Justice Articles from 2018

The court’s decision to let AT&T and Time Warner merge is ridiculously bad

[Justice]
The court’s decision to let AT&T and Time Warner merge is ridiculously bad
By Nilay Patel
Posted June 19, 2018

Judge Richard Leon doubles down on crony capitalismAT&T and Time Warner won a historic court victory this week, convincing Judge Richard Leon in the US District Court for the District of Columbia that they should be able to merge over the antitrust objections of the Department of Justice. The deal, now finalized, combines one of the world’s largest telecom carriers with one of the world’s largest media organizations. The resulting company will have unparalleled market power over both content creation and distribution.

The decision surprised almost everyone — not necessarily that AT&T and Time Warner had won, but that Judge Leon allowed the merger to go through with no conditions or prohibitions on their behavior at all. In fact, Judge Leon’s opinion seems downright excited for the two companies, while systematically discounting the government’s case at every turn. Honestly, it’s a little strange. More…

A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation

[Social]
A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation
By Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes
Posted June 19, 2018

prison industrial complexOutspoken opponents of abolishing the prison industrial complex typically portray abolitionists as politically inactive academics who spout impossible ideas. None of this could be further from the truth. Abolitionists come from all backgrounds, and most are politically active. From bail reform to strategic electoral interventions and mutual aid, prison abolitionists are steadily at work in our communities, employing tactics of harm reduction, lobbying for and against legislation, defending the rights of prisoners in solidarity with those organizing for themselves on the inside and working to forward a vision of social transformation.

As a political framework, abolition has gained significant ground in recent years, with groups like the National Lawyers Guild adopting the philosophy in their work. A growing number of grassroots abolitionist organizers have co-organized nationally recognized campaigns such as the #ByeAnita effort in Chicago, which helped to successfully remove former State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez from office. Abolitionist organizers also helped lead efforts to win reparations for survivors of torture that occurred under the now infamous police commander Jon Burge in Chicago — a city that has, over the past two decades, become a hub of abolitionist organizing. Abolition is a practical organizing strategy. More…

Do You like It, Senator, When The Deep State Works Against You?

[Politics]
Do You like It, Senator, When The Deep State Works Against You?
by Jeremiah Johnson
Posted June 19, 2018

deep state and government work togetherToo many middlemen between the event and the American people, to include elected officials and bureaucrats, and the press. Where is the news? Where has the news been? Why, all mainstream media (MSM) is Associated Press approved, and every paper marches in lock step…it is canned, controlled, and censored content. It is deliberately crafted to mold the public consciousness into the “social conscience” of groupthink…tearing down all normative and traditional beliefs and supplanting them with malleable groupthink.

It is all form and no substance. The MSM is a 70 year-old prostitute with a made-up, plastic face: a mannequin without a soul, living in a $10 million dollar mansion and claiming to be an average citizen, reporting on “grass roots” issues. Those issues are mere tabloids: bread and circuses provided to the masses to obfuscate and divert focus away from the theft, the ever-increasing surveillance, and the never-ending wars of expansion and global dominance. More…

Dial T for Tyranny: While America Feuds, the Police State Shifts Into High Gear

[Justice]
Dial T for Tyranny: While America Feuds, the Police State Shifts Into High Gear
By John W. Whitehead
Posted June 16, 2018

who are they protecting?What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.

Played out on the national stage and eagerly broadcast to a captive audience by media sponsors, this farcical exercise in political theater can, at times, seem riveting, life-changing and suspenseful, even for those who know better.

The players come and go, the protagonists and antagonists trade places, and the audience members are forgiving to a fault, quick to forget past mistakes and move on to the next spectacle. All the while, a different kind of drama is unfolding in the dark backstage, hidden from view by the heavy curtain, the elaborate stage sets, colored lights and parading actors. More…

Animal Rights Activists Face Multiple Felony Charges, Brought by Prosecutors With Ties to Smithfield Foods

[Justice]
Animal Rights Activists Face Multiple Felony Charges, Brought by Prosecutors With Ties to Smithfield Foods
by Glenn Greenwald, Lee Fang, Leighton Akio Woodhouse
Posted June 15, 2018

documenting cruelty is criminal?Six animal rights activists in California have been charged with multiple felony counts in two separate criminal cases brought by Utah prosecutors last month. If convicted, they could face many years in prison.

That case arises out of the filming of horrific conditions at an industrial farm that supplies turkeys to Norbest, a large company that aggressively markets itself to the public as selling “mountain grown” turkeys who are treated with particularly humane care. Norbest is now owned by a supplier of Whole Foods.

Last year, the activists entered the facility and filmed the horrifying conditions in which the turkeys were encaged. The activists also rescued three severely sick and injured turkeys who were on the brink of death, brought them to a veterinarian for medical care, and then to a sanctuary to live. More…

‘New York Times’ Teams Up with Israel to Smear Slain Medic Razzan al-Najjar as ‘Complex,’ Not Innocent

[Media]
‘New York Times’ Teams Up with Israel to Smear Slain Medic Razzan al-Najjar as ‘Complex,’ Not Innocent
By Donald Johnson, James North, and Philip Weiss
Posted June 12, 2018

medic killed by Israeli forcesThe New York Times today printed a long article giving credence to Israeli claims that Razzan al-Najjar, the young medic killed by an Israeli sniper a week ago, was not innocent. The article takes at face value Israel’s desperate efforts to taint the young woman, whom the army has previously maintained it killed by accident.

The first paragraph announces the Times’s service to Israel:

The Israeli military published a brief video on Thursday aimed at showing that a Palestinian medic killed by Israeli forces last week was not the neutral health care worker she has been portrayed as. The article parrots Israeli hasbara, or propaganda, about al-Najjar: that in a video interview of the medic that the Israelis passed along she described herself as a “human shield.”

Not till paragraph 20 of 22, does the Times state what Jonathan Ofir reported yesterday, the Israeli video cut short al-Najjar’s actual statement in an effort to misrepresent her. More…

And . . . yet another Wells Fargo banking scandal

[Justice]
And . . . yet another Wells Fargo banking scandal
by Simon Black
Posted June 11, 2018

Another Wells Fargo fraudIs it Friday again? Must be time for another banking scandal!

Seriously– these banking scandals are happening with such regularity and predictability it would be almost comical. . . were it not for the millions of people who have had their lives turned upside down.

The latest transgression involves, once again, our old friends at Wells Fargo. Bear in mind that the ink isn’t even dry yet on the $1 billion check that Wells Fargo wrote last week as a penalty to settle its previous scandal, where they defrauded 570,000 clients in a car insurance scam. More…

Edward Snowden: ‘The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware’

[Social]
Edward Snowden: ‘The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware’
By Ewen MacAskill and Alex Hern
Posted June 11, 2018

SnowdenEdward Snowden has no regrets five years on from leaking the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history. He is wanted by the US. He is in exile in Russia. But he is satisfied with the way his revelations of mass surveillance have rocked governments, intelligence agencies and major Internet companies.

Snowden, weighing up the changes, said some privacy campaigners had expressed disappointment with how things have developed, but he did not share it. “People say nothing has changed: that there is still mass surveillance. That is not how you measure change. Look back before 2013 and look at what has happened since. Everything changed.” More…

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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