Ian Welsh: “The Philosophy of Decline and Collapse”

From Ian’s October 27 blog entry: …For years I lived in a state of rage. Not even anger, but rage. Rage at those like Bush and Blair who were mass murders. Rage at those who did not stop him who could have. Rage at those who believed all the lies: whether about economics or [...]

Backlash after Hong Kong police release video of Occupy protesters’ ‘violent behaviour’

Backlash over video said to show the ‘hate and violence’ of Occupy protesters as lawmakers accuse security chief of ‘political propaganda’

South China Morning Post, By Tony Cheung , Shirley Zhao and Clifford Lo, October 28

Security chief Lai Tung-kwok yesterday attempted to lift the lid on “hate and violence” by Occupy protesters with a [...]

Arizona and Wyoming gay marriage bans struck down

Los Angeles Times, By Julie Westfall & James Queally, October 17

Same-sex couples in Arizona, Wyoming and Alaska will all be free to obtain marriage licenses by next week after federal judges struck down bans in two of those states Friday and the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for a further stay in Alaska.

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Senate’s inquiry into CIA torture sidesteps blaming Bush, aides

McClatchy, By Jonathan S. Landay, Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor, October 16

A soon-to-be released Senate report on the CIA doesn’t assess the responsibility of former President George W. Bush or his top aides for any of the abuses of the agency’s detention and interrogation program, avoiding a full public accounting of one of the [...]

Bishops say gays have gifts to offer church

Associated Press, By Nicole Winfield, October 13

Vatican City – Catholic bishops are showing unprecedented openness to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays have gifts to offer the church and should be accepted and that there are “positive” aspects to a couple living together without being married.

A two-week meeting of [...]

The sexual threats against Emma Watson are an attack on every woman

Vox, By Amanda Taub, September 23

In her famous 1996 commencement address, writer Nora Ephron warned the new graduates of Wellesley college that they were entering a world that was hostile to women’s achievements and begged them to “take it personally.”

“Understand,” she said, “every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is [...]

Rights group accuses Nigeria of rampant torture

Al Jazeera, By Wilson Dizard, September 18

Nigeria’s security authorities regularly engage in acts of torture to extract criminal confessions from innocent civilians and further the government’s campaign against the armed group Boko Haram, rights group Amnesty International said in a report published on Thursday.

The report, “Welcome to Hell Fire: Torture and Other Ill [...]

China rejects open nominations for Hong Kong leadership

China rejects open nominations for Hong Kong leadership

AP, August 31

China’s legislature on Sunday ruled against allowing open nominations in elections for Hong Kong’s leader, a decision that promises to ignite political tensions in the Asian financial hub.

The legislature’s powerful Standing Committee ruled that all candidates for chief executive must receive more than [...]

U.S. firm helped the spyware industry build a potent digital weapon for sale overseas

Washington Post, By Barton Gellman, August 15

CloudShield Technologies, a California defense contractor, dispatched a senior engineer to Munich in the early fall of 2009. His instructions were unusually opaque.

As he boarded the flight, the engineer told confidants later, he knew only that he should visit a German national who awaited him with an [...]

Beyond Torture: The CIA’s Shameful Kidnapping of a 12-Year-Old Girl

The U.S. and U.K. collaborated to snatch Khadija al-Saadi’s family in Hong Kong and deliver them into the custody of a murderous dictator.

The Atlantic, By Conor Friedersdorf, August 7

President Obama is letting the CIA play a major part in censoring a report on brutal human-rights abuses perpetrated by CIA employees. This has [...]

Virginia Is for Gay Lovers

On Monday, a federal court ruled the state’s same-sex-marriage ban unconstitutional—the latest to be overturned. What makes the decision in the Old Dominion different?

The Atlantic, By Emma Green, July 29

“[T]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free [...]

Nadine Gordimer | 1923-2014

NYT – A Nobelist With 3 Banned Apartheid Novels

Bengt Oberger/Wikimedia Commons

Ms. Gordimer found themes in the injustices and cruelties of South Africa’s policies of racial division, and she left no quarter of the society unexplored. She died Sunday at 90.

Nadine Gordimer in the New Yorker here

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All Wet: Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister

h/t Steve H.

Guardian -The British government’s problems with missing files deepened on Wednesday when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK’s role in a CIA global abduction operation had been accidentally destroyed when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said smacked of a cover-up, the department maintained [...]

No Money, No Water: Detroit’s Shutting Off H2O to 150,000 Residents

Takepart.com, By Liz Dwyer, June 25

The Motor City is playing serious hardball with residents who have fallen behind on paying their water bills. Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department has begun turning off the taps of 150,000 residents who are at least two months behind on payments. People are being left without a drop to [...]

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, [...]

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