Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Justice Delayed and Denied at Guantanámo

by Aziz Huq
In June of this year, the Supreme Court issued what Ronald Dworkin hailed as "one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in recent years" when it held that the detainees at the Guantanámo Bay Naval Base are entitled to make "habeas corpus" challenges against the government's purported bases for detaining them.

Indisputably, the 5-4 judgment in Boumediene v. Bush was a major civil liberties victory. It should indeed have major repercussions beyond Guantanámo because it makes clear that at a minimum, constitutional rules ensuring fair process limit governmental actors in all the territorial United States.

This might sound like old news, but in fact it should precipitate the end of some troubling practices at the borders. When a non-citizen now arrives in the United States, immigration officials can place that person in "expedited removal," which means they can be shipped back to a place where they may fear torture without any judicial review. Since 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security has expanded the use of " expedited removal" in ways that can be squarely challenged now.

Read on...

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Tables of Contents, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Crime and Delinquency, and Theoretical Criminology

The links in the following current tables of contents will not work but the articles are available full-text online for the UofT community. Ask Tom or Andrea if you need help accessing them.

Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 50, Issue: 3 September 06, 2008
Table of Contents

Privacy and Police Powers: Situating the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Test Steeves, Valerie M.,; Piñero, Verónica. pp. 263-269 Bibliographic Page

Framed by Section 8: Constitutional Protection of Privacy in Canada Bailey, Jane. pp. 279-306 Bibliographic Page

Deciding for Ourselves: Some Thoughts on the Psychology of Assessing Reasonable Expectations of Privacy Burkell, Jacquelyn. pp. 307-330 Bibliographic Page

If the Supreme Court Were on Facebook: Evaluating the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Test from a Social Perspective Steeves, Valerie M., pp. 331-347 Bibliographic Page

Deeply Personal Information and the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Tessling Matheson, David. pp. 349-366 Bibliographic Page

Tessling on My Brain: The Future of Lie Detection and Brain Privacy in the Criminal Justice System Kerr, Ian.; Binnie, Max.; Aoki, Cynthia. pp. 367-387 Bibliographic Page Addendum: A Brief Note on Privacy from a Technological Perspective Adams, Carlisle.; Piñero, Verónica B. pp. 389-398 Bibliographic Page

Crime & Delinquency Volume 54, Issue 4, 2008
Table of Contents

1. Moralistic Street RobberyJacobs, Bruce A.; Wright, RichardPages: 511-531View Record References Full-Text PDF(101 Kb)

2. Sex Crimes, Children, and Pornography: Public Views and Public PolicyMears, Daniel P.; Mancini, Christina; Gertz, Marc; Bratton, JakePages: 532-559View Record References Full-Text PDF(176 Kb)

3. Being Young and Black: What Are Their Effects on Juvenile Justice Decision Making?Leiber, Michael J.; Johnson, Joseph D.Pages: 560-581View Record References Full-Text PDF(95 Kb)

4. General Strain Theory and Delinquency: Focusing on the Influences of Key Strain Characteristics on DelinquencyMoon, Byongook; Blurton, David; Mccluskey, John D.Pages: 582-613View Record References Full-Text PDF(113 Kb)

5. Removing a Nail From the Boot Camp Coffin: An Outcome Evaluation of Minnesota's Challenge Incarceration ProgramDuwe, Grant; Kerschner, DeborahPages: 614-643View Record References Full-Text PDF(112 Kb)

6. Psychosocial Functioning Problems Over Time Among High-Risk Youths: A Latent Class Transition AnalysisDembo, Richard; Wareham, Jennifer; Poythress, Norman; Meyers, Kathleen; Schmeidler, JamesPages: 644-670View Record References Full-Text PDF(150 Kb)

Theoretical Criminology August 2008. Volume 12 Number 3
Table of Contents

Mary Bosworth, Ben Bowling, and Maggy Lee Globalization, ethnicity and racism: An introduction Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 263-273. [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Barbara Hudson Difference, diversity and criminology: The cosmopolitan vision Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 275-292. [Abstract] [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Colin Webster Marginalized white ethnicity, race and crime Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 293-312. [Abstract] [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Coretta Phillips Negotiating identities: Ethnicity and social relations in a young offenders' institution Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 313-331. [Abstract] [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Michael Kempa and Anne-Marie Singh Private security, political economy and the policing of race: Probing global hypotheses through the case of South Africa Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 333-354. [Abstract] [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Leanne Weber and Benjamin Bowling Valiant beggars and global vagabonds: Select, eject, immobilize Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 355-375. [Abstract] [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Manuel Iturralde Emergency penality and authoritarian liberalism: Recent trends in Colombian criminal policy Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 377-397. [Abstract] [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Ian Loader Review Symposium: The anti-politics of crime: Richard V. Ericson Crime in an Insecure World Cambridge: Polity, 2007. viii + 256 pp. £14.99/$19.95 (pbk). ISBN 0—7456—3829—5. Jonathon Simon Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. vii + 330 pp. £17.99/$29.95 (hbk). ISBN 0—19—518018—5 Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 399-410. [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Kevin Stenson Review Symposium: Richard V. Ericson Crime in an Insecure World Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007. viii + 256 pp. £14.99/$19.95 (pbk). ISBN 0—7456—3829—5 Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 411-414. [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Gordon Hughes Review Symposium: Jonathon Simon Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. vii +330 pp. £17.99/$29.95 (hbk). ISBN 0—19—518018—5 Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 414-418. [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Dinorah Nieves Book Review: Juanita Diaz-Cotto Chicana Lives and Criminal Justice: Voices from El Barrio Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2006. $55.00 (hbk), $21.95 (pbk). ISBN 0—292—71272—3, ISBN 0—292—71316—9 Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 418-421. [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller Book Review: John Dombrink and Daniel Hillyard Sin No More: From Abortion to Stem Cells, Understanding Crime, Law, and Morality in America New York: New York University Press, 2007. 331 pp. $75 (hbk), $23 (pbk). ISBN—13: 978—0—8147—1988—6, ISBN—10: 0—8147—1988—0 Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 421-424. [PDF] [References] [Request Permission]

Sindiso Mnisi Book Review: Amanda Gouws (ed.) (Un)thinking Citizenship: Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2005. 269 pp. £50.00 (hbk). ISBN 0754638782 Theoretical Criminology 2008 12: 424-427. [PDF] [Request Permission]

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Will Wall Street's Meltdown Turn America Into a Police State?

By Scott Thill, AlterNet. Posted September 30, 2008.

Failing banks? Endless war? Call Homeland Security. "Raw capitalism is dead." -- Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury secretary

"Can't we just all go out and say things are OK?" -- President Bush, to congressional leaders during bailout negotiations

I'm not much of an Army Times reader, but after reading that a brigade was shipping from Iraq in October to serve as "an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks" in the homeland right before the election, my antennae perked up. Same as they did when I read that an electoral college doomsday scenario exists in which Dick Cheney casts the deciding vote that gives McCain-Palin the White House.

That is, if Cheney and Bush don't take it for themselves. That may sound like fantasy, but don't kill the messenger. They are all strands of the Gordian knot the Bush administration has tied around the neck of the American people for the last two presidential terms, best represented today by the failed bailout of banks, brokers and other complicit parties that have since jacked the American people out of trillions. And while the Army Times revelation or election doomsday may turn out to be paranoia rather than prescience, the evidence just isn't there.

We've just seen the present U.S. administration/congress get rid of posse comitatus and habeas corpus without a murmur from the media, or the public. Tom

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Monday, September 29, 2008

So why doesn't Palin just say she's for funding rape kits which include emergency contraception?

As you may know, while Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, her town was one of the few in Alaska to charge rape victims for their own forensic exams - i.e., for the medical exams necessary to gather evidence to catch the rapists. At the time, Palin's own police chief said the town didn't want to pay for the exams because it would be a "burden" on taxpayers (i.e., tax cuts were more important than women who were raped). Others suspect that Palin didn't want to pay for the exams because they often include emergency contraception (conservatives think emergency contraception is abortion), and Palin believes that women should be forced to carry their rapist's baby to full term (ask her, it's true).
Palin's spokesman only gave one brief quote saying how outrageous this story is. Yes, it is outrageous. Then, we heard nothing from Palin. Not that Sarah Palin refusing to talk about anything is news. John McCain would like nothing better than for us to put Sarah Palin a 72-year-old-with-serious-cancer's one heartbeat away from the presidency without knowing a single thing about this woman's credentials for being president (other than that she wears lipstick and can see Russia from her kitchen window).
I wonder how much of Thursday's Vice Presidential debate will be used up talking about rape kits. Tom

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Stop Revolving-Door Justice

By Jason Newman, Progressive Policy Institute, from PolicyFile

Faced with overcrowded prisons and the highest incarceration rate in U.S. history, officials are struggling to cope with the rising number of prisoners released back into society -- too often to commit new crimes. More and more Americans are being caught in the cycle of this 'revolving-door justice.' This paper tackles this problem at its source and promotes a systemic change in the correctional system.

Read on...

Possibly of interest, considering the current election campaign and Harper's preference for "tough-on-crime" policies.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can You Be a Feminist and Anti-Abortion?

By Mandy Van Deven, AlterNet. Posted September 25, 2008.

A new book by Jennifer Baumgardner puts the abortion conversation back in the hands of the women who have experienced them.

Abortion is, in many ways, a played-out topic in the women's movement, but activist and writer Jennifer Baumgardner (author of Look Both Ways, Manifesta and Grassroots) continues to breathe new life into this contentious issue. In 2004, she created the "I Had an Abortion" speak-out campaign, which both shocked and awed feminists and non-feminists alike through the dissemination of shirts with the controversial "coming out" statement emblazoned across the front. Today, Baumgardner continues to carve out a space for women's narratives and take an unabashed look at issues that have a tendency to be swept under the rug by the abortion rights movement in her new book, Abortion & Life (Akashic Books, 2008). An excerpt follows.

Mandy Van Deven: Why are abortion narratives important, personally and politically, and what makes this moment in history the right time for them to re-surface?
Read on...

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lousiana lawmaker advocates eugenics: Sterilize poor women, encourage rich to procreate

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that state Rep. John LaBruzzo (R) said yesterday that “he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied.” LaBruzzo worries that people receiving food and housing assistance “are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated residents”:

He said he is gathering statistics now. … “What I’m really studying is any and all possibilities that we can reduce the number of people that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare,” he said.
He said his program would be voluntary. It could involve tubal ligation, encouraging other forms of birth control or, to avoid charges of gender discrimination, vasectomies for men. It also could include tax incentives for college-educated, higher-income people to have more children, he said.
Read on...

Remind me what year this is again please. And what planet we're on. Tom

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Rape, Torture and Humiliation in Women's Prisons: A Global State of Crisis

By Lys Anzia, Women News Network. Posted September 23, 2008.

Physical and psychological abuse are rampant in women's prisons from the U.S. to Canada to Pakistan.

"The strategy used in women's prisons now is one of humiliation rather than rehabilitation," said Jane Evelyn Atwood in her 2007 Amnesty International video documentary, "Too Much Time." For nine years, Atwood photographed and documented the conditions for women in 40 women's prisons worldwide including the US, Europe and Eastern Europe.

In numerous locations around the world the plight of women in prison is going unheeded.

Conditions of improper touching by persons of authority, sanctioned sexual harassment, unnecessary strip searches, lack of proper medical attention or proper food exists in numerous global prison locations. In addition to this, psychological coercion and/or threats of sexual assault by persons in authority create a constant, unending and intense universal pressure on many incarcerated women.

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Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Use of DNA in the Investigation of High-Volume Crimes

Author(s): John Roman, Shannon Reid, Jay Reid, Aaron Chalfin, William Adams, Carly KnightOther Availability: PDF Printer-Friendly PagePosted to Web: June 16, 2008Permanent Link: http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=411697

The text below is an excerpt from the complete document. Read the full report (2.40mb) in PDF format.

Abstract

The study compared traditional crime solving to biological evidence techniques in hundreds of cases where biological evidence was available. When conventional investigative techniques were used, a suspect was identified 12 percent of the time, compared to 31 percent of the cases using DNA evidence. In eight percent of cases built on traditional evidence alone a suspect was arrested, compared to the 16 percent arrest rate in DNA cases. The average added cost for processing a single case with DNA evidence was about $1,397. Each additional arrest—an arrest that would not have occurred without DNA processing—cost $14,169.

Read on...

Check out the whole report in the pdf at the above link. Tom

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Impact and Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Anchorage Wellness Court

Author(s): John Roman, Aaron Chalfin, Jay Reid, Shannon ReidOther Availability: PDF Printer-Friendly PagePosted to Web: August 06, 2008Permanent Link: http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=411746

The text below is an excerpt from the complete document. Read the full report in PDF format.

Abstract
The primary goal of this research is to estimate the costs and benefits of serving misdemeanor DUI offenders in the Anchorage Wellness Court (AWC), a specialized court employing principles of therapeutic jurisprudence. The Urban Institute conducted an impact and a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to estimate the effectiveness of the AWC. The study focused on the impact of the program on reducing the prevalence and incidence of new criminal justice system contact. Costs were collected to estimate the opportunity cost of the AWC. Recidivism variables were monetized to estimate the benefits from crime reductions. Outcomes were observed at 24, 30, 36, and 48 months.

Given all the recent news about Governor Palin I'm surprised there is something called a wellness court in Alaska. The full report is availble in pdf at the above link. Tom

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PM's plan: Life terms for 14-year-olds

Les Whittington Ottawa Bureau

DRYDEN, Ont.–Prime Minister Stephen Harper has played the law-and-order card, seeking to tap into Canadians' fear of gang violence and street crime by proposing a crackdown on youth offenders.

Under his proposed law-and-order legislation, judges would have the option to sentence youths 14 and older to life in prison if they are convicted of first-degree or second-degree murder, Harper said yesterday.He also said he would legislate tougher sentences for other violent youth crime, such as attempted murder, manslaughter and aggravated assault. And Harper would change the law to ensure that names of those convicted would be made public.

Can someone tell me precisely who this will appeal to? Who has been advocating sentencing 14 year olds to life in prison? Please don't tell me polling indicates this is a winning issue in Canada. Tom

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Fighting for the Rights of Voters Behind Bars

By Anthony Papa, Drug Policy Alliance. Posted September 23, 2008.

Exercising the right to vote is important part of prisoner rehabilitation, but over 5 million convicted felons are barred from doing so.
A coalition of concerned citizens in Alabama is shaking up the GOP with their goal of registering voters in the most unlikely of places -- state prisons. A voter registration drive led last week by Rev. Kenny Glasgow, began registering prisoners to vote, a right guaranteed under Alabama's State Constitution, so they could cast absentee ballots.

The drive was originally embraced by Richard Allen, the commissioner of corrections in Alabama, but it was stopped when he received a letter on Thursday from the Alabama Republican Party opposing the drive. Its chairman, Mike Hubbard, told Mr. Allen that the party supports voter registration but not for prisoners, citing a need for safeguards against possible voter fraud.

While some people are working on behalf of felons, other political operatives are trying to purge felons from the voting rolls. Felon votes could be decisive in the U.S. election. Tom

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Monday, September 22, 2008

W's Worst Judges

By Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones. Posted September 17, 2008.

Forget Roberts or Alito for a minute; in eight years, Bush installed more than 300 federal judges. Here are a few to keep a close eye on. Over the past eight years, Bush has installed 310 federal judges -- two of them to the highest court in the land -- whose influence will be felt for many years. Here are some to keep an eye on, along with their more notable rulings before and after elevation.

1. WILLIAM H. PRYOR JR., 11th Circuit

Precedent: As Alabama's attorney general, he defended the state's practice of handcuffing prison inmates to hitching posts.

Case closed: Voted to uphold an Anita Bryant-era Florida law prohibiting gays and lesbians from adopting children -- even when they've served as their foster parents.

Read on...

A lot of blame to spread around regarding the approval of these judges. Checks and balances, and the concept of an agressive (Democratic) opposition party failed. Tom

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Incredible Documentary Footage of Mass Arrest in St. Paul

Posted by Laura Flanders,
Firedoglake at 3:47 AM on September 19, 2008.

Newly released footage, which was buried to avoid confiscation, shows riot cops arresting and abusing a giant group of people for nothing.
Now that we've had a few weeks to settle, a look back at Labor Day in the Twin Cities. Labor Day was of course also Day One of the Republican National Convention. Video was released today of an apparent mass arrest of utterly peaceful concert goers at the SEIU Labor Day concert.

My personal favorite moment in the tape is an off-camera exchange. Police in riot gear have surrounded loungers in a waterfront park. They announce, "Ladies and Gentlemen, You're Under Arrest" and you hear one young woman say incredulously "Are you serious?"

Yep, I'm afraid they are.

Read on...

Watching this video makes me want to puke. Follow the link to the video. The United States of America. Tom

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Women Fight to Put Violence on Global Agenda

by Monika Manke

UNITED NATIONS - Joyce and Tanya -- two women of different ages, nationalities, cultures and religions -- share something: both became victims of a missing goal.

Combating violence against women is what Inés Alberdi, executive director of the U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), calls the missing goal, because it is not an issue addressed by the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

But it is an issue with a lot of faces, like Joyce, who was raped during the post-election violence in Kenya, and Tanya, who is a survivor of domestic violence in New York City.

"My husband beat me when I was pregnant with his son. He isolated me from my family and held me like a hostage in our home," 42-year-old Tanya told IPS. After about four years of fear and suffering, when her husband killed the dog and threatened her children, she left.

U.N. officials point out that the fight against gender-based violence is making progress on some fronts. "More governments than ever are having violence against women on their agenda," Maria José Alcalá, a senior advisor at UNIFEM, told IPS.

Read on...

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SIU probes Peel in Taser death

Four officers under investigation as man dies in hospital after being hit by stun gun

Sep 18, 2008 04:30 AM

Bob Mitchell Staff Reporter

In less than a week, Peel police have twice used Tasers to subdue people – once with fatal results, and the other time on one of their fellow officers.

Yesterday, 42-year-old Sean Reilly of Brampton died several hours after being Tasered during a struggle in a cell at a Peel police station. He had earlier been charged with assault with a weapon.

On Friday, Peel officers Tasered Const. Jason Ross, 35, who was being investigated for impaired driving. He is facing three counts of assaulting police, one count of assault causing bodily harm, excess blood alcohol, impaired operation of a motor vehicle and mischief.

In case you missed it, Crimbrary posted a recent story about the RCMP's investigation into the use of Tasers. Check it out: http://crimbrary.blogspot.com/2008/09/rcmp-didnt-study-taser-use-enough.html There seems to be little doubt that the use of Tasers by police departments is out of control. Tom

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Politics, Policies, and Imprisonment in Canada, 1960-2008

This is the first in the Centre's fall Speakers Series. Professor Tony Doob will give this talk in room 265 (seminar room) from 12:30-1:55 today, September 18.
Don't miss it.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Factors Associated with Youth Delinquency and Victimization in Toronto, 2006

By Klarka Zeman (Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics) and Angela Bressan (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics), Statistics Canada

Released Sept. 16, 2008

The International Youth Survey (IYS) was conducted for the first time in Canada in 2006. This is the Canadian version of the International Self-Reported Delinquency Study conducted in over 30 countries in that same year (ISRD2 Working Group, 2005). The target population for this survey was Toronto students in grades 7, 8 and 9. Respondents provided information about their involvement in delinquency, as well as a wide range of information about individual, family, peer and school characteristics.

The first report to use these data (Savoie, 2007) described the prevalence of youth delinquency and associated risk factors, as well as the prevalence of youth victimization. The report identified three groups of youth who were more likely to report delinquency in the 12 months preceding the survey: boys, youth from single-parent or step-parent families and older youth. In addition, the results indicated that immigrant youth were less likely to report delinquency than their native-born counterparts.

Read on
...

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Troy Davis to Die Next Week: Will Georgia Execute an Innocent Man?

By Michelle Garcia, Amnesty International Magazine. Posted September 17, 2008.

The case of Troy Davis led to a global call to save his life. But in Savannah, Georgia, a legacy of racism and fear has kept people silent.

Editor's Note: Troy Anthony Davis faces execution on September 23rd. Go here to learn more.

Prison Boulevard begins on a lonely Georgia highway and sweeps across lush grounds and a serene lake populated with ducks. One might expect a sprawling ranch house at the end of this country road in Jackson, but there rises instead the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification prison, a mammoth institution whitewashed to a glare. To reach death row inmates, visitors traverse a series of yellow iron gates opened and shut in a chain reaction until they arrive at a guard holding open a heavy door. Inside the long, narrow cell waits Troy Anthony Davis -- a man condemned for the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer, and an international cause -- wearing a prison-issue white and blue uniform, electric blue sneakers and a wide smile.

A smile alarmingly disarming, jarring even, amid the banging echoes from unknown corners. Davis, tall, broad and bald at age 39, settles on a stool and begins to speak with a Georgia drawl and gesticulate, and then he's drawing maps with his finger in the air and diagramming the August night two decades ago that landed him on death row.
Just a quick reminder that a Harper majority government would probably do what it could to return capital punishment to Canada. Tom

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Sexual Violence: An International Perspective

September 25, 2008: 12 pm - 2 pm (EDT)

Online event. Registration required, and free of charge.

The United Nations estimates that, worldwide, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Violence against women during or after armed conflicts has been reported in every war-zone. Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the genocide in Rwanda; between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped during the conflict in Bosnia.

Please join us for a provocative discussion that will examine sexual violence from an international perspective.

This online event is the third of four in the Series on Sexual Violence, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the Government Innovators Network. Ample time will be allocated for audience Q&A.

For more information and to register, visit the event page .
Stay Connected with NCJRS! Register Now! Free registration with NCJRS keeps you informed about new publications, grant and funding opportunities, and other news and announcements. To register, visit: http://www.ncjrs.gov/subreg.html
If anyone does register for this online event I hope they'll come back and give us their impressions by posting a comment. Tom

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New Gun Bill Shows Gun Lobby Deception

WASHINGTON - September 16 - Just hours after a Brady Center report highlighted the NRA's repeated and false denials that its bill to gut DC's gun laws would allow assault rifles on the streets of Washington, the gun lobby has revised the bill to prevent the carrying of assault weapons on DC's streets. The NRA's action implicitly concedes that the NRA has been intentionally misleading Congress and the public. The NRA's new bill is still dangerous and should be rejected.

"It is sad that the gun lobby cannot be trusted to tell the truth about its own bill," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "The gun lobby should not be telling the residents of any city that they cannot pass reasonable gun laws that are consistent with the recent Supreme Court ruling to keep their neighborhoods safe, particularly in the nation's capital where government officials and diplomats are prime targets for gun-carrying terrorists and other criminals."

Read on...

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A Culture of Violence Against Women: More Than Rape Kits

by Amie Newman

Americans have recently learned that during the 1990s, Wasilla, Alaska, then under the mayoralty of Sarah Palin, charged victims of sexual assault for the rape kits used for evidence collection.

Attacks from progressives have been swift and harsh. There is good reason to hunt down the facts about the rape kits. But the larger issue - of rape, sexual assault and how we deal with violence against women in this country - has been overlooked.

First the facts:

Last week new evidence arose revealing that under Palin's administration, Wasilla cut funds that paid for the rape kits and shifted the burden onto the victims themselves or their insurance companies (kits generally cost between $500-$1200). Under Wasilla Police Chief Irl Stambaugh, the town had included the cost of rape kits in the budget. But Palin fired Stambaugh and replaced him with Charlie Fannon, who then took the money out of the budget - a budget Palin approved. Fannon evidently did not have a problem with billing victims, though he admitted that he would rather see the perpetrator pay for the rape kits (without elaborating on how that realistically or successfully might occur).

Read on...

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Drug War's Latest Tally: 872,721 Pot Arrests, an All-Time High

By Paul Armentano, AlterNet. Posted September 16, 2008.

If denial is the first sign of addiction, then Drug Czar John Walters is hooked to the gills. He's addicted to targeting and arresting marijuana consumers, and he'll do and say anything to keep this irrational and punitive policy in place.

Speaking earlier this month on C-Span, the reigning Czar stretched his usual deceit to outrageous new heights. Responding to a question from the Marijuana Policy Project's Dan Bernath, Walters flatly denied the charge that over 800,000 Americans are arrested annually for violating pot laws.

"We didn't arrest 800,000 marijuana users," Walters proclaimed.

"That's [a] lie."

If only it were.

Read on...

The War on Drugs seems to be just as ridiculous as the War on Terror with equally bad consequences. Tom

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Military Industrial Complex 2.0

Cubicle Mercenaries, Subcontracting Warriors, and Other Phenomena of a Privatizing Pentagon

by Frida Berrigan

Seven years into George W. Bush's Global War on Terror, the Pentagon is embroiled in two big wars, a potentially explosive war of words with Tehran, and numerous smaller conflicts - and it is leaning ever more heavily on private military contractors to get by.

Once upon a time, soldiers did more than pick up a gun. They picked up trash. They cut hair and delivered mail. They fixed airplanes and inflated truck tires.

Not anymore. All of those tasks are now the responsibility of private military corporations. In the service of the Pentagon, their employees also man computers, write software code, create integrating systems, train technicians, manufacture and service high-tech weapons, market munitions, and interpret satellite images.

Whenever I read about the money the U.S. spends on the military industrial complex I can't help but think of the collapse of the Soviet Union. There are whole books written on the similarities between the two empires. Read "Closing the Collapse Gap" by Dmitry Olav if you're interested. The point is that once this huge military machine stops being fed, it decays very quickly. Will it take economic collapse to curb America's appetite for war? I think that it might. Tom

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What Illegal 'Things' Was the Government Doing in 2001-2004?

by Glenn Greenwald

For the second consecutive day, The Washington Post has published an excerpt from reporter Barton Gellman's new book on the Cheney Vice Presidency, and it provides still more details on the intense confrontation in March, 2004 between the Bush Justice Department and the Cheney-led White House over the DOJ's refusal to certify the legality of the NSA's domestic spying activities. As has been known ever since Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified before the Senate in May, 2007, all of the top-level DOJ officials -- including Attorney General John Ashcroft, Comey and FBI Director Robert Mueller -- told President Bush they would resign immediately because Bush ordered the NSA surveillance program to continue even after his own Justice Department told him it was patently illegal. Comey drafted his resignation letter, calling Bush's spying activities "an apocalyptic situation" because he had "been asked to be a part of something that is fundamentally wrong."

Such an en masse resignation in the middle of an election year was averted only when Bush finally agreed to change certain aspects of the surveillance program in order to persuade these DOJ officials to endorse its legality. The illegal NSA spying program revealed by The New York Times in December, 2005 that created so much political controversy -- whereby the Bush administration was spying on Americans without the warrants required by law -- was a program that was actually endorsed and authorized by these same DOJ officials. The program we learned about was the "compromise" program that Bush implemented in 2004 in order to avoid their resignation. That's how extreme -- what right-wing, executive-power-loving ideologues -- these DOJ officials are: they are the ones who authorized and endorsed the illegal NSA program that we came to learn about.

It's kind of depressing when one looks at the amount of law breaking that has taken place in the Bush Administration, that the media and by extension the public really don't seem to care. The sheeple are sleep waking towards a police state. Tom

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Friday, September 12, 2008

RCMP didn't study Taser use enough: Report

Hard-hitting review says force relied too heavily on manufacturer's input

Sep 12, 2008 04:30 AM

Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA–The RCMP did not do "due diligence" when it approved the Taser stun gun for use as a less-than-lethal weapon by its officers, a hard-hitting independent review concludes.

The report was ordered by RCMP Commissioner Bill Elliott after the uproar following the death last October of a Polish immigrant shot with a Taser by RCMP at the Vancouver airport.

Submitted in June to Elliott but not made public, the review says the RCMP relied too much on the advice of the Taser's American manufacturer in developing its policies and training, did not consult widely enough with medical and mental health experts about its impact on people, and did not treat the weapon as a "prohibited firearm" – its proper legal classification.

Read on...

The casual use of Tasers by police forces is meant to intimidate and suppress legitimate dissent. A link to the Commissioners Report is available at the above link in the box to the right of the story. Keep in mind that they are bringing out a new more powerful taser delivered by a shotgun. Greater range and no doubt greater lethality.
Tom

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cleared! Jury Decides That Threat of Global Warming Justifies Breaking The Law

by Michael McCarthy

The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.

Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change. The defence of "lawful excuse" under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage - such as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire.
Read on...

An interesting decision. I wonder if military installations can be damaged to stop the greater damage caused by war. Tom

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Updating your Symantec AntiVirus Program

There is a new Symantec Norton Anti-virus program that must be downloaded to you computer in order to update it.

The new version is 10.1.5 for Windows XP and is available at http://antivirus.utoronto.ca/

Confirm that you need the new version by starting Symantec Anti-Virus. Click on the yellow shield in the taskbar at the bottom left of the Desktop. The program version will be displayed.

If you need to update, you must first remove the old version. Stop Symantec AntiVirus from running by going to the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DELETE) selecting Symantec AntiVirus and clicking on End Program at the bottom.

Then go to the Control Panel and select Add or Remove Programs. Find Symantec AntiVirus in the list of programs, hightlight it, and choose "remove program". Just follow the steps and the program will be uninstalled.

Now go to http://antivirus.utoronto.ca/ and click on Symantec AntiVirus version 10.1.5 for Windows. This is not for VISTA users.

You will need to enter your Utorid and password. Choose Save and save the file (SAV10.exe) to your Desktop.

Now double click on the file (sav10.exe) and choose "Run"
Click on "Extract"

Follow the installation instructions. You will need to accept the license agreement. Install the complete program.

You will be taken to Liveupdate. Click on "next". It will take a few minutes to download the virus definition files.

That should do it, although you should re-start your computer.

Everyone with an Utorid and password should be using the most up-to-date virus protection. It is provided to the UofT community at no cost to the user.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Storm Troopers at the RNC

By Ray McGovern September 8, 2008

Ten days ago, as the nation focused attention on the hurricane nearing the Mississippi delta, another storm was brewing far upstream in St. Paul, Minnesota — a storm far more dangerous, it turned out, but one by and large overlooked by the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM).

When I flew into St. Paul on the evening of Aug. 30, I encountered a din in local media about “preemptive strikes” on those already congregating there to demonstrate against the Iraq war and injustice against the poor in our country.

St. Paul’s Pioneer Press expressed surprise that “despite preemptive police searches” and arrests, a group calling itself “the RNC Welcoming Committee” was still intent on “disrupting the convention.”

An interesting take on the policing of the RNC. Preemptive war trickles down to the local police force. Tom

Lunatic Drug Warriors Still Ignore Powerful Pot Science

By Rob Kampia, AlterNet. Posted September 8, 2008.

Twenty years ago a DEA chief judge concluded that doctors should be allowed to prescribe pot -- and the government is still ignoring his ruling.
Twenty years ago, on Sept. 6, 1988, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's chief administrative law judge issued a landmark ruling, but don't expect any celebrations or commemorations in Washington, D.C. Our government has ignored this historic decision since the day it was issued, inflicting needless misery on millions.

Indeed, most Americans don't know it ever happened.

In response to a petition asking that marijuana be moved from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which bars medical use, to a lower schedule that would permit physician prescriptions, Judge Francis Young held extensive hearings that began in the summer of 1986. He heard from an impressive array of expert witnesses, resulting in thousands of pages of documentation.

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Cities try wrangling gangs with civil suits

By Stefanie Frith, USA TODAY

Law enforcement agents fed up with increasing gang violence are turning to lawsuits to help keep gangs from terrorizing neighborhoods.

A growing number of municipalities are seeking injunctions — restraining orders that seek to bar gang members from talking to one another or standing together on public property, said Bruce Riordan, director of gang operations for Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.

More than a dozen gang injunctions have been filed in California cities since March, including Rialto, San Clemente and Orange, say law enforcement officials from around the state.

Read on...

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Youth illicit drug use drops

By Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY

Teenagers and young adults are using fewer street drugs — cocaine, heroin and marijuana — than they did in 2002, says a government report out Thursday. Children ages 12 to 17 are using fewer prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

But the survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows young adults 18 to 25 are using more prescription drugs.

Read on...

Good and bad news I guess. Tom

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Youth Crime Action Plan

The youth crime action plan is a comprehensive, cross-government analysis of what the government is going to do to tackle youth crime.
It sets out a 'triple track' approach of enforcement and punishment where behaviour is unacceptable, non-negotiable support and challenge where it is most needed, and better and earlier prevention.
It makes clear that the government will not tolerate behaviour that causes misery and suffering for innocent victims.

Read on...

Follow the link to three recent Home Office documents on youth crime. Tom

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Instructions for Wireless Setup

Here are the instructions for wireless for Windows XP. Instructions for Vista and MAC follow.

Internet / Connectivity » Wireless Access (UTORcwn) » Windows Setup
ID #1084
Instructions for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
1: Check to make sure that the wireless switch is ON on your laptop (this is generally on the front of the computer or on the keyboard. In the case of older laptops, insert the wireless card)
2: Click the Start button, select Control Panel, select Network and Internet Connection, and then Network Connections. Click on the Wireless Network Connection icon. This will bring up the Wireless Network Connection Status dialog box.
3: Click the Change advanced settings button if the Wireless Network Connection window is displayed, or click the Properties button if the Wireless Network Connection Status window is displayed.
4:(a) Select the Wireless Networks Tab.(b) Make sure the "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings" checkbox is checked.(c) Click the "Add" button to display the Wireless network properties.
5:(a) Enter UTORwin for Network Name (SSID) [Note the SSID is case sensitive](b) Remove the checkmark from the “The Key is provided for me automatically“ checkbox.(c) Enter "UToronto1home" into both the Network key and Confirm network key fields. [Note: the Network Key is case sensitive](d) Set the Network Authentication to Open and Data encryption to WEP.(e) Click on OK button to complete
6: The UTORwin profile should now be listed under the Preferred networks on your Wireless Network Connection Properties window. Click on the OK button to return to the Wireless Network Connection Status dialog box. Click on the Close button. You have now successfully completed the wireless network configuration.
To log onto the UTORwin wireless network, start your web browser (Netscape, IE). The UTORwin login page should automatically appear when your browser starts up (if this does not happen, please contact the IC HelpDesk for assistance at 416-978-HELP). Your will need your UTORid and password to log onto the network.
Tags: Windows XP, UTORcwn, wireless

For Vista

Internet / Connectivity » Wireless Access (UTORcwn) » Windows Setup
ID #1085
Instructions for Windows Vista Wireless Setup
1: Click the Start button, select Connect To.
2: Click the Set up a connection or Network near the bottom.
3: Highlight Manually connect to a wireless network, click Next.
4: Enter/select the following (case-sensitive!) settings on this screen:
Network Name: UTORwinSecurity Type: WEPSecurity Key: UToronto1home (check the Display characters checkbox to verify the key)
5: Enable the two checkboxes below before clicking Next.
6: Click the Connect to.. option, as the status for UTORwin should be "Connected".
7: Launch your web browser and direct it to Camputs Wireless Network website to login(i.e. http://login.wireless.utoronto.ca); your browser should automatically load the login page, otherwise type it in. Your UTORid and UTORid password will be needed to login to the wireless network. If you have questions relating to the campus wireless network and/or with your UTORid, please contact the Information Commons Help Desk at (416) 978-HELP or visit us on the ground floor of Robarts Library.

For MAC

Internet / Connectivity » Wireless Access (UTORcwn) » MAC Setup
ID #1086
Wireless instructions for Mac OSX 10.3x
Note: In Apple operating systems, the wireless capability of the computer is called "Airport."
STEP 1: Open System Preferences from the dock.
STEP 2: In the System Preferences, select the Network.
STEP 3: Set Location to Automatic and set Show to AirPort. If you are unable to select AirPort, select Network Port Configurations and make sure AirPort is selected.
Select the TCIP/IP tab to configure TCP/IP settings.(a) set Configure IPv4 to Using DHCP.(b) The remaining settings should be blank.
STEP 4: Select the Airport Tab to continue configuration
STEP 5:
Under the Airport tab, select By default, join: A specific network.
For Network, enter UTORwin [Note: the Network Name “UTORwin“ is case sensitive].
The Password should be set to UToronto1home [Note: the network password is case sensitive].
Uncheck the "Allow this computer to create networks," box.
Check the Show AirPort status in menu bar box. This creates a menu that displays the Wireless Access Point's signal strength, and lets you quickly turn on and off your computer's wireless capability.
To save any changes you have made click on the "Apply Now" button, then close the network window and your system preferences window. STEP 6: You have now successfully completed the wireless network configuration.
To log onto the UTORwin wireless network, start your web browser (e.g. Safari, Firefox). The UTORwin loginpage should automatically appear when your browser starts up (if this does not happen, please contact the ICHelp Desk for assistance: consult our Hours of service) . Your will need your UTORid and password.

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One Year After the Publication of The Shock Doctrine, A Response to the Attacks

by Naomi Klein

Exactly one year ago, I set off on a book tour to promote The Shock Doctrine. The plan was for it to last three months, quite long by publishing standards. Twelve months later, it is still going. But this has been no ordinary book tour. Everywhere I have traveled- from Calgary, Alberta to Cochabamba, Bolivia - I have heard more stories about how shock strategies have been used to impose unwanted pro-corporate policies. I have also been part of stimulating debates and discussions about how the current round of crises - oil, food, financial markets, heavy weather -- can be transformed into opportunities for progressive change.

And there have been other kinds of responses too. The Shock Doctrine is a direct attack on the intellectuals and institutions that have disseminated corporatist ideology around the world. When I wrote the book, I fully expected to get hit back. Yet for eight months following publication, there was an eerie silence from the "free-market" ideologues. Sure, a few dismissive reviews appeared in the business press. But not a word from the Washington think tanks that I name in the book. Nothing from the University of Chicago economics department. Even The Economist magazine, which used to attack me gleefully and with great regularity, never mentioned the book in print. An American television producer, who was trying to find an opponent to debate me on-air, confided that she had never been turned down so consistently. "They seem to think if they ignore you, you'll go away."

Read on...

This is an important book given the state of the world economy right now. The police activity at the U.S. conventions is all part of the shock doctrine. The book is available in our library. Ask for it at the circulation desk. Tom

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Update: Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

September 1, 2008
Contact: Mike Burke

UPDATE
Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC
Goodman Charged with Obstruction; Felony Riot Charges Pending Against Kouddous and Salazar
ST. PAUL--Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.
Looks like an outright attack on the freedom of the press. Be interesting to see how the main stream media covers this. Probably with a Yawn. Tom

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Federal Government Involved In Raids On Protesters

by Glenn Greenwald
As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue -- see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice, seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway -- it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that "the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Today's Star Tribune added that the raids were specifically "aided by informants planted in protest groups." Back in May, Marcy Wheeler presciently noted that the Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force -- an inter-agency group of federal, state and local law enforcement led by the FBI -- was actively recruiting Minneapolis residents to serve as plants, to infiltrate "vegan groups" and other left-wing activist groups and report back to the Task Force about what they were doing. There seems to be little doubt that it was this domestic spying by the Federal Government that led to the excessive and truly despicable home assaults by the police yesterday.

Read on...

Can anyone hazard a guess as to why the police are behaving this way at both political conventions? Tom

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