I Am Julian Assange

[Justice]
I Am Julian Assange
Raúl Ilargi Meijer
Posted May 22, 2018

Julian Assange tells things the main stream media will notJulian Assange appears to be painfully close to being unceremoniously thrown out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If that happens, the consequences for journalism, for freedom of speech, and for press freedom, will resound around the world for a very long time. It is very unwise for anyone who values truth and freedom to underestimate the repercussions of this.

In essence, Assange is not different from any journalist working for a major paper or news channel. The difference is he published what they will not because they want to stay in power. The Washington Post today would never do an investigation such as Watergate, and that’s where WikiLeaks came in.

Julian is not wanted because he’s a spy, or even because he published a number of documents whose publication was inconvenient for certain people. He is wanted because he is so damn smart, which makes him very good and terribly effective at what he does. He’s on a most wanted list not for what he’s already published, but for what he might yet publish in the future. More…

Speaker Ryan Dives In to Save NAFTA

[Economic]
Speaker Ryan Dives In to Save NAFTA
by Lori Wallach
Posted May 21, 2018

Paul Ryan taking care of multinational corporate interests Against all odds, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations launched by the Trump administration in August 2017 were heading towards an outcome that could have generated support from Democrats in Congress, unions, and Public Citizen. NAFTA’s job outsourcing incentives and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regime were on their way out. The timeline to finish talks for a vote to occur this year was looming in June, due to the requirements of Fast Track negotiating authority.

That includes elimination of investor-state dispute settlement, which makes it less risky and cheaper for corporations to outsource jobs. ISDS empowers multinational corporations to sue governments before a panel of three corporate lawyers. These lawyers can award the corporations unlimited sums to be paid by taxpayers, including for the loss of expected future profits over claims that domestic laws violate their NAFTA rights. The decisions are not subject to outside appeal.

The system operates like free risk insurance subsidizing outsourcing. Already under NAFTA nearly $400 million has been paid to corporations after attacks on environmental and health policies. In a sign of panic that the NAFTA countries were poised to agree, corporations launched a big dollar MSNBC and Fox ad campaign in defense of ISDS. More…

RED FLAG: Homeland Security Hiring “Media Monitoring Services” to Compile Journalist and Media Influencer Database

[Social]
RED FLAG: Homeland Security Hiring “Media Monitoring Services” to Compile Journalist and Media Influencer Database
By The Daily Bell Staff
Posted May 21, 2018

DHS will be monitoring The DHS wants the ultimate surveillance dashboard where they can know real time anything anyone is saying about them around the world.

They want to monitor worldwide media that has any mention of the Department of Homeland Security, or any specific event that they are interested in. They make repeated mention of social media. This is not just journalists the DHS will monitor, it is any conversation on social media which mentions the DHS.They literally want the name of every Facebook and Twitter user that mentions the DHS. They will also have the ability to zero-in on everyone discussing a mass shooting or terrorist attack.

The DHS will profile any journalist that has been critical of the agency. But they will also have access to any influencers who could spin the DHS in a positive light. This is all on the official government website. No conspiracy theory, no secret sources. They said it openly. More…

Appalachian Forest Blockades Disrupt Mountain Valley Pipeline

[Community]
Appalachian Forest Blockades Disrupt Mountain Valley Pipeline
by Chris Schiano and Sammy DiDonato
Posted May 20, 2018

resistance to pipeline growingOn the border between Virginia and West Virginia, a fight has begun regarding the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a joint venture of several companies led by EQT Midstream Partners. While the pipeline is advertised as on track to be completed in 2018, it faces several dramatic delays; as of this writing, at least eight different tree-sits or other blockades currently obstruct the pipeline’s route on both public and private land.

Landowners along the route have repeatedly told off surveyors and land agents appearing on their property without their consent, only to have them show up again. A Virginia law allows natural gas companies unrestricted access to private property, granting pipeline contractors virtual immunity to steamroll over objections from residents along the route. MVP has forced over 300 landowners into court proceedings so that it can seize portions of their land under eminent domain.

County officials along the route have also expressed dismay at MVP’s tactic of using federal condemnation orders to gain rights to access property, and then beginning work without seeking permission from affected residents, or even notifying them. More…

How a “location API” allows cops to figure out where we all are in real time

[Justice]
How a “location API” allows cops to figure out where we all are in real time
by Cyrus Farivar
Posted May 20, 2018

cell carriers are selling your location dataThe digital privacy world was rocked late Thursday evening when The New York Times reported on Securus, a prison telecom company that has a service enabling law enforcement officers to locate most American cell phones within seconds. The company does this via a basic Web interface leveraging a location API—creating a way to effectively access a massive real-time database of cell-site records.

Securus’ location ability relies on other data brokers and location aggregators that obtain that information directly from mobile providers, usually for the purposes of providing some commercial service like an opt-in product discount triggered by being near a certain location. (“You’re near a Carl’s Jr.! Stop in now for a free order of fries with purchase!”) More…

The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?

[Justice]
The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?
By Vicky Peláez
Posted May 20, 2018

for profit prisons benefiting the already richHuman rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” More…

The Oligarchs’ ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’ Scam

[Economic]
The Oligarchs’ ‘Guaranteed Basic Income’ Scam
by Chris Hedges
Posted May 20, 2018

oligarchs want government to pay their consumersA number of the reigning oligarchs—among them Mark Zuckerberg (net worth $64.1 billion), Elon Musk (net worth $20.8 billion), Richard Branson (net worth $5.1 billion) and Stewart Butterfield (net worth $1.6 billion)—are calling for a guaranteed basic income. It looks progressive. They couch their proposals in the moral language of caring for the destitute and the less fortunate. But behind this is the stark awareness, especially in Silicon Valley, that the world these oligarchs have helped create is so lopsided that future consumers, plagued by job insecurity, substandard wages, automation and crippling debt peonage, will be unable to pay for the products and services offered by the big corporations.

The oligarchs do not propose structural change. They do not want businesses and the marketplace regulated. They do not support labor unions. They will not pay a living wage to their bonded labor in the developing world or the American workers in their warehouses and shipping centers or driving their delivery vehicles. They have no intention of establishing free college education, universal government health or adequate pensions. They seek, rather, a mechanism to continue to exploit desperate workers earning subsistence wages and whom they can hire and fire at will. The architects of our neofeudalism call on the government to pay a guaranteed basic income so they can continue to feed upon us like swarms of longnose lancetfish, which devour others in their own species. More…

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