Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon.
This is the paradigmatic example of Not HN Material, guys. Please don't submit stuff like it or upvote stuff like it, or else we're going to have to wade through pages and pages of all-heat-no-light politics to get to the things which (on a good day) make for valuable discussion here.
On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
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In California http://www.allamericanblogger.com/15848/how-prison-unions-he... "the California Correctional Peace Officers Association has become one of the most powerful political forces in California. The union has contributed millions of dollars to support “three strikes” and other laws that lengthen sentences and increase parole sanctions. It donated $1 million to Wilson after he backed the three strikes law. And the result for the union has been dramatic. Since the laws went into effect and the inmate population boomed, the union grew from 2,600 officers to 45,000 officers. Salaries jumped: In 1980, the average officer earned $15,000 a year; today, one in every 10 officers makes more than $100,000 a year."
The state also seems to get all of the problems of growing prison population (high incarceration rates) but none of the supposed benefits (economies of scale): http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2011/06/the-role-of-the-p... "California spends approximately $9 billion a year on its correctional system, and hosts one in seven of the nation’s prisoners. It has the largest prison population of any state. The number of correctional facilities, the amount of compensation for their unionized staffs, and the total cost of incarcerating a prisoner in the state—$44,563 a year—have exploded over the past 30 years."
This means effectively nothing. First of all, 1980 dollars are not 2013 dollars. Second, you're comparing different measures: average wage versus top 10% wage. These are just vote-grabbing but otherwise meaningless statements.
As a possible politically motivated site, it is essential to know the perspective that it is written with.
Start with "the prison system in the United States is a profit-making industry." Well, yeah-- parts of it are. Except the parts that aren't. There are both public and private prisons in the U.S. So already we start with a half-truth.
Six corporations control virtual all American media"... except the parts they don't control, like the web site you're reading right now, or local cable access programs, and so on and so forth. Yeah, it sucks that there has been so much consolidation in TV and print. But I think the News Corporation scandal shows that the media are far from invincible.
Yeah, the FBI and CIA did a lot of questionable stuff, especially in the 1950s. But guess what? There really were a lot of Soviet spies in the country at that time. Communism had a great appeal, especially since very little of the truth about what was really happening in those countries was known in the west. Even the Great Famine in China was pretty much unknown in the United States. In an age before the internet, when all the Chinese newspapers were censored, how would they know? How would they know about the bloody purges in Russia either?
He mentions MKUltra. I'm surprised he didn't mention Tuskagee syphillis experiment. Yep, these things happened. But they're hardly unknown, at least to people who went to high school. A blog post titled "if everyone knew..." discusses things that... everyone knows. Ooh, ooh. How about Watergate? That'll embrass the Americans. Shouldn't we bring that one up too? After all, nobody knows about that one.
I'll skip the anti-Israeli stuff, since it's basically just yet another fact-free polemic. What have we turned up that would be shocking "if everyone knew..."? The fact that some guy on the Internet doesn't like Israeli. Wow, man. That's like... shocking. Mind: blown.
The rest of it is the same kind of tripe. Mean-spirited anti-Americanism masquerading as scholarly discourse. I love the "footnotes." Putting your "a href=" in a giant block makes you more than just a blogger-- you're a Scholar, Imparting Deep Knowledge. Even if most of it is wikipedia links and links to newspaper editorials.
It's interesting that he takes aim at the Fed too. Usually that's the province of far-right nutters. But what we have ourselves here is an equal-opportunity kook. Joy.