Archive for ‘May, 2010’

William Hague Orders a Judicial Inquiry into British Complicity in Torture

William Hague Orders a Judicial Inquiry into British Complicity in Torture

Some horrors may await us on the economic front when George Osborne, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, finishes sharpening his scythe, but for those of us who care about human rights and civil liberties, and who have been aghast for the last 13 years at the Labour government’s paranoid, cruel and chaotic anti-terror legislation, its obsession with secret evidence, control orders and imprisonment without charge or trial, its authoritarian contempt for legitimate protest, and its Big Brother approach to surveillance, the arrival of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government has so far been a breath of fresh air.

Fixing Social Security: It’s the Flat Tax Stupid!

Fixing Social Security: It’s the Flat Tax Stupid!

Let me make a postulate: In a democracy, if there is a legislative proposal that would significantly benefit 80 percent of the population and cost them nothing, and that would be paid for by a relatively insignificant tax on the richest 20 percent of the population, who themselves would receive some benefit from the added tax, that proposal would be overwhelmingly approved. If you accept that postulate, you would have to conclude that the US is no longer a functioning democracy.

An Open Letter To Arizona Senator Sylvia Allen Regarding Her “Explanation” of The State’s Immigration Law

An Open Letter To Arizona Senator Sylvia Allen Regarding Her “Explanation” of The State’s Immigration Law

Thanks for publishing your oped in the Austin Capital Times to explain SB 1070, Arizona’s new immigration law. Frankly, I think some of the rhetoric applied to this new measure has managed to generate a lot of heat but not much light. Some of the knee-jerk Arizona-bashers among us just haven’t caught up with your side of the story yet.

Who is the Syrian Released from Guantanamo to Bulgaria?

Who is the Syrian Released from Guantanamo to Bulgaria?

On May 4, two prisoners were released from Guantánamo — one to Spain and one to Bulgaria. Spanish media revealed that the former prisoner offered a new life in Spain (following the arrival of Walid Hijazi, a Palestinian, in February) was a Yemeni, but no further information has yet been revealed regarding his identity. However, the identity of the ex-prisoner released in Bulgaria — the first to be offered a new home in the Balkan state — was revealed in the national media.

The Age of Space-Solar Energy: Innovation in the Public Interest

The Age of Space-Solar Energy: Innovation in the Public Interest

The catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the latest and largest of hundreds of such ocean spills, and the recent methane gas explosion in Massey’s Montcoal mine was just another example of the continuing disasters, worldwide, which snuff out the lives of workers who labor in dangerous conditions to feed our fossil-fuel addiction. All around the planet we live upon, the quest for hydrocarbons is threatening the ability of humans to survive in the degrading environment and to govern their own corporate-dominated societies.

APA Scrubs Web Pages Linking Organization to CIA Torture Workshops

APA Scrubs Web Pages Linking Organization to CIA Torture Workshops

Like a modern-day Ministry of Truth, the American Psychological Association (APA) has scrubbed the webpage describing “deception scenarios” workshops that were part of a conference it conducted with the CIA and Rand Corporation on July 17-18, 2003. In addition, the APA erased the link to the page, and even all mention of its existence, from another story at its July 2003 Science Policy Insider News website that briefly described the conference.

The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy’s Death Spiral From Greece to the United States

The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy’s Death Spiral From Greece to the United States

Democracy throughout the world is under attack. Many people can make the argument that our democracy here in America is only an illusion, but even the illusion of democracy is crashing down. Tragedies are currently playing out across the world on an epic scale. Unprecedented economic and environmental catastrophes have become the norm. Billions of people, the overwhelming majority of humanity, have been sentenced to a slow death due to a concentration of wealth and resources within humanity’s economic top 0.5 percent. Ultimately, short-sighted greed has proven to be humanity’s most severe disease.

Philly Bombs Literally!

Philly Bombs Literally!

Philadelphia loves to brag about it’s ‘Firsts,’ citing such notable things as the nation’s first capital (1774), America’s first zoo (1874) and the birthplace of the world’s first digital computer ENIAC (1946). There is one ‘First’ that will never appear in slick tourist handouts from the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau though, and that’s the city’s first air raid on May 13, 1985, when the city deliberately bombed an occupied house containing children, sparking a deadly firestorm. A bomb dropped on an American city by that city’s own police force?

Torturing Omar Khadr: A Child Detained In Bagram And Guantanamo

Torturing Omar Khadr: A Child Detained In Bagram And Guantanamo

Are we so inured to the implementation of torture by the Bush administration that we no longer recognize what torture is? Torture, according to the UN Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, is “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person.”

Red Cross Confirms Second Secret Prison At Bagram Where Detainees Have Been Tortured

Red Cross Confirms Second Secret Prison At Bagram Where Detainees Have Been Tortured

Hilary Anderson at BBC has been following the Bagram prison story closely. Today, she reports that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has confirmed the existence of a second prison site at Bagram. The presence of a second site has long been suspected, a prison the Afghans call Tor Prison, or the “Black” Prison.

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