – but they also filed the lawsuit.
According to Ron Paul’s view of “liberty”, they were right to move, but wrong to sue. Both Ron Paul and his son, Rand, oppose the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because it outlaws private acts of discrimination. This is an “infringement of liberty”, they argue. And they’re right: just like laws against murder, it infringes the liberty of bullies. And that’s precisely what justice is: the triumph of right over might. […]
* BYRON DORGAN ON MAKING BANKS PLAY BY THE RULES – VIDEO
By Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers talks with former Senator Byron Dorgan about making sure big banks play by rules that protect consumers from financial calamity, and how those big banks use power and influence to avoid responsibility while maximizing profits.
VIDEO @ http://vimeo.com/35733157
READ TRANSCRIPT @ http://www.truth-out.org/byron-dorgan-making-banks-play-rules/1327783200
* WHY IS A MONSANTO LOBBYIST SERVING AS THE FDA’s FOOD SAFETY CZAR? – PETITION
Source: CREDO ACTION
Why is a former Monsanto lobbyist currently serving as the FDA’s food safety czar waging war on small dairy farms that produce fresh milk?
While factory farm operators are getting away with serious food safety violations, raw milk dairy farmers and distributors across the country have been subjected to armed raids and hauled away in handcuffs.
The Food and Drug Administration is running sting operations followed by “guns-drawn raids usually reserved for terrorists and drug lords” as part of a crackdown on unpasteurized milk.1 Meanwhile, the FDA is letting the highly consolidated industrial meat and factory farm industry off the hook despite growing problems.
Not surprisingly, the person responsible for prioritizing armed raids on small dairies over holding agribusiness accountable is a former Monsanto attorney and chief super lobbyist. Monsanto’s Michael Taylor is the second highest-ranking official at the FDA, and as Food Safety Czar is responsible for implementing the day-to-day policies that govern the food safety laws for the U.S. 2
Tell President Obama to fire Monsanto’s Michael Taylor from his job as Food Czar at the FDA. […]
READ and PETITION @ http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/fire_michael_taylor/?rc=fb_share1
* THE SELF-ATTRIBUTION FALLACY
Intelligence? Talent? No, the ultra-rich got to where they are through luck and brutality.
By George Monibot, monibot.com
If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire. The claims that the ultra-rich 1% make for themselves – that they are possessed of unique intelligence or creativity or drive – are examples of the self-attribution fallacy. This means crediting yourself with outcomes for which you weren’t responsible. Many of those who are rich today got there because they were able to capture certain jobs. This capture owes less to talent and intelligence than to a combination of the ruthless exploitation of others and accidents of birth, as such jobs are taken disproportionately by people born in certain places and into certain classes.
The findings of the psychologist Daniel Kahneman, winner of a Nobel economics prize, are devastating to the beliefs that financial high-fliers entertain about themselves(1). He discovered that their apparent success is a cognitive illusion. For example, he studied the results achieved by 25 wealth advisers, across eight years. He found that the consistency of their performance was zero. “The results resembled what you would expect from a dice-rolling contest, not a game of skill.” Those who received the biggest bonuses had simply got lucky.
Such results have been widely replicated. They show that traders and fund managers across Wall Street receive their massive remuneration for doing no better than would a chimpanzee flipping a coin. When Kahneman tried to point this out they blanked him. “The illusion of skill … is deeply ingrained in their culture.” […]
* FOUR PSYCHOLOGISTS AT THE GATES OF HELL: A FABLE FOR OUR TIME
By Roy Eidelson, Truthout
[…] Postscript. In 2005, despite evidence that psychologists were involved in abusive and torturous interrogations of national security detainees, an American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) concluded that psychologists play a critical role in keeping such interrogations “safe, legal, ethical and effective.”
With this stance, the APA, the largest association of psychologists worldwide, became the sole major professional health care organization to support practices contrary to the international human rights standards that ought to be the benchmark against which professional codes of ethics are judged. The PENS Report continues to be highly influential in psychological and national security settings today.
The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology is leading a petition campaign calling for annulment of the APA’s PENS Report. (Full disclosure: The author is a member of the coalition.) Readers interested in learning more about the annulment initiative can read the petition materials and review the current list of organizational and individual signers, as well as the form to submit an online signature, at www.ethicalpsychology.org/pens.
* MASKED GUNMEN RULE IN DAMASCUS – VIDEO
Source: RT / Information Clearing House
Syrian Free Army fighters have managed to capture the Damascus suburb of Saqba, some 60 kilometers from the center of the city. RT’s Sara Firth traveled to the rebel-controlled area to explore how they managed to overcome the superior forces.
Clashes between Assad’s armed forces and the Free Syrian Army continue in many parts of the country including the capital. At least two people have been killed in the suburb of Saqba on Friday.
RT’s Sara Firth travelled to this area with other members of the press, while the Arab League observers, who initially led the group, decided to circle around the central part of Damascus. […]
* WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND IN IRAQ
By William Fisher, OpEdNews
We pulled out of Iraq not because we wanted to but because the Iraqi government wanted us to. Today, it is arguable whether what we left there is better or worse than what we found there.
Human Rights Watch is charging that, despite U.S. government assurances that it helped create a stable democracy, the reality is that it left behind a “budding police state” — cracking down harshly during 2011 on freedom of expression and assembly by intimidating, beating, and detaining activists, demonstrators, and journalists.
The organization’s Middle East and North Africa director, Sarah Leah Whitson, warns that “Iraq is quickly slipping back into authoritarianism as its security forces abuse protesters, harass journalists, and torture detainees.”
Its World Report 2012 attributes the downward trajectory to the security services of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki” and armed gangs. […]
* IRAQIS VOICE OUTRAGE AS HADITHA MASSACRE TRIAL ENDS IN NO JAIL TIME FOR ACCUSED U.S. MARINES
Source: Democracy Now!
TRANSCRIPTS and VIDEO @ http://www.democracynow.org/2012/1/26/iraqis_voice_outrage_as_us_massacre
* U.S. PLANS FOR PERPETUAL WAR
By Renee Parsons, CommonDreams
As an attack on Iran remains temporarily on the back burner and Syria, home to US-identified terrorist group Hamas, moves up the queue as the next target for military intervention, both are part of a larger strategy proposed to newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.
The “Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” suggested a “new approach to peace’ premised on a ‘clean break’ from the Oslo peace process of the 1990’s. Oslo would have withdrawn Israeli troops from the occupied territories while affirming Palestine’s right of self-determination. Rather than pursuing a ‘comprehensive peace’ with the Arab world, Clean Break advocated an aggressive pre-emptive military strategy to destabilize Iraq and eliminate Saddam Hussein. In addition, Clean Break retained the ‘right of hot pursuit’ anywhere within the occupied territories and encouraged ‘seizing the initiative’ by “engaging” Hezbollah, Syria and Iran to trigger ultimate regime change.
The key authors of that document, American neo-cons Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Douglas Feith (who Gen. Tommy Franks called the ‘f… stupidest guy on the face of the earth” i.e. Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, pg 281), soon found themselves influential national security positions within a receptive Bush Administration from which to proselytize their recommendations. […]