Edward Snowden, explaining that he raised concerns over 10 times internally before choosing to leak any information, during testimony to the European Parliament released on March 7th, 2014.
In an August news conference, President Obama said there were “other avenues" available to someone like Snowden "whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions." Obama pointed to Presidential Policy Directive 19 — which set up a system for questioning classified government actions under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. However, as a contractor rather than an government employee or officer, Snowden was outside the protection of this system. “The result,” Snowden said, “was that individuals like me were left with no proper channels.”
A rare look inside the Koch brothers political empire
by Matea Gold, The Washington Post
The labyrinthian design of the political network backed by the Koch brothers and their fellow conservative donors serves several purposes, but one of the biggest is to ensure the privacy of its financial backers. As we detailed last month, the money flows through a complex maze of tax-exempt groups and limited liability corporations, creating multiple barriers that shield the identities of the donors. Such anonymous contributions should be allowed, Charles Koch has argued, to protect people from the attacks that he and his brother David and their company have fielded. Critics say the Kochs and their allies seek to influence elections without accountability.
Now a document published by Mother Jones provides a rare glimpse inside the closely held network. The spreadsheet — apparently left behind by a guest who attended a recent Koch-sponsored donor seminar at a resort outside Palm Springs – lists the names of more than 40 top donors, along with the senior Koch officials they met with during the three-day conclave.
This is not the first time we’ve learned the names of some of the Koch network donors. But the document reveals the vast resources of the group’s backers, which includes top corporate executives, hedge fund billionaires and longtime Republican financiers. Several of those in attendance also have been top contributors to American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove.
Among the notable attendees identified were:
*Papa John pizza chain founder John Schnatter
*Kenneth Griffin, chief executive of Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel
*Debra Waller, chief executive of Jockey International
*Silicon Valley real estate investor Carl Berg
The spreadsheet shows the personal attention that the Kochs and their operatives lavish on donors. Charles Koch was scheduled to hold one-on-ones with at least nine contributors, including private equity investor John Childs and TRT Holdings co-founder Robert Rowling, who were set to have sessions with him at the “Koch residence.” Many donors also met with senior staff at Americans for Prosperity, the major political arm of the network, which is in the midst of a huge campaign against vulnerable congressional Democrats. Top officials with Freedom Partners, a new tax-exempt business league that funds AFP and the other nonprofit groups, also were set to be in some of the meetings.
"It has long been reported that AFP participates in the Seminar,” said AFP spokesman Levi Russell. “It’s a great assembly of organizations and individuals who support free-market solutions, and includes some of the greatest job creators in the country. AFP is proud to be a part of it.”
A spokesman for Koch Industries declined to comment, and officials at Freedom Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Today marks the anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, which authorized the “indefinite detention” of nearly 150,000 people on American soil.
The order authorized the Secretary of War and the U.S. Army to create military zones “from which any or all persons may be excluded.” The order left who might be excluded to the military’s discretion. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt inked his name to EO9066 on Feb. 19, 1942, it opened the door for the roundup of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese citizens living along the west coast of the U.S. and their imprisonment in concentration camps. In addition, between 1,200 and 1,800 people of Japanese descent watched the war from behind barbed wire fences in Hawaii. Of those interned, 62 percent were U.S. citizens. The U.S. government also caged around 11,000 Americans of German ancestry and some 3,000 Italian-Americans.
I only learned about this when I moved to LA when I was 24. That’s too old to learn that about your own country. I’m glad kids in Southern California are taught about it (since it’s an unavoidable fact that affected kids’ grandparents here) but Boston public schools, shall we say, “whitewashed” this fact from my own education. Maybe they teach it now. Anyway #teens, don’t let your school hinder your education; hit the books at home too. xo
Blood-soaked sheild with bullet holes in it.
20 Feb 2014, Kiev, Ukraine
Protesters catch fire behind barricades as they clash with police in Kiev.
The clashes now are turning deadly as protesters have pushed police out of Independence Square. AFP just tweeted that at least 10 protesters have been killed in these new clashes. Live ammunition and police snipers are both being employed. Reuters and the Guardian are both live-blogging.
Photo Credit: Bulent Kilic/AFP
Feb. 13 2014
Throughout the late 19th century, and well into the 1950′s, Africans and in some cases Native Americans, were kept as exhibits in zoos. Far from a relic from an unenlightened past, remnants of such exhibits have continued in Europe as late as the 2000′s.
Throughout the early 20th century, Germany held what was termed a, “Peoples Show,” or Völkerschau. Africans were brought in as carnival or zoo exhibits for passers-by to gawk at.
Only decades before, in the late 1800′s, Europe had been filled with, “human zoos,” in cities like Paris, Hamburg, Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Milan, and Warsaw. New York too saw these popular exhibits continue into the 20th century. There was an average of 200,000 to 300,000 visitors who attended each exhibition in each city.
Carl Hagenbeck of Germany ran exhibits of what he called, “purely natural,” populations, usually East Asian Islanders, but in 1876, he also sent a collaborator to the Sudan to bring back, “wild beasts and Nubians.” The traveling Nubian exhibit was a huge success in cities like Paris, London, and Berlin.
The World’s Fair, in 1889 was visited by 28 million people, who lined up to see 400 indigenous people as the major attraction. The 1900 World’s Fair followed suit, as did the Colonial Exhibitions in Marseilles (1906 and 1922) and in Paris (1907 and 1931) which displayed naked or semi-naked humans in cages. Paris saw 34 million people attend their exhibition in six months alone.
Just four years shy of the 20th century, the Cincinnati Zoo kept one hundred Sioux Native Americans in a mock village at the zoo for three months.
Riot police stood back from burning barricades around Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, early Wednesday. At least 20 people died as protestors set fires to thwart police from clearing the square. (Photo: Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA via The New York Times)
This is what is hapenning in Venezuela. People get tired from insecurity & injustice so they take the streets. Government attacked them, but they’re not giving up. People waked up and we’re getting stronger. Thank you for sharing this and #PrayForVenezuela
Keep on fighting.
Ukraine’s political crisis escalated sharply Tuesday, February 18th, with at least nine people reported killed and scores injured in violent, often fiery battles between anti-government demonstrators and police in Kiev.
The clashes outside parliament erupted after the opposition accused the government of ignoring its demands even after nearly three months of protests that have paralyzed the capital. It was the worst violence since the protests began in late November. (AP)
(Photos by Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo (3), Sergei Chuzavkov/AP Photo, Andrew Kravchenko/REUTERS/Pool, Maks Levin/REUTERS)
HAPPENING NOW [VERY IMPORTANT]: Venezuela’s soldiers are killing their people. The Government is sending their armed gangs to kill them and they have censored all the media in their country, even blocking photos posted on social media sites. They shut down all the cable channels that broadcast news, so they can’t know what’s going on. The people have no source of protection at all. Students are protesting to save their country and their lives at this very moment. All they have are their social networks to get the word out so, PLEASE RE-BLOG THIS AND SPREAD THE WORD. VENEZUELA IS ON THE BRINK OF A CIVIL WAR AND CLOSE TO BECOMING A FULL COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP. THEIR PEOPLE NEED YOUR HELP. —— Please, this is very important to me, one of my closest friends went to visit family in Venezuela over winter break and they won’t let him come back to Florida. We’re graduating in a few months and it hurts me to know that his baseball career and all of his hard work and dedication to his grades here in the U.S. was all for nothing. Please.
OTHER INFORMATION AND LINKS:
use the hashtags pictured at the top of this post on your social networking sites to connect and help spread the word, thank you so much! x
The NRA and ALEC have made murder a first option. Repeal “stand your ground” and boycott states with those laws.
Please take a moment to reblog any or all of the following links, and let people know what’s going on in our country. There’s a media blackout and these things are not getting out. We NEED to get them outside Venezuelan blogs and out to the world.
REMEMBER, THIS IS HAPPENING NOW. You ARE helping if your reblog, but not later. We need this to be out right now. Get it to the media in your country, send it up, spread it over twitter and facebook. Don’t let it vanish. Venezuelans could be shut out of the internet any time and cut out from the world. You can help by reblogging this or any of the links separately.
Warning: Some of the links contain images of the events of today’s protests and the victims of pro-government shock groups, and as such these may including violence, blood and death. Remember to tag them properly.
THIS IS IMPORTANT. Please reblog this!
Protesters in Istanbul Rioted to Save Their Internet
This year, Turkey’s protesters have turned their attention from small, endangered urban parks to the slightly more on-trend issue of online freedom.
The reason is that a new law was announced over the weekend that would award the Turkish government tighter control over the internet, allowing it to block websites without seeking a court ruling first. Considering that the government already controls the country’s mainstream media, it’s no surprise that news of these restrictions on the country’s primary source of objective information didn’t go down very well.
On Saturday, internet-freedom activists took their anger to Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the epicenter of last year’s Gezi Park demonstrations. Much like 2013’s protests, Turkish state police were out in force, spraying crowds with water cannons, trying to demolish their barricades, and chasing protesters off down Istikal Avenue with paintball guns. Yet the crowds regrouped and began building up more barricades down alleys and sidestreets, before police attacked them again with water cannons and gas bombs. The clashes continued late into the night, with demonstrators chanting, “Hands off my internet!”
"If I don’t stand here and protest, we will lose all our freedom," said Ceren, a 24-year-old college student. "With Turkish mainstream media under [government] control, we only have the internet. If we lose the internet, nobody in the world would even be hearing about this protest."