Are Cameras the New Guns?

n response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

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Denied Entry

Israel Blocks Noam Chomsky from Entering West Bank to Deliver Speech

Chomsky-dn

On Sunday afternoon, Noam Chomsky was stopped by Israeli border guards at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan. After over three hours of questioning, Chomsky’s passport was stamped with “Denied Entry.” He was scheduled to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah and was scheduled to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. No reason was initially given for the decision, but the Interior Ministry later told Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that officials were now trying to get clearance from the Israel Defense Forces. Noam Chomsky joins us now from Amman, Jordan. [includes rush transcript]

WATCH OR LISTEN HERE

(starts about 11 minutes into the program)

Control Freaks Targeting The Internet

Control Freaks Targeting The Internet

By JAY AMBROSE
Syndicated columnist

Published: Monday, May 10, 2010 at 4:01 a.m.

Oh, my word, what a phenomenon it is, this Internet, this miraculous world of easily accessed information and opinions, as full of energy as democracy itself, the result of literally millions of contributory hands, a two-edged sword like any powerful technology, but an amazing tribute to what a free people can do when given a chance.

So how much longer are we going to put up with all of this?

Ask Professor Cass Sunstein, something of a phenomenon himself, a here-there-and-everywhere intellectual who also happens to be President Obama’s regulation czar, and he’ll concede good points about this communications wonder before telling you why it is we need some reforms, voluntary if possible. Yes, he will say, we should first try to do this without coercion. But he is very afraid.

What he mostly fears is how people use the Internet to focus overly much on what most interests them, sometimes neglecting other areas of knowledge and often linking up with those who are like-minded, so that they then don’t get exposed to contrary views, are to some extent cut off from the community at large and don’t learn about other issues and events that matter to their lives.

Emerging from all of this is isolation, balkanization, conspiracy theories, ugly, untrue rumors and worse. And the answers, Sunstein says, with various hints of intervention if it’s finally needed, are more self-supervision, links on some of these blog sites to blog sites with different takes on public affairs and government subsidies for public Web sites.

Where to start in response? Maybe with the observation that even the most extreme blogs usually cite contrary opinions as a starting point for voicing their own? Maybe with noting that most of those involved in these blogs are probably more curious than the average person not involved in them? Maybe with the observation that while the Internet amplifies some ways in which we the people behave, the issue of some of us being ignorant and mean antedates the Internet? Maybe that college faculties tend to be collections of the politically like-minded, that most professors are specialists and that more than a few have bragged to me that they do not read newspapers?

OK, Sunstein is not now prescribing some ironclad set of Internet regulations. But – as some Internet searching reveals – some members of the House are indeed proposing a law that would imprison people for harassment or causing “emotional distress” through hostility-preaching Internet transmissions, thereby taking his ideas to a scary denouement.

The proposed language I’ve seen – and I have not read every word of any proposed bill – is loose enough to stick lots of ordinary people in the clinker for speaking out, and my conclusion is pretty simple: These representatives are a greater threat to America than any blogger not clearly encouraging outright hate and violence.

These representatives – and people like Sunstein – are control freaks who do not believe the world can possibly progress to anything decent without their impositions, forgetting that one of the greatest development in human history was allowing sufficient freedom to unleash the ingenuity of the masses and that the one of the worst developments has been interventions that cut off the possibilities for truth to find sunlight and that crush something crucial in the human spirit.

Sunstein is an interesting guy. While I think his ideas about the right of people to sue on behalf of animals, ending government recognition of marriage and a couple of others are wacky. And while I find disturbing his seeming conviction that something like absolute truth is to be found in the social sciences, I also think some of his ideas sound and that intellectual provocateurs of his stripe can be socially valuable.

The thing that bothers me is that he is chief of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a very powerful fellow.

Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. He can be reached at SpeaktoJay@aol.com.

Where to start in response? Maybe with the observation that even the most extreme blogs usually cite contrary opinions as a starting point for voicing their own? Maybe with noting that most of those involved in these blogs are probably more curious than the average person not involved in them? Maybe with the observation that while the Internet amplifies some ways in which we the people behave, the issue of some of us being ignorant and mean antedates the Internet? Maybe that college faculties tend to be collections of the politically like-minded, that most professors are specialists and that more than a few have bragged to me that they do not read newspapers?

OK, Sunstein is not now prescribing some ironclad set of Internet regulations. But – as some Internet searching reveals – some members of the House are indeed proposing a law that would imprison people for harassment or causing “emotional distress” through hostility-preaching Internet transmissions, thereby taking his ideas to a scary denouement.

The proposed language I’ve seen – and I have not read every word of any proposed bill – is loose enough to stick lots of ordinary people in the clinker for speaking out, and my conclusion is pretty simple: These representatives are a greater threat to America than any blogger not clearly encouraging outright hate and violence.

These representatives – and people like Sunstein – are control freaks who do not believe the world can possibly progress to anything decent without their impositions, forgetting that one of the greatest development in human history was allowing sufficient freedom to unleash the ingenuity of the masses and that the one of the worst developments has been interventions that cut off the possibilities for truth to find sunlight and that crush something crucial in the human spirit.

Sunstein is an interesting guy. While I think his ideas about the right of people to sue on behalf of animals, ending government recognition of marriage and a couple of others are wacky. And while I find disturbing his seeming conviction that something like absolute truth is to be found in the social sciences, I also think some of his ideas sound and that intellectual provocateurs of his stripe can be socially valuable.

The thing that bothers me is that he is chief of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a very powerful fellow.

Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. He can be reached at SpeaktoJay@aol.com.

Found at newschief.com



Cindy Sheehan on her arrest: this never happened to me when Bush was president.

On the 7th commemoration of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, there was a rally and march in DC sponsored by the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition that was attended by about eight thousand people.

For quite awhile, I have been having problems with marches on Saturday, anyway. It seems like we march past empty buildings and shake our fists at them and promise that if those empty buildings don’t change their ways, we will be back next year to do the same thing. The arrests are symbolic and don’t shut down anything, except in the case of large arrests, where the police stations are busy for a few hours.

As far as I know, there were no large civil disobediences scheduled for last Saturday’s rally, but some coffins were built on the sidewalk in front of the White House and four protesters decided to lie down near them and not move. Two of these protesters were good friends of mine: Elaine Brower of Military Families Speak Out and Matthis Chiroux of Iraq Vets Against the War. When I went over to check the action out, the four were begging the hundreds of others surrounding the protest to join them. The four were cordoned off with barriers and crime scene tape.

I began to plan a way to join Matthis and Elaine when I went to the front of the barrier and saw my dear friends, who have always been there for me, lying on the sidewalk by themselves. Just as I was figuring out how to get over the barriers, the section I was at collapsed onto the sidewalk and I took the opportunity to step over hoping that dozens, if not hundreds, would follow.

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US may try Sheehan for anti-war campaign

US authorities have arrested a number of anti-war protesters, including high-profile activist Cindy Sheehan, during a demonstration in Washington DC.

Eight peace activists were detained after laying coffins near a fence outside the White House during a Saturday rally in which thousands of anti-war protesters gathered at a park in the area to mark the seventh anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq .

They were demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The protesters directed their anger at US President Barack Obama and demanded action against former President George W. Bush and his Vice- President Dick Cheney.

Sheehan, arrested at the end of the march, had earlier said, “We did lose some momentum when Obama came into office, but now we have younger people that are very energetic. They know we can change the world.”

Sheehan, who has been and anti-war campaigner since she lost a son in the Iraq war, may stand trial, reports indicate.

She gained repute as a peace activist in 2005 for protesting outside of Bush’s Texas ranch.

ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Just what the hell are they going to charge Sheehan WITH?  Exercising here first amendment rights?  Still being right about the war?  Pointing out Obama’s hypocrisy?