Years of Solitary Confinement. Lightless Cells with Plastic Bags Instead of Toilets.

Rats sold as pets? The grim tabloid conditions of "One of the Darkest Periods in the History of American Prisons": It has been an extraordinary three weeks in the history of the American penal system, perhaps one of the darkest periods on record. In four states, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, the systemic abuse and neglect of inmates, and especially mentally ill inmates, has been investigated, chronicled and disclosed in grim detail to the … [Read more...]

“Even Law-Abiding People…”: Tim Carney

makes a whole bunch of good points: ...In other words, why should law-abiding citizens mind federal surveillance?The answer begins with this distressing reality: None of us scrupulously obeys the law. Technically speaking, we're all criminals.Federal and state criminal statutes have multiplied like rabbits over the decades, and so now everyone breaks the law, probably every day.Copy a song to your laptop from a friend's Beyonce CD? You just violated the Digital Millennium Copyright … [Read more...]

Glenn Greenwald on Whistleblowers (Also the Pet Shop Boys)

This dynamic - the hallmark of a healthy and free society - has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That's the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they … [Read more...]

“Five Insane Laws Written Specifically to Harass Poor People”: Look, It’s Cracked

so it is not exactly a Brookings Institute report, but, well, I wouldn't read a Brookings Institute report and neither should you. … [Read more...]

“A New York Needle Exchange Program in Action”: Sarah Beller

at The Fix: Around 6 pm on a spring evening, I walk with Hector Mata through an area of northern Manhattan known as “the Zig-Zag," sculpted by the off-ramps of the George Washington Bridge. We pass a playground, go down through a woodsy area, slip through a hole in a fence, and step into a clearing next to a highway. We see cushions, blankets, a makeshift tent and a near-human-sized doll. A real woman is sitting against a stone wall."That's Chris," says Mata. As she hears us approaching, s … [Read more...]

“The 7-Step Guide to Our Idiotic Disaster-Relief Politics”: Matt Welch

at Reason; links aplenty: By now you should recognize the formula:1) Natural disaster (tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake, fire, snowstorm, heavy rainstorm, volcano) kills multiple people.2) President (Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I) vows to survivors that the federal government will "be with you every step of the way" in the rebuilding process. more … [Read more...]

“7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider’s Perspective)”: Mara Wilson

at Cracked--some blunt and fairly painful stuff in here. … [Read more...]


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