“Mexico Relies on Social Media for Drug War News”: The Fix–UPDATED

reports: With most mainstream media sources silenced by fear of the drug cartels, social media has become a safer way for Mexicans to stay informed about the drug war-related violence continuing to rage throughout the country. more [UPDATE: At least some part of this story may be false. See here and here. THANKS to GJP on Facebook. (If you try to click the Blog del Narco links here they're broken, but you can see the stories on BDN's front page and they do pretty clearly seem to be … [Read more...]

I Suppose Character Assassination Is Still Better Than the Other Kind

but this little tale of the hunt for dirt on Glenn Greenwald should make you a) think of the worst or most shameful things you've ever done, b) ask yourself whether it could be reconstructed from your credit card bills, legal records, social media, security camera footage, or internet history, and then c) keep in mind that revelations about state power and secrecy are the important things, not the personal character of the people doing the revelatin'. ...So I've been fully expecting those kinds … [Read more...]

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...]


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