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Alternate Realities Roundup 12/3

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2013-12-03 -

Americans with HIV who have had sex, even with protection, without disclosing their disease have spent years in prison as a result. ProPublica looks into whether this practice is curbing an epidemic or making it worse.

Top of the Alty World

“Sex, Lies and HIV: When What You Don't Tell Your Partner Is a Crime”--ProPublica

DonorsTrust, an overlooked but hugely influential source of conservative dark money, doled out $96 million last year, largely to train and hire conservative and libertarian journalists.--Mother Jones

New technology is being crafted to deactivate small arms in certain circumstances, such as when they end up fueling bloody foreign conflicts.--The Economist

In an international test, the U.S. education system was found to be more expensive than other countries, with students struggling in math, and student demographics hindered by inequality of socio-economic differences.--The Atlantic

Top of Alty Utah

Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-West Jordan, has proposed a package of education bills, one of which would exempt private-school students and home-schooled students from all state educational requirements, including testing, measurements, standards and time-in-class.--Utah Political Capitol

A distributor of a Utah multilevel-marketing company told attendants at a mental-illness charity walk that her product could be used to replace psychiatric medication for "any mental illness".--Salt Lake City Weekly

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, Utah nonprofits are trying to raise awareness of Giving Tuesday.--KCPW

Publius Online looks at candidate for Attorney General, former Utah Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilkins.--Publius Online

Rantosphere

Truth-Out argues that banksters are setting up the economy for another crash with another risky derivatives product, the same kind of casino economics that collapsed the housing market in 2008.

“Among the firms and big banks buying up America's real estate is the Blackstone Group, the largest private-equity firm in the world. The Blackstone Group alone has bought nearly 40,000 houses across America, spending $7.5 billion in the process. Blackstone, for example, bought 1,400 homes in Atlanta in one day, and owns nearly 2,000 houses in the Charlotte, N. C., metro area. So, why are Blackstone and other Wall Street firms buying up foreclosed homes all across the country?

It's simple. By renting these homes back to Americans, and securitizing America's home-rental market, they can bundle up rental payments the same way they used to bundle mortgage payments, and sell them to investors. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?”--Truth-Out

The Long View

The American Prospect looks at how, since 1974, working Americans have been getting less and less of the wealth produced by their hard work.

“What no one grasped at the time was that this wasn’t a one-year anomaly, that 1974 would mark a fundamental breakpoint in American economic history. In the years since, the tide has continued to rise, but a growing number of boats have been chained to the bottom. Productivity has increased by 80 percent, but median compensation (that’s wages plus benefits) has risen by just 11 percent during that time. The middle-income jobs of the nation’s postwar boom years have disproportionately vanished. Low-wage jobs have disproportionately burgeoned. Employment has become less secure. Benefits have been cut. The dictionary definition of “layoff” has changed, from denoting a temporary severance from one’s job to denoting a permanent severance.”--The American Prospect

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