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This Week at The Dissenter—Unemployment’s a Killer PLUS the Blog Helps a Documentary Get Funded

Garnering attention in the beginning of the week was the decision by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the San Francisco Bay area to shut down cell phone service to four stations in order to prevent a protest. Coming on the heels of David Cameron’s excessive calls to curb civil liberties and freedom of expression, the move was instantly condemned by civil liberties and digital rights advocates. It was regarded as abnormal but viewed in the context of preemptive policing against protests since at least 1999 it isn’t such an anomaly.

On Monday, The Dissenter live blogged a peaceful protest organized by Anonymous that members of the group called #OpBART. (The group has planned another peaceful protest for this Monday, August 22.)

Jeff Kaye provided two excellent contributions to the blog. Kaye looked at a specific case where evidence from water torture was used against a detainee to keep him detained at Guantanamo. The water torture described in Kaye’s post is particularly medieval. Following that post, he provided a particularly poignant examination of the reality that unemployment is quite literally killing people. Citing a study from 2010, Kaye expertly described the psychological impact that more and more people who are finding themselves out of work are experiencing.

On Wednesday, the blog promoted a Kickstarter project for a short documentary on the “Collateral Murder” incident, which is depicted in a video released by WikiLeaks in April 2010. The short, Incident in New Baghdad, tells the story of Ethan McCord, who was there at the scene and helped save two of the children wounded in the 2007 Apache helicopter attack that can be seen in the video.

Director James Spione started the project to help fund a Los Angeles one-week release so that the film could qualify for an Academy Award nomination. It is with great pleasure that I report by Thursday morning—less than 24 hours after putting up a post that ended up on the front page of FDL—the project went from having a little over $5,000 to having more than $7,850.

The blog featured its first film review—a review of the harrowing and superbly moving film The Whistleblower. Those who regularly read the blog may not be aware, but I graduated from college with a Film/Video degree. I have always loved movies. I maintain my soul and my little spark of madness by regularly viewing movies. Every Friday morning from now on I hope to (most of the time) post a review of a recently released film for you all to enjoy.

Thank you to everyone who visited the blog this past week. If you aren’t a Firedoglake member, you should join and participate in some of the discussions we have in the comments threads. The @FDLDissenter Twitter account currently has just almost 150 followers. If you aren’t following the blog’s Twitter account yet, you should.

Got any suggestions for the blog? Things the blog should be covering? Leave a comment on this post.

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FDL Book Salon Welcomes Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner, Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."