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Che Guevara

A Victory for All of Us: Obama's NDAA struck down in court of law

© AP/Mary Altaffer
Iraq War veteran Sgt. Shamar Thomas leads a demonstration in New York’s Grand Central Station to call attention to a law signed by President Barack Obama that granted extraordinary powers to the military.
In January, attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran asked me to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that challenged the harsh provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We filed the lawsuit, worked for hours on the affidavits, carried out the tedious depositions, prepared the case and went to trial because we did not want to be passive in the face of another egregious assault on basic civil liberties, because resistance is a moral imperative, and because, at the very least, we hoped we could draw attention to the injustice of the law. None of us thought we would win. But every once in a while the gods smile on the damned.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, in a 68-page opinion, ruled Wednesday that Section 1021 of the NDAA was unconstitutional. It was a stunning and monumental victory. With her ruling she returned us to a country where - as it was before Obama signed this act into law Dec. 31 - the government cannot strip a U.S. citizen of due process or use the military to arrest him or her and then hold him or her in military prison indefinitely. She categorically rejected the government's claims that the plaintiffs did not have the standing to bring the case to trial because none of us had been indefinitely detained, that lack of imminent enforcement against us meant there was no need for an injunction and that the NDAA simply codified what had previously been set down in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act. The ruling was a huge victory for the protection of free speech. Judge Forrest struck down language in the law that she said gave the government the ability to incarcerate people based on what they said or wrote. Maybe the ruling won't last. Maybe it will be overturned. But we and other Americans are freer today than we were a week ago. And there is something in this.

Great-grandma: Ready to 'lose' my life protesting

Arrow Down

Three climbers die on Everest descent

© Dan Rafla/Getty Images/Aurora Creative
A German, a Nepal-born Canadian and a Korean died while descending from the 8,850m (29,035ft) summit.
Reports of 'traffic jam' during busy climbing season as two people still missing after wind storm sweeps the mountain

Three climbers who were among scores who scaled Mount Everest over the weekend died on their descent and two more are missing, a Nepalese official said on Monday.

The first clear weather conditions of the spring climbing season were Friday and Saturday, but a windstorm swept the higher altitudes of the mountain by Saturday afternoon, said Gyanendra Shrestha of Nepal's mountaineering department.

An estimated 150 climbers reached the summit on either day, most of them on Saturday.

"There was a traffic jam on the mountain on Saturday. Climbers were still heading to the summit as late as 2:30pm which is quite dangerous," Shrestha told Associated Press by telephone from Everest's base camp.


'Monster of Riga' Dutch paedophile jailed for 18 years


'Robert M.'
A Dutch paedophile referred to as Robert M has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for abusing more than 60 children, some just a few months old.

Robert M was arrested after a US investigation into an international paedophile ring.

The Latvian-born Dutch defendant has been dubbed "The Monster of Riga" by the national press.

This is the worst case of its kind the Netherlands has ever seen, says the BBC's Anna Holligan in the Netherlands.

There were dramatic scenes in court, our correspondent says, with the accused throwing water and directing obscene gestures at the judge.

The presiding judge said he had imposed a long sentence in view of the "nature of the facts, the refined way they were planned and their duration".

Comment: That's just a garden variety monster. Here be real monsters:

Beyond the Dutroux Affair: The reality of protected child abuse and snuff networks in a world ruled by psychopaths

The psychopath-controlled media is obviously trying to over-sensationalise the story to make it seem like 'This is as bad as it gets, folks!'

It's not, it's far worse than that. Thousands of children go missing every year in The Netherlands alone. We have a good idea where they end up but investigations are routinely blocked in order to protect the psychopaths in power.

Heart - Black

Artist Arrested While Hanging 'I ♥ NY' Bags from Streetlights, Charged with 'Planting Bombs'

© tmiyakawadesign.com
One of Miyakawa's installations
An artist who installed illuminated plastic shopping bags emblazoned with the "I ♥ NY" logo on lampposts in Brooklyn was arrested over the weekend, charged with "planting false bombs" and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.

Takeshi Miyakawa, the 50-year-old Tokyo-born artist, was arrested at 2 a.m. in Brooklyn while he was hanging one of the bags from a tree, according to his website. The NYPD bomb squad was alerted after a passerby noticed one of Miyakawa's installations on Friday morning and called to report "a suspicious package attached to a tree."

Police cleared the area for two hours, according to the Daily News. They later observed Miyakawa on top of a ladder with "an assembly consisting of a plastic box containing wires which was connected by a wire to a plastic bag containing a battery suspended from a metal rod."

The installation project was intended to be part of NY Design Week 2012.

On Sunday, a judge ordered Miyakawa held for a mental evaluation, "extending his detainment for an additional 30 days," his lawyer said.


The Psychopaths Killed Another American

The Psychopaths killed another American this month. Dave Johnson over at AlterNet is telling the story of Norman Rousseau and his wife - two people who did everything they were supposed to do. They were responsible homeowners who did business with Wells Fargo and put a 30% down payment on this house in California back in 2000, and they made every payment from then on - never missing even one single month. At that same time, the housing bubble frenzy took off. Banks discovered they could make enormous profits dragging homeowners away from safe fixed-rate mortgages and into exploding adjustable rate mortgages. For the bank, it didn't matter if the interest rate on the new loan would skyrocket and eventually lead to a foreclosure. The bank got their money no matter what, either through missed payment fees, late-payment fees, refinancing fees, and then after foreclosure through government support, tax write-offs, and the underlying value of the property, which they end up with.

Comment: If you haven't yet, buy these books, read them, pass them around. It's not too late but time's a-wastin'...

Without Conscience
Snakes in Suits
Sociopath Next Door
Puzzling People
Political Ponerology

Che Guevara

Veterans Symbolically Discard Service Medals at anti-NATO Rally

© Reuters / Adrees Latif
A U.S. war veteran pulls his medals off his uniform before throwing them towards the site of the NATO Summit in Chicago on May 20, 2012. Nearly 50 veterans threw service medals into the street near the summit site in protest.
Chicago - Nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street on Sunday, an action they said symbolized their rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some of the veterans, many wearing military uniform shirts over black anti-war t-shirts, choked back tears as they explained their actions. Others folded an American flag while a bugle played "Taps," which is typically performed at U.S. military funerals.

"The medals are supposed to be for acts of heroism. I don't feel like a hero. I don't feel like I deserve them," said Zach LaPorte, who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.

LaPorte, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer from Milwaukee, said he enlisted in the Army at 19 because he felt there were few other options. At the time, he could not afford to stay in college.

"I witnessed civilian casualties and civilians being arrested in what I consider an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation," LaPorte said.

He said he was glad the United States had withdrawn its combat troops from Iraq, but said he did not believe the NATO military alliance was going to leave Afghanistan.

Comment: From natoindymedia at Chicago:


Ex-Rutgers Student Gets 30 Days Prison in Webcam Spying Case

New Brunswick, New Jersey - A former Rutgers University student was sentenced on Monday to 30 days in prison for bias crimes after he spied on his roommate's gay encounter in a case that drew national attention to bullying.

Dharun Ravi, 20, had faced a maximum of 10 years behind bars for his conviction for using a webcam to invade the privacy of his roommate, Tyler Clementi, and another man in their college dorm room.

Clementi, 18, committed suicide in September 2010, days after learning Ravi watched him through the computer-mounted camera and used social media to encourage others to do so. Ravi was not charged with causing Clementi's death.

Judge Glenn Berman sentenced him to 30 days in prison, followed by three years probation, 300 hours of community service as well as counseling about cyberbullying and alternative lifestyles.

He ordered Ravi to pay $10,000 for a community-based organization that assists victims of bias crimes and to pay $1,900 in penalties.


At Least 45 Arrests, Some Injuries in Chicago anti-NATO Clashes

© Agence France-Presse
Anti-war protesters face police during a rally near the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20, 2012.
Chicago - Four police officers were injured and 45 demonstrators arrested after baton-wielding police clashed with anti-war protesters marching on the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday, police said.

A lawyer's group assisting protesters challenged police figures, saying at least 12 protesters were hurt, some with head wounds from police batons, and more than 60 people detained.

The confrontation began after a 2 1/2 mile march from a Chicago park to near the site of the summit, where leaders of the NATO alliance are discussing the war in Afghanistan.

Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy defended police tactics.

"I know that picture (of officers in riot gear pushing and hitting protesters) is going to be what people are going to run away here with," McCarthy told reporters. "But cops are not here to be assaulted."

Most of the officers sustained minor injuries, but one was stabbed in the leg, McCarthy said.

While the melee at the end of the rally received the most attention, the situation had calmed down by dark.

The size of the protests over the last week fell short of expectations. Police estimated about 3,000 people attended on Sunday, although many participants thought the crowd was larger. Organizers did not get the 10,000 people they had hoped for, or the 40,000 the anti-Wall Street Occupy movement boasted it would attract.

On Sunday afternoon, police ordered the protesters to disperse or risk arrest. Most of the demonstrators did, but several hundred ignored the order and police moved in.


Dominique Strauss-Kahn 'faces gang rape investigation after prostitute claims she was assaulted at Washington's W hotel'

© Reuters
Shameful fall from grace: Dominique Strauss-Kahn
French prosecutors have today opened an investigation into an alleged gang rape involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

It follows a complaint by a Belgian prostitute that she was attacked by the former International Monetary Fund chief in a hotel room in the United States. The alleged crime is said to have taken place in December 2010 close to the White House in Washington DC.

Described by three judges as a possible 'gang rape', it is set to form vital evidence into a prostitute ring working out of the Carlton Hotel in Lille, northern France. Prosecutors in the city today confirmed that they had opened a formal investigation, and that Strauss-Kahn faced charges over the matter.

Highly-paid young women working for the ring are said to have flown to the USA to take part in 'sex parties' with Strauss-Kahn and other men at the W Hotel in Washington.


Facebook's IPO: Overnight Millionaires Begin Lavish Spending Spree

face book billioaires
© Unknown
Facebook's $104 billion initial public offering on Friday transformed thousands of young people into instant millionaires - as well as a few billionaires - and already the booming luxury market in Silicon Valley is experiencing an upswing.

Multi-million dollar mansions and $100,000 Porsches are flying off local shelves in the Palo Alto, Santa Clara and Menlo Park areas of California. And the charge of luxury living is being led by a group of young entrepreneurs and techies as well as investors and venture capitalists that have scored famously from Facebook's Nasdaq debut.

Facebook (FB: 38.23, +0.23, +0.61%) began trading on the stock exchange Friday morning in a $104 billion IPO that marked the second-biggest in history behind Visa (V: 112.64, -2.37, -2.06%) and ahead of General Motors (GM: 21.18, -0.43, -1.99%). When CEO Mark Zuckerberg rang the opening bell, he and few close colleagues became instant billionaires, while thousands of lower-level employees became millionaires.