Thursday, April 15, 2010

Truthout 4/15

George Lakoff | The Poll Democrats Need to Know About
George Lakoff, Truthout: "Framing, value shifting, the California budget crisis, and why Democrats so often act like Republicans. This is a case study of how inadequate polling can lead Democrats to accept and promote a radical Republican view of reality. This paper compares two polls, one excellent and revealing, the other inadequate, misleading, and counterproductive."
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Prison-Based Gerrymandering Creates Phantom Voters
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "Anyone who is in prison on the first of April, 2010, will remain there for the next ten years - according to the US census. When the census counts prison populations, it counts them as residents of the towns in which they are incarcerated, not the communities they left and will most likely return to."
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McChrystal Backtracks on Troop Veto for Kandahar Shuras
Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service: "The US military has now officially backtracked from its earlier suggestion that it would seek the consent of local shuras, or consultative conferences with those elders, to carry out the coming military occupation of Kandahar city and nearby districts - contradicting a pledge by Afghan President Hamid Karzai not to carry out the operation without such consent."
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Happy Tax Day: Are Americans Getting Our Money's Worth?
Steven Hill, Truthout: "Most Americans seem to regard April 15 - the day income tax returns are due to the Internal Revenue Service - as a recurring tragedy akin to a Biblical plague. Particularly this year, with US government deficits soaring, everyone from the teabaggers to Fox News and Senate Republicans are sounding the alarm about a return to 'big government.' Recently, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani even stated that President Obama was moving us towards - gasp - European socialism."
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Ruth Marcus | The Court Unheard
Ruth Marcus, Truthout: "The public is zero for seven at the Supreme Court this term. That tally doesn't involve the justices' votes on cases. It's the number of times that the court has been asked (seven) and agreed (zero) to release same-day audio recordings of oral arguments in important cases."
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Bill Asks Obama for Afghanistan Exit Plan
Mary Susan Littlepage, Truthout: "Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) and Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) and Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) introduced legislation Wednesday that calls on the White House to develop a 'flexible timetable' to draw down US troops from Afghanistan."
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Google Street View Alarms Europeans
Michael Scott Moore, Miller-McCune: "Recent controversies over the volume of information about ordinary Europeans that US agencies have demanded in the wake of 9/11 - including banking details, flight-customer data and passport biometrics - show a strange difference between America and the Old World. Americans make noise about small government and individual freedom, but they tend to be more willing to give up private data than your average European."
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US Military Still Lying About Special Forces Night Raid in Afghanistan
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "US officials are 'probing a possible attempted coverup' in the deaths of five Afghan civilians in February in a raid carried out by US Special Forces accompanied by Afghan troops, The Los Angeles Times reports. Among the charges is that the bodies were tampered with by US forces to conceal the cause of death."
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Budget Genocide Sweeps Across the Nation
Tiny (aka Lisa Gray-Garcia), Truthout: "Thousands of poor people of color face hunger, illness, death and homelessness due to welfare, housing and health care budget cuts across the nation. How long does it take to kill the spirit of 7,000 people? How long does it take to forget about 7,000 people? Or 600 people, 10,000 or 22,000 people?"
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US Foreign Policy: Sixty Years of Disaster
Michael Gass, Truthout: "On August 19, 1953, pro-Shah supporters in Iran staged a coup on the Iranian government that was planned, organized and supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and British Intelligence. Iranians lived under the brutal rule of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi for the next 25 years until the Iranian Revolution in 1979."
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In Praise of the IRS
E.J. Dionne Jr: "You might imagine that if a terrorist attack killed an American public servant and threatened the lives of 200 people, it would have been big news for weeks and an enduring symbol of the risks taken by those who serve their country."
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The "Other" Terrorism: Militarism and Violence Against Women
Lucinda Marshall, Feminist Peace Network: "Since beginning the Feminist Peace Network in 2001, I have written and spoken about militarism and violence against women more times than I can count. In those years I have watched too many instances of the problem becoming more exacerbated and see little to indicate substantive progress towards addressing this horrendous problem. And so I keep writing and talking about it. The following is excerpted from a recent talk that I delivered at the University of Dayton."
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America and the Dictators: From Ngo Dinh Diem to Hamid Karzai
Alfred W. McCoy, "The crisis has come suddenly, almost without warning. At the far edge of American power in Asia, things are going from bad to much worse than anyone could have imagined. The insurgents are spreading fast across the countryside. Corruption is rampant. Local military forces, recipients of countless millions of dollars in US aid, shirk combat and are despised by local villagers. American casualties are rising. Our soldiers seem to move in a fog through a hostile, unfamiliar terrain, with no idea of who is friend and who is foe."
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Capitalism Is Experiencing An Existential Crisis
Antoine Mercier, Marianne2: Marianne2, with France Culture, has presented a series of interviews by Antoine Mercier with various intellectuals on the subject of the economic crisis. To close the series, economist and epistemologist Christian Arnsperger evokes the existential crisis of capitalism.
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William Fisher | Feel Safer Now?
William Fisher, Truthout: "I write a lot of stories, news mostly. They're carried by InterPress News Service. I've been doing this for a very long time, so I'm usually able to separate myself from what I'm writing about so I don't get emotionally involved. But there are those times when I find myself getting so angry over the subject of the story I'm writing that I can't write it."
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Iraq Vet Denounces War Crimes: "We Fired on Buses Full of Civilians"
Leo Paz, Truthout: "Seven years on after the second US invasion of Iraq, the Americans continue slaughtering civilians, now in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Recently, the video of the massacre of 12-15 Iraqis by an US helicopter gunship in 2007 began making the rounds thanks to Episodes like what is shown in that video have been denounced by Iraq Veterans Against the War for years now."
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Contractor Deaths Accelerating in Afghanistan as They Outnumber Soldiers
T. Christian Miller, ProPublica: "A recent Congressional Research Service analysis obtained by ProPublica looked at the number of civilian contractors killed in Afghanistan in recent months. It's not pretty. Of the 289 civilians killed since the war began more than eight years ago, 100 have died in just the last six months. That's a reflection of both growing violence and the importance of the civilians flooding into the country along with troops in response to President Obama's decision to boost the American presence in Afghanistan."
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