Sunday, May 23, 2010

Truthout 5/23

Cries from the Past: Torture's Ugly Echoes
H.P. Albarelli Jr. and Dr. Jeffrey Kaye: "An examination of well-hidden, past torture activities might serve well in shedding light on the causes for reluctance and inaction in holding torturers and their professional cohorts responsible. Contemporary torture's earliest, deepest and most influential roots are found in the CIA's Artichoke Project."
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Obama Taps Former Senator Graham to Co-Chair Commission Probing BP Oil Spill
Shashank Bengali, Renee Schoof and Lesley Clark, McClatchy Newspapers: "Facing a growing furor over the monthlong Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the White House Friday named two environmentalists to lead a presidential commission investigating the disaster. The appointments of former Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and William K. Reilly, who led the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush, came as the Obama administration tried to defend its handling of the spill against critics who charge that the oil giant BP has been dragging its feet in measuring how much oil the company's ruptured well is spewing."
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Drones and Democracy
Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier, Truthout: "On May 12, the day after a US drone strike killed 24 people in Pakistan's North Waziristan, two men from the area agreed to tell us their perspective as eyewitnesses of previous drone strikes. One is a journalist, Safdar Dawar, general secretary of the Tribal Union of Journalists. Journalists are operating under very difficult circumstances in the area, pressured by both militant groups and the Pakistani government."
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Haitian Earthquake Survivors Struggle for Social and Economic Rights
Beverly Bell, Truthout: "'It's a nightmare from which you never wake up,' said a coordinator for Partners in Health in Port-au-Prince, referring to the January 12 earthquake and its social aftermath. The 'nightmare' has long roots in structural violence, the set of national and international systems and policies that have left the majority in Haiti (and the world) neglected and resource poor. Survival in Haiti often balances on a razor-thin wire."
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Red State Road Trip 2: "I'm Not A Racist" (Video - Part XIV)
Chris Hume, Truthout: "Travel into the deep South as the 2008 election draws near, and listen to what small town black and white Americans have to say."
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UN Will Investigate North Korea Sinking of South Korean Ship
Howard LaFranchi, The Christian Science Monitor: "North Korea is facing new pressures over its suspected sinking of a South Korean naval vessel, with the United Nations body that oversees the multinational force in South Korea saying Saturday it will investigate whether the North's actions violated the five-decade-old Korean War armistice. The conclusion of the investigation will be submitted to UN headquarters, the multinational United Nations Command (Korea) says - with an affirmative finding likely to boost calls for some kind of UN action condemning North Korea."
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Mounting Biodiversity Loss Poses Threat to Human Survival
Paul Virgo, Inter Press Service: "When people talk about biodiversity loss, discussion often centres on the tragedy of animals like the tiger and the panda being in danger of extinction. It is as if the world were about to be deprived of precious parts of its heritage, perhaps comparable to works by Mozart or Shakespeare - sad yet not something that will affect our everyday existence. Unfortunately, this widely held vision is misguided."
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Death-Defying Institutional Brands
Barry Eisler, Truthout: "I'm increasingly intrigued by the ability of certain brands to outlast the loss of their underlying substance. Facts are stubborn things, John Adams said, but sometimes, it seems, not as stubborn as brands. Let me offer a few examples and then let's see if we can identify any principles at work behind the phenomenon."
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How A 17-Year San Quentin Inmate Helps To Heal His Community
Paul Rogat Loeb, Truthout: "What would happen if we listened closely to the stories in our community, and used them as clues to how to act for change? It's tempting, for instance, to dismiss the criminals in our jails as irredeemable problems. Yet when they transform themselves and help heal the wounds that they've helped create, they can offer powerful lessons. No one exemplifies this more than David Lewis."
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Everything Is Everything
Winslow Myers, Truthout: "Recalling the use of the phrase by hip jazz musicians in the 1960s, I had always assumed it meant a Buddhist sense of the radical interconnection among all phenomena. Here in brave new 2010, that's the definition that still makes the most sense to me. Take the exploded BP oil rig off the Louisiana coast. Things in the Gulf are definitely not all good, and certainly not going according to plan. Resigned acceptance of the status quo, "It is what it is," won't cut it either.... I think we need a wisdom, even at the risk of simplification, that reaches for a new level of connection between apparently separate events."
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