“Activists and writers have long argued that there are “racist elements” or “racist injustices” embedded in our current crisis of mass incarceration. [Michelle] Alexander would have us push this claim much further, arguing that mass incarceration is “a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.” She disarms the popular notion that it is somehow wrong to discuss a modern Jim Crow in the age of Barack Obama, noting that “no other country in the world imprisons so many of its racial or ethnic minorities. The United States imprisons a a larger percentage of its black population then South Africa did at the height of apartheid.” In Alexander’s rendering Jim Crow didn’t die so much as it mutated.”
“The reality is that the government was not reducing the amount of money devoted to management of the urban poor. It was radically altering what the funds would be used for. The dramatic shift toward punitiveness resulted in a massive reallocation for public resources. By 1996, the penal budget doubled the amount that had been allocated to AFDC or food stamps.”

In 2008 Yahoo fought the NSA to avoid becoming part of the PRISM program. They eventually lost their court battle, and at one point were threatened with a $250,000 a day fine if they continued to resist. I am continually amazed at the extent of the government coercion.

orbooks:

Julian Assange talks to Sky News about Google, censoring ISIS, leaving the embassy, and his new book When Google Met WikiLeaks.

“It seems that Qatar backed the wrong side – the Muslim Brotherhood – after the regime change in Egypt in 2011. The Saudi Arabian royal family hates the Muslim Brotherhood, because the Brotherhood advocate elections, and kings don’t do elections. So, the Saudis bankrolled another regime change in Egypt, putting the military back in charge, and are now fighting a proxy war with Qatar in Libya. Which is why the Saudis blackballed Qatar from participating in Obama’s coalition of the willing against ISIS. (You do understand all this, right?)
Turkey, which is part of NATO, has been a wonderful father to ISIS, allowing the caliphate’s fighters free use of its long border with Syria and Iraq. In return, Turkey gets to buy the cheap oil from the fields that ISIS seized from Syria and Iraq, which makes the Turks somewhat reluctant to try to kill little baby ISIS.”

the-feature:

Some of the world’s most powerful conservationists are giving up on wilderness. They are making a big mistake.