Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Truthout 5/26

Eleanor J. Bader | The Case for Socialism
Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout: "It's obvious that if you repeat something often enough, in an authoritative voice, listeners will begin to believe what you say. That's the theory behind both advertising and conservative media."
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Administration Pushes to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Despite Hurdles
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "The Obama administration has backed a breakthrough compromise on the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, which would give openly gay people the right to serve in the military. However, passage of the measure still hinges on support from a wavering Congress and a final confirmation from the president and top military leaders that the repeal does not threaten the military's 'readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention,' according to Peter R. Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget."
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After Long Argument, BP Official Made Fatal Decision on Drilling Rig
Erika Bolstad, Joseph Goodman and Marisa Taylor, McClatchy Newspapers: "Company executives and top drill hands on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig argued for hours about how to proceed before a BP official made the decision to remove heavy drilling fluid from the well and replace it with lighter weight seawater that was unable to prevent gas from surging to the surface and exploding."
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In Flight From Reality
Cary Fraser, Truthout: "On November 8, 2009, the Sunday Times of London ran a story on the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs, which was headlined: 'I'm doing "God's work." Meet Mr. Goldman Sachs.' The idea of the investment firm doing God's work was attributed to the Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein. The rich irony that underpinned this image of Blankfein was indicative of the rhetoric that has emerged in the defense of the workings of Wall Street amid growing evidence of both incompetence and chicanery on the part of major investment houses and assorted banks."
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How BP Will Make Out Like Bandits From Its Massive, Still Gushing Oil Disaster
Zach Carter, AlterNet: "You've got to hand it to BP. After witnessing the Great Financial Crash of 2008, it seemed like it would be decades before any corporation could eclipse Wall Street's reckless rush to place its own short-term profits ahead of the public interest. But the epic drilling disaster off the Louisiana coast demonstrates that many of the problems that wrecked Wall Street are deeply embedded in other sectors of the American economy."
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Jim Hightower | Disclosing the Meekness of the "Disclose" Bill
Jim Hightower, Truthout: "At last, after weeks of analyzing, calculating, pondering, consulting and crafting, Democratic leaders in Washington have unveiled their much-awaited legislative response to the Supreme Court's January decision in the infamous case of Citizens United. That's the destructive dictate that allows oceans of corporate cash to flood America's elections and drown out the voices of ordinary people."
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Obama to Send 1,200 National Guard Troops to Border
Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers: "President Barack Obama will dispatch up to 1,200 National Guard troops to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border and will ask Congress for $500 million to shore up law enforcement in the Southwest and provide other border protection tools."
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Tom Tomorrow | This Modern Life
Award-winning political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow focuses on the hypocrisy of politics in regulating corporations such as BP.
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Joint Venture
Truthout's Leslie Thatcher reviews Jessica Clark and Tracy Van Slyke's "Beyond the Echo Chamber": "'It's not what you say, it's what people hear.' We've seen it all play out ad and well past nauseam: Frank Lunzt ('the Nostradamus of pollsters') polls on the issues of the day and produces the talking points everyone from Fox 'News' commentators to Rush Limbaugh to Astroturf groups to Republican members of Congress will use to frame those issues. Whether health care reform ('the Washington takeover' of your health care) or financial services regulatory reform ('bank bailout,' 'lobbyist loopholes'), the mainstream media (MSM)and the GOP seamlessly sensationalize, distort and spin 'the news.'"
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Palin the Obfuscator
Ruth Marcus: "Has Sarah Palin learned anything since she was plucked from obscurity almost two years ago? Not that I can tell. It was not Palin's fault that she was woefully unprepared to be the Republican vice presidential nominee. For that one, blame the petulant, impetuous John McCain."
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BPing the Arctic? Will the Obama Administration Allow Shell Oil to Do to Arctic Waters What BP Did to the Gulf?
Subhankar Banerjee, TomDispatch: "Bear with me. I'll get to the oil. But first you have to understand where I've been and where you undoubtedly won't go, but Shell's drilling rigs surely will - unless someone stops them. Over the last decade, I've come to know Arctic Alaska about as intimately as a photographer can."
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Jim McCluskey | A Just War?
Jim McCluskey, Truthout: "War has been problematic since Roman times, especially after the rise of Christianity. 'Thou shalt not kill' did not seem to leave much wiggle room. Yet, it was recognized that people have a right to defend themselves when under lethal attack. Saint Augustine suggested a solution in his theory of a Just War. This was developed by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages and his tenets for a Just War have been more or less accepted every since by those who concern themselves about such things."
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Red State Road Trip 2: Red Texas, Blue Texas (Video - Part XV)
Chris Hume, Truthout: "Travel to the heart of Texas and meet the people who were loyal to Bush right up until the end. Is this the cradle of the Tea Party? Also, meet the gatekeeper of the 'Veterans For Peace' facility in Crawford Texas, and hear his thoughts on the future of 'red state' values."
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US Congress Slows Unilateral Sanctions Drive Against Iran
Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service: "President Barack Obama's efforts to gain greater flexibility in dealing with Iran received a small but potentially important boost here Tuesday when a key Congressional committee announced that the deadline for a unilateral U.S. sanctions package will be put off until next month."
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Money in Politics: Has Anything Changed Since the Days of Jack Abramoff?
Rose Aguilar, Your Call: "After spending four years in a minimum security prison, the convicted Washington lobbyists Jack Abramoff is scheduled to go to a halfway house next month. The former B-movie filmmaker, anti-communist, college Republican became a powerful lobbyist in 1994. He had strong ties with then House majority leader Tom DeLay, Republican Karl Rove, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, and the Christian Coalition's former head Ralph Reed."
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Supreme Court to Hear DNA Testing Case of Texas Death Row Inmate
Dave Montgomery, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "A Texas Death Row inmate who came within minutes of being executed for a triple murder in the Panhandle is now at the center of a potentially far-reaching Supreme Court case on DNA testing."
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Misconceptions and Machinations Keep Hikers Incarcerated in Iran
Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., Truthout: "You've probably heard about the three hikers being held in Iran since last summer. Their case has become a political football, highlighting the inherent tensions and absurd machinations of the US-Iran relationship. If you've followed the story even casually, you also likely have an impression of the hikers as either being dumb and naive or spoiled kids deserving of their fate. These perceptions are actually well off the mark and in some ways have served to perpetuate their plight. Incarcerated for nearly a year now, we might finally consider taking a moment to set the record straight and, in the process, come to appreciate the dedicated activism of these remarkable individuals."
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Meditations on Hip Hop: Of Disposability, Death and Destiny (Part III)
Tolu Olorunda, All Hip Hop: "For good time now, the grounds have been shifting, the clouds have been darkening, hearts have been hardening. And the graveness of this moment upon which we are currently poised might be eluding the everyday-realities of most public Rap artists, who find greater joy carrying off as though life today reeks of nothing extraordinary - as though all the injustices and infractions on humanity being swiftly dealt are mere transient, inevitable elements of the ongoing human quest for survival."
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Please join Truthout in Chicago for a conversation with philosopher Simon Critchley, author of "Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance" and many other books. Friday May 28 at 7:00 PM
Mess Hall, 6932 N. Glenwood, Chicago
See this interview with Critchley on Truthout

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