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Passport

Mexican government files amicus brief, Texas being sued for denying birth certificates to children of immigrants

© Josh Denmark
The denial of birth certificates to U.S. citizen children born to immigrant parents not only jeopardizes their dignity and well-being, but could threaten the unique relationship between Mexico and Texas, the Mexican government said in a brief tied to a lawsuit filed against the state.

The Mexican government filed its amicus brief late Monday in support of a coalition of undocumented parents who are suing the state of Texas after they were denied birth certificates for their children.

The brief says that "friendly nations" have a history of accepting foreign passports or government-issued IDs to facilitate the identification of a foreigner.

"Conversely, expressions of doubt about the integrity of documents issued by a friendly country introduce a troublesome and discordant element into binational or transnational relations," the 19-page court document states.

Attorneys with the Texas Civil Rights Project and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid filed the lawsuit against the Department of State Health Services on behalf of six U.S. citizen children and their parents who are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. The original complaint was filed in May and has been amended twice to include more than 30 families. La Unión Del Pueblo Entero, or LUPE, an immigrant rights group with about 7,000 members, has also joined the lawsuit.

At issue is the refusal by county registrars' offices to accept the parents' foreign passports as a valid form of identification without a valid U.S. visa or consular identification card. The families claim the state has violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause by rejecting the documents, and is also violating the Supremacy Clause by enforcing federal immigration laws.

Comment: As with massive refugee flows around the world, this one is composed of desperate individuals trying to give their children a better life away from the chaos of their home countries. If the US would stop meddling in the affairs of Latin America, likely there wouldn't be so much of a problem.


Light Saber

Minnesota Congresswoman demands accountability for Nakba Day killings in Palestine

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© Orlanado Crowcroft for The National
A month before an Israeli border police officer is set to go on trial in Israel for the killing of Palestinian teenager Nadeen Nawara, Minnesota Congressperson Rep. Betty McCollum has requested the State Department to investigate whether the killings of Nawara and a second teen, Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher, both killed during a Nakba Day protest in the occupied West Bank in 2014, constitute a violation of the Leahy Law on aid to human rights violators.

McCollum's forthright letter on the two killings now known as the Nakba Day killings, asked that a U.S. State Department official be present at the trial "to observe the conduct ... to ensure appropriate standards of justice are achieved." The Leahy Law prohibits the U. S. from providing military assistance "to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights." The exception to this prohibition is if "the government of such country is taking effective steps to bring responsible members to justice."

McCollum, a St.Paul Democrat, references the "brutal system of occupation that devalues and dehumanizes Palestinian children" and characterized Nawara's death as appearing to be "a blatant example of unlawful killing." She requested the U.S. impress upon Israeli officials that our government expects a transparent and credible trial; "The person(s) responsible for the murder of this Palestinian youth must be held accountable."

The Israeli military and their colleagues in the Israeli government have operated in all forms of denial in the face of Palestinian and international outrage over the Nakba Day killings since the day they took place, May 15th, 2014. Although initial medical reports concluded the teens were killed by live fire, the Israeli military denied this, saying that military and border police could not be responsible since only non lethal rubber bullet ammunitions were used that day. When video emerged to confirm live fire, they spun the killings of Nawara and Daher to such an extraordinary extent as to suggest that Palestinians fired the shots, not Israeli soldiers, and claimed the video was "likely forged".


Comment: Once again, Israel is creating their own reality to fit their perception of the 'evil' Palestinians. Forever playing the victim.


Comment: See also: The virtue & necessity of deconstructing 'anti-semitism'


Stormtrooper

Police almost kill teens for setting up telescope that cops thought 'looked like a rifle'

© WDAY 6
Police in Fargo, North Dakota nearly killed two NDSU students, and it was all because officers thought their telescope was a rifle, and their sweater was a "tactical vest."

University students Levi Joraanstad and Colin Waldera were both setting up the large telescope that happened to look nothing like a rifle whatsoever. They said their intention was to take pictures of the moon behind their apartment garage.

Shortly after they started setting up the telescope, they were blinded by a bright light. They assumed it was local bullies harassing them, so at first they ignored them.

Then the voices of the bullies got louder and told them that they would be shot if they didn't stop moving.

At this point they no longer thought it was a joke, whoever it was who was harassing them.

Shortly after freezing in place, hoping not to be shot by the local bullies, they were informed that those armed bullies were in fact police officers.

Comment: Police now are clearly unable to comprehend any sort of normal behaviour.


Snakes in Suits

Psychopathic India judge orders two young women be gang raped, paraded naked as punishment for their brothers elopement

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© amnesty.org.uk
Over 60,000 people signed an Amnesty International UK's petition demanding the government intervene in the case of two Indian sisters sentenced to rape and humiliation for their brother's deed by a local council dominated by a higher caste.

An unelected all-male council from a village in India's Baghpat district handed down the ruling on July 30, ordering Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her sister, 15, to be raped as well as paraded naked with blackened faces.

The council deemed this an appropriate punishment for their brother's elopement with a married woman from the higher Jat caste. The brother, known as Ravi, is reportedly from the Dalit caste, which is India's lowest, formerly known as the "untouchables." He ran away with his beloved despite fears of retribution.

"Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment. It's not fair. It's not right. And it's against the law. Demand that the local authorities intervene immediately," Amnesty International said, calling on people worldwide to sign their petition to persuade the Indian government to intervene.

Fearing for their safety, both sisters fled their village along with their family back in May. Their house was looted soon thereafter.

The Jat caste is very powerful in the village, Amnesty quoted Sumit Kumar, another of Meenaksh's brothers, as saying. "The Jat decision is final."

Amnesty UK's Urgent Action Coordinator, Rachel Alcock, told the Mirror that such "disgusting" punishments are common in the villages all over India. "These Khap courts routinely order vile sexually violent punishments against women. India's Supreme Court has rightly declared such orders illegal."

Comment: There is a psychological theory that can explain why this conscienceless judge thinks that rape as a form of punishment is appropriate. From Political Ponerology, p. 119:
Any human group affected by the process described herein is characterized by its increasing regression from natural common sense and the ability to perceive psychological reality. Someone considering this in terms of traditional categories might consider it an instance of "turning into half-wits" or the development of intellectual deficiencies and moral failings. A ponerological analysis of this process, however, indicates that pressure is being applied to the more normal part of the association by pathological factors present in certain individuals who have been allowed to participate in the group because the lack of good psychological knowledge has not mandated their exclusion.

Thus whenever we observe some group member being treated with no critical distance, although he betrays one of the psychological anomalies familiar to us, and his opinions being treated as at least equal to those of normal people, although they are based on characteristically different view of human matters, we must derive the conclusion that this human group is affected by a ponerogenic process and if measures are not taken the process shall continue to its logical conclusion.

We shall treat this in accordance with the above described first criterion of ponerology, which retains its validity regardless of the qualitative and quantitative features of such a union: the atrophy of natural critical facilities with respect to pathological individuals becomes an opening to their activities, and, at the same time, a criterion for recognizing the association in concern as ponerogenic.

Such a state of affairs simultaneously consists as a liminal (watershed) situation, whereupon further damage to people's healthy common sense and critical moral faculties becomes even easier. Once a group has inhaled a sufficient dose of pathological material to give birth to the conviction that these not-quite-normal people are unique geniuses, it starts subjecting its more normal members to pressure characterized by corresponding paralogical and paramoral elements.
See also:


Life Preserver

Global response to people fleeing ravages of war: 'callous indifference,' humanitarian failure

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© Stephen Ryan / IFRC
A Syrian father carries his daughter on 8 August 2015 to Gevgelija train station in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia where they will register with the authorities before proceeding north towards Serbia.
It's a crisis of record proportions that is being met with global "callous indifference" and failed, dehumanizing responses, human rights experts say.

The crisis, described as Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War Two, involves hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict, many from Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, trying to reach safety in Europe.

For some, the journey reaches a fatal end. As the Associated Press notes, the deaths come "by land and sea."

Austrian officials said Friday that 71 likely Syrian refugees, including eight women and three children, died in the back of a truck that was abandoned in Hungary.

Comment: Not many want to look at the root of the problem which is the US and the West with their imperial wars forcing many to flee from their war torn counties.


Pistol

Houston Sheriff's deputy shot dead in 'execution-style killing' at gas station

© Richard Carson / Reuters
Houston police are on a manhunt for the killer of a sheriff's deputy, who was ambushed and shot dead at a gas station.

The male suspect killed the uniformed officer as he was fueling his patrol car in the northwest of the city Friday.

"It appears to be an unprovoked execution-style killing of a police officer," said Sheriff Ron Hickman.


Sun

Water wars? Devastating shortages will fuel MidEast conflicts for 25 years

© Osman Orsal / Reuters
In a worrying global trend, the Middle East is set for a record water shortage to strike over the next 25 years. The global fallout from the recent record heatwaves will force more and more people into overcrowded cities and stagnate economic growth.

Worse still, according to scientists with the World Resource Institute (WRI), water shortages will exacerbate existing conflicts - and the factor is considered to have contributed to the rising violence in Syria that erupted in 2011.

"Drought and water shortages in Syria likely contributed to the unrest that stoked the country's 2011 civil war. Dwindling water resources and chronic mismanagement forced 1.5 million people, primarily farmers and herders, to lose their livelihoods and leave their land, move to urban areas, and magnify Syria's general destabilization," a new WRI report says.

Comment: So the authors conclude a "climate agreement" is needed as if governments can control the climate. Water management and conservation practices will help but Mother Nature may have other ideas. Read Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection.


Megaphone

Mass shootings and gun control in the U.S.: The problem is not gun laws, but a society dripping in fear, insecurity, anger and violence

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© Chris Keane / Reuters
People gather to pay respects at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia, August 26, 2015.
The problem in the US is much deeper than simply access to weapons, the whole society is dripping with fear, with violence, people are afraid of each other and there is a lot of insecurity, journalist and political analyst Caleb Maupin, told RT.

RT: A TV crew was shot dead in Virginia in the US during a live interview. It is another tragic shooting which has reignited the debate over gun control in the US. But in the past the pro-gun lobby always seemed to win through - will this be any different?

Caleb Maupin: US media often portrays kind of a false image of US society, and a lot of people around the world are led to believe that the US is some kind of paradise in which the streets are paved with iPads and everyone lives in prosperity. But for a few moments on live television people [on Wednesday] saw what the US is really like. This is a society dripping with fear, with violence and people walk around really upset and afraid of each other and there is a lot of insecurity.

Of course there is going to be a debate about gun control following this, but the issue is obviously something deeper than that, because there are many countries around the world where people are heavily armed, but they don't feel a need to kill each other and there are not these kinds of mass shootings we see routinely happening here in the US. The problem is much deeper than simply access to weapons.

Comment: To expand upon Caleb Maupin's excellent analysis, we have a society in the U.S. set up by psychopaths in power that forces us to be at each other's throats to survive a system set up by those same psychopaths. We should all be gathering together to remove them from power to eliminate the horrible system which terrorizes us all, yet we're too busy fighting against each other to notice the big picture. As long as that's case, the Powers That Be will be happy to sit idly by while we slaughter each other.


Camcorder

Police in LA set to roll out body cams for over 7,000 officers but will not share recordings with public

© Rick Wilking / Reuters
Hundreds of police in Los Angeles, California will begin wearing body cameras Monday, after a year of preparations. Once fully operational, the LAPD body cam program will be the most extensive in the US, but recordings will be kept from the public.

The first wave of cameras was funded by $1.5 million from private donors, such as Steven Spielberg and the Los Angeles Dodgers. They will go to 860 officers in LAPD's Mission division, covering the northwestern suburbs in the San Fernando Valley. LAPD plans to outfit more than 7,000 officers with body cameras over the coming months. By contrast, New York is currently using 60 cameras in a pilot program, and wants to buy 5,000 more.

While favoring the use of body cameras in principle, the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Southern California chapter has written in opposition to the LAPD program, objecting to the policy of allowing officers to review the recordings, but not the general public. A recent ACLU poll found that 79 percent of California voters favor public access to the findings and conclusions of investigations into police misconduct, including body cam footage.

"This secrecy around peace officer records undermines transparency, obstructs efforts to hold law enforcement accountable for its actions, and breeds distrust between police and the communities they serve," said Peter Bibring, the chapter's director of police practices.

Stormtrooper

Journalists covering Virginia shooting threatened by police, forced to delete footage taken where shooter crashed

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© David Manning / Reuters
The car of suspected gunman Vester L. Flanagan, also known as Bryce Williams, is seen off Highway I-66 in Fauquier County, Virginia August 26, 2015
Two BBC journalists say they were threatened by Virginia police after filming the scene where gunman Bryce Williams crashed and shot himself on Wednesday. They say a cop threatened to confiscate their camera and car if they did not delete their footage.

White House reporter Tara McKelvey and videojournalist Fraz Strasser were among the first to arrive at the scene on I-66, where Bryce Williams - also known as Vester Flanagan - crashed his vehicle and shot himself hours after killing journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward during a live news broadcast in Virginia.

Strasser tweeted that he and McKelvey were told the footage "could be evidence," and that they were forced to delete it. He added that a cop by the name of Officer Clark threatened to tow their car because it was apparently illegally parked.

Strasser said the officer watched him delete his file and let him go. Another officer reportedly "apologized and said we have to understand," he tweeted.