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Hometown: Connecticut
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Member since: Thu May 15, 2008, 04:37 PM
Number of posts: 30,099

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Subminimum Wage Plan Divides Disability Advocates

** What can I say, a constant struggle.

By Michelle Diament

July 30, 2013 Text Size A A

Disability advocates are split over a proposal in the U.S. Senate that would establish limits on people with disabilities working for less than minimum wage.

The Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is expected to take up a reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act on Wednesday. Within the proposed legislation is a plan to establish first-ever requirements that must be met before individuals with disabilities could be allowed to work for less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

Currently, many with disabilities leave high school and are referred directly to sheltered workshop environments. That would change under what’s known as section 511 of the bill. Those with disabilities could only be placed in subminimum-wage jobs if they meet certain age-related requirements and while receiving job training services to prepare them for competitive employment. What’s more, individuals age 24 or younger would be required to pursue vocational rehabilitation services first.

“I believe it is critically important that every young person with a disability have an opportunity to experience competitive, integrated employment as they transition from school to adult life,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, one of the bill’s chief sponsors, in a statement to Disability Scoop.

remainder: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/07/30/subminimum-wage-divides/18409/

The Real Insider Threat ( Will the NSA’s surveillance program threaten the Atlantic Alliance? )

By Scott Horton

Since The Guardian began to serialize leaks by a former CIA contractor named Edward Snowden, the affair, as presented by American media, has taken on the familiar tropes of Hollywood cinema: one part Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, another part Tom Hanks in The Terminal, a smidgen of Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State. This drama may have peaked yesterday, when an aircraft carrying Bolivia’s president was forced to the ground in Europe as a result of what its ambassador to the United Nations claimed was intense pressure from American authorities, who were apparently driven wild with unfounded suspicion that Snowden might be aboard. The grounding was a flagrant violation of international law, and around the world today, it is being taken as evidence both of America’s pathological obsession with Snowden, and of its heavy-handedness.

Outside America, the story focuses on the “NSA surveillance scandal” and the substantive revelations that followed from the Snowden documents. But inside America, it is the “Snowden scandal,” and everything seems to revolve around his persona. We are treated to tales about his schooling, his family, his girlfriend, and endless speculation about his psychology — as if any of this had some bearing on the credibility of the documents he revealed, when in fact it does not.

It’s worth probing the American media’s eccentric approach to the story. Certainly this can be traced to the prevalent tabloid style, which values personalities over facts and policy issues, but it also reveals the hand of a government, and an intelligence community, that has developed considerable skill in media management. The Snowden case, as it has been unfolded to the American public, bears a striking similarity to those of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, John Kiriakou, Russell Tice, and Thomas Drake — nameless government spokesmen identify the source of the leaks as an enemy of the state who has “put lives at risk in wartime.” The source is vilified, his character darkened, and he himself — rather than the leaked materials — is turned into the real story.

Just as the first Snowden documents were working their way into the press, McClatchy got its hands on a June 1, 2012, Pentagon memo that outlines the Insider Threat Program, a systematic-response program designed to help the government combat leaks related to national security. Curiously, the ITP targets not foreign enemies, but the American public. Treat the leaker as a spy and a vital threat to the country, the Pentagon counseled: “Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States.” The memo failed to take into account the possibility that a leaker might be motivated by a sense of civil duty, a concern about illegal, immoral, unethical conduct, a sense of corruption and incompetence that will continue unchecked unless disclosed to the public.

in full: http://harpers.org/blog/2013/07/the-real-insider-threat/

Scott Horton bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Horton_%28attorney%29
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