Sunday, July 11, 2010

Truthout 7/11

No Dominion: The Lonely, Dangerous Fight Against Christian Supremacists Inside the Armed Forces
Matthew Harwood, Truthout: "In his fight against British imperialism, Mahatma Gandhi described the life cycle of successful civil disobedience: 'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.' Mikey Weinstein, the 55-year-old founder of the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), likes to quote it, knowing full well he's crossed the line into a bloody-knuckle brawl. Over the past year, Weinstein and his organization have recorded a tremendous string of victories in the fight against Christian supremacists inside the armed forces."
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BP: Beginning Sunday, New System Will Suck Up More Oil From Gushing Well
Mark Sappenfield, The Christian Science Monitor: "When BP removed its leaking containment cap Saturday, more oil began pouring into the Gulf - about 15,000 barrels of oil a day added to the Gulf oil spill. But as early as Sunday, BP will begin ramping up a system that could begin collecting nearly double that amount - even with the containment cap off."
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Stirrings of a New Push for Military Option on Iran
Jim Lobe, Inter Press service: "Iraq war hawks appear to be preparing the ground for a major new campaign to rally public opinion behind military action against the Islamic Republic. Barring an unexpected breakthrough on the diplomatic front, that campaign, like the one eight years ago, is likely to move into high gear this autumn, beginning shortly after the Labour Day holiday, Sep. 6, that marks the end of summer vacation."
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Retire at Age 70? Young People May Have to Under Proposed Plans
David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers: "Young Americans might not get full Social Security retirement benefits until they reach age 70 if some trial balloons that prominent lawmakers of both parties are floating become law. No one who's slated to receive benefits in the next decade or two is likely to be affected, but there's a gentle, growing and unusually bipartisan push to raise the retirement age for full Social Security benefits for people born in the 1960s and after."
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Obama's Bungled Military Strategies, Part III
Melvin A. Goodman, Consortium News: "President Barack Obama inherited a difficult national security situation - wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; an exaggerated and counterproductive war on terror; debilitating deficits and rising debt; an obstructionist Congress; and a corporate media that has abandoned its watchdog ethos. Unfortunately, President Obama did not have the experience to manage this daunting challenge. He had scant background in foreign policy, military policy or defense expenditures. Nor did he have much knowledge about the major players in these fields."
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Why Agencies Get Things Terribly Wrong
James Kwak, The Baseline Scenario: "There has been a lot of criticism of regulatory agencies in the past couple of years, from the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Securities and Exchange Commission (Madoff who?) to the Minerals Management Service. But most of the people in these agencies are not evil; on the contrary, I believe (without a ton of evidence in support at the moment) that a majority are conscientious, hard-working, and civic-minded, and a significant minority are actually quite good at what they do. So why do they get things so wrong?"
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PTSD: Obama Announces New Regulations to Make it Easier for War Vets to Get Help
Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor: "At least since the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., soldiers have recorded episodes of what we now call 'post-traumatic stress disorder' (PTSD). Greek historian Herodotus wrote of a physically uninjured soldier who went blind when the soldier next to him was killed."
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Camillo "Mac" Bica | We Who Advocate Peace
Camillo "Mac" Bica, Truthout: "They wage preemptive war, occupy and bomb sovereign nations, utilize video-game technology and robotics to murder and then dehumanize hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children as collateral damage. We who advocate peace and justice say that such acts of war and occupation are illegal, immoral and a barbaric and paranoid response to contrived evil ... and they say we are unpatriotic, treasonous, and unsupportive of the troops."
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Currency Reform Bill Is Only a Small First Step
Ian Fletcher, Truthout: "It's nice to see the long-stewing Chinese currency manipulation pot bubbling a bit again, thanks to China's latest blatantly disingenuous move to allow a token fluctuation or two of the yuan. And it's great that Sen. Debbie Stabenow's currency bill is inching towards the floor of the Senate. (The underlying idea, giving American industries formal trade remedies against currency manipulation by foreign governments, was actually thought up several years ago by Kevin Kearns, president of my organization, the U.S. Business & Industry Council.)"
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Wealthy Reap Rewards While Those Who Work Lose
Adrianne Appel, Inter Press Service: "Times are tough for workers in the U.S. where a recession has a stranglehold on much of the economy, but life is perfectly rosy for those at the top. The riches of the wealthiest North Americans grew by double digits in 2009, primarily from interest their money earned when it was invested in the stock market and elsewhere, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group."
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Slow Progress in Prosecuting Accused Guatemalan War Criminals
Larry Kaplow, GlobalPost: "Guatemalan human rights activists and victims of a notorious 1982 massacre are looking to U.S. courts to prosecute some of the alleged perpetrators. Former Guatemalan special forces soldier Gilberto Jordan pled guilty on Wednesday in a south Florida court to lying when he received U.S. citizenship in the 1990s."
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Locally Owned Wind Power: Turbines Give Farms a Second Wind
Melinda Burns, Miller-McCune: "Kent Madison, a third-generation farmer in eastern Oregon, used to cuss when the wind blew hard and kicked up dust and kept him from spraying his crops. But now, with 18 windmills on his farm, he sees dollars, not dust, every time the wind blows. Those windmills are each bringing in $6,000 to $8,000 in rent yearly. In a dozen years or so, Madison, who farms wheat, alfalfa and vegetables on 17,000 acres, will own three windmills virtually outright, plus the revenues from the electricity they produce, plus he'll still be getting rent for the other 15."
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