Several stories from the news media have pulled me away from anime.
(INTELLIHUB) — A well-known surgeon who exposed major inadequacies in medical trauma care promised to the Haitian people by the Clinton Foundation after the non-profit raised over $30 million dollars in donations following the devastating 2010 earthquake was found dead in his upscale apartment Sunday with a stab wound to the chest.
Dr. Dean Lorich, 54, was found lying dead on the bathroom floor of his apartment by his 11-year-old daughter with a knife sticking out of his chest.
The predominant surgeon gained notoriety after operating on U2’s frontman Bono and former running back Michael Cox but had also worked overseas in Haiti where he discovered an almost non-existent medical effort backed by the Clinton Foundation.
Most of us living in the United States were familiar with the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution – by the time we left high school. Those rights — such as freedom of speech, religion, the press, and to assemble — are guarantees granted to each and every individual within the U.S. Unfortunately most of us never heard about a second “bill of rights:” that exclusively protecting law enforcement personnel.
The Law Enforcement “Bill of Rights” operates in many cases in opposition to the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, by sharply limiting accountability and transparency when it comes to police brutality and other misconduct.
The “right of privacy,” for example, is extended to what some say are outrageous lengths for police officers, with the state of California apparently leading the way in that regard. Even the Los Angeles Times lamented that “far from being a beacon of transparency, California — when it comes to the public’s ability to assess the performance of its law enforcement agencies — is the nation’s information black hole.”
Anything having to do with the disciplining of a police officer is considered part of his or her personnel file and is thus subject to privacy. In California, not even prosecutors are allowed to view those files.
After the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the subject of Maryland’s Police Officer Bill of Rights came to light. According to state law, police officers under investigation for brutality or misconduct are allowed to have representation — and they can take up to 10 days to obtain counsel. Critics saythe 10 days is time used by the officers to “get their stories straight.” In the words of Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather McDonald:
[A] 10-day window of immunity from questioning is clearly excessive. It creates the appearance, if not the reality, of officers’ colluding to tailor their stories to exculpate themselves.”
In Los Angeles, the Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has a “secret list” of 300 deputies it considers problematic. Only high-level sheriff’s office officials can view this list, which was compiled as a means of keeping the department on its toes. In the event that one of the listed deputies has to appear in court, his or her credibility as a witness could be impugned and the case lost.
For this reason, it makes sense that the county prosecutor should also be able to view the list. Yet the discipline meted out to these officers is considered a personnel issue and thus their records are held private even from the prosecutor. The state’s supreme court will be taking up this issue sometime in 2018.
California’s laws for police privacy are so stringent that individuals who file brutality complaints against officers cannot receive information on the status of the investigation or its outcome. State Senator Mark Leno was the sponsor of a bill last year that would have uncloaked that basic level of accountability. A Senate committee laid the bill to rest and, to date, another one has not been proposed.
The effort to shield police officers’ actions in the name of privacy would seem to work more like a tactic to shield them from accountability. A bill in the Virginia state legislature that also died in committee last year would have kept the names of officers completely hidden from the public. Not just officers involved in shootings; not just officers accused of misconduct; but all police officers in all circumstances.
In 2014, the California Supreme Court ruled that the names of officers involved in shootings could be made public. But it also acknowledged the Copley decision that disciplinary proceedings are part of an officer’s protected personnel file.
Such egregious existing or contemplated imbalances in police-specific versus public rights have been the source of broad outrage, especially when highlighted by each in an ongoing parade of high-profile incidents in which police brutality or misconduct appears to have been shielded at the expense of getting at the truth. From this outrage and these provocations has grown a movement to restore the balance of rights contemplated by the Constitution.
Campaign Zero is a project that was born out of the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, following the August 2014 death by police of unarmed civilian Michael Brown. Deray McKesson, a leading figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, and others created the project as a concrete way to address needed police reforms. One of those reforms is a review of the contracts negotiated for police by their unions. Many of the protections shielding law enforcement officers that aren’t enshrined in state laws are contained in their employment contracts.
Top photo | Police officers turn their backs in protest to comments made by Mayor Bill de Blasio about the need for police reforms as he speaks during the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home, Jan. 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP/John Minchillo)
Thandisizwe Chimurenga is an award-winning, freelance journalist based in Los Angeles, California. She is a staff writer for MintPress News, Daily Kos and co-hosts a weekly, morning drive-time public affairs/news show on the Pacifica Radio network. She is the author of No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant and Reparations … Not Yet: A Case for Reparations and Why We Must Wait; she is also a contributor to several social justice anthologies.
Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.
On Monday a federal judge challenged the U.S. government to justify the continued imprisonment of an American citizen who has been denied access to a lawyer for over three months.
Washington D.C. – U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has expressed skepticism and frustration over the U.S. government’s arguments for detaining an American citizen for three months. On Monday, at the latest hearing in the case of American Civil Liberties Union v. Mattis, the Justice Department argued that the court had no authority to rule on wartime detentions by U.S. military in an overseas conflict zone. Judge Chutkan seemed to lean in favor of the ACLU’s argument that the man should have access to a lawyer, which he has been denied thus far.
Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance.
I’m not referring to the kind of surveillance carried out by that all-knowing and all-seeing Jolly Old St. Nick and his informant the Elf on the Shelf (although, to be fair, they have helped to acclimate us to a world in which we’re always being watched and judged by higher authorities).
No, this particular bit of Yuletide gift-giving comes courtesy of the Deep State (a.k.a. the Surveillance State, Police State, Shadow Government and black-ops spy agencies).
If this power-hungry cabal gets its way, the government’s power to spy on its citizens will soon be all-encompassing and permanent.
As it now stands, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—the legal basis for two of the National Security Agency’s largest mass surveillance programs, “PRISM” and “Upstream”—is set to expire at the end of 2017.
“PRISM” lets the NSA access emails, video chats, instant messages, and other content sent via Facebook, Google, Apple and others. “Upstream” lets the NSA worm its way into the internet backbone—the cables and switches owned by private corporations like AT&T that make the internet into a global network—and scan traffic for the communications of tens of thousands of individuals labeled “targets.”
Section 702 has been used as an end-run around the Constitution to allow the government to collect the actual content of Americans’ emails, phone calls, text messages and other electronic communication without a warrant.
Under Section 702, the government collects and analyzes over 250 million internet communications every year. There are estimates that at least half of these contain information about U.S. residents, many of whom have done nothing wrong. This information is then shared with law enforcement and “routinely used for purposes unrelated to national security.”
Mind you, Section 702 gives the government access to the very content of your conversations (phone calls, text messages, video chats), your photographs, your emails.
So beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing. Privacy, as we have known it, is dead.
For all intents and purposes, we now have a fourth branch of government.
This fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.
The government’s “technotyranny” surveillance apparatus has become so entrenched and entangled with its police state apparatus that it’s hard to know anymore where law enforcement ends and surveillance begins.
The short answer: they have become one and the same entity.
The police state has passed the baton to the surveillance state.
This hasn’t fazed President Trump who, much like his predecessors, has thus far marched in lockstep with the dictates of the police state.
For months, the Trump Administration has been actively lobbying Congress to reauthorize Section 702 in its entirety. Now, according to The Intercept, Trump is actively considering a proposal to establish his own global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies and answer directly to the White House.
If approved, this would be yet another secret government agency carrying out secret surveillance and counterintelligence, funded by a secret black ops budget that by its very nature does away with transparency, bypasses accountability and completely eludes any form of constitutionality.
As if we weren’t being spied on enough already.
On any given day, the average American is now monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears.
Every second of every day, the American people are being spied on by the U.S. government’s vast network of digital Peeping Toms, electronic eavesdroppers and robotic snoops.
Talk about a system rife for abuse.
Ask the government why it’s carrying out this warrantless surveillance on American citizens, and you’ll get the same Orwellian answer the government has been trotting out since 9/11 to justify its assaults on our civil liberties: to keep America safe.
Yet warrantless mass surveillance by the government and its corporate cohorts hasn’t made America any safer. And it certainly isn’t helping to preserve our freedoms. Frankly, America will never be safe as long as the U.S. government is allowed to shred the Constitution.
Now the government wants us to believe that we have nothing to fear from its mass spying program because they’re only looking to get the “bad” guys who are overseas.
Don’t believe it.
Warrantless mass surveillance of American citizens is wrong, un-American, and unconstitutional.
Clearly, the outlook for reforming the government’s unconstitutional surveillance programs does not look good.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, whenever the rights of the American people are pitted against the interests of the military/corporate/security complex, “we the people” lose. Unless Congress develops a conscience—or suddenly remembers that they owe their allegiance to the citizenry and not the corporate state—we’re about to lose big.
It’s time to let Section 702 expire or reform the law to ensure that millions and millions of Americans are not being victimized by a government that no longer respects its constitutional limits.
Mark my words: if Congress votes to make the NSA’s vast spying powers permanent, it will be yet another brick in the wall imprisoning us within an electronic concentration camp from which there is no escape.
There’s actually a sane, quite reasonable explanation for why so much of the media’s embarrassing levels of Trump Trauma and Putin Psychosis stem from Jewish paranoia.
In the latest of an endless series of incidents, the national press is in a tizzy over Republican Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore’s wife pointing out that their lawyer is Jewish. The wisdom of having a Jewish lawyer is, of course, a stereotype, so Southern Republicans aren’t supposed to mention it.
Dear rest of USA,
Whatever we learn over next few hours, New Yorkers do NOT want you to restrict immigrants or harass Muslims due to incident in NYC. They are vital part of our economy & society.
PS. Happy to talk about 35,000 killed by guns each year.
7:03 AM – 11 Dec 2017
I assumed this was an anti-Semitic parody account, but it’s not. David Rothschild is a good example of how 21st-century Jewish writers, despite the world’s potentially strongest critical thinking skills, increasingly lack the self-awareness to get the joke.
In truth, everyone of goodwill, Jewish and gentile alike, would profit from taking the time to think about the 20th-century events that make so many Jewish-Americans concerned for their futures.
And no, I’m not talking about the Holocaust.
More relevant to the 21st century are the history of college admissions in America and, perhaps most important, the cycles of career opportunities for Jews in Russia.
Granted, while more than a few Jewish pundits have an unfortunate tendency to portray anything that triggers their career insecurities as merely a hop, skip, and a jump from Auschwitz, their real worry is more mundane and realistic: that the left’s program of ethnic diversity, inclusion, and proportional representation will eventually get imposed on the ethnic group that is pound for pound the undisputed world champion.
In an era in which Foucault’s sadomasochism-inspired obsession with “power” as the all-purpose explanation for everything has filtered down to seemingly every community-college lecturer, the fact that the median Jewish person outranks the median anybody else on virtually every realistic metric of power, such as wealth, influence, accomplishments, celebrity, IQ, funniness, or campaign donations, means that Jewish thinkers are going to be antsy.
Granted, the overwhelming volume of Jewish fire at present is not directed toward the social justice jihadis who are increasingly threatening heavily Jewish institutions like the Weinstein Companymovie studio, but toward the pro-Semitic rightists like Trump and Putin.
Why? Think about the career risks from the perspective of a Jewish journalist: We’re the world’s richest identity-politics group, but we’ve been promoting leftist resentment. Okay, so far we’ve been able to direct that hatred away from us and toward whites in general. But now there’s this rightist president who thinks Jews are great…but we can’t control what he says. He could say anything!
Trump, despite being more or less America’s first culturally Jewish president, might well blurt out some inconvenient truth, such as that Jews make up something like one-third of all billionaires in the U.S. and an incredible one-seventh or so of all billionaires on earth despite being only 1/500 of the human race.
And then Putin might buy one…hundred…thousand…dollars’ worth of Facebook ads. Using irresistible Slavic skills at publicity and media manipulation, he could get everybody in the world to learn this fact!
Perhaps that sounds ridiculous, but notice how various trends over the past few years have not necessarily been good for the Jews in the long run.
For example, until quite recently, the focus of most affirmative-action controversies didn’t much affect Jewish Americans. The big 2009 Supreme Court quota case focused on New Haven, Conn., but it didn’t have anything to do with Yale. The Supreme Court instead pondered whether it was okay for New Haven to cheat fireman Frank Ricci out of a promotion just because he was white. (By a 5–4 vote: no.)
During Obama’s first term, some major Democratic donor industries such as Silicon Valley and Hollywood acted like the EEOC rules against unintentional disparate impact discrimination didn’t apply to them because they were, you know, progressive and therefore virtuous.
By Obama’s second term, though, there wasn’t all that much left to loot in the name of fighting racism and sexism from conservative institutions. So the SJW hordes were pointed in the direction of universities (as in the Haven Monahan gang-rape hoax), the tech firms, and, most recently, Hollywood.
Objectively, the Obama administration ginning up attacks on colleges, tech, and the entertainment industry was not good for the Jews.
To take an ironic example, apparently one member of the U. of Virginia-Charlottesville fraternity that was libeled by Rolling Stone’s anti-gentilic gang rape on broken glass fantasy about blond beast frat guys (and then had its windows smashed by a leftist mob) was the son of former Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor. (Cantor’s older son had previously been a member of the frat when Haven Monahan would have rushed, if Haven hadn’t been nonexistent.)
Of course, in the ongoing Sex Purges of guys with really good jobs in the media, as Larry David pointed out on Saturday Night Live, Jewish people obviously are overrepresented by an order of magnitude or more compared with their share of the population.
Why so much disparate impact? The most obvious reason that Jews are involved in Weinsteingate at far more than their share of the population (about 2 percent) is because they tend to fill a very high percentage of the really good jobs.
The media feels that the fact that whites in general tend to have an above-high percentage of the really good jobs, such as movie mogul, is the most pressing social problem of the age. On the other hand, observing that Jewish people tend to have an even more disproportionate fraction of the best jobs just leads to blank stares and accusatory questions of “Why are you interested in the ethnicity of billionaires and moguls?”
Why? Well, when anybody mentions that Jews tend to have a high percentage of the top jobs, some of the Jews with the top jobs get extremely upset, and they have a lot of power.
Why do they get angry? Is it because they are rightly terrified that another Holocaust might ensue?
I don’t think so. I presume it’s because these powerful individuals have an admirable degree of career ambitiousness—that’s how they got where they are—and thus they react with great hostility to any line of thinking that could conceivably lead to the kind of hiring and promotion quotas that have been routinely imposed upon whites in general being imposed upon Jews in particular.
Consider the history of discrimination and why Jewish Americans might fear that, as Sarah Silverman would say, losing control of the media could be bad for their careers.
In the United States of a century ago, Jews and gentiles tended each to prefer to associate with their own kind. That wasn’t all that much of a problem for Jewish careers because it was a free country and everybody could start their own businesses.
If J.P. Morgan wouldn’t hire you, Goldman Sachs would. If Walt Disney wouldn’t have you direct his movie, Louis B. Mayer would. If the Sagamore Resort Hotel wouldn’t let you stay for the summer, Grossinger’s would. If the Los Angeles Country Club blackballed you, you could apply for membership at Hillcrest. If you were worried that Catholic nuns would try to convert your Bubbe on her deathbed at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank, you could take her to Cedars-Sinai in West Hollywood.
The one area where this happy duality broke down was in colleges. For whatever reason, Jews would not contribute much in terms of institution building to American higher education. Instead, they wanted to attend ancient universities founded by colonial Protestants.
By 1920, Columbia U. was already about 40 percent Jewish and Harvard 20 percent. Hence, around 1922, Ivy League colleges started to impose maximum quotas to restrict the percentage of Jews to no more than just several times their share of the population. (Donald Trump’s alma mater, the U. of Pennsylvania, with its strong interest in finance, was the least restrictive and thus the most Jewish.)
In the 1950s, however, Harvard ended its quotas, and Yale followed by 1965.
Over time, however, the now heavily Jewish leadership of the Ivy League ran into similar problems with Asian applicants as WASPs had once run into with Jews. If Harvard admitted its class of 2022 solely on test scores and grades, it would be predominantly Asian. But then Harvard’s prestige would decline and even Asians would stop trying so hard to get in because Asians know that they aren’t, on the whole, as creative or as cool as whites.
The Trump administration is currently suing Harvard to disclose its admissions data to see if it is racially biased against Asians. (Answer: Yes, Harvard is discriminating. But over the past four centuries, it usually has not been a prudent idea to bet against Harvard figuring out how to get its way.)
But even more relevant to Jewish attitudes is the history of Russia. In medieval Poland after the Mongols had massacred the urban middle class, the surviving Polish nobility invited in Rhineland Jews to provide numerate services such as tax-gathering and money-lending. After Muscovy was later liberated from the Mongol yoke, it preferred German gentiles to play similar roles.
But as Imperial Russia gobbled up Poland, it acquired Jewish populations, of which it was highly suspicious. (Putin, of course, is a sort of neo-czar, so he triggers atavistic fears of czarist Cossack pogroms in American neocons.)
The Bolsheviks who seized power 100 years ago, however, were highly diverse. Trotsky was Jewish, Stalin Georgian, and Lenin a one-man coalition of the fringes: German, Swedish, Jewish, Kalmyk, and perhaps even a little Russian.
The Soviet Union was the world’s first anti-anti-Semitic state, with strict laws against bias against Jews. Not surprisingly, Jews flourished in a system of careers open to talent (unless, of course, you were an indigenous aristocrat, bourgeois, or kulak).
UC Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine’s award-winning 2004 book The Jewish Century documents how much Jewish talent, such as his mother’s side of the family, flowed into the organs of the Bolshevik regime, such as the secret police. This made the Soviet Union increasingly popular with Jews in America who looked to Communism as the first system under which Jews were granted a level playing field to make good.
As the 1930s progressed, Stalin murdered more and more of his fellow Old Bolsheviks, many of whom were Jewish. But he also promoted Jews, such as his NKVD head, Genrikh Yagoda, to carry out his Great Terror.
When Hitler attacked in 1941, the Politburo realized that it had to offer more opportunities to ethnic Russians if it wanted to generate the enthusiasm needed to survive.
Still, as Simon Sebag Montefiore’s 2005 book Court of the Red Tsardocuments, outright anti-Semitism remained virtually unthinkable in the Soviet Union until Golda Meir’s visit in 1948 generated so much enthusiasm for Israel among Stalin’s Jewish flunkies that he began plotting to resume his massacres, this time with largely Jewish victims.
Fortunately, Stalin died first in 1953 and his successors were less bloodthirsty. But they tended to allow subordinates to discriminate against Jews in hiring and promotions, if they felt like it. Some did, some didn’t.
During the Six Days War of 1967, the Soviet Union sided with Israel’s victims, which provided Richard Nixon with an opportunity in 1969 to recruit some pro-Israel Jewish intellectuals to his side. Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Boeing) got to Nixon and Kissinger’s right with the slogan “Save Soviet Jews.” It wasn’t clear that they were in particular need of saving; rather, their careers were languishing under a Soviet system of affirmative action that tried to distribute the good jobs more broadly.
In the 1990s, American economists like Larry Summers and campaign consultants like Dick Morris flocked to Moscow to advise Boris Yeltsin on how to “reform” the economy and win the 1996 election. By the end of the decade, the average life span of Russian men had dropped into the 50s, while a majority of the richest oligarchs looting the country were Jewish.
Putin managed to make Russia’s corrupt billionaires look a little more like Russia, which may well have headed off an outburst of anti-Semitism in response to the rapine of the Yeltsin years. But to American Jews, Putin’s policy of diversity and inclusion in the really good jobs seems like vilest anti-Semitism.
The simplest solution for the predicament that Jewish Americans have gotten themselves into by promoting a campaign of hatred against straight white males (among whose most prominent members they rank highly) is to knock it off.
Without Jewish brains and money, the social justice jihadis who are increasingly threatening Jewish prosperity would be seen as ineffectual clowns.
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has recused herself from a second case involving Trump dossier firm Fusion GPS.
Tanya S. Chutkan, an Obama appointee, recused herself on Monday from a case involving a dispute over subpoenas issued for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier.
Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian tech executive accused in the dossier of hacking Democrats’ computer systems, has sought to subpoena Fusion GPS records and to depose its employees to find out more about the research firm’s work on the dossier.
Gubarev is suing BuzzFeed for defamation for publishing the dossier earlier this year. He denies the allegations laid out in the document, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
Chutkan recused herself last month from another case involving Fusion GPS. The firm had filed suit against its bank, TD Bank, to keep it from complying with a subpoena issued by the House Intelligence Committee, which sought Fusion’s bank records.
Chutkan presided over that case from Oct. 20 to Nov. 9. It was reassigned to Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee. Since taking over the case, Leon has indicated that he plans to allow more transparency into the court proceedings involving the battle over Fusion’s bank records. He has ordered several documents be unsealed and made public.
Chutkan has presided over the case involving the lawsuit against BuzzFeed since Aug. 31. Her replacement is Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee who assumed office in October.
The reasons for Chutkan’s recusals remain a mystery.