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Truthout Daily Digest Friday, 17 October 2014

Sarah Jaffe | The Resurgence of the Public Education Nation

Sarah Jaffe, Truthout: Opposition to the Common Core standards is growing nationwide, and despite salacious headlines, much of it is coming from teachers and parents opposed to overtesting. But the growing movement against corporate-style education reform comes together around the question: What are we for?

Read the Interview

Filmmaker Sheds Light on “Valiant,” Greek-Born Hero of the Ludlow Massacre

Vassiliki Siouti, Truthout: Filmmaker Lambrini Thoma and director Nick Ventouras have traced the life and untimely heroic death of Louis Tikas, a legendary figure of the labor movement in the early 20th century. Truthout interviews Thoma about the film and the state of labor in Greece today.

Read the Interview

Charter School Power Broker Turns Public Education Into Private Profits

Marian Wang, ProPublica: Baker Mitchell is a politically connected North Carolina businessman who celebrates the power of the free market. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through Mitchell’s chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls.

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The Future of Work, Leisure and Consumption

Staff, Dollars & Sense: Economist Juliet Schor is known worldwide for her research on the interrelated issues of work, leisure, and consumption. Her books on these themes includeThe Overworked American, The Overspent American and The New Consumer. She discusses her research on these economic trends.

Read the Interview

In Historic Police Brutality Case, Family of Homeless Denver Pastor Killed in Custody Awarded $4.6 Million

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: As Denver faces a string of police brutality cases, a federal jury has awarded a historic $4.6 million in damages to the family of a homeless preacher killed while he was in the booking area of the Denver jail.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Laura Flanders | Shifting Syria Threats

Laura Flanders, GRITtv: The US is under pressure to respond to allegations of war crimes in connection with its air strikes on Syria. But how do you assess disproportionate harm when this entire assault is disproportionate and premised on undefined threats?

Listen to the Audio Segment and Read the Transcript

War on Witches: Reagan Judge Denounces Myth of Voter Fraud

Brendan Fischer, PR Watch: Voter ID is “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters,” federal appellate Judge Richard Posner wrote in a scorching dissent published October 10. “If the Wisconsin Legislature says witches are a problem, shall Wisconsin courts be permitted to conduct witch trials?”

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Economic Update: Economic Realities

Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: This episode analyzes the implications of Walmart shifting medical insurance costs onto US taxpayers, the Pew report on payday loans, US child poverty, the Obama administration’s support for Amazon against workers, and profits and death from opioids. Topics of major discussion include the medical-industrial complex, the manufacturing “renaissance” fantasy, “socialism’s” different meanings and the remarkable economics of the US securities industry.

Listen to Radio Segment

Here Come the Rain and Drought

Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords: A raft of new research makes it clear that there’s going to be nowhere to hide from the devastation wrought by climate chaos. Many coastal regions must start bracing for frequent floods as key freshwater sources are drying up elsewhere.

Read the Article

An Unprofitable Disease: In the Political Economy of Ebola, Who Lives and Who Dies?

Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, Democracy Now!: Science writer Leigh Phillips is calling for a socialization of pharmaceutical research and production due to the political and economic circumstances of the spread of Ebola. Phillips says that using revenues from profitable drugs to subsidize research for unprofitable drugs would reduce the costs of vaccines and their development.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript


The Poor Even Get Gouged for a Bed to Sleep in

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout:Entrepreneurs have now figured out – through exorbitant consumer rental fees – how to financially exploit a population that is barely surviving.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

More Than 48 Million Americans Live in Poverty, Census Bureau Reports

Read the Article at CNN

Our Souls Turned Into Weapons

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

“More Money Than I Could Count”: Mitch McConnell’s Very Special Relationship With Lobbyists

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Ooh Rah! Republicans Bray That We Won the War

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

New Evidence Links Earthquakes to Fracking

Read the Article at EcoWatch

Leaked TPP Chapter Exposes Sweet Deals for Big Pharma and US Bully Tactics

Read the Article at Common Dreams

David Swanson | A Different War-Is-Good-for-Us Argument

Read the Article at World Beyond War