Showing posts from June 15, 2014

The new debtors prisons: Pennsylvania mother dies while jailed for truancy fines

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["Somehow the answer our criminal system has arrived at is to spend money jailing people because they owe the system money they cannot afford to pay. And that's why Eileen DiNino died in jail." *RON*]
by Laura Clawson, Daily Kos, June 12, 2014 If you thought debtors prison was something straight out of Charles Dickens—and something long ago left behind us—think again. Debtors prison is becoming very much a part of the American prison-industrial complex, and on Saturday, a Pennsylvania mother of seven died there: Eileen DiNino, 55, of Reading, was found dead in a jail cell Saturday, halfway through a 48-hour sentence that would have erased about $2,000 in fines and court costs. The debt had accrued since 1999, and involved several of her seven children, most recently her boys at a vocational high school. "Did something happen? Was she scared to death?" said District Judge Dean R. Patton, who reluctantly sent DiNino to the B…

Dying to save the Amazonian rainforest

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[Joint government-corporate terrorism; one of many things never reported in the mainstream media. "An environmental campaigner is killed every week in Brazil. Jonathan Watts and Karina Vieira travel to Lábrea in the heart of the Amazon to meet the people risking their lives." *RON*]
Jonathan Watts and Karina Vieira,, 15 June 2014
No one could accuse Nilcilene Miguel de Lima of being easily afraid. When loggers beat her and burned down her home in Lábrea – in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon – the environmental activist refused to give up her struggle. When they killed her dog and frightened away the armed guards who had been sent to protect her, she carried on without them. But after they murdered her fellow campaigners and warned her she would be next, the mother of four finally fled.

Today, she is in hiding hundreds of miles from home, looking out of the bars on the window of a temporary refuge in Manaus and wondering …

Thrown Out of Court: How corporations became people you can't sue

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[Good piece on how is it becoming increasingly impossible to sue American corporations in the courts, specifically due to AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and American Express v. Italian Colors. *RON*]

By Lina Khan, The Washington Monthly, June/July/August 2014

Late last year a massive data hack at Target exposed as many as 110 million consumers around the country to identity theft and fraud. As details of its lax computer security oversight came to light, customers whose passwords and credit card numbers had been stolen banded together to file dozens of class-action lawsuits against the mega-chain-store company. A judge presiding over a consolidated suit will now sort out how much damage was done and how much Target may owe the victims of its negligence. As the case proceeds, documents and testimony pertaining to how the breach occurred will become part of the public record.

All this may seem like an archetypical story of our times, combining corpo…

What We Left Behind

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[A good, long piece on Iraq that I just ran across while snooping around. On the factors that have led to the current violence: the disintegration of national structures after the UK-American war (which Tony Blair, who wants to invade again, is still in denial about), the policies of Prime Minister Maliki, and the revolution in Syria. See also Chelsea Manning's OpEd piece, The Fog Machine of War: The U.S. Military’s Campaign Against Media Freedom in the New York Times. Also Bakir Oweida's Opinion: The ISIS Dilemma*RON*]

By Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, 28 April 2014

On Christmas Day last year, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appeared on Iraqi television to wish his country’s Christian minority—which has been fleeing by the thousand since the American invasion, in 2003—a happy holiday. Maliki, who is sixty-three, wore a dark-blue suit and a purple tie, and stood almost perfectly still at a lectern flanked by Iraqi flags. His long face c…

Harper gov't poll for Cda's 150th birthday cites Liberal, NDP icons

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[This is good - it unwittingly provides a nice list of things that really matter to Canadians -- Medicare, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, multiculturalism, peacekeeping, environmental activism. And from the sound of it -- "we have no intention of making a kind of final list" -- the Harper government will bury this information as deeply as it buries anything else that contradicts its ideology. *RON*]

By Dean Beeby, CP / Huffington, 06/15/2014

OTTAWA - Canadians have handed the Harper government a Top 10 list of the country's greatest heroes, featuring some of the Conservative party's greatest adversaries, past and present.

The list, compiled from online consultations in the run-up to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, includes Pierre Trudeau, Jack Layton, David Suzuki and Lester B. Pearson.

About 12,000 Canadians participated in the online exercise, which began Dec. 11 and closed last month.

A five-part digital form included t…