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August 30, 2014
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Truthdigger of the Week: Patrick Cockburn

The Irish reporter has written the definitive primer on the most ferocious and ambitious new pretenders to power in the Middle East: the Islamic State.

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NRA Logic

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Is Breaking Bad Over?

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Social Networks Diminish Personal Well-Being, Researchers Say

Two researchers set out to determine “whether the use of online networks reduces subjective well-being and if so, how,” the MIT Technology Review reports.

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Barrett Brown Guilty Plea Could Chill Reporting

The hacktivist journalist pleaded guilty to three charges stemming from his reporting on a high-profile hack by the group Anonymous and his long-standing conflict with the FBI.

Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE


Canada

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‘Left, Right & Center’: Ukraine, ISIS, Burger King and Drones

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists look at Russia’s continuous push into Ukraine, a possible price for passivity with ISIS, the tax logic or corporate betrayal of Burger King’s expatriation to Canada, and the coming of the Google drones.

Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE



Committed Carbon Emissions Are Rising Fast

The world’s governments agree that carbon dioxide emissions need to stop rising, but the power plants they build are committing the planet to big emission increases ahead.

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W.T. Pfefferle (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye Discusses What It Was Like Growing Up in Palestine and Ferguson

Naomi Shihab Nye, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and an award-winning writer, was raised in two of the most frequently discussed conflict zones in the news today. In a recent piece for The Washington Post, Nye talks about the lessons she learned while living in lands that are still divided by racial tensions.

Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE


Stephen Colbert: ‘ISIS Has Now Attracted the Most Heavily Armed, Violent People on Earth: Americans’

The “Colbert Report” host talks about the latest threat in the Middle East, the Islamic State, as well as Fox News’ weirdly imaginative (or rather delusional) responses to ISIS, all of which are so detached from reality that the comedian decides it’s time to invoke ghosts to explain current events in terms that right-wing pundits can truly get their heads around.

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Mayberry Militarized

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U.S. Public Worried About ISIL and Putin but Climate Change Is the Real Challenge

In a new Pew/ USA Today poll, the American public shows itself alarmed by the rise of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in northern Iraq and Syria as a threat to U.S. security, finding it more threatening even than Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who has risen on the villain scale quite a lot.

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Syrian Rebels Welcome U.S. Airstrikes on ISIL Terrorists

Arab online newspaper Elaph reports that rebels in East Aleppo, Syria, are deeply divided over the prospect of President Obama ordering U.S. airstrikes on the so-called Islamic State.

Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE



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Federal Judge Keeps Texas’ Remaining Abortion Clinics Open

District Judge Lee Yeakel rejected part of Texas’ anti-abortion law Friday, in effect preventing the closure of more than half the state’s remaining clinics.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



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California Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Temp Workers

The California legislature has passed a bill that would hold companies legally responsible if the temp agencies and subcontractors they hire cheat workers out of their wages or put them in harm’s way.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com

Shades of Gaza in Ukraine?

At the risk of grossly oversimplifying two very different conflicts, read this New York Times summary of a U.N. human rights report on the fighting in Ukraine and tell us it doesn’t sound familiar.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Elizabeth Warren Breaks Silence on Israel/Gaza, Sounds Like Netanyahu

“That, ladies and gentlemen,” The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald writes, “is your inspiring left-wing icon of the Democratic Party.”

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



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Labor Day—You Remember ‘Labor,’ Don’t You?

Labor Day is a farce. Even public employees—read Wisconsin!—are losing what security America offers. At the minimum, the first Monday in September should be called "Reagan Day."

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U.S. Navy/MC3 Chris Cavagnaro

Have We Gone to War Again?

I’d like to know whether the United States is at war with the Islamic State.

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Should Companies Have to Pay Taxes?

Reading companies’ annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reliable cure for insomnia. Every so often, though, there is a significant revelation in the paperwork.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Putin Rejects NATO Accusations of Aggression

The Russian president rejected accusations that he has effectively invaded Ukraine, likening the behavior of Ukrainian forces in the conflict to Nazis and threatening to take his standoff with the West into the disputed territory of the Arctic.

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Pentagon Hymn, the Shores of Tripoli

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The History of Rock ’n’ Roll in Ten Songs

Author Greil Marcus doesn’t explain these 10 songs (including one sung by Amy Winehouse, shown) or their power to thrill him; he tries to re-create in prose how it might have felt to perform them.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Beyond the Spectacle of Neoliberal Violence in the Age of Terrorism

When our inner worlds work under the death-haunted dictates of casino capitalism, the Apocalypse is embraced as if it functioned exclusively as a form of entertainment, rather than providing a warning about the rise of militarism, the killing of civilians, and religious and political fundamentalisms.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Europe’s Warming Raises Tropical Disease Risk

As greenhouse gases raise temperatures in Europe, British researchers warn that the risk of the arrival of mosquito-borne diseases that kill many thousands of people every year in tropical regions is increasing.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE


Comcast Can Do Whatever It Wants

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: With the current vacuum of regulation, the biggest broadband Internet provider can legally censor content. Also: Why Gaza needs a war crimes trial, journalism struggles with prejudice, and the NFL gets serious about domestic abuse.

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 READ MORE


Comcast Can Do Whatever It Wants

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: With the current vacuum of regulation, the biggest broadband Internet provider can legally censor content. Also: Why Gaza needs a war crimes trial, journalism struggles with prejudice, and the NFL gets serious about domestic abuse.

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 READ MORE



Facing the Horror of Syria Using Alternatives to War

To begin to tackle the problem of Syria, what matters more than who exactly is being killed is who is doing the killing.

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 READ MORE



NATO, U.S.: 1,000 Russian Troops Have Entered Ukraine to Aid Rebels (Video Update)

According to NATO Brig. Gen. Niko Tak, as well as U.S. and Ukrainian officials, more than 1,000 Russian troops have crossed the border into Ukraine to shore up pro-Russian rebels in their fight against government forces. Update: President Obama made a statement Thursday afternoon about the conflict.

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 READ MORE



Colonization by Bankruptcy: High-Stakes Chess for Argentina

Territories were once captured by military might. Today they are annexed by debt. Destitute nations are driven into international bankruptcy courts that could do with whole countries what bankruptcy courts do with businesses: sell off their assets, including real estate. Sovereign territories could be acquired as the spoils of bankruptcy without a single shot being fired.

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 READ MORE



The Fall and Rise of Investigative Journalism

Despite a long run of journalistic tough times, the loss of advertising dollars and the challenge of the Internet, there’s been a blossoming of investigative journalism across the globe from Honduras to Myanmar, New Zealand to Indonesia.

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 READ MORE



Politicians Ignore People’s Power Pleas

Consumers worldwide increasingly want renewable energy sources to provide their electricity, yet many governments are ignoring them by continuing to exploit fossil fuels.

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 READ MORE



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2014 and the Limits of Rage

The short-term future of politics in the nation’s capital will be determined in large part by which party ends up in control of the Senate. But for a sense of the long-term future of politics in the country as a whole, watch the governors’ races.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



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Victim of McCarthy-Era Witch Hunt Calls on U-Illinois Not to Fire Critic of Israeli Policies

Professor Chandler Davis, still feisty in his late 80s, has just written a personal letter to University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise urging her to rescind the firing of Professor Steven Salaita.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



The Guns of August

What, if anything, have we learned from the disaster of World War I? Look no farther than Gaza, or Ferguson, Mo.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



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NSA Built a Search Engine to Share 850 Billion Records, The Intercept Reports

According to newly released documents from Edward Snowden’s treasure trove, the National Security Agency not only gave domestic law enforcement entities access to private data, it made it as easy as possible.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



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Students Who Take Notes With Laptops Learn Less, and the Reason May Surprise You

A few months ago, research published in the journal Psychological Science revealed that students who handwrite their notes learn better than those who use laptops, and the reason is not because the latter are busy checking Facebook.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE


Jon Stewart on Fox Ferguson Coverage: ‘White Cop Shoots Unarmed Black Teen’ Does Sound Terrible

“Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people?” the “Daily Show” host asks of Fox News’ pundits on the show’s first day back from a summer break. 

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Calif. Governor, L.A. Mayor Push Plans to Boost Entertainment Tax Credit, Minimum Wage

On Wednesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were inching closer to resolution on two big economic goals for the state and city, respectively.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Study: American Democracy ‘Seriously Threatened’

A pair of researchers have a handy tip for those Americans still attached to the notion that we live in a representative democracy: Get ready to kiss that notion goodbye.

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Michael Brown’s Funeral

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Atlas Meets Climate Change

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Playwright Sees Blatant Racism in ADL Ad About Israel’s Killing of Children in Gaza

Wallace Shawn translated an ad by the Anti-Defamation League into “plain English” and he found a disturbing message; a Chinese chef meets his end when cooking with a dangerous ingredient; meanwhile, a binational Israel-Palestine state may not be as far off as many think. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Thousands of Birds Meet a Fiery End at the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant

Solar power also comes at a price, and in the case of California’s BrightSource Energy plant, the cost may be the lives of 28,000 wild creatures.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE


Russell Brand and ‘The Young Turks’ on Revolution, Obama, Fox News and More

Comedian Russell Brand reminds Cenk Uygur, host of the online liberal commentary show “The Young Turks,” and the rest of us that Thomas Jefferson, one of our “main men,” once said, “Every generation should have a revolution.”

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE


Beef Race

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Open-Ended Cease-Fire Reached in Israel/Gaza, but How Long Will It Last?

Israel on the one side and Hamas and Islamic Jihad on the other have announced an open-ended cease-fire brokered by Egypt, the terms of which are similar to those of 2012.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Fairphone

The Guilt-Free Phone Made Specifically for Socially Conscious Buyers

Smartphones are amazing, but they’re also made by exploited workers using illicit materials that help foster war and add to global toxic pollution when we’re done with them in about two years.

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 READ MORE



On Art and Politics: A Letter to the Millennials

There is a sense in which art, politics and economics are all inextricably and symbiotically tied together, but history has proven to us that art serves as a powerful corrective against the dangers of the establishment.

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 READ MORE


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