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Showing posts from January 29, 2017

Weekly Links

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[The blog Political Violence at a Glance always has a pretty, sedate piece of Impressionist art accompany its collection of weekly links! *RON*]
Patrick Pierson, Political Violence at a Glance, 29 January 2017

A man was arrested in Germany this week on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. An Austrian teenager with connections to the German suspect was also arrested for planning an attack in Vienna. Authorities in each country executed a number of raids this week, with German officials targeting far-right extremists and Austrian authorities arresting fourteen people with connections to Islamic State. The hunt continues for dozens of far-right extremists in Germany, with outstanding warrants for 27 individuals. Italian police busted a drug ring that was planning a shipment of eight tons of cocaine from Colombia to Europe.

Waste Not, Want Not: Right to Repair Laws on Agenda in Some States

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[Sustainable societies vs the corporatocracy. Have you tried to get anything repaired nowadays - a complete waste of time. Reject the throwaway culture! Corporations should be forced to make replacement parts available and full and useful manuals. *RON*]
Jerri-Lynn Scofield, Naked Capitalism, 29 January 2017

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She now spends most of her time in Asia researching a book about textile artisans. She also writes regularly about legal, political economy, and regulatory topics for various consulting clients and publications, as well as writes occasional travel pieces for The National.

Motherboard reports that five states have resurrected legislation that would mandate a right to repair consumer electronics. These states are Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York. The bills would require companies to make replacement parts available to independent repai…

Torture Produces Fake News—and That’s How We Got Into Iraq

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[Trump is proudly promoting ineffective crimes against humanity. *RON*]

Juan ColeInformed Comment / TruthDig, 27 January 2017

I told this story back in 2005 but it is a good story, has held up, and bears repeating now that President Trump is again promoting torture as “effective.” Torture is a good way to get people to tell you what they think you want to hear so that you will stop torturing them. That is, torture may occasionally turn up some good information if it is applied to someone not very clever or not very committed. But it is an excellent way to be trolled by a seasoned operative, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Before the Iraq War, the U.S. government had captured a handful of important al-Qaeda figures and applied torture to them.

Today's Trumpery

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Canadian scientists offer support to muzzled US counterparts

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[For nine years under Harper, science suffered harsh restrictions. Now US scientists may be facing a similar fate. *RON*]
Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian, 27 January 2017
Canadian scientists – who were muzzled for nearly a decade by the country’s previous Conservative government – have been making contact with their counterparts in the US to offer their support and solidarity amid mounting fears that Donald Trump’s presidency will seek to suppress climate science.

For nine years, scientists with Canada’s federal government grappled with what many described as an all out assault on science.

'How I'm still alive': Surviving Assad's prison cells

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["The food was always mixed with blood in Sednaya prison. At least the blood had some salt in it." Omar al-Shogre, former Syrian prisoner, describes his horrific ordeal in Syrian regime prisons, which taught him to treasure his humanity. See also: 'It was hell' - Syrian refugees share stories of torture. *RON*]
Lizzie Porter, Al Jazeera, 29 January 2017
Omar al-Shogre spent three years in 10 Syrian government prisons, where he was tortured and starved - and yet he describes his imprisonment as "the most beautiful days of my life".

On June 11, 2015, Shogre saw light for the first time in nearly three years. He weighed only 35kg and had no hair left. When he said hello to people on a bus near Damascus, no one replied; they were too busy looking at the wretched figure in front of them.