Monday, April 12, 2010

Truthout 4/12

Missing Lesson From the Mine Tragedy: Union-Busting = Death
Art Levine, Truthout: "In the wake of last week's disaster at Massey Energy Company's Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, it's become increasingly clear that CEO Don Blankenship has gamed the loophole-laden mine safety enforcement system. Despite a supposedly tougher federal law that passed in 2006 after the Sago, West Virginia, mine explosion killed a dozen miners, Massey and other companies have been able to use the law as a shield to avoid tougher enforcement measures by appealing safety citations - and overwhelming the weak Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) with a backlog of appeals."
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The Future of American Jobs
Robert Reich, "Many of my students at Berkeley who will be graduating in June are worried about the job market. I understand their worries. But they and other new college grads have less cause for concern than most American workers. Let me explain."
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Nine Myths About Socialism in the US
Bill Quigley, Truthout: "Glenn Beck and other far right multimillionaires are claiming that the US is hot on the path toward socialism. Part of their claim is that the US is much more generous and supportive of our working and poor people than other countries. People may wish it was so, but it is not."
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Wall Street Deficit Hawks Have No Shame
Dean Baker, Truthout: "Almost 25 million people are unemployed or underemployed right now. This was a completely preventable disaster. This is worth repeating a few hundred billion times so that even the geniuses in Washington can understand it."
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In Ohio, No Insiders Need Apply
E.J. Dionne Jr: "Ohio's US Senate campaign offers an excellent preview of what this fall's midterm elections will be like: Everyone in the race wants to be an outsider, everyone pledges to break with politics as usual, and everyone is talking about jobs."
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Contempt for Karzai
Michael Isikoff, Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai: "Last fall President Obama made what may be his most agonizing decision yet, sending 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan. But now White House officials are making little secret about how exasperated they are with the erratic behavior of the country's president, Hamid Karzai."
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Black Jobless Rate Nearly Double US Average
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Truthout: "The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released employment data for March. Many analysts agree that the numbers show the first substantial gain for payrolls since December 2007. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 and the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent. According to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, 'The US economy has "turned the corner," but it will still take up to five years to regain all the jobs lost since the economic collapse.'"
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Massey Energy Coal Costs the Environment
Sarah Laskow, The Media Consortium: "Coal consumption has costs - this week's explosion at a West Virginia mine, which killed 25, made that clear. Those costs aren't limited to human lives, either. Massey Energy Co., the owner of the West Virginia mine, has not just racked up safety violations but also consistently disregarded the environmental effects of its work."
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Education Crisis: Symptom and Crucible of Societal Malaise
Anne Fremaux, Le Monde: "[The schools] have become display windows for an 'overall' societal malaise, a malaise to which the school is partially victim and for which it is partially responsible to the extent it no longer fulfills its role of educating for thought and for citizenship ... The student, or rather, the 'learner,' has never formally been taken more into consideration and yet, he has never felt so abandoned in fact."
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Follow the Money: The Sad, Sordid Way We Pay for Campaigns
Howard Fineman: "I'm a little shaky on the social geography of WeHo (a.k.a. West Hollywood), so I called friends in the entertainment business to get a fix on the Voyeur club. You know the place: the bondage-themed nightspot where a few Young Eagle Republican donors kicked back (at GOP expense) after a boring policy dinner in Beverly Hills."
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Tax Day and America's Wars: What the Mayor of One Community Hard Hit by War Spending Is Doing
Jo Comerford, "Matt Ryan, the mayor of Binghamton, New York, is sick and tired of watching people in local communities 'squabble over crumbs,' as he puts it, while so much local money pours into the Pentagon's coffers and into America's wars. He's so sick and tired of it, in fact, that, urged on by local residents, he's decided to do something about it. He's planning to be the first mayor in the United States to decorate the facade of City Hall with a large, digital 'cost of war' counter, funded entirely by private contributions."
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New Clues Emerge in Post-Katrina Vigilante Shooting at Algiers Point
A.C. Thompson and Brendan McCarthy, ProPublica and The Times-Picayune: "Three days after Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a ghost town, somebody shot Donnell Herrington twice in Algiers Point, ripping a hole in his throat. Herrington, who is African-American, says he was ambushed by a group of armed white men who attacked without warning or provocation."
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Is START Really a Beginning?
Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network: "Does the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed by US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on April 8, really provide a beginning toward a nuclear-free world? That's what Obama implied in a statement two weeks earlier. Speaking to reporters at the White House, he described the treaty as an historic step toward 'a world without nuclear weapons.'"
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Kyrgyzstan: What to Watch This Week
David L. Stern, GlobalPost: "The Kyrgyz capital still shows deep scars from last week's bloody overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, which left at least 81 dead and more than a thousand injured. But the numbers of armed marauders who looted stores and turned the city center into a no-go zone at night have greatly decreased."
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Rape aXe: Putting Teeth Into the Fight Against Rape
Amanda Bailly, GlobalPost: "Clamp fits like a boot on an illegally parked car. Rape-aXe is a flexible polyurethane condom-like tube that fits into the woman's body. Rows of jagged plastic hooks line the inside of the tube - bent backward like teeth in a shark's mouth - and lodge in a perpetrator's penis upon entry. The perpetrator can withdraw from the woman, but the Rape-aXe remains clamped on. Trying to pull it off will cause discomfort."
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