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Fast forward. The Chinese labor model has come to the United States. Workers
toil in dire conditions. Each must sign a pledge that he or she will not
commit suicide. Still, suicide nets adorn factory facades.
Women are the new illegals
Jayne Lyn Stahl
Those in the Republican Party who are intent on exercising a fervent grip on
women's reproductive rights by cutting off oxygen to Planned Parenthood, yes,
those like leading presidential contender, Mitt Romney, who want to get rid
of it, aren't referring only to Planned Parenthood when they say it, but
to half a century of gains women have made in the workplace.
Costly 'freedom' in Afghanistan: On morbid wars and logic
The Afghans are a proud people with a long and formidable history of
resistance to foreign occupation. The fact that they have always prevailed,
however, should not distract from the horror they still routinely experience.
The latest atrocious episode against Afghans took place on March 11 in the
village of Balandi, when accused US Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales killed 16
innocent people while they were sleeping peacefully.
To PBS, with (tough) love
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
Neither of us is old enough to have been fooled by the Trojan Horse (see
Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_Horse>). But we each have been
working in public television decades enough to remember the days when
distribution was handled by physically transporting bulky 2-inch videotapes
from station to station-bicycled was the word-and much of the broadcast day
and night was devoted to blackboard lectures, string quartets and lessons in
Japanese brush painting: The old educational television versions of reality
Wall Street confidence trick: How Interest rate swaps are bankrupting local
US can't spin this horrific massacre
Linda S. Heard
There are two different narratives on the massacre of 17 Afghan civilians,
including nine children, currently dominating headlines. American news
outlets have bought into the lone soldier scenario, the poor decorated Iraq
war hero who lost his mind when his buddy's leg was blown off the day before
he went on his murderous rampage. The accent of their reporting lies in the
combined effect of multiple tours of duty on a soldier's psyche as well as
debate on whether or not US troops should pull out of Afghanistan before 2014.
Both the market and government are irrational
Paul Craig Roberts
A generation ago Bruce Springsteen was socio-serenading us with what soon was
to become the iconic song, Born in the USA. And now, seven presidential
elections later, he'll likely be sending his message with the song, We Take
Care of Our Own.
Frankly, on this gorgeous spring morning in mid-March, 2012, when the
sunshine is flowing cloudlessly from the sky and the big tree in my backyard
is about to explode with blossoms and the quiet is perfect for a working day,
I'd rather be writing about the love that directs this creation and the birds
who have started singing like myself. And I'd rather not have to remind
myself or anyone of the Janus-faced Emperor of Ruin, who bemoans the recent
atrocity of a four-tour, brain-damaged U.S. soldier that stealthily by night
assassinated 17 members of an Afghanistan family, including nine children,
their parents, and grandparents.
US rides roughshod over sovereign state laws
Linda S. Heard
We hear and read that the economy is rebounding-again-and this during a
multi-billion dollar presidential campaign. Gee. Threats of more foreign wars
are also unrelated to politics, nor are the signs of mental and physical
breakdowns in our military which shouldn't worry anyone now that the economy
is rebounding. Again. Unfortunately, the corporate perspective from which
everything is looking so good still rules our consciousness but among many
subjects of the system, critical thinking is advancing. Though sometimes very
slowly, as when decent people are swept up in emotional tsunamis by a
manipulation device called social media.
Congress takes a step or two forward, two steps back
Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires
succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from
conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason
Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany was not the military prowess
of Germanic tribes but Rome's calculation that the cost of conquest exceeded
the value of extractable resources.
Stemming the tides of protest
William T. Hathaway
As the living conditions of ordinary people inevitably worsen under
capitalism and as its wars cause increasing devastation, tides of protest
rise up from the population. The ruling elite then seek to stem these tides
before they reach flood state.
Intelligence community hobbles plans to strike Iran
Linda S. Heard
American and Israeli intelligence agencies are openly deviating from the
political script on Iran's nuclear program. While Washington and Tel Aviv are
bent on ratcheting up the ante with assertions that Tehran seeks nuclear
weapons and threats of military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities,
intelligence chiefs are singing from an entirely different hymn sheet.
Small business owners and labor are the backbone of the nation
William John Cox
Small business owners and working people constitute the core of the American
electorate. They share the same origins and have far more in common than the
major political parties would have them believe. Their shared political,
social and family needs are being ignored by both parties, as they are
cynically played one against the other. Expressing their discontent as Tea
Partiers and Occupiers, they are no longer silent, nor can they be ignored.
Fracking: Corruption a part of Pennsylvania's heritage
Part 3 of 3
The history of energy exploration, mining, and delivery is best understood in
a range from benevolent exploitation to worker and public oppression. A
company comes into an area, leases land in rural and agricultural areas for
mineral rights, increases employment, usually in a depressed economy, strips
the land of its resources, creates health problems for its workers and those
in the immediate area, and then leaves.
The Affordable Care Act or hopefully not?
As the Supreme Court laced up its gloves to get in the ring with Obama's
Affordable Care Act (ACA), demonstrators in D.C. are petitioning the Court
outside for it to be or not to be. It always seemed strange to me that ACA
was intended for 30 million people without health insurance though you had to
pay for it either through your employer or an IRS tax on income. Why couldn't
Obama and Congress have opened up Medicare as a single-payer insurance plan
for working people and Medicaid for the poor?
The North American Leaders Summit and reviving trilateral integration
With the demise of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the U.S. has
essentially put Canada and Mexico on separate tracks. It has pursued
dual-bilateralism with both its NAFTA partners as the primary means of
advancing continental integration with regards to trade, regulatory and
security initiatives. The upcoming North American Leaders Summit, which will
be held in Washington, D.C. . on April 2, could be used as a means of
reviving the trilateral cooperation model.
Giving up your bank for Lent
Growing up Protestant in a small town in upstate New York, the commemoration
of Lent was not as major an event as it would be in, say, a Catholic
household. We didn't give up chocolate or gum or anything else for those
forty days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, nor did most of the grown-ups we
knew forsake any of their particular pleasures or bad habits.
Why Israel attacked Gaza: Bibi stirring trouble
The first Israeli missile sped down to its target, scorching the Gaza earth
and everything in between. Palestinians collected the body parts of two new
martyrs, while Israeli media celebrated the demise of two terrorists.