Society, Politics, Economy, Technology, and Culture: Current Issues

Why a Sociology Major?
Daniel Little. Professor of philosophy and chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn

The Black Press Is Dead. Get Over It
July 15, 2012, Originally Published: Wed, 07/11/2012
BY Bruce A. Dixon

In Vast Effort, F.D.A. Spied on E-Mails ofIts Own Scientists
The Food and Drug Administration captured thousands of messages that disgruntled scientists sent privately to lawmakers, lawyers, journalists and even President Obama.
Published: July 14, 2012

Guantánamo Prisoner Is Repatriated to Sudan
A convicted member of Al Qaeda was transferred from the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to his native Sudan — a first for the Obama administration’s military commissions system.
July, 14, 2012, Originally Published: July 11, 2012

Iran’s Aging Airliner Fleet Seen as Faltering Under U.S. Sanctions
Iranians say that sanctions have barred the country from updating its jetliners and left them to patch up planes that are too old to fly.
Published: July 13, 2012

Ethiopia Jails Blogger, Reporters, Opposition Figures
Twenty Ethiopians, including a prominent blogger, journalists and opposition figures were jailed for between eight years to life on Friday on charges of conspiring with rebels to topple the government.
Published: July 13, 2012

Courts Putting Stop-and-Frisk Policy on Trial
Federal and state rulings have cast judges as the most potent critics of the police tactic, raising questions about whether New York City has sidestepped the Constitution.
July, 12, 2012

Service to Israel Tugs at Identity of Arab Citizens
The parallel issue of Arab civilian service to Israel has revived the raw, decades-old conundrum of what it means to be both Arab and Israeli.
July, 12, 2012

U.S. Imposes New Rules to Tighten Vise on Iran
The new measures are intended to tighten the economic vise on Iran, which has continued to show defiance despite evidence that sanctions are damaging the Iranian economy.
July, 12, 2012

Egypt’s President Orders Return of Parliament
President Mohamed Morsi’s decree appeared to be a bold effort to claim authority, raising the specter of confrontation with Egypt’s military and courts.
July 8, 2012

What Labour and the Left Can Learn From Wisconsin
By Arun Gupta and Steve Horn

More Demands on Cell Carriers in Surveillance
Cellphone carriers said they responded to 1.3 million demands last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information on subscribers.
Published: July 8, 2012 

A year after the Utøya massacre
Norway’s day of reckoning
Anders Behring Breivik’s trial has ended, a year after the mass killings that shocked Norway. The country’s prosperity masks a growing social inequality that has allowed the anti-immigrant populist right to harness the frustrations of those who feel they have been left behind
by Remi Nilse,

The Reforging of Russian Society
Tony Wood, New Left Review 74, March-April 2012

Police Reform Activists Targeted by NYPD Won't Give In to Threats
Two activists found a surprise in their local police precinct--a poster with their mug shots, calling them "professional agitators" and providing police with their address.
July 7, 2012, By Kristen Gwynne, AlterNet

The 'Monsanto Rider': Are Biotech Companies About to Gain Immunity from Federal Law?
The Secretary of Agriculture would be required to grant a permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, regardless of environmental impact.
July 6, 2012, AlterNet

What Did Reagan Know About the Argentine Dictatorship's Baby Thefts?
The Reagan administration was aware of a scheme to murder leftist mothers in Argentina and give their infants to military personnel often complicit in the killings.
July 7, 2012, Robert Parry, AlertNet's_baby_thefts?akid=9036.1086942.-D3JXs&rd=1& 

Shamir’s October Surprise Admission
Exclusive: Two decades ago, ex-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir offered the stunning confirmation that “of course” an October Surprise plot had blocked President Jimmy Carter from gaining the release of 52 U.S. hostages in Iran, thus helping Ronald Reagan win the presidency in 1980, reports Robert Parry.
July 3, 2012, By Robert Parry,

The Elephant in the Room: The Police and the Occupy Movement
Thursday, 05 July 2012, By Collin Harris, Truthout | Interview

Melissa Harris-Perry's Awesome 4th of July Address: Imperialism, Genocide, and Slavery
July 4, 2012, By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | Sourced from AlterNet's_awesome_4th_of_july_address:_imperialism,_genocide,_and_slavery/#paragraph6

Welcome to 'Democraship': Egypt and Paraguay Struggle to Overthrow the Old Order
Egyptians and Paraguayans are now realizing new democracies take years, sometimes decades, of co-existing with the nightmare of dictatorship.
July 4, 2012, WORLD Asia Times / By Pepe Escobar, AlterNet'democraship'

Facing Diplomatic Isolation, Syria’s Assad Says He’s Willing to Step Aside

Thursday, 05 July 2012, By Roy Gutman, McClatchy Newspapers | Report’s-assad-says-he’

William Rivers Pitt | The Dawn's Early Light'
Wednesday, 04 July 2012, By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

Corporate Profits at All-Time High; Wages at All-Time Low: Can We Call it Class War Yet?
The middle class is being hollowed out; increasingly, there are the super-super-rich, and there are the rest of us.
June 29, 2012, Sarah Jaffe, AlterNet;_wages_at_all-time_low:_can_we_call_it_class_war_yet/

Doctors demand changes to proposed refugee health policy
Ottawa plan would cut medical services to many vulnerable refugees, including victims of torture
By Maureen Brosnahan, CBC News Posted:  May 11, 2012

Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America
America didn't used to be run like an old Southern slave plantation, but we're headed that way now. How did that happen?
June 28, 2012  Sara Robinson, AlterNet

Bloomberg's Latest Bargaining Chips? Low-Income Children
Mayor Bloomberg came within days of leaving 47,000 of NYC's poorest children without access to child care and after-school programs.
June 28, 2012, Molly Knefel, AlterNet' 

Paraguayan President Ousted: Another Right-Wing Coup in Latin America
By Alyssa Figueroa | Sourced from AlterNet
Posted at June 26, 2012, 1:36 pm 

How Can We Stop the Mexican Drug Insanity When Banks and Much of the Establishment Profit Big Time from Illegal Drugs?
Corruption in the drug war extends far beyond the hands of drug cartels - our own banks, businesses, and government profit from illegalization of drugs.
June 26, 2012, Mark Karlin, 

Microsoft and Yahoo Sells Personal Data to Political Campaigns So They Can Target Users
June 27, 2012, AlterNet, Sourced from The Daily Agenda Posted at June 26, 2012

Letter to Supporters: Once you're trapped, there's no going back
Posted by on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

As Labour Struggles, Have the Big Rights and Liberties Groups Like the ACLU Deserted Unions?
While labour is under powerful battering from conservatives, a strong case can be made that they aren't being supported by some of our most prominent human rights groups.
June 25, 2012 , MArk Mes, The Daily Banter, AlterNet,_have_the_big_rights_and_liberties_groups_like_the_aclu_deserted_unions_/

Glenn Beck Declares War on 'Glee'
Beck might be gone from Fox, but he's got a plan--and it starts with Glee. Yes, the TV show about kids who sing.
June 25, 2012, Sarah Jaffe, Originally Published on June 19, 2012, AlterNet'glee'?

The People Need Robin Hood': Nurses Union Leads Nationwide Campaign to Force Wall Street to Pay Its Fair Share
Economists estimate that tens of billions of dollars could be raised from a tiny tax on Wall Street trades.
June 25, 2012,Alex Kane, Originally Published on June 19, 2012, AlterNet'the_people_need_robin_hood'
'Shock Doctrine' in Action: Vital Freshwater Resources Under Attack by Privatization Capitalists
"I don't consider this an environmentalist point of view; I'm just a human who is scared shitless of the future," says the director of the new film "Patagonia Rising."
June 25, 2012, Scott Thill, Originally Published on June 19, 2012, AlterNet'shock_doctrine'_in_action:_vital_freshwater_resources_under_attack_by_privatization_capitalists?akid=8976.1086942.TfM87T&rd=1&

America's new Jim Crow system
The US war on drugs created a whole new generation of the dispossessed, with millions of black people denied their rights
June 24, 2012, Michelle Alexander,, Originally Published on Thursday 31 March 2011

How the US Government, Banks, Prison-Industrial Complex, Corrupt Officials, Businesses, Law Enforcement, Racists and the CIA Profit From Illegal Drugs
June 24, 2012, By Mark Karlin, originally Published on Firday, June 22, 2012, Truthout | News Analysi

White House Strategy for Africa Revealed: Intensified Militarization and War on Terror
June 24, 2012, Originally Published, Wed, 06/20/2012, — Glen Ford, Balck Agenda Report

Why Is There So Much God in America's Politics?
Presidential candidates have used religion to attack each other for centuries. An expert explains why.
June 24, 2012, Santiago Wills, AlterNet's_politics_?akid=8975.1086942.xyk1GX&rd=1&

How Top Law Professors Are Working To Expand Corporations’ Constitutional 'Rights'
Academia’s best and brightest include conservatives who help corporations hide behind the First Amendment to protect profits.
June 23, 2012, Steven Rosenfeld, Originally Published, June 18, 2012, AlterNetâ??_constitutional_'rights'?akid=8975.1086942.xyk1GX&rd=1&

Wal-Mart’s Honest Graft
Peter Dreier & Donald Cohen - June 21, 2012, Dissent Magazine 

The Forces of “Stability” Win in Greece; Social Disintegration Continues
Kostis Karpozilos - June 22, 2012, Dissent Magazine

Why America's Extreme Politics Will Likely Get Even Worse
A convergence of term limits, redistricting, ideology and inexperience in Congress and state legislatures will result in even more partisan gridlock.
George Bauer, Alternet's_extreme_politics_will_likely_get_even_worse/

Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo Genocide

Mon, 06/18/2012 - 22:28 — Antoine Roger L.

Top Ten Things That Have and Have Have Not Changed In the Era of Obama
Wed, 06/20/2012 - 14:02 — Bruce A. Dixon

House Republican Budget Would Raise Taxes for Middle Class, Cut Them for Millionaires
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
By Pat Garofalo, ThinkProgress

The Greek Elections and the Future of John Maynard Keynes
Monday, 18 June 2012
By Peter Bratsis, Truthout | News Analysis 

Louka Katseli: “Economic Policy Must Change”
Sunday, 17 June 2012
By Fabien Perrier, l'Humanite in English | Interview 

Greek Election May Yet Prove a Victory for Syriza
A rocky coalition between New Democracy and the pro-bailout left could leave Syriza as a formidable force in opposition
by Nick Malkoutzis, Published on Monday, June 18, 2012 by The Guardian/UK

Global Capitalism
European Intellectuals Speak Out AGAINST AUSTERITY–and provide an alternative

May 10, 2012, Tikkun

The War of Lies
by Uri Avnery, June 8, 2012, Tikkun

Paraguay: Murder charges for farmers after land clash
16 June 2012, BBC News

Greece holds key elections over EU bailout
16 June 2012, BBC News

Obama to Permit Young Migrants to Remain in U.S.
President Obama outlined a new immigration policy under which young illegal immigrants who came to the country as children can obtain work permits and will not face deportation.

International Pressure Mounts Over Gaza Blockade
'Military Coup' in Egypt as Court Dissolves Parliament
Top court paved the way for the military to assume parliament's powers

- Common Dreams staff, Published on Thursday, June 14, 2012 by Common Dreams

Arizona Latinos Prepare for Civil Disobedience as Supreme Court Reviews Immigration Law
- Common Dreams staff, Published on Thursday, June 14, 2012 by Common Dreams

Euro 2012: Football fans in Warsaw clash
12 June 2012, BBC News

Not by Bread-and-Marg Alone
Christine Baumgarthuber - June 11, 2012, Dissent Magazine

Honduras: Which Side Is the US On?
Dana Frank, May 22, 2012
Framed: How Redefining Direct Democracy as Anti-Democratic Won Wisconsin
John Nichols on June 12, 2012
We're Going to Lose another Mill'

WoodEx says province allows competitor Canfor, a big BC Liberal backer, to starve its Columbia Valley mill of timber.
By Andrew MacLeod, 9 Jun 2012, Canada's warrantless surveillance bill is back, with surveillance powers for US gov't, too
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Syria accused of organised attacks
Amnesty International claims government is committing crimes against humanity and calls for international response.
14 Jun 2012
Syrian Kurds flee to Iraq for safety
About 2,000 refugees have been sheltered in northern Iraq, many of them army defectors.
05 Jun 2012

Ars Technica: Big Media trying to bring U.S.-style anti-piracy efforts to Canada
Saturday, June 9, 2012 

Suicides Outpacing War Deaths for Troops
There have been 154 suicides among active-duty troops this year, a rate of nearly one death a day that is on pace to set a record annual high since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Published: June 8, 2012

New Russian Law Assesses Heavy Fines on Protesters
Financial penalties will multiply for demonstrators in Russia who have seemed re-energized after President Vladmir V. Putin’s inauguration last month.

Ukraine: Russian Language Law Wins First Passage in Parliament
Defying opposition, Ukraine lawmakers on Tuesday gave tentative approval to a bill that would allow the use of Russian in official settings alongside Ukrainian in some regions.

The imperial way: US decline in perspective
Imperialism is still with us, but power has become more broadly distributed in a diversifying world.
Noam Chomsky, 25 Feb 2012

'Losing' the world: American decline in perspective
American decline is real - but the US remains the world's dominant power by a large margin.
oam Chomsky, 15 Feb 2012

Plutonomy and the precariat: On the history of the US economy in decline
The current US economy is built on 'growing worker insecurity' - people who are too busy and poor to make demands.
Noam Chomsky, 16 May 2012

Amid assaults on press, Uganda police promise reforms
By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Consultant

Most censored nations each distort the Net in own way
By Danny O'Brien/CPJ Internet Advocacy Coordinator

'Afghan civilians killed' in NATO airstrike
NATO says only two light injuries to civilians during operation in Logar province, but local official reports 17 killed.
Aljazeera, 06 Jun 2012

Knesset rejects bill to legalise settlements
Israeli legislators reject attempt to prevent demolition of outpost built on Palestinian land.
Aljazeera, 06 Jun 2012 11:34

Online spying bill C-30: Expert confirms innocent Canadians likely to be caught up in digital dragnet
Posted by Lindsey Pinto on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 12:58

The end of Internet privacy

Posted: 17 April  2012
Right now, the US is poised to pass a new law that would permit US agents to spy on almost everything we do online. But we can stop them before the final vote.
Companies that we trust with our personal information, like Microsoft and Facebook, are key supporters of this bill that lets corporations share all user activity and content with US government agents without needing a warrant in the name of cyber-security -- nullifying privacy guarantees for almost everyone around the world, no matter where we live and surf online. 

House Votes to Approve Disputed Hacking Bill
The vote defies a promised presidential veto on a bill that encourages intelligence agencies and businesses to share information on cyberthreats. 

Stop the Great Firewall of America
Published: November 15, 2011
Legislation meant to protect intellectual property threatens to inflict collateral damage on democratic discourse and dissent.