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Truthout Daily Digest Friday April 25, 2014


William Rivers Pitt | Weaponized Cops and the Future of Freedom

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: It is hard to avoid the feeling that the tremendous arming of the police is inspired by the fear of unrest looming over the horizon, of rising seas, rising inequality, and the rising sentiment that just because it’s been like this for a really long time doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be like this. It isn’t.

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Corporations Divest Nearly $60 Million From Private Prison Complex

Candice Bernd, Truthout: Civil rights groups successfully pressured corporations, including Scopia Capital, DSM North America and Amica Mutual Insurance, to divest nearly $60 million from Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, private prison companies. Could more corporations follow suit?

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Giving Up Essential Liberty to Purchase a Little Temporary Safety

Stephen Rohde, Truthout: A recent court victory for a Muslim scholar, who was subjected to shocking mistreatment by the US government, has exposed not only the dangers of our emerging National Security State, but the shameful efforts of the Obama administration to cover up the government’s egregious mistakes.

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What’s Really Driving Inequality?

Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk, Truthout: It’s time to call a halt to the World Bank. Founded to increase prosperity and reduce poverty globally for all, it is driving the inequality that is a defining problem of our times through its “Doing Business” rankings and criteria.

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Despite Community Pleas, Three Chicago Schools Slated for Privatization

Kari Lydersen, In These Times: The Chicago Board of Education has consistently voted to close schools or turn them over to private management – laying off most of the staff in the process – despite overwhelming opposition, anxiety and outrage expressed in heartfelt testimony by parents, teachers, students and elected officials at scores of public meetings.

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Revealed: ALEC’s 2014 Attacks on the Environment

Nick Surgey, PR Watch: An American Legislative Exchange Council internal document – obtained through a records request – provides insight into the lobbying agenda it pushed in the 2014 legislative sessions in states across the country. For example, an entire section is devoted to the 31 items of legislation concerning state standards for renewable energy generation.

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In Landmark Ruling, US Ordered to Release Memo Behind Targeted Killings of US Citizens

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now!: In a major development chipping away at the secrecy of the Obama administration’s drone wars, a federal appeals court has ordered the government to release a legal memo that provides the legal rationale for killing US citizens overseas.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

The West Marches East: The US-NATO Strategy to Isolate Russia

Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Hampton Institute: For the US and its NATO Mafia allies, Ukraine and Russia have presented a complex challenge: How does one punish Russia and control Ukraine without pushing Russia too far outside the influence of the Mafia itself?

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Scathing Report Finds Rocketship, School Privatization Hurt Poor Kids

Ruth Conniff, The Progressive: Gordon Lafer’s research, commissioned by the Economic Policy Institute to evaluate the school-privatization push in Milwaukee, is a sweeping indictment of the growing private charter school industry that siphons public funds out of public schools and enriches corporate investors.

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New Law Requires Swiss Banks to Report Customers Evading Tax

Jessica Desvarieux, The Real News Network: Swiss banks have notoriously kept customers’ finances secret but European Union law will challenge that structure, says Bill Black, an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Thirty-Five Years of a Not-Boring Labor Movement

Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes: A lot of folks are showing us the way who aren’t even union members yet. What these folks know is that you have to exert power through your willingness to get in the way of business as usual. Working people can get somewhere when we go outside the usual channels, because those channels were set up for us to lose.

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Charter School Pirates of Privilege Plunder Public Schools

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Charter schools do provide us with a lesson in education. The rich have found a new way to make money off of the poor – and leave the most needy even further behind.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Paul Krugman | The Picketty Panic

Read the Article at The New York Times

Want to Stop Climate Change? Take the Fossil Fuel Industry to Court

Read the Article at The Nation

Eugene Robinson | The Roberts Court Stacks the Deck Against Minorities

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Military Judge Orders Release of Information About CIA Torture at Secret Prison

Read the Article at AllGov

How Obama Shocked Canada as Keystone Project’s Frustrator-in-Chief

Read the Article at Bloomberg News

The Insane Lie About Slavery That Christian Conservatives Are Spreading

Read the Article at Salon

US Judges Balk at Police Requests for Digital Data

Read the Article at The Washington Post

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YES! This Week :: Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions

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Precious Knowledge

Portrait of Jing Fong In 2010, Tucson United School District’s Mexican American Studies program was banned by the Arizona Legislature, and students whose lives had been changed by its classes learned some real-life lessons about standing up for what matters. Curtis Acosta was one of their teachers—a leader with infectious energy and a fierce belief in his students, who’s working to rehumanize education. Check out my interview with himfrom Education Uprising, the Spring issue of YES!
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Jing Fong, education outreach manager
Brought Together by Keystone Pipeline Fight, “Cowboys and Indians” Heal Old Wounds

As natives and ranchers work together to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, they’re also learning to understand each other’s history, culture, and relationship with the land. READ MORE »

Photo by Kristin Moe.
When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won

Curtis Acosta’s classes in Mexican American Studies gave kids pride in their heritage—until the Arizona Legislature canceled them. That’s when his students became activists, and some real-life lessons began. READ MORE »

Justice as Healing Meet the Real-Life Inmates Fighting for Mothers’ Rights at “Orange Is the New Black” Prison

On issue after issue, women prisoners have learned be their own strongest advocates. READ MORE »

Photo by Kristin Moe. Photo Essay: “Cowboys and Indians” Against Keystone XL Bring Newfound Unity to DC

On the frontlines of resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline, ranchers and tribal members join forces in a striking display of solidarity. READ MORE »

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“Noah” Director on What Faith Has to Do with Fighting Climate Change

Darren Aronofsky talks to the Sierra Club and others about the intersection of religion and environmentalism. READ MORE »

Photo by Shutterstock. In Rural Kansas, an Experiment Makes Hitchhiking Safe Again

The people behind the project borrowed some tricks from ride-sharing apps like Lyft, but tweaked the details so the rides are free. READ MORE »

Dollarocracy When Big Money Controls Big Media, There’s a Big Decline in Democracy

“Dollarocracy” examines innovations in other democratic nations to solve our money-in-politics crisis. READ MORE »

Image courtesy Fair Food Network.
Meet the urban cousin of a traditional barn raising: community members working together to build DIY greenhouses. WATCH »

Think You Know What a Farmer Looks Like? Think Again.

Reader Maria Klemperer-Johnson writes, “It’s interesting how women in farming are improving food systems in this country. I’d like to do the same thing with building by getting more women into the building trades. The challenge is to make this work financially sustainable.” READ MORE »

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