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Posts: 8,863
Reply with quote  #1 


Why We Dream About a World Without Police
Monday, 18 July 2016 09:43
By William C. Anderson, Praxis Center |

Police line up during a Black Lives Matter protest in West Baltimore, Maryland, April 29, 2015. (Photo: Arash Azizzada / Flickr)

The last few years have been rough. President Obama's last term in the White House has given many of us some of the most polarizing times we have ever experienced. It goes without saying that many have felt hopeless after being promised a change. Political disillusionment has clouded the air in a country struggling to find its true identity. In the midst of all this, unrelenting police violence has been in the spotlight driven by organized resistance to police brutality and renewed media interest. Police violence hasn't necessarily gotten worse, but it's being talked about more. This national conversation is absolutely necessary and should not let up. It's important to utilize the tools we have -- like our words -- to rebel. Using words as resistance, Truthout recently published their first anthology, Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? edited by Maya Schenwar, Joe Macare and Alana Yu-lan.
As the United States prepares to cast votes in the presidential election, people are reflecting. It's no surprise to hear representatives of the political establishment making promises about which of society's ailments they have a cure for. Each candidate appeals to the desires of their base. Politicians are expected to at least pretend that they care about bettering the lives of people in this nation. One of the issues that candidates have not been able to avoid is police violence. Trump has said he believes the police in this country are "amazing people" and Black Lives Matter is "trouble" while Clinton has attempted to ally herself with "Black Lives Matter" and sought to distance herself from an anti-Black past that included supporting her husband's 1994 Crime Bill. Both Trump's intentional ignorance and Clinton's performance of understanding illuminate the dire nature of people on the ground finding our own solutions.
The never-ending cycle of extra-judicial killing by police recently took the life of Alton Sterling, and immediately, we saw the standard reactions of grief, disgrace, and faith in an ineffective justice system. But voices speaking out against demands to "let the system work" and "let the police do their job" are increasing. Many of us want more from our society. The work to amplify and make these voices heard is exhausting, but necessary. Our lives depend on collecting our thoughts and ideas to build and strengthen movements for a more just and humane world without police violence.
Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect questions the necessity of the police from several different angles. While some might talk about possibly reforming the police, many of the contributors to this anthology question the police down to their very existence. Contributors from different perspectives center the importance of a movement against state violence that appropriately challenges white supremacy. That message is central to much of the thinking in the book's essays, and it's something I often think about myself.
My piece, 'Killing Africa,' discusses the pressing need for an international Black movement. I went about this by describing the killing of Charly "Africa" Leundeu Keunang by the LAPD.
I was devastated by the online circulation of Africa's death, and I wanted to write something meaningful. Africa's killing embodies the need for a global Black movement. His nickname, Africa, immediately brought to mind the African diaspora. That he was a Cameroonian immigrant with a stolen identity duri

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9/11 and Other Deep State Crimes Teleconference


Draft Agenda for 9/26/18 Teleconference 


Greetings all,

On this  mont's call, Xander Arenda starts us of with a presentation
 on last year's Mandalay Bay hotel shootings.

Lawrence Fine then offers us a theoretically "synthesized" take on the events at the Pentagon on 9/11.

Then we have an internal business item:  a proposal to remove Wayne Coste from the Teleconference.

Barbara Honneger next gives us a brief update on the sworn affidavit of self-reported 9/11 eye-witness Robert Alexander.

Finally, we'll hear brief reports from those of us who participated in the various 9/11 anniversary events across the country.

As always, we'll reserve time at the end of the call for your announcements.

Please join us Wednesday night for these latest currents in the Truth movement!  

Ken Freeland
Cheryl Curtiss
Craig McKee

DRAFT AGENDA for Wednesday 29 August Teleconference

I Roll call, minutes approval (see copy below)l, agenda approval (5 min)

II  The Mandalay Bay Hotel shootings [Xander Arena] {Cheryl} (15 min min + 10 min Q&A)
IV Motion to remove Wayne Coste from the Teleconference [Cheryl Curtiss, Barbara Honegger] (10 minutes--includes discussion]
"Cheryl Curtiss and Barbara Honegger will move that Wayne Coste be removed from the teleconference calls and 
listserv due to his flagrantly false and unsupported accusations on the call against Craig McKee, his blind cc’ing  of an e-mail to Craig repeating these false and inflammatory statements to dozens of 9/11 Truth Movement activists without Craig’s knowledge, his refusal  to retract these false statements on the subsequent call, his intentional and inflamatory creation of a new website with a name mirroring Craig's own Truth and Shadows site mocking Craig's research, and his attempt on the call,     all recorded, to extort Craig that he    take actions demanded by Wayne in order for Wayne to remove the mocking website from the Net."

V Brief update on Robert Alexander affidavit [Barbara Honegger} (5 minutes + Q &A)
References: https://www.theothersideofmidnight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Sworn-Jurat-Affidavit-of-Robert-Alexander-Aug.-6,2018.pdf

VI  Reports on 9/11 anniversary events [group discussion] (10 minutes)

VII Announcements

VIII  Ideas for next month's teleconference (group discussion)

IX  Any available updates on issues of identified ongoing concern (if any remaining time):
  • New articles, books, films, or recent news about 9/11 or other Deep State crimes
  • 9/11 and the Deep State on the legal front, including current adjudicatory efforts by Lawyers for 9/11 Inquiry, JASTA, 28 pages, William Pepper’s efforts with AE911Truth against NIST and the Dept. of Commerce
  • Censorship and cognitive infiltration: new examples of censorship or harassment of members of the Truth community;  MSM treatment of 9/11 Truth
  • Google (et al.) censorship
  • The 9/11 Consensus Panel
  • 9/11 Truth political candidates
    X Adjournment (by 9:30 p Eastern)
This draft agenda sent to:

John Heartson, Don DeBar, Scott Halfmann, Steven E. Jones, William Rodriguez, David Ray Griffin, William Douglas, Steve Alten , Tom Tvedten, Justin Martel, Les Jamieson, Michael Jackman, Michael Wolsey, Peggy Brewster, Barrie Zwicker, Erik Lawyer, Gabriel Day, Kevin Barrett, PhD, Carol Brouillet, Mia Hamel, Paul Craig Roberts, Jack Blood, Diana (for investigar11s.org), Cheryl Curtiss, Jodie Baltazar, Jarek Kupsc, Joseph Culp, Ken Jenkins, Ellen Mariani, Gerhard Bedding,  Jack Shimek, Paul Krik, Rock Creek Free Press, Damon Bean, Allan Giles, Kyle Hence, Michael Berger, Dylan Avery,  Jason Burmas, Mike Palecek, Donald Stahl, Ray McGovern, Cynthia McKinney, Ph,D, Don Plummer, Doug Wight, Global Outlook,  Paul Zarembka, Penny Little, Bob Cable, Suzanne Warson, Peter Thottam, Ralph Schoenman, Carol Wolman, Scholars for 911 Truth & Justice, Hummux, Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth, Frank Morales, Frank Tolopko, Alan Miller, James Hufferd, Ph.D., Erik Larson, Ted Walter , Suzanne Warson, Frederick Coward, Gordon Duff, Sherri Kane, Leonard Horowitz, William Woodward, Jerry Mazza, William Pepper, Wayne Madsen, David Kimball, Jeffrey Orling, Michael Marino, Lenny Mather (in memoriam), Ken Freeland, Tania Torres, Graeme MacQueen, Yumi Kikuchi, Stuart Hutchison, Roland Angle, Frank Agamemnon , Harold Hilton, Phil Restino, Rich McCampbell, John Zito, Manny Badillo, John Hankey, Oskar Mosquito, Edwin Jewett, Ms Anisa Fattah, Robert Barron, Shelton Lankford, Matthew Hayward, Anna Yeisley, Chris Pratt, Craig Ranke, Susan Lindauer, Barbara Honegger, Democritus Blantayre, Joseph Baltar, Jim Hogue, Sheila Casey, Steve Martin, Ben Collet, Elizabeth Woodward,  Runyan Wilde, Susan Wolfe, Adam Ruff, Conrad Gilber. Jonathan Mark, Tonya Sneed, Dan Sutton, Richard Krushnic, Mark Crispin Miller, Byron Belitsos, George Ripley, Laurie Manwell ,  Susan Serpa, Nicolas Guillermo, Dwain Deets, Craig McKee, Steve Fahrney; Fran Shure; David Petrano, Lawrence Fine, A.K. Dewdney, Steve De'ak, Allan ReesArt Olivier, Ron Avery, Michael Booth, Jim Fetzer, Laura Katleman, Don Gibbs, Mark Basile, John-Michael Talboo, Julian Stroh, Christopher Gruener, Elias Davidsson, Martin McGee, Adnan Zuberi, Jan Ravensbergen, Rich Aucoin (in memoriam), David Hooper, Wayne Coste, P.E., Don Fox, Bill Wilt, William Jacoby, Ron Neils, John Campbell, Dan Hennen, Barton Bruce, Cheri Aspenleiter, Stephen Phillips, Dick Atlee, Lynn Ertrell, Nita Renfrew. Frank Tolopko, Mark McDonald, Christopher Bollyn, John Paul OMalley, Rodger Bories, Mark Snyder, Jane Clark, Richard Sacks, Tim Michel, Lynn Bradbury, Xander Arena, David Cole, Rick Tufts, Jerry Turner, Rick Shaddock, Rebecca Schmoyer, Mark Mckertich, Kip Beckford, Doug West, PF Soto, Dennis Cimino, Jane Clark, Charles Ewing Smith, Lucy Morgan Edwards, Pablo Novi, David Rolde, Gregory Flynn, Pat O'Connell, Jeff Long, Greg McCarron, Andy Steele, Thomas Robichaud, Doug Mackenzie, Peter Michael Ketcham, Gene Laratonda, Karl Golovin, Steve Jarrott, Neil Marquis, Matt Van Slyke, Tony Hall, Ph.D., Mike Springman, Ezra Smith, Samuel Smith, Janane Tripp, Daniel Fielding, Gerald Pechenuk, Ralph Lopez, Robert Griffin, Linda McPherson, Marie Spike, Kathy Allard, PhD, Trina Silvers, Julio Gomez, Ann Hendricks, Malcolm Arnold, Nooria Ghafoor


Craig McKee, Secretary 9/11 Monthly Teleconference Call
Draft minutes for the Wed., August 29, 2018 regular conference call
Present were:
Ken Freeland, Teleconference co-facilitator, Houston 9/11Truth
Cheryl Curtiss, Teleconference co-facilitator, Connecticut 9/11 Truth
Craig McKee, Teleconference secretary, Truth and Shadows
Wayne Coste, TAP
Marti Hopper, Colorado 9/11 Truth
Malcolm Arnold
Mick Harrison, Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry
Lawrence Fine
Richard Gage, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth
P.F. Soto, 9/11 activist
Tom Tvedten
Charles Ewing Smith
Rodger Bories, 9/11 activist
Frank Tolopko, Berkshire 9/11 Truth
Tony Hall, University of Lethbridge
John O’Malley, DC911Truth
Barbara Honegger, Monterey 9/11 Truth
Marie Spike, TAP
David Cole, Nine Eleven Accountability Team
Tim Michel, TAP
Michael Cook, AE911Truth
September 21, 2018

Help explore Ronald Reagan’s 30,000-page FBI file

Join our crowdsourced effort to explore the hidden history of Reagan’s decades-long relationship with the Bureau

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Beryl Lipton

Ronald Reagan’s decades-long association with the Federal Bureau of Investigation - from his early days as an anti-Communist informant in Hollywoodto the law and order governor of California to President of the United States during Iran-Contra - is attested to in his 30,000-page file, recently released to Emma Best. Due to the size and scope of the historical material contained in these pages, we’re using our new Assignments tool to start a crowdsourced project to hone in on the most interesting finds buried in the Bureau’s margins.

Click on the link below to start looking through the files. We’ll be highlighting your submissions in the weeks to come and offering prizes to those that end up generating new articles. Happy hunting!


Samuel Kaplan, a 64 year old FBI information technology program manager, was arrested and pleaded guilty, 3 June 2010, to child pornography possession. Kaplan was sentenced, 27 August 2010, to just under four years in jail followed by 15 years of supervised release. Kaplan worked in the FBI’s Chantilly, Virginia office and used “the FBI’s network to facilitate sexually explicit communications.” He was also trading in child rape from his home computer.

Michael Peluso, a 44 year old FBI Civilian Analyst with an undercover unit in


Critical Incident Response Group, was arrested, 9 January 2015, on child pornography charges. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced, 27 May 2016, to no jail time and supervised parole for life.

Peluso was caught trading child rape on-line by an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce investigation.

United States Marshals Service (USMS)

Christopher W. McKee, a 37 year old intelligence analyst with the US

Christopher McKee

Marshals, was arrested on three counts of child pornography. McKee pleaded guilty, April 2013, and was sentenced, 15 August 2013, to five years probation with no jail time. McKee maintained a collection of child sex abuse on CDs labelled “teens” and “teen sluts” in his Arlington, Virginia office and also

Christopher McKee’s Statement of Facts

traded in child rape from his government computer. He had downloaded thousands of images/video of child sex abuse. The US Marshals allowed him to resign. McKee is a registered sex offender.

Michael D. Rivera, a 29 year old Deputy US Marshal, was arrested on more than 20 charges including child pornography charges. He pleaded guilty,

Michael Rivera

20 January 2017. In February 2017, he was convicted, in North Dakota state court, of ten misdemeanors and cleared of 11 other charges. Rivera is being held in custody, pending sentencing, currently set in the state case for 13 June 2017, and 17 May 2017, for the federal charges. Rivera was caught for trading in child rape when he was discovered pushing his cell phone under dressing rooms in clothing store changing rooms where

Michael Rivera’s Plea Agreement

women and girls were undressing. Twenty-one girls and women were victims. When investigators searched Rivera


Florida police framed three black men for burglaries. One was deported because of it, suit says.


Queens woman killed by ex in murder-suicide contacted NYPD twice in days before killings


NJ sheriff quits over remarks about Sikh attorney general, 'the blacks'


Nearly 50 Yale Law faculty members call for FBI to probe allegation against Kavanaugh

link du jour

Congressman, Former FBI agent speak at Ector County Republican Women meeting

WednesdaySeptember 19th 2018, 5:43 pm EDTWednesdaySeptember 19th 2018, 5:44 pm EDT

Ex-Chicago police commander linked to torture of more than 100 suspects dies

Jon Burge once led a crew of rogue detectives accused of torturing mostly black men with cattle prods and guns


Police watchdog Mary Powers dies

Posted By Michael Miner on 06.27.16 at 07:35 PM


Flint Taylor

G. FLINT TAYLOR, a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern Law School, is a  founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, an office which has been dedicated to litigating civil rights, police violence, government misconduct, and death penalty cases for 45 years.  Among the landmark cases that Mr. Taylor has litigated are the Fred Hampton Black Panther case; the Greensboro, North Carolina case against the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis; the Ford Heights Four case in which four innocent men received a record $36 million settlement for their wrongful conviction and imprisonment; and a series of cases arising from a pattern and practice of police torture and cover-up by former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, former State’s Attorney Richard Devine, and numerous other police and government officials, five of which have been settled against the City  of Chicago and Cook County for a total of approximately $26 million. He obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for a seven year old boy who was falsely accused by the Chicago Police of the murder of 11 year old Ryan Harris and has represented, and continues to represent, numerous other wrongfully convicted persons who have spent decades in prison and on death row, including Burge torture victims Michael Tillman, Darrell Cannon, Ronald Kitchen, Alonzo Smith, Anthony Holmes, Victor Safforld, Shawn Whirl, and Jackie Wilson, exonerees Randy Steidl, Paul Terry, Ronald Jones, Jerry Miller, Oscar Walden, Lewis Gardner, Paul Phillips, Terrill Swift, and Jonathan Barr, and the first woman jailhouse lawyer in Illinois, Maxine Smith.

Taylor’s work in fighting against police torture in Chicago over the past 29 years has been instrumental in obtaining the conviction and imprisonment of police torture ringleader Jon Burge and the precedent setting decision that upheld the inclusion of former Mayor Richard M. Daley as a co-conspiring defendant in the Tillman civil rights case. He also worked with the movement to obtain reparations for 60 survivors of Chicago police torture. He has also represented Nanci Koschman in her case against the CPD and SAO for covering up the truth about the death of her son in order to protect the Daley family, was one of the lead lawyers in obtaining a $5 million settlement for 74 victims of illegal strip and body cavity searches by the Milwaukee Police Department, and now represents three victims of torture and abuse at the CPD’s secret interrogation site, known as Homan Square.

Taylor also played a major role in the George Jones “street files” case that uncovered the unlawful Chicago police practice of keeping one set of files to be produced to defense lawyers while maintaining another secret set of files that often contained exculpatory evidence.  This case dramatically changed the criminal discovery process in Cook County and also led to the groundbreaking wrongful prosecution verdict in Jones v. City of Chicago. As a police brutality litigator, he has been instrumental in pioneering and litigating Monell pattern and practice claims against municipalities, particularly in the areas of repeater cops, police discipline, the police code of silence, and domestic violence by police officers. Taylor also played a key role in major litigation brought against the Marion Federal Penitentiary, Stateville and Pontiac prisons in the areas of unconstitutional segregation, cruel and unusual conditions of confinement, and behavior modification.

Mr. Taylor is also an accomplished appellate advocate, and successfully argued the cases of Cleavinger v. Saxner and Buckley v. Fitzsimmons before the United States Supreme Court, as well as numerous cases before Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal and the Illinois Supreme Court.

Mr. Taylor is a longtime National Lawyers Guild member, a founding editor of the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Reporter, has extensively written and lectured in the field of civil rights litigation and police torture, and frequently appears on radio and television and at other public forums to discuss these topics. He has authored four law review articles on these subjects, and his articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun TimesThe NationIn These Times, the Huffington PostTruthout, and Portside.

In 1975 Mr. Taylor was honored, along with his law partner Jeffrey Haas, for his work on the Fred Hampton case by being named by the Chicago Reader as members of the “Heavy 75,”, in 1977, with Haas, as an Advocate For Our Freedom for “representing a rare breed of legal advocates who take on the contemporary Sacco and Vanzetti or Scottsboro cases,” in 1986 he was nominated for the Durfee Foundation Award for his work in “enhancing the human dignity of others through legal institutions,” and, in 1989, again with Haas, received the Citizens Alert Fighters For Justice Award.  He is the 2008 recipient of the William R. Ming Jr. Award of the Cook County Bar Association, given to a lawyer “for dedication and significant contribution to the causes of civil rights and individual liberties;” and in 2009 was awarded the First Defense Legal Aid First Defender Award for his “tireless commitment to protecting the civil rights of Chicago citizens.” He was also the recipient of the National Lawyers Guild’s 2009 Ernie Goodman Award “in recognition of extraordinary achievement by a National Lawyers Guild lawyer;” the 2009 Rainbow PUSH Father to the Community Award; the 2010 Jenner and Block award from the Northwestern Center on Wrongful Convictions for his “unflagging struggle against police brutality and racial repression under color of law;” with his law partners Joey Mogul and John Stainthorp, the 2010 Chicago National Lawyers Guild Arthur Kinoy Award for their “commitment to the struggle for justice for the survivors of torture;” the 2011 SFPIF Northwestern Law School Distinguished Alumnus Award for his “outstanding commitment to public service;” with his co-counsel Locke Bowman and Alexa Van Brunt, the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization’s 2014 Legal Eagle Award; and the 2016 Nelson Algren Humanitarian  Award as “a conscience in touch with humanity.”

In 2002 he was named by Chicago Magazine as one of Chicago’s “30 Toughest Lawyers;” and by his peers as a “Leading Lawyer” in 2003, and 2015, as a “Super Lawyer” in 2007, 2008, and 2009, in 2015 as a member of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, and in 2016 as a “Top Lawyer” in the Global Directory of Who’s Who.


Prosecutors: Off-duty NYPD cop, released after he beat and choked girlfriend, arrested again for sending her threatening messages


Posts: 8,863
Reply with quote  #3 


Ten Philadelphia police recruits resign after trying to cheat on open-book exam


JUN 24, 2019 | 7:53 P


At 80, Peace Activist Robin Lloyd Still Crosses the Line 


FBI Got a Call About Courthouse Shooter in 2016. Here’s Why They Didn’t Act on It.
STEPHEN YOUNG | JUNE 21, 2019 | 4:00AM


Settlement in suit involving NYPD cop known as ‘Bullethead’ after DA declined to prosecute


JUN 27, 2019 | 4:12 AM


Lowell police officer arraigned in rape of homeless teenager

By Emily Sweeney Globe Staff,June 27, 2019, 2 hours ago
Email to


Police fired more than 55 rounds at Willie McCoy in less than 4 seconds, report shows


JUN 27, 2019 | 12:55 PM


Arizona sleuth says FBI misidentified jump zone of DB Cooper: report


DOJ Examines Whether FBI Officials Acted Inappropriately by Attending Dodgers Game
FBI assists with security planning at major sporting events that are at risk of being targeted by terrorism or other violence


As HPD, other local police embrace body cams, foolish for FBI, DEA to ban them in joint operations[Editorial]
By The Editorial Board June 27, 2019 Updated: June 27, 2019 3:54 p.m.

JFK Assassination Magazine

Hello all,

Exciting news! The print version of "garrison: Issue 001" is now available via LuLu. We are so excited for this to happen, as we were happy yet upset that we ran out of the initial 100 copies so quickly. If you didn't get to buy the first run, now is the chance.

There are a few reasons we went with LuLu:
1) Amazon really treats independent authors and publishers poorly, more so when trying to list a magazine. They use a large corporation as their third-party magazine dealer. If you don't get jump through massive hoops to list with them, you can't get on Amazon.
2) LuLu uses the perfect-bound spines, which means the binding is squared off with printing down the spine rather than being stapled and v-shaped. it's much nice.
3) The glossy paper used for the cover is thicker and, I believe, nice.
4) International (outside-the-U.S.) orders will be accepted and fulfilled.
5) LuLu often runs deals and specials. If you type in ONEFIVE in the discount box today, June 27th until 11:59 p.m., you will get 15% off all orders.
6) You have multiple options for shipping. You choose method and pricing.

Here is the LuLu link for Midnight Writer News Publications, where you can buy garrison:

Here is the link to the announcement on ‪MidnightWriterNews.com‬, where you can see a list of the articles and writers in issue 001:

If you didn't get a print copy and would like one, now is the time. Thank you all for your kindness and your support. If any of you would like to spread the news on your blogs or on social media, it would be appreciated.

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Reply with quote  #4 






Why are there so few prisoners in the Netherlands?

The Dutch justice system is cutting jail populations by offering specialist rehabilitation to people with mental illnesses






Genealogy hobbyist database sells out to FBI-linked forensic genetic sequencing firm

11 Dec, 2019 21:24






Outrage after Colombia riot police force young woman into unmarked car

  • Protester freed after members of public give chase
  • Video of incident adds to criticism of police tactics









Earliest known cave art by modern humans found in Indonesia

Pictures of human-like hunters and fleeing mammals dated to nearly 44,000 years old








The old made our climate mess. And the young will get us out of it






Springfield cop, assistant principal arraigned on charges linked to alleged roles in fight with student





Porn cam cop in trouble again






Another Brockton Cop Has Seriously Injured a Pedestrian








Alameda County sheriff’s deputy charged with molestation of 15-year-old girl


Megan Cassidy Dec. 11, 2019 Updated: Dec. 11, 201






Black Panther volunteer still serving hungry kids breakfast, 50 years later


Steve Rubenstein Dec. 11, 2019 Updated: Dec. 11, 2019






Record high temperatures hit Fort Myers, Naples just a degree shy of its record


Karl Schneider, Fort Myers News-Press Published 3:17 p.m. ET Dec. 11, 2019








Maine Mineral & Gem Museum opens, and it’s pretty out of this world

There’s a lot to brag about: ‘We have more of the moon than the world’s 10 leading science museums combined’

By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright Globe Correspondent,Updated December 12, 2019, 7:00 a.m.







We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly.

We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly.

A high-profile inspector general report has served as fodder for arguments about President Trump. But its findings about surveillance are important beyond partisan politics.






Child predators target of sex offender bill


Updated December 12, 2019, 12:00 a.m.

Email to a Friend













Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit

Only 10% of donations to the Peter’s Pence collection go to charitable works

By Francis X. Rocca

Dec. 11, 2019 9:54 am ET






This scenic snowshoe on the Appalachian Trail leads to a frozen waterfall








How the Prosecution of Animal Rights Activists As Terrorists Foretold Today’s Criminalization of Dissent

Natasha Lennard


















Why Did Respected Press Freedom Organization Exclude Assange From Annual List Of Jailed Journalists?








DECEMBER 12, 2019

Zealots in High Office


Back in 2003, in a top-secret international phone call, President George W. Bush urged French President Jacques Chirac to join America in invading Iraq on grounds that Christian nations must thwart the Satanic






The Daily Appeal

By Sarah Lustbader (@SarahLustbader)


What is the purpose of sex offender registries?

Two days ago, the Union-Recorder in Georgia published a bizarre editorial. The editorial board noted that the state’s sex offender registry system drives people into homelessness and deprived them of counseling and employment opportunities, but laments this fact only insofar as it allows registrants to “fly under the radar” and makes them “more difficult to track.” Georgia’s registry system, according to the authors, “places too much trust in the honor system” because requiring people to self-register “places too much confidence” in the registrant. They acknowledge that there are “strong penalties” for failing to register, including life in prison, but these apparently don’t go far enough, as some people with convictions could “choose to live on the fringes of the law.” 

“As a society we have determined that in the case of convicted sexual offenders, the potential danger to the general public, and especially children, outweighs their rights to resume a normal life after the debt to society is paid,” the editorial board writes, but “despite all the concerns we have about civil liberties and individual rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we simply have to know where these offenders are and what threat they pose to a community.” The authors propose no solutions. And, more to the point, they betray a fundamental ignorance of the fact that no empirical evidence shows that registries actually protect anyone. Some evidence indicates they make us less safe.  

Sex offender registries weren’t designed to punish people, Dara Lind wrote for Vox in 2016. “The registry was designed for ‘sexual predators’ who repeatedly preyed on children (at least according to the fears of 1990s policymakers). The purpose was supposed to be not punishment but prevention. The theory: ‘Sexual predators’ were unable or unwilling to control their urges, and the government could not do enough to keep them away from children, so the job of avoiding ‘sexual predators’ needed to fall to parents.” But now, 20 years later, “the focus on sex crimes has shifted from sexual abuse of children to sexual assault and rape. The idea that criminals can’t control their behavior has been replaced by attention to the cultural and institutional failures that allow rapes to happen and go unpunished.” As a preventive tool, it hasn’t worked, Lind writes. “Instead, it's caught up thousands of people in a tightly woven net of legal sanctions and social stigma. Registered sex offenders are constrained by where, with whom, and how they can live—then further constrained by harassment or shunning from neighbors and prejudice from employers.”

Despite ongoing stigma against those convicted of sex offenses, there has been some movement away from ever-restrictive sex registries and toward more productive solutions. The political pressure to oppose these efforts, however, is strong. 

Recently, the governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have lifted state restrictions on how close to schools people convicted of sex crimes can live. The bill, which passed the state Assembly and Senate unanimously, would have repealed a state law that bars certain people from living less than 1,500 feet from schools, public parks, places of worship, or youth centers. The bill would also have required people be placed in their home county after being released. In his veto message, Evers said the change would have compromised children’s safety. “In testimony before lawmakers earlier this year, the State Public Defender’s Office said out-of-county placements often happen because counties can’t find a place to house offenders that meet the 1,500-foot requirement,” reports Wisconsin Public Radio. Senator Dan Feyen, a Republican and one of the bill’s sponsors, said he agreed the distance is challenging for some and, in his opinion, arbitrary. “It’s just a number that’s made up.”

In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court will soon rule on the constitutionality of that state’s sex offender registry law. The latest iteration of the law, which took effect at the end of 2012, increased the “list of offenses subject to registration and notification—including a handful that are not sexual in nature—and imposing more stringent registration and notification rules,” reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The registry more than doubled. One of the cases before the high court deals with requirements under the current law for people classified as “sexually-violent predators,” those who have committed the most serious offenses and who are considered to have a high likelihood to reoffend. The question is whether lifetime registration, as well as lifetime counseling and community notification, constitute unlawful punishment.  

In another case at issue, lawyers for a biochemical engineer with no prior record who was convicted of aggravated indecent assault and subject to lifetime registration are arguing that the law violates a fundamental right to reputation under the state Constitution. They posit that the law presumes that people convicted of certain sexual offenses cannot change and therefore are prone to reoffending. The lawyers “cite experts and studies that show the public holds a false perception that people convicted of sexual offenses will go on to reoffend, and that their risk for doing so lasts for years,” according to the Inquirer. “They said only a small number of offenders fit that bill, while the rest get lumped into that group, suffering a lifetime of harm. Their arguments go to the heart of the criminal justice reform movement blossoming across the country that aims to reduce harsh penalties for smaller offenses, and reform policies for offenders who, after serving prison time, suffer myriad social and financial hardships.”

Given the growing understanding of just how problematic these registries are, it is perhaps most remarkable that Nigeria is adopting a U.S.-style sex offense registry. “Campaigners have hailed the launch of Nigeria’s first sex offender register as a vital step towards tackling reported cases of sexual abuse, which are rising across the country,” reports The Guardian, in an article that notably lacks comments from critics. “The publicly accessible online register of people prosecuted for sexual violence since 2015 will allow public bodies and police authorities to conduct background checks and identify repeat offenders.”  

Sexual violence indeed seems to be a serious problem in Nigeria, which stigmatizes those who come forward to report abuse. Despite the dearth of statistics, Unicef estimates that 1 in 4 girls in the country have experienced sexual violence by the age of 18 and few receive support. In Lagos, the most frequently assaulted group are children, many of whom are abused by relatives or family friends. Those who do come forward can be treated badly by authorities, according to the Guardian article. “We have cases where victims are being questioned in front of the perpetrators or in open spaces and criticized by officers for not remembering details like the road where the rape occurred,” said Oluwaseun Osowobi, the director of a Nigerian non-government organization that supports survivors of sexual violence. “Cases of sexual abuse are not prosecuted for flimsy reasons,” Osowobi added. “How police collect data is unprofessional and archaic. Police regularly misplace case-files or evidence. Eventually victims become exhausted by the system and give up.”

There is no doubt that this is all problematic and merits urgent attention. But the question is why a system that has already failed in the U.S. should be expected to succeed in Nigeria. Since few people are reported and fewer are convicted, it seems unlikely that anyone will be deterred by the idea that they now “have nowhere to hide,” as Osowobi put it. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, the executive secretary of Nigeria’s Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, said: “It enables bodies such as schools [and] hospitals to conduct background checks and it will deter sex offenders because they will know their names will be published, affecting their employment and role in society.” Until the culture that tolerates sex abuse and stigmatizes victims is inverted, however, it is hard to imagine that anyone will be so deterred. Nigeria and the U.S. would do better to be guided by evidence.









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