Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Alternative Realities Roundup: 3/5

Posted By on March 5, 2013, 12:27 PM

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The White House has agreed to turn over all of its drone memos regarding the president’s policy toward using the technology to kill suspected terrorists.---

Top of the Alty World

“Diane Feinstein: Drone Memos to be Provided by White House”—Huffington Post

While the African-American middle class has grown stronger, poor African-Americans have also become poorer and more vulnerable.—The Root

Military prosecutors are throwing the book at whistle-blower Private Bradley Manning in a move that could be meant to make all whistle-blowing to be considered treason.—Democracy Now!

Top of Alty Utah

A controversial gun bill declaring Utah state gun laws to trump federal laws loses some bang in a redraft but passes a legislative committee.—Salt Lake City Weekly

In a heated debate over a bill outlawing smoking in a car with children present, a conservative lawmaker called Jewish Democratic legislator an “air Nazi.”—Utah Political Capitol

And here’s a rundown on that smoking-in-cars bill.--KCPW


Mother Jones’ David Corn comments on Mitt Romney’s “twisted” defense of his “47 percent” remark in a recent interview.

"Romney's 47 percent comment was no slip or an accidental misstatement. After the election was over, a fellow reporter told me that she had recently attended a dinner with several top GOP fundraisers. A key topic at the table that night was Romney's comment that he had lost because Obama had doled out "gifts" to African Americans, Latinos and young voters. That statement was seen by many as a bookend to the 47 percent remark, and the conversation naturally moved to the video. Several of the GOP funders mentioned that they each had heard Romney make similar 47 percent-ish comments in private during the campaign."—Mother Jones

The Long View

City Weekly profiles Paul Payne, a convicted murderer waging a prison-reform battle from the inside against the Utah Department of Corrections' punitive use of solitary confinement.

“So, I was free my first 16 years of life and have been incarcerated for the other 21 years,” Payne writes in his neat, careful handwriting from cell No. 305, on what’s called “the low side” of the prison’s maximum-security wing, Uinta 1. He’s allowed out of his 7-foot-by-11-foot cell for one hour and 15 minutes, which includes his shower time, three times a week. “I’ve done most of my 21 years in some sort of [solitary],” he writes. “It breeds hate, misanthropy and it’s difficult not to succumb!” He writes later, “Sometimes you feel like you’re slipping into darkness.” Part of that darkness comes from Payne having to endure the ranting and verbal abuse of mentally ill and predatory individuals in neighboring cells, whom he cannot see and can only communicate with by shouting. He cites an example in a court filing: “For the last two months, I have been exposed to a deaf child-molester-rapist who rants and raves that ‘having sex’ with a 6-year-old little girl is not rape/molestation because she ‘consented.’” Uinta 1 inmates are not allowed earplugs. Payne fashioned some from cardboard, “but they’re rough on the ears.”—Salt Lake City Weekly

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