Tag Archives | United States

Mass Incarceration in the US

Check out this short animation about the problems with American prison policy.

via Youtube

It wasn’t easy to pick this topic, but I believe that America’s 40-year policy of mass incarceration is deeply unethical, not very effective, and promotes the security of the few at the expense of the many.

It’s hard for me, as a person who was born into privilege, to imagine the challenges convicted criminals face, often for crimes that are utterly non-violent.

If you’re feeling like you want to do something about this, I’m mostly just making this video as an informational resource and to encourage people to think of felons not as bad, scary people but just as people.

The people at The Prison Policy Initiative were very helpful in the creation of this video and if you want to learn more about their work and how to get involved go to http://www.prisonpolicy.org

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US Government Confirms It Has Been Conducting Warantless Searches of Americans’ Communications

PIC; NSA (PD)

PIC; NSA (PD)

It has always been assumed that these kinds of searches were taking place, but this is the first time that the government has confirmed so. Don’t worry though: Obama says he’ll review some of these programs to determine whether the government should be conducting this kind of surveillance.

Via USA Today:

The Obama administration has conducted warrantless searches of Americans’ communications as part of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations that target foreigners located outside of the U.S., the administration’s top intelligence official confirmed in a letter to Congress disclosed Tuesday.

These searches were authorized by a secret surveillance court in 2011, but it was unclear until Tuesday whether any such searches on Americans had been conducted.

The recent acknowledgement of warrantless searches on Americans offers more insight into U.S. government surveillance operations put in place after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The government has broadly interpreted these laws to allow for the collection of communications of innocent Americans, practices the Obama administration maintains are legal.

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Intel Panel ‘Very Close’ on Killing NSA Phone Programs

This reminds me of a Richard Pryor Joke. “The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” They’re also allergic to sunlight, much like the NSA.

Crypt

Crypt (Photo credit: chb1848)

via Politico

The House Intelligence Committee’s Republican and Democratic leaders said Thursday they’re nearing agreement on legislation that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ telephone data.

Negotiations on some key details remain fluid, but Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said in an interview that he’s “very close” to a deal with Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) on a plan that would allow phone companies to hold telephone records now collected by the NSA and conduct individual searches needed to pinpoint suspicious activity.

“We’ve got to have legislation that will take away the concern and perception that people are being listened to,” Ruppersberger said. He added that he hoped to reach an agreement before the end of this month.

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What’s Really Going On: Bahrain vs. Ukraine, Can You Spot the Difference?

PIC: Mstyslav Chernov

PIC: Mstyslav Chernov

via chycho

What amazes me is that sane intelligent people have become hysterical by consuming western mainstream media propaganda designed to divert our attention away from the root cause of what ails our society.

For example, with the Ukrainian crisis shock doctrine tactics are being used to bombard us into a frenzy, the ultimate purpose for which is to distract us from the great game: Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard (2), our economy’s addiction to indefinite growth, the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street (2), the resource wars, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the geography of energy pipelines, the misconception of American exceptionalism and how it influences our foreign policy specifically on how it relates to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the significance of war being a racket (2), and the inverted totalitarian nature of our governments waging war on information (2, 3).

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Crimean Crisis: Russia Threatens to Abandon US Dollar And Dump American Debt

PIC: Don Allesandro (CC)

PIC: Don Allesandro (CC)

The Russian administration says that it will have no choice but to respond if the United States imposes economic sanctions over the ongoing Crimean crisis.

Via Information Liberation:

The Obama administration and the hotheads in Congress are threatening to hit Russia with “economic sanctions” for moving troops into Crimea. Yes, those sanctions would sting a little bit, but what our politicians should be made aware of is the fact that Russian officials are promising “to respond” if economic sanctions are imposed on them. As you will read about below, one top Kremlin adviser is even suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and start dumping U.S. debt. In addition, he is also suggesting that if sanctions are imposed that Russian companies would not repay the debts that they owe U.S. banks. Needless to say, Russia could do far more economic damage to the United States than the United States could do to Russia.

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What Americans Have For Breakfast (Bacon, Egg and Gun)

Hey American disinfonauts, do you bring your gun to breakfast? From Marketwatch:

breakfast

“As a European, this is how I imagine Americans have breakfast”

That caption accompanied the Imgur image above, and it set off an entertaining firestorm across the Internet this week.

Patriots gathered on Reddit, not so much to rail against stereotypes or to flip the script on Europeans, but rather to tackle some of the photo’s inaccuracies.

Crewchief535 said “the eggs should be scrambled. Otherwise, spot on.” Dartpoolpointed out that “the coffee looks way too strong; it would be lighter.”

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Duke University Freshman Porn Star In Her Own Words: Discrimination, Debt and Stigma

Duke Chapel, a frequent icon for the universit...

Duke Chapel, a frequent icon for the university, can seat nearly 1,600 people and contains a 5,200-pipe organ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

A female student tells her story and explains why. The liberation of her body, hedonism, and the ability to afford tuition without hobbling debt.

via XOJane

I am a porn star. I am a college freshman. You know nothing about me.

“But why would you do porn?”

People often ask me this question. They know I am a freshman at Duke University, and their shock and incredulity are apparent when the rumor they’ve heard whispered or read on a chat board turns out to be true.

However, the answer is actually quite simple. I couldn’t afford $60,000 in tuition, my family has undergone significant financial burden, and I saw a way to graduate from my dream school free of debt, doing something I absolutely love. Because to be clear: My experience in porn has been nothing but supportive, exciting, thrilling and empowering.

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Redistribute Wealth? No, Redistribute Respect.

Some_respect_please

Some respect please (CC)

Could a shift in perception heal the divide between the haves and the have nots in western society? What say you, Disinfonauts?

via The Week

What happened to America’s sense of egalitarianism?

“It is said that heaven does not create one man above or below another man.”
— Yukichi Fukuzawa

I’ve always been a communist revolutionary at heart. Inequalities between human beings have always annoyed me, and I have the strong desire to see them eliminated. In American society, we generally discuss three kinds of “equality”: 1) “equality of outcome”, usually meaning equality of wealth or income, 2) “equality of opportunity”, and 3) “equal rights” under the law. The first is typically supported by true communists and socialists, and some liberals; the second by centrist liberals; and the third by libertarians and conservatives. The arguments between proponents of the three types of equality are voluminous and endless.

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Why Are US Conservatives So Obsessed With Monarchies?

English: Philip II August and John Lackland ma...

Philip II August and John Lackland making peace with a kiss. (British Library, Royal 16 G VI f. 362)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

What do you think disinfonaughts, does America or the world need another king?

Something weird is happening on the American Right. Over at Politico Magazine, Michael Auslin, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has penned a column titled “America Needs a King.”

Had Auslin’s strange desire not come on the heels of Pat Buchanan’s paean to Vladimir Putin, or an anti-democracy movement being championed by tech libertarians like Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, one might see this as merely an example of an academic being intellectually provocative. In other words, “trolling” us.

But this isn’t mere trolling. It’s a trend.

Now, there has always been an element of the Catholic Right with monarchical tendencies.

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New Poll Shows Vast Majority of Americans Have Little To No Faith In Government

Pollaiuolo_battle_AN00034232_001_lFindings from a recent poll shows that 70 percent of Americans lack confidence in their government to make progress on important issues.

The AP reports:

Americans enter 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that elected officials can or will solve the nation’s biggest problems, a new poll finds.

Half say America’s system of democracy needs either “a lot of changes” or a complete overhaul, according to the poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just 1 in 20 says it works well and needs no changes.

Americans, who have a reputation for optimism, have a sharply pessimistic take on their government after years of disappointment in Washington.

The percentage of Americans saying the nation is heading in the right direction hasn’t topped 50 in about a decade. In the new poll, 70 percent lack confidence in the government’s ability “to make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”

Read the rest at the AP.Read the rest

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