Torture by U.S. Government
The Times: President Obama to restart Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, May 15 ‘09
…US Department of Justice memos released in April revealed that Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in a single month….
… the President decided to try to block the release of more photos of abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan at US facilities….
Scouts Training for Tyranny – “Anti-Terror” Militarization
nytimes.com, Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More, 05/13/09
One of the exercises simulates combat with a “disgruntled Iraq war veteran” for some reason.
The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters….
…In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.
“Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”…
…There have been numerous cases over the last three decades in which police officers supervising Explorers have been charged, in civil and criminal cases, with sexually abusing them…
History of Scouting
wikipedia.org: Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, May 18 ‘09
…Jeal argues that Baden-Powell’s distrust of communism led to his implicit support, through naïveté, of fascism. In 1939 Baden-Powell noted in his diary: “Lay up all day. Read Mein Kampf. A
wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organization etc.—and ideals which Hitler does not practise himself.”
He also admired Benito Mussolini, and some early Scouting badges had a swastika symbol on them. According to his biographer Rosenthal, Baden-Powell used the swastika because he was a Nazi sympathizer. Jeal, however, argues that Baden-Powell was naïve of the symbol’s growing association with fascism and maintained that his use of the symbol related to its earlier, original meaning of “good luck” in Sanskrit, for which purpose the symbol had been used for centuries prior to the rise of fascism….
Freedom of Expression and Property Rights
cbc.ca: Tobacco store owner gearing up for another legal fight, May 18 ‘09
A tobacco seller in Kentville, N.S., is gearing up for another legal fight with the provincial government over its law on displaying tobacco products.
Surveillance and Tracking of Canadians
cbc.ca: Ontario’s high-tech driver’s licences pose privacy risk: watchdog, May 13 ‘09
“The radio frequency identity (RFID) tag that will be embedded into the card can be read not only by authorized readers, but just as easily by unauthorized readers,” Ann Cavoukian said in a statement accompanying the release of her 2008 annual report Wednesday.
cbc.ca: Security, privacy issues abound with enhanced driver’s licences: Critics, May 15 ‘09
“The problem is that we’re using the pallet technology [for driver’s licences],” Johnston said. “I can track you from a great distance and you’re not going to know that I’m keeping track of you.”…
Tassé is also concerned that once enough people are carrying the cards, officials other than border guards may wish to take advantage of the ability to track and identify people at a distance.
“Police will be really tempted to seek the authority to identify people in public spaces. The temptation will be irresistible to use the technology,” he said.
International and Federal Hyperregulation and Interference in our Lives
cbc.ca: Government gets power to set energy standards for turned-off devices, May 15 ‘09
The government was given the power to set those standards in amendments to the Energy Efficiency Act that gained royal assent Thursday, said a news release from Natural Resources Canada….
The Paris-based International Energy Agency had urged countries in 1997 to adopt the one watt limit by 2010….
Notice how it was determined internationally, like everything else. Their reasoning: the anticipated increase would “jeopardize efforts to increase energy security and reduce the emission of
May 18th, 2009