#BlackLivesMatter and #ChargeMeToo

As one grand jury after another refuses to indict police who have killed black men, #BlackLivesMatter protests continue across the United States. I marched on November 25, missed Saturday’s MOA protest, and will probably march again. Like many people, I keep hearing the same questions on Facebook and from friends and family. Before the next family gathering, here’s my short question-and-answer. Continue Reading

Torture done in our name

The long-secret “torture report” from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is out. Sort of. The full report, still classified, is 6700 pages of “comprehensive and excruciating detail.” What we got on December 9 was a mere 525 pages of Findings and Conclusions and Executive Summary. Even with lots of names and details neatly blacked out, this gut-twisting account shines an unforgiving light on evil done in our name. Continue Reading

Beyond press release journalism and official stories

Police break up Colorado drug ring! Oops — no, they didn’t. What actually happened: police arrested 40 people on the basis of unreliable and vindictive informants, splashed their names and faces all over local front pages and TV news, and later dismissed all the charges. This story of policing — journalism — gone wrong demonstrates the perils of relying on the “official story.” Continue Reading

The thousand dollar pill

Vox tells the story: a miracle pill that cures hepatitis C restored normal life, liver function, the ability to walk, and even hair to 74-year-old Philip Mason. The new drug, Sovaldi, sells for a thousand dollars per pill or $84,000 for the full course of treatment, making billions of dollars in profits for its owner, the Gilead drug company. That makes Sovaldi the latest example of the runaway greed and profit-taking by drug companies. Continue Reading