Opinions

  • In a major free speech victory, a federal court strikes down a law that punishes supporters of Israel boycott

    Opinions January 31, 2018 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a law that more directly violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech than one that seeks to deny people benefits for which everyone else is eligible due solely to the state’s disapproval of their political views and activism. Since that’s exactly what this Kansas law did, the court concluded that it was unconstitutional.

     
  • Sessions’ DOJ charged a white supremacist with terrorism. They just didn’t tell anyone.

    Opinions January 8, 2018 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. Usually, when the FBI arrests a terrorist and the Justice Department charges them, it’s a big deal. The Justice Department didn’t do any of that when federal prosecutors unsealed terrorism charges last week against Taylor Michael Wilson. The 26-year-old white supremacist from St. Charles, Missouri, allegedly breached a secure area of an Amtrak train on Oct. 22 while armed with a gun and plenty of backup ammunition. He set off the emergency brake, sending passengers lunging as the train cars went “completely black.” A close review of how the Wilson case unfolded indicates that, at virtually every step along the way, the investigation into the 26-year-old was handled differently than it would have been if authorities had any suspicion Wilson was inspired by any foreign terrorist organization, like the self-described Islamic State. Read more here.

     
  • Mainstream media & FBI push fake terror attack even after their patsy refused to do it

    Opinions December 28, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Free Thought Project (12/28): Mainstream Media & FBI Push Fake Terror Attack Even After Their Patsy Refused to Do It
    The New York Post ran the headline “FBI thwarts ISIS-inspired Christmas terror attack on San Francisco,” and the claim that the suspect was “former US Marine sharpshooter” Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, who was discharged from the military for fraudulent enlistment, and now works as a tow truck driver. Everitt Jameson now faces up to 20 years in prison for engaging in conversations online with FBI informants who intentionally targeted his weaknesses, as the mainstream media celebrates the fact that the FBI has foiled yet another FBI terror plot, and the agents who are responsible for ruining an innocent man’s life, look for their next victim. If Jameson never had any intention of carrying out a terror attack and the entire idea was forced on him by the FBI, why on Earth would this be on the news and touted as some foiled plot?

     
  • Trump’s Muslim ban repeats the Constitutional travesty committed against Japanese-Americans in World War II

    Opinions December 19, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Common Dreams. Chillingly, in Korematsu the Supreme Court explicitly overrode fundamental constitutional norms on the fraudulent word of the executive branch. The court noted that the incarceration of a group based on their race “is inconsistent with our basic governmental institutions. But when under conditions of modern warfare our shores are threatened by hostile forces, the power to protect must be commensurate with the threatened danger.” In his dissent, Justice Jackson noted, “[O]nce a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order [as Executive Order 9066] to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such an order, the Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination …. The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.”

     
  • U.S. courts have been treating Muslims differently for a very long time

    Opinions December 7, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. The post-9/11 era ushered in a series of controversial policies that disproportionately targeted Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians, including secret proceedings and unlawful detention practices. All three branches of government played a role in creating and enforcing those policies. Over the last 16 years, U.S. immigration policy has been crafted principally through a national security lens with a particular focus on Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim, but this pattern actually goes back centuries.

     
  • Is FBI’s new focus on “black identity extremists” the new COINTELPRO?

    Opinions November 21, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Philadelphia Tribune. If you’ve been to a Black Lives Matter rally or tweeted the related hashtag recently, then the FBI might consider you a “Black Identity Extremist,” at least according to a report published by one of the nation’s top law enforcement agencies. These unsubstantiated conclusions are troubling, especially in the context of the FBI’s history of targeting African-American activists and leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. But what is more troubling is the FBI’s creation of the term “Black Identity Extremist” and the definition of it.

     
  • The F.B.I.’s dangerous crackdown on ‘Black Identity Extremists’

    Opinions November 15, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times. An F.B.I. report leaked in October and scrutinized during an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday warns of an emergent domestic terror threat sweeping the nation and threatening the lives of law enforcement officers: the “Black Identity Extremist” (“B.I.E.”) movement. This designation, just recently invented by the F.B.I., is as frightening and dangerous as the bureau’s infamous Cointelpro program of the 1960s and ’70s, under which J. Edgar Hoover set out to disrupt and destroy virtually any group with the word “black” in its name. Today, entirely nonviolent black activists face violations of their civil liberties and even violence if they’re deemed part of B.I.E. Michael German, a former F.B.I. agent and fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s liberty and national security program, said the “Black Identity Extremists” label simply represents an F.B.I. effort to define a movement where none exists. “Basically, it’s black people who scare them,” he said.

     
  • If the gunman is white, we’re OK with mass murder. No, really, we are.

    Opinions November 7, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Miami Herald. Why are we OK with this? Not you and me as individuals, perhaps. But America, as a corporate body? It seems ever more obvious that for all the lip service we pay to “thoughts and prayers,” for all the candles we light and tears we weep, this is a thing we accept. As opposed to Islamic terror, which we don’t. You can read the distinction starkly in Donald Trump’s tweets.

     
  • Why we ended long-term solitary confinement in Colorado

    Opinions October 12, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times. These reforms are unique to Colorado. It’s estimated that, around the country, more than 80,000 prisoners at any given time are held in isolated confinement. Long-term solitary was supposed to be rehabilitative, but it did not have that effect. Studies have found that inmates who have spent time in solitary confinement are more likely to reoffend than those who have not. Data shows that prisoners in solitary account for about half of all prison suicides; self-harm is also more common in solitary units than in less-restrictive ones. In addition, solitary confinement was intended to be a last resort for those who were too violent to be in a prison’s general population. But then we gradually included inmates who disrupted the efficient running of an institution. In other words, inmates could be placed in solitary for almost any reason, and they were.

     
  • It’s time to abandon the word ‘terrorism’

    Opinions October 10, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. The word “terrorism” no longer has any useful, objective application. The word has become a coded, racialized reference to Muslims, and nothing more. The inability to contemplate the Las Vegas attack as possible terrorism doesn’t boil down to a sophisticated analysis of how to define terrorism or waiting until we have full knowledge of the underlying motives. It’s the continuation of a racialized discourse that assumes terrorism does not apply to mass violence committed by white men. Let’s stop trying to redeem the word “terrorism” by expanding its boundaries to make room for white men who perpetrate mass murder. The word is irredeemable. It’s time to let it go.