NOW LIVE ON WhoWhatWhy
MEDIA FAIL: Watch Boston Media Admit Bias Against Tsarnaev by Lara Turner
Several mainstream media reporters in Boston admitted that they don’t see the need to use the word “alleged” when talking about Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The trial is merely a formality, and so are journalistic ethics, apparently. Lara Turner examines the shocking admission.
UPDATE: Portland Votes For the Police State by Curt Hopkins
The city of Portland, Oregon will fully rejoin the FBI-led Joint Counterterrorism Task Force, after being the lone holdout nationwide. In doing so, Portland rejoins a network of 104 such multi-agency units which have proliferated the federal government’s national security mandate to the local level in force since the 9/11 attacks.
At Last, Proof of a Climate Scientist Getting Rich Peddling Science
It’s the white whale of climate denialism—the rogue scientist who throws the sand of doubt into the gears of progress simply because she or he is on big oil’s payroll. What makes more sense than a simple quid pro quo between oil interests and a self-serving huckster? But there hasn’t been a smoking gun … until now. Meet Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The go-to man for climate deniers, Willie’s whistle has been wetted by “$1.2 million in grants and contributions from fossil fuel companies and aligned interests,” according to documents obtained by Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center. Willie’s well-paid doubts have been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. James Inhofe (OK-R), among others.
States Predict Inmates’ Future Crimes with Secretive Surveys
Can big data curtail the growth of America’s Prison-Industrial Complex? That’s the hope of states and counties using detailed questionnaires to collect information from prisoners. If the data is accurate, the answers can be used to predict a future proclivity to reoffend. By pinpointing those likely to commit future crimes, cash-strapped states and counties can target their correctional efforts and limited resources toward potential recidivists. However, the accuracy of the responses provided by prisoners is crucial. False answers can easily mask future issues and help violent criminals slip past the system. But since states and counties spend $92 billion a year on corrections, the promise of savings offered by predictive criminology is too alluring to resist.
The Real American Exceptionalism
Noted American historian Alfred W. McCoy has written a compelling indictment of America’s post-9/11 war machine which is, according to McCoy, founded upon a complete disregard for international law. That disregard is the necessary predicate for the rapid growth of the “clandestine state” first concocted by the CIA during the Cold War. The CIA’s excesses were often hidden in or, at least, obfuscated by the brutal regimes they propped up. But since the start of the War on Terror, excesses have become the norm. This hegemonic process is catalyzed by the War on Terror, persistently promoted by the Neocon braintrust and, with over a trillion dollars of spending since 9/11, oh-so beneficial to the Military-Industrial Complex.
Managing the Growing Risk of Human-Made Earthquakes
Human-induced earthquakes are on the rise. Last year, fracking-friendly Oklahoma experienced more earthquakes than California. And that’s the rub—oil- and gas-extracting states like Ohio and Texas are causing earthquakes as they drill down to pump out the profits. Actually, the main culprit is the re-injection of often-toxic wastewater from the fracking process and a carbon sequestration process that sweeps greenhouse gases under Mother Earth’s rug by pumping it into disposal wells. Now the industry is looking for ways to “manage” the hazard. Why not just … stop with the kicking?!
Hedge Funds Are a Racket, in 2 Charts
Rich people think they can beat the market by investing in hedge funds. Those funds are “actively-managed investment plans” forever reaching for yield on behalf of their well-heeled clients. But while the stock market is reaching new highs, hedge funds haven’t been doing so well. In fact, the great “promise” of the mega-rich getting mega-richer through hedge fund plays hasn’t really been true (in the aggregate). In fact, the average hedge fund has underperformed the S&P 500 over the last decade. But the hedge fund managers still do quite well. They charge customers a 2% fee on funds invested and an additional 20% of any profits earned.
Misdirected Vengeance Can Still Feel Just
Can science explain why most Americans feel no shame over the destruction of Iraq? A new study examines the phenomenon of “displaced revenge”—the targeting of a proxy in place of the original transgressor. Psychologists found that the aggrieved party experiences “sweeter” revenge when the proxy is in some way “akin to” or “seems to belong to the same group as the wrongdoer.” Apparently, revenge is a lot like horseshoes and hand grenades, because “close enough” counts.
Like what you see? Sign up to subscribe.