American Justice: As Unequal As American Economics

What in Sam Hill is going on? Donald Trump revoking security clearances of the assorted also-ran ex-ghouls who used to be officials in what the government and beltway media would have you believe is the “best and brightest’ intelligence community in the world. They said that fifty years ago -it wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now. Those in danger of losing their pot of gold (aka their security clearance} include two admitted perjurers, an Obama apologist who was willing to publicly lie about the administration’s dirty dealings in Libya and an army general who uses his security clearance to shill for big, fat government contracts for the defense industry. There is however a real threat to Americans who don’t have security clearances and powerful friends in D.C. It’s all spelled out in the 2012 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) sections 1021, 1022. Back in 1942, also in the midst of war (six less than the U.S. is involved in today) FDR, like Obama, considered a “man of the people” detained over 120,000 Japanese-Americans without charge or trial in military concentration camps. Think history can’t repeat itself? Read this article, and don’t think it can’t happen again.

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Suspicious Angels Gets It Wrong

Want to gloat a little? Run don’t walk to “Suspicious Angels Gets It Wrong.” That’s right, we are confessing that our overly optimistic hope that Neil Gorsuch would grow a moral vision consonant with democratic values flew in the face of our recognition of how an increasingly authoritarian, billionaire-run government, with leaders from both sides of the aisle profiting by our endless war strategy chooses justices who know the game and how to play it. We make up for our egregious faux pas by shining the light on departing Justice Arthur Kennedy, not swing-justice Kennedy, but right-wing Justice Kennedy appointed by the right’s lodestone, Ronald Reagan and never forgetting for a moment whose beat he was marching to. What does it all come down to? Democracy sold to the highest bidder and a Supreme Court willing to sanctify the transactions which include installing a president, legalizing voter suppression laws and dealing a death-blow to the U.S. union movement. Abortion rights are probably their next target. Justice takes on new meaning when democracy is corrupted by wealth and power. One thing for sure – the U.S. has left its democratic “cred” in the dust and the corporatist warmongers now control both politics and policy.

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Hijacking Your DNA: It Could Cost You Your Freedom

As propitious moments go, this is the perfect time to remind our readers of the perils of having your DNA analyzed by one of the rapidly multiplying genealogical research firms. Before you make this potentially life-changing decision, be sure to read this article for a no-holds-barred look at the pros (not many) and cons (lots and lots) of succumbing to the genealogical companies’ siren song.

Unfortunately, for 12 million people (mostly Americans), this warning comes too late. Their DNA is now co-owned by one of the four or five largest players in “genealogical research.” No doubt about it, business is booming. More people took genetic ancestry tests last year than in all previous years combined. Ancestry.com, the largest genealogy company, announced that it had tested more than seven million people, including two million during the last four months of 2017.

How did these eager beavers entice so many otherwise careful consumers into their spider’s web? The old-fashioned way—advertising.

More than a felt need of consumers, the evidence indicates that the testing boom has more to do with the prodigious sums these companies are dumping into advertising. In 2016, Ancestry.com spent $109 millions on TV and other media spots. 23andMe, a smaller company, doing business at the same lemonade stand spent $21 million.

This is big business. Considering the amount of money swirling around, the stakes are high. Corporate behemoths are after your DNA and it’s not altruism that’s driving the aggressive marketing. It’s profits. Once your DNA is permanently ensconced on the database of any one of these companies, profit-making opportunities abound.

Even the Feds might come calling (probably already have). When it comes to the government’s involvement in the DNA collecting of for-profit genealogy firms, one curious little “coincidence” comes to mind. The largest genealogy company in the world is located in Utah. The NSA (laughingly referred to as the “intelligence community”) has spent the past two years building the $1.7 billion Utah Data Center where gargantuan amounts of your data in the form of emails, phone calls, google searches and other sources will be stored. Once the supercomputers are rolled in, it will be all hands-on-deck, about 200 technicians roaming around the one million square foot facility dealing with what used to be considered private and personal information. Not in today’s national security-obsessed America.

Hmm…a million square feet of space waiting for purloined information and the largest DNA-data base company practically on the doorstep. Reason to worry? Read “Hijacking Your DNA: It Could Cost You Your Freedom” and decide for yourself.

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Exceptional America to U.S. Workers: Drop Dead

“Sis, Boom, Bah” —Whoops of joy from all sectors of the American noise machine, media pundits, neoliberal economists and media talking heads celebrating the rebirth of the American economy. An economic miracle, we are told, that will float all boats. The streets may not be paved with gold —yet but count on it, in the words of one of our former delusional presidents (there’s 45 to choose from), there’ll be a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. In a more recent example, ex-president Obama was still patting himself on the back for all those jobs his administration created “We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far… A streak that still continues by the way…”

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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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Getting the Short End of the Stick —Why #Me Too Might Not Be the Best Answer

I met them all. Some were vicious and crooked. But…
you saw Hollywood with their eyes—an overcrowded
brothel, a merry-go-round with beds for horses.”
—Marilyn Monroe

“One-in-four women [25%] said they have earned less than a man who was
doing the same job; just 5% of men said they have earned less than
a woman doing the same job.”
—Pew Research Center

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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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Pound for Pound: The Growing Girth of Americans Means Big Profits for the (Fast) Food and Drug Companies

The whole world is watching as Americans pack on the pounds. The latest report released by federal health officials last week (March 23), confirms what a 15-minute stroll around any Walmart in America would prove- we’re putting on the pounds at break neck speed. According to the CDC, “obesity is common, serious and costly.” As to “common,” – in 2007-2008, one-third of Americans were obese (BMI of 30 plus). In 2012, a mere four years later, 35.7% of Americans had waddled into the obese category. From that point to today, Americans have been loosening their belts at warp speed.

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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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America’s War on Women: Move Over Weinstein, Lauer, Halperin, Rose, Franken: The World’s Sole Superpower Has Its Own Sordid Tale

J’accuse -The Women Speak Up
I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch…”

The Excuse – Dirty Old (and Young) Men Respond
“I don’t know [the accuser] from anyone. I never talked to her. This never happened, they know it never happened and, obviously, you don’t wait 40 years to bring up something like this.”

The Federal Government to Women -You’re Not Our Problem
“It is fundamentally unjust and discriminatory for the [U.S.] government to deny women on Medicaid the same reproductive health options as women with economic means” In 2017, the 1976 Hyde Amendment prohibits 13.5 million women of child-bearing age from using their Medicaid health insurance to cover the cost of an abortion. Since 1977, over one million women have been forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.”

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