Alternate Realities Roundup 6/3 | Buzz Blog
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Alternate Realities Roundup 6/3



Russia deployed Internet trolls with names like “Ass” and “Gay Turtle” to spread a a pro-Kremlin message on the comments sections of major U.S. Newspapers.---

Top of the Alty World

“Documents Show How Russia’s Troll Army Hit America”--BuzzFeed

Rolling Stone recaps the top 13 things you need to know about recently released POW Bowe Bergdahl.--Rolling Stone

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down the appeal of a New York Times reporter who faces prison for refusing to reveal a confidential source.--Democracy Now!

Officials are stunned by a “surge” of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children showing up at the U.S./Mexico border.--Mother Jones

Top of Alty Utah

Search warrants have been served on former Attorney Generals Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow.--Utah Political Capitol

Utah Politico Hub recaps the first State School Board candidates to be cut from consideration.--Utah Politico Hub

Organizers of Granary Row have canceled the popular event's summer season citing overly burdensome Salt Lake City regulations.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has begun a campaign of diversity and sensitvity training for all of the county's employees.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Given the defeats of other Tea Party candidates, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah has to make sure his own Tea Party message is for something, instead of just being against anything related to Obama.--Utah Policy


Fred Kaplan, an author and Edward R. Murrow press fellow as the Council on Foreign Relations explains why the exchange that released American POW Bowe Bergdahl was not a case of “negotiating with terrorists.”

“The United States and practically every other nation that’s ever fought a war have made these sorts of exchanges for centuries. In recent years, American officers have turned over hundreds of detainees to the Afghan government, which in turn freed them in exchange for favors of one sort or another from the Taliban. During the Iraq war, American commanders frequently made similar swaps.

The Israeli government (which can’t be considered soft on terror) trades prisoners with Hamas and Hezbollah all the time. In the most dramatic case, Gilad Shalit, an Army private abducted by Hamas, was traded for 1,027 Palestinian and Arab prisoners, 280 of whom had been serving life sentences for terrorist attacks against Israel.”--Slate

The Long View

The American Prospect looks at the modern-day slavery of the over-exploited prison labor force in the United States.

“Because inmate workers are not considered “employees” under the law, they have none of the protections that word implies. No disability or worker’s compensation in the event of an injury. No Social Security withholdings, sick time, or overtime pay. In three states—Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas—they work for free. In Texas, where inmates are required to work under threat of punishment, most do maintenance tasks like Hazen, but some are assigned to “field force” jobs designed to be particularly demeaning. “It wouldn’t be an ideal job,” says Jason Clark, Texas Department of Criminal Justice public information officer director. “Someone may have had disciplinary issues, so they end up in the field force, doing various things including clearing fence lines. They’re out under armed-guard supervision, using their labor.”

If that scenario sounds familiar, it should. “Thousands of prisoners toil in the hot sun every day and make nothing,” says Judith Greene, a researcher and advocate with the nonprofit group Justice Strategies. “Prison guards on horseback, ten-gallon hats, prisoners in their uniforms. It looks like what it is: plantation labor all over again.”--The American Prospect