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Truthout Daily Digest | Saturday, 17 January 2015

Life, Liberty, Happiness: Health, Food, Shelter

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: Health care in the United States is a for-profit industry, and that’s just crazy. Even with “Obamacare” delivering us into the warm embrace of the insurance industry in order to give us all “options,” the whole process is a rank offense to the national ethos we allegedly hold so dear.

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BDS, Academic Freedom and Self-Censoring Debate on Campus

David Palumbo-Liu, Truthout: When safely tenured academics decide to self-censor, employing the alibi that they lack expertise in the topic of debate, as is so often done in regards to Israel, the Palestinians and the BDS movement, they have essentially given up their academic freedom.

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Blood on Their Hands: The Racist History of Modern Police Unions

Flint Taylor, In These Times: Reactionary actions by police unions are not new, but are a fundamental component of their history, particularly since they came to prominence in the wake of the civil rights movement. These organizations have played a powerful role in defending the police, no matter how outrageous and racist their actions.

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Searching for Radical Democracy in the Ruins of Capitalism’s Economic Depravity

Chuck Mertz, This is Hell!: The future demands a new political consciousness, and we can’t wait for the current neoliberal economic system to tear apart society, says public intellectual Henry Giroux.

Listen to the Interview

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: A Modern, Militarist Parable

Niall McLaren, Truthout: These days, even children’s books become thundering dioramas of violence, ensuring an endless flow of eager recruits to the ghastly reality of war. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is, in fact, blatant militarist propaganda. Everybody must believe this one point: Violence is why we exist.

Read the Review

Justice in Guatemala Deferred, Again

Christy Thornton, NACLA: In Guatemala last week, the historic trial of the country’s former dictator, Efraín Rios Montt, was set to resume. In a previous trial, he was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, but that decision was overturned. Jo-Marie Burt, director of the Latin American studies program at George Mason University, discusses what happened during last week’s trial.

Listen to the Interview and Read the Transcript

The War on Hen-Pecking

Jill Richardson, OtherWords: All states should follow California’s example and make egg producers treat laying hens better. Instead of living in cramped cages with less room than a sheet of paper, California birds are going to get enough space to lie down, stand up, stretch their wings and turn around.

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The Sterling Trial: Merlin Meets Curveball

Marcy Wheeler, Expose Facts: In this update on the trial of CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, it is revealed that efforts by the CIA to “get its reputation back” have been rather unsuccessful.

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France Puts Off Delivery of Mistral to Russia “Indefinitely”

Gene Zbikowski, L’Humanité: The Mistral helicopter carrier, which was initially to be turned over to Russia in October, will remain at quay for the time being in accordance with recommendations made to the French president by the Americans over the “situation in the eastern Ukraine.”

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The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Majority of US Public School Students Are in Poverty

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Supreme Court to Decide if States Can Ban Gay Marriage

Read the Article at Reuters

Mexico Arrests Suspect in Disappearance of 43 Students

Read the Article at The Huffington Post

#MLKShutItDown Protests Aim to “Reclaim” Martin Luther King’s Legacy

Read the Article at Al Jazeera

2014 Officially the Hottest Year on Record

Read the Article at The Guardian

Mitt Romney Has a Huge New Conflict-of-Interest Problem

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Holder Limits Seized-Asset Sharing Process That Split Billions With Local, State Police

Read the Article at The Washington Post