Thu, 16 May 2013 01:05:25 GMT: Statement of Lisa L Williams on Bradley Manning
"News reports yesterday indicated that Bradley Manning, widely known to be gay, had been selected to be one of the Grand Marshals of the annual San Francisco gay pride parade, named by the LGBT Pride Celebration Committee", wrote Glenn Greenwald. "When the predictable backlash instantly ensued, the president of the Board of SF Pride, Lisa L Williams, quickly capitulated, issuing a cowardly, imperious statement that has to be read to be believed."
Thu, 16 May 2013 01:04:31 GMT: Justice Department Subpoena of AP Journalists Shows Need to Protect Calling Records
Today the Associated Press reported that the Department of Justice has collected the telephone calling records of many of its reporters and editors. By obtaining these records, the DOJ has struck a terrible blow against the freedom of the press and the ability of reporters to investigate and report the news. As James Madison understood, "a popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy, or perhaps both." AP had it right when it told Attorney General Holder that it was "a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news."
Thu, 16 May 2013 01:03:16 GMT: Guest Columnist: Kelly Michaels
In observance of Mother’s Day, I wanted to address one of the viler applications of the Madonna/whore fallacy, namely the practice of officially abducting the children of sex workers by branding them “unfit parents” on the strength of nothing but the fact that they are sex workers. But I knew that nothing I could write would have the impact of my friend Kelly’s telling of her own story, to which the rest of today’s column is dedicated.
Thu, 16 May 2013 01:02:14 GMT: Obama Must Set the Cuban Five Free
HAVANA TIMES — In the course of over 14 years, I have often asked myself why so much secrecy has surrounded the case of the five Cubans who were detained in Miami in 1998. These men endured 17 months of solitary confinement in “the hole”, in violation of U.S. law, as well as a 3-year trial replete with similar violations of the country’s laws, and no newspaper made any effort to bring to light what was taking place.
Thu, 16 May 2013 01:01:30 GMT: Harry Reid to RH Reality Check: Military Sexual Assault Reporting System Needs Fixing
In a meeting today with reporters, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had few kind words for military leaders as news hit the media of yet another sexual assault scandal involving a military officer who was designated to handle sexual assault cases. But he stopped just short of endorsing legislation expected to be offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) that would remove the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault cases in the military from the chain of command, saying he had yet to read the bill.
Thu, 16 May 2013 01:00:13 GMT: Cuba/Homophobia: It’s Never Too Late
Though chiefly devoted to celebrating joy and freedom, the gathering held at Havana’s Cuba Pavilion (Pabellon Cuba) every year as part of Cuba’s Campaign against Homophobia activities has more than a fun time to offer.
Thu, 16 May 2013 00:59:18 GMT: Why Cops Bust Down Doors of Medical Pot Growers, But Ignore Men Who Keep Naked Girls on Leashes
Thanks to the drug war, police have much more incentive to go after drug crimes than more heinous crimes.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:36:20 GMT: A New Era for Worker Ownership, 5 Years in the Making
Becoming a worker-owned cooperative is the latest chapter in the saga of the workers of Republic Windows and Doors, who gained the nation’s attention by occupying their factory—twice—and became a symbol of resistance in the face of corporate corruption and the economic crisis.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:35:25 GMT: New York City May Let Non-Citizens Vote in Local Elections
Under the proposal, non-citizen residents would be able to vote as long as they can provide proof that they entered the U.S. legally and have lived in New York for at least six months. They also cannot have a felony conviction or be deemed mentally incompetent. Furthermore, they must provide a valid form of identification (drivers license, utility bill, bank statement, etc) when they vote for the first time. After that, no ID would be required.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:34:02 GMT: China's State-Run TV Uses Daily Show Clip To Demonize US, Viewers Point Out The Irony
That irony, of course, is that the Chinese state-run media, whose stated role is to serve the Communist party's interests, attempted to demonize America with a clip that brilliantly showed that our media is free to critique our own government. This is something that wouldn't have been permitted in China, a fact not lost on the online community there.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:32:53 GMT: "Part of the Transition to Socialism": Venezuela's Labour Law Comes into Effect
Described by the Venezuelan government as the “most advanced labour law in the world”, the Lottt reduces the working week from 44 hours to 40, and requires that employers provide two consecutive days a week off.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:32:05 GMT: New York City Council Passes Sick-Pay Bill
In a victory for workers, the New York City Council has passed a bill requiring businesses to grant five paid sick days per year. Bill sponsor Gale Brewer hailed the measure as "one of the most progressive pieces of legislation ever in history." The bill is a compromise that exempts smaller businesses and delays the requirement from coming into effect if the economy is bad. Sick-pay legislation had been blocked for three years by Speaker Christine Quinn, who is running for mayor and had faced increasing pressure to bring the issue to a vote. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to veto the bill, but it appears to have enough support to override his veto; just three council members voted against it Wednesday, with 45 voting in favor. Roughly 1.3 million workers in New York City are docked pay if they stay home sick — that is four in 10 employees. The bill would cover roughly 925,000 of them.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:31:18 GMT: The Death of Truth
LONDON—A tiny tip of the vast subterranean network of governmental and intelligence agencies from around the world dedicated to destroying WikiLeaks and arresting its founder, Julian Assange, appears outside the red-brick building on Hans Crescent Street that houses the Ecuadorean Embassy. Assange, the world’s best-known political refugee, has been in the embassy since he was offered sanctuary there last June. British police in black Kevlar vests are perched night and day on the steps leading up to the building, and others wait in the lobby directly in front of the embassy door. An officer stands on the corner of a side street facing the iconic department store Harrods, half a block away on Brompton Road. Another officer peers out the window of a neighboring building a few feet from Assange’s bedroom at the back of the embassy. Police sit round-the-clock in a communications van topped with an array of antennas that presumably captures all electronic forms of communication from Assange’s ground-floor suite.
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:30:36 GMT: The New York Times on Venezuela and Honduras: A Case of Journalistic Misconduct
A credulous reader of Alvarez’s report would have no idea that since 1998, Chávez had triumphed in 14 of 15 elections or referenda, all of which were deemed free and fair by international monitors. Chávez’s most recent reelection, won by an 11-point margin, boasted an 81% participation rate; former president Jimmy Carter described the “election process in Venezuela” as “the best in the world” out of 92 cases that the Carter Center had evaluated (an endorsement that, to date, has never been reported by the Times).
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:29:40 GMT: Reinventing the Wheel - The REAL Green Jobs Story
Quite contrary to the boldest of claims made by those dinosaurs the facts show shifting to a clean energy economy would create more jobs, cost less money, and easily exceed all performance needs. Research by the Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley shows the fossil fuel industry's claims of better job creation rates compared to green, clean energy are vastly overblown. As shown in this chart below renewable energy sources produce as many if not more jobs per megawatt of capacity as traditional dirty sources of electricity:
Sun, 12 May 2013 03:28:42 GMT: When Will the Works of Octavio Paz be Published in Cuba?
Paz opposed Cuba’s support of the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia; he criticized the forced labor camps religious believers and homosexuals were sent to on the island in the 1960s; he made pronouncements against the repression of intellectuals, going as far, in 1971, as signing the letter that foreign intellectuals addressed to Fidel Castro in support of Cuban poet Heberto Padilla, where they expressed their wish for the Cuban revolution to go back to what it was at the beginning.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:14:01 GMT: GOP senators push bill to kill NLRB
WASHINGTON - Eleven Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to virtually shut down the National Labor Relations Board... the group wants to ban the board from making any decisions until it has a legal quorum of at least three members confirmed by the Senate...The Right Wing in the GOP-run House jammed through an identical ban late last month, by a 219-209 margin, with 10 Republicans there defecting from the anti-worker party line and joining all 199 Democrats in opposing the measure...The OMB has [...] announced it will recommend President Obama veto the anti-NLRB bill should it reach his desk.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:11:11 GMT: Pirate Party Enters Iceland’s National Parliament After Historic Election Win
The Pirate Party in Iceland seem to have booked a major victory in Iceland’s parliamentary election today, scoring 5.1% of the total vote. It’s a truly remarkable achievement for a party that’s only a few months old, and also the first time that a Pirate party anywhere in the world has been democratically chosen in a national parliament. One of the main goals of the Pirates will be to fight increased censorship and protect freedom of speech.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:10:34 GMT: Obama Renews Guantánamo Closure Vow, Defends Force-Feeding
President Obama has vowed a renewed push to shut down the military prison at Guantánamo Bay more than four years after first pledging its closure. Speaking at a White House news conference, Obama called the indefinite imprisonment of more than 100 people unsustainable but defended the ongoing force-feeding of those on a hunger strike to win their freedom.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:09:54 GMT: Challenge
As I have stated many times in this blog, in interviews, and in public speech, I am firmly convinced that criminalization of sex work in the United States will only end by judicial fiat. Some people have (either sincerely or willfully) misinterpreted this position to mean that I prefer it that way, but that is not the case; it’s simply that it is the only realistic strategy open to us. History has demonstrated over and over again that the vast majority of politicians are self-centered, morally retarded pigs whose actions are never determined by what is right, but only by what will get them re-elected; they can be counted on never to defend the rights of the weak against the powerful until it becomes politically popular for them to do so. Democrats pretended to oppose George Bush’s various police-state actions on principle, but once their man was in the White House doing exactly the same things they suddenly stopped speaking up. And the recent reversals on same-sex marriage are a striking example; hundreds of politicians who had vowed to fight it forever had a sudden change of heart as soon as it became politically expedient for them to do so.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:08:31 GMT: Lean Socialist
But despite this gloomy picture, there are signs that the cause may not be lost. A Pew poll last year found that more young Americans were favorably disposed to socialism than to capitalism. Even some of the more maligned aspects of Occupy activism pointed toward an underlying radicalism. The yearning for a more just economy seen in Zuccotti Park’s soup kitchen, or the thirst for deeper democracy embodied by Occupy Wall Street’s General Assemblies, represented profound aspirations, if only fleetingly realized. Members of a generation that came of age politically after the Cold War may not claim the label of “socialist,” but they don’t associate it with gulags and military parades, either.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:06:50 GMT: Brooklyn Anarchist Refusing to Play Along With the System
Prosecutors believe Koch may have heard something about who did it in a bar back in 2008 or 2009, and have subpoenaed him to testify in front of a grand jury for the second time. He claims to have "no recollection of any such incident," and so, like last time, he's refusing to testify, calling the situation "a 'fishing expedition' to gain information concerning my personal beliefs and political associations." For this, he's willing to serve eighteen months in jail.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:05:43 GMT: Green Party Accuses Cuomo of Unconstitutional Attacks on Political Parties
The Green Party said today that the proposals by Governor Cuomo and the IDC to allow non-party members to petition their way into other parties’ primaries is unconstitutional, a violation of their first amendment rights.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:04:37 GMT: Why We Need to Understand the Apocalyptic Worldview of a Small Group of Radical Muslims
If we want to understand the genesis of much Islamic terrorism by a small handful of Muslims, a speculative tour of their apocalyptic worldview may help us design a more effective response.
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:03:54 GMT: Reflections on Iceland’s Election of Pirate MPs
They say that politics takes time. Yet, history doesn’t show any political movement spreading and succeeding as fast as the Pirate Party movement. Will it maintain its accelerated speed, or slow down to follow the tracks of history?
Thu, 02 May 2013 19:02:32 GMT: Cuba: Viable Socialism & Chavez at May Day Parades
Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdes and other HT Contributors-Cuba paid tribute to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today during its traditional May Day parade at Havana’s Revolution Square, DPA reported.