Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
LIKE THE EAST GERMAN STASI, IT'S PART OF POINDEXTER'S "TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS":
Our Neighbors' Keeper: Local Cop Chiefs Want to Create a Nation of Snoops
Originally published in This Can't Be Happening yesterday, 7 October 2009
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton and other big city cops are calling for a new system of “citizen watch” programs, allegedly to help them spot hidden terrorists. I view this new call for a nation of private spies with a deep suspicion born of experience with the LAPD and its historic penchant for spying on law-abiding residents of that city.
Back in the late 1970s, together with a band of other doughty journalists, including Tommy Thompson, Ron Ridenour, Ben Pleasants, I co-founded and ran a spunky little news weekly called the LA Vanguard. In the course of just one year, we broke stories about secret “security offices” run by local phone companies (Pacific Telephone and GTE) which provided unlisted numbers and credit information to police and other government agencies without requiring a warrant, about the killing of unarmed citizens by police, about the LAPD’s “shoot to kill” gun use policy, about judges in landlord-tenant cases who were slumlords themselves, and many other stories that were being ignored by the LA Times and the rest of the local establishment media.
For our efforts, we found out years later, we were targeted by the LAPD’s “red squad,” known at the time as the Public Disorder Intelligence Division (PDID), for an intensive program of spying that including planting a young cop, Connie Milazzo, as a member of our editorial collective. We only learned of Milazzo’s real identity years later when she disclosed it herself to a judge in a public hearing (she wanted to avoid being sent to the county lockup along with a group of activists she had “joined” undercover who had all been arrested during a protest and who were refusing to provide their identities to the court).
A subsequent lawsuit filed with the help of the ACLU of Southern California, eventually settled for a payment of $1.8 million by the City of Los Angeles, disclosed that the PDID had for years been using as many as 20 undercover cops to infiltrate and spy on over 200 legal political and activist organizations in the Los Angeles area, gathering rooms full of files on everyone from members of the National Organization for Women to the staffs of certain members of the city council. We also learned that the LAPD was providing those files to a shadowy private outfit in San Francisco called Western Goals, which had links to the ultra-right John Birch Society. Western Goals was apparently seeking to serve as a private repository of dossiers on leftists and political activists collected by local police all around the country in a kind of end run around the restrictions on domestic spying by the FBI that had been imposed after the post-Watergate revelations about the abuses of the COINTELPRO era.
This is why Bratton’s idea stinks. Local police, because they are local, are even more prone to rogue activities that will never be exposed or monitored than are federal police.
As accommodating of police-state tactics as Congress has been, especially since 9-11, at least some members of that body have raised concerns and demanded investigations of some of those abuses by organizations like the FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency. But city councils have been notoriously uninterested in monitoring the unconstitutional activities of their local police around the country, who have extremely powerful political connections and the support of local media establishments.
Any attempt to organize a citizen’s watch program to look for suspicious activity is bound to devolve into a police program of spying on those who are outside of the “norm”: minorities, leftists, activists, loners, people with alternative life-styles, artists, etc.
Let’s be honest. America faces no existential threat from terrorism. It does face such threats from rampaging climate change, political corruption, corporate power, economic collapse, and many other things, but it is hardly threatened by terrorism, which has killed far fewer people even in 2001 than have auto defects, contaminated food, and insurance company denials of care.
Back in 2001, the Bush/Cheney administration stoked an irrational fear of terrorism in order to win passage of the Patriot Act and acceptance of other actions, such as creation of a program by the National Security Agency to use supercomputers to monitor millions of Americans’ electronic communications. Many of those threats to freedom remain in place today. Now Chief Bratton and his compatriots in police departments around the country are trying to stoke that same irrational fear of terrorism to move the country even further towards a police-state mentality.
The last thing we need in this era of corporate-media-induced conformity and citizen passivity is a bunch of self-appointed citizen snoops calling in to the cops with reports on every neighbor who looks or acts a little bit different.
About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on October 8, 2009.