Category: Politics & Law

July 6th, 2018 by Michael Sauers

From Amazon.com:

In Amity and Prosperity, the prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold tells the story of the energy boom’s impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and one woman’s transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.

Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors’ mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.

Alarmed by her children’s illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what’s really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that’s being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressing it: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.

Bonus interview:

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June 22nd, 2018 by Michael Sauers

Image: Wikimedia

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June 11th, 2018 by Michael Sauers

Solomon Lartey spent the first five months of the Trump administration working in the Old Executive Office Building, standing over a desk with scraps of paper spread out in front of him.

Lartey, who earned an annual salary of $65,969 as a records management analyst, was a career government official with close to 30 years under his belt. But he had never seen anything like this in any previous administration he had worked for. He had never had to tape the president’s papers back together again.

Armed with rolls of clear Scotch tape, Lartey and his colleagues would sift through large piles of shredded paper and put them back together, he said, “like a jigsaw puzzle.” Sometimes the papers would just be split down the middle, but other times they would be torn into pieces so small they looked like confetti.

Read the full article @ Politico.

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May 18th, 2018 by Michael Sauers

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February 9th, 2018 by Michael Sauers

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October 2nd, 2017 by Michael Sauers

About a month ago a friend pointed me to an article which used a photograph of mine. The trouble was, this was a commercial use of my photo and while they did attribute the photo to me, my CC-BY-NC license didn’t allow for commercial use without asking me first. So, I took a chance and sent the author of the article my a $50 invoice for reprinting my photo. I didn’t ask them to take it down, I just asked that they pay me for the use.

I didn’t hear back for a week so I sent a follow-up invoice requesting that at a minimum I receive a response form them with how they planned on addressing the issue. Their response: the check is in the mail.

Lo an behold a few days later I received payment in the amount of $50. No apology, but here’s hoping that they learned their lesson.

(Thanks to Kathy D. for the heads up and I think my standard licensing fee just increased.)

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July 14th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

There have been moments when, liberal as I am, I have been impressed by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). Then there’s the rest of the time. This article, central point quoted here, gets at the heart of it.

Many politicians are hypocrites, of course. But most of them are also phonies and bullshitters. Ben Sasse isn’t. He stands out by educating himself earnestly and speaking honestly about complicated matters of history and policy. (He’s got to be the only serving Senate Republican to have written a book that approvingly cites 1960s leftist cultural critic Paul Goodman.) Unfortunately, he is also beginning to stand out by doing nothing of substance as the things he says he believes in are thrown in a garbage can by his own party. Evidence that Donald Trump was at best indifferent to and at worst complicit in Russia’s sabotage of the last presidential election is growing. Mitch McConnell is turning into the home stretch of an attempt to force through a wildly unpopular health care bill that still hasn’t had a public hearing. Democratic traditions are under attack, and Sasse is not returning fire. Does any of his thoughtfulness and honesty really matter if, come voting time, he’s just another partisan hack?

Read the full article @ Slate.com .

Photo: Gage Skidmore .

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July 7th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

Published on Jun 16, 2017

Chris Hayes is the host of *All In with Chris Hayes* on MSNBC and an editor-at-large at *The Nation*. Ta-Nehisi Coates called his first
book, *Twilight of the Elites*, “a stunning polemic.” Hayes’ latest book, *A Colony in a Nation*, offers a revelatory and challenging new framework to understand inequality and justice in America today.

Hayes gives us a new way to frame—and advance—the national conversation on policing and democracy. He proposes that our country has fractured in two: a Colony and a Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order; fear trumps civil rights; and aggressive policing resembles occupation. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution? Hayes explains how a Nation founded on justice constructed the Colony—and how it threatens our democracy.

Get the book here: https://goo.gl/McLwRv.

Moderated by Torrence Boone, VP, Global Agency Sales & Services.

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June 23rd, 2017 by Michael Sauers

‘Pirate’ sites Sci-Hub and LibGen have been ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers. A New York District Court granted Elsevier’s request for a default judgment of $15 million in damages. Sci-Hub’s founder says that she can’t pay the damages even if she wanted to, and for now, the “Pirate Bay for science” isn’t going anywhere.

Read the full article @ TorrentFreak.

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June 9th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

Wed, May 3 from 6:00 – 7:00pm CDT

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