fonts are getting chopped

When booted to a Live CD produced with livecd-tools, and using the Gnome desktop, text on the desktop itself, and in the Firefox web browser, is displayed with parts of letters being chopped off.  For the desktop itself, part of the first letter of each line of text is truncated on the left.  In Firefox (version 3.0.1 in my case), lines of text are truncated on the top (about the upper 15-20% of every line). 
Has anyone else seen this, and if so do you know a way around it?  If you'd like more details of my setup here, or more clarification of the problem (I have screen shots) please let me know.
Thanks much,

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