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A perfect storm of stupid

The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

These two lines were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “Snow-Flakes”, published in a volume in 1863 alongside his epic and better-known “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”. Much of the news chatter this week has been about Sarah Palin’s flubbing of the history of Revere’s famous ride in April 1775. Revere was on a late-night, clandestine mission to alert American revolutionaries of an impending British attack. Palin’s incorrect version had Revere loudly ringing a bell and shooting a gun on horseback as a warning to the British to back off. read more

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US universities in Africa ‘land grab’

From The Guardian

Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.

Researchers say foreign investors are profiting from “land grabs” that often fail to deliver the promised benefits of jobs and economic development, and can lead to environmental and social problems in the poorest countries in the world. read more

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The Good News in Wisconsin That the Media Isn’t Covering

Source: In These Times

This week in Madison, Wis., has seen the largest protests since a “budget repair bill” virtually outlawing collective bargaining proposed by Gov. Scott Walker inspired an occupation of the state capitol building and massive street protests this past winter.

Now, thousands are protesting Governor’s Walker drastic cuts to the social safety net and workers’ rights, contained in his 2011-2013 budgets. The budget would cut education funding by $824 million and Medicaid by $466 million. Walker is making these cuts despite giving away nearly $320 million in tax cuts to big corporations. read more


Two Reporters Taken Into Police Custody At Protest Against Gov. Walker’s Union-Busting Bill

Source: Democracy Now

(Photo courtesy of Rebecca Kemble)

More than a thousand Wisconsin workers marched through Madison, Wisconsin, today to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget repair” bill that slashes collective bargaining rights and funding for education, healthcare and seniors’ programs. During the march, police took into custody two credentialed journalists who were filming the protest.

Democracy Now! spoke with one of the reporters, Sam Mayfield, about 15 minutes after she was cited for disorderly conduct and released. Mayfield has been documenting protests in Madison since February for an upcoming documentary. read more