Lawlessness / Ruined – part 2

“Lawyers For The DNC Argue That Primary Rigging Is Protected By The First Amendment” by Elizabeth Vos

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

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The ongoing litigation of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit and the appeal regarding its dismissal took a stunning turn yesterday. The defendants in the case, including the DNC and former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, filed a response brief that left many observers of the case at a loss for words.

The document, provided by the law offices of the Attorneys for the Plaintiffs in the case, Jared and Elizabeth Beck, and appears to argue that if the Democratic Party did cheat Sanders in the 2016 Presidential primary race, then that action was protected under the first amendment. Twitter users were quick to respond to the brief, expressing outrage and disgust at the claims made by representatives of the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
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From The Toronto Star:
In October, after a court ruled his detention amounted to “cruel and unusual” treatment, Ebrahim Toure was transferred from a maximum security jail to a less restrictive immigration holding centre in Toronto. While his conditions have improved, he says, “it’s still jail.” (Anne-Marie Jackson / Toronto Star file photo)

“Immigration detainee Ebrahim Toure marks five years without freedom: ‘What’s going on with me is not right’” by Brendan Kennedy

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

At Ebrahim Toure’s first detention review hearing, three days after he was arrested by Canada’s border police, immigration authorities said his detention was not likely to be “unduly lengthy.”

They just had to get him a travel document and put him on a plane.

That was five years ago. Toure is still behind bars.

The federal government, meanwhile, appears to be no closer to deporting the 46-year-old failed refugee claimant to Gambia, where he is believed to have been born. He has no identity documents and Gambian officials have given no indication they will issue him any.

So Toure continues to wait, with no idea when he will be free.

“What’s going on with me is not right,” he told the Star from inside the Immigration Holding Centre on Rexdale Blvd. in Etobicoke. “You can’t put somebody in jail for five years with no crime.”

Gambia’s embassy in Washington, which handles diplomatic and consular affairs for Canada, did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails requesting comment on Toure’s situation…

Kashif Ali, who similarly could not be deported because of a lack of identity documents, was detained in a maximum security jail for seven years before a Superior Court judge ordered his release last April, saying Canada “could not purport to hold someone in detention forever.”

Critics of Canada’s immigration detention system, including the United Nations Human Rights Committee, have called on Ottawa to establish a maximum time that someone can be held in detention.

The limit is 18 months throughout the European Union, while some member countries have set shorter limits, such as three months or a year. Canada, like the U.S., U.K. and Australia, has no limit.

From Briarpatch:
Photos by Ion Extebarria, from a March 23 rally in Montreal to protest Lucy’s deportation

“Not One More Deportation” by Amy Darwish and Gwendolyn Muir

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

At 6 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, Lucy Francineth Granados had just finished folding her laundry and was about to leave for work when she was caught off guard by a loud knocking at the door. Before she knew it, she was surrounded by four Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers who brutally forced her to the ground, injuring her arm in the process. Lucy was brought to the Laval Detention Centre, and is now due to be deported to Guatemala on March 27th.

Lucy is one of the over 500,000 people living without status in Canada. A core member of the Non-Status Women’s Collective and the Temporary Agency Worker Association, she has become a fixture in her Montreal community over the last nine years, as an outspoken migrant justice advocate and a source of support for other non-status people. She is the sole source of financial support for her mother and her three children, who live in Guatemala and depend entirely on the remittances that Lucy sends for food, housing, and school fees…

In January of this year, however, a CBSA officer informed her lawyer that Lucy’s file would not be studied unless she turned herself in to face deportation. Under Canadian immigration law, this is illegal: section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that the Minister must study all humanitarian applications filed inside Canada – barring some exceptions that don’t apply to Lucy. The actions of this agent have nonetheless been carried out with impunity: neither Immigration Canada nor the CBSA have responded to Lucy’s lawyer’s request to clarify the situation, despite calls from activists to investigate the CBSA officer and bring charges if warranted…

It is unacceptable that the only path to possible regularization puts those with precarious status at mercy of the authority of the Canada Border Services Agency – an agency with no oversight body and a history of clear acts of abuse.

From the Vancouver Sun website:
Edgar Giron holds a sign at the vigil in January to honour the life of Lucia Vega Jimenez outside the CBSA office on West Georgia.Gerry Kahrmann / PNG

related: “The Canada Border Services Agency crosses the line” by Pete McMartin

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Let’s call it for what it was, a coverup, because it took a month — and only after a breaking story in the media — before the Canada Border Services Agency fessed up to the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez, the Mexican woman who died days after hanging herself on their watch.

Even then it was a terse fessing up. The answers its hired flaks offered to the press in response to questions surrounding Jimenez’s death could be translated as, “We’ll get back to you.” The CBSA played it close to its bulletproof vest, and offered nothing it didn’t have to…

The CBSA was formed in 2003 in the spirit of that paranoia. It was felt, most especially by the Americans, that our borders were too porous.

But in creating the CBSA, the government gave it extraordinary powers. Border services officers can arrest foreign nationals without a warrant. They can order their detention, and often send them to prisons where they are treated like other inmates. But once in custody, CBSA has a duty to ensure the health and safety of its detainees. This it failed to do with Jimenez.

From The Toronto Star:
Opinion: They’re all propaganda in this sense: they assume the right of US forces to go anywhere and do what they want.

“Special forces TV: The Road to Carnage”>”Special forces TV: The Road to Carnage” by Rick Salutin

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

U.S. series about their military used to focus on doctors on MASH or lawyers in JAG. This year they’re all about clandestine units, like Valor and The Brave. The best is Seal Team, because David Boreanaz manages to express a wide range of emotions while bottling them all up. It’s impressive.

They’re all propaganda in this sense: they assume the right of U.S. forces to go anywhere and do what they want. If you doubt it’s propaganda, try to picture a show about Kenyan or Yemeni troops that sneak into Ohio or Texas to kill and kidnap. It’s unthinkable. Why is the U.S. version thinkable? These shows.

If they didn’t exist the U.S. would have to invent them — to justify the expansion of their special forces. In recent years they’ve done “ops” in 150 countries! That’s over three-fourths of the world’s nations. They need PR.

From The Toronto Star:
The Baars, who describe themselves as a Christian couple with “strong religious faith,” argued telling children in their care that the Easter Bunny is real was a violation of their religious beliefs. (ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE / TORONTO STAR)

“Requirement to tell foster kids the Easter Bunny is real violated couple’s charter rights, judge rules” by Peter Cameron

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A couple’s charter rights were violated when a children’s aid society closed the pair’s foster home over their refusal to tell two young girls the Easter Bunny is real, an Ontario court has ruled.

Frances and Derek Baars, who describe themselves as a Christian couple with “strong religious faith,” took the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton to court in April 2017, about a year after the girls in their care — aged 3 and 5 — were taken away and their foster home was closed.

The couple said the Easter Bunny was at the core of the dispute and argued that telling children in their care the character was real was a violation of their religious beliefs — a position Superior Court Judge A.J. Goodman agreed with.

Note, dear readers: This could have just as easily gone the other way, because there’s little justice found in this godless, ruined world. Powerful, uncaring special interests have captured governments and all that goes with them. Also, the judiciary, electoral and educational systems have been captured. I don’t know and haven’t investigated but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Christian couple in this story are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I disagree with them on some things, big and small, but they do tend to be honest in an upside down world in which honesty is not wanted and can even get you into trouble, as those who purvey ‘real’ news can attest. I remember when I associated with them hearing a story about how bosses looking for secretaries were warned to avoid Jehovah’s Witnesses. As the Bible notes, the people of the earth will be compelled to get the slave’s mark of the beast and part of that compulsion will be not being able to buy or sell, or, in other words, participate in the economy in a positive, necessary way. When you consider that in this perverted system of things, money means life, especially under social safety net-shredded neoliberalism, That’s not a small matter.

Nafeez Ahmed

“The UK government is manufacturing its nerve agent case for ‘action’ on Russia” by Nafeez Ahmed

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

March 14, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that former Russian spy, Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia, were poisoned with “a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia” known as ‘Novichok’…

The British government’s line has been chorused uncritically by the entire global press corps, with little scrutiny of its plausibility.

But there is a problem: far from offering a clear-cut evidence-trail to Vladimir Putin’s chemical warfare labs, the use of Novichok in the nerve gas attack on UK soil points to a wider set of potential suspects, of which Russia is in fact the least likely.

No clearer sign of this can be found than in the statement by Ambassador Peter Wilson, UK Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in which he claimed that Russia has “failed for many years” to fully disclose its chemical weapons programme…

Yet these claims are contradicted by the OPCW itself, which in September 2017 declared that the independent global agency had rigorously verified the completed destruction of Russia’s entire chemical weapons programme, including of course its nerve agent production capabilities.


“Boris Johnson A Categorical Liar” by Craig Murray

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== == =
Evidence submitted by the British government in court today proves, beyond any doubt, that Boris Johnson has been point blank lying about the degree of certainty Porton Down scientists have about the Skripals being poisoned with a Russian “novichok” agent.

Yesterday in an interview with Deutsche Welle Boris Johnson claimed directly Porton Down had told him they positively identified the nerve agent as Russian…

Justice Williams included in his judgement a summary of the evidence which tells us, directly for the first time, what Porton Down have actually said:

The Evidence
16. The evidence in support of the application is contained within the applications
themselves (in particular the Forms COP 3) and the witness statements.
17. I consider the following to be the relevant parts of the evidence. I shall identify the
witnesses only by their role and shall summarise the essential elements of their
i) CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst
Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the
findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples
tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.

The emphasis is mine. This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a “Novichok”, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a “Novichok” that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a “closely related agent” could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.
= == ===

From The Toronto Star:
President Vladimir Putin’s real challenge in Sunday’s presidential election is not winning the race, but getting enough turnout to show the world his victory is legitimate. (The New York Times)

“Russia extends Vladimir Putin’s power for six more years in barely democratic election” by By Jim Heintz (The Associated Press) and Vladimir Isachenkov

An excerpt the above propaganda piece follows:

The election took place on the fourth anniversary of the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, one of the most dramatic manifestations of Putin’s drive to reassert Russia’s power.

Crimea and Russia’s subsequent support of separatists in eastern Ukraine led to an array of U.S. and European sanctions that, along with falling oil prices, damaged the Russian economy and slashed the ruble’s value by half. But Putin’s popularity remained strong, apparently buttressed by nationalist pride.

The first thing to say about this is that Canada does not have an independent foreign policy. It is a mild (in some ways) sub-fascist client of the United States. We can have reasonable, and factual, local news. But when it comes to foreign policy, we can’t be found to be stepping on uncle Sam’s toes, which is why it’s so much easier to just pass on what the awful New York Times (et al) reports, which is what you see above.

The short passage I quote completely invalidates all else that the article has to say about Vladimir Putin’s recent re-election. Which is too bad. Putin shouldn’t be beyond criticism. I certainly don’t believe he’s a hero. But, relatively speaking, he’s far, far better for ‘his’ people than our leaders are for us. That says something. It isn’t Putin who is itching for war with the US., which – absent God’s intervention – would make victims of all of humankind.

Russia didn’t annex Crimea, no matter how many times the New York Times (and the whole stable of state propaganda organs, aka corporate media, in the West) say that it did. Russia isn’t an evil expansionist empire and the entire world, including many who say otherwise, knows it. Russia does not surround North America with bases and missiles and run military exercises on North America’s border, the way the US and NATO does to Russia.

“Crimea’s Case for Leaving Ukraine” by Robert Parry

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

=== =
If you were living in Crimea, would you prefer to remain part of Ukraine with its coup-installed government — with neo-Nazis running four ministries including the Ministry of Defense — or would you want to become part of Russia, which has had ties to Crimea going back to Catherine the Great in the 1700s?

Granted, it’s not the greatest choice in the world, but it’s the practical one facing you. For all its faults, Russia has a functioning economy while Ukraine really doesn’t. Russia surely has its share of political and financial corruption but some of that has been brought under control.

Not so in Ukraine where a moveable feast of some 10 “oligarchs” mostly runs the show in shifting alliances, buying up media outlets and politicians, while the vast majority of the population faces a bleak future, which now includes more European-demanded “austerity,” i.e. slashed pensions and further reductions in already sparse social services…

Beyond that humiliation and misery, the continuing political dislocations across Ukraine would surely feed the further rise of right-wing extremists who espouse not only the goal of expelling ethnic Russians from Ukraine but Jews and other peoples considered not pure Ukrainian.

This troubling racist element of the “inspiring” Ukrainian uprising has been mostly airbrushed from the U.S. media’s narrative, but more honest sources of news have reported this disturbing reality.
= ===

“Behind the Crimea/Russia Reunion” by Ray McGovern

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Did Ukrainian President Yanukovych expect to be overthrown if he opted for Moscow’s economic offer, and not Europe’s? Hard to tell. But if the putsch came as a total surprise, he sorely underestimated what $5 billion in “democracy promotion” by Washington can buy.

After Yanukovych turned down the European Community’s blandishments, seeing deep disadvantages for Ukraine, American neoconservatives like National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland pulled out all the stops to enable Ukraine to fulfill what Nuland called its “European aspirations.”

“The revolution will not be televised,” or so the saying goes. But the Feb. 22, 2014 putsch in Kiev was YouTube-ized two-and-a-half weeks in advance. Recall Nuland’s amateurish, boorish – not to mention irresponsible – use of an open telephone line to plot regime change in Ukraine with fellow neocon, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, during an intercepted conversation posted on YouTube on Feb. 4.

Nuland tells Pyatt, “Yats is the guy. He’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy you know. … He has warned there is an urgent need for unpopular cutting of subsidies and social payments before Ukraine can improve.”

Arseniy Yatsenyuk (aka “Yats”) was quickly named prime minister of the coup regime, which was immediately given diplomatic recognition by Washington. Since then, he has made a royal mess of things. Ukraine is an economic basket case, and “Yats” barely survived a parliamentary vote of no confidence and is widely believed to be on his way out.

Two things to note. McGovern, whose wrath I incurred when I confused him with former CFR member Stephen Cohen (who the Left embraced; Go figure), stubbornly refers to Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea. I don’t know whether that’s good or bad. I too used that term once or twice when all of this was fresh, carefully qualifying my remarks to make sure the reader didn’t think I was going along with the pro imperialism establishment’s version of events. Perhaps simply referring to an “annexation” allows for the author to get on with the rest of the story he (or…) is telling. Everyone who pays minimal attention knows that largely Russian-speaking Crimeans, who saw Nazis rampaging and murdering throughout Ukraine – with extreme prejudice in the case of Russian-speaking Ukrainians – all who did not support the new Nazi regime, held a referendum on the question whether to secede and join Russia. The turn out was very high (over 80%) and most of the votes (over 90%) were in favor of rejoining Russian. And, note, that’s “rejoining.” (I apologized to Ray, on Consortium News where we find him these days, and have no idea whether he saw it and if he did, whether he cared. He publicly jumped on me. Why can’t he publicly accept my apology?)

“Crimeans Keep Saying No to Ukraine” by Robert Parry

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Consistently, over the past year, polls conducted by major Western firms have revealed that the people of Crimea by overwhelming numbers prefer being part of Russia over Ukraine, an embarrassing reality that Forbes business magazine has now acknowledged.

An article by Kenneth Rapoza, a Forbes specialist on developing markets, cited these polls as showing that the Crimeans do not want the United States and the European Union to force them back into an unhappy marriage with Ukraine. “The Crimeans are happy right where they are” with Russia, Rapoza wrote.

“One year after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in the Black Sea, poll after poll shows that the locals there, be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tartars are all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine,” he wrote, adding that “the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit.”

Rapoza noted that a June 2014 Gallup poll, which was sponsored by the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors, found that 82.8 percent of Crimeans said the March 16 referendum on secession reflected the views of the Crimean people. In the poll, when asked if joining Russia would improve their lives, 73.9 percent said yes and only 5.5 percent said no.

A February 2015 poll by German polling firm GfK found similar results. When Crimeans were asked “do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea,” 93 percent gave a positive response, with 82 percent saying, “yes, definitely.” Only 2 percent said no, with the remainder unsure or not answering.

In other words, the West’s insistence that Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine would mean violating the age-old U.S. principle of a people’s right of self-determination. It would force the largely ethnic Russian population of Crimea to submit to a Ukrainian government that many Crimeans view as illegitimate, the result of a violent U.S.-backed coup on Feb. 22, 2014, that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

“So who, exactly, annexed the Crimean peninsula?” by Roger Annis

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The 1992 constitution was unilaterally abolished by Kiev on March 17, 1995, and here’s what’s surprising: no one at that time in the West demanded that the Ukrainian government stop violating the provisions of international law and the rights of the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula. Then in 1995, special ops forces from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Armed Forces of Ukraine (ZSU) landed in Crimea and Sevastopol in order to establish “Ukrainian law and order”, seizing the building housing the Supreme Council of the republic, where the administration of the acting president of Crimea, Yuriy Meshkov, was also headquartered, and demanding that he be turned over. Since Meshkov refused to vacate his office, they tried to poison him. Much later, he described how his drink had been poisoned and that later in the hospital he was refused proper medical care. Only an emergency evacuation to Moscow miraculously saved his life…

From [the] standpoint of the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s residents, a historical injustice was redressed in March 2014: Ukraine was stripped of what it had obtained illegally between 1991 and 1995 using deception and military force. In the eyes of Crimeans, Ukraine’s claims to the peninsula and the support of those claims by the West look very odd. In the 1990s, the world ‘overlooked’ Ukraine’s annexation of Crimea, and no one was concerned that the rights of the inhabitants of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic had been violated. But when those citizens again took it into their heads to determine their own destiny in 2014, an international scandal blew up that still burns today.

Furthermore, Ukraine is floating the idea of dragging the peninsula “back” under its jurisdiction, knowing perfectly well that the Crimeans themselves are overwhelmingly and unequivocally opposed to this. It is very strange that over the course of the last three years the international community has not once listened to the voice of this majority. Moreover, international sanctions have not been imposed against Ukraine for its attempts to leave the inhabitants of the peninsula without water or electricity. Kiev has actually been working against the Crimeans, under the slogan: “Crimea will either be Ukrainian or uninhabited!”

“No to the war in eastern Ukraine! Declaration of Yalta, Crimea antiwar conference” by? (The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The European Union Association Agreement signed by the government on June 30 and its austerity program promise to sharply reduce living standards and effectively demolish industry, largely located in the southeast. The government includes ministers from far right parties and one measure of its early extremism was a measure, soon withdrawn, to make Ukrainian the only official language, violating the language rights of millions of speakers of Russian, Hungarian and other languages.

This right wing government was immediately recognized and given extensive financial, diplomatic and military support by the US, UK and EU governments. They aim to open Ukraine up to investment for international finance and capital. The US also aims to further its long-standing project of countering Russia’s power in the Eurasian region by its drawing neighbouring countries into the orbit of NATO. This can only further destabilize the region.

Protesters against the Kiev government have been arrested, imprisoned, attacked and driven into exile. One of the worst cases of violence was the killing and murders of at least 48 antifascist protesters in Odessa on May 2.

“Yalta Declaration of the assembly of citizens of Ukraine and representatives of international solidarity networks”

“United Nations ‘human rights’ ideologues issue report condemning Crimea” by Roger Annis

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has today (Sept 25, 2017) issued a 48-page report purporting to analyze the state of human rights in Crimea. The report covers the period from February 2014 to September 2017. It largely consists of a litany of twisted and factually false assertions against Crimean and Russian authorities.

The UN office accepts the legality of the February 21, 2014 coup in Ukraine, it rejects the results of the March 16, 2014 self-determination vote in Crimea, it condemns the self-defense actions of the population of eastern Ukraine in resisting the coup, and it calls Crimea a territory “occupied” by Russia. Hence, this report on Crimea and similar, earlier reports by the same UN agency on Ukraine are largely exercises in filling in the blanks of a pre-determined script. Western journalists will read the first few pages of the report and then fire off their scripted stories of ‘Russian annexation’ accompanied by ‘human rights abuses’.

Here’s the political expression of God’s Kingdom on earth, according to some religionists. The False Prophet, aka the United States, was instrumental in creating the League of Nations, which became the UN. But the US was never serious about its wishes in promoting the League, which it didn’t even ratify initially. And we see what uncle Sam’s values, goals and wishes are. They aren’t what his spokespersons, in government or corporate media, say they are. Which is why Noam Chomsky, America’s foremost dissident, wrote a book with the title “Deterring Democracy.” I could write a book called “Deterring Theocracy,” in which ‘theocracy’ refers to nothing man-made. Other titles would work: “Deterring Life,” or “Deterring Light,” or “Deterring Peace.” Take your pick.

“Law As Farce”

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