29 Apr

Truth Out Today

Sunday 29 April 2012

Understanding Iran’s Diplomatic Strategy
Gareth Porter, Al Jazeera English: “For Obama’s advisers, assuming Iran was simply ‘playing for time’ justifies a heavy reliance on ‘coercive diplomacy’… But that conventional wisdom, which the Obama administration inherited from the Bush administration, ignores the accumulated evidence that Iran’s diplomacy strategy is to accumulate centrifuges, not in order to support a weapons program, but rather to negotiate a larger bargain with the United States.”
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How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes
Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski, The New York Times News Service: “With a handful of employees in a small office in Reno, [Nevada], Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other states. Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, California. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.”
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South Carolina Republicans Step in Line Behind Romney
James Rosen, McClatchy Newspapers: “In a classic political case of better late than never, South Carolina Republicans who earlier spurned Mitt Romney are belatedly embracing him as he closes in on their party’s presidential nomination. But in South Carolina, one of the hotbeds of the nation’s tea party movement and where Republican activists spent long months taking an anyone-but-Romney stance, the embrace feels reluctant – more weak handshake than hearty hug.”
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Cigarette Companies and Their Underhanded Tactics
David Donovan, Independent Australia: “The world’s biggest cigarette companies made their case in the [Australian] High Court, battling the Federal Government’s attempts to impose plain packaging on their product, fearful it may set a worldwide precedent. One of their arguments is that since the Government stands to save money in the public health budget from people not dying or needing to go to hospital as a result of smoking, tobacco companies should to be compensated. David Donovan, a former tobacco company employee, gives an inside view about just how far big tobacco will go in their efforts to preserve their noxious trade.”
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Health Spending Is Flattening Out
Annie Lowrey, The New York Times News Service: “The growth rate mostly slowed as millions of Americans lost insurance coverage along with their jobs. Worried about job security, others may have feared taking time off work for doctor’s visits or surgical procedures, or skipped non-urgent care when money was tight…. Of course, health care experts caution that there have been times when health care spending had slowed, only to start tracking back up again.”
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Undergrads May Fail Critical-Thinking Test, but Academia Is Failing Them
Margaret Austin Smith, Truthout: “Undergraduate students are not improving their critical thinking skills in college, that this claim is sustained by the failure of a putatively representative sample of 2,362 students at 24 four-year institutions to increase their average score on standardized tests of critical thinking, and that this failure in critical thinking is affecting them negatively in the labor market and in civil society (as indicated by the percentage with full-time employment or graduate or professional school status, and by self-reported newspaper-reading habits).”
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The Vision Thing: Keeping Union Reform on Track
Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes: “Reformers take over at the union hall. They’re sick of seeing management run roughshod over the local, so they put together a slate and a plan to mobilize the members. When it works, reformers can make remarkable changes, transforming dormant locals into ones with proud members who put management on notice. But some reformers fail … Too many don’t know how to step off the path of least resistance, and they slide into the ways of their predecessors.”
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Obama’s Climate Change Promise: A Feeble Charm Offensive
Ryan Rafaty, Dissent Magazine: “According to a comprehensive Brown University report, there has been a demonstrable shift in President Obama’s rhetoric since taking office regarding ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming.’ ‘These terms are stunningly absent from the political arena,’ writes Graciela Kincaid, a co-author of the study. President Obama simply refuses to throw any red meat to the Republicans, though they always manage to find some to devour anyway.”
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Labor Leaders Question Contractor’s Hiring Practices
Loretta Marie Long, Lower Columbia Workers’ News: “In a town where building-trade workers across the board have unemployment rates ranging from 19 to 50 percent, many local workers, union and non-union, feel that they are the ones being robbed…. Dan Coffman President of ILWU Local 21 has been wondering the same thing. ‘I think there needs to be some serious oversight over companies who come into a community and bring their outside work forces in on labor visas, or bring in right-to-work state workers who lower our wages. These corporations are building facilities paid for partly with our taxpayers’ money.'”
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A Dog’s Life
Ed Kinane, Truthout: “Archie, our black lab mix, is a remarkably handsome guy (I think) … Archie’s life must be better than that of many – most? – humans. I doubt he ever questions the unruffled ease of his life. He never asks who built or bought that couch he’s made his own. Nor does he ask who pays the vet bill. Surely, Archie never wonders whose labor produces the food that magically keeps appearing in his bowl twice a day. In Archie’s case the obliviousness is innate. The sadness is that we humans can go through life no less oblivious.”
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If You – and the Yes Men – Owned Bank of America
Laura Gottesdiener, Yes! Magazine: “To learn how laughter can be the greatest weapon of all, I sat down with Andy Bichlbaum, one of the founders of The Yes Men, last month at Scratcher Bar in the East Village. In addition to The Yes Men, The Yes Lab, and teaching at New York University, he has recently been involved in developing the Plus Brigades, a project of Occupy Wall Street meant to infuse the movement with renewed creativity in the streets.”
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The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return Monday, April 30th.

Rodney King’s Legacy
Read the Article at The Daily Beast

US Amasses Stealth-Jet Armada Near Iran
Read the Article at Wired

Why Low Minimum Wages Kill Jobs and Crush Living Standards for Everyone
Read the Article at AlterNet

Top Republican Strategist Denies Women Are Paid Less Than Men
Read the Article at ThinkProgress

Crowd-Working 101: Romney Struggles to Hold College Students’ Attention
Read the Article at Talking Points Memo

Demographics Favor Obama Over Romney in November Election
Read the Article at The Daily Beast

Obama Roasts Romney at White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Read the Article at The Raw Story

Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines

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