03 Apr

Truth Out Today, Sunday 3 April 2011


Infrastructure Cuts Would Make the Unthinkable Unsurvivable
Allison Kilkenny, Truthout: “Despite ominous warnings from the country’s engineers, infrastructure remains a thoroughly unsexy issue that causes people to nod off. Transportation networks and buildings are things we take for granted – structures that have always and will always be there. It isn’t until infrastructure fails that we understand they are magnificent feats… The aftermath of the Japan earthquake conveys two tales: the nuclear infrastructure and also the story of the country’s roads.”
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NATO Airstrike Reportedly Kills Rebels in Libya
Kareem Fahim and C.J. Chivers, The New York Times News Service: “A NATO airstrike near the battlefront in eastern Libya killed 13 rebel fighters outside the pivotal port city of Brega, a rebel spokesman and wounded fighters said… The deaths underscored the dangers faced by Western allies as they rely on airstrikes to push back the forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and revealed the anxieties of the rebel leadership, which fears what would happen if the airstrikes stopped.”
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Killing the Mentally Ill
Robert Wilbur, Truthout: “It’s easy to see how a purportedly scientific measure of evil can work to the detriment of a defendant, especially in a capital case, because Americans are suckers for science, or what they think is science. It is heart-wrenching for 12 people to gather in a locked room to decide whether a fellow human being shall live or die. A juror’s decision is less onerous if the defendant can be demonized – that is, ineluctably estranged from the run of humankind – by deploying a scientific measure of evil.”
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592 Americans Have Died in Afghanistan Since President Obama Announced the Surge

Zaid Jilani, ThinkProgress: “America remains a nation at war, and it’s important for Americans to understand the cost of its longest war in history, in Afghanistan… It is the toll among human beings that is the most incalculable. As troops deaths fail to be reported in the major media, continues to track the deaths among American and coalition forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. According to its well-sourced data, 592 American soldiers have fallen in battle in Afghanistan since President Obama announced the surge of American troops in that country on December 1, 2009.”
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Labor Pains and the GOP
Michael Winship, Truthout: “Radical Islam and global terrorism may have replaced World Communism and the Cold War as the threats lurking under every bed and behind each closet door but organized labor is the conservative bugbear that keeps on giving, no matter which international conspiracy is busily undermining the republic… The fact remains that labor is nowhere near the nefarious force of iniquity they would have you think it is.”
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Negotiation 101 for Dems: The Right Policies Are the Right Politics
Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future: “Every poll shows that the public wants the same thing that economists say we need: increases in spending on the things that grow our economy, cuts in military and tax increases on the rich and big corporations (2/3 of which pay no taxes at all) – the very items that are ‘off the table’ in the budget negotiations!.. How bad are our negotiators, when the public is solidly behind the right thing to do,and they are negotiating with a starting position that is the opposite of good policy and public demand?”
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The Military’s Rape and Sexual Assault Epidemic
Antoinette Bonsignore, RH Reality Check: “Rapes and sexual assaults … are ignored and if not ignored so callously prosecuted within the Military Code of Justice as to suggest that rape is nothing more than a minor infraction deserving of little punishment, if any. A system set up to hide evidence, encourage victims to recant, and when the victim tries to receive some semblance of justice they are generally rewarded with demotions, harassment, and shockingly further rapes and sexual assaults as punishment. Victims are warned to stay quiet or face dire consequences. The brave victims are blamed – the women in particular were just asking for it.”
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The Dark Side of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness”
Roy Eidelson, Marc Pilisuk and Stephen Soldz, Truthout: “Why is the world’s largest organization of psychologists so aggressively promoting a new, massive and untested military program? The APA’s enthusiasm for mandatory ‘resilience training’ for all US soldiers is troubling on many counts… If the … program is truly about enhancing well-being, then we should also question whether these soldiers might be helped more effectively by finding non-military ways to resolve the conflicts and concerns for which they carry such heavy burdens.”
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America’s Most Segregated Cities Likely to Stay That Way
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, New America Media: “The painful truth three years after the election of America’s first black president is that there are far too many policy makers, political leaders, and many whites that still think that segregation is too much a longstanding, even immutable, way of life in America to ever change. The entire history of Northern urban segregation is damning proof of that… Urban racial segregation, then, may not be the permanent lot of American society, but if past decades and current policies are any sign, America’s most segregated cities will stay that way for more census counts to come.”
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Ivory Coast Violence Turns to Massacre
Read the Article at NPR

Boehner Wants to Pass Spending Cuts With GOP Alone
Read the Article at Yahoo! News

Tea Party Hypocrisy: Some Lawmakers With Tea Party Ties Are on the Government Dole
Read the Article at ABC News

Suicide Attack in Pakistan Kills 41
Read the Article at BBC

Unlearned Lessons From Chernobyl and Fukushima
Read the Article at the LA Times

81,000 Poor Elderly In Danger Of Losing Food Due to Proposed GOP Cut, Relief Group Warns
Read the Article at the Washington Current

Glenn Beck: Donald Trump Making Me “Uncomfortable”
Read the Article at the Huffington Post

Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines

“CEO Pay Soars While Workers’ Pay Stalls,” a March 31 headlines announced in USA Today.

On April 2, BuzzFlash at Truthout took note that the jobs that are coming back for most Americans pay less and have fewer benefits, compared to the economy prior to the recession.

The USA Today article confirms that reality:

At a time most employees can barely remember their last substantial raise, median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010 as the executives’ compensation started working its way back to pre-recession levels, a USA TODAY analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International found. Workers in private industry, meanwhile, saw their compensation grow just 2.1% in the 12 months ended December 2010, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics….

The big increases in executive compensation are difficult for workers to swallow, given that many Americans are struggling just trying to find a job or make ends meet, says Alan Johnson of executive pay consulting firm Johnson Associates. “The fact this makes us all squirm is true.”

Unfortunately, many national and state legislators who follow the siren song of the Koch brothers are not squirming; they are continuing to press for laws that enhance the gluttonous wealth of the richest in the nation, while devaluing the pay and benefits of American workers.

We are headed backwards to the type of European two-class system that existed prior to the American Revolution: the rich and the servant (labor) class. There’s nothing “patriotic” about that.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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