Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Guardian UK:
"If a Muslim man planted bombs in predominately white neighborhoods before blowing himself up, you could bet that the White House and various media outlets would label him a terrorist and draw some connection between his religion and his violent acts. But the case of the Austin bomber reveals an enduring double standard: white Christian terrorists continue to get a free pass.

According to a Buzzfeed report, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt – the one responsible for the recent bombings in Austin – was part of conservative survivalist circles. An acquaintance of Conditt confirmed he was involved in a group called Righteous Invasion of Truth, 'a Bible study and outdoors group for homeschooled kids, created and named by the kids and their families that included monthly activities such as archery [and] gun skills ...'

Racial and religious privilege intersect in how Conditt is being perceived. Because he is white, his acts are reduced to a personal problem even though white American men have consistently posed a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners who get treated as systemic threat. Since Conditt is a Christian, his faith is considered coincidental in spite of the fact that conservative survivalist circles explicitly pursue a racialized, apocalyptic social project."

-->Some US media questioned why Conditt was not labeled a terrorist, including the NYT. But most of these stories left out details of his life that point to a white Christian terrorist mindset. 

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Aljazeera:
"United Nations officials condemned the continued arbitrary detention of Palestinian children by Israel saying the practice has become 'systematic and widely spread'.

A series of UN reports presented at the Human Rights Council shows how the living conditions of Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza have dramatically worsened over the past year, and how children are bearing the brunt of the Israeli occupation, said Kate Gilmore, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights.

'The past year saw hundreds of Palestinian children detained by Israel, some without charge under administrative detention. ... The impact of the conflict on the lives of children is entirely unacceptable. In this year alone, six children have been shot and killed in the context of protests.' "

-->The NYT, ever eager to hide Israel's war crimes, carried a story about Turkey objecting to the UN report about its state of emergency. Palestinian suffering is not deemed "fit to print," as usual.

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Common Dreams:
"Buried in the 2,232-page omnibus spending bill that the U.S. House passed Thursday is a piece of legislation that digital privacy advocates warn 'expands American and foreign law enforcement's ability to target and access people's data across international borders.'

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data or CLOUD Act (S. 2383 and H.R. 4943) would add an official provision for U.S. law enforcement to access 'the contents of a wire or electronic communication and any record or other information' for people all across the globe, regardless of where they live and what that nation's privacy laws dictate. It would also create a 'backdoor' into Americans' data, enabling the U.S. government to bypass its citizens' Fourth Amendment rights to access and even use their data.

Despite having no formal debate on the legislation and a flurry of urgent warnings early in the week about its attack on digital privacy rights and civil liberties, federal lawmakers revealed on Wednesday that their $1.3 trillion dollar spending bill (pdf) would include the CLOUD Act."

-->New invasions of privacy by the federal government? The NYT responded in its typical way, running an article entitled, "Don’t Let Criminals Hide Their Data Overseas." The "Gray Lady" is always there to support the national security state.

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