Candice Bernd, Truthout: The Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Agriculture is seeking new semiautomatic submachine guns, and it’s only one of a slew of seemingly unlikely federal agencies to have acquired an armed police force ready to enforce an ever-expanding federal code.
Chris Crass, PM Press: Author Chris Crass reflects on the searing journey from seeing himself as a person who had internalized the logic of domination in relationships of power, privilege and oppression to working against all forms of oppression.
Todd Miller, City Lights Books: The emergence of a ubiquitous surveillance state may be symbolized by the National Security Agency, but we should also be looking to the nation’s borders. It is there that a creeping militarization threatens to encroach upon the civil liberties of everybody in the United States.
Frank Clemente and Sarah Anderson, OtherWords: We’re all footing the bill for bonuses the company’s executives pocket and food stamps its underpaid workers obtain for survival.
Daniel Ross, Yes! Magazine: In Southern states, small-town courts have outsourced probation management to for-profit companies charging fees out of reach to the country’s poorest residents. Many people end up in jail for nonpayment.
Sam Pizzigati, Inequality.org: While Thomas Piketty’s blockbuster book crumbled the myth that we’re living in a meritocracy, scientists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have compiled data showing people in more equal societies simply live longer, healthier and happier lives than people in more unequal societies like ours.
Anna Brones, Care2: Legalized medical marijuana in California is good for the pro-marijuana crowd, but it’s not as good for the pro-environment crowd. California’s marijuana industry is having a serious effect on wildlife and water, now aggravated by the state’s worst-ever drought.
S.E. Smith, Care2: A new Illinois law allows property owners to turn to “third parties” to enforce eviction notices if the sheriff fails to do so. This includes private security companies, effectively privatizing the evictions process in Illinois.
Jill Richardson, Foreign Policy In Focus: In the past 15 years, China has gone from being a relatively insignificant economic partner in Latin America to the number one trading partner of some of the largest economies in the region, and is taking advantage of that to rally support for its positions at the United Nations.
Gaius Publius, AmericaBlog: Cap-and-trade is a let-you-down-easy way to regulate, and it generally lets the regulated industry decide how easy. In most places where it’s used to limit CO2 emissions, cap-and-trade is an industry enabler.
The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
Bob Bergdahl Remains Calm at Center of Storm Over Son Released by Taliban
University Presidents Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank While the People Who Work For Them Are on Food Stamps
GOP’s Firing Squad Idiocy: The Hypocrisy of “Humane Executions”
Feds Step Up Pressure for LA County Jail Reforms
It Wasn’t Abortion That Formed the Religious Right. It Was Support for Segregation
Guantánamo Closure Still in the Works as US Reduces Backlog of Detainees, Official Says
Death of Another Unarmed US Citizen Tests Border Patrol’s Use of Force Policy