in authoritarian USA, corporations are people, kidnapped Muslims aren't

Guantanamo remains a national shame, and failing to close it is near the top of Obama's crimes (below only his murders by drone).

Who Are ‘We the People’?

IN holding that corporations had religious rights, the Hobby Lobby decision sat in contrast to a case I brought under the same statute in 2004, in which the court found that Muslims at Guantánamo Bay were not persons and had no religious rights.

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To me, the case seemed open-and-shut. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (R.F.R.A.), which was passed in 1993, prohibits the government from “substantially” burdening “a person’s exercise of religion” unless it serves some important government interest that cannot be accomplished in any other way....

The Federal District Court in Washington, which first heard the case, agreed that “R.F.R.A. expressly protects the religious exercise of ‘persons,’ a broadly applicable term, commonly including aliens.” But the government appealed and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that, as aliens held outside the United States, these men were not “persons” after all. The Bush administration had put them offshore precisely to ensure this.

civilian deaths already mounting in Gulf War III

So all you folks screaming "we have to stop IS!" have this blood on your hands already. How much more will it take before you understand? Because there will be plenty more, both the war-criminal Democratic president and the military-industrial-complex puppets in both parties in Congress agree on that. And each of these murdered civilians is a gold mine for IS recruiters, so the more we fight, the more people we'll have to fight. Brilliant, if your goal is a militarized nation; criminally outrageous, if you care about human rights.

White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths (Yahoo News)

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.

A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria's Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

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But at least one of the House members present, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who supports stronger U.S. action in Syria, said he was not overly concerned. “I did hear them say there were civilian casualties, but I didn’t get details,” Kinzinger said in an interview with Yahoo News. “But nothing is perfect,” and whatever civilian deaths resulted from the U.S. strikes are “much less than the brutality of the Assad regime.”

Radio Hat

Forget Spotify on your Wifi-connected tablet. Forget Pandora. Forget Napster, your iPod...forget even your Walkman. No, you need a Man From Mars Radio Hat. (Tip of the Radio Hat to Boing Boing.

Radio Hat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Radio Hat was a portable radio built into a pith helmet that would bring in stations within a 20 mile (32 km) radius. It was introduced in early 1949 for $7.95 as the "Man-from-Mars Radio Hat."[1] Thanks to a successful publicity campaign, the Radio Hat was sold at stores from coast to coast in the United States.

The Radio Hat was manufactured by American Merri-Lei Corporation of Brooklyn N.Y. The company was a leading supplier of party hats, noise makers and other novelty items. Its founder, Victor Hoeflich, had invented a machine to make paper Hawaiian leis while still in high-school (1914), and by 1949 the company shipped millions of leis to Hawaii each year. An inventor and gadgeteer,[2][3][4] Hoeflich continued to develop and even sell machinery that manufactured paper novelty items.[5][6]

NFL ref makes Islamophobic call

Christian prayer, ok. Muslim prayer, 15 yard penalty. It's not as horrible as bombing people because they're Muslim, or violating their civil rights because they're Muslim, but it's ugly.

Chiefs player Husain Abdullah gets penalized after kneeling in Muslim prayer (Yahoo Sports)

In a move that is sure to generate some discussion, Husain Abdullah of the Chiefs was flagged 15 yards after kneeling in the end zone in Muslim prayer after scoring a touchdown off an interception of Tom Brady. The unsportmanlike conduct penalty Abdullah received sparked a quick outrage on Twitter where it was noted that plenty of Christian players mark their scores with a sign of deference, reflection or tribute to their higher power.

Baltimore Sun investigates BCPD history of violence

As an institution, the Baltimore City PD is simply not trustworthy.

The BCPD has alienated the inner-city community with meritless arrests, it's alienated the DIY arts community with constant harassment, it's alienated the activist community with illegal arrests. It's failed to enforce even the most basic standards of behavior on its officers, letting a cop who shot a man while drunk keep his position.

Good cops are driven out, mediocre cops are corrupted, until all that's left are the very bad cops who deal out this sort of abuse and the moderately bad cops who let them get away with it, until any citizen encountering an officer has to assume they may be dealing with a violent psychopath with no respect for basic rights until proven otherwise.

I don't think a force this corrupt can be salvaged. Disband it and start fresh.

Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil rights violations. Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson.

Those cases detail a frightful human toll. Officers have battered dozens of residents who suffered broken bones — jaws, noses, arms, legs, ankles — head trauma, organ failure, and even death, coming during questionable arrests. Some residents were beaten while handcuffed; others were thrown to the pavement.

And in almost every case, prosecutors or judges dismissed the charges against the victims — if charges were filed at all. In an incident that drew headlines recently, charges against a South Baltimore man were dropped after a video showed an officer repeatedly punching him — a beating that led the police commissioner to say he was “shocked.”

U.S. bombing aiding "Islamic State" recruitment.

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was. Let's go pour some more gasoline on that fire, we'll put it out this time for sure!

Islamic State recruitment soaring in wake of U.S. bombing - Middle EastIsrael News - Haaretz Israeli News source

The Islamic State jihadist organization has recruited more than 6,000 new fighters since America began targeting the group with air strikes last month, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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A number of rebel commanders who oppose IS while continuing to fight the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad have warned that the strikes are increasing local support for the jihadists.

social media for the 1%

FFS. Obviously, why should the 1% have there feeds polluted with the posts of the poors? OTOH, the subscriber's list would be a handy reference when we start sending the aristos to the guillotine.

Netropolitan Is Facebook For The Rich, Only A $9000 Fee To Join

However, unlike Facebook which is looking to connect everyone to the internet, there is a new site called Netropolitan that focuses more on exclusivity and privacy.

The site, which launched today, was founded by composer and former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra James Touchi-Peters who wanted to provide a social media site for affluent and accomplished individuals. People wishing to join need only pay a mere $9,000 to join. Of that amount, $6,000 is the initiation fee and the remaining $3,000 is for the annual membership fee which users will continue to pay.

Bmore cop caught on video assaulting man

The usual. No one in Baltimore City trusts the police, and this is why. See more video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDTbSmF76N8.

Violent arrest by Baltimore police officer caught on video (baltimoresun.com)

Truss had a bag in one hand and Coleman was holding his other arm as they paused near a bus stop. Cosom stepped around a group of bystanders before launching a blow that connected with Truss' upper body, sending him reeling backward, the video shows.

Then Cosom delivered a series of punches, some while another officer held Truss' right arm against the side of the bus stop, the video shows.

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"Truss was in a totally defenseless position, attempting to walk away, when he was beaten by Defendant Officer Cosom," the lawyers wrote.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against Truss after reviewing the video, according to the lawsuit, which seeks $5 million in damages.

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more excessive force in Missouri

If you think that bad cops won't shock you and beat you just because you're not black, nope. Race is a factor but it's not the only factor -- the most important one is "I'm a cop, you're not."

FBI probes traffic stop that left Missouri teen in critical condition (Yahoo News)

The FBI said in a statement that it is investigating whether police officer Tim Runnels overstepped his authority and violated the civil rights of Bryce Masters when he pulled over the 17-year-old and used a stun gun on him on Sunday in Independence, Missouri, a Kansas City suburb.

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Witnesses told the Kansas City Star that Masters was unable to roll down his window because it was broken and that after handcuffing Masters outside the car, Runnels dropped him on the pavement, causing him to injure his head.

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torturing the mentally disabled into behaving

The normalization of electric shock torture continues. Soon all citizens can be fitted with remotely controlled shock devices -- if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from them, right?

Skin shocks used at Mass. school draw FDA look (Yahoo News)

It's a rare move by the FDA, following years of complaints from disability rights' groups and even a U.N. report that the shocks are tantamount to torture.

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...The center uses a graduated electronic decelerator, or GED, that is attached to the arms or legs. If the student acts aggressively — head-banging, throwing furniture, attacking someone — then a center worker can press a button to activate the electrode, delivering a two-second shock to the skin.

Some patients compared the shocks to a hard pinch or bee sting. Others say it's far more painful; one said it was like being stung by a thousand bees.

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"It's not safe. It doesn't feel safe. I ended up having nightmares," Jennifer Msumba testified via video at the FDA's hearing. The 38-year-old said the GED left burn marks and was prone to misfires, unintended shocks.

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