28 Feb

Truth Out Today, Monday 28 February 2011

Monday 28 February 2011

Henry A. Giroux | Left Behind? American Youth and the Global Fight for Democracy
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: “Signaling a generational crisis that is global in scope, young people have sent a message to the world that they refuse to live any longer under repressive political regimes sustained by a morally bankrupt neoliberal world… Underlying these youth protests in various countries are a set of conditions that reflect differing economic and political contexts. Yet, at the same time many of these nations share a disdain for young people and a not too hidden willingness to take advantage of any youth who are deemed valuable, leaving the rest to be increasingly viewed as troublemakers and subject to a growing apparatus of discipline and control.”
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US Uncut’s Anti-Austerity Protests Hit Bank of America
Alissa Bohling, Truthout: “Anna Becker looks tired. Becker is leaning against the brick wall beside the entrance to Bank of America’s Pearl District branch in Portland, Oregon, where one of over 50 nationwide protests by US Uncut has been underway for nearly two hours. But Becker, a retired teacher, is just as energized as the protesters at the front of the crowd of about 60, who spill into the street and draw long, loud honks from the stream of cars driving toward the Willamette River.”
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Chris Hedges | No Other Way Out
Chris Hedges, Truthdig: “I have watched mothers and fathers keening in grief over the frail corpses of their children in hospitals in Gaza and rural villages in El Salvador, Bosnia and Kosovo. The faces of these dead children, their bodies ripped apart by iron fragments or bullets tumbling end over end through their small, delicate frames, appear to me almost daily like faint and sadly familiar ghosts. The frailty and innocence of my own children make these images difficult to bear.”
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Dean Baker | Right to Work: Representation Without Taxation
Dean Baker, Truthout: “Part of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting agenda is including a ‘right to work’ rule for public-sector employees. Several other Republican governors are considering similar measures for both the public and private sectors. Insofar as they succeed, these right-to-work measures will seriously weaken the bargaining power of workers.”
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News in Brief: Opposition Leader Returns to Bahrain, and More …
Bahrain’s protests continued today as Shiite opposition leader Hassan Mushaima returned from exile to the capital city on Manama; Nebraska reintroduces “justifiable homicide” abortion bill; Congress will likely avoid government shutdown.
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Will ABC News’ “Made in America” Series Avoid Their Boss, Disney?
Jeff Cohen, Truthout: “The US public would benefit from knowing whether the household products we commonly consume are assembled in the US or are imported – often from countries whose vicious policies on unions and workers rights would make Wisconsin Gov. Walker look like Mother Jones. But one question I can’t wait to see answered: will ABC News investigate the products sold by Disney, the mega-corporation that owns ABC?”
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Top Ten Disastrous Policies From the Wisconsin GOP You Haven’t Heard About
Kevin Donohoe, ThinkProgress: “As the standoff between the Main Street Movement and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) continues for the twelfth day, much of the media coverage – and anger – from both sides has focused on Walker’s efforts to strip Wisconsin public workers of their right to collective bargaining. But Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program that aims to give corporations free reign in the state while dismantling the healthcare programs, environmental regulations, and good government laws that protect Wisconsin’s middle and working class. These lesser known proposals in the 144-page bill reveal how radical Walker’s plan actually is.”
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Libyan Rebels Get US Nod, Fear Qaddafi Counterattack
Nancy A. Youssef, Warren P. Strobel and Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers: “The Obama administration appeared Sunday to welcome the formation of a national opposition government in Libya, as rebels feared dictator Moammar Qaddafi was preparing forces to launch counterattacks. As she prepared to fly to Geneva, Switzerland, for a Monday meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said ‘we’ve been reaching out’ to forces working to oust Qaddafi and are prepared ‘to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the United States.'”
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Sudden Retirements Wreak Havoc in Wisconsin
Ruth Coniff, The Progressive: “On Friday night, the eve of a massive rally in Madison, Wisconsin, against Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting ‘budget repair bill,’ a few state employees gathered for a hasty retirement party at Jenna’s, a downtown bar directly across from the Capitol building. Over pitchers of beer, a group of lawyers from the state public defender’s office were saying goodbye to Patrick Donnelly, longtime attorney at the agency.”
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Jim Hightower | Out-of-Whack Budget Whackers
Jim Hightower, Truthout: “Let’s play a game called ‘Washington Budget Whackers Go Wacky!’ Unfortunately, though, it’s not a game. Ax-wielding Republicans and Democrats alike are madly whacking at our nation’s public programs in a political contest to show which of them is the scroogiest of all. For example, both are going after the very useful program that helps low-income Americans pay the ever-rising cost of heating their homes in the dead of winter. This budget cut will literally cut off the heat to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. But hey, say Congress critters whose workplace is always kept toasty at taxpayers’ expense, everyone must sacrifice.”
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Scapegoating Social Spending
Khalil Bendib’s latest editorial cartoon features the sacred cows of our current political parties: Wall Street and the military-industrial complex.
View the Cartoon

Cairo in Wisconsin: Eating Egyptian Pizza in Downtown Madison
Andy Kroll, TomDispatch: “The call reportedly arrived from Cairo. Pizza for the protesters, the voice said. It was Saturday, February 20th, and by then Ian’s Pizza on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, was overwhelmed. One employee had been assigned the sole task of answering the phone and taking down orders. And in they came, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from Morocco, Haiti, Turkey, Belgium, Uganda, China, New Zealand, and even a research station in Antarctica. More than 50 countries around the globe. Ian’s couldn’t make pizza fast enough, and the generosity of distant strangers with credit cards was paying for it all.”
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E.J. Dionne Jr. | Why the Wisconsin Fight Matters
E.J. Dionne Jr.: “This is not the first time that Wisconsin has been at the center of national agitation over the role of unions. The earlier battle was staged in Sheboygan at Kohler, the legendary manufacturer of kitchen, bath and furniture products. The employees at Kohler had voted to join the United Auto Workers union, and a strike that began in April 1954 was not settled until the early 1960s.”
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Protesters Defy Police Deadline and Stay Overnight in Madison Capitol
Read the Article at The Associated Press

Perhaps as Many as 100,000 People Descended on Madison This Weekend, but You Might Not Know Unless You Watch Russian Television
Read the Article at

In Wisconsin, a Repeat of Revolutionary War History?
Read the Article at AFL-CIO Blog

Why All Workers Should Support Unions
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Special Report: US Cables Detail Saudi Royal Family Welfare Program
Read the Article at Reuters

Democratic Governors Association Chair: With Their Union Battles, GOP Has Given Democrats Their Mojo Back
Read the Article at TPM

Paul Krugman: Texas Budget Leaves the Children Behind
Read the Article at The New York Times

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How comfortable Marie Antoinette would feel with Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers.

Let them [the masses] eat cake, indeed.

As BuzzFlash has noted before, a key technique of the plutocracy is to consolidate wealth in the hands of a few, while dividing and conquering those who work for ever-decreasing hourly wages. A recent Truthout reader email recounted a conversation of two workers at a food store in Wisconsin who were “disparaging greedy public workers.”

Remember that the corporate and individual wealth today is actually increasing because of a combination of cheaper labor in other nations, resulting in cheaper labor in America, and the increased percentage of business profits that come from sales overseas.

Meanwhile, the former middle class – the hardcore poor don’t even get but a scintilla of media recognition anymore – is left to fight over scraps, or week-old pieces of cake.

Walker and his radical, plutocratic, modern-day economic royalists want to return to the days when the lower class fought each other over a few crumbs.

That is what was revealed in that conversation in what was probably a nonunion supermarket. The logic is clear: Walker represents the ideology that everyone but the richest Americans should be resigned to more work for lower pay.

This divide-and-conquer strategy is reinforced by the right-wing media echo chamber.

What we end up with are organizations of the rich pushing people who labor for a living into a race for the bottom.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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