Social Articles from 2018
How To Get Rid Of Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted September 28, 2018
Are you as sick and tired as I am of all those tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy nutters who express skepticism whenever the kind and beneficent US intelligence agencies bestow us with urgent information about a new country in need of regime change? Do you want to get rid of that kooky fringe 74 percent of Americans who believe in a “Deep State” which controls the elected government?
Well you’re in luck, bucko! I happen to have compiled right here a list of six simple steps that our compassionate government and fearless media can take to rid America of these looney toon paranoid conspiracy theorists once and for all. More…
How Capitalist Utopia Became Everyone Else’s Dystopia
by Umair Haque
Posted September 27, 2018
I don’t usually write essays about charts— but this one’s different. It’s American collapse in four lines. It says that American elites mismanaged their economy so badly, so fatally, so totally, the rich world hasn’t seen the like since Weimar Germany. They created a capitalist utopia — but the problem is that that’s everyone else’s dystopia.
To understand the story of this gargantuan, historic failure — not managing a society in any way resembling “well”, or even “sanely” — it’s probably best to understand what Europe did right — and then come back to what America did wrong. Which, in short, is that it embarked on one of history’s greatest fools’ quests since alchemy, a utopian mission to turn the lead of capitalism into the gold of prosperity for everyone. But lead doesn’t turn into gold. More…
Bad Chicago Cops Spread Their Misconduct Like a Disease
by Rob Arthur
Posted September 25, 2018
Because Chicago’s police complaints can list multiple officers at once, it’s possible to build a giant social network of police interactions.
From 1972 to 1991, a Chicago detective named Jon Burge led a group of police officers in torturing confessions out of suspects. They called themselves the “Midnight Crew,” and their behavior eventually resulted in the jailing of Burge and the creation of a reparations council to pay the victims. More recently, the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force was found to have planted evidence, assaulted innocent citizens, and committed overtime fraud.
Many of the most egregious examples of police misconduct arise from tightly knit groups of officers like these. That’s no accident. Recently released data from the Chicago police department shows that misconduct spreads from officer to officer like an infectious disease. And the same behavior that leads cops to violate the rules often predicts whether they will participate in a shooting. More…
From Boston to Ferguson to Charlottesville: The Evolution of a Police State Lockdown
By John W. Whitehead
Posted September 24, 2018
It has become way too easy to lockdown this nation.
Five years ago, the city of Boston was locked down while police carried out a military-style manhunt for suspects in the 2013 Boston Marathon explosion.
Four years ago, the city of Ferguson, Missouri, was locked down, with government officials deploying a massive SWAT team, an armored personnel carrier, men in camouflage pointing heavy artillery at the crowd, smoke bombs and tear gas to quell citizen unrest over a police shooting of a young, unarmed black man.
Three years ago, the city of Baltimore was put under a military-enforced lockdown after civil unrest over police brutality erupted into rioting. More than 1,500 national guard troops were deployed while residents were ordered to stay inside their homes and put under a 10 pm curfew.
This year, it was my hometown of Charlottesville, Va., population 50,000, that was locked down while government officials declared a state of emergency and enacted heightened security measures tantamount to martial law, despite the absence of any publicized information about credible threats to public safety. More…
Our Opponents’ Actions Show We’re Winning
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Posted September 20, 2018
When in the midst of mass social transformation, it is often hard to see progress until you have the benefit of looking back after success has been achieved. One way we measure success is by recognizing the growing popular movements across multiple fronts of struggle. Another way is by observing the actions of our opponents.
Just as movements organize and develop a strategy to build power, our opponents do the same to weaken popular power. Classic signs that a movement is getting closer to achieving victories are when our opponents try to co-opt the movement, mislead the movement, adopt the language of the movement and position themselves to claim they always supported the goals of the movement, called “victorious retreat.” More…
Captive Audience: How Companies Make Millions Charging Prisoners to Send An Email
by Victoria Law
Posted September 18, 2018
Inside prisons, e-messaging companies are quietly building a money-making machine virtually unhindered by competition—a monopoly that would be intolerable in the outside world. It’s based in a simple formula: Whatever it costs to send a message, prisoners and their loved ones will find a way to pay it.
And, the more ways prisoners are cut off from communicating with their families, the better it is for business. Which means that stamp by stamp, companies like JPay—and the prisons that accept a commission with each message— are profiting from isolation of one of the most vulnerable groups in the country. And, with prisoners typically earning 20 cents to 95 cents an hour in jobs behind bars, the cost of keeping in touch most likely falls to family members and friends. More…
Who Does America Belong to? Not to Americans
by Paul Craig Roberts
Posted September 16, 2018
High productivity, high value-added manufacturing jobs shrink in the US as they are offshored to Asia. High productivity, high value-added professional service jobs, such as research, design, software engineering, accounting, legal research, are being filled by offshoring or by foreigners brought into the US on work visas with the fabricated and false excuse that there are no Americans qualified for the jobs.
America is a country hollowed out by the short-term greed of the ruling class and its shills in the economics profession and in Congress. Capitalism only works for the few. It no longer works for the many.
America is ruled by a tiny percentage of people who constitute a treasonous class. These people have the money to purchase the government, the media, and the economics profession that shills for them. This greedy traitorous interest group must be dealt with or the United States of America and the entirety of its peoples are lost. 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…
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