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Thursday, August 30

30.Aug.2012 - TSA and DHS Explosives, Tea Party, Homeless College Students, Vegetarianism, Altruism, Java Hackers, Fair/Free Market, Urinating Marines, Protestor's Tweets, Medicaid, Israeli Animosity, Wall Street, Clean Water, Welfare Reform, Corporations' Lowered Taxes, Border Patrol

The Low-wage, No-raise Economy
The Obama administration hailed Friday's jobs report from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), claiming that the 163,000 net new jobs in July represented a positive development after three months, April through June, in which US payrolls increased by less than half that number. The American media took a similar view in its coverage, and the stock market responded favorably, with its third-largest rise of the year.

Dying for an Education

As a former VA psychiatrist, part of my job was to help returning veterans adjust to civilian life despite the effects of the psychological trauma of combat. One of the major issues we worked on was the problem of overwhelming anger at the senseless brutality of war. Many had come to understand how they had been used to serve not the nation but the corporate powers upon which our so-called leaders depend for campaign contributions. These were the veterans who have the most difficulty adjusting to their return to a society that has largely ignored the wars. 

Dear Corporation
Dear Corporation,
I'm glad you're a "person" now, so I can address you as one. This has gotten personal. So I'm addressing you as a person.

Settler Attacks on Palestinians

Each year, attacks peak during olive harvest season. Most aren't "price tag" revenge incidents. They're structural and systemic. They're occupation related.

The Complete Irrelevancy of the National Political Party Conventions

If there's anything that can be called an anachronism it's these national political conventions of the two main parties that at one time really meant something. That's of course before the presidential primaries became so widespread making the conventions superfluous.

Have Yale Engineers Created a Self-Aware Robot?

The Yale Social Robotics Lab have created the first robot that learns about itself from experiencing in own physical characteristics in the context of the real world around it. Called Nico, the robot "is able to use a mirror as an instrument for spatial reasoning, allowing it to accurately determine where objects are located in space based on their reflections, rather than naively believing them to exist behind the mirror." By combining its perceptual and motor capabilities, Nico can learn where its body parts are and how they interact with the surrounding environment. 

Romney and Bain: The True Story

he great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn't stand for anything. He's a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who'll say anything to get elected.

Today on CBS’s morning show, former Bush administration Secretary of State and top Mitt Romney surrogate Condoleezza Rice could not offer any specific foreign policy failures made by President Obama. Romney’s allies, led by Rice and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), are expected to attack Obama on national security grounds tonight in at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

ACLU lawsuit against Border Patrol moving forward

A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union over traffic stops by U.S. Border Patrol agents on the Olympic Peninsula is moving forward.

Police panel OKs guidelines on reporting possible terrorism

LAPD commission gives officers the power to write reports on legal activities, but bans profiling on the basis of race or religion.

Most Wanted Secret Doc: Justice Dept Memo Analyzing Drone Strikes Against Suspected Terrorists

The targeted killings memo has been requested by no fewer than ten members of Congress (all of whom were denied access). The memo is also sought in three FOIA lawsuits filed separately by the First Amendment Coalition (the organization I work for) in federal court in San Francisco, and by the New York Times and the ACLU in federal court in Manhattan.

Corporations: Yes, We're Moving Abroad to Get Lower Tax Rates

U.S. corporations are continuing tax dodging practices to boost their profits by the millions by reincorporating abroad, an article The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday shows.

Correspondence and Collusion Between the New York Times and the CIA

The rightwing transparency group, Judicial Watch, released Tuesday a new batch of documents showing how eagerly the Obama administration shoveled information to Hollywood film-makers about the Bin Laden raid. Obama officials did so to enable the production of a politically beneficial pre-election film about that "heroic" killing, even as administration lawyersinsisted to federal courts and media outlets that no disclosure was permissible because the raid was classified.

The FBI's war on the left

Bill Mullen examines explosive claims in a new book by Seth Rosenfeld that former Black Panther Richard Aoki may have been an FBI informant.

Seven Years after Katrina: Seven Principles for Funding Advocacy after Disasters

As attention turns from preparedness to disaster relief, the central question nonprofits and funders should be asking is: Will those who are suffering have a meaningful voice in the decisions that guide the recovery of their cities, towns, and neighborhoods? The disadvantaged are often the most difficult to reach in a disaster–and often have no structures in place to speak up for their needs in the rebuilding process.

Nonprofits Help California Domestic Workers Fight for Rights

The California State Senate will vote this week on whether to send AB 889, the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for a signature. The bill would extend basic labor rights like overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and adequate sleeping conditions for live-in workers, to housekeepers, childcare providers, and other caregivers.

Coming Soon: Artificial Limbs Controlled by Thoughts

The idea that paralyzed people might one day control their limbs just by thinking is no longer a Hollywood-style fantasy

GOP Governor Acknowledges That Romney’s Welfare Attack Ads Are False

The Romney campaign has been running a series of blatantly false ads claiming that the Obama administration has waived work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform law. 

A One-Two Punch in the Fight For Clean Water

It has been a week of good news in the fight for stronger protections against coal ash pollution.

When "War on Terrorism" Infrastructure is Combined with the "War on Drugs"

This is more or less already happening, but the Republicans are the first Party, I believe, to make it explicit. From the 2012 GOP Platform

Mythbuster: Tall tales about welfare reform

Ben Baumberg, Kate Bell and Declan Gaffney tackle some of the most common welfare myths

Rape victims speak out against Republicans on eve of Ryan’s speech

In advance of vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan taking the stage at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, rape survivors released a video calling for Republicans to “[stand] up for the dignity of women who have been raped.”

Democrats better for Wall Street than Republicans, research shows

Analysis of stock market returns under every president since 1900 shows Democrats do almost twice as well as Republicans on average

Coal Miners Forced to Attend Romney Event and Donate

o the Romney campaign visited a coal mine on August 14th, for a speech with a bunch of suitably dirty miners standing behind him, with his podium bearing a placard that read "Coal Country Stands with Mitt." 

A Frenzy Of War Talk— Israel 's Outrageous Threats To Attack Iran
Over the past several weeks there has been an eruption of alarming reports, high-level meetings, and public debate over whether Israel is close to deciding—or has already decided—to launch a military assault on Iran before the November U.S. presidential election.

Can Animosity Sustain America And Israel For Ever?
Peace requires new THINKING and New VISIONS that American President and Israeli PM do not have except the WAR agenda. Both are victims of egomaniac politics. Would Peace and Security grow out of the nowhere? Threatening rhetoric of pre-emptive war strikes on Iran nuclear’s centers and the nuisance of individualistic political indoctrination do not articulate rational and responsible opportunities for rational and intelligent leaders to engage in peaceful dialogue or conflict resolution.

What Does "Independence" Mean For Labor?
The unions remain the only organizations in USA built by and for workers to be a collective fighting force to defend and improve the members’ standard of living. While only a minority belongs to unions, all workers' fate depends on their strength. Unfortunately they have been taking a serious beating.

Senior Poverty: Food Insecurity Rising Among Older Americans

In 2010, 8.3 million Americans over 60 faced the threat of hunger -- up 78 percent from a decade earlier, according to a 2012 report. The proportion of the seniors affected has grown to one in seven in 2010 from one in nine in 2005 -- even as the hunger risk for the population as a whole declined slightly, the report found.

Medicaid Health Care A Matter Of Life, Death And Financial Security For Poorest, Sickest Americans

Tuesday marked seven years since Inman, a 72-year-old retired salesman in Nashville, lost her. Debbie led an active life despite the aneurysm, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure and depression, Inman said. He believes she wouldn't have died that day, that way, in so much pain, if the state hadn't taken away TennCare, Tennessee's Medicaid plan, from Debbie and170,000 poor Tennesseans.

American Idiots: Our Own Political Ignorance is Destroying Our Political System

Much of what we know or believe about politics is flawed. Every one of us suffers from the same basic cognitive flaws, the same limits to knowledge and understanding. (Indeed, it appears that what we believe and the strength of our conviction in those beliefs can be a result of font style.) These impediments can be mitigated to some degree, but never completely corrected.

DHS informant says, "It's going hot" -- Second Look

“Okay, from what I’ve been able to learn, there have been a couple different plans or scenarios developed, ready to be implemented at a moment’s notice, but each are distinctly different in nature and timing.” stated my source.

Twitter Is Not Backing Down About Protecting Protester’s Tweets

Twitter is still not backing down from its fight over releasing an Occupy Wall Street protester’s tweets, filing an appeal with New York Supreme Court requesting a reversal.

Israeli court rejects US activist’s family lawsuit

An Israeli court ruled Tuesday that the military was not at fault for killing a U.S. activist crushed by an army bulldozer during a 2003 demonstration, rejecting a lawsuit filed by her parents.

Three U.S. Marines filmed urinating on Taliban corpses given ‘administrative’ punishments but are spared criminal charges

Three U.S. Marines who were pictured urinating on Taliban corpses last year received ‘administrative’ punishments, but they avoided criminal charges, the American military said on Monday.

In ‘increasingly Islamist’ region, Israel may be headed for war, IDF intelligence chief warns

In an ever-more-volatile Middle East, the prospect of a military confrontation between Israel and its neighbors is fast becoming a tangible possibility, the IDF’s intelligence chief warned on Monday.

Republicans call for crackdown on multi-billion-dollar adult porn industry

The Republican Party is calling for a  crackdown on pornography in a move that could pit social conservatives against  hotel operators, television providers and other businesses that profit from the  sale of sexually explicit material.

Forget The Free Market, We Need A Fair Market

We all know the refrain from the right-wing pundits: “Free Market, Free Market, Free Market!” They throw the term around like a mantra, as though it is some magical solution to all of the world’s problems. Whatever the argument, the “free market” is the solution to them. The problem is, what they call the “free market” is not very free at all.

Florida Voter Registration Laws Stop The Democratic Process

In July of 2011, a voter-suppression law went up in Florida that was enacted by the state legislature and signed by Republican governor Rick Scott. The bill–HB 1355–severely limits voter registrations. As Think Progress reports, the main tenets of the bill are as follows:

Chick-fulla-hate at NYU

Nisha Bolsey reports on the ongoing struggle of students at New York University to kick Chick-fil-A's homophobia off their campus.

For years, Silicon Valley has failed to breach the walls of higher education with disruptive technology. But the tide of battle is changing. A report from the front lines.

Made In America: Foreign Entrepreneurs Who Will Compete Against Us

While I enjoy reading The New Yorker when I get the chance, it's rare they cover an issue that I'm deeply familiar with. So it's great to see James Surowiecki jump into the pool with an article about the problems with the US's view towards skilled immigration. It's an issue we've been covering for years, and I still can't figure out why people are against opening our shores to skilled immigrants.

NSA Whistleblower Explains How The NSA Is Collecting Data On All Of You (And He's Sorry About It)

Last year, in writing about the US government's vindictive lawsuit against whistleblower and former NSA employee Thomas Drake, we also talked about William Binney -- another ex-NSA employee and whistleblower (who was also raided by the feds, though they failed to find anything they could pin on him in a lawsuit). Binney is the mathematical genius behind one of the key algorithms the NSA is using to track everyone.

Benefits of Altruism

Altruism Benefits Everyone--Here's How!

Latest Java software opens PCs to hackers: experts
Computer security firms are urging PC users to disable Java software in their browsers, saying the widely installed, free software from Oracle Corp opens machines to hacker attacks and there is no 

Optimistic or Delusional? Why Gay Republicans Stand By Their Party’s Bigoted Platform

At a 20th anniversary reception for the Log Cabin Republicans, the GOP's gay optimists say equality is just around the corner.

College Students Are Going Homeless and Hungry -- And Corporate America Is Trying to Exploit Them

A look at the growing numbers of homeless and hungry college students trying desperately to make ends meet--and those who are willing to exploit them.

8 Countries Where Atheism Is Accepted, Even Celebrated, Instead of Demonized

In many places around the world, this is an unprecedented era of freedom and social acceptance for non-believers .

Don't Want to Be a Vegetarian? You May Not Have a Choice

Water scarcity's effect on food production means radical steps will be needed to feed a population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.

TSA, DHS Order 1,400 Pounds of High Powered Explosives Set to Deliver August 31 !

RNC Launches with Tea Party’s Ted Cruz, Ann Romney and a "We Built It" Theme Shaped by Karl Rove

Steve Dustcircle can be found at:
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