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Tuesday, November 27

27.Nov.2012 - Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Block Recording of Police Officers, PLUS: American Excess, We Need War Photography, Women Human Rights Defenders, Israel Airstrikes Cost $300 Million, Why Israel Didn't Win, Greatest Threat to Democracy, and much more.

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First Amendment Win!
Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Block Recording of Police Officers

ACLU of Illinois: "... individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police."

American excess in perspective
Thanksgiving Thursday is then immediately followed by Black Friday - the busiest shopping day of the year. Many retailers even opened their doors on Thursday night this year, instead of waiting for Friday. While their turkey dinners were still digesting, hordes of shoppers descended on their local Walmart, Target, and Best Buy stores and elbowed their way to the best deals on large-screen TVs and other treasures. It is American consumerism at its most obscene. And it has become almost like a sporting event. No qualms about it. It's the American way.

Evacuate Guantanamo -- It Belongs to Cuba
For more than 100 years, the United States has illegitimately occupied Cuban soil. "They turned one of Cuba's most precious natural resources, Guantanamo Bay, into a curse on the lips of the world."

Why We Need War Photography Now More Than Ever
Unfortunately, in an age of dehumanized battle where automated drones strike from above, we may be losing the genre of war photography itself, just when we need it more than ever.

How we made the world hear Gaza, as citizen journalists

Bearing witness to the mainstream reporting of last week’s events was a cruel slap across in the face whose effect shall always remain. I was and still am very sickened by the amount misrepresentation we received.

Women human rights defenders: activism's front-line
There is growing recognition by the international community that women human rights defenders are best placed to respond to violence against women and a crucial force for peace; but the international protection framework needs to be made more accessible to those in need, says Jennifer Allsopp.

Israel airstrikes to cost Gaza over $300 million

The report covered damages to the agricultural, health and social sectors. The occupied territory’s agrarian segment suffered $120 million in damage. The eight-day halt to economic activities resulted in $40 million lost. The rest of the sum comes from destroyed buildings and infrastructure that was impaired by Israeli airstrikes, Xinhua reported

Why Israel Didn’t Win
The ceasefire agreed by Israel and Hamas in Cairo after eight days of fighting is merely a pause in the Israel-Palestine conflict. It promises to ease movement at all border crossings with the Gaza Strip, but will not lift the blockade. It requires Israel to end its assault on the Strip, and Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets at southern Israel, but it leaves Gaza as miserable as ever: according to a recent UN report, the Strip will be ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020. And this is to speak only of Gaza.

Pillar of Impotence
In the past week, the people of Gaza have been subject to some serious Israeli attacks. Some Hamas leaders and militants have been murdered and many more Palestinians -  innocent civilians, babies, kids women and elders – have lost their live. Yet, Gaza is celebrating with the Hamas leadership never more popular.

Greatest Threat to Democracy
American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, and critic of American life and culture, H.L. Mencken wrote "Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)
Russia urges united action against Israeli aggression
Moscow has called on the Arab League and the Middle East Quartet comprising Russia, the European Union (EU), UN, and US, to work together to end frequent Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians.

Iran: Syria key to resistance against Israel and US
Iran, together with Russia, has been a major supporter of Mr Al Assad as he battles to retain power in the face of a 20-month uprising seeking to topple his regime.
Student body ID cards with RFID-embedded chips. (image: Northside Independent School District)
Texas high school student is being suspended for refusing to wear a student ID card implanted with a radio-frequency identification chip. Northside Independent School District in San Antonio began issuing the RFID-chip-laden student-body cards when the semester began in the fall. The ID badge has a bar code associated with a student's Social Security number, and the RFID chip monitors pupils' movements on campus, from when they arrive until when they leave.

Supreme Court To Look At Who Is A 'Supervisor' In Harassment Cases
The U.S. Supreme Court this week takes up the question of who qualifies as a supervisor when the issue is harassment in the workplace. The court's answer to that question could significantly restrict employer liability in racial and sexual harassment cases, or, in the view of some business organizations, it could result in frivolous litigation.

A government for the Puerto Rican people?
In elections on November 6, Alejandro García Padilla, of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), defeated conservative incumbent Gov. Luis Fortuño, of the New Progressive Party (PNP), by about 13,000 votes. At the same time, in a nonbinding referendum, 61 percent of voters indicated that they would like Puerto Rico to become a U.S. state. Paradoxically, it seemed that Puerto Ricans chose to toss out their pro-statehood governor while opting for "statehood" on the political status referendum. But as with much in the November elections, there was more to the results than met the eye. García Padilla campaigned for a "government for the people." But he is really committed, as was Fortuño, to a "government for the same old rich people."

Gaza's right to resist Israeli terror
Sherry Wolf, press officer for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine hearings in New York City, argues for a critical component of support for the right to self-determination.

The Economic Consequences of the Gaza Blockade
Using the West Bank as a counterfactual, I find that being removed from world markets reduced welfare by 17%-28% on average. Moreover, households with larger pre-blockade expenditure levels experienced disproportionally larger welfare losses. These effects are substantially larger than the predictions of standard trade models.

Activist Groups Boycott Cyber Monday
In preparation for Cyber Monday, the Day of Virtual Shopping that takes place on the first Monday after Thanksgiving, online retailers are pulling out all the stops. Free shipping deals! Exclusive online promotions! A set of Ginsu knives with every purchase! (OK, maybe no knives, but you get the idea).

Journalists demand UN probe into why Israel targeted them in Gaza
As people anxiously wait to see if the ceasefire between Israel andHamas will hold, local and international human rights groups are calling for investigations into Israeli human rights abuses committed during its eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip, including flagrant attacks on journalists.

Stand Still for the Apocalypse

Humans must immediately implement a series of radical measures to halt carbon emissions or prepare for the collapse of entire ecosystems and the displacement, suffering and death of hundreds of millions of the globe’s inhabitants, according to a report commissioned by the World Bank. 

Headscarfs and homosexuals (feminist ideals in xenophobic politics)
When the protest against a lecture by the controversial Islamist Bilal Philips risked being hijacked by Danish populist forces, it was a vivid reminder of what happens in practice, despite declarations by right-wing populist leaders.

White House Report: Fiscal Cliff Could Cut Consumer Spending By $200 Billion
On Cyber Monday, the White House released a report detailing the effect of ending middle class tax cuts by going over the fiscal cliff on consumer spending. The report, from the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers, finds that consumer spending could drop by close to $200 billion in 2013 from tax hikes alone.

The voices of Gaza's children

Children in Gaza describe living under Israeli siege and attacks as worse than being in prison.

Obama Legalizes The Illegal, Targets Innocents
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was bitterly right when he said US president Barack Obama “seems to be a nice man, and that is precisely the problem” and aptly described him as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing."

Obama Administration Pushes Ahead With Drone Killings
According to a report published Sunday on the front page of the New York Times, the Obama administration is pushing ahead with plans to establish a more systematic and regular program of using unmanned drones to kill people selected by the White House for death.

The Maximal Zionist Project Is To Have A Minimal Palestine: Gregory Harms
American journalist and scholar Gregory Harms believes that the recent 8-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip might have been waged to distract public attention from the internal socioeconomic crises and problems the Israeli regime faces, especially ahead of the January 2013 legislative elections. He believes that launching airstrikes on Gaza may serve to give Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party a secure vote in the upcoming elections.

Obama 'Drone-Warfare Rulebook' Condemned by Human Rights Groups
A US drone flies over Edwards Air Force Base. (photo: Keystone/Zuma/Rex Features)

resident Barack Obama's administration is in the process of drawing up a formal rulebook that will set out the circumstances in which targeted assassination by unmanned drones is justified, according to reports.

The Palestinians’ Only Option
In the final countdown to the UN General Assembly vote on recognition of Palestine as a non-member state, the PLO has indicated that it’s expecting “a pleasant surprise”, it being the number of European countries which will not do Zionism’s bidding on this occasion and will vote for the resolution. Victory for the Palestinians in this forum can be taken for granted, and it will help to further isolate the Israel of Netanyahu as a pariah state, but… It won’t be, can’t be, a substitute for a viable strategy to secure justice for the Palestinians.

Kristol’s Thanksgiving Meditation Makes Central Role of Israel in Neo-Conservatism Clear
For those, particularly in the timid or intimidated U.S. foreign-policy elite, who still pretend or somehow make themselves believe that Israel is not absolutely central to the neo-conservative worldview, I commend this week’s Thanksgiving editorial by Bill Kristol, scion of one of the movement’s two founding families, in The Weekly Standard, entitled “The West Fights Back”.

Where’s Our Humanity For Gaza?
Between February 2009 — just after the Operation Cast Lead onslaught — and August 2012, Israeli attacks in Gaza, averaging six per week. They came by aircraft, helicopter gunships, drones, and tanks throughout Gaza; the confiscation of, or damage to, fishing boats and the detention and arrest of fishermen; attacks on industrial, farm, and food production facilities; and military ground incursions.

Is This Presidential Memorandum Aimed At Israel-firsters Or U.S. Whistleblowers?

SUBJECT: National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs

Black Friday: American Wage Slaves Fight Over Chinese Slave Goods
You can tell the health of the tree by the quality of its fruits. America, as is evidenced by this week’s annual materialistic ritual known as‘Black Friday’, has produced this particularly rotten fruit, consistently. It’s getting way too predictable for our liking.

50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

The Church uses its resources to oppose social progress and positive change all over the world.

Pat Buchanan: Dismantle The American Empire

The solution to the Middle East "problem"

GMO foods may alter organ function

A racist, terrorist state: The General's Son
The Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty
How Israel came to be: The real story

Utopia on the Horizon

Top Secret Deal That Will Affect Your Life

Tis the Season To Get Trampled...

GMOs and the Human Cost of Soy

Energy Independence & Fracking in America

Religion in schools – a sensible approach

Radhika Balakrishnan: Austerity Is a Human Rights Violation

Walmart Nightmare! Injured Worker Speaks Out

Gay Rights Supporters March in India

Fiscal Cliff Showdown As Deadline Nears

Kyoto Protocol Winds Down as Delegates Head to Doha

Ron Paul: Blind Support of Israel Leads to Unexpected Consequences

Israel's War on Truth

Hacking Politics: How we beat SOPA and saved the Internet

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After Brokering Gaza Ceasefire, Egypt’s Morsi Re-Ignites Protests With Decree Expanding Powers

Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Gaza’s "Severe Damage" and Why Truce Won’t Stop the Violence of Occupation

Wal-Mart Worker Uprising: Protests Held At 1,000 Stores on Black Friday

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