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Did You Know

Did You Know
The United States Is Becoming a Two-Tiered Country With Separate and Unequal Voting Laws
Ari Berman: In Georgia, more than 750,000 voters were purged from the rolls over the past two years by Secretary of State Brian Kemp ... In Florida, more than 20,000 absentee ballots were rejected, disproportionately from voters of color. ... In June, North Carolina’s Republican Legislature passed a law that contributed to a 20 percent decrease in early voting locations. Under Texas’ voter ID law, people could vote with a gun permit but not a student ID. .... In North Dakota, 5,000 Native Americans living on reservations were initially barred from voting because a new law wouldn’t accept their P.O. boxes as valid addresses ... ... In Kansas, the lone polling place in Dodge City, which is 59 percent Hispanic, was moved outside town, a mile from the nearest public transportation... Visit Website ]
Nov 19, 2018, 4:31pm

Did You Know
How to Be a Reliable “Mainstream” Journalist
Media Lens: There are certain rules you need to follow as a journalist if you are going to demonstrate to your editors, and the media owners who employ you, that you can be trusted. ... For example, if you write about US-Iran relations, you need to ensure that your history book starts in 1979. That was the year Iranian students started a 444-day occupation of the US embassy in Tehran. This was the event that ‘led to four decades of mutual hostility’, according to BBC News. On no account should you dwell on the CIA-led coup in 1953 that overthrew the democratically-elected Iranian leader, Mohammad Mossadegh. Even better if you just omit any mention of this... Visit Website ]
Nov 9, 2018, 1:45pm

Did You Know
The World Would Be a Better Place Without the Rich
Sam Pizzigati: They coarsen our culture, erode our economic future, and diminish our democracy. The ultra-rich have no redeeming social value. ... Great fortunes both rest on environmental degradation and blind the wealthy to it. ... Working- and middle-class people have a vested interest in infrastructure investment. They depend on good public roads, schools, and parks. Wealthy people don’t. If public services frazzle, they can opt out to private alternatives. ... The wealthy do not like paying for public services they don’t use. Political leaders don’t make them. They cut taxes and deny public services the funds they need to thrive... Visit Website ]
Oct 17, 2018, 2:35pm

Did You Know
Trump Is Just One Player in a Much, Much Larger Tax Story
Matt Taibbi: That big ‘New York Times’ expose should most of all remind us that upper-class tax evasion has been the norm for a generation ... The parts I found most interesting were less about the rapaciousness of the Trump family per se than the myriad opportunities for gaming the system one presumes is available to everyone of this income level. ... There is a lot in the piece that testifies to Trump’s keen understanding of the media and how he knew he and his father could exploit it ... Many of the biggest tax evaders are major media advertisers and sponsors of both parties — like Apple, for instance — which pioneered techniques like the “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich,” in which profits are sent overseas to tax havens... The relentless focus on Trump as the center of our media universe has left huge segments of the population with the impression he’s a cause, not a symptom, of our problems... Visit Website ]
Oct 12, 2018, 11:24am

Did You Know
“Free” Tablets Are Costing Prison Inmates a Fortune
Tonya Riley: Would you send that email if it cost 30 cents? These prisoners don’t have another choice. ... For $140, prisoners would be able to purchase a clear, 7-inch Android device from JPay. The tablets wouldn’t be connected to the internet, but for a fee, Snitzky and his fellow inmates at Marion can access emails, games, and music from their prison cells. ... The access comes with a hefty price tag. At Marion, each email Snitzky sends costs 30 cents, and video visits cost nearly $10 for 30 minutes ... Prisons have always been divided by the assistance of families—who can afford commissary food, or who can purchase non-state-issued clothing and necessities. Now, that divide has gone digital, and it’s private contractors and state governments that have benefited from this arrangement. In Ohio, for example, the state makes $1.3 million annually in commissions from JPay services, according to its budget.... Visit Website ]
Oct 5, 2018, 12:40pm

Did You Know
Georgia ‘Stands Out’ in Voter Discrimination, Experts Say
Timothy Pratt: Minorities face greater discrimination in Georgia than in most other states when it comes to casting a vote ... The report tabulates voting-rights lawsuits since the Supreme Court ended the requirement in 2013 for certain states and other jurisdictions to clear any proposed changes in voting with the federal government. It also accounts for “potentially discriminatory measures,” like closing or changing polling locations, in each state. ... The commission’s report also includes data on what it calls “potentially discriminatory measures that have been put in place” in the nine states formerly covered by Section 5, as well as in all other states. The measures: requiring voter ID; requiring documentary proof of citizenship; purging voters from the rolls; cutting early voting; and moving or eliminating polling locations. Georgia is the only state with all five ticked off... Visit Website ]
Oct 2, 2018, 3:49pm

Did You Know
America’s industrial slaughterhouse
Jerry White: One of the rarely examined consequences of the restructuring of class relations in the United States in the decade since the global financial crash of 2008 is the increase in workplace fatalities and injuries. The boom in corporate profits and the record stock market rise have been achieved over the broken bones and corpses of workers. ... According to the most current government data available, 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016, up 7 percent from the 4,836 killed in 2015. In addition, another 50,000 to 60,000 workers die from occupational diseases, including Black Lung, silicosis and various cancers caused by exposure to workplace toxins. At least 150 workers die each day in the United States from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions... Visit Website ]
Sep 25, 2018, 2:43pm

Did You Know
Obstructing Justice
Chip Gibbons: Recently released FBI documents detailing the bureau's actions against George Crockett Jr show how the bureau acts as the nation’s political police, relentlessly hounding radicals. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s record of surveillance of domestic dissidents has long been known to be detrimental to democracy. But to actively obstruct an elected official’s governance shows a contempt for democratic decision-making that is incredibly brazen even for America’s bulwark of domestic authoritarianism. ... When FBI foe George Crockett Jr was elected in 1968 as a criminal court judge in Detroit, Michigan, the FBI didn’t see fit to respect his election as the will of the people... Visit Website ]
Sep 20, 2018, 3:46pm

Did You Know
What History Books Left Out About Depression Era Co-ops
Jonathan Rowe: It would seem that a movement that provided livelihood for more than 300,000 people in California alone would merit discussion in the history books. ... In the spring of 1932, in Compton, California, an unemployed World War I veteran walked out to the farms that still ringed Los Angeles. He offered his labor in return for a sack of vegetables, and that evening he returned with more than his family needed. The next day a neighbor went out with him to the fields. Within two months 500 families were members of the Unemployed Cooperative Relief Organization. ... It operated a large warehouse, a distribution center, a gas and service station, a refrigeration facility, a sewing shop, a shoe shop, even medical services, all on cooperative principles... Visit Website ]
Sep 14, 2018, 1:54pm

Did You Know
Wall Street Is the Definition of a Ponzi Scheme (Literally)
Lee Camp: In modern times, you almost never receive the profits of the business. Dividends are rarely paid out, and they don’t usually amount to much. Plus, the company is not obligated to pay you anything for your stock ever. ... “What the hell do you own?” The gut-wrenching answer is nothing. You own nothing. ... The investors are just cannibalizing each other for profits, and there are fees attached to every transaction. ... the only way you make money is by convincing someone else to buy it. If no one does, then you lose everything. Why does that sound familiar? Oh, I know. It’s the dictionary definition of a Ponzi scheme... Visit Website ]
Sep 12, 2018, 3:52pm

Did You Know
What Healing Looks Like When Justice Restores
Robert C. Koehler: “This isn’t rocket science,” Jackie Ingram said, humorously downplaying her involvement in the Restorative Justice Community Court, a pilot project of the Cook County Circuit Court, which has brought a new, healing-focused system of justice to her community this past year. ... The North Lawndale court, presided over by Judge Colleen Sheehan, opened last September after several years of planning. The court exists in partnership with the community it serves. At its core is the concept of Restorative Justice, which is based on the healing process of the peace circle. Such circles can be used for almost any purpose, but one of their primary functions is to facilitate conflict resolution. People in conflict sit in safety together and, with the guidance of a circle keeper, talk — and listen — to one another, ultimately agreeing on a resolution. The process is voluntary... Visit Website ]
Sep 7, 2018, 2:15pm

Did You Know
The Truths That Won’t be Told: How Israel Spies on US Citizens
Alain Gresh: Kleinfeld’s contacts told him they were spying on US citizens with the help of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, founded in 2006, which reports directly to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. One official said: ‘We are a different government working on foreign soil, [so] we have to be very, very cautious.’ And indeed some of the things they do could be subject to prosecution under US law. ... He filmed conversations using a hidden camera and later, as part of an Al Jazeera investigations team ... The documentary was expected to be a media sensation, bringing outraged denials and intense controversy. But then the broadcast was postponed, with no official explanation. Eventually, articles in the US Jewish media ... revealed that it would never be shown. ... What was striking to see was the feverish mood of the pro-Israel lobby over the last few years due to a blind fear of losing its influence... Visit Website ]
Sep 3, 2018, 11:33am

Did You Know
A “Social Wealth Fund” Could be the Next Big Idea
Rachel M. Cohen: As governor (of Alaska), in 1976, he pushed for a constitutional amendment that would direct 25 percent of all lease sale payments and oil royalties to a fund that could only be used for income-generating investments. Hammond originally kept quiet about his desire to direct those returns back to citizens, and it was understood primarily as a proposal to prevent the waste of oil revenue. But after the amendment passed by a 2-to-1 margin, Hammond made it his central mission to push for the citizens’ dividend idea. His persistence paid off and in 1982, Alaskans received their first check from the so-called Permanent Fund, a dividend that has flowed annually ever since. ... The Alaska Permanent Fund is what’s known as a “social wealth fund” — also sometimes called a “sovereign wealth fund” or a “citizens’ wealth fund.” ... it would be great if the federal government could figure out a way to establish a social wealth fund nationwide. ... Visit Website ]
Aug 28, 2018, 2:02pm

Did You Know
Banks Are Becoming Obsolete in China—Could the U.S. Be Next?
Ellen Brown: The U.S. credit card system siphons off excessive amounts of money from merchants. In a typical $100 credit card purchase, only $97.25 goes to the seller. The rest goes to banks and processors. But who can compete with Visa and MasterCard? ... It seems China’s new mobile payment ecosystems can. ... The future of consumer payments may not be designed in New York or London but in China. There, money flows mainly through a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking—all run by two of the world’s most valuable companies. That contrasts with the U.S., where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments ... Today even China’s street merchants don’t want cash. Payment for everything is handled with a phone and a QR code (a type of barcode). More than 90 percent of Chinese mobile payments are run through Alipay and WeChat Pay... Visit Website ]
Aug 22, 2018, 4:18pm

Did You Know
We Don’t Know What Our Computers Are Doing - Why Trust Them for Elections?
Jimmy Falls: Within just the past year, several major vulnerabilities became public that cast doubt on whether we’re really in control of our computers. The first was the revelation that an operating system has been secretly running in the background of millions of computers. ... For decades two software brands have long dominated the market share for desktop/laptop operating systems — Windows and Mac. But it turns out that if your computer has an Intel processor — and there’s a good chance it does — you’re actually more than likely running MINIX at the most fundamental level. ... This is an operating system installed on a chipset — known as the Intel ME-11 management engine — on the motherboard of the computer that manages the central processor — the brains of the computer. And you probably have no way of knowing what it’s doing. Or getting to it, turning it off, or removing it... Visit Website ]
Aug 16, 2018, 3:13pm


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1969-70 FOL
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