Thursday, January 6, 2011

Truthout... News Briefs 01/05/11…
News Briefs
Wednesday 05 January 2011 

Jason Leopold | Army's "Spiritual Fitness" Test Comes Under Fire
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "An experimental, Army mental-health, fitness initiative designed by the same psychologist whose work heavily influenced the psychological aspects of the Bush administration's torture program is under fire by civil rights groups and hundreds of active-duty soldiers. 
They say it unconstitutionally requires enlistees to believe in God or a 'higher power' in order to be deemed 'spiritually fit' to serve in the Army."
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Solution: Cut Costs of Radioactive Waste Stabilization Programs Through Competition
This week's Solution's column examines a very important but overlooked and permanent problem of dealing with our nuclear waste, waste that we have manufactured in the past and waste we may make in the future if the push for more US nuclear plants is successful. 
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No Tea Party: Glitzy GOP Fundraiser Kicks Off New Congress
Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers: "An incoming California Republican congressman made a fundraising splash even before his Wednesday swearing-in, though his glitzy event wasn't to everyone's taste. For $2,500 a ticket, lobbyists and others with money to politically invest partied Tuesday night with Rep.-elect Jeff Denham, other House Republicans and country singer LeAnn Rimes. The money raised will help re-elect GOP incumbents and candidates." 
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Court Rejects One Challenge to Gay Marriage Ruling, Passes on Another
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected one challenge to a federal judge's ruling that declared California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, and the three-judge panel decided to ask the California Supreme Court to consider the legitimacy of a separate challenge to the historic ruling. The appeals court rejected a motion to intervene on behalf of Proposition 8 proponents filed by clerks from California's Imperial County. The county clerks are involved in issuing marriage license, but the appeals court ruled the clerks do not have the authority to intervene."
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Jim Hightower | Playing With Economic Dynamite
Jim Hightower, Truthout: "By gollies, America is still an exporting powerhouse. In fact, the good ol' U.S.A. is No. 1 in the world in exports! Our corporate leaders, backed by Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington, are now routinely exporting America's most precious goods - our jobs, factories, technologies and middle-class opportunities. With unemployment and underemployment devastating millions of families in our country, perhaps you've assumed that U.S. corporations simply aren't hiring these days. Nonsense. They added 1.4 million jobs last year alone - overseas."
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The Pitfalls of Using Immigration as a Labor Supply System for Employers
David Bacon, Truthout: "A political alliance is developing between countries with a labor export policy and the corporations who use that labor in the Global North. Many countries sending migrants to the developed world depend on remittances to finance social services and keep the lid on social discontent over poverty and joblessness while continuing to make huge debt payments. Corporations using that displaced labor share a growing interest with those countries' governments in regulating the system that supplies it." 
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Juan Cole | Wrong Again, Senator Graham
Juan Cole, Truthdig: "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), repeated on NBC's 'Meet the Press' on Sunday his hope that the United States can maintain at least two permanent air bases in Afghanistan. He was pushing back against Vice President Joe Biden's pledge that the U.S. would be out of Afghanistan by 2014 'come hell or high water.' Graham has been wrong about almost everything in the Middle East for a decade and a half, so this harebrained proposal is hardly surprising. But it signals the harder line likely to be pursued by Republicans now that they have taken back the House of Representatives and have much strengthened their position in the Senate." 
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After New START: Where Does Nuclear Disarmament Go From Here?
Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network: "With U.S. Senate ratification of the New START treaty on December 22, supporters of nuclear disarmament won an important victory. Signed by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last April, the treaty commits the two nations to cut the number of their deployed strategic (i.e. long-range) nuclear warheads to 1,550 each - a reduction of 30 percent in the number of these weapons of mass destruction. By providing for both a cutback in nuclear weapons and an elaborate inspection system to enforce it, New START is the most important nuclear disarmament treaty for a generation." 
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First, Your Shoes; Next, Your DNA: Elliot Cohen on How Surveillance Is Erasing Freedom and Autonomy
Alissa Bohling, Truthout: "Elliot Cohen's reputation for prescient reporting precedes his new book, 'Mass Surveillance and State Control: The Total Information Awareness Project.' In 2007, years before today's comparatively widespread coverage of the Comcast-NBC merger and other threats to net neutrality, Cohen won the first place Project Censored award for his story about the free speech implications of the 2005 Supreme Court decision cementing the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) position that telecommunications laws could not be applied to cable modem services." 
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Peak Oil and a Changing Climate (Video)
The Nation: "The scientific community has long agreed that our dependence on fossil fuels inflicts massive damage on the environment and our health, while warming the globe in the process. But beyond the damage these fuels cause to us now, what will happen when the world's supply of oil runs out?... Bill McKibben, Noam Chomsky, Nicole Foss, Richard Heinberg and the other scientists, researchers and writers interviewed throughout 'Peak Oil and a Changing Climate' describe the diminishing returns our world can expect as it deals with the consequences of peak oil even as it continues to pretend it doesn't exist." 
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A New Year's Reflection on Immigration
Dr. James J. Zogby, Arab American Institute: "It was one hundred years ago, that my father's oldest brother crossed a continent and an ocean to come to America. Habib Rashid Zogby, fourteen at the time, made the long trip with his uncle, leaving his mother, father and six siblings in Lebanon. The intent was that Habib would establish himself in the New World preparing the way for the rest to join him. Habib immediately set out to learn the ways of his new home. He established himself, found work as a peddler, and dutifully sent money back to Lebanon, as this was what was expected of the oldest son." 
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