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Truthout Daily Digest Friday, 31 October 2014

In Depth: How Big Business Buys State Courts

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: Corporations looking to make allies on state courts are pouring millions into judicial campaigns, forcing candidates to behave more like politicians than judges.

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Breaking 43 Years of Silence, the Last FBI Burglar Tells the Story of Her Years in the Underground

Betty Medsger, The Nation / Vintage Books: After the seven other burglars went public, Judi Feingold decided to come forward with the secret she thought she’d take to her grave.

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Viral Panic and the Politics of Quarantine

Ben Agger, Truthout: Dominion over nature and uneven development produce illness, both communicable and noncommunicable, while our involvement in new wars prevents us from addressing the desperate demography and ecology of poor regions that see eco-illness go viral.

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Disposable Life: Jean Franco

Jean Franco, Histories of Violence: Drawing upon her extensive understanding and personal experience of Latin America, Jean Franco maps out the history of state violence as perpetrated against “disposable populations,” notably indigenous, onto the privatization of atrocity in more contemporary times.

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After Attacks, Canadian Lawmakers Threaten Basic Human Rights

Annie Hylton, Truthout: While Canadians mourn the nation’s loss of “innocence” from two attacks that occurred in Quebec and Ottawa in late October, calling them “Canada’s 9/11,” the Harper government is capitalizing on these “terrorist” threats to curtail Canadians’ civil rights.

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Before the Zombie Apocalypse – These Four Trade Deals Were Ravaging the World

James Trimarco and Marc J. Palm, YES! Magazine: Forget ghouls and goblins. From deregulating Wall Street to shredding environmental and labor protections – these policy monsters are way scarier.

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Chevron’s “Company Town” Fights Back: An Interview With Gayle McLaughlin

Michael Winship, Moyers & Co.: One of the most interesting and significant elections in the country is happening not at the state or federal level but in the small city of Richmond, California, with a population of just more than 100,000. What makes Richmond such a big deal is the enormous influence of Chevron.

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Economic Update: Hostages to Profits

Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: This episode looks at how public higher education is being destroyed; workers are not taking days off; labor actions; and Vermont labeling of GMO food. We also discuss municipal bonds and how profits drive capitalism. Finally, we respond to listeners’ questions on post office banks and the history of economic systems.

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Añelo, From Forgotten Town to Capital of Argentina’s Shale Fuel Boom

Fabiana Frayssinet, Inter Press Service: An unconventional fossil fuel boom is forcing the town of Añelo, Argentina, to basically start over, from scratch. The wave of outsiders drawn by the shale fuel fever has pushed the town to its limits, while the plan to turn it into a “sustainable city of the future” is still only on paper.

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Ham Scramble: Southern Delicacy Companies Struggle to Replace Methyl Bromide

Lindsey Konkel, Environmental Health News: The South’s country ham industry is undergoing a transformation. Often served with grits and gravy, country ham has become increasingly popular. The fate of the Southern delicacy, however, lies not on the fickle tongues of foodies, but with environmental regulators and an international treaty.

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Driving Government Out of Business

Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins, OtherWords: Republican operative Grover Norquist used to quip about shrinking government to the point where it would get small enough to drown in the bathtub. You probably thought he was kidding, but his joke could be on us all soon enough.

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PR Advocate for Fracking Urges a Dirty War Against Environmentalists

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Fear has become the go-to emotion to manipulate the population of the United States, particularly in a post-9/11 world.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Twelve Ways Jim Crow Is Winning in 2014

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

The Difference Between US and British Reporting on Ebola

Watch the Video at Russell Howard’s Good News

Nobel Laureate Malala Donates $50,000 to Gaza

Read the Article at Raid Punch

Toxic Chemicals, Carcinogens Skyrocket Near Fracking Sites

Read the Article at US News & World Report

NRA Reminds Gun-Loving Voters to Fear Everything

Read the Article at New York Magazine

On Proposed Mega-Pipeline, Tar Sands Opponents Vow: “It’s Not Going to Happen”

Read the Article at Common Dreams

Rehearsing for Death: A Pre-K Teacher on the Trouble With Lockdown Drills

Read the Article at The Washington Post

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Truthout Daily Digest Friday, 3 October 2014

Carbon Capture and Clean Coal: Obama’s Multibillion-Dollar Climate Pipedream

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: Trapping carbon dioxide from burning coal and using it to extract more fossil fuels may seem like a counterintuitive approach to addressing climate change, but that’s exactly what the Obama administration hopes the industry will do.

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William Rivers Pitt | An Open Letter to My Democratic Spammer

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: “Come November, if the Democrats wind up flopping and flailing for an explanation as to why they got routed at the polls, let me offer a succinct reply: You stand for nothing. You are the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters.”

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Public Infrastructure, Private Investment? Whose Hands Are in Whose Pockets?

Ellen Dannin, Truthout: In reading the US Treasury Department’s glowing new report on public-private partnerships, prescription sunglasses should be worn to separate truth from fiction.

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Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.9 Percent in September, as Economy Adds 248,000 Jobs

Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research: The unemployment rate in September fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.9 percent. This is the first time it has been below 6.0 percent since July 2008. There has been no acceleration in wage growth even as the unemployment rate has fallen.

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The People’s Climate March Is Over: What Now?

Joseph Boutilier, Truthout: Here are eight reasons to be hopeful for climate action post-New York, and eight ways to stay active in movements that impact climate justice.

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How Often Do Rape Kits Go Unprocessed?

Emily Homrok, Truthout: When the processing of rape kits proves not to be a police priority, is it surprising that victims feel they – and their violation – are somehow not important?

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We’re All in This Together

Tiffany Williams, OtherWords: Realizing how much they have in common, low-wage workers from a variety of industries are joining together to demand a living wage, bringing many consumers along with them.

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Generation ’97 Drives Struggle for Identity and Fairness in Hong Kong

Yoichi Shimatsu, New America Media: The leadership and activist numbers are coming from Generation ’97: young people born during the 1997 handover of the then-British Crown colony to Chinese sovereignty. These youngsters, most still in high school, are finding themselves at the forefront of a populist struggle for electoral rights.

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Why the Surge in Islamic State Recruitment?

Lizabeth Paulat, Care2: Recruitment has soared within ISIS since the US-led coalition began its bombing campaign in the region. Although it seems incomprehensible to most as to why someone would want to join the Islamic State, there is one thing they all seem to have in common.

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Koch-Backed Small Business Group Endorses Walker

Brendan Fischer, PR Watch: The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has endorsed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for re-election. The NFIB purports to represent small business, but receives much of its funding from big business interests including the Kochs, the far-right Bradley Foundation and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

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The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-Up

Robert Parry, Consortium News: With Hollywood set to release a movie about the Contra-cocaine scandal and the destruction of journalist Gary Webb, an internal CIA report has surfaced showing how the spy agency manipulated the mainstream media’s coverage to disparage Webb and contain the scandal.

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Scottish Vote Gives UK a Chance to Repair Itself – but It’s a Big Job

Eunice Goes, The Conversation: For years, Westminster politicians justified their neglect of constitutional issues by saying there are no votes in the Constitution. But David Cameron’s statement in the wake of Scotland’s “No” vote suggests that this rather condescending view is about to change.

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Stanford Scientists Link Drought in California to Global Warming

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Climate change is indeed starting to get personal.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Charles P. Pierce | The Country Simply Can’t Go On Like This

Read the Article at Esquire

Poisoned Fracking Playgrounds a Threat to Texas Kids

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Here’s Everything Wrong With the White House’s War on the Islamic State

Read the Article at The Nation

Judge Rejects White House Plea to Keep Guantanamo Force-Feeding Hearings Secret

Read the Article at The Guardian

David Swanson | The New War, the Forever War and a World Beyond War

Read the Article at World Beyond War

Budget Cuts “Eroded Our Ability to Respond” to Ebola, Says Top Health Official

Read the Article at Mother Jones

It’s Illegal to Hold a Rally in Thailand, but Students Did It Anyway to Support Hong Kong’s Protesters

Read the Article at Global Voices

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Truthout Daily Digest Friday, 1 August 2014

Big Players Promote Water Privatization

Ellen Dannin, Truthout: Americans used to take water for granted, but the water shutoff in Detroit has taught us all important lessons. The private sector is willing to be ruthless in denying access to the most basic needs.

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Rent or Tuition? The Growing Student Dilemma

Chris Wegemer, Truthout: Increasingly, economic pressures are forcing some to choose between paying for rent or tuition. But homeless college students remain overlooked – and no reliable nationwide data exists.

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Fighting Bad Science in the Senate

Andrea Lynn, Next New Deal: The Senate hearing for the Women’s Health Protection Act shows just how important it is for women’s health advocates to push for the facts.

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Utility Trade Group Funds ALEC Attack on Americans Using Solar

Nick Surgey, PRWatch: Although ALEC recently proclaimed it was being falsely portrayed as “anti-clean energy,” recent revelations confirm that the group continues to pursue a polluters’ wish list.

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Anti-Politics and the 1%

Lorenzo Del Savio and Matteo Mameli, Truthout: There are two opposite forms of anti-politics, one striving toward a technocracy controlled by oligarchies and corporations, and one striving toward a radical democratization of society.

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Labor and the BDS Movement: Two Perspectives

Andrew Ross and Jo-Ann Mort, New Labor Forum: For too long, the debate about how best to oppose the occupation of Palestine has been clouded, often intentionally, by strenuous deliberations over tactics. Trade unions are no strangers to these contests. Two activists debate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

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Report Criticizes EPA Oversight of Injection Wells

Naveena Sadasivam, ProPublica: A new congressional report says the EPA failed to adequately oversee hundreds of thousands of wells used to inject toxic oil and gas drilling waste deep underground.

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Antiwar Protests Spreading in Ukraine as Government Wages All-Out War in the Southeast and NATO Threatens Russia

Roger Annis, Rabble: A rising wave of antiwar and anti-conscription protest is taking place in cities and towns across western Ukraine.

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World Bank Board Declines to Revise Controversial Draft Policies

Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service: A key committee of the World Bank’s governing board spurned appeals to revise a draft policy statement that risks rolling back several decades of reforms designed to protect indigenous populations, the poor and sensitive ecosystems.

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Job Growth Slows in July

Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research: Wage growth slowed slightly in the last quarter to 1.8 percent, from 2.0 percent in the last year. The economy added 209,000 jobs in July, but it was a sharp slowing from its 277,000 average over the prior three months.

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Amendment to Overturn Citizens United Now Supported by Half of Senate Members

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Yes, it may be a long, arduous haul to reclaim a populist democracy for the voters, but absent such activity, the US is stuck in the rut of plutocracy.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Do We Have a New App for the Injured and Dying Children of Gaza?

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Why the Children Fleeing Central America Will Not Stop Coming

Read the Article at The Nation

Charles P. Pierce | The Sad Clownhood of John Boehner

Read the Article at Esquire

Jon Stewart: Congress Is the “Sharknado 2” of Government

Watch the Video at The Daily Show

Paul Krugman | Knowledge Isn’t Power

Read the Article at The New York Times

The Next Epidemic

Read the Article at The New Yorker

The Feds Are Demanding That Twitter Turn Over More User Info Than Ever

Read the Article at Mother Jones