Worried About the Supreme Court Making Abortion Illegal? For 15 Million Women It Already Is.

All hell has broken loose and the keepers of the pro-choice flame are outraged. With the retirement of Justice Kennedy, who hot-footed over to the White House to say his adieus personally, President Trump has plenty of time to appoint a rock-ribbed conservative pro-lifer (no more of this “swing” vote nonsense) and get his choice confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. You know the kind he’s looking for— a wingnut determined to come between women and their uteruses.

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Americans on the Dole: Working More and Getting Less

Remember the hullabaloo when the predators behind payday loans were finally outed? Not that we hadn’t always known that something was rotten in payday land. What we didn’t know was that our political leaders were co-conspirators. Overwhelming us with phony reassurances that “[this is] … our new American moment… There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.” (President Trump’s first State of the Union speech)

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Workers Don’t Stand a Chance When the Supreme Court Rules that Greed is Good

Close your eyes and pretend you’re having the worst nightmare of your life. You work at Walmart, making their median salary (half of Walmart workers earn more than you, half earn less) of $19,177. You’ve just discovered you would have to work for 1,188 years to earn the $22.2 million that CEO Doug McMillon made in 2017. If that realization isn’t depressing enough, prepare to be depressed anew. Even your measly pittance and that of other workers isn’t safe from the thievery of your employers.

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U.S. Public Schools in Free Fall: A Tragi-Comedy in Three Acts

Act 1 —January 18, 2017 —Confirmation hearing for Department of Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: A sampling of the future Secretary of Education’s deep thinking on and incisive grasp of the thorny issues involved in educating America’s children:

Senator Chris Murphy: “Do you think guns have any place in or around schools?”

DeVos: “I think probably there [referring to a school in Wyoming], I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”

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Guess Who Wants to Get Their Hands on your DNA? With the Help of the Supreme Court, They May Succeed

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…not so fast. The first shoe dropped when profit-making companies assailed our eardrums and our intellect to convince us that handing them our DNA for permanent inclusion on their DNA database was a dandy idea. We shredded that hokum in “Hijacking Your DNA – It Could Cost You Your Freedom”. As we pointed out, the two most disastrous consequences of paying one of these outfits to “unlock the secrets of your DNA” — your DNA becomes permanently ensconced on their DNA database giving them co-ownership of what makes you tick and once you surrender your DNA, it might (without your permission or knowledge) be accessed by the long arm of the 17 intelligence agencies that undergird the surveillance state.

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How $6.13 Billion is Turning Healthy Americans Into Patients While Drug Companies are Rolling in Dough

“Abdominal discomfort or pain? Bloating? Constipation? It’s time to Talk to Your Doctor About IBS”
—Novartis Ad

Once upon a time, a rich and greedy captain of industry who headed one of the largest drug companies in the U.S. bemoaned the fact that he was forced to sell his drugs only to sick people, a very small share of the consumer market. What he yearned to do was to sell his potions to everyone, increasing the market for his drugs to infinity.

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Hijacking Your DNA: It Could Cost You Your Freedom

“Police used DNA info on genealogy website to track down Golden State Killer suspect” (CNN, 4/28/18). At first glance, a triumph for law enforcement. Not so fast. The method used to identify the suspect—DNA matching — raises troubling questions about a law enforcement agency getting way over its skis. It was not the suspect’s DNA that provided the clue to his identity but that of a relative. The DNA was culled from a genealogy database that didn’t (because it didn’t have to) inform the relative that his (or her) DNA might wind up as part of a law enforcement operation and then on a government database permanently.

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America Misses the Boat Again and Again… Universal Healthcare Out of Sight Out of Mind

Remember the halcyon days of 2009 as the echoes of “change we can believe in” and “yes we can” hadn’t yet succumbed to dashed hopes and dying dreams. America had cut the cord of centuries of racial bias and elected a black man president. Dreams of My Father, Obama’s opus, reinvigorated our belief in the myth of a chosen people.

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Blame It On the Sixties

“It is curious to see America, the United States, looking on herself, first,
as a sort of natural peacemaker, then as a moral protagonist in this terrible time.
No nation is less fitted for this role. For two or more centuries America has
marched proudly in the van of human hatred…to your tents…
and world war with black and parti-colored mongrel beasts!”

—W.E.B. Du Bois, Darkwater: Voices From Within the Veil, 1920

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Eating Her Young: America Reinvents the Law of the Jungle in Her Own Image

“I am 30 years old. I went to college to get a better job. But now I regret going. I originally owed $70,000, have been paying for nine years and now owe $157,000. I can barely afford to go to the dentist or doctor. If there’s an emergency, I have to rely on credit cards or retired parents. I am living at poverty level and would have been better off not going to college. I’m never going to be able to buy a house or save money. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to enjoy life again.” (Kristina M.)

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