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Joseph Stiglitz at The New York Times writes—The Wrong Lesson From Detroit’s Bankruptcy:

Detroit’s travails arise in part from a distinctive aspect of America’s divided economy and society. As the sociologists Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Bischoff have pointed out, our country is becoming vastly more economically segregated, which can be even more pernicious than being racially segregated. Detroit is the example par excellence of the seclusion of affluent (and mostly white) elites in suburban enclaves. There is a rationale for battening down the hatches: the rich thus ensure that they don’t have to pay any share of the local public goods and services of their less well-off neighbors, and that their children don’t have to mix with those of lower socioeconomic status.

The trend toward self-reinforcing inequality is especially apparent in education, an ever shrinking ladder for upward mobility. Schools in poorer districts get worse, parents with means move out to richer districts, and the divisions between the haves and the have-nots — not only in this generation, but also in the next — grow ever larger.

Paul Krugman at The New York Times writes—Milton Friedman, Unperson:
What ever happened to Friedman’s role as a free-market icon? The answer to that question says a lot about what has happened to modern conservatism.

For Friedman, who used to be the ultimate avatar of conservative economics, has essentially disappeared from right-wing discourse. Oh, he gets name-checked now and then — but only for his political polemics, never for his monetary theories. Instead, Rand Paul turns to the “Austrian” view of thinkers like Friedrich Hayek — a view Friedman once described as an “atrophied and rigid caricature” — while Paul Ryan, the G.O.P.’s de facto intellectual leader, gets his monetary economics from Ayn Rand, or more precisely from fictional characters in “Atlas Shrugged.”

One of the sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Robert Meeropol writes at the Los Angeles Times, A kinship with Bradley Manning:
We now know that my parents' trial judge collaborated with the prosecution, that witnesses perjured themselves and that evidence was fabricated; but we also know that my father, codefendant Morton Sobell and others did provide valuable military information to the Soviet Union during the 1940s. What they transmitted, however, wasn't the secret of the atomic bomb as the government claimed to justify the death sentence, and the government executed my mother even though officials knew she did not engage in any espionage.

The nuanced understanding we gained from learning the truth about what went on behind the scenes has provided us with very valuable lessons both about security failures and the increased need for constitutional protections in times of crisis.

Paul Haeder at Dissident Voice writes—On-line Dildo Salesman Bezos is the News Fit to Print:
The ability to make change and expose corruption and to move people to action, well, it’s gone, and the revolution will not be televised, and Change.org will not stop climate change and the Huffington Post is not the Fourth Estate.

Seems that my life has always been entwined in the losing battle – you know, journalism major coupled with marine biology major as newspapers were being bought up by Pulitzer and Gannett and reefs and turtles were being scoured by the belly of the beast Red Lobster and Star Kist.

More pundits can be found below the fold.

The editors of Haaretz conclude that the Settlements will continue to determine Israel's future:

The government will do anything it can to sabotage the talks with the Palestinians. There is no other way to interpret the Civil Administration’s endorsement of plans to build 878 new housing units in secluded West Bank settlements. The government will also forge ahead with creating facts on the ground, just in case the talks get under way. The addition of 91 settlements to Israel’s national priority areas attests to this.

Saeb Erekat, head of the Palestinian negotiation team, has warned that the construction in the West Bank jeopardizes the direct negotiations scheduled to open in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a State Department spokeswoman has said the United states does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and opposes any effort to legalize outposts.

But the Israeli government is not impressed. It sees itself as a victim of diplomatic rape intended to end the dream of a Greater Land of Israel. The government is determined to battle anyone seeking to thwart this dream.

Matthew Blake at In These Times writes—Will Illinois ‘Ban the Box?’:
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has promised to issue an administrative order within the next two weeks “banning the box” on applications for state government jobs. Applicants with criminal histories will no longer have to check a box disclosing that they have been convicted of, or pled guilty to, a crime. [...]

According to the National Employment Law Project, one in four work-eligible adults—a total of 65 million people—has some type of criminal record. Many of these people have their job applications thrown away or at least discredited: In 2012, more than two-thirds of employers run criminal background checks on applicants, according to a Society of Human Resources Management survey.

Mariah Blake at Mother Jones writes—George Zimmerman's Biggest Defender: A Racist With a Criminal Past:
In April 2012, two days before George Zimmerman was arrested for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, he huddled with a fellow neighborhood watch volunteer, Frank Taaffe. According to Taaffe, who disclosed the meeting on Fox News, Zimmerman asked him to share "several talking points" with the media. Taaffe obliged. Indeed, as Zimmerman's legal drama unfolded over the next year and a half, Taaffe emerged as his most visible and outspoken defender. He gave hundreds of interviews to media outlets, ranging from the New York Times to Fox News to CNN, and made near-daily appearances on cable news shows during Zimmerman's trial. [...]

Taaffe was hardly the ideal person to be weighing in on a case suffused with racial angst—or commenting on criminal-justice matters, period. A Mother Jones investigation has found that the 56-year-old New York native has a lengthy criminal record that includes charges of domestic violence and burglary, and a history of airing virulently racist views. Just last Sunday, he appeared on The White Voice, a weekly podcast hosted by a man named Joe Adams, who has deep, long-standing ties to white-power groups and has authored a manual called Save The White People Handbook. (Sample quote: "A mutt makes a great pet and a mulatto makes a great slave.")

Debra J. Saunders at the San Francisco Chronicle writes—3 Reforms for the War on Drugs:
That rhetoric, Piper believes, resulted in Colorado and Washington voters approving measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana last year. In December, Holder said the Department of Justice would announce a policy on the new laws "relatively soon." Hasn't happened yet.

Maybe marijuana is like same-sex marriage and Team Obama is asking: Is it safe to evolve positions now?

Ana Marie Cox at The Guardian writes—A liberal's confession: I actually enjoyed Glenn Beck's latest book:
The idea that "we only see what we're prepared to believe" is what both allows us to dismiss the conspiracy theorist and allows him to dismiss us. And Beck does wind up dismissing us – anyone who doesn't already agree. After this climatic scene, the posse heads to the Mountain West, and from there the leader that remains (Ross is killed by jackbooted thugs, natch) announces:
There'll be no more time wasted in trying to convince people who refuse to get the message. That's over now; I'm pulling up the gangplanks.
Beck's absolutism is why I don't think you can call these books "propaganda". Propaganda is designed to convince, these books are designed to incite.
Andrew O'Hehir at Salon writes—This week's DEA bombshell shows us how the drug war and the terror war have poisoned our justice system:
Millions of people have been sent to prison on drug-war convictions over the last 20 years. Most of those people have been poor and black. We will never know how many of those cases resulted from secret evidence collected by spy agencies, but it might not be a small number. One of the Reuters articles that broke this story quotes DEA officials as saying that the “parallel construction” tactic had been used by the agency “virtually every day since the 1990s.” Legal scholar Michelle Alexander, author of the recent bestseller “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” sent me an email from her family vacation to say that these revelations “certainly lead one reasonably to wonder how many people — especially poor people of color, who have been the primary targets in the drug war — have been spied on by the DEA in the name of national security.”
The Editorial Board of the Miami Herald writes Fix Stand Your Ground to make us safer:
Truth is, there is zero hope that the law will be repealed by a GOP-led Legislature. In fact, when it was approved in 2005, Stand Your Ground, which eliminated the words citing “a citizen’s duty to retreat” in most public confrontations, had Democratic support, too. It passed the state Senate 39-0. In the House, 20 Democrats voted against it. Strengthening a self-defense law made sense to many legislators on both sides of the aisle.

But since then, it’s become clear that there is need to improve the law’s wording and clarify the definition of “stand your ground.” Consider: A 2012 Tampa Bay Times investigation showed that in 200 cases where a Stand Your Ground defense was used, nearly 70 percent of those who invoked it avoided prosecution. Worse, the investigation found that defendants, regardless of race, were more likely to prevail in court if their victims were black.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 04:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders.

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