Today’s Links: November 1, 2012


M.C.K.: “They Did Not Have to Be So Unfair
“On one side of the ledger, we see that the big banks are bigger than ever, more than 90% of the gains in GDP in the past four years have accrued to those in the top 1% of the income distribution, and total Wall Street pay is still near record highs despite a sharp drop in employment. On the other, we find that median net worth fell by 40% since 2007, real median income is still 8% lower than in 2007, there are still more than 7 million fewer full-time jobs than in 2007, and there have been at least 4 million foreclosures, many of which could have been prevented through investor-friendly government policies.”

WILL OREMUS: “Did Facebook Censor an Anti-Obama Meme?”
“Facebook this week reportedly took down a wildly popular piece of political propaganda posted by Special Operations Speaks (SOS), a group of anti-Obama Special Ops types and fellow travelers. […] It’s good that the company backtracked. Not because this particular meme deserves to live on, but because private companies like Facebook have become a critical part of the 21st-century public square. And if the public can’t count on them to be evenhanded in their treatment of political speech, that’s a serious problem.”

SEAN LYNGAAS: “Syria’s Digital Proxy War
“There is a proxy war going on in Syria, one measured in megabytes rather than in arms. On one side, Iran is providing Bashar al-Assad’s regime with the tools of digital dictatorship to locate and bait the Syrian opposition. On the other side, the United States is trying to help the opposition protect itself from such attacks and set up alternate channels of communication. The outcome of this proxy war will affect the lives of many Syrians and the credibility of the State Department’s efforts to promote digital freedom internationally.”


ENERGY – U.S. eases clean gasoline rules in East after Sandy
“The U.S. environmental regulator waived clean gasoline requirements through November 20 on the eastern seaboard to help ease a supply crunch after Hurricane Sandy ripped across the region’s energy system.”

TRANSPORTATION – NYC taxi firms run out of fuel as gasoline crunch deepens
“New York taxi and car service companies started pulling vehicles off the road on Thursday as the fuel crunch deepened, with the vast majority of storm-hit service stations in the greater New York area now out of gasoline or without power.”

HEALTH – China Passes Law to Curb Abuse of Mental Hospitals
“China’s legislature on Friday passed a long-awaited mental health law that aims to prevent people from being involuntarily held and unnecessarily treated in psychiatric facilities – abuses that have been used against government critics and triggered public outrage.”