UK cops demand list of attendees at university fracking debate


Canterbury Christ Church University refused to give the Kent police a list of the attendees at a debate on fracking, despite the cops insistence that they needed to have the names to assess "the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety."

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Stross's Merchant Princes books in omnibus editions


Charlie Stross's "Merchant Princes" series-- a sly, action-packed romp that blends heroic fantasy, military science fiction, economics, politics, and alternate worlds -- originally published as six mass-market paperbacks, is now available in three handy trade-paperbacks.

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Mashup artist challenges Sony to stop gaming Youtube's censorship system

Hugh Atkin (of Romney Raps Eminem fame) writes, "This is a new video I've made in response to repeated, identical claims of copyright infringement by Sony Music Entertainment in respect of my 2008 video 'Barackroll.' Every time I've challenged a complaint, they've let it lapse and then subsequently filed identical complaints."

The high cost of being poor

An excerpt from Linda Tirado's 2014 book Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America lays out some of the ways that being poor costs more than having a comfortable income -- it's more than having to pay for high daily rents in a motel because you can't afford first-and-last.

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Senator Jay Rockefeller singlehandedly kills Freedom of Information Act reform


The House unanimously passed a bill that would bring much-needed improvements to the Freedom of Information Act; the Senate had bi-partisan support for it, too -- but outgoing Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) singlehandedly killed the bill in a closed-door committee meeting.

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Leaked docs detail Big Oil and Big PR's plans for a opinion-manipulation platform


The leaked slides were prepared by Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, at the behest of Transcanada, and they constitute a blueprint for tracking and influencing platform that spies on its participants in order to psychologically profile them and nudge them into becoming advocates for the oil industry.

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The Oatmeal to Ted Cruz: Net Neutrality is not Obamacare


It's very well said, but the amazing thing is that it needed to be said at all.

Plutocrats' visual guide to rigging elections


From the Mayday.US super PAC (which backs candidates who promise to abolish super PACs).

21K Kansans' votes will be suppressed this election

To combat the virtually nonexistent crime of voter fraud, 21,000 Kansans (including veterans) who registered as voters will be turned away from the polls, have their votes registered as "provisional."

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Sen Lindsay Graham promises a fine future for "white men in male-only clubs"


Ha-ha-only-serious: He was speaking to the all-male Hibernian Society of Charleston, making a ribald speech peppered with (telling) humor, when he promised them that under a Lindsay Graham presidency "white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great."

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Hungary cancels proposed Internet tax in the face of mass opposition


After 100,000 Hungarians took to the street in opposition to a per-megabyte tax on their Internet usage, the autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orban (whose election was characterized by outside observers as "free but not fair") was forced into a rare climbdown.

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David Graeber and Thomas Piketty on whether capitalism will destroy itself

Graeber wrote the magisterial Debt: The First 5,000 Years; Piketty, of course, wrote the essential Capital in the 21st Century -- in a must-read dialog, they discuss their differences and similarities and offer views on whether capitalism will collapse.

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Vladimir Putin takes the gloves off

In a virulently anti-Western and uncharacteristically blunt speech, Russian spy-turned-president Vladimir Putin set out his agenda for Russia and its relationship to "western elites." The speech wasn't widely reported in the west, but Dmitry Orlov has helpfully translated, transcribed and summarized it.

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Millions in dark money via U.S. Chamber of Commerce influencing midterm elections

USChamber

The Chamber has spent $32 million in dark money from undisclosed donors, 96% of which has gone to oppose Democratic congressional candidates, according to a new Public Citizen report. Average spending topped $900,000 per race.

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