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26 Sep

Truth Out Today, September 26, 2011


 

 Monday 26 September 2011**********

Occupy Wall Street Protest Enters Second Week; 80 Arrested at Peaceful March (Video)
Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!: “It is day 10 of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ campaign. On Saturday, more than 80 protesters were arrested as hundreds took part in yet another march to Wall Street. Many of them were committing civil disobedience by walking in the street, but some say they were on the sidewalk when officers with the New York City Police Department used nets and physical force to break up the crowd. Videos uploaded to YouTube show officers pepper-spraying protesters in the face from close range, punching demonstrators and dragging people through the street.”
Watch the Video

Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President
Ron Suskind, HarperCollins: “Disputes among his top advisers have become so acute, so fierce, that the president has had to step in and mediate many of them himself. He’s not getting what he needs to manage this daunting job, and some advisers have become convinced that his lack of experience, especially managerial experience, may be his undoing; that, at a time of peril, the president may simply not be up to the demands of this moment. But his gratitude for those who’ve ushered him to power, and have walked with him through battle, gets in the way of tough love….”
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How McChrystal and Petraeus Built an Indiscriminate “Killing Machine”
Gareth Porter, Truthout: “Even if the rest of the US military effort in Afghanistan has been largely written off by the news media as a failure, the campaign of targeted raids against insurgents by commandoes under the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has gotten a reputation for devastating effectiveness.”
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Wall Street Donated $41 Million to Supercommittee Members
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: “Wall Street has given $41 million in campaign contributions to the members of the Congressional ‘supercommittee’ charged with finding $1.5 trillion worth of deficit reduction measures, according to a report released today by two watchdog groups. The finance, insurance and real estate sector spent $3.7 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions from 1999 to 2008, according to the report, and the 12 members of the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction have all reaped the benefits. ‘Wall Street bought the deregulation that led to our economic collapse and the American public has paid the price,’ said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign, the group that co-authored the report.”
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Chris Hedges | Tomatoes of Wrath
Chris Hedges, Truthdig: “The agricultural industry has a death rate nearly six times higher than most other industries, and the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that of the 2 million farmworkers in the United States 300,000 suffer pesticide poisoning every year. But this may change as one of the most important battles in the history of migrant labor is launched by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). If this battle succeeds it will nearly double the wages of the farmworkers who labor in the $600 million tomato-growing industry.”
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Mahmoud Abbas, the Jackie Robinson of Palestine
Robert Naiman, Truthout: “On Friday, Mahmoud Abbas – backed by more than 80 percent of Palestinian public opinion in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – formally requested full United Nations membership for Palestine. The logic of turning to the UN is straightforward: the US-sponsored “peace process” – bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians under US auspices – has failed, because a key premise of that process was that the US government could bring the Israeli government to the table for a serious negotiation that would produce real Israeli compromise necessary for a solution. That premise has turned out to be spectacularly false.”
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Who Will Eclipse America?
Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate: “According to Voltaire, the Roman Empire fell ‘because all things fall.’ It is hard to argue with this as a general statement about decline: nothing lasts forever. But it is also not very useful. In thinking, for example, about American predominance in the world today, it would be nice to know when it will decline, and whether the United States can do anything to postpone the inevitable.”
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Saudi Monarch Grants Women the Right to Vote
Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times News Service: “King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Sunday granted women the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, the biggest change in a decade for women in a puritanical kingdom that practices strict separation of the sexes, including banning women from driving. Saudi women, who are legally subject to male chaperones for almost any public activity, hailed the royal decree as an important, if limited, step toward making them equal to their male counterparts.”
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Have the Socialists, Communists and Greens Taken Over France?
In today’s On the News segment: Congressional Republicans took a vacation in the middle of the spending/shutdown battle, Florida Gov. Rick Scott brags about killing jobs, police used violence against Wall Street protesters this weekend despite no clear evidence of provocation, and more.
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Jim Hightower | The Corporate Takeover of the 2012 Presidential Election
Jim Hightower, Other Words: “The unregulated energy hucksters behind the infamous Enron scandals of a decade ago created an array of dummy financial funds to evade public scrutiny and perpetrate fraud. To disguise the scams, they dubbed these phony funds names like Chewco and JEDI. While Enron’s house of cards did of course collapse, ‘Enron accounting’ lives on in corporate America today.”
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Dean Baker | Why Don’t the Deficit Hawks Want to Tax Wall Street?
Dean Baker, Truthout: “The intensity with which the country’s leading deficit hawks continue to ignore financial speculation taxes (FST) is getting ever more entertaining. While deficit hawks like Wall Street investment banker Peter Peterson, Morgan Stanley Director Erskine Bowles and The Washington Post never tire of preaching the virtues of shared sacrifice, somehow sacrifice for Wall Street never features as a part of this story. The refusal of this group to consider FST is becoming more striking because most of the world appears to be moving in this direction.”
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“American Autumn” Will Depend on People, Not Parties
Ron Boyer, Truthout: “In this exclusive Truthout interview, the October2011 Coalition co-founder and physician Margaret Flowers discusses the conditions that helped bring this emerging movement of citizen activists into being and outlines the key differences between October2011’s mission and that of superficially similar emerging ‘movements’ such as Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream.”
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The West and the Rest in a One-Model-Fits-All World
Pepe Escobar, TomDispatch: “More than 10 years ago, before 9/11, Goldman Sachs was predicting that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) would make the world economy’s top ten – but not until 2040. Skip a decade and the Chinese economy already has the number two spot all to itself, Brazil is number seven, India 10, and even Russia is creeping closer.”
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Digital Art and Culture: A 21st-Century Paradigm Shift
Max Eternity, Truthout: “At a time when extreme, economic austerity measures are being considered and/or enacted by a number of Western governments – Greece, Spain, Germany, the US, and elsewhere – one has to wonder why, in the UK, a collective of government agencies in England have just allocated $815,000,000 for digital art and culture. In speaking to this massive public works project, Alan Davey, CEO of the Arts Council England says, ‘How the cultural sectors engage with emerging and existing digital technologies in the next few years will have far reaching effects on our creative, social and economic lives, as artists and audience members.'”
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A Campaign Finance Ruling Turned to Labor’s Advantage
Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times News Service: “Labor unions are seizing on last year’s landmark Supreme Court campaign finance ruling to change how they engage in politics, developing ambitious plans to influence nonunion households in the 2012 election and counter corporate money flowing into outside conservative groups. Labor unions had initially assailed the ruling, known as Citizens United, for allowing corporations and wealthy donors to vastly expand their spending on campaigns…. But the ruling also changed the rules for unions, effectively ending a prohibition on outreach to nonunion households.”
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Beyond Troy Davis: How Race Colors Death Row “Justice”
Jamilah King and Hatty Lee, Colorlines.com: “The state of Georgia ignored a mountain of evidence and killed Troy Davis on Wednesday night. But the movement that grew out of the effort to save his life has cast irreparable doubt on the country’s death penalty system. That a man whose innocence seemed so clear to many – or, at the very least, worth of a second look – can be so hastily killed casts doubt over nearly every stage of his prosecution. And that fact has become a rallying cry for people around the world.”
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The Terrible Post-9/11 Truth: Our Government’s Been Hijacked
Michael Winship, Truthout: “The World Trade Center collapse created the largest number of workplace fatalities in the history of the United States. Government bumbling and dissembling about air quality downtown and conditions at the site, the rush back to business as usual, may have irreparably killed and injured countless others.”
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