The Dissenter

Oil tanks on a BNSF train transporting fracked oil from the Bakken Oil field, photographed on February 22, 2014. (Flickr / Roy Luck)
18 Aug 2015

Maryland Judge Rules Public Has Right To Information On Dangerous Oil Trains

A Maryland judge ruled on August 14 that the public has a right to information provided to the state’s Department of Transportation by railroad companies about dangerous trains carrying crude oil. Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill rejected CSX and Norfolk Southern’s arguments that the information needed to be kept secret because it contained “confidential commercial information,” “trade secrets,” or information which could be useful to terrorists.

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Photo licensed under Creative Commons by Ryan J. Reilly
17 Aug 2015

Justice Department: Appeals Court Wrong to Revive Lawsuit Brought by Immigrants Abused After 9/11

The Justice Department has requested a federal appeals court revisit and reverse its decision to revive a lawsuit against former Justice Department officials, who allegedly violated the rights of Arab or Muslim immigrants when they were detained in the immediate months after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

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JB Lenoir, screen shot from album cover for "Alabama Blues"
17 Aug 2015

Protest Song of the Week: ‘Alabama Blues’

J.B. Lenoir’s “Alabama Blues” is a rather well-known blues protest song. It stands out because, by the 1960s, it was increasingly rare for blues musicians to sing about poverty, despair, and social injustice. And, fifty years since the tune was recorded under the supervision of Chicago blues master Willie Dixon, its lyrics still carry a deep resonance.

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Chelsea Manning's prison mugshot from week she began hormone therapy (via Chelsea Manning Support Network)
16 Aug 2015

US Military Denies Chelsea Manning Access to Prison Legal Library Prior to Hearing

Days before Chelsea Manning is supposed to appear before a disciplinary board, the United States military has denied her access to the prison legal library. Manning, a whistleblower who is serving a 35-year sentence for providing over a half million documents to WikiLeaks, has been accused by officers at Fort Leavenworth

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Prison Protest

File: A scanning-electron microscope photograph of the HIV virus (in green) budding on a white blood cell. (Wikimedia Commoms / Centers for Disease Control)
11 Aug 2015

Federal Inmate Claims AIDS Treatments Withheld At Public And Private Jails

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Times reported that a 42-year-old federal inmate claims he has been denied treatment for AIDS at two different jails in Florida — one of which has been privatized — for the past several months. Kelby McCrillis said he received treatments for AIDS over the past thirteen years, but has had his medications discontinued since his incarceration at the Citrus County Detention Center and the Pinellas County Jail.

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A graphic of prisoners boarding a prison transfer bus to leave Vermont. Two prisoner deaths in private prisons highlight the risks of the industry. (Grassroots Leadership / Locked Up and Shipped Away)
11 Aug 2015

Inmate Deaths In Private Prisons Raise Familiar Questions About Transfers

For at least the second time this year, an inmate has died at a private prison away from home. The Associated Press reports corrections officials in Hawaii have announced an investigation into the death of 21-year-old Jonathan Namauleg of Maui, who died last week at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona. Saguaro is operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

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A standard pin-prick style electronic blood glucose test used by diabetes sufferers, with a hand showing a droplet of blood from the test, photographed on November 15, 2013.   A shadowproof reader recounts his struggle to advocate for prisoners with diabetes in this reader response. (Flickr / Victor)
11 Aug 2015

Battling The Criminal Justice System For Diabetes Healthcare (Reader Response)

Reader Phillip Baker responds to Gaming the System by sharing his experiences as a prisoner healthcare advocate who spent years trying to get adequate healthcare for prisoners with Type 1 diabetes. To his dismay, prison healthcare officials seem to care little for the well-being of their inmates.

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File: A doctor's station in a hospital. Multiple lawsuits accuse an Advanced Correctional Healthcare doctor of negligence toward incarcerated patients. (Morguefile)
10 Aug 2015

Advanced Correctional Healthcare Doctor Faces Multiple Federal Lawsuits

An ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit alleges in less than one month at Indiana’s Dearborn County Detention Center, jail staff neglected the obvious and critical medical needs of a 69-year-old inmate, allowing his conditions to deteriorate so severely he would later spend nearly 200 days recovering in hospitals and nursing homes. Advanced Correctional Healthcare

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The Bullpen

A close-up photograph of two Oreo cookies. (Wikimedia Commons / Evan-Amos)
12 Aug 2015

Nabisco To Ship Jobs To Mexico

As the White House pushes for more corporate trade deals like TPP, the effects from older ones are still leaving their mark on American workers. Nabisco, now owned by Mondelez International, plans to get rid of half of the workers at the the company’s Southwest Side Chicago bakery and send the jobs to a new facility in Salinas, Mexico. The Mexican facility will now be responsible for making some of Nabisco’s most popular products, including Oreos, and Ritz crackers. In total the Chicago plant will lose 600 jobs and nine production lines.

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File: A calculator and pen sit atop a print out of banking transactions. (Flickr / SeniorLiving.org)
11 Aug 2015

White Collar Crime Prosecutions At 20 Year Low

According to a study at the University of Syracuse using data from the Justice Department, federal prosecutions of white collar criminals are at a twenty year low. The decline began in the Clinton Administration and has continued to drop ever downward.

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"CF-1 flight test" (US Navy / Andy Wolfe)
10 Aug 2015

F-35: Trillion Dollar War Plane May Still Not Be Ready For Combat

While Congress debates cutting Social Security, the most expensive weapons program in history — with an estimated lifetime cost of $1.5 trillion — is making questionable progress. The US Marine Corps recently announced that, after 14 years of development, the F-35 is ready to be deployed and issued a declaration

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The Robert S. Strauss Building in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle houses the largest office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Although founded in Dallas, Akin Gump is known for it's intense lobbying power in the nation's capitol. (Wikimedia / AgnosticPreachersKid)
07 Aug 2015

4 Candidates From Both Major Parties Use Same Lobbying Firm For Fundraising

You’d be forgiven for having trouble telling the major presidential candidates apart in the latest presidential horse race, especially given a recent story from The Intercept’s Lee Fang. Fang reports that Bush, Clinton, Kasich and Rubio all make use of Akin Gump, an infamous lobbying firm, for fundraising in the next election.

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