Saturday, June 26, 2010

Truthout 6/26

Hands Off Social Security: There Are Better Ways to Cut the National Debt
Robert Weiner and Jonathan Battaglia, The Palm Beach Post: "The Social Security Trustees' Annual Report on the program's finances comes out Wednesday, delayed from March by the health bill. It will be turned into a marketing tool by advocates of cutting Social Security to reduce the national debt. Among those, the president's newly appointed National Commission on Fiscal Reform (the 'debt commission') is threatening to strangle the economic lifeblood of seniors by denying the solvency of Social Security and then using the solvent funds for other purposes."
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USSF: The Control of Public Media as a Social Justice Issue
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "The control of public media is a life-or-death struggle fought by diverse communities working toward social change against corporate-owned or undemocratic, government-sponsored media and professional journalists. The participation of marginalized and oppressed communities in shaping media systems is the only way forward for a democratic system of communication, and experiences from South America show this to hold true not only on the page, but in the field as well."
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Speaker Pelosi, More War Funding Next Week Is No "Emergency"
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is committed to passing an emergency war supplemental before the July Fourth recess, Roll Call reports. Let us be perfectly clear, as President Obama might say. There is no 'emergency' requiring the House to throw another $33 billion into our increasingly bloody and pointless occupation of Afghanistan before we all go off to celebrate the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from foreign occupation."
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Calling for Accountability on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Andy Worthington, Truthout: "Today is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, established by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1997, to mark the ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on June 26, 1987. As UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan explained on June 26, 1998 (when the day was first marked), 'This is a day on which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable. This is an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable....' At the time, Annan lamented that, although over 100 States had ratified the Convention, the use of torture was 'still reported' in many of those countries."
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Big Banks Escape Toughest Limits in New Regulation Bill
Kevin G. Hall and David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers: "Like a hard-fought draw in a World Cup soccer match, consumers won sweeping new protections under a revamp of financial regulation that lawmakers agreed to Friday but large banks dodged the biggest hits that had been coming their way. The sweeping regulatory revamp affects everything from credit cards and mortgages to the structure of large global banks and who regulates the financial sector and how."
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What to Expect at G20: Lots and Lots of Cops
Sandro Contenta, GlobalPost: "If you want to see more police officers than you've probably ever seen in your life, come to Toronto this weekend. Downtown, particularly in the area around the iconic CN Tower, they're everywhere. They hang out like gangs on practically every street corner.... It was revealed Friday that Toronto's chief of police, Bill Blair, requested and secretly received from the provincial government extraordinary new powers for the G20."
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Maslow's Pyramid Gets a Makeover
Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune: "Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs is one of the iconic images of psychology. The simple diagram, first introduced in the 1940s, spells out the underlying motivations that drive our day-to-day behavior and points the way to a more meaningful life. It is elegant, approachable and uplifting. But is it also out of date?"
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North Dakota Farm Becomes Lab for Growing Food in Dry Times
Frederick Kirschenmann, Yes! Magazine: "Although the science of ecology has been evolving for decades, it has barely begun to influence agriculture in the 21st century. We still manage farms as if all of their parts, including water, are separate entities. However, that method of farming is becoming increasingly dysfunctional, and the philosophy that informs it is being questioned more rigorously."
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