Thursday, February 25, 2010

Truthout 2/25

Keith Olbermann | An American Cry for Help (Video)
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC "Countdown": "Finally tonight, a Special Comment about health care reform and tomorrow's summit at Blair House. If I prove to have trouble getting through this, I apologize in advance. Last Friday night my father asked me to kill him. We were just shy of six months since he was hospitalized and it was the end of a long day at the end of a longer week."
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US Using Iraqi Political Discord to Justify Continuance of Occupation
Dahr Jamail, Truthout: "As Iraqi national elections on March 7 approach, violence and political discord in the country have escalated dramatically. On February 22, Gen. Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, announced that the US was preparing contingency plans to delay the withdrawal of all combat forces from Iraq if violence or political instability increase after the national elections scheduled for March 7."
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Hearing Debates Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Veterans' Suicides
Mary Susan Littlepage, Truthout: "Psychiatrists and mental health experts spoke about the relationship between medication and veterans' suicides when the House Veterans' Affairs Committee hosted a committee hearing on the topic on Wednesday. Although speakers offered different views on whether antidepressants help to decrease veterans' chances of committing suicide, there was agreement that suicide is a topic of concern, as suicide rates climb among young veterans who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan."
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American Bar Association: Deportation System "Severely Flawed"
William Fisher, Truthout: "The number of people deported from the US annually has grown from just over 69,000 to over 356,000 in the past eight years, while resource-starved immigration judges issue decisions without sufficient time to conduct legal research and analyze the complex cases they are asked to decide."
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William J. Astore | Push Back, Democrats
William J. Astore, Truthout: "The Democratic Party has lost the thread of its own narrative. Instead of positioning itself as the friend and ally of the working and middle classes against the power and privilege of exploiters, the party has allowed its opponents to portray it as being openly in the service of powerful elites, e.g. 'Talibankers,' and naively in the service of powerless 'elites,' e.g. 'welfare cheats.' In this Tea Party/Republican narrative, Democrats are depicted as feeding and favoring both the 'fat cats' on Wall Street and the 'fat poor' on Main Street."
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Senate Panel Blasts Blackwater Over Theft of Assault Weapons, Civilian Deaths
Grace Huang, Truthout: "'Multiple irresponsible acts' and 'troubling gaps in government oversight' plagued the Afghan operations of a Blackwater Worldwide affiliate defense contractor named Paravant, according to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday."
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Norman Solomon | War Politics: Numb and Number
Norman Solomon, Truthout: "Playwright Lillian Hellman said, 'I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.' The statement was in a letter to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The year was 1952. We tell ourselves that the McCarthy era was vastly different than our own - but what about the political fashions of 2010?"
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Beverly Bell | Putting "Humanitarian" Back in "Humanitarian Aid"
Beverly Bell, Truthout: "One of the first things that Haitians now living in the streets want to talk about is their disgust over the international food aid program. In such places as the camps in the downtown parks on Boulevard Champs de Mars, residents report, food is given sporadically - last week not for four or five days. Moreover, it is uncooked rice, and many of those living in the crowded shelters have no way to cook it. Some have been able to sell the rice and, with the funds, buy food that they can eat."
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Silicon Sweatshops: Another Black Eye for Apple Supplier
Kathleen E. McLaughlin, GlobalPost: "A Taiwanese manufacturer that makes LCD screens and components for tech giants like Apple confirmed Thursday that more of its workers in China were sickened by chemical exposure than it previously reported."
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E.J. Dionne Jr. | The Next New Dealers
E.J. Dionne Jr.: "Young Americans are the linchpin of a new progressive era in American politics. So why aren't Democrats paying more attention to them? The relative strength of conservatives in American politics since the 1980's was built on generational change: Voters whose views had been shaped by the New Deal were gradually replaced with the more cautious souls who came of age after FDR."
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Justice for Aung San Suu Kyi: End Male Power Structures
Janet Benshoof, On The Issues Magazine: "Aung San Suu Kyi's unwavering commitment to a nonviolent path to democracy in Burma, and her decades-long detention have made her a global icon. But true justice for Aung San Suu Kyi requires dismantling the male power structures, as well as addressing her situation and that of the people in Burma. Women Nobel laureates are now organizing to find new strategies to challenge these obstacles."
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Climate Change's Secret Weapon
Khadija Sharife, Foreign Policy in Focus: "The water is crystalline, the sand is whiter than white, and elegantly bent palm trees sway in the breeze. This is how the Seychelles markets itself: as 'another world.' Tourism is the mainstay of this heavenly island, averaging 20 percent of GDP and 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings."
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