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15 April 2011

Internationally significant articles from independent, noncommercial media:

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Thursday 14 April 2011

Congressman Dennis Kucinich | My Experience Dealing With the Department of Defense Regarding Pfc. Bradley Manning Has Been Kafkaesque
Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Truthout: “Since my initial request to visit Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning on February 4, 2011, the Department of Defense (DoD) has consistently sought to frustrate any attempts to communicate with Pfc. Manning regarding his well-being. I was initially told that I would need Pfc. Manning’s approval in order to meet with him. When Pfc. Manning indicated his desire to meet with me, I was belatedly informed that the meeting could only take place if it was recorded because of a Monitoring Order imposed by the military’s Special Courts-Martial Convening Authority on September 16, 2010, which was convened for the case.”
Read the Article

Amy Dean | Spreading Models of Success: The Denver Doctrine
Amy Dean, Truthout: “At a time when working people are fighting defensive battles to preserve essential services at the state and national levels, it is all the more important that labor and community advocates are also building for the long term. Some of the best forward-looking policy making by progressives in the past decade has happened at the level of municipal regions – through a process I call regional power building. In the 1990s and early 2000s, I served as president and CEO of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and as founder of an organization called Working Partnerships, USA.”
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Paul Krugman | For Alan Greenspan, Redemption, and Wisdom, Remain Elusive
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: “Mr. Greenspan is an ex-maestro. His reputation is pushing up the daisies, it has gone to meet its maker, it has joined the choir invisible. He’s no longer the Man Who Knows; he’s the man who presided over an economy careening to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression – and who saw no evil, heard no evil, refused to do anything about subprime, insisted that derivatives made the financial system more stable, and denied not only that there was a national housing bubble, but that such a bubble was even possible.”
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Report: Big Profits Drove Faulty Ratings at Moody’s, S&P
Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers: “Profits at both companies soared, with revenues at market leader Moody’s more than tripling in five years. Then the bottom fell out of the housing market, and Moody’s stock lost 70 percent of its value; it has yet to fully recover. More than 90 percent of AAA ratings given in 2006 and 2007 to pools of mortgage-backed securities were downgraded to junk status. Wednesday’s report provided greater detail about the behavior of Brian Clarkson, the president of Moody’s at the time of his departure in mid-2008, when the financial crisis was in full bloom.”
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The Planet Strikes Back
Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch: “To grasp our present situation, however, it’s necessary to distinguish between naturally recurring planetary disturbances and the planetary responses to human intervention. Both need a fresh look, so let’s start with what Earth has always been capable of before we turn to the responses of Eaarth, the avenger. Our planet is a complex natural system, and like all such systems, it is continually evolving. As that happens – as continents drift apart, as mountain ranges rise and fall, as climate patterns shift – earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, typhoons, prolonged droughts, and other natural disturbances recur, even if on an irregular and unpredictable basis.”
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Radioactive Human Embryos: Our Nuclear Legacy?
Dr. Brian Moench, Truthout: “In the 1940s, many of the world’s premier nuclear scientists saw mounting evidence that there was no safe level of exposure to nuclear radiation. This led Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atom bomb, to oppose development of the hydrogen bomb. In the 1950s, Linus Pauling, the only two-time winner of the Nobel Prize, began warning the public about exposure to all radiation. His opinion, ultimately shared by thousands of scientists worldwide, led President Kennedy to sign the nuclear test-ban treaty.”
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All Wisconsin Votes Unverified
Brad Friedman, Truthout: “It’s true that the newly corrected (and still unverified) totals from Waukesha place the current margin between Justice David Prosser – who has indicated fealty to Walker and the state GOP’s agenda – and his independent challenger, Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, are miraculously close to the numbers that will be needed to trigger a state-sponsored ‘recount’ of the ballots. It is also true that Nickolaus’ explanation for her ‘human error’ are questionable at best. Her reasons for waiting some 29 hours between discovering the enormous error, as well as her blame on failing to hit a ‘save button’ in Microsoft Access (which doesn’t feature such a button) demand independent scrutiny from state, if not federal, authorities.”
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News in Brief: More Rainwater Tests Positive for Radiation From Japan, and More …
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released a new set of data on the levels of radioactive material in milk, rainwater and drinking water as part of a continuing effort to track radiation from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan; Egypt’s ousted former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons are still under investigation, but a legal source said that no court date has been set for questioning; a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis shows the compromise will only cut $352 million over the next fiscal year.
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The Time Is Right to End “Zero Tolerance” in Schools
Gara LaMarche, The Huffington Post: “All too often, the debate about school reform has wrongly emphasized pushing troubled children out of school, rather than making systemic improvements so that all students have the support they need to learn. For that reason, advocates nationwide are embracing efforts to improve school climate. School leaders are recognizing the ineffectiveness of zero tolerance. And as states grapple with untenable youth-prison budgets and Congress prepares to debate reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a movement is building to end the ineffective, expensive, and tragic era of zero tolerance.”
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Why Public Support for Free Trade Will Collapse Soon
Ian Fletcher, Free Trade Doesn’t Work: “For once, some good news: public support for free trade will almost certainly collapse over the next few years. On this issue, the public is way ahead of the political class in the quality of its thinking, and the average hardware store owner in Nebraska understands the real economics involved better than the average U.S. Senator. Public opinion certainly continues to turn against free trade: an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll in September 2010 found 53% of Americans believing free trade agreements hurt the U.S., with only 17% believing them beneficial.”
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Sen. Bernie Sanders | Robin Hood in Reverse (Video)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont): Video of speech on the Senate floor by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
Watch the Video

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TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

There are words said by each of us that we regret, sometimes as soon as they pass our lips.

But there is a recurring pattern of disturbing hatefulness and violence in the statements of many right-wing political figures today.

Take David Prosser, the Scott Walker ally on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, who is still involved in an officially undeclared election against JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Just before the April vote, it was revealed that Prosser had called the chief justice of the state Supreme Court the “B” word to her face and threatened to “destroy her.” As is often the case with people who feel self-justified, Prosser apologized, but basically blamed Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, the first woman on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for his disgraceful behavior, according to ThinkProgress:

“In the context of this, I said, ‘You are a total bitch,'” Prosser said.

“I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted … They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements.”

Meanwhile, another right-wing official, “Governor Christie of New Jersey told reporters Wednesday to ‘take the bat’ to 76-year-old Sen. Loretta Weinberg for collecting a taxpayer-funded pension while making $49,000 a year as a legislator,” again according to ThinkProgress.

But Prosser and Christie are hardly alone in unleashing abusive and violent rhetoric. There’s something wrong with our civility as a nation when so many bullies of the playground grow up to become judges and elected officials.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

Buyers Remorse? New Poll: House Republicans Doing Worse Job Than the Democrats Did
Read the Article at Crooks and Liars

ExxonMobil Is No. 2 in Avoiding Taxes. Maybe Next Year It Will Surpass GE and Be the No. 1 Corporate Deadbeat.
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

A Senate Panel Accused Powerhouse Goldman Sachs of Misleading Clients and Manipulating Markets
Read the Article at Talking Points Memo

Analysis: Obama Speech Frames a 2012 Choice for the Country
Read the Article at The Washington Post

If You Don’t Fight for Democracy and Justice, Then What You Get May Not Be Worth Having
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

IKEA Accused of Abusing Rights and Pay of American Employees
Read the Article at The Los Angeles Times

A Birther State of Mind: Arizona Passes Birther Bill for Candidates
Read the Article at Talking Points Memo

Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines
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April 15, 2011 - Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, TRUTHOUT

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