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Edward Snowden's Worst Fear Has Not Been Realised – Thankfully

Glenn Greenwald
The Guardian
In my first substantive discussion with Edward Snowden, which took place via encrypted online chat, he told me he had only one fear -that the disclosures he was making, momentous though they were, would fail to trigger a worldwide debate because the public had already been taught to accept that they have no right to privacy in the digital age. Snowden, at least in that regard, can rest easy. The fallout from the Guardian's first week of revelations is intense.

The Sword Drops on Food Stamps

George Zornick
The Nation
Congress is about to slash food stamp funding in the midst of a deep economic recession, when more people rely on food stamps than ever before. The only hope now to at least moderate the cuts is a band of House Democrats who have pledged to fight the food stamp cuts ferociously.

Real-Life True Blood: Synthetic Blood Is Coming

Devon Maloney
Wired
Season 6 of HBO’s vampire drama True Blood premieres on Sunday night, presumably following up on last year’s cliffhanger where the factory that produces Tru-Blood — the bottled synthetic blood that allows vampires go “vegetarian” — was burned to the ground, destroying the product that made it possible for vampires to non-violently co-exist with people. But out here in the real world, the future of synthetic blood is just beginning.

Reading Marx in Tehran

Mansour Osanloo
New York Times
In the face of Iran's economic crisis and declining living conditions, none of the current candidates on the ballot has put forward a tangible economic plan that addresses workers’ concerns. They have made references to difficulties and criticized the Ahmadinejad administration’s mismanagement and corruption, but they have not proposed or discussed any solutions to the workers’ plight.

Friday Nite Videos -- June 14, 2013

Portside
Conservatives applaud President Obama's PRISM program. Mavis Staples' One True Vine released. The Rap Guide to Evolution. Maurice Sendak Google Doodle. Lewis Black's Future Tech. Richie Havens opens Woodstock.

Sightseeing in the Apartheid State: From Ben Gurion to the West Bank

Cynthia Franklin
Portside
Eyewitness to the still-unfolding history of ethnic cleansing and Occupation. Report from East Jerusalem and the West Bank. this land, together with Gaza, is referred to by the United Nations and other international bodies as the Occupied Palestinian Territories, or oPt - Palestinian land under Israeli Occupation. We met with students and faculty members from five different Palestinian universities, toured towns and refugee camps in the West Bank.

Women Fighting For Their Homes Face Jail, While Bankers Go Free

Richard Long
Campaign for America's Future
Five years after Wall Street crashed the economy, not one banker has been prosecuted for the reckless and fraudulent practices that cost millions of Americans their jobs, threw our cities and schools into crisis, and left families and communities ravaged by a foreclosure crisis and epidemic of underwater mortgages.

Tidbits - June 13, 2013

Portside
Reader Comments - Dirty Wars and Jeremy Scahill,; Alice Walker's open letter to Alicia Keys; Syrian proxy war; False economic recovery; NSA spying; It's the Corporations; We Steal Secrets; Baseball and drugs; Spain and the International Brigades - today; Berlin demonstrations against Obama visit; Announcement - Milton Rogovin DVD now available on sale

For Radical Freedom - Angela Davis' New Book

Shelley Walia
Frontline (India)
Angela Davis' lectures take the reader towards a serious reconsideration of ideology and the state apparatus and the deplorable question of oppression on the basis of race, gender, class and sexual orientation. The wholesale criminalisation of young black men cannot be permitted and the concept of rehabilitation has to find some ground. The Meaning of Freedom articulates a bold vision of the society we need to build and the path to get there.

Fletcher Calls for Urgency and New Approaches to Organizing in Book Talk

Keith Quinnell
AFL-CIO Blog
Many in the labor movement recognize some of the problems that working people face, however there isn't enough urgency and there isn't a recognition that fundamental change is necessary. The opposition sees this as a tremendous moment to eliminate unions as a viable force for working people.

Do private-sector unions still have a future in the U.S.?

Brad Plumer
Washington Post
Brad Plumer's blog post summarizes a long and interesting essay in the latest issue of "Democracy" that analyzes the decline, and long-term outlook, of private-sector unions in the United States. He highlights 3 factors: Taft-Hartley was the beginning of the end for unions in the private sector; labor’s recent attempts to launch new organizing drives aren’t working; and organized labor tends to expand only at rare points in history.

How Taxpayers Subsidize Union Avoidance by Wal-Mart and Nissan

Phil Mattera
Dirt Diggers Digest
The study, which updates a 2004 report by the committee, reviews the hidden taxpayer costs stemming from the fact that many Wal-Mart workers have no choice but to use social safety net programs -- such as Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit -- that were designed for individuals not in the labor force or those working for small companies that failed to provide decent compensation, not a leviathan with $17 billion in annual profits.

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