Recommended Reading – April 2nd, 2016

Hello and welcome back to our Recommended Reading section here on ninaillingworth.com. As those of you who joined us for our first post are already aware, RR is a section of our website devoted to collecting the very best in progressive, socialist news & literature. The articles you find here will contain no lies, no manufactured opinions that serve corporate interest and as little “cheer-leading” as possible. Some of the links will be older, some of them will be newer and some of them even represent the few honest pieces of journalism still available in mainstream corporate media; but it is my sincere hope that all of them will help us understand the world we live in together just a little bit more. This week we take a look at the Big Energy’s attempts to astroturf solar power out of American States, the long term impact of the 1996 Federal Communications act and growing evidence that police have no interest whatsoever in recognizing the civil liberties of the communities they police:

 

The Koch Brothers’ Dirty War on Solar Power – Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone (I know, shocked the heck out of me too) takes you inside the state-based fight to disrupted solar power in some of the most sunshine-heavy states in America inside this February 18th essay. How are right wing special interest lobbies and corrupt Republican state officials working together to stop federal attempts to expand solar power across the nation and what does it mean for the 2016 American Presidential Election? The answer involves burying clean energy initiatives under gargantuan piles of dirty money.

20 Years of Media Consolidation Has Not Been Good For Our Democracy – over at Moyers & Company (billmoyers.com), Michael Corcoran takes a look at the extremely negative effects of the US 1996 Telecommunications Act, twenty years later in an article that was originally published at Truthout. Has media consolidation empowered lobbyists so much as to render big budgets corporations above the law? What does it mean that Democratic Nominee hopefully Hillary Clinton has extremely close ties to the industry most aided by Bill Clinton’s twenty year old law? As media moves online, how is the fight for Net Neutrality impacted by the Telecom giants created and enabled by the 1996 legislation? Is there any hope for a real discussion about media hegemony when we’re relying on that very same media to provide a platform for that discussion? Corcoran attempts to tackle these issues in an article that may not bode well for the future of independent, online journalism.

How to Hack an Election – in what is easily one of the most terrifying pieces I’ve ever read in my life, Jordan Robertson, Michael Riley, and Andrew Willis over at Bloomberg Businessweek take a behind the scenes look at the dark arts of propaganda, directed psychological operations, fraud and corruption used to “Hack” elections in Latin America. With the help of convicted hacker turned crusader Andrés Sepúlveda, this article asks the important question – if you can rig an election in Latin America with computers, why not here in the USA? According to Sepúlveda the 2016 US Election is certainly being tampered with as we speak. If you only read one link from this edition of RR, this is the story to read folks.

Video shows white cops performing roadside cavity search of black man – despite current 2016 election coverage from the Washington Post that makes a complete and utter mockery of a neutral political press, it is at times important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In this case, the metaphorical baby is the remarkably insightful Radley Balko, author of Rise of the Warrior Cop – one of the most important books released to the general American public in the past decade. In this piece, Balko takes a look at a horrifying, shocking and appalling “routine traffic stop” in Aiken, South Carolina that not only should never have happened, but somehow ends with two officers performing an invasive, offensive and highly illegal roadside rectal exam against a man guilty of zero crimes. Racism, abuse of civil liberties, illegal stop & search procedures – there are so many things wrong with this story I can’t even begin to describe them all in this summary; yet another example of the growing attitude among law enforcement officers in the United States that they are completely above the law.

Revealed: how Associated Press cooperated with the Nazis – speaking of repulsive, corporate media outlets that only ever seem to print a worthwhile story on accident (when Jeb Lund sneaks a good one by the editors;) the Guardian has a fascinated expose on the open, but previously unproven policy of collaboration between the Associated Press and the German Nazi party during World War II. Author Philip Oltermann does a nice job of pinning down a lie so old many will likely assume it doesn’t matter anymore. The truth of course is that history is often distorted or altered by political forces in the present; examining the horrific abuses of our past anew is sometimes the only way properly to identify the profound corruption in our own time – some food for thought the next time you see an AP photo from events in a repressive, totalitarian country.

 

  • Nina Illingworth