"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

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Saturday, August 30 2014 @ 05:14 PM CDT

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Turkish mine disaster: Town under uprising lockdown, dozens arrested

Mine operator Soma Komur strongly denied any negligence: "We have all worked very hard. I have not seen such an incident in 20 years," its general director, Akin Celik, said in a press conference Friday.

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The State of Surveillance Today

Spying on You

Since 2006, the Surveillance State has continued to grow. Here in New York, several waves of new systems have been installed, with each one bringing more powerful (and expensive) cameras to our streets, subway stations and public housing units. As in Chicago and Washington, D.C., there is now a centralized, real-time, computerized surveillance meta-system at work. Its name is “Domain Surveillance” and it was developed in 2012 by the NYPD/CIA in conjunction with Microsoft.

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Non-violent? Don’t Flatter Yourself

Dissent

Thesis: Debating violence vs. nonviolence in today's culture is like debating wetness vs. dryness while you ride the Titanic to the bottom of the ocean.

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Modern-Day Slavery in America's Prison Workforce

Prisons

About half of the 1.6 million Americans serving time in prison have full-time jobs like Hazen did. They aren’t counted in standard labor surveys, but prisoners make up a sizable workforce: with 870,000 working inmates, roughly the same number of workers as in the states of Vermont and Rhode Island combined. Despite decades’ worth of talk about reform—of giving prisoners the skills and resources they need to build a life after prison—the vast majority of these workers, almost 700,000, still do “institutional maintenance” work like Hazen’s.

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Liberals Are Useless

Left

Liberals are a useless lot. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to write abject, cloying letters to Barack Obama—as if he reads them—asking the president to come back to his “true” self. This sterile moral posturing, which is not only useless but humiliating, has made America’s liberal class an object of public derision.

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Global riot epidemic due to demise of cheap fossil fuels

Anti-Capitalist Movement

If anyone had hoped that the Arab Spring and Occupy protests a few years back were one-off episodes that would soon give way to more stability, they have another thing coming. The hope was that ongoing economic recovery would return to pre-crash levels of growth, alleviating the grievances fueling the fires of civil unrest, stoked by years of recession.

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Beyond digital discontent: A conversation with Astra Taylor

Lib Tech

The Internet and the World Wide Web were designed with a combination of academic, public service and even countercultural values, says Astra Taylor. So why do we accept that corporate values should now take precedent? Introducing the "people's platform".

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Noam Chomsky: Just Whose National Security?

The State

In the past several months, we have been provided with instructive lessons on the nature of state power and the forces that drive state policy. And on a closely related matter: the subtle, differentiated concept of transparency. The source of the instruction, of course, is the trove of documents about the National Security Agency surveillance system released by the courageous fighter for freedom Edward J. Snowden, expertly summarized and analyzed by his collaborator Glenn Greenwald in his new book, “No Place to Hide.”

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Deep Anger

Dissent

I’m a child of the “awareness generation,” the one who grew up learning to reduce, reuse and recycle. I remember first learning about global warming and climate change in high school in the 90s. Back then it was called the Greenhouse Gas Effect. Most of my early environmental knowledge came from classroom videos about acid rain, slash-and-burn logging in the Amazon and the hole in the ozone layer. There was also the slogan “think globally, act locally” plastered across my Social Studies 11 class wall. Those of us who cared two cents about anything believed in that mantra religiously, even though by that point almost everything around us—the school supplies, the clothes on our backs, even the food in our stomachs—came from across an ocean.

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Calling for Anti-Capitalist Bloc at the People’s Climate March in NYC

Climate Change

On September 20, 2014, Bill McKibben’s 350.org and a host of other Green NGOs are calling for a massive march through New York City to demand “the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet. A world safe from the ravages of climate change. A world with good jobs, clean air, and healthy communities for everyone.”

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Lost in the Bosnian Floods

Europe

On May 13th, a cyclone dubbed Tamara hit southeastern Europe and, over only a few days, doused it with three months’ worth of rainfall. Relentless torrents swelled rivers and tributaries, breaching banks and bursting levees. The brunt of the surge swept through Bosnia, Serbia, and eastern Croatia, toppling bridges, swallowing up towns, and savaging miles of countryside. The governments of Bosnia and Serbia declared states of emergency and deployed rescue teams to evacuate survivors in the worst hit areas—where floodwaters were lapping at roof eaves.

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David Graeber: “Spotlight on the financial sector did make apparent just how bizarrely skewed our economy is in terms of who get

Anarchist Opinion

When I talk about bullshit jobs, I mean, the kind of jobs that even those who work them feel do not really need to exist. A lot of them are made-up middle management, you know, I’m the “East Coast strategic vision coordinator” for some big firm, which basically means you spend all your time at meetings or forming teams that then send reports to one another. Or someone who works in an industry that they feel doesn’t need to exist, like most of the corporate lawyers I know, or telemarketers, or lobbyists…

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The Sultan of Sewers: William Burroughs' anti-authoritarian vision

Anarchist Movement

In July of 1957, an unknown writer named William Burroughs visited a friend in Copenhagen. After three weeks in the area, including a brief excursion to Sweden, he wrote to the poet Allen Ginsberg that "Scandinavia exceeds my most ghastly imaginations." In Naked Lunch, the novel Burroughs was writing at the time, Scandinavia became a model for a place called Freeland. "Freeland was a welfare state," the book explained. "If a citizen wanted anything from a load of bone meal to a sexual partner some department was ready to offer effective aid. The threat implicit in this enveloping benevolence stifled the concept of rebellion."

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Monarch butterfly decline linked to spread of GM crops

Biotech

The main cause of the monarch butterfly's decline is the loss of milkweed — its food — in its U.S. breeding grounds, a new study has found. That all but confirms that the spread of genetically modified crops is indirectly killing the monarch.

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The Angry Brigade's John Barker, 40 years on: 'I feel angrier than I ever felt then'

Anarchist Movement

Just over 40 years ago, John Barker appeared in the dock at the Old Bailey charged, as a member of the Angry Brigade, with conspiracy to cause explosions. He was jailed for 10 years at the end of what was then Britain's longest trial. Now he has written a novel, Futures, a tale about crime, the financial markets and cocaine dealing, set in 1987 amid the first signs of the City mayhem that would bring such chaos in its wake.

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The Imperialist Legacy of Boko Haram

The widespread poverty and deprivation from Nigeria's neocolonial legacy has created a fertile recruiting ground for Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency, responsible for thousands of deaths as well as the recent mass kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls.

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Newly Released Documents Show Outgrowth of ‘Homeland Security’ Is Corrupted Federal and Local Law Enforcement

Spying on You

Last week, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) released a trove of some 4,000 documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showing that the movements of the mostly peaceful participants in the Occupy Wall Street protests were subjected to an “enormous spying and monitoring apparatus” that included coordination between the Pentagon, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, local police, private security contractors and corporate interests.

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