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Who Salute the Butcher's Apron

The Butcher's Apron
by Mike Whitney
Every four years the country is swept up in the pomp and pageantry of presidential elections. And every four years loyal Americans flock to the voting booths to select the candidate of their choice.
Elections--we are told---are supposed to be the true expression of democratic government. But they aren't. They're a sham and most people know it.
The balloting creates the illusion of choice where there is none. It's become a meaningless ritual that has nothing to do with representative government.

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A Pink President: Women and the 2008 Vote

Will Women Decide 2008?
by Katrina vanden Heuvel
In 2004, 20 million unmarried women -- single, divorced, separated or widowed -- didn't vote. In 2006, that number was 30 million. Depressing? Yes. But in 2008, these women are also known as the voting bloc that could determine the outcome of this election and many more to come.

Unmarried women make up the largest bloc of non-voters in the nation. Over 26 percent of eligible voters -- 53 million people -- are unmarried women. And for the first time in history there are as many women who are unmarried as married.
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Nagin's Never Land: Bulldozers on the Mississippi

Nagin's Never Land: Bulldozers on the Mississippi
by C. L. Cook
The mayor didn't attend the meeting, but later held a press conference, where he congratulated city council for its unanimous decision on a difficult problem.
It's a story of a rare political consensus, agreed in the limelight cast by city, state, national, and international media; everyone wanted to know what the stricken city of New Orleans' leaders would do to address the masses of displaced citizens, locked out of their homes since the disastrous hurricane and flood suffered more than two years ago.

And the council's decision?
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Gaza: Normalizing Misery

Politicizing Gaza’s Misery
by Ramzy Baroud
The intense debate over Gaza is subsiding as the status quo is, predictably, delineated by those with the bigger guns. But to what extent can human suffering be politicized, turned into an intellectual polemic that fails to affect the simplest change in people’s lives?

Hamas’ political advent in January 2006 as the first ‘opposition’ movement in the Arab world to ascend to power using peaceful and democratic means was successfully thwarted in a brazen coup, engineered jointly by the United States, Israel and renegade Palestinian factionalists.
Following this, history was, as usual, re-written by the victor. Thus Hamas, a party representing the democratic institutions in the Occupied Territories, became the party that ‘overthrew’ Abbas’ ‘legitimate’ democracy.
As strange a notion as that is – a government overthrowing itself – it went down in the annals of Western media as uncontested truth.

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The Corporate World of Glenn Beck

The Mad Corporate World of Glenn Beck
by Norman Solomon
When I picked up a ringing phone one morning in mid-December, the next thing I knew a producer was inviting me to appear on Glenn Beck’s TV show.

Beck has become a national phenom with his nightly hour of polemics on CNN Headline News -- urging war on Iran, denouncing “political correctness” at home, trashing immigrants who don’t speak English, mocking environmentalists as repressive zealots, and generally trying to denigrate progressive outlooks.

Our segment, the producer said, would focus on a recent NBC news report praising the virtues of energy-efficient LED light bulbs without acknowledging that the network’s parent company, General Electric, sells them. I figured it was a safe bet that Beck’s enthusiasm for full disclosure from media would be selective.

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Security: Doing the Jobs Americans Won't in Iraq

Looking to Security from Paper Police
Inter Press Service
by Ali al-Fadhily
In a country with no security and no jobs, just about anyone can work as a policeman.

"To survive in Iraq under U.S. occupation, there are only two jobs; police and garbage collection," Baghdad journalist Mohammad al-Dulaymi told IPS. "Unemployment is leading many Iraqis to join the security forces despite the risk involved."
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Back in the Ring: Bare Knuckles Rollins Pitching for Huckabee

Huckabee's Chairman Hid Payoff Secret
by Robert Parry
The pundits on CNN’s “Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” were unanimous: Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins was a great guy and his hiring as national chairman for Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign gave it a solid jolt of credibility.

But Blitzer’s panel of journalists on Dec. 14 didn’t seem to either know or care that Rollins has withheld evidence since 1991 about the identity of a top Filipino politician who admitted delivering an illegal $10 million cash payment to Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Rollins, who ran Reagan’s reelection campaign, mentioned the admission in his 1996 book, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, recounting how the Filipino casually asserted over drinks that he had carried the money in a suitcase to a Republican lobbyist who was representing the Reagan campaign.

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Life in Wartime: Letter from a B. C. Activist

Letter from a B. C. Activist
by Eloise Charest
Dear Chris, It would be an honor to be on your famous radio show anytime. I' m so thrilled to see the old guardians still in place and standing strong. Compliments on the Pacific Press and the rest, it's refreshing to read real news.
I have just spent most of the summer until late fall blocking the road trying to prevent one of the largest hydro projects from going through. Now that the clearcutting of our old growth has turned the only inland temperate rainforest on earth into a desert that is drying up and prone to fires, they are after our water.
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Secret Library of Hope

The Secret Library of Hope
12 Books to Stiffen Your Resolve
by Rebecca Solnit
Hope is an orientation, a way of scanning the wall for cracks -- or building ladders -- rather than staring at its obdurate expanse.
It's a worldview, but one informed by experience and the knowledge that people have power; that the power people possess matters; that change has been made by populist movements and dedicated individuals in the past; and that it will be again.
Dissent in this country has become largely a culture of diagnosis rather than prescription, of describing what is wrong with them, rather than what is possible for us.

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Dissecting Siamese Twin Politics

Dissecting the Two-Party System      
by Shamus Cooke
It often takes direct experience to better understand one’s surroundings; whether it be a toddler’s mastering of cause and effect, or for our purposes, realizing the Democratic Party’s true nature.
This latest life lesson has been taught to us by the Democrats themselves, who, public opinion cast aside, have continued to support the Iraq War, not to mention other collusions with the Republicans on many matters that represent “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

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Get Lost Tribe: Israel's Palestinians

Israel's Palestinians and the 'Jewish State'
by Nadim Rouhana
The Annapolis peace talks regard me as an interloper in my own land. Israel's deputy prime minister, Avigdor Lieberman, argues that I should "take [my] bundles and get lost."
Henry Kissinger thinks I ought to be summarily swapped from inside Israel to the would-be Palestinian state.

I am a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship -- one of 1.4 million. I am also a social psychologist trained and working in the United States.
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