Thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez was killed by sheriff’s deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22, as the boy walked home in his Latino neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California. The Iraq War veteran claims he mistook the eighth-grader’s toy rifle for a real one.
A month later another Army vet, Paul Duffy, took his own life nearby. Duffy, as some friends called him, was found by his wife hanging from a rope in the writer’s cabin he had built outside his Tomales home by the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading →
With few opportunities at home, millions of poor, desperate men and women from South East Asia and the horn of Africa migrate annually to Saudi Arabia. Vulnerable at home and vulnerable abroad where many are enslaved and badly abused, some killed. Slavery is woven into the fabric of the psyche of the kingdom; according to Saudi scholar Ali al-Ahmed, a “culture of slavery pervades the country”[The Guardian[i]], and although banned in 1964 (when it is thought there were 30,000 slaves in the country) the barbaric practice of owning a fellow human being still exists in the form of the internationally condemned kafala sponsorship system. By tying the residency status of migrant workers to their employers, the system grants the latter total control, amounting to ownership.
In the last 10 days persecution of Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia has escalated. Men and women are forced from their homes by mobs of civilians and dragged through the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah. Distressing videos of Ethiopian men being mercilessly beaten, kicked and punched have circulated the Internet and triggered worldwide protests by members of the Ethiopian diaspora as well as outraged civilians in Ethiopia. Women report being raped, many repeatedly, by vigilantes and Saudi police. Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), has received reports of fifty deaths and states that thousands living with or without visas have been detained awaiting repatriation. Imprisoned, many relay experiences of torture and violent beatings.
A new, powerful coalition of Latino, social justice, green, progressive Democrats, student, civil liberties, peace, and other groups has emerged in Sonoma County, California. The killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by sheriff’s deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22 unites them.
Five decades to the day since John F. Kennedy met his untimely demise, many questions remain unanswered; pieces of a puzzle never likely to be filled. An undoubtable fact however is that November 22nd, 1963 changed America forever — and to talk about it, Guy Evans enlisted the expertise of the prolific author and fiery lecturer Dr. Michael Parenti. Enjoy, share, and peace!
Today in the much vaunted western democracies there exists a great deal of unaccountable state power whose primary function is to maintain the existing politico-economic structure, using surveillance, infiltration, sabotage, judicial harassment, disinformation, trumped-up charges and false arrests, tax harassment, blackmail, and even violence and assassination to make Continue reading →
Following a talk on the collapse of complex societies, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges answers an audience question: How should people of color respond to the collapse of a civilization that has not been very civil to them?
The act of buying and selling sits at the very heart of the global economy. A commercially motivated system, that P. Sainath rightly describes as “Market Fundamentalism”, in which competition and conservative uniformity are central elements. Creative independent thinking and originality are anathema to this relentless homogenous machine, which breeds conformity, crushes individuality and “Borg-like”, assimilates all into ‘The Collective’. Continue reading →
When prosecutor and devout Christian Preston Shipp began teaching in a Nashville prison, he never thought he’d be the one to get schooled. But the friendship he forges with one young prisoner puts his faith in the justice system—and in Jesus—to the ultimate test.
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 19, 2013
On July 24, 2011, by Executive Order 13581, I declared a national emergency with respect to transnational criminal organizations pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the activities of significant transnational criminal organizations.
The primary colours of any civil democracy are we would agree, social justice, freedom of expression, freedom to protest and participation. India, with a population of 1.3 billion people is regularly hailed as the largest democracy in the world. At first glance the governments pretentions to democracy would appear to be justified, after all there is, on paper at least, an independent judiciary, a free press – freely owned from top to toe by corporations – a thriving civil society and, of course, the cornerstone of any democratic state: the haloed parliamentary elections, totally funded and (therefore) fully owned, top to toe, by the same corporations that count the national and regional newspapers, radio and television networks as their own, as well as growing portfolios of natural assets; rivers, forests, water supplies, mountains (full of bauxite), and other mineral resources.
Our country’s rocked by yet another mass shooting this time in Newtown, Connecticut. This time a 20-year-old kid, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in their home then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School where he killed six adults including the principal and 20 children before killing himself.
Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, “Breaking the Taboo” is produced by Sam Branson’s indie Sundog Pictures and Brazilian co-production partner Spray Filmes and was directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade. Featuring interviews with several current or former presidents from around the world, such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.
In what the New York Times declared as a “dark day for the rule of law” on December 11, 2012, HSBC, the world’s second largest bank, failed to be indicted for extensive criminal activities in laundering money to and from regimes under sanctions, Mexican drug cartels, and terrorist organizations (including al-Qaeda). While admitting culpability, and with guilt assured, state and federal authorities in the United States decided not to indict the bank “over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global financial system.” Instead, HSBC agreed to pay a $1.92 billion settlement.
Stephen Downing, a retired deputy chief of police for the Los Angeles Police Department and Terry Nelson, retired from Department of Homeland Security on why they support treating addiction as a health problem and are for the total legalization of drugs. Continue reading →