Airport full-body scanners no longer optional, if the TSA screener doesn't like you

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At their sole discretion, and without any public guidelines, TSA agents can now opt you back into the full-body scanner, even if you opt out. Read the rest

The evolution of anti-evolution bills

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In a new paper in Science (paywalled), Nicholas J. Matzke from the National University of Australia demonstrates the evolutionary connection between anti-evolution bills introduced into US state legislatures in a series of iterated attempts to ban or weaken the teaching of evolution by natural selection and to promote Biblical creationism in various guises in its stead. Read the rest

Colorado Congressman Jared Polis on why he voted against the terrible, corrupt omnibus bill

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The Omnibus Budget bill that Paul Ryan crammed through Congress last week didn't just harbor a domestic mass surveillance law and a bunch of nonsensical dog-whistles about ACORN and pornography, it was also full of grotesque pork for rich people and pointless government boondoggles. Read the rest

Lawsuit: California's county jails put inmates in solitary for cruel, arbitrary, illegal periods

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There have been plenty of lawsuits challenging America's prisons' use of solitary confinement as a form of torture; but the situation is no better in the jails where prisoners await arraignment, trial and sentencing, and can spend years in solitary. Read the rest

America's permanent, ubiquitous tent-cities

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Homelessness in America dwindled away after WWII, when the GI Bill and generous social programs seemed to finally get on top of a problem that had been with the country since its inception; but starting with Reagan's mass de-institutionalizations and cuts to social services, homelessness has only grown, a phenomenon America answered by criminalizing being alive, and pretending not to notice homeless people in encampments at the edge of more and more US cities. Read the rest

CALL NOW: Paul Ryan is trying to sneak mass surveillance into the budget bill!

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Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is trying to use a Congressional loophole to push through two attacks on our Internet freedom in the 'omnibus' must-pass budget bill that Congress is expected to file tonight. He wants to include the final version of CISA which has been completely stripped of privacy protections. And he wants to include a rider that would undermine the FCC's ability to enforce the net neutrality protections we fought so hard to win this year. There's still time to stop this sneak attack, go to BattleForTheNet.com or call 1-832-YOUR-NET to call Congress now! Read the rest

Billionaire GOP superdonors aren't getting what they paid for

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The billionaires who bankrolled Mitt Romney and other Republican establishment candidates are becoming disillusioned with the political classes, who give them the mushroom treatment: keep 'em in the dark and shovel shit all over them. Read the rest

US politicians, ranked by their willingness to lie

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Angie Drobnic Holan, of the respected, nonpartisan factchecking org Politifact has an editorial in the New York Times about the record levels of falsehood in the GOP race, an outlier in a general increase in the literal factualness of political campaigns, thanks to fact-checking orgs like hers. Read the rest

North Carolina town rejects solar because it'll suck up sunlight and kill the plants

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A town meeting in Woodland, North Carolina heard public comments on a proposed solar farm in which citizens, including a retired science teacher called Jane Mann spoke out against the proposal. Read the rest

America: shrinking middle class, growing poverty, the rich are getting richer

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A new Pew report analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors finds that America's middle class has shrunk to the smallest share of the US population for the first time in four decades; while the share of national wealth owned by the middle class has dwindled and the share of wealth controlled by the rich has grown. The number of poor Americans has also grown, as middle class families slip into poverty. Read the rest

Donald Trump does politics like US TV, which is why he's so popular

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Matt Taibbi is on fire as ever in Rolling Stone, analyzing the weird relationship between Donald Trump and the media: he does politics in just the way that cable news reports on it: disjointedly, without empathy or nuance or complexity. Unlike polished American politicos, Donald Trump is a TV watcher, and he knows how to speak to his people. Read the rest

US immigration law: so f'ed up that Trump's no-Muslim plan would be constitutional

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For more than a century, the US judiciary has been handing down rulings that affirm that non-US citizens, including those seeking entry into the USA, have no rights under the US Constitution -- rulings that also grant the President the power to exclude people based on race, marital status and other biased grounds. Read the rest

Multi-generational cruelty: America's prisons shutting down kids' visitations

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The history of American prison visitations are a mix of racism ("black men, denied sex, will riot in jail") and compassion -- especially the late 1960s' ground-breaking, multi-day family visitation programs that allowed prisoners to play and live with their children for a whole weekend a few times every year. Read the rest

Unelectable Lindsey Graham throws caution to the wind

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Now that Lindsey Graham is totally unelectable, he's decided to drop out of the "say the craziest thing I can think of" race and started a new one: the race to say things that are obviously true to everyone who's not trying to win the Tea Party, low-information-voter, religious fundamentalist vote. Read the rest

The TPP's ban on source-code disclosure requirements: bad news for information security

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The secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership is 2,000 pages' worth of regulatory favors for various industries, but one that stands out as particularly egregious is the ban on rules requiring source-code disclosure. Read the rest

In the first 334 days of 2015, America has seen 351 mass shootings (and counting)

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The data from Mass Shooting Tracker tell the tale: America averages more than one mass shooting every single day.

In the first 334 days of 2015, America has seen 351 mass shootings, and counting.

2015 is on track to be the deadliest year in American history, having already beat 2014, and likely to zoom past 2013's 363 mass shootings.

Read the rest

Not even the scapegoats will go to jail for BP's murder of the Gulf Coast

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After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in which BP killed 12 people, millions of marine and land animals, and one ecosystem, two scapegoats were located to fit up for criminal manslaughter charges: the supervisors aboard the platform at the time of its explosion. Read the rest

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