The Dissenter

25 Oct 2019

Die Jim Crow Project To Become First U.S. Record Label Devoted To Incarcerated Musicians

The Die Jim Crow project has recorded over 50 musicians in five prisons in Colorado, Ohio, Mississippi, and South Carolina. They have dozens of unreleased tracks and launched a Kickstarter to expand into a non-profit record label.

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22 Oct 2019

Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Plastic Bag’ By Die Jim Crow

Die Jim Crow, a project that supports current and formerly incarcerated musicians, produced this jazz tune on what it’s like to be released from prison.

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22 Oct 2019

Democrats Cheer ‘Hillary Unplugged’ After Clinton Labels Gabbard A Russian Asset

Democrats and liberal pundits have come to Hillary Clinton’s defense as she faces a backlash for suggesting Representative Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset.

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15 Oct 2019

Interview With Carl Zha On The Neoliberal Economic Decline Fueling Hong Kong Protests

Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcome Carl Zha, the host of “Silk and Steel,” to the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast. “Silk and Steel” is Zha’s weekly podcast on the history, culture, and current events of China and the Silk Road.

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Prison Protest

Eric Garner and Michael Brown Ferguson protests in Seattle on 12/6/14. (Scottlum / Flickr)
01 Sep 2015

776 People Killed By Police So Far in 2015, 161 Of Them Unarmed

So far in 2015, U.S. police killed 776 people, 161 of whom were completely unarmed at the time of their death. The data was compiled by The Guardian for a project called “The Counted,” a continuously updated, interactive database of police killings in the United States.

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People from from around the world participate in a rally against private prisons held at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Florida. (Flickr / UMWomen)
01 Sep 2015

Corrections Corporation of America Acquires Re-Entry Facilities As Private Prison Industry Pursues New Business

On Monday, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) announced it acquired four residential re-entry facilities from another private contractor for $13.5 million. According to a company press release, the re-entry facilities each have about 600 beds and were leased by Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC) to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the Philadelphia Prison System.

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31 Aug 2015

Tennessee Department of Corrections Struggles To Keep The Lid On Prison Crisis

The Tennessee Department of Corrections is threatening and intimidating corrections officers speaking out against dangerous work conditions, according to a letter [PDF] published on August 27 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. The organization asked the DOC to clearly state it will not seek to silence or retaliate against employees for their speech.

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31 Aug 2015

After Detention & Abuse, Immigrants Find Lifesaving Support In An Unexpected Place

Three years ago, Juan Jose Antonio Deras, 35, an undocumented immigrant man who arrived in the United States as an 11 year old, walked into the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora, Colorado. But on July 24, 2015, he left in a wheelchair. He was all but broken, but his indomitable spirit kept him alive, along with support from an unexpected source: a volunteer volleyball league out to help more than just him.

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28 Aug 2015

Lawsuit: Rikers Island Officer Unpunished After Raping Transgender Inmate In Corizon Health Clinic

A transgender inmate was raped by a corrections officer in a medical clinic on Rikers Island and the New York City Department of Correction has declined to punish him for the last three years, according a federal civil rights lawsuit filed this week. The inmate, known as “MT,” claims Corrections Officer L. Galan sexually harassed her “openly and repeatedly” for months before raping her in the clinic, where security cameras could not capture the encounter.

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27 Aug 2015

Two Lawsuits Show The Human Cost Of For-Profit Jailhouse Healthcare

Two ongoing federal lawsuits against for-profit jailhouse medical contractor Armor Correctional Health Services (ACHS) describe lengthy delays and negligent care that put inmate health in jeopardy. Companies like ACHS sign lucrative agreements that promise to deliver medical care to inmates at a lower cost than governments can provide themselves. In court filings, however, the company is alleged to have financial disincentives in its contracts which encourage staff not to give inmates access to emergent and off-site treatments.

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The Bullpen

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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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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06 Aug 2015

TPP: White House Responds To Malaysia’s Slavery Problem By Lowering Standards

The scramble to secure a controversial trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is leading to some serious ethical conflicts for the Obama Administration. While many initial objections to TPP were due to concerns about a lack of transparency from the White House as to the contents of the agreement and how it was negotiated, a recent decision by the State Department to change a country’s ranking in a human trafficking report has human rights groups crying foul and citing TPP as the real reason for the change.

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05 Aug 2015

Special Investigator’s Report Details US Corruption In Afghanistan

Late last month, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) issued a blistering report detailing millions of dollars of waste, fraud, and abuse in the US and coalition reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. The report, issued to Congress on July 30th, presents the results of a series of investigations conducted by SIGAR that revealed $37.4 million in “questionable costs” in the last quarter of the year — those costs lead to a total of $279.5 million in questionable costs identified by SIGAR to date.

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04 Aug 2015

JPMorgan And Citigroup Pay Over $800 Million For Credit Card Crimes

Fraudulent paperwork, cheated counterparties, robosigning — no it’s not the housing crisis again. This time the crimes are related to the Too Big To Fail/Jail banks’ conduct with credit cards. Both JPMorgan and Citigroup have now reached settlements with the government related to their criminal credit card practices.

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03 Aug 2015

Introducing The Bullpen

Named after temporary prisons setup for rebellious workers, The Bullpen will seek to reveal and explore the underlying power dynamics within the US economy and political system — the forces shaping how ‘We The People’ live our lives. This is not the place for the latest campaign gossip and ephemera, but do not be surprised to see some familiar names featured in the quest to illuminate the dark connections between moneyed interests and those with more formal powers.

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