Elizabeth Warren's plan to denazify America

Elizabeth Warren has released a characteristically detailed campaign plan to counter white nationalist violence in the USA, whose multi-pronged approach includes directing the DoJ to be more vigorous in pursuing white nationalist groups (and to lay off the Cointelpro-style surveillance of groups that advocate for protections for racialized people); centralized data collection on white nationalist violence; FBI assistance in local investigations of white nationalist groups; global collaboration to disrupt international white terrorist organizations; purges of Nazis in the US military; using background checks to deny firearms to members and supporters of violent white nationalist groups; reforming school curriculum to head off white nationalist trends; creating an interagency task-force to combat white nationalism; and to "combat violent extremist content on the Internet in a manner consistent with freedom of expression" (a neat trick if she can manage it). Read the rest

Cable is bullshit, and so is 5G: give me fiber or give me death!

America has some of the worst, most expensive broadband in the developed world, thanks to massive market concentration, grotesque regulatory capture, and systematic underinvestment in crumbling telcoms infrastructure. Read the rest

Across America, the average worker can't afford the median home

In 74% of US counties, the average worker can't afford the median home. It's getting worse: Six months ago, it was 71% of counties. The results come from Attom's new survey of house prices. Read the rest

NYT calls for an end to legacy college admissions

In the wake of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, a new debate opened up, about the mundane, everyday ways that wealthy people buy their way into elite institutions: from hiring, poorer, smarter kids to write their kids' essays, to surrendering custody of your kids in order to misappropriate low-income tuition grants, to simply "donating" shit-tons of money to the school. Read the rest

Small town, independent and municipally owned ISPs offer America's best connectivity

An article of faith among neoliberals is that monopolies are efficient because they are so profitable that they can offer better prices to their customers as well as better services. Read the rest

Heirs' property: how southern states allow white land developers to steal reconstruction-era land from Black families

Back in 2017, The Nation ran a superb, in-depth story on "heirs' property," a legalized form of property theft that allows primarily rich white developers to expropriate land owned by the descendants of Black slaves. Read the rest

Britain's US ambassador: Trump is "insecure, incompetent, inept"

A leaked cable from the British ambassador to the US, sent home to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has the ambassador calling Trump "insecure," "incompetent" and "inept." In the ambassador's defense, it's completely true. Trump has not yet commented on the news. Read the rest

Frederick Douglass: What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

1852: "This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day." Read the rest

The widening health gap between America's rich and poor is the result of worse health for the poor, not better health for the rich

Apologists for wealth inequality often argue that inequality is a poor measure of whether a society is just or not: in the gospel of the right, society naturally forms hierarchies with the "best people" at the top (depending on what kind of right winger you are, that's either rich people or male people or white people or straight people, or some combination thereof), and they proceed to bring prosperity to all of us by ordering us around and telling us what to do, so that their wisdom can be played out for the world (see also: "job creators"). Read the rest

Reverse mortgages: subprime's "stealth aftershock" that is costing elderly African-Americans their family homes

Reverse mortgages -- complex home loans -- are aggressively marketed to elderly people, especially in African-American neighborhoods, using deceptive tactics that offer false promised to "eliminate monthly payments permanently" with "a risk-free way of being able to access home equity." Read the rest

Americans are too poor to survive whether or not they're working

A new study from the United Way claims that 43% of American households are in a status called "asset limited, income constrained, employed" (ALICE), which denotes employed people who can't afford housing, food, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and a cellphone -- the basics of modern living. Read the rest

The US requires visas for some EU citizens, so now all US citizens visiting the EU will be subjected to border formalities too

Many countries around the world have a policy of reciprocal border treatment -- I once traveled to Uganda and the visa payment demanded at the border varied on your citizenship, based on what your country charged Ugandans to travel there; likewise, after the US started fingerprinting visitors, Brazil starting fingerprinting Americans (and only Americans!) at the border. Read the rest

DHS plans to use credit-scores to judge who may become a citizen

The US Department of Homeland Security has published a new proposed rule that would make people ineligible for US citizenship if their credit-scores were poor. Read the rest

In America, the young find distinguishing fact from opinion easier than their elders

A recent Pew poll challenged subjects to distinguish between factual statements and statements of opinion in news articles; it found that there is a large gap in accuracy between 18- to 49-year-olds (32% of whom correctly labeled 100% of the facts, and 44% of whom correct labeled 100% of the opinions) and those aged 50 and up (20% correctly labeled all facts; 26% correctly labeled all opinions). Read the rest

American tech adoption has flatlined

The Pew Center reports that there's been virtually no growth in US adoption of broadband, computers, mobile devices, or smart home devices for two years, and not just because of saturation: the top culprit is substandard, unavailable and/or overpriced broadband; also prominent is older peoples' fear of their own technological illiteracy. (via /.) Read the rest

"Like Lord of the Flies": working at the TSA really sucks

A new report summarizing three years of investigationsfrom the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the TSA calls out the agency for its "toxic leadership culture, misconduct, mismanagement, whistleblower retaliation and obstruction," citing these as the reason for the agency's 20% annual attrition rates. Read the rest

Carriers to FCC: Americans would totally be happy with throttled, capped wireless at home instead of home fiber

Every year, the FCC checks in with the industry it nominally regulates to see whether broadband deployment is going well; if it determines that Americans are getting the internet they need, then it can legally shrug off its duty to regulate the carriers and force them to step up the pace. Read the rest

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