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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The People's Surveillance State

Tuesday 22 November 2011 

William Rivers Pitt | The People's Surveillance State
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "Memo to the police and the surveillance state you represent: you are not working in the dark anymore. You may have your own system of surveillance, but We The People are watching you just as closely, and we have our own system of surveillance." 
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FBI Claims It Does Not Have Any Documents on Occupy Wall Street
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "We were surprised the FBI provided us with a final response to our FOIA request within two weeks, given the agency's FOIA backlog and the lengthy wait times we have faced when filing other FOIA requests with the agency. We were even more surprised to learn the FBI was unable to locate a single document in which agency officials discussed Occupy Wall Street, a global movement which, in the past month, has resulted in violent crackdowns by local law enforcement." 
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Juan Cole | How Students Landed on the Front Lines of Class War
Juan Cole, Truthdig: "The deliberate pepper-spraying by campus police of nonviolent protesters at UC Davis on Friday has provoked national outrage. But the horrific incident must not cloud the real question: What led comfortable, bright, middle-class students to join the Occupy protest movement against income inequality and big-money politics in the first place?" 
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Rebecca Solnit | Civil Society at Ground Zero: You Can Crush the Flowers, But You Can't Stop the Spring
Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch: "Civil society contains all kinds of people, and all kinds have shown up at the Occupy encampments. The inclusiveness of such places is one of the great achievements of this movement. (Occupy Memphis, for instance, has even reached out to Tea Party members.) Veterans, students, their grandparents, hitherto apolitical people, the employed and unemployed, the housed and the homeless, and people of all ages and colors have been drawn in along with the unions. And yes, there are also a lot of young white activists, who can be thanked for taking on the hard work and heat. We can only hope that this broad coalition will hang together a while longer." 
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Republicans in Indiana to Seek Law Limiting Unions
Monica Davey, The New York Times News Service: "Republican leaders in Indiana on Monday declared as their top legislative priority making Indiana a "right to work" state, setting the stage for a new battle over union rights that has already consumed many states. The proposal would prevent unions from negotiating contracts that would require workers to pay union dues. The notion instantly set off objections from the state's union leaders, who said the true aim was to weaken labor unions, and from Democratic lawmakers, some of whom had left the state for more than a month early this year in an effort to block similar provisions." 
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Tens of Thousands Call for Top Military Official to Resign in Cairo's Tahrir Square
David D. Kirkpatrick and Alan Cowell, The New York Times News Service: "A day after the cabinet offered its resignation to Egypt's transitional military government, protesters demanding an end to army rule fought street battles with the police for a fourth straight day, braving an increasingly lethal crackdown recalling the earliest days of the Arab Spring." 
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The "Public University" as Response to Funding Cuts to UK's Higher Education
Simon Dawes, Truthout: "The global economic crisis has highlighted the inherent problems with unfettered free-market capitalism (not to mention, more specifically, the high-risk activities of those working in the deregulated financial sector). Similarly, the worldwide meltdown has also exposed the dangers of an obsession with short-term profits and of a worldview that comprises only the economy where there is also society, culture and politics. Despite the clear lessons of the global recession, the response of governments around the world has been to pass the debt on to the poorer sections of society, to further privatize and deregulate and, so, depoliticize the public realm. Costs are cut and profits boosted for immediate short-term relief, regardless of the longer-term economic consequences or their effect on culture." 
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Super Committee Fails: How Republican Tax Intransigence Killed It: A Timeline
Sarah Ayres, ThinkProgress: "By now we have all heard the latest in the months-long debate over reducing the nation's deficit - barring a last-minute miracle, the congressional super committee tasked with finding at least $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction will fail to come to an agreement. Cue handwringing by pundits lamenting the inability of both Democrats and Republicans to compromise." 
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Occupy Wall Street Is Bringing Down the Big Banks, and More
In today's On the News segment: Occupy Wall Street is bringing down the big banks; Gang of 12 supercommittee failed to come up with a compromise; according to a new study, you're better off watching no news than GOP TV's Fox so-called News, religious lobbying groups on Capitol Hill have increased fivefold since Roe v. Wade, and more. 
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Greg Palast: US "Vulture" Funds Make Millions By Exploiting African Nations (Video)
Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!: "American 'vulture' investors, including a top funder of the Republican Party, have demanded that African nations pay over half a billion dollars for old debts - for which the investors paid only a few million. One New York vulture speculator, Peter Grossman of FG Capital Management, is demanding $100 million from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Is he collecting a legitimate debt from the Congo - or is the vulture's claim based on a stolen security? Greg Palast reports from the Congo, Bosnia and New York in the joint investigation by the BBC, the Guardian and Democracy Now!" 
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Julie Doucet: It's Amazing I'm Able to Make a Living
Anne Elizabeth Moore and Aidan Koch, Truthout: "This week in Ladydrawers, we continue hearing from one of the most important and talented female comics artists in North America - Julie Doucet. As she told us in the first installment, she left the industry after 12 years of drawing comics not because she was forced out for any visible acts of sexism, but because the "all-boys crowd" and personal jealousies had started to drain. Her personal narrative may not be atypical - so begins to create a disturbing overall picture of how structural inequities affect individual creators in unseen ways. What is atypical is how her renown in comics only grew once she stopped drawing them." 
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Obama Confronts Congress' Failure, Promises to Enforce Cuts
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