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Stop CISA: Join EFF in a Week of Action Opposing Broad “Cybersecurity” Surveillance Legislation

from Common Dreams

How do you kill a zombie bill like CISA? Grassroots action. That’s why EFF and over a dozen other groups are asking you to join us in a Week of Action to Stop CISA.  The Senate is likely to vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) in the coming weeks, and only you can help us stop it.

We keep hearing that CISA and the other “cybersecurity” bills moving through Congress are “must-pass” legislation. But just like the original version of CISA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), we think grassroots activism can stop this legislation in its tracks.

CISA is fundamentally flawed because of its broad immunity clauses for companies, vague definitions, and aggressive spying powers. Combined, they make the bill a surveillance bill in disguise. The bill may even make things worse for Internet users in several ways. That’s why we’re launching a week of action to make sure Congress is getting the message loud and clear:  CISA must not pass.

[read more here]

Tsipras and Varoufakis Approve of Home Evictions and Expropriation of Depositors

from Global Research

… Last Wednesday, both Tsipras and his former finance minister went even further by giving their consent to a reform package that will facilitate foreclosures and home evictions. Given the disastrous economic situation, high unemployment and the ongoing capital controls, thousands of home owners will fall into arrears with their interest and repayment installments in the coming months and thus become victims of this new legislation, which will go into effect on 1 January 2016.

Tsipras and Varoufakis, who loved posing as the advocates of the common people during their election campaign, are thus frankly siding with collecting agencies and openly turning their backs on working people strangled by debt.

However, there was worse to come in Wednesday’s vote. Pretending to “protect “Greek taxpayers, Tsipras and Varoufakis also gave their consent to the EU’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD). This legislation provides for the replacement of bailouts of banks with taxpayers’ money by the partial expropriation of savers, depositors and shareholders.

[read more here]

Greece’s Syriza makes military deal with Israel that only US has made

(Anymore questions about Syriza? No?)

from Mondoweiss

Greece’s ruling ostensibly left-wing Syriza party signed a “status of forces” accord with Israel on July 19. The Jerusalem Post explains that the agreement “offers legal defense to both militaries while training in the other’s country.”

That is to say, it is a pact in which Greece agrees to help the Israeli military—which has illegally militarily occupied and colonized Palestinian sovereign territory for almost five decades and which, practically bi-annually, demolishes infrastructure and massacres civilians and journalists (whom it deliberately targets when soldiers are “bored”) in Gaza.

Only one other country in the world has signed such an accord with Israel; that country is the US, which calls its uncritical support of Israel the “special relationship.”

“We very much appreciate your visit here during a difficult period for Greece,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and an aggressive war hawk, told his Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos at a meeting in the Israeli Defense Ministry. “This underlines the importance of relations between the countries,” Ya’alon added.

Kammenos defended the deal on “anti-terrorism” grounds. He insisted that the “Greek people are very close to the people in Israel.”

[read more here]

Guess Who Else Is Fundraising for Clinton: Private Prison Lobbyists

from Common Dreams

In addition to Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is turning to lobbyists for the two biggest private prison companies in the country, Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, to raise money for her 2016 presidential candidacy.

Lee Fang of The Intercept made the discovery after examining Clinton’s list of lobbyists who are bundlers for her presidential bid, released last week. Bundlers are people who raise money for campaigns by organizing and collecting contributions from other donors.

[read more here]

Oklahoma Takes A Hard Look At What Police Seize — And How It’s Spent

from NPR

In Oklahoma, some people in charge of enforcing the law seem to be skirting it. State audits have found people in district attorney offices have used seized money and property to live rent-free and pay off student loans.

When state Sen. Kyle Loveless first heard about the audits, he’d already been thinking about amending the civil asset forfeiture laws — mainly because the state doesn’t always follow the law.

“We’ve seen in Oklahoma — through county commissioner scandals, Supreme Court justice scandals — if we let people go without any checks and balances in place, bad things happen,” Loveless says.

The forfeiture laws are loose in Oklahoma. Law enforcement can seize property or money they believe was used in a crime — even if they don’t charge anyone.

Forfeited funds that aren’t contested stay with the seizing agency or local prosecutors. They’re supposed to be used for “law enforcement purposes,” but Sen. Loveless says paying off student loans with this money seems like a stretch.

“When asked about it, law enforcement said, ‘Well, he’s a DA and he prosecutes bad guys, so therefore it’s law enforcement,’ ” he says.

[read more here]

Prison Reform Plan is Really About Expanding Slave Labor for the Prison Industrial Complex

by Scott Creighton

I just watched John Oliver (reactionary right activism presented as left-cover comedy) do a segment on Obama’s new prison reform agenda and I was quite sickened by it. He failed to mention anything to do with the prison-industrial-complex when talking about how mandatory minimum sentencing laws were pushed over the past 30 year or so and also failed to mention the fact that the biggest supporters of this new agenda just happen to be the reactionary/neoliberal Koch brothers.

His segment uses the same heart-stringing pulling tricks any other standard propaganda utilizes including children crying because “mommy” is in jail for helping sell crack (lots of crack) to addicts, ruining their lives forever. It also used deception in that most states have repealed or at least softened mandatory minimum sentencing laws over the last decade and even California’s “three strikes” law now states someone can’t be given life unless that last strike is a serious violent crime.

I hate John Oliver. The last segment I saw of his was pushing for having the federal government ease restrictions on food “sell by” dates and give Big Business some tax money (or big tax breaks) for “donating” that outdated food to shelters or other hungry folks. Also mentioned in that little clip is the call for making it harder for someone to sue Big Business when they get sick from eating that deregulated, tax-dime paid for food they were given. That’s right: Big Business has found a way to curb some of their losses in the commercial grocery business and John Oliver is their go-to guy to help them sell it as “progressive”

The prison reform bill John Oliver alludes to, the one his segment says has the most bi-partisan support of any other legislation, is called the “Corrections Oversight, Recidivism Reduction, and Eliminating Costs for Taxpayers In Our National System Act of 2015 or the CORRECTIONS Act” by Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] (Introduced 02/11/2015)

It should be noted that John never mentions the name of the legislation, probably because the producers at his HBO show don’t want his “progressive” listeners to look it up and read a little bit about it.

Here’s the “correction”: it establishes a system by which EVERY PRISON must make contact with “private entities” in order to establish what they call “recidivism reduction programs” and the prisoners who are mandated to participate will work for those “private entities” for low or next to no pay in exchange for a slight reduction in their sentence.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is slave labor.

Continue reading

Goddamnit! My #GunsMakeObamaCrySoLetsGetRidOfThem is Going Nowhere! :(

by Scott Creighton

So I thought I would make a new Obama-agenda-supporting hashtag and cash in on some of that George Soros foundation money but so far all I got under it is two f#ckin Tweets, both of em mine. I’m going nowhere fast. Maybe I should get those #BlackLivesMatter ladies to help me out. You think it’s too long or what?

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