Yes Men punk the NRA with "buy one gun, give one gun" program

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At "Share the Safety," you can buy one of three Smith & Wesson guns, and the good folks at the NRA will send another one just like it to a lucky person in a low income, inner-city neighborhood, "law-abiding urbanites who will for the first time be able to defend themselves against those who prey on the urban poor." It's just like Tom's shoes! Read the rest

Neoliberalism, Brexit (and Bernie)

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John Quiggin (previously) delivers some of the most salient commentary on the Brexit vote and how it fits in with Syriza, Podemos, Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders (etc) as well as Trump, French neo-fascists, and other hypernationalist movements. Read the rest

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Pete notes, "What is scary is how easy it was to make." (Thanks, Pete Smith!) Read the rest

US Customs and Border Protection wants to ask for your "online presence" at the border

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The week, the US CBP published a notice in the Federal Register proposing a change to the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record paperwork that visitors to the US fill out when they cross the border, in which they announce plans to ask travellers to "please enter information associated with your online presence." Read the rest

Apps help women bypass states' barriers to contraception

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In many states in America, legislatures have erected punitive, vindictive barriers for women seeking contraception, requiring them to get prescriptions for safe, widely taken medications. Read the rest

The blacker a city is, the more it fines its residents (especially black ones)

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In the aftermath of the Ferguson uprising, much ink was spilled on the reliance of the predominantly black city on fines from its residents to pay its bills -- and on the use of what amounted to debtors' prisons that locked up those who wouldn't or couldn't pay the constant stream of fines and scared the rest into begging and borrowing to pay their own fines. Read the rest

Undercover reporter spent four months as a prison guard in a Louisiana pen run by CCA

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Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is one of the world's largest private jailers; it runs prisons and immigration detention centers across the USA (and is diversifying into halfway houses, mental health center, and surveillance for poor neighborhoods). Mother Jones's Shane Bauer went undercover at CCA's Winn Prison in Louisiana, the state with the highest incarceration rate in the world, and spent four months meticulously documenting the way that CCA destroys the lives of the prisoners in its care and its own employees, while paying its CEO $3.4M/year. Read the rest

Broken Windows policing is nonsense

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For years, the NYPD and other police departments have justified the highly racialized practice of stop-and-frisk and zero-tolerance approaches to turnstyle hopping, etc, by citing the "broken windows" theory of policing -- the idea that if the police stop petty crime, major crime will follow. Read the rest

Misconfigured database exposes sensitive data for 154 million US voters

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A new US voter database leak has exposed the addresses, estimated income, ethnicity, phone numbers, political affiliation, and voting history of 154 million Americans.

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Donald Trump sources $6M worth of campaign expenditures from companies he and his family own

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When billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Steve Forbes get into politics, they firewall their own companies off from their campaigns, demonstrating a basic care about the appearance of conflict of interest -- not so Donald Trump, who rents himself office space, sells himself private jet time, and supplies water, booze, and country club ballrooms.

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Gun control is a great idea, terrorist watchlists are bullshit

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A letter from the ACLU to lawmakers asked them to vote down the Democrats' proposed limits on firearm sales, but not for the same reasons that the NRA objected to the legislation. Read the rest

Samantha Bee puts the NRA before a firing squad

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The NRA -- tone-deaf, intransigent, monied -- are seemingly unstoppable, but if anyone can shoot 'em down, it's Samantha Bee, whose tight, funny, rage-filled 5:30 on America's gun lobby is practically armor-piercing. (via Rolling Stone) Read the rest

Cleveland: "First Amendment zones" will fence protesters far away from RNC

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The city of Cleveland has revealed its crowd control plan for next month's Republican National Convention, a heavily policed, fenced off 3.3 square-mile "event zone" -- the size of Baghdad's Green Zone -- with fenced-off protest areas far from the convention itself. Read the rest

Homeless in Seattle: five essays

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Peter Wieben's five-part series on homelessness in Seattle doesn't try to capture any kind of overarching truth or objective stock-taking of the problem (Seattle is now notorious for its tent cities). Rather, it consists of a series of sharply observed, dryly recounted personal stories from the people he meets, which range from heartbreaking to infuriating.

The conversion of shelter into an asset class has incentivized local governments to make it more expensive, which is a disaster for nearly everyone, except literal rentiers. Combine that with the recasting of poverty as a moral failing and the disappearance of stable employment opportunities and you're well on the way to turning cities into armed standoffs between the fingernail-clinging haves and the have-nots, whose misery only serves to spur the haves to cling harder.

Wieben beautifully captures the difficulty of confronting homelessness in all our lives: the combination of mistrust and sympathy, empathy and helplessness, frustration and affection.

You’d Have to be Crazy (Part I) [Peter Wieben/The Awl]

You’d Have to be Crazy (Part II) [Peter Wieben/The Awl]

You’d Have to be Crazy (Part III) [Peter Wieben/The Awl]

You’d Have to be Crazy (Part IV) [Peter Wieben/The Awl]

You’d Have to be Crazy (Part V) [Peter Wieben/The Awl]

(via Metafilter) Read the rest

Report from the prison-industrial complex's leading trade show

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The Guardian's Rupert Neate attended the 35th annual American Jail Association conference in Austin, and came back with a report on the way that the contractors for America's carceral state talk about their business when they're among themselves. Read the rest

Family of teen raising money to rescue her from pray-the-gay-away "boarding school"

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When Sarah, a 17 year old in Texas, decided to take her girlfriend to the prom, her parents forced her into an "East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens" from which she has repeatedly attempted to escape. Read the rest

Washington Post calls for "blackout" on Trump coverage, appeals to RNC

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Donald Trump's butt-hurt, thin-skinned response to the Washington Post's basic, journalistic skepticism about his Obama-conspires-with-terrorists was to yank the paper's media credentials, adding them to the growing pool of media that is barred from Trump events, which includes "Politico, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Gawker, Foreign Policy, Fusion, Univision, Mother Jones, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Des Moines Register and the Daily Beast" -- as well as any previously accredited news outlet that Trump doesn't feel like admitting on any given day. Read the rest

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