Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Truthout 4/21

American Kleptocracy: How Fears of Socialism and Fascism Hide Naked Theft
William J. Astore, "Kleptocracy - now, there's a word I was taught to associate with corrupt and exploitative governments that steal ruthlessly and relentlessly from the people. It's a word, in fact, that's usually applied to flawed or failed governments in Africa, Latin America or the nether regions of Asia."
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Tom Tomorrow | This Modern World
Truthout is proud to offer Tom Tomorrow, whose award-winning political cartoon, "This Modern World," makes its debut as a regular feature today. To quote documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, "All Hail Tom Tomorrow!"
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Where's RICO?
James Howard Kunstler, Truthout: "It's interesting and instructive to read The New York Times' lead story this morning, 'Top Goldman Leaders Said to Have Overseen Mortgage Unit.' While it pretends to report all the particulars of the huge scandal growing out of Friday's SEC action against Goldman Sachs (GS), the story really comes off as an attempt to create an alibi for the so-called 'bank.'"
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Why the US Fears a Nuclear Armed Iran
Michael Gass, Truthout: "A report prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 30, 1947, stated: 'A peace enforced through fear is a poor substitute for a peace maintained through international cooperation based upon agreement and understanding. But until such a peace is brought about, this nation can hope only that an effective deterrent to global war will be a universal fear of the atomic bomb as the ultimate horror in war.'"
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Killing the Competition
Jim Hightower, Truthout: "Golly, whatever happened to America's good ol', bold-and-brassy, can-do competitive drive? To see a troubling sign for our nation's famed, free-enterprise frontier spirit, sneak a peek at the downward flight path of America's major airlines. These corporations have become no-can-do, anti-competition behemoths, whining that there are too many airlines, too many planes, too much competition."
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Building a Better Filibuster
Ruth Marcus: "My approach on the filibuster is the same as Bill Clinton's on affirmative action: mend it, don't end it. Here are four and a half steps to a better filibuster. Step One: No filibuster for executive branch positions."
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GOP's Grassley Joins Democrats In Passing Limits on Derivatives
David Lightman and Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers: "The Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved by 13-8 tough new curbs on derivatives, the financial tools that had a big role in triggering the 2008 financial crisis. The vote sent a strong signal that a broader financial regulatory overhaul is within reach of enactment."
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Oklahoma Senate Passes Five Controversial Abortion Bills
Grace Huang, Truthout: "The Oklahoma Senate passed five abortion bills Monday night, which opponents have said will severely limit a woman's ability to get an abortion and would entail some of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. One of the bills would force a woman to get an ultrasound at least one hour prior to an abortion and be shown the image and given a detailed explanation of it, even if she wishes otherwise."
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Uncle Sam, Global Trade Sucker?
Ian Fletcher, Truthout: "Of all the blurbs I got for my book, 'Free Trade Doesn't Work: What Should Replace It and Why,' my favorite is one I got from Robert B. Cassidy, a distinguished former trade diplomat whose career included being assistant US trade representative for China, Asia and the Pacific. His contribution was short, but it made a point, coming from a man who had actually sat at the table where many of America's key trade agreements were negotiated, that our government would do well to grasp."
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The Case for Net Neutrality
Bill Moyers Journal: "The Internet has transformed business, politics and culture - but will a corporate agenda kill freedom of the web? With radio and television dominated by mega-corporations, more and more Americans have turned to the Internet for news - but a recent court ruling gives Big Telecom more control over broadband."
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State Department's Human Rights Assessment - Only a US Perspective
Maria Gabriela Egas, Council on Hemispheric Affairs: "In what could be seen as an effort to respond to the March 11, 2009, edition of the US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights, Ecuador has promised to publish its own human rights counter-report. This initiative is meant to assess Washington's own respect for human rights from an outside perspective and is meant to be a necessary response to the State Department's often imprudent document. Also, the very next day, March 12, China published 'Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009.'"
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Deadly Riots in Kyrgyzstan Challenge Interim Government
Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor: "Unrest is spiraling in Kyrgyzstan, and growing ethnic strife is threatening the tenuous grip of the interim government that seized power in a bloody street revolt 10 days ago. Days of rioting around the capital, Bishkek, have left several people dead and scores injured. Mobs of impoverished Kyrgyz have targeted businesses and land owned by other ethnic minorities, particularly Russians, for seizure."
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