Community Articles from 2018
A New Broadband Network Is Pitching Surveillance Enhancements to Cops Across the Country
by Simon Davis-Cohen
Posted September 19, 2018
The latest technologies promise cops the ability to whip out a smartphone, take a snapshot of a passerby, and instantly learn if that person is in an immigration or gang database.
A federal broadband program, designed after 9/11 to improve first responder communication during emergencies, will enhance this sort of capability and integrate it into an internet “super highway” built specifically for police and public safety. The program, called FirstNet, is already expanding the surveillance options available to law enforcement agencies across the country.
According to publicly available documents, as well as interviews with program participants, stakeholders, and government researchers, FirstNet will help agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection communicate with local police, deliver more information to officers’ hands, accelerate the nascent law enforcement app industry, and provide public safety agencies with new privileges and powers over AT&T’s commercial broadband network. More…
American Society Would Collapse If It Weren’t for These 8 Myths
by Lee Camp
Posted September 13, 2018
Our society should’ve collapsed by now. You know that, right?
No society should function with this level of inequality (with the possible exception of one of those prison planets in a “Star Wars” movie). Sixty-three percent of Americans can’t afford a $500 emergency. Yet Amazon head Jeff Bezos is now worth a record $141 billion. He could literally end world hunger for multiple years and still have more money left over than he could ever spend on himself.
Worldwide, one in 10 people only make $2 a day. Do you know how long it would take one of those people to make the same amount as Jeff Bezos has? 193 million years. (If they only buy single-ply toilet paper.) Put simply, you cannot comprehend the level of inequality in our current world or even just our nation. More…
Vigilantes with a Badge: Warrior Cops Endanger Our Lives and Freedoms
By John W. Whitehead
Posted September 5, 2018
I have known a lot of good cops, I have defended a lot of good cops, and I have been fortunate to call a number of good cops friends.
So when I say that warrior cops—hyped up on their own authority and the power of the badge—have not made America any safer or freer, I am not disrespecting any of the fine, decent, lawful police officers who take seriously their oath of office to serve and protect their fellow citizens, uphold the Constitution, and maintain the peace.
My beef is with the growing squads of warrior cops who have been given the green light to kill, shoot, taser, abuse and steal from American citizens in the so-called name of law and order.
These cops are little more than vigilantes with a badge.
A new study by a political scientist at Princeton University concludes that militarizing police and SWAT teams “provide no detectable benefits in terms of officer safety or violent crime reduction.” More…
The Nationwide Prison Strike: Why It’s Happening and What It Means for Ending Mass
By Janos Marton
Posted September 4, 2018
Earlier this spring, violence broke out in the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, resulting in seven deaths and many injuries. Incarcerated leaders in the South Carolina prison system decided they had had enough. Brutal treatment from corrections officers, deteriorating prison conditions, and incredibly long, punitive sentences had led to a condition of hopelessness in South Carolina’s prisons.
Leaders within the South Carolina prison system began reaching out to incarcerated allies across the country, including the Free Alabama Movement, who had led a prison strike in 2016. A decision was made: It was time to launch a national prison strike to raise awareness around the brutality of mass incarceration. More…
Eating Modern Wheat Fuels Growth of Harmful Gut Bacteria, Study Suggests
by Sayer Ji
Posted September 4, 2018
Research indicates that the consumption of wheat contributes to the growth of pathogenic bacteria in our gut, adding to growing concern that wheat (which is often contaminated with Roundup herbicide) is one of the worst foods to consume for gut health.
There are several important implications to this finding. First, the consumption of wheat preferentially favors the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Second, given that much of the Western diet now contains Roundup herbicide contaminated food, including wheat – where Roundup is used as a pre-harvest dessicant, virtually guaranteeing it is contaminated with it despite being non-GMO – there is likely an amplifying effect of this pathogenic bacteria in those who consume both wheat and GMO food (i.e. synergistic toxicity). This may help to explain why the mass introduction of GMOs over the past decade has contributed to the explosion in diagnoses of gluten sensitivity. More…
Big Pharma and the Rise of Gangster Capitalism
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted August 31, 2018
$8 per vial in competing developed-world nations and $38,892 in the U.S. That says it all.
Thanks to decades of gangster films, we all know how gangster capitalism works: the cost of “protection” goes up whenever the gangster wants to increase revenues, any competition is snuffed out, and “customer demand” is jacked up by any means available– addiction, for example.
This perfectly describes the pharmaceutical industry and every other cartel in America. You might have read about the price increase in Acthar gel, a medication to treat Infantile Spasms. (via J.F., M.D., who alerted me to the repricing of this medication from $40 in 2001 to the current price of $38,892.)
The compound first received approval in 1950, and various branded versions have been approved in recent years. Let’s be clear: this medication did not require billions of dollars in research and development, or decades of testing to obtain FDA approval; it’s been approved for use for the past 68 years. More…
The List of Products and Foods that Have Tested Positive for Monsanto’s Carcinogenic Glyphosate
by Alex Pietrowski
Posted August 20, 2018
Monsanto is receiving considerable global backlash after the agrochemical and seed giant was found guilty of malice and of covering the fact that their flagship product can cause cancer.
At issue is glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger herbicides. For years, evidence has been mounting that glyphosate is carcinogenic, which is quite alarming considering that it is the most widely used (and overused) agricultural chemical ever.
Glyphosate is so prevalent in our environment that trace amounts of it is now found in a wide variety of consumer products, including foods and personal hygiene products, in the human body, and in water supplies. More…
Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer, another company with a sordid human rights history.
Our New, Happy Life? The Ideology of Development
by Charles Eisenstein
Posted August 19, 2018
In George Orwell’s 1984, there is a moment when the Party announces an “increase” in the chocolate ration – from thirty grams to twenty. No one except for the protagonist, Winston, seems to notice that the ration has gone down not up.
‘Comrades!’ cried an eager youthful voice. ‘Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the battle for production! Returns now completed of the output of all classes of consumption goods show that the standard of living has risen by no less than 20 percent over the past year. All over Oceania this morning there were irrepressible spontaneous demonstrations when workers marched out of factories and offices and paraded through the streets with banners voicing their gratitude to Big Brother for the new, happy life which his wise leadership has bestowed upon us.
The newscaster goes on to announce one statistic after another proving that everything is getting better. The phrase in vogue is “our new, happy life.” Of course, as with the chocolate ration, it is obvious that the statistics are phony. More…
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