The Whistle In The Wind

Poor Jon Chait.

He had the audacity to question whether the right of free speech comes with a responsibility on the part of both the speaker and the listener, and got hammered for it. In other words, he took on “political correctness” and in what may be one of the grandest moments […]

France begins jailing people for ironic comments

Electronic Intifada, By Ali Abunimah, January 19

It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony.

The arrest is part of a harsh crackdown on […]

Oklahoma to stage first execution since botched procedure 9 months ago

Lethal injection of convicted murderer will use controversial drug cocktail; Florida also set for execution Thursday.

AP, January 15

After a nearly nine-month delay prompted by a botched lethal injection last spring, Oklahoma plans to execute a death row inmate Thursday with the same controversial three-drug method Florida intends to use around an hour earlier.

[…]

Egypt acquits 26 men accused of debauchery in Cairo bathhouse

Associated Press, By Maggie Michael, January 12

Cairo — An Egyptian court on Monday acquitted 26 men arrested in a televised raid last month by police looking for gays at a Cairo public bathhouse, a ruling that set off deafening cheers and jubilation inside the courtroom as some of the defendants uncovered their faces and […]

Thousands protest in Moscow after opposition leader’s guilty verdict

Mashable, By Brian Ries & Christopher Miller, December 31

A massive crowd of protesters gathered in Moscow’s Manezhka Square on Tuesday following the guilty verdict of anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny.

Navalny, a leading foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found guilty of fraud and given a suspended sentence of three and a half years […]

Vatican forever bars woman who bared breasts

Grabbed baby Jesus statue

Thomson Reuters, December 27

Vatican City – The Vatican said it had arrested a member of women’s rights group Femen who on Christmas Day bared her breasts and grabbed a statue of the baby Jesus from a nativity scene in front of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.

Femen’s website […]

Obama hopes to enlist GOP in push for trade pact, despite Democratic resistance

Washington Post, By David Nakamura, December 26

President Obama is preparing a major push on a vast free trade zone that seeks to enlist Republicans as partners and test his premise that Washington can still find common ground on major initiatives.

It also will test his willingness to buck his own party in pursuit of […]

Saudi terrorism court ‘to try women drivers’

BBC, December 25

Two Saudi women who were detained for defying a ban on female drivers are to be tried in a terrorism court, activists say.

Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-Amoudi, 33, have been in detention for nearly a month.

The women’s cases had reportedly been transferred over comments they had made on social […]

Australia PM Abbott wants indigenous referendum in 2017

Australian PM Tony Abbott has vowed to “sweat blood” to secure constitutional recognition for indigenous people, saying he wants a referendum in 2017.

BBC, December 13

But Mr Abbott said he would not rush with the date until he was confident the referendum would succeed.

To be passed, the change must be backed by a […]

Washington march: Civil rights protest over US police killings

BBC, December 13

Thousands of people have marched through the US capital, Washington DC, to protest against the recent killings of unarmed black people by police.

Relatives of Michael Brown, shot dead in the Missouri town of Ferguson, and Eric Garner, who died being restrained in New York, were among them.

Both died after encountering […]

Airport and border screening exempt from new federal restrictions on racial profiling: Washington Post

Reuters, By Bill Trott, December 6

New federal restrictions on racial profiling will still allow some officials to use the controversial practice along the southwestern U.S. border and in screening of airline passengers, the Washington Post said.

The rules will ban racial profiling from national security cases for the first time and will bar the […]

LAPD shoots man with pocket knife. 15-year-old killed in MO hit-and-run hate crime. Deep South goes deeper GOP. It’s hard to

not go into brain-freeze or a national seizure at the pace of militarized police killings, racial/religious/you-name-it hatred, and the racialized rightward whirlpool of the GOP’s appeal to fearful whites.

In the latest of a spate of fatal shootings, officers of the infamous Los Angeles Police Department raced to touristy Hollywood Boulevard, where they fired […]

#CrimingWhileWhite

As you may know, one of the responses on social media like Twitter and Facebook to the tragic grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, as well as to the countless stories of police abuse of power specifically against black men and boys, is for white people to contrast […]

Quote for the day

“How can I prepare kids for the world if I’m not preparing the world for the kids?”

-Tory Russell, youth worker and co-founder of resistance group Hands Up United, Ferguson, MO, from his interview today on NPR’s Here and Now.

Presidential “pixie dust”: How a quiet new rule can wipe away your basic rights

New language declassified from DOJ says a president can violate an executive order. Here’s what that could entail.

Salon.com, By Marcy Wheeler, October 30

A presidential order that governs the bulk of the NSA’s spying (and a good deal of other agencies’ spying), Executive Order 12333 has gotten a lot of attention lately. In July, […]

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