State Republicans ramp up new anti-protest laws

eats shoots 'n leaves

If there’s one thing Republicans hate, it’s protests.

Unless, of course, they’re run by Republicans, as in the case of that infamous “Brooks Brothers Riot” that disrupted the Florida recount in the 2000 Bush/Gore race a protest organized by Trump lawyer/adviser Roger Stone and using paid protesters.

Because of the Dakota Access Pipeline occupation and the massive anti-Trump protests of recent months, Republican-controlled state legislatures are bust enacting all manner of laws criminalizing protests, even to the point of classifying them as organized crime.

TeleSUR English reports on the of the worst pieces of legislation:

1. Arizona

Arizona lawmakers have approved a bill that could make people who organize or take part in protests that turn violent subject to the same criminal charges used to fight organized crime. The bill also seeks to seize protesters’ assets.

Republicans, who pushed for the bill, say it will help curb…

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I was vulnerable and wanted a home. What I got was a workhouse. Daniel Lavelle : THE GUARDIAN


A homeless charity offered me food and board. But I had to work a tough 40-hour week for a meagre allowance – and others like me are being treated the same way.

There are many reasons why I became homeless, but no one was surprised it happened. I’m just another care leaver who lost control of their life. Almost every person I lived with in children’s homes and foster placements has since experienced mental health problems, stints in prison, and battles with drug and alcohol addiction. What would make me so special that I could avoid the inevitable breakdown?

I spent periods in a tent on a campsite near Saddleworth Moor, where I was woken up every night by my neighbour, a cantankerous Yorkshireman who would liberate the grievances he had been bottling up all day in a series of piercing screams.

The local housing advice service was…

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American Irrationalism

Stop Making Sense

Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig:

There is no shortage of signs of impending environmental catastrophe, including the melting of the polar ice caps and the rise of atmospheric carbon to above 400 parts per million. The earth’s sixth mass extinction is underway. It is not taking place because of planetary forces. Homo sapiens is orchestrating it. Americans are at the same time bankrupting themselves by waging endless and unwinnable wars. We have allowed our elites to push more than half the U.S. population into poverty through deindustrialization. We do nothing to halt the waves of nihilistic violence by enraged citizens who carry out periodic mass shootings in schools, malls, movie theaters and other public places. The political and financial elites flaunt their greed and corruption. Donald Trump appears to pay no federal income taxes. Hillary and Bill Clinton use their foundation as a tool for legalized bribery. Our largest…

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Snooping by police to be monitored by independent authority : THE GUARDIAN


MPs yet to be informed about government plans for a ‘communications data independent authorising body’

A new independent surveillance procedure to prevent police officers granting themselves permission to access personal emails and records of web-browsing history is being established by the government.

The Home Office project, about which MPs have yet to be informed, follows a highly critical judgment handed down by the European court of justice (ECJ) last year, which demanded stricter legal safeguards for the handling of communications data by law enforcement agencies. Information about the new body only surfaced in an online tender document.

The communications data independent authorising body appears to have been created in response to the judicial decision, according to Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, and human rights groups which were involved with the ECJ case in Luxembourg.

The European Union’s highest court ruled last December that “general and indiscriminate retention” of…

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Sexual assault in Japan: ‘Every girl was a victim’

Tales from the Conspiratum

Burkas for all Japanese girls? Or, what about tasers for to every woman using the transportation system in Japan? It looks like Japanese men are stuck in morbid sexual fantasies. Can ye say pedophilia?  Grow up ye stupid males!

Sexual assault of schoolgirls is commonplace on Japan’s public transportation, but now more girls are speaking out.

Source: Sexual assault in Japan: ‘Every girl was a victim’ | International Women’s Day | Al Jazeera

By Annette Ekin

Additional reporting by Shiori Ito.

8 March 2017

Sexual assault of schoolgirls is commonplace on Japan’s public transportation, but now more girls are speaking out.

Schoolgirls face groping and worse on Japan’s crowded city subway lines [Shiori Ito/Al Jazeera]

Tokyo, Japan – Tamaka Ogawa was about 10 years old when she was sexually assaulted for the first time. It was a public holiday and she was on the subway. A man standing behind…

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Poor working and social conditions are being propped up by the mass provision of CBT

Politics and Insights

freedomAccording to theCounsellor’s Guide to Working with EAP, by 2013, almost 50% of the UK workforce was supported by an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), representing 13.79 million people. The EAP industry began in the UK during the mid-1980s and has since become firmly established, with a rapid expansion in schemes following the recommendations made by Carol Black and David Frost in their report on sickness absence (Black & Frost, 2011). A high percentage of the larger public and private sector organisations and an increasing number of small to medium sized enterprises provide their employees with access to some form of short-term EAP service.  

The EAP association say, in their 2013 Market Watch report: “The difficult economic climate of the past five years may also be a driver, as employers look to support staff with non-work related issues to prevent these from intruding on the workplace.”


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CIA spooks only doing what corporations do

eats shoots 'n leaves

Following up on our previous post; there’s this from New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice:

Don’t say we didn’t warn you about this one: your “smart” TV may be spying on you. Really.

According to classified documents leaked this week, the CIA found a way to hack the microphone on televisions equipped with voice control and send the audio back to headquarters. It can even record in “Fake-Off” mode – when the TV looks like it’s off but isn’t, according to notes on project “Weeping Angel.”

See, this is why we can’t have nice things.

Way back in 2014, we noticed a rather ominous waring in the novella-length privacy policy that came with our new smart TV: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

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Ghandi’s swadeshi – why not involve patients in this debate?

NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

Ghandi’s “Swadeshi”, or local self-sufficiency, seems to be a philosophy that supports  liberal ideals. If specialist Hospitals are seen as a form of “mass production” then the local District General Hospital (DGH) represents the “local artisans” as described by Satish Kumar. (and in The economics of performance – chapter 35, p 418 in “The Case Against the Global Economy”). The problem is the increased mortality and morbidity associated with rural DGHs for complex problems at the edge of technology. There is a choice between having services locally, but with poorer results, or having them centrally with better results, but problems of transportation, inconvenience and access. Why not involve patients in this debate? After all, we consulted citizens on the complexity of the EU….

…Central to Gandhi’s philosophy was the principle of ‘Swadeshi’, which, in effect, means local self-sufficiency. Satish Kumar elaborates on this important concept. Kumar is a Gandhian…

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Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws

The Secular Jurist

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling. That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained.

It’s the first time a class-action lawsuit accusing a private U.S. prison company of forced labor has been allowed to move forward.

Continue reading:  Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws

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