26 Feb

Truth Out Today – Saturday 26 February 2011

Attacks on Unions Barking Up the Wrong Money Tree
Michael Winship, Truthout: “This isn’t really about saving taxpayers money. but consolidating political power. Walker and such leading lights of the GOP leadership as Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, among others, have decided that public employee unions make great punching bags, effective scapegoats for an outraged electorate and a satisfactory diversion from the real culprits of this grim, economic melodrama – the Simon Legrees of banking and finance who got us into this meltdown mess in the first place.”
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Qaddafi Forces Shooting From Ambulances, Witnesses Say
David D. Kirkpatrick and Sharon Otterman, The New York Times News Service: “An increasingly gruesome picture began to emerge Saturday of the violent tactics used by the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to quell protesters in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, with several witnesses confirming that forces loyal to the government had been shooting people from ambulances and using antiaircraft guns against crowds. Witnesses to the violence in Tripoli, where a tense standoff held on Saturday, also said that the government had removed dead bodies as well as the wounded from hospitals in an effort to disguise the mounting death toll in the uprising against Col. Qaddafi sweeping Libya.”
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Workers, Students Vow to Fight on in Wisconsin Despite Threats of Lay-offs
Katrin Dauenhauer, Inter Press Service: “Despite heavy protests against Republican Governor Scott Walker’s ‘Budget Repair Bill’, the Republican-controlled State Assembly in Wisconsin abruptly passed the bill – which would strip the labour force of its collective bargaining rights – early Friday morning. The vote ended three straight days of strenuous debate in the Senate, but mass protests appear far from over… Wisconsin is only one of several Republican run states that have attempted to curb union rights. The struggle over labour rights has become a hot topic in several states across the country where new Republican majorities have proposed drastic budget cuts to tackle state deficits.”
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Tribal Leader’s Resignation Is Blow to Yemeni President
Laura Kasinof and Sharon Otterman, The New York Times News Service: “A leading tribal figure in Yemen announced his resignation from the ruling party on Saturday, signaling a major blow to the embattled leadership of President Ali Abdullah Saleh as demonstrations calling for his resignation continue across the country. Four days earlier, Mohammad Abdel Illah al-Qadi, a key leader of the Sanhan tribe, a Hashid affiliate that is also a key power base of the president, had joined the growing protest movement.”
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Faces of Wisconsin
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: “Since Gov. Scott Walker introduced a bill that would effectively outlaw collective bargaining for public-sector workers, Madison, Wisconsin, has seen tens of thousands of people flock to the State Capitol Building to voice their opposition to the proposed legislation. Here are a few of their reasons for coming out.”
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Obama Orders Freeze on Assets of Gadhafi, His Family as UN Set to Impose Sanctions
Hannah Allam, Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: “Citing human rights abuses against peaceful demonstrators in Libya, President Barack Obama late Friday ordered that all the assets of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, his children and their wives be frozen in the United States, or in branches of U.S. banks. The order comes as Gadhafi is losing his grip on power against massive opposition in his oil-rich nation, which began on Feb. 15. Eyewitnesses reported murders and abductions by Gadhafi’s security forces and by hired mercenaries from other African nations.”
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Climate: Putting People Over Money
Dahr Jamail, Al Jazeera: “While debate about whether climate change is real or not continues in the US, the world’s leading producer of CO2 emissions per capita, those already living with the effects, like Jose Domingo Cruz in El Salvador, don’t have time to debate… In response to increasing natural disasters related to climate change – and as an effort to promote environmental protections and sustainable living – a group known as The Mangrove Association was birthed in 1999. Members of the group are primarily subsistence farmers and fisher-folk whose livelihoods depend on the viability of local ecosystems now threatened by climate change and unsustainable farming practises like those practised by the sugar cane industry.”
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The Death of Capitalism: Is Scott Walker Helping Build a “Better World”?
Rich Broderick, Ground Zero: “In the confrontation taking place right now in Madison, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seems to be channeling the ghost of Andrew Mellon in his attempt to liquidate that state’s public employee unions. His budgetary arguments are, of course, a sham, a cover-up for long-held ideological opposition to the union movement. At the same time, it should be pointed out that neither side is directly addressing the foundational cause of the Great Recession that lies behind the standoff: the fact that, as it ‘matures’ (if that is the right word!), capitalism can only survive by creating ever more frequent – and desperate – crises of the kind we’re struggling with right now.”
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Qaddafi, Bush and the Iraq Big Lie
Russ Baker, “While the US government expresses outrage over the brutality of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi toward his own people, we’re missing a complex but significant wrinkle that ties Qaddafi to America’s cover-up of the true path to war in Iraq… With the world delighting in the abdication of the dictator Mubarak in Egypt and now the Libyan Qaddafi’s potential demise, the least we can do is examine the threads back to our own country. If we do not pay attention to these things, we are all culpable.”
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The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return on Monday.

Big Union Protests Planned in Wisconsin, Nationwide
Read the Article at Reuters

Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers: Commitment to Prosperity for the Few
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

The Republican War on Women
Read the Article at The New York Times

Two-Week Measure Postpones Government Shutdown
Read the Article at Politico

A Revolution Far From Over: Egyptian Army Cracks Down on Protesters
Read the Article at Al Jazeera

The Colossal Republican Power Grab
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Iran’s First Nuclear Plant Faces More Delays
Read the Article at Reuters

Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines

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