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Posted March 10, 2010

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending March 19, 2010



Between The Lines and Toward Freedom present
"Lessons from Latin American Social Movements for a U.S. in Crisis"
at the Left Forum
Pace University,
One Pace Plaza
New York, N.Y.
For more details, visit

Click here for details: "Lessons from Latin American Social Movements
for a U.S. in Crisis"
at the Left Forum
Session 1: Saturday, March 20, 10 a.m. - 11:50 p.m., Pace University, W612

Moderator: Scott Harris: producer, Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine

  • Marina Sitrin: author of "Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina" (AK Press)
  • Mario Murillo: radio journalist, media studies professor and author of "Voices of Resistance: Indigenous Radio and the Struggle for Social Justice in Colombia" forthcoming from South End Press.
  • Benjamin Dangl: editor of and, author of "The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia" (AK Press) and "Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America" (forthcoming, AK Press).


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This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

After Iraqi Vote, U.S. Withdrawal
Plans on Schedule

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with political analyst Raed Jarrar,
conducted by Scott Harris


Iraq's first parliamentary election since 2005 took place on March 7, and was hailed by President Barack Obama as a milestone in the nation's progress toward becoming a stable democracy. Despite insurgent bomb and rocket attacks in Baghdad and other cities, which killed 38, the Independent High Electoral Commission estimated voter turnout at 62 percent, down from the 75 percent who cast ballots in the last parliamentary election in December 2005.

Two days after the election, and before preliminary results were announced, the two leading political coalitions both claimed victory in the contest for the 325-seat Iraqi parliament. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition was in a tight race with the Iraqiya coalition lead by former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

Before the election, more than 500 candidates were banned from running for parliamentary seats due to their alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party. A new controversy erupted after the election when a list of 55 candidates, appointed to replace names from the initial banned list, were themselves disqualified. Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Iraqi-born political analyst Raed Jarrar, a senior fellow with the group Peace Action. Jarrar assesses the integrity of the Iraqi election and the status of plans for the withdrawal of U.S. troops by December 2011.

Read political analyst Raed Jarrar's commentaries online at

Related Links:

Seed Banks Challenge Corporate Control of Food Crops

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Kevin Greene,
founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Most people don't think much about the significance of seeds, but one speaker at the March 6 conference of the Connecticut chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, or NOFA, maintains that seeds are responsible for the development of civilization itself, because cultivation of food crops enabled humans to evolve from hunter-gatherers to farmers, leading to settled communities and the growth of cities.

Ken Greene is the founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, based in the village of Accord, N.Y. During a workshop at the NOFA conference, Greene examined the history of seeds, which for millennia were saved from one year's harvest and planted the next year. But with the growth of giant multinational conglomerates like Monsanto, the life of seeds has changed dramatically. When companies patent hybrid seeds or genetically modified organisms, they become private property, which means saving them for the next season becomes illegal. Now farmers and gardeners are forced to purchase new seeds every year from giant corporations.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Greene about the history of seeds, the role of private enterprise, and the fight in the form of seed exchanges and seeds banks.

Visit the Hudson Valley Seed Library's website at

Related links:

As Worker Productivity Rises,
Unemployment Remains at Record Levels

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Max Wolff,
economist and instructor
at The New School's graduate program
in international affairs,
conducted by Scott Harris


U.S. workers lost 8.4 million jobs since the economic meltdown began in December 2007, and although economists tell us the deepest recession since the Great Depression has officially ended, the unemployment rate is steady at 9.7 percent as of February. In a sign of rising pessimism about the economic future, 41 percent of the nation's unemployed have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in the fourth quarter of 2009, worker productivity increased at a 6.9 percent annual rate, revised upward from the initial 6.2 percent reported in February. The rise in productivity provides an explanation how the U.S. economy could have grown at an impressive rate of 5.9 percent in the final quarter of 2009, while unemployment remained at near record levels.

Increased worker productivity reflects the current strategies that businesses have employed to cut costs to the bone by both laying off their work force and demanding ever-increasing productive output and efficiency from fewer workers. With jobs scarce and labor unions in an extremely weak position to make demands on employers, wages and benefits for an increasingly more productive workforce are stagnating or in decline. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with economist Max Wolff, an instructor at The New School's graduate program in international affairs. Wolff provides an overview of the ailing U.S. economy and the challenges for workers as productivity increases and unemployment remains high.

See rush interview transcript.
Sign up for Between The Lines Q&A
interview transcripts.

Read Max Wolff's commentaries online at

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Richard Hill
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producers: Jeffrey P. Yates and Gil Gilmore
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editors: Hank Hoffman
Photo editor: Scott Harris
Outreach coordinator: Anna Manzo
Distribution: Anna Manzo and Jeffrey P. Yates
'Reading Between The Lines' bloggers: Reggie Johnson and Anna Manzo
Between The Lines Q&A editorial assistant: Melanie Muller
Theme music: Written by Richard Hill and Jody Gray, and performed by Mikata

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Left Forum: Lessons from Latin American Social Movements for the U.S.

Scott Harris will moderate this workshop at Pace University, One Pace Plaza New York, NY

How You Can Support Between The Lines

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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 3/12/10

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"Obama sabotages himself with fake 'pragmatism,'" by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Mar. 9, 2010

"The Pentagon shooter, insurrectionism, and right-wing bloggers," by Eric Boehlert, Smirking Chimp, Mar. 9, 2010

"Why Is Barack Obama Writing GOP Talking Points?," by Ari Melber, The Nation, Mar. 5, 2010

"Former Obama Adviser: Why Is the Administration So Unassertive?," by John Nichols, The Nation, Mar. 5, 2010

"Exclusive: RNC document mocks donors, plays on 'fear,'" Politico, Mar. 3, 2010

More newswire ...


"FDIC chief hits banks for not making loans," McClatchy Newspapers, Mar. 8, 2010

"Finance Superstars Talk About the Massive Fraud in Our Economic System" by Joe Costello, AlterNet, Mar. 8, 2010

"Blame it on the bubble," by Dean Baker, Guardian/UK, Mar. 8, 2010

"The Stealth Bailouts: The Problem is Political, Not Economic," by Mike Whitney, Counterounch, Mar. 5-7, 2010

"Systemic Denial," by Lawrence Lessig, Huffington Post, Mar. 4, 2010

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Waterboarding for dummies," by Mark Benjamin, Salon, Mar. 9, 2010

"Thiessen and the 'Al Qaeda Lawyers,'" by Scott Horton, Harper's, Mar. 9, 2010

"Compare and contrast," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Mar. 9, 2010

"Waterboarding too dangerous, internal DoD memo reveals," by Jeff Kaye, Invictus, Mar. 8, 2010

"Incompetent McCarthyism and Shared Beliefs," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Mar. 8, 2010

"Have You No Sense of Decency?," by David Luban, Balkinization, Mar. 6, 2010

"Ill. Judge Won't Toss Torture Suit Naming Rumsfeld," Associated Press, Mar. 6, 2010

"Bush/Cheney Pulled Torture Strings," by Robert Parry, Consortium News, Mar. 4, 2010

More newswire ...

International Affairs

" As Biden Visits, Israel Unveils Plan for New Settlements," The New York Times Mar. 9, 2010

"Amir, ten years old, abducted by Israeli soldiers from his bed," by Nora Barrows-Friedman, Electronic Intifada, Mar. 8, 2010

"Clinton's Latin American clangers," by Mark Weisbrot, Guardian/UK, Mar. 5, 2010

"Pacific Pushback: Has the U.S. Empire of Bases Reached Its High-Water Mark?," by Tom Engelhardt & John Feffer, TomDispatch, Mar. 4, 2010

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

" Fiction of Marja as City Was U.S. Information War," by Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service, Mar. 8, 2010

"As U.S. prepares to leave after 7 years, Iraq's future uncertain," McClatchy Newspapers, Mar. 5, 2010

"Disturbing story of Fallujah's birth defects," BBC News, Mar. 4, 2010

"One in three killed by US drones in Pakistan is a civilian, report claims," Telegraph/UK, Mar. 4, 2010

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"The New Jim Crow: How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste," by Tom Engelhardt & Michelle Alexander, TomDispatch, Mar. 8, 2010

"Experts Urge Keeping Civilian and Military Options in Terror Trials," The New York Times, Mar. 8, 2010

"A Campaign Promise Dies: Obama and Military Commissions," by Jason Leopold, Truthout, Mar. 8, 2010

"Revealed: The shocking truth about Tasers," Daily Mail/UK, Mar. 7, 2010

"Washington at Its Worst: Stop the Gitmo Sell-Out," by Tom Andrews, Common Dreams, Mar. 7, 2010

"More Than Words: Liz Cheney says terrorists have no rights. Also, you're a terrorist," by Dahlia Lithwick, Slate, Mar. 5, 2010

"Senate Debates Indefinite Detentions," by William Fisher, Inter Press Service, Mar. 5, 2010

"Obama, Congress Wink at Massive Surveillance Abuses," by Julian Sanchez, The American Prospect, Mar. 3, 2010

"DoD Releases Records of Illegal Surveillance," by William Fisher, Truthout, Mar. 3, 2010

"Cyberwar Hype Intended to Destroy the Open Internet," by Ryan Singel, Wired, Mar. 1, 2010

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Obama's Nuclear Dreams: Resurrecting a Noxious Industry," by Joshua Frank & Jeffrey St. Clair, Truthout, Mar. 9, 2010

"Humans driving extinction faster than species can evolve, say experts," Guardian/UK, Mar. 8, 2010

"Fresh Evidence Global Warming Is Man-Made," The Herald/Scotland, Mar. 5, 2010

"Huge Methane Leak in Arctic Ocean: Study," Agence France Presse, Mar. 5, 2010

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Why do journalists expect to have credibility?," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Mar. 7, 2010

"Glenn Beck, Radical Hit Man for the Tea Partiers, Is Breeding Potential Violence," by Les Leopold, AlterNet, Mar. 1, 2010

"Left gears up to fight media wars," Politico, Mar. 6, 2010

"The full-scale collapse: From Murrow to Blitzer," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Mar. 4, 2010

"Inside the TV Wars: The battles to watch over what you can watch," by Megan Tady, Extra!, Mar., 2010

More newswire ...


"MoveOn endorses John Hall, Congressional advocate for Israel's murder of civilians," by Stephen Zunes, Common Dreams, Mar. 9, 2010

"Protesters Plan 'Citizens Arrests' of Health Insurers' Leaders in D.C.," IFAwebnews, Mar. 9, 2010

"Health Care Protesters Face Off Against Insurance Lobbyists," Huffington Post, Mar. 9, 2010

"Calling All Rebels," by Chris Hedges, TruthDig, Mar. 8, 2010

"The Rightwing Witch Hunt Against ACORN," by Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, Mar. 8, 2010

"The Women I Love (on Women's Day): Agitators Who Stand Up to Big Coal," by Jeff Biggers, Common Dreams, Mar. 8, 2010

"March 5: Building a Movement, Starting Today," by Nick Palmquist, Daily Californian (California), Mar. 5, 2010

"Facebook protest isn't enough. Selma vets and young activists must share lessons," by Paul Lamb, Christian Science Monitor, Mar. 5, 2010

"For young activists, video is their voice," Boston Globe, Mar. 5, 2010

"Students' 'Day Of Action' Protests Grow As Education Goes Private," Reuters, Mar. 4, 2010

More newswire ...

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