Sunday, January 25, 2015

Senate Republicans Remove 'Civil Rights And Human Rights' From Subcommittee Name

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans revealed this week that they have eliminated the phrase “civil rights and human rights” from the title of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee charged with overseeing those issues.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee this month and announced the members of the six subcommittees this week. With Grassley’s announcement, the subcommittee formerly known as the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights suddenly became the Subcommittee on the Constitution.

The new chairman of the newly named subcommittee is Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). His office confirmed that it made the switch.
“We changed the name because the Constitution covers our most basic rights, including civil and human rights,” said Cornyn spokeswoman Megan Mitchell. “We will focus on these rights, along with other issues that fall under the broader umbrella of the Constitution.”


Dem Rep Cites Sony Hack As Rationale For Reintroducing Bill

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is a controversial bill, promoted by supporters as a cyber-security solution and decried by detractors as a threat to online privacy, which has failed in two previous federal-level legislative sessions. The 112th and 113th congresses considered the bill, but pushback from civil rights groups and tech giants ultimately stopped CISPA in its tracks. Now, in the wake of a widely-publicized hack targeting employees at Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Hill is reporting that Maryland Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger has revived the legislation and reintroduced it before the US House of Representatives last Friday.
“The reason I’m putting [the] bill in now is I want to keep the momentum going on what’s happening out there in the world,” said Ruppersberger, referring specifically to the Sony hack in comments to The Hill. The technology publications Techdirt andGizmodo argued that CISPA would not have prevented the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Techdirt characterized Ruppesburger as “the NSA’s personal Rep in Congress,” noting the fact that “NSA HQ is in his district.”
Roll Call pointed out the fact that Representative Ruppersberger himself does not believe that the bill will prevail and said to CQ, “I realize this is not going to pass in this form with me as a Democrat.” However, he said he reintroduced the bill to keep the pressure on in an effort to win Republican representatives over to his cause. In previous legislative sessions, Republican Representative Mike Rogers helped push for the bill, but Rogers has since retired from Congress.

Join People's Climate Justice Movement: Year Of Coordinated Action

From coast to coast across North America, people who are fighting for climate justice are connecting and thinking big about how to work together to end the era of fossil and nuclear fuels and move to clean and just energy. We want to share what is going on and ways that you can get involved.

Sign up here for the Popular Resistance Climate Justice Affinity Group to stay informed about actions to retire fossil and nuclear fuels and move to renewable energy:

Here are actions and calls that are coming up soon:

1. Rising Tide NA Call Sunday, Jan. 25 at 8 pm to discuss proposal for coordinated actions. The basic idea is for different groups to take on a week (or so) of disruptive direct action aimed at the people and corporations causing climate change.  It looks like there is enough interest to sustain several weeks of action throughout the fall, in the lead up to the UN Climate Summit in Paris in December. On the call, we will affirm a common vision for action, find out who is interested in doing what, and figure out how all these different people and groups work together.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CALL.

2. Emergency protest to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New York City on Monday, Jan. 26 at noon outside the Sheraton Times Square at 7th Ave and 53rd St. The TPP negotiators will be meeting there. Bring a noisemaker. The TPP is a trade agreement that will undermine our ability to protect the health and safety of our communities and planet.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FACEBOOK PAGE.

3. Action targeting Big Energy in New York City in February. We are working with the Yes Lab on a fun and creative action. If you are interested, go to the Action Switchboard to check it out. You’ll need to make an account if you want to register for the action. CLICK HERE FOR THE SCHEME ON THE ACTION SWITCHBOARD.

4. Coast to Coast No Gas group. People who are involved in struggles to stop fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure (pipelines, compressor stations, refineries, export terminals and oil trains) are holding regular conference calls. We are learning from each others’ struggles and finding ways to collaborate. We have a listserve too. The next call will be Friday, February 6 at 6 pm. Contact if you would like to join the calls.

5. Beyond Xtreme Energy is planning actions at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the spring. This agency is rubberstamping oil and gas projects without regard for public health or safety or the impact on the environment and climate crisis. In early November, BXE shut down the FERC 5 days in a row. The website is under construction but if you are interested in learning more, contact

There is also work to organize a People’s Climate Strike in December and more. Details to come.


2015 State of Indian Nations (Video)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stanford scientists team with indigenous people to produce detailed carbon calculations of Amazon rainforest

When it comes to measuring the carbon storage potential of the Amazon forest, indigenous people might outperform sophisticated satellites.

The results from a long-term collaboration between Stanford scientists and indigenous people in Guyana suggests that traditional remote sensing techniques might be undervaluing the region's carbon storage potential by as much as 40 percent. The work could influence how indigenous people in Guyana and elsewhere manage their forests and lead to greater opportunities for these communities to engage in carbon offset programs.

The project, led by Jose Fragoso, a senior scientist in the Department of Biology at Stanford, grew out of his earlier efforts to engage indigenous peoples to gain a better understanding of ecosystems relatively undisturbed by modern civilization.


Justices to Hear Case Over Drugs Used in Executions

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide a case on the constitutionality of the new combinations of drugs that some states are using to execute prisoners and that critics say cause intense suffering.
The court will hear a challenge to Oklahoma’s choice of drugs even though the justices declined last week to stop an execution there that used the contested chemicals.
With the addition of this case, the court’s term seems likely to end with three major decisions — on same-sex marriage, on the fate of the Affordable Care Act and, now, on the administration of capital punishment.

US Journalist Sentenced to 5 Years and 3 Months for Posting a Link

Freelance journalist Barrett Brown, whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Vanity Fair, and The Huffington Post, was sentenced to 63 months in prison on Thursday for posting a hyperlink containing stolen credit card information. Initially facing a possible sentence of 105 years, Brown accepted a plea deal after prosecutors agreed to drop most of the charges against him. The judge also ordered Brown to pay $890,250 in restitution to several companies targeted by the hacker collective Anonymous.

In December 2011, Anonymous member Jeremy Hammond hacked into Strategic Forecasting, Inc. or “Stratfor” for short. A private intelligence contractor, Stratfor claims to provide governments and corporations with geopolitical analysis. After extracting Stratfor’s files, Hammond exposed several emails from Stratfor’s former CEO George Friedman revealing that Stratfor had been partnering with Shea Morenz, a former Goldman Sachs managing director, to profit from insider trading. Shea Morenz is now President and CEO of Stratfor.

More disclosures revealed that Dow Chemical hired Stratfor to spy on protestors and victims of the 1984 Bhopal disaster while maintaining surveillance on activist filmmakers, The Yes Men. Other emails exposed that The Coca-Cola Company hired Stratfor to spy on members of PETA during the 2010 Olympics. In a statement, The Coca-Cola Company responded to the emails by saying they “consider it prudent to monitor for protest activities at any major event we sponsor.”

On December 25, 2011, Brown copied a link containing stolen credit card data from an Anonymous Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel and pasted it to ProjectPM, his crowdsourced think tank researching the intelligence contracting industry. Instead of using the stolen credit cards from Stratfor’s files to make purchases, Hammond shared the information on the Anonops IRC channel. Many members of Anonymous used the credit cards to make donations to various charities.

On the evening of March 5, 2012, the FBI raided Hammond’s apartment in the south side of Chicago and arrested him. The following day, the FBI executed search warrants at Brown’s apartment and his mother’s house in Dallas. Seizing Brown’s computer and cell phone, the FBI later charged Brown’s mother with obstruction of justice for concealing his laptop computer in her house.

A former heroin addict, Brown had been suffering from drug withdrawal from his prescribed Suboxone and Paxil when he uploaded a series of videos to YouTube. Frustrated by the obstruction charge against his mother, Brown threatened to retaliate against FBI Special Agent Robert Smith for targeting his family.

While participating in a Tinychat session with Anonymous members on September 12, 2012, Brown was arrested by FBI agents as they raided his apartment on video. Initially charged with threatening an FBI agent on the internet, Brown was also charged with additional counts of aggravated identity theft, obstruction, and fraud. He faced a maximum sentence of 105 years in prison.


Friday, January 23, 2015

NCAI President Brian Cladoosby's State of Indian Nations Address - 22 Jan 2015

06 February: International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier, Mr. Obama. It's time.

Learn the Facts, Arm Yourself with the Truth, and Advocate for the Freedom of Leonard Peltier

Make an e-mail for Leonard Peltier a part of your daily routine!

The White House accepts emails from organizations, too.  Have your organization ask President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier

Help to Educate Others - Spread the Word about Leonard Peltier and His Case


05 Feb 2015, Antwerp, Belgium:  NAIS presents: COINTELPRO 101

06 Feb 2015, Albuquerque, NM: International Day of Solidarity w/ Leonard Peltier and Political Prisoners

06 Feb 2015,  San Jose, CA: Commemorating 39 Years of Wrongful Imprisonment - Honoring Leonard Peltier

06 Feb 2015, Toronto, ONT, Canada: 22nd Annual Traditional Prayer Virgil and Feast Calling for the Freedom of Leonard Peltier

06 Feb 2015: TWITTER STORM & Virtual ACTION Event for Leonard Peltier!

Boys in the Woods: A Saturday night in White Earth with the Native Disciples

PONSFORD, Minn. — The boys passed a one-gallon bottle of spiced rum from person to person, waiting for Saturday night on the White Earth Reservation to begin. Cigarette and marijuana smoke curled slowly around the low-hanging light fixtures as caps were twisted off beer bottles and tossed onto counters or into an overflowing trash can.

Senister — who agreed to be interviewed only if he could use a pseudonym — lit a menthol cigarette, took a pull from the rum, and cleared his throat.

“We got members scattered everywhere, but there’s going to be a point when we need everyone in the field,” said Senister to the boys in the room.

Born 33 years ago in Oklahoma, the Ponca tribal member is a leader of the Minneapolis street gang known as the Native Disciples. He had traveled to the reservation to meet new members of the White Earth chapter, encourage morale and conduct something comparable to a military inspection.
“We’re trying to start a chapter in Oklahoma; hopefully we can get that started,” continued Senister. “We’re just trying to get bigger. I want you brothers to understand that.”

Compared to Senister, the Native Disciples of White Earth were children. The twins were the youngest at 16, while Dell, the regional capo for the gang, was the oldest at 19.


Note:  This is the fifth story in a five-part series on Native American gangs.