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Everything is Political.
U.S. is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers
Considering the sheer size and social penetration of its police and imprisonment apparatus, the United States is not only a police state, but the biggest police state in the world, by far: the police state against whose dimensions all other police systems on Earth must be measured.
Israel, Obama and the curse of John Wayne
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks he has found an ingenious way of dealing with Iran’s programme for nuclear weapons: if Israel launches an air attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities before the election, President Obama will have no choice but to support him for fear of losing the Jewish vote in various key areas.
Why Americans Must End America’s Self-Generating Wars
To define this prevention of war as an achievable goal may sound pretentious. But the necessary steps to be taken are above all achievable here at home in America. And what is needed is not some radical and untested new policy, but a much-needed realistic reassessment and progressive scaling back of two discredited policies that are themselves new, and demonstrably counterproductive.
Money in Politics: Where Is the Outrage?
We might wish the uproar from the convention halls of both parties these busy weeks were the wholesome clamor of delegates deliberating serious visions of how we should be governed for the next four years. It rises instead from scripted TV spectacles — grown-ups doing somersaults of make-believe — that will once again distract the public’s attention from the death rattle of American democracy brought on by an overdose of campaign cash.
Workers Feel the Pain of Bain
Four hardy souls from rural Illinois joined tens of thousands of people undeterred by threats of Hurricane Isaac during this week’s Republican National Convention. They weren’t among the almost 2,400 delegates to the convention, though, nor were they from the press corps, said to number 15,000. They weren’t part of the massive police force assembled here, more than 3,000 strong, all paid for with $50 million of U.S. taxpayer money. These four were about to join a much larger group: the more than 2.4 million people in the past decade whose U.S. jobs have been shipped to China. In their case, the company laying them off and sending their jobs overseas is Bain Capital, co-founded by the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
Challenging Big Labor to Fight for a Living Wage
In truth, to outsiders, Trumka’s labor federation appears a defeated giant in its great white headquarters on Washington, D.C.’s 16th Street, across from the White House. To be sure, it confronts formidable external trends which include a declining union membership, right wing Governors attacking its pensions, faster automation, corporate globalization, huge corporate slush funds to buy or rent politicians and anti-worker laws such as the notorious union-blocking Taft-Hartley Law of 1947 now in its 65th year of damage.
If you have been Facebooking on behalf of your pampered pooch via his own Facebook profile, or have been playing it safe with a separate Facebook profile for coworkers only, then you may want to get as much use out of it as possible before it is deleted. It appears that Facebook is going to disable the over 83 million fake Facebook profiles that are currently inflating their numbers.
How Secure Are You Online: The Checklist
Not all computer security is about tin foil hats and anonymous browsing. Everyone who uses a computer has a horse in the security race. For the purpose of this post, we're breaking down online security into four essential parts: passwords, browsers, at-home Wi-Fi and networking, and browsing on public Wi-Fi. Within those categories we'll give you a checklist of everything you should do, from the bare minimum to the tin-foil-hat best.
Mitt Romney Looted a Dying Company For Executive Bonuses While It Owed the Government Millions
In 1992, Bain & Co. was in deep debt with few prospects. Revenues were down, and it was increasingly unlikely that the company would be able to meet its considerable debt obligations. Romney, who had been brought into rescue the company a few years before—and had met with some initial success—was busy trying to negotiate with the firm's creditors for room to breathe. One of those creditors, to the tune of $30.6 million, was the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which had recently taken control of a failed bank that Bain owed money to.
CIA officials and members of the Bush Administration consistently claimed that the techniques they performed were both legal and effective, citing multiple pieces of evidence that stopped terrorist plots. Much of this evidence was found to be bogus or unclear, and the consensus of the intelligence community is that torture does not work.
EFF Lawsuit Seeks Details of NSA Email, Phone Surveillance
The EFF Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that the NSA has circumvented the legal protections for U.S. citizens in the FISA Amendments Act, a 2008 law that allowed the NSA to expand its surveillance efforts targeting foreign terrorism suspects. The law prohibits the NSA from intentionally targeting U.S. citizens, but the EFF pointed to aJuly letter in which a U.S. intelligence official told a senator the NSA has sometimes overstepped its limits.
Warrantless Wiretap Victims Ask Court to Reconsider Letting Feds Spy Illegally
A federal appeals court is being asked to reconsider its earlier ruling that the government may spy on Americans’ communications without warrants and without fear of being sued.
The Male Circumcision Question
att Williams, an expectant father, stirred up strong debate this week in his Guardian essay on why he won't let his newborn son be circumcised. Referring to a new edict from the American Academy of Pediatrics insisting that "the health benefits of circumcision" outweigh the negatives, Williams spoke for many parents in demurring with this conventional wisdom, expressing the many reasons for his unease.
Is There a Way Beyond Israeli Madness?
The problem Americans have with Israel is that the region it exists in is in the midst of a major political sea change, while Israel is frozen in time and holding on to its militarist, right-wing policies of extending settlements in the West Bank. It's a policy that harks back to the ideas of the British-trained militarist Ze'ev Jabotinsky's Iron Wall, which is based on the idea a live-and-let-live policy between Jews and Arabs is impossible and, thus, Jews must militarily control and repress Palestinians.
Putin Is Demonized While Democracy Fails In Amerika
The latest "rights group" to jump on Russia's President Putin about p*ssy Riot is RootsAction. Following the propaganda line that Washington has established, RootsAction's appeal for money and petition signers states that the three Russian women were sentenced to two years in prison 'for the "crime' of performing a song against Russia's president Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church."
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 lawyers insisted to federal courts and media outlets that no disclosure was permissible because the raid was classified.
Republican Lies About Welfare and Obama
When the administration agreed to consider waivers, it made clear it would grant a waiver to the law's work requirements only on the condition that more welfare recipients find jobs than under current rules. To date, the Obama administration has granted no waivers. And the two Republican governors who joined in the original request, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Gary Herbert of Utah, are backing away from their initial position.
Poverty: The New Growth Industry in America
Recent trends in poverty rates should have the country furious at its leaders. When we get the data for 2011 next month, we are likely to see yet another uptick in poverty rates, reversing almost 50 years of economic progress. The percentage of people in extreme poverty, with incomes less than half of the poverty level, is likely to again hit an all-time high since the data has been collected.
Prison Is a Beast: The U.S. Imprisons More People Than Any Other Country in the World
A new video created by the Brave New Foundation and endorsed by a wide range of groups, from the ACLU and the NAACP to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the United Methodist Church, examines the ways in which prison is like a beast.
Obama Calls For Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United In Online Chat
Matt Taibbi: The Secret to Mitt Romney’s Fortune? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill
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