Permalink Review of 1961 Yale experiments leads researchers to revise motive for evil

Review of famous Yale experiments of 1961 leads to new understanding of what allows seemingly normal people to carry out atrocities. The question of what prompts ordinary people to commit acts of evil has been debated by philosophers, moralists, historians and scientists for centuries. One idea that carries much weight is that almost anyone is capable of carrying out atrocities if ordered to do so. Commanded by an authoritarian figure, and wishing to conform, we could bulldoze homes, burn books, separate parents from children or even slaughter them, and our much-prized conscience would not as much as flicker. Called the "banality of evil", the theory has been proffered as an explanation for why ordinary, educated Germans took part in the Jewish genocide of the second world war. Now psychologists, having reviewed an opinion-shaping experiment carried out more than 50 years ago, are calling for a rethink. "The more we read and the more data we collect, the less evidence we find to support the 'banality of evil' idea, the notion that participants are simply 'thoughtless' or 'mindless' zombies who don't know what they're doing and just go along for the sake of it," said Alex Haslam, a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. "Our sense is that some form of identification, and hence choice, generally underpins all tyrannical behaviour."


Permalink Glenn Greenwald claims New Zealand planned to spy on its citizens

New Zealand was preparing to conduct mass domestic surveillance last year, a US investigative journalist said yesterday, five days before the country goes to the polls, provoking immediate denials from Prime Minister John Key. Glenn Greenwald's accusations were based on evidence disclosed by former US National Security Authority (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden that Key's centre-right government planned to exploit amended spying laws to sharply widen domestic spying. Greenwald said the NSA documents showed New Zealand's electronic spy agency took the first steps towards the surveillance in a project dubbed "Speargun", by tapping into an undersea telecoms cable into the country, while waiting for the legal authority to do so. "Phase one entailed accessing that cable, tapping into it, and then phase two would entail metadata probes," Greenwald said on Radio New Zealand National.
Key said Greenwald, who was brought to New Zealand by millionaire internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, was being used to try to influence voters ahead of the election. In media interviews, Key has repeatedly dismissed Greenwald as "Dotcom's little henchman". Greenwald told 3 News: "I've done reporting of surveillance all over the world and a lot of governments haven't liked what I've said, but I've never seen a head of government lose their dignity and get down in the mud and start chucking names to discredit the journalist in order to discredit the journalism." Dotcom, who is fighting extradition to the US, on charges of internet piracy, copyright breaches, and money laundering, has paid for Greenwald's trip to New Zealand.

RT.com: Snowden: If you live in New Zealand, you’re being watched


Permalink FBI's facial recognition program hits 'full operational capability'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Next Generation Identification System, a biometric database reliant on tens of millions of facial-recognition records, is now fully operational, the agency announced Monday. The NGI system, after three years of development, is billed by the FBI as a new breakthrough for criminal identification and data-sharing between law enforcement agencies. "This effort is a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler," the FBI said in a statement. Additionally, the Interstate Photo System (IPS) facial recognition service “will provide the nation’s law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities.” But Americans not suspected of any criminal activity could easily be swept up into the NGI, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), in any number of ways. An individual who goes through a fingerprint background check for an employment opportunity, for instance, could soon be required to submit a picture of herself as well.

Permalink Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute

Daniele Watts, an African-American actress who has starred in Hollywood films such as Django Unchained, has claimed she was "handcuffed and detained" by Los Angeles police officers after being mistaken for a prostitute. Two police officers approached Watts and her white husband Brian James Lucas when they were seen showing affection in public, the actress said in a Facebook post. She claims she refused to produce her photo ID when asked by police, and was then handcuffed and held in a police car as the officers tried to figure out who she was. She reportedly cut her wrist as she was handled roughly by the LAPD officers. Watts also posted pictures to Facebook, in which she is handcuffed and crying. She was released shortly afterwards.

John W. Whitehead The Cost of Challenging the American Police State


Permalink Oregon Man Arrested for Recording Militarized Police Raid in Neighborhood

In a chilling show of militaristic thuggery, police in Oregon arrested a man for attempting to video record them blasting their way into a neighbor’s home as they served a search warrant.

The Gresham Police Department, which serves a city of just over 100,000, rumbled down a residential street at 4 a.m. Tuesday with several armored vehicles, blasting flash grenades into a home, jolting the entire neighborhood awake. One man, who goes by Skylow Production on Youtube, said he was sleeping in his girlfriend’s apartment when he was awaken by all the ruckus. He grabbed his iPad and ran outside, standing across the street as the cops surrounded the home dressed like soldiers, issuing orders through a megaphone. When they spotted him, they accused him of “interfering” and ordered him back inside. When he asserted his right to be there, he was arrested. He said he was jailed for interfering and resisting arrest, two bogus contempt-of-cop charges.

Update: The man’s name is Fred Marlow and he is a 27-year-old Gresham resident who needs to find an attorney to prepare for his upcoming hearing, which is scheduled for September 30. In a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime, Marlow said the officer body slammed him before handcuffing him. The officer, who he identifies as Sgt. McGowan, also insinuated in his report of being drunk. “He wrote in his report that I was probably drunk because I was walking funny,” Marlow said. “But I was walking funny because I have a titanium rod in my leg.” Marlow said the titanium rod stems for a traffic accident at the age of 18. He also said he told the cop to give him a breathalyzer, but the cop refused. After he was thrown in the back of the car, his girlfriend stepped out of the apartment looking for him, but was ordered back inside under threat of arrest. Marlow is not sure what prompted the raid on his neighbors but said he read reports in the local media that the police department had been conducting drug raids during that time. He has launched a fundraiser to raise money for his legal defense fund.


Permalink Yahoo Threatened With Huge Fine for Resisting NSA

Company releases 1,500 documents from failed suit against NSA over user data requests and cooperation with Prism compliance. The US government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day if it refused to hand over user data to the National Security Agency, according to court documents unsealed Thursday. In a blogpost, the company said the 1,500 pages of once-secret documents shine further light on Yahoo’s previously disclosed clash with the NSA over access to its users’ data. The papers outline Yahoo’s secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle to resist the government’s demands for the tech firm to cooperate with the NSA’s controversial Prism surveillance program, revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden last year. “The released documents underscore how we had to fight every step of the way to challenge the US government’s surveillance efforts,” said company general counsel Ron Bell in a Tumblr post. The US government amended a key law to demand user information from online services in 2007. When Yahoo was asked to hand over user data the company objected arguing the request was “unconstitutional and overbroad”. Yahoo took its case to the foreign intelligence surveillance court, also known as the Fisa court, which oversees requests for surveillance orders in national security investigations. The secretive Fisa court provides the legal authorities that underpin the US government’s controversial surveillance programs. Yahoo lost its case, and an appeal.

Permalink Israeli Officer Charged With Beating US Teen

The US State Department demanded an investigation after the American schoolboy's alleged assault was caught on mobile phone. An Israeli policeman has been charged with assaulting a 15-year-old American boy who was filmed apparently being beaten by officers in East Jerusalem. Tariq Abu Khadair was attacked as Palestinians protested against the brutal killing of his 16-year-old cousin Mohammed Abu Khadair. The murder, apparently in revenge for the killings of three Israeli teens in June, led to the eight-week war in Gaza. Tariq, who goes to school in Florida, was pictured with severe facial injuries after the assault, which was captured on a mobile phone and released by a human rights group.

Permalink Julian Assange lodges appeal against Swedish arrest warrant

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has filed an appeal against the Swedish warrant for his arrest, Swedish media reports. His lawyers are arguing that the prosecutors are acting “in gross breach of Swedish law.” Assange's Swedish lawyer, Thomas Olssen, has claimed that the Swedish court is not handling the case correctly. “We argue against the district court's decision and believe they do not properly take account of the situation,” Olssen stated, according to Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet. Assange's lawyers, who argue that Assange should be questioned by Swedish police in London, argue that Sweden's prosecutor “is in gross breach of Swedish law” for not making the journey to London to interview Assange, the Guardian reported.


Permalink The Era Of Widespread Biometric Indentification And Microchip Implants Is Here

Michael Snyder Are you ready to have your veins scanned every time you use your bank account? Are you ready to use a "digital tattoo" or a microchip implant to unlock your telephone? Once upon a time we read about such technologies in science fiction novels, but now they are here. The era of widespread biometric identification and microchip implants is upon us, and it is going to change the way that we live. Proponents of these new technologies say that they will make our private information and our bank accounts much more secure. But there are others that warn that these kinds of "Big Brother technologies" will set the stage for even more government intrusion into our lives. In the wrong hands, such technologies could prove to be an absolute nightmare.

Permalink Top 10 US-Backed Atrocities and Authoritarian Regimes

Since its inception in 1776 and before, the “nascent empire” (George Washington) of the USA has been torturing and killing virtually continuously, around the clock, often taking ears, noses, teeth, skulls, skins, scalps, and people’s virginity as its trophies, in addition to taking, of course, land, forced labor, repressed labor, slave labor, cash, resources, freedom, democracy, and hope. This extremely well-researched 30 minute documentary represents the microscopic tip of the USA’s iceberg of extremism and depravity. The people in charge of the USA could not possibly care less about what ISIS does to people. ISIS is simply the latest in a never-ending series of covers for what US controllers have been doing in the Middle East since about 1948 and worldwide since the inception of the US: getting rich by building, expanding, and maintaining a brutal global empire.


Permalink Obama claims ‘enough authority’ to act against Islamic State

President Dictator Obama told Congressional leaders that he has enough authority and doesn’t need their authorization to take action against the Islamic State, ahead of a speech on 9/11 eve that may pave way for further US military action in Iraq and even Syria. In an hour long meeting with the leaders of Congress on Tuesday, the President said he “would welcome action by the Congress that would aid the overall effort and demonstrate to the world that the United States is united in defeating the threat from ISIL,” according to the White House statement. However, for the plan he is due to announce on Wednesday, Obama already “has the authority he needs to take action.” In a rare prime time address, scheduled for 9pm on Wednesday, hours before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks [Israel/inside job], President Obama will address the American people, and lay out his mission against the Islamic State [a Mossad/Mabaheth/CIA creation].

Washington Post: Obama ready to strike at Islamic State militants in Syria

Permalink Bogdan Boutkevitch: You need to kill 1.5 million people in Donbass

NATO's friends in the Ukraine are so extreme that it defies imagination. Hromadske TV (financed by the CIA and the Dutch embassy in Kiev) has published this interview with a journalist called Bogdan Boutkevitch, in which he says, "You need to kill 1.5 million people in Donbass." He says:

Bogdan Boutkevitch: It’s perfectly simple. 1.5 million people living in Donbas have to be killed. Donbass is not just a depressed region. There’s a crazy amount of superfluous people there. I know perfectly well what I’m saying. In the Donetsk Oblast, there are about 4 million inhabitants. And no fewer than 1.5 million of them are excess. We don’t need to understand Donbass. We need to understand what is Ukraine’s national interest. And we should use Donbass, simply as a resource. As far as Donbass goes, I don’t have any prescription for how to get it done quickly. However, what’s most important – there are people who simply must be killed.

Permalink Debt-ridden Spain to spend €1mn on riot gear

The Spanish government intends to spend about 1 million euro on police riot gear, despite the country’s debt rising by 58 billion euro over the last year. Authorities worry about widespread protests they believe will grip the nation in the autumn. Spain has become the protest capital of Europe. Just the first half of 2013 saw in the region of 36,000 protests in Spain, with Barcelona accounting for 2,500 of them, according to the Local. Given the love of the populace to take to the streets, the government is not taking any chances, with protests expected to peak in the autumn. The Interior Ministry says they will be purchasing equipment ranging from riot batons to stab proof vests, while they also want to buy water cannon to help deal with protestors. Law enforcements said the water cannon are necessary, “given the current social dynamic.”

The Local: Spain to spend big on riot gear to quash demos
Pål Steigan Spansk politi hamstrer utstyr for å slå ned protester


Permalink Sydney: Police arrest student for writing he shot a dinosaur

You don’t need to be a Rhodes Scholar to know that dinosaurs became extinct about 66 million years ago. Yet a high school student’s statement that he shot dead his neighbour’s pet dinosaur saw police officers called to the school. Alex Stone, a 16-year-old student at Summerville High School in the town of Summerville in South Carolina, said that his class was asked to write a few sentences about themselves and to list a “status” as if they were filling in their Facebook page, WCSC-TV reported. The teen wrote “I killed my neighbour’s pet dinosaur.” In the status section, he said he wrote: “I bought the gun to take care of the business.” That prompted the school to call in Summerville Police Department. Stone was arrested and later charged with disorderly conduct after he argued with officers, who searched fruitlessly for a gun in his school bag and locker. He has also been suspended from school.

Kentucky Man Arrested For "Terroristic Threatening" After Posting Song Lyrics To Facebook


Permalink Dieudonné under investigation after comparing Islamic State beheadings to French Revolution

The controversial French comedian also claimed the 'Rothschild Mafia' was responsible for the international outrage surrounding the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley. He [...] compared executions by the radical Islamist group Islamic State to the guillotining of royalty and aristocrats during the French Revolution and noted that Western media made no fuss about the execution of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein or the Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. The Paris prosecutor’s office said police were starting a preliminary investigation into Dieudonné on the grounds that he had condoned terrorism. Foley was beheaded by Islamic State militants last month after being kidnapped while covering the Syrian civil war and held for 20 months. The act caused outrage around the world. More than 100 [...] video sketches by Dieudonné have been removed from YouTube in the past few days.


Permalink US claims it has rightful access to data stored on servers anywhere in the world

The government asked the judge to hold Microsoft in contempt. — "If Microsoft refuses to comply, the Court could find Microsoft in contempt, which would be a final order subject to appellate review," the judge wrote. Microsoft said Tuesday that "Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen." The judge's original July ruling endorsed the US government's position that it should be able to access the world's servers. "It is a question of control, not a question of the location of that information," Preska ruled. That is a position that Microsoft and other companies contend is wrong. The companies maintain that the enforcement of US law stops at the US border.


Permalink Ill UK child’s parents freed from jail

The British couple who were detained for taking their ill son, Ashya King, from hospital against medical advice has been freed from a Spanish jail. Brett and Naghemeh King were released on Tuesday after UK prosecutors withdrew a European arrest warrant and extradition plans. The Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) decision came after over 200,000 people signed a petition demanding the couple must be released and allowed to visit their son in hospital. A Spanish judge ordered the parents' release after the CPS reviewed the case and said, “We consider there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any criminal offence.” Ashya’s parents were detained after removing their five-year-old son from a hospital in Southampton and taking him to Spain. Ashya was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which was successfully removed via surgery last month. In order to prevent the tumor’s return, the child’s parents wanted him to be treated with Proton beam therapy, which is not available in the UK. "Proton beam is so much better in children with brain cancer," King said in a YouTube video, adding, "It zones in on the area whereby normal radiation passes right through his head and comes out the other side, destroys everything in his head."

The Independent: Ashya King's parents released in Spain after Britain drops arrest warrant

Permalink Two US men declared innocent after 30 years in jail

Two men convicted of murder in the United States and served 30 years behind bars have been freed after DNA evidence implicated another man. Henry McCollum and Leon Brown had been in prison for 30 years in North Carolina since being convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in 1983. Superior Court Judge Douglass Sasser ordered the immediate release of McCollum, 50, and Brown, 46. McCollum had been on death row for decades and his half brother Brown was serving a life sentence. Ken Rose, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, has represented McCollum for 20 years. [He said,] "Henry watched dozens of people be hauled away for execution. He would become so distraught he had to be put in isolation. It's impossible to put into words what these men have been through and how much they have lost." Their convictions were overturned after DNA evidence from a cigarette butt recovered at the crime scene implicated another man with a history of rape and murder. The DNA shows that the real murderer was a 74-year-old man who is currently serving a life sentence for a different murder.


Permalink Indiana grandmother suffers violent SWAT raid after a neighbor uses her wireless internet

An innocent elderly woman’s home was raided by SWAT when she was suspected of using the internet to trash-talk and post threats toward the local police. In response, gun-wielding assailants breached her doors and windows in a violent search for electronic evidence. The hair-raising incident took place at the household of Louise Milan on Powell Street. It was the place where she and her husband had raised their six children, and had lived for three decades. On June 21, 2012, the solitude of the familial home was shattered — along with numerous doors and window panes. Louise Milan, 68, was home with her adopted daughter, 18-year-old Stephanie Milan. Around midday, Louise had been straightening her bedroom when she heard a terrifying sound from downstairs.

Paul Craig Roberts In my opinion, it was a felony to train police to abuse their authority and the public. We need to find out who is responsible and to bring class action suits seeking restitution against the criminals who trained the police to become a deadly threat to the public.


Permalink Kops caught lying in court by their own dash cam video

Evidence from a dashboard camera on a police cruiser ended a nightmare for a New Jersey man facing false charges of eluding police, resisting arrest and assault. Essex county, NJ Prosecutors dismissed all the criminal charges against Marcus Jeter, 30, of Bloomfield, N.J. and instead indicted two Bloomfield police officers for falsifying reports and one of them for assault after the recording surfaced showing police officers beating Marcus Jeter during a traffic stop. A third police officer has also pleaded guilty to tampering.
Jeter’s defense attorney requested all recorded evidence, but the police failed to hand over a second tape until additional evidence surfaced of a second police car at the scene. This is the accountability I constantly argue for regarding police. And it only came to be because of the dash cam footage which the Bloomfield Police tried hiding. How many innocent men and women are sent to prison because of false testimony by corrupt police? Police on the field are taught to say key phrases to save them from legal woes down the road and justify whatever action they might dish out on someone: “STOP RESISTING”, “GET YOUR HAND OFF MY GUN”or in the courtroom, “I WAS IN FEAR FOR MY LIFE” “HE WAS REACHING FOR SOMETHING” etc….. The Blue Wall of silence is destroying the relationship between the police and the community..


Permalink Florida Man Records Himself Getting Attacked by Cop for not Rolling Down Window all the way - Video

A horrifying video has emerged showing St. Petersburg police forcing a man out of his car before pouncing on him, leaving him hospitalized with several injuries, all because the cop claimed he was in fear for his life. At least that what he says in his report, where he wrote the following: I exited my marked patrol cruiser and walked towards the vehicle and I noticed the driver staring at me with a blank stare as he continued revving the engine louder and louder. I thought by his actions the subject was going to attempt to hit me with his car. The video, however, shows it was Curtis Shannon, a young man from Florida who was probably fearing for his life during the arrest.

Permalink St. Louis County officer suspended over video, Glendale officer suspended for Facebook comments

A St. Louis County officer who had been assigned to the streets of Ferguson has been suspended after a Youtube video of him making incendiary comments surfaced. The video of Page was apparently made in 2012 before a group called the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. It is unclear where it was shot. Among Page's rambling comments in the hour-long video:

"Muslims are passive until they gain parity with you or they exceed you in numbers and they will kill you."
"Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill won't even talk to me. They say 'You're an extremist.' I say amen. OK. And I'm real good with a rifle. My best shot is at 1,875 meters. I got me a gold star on that one. That's a fact. You run from me you will die tired. I'm dead serious, folks."
"I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I'm also a killer. I’ve killed a lot. And if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me, it's that simple. I have no problem with it. God did not raise me to be a coward," he said before warning the audience that he believes the government will put kids in indoctrination camps.
"I'm into diversity. I kill everybody, I don't care."

More Audio Surfaces From Dan Page, the St. Louis County Police Officer Suspended After Racist Remarks - On a planned chain of events leading to a military takeover of the United States: I've heard talk from very, very high sources that there is a timeline starting in 2015…you have to be very watchful of created, orchestrated events within the United States…so there's going action taken, I suspect within the continental United States and abroad, that's going to create such havoc worldwide that people are going to demand some form of protection from the federal government. That's what I suspect is coming. And this thing on the border right now with the illegals I think might be part of that.

Richard Seymour Respect their authoritah


Permalink Reply to a friend: where are the Ukrainian uprising and Novorussian counter-offensive?

The Saker I friend just sent me this in an email and I thought that the best thing to do what to reply with a post. Here is what he wrote: I've been wondering something for some time now regarding the "war" in Ukraine and Novorossiya. Occasionally I hear mutterings from the NAF about "going on the offensive" sometime soon (supposedly when a certain turning point has been reached or some unnamed goal accomplished). However, it has surprised me that there has as of yet been no small operations or maneuvers in greater Ukraine and specifically in Kiev itself. It would seem to me that a targeted covert campaign would be within the scope of the abilities of the NAF, no? Planned incidents and/or hit and run strikes within the city that would lessen the taste for war among the (it would appear) mostly indifferent people. Or is it thought that this might actually add some resolve to continue the fighting? History shows such actions to be the pattern, though the overall effectiveness of such tactics can be fairly questioned in most cases, I think. Curious as to your thoughts. This is a very interesting question and a fairly complex one. In reality, there are two distinct issues here:

a) why is there no apparent resistance in the rest of the Ukraine?
b) where is the Novorussian counter-offensive?

The two issues are linked by a common denominoator, but they are qualitatively different. I suggest we take them one by one.

Anon./The Saker: All is Quiet on the Western Front?


Permalink We Are Above the Law Declares County Attorney

Paul Craig Roberts Habersham County, Georgia, the jurisdiction that allowed intentionally or through negligence a SWAT team to break into a home with violent force in the middle of the night and throw a stun grenade into a baby’s face sending him to a hospital for weeks where he was in life support, has ruled that it would be illegal for the county to pay the baby’s medical bills. The negligence of the police, and thereby the county, is a triple dose. It was the wrong house. A SWAT team was unnecessary in order to exercise a search warrant for a drug suspect. There was no excuse for throwing a stun grenade into a baby’s crib. But the county attorney has ruled that the county is not liable for these massive incidences of unbridled negligence. However, the unjustifiable SWAT team assault on the family in the home was legal. As the saying goes, “a fish rots from the head.” The rot in government accountability that began in Washington has now reached the local level.

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