Social Articles from 2015

Systemic Corruption Has Destroyed America

Systemic Corruption Has Destroyed America
By Washington’s Blog
Posted June 4, 2015

government feeding on corruptionThe cop is on the take. Government corruption has become rampant:

Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes

Nuclear Regulatory Commission workers watch porn instead of cracking down on unsafe conditions at nuclear plants

An EPA employee who downloaded 7,000 porn files, then spent 2-6 hours each workday watching porn. He’s been doing it for years … but the EPA never fired him. Another EPA employee harassed 16 women co-workers … and then was promoted to a higher-paying job with more responsibility, where he harassed more women

NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people. More…

Greatest Threat To Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming To Fight It

Greatest Threat To Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming To Fight It
By Glenn Greenwald
Posted May 19, 2015

greatest threat to free speech is those claiming to fight "terrorism"In essence, advocating any ideas or working for any political outcomes regarded by British politicians as “extremist” will not only be a crime, but can be physically banned in advance. Basking in his election victory, Prime Minister David Cameron unleashed this Orwellian decree to explain why new Thought Police powers are needed: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.'” It’s not enough for British subjects merely to “obey the law”; they must refrain from believing in or expressing ideas which Her Majesty’s Government dislikes.

Threats to free speech can come from lots of places. But right now, the greatest threat by far in the West to ideals of free expression is coming not from radical Muslims, but from the very Western governments claiming to fight them. The increasingly unhinged, Cheney-sounding governments of the U.K., Australia, France, New Zealand and Canada — joining the U.S. — have a seemingly insatiable desire to curb freedoms in the name of protecting them: prosecuting people for Facebook postings critical of Western militarism or selling “radical” cable channels, imprisoning people for “radical” tweets, banning websites containing ideas they dislike, seeking (and obtaining) new powers of surveillance and detention for those people (usually though not exclusively Muslim citizens) who hold and espouse views deemed by these governments to be “radical.” More…

TPP and TTIP “Free Market” “Trade” Deals Approved by US Senate: How America’s “News” Media Killed America’s Democracy:

TPP and TTIP “Free Market” “Trade” Deals Approved by US Senate: How America’s “News” Media Killed America’s Democracy:
By Eric Zuesse
Posted May 16, 2015

bad deal for working peopleTPP and TTIP have been represented in America’s press as ‘trade’ deals, but instead they’re actually about sovereignty. They’re about America and the other participating countries handing their democratic sovereignty — on regulation of the environment, consumer protection, worker protection, and finance — over to panels, all of whose members will be selected by the large international corporations that for years have been working with U.S. President Obama’s Trade Representative to draft these “trade” treaties.

If some corporation “C” under these ‘trade deals’ then brings a case to one of those panels and says that country “X” has any regulations regarding the environment, consumer protection, worker protection, or finance, that are stricter than the ones that are set forth in TPP and TTIP, then country X will be assessed to pay a fine to corporation C, for “unfair trade practices” against that corporation. More…

How the U.S. Military is Paying NFL Teams Millions to “Honor the Troops” at Sporting Events

How the U.S. Military is Paying NFL Teams Millions to “Honor the Troops” at Sporting Events
by Michael Krieger
Posted May 13, 2015

faux patriotism at the gladiator gamesWhen the Jets paused to honor soldiers of the New Jersey Army National Guard at home games during the past four years, it was more than a heartfelt salute to the military — it was also worth a good stack of taxpayer money, records show.

The Department of Defense and the Jersey Guard paid the Jets a total of $377,000 from 2011 to 2014 for the salutes and other advertising, according to federal contracts. Overall, the Defense Department has paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million during that time, of which $5.3 million was paid by the National Guard to 11 teams under similar contracts.

Like everything else in America, faux patriotism is also for sale. More…

The Cancer Industry is Too Prosperous to Allow a Cure

The Cancer Industry is Too Prosperous to Allow a Cure
by John P. Thomas
Posted May 9, 2015

cancer cure not profitableWe have lost the war on cancer. At the beginning of the last century, one person in twenty would get cancer. In the 1940s it was one out of every sixteen people. In the 1970s it was one person out of ten. Today one person out of three gets cancer in the course of their life.

The belief in a genetic cause for cancer serves the drug companies very well. They want us to believe that the cure for cancer will need to be based on genetics, and individualized drugs will need to be developed to match each person’s genetic profile and their specific type of cancer. The vast excitement about genetics on the part of drug companies and the conventional medical system is based on the fact that conventional medical treatments are unable to cure most cancers. This is a fact they will not admit.

They want us to stop asking the question, “Why has the 40 year war on cancer failed to produce any results?” They want us to stop asking why there are only three approved treatments for cancer (surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy) and why no new cancer therapies have been approved by the US FDA in the last one hundred years. They want us to have hope for a brighter day in cancer treatment while our friends and family die by the thousands every day. More…

The Computers Are Listening

The Computers Are Listening
by Dan Froomkin
Posted May 8, 2015

massive surveillanceMost people realize that emails and other digital communications they once considered private can now become part of their permanent record. But even as they increasingly use apps that understand what they say, most people don’t realize that the words they speak are not so private anymore, either.

Top-secret documents from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency can now automatically recognize the content within phone calls by creating rough transcripts and phonetic representations that can be easily searched and stored. The documents show NSA analysts celebrating the development of what they called “Google for Voice” nearly a decade ago. More…

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