Daily Archives: February 19, 2014

The UK’s Equating of Journalism With Terrorism

Glenn Greenwald (R) speaks with partner David Miranda as Greenwald testifies in front of the Brazilian Federal Senate’s Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, established to investigate allegations of spying by United States on Brazil, in Brasilia October 9, 2013. (photo: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

19 February 14

s my colleague Ryan Devereaux reports, a lower UK court this morning, as long expected, upheld the legality of the nine-hour detention of my partner, David Miranda, at Heathrow Airport last August, even as it acknowledged that the detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom”. For good measure, the court also refused permission to appeal (though permission can still be granted by the appellate court). David was detained and interrogated under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

The UK Government expressly argued that the release of the Snowden documents (which the free world callsawardwinning journalism“) is actually tantamount to “terrorism”, the same theory now being used by the Egyptian military regime to prosecute Al Jazeera journalists as terrorists. Congratulations to the UK government on the illustrious company it is once again keeping. British officials have also repeatedly threatened criminal prosecution of everyone involved in this reporting, including Guardian journalists and editors.

Equating journalism with terrorism has a long and storied tradition. Indeed, as Jon Schwarz has documented, the U.S. Government has frequently denounced nations for doing exactly this. Just last April, Under Secretary of State Tara Sonenshine dramatically informed the public that many repressive, terrible nations actually “misuse terrorism laws to prosecute and imprison journalists.” When visiting Ethiopia in 2012, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns publicly disclosed that in meetings with that nation’s officials, the United States “express[ed] our concern that the application of anti-terrorism laws can sometimes undermine freedom of expression and independent media.” The same year, the State Department reported that Burundi was prosecuting a journalist under terrorism laws.

It should surprise nobody that the UK is not merely included in, but is one of the leaders of, this group of nations which regularly wages war on basic press freedoms. In the 1970s, British journalist Duncan Campbell was criminally prosecuted for the crime of reporting on the mere existence of the GCHQ, while fellow journalist Mark Hosenball, now of Reuters, was forced to leave the country. The monarchy has no constitutional guarantee of a free press. The UK government routinely threatens newspapers with all sorts of sanctions for national security reporting it dislikes. Its Official Secrets Act makes it incredibly easy to prosecute journalists and others for disclosing anything which political officials want to keep secret. For that reason, it was able to force the Guardian to destroy its own computers containing Snowden material precisely because the paper’s editors knew that British courts would slavishly defer to any requests made by the GCHQ to shut down the paper’s reporting.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
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Media

Nun, 84, sentenced to three years in jail for nuclear break-in

Sister Megan Rice and two other defendants jailed for entering Oak Ridge plant and daubing it with Biblical messages
Karen McVeigh in New York theguardian.com,
Tuesday 18 February 2014 19.49 EST

Michael Walli, Sister Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed arriving for their trial in May 2013. Photograph: Michael Patrick/AP

An 84-year-old nun was handed a 35-month jail term on Tuesday for breaking into a US nuclear weapons plant and daubing it with biblical references and human blood. Sister Megan Rice was sentenced alongside two co-defendants, Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, and Michael Walli, 64, who both received 62-month terms.

At an earlier hearing in January, a judge ordered the three Catholic anti-nuclear protesters to pay $53,000 for what the government estimated was damage done to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, regarded as one of the most secure in the world.

All three defendants were convicted of sabotage after the 2012 break-in, on charges that carried a maximum sentence of up to 30 years. The government had asked for the trio to be given prison sentences of between five and nine years.

In a recent interview with the Guardian from prison, Rice said she hoped US district judge Amul Thapar would seize the opportunity to “take his place in history” and sentence them in a way that would reflect their symbolic, non-violent actions – actions she said were intended to highlight the US stockpile of nuclear weapons they believe is immoral and illegal.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Big Solar And Renewable Energy In The Age Of Fracking

February 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Big Solar And Renewable Energy In The Age Of Fracking
The world’s largest solar power plant is up and running in California. We’ll look at where solar stands now, and the future of renewable energy.

Some of the 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors, each about 7 feet high and 10 feet wide, reflect sunlight to boilers that sit on 459-foot towers. The sun’s power is used to heat water in the boilers’ tubes and make steam, which in turn drives turbines to create electricity Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 in Primm, Nev. (AP)

Guests

Julie Cart, environmental reporter at the Los Angeles Times. (@julie_cart)

Tonio Buonassisi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Daniel Kammen, professor of energy, founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. Coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Global Climate Change
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White House Responds to Net Neutrality Petition

February 18, 2014, 6:57 pm
By EDWARD WYATT

An online petition on has attracted more than 105,000 signatures since Jan. 14, when a federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission had overstepped its authority regarding so-called network neutrality.

WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials said Tuesday that the president continues to support a free and open Internet but that he cannot order the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband service as a utility that is subject to the same rules and rate regulation as local telephone service.

The statement was a response to an online petition that has attracted more than 105,000 signatures since Jan. 14, when a federal appeals court ruled that the F.C.C. had overstepped its authority in drafting rules requiring Internet service providers to treat equally all traffic that passes through their pipes, rather than giving priority to some traffic — presumably from companies willing to pay for the privilege.

In a post on the White House blog, the officials said President Obama “strongly supports” the promised effort of the F.C.C. chairman, Tom Wheeler, “to use the authority granted by Congress to maintain a free and open Internet.”

But because the F.C.C. is an independent agency, Mr. Obama cannot order the action, the officials said. The five commissioners of the agency — three from the president’s party, including the chairman, and two from the party not controlling the White House — are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

In its ruling in Verizon v. F.C.C., the court also said that the agency did have some legal authority over broadband service. It cannot, however, subject broadband to what are known as “common carrier” regulation, the type that governs telephone traffic.

Mr. Wheeler has said that the commission will soon introduce a new set of principles to preserve an open Internet. After the court ruling, most Internet service providers said that they supported the concept as well.

“Preserving an open Internet is vital not just to the free flow of information, but also to promoting innovation and economic productivity,” wrote Gene B. Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, and Todd Park, the country’s chief technology officer. “Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries.”

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

The Rise and Fall of Penn Station – Trailer


PBS

Published on Feb 14, 2014

From PBS – In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad, led by the company’s president, Alexander Cassatt, successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under New York City’s Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and eventually, via the Hell Gate Bridge, to New England, knitting together the entire eastern half of the United States. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the greatest architectural achievements of its time, Pennsylvania Station. Designed by renowned architect Charles McKim, and inspired by the Roman baths of Caracalla, Pennsylvania Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two city blocks, and housed one of the largest public spaces in the world. Neither Cassatt nor McKim lived to see their masterpiece completed, but many of the one hundred thousand attendees of Penn Station’s grand opening proclaimed it to be one of the wonders of the world. But just fifty-three years after the station’s opening, the unthinkable happened. What was supposed to last forever, to herald and represent the American Empire, was slated to be destroyed. The financially-strapped Pennsylvania Railroad announced it had sold the air rights above Penn Station, and would tear down what had once been its crowning jewel to build Madison Square Garden, a high rise office building and sports complex

Global Climate Change
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New York Documentary – Penn Station

Aaron C

Uploaded on Jan 24, 2010

Old Pennsylvania Station segment from New York: A Documentary Film

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

National Geographic Colliding Continents

King Ashur

Uploaded on Oct 14, 2011

Documentary of earth’s violent past and tectonic plates

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics