Sunday, April 11, 2010

Truthout 4/11

Zygmunt Bauman | Tribes and Skies
Zygmunt Bauman, Truthout: "The 'tribe' focused on by Calvino, a tribe of coconut gatherers, is addicted to 'watching the sky'. The sky it watches obsessively and intensely happens to be a sight that is genuinely fascinating and truly rewarding to watch: it is full of 'new celestial bodies', like jet planes, flying saucers, rockets, and guided missiles ... While the tribe watches, the tribal witch doctors feel obliged to explain, authoritatively, to their fellow tribesmen the meaning of what they are seeing. They tell the tribesmen that what is currently happening in the sky is a sure sign that the day is fast approaching when the slavery and poverty which has tormented the tribe for centuries will come to an end."
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Ian Angus | Does the University Have a Future in the Network Society?
Ian Angus, Truthout: "Who should care about the future of the university? Why should they care? The university used to be an elite institution that most working people rarely encountered. The training and socialization that the elite classes received prior to taking up leading positions in government and industry was arguably as much of a rite of passage as a search for enlightenment... The corporate university has been waging a battle for some years now against the remaining features of the public university."
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A "Tea"-chable Moment?
Andrew Stelzer, Truthout: "Although the death threats and smashed windows were frightening, there was some sense of relief that the media were no longer dancing around the issue and were giving it ample coverage. And very quickly, Tea Party stock started to drop."
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Justice Stevens Retirement Portends Long, Hot Political Summer
Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor: "The confirmation battle over the replacement for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who announced his retirement Friday, could become one of the most heated US political struggles of the summer. In part, that's because of the particulars of President Obama's situation. His poll numbers have dipped, and Republicans are looking to capitalize on perceived Democratic vulnerability in advance of next fall's mid-term elections."
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Unified by Hatred of Obama, GOP Still Seeks a Challenger
Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers: "Southern Republicans wrapped up a three-day meeting in New Orleans Saturday unified in fervent opposition to President Barack Obama, but wide open at this early stage about whom they want to challenge him in 2012."
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Boycotts Mar Sudan Elections
Tristan McConnell,GlobalPost: "Voters in Africa's largest country are going to the polls Sunday through Tuesday in Sudan’s first multi-party election in more than two decades, but a raft of last minute boycotts have undermined the credibility of the vote."
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What Super-Small Business Needs
Tom Shetterly, Truthout: "President Obama and others have used the words 'small business' frequently, but I am not sure anyone in Washington understands what small business is, how it operates or what it needs."
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Thailand: Bloody Crackdown Exposes Battle Lines in Class War
Marwaan Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service: "The morning after the Thai troops' bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters here, the mood among them remained as it was after the guns had gone silent only hours before. The red shirts, called such because of their signature protest colour, appeared defiant, edgy and, in some cases, victorious."
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