Monday, May 31, 2010

Truthout 5/31

Corporatizing and Militarizing Memorial Day for "Fun" and Profit
Camillo "Mac" Bica, Truthout: "Since the beginning of the 20th century, some 650,000 Americans have died fighting this country's many wars. Regardless of political affiliation and ideology, every American ought reverence such selfless sacrifice and understand and share the grief that this tragic loss of life entails. Though those of us who have known war hear the cries of the dying forever in our mind and suffer the pain and loss each day of our lives and need no holiday to remind us, Memorial Day is the occasion our nation sets aside to remember, to grieve and to honor those who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of 'freedom.'"
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Israeli Commandoes Kill Gaza Aid Volunteers
Max Ajl, Truthout: "Israeli commandoes rappelled onto the deck of the Mervi Manara, the big red-and-white Turkish aid ship sailing to Gaza...As I write, Israeli television, citing the Israeli military, reports up to 19 killed and 26 injured. The footage from the live-feed on the Mervi Manara is the only audio-visual material currently available. It's tragic: Men in orange life-vests quietly suffering. Orange canvas stretchers with a blaze of blood. 'They're all taken,' read correspondence from the Free Gaza Movement (FGM). All six of the boats taken by the Israeli navy are on their way to Ashdod and the Israeli processing camp set up there, its white tents a quiet little obscenity. Fragments of news percolate through the electronic blockade Israel has erected around the ships, and through the military censor that Israel uses to attempt to contain information."
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Gulf Oil Spill: "This Disaster Just Got Enormously Worse"
Renee Schoof and Chris Adams, McClatchy Newspapers: "If the growing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico isn't contained soon--and the latest efforts suggest that's unlikely--then the damage to the fragile region will intensify over the coming summer months as changing currents and the potential for hurricanes complicate the containment and cleanup efforts."
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Corporations Profit From Permanent War: Memorial Day 2010
Bill Quigley, Truthout: "US law officially proclaims Memorial Day 'as a day of prayer for permanent peace.' However, the US is much closer to permanent war than permanent peace. Corporations are profiting from wars and lobbying politicians for more. The US and the rest of the world cannot afford the rising personal and financial costs of permanent war...This coming year, the US will spend 708 billion dollars on war, and another $125 billion for Veterans Affairs - over $830 billion."
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Why You Should Care About the Psychology of Disgust
Joe Brewer, Truthout: "Are you someone who struggles to understand why people behave the way they do in politics? Perhaps you've been confused by all the fervor against gay marriage. Or maybe you're taken aback by the strong emotions waged against government-sponsored health care. To understand political behaviors like these, you'll need to become familiar with the psychology of disgust."
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This Memorial Day, a Modest Plea for More Honest Military Recruiting Ads
William J. Astore, Truthout: "Visiting my local cemetery, I walk quietly through the serried ranks of identical military gravestones, all adorned with American flags, a few adorned with flowers or religious figures or other mementos left by friends or family. For me it's a moving reminder of the debt we owe to America's veterans, especially those who gave their lives in the defense of this country. Contrast this somber sight to the upbeat Army recruiting ads I'm bombarded with as I cruise the MLB and ESPN websites."
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A Veteran Speaks Out about Being "Un-American" on Memorial Day
Michael Gass, Truthout: "Memorial Day is more than simply a day for honoring our fallen soldiers; it is also about remembering the ideals for which they gave their lives. Right-wing pundits and politicians have tossed out the term 'un-American' for decades, but in case you think they have cornered the market on the term 'un-American,' Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Hoyer recently used it when they wrote about the health care reform protests. They wrote, 'Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.'"
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The Split: A Self and Nation Divided
Mary Sojourner, Psychology Today: "The woman told me about surviving eight months of chemo and how laughter had been her best medicine. I told her of a friend who'd survived the same illness, whose friendship with a wounded eagle had sustained him through chemotherapy. I promised to send her a book. As she hugged me good-bye, I saw over her shoulder a bumper sticker that said: You f---in liberals can't have my country - or my gun. When I unlocked the trunk of my car to put my pack away, I saw the old sticker I'd put there in 2006: My cats hate Bush."
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