American Politics, Progressive News, Human Rights, Civil Disobedience, Foreign Policy, Current Events, Cultural Activism, and Social Justice. | |

Thursday, September 13

13.Sept.2012: Failed U.S. Economics, Farm Wage Theft, Drone Spying, FISA Amendments Act, Restoring Human Rights, Plutocrats and Inequality, Chicago Teachers' Strike, Blasphemy Riots, Secular Groups, iPhone Labor Issues, 9/11 Cancer Connection, Occupy Politics, Homeland Security Pre-Crime, Wind Power, Student Lunch Boycott, Corporate Power Grab, Professional Media Liars, U.S. Libya Envoy Killing, Absurdity of American Empire

I hope everyone's been liking the new format: The DH Digests. 
I should quickly inject a Disclaimer: These are articles I (Steve) have found interesting and relevant, but I do not necessarily endorse any or all content. 
- Steve

Worldwide Distrust of US Intentions Follows 11 Years of War

"American influence on the world stage is being sapped by widespread distrust of US intentions, not just in the Middle East and south Asia but also among traditional European allies," according to the Guardian newspaper, citing a new survey performed by its media partner and global research company YouGov.

Numbers, Analysis Show 30 Years of Failed US Economic Policy

The latest US Census Bureau numbers on poverty, income inequality, and healthcare, coupled with newly released economic analysis of US public policy reveals the reality and the reasons behind the persistent rut of the poverty-stricken, the working-poor, and the middle class in America.

Farmworker Wage Theft: As Common as Dirt

In the latest report by the Food & Environment Reporting Network, “As Common as Dirt,” produced in collaboration with The American Prospect magazine, reporter Tracie McMillan investigates how farm labor contracting–a ubiquitous, but relatively unknown, practice–often blatantly disregards labor laws governing wages, safety and health. She writes that it could be the most insidious source of abuse faced by farmworkers.

Domestic Drones and Spying

From Townhall Magazine's September feature, "Domestic Drones and Spying," by Justice Gilpin-Green: 

Administration urges terror surveillance renewal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration maintains it is unable to say how many times one of the government's most politically sensitive anti-terrorism surveillance programs -- which is up for renewal this week on Capitol Hill -- has inadvertently gathered intelligence about U.S. citizens.

No amendments for FISA Amendments Act reauthorization

The House approved Sept. 11 in a 223-179 vote mostly along party lines (Republicans for, Democrats against) a rule (H.Res. 773) outing terms of floor consideration of the reauthorization act (H.R. 5949).

This week, Congress prepares to abuse the Constitution again, by extending its 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). With the House of Representatives poised to vote today on a premature five year extension, will members remember what they heard when theatrically reading the Constitution on the House floor, or instead entrench the Bush-Cheney legacy beyond even the next administration?

Tips for Talking About Voting

Over the next eight weeks nonprofits around the country will be busy running nonpartisan election activities. They’ll be registering voters, educating voters and candidates on all sides about their issues, and encouraging voters to turn out on Election Day.

Restoring Human Rights and Civil Liberties: Funding Advocacy After 9/11

Eleven years after 9/11, it is important to take a moment to reflect on how the national tragedy continues to affect our society, and to highlight the efforts of those who are working to address these negative impacts. What is particularly striking – more than a decade out – is the degree to which the events of 9/11 have led to an erosion of some of our most important rights and liberties.

Politics and Plutocrats: A Parade of Inequality
America is currently engaged in the most expensive presidential contest in world history. In the United States, money doesn’t just talk – it dictates. How can we hope to make progress on the path to sustainability when the road is blocked by barricades of bullion backed by battalions of billionaires? How do we break through the political gridlock?

The Pauperization Of America
It’s been an unrelenting process. Survey after survey—most recently “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class“—has shown that wages haven’t kept up with inflation since the wage peak in 2000. Periods when real wages rose, for example during the deflationary stretch between March and October 2009, a godsend for struggling workers, were stepped out by the Fed like nasty brushfires. So, families ended up making less at the end of the decade than at the beginning, a phenomenon not seen in the US since World War II. And the middle-income tier actually shrank in size—the process of hollowing out the American middle class.

The Democrats' Fake Freedoms

The president's party can't seem to distinguish between defending rights and soliciting subsidies.

New Evidence About DNA, And Old Patterns of Resistance to New Ideas
A huge research project about DNA (ENCODE) has provoked more scientific controversy over just what proportion of that huge molecule plays an active role in making us us. When DNA research first began decades ago, it was thought that only a couple percent of all those millions of pairs of Adenosine (As) and Thymine (Ts), and Cytosine (Cs) and Guanine (Gs), actually do anything that is biologically relevant to humans. The rest was labeled junk (many scientists winced at the imprecision of the term but when one coined it, it stuck). 

A Guide to Chicago’s Ongoing Teachers’ Strike

Chicago's public schools are a grim, decaying warehouse system for futureless children, unless you live in a rich white neighborhood or are smart enough to test your way into a magnet school, in which case there are a couple really good schools (go Northside College Prep!). Generally, though, they've been in crisis for years. The system ended last year with a $1.2 billion deficit. Fingerless ghoul Rahm Emanuel is determined to fix that by, essentially, crushing the teachers union—opening hundreds of charter schools that don't employ union teachers, instituting merit pay, and tying performance evaluations to hard metrics like test scores.

Blasphemy riots: less about theology, more about power plays

Although riots in Egypt and Libya were said to be provoked by a blasphemous portrayal of the prophet Muhammad, Islam scholars say the teachings are ambiguous and co-opted for political ends.


Atheists were likely elated by the Democrats’ initial decision to remove “God” from the party’s 2012 platform. But, their joy was quickly diminished when liberal political leaders, realizing the political fallout from its decision, quickly moved to reinsert the language. Now, secularists are responding with disappointment and frustration, claiming offense, discrimination and poor manners on the behalf of Democrats.

Secular Group Wants Less Religion in Government

The Secular Coalition for America has been around for a decade but has not been involved at the state level. Rather it focused on federal government. Spokeswoman Lauren Anderson Youngblood says that's about to change. 

China Contractor Again Faces Labor Issue on iPhones

As Apple prepares to unveil the latest iPhone this week, the company’s manufacturing partner in China, Foxconn Technology, is coming under renewed criticism over labor practices after reports that vocational students were being compelled to work at plants making iPhones and their components.

47 Percent of Chicago Voters Support Teachers’ Strike

A 500-person poll conducted by the Chicago Sun Times found that 47 percent of Chicago’s registered voters support the Chicago Public Teachers strike. 39 percent oppose the strike, while 14 percent claimed they don’t know.

9/11 - Cancer Connection Acknowledged, First Responders Get Health Care Coverage

First responders to World Trade Center have suffered major medical problems, both physical – caused by exposure to toxic dust – and mental. Some 1,000 deaths have been linked to illnesses caused by the environmental hazards at Ground Zero

Bold Civil Disobedience Actions Blockade Entrance to Site of TPP Negotiations in VA

Lansdowne, VA -- Two people were detained this morning after a tense stand off with police while blockading international trade negotiators from entering the Lansdowne Resort, site of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations takingplace this week. Other activists greeted the arriving international negotiators with a 75-foot high banner suspended by weather balloons shaped like giant buttocks that read "Free Trade My Ass: Flush the TPP."

Occupy the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches

Today, the U.S. government has descended from a rich and vibrant democracy of three independent and equal government branches with real checks and balancesinto an abusive, secretive, bankrupt, and corporate-driven oligarchy. All three government branches of public officials now work as one to enrich themselves and their corporate benefactors on the backs of the American people. 

Homeland Security Envisions Being Able To Detect Crime Before It Happens

Like The FBI- The Department Of Homeland Security Is Also Developing Their Own Sci-Fi Recognition Program

The Sky Is the Limit for Wind Power

The amount of power to be reaped from tapping low- and high-altitude winds dwarfs global demand

Researchers claim they’ve made progress in cloning a woolly mammoth

There may be some life left yet for the woolly mammoth, according to controversial research by Russian and South Korean scientists that has raised hopes the extinct animal could be cloned.

Fox News falsely claims unemployment nearly doubled under Obama

The Fox News show Fox & Friends used two separate measurements of unemployment to falsely claim that the unemployment rate had nearly doubled under President Barack Obama.

Chicago teachers are fighting for all of us

The teachers' fight in Chicago is part of a larger struggle to save public education.

Is education a ticket out of poverty?

The ongoing attacks on public education are reducing the odds--which were already long to begin with--that working people and the poor can improve their social conditions with a better education. So what can help? Sarah Knopp, co-editor of Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation, sees an answer in the Chicago Teachers Union strike.

Food fight: Students boycott lunch menus

Beginning this year, there are strict limits on calories, sodium and meat portions. Whole milk is off the menu altogether, and kids are required to take a fruit or vegetable. As parents with fussy eaters might guess, some student's aren't salivating over those options.

What You Need to Know About a Worldwide Corporate Power Grab of Enormous Proportions

The corporate cabal behind a new trade agreement including Cargill, Pfizer, Nike and WalMart, has done an exceptional job of maintaining an almost total lack of transparency as they literally design the future we will all inhabit.

TechdirtEbook Authors Continue To See Self-Publishing Stigma Disappear

As the recent news about ebooks has mostly revolved around the price-fixing settlement that was just approved, it's worth pointing out, or reiterating, how the ebook market continues to take off despite being a digital marketplace with all the same potential pitfalls as the recording industry. Despite those potential troubles, we continue to see a rise in the popularity and saleability of self-published authors, long sufferers of the antiquated myth that if you weren't published by a big publishing house you weren't really published at all.

Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases

This paper assesses gender disparities in federal criminal cases. It finds large gender gaps favoring women throughout the sentence length distribution (averaging over 60%), conditional on arrest offense, criminal history, and other pre-charge observables. Female arrestees are also significantly likelier to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted. 

We're Not 'The Entitlement Generation'

ast weekend, Representative Walsh said he was "offended" by me, a "life-time student," and that he wanted me to stop acting "entitled" and "get a job." He explained that it wasn't my fault because my generation has been raised this way and doesn't know how to take care of ourselves.

TPP: A Worldwide Corporate Power Grab of Enormous Proportions

s international trade negotiators gathered this week at a posh golf resort in rural Virginia to hammer out details of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), they sought to project an image of inclusion and receptivity to public input. 

Professional liars in PR and the news media

Romney Vs Obama - Same Issues, Same Answers!

How to handle Search Warrant-less Police at your door

TSA Detains Woman Due To ‘Attitude’

Thousands Rally in Chicago Teacher's Strike Against Corporate-Backed Education Reform

Killing of US envoy to Libya underscores threat of unchecked religious fanaticism 

Conventions 2012: The Price of the Party

Laura Flanders and Chris Hedges: The Absurdity of American Empire

"500 Days": Author Kurt Eichenwald’s New Account of How Bush Admin Ignored Warnings Before 9/11

Behind the anti-Muhammad movie – a new pastor Terry Jones?

Chicago Teachers Strike Rooted in Community Struggle

Steve Dustcircle can be found at:
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