Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Truthout 5/18

William Rivers Pitt | Killing Our World
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "'I wanted to destroy everything beautiful I'd never have,' wrote Chuck Palahniuk in his novel, 'Fight Club.' Burn the Amazon rain forest. Pump chlorofluorocarbons straight up to gobble the ozone. Open the dump valves on supertankers and uncap offshore oil wells. I wanted to kill all the fish I couldn't afford to eat, and smother the French beaches. I wanted the whole world to hit bottom ... I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now."
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Suicide Bomber Hits NATO Convoy in Afghanistan; 18 Dead, Five Americans
Dion Nissenbaum and Hashim Shukoor, McClatchy Newspapers: "A suicide bomber driving a vehicle with more than a half ton of explosives hit a NATO convoy on a busy Kabul road early Tuesday morning, killing 18 people, including at least five American fighters and a dozen Afghan civilians, according to American and Afghan officials."
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Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds
Beverly Bell, Truthout: "'A new earthquake' is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto's seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation's presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day."
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"Mini-Super Tuesday:" Three Senate Primaries Could Mark Bellwether for Midterm Elections
Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!: "It's Mini-Super Tuesday, the biggest primary day of the 2010 election cycle. All eyes are on three key Senate primaries: Democratic incumbent Arlen Specter vs. Congress member Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania; two-term Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln vs. Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter in Arkansas; and on the Republican side, Secretary of State Trey Grayson vs. political newcomer Rand Paul in Kentucky."
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James Howard Kunstler | Something Happened
James Howard Kunstler, Truthout: "Everybody in the world is broke, except for maybe Lloyd Blankfein, and he may not end up broke so much as broken - by a political meat-grinder that is revving up to turn the world's woes and swindles into a new kind of Long Emergency sausage, to be distributed among the roiling, angry masses as a synthetic substitute for nutriment. Call it a synthetic non-collateralized political obligation."
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Iranian Nuclear Threat Spurs Mideast Arms Sales
Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service: "The United States, and most of the Western world, have transformed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into a virtual bogeyman, thereby spreading fear throughout the neighbouring countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)."
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Alexander Cockburn | Kagan Gay Issue a Red Herring
Alexander Cockburn, Truthout: "Sexual politics command passions in American political life far more powerful than those currently focused on Wall Street bankers or on BP. By conventional measures Elena Kagan should sail through her nomination by President Obama to one of the most influential jobs in America - a seat on the US Supreme court - in a walk. If Obama had nominated a liberal, the right wing would be gleefully hunkering down for a battle royal, charging that Obama was putting up a fellow-communist intent on trashing the US Constitution."
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News in Brief: Pentagon Falsely Claimed Missile System Success and More ...
New report finds antimissile defense system has only a 10 to 20 percent success rate; first gay couple to publicly commit to marriage in Malawi, sentenced to prison for up to 14 years; Thailand's government rejects red shirt protesters' offer for peace talks; Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Kentucky voting in primary elections today.
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Nouriel Roubini: How to Break Up the Banks, Stop Massive Bonuses and Rein in Wall Street Greed
Zach Carter, AlterNet: "New York University economist Nouriel Roubini is the author of, most recently, 'Crisis Economics: A Crash Course In The Future Of Finance.' He is considered one of the most prominent and respected economists in the world. When both Wall Street bankers and Bush administration policymakers were insisting that everything was just fine, Roubini was warning about the most dire financial crisis since the Great Depression. In 2007, the financial elite laughed him off, but Roubini was vindicated by the crash of 2008."
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Rage Against the Machine
Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., Truthout: "It's morning in America, and the nativists are getting restless. Often cited amidst the moderate chagrin over rightwing rampaging in recent weeks is the dubious proposition that these factions are openly rebelling against 'business as usual' in US politics. While social movement activities in general are worthwhile, we ought to distinguish between those that actually challenge power and those that are supported by it. In the case of the Tea Party and their ilk, we are witnessing a unique posture whereby people are raging against the system even as they epitomize it."
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Pressured From All Sides in Pakistan's Swat Valley
Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier, Truthout: "In May of 2009, under tremendous pressure from the United States, the Pakistani military began a large-scale military operation in the Swat District of Pakistan to confront militants in the region. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the operation led to one of the largest and fastest displacements it had ever seen. Within ten days, more than two million people fled their homes."
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"Gooaal!" for Lula Against Western Push for Iran Sanctions
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "If I were in Washington, I would run down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Congress with a big Brazilian flag, as the young Brazilians run down the Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo during the futebol match, shouting, 'Gooaal!'"
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White Wealth and Black Debt Shot Up in "Growth" Years
Kai Wright, ColorLines: "The wealth gap between Blacks and Whites has grown by fourfold over the course of Generation X's lifetime, exploding to $95,000, a study released today found. And the debt burden among African American families has nearly doubled."
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Judge Orders Release From Guantanamo of Russian Caught in Abu Zubaydah's Web
Andy Worthington, Truthout: "On Thursday, a group of US citizens in Massachusetts were thrilled to hear that in the District Court in Washington, DC, Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. had granted the habeas corpus petition of Ravil Mingazov, the last Russian prisoner in Guantanamo, who was seized in Pakistan in March 2002."
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Obama Myths and Realities
Greg Guma, Truthout: "It was a fairy-tale premise: Once upon a time, a charismatic prince appeared magically and gave an inspiring, instantly famous speech. Four years later, he was leading the most powerful kingdom in the world from the brink of disaster."
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