Americans are prone to being consumed by seemingly unimportant headlines. Over the past year, we've seen the media drive emotional feeding frenzies on everything from the Starbucks red cup scandal to the superficial Confederate flag saga that eventually glossed over the real foundations of bigotry in the United States Despite what the subjective opinion may be, the United States populace tends to feel inclined to delight in heated, remarkable discussions about the morality of obviously inanimate items.
However in some cases, they focus on more substantive issues.
One topic that repeatedly riles up the masses is the topic of transgender rights. In 2014, America (and the world) emerged in glee, rage, and total turmoil after Caitlyn Jenner debuted her brand-new identity on the cover of Vanity Fair. More recently, many Americans have actually zeroed in on the ongoing controversy over transgender restroom rights-- triggered by North Carolina's current LGBT law. Some champ equal rights for all; others lament the destruction of American values. Headlines have detailed high-profile boycotts against North Carolina, the viral petition condemning Target for permitting transgender individuals to utilize whatever restroom they prefer, and now, the subject is trending again amid news of President Obama's get in touch with Friday for public schools to appreciate transgender restroom rights.
As essential as these developments may be, no matter your views on the subject as tends to take place, other extremely crucial stories have actually fallen by the wayside. Though they have not been completely blacked out by the corporate media, they have implications of equal, if not more, importance than America's obsession with transgender problems-- and many Americans will likely never find out about them.
Here are five stories you may wish to examine prior to diving back into the transgender imbroglio:
- Hillary's Conflicts of Interest Continue to Mount:
As Anti-Media reported, it was revealed this week that staff members at the Department of Justice, one of the companies tasked with investigating Clinton's allegedly inappropriate use of private email servers offered $75,000 in donations to the presidential front-runner. “Hillary’s donations from the Department of Justice completely swamp those of the other candidates, in fact, as Sanders’ total from 51 donors was just $8,900 and Trump garnered an inconsequential $381,” we reported. David Bossie, president of watchdog group, Citizens United, argued “Attorney General Lynch must appoint a special counsel to determine if Hillary Clinton or her agents broke the law and compromised our national security. This investigation needs to be conducted free of political influence once and for all.”
As Claire Bernish of Anti-Media described, “Critics have previously pointed to Lynch personally donating over $10,000 to Democratic candidates as evidence of her lack of impartiality — and sufficient reason she should not be charged with overseeing the investigation of Clinton’s emails.” Ultimately, this conflict of interest represents deeply-rooted, systemic glitches in American democracy, where accountability is often flouted to safeguard the oligarchy. This reality does not suggest the transgender discussion is unimportant-- however, it does supply an unfortunate commentary on whom Americans will accept as their ruler while they trade insults over bathroom rights. In this case, it's a corrupt career political leader whose misbehaviours have so far cannot thwart her designs on power.
Even more, in another related development, Judge Andrew Napolitano exposed Russia has obtained some 20,000 emails from Hillary's personal server, and is debating whether or not to leak them openly. Details of which can be found here.
2. Someone was finally jailed for voter fraud, however it wasn't the people committing it:
Anti-Media likewise reported on a Florida-based hacker, David Michael Levin, who exposed security flaws in the site of the Lee County Elections Workplace and the Department of Elections in Tallahassee. He shared them with authorities in the hopes of repairing the problem, but instead was apprehended. “According to the somewhat redacted police report, Levin’s associate, Daniel Sinclair, sent a security report about the SQL vulnerability — including details of the security flaw and a screenshot — to ‘an employee within the Department of State, Division of Elections,’” we reported. Shortly after, a special investigation was launched and Levin was arrested. “Levin’s foray into the elections data had not been undertaken with the appropriate permission — and because he didn’t alert the authorities as soon as he discovered vulnerabilities, law enforcement is required to be blind to his good intent,” Anti-Media reported. Shortly after, an unique investigation was released and Levin was arrested. ““Levin’s foray into the elections data had not been undertaken with the appropriate permission — and because he didn’t alert the authorities as soon as he discovered vulnerabilities, law enforcement is required to be blind to his good intent,” Anti-Media noted. He invested six hours in prison, despite the fact that he complied with all searches and confiscation of electronic devices.
Sinclair is running for a seat on the Lee County elections board, drawing some suspicion the hack was a promotion stunt, however as Anti-Media specified, “with rather overt fraud disenfranchising voters across the country, arresting the one hacker who attempted to help secure elections seems oddly ironic.”
3. Former Facebook workers exposed how the site censors news stories:
Recently, Gizmodo published an extensive story detailing how reporters working for the "Facebook Trends" function of the social networking site were maltreated and quarantined from the remainder of the personnel. This week, Gizmodo released a follow-up piece documenting accusations from former employees that managers of the trending area omitted stories from conservative outlets and intentionally failed to consist of conservative topics from the IRS discrimination scandal to Rand Paul. Though these exemptions seemed unintentional display screens of bias from individual staff members, they controlled coverage of the story. However other manipulations of the feed were more deliberate. One main policy of the department consisted of censoring stories about Facebook trends.
“When it was a story about the company, we were told not to touch it. It had to be cleared through several channels, even if it was being shared quite a bit. We were told that we should not be putting it on the trending tool,” said one previous employee. Furthermore, in another official policy, workers were enabled to artificially inject stories into that trending pool, even if they were not trending on Facebook, as long as they were covered by mainstream outlets.
Though Republican lawmakers required responses from Facebook, possibly the real story is Facebook's complicity in perpetuating corporate media narratives; Facebook has long partnered with corporate outlets (and the U.S. federal government) and has likewise been implicated of censoring stories crucial of Hillary Clinton while blocking grassroots groups supporting Bernie Sanders. While Facebook is ultimately a private business that can make its own decisions, its users would succeed to take the revelations as an opportunity to decide whether they rely on the outlet to properly and equitably offer them with details.
No matter one's view on Facebook's rights as a private organization, the news of their practices runs in direct violation of their assertion the feed is comprised of “topics that have recently become popular.” The whistleblowers expressed hope that with the enhanced use of algorithms, Facebook Trends will be less based on human predisposition and control. In case that does not happen.
According to an independent analysis conducted on over 250 hamburger brands in the United States-- varying from fast food to frozen food, and even vegetarian products-- America's love for hamburgers deals with some snags. Though the report by Clear Labs, a California-based food market scientist, praised overall enhancements in the hamburger industry, they kept in mind serious imperfections, especially with product labelling and the presence of germs. Rat DNA was found in 3 vegetarian burger samples while human DNA was discovered in one-- however those were not the most worrying findings, the scientists kept in mind, since though their existence is revolting, they are not always considered hazardous to human beings.
More worthwhile of alarm, they described, was the mislabeling of vegetarian products, the existence of meat in some of those supposedly meatless burgers, and the total absence of black beans in a black bean hamburger. The report notes “23.6% of vegetarian products showed some form of discrepancy between product and label, compared to the 13.6% of all samples. We found pervasive issues in food quality and end-product consistency in these non-meat samples.”
Even more, they found pathogens known to cause disease in 11 samples, four which were discovered in vegetarian hamburgers. Though their tests might not identify whether the pathogens lived or dead, their existence at all should raise eyebrows. Another leading concern of experts was the finding that “nearly 81 percent (38 of 47) of the fast food burgers tested contained more calories than reported in the product’s nutritional information,” and that“these discrepancies are potentially worrisome for customers who make decisions about what to order based on calorie counts and other available nutritional information.”
Though food contamination in the United States is nothing brand-new, these findings are relevant not just since they document ongoing issues with food quality, but because they represent an attempt by a personal company to pick up the FDA's slack. As Anti-Media explained,“Perhaps most telling is Clear Labs’ subtle, if not unintentional, commentary on the failures of the FDA to keep food safe for consumers; they stress their goal is to improve the safety and quality in hamburgers — ‘regardless of whether or not they are acceptable according to FDA guidelines,’”ultimately offering a silver lining to the unsettling report.
5. American foreign policy remains to have unintentional ramifications:
Americans have by and large accepted aggressive militarism as a linchpin of U.S. policy, and though the overwhelming civilian casualties and military failures are widely known, today Anti-Media reported on another consequence of the longest war in U.S. history: the war in Afghanistan has turned a generation of kids into heroin addicts.
The psychological damage of war, together with the flood of cheap heroin, has led to a doubling in addiction rates over the last five years. In the Channel 4 documentary, Unreported World, Ramita Naval explores a harrowing escalation in child addiction. In the ravaged country, where access to drug treatment is severely limited, she visits a rehabilitation centre where children as young as four or five — haunted by horrors they have witnessed — attempt to regain lost childhoods,” Anti-Media noted.
A Kabul-based doctor informed Naval rates of dependency had actually jumped 60 percent in the last 2 years at the only treatment center in the city that assists kids. Naval spoke to a thirteen-year-old boy whose parents were killed by shelling when he was eight. He ended up working as a guard for drug dealers, eventually ending up being addicted to opium himself. He stated he prostitutes himself to be able to maintain his routine.
Another young child's dependency started when, “after witnessing a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, he went to stay with relatives in the countryside. While he was there, U.S. forces bombed his village, killing dozens of people; he described seeing bodies scattered everywhere. The young boy and other villagers had to pick up the body parts and put them in plastic bags. Claiming the war breaks his heart — and making his descent into drug use more understandable — he said, ‘I’d rather not live, than live through this war.’”
“What’s happened in Afghanistan over the last 13 years has been the flourishing of a narco-state that is really without any parallel in history,” Kabul-based reporter Matthieu Aikins told Democracy Now back in 2014.
Afghanistan now produces 90 percent of the world's opium, as well as the CIA has been connected to vital players in this trade. Private operations aside, nevertheless, a generation of kids resides in a nation where opium is less expensive than food and where unrelenting violence chronically shocks their young minds, driving them deeper into dependency.
Obviously, it is possible to care about transgender rights and political corruption, censorship, contaminated food, and the unintentional victims of the Afghanistan War. As Facebook highlights transgender rights and Americans preach from their bully remark thread pulpits, nevertheless, it is essential to bear in mind the broad view of current affairs.
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