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Category Archives: Censorship

Statement of ABA President Re Judicial Independence Updated

Statement of ABA President Judy Perry Martinez Re: Judicial Independence and Sound Exercise of Prosecutorial DiscretionWASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2020 – “The American Bar Association steadfastly supports judicial independence and the sound exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Public officials who personally attack judges or prosecutors can create a perception that the system is serving a political or other purpose rather than the fair administration of justice. It is incumbent upon public officials and members of the legal profession, whose sworn duty it is to uphold the law, to do everything in their power to preserve the integrity of the justice system.”

See alsoThe Atlantic: “The Senate’s acquittal of Donald Trump elicited predictions that the president would now be “unleashed,” freed to do as he pleased. His actions over the past few days offer a first glimpse of what that might look like. With the threat of accountability gone, or at least diminished, Trump is bestowing favor on his loyal defenders, and visiting revenge on those he feels have betrayed him. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who testified in the impeachment hearings, was sacked from his post on the National Security Council, in what presidential aides made very clear was revenge. For good measure, so was his twin brother, a lawyer at the NSC and a fellow Army officer. Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was asked to resign, and when he refused, he was fired Friday night. Elaine McCusker, who had been tapped to be Pentagon comptroller but clashed with the White House over freezing military aid to Ukraine, will have her nomination withdrawn, according to the New York Post…a day after prosecutors requested seven to nine years in prison for Roger Stone, the Justice Department suddenly intervened and announced that it would withdraw the recommendation in favor of a lighter sentence, a highly irregular move…”

And NBCNews – Barr takes control of legal matters of interest to Trump, including Stone sentencing – “Attorney General William Barr’s intervention in Roger Stone’s case wasn’t the first time senior political appointees reached into a case involving an ex-Trump aide, officials say…”

And Washington Post – Trump takes on Judge Amy Berman Jackson ahead of Roger Stone’s sentencing

National Archives permitting deletion and destruction of gov docs

The New York Times Opinion – Matthew Connelly – professor of history at Columbia.- “…In 2017, a normally routine document released by the archives, a records retention schedule, revealed that archivists had agreed that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement could delete or destroy documents detailing the sexual abuse and death of undocumented immigrants. Tens… Continue Reading

Reporters Cmte and 57 news orgs urge Senate to reconsider impeachment trial press restrictions

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: “In a letter sent Thursday night, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, joined by 57 news organizations, asked the Senate to reconsider press restrictions during the impeachment trial that have been the subject of growing criticism over the past week. “Absent an articulable security rationale,” the… Continue Reading

2020 Edelman Trust Barometer

“The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures—government, business, NGOs and media—is trusted. The cause of this paradox can be found in people’s fears about the future and their role in it, which are a wake-up call… Continue Reading

Ten Stories That Shaped 2019

LISNews – Ten Stories That Shaped 2019: “As we limp headfirst into a new decade, it’s beginning to feel like many of these stories have become perennial entries. 2019 saw yet more drag queen story hour protests, vendor buyouts, the persistence of fake news, scandals, and lawsuits aplenty, along with the usual spate of book… Continue Reading

Surveillance Net Blankets China’s Cities Giving Police Vast Powers

The New York Times – The authorities can scan your phones, track your face and find out when you leave your home. “One of the world’s biggest spying networks is aimed at regular people, and nobody can stop it. China is ramping up its ability to spy on its nearly 1.4 billion people to new… Continue Reading

How the 1% Scrubs Its Image Online

WSJ.com [paywall]:  “Prominent figures from Jacob Gottlieb to Betsy DeVos got help from a reputation management firm that can bury image-sensitive Google results by placing flattering content on websites that masquerade as news outlets..Jacob Gottlieb was considering raising money for a hedge fund. One problem: His last one had collapsed in a scandal. While Mr.… Continue Reading

Journalists imprisoned in 2019

“The number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work in 2019 remained near record highs, as China tightened its iron grip on the press and Turkey, having stamped out virtually all independent reporting, released journalists awaiting trial or appeal. Authoritarianism, instability, and protests in the Middle East led to a rise in the number of… Continue Reading

Book burning by Chinese county library sparks fury

The Guardian UK – Blaze complying with ministry directive meant for schools harks back to Qin dynasty and Nazi Germany, critics say – “A county library in north-western China has been criticised for burning books in line with a nationwide cull of “illegal” or “improper” materials used in school libraries. Reports and photos of two women… Continue Reading

I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It

The New York Times Opinion – I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It. I wanted the web to serve humanity. It’s not too late to live up to that promise. By Tim Berners-Lee: “My parents were mathematicians. My mother helped code one of the first stored-program computers — the Manchester… Continue Reading

How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

WSJ.com: “More than 100 interviews and the Journal’s own testing of Google’s search results reveal: Google made algorithmic changes to its search results that favor big businesses over smaller ones, and in at least one case made changes on behalf of a major advertiser, eBay Inc., contrary to its public position that it never takes… Continue Reading

The Internet Dream Became a Nightmare. What Will Become of It Now?

The New York Times Magazine: “In this special Tech & Design Issue of The New York Times Magazine, we ponder the internet’s future at a time when that future has never felt more unsettled. It isn’t just about Facebook and the other American tech giants, which no longer enjoy the rapid growth that characterized their… Continue Reading