Teachers describe the terrible state of American education


Teachers from across America (including a Philly elementary school with a $160 annual budget for 400 students!) wrote to Gawker to explain what the No Child Left Behind, charter movement, and the overall war on teachers and education has turned America's classes into.

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8' long, 26lb, 36K calorie gummy snake


Vat 19's gummy python costs $150, but provides all the calories needed to keep you going for weeks, and has "incredible details" including "blended coloring, ridged coils, and thousands of individually carved scales" -- made in the USA, of course (not kosher or halal). (via Geeks Are Sexy)

US Christian terrorism: the other white meat

It's not just in the UK where planning mass-murder to achieve political aims doesn't count as terrorism (if you're a white supremacist and/or Christian fundamentalist) -- in the USA, groups like the Phineas Priesthood can inspire acts of wanton gunplay in populated cities without inspiring the zomgwereallgonnadiedrunhide 24-hour-news-cycle lunacy.

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Corporate sovereignty: already costing the EU billions


"Corporate sovereignty" -- in which foreign companies get to sue the government to penalize it for passing environmental and labor laws that undercut profits -- is the one of the most controversial elements of the TAFTA/TTIP trade agreement the EU is negotiating with the US.

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Republicans in Michigan House pass religious bigotry bill

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by the Republicans in the Michigan House of Reps, follows the same contours as the Arizona pro-bigotry law that Obama Governor Janet Brewer vetoed: it allows shopkeepers to discriminate against people they don't like if they claim their religion demands it.

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Reminder: some US police departments reject high-IQ candidates


Even if you think that IQ tests are unscientific mumbo-jumbo, it's amazing to learn that some US police departments don't, and furthermore, that they defended their legal right to exclude potential officers because they tested too high.

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Buy your own TSA-surplus pornoscanner for $8K


Remember when the TSA spent $113K on Rapiscan pornoscanners that turned out not to work? Now they're selling them off for $8,000.

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What military gear did the Pentagon give to America's cops?


Michael from Muckrock says, "After months of legal wrangling, MuckRock has finally received the complete list of military gear given to local police departments under the Pentagon's 1033 program, including bomb disposal robots, infrared gun sights, small aircraft and rocket launchers."

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Obama Calls For Turret-Mounted Video Cameras On All Police Tanks


As always, the Onion's headline nails it.

A terrible restaurant for Canadian bankers called America


It's in Toronto's Trump hotel, main courses are $45, and it sounds fucking awful.

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Walmart holds food drive...for Walmart employees (again!)


Once again, a Walmart store has set out a collection box for food donations to support its own employees, who are paid so little that they depend upon social assistance (and public generosity) to survive.

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John Oliver on Civil Forfeiture

As always, John Oliver's take on something newsworthy, corrupt, and jaw-droppingly absurd manages to nail it straight through the beating heart.

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WATCH Jay Smooth: Ferguson, riots and human limits

As you'd expect, Jay Smooth has just about the smartest, best, most empathic take on the civil unrest in Ferguson following the failure of the prosecutor to secure an indictment. He quotes Martin Luther King: "riots are the language of the unheard." (via Waxy)

Wrongly convicted man released from US prison after 39 years

Jose writes, "A 12 year old child was forced by the police to give false testimony against three black teens in 1975; the last two men have just been released from prison. I was moved to tears by both the terrible injustice and the way one of these men, Ricky Jackson, spoke out without any sign of hatred."

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Senate to vote on crucial transparency bill

Gavin writes, "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on an important bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, America's open records law."

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