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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Climate Near Tipping Point; Tween Hookers; Oil and Republicans; Where Our Stuff Comes From; Can't Afford War; more (posted 06/30/10)

- Ancient Fossils Show Arctic Now Near Climate Tipping Point Current levels of Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide may be high enough to bring about "irreversible" shifts in Arctic ecosystems, according to new research published today by scientists from the United States, Canada and The Netherlands.

- We Can’t Afford War In order to make the cuts promised, Obama would have to raise taxes and cut social programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Or he could cut the war budget. I say “war budget” because it is not to be confused with a defense budget. Cities and states across the country are facing devastating budget crises. Pensions are being wiped out. Foreclosures are continuing at record levels. A true defense budget would shore up our schools, our roads, our towns, our social safety net. The U.S. House of Representatives is under pressure to pass a $33 billion Afghan War supplemental this week.

- The GOP's Genetic Link to Big Oil  How else can you explain the remarkable gusher of compassion that Republican lawmakers are presently directing toward Big Oil in general and BP in particular? For example, only hours after winning his party's nomination for a Kentucky Senate seat, GOP teabag darling Rand Paul was on national TV decrying Barack Obama as "un-American" for daring to demand that BP be held accountable for its human and ecological destruction in the Gulf of Mexico.

- Gulf Spill Galvanizes Activist Community With the U.S .government and oil giant British Petroleum under fire for their handling of the more than two-month-old Gulf Coast oil spill disaster, environmental and community activists across the country are taking matters into their own hands.

- 'Worse than Gaza': Conditions in West Bank Areas Reach Crisis Point Children living in the poorest parts of the West Bank face significantly worse conditions than their counterparts in Gaza, a study conducted by an international youth charity has found.

- Hooker Tweens, or Whither the Women's Movement? Making the rounds in these Taylor-Momsen-esque times is a dance contest video featuring 8-9 year-old girls in sizzling red and black bras and hot pants bumping  to Beyonce's "Single Ladies." A Times magazine piece, "Playing At Sexy," calls watching it akin to "rubbernecking a 12-car pileup of early sexualization." I call it a sorry slutty distortion of the lofty notion of empowerment.

- Billions Missing, Lies Mounting In Congress on Monday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich told it straight on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: billions of dollars "gone missing," as in stolen, by warlords, drug lords, corrupt government officials "underwritten by the lives of our troops." While people at home lose jobs, homes, savings, schooling, pensions, hope.   

Lest We Forget, Where Our Stuff Comes From
by Abby Zimet
Published June 30 2010 on

Protests by workers at Bangladesh's many garment factories are spreading, even as riot police fire tear gas and water cannons at crowds of up to 20,000 people, including children. The workers are protesting conditions and wages, which now average $25 a month for sewing clothes for the western likes of Wal-Mart. One more reason among so many not to shop there. More photos here.