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Truthout Daily Digest | Friday, 7 November 2014

William Rivers Pitt | Reaping the Whirlwind, Again

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: We are not our brother’s keeper, despite all the strident oratory that would have us believe this nation actually stands for something beyond bedrock greed, lazy coddled indolence, and bluejeans on the cheap. That much, at least, was proven on Tuesday.

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Is the State of Alaska Fighting Sex Trafficking or Targeting Women?

Jordan Flaherty, Truthout: An anti-sex-trafficking law recently passed in Alaska demonstrates the failure of the criminal justice system to help victims of trafficking. In fact, it seems to have made things worse for those most in need.

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Why Did Fort Lauderdale Police Arrest an Old Man for Feeding Homeless People?

Aaron Cantú, Truthout: On November 2, 90-year-old Arnold Abbott and two pastors were charged by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department with giving food to hungry people. The rationale for Fort Lauderdale’s anti-homeless ordinance has everything to do with land and money.

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Germany’s Unpaid Debt to Greece: Economist Albrecht Ritschl on WWII Reparations That Never Were

Michael Nevradakis, Truthout: In this interview, Albrecht Ritschl, professor of economic history at the London School of Economics, discusses Germany’s unpaid war debts and reparations to Greece from World War II, and characterizes Germany as the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century.

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Rania Khalek | Drone-Strike Feminism

Rania Khalek, Extra!: Rather than challenge the obvious hypocrisy of the narrative that bombing Iraq is a “feminist rescue mission”, US corporate media outlets have acted as cheerleaders and stenographers, allowing the US government to hijack the deterioration of women’s rights as a selling point for perpetual war.

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Laura Flanders | More Harm Than Good: Sex Trafficking Law in Anchorage, Alaska

Laura Flanders, GRITtv: Alaskan lawmakers passed a law against sex trafficking, but who does it really affect? A documentary short from GRITtv captures the struggles of many women fighting against poverty and the Alaskan cold by engaging in sex work. Many of these women fear they will now become police targets.

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The Shackles Return: Why Debtors’ Prisons Are Making a Comeback in the US

Devon Douglas-Bowers, Occupy.com: The debtors’ prison is an old, decrepit institution that many thought was abolished in the 19th century, little more than a relic of the past. These prisons are making a serious comeback in the United States, which is deeply problematic for the poor and working class.

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What to Make of the Elections – and What We Should Do Next

Harry Targ, The Rag Blog: Midterm election exit poll figures speak to the necessary expansion of electoral and “street heat” strategies that prioritize several issues. Progressives need to continue to combat racism and sexism in all its forms. This translates into reversing voter suppression laws and other tactics to stifle voting.

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Global Tax-Evasion Crackdown Sidestepping Poorest Countries

Carey L. Biron, Inter Press Service: While a major global campaign to cut down on tax evasion is picking up momentum, anti-poverty advocates say the initiative overlooks the world’s poorest countries. Global tax evasion has risen to the top of the global agenda in the aftermath of the 2007-08 financial crisis.

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Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder on Knowing Your GMOs: Changing a Label Costs “Essentially Nothing”

Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, Democracy Now!: Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, discusses the company’s campaign for a successful genetically modified food labeling measure in its home state of Vermont, as well as one in Oregon that ultimately failed to pass on Tuesday.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Democrats Lost More Than an Election in 2014

Marisa Franco, #Not1More: The success or failure of the Democrats ought to be measured by the distance or proximity they have to the genuine efforts of the communities they’ve always considered locked-in voters.

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In Fort Lauderdale, Jesus Would Have Been Arrested for Feeding the Homeless

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: ​There is a growing trend among cities to make compassion illegal.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Climate Change Denier Inhofe May Head Top Senate Environmental Committee

Read the Article at The Guardian

ALEC Corporate Board Chair Quits Over Climate Change, Renewables and Voting Rights

Read the Article at the Huffington Post

Will Obama Veto an Almost Certain Keystone XL Pipeline Bill?

Read the Article at The Hill

Immigration Activists Hope They Don’t Get Burned by Obama

Read the Article at CNN

Right Wing Election Watchdog Group Fails to Find Voter Fraud

Read the Article at The Brad Blog

Why Do the Democrats Keep Trying to Out-Republican the Republicans?

Read the Editorial at The Charleston Gazette

More Than 600 Troops Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq

Read the Article at The New York Times

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Truthout Daily Digest Friday, 6 June 2014

William Rivers Pitt | “Men’s Rights” and the Septic Tank of History

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: A lot of comfortable people believe the rights of women have been established. In truth, the rights of women are under assault. There are 800 dead babies in Ireland who could tell you all about where this kind of trend invariably winds up: in the septic tank of history.

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Communism – Yes! But for Whom?

Frank Smecker, Truthout: The recent FCC proposal to end net neutrality illustrates the trend toward corporate communism, but a social communism is what needs to be rehabilitated.

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New Report Documents How Privatization Steals Wages, Harms Communities

Mary Bottari, PRWatch: All across the country, public services are increasingly outsourced to private contractors in the name of efficiency and cost savings. But a new report from a nonprofit research group shows that outsourcing public services hurts middle- and working-class communities, as well as workers.

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Opposing Local Hawaii Law, Big Agribusiness Confuses GMO Regulations With Same-Sex Marriage Discrimination

Ron Fein, Truthout: Agribusinesses are asking a federal judge to throw out a law on the scenic island of Kaua’i requiring that major commercial agricultural companies tell the public what pesticides and genetically modified organisms they’re using on the island – using arguments applied to gay marriage bans.

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Genetic Testing of Citizens Is a Backdoor Into Total Population Surveillance by Governments and Companies

Helen Wallace, Independent Science News/GeneWatch UK: Building a DNA database within the National Health Service would be a massive waste of public money, and it would create a system of total surveillance that would enable the government and private companies to track many individuals, including their relatives.

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Leading Alarmist on Iran Ignored What He Knew Was True

Gareth Porter, Truthout: David Albright, the primary nonofficial source in the news media reporting of the alarming message that Iran presents a nuclear weapons threat, has acted more like a functionary in a political apparatus than as an independent analyst.

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Internalized Misogyny Within the Geek Community

Desiree Rodriguez, The Feminist Wire: When women emerged as a noticeable contingent within the geek community, male fans created the “fake geek girl” meme in response. The point of the meme is to discredit female geeks and exclude them from the community. This is not a new phenomenon.

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Warmonger Media Storm Against Saving Sgt. Bergdahl Shows Why We Have So Much War

Robert Naiman, Truthout: The political forces that are trashing the deal to rescue Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are the same political forces that got us into the Iraq war and who want to keep the Afghanistan war going indefinitely.

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Dean Baker | Economy Adds 217,000 Jobs in May; Unemployment Stable at 6.3 Percent

Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research: The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, bringing the average over the last three months to 234,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent in May. This is due to the fact that the 0.4 percentage point plunge in labor force participation reported for April was not reversed.

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State Senate Leader Reacts to Center Report, Urging Counsel for Truants

Susan Ferriss, Center for Public Integrity: A prominent Tennessee state senator involved in national juvenile justice reforms said he is troubled by a recent Center for Public Integrity report on children who’ve been prosecuted for truancy in his state, jailed and given permanent court records without the benefit of appointed legal counsel.

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Senate Debates Constitutional Amendment to Rein in Outside Cash

Jessica Desvarieux, The Real News Network: Though Democrats and Republicans are split down party lines on whether to add a constitutional amendment to limit campaign spending, both parties ignore the 50 percent of Americans who are in favor of public financing.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Economic Update: Economic Side Effects

Richard D. Wolff, Economic Update/Truthout: Updates on Walmart’s Mexican bribes; car loans turning bad; state taxes; the US being slower than Europe on adopting renewable energy; Seattle’s $15/hour wage minimum; and Finland’s fines according to ability to pay. Major discussions of the medical-industrial complex and a London conference on capitalism.

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At Least One Federal Judge Got Tough on Wall Street, but His Ruling Got Overturned

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The original ruling was one of few on the federal level that challenged the SEC’s and Department of Justice’s practice of allowing Wall Street financial institutions to get away with malfeasance by levying fines that become merely the cost of doing business. Now it’s been overturned and impunity for mega-bank executives restored.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

The Corporate War Media’s Cruel and Irresponsible Lynching of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Occupy: How Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Victory Began in New York City’s Zuccotti Park

Read the Article at The American Prospect

Electoral Extremism: A Look at Five More Far-Right Candidates

Read the Article at the Southern Poverty Law Center

David Swanson | Mass Murderers Brazenly Hold Conference, Discuss Tools of Trade

Read the Article at War Is A Crime

World’s Worst Bergdahl Hypocrite: The Despicable Return of Oliver North

Read the Article at Salon

Seventy Years AgoToday: Memories From Normandy

Read the Article at The New York Times

The Lessons Maureen Dowd’s Weed Sherpa Wants Everyone to Take From Her Bad Trip

Read the Article at Talking Points Memo