* GREECE PLANS TO DETAIN SOME MIGRANTS ‘INDEFINITELY’
Amnesty attacks plan to base detention of illegal migrants and asylum-seekers on public health risk
Source: AP in Athens
[…] Last week the government launched police roundups of illegal immigrants in Athens, with hundreds of people being subjected daily to street stops by police.
Authorities are also planning to convert 30 former military sites to serve as detention centres, each housing 1,000 people.
“Under the proposed amendments, the law will foresee the right to detain non-nationals – whether they have applied for political asylum or not – if they pose a risk to public health,” the authors of the bill submitted late on Monday wrote. […]
* BRITAIN’S POLICE ARE AT WAR WITH THE PEOPLE
Police officers are increasingly trained to see the community as the enemy. They’ve forgotten that they are there to serve us
By David Gilbertson, Guardian UK
[…] Confrontational – yet frightened and defensive – officers are nowadays trained to see the public as a threat to their very existence. Preventive patrolling has been abandoned – notwithstanding the soothing and wholly false spin of the Met, which continually we still have “bobbies on the beat”. Few such officers have been deployed for at least 10 years, and their barely visible replacement – comprised largely of police community support officers, are but a pale imitation of what people expect and deserve.
From Stephen Lawrence to Mark Duggan; from the kettling of peaceful protesters, to the riots of last year; from the manifest incompetence of the first phone-hacking inquiry to allegations of corruption at the Leveson inquiry – a path has been beaten towards the edge of a precipice, and it is time for those concerned about the vital role of policing to challenge what is happening. […]
* OBAMA GIVES GREEN LIGHT FOR PUNISHING SANCTIONS ON IRAN
By Bill Van Auken, Information Clearing House
President Barack Obama has issued the green light for punishing new US economic sanctions directed at forcing the Iranian government to submit to Western pressure over its nuclear program by starving the country of oil revenues.
These new sanctions, which go into effect on June 28, aim to impose a warlike blockade of the Iranian economy by penalizing any government or private entity that carries out financial transactions with the country’s central bank.
Western Europe is preparing its own new sanctions, which are to include a European embargo on Iranian oil purchases, beginning in July.
The official memorandum authorizing the US sanctions affirmed, as required by the legislation creating them, that given existing oil supplies internationally, “the market can continue to accommodate” the cutting off of petroleum from Iran. […]
* ‘WE WILL MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD’: CHICAGO WAR REGISTER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST NATO
By Sarah Lazare and David Van Dam, CommonDreams
Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from across the country will march in protest against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit meeting in Chicago on Sunday, May 20th and attempt to return their Global War on Terror military medals to NATO’s generals. A call to action released by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) declares, “We were awarded these medals for serving in the Global War on Terror, a war based on lies and failed polices.” Veterans say they will march to “demand that NATO immediately end the occupation of Afghanistan and relating economic and social injustices, bring U.S. war dollars home to fund our communities, and acknowledge the rights and humanity of all who are affected by these wars.” […]
* RAHM EMANUEL HAS A PROBLEM WITH DEMOCRACY
By Rice Perlstein, Rolling Stone
Rahm Emanuel insists it’s no biggie. Yes, when it was announced last summer that Chicago would host unprecedented back-to-back summits in May of 2012 of the G8 and NATO, the new mayor raved about his “opportunity to showcase what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country.” And yes, when President Obama abruptly announced last month that the G8 would instead take place at Camp David, after the city had already committed millions of dollars for preparations, he gave his chief of staff one hour’s notice. But Rahm generously said he took “at face value” his former boss’s explanation that the presidential retreat in rustic Maryland would provide a more “intimate” setting for the leaders of the world’s eight largest economies. No embarrassment at all.
Here in Chicago, of course, no one believes a word of it. Cartoonist Jack Higgins of the Sun-Times nailed the prevailing view with not one but two burlesques of Rahm’s humiliation: In the first, a tall jug-eared black man hands a paper reading “No G8 in Chicago” to a little man run over by a presidential limousine: “Sorry I didn’t run into you sooner, Rahm,” the caption reads; in the other, a runtish Rahm is handed a note reading “Sorry Rahm no G8.” It’s tied to a giant screw rammed straight through him from behind – a merciless reference to the White House’s frequent avowals, when Emanuel decamped to Chicago, that they would “have Rahm’s back.”
So: Poor Rahm? Not so much. I’d argue that his humbling has been good for the city, and not just because the event would have been a riotous disaster. It’s also good because it’s been clarifying, having flushed out for the public something that reporters covering City Hall have known all along: Rahm Emanuel is no friend of democracy. […]
* SUPREME COURT RULING ALLOWS STRIP-SEARCH FOR ANY OFFENSE
By Adam Liptak, NYTimes
[…] Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the four dissenters, said the strip-searches the majority allowed were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy” and should be used only when there was good reason to do so.
Justice Breyer said that the Fourth Amendment should be understood to bar strip-searches of people arrested for minor offenses not involving drugs or violence, unless officials had a reasonable suspicion that they were carrying contraband.
According to opinions in the lower courts, people may be strip-searched after arrests for violating a leash law, driving without a license and failing to pay child support. Citing examples from briefs submitted to the Supreme Court, Justice Breyer wrote that people have been subjected to “the humiliation of a visual strip-search” after being arrested for driving with a noisy muffler, failing to use a turn signal and riding a bicycle without an audible bell.
A nun was strip-searched, he wrote, after an arrest for trespassing during an antiwar demonstration. […]
* FORGET SOPA, YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT THIS CYBER SECURITY BILL
By Mike Masnick, TechDirt
While most folks are looking elsewhere, it appears that Congress is trying to see if it can sneak an absolutely awful “cybersecurity” bill through Congress. We’ve discussed how there’s been some fighting on the Senate side concerning which cybersecurity bill to support, but there’s a similar battle going on in the House, and it appears that the Rogers-Ruppersberger bill, known as CISPA (for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) or HR 3523 is winning out, with a planned attempt to move it through Congress later this month. The bill is awful — and yet has somehow already gained over 100 sponsors. In an attempt to pretend that this isn’t a “SOPA-like” problem, the supporters of this bill are highlighting the fact that Facebook, Microsoft and TechAmerica are supporting this bill.
As CDT warned when this bill first came out, it’s way too broad and overreaching:
However, the bill goes much further, permitting ISPs to funnel private communications and related information back to the government without adequate privacy protections and controls. The bill does not specify which agencies ISPs could disclose customer data to, but the structure and incentives in the bill raise a very real possibility that the National Security Agency or the DOD’s Cybercommand would be the primary recipient.
* THE STUDENT LOAN CRISIS – FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE
By Michael Winship, Bill Moyers
Our eyes widened last week when we saw this headline on the website SmartMoney.com: “Student Loans on Rise – for Kindergarten.”
Annamaria Andriotis wrote, “It used to be that families first signed up for education loans when their child enrolled in college, but a growing number of parents are seeking tuition assistance as soon as kindergarten.”
“Though data is scarce, private school experts and the small number of lenders who provide loans for kindergarten through 12th grade say pre-college loans are becoming more popular. Your Tuition Solution, one of the largest lenders in this space, says demand for the upcoming year is already up: This month, the total dollar amount of loans families requested rose 10% compared to a year ago; at that pace, the company expects its total funding to rise to $20 million for 2012-13. Separately, First Marblehead, which exited the market in 2008, reentered last year as demand for loans began to rise.” […]
* UNDERSTANDING THE SLAVE MENTALITY
By Brandon Smith, Alt-Market
In the initial stages of nearly every recorded tyranny, the saucer eyed dumbstruck masses exhibit astonishing and masterful skill when denying reality. The facts behind their dire circumstances and of their antagonistic government become a source of cynical psychological gameplay rather than a source of legitimate concern. Their desperate need to maintain their normalcy bias creates a memory and observation vacuum in which all that runs counter to their false assumptions and preconceptions disappears forever. It is as if they truly cannot see the color of the sky, or the boot on their face. The concrete world of truth becomes a dream, an illusion that can be heeded or completely ignored depending on one’s mood. For them, life is a constant struggle of dissociation, where the tangible is NOT welcome…
This is the problem that we in the Liberty Movement deal with most often in our writings and films. Our confrontation with willful ignorance has been epic, even by far reaching historical standards. The gains in social awareness have been substantial, and yet the obstacles are incredible. Unprecedented. As an activist trend, we have an almost obsessive drive to draw back the curtain so that the public has at least the opportunity to see what is on the other side. Unfortunately, there is another danger that must be taken into account…
It is one thing to bear witness to the rejection of truth in our time and the oblivious attitudes of many towards the growth of totalitarianism. Eventually, though, a second phase in the development of oligarchy arises. I am speaking of the point at which tyranny becomes so blatant that the skeptics have to acknowledge its existence, but after doing so, they choose to rationalize it as necessary. Yes, there are many in this world that will laugh at the prospect of the Orwellian nightmare only to happily embrace it when it arrives in full color. […]