Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

220px-Edward_Snowden-2In another showing of international support for the activities in revealing to the public the abuses of the NSA, whistleblower Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras each received the Carl von Ossietzky award in Berlin today.

The award is bestowed to honor those who exhibit extraordinary civic courage or commitment to the spread or defense of human rights.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

This past week’s news reports of the Senate report on the CIA Torture program were both distressing and enlightening.   I was dismayed to not only read what the full extent of the CIA’s Torture program was, but also when I read pundits and former CIA officials claim that rectal rehydration was merely a medical procedure! I was further discouraged when commenters on this blog made claims that waterboarding and other torture tactics were either necessary or what the devils deserved.

Very few pundits or commenters seem to care if the so-called Enhanced Interrogation techniques were legal or ethical when the CIA resorted to them shortly after 9/11.  This “debate” over the actions taken in our name by the CIA has gone from a report based on the CIA’s own words to denials that the techniques were torture, to claims that great intelligence value was gained using the torture and claims that it was a biased report written by Democrats. (more…)

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stealing-wreath-cemeteryThe_Grinch_(That_Stole_Christmas)We have another story of a thief likely to receive a lump of coal for Christmas. This time the Whoville is located in Saco, Maine where a video shows a woman allegedly stealing a Christmas Wreath from a headstone in a cemetery.

Police reports indicate at least fifteen wreaths stolen from various graves at Laurel Hill Cemetery. After a previous incident, a family member of one of the deceased placed a wildlife camera on a tree to record any future thefts. The camera proved worthy in its capture of a Grinch in the act.

But that was not the ending of this Christmas Story.

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Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

The Banksters are at it again.  You may recall an article that I wrote in March of 2013 which detailed a plan agreed to by the Bank of England and the FDIC which would allow banks to grab depositors funds in order to avoid a bank failure. The prime example given in that article was a similar plan that was put into action in Cyprus. Similar plans were on the books elsewhere, but the Cyprus grab had actually been activated.

Now it seems that the joint FDIC-Bank of England agreement from December of 2012 was not enough to make the Banksters whole in the event that their derivative gambling went south.  The idea has gone global and it puts all of our deposits, and even our pension investments at risk! (more…)

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Now that we have celebrated Thanksgiving, I was struck by the news that Congress is considering legislation that would grant large tax breaks to corporate citizens and actually remove tax breaks for the poor and the middle class.

‘ “This Congress seems willing to give huge tax cuts to big businesses—who are already doing better than ever—but somehow can’t prevent tax increases on 50 million working Americans that will occur when expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit expire,” Harry Stein, the Associate Director for Fiscal Policy at American Progress Action Fund, told ThinkProgress. “This is a great deal for CEOs and a terrible deal for struggling families.”’ Nation of Change  (more…)

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1408390089660_Image_galleryImage_Officer_DARREN_WILSON_picstlouis13n-14-webThe Grand Jury in Missouri appears to have rendered its decision in the shooting investigation Michael Brown. It is expected to be announced shortly. Below is my column in USA Today.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Since the Great Recession officially started in December of 2007, millions of people have lost their homes to foreclosures.  It turns out that many of those foreclosures may have been fraudulent or in violation of foreclosure laws. According to the Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds, John O’Brien, a forensic audit of his recording files suggests that at least 75% of the mortgage assignments were invalid.

“My registry is a crime scene as evidenced by this forensic examination. The Audit makes the finding that this was not only a MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) problem, but a scheme also perpetuated by MERS shareholder banks such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and others. I am stunned and appalled by the fact that America’s biggest banks have played fast and loose with people’s biggest asset – their homes. This is disgusting, and this is criminal.” Nation of Change (more…)

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