If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral
It’s a good day for proponents of an open internet: The Federal Communications Commission just approved its long-awaited network neutrality plan, which reclassifies broadband internet as a Title II public utility and gives the agency more regulatory power in the process. And unlike the FCC’s last stab at net neutrality in 2010, today’s new rules also apply to mobile broadband. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler laid out the basic gist of the plan earlier this month — it’ll ban things like paid prioritization, a tactic some ISPs used to get additional fees from bandwidth-heavy companies like Netflix, as well as the slowdown of “lawful content.” But now Wheeler’s vision is more than just rhetoric; it’s something the FCC can actively enforce.
(keep reading at engadget.com)
While most of the United States is busy trying to grasp the fact that the United States has a secret jail where American citizens are beat and denied access to fundamental rights, groups across the country are coordinating a way to strike back against the rogue police department.
An Anonymous-affiliated activist said:
“This is the moment when Americans have to decide whether they want to live in a police state or if they are willing to fight back against oppression.”
The battle started when The Guardian disclosed its investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s secret facility that is located inside a warehouse on Chicago’s west side.
What happened at the facility? American detainees as young as 15 were beat, denied access to attorneys, kept out of booking databases so families couldn’t locate them, and they were shackled for extended periods of time in uncomfortable positions. Sounds like something that would happen at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib. Care to guess why? Detective Richard Zuley was employed at the Guantanamo torture facility as a torturer. Evidence is currently being reviewed in his cases due to alleged civil rights violations.
At least one person died in Chicago’s torture facility.
Homan Square, as the facility is known, apparently houses the vehicles obtained from the Department of Defense’s 1033 (the program designed to militarize the nation’s police departments) alongside the interrogation cells and cages.
(keep reading at thefifthcolumnnews.com)
The Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments of the US Constitution, for all practical intents and purposes have been nullified and voided. Habeas Corpus does not exist anymore. The government, the police, is kidnapping people in the middle of the night and taking them to black sites, where they are interrogated (beaten) and held incommunicado, without access to a lawyer, without a phone call and without being charged with anything. At least one detainee has died while being interrogated. This is happening not out in the sticks somewhere in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, but in the cosmopolitan, supposedly liberal and progressive city of Chicago.
The only distinction of what is happening in the USA right now and what was happening in the South American dictatorships during the late 70s is intensity and scale. The fundamental logic, the principles (or lack thereof) used to justify kidnapping people and denying them their basic rights are the same.
Your civil rights right now are better protected in places that have freed themselves from dictatorships, like Argentina or Brazil, than in the US of A. Let that sink in for a moment.
If this news does not scare the shit out of every American in here….Well, it should.
I drove across Sinai from Cairo, which is crumbling. Sheep on the streets, buildings falling down, giant slums, poor education, nice food only for the very rich, streets covered in garbage, majority of the country is poor.
Went to Israel. Saw a city much like any city in Europe. Clean streets. Beautiful big store fronts. Sidewalks. Nice signs telling you where to go. Little stands and shops everywhere. Great food from around the world. Pastries, pizza. It was Europe, basically. I loved it. It was very clean! It was great.
You have to drive some distance out of Jerusalem to get to the wall. It is a nice drive past pastures and rolling hills with bushes and trees on them.
The wall is very tall. It is made of concrete. At the top there are guard posts with glass. There is barbed wire, even though the wall is far too high to get over. There are men with guns.
When you go through it, you are asked many questions about who you are and where you come from. If you have anything Arab about you this questioning is very long it can take several hours. You are brought through many layers of security, the inside of the wall is like a fort. You go back and force through a maze of metal bars, with many security cameras watching you. The bars look like the bars used to hold cattle at a rodeo.
You exit and on the other side is a tall wire fence covered with barbed wire. There is graffiti all over the wall. The buildings are crumbling. Noo nice food, streets made of dirt, everyone is poor.
There are men waiting to be taxi drivers, I went with one. He showed me an ID card with a picture of a baby on it. He told me a story.
“This is my son. You know how I got this card?”
“My son was born with a problem in his arm, and they said that if his arm wasn’t operated on he would lose the arm. We don’t have that kind of hospital here, so I have to go across into Jerusalem to see the doctor. So I go to the Fence.”
“The man at the fence won’t let me through. He says that I can’t bring through any person without a card. He is referring to my son, who is a new born. He didn’t have a card.”
“So I say to him, where do I get the card? He says you must get the card in Jerusalem.”
“I say let me through then I will get the card and leave my son with my wife. He says that won’t work, a person must be present to have fingerprints and a photo and so on in order to get the card.”
“I say how will my son get the card if he cannot travel through the fence to get the card?”
“He told me I was holding up the line, and my son never got the surgery, he lost his arm.”
He passed me the card, he said it was fake, and he didn’t have the courage to try it out, because you could be put in prison for such a thing. He had to choose between making his son grow up without an arm or without a father. The card was so poorly done. It was obviously fake.
We got up to the top of this hill, and he pointed out at these buildings coming over the hills, he said they were settlements, and they took over 3 more hills in the last few months. These were very nice buildings. Developments.
I went back to Israel that night, and I went to a waffle store. They had every kind of waffle. Chocolate waffle, ice cream waffle, Nutella. Anything. Any kind of fruit and so on. The taxis are really nice there they have meters, they don’t clunk when they start. The monuments are lit up at night. There are little plaques at every monument that tell you the history in English and Hebrew and Russian and Italian.
When I took the bus back, I sat next to a young girl who had a phone with rhinestones glued to it in a heart shape, and a beanie baby on a key chain. She had a ponytail, she was texting and wearing an army uniform. She had a grenade launcher in the seat next to her. The bus stopped several times and the Palestinians were made to get off and be searched. Their bags were taken off the bus and dumped out, and the soldiers kicked through their belongings at the side of the road and we sat inside the bus and watched and they passed out snacks.
It was absolutely banal, but the whole thing chilled me, and I realized that this was the country at the center of American foreign policy, and this was the beacon of democracy, and I realized that these were the supposed “good guys,” and I just thought that it wasn’t fucking right, and that Christians should be embarrassed because Jesus wouldn’t have stood for any of this.
Sorry I wrote a novel. It really changed me.
TL:DR; I think every American history teacher should be forced to walk around in Jerusalem, then go through the wall to Bethlehem and walk around in Palestine before teaching students that colonialism is something that “used to” happen.