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Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change. - The Boston Globe

(Source: allmarketsbecomeblack, via basedheisenberg)

New York Cops Know People Have a Right to Record Them; They Just Don't Care

laliberty:

From his car, Brooklyn resident Dick George sees a couple of cops exit an unmarked vehicle and perform a “stop and frisk” and three black youths. George takes pictures of this encounter. After the cops walk away, George tells youths that next time they should demand badge numbers.

Cops overhear this and one says “What did he just say to them, get our badge number? … Let’s go get him,” or words to that effect. The cops then accost George:

After stopping George’s car, the cops roughed him up, handcuffed him, and took him to the precinct house, where he was strip-searched, locked in a cell, and charged with disorderly conduct. When he got his cellphone back after being released with a desk appearance ticket, he found that the photos of the stop-and-frisk encounter had been deleted.

According to George’s complaint, the cops repeatedly told him he was getting what he deserved for “being an activist.” Ferber allegedly said something like: “Now we are going to give you what you deserve for meddling in our business and when we finish with you, you can sue the city for $5,000,000 and get rich. We don’t care.”

That estimate was off by a factor of 40. The New York Daily News reported on Monday that the city agreed to settle George’s lawsuit for $125,000. “After a thorough review of the case facts,” a lawyer for the city said, “it was in the best interest of all to resolve this matter without costly litigation and trial.”

The officers, of course, are not on the hook for any of that money, which will instead come out of taxpayers’ pockets. And judging from the comments reported by George, the prospect of litigation does not deter this sort of unlawful bullying. The problem was not that the cops didn’t realize they were violating George’s rights; it was that they did not care, because they did not expect to suffer any negative consequences as a result—for good reason, according to the lawsuit:

The supervisory staff of the NYPD has consistently failed to investigate allegations such as those contained herein and to discipline officers who have violated NYPD guidelines. The investigation of these incidents by central office and/or supervisory staff reflects a bias in favor of uniformed officers. Furthermore, officers and staff who are known to have violated an individual’s civil rights in one command are often transferred by NYPD to another command rather than be disciplined, demoted or fired by the NYPD.

The cost of settling lawsuits like George’s helps explain the recent NYPD memo. But reminding cops that they are supposed to respect people’s constitutional rights will not accomplish much unless they suffer personally for violating them. Since courts have ruled that cops do not receive qualified immunity in cases like this (because the right to record them is well established), officers can theoretically find themselves owing damages to the people they victimize. But the usual practice in settling cases is to drop claims against individual cops along with claims against the city and the police department. Maybe it is time to reconsider that practice. The threat of financial ruin would be harder to laugh off than the threat of taxpayer-funded damages.

Yet another example of the unofficial police policy on engaging suspects at work.

(via priceofliberty)

rtamerica:

Decades-old CIA crack-cocaine scandal gains new momentum
Nearly two decades after a US reporter was humiliated for connecting the CIA to a drug-trafficking trade that funded the Nicaraguan Contras, important players in the scandal – which led to the journalist’s suicide – are coming forward to back his claims.
Back in 1996, Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News broke a story stating not only that the Nicaraguan Contras – supported by the United States in a rebellion against their left-leaning government – were involved in the US crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, but also that the CIA knew and turned a blind eye to the operation.
As a result, Webb concluded, the CIA was complicit in a drug trade that was wreaking havoc on African American communities in Los Angeles.
The bombshell report sparked outrage across the country, but when national newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Washington Post weighed in on the matter, they dismissed Webb and attacked his story to the point that it was disowned by the Mercury News. Webb was forced out of journalism and ultimately committed suicide in 2004.

rtamerica:

Decades-old CIA crack-cocaine scandal gains new momentum

Nearly two decades after a US reporter was humiliated for connecting the CIA to a drug-trafficking trade that funded the Nicaraguan Contras, important players in the scandal – which led to the journalist’s suicide – are coming forward to back his claims.

Back in 1996, Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News broke a story stating not only that the Nicaraguan Contras – supported by the United States in a rebellion against their left-leaning government – were involved in the US crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, but also that the CIA knew and turned a blind eye to the operation.

As a result, Webb concluded, the CIA was complicit in a drug trade that was wreaking havoc on African American communities in Los Angeles.

The bombshell report sparked outrage across the country, but when national newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Washington Post weighed in on the matter, they dismissed Webb and attacked his story to the point that it was disowned by the Mercury News. Webb was forced out of journalism and ultimately committed suicide in 2004.

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rtamerica:

Google announces it can now monitor your bills
Figuring out how broke you’re about to become has never been easier: a new feature being rolled out by Google is letting mobile app users see when their bills are due and how much is owed with a single prompt.
The search engine announced in a statement on Tuesday this week that a new feature in the Google app available for Android- and iOS-powered devices will let users quickly see if they have any bills coming up by simply saying a few words into the phone or tablet’s microphone.
“When you can’t remember whether you’ve paid your bills — or you simply can’t remember how much money you need to pay — you can now just ask Google,” the company said. “Tap the mic on the Google app and say, ‘Show me my bills’ or ‘My bills due this week.’ If you have the payment due date and amount in your Gmail, you’ll see a quick summary of upcoming and past bills. Pretty handy, huh?”

rtamerica:

Google announces it can now monitor your bills

Figuring out how broke you’re about to become has never been easier: a new feature being rolled out by Google is letting mobile app users see when their bills are due and how much is owed with a single prompt.

The search engine announced in a statement on Tuesday this week that a new feature in the Google app available for Android- and iOS-powered devices will let users quickly see if they have any bills coming up by simply saying a few words into the phone or tablet’s microphone.

“When you can’t remember whether you’ve paid your bills — or you simply can’t remember how much money you need to pay — you can now just ask Google,” the company said. “Tap the mic on the Google app and say, ‘Show me my bills’ or ‘My bills due this week.’ If you have the payment due date and amount in your Gmail, you’ll see a quick summary of upcoming and past bills. Pretty handy, huh?”

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rtamerica:

Biden’s top five: US policy secrets revealed in VP’s Harvard speech
Who are Washington’s foes in the Middle East? How can you make others impose sanctions, to their disadvantage? As Joe Biden spoke at Harvard, US global policies were somewhat revealed – or simply slipped out. Here are his top five quotes.
Fighting terrorism is the “fourth element” of US foreign policy, Biden told Harvard students. Though he mentioned Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, he also stated that the insurgents are not Washington’s “biggest problem in Syria.” Instead, he said the largest hurdle is actually America’s “allies in the region.”
He elaborated that the problems are stemming from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, because those nations are “so determined to take down Assad.” He added that they started a“proxy Sunni-Shia war” supplying cash to those fighting against the Syrian president

rtamerica:

Biden’s top five: US policy secrets revealed in VP’s Harvard speech

Who are Washington’s foes in the Middle East? How can you make others impose sanctions, to their disadvantage? As Joe Biden spoke at Harvard, US global policies were somewhat revealed – or simply slipped out. Here are his top five quotes.

Fighting terrorism is the “fourth element” of US foreign policy, Biden told Harvard students. Though he mentioned Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, he also stated that the insurgents are not Washington’s “biggest problem in Syria.” Instead, he said the largest hurdle is actually America’s “allies in the region.”

He elaborated that the problems are stemming from Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, because those nations are “so determined to take down Assad.” He added that they started a“proxy Sunni-Shia war” supplying cash to those fighting against the Syrian president

POLICE: 'Apple Will Become The Phone Of Choice For The Pedophile'

priceofliberty:

Please tell me no one is buying this bullshit fear mongering propaganda? What essentially amounts to “Apple kills babies” aka “think of the children!”

(Source: theghastlyordealofcorey)

vicemag:

Why People of Color in NYC Still Don’t Trust the Cops
On July 17, New York City police officers surrounded Eric Garner, an overweight, asthmatic black man, near his home on Staten Island. According to Garner’s neighborhood pal Ramsey Orta, the cops were hassling Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, because they thought he was involved in a street scuffle. The police’s version of the incident is that they approached Garner for selling individual cigarettes—“loosies”—which is illegal because the government doesn’t collect taxes on those sales.
As captured on video by Orta, Garner complained about routine NYPD harassment and was subsequently placed in a choke hold by a plainclothes officer named Daniel Pantaleo. With his head being smashed against the ground and the cops holding him down, Garner cried out, “I can’t breathe!” nine times—you can watch the video on YouTube yourself and count—to no avail. He was pronounced dead at a hospital an hour later, and the video quickly went viral. It bears a horrifying resemblance to the climactic scene of Radio Raheem getting murdered by the NYPD in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing—Lee even created his own mash-up of the two scenes after Garner’s death.
Almost immediately, cries rang out that Garner was a casualty of “broken windows” policing. That’s the theory that says going after minor quality-of-life offenses like graffiti, subway panhandling, and illegal cigarette sales helps discourage serious crimes like rape and murder. It’s the brainchild of criminologist George Kelling, who co-authored a 1982 Atlantic article that remains a sort of manual for modern policing in America. Broken windows was popularized by William Bratton, the NYPD commissioner in the 90s under Mayor Rudy Giuliani who has taken up his old post under the new mayor, Bill de Blasio. The mythology holds that it was the chief factor in the city’s incredible turnaround since the high-crime 70s and 80s—though many criminologists disagree.
Continue

vicemag:

Why People of Color in NYC Still Don’t Trust the Cops

On July 17, New York City police officers surrounded Eric Garner, an overweight, asthmatic black man, near his home on Staten Island. According to Garner’s neighborhood pal Ramsey Orta, the cops were hassling Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, because they thought he was involved in a street scuffle. The police’s version of the incident is that they approached Garner for selling individual cigarettes—“loosies”—which is illegal because the government doesn’t collect taxes on those sales.

As captured on video by Orta, Garner complained about routine NYPD harassment and was subsequently placed in a choke hold by a plainclothes officer named Daniel Pantaleo. With his head being smashed against the ground and the cops holding him down, Garner cried out, “I can’t breathe!” nine times—you can watch the video on YouTube yourself and count—to no avail. He was pronounced dead at a hospital an hour later, and the video quickly went viral. It bears a horrifying resemblance to the climactic scene of Radio Raheem getting murdered by the NYPD in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing—Lee even created his own mash-up of the two scenes after Garner’s death.

Almost immediately, cries rang out that Garner was a casualty of “broken windows” policing. That’s the theory that says going after minor quality-of-life offenses like graffiti, subway panhandling, and illegal cigarette sales helps discourage serious crimes like rape and murder. It’s the brainchild of criminologist George Kelling, who co-authored a 1982 Atlantic article that remains a sort of manual for modern policing in America. Broken windows was popularized by William Bratton, the NYPD commissioner in the 90s under Mayor Rudy Giuliani who has taken up his old post under the new mayor, Bill de Blasio. The mythology holds that it was the chief factor in the city’s incredible turnaround since the high-crime 70s and 80s—though many criminologists disagree.

Continue

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priceofliberty:

Oregon Man Arrested for Recording Militarized Police Raid in Neighborhood

When they spotted him, they accused him of “interfering” and ordered him back inside. When he asserted his right to be there, he was arrested.

kropotkindersurprise:

Dairy farmers spray riot police with milk during a protest in Brussels

kropotkindersurprise:

Dairy farmers spray riot police with milk during a protest in Brussels

(via ronin134)

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NYC Doubles Down on Petty Law Enforcement: Respecting Authority is What Democracy Is About

laliberty:

Subservience to state agents is “what democracy is all about”?

Yikes.

Related: Petty Law Enforcement vs. the PoorHow Government Hurts The Poor

"Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it."

John Eldridge (via x09)

(Source: purplebuddhaproject, via commondense)

*74

Government Caused iCloud Security Breach

laliberty:

It was government “back doors” that were exploited by hackers in the iCloud security breach, according to Wired:

“The fact that Apple isn’t complicit in law enforcement’s use of Elcomsoft’s for surveillance doesn’t make the tool any less dangerous, argues Matt Blaze, a computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania and frequent critic of government spying methods. ‘What this demonstrates is that even without explicit backdoors, law enforcement has powerful tools that might not always stay inside law enforcement,’ he says. ‘You have to ask if you trust law enforcement. But even if you do trust law enforcement, you have to ask whether other people will get access to these tools, and how they’ll use them.’”

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Dashcam video clears NJ man; Cops now indicted

laliberty:

Notes Bob Murphy: “Another example of how the problem with police is NOT “just a few bad apples.” Look at how badly these officers lied about what happened, and how screwed this guy would have been had the video not surfaced. Again, the point here isn’t that once in a while somebody in a job ends up doing something nutty. No, the point is that the higher-ups cover this kind of thing up, and only take action when the evidence is incontrovertible and the public is outraged.”

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rtamerica:

Islamic State tortured James Foley, other Westerners with harsh CIA tactics
The American photojournalist who was beheaded by Islamic State militants was also tortured using some of the same methods employed by the CIA in its controversial, post-9/11 interrogation program.

James Foley was subjected to waterboarding multiple times while being imprisoned by the Islamic State, as were three other kidnapped Westerners. According to theWashington Post, several unnamed American officials confirmed the news, with one adding that Foley“suffered a lot of physical abuse”before his death.

rtamerica:

Islamic State tortured James Foley, other Westerners with harsh CIA tactics

The American photojournalist who was beheaded by Islamic State militants was also tortured using some of the same methods employed by the CIA in its controversial, post-9/11 interrogation program.

James Foley was subjected to waterboarding multiple times while being imprisoned by the Islamic State, as were three other kidnapped Westerners. According to theWashington Post, several unnamed American officials confirmed the news, with one adding that Foley“suffered a lot of physical abuse”before his death.