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All you need to know about Baltimore strife (with video)
May 2nd, 2015 by Warren Swil

America’s most informed

expert reveals

roots of tragic events

America’s expert on the Baltimore strife David Simon.

To truly understand the recent tragic events in Baltimore, one need consult only America’s foremost expert on the thoroughly corrupt criminal justice system in that city – and others throughout the country.
Former Baltimore Sun police reporter and acclaimed television producer David Simon – who has since become a prominent crusader for an end to the “war on drugs” – minces no words.
“[The police are] an army of occupation. And once it’s that, then everybody’s the enemy,” he said in an interview published April 29.
“The smartphone with its small, digital camera, is a revolution in civil liberties.”

Watch a video of Simon chatting with President Obama below the fold.


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‘RAIN OF TERROR’: The real threat to free speech

SELF-CENSORSHIP ON THE RISE IN WAKE OF FRANCE’S NIGHTMARE
The horrific three-day terrorism spree in France has evoked a spirited and widespread debate over limits to offensive speech.
It is most difficult to defend free speech rights when the content is hateful, denigrating or offensive. But this is when they must be most vigorously defended; otherwise we risk embarking on a slippery slope towards the darkness of censorship.
The events in France challenge our tolerance. Let’s hope we can meet it head on, and not cave to those who would silence critics, however sharp their criticism.


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Time to end ‘war on drugs,’ starting with marijuana

NYT’S CALL FOR LEGAL POT DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH
While The New York Times’ prominent series of editorials calling for legalizing marijuana is laudable, it misses the real target.
The conversation should not start and end with pot. We need to mobilize in support of the proposition that substance abuse in general is not a matter for the criminal justice system at all.
Instead, it is a public health issue. Civilized countries have long moved in this direction. The US needs to evolve from incarcerating substance abusers to treating them.


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Villain of Iraq invasion makes astounding comeback

CHALABI SEEN AS POSSIBLE CONTENDER FOR PRIME MINISTER SLOT
One of the most villainous players in the disastrous 2003 US invasion of Iraq has made an astounding comeback.
The resurrection of Ahmad Chalabi was, ironically, capped with a front-page story and photo in The New York Times today.
It reminds us of one the main reasons Iraq finds itself in such an impossible quandary today and the role US media played in getting it there.


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HARD CHOICES: Clinton inevitability in 2016 a media myth

POTENTIAL CHALLENGER SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN COULD UPSET DYNASTY
With all the hype about Hillary Clinton’s new book, it may seem her victory in 2016 is increasingly inevitable.
But, political memories are short. Everyone seems to have forgotten that Clinton also seemed “inevitable” in 2008 – until an upstart from Illinois proved otherwise.
If there is a remote chance that anyone can challenge the emerging Clinton lock on the 2016 presidential race, it is embodied in Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Let’s all hope she is up to the challenge.


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AT&T, DirecTV mega deal poses new threat to everyone

‘MA BELL’ MONOPOLISTS POISED TO RULE TELECOM
AT&T’s plan to acquire DirecTV makes the consolidation of the communications industry seem unstoppable – and threatens consumers on several fronts.
It portends a throwback to the bad old days of Ma Bell, when one giant monopolized the entire phone system.
As broadband and cable providers merge, they will leave the consumer with few options: all, or nothing.


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Turbulence rocks two of world’s top journalism institutions

EXIT OF TOP EDITORS REFLECT EXISTENTIAL STRUGGLE AT LE MONDE, THE TIMES
The media landscape on both sides of the Atlantic was rocked this week when the top editor of the French newspaper Le Monde and also that of The New York Times – both the first women to hold those jobs ¬– left amidst acrimony.
The changes signal rough sailing for these bastions of traditional media as they both struggle to make the transition to the digital era.
Hopefully the internal squabbles will be a harbinger of better days ahead.


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Spy vs. Spy: Journalists honored as target pilloried

Criticism directed at the National Security Agency ricocheted around cyberspace after an anonymously sourced Bloomberg story said the agency “exploited” the Heartbleed security bug for years.
Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras – the journalists who first obtained documents from Edward Snowden revealing the NSA’s massive spying operations – visited the US for the first time since their blockbuster reporting to receive the prestigious Polk Award in a ceremony on Friday.


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Spying panel recommendations: a matter of trust

REPORT FURTHER ERODES FAITH IN ELECTRONIC PRIVACY
While the recommendations of a presidential panel on government spying have been mostly welcomed, they could be seen as a confession that the revelations of Edward Snowden are accurate, and that everyone for years has been monitored on a massive scale unprecedented in its scope and size.
The key issue is one of trust. It has been seriously damaged.
Reform is urgently needed. The longer it is delayed, the more trust will erode.


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Healthcare website woes vanish from the news

OBAMACARE NARRATIVE MORPHS INTO GOOD-NEWS STORY
For more than six weeks, the story about problems with the federal web site created to enroll in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act dominated the front pages – and the entire news cycle.
Now it is gone.
We have not heard the end of the Obamacare rollout disaster by any means yet. It is bound to haunt us at least through the next election cycle.
But the narrative has surely changed, just as predicted.


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