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30 Jan

Truth Out Today

Sunday 30 January 2011

ElBaradei, Muslim Brotherhood Offer Political Path Out of Egyptian Confrontation
Robert Naiman, Truthout: “Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Eryan said today that Egyptian opposition groups have agreed to back former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei to negotiate with the government… No doubt some folks who subscribe to the ‘cooties’ school of international diplomacy may object to any U.S. endorsement of a process that involves the Muslim Brotherhood. But refusing to support this reasonable, pragmatic, and moderate proposal, just because the Muslim Brotherhood also supports it, would be extremely short-sighted…. The U.S. should take advantage of … this proposal for negotiations, and act decisively to forestall a bloody confrontation between protesters and forces loyal to Mubarak which could be significantly worse than what we have seen already, and for which the U.S. would bear substantial responsibility.”
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Raffi | The Right to a Future
Raffi Cavoukian, Truthout: “Are we tweeting while Earth burns? Is climate collapse our new collective Titanic? How do we best describe the survival struggle of seven billion in a way that connects with the public and with decision makers? The science on global warming is clear and compelling. Earth is in serious climate crisis. That’s why many writers have recently upgraded climate change to climate collapse, climate catastrophe, the long emergency. To convey the climate threat fully, we need a new Story…. I propose a new lens and lexicon for conveying climate change as the greatest threat on Earth, a tragedy of epic proportions, especially for the world’s young.”
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The Wrong Friends: The Uncomfortable Lesson of the Uprisings in the Middle East
David Mednicoff, The Boston Globe: “This rising tide of mass protests against Arab secular strongmen urges us to think again about the role of Islam and government. Decades of Western policy have pushed Middle Eastern governments toward secular reforms. But a more nuanced view of the region – one that values authenticity as much as Western dogma – suggests something different. If we are concerned about stability, balance, even openness, it may be Arab Islamic governments that offer a better route to those goals.”
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Egypt Dispatches Jets, Helicopters Over Protesters on Sixth Day of Turmoil
Jeffrey Fleishman and Borzou Daragahi, The Los Angeles Times: “Egyptian authorities scrambled low-flying fighter jets and dispatched helicopters over thousands of protesters gathered Sunday in the central square of the capital for a sixth day of demonstrations against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. On the first day of the Egyptian workweek, witnesses also reported protests in the city of Alexandria as the military announced full control over major cities, and an ominous sense of impending violence swept across the country. Gas stations, banks and many businesses were shuttered in the capital.”
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Coerced Confession, Miracle Exoneration: The Case of Ex-Monster Jerry Hobbs
Stephen T. Asma, Truthout: “On Mother’s Day, May 2005, as the sun began to set in a rural part of Zion, Illinois, Jerry Hobbs grew anxious that his eight-year-old daughter Laura was not back home yet. Laura and her friend, nine-year-old Krystal Tobias, were last seen sharing a single bike around the wooded suburban community north of Chicago. But by nightfall, it became clear that both girls were missing. A frantic search ensued. Jerry and others searched throughout the night and, at daybreak, it was Jerry himself who found his daughter and her friend stabbed to death in the nearby woods of Beulah Park. Several hours later, the distraught father found himself sequestered in a legal ‘blacksite’ – unlocatable to family, friends and legal representation – and under intense interrogation by police…. Within forty-eight hours, Jerry Hobbs, now ‘Monster Hobbs,’ was arrested for the murder of Laura and Krystal. This is the inside story of Hobbs’ exoneration five years later and his drive back to Texas with my brother Dave.”
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Clinton Urges Diplomacy With Mubarak, New Government
Brian Knowlton, The New York Times News Service: “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday issued a strong endorsement of key groups working to exert their influence on the chaotic Egyptian protests – the military, civil society groups and, perhaps most importantly, the nation’s people – while carefully avoiding any specific commitment to the embattled President Hosni Mubarak. She urged a national dialogue that would lead to free and fair elections this fall. But while speaking in general terms of a transition on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ she referred to Mr. Mubarak as someone remaining in power.”
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Farewell to Modernity in the New Age of Surveillance
Jan Widacki LLD, Truthout: “The world we were aiming at was to be a free one, granting people peace, equality, riches and healthcare, and allowing us to extend our lives and rid ourselves of numerous illnesses – and yet, the world we are approaching, which Fukuyama calls ‘our posthuman future,’ may be far more hierarchical and focused on competition than the present one: a world where the powers-that-be will be able to achieve full control over governed communities, and the governed communities, in turn, will manifest full control over the individuals. It is going to be a world of different – possibly genetically modified – people. Perhaps humankind, Adam and Eve’s tribe, is reaching for the forbidden fruit. Will that effort result in an end to a possible life in a paradise of democracy and human rights?”
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Govt’s Loan Modification Program Crippled by Lax Oversight and Deference to Banks
Paul Kiel and Olga Pierce, ProPublica: “With millions of homeowners still struggling to stay in their homes, the Obama administration’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention program has been weakened, perhaps fatally, by lax oversight and a posture of cooperation – rather than enforcement – with the nation’s biggest banks. Those banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank, service the majority of mortgages. Despite a dismal showing for the program, rising complaints from homeowners, and repeated threats from officials, the government has levied no penalties against even the most error-prone banks and mortgage servicers. In fact, despite issuing public warnings for more than a year about imposing penalties, the Treasury Department told ProPublica this week they don’t even have the power to punish servicers for wrongfully denying help to homeowners. Instead of toughening the program, Treasury has actually loosened it in the face of industry lobbying.”
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TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES
 
 

Senators David Vitter and Rand Paul are introducing legislation to deny US birthright status, guaranteed under the 14th Amendment, to children born on American territory to “illegal immigrants.”

What’s missing from the proposed law – if passed – is that it needs to require the removal of Emma Lazarus’s poem, written in 1883, from the pedestal (http://www.libertystatepark.com/emma.htm) of the Statue of Liberty. In “The New Colussus,” Lazarus intones:

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

In fact, just remove the Statue of Liberty itself from New York Harbor and replace it with a giant “no vacancy” sign.

Vitter and Paul – two politicians with gargantuan contradictions – appear to have a perverse notion of “American exceptionalism,” given that all residents of the Unites States – with the exception of Native Americans – are descendants of immigrants.

It’s rather perplexing to espouse the self-serving concept of “American exceptionalism” when a key policy that makes our nation extraordinary is the opportunity and strength it has gained from being a beacon of freedom to immigrants from around the world.

Vitter and Rand would extinguish the welcoming light held aloft by the iconic symbol of America rising from the water just a short boat ride from Manhattan.

Were they to accomplish their goal, much harm would be done to our nation’s torch of hope.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

South Sudan Overwhelmingly Chooses to Secede
Read the Article at Voice of America

Al Jazeera’s Egypt Coverage Embarrasses US Cable News Channels
Read the Article at Salon

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s 10 Major Findings
Read the Article at The Huffington Post

Al Jazeera Shut Down in Egypt by Repressive Government
Read the Article at Salon

Protests in Yemen Continue, Turn Violent
Read the Article at The Wall Street Journal

How Egypt Killed the Internet
Read the Article at The Wall Street Journal

Hacked Voting Machine Stored Accessible Password, Encryption Key
Read the Article at Wired

How Did the US Get in Bed With Mubarak?
Read the Article at Salon

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