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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Paul de Grauwe points out that the European push to force Greece into continued austerity is the most important factor holding back a recovery, as the country would be fully solvent if it were being allowed to borrow money on anything but the most draconian of terms. And Paul Mason criticizes the war that’s been declared against the Greek public for trying to pursue democratic governance – while noting that the public’s justified dissatisfaction isn’t going away regardless of the result of the impending referendum.

- Sherif Alsayed-Ali responds to the news that (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: UPDATED: Going, Going ….

…soon to be gone?

There are many things we take for granted in our lives: our health, our family, our way of life. Sometimes, changes in those and other areas happen so gradually that we really don’t notice until it is too late. The state of democracy, both globally and domestically, is one of those things that, over time, has become grievously imperiled, with the vast majority seeming either not to notice or, perhaps even worse, not to care.

A newspaper report from a few days ago serves as an international illustration. In India, Greenpeace and a multitude of other (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Human Rights And The Politics Of Fear

When Alex Neve, longtime Secretary General of the Canadian branch of Amnesty International, speaks, people should listen. He and his organization have now weighed in on Bill C-51, the ‘anti-terror’ bill being promoted with such relish by Stephen Harper and his acolytes. It is a bill, Neve and many others contend, that will seriously erode human rights and freedoms in the name of national security. Its powers will far exceed anything necessary.

Neve’s position is best summed up this way: Human rights do not stand in the way of security that is universal, durable and inclusive. Human rights are (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Raif Badawi and the Shameful Silence of the Harper Cons

Yesterday I wrote a post denouncing the Harper regime for its refusal to protest the savage punishment the Saudis are inflicting on the blogger Raif Badawi.For the price of $10 billion dollars worth of armoured cars.But what I didn't know at the time is that Badawi's family lives in Quebec, which makes the silence of the Cons even more shameful.Read more »

The Canadian Progressive: Retrial of Al Jazeera Journalists Must Pave Way to Their Unconditional Freedom

Egypt’s retrial of Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and two other jailed Al Jazeera journalists acknowledges major flaws in their original convictions, says Amnesty International.

The post Retrial of Al Jazeera Journalists Must Pave Way to Their Unconditional Freedom appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

drive-by planet: New free security tool Detekt scans for hard-to-find surveillance spyware: just released by Amnesty, EFF

Activists, journalists or just the average concerned citizen who want know if their computers and mobile devices are a target of unwanted surveillance now have access to a badly needed resource that offers one line of defence. A German security researcher named Claudio Guarnieri is behind a free new security tool named Detekt. It scans PCs and mobile devices for traces of surveillance spyware that everyday anti-malware programs are likely to miss.

According to Wired Guarnieri works with The Honeypot Project and Shadowserver Foundation developing open source tools.

Amnesty news describes what Detekt is and how it works:

Detekt is (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: Four Green Initiatives Employees Are Sure to Embrace

Who wouldn’t want to work in an engaging office environment? An engaged workforce makes a happier workplace and promotes a culture of collaboration and creativity, as numerous studies show. Corporate green initiatives are some of the best ways to engage employees. Here are four ideas that are simple to run and cost little to implement.

Donate Old Cell Phones

A great way to encourage your employees to be more eco-friendly is through a cell phone donation program. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Amnesty International are just two of the many organizations with programs that allow people to easily (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Will we have to bomb the Shias now?

We are all familiar with the depravity of the Islamic State. Tragically, some of their foes are also descending into the moral depths. According to a report by Amnesty International, Shia militias, often armed and supported by the Iraqi government, “have been abducting and killing Sunni civilian men in Baghdad and around the country.” Their complicity with government forces ranges “from tacit

The Disaffected Lib: Bomb’Em All – Well Except the Kurds, Maybe

By now we’ve all been well steeped in the brutal excesses of ISIS – beheadings, mass executions, torture – in Middle Eastern parlance, the full nine yards.  And so we’re off to Kuwait from where we’ll launch air strikes against ISIS forces in Iraq.

Well, since we’re going all the way over there anyway and since we’ll be hunting for scarce targets among the Sunni ISIS militias maybe we can spare a few bombs for Iraq’s Shiite militias also.

With today’s manipulative, corporate mass media cartel we’re used to getting just one side of any story and even that is (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Kiev’s crimes in Eastern Ukraine includes reports of torture, execution and mass graves

Mass graves uncovered in Eastern Ukraine

When Ukrainian government forces were raining hell-on-earth on the people of Eastern Ukraine there were many well substantiated claims of atrocities that were routinely underreported or outright ignored by Western media. In addition to shelling and airstrikes directed at civilian areas in Eastern Ukraine by Kiev’s military, Right Sector’s ultra-nationalist recruits engaged in brutal assaults on towns and villages in the region.

In September an Amnesty International report exposed the activities of the pro-Kiev Aidar Battalion. The tactics employed by Aidar members involved human rights violations that in some cases amounted to war crimes.

(Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Mounting Evidence of Deliberate Attacks on Gaza Health Workers by Israeli Army

Amnesty International releases disturbing testimonies revealing evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by the Israel Defense Forces.

The post Mounting Evidence of Deliberate Attacks on Gaza Health Workers by Israeli Army appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: “Clear evidence” of war crimes committed by Israel

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki has informed the International Criminal Court that there was “clear evidence” of war crimes committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict.

The post “Clear evidence” of war crimes committed by Israel appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dead Wild Roses: Secure Housing Unit Psychosis – A Window into the World of Torture

Have you ever wondered about some of the shared traits of humanity? One could prosaically think of Love, Compassion and Happiness and one would be correct. If the similarities ended there, I wouldn’t be writing, nor would you be reading about the prevalence of torture across the globe.

“The report titled Torture in 2014 – 30 Years of Broken Promises read: “Although governments have prohibited this dehumanising practice in law and have recognised global disgust at its existence, many of them are carrying out torture or facilitating it in practice.”

“Three decades from the convention and (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Why is Captain Picard so awesome?

First, this halloween getup: and now this: Jean-Luc, you are a stone cold fox. Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Amnesty International, awesome, Patrick Stewart, social justice, […]

The Canadian Progressive: Amnesty International calls US drone strikes in Pakistan “war crimes”

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International says some of the unlawful killings executed by US drone strikes in Pakistan “could even amount to war crimes”.

The post Amnesty International calls US drone strikes in Pakistan “war crimes” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Manning case shows that US government’s priorities are ‘upside down’

The Bradley Manning verdict is about sending the message that “the US government will come after you”, says Amnesty International’s Senior Director of International Law and Policy Widney Brown.

The post Manning case shows that US government’s priorities are ‘upside down’ appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: World increasingly dangerous for refugees and migrants, says Amnesty International

Global inaction on human rights is making the world an increasingly dangerous place for refugees and migrants, Amnesty International said today as it launched its annual assessment of the world’s human rights.

The post World increasingly dangerous for refugees and migrants, says Amnesty International appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: In Canada, a ‘Proud to Protect Refugees’ campaign is launched on Refugee Rights Day

By: Canadian Council for Refugees | Press Release: Today the Canadian Council for Refugees and other organizations announced the launch of a campaign designed to transform the conversation about refugees in Canada. Under the banner ‘Proud to Protect Refugees’, 4 April (Refugee Rights Day) will see the launch of new efforts to [...]

The post In Canada, a ‘Proud to Protect Refugees’ campaign is launched on Refugee Rights Day appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.

The Canadian Progressive: Amnesty International: Sudan releases prisoner of conscience

by Amnesty International | Jan 20, 2013: Sudanese teacher and activist Jalila Khamis Koko, who was arrested by the National Security Service in March 2012, was released from detention after a court hearing today. Jalila was acquitted of all charges except those related to “spreading false news”, a vague provision of the criminal code often READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Is Chief Theresa Spence your 2012 newsmaker of the year? POLL

Is hunger striker Chief Theresa Spence, who entered Day 20 of her peaceful protest today, your 2012 newsmaker of the year? Is it the Idle No More movement? The Quebec student movement? Beleaguered Toronto Mayor Rob Ford? Is it Kevin Page, Canada’s fearless gallant Parliamentary Budget Officer, who showed uncommon courage recently when he took the Harper government to court seeking accountability and READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Amnesty International Urges Harper to meet with hunger striker Chief Spence

by Amnesty International Canada: Editor’s Intro: In the letter bellow, issued yesterday, Amnesty International urges Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with hunger-striker Chief Theresa Spence as her peaceful protest reaches Day 18. Chief Spence is demanding a meeting involving Harper, a representative of the Queen, and First Nations leaders. She wants this meeting to discuss treaty READ MORE

The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s new refugee system unfair to refugees

by Canadian Council for Refugees AND Amnesty International Canada: On the eve of the introduction of important changes to Canada’s refugee determination system, the Canadian Council for Refugees and Amnesty International expressed fear that the system will fail some refugees, violate their rights in Canada, and send them back to persecution. “The whole purpose of our READ MORE

Geoff Campbell: Newhouse “Boot Camp” for Graduate Public Relations Students Summary

A few weeks ago I completed the summer session of the class of 2013 M.S. in Public Relations program. It was sold as a six-week intensive introduction to the field of public relations, proper PR writing, and an interaction to graphic design/visual communication principles and practice.

Coming from the viewpoint of someone who studied a more academic-focused program (Honours in International Relations from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada) it seems like a decent introduction to the field. I began reading number of blogs (Brian Solis, Chris Brogram Dave Fleet, Ragan) in the months leading up to the program and did

. . . → Read More: Geoff Campbell: Newhouse “Boot Camp” for Graduate Public Relations Students Summary

Canadian Progressive: Pussy Riot found guilty, sentenced to two years in prison

In Vladmir Putin’s Russia, a peaceful and legitimate act of civil disobedience earns you two years in prison. That’s the sentence a Russian court just imposed on three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot. Judge Marina Sirovaya found Maria Alyokhina, 24, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, guilty of “hooliganism” earlier today. The trial was a sham. The harsh sentence is emblematic of Russia’s intolerance of dissent, human rights and basic freedoms. Hooliganism? Please! The three women performed an anti-Putin political protest song on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. The real reason behind

. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive: Pussy Riot found guilty, sentenced to two years in prison

Canadian Progressive World: URGENT PETITION: Free Members of Feminist Punk Group Pussy Riot Now!

Recently, the Putin regime in Russia extended the pre-trial detention of 3 members of the feminist punk group “Pussy Riot” until January 2013. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich had been in detention since March after they were arrested for committing the ultimate crime in Vladmir Putin’s Russia: singing a protest song, “punk-prayer” called “Our Lady, chase Putin out”!

If convicted, they could face an additional 7 years in prison. The New Yorker has rightly called this affair: “Putin’s Religious War Against Pussy Riot”.

We need to act now to stop this madness. Please go the Amnesty International website

. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: URGENT PETITION: Free Members of Feminist Punk Group Pussy Riot Now!