Showing posts from June 18, 2016

Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury

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["The decision affirmed the government’s view that broadband is as essential as the phone and power and should be available to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision." This is great news! I hope this passes and sticks; by treating Internet Service Providers as utilities, it stops companies from blocking content or creating fast lanes on the Internet through paid priority. Unfortunately the NY Times won't let you download their videos, so I've included an interview with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on PBS News Hour in its place. *RON*]

By Cecilia Kang, New York Times, 14 June, 2016

WASHINGTON — High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled in a sweeping decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users.

The decision affirmed the government’s view that broadband is as essential as the phone…

Florida Governor Wants To Monitor Refugees In The Wake Of Orlando Shooting

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[Refuses to answer question on slack Florida gun laws. See also: Every two days, a suspected terrorist buys a gun in the U.S. *RON*]

By Alice Ollstein, Think Progress, 17 June 2016
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has spent this week attending the funerals of the victims of the weekend’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando — the deadliest ever committed by a single shooter in U.S. history. But when asked by CNN Friday morning about the role Florida’s lax gun laws played in the murders, he refused to answer. Scott instead called for police surveillance of refugees and other immigrants, despite the fact that the gunman was a U.S. citizen born in Queens, New York.

“When you come into our country, this is our country. Why are you coming here?” he said, stumbling over his words. “Then if we do that to somebody, and allow them in, why not share it with local law enforcement?”

Scott then recounted a recent demand he made of President Obama’s administration …

Brexit voters almost twice as likely to disbelieve in manmade climate change

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[This is not about evidence - it's about ideology and a cluster of attitudes. Poll shows Brexiters are also more likely to think media exaggerates agreement on climate science, distrust scientists and oppose windfarms. Thanks to Susan for the link to this video:

Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 16 June 2016

Latest CIA Torture Docs Show "Evidence of War Crimes" & Level of Brutality That Even Shocked Bush

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["...we found so much more evidence of what everyone already knows, which is that the CIA torture program was... an exercise in brutality against people who the CIA didn’t know whether they had information, whether they didn’t have information, and where the only answer was more torture whenever they didn’t get the answers they wanted. The result, we learn, is not only the brutality against individuals, but also actual damage to the country’s ability to gather intelligence. So, these documents are the CIA’s own account of their failures." See also Human Rights Watch (who normally cheer-lead for the US) CIA Torture Revelations, and CIA Chief Just Confirmed "War on Terror" Has Created A Lot More Terrorists. *RON*]
Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Dror Ladin, Democracy Now!, 17 June 2016

GUESTS. DROR LADIN staff attorney at the ACLU National Security Project.

Shocking new details have been made public about the CIA’s torture program as …

Worried About “Stigmatizing” Cluster Bombs, House Approves More Sales to Saudi Arabia

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[Obama urged the House to vote against this measure, which would have banned the sale of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. The US is nearly the only developed nation that has not signed on to the international ban on cluster bombs, which makes them illegal. See also The human impact of cluster munitions. And: US Banks Top Cluster Bomb Investment 'Hall of Shame'. And: War Made in the United States. *RON*]

Alex Emmons, The Intercept, 16 June 2016
THE HOUSE ON THURSDAY narrowly defeated a measure that would have banned the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, but the closeness of the vote was an indication of growing congressional opposition to the conduct of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing coalition in Yemen.
The vote was mostly along party lines, with 200 Republicans – and only 16 Democrats – heeding the Obama administration’s urging to vote against the measure. The vote was 204-216.

“The Department of Defense strongly opposes this ame…

Mapping Where the Gap Between Richest and Poorest Is Widest

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[The gap between the poorest and richest is no small thing. "We need policies that return the economy to full employment, return bargaining power to US workers, and reinstate the cultural taboo on allowing CEOs and financial-sector executives at the commanding heights of the private economy to appropriate more than their fair share of the nation’s expanding economic pie." *RON*]

Eillie Anzilotti,, 16 June 2016

Nationwide, the income gap could be more accurately described as a chasm: at $1,153, 293, the average yearly income of the top 1 percent of earners is 25.3 times that of the bottom 99 percent, who bring in $45,567.

But a new report from the Economic Policy Institute—the the first to include data at the metropolitan and county level—found that in nine states, 54 metro areas, and 165 counties, those numbers are even more disparate.

The problem is a national one. While New York is the most unequal state, the Jackson metro…