Justice Articles from 2018

Vigilantes with a Badge: Warrior Cops Endanger Our Lives and Freedoms

[Justice]
Vigilantes with a Badge: Warrior Cops Endanger Our Lives and Freedoms
By John W. Whitehead
Posted September 5, 2018

warrior police threaten public safetyI have known a lot of good cops, I have defended a lot of good cops, and I have been fortunate to call a number of good cops friends.

So when I say that warrior cops—hyped up on their own authority and the power of the badge—have not made America any safer or freer, I am not disrespecting any of the fine, decent, lawful police officers who take seriously their oath of office to serve and protect their fellow citizens, uphold the Constitution, and maintain the peace.

My beef is with the growing squads of warrior cops who have been given the green light to kill, shoot, taser, abuse and steal from American citizens in the so-called name of law and order.

These cops are little more than vigilantes with a badge.

A new study by a political scientist at Princeton University concludes that militarizing police and SWAT teams “provide no detectable benefits in terms of officer safety or violent crime reduction.” More…

The Nationwide Prison Strike: Why It’s Happening and What It Means for Ending Mass Incarceration

[Justice]
The Nationwide Prison Strike: Why It’s Happening and What It Means for Ending Mass
By Janos Marton
Posted September 4, 2018

mass incarceration in the Earlier this spring, violence broke out in the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, resulting in seven deaths and many injuries. Incarcerated leaders in the South Carolina prison system decided they had had enough. Brutal treatment from corrections officers, deteriorating prison conditions, and incredibly long, punitive sentences had led to a condition of hopelessness in South Carolina’s prisons.

Leaders within the South Carolina prison system began reaching out to incarcerated allies across the country, including the Free Alabama Movement, who had led a prison strike in 2016. A decision was made: It was time to launch a national prison strike to raise awareness around the brutality of mass incarceration. More…

The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

[Media]
The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom
by Chris Hedges
Posted September 2, 2018

war on press freedomThe failure on the part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, has been denied communication with the outside world since March and appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The extradition of the publisher—the maniacal goal of the U.S. government—would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state.

It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security. More…

Big Pharma and the Rise of Gangster Capitalism

[Justice]
Big Pharma and the Rise of Gangster Capitalism
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted August 31, 2018

big pharma gouging$8 per vial in competing developed-world nations and $38,892 in the U.S. That says it all.

Thanks to decades of gangster films, we all know how gangster capitalism works: the cost of “protection” goes up whenever the gangster wants to increase revenues, any competition is snuffed out, and “customer demand” is jacked up by any means available– addiction, for example.

This perfectly describes the pharmaceutical industry and every other cartel in America. You might have read about the price increase in Acthar gel, a medication to treat Infantile Spasms. (via J.F., M.D., who alerted me to the repricing of this medication from $40 in 2001 to the current price of $38,892.)
The compound first received approval in 1950, and various branded versions have been approved in recent years. Let’s be clear: this medication did not require billions of dollars in research and development, or decades of testing to obtain FDA approval; it’s been approved for use for the past 68 years. More…

Lawyer: Monsanto Bullied Scientists And Hid Weedkiller’s Cancer Risks

[Justice]
Lawyer: Monsanto Bullied Scientists And Hid Weedkiller’s Cancer Risks
by Mac Slavo
Posted August 26, 2018

Monsanto hides poison findingsA lawyer on Monday argued that Roundup creator Monsanto hid the cancer-causing effects of their weedkiller and bullied scientists into making claims it was safe. In a landmark lawsuit against the global chemical corporation, the lawyer didn’t hold back in his accusations against Monsanto.

“Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully … and to fight independent researchers,” said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. “They fought science,” added Wisner, who is representing Dwayne Johnson. Johnson alleges Monsanto is to blame for the cancer that has been aggressively spreading throughout his entire body. More…

The Media Needs to Radically Change the Way It Covers ‘Foiled Terror Plots’

[Media]
The Media Needs to Radically Change the Way It Covers ‘Foiled Terror Plots’
by Adam H. Johnson
Posted August 24, 2018

FBI breaking up its own plots?This holiday week, we saw yet another high-profile “foiled” terror plot. And once again, when one looks closely at the government’s case, it consists of an FBI ruse, driven largely by the government itself. According to The Washington Post, the suspect, Demetrius Pitts, “indicated to [an] FBI employee he did not want to detonate any bombs himself” and the FBI special agent in charge “conceded it was unclear whether Pitts had the means to carry out an attack by himself.”

The FBI even gave Pitts a bus pass and a cellphone so he could “carry out” the entirely theoretical attack on an Independence Day parade in Cleveland.

Human rights groups and independent researchers have found between 67 percent and 99 percent of nominal terror cases involve varying degrees of FBI involvement, often with the bureau acting as the primary engine—providing materials, plans and encouragement to a “suspect,” often after he or she merely expresses pro-jihadist sympathies online. More…

Hostage Situation in California Ends Peacefully as Lawmakers Pay Ransom to Big Soda Companies

[Politics]
Hostage Situation in California Ends Peacefully as Lawmakers Pay Ransom to Big Soda Companies
by David Dayen
Posted August 22, 2018

corporate malfeasanceA hostage situation ended quietly in the California Capitol last Thursday, when lawmakers in Sacramento paid a hefty ransom to big soda companies.

The lawmakers advanced legislation under duress that would ban localities from establishing taxes on soda or sugary drinks for the next 12 years.

Gov. Jerry Brown, after signing the soda tax ban, wrote in a statement that the proposed ballot initiative — the bomb threat — was “far-reaching” and “an abomination.” He added that mayors across that state had called him to voice their alarm, putting pressure on him to prevent detonation. “For these reasons, I believe AB1838 is in the public interest and must be signed,” he said. More…

This is a most alarming development that now opens the way to corporate sponsored political terrorism.

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