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Wednesday, September 26

25.Sept.2012: The Cost of Cybercrime, Western Exceptionalism, No Longer a Free Country, Counterproductive Drone Terrorism, Free Speech, Police and OWS, Footage of NYPD's Brutality, 2012 Election Inside Job, Secular Government, Protests Not a Waste of Time, Green Awareness, Reinventing Ethics, Harvest of Empire, Hacktivists Documentary, Woman Tased and Evicted, Future Intelligence

Steve Dustcircle can be found at:

Students at the University of Southern California protest the rising cost of higher education

The no-jobs generation

Elizabeth Schulte, Leela Yellesetty and Gary Lapon document the nightmarish job prospects for the Class of 2012--and explain what's to blame.
Rekindling the human spirit
Under capitalism, most people have no control not only over what they produce as workers, but over the very process of producing itself.

The Cost of Cybercrime: 1.5 Million Victims Every Day

Two-thirds of online adults already have been Cybercrime victims at some point in their lives, and 46% of online adults have been victims within the past year. The annual cost of Cybercrime is a whopping $110 billion.

Western Exceptionalism
Today, we see Washington on a rampage to realize these words from historian Gordon Wood: ‘our beliefs in liberty, equality, constitutionalism, and the well-being of ordinary people came out of the Revolutionary era; so too, did our idea that we Americans are a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty and democracy’. This fallacious sentiment, coined ‘American exceptionalism’, has become Washington’s mantra; it has wrought death and misery on billions.

30 Examples of Why America Is No Longer a Free Country

From people being harassed for paying by cash or having a food garden, to Americans being arrested for letting their children play outside – innumerable examples over the past few months alone illustrate that the United States is no longer a free country.

The Declining Economic Freedom Of The United States

The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a remarkable plunge in economic freedom during the past decade. From 1980 to 2000, the US was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong and Singapore. The ranking of the US has fallen precipitously; from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th in 2010. 

How Can We Stop Pedophiles?

Stop treating them like monsters.

Mitt Romney Adds the Uninsured to His List of Americans He isn’t Concerned About

Many people will admit that they never appreciate good health until they are sick or injured, and if they do fall ill, their first thought is getting immediate treatment to alleviate their discomfort.  For people fortunate enough to have healthcare insurance, their first point of consultation is a primary care provider who can diagnose and treat their condition, and more than likely provide guidance for how to prevent a recurrence unless their health issue is an injury. 

Can America Be Great Again?

Learning the cynical realities of America's evolving monarchical chief executives, their active-positive passions and passive-negative ennui made us all begin to wonder if we were plotting careers in politics at the wrong time. Carter won, but seemed incapable of throwing the necessary levers and switches of political power to advance his agenda. After Johnson, then Nixon, the American press was accustomed to a president with every golf club in his bag and the skill to use them. Carter, rightly or wrongly, was portrayed as a president with only a sand wedge and little passion for the game overall.

A US "Predator" drone. (AFP Photo / Joel Saget)Pakistani civilian deaths in US drone war ‘in vain’ – report

A study at Stanford and New York University titled ‘Living Under Drones’ claimed that only two percent of drone strike casualties in Pakistan are top militants, and that the large number of related civilian deaths turn Pakistanis against the US.

Report: "Counterproductive" US Drone Program "Terrorizes" Pakistan

Rejecting the dominant narrative that insulates most Americans from the reality of the US drone program in Pakistan—a narrative that says drones are a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer from "global terrorism" with minimal downsides—a new reportby researchers at the Stanford and NYU schools of law says that the program itself is "terrorizing" and that its overall impact is "counterproductive" when it comes to addressing international law, security, and human rights.

Scientists: No to Genetically Modified Crops, Yes to Paradigm Shift

A group of scientists said that ecological farming and a shift towards a holistic paradigm, not genetically modified (GM) crops, are the answer for India's future agricultural needs.

Drones: The West's New Terror Campaign

Living Under Drones, a new report from Stanford and New York universities, was a difficult piece of fieldwork – I was with the law students in Peshawar as they tried to interview victims of the CIA's drone war. But it has made an important contribution to the drone debate by identifying the innocent victims of the CIA's reign of terror: the entire civilian population of Waziristan (roughly 800,000 people).

What exactly is free speech?

The Supreme Court declared that money is speech. Pictures, movies, advertising is speech even it what is "spoken" is provocative, misinformation, or a lie, but always meant to influence the viewer, listener. That is Democracy we say piously. Those Muslims must understand that our government does not necessarily approve of a dirty movie but we have free speech in this country. Anybody can say, write, make movies about anything they want. Oh yeah?

Police and OWS -- A Personal Perspective

I made a conscious decision to approach the situation in New York with optimism and an open mind. What I experienced during my time there, was in many ways a direct reflection of the attitude I approached it with. This does not mean that I did not observe any negativity during the events of the weekend. It does mean, however, that instead of focusing on those negative events, I am able to appreciate the positive experiences such as the following story.

Plutocracy Ignores Purpose

Nobility means dignity.   Because of the possible beneficial effects, any work done well can lead to dignity.   In our time, every citizen can feel a sense of mission, purpose and importance.   Every task can be considered an act of service to our nation when that task is done well.   In this way every act can be an act of public service.   And in this way every kind of work can be noble.   This is the message if you believe individuals have an inherent purpose.   But this is not the message of Plutocracy.

Education and Democracy

Democracy and an educated citizenry go hand in hand. Public education is the great equalizer. America's founders believed it was insurance against loss of liberty.

 Why Your Brain Is Irrational about Obama and Romney
politics, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama
Before the election, I urge you to read Leonard Mlodinow's new book, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior (Pantheon). You will gain such insights as that higher-pitched voices are judged by subjects as more nervous, less truthful and less empathetic than speakers with lower-pitched voices and that speaking a little faster and louder, with fewer pauses and greater variation in volume, leads people to judge someone to be energetic, intelligent and knowledgeable. Looks matter even more.

Footage of NYPD's Brutal Raid That Ended 2-Month Occupation of Zuccotti Park Released

This release of the footage is the first major public documentation of the raid on November 15, 2011, when the police arrested an estimated 200.

The Climate Clock Is Ticking, Obama Can Help

ith 42 days to go until the US presidential elections, now is the time to put climate change at the top of the political agenda. We are at a critical moment in history. This year we have witnessed record levels of carbon in the atmosphere, unprecedented melting of ice in the arctic, alarming spikes in global temperature and extreme weather conditions.

Obama has raised $774m so far, giving him an edge over Romney, whose supporters have raised $736m. (photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Why the 2012 Election Will Be Another Inside Job

ast week, Mitt Romney and President Obama traded insults in a most amazing way, reminding us that success in American politics these days requires two things: saying the most absurd things with a straight face, and maximizing the appearance of differences with your opponent, while minimizing their reality. 

GAO: DoD civilian workforce assessment flawed

The Defense Department's plans to reduce at least 150 civilian senior leadership positions, the cap on civilian personnel numbers and the existing pay freeze threaten the department's ability to achieve its mission, and according to a Sept. 19 report (.pdf) from the Government Accountability Office, its analysis of possible workforce gaps is inaccurate.

Atheists, Secularism, Secular Government: Why Atheists Care About Secularism

Importance of Secularism & Secular Government to Irreligious Atheists

Son of a bigot

Son of a bigot

His dad founded the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Nate Phelps is dedicated to reversing that legacy of hate

AIPAC-Drafted US Aid to Israel Illegal

The Israel lobby’s biggest and longest-running Washington boondoggles are the massive annual weapons and economic packages to Israel. Tightly coordinated campaign contributors (both individuals and political action committees) and the Israeli government’s own quiet demands manifest themselves within AIPAC-drafted foreign aid legislation. The U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 forces Americans to fork hard-earned tax dollars over to Israel’s coffers on the pretext that it is in eminent danger. 

Why Protest Events Are Not a Waste of Time

Let's admit it: Picking up a picket sign and spending hours marching out in the 105-degree heat or the -15 degree frost, screaming your lungs out, does not seem like a particularly natural thing to do. In fact, when people do this sort of thing outside of the context of a protest event, it's usually a cry for help. So why do we protest?

Freedom of Speech in the United States

A Short History

Taking Atheism To The Next Level

Taking Atheism To The Next Level

It’s an unfortunate but increasingly difficult to ignore truth: progressives are ignorant, too. Not all progressives, all the time. But more than we’d like to think. More than can possibly be considered acceptable in a healthy sub-culture, let alone one with a stated aim of leading the world into a new enlightenment. Or even one with the humbler hope of living in that kind of world.
Study: Green awareness is now ‘mainstream,’ but consumers less willing to pay the premium
According to new research from GfK‘s Green Gauge, while aspects of the “green” movement have gone “mainstream,” those willing to purchase the more expensive green alternative products has decreased over the last several years.

ACLU files suit for information on automatic license plate readers 
Photo source or description[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Massachusetts(ACLUM) [advocacy websites] on Tuesday filed suit [complaint, PDF; press release] to obtain records and information regarding the use of automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) by federal law enforcement and agencies. The suit was filed in the US District Court of Massachusetts against the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security [official websites] after the federal agencies refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ALCU [JURIST report] in July. 

Reinventing Ethics

There are plenty of reasons to believe that human nature changes slowly, if at all — all’s still fair in love and war. For millennia, religious believers have attributed our nature to God’s image, as well as to God’s plan.  In recent years, evolutionary psychologists peered directly at our forerunners on the savannahs of East Africa; if human beings change, we do so gradually over thousands of years.

Top 10 Ways Corporate Food Is Making Us Fat and Threatening Our Food Supplies

It all starts with the collosal power that organized businesses have over Congress.

Know What GMO’s Are in Your Food

LEAKED: Anonymous' NYPD Footage

Where Do YOU Get Your News?

Gun confiscation reality check

Living Under Drones

"Harvest of Empire": New Film Recounts How U.S. Intervention Caused Mass Latin American Migrations

Announcing 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report

Money in Politics is Destroying Our Democracy

We Are Legion – The Story of the Hacktivists Documentary (2012)

Houston PD Slay Wheelchair Bound Double Amputee: We've Reached A New Low

War Threats! Iran Will Hit US Bases if Attacked

CBS 5 News obtains video of woman being tased, evicted

Ever Wonder What Real Journalists Think Of People Like Bill O'Reilly?

DOCUMENTARY: Future Intelligence

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