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Truthout: 12 April 2012

Truthout: 12 April 2012

Arun Gupta | The Wonderful, Unpredictable Life of the Occupy Movement
Arun Gupta, Truthout: "By enabling people to find fulfillment in all parts of their lives ... the Occupy movement is more than a movement. It is life-changing. People experience themselves as complete social beings, not just as angry, alienated protesters. The emergence of every mass movement makes sense in hindsight, but no one could have predicted hundreds of occupations and thousands of groups would pop up across the United States just weeks after a ragged encampment secured a tenuous foothold on Wall Street last September."
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White House to Delay Implementation of Key Anti-Discrimination Order
Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress: "After months of dodging questions about the progress of an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting, the White House won't issue the directive, but will instead study whether gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees require employment protections."
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Connecticut Legislature Votes to Repeal Death Penalty
Peter Applebome, The New York Times News Service: "After more than nine hours of debate, the Connecticut House of Representatives voted [today] to repeal the state's death penalty, following a similar vote in the State Senate last week. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, has said he will sign the bill, which would make Connecticut the 17th state - the 5th in five years - to abolish capital punishment for future cases."
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Second-Degree Murder Charge May Be Hard to Prove in Trayvon Martin Case
Scott Hiaasen and David Ovalle, McClatchy Newspapers: "Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey likely has an uphill climb to prove that George Zimmerman acted with the malicious intent required to convict him of second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, legal experts say.... And even if the evidence against Zimmerman isn't strong, prosecutors can hope he strikes a plea bargain for a lesser charge such as manslaughter - or risk losing at trial, where he could be slammed with a long sentence."
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Why Washington's Iran Policy Could Lead to Global Disaster
Juan Cole, TomDispatch: "It's a policy fierce enough to cause great suffering among Iranians - and possibly in the long run among Americans, too. It might, in the end, even deeply harm the global economy and yet, history tells us, it will fail on its own. Economic war led by Washington will not take down the Iranian government or bring it to the bargaining table on its knees ready to surrender its nuclear program. It might, however, lead to actual armed conflict with incalculable consequences."
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Naval Commander Stands Trial for Telling Supercommittee to End the Wars and Tax the Rich
Michael Levitin, Waging Nonviolence: "Consider the story of Leah Bolger, the latest American hero up on trial: She joins the Navy at 22, is made commander and serves two decades as an anti-submarine warfare specialist. After retiring she joins Veterans for Peace and becomes the organization's first female president. Then, in October of 2011, she commits the crime of interrupting a public congressional hearing of the Super Committee to deliver a message from the 99 percent: End the wars and tax the rich to fix the deficit."
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: A New Study Suggests That the Food We Eat Might Be Responsible for Increase in Autism, and More
In today's On the News segment: A new study suggests that the food we eat might be responsible for increase in autism, George Zimmerman pled "not guilty" to charges of second-degree murder today, it could be the end of the road for Libertarian Ron Paul, and more.
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Debunking Van Jones' Claim That Activists "Sat Down" After Obama's Election
Rose Aguilar, Uprising Radio: "Van Jones, the long-time racial and social justice activist ... argues that the White House misunderstood the grassroots and the grassroots misunderstood what the White House could and couldn't do. The activists who took to the streets back then saw through the 'Hope and Change' PR campaign. Despite the fact that they rarely get the attention they deserve, they're still in the streets raising their fists for what they believe in. Let's give them the credit they deserve."
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Filmmaker Robert Greenwald Tells Truthout How the Koch Brothers Endanger Democracy and Our Health
Mark Karlin, Truthout: "BuzzFlash at Truthout first got to know Robert Greenwald when he and Earl Katz were trying to get a film about the theft of the 2000 presidential election, 'Unprecedented,' off the ground. Greenwald went on to form the extraordinarily innovative Brave New Films. Most recently, Greenwald launched the distribution of 'Koch Brothers Exposed,' a DVD that features the best of Brave New Films' videos, revealing the dark side of the Koch family empire."
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Real Talk, Not Hearsay, on the 99% Spring
J.A. Myerson, Truthout: "The 99% Spring initiative has generated considerable hubbub amongst occupiers, a group famously apprehensive about liberal organizations, especially ones that have exhibited close ties with the Democratic Party. Chief among suspicious organizations is MoveOn ... This anxiety raises a number of obvious questions. In what sense is this a co-optation? Which component is Occupy Wall Street entitled to but the 99% Spring coalition not? That percentage? The season? The idea of direct action training?"
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To Whom Much Is Given: Why We Need to Tax Inheritance
Jeffrey Mikkelson, Truthout: "Roughly half of the wealthiest Americans inherited all or much of their wealth, and the United States ranks near the bottom of rich countries in terms of intergenerational mobility. What's more, the vast majority of inherited wealth goes entirely untaxed. Under current law, heirs can inherit an estate of up to $5 million without paying a cent in federal taxes. In fact, it's likely that a sizable portion of that income was never taxed in the first place."
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Self-Dealing and the War Service Industry, Part II
Charles M. Smith and Dina Rasor, Truthout: "In Part II of this series we will explore the cronyism and self-dealing with the other major military service contract in Iraq, the Restore Iraq Oil (RIO) contract, and the brave woman whistleblower who also refused to go along and allow KBR to break contract rules to enrich themselves, but was thwarted in her efforts to do the right thing on behalf of the troops and the country. In examining this contract, we see the same favoritism toward KBR (Halliburton) that occurred with LOGCAP contract."
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Lee Fang: Howard Dean Advises Corporate Health Care Clients to Fund "Both Sides," Run Attack Ads
Lee Fang, Naked Capitalism: "While it may sound surprising that a former Democratic Party chairman would encourage corporations to donate to Republicans, [Howard] Dean's advice makes sense considering his job as a paid consultant to the lobbying firm McKenna, Long & Aldridge. What's more troubling, however, is how Dean uses his powerful platform as a pundit and political leader without disclosing his work as an influence peddler."
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Is Big Pharma Peddling Narcotics? Take Oxycontin, for Instance
Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: "It is difficult to believe that Big Pharma is not aware of this growing abuse of legal drugs. It is difficult to fathom that their actuarial predictions of profit don't take into account the addictive and widespread abuse of narcotics. Perhaps, they are indeed innocent bystanders to this spreading problem, but then the companies that make such effective medications would have to be deaf, blind and dumb, because there is no way to ignore the rampant legal narcotics that are decimating sections of America."
Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Murdochalypse Comes to America: Is Fox News Next to Fall?
Read the Article at Daily Kos

Trayvon Martin and a Win for Social Justice
Read the Article at Salon

The Supreme Court Has Forgotten History
Read the Article at The Huffington Post

Freedom Is on the March ... Backward
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Koch Brothers Go to War in Kansas
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Republican Women in Denial
Read the Article at The Nation

Enthusiasm for Romney in GOP Base Running Low
Read the Article at The Boston Globe

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Keith Rankin: Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights
"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers, 'Context India', Al Jazeera, 31 Oct 2021.) India may be to the 'Revolution of the twenty-first century' that Russia was to the 'Revolution of the twentieth century'... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Foreseeable Risk: Omicron Makes Its Viral Debut
It has been written about more times than any care to remember. Pliny the Elder, that old cheek, told us that Africa always tended to bring forth something new: Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. The suggestion was directed to hybrid animals, but in the weird pandemic wonderland that is COVID-19, all continents now find themselves bringing forth their types, making their contributions. It just so happens that it’s southern Africa’s turn... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg In The Metaverse

Never leave matters of maturity to the Peter Panners of Silicon Valley. At their most benign, they are easily dismissed as potty and keyboard mad. At their worst, their fantasies assume the noxious, demonic forms that reduce all users of their technology to units of information and flashes of data... More>>

Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>