PHILADELPHIA — More than two dozen people were arrested Monday after they blocked entrances to the William J. Green Federal Building in Center City to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The protesters – most of them members of the Philadelphia-based Earth Quaker Action Team – said they were calling on President Obama to block construction of the pipeline. They gathered on the plaza outside the federal building to wave signs, chant slogans, and block entrances.
“This is a preview of the resistance to come,” said Alexa Ross of West Philadelphia. Activists around the country, she said, have pledged acts of civil disobedience to protest the project, which has been controversial since its inception.
The NSA has become too big and too powerful. What was supposed to be a single agency with a dual mission — protecting the security of U.S. communications and eavesdropping on the communications of our enemies — has become unbalanced in the post-Cold War, all-terrorism-all-the-time era.
Putting the U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s cyberwar wing, in the same location and under the same commander, expanded the NSA’s power. The result is an agency that prioritizes intelligence gathering over security, and that’s increasingly putting us all at risk. It’s time we thought about breaking up the National Security Agency. Continue Reading »
A senior adviser to the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has told the firm that it may have no choice but to eventually dump hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.
Speaking to reporters who were on a rare visit to the plant on the eve of the third anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Dale Klein said Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco] had yet to reassure the public over the handling of water leaks that continue to frustrate efforts to clean up the site.
“The one issue that keeps me awake at night is Tepco’s long-term strategy for water management,” said Klein, a former chairman of the US nuclear regulatory commission who now leads Tepco’s nuclear reform committee.
“Storing massive amounts of water on-site is not sustainable. A controlled release is much safer than keeping the water on-site.
“Tepco is making progress on water management but I’m not satisfied yet. It’s frustrating that the company takes four or five steps forward, then two back. And every time you have a leakage it contributes to a lack of trust. There’s room for improvement on all fronts.”
Tepco’s failure to manage the buildup of contaminated water came to light last summer, when it admitted that at least 300 tonnes of tainted water were leaking into the sea every day.
That revelation was followed by a string of incidents involving spills from poorly assembled storage tanks, prompting the government to commit about $500m (£300m) into measures to contain the water.
They include the construction of an underground frozen wall to prevent groundwater mixing with contaminated coolant water, which becomes tainted after coming into contact with melted nuclear fuel deep inside the damaged reactors.
This is the second one of these videos I’ve seen in the past week or so. Mom starts nodding off (from heroin, most likely) while her child goes unattended. The other video had a baby in the stroller – mom nodded off standing up). Oy.
If I read one more time that President Obama thinks Russia’s support for a referendum on the status of Crimea “violates international law,” I’ll scream. This will mean nothing, because I live in a swamp and only my friend Swamp Rabbit and a few birds will hear me. But still, where is the mainstream media on this?
How can any self-respecting reporter quote Barack Obama’s contention in Paragraph 2 without stating in Paragraph 3 that our country has, on dozens of occasions since World War II, taken military action against sovereign states that posed no threat to the US of A? How can she or he not mention that, in the opinion of many, the invasion of Iraq — the most egregious 21st century example of U.S. imperial aggression — more or less disqualified U.S. politicians from invoking international law?
I’m not defending Vladimir Putin’s style of governance — I’ll take Pussy Riot over Putin any day. The point is that the United States can threaten or cajole Russia on the Ukraine controversy, but it can’t pretend to stand on principle. The appropriate response when we hear Obama or that dolt John Kerry complain that it is morally wrong of Russia to reclaim Crimea is, “Shut the f**k up, you ponderous, self-serving hypocrite.”
When the Obama administration attempts to bring Dick Cheney and his mascot/mouthpiece George W. Bush to justice for war crimes — that’s when the world might begin to take seriously America’s moral outrage over Russia’s pressure on Ukraine.
As Swamp Rabbit said, quoting Buddy Holly quoting John Wayne in The Searchers, “That’ll be the day.”
Top police and Nutter administration officials testified Monday before City Council that they were “open” to ending custodial arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana, another step toward softening the city’s stance against pot.
Francis Healy, a special advisor to police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, said the department “supports the basic premise” that “custodial arrests should not be required” for pot possession. He said existing rules could be changed, but only with the police, the courts and the District Attorney being in agreement.
“It’s probably a good idea that we all sit down,” said Michael Resnick, the city’s Director of Public Safety. “We can discuss how to achieve these results.”
Their statements came at a hearing on a bill sponsored by Councilman James F. Kenney, who proposed ending mandatory arrests for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Instead, offenders would receive a court summons, requiring them to appear in a special marijuana program.
District Attorney Seth Williams started that program to sweep 3,000 low level marijuana cases out of the main court system.
On the street, however, nothing has changed.
“I don’t believe 4,200 people in the city should be arrested every year, taking 17,000 police hours off the street processing marijuana arrests,” Kenney said. “To me, it makes no sense.”
So Reince Priebus knew there was illegal coordination between the Wisconsin campaigns and the 501(c)3s and 4 that were investigated by the IRS! (You know, for doing this very thing?) Yoo hoo, Mr. Issa!
A report at Salon.com on this past weekend’s national Conservative Political Action Conference included the following, potentially important revelation about the genesis of Scott Walker’s Act 10 union-busting law (boldfacing is mine):
Panelist Luke Hilgemann, the current Americans for Prosperity COO who formerly led the Koch-backed group’s Wisconsin efforts, told the crowd that the 2011 victory “started back in 2007 on the shores of Lake Michigan,” at a meeting of fifteen intrepid activists who’d “had enough of government overreach,” including then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Priebus, a former Wisconsin GOP head, credited the ability to pass Walker’s reforms in part to the party and Tea Party activists unifying well before the 2010 primarybehind cancidates that made voters “proud to wake up” and vote… .
“Priebus” of course is Reince Priebus, now chair of the Republican National Committee. He went farther, perhaps too far, if you’re a Wisconsin prosecutor looking at examples of, um, coordinated activity among groups some of which are not supposed to coordinate:
“How did we do it in Wisconsin?” [Priebus] asked Saturday morning. “The simplest way I can tell you is we had total and complete unity between the state party, quite frankly, Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party groups, the Grandsons of Liberty. The [Glenn Beck-instigated] 9/12ers were involved. It was a total and complete agreement that nobody cared who got the credit, that everyone was going to run down the tracks together.”