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Showing posts from March, 2009

Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush-Era Officials

By MARLISE SIMONS Published: March 28, 2009 LONDON — A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay , Cuba, an official close to the case said. Read more .

Paul Krugman: Obama's Nobel Headache

- Paul Krugman - NewsWeek - Paul Krugman has emerged as Obama's toughest liberal critic. He's deeply skeptical of the bank bailout and pessimistic about the economy. Read more .

AD Mag Update: David Winston and Dominic Davidson

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Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Roadster Concept

- website - Car Body Design - The F-Cell Roadster Concept is design study of a fuel cell vehicle created by 150 trainees at Mercedes-Benz. It combines innovative technologies and solution with large spoked wheels inspired by the 1886 Benz Car. Read mor e.

Tesla Sedan

LOS ANGELES — Tesla Motors, the electric-car maker, unveiled its much-anticipated Model S sedan on Thursday, here at the SpaceX rocket plant, which is also owned by Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk . Mr. Musk, in introducing the Model S, said the first cars would be delivered to customers in the third quarter of 2011. The company said it would build the car in Southern California, but would not say where. Three different power configurations will be available, Mr. Musk said, “160-mile, 230-mile and 300-mile battery packs.” The 160-mile pack comes standard on the $57,400 base model (a federal tax credit can shave $7,500 from the price). He declined to provide pricing for the longer-range battery packs, but said they could be rented or leased “if you wanted to go on a long trip, or something.” Battery packs have a projected life expectancy of seven to 10 years and can be easily changed or swapped, he added. Read more .

John Hope Franklin, An American Historian Remembered

- John Hope Franklin 1915 - 2009 - "My challenge," Franklin says, "was to weave into the fabric of American history enough of the presence of blacks so that the story of the United States could be told adequately and fairly."

The National Trust: Breuer's Last Design

The National Trust for Historic Preservation: Threatened in Atlanta: Breuer's Last Design By Angela Serratore | Online Only | Mar. 23, 2009 Preservation Magazine - One of the most notable pieces of modern architecture in the American South may be demolished and replaced with a new design. Local artist Max Eternity, along with New York University Breuer scholar Isabelle Hyman, have turned to the blogosphere as a grassroots method of garnering support for the library. To demolish a modern structure so integrated with its environment, Eternity writes on the blog , "seems sociologically, aesthetically, and historically incomprehensible—to say nothing of economically wasteful." Read more.

Dalai Lama Unwelcome in South Africa

The Huffington Post DONNA BRYSON | March 24, 2009 08:15 AM EST JOHANNESBURG — The South African government said Tuesday that the Dalai Lama is not welcome here until after the 2010 football World Cup for fear that Tibet will overshadow all other issues. Earlier Tuesday, organizers said a peace conference had been postponed indefinitely over South Africa's decision to bar the Dalai Lama from attending. Organizers said they hoped to hold the event when the Tibetan spiritual leader who has clashed with China could attend and they hoped that would be before next year's World Cup. Read more .

Chavez calls Obama "ignoramus"

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama was at best an "ignoramus" for saying the socialist leader exported terrorism and obstructed progress in Latin America. "He goes and accuses me of exporting terrorism: the least I can say is that he's a poor ignoramus; he should read and study a little to understand reality," said Chavez, who heads a group of left-wing Latin American leaders opposed to the U.S. influence in the region. Read more .

Why We Fight: The American Way of War

Canada Can't Muzzle Me

"To ban me from the country for my views on Afghanistan is absurd, hypocritical, and in vain" - George Galloway - by George Galloway Guardian UK - The Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney gazetted in the Sun yesterday morning that I was to be excluded from his country because of my views on Afghanistan. That's the way the rightwing, last-ditch dead-enders of Bushism in Ottawa conduct their business. Read More .

Historic power shift in El Salvador

Melissa Harris-Lacewell On Race, Religion, and Obama

Allison Kilkenney - Melissa Harris-​Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of the award-winning book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought , (Princeton 2004). And she is currently at work on a new book: S ister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn’t Enough . Listen to interview . Check out Melissa’s website.

Ann Wright: 6 Years of Protest

- Colonel Ann Wright - It was six years ago today that I resigned from the Bush administration and the US diplomatic corps in opposition to the war on Iraq. I remember the day so well. I woke up about 2 in the morning. Like so many mornings in the past months, I could not sleep through the night. I was very worried and upset hearing the comments out of Washington, that we, the US government, were being forced into taking military action against Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi government. I, like so many US diplomats and US citizens, was wondering, why must the United States attack Iraq right now? Read more .

In a Violent World, Another Massacre Goes Unnoticed

Where is the outraged for all the lives that were lost due to the [avoidable] flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? And where lies the outraged by all those needlessly killed in Iraq? From the ongoing genocide in Sudan, to the murderous, 50-year Tibet occupation, where does it end -- when will it end? How much violence will it take to awaken to consciousness of humanity to a better way -- sane alternatives to conflict resolution? And then there's the endless assault on the Palestine by Israel; so many turning a blind eye! Even when Israel's military personnel admits to war crimes, it all seems to fall on deaf ears. Excerpts from a news article quoting an Israeli soldier involved in the recent Gaza invasion: “That’s the beauty of Gaza. You see a man walking, he doesn’t have to have a weapon, and you can shoot him,” one soldier told Danny Zamir, the head of the Rabin pre-military academy, who asked him why a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be shot. &qu

Obesity can be as bad as smoking

LA Times - Gross obesity can take 10 years off your life, as much as heavy smoking, and even being moderately overweight can take two to three years off, according to British researchers. Read more .

Obama To Endorse UN Gay Rights Declaration

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will endorse a U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality that then-President George W. Bush had refused to sign, The Associated Press has learned. U.S. officials said Tuesday they had notified the declaration's French sponsors that the administration wants to be added as a supporter. The Bush administration was criticized in December when it was the only western government that refused to sign on. The move was made after an interagency review of the Bush administration's position on the nonbinding document, which was signed by all 27 European Union members as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries, the officials said. Read more .

Bill Moyers & Karen Armstrong: A Trace of the Divine

China Owns America: The Trillion Dollar Debt Express

Will China Dump U.S. Debt? Written by Charles Scaliger Friday, 13 March 2009 New American - China U.S. The Chinese government, to which the United States is in debt approximately $1 trillion, is preparing to use its leverage to exact concessions from the U.S. government. “We are concerned about the safety of our assets,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at a news conference March 13. “I would like to call on the United States to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets." The Chinese Premier has ample cause for concern, given that one-half of China’s foreign currency reserves are held in U.S. government debt. Should the U.S. government default on its obligations, the result would be catastrophic for both countries. But the United States should be more worried still. China — still a military rival — is now the United States’ largest creditor, and the only major country with enough money to purchase the huge amounts of additional debt the

AD Mag Update: Montgomery & Relyea

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Single Payer Healthcare

Put Single-Payer on the Table Posted on Mar 10, 2009 By Amy Goodman - President Barack Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table. Single-payer is the system that removes private insurance companies from the picture; the government pays all the bills, but health-care delivery remains private. People still get their choice of what doctor to go to and what hospital to use. Single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery. Single-payer solutions, however, get almost no space in the debate. Read More .

Van Jones Drafted As Obama's New Green Jobs Adviser

Van Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy White House House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) chairwoman Nancy Sutley has announced that Van Jones will help direct the Obama administration’s efforts to create new green collar jobs. And in other related news, advocates of sustainable agriculture are now ecstatic about President Obama’s decision to appoint Kathleen Merrigan as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, second in command.

Women's Rights: Time to Radify CEDAW

Time to Ratify Women's Treaty, Groups Urge by Haider Rizvi for Common Dreams UNITED NATIONS - Rights activists in the United States are urging their newly-elected government to support global initiatives aimed at protecting women's rights . "If Barack Obama wants one important thing to do for women, he will direct the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW," said Ritu Sharma, a leading women's rights activist. CEDAW is the acronym for the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been endorsed by over 170 countries. In the past three decades, U.S. policymakers rejected CEDAW by reasoning that women in the United States already enjoyed legal protections against violence and discrimination. But rights activists counter that the U.S. refusal to ratify the treaty encourages repressive regimes to promote discriminatory practices against women. "There is no reason for us to wait for the U.S. ratification of CEDAW," said S

Police State USA: The 8-year Bush Dictatorship

Published on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 by Memos Provide Blueprint for Police State by Marjorie Cohn Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the President with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide “legal” rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties. According to the reasoning in the memos, Congress has no role to check and balance the executive. That is the definition of a police state. Who wrote these memos? All but one were crafted in whole or in part by the infamous John Yoo and Jay Bybee, author

Welfare for the Rich: Obama Tows the Line

AIG: Billions Dished Out in the Dark By Robert Scheer This is crazy! Forget the bleating of Rush Limbaugh; the problem is not with the quite reasonable and, if anything, underfunded stimulus package, which in any case will be debated long and hard in Congress. The problem is with what is not being debated: the far more expensive Wall Street bailout that is being pushed through—as in the case of the latest AIG rescue—in secret, hurried deal-making primarily by the unelected secretary of the treasury and the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Six months ago, we taxpayers began bailing out AIG with more than $140 billion, and then it went and lost $61.7 billion in the fourth quarter, more than any other company in history had ever lost in one quarter. So Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke huddled late into the night last weekend and decided to reward AIG for its startling failure with 30 billion more of our dollars. Plus, they sweetened the deal by letting AIG off the hook for i

Green Activism: Thousands of Youth Storm Capitol

Power Shift *** Youth Call for Green Energy and End to Coal Power by Jessica Lee WASHINGTON, D.C .—Just blocks away from Capitol Hill, a new conversation is sweeping the streets. Within the crowded sidewalks and cafes along H and 7th Streets, certain words likely will catch your ear: environmental sustainability, green economy, direct action, colonization, coal power plants and capitalism. All weekend, more than 12,000 college and high school students have traveled across the country for the second Power Shift conference, a meeting-of-the-minds for students serious about taking leadership roles in not only confronting climate change, but also taking on Washington attitudes and business-as-usual. As a blizzard pounds the East Coast, students are preparing to take the Capitol by storm Monday. The day begins with scheduled meetings with their elected officials — many of them in their first trip to the Capitol — in what organizers are calling “the largest-ever lobby day on climat

Library Preservation Lecture Series

When: Wednesday, March 11, 6:30 pm Place: Atlanta Fulton Country Central Library , One Margaret Mitchell Square Cost: Free - Presentations are followed by a self-guided tours - AND When: Saturday, March 7, 11:30 am Where: Buckhead Branch Library , 269 Buckhead Ave NE. Reservation required : Cost : Free

King Tut:: A Negro Pharo

*** King Tut: Negro Pharo With Black History Month just ending in America, it still remains a mystery as to why mainstream Anglo-European scholars continue to deny the negro ancestry of Ancient Egypt, when its fact that the all the nations surrounding Egypt -- Eritrea, Lybia, Ethiopia, Somalia, etc. -- consist of Negros -- Africans -- Black people. And while Europeans, Asians and "white" Arabs arrived later -- after the fact -- centuries upon centuries later -- AFTER the reign of the greatest Pharaohs -- when looking at the remains, art and artifacts, there's simply no denying what one's eyes behold. Just look at the images above and below and then try to imagine that King Tut and his sister were Indian, Caucasian, Polynesian, Euro-Arab or Asian. Not likely -- highly improbably. Face it -- deal with it -- these were Negros. Plain and simple, these were people primarily of Negro bloodlines. These were Africans. They were Black! - All images courtesy of Wikipedi

Are We A Nation of Cowards?

Charles M. Blow Op-Ed Columnist A Nation of Cowards? Published: February 20, 2009 New York Times - According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released last month , twice as many blacks as whites thought racism was a big problem in this country, while twice as many whites as blacks thought that blacks had achieved racial equality. Furthermore, according to a 2003 Gallup poll, two in five of blacks said that they felt discriminated against at least once a month, and one in five felt discriminated against every day. But, a CNN poll from last January found that 72 percent of whites thought that blacks overestimated the amount of discrimination against them, while 82 percent of blacks thought that whites underestimated the amount of discrimination against blacks. What explains this wide discrepancy? One factor could be that most whites harbor a hidden racial bias that many are unaware of and don’t consciously agree with. Project Implicit , a virtual laboratory mainta