1. pax-arabica:

    Who is really using human shields? The IDF of course.

    I think the most ironic thing about this whole “Hamas uses human shields” allegation, is that the IDF is notorious for using Palestinians as human shields.

    This is far from unusual:

    B’Tselem: IDF uses Palestinians as human shield.

    B’Tselem: IDF used Palestinian girl as human shield in Nablus.

    Two IDF soldiers charged with using 9 year old human shield in Gaza.

    Video showing IDF using Palestinians as human shields in Gaza.

    Israel has constantly used this allegation not only against civilians in Gaza, but also when it bombed civilian populations in Lebanon during the 2006 war. Witness accounts and international rights organizations have stated time and time again that no evidence to this has been found either in Lebanon or in Gaza.

    But somehow, the word of Israel, a country that needs to hire people to spread its propaganda online, still has a shred of credibility.

    (via disciplesofmalcolm)

     

  2. workingamerica:

    This post originally appeared on Huffington Post

    In 2004, Congress enacted a law to prevent “corporate inversions” in which corporations reincorporate in a foreign country to avoid paying U.S. taxes, but a gaping loophole allows corporations to get around this law by merging with a foreign company.

    Simply put, it allows corporations to avoid paying taxes when they “renounce their U.S. citizenship” and change their corporate address to a foreign country.

    In recent months, several large corporations have announced plans to exploit this loophole, with minimal change in their business operations, to avoid paying taxes. This wave of “corporate inversions” threatens to hollow out the U.S. corporate income tax base.

    One striking example is Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, which may use an upcoming acquisition to become a foreign company in order to dodge more than $4 billion in taxes over five years. Walgreens is talking about abandoning America despite its reliance on the U.S. government — and U.S. taxpayers — for a quarter of its revenue paid for by the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

    It’s time for Congress to close the loophole and end this outrageous practice.

    Last week, I was encouraged to see Congress finally begin to hold hearings and to hear President Barack Obama double down on his support. Under the president’s leadership, the administration is taking the right approach and has proposed solutions to the problem.

    This week, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in the Washington Post was right to suggest Congress make this legislation retroactive to May 2014, so corporations have notice that any transactions taking place after that date will not allow them to dodge taxes.

    “This inversion loophole must be plugged,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) recently said, and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) have both proposed legislation to plug it.

    This is exactly the momentum we need to close the loophole once and for all.

    The real problem is that many of these so-called “U.S.” corporations want to keep dictating our economic policies and dominating our politics, yet they have less and less loyalty to the people who actually live and work in America. They want to keep benefiting from all the things our government does for them so they can make profits — our legal system to protect their investments and patents, our education and training system to train their workers, our transportation system to get their products to market, our federally sponsored research, our military — but they want the rest of us to front their share of the bill.
    Sixty years ago corporations paid one-third of federal revenues, but today they pay only one-tenth. Now they say even that’s too much. Corporate profits are at their highest ever and wage growth is near its lowest in half a century, but still these corporations are not satisfied. They want more. They want Congress to cut their income tax rate, even though many of the largest corporations get away with paying little or no taxes for years. They want Congress to eliminate taxes on the factories they ship overseas, even though an existing loophole already allows them to lower their tax bill when they outsource jobs. And if we don’t give these corporations what they want, they threaten to renounce their citizenship and stop paying U.S. taxes altogether.
    We need to start demanding a little more patriotism from these corporations. If they want to keep benefiting from everything our great country has to offer, they need to start showing a little more loyalty to the people who live and work in America. And they need to stop threatening to desert the United States and stop paying their taxes altogether unless America gives in to their demands.

    Follow Richard Trumka on Twitter: http://ift.tt/1n0qV6R

     
  3. fotojournalismus:

    Day 19: Palestinian death toll passes 1,000 | July 26, 2014

    Thousands of Gaza residents who fled the violence streamed back to devastated border areas during Saturday’s 12-hour humanitarian truce to find large-scale destruction: fighting pulverized scores of homes, wreckage blocked roads and power cables dangled in the streets. In northern Beit Hanoun, even the hospital was badly damaged by shelling. Across Gaza, more than 130 bodies were pulled from the rubble on Saturday, officials said. In southern Gaza, 20 members of an extended family were killed before the start of the lull when a tank shell hit a building where they had sought refuge. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

    Pictures from Beit Hanoun & Shejaiyah during a pause in the bombing by Israeli forces:

    1. A general view of destruction in the Shejaia neighbourhood. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

    2. Palestinians carry belongings they find at their destroyed houses in Beit Hanoun. (Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times)

    3. A Palestinian man looks staggered after seeing his home destroyed, while visiting the area during a 12-hour cease-fire in Shejaiyah neighbourhood. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

    4. Palestinians inspect the damage of their destroyed houses in Shejaiyah neighbourhood. (Khalil Hamra/AP)

    5. Palestinians recover the body of a man killed when his home was hit the previous night by Israeli fire in the northern district of Beit Hanoun. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

    6. A mare and her foal walk along the debris of destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanoun. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

    7. Palestinians survey the damage in Beit Hanoun. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

    8. Children wait for their parents, who collect belongings from their destroyed houses in Beit Hanoun. (Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times)

    9. A general view of destroyed buildings after Israeli attacks in a part of the Shuja’iyya neighbourhood. (Oliver Weiken/EPA)

    10. Palestinian women react amid the destruction in the northern district of Beit Hanoun. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

    (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    (via owning-my-truth)

     
  4. america-wakiewakie:

    23 Petty Crimes That Have Landed People in Prison for Life Without Parole | Mother Jones

    As of last year, according to a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 3,200 people were serving life in prison without parole for nonviolent crimes. A close examination of these cases by the ACLU reveals just how petty some of these offenses are. People got life for, among other things…

    • Possessing a crack pipe
    • Possessing a bottle cap containing a trace amount of heroin (too minute to be weighed)
    • Having traces of cocaine in clothes pockets that were invisible to the naked eye but detected in lab tests
    • Having a single crack rock at home
    • Possessing 32 grams of marijuana (worth about $380 in California) with intent to distribute
    • Passing out several grams of LSD at a Grateful Dead show
    • Acting as a go-between in the sale of $10 worth of marijuana to an undercover cop
    • Selling a single crack rock
    • Verbally negotiating another man’s sale of two small pieces of fake crack to an undercover cop
    • Having a stash of over-the-counter decongestant pillsthat could be used to make methamphetamine
    • Attempting to cash a stolen check
    • Possessing stolen scrap metal (the offender was a junk dealer)—10 valves and one elbow pipe
    • Possessing stolen wrenches
    • Siphoning gasoline from a truck
    • Stealing tools from a shed and a welding machine from a front yard
    • Shoplifting three belts from a department store
    • Shoplifting several digital cameras
    • Shoplifting two jerseys from an athletic store
    • Taking a television, circular saw, and power converter from a vacant house
    • Breaking into a closed liquor store in the middle of the night
    • Making a drunken threat to a police officer while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car
    • Being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm
    • Taking an abusive stepfather’s gun from their shared home

    These are not typically first offenses, but nor are they isolated cases. The vast majority (83 percent) of life sentences examined by the ACLU were mandatory, meaning that the presiding judge had no choice but to sentence the defendant to a life behind bars. Mandatory sentences often result from repeat offender laws and draconian sentencing rules such as these federal standards for drug convictions:

    The data examined by the ACLU comes from the federal prison system and nine state penal systems that responded to open-records requests. This means the true number of nonviolent offenders serving life without parole is higher. 

    What’s clear, based on the ACLU’s data, is that many nonviolent criminals have been caught up in a dramatic spike in life-without-parole sentences.

    (Read Full Text)

    (via russalex)

     
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  6. libertariantimes:

    The New York Times Calls for Marijuana Legalization

    It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

    The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.

    There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/27/opinion/sunday/high-time-marijuana-legalization.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region

     
  7. thisawesomesauce:

    simchiller:

    they outlawed this move just because she was the only woman who could do it. 

    Surya Bonaly was infamous for (among other things) doing aone blade backflip in the 1998 Olympics, and is the ONLY figure skater who’s ever pulled that off. Not just the only woman, the only figure skater PERIOD. There’s like all ofthree Olympic-class male skaters who did backflips in their routines, and NONE of them could do it one blade.

    But wait, there’s more.

    Backflips were banned from the 1976 Olympics onward on the official justification that skating jumps are supposed to be landed on one blade, whereas backflips are landed on both blades. The unofficial justification was it was too dangerous, both to the athlete and to the rink — if you didn’t land it perfectly, you could not only break your ankle, but also punch THROUGH the ice surface.

    Surya Bonaly was openly contemptuous of the figure skating judges, because they were a bunch of openly racist white men who always screwed her over by giving her lower scores than she deserved. That one-blade backflip was her ultimate FUCK YOU! to the Olympics judges, because she took an “illegal” backflip and made it legal by landing it on one blade. Pretty much DARING them to mark her down for being epic awesome and pulling a move that their precious coddled white girls didn’t have the guts to even think about.

    They did, of course. White racism knows no bounds. But she utterly owned them with that move.

    not only did she do a fucking backflip and land, she landed then went right into a triple loop. like holy fuck

    (via wontbetelevised)

     
  8. (Source: nulooks, via r2--d2)

     
  9. thinksquad:

    Some of the recent media coverage about the fact that more than 50 people in Peru – the vast majority of them indigenous – are on trial following protests and fatal conflict in the Amazon over five years ago missed a crucial point. Yes, the hearings are finally going ahead and the charges are widely held to be trumped-up, but what about the government functionaries who apparently gave the riot police the order to attack the protestors, the police themselves, and – following Wikileaks’ revelations of cables in which the US ambassador in Lima criticized the Peruvian government’s “reluctance to use force” and wrote there could be “implications for the recently implemented Peru-US FTA” if the protests continued – the role of the US government?

    That law, no. 30151, was promulgated in January this year and is, according to the IDL’s Juan José Quispe, a modification of existing legislation passed by the previous government. The modification consists of replacing three words – “en forma reglamentaria” – with another five – “u otro medio de defensa” – which Quispe says means that any soldier or police officer can now kill or injure a civilian without needing to use his or her weapon “according to regulations”, or by using something other than his or her weapon.

    “We continue considering this law as one that grants the armed forces as well as the national police a licence to kill,” Quispe told the Guardian. “It permits a high degree of impunity. During the repression of social protests, police officers and soldiers who cause injuries or deaths will now be exempt from criminal responsibility.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2014/jun/29/peru-licence-to-kill-environmental-protestors

    (via priceofliberty)

     
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  11. (Source: nevver, via zurais)

     
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