US Border Patrol agents have purposely stepped in front of moving cars to justify shooting at drivers and used firearms against people throwing rocks across the border from Mexico, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths.
A report by law enforcement experts chastised the Border Patrol for substandard investigations following cases where US agents fired their weapons. The review panel also said that it could not determine whether the Border Patrol “consistently and thoroughly reviews” instances where deadly force was used.
The report was completed in February 2013, but the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the Border Patrol’s parent agency that commissioned the independent review – has thus far blocked the contents from public view. Even US House and Senate oversight committees could not compel the agency to hand over the entire report. The Los Angeles Times has now obtained the full report and the CBP’s response.
State of the Climate 2014? It’s warmer.
Every two years CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology get together, crunch the numbers and release a definitive report on long term trends in Australia’s climate – The State of the Climate.
Full Story and Report: CSIRO
just no. context is everything.those of us who engage in #fetish #bdsm & powerexchange are all about safe, sane, & consensual. do not conflate real violence which is forced & leaves vics with adult erotic/sexual/sexy play in which mutually consenting people creatively express themselves. they show love to each other, provide nontraditional therapy in a non judgmental safe space. this is often the outlet for so many FROM actual sexual violence they have experienced from family, society, etc.
this well meaning notion is a kneejerk response but is filled with ignorance. well meaning people also believe women should be in burkas to keep safe. perhaps this comes from wanting to feel superior to someone else who is different than but it’s downright judgy & puritanical and nothing healthy comes from those dark pits.
you will find the biggest supporters of lgbtq, women’s, human rights in the #alt fetish D/s bdsm communities. they are also defenders of free speech, equality, the internet and the arts. Dommes/subs, painsluts & cock whores (of all gender identities) are often the first to come to a stranger’s (or animal’s) aid.
before you dismiss allies in the fight against real violence (sexual or otherwise) discrimination and human rights abuse, take a step back. things aren’t so simple, white and black. unity, understanding, and recognising the #venn will allow us to fight back the evil hordes that force (NON consensual, NOT safe, NOT sane) all types of violence on to humanity and biodiversity and help save us all. we can be our true and best selves and live in a world of empathy and compassion for all.
now i gotta go and ductape and mummify my male sub after i beat his arse red because that is what makes him overjoyed and i love that. he also had to beg me and convince me he is worthy of this gift.
– An extract from Our Comrade The Electron, a talk from the Webstock Conference by Maciej Cegłowski, which is worth reading in its entirety. (via new-aesthetic)
Technology concentrates power.
In the 90’s, it looked like the Internet might be an exception, that it could be a decentralizing, democratizing force. No one controlled it, no one designed it, it was just kind of assembling itself in an appealing, anarchic way. The companies that first tried to centralize the Internet, like AOL and Microsoft, failed risibly. And open source looked ready to slay any dragon.
But those days are gone. We’ve centralized the bejesus out of the Internet now. There’s one search engine (plus the one no one uses), one social network (plus the one no one uses), one Twitter. We use one ad network, one analytics suite. Anywhere you look online, one or two giant American companies utterly dominate the field.
And there’s the cloud. What a brilliant name! The cloud is the future of online computing, a friendly, fluffy abstraction that we will all ascend into, swaddled in light. But really the cloud is just a large mess of servers somewhere, the property of one American company (plus the clouds no one uses).
Orwell imagined a world with a telescreen in every room, always on, always connected, always monitored. An Xbox One vision of dystopia.
But we’ve done him one better. Nearly everyone here carries in their pocket a tracking device that knows where you are, who you talk to, what you look at, all these intimate details of your life, and sedulously reports them to private servers where the data is stored in perpetuity.
I know I sound like a conspiracy nut framing it like this. I’m not saying we live in an Orwellian nightmare. I love New Zealand! But we have the technology.
When I was in grade school, they used to scare us with something called the permanent record. If you threw a spitball at your friend, it would go in your permanent record, and prevent you getting a good job, or marrying well, until eventually you’d die young and friendless and be buried outside the churchyard wall.
What a relief when we found out that the permanent record was a fiction. Except now we’ve gone and implemented the damned thing. Each of us leaves an indelible, comet-like trail across the Internet that cannot be erased and that we’re not even allowed to see.
The things we really care about seem to disappear from the Internet immediately, but post a stupid YouTube comment (now linked to your real identity) and it will live forever.
And we have to track all this stuff, because the economic basis of today’s web is advertising, or the promise of future advertising. The only way we can convince investors to keep the money flowing is by keeping the most detailed records possible, tied to people’s real identities. Apart from a few corners of anonymity, which not by accident are the most culturally vibrant parts of the Internet, everything is tracked and has to be tracked or the edifice collapses.
What upsets me isn’t that we created this centralized version of the Internet based on permanent surveillance.
What upsets me, what really gets my goat, is that we did it because it was the easiest thing to do. There was no design, forethought, or analysis involved. No one said “hey, this sounds like a great world to live in, let’s make it”. It happened because we couldn’t be bothered.
Making things ephemeral is hard.
Making things distributed is hard.
Making things anonymous is hard.
Coming up with a sane business model is really hard—I get tired just thinking about it.
So let’s take people’s data, throw it on a server, link it to their Facebook profiles, keep it forever, and if we can’t raise another round of venture funding we’ll just slap Google ads on the thing.
"High five, Chad!"
"High five, bro!"
That is the design process that went into building the Internet of 2014.
And of course now we are shocked—shocked!—when, for example, the Ukrainian government uses cell tower data to send scary text messages to protesters in Kiev, in order to try to keep them off the streets. Bad people are using the global surveillance system we built to do something mean! Holy crap! Who could have imagined this?
Or when we learn that the American government is reading the email that you send unencrypted to the ad-supported mail service in another country where it gets archived forever. Inconceivable!
I’m not saying these abuses aren’t serious. But they’re the opposite of surprising. People will always abuse power. That’s not a new insight. There are cuneiform tablets complaining about it. Yet here we are in 2014, startled because unscrupulous people have started to use the powerful tools we created for them.
We put so much care into making the Internet resilient from technical failures, but make no effort to make it resilient to political failure. We treat freedom and the rule of law like inexhaustible natural resources, rather than the fragile and precious treasures that they are.
And now, of course, it’s time to make the Internet of Things, where we will connect everything to everything else, and build cool apps on top, and nothing can possibly go wrong.
Any politician who votes to cut food stamps has no heart," said Imani Sullivan, 35, a mother of two in Darby, Delaware County, who is unemployed, living on disability and trying now with great difficulty to stretch her food budget to the end of the month. "Your child has enough to eat, you have enough money … we don’t have that.–
Families in Philadelphia are bracing for cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funding. The new farm bill, which funds the program, will reduce benefits by $8.7 billion over the next decade, while increasing corporate welfare and subsidies to some dairy farmers.
Hunger is a reproductive justice issue. Poverty is a reproductive justice issue.