23 Mar

Truth Out Today, March 23, 2011

Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis | Instead of Bombing Dictators, Stop Selling Them Bombs
Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis, Truthout: “When all you have is bombs, everything starts to look like a target. And so, after years of providing Libya’s dictator with the weapons he’s been using against his people, all the international community – France, Britain and the United States – has to offer the people of Libya is more bombs, this time dropped from the sky rather than delivered in a box to Muammar Qaddafi’s palace.”
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Contractors Watching Contractors? Where Is the True Oversight? (Part II)
Charles M. Smith and Robert H. Bauman, Truthout: “Apparently, the trend of using oversight contractors, instead of internal DoD contract specialists, has spread within Army contracting beyond the ASC. In 2003, the Army Contracting Agency (ACA) and its subordinate agency, the Contracting Center of Excellence (CCE), which provides contracting support to more than 125 DoD customers, also relied on contractor oversight specialists who make up about 42 percent of its workforce and perform essentially the same work as their government counterparts while making more money. Most of these contractors were CACI personnel. CACI is one of the government’s 50 largest contractors.”
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Jim Hightower | Rich Get Richer With New Congress
Jim Hightower, Truthout: “Change is not the same thing as progress. In fact, change can be the exact opposite. It can be regressive, as we’re now learning from – where else? – Congress. A flock of tea party-infused Republicans has certainly changed the political dynamic there, and exultant GOP leaders are claiming that they are now the voice of ‘The People.’ But most people won’t find themselves represented by this change, much less see it as progress.”
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Wisconsin’s Lawless State Government
Mary Bottari, PR Watch: “The reign of lawlessness continues in Wisconsin…. This week, Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen charged into court in defense of secret government. He argued that when legislators break the law – the courts can’t do anything about it. Apparently legislators, like Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, have ‘immunity’ from the enforcement of their very own laws.”
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Soldier, Dad, Whistleblower: Atheist in a Foxhole Takes on Evangelistic Military Hierarchy
Valerie Tarico, Away Point: “Justin Griffith is a twenty-eight year old active duty soldier, a sergeant at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He is also a new dad. Griffith likes what he does. He describes the military as a place that has structure, discipline, and opportunities. From his point of view, he has a full life, and a good one. And yet it was Griffith, as much anyone, who blew open the U.S. Army’s Spiritual Fitness program this winter. Why? Why make waves in a job you love among people you respect? Why risk the pariah status that is so often the lot of whistleblowers? Griffith agreed to let me ask him those questions.”
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Dean Baker | The Imaginary World in Which Washington Lives
Dean Baker, Truthout: “It is a beautiful spring day in Washington. This is a nice respite from the horrors taking place in Japan and the ever-growing nuttiness of DC politics. Enjoying the weather provides a nice alternative to listening to the news or reading the newspaper. The flood of nonsense in the traditional news outlets just continues to grow. At the top of the list is the steady stream of senators or members of Congress whose response to higher gas prices is to insist on drilling in every square inch of environmentally sensitive territory in the country. This is supposed to reduce our dependence on imported oil and lower the price of gas. Both sides of this assertion are absurd.”
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Libyan Rebels Form “Interim Government”
Inter Press Service: “Libya’s pro-democracy fighters have formed an ‘interim government’ even as forces backing the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, press ahead with attacks against them. Heading up the new government as an interim prime minister is Mahmoud Jibril, who had been working as a representative to foreign powers.”
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America’s Nuclear Entanglement, From Eisenhower to Obama: Cutting the Gordian Knot
H. Patricia Hynes, Truthout: “As I write, there are explosions and fires at four of six reactors in the Daiichi nuclear complex. Japan is living a nuclear nightmare that is not supposed to happen, according to the industry’s optimists. Prior to this catastrophe, the unholy alliance of the International Atomic Energy Association, national governments and the nuclear industry/lobby has been trumpeting a ‘nuclear renaissance’ for this ‘clean’ and ‘safe’ energy.”
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US Uncut: Making Corporations Pay (Video)
Laura Flanders, GRITtv: “This Saturday, protests are planned in the UK, the US, and Canada against corporate tax avoiders and government austerity cuts. The UK Uncut movement has been going strong, occupying retail outlets as diverse as Vodafone and TopShop, and its solidarity movement in the US is just getting started. Using street theater and organizing largely on the web, the direct action movements aim to make tax dodging a whole lot less profitable for big banks like Bank of America and corporations like Verizon and FedEx. Allison Kilkenny has been covering the US Uncut movement for The Nation, and she joins us along with J.A. Myerson, a ‘tax avoidance consultant,’ to discuss the new resistance to paying for corporate welfare.”
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Thanks to Fukushima, Light Shed on US Nuclear Facility Located on a Volcano
Russ Wellen, Foreign Policy in Focus: “The light shining on the safety of nuclear energy as a result of the Japanese nuclear crisis has been of such powerful wattage that it’s even flushing safety issues with nuclear weapons labs and manufacturing facilities out of hiding. Roger Snodgrass reports for the Santa Fe New Mexican. ‘On Friday, President Barack Obama asked the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review the safety of American nuclear power plants…. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, nuclear safety issues have been complicated with seismic concerns, as geological studies have uncovered an increasingly precarious underground structure.'”
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This Modern World: The Invisible Hand Explains Nuclear Safety
Award-winning cartoonist Tom Tomorrow has the invisible hand of the free market explain nuclear safety.
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Robert Reich | The Republican’s Big Lies About Jobs (and Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)
Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Blog: “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was in town yesterday (specifically, at Stanford’s Hoover Institute where he could surround himself with sympathetic Republicans) to tell this whopper: ‘Cutting the federal deficit will create jobs.’ It’s not true. Cutting the deficit will creates fewer jobs. Less government spending reduces overall demand. This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding back. Fewer government workers have paychecks to buy stuff from other Americans, some of whom in turn will lose their jobs without enough customers.”
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Marjorie Cohn | Debate Needed on Libyan Intervention
Marjorie Cohn, “Since Saturday night, the United States, France and Britain have been bombing Libya with cruise missiles, B-2 stealth bombers, F-16 and F-15 fighter jets and Harrier attack jets. There is no reliable estimate of the number of civilians killed. The US has taken the lead in the punishing bombing campaign to carry out United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. The resolution authorizes UN member states ‘to take all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.’ The military action taken exceeds the bounds of the ‘all necessary measures’ authorization.”
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Centuries-Old Nepal Banishment Ritual Endangers Girls and Women
Nilima Raut with Shubhi Tandon, Women News Network: “The centuries old practice of chhaupadi in Nepal can cause prolonged depression in girls and women. In extreme cases it can also cause death. Chhaupadi pratha, or ritual practice, places Nepali women and girls in a limbo of isolation. In history it is a practice that has been largely accepted. The word chhaupadi, translates in the Achham local Raute dialect as ‘chhau’ which means menstruation and ‘padi’ – woman. Today the ritual of banishment surrounding chhaupadi still affects girls and women on all levels of Nepali society.”
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Radiation in Tokyo Tap Water Is Double the Amount Safe for Infants
Read the Article at MSNBC

Reagan’s 1986 Air Attack on Libya
Read the Article at The Associated Press

Right Wing Hit Media 400: “Disabling Journalism to Destroy Progressive Thought”
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Women Seeking Abortions in South Dakota to Get Anti-Abortion Advice
Read the Article at The New York Times

One Hundred Years After Triangle Fire, Horror Resonates
Read the Article at The Associated Press

US Storage Sites Overfilled With Spent Nuclear Fuel
Read the Article at The Associated Press

Libya Attacks Spark Fight Over Cost of US Military Operations There
Read the Article at CNN

Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines

How did it happen so quickly that the news moved from the energizing protests in Wisconsin to the nuclear disaster in Japan and then the US military bombing of Libya?

We barely had a chance to be invigorated by the spontaneous massive crowds in Madison before ominous news swept across our TV and computer screens.

Suddenly, the weighty questions of responsibility for a potential nuclear catastrophe and when America goes to war and under what circumstances intruded into an unexpected moment of progressive unity.

Not that the corporate media covered the Wisconsin rallies extensively. The mainstream media pretty much ignored the Madison story.

But on Truthout, you got a chance to cherish the moment.

The promise of the uprising in Wisconsin shouldn’t fade, nor should we let it.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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