“Five Things You Learn Growing Up In (And Escaping) North Korea”: Cracked

makes me choke up, w/the thing about 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Of all the Koreas in the world, North Korea has the most murderous dictators per capita. We've had a lot of fun riffing on the craziest facets of the Hermit Kingdom, but beyond all the hilarious propaganda and somewhat less hilarious threats of nuclear war, North Korea is a nation of 25 million people living very weird, awful lives.We wanted to know what life was really like for those people, so we sat down with an escaped … [Read more...]

From “The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q”

"The something we live for when we're living for something can be replaced by lots of things." --Q, in extremis... … [Read more...]

The Era of Personal Redemption: Sens Booker and Paul Take Very Small Step Forward on Criminal Justice Reform

this is simultaneously heartening, and depressing--every increment paid for with so much suffering. … [Read more...]

“When and Why Civil Resistance Works Against Authoritarian Regimes”: Foreign Affairs

article: Between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance against authoritarian regimes were twice as likely to succeed as violent movements. Nonviolent resistance also increased the chances that the overthrow of a dictatorship would lead to peace and democratic rule. This was true even in highly authoritarian and repressive countries, where one might expect nonviolent resistance to fail. Contrary to conventional wisdom, no social, economic, or political structures have systematically … [Read more...]

“Daniel Chong Is the Entirely Predictable Result of Dehumanizing Drug Offenders”: Radley Balko

writes: The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General  has just released part of its report on the awful case of Daniel Chong. Here’s some background from the San Diego Union-Tribune:Chong was a 24-year-old engineering student when he was caught up in the drug sweep by a DEA task force two years ago.On the morning of April 21, 2012, Chong was detained with six other suspects and transported to the DEA field office, where agents determined that he was not involved in the ecsta … [Read more...]

“California Female Inmates Sterilized Illegally”

through at least 2010: ..."The audit shows systemic failures by the federal receiver in the sterilization of female inmates," Lieu said. "I'm also surprised that the receiver makes the argument that they had no legal duty to make sure the prison employees comply with the consent procedures. That is a ludicrous argument."The CIR investigation, published in July, found that 132 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules from 2006 to 2010 — and perhaps 100 more dating back to t … [Read more...]

Today, Global Protests Call for Support, Not Punishment, For Drug Users

from Substance.com:In an unprecedented display of people power against the war on drugs, thousands of activists in 100 cities across the world will rally on Thursday, June 26, to push one message: “Support. Don’t punish.” The concerted campaign will remind national governments and the UN of the growing size and clout of people who use drugs and their supporters as a political constituency—and the futility of pouring billions of dollars into efforts to enforce prohibition. At least 150 NGOs … [Read more...]


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