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    The one wild possibility missing from most of the equally baseless Germanwings speculation

    French prosecutors have said they believe the Germanwings co-pilot deliberately crashed his Airbus 320 into the mountain after locking the plane’s captain out of the cockpit. If that horrifying theory turns out to be correct, the question millions of air passengers will want answered, and fast, is: Why? Right now, most people seem keen to blame either terrorism, or mental illness. So far we don’t know much about the co-pilot, 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz, except that he comes from suburban Germany, loved flying, and that his…
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    “Voice Biometrics”: The first circle of Hell

    “This was really something quite new — tracing a criminal by his voice-print. So far there had been only fingerprints, a science which had taken a long time to develop. Now there was to be a new technique of ‘voice-printing’ and it had to be invented in a matter of days.” —Solzhenitsyn, “In The First Circle” If you can think of something truly horrible and dystopian, then it’s a safe bet that it’s already a VC-backed tech industry, doubling in size…
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    Google is helping to fund the group that’s trying to kill Obamacare in the Supreme Court

    The Obama administration said on Monday that 16.4 million uninsured people had gained health coverage since major provisions of the Affordable Care Act began to take effect in 2010, driving the largest reduction in the number of uninsured in about 40 years — NY Times According to the latest government figures, 16.4 million previously uninsured Americans now benefit from healthcare coverage thanks to Obamacare, including large gains for blacks and Latinos. Conservative critics have yet to come up with…
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    As “Right To Work” becomes law in Wisconsin, a reminder of its inventor’s racist past

    On Monday, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed into law the controversial anti-union “Right To Work” bill, following weeks of protests in Madison. Right To Work laws are designed to kill unions by mandating “open shop” workplaces, allowing workers to work in unionized workplaces, without paying union dues. Wisconsin is historically one of the most pro-union, progressive states, home to the legendary “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, and the only community-owned nonprofit NFL football team— so gutting unions in labor’s historical…
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    FOUND: Ferguson Mayor bragged about privatized law enforcement services months before Brown shooting

    Ferguson mayor James Knowles is not happy with the Department of Justice’s report about his city. Responding yesterday to the DOJ’s claims of widespread abuses of power and process by Ferguson’s police and courts, Mayor Knowles railed to the St Louis Dispatch: “Their assertion is it happens regularly. Based on what? I’m not sure yet. “Do they have a statistic that tells me that they’ve examined every arrest that we’ve made for the past four years and that half, or all, or…
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    Boris Nemtsov: Death of a Russian Liberal

    I bought a couple of bottles of Yarpivo in a Chinese-owned discount store around the corner here in Brooklyn, and poured one out for Nemtsov, who ended his life as a Yaroslavl city councilman. I never liked him much, but his murder was brutal, and frightening — and the dark fear it’s brought to Moscow is very real. Nemtsov was a very different kind of liberal or “ultra-liberal” than what we think of as liberals. In the best sense, that…
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    Meet Pierre Omidyar! A handy primer for new First Look hires

    Early last week, Ken Silverstein — former Harpers editor and founder of Counterpunch — quit Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, citing management incompetence. [UPDATE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Silverstein as co-founder of Counterpunch with Alexander Cockburn; Silverstein sent me an email correctly noting that he founded Counterpunch four months before Cockburn joined, one of those small but not insignificant errors I know all too well as the sole founding editor of The eXile—M.A.] By the end of the…
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    Strange new legal complaint alleges that Google tried to steal employees’ lunch

    Google has just been slapped with another class action wage-theft lawsuit complaint. Unlike previous successful wage theft filings, however, this complaining obtained by Pando, is oddly vague. The complaint, “Rosa Gutierrez v Google,” filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, alleges that the search engine giant violated a number of California labor laws governing lunch time, daytime breaks, overtime pay and others. That certainly may all be true, and the law firm representing the plaintiffs, Matern Law Group, is a reputable southern California employment…
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    Snowden praised for fighting government surveillance… by group that LOVES corporate surveillance

    Last Friday, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden Skyped into a Washington DC Marriott Hotel conference hall to proudly accept “The Students For Liberty Alumnus of the Year Award.” The Students For Liberty describes itself as “a rapidly growing network of pro-liberty students from all over the world.” Their big award was given to Snowden for “initiating a global conversation on the balance of power between governments and peoples that has led to and continues to bring about…
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    Meet the serial failures in charge of protecting America’s online privacy

    Earlier this week, McClatchey published an article reminding readers of something that can’t be repeated enough: Thanks to the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government can read all your emails over 180 days old without a warrant. That’s what the law says — and yet it remains obscure enough that every time some national media reminds us, it still shocks the senses. McClatchy writes: Little known to most Americans, ambiguous language in a communications law passed in 1986 extends…

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