Palestinian Women in demonstrations against the occupation and the blockade of the Gaza Strip
Israeli settlers - who live illegally on Palestinian land and shouldn’t be there in the first place - regularly destroy and uproot olive trees belonging to Palestinians, often striking at night to go unnoticed.
Olive trees are a livelihood for many families, and a key component of the Palestinian economy. That’s how they are meant to survive.
I saved the worst for last. Israeli soldiers escort Israeli settlers to attack Palestinians then stand by and watch, if not join in too.
GIFs from 5 Broken Cameras (2011)
My head is full of pebbles and rubbish and broken matches and bits of glass picked up ‘most everywhere. The task I set myself technically in writing a book from eighteen different points of view and in as many styles, all apparently unknown or undiscovered by my fellow tradesmen, that and the nature of the legend chosen would be enough to upset anyone’s mental balance.
(Letters, 24 June 1921)
Picture : James Joyce with Sylvia Beach in her Paris office 1921
July 21 2014
The FBI encouraged and sometimes even paid Muslims to commit terrorist acts during numerous sting operations after the 9/11 attacks, a human rights group said in a report published Monday.
“Far from protecting Americans, including American Muslims, from the threat of terrorism, the policies documented in this report have diverted law enforcement from pursuing real threats,” said the report by Human Rights Watch.
Aided by Columbia University Law School’s Human Rights Institute, Human Rights Watch examined 27 cases from investigation through trial, interviewing 215 people, including those charged or convicted in terrorism cases, their relatives, defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges.
“In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act,” the report said.
In the cases reviewed, half the convictions resulted from a sting operation, and in 30 percent of those cases the undercover agent played an active role in the plot.
“Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US,” said Andrea Prasow, the rights group’s deputy Washington director.
“But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
US Attorney General Eric Holder has strongly defended the FBI undercover operations as “essential in fighting terrorism.”
“These operations are conducted with extraordinary care and precision, ensuring that law enforcement officials are accountable for the steps they take -– and that suspects are neither entrapped nor denied legal protections,” Holder said July 8 during a visit to Norway.
The HRW report, however, cites the case of four Muslim converts from Newburgh, New York who were accused of planning to blow up synagogues and attack a US military base.
A judge in that case “said the government ‘came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles,’ and had, in the process, made a terrorist out of a man ‘whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope,’” the report said.
The rights group charged that the FBI often targets vulnerable people, with mental problems or low intelligence.
It pointed to the case of Rezwan Ferdaus, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison at age 27 for wanting to attack the Pentagon and Congress with mini-drones loaded with explosives.
An FBI agent told Ferdaus’ father that his son “obviously” had mental health problems, the report said. But that didn’t stop an undercover agent from conceiving the plot in its entirety, it said.
“The US government should stop treating American Muslims as terrorists-in-waiting,” the report concluded.
Mike German, a former FBI agent now with the Brennan Center, said FBI counterterrorism excesses were a source of concern — “concerns that they both violate privacy and civil liberties, and aren’t effective in addressing real threats.”
But JM Berger, a national security expert, said law enforcement faces a dilemma: it can’t just ignore tips or reports about people talking about wanting to commit a terrorist action or seeking support for one.
“The question is how to sort out which cases merit investigation and which do not,” he said.
A solidarity banner containing the names of Palestinian martyrs hangs on the Raouche in Beirut, Lebanon.
A loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius. The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud. (via Ridiculously Interesting)
(sigh) I’ve seen these before, but this one’s particularly beautiful.
I feel like I’m supposed to be marveling over the fact that this is a loaf of bread that’s been preserved for thousands of years, and don’t get me wrong, that’s hella cool. But honestly, I’m mostly struck by the unexpected news that “bread fraud” was apparently once a serious concern.
Bread Fraud was a huge thing, Bread was provided to the Roman people by the government - bakers were given grain to make the free bread, but some of them stole the government grain to use in other baked goods and would add various substitutes, like sawdust or even worse things, to the bread instead. So if people complained that their free bread was not proper bread, the stamp told them exactly whose bakery they ought to burn down.
Bread stamps continued to be used at least until the Medieval period in Europe. Any commercially sold bread had to be stamped with an official seal to identify the baker to show that it complied with all rules and regulations about size, price, and quality. This way, rotten or undersized loaves could be traced back to the baker. Bakers could be pilloried, sent down the streets in a hurdle cart with the offending loaf tied around their neck, fined, or forbidden to engage in baking commercially ever again in that city. There are records of a baker in London being sent on a hurdle cart because he used an iron rod to increase the weight of his loaves, and another who wrapped rotten dough with fresh who was pilloried. Any baker hurdled three times had to move to a new city if they wanted to continue baking.
If you have made bread, you are probably familiar with a molding board. It’s a flat board used to shape the bread. Clever fraudsters came up with a molding board that had a little hole drilled into it that wasn’t easily noticed. A customer would buy his dough by weight, and then the baker would force some of that dough through the hole, so they could sell and underweight loaf and use the stolen dough to bake new loafs to sell. Molding boards ended up being banned in London after nine different bakers were caught doing this. There were also instances of grain sellers withholding grain to create an artificial scarcity drive up the price of that, and things like bread.
Bread, being one of the main things that literally everyone ate in many parts of the world, ended up with a plethora of rules and regulations. Bakers were probably no more likely to commit fraud than anyone else, but there were so many of them, that we ended up with lots and lots of rules and records of people being shifty.
Check out Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony by Madeleine Pelner Cosman for a whole chapter on food laws as they existed in about 1400. Plus the color plates are fantastic.