Sep 022015
 

A dozen black and Latino police officers are suing the New York Police Department and the city claiming that their bosses forced them to carry out illegal arrest quotas “against their own minority community.” The NYPD has denied ever using quotas.

The class action lawsuit, filed in the Manhattan federal court on Monday, argued that by forcing police officers to comply with the “illegal quota system,” New York City and the NYPD subjected black and Latino cops to unfair evaluations and discipline, according to the New York Post.

The suit also said performance evaluation was not evenly applied to all precincts. Police officers in precincts with lots of minorities had to make more arrests and issue more tickets than officers in “a precinct located in a predominantly white residential area,” the suit states.

The lawsuit cites testimony and news articles dating to 2010 that provide evidence of a quota system under former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The suit said quotas have remained under Commissioner Bill Bratton.

“The reality is that one year later, quotas remain alive and well and the NYPD is aggressively pursuing a numbers driven agenda with regard to arrests, tickets and summonses,” the suit reads.

The 12 named plaintiffs in the suit are all black and Latino NYPD officers who claim to have been penalized for reporting and complaining about “the illegal quotas and its racially discriminatory application against the minority community,” the suit states.

The suit alleges that police officers were being forced to make at least one arrest and issue 20 summonses a month.

The top NYPD spokesman told the Post that the department doesn’t use quotas.

“There are no numerical enforcement quotas established by the NYPD,” spokesman Stephen Davis said in a statement, according to the New York Post. “Performance evaluations are conducted for all department employees based on an assessment of their duties, responsibilities and specific conditions of their assignments.”

An NYC Law Department spokesman said the city would evaluate the merits of each of these claims and respond accordingly once they are served.

One of the lead plaintiff’s in the suit is Adhyl Polanco, a Latino police officer who first complained to the media in 2009 about how arrest and summons quotas affected communities of color. He testified in the high-profile federal stop-and-frisk case.

Polanco also filed a separate lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court on Monday against the NYPD and the city, according to theNew York Daily News, claiming his whistleblowing about quotas and discrimination has resulted in a sustained campaign of retaliation by fellow police officers and management, including repeated suspensions, promotion denials and suggestions that he was mentally ill. 

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Sep 022015
 
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    Sep 012015
     

    Source: Breitbart

    The ninth video released by the Center for Medical Progress provides a glimpse into the murky and cutthroat world of the baby-harvesting business, with rival companies competing for valuable livers, hearts and kidneys.

    On the video StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer describes starting her private for-profit company after working as a procurement specialist for non-profit Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). She says ABR used to collect specimens for free until she started StemExpress and began offering payments for collection.

    That seems to have changed profoundly because Dyer now charges that ABR pays an “advisor fee” to abortion clinic board members in order to have exclusive access to aborted fetal baby parts. Moreover, according to documents provided by the Center for Medical Progress, ABR now pays $340 per second trimester specimen.

    According to CMP, “ABR is the oldest baby-parts company in the U.S., founded in 1989 by Linda Tracy. For twenty-six years they have partnered with multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates to harvest fetal tissue to sell for experimentation.”

    In conversation with an investigator posing as a representative of a start-up procurement company, Dr. Katherine Sheehan, long time medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, is on camera explaining “We have already a relationship with ABR. We’ve been using them for over 10 years, really a long time, just kind of renegotiated the contract.”

    Read more

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    Sep 012015
     
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    Aug 312015
     

    Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie said if elected he would model a system for tracking immigrants and foreign visitors to the United States on the package tracking system in place at FedEx. For Christie, fingerprinting, photographing, obsessively documenting, and taking iris scans from foreign visitors isn’t enough.

    “At any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. It’s on the truck. It’s at the station. It’s on the airplane,” Christie said to a group of voters in New Hampshire. “Yet we let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”

    Christie made the ‘solution’ sound simple: “However long your visa is, then we go get you. We tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me. Thanks for coming. Time to go,'” he said.

    We track you like a package and then we tap you on the shoulder and kick you out. It sure sounds like Chris Christie thinks a modern variation on the Nazi tattoo system is in order!

    How might such a technology work? Perhaps President Christie could spend billions of dollars installing miniature surgery stations at every point of entry in the United States, where visitors would have tracking implants embedded deep in their skin. Or maybe surgery isn’t necessary, because one of the many “homeland security” or war corporations that drain our federal coffers each year could come up with an implant system that any old TSA or CBP agent could fire off into an immigrant’s arm, no more complex than a staple gun.

    My how things have changed. During the 2008 election, political pundits and presidential candidates alike worked hard to convince Latino voters that they cared about immigrant rights. Today, the GOP field looks like a race to see who can say the most outrageous, xenophobic nonsense about how to control and deport the most immigrants possible.

    Meanwhile, everyone seems to have forgotten that the current president, a democrat, earned his nickname Deporter in Chief by overseeing more deportations than any prior president (four million and climbing). I guess to top that, you have to go full Third Reich 2.0. 

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    Aug 312015
     

    Michael Riley Jr, 14, was a star track runner who qualified for the Junior Olympics. On August 13, he and his teammates visited a state park some 70 miles (110 km) north of Houston, and went swimming in a lake after a day of workouts. A week after the trip, Riley registered a slight fever and began complaining about a headache, his family said.

    At the Texas Children’s Hospital, doctors recognized the symptoms from a case they dealt with in July. Riley was diagnosed with Naegleriasis, also known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The deadly disease is caused by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that lives in warm fresh water and is abundant during the hot summer months in the southern US.

    Naegleria infections occur when water contaminated with the amoeba enters the body through the nose, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The amoeba then travels up to the brain, where it starts feeding on nerve tissue, causing bleeding and necrosis. Though extremely rare, the disease is almost universally fatal – out of 133 recorded cases in the US since 1962, only three people have survived, the CDC said.

    Riley was an honor student and a star track athlete. After he fell ill, his family started a Facebook community page called ‘Miracle 4 Michael’ to post updates on his condition and spread awareness of the deadly disease. They made the announcement of teen’s passing on Saturday evening.

    “It is with a heavy heart that we tell you, Michael John Riley Jr. lost his battle on this earth but won a victory for his place in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the family said on Facebook. “Family and friends from all over the world have shown tremendous support both in presence and from far distances. Our family continues to find comfort in your prayers and love, please keep them coming. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your outpouring of love.”

    Two of the survival cases were in 2013, including Kali Hardig, a 12-year-old from Arkansas. The CDC credited her recovery partly to a German-made drug, miltefosine. Local media reported that the CDC had provided the drug to Texas Children’s Hospital for Riley’s treatment.

    Riley’s death was the fourth lethal case of Naegleriasis in the US this year. The girl who was treated at Texas Children’s Hospital three weeks prior to Riley also died. Two adults, an Oklahoma man and a California woman, also succumbed to the brain-eating organism. 

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    Aug 302015
     
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    Aug 302015
     

    Source: Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post

    Unbeknownst to most Americans, a new war was launched in early August and not merely the proxy force versus proxy force variety that we have become accustomed to seeing over the last few years. A direct military conflict and invasion of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – complete with air assaults, tanks, and ground troops – was launched in early August. Yet, if one were not following the events in Yemen closely, you would scarcely have known that the war had started.

    Indeed, when Tony Cartalucci wrote that, “with almost a whimper,” the Western media reported the ground invasion of Yemen, he couldn’t have been more right.

    Regardless, the Saudi Arabians and other members of the “coalition” created to defeat the Houthi rebels have been bombing Yemen for months, killing scores of innocent civilians. These bombing raids, while proving devastating to the civilian population, did little to dislodge the Houthi rebels’ hold on territory aside from the port of Aden, an area already the scene of fierce fighting between the Houthis, forces loyal to former President Hadi, and al-Qaeda fighters. During the course of the bombing, the Houthis demonstrated that, not only were they able to withstand the Saudi bombing campaign but they were able to launch retaliatory strikes inside Saudi Arabia. The Houthi resiliency and the subsequent strikes inside Saudi Arabia thus revealed the Saudis as a military paper tiger.

    The Saudi ambition of bombing the Houthis into submission changed in early August when the Saudi forces along with their “coalition” colleague United Arab Emirates began a ground invasion of Yemen.

    Largely unannounced by the media, pictures nevertheless began circulating in early August showing the arrival of troops and columns of tanks landing in the port of Aden. Videos taken of the tanks – apparently French made LeClerc tanks belonging to the UAE – showed the forces moving North from Aden. Reports now suggest as many as 100 tanks – a third of UAE’s total armored forces- are engaged in Yemen.

    Alongside the tanks, there are a rumored “armor brigade” consisting of 1,000 to 3,000 UAE troops moving north toward the capital.

    Potential For Success, Potential For Failure

    With the Saudi/UAE invasion, there exists a number of opportunities of both success and failure for both sides that will have reverberations across the Middle East, North Africa, and the rest of the world.

    If the Saudis and the UAE succeed, the Houthi rebellion will be defeated and the fear of a Yemen that is allied with and receiving assistance from Iran will be allayed, at least temporarily. Saudi Arabia will have demonstrated its military strength (despite the fact that the UAE seems to bearing the brunt of the operations), the GCC will be able to demonstrate its importance in the region, and Iran will be perceived as weakened on the Arabian Peninsula.

    The risks to the Wahhabist Kingdom if they fail, however, are likely greater than the rewards if they succeed. If the Saudis fail, they will have revealed themselves as the paper tiger that they are in terms of military power. If the Houthis are able to overcome the onslaught of Saudi/UAE forces, the fear instilled into other countries by the Western-backed Saudi military will begin to evaporate. So too will Saudi influence in the region if the “coalition” cannot prevent a rag-tag group of revolutionaries from achieving victory despite their own invasion of the country. The Saudis will be forced to use the only method of diplomacy and international relations that has proven to work for them – money. After all, the military option will be revealed as an empty threat. Still, relying on their deep pockets alone poses its own risks since the falling price of oil is causing those pockets to become shallower.

    It is also worth noting that, if the Saudi military reveals itself as weak and impotent, it is quite possible that the Saudis will open themselves up to domestic insurgency and social unrest as well.

    In addition, if the Houthis are able to inflict enough serious blows to the UAE and Saudi military hardware, the effectiveness of an already weak military will cause the Saudi/UAE forces to weaken that much more. Tony Cartalucci posits in his own article that this could be one of the reasons the Western mainstream press has ignored the invasion thus far.

    There is some evidence that a rout of the Saudi and UAE forces is already taking place. If reports coming from news agency Al Manar are accurate, the UAE is experiencing a “massacre” of its forces inside Yemen. On August 17, 2015 in a report entitled “Yemen Turning Into Holocaust Of UAE Tanks, Soldiers,” Al Manar quotes sources from inside the Houthi forces saying that “The sources also revealed that losses of the Emirati forces during the last 72 hours were more than 32 armored vehicles, 14 tanks and 23 military vehicles, in addition to 38 soldiers and 8 officers killed.”

    Al-Manar says that the UAE has claimed only half of the casualties. Still, only half of those numbers are a sizeable loss to any military force.

    Undoubtedly, the West is well aware of the risks of the Saudi/UAE invasion of Yemen. The attempt to break the Houthis, the Iraqis, the Syrians, and the Lebanese before the Iran nuclear deal can be finalized in the United States, allowing new flows of Iranian money and support against the hordes of terrorists funded by the West for the purpose of overthrowing independent governments.

    Saudi Arabia and UAE – Aiding ISIS and Al-Qaeda As Always

    Saudi Arabia has long openly supporting ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other countries across the world. Likewise, the United Arab Emirates has done its own share of supporting terrorism.

    In Yemen, Saudi Arabia has supported al-Qaeda terrorists fighting the Houthis. Yet, with the recent invasion, its support in terms of funding, training, and weapons has shifted to become a direct military action in support of al-Qaeda fighters on the ground. In areas where the Saudi/UAE troops as well as their “pro-government” allies have passed through on their march North, it has been al-Qaeda fighters who have filled the vacuum and assumed control.

    In Aden, for instance, al-Qaeda forces are now controlling a number of areas of the city, patrolling and creating a quasi- governmental structure.

    As Ahmed Al-Haj writes for the Associated Press,

    In Aden, al-Qaida militants and other Islamic extremists continue to patrol the streets. Hundreds of al-Qaida militants hold some key areas in the port city, exploiting a vacuum left by pro-government forces pushing north, a high-ranking pro-Hadi security official and two other high-ranking pro-Hadi police officers, all in Aden, said.

    We have a shortage of men,” the state security official said. “Getting equipment (from coalition countries) is easy. Getting men to operate them is hard.


    In other words, the Saudi and UAE forces are acting as the spearhead for the al-Qaeda forces who march right in, unopposed, to impose Sharia law and any number of horrific laws on an unfortunate population.

    Hypocrisy of Western R2P, Humanitarian Bombing, And Neo-Cons

    While the Corporate Press and NATO countries whine and complain over phantoms of “Russian aggression,” the “illegal” annexation of Crimea (despite overwhelming support from the domestic population), and the “invasion” of Ukraine, not a single word of condemnation has been uttered regarding an open and flagrant launch of direct war and invasion against Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

    On one hand, as hundreds of tanks and thousands of soldiers flood in to Yemen, nothing is said by “international community” (meaning NATO). On the other hand, with no evidence of “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, the world is faced with the possibility of thermonuclear World War 3.

    In Yemen, it is considered an offense worthy of a “coalition” invasion from the Arab League if the Houthis overthrow a president that was essentially placed in his position by a foreign power after that foreign power had coordinated the revolt that sent his predecessor packing It is considered a violation of international law if the Houthis oust this “leader” and replace him with someone else.

    In Syria, however, there is no barbaric atrocity or crime against humanity that is not justified in order to facilitate the destruction of the government of Bashar al-Assad. While Yemenis are condemned for overthrowing their corrupt and oppressive government, the legitimate, secular, and reforming leadership of Bashar al-Assad is considered illegitimate and thus worthy of being deposed.

    The so-called “rebels” in Syria are considered the epitome of democracy. The rebels in Yemen are considered a threat to international order.

    In Ukraine also, the US instigated a color revolution that saw the ousting of a democratically (relatively speaking) elected President. In Ukraine, however, unlike Yemen, the individuals on the ground who overthrew that government engaged in a campaign of attempted extermination of select members of their countrymen and were hailed as heroes and worthy of support, even to the point of pushing the possibility of nuclear war with Russia by the United States.

    Clearly, some “rebels” are more equal than others. The concept of “international law,” “democracy,” “human rights,” and “self-determination” are obviously one-way streets.

    The representation of Iran’s involvement in the rebellion in the Western mainstream press is equally hypocritical. Remember, in both Ukraine and Syria, the United States has been not only the initiator of the destabilization but an open supporter of it. In Yemen, however, Iran is being painted as an international terrorist and destabilization artist. Although there is little evidence to point to Iran as being behind the Yemeni rebellion, its role has been painted as a meddler. The US, NATO, and the GCC, however, are painted as friends of democracy and human rights.

    Conclusion

    The invasion of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates is both an illegal and immoral act against a country which, like any other nation, has the right of self-determination. The Saudis and the GCC are involved in Yemen purely for geopolitical purposes. This much is clear due to the fact that neither the UAE nor the Saudis care one bit about human rights. If the Saudis/UAE succeed, they will have succeeded in dealing a geostrategic blow to Iran. If they fail, they will have outed themselves as a paper tiger and opened up the possibility for domestic insurgency and revolution at home as well as regional insubordination to their dictates. They will be faced to rely solely on their money, a supply of which is shrinking with the price of oil.

    If the Saudis and the UAE fail in Yemen, it may portend the collapse of the US/NATO campaign in Syria and Iraq since a key ally in the funding, training, and production of terrorists to be used in Syria and Iraq finds itself collapsing.

    The danger, however, is that the Western powers are well aware of this possibility and will do whatever they can to prevent it from ever becoming a reality. As the Congressional vote over the Iran deal approaches, the Western powers and their Arab/Israeli allies are racing against the clock before Iranian money begins to flow to its own allies and before the Iranians are considered a more equal player in the game. With that in mind, the dangers of false flag attacks and general wars are increasing in the coming weeks.

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    Aug 292015
     

    Drones have been turning up in strange places lately.

    For instance, back in April, a mailman delivered a campaign reform letter to Congress by landing a drone on the Capitol lawn and just a few days later, a radioactive drone turned up on top of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office (Kuroda paradropping yen?). 

    Then, in May, a drone showed up in Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids, Michigan and literally rained down money from the heavens. 

    Meanwhile, earlier this month, a Delta flight and a JetBlue flight had close encounters of the drone kind over JFK, avoiding collisions by just 100 feet. 

    Well apparently Boeing had had just about enough of people “flying their drones where they shouldn’t” (to quote Wired) because the company has now developed a drone-killing laser cannon which it tested in New Mexico earlier this week. Here’s more from Wired:

    The aerospace company’s new weapon system, which it publicly tested this week in a New Mexico industrial park, isn’t quite as cool as what you see in Star Wars—there’s no flying beams of light, no “pew! pew!” sound effects. But it is nonetheless a working laser cannon, and it will take your drone down.

    People keep flying their drones where they shouldn’t. In airport flight paths. Above wildfires. Onto the White House lawn. Luckily, there haven’t been any really bad incidents—that is, no one has been killed by a civilian quadcopter or plane, yet.

    But governments and militaries around the world are terrified by the prospect of drones carrying explosives or chemical weapons (and now, pornography) into places where they shouldn’t.

    There are lots of theories on the best way to deal with the drone threat. An Idaho company has developed special anti-drone shotgun shells. Some agencies are working on jamming technology to block communication from the operator to the aircraft. Firefighters in New York kept it simple, aiming their hose at a pesky drone hovering near a house fire.

    Forget all that. Boeing thinks the best way to kill a drone is to zap it with a precision laser, burn a hole in it, and bring it down. So it created a weapon system to do just that—and the result could someday be installed everywhere from LaGuardia to the Pentagon.

    But as Wired goes on to note, Boeing appears to have taken all the fun out of the whole idea of a “laser cannon”: 

    No explosions, no visible beam. It’s more like burning ants with a really, really expensive magnifying glass than obliterating Alderaan.

    Ok, so that doesn’t sound very exciting, is there anything fun about this thing? 

    The laser is controlled with a standard Xbox 360 controller (“If it breaks, just head to the barracks to get a replacement!”) and a laptop with custom targeting software. 

    That’s more like it – here’s a military grade, precision laser cannon that has that video game feel to it, which we imagine will come in handy when the Pentagon decides it’s time to test this thing out on targets which are, how should we put this… oh, yeah.. human combatants. 

    Of course, considering how lucrative sales to foreign countries are for America’s military industrial complex, our only question now is how long it will be before someone “loses” a laser cannon in the Middle East only to see it used by former CIA “strategic assets” to down a Predator. 

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    Aug 292015
     

    microfish

    San Diego, CA – A newly-developed technology at the University of California- San Diego called microfish will one day allow for tiny 3D-printed “smart” microbots to travel through a person’s bloodstream and deliver drugs to specific places in the body, as well as sense and remove toxins.

    The high-tech fish are extremely small, smaller than the width of a human hair. The revolutionary devices are extremely easy to create, but are remarkably high tech, with the ability to act as both a toxin sensing and detoxifying robot, according to researchers at UC-San Diego.

    “We have developed an entirely new method to engineer nature-inspired microscopic swimmers that have complex geometric structures and are smaller than the width of a human hair. With this method, we can easily integrate different functions inside these tiny robotic swimmers for a broad spectrum of applications,” said the co-first author Wei Zhu, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego.

    According to a report by Discovery News:

    Researchers used a high-resolution 3-D printing technology called microscale continuous optical printing to create the microfish. The custom computer-aided design (CAD) program used could allow researchers to experiment with other shapes, such as sharks or birds, in the future.

    The microfish have platinum nanoparticles in their tails which, when placed in a solution with hydrogen peroxide, undergo a chemical reaction to propel them forward. They’re magnetically steered by way of iron oxide nanoparticle in their heads.

    When the microfish are placed in a toxin-rich environment, they become fluorescent red and begin to glow intensely as their toxin-neutralizing nanoparticles chemically bind with the molecules of toxins.

    “Another exciting possibility we could explore is to encapsulate medicines inside the microfish and use them for directed drug delivery,” Jinxing Li, the other co-first author of the study, said in a statement.

    Researchers believe that the realization of the microfish, as proof of concept, will usher in an entire new generation in “smart” nanobots.

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