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Sun

Nonprofit humanitarian organization to bring solar energy to Gaza

Gaza
© Solar Gaza Lights Project
Solar Panels in Gaza
Gaza is in desperate need of power. One organization hopes to bring clean, renewable energy to Gaza with the installation of solar panels.

Over the past few months an international team of humanitarians have been organizing a project which would bring solar power to Gaza. Gaza engineer, Naji Abu Shaaban, along with his group of engineers in Gaza have been working around the clock to make this solar project a reality.

Outside of Gaza are a number of supporters of this project which include internationally recognized artist, Martha Tjoe Nij, who has supported the project from her home in Suriname. A Turkish webmaster, Hatice, volunteered her time to create a website for the Solar Gaza project, which has evolved from #SolarGaza when it was started on Twitter as an idea, to its new official title Solar Gaza Lights.
Post-It Note

We are trapped in a narrative

© Harris & Ewing
National Capital digs out after storm Jan 14 1939.
I've addressed the issue a hundred times, and it pains me to see it only gets worse. But it does. And it's not my pain that counts, it has no meaning whatsoever, it's the fact that we are inching ever closer to the kind of situations none of us would choose.

That is, war, people dying from sheer misery, people dying because they have no access to the services we take for granted, and even people being shelled by their own government.

All these things are happening as we speak, and we accept them lying down - on our couches - and choose to ignore and even deny them, because we are trapped in narratives spun by those who see a profit in spreading these narratives. And who have a solid grip on what gets spun and what is not.

This is not going to end well. Not unless we speak up. Not for anyone amongst us. This one will not pass by your door, or mine. We're approaching decision time. For the world, for your life and mine. It's time to pick sides.

Comment: The author is right; decision time is near. Will you let your voice be heard to stop the inhumanity or sit idly by?

Light Saber

Astonishing speech by African-American Mississippi judge to three white murderers

Here's an astonishing speech by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, one of just two African-Americans to have ever served as federal judges in Mississippi. He read it to three young white men before sentencing them for the death of a 48-year-old black man named James Craig Anderson in a parking lot in Jackson, Miss., one night in 2011. They were part of a group that beat Anderson and then killed him by running over his body with a truck, yelling "white power" as they drove off.

The speech is long; Reeves asked the young men to sit down while he read it aloud in the courtroom. And it's breathtaking, in both the moral force of its arguments and the palpable sadness with which they are delivered. We have decided to publish the speech, which we got from the blog Breach of Peace, in its entirety below. A warning to readers: He uses the word "nigger" 11 times.
© WTVR
Deryl Paul Dedmon, 22, was sentenced to 50 years in prison; John Aaron Rice, 21, to more than 18 years; and Dylan Wade Butler, 23, to seven years, for their roles in the hate crime death of a James Craig Anderson, 48, federal authorities said.
One of my former history professors, Dennis Mitchell, recently released a history book entitled, A New History of Mississippi. "Mississippi," he says, "is a place and a state of mind. The name evokes strong reactions from those who live here and from those who do not, but who think they know something about its people and their past." Because of its past, as described by Anthony Walton in his book, Mississippi: An American Journey, Mississippi "can be considered one of the most prominent scars on the map" of these United States. Walton goes on to explain that "there is something different about Mississippi; something almost unspeakably primal and vicious; something savage unleashed there that has yet to come to rest." To prove his point, he notes that, "[o]f the 40 martyrs whose names are inscribed in the national Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, AL, 19 were killed in Mississippi." "How was it," Walton asks, "that half who died did so in one state?" — my Mississippi, your Mississippi and our Mississippi.

Mississippi has expressed its savagery in a number of ways throughout its history — slavery being the cruelest example, but a close second being Mississippi's infatuation with lynchings. Lynchings were prevalent, prominent and participatory. A lynching was a public ritual — even carnival-like — within many states in our great nation. While other states engaged in these atrocities, those in the Deep South took a leadership role, especially that scar on the map of America — those 82 counties between the Tennessee line and the Gulf of Mexico and bordered by Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama.

Vivid accounts of brutal and terrifying lynchings in Mississippi are chronicled in various sources: Ralph Ginzburg's 100 Years of Lynching and Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, just to name two. But I note that today, the Equal Justice Initiative released Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror; apparently, it too is a must-read.

Comment: To understand the nature of spellbinders in political leadership, the role they play in society, and the effect they have on the psychological structure of your average person, read the following excerpt from Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes by Andrew M. Lobaczewski: an expert in psychopaths and how they affect society:
In order to comprehend ponerogenic paths, especially those acting in a wider social context, let us observe the roles and personalities of individuals we shall call "spellbinders" who are highly active in this area in spite of their statistically negligible number. They are generally the carriers of various pathological factors, some characteropathies, and some inherited anomalies....

Spellbinders are characterized by pathological egotism. Such a person is forced by some internal causes to make an early choice between two possibilities: the first is forcing other people to think and experience things in a manner similar to his own; the second is a feeling of being lonely and different, a pathological misfit in social life. Sometimes the choice is either snake-charming or suicide.

Triumphant repression of self-critical or unpleasant concepts from the field of consciousness gradually gives rise to the phenomena of conversion thinking, or paralogistics, paramoralisms, and the use of reversion blockades. They stream so profusely from the mind and mouth of the spellbinder that they flood the average person's mind. Everything becomes subordinated to the spellbinder's over-compensatory conviction that they are exceptional, sometimes even messianic. An ideology emerges from this conviction, true in part, whose value is supposedly superior. However, if we analyze the exact functions of such an ideology in the spellbinder's personality, we perceive that it is a nothing other than a means of self-charming, useful for repressing those tormenting self-critical associations into the subconscious. The ideology's instrumental role in influencing other people also serves the spellbinder's needs.

The spellbinder places on a high moral plane anyone who has succumbed to his influence and incorporated the experiential method he imposes. He showers such people with attention and property, if possible. Critics are met with "moral" outrage. It can even be proclaimed that the compliant minority is in fact the moral majority, since it professes the best ideology and honors a leader whose qualities are above average.

Such an individual fishes an environment or society for people amenable to his influence, deepening their psychological weaknesses until they finally join together in a ponerogenic union. On the other hand, people who have maintained their healthy critical faculties intact, based upon their own common sense and moral criteria, attempt to counteract the spellbinders' activities and their results. In the resulting polarization of social attitudes, each side justifies itself by means of moral categories. That is why such commonsense resistance is always accompanied by some feeling of helplessness and deficiency of criteria.

The awareness that a spellbinder is always a pathological individual should protect us from the known results of a moralizing interpretation of pathological phenomena, ensuring us an objective criteria for more effective action. Explaining what kind of pathological substratum is hidden behind a given instance of spellbinding activities should enable a modern solution to such situations. ...

Doubletalk is only one of many symptoms. Others are the specific facility for producing new names which have suggestive effects and are accepted virtually uncritically, in particular outside the immediate scope of such a system's rule. We must thus point out the paramoralistic character and paranoidal qualities frequently contained within these names. The action of paralogisms and paramoralisms in this deformed ideology becomes comprehensible to us based on the information presented in Chapter IV. Anything which threatens pathocratic rule becomes deeply immoral. ...

Whenever a society contains serious social problems, there will also be some group of sensible people striving to improve the social situation by means of energetic reforms, so as to eliminate the cause of social tension. Others consider it their duty to bring about a moral rejuvenation of society.

Elimination of social injustice and reconstruction of the country's morals and civilization could deprive a pathocracy of any chance to take over. Such reformers and moralists must therefore be consistently neutralized by means of liberal or conservative positions and appropriately suggestive catchwords and paramoralisms; if necessary, the best among them has to be murdered. ...

Protecting one's mind from the effects of paralogistic propaganda, as well as one's personality from the influence of paramoralisms and the other techniques already described, sharpens controlled thinking processes and the ability to discern these phenomena. Such training is also a special kind of common man's university.
See: Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes

Footprints

Hysteria: When letting your kids out of your sight becomes a crime

danielle meitiv
© Sammy Dallal
SILVER SPRING, MD - JANUARY 16: Danielle Meitiv waits with her son Rafi, Meitiv, 10, for Danielle's daughter Dvora Meitiv, 6, to be dropped off at the neighborhood school bus stop in Silver Spring MD, Friday January 16, 2015.
We all want what is best for our children. We want them to be happy and successful, and we want to protect them from harm. But what if we are protecting them from extremely remote threats while ignoring the things that most endanger their well-being? What if police and child welfare officials, the experts whom we empower to protect our children, are pursuing phantom problems while neglecting those who are truly at risk?

One recent Saturday afternoon, six police officers and five patrol cars came to my home in Silver Spring. They demanded identification from my husband and entered our home despite not having a warrant to do so. The reason for this show of force? We had allowed our children to walk home from a neighborhood park by themselves.

A few hours later, a Montgomery County Child Protective Services (CPS) social worker coerced my husband into signing a "temporary safety plan" for our children by threatening to take the children "right now" — a threat she backed up with a call to the police. In the weeks that followed, another worker from the agency appeared at our door with the police and insisted that he did not need a warrant to enter our home. He also interviewed our children at school without our knowledge or permission.

When did Americans decide that allowing our kids to be out of sight was a crime?

Comment: It is interesting that while pedophiles in high places receive royal treatment from police and investigative authorities, Child Protective Services increasingly characterize anything less than "helicopter parenting" (which takes an emotional toll on children) as "child neglect and endangerment"— as if trolls hide behind every bush, waiting for parents to turn their backs. It almost seems like transference and attribution error in the collective unconscious; people can sense children are being destroyed emotionally, but it is more acceptable to blame boogeymen rather than the psychopathic and closet-pedophile elites in government, business and religion we are taught to respect and look up to.

Further reading:

Heart - Black

Water running dry for Palestinians as Israel turns off the taps


Israeli forces destroyed a 1,000 metre pipeline built to provide water to Palestinian communities. Cutting off from a regular supply of running water for nearly a year.
In the northern Jordan Valley last week, Israeli forces destroyed a 1,000 metre pipeline built to provide water to Palestinian communities. In East Jerusalem, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been cut off from a regular supply of running water for nearly a year. In Gaza, the water infrastructure has been decimated and in the homes that do receive water it is still undrinkable. Water and who controls it has become a key part of Israel's occupation, with the Palestinian territories; West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, in a constant struggle for the vital resource.

Before the birth of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, who would become the country's first president,said in 1919:
"[It is] of vital importance not only to secure all water resources already feeding the country, but also to control them at their source."
Rafael Eitan, chief of staff and minister of agriculture and environment, said some years later:
"Israel must hold on to the West Bank to make sure that Tel Aviv's taps don't run dry."

Comment: From a strategic point it makes perfect sense to cut off and control the water supply insuring more suffering for the Palestinians.

Light Saber

Israeli air force pilot turned activist: I was "part of a terror organization"

© Ryan Rodrick Beiler
Yonatan Shapira: defines conscience and bravery in speaking out against Israeli terror.
Yonatan Shapira was born on an Israeli military base the year before his father flew fighter jets in the October War of 1973. Thirty years later, twelve of them spent as an air force pilot himself, Shapira rejected the military. In 2003, he wrote a letter, pledging not to fly over the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Shapira is among the few Israelis to have declared support for the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. He has also been attacked by the Israeli military for attempting to sail towards and break the siege of Gaza.

He recently spoke to The Electronic Intifada contributor Ryan Rodrick Beiler.

Ryan Rodrick Beiler: What was it like growing up in a military family?

Yonatan Shapira: The education I got was very much about peace, equality, freedom and a lot of socialist values — caring about the other, caring about the poor — but at the same time with a big wall of negligence of Palestine. The same time I was in class learning these beautiful values, the Israeli army was engaged in occupation, land grabs, settlements, massacres, deportation of Palestinian activists.

But I didn't know these things. I truly believed that I should defend my country. I wanted to be like my father. I wanted to be a pilot in the air force and it was my dream come true when I was accepted. I became a helicopter pilot and flew rescue missions and commando transport.

RRB: When did you begin to question the military's actions?

YS: I realized something was rotten when the Israeli government started what was called the "assassination policy" in 2001-2003. Palestinian resistance failed to bring liberation and more extreme attitudes took place, such as suicide bombings and other [forms of] armed struggle. The government thought to assassinate everyone that has to do with armed resistance.

Comment: It is the brave acts, as those like Yonatan Shapira's, that reflect the voices of conscience in this world, and help make it permissible for others to speak and act on what is in their hearts.

Sheriff

Police departments blaming social media for declining recruitment rates

help wanted
© unknown
Police departments around the country are beginning to complain that widespread criticism of the institution of law enforcement is making it harder for them to find people who want to work as police officers.

The recent events in Ferguson, they say, are partly to blame for the backlash against police.

But many of us know that Ferguson is only the tip of the iceberg - underneath the surface, there are thousands of other cases of beating, raping, and killing, all committed by an institution that is supposedly here to "protect" us.

The widespread exposure and criticism of this institution is becoming so popular that officers in the Seattle Metro area are complaining that it's hard for them to find new applicants.

Comment: One of the most enduring traits of psychopathic individuals and institutions is their chronic avoidance of any responsibility for the negative reactions that normal people have to violent, oppressive behavior.

Pistol

U.S. gunman kills three young Muslims; motive disputed

A gunman who had posted anti-religious messages on Facebook and quarreled with neighbors was charged with killing three young Muslims in what police said on Wednesday was a dispute over parking and possibly a hate crime.
Namee Barakat
© REUTERS/Chris Keane
Namee Barakat and his wife Layla Barakat, parents of shooting victim Deah Shaddy Barakat, react as a video is played during a vigil on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, a full-time paralegal student from Chapel Hill, was charged with first-degree murder in Tuesday's shootings around 5 p.m. two miles (three km) from the University of North Carolina campus.

The victims were newlyweds Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student, and his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Yusor's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. All were involved in humanitarian aid programs.

Comment: US president Barack Obama denounced the murders of 3 muslims, days after the killing and world-wide outrage.
On Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized Obama and other U.S. leaders for their silence about the incident, which has garnered international attention and left some U.S. Muslims feeling concerned about their safety.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised the three victims, who were all involved in humanitarian aid work, as representing the best values of global citizenship and said he was deeply moved by scenes of thousands of people mourning their deaths.
Also see: Anti-Muslim hate crimes skyrocket: Legacy of 'war on terror'?

Network

Ten million stolen passwords were released

password_hacking
© Unknown
Earlier this week, noted security researcher and consultant Mark Burnett made waves when he posted 10 million stolen usernames and passwords on his blog. Of course, the security expert didn't post the passwords with malicious intent. Instead, his goal was to "release a clean set of data" that gives the world insights into user behavior, and also to draw attention once again to the arrest and prosecution of Barrett Brown.

Burnett didn't steal the passwords in question, of course, but they're now easily accessible to anyone and everyone — here's how you can quickly and easily find out if you are affected.

Comment: Let's hope that this leak will serve as a wake-up call to users about internet security.

Heart - Black

Paranoid America: Alabama cop accused of paralyzing Indian man during pat-down

An Alabama cop is under investigation after allegedly using excessive force while handcuffing a man visiting from India who has since been diagnosed as partly paralyzed.

Sureshbhai Patel
© AL.com
The altercation occurred last Friday when Sureshbhai Patel, a 57-year-old Indian citizen from the small town of Pij, was approached by an officer of the Madison Police Department while outside his own son's home in an affluent up-and-coming community in northern Alabama.

Police say they were responding to calls concerning a suspicious person in the neighborhood when they confronted Patel, according to a statement provided to the AL.com news portal, and learned he did not speak English.

According to local news network WHNT, Patel's son said his dad told the officers: "No English. Indian. Walking," then pointed to the family home he had been staying in for less than two weeks.

Comment: Meanwhile, an Alabama policeman has been charged with assault:
Sureshbhai Patel, 57, sued the city and two officers in a civil rights complaint filed on Thursday, alleging race factored into his treatment, his attorney said. The FBI said it was also investigating.

Police officials in Madison, Alabama, apologized to Patel and his family at a news conference on Thursday afternoon. They said one of the officers involved in the incident last Friday had been arrested on an assault charge, and officials had recommended he be fired.


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