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marmar

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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 70,185

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Is journalism being criminalized? Interview with Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill





Published on Jun 25, 2013


Is journalism being criminalised? Interview with Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill

In the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden's leak of NSA files, Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and featured reporter in the new documentary film of the same name, says under the Obama administration journalists are being intruded upon and whistleblowers are being charged with crimes. Scahill is also a national security correspondent for the Nation.



Student Loan Rates Double After Congressional Inaction


WASHINGTON -- Interest rates on some new federally backed loans for college students are now double what they were last week.

Subsidized Stafford loan interest rates went to 6.8 percent on Monday because Congress didn't strike a deal to keep them low. That translates to an extra $2,600 per student in costs. It affects roughly a quarter of all federal borrowers.

The effects aren't immediate, though. That's because most students sign their loan documents when they return to campus in the fall. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/student-loan-double_n_3529166.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



Chris Hedges: Bowl Phone Sex


from truthdig:


Bowl Phone Sex

Posted on Jun 30, 2013
By Chris Hedges


ELIZABETH, N.J.—I am drinking coffee and eating doughnuts in the backroom of a church in Elizabeth, N.J., with Gloria Blount, who has been in and out of Union County Jail over the years, Irene Pabey, who spent about four months there, and Alveda Torrado, who was behind its walls for 18 months. The women, part of a prison support group I help run, are talking about the “bowl phone.”

Union County Jail is a 13-story facility with about 800 prisoners in the center of the depressed city of Elizabeth. Female prisoners are housed on the top floor, men on the floors below.

The prisoners usually are forced to spend 23 hours a day in their cells. There isn’t much structured activity and there are no educational classes. Prisoners who have good disciplinary records—they are referred to as trusties and wear green as opposed to khaki uniforms—are allowed to work in the kitchen or clean the jail but they are not paid.

Life behind bars in Union County jail and some other American penal institutions revolves around an improvised system of cell-to-cell communication through the plumbing. Known as the “bowl phone,” it crudely replicates the speaking tubes in ships that sailors once shouted through. Drained metal toilets are used as megaphones to build friendships, carry out courtship, fall in love—although the lovers may never meet—have phone sex, pray and carry out religious conversion, pass news about court cases and families and exchange gossip. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/bowl_phone_sex_20130630/



Getting Past Stars and Swipes Forever


from Too Much: A Commentary on Excess and Inequality:


Getting Past Stars and Swipes Forever
June 29, 2013

Back in 1776, public-spirited patriots emerged from the ranks of colonial America’s privileged. But our corporate elite today seems to offer up only thieving, tax-dodging parasites. Why such a contrast?


By Sam Pizzigati


Almost ten generations have come and gone since 1776. Yet the giants of 1776 still fascinate us. Books about Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington still regularly dot our best-seller lists.

What so attracts us to these “founding fathers,” these men of means who put their security, their considerable comfort, at risk for a greater good? Maybe the contrast with what we see all around us.

Today’s men of means display precious little selfless behavior. Our CEOs, bankers, and private equity kingpins remain totally fixated on their own corporate and personal bottom lines. They don’t lead the nation. They steal from it.

So who can blame the rest of us for daydreaming about a time when a significant chunk of our elite showed a real sense of responsibility to something grander than the size of their individual fortunes? ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://toomuchonline.org/getting-past-stars-and-swipes-forever/#sthash.wxROlhsv.dpuf



Professor Richard Wolff: Capitalism's Social Costs (audio)


Listen: http://rdwolff.com/content/economic-update-capitalisms-social-costs


by Richard Wolff.
Published on June 29, 2013

Updates on Obamacare's "penalties," a Parisian suicide, neglect of community colleges, and how inequality worsens itself. Interview with psychotherapist Dr. Harriet Fraad on why US workers don't fight against their economic decline. Response to listener's question on how to prevent socialism from deforming into Stalinism.





Chris Hedges: Bowl Phone Sex


from truthdig:


Bowl Phone Sex

Posted on Jun 30, 2013
By Chris Hedges


ELIZABETH, N.J.—I am drinking coffee and eating doughnuts in the backroom of a church in Elizabeth, N.J., with Gloria Blount, who has been in and out of Union County Jail over the years, Irene Pabey, who spent about four months there, and Alveda Torrado, who was behind its walls for 18 months. The women, part of a prison support group I help run, are talking about the “bowl phone.”

Union County Jail is a 13-story facility with about 800 prisoners in the center of the depressed city of Elizabeth. Female prisoners are housed on the top floor, men on the floors below.

The prisoners usually are forced to spend 23 hours a day in their cells. There isn’t much structured activity and there are no educational classes. Prisoners who have good disciplinary records—they are referred to as trusties and wear green as opposed to khaki uniforms—are allowed to work in the kitchen or clean the jail but they are not paid.

Life behind bars in Union County jail and some other American penal institutions revolves around an improvised system of cell-to-cell communication through the plumbing. Known as the “bowl phone,” it crudely replicates the speaking tubes in ships that sailors once shouted through. Drained metal toilets are used as megaphones to build friendships, carry out courtship, fall in love—although the lovers may never meet—have phone sex, pray and carry out religious conversion, pass news about court cases and families and exchange gossip. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/bowl_phone_sex_20130630/



Is journalism being criminalized? Interview with Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill




Published on Jun 25, 2013


Is journalism being criminalised? Interview with Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill

In the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden's leak of NSA files, Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and featured reporter in the new documentary film of the same name, says under the Obama administration journalists are being intruded upon and whistleblowers are being charged with crimes. Scahill is also a national security correspondent for the Nation.



Capitalism's "One-Track Mind" for Profits


Capitalism's "One-Track Mind" for Profits

Saturday, 29 June 2013 00:00
By Jacinda Chan, Truthout | News Analysis


In May, following a visit to President Nieto of Mexico, President Obama stopped in Costa Rica for the first time. Obama met with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and attended the Central America Integration System as an observing member. His mission: to address the drug trafficking problem in Central America, which is often used as a transit route between South America and the US.

Obama asserted that Latin American governments must work towards alleviating poverty, to reduce the gang activity that facilitates drug trafficking. In his address in Costa Rica, Obama addressed the issue of development in Central America, including the improvement of infrastructure and the increase in trade and foreign investment. But he didn't say a thing about the ways in which neoliberal policies have fueled widespread poverty and unrest.

These policies have continually favored oligarchic elites: American businesses and all seven Central American countries would increase the profits of the wealthy few. All seven of these Central American countries are ruled by wealthy conservatives, including El Salvador (President Funes) and Nicaragua (President Ortega), who nonetheless rely on wealthy conservatives for electoral votes.

Without proper institutions to regulate where profits from trade and foreign investment go, elite oligarchies will stay in power and increase profits from foreign investments and trade while neglecting the poor and increasing poverty. Without a significant redirection of resources toward impoverished communities, increased trade and foreign investment are unlikely to reduce gang violence and drug trafficking. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/17230-more-neoliberal-profit-driven-policies-proposed-during-obamas-trip-to-costa-rica



Hiding the Numbers on Gun Madness


from Consortium News:


Hiding the Numbers on Gun Madness
June 29, 2013

Between the Right’s false history of the Second Amendment and the NRA’s lobbying clout, the American scandal of uncontrolled firearms – and their use in mass slayings – continues unabated. The gun madness has even prevented law enforcement from quantifying the crisis, as Michael Winship reports.

By Michael Winship


Back in January, a month after the Newtown school slayings and just a few days before his second inauguration, Barack Obama announced he would “put everything I’ve got” into the fight against gun violence.

Part of his effort – and an end run around a Congress reluctant to make any move that might rile the National Rifle Association – was a group of 23 executive actions that, according to The New York Times, “he initiated on his own authority to bolster enforcement of existing laws, improve the nation’s database used for background checks and otherwise make it harder for criminals and people with mental illness to get guns.”

Among the actions, the President ordered the Justice Department’s beleaguered Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to deliver an annual report on lost and stolen firearms in the United States. The first, covering the year 2012, was issued last week but promptly buried under a flurry of other news.

The report combines data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and information obtained by the ATF from gun dealers, known as Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). It makes for fascinating, disturbing reading:

“In 2012, NCIC received reports reflecting 190,342 lost and stolen firearms nationwide. Of those 190,342 lost and stolen firearms reported, 16,667 (9% of the total reported) were the result of thefts/losses from FFLs. Of the 16,667 firearms reported as lost or stolen from a FFL, a total of 10,915 firearms were reported as lost. The remaining 5,762 were reported as stolen.”
.........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2013/06/29/hiding-the-numbers-on-gun-madness/



New Yorker's Bert And Ernie DOMA Cover Sparks Controversy, Homophobia


To celebrate the death of the Defense of Marriage Act, the New Yorker featured an illustration of Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie snuggling on a sofa on the cover of its upcoming issue.

"It's amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime," cover artist Jack Hunter told the magazine's Culture Desk. "This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate."

Many have lauded Hunter's endearing cover art, with some calling the depiction of the fictitious duo "adorable," "fantastic," "amazing," and "moving."

The response to the New Yorker cover hasn't been all positive, however. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/30/new-yorker-bert-ernie-cover-backlash-homophobia_n_3522949.html?ir=Entertainment



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