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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Taxpayers Reject Blank Check for Wall Street Bailout
14 Feb 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine --Weekly Summary
Between The Lines Weekly Summary For The Week Ending Feb. 20, 2009

http://www.btlonline.org/2009/btl022009.html

ANNOUNCEMENTS
You are invited to a Saturday, Feb. 21 sneak preview screening in Hamden, CT of “Billboard from Bethlehem”2-4 p.m
Unitarian Society of New Haven,
700 Hartford Turnpike
Hamden, CT
$15 suggested donation
Seating limited, reservations suggested
(203) 268-8446


Between The Lines will be screening a film documentary about former Israeli soldiers and former Palestinian fighters advocating for a nonviolent resolution to the Mideast conflict: "Combatants for Peace and the Billboard from Bethlehem." Producer/director Bruce Barrett of IWagePeace.org and former Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Maj. Elik Elhanan will speak, followed by a Q&A and reception with light refreshments. Suggested donation is $15. Net proceeds benefit Gaza relief and Squeaky Wheel Productions, nonprofit distributor of Between The Lines. Seating limited, reservations recommended. For reservations, directions and more information, call (203) 268-8446 ext. 3 or visit http://www.squeakywheel.net


If you can't attend, but would like to help Between The Lines spread more voices of peace on the airwaves, please donate to our Winter 2009 appeal. We've raised $1,085 and are still just $415 shy of our $1,500 goal.


It's easier than ever to donate online directly:

www.firstgiving.com/betweenthelines


or, if you prefer to send a check, make your check payable to our tax-exempt fiscal sponsor, "The Global Center"

and mail to:

Squeaky Wheel Productions
P.O. Box 110176
Trumbull, CT 06611

Wishing you a more peaceful world in 2009,

Scott, Melinda, Denise, Bob, Anna, Chris, Richard, Hank, Jeff, Bill, Indu, Elaine, and Prue

The Between The Lines CrewBetween The Lines
For The Week Ending Feb. 20, 2009

http://www.btlonline.org/2009/btl022009.html


THIS WEEK'S PROGRAM

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and: Replace Wall Street's Phantom Wealth with Main Street's Real Wealth Interview with David C. Korten, author of "Agenda for a New Economy: from Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth," conducted by Scott Harris

After campaigning hard in his first three weeks in office for an economic stimulus package to address the nation's deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama efforts' paid off, but with two very different bills passing the House and Senate. The Senate approved a $838 billion stimulus bill, while only attracting the votes of three Senate Republicans. The House, which passed its own $819 billion stimulus package with no GOP votes, must now work with the Senate to negotiate a unified bill. Obama has urged the restoration of $108 billion in cuts made by the Senate in school construction funds and assistance for cash-strapped states. Both spending bills allocate money for job-creating infrastructure projects, mass transit, increased funding for unemployment benefits, health care and food stamps to assist those hard hit by the economic downturn.

Meanwhile, the newly confirmed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, unveiled key elements of the Obama administration's bank bailout plan. The plan includes a review of shaky banks, with strings attached to new government aid; incentives to attract the purchase of $500 billion or more in toxic mortgage-backed securities; the spending of at least $50 billion to prevent future home foreclosures and Federal Reserve stimulation of private sector lending.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with David C. Korten, founder and president of the People Centered Development Forum, and author of the critically acclaimed books "The Great Turning" and "When Corporations Rule the World." His new book is titled, "Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth." Here, Korten explains why he believes the current U.S. financial crisis has exposed the critical need to redesign the dysfunctional and dangerous architecture of the U.S. economic system.

Read David C. Korten articles and commentaries online at his website: www.davidkorten.org Obama Gives Mixed Signals on Warrantless Surveillance Telecom Immunity Interview with Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, conducted by Scott Harris

Just one day after President Bush left the White House, former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice came forward to disclose that he had seen first-hand evidence that the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program had monitored the domestic communications of all Americans, and most disturbingly targeted U.S. journalists. Tice, who made these charges on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC Countdown newsprogram, has confirmed he was one of the anonymous sources for The New York Times 2005 story on the government's warrantless wiretapping program.

Tice's disclosure corroborates some of what former AT&T employee Mark Klein revealed, describing the phone giant's facilities in San Francisco where domestic and international phone and email traffic were routed to a secret room allegedly used by the National Security Agency.

During the presidential campaign, many of Barack Obama's supporters were disappointed when then-Sen. Obama cast a reluctant vote in favor of a Senate bill that granted retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies which had cooperated with the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance operations. Now in the Oval Office, Obama has the power to undo the retroactive immunity law. But thus far, the president and his recently confirmed Attorney General Eric Holder have given mixed signals on their intentions. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who examines the legal levers the Obama administration has to undo the Bush administration's illegal wiretap program.

EFF currently has lawsuits against AT&T, the U.S. government and is challenging the constitutionality of the law granting telecom immunity. Contact the Foundation by calling (415) 436-9333 or visit their website at www.eff.org. Massachusetts Decriminalizes Marijuana

Excerpt of a talk by Jack Cole, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus The media frenzy surrounding the published photos revealing that Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps smoked marijuana during a party points to the hypocrisy surrounding the drug, which is the third most popular recreational drug in America, behind only alcohol and tobacco. In reaction to his admission of marijuana use, Phelps was suspended for three months from the U.S. swim team and cereal company. Kellogg's announced it will not renew its product endorsement contract with the swimmer.

According to government surveys, some 20 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 11 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. But marijuana is considered far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, about 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning and more than 400,000 from tobacco use. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. In the past decade, 6.5 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges and tens of thousands are in prison, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

On Feb. 4, a conference on reforming drug policy was held at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. One of the speakers was Jack Cole, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP, a group founded by retired police officers, judges and prosecutors which works to legalize and regulate currently illegal drugs. Cole describes the successful effort last year to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts.

Contact Law Enforcement Against Prohibition by calling (781) 393-6985 or visit their website at www.leap.cc. To register an opinion with Kellogg's about their cancellation of Michael Phelps' endorsement contract - call toll-free, 1-800-962-1413. This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear program who orchestrated a black-market nuclear operation, was released from house arrest in early February. But considerable doubt remains about whether Khan's underground network has been disbanded. ("Pakistani Nuclear Scientist Set Free" Reuters, Feb. 6, 2009; "Nuclear Scientist A.Q. Khan is Freed from House Arrest" Washington Post, Feb. 7, 2009)

The Obama administration's policy on Africa will get an early test in the International Criminal Court, as the court is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, on charges of committing atrocities in Darfur, western Sudan. ("Sudan Retains Clout While Charges Loom," Washington Post, Feb. 9, 2009; "Obama's Darfur Test," American Prospect, Jan. 29, 2009)

Activists are hoping Green Stimulus funds from the Obama administration will revive the clean power industry, but Congress is reluctant to fund longer-term projects like upgrading the electric power grid or high-speed rail. ("Help Wanted for Green Jobs,'" The Nation, Feb. 16, 2009) If you are interested in Between The Lines Q&A, a weekly interviewtranscript with RealAudio link, email btlqa-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net.To subscribe to Between The Lines Weekly Summary, e-mailbtlsummary-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net.To unsubscribe, email btlsummary-unsubscribe (at) lists.riseup.net
See also:
http://www.btlonline.org
http://www.btlonline.org

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