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Congress was giving spies a pass back in 1975, too


If you are outraged by American spies getting a free pass from their political masters (and you really should be), remember that this is an age-old tradition. Matt Stoller revisits the 1975 Congressional hearings in which radical Congresswoman Bella Abzug grilled CIA director William Colby over the CIA's records of the membership rolls of peaceful, domestic protest groups, only to have Arizona Congressman Sam Steiger suck up to the spook-in-chief, expressing concern that anti-American terrorists could destroy the CIA by sending it too many Freedom of Information Act requests.

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Phoenix cops arrest prostitutes, detain them without trial in churches, pressure them to take deals without access to lawyers


Molly Crabapple sez, "I wrote this piece about a program in Phoenix called Project ROSE arrests sex workers in massive raids and brings them to a church, where they are held extra-judicially and offered alternative sentences without lawyers, judges, or due process."

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Poop Strong: Cancer patient whose costs exceeded insurance cap wins victory, via Twitter

Arijit, 31, is graduate student in Arizona who was diagnosed about a year and a half ago with stage IV colon cancer. He endured multiple surgeries, and grueling rounds of chemotherapy. Then, in February, 2012, the cost of his treatment exceeded the lifetime limit on his graduate student health plan, which is managed by Aetna.

His coverage was terminated. His cancer was not.

He launched what we cancer patients sometimes refer to as an internet lemonade stand: a site called Poop Strong (a light-hearted parody of "Livestrong"). At poopstrong.org, he invited well-wishers to make a donation or buy schwag, with all proceeds going to his healthcare.

But, big news today, as his pal Kirk Caron tells Boing Boing,

In the six months between when he was dropped and when he'll be picked up by another student health plan, he's been looking at well over $100K in medical bills for his treatments. In addition to updates about his own condition and the state of Poop Strong, Arijit's been tweeting (naturally) about the state of health insurance, and recently, Aetna got involved. The conversation (as Twitter convos tend to do) sort of spirals out from the main thread between Arijit and Aetna.

That's an understatement! Arijit ended up debating directly with the CEO of Aetna, Mark T. Bertolini. The tl;dr: Aetna, and Mr. Bertolini, agreed in the end to cover the full extent of bills that accrued since Arijit was dropped from insurance (about $118,000).

"The system is broken," said Bertolini. "I really am trying to fix it."

Arijit is redirecting all of the donations he received the University of Arizona Cancer Center Patient Assistance Fund and The Wellness Community (Arizona), to directly assist other people with cancer who cannot pay for the life-saving medical treatments they need.

I spoke with Arijit today, and will be publishing a transcript/audio of our conversation soon. He's a really cool guy, and he has some insights from this experience that I think everyone should hear. It looks like Arijit is covered, for now, but the system is still broken. The debate over health care costs has become a political football—but for people like me and Arijit and everyone else in America who isn't in the 1%, health care costs are literally a matter of life and death. No one should suffer or die because they can't afford medical treatment. It really is that simple.

Arijit's friend Jen Wang created a Storify of the twitter exchange between Arijit, Aetna's PR reps, and Aetna's CEO. You can read this below.

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HULK SMASH MEXICANS

hulk.jpg

GNRRRRGGGGH! LOU FERRIGNO, ACTOR PLAY HULK IN POPULAR '70S TV SERIES, JOIN ARIZONA SHERIFF POSSE TARGETING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA. REUTERS SAY:

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Ferrigno, 59, a body builder who donned green makeup to star in the popular 1970s television series 'The Incredible Hulk,' was among 56 people sworn in as volunteers for an armed immigration posse. Arpaio said the posse would work with sheriff's deputies in operations targeting smugglers and businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants in the county, among other duties.
GRRHRNNNH! HULK NO LIKE MEXICANS! THIS URL SAY STEVEN SEAGAL AND DUDE FROM MISSION IMPOSSIBLE ALSO WANT HELP HULK SMASH MEXICANS WITH ARMED CITIZEN POSSE!
(via Lalo Alcaraz)

Little Brother, the play, back on in Phoenix, AZ

A high-school in Phoenix, Arizona is mounting a production of the theatrical adaptation of my novel Little Brother (this is the same script that was mounted for the 2008 performances in Chicago, written by Bill Massolia). They're doing a three-night run, starting tomorrow -- tickets are still available.

Mechanical mustache will make you look like a dandy robotnik

This swell mechanical mustache would be the pride of any lip, but it belongs to John Kit, who sported it at the first anniversary celebration of HeatSync Labs in Chandler, AZ.

Mechanical Mustache Project (via Make)

Used book domino run

Mammoth Arizona used book seller Bookmans made this sweet advert featuring a warehouse sized store in which thousands of used books do a domino run across counters, shelves, floors, etc. Hypnotic!

Bookmans Does Book Dominoes (via Neatorama)

DJ Spooky and Chuck D remix "By the Time I Get to Arizona" in honor of anti-immigrant law


DJ Spooky sez, "I just finished a studio session with Chuck D from Public Enemy. In the wake of Republican Governor Jan Brewer's appalling anti-immigrant law, me and Chuck D were rappin' and we decided to put together an update of his classic track 'By The Time I get To Arizona.'

" Anyone who knows about hip hop from the early 90's remembers John McCain's unwillingness to endorse creating a local version of Martin Luther King's birthday. The update here is a 21st century look in the rear view mirror. The cliché that 'those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it' still holds sway in our hyper amnesiac culture. I remixed D.W. Griffith's infamous film Birth of a Nation with a bit of Public Enemy in mind, and later on, they named an e.p. with the same name as my project."

By the Time I Get to Arizona (Thanks, Spooky!)

(Image: TIFF Wrap Party #35, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from tsarkasim's photostream)

Public Enemy's By the Time I Get to Arizona

A few minutes late, but man, this is good stuff.

YouTube - Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)