Cold News

August 12, 2004

 

 

BROWER POWER - A spotlight on young enviro activists

2004 Brower Youth Awards Honor Outstanding Student Environmental Leaders

Time To Get Out The Bush

Steve Weissman | How Far Will Bush Go? - t r u t h o u t

On the most effective personal eco-actions

Carter exposed the dirty truth

The Revolution Starts...Now

Big Coal for Bush, Kerry Seeks Alternatives - t r u t h o u t

Not Scared Yet? Try Connecting These Dots - Ray McGovern

The Oil We Eat

Saving the rain forests, starting with the city

Report: Global Warming Means More Smog - t r u t h o u t

Laws of the Jungle - Steve Chapple

Hunter Lovins, thinker on sustainability, answers readers' questions

San Rafael man leads team in Everest ascent

Judge Rejects Tree Selection Process - t r u t h o u t

The stakes are too high to sit this out - Bruce Springsteen

Remember the Moral of the Story - Jimmy Breslin

Remembering Hiroshima at Los Alamos

Survival of ancient tree hinges on political will - JIMMY LANGMAN

Forest Service exaggerates fire impact on wildlife to justify logging expansion

Gimme Some Lovins - Interview with Hunter Lovins

Forest Battles Escalate in Oregon

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. | Forest For the Trees - t r u t h o u t

Eisenhower's 1956 Message Lost on Today's Misguided Republican Party

Bush Like Custer

Let the Colorado Run Again - t r u t h o u t

All Bush Has to Sell, Is Fear Itself

Putting E-Voting to Rest

Bush Eases Pesticide Reviews for Endangered Species - t r u t h o u t

Gene Warfare in Oaxaca

Amanda Griscom | Convene Green - t r u t h o u t

Enough to make you misty-eyed - one of the Sierra's most awesome spectacles

Environmentalist David Brower and the fight to save the earth

Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior

'All we have to fear is Bush'

Michael Moore's Speech in Cambridge, Mass.

Salmon Advocates Sue EPA over Bad Science - t r u t h o u t

An Excuse-Spouting Bush Is Busted by 9/11 Report - Robert Scheer

World Creeping Closer to 'Oil Shock' - t r u t h o u t

Bush's Dark Pages in Conservation History - Stewart L. Udall

GOODBYE, ROADLESS RULE

A `Monumental' opener for Woods Hole fest

EAW Quick Links -- July 26, 2004

"Wildlands at Risk" Report Details Bush Administration's Assault on Wild America

Empire building is nasty work

Armed and dangerous - Salon

An Error of Supreme Dimensions - William Greider

Islandwire: News from Earth Island Institute - July 19, 2004

Outdoorsmen Are Now Seeing through Bush, Too - t r u t h o u t

Republicans Blast President Bush on Environment

Hightower's zingers at fellow Texan delight local crowd

It's Time to Stop Whalers from Bending the Rules

William Rivers Pitt | Torturing Children - t r u t h o u t

Whalers move for return to slaughter

Petty Politics in Yosemite

Tangled Vines - The collapse of Radanovich Winery

Bush Denies Funds for U.N. Population Programs - t r u t h o u t

Maine Churches Add Environmentalism to Ministries

Warming the World to Dry our Socks - Bill McKibben

Republicans Biggest Threat to the West - t r u t h o u t

A Cloud over Civilization - JK Galbraith

Dissent at the War Memorial - Howard Zinn

George W Bush: Presidential or Pathological? - Arianna Huffington

Terrorism and the Election: California is the Target!

'Doonesbury' Artist Trudeau Skewers Bush

Developer Wants to Ease Condor Rules - t r u t h o u t

Jim Hightower Says "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush"

Bush Seeks Shift in Logging Rules - t r u t h o u t

Dumping on Yucca Mountain

US ends ban on roads through forests

The Sierra Club's Inexplicable Treatment of Cynthia McKinney

San Francisco Chronicle | Give the EPA an Earful - t r u t h o u t

When the Children Ask, "Where have All the Animals Gone?" What will We Say?

Sculpture to land in Berkeley

Nuclear Waste: Nevada Loses Appeal - t r u t h o u t

'They hate freedom' - George W. Bush devalues the word "freedom"

Bush Science Policy Uses 'Political Litmus Test' - t r u t h o u t

Sculpture depicting environmentalist is offered to city

Give it Back George! The Lay Loot That Bought the White House - Greg Palast

Sculpture in David Brower's likeness expected

Forest Service Signs Plan to Log Timber Burned in Biscuit Fire - t r u t h o u t

Reclaim the Spirit of Democracy! - AlterNet

Monumental - David Brower's Fight for Wild America

Another Attack on the Arctic - BRUCE BABBITT

Sierra Club Launches New Youth-Oriented Campaign: "Hybrid Evolution"

Iraq's martial-law powers unveiled

New Policies to Cool the Globe - t r u t h o u t

Drought draining Lake Powell power generating capacity

Recruitment Announcement - Wild Planet Strategy Team

Edwards/Clinton/The Dems Platform Committee - The Nation

COURT RULES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE MUST HALT YOSEMITE VALLEY PLAN PROJECTS

The 2003 Brower Youth Award Winners Speak Up

The Next Agenda

Julia Butterfly's Calendar - CIRCLE of LIFE

Butterfly Gardener: Events Calendar & Action Alerts

 

 

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Grist Magazine - 10 Aug 2004

http://www.gristmagazine.com/maindish/nijhuis081004.asp


Brower Power - A spotlight on young enviro activists

by Michelle Nijhuis

David Brower, a pioneer of the U.S. environmental movement, once said that his generation depended on young people "to shape us up before it's too late."

Though Brower -- former executive director of the Sierra Club, founder of Friends of the Earth and the Earth Island Institute -- passed away in 2000, his legacy lives on: He established the Brower Fund, which cultivates new environmental leaders through the annual Brower Youth Awards. Award winners -- aged 13 to 22 -- are chosen by a panel of activists organized by the Earth Island Institute. They get a $3,000 prize, and ongoing advice and mentoring from top environmental activists.

This year's six winners are diverse in their activities; they're defending old-growth forests, promoting clean energy, helping get environmental protection back onto the national agenda -- and, of course, doing all they can to shape up their elders.

Shadia Wood
When Shadia Wood was 2 years old, her hometown of Newport, N.Y., was targeted for a landfill. Just before a local protest against the project, her mother cut eyeholes and armholes in a paper bag, added the slogan "Don't Dump on Me," and declared her daughter ready for some political theater. "That was my first action," says Wood, who at age 17 is now an experienced environmental activist.

She's served as the national youth spokesperson for the group Kids Against Pollution. She also spent nearly five years lobbying for the refinancing of the New York State Superfund, a program intended to clean up the state's worst contaminated sites. Wood takes a strong stand against toxic waste: "It will affect me one day, and it will affect our children. I don't want the world to be more contaminated than it was when I came into it." Wood made repeated trips to the statehouse, lobbying in support of the Superfund bill. And in an ingenious bit of activism, her group held bake sales and ran lemonade stands to earn toxic-waste cleanup dollars. "We'd send the money we raised to the governor and tell him it was for the Superfund," she says. Dedication paid off, and the Superfund bill became law in 2003. "I never really thought it would pass," says Wood. "When it did, I was so amazed, and then I thought, 'OK, what's the next bill?'"

As Wood enters her senior year of high school, she's joined a campaign to beef up New York's bottle bill.

Hannah McHardy
When Hannah McHardy learned that the ancient temperate rainforests near her Seattle home were among the most endangered forests on the planet, she decided to make activism part of her education. With the help of one of her Nova High School teachers, David Goldman ("a huge inspiration and motivator," she says), she started a student group called Eco-Justice. The group joined a Rainforest Action Network campaign to convince Seattle-based Weyerhaeuser Co. to stop cutting old-growth trees. Group members also researched paper use at Nova High School, then located a company that was willing to supply the school with affordable recycled paper.

When the students presented their study results to administrators and fellow students, the school promptly adopted a new paper policy: Nova now uses only 100 percent post-consumer waste, non-chlorine bleached paper.

McHardy, 18, hasn't slowed down since then. She's spending this summer on the Arctic Sunrise, a Greenpeace boat campaigning against logging in the Tongass National Forest. "I've learned so much, mostly by being around the incredible international crew," she wrote in an email to Grist. "Some of them have been activists longer than I've been alive, and they have mad stories, great advice, and the patience to teach me new things."

After she returns to Seattle later this month, she plans to spend a year as a full-time activist, probably continuing her work with the Rainforest Action Network's Weyerhaeuser campaign. Then she'll head off to college, where she hopes to study environmental education.


Billy Parish
You might say that Billy Parish is majoring in activism: Since his first year at Yale University, he's been deeply involved with the student environmental movement. By the time he became co-chair of the Yale environmental group, he'd developed a particular interest in clean energy and energy-policy reform, and he started thinking big. "I realized there were a lot of great groups working on energy issues throughout the region, but the work wasn't being coordinated," he says. So in 2003, he founded the Climate Campaign, an umbrella group of 10 student organizations representing about 125 college campuses throughout the Northeast. Though these groups may disagree about strategy and philosophy, they've settled on a common goal: greater use of wind power and other clean-energy sources on their home campuses.

"Climate change is a gigantic global issue, and sometimes it's hard for people to see how they can have an impact," says Parish. "But if we take it from the global to the local, someone can say, 'I don't know what I can do in a large sense, but if I can get my campus to use clean energy, that's important.'" Three colleges in Maine already use 100 percent clean energy, and members of the Climate Campaign hope their network will increase the momentum of the green-campus movement. A February 2004 Northeast Climate Conference at Harvard University attracted more than 400 students from throughout the region.

Parish, now 22, has taken time off from school to work full-time for the campaign. "I feel like this is work that needs doing now, and I love it," he says.


Lily Duong
Sixteen-year-old Lily Duong lives in South Pasadena, Calif., where nature can sometimes seem very far away. But that feeling changes when Duong visits Arroyo Seco, a canyon that holds some of the last undeveloped habitat within the city. "When I go down there, I can feel peace," she says. "It doesn't have all the pretense and noise of the city -- nature is really accepting."
Duong first visited the canyon in seventh grade, about a year after she and her family first arrived in the U.S. from China.

As part of the Arroyo Field Science Team, she and her schoolmates documented the arroyo's elderberries, sycamores, live oaks, and other plants and animals. A year later, when the program faltered from lack of interest, she persevered; she was the only student to help the group's advisor continue his scientific work in the canyon. As a first-year high school student, Duong restarted the club, eventually boosting membership to 20 students. The revitalized group recently helped convince the South Pasadena City Council to protect a four-acre area as the Arroyo Seco Woodland and Wildlife Park, slated to open to the public this September. Duong and her group plan to stay involved with the study and restoration of the area. And Duong hopes to continue her adventures in nature.

"I'm really interested in environmental work -- I want to be an ecologist," she says. She also wants to explore some of the West's big wilderness areas, but first, she says, she'll have to get her driver's license.


Christina Wong
In his 2004 State of the Union address, President Bush made only a single passing reference to conservation issues. The day after the speech, University of California-Berkeley junior Christina Wong responded with an announcement to her environmental politics class: She was the campus recruiter for the national League of Conservation Voters, and she was looking for help. "People were pretty riled up" by the president's failure to address environmental issues, she remembers, and five of her classmates agreed to pitch in. The small group set up tables on campus, buttonholed students throughout the spring, and asked them to volunteer for the LCV's summer campaign in the swing states of Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin. By the end of the semester, Wong and her crew had signed up 20 students for a total of 63 weeks of swing-state canvassing.

President Bush's record came to Wong's aid on the campaign trail as well: "Most people don't know that Bush got an 'F'" from the LCV, she says. "It immediately opens their eyes when they hear it. They say, 'Wow, what is the President doing to earn an 'F'?"

Wong, who has interned at the state capitol in Sacramento and with the Natural Resources Defense Council, says she will continue her environmental work after graduation next year -- even though grassroots organizing has its tough moments. "You get ignored 80 percent of the time," she says. "It bugs you to get rejected, but it makes up for it when you get someone who's really interested."


Eugene Pearson
University of Colorado student politician Eugene Pearson knows how to drive a hard bargain. When the school's administration proposed a hefty student fee increase to pay for the construction of a new university law school and three other campus buildings, Pearson defended both his constituents and the environment. The student government -- which is required to approve all student fee hikes -- agreed to pay the bill, but not without concessions.

"We said, 'Let's do this on the students' terms,'" says Pearson, a Wisconsin native who was then vice president of the student union legislative council. "We wanted [the building project] done green, and we wanted it to be conscious of labor issues." Negotiations led to the administration's agreement to make all four new buildings meet the "silver" standard of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building rating system, with 1 percent of building costs going toward meeting the even higher LEED gold standard. The university also agreed to pay project workers a living wage, and to earmark 20 percent of the new fee for student financial aid. Though the student body didn't vote on the fee increase and green-building plans, several thousand students testified during a public comment period, with supporters outnumbering opponents by 4-to-1.

Pearson, 21, is now president of the student union legislative council, and will graduate with a molecular biology degree in the fall of 2005. Ultimately, he says, he'd like to help bridge the worlds of science and politics, perhaps as a policy adviser on Capitol Hill.

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From Earth Island Institute - Wednesday, August 11, 2004

http://www.enn.com/direct/display-release.asp?objid=D1D1366D000000FE4EE5BD111DE69B2E


2004 Brower Youth Awards Honor Outstanding Student Environmental Leaders


For Immediate Release: August 10, 2004

Contacts:

Susan Ives, 415 381-4250, 415 987-6764
Mikhail Davis 415 788-3666 ext 112

ENVIRONMENTAL ROLLBACKS FIRE UP YOUNG ACTIVISTS

National Award Honors Outstanding Student Leaders


Earth Island Institute today named six student leaders to receive the Brower Youth Award, the nation's most prestigious award for young environmental activists. The award, in its fifth year, is named for David Brower, the firebrand environmentalist who inspired a growing conservation movement from the 1950s until his death in 2000 at age 88. Brower founded the San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute in 1982 to incubate new projects and leaders in environmental advocacy.

The Brower Youth Awards carry a $3,000 prize. The six awardees will travel to California, where they will be honored at a public ceremony in Berkeley, California on September 30. Environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, founder of Circle of Life, and youth advocate Van Jones, founder and director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will host the ceremony, with a performance by activist and hip-hop musician Michael Franti.

"This year's winners represent a new generation of leadership," said David Phillips, executive director of Earth Island Institute. "At a time when our top elected leaders have shirked their responsibility to protect the environment, these young people are saying 'bring it on.'"


The 2004 Brower Youth Award winners:


Lily Dong
, 16, South Pasadena, California

As a seventh grader, Lily began what became a 4-year campaign to protect the last remaining undeveloped area in her city, which will open this fall as the Arroyo Seco Woodland and Wildlife Park.


Hannah McHardy, 18, Seattle, Washington

Hannah led demonstrations protesting timber giant Weyerhaeuser Corporation's destruction of old growth forests and hand delivered 2,000 letters to Weyerhaeuser's CEO at the company's headquarters. She successfully lobbied the state to reform logging practices on state-owned lands. She and her classmates also convinced their high school to switch from using virgin fiber paper to 100 percent recycled.


Billy Parish, 22, New York, New York

As a student at Yale, Billy started The Climate Campaign to take aim at global warming. He mobilized students on more than 130 campuses to take action to change their state governments' and schools' energy policies to reduce global warming emissions and bring alternative energy technologies into the main stream.


Eugene Pearson, 21, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Eugene and his colleagues on the student council turned the tables on rising college fees by requiring that their money be spent to "green" the University of Colorado. Under the agreement, all new buildings must run on 100 percent renewable energy, making CU-Boulder's green building standards the strongest of any university in the country.


Shadia Wood, 17, Newport, New York

At age seven, Shadia attended a kids' conference on toxic waste where she learned that New York's Superfund, established to clean up the state's worst toxic sites, was going bankrupt. She became a leader in Kids Against Pollution and spent the next nine years lobbying to restore Superfund. She even opened a lemonade stand on the steps of the Capitol to raise money for the fund. Last year, Governor George Pataki signed the bill to refinance Superfund, with Shadia and her fellow lobbyists looking on.


Christina Wong, 21, Sacramento, California

A student at University of California at Berkeley, Christina founded a local chapter of the League of Conservation Voters and helped re-engage students in politics on this historically active campus.
Christina also recruited student interns to dedicate a month of their summer vacation to registering voters in "swing states" as part a national campaign aimed at electing environmentally friendly candidates to office.



Brower Youth Award winners are available for interviews. For more information on the 2004 Brower Youth Awards winners, including photographs please visit www.earthisland.org/bya


About Brower Youth Awards

Now in its fifth year, The Brower Youth Awards were conceived by Earth Island Institute to recognize and celebrate a new generation of leaders following in the footsteps of David Brower, the legendary environmental activist who died in 2000 at age 88. Environmental leaders ages 13-22 who live in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are eligible to apply. An independent selection committee reviews the applications, selecting six winners annually. Earth Island staff provide support and resources to all winners of the Brower Youth Awards to encourage their ongoing development as leaders. Information about the program and the application process can be found at www.earthisland.org/bya


About Earth Island Institute

Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 to incubate new leaders and campaigns that address urgent and emerging environmental issues. Today Earth Island's network includes more than 30 projects in more than 25 countries. Since its creation, Earth Island has spawned a number of leading environmental organizations, including the Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers Network, the International Marine Mammal Project, Bluewater Network, and Urban Habitat Program. To learn more about Earth Island Institute and its unique organizational structure, please visit www.earthisland.org


About David Brower

David Ross Brower was born in Berkeley and lived there throughout his life. An avid mountaineer, Brower made more than 70 first ascents and served in the Tenth Mountain Division during World War II. His love of wilderness climbing led him in 1952 to become the first executive director of the Sierra Club, a post he held until 1969. Brower went on to found Friends of the Earth, the League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute, the Brower Fund, and the Fate and Hope of the Earth Conferences. He was three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and received numerous international awards for conservation.

Books by and about David Brower include:

Encounters with the Archdruid, by John McPhee; For Earth's Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower, by David Brower; Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Those Who Would Save the Earth, by David Brower and Steve Chapple.

David Brower is subject of the new documentary from Loteria Films,
"Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America," to be released
fall 2004. www.loteriafilms.org


For more information, contact:
Brower Youth Awards

an initiative of
Earth Island Institute
300 Broadway, suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133
Web site:
http://www.earthisland.org/bya

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Published on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0811-14.htm


Time To Get Out The Bush

How Do You Know It's Time for a Major Change in
American Leadership? Let us Count the Signs


by Mark Morford


You know it's time for a serious change when the president of the United States actually mutters the infantile,
instantly infamous line, "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking
about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," just after finishing phonetically
spelling out his name, in his favoritest red crayon, on yet another budget-reaming $417 billion
defense-spending bill.

And you know it's time for a change when not a single one of the rigid and spiritually curdled military yes men
standing around the ceremonial signing table, those sad automatons with their wooden smiles and stiff spines
and bone-dry souls, not one broke into a hysterical bout of sad, suicidal laughter, followed by uncontrolled
wailing and the rending of flesh and the muttering of oh my freaking God what the hell is this man doing as
leader of the free world.

You know it's time for a change when you hear that Kerry and Edwards both wrote their own riveting,
galvanizing acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention, heartfelt and effective rhetoric that
gives you hope not for the quality of polished oratory but for genuine, refreshing political intellect, and verbal
acumen, as you offer deep thanks that at least some politicians can still speak coherently and cogently
without mangling the goddamn language at every adjectival clause.

Whereas you just know Dubya isn't capable of writing a single word of his own speeches, and will employ
entire squadrons of lackeys to do it for him at the RNC, and will regardless still insist on mispronouncing
"nukuler" and "'Murka" and "terrist" and "gin bender at Yale," and will doubtlessly say something like, "We
must stamp out evil in all its forms because evil wants to do evil things to us and evil don't know the depths of
its own, uh, evilnesses. Praise Jesus."

There are signs and indicators. There are feelings and intuitions. There is that undeniable tang in the air, that
clenching of the cultural colon, that cringe in the collective soul. Something has got to give. A national
shakeup is more than imminent -- it is desperately, urgently needed. And Bush is just about finished.

Don't you feel it? The sensation that the country cannot continue to careen down this ultraviolent,
antihumanitarian path much longer without implosion and desperation and a massive increase in sedative
prescriptions for anyone with an even slightly intuitive sense of justice and future and long hot sighs of hope?
You're not alone.

You know it's time for a dramatic change when American bookstores and movie theaters are filled with
unprecedented numbers of extraordinarily damning BushCo exposés and embarrassing tell-all tomes and
brutal whistle-blower digests from all corners of the culture, produced by everyone from disheartened CIA
insiders to ex-generals to respected reporters to former U.S. allies.

From Clarke's "Against All Enemies," Woodward's "Plan of Attack," Suskind's "The Price of Loyalty," Phillips'
"American Dynasty," Unger's "House of Bush, House of Saud" and "Imperial Hubris," by 'Anonymous,' to
"Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Outfoxed" and "The Hunting of the President." Go ahead, Google any one (or all) of
those titles. The list is endless and stunning in its depth and in the heat of its unanimous BushCo
condemnation.

Hell, it's getting so you can't turn a corner or have a nuanced, humane thought without confronting another
hunk of undeniable proof that what these media documents say is true: The Bush administration is quite
possibly the most economically destructive, environmentally devastating, ethically corrupt, internationally
loathed, deliberately tyrannical, worst-dressed administration in American history.

What, too harsh? Hardly.

When the professors and other intellectuals and the artists and the social workers and the mystics and the
truly spiritual among us are appalled and mournful, and the homophobes and the rednecks and the religious
zealots are cheering and shooting their guns in the sky, this is how you know.

When America has become a global punch line, a petulant and screeching child in an oversize Texas cowboy
hat throwing oily little tantrums on a WMD whim, and the global community can only sit there, stunned and
enraged, as every ally withdraws all offers of support and overtures of concern for our well-being, this is how
you know.

The activists know it. Angry groups are popping up by the hundreds across the nation, all working diligently to
toss a nice emetic into the Republican gorge-fest. Some are even going so far as to offer up the ultimate
sacrifice: They will have sex with any Republicans willing to withhold their Bush vote this election.

It's true. It's funny. It's called fthevote.com. What, too extreme? Hey, extreme times call for extreme
lubrication.

The watchdogs know it. The usual reaction from most analysts and wonks, most intellectuals and artists, when
faced with another presidential election, is this: Yawn. After all, such ultra-elitist, top-tier shifts have little effect
on the massive daily political grind, the real meat and potatoes of government, right? This is the common
wisdom. A change in presidents is like changing the paint on an aircraft carrier: different patina, same damn
boat.

Not this time. All those who normally claim that a change in who sits in the Oval Office means nothing are now
all frantically waving their arms and shouting their protests and joining the resistance. This election is different.
This one matters like never before in history, considering how so many of us underestimated just how much
damage a single president's gnarled, hateful administration could unleash upon the world in a single term.

This is the new rallying cry. If you care at all about the soul of this country, if you care at all about women's
rights and gay rights and true spiritual freedom and the environment and our international standing, if you
care at all about actually reducing the anti-U.S. hatred in the world, as opposed to amplifying it a
thousandfold, then oh my god yes, this election matters.

This, then, is how you know it's time for a serious change. When you can feel it in your bones, when you
finally attune and really listen to the underlying messages and dig deep into your own spirit and discover that
no, this isn't the way the world is supposed to work. This is not the way the country has to be.

This is not the way the world's greatest superpower is supposed to behave, this bitter metallic taste that leaps
into my mouth whenever I see a picture of BushCo isn't really supposed to be there, the vice president isn't
supposed to make children cry and flowers wilt and the gods recoil in disgust.

And the president isn't supposed to mangle the language and induce multiple wars and invite international
derision and make so many millions of us ashamed to be Americans. It's time for a serious change. This is
how you know.

©2004 SF Gate

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 2:47 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | How Far Will Bush Go?

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.12

Steve Weissman | How Far Will Bush Go?

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204A.shtml

Mapuche Indians in Chile Struggle to Take Back Forests
http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Kerry Criticizes Plan to Send Nuclear Waste to Nevada
http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Fighting Intensifies as Iraqi South Threatens Secession
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204B.shtml

Plame Leak Case Could End in Supreme Court Stand-off
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204C.shtml

Wounded Soldiers Are Adapting to Altered Lives
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204D.shtml

U.N. Traces Iran's Uranium to Tainted Equipment
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204E.shtml

David Lazarus | Economy Is Bush's Downfall
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204F.shtml

Le Monde | An Iraqi Model?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204H.shtml

Michael Tomasky | None Too Swift
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204I.shtml

New York Lockdown
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204J.shtml

Vermont Will Sue U.S. for the Right to Import Drugs
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204L.shtml

Treasury Reports Record 400 Billion Deficit
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204V.shtml

White House Has Terror Experts Worried
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204W.shtml

FOCUS: Howard Dean | Terror Alerts - Substance or Politics?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204X.shtml

FOCUS: Kerry Vows to Keep Nuclear Waste out of Nevada
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204Y.shtml

Halliburton Finds More Trouble in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081204Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Lesser Mortals'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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Grist | Ask Umbra | Ms. Big Stuff | 05 Aug 2004

http://www.gristmagazine.com/ask/ask080504.asp?source=weekly

On the most effective personal eco-actions

by Umbra Fisk

05 Aug 2004

Dear Umbra,

A lot of the questions people ask you ultimately involve pretty negligible results. When you are talking about the balance sheet of the world, does it really matter if I use a more or less environmentally responsible solution to wash my fruit? I'm wondering what three major concrete changes you'd recommend that people make, which might be more difficult to implement than using lower-energy lightbulbs but would really let us rest easy at night knowing we'd contributed?

Cate
New York, N.Y.

Dearest Cate,

How did you know about the rash of fruit-washing questions? You're right, I get gobs of questions from people basically looking for input on their grocery shopping list, or an OK for flushing used Kleenex tissues (I'm not kidding). My inbox is often a source of laughs and incredulity (I keep a "ridiculous" letters folder, and the Kleenex questions aren't even stored there), but an equal number of letters reflect the maturity of the environmental movement. Readers have a strong grasp of the political and economic complexities that influence our use of natural resources, and I'm often baffled by missives whose content is far beyond my pathetic comprehension. People asking about used Kleenex will often poke fun at themselves for worrying about the "small stuff," in the argot of our day.

I'll tell you right away, my answer to the substance of your question is based on an excellent book from the Union of Concerned Scientists,

The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices
<http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/partner?partner_id=25450&amp;cgi=product&amp;isbn=060980281x>
.

Being scientists, the authors studied the answer to your question with alarming thoroughness, developed elaborate ways to calculate the effects an individual has on the environment, picked out the most fruitful possibilities for effective change, and presented opinionated answers in this informative book. Will it tell you which cleanser to purchase? Nyet.

Four general areas of effective action that improve beauty sleep are:

1. Transport
2. Food
3. The heavy parts of home
4. Activism

Making changes in these areas of your life has a guaranteed impact on water pollution, air quality, global warming, and habitat preservation -- positive or negative depending on the sort of change you make.

The specifics here are not going to surprise you. Cut down on driving, live close to work, take mass transit when possible, walk or bike when you can, buy the smallest car for your needs, and advocate for transit alternatives in your area. Personal cars and trucks really do spew pollutants, from birth through death.

It turns out that food-purchasing choices are important as well as faddish. If we cut down our meat consumption and buy organic when possible, we will also be reducing our consumption of land and water and our contributions to the pollution of both. We can begin to implement positive daily food and transit changes now, in big or little steps.

Influential changes at home are going to be long-term projects, especially the decision about where we live -- ideally in the smallest house for our needs, close to our work and shopping. Of course, if this is not your current situation, you'll have to wait until it comes time to move. Your other foci at home should be energy efficiency in the home itself and large appliances within it.

Now, my personal thoughts about activism: It doesn't necessarily mean picketing Shaw's Supermarket. At its core it means magnifying our influence on public policy and our immediate community via whatever tactics are at our disposal. It is imperative to phone legislators, donate to environmental groups, plant school gardens, speak at the synagogue, do whatever we can to incorporate environmentalism as a permanent consideration in all decisions. Conscientious shopping is not equal to or a substitute for environmental activism.

This column is by necessity brief, with sorry little description of the thoughtful calculations behind the recommendations. I truly recommend the book, which is an easy read filled with interesting tidbits. Ironically, I bought it at a chain store in a sprawl mall.

Cursorily,
Umbra

Yours is to wonder why, hers is to answer (or try). Please send Umbra <http://www.gristmagazine.com/cgi-bin/email_umbra.asp> any nagging question pertaining to the environment.The claims made in this column may not reflect the views of this magazine. Neither the magazine nor the author guarantees that any advice contained in this column is wise or safe. Please use this column at your own risk.

=====================================================+

 

Posted on Tue, Aug. 10, 2004

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/9360064.htm?1c


Carter exposed the dirty truth

BY RHONDA CHRISS LOKEMAN
lokemankcstar.com


At the Democratic National Convention, where public Bush-bashing was put on low simmer, one speaker was
first to turn up the heat -- and it wasn't any of the ones that you would expect.

Contrasting the current administration with others, the prominent Democrat said, ``We had a confidence that our
leaders, both military and civilian, would not put our soldiers and sailors in harm's way by initiating wars of
choice unless America's vital interests were in danger. We also were sure that these presidents would not
mislead us when issues involved national security.''

This is not your father's Jimmy Carter. Bemoaning what has happened to America's relations with allies since the Sept. 11 attacks,
Carter said, ``In just 34 months, we have watched with deep concern as all this good will has been squandered by a virtually
unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. Unilateral acts and demands have isolated the United States from the very
nations we need to join us in combating terrorism.''

Bush gets `dressing down'

Telling the truth was a messy job at the DNC, but somebody had to do it. It may as well have been Carter, arguably the best
ex-president we've had and one of the most honest politicians we've elected.

It didn't matter that most people at home didn't see him address the convention or that the TV pundits were too busy interviewing
each other to acknowledge the best dressing down of the current administration there had been so far.

What mattered was that Carter finally had his say. His speech was not incendiary, but it was remarkable.

Said Carter: ``Today our dominant international challenge is to restore the greatness of America based on telling the truth, a
commitment to peace and a respect for civil liberties at home and basic human rights abroad. . . . Without truth, without trust,
America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant between a president and the people.
When that trust is violated, the bonds that hold our republic together begin to weaken.''

Carter reminded fellow Americans that he served in the Navy under two presidents, Democrat Harry Truman and Republican
Dwight Eisenhower. ``They knew the horrors of war and later, as commanders in chief, they exercised restraint and judgment.''

Made tough choices

He then ridiculed President Bush's military-service record and compared it with that of John Kerry, the Democratic presidential
nominee. Kerry, a Vietnam War hero, arrived at the convention on a ferry accompanied by several men with whom he had served
or whom he had helped rescue in Southeast Asia.

``Today our Democratic Party is led by another former naval officer, one who volunteered for military service. He showed up
(applause) when assigned to duty and he served with honor and distinction.''

The lid on the truth about the Bush-Cheney record was put on so tight in the FleetCenter, something like that was bound to
happen. One would have expected the first salvo to come from Howard Dean. The convention could have used Dean's rebel yell.
Watching Kennedy trying to restrain himself on stage was like watching a hippo slip into a tutu. It was against the laws of nature.

Jimmy Carter knows about civility, and he knows a real ''compassionate conservative'' from a faker. He knows about making tough
choices when confronted with terrorism. Carter's choices cost him a second term, but it didn't cost the country the lives of nearly
1,000 U.S. troops in an unnecessary war.

Carter said in Boston: ``Twenty-eight years ago, I was running for president and I said then I want a government as good and as
honest and as decent and as competent and as compassionate as are the American people. I say this again tonight.''

Jimmy Carter is mad as hell and told us that he's not going to take it anymore.

©2004 The Kansas City Star

=====================================================+

 

Published on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0810-15.htm


The Revolution Starts...Now

by Steve Earle


Here's an excerpt from the liner notes of singer, songwriter and activist Steve Earle's new record due out
August 24th on Artemis Records. It's called "The Revolution Starts...Now"

The word "immediate" best describes the atmosphere around the studio as this record was being made in the
late spring of 2004. The prisoner abuse scandal had just broken and the Bush administration, still reeling from
the 9/11 commission hearings, was circling the wagons. The Democrats, for their part, were carefully
(sometimes, in my opinion, too carefully) trying to sort out how best to press the advantage. Meanwhile, back
here in Tennessee, me and my boys had a deadline to meet.

The most important presidential election of our lifetime was less than seven months away and we
desperately wanted to weigh in, both as artists and as citizens of a democracy. All but two of
these songs were recorded within 24 hours of the first line hitting the paper. We worked 12- and
14-hour days and in between takes and over meals we talked about the war, the election, baseball, and
women, in precisely that order.

Maybe I am getting old.

Democracy is hard work. American democracy requires constant vigilance to survive and nothing
short of total engagement to flourish. Voting is vital, but in times like these voting alone simply
isn't enough. By the time some of you hear these songs the election will be over. Then the real
struggle begins.

When the dust clears and the votes are all counted (we're watchin' YOU, Jeb) it will be up to
all of us-Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and independents alike-to hold whomever is left
standing accountable for their actions on our behalf every single day that they are in power.
The day after the election, regardless of the outcome, the war will go on, outsourcing of our
jobs will continue, and over a third of our citizens will have no health care coverage whatsoever.

Like I said, it's hard work and there's so much to be done. And there always will be.

The Constitution of The United States of America is a REVOLUTIONARY document in every sense of the
word. It was designed to evolve, to live, and to breathe like the people that it governs. It is, ingeniously, and
perhaps conversely, resilient enough to change with the times in order to meet the challenges of its third
century and rigid enough to preserve the ideals that inspired its original articles and amendments. As long as
we are willing to put in the work required to defend and nurture this remarkable invention of our forefathers,
then I believe with all my heart that it will continue to thrive for generations to come. Without our active
participation, however, the future is far from certain. For without the lifeblood of the human spirit even the
greatest documents produced by humankind are only words on paper or parchment, destined to yellow and
crack and eventually crumble to dust.

Yours for the m... f... in' revolution,

Steve Earle
Fairview, Tennessee
May 2004

For Johnny Cash and Warren Zevon - See you when I get there, brothers.

Singer and songwriter Steve Earle's 2002 critically acclaimed album JERUSALEM, garnered him his 8th
Grammy nomination. His new album will be in record stores August 24th.

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 2:50 PM
Subject: U.S. Withholds Witnesses in 9/11 Trial

t r u t h o u t | 08.11

Big Coal for Bush, Kerry Seeks Alternatives

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Oil Prices Soar, Threats Halt Iraqi Flow
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104I.shtml

New Generation of Leaders Emerging for Al Qaeda
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104J.shtml

U.S. Withholds Witnesses in 9/11 Trial
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104A.shtml

Fresh Fighting Erupts in Iraq's Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104B.shtml

Chalabi: U.S. Organizes Charges against Him and Nephew
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104C.shtml

Bar Association Rips U.S. on Detainees
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104D.shtml

New York Times | The Iraq Reconstruction Fiasco
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104E.shtml

Republicans Fund Nader as Decisive Electoral Weapon
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104F.shtml

Philippe Grangereau | The Rise of the Trouble-Maker Al-Sadr
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104H.shtml

Big Business Becoming Big Brother
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104K.shtml

Jim Rassmann | Shame on the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104L.shtml

FOCUS - Kerry: "Why Did Bush Rush to War?"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104W.shtml

Rebels Control Basra
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104X.shtml

FOCUS - Porter Goss: Bush Ally, Political Choice
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104Y.shtml

Bush Taps Goss for CIA Director
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081104Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'In Contempt'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

Published on Monday, August 9, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0809-11.htm


Not Scared Yet? Try Connecting These Dots

by Ray McGovern


"Pre-election periodpre-election plotpre-election threats"

These rolled off National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's lips no less than seven times yesterday on
CNN's Late Edition as she discussed the likely timing of a terrorist attack. She stayed on message.

Dr. Rice said the government had actually "picked up discussion" relating to "trying to do something in the
pre-election period," and added that information on the threat came from "active multiple sources."

I found myself wondering if those sources are any better than those cited by Attorney General John Ashcroft
on May 26, when he launched this campaign, citing "credible intelligence from multiple sources that al-Qaeda
plans an attack on the United States" before the November election. Ashcroft's warning came out of the blue,
without the customary involvement of the directors of the C.I.A. and Department of Homeland Security
(although the latter quickly fell in line).

In support of his warning, Ashcroft cited "an al-Qaeda spokesman," who the FBI later was embarrassed to
admit is "The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades." Sinister sounding though the name may be, this "group" is thought
to consist of no more than one person with a fax machine, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official. That fax
is notorious for claiming credit for all manner of death and destruction.

Are the recent warnings and heightened alerts legitimate or contrived? Is this yet another case of
"intelligence" being conjured up to serve the political purposes of President Bush and his top advisers? The
record of the past three years gives rise to the suspicion that this is precisely what is afoot.

Running Scared

While Iraq generally has moved off the front page, those paying attention to developments there have
watched a transition from mayhem to bedlam in recent days. Worse still, the U.S. economy is again faltering
as the election draws near.

Perhaps most worrisome of all from the administration's point of view are the fresh photos, film footage, and
other reporting of torture in U.S.-run prisons in Iraq and elsewhere that will surface in the coming weeks. This
round is said to include details of the rape and other abuse of some of the Iraqi women and the hundred or so
children-some as young as 10 years old-held in jails like Abu Graib. U.S. Army Sergeant Samuel Provance, who
was stationed there, has blown the whistle on the abuse of children as well as other prisoners. He recounted, for
example, how interrogators soaked a 16-year-old, covered him in mud, and then used his suffering to break the
youth's father, also a prisoner, during interrogation.

I suspect it is the further revelations of torture that worries the White House most. Adding to its woes, last
week over a hundred lawyers, including seven past presidents of the American Bar Association and former
FBI Director William Sessions, issued a statement strongly condemning the legal opinions of government
attorneys holding that torture might be legally defensible. The lawyers called for an investigation regarding
whether there is a connection between those legal opinions and the abuses at Abu Graib and elsewhere.

While Bush administration officials have tried to distance themselves from the opinions and claim that the
president did not authorize the torture of suspected al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters, the photographic evidence
speaks for itself. And neo-conservative William Kristol's bragging Sunday on ABC's This Week that this
administration's interrogation techniques have been successful because they are "rougher than what John
Kerry would approve of" does not help the administration's case.

With each new revelation of torture, the "few-bad-apples" explanation strains credulity closer to the breaking
point. Nor can it be denied that the abuse took place on this administration's watch. Thus, there are likely to
be increasing demands that the commander-in-chief-or at least his defense secretary-take responsibility.
Where is it that the buck is supposed to stop?

Connecting Dots

What has all this to do with Condoleezza Rice's multiple mention of "pre-election threats?" Can these two dots
be connected? I fear they can.

When John Ashcroft fired the opening shot in this campaign to raise the specter of a "pre-election" terrorist
event, it seemed to me that the administration might be beginning to prepare the American people to accept
postponement or cancellation of the November election as a reasonable option.

Tom Ridge's warning in early July that Osama bin Laden is "planning to disrupt the November elections"
added to my concern, as did;

Word that Ridge has asked the Department of Justice to analyze what legal steps would be needed
to permit postponement of the election;

The request by the Director of the Election Assistance Commission for Ridge to provide "guidelines"
for canceling or rescheduling the election in the event of a terror attack;

The matter-of-fact tone of a recent vote on CNN's website: "Should the United States postpone the
election in the event of a terrorist attack?" That vote seems to have been greeted more by yawns
than by any expression of outrage.

That the House of Representatives on July 22 passed a resolution by a 419-2 vote denying any agency or
individual the authority to postpone a national election suggests that many in Congress are taking the various
trial balloons and other hints seriously.

The Emperor's New Suit of Clothes

It seems a safe bet that President Bush is not sleeping as soundly as he did before the abuse of prisoners
came to light. He may feel thoroughly exposed in the magic suit of sold him by Ashcroft's tailor/lawyers
together with those working for White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, and may wish he had paid more
attention to the strong cautions of Secretary of State Colin Powell against playing fast and loose with the
Geneva Conventions on Prisoners of War.

The president can take little consolation in Gonzales' reassurance that there is a "reasonable basis in law"
that could provide a "solid defense," should an independent counsel at some point in the future attempt to
prosecute him under the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996 for exempting the Taliban and perhaps others from
the protections of the Geneva Conventions, to which the War Crimes Act is inextricably tied.

Meaning? Meaning that if the president's numbers look no better in October than they do now, there will be
particularly strong personal incentive on the part of the president, Rumsfeld, and Vice President Cheney to
pull out all the stops in order to make four more years a sure thing. What seems increasingly clear is that
putting off the election is under active consideration-a course more likely to be chosen to the extent it
achieves status as just another option.

How Would Americans React?

On Friday I listened to a reporter asking a tourist in Washington, DC, whether he felt inconvenienced by all
the blockages and barriers occasioned by the heightened alert. While the tourist acknowledged that the
various barriers and inspections made it difficult to get from one place to another, he made his overall reaction
quite clear: "Safety first! I don't want to see another 9/11. Whatever it takes!" I was struck a few hours later as
I tuned into President Bush speaking at a campaign rally in Michigan: "I will never relent in defending America.
Whatever it takes."

How prevalent this sentiment has become was brought home to me as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) quizzed 9/11
Commissioner Bob Kerrey (a former Democrat Senator from Nebraska) at a hearing last week on the commission's
sweeping recommendation to centralize foreign and domestic intelligence under a new National Intelligence Director
in the White House. Kerrey grew quite angry as Kucinich kept insisting on an answer to his question: "How do you
protect civil liberties amid such a concentration of information and power?"

Kerrey protested that the terrorists give no priority to civil liberties. He went on to say that individual liberties
must, in effect, be put on the back burner, while priority is given to combating terrorism. Whatever it takes.

Does this not speak volumes? Would Kerrey suggest that Americans act like the "good Germans" of the
1930s, and acquiesce in draconian steps like postponement or cancellation of the November election?

These are no small matters. It is high time to think them through.

Ray McGovern (rmcgovern@slschool.org) worked as a CIA analyst from the administration of John F.
Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush.

=====================================================+

 

truthout.org

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080904G.shtml


The Oil We Eat

    By Richard Manning
    Harper's Magazine

    February 2004

Following the Food Chain Back to Iraq

The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is
some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly.

-Balzac

    The journalist's rule says: follow the money. This rule, however, is not really axiomatic but derivative, in that money, as even our vice president will tell you, is really a way of tracking energy. We'll follow the energy.

    We learn as children that there is no free lunch, that you don't get something from nothing, that what goes up must come down, and so on. The scientific version of these verities is only slightly more complex. As James Prescott Joule discovered in the nineteenth century, there is only so much energy. You can change it from motion to heat, from heat to light, but there will never be more of it and there will never be less of it. The conservation of energy is not an option, it is a fact. This is the first law of thermodynamics.

    Special as we humans are, we get no exemptions from the rules. All animals eat plants or eat animals that eat plants. This is the food chain, and pulling it is the unique ability of plants to turn sunlight into stored energy in the form of carbohydrates, the basic fuel of all animals. Solar-powered photosynthesis is the only way to make this fuel. There is no alternative to plant energy, just as there is no alternative to oxygen. The results of taking away our plant energy may not be as sudden as cutting off oxygen, but they are as sure.

    Scientists have a name for the total amount of plant mass created by Earth in a given year, the total budget for life. They call it the planet's "primary productivity." There have been two efforts to figure out how that productivity is spent, one by a group at Stanford University, the other an independent accounting by the biologist Stuart Pimm. Both conclude that we humans, a single species among millions, consume about 40 percent of Earth's primary productivity, 40 percent of all there is. This simple number may explain why the current extinction rate is 1,000 times that which existed before human domination of the planet. We 6 billion have simply stolen the food, the rich among us a lot more than others.

    Energy cannot be created or canceled, but it can be concentrated. This is the larger and profoundly explanatory context of a national-security memo George Kennan wrote in 1948 as the head of a State Department planning committee, ostensibly about Asian policy but really about how the United States was to deal with its newfound role as the dominant force on Earth. "We have about 50 percent of the world's wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population," Kennan wrote. "In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. "The day is not far off," Kennan concluded, "when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts."

    If you follow the energy, eventually you will end up in a field somewhere. Humans engage in a dizzying array of artifice and industry. Nonetheless, more than two thirds of humanity's cut of primary productivity results from agriculture, two thirds of which in turn consists of three plants: rice, wheat, and corn. In the 10,000 years since humans domesticated these grains, their status has remained undiminished, most likely because they are able to store solar energy in uniquely dense, transportable bundles of carbohydrates. They are to the plant world what a barrel of refined oil is to the hydrocarbon world. Indeed, aside from hydrocarbons they are the most concentrated form of true wealth-sun energy-to be found on the planet.

    As Kennan recognized, however, the maintenance of such a concentration of wealth often requires violent action. Agriculture is a recent human experiment. For most of human history, we lived by gathering or killing a broad variety of nature's offerings. Why humans might have traded this approach for the complexities of agriculture is an interesting and long-debated question, especially because the skeletal evidence clearly indicates that early farmers were more poorly nourished, more disease-ridden and deformed, than their hunter-gatherer contemporaries. Farming did not improve most lives. The evidence that best points to the answer, I think, lies in the difference between early agricultural villages and their pre-agricultural counterparts-the presence not just of grain but of granaries and, more tellingly, of just a few houses significantly larger and more ornate than all the others attached to those granaries. Agriculture was not so much about food as it was about the accumulation of wealth. It benefited some humans, and those people have been in charge ever since.

    Domestication was also a radical change in the distribution of wealth within the plant world. Plants can spend their solar income in several ways. The dominant and prudent strategy is to allocate most of it to building roots, stem, bark-a conservative portfolio of investments that allows the plant to better gather energy and survive the downturn years. Further, by living in diverse stands (a given chunk of native prairie contains maybe 200 species of plants), these perennials provide services for one another, such as retaining water, protecting one another from wind, and fixing free nitrogen from the air to use as fertilizer. Diversity allows a system to "sponsor its own fertility," to use visionary agronomist Wes Jackson's phrase. This is the plant world's norm.

    There is a very narrow group of annuals, however, that grow in patches of a single species and store almost all of their income as seed, a tight bundle of carbohydrates easily exploited by seed eaters such as ourselves. Under normal circumstances, this eggs-in-one-basket strategy is a dumb idea for a plant. But not during catastrophes such as floods, fires, and volcanic eruptions. Such catastrophes strip established plant communities and create opportunities for wind-scattered entrepreneurial seed bearers. It is no accident that no matter where agriculture sprouted on the globe, it always happened near rivers. You might assume, as many have, that this is because the plants needed the water or nutrients. Mostly this is not true. They needed the power of flooding, which scoured landscapes and stripped out competitors. Nor is it an accident, I think, that agriculture arose independently and simultaneously around the globe just as the last ice age ended, a time of enormous upheaval when glacial melt let loose sea-size lakes to create tidal waves of erosion. It was a time of catastrophe.

    Corn, rice, and wheat are especially adapted to catastrophe. It is their niche. In the natural scheme of things, a catastrophe would create a blank slate, bare soil, that was good for them. Then, under normal circumstances, succession would quickly close that niche. The annuals would colonize. Their roots would stabilize the soil, accumulate organic matter, provide cover. Eventually the catastrophic niche would close. Farming is the process of ripping that niche open again and again. It is an annual artificial catastrophe, and it requires the equivalent of three or four tons of TNT per acre for a modern American farm. Iowa's fields require the energy of 4,000 Nagasaki bombs every year.

    Iowa is almost all fields now. Little prairie remains, and if you can find what Iowans call a "postage stamp" remnant of some, it most likely will abut a cornfield. This allows an observation. Walk from the prairie to the field, and you probably will step down about six feet, as if the land had been stolen from beneath you. Settlers' accounts of the prairie conquest mention a sound, a series of pops, like pistol shots, the sound of stout grass roots breaking before a moldboard plow. A robbery was in progress.

    When we say the soil is rich, it is not a metaphor. It is as rich in energy as an oil well. A prairie converts that energy to flowers and roots and stems, which in turn pass back into the ground as dead organic matter. The layers of topsoil build up into a rich repository of energy, a bank. A farm field appropriates that energy, puts it into seeds we can eat. Much of the energy moves from the earth to the rings of fat around our necks and waists. And much of the energy is simply wasted, a trail of dollars billowing from the burglar's satchel.

    I've already mentioned that we humans take 40 percent of the globe's primary productivity every year. You might have assumed we and our livestock eat our way through that volume, but this is not the case. Part of that total-almost a third of it-is the potential plant mass lost when forests are cleared for farming or when tropical rain forests are cut for grazing or when plows destroy the deep mat of prairie roots that held the whole business together, triggering erosion. The Dust Bowl was no accident of nature. A functioning grassland prairie produces more biomass each year than does even the most technologically advanced wheat field. The problem is, it's mostly a form of grass and grass roots that humans can't eat. So we replace the prairie with our own preferred grass, wheat. Never mind that we feed most of our grain to livestock, and that livestock is perfectly content to eat native grass. And never mind that there likely were more bison produced naturally on the Great Plains before farming than all of beef farming raises in the same area today. Our ancestors found it preferable to pluck the energy from the ground and when it ran out move on.

    Today we do the same, only now when the vault is empty we fill it again with new energy in the form of oil-rich fertilizers. Oil is annual primary productivity stored as hydrocarbons, a trust fund of sorts, built up over many thousands of years. On average, it takes 5.5 gallons of fossil energy to restore a year's worth of lost fertility to an acre of eroded land-in 1997 we burned through more than 400 years' worth of ancient fossilized productivity, most of it from someplace else. Even as the earth beneath Iowa shrinks, it is being globalized.

    Six thousand years before sodbusters broke up Iowa, their Caucasian blood ancestors broke up the Hungarian plain, an area just northwest of the Caucasus Mountains. Archaeologists call this tribe the LBK, short for linearbandkeramik, the German word that describes the distinctive pottery remnants that mark their occupation of Europe. Anthropologists call them the wheat-beef people, a name that better connects those ancients along the Danube to my fellow Montanans on the Upper Missouri River. These proto-Europeans had a full set of domesticated plants and animals, but wheat and beef dominated. All the domesticates came from an area along what is now the Iraq-Syria-Turkey border at the edges of the Zagros Mountains. This is the center of domestication for the Western world's main crops and livestock, ground zero of catastrophic agriculture.

    Two other types of catastrophic agriculture evolved at roughly the same time, one centered on rice in what is now China and India and one centered on corn and potatoes in Central and South America. Rice, though, is tropical and its expansion depends on water, so it developed only in floodplains, estuaries, and swamps. Corn agriculture was every bit as voracious as wheat; the Aztecs could be as brutal and imperialistic as Romans or Brits, but the corn cultures collapsed with the onslaught of Spanish conquest. Corn itself simply joined the wheat-beef people's coalition. Wheat was the empire builder; its bare botanical facts dictated the motion and violence that we know as imperialism.

    The wheat-beef people swept across the western European plains in less than 300 years, a conquest some archaeologists refer to as a "blitzkrieg." A different race of humans, the Cro-Magnons-hunter-gatherers, not farmers-lived on those plains at the time. Their cave art at places such as Lascaux testifies to their sophistication and profound connection to wildlife. They probably did most of their hunting and gathering in uplands and river bottoms, places the wheat farmers didn't need, suggesting the possibility of coexistence. That's not what happened, however. Both genetic and linguistic evidence say that the farmers killed the hunters. The Basque people are probably the lone remnant descendants of Cro-Magnons, the only trace.

    Hunter-gatherer archaeological sites of the period contain spear points that originally belonged to the farmers, and we can guess they weren't trade goods. One group of anthropologists concludes, "The evidence from the western extension of the LBK leaves little room for any other conclusion but that LBK-Mesolithic interactions were at best chilly and at worst hostile." The world's surviving Blackfeet, Assiniboine Sioux, Inca, and Maori probably have the best idea of the nature of these interactions.

    Wheat is temperate and prefers plowed-up grasslands. The globe has a limited stock of temperate grasslands, just as it has a limited stock of all other biomes. On average, about 10 percent of all other biomes remain in something like their native state today. Only 1 percent of temperate grasslands remains undestroyed. Wheat takes what it needs.

    The supply of temperate grasslands lies in what are today the United States, Canada, the South American pampas, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and the Asiatic extension of the European plain into the sub-Siberian steppes. This area largely describes the First World, the developed world. Temperate grasslands make up not only the habitat of wheat and beef but also the globe's islands of Caucasians, of European surnames and languages. In 2000 the countries of the temperate grasslands, the neo-Europes, accounted for about 80 percent of all wheat exports in the world, and about 86 percent of all corn. That is to say, the neo-Europes drive the world's agriculture. The dominance does not stop with grain. These countries, plus the mothership-Europe-accounted for three fourths of all agricultural exports of all crops in the world in 1999.

    Plato wrote of his country's farmlands:

What now remains of the formerly rich land is like the skeleton of a sick man. . . . Formerly, many of the mountains were arable. The plains that were full of rich soil are now marshes. Hills that were once covered with forests and produced abundant pasture now produce only food for bees. Once the land was enriched by yearly rains, which were not lost, as they are now, by flowing from the bare land into the sea. The soil was deep, it absorbed and kept the water in loamy soil, and the water that soaked into the hills fed springs and running streams everywhere. Now the abandoned shrines at spots where formerly there were springs attest that our description of the land is true.

    Plato's lament is rooted in wheat agriculture, which depleted his country's soil and subsequently caused the series of declines that pushed centers of civilization to Rome, Turkey, and western Europe. By the fifth century, though, wheat's strategy of depleting and moving on ran up against the Atlantic Ocean. Fenced-in wheat agriculture is like rice agriculture. It balances its equations with famine. In the millennium between 500 and 1500, Britain suffered a major "corrective" famine about every ten years; there were seventy-five in France during the same period. The incidence, however, dropped sharply when colonization brought an influx of new food to Europe.

    The new lands had an even greater effect on the colonists themselves. Thomas Jefferson, after enduring a lecture on the rustic nature by his hosts at a dinner party in Paris, pointed out that all of the Americans present were a good head taller than all of the French. Indeed, colonists in all of the neo-Europes enjoyed greater stature and longevity, as well as a lower infant-mortality rate-all indicators of the better nutrition afforded by the onetime spend down of the accumulated capital of virgin soil.

    The precolonial famines of Europe raised the question: What would happen when the planet's supply of arable land ran out? We have a clear answer. In about 1960 expansion hit its limits and the supply of unfarmed, arable lands came to an end. There was nothing left to plow. What happened was grain yields tripled.

    The accepted term for this strange turn of events is the green revolution, though it would be more properly labeled the amber revolution, because it applied exclusively to grain-wheat, rice, and corn. Plant breeders tinkered with the architecture of these three grains so that they could be hypercharged with irrigation water and chemical fertilizers, especially nitrogen. This innovation meshed nicely with the increased "efficiency" of the industrialized factory-farm system. With the possible exception of the domestication of wheat, the green revolution is the worst thing that has ever happened to the planet.

    For openers, it disrupted long-standing patterns of rural life worldwide, moving a lot of no-longer-needed people off the land and into the world's most severe poverty. The experience in population control in the developing world is by now clear: It is not that people make more people so much as it is that they make more poor people. In the forty-year period beginning about 1960, the world's population doubled, adding virtually the entire increase of 3 billion to the world's poorest classes, the most fecund classes. The way in which the green revolution raised that grain contributed hugely to the population boom, and it is the weight of the population that leaves humanity in its present untenable position.

    Discussion of these, the most poor, however, is largely irrelevant to the American situation. We say we have poor people here, but almost no one in this country lives on less than one dollar a day, the global benchmark for poverty. It marks off a class of about 1.3 billion people, the hard core of the larger group of 2 billion chronically malnourished people-that is, one third of humanity. We may forget about them, as most Americans do.

    More relevant here are the methods of the green revolution, which added orders of magnitude to the devastation. By mining the iron for tractors, drilling the new oil to fuel them and to make nitrogen fertilizers, and by taking the water that rain and rivers had meant for other lands, farming had extended its boundaries, its dominion, to lands that were not farmable. At the same time, it extended its boundaries across time, tapping fossil energy, stripping past assets.

    The common assumption these days is that we muster our weapons to secure oil, not food. There's a little joke in this. Ever since we ran out of arable land, food is oil. Every single calorie we eat is backed by at least a calorie of oil, more like ten. In 1940 the average farm in the United States produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil energy it used. By 1974 (the last year in which anyone looked closely at this issue), that ratio was 1:1. And this understates the problem, because at the same time that there is more oil in our food there is less oil in our oil. A couple of generations ago we spent a lot less energy drilling, pumping, and distributing than we do now. In the 1940s we got about 100 barrels of oil back for every barrel of oil we spent getting it. Today each barrel invested in the process returns only ten, a calculation that no doubt fails to include the fuel burned by the Hummers and Blackhawks we use to maintain access to the oil in Iraq.

    David Pimentel, an expert on food and energy at Cornell University, has estimated that if all of the world ate the way the United States eats, humanity would exhaust all known global fossil-fuel reserves in just over seven years. Pimentel has his detractors. Some have accused him of being off on other calculations by as much as 30 percent. Fine. Make it ten years.

    Fertilizer makes a pretty fine bomb right off the shelf, a chemistry lesson Timothy McVeigh taught at Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995-not a small matter, in that the green revolution has made nitrogen fertilizers ubiquitous in some of the more violent and desperate corners of the world. Still, there is more to contemplate in nitrogen's less sensational chemistry.

    The chemophobia of modern times excludes fear of the simple elements of chemistry's periodic table. We circulate petitions, hold hearings, launch websites, and buy and sell legislators in regard to polysyllabic organic compounds-polychlorinated biphenyls, polyvinyls, DDT, 2-4d, that sort of thing-not simple carbon or nitrogen. Not that agriculture's use of the more ornate chemistry is benign-an infant born in a rural, wheat-producing county in the United States has about twice the chance of suffering birth defects as one born in a rural place that doesn't produce wheat, an effect researchers blame on chlorophenoxy herbicides. Focusing on pesticide pollution, though, misses the worst of the pollutants. Forget the polysyllabic organics. It is nitrogen-the wellspring of fertility relied upon by every Eden-obsessed backyard gardener and suburban groundskeeper-that we should fear most.

    Those who model our planet as an organism do so on the basis that the earth appears to breathe-it thrives by converting a short list of basic elements from one compound into the next, just as our own bodies cycle oxygen into carbon dioxide and plants cycle carbon dioxide into oxygen. In fact, two of the planet's most fundamental humors are oxygen and carbon dioxide. Another is nitrogen.

    Nitrogen can be released from its "fixed" state as a solid in the soil by natural processes that allow it to circulate freely in the atmosphere. This also can be done artificially. Indeed, humans now contribute more nitrogen to the nitrogen cycle than the planet itself does. That is, humans have doubled the amount of nitrogen in play.

    This has led to an imbalance. It is easier to create nitrogen fertilizer than it is to apply it evenly to fields. When farmers dump nitrogen on a crop, much is wasted. It runs into the water and soil, where it either reacts chemically with its surroundings to form new compounds or flows off to fertilize something else, somewhere else.

    That chemical reaction, called acidification, is noxious and contributes significantly to acid rain. One of the compounds produced by acidification is nitrous oxide, which aggravates the greenhouse effect. Green growing things normally offset global warming by sucking up carbon dioxide, but nitrogen on farm fields plus methane from decomposing vegetation make every farmed acre, like every acre of Los Angeles freeway, a net contributor to global warming. Fertilization is equally worrisome. Rainfall and irrigation water inevitably washes the nitrogen from fields to creeks and streams, which flows into rivers, which floods into the ocean. This explains why the Mississippi River, which drains the nation's Corn Belt, is an environmental catastrophe. The nitrogen fertilizes artificially large blooms of algae that in growing suck all the oxygen from the water, a condition biologists call anoxia, which means "oxygen-depleted." Here there's no need to calculate long-term effects, because life in such places has no long term: everything dies immediately. The Mississippi River's heavily fertilized effluvia has created a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey.

    America's biggest crop, grain corn, is completely unpalatable. It is raw material for an industry that manufactures food substitutes. Likewise, you can't eat unprocessed wheat. You certainly can't eat hay. You can eat unprocessed soybeans, but mostly we don't. These four crops cover 82 percent of American cropland. Agriculture in this country is not about food; it's about commodities that require the outlay of still more energy to become food.

    About two thirds of U.S. grain corn is labeled "processed," meaning it is milled and otherwise refined for food or industrial uses. More than 45 percent of that becomes sugar, especially high-fructose corn sweeteners, the keystone ingredient in three quarters of all processed foods, especially soft drinks, the food of America's poor and working classes. It is not a coincidence that the American pandemic of obesity tracks rather nicely with the fivefold increase in corn-syrup production since Archer Daniels Midland developed a high-fructose version of the stuff in the early seventies. Nor is it a coincidence that the plague selects the poor, who eat the most processed food.

    It began with the industrialization of Victorian England. The empire was then flush with sugar from plantations in the colonies. Meantime the cities were flush with factory workers. There was no good way to feed them. And thus was born the afternoon tea break, the tea consisting primarily of warm water and sugar. If the workers were well off, they could also afford bread with heavily sugared jam-sugar-powered industrialization. There was a 500 percent increase in per capita sugar consumption in Britain between 1860 and 1890, around the time when the life expectancy of a male factory worker was seventeen years. By the end of the century the average Brit was getting about one sixth of his total nutrition from sugar, exactly the same percentage Americans get today-double what nutritionists recommend.

    There is another energy matter to consider here, though. The grinding, milling, wetting, drying, and baking of a breakfast cereal requires about four calories of energy for every calorie of food energy it produces. A two-pound bag of breakfast cereal burns the energy of a half-gallon of gasoline in its making. All together the food-processing industry in the United States uses about ten calories of fossil-fuel energy for every calorie of food energy it produces.

    That number does not include the fuel used in transporting the food from the factory to a store near you, or the fuel used by millions of people driving to thousands of super discount stores on the edge of town, where the land is cheap. It appears, however, that the corn cycle is about to come full circle. If a bipartisan coalition of farm-state lawmakers has their way-and it appears they will-we will soon buy gasoline containing twice as much fuel alcohol as it does now. Fuel alcohol already ranks second as a use for processed corn in the United States, just behind corn sweeteners. According to one set of calculations, we spend more calories of fossil-fuel energy making ethanol than we gain from it. The Department of Agriculture says the ratio is closer to a gallon and a quart of ethanol for every gallon of fossil fuel we invest. The USDA calls this a bargain, because gasohol is a "clean fuel." This claim to cleanness is in dispute at the tailpipe level, and it certainly ignores the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, pesticide pollution, and the haze of global gases gathering over every farm field. Nor does this claim cover clean conscience; some still might be unsettled knowing that our SUVs' demands for fuel compete with the poor's demand for grain.

    Green eaters, especially vegetarians, advocate eating low on the food chain, a simple matter of energy flow. Eating a carrot gives the diner all that carrot's energy, but feeding carrots to a chicken, then eating the chicken, reduces the energy by a factor of ten. The chicken wastes some energy, stores some as feathers, bones, and other inedibles, and uses most of it just to live long enough to be eaten. As a rough rule of thumb, that factor of ten applies to each level up the food chain, which is why some fish, such as tuna, can be a horror in all of this. Tuna is a secondary predator, meaning it not only doesn't eat plants but eats other fish that themselves eat other fish, adding a zero to the multiplier each notch up, easily a hundred times, more like a thousand times less efficient than eating a plant.

    This is fine as far as it goes, but the vegetarian's case can break down on some details. On the moral issues, vegetarians claim their habits are kinder to animals, though it is difficult to see how wiping out 99 percent of wildlife's habitat, as farming has done in Iowa, is a kindness. In rural Michigan, for example, the potato farmers have a peculiar tactic for dealing with the predations of whitetail deer. They gut-shoot them with small-bore rifles, in hopes the deer will limp off to the woods and die where they won't stink up the potato fields.

    Animal rights aside, vegetarians can lose the edge in the energy argument by eating processed food, with its ten calories of fossil energy for every calorie of food energy produced. The question, then, is: Does eating processed food such as soy burger or soy milk cancel the energy benefits of vegetarianism, which is to say, can I eat my lamb chops in peace? Maybe. If I've done my due diligence, I will have found out that the particular lamb I am eating was both local and grass-fed, two factors that of course greatly reduce the embedded energy in a meal. I know of ranches here in Montana, for instance, where sheep eat native grass under closely controlled circumstances-no farming, no plows, no corn, no nitrogen. Assets have not been stripped. I can't eat the grass directly. This can go on. There are little niches like this in the system. Each person's individual charge is to find such niches.

    Chances are, though, any meat eater will come out on the short end of this argument, especially in the United States. Take the case of beef. Cattle are grazers, so in theory could live like the grass-fed lamb. Some cattle cultures-those of South America and Mexico, for example-have perfected wonderful cuisines based on grass-fed beef. This is not our habit in the United States, and it is simply a matter of habit. Eighty percent of the grain the United States produces goes to livestock. Seventy-eight percent of all of our beef comes from feed lots, where the cattle eat grain, mostly corn and wheat. So do most of our hogs and chickens. The cattle spend their adult lives packed shoulder to shoulder in a space not much bigger than their bodies, up to their knees in shit, being stuffed with grain and a constant stream of antibiotics to prevent the disease this sort of confinement invariably engenders. The manure is rich in nitrogen and once provided a farm's fertilizer. The feedlots, however, are now far removed from farm fields, so it is simply not "efficient" to haul it to cornfields. It is waste. It exhales methane, a global-warming gas. It pollutes streams. It takes thirty-five calories of fossil fuel to make a calorie of beef this way; sixty-eight to make one calorie of pork.

    Still, these livestock do something we can't. They convert grain's carbohydrates to high-quality protein. All well and good, except that per capita protein production in the United States is about double what an average adult needs per day. Excess cannot be stored as protein in the human body but is simply converted to fat. This is the end result of a factory-farm system that appears as a living, continental-scale monument to Rube Goldberg, a black-mass remake of the loaves-and-fishes miracle. Prairie's productivity is lost for grain, grain's productivity is lost in livestock, livestock's protein is lost to human fat-all federally subsidized for about $15 billion a year, two thirds of which goes directly to only two crops, corn and wheat.

    This explains why the energy expert David Pimentel is so worried that the rest of the world will adopt America's methods. He should be, because the rest of the world is. Mexico now feeds 45 percent of its grain to livestock, up from 5 percent in 1960. Egypt went from 3 percent to 31 percent in the same period, and China, with a sixth of the world's population, has gone from 8 percent to 26 percent. All of these places have poor people who could use the grain, but they can't afford it.

    I live among elk and have learned to respect them. One moonlit night during the dead of last winter, I looked out my bedroom window to see about twenty of them grazing a plot of grass the size of a living room. Just that small patch among acres of other species of native prairie grass. Why that species and only that species of grass that night in the worst of winter when the threat to their survival was the greatest? What magic nutrient did this species alone contain? What does a wild animal know that we don't? I think we need this knowledge.

    Food is politics. That being the case, I voted twice in 2002. The day after Election Day, in a truly dismal mood, I climbed the mountain behind my house and found a small herd of elk grazing native grasses in the morning sunlight. My respect for these creatures over the years has become great enough that on that morning I did not hesitate but went straight to my job, which was to rack a shell and drop one cow elk, my household's annual protein supply. I voted with my weapon of choice-an act not all that uncommon in this world, largely, I think, as a result of the way we grow food. I can see why it is catching on. Such a vote has a certain satisfying heft and finality about it. My particular bit of violence, though, is more satisfying, I think, than the rest of the globe's ordinary political mayhem. I used a rifle to opt out of an insane system. I killed, but then so did you when you bought that package of burger, even when you bought that package of tofu burger. I killed, then the rest of those elk went on, as did the grasses, the birds, the trees, the coyotes, mountain lions, and bugs, the fundamental productivity of an intact natural system, all of it went on.


Richard Manning is the author of Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization, published by North Point Press.

 
© : t r u t h o u t 2004

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sfgate.com - Sunday, August 8, 2004

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/08/08/BAGS384OFM1.DTL

Saving the rain forests, starting with the city

- Janine DeFao, Chronicle Staff Writer

Randy Hayes has a 500-year plan to save the rain forest. He thinks he can save Oakland in one-fifth of that time.

The founder of Rainforest Action Network has spent two decades pressuring huge companies not to destroy tropical forests from Central America to Indonesia. Now, he's set his sights on the concrete jungle.

As Mayor Jerry Brown's sustainability director, Hayes envisions an Oakland that recycles all of its trash by 2020, is fully powered by alternative energy by 2030 and has drastically reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Those are the short-term goals in a century-long time line Hayes is drafting for the city. Already, he is working to get developers to install solar power and taxi drivers to use hydrogen fuel.

While Oakland bears little resemblance to the Amazon, to Hayes, protecting and improving their environments is essentially the same thing.

"2004 is the first year more people live in cities than in rural areas around the world," Hayes said. "Cities are the place to deliver the solutions."

Brown said he hired Hayes for the three-day-a-week, $55,000 job because he wanted someone with "commitment and imagination" who had real-world (real nongovernment) experience.

And while 100-year plans bring few political rewards in an age of term limits and short attention spans, they may be just what the planet needs, he said.

"Society is being pressured into attention deficit on a very broad scale, " said Brown, who has long championed sustainability. "That's not ecologically sound over the long term."

Hayes' commitment to the environment is more than a job. The 100-year-old Mill Valley farmhouse he shares with his wife of four years, Lillian, and teenage stepchildren is solar powered, and has a quarter-acre vegetable garden and a chicken named Betty. The two family cars are hybrid Toyota Priuses.

Sitting in his City Hall office in a blue dress shirt and tie, Hayes, 54, looks more button-down bureaucrat than tree hugger, although he wears a gold lapel pin of Oakland's symbol, an oak tree.

While he has dedicated most of his adult life to saving trees, his office floor is covered in stacks of paper -- on topics from alternative fuel to green businesses, schools, food and tide power -- that he is researching for the sustainability plan Brown wants him to write for Oakland.

On the walls are early 20th century oil paintings of trees, coincidentally left by the office's former occupant, a sketch for a mural of Amazon activist Chico Mendez and a poster from Brown's second run for president in 1980. (Slogan: "Protect the Earth. Serve the People. Explore the Universe.")

It was a few years later that Hayes first met Brown, through mutual friend Angie Thieriot, wife of former Chronicle Publisher Dick Thieriot. Around the same time, Hayes founded Rainforest Action Network.

Born in West Virginia and raised in the swamps of Central Florida, Hayes moved to the Bay Area in 1973, seeking the remnants of the Beat culture after having met poet Gary Snyder at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, which Hayes attended.

He enrolled at San Francisco State University for a degree in environmental planning and was thrust into the environmental movement while working on his master's thesis, a documentary on coal and uranium mining on the Colorado plateau and its effects on American Indians.

The controversial film "The Four Corners: A National Sacrifice Area?" won an Academy Award for best student film in 1983.

During the five years he worked on the film, Hayes learned of the plight of the rain forest from inhabitants such as Australian aborigines and native Hawaiians, who were visiting the Hopis of the Colorado Plateau.

"I had begun to develop an expertise in understanding indigenous cultures, fragile ecosystems, giant corporations threatening their land and insensitive government bureaucracies to deal with it. What I found is that the story of the rain forest is basically the same story," Hayes said.

After his first visit to a rain forest, on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula -- during which he got lost and had to be rescued by an illegal gold miner -- Hayes founded Rainforest Action Network in 1985.

The San Francisco nonprofit uses boycotts, protests and other public campaigns to try to improve the environmental practices of some of the world's largest corporations.

It counts among its victories persuading Burger King to stop buying Central American beef, which was contributing to deforestation; pressuring the World Bank to stop funding hydroelectric dams in the Amazon; and getting Home Depot to agree to stop selling wood products from endangered forests.

Most recently, in January, Citigroup became the first multinational bank to agree to stop financing logging, mining and other extractive industries in primary tropical forests and to screen its loans for other environmental impacts.

Hayes' 500-year plan to save the rain forest boils down to reducing logging of forests and planting new ones. The value of such long-term plans, he says, is convincing people the goals are possible even when they seem out of reach.

Hayes' work has made him well known and respected in environmental circles and also earned him detractors, including the Center for Defense of Free Enterprise in Bellevue, Wash., which runs an anti-Rainforest Action Network Web site.

"This is a political agenda that's simply anticapitalist. It's never clean enough or green enough," said the center's executive vice president, Ron Arnold, who criticized Hayes and his colleagues as lawbreakers.

Hayes, who joined the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle and estimates he has been arrested 18 times, takes the criticism in stride.

"You bet we piss off some people," he said. "We believe these are life and death issues. We're willing to take nonviolent action."

Despite the successes, Hayes -- who gave up running the day-to-day operations of Rainforest Action Network about five years ago but remains its president -- said he found working at the macro levels limiting.

"We're seeing decades go by without getting the job done," he said. "At the international and national level, it's very hard for a concerned citizen to feel like you have any impact. But at the city and county level, there's a greater chance of making a difference."

Ten years ago, Hayes was appointed to San Francisco's advisory Commission on the Environment and quickly became its president, a post he held until he took the Oakland job in November.

During his tenure, San Francisco voters passed a $100 million solar bond initiative. The city set a goal of producing zero waste by 2020, banned the sale of mercury thermometers and became the first in the nation to adopt the "precautionary principle," which means it takes a better-safe-than-sorry approach when buying chemicals and other products that could impact the environment and human health.

Hayes would like to see such efforts spread to other cities. He and Jared Blumenfeld, director of San Francisco's Department of Environment, plan to invite the mayors of the world's 100 largest cities to an environmental conference in June.

"Cities consume 75 percent of the world's natural resources," Blumenfeld said. And "cities have a lot more in common than countries."

In Oakland, Hayes said, 5 megawatts of solar power already are in the works, enough to power 5,000 homes.

The City Council last month approved a $7.8 million plan to place solar panels on city buildings including the downtown Oakland Ice Center that will generate 1 megawatt of power. Hayes also is working with Forest City Enterprises, which is developing a massive mixed-use development downtown, on incorporating solar.

He wants Oakland to be the most energy-efficient city in the nation, and believes it could buy all of its power from alternative sources, through large- scale purchasing, by 2030.

Hayes also is working to encourage green building practices and looking for ways to promote hydrogen-powered cars. The mayor would like to drive one, he said, and he and Councilwoman Nancy Nadel have been meeting with local taxi companies to encourage them to use some hydrogen fuel in their natural-gas powered cars.

For Hayes, the goal is nothing short of saving the planet, which, in turn, would save the rain forest.

"I really do believe we can build a new army for the Earth and do it from city government," he said. "You'll never really save the rain forest until you build a sustainable society in the industrial north."

"Whose foot is really on the throat of the rain forest? It's London, it's Tokyo, it's the U.S."

E-mail Janine DeFao at jdefao@sfchronicle.com.

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Saturday, August 7, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: Iraqi Death Toll Rises as Resistance Grows

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.08

Report: Global Warming Means More Smog

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Hiroshima Mayor Chastises U.S. for Developing Small Nukes
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804K.shtml

Iraqi Death Toll Rises as Resistance Grows
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804A.shtml

Military Intelligence Directed and Encouraged Torture
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804B.shtml

Job Growth Slips, Oil Prices Climb
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804C.shtml

White House Race Gets Nasty
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804D.shtml

Kerry Seeks Energy Independence
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804E.shtml

Study: 9 Million Lost Health Coverage Since 2001
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804F.shtml

Jim Hightower | Bush Zones Go National
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804H.shtml

U.S. Unions Back Iraqi Labor Militants
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804I.shtml

Richard Gott | Why Hugo Chavez is Heading for a Stunning Victory
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804J.shtml

A Comic-Book Response to 9/11 and Its Aftermath
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804L.shtml

FOCUS: Unmasking of Qaeda Mole Draws Outrage from Security Community
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804W.shtml

Nader Fails to Make California Ballot
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804X.shtml

Iraqi Government Shuts Al-Jazeera Station
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804Y.shtml

U.S. Destroys Operation Against Al-Qaida
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080804Z.shtml

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latimes.com - August 8 2004

Laws of the Jungle

1) Don't Harm the Rain Forest

2) Don't Ignore the Rainforest Action Network

3) Don't Underestimate Randy Hayes

By Steve Chapple

Special to The Times


COVER STORY

Laws of the Jungle


It was a devastating attack ad. Over footage of a dying bird covered in oil and rivers burning in chemical fires, actress Susan Sarandon states: "Thousands are standing against Citigroup, the world's largest financer of environmental destruction." It is preceded by Sarandon and fellow actors Daryl Hannah and Ed Asner reading the names of Citibank credit card holders, and then cutting the cards in half. Ali MacGraw snips a card and then Sarandon's voice-over continues as giant trees fall to the whine of chain saws: "And when you use a Citibank Card, you fund it too." She cuts another card and adds: "Tell Citibank, 'Not with my money.' " With his gravelly trademark solemnity, Asner concludes: "Stop bankrolling bulldozers. Cut your card."

Snip.

Sanford I. ("Sandy") Weill, the CEO (now chairman) of Citigroup-the largest financial services institution in the world-watched the 30-second ad in April 2003. The Rainforest Action Network's campaign had been building relentlessly for almost three years, and Weill knew the conservation group's demands: an end to Citigroup's financing of illegal logging anywhere in the world, no oil drilling in environmentally sensitive "no-go" zones where fragile plants and animals might be endangered and indigenous people displaced, and a phase-out of funding for fossil fuels, which, in the network's view, contribute to global warming.

Since Citigroup is a leading private funder of global mining, logging and drilling, these were audacious demands with far-reaching implications for how banks and multinational corporations do business in a world of environmental concerns.

But the Rainforest Action Network had chalked up an impressive string of victories since its founding in 1985 by Weill's nemesis, Randy Hayes. The rowdy grass-roots organization had forced Burger King to cancel contracts for "rain forest beef," or cattle raised on newly cleared tropical rain forest, especially in Central America. It had induced Occidental Petroleum and Shell to abandon oil pipelines in Colombia that arguably could have destroyed Amazonian rain forests and displaced the native U'wa people. In 1999, the group persuaded Home Depot, the largest seller of wood products in the world, not to buy items manufactured from old-growth trees unless the trees have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. In 2003, the network persuaded Boise Cascade to stop logging old-growth forests in Oregon, Canada, Chile and other places around the globe.

"Whether you agree with his tactics or not, Randy has gotten companies to live up to their environmental responsibilities," says Jim Brumm, executive vice president of Mitsubishi, who duked it out with Hayes and his group in the 1990s over Mitsubishi's use of old-growth forests for product packaging.

The Boise campaign was particularly bitter, with the Rainforest Action Network's tax-exempt status attacked and Boise's brand sullied by the sight of protesters, including musicians such as Bonnie Raitt and John Densmore being arrested on national television in front of the company's Chicago offices. Perhaps most damaging to Boise's bottom line, the network persuaded 400 retail customers, including Kinko's-one of the largest consumers of paper in the country-to stop using Boise's products until it abandoned old-growth trees. Such a chain of custody now exists that it's possible to trace paper to the forests from which the trees were cut.

These market campaigns enable "an end run around Washington," as BusinessWeek has put it, during a political period when "drill-at-full-speed" is the watch-phrase along the Potomac. According to the Vancouver Sun: "With that one statement, Home Depot . . . did more to change logging practices in [British Columbia] than 10 years of environmental wars and decades of government regulations."

"The two things that Rainforest Action Network does best are kick corporate ass and throw great parties," said actor-director Tim Robbins upon receiving the group's 2003 World Rainforest Award.

And the life of this green party is its president, Randy "Hurricane" Hayes.

The streets-to-boardroom style came naturally to Hayes, the contentious 54-year-old son of a long-haul truck driver from Florida, with one grandmother who was part Blackfoot and another grandmother who was part Cherokee. Hayes moved in the '70s to San Francisco, presiding over a party house on Jones Street that played host to the city's rock, writer and environmental communities. He soon gravitated to the Earth Island Institute circle of doers and thinkers around David Brower's table at Enrico's, the North Beach bistro. Brower, who had helped save the Grand Canyon from "dam-nation" during his tenure as the first executive director of the Sierra Club, touted a two-edged motto: "Think Green."

The idea of rain forests-which once covered 12% of the earth's land mass, serving as the lungs for the planet-was discussed at Enrico's, and money from Brower's loose "lunch fund" helped seed the Rainforest Action Network. As the pixilated Hayes improbably aged, he began to think large and long. At a meeting of environmental leaders in Los Angeles in 1992 he proposed a 500-year plan for the planet.

"If you say we need to solve smog and congestion in 20 years, it seems understandably hopeless," Hayes explains today. "Fifty years, and people are open; 75, and optimism returns. A 500-year plan clears a lot of air."

But the Citigroup fight was a monumental clash of cultures-ant versus elephant, a $2-million-a-year nonprofit versus a mega-corporation with a market value of more than $200 billion.

The Rainforest Action Network's timing was good, however. Citigroup was in a bad streak: plummeting profits; investment banking scandals (for which it would pay $300 million in fines); even the allegation that Weill had finessed the entry of Citigroup stock analyst Jack Grubman's twin boys into an exclusive Manhattan preschool in return for rating AT&T, a Citigroup client, favorably. Citigroup did not need a rain forest monkey on its back.

The Citigroup campaign was launched in 2000, but a key event occurred in August 2002, when the Rainforest Action Network purchased a full-page ad in the International Herald Tribune while Weill was visiting his grandchildren in Europe. The headline blared: "Put a Face on Global Warming and Forest Destruction." And there was Weill's gentle and smiling face, framed beside George W. Bush and James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank.

Approaching retirement, Weill was concerned about his company's reputation, and he was puzzled, if not chagrined, to be cast as an environmental villain.

By early 2003, in response to the print portion of the Rainforest campaign, about 20,000 credit cards had been cut, with some of the plastic shards mailed to Weill and some to Hayes' group. Citibank's retail branches had been disrupted by demonstrators who chained themselves to entrances in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City. An enormous banner had been unfurled across from Citigroup's Manhattan headquarters that read, in part: "Citi Ethically Bankrupt." Weill was personally dogged by activists handing out "Wanted" leaflets, from New York City to his home in Greenwich, Conn.

"My experience with bankers," says Hayes, "is that if you can sit down with them and open their eyes to a few things they haven't thought about, then they are often not personally antithetic to the message."

Hayes delivered his message to Weill at an April 3 lecture given by the executive to several hundred business students at Cornell University. Weill, class of '55, had donated more than $200 million to the university. He was describing the upshot of Citibank's investment banking scandals and speaking of the positive effects of globalization. A young activist stood up and told Weill that many Cornell students were bothered by what they saw as Citigroup's funding of destructive rain forest projects and, luckily, the founder and president of the Rainforest Action Network happened to be sitting beside her.

"Mr. Weill, meet Mr. Hayes," said the young woman to a chorus of applause, laughter and boos.

"Well, have him stand up," Weill said.

"Thank you, Mr. Weill," Hayes said. "We both want to bring responsibility to business and leave the world a better place than we found it. And although you do not think the world is going to hell in a handbasket, a fair number of people do. I'd like to work together with you to bring environmental responsibility to Citigroup, and I'd also like to invite you to join me in an academic debate on the subject."

"It's good to know there are people dedicating their lives to making the world a better place," replied Weill, diplomatically. "I think the environment is an important issue, and Citigroup is taking steps to address it. We'll be taking more steps in the future, and we look forward to working with your group and many others on an ongoing basis. I don't think I have enough experience to join you in an academic debate on this matter, but I look forward to working with you."

They were two mandarins dancing at arm's length.

Weill reflected on how embarrassed he had been to be reprimanded by his grandkids over the ad in the International Herald Tribune. Hayes jumped back up and said, "Well, I hope we can run another ad in the future where we are both on the same page, working hand in hand to find a solution to these problems."

Days later, the star-studded attack ad hit the airwaves.

On April 15, 2003, Citigroup was scheduled to hold its annual shareholder meeting at Carnegie Hall. Michael Brune, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network, had given notice that the group would be there in force. Hours before the meeting, Citigroup executives and the network agreed to start negotiations toward a permanent policy on environmental standards. As an act of good faith, Citigroup agreed to stop arranging financing for a pipeline project in Peru that threatened the rain forest. The Rainforest Action Network agreed to temporarily halt its campaign for three months.

Three months turn into eight, and there is progress, but still no agreement. As the Christmas holidays approach, Hayes and Brune purr for the Oakland airport in Hayes' hybrid Toyota Prius. They are off to Santa Fe, the first in the group's annual round of high-donor parties, with actress and card-snipper Ali MacGraw as the advertised draw.

Upon landing, Hayes relays a message to James Gollin, his board chairman: "Hey, dude, I look forward to partying with you, drinking with you, sharing a few Alka-Seltzers with you and, most of all, I'm looking forward to your babe!" Though Hayes counts some of the more politically correct humans in California as his friends, he has never been accused of this himself.

At the Hennington Gallery, Hayes surveys the space, tequila in hand. MacGraw, who has a home in the high desert here, arrives early, but says she must leave soon for a yoga class. Someone comments on the verve with which she scissored her Citibank Card in the attack ad.

"I've cut up a lot of credit cards in my time," she jokes.

"Randy called and asked me to do the ad," she says in a later phone conversation. "The organization seems so less driven by rage than possibility. It's so easy to read the paper and go, 'God, it's hopeless,' yet with Randy and RAN, I know they will find a way to effect change.

"Randy has a very deep quality of-he's very real. He's authentic, he's humble, he's not the poster boy-I've only met him twice-but his spirit is . . . ," she laughs, "infectious. If that ad was the nightmare to make some real thinking happen, then bravo."

After a round of photos, MacGraw excuses herself. Twelve-year-old tequilas are passed out like Coca-Colas. A man believed to be one of the richest people in the country-an heir to a forest fortune, coincidentally-is asked what he thinks of Hayes.

"Randy is . . . awesome," he says, speaking in a slow, measured voice. "Change-real change-is like a supertanker. Randy goes straight to the prow and turns the ship."

An investment banker who knows Weill says of Hayes: "Randy gets the job done. I'm here. I'm having a good time. Understand that this is not on the record."

Hayes makes a short speech.

"I hung out around the Southwest for 10 years," he says, "basically as secretary and chauffeur to the Hopi elders, where I learned so much about what long-term thinking is all about, the marriage of the cycles of nature with appropriate technology. You can have a modern society with the accouterments we enjoy without upsetting the balance of the life-support systems of the planet, of Mother Earth. That, in the briefest sense, is what RAN is all about."

In the middle of dinner, the bride from a wedding party in the next room comes over, perhaps to tongue-lash Hayes about the racket. Instead, she hands him an envelope. It's a check made out to his group. She wants to start her marriage by doing the right thing, she says.

Brunch the next day is at Gollin's adobe. Burnt Mexican coffee laced with cinnamon is ladled from a black pot on the stove, while Gollin mixes a libation of the Brazilian liquor cachaça, thickened with mango, tamarind and guava-all rain forest fruits. He calls the concoction a "RANsack."

Gollin was a rare American working amid the tumult of the Tokyo stock exchange in the '80s go-go years. "So you see," he explains, "RAN is not anti-capitalist. Our board is cutting-edge capitalist. We just believe in doing the right thing: 'Stop funding the bad stuff. Start funding the good stuff' "-a Rainforest Action Network motto, as is "Follow the money."

But would Citigroup use an agreement to make itself look good at the expense of Hayes' group-what he calls "green-washing?"

"It's not a cynic who thinks Citigroup, or Burger King, or Home Depot, or Boise Cascade is using Rainforest Action. It's a realist," says Hayes, relaxing in Gollin's hot tub. "In the case of Citi, it's too early to say who is using whom. A lot of these things are the lesser of two evils. There may not be the giant shift to an ecologically sustainable society, but sometimes the best you can do is dramatically reduce the harm being done to the earth and buy a little more time.

"That's what I see with Citi. The commitments we're getting on one level are bold and wonderful, and on the other are really quite weak. But if it dramatically halts deforestation in certain regions, like Indonesia, then it is of consequence."

Two days later it's time for another fundraiser. At LAX, Hayes compliments the Budget car rental people on making the Prius available to socially conscious customers. On the freeway, Hayes dials Bonnie Raitt, Woody Harrelson, John Densmore and Ed Asner to let them know he is in town for the donor party that evening. Hayes is jokey, but careful to outline the high points of the campaigns with Boise and Citigroup.

On the way to Pacific Palisades for the party, Hayes cites a string of movies he believes made the rain forest real to millions of people: "At Play in the Fields of the Lord," "Medicine Man," "The Emerald Forest" and "FernGully: The Last Rainforest." One might expect tonight's event to be a serious Hollywood hoedown. But the overflow crowd at the home of movie producer Bill Benenson and his wife, Laurie, is mostly celeb-free and, unlike Santa Fe, this gathering is squeaky serious-except for Densmore's joking recollection of his contribution to the Boise campaign.

"I give RAN $150,000 and they get me arrested," he says.

The after-party is at Chez Jay's in Santa Monica. It's almost closing time, but there's a distraction that Hayes can no longer tolerate. At the bar, a young, tall, blond woman with a bare midriff keeps stretching about, causing her black thong to show. She's with her boyfriend, who looks like a roadie for a heavy-metal band.

Hayes, who is happily married, walks to the bar to pay his bill. "From our table," he says to the woman, "I couldn't help but notice the way your thong . . . ."

The woman lifts a full glass of chardonnay above Hayes' head. A wet and inglorious finale to the evening seems forthcoming. Then Hayes hangs back his head, opens his mouth and closes his eyes.

The woman stares at the top of his head, then pours the wine down his throat. Hayes' party leaves before her boyfriend can demonstrate what he thinks of the rain forest.

On a December morning, Hayes is in transition with a new part-time job: sustainability director for the city of Oakland-a title he worries does not fit elegantly on a business card.

"I haven't really called myself an environmentalist for a while now," Hayes explains. "I prefer to talk about sustainability from a whole systems perspective: the three E's-ecology, economics and social equity. We knew back in the late '60s that the most fundamental part of building a sustainable society was how you powered it, with efficiency and renewable energy, but it didn't happen. We didn't get the job done in the '70s, or the '80s, or the '90s, either. So, let's do it."

The mayors of the world's 100 largest cities have been invited to San Francisco for a green symposium in June 2005-the 60th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations charter. Hayes hopes to green-up much of Northern California with cost-effective light-rail systems, hydrogen buses, tide-power generators under the Golden Gate Bridge, and solar panels atop public schools and participating private businesses. In 1998, he was instrumental in raising about $200 million from two public bond issues in San Francisco-the beginning, he believes, of a self-sustaining network of eco-cities. He offers to show off the roof of Moscone Center, a vast, black, gleaming surface of 5,700 solar panels, one of the largest displays of solar power in the country.

Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown has assigned Hayes the task of developing a new green architectural design for the city's central police station. Hayes is amused that someone who has been arrested as many times as he has for civil disobedience will help oversee the retrofitting of police headquarters.

Hayes heads for a strategy lunch in San Francisco's financial district. He explains that there is a snag in the Citigroup negotiations. The World Wildlife Fund wants the bank not to fund a big pipeline through a national park in Turkey. Part test, part professional courtesy, Hayes' group contemplates holding off on a final agreement with Citigroup until a decision is made.

At the lunch meeting, Ilyse Hogue, director of the Rainforest Action Network's Global Finance Campaign, recaps the negotiations. Weill came only to the first meeting, at Citigroup's Manhattan offices, she says, "to put his ownership on the process." He spoke of his own extensive holdings in upstate New York, where the difference between old-growth and secondary forests is evident. He joked to Michael Brune, "Smile." Brune scowled harder.

"Citi hadn't made any agreements so far," Brune recalls. "I didn't want to give them premature credit."

Citigroup officials (who declined to comment for this story) then flew to San Francisco for the next round of meetings at Hayes' offices. These quarters are homey, with rain forest plants everywhere, and they're extensive, occupying two floors of a downtown office building. Now the sessions got wonky. The two sides danced around the difference between strict "no-go zones" to protect fragile species and pristine places, and Citigroup's preferred wording, "high-caution zones." They settled on "critical natural habitat." When the topic of climate change caused by projects financed by Citigroup was introduced, the company's negotiators grew angry. "I think they thought they had given away plenty already," Hogue says. Hayes recalls that Pamela Flaherty, Citigroup's senior vice president of global community relations, began to shout.

"Don't you yell at me, and in my own office!" Brune replied.

"These negotiations are always tough," says Hogue, whose father is a Citibank-affiliated stockbroker. "We were asking Citigroup to make some pretty dramatic changes. These are emotional moments."

"Everybody walked out," Hayes recalls, chuckling. "I'm left sitting there alone. After a while, they all came back."

On Jan. 22, in San Francisco and New York, an agreement was finally announced. The Rainforest Action Network won its demand that Citigroup cease the funding of illegal logging. Its financing of oil and gas drilling will be run through an environmental litmus as well, watched over by Hayes & Co., under threat of further demonstrations. The concept of the strict "no-go zone" was weakened, labeled as a "high-caution zone," where development might still be funded, any impacts to be evaluated by Citigroup. As for reducing greenhouse emissions, Hayes' group is not entirely satisfied, since Citigroup has not yet committed to targets and guidelines.

Still, the Rainforest Action Network placed a full-page ad in the New York Times thanking Citigroup. Pamela Flaherty sent a huge bouquet of flowers to the Rainforest offices.

On another winter day, Hayes fires up his Prius and drives across the Richmond Bridge, contemplating his group's next target. The answer is always in the back of Hayes' mind: Follow the money.

The complete article can be viewed at: <>

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Questions from Grist editors | Questions from readers - 06 Aug 2004

Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capitalism, Inc.

Lovins Spoonful

Hunter Lovins, thinker on sustainability, answers readers' questions


I admire your guts and fortitude as a woman. Do you think being a woman makes you a "better" environmentalist?    -- Debbie Hindman, Denver, Colo.

I don't know whether being female makes me better or worse at anything. I might be tempted to say yes, but then there's Dave Brower, who has me beat on being an environmentalist, hands down. But then there's Janine Benyus ... and Randy Hayes ... and Wangari Maathai ... I know so many great men and so many great women whose hearts are pure and who are more committed than me that I'd sure be hesitant to turn this into any sort of competition.

For complete article:

http://www.gristmagazine.com/interactivist/lovins080604.asp

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www.sfgate.com - Friday, August 6, 2004


San Rafael man leads team in Everest ascent

- Jim Doyle, Chronicle Staff Writer

He disputes the notion that climbers are macho guys who trash the landscape. His heroes include explorer John Muir and conservationist David Brower.


Tom McMillan shows few signs of being addicted to danger.

The mild-mannered computer whiz lives with his wife in a San Rafael suburb and commutes by ferryboat to an office on the San Francisco waterfront. He talks about his passion for rock climbing with an air of humility.

After scaling the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest this spring, McMillan had hoped to enjoy a panoramic view of the Himalayas, with their vast river valleys and towering peaks. Instead, his five-member Friendship Beyond Borders Expedition team stood above a dense layer of rain clouds.

No matter. Posing for photographs beside McMillan at dawn on May 16 was his mountaineering friend Nawang Sherpa, who had just become the first person to climb the world's highest peak with a prosthetic leg.

"We took some risks," McMillan said in an interview. "Nawang made a great achievement. No one with a disability as severe as his has ever done anything like this. For five years we had tried to help Nawang get to Everest."

McMillan, 48, is a software developer for AMB Property Corp. of San Francisco, a real estate investment trust. He lives in Lucas Valley with his wife, Linda, who is a rock climber, business consultant and conservationist.

"I pretty much spend all my free time climbing," McMillan said. "For me, it's been a lifelong obsession."

McMillan grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and began rock climbing as a teenager. At 16, he visited Yosemite National Park and climbed the west face of Leaning Tower, which took 2 1/2 days.

"That was the first big climb I made and it scared the crap out of me," he said. "It was audacious."

A year later, he scaled the North American wall of Yosemite's El Capitan -- the first of his many ascents of El Capitan, including its most difficult routes, Reticent and Tempest. In 1981, he climbed Mount Edith Cavell in the Canadian Rockies.

He studied chemical engineering at the University of Utah, then worked in Arizona before moving to the Bay Area in 1986 to take a job with SRI International. He lived in Menlo Park, met Linda at Yosemite, and they began climbing together. They were married in the Yosemite chapel three years later.

McMillan was an early investor in San Francisco's Mission Cliffs Climbing and Fitness Club, where he perfected his climbing technique in the mid-1990s.

He has climbed twice in the Peruvian Andes and seven times in the Swiss Alps. In 1991, he scaled the Central Pillar of Freney on Mount Blanc in France. On the Cassin Ridge of Alaska's Denali (Mount McKinley) in 1992, he climbed past the grisly sight of an Italian climber whose corpse was left dangling by a rope after a sudden storm hit.

In 1998, his attempt to climb Annapurna -- also in Nepal -- was aborted because of avalanches and heavy snowstorms. Last year, McMillan ascended the 7,536-meter Mustagh Ata in western China -- which he considered a test for his ability to withstand high altitude.

He's also had some close calls.

In September 1991, he scaled the north face of the Matterhorn with his longtime climbing buddy Mark Melvin of Larkspur.

"We really underestimated how hard it would be," McMillan said. "It was much more technical than we expected, we weren't acclimatized, and we were out of shape."

A snowstorm left both of them hanging from pitons on a sheer wall. They had no warm clothes or tents. Their expected 7 1/2-hour climb took 51 1/2 hours. A rescue helicopter could not find them.

"They thought we were dead," he said. "It was really dumb. It was just hubris. We should have done some warm-up climbs."

McMillan also had a close call in 2000 on the Reticent wall of El Capitan when a huge block of granite gave way. He fell almost 40 feet, before reaching the end of his climbing rope. "I was absolutely certain I was about to die," he said.

The catalyst for the Everest expedition occurred over lunch in spring 2003 when Hamid Moghadam, AMB Property's chairman and chief executive officer, asked McMillan whether he dreamed of climbing the world's tallest peak.

McMillan replied that he never considered it because of the expense. Moghadam offered $25,000 of his own money for his employee to lead an expedition. McMillan decided it was a perfect opportunity to help Nawang Sherpa, who lost his left leg when his motorcycle collided with a bus in 2000 in Kathmandu.

The Everest expedition's budget of $60,000 included airplane tickets, permits from Nepal's government, Sherpa guides, food and supplies. McMillan raised the additional $35,000 from private and corporate sources. Several of AMB Property's top execs and other employees made contributions. Early backers also included Jim Wickwire, one of the first Americans to climb K2 in Pakistan, the world's second-highest peak.

Tom Halvorson, of Duluth, Minn., provided the new prosthetic device for Nawang Sherpa's left leg, and the nonprofit High Exposure Foundation paid for his treatment. Walter Racette of UC San Francisco's Department of Orthopedic Surgery had provided Sherpa with his first prosthetic leg after his motorcycle accident.

McMillan endured months of heavy-duty training -- hitting the gym up to three times a day for weightlifting and aerobic workouts, methodically tracking his pulse rate. He climbed at the Class 5 Climbing-Health Club in San Rafael. He took 15-mile runs and mountain-biking expeditions through the Marin hills. He skied at Lake Tahoe to train his body to adjust to higher elevations.

Some mountaineers view Everest with disdain because its climbers rely on fixed ropes, supplemental oxygen and Sherpas, an ethnic group of strong, genial mountaineers. But the ascent takes days of rugged climbing.

"It's definitely a lot safer than it used to be," McMillan said. "Historically, there was a 1 in 20 chance that you'd die from climbing Everest, the equivalent of being on the front lines of combat."

More than 1,300 people are believed to have made it to the summit, and nearly 200 have died in the attempt since Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand first scaled Everest in 1953 with a Sherpa named Tenzing Norgay. Five-day weather forecasts and accumulated knowledge of the mountain's weather patterns have significantly raised the odds of survival.

In April, McMillan and Nawang Sherpa trekked to the Everest base camp.

"The Khumbu region of Everest was particularly spectacular," McMillan said. "The peaks are so steep and magnificent."

The two spent several days acclimating themselves to the high altitudes, climbing between the mountain's base camp and upper camps when the snow and wind permitted. The altitude gave McMillan severe headaches.

"I'm fortunate because I've got a God-given ability to acclimatize," McMillan said. "It really boils down to genetics."

At Everest's higher altitudes, there is not enough oxygen to sustain the body's metabolic processes and to turn food into energy.

McMillan brought along beef jerky and energy bars.

The two climbers rested for four days in a village at 12,000 feet, which improved their strength. Then, they waited at base camp with other climbers from around the world for a lull in the weather.

They knew that storms and hurricane-strength winds arise in the afternoon, and that avalanches, exhaustion, dehydration, frostbite and pneumonia had forced legions of others off the mountain. They recalled the 1996 disaster -- depicted by the bestseller "Into Thin Air" -- when eight climbers died after getting lost in a storm.

McMillan and Nawang Sherpa were assisted by three Sherpas, who acted as guides and high-altitude porters who carried the expedition's tents, sleeping bags, food and supplemental oxygen tanks for the higher altitudes. One of them, Nima Gombu Sherpa, had climbed Everest 10 times.

"Some people treat the sherpas with disrespect. I wanted everyone to be part of the team, not just be the sahib," McMillan said. "I don't think the Sherpas get enough credit. They do most all of the work. Without them, I most certainly would not have made it."

Before his climb, McMillan was offered puja prayer beads and lotus petals. He asked for the blessing of Chomolungma -- "Goddess Mother of the Earth."

On May 15, the wind faded.

McMillan's down suit and climbing boots performed well, but his eyeglasses often froze.

In this spring's climbing season, 168 people successfully climbed Everest from Nepal. Retired physician Nils Antezana, 69, of Washington, died after apparently losing his way due to snow blindness on the South Col route that McMillan took.

After reaching the summit, McMillan posed with several flags, including one from AMB Property. He shot videos of his team and the stark landscape, with its gray rock, glacier-blue ice and sky. He called his wife and his boss in California via a satellite phone.

McMillan is editing video footage for a documentary on the expedition, which aims to inspire people to overcome their physical disabilities and other special challenges.

In the last 15 years or so, McMillan has seen significant improvements in cold-weather clothing, boots and tents, the advent of high-tech telecommunications and the availability of accurate weather forecasts that enhance safety in mountaineering.

Climbing has become increasingly popular, as evidenced by a huge rise in the number of climbing gyms around the world. Mountaineering has also become more commercialized. A new industry has emerged offering guided climbs of Everest and other high peaks. But the availability of climbing opportunities has also given inexperienced climbers a false sense of safety, resulting in mishaps and fatalities.

He disputes the notion that climbers are macho guys who trash the landscape. His heroes include explorer John Muir and conservationist David Brower.

"Climbers are often zealous environmentalists," McMillan said, "because 90 percent of the reason we're there is because of the mountain's beauty. Basically, climbers find themselves in the most beautiful places on Earth."

He also enjoys the sport's camaraderie, or what climbers call "the fellowship of the rope." Climbers trust each other with their lives. Mountain climbing is often compared to going into combat. Bad weather, sickness and interpersonal conflicts can be deadly.

He and other climbers blame the media, especially Hollywood movies, for presenting a distorted image of climbers as stunt men.

"It can be an extreme mental challenge like chess with a time limit," McMillan said. "A climber would not look at it as a Sylvester Stallone kind of situation. You need to figure out hand and foot positions as the clock is ticking and your strength is giving out."

Linda McMillan, 54, began rock climbing some 20 years ago. She has tried ice climbing and mountaineering, but prefers scaling rocks in the sun. She did not consider herself physically able to climb Everest, and did not want to put others at risk.

"In all of our lives, we each have an Everest -- meaning that it's the most difficult thing you've ever done or wanted to do," she said. "Something that seems impossible, whether it's an accomplishment in sports or just losing weight. If a Sherpa with a prosthetic leg can climb Everest, then anything's possible."

E-mail Jim Doyle at jdoyle@sfchronicle.com
URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/08/06/NBGQK81KUJ1.DTL

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Thursday, August 5, 2004 2:47 PM
Subject: Marjorie Cohn | Modern Ballot Box Stuffing: Can We Trust Team Bush?

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.06

Judge Rejects Tree Selection Process

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

J. Sri Raman | Averting a Hundred Hiroshimas
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604I.shtml

Marjorie Cohn | Modern Ballot Box Stuffing: Can We Trust Team Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604A.shtml

Doctors Accused of Helping Torture
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604J.shtml

U.S. Abuse Could Be War Crime
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604B.shtml

Bruce Springsteen | Chords for Change
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604Z.shtml

Military Intelligence Ordered Captives Hidden
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604C.shtml

U.S. Chopper Downed in Najaf
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604D.shtml

In These Times | They Knew...
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604E.shtml

Gulf Allies 'All Faced Chemical Exposure'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604F.shtml

Sara Daniels | Iraq: The Hostages' Killers Speak
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604H.shtml

CIA Muzzles 'Imperial Hubris' Author
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604K.shtml

NOW with Bill Moyers | Controversial Political Filmmakers
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604L.shtml

Rebel Cleric Calls for Uprising, Clashes Erupt
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604X.shtml

McCain Condemns Anti-Kerry Ad
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080604Y.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Amounting to Torture'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/comment/story/0,14259,1277549,00.html

The stakes are too high to sit this out

Bruce Springsteen
Friday August 06 2004
The Guardian

 

A nation's artists and musicians have a particular place in its social and political life. Over the years I've tried to think long and hard about what it means to be American: about the distinctive identity and position we have in the world, and how that position is best carried. I've tried to write songs that speak to our pride and criticise our failures.

These questions are at the heart of this election: who we are, what we stand for, why we fight. Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics. Instead, I have been partisan about a set of ideals: economic justice, civil rights, a humane foreign policy, freedom and a decent life for all of our citizens. This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out.

Through my work, I've always tried to ask hard questions. Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the world finds it so hard to keep its promise and faith with its weakest citizens? Why do we continue to find it so difficult to see beyond the veil of race? How do we conduct ourselves during difficult times without killing the things we hold dear? Why does the fulfilment of our promise as a people always seem to be just within grasp yet for ever out of reach?

I don't think John Kerry and John Edwards have all the answers. I do believe they are sincerely interested in asking the right questions and working their way towards honest solutions. They understand that we need an administration that places a priority on fairness, curiosity, openness, humility, concern for all America's citizens, courage and faith.

People have different notions of these values, and they live them out in different ways. I've tried to sing about some of them in my songs. But I have my own ideas about what they mean, too. That is why I plan to join with many fellow artists, including the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, REM, the Dixie Chicks, Jurassic 5, James Taylor and Jackson Browne in touring the country this October. We will be performing under the umbrella of a new group called Vote for Change. Our goal is to change the direction of the government and change the current administration come November.

Like many others, in the aftermath of 9/11, I felt the country's unity. I don't remember anything quite like it. I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders. Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited. We ran record deficits, while simultaneously cutting and squeezing services like after-school programmes. We granted tax cuts to the richest 1% (corporate bigwigs, well-to-do guitar players), increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of "one nation indivisible".

It is through the truthful exercising of the best of human qualities - respect for others, honesty about ourselves, faith in our ideals - that we come to life in God's eyes. It is how our soul, as a nation and as individuals, is revealed. Our American government has strayed too far from American values. It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.

New York Times - Bruce Springsteen is a writer and performer
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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Published on Thursday, August 5, 2004 by Newsday / Long Island, New York

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0805-13.htm


Remember the Moral of the Story

by Jimmy Breslin


This is the fable that George Bush had to read to his children a long time ago.

It is one of the two fables that Bush has recited. We print the first immediately below and thus prominently,
and then the second immediately after it.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

There once was a shepherd boy who sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. He took a great breath
and sang out: "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is threatening the sheep!"

The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of
the hill they found no wolf. The boy laughed to himself at the sight.

"Don't cry 'wolf,'" said the villagers, "when there's no wolf." They went down the hill.

Later, the boy sang out again, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is threatening the sheep!" He watched the villagers run
up the hill to help him drive the wolf away.

When the villagers saw no wolf, they sternly said, "Save your frightened song for when there is really
something wrong! Don't cry 'wolf' when there is NO wolf."

The boy just watched them go down the hill again.

Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, the boy leaped to his feet and sang out as
loudly as he could, "Wolf! Wolf!"

But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn't come.

The wolf, having no cause to fear, lacerated the sheep and caused the survivors to scatter. At sunset,
everybody wondered why the shepherd hadn't returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill
to find the boy. They found him weeping.

"There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, 'Wolf!' Why didn't you come?"

And a wise old man of the village said:

"A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth."

"The Boy That Cried Wolf" was so long ago that George Bush forgets it.

For here on Monday he was reading a second fable.

"Osama is coming!" he announced. Suddenly, the word "terror" ran the great city. Terrorism, terrorists, terrorist
task force, anti-terrorist task force. Thomas Ridge, Bush's Homeland Security fake, said that for sure he was
afraid they were coming. He had new intelligence that was horrifying:

Kerry could have been been doing the least bit better in polls.

Every time something like that happens, Bush stumbles or a 9/11 report comes out to make him look bad, he
cries "terrorist." He has done this for over two years now.

This time, a great bin Laden target in New York was the Citigroup Center on Lexington Avenue. You could be
incinerated if Osama gets at this building!

Right away in the morning, George Bush's wife and daughters rushed up from Washington to stand bravely in
the front of all those cameras. It was not for the election. They truly wanted to stand with New Yorkers and be
incinerated, the same as anybody else.

It probably was the one most fraudulent act we have had since the World Trade Center bombing, and at that
time, Bush himself got up on a destroyed fire engine and pretended to be tough. While not saying that he
froze during the attack.

Here is Bush's latest intelligence from his intelligence agents: George Bush tells us that once upon a time bin
Laden measured our inclines in parking garages. Oh, Lord, call out the troops!

The terrorists had records of the inclines of underground garages in big New York buildings. The TV
announcers read this with wide, fearful eyes.

And in 1993, one of the cab drivers from Jersey City, Salameh, had just put a light to a 15-foot rope that was
going to sizzle into a truck full of fertilizer and blow up the Trade Center. Salameh was getting out of there in
a car when in the exit incline was a truck that was stuck in the low ceiling. Salameh is terrorized. Finally, the
truck gets moved and up the incline rush Salameh and crew. He is in prison forever. His incline story was told
1,500 times to American agents.

Bush also released the truly disturbing news that the terrorists are watching the uniforms worn by building
security people. How chilling! How terrorizing!

Atta and the others wore polo shirts when they flew the planes into the World Trade Center buildings.

Nothing new was in the list of greatest danger that Bush released to the city in attempting to frighten
everybody into believing that he should be re-elected. Here. Look at my soldiers in your streets.

And as you listen to George Bush telling his fable, if you listen carefully, you can hear in the background the
faint but unmistakable cry of a wolf.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

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Published on Thursday, August 5, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0805-03.htm


Remembering Hiroshima at Los Alamos

by Father John Dear


Nestled in the beautiful desert hills near Santa Fe, New Mexico is the mother of all weapons of mass
destruction, the birthplace of the bomb--Los Alamos. Hundreds of us will mark the 59th anniversary of the
August 6th atomic bombing of Hiroshima by lining the main road into Los Alamos, holding our peace signs
and praying for an end to war and nuclear weapons. It remains important for thousands to protest each
November at the "School of the Americas" in Fort Benning, Georgia, as well as to demonstrate at the political
conventions. But this is the headquarters of nuclear terrorism, and more and more people need to face it and
call for its closing.

The Labs have been closed for several weeks now because of missing computer disks. But in general,
business at Los Alamos is booming. The Bush Administration's proposed 2005 budget is the largest nuclear
weapons budget in history, even though the Cold war is over and there's no other nuclear superpower. Along
with New Mexico's Sandia Labs, Los Alamos is the largest nuclear weapons laboratory in the world. During
our vigil, we will demand that those billions be spent instead on schools, jobs, homes, healthcare, medicine
for HIV/AIDS, environmental cleanup and food for the starving masses.

The Bush Administration sent 150,000 U.S. soldiers over 10,000 miles into the desert of Iraq to kill some
10,000 Iraqis supposedly to find and dismantle a weapon of mass destruction, and now everyone knows that
our government lied to us, that there never were any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that the whole
war was an effort by Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld to steal Iraq's oil for our oil companies, but we will point
out to everyone concerned about weapons of mass destruction that we've found them. They're right here in
our backyard in Los Alamos! We go to Los Alamos to say: Get rid of them! Abolish every one of them.

We name these weapons of mass destruction as immoral, sinful, evil and demonic, and call for an end to the
production, development and maintenance of these weapons of mass destruction. If Los Alamos can't keep
track of a few computer disks, they certainly can't be trusted with weapons of mass destruction; no one can.
These weapons do not make us safer or more secure or protect us. Instead, they make the whole world more
dangerous. We need to get rid of every nuclear weapon once and for all.

The nuclear age started here; it needs to end here. We want to end New Mexico's long, ugly nuclear history,
and create a new New Mexico without nuclear weapons, a land of nonviolence. So we will call upon every
employee at Los Alamos to quit their job making nuclear weapons and to find alternative, life-giving work.

There is a lot of talk this week about terror alerts, heightened security and Homeland Security guarding Wall
Street and New York Banks. But I'd like to tell Homeland Security that we have discovered thousands of
people building enormous weapons of mass destruction, in the world's largest nuclear weapons facility, the
envy of every terrorist, and hope that Homeland Security will go there quickly and close it down. That may
sound funny or strident, but what is really shocking is how normal and acceptable nuclear terrorism has
become. Most people do not think building nuclear weapons is an act of terrorism, but we name it as the
ultimate terrorism. As Philip Berrigan said, we hold the world hostage with these weapons.

Most employees at Los Alamos are church-goers, so those of us who are Christian will explain that as
followers of the nonviolent Jesus, we are forbidden to support war and commanded to "put down the sword"
and "love our enemies." We can't serve both the God of peace and the false gods of nuclear weapons. We
can't follow the nonviolent Jesus on one hand, and work at Los Alamos, pay for Los Alamos or support Los
Alamos on the other hand.

We go to Los Alamos as people of faith to say that war is not the will of God; war is never blessed by God;
war is the ultimate mortal sin; war is never justified; war is immoral; war is demonic; war is evil; war is
anti-democratic, anti-human, anti-life and anti-God; war can never end terrorism because war is terrorism; war
is not the way to serve humanity or deepen the spiritual life or find God. The God of peace calls us to repent
of the sin of war, to beat our swords into plowshares and to live in peace with every human being on the
planet. We will uphold the vision of nonviolence from the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma
Gandhi, and Dorothy Day, that peaceful means are the only way to a peaceful future and the God of peace.

Our country is in massive denial about Hiroshima. We have never dealt with it. Instead we ignore it and
pretend it didn't happen. Tomorrow we will try to look deeply at Hiroshima, to meditate on it, to see it as the
ultimate evil, and to recognize that everyone of us has to take responsibility for it, that we can no longer be
neutral or silent or quiet about it. As I reflect on Hiroshima, I realize we can no longer just try to be good, with
this much evil in our backyard. We have to speak out against this institutionalized evil; otherwise our silence is
complicity. We have to break through the culture of nuclear terrorism and the necessary silence that allows it
to flourish.

A few days after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Gandhi said flatly: "The atom bomb brought an empty victory to the
Allied arms. It resulted for the time being in destroying Japan. What has happened to the soul of the
destroying nation is yet too early to see." Today, we as a people are losing our soul because of our
commitment to these weapons of mass destruction.

At Los Alamos, we will remember Hiroshima and pledge to do what we can so that it never happens again,
and in the process, regain our soul.

John Dear is a Jesuit priest, peace activist, pastor and author of 20 books on peace and nonviolence,
including "The Questions of Jesus" and "Living Peace," both to be published next month by Doubleday. He
lives in the desert of New Mexico, where he coordinates "Pax Christi New Mexico." See: www.johndear.org
and www.paxchristinewmexico.org

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From: jlangman@netline.cl
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, August 5, 2004 9:22 AM
Subject: Survival of ancient tree hinges on political will/Miami Herald

Miami Herald, Thu, Aug. 05, 2004

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/americas/9322432.htm?1c

CHILE

Survival of ancient tree hinges on political will

BY JIMMY LANGMAN
Special to The Herald

PUERTO MONTT, Chile - At his modest office in this southern city,
Provincial Judge Manuel Pérez Sánchez looks over his large desk and
quickly gets to the point.

''All of Chile's institutions are negligent in protecting the alerce. It
is tragic,'' he says.

Judge Pérez Sánchez's criticism is so angry and sharp-edged because he and
many others here are concerned that the country is leaving severely
unprotected one of nature's greatest and rarest treasures -- the alerce
tree.

The species can live up to 4,000 years, making it the world's
second-oldest tree after California's bristlecone pine. Similar in
appearance to the giant sequoia of California, some alerces grow 150 feet
high and 15 feet in diameter.

But the tree's durable, reddish wood is prized by builders and furniture
makers, and it was on its way to being logged and burned into oblivion
until Chile's government in 1976 declared it a national monument and
prohibited the cutting of any live alerces.

The international scientific community also moved to save it by banning
the international trade of alerce wood and listing the tree as protected
under the U.N. Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES).

But the 70-year-old Pérez Sánchez says a combination of legal loopholes,
lack of political will and weak enforcement are allowing widespread
illegal logging of Chile's alerces to flourish. And he says he feels
powerless to stop it.

''Chile's forest protection law is really a forest un-protection law,''
Pérez Sánchez says.

FINES GO UNPAID

In June, the judge levied his biggest fine yet, $2 million, against a
dozen people responsible for illegally logging alerces on nearly 100,000
acres of forest in the nearby rural community of Fresia. Puerto Montt is
620 miles south of the Chilean capital of Santiago.

In his 10 years as a judge, Pérez Sánchez says he has deliberated on about
300 cases of illegal alerce logging, handing down convictions in 95
percent of the cases.

But to this day, he says, few of the guilty parties have paid their fines
because the local municipal governments don't care to follow up.

He also says the national government inexplicably shut down recently the
ecological crimes division of the Chilean police. And he complains the
jail time for the illegal logging of alerces is just 15 nights -- the
convicts are allowed to roam free during the daytime.

In May, Rosa Muñoz, a judge in nearby Los Muermos, ordered the arrest of
the executive director of Chile's forest service, known as Conaf, for
questioning on whether a powerful local senator may have unethically
pressured the agency to allow his constituents to cut the tree.

The Conaf director, Carlos Weber, who was released three days later,
issued a bevy of public denials. But his arrest stoked intense Chilean
media attention and invigorated a debate over the government's failure to
protect the alerce.

Muñoz, however, withdrew from the case in late May after receiving
anonymous death threats. A new judge, Hérnan Crisosto Greisse, has
suspended all existing Conaf-approved management plans involving alerces,
and in June detained the Conaf director for questioning.

`IT'S NOT THAT MUCH'

Weber claims the issue is overblown. ''The illegal cutting of alerce, in
the worst year, we estimate involves about 3,000 individual trees.
Compared to the number of alerces that die by natural causes each year,
it's not that much,'' Weber said.

But conservationists say that alerces exist to varying degrees on only
about 640,000 acres of mostly remote, mountainous areas in southern Chile
and some adjacent parts of western Argentina, about 83 percent of which is
unprotected on privately held land. About half the original alerce forests
have been wiped out.

The alerces have been utilized for years in Chilean construction for
siding, shingles, doors and flooring. The wood also is found in a variety
of furniture, handicrafts, musical instruments and even pencils.

On Chile's black market, wood from alerces can fetch about $60 per board
foot. In the United States, Canada or Japan, alerce is said to bring in
$500 per board foot.

JUST 12 ENGINEERS

Though dead alerces can be cut under approved management plans,
environmental groups charge that loggers falsely claim the trees are dead,
burn them to make it seem they've died naturally or just cut the trees
without Conaf's knowledge.

Réne Reyes, a Chilean forest scientist, complains that in the southern
lakes region, Conaf has ``just 12 forest engineers to enforce forest laws
covering more than 9.4 million acres of native forest.''

Chile's lower house of congress has formed a special committee to
investigate the alleged ''irregularities'' involving Conaf and illegal
trafficking in alerce timber.

But environmentalists say the high-profile scandal surrounding illegal
trade in alerce is symptomatic of a larger lack of commitment by the
Ricardo Lagos government to improve native forest protection.

''Alerces are ancient, as old as the pyramids. But the will of the
government to protect even these icons of the forests is shockingly
absent,'' says Malú Sierra, director of the group Defenders of the Chilean
Forest.

© 2004 Herald.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.miami.com

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santafenewmexican.com - July 31, 2004

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/2434.html


AP Exclusive:

Forest Service exaggerates fire impact on wildlife to justify logging expansion

By SCOTT SONNER | Associated Press
July 29, 2004

MOSQUITO RIDGE, Calif. - The Forest Service exaggerated the effect of wildfires on California spotted owls in justifying a planned increase in logging in the Sierra Nevada, according to a longtime agency expert who worked on the plan.
Other wildlife biologists inside and outside the Forest Service confirm that at least seven of 18 sites listed by the agency as owl habitat destroyed by wildfires are green, flourishing and occupied by the rare birds of prey.

The new disclosures _ in interviews with The Associated Press, tours of the areas in question and reviews of hundreds of pages of documents _ raise new questions about the agency's conclusion in January that significantly more logging of bigger trees must be allowed to protect the region's oldest forests.

The Forest Service's claim that an average of 4.5 owl sites a year have been lost to Sierra wildfires over the past four years is included in a plan to reduce wildfire threats and in a controversial agency brochure. The "Forests with a Future" brochure already is under fire from some members of Congress and others who say the agency misrepresented forest conditions in California by substituting photographs from Montana.

"I'm real uncomfortable with the constant portrayal of fire in the environment as a negative thing _ all hellfire and brimstone," said Michael Gertsch, a Forest Service wildlife biologist since 1976. Gertsch said he was removed last year from the team that wrote the plan to manage the 11 national forests in the Sierra Nevada after he complained repeatedly about the agency's mischaracterization of the effect fires have on the owl, which is dependent on old stands of trees.

An important statement that put fire threats in perspective was stricken from the final version of the plan published in January, Gertsch told The Associated Press.

"It was dropped because the conclusion of my analysis was that fire appears to be more of a maintenance mechanism than a destructive force for owl habitat," said Gertsch, who works as the agency's Pacific Southwest regional coordinator of threatened and endangered species.

"The only reason the revisions were made was to allow logging of bigger trees," said Chad Hanson, director of the John Muir Project, which is appealing the plan to Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth. "It was a gift to the timber industry."
Forest Service regional spokesman Matt Mathes said any discrepancies between the data used to calculate effects on owls and forest conditions are due to outdated figures "and not an intentional attempt to mislead."

"We went with what we knew at the time. They were lost at the time the draft went out. Things change on the ground," Mathes said.

An AP tour of two owl habitat sites reported destroyed by fire according to the Forest Service showed mostly green forests. In the worst case, about one-third the forest area had burned. Forest Service biologists confirmed one of the sites remained inhabited by spotted owls and acknowledged the other could support the birds.

The same seems true across much of the Sierra, according to agency experts and others.

A wildlife biologist who surveyed owl sites for the Forest Service near Lake Tahoe from 1999-2001 said her visits to six of 18 Sierra sites the agency lists as lost to fire since 1999 found mostly green stands capable of supporting the owls, including several occupied by the birds.

Two Forest Service biologists in the field confirmed all three sites labeled "lost" in the Tahoe National Forest are occupied by owls. The agency's regional office apparently mischaracterized the situation based on mistaken or outdated data, they said.

A third said the same is true of an owl site in the Eldorado National Forest west of Lake Tahoe, and a fourth said the same thing about at least three owl sites listed as "lost" at the Plumas National Forest 50 miles northwest of Reno, Nev.
"They are not lost. We had owl surveys conducted after the burn and were able to put owls at each one," said Gary Rotta, a biologist for the Plumas National Forest's Mount Hough District.

Mathes acknowledged owls may inhabit some of the sites _ which are typically 300 to 400 acres _ but he insisted that won't last for long.

Sometimes they remain "among black stems for as long as two years after a wildfire goes through. But eventually the owls do leave," Mathes said.

"You and I could live in a cardboard box on the sidewalk for a certain amount of time. But not for long and you almost certainly wouldn't create offspring."

Critics said the agency is intentionally exaggerating the fire impacts to build a case for more logging.

"It's a really twisted argument," said Monica Bond, the biologist who surveyed owls for the Forest Service at the Eldorado and Tahoe national forests and now works for the Center for Biological Diversity, another conservation group appealing the plan.

"They are using concerns over the owl and concerns about loss of habitat as justification to do more logging of the habitat," she said.

"The claims that fire is eliminating spotted owl habitat in the Sierra Nevada does not appear to be based on any surveys or site-specific analysis of owl survival and occupancy."

The Forest Service first cited a decline in spotted owl nests due to fires in 2003 when agency officials under the Bush administration announced plans to revamp the Clinton-era forest strategy.

Nearly a decade in the making, the Clinton plan had made most all of the Sierra's remaining old-growth forests off limits to logging.

But the agency said that policy no longer was workable because of increased fire dangers and revised it to allow for up to a tripling of logging levels to thin the overly dense stands and protect communities and wildlife.

Jack Blackwell, the Forest Service's regional boss in charge of the new plan, cited the loss of owl habitat in issuing the amended version Jan. 22. It's currently before Bosworth, who is considering a number of administrative appeals filed by environmentalists.

"Large, old trees, wildlife habitat, homes and local communities will be increasingly destroyed unless the plan is improved," Blackwell said, specifically citing the recent loss of owl habitat.

Timber industry leaders and their allies in Congress cheered the move.

"The Forest Service is taking steps to reform the outdated management policies left in place by the Clinton administration," said Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., chairman of the House Resources Committee.

"The plan recognizes fire is the single greatest threat to communities, endangered species like the California spotted owl and the overall health of the forests," he said.

The California Forestry Association, though still critical of some parts, agreed the changes "would protect the largest amount of wildlife habitat from current wildfire threats."

Bosworth is to rule before the end of the year on the administrative challenges.

Gertsch said the new plan was a flawed process in comparison to Clinton administration forest rules he helped write and which were adopted in the closing days of the administration.

"Snippets were taken from science, but they didn't listen to the science community," Gertsch said. Communities also were not involved in the process, he said.

"I fought and fought and fought and fought and finally they used some excuse and removed me from the team," he said.
Mathes said he cannot discuss "personnel issues or transfers." Agency documents frequently are revised between draft and final stages, he said.

"We are like any other large organization. We have a diversity of professional opinion," Mathes said.

Gertsch remains a supporter of traditional efforts to thin forests to reduce fire threats but is critical of a series of color brochures printed for the Forest Service's "Forests for the Future" campaign, which presents accelerated logging as the key to protecting spotted owls and other wildlife.

"The flier is totally bogus," Gertsch said.

The fire danger could have been addressed under the original framework without easing old-growth protection, he said.
"It would have taken a greater amount of time and cost significantly more. The `urgency' to get it done kind of overruled the environmental concerns in some cases."

Jerry Franklin, a University of Washington forester who played a lead role in developing plans to protect the northern spotted owl in the 1990s, is among the prominent scientists who has spoken out against the changes.

"I believe it is a major step back from the ecologically sound approach that had been adopted," Franklin said.
"These large trees of fire resistant species are needed for both fire resiliency and as habitat," he said.

Regardless of criticism and discrepancies in the plan, the agency stands behind its conclusion that more logging is needed to protect the owls.

"Whether or not there is a mix-up or a simple error, our thought process in reaching the decision was not based only on what has happened but what will happen in the future," Mathes said.

"Fires are getting bigger and hotter," he said. Owl habitat has been destroyed and "we expect that trend to continue in the future, perhaps even accelerate, if we don't take some action to change the density of the forest."


On the Net:
U.S. Forest Service: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/
John Muir Project: www.johnmuirproject.org
Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/
California Forestry Association: http://www.foresthealth.org/

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gristmagazine.com - 02 Aug 2004

http://www.gristmagazine.com/interactivist/lovins080204.asp

Gimme Some Lovins

Hunter Lovins, thinker on sustainability, answers Grist's questions

Grill an activist! Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capitalism, Inc. and Natural Capitalism Solutions, answered our questions, below; later this week, she'll answer yours. Hit her with the best you got. Send in your burningest questions by noon PDT on Thursday, August 5, 2004. We'll publish selected questions and responses on Friday, August 6.

With what environmental organization are you affiliated?

I am a member of several real environmental organizations, like Environmental Defense and Earth Island Institute.
Recently I have founded two new organizations: Natural Capitalism, Inc. (NCI), a for-profit consulting company implementing the ideas of Natural Capitalism in companies and governments around the world, and Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS), a nonprofit research and educational outfit, building the new intellectual capital we need to advance these ideas and working with educational institutions here and abroad to inject the ideas of sustainability into all of the disciplines.
My own organizations, however, are not "environmental organizations" per se. Our primary purpose is not the protection of the environment, but rather the profitable solving of problems in ways that also meet environmental and social challenges. Both approaches are needed. I admire committed environmentalists like my mentor Dave Brower greatly, am very grateful for all that they do, and am honored to be a part of a larger ecosystem of groups working to create a sustainable society, of which environmental protection is a vital part.

What does your organization do? What, in a perfect world, would constitute "mission accomplished"?

The mission of both organizations is to make Natural Capitalism and other frameworks of sustainability the central organizing principles of business and society worldwide. "Mission accomplished" would be the creation and successful management of a human society which, as my friend (and fellow alum of Brower U) Randy Hayes says, is more desirable than the one we have now, and whose way of life, if practiced by everyone, would lead to increasing biodiversity, wilderness, and ecological integrity.
To achieve that will require, first of all, buying time by using all resources taken from the earth or borrowed from the future dramatically more productively. Fortunately, doing this can be profitable, and can create the needed capital to implement the other two principles of Natural Capitalism:

* Redesigning all aspects of business and society to do business as nature does (biomimicry), running on sunlight, creating no persistent toxins, being "eco-effective" (McDonough and Braungart's concept of Cradle to Cradle -- though that phrase is actually the 20-years-ago concept of Walter Stahel, the Swiss thinker who is the father of many modern concepts of sustainability).
* Managing all of our institutions in ways that are restorative of human and natural capital.

NCI and NCS develop tools that enable leaders in business and government to meet their daily challenges in ways that are more sustainable. We implement these approaches with companies, countries, and communities, both in the developed world and especially in emerging economies. Our combined staff consists of about 15 people working variously on three books, several sets of curricula, and an array of implementation tools. Our senior people are often on the road, consulting, speaking, and teaching.
I am also now a professor of business at Presidio World College, a new school of business offering, I believe, the world's first accredited M.B.A. in Sustainable Management.

What do you really do, on a day-to-day basis?

Like any start-up entrepreneur, I do whatever it takes. Now, as I often am, I'm working late, here alone, so I answer the phone, be sure the lights get turned out when I leave, and take out the trash before going home. On a normal day, I field phone calls and emails from around the world -- a lot. Very commonly, I will spend a day consulting for a government, most recently those of Western Australia and Jamaica. Or it might be a large company like the International Finance Corporation, or a little nonprofit. I give about 100 speeches a year, mentor young interns, meet with corporate leaders and heads of state, talk into film cameras or radio mikes, teach M.B.A. students, write articles and books, build new PowerPoint shows for each presentation, and most fun, work with my partners, wrestling with ideas to create new intellectual capital. Then I sweep the floor at the end of the day.

What long and winding road led you to your current position?

In some ways, I don't know that I had much choice: My parents were activists. My mother organized in the coalfields of West Virginia with John L. Lewis, even against her coal mine-owning father. My father helped to mentor Martin King and Cesar Chavez. I was carried as a baby to my first demonstration, in support of the Quakers who were sailing the boat The Golden Rule into the South Pacific to try to stop the atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs. I grew up being taught to leave my campsite cleaner than I found it, to believe that I could make a difference and that I had a responsibility to do so.
My activism started in about 1963, working in such movements as fair housing and civil rights; I then moved on to anti-Vietnam War organizing, human rights work, and environmental protection. I quit being a member of Sierra Club in protest at the first firing of Dave Brower, and went with him to Friends of the Earth. In 1970, while taking double degrees in political studies and sociology, I planted a tree on the first Earth Day. The choice to go to law school was driven by the belief that this would make me a more effective advocate for social change (law turned out to be a lousy way of creating social change, but that's another story ...).

While still in law school I ran into a young man who was planting smog-tolerant trees in the forests around Los Angeles. I suggested that he was working on symptoms, that the real problem was smog, and that he should go back to the city and work on that. Andy Lipkis answered, asking me how he should do that.

I suggested that he go back to the city and talk to people about smog. He asked how one did that. I said you find what folk are interested in, talk to them about that, and there ya go -- pretty soon, you're talking about smog.
He said, "Right, that's trees."

"Come again?"

"People love trees," Andy pointed out. "If they plant a tree in the forest, they care about their tree. In this way, they come to care about the forest."

I became his assistant director and together we created California Conservation Project (aka TreePeople), which is still in operation. I took and passed the California Bar, but kept on full time with Treeps.

The sense that we were still dealing with a symptom dogged me, though. It seemed that the real cause of smog was the misuse and misunderstanding of energy. So, from 1972 on, I tried to teach myself energy policy. It wasn't an academic subject back then, and I read a lot of useless reports that would have better served as fuel.

In 1973, the Arab oil embargo hit and suddenly energy was on everyone's mind. Despite a flood of people proposing some new form of energy supply that your and my tax dollars should pay for, none of the official policies made any sense. President Nixon proposed to spend 75 percent of all discretionary income in the country building power plants. If he had succeeded, there wouldn't have been enough money left to pay for all the activities that were supposed to use all that energy.
It wasn't until 1976 and Amory Lovins' piece in Foreign Affairs -- "Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?" -- that I found an internally consistent approach to solving the energy challenge. The trouble was that Amory, a physicist, wrote so technically that almost no one would take the time to try to understand him. I only did because a man I highly respected said that this was the approach for which I had been searching. But I had to go through the article with a ruler and a dictionary, line by line, figuring out just what he meant. None of the other TreePeople would even try. So I translated Amory's end-use/least cost analysis into English and started teaching it to the third graders and senior citizens to whom we were teaching environmental education.

Stripped of the technical language, it made a lot of sense (and still does). His analysis asked: What is it that we need energy for? Illumination, comfort in buildings, mobility, hot showers, and cold beer. And what is the cheapest and best way to meet our desires for those services? Turns out when you ask it that way, no kind of new power plant makes any sense, because electricity, a very expensive and high-quality form of energy, is only needed to meet about 10 percent of what we really use energy for. Most of our needs just require low temperature heat or liquid fuels to run vehicles. But almost every official energy policy starts with what kind of power plant to build. Even many environmentalists ask, "Should we use PVs or wind rather than nuclear or coal?" Wrong. We should construct our buildings so that they stay comfortable using insulation and good passive solar design, our cars so that they will get 100 mpg, and our factories so that they have no carbon emissions. Doing this turns out to be the cheapest option, buys the most environmental protection, and is the only policy that preserves a democratic society. It's a lesson we still have to learn: Technology is the answer! But what was the question?
The chief economist of Atlantic Richfield thought what I had done was pretty neat, and introduced Amory and me -- I guess we have big oil to thank for that -- and in 1978 Amory and I integrated our careers.

We worked together for Dave Brower, as policy advisors to Friends of the Earth. FOE paid about enough to pay the phone bill. But we loved it. Dave had a gift for hiring young activists who needed little supervision and would work for almost nothing if they had the chance to change the world.

Amory and I traveled the world, getting married somewhere along the way. We based out of a rented room in London, but mostly out of a big brown suitcase named "House."

Then Dave got fired again around 1981. Dave had once more pissed off his board of directors for refusing to be reasonable. Russ Train had once pleaded with him, "Dave, be reasonable." Dave answered, "Reasonable people have never accomplished anything." He was also fond of saying, "If you have a positive bank balance you haven't realized the urgency of the situation." This refusal to be normal founded the modern environmental movement, but it drove boards of directors to distraction. Dave never was a good manager, just the best leader with whom I have ever worked.

We sided with Dave, so it was clear that we were going to be out of a job, too. This wasn't much of an economic loss, but it's nice to have a title. So one day, driving across the country to go teach at Dartmouth, Amory and I idly discussed what we were gonna be when we grew up. We both felt that the really interesting areas to explore were not in any one discipline. We were into the interconnections between such areas as energy policy and water, economic development, national security, environmental protection and social justice, and nuclear non-proliferation.

But there are only 36 hours in a day and only two of us. It seemed to me that if we were ever to get out of doing just energy policy, we needed some help. So somewhere in one of those big flat states, maybe Iowa or Ohio, I suggested to Amory that we bring together a small handful of colleagues for whom finding and understanding and acting on these interconnections was their life passion too, and create an institute.

Got a question for Hunter?

Send it on in by noon PDT on Thursday, August 5, 2004. Amory's answer was, "Oh horrors, administrivia!" I said that I would do the administering and he could focus on the quality of the research -- and Rocky Mountain Institute was born. We took a quarter of a class that we had taught at Dartmouth to Old Snowmass, Colo., to help us build the first passive-solar, super-insulated, semi-underground "bioshelter." Some of them stayed on to become staff. We figured we'd be about 12 people with a budget of a couple hundred thousand.

When I was fired in 2002, RMI had a staff of 54 and a $7.4 million budget -- and a board that prefers "reasonable people."
So, like Dave, I'm starting over. With my partners David Elliot and Walter Link, and a great staff of now about 15, counting interns, we've created Natural Capitalism, Inc., to take these ideas into business, and Natural Capitalism Solutions, to conduct research and education. I'd always figured I would live out my life in Old Snowmass, but who was it that said, "If you want to make God smile, make a plan"?

And like Dave, I never go out without a toothbrush and my passport. I just don't know where nightfall might find me. For about a two-month period last February to April, I slept in my own bed five nights.

But tonight, perhaps, if the gods be kind, when I'm done, I can go home, climb up on my good little roping mare, and remind myself why I live in the Rocky Mountains.

How many emails are currently in your inbox?

398. I receive about 100 a day, about half of which I try to answer -- the other half are messages I read to keep current with such information gold mines as Grist.

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

I was born in Ripton, Vt., nearest neighbor to Robert Frost.
When it became clear that I could no longer live in Old Snowmass, we were fortunate enough to find 10 acres and a small log house about a 20-minute drive from our office in Eldorado Springs, Colo., my second home while I'm in town. The horses and dogs like it, too.

What has been the worst moment in your professional life to date?

When the chair of the board of RMI walked into my office with no warning and told me that I was terminated, effective immediately, leave the building and speak to no one, and I realized that Amory had gone into hiding and hadn't the guts to tell me that 30 years of a partnership had died.
Another was learning, after I went into the home that I built with my own hands, and still owned, to get some photos that had belonged to my mother, before leaving Old Snowmass for Boulder, that RMI had called the sheriff on me, trying to get me arrested for theft. Given that I had for the past 15 years been a member of the local fire department and had spent a whole lot of winter nights working wrecks in the canyon with the sheriff's boys, they just grinned and wished me a great drive to my new home. I crossed the continental divide laughing the whole way. And I guess RMI is still mad about it. But it's really not that funny ...

What's been the best?

Waking up every day to the opportunity to give it one more go. There's a great cartoon of a ball field scoreboard that has the realists against the idealists. The score runs realists one, idealists zero until the bottom of the 9th, when it reads realists zero, idealists one.

There are lots of great moments: walking into a high-school cafeteria way up at the end of the road on the Big Island of Hawaii to try to talk the public utility commission into not letting the utility build a diesel power plant in the last part of the island that had clean air, and having a packed room of local people rise to their feet when they saw my cowboy hat. It must have affected the PUC -- they cancelled the plant a few weeks later.

What's on your desk right now?

In my office in Eldorado Springs, overlooking South Boulder Creek, and so close to the state park that we look out on the soaring rock ramparts that are some of the best climbing in the world: a stack of the books I use on a daily basis (including copies of most of the nine books I've authored), about 50 to-do notes to myself (not organized to anyone else's eye), a can of peanuts (sardines are in the top drawer), a Chicago Climate Exchange paperweight with a printout of the first day's trading ticker that Richard Sandor gave me, a tiny tortoise shell (holding paperclips) that I found at the Meadowcreek Project David Orr created in Arkansas (before he went off to be famous and write all those great books), my G4 laptop that travels the world with me, and a small lamp, holding up my cowboy hat. Oh, and a Bengal tiger print (my totem animal) hangs above my desk, along with a photo I took years ago of the Maroon Bells Wilderness.

Who is your environmental hero?

No way, I could not name only one: Of course Dave Brower, and Dana Meadows -- the two greatest environmental writers of our age. And Dave Orr, Paul Hawken, Bill McKibben, Dennis Meadows, Denis Hayes, and Janine Benyus.
Once in college, someone asked me who my hero was. I thought a moment and said, "Me. No one else is responsible -- I am. So it's got to be me." Hemingway once said that everything is your fault if you're any damn good. And for a week or so all the other students said, "Well then you are our hero, too." They got over it. But I didn't. I still feel that I am responsible to do all that I can.

Who is your environmental nightmare?

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and that whole gang who care more about the aggrandizement of themselves and their ability to pillage the public coffers and the wealth of the rest of the world than they do about the fate of the young men and women of American and Iraqi descent whom they have condemned to war. In the name of access to oil (Halliburton's), we are scattering depleted uranium shells all around that country, and sowing the seeds of hatred with which our children will have to cope. Not to mention their efforts to drill ANWR, or the Roan Plateau, or the Powder River, or ...

What's your environmental vice?

Hauling an F-250 truck down the road with a trailer loaded with horses, going to the next rodeo. C'mon, all you car guys: Build me a super-efficient, hydrogen-powered, hybrid pickup truck.

How do you get around?

Walter Link encouraged my desire to have a convertible, so I drive a very efficient Mitsubishi Spider, red, as long as I don't have to haul anything -- then I take our truck. Favorite means would be by horse or foot -- you get to know things better when they go by slow.

What are you reading these days?

Jacob Needleman's tome on Gurdjieff, Rumi's poetry (which I have read for years), and Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light, on Afghanistan (for the third time -- a truly beautiful book).

What's your favorite meal?

Locally grown, grass-fed beef steak. It may be the most truly sustainable meal there is.

Which stereotype about environmentalists most fits you?

I'm a workaholic.

What's your favorite place or ecosystem?

How can I give just one? The wilds of Baja, or Nepal; watching lions and elephants drink at a remote water hole in Botswana; the Robinson Jeffers country of Big Sur; the Blue Ridge of Virginia, where part of my family has lived since before the Revolution; the Windstar, a thousand acres of critical elk habitat that I saved from becoming house lots; the oak and grass woodlands of the Santa Ynez valley; Williams Lake in the West Elk Mountains of Old Snowmass, where I'd ride and eat brookies and cutthroats fresh caught from the snowmelt; or Coldwater Canyon park in the Santa Monica Mountains of California, still the headquarters of TreePeople almost 30 years after Andy Lipkis, my brother Paul Sheldon, and I talked the city of L.A. into giving it to Treeps as our home.

But now I am working hard to become native to my new home, the grasslands north of Boulder, just east of the ancient Front Range of the Rockies.

Would you label yourself an environmentalist?

Dave Brower said, "I'm an environmentalist -- everyone who lives in an environment ought to be one." That is still the best reason I've heard.

What important environmental issue is frequently overlooked?

Social justice. Dave Brower was fond of quoting Adlai Stevenson, who said in 1965:

We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent upon its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, all committed for our safety to its security and place, preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.

We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of humankind, and half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew, can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the security of us all.


What was your favorite band when you were 18? How about now?

Trio Bel Canto (Greek folk dancing). And I'm still dancing to 'em. But my favorite music is cowboy -- the folk who make homemade music on the back porch and we all sing along.

Mac or PC?

Mac, despite 95 percent of my staff being PC folks.

If you could have every InterActivist reader do one thing, what would it be?

My friend the folk singer Kate Wolf said: Find what you really care about and live a life that shows it.

What are you happy about right now?

That I have been given the opportunity to do the one thing that I'd ask each one of you to do

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COUNTERPUNCH - July 31, 2004

http://www.counterpunch.org/frank07312004.html

Logging is not Restoration

Forest Battles Escalate in Oregon

By JOSHUA FRANK

Ancient public forests out West are under attack as usual this year. Thankfully, courageous activists in Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest are attempting to fend off the worst of the pillage.

On July 16 the US Forest Service placed 1900 acres of public land on the auction block. And by the end of the day the bids were in; 1160 of the 1900 acres were mapped out for demolition. The venture, titled the "Biscuit Fire Recovery Project", is the largest forest service sale in modern US history. When all is said and done 30 square miles of federal land could be handed over to chainsaw happy timber barons.

Not surprisingly, the Forest Service wants us to believe the sale is for "restoration" purposes only, not profit, as the area fell victim to massive natural wild fires in the summer of 2002. But if you don't already know, you shouldn't believe everything the government tells you.

Siskiyou National Forest is one of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the continental United States. It houses five nationally designated wild and scenic rivers, as well as one of the healthiest stocks of native salmon in the country. The corrupt plan introduced by the US Forest Service includes extensive logging in 12 roadless areas, which covers well over 12,000 acres of taxpayer-managed land.

During a meeting between timber, conservation, and US Forest Service officials on July 26 over lawsuits the groups had filed regarding the Biscuit sales; eco-activists were simultaneously erecting a 75 foot tall tree platform, and a large road blockade in hopes of halting access to "Indi", the first salvage sale site set for cutting by the beginning of August.

"Logging is not restoration," said Kay Pittwald as she hung from her suspended platform. "The future of this remote area is healthy salmon, clean water and a thriving tourist economy. It is not a place for an out-of-country timber grab to ship wood products to Asia."

U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan, who is handling the lawsuits, may be of little comfort to conservationists attempting to stop the massacre in the courts. Hogan has a long history of negotiating ghastly deals between industry and enviros. In 2001 Hogan called for the de-listing of threatened Coho salmon, and in 2002 he allowed grotesque logging in Montana's Bitterroot National Forest to proceed after talks between greens and industry officials. All parties involved in the current lawsuits are planning to gather on August 5 and 6. However, there are certainly no guarantees the Siskiyou forest will come out of the discussions standing.

In the meantime activists on the ground have been putting their lives on the line to interrupt East Fork Lumber, the buyer of the Indi sale, from priming their chainsaws. On Wednesday July 28 four activists were arrested. The quartet, who is part of the brave Siskiyou Wild Action team, was charged with interfering in "agricultural operations," a misdemeanor in the state of Oregon. The activists are currently being held on $10,000 bail with a hearing scheduled for Tuesday August 3. Curry County District Attorney Charlie Steak, who is prosecuting the case, assures that the protesters would not be charged with any form of "terrorist" activity.

Despite these set backs, George Sexton who works as the Conservation Director for the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center based in Ashland Oregon, says he expects more direct action. "The 23,000 folks who commented on the sale have been largely ignored by the agency," he says. "People are sick of being ignored."

Indeed Biscuit could be a landmark battle for the future of Northwest forests. "Turning native forests into fiber farms is like a religion to these guys," Sexton contends.

Sadly, compromise may be on the horizon, as the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club broker deals behind closed doors with the forest service, Judge Hogan, and their industry allies. These enviro giants are fearful that if the majority of Biscuit is saved, the Bush administration may reenact the Salvage Rider law that Bill Clinton signed in 1995.

During Clinton's reign as eco-destroyer, he oversaw the ruination of thousands of acres of healthy forest stands across the West; all under the guise of bringing burnt forests back to life. It never happened however; as most biologists conclude that fire damaged forests recover best on their own.

Clinton's Rider allowed 4,000 acres of clear-cuts in Washington's Colville National Forest. Thousands more in Montana's Yaak River Basin, hundreds of acres of pristine forest land in Idaho and Arizona. The US Forest Service under the provocation of Clinton's law also chopped old growth trees in Washington's majestic Olympic Peninsula-home to wild Steelhead, endangered Sockeye salmon, and threatened Marbled Murrelet.

So does big industry now want our national treasures to be converted into profit yielding tree farms?

Well, Oregon timber mills may be to blame for much of what is presently transpiring in the state. Last year the factory owners in Douglas Country funded a study called the John Sessions Report, which calls for turning the Siskiyou National forests into veritable pulp factories. And their wish is coming true at an alarming rate.

These same logging tycoons are also bankrolling much of George Bush's re-election campaign in Oregon, while they continue to press their Republican Senator Gordon Smith to introduce a "plantation creation" bill in Washington.

"Their world-view dictates that "healthy forests" equal tree farms," Sexton says of Douglas County mill owners. "Industry wants a train wreck at Biscuit."

If so, this arrogant wish could come true as well. Let's just hope the activists and the forests come out of the wreckage intact, with industry on a stretcher.

Joshua Frank is the author of the upcoming book, Left Out: How Liberals did Bush's Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press and is a contributor to Counterpunch's forthcoming book, Dime's Worth of Difference. He welcomes comments at frank_joshua@hotmail.com.

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Tuesday, August 3, 2004 2:58 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Fabricating Terror

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.04

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. | Forest For the Trees

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

William Rivers Pitt | Fabricating Terror
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404A.shtml

Kerry Says Bush has Motivated Terror Recruiting
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404B.shtml

Chalabi Nephew Under Investigation in Killing
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404C.shtml

Ray McGovern | 9/11 Commission Chimera
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404D.shtml

Attacks Kill Four U.S. Servicemen in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404E.shtml

Turks Halt Deliveries to U.S. Forces in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404F.shtml

"After the Kurds and the Shi'ites, It's Our Turn."
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404H.shtml

A Nation in Danger. Or a President in Peril?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404I.shtml

New York Times | Mr. Bush's Wrong Solution
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404J.shtml

The Race Is On: An Analysis of the Post-Convention Zogby Poll
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404K.shtml

Reagan's Destruction of Democracy in Nicaragua
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404L.shtml

U.S. Soldiers Abused Iraqis 'For Fun,' Court Told
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404X.shtml

Kerry Sketches an Iraq Exit Plan
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404Y.shtml

New Terror Alert Based on Years-Old Data
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080404Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'The Data Was Three Years Old'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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Published on Tuesday, August 3, 2004 by the Niagara Falls Reporter

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0803-12.htm


Eisenhower's 1956 Message Lost on Today's Misguided Republican Party

by Bill Gallagher


John Kerry and the Democrats are off to a good start and their convention provided some fine speeches and
messages that should resonate with the American people. But the most intriguing and perhaps best speech I
heard last week came from a Republican, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The joys of channel-surfing and C-Span brought me to Ike's acceptance speech when nominated for a
second term at the 1956 Republican National Convention at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Eisenhower
spoke eloquently about the future of his party in that year when the GOP was marking its 100th anniversary.
Many sensible themes Eisenhower offered that night could provide the Democrats of today with messages
appealing especially to independent voters and older Americans. Kerry did well in his speech, pointing to the
need to depart from Bush's disastrous deceptions.

"We have it in our power to change the world again, but only if we're true to our ideals and that starts by
telling the truth to the American people," the Democratic nominee said in his acceptance speech. "That is my
first pledge to you tonight. As president, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House."

Other Democrats offered views on the truth-challenged Bush administration and how the serial lying has
eroded the quality of our democracy and insults the nature of our republic. Former President Jimmy Carter
pointed right at Bush's misleading the American people into a war of choice.

"Truth is the foundation of our global leadership, but our credibility has been shattered," Carter said. "Without
truth, without trust, America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant
between the president and the people. When that trust is violated, the bonds that hold our republic together
begin to weaken."

Barack Obama, the keynote speaker and Democratic candidate for the Senate from Illinois, did a fine job of
describing the poisonous political atmosphere Bush and company have created.

"In the end, that's what this election is all about: Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of
hope? ... This country will reclaim its promise and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come,"
he said.

Former President Bill Clinton reminded delegates that both candidates are strong men who love their country
but have markedly different views of the world.

"Our nominee, John Kerry, favors shared responsibility, shared opportunities, and more global cooperation,
and their president and their party in Congress favor concentrated wealth and power, leaving people to fend
for themselves and more unilateral action," Clinton said. He also reminded us that national unity is poison for
Republican plans: "They need a divided America."

Dwight Eisenhower's view was that the Republican Party should be inclusive and inviting for all Americans.

He said, "The Republican Party is the party of the future because it is the party that draws people together,
not drives people apart."

Karl Rove, President Bush's political brain, and the right-wing religious wackos he uses as his surrogates for
division would drive Eisenhower right out of their Republican Party.

Ike also said on that night in San Francisco, "Our party detests the technique of pitting group against group
for cheap political advantage."

That strategy, sadly, has become the mantra of a Republican Party Ike certainly did not envision and would
find repugnant. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is playing the division game in earnest. According to a
report in "The Hill," Gingrich is out drumming up wedge issues and encouraging Republicans in Congress to
pounce on anything that will divide to gain temporary advantage over the Democrats.

One GOP legislator told "The Hill" that "Gingrich encouraged Republicans to pick issues such as school
prayer, strengthening work requirements for welfare recipients, and barring the United Nations from monitoring
U.S. elections." Gingrich and his comrades are looking for anything where they can show a contrast. They'll
include with the above gay rights and gay marriage, flag-burning, and anything else they can come up with to
paint the Democrats as out of touch with mainstream America on a variety of cultural and social issues. This
politics of desperation is an attempt to divert the public's attention from the mess in Iraq, the sputtering
economy and Bush's horrific record on job creation.

Dwight Eisenhower was everything George W. Bush is not. Ike was self-made, accomplished, worldly and
thoughtful. He would find George W.'s impetuous, visceral, bullying approach to the world reckless and
foolhardy. Bush's disdain for the United Nations, our NATO allies, and really any nation that took issue with
his obsession with Iraq would leave Ike chilled. In his acceptance speech at the 1956 Republican National
Convention, Eisenhower spoke of the heart of collective security resting on the principle that strength is not
military strength alone.

He said, "It lies rather in the unity that comes of the voluntary association of nations which, however diverse,
are developing their own capacities and asserting their own national destinies in a world of freedom and
mutual respect." And with the experience of a man who had seen the horrors of war firsthand and knew the
limitations of military actions, he added, "There can be no enduring peace for any nation while other nations
suffer privation, oppression and a sense of injustice and despair."

And in words that would make George W. cringe, Eisenhower urged that the Republican Party of the future
"must be completely dedicated to peace, as indeed must all Americans. For without peace there is no future."

Eisenhower, who classically reminded us of the dangers of the military-industrial complex as he left office,
would find the Bush-Cheney melding of foreign policy and military action for the profit of their corporate clients
appalling and dangerous. It would grieve him that the very unholy alliances he warned us of had literally
taken control of the Republican Party.

As Bush and company look for more weapons systems and reasons to justify their use, Eisenhower provided
us with a far more restrained, prudent and realistic vision of the use of armaments as instruments of America's
dominant role in the world.

He told the 1956 GOP Convention, "We have worked unceasingly for the promotion of effective steps in
disarmament so that the labor of men could with confidence be devoted to their own improvement rather than
wasted in the building of engines of destruction."

A line like that at George Bush's second nominating convention would get the speaker booed off the podium.

All Americans would do well to heed Eisenhower's vision and reflect again on the great sense he made nearly
half a century ago. The youngest Americans who actually voted for Ike are now 70 and over, but that's one of
the fastest-growing segments of our population. They and other Americans who find the sensible moderation
of the great warrior who became president appealing can still find a political voice. Eisenhower protected our
nation and kept us strong during some of the most difficult days of the Cold War, but he did that soberly and
intelligently. The Republican Party under George W. Bush has ventured far away from what Eisenhower
envisioned.

"I like Ike" was one of the favorite GOP slogans in the '50s. Those who feel like that this year can find a home
with John Kerry and the Democrats.

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman.

©2004 The Niagara Falls Reporter

=====================================================+

 

Published on Sunday, August 1, 2004 by the Toronto Sun

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0802-08.htm


Bush Like Custer

by Eric Margolis


What to make of presidential candidate John Kerry? Is he really an indecisive serial political flip-flopper and
national security lightweight, as Republicans charge?

George W. Bush takes pride in being strong and decisive, comparing himself to FDR and Reagan.
Republicans keep trumpeting the president is bold and resolute.

Bush has been decisive alright -- decisively wrong. The American leader he most closely resembles is Col.
George Armstrong Custer, an arrogant, opinionated, headstrong fool who spurned all warnings, boldly and
resolutely leading his command to disaster on the Little Big Horn.

Kerry, like anyone who served 20 years in the Senate, is a flip-flopper. Legislators are hounded by powerful
special interest groups whom they must accommodate to keep political donations flowing. This dependency,
and heavily amended bills often contradicting their initial intent, produce contradictory votes.

Soft on defense

As for national security, one's stomach churns hearing President Bush, VP Dick Cheney, and neocon sofa
samurais, many of whom dodged active military service during the Vietnam War, shamelessly accusing Kerry,
who won three Purple Hearts in combat, of being soft on defense

Bush and Cheney presided over the two worst intelligence fiascos in modern U.S. history: 9/11 and Iraq; plus
the most expensive, stalemated wars since Vietnam. Iraq and Afghanistan are costing $6.5 billion US monthly
with over 912 American and some 20,000 Iraqis killed.

Then there's the Abu Ghraib prison horrors.

Speaking of national security competence, the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld troika either blundered the U.S. into a
mistaken war based on grotesquely unreliable "intelligence" -- a farce worthy of The Three Stooges -- or lied
the U.S. into war, purposely deceiving Congress and the public.

If so, such malfeasance would demand impeachment.

Half of all U.S. ground forces are stuck in Mesopotamia while National Guardsmen, who should be fighting
fires and floods at home, are press-ganged to Iraq.

The Bush-Cheney "crusade" against so-called terrorism enraged the Muslim world and is incubating ever more
violent anti-American groups. Administration bungling allowed Osama bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora.
Now, 20,000 U.S. troops are tied down in Afghanistan hunting him.

Bush & co. have ruined America's good name around the globe. George W. Bush has become, quite
possibly, the world's most detested political leader.

Only the brain dead could call this grand failure a successful national security policy. It's very hard to imagine
Kerry doing worse than Bush.

But will he do better? So far, hyper-cautious Kerry failed to call for a pullout from Iraq, as did courageous Gov.
Howard Dean.

Kerry waffled over Iraq, fearing opposition to the war would expose him to charges of being unpatriotic. His
proposed solutions to Iraq sound unrealistic.

Kerry has mouthed the same empty platitudes as Bush about fighting terrorism, instead of telling Americans
the truth: They face a growing insurgency in the parts of the Muslim world the U.S. rules.

He was dismayingly quick to signal support for Israel's hard-line government, disappointing those hoping for a
more balanced Mideast policy. Palestine's agony is a primary cause of surging anti-U.S. passions in the
Muslim world.

The media's destruction of outspoken Gov. Dean was not lost on Kerry.

His carefully crafted blandness is designed to avoid controversy and appeal to the center, attracting
undecided voters and wobbly Republicans increasingly disillusioned by Bush.

Tour de force

Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention was a masterful political tour de force, covering
almost every issue in the election. The senator came across well and established himself with the public as a
credible presidential candidate.

Still, while being reassuring, Kerry failed to emotionally connect with voters, to electrify them. He needed fire
to go with the brains.

His unisex convention speech could have been delivered by either a Republican or Democrat. Two failed wars
and a runaway deficit is no time for pussyfooting.

Kerry should follow the example of his intelligent, feisty wife, Teresa, who seems to have bigger cojones than
her husband. She brings the sophistication, worldliness, and street smarts so lacking in the insular, even
xenophobic, Bush administration.

The wild card in this race is bin Laden. Bush wins if U.S. forces can capture Osama before November.

Otherwise, George Armstrong Custer Bush and Decaffeinated John Kerry appear to be in a dead heat.

Copyright © 2004, CANOE

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, August 2, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Shoulder to Shoulder

 

t r u t h o u t | 08.03

Let the Colorado Run Again

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

William Rivers Pitt | Shoulder to Shoulder
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304A.shtml

Ronnie Dugger | How They Could Steal the Election this Time
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304D.shtml

The Secret File of Abu Ghraib
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304B.shtml

Iraq's Child Prisoners
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304C.shtml

Bush's Republicans Prepare for 'Dirty War' on Kerry
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304E.shtml

Dean Suggests Political Motivation for Terror Alert
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304F.shtml

Liberation | We Must Support Hugo Chavez
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304H.shtml

Marine Lands in Film, Collides with Superiors
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304I.shtml

Blair's Intel Chief Sought 'Lies' on WMD
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304J.shtml

Few Injured, Ill Troops Get Disability Pay
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304K.shtml

Women Criticize Vatican Document on Feminism
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304L.shtml

Gagged 9/11 F.B.I. Whistleblower Naming Names
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304W.shtml

Intense Fire-fight as U.S. Troops Surround Home of Moqtada Sadr
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304X.shtml

Another F.B.I. Employee Blows Whistle on Agency
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304Y.shtml

Kuwait Bans 'Fahrenheit 9/11'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/080304Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'The Kid Was Hurting Really Bad'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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opednews.com

http://www.opednews.com/wade_080104_bush_fear.htm

All Bush Has to Sell, Is Fear Itself

By Anthony Wade

 
I sit here day after day wondering whom in the world these 47% of the people are in this country that can still sit there and support the worst President in modern history. What does George W. Bush offer us anymore? What has he ever offered? I know he promised to be uniter, not a divider and then proceeded to be the most polarizing President ever. I know he promised to return integrity back to the White House and then proceeded to treat the American people and the Constitution as his own personal blue dress. When you look back over these past three and a half years, what can he sell to you? Fear. All Bush has left to sell, is fear itself.
 
Ironically, George W. Bush shows us his deficiencies, when he tries to talk about what he views as his successes. Yesterday, in Springfield Mo. , Bush touted his record of legislative and military "results", talking about his tax cuts, education agenda, and improvements to homeland security. What?? Bush has had three and half years to come up with a domestic agenda; unfortunately, he only found the time to develop one for Iraq . If he wants to run on this record, BRING IT ON.
 
Bush's tax cuts were a lie when they were contrived and have crippled the economy since being enacted. Even the most ardent Bush supporter if they are truly conservative will have to admit as much. You cannot spend at the reckless rate that Bush does, fight a war on multiple fronts, and hand back so much money in tax cuts. What it does is drive up the debt, and eventually we all pay more money in other areas. The fact is that this tax cut does little to help middle class families and the majority of the money goes to the top 1% of this country. This tax cut was not for us; it was for whom Bush refers to as his "base". The most frightening thing is that Bush is obviously proud of his tax cut for the filthy rich, which has led to this horrific economy. Proud of it! This is what you need to know about the Bush economy:
 
GW Bush will be the first President since Herbert Hoover to reign over a net loss of jobs.
 
Make sure you digest that. This means that Bush has lost more jobs, than he has created. I might add that this is by a lot, as Bush has lost over a million more jobs then he has created. Herbert Hoover was President when the Great Depression hit, so we understand why he had a net loss of jobs. How in the world can any reasonable person run proudly on this record? The fact the he does only speaks to the gall that George Bush possesses, and the complete lack of respect he has for all Americans.
 
Education agenda?? What education agenda. Oh that's right it had a snazzy title, what was it again
 
            "No WMD were left behind?"
 
            "No child left undrafted?"
 
            "No funding left to spend on education"
 
Unfortunately, the last one is no joke. After touting no child left behind, President Bush has left it so under-funded, that it is virtually useless. President Bush has no education plan, successes, or future. It is so disingenuous to wait 3.5 years, six months before an election and then pretend to be an education President. Sadly, President Bush left his education policy behind, 3.5 years ago.
 
Improvements to homeland security?? We haven't moved below the elevated magenta alert AT ALL DURING THIS PRESIDENCY. It has gone up, but it has never gone down. How is that viewed as a success? Just last month, this administration told us that al Qaeda is planning major operations within the US , possibly to disrupt our elections. The administration had no idea who, what, where, when, or how, but hey, they know essentially something bad is going to happen, somewhere, somehow, eventually. Yet, despite these ominous threats, Bush wants you to believe that he has improved homeland security? There have been infinitely more terrorist threats during Bush's presidency than in many, many years before. We are not safer than before Bush, we are far more exposed. Bush's go-it-alone policies also contribute to the fact that terrorist activities have increased during his presidency.
 
If these are the "successes" Bush wants us to focus on, then that must mean these are the best parts of his record. The rest of it, is even worse. He cannot run on the environment, because Bush is by far the worst environmental President in history. He has gutted almost all of the progress we had made in the past twenty years. When scientists do not agree with his ideology, he fires them and appoints yes-men. As Kerry pointed out yesterday, Bush simply does not believe in science. The most despicable thing is that he uses clever catch phrases for his legislation, which is the opposite of what the legislation actually does. Thus the "Healthy Forests" initiative, actually should be called "no tree left behind", because it is simply a boon to the logging industry. The "Clear Skies" Initiative actually increases the amount of pollution. This is only the beginning of the Bush environmental legacy.
 
He cannot run on his protection of the constitution, as the patriot act has stripped us of the basic provisions of the Bill of Rights. In George W. Bush's America , it is ok for a President to declare any citizen an enemy combatant, without offering proof, and hold them indefinitely, without counsel. In George W. Bush's America , it is ok for law enforcement to watch your email, library book transactions, and Internet traffic, without cause, or warrants. Bush has set the tone, and that tone is that we should be very afraid. It is why police officers think it is ok to pepper spray a girl who had the temerity to talk on a cell phone during a movie. It is why a guard in Niagara Falls thinks it is acceptable to bludgeon an innocent Chinese tourist. It is the tone that Bush wants in his America .
 
The tone is fear. It is all that George W. Bush has left to run on. He cannot run on his record. His record is one of ignoring the American people, not funding education, gutting the environment, blowing up two third world countries, torturing men women and children and thinking international law does not apply to us, alienating our former allies, circumventing the constitution, tax cuts for his rich friends, a crippled economy, net loss of jobs, the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame for political revenge, lies about WMD, lies about Saddam and al Qaeda, lies about almost everything, Halliburton and billions upon billions of dollars in crony capitalism and a terror chart that has no real function other than to keep us scared.
 
That is because fear is all he has left to run on. George W. Bush cannot win, if you are unafraid. His only hope is to prey upon your fears. In Springfield Mo. Yesterday, President Bush said, "results matter". I agree Mr. President, but you don't have any to stand on. We need to be very careful as we head down the stretch toward Election Day. It is the Bush administration in charge of the terror. If his poll numbers slip too much, we will invariably hear about "chatter" which is so non-specific that it shouldn't even be related to us except for the fact that its actual purpose is not to warn, it is just to scare. A scared citizen, will vote for Bush. An educated citizen, who does not fear, will see Bush's record for what it is, appalling. Don't be afraid America . George W. Bush is a used car salesman. His product is fear. I am just not interested in buying it anymore.

 
Anthony Wade is co-administrator of www.ibtp.org, a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush and seeking his removal from office. He is a 36-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites.  A Christian progressive, and professional counselor, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.
Anthony Wade's Archive:     http://www.opednews.com/archiveswadeanthony.htm
Email Anthony: karac1967@hotmail.com

=====================================================+

 

From: The New York Times Direct <NYTDirect@nytimes.com>
Reply-To: "The New York Times Direct" <NYTDirect@nytimes.com>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com.com>
Date: Thursday, July 29, 2004 10:31 AM
Subject: Circuits: Putting E-Voting to Rest

Putting E-Voting to Rest

To the immense credit of this column's readership, not a single person has written to complain that I've spent too much time and space on the topic of computerized voting machines. Still, with today's installment, I hope to wrap up my coverage of this topic, at least for now. It's becoming clear that this issue is just as contentious and polarizing as any other this election season, and few people's minds will be changed by continued discussion. Meanwhile, the more it becomes clear that there's no way to solve the problems in time for this fall's Presidential election, I'm getting a little depressed by the whole thing.

Hundreds of you wrote to share your thoughts. For example, I heard from several readers overseas, who claimed to be disgusted by the entire voting-machine flap. "In a country where fewer than 50 percent of the citizens even bother to cast a vote, you've got a much bigger problem with your democracy than haggling over which kind of voting machine to use," wrote one.

I also heard from readers who derided the belief that, in the face of concerns that voting-machine software might be flawed or rigged, a voter-verified paper trail is the solution. I've written that such a paper record is critical if a recount is needed; otherwise, the only "recount" you can perform is to check the memory card yet again, which is pointless if you questioned its total the first time.

But the paper trail, several of you wrote, is no panacea. Yes, it provides a secure method of performing a recount-but that's valuable only if it occurs to someone to PERFORM the recount. Trouble is, how will we know whether a recount is necessary? If one candidate wins the election by a 20 percent margin, will anybody realistically demand a recount? Does that mean we'll have to hand-count the results of every voting machine in America?

The paper trail is certainly better than nothing " if one paper-trail recount shows evidence of software tampering, then at least a wider investigation can begin " but it's worthless unless somebody does, in fact, conduct a recount.

I heard from many, many people who felt that the rush to computerized voting machines is an ill-planned overreaction to the Florida hanging-chad episode. They wrote that non-computerized systems, particularly optical-scan and lever machines, have worked well for years " and they're a lot more secure than the new computer programs.

But many others wrote it to say that in the hands of a ruthlessly determined conspiracy, ANY system is, in theory, hackable. "Regarding the lever machines," wrote a voting official from California, "it's not in the final counting, but in the prep. My grandfather was a politician in Brooklyn in the 30's and 40's. The way machines got 'set up' then was to put a toothpick into an opponent's counter on the back of the machine during set up, breaking off the excess and letting the counters carry the piece into the workings. This will slow down the roll of the numbers. You don't do this in the units line [of the counter], which could be too obvious, but in the tens or hundreds line, where it would be less noticeable. Ingenious, huh?"

Even paper ballots aren't tamper-proof. "Each side used to keep men called 'short pencil' guys at each polling place," that reader went on. "They would keep graphite under their fingernails so that they could run them across opponents' ballots to make them ineligible for counting (since no marks outside the boxes were allowed)."

I heard from a state voting official in Virginia who agreed that, in the end, no system is totally tamper-proof, and offered some concrete ways for you to get involved. "In the final analysis, you have to trust the process, and to do this you have to know the details of the process. So volunteer to be an election official, get to know about YOUR system, and make sure that it and your election process works."

Lots of you wrote to suggest superior voting-machine technologies. Dan Wallach, for example, is a co-author of the Johns Hopkins study that ripped apart the security practices of Diebold, the largest maker of e-voting machines.

"I think you've missed one of the best technologies we've got for voting," he wrote. "It's called precinct-based optical scanning. The voter fills in a bubble with a pen on a printed paper ballot, then inserts it into the scanner above the ballot box. This sort of system satisfies what computer scientists have been grumbling about (it's voter-verifiable " voters see the ballot when they mark it up) and it has a low error rate. And, oh by the way, op-scan is much, much cheaper."

There are even devices that combine the best of both worlds, he went on: touch-screen machines that offer the simplicity and accessibility of Diebold-type systems (multi-lingual, adjustable type size, software that prevents voting for more than one candidate, and so on) " but that print out an optical-scan ballot rather than allowing the software to tally the votes.

These are all terrific suggestions. These systems would do a lot to quell voters' fears and restore confidence in our election process.

The problem, of course, is that many states have already spent millions of dollars on self-contained touchscreen machines with no paper trail and no "op-scan" ballots. The states are not about to throw out all that equipment.

When I made this point to one of my correspondents, he wrote back: "A few million dollars? So what? We're spending $5 billion a MONTH trying to build a democracy in Iraq. Why not spend a tiny fraction of that to ensure a working democracy at home?"

Visit David Pogue on the Web at DavidPogue.com <http://www.davidpogue.com> .

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Friday, July 30, 2004 2:50 PM
Subject: Report: Afghanistan Could Implode

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.31

Bush Eases Pesticide Reviews for Endangered Species

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

SPECIAL: Ron Reagan | The Case Against George W. Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104Y.shtml

Report: Afghanistan Could Implode
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104A.shtml

Fighting Erupts in Fallujah as Powell Visits Baghdad
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104B.shtml

UN Council Demands Sudan Stop Darfur Atrocities
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104C.shtml

Laurence Martin | Patriot Game, Media Shame
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104D.shtml

Paul Krugman | Triumph of the Trivial
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104E.shtml

Isabel Hilton | The 800lb Gorilla in American Foreign Policy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104F.shtml

Michel Bole-Richard | A Masquerade of Democracy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104H.shtml

The Band of Brothers
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104I.shtml

Kerry Backers Sense a Shift
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104J.shtml

David Brock & Jamison Foser | Redefining 'Mainstream'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104K.shtml

Florida Election Anxieties: Recounts and Erased Ballots
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104L.shtml

Hundreds of Millions Missing in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104X.shtml

U.S. and Israeli Embassies Struck in Tashkent
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073104Z.shtml

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

Weekend Edition

http://www.counterpunch.org/ruiz07102004.html

Gene Warfare in Oaxaca

Genetic Mutation of Mexican Maize

By CAMELO RUIZ MARRERO

Scientists from Mexico, Canada and the United States met on March 11th this year in the Hotel Victoria in Oaxaca for a symposium on the effects and possible risks of the presence of genetically modified maize in Mexico. The furtive and growing presence of this maize has been documented in small plots of land belonging to rural workers first in the southern State of Oaxaca and more recently throughout the whole country. This discovery could have serious implications for agricultural biodiversity since maize is the third most important crop in the world after wheat and rice and Mexico is the center of its origin and diversity.

Alejandro de Avila, director of the Oaxaca Ethnobotanic Garden reported that the most recent archaeological studies indicate that maize was discovered and domesticated in Oaxaca ten thousand years ago, not six thousand or eight thousand as had been believed until recently. Maize is considered to be humanity's greatest agricultural achievement and the greatest treasure Christopher Columbus took back to Europe from the American continent.

Today, it is grown all around the Mediterranean, in Africa and in China. But its center of diversity continues to be Mexico, where the greatest part of the thousands of varieties and stocks are sown which are the result of millenia of patient work and experiment by campesinos. These varieties were developed so as to bring out favorable characteristics such as, among others, nutritional value, tolerance to acidic or salty soils, immunity to disease. There is even a variety which fixes its own nitrogen. It is far from strange to see in an indigenous community like Sierra Juarez of Oxaca more varieties of maize than in the whole of the United States.

This astonishing diversity leads agronomists from all over the world to travel to Mexico to get specimens so as to improve their own varieties of maize which is the reason Mexico is the seat of the International Center for Investigations for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat (CIMMYT). The maize fields of the Mexican campesinos are thus an irreplaceable resource of agricultural biodiversity. Social or ecological disruption in that area might compromise the viability of maize as a food and endanger world food supply. The CIMMYT, with all its laboratories and seed banks, could not replace the dense and complex rural social and ecological skein from which innumerable varieties of maize srping.

That morning of March 11th, while the participants arrived at the hotel to register for the symposium of the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, which resulted from the parallel agreement of the North American Free Trade Area, the organizers and private security guards seemed tense and expectant. They knew a protest demonstration was imminent and that the demonstrators would arrive any moment.

The day before, groups representing indigenous people, environmentalists and progressive intellectuals had held an alternative forum called 'Defending Our Maize, Protecting Life'. They feared that the experts, generally favourable to the biotechnology industry and its genetically modified products would declare that the genetic contamination of maize is an irreversible fact of life and that in future Mexicans would have to get used to it. The forum participants agreed to go to the symposium the following day so as to present their arguments and concerns to the bureaucrats and the scientists. Their admission to the symposium was not confirmed, but they were going to go anyway.

Enter genetically modified foods

In 1996 the US began to grow genetically modified maize and in five years it came to make up 30% of that crop's national harvest. Mexican scientists and environmentalists expressed concern that this maize might enter Mexico through imports with uncertain consequences for agricultural biodiversoty. The government responded the following year by imposing a moratorium on the sowing of genetically modified crops. But the measure was never complied with and maize imports carried on without any regulation at all. No one ever explained to people in Mexico that those grains could not be used as seed.

Already in 1999 the Mexican branch of Greenpeace had analyzed samples of United States maize that were entering the country and had shown positive traces of genetic modification. The government then formed the Interdepartmental Commission on Bio-security and Genetically Modified Organisms (CIBIOGEM) to examine the issue. To this day it has done nothing according to civil society groups. The web page of CIBIOGEM has not been updated since August 2003.

In 2001 it was proven that genetically modified maize had been used as seed and sown by rural families who had no idea what it was. Silvia Ribeiro of the Action group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group) remarks, 'And that's not all. You're talking about contamination in the very centre of origin of a crop with huge importance for world food supply, which means significant effects in other zones since the contamination can spread not just to the native varieties of maize but also to their wild parents.'

This genetic flow 'contaminates and degrades one of Mexico's main treasures. In contrast to dispersion and genetic flow between native maize and conventional hybrid varieties, it doesn't just transfer maize genes but also pieces of genes of bacterias and viruses (that have nothing to do with maize) whose environmental and health effects have not been seriously evaluated.'

'The contamination of our traditional maize attacks the fundamental autonomy of our indigenous and agricultural communities because we are not just talking of our food source; maize is a vital part of our cultural heritage," declares indigenous leader Aldo Gonzalez, 'For us native seeds are an important element of our culture. The pyramids may have disappeared and been destroyed but a handful of maize is a legacy we can leave behind for our children and grandchildren and today they are denying us that possibility.'

The following year environmental, indigenous and rural workers organizations took their case to the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CCA), an inter-governmental body created to remedy environmental problems caused by the Free Trade Treaty. The CCA took up the case and named a multinational panel of 17 experts to investigate the problem and to report with recommendations.

The panel took submissions from the public but only via Internet, which outraged the rural workers and indigenous peoples. After all, how many Mixteca or Zapateca communities in the Sierra Juarez have internet cafes? To respond to demand for authentic participation, the CCA set up the panel to carry out the symposium of March 11th.

In the meantime, the Fox government did what wanted. At the end of last year Victor Villalobos the executive secretary of CIBIOGEM and coordinator of international affairs for the Department of Agriculture signed an international agreement as part of the Free Trade Treaty behind the backs of the Senate and the citizenry permitting legal entry to genetically modified products into the country without labelling requirements

Countdown to Oaxaca

One month before the March 11th symposium, the Seventh Biodiversity Convention was held in Malaysia, followed immediately by the first conference on the Cartagena Protocol, also in Malaysia. The Protocol which entered into effect last Septemberis an international agreement to deal with the possible risks posed by genetic engineering. During the conference a dispute broke out when Professor Terje Traavik of the Norwegian Institute for Genetic Ecology presented a pilot study which pointed to the dangers for human health inherent in genetically modified crops and in the very process of genetic engineering.

On the other side of the world, the day before, in Washington DC, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) presented a study indicating that varieties of traditional United States maize seeds, soya and canola used as a reference and source of re-supply by agronomists and farmers are contaminated with genetically modified material. Taken together the studies of Traavik and the UCS make up a damning critique of the biotechnology industry.

In the Conference on the Cartagena Protocol, after many difficulties and intense negotiations the delegations of the signatory countries imposed themselves against the pressures of the multinational genetic engineering companies and reached an agreement. The agreement required that all genetically engineered products traded internationally should be labelled. But this agreement came to nothing because at the last minute, right before it was to be signed, the head of the Mexican delegation, the same Victor Villalobos of CIBIOGEM said that he found the text unacceptable. Even the members of the Mexican delegation looked at him openmouthed and dumbfounded. As the Protocol works by consent, Villalobos managed to scupper all the hard won progress and so the delegates had to return home with a diluted, emasculated agreement that left the matter of labelling in the hands of individual governments. Various observers asked, if each country is to do as it pleases what point is there to an international agreement?

The reaction of civil society in Mexico was furious. In the forum of March 10th, the participants signed a declaration against Villalobos demanding his resignation. 'We are ashamed that Mexico is accused in international fora of doing the dirty work of multinational corporations to the detriment of other countries,' says the declaration. 'Villalobos represents neither the feelings nor the interests of Mexicans.'

They rejected too the 'intolerable corruption' of officials who promote genetically modified organisms like-it-or-not style. 'We are not interested in confirming whether or not they receive money from the corporations, whether they behave out of mercenary self-interest, ignorance or recklessness. We are not the police. But nor do need more investigation to be able to affirm unreservedly that they do not represent us and that they are incapable of understanding our reality and aspirations, much less defend them.'

And to sharpen the tense atmosphere that growing up around the Oaxaca symposium, news arrived of the vote in Mendocino County, California in the US approving a measure against genetically modified foods.

Different languages

The demonstrators finally arrived at the Hotel Victoria: rural workers, Greenpeace militants, indigenous peoples representatives, academics and committed intellectuals, all entering to register for the symposium. the organizers wisely gave them all admission and the conference hall promptly changed into a Tower of Babel. The scientists, bureaucrats and journalists who spoke English, Spanish or French were now accompanied by indigenous peoples speaking Mixteco, Zapateco, Chinanteco or any other of dozens of pre-Colombian languages that are spoken in the region.

The differences between the two parties went far beyond language barriers. It was a clash between ways of thinking and world views totally distinct and incompatible. The members of the CEC panel spoke in a highly technical language limiting themselves to their particular speciality. They tried to discuss ethical, technical environmental and economic issues in isolation from each other.

But the indigenous peoples and their allies with an integral, holistic vision did not accept this. For them it was unethical to look at the various issues separately. They spoke of their age old indigenous cosmology, spirituality, culture, inalienable principles and duties, colonialism, neo-liberalism, sovereignty and struggle. They raised the risks of genetically modified products and questioned industrialized agriculture and the power of the agribusiness multinationals.

The demonstrators demanded the end of all maize imports, genetically engineered or not, and that the government comply with its inescapable duty to act to hold back and stop genetic contamination. 'We seek the solidarity and support of all in Mexico and the world, who have taken up a struggle similar to our own so as to extend ever further the territories free from genetically modified food.'

Carmelo RUIZ MARRERO is a journalist based in Puerto Rico published in Ecoportal and other media. He is the author of , 'Agricultura y globalizacion: Alimentos transgenicos y control corporativo" published by the Americas Program of the Interhemispheric Resource Center. This article was assisted by Tania Fernandez for EcoPortal. Translation by toni solo

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Thursday, July 29, 2004 2:40 PM
Subject: Marjorie Cohn | Bush Jumps on the 9/11 Band-Aid Wagon

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.30

Amanda Griscom | Convene Green

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Marjorie Cohn | Bush Jumps on the 9/11 Band-Aid Wagon
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004A.shtml

U.S. General Witnessed Abu Ghraib Torture
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004B.shtml

Saudis Propose Islamic Force in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004C.shtml

Robert Fisk | Iraq's Unreported War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004D.shtml

Get-Tough Policy on Cuba May Backfire against Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004E.shtml

Soldier Testifies Unit Ordered to Throw Iraqis over Embankment
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004F.shtml

Le Monde | The Afgan Trap
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004H.shtml

Nicholas D. Kristof | Unbearable Emptiness
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004I.shtml

New York Times | John Kerry and War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004J.shtml

CACI Defense Contracts Hazy on Civilian Authority
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004K.shtml

NOW with Bill Moyers | Remember Florida 2000?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004L.shtml

DOJ Report: Edmonds Was Fired for Speaking Out
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004Y.shtml

Watergate Deep Throat Suspect Found Dead in Hotel Room
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/073004Z.shtml

SPECIAL: TO Live in Boston!
http://www.truthout.org/dnc04.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Live in Boston: The Big Day'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

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latimes.com - WEEKEND ESCAPE - August 1, 2004

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-escape1aug01,1,5009431.story?coll=la-travel-weekend

Enough to make you misty-eyed

Kings Canyon doesn't draw as many visitors as neighboring Yosemite or Sequoia,
so there's less jostling for a campsite or a view of that thundering waterfall.

By Dan Blackburn
Special to The Times


Only one paved road delves into the heart of Kings Canyon National Park, and it ends where the Kings River thunders along beneath mile-high, glacier-carved canyon walls. The scene is one of the Sierra's most awesome spectacles.

Most visitors, though, never get this far. They drive California 180 to the park's western border and, after just three miles, stop at Grant Grove, with its visitor center and friendly village of shops and large campgrounds.

Not us. Last month we headed for the national park equivalent of a rollicking roller coaster, cruising past Grant Grove and plummeting down the winding road to the canyon bottom and remote Cedar Grove. Our goal: to experience the raw beauty of Kings Canyon - the waterfalls, the meadows and the mountains - without the crowds.

My son, Dylan, 16, and daughter, Courtney, 13, are veteran campers and backpackers. They helped me load the car with enough food and supplies for four days and three nights, plus sleeping bags, a tent, cooking equipment, lanterns, a fishing rod, flashlights, a deck of cards and my son's guitar. We drove north from Los Angeles, up Interstate 5 and California 99 to Fresno, then east on California 180 - a five-hour journey to Kings Canyon's Big Stump entrance.

The park is relatively young compared with its Sierra neighbors, Yosemite and Sequoia, both established as national parks in 1890. Kings Canyon was created in 1940 and since World War II has been managed jointly with adjacent Sequoia, though both still are considered separate entities.

John Muir called Kings Canyon "a rival to Yosemite," but you wouldn't know it from visitor statistics. Last year Yosemite logged nearly 3.4 million visitors, Sequoia had almost a million, but Kings Canyon had just 556,000. Fewer than a third of those people made it all the way to Cedar Grove.

Journey to the canyon floor

The unpopularity was the draw for us. After paying the park entrance fee, we wound through a part of Sequoia National Forest that lies between the upper and lower sections of Kings Canyon. Here, two forks of the Kings River merge, and the canyon reaches its deepest point. Fortunately, abundant turnouts allowed us to stop and admire the view. Hawks and what looked like a peregrine falcon swooped overhead and dived into the canyon depths.

About halfway down the canyon, a roadside sign said, "Last Chance Gas." Then, as we neared the canyon floor, another sign caught our eyes. It beckoned us to Boyden Cavern, a water-carved cave with stalactites and stalagmites. A 45-minute naturalist-guided tour let us stretch our legs, starting with a steep five-minute walk to the cave entrance.

Inside the temperature hovers around 55. The cavern is about five miles deep, but most of it is blocked off. The tour sticks to a trail, equipped with helpful handrails, that passes mineral deposits and rock formations thousands of years old. One looks like a taco shell. Another resembles a wedding cake. One casts a shadow reminiscent of Jay Leno.

Back in the car, we soon dropped to the same elevation as the river, and its roar echoed off the canyon walls as we made our way to Cedar Grove. The village is usually open April to November, though precise dates depend on the weather. Visitation is so light that even in summer, the park rarely opens all four campgrounds. Two were open during our visit, and neither was full.

We pitched a tent at Sentinel Campground. It has spacious campsites with tables, fire rings and large, bear-proof containers for food and supplies. Bathrooms with running water and flush toilets were nearby. Faucets provided fresh water. As national park campgrounds go, this one bordered on luxury.

Cedar Grove also has a rustic lodge with 21 guest rooms ($105 to $115 a night, plus tax) and a small but good restaurant. We gave a thumbs-up to its Santa Fe chicken burgers and chili burger, a welcome break one day when we tired of camp food.

Not far away we found more facilities: coin-operated showers for those who weren't content with a jump in the river, and the Cedar Grove Pack Station, run by Tim Loverin, a third-generation packer whose grandfather guided John Muir on horseback. (Rides run $30 to $100 a person, depending on the length.)

We marveled at how uncrowded the area was. Two cars at a stop sign constituted a traffic jam. But that's just part of Kings Canyon's appeal. Ranger Bill Tweed, a 26-year veteran of the park, said it contains more true wilderness than almost any other park in the Lower 48. Lakes, waterfalls and more than 20 mountain peaks that stretch higher than 13,000 feet make for "one big, beautiful church of wilderness," he said.

On our first day, we joined a walk led by ranger Aaron Drendel, who guided us to the remains of Camp Kanawyer, used by Sierra Club members arriving by horse and mule in the early 1900s. Viola Kanawyer ran the camp by herself after her husband died, outfishing any man who dared to compete with her. John Muir once said he would hike the whole Sierra for one of her pies.

On the way back we paused by Muir Rock, which juts into the Kings River. Muir used to preach about conservation to visitors here, using the rock as a pulpit. The cold water makes an inviting pool, and we watched as two intrepid swimmers repeatedly dived off tall rocks into the water below.

Hiking to Mist Falls

Another hike took us around Zumwalt Meadow, colored with wildflowers in early summer and great for bird watchers. Deer, ring-tailed cats, foxes, mountain lions and black bears also live in the area. (Bears seemed less prevalent here than in Yosemite and Sequoia; we didn't see any in the campground. Park wildlife biologist Rachel Mazur credited the campsites' new food-storage lockers and Cedar Grove's high percentage of repeat visitors, who have learned how to behave in bear country.)

Our big day hike was to Mist Falls and back, a trek of nearly nine miles. We loaded our backpacks with water and food because the trail can get hot and gains more than 500 feet in elevation. Dylan forged ahead while Courtney and I lagged a bit behind. At the junction with bubbling Bubbs Creek, we detoured over a bridge and, keeping a safe distance, watched a rattlesnake curled up in the shade.

We headed back up the trail, hiking under cedars, oaks and firs. As we crossed swaths of granite, the canyon below provided ever-changing views of the sparkling river.

After two hours, the thunder of cascading water broke the silence, and we saw the first inkling of the spray from Mist Falls, whose name was apt. Mist from the rushing water cooled the air and bathed us in fine droplets.

We munched leisurely on lunch and started back toward camp, in no hurry.

The park has two other waterfalls - Roaring River and Grizzly - that are well worth seeing. Much to the delight of youngsters in particular, both have pools that call out for a plunge.

We found happiness back at camp, playing cards by lantern light. My son later strummed his guitar. His sister sang along.

And I thought about photographer Ansel Adams and conservationist David Brower, who fought for the creation of this park, which is still a bit of a secret after so many years.

Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times

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metroactive.com

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/07.28.04/monumental-0431.html

No Compromise

Environmentalist David Brower and the fight to save the earth

By Gretchen Giles

Imagine the entire swath of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore as little more than a rich folks' resort of luxury seafront homes and shudder. Picture water-skiing right down the ruined alleyways of the Grand Canyon with thousands of others. See the Yosemite Valley criss-crossed with cement and streaming with smoking ribbons of cars in all directions. Wonder what Glen Canyon must have looked like.

Dammed by the Army Corps of engineers in 1956 to better hold Colorado River water for the thirsty state of Arizona, the Glen had ancient native hieroglyphs etched into its walls, deep green fens flourishing in its tall shade and was, the late environmental activist David Brower once declared, the most beautiful place he'd ever seen.

Generations have multiplied since the Glen met a watery grave; generations have lost something elemental to the earth. David Brower vowed that this wouldn't happen again.

The leader who catalyzed the Sierra Club in 1952, becoming its executive director and changing its nature from that of a hiking enthusiast's gathering to a major political force, ushering in what we now call the environomental movement, the Berkeley-born Brower--who died in 2000 at the age of 88--is brought back to the ferocity of life in a new documentary, Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America, screening as part of the Wine Country Film Festival.

Cannily using footage Brower himself took of trips through Yosemite and other of his most beloved places, Monumental most passionately describes the fights Brower lead to save the Grand Canyon from additional damming; the quest to make Pt. Reyes into the protected spot it is today (Ladybird Johnson in pill box hat and heels standing near the surf, breathing in deep admiration); and the creation of the Redwood National Park on the high North Coast, protecting the oldest living things on earth.

Brower, the father of four, was perhaps not the easiest man to get along with, and his crusty side is ably shown in Monumental. But he brooked no cowardice and bore no compromises. His split with the Sierra Club in 1969 over their willingness to compromise over the Central Coast's Nipomo Dunes, some of the most pristine sand hills in North America.

While Monumental never explores those aspects of Brower that earned him the "Arch Druid" nickname, what this documentary does do splendidly is to underscore how just one man, a handful of people and a pokey little organization for hikers and bird watchers can indeed change the entire face of a nation by simply not allowing it to change.


'Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America' screens on Sunday, Aug. 8, as part of the Wine Country Film Festival. Filmmaker Kelly Duane and Brower's son Ken, an activist in his own right, will discuss the film and Brower's legacy following the screening. Sebastiani Theater, on the Plaza, Sonoma. 3pm. $8. 707.935.FILM.

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From: Richard Kiiski <kiiski@earthlink.net>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, July 29, 2004 11:31 AM


Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior

By TERESA HAMPTON
Editor, Capitol Hill Blue
Jul 28, 2004, 08:09


President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.

The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President's mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.

"It's a double-edged sword," says one aide. "We can't have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally."


Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay.

"Keep those m... f... ers away from me," he screamed at an aide backstage. "If you can't, I'll find someone who can."

Bush's mental stability has become the topic of Washington whispers in recent months. Capitol Hill Blue first reported on June 4 about increasing concern among White House aides over the President's wide mood swings and obscene outbursts.

Although GOP loyalists dismissed the reports an anti-Bush propaganda, the reports were later confirmed by prominent George Washington University psychiatrist Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a "paranoid meglomaniac" and "untreated alcoholic" whose "lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad" showcase Bush's instabilities.

"I was really very unsettled by him and I started watching everything he did and reading what he wrote and watching him on videotape. I felt he was disturbed," Dr. Frank said. "He fits the profile of a former drinker whose alcoholism has been arrested but not treated."

Dr. Frank's conclusions have been praised by other prominent psychiatrists, including Dr. James Grotstein, Professor at UCLA Medical Center, and Dr. Irvin Yalom, MD, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Medical School.

The doctors also worry about the wisdom of giving powerful anti-depressant drugs to a person with a history of chemical dependency. Bush is an admitted alcoholic, although he never sought treatment in a formal program, and stories about his cocaine use as a younger man haunted his campaigns for Texas governor and his first campaign for President.

"President Bush is an untreated alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies," Dr. Frank adds.

The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment on this article.

Although the exact drugs Bush takes to control his depression and behavior are not known, White House sources say they are "powerful medications" designed to bring his erratic actions under control. While Col. Tubb regularly releases a synopsis of the President's annual physical, details of the President's health and any drugs or treatment he may receive are not public record and are guarded zealously by the secretive cadre of aides that surround the President.

Veteran White House watchers say the ability to control information about Bush's health, either physical or mental, is similar to Ronald Reagan's second term when aides managed to conceal the President's increasing memory lapses that signaled the onslaught of Alzheimer's Disease.

It also brings back memories of Richard Nixon's final days when the soon-to-resign President wondered the halls and talked to portraits of former Presidents. The stories didn't emerge until after Nixon left office.

One long-time GOP political consultant who ­ for obvious reasons ­ asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.

"We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes," he says sadly. "That's not good for my candidates, it's not good for the party and it's certainly not good for the country."

© Copyright 2004 by Capitol Hill Blue

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The Guardian - Thursday July 29 2004

To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1271297,00.html

'All we have to fear is Bush'

Key quotes from four speakers at the Democratic convention


Howard Dean: 'We must reclaim patriotism'

There was no "Dean scream", none of the whoops from the Iowa speech which marked the beginning of the end for Howard Dean in his race for the Democratic leadership.

As he ruefully noted, that meteoric rise last autumn and his equally steep fall in Iowa kept him from victory in the primaries. Although he is in demand at caucus meetings Mr Dean's diminished status in the party leadership was reflected in his relatively modest time allotment.

But there was still a place for a little bit of the fire with which he energised the party.

The Republicans did not have a monopoly on patriotism, he said. Several former Deaniacs were in tears. "We're not going to let those who disagree with us shout us down under a banner of false patriotism," he said. "Never again will we be ashamed to call ourselves Democrats. Never. Never. Never. We're not just going to change presidents, we're going to ... reclaim the American dream."

Edward Kennedy: 'All we have to fear is Bush'

Edward Kennedy, who did more than any other Democrat to steer John Kerry to tonight's coronation, provided another vital service in his convention address by allowing the party to vent its anger at President Bush.

With Mr Kerry's handlers adamant on setting a positive tone at the convention's climax, it was left to Mr Kennedy, in his thunderous oratorical style, to scourge the Bush administration as a source of division and fear.

"In the depths of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt inspired the nation when he said, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself'. Today, we say the only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush," he roared and went on to accuse Mr Bush of deepening insecurities about healthcare, jobs, racism and pollution.

Reviewers yesterday described the speech as a valedictory address by Mr Kennedy, who once entertained his own hopes for the presidency.

Barack Obama: 'We must be united'

The party hailed the rise of a new generation of leadership yesterday in a Senate hopeful who gave a new twist to the American tale of striving and opportunity.

Tuesday night's passionate speech could propel Barack Obama, 42, to victory next November, making him the only African-American in the Senate. Mr Obama, a graduate of Harvard law school, followed the convention model of using personal narrative as a morality tale.

He got a tumultuous response when he said: "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America. There's the United States of America."

He described his father's struggle as a foreign student newly arrived from Kenya, and paid tribute to his white maternal grandmother's work on a bomb assembly line during the second world war. But he shied away from explicit appeals for civil rights or racial equality, using his family history as a lesson in self-reliance.

Ron Reagan: 'Shame on the ideologues'

By Ronald Reagan Jr's admission, the son of a Republican icon was an odd guest for a Democratic convention. So was his address: the only speech devoted to policy on a night of personal narrative.

Mr Reagan did not mention his father or George Bush but his plea for support for stem cell research was aimed as much at Republican and swing voters as the Democrats in the hall who are broadly in favour.

Mr Reagan and his mother, Nancy, have been committed supporters of stem cell research, believing it could have helped the late president fight Alzheimer's disease. President Bush has restricted such research. "There are those who would stand in the way of this remarkable future, who would deny the federal funding so crucial to basic research," Mr Reagan said.

"A few of these folks, needless to say, are just grinding a political axe and they should be ashamed of themselves."

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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alternet.org - July 28, 2004

http://www.alternet.org/story/19385/

Michael Moore's Speech in Cambridge, Mass.

By Michael Moore, AlterNet


Michael Moore came to Boston in a big way this week, upstaging all number of politicians, and no doubt the Kerry campaign was driven to distraction. But Kerry & Co. should be very happy. Moore is now a superstar, capable of attracting audiences and attention as well or better than the Democrats' biggest names ­ and he's for Kerry. Moore is blunting the Nader effect, and he's appealing to white males ­ Moore loves to tell the tale about NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who told Fox News no less, that he took his pit crew to see "Fahrenheit 9/11," and said all Americans should see it.

Moore also gives Kerry and Edwards cover with the progressive wing of the party, which is booming, and is a very important factor for Kerry's chances in November. Hell, Moore even gives Kerry a pass on voting for the Iraq invasion, saying that Kerry was like the rest of the 70 to 80 percent of Americans who believed the "Commander-in-Chief." Laments Michael Moore, "What kind of country do we live in where we can't trust our commander in chief?" ­ well, that's the USA Michael, but that's a longer discussion.

Moore spoke to 750 screaming fans, with another 700 waiting outside at a hotel in Cambridge, Mass. The Campaign for America's Future, which organized the program, showed once again that it is the home for passionate issue-oriented progressive voices. Moore's speech is a doozy. True, it's all over the place, but with Moore, it's never neat and clean. As calls to arms go, it was an interesting contrast to the much bally-hooed keynote speech by Senate candidate Barack Obama of Illinois.

There you have it, the speeches by the skinny guy with the funny name and the fat guy with the simple name are two of the biggest performances at the convention. Even if you weren't there to hear Moore's speech, it makes for a great read, nonetheless. ­ Don Hazen, Executive Editor, AlterNet

 

Transcript of Michael Moore's speech:

I don't know what it is with right-wingers and Republicans. They seem to have hijacked over the years the word "patriotism", the American flag, these things. And it's an odd thing. I have been thinking about this lately. Because the true patriots are those who believe the important thing is to ask questions, you know. To dissent when necessary. And I know a lot of people have seen my film and the obvious bad guy in the movie is George W. Bush. But there's the unstated villain in the film. And that's our national media.

You've seen the film. Right? A lot of them are mad at me right now because I can't go on a show without them, you know. But I would be mad if I were them too, because the film outs them. It outs them as being for the Bush administration. It outs them as people who were cheerleaders for this war. It outs them as, to be kind to those who are actually good journalists, journalists who fell asleep on the job. Journalists who didn't ask the hard questions. The one thing I hear when people come out of the theater over and over again is I never saw that on the news. Right? I never saw those Black congressmen being shut down one after another. Did anyone see that?

I didn't know there was a riot at the inauguration parade. I never saw the egg hit the limo. I never saw that! I don't hear from the amputees who sit in our hospitals, 5,000 or 6,000 of them. How come I don't hear from them on the nightly news? I don't hear from the mothers. I don't see them on the evening news, the mothers of children who have been killed in Iraq and who state their opposition to this war. I haven't seen them on the news.

Why haven't I seen this? I live in a free and open country that has a free and open press where you can show us anything. That's the great thing about America. You can show us anything! You can ask any question you want to ask. And this is my humble plea to those of you from the press here. And don't any of you take this personally. I don't mean it this way, but I ­ we, the people, we need you. We need you to do your jobs! We need you! To ask the questions, demand the evidence! Demand the evidence! Don't ever send us to war without asking the questions!

You do us no service by hopping on a band wagon, by becoming cheerleaders, by looking the other way, because you know that's the safest way to play it if you want to keep your job. Or, you are just afraid of being accused of being un-American if you were to ask a hard question to the President or his administration. That's not un-American. That's pro-American! To ask the questions. That's patriotic! But I know it was rough. I know in those first days of the war, I know. I stood on an Oscar stage five days into the war. I know what the mood was like. It was not easy to say we are being led to war for fictitious reasons. Right?

And those of you who felt the same way at the beginning of this war, you know, remember what it was like at work or at school? You had to be kind of careful. Right? And if you expressed any opposition to the war, you had to immediately say, but I support the troops! Right? But I support the troops. You didn't need to say that. Of course you support the troops. You've always supported the troops. Who are the troops? The troops are those who come from the other side of the tracks. The troops are the people who come from families who have been abused by the Bush administration. You've always supported them. You've always been on their side! This no one should question that!

The way that you don't support the troops is to send them into harm's way when it isn't necessary. The way that you hate the troops is when you send them off, some of them, to their death, so that your rich benefactors can line their pockets even more. The Halliburtons, the oil companies. That is anti-American. That is unpatriotic. You do not support the troops when you do that. The thing here is, and again, and I am not picking on the press who are here, but it is true. We are talking about our mainstream national media. A media, for instance, NBC, owned by General Electric. You know, I understand General Electric now has over $600 million worth of contracts in Iraq. They are war-profiteers. It doesn't surprise me that their news arm has failed to do the job that it needs to do to tell the truth to the American people about this war. There's nothing surprising about that. I understand that.

I understand the Matt Lauers and the Lisa Myers and the people that have to work for this entity. You have cameras and microphones and the ability to get into places of power that the people in this room can't get in. To ask these questions. And the great thing about this country is you can ask any question you want. You can ask any question you want and not be arrested. Right? You would not be sent to prison if you ask a question. So what has prevented you from asking the question? But you've got the little lapel flag pin. Right? And the TV. Screen filled up with American flags flying. See, we are patriotic. We are patriotic. But you've thrown down with the wrong people. You haven't just been embedded. You've been in bed with the wrong people. You've listened to those in power and just report their lies as truths....

The majority of our fellow Americans are liberal and progressive when it comes to the issues. That's not just me saying this or wishing it to be true. Every poll shows that the majority of Americans believe in women's rights. The majority of Americans want stronger environmental laws. The majority of Americans want government laws much the majority of Americans are pro-labor. Put down the whole list of issues, Americans, whether they use the label or not, and most Americans don't like labels, but most Americans in their hearts are liberals and progressives. It's just a small minority of people who hate. They hate. They exist in the politics of hate. They don't believe two consenting adults should have the right to be in love and share their lives together and be legally protected by the state for doing so. What would motivate that?

What business is it, anyway, of these people? These, they aren't patriots. They are HATE-triots and they believe in the politics of HATE-riotism. That's where they stand and patriotism is where real Americans stand. And that's the truth....

They keep saying that this is a 50/50 country. This is not a 50/50 country. In their wildest dreams, it's a 50/50 country. Look at all the polls I just, and I've got all the statistics in my book and I cite them all. And these aren't left wing polls. These are Gallup polls and even ABC and CNN polls and they go right down the line and you see where Americans are at. When they, when you hear about this close election, about the 50/50 country, don't forget the key words they always use. In a poll of likely voters. Likely voters. This is how far behind the media is with the times in which we live. They are using an old paradigm. They only poll people who have consistently voted in previous elections. But the other 50% of the country doesn't vote. If they wanted to be honest, they could say it's a 50/50/50 country because they never ask the other 50% how they feel. And I got to tell you, this is what they are in for a big surprise.

Come November 2, the other 50% you can't compare this election to any election before September 11, 2001.

That day and since that day has made average Americans more aware of what's going on in the world. They want to know more about what's going on in the world. They talk politics now. We all know this. Right? At work, you go in the bar, people are talking about politics. Anywhere you go, people talk politics. It's cool now to talk about politics. Right? It's uncool if you don't know what's going on in the world. It's uncool to be apathetic. Now that has not been the case for most of our lives much. Right? If you talked too much politics you were seen as kind of strange and wonkey. Right? But that's not the case. That's why John Stewart is so popular, because people want to talk about politics. They want to hear about it, and that's the big story that the media has missed. That there's been this shift in the country. And who are these 50% who don't vote? Who are they? Are they the wealthy and the privileged?

No. They are the people who have been most hurt by the Bush administration. They are people of color. They are single moms. They are poor. They are working class. They are young people. These are the people most affected by the policies of the Bush administration and they are now talking politics. And they are not apathetic. And I think we are going to see a significant number of them leave the house on November 2 and come out to vote.

I believe we'll have the largest percentage of people voting in our lifetime come November 2! I really, really believe, you don't hear that, though. You won't see that story reported because they are just focusing on likely voters from 1992, 1996 and 2000. And it's a 50/50 country. Like if they just keep repeating it enough, it will be true. It's a 50/50 country. Put your heels together now. It's a 50/50 country.

I got to tell you, I have traveled across this country quite a bit in the last year. It ain't a 50/50 country. People are angry. They want Bush out of the White House. They want to be able to send their kids to college. (applause) They want to be able to go to the doctor. This isn't a 50/50 country. Speak the truth. Come on. Take a real poll. Take a real poll!

A few weeks ago I was flipping around on the dial and I came across a NASCAR Race on FOX and there was NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. He said what would you do, what did you do the night before while you were getting prepared for the big race? He said, "Well, I took my crew to go see Fahrenheit 9/11." And then he said, and "I think all of America should see this movie." I fell off the couch! I said a little prayer for George W. Bush. I'm thinking oh, my God, I hope he's not watching this race now and eating pretzels!

Whoa. I thought, man, if the movie has gone that far into middle America, and this is where the country's at, how come we don't know this? How come this isn't being reported? What's wrong here? Well, we have our conventional wisdom and our conventional wisdom tells us that the paradigm that we have been following over the last 20 years is the one we must follow and that's the one we are worried about. Thank you. It doesn't hurt to report the truth. It's ok. You know. I was on a, one of those morning talk shows and after we went to commercial, the person who was interviewing me said you know, you are right, I mean when the war started, it was very difficult here to book the people we wanted to book, ask the questions we wanted to ask. In fact, I got a memo about my tone of voice. And apparently the brass had received a call from the Dick Cheney's office is what ­ and said that he didn't like my tone of voice. And I got a memo on it to watch my tone of voice. Well you've got to tell that story! You've got to tell that story. I can't. Well why? They can't fire you.

You are like one of the most well-known people in America. And, you know, you've got to tell this story. If you don't tell it, I'm going to wait like maybe another week. What's today? Within the week, I will put this on my web site. I'll tell the whole story and I'll name who said it. So this person is unnoticed now and I am doing it in a friendly way. Because this is a good person. You know? Just that I think the people deserve the truth and they need to know how the decisions get made behind the curtain. Who is pulling the strings here? Who's calling the shots? It's like, coming from where I come from politically, we always are in this place of yeah, the man this and the man that and this corporation and this and that and there's probably a part of us that says oh, you know, it's really, there's, maybe it's not that bad. You want to believe it isn't that bad. You know? And then, they have made the mistake of giving me a peek behind this curtain and I've seen this happen and it's stunning to me, for instance this whole experience with Disney not releasing the film and it's like what? ­ you know, the film has gone on now to make more money than any Disney film this year.

It shocked me at the time, because the way I have been able to get my work out there over the years is that usually when the media companies, greed always supercedes politics or personal animosity toward me. Oh, I can't stand the guy. Oh, how many books did he sell last week? Well, OK. Print a few more. You know this incredible flaw of capitalism that has always worked in my favor.

You know the old saying that the rich man will sell you the rope to hang yourself with if he can make a dollar off it? That will eventually be their undoing. But this time it didn't happen. This time a film made for a very small amount of money that will now make, you know, at least a quarter billion dollars around the world by the time it's done, the greed didn't motivate them to release this film. I couldn't figure it out for the longest time and it took a Canadian journalist to finally do the story and thank god for the Canadians, you know?... The Canadians really do like us. They just wish we would read a little more and ­ but it took a Canadian journalist to write that perhaps one of the problems that Mr. Moore had with Disney is the fact that the Saudi world family owns almost 17% of Euro-Disney. And that in 1994, Prince Walid, one of the richest men in the world, and a member of the Saudi Royal Family, wrote Michael Eisner and Disney a check for over $300 million to bail out Euro-Disney. And the people that helped put the thing together to bring the two together was a company called the Carlyle group.

Now my film was already done, you know, but I was like can it get any worse? Are they everywhere? But no journalist will ask Mr. Eisner or Disney the question: Will that have anything to do with the decision because their good friends maybe don't look that good in this movie. But this is what, just a small example of what we have come to expect. But the good news is that things are going to change very soon. And the other side, the unelected side, who occupy our white house, they are not going to go peacefully. They like being in charge with no mandate. All right? They actually believe they could take us to war based on no mandate from the people. And they knew that they had to lie to the people to get them to believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with September 11th and that there were weapons of mass destruction and this, this, and that.

So they aren't going to go without a fight. And believe me, they are better fighters than we are. They have proven themselves; you have to give them their props for that. I mean, they are up at 6:00 in the morning trying to figure out which minority group they are going to screw today. The hate that they eat for breakfast. I mean, our side, we never see 6:00 in the morning unless unless we have been up all night.... So they are going to fight and they are going to smear and they are going to lie and they are going to hate. And we have to get out there and counter that with the truth. We have to get out there and we have to get up and we have to get moving. And we must not stop between now and November 2. No stopping! No stopping! I'm telling you, if we don't do it....

[R]eporters have been asking me while I have been here at the convention, so how do you square the fact, this John Kerry, that he voted for the war? And my answer to them is similar to the answer actually I gave a soldier who stopped me on street a short time back. And he said to me, you know, I was on a ship off Iraq the night of the Oscars and we watched you give your speech. And we booed along with the audience. I was very angry at you for what you said that night but now that I have been there and served my tour in Iraq, what you said was the truth. They sent us there under false pretenses. And he said to me I want to apologize to you for booing at you on that ship. And I said to him, you owe me no apology. It is we, the American people, who need to apologize to you for sending you into harm's way based on a lie. I apologize to you. And I said to him your only crime is that you believed your president. Why would you apologize for believing your Commander in Chief? You are supposed to be able to believe your commander in chief. You are supposed to be able to believe the president.

Because if we don't have that, that basic thing of being able to believe what comes out of the mouth of the president of the United States, my friend, what are we left with? What are we left with if you can't believe anything that's being said from the man who sits in the white house? John Kerry did what 70 to 80% of our fellow Americans did. He believed. And he believed that he was going to do something in a different way, but he believed in the majority of our fellow Americans believe. Do we point our finger at them now? Do you point your finger at your neighbors and your friends who supported the war at the beginning but no longer support it because now 54% of this country believes the war is wrong and never should have been fought? Do you?

Does one in this room sit on your high horse and look down at them? Oh, you supported the war! I didn't! Does anyone in this room have that attitude to your friends and neighbors and family members? Of course not. Of course not. People come to the wrong conclusions at their own speed. And you know what, friends? We are getting better at this. Because during Vietnam it took years before we figured it out. This time, it only took months. It only took a few months before the majority of Americans figured out how wrong this president was.

And that applause is for our fellow Americans, because they will always respond in the right way when given the truth. They will always come from a righteous place when they have the facts and information available to them. As soon as it was made available, as soon as that happened, they create, the shift took place, didn't it. And it's a long way from the 16 months but not that far, really, from those first days of the war. We now are the American majority. Would are with them and they are with us. And this is the American majority that's going to show up on November 2 and remove George W. Bush from the White House. I so believe that.

But it's only going to happen with our hard work and us coming from a good and gentle place with those that we speak to in the coming months. To hold out our hand and say, come on. It's ok. I mean, you should see some of the mail I am getting from Republicans. I love these letters. You know? Because there are good Republicans. And I predict we are going to see Republicans for Kerry movements across the country. Because a lot of people who call themselves Republicans are that way because they, you know, they just don't like the government sticking their hand in the pocket. Right? That's really their big issue. You know. You've got one in your family. Come on. Everyone in here. Right? They just don't like paying their taxes. Do they? Hum? [laughter] ok. But they are good on everything else, aren't they. They believe women should be paid the same as men. Right? They don't believe companies should be dumping crud into the river. Right? They don't believe assault weapons should be made available easily on the streets. They are good on all the other things. They just don't want their hard-earned money taken out of their pocket.

Well, all we got to do is show them how George W. Bush has taken this money from them and from their children and grandchildren. These are the people that are going have to pay off this incredible debt that this war has created. George W. Bush has gone from being the compassionate conservative to the anti-conservative. He doesn't really believe in conservative values. And we need to do that. But here's my plea to the Democrats and to Mr. Kerry. You will not win this election by being weak kneed and wimpy and wishy-washy and lacking the courage of your convictions. The only way this is going to happen is if you stand up forthrightly and say what you believe and push for the liberal progressive agenda that the majority of America already agrees with. If you move to the right, thinking that's how you are going to pick up a few extra votes from that very small sliver of likely voters who haven't made up their mind yet, if you give up the very principles and things that the people in this room and those delegates believe in, to get those few votes over there, you will encourage millions to stay home.

The people who are already feeling disenfranchised who are full of despair and have sunk into their own cynicism believing what's the use? What's the use? You know, if the Democrats move that way, they will in the only energize the base, the base will stay home. I went to one of these meeting of ACT, I forget what it stands for. America coming together, one, two, and they put up on the screen a map of Cleveland, Ohio and they showed a precinct in Cleveland that was 96% African American. 96%. Total vote are turnout in 2000, 13%. You can't get more base of the Democratic Party than African Americans and if you don't have a message that will inspire them to come out on Election Day and tells them with no B.S. and shows them how their life will be better, we will not win this election....

I say this not to rain on the party. We are all in this together. And as they said last night, we have a big tent. And all of us, from conservative democrats to greens who are voting democrat, are all in this tent right now for one common goal. That's to get our white house back in our hands, the majority's.

And a word about Ralph Nader. Yes, the Republicans do love Ralph. I just came from Michigan where Ralph turned in 50,000 signatures. 43,000 of which were gathered by the Michigan Republican party. This is a painful thing to witness, because of the great Americans, Ralph Nader is one of them. His legacy, what's done for this country has been incredible. And what I and others try to explain to Ralph before he decided to run is that you already did your job. The Democratic Party of 2004 is not the Democratic Party of 2000. The threat that you posed in 2000, they got the message. And it was carried on by Howard dean and Dennis Kucinich and others in this year. And they helped push the Democrats toward where the majority of Americans that liberal progressive majority, is at.

You did a great thing and now, they are in a better place. You have to admit that. Even Al Gore of 2004 isn't the Al Gore of 2000. He's moved! And all you have to do, if you think the Democrats this year are the same as the democrats four years ago, ask yourself this question. Do you think john Kerry will ask Bill Clinton not to campaign in Arkansas for him? Hum? I don't think so. So my appeal to the Nader voters, to the greens out there, is that we have a different job to do this year....

I think that when it comes to that day people will know what to do. But I would not have the Democrats spending any time attacking Ralph Nader. All right? That is the wrong way to go. What the Democrats should be doing, and I have heard Kerry say this, is we need to give, we need to give those who are thinking of voting for Ralph Nader, a reason to vote for John Kerry. That is the right answer.

When I was in Cannes with the movie, I showed it to the American students whose were working there. There were about 200 of them. At the end of the movie, I asked them, let me just ask you a question, how many of you are college-aged student, how many of you are thinking for Ralph Nader? Nearly had a lot of them raised their hand. I invited Kerry's daughter, Alexandra, to come and sit in the back. They didn't know she was there. And she witnessed this. And we went out to lunch afterwards and she was shocked. How could they, after watching this movie, for two hours, with the message of the movie that seems to be that Bush must go, that nearly half of them would say they are still considering voting for Ralph Nader?

I think I saw one poll recently that said 12% of 18-25-year-olds are planning on voting for Ralph Nader. And I said to her, I said you have to tell your dad that, you know, because they, some of the kids that gave their reasons and they spoke with all that great honesty that comes out of an 18 or a 19-year old. Right? Because there's [beep] right? When you are 18 and 19. And they call you on it really quickly. I said you need to tell your dad that the way to deal with this is to take the strong stand that needs to be taken. The majority of Americans are already with you. Don't be afraid. Speak out on these issues. Speak out about health care in the right way. Don't put ads on TV that say we will provide health care for nearly all Americans. Don't do that. Stand up for something. Don't be afraid. Don't try to be the hamburger version of the Republican Party. And I think he got that message. And I think that from what I've heard in recent weeks, I got to say this and I've said this to everybody here who's been asking me about the war.

One thing I do know about Kerry, he will not invade a country like George W. Bush did. I believe in my heart of hearts ­ that this man, because you know, when you have been shot three times and you have been in that situation and you know this ­ if you have family members whose have been to war, if you have parents who were in World war II, my dad always says to me, he was in the Marines in the south pacific and he said, you know, if you have been there, you never want to see anybody else go there. And you want it to be the last resort. And so in my heart, I trust that when he says that. In closing, I just want to thank you for everything that everyone here has done. We are all in the same boat together....

I am glad these rallies are taking place, because, you know, I don't know how the press will write about these gatherings of these rallies.... This is not a niche of the Democratic Party. The things that the people in this room believe in is where the American public is at. Especially where I believe a large chunk of that 50%, that non-voting public, is at. And it's going to be our job to get them out on November 2 and that's what we are all going to do. Thank you very much for being here. Thank you.

© 2004 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 2:48 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | Jesus, Jihadis, and the Red-State Blues

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.29

Salmon Advocates Sue EPA over Bad Science

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Steve Weissman | Jesus, Jihadis, and the Red-State Blues
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904A.shtml

White House to Project Record Deficit
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904B.shtml

John Chapman | The Real Reasons Bush Went to War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904C.shtml

Florida: Miami-Dade 2002 Voting Records Disappear
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904D.shtml

War in Iraq 'Preventing Efforts to Stop Sudan Genocide'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904E.shtml

Abductions Spark Debate over the Right Response
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904F.shtml

Paul Cecconi | Former British Guantanamo Detainees Are Set Free
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904H.shtml

GOP Senator Chafee Criticizes Bush for Iraq War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904I.shtml

Deadly Bomb Targets Afghan Voters
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904J.shtml

N. Korea Wants U.S. out of South
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904K.shtml

Los Angeles Times | The Right Wing's Deep, Dark Secret
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904L.shtml

Convention Special: Obama: A Star Is Born
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904Y.shtml

Iraq Suicide Blast Kills 68
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072904Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Live in Boston, Day Three'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

SPECIAL: TO Live in Boston!
http://www.truthout.org/dnc04.shtml

TO EXCLUSIVE: Joe Wilson with Will Pitt from Boston
http://www.truthout.org/dnc04.shtml

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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Published on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0727-06.htm


An Excuse-Spouting Bush Is Busted by 9/11 Report

by Robert Scheer

Busted! Like a teenager whose beer bash is interrupted by his parents' early return home, President Bush's nearly three years of bragging about his "war on terror" credentials has been exposed by the bipartisan 9/11 commission as nothing more than empty posturing.

Without dissent, five prominent Republicans joined an equal number of their Democratic Party peers in stating unequivocally that the Bush administration got it wrong, both in its lethargic response to an unprecedented level of warnings during what the commission calls the "Summer of Threat," as well as in its inclusion of Iraq in the war on terror.

Although the language of the commission's report was carefully couched to obtain a bipartisan consensus, the indictment of this administration surfaces on almost every page.

Bush was not the first U.S. president to play footsie with Muslim extremists in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, nor was the Clinton administration without fault in its fitful and ineffective response to the Al Qaeda threat. But there was simply no excuse for the near-total indifference of the new president and his top Cabinet officials to strenuous warnings from the outgoing Clinton administration and the government's counter-terrorism experts that something terrible was coming, fast and hard, from Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden's gang, they said repeatedly, was planning "near-term attacks," which Al Qaeda operatives expected "to have dramatic consequences of catastrophic proportions."

As early as May 2001, the FBI was receiving tips that Bin Laden supporters were planning attacks in the U.S., possibly including the hijacking of planes. On May 29, White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke wrote national security advisor Condoleezza Rice that "when these attacks [on Israeli or U.S. facilities] occur, as they likely will, we will wonder what more we could have done to stop them." At the end of June, the commission wrote, "the intelligence reporting consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a calamitous level." In early July, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft was told "that preparations for multiple attacks [by Al Qaeda] were in late stages or already complete and that little additional warning could be expected." By month's end, "the system was blinking red" and could not "get any worse," then-CIA Director George Tenet told the 9/11 commission.

It was at this point, of course, that George W. Bush began the longest presidential vacation in 32 years. On the very first day of his visit to his Texas ranch, Aug. 6, Bush received the now-infamous two-page intelligence alert titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the United States." Yet instead of returning to the capital to mobilize an energetic defensive posture, he spent an additional 27 days away as the government languished in summer mode, in deep denial.

"In sum," said the 9/11 commission report, "the domestic agencies never mobilized in response to the threat. They did not have the direction, and did not have a plan to institute. The borders were not hardened. Transportation systems were not fortified. Electronic surveillance was not targeted against a domestic threat. State and local law enforcement were not marshaled to augment the FBI's efforts. The public was not warned."

In her public testimony to the commission, Rice argued that the Aug. 6 briefing concerned vague "historical information based on old reporting," adding that "there was no new threat information." When the commission forced the White House to release the document, however, this was exposed as a lie: The document included explicit FBI warnings of "suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." Furthermore, this briefing was only one of 40 on the threat of Bin Laden that the president received between Jan. 20 and Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush, the commission report also makes clear, compounded U.S. vulnerability by totally misleading Americans about the need to invade Iraq as a part of the "war on terror."

For those, like Vice President Dick Cheney, who continue to insist that the jury is still out on whether Al Qaeda and Iraq were collaborators, the commission's report should be the final word, finding after an exhaustive review that there is no evidence that any of the alleged contacts between Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein "ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with Al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States."

So, before 9/11, incompetence and sloth. And after? Much worse: a war without end on the wrong battlefield.

Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, July 26, 2004 3:02 PM
Subject: 9/11 Report Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.27

World Creeping Closer to 'Oil Shock'

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

9/11 Report Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704A.shtml

Iraq Suicide Bombing, Hostage Crisis Spirals
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704B.shtml

Robert Fisk | Hostages: Terror by Video
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704C.shtml

Fact or Fiction? Iran's Quest for the Atomic Bomb
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704D.shtml

Jesse Jackson | 'Rainbow' Votes Are Key to Victory
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704E.shtml

Edward M. Kennedy | In the Spirit of the First JFK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704F.shtml

Le Monde | Mr. Allawi Denies the Presence of Israelis in Kurdistan
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704H.shtml

Officers Question Visibility of Army in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704I.shtml

Kerry War Letters Show His Conflicts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704J.shtml

Taxes Cut, Not Saved
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704K.shtml

Thabo Mbeki | Haiti after the Press Went Home
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704L.shtml

Iraqi Interior Minister Assassinated
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072704Z.shtml

SPECIAL: TO Live in Boston!
http://www.truthout.org/dnc04.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Live from Boston'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

Published on Monday, July 26, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0726-03.htm

 

Bush's Dark Pages in Conservation History

by Stewart L. Udall


SANTA FE, N.M. - A crucial struggle over land stewardship is taking place south of my home on the Greater
Otero Mesa, a 1.2-million-acre stretch of grassland that looks pretty much the way it did when Coronado
explored the region almost 500 years ago. As much as half of Otero Mesa still qualifies for protection under
the landmark 1964 Wilderness Act, which was enacted when I headed the Interior Department under
presidents Kennedy and Johnson. This law prevents industrial development on designated federal land
"retaining its primeval character and influence."

But the Bush administration, determined to ransack public lands for the last meager pockets of petroleum,
has turned my old department into a servile, single-minded adjunct of the Energy Department. It is intent on
opening Otero Mesa and other wild lands to oil and gas exploration under the guise of reducing our
ever-growing dependency on imported oil.

Here in New Mexico, where citizens cherish sublime landscapes, the administration's attack on the mesa is a
heated issue. Gov. Bill Richardson has been joined by lawmakers, environmental groups and thousands of
citizens in opposing drilling on Otero.

This crusade is part of a wave of public resentment across the West over the dark chapter that President
Bush and his aides are writing in the history of the American conservation movement. From California to
Colorado, Montana to Arizona, drill rigs pockmark the West's wild places, licensed by a White House that
views opening of the nation's last untrammeled country to private development as a prime economic priority.

For the last 50 years as a congressman, as Interior secretary, as a citizen activist and a historian, I have been
involved in the conservation cause. Until the last few years Americans have taken pride in the fact that our
country has set the standard for innovative ideas about resource stewardship, and has seen them emulated
throughout the world.

The word "conservation" - and the concept of science-based management of resources - did not exist until
Teddy Roosevelt became president. He initiated the reforms and raised the banner, halting raids on the
public's resources and creating millions of acres of national forests, parks and wildlife refuges.

Even during the Great Depression, the second President Roosevelt enlarged his cousin's legacy. FDR put
people to work replanting forests, bringing electricity to rural areas and enlarging the nation's national parks.

A third wave of conservation got underway in 1961 when Kennedy called for the establishment of wilderness
reserves and the addition of seashores to the park system, inspiring conservationists to revive ideas that had
been shelved after Pearl Harbor.

My office sorted through the results: Should I urge the New Jersey governor to oppose the powerful New York
Port Authority's plan for a super jetport in order to preserve the Great Swamp? Should I travel to Maine to
help Sen. Edmund Muskie stop a dam that would flood the storied Allagash River? Could I persuade the
budget people to spend $30 million more to prevent development inside the new Point Reyes National
Seashore in California? We did all that, and more.

In those days, partisan lines were never drawn where conservation issues were concerned. Kennedy's
Wilderness bill passed the Senate by a vote of 78 to 12, with only six members of each party voting no.
Republicans overwhelmingly voted for the bill largely because of the leadership of a farsighted Californian,
Thomas Kuchel.

From 1961 to 1981, every president - Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter - gave his unwavering
support to environmental reforms. Richard Nixon set a high goal by declaring that the 1970s should be the
"environmental decade." He created the Environmental Protection Agency and approved laws to protect
endangered species.

As the country moved rightward with Reagan, the rhetoric may have been negative, but in the end no effort
was made to repeal important environmental laws. George H.W. Bush had a positive record, and although Bill
Clinton was stymied by a hostile Congress, he used his executive powers to achieve positive results.

Overall, it's a record that bolsters my thesis that this administration is rowing against the tide of American
history. Otero Mesa symbolizes its narrow focus. Bush and company have not put forward a single positive
new conservation concept. They have systematically lowered pollution regulations to please favored
industries. They have allowed park and forest maintenance to be neglected and under-funded. I view these
events and developments with dismay. This is a time for straight talk, for those who love the land to make
their voices heard before more damage is done to the resources we all own.

Stewart L. Udall has written, edited or contributed to dozens of books, most recently "The Forgotten
Founders: Rethinking the History of the Old West" (Shearwater Books, 2002).

Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times

=====================================================+

 

GOODBYE, ROADLESS RULE

Alyssondra Campaigne, Center for American Progress

If Theodore Roosevelt had shared Bush's cramped vision of
the federal role in land conservation there would be a
parking lot at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

*In EnviroHealth: http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/

=====================================================+

 

Boston Globe - Boston,MA,USA - July 25, 2004

A `Monumental' opener for Woods Hole fest

... featuring screenings, workshops, and discussions, kicks off Friday
with a benefit screening for the festival. . . .


By Loren King, Globe Staff

The 13th annual Woods Hole Film Festival, an eight-day extravaganza featuring screenings, workshops, and discussions, kicks off Friday with a benefit screening for the festival of "Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America." Kelly Duane's documentary explores the life of longtime environmentalist David Brower, who died in 2000 at age 88. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. at Regal Cinemas 12, Route 132, Hyannis.

<http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2004/07/25/a_monumental_opener_for_woods_hole_fest>

=====================================================+

 

From: Environmentalists Against War <weekly_newsletter_reply@mailhost.groundspring.org>
Reply-To: weekly_newsletter_reply@mailhost.groundspring.org
To: Robert Brower <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Sunday, July 25, 2004 3:45 PM
Subject: EAW Quick Links -- July 26, 2004

 

EAW Quick Links -- July 26, 2004

A weekly review of news about war, the environment and social
justice drawn from the far reaches of the global media.

Environmentalists Against War - www.envirosagainstwar.org

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"Martial law is the only way to protect the democratic process."

-- Ibrahim Jafari, vice-president of Iraq,s new interim government, July 6, 2004.

 

Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs
Bob Nichols / Online Journal

July 13, 2004" US and UK forces used about 4 million pounds of depleted uranium weapons in Iraq, releasing radiation equal to 250,000 Nagasaki bombs. The Pentagon's last five Nuclear Radiation Wars have released the radiation equivalent of about 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. There are more than 77,000 tons of radioactive waste stored at the 103 nuclear waste plants and a stunning 1.5 billion pounds at the several nuclear weapons labs and related facilities in the US. Each nuclear powerplant generates another 250 pounds of radioactive material a day http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85993:206345


Depleted Uranium: America's Silent Weapon of Mass Destruction

Sally Carless / Common Dreams

(July 13, 2004) -- American troops are coming home poisoned -- not by Saddam -- but by their own government's weapons of mass and indiscriminate destruction. The first reports from soldiers returning from Iraq have come in, and they are testing positive for depleted uranium (DU) in their systems. And these are not just random soldiers many are police officers and fire fighters from New York who serve in the NY Army National Guard. These are the very symbols of what this war was supposedly about.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85994:206345

 

Allawi Plans to Revamp Iraq Security
Al Jazeera

(July 24, 2004) -- Iraq's interim prime minister has announced a restructuring of the country's security forces, saying all Iraqi troops would be brought under a central command. Iyad Allawi issued a plea for more international help in Iraq's security, asking outside countries to send troops and donate military hardware to bolster Iraq's beleaguered forces. "Until our forces are fully capable we will continue to need support from our friends," Allawi told reporters. Allawi said his ministers are also discussing the imposition of emergency law in parts of Iraq, to help police and paramilitaries bring order.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85995:206345


Iraq to Reinstate Death Penalty
Al Jazeera

(July 12, 2004) -- Interim Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawir insists the country will soon reinstate the death penalty despite strong opposition from the European Union. Iraq's interim government would first announce an amnesty deal to resistance fighters who had fought US-led occupation forces since last year's invasion but were now ready to lay down their arms. This move would be followed "by a law on the death penalty." Al-Yawir said "the death sentence will only be applied the way it is applied in many of the world's most advanced societies. This is nothing like the previous regime that had laid down 114 articles in the law carrying the death penalty."
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85996:206345


Allawi Shot Prisoners 'in Cold Blood'
Paul McGeough / Sydney Morning Herald

BAGHDAD (July 17, 2004) -- Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government. According to two eye- witnesses, the handcuffed and blindfolded prisoners were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block at the Al-Amariyah security center. Allawi reportedly told onlookers the victims "deserved worse than death." Informants claimed that Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Allawi's personal security team watched in stunned silence. Iraq's Interior Minister, Falah al-Naqib, reportedly congratulated Allawi when the job was done. Allawi's office has denied the accounts.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85997:206345


Check on Execution Claims Promised
Tom Allard / Sydney Morning Herald

(July 20, 2004) -- Iraq's Human Rights Minister Bakhtiar Amin has promised to investigate claims that Prime Minister Iyad Allawi shot six handcuffed insurgents at point-blank range just before he assumed office. Amin said he would check the witness accounts, reported in the Herald. But he added: "This is not the Iyad Allawi I know. He's not a killer. And he's not the type of person who goes out killing people. You don't see him carrying weapons." Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, expressed his confidence in Amin's investigation and repeated his call for the Herald's Chief Correspondent, Paul McGeough, to take his evidence to Iraq's police.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85998:206345


Saddam's People Are Winning the War
Scott Ritter / International Herald Tribune

WASHINGTON (July 22, 2004) -- The battle for Iraq's sovereign future is a battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. As things stand, it appears that victory will go to the side most in tune with the reality of the Iraqi society of today: the leaders of the anti-U.S. resistance. In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's regime shifted toward an amalgam of Islamic fundamentalism, tribalism and nationalism that more accurately reflected the political reality of Iraq. Thanks to his meticulous planning and foresight, Saddam's lieutenants are now running the Iraqi resistance.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=85999:206345


Kurdish Rebel Conquers Big Mac
Nicolas Rothwell / The Australian

(July 23, 2004) -- A former Kurdish resistance fighter now is wielding a skillet, rather than a rifle. A founder of the Kurdish Socialist Party and a hero of the Peshmerga guerrilla movement, has opened a. trendy restaurant on the main drag of Suleimaniyah, the capital of Ieast Kurdistan. When McDonalds failed to respond to his request to open a franchise, the former soldier didn't go ballistic, he simply applied "free enterprise." He adorned his burger-and-fries shop with a familiar red logo and golden arches and dubbed it "MaDonal." That was two years ago. Apparently Big Mac's notoriously aggressive lawyers are not about to challenge a former Peshmerga guerilla.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86000:206345


US Tank Crash Kills Iraqis
Al Jazeera

(July 24, 2004) -- Nine Iraqi civilians were killed when a US tank crashed into their bus. A passenger told Associated Press Television News (APTN) that the tank crashed into a bus in Tarmiyah, 50km north of Baghdad, late on Thursday, as they returned from a wedding. "An American armored vehicle hit them and left," he said. Iraqi police Captain Adnan Salih said another 18 were injured as they were returning from a wedding party. The casualties included four men, four women and a child. APTN footage showed the twisted wreckage of a minibus and several bodies of accident victims covered by blankets. A small child's orange dress was found amid the wreckage and pools of blood covered the road. The US military has given a different version of the incident.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86001:206345


The Sarajevo of Iraq
Dilip Hiro / Tomdispatch.com

(July 22, 2004) -- Worsening Kurdish-Arab friction threatens the region. In the ongoing crisis in Iraq, one factor has remained unchanged: the loyalty of the Kurds to Washington. Whereas, for most Arabs, March 20 (the first anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq) was ignored, Iraq,s Kurds celebrated it with traditional dancing and gunfire as "Iraq Liberation Day." The Bush administration gave the Kurds two of the top five positions in the new interim Iraqi government -- instead of the one that would have been their due if their percentage of the national population were all that was taken into account. But if Kurdish autonomy demands are not meant, civil war could erupt.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86002:206345


Rage and Danger in Kurdistan
Jen Banbury / The Salon

KIRKUK (July 22, 2004) -- Angry with the US for betraying their dream of independence, the Kurds could ignite an Iraqi civil war. For many Iraqis, a government headed by Allawi -- who previously punched a time clock in the employ of both Saddam,s early regime and later the CIA -- has a distinct "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" ring to it. The Kurds do not trust either the United States or their Arab neighbors to the south, and so they do not even begin to trust a US-backed Arab government. These days, the Kurds aren,t celebrating much of anything.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86003:206345


Financial Controls in Iraq Criticized by Overseers
Erik Eckholm / New York Times

(July 16, 2004) -- Ministries of the Iraqi government who are now able to spend billions in oil revenues lack proper auditing and financial controls, opening the door to widespread corruption, an international oversight body warned yesterday. The oversight body, the International Advisory and Monitoring Board on Iraq, also criticized American occupation authorities for lax accounting of their own as they spent nearly $20 billion in Iraqi funds through late June this year, when sovereignty was formally transferred to the interim government.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86004:206345


Human Rights Officials Visit Iraqi Detainees
IRINnews.org / United Nations

BAGHDAD (July, 13, 2004) -- Officials at Iraq's Human Rights Ministry are now able to make weekly visits to previously off-limits security detainees at Abu Ghraib prison to make sure that prisoner abuse by US soldiers never happens again. Iraqi prison guards now watch over about 2,000 criminal prisoners at Abu Ghraib while US forces still watch over an estimated 4,000 security detainees. The Geneva Conventions classifications do not cover security detainees. Security detainees are those who are deemed a threat to Coalition forces.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86005:206345


Kuwait Targets Leading Rights Activist
Al Jazeera

(July 23, 2004) -- Kuwaiti authorities hope to arrest Khalid al-Dosari, a leading human rights activist, on charges of recruiting young Arab Muslims to fight US occupation forces in Iraq. Al-Dosari, a spokesman of the Association of Victims of Torture and Arbitrary Arrest, evaded an attempt by security forces to arrest him on Monday. However, al-Dosari charged on a website that authorities were after him because he had evidence of human rights violations by security services and was defending victims of abuse. Several Arab and international human rights groups denounced the failed attempt to arrest al-Dosari and deplored what they called the pressure exerted on "defenders of victims of torture and arbitrary arrest in Kuwait."
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86006:206345


Video -- "This Land" Offers Some Mud-slinging Humor
JibJab.com

If you aren't among the millions who have already downloaded Atom Film's amusing and toe-tapping animation -- which pits George W. Bush's acrimony against John Kerry's patrician scolding -- click on the following link.
http://mailhost.groundspring.org/cgi-bin/t.pl?id=86007:206345

 

NOTE: Quick Links is produced weekly on an unpaid basis by a committed volunteer. If you appreciate these news tips and have the desire to support this work, tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Academic Publishing, Inc., PO Box 27, Berkeley, CA 94701.

=====================================================+

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - JULY 20, 2004

http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0720-03.htm


CONTACT: Sierra Club - Annie Strickler (202) 675-2384


"Wildlands at Risk" Report Details Bush Administration's Assault on Wild America


WASHINGTON - July 20 - The Sierra Club released today a "Wildlands at Risk" report highlighting 25 places across
the country where the Bush administration's unprecedented assault on our public lands could have lasting impacts.
With Americans heading to the great outdoors this summer, "Wildlands at Risk" is a sampling of wild places across
the country, many of them popular vacation spots, that represents the kinds of threats America's wildlands face
from Bush administration policies.

The report is available at http://www.sierraclub.org/wildlands/wildlandsatrisk.

The Sierra Club is also running a print ad today in the following cities to highlight these same threats to public
lands: Charleston, West Virginia; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; Asheville, North Carolina; Athens, Georgia;
San Antonio, Texas; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Phoenix, Arizona. The ad will run in Anchorage, Alaska,
tomorrow. The ad can be viewed at: http://www.sierraclub.org/pressroom/media/.

"The stories in this report show the scope and magnitude of the Bush administration's assault on America's wild
heritage," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. "The administration's policies are reversing decades of
progress on public lands protection and could destroy forever some of our most cherished hiking, hunting, fishing
and camping spots."

Just last week, the Bush administration revoked critical protections for America's last remaining wild forests,
replacing the landmark Roadless Area Conservation Rule with a convoluted system that forces Governors to
petition the Forest Service to not construct roads in or otherwise develop inventoried wild roadless forest areas.
The administration also indicated that it intends to permanently exempt the national forests in Alaska from the wild
forest protections. The administration has also moved forward with tens of thousands of new oil and gas leases,
many of them in once 'protected' and environmentally sensitive places, as part of a departure from the traditional
"multiple use" principle which formerly guided public land management.

"Hunters, hikers, boaters, anglers and families all seek the recreation and solitude that their public lands provide,"
said Pope. "As owners of our great public lands estate, all Americans, not solely oil and timber companies, should
be able to enjoy these special places."

"Wildlands at Risk" highlights the following 25 places:

Alaska: Tongass National Forest; Teshekpuk Lake; Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Arizona: Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument; Kaibab National Forest

California: Sierra Nevadas; Giant Sequoia National Monument

Colorado: Dinosaur National Monument

Georgia: Chattahoochee National Forests

Idaho: Owyhees Canyonlands

Minnesota: Superior National Forest

Montana/Wyoming: Rocky Mountain Front and Powder River Basin

North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Oregon: Zane Grey roadless area

Pacific Northwest: Salmon

Texas: Padre Island National Seashore

Utah: Fisher Towers

Vermont: Lamb Brook Wilderness

West Virginia: Appalachia/Moutaintop removal; Monongohela National Forest

Wisconsin: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park; Upper Green River Valley

"Wildlands at Risk" addresses why each of these places is special and worthy of protection, how Bush
administration policies threaten their beauty, integrity and sustainability, and how we can do better so that future
generations can explore these same wild places.

=====================================================+

 

cincypost.com

http://www.cincypost.com/2004/06/24/guest062404.html

 

Empire building is nasty work

By Richard Erlich

 

Both the soft-hearted folk protesting against the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and the
hard-headed Realpoliticians defending torture should see again Mel Gibson's "Passion of
the Christ,'' consult some of the history of the Roman Empire and consider some more recent
variations on "the imperial theme.''

The Romans understood that empires are maintained by persuasion, awe and service and,
backing that up, by the whip, sword and cross.

A rebellion of slaves? When the Spartacus rebellion was finally defeated, the Romans
crucified some 4,000 rebels along the roads of Italy.

The German tribes restless? Some 500,000 Germans were killed in Julius Caesar's campaign
against them.

The Jews have rebelled yet again? After the Bar Kochba rebellion was put down, the
Romans killed another half million.

Crucifying a possible Messiah at the behest of a local elite was small stuff for the Romans
and, from their point of view, necessary to maintain their empire's power, privileges and
profits.

Roman technique and dedication gave them a strong advantage against relatively primitive
German tribes and Jewish Zealots.

Similar advantages were held by Europeans playing for power and profit in Africa.

Late 19th- early 20th-century European goals in the Congo under Leopold II were mostly
profit: from ivory, rubber, minerals. The basic techniques would have been familiar to the
Romans, if extreme even by their standards and obviously "unsound,'' shortsighted. With
muskets, then rifles and Maxim guns, with whip and machete, whites in Congo extracted
wealth enough from the native populations and their lands to make Leopold one of the
richest men in his world. The loss of human life in the Congo was eight to 10 million by recent
estimates: one of the greatest slow-motion massacres in history.

Why commit such crimes? Because terror can work. For a while.

Humans are not particularly logical, but the logic of situations is a crucial element in what gets
done. Whether the abuses at Abu Ghraib were aberrations by a few sadists or the
implementation of the milder parts of a policy of torture, they were a prelude to evils that will
be necessary if we Americans wish to impose our will unequivocally on foreign peoples.

See "The Passion;'' read some history. Or, for a Cliff's Notes version, go see and listen to
"The Battle of Algiers.'' A French colonial officer in that film explains why he must torture to
stop terrorism. The French methods are effective; they destroy the terrorist network. And
following their victory against terrorism, popular revolution drove the French out of Algiers and
Algeria.

Torture can work, as long as a country has the figurative stomach to torture and terrorize
relentlessly -- and unless such cruelty is met with a real revolution.

On the other hand, empire was not good for Roman character. The Romans lost their
republic and, eventually, ironically, their empire as well. Leopold's Congo enriched mostly
Leopold, and the scramble for colonies in Africa and among other low-tech peoples laid
much of the ground for the 20th century's two world wars.

You want an American Empire -- the safety, anyway, of being able to impose our will on any
possible opponents? Then don't be upset when the old goals invoke the old means, but
modernized: with drugs and electrodes and sexual humiliation replacing the crudities of whip
and cross.

Richard Erlich is a resident of Oxford, Ohio. Publication Date: 06-24-2004

=====================================================+

 

salon.com - July 22, 2004

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/07/22/election_fight/index.html

Armed and dangerous

Democrats had better assume that team Bush will do anything to win.
For this White House, abuse of power isn't just a tactic, it's an identity.

By James K. Galbraith

In two previous columns, I examined Bush's approval ratings. Now, with nearly two months of new data, I draw a
different conclusion from that in my last look. It could be that Bush has hit bottom after all. And if that's true, the hard fight of this electionis only now beginning.

My initial column on this subject showed that just three events -- 9/11, the Iraq War, and the capture of Saddam Hussein -- explain nine-tenths of the variation in the month-to-month changes in Bush's approval rating. That's still true. For 32 out of 37 months, there was a steady decline of about 1.6 percentage points per month. Nothing Bush did or said, outside those major wartime events, seemed to help him.

At the time of that February column, however, there had never been an average Bush approval rating below 48 percent. It therefore was not possible to predict whether his decline would continue below that point. Would it pass through the boundary separating those who didn't vote for him in 2000 from those who did? At the time of the second column, in May, there was reason to think that it had. The equation predicted further declines in March and April, which did occur. And May was a low point, with an average approval rating across nine polls of just 45.6 percent.

But the latest numbers are better for Bush. The regression shows what's called a "positive residual" of two points in June and two and a half points in July. Thus, instead of continuing to fall, Bush gained slightly in June and even more thus far this month. Now he's back to an average rating of 47.5 percent. The funeral for Ronald Reagan probably helped. Several polls for July have yet to come in, and we might find that June was another special case, like the month of Saddam's capture. The pattern of steady decline could resume, but so far it hasn't.

All of this suggests that the true pattern is one in which events drive voters either toward Bush (9/11, Iraq, Saddam) or away from him (Abu Ghraib), but always with a slow return afterward toward the battle lines of 2000. The "two countries" -- red state, blue state -- view of American political life could be correct in the end.

This is not particularly good news for any Democrats tempted, at this early date, to predict an easy victory. Yes, Bush is down, and he's behind in head-to-head matchups. But there is still time for an attack on our soil, a crisis overseas, or victory in the "war on terror" to put him back in positive territory, at least for a while. Is this why we see administration pressure on Pakistan, as reported by John Judis in the New Republic, to deliver a "high-value target" in the days immediately ahead? Is this why we see the vague but threatening terror warnings of recent weeks, including the absurd suggestion that November's voting might have to be postponed?

I'm only asking. But these maneuvers do resemble the Republicans' tactics in 2002, when they rolled out the run-up to the Iraq War (White House chief of staff Andrew Card called it "new product") before the election. If you haven't figured it out, abuse of power isn't something these people do. It's who they are.

For the moment, the troubles in Iraq have damped the imperial fantasies of the controlling faction. But they haven't disappeared. Bush made this clear the other day with his definitive defense of his war in Iraq. He said: "Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq ... We removed a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them."

Was this just the latest lame defense of failure? Or was it a calculated statement of doctrine? It could be either. Unlike the neoconservatives before the United States went into Iraq, we should be prudent and assume the worst.

Read Bush's statement again. In it, he asserts a right to remove any "declared enemy" with "capability" to produce weapons who "could have passed that capability" along.

"Capability"? "Could have"? What trouble spots in the world doesn't this fit? It certainly fits North Korea and Iran. Will this doctrine thus lead to a raid on the internationally legal Iranian nuclear plant next year? It could, as the Times of London has reported, citing an unnamed U.S. administration source.

And as for a "declared enemy" -- declared by whom? The president's syntax leaves that vague. China, for instance, has not "declared" itself our enemy since President Nixon's visit in 1972. But like any other industrial power, it fits the other categories. What's to stop Bush from making the declaration? We could get "new product" on that front, or any other, at any time.

Consider too what the doctrine excludes. Pakistan actually has weapons of mass murder and actually has passed the capability along. It isn't a "declared enemy," but only because it has a government that pretends to be our friend. And we have a government that pretends to be Pakistan's friend -- even though the place is shot through with al-Qaida, right into the depths of its nuclear labs.

Remarkably, Bush's cataclysmic sentence was reported respectfully in our press instead of being widely singled out for what it is: prime evidence of a lethal contempt for reason. Plainly, a man prepared to overthrow foreign governments by force on the strength of such arguments is unlikely, on the face of it, to have deep respect for the democratic process in his own.

In the months ahead, faith and fear, drums and air-raid sirens may work powerfully on the election campaign. The men in power know these instruments and how to use them. They are as they seem: armed, dangerous and on the run.

From here, therefore, it looks like a hard fight. The fate of the country depends on how well John Kerry, John Edwards and their supporters wage it. They will have to work, against loud voices and in the face of unpredictable events, to persuade fellow Americans to choose hope over fear, reason over dogma, and republic over empire.

About the writer - James K. Galbraith is Salon's economics correspondent. He teaches at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

=====================================================+

 

Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 by The Nation

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0721-12.htm


An Error of Supreme Dimensions

by William Greider


Not to risk blasphemy, but shouldn't a special commission look into whether God provided the warrior
President with faulty intelligence? Recall that George W. Bush has confided to Bob Woodward that in shaping
his plans for invading Iraq he relied on advice from a "higher father," not on Poppy Bush in Texas, the former
President. Now we learn from advance news leaks that the 9/11 Commission has concluded from its
investigation that it was Iran, not Iraq, that collaborated with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorists before
their attack on America. Oops. Have we gone to war against the wrong country? One assumes it was not the
Almighty who confused the two nations. Maybe Bush suffered from a fuzzy connection in his prayer circuitry.
So close to God, yet so distant from the truth.

His mistake is not a joking matter, of course. It may be the most egregious example of how Bush's pious
self-assurance led the United States into an ill-fated war with colossal misrepresentation of the facts. The 9/11
Commission's report will provide more details when it is released. Meanwhile, the press reports that Tehran,
not Baghdad, formed cooperative relations with Al Qaeda some months before bin Laden's 2001 terror
attacks on New York and Washington. Iran gave safe passage to some Qaeda agents exiting Afghanistan
including several on their way to fly 9/11's highjacked airliners. There's apparently no evidence to suggest the
Iranians had advance knowledge of the attacks on US cities.

But the obvious question is, What did the President know and when did he know it? If these facts were
known to US authorities before the war was launched against Saddam Hussein, why was this information not
shared with the American public? Because Bush's warmaking logic would have been severely crippled. He
wanted to attack Iraq, not the better-equipped Muslim nation next door. Alternately, why didn't the White
House consider that Iran was a far more plausible partner for the terrorists? Bush did name Iran among his
"axis of evil" but never swerved from the plan to launch "shock and awe" against Saddam, a far weaker
military adversary. Iran, as we subsequently learned, was actually working on acquiring "weapons of mass
destruction"--a nuclear bomb.

The dimensions of Bush's historic errors continue to expand, the more we learn after the fact. The official line
characterizes these revelations as unfortunate "mistakes" or "faulty intelligence." However, the pattern of
concocted threats and concealment of contradictory evidence suggests a deliberate intent that fits quite
snugly with Bush's own political objectives. The "mistakes" all provide convenient support for his fateful
decision to make an unprovoked war. Our President may indeed be holier than thou, but he should be made
to answer for this here on earth.

National affairs correspondent William Greider has been a political journalist for more than thirty-five years. A
former Rolling Stone and Washington Post editor, he is the author of the national bestsellers One World,
Ready or Not, Secrets of the Temple, Who Will Tell The People and, most recently, The Soul of Capitalism
(Simon & Schuster).

Copyright © 2004 The Nation

=====================================================+

 

From: Earth Island Institute <earthisland@earthisland.org>
Reply-To: <cclarke@earthisland.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Monday, July 19, 2004 9:30 AM
Subject: IslandWire - July 19, 2004 - Vol.7, No.7

Islandwire: News from Earth Island Institute - July 19, 2004

Conservation, Preservation, Restoration


Highlights of This Issue

* Summer Travel
* Brower Center
* Reports from the IWC
* Sustainable Living
* Earth Island Journal
* Brower Youth Awards
* Volunteer in the Yucatan
* Wilderness Training
* Environmental Events

 

Vacation as an Ethical Traveler
Traveling abroad this summer? Before you go, make sure you visit
Ethical Traveler, a project of Earth Island, at
www.ethicaltraveler.com. You,ll find in-depth information about
environmental and political issues in various parts of the globe, a
great sense of community with fellow travelers, and tips on how to
lessen your ecological footprint on your journeys.

Brower Center
Plans to build the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA continue to
move forward. The building will serve as a home to a variety of
non-profit and public service organizations. Learn how your
contributions will help make the building a reality by visiting
www.browercenter.org/join_us.html. To make a tax-deductible donation
to the David Brower Center, send your check or money order to:

David Brower Center
2530 San Pablo Ave., Suite D
Berkeley, CA 94702

Voice for Marine Mammals at IWC 56
International Marine Mammal Project representatives will be producing
the environmental newsletter Eco at the International Whaling
Commission meeting in Sorrento, Italy during the week of July 19.
We'll be posting the newsletter on the Earth Island Web site as it's
written. Check it out at www.earthisland.org/immp.

Sustainable Living
Sustainable World Coalition recently held the Sustainable World
Symposium in San Francisco. Organizers have produced a 40-page
publication called The Sustainable Living SourceBook, which includes a
recap of the information presented at the symposium, a special section
on personal sustainability, including eco-footprint, energy usage,
food choices, waste assessment, and purchasing choices, plus a listing
of those organization that offer services, programs, and campaigns
that are helping us move towards sustainability. The booklet is
available for $10 (includes tax and shipping). To obtain your copy,
visit www.swcoalition.org or phone 415.785.1888.

Hot Off the Press!
The latest issue of Earth Island Journal is now available! This issue
features a report on preserving parrot populations on St. Lucia, a
proposal for a network of cross-border national parks, and
"Disappearing Act, a 16-page special insert on endangered species.
Look for Earth Island Journal on a newsstand near you. For a list of
retail outlets that carry the Journal, visit
www.earthisland.org/eijournal/distribution_dir.html.

RSVP for the 2004 Brower Youth Awards
Save your seat now for the 5th Annual Brower Youth Awards Ceremony! On
September 30, the nation,s top student environmental leaders will be
honored in Berkeley, CA at Florence Schwimmley Theater at 6PM. The
event is free but space is limited. RSVP to save your seat now for
this inspiring show, co-hosted by Julia Butterfly Hill and Van Jones.
Visit www.earthisland.org/bya/byaRSVP2004.html.

MAP Volunteer Work Study/Eco-Tour
A mangrove restoration and sea turtle conservation project on Mexico's
Yucatan Peninsula is being planned for Oct. 1-10, 2004. Depending upon
the interest and number of volunteers, this tour will help restore
degraded mangroves and rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles,
as well as explore the unique reef ecosystems of the region. MAP
(Mangrove Action Project, www.earthisland.org/map) will be
co-sponsoring this tour with SAVE, an NGO in Mexico. At least 10
volunteers are needed for this tour. For more information, please
contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Wilderness First Responder
Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) will be holding a Wilderness First
Responder training course in Santa Rosa, CA, from August 7-17, 2004.
This course is designed to prepare participants for wilderness
emergencies. For more information, please contact: Kyle Macdonald at
415.788.3666 x125.

Environmental Events
Although these listings are not sponsored or hosted by Earth Island
Institute, they are the work of various organizations that are also
committed to a healthier planet and may be of interest to anyone
committed to a more sustainable, peaceful future. We recommend these
events.

Creating a Culture of Nonviolence
The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and the Institute
of Noetic Sciences (IONS) are co-sponsoring a lecture and workshop by
Satish Kuman, co-founder of Schumacher College and editor of
Resurgence magazine. The theme is "Creating a Culture of Nonviolence.
The lecture takes place between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Monday, July 26,
2004 at CIIS, 1453 Mission Street, in San Francisco, CA. Admission is
$10. The workshop will be held the following day from 10 a.m. to 5
p.m. at IONS in Petaluma, CA. Admission, including lunch, is $125. For
more information or to register, call 415.575.6175 or visit
www.ciis.edu/lifelong.

Organizers Needed
Californians for GE-Free Agriculture is currently seeking volunteer
regional organizers for a public awareness campaign. Applicants must
be able to commit 20 hours a month for the next year and be available
to attend a training session in Sonoma County from August 2-6. To have
an application mailed to you, call 415.561.2523 or e-mail
info@calgefree.org.

Permaculture Workshop
Bioneers is hosting a two-and-a-half-day workshop this September that
will include hands-on activities and interactive exercises designed to
teach people a different way of looking at ecosystems and how to
understand the dynamics of nature. The program will help you develop a
better understanding of plant communities, edible landscaping, soil
building, and water conservation. For more information, visit the
Bioneers website, e-mail agworkshops@bioneers.org or call 831.338.1202.

The Future of Food
On Wednesday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m., the Yerba Buena Center for the
Arts (701 Mission Street, San Francisco) will screen a film by Deborah
Koons Garcia called The Future of Food. The 90-minute film
investigates the struggle of farmers in North America to continue to
grow and sell GMO-free food. Tickets are $7. Call 415.978.ARTS for
advance purchase. For more information, visit www.filmarts.org.

Once in a Blue Moon
On Friday, July 30, during the second full moon in July, park rangers
will lead a walk to the top of Mt. Wanda. The guided walk is free, but
reservations, limited to the first 60 participants, are required. For
reservations and information, call John Muir National Historic Site
(JMNHS) in Martinez, CA at 925.228.8860.

To get a listing of environmental events, go to www.idealist.org and
search on 'environment.' Get involved!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Many thanks to Stone Ground Solutions for their generous web design
assistance and hosting services. Visit them at: www.stoneground.com.

ABOUT ISLANDWIRE:
Editor: Audrey Webb (audreywebb@earthisland.org)
Editorial assistant: Matthew Carlstroem (matthew@earthisland.org)
IslandWire provides updates from Earth Island's website, breaking
environmental news and action alerts, and notices on the current
activities of the organization.

ABOUT EARTH ISLAND INSTITUTE:
Earth Island Institute (EII) was founded by environmental visionary,
David Brower [1912-2000], in 1982. It consists of a diverse network of
more than 30 issue-focused environmental education and advocacy
projects.

OUR MISSION:

Life on Earth is imperiled by human degradation of the biosphere.
Earth Island Institute develops and supports projects that counteract
threats to the biological and cultural diversity that sustain the
environment. Through education and activism, these projects promote
the conservation, preservation, and restoration (CPR) of the Earth.


© Earth Island Institute. All rights reserved.
300 Broadway, Suite 28, San Francisco, CA 94133 USA
Phone: (415)788-3666 / Fax: (415)788-7324

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 2:45 PM
Subject: CIA Disputes Bush's Iran-9/11 Connection

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.21

Outdoorsmen Are Now Seeing through Bush, Too

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Oil Companies: Gimme Shelter from Taxes
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104E.shtml

CIA Disputes Bush's Iran-9/11 Connection
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104A.shtml

China, U.S. Each Hold Major War Exercises
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104B.shtml

Governors Tell of War's Impact on Local Needs
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104C.shtml

Paul Krugman | The Arabian Candidate
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104D.shtml

U.S. Casualty Rate High Since Handover
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104F.shtml

Sara Daniel | When Veterans Speak...
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104H.shtml

Halliburton General Now to Seek Federal Contracts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104I.shtml

Danny Schechter | The Iraq Scandals: Media Failures Are Next
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104J.shtml

Capitol Times | Not-so-Curious George
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104K.shtml

Robert Fisk | The Crisis of Information in Baghdad
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104L.shtml

Republicans Blast Bush on Environment
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104Y.shtml

Iraqi Governor Shot Dead; Filipino Hostage Released
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Gone to Soldiers'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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t r u t h o u t

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072104Y.shtml


Republicans Blast President Bush on Environment

By Erik Stetson
The Associated Press

Tuesday 20 July 2004

    Concord, New Hampshire - One of the Environmental Protection Agency's earliest leaders, flanked by Republican state politicians, blasted the president's record on the environment Monday during a news conference organized by an anti-Bush environmental group.

    Russell Train, a Republican, was the EPA's second chief under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. But he said Bush's record is so dismal he's casting his presidential vote for Democrat John Kerry in November.

    "It's almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection," he said. "I find this deeply disturbing."

    Bush supporters defended the president's record. Tom Thomson, owner of Thomson Family Tree Farm in Orford, praised the Healthy Forests Initiative as good legislation that protects loggers as well as forests. He predicted current policies would have positive long-term effects.

    Bush "has made progress over the last four years giving us cleaner air, water and land," Thomson said in a statement.

    Officials with the state's Bush-Cheney campaign said sulfur dioxide emissions are down 9 percent, while nitrogen oxide emissions are down 13 percent. They added that the 2002 Farm Bill set aside more than $40 billion in conservation funding.

    Environment2004, the environmental group, released a report Monday titled "Damaging the Granite State." It criticizes presidential policies on energy, global warming, toxic waste and air and water pollution.

    "It is the worst record in modern history, unfortunately," said Aimee Christensen, the group's executive director. "They are systematically weakening our keystone public health protections and undermining decades of bipartisan leadership on the environment."

    The report faults Bush's energy policy, for example, for slashing renewable energy funding. According to the report, the cuts are holding back New Hampshire, which could produce 43 percent of its energy from wind power. The report also claims the state could add 5,000 jobs by 2020 with more renewable energy and efficiency investments.

    The report cites such sources as federal and state agency reports as well as newspaper articles and advocacy-group studies.

    The two Republican state politicians who spoke - Rep. Jim Pilliod, a pediatrician, and former Sen. Rick Russman, who once headed the Senate Environmental Committee, did not endorse Kerry. They said they participated to stress the importance of environmental issues.

    Russman said funding was cut for cleanup work at two of the state's 19 Superfund sites. He also said the administration's standards would delay mercury emissions cleanup until at least 2018. Pilliod added that mothers and children are particularly vulnerable to mercury pollution.

    Train also accused Bush of letting weakening the Clean Air Act. The record, he added, falls short of those set by former Republican presidents ranging from Theodore Roosevelt, who advocated creating national parks and forests, to George H.W. Bush, who supported new anti-air-pollution standards.

    The Bush record is "appalling, with very, very few exceptions," Train said. He described presidential policies as "geared to rolling back environmental protections."

    Environment2004 has been actively campaigning against Bush policies and has released a national report on its Web site criticizing them.

=====================================================+

 

madison.com - July 20, 2004


http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/index.php?ntid=7057&ntpid=3

Hightower's zingers at fellow Texan delight local crowd

By Samara Kalk Derby

Madison was the first stop on Jim Hightower's 50-city book tour, promoting "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush," which officially goes on sale today.

His tour is part of the radio commentator and author's attempt "to show George the door in '04," he said as he took the stage of a nearly full Barrymore Theatre Sunday night.

After a studious examination of George W. Bush and his administration, Hightower said he came to a sober, academic conclusion: "These people are nuts!"

Bush himself seems like a swell fellow, Hightower said. In fact, being Bush seems like a "joyous experience," he said.

"Reality doesn't intrude into his consciousness," he deadpanned.

"Introspection is something he thinks happens when you take your car in for a checkup," Hightower commented during a typical barrage of Bush one-liners.

"The Bushites are so nasty, it makes me nostalgic for Nixon," Hightower said. At least Nixon signed laws creating the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Hightower said. During his presidency, he also signed the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, he added.

"I'll go further," offered Hightower. "It makes me nostalgic for Reagan. At least then we said, 'It can't get any worse than this.' Well, here we are."

The Bush administration, he said, has taken a sledgehammer to the Bill of Rights.

It has taken a $249 billion surplus and turned it into a $521 billion dollar debt, and with the war in Iraq the Bush administration has made "the world safer for Halliburton," Hightower said. "Imagine what they'd be doing if they actually won the election!"

Hightower wasn't the only one taking a swing at Bush Sunday night. On the way into the theater, many audience members took the opportunity to hit a punching bag with President Bush's likeness that said, "Beat Bush."

Dressed in his trademark jeans and a denim shirt, the Texan never removed his white Stetson hat during an hour-long humorous tirade that was followed by a brief question-and-answer period.

Two years ago, Hightower visited Madison and gave a free talk in front of about 250 fans at MATC downtown. This time, three times as many people turned out for the speech and book signing and paid $8 for the privilege. The event was sponsored by Clean Wisconsin, formerly Wisconsin's Environmental Decade.

Attorney and former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed Garvey introduced Hightower, describing him as a hero and "the No. 1 populist in the United States of America." Garvey took a moment to plug his third annual Fighting Bob Fest, Sept. 18, which includes an appearance by Hightower.

"We have fundraisers, he has hellraisers," Garvey said of Hightower.

Hightower talked about egalitarianism disappearing in America, along with the middle class. Social and economic justice, equal opportunity, fairness and justice are on the line and too few of the people in power are willing to fight for those values, he said.

"This is America that is at stake -- what makes America, America," he said.

It was possibly summed up best by a bumper sticker he saw on a beat up pickup truck in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he said. The sticker read: "Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?"

Since Bush took office, 3 million jobs have been lost, Hightower said. "But the real issue isn't jobs -- slaves had jobs," he said, to thunderous laughter and applause.

The real issue is wages. "It's not jobs we need, it's income," Hightower said. The new jobs Bush claims he's created in the last six months aren't jobs, they are "Wal-Mart job-ettes," he said.

In this election year, Hightower said "it's not enough to be pro-gressive, we've got to be a-ggressive!"

During the question-and-answer period, he was asked his opinion on Ralph Nader's campaign for president. Hightower said he supported Nader in 2000 but this time his focus is on getting rid of Bush.

He may not be crazy about John Kerry, but once Democrats are in the White House, progressives will be able to begin agitating for change at a grassroots level and work their way up.

About Kerry, he said, "I don't care if he's a sack of cement, we are going to carry him to victory in November."

=====================================================+

 

Published on Monday, July 19, 2004 by the International Herald Tribune

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0719-07.htm


It's Time to Stop Whalers from Bending the Rules

by Susan Lieberman


The International Whaling Commission meeting this week in Sorrento, Italy, could see pro-whaling countries -
Japan, Norway, and Iceland - having a majority of countries on their side. That would be an extremely
worrying development for whales and other large sea animals known as cetaceans. And the worst of it is that
the rest of the world doesn't seem to care.

What would be the consequences of a pro-whaling majority? The good news would be that the current
moratorium on commercial whaling would stay in place. A three-quarter majority is needed to overturn the ban,
and indications are that the balance has only slightly tipped in favor of whaling.

But even a simple pro-whaling majority would still be dangerous. For example, instead of being condemned
for their so-called "scientific" whaling, Japan and Iceland would likely see a resolution that actually endorses
the practice. This would be a disaster.

Despite the moratorium on commercial whaling, loopholes have allowed over 25,000 whales to be killed by
Japan, Norway and Iceland since 1986. Of these, close to 8,000 - including endangered sei whales - were
killed by Japan for "scientific" whaling, with the meat finding its way into the market. It is no secret that Japan
would like to kill more whales, and a favorable resolution would effectively give Tokyo carte blanche to do so.
So even with the moratorium in place, commercial whaling could dramatically expand.

A simple majority could also overturn last year's landmark resolution, the Berlin Initiative. The Conservation
Committee established under this initiative enables member countries to tackle the full range of threats to all
cetaceans beyond commercial whaling. These include marine pollution, climate change, noise pollution, ship
strikes, and the biggest threat of all, bycatch - entanglement in fishing nets, which kills around 300,000
whales, dolphins and porpoises each year.

Predictably, Japan, Norway and Iceland led the opposition to the creation of a Conservation Committee. With
a simple majority, they could have it disbanded. That could set cetacean conservation back more than a
decade.

While these direct consequences would be bad for whales and cetaceans, what's is perhaps worse is that a
pro-whaling bloc has been able to gain ground so easily.

The "Save the Whales" campaign of the 1970s and 1980s mobilized governments and the public to stop
commercial whaling. Since then, the International Whaling Commission has made a number of positive moves
towards cetacean conservation. But this conservation-led approach has been eroded by two factors. One is a
lack of interest by many countries which either are not commission members or have not paid their dues and
so cannot vote - including Canada, Greece, Luxembourg and the new EU member states. The second is
Japan's open, and admitted, use of aid money to bring countries into the commission that will vote with it.

As a result, the commission has been in a deadlock for many years, with members split almost evenly
between pro- and anti-cetacean conservation. This has prevented the commission from moving forward on a
number of conservation initiatives, including new whale sanctuaries in the South Atlantic and South Pacific.
Critically, it's also eroding international confidence in the commision's effectiveness.

The situation could have been avoided if more countries took an active interest.

The EU has an anti-whaling and pro-conservation policy. So why aren't all EU member states also members of
the commission? Canada prides itself on its wilderness and conservation policy, and has a thriving whale
watching industry. So why isn't it a member? What about the other 100 or so countries that are members of
the Convention on Biological Diversity, but not the International Whaling Commission?

And why are countries like Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Mongolia, Gabon, Benin, Grenada and Tuvalu - to
name a few - so ignored by the international community that they need to bargain away the future of
cetaceans for aid money from Japan? Few animals inspire such awe as whales, dolphins and porpoises, yet
relatively few other animals have suffered so severely at human hands. These animals are part of the world's
shared assets - and as such, the shared responsibility of all humanity.

But at a time when threats to their survival are increasing, the world seems to have turned away from their
plight. The global community must step forward, and not leave the future of the world's cetaceans to a small
whaling lobby led by just three countries.

Susan Lieberman is director of the World Wildlife Fund's global species program.

Copyright © 2004 the International Herald Tribune

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, July 19, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Torturing Children

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.20

William Rivers Pitt | Torturing Children

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004A.shtml

Denis Hayes: The Sooner We Get Serious, the Better
http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Arms Suppliers Scramble into Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004B.shtml

Officers' Unheroic Example
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004C.shtml

Kay Criticizes Bush, Blair on Iraq Intel
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004D.shtml

Bob Herbert | An Emerging Catastrophe
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004E.shtml

One Marine's Sacrifice
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004F.shtml

Le Monde | Sharon and France
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004H.shtml

German Courts Refuse Evidence Obtained by U.S. Torture
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004I.shtml

Clerics Resist Bush Strategy to Seek Aid of Churchgoers
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004J.shtml

Amnesty Says Sudan Militias Use Rape as Weapon
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004K.shtml

Kerry Building Legal Network for Vote Fights
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004L.shtml

Michigan GOP Gives Nader 40,000 Signatures
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004Y.shtml

Iraqi Director General Killed, Bomb Kills 10 Others
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Suffer the Children'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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To see this story with its related links on the The Observer site, go to:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/japan/story/0,7369,1263882,00.html

Whalers move for return to slaughter

Mark Townsend
Sunday July 18 2004
The Observer


A return to commercial whaling and the type of butchery not seen for the better part of a century will move closer this week with Japan expected to secure enough support at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission to ensure a pro-whaling majority for the first time in 20 years.

Such an alliance now threatens to defeat landmark conservation measures agreed last year to protect the 300,000 whales accidentally caught and killed by fishermen each year. It coincides with a warning today from the Environment Investigation Agency that the outlook for whales is 'increasingly bleak' because of ocean pollution.

Four years ago, only nine of the 55 member countries backed Japan. Support increased to 15 in 2002 and then 21 last year. Experts predict 27 countries will offer support at the IWC meeting in Sorrento, Italy, which opens tomorrow - though to overturn the whaling ban would require a three- quarters majority.

'For the first time in a couple of decades there could be a pro-whaling majority though it is highly unlikely that they will be able to overturn the moratorium this time around,' said Claire Doole of the World Wildlife Fund.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

=====================================================+

 

Please send letters to the editor supporting Leconte Memorial Lodge in
response to this good editorial from the LA Times!

Letters To The Times

Letters should be brief (250 words or less) and are subject to
condensation. They must include a full name (initials and pseudonyms will
not be used) and a valid mailing address and telephone number. Unpublished
letters cannot be acknowledged.
Call: (213) 237-4511.
Fax: (213) 237-7679.
E-mail: letters@latimes.co

From today's LA Times:
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-ed-sierra17jul17,1,3648320.story

EDITORIAL

Petty Politics in Yosemite
 
At one point late last year, when Rep. George P. Radanovich was pushing his
bill to have LeConte Memorial Lodge moved out of Yosemite Valley, he told a
reporter, "I think John Muir would be rolling over in his grave if he knew
this thing had been built in the valley."

Presumably the Republican from Mariposa has learned by now that pioneer
conservationist Muir not only approved but was the Sierra Club president
when the club-owned lodge was built in 1903 and had been a prime mover in
having it erected.

The lodge is not a likely flashpoint for political controversy. It was built
by the Sierra Club a century ago as a memorial to University of California
geologist John LeConte, Muir's close friend and a founding club director who
died near the building site in 1901. The modest Tudor-style structure, about
the size of a one-bedroom house, is tucked among trees on the south side of
the valley and used as an information and education center run by the Sierra
Club under contract with the National Park Service. It is a place of quiet
and contemplation, now registered as a national historic landmark.

Apparently in an effort to get back at the Sierra Club in a dispute over
Yosemite development, Radanovich is seeking to have the lodge moved. As
chairman of the House's national parks subcommittee, he has considerable
clout. He has been warring with the Sierra Club over a long-studied plan to
reduce the number of campsites and parking lots in Yosemite Valley to
restore some of its lost naturalness. Radanovich wants more of these
facilities to serve visitors, who incidentally stock up on groceries at
stores in his district on their way to the park.

A Radanovich bill to move the lodge has been stalled since squeaking out of
the Resources Committee by a vote of 22 to 21 last fall. Now, the
congressman is trying to attach his LeConte lodge amendment to an omnibus
spending bill. Radanovich says it is all right to keep the lodge in the park
but not in the valley. Its location there gives the Sierra Club "special
access" that the club would deny to would-be valley visitors who can't find
campsites, he says.

In fact, there never are enough campsites to meet demand during busy tourist
periods. But the lodge has nothing to do with that, and it is difficult to
see how a tiny education center of recognized architectural value harms
visitors or the park. Radanovich has no business making the lodge a pawn in
his battle with the Sierra Club. Other California members of the House, whom
Radanovich needs as allies on more weighty matters, should persuade him to
let go.

=====================================================+

 

The Fresno Bee - (Updated Sunday, July 11, 2004, 7:11 AM)

http://www.fresnobee.com/breakingnews/gallery/story/8833546p-9720830c.html

Tangled Vines

John Ellis

The collapse of Radanovich Winery Inc. left investors with worthless stock. Now some are questioning the actions of the company president, U.S. Rep. George Radanovich. How, they want to know, did he wind up with the winery's primary asset?

A sign marks the entrance to Radanovich Winery in Mariposa County. After years of losses, the winery closed in 2003 and its property was sold in May 2003 to pay debt. Two months later, however, Congressman George Radanovich, the winery president, reacquired the land via a swap.


Land Swap

In a land swap involving three pieces of property, Congressman George Radanovich received a vineyard and a winery barn that had once belonged to Radanovich Winery Inc., and developer Richard Spencer received Radanovich's interests in two parcels totalling 51.33 acres.

George Radanovich: Five-term Republican congressman and son of a prominent Mariposa family. He founded Radanovich Winery & Vineyards in the early 1980s.

Richard Spencer: Fresno developer and a longtime political supporter of Congressman Radanovich. Spencer showed an interest in helping restructure Radanovich Winery Inc. in fall 2002, but his plan was not implemented.

Clifford Bressler: Fresno-area businessman whose company in April 2003 bought from County Bank a loan to Radanovich Winery Inc. The loan went into default, and Bressler's company took possession of the loan's collateral.

Riley Walter: Fresno lawyer who was occasionally hired to represent Radanovich Winery Inc. and who sometimes served as the company's acting secretary.

Ottie J. "Bud" Wallace: Owner of a Merced-area trucking firm and his own winery who was one of the few Radanovich Winery Inc. investors to own more than 10% of the company's stock.

Dieter Dubberke: A native of Germany who became a businessman in Mariposa after a career in the Southern California retail grocery industry. Also a Radanovich Winery company director and shareholder.

David Zacharias: A Merced stockbroker who was a Radanovich Winery shareholder and served on the company's board of directors.

Charanjit Sihota: Fresno businessman who, for several years, was a co-owner with Radanovich of an undeveloped 51.33-acre parcel near Mariposa.

Robert Hawkins: Trustee for the Sihota bankruptcy who said in court documents that he was unable to unravel the string of transactions involving the 51.33-acre parcel, Radanovich, Spencer and Sihota.

 

Congressman George Radanovich founded his Mariposa winery some two decades ago and, over the years, nursed a vision that someday it would grow beyond its humble beginnings on a small piece of land carved from his parents' ranch.

By October 2002, the dream was nearly dead. The company headed by Radanovich was being crushed by losses and debt.

It was then that Fresno developer Richard Spencer pitched a solution to Radanovich Winery directors. His plan: a company rebirth, one with more money and new investors who might include some of Fresno's most prominent business leaders.

One appeal of Spencer's deal was that every investor in the old company would get at least a small piece of the new company.

By the summer of 2003, however, a far different reality emerged.

Investors in Radanovich Winery Inc. had nothing but worthless stock and lost investments. The company essentially had ceased to exist.

And all of the principal assets that once belonged to the company were in the hands of just two people: Radanovich and Spencer.

This transfer was the culmination of a complex series of events involving Radanovich, Spencer, their representatives and some Radanovich Winery officials during a nine-month period that concluded in July 2003 with a land swap.

The congressman gave to Spencer his stake in 51.33 undeveloped and heavily indebted acres five miles south of Mariposa.

The developer, in turn, gave to Radanovich a nearby 7.15-acre vineyard and winery barn, free of debt, that had once belonged to Radanovich Winery and, before that, to Radanovich's parents.

At least two directors and several shareholders say they had no idea that the company's former vineyard and winery barn had been acquired by Radanovich so soon after Radanovich Winery ceased operations.

For six months, The Bee reviewed scores of pages of documents, correspondence and public records on Radanovich Winery and the 51.33 acres. Numerous people involved with the company and the property were interviewed.

Despite repeated requests during the past six months, Radanovich has steadfastly refused The Bee's requests for a face-to-face interview. In a May 10 fax to The Bee, Ted Maness, Radanovich's chief of staff, said the congressman would not "consent to being interrogated."

Maness said Radanovich had done nothing wrong. In his fax, Maness said The Bee was representing the positions of "a minority number of unhappy (former) investors." He wrote that the Radanovich Winery was simply an unsuccessful business venture that fell victim to market forces that also hurt other small California wineries.

"During this painful ordeal, the congressman received no special favors and he, along with other winery investors, lost significant monies," Maness wrote.

Spencer has donated to Radanovich's political campaigns, hosted a fund-raiser for the congressman and has served as a chairman of the congressman's re-election committee.

Spencer is 95% owner of Mariposa Wine Co., which is now selling Radanovich label wine and, as of earlier this year, was leasing the winery barn from the congressman.

Spencer declined a face-to-face interview, offering instead to answer written questions submitted to him in advance. The Bee declined. Spencer in June sent The Bee a three-page letter he wrote to Maness, describing his recollection of some events.

Riley Walter, who served periodically as Radanovich Winery's lawyer, says there is plenty of blame to go around for the company's collapse: "The directors of this corporation were all asleep at the wheel."

Events surrounding the collapse raise questions about whether Radanovich violated House ethics rules limiting gifts to no more than $250 in value.

In late 2002, Radanovich did not pay his share of a company loan he had helped guarantee. Three other company directors later paid Radanovich's share -- about $40,000. The land swap with Spencer also may have given him a piece of land with an assessed value of tens of thousands of dollars more than the property he gave up.

The collapse of Radanovich Winery Inc. also raises questions about whether Radanovich, as president and a company director, best represented the corporation's interests as required by the California Corporations Code.

Says Dieter Dubberke, another company director and one of the three who paid Radanovich's share of the guaranteed company loan: "He's a deceiver. He doesn't keep his word."

George Radanovich, the fifth of eight children from a prominent Mariposa County family, tried a number of jobs as a young man. He sold land-leveling equipment to farmers and worked in the construction and banking industries.

In 1982, he decided to go into business for himself after he noticed Mariposa's climate could be favorable to growing wine grapes. With an eye toward opening the county's first commercial winery, he planted 6 acres of sauvignon blanc grapes and 1 acre of zinfandel on a small section of his parents' nearly 400-acre ranch south of Mariposa. He was 27.

The winery sold its first wine with the Radanovich label in 1984, using wine bought from a Napa vintner. The following year, Radanovich's winery did the first test crush using Mariposa-area grapes.

The winery incorporated in 1992. Several months later, it purchased a 7.15-acre piece of the ranch owned by Radanovich's parents for $95,000.

Radanovich held a controlling interest in the company at that time with his father, George K. Radanovich, who died in 1996. As of early this year, Radanovich and his mother together held 49% of the company, state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control records show.

The younger Radanovich also moved into politics. He served on the Mariposa County Planning Commission, then from 1989 to 1993 was a county supervisor.

A Republican, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1992.

By the time of his successful 1994 congressional campaign, the winery had already lost $300,000, Radanovich said at the time.

During the bruising 1994 campaign, Radanovich touted himself as a successful businessman. His opponent, then-incumbent Democrat Richard Lehman, questioned whether Radanovich should do that in light of his winery's losses.

Radanovich said at the time that new wineries have a pattern of losing money for about the first eight to 10 years. The losses have been "according to our business plan," Radanovich said during the campaign.

Lehman also criticized Radanovich for not paying personal income taxes the previous two years. Radanovich said he hadn't paid because the winery had lost so much money.

Radanovich wines were praised by some in the media. The Washington Post raved about a 1994 zinfandel: "Not the tannic blockbuster one would expect from this appellation near Amador County, which is known for big massive wines, but instead a polished, delectably smooth, berry-dominated wine with a fine sheen of new oak on the finish. Thoroughly delicious, not to be missed."

Three years later, the winery was producing 4,500 cases annually. Wine specialty magazines and some national media were taking note of Radanovich's position as the first full-time winemaker in Congress.

Radanovich Winery set up its tasting room in a prime location: the Schlageter Hotel, built in the mid-19th century and sitting in the heart of Mariposa's historic downtown.

In November 1996, Radanovich married Ethelinde "Ethie" Weaver. She is currently a Washington, D.C.-based political consultant for Woodward & McDowell.

Between 1996 and 2001, Radanovich Winery posted losses totaling more than $560,000.

Ottie J. "Bud" Wallace, a Radanovich Winery director who, with his wife, also owns Red Rock Winery near Merced, described company meetings as loose affairs at which business matters were quickly addressed and those present then sat around drinking wine and socializing.

Fresno lawyer Walter, who has at times served as Radanovich Winery's acting secretary, was brought in on two occasions to advise the company. The first was around 1992, when, he says, the company was "already in trouble."

Walter, who talked to The Bee with Radanovich's consent, says that in the 1990s, Radanovich began taking on personal debt in an effort to keep the company afloat. He says Radanovich may not have received specific board permission for his loans to the company, but the board approved his actions at the annual directors meeting.

"Buried in that is all of this kind of information that sometimes people looked at and sometimes they didn't," Walter says.

Wallace says he asked Radanovich for written proof that the congressman spent his own money on the company. Says Wallace: "We always got a song and dance and never got a good story."

A turning point in the company's history came in early 2000 when it took out a $340,000 loan from Merced-based County Bank, using the money to consolidate most of its debt and start a new marketing campaign.

The company's assets -- mainly the vineyard, equipment and a converted hay barn that housed the winery -- were collateral. The loan was guaranteed by directors Dubberke, Radanovich, Wallace and David Zacharias, a Merced stockbroker.

Each was wholly responsible for the debt. If Radanovich Winery defaulted on the loan, County Bank could seek payment from any or all of the guarantors.

In 2001, Radanovich reported that cash flow and wine sales continued to be problems.

Radanovich's political campaign committee was one of the winery's key customers. The organization purchased more than $21,000 in Radanovich wine between January 2001 and April 2003.

Radanovich Winery lost $160,623.52 between January 2002 and mid-October 2002 and needed more money to survive.

Says Walter: "By now, George has tapped out his friends."

Around this time, the company had stopped making payments on the County Bank loan. To protect their credit with County Bank, Dubberke says, he and Zacharias began making the loan payments.

A second County Bank loan, for $100,000, also was in jeopardy. It was secured by a certificate of deposit from Harry Baker, owner of Oakhurst-based Sierra Telephone and a former three-term Madera County supervisor.

Baker -- who eventually lost the certificate of deposit, according to Walter -- did not return phone calls from The Bee seeking comment.

The company also owed more than $150,000 to others. Among the debts: $29,912.50 to Dubberke, $60,000 to Zacharias and $21,790.31 to Spencer, according to company documents. No other details on the debts were provided.

In October 2002, developer Spencer and Walter sent separate proposals to Radanovich to save the company through a recapitalization -- an infusion of new money. A company emerging from a recapitalization may have new managers and investors.

Spencer's three-page memo dated Oct. 7, 2002, was faxed to Radanovich in Washington, D.C. In it, Spencer notes the congressman has "become a good friend and very supportive of me and my efforts."

During Radanovich's successful 1994 congressional campaign, Spencer had hosted a fund-raiser featuring former Education Secretary William J. Bennett and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp.

Radanovich tried to help a Spencer company, Spencer Enterprises, in a dispute with the Immigration and Naturalization Service over delays in a visa program for alien entrepreneurs. At the time, Spencer Enterprises, a home-building company, was working with Taiwanese investors in the construction of homes in Fresno and Clovis using money generated with the help of the federal immigrant investor program.

In a November 1999 lawsuit declaration, Spencer said he enlisted the help of Radanovich after the INS did not respond to telephone calls or correspondence in the dispute. A meeting was set up between a member of then-INS Commissioner Doris Meissner's staff and Spencer and Radanovich. It produced no results, and the congressman followed up with written correspondence. He also met with Meissner and had other communication with the INS.

Spencer Enterprises eventually sued the federal government. In 2001, U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger ruled in favor of the government. Last year, his decision was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Spencer's 2002 recapitalization proposal for Radanovich Winery was a complete makeover: turn the old company's assets into a new company with $2 million in operating cash, no debt and new investors. The new money, he wrote, could come from agribusiness leaders, business owners and major developers in Fresno.

Under Spencer's plan, the company would be reborn, with he and Radanovich each getting 20% ownership. New investors would own 40% for contributing a total of $1.75 million. The former company's investors, such as Dubberke, Wallace and the other shareholders, would get 10% collectively. Creditors, such as County Bank, would also get 10%.

Spencer added what he called "important details." Among them: He would invest $250,000 and work without pay as the new company's chief executive for one year. Radanovich would have to work for the company for three years without pay.

Spencer also told Radanovich: "You would have to commit to remain in Congress for at least five more years from the actual full capitalization of the new company."

When Radanovich was first elected to Congress in 1994, he set a self-imposed term limit of 10 years. He started backing off that pledge in late 2001 and, in the summer of 2002, said "self-imposed term limits are kind of a crazy idea." He is running for re-election in November.

Spencer told Radanovich to pitch the recapitalization plan to lenders with loans to the old company: "You are very persuasive -- and you must get this done while you are in Congress and have the marketing advantage which that offers."

Spencer wrote that his plan would give the new company a chance to survive: "It has $2,000,000 in cash, no debt and no hangover from the past. You and Ethie also have a chance of having a substantial entity, bearing your name, to return to in 5-7 years."

In an e-mail to Radanovich eight days later, Walter agreed with Spencer's main point -- the company must be recapitalized. But, Walter added, County Bank's position was too strong for Spencer's proposal to work. Walter's reasoning: "County Bank also has four guarantors, three of whom have substantial assets."

Walter suggested a different breakdown that would include a 5% ownership stake each to Wallace, Dubberke and Zacharias because they, along with Radanovich, were loan guarantors. Spencer and Radanovich still were to get 20% each.

Company directors reviewed the two proposals at an Oct. 18, 2002, meeting at the Mariposa County crossroads of Catheys Valley, where until recently Radanovich owned a home. According to Walter, the meeting ended with the board asking him to continue talks with County Bank.

Within a month, a different plan for Radanovich Winery began to take shape.

On Nov. 12, 2002, Spencer offered to buy the company's County Bank loan for $143,000, even though the balance was about $290,000.

If Spencer bought the loan, Radanovich Winery would make monthly payments to him instead of the bank. The company's assets would still be the loan's collateral. If the company defaulted on the loan, Spencer could foreclose and take possession of its assets.

Also on Nov. 12, in a memorandum to County Bank executive Ed Anderson, Walter wrote: "I am told that Mr. Radanovich is unable to satisfy the guarantee if it is called upon given the fact that he has a significant number of other obligations arising out of the wine business."

In his memo to Anderson, Walter estimated the liquidation value of the Radanovich Winery collateral backing County Bank's loan to be $160,000. Wrote Walter: "Spencer Enterprises Inc. is offering to pay $143,000 for the bank's position."

Spencer's offer, Walter said in his interview with The Bee in late March 2004, was an attempt to gain control of the loan, then negotiate a more generous repayment schedule for the company.

Walter says Spencer was offering the bank a guaranteed $143,000 on a loan with potential legal trouble -- Dubberke and Wallace were challenging the guarantees' validity.

In his Nov. 12 memo to County Bank's Anderson, Walter wrote that Dubberke and Wallace believed that "but for Mr. Radanovich's status as a congressman, the loan would have never been made."

According to documents provided by Walter, County Bank was willing to sell the loan to Spencer. A lawyer for County Bank sent a Jan. 15, 2003, letter to Walter that described Spencer Enterprises as "your client" and included a proposed loan purchase contract. The key to the deal was reducing the loan's balance to $143,000. That meant the existing balance -- approximately $290,000 -- would have to be reduced by more than half.

Wallace's and Radanovich's shares would be approximately $40,000 each. Dubberke and Zacharias would pay proportionately less because, together, they had already paid nearly $15,000 to keep the loan current.

Wallace and Dubberke said they and Zacharias agreed to this plan and paid their shares because they thought they'd get a piece of the recapitalized company. Radanovich, though, didn't pay his share. Dubberke, Zacharias and Wallace ended up paying it.

Dubberke, who owns a supermarket, a shopping center and a few other businesses in Mariposa, says he and Zacharias paid Radanovich's share because they feared their relationships with County Bank could have been damaged if they had not paid.

An angry Wallace was ready to let the loan default, possibly pushing Radanovich Winery into bankruptcy. Wallace, 61, is a Merced native who runs a trucking company. He says he eventually paid out of friendship to Dubberke and Zacharias.

Wallace and his wife own slightly more than 10% of Radanovich Winery's outstanding shares. Only two other shareholders own more than 10%, according to Alcoholic Beverage Control: Radanovich with slightly more than 32%, and his mother, with almost 17%.

In the first two months of 2003, Wallace, Dubberke and Zacharias paid a total of $142,717.55 on the County Bank loan. One document put the overall total paid on the loan by Wallace, Dubberke and Zacharias at close to $160,000.

Walter describes Dubberke, Wallace and Zacharias as sophisticated businessmen who knew what they were getting into when they originally guaranteed the loan.

In late January 2003, Radanovich wrote a letter to shareholders saying "the winery is being shut down." The company's assets, he said, "are being sold to Clifford E. Bressler & Associates and the proceeds are being applied against the secured loan."

Dubberke and Wallace say it was the first time that they had heard of Clifford Bressler or his company.

In a Feb. 11, 2003, e-mail to Zacharias, Walter wrote that "lengthy delays in getting this matter concluded" caused the change in buyers from Spencer to Bressler. Walter described Bressler as a "buyer of distressed assets."

Wallace says he spoke to Dubberke and Zacharias about Bressler's sudden arrival on the scene: "I told the other guys, 'Grab your ass. When they bring in a guy like this, it's no holds barred.' "

Walter says he knows that Bressler and Spencer have worked together in the past, but he does not know how Bressler learned that the loan was for sale. Bressler, whose business is in Clovis, hasn't responded to repeated messages asking for an interview.

Dubberke and Wallace say they repeatedly tried to learn from Radanovich what was going on with the company. They say Radanovich refused to give them clear answers.

In mid-March, according to documents obtained by The Bee, Radanovich and Bressler tried to get Wallace, Dubberke and Zacharias to sign an agreement. It had three main points:

Dubberke, Wallace and Zacharias would not talk publicly about the company or its assets, the Bressler foreclosure or the County Bank loan and its guarantee of repayment signed by the three and Radanovich.

Although Radanovich was legally responsible for paying 25% of the County Bank loan balance as part of the guaranteed repayment, the three would not ask the congressman for payment of his share.

In return for their signatures, Bressler would not ask Dubberke, Wallace and Zacharias to repay the $143,000 he spent to purchase the loan from County Bank.

Zacharias signed it, according to Dubberke, Wallace and documents exchanged by lawyers representing the latter two and Bressler. Asked about the agreement in a short interview, Zacharias said: "I'm not saying I did sign one or not, but if I did, I'd have to honor that."

Dubberke and Wallace didn't sign.

Says Wallace: "Dieter and I had the same opinion. You know: 'Stick it. It's bad enough what you did to us as gentlemen.' "

County Bank's Anderson had signed a document selling the loan to Bressler on Feb. 24, 2003. It was recorded April 2, 2003, in Mariposa County.

Bressler paid $143,000, the loan's balance after the payments made by Wallace, Dubberke and Zacharias.

Bressler now owned the loan and was entitled to monthly payments from Radanovich Winery. The company's assets -- the 7.15-acre vineyard, winery barn, inventory and equipment -- were still collateral.

The company missed an April 2003 property tax payment, and Bressler moved to foreclose.

Radanovich had signed a deed in lieu of foreclosure on March 14, nearly three weeks before Bressler bought the loan, but the deed was not recorded until May because it hadn't received approval from Radanovich Winery's board.

In mid-April 2003, Radanovich told The Bee that he was "basically shutting down the winery." He added that "it's been the worst six months of my life."

On May 12, 2003, Radanovich called a special directors meeting in which five directors participated. Wallace and Dubberke attended in person. Radanovich, Earle M. Jorgensen Jr. -- whose father founded one of the nation's largest independent steel distributorships -- and longtime Sierra Nevada foothills businessman Ed Hardy attended by phone.

Hardy made a motion to approve the deed in lieu of foreclosure and deliver all company assets -- including intellectual property -- to Clifford E. Bressler & Associates, according to the minutes taken by lawyer Walter. Jorgensen seconded the motion. Radanovich and Hardy voted in favor, Dubberke and Wallace against; and Jorgensen abstained.

Wallace then made a motion to adjourn. It failed, 3-2, with Hardy, Jorgensen and Radanovich voting against it. At that point, a break was called. When the meeting resumed, Hardy repeated his initial motion. Jorgensen joined Radanovich and Hardy in voting yes.

Wallace then moved, with Dubberke seconding, that they, along with Zacharias, be reimbursed for the money they said they had paid on the County Bank loan. The motion failed, 3-2, with Radanovich, Jorgensen and Hardy voting no.

Jorgensen has declined to comment. Hardy did not respond to phone messages left at his home.

At that meeting, Dubberke and Wallace read statements into the record. Wallace's statement included 19 points. Among them:

Details were kept secret "about transferring all assets of winery by not legal means to a group who will profit at shareholders' expense."

Details were withheld "about the new winery deal [Radanovich] and Spencer put together as discussed in the letter of Oct. 7, 2002."

Before the sale of the County Bank loan, Radanovich always asked stockholders to help with payments. But Radanovich stopped asking for help after the loan was sold. "This appears a setup to make note default. George Radanovich did nothing to try and prevent a foreclosure."

Dubberke's statement read, in part: "In my capacity as a director of [Radanovich Winery], I officially request that an investigation be made into this entire matter of selling and/or transferring ownership of [Radanovich Winery], all of which has been done without consultation with the board of directors and without due process."

The California Corporations Code requires shareholder approval when a corporation transfers most or all of its assets to another party.

Wallace says Radanovich Winery shareholders never met to vote on the Bressler transaction: "I'm telling George, 'You're giving away the stockholders' equity, and you're not allowing them to vote on it.' "

Before the directors meeting was adjourned, Dubberke and Wallace said they intended to sue the corporation over the County Bank loan.

In a May interview, Wallace said he still intends to sue.

The Spencer-Radanovich land swap was completed within two months of the Radanovich Winery board meeting.

A key to the deal was a heavily indebted 51.33-acre property that sits off a narrow stretch of Ben Hur Road across from the vineyard and Radanovich ranch, about five miles south of Mariposa.

The land has a complex ownership history. The one constant from 1996 to 2003 was that Radanovich owned all or part of the parcel.

In spring 2003, Radanovich and his wife, Ethie, owned 70% of the property. The remaining 30% had been deeded on March 28 to Land Development Strategies, a Spencer company, as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy settlement for Fresno businessman Charanjit Sihota.

On April 24, 2003, the Radanoviches and Spencer's company divided the 51.33-acre parcel, creating a 24.33-acre front piece and a 27-acre rear parcel.

Four days later, the Radanoviches transferred to Land Development Strategies an additional 20% stake in the parcels. The Radanoviches and Spencer's company were now 50-50 owners of both parcels. No transfer tax was paid when the grant deed was recorded, which may indicate that no money was exchanged.

The land swap between Radanovich and Spencer involving the 7.15-acre vineyard and the 51.33 acres would soon follow.

In his June 14, 2004, letter to Maness, Spencer described how the deal was born, saying Radanovich was distraught at the idea of the vineyard and winery barn falling into the hands of someone outside the Radanovich family.

"The land had been part of the Radanovich family land," Spencer wrote, "and had been 'put up' to the bank by the corporation during some financing. ... It was now lost and George was sick about it. I then proposed a trade."

It took about five weeks to complete the swap.

On June 2, 2003, the Radanoviches and Spencer, as head of Land Development Strategies, signed documents transferring their stakes in the now divided 51.33-acre property to two other companies headed by Spencer: the 24.33-acre parcel to Spencer Enterprises and the 27-acre parcel to his Mariposa Wine Co.

That same day, Bressler signed over the 7.15-acre winery property to Radanovich and his wife for $1.

Spencer could require Bressler to do this, the developer said in his letter to Maness, because he had bought "Bressler's position after he had cleaned up most of the outstanding debts." Spencer did not say what he paid for Bressler's position.

Wrote Spencer: "I would cause Bressler (who still held technical title) to transfer the property to George for $1 if he (George) would transfer his half of the 51 acres to my company."

The three documents were recorded at the Mariposa County Recorder's Office on July 10, 2003.

Wrote Spencer: "This was a reasonable deal for both of us as the 51 acres had debt which had to be paid -- which was a negative to George -- and the seven acres could be returned to his mother since she lives less than 100 feet away."

Walter, in his late March 2004 interview with The Bee, appeared stunned when informed that Radanovich had acquired the former Radanovich Winery vineyard and winery barn within several weeks of the May 2003 board meeting. Said Walter: "I didn't know any of this." Asked whether he was surprised, Walter said: "Yeah. I mean, I don't know why. I don't know."

Dubberke and Wallace said they didn't know that the vineyard and winery barn had been deeded to Radanovich shortly after the board meeting.

And Olive Louise Hudson, who holds a mortgage and first deed of trust on the entire 51.33 acres, said in June 2004 that she thought the Radanoviches still owned the property. "That's new news to me," she said of the change of ownership. She added that payments on the property are "not up to date."

Radanovich on his most recent U.S. House financial disclosure statement, covering the 2003 calendar year, acknowledged that the land swap took place in an "exchange."

Also listed is the mortgage -- between $50,001 and $100,000 -- owed to Hudson. It is not known whether Radanovich's responsibility to pay Hudson ended with the land swap.

On June 2, 2003, the same day the deeds were signed for the swap, a letter from accountant John Renna went to Radanovich Winery shareholders. Renna said the company suffered an operating loss in 2002, but accumulated losses from previous years exceeded stockholder investments in the company. As such, he wrote, "it is quite possible that a 2002 loss allocation would not be deductible on your personal tax return."

On June 23, 2003, a document was recorded in Mariposa County indicating that Radanovich Winery intended to transfer its alcohol beverage license to Spencer's Mariposa Wine Co.

The document addresses retail licenses, which Radanovich Winery didn't have. Radanovich Winery had a winegrowers license. For this reason, a state Alcoholic Beverage Control spokesman said, the document did not have to be filed with the state or Mariposa County.

The document states that "total consideration to be paid for the business and license, including inventory," was $143,000.

Radanovich, as president of Radanovich Winery, signed the document on June 15. Spencer signed it two days later. The document was never filed with Alcoholic Beverage Control.

According to records in the Mariposa County Assessor's Office, the assessed value of the land and improvements Radanovich received in the swap was about $109,000.

Half of the assessed value of the undeveloped 51.33 acres was about $70,000. That does not include the debt on the land. In the Sihota bankruptcy, public documents estimated the total equity on the whole parcel in 2002 at less than $30,000.

According to records in the Mariposa County Assessor's Office, Radanovich came away from the swap with an asset with an assessed value of about $40,000 more than the one he gave up. This does not include the debt on 51.33 acres.

The question: Is that land swap a gift to the congressman?

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the House ethics committee, defines a gift as: "a payment, subscription, advance, forbearance, rendering, or deposit of money, services, or anything of value."

Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies and former general counsel for the state Fair Political Practices Commission, said it's unknown whether the land swap violated House ethics rules.

On one hand, Radanovich's gain was based on assessed valuation and on the fact that he traded land with a mortgage for land without debt. But, Stern also noted, the 51.33 acres are a larger area and likely more valuable from a development standpoint.

In addition, the 7.15-acre winery property is "landlocked," which means an owner must cross another property to get access.

Then there is the approximately $40,000 that Wallace, Dubberke and Zacharias paid to cover Radanovich's share of the County Bank loan. Wallace and Dubberke say they never intended the money they paid for Radanovich's share to be a gift. But, they add, until they are paid back, a gift to Radanovich is what the money has become.

Says Wallace: "It was a gift. We can't even take it off our income tax."

Congress is specific on the value of gifts a representative may accept.

Celia Wexler, who is vice president for advocacy for Common Cause, a government watchdog group, said Radanovich's handling of the County Bank loan "raises some questions."

After being briefed on Radanovich's financial dealings, Wexler said she would have to know more details before making a thorough assessment. At a minimum, though, Wexler said, Radanovich probably should have sought an advisory opinion from the House ethics committee before embarking on his transactions.

"Clearly, it's a benefit to the member to have this loan repaid," Wexler said.

Stern agrees: "He clearly has received something of value -- someone else paying off a debt he agreed to pay. On its face, it looks like he gained." Still, he added, only the courts can be the arbiter of such a dispute.

The County Bank loan and the roles of Wallace, Dubberke and Zacharias in repaying it are not listed by Radanovich on his House disclosure forms.

In the late summer of 2003, several months after the special directors meeting, Dubberke and Radanovich met in Mariposa. Dubberke says that he asked Radanovich to sign a document saying the money Dubberke paid on the County Bank note on the congressman's behalf was a loan. Dubberke says Radanovich declined.

They haven't talked since.

In November 2003, Radanovich's campaign purchased $2,045.55 of wine from Mariposa Wine Co., according to campaign finance statements filed with the Federal Election Commission. The reason, according to the Radanovich filing: "event wine."

By January 2004, Mariposa Wine Co. had set up shop in the converted hay barn on the former Radanovich Winery property. A Mariposa Wine Co. employee who identified herself as Radanovich's "first cousin, once removed" said Mariposa Wine was leasing the land from the Radanoviches.

The new company has been selling various wines, including those with the Radanovich label. The company was also using Radanovich's license from the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

These assets -- the Radanovich wines and license -- had been acquired by Bressler through the deed in lieu of foreclosure. After an inquiry by The Bee earlier this year, the ABC launched an investigation into Mariposa Wine Co. because it was not licensed.

 

Mariposa Wine Co. applied for a license transfer from Radanovich Winery at an April 1 meeting at the ABC's Stockton regional office. The ABC granted a temporary license to Mariposa Wine.

On June 10, the ABC also granted the company a winegrowers license, and it was renewed for a year on June 30. A winegrowers license gives a winery limited retail privileges and authority to bottle wine.

In his June 2004 letter to Maness, Spencer wrote: "As you know, George is now totally out of the winery and has lost his ownership position and his investment. He was able to retain the family property, though, and that is very important to him."

Spencer also wrote that he has "begun to relocate the winery to a much larger facility in Madera."

Dubberke and Wallace haven't resigned as directors from Radanovich Winery Inc. On paper, the company still exists.

Staff writer Michael Doyle contributed to this report. The reporter can be reached at jellis@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6320.

© 2004, The Fresno Bee

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Sunday, July 18, 2004 2:43 PM
Subject: Regime Change in Iran Now in Bush's Sights

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.19

Bush Denies Funds for U.N. Population Programs

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Regime Change in Iran Now in Bush's Sights
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904A.shtml

Newsweek Calls Allawi "Iraq's New S.O.B."
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904B.shtml

Robert Fisk | Why Iraq's Booksellers Want the Freedom to Censor
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904C.shtml

"Enemy Contact. Kill 'em, Kill 'em."
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904D.shtml

Attorney General Warned Blair on Legality of War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904E.shtml

Michael Kinsley | What's Fair About a Draft?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904F.shtml

Jean-Dominique Merchet | "The Secret Services Were Used"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904H.shtml

Craig Unger | How Bush Saved Saudi Friends
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904I.shtml

Hourly Pay in U.S. Not Keeping Pace With Price Rises
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904J.shtml

J. Sri Raman | Godhra: Was it Gujarat's Reichstag?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904K.shtml

Barbara Ehrenreich | It's Over, Ralph
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904L.shtml

Enron E-Mail Has DeLay in Hot Water
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904Y.shtml

U.S. Airstrike in Fallujah Kills 14
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071904Z.shtml

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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Published on Saturday, July 17, 2004 by the New York Times

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0717-06.htm


Maine Churches Add Environmentalism to Ministries

by Francine Parnes


At Bath United Church of Christ in Bath, Me., the Rev. Bill Bliss sees no point in preaching to his congregation
a gospel of how to save the environment. It is not that his church members would balk at using God's
resources efficiently. Indeed, many members of his church, where he often lowers the thermostat to 60
degrees in winter, are so well-versed in protecting the earth that he would be preaching to the choir.

"Environmentalism comes up regularly in my sermons, but I don't have to harangue my parishioners about
wasteful and polluting ways," Mr. Bliss said. "Our congregation gave up Styrofoam a long time ago." Mr. Bliss
said he was "the kind of guy who gives up driving a car for Lent.''

"I do it to experience God's creation at a more human pace," he said. "And I'm not participating in enriching
oil corporations."

That is why he sometimes rides his bicycle in snowstorms and hitchhikes from town to town.

Efforts like those of Mr. Bliss, his congregation and other like-minded churchgoers have put Maine in the
forefront of religiously motivated environmental activity, said Paul Gorman, director of the National Religious
Partnership for the Environment, an organization of Christian and Jewish groups, in Washington.

A pivotal moment for the state came last fall, when the Maine Council of Churches' Environmental Justice
Program and Maine Interfaith Power & Light Inc., part of a national network that advocates "green'' electricity
from renewable sources, asked local congregations to choose two or three new environmental tasks. About
36 congregations now have mostly lay-led environmental groups called EarthCare teams, up from 24 last fall,
said Anne Burt, director of the Maine Council of Churches' Environmental Justice Program in Portland.
Congregations have been introducing environmentalism into Sunday schools, undergoing energy audits of
their churches, reducing cars idling and changing the very buildings in which they meet, with window
replacements and added insulation.

Beyond the usual newspaper recycling and turning off lights, they are also holding energy-efficiency fairs,
buying organically grown coffee for coffee hours and exploring possibilities of using solar power for their
facilities. Three small congregations have saved about 900,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being
released into the atmosphere, Ms. Burt said.

"We are building an environmental movement in the pews," she Burt added. "What's exciting about our teams
and similar movements around the country is that we're taking actions with people who see themselves as
church-going people, not environmentalists. They're beginning to see saving the planet through new eyes,
through a faith journey."

Why Maine? "So much of our Maine economic base, like our skiing, fishing, maple sugar and wood industries,
is tied to our natural resources," Ms. Burt said. "And they're all being threatened."

For those who consider environmental stewardship central to leading a godly life, many of Maine's houses of
worship are "ahead of the game," Mr. Gorman said. At a time when many religious leaders are asking
politicians to support legislation to curb global warming, "no one would be surprised if this is going on in
California, but Maine is a bellwether state," he said, adding, "Here's a very evolved program that's got
institutional support of churches; it's not just eight people meeting in a church basement."

The First Parish Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Saco, Me., is building a more
energy-efficient house of worship to replace the one that burned.

"They don't teach a lot of Construction 101 at seminary," said the Rev. Dr. Douglas Nielsen, the senior
minister. "But if you think about your own house, it's not all that different; it's just that the church is larger. If
people see their house of worship taking things seriously like energy efficiency for appliances and lighting,
heating and cooling systems, then it may invite them in their own houses to take it that seriously as well. It's
not just a head trip."

But support is not automatic.

"I get a lot of 'no's' in my parish when I bring things up like, 'How about if we use cloth napkins for the Lenten
luncheon?' '' said Sally Chappell, a member of the EarthCare team at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in
Bridgton, Me., which recycles and uses green electricity in the rectory. "I've heard people in parishes in
different states come to loggerheads over disposable and nondisposable dishes. I don't want to offend my
fellow parishioners. I'm trying to promote ecology without being a pain in the you-know-what."

Still, momentum is spreading, said Christine James, congregational outreach coordinator for Maine Interfaith
Power & Light in Brunswick. "I go to faith communities that have yet to get started with earth stewardship,"
Ms. James said, "and individuals wonder, 'How can I possibly make a difference to the melting of polar ice
caps or the weakening of the ozone layer?' I let them know there are dozens of other congregations in Maine
working on it, too."

Education is helping. "In the classroom, when I am talking about social action in the life of the church, I
always identify the environment as one of the central issues along with war and peace and human rights that
churches need to address," said the Rev. Dr. Bill Imes, president of the Bangor Theological Seminary, which
is supporting construction of an Indian wind farm in South Dakota. "If we believe that God created this world,
then we believe we are called by God to look out for this world."

Children are learning, too. At St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Yarmouth, Me., where "we are infusing
into our whole life as a worshipping community a sense of the earth as a sacrament," students learn that
some light bulbs generate "God's gift of light" more efficiently, said Libby Moore, a Sunday school teacher
and chairwoman of the church's Environmental Stewardship Committee. "A lot of my students who are 4, 5, 6
years old are already recycling at home," she said.

"After church," she said, "sometimes I catch them in the creek with cattail heads. The seeds fly through the air
and they say, 'Look, the breath of God.' They're making connections."

© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

=====================================================+

 

Published on Friday, July 16, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0716-05.htm


Warming the World to Dry our Socks

by Bill McKibben


Once, visiting a friend, I helped wash the dinner dishes. I soaped the plates and cups, and she rinsed them
and stacked them in a dish rack. When we were finished, I asked where the dish towel was so I could dry.
"Oh, don't bother with that," she said. "That's air's job."

This brings me to a very modest proposal, perfectly suited to summer. If you're wondering what (prior to Nov.
2) you can do about our deadly dependence on foreign energy, or about ever-rising utility bills, or about the
flood of carbon into the atmosphere that's steadily raising temperatures, here's one answer: Let air and sun
and wind do their job.

To be specific, buy 50 feet of clothesline and a $3 bag of clothespins and become a solar energy pioneer.

The average American family devotes 5 to 6 percent of its annual electric budget to the motor and heating
coils inside its clothes dryer. Undampening your socks ties you into the vast world energy grid, with its legacy
of mountaintop-removal coal mining, terrorist-vulnerable natural gas pipelines and all the rest. Which is OK --
right? -- because we all need dry socks.

But in fact we all had dry socks long before the invention of the clothes dryer. As late as 1960, according to
Northwest Environment Watch, fewer than 20 percent of American households had automatic dryers.

And perhaps you've noticed that lint in your dryer trap. That's your clothes disintegrating from the endless
tumbling. You won't find a small drift of lint under your clothesline.

Some people don't use clotheslines because they can't. According to the crusaders at a group called Project
Laundry List, thousands of homeowners associations, condominium complexes and even whole suburbs ban
clotheslines because they believe that clothes on the line are ugly. "It's akin to graffiti in your neighborhood,"
the president of the California Association of Homeowners Associations told reporters a few years ago.
Property values could drop 15 percent, he estimated, if clotheslines flourished. Violators can be sued.

But even people who could hang out their laundry often hesitate. I was standing with another friend on the
back porch in a pricy suburb not long ago. She had a perfect angle from deck to tree for a line, and I was all
set to install it. "But everyone would be able to see our underwear," she said.

True enough. But drop by any mall: The average American teen-age boy is fully devoted to displaying as
much of his underwear as possible, simply by failing to wear a belt and buying jeans two sizes too large. MTV
might as well call itself The Underwear Channel. Our grandparents may have been prudes by contrast, but
when it came to their laundry, they let it all hang out.

There are a few signs that we're beginning to regain our courage. Fort Lauderdale recently passed a
resolution designating a National Hanging Out Day, noting in its official proclamation: "For many people
hanging out clothes is therapeutic work. It is the only time during the week that some folks can slow down to
feel the wind and listen to the birds."

Some people think that clotheslines are simply old-fashioned -- too low-tech. Like President Bush, they're
waiting for something like a hydrogen car before they get around to saving energy. But say you dubbed it
something sexier: a Solar Activated Linear Evaporation System, perhaps -- maybe that would spur SALES.

Whatever you call it, the clothesline is the most elegant solution to the problem of drying clothes in good
weather. And if it storms? Just leave them up until they dry again -- you'll be able to boast about rain-washed
clothes.

If we all used clotheslines, we could save 30 million tons of coal a year, or shut down 15 nuclear power
plants. And you don't have to wait to start. Yours could be up by this afternoon.

Bill McKibben is the author of many books on environmental issues, including "Enough: Staying Human in an
Engineered Age." He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and a member of the Land Institute's
Prairie Writers Circle, Salina, Kan.

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Friday, July 16, 2004 2:49 PM
Subject: Report: Film Shows Staggering Abuse of Iraqi Children

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.17

Republicans Biggest Threat to the West

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

'Secret Film Shows Iraqi Children Sodomized'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704A.shtml

Joseph Wilson Vs. the Right-Wing Conspiracy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704B.shtml

Bush Administration Stonewalling U.N. Auditors on Iraq No-Bid Contracts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704C.shtml

Protests Will Run Gamut at Republican Convention in NYC
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704D.shtml

New York Times | The Stinky Tobacco Deal
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704E.shtml

Thomas Frank | Red-State America against Itself
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704F.shtml

Guillemette Faure | Foreign Observers of the Elections
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704H.shtml

Paul Krugman | Medical Class Warfare
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704I.shtml

Michael Jansen | Insurgency in Iraq - A Dangerous Development
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704J.shtml

U.S. Civil Rights Panel Blasts Florida's Felon-Voter List
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704K.shtml

Former CIA Director Used Pentagon Ties to Introduce Iraqi Defector
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704L.shtml

Senior Iraq Cleric Calls for Holy War against U.S. Forces
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704Y.shtml

Saddam Replacement Personally Executes Prisoners
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071704Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Your Government at War'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

Published on Thursday, July 15, 2004 by the Guardian / United Kingdom

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0715-06.htm


A Cloud over Civilization

Corporate Power is the Driving Force behind US Foreign Policy - and the Slaughter in Iraq


by JK Galbraith


At the end of the second world war, I was the director for overall effects of the United States strategic
bombing survey - USBUS, as it was known. I led a large professional economic staff in assessment of the
industrial and military effects of the bombing of Germany. The strategic bombing of German industry,
transportation and cities, was gravely disappointing. Attacks on factories that made such seemingly crucial
components as ball bearings, and even attacks on aircraft plants, were sadly useless. With plant and
machinery relocation and more determined management, fighter aircraft production actually increased in early
1944 after major bombing. In the cities, the random cruelty and death inflicted from the sky had no
appreciable effect on war production or the war.

These findings were vigorously resisted by the Allied armed services - especially, needless to say, the air
command, even though they were the work of the most capable scholars and were supported by German
industry officials and impeccable German statistics, as well as by the director of German arms production,
Albert Speer. All our conclusions were cast aside. The air command's public and academic allies united to
arrest my appointment to a Harvard professorship and succeeded in doing so for a year.

Nor is this all. The greatest military misadventure in American history until Iraq was the war in Vietnam. When I
was sent there on a fact-finding mission in the early 60s, I had a full view of the military dominance of foreign
policy, a dominance that has now extended to the replacement of the presumed civilian authority. In India,
where I was ambassador, in Washington, where I had access to President Kennedy, and in Saigon, I
developed a strongly negative view of the conflict. Later, I encouraged the anti-war campaign of Eugene
McCarthy in 1968. His candidacy was first announced in our house in Cambridge.

At this time the military establishment in Washington was in support of the war. Indeed, it was taken for
granted that both the armed services and the weapons industries should accept and endorse hostilities -
Dwight Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex".

In 2003, close to half the total US government discretionary expenditure was used for military purposes. A
large part was for weapons procurement or development. Nuclear-powered submarines run to billions of
dollars, individual planes to tens of millions each.

Such expenditure is not the result of detached analysis. From the relevant industrial firms come proposed
designs for new weapons, and to them are awarded production and profit. In an impressive flow of influence
and command, the weapons industry accords valued employment, management pay and profit in its political
constituency, and indirectly it is a treasured source of political funds. The gratitude and the promise of political
help go to Washington and to the defense budget. And to foreign policy or, as in Vietnam and Iraq, to war.
That the private sector moves to a dominant public-sector role is apparent.

None will doubt that the modern corporation is a dominant force in the present-day economy. Once in the US
there were capitalists. Steel by Carnegie, oil by Rockefeller, tobacco by Duke, railroads variously and often
incompetently controlled by the moneyed few. In its market position and political influence, modern corporate
management, unlike the capitalist, has public acceptance. A dominant role in the military establishment, in
public finance and the environment is assumed. Other public authority is also taken for granted. Adverse
social flaws and their effect do, however, require attention.

One, as just observed, is the way the corporate power has shaped the public purpose to its own needs. It
ordains that social success is more automobiles, more television sets, a greater volume of all other consumer
goods - and more lethal weaponry. Negative social effects - pollution, destruction of the landscape, the
unprotected health of the citizenry, the threat of military action and death - do not count as such.

The corporate appropriation of public initiative and authority is unpleasantly visible in its effect on the
environment, and dangerous as regards military and foreign policy. Wars are a major threat to civilized
existence, and a corporate commitment to weapons procurement and use nurtures this threat. It accords
legitimacy, and even heroic virtue, to devastation and death.

Power in the modern great corporation belongs to the management. The board of directors is an amiable
entity, meeting with self-approval but fully subordinate to the real power of the managers. The relationship
resembles that of an honorary degree recipient to a member of a university faculty.

The myths of investor authority, the ritual meetings of directors and the annual stockholder meeting persist,
but no mentally viable observer of the modern corporation can escape the reality. Corporate power lies with
management - a bureaucracy in control of its task and its compensation. Rewards can verge on larceny. On
frequent recent occasions, it has been referred to as the corporate scandal.

s the corporate interest moves to power in what was the public sector, it serves the corporate interest. It is
most clearly evident in the largest such movement, that of nominally private firms into the defense
establishment. From this comes a primary influence on the military budget, on foreign policy, military
commitment and, ultimately, military action. War. Although this is a normal and expected use of money and its
power, the full effect is disguised by almost all conventional expression.

Given its authority in the modern corporation it was natural that management would extend its role to politics
and to government. Once there was the public reach of capitalism; now it is that of corporate management. In
the US, corporate managers are in close alliance with the president, the vice-president and the secretary of
defense Major corporate figures are also in senior positions elsewhere in the federal government; one came
from the bankrupt and thieving Enron to preside over the army.

Defense and weapons development are motivating forces in foreign policy. For some years, there has also
been recognized corporate control of the Treasury. And of environmental policy.

We cherish the progress in Civilization since biblical times and long before. But there is a needed and,
indeed, accepted qualification. The US and Britain are in the bitter aftermath of a war in Iraq. We are
accepting programmed death for the young and random slaughter for men and women of all ages. So it was
in the first and second world wars, and is still so in Iraq. Civilized life, as it is called, is a great white tower
celebrating human achievements, but at the top there is permanently a large black cloud. Human progress
dominated by unimaginable cruelty and death.

Civilization has made great strides over the centuries in science, healthcare, the arts and most, if not all,
economic well-being. But it has also given a privileged position to the development of weapons and the threat
and reality of war. Mass slaughter has become the ultimate civilized achievement.

The facts of war are inescapable - death and random cruelty, suspension of civilized values, a disordered
aftermath. Thus the human condition and prospect as now supremely evident. The economic and social
problems here described can, with thought and action, be addressed. So they have already been. War
remains the decisive human failure.

· This is an edited extract from The Economics of Innocent Fraud: Truth for Our Time, by JK Galbraith,
published by Allen Lane.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

=====================================================+

 

Published in the August, 2004 issue of The Progressive

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0715-10.htm


Dissent at the War Memorial

by Howard Zinn


As I write this, the sounds of the World War II Memorial celebration in Washington, D.C., are still in my head. I
was invited by the Smithsonian Institution to be on one of the panels, and the person who called to invite me
said that the theme would be "War Stories." I told him that I would come, but not to tell "war stories," rather to
talk about World War II and its meaning for us today. Fine, he said.

I made my way into a scene that looked like a movie set for a Cecil B. DeMille extravaganza--huge tents
pitched here and there, hawkers with souvenirs, thousands of visitors, many of them clearly World War II
veterans, some in old uniforms, sporting military caps, wearing their medals. In the tent designated for my
panel, I joined my fellow panelist, an African American woman who had served with the WACS (Women's
Army Corps) in World War II, and who would speak about her personal experiences in a racially segregated
army.

I was introduced as a veteran of the Army Air Corps, a bombardier who had flown combat missions over
Europe in the last months of the war. I wasn't sure how this audience would react to what I had to say about
the war, in that atmosphere of celebration, in the honoring of the dead, in the glow of a great victory
accompanied by countless acts of military heroism.

This, roughly, is what I said: "I'm here to honor the two guys who were my closest buddies in the Air
Corps--Joe Perry and Ed Plotkin, both of whom were killed in the last weeks of the war. And to honor all the
others who died in that war. But I'm not here to honor war itself. I'm not here to honor the men in Washington
who send the young to war. I'm certainly not here to honor those in authority who are now waging an immoral
war in Iraq."

I went on: "World War II is not simply and purely a 'good war.' It was accompanied by too many atrocities on
our side--too many bombings of civilian populations. There were too many betrayals of the principles for which
the war was supposed to have been fought.

"Yes, World War II had a strong moral aspect to it--the defeat of fascism. But I deeply resent the way the
so-called good war has been used to cast its glow over all the immoral wars we have fought in the past fifty
years: in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan. I certainly don't want our
government to use the triumphal excitement surrounding World War II to cover up the horrors now taking
place in Iraq.

"I don't want to honor military heroism--that conceals too much death and suffering. I want to honor those
who all these years have opposed the horror of war."

The audience applauded. But I wasn't sure what that meant. I knew I was going against the grain of
orthodoxy, the romanticization of the war in movies and television and now in the war memorial celebrations in
the nation's capital.

There was a question-and-answer period. The first person to walk up front was a veteran of World War II,
wearing parts of his old uniform. He spoke into the microphone: "I was wounded in World War II and have a
Purple Heart to show for it. If President Bush were here right now I would throw that medal in his face."

There was a moment of what I think was shock at the force of his statement. Then applause. I wondered if I
was seeing a phenomenon that recurs often in society--when one voice speaks out against the conventional
wisdom, and is recognized as speaking truth, people are drawn out of their previous silence.

I was encouraged by the thought that it is possible to challenge the standard glorification of the Second
World War, and more important, to refuse to allow it to give war a good name. I did not want this celebration
to make it easy for the American public to accept whatever monstrous adventure is cooked up by the
establishment in Washington.

More and more, I am finding that I am not the only veteran of World War II who refuses to be corralled into
justifying the wars of today, drawing on the emotional and moral capital of World War II. There are other
veterans who do not want to overlook the moral complexity of World War II: the imperial intentions of the Allies
even as they declared it a war against fascism, and for democracy; the deliberate bombing of civilian
populations to destroy the morale of the enemy.

Paul Fussell was an infantry lieutenant who was badly wounded while a platoon leader in France in World War
II.

"For the past fifty years the Allied war has been sanitized and romanticized almost beyond recognition by the
sentimental, the loony patriotic, the ignorant, and the bloodthirsty," he wrote in Wartime.

It was easier, after the end of World War II, to point to its stupidities and cruelties in fiction rather than in a
direct onslaught on what was so universally acclaimed as "the good war." Thus, Joseph Heller in Catch-22
captured the idiocy of military life, the crass profiteering, the pointless bombings. And Kurt Vonnegut, in
Slaughterhouse-Five, brought to a large readership the awful story of the bombing of Dresden.

My own delayed criticism of the war--I had volunteered and was an enthusiastic bombardier--began with
reflecting about my participation in the bombing of Royan. This was a small town on the Atlantic coast of
France, where several thousand German soldiers had been overrun and were waiting for the war to end.
Twelve hundred heavy bombers flew over the vicinity of Royan and dropped napalm, killing German soldiers
and French civilians, destroying what was once a beautiful little resort town.

Recently, a man wrote to me who had heard me speak on the radio about that bombing mission and said he
was also on that mission. After the war, he became a fireman, then a carpenter, and is now a strong
opponent of war. He told me of a friend of his who was also on that mission, and who has been arrested
many times in anti-war actions. I was encouraged to hear that.

World War II veterans get in touch with me from time to time. One is Edward Wood Jr. of Denver, who upon
hearing I was going to be at the Washington Memorial, wrote to me: He said, "If I were there, I would say: As
a combat veteran of World War II, severely wounded in France in 1944, never the man I might have been
because of that wound, I so wish that this memorial to World War II might have been made of more than
stone or marble. I mourn my generation's failures since its victory in World War II . . . our legacy of incessant
warfare in smaller nations far from our borders."

Another airman, Ken Norwood, was shot down on his tenth mission over Europe, and spent a year as a
prisoner of war in Germany. He has written a memoir (unpublished, so far) which he says is "intentionally an
anti-war war story." Packed first into a box car, and then forced to march for two weeks through Bavaria in the
spring of 1945, Norwood saw the mangled corpses of the victims of Allied bombs, the working class
neighborhoods destroyed. All his experiences, he says, "add to the harsh testimony about the futility and
obscenity of war."

The glorification of the "good war" persists on our television and movie screens, in the press, in the
pretentious speeches by politicians. The more ugly the stories that come out of Iraq--the bombing of civilians,
the mutilation of children, the invasion of homes, and now the torture of prisoners--the more urgent it is for our
government to try to crowd out all those images with the triumphant stories of D-Day and World War II.

Those who fought in that war are perhaps better able than anyone to insist that whatever moral standing can
be attached to that war must not be used to turn our eyes away from Bush's atrocities in Afghanistan and
Iraq.

Howard Zinn, the author of "A People's History of the United States," is a columnist for The Progressive.

Copyright 2004 The Progressive

=====================================================+

 

Arianna Online

http://www.ariannaonline.com/columns/column.php?id=722

George W Bush: Presidential or Pathological?

by Arianna Huffington

That is the highly provocative question being asked in "Bush on the Couch," a new book in which psychoanalyst and George Washington University professor Dr. Justin Frank uses the president's public pronouncements and behavior, along with biographical data, to craft a comprehensive psychological profile of Bush 43.

It's not a pretty picture, but it goes a long way in explaining how exactly our country got itself into the mess we are in: an intractable war, the loss of allies and international goodwill, a half-trillion-dollar deficit.

Poking around in the presidential psyche, Frank uncovers a man suffering from megalomania, paranoia, a false sense of omnipotence, an inability to manage his emotions, a lifelong need to defy authority, an unresolved love-hate relationship with his father, and the repercussions of a history of untreated alcohol abuse.

Other than that, George Bush is the picture of psychological health.

One of the more compelling sections of the book is Frank's dissection of what he calls Bush's "almost pathological aversion to owning up to his infractions" - a mindset common to individuals Freud termed "the Exceptions," those who feel "entitled to live outside the limitations that apply to ordinary people."

Limitations like, for instance, not driving while drunk. Or the limitation of having to report for required Air National Guard duty. Or the limitation of having to adhere to international law.

And it doesn't help one outgrow this sense of entitlement when Daddy and his pals are always there to rescue you when you get in trouble - whether it's keeping you out of Vietnam by bumping you to the top of the National Guard waiting list or bailing you out of lousy business deals with cushy seats on corporate boards or making sure the votes in Florida (just another limitation) aren't properly counted.

But you don't make it as far as W. has without some psychological defenses of your own - especially when it comes to insulating yourself against your own fears and insecurities.

Raised in a family steeped in privilege and secrecy, and prone to the intense aversion to introspection and denial of responsibility that are the hallmarks of a so-called dry drunk - one who has kicked the bottle without dealing with the root causes of the addiction - Bush has become a master of the psychological jiu-jitsu known as Freudian Projection.

For those of you who bailed on Psych 101, Freudian Projection is, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a defense mechanism in which "the individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressors by falsely attributing to another his or her own unacceptable feelings, impulses or thoughts."

In layman's terms, it's the soot-stained pot calling the kettle "black."

On the 2004 campaign trail, it's the pathologically inconsistent Bush attempting to portray John Kerry as a two-faced flip-flopper.

It's become the Bush-Cheney campaign mantra. GOP talking points 1 through 100. The president's go-to laugh and applause line:

"Senator Kerry has been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue," chided Bush at a spring fundraiser. "My opponent clearly has strong beliefs, they just don't last very long." Ba-da-bum! (Incidentally, how is this consistent with Bush's other contention, that Kerry is a rock-ribbed liberal?)

Or as Dick "Not Peaches and Cream" Cheney ominously put it at a Republican fundraiser: "These are not times for leaders who shift with the political winds, saying one thing one day and another the next."

I couldn't f---ing agree more, Mr. Cheney. But it's your man George W. who can't seem to pick a position and stick to it. He's reversed course more times than Capt. Kirk battling Khan in the midst of the Mutara Nebula. Gone back on his word more times than Tony Blundetto. Flip-flopped more frequently than a blind gymnast with an inner-ear infection.

The list of Bush major policy U-turns is as audacious as it is long. Among the whiplash-inducing lowlights:

In September 2001, Bush said capturing bin Laden was "our number one priority." By March 2002, he was claiming, "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important."

In October 2001, he was dead-set against the need for a Department of Homeland Security. Seven months later, he thought it was a great idea.

In May 2002, he opposed the creation of the 9/11 Commission. Four months later, he supported it.

During the 2000 campaign, he said that gay marriage was a states' rights issue: "The states can do what they want to do." During the 2004 campaign, he called for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Dizzy yet? No? OK:

Bush supported CO2 caps, then opposed them. He opposed trade tariffs, then he didn't. Then he did again. He was against nation building, then he was OK with it. We'd found WMD, then we hadn't. Saddam was linked to Osama, then he wasn't. Then he was sorta. Chalabi was in, then he was out. Way out.

In fact, Bush's entire Iraq misadventure has been one big costly, deadly flip-flop:

We didn't need more troops, then we did. We didn't need more money, then we did. Preemption was a great idea - on to Syria, Iran and North Korea! Then it wasn't - hello, diplomacy! Baathists were the bad guys, then Baathists were our buds. We didn't need the U.N., then we did.

And all this from a man who, once upon a time, made "credibility" a key to his appeal.

Now, God knows, I have no problem with changing your mind - so long as you admit that you have and can explain why. But Bush steadfastly - almost comically - refuses to admit that there's been a change, even when the entire world can plainly see otherwise. He's got his story and he's sticking to it. But that darn Kerry, he keeps shifting his positions!

At the end of his analysis, Dr. Frank offers the following prescription: "Having seen the depth and range of President Bush's psychological flaws our sole treatment option - for his benefit and for ours - is to remove President Bush from office."

=====================================================+

 

From: Richard Kiiski <kiiski@earthlink.net>
To:<browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2004 5:38 PM
Subject: Terrorism and the Election: California is the Target!


Terrorism and the Election: California is the Target!

No postponement, just bedlam at the polls and a low turnout on the west coast is Bush's plan for 'victory'

by Wayne Madsen


You have to give the right-wingers credit. The fear tactics they learned from arch-Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels remain at the front of their political playbook. First, they put out the notion that in the event of a terrorist attack around the time of the November 2 election, a postponement of the vote may be necessary. Second, they start talking about the Federal government's response to such a scenario. It's the second item we must all be focused upon.

The idea of terrorism affecting the election was first proffered by Reverend DeForest B. Soaries Jr, the Bush-appointed chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Soaries is a right-wing New Jersey Republican Secretary of State who has been living under the small "fanatics only" revival tent of the Christian fundamentalist crowd for some time. Soaries's job is to ensure that there is no repeat of the 2000 Florida fiasco. However, he and his friends in the Bush administration (read that as Karl Rove and Tom DeLay primarily) may have their eyes set on causing a major West coast electoral disruption in 2004 that will make Florida 2000 look like a minor glitch by comparison.

To read this hair-raising article in its entirety, go to:

http://www.legitgov.org/essay_madsen_terrorism_and_california_071404.html


Wayne Madsen
is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II." His forthcoming book is titled: "Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates."

Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com

======================+++

Richard C. Kiiski
240 Redwood Highway, #3
Mill Valley, CA 94941-6605
(415) 332-0223
kiiski@earthlink.net

=====================================================+

 

The Guardian - Thursday July 15, 2004

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4311936,00.html

 

'Doonesbury' Artist Trudeau Skewers Bush

 

NEW YORK (AP) - Cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who has skewered politicians
for decades in his comic strip ``Doonesbury,'' tells Rolling Stone magazine
he remembers Yale classmate George W. Bush as ``just another sarcastic
preppy who gave people nicknames and arranged for keg deliveries.''

Trudeau attended Yale University with Bush in the late 1960s and served
with him on a dormitory social committee.

``Even then he had clearly awesome social skills,'' Trudeau said. ``He could
also make you feel extremely uncomfortable ... He was extremely skilled at
controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed
humiliation.''

Trudeau said he penned his very first cartoon to illustrate an article in the
Yale Daily News on Bush and allegations that his fraternity, DKE, had hazed
incoming pledges by branding them with an iron.

The article in the campus paper prompted The New York Times to interview
Bush, who was a senior that year. Trudeau recalled that Bush told the Times
``it was just a coat hanger, and ... it didn't hurt any more than a cigarette
burn.''

``It does put one in mind of what his views on torture might be today,''
Trudeau said.

Having mocked presidents of both parties in the ``Doonesbury'' strip since
1971, Trudeau said Bush has been, ``tragically, the best target'' he's
worked with yet.

``Bush has created more harm to this country's standing and security than
any president in history,'' Trudeau said. ``What a shame the world has to
suffer the consequences of Dubya not getting enough approval from Dad.''

Rolling Stone was publishing the interview Friday.

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 2:46 PM
Subject: Steve Weissman | Whose Coup in America?

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.15

Developer Wants to Ease Condor Rules

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Steve Weissman | Whose Coup in America?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504A.shtml

Bush, C.I.A. Won't Release Paper on Prewar Intelligence
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504B.shtml

Advocates of War Now Profit from Iraq's Reconstruction
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504C.shtml

Some in Congress Rethinking War Vote Based on False Data
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504D.shtml

CIA Official: Iraq War Helping al-Qaida
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504E.shtml

GAO Report Criticizes Terror Warnings
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504F.shtml

Marie-France Calle | Drawn Knives Between Karzai and the Warlords
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504H.shtml

Ritt Goldstein | U.S.: Patriotic Pride and Fear
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504I.shtml

France Accuses U.S. of AIDS Blackmail
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504J.shtml

Former Ambassador Joe Wilson Criticizes Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504K.shtml

Leaked Salary List: Bush's Highest-Paid Staff Mostly Male
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504L.shtml

Senate Rejects Bid to Ban Same-Sex Marriage
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504Y.shtml

Baghdad Explosion Kills 10, Injures 40
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071504Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'They Claimed Executive Privilege?'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

From: Sierra Club RAW <w.watch@sierraclub.org>
Reply-To: w.watch@sierraclub.org
To: <browerpower@WILDNESSWITHIN.COM>
Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 4:54 PM
Subject: Sierra Club RAW: Jim Hightower says "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush"


ISSUE #59, July 14, 2004


Jim Hightower Says "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush"

RAW is pleased to devote today's space to a brief review of best-selling author Jim Hightower's new book, Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush, which presents the "unvarnished truth" about the Bush administration. Even the book jacket is a good read:

"Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush is guaranteed 100 percent free of the double-talk and spin you'll get from Washington insiders. America's #1 populist offers a much-needed dose of common sense in language that just-plain-folks can rally around. He spells it out in black and white, because America in 2004 is color-coded: The terror alert bounces from yellow to orange. The economy offers up a hundred shades of red ink. The environment is turning brown. National security is cloaked in gray shadows.

"In no uncertain terms, Hightower outlines how the Bushites have:

* heisted $1.3 trillion from our public treasury and doled it out to their richest campaign backers;

* defoliated our environmental protections;

* taken a Weedwacker to our Bill of Rights;

* sought to castrate labor unions;

* turned a $240 billion budget surplus into a $520 billion debt;

* attempted to privatize everything from the National Park Service to Social Security;

* and hurled our nation into a maniacal, messianic, testosterone-driven global war to make the world safe for Halliburton."

Our buddy Jim doesn't mince words! We especially enjoyed the chapter titled, "Global Warming! George W Does the Environment." Here's a sample to whet your appetite:

DIRTY MONEY: In 2000, Bush had 241 Pioneers -- corporate representatives who each raised $100,000 or more for his election. Nearly a fourth of them represented polluter interests, including the National Mining Association, the lobbying front for coal companies. Once in office, Bush promptly began rolling out favors, giving them billions of dollars worth of special breaks on mine safety, environmental protections, waste disposal, etc. After only a year of Bush gifts, William Raney, head honcho of the West Virginia Coal Association, was giddy as he told a gathering of 150 coal barons:

"'You did everything you could to elect a Republican president. You are already seeing in his actions the payback!'

"A grateful National Association of Mining is now signed up as an enthusiastic Bush Ranger, promising to raise $200,000 or more this time around."

This is RAW again -- we'll bring you more Hightower excerpts in upcoming editions of RAW. The official publication date is July 19, but the book is on sale now at online websites and in bookstores.

 

For those who want to help, the most important thing you can do is spread the word because the cold, hard truth is that most Americans simply don't know the extent of the Bush Administration's unprecedented assault on the environment. RAW encourages the following course of action:
1) stay informed;
2) forward RAW to others;
3) tell your friends and neighbors what's happening;
4) write letters to the editor of your newspapers -- (maybe mention that "there's a better way");
5) join the Sierra Club's Take Action Network <http://info.sierraclub.org/c.html?rtr=on&s=arz,7g2d,km2,fdcu,6m17,fjpr,l7zu> ;
6) Support the Club's efforts by donating <http://info.sierraclub.org/c.html?rtr=on&s=arz,7g2d,km2,385u,jbzb,fjpr,l7zu> much-needed funds.

RAW is the Sierra Club's twice weekly email update to further equip you in the ongoing effort to educate and inform others of the devastating breadth and ferocity of the Bush administration's assault on our environment. We need your help to get this message out to the rest of America--please forward this email and encourage your friends, family members, and coworkers to subscribe.

Make your voice heard! Find out how to get Take Action Alerts and other important Sierra Club messages by email at: http://www.sierraclub.org/email <http://info.sierraclub.org/c.html?rtr=on&s=arz,7g2d,km2,53us,hndk,fjpr,l7zu>

View the Raw archives <http://info.sierraclub.org/c.html?rtr=on&s=arz,7g2d,km2,fwum,ago7,fjpr,l7zu>

Click here to donate to the Sierra Club <http://info.sierraclub.org/c.html?rtr=on&s=arz,7g2d,km2,27q,ks0a,fjpr,l7zu>

Sierra Club | 85 Second St. San Francisco, CA 94105 | www.sierraclub.org

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 2:46 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Only Cowards Cancel Elections

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.14

Bush Seeks Shift in Logging Rules

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

William Rivers Pitt | Only Cowards Cancel Elections
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404A.shtml

Chalabi Informant Deleted from Senate Iraq Report
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404B.shtml

The Case against Ken Lay
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404C.shtml

Ray McGovern | Iraq: An Intelligence Debacle...and Worse
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404D.shtml

GOP Senators in Disarray over Gay Marriage
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404E.shtml

Resentment Is Festering in 'Little Falloujas'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404F.shtml

Paul Krugman | Machine at Work
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404H.shtml

Robert Scheer | Fact of the Matter Is that Facts Didn't Matter
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404I.shtml

Many Americans Denied Right to Counsel
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404J.shtml

Blair Faces Judgment on Iraq Intelligence
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404K.shtml

Fox News in Cross Hairs of a New Documentary
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404L.shtml

Congressman Charles Rangel Arrested at Sudanese Embassy
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071404Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Let Us Vote'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1260837,00.html

Dumping on Yucca Mountain

Native Americans lose their land as our presidential hero revives old-time nuclear tensions with Moscow


AL Kennedy
Wednesday July 14 2004
The Guardian


So glad that our Tony has now slithered himself a plucky and important millimetre away from Bush - "I now feel I can only agree absolutely with 99% of what the lovely president thinks and does". Sturdy chap, our premier. But if he's looking to improve his personal popularity - we can hardly expect him to be acting out of conscience - he still has to deal with the difficulty that if Bush and Blair together are the Laurel and Hardy of demonic foreign policy, Bush and Blair apart are quite evil enough to provoke spontaneous vomiting in small children.

Now, like many British citizens, I'd rather not think about our ghastly leader, but Bush is rather harder to blot out. It's that whole terror thing. I've been waking up screaming since I was five, so I find I am slightly susceptible to terror. Not the $60bn-earmarked-for-next-year, civil-rights-dissolving, Orange Alert type of terror - I mean real terror.

And it's not as if the genuine terror of Bush is hard to notice. Within hours of coming into office, he'd started approving oil exploration in national parks, cutting support for disadvantaged children, raising the levels of arsenic in drinking water... Being an utter bastard with numbing consistency is his only speciality beyond mangling his native language and playing golf like an unhinged Muppet in times of crisis.

But Team Bush could never be happy just tormenting its own (non-millionaire) citizens - the misery must spread. So we in the rest of the world get to be alarmed by the whole sabotaging Kyoto thing, the murdering strangers for fun and profit thing and the screwing the Middle East in hopes of Armageddon thing. But what gets slightly less attention is the reviving the cold war arms race thing.

It seemed momentarily puzzling when the US withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty and started developing cuter, smaller types of "battlefield" nukes when there didn't seem to be a cold war any more. These things were of little or no help against mobile terror cells and the Pentagon had proved itself completely unable to protect even its own troops from the radiation produced by existing DU weapons. But, of course, all this lucrative US nuclear development was bound to alarm the Russians and therefore justify itself retrospectively. Hence, Mr Putin's obliging announcement that his scientists have developed a vigorous response to America's ballistic missile defence. The fact that BMD won't work as advertised is, of course, balanced by the fact that it gets nukes very close to Russia and is supposed to be pre-emptive not defensive. Don't worry if this doesn't make sense - it makes money, which is much more important.

And the new cold war is why US military nuclear facilities (which have been closed down as unsafe by the FBI in the past) are now immune from environmental legislation. Better yet, plans for the Nevada test site now include sexy, actual testing of nuclear weapons. Needless to say this is really pleasing everyone in Las Vegas, which is only 65 miles away, and everyone in Utah - soon to be renamed Downwind, the Malignantly Mutating State. Naturally, attempts to amend the relevant Defence Authorisation Act failed.

But the Bushies' joy doesn't end there, because the Nevada test site isn't even on United States land - it's on territory which belongs to the Western Shoshone nation and is protected by treaty (should you feel that treaties between the US and indigenous peoples are in any way binding). The Yucca Mountain site earmarked for America's nuclear waste depository is also on Western Shoshone land, as is the planned Federal Counterterrorism Facility. And what is probably the world's third largest gold-producing area.

Which is why Karl Rove and George W have both visited Nevada lately and why seizures of Shoshone livestock have already started. Despite formal opposition from 80% of the Shoshone population, Amnesty International and the National Congress of American Indians, Congress has just passed the Western Shoshone distribution bill - which distributes 15 cents on the acre for huge tracts of land in four states, whether the owners intended to sell or not.

So with one bill, the neo-cons can ensure cancer misery on an epidemic scale, mindlessly polluting mineral extraction, increased efficiency in the belligerent surveillance of an entire population, world war three and one in the eye for them pesky redskins. Recent Irish revelations suggest that George is in his jimjams by 5pm and now we know why. His days are full of such knee-trembling thrills that it's a miracle he ever gets up off his back.

Talking of miracles, Bush was recently quizzed about his special relationship with Jesus and carefully assured his questioner that it "doesn't make me a better person than you". His delivery didn't convince. When he can do whatever he wants, whatever the consequences, surely that makes him better than all of us.

More on the Shoshone defence of their territory can be found at wsdp.org
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

=====================================================+

 

To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1260758,00.html

US ends ban on roads through forests

Pristine woodland at risk as Bush hands states power to open up federally owned areas to commercial logging


Julian Borger in Washington
Wednesday July 14 2004
The Guardian


US environmental groups yesterday accused the Bush administration of opening up America's forests to commercial loggers after dropping a Clinton-era ban on building roads through federally-owned woodland.

The new scheme, due to come into force in 18 months, will give state governors the power to allow roads and logging in nearly 24m hectares (60m acres) of forests previously covered by the Clinton "roadless rule". Most of the land lies in a few western states, including Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Omaha, where governors have opposed the ban and backed commercial use of the forests.

"State governments are important partners in the stewardship of the nation's land and natural resources," said Ann Veneman, the agriculture secretary, as she announced the scheme on Monday in Idaho. "Strong state and federal cooperation in the management of roadless areas will foster strong local involvement and support for a final policy."

The plan would put the onus on state governors to petition the US Forest Service if they want to prevent local road building and logging in woodlands. Their petitions could be overruled by the head of the Forest Service.

Environmental groups condemned the decision, predicting it would lead to the erosion of the remaining pristine forest areas in the US. Amy Mall, a forestry expert at the Natural Resources Defence Council, said the plan overturned "one of the most important conservation measures in recent history". She said: "These are some of the last wild areas in the US. Millions of Americans get their clean drinking water from these areas. The establishment of the rule being overturned took years of scientific study."

The rule on roads was established by Bill Clinton during his last days as US president. It applied to 30% of 77m hectares of national forest and it blocked the building of roads in areas of woodland over 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) in size.

Since that rule was signed in January 2001 it has been challenged by loggers. It was struck down by a Wyoming court last year; environmental groups appealed against the decision, but the administration stepped in to alter the rule in a move it said would resolve much of the legal controversy.

"Much of this litigation involves complaints about process shortcuts, the refusal to allow states any role in decision-making [and] failure to protect against wildfires," Ms Veneman said. "The prospect of endless lawsuits represents neither progress nor certainty."

The decision dismayed even moderate conservationists, such as Jim Range, a former senior Republican congressional official, who established the Forest Road Working Group, a coalition of wildlife protection groups, to advise the Bush administration.

Mr Range issued a statement to express his disappointment with the decision. "The current regulation established an important degree of certain protection to these valuable areas, which provide important fish and wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for American hunters, anglers, campers, hikers and others."

The agriculture department argued that the new plan would reduce the risk of wildfires and improve forest protection, but Ms Mall challenged that claim.

The Forest Service's own research has found that road building and logging contributes to fires; the activities bring more people into the forest and reduce the number of larger, older and more fire-resistant trees.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

=====================================================+

 

COUNTER PUNCH - July 13, 2004

http://www.counterpunch.org/donham07132004.html


Betraying Another Green Champion

The Sierra Club's Inexplicable Treatment of Cynthia McKinney

By MARK DONHAM

The Georgia state chapter of the Sierra Club, in coordination with the Atlanta Metro Group of the Sierra Club, have failed to endorse former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a long time champion of Sierra Club causes, in her bid to winback the 4th Congressional District of Georgia's congressional seat, as their primary candidate of choice in the Democratic primary next Tuesday. (The winner of the primary is the hands down favorite to get the seat.) Club officials instead did not officially endorse any of the three out of the five Democratic candidates they consider "environmentally friendly." Besides McKinney, the Sierra Club identified Cathy Woolard, current City Council Chair of the Atlanta City Council, and African American state Senator Nadine Thomas. However, they did offer a lesser level of support, known as "support short of condition" for Thomas and Woolard, which allows them access to Club mailing lists and other less visible means of support, while ignoring McKinney.

A look at the publicly professed environmental positions of the three candidates does not support this action. While Woolard shows an informed, detailed and progressive position paper toward the environment, one worthy of mention and support, Thomas' positions are lackluster, localized, and even questionable. In fact, Thomas lists what she calls her top three priorities on the environment if she gets into congress. Those are, according to her website:

 

(1) working to provide funding for implementation of an extensive rapid rail transit system in Georgia;

(2) working to provide funding for more green space and the creation of a network of bicycle and walking paths; and

(3) working to create a tax credit for companies that meet specific standards when it comes to protecting and improving the environment in their business practices.

As you can see, these show a very narrow view of the nation's environmental problems. While rapid rail transit systems are important, as are green space and bike and walking paths, they do not address head on some of our nation's most pressing problems. In addition, giving corporations tax credits for doing the right thing on the environment is questionable. Thomas also broadly calls for "public-private partnerships" in working toward protecting the environment, a concept that can sometimes lead to big problems for citizens concerned in environmental protection, depending on the details.

This failure to endorse McKinney can only be seen as a betrayal of the greatest kind. When McKinney was in Congress, she worked tirelessly for issues which the Sierra Club supports. Several examples of how McKinney benefitted the Sierra Club can easily be found by some basic internet searches. For example, Mother Jones magazine called McKinney's introduction of the National Forest Protection Act in the House of Representatives as a "minor miracle." In fact, the Sierra Club and McKinney's name appeared in publications numerous times together in regard to this legislation's introduction, and the Sierra Club used it at a time when the forest protection movement had been battered by the salvage rider, which McKinney opposed, as an shining example of the positive efforts that were being made on behalf of public forests. In addition, the Sierra Club and McKinney worked together on other issues, such as proportional representation and civil rights for environmental activists. Where is the record of this kind of commitment from the other candidates?

The Sierra Club owes the environmental movement an explanation, and a better one than they have provided up to this point. If the environment is suffering because some Sierra Club officials have not made an endorsement decision based upon the facts, that is a disservice to the entire movement. Ms. McKinney has been too loyal to not just the environmental movement, but to progressive causes across the board, to be treated like this. What the Sierra Club's action may be contributing too is another situation where a well funded, less progressive female African American candidate is being set up to receive another large crossover Republican vote in the primary, combined with the environmentally aware white candidate, both ready to peel off some of the white progressive vote, will defeat McKinney again. It is no secret that McKinney has significant support in the African American community, and another such outcome would not go down well with this community.

At a time when the way-too-white environmental movement has a opportunity to build a bridge deep into the African American community, an alliance that any thinking, white, environmentalist knows is long overdue and needed, this action by the Sierra Club is a step in the wrong direction - a bad misstep in the wrong direction. It should be corrected and corrected now. In the long run, this kind of lack of loyalty and lack of appreciation of a long time ally will only hurt the Sierra Club worse than anyone else. But it is hurting us all some, and the Club needs to explain why it is doing this.

Mark Donham, a longtime environmental organizer, lives in Brookport, Illlinois. He can be reached at: markkris@earthlink.net.

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Monday, July 12, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: Marjorie Cohn | Bush's Judges: Right-Wing Ideologues

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.13

San Francisco Chronicle | Give the EPA an Earful

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Marjorie Cohn | Bush's Judges: Right-Wing Ideologues
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304A.shtml

Pentagon Cell Briefed White House on Iraq's 'Imaginary' al-Qaeda Links
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304B.shtml

Panel Describes Long Weakening of Hussein Army
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304C.shtml

Report: Touchscreen Voting Flawed in Florida
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304D.shtml

Enron Funded Rep. DeLay's Texas Redistricting
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304E.shtml

Robert Fisk | A History Lesson in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304F.shtml

Richard Hetu | Dick Cheney's Fear
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304H.shtml

Bob Herbert | The Real Enemy Staring Us in the Face
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304I.shtml

NAACP Chief Blasts Bush Record
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304J.shtml

Clear Channel Censors Anti-War Ad
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304K.shtml

Some Key Conservatives Uneasy About Bush
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304L.shtml

Ambushes Kill Three U.S. Soldiers as non-Iraqi Deaths Top 1,000
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071304Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Judging the Judges'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

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Published on Monday, July 12, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0712-04.htm


When the Children Ask, "Where have All the Animals Gone?" What will We Say?

by John F. Borowski


Millions of Americans return home each day from work or play to be greeted with indescribable affection and
love from their pets. How would they react if the following scenario was unfolding? As the faithful pet owner
walks up the sidewalk to their house, a neighbor is wringing the life out of their beloved cat or dog! Would the
pet owner calmly ask, "Is there an economic or social reason that forces you to choke the life out of my pet?"
Would the pet owner negotiate a compromise with this fool who is slowly draining the life of the pet? Would
the pet owner sigh and retort, "You are bigger and more powerful than I, so goodbye dear pet"? Probably no,
on all counts, and a majority of these pet owners would resort to instantaneous and forceful measures to
protect their animal.

Worldwide, we are collectively wringing the necks of thousands of species, not only denying the beauty and
the right of these species to exist, but unexplainably and arrogantly ripping the rivets out of the machinery
needed for human survival. As E.O. Wilson, famed entomologist and foremost authority on biodiversity,
states, "We dismiss the weeds and the bugs of the earth." Yet, their ecological niches, or simply put, their jobs
on earth, range from the generation of oxygen, recycling of nutrients, the creation of soil, and the pollination
of flowers and they are inextricably linked in thousands of other roles: both known and unknown to the most
dominant species on earth, humans. Maybe it is time to reconsider who are the true weeds on earth?

Millions of years of evolution have fine tuned life on this planet, with some scientists believing that the current
number of species is between forty and sixty million, with only two or so million actually documented and
named. Humans, with their brief presence on earth, have been graced with a plethora of organisms that some
would indeed categorize as a "garden of Eden." And the question that begs asking is relatively simple despite
the efforts to cast it as overwhelmingly complex. "Why would a single generation of Homo sapiens knowingly
eradicate one quarter to one half of the species on earth in a geological twinkling of an eye?" And in the later
years of life, how are we going to explain the permanent loss of the most magnificent creatures the planet
has ever seen to our children and grandchildren? Terms like profit margin, land rights, cost benefit analysis,
and other excuses will ring hollow as our collective children look at the pictures of giant whales, tropical
orchids, sea turtles, and tigers and ask, "Why are these species no longer on earth?" And if current trends
persist, the species our children will ask about will be long and tortuous to ponder:

Peter Raven, the world's consummate botanist, recently reported that 50 percent of all plant species might
disappear in the next 30-50 years. And with those plants will disappear the genetic stock of current and future
foods, cancer drugs and heart disease drugs, invaluable links in nature's services and irreplaceable aesthetic
gifts to the landscape; One quarter of all the world's mammal species face imminent extinction. These 1,130
mammal species represent some of the worlds most unique and magnificent creatures. Ranging from the Blue
Whale and the Siberian tiger to Florida Manatees and Black Rhinos, human disturbance of habitat and the
poisoning of the seas could homogenize the planet for generations to come. And our nearest relatives, the
great primates, could fade into oblivion in 2 or 3 decades; Some 82 species of fishes are in peril with nearly
30 percent of all fish endangered globally. The mighty great white shark to the mainstay of human fisheries
(cod, rockfish and hake) is being sacrificed by a consumptive orgy never seen in recorded history. As we
scour the seas with long, baited hooked lines, we also sacrifice the oldest reptiles of the seas: sea turtles;
One quarter of all parrots species are on the brink, along with one in eight of all bird species globally. Some
182-bird species teeter on critical extinction, with a 50 percent chance of surviving the next ten years. Yet we
assault our monoculture lawns with a dizzying array of pesticides and herbicides. We continue to ravage
forests (76 percent of threatened birds occur in forests), with our own National Forests being fragmented into
giant puzzles of clear cuts and green beauty strips; Seventy-two percent of all freshwater clams are
endangered in the United States. For the uneducated, extinct clams seem like a small price to pay for our
passion with virtual reality, theme parks, and uncontrolled development. But these organisms are indicators of
water and river health, and it is these inconspicuous organisms, ranging from clams to slugs, that hold the
fabric of forests, rivers, prairies and all ecosystems in balance;

This ongoing catastrophe has biological, economic, social, and cultural ramifications beyond human
comprehension. Yet, the modern-day vehicles for screaming the alert are all but silent. In this age of email
and lightning fast communication, the average person is educated by the "mass media." In the barren
wasteland of television and radio, those accountable for enlightenment have missed, most knowingly, and
continue to omit the saga of the worst extinction period in the world's history. To address this biological
holocaust would point fingers at corporate powers consumed with profit and consumers who often know little
about the biological ramifications of indulgence, and would ask questions of us we much rather push to the
bottom of our daily agendas.

During the 2000 election the term environment, let alone global mass extinction, was missing in action. Will
John Kerry and John Edwards change this trend come this fall? When was the last time President Bush
spoke on global extinction? Has he ever discussed it, or could he even spell extinction? When was the last
time Americans heard a policy speech, a prime time presidential speech to the nation or a segment of the
State of the Union address the consequences of unchecked extinction? When has ABC, NBC, or CBS done
a several hour special on extinction? Would Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh even be fluent in the basics of the
extinction discussion? Yes, thank goodness for individuals like Jane Goodall and all those dedicated
researchers, scientists and activists that toil in anonymity. Environmental magazines and grassroots
organizations worldwide provide invaluable venues of data. Yet, without mainstream press and television
coverage, extinction remains under-reported by the selective radar screen of corporate television.

We are wringing the necks of our companions on this planet that we share with them. It is an immoral,
unethical, and an unforgivable legacy I would rather not have be an entry into the history books of the current
century. For those who are religious, it is akin to ripping out the planks of Noah's Ark. Did your God give you a
mandate to liquidate creation? Aren't you caretakers of Eden? For those who simply believe human life spans
several decades on earth, what economic, social, or cultural equation epitomizes your existence? And why do
you get to squander the interest on the earth's biological capital? For those who have been granted political
power, why do you abdicate your responsibility to ensure several generations to come will share the same
beauty we now enjoy? Of those of the corporate ilk, we will confiscate your business charters if you arrogantly
view nature as numbers on a quarterly profit sheet. And lastly, as residents on earth, particularly the citizens
of more affluent societies, your insatiable materialistic desires place unbearable strain on the biological towers
of life. And the extinction of species is as horrific and unforgivable as the terrorist act that drove a plane into a
human tower of life on 9/11.

The steps are many to solve this human induced plague on the planet's plants and animals. From demanding
that the mainstream press cover the issue, to adopting a land ethic that mimics that bestowed upon us by
Aldo Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac," we have little time for compromise. The United States can lead the
way by developing a wilderness strategy that connects through a series of corridors all the ecosystems in our
nation. We must call on our politicians to scurry up the bully pulpit and sound the clarion warning of mass
extinction. Ecological damage must be incorporated in our GNP and other human created economic
equations that knowingly omit environmental damage from the profit ledger. National forests and parks must
be expanded and kept free of mining, logging and oil extraction. Global communities must avoid the rush to
globalization, as if rows of McDonalds's and Wal-Marts rather than herds of elephants and Asiatic Lions would
better serve Africa's grasslands and India's forests. Meat production must give way to more energy productive
and sustainable plant based agriculture. We must adopt a fossil-fuel free generation of energy strategies.
Fisheries must be sustainable and practices that kill sea turtles or dolphins must be outlawed. The 3 R's must
include fluency in ecological sciences, that knowledge about wildlife be as common as the ABC's.

This data is sobering and real. We do not have the luxury of time and despite all our technology, extinction is
an environmental problem that will not be remedied by quick fixes. And it is the curse our children's children
are least likely to forgive us for.

John F. Borowski has been a teacher of environmental and marine science for 25 years. He sits on the
advisory board of the Native Forest Council, and has testified in Congress on behalf of forest protection. His
pieces have appeared in the N.Y. Times, UTNE Reader and numerous websites. He may be reached at
jenjill@proaxis.com

=====================================================+

 

From: Argus by Email <rbrower4@mac.com>
To: <rbrowerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Monday, July 12, 2004 12:24 PM
Subject: Sculpture to land in Berkeley

Argus - Monday, July 12, 2004

http://www.theargusonline.com/Stories/0,1413,83%257E1971%257E2267384,00.html

Sculpture to land in Berkeley

Environmentalist honored with "Spaceship Earth" globe at Marina

By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER

BERKELEY -- Four years after the "Spaceship Earth" sculpture for late environmentalist David Brower was commissioned, it looks like the 175-ton stone globe will land permanently at the Berkeley Marina.

Brower was the first executive director of the Sierra Club and founded Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute. He also was one of the formative rock climbers in the United States. He lived most of his life in Berkeley and died at age 88, Nov. 5, 2000.

That year, Finnish-American sculptor Eino was commissioned by the late Brian Maxwell, the founder of PowerBar, to create the 15-foot by 20-foot polished, rare Brazilian blue quartzite globe. Eino called the sculpture "the most technically challenging piece" he had ever done.

But finding a home for the hefty work may have been the bigger challenge.

The sculpture weighs 350,000 pounds, as much as 175 baby elephants or about 70 military Humvees. It was designed in 88 separate wedges and includes more than 1,400 individual pieces of cast bronze that will be affixed in seven clusters to represent the world's continents.

A bronze likeness of Brower -- with arms outstretched to protect the globe -- will be affixed near its top.

According to background information, the piece shows the progress Brower has made throughout his life. The term "Spaceship Earth," often used by Brower, refers to all humanity traveling through life within a common vehicle.

"Spaceship Earth" is awaiting its final landing pad at a San Francisco warehouse.

Several other cities expressed interest in accepting the sculpture, said David Phillips of the Earth Island Institute.

And Eino himself was once partial to a site in the Marin headlands because he felt Brower would have wanted to be near the ocean and surrounded by barren hills. Washington, D.C. was also considered because Brower's environmental work was felt throughout the nation.

Later this month, the Berkeley City Council is scheduled to direct the Civic Arts Commission, the Waterfront Commission and the city manager to accept the piece, free of charge, from the Maxwell family and place it in the Berkeley Marina or another suitable location, said Mayor Tom Bates.

"This is where David Brower is from," Bates said. "He lived in the hills, was a rock-solid member of our community, supported candidates in every election and took positions in every election. He is a Berkeley person."

Bates said the city is considering a turnaround circle on Spinnaker Way near Csar Chvez park for its final home.

There may be some challenges because the area is on fill.

Jennifer Maxwell, Brian Maxwell's widow, said she wants to see the sculpture in Berkeley, according to a recent letter to Bates. The Maxwell family has financed the sculpture and will back its completion and installation, the letter states.

In May, the council gave developers a green light to draw up plans to replace a downtown parking lot with a $47 million green building complex honoring Brower. But don't expect to see Eino's Earth-shaped sculpture there.

"The problem is the plaza is not big enough to take it," Bates said. "It wouldn't fit ... otherwise that would be my first choice."

The idea for the project came in 2000 while Maxwell and the late Galen Rowell, a well-known nature photographer and adventure, were running in the East Bay hills.

They were discussing nature and conservation when Rowell proposed the idea to honor Brower -- known as one of the most influential conservationists since John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt. Maxwell approached longtime friend Eino about doing the piece, then Brower gave his blessing to the idea.

Eino flew to Berkeley and visited with the ailing Brower for hours. The two talked about everything, even what his likeness should be wearing.

But the two never determined where the monument should go. That was left to future leaders. "We are going to get a wonderful treasure for our city," Bates said. "I want to find the proper place for it."

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Sunday, July 11, 2004 2:45 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | The Push

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.12

Nuclear Waste: Nevada Loses Appeal

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

William Rivers Pitt | The Push
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204A.shtml

Senate to Investigate How Bush Sold Iraq War
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204B.shtml

Fearing 'Powers That Be,' CIA Fell for 'Curveball'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204C.shtml

Iraq: Attacks, Abductions, and the CIA's Allawi
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204D.shtml

British Spy Report To Blame Blair
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204E.shtml

Bush Pushes Anti-Gay Wedding Ban, Abstinence for AIDS
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204F.shtml

Le Monde | Israeli Isolation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204H.shtml

Amnesty: U.S. Contempt for Guantánamo Detainees' Rights
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204I.shtml

'Flaw' Forces Florida to Scrap Felon-Voter List
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204J.shtml

Systematic Slaughter Unfolds in Sudan
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204K.shtml

J. Sri Raman | India Pays for Their Dirty Deals
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204L.shtml

Kerry: 'The President Abused the Authority that We Gave Him'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071204Z.shtml

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

Berkshire Eagle - Saturday, July 10, 2004 10:51 PM

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/Stories/0,1413,101%257E6267%257E2264988,00.html

'They hate freedom'


George W. Bush devalues the word "freedom" every time he recites his distracting mantra on Middle East terrorists' motives. It's true that some violent opponents of U.S. policy in their part of the world wish to establish a regional or even worldwide Muslim caliphate. Like the Taliban's in Afghanistan, such societies are the opposite of open and free.

But fixating on the words "freedom" and "democracy," as Mr. Bush did in remarks last week and has done often, ignores other, sometimes entirely rational, reasons for hatred of the United States in the Arab world. These include U.S. support for tyrants from Egypt to Iran to Iraq -- where the pro-Saddam Hussein Reagan administration enabled the development of Saddam's chemical weapons program -- and American destruction of fledgling democratic movements that did not fit in with U.S. cold war purposes or its appetite for cheap oil. Many Iraqis -- as most Americans would -- simply despise any foreign invaders, no matter how honorable their stated intentions.

Mr. Bush's most reprehensible debasement of the word "freedom" must surely be his practice of maintaining and defending a vast, secret gulag of prisoners and "detainees" that is more reminiscent of the Soviet Union or Zimbabwe or Pakistan -- or Saddam's Iraq -- than of the free society of laws the U.S. founders intended. Last month, the Supreme Court finally ruled that Mr. Bush does not have a "blank check" to hold 600 men at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without trial or even acknowledgment that they are being held. Rounded up in the fog of war in Afghanistan, these men may now have their cases adjudicated, with at least a quasi-independent attempt to separate the guilty from the innocent.

The high court erred terribly two years ago, however, when it refused to dismantle the administration's post-9/11 secret system of detaining immigrants in whom the Justice Department said, with chilling Orwellian ambiguity, it had a "special interest." Ostensibly to check out possible terrorists, the FBI and immigration officials arrested thousands of men and women whose work or tourist visas had expired, locked them up for months or even years, subjected many to bullying and humiliation by sadistic guards, held secret hearings with no lawyers or family members present, deported the lucky ones, and shoved the unlucky ones back into 6-by-9-foot cells with lights burning 24 hours a day until a distant bureaucrat signed release or deportation papers. Kafkaesque? No, worse -- Stalinesque.

Not one of these unfortunate souls turned out to be a terrorist. A few had criminal records, but the vast majority were simply hapless men who had overstayed their visas to work at low-wage jobs no one else wanted. The New York Times reported last month on 47-year-old Purna Raj Bajracharya, from Nepal, who took some tourist video shots before his planned return to his family in Katmandu. Too bad for him, Mr. Bajracharya's camera aimed at a building containing FBI offices. He was grabbed and stuffed in a cell for three months, weeping the entire time. His pleas for a lawyer went unanswered, as did his request to be housed with other prisoners, because, officials told him, his weeping would be disruptive. Only the extraordinary efforts of his arresting officer, FBI Agent James Winn -- who absolved the prisoner of terrorist suspicions within days -- got Mr. Bajracharya sprung, shackled, and hustled onto a plane for Nepal.

Mr. Bajracharya told The Times that despite the hell he was put through, he still believes the United States has the best government in the world. Does it? Not when a word as crucial and thrilling as "freedom," through repeated misuse and abuse by America's leaders, turns hollow and empty.

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: Bill Clinton: We Should Have Kept Saddam 'In a Box'

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.11

Bush Science Policy Uses 'Political Litmus Test'

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

Bill Clinton: We Should Have Kept Saddam 'In a Box'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104A.shtml

Did Bush Lean on CIA?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104B.shtml

C.I.A. Warned White House that Links Between Iraq and Qaeda Were 'Murky'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104C.shtml

World Court: 'Israel, Tear Down Your Wall'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104D.shtml

Report: Filipino Driver's Captors Extend Deadline
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104E.shtml

Ex-Army Reservist Sues To Avoid Recall
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104F.shtml

Rights: 'Stomping' on Readers and Protesters
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104H.shtml

U.S. Warned: No Iraq-style Crisis in Sudan
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104I.shtml

Gwynne Dyer: We've Got the Terrorists Right Where They Want Us
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104J.shtml

Mary Jacoby | Dean Hits Nader Where it Hurts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104K.shtml

Kerry Campaign | 'White House Mishandled Iraq Intelligence'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104L.shtml

Pressure From Washington Encouraged Torture at Abu Ghraib
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071104Z.shtml

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

SFGate - Saturday, July 10, 2004 (SF Chronicle)


The original article can be found on SFGate.com here:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/07/10/BAG9F7JM521.DTL


BERKELEY

Sculpture depicting environmentalist is offered to city

Patrick Hoge, Chronicle Staff Writer

Berkeley may soon get a massive waterfront sculpture that would stand as a
memorial to two of its most-famous citizens -- pioneering environmentalist
David Brower and Brian Maxwell, creator of the PowerBar sport- snack
franchise.

Maxwell commissioned the 350,000-pound memorial to Brower, titled
"Spaceship Earth," before Maxwell's unexpected death in March, and his
family has offered to give the city the art and contribute to its
installation, perhaps at the city's marina.

"Both Brian and I have such close ties to Berkeley with the creation of
our dream, PowerBar," Maxwell's wife, Jennifer, wrote in a June letter to
Mayor Tom Bates. "I hope you agree that 'Spaceship Earth' will have an
enormously positive impact on the community, and my children and I look
forward to visiting it knowing their daddy helped create such an important
monument."

Designed by Eino, an internationally known Finnish American artist who was
a friend of Maxwell's, the sculpture features a life-size brass depiction
of Brower climbing a globe of Brazilian blue quartzite 15 feet in
diameter, as well as 1,426 pieces of brass that together are meant to
resemble continents and islands.

The artwork is being stored in pieces at the Presidio in San Francisco.
Brower, who died four years ago, was the first executive director of the
Sierra Club and the founder of Friends of the Earth and the Earth Island
Institute, and he is considered one of the most influential
conservationists since John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt.

"I think it's really fabulous," said Bates, who with his wife, Democratic
Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, traveled with Brower to Lake Baikal in Siberia
in 1991 to press for the cleanup of industrial pollution there. "David
Brower was truly one of Berkeley's great people. He was a hero of mine."

Before accepting the sculpture, Bates wants city engineers to study the
cost of installing it. He's concerned that the sculpture is so heavy it
might sink into the landfill at the marina without expensive preparations.
In addition, Bates wants the city's arts and waterfront commissions to
weigh in.

The sculpture would be "perfect," Bates said, at the proposed David Brower
Center, a $47 million structure planned for downtown Berkeley that is
expected to house the headquarters of several prominent environmental
groups.

The piece was first offered to San Francisco, but the city's Arts
Commission staff recommended against accepting it. Debra Lehane, the
commission's collections manager, said she did not see the link to San
Francisco and that the sculpture was too big and did not represent
Brower's ideals.

Maxwell got the idea for a Brower monument from a running buddy of his,
Galen Rowell, a famous Berkeley nature photographer who died in August
2002 in a plane crash, said Richard Duane, a Berkeley attorney
representing the Maxwell family. In addition to the sculpture, Maxwell
paid to have Brower's papers archived at UC Berkeley, and he was a
principal sponsor of a new documentary film about Brower by Duane's
daughter, San Francisco filmmaker Kelly Duane.

"If Berkeley accepts this gift, it will honor the spirit of three of its
most internationally revered figures," Duane said.

Maxwell was a track star and coach at Cal in the 1970s, and a world-
ranked marathon runner. He and his wife, also a Cal grad, founded the
PowerBar sport-snack franchise in their kitchen in 1983 and eventually
sold the business to the Nestle conglomerate for a reported $375 million.

A fitness buff, Maxwell collapsed and died at the age of 51 of an apparent
heart attack in Marin County, where the couple lived with their six
children.

Eino, another accomplished runner, has done numerous sports-related
sculptures, including a life-size bronze of revered Cal basketball coach
Pete Newell that Maxwell commissioned as a gift to the university. Eino
met with Brower at his Berkeley home shortly before Brower's death in
November 2000 at the age of 88.

In the sculpture, Eino placed Brower -- a noted mountain climber -- near
the top of the globe to signify "the progress he has made throughout his
life," Eino said in a statement.

Eino chose the stone for the sphere, called Azul do Mar, because it is one
of the hardest rocks known. He spent a year in Brazil supervising the
cutting of the 88 pieces that together make up the globe, which was
accomplished using a $250,000 diamond saw the quarry purchased for the job.


E-mail Patrick Hoge at phoge@sfchronicle.com.
Copyright 2004 SF Chronicle

=====================================================+

 

Published on Friday, July 9, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0709-07.htm

 

Give it Back George! The Lay Loot That Bought the White House

by Greg Palast


When the feds swoop down and cuff racketeers, they also load the vans with all the perp's ill-gotten gains:
stacks of cash, BMWs, whatever. Their associates have to cough up the goodies too: lady friends must give
up their diamond rocks.

Under the racketeering law, RICO, even before a verdict, anything bought with the proceeds of the crime
goes into the public treasury.

But there seems to be special treatment afforded those who loaded up on the 'bennies' of Ken Lay's crimes.
If the G-men don't know where the tainted loot is cached, try this address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Ask
for George or Dick.

Ken Lay and his Enron team are the Number One political career donors to George W. Bush. Mr. Lay and his
Mrs., with no money to pay back bilked creditors, still managed to personally put up $100,000 for George's
inaugural Ball plus $793,110 for personal donations to Republicans. Lay's Enron team dropped $4.2 million
into the party that let Enron party.

OK now, Mr. President, give it back - the millions stuffed in the pockets of the Republican campaign kitty
stolen from his Enron retirees.

And what else did Ken Lay buy with the money stolen from California electricity customers? Answer: the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Just before George Bush moved to Washington, Kenny-Boy handed
his hand-picked president-to-be the name of the man Ken wanted as Chairman of the commission charged
with investigating Enron's thievery. In a heartbeat, George Bush appointed Ken's boy, Pat Wood.

Think about that: the criminal gets to pick the police chief. Well, George, give it back. Dump Wood and end
the "de-criminalization" of electricity price-gouging that you and Cheney and Wood laughably call
"de-regulation." Give us back the government Lay bought with crime cash.

And while we're gathering up the ill-gotten loot, let's stop by Brother Jeb's. The Governor of Florida picked up
a cool $2 million from a Houston fundraiser at the home of Enron's former president long AFTER the company
went bankrupt. Enron, not incidentally, obtained half a billion of Florida state pension money -- which has now
disappeared down the Enron rat-hole.

And Mr. Vice-President, don't you also have something to give back? In secret meetings with Dick Cheney in
the Veep's bunker prior to the inauguration and after, you let Ken and his cohorts secretly draft the nation's
energy plan - taking a short break to eye oil field maps of Iraq. Let us remember that the President's
sticky-fingered brothers Neil and Marvin were on Enron's payroll, hired to sell pipelines to the Saudis. The
Saudis didn't bite, but maybe a captive Iraq would be more pliant.

So, Mr. Law and Order President, please follow the law and give up the Energy Plan that Mr. Lay bought with
other people's money.

When I worked as a racketeering investigator for government, nothing was spared, including houses bought
with purloined loot. Let there be no exception here. It's time to tape up the White House gate and hang the
sign: "Crime Scene: Property to be Confiscated. Vacate Premises Immediately."

Greg Palast is an internationally recognized expert on electricity deregulation and power company
racketeering. Co-author of the United Nations guide to power industry regulation, Palast's investigation of
Enron won Britain's prize for top business story of the year in 1998 (with Antony Barnett of the Observer).
Palast investigated Enron's influence on the Bush Administration for BBC Television's newsnight and his
expose of Ken Lay's manipulation of the California power markets and litigation won a 2004 Project
Censored Award from California State University at Sonoma's Journalism School. Palast's book, the New York
Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," includes a summary of his investigations on Enron:
"California Reamin': the real story of deregulation and the power pirates." To read more of Palast's writings or
view his BBC film, "Policy or Payback?," go to www.GregPalast.com

=====================================================+

 

Berkeley Voice - Fri, Jul. 09, 2004

<>

Sculpture in David Brower's likeness expected

BERKELEY WILL SOON GET a monumental sculpture honoring one of its most famous citizens, the late David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute.

The sculpture, titled "Spaceship Earth," will be a 15-foot-tall, 350,000-pound globe made of Brazilian blue quartzite, with a life-sized bronze figure of Brower climbing to the top. It signifies that Brower's life was an uphill battle, but the end is in sight.

It's a gift from another famous Berkeleyan, the late Brian Maxwell, a world-class marathoner and philanthropist who founded PowerBar.

It all started one day when Maxwell was running with his longtime friend, the late adventure photographer Galen Rowell. Rowell, who was friends with Brower going back to the days when he was Brower's paperboy, suggested building a statue to honor the great environmentalist.

Maxwell jumped on the idea and commissioned another of his friends, the celebrated Finnish-American sculptor Eino, to create the piece. Since Maxwell's death, his widow, Jennifer, has carried on in his place. The Maxwell family is paying the entire cost of the piece and its installation.

The site of the sculpture hasn't been determined, but city officials said César Chavez Park is the front-runner. No date has been set for the installation.

This isn't the first time Maxwell has honored Brower. He also bankrolled the archiving of Brower's papers at UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library and a documentary about Brower by San Francisco filmmaker Kelly Duane, which was screened at the Smithsonian.

"Both Brian and I have such close ties to Berkeley," said Jennifer Maxwell. "My children and I look forward to visiting (the sculpture), knowing their daddy helped to create such an important monument."

"Brian was a Berkeley hero himself," said David Phillips, executive director of Earth Island Institute. "This will be a tribute to his great spirit as well as David's."

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
To: <rbrower4@mac.com>
Date: Friday, July 9, 2004 2:42 PM
Subject: U.S. Official: Resistance "Cannot Be Militarily Defeated"

 

t r u t h o u t | 07.10

Forest Service Signs Plan to Log Timber Burned in Biscuit Fire

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

U.S. Official: Resistance "Cannot Be Militarily Defeated"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004A.shtml

Pentagon Keeps Prisoners 'Off the Books': Lawyers Sue for Tapes
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004B.shtml

Pentagon Says Bush Records of Service Were Destroyed
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004C.shtml

Greg Palast | George, Give Back the Lay Loot that Bought the White House
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004D.shtml

Iraq: 'Faulty Intelligence' or Political Manipulation?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004E.shtml

Ellis Henican | Electing to Deal with Terror Threat
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004F.shtml

Francois Musseau | Madrid Attacks: The Underside of the Manipulation
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004H.shtml

Robert Fisk | Tales from the Tigris Riverbank
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004I.shtml

Paul Krugman | Health Versus Wealth
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004J.shtml

C.I.A. Director Again Disputes Hijacker's Iraqi Contact
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004K.shtml

Molly Ivins: Republican Pollster "Frames" Debate
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004L.shtml

Senator Durbin | 'White House Misused Intelligence'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004Y.shtml

House GOP by 1 Vote Holds Patriot Act
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/071004Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Something Cynical is Happening'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

From: AlterNet Headlines <alternetheadlines@topica.email-publisher.com>
Reply-To: <info@alternet.org>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Friday, July 9, 2004 3:00 AM
Subject: Iraqi Resistance; Edwards Is #1; Conventional Wisdom

Top Stories from AlterNet for July 9, 2004

-->> Reclaim the Spirit of Democracy!

AlterNet is proud to partner with Circle of Life and other
grassroots groups in the Activism is Patriotism campaign.
The campaign -- which expects to reach over 20 million
people -- empowers everyday Americans to make a difference
using their minds, money, voices, and votes in this
critical election year. Visit the website for a
cross-section of vital tools and resources to feed your
mind, leverage your money, strengthen your voice, and
exercise your vote for positive change.

http://www.activismispatriotism.org
__________________________________

FACING THE ENEMY ON THE GROUND
Scott Ritter, AlterNet
The Iraqi resistance has been years in the making. And with
the help of American involvement, the insurgency will
continue to flourish and grow until no force can defeat it.
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/19190/

KERRY'S NUMBER TWO IS A NUMBER ONE CHOICE
Arianna Huffington, AlterNet
Five reasons why John Edwards is the perfect choice -- and
will leave Dick Cheney dropping the F-bomb.
http://www.alternet.org/election04/19167/

GEARING UP FOR THE CONVENTIONS
Ben Cohen says that the GOP convention in New York will
bring money to the city; so will the protesters.
http://www.alternet.org/election04/19160/
Meanwhile, Michael Blanding addresses the issue facing
progressives at the Democratic convention: to protest or
not to protest.
http://www.alternet.org/election04/19161/

THE MOTHER OF ALL ANTI-WAR FORCES
Naomi Klein, AlterNet
The Bush administration's talk of moral clarity falls dumb
before the grief of those who have lost children in Iraq.
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/19191/

THE LAST AMERICAN IN HAVANA
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet
New laws virtually ban all travel by Americans to Cuba,
severely limit family visits by Cuban-Americans, slash
the amount of money that can be sent to or spent in the
country, and wipe out all sports and educational exchange
programs.
http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/19177/

THE DRIVE TO LEGALIZE PICKS UP
Ethan A. Nadelmann, AlterNet
The movement toward ending America's irrational marijuana
prohibition is building momentum. What's needed now is
courageous leadership to take it to the next level.
http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/19174/

PLUMBING THE DEPTHS OF 'AMERICA'S HEART AND SOUL'
Max Blumenthal, AlterNet
Disney's counterpoint to 'Fahrenheit 9/11' is a right-wing
anti-government commercial insiduously cloaked in a
'Morning in America' aesthetic.
http://www.alternet.org/movies/19184/

COSBY'S 'BLACK GUILT' TRIP
Danielle Worthy, Pacific News Service
Bill Cosby's latest volley of controversial remarks is
stirring up fresh controversy in the nation's
African-American media.
*In MediaCulture: http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/

WOMEN IN THE LINE OF FIRE
Mona Iskander, Women's eNews
Contrary to official Pentagon policy, female soldiers were
often involved in direct combat operations during the
invasion of Iraq.
*In War on Iraq: http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/

THE NEW PLANTATION
Silja J.A. Talvi, Gadflyer
African-American men are now more likely to get a prison
record than a college degree.
http://www.alternet.org/rights/19182/

ECO-REFUGEES SEEK ASYLUM
Stefania Milan, Inter Press Service
Every day thousands of people around the world join the
ranks of 'environmental refugees' -- fleeing
deforestation, natural catastrophes and nuclear and
industrial disasters.
*In EnviroHealth: http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/


These stories and more are available on AlterNet.
http://www.alternet.org/

=====================================================+

 

From: Yahoo! News

To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>

Date: Thursday, July 8, 2004 6:39 PM

Subject: Yahoo! News Story - Monumental - David Brower's Fight for Wild America


Monumental - David Brower's Fight for Wild America

Wed Jul 7, 5:18 PM ET
Robert Koehler, STAFF

A Loteria Films presentation. Produced, directed by Kelly Duane.

With: David Brower, Martin Litton, Stewart Udall, Jerry Mander, Floyd Dominy, Kevin Starr, Rod Nash, Ken Brower, Barbara Brower, John Dyer, Michael McCloskey, Michael Cohen, Roderick Nash, Phillip Berry.

Stylish and substantial enough to prompt even a couch potato to action, Kelly Duane's "Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America" delivers a stirring and visually dense account of the life and times of Brower, the key post-WWII American environmental activist and a driving force behind the Sierra Club.

The ample display here of 16mm film shot by the late Brower in the Western wilderness virtually makes him a co-director alongside Duane, whose feeling for her subject will make this an essential fest entry and an evergreen public TV programmer.

Fabulously styled graphics (care of Los Angeles-based design firm Syrup) provide basic details, including that Brower became the Sierra Club's first exec director 60 years after John Muir founded the group in 1892, and that his footage used in pic was shot between 1930 and 1970, while his vocal commentary was recorded between 1970 and 1978.

Far from its current position as a leading environmentalist lobbying force, the club began as a loose group of hikers especially attracted to the rock-climbing challenges in Yosemite Valley. A trek up the awesomely craggy Shiprock in New Mexico is recalled by Brower pal John Dyer as one of those things young guys do for a thrill.

On his pleasant hikes, Brower found a fine photographic teacher in Ansel Adams, who encouraged him to fiddle with a small movie camera and record his Sierra idylls. During WWII, Brower's mountaineering skills became useful to the Army in Italy, where he participated in some daring raids. But after the war, the activist in Brower was awakened by a relentless march west by developers and the Army Corps of Engineers, whose government-sponsored projects first made a personal impact on Brower when a road was built through Yosemite's unspoiled eastern side.

"Monumental" is attuned to the details that reveal the man. For example, Brower wasn't opposed to all roads, just paved ones; by entering Yosemite via dirt roads, he thought, you earned your way into paradise.

Busy with a family of four but alarmed by a nation paving itself over, Brower became the Sierra Club's topper in 1952. Shrewdly, he produced informative films and guided river trips to show the beauty of a remote Utah wilderness area threatened by a proposed dam. Today, that area is the Dinosaur National Monument.

The radicalization of Yank ecologists, and certainly Brower, may be traced to the 1956 building of the Glen Canyon Dam along the Colorado River, which the Army Corps determined would serve as a giant water source for growth in the West. Brower's footage of the canyon lensed just months before dam was erected is pic's most haunting section -- a view of natural beauty now totally submerged underneath a man-made lake.

Wilderness footage makes pic richly cinematic, but it's not merely inserted. A crack team of gifted editors (experimental cineaste Nathaniel Dorsky, Anne Flatte and Tony Saxe) and a wondrous soundtrack of various bands playing dreamy rock give Brower's and friend Martin Litton's lensing a blissful lift.

The '60s are shown to have been Brower's crowning time -- he effectively saved much of the Grand Canyon, no less, from dams, and personally steered Lady Bird Johnson into a populist brand of environmentalism that made his cause downright patriotic. Pic provides only a short look at Brower's post-Sierra Club years, when he founded the Earth Island Institute and kept to a much tougher line of ecology activism.

While "Monumental" makes an irrefutable case that Brower was one of the '60s giant figures, Duane recognizes that his strong personality rubbed many folks the wrong way, including his closest Sierra Club allies.

In the end, the memories of Litton, former Interior secretary Stewart Udall, children Ken and Barbara and old enemies like Floyd Dominy give this portrait a human dimension.

Camera (Alpha Cine color/B&W, DV), Duane, Martin Litton, David Brower; editors, Nathaniel Dorsky, Anne Flatte, Tony Saxe; music, the Beachwood Sparks, Fruit Bats, the American Analog Set, FCS North, Hayden , Kingsbury Manx, Scientific American, American Music Club; graphic design, Syrup Design. Reviewed at Wilshire screening room, Los Angeles, June 3, 2004. (In Los Angeles Film Festival; also in Wine Country Film Festival.) Running time: 77 MIN.

=====================================================+

 

NYTimes.com - July 8, 2004

Another Attack on the Arctic

By BRUCE BABBITT

BARROW, Alaska - Thwarted by the public in its efforts to
open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the
Bush administration and the oil companies are now quietly
turning their attention to the balance of the Arctic region
of Alaska, all the way west to the Chukchi Sea, within
sight of Siberia. In advance of its efforts, the
administration has jettisoned environmental safeguards and
is now threatening the traditional-use rights of the Alaska
Natives who have hunted caribou and waterfowl along the
Arctic slope for thousands of years.

This plan was announced in Anchorage just as Congress
recessed for the Reagan funeral. Outside Alaska it has
received little notice, not even for its centerpiece - a
proposal to lease rights for oil and gas development in
Teshekpuk Lake, a body of water that is vital to the
region. This shallow lake, which is about 30 miles across,
is the biological heart of the western Arctic, the summer
nesting and breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of
black brant, spectacled eider, yellow-billed loons,
white-fronted geese and other migratory birds that arrive
here each year from 32 of the lower 48 states as well as
countries as far south as Argentina.

The lake, however, isn't just for the birds. It is also a
critically important subsistence area for the indigenous
Inupiat communities on the Arctic slope. They go there to
hunt and fish for food to sustain them through the long,
dark winters.

Teshekpuk Lake lies within the western region of what is
known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. In 1976
Congress transferred the management of the petroleum
reserve to the Bureau of Land Management. But Congress also
mandated protections for the wildlife and native peoples,
making it clear that America's Arctic should not be
transformed into another West Texas oilfield.

In 1998 the Clinton administration took the first steps to
open the reserve with a two-year study involving hundreds
of scientists and representatives of the Inupiat
communities. Two years later the scientific teams returned
with a recommendation to begin oil leasing, with
stipulations for setting aside approximately 13 percent of
the study area, mostly rivers and lakes, including
Teshekpuk, as protected areas. They also recommended a ban
on permanent roads across the fragile tundra, based upon
assurances from the oil companies that they could operate
with temporary winter "ice roads" that would simply melt
away as summer approached and waterfowl and migratory
caribou began congregating at the lake.

The Bush administration now proposes to eliminate these
safeguards intended to protect the lake, the wildlife and
the Inupiat who depend on it. The decision is not yet
final. During the summer there will be hearings in
Anchorage and Washington. Then, Interior Secretary Gale
Norton is expected to make a decision. In this land of
endless summer days, there are bound to be a lot of
sleepless nights.

Bruce Babbitt was secretary of the interior from 1993 to 2001.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/08/opinion/08BABB.html?ex=1090355298&ei=1&en=46cb78717667bd00

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

=====================================================+

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0707-03.htm

JULY 7, 2004
11:06 AM
CONTACT: Sierra Club
Brian O'Malley, 202-675-6279

Sierra Club Launches New Youth-Oriented Campaign: "Hybrid Evolution"

Campaign Promotes Clean Energy Alternatives to Bush Administration's Polluting Policies


WASHINGTON - July 7 - The Sierra Club is launching a new ad campaign to excite young Americans about clean
cars and clean energy. Sierra Club's "Hybrid Evolution" ad campaign is reaching out to America's youth with a
message that the Bush administration and Detroit doesn't want them to hear - that clean energy and clean car
solutions to protect their future against pollution and global warming are available today. These solutions stand in
stark contrast to the Bush administration's polluting energy policy that increases America's dependence on oil, coal
and nuclear energy.

The first full-page ad appears in the July 8-22, 2004 edition of Rolling Stone magazine, a double issue featuring a
cover story on the death of music legend Ray Charles.

The Hybrid Evolution Campaign is part of the Sierra Club's efforts to hold the government and polluting
corporations accountable. At a time when the Bush administration and Congress have failed to require automakers
and utilities to 'evolve' with cleaner technology, the Sierra Club is going straight to the public to demonstrate that
the technology exists today to take the country into a safer, cleaner, and cheaper energy future. As a key
demographic that sets cultural trends, young Americans can help bring clean cars and clean energy into the
cultural mainstream - and place new pressure on polluting corporations and the Bush administration.

"The Sierra Club is playing Paul Revere," said Dan Becker, Washington Director for the Sierra Club's Global
Warming Program. "We're telling people that we already have the technology to clean up our air and curb global
warming. But the Bush administration has fought efforts to put these solutions to work and instead pushes policies
that increase America's dependence on oil and other polluting energy sources."

These new ads are part of a combined strategy of paid advertising, internet outreach, and grassroots events to
reach young Americans. The ads direct viewers to the website, www.iwillevolve.com, which links visitors to Hybrid
Evolution events in their communities. These events are part of three hybrid road tours taking place throughout this
summer: Key West, FL to Portland, ME; Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA; and Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA.

"Hybrid Evolution is about better technology and a better future," said Brendan Bell, Associate Washington
Representative for the Sierra Club's Global Warming Program. "We think young Americans will respond when
they're provided with the facts about the Bush administration's record."

The ads were produced in collaboration with The Change, a Raleigh, NC-based ad agency, which provided its
services pro bono. The ads initially will run in national publications including Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, Blender,
Clamor and Time Out New York. The advertising images for the Hybrid Evolution Campaign are available for
viewing at http://www.iwillevolve.org/look.asp. Higher resolution images are available upon request.

=====================================================+



The Seattle Times - Thursday, July 8, 2004

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001974591_iraq08.html

Iraq's martial-law powers unveiled

By Ken Dilanian
Knight Ridder Newspapers

BAGHDAD, Iraq

As Iraq's interim government announced its long-awaited special security law yesterday, dozens of militants fought a gunbattle with Iraqi and U.S. troops just blocks away, in the heart of the capital.

Machine-gun fire rattled and helicopters droned near the government center as American forces came to the aid of a group of Iraqi National Guard soldiers who were ambushed in broad daylight by better-armed Iraqi insurgents.

Four Iraqi guardsmen and one police officer were killed, and at least 19 were wounded, witnesses said.

The gunbattle, seemingly orchestrated to embarrass the new government, underscored a central dilemma as the government contemplates using the law.

To fight crime and terrorism, the measure grants Iraq's unelected prime minister and his cabinet the power to impose curfews, ban dangerous groups and detain suspects. But Iraqi security forces may not be up to the job.

Most of them have not been trained, and for weeks police chiefs have been pressing U.S.-led coalition officials for basic weaponry and equipment, such as bulletproof vests and sidearms for every officer.

Iraqi government officials, standing before Iraqi flags in a room once used by briefers from the now-disbanded Coalition Provisional Authority, insisted yesterday that Iraqi soldiers and policemen would enforce the law.

Yet Iraq's fledgling government can scarcely protect its own ministers, many of whom work behind U.S. machine-gun turrets. Much of Iraq's under-trained, ill-equipped army refused to fight in April when sent into the restive city of Fallujah. Iraqi police officers surrendered or ran away by the thousands when confronted by Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army.

In case added firepower is needed, the security order announced yesterday gives Prime Minister Iyad Allawi the power to call on U.S.-led multinational forces. There are about 160,000 foreign troops in Iraq.

Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, the head of the office of security transition in Iraq, has reported progress in training and equipping Iraqi forces. But he acknowledged that it will take months, if not years, to complete the job.

"How can you carry out this law if the Iraqi forces aren't qualified yet?" an Iraqi journalist asked the ministers yesterday.

"We have very high confidence in the forces existing now," replied Gen. Babekir Zibari, a senior adviser to the defense ministry.

Iraqi forces didn't share that confidence yesterday.

Three National Guard troops who survived the attack, speaking outside a hospital where at least 19 of their comrades lay wounded, said that about 30 of them were patrolling residential Haifa Street when the attackers struck. They said they were outnumbered, outgunned and outmaneuvered by militants shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "God is Great."

They recognized some of the fighters from the neighborhood, undermining interim government officials' constant assertions that such attacks are the work of foreign terrorists.

"We cannot win this war with these kinds of weapons," said Umar Hassan, 19. "They have grenades and machine guns. We are fighting them with AK-47s. Also, the government keeps saying 'Arab fighters.' These were Iraqis who attacked us."

Said Wissam Hadi, 33: "They are from the neighborhood. I could recognize them. They are doing that for revenge, because many of their families had been arrested by the Americans."

Before the attack, four mortar rounds exploded in a Baghdad district near a house used by Allawi, injuring a woman and her daughter, the prime minister said in a written statement.

Allawi's administration assumed sovereignty June 28 after being appointed by the United States and the United Nations. His temporary government is supposed to steer the country toward elections in January.

The new law allows Allawi and his Cabinet to declare a "state of emergency" for up to 60 days in part or all of Iraq. That would allow authorities to detain and search people, even without a warrant, in "extreme exigent circumstances," according to the English version released yesterday. It also allows the government to seize terror suspects' property.

A declaration of an emergency under the law would let Allawi temporarily set aside many of the protections in an Iraqi Bill of Rights that Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer touted as one of the major achievements of his tenure.

Perhaps unsurprisingly in a country just freed from 35 years of totalitarianism, Iraqi journalists focused on whether the provisions would infringe on civil rights. Ministers insisted they wouldn't, and pointed out that Iraqi judges would review all decisions made under the law.

The country's human-rights minister, Bakhtiar Amin, likened the new law to the Patriot Act, a post-Sept. 11 law that gives the United States sweeping powers to track down terrorists. "The lives of the Iraqi people are in danger," Amin said. "They are in danger from evil forces, from gangs of terrorists."

On the streets, people expressed a desire for the government to do something - anything - to stop the violence.

"Personally, I think this law can curb terrorist acts, and I don't find any other punishment for such criminals justified, except to kill them," said Salam Orisho, 30, whose family owns a Baghdad grocery.

Special Knight Ridder Newspapers correspondents Saleem Khalaf, Omar Jassim and David George contributed to this report. Additional information from The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and The Associated Press.

Copyright (c) 2004 The Seattle Times Company

=====================================================+

 

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger@truthout.org>
Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2004 2:50 PM
Subject: William Rivers Pitt | Kenny-Boy and George

t r u t h o u t | 07.08

New Policies to Cool the Globe

http://www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

William Rivers Pitt | Kenny-Boy and George
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804A.shtml

Steve Weissman | Will Rummy Rat on Saddam?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804B.shtml

9/11 Commission Faults Cheney's Claims
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804C.shtml

Fresh Violence in Iraq Kills 4 Marines, 14 Iraqis
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804D.shtml

Allawi Prepares to Declare Martial Law in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804E.shtml

Blair Calls for Closure of Guantanamo Prison
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804F.shtml

Sexist Judge Confirmed by Senate
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804G.shtml

Baghdad Blunder "In Cold Blood"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804I.shtml

Joel Rogers | Progressives Should Support Edwards
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804J.shtml

Republican Official Pushes No-Bid Contracts for Friends and Clients
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804K.shtml

U.S. Apparently Has Trained, Armed Sadr Supporters
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804L.shtml

Lawmaker: Soldiers Near Breaking Point
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804M.shtml

Ken Lay Indicted, Will Surrender to FBI
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/070804Z.shtml

The TO Overview
William Rivers Pitt: 'Ken Lay and the Shaft'
http://www.truthout.org/overview.htm

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

=====================================================+

 

From: David Orr <glencanyon@comcast.net>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2004 12:07 PM

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E53%257E2253451,00.html?search=filter

Drought draining Lake Powell power generating capacity

By Theo Stein
Denver Post Staff Writer

Plummeting water levels in Lake Powell have drastically slashed electricity
generation at the reservoir's Glen Canyon Dam, forcing power authorities to
cut deliveries to utilities from the Front Range to Provo, Utah.

Federal officials fear that $100 million worth of hydropower generated
annually by Lake Powell could dry up completely by 2009 - if dam managers
continue releasing water at pre-drought rates.

That would deal a crushing economic blow not only to utilities that depend
on cheap hydropower from Lake Powell, but also to a host of federal and
state programs, including Colorado's endangered-fish recovery efforts.

Meanwhile, water levels in Lake Powell have fallen so low that Colorado and
neighboring states are considering asking the federal government to preserve
the lake's water for drinking supplies, which would cut hydropower
production even further.

"We are looking to see if there are ways to slow down the decline of Lake
Powell and Lake Mead," said Russ George, Colorado's natural resources
director. "We can't make more water. We're asking ourselves: 'Are there
things we can be doing to avoid taking water out?"'

Federal officials say they welcome state input on how best to manage the
water supply in Lake Powell and its sister reservoir in Arizona, Lake Mead,
during the drought.

On June 17, the seven Colorado River basin states - California, Arizona,
Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico and Colorado - asked the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation for a series of computer models simulating the impact of various
drought and water-delivery scenarios. The results will form the basis of a
report to the Interior Department offering recommendations for water
management during the drought and after.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton "is very serious about the states being in
the lead as long as possible," Bennett Raley, the assistant Interior
secretary who oversees the Bureau of Reclamation, said last week.

Only if the states can't develop a conservation plan will the federal
government step in, Raley said.

Lake Powell and Lake Mead were designed decades ago to provide drought-proof
supplies of drinking water for the arid Southwestern states along the
Colorado River. Cheap hydropower from Mead's Hoover Dam and Powell's Glen
Canyon Dam was a side benefit that became a critical foundation for the
region's 20th century urban and industrial growth.

The five-year drought has already drained Lake Powell to 43 percent of
capacity, reducing the pressure of water entering Glen Canyon's turbines.
That lost pressure, or "hydraulic head," has slashed the dam's generating
capacity by some 30 percent, leading to higher costs for Colorado's electric
utilities served by the Western Area Power Administration.

In 2002, WAPA, which sells power from dams in the Colorado River Storage
Project, raised rates 18 percent. During the past two years, WAPA was forced
to buy $135 million worth of power to honor existing contracts with Colorado
and Utah utilities. The power administration also had to slash deliveries by
a quarter this year.

If Glen Canyon Dam's output is cut completely, "(our) power could be priced
out of the market," warned WAPA's Brad Warren.

And still Lake Powell continues to fall.

Last winter's meager snows were expected to yield only half the average
runoff to the Colorado River, continuing a trend that started with the onset
of drought in 2000.

Powell is so low that federal hydrologists estimate there is a 20 percent
chance that drought could eliminate hydropower within five years. A repeat
of the disastrous 2002 drought year - or even two more marginally better
years like 2004 - could interrupt electric generation even sooner.

"If hydro is curtailed, they'll be forced to go from low-cost electricity
that's locked in to higher-priced power and the vagaries of the market,"
said Jim Owens, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, a Washington,
D.C.-based industry group.

Those costs are already being passed on to customers.

"We had a 10 percent rate increase in 2002 and another small increase last
year," said Jim Van Someren, a spokesman for Westminster-based Tri- State
Generating and Transmission, the Colorado River Storage Project's biggest
customer.

This summer, the Tri-State board will probably have to consider another rate
hike for 2005, he said.

If the drought worsens, falling hydropower revenues also will shrink the
revolving fund that contributes $50 million each year to environmental
programs, including the state's endangered-fish recovery efforts.

Since 1988, $138.7 million has been raised by federal and state agencies for
the recovery program, which seeks to restore healthy populations of the
Colorado pikeminnow, the razorback sucker, humpback chub and bonytail in the
upper Colorado and San Juan river systems.

Glen Canyon has contributed about $51 million. By contrast, Colorado,
Wyoming and Utah only gave $14.6 million during the same time period.

Protecting that federal contribution "is at the top of our agenda," George
said.

Some environmental groups, such as Living Rivers of Salt Lake City, believe
a more cost- effective way to recover the four endangered fish is to
decommission the Glen Canyon Dam once drought drains the lake behind it.

They believe the region has entered a drier climate regime that was much
more common in the past.

Owen Lammers, the group's executive director, chafes at the description of
dam's hydropower as clean, cheap energy.

"That ignores the tremendous impact the dam has had on Grand Canyon and Glen
Canyon," Lammers said.

Lammers said it is likely that Lake Powell will take many years to refill -
if it refills at all. That will reduce electric revenues in perpetuity and
put pressure on federal officials to divert money from projects meant to
repair the damage caused by plugging up the river.

"If we can encourage 10 million households in the basin to put in a couple
of compact fluorescent lights," Lammers said, "we can eliminate the power
needed from Glen Canyon Dam - at a cost that's one-seventh of the power the
dam produces."

Staff writer Theo Stein can be reached at 303-820-1657 or tstein@denverpost.com.

=====================================================+

 

From: e.dobson@juno.com
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2004 4:22 PM
Subject: WPST openings


Recruitment Announcement - Wild Planet Strategy Team

The Sierra Club Conservation Governance Committee (CGC) seeks to appoint up to three new members on the Wild Planet Strategy Team (WPST). If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for membership on the WPST, please complete the application below by July 20, 2004.

The WPST deals with public and private land and water management issues, including existing special designations such as national parks, wilderness, and wild rivers. These issues at times overlap with the work of other strategy teams and national committees with whom they coordinate. For example, WPST works closely with both the International and Wildlands Campaign Committees.

WPST members serve primarily in a supervisory capacity as liaisons to six national committees: Marine Wildlife and Habitat, Recreation Issues, Wildlife and Endangered Species, Rivers, Grazing, and Forest Certification. Continuing members of the WPST are: Jerry Sutherland (Chair, Oregon), Jim Dodson (Budget Manager, California), Sharon Stephens (Vice-Chair, Minnesota), Dick Worthen (Secretary, Illinois), Karl Forsgaard (Washington), and Vivian Newman (Maine). Staff liaisons are Maribeth Oakes (Washington DC) and Vicky Hoover (San Francisco). CGC liaison is Renee Voss.

Candidates for the WPST should have general knowledge of the issue areas it covers, but must have experience with Sierra Club policies and processes at the national level. As liaisons to WPST committees, members are expected to teach and guide them on process while leaving content primarily in their hands. Candidates should have good management and social skills, as well as political and strategic judgment. Members have to evaluate and establish priorities (especially budget-related) among all the competing demands of WPST committees fairly rather than represent one narrow issue focus.

Nominees must be current Sierra Club members residing in the United States. Sierra Club of Canada members are not eligible to apply. Please contact Sierra Club Canada at scc@magma.ca for information on Canadian participation.

Ability and willingness to use electronic mail and to participate in conference calls (generally in the evening) are required as well as the ability to travel occasionally to meetings or conferences. Candidates need to consider their ability to contribute time and effort to WPST participation in addition to ongoing commitments.

Appointments to the WPST are made by CGC, based on applications and phone interviews with prospective candidates by CGC and the WPST representatives. If you are interested in applying, please read and follow the instructions completely. We are only accepting self-nominations, so, please, pass this announcement on to others you think may have an interest.


Applications and requests for more information should go the following:

Jerry Sutherland (WPST Chair)
503-233-1552
jerry.sutherland@comcast.net


APPLICATION FORM

Name, address, phones, e-mail address, and best times to reach you:
Sierra Club Membership #:
Sierra Club activities and leadership positions held, with dates:
Other relevant environmental experience and qualifications:
Statement of interest in serving on the Wild Planet Strategy team (100 words max please):

Names, phones, and e-mail addresses of three references, including best times to reach them.

=====================================================+

 

From: The Nation Magazine <emailnation@thenation.com>
Reply-To: emailnation@thenation.com
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2004 2:28 PM

Edwards/Clinton/The Dems Platform Committee

Democrats John Kerry and John Edwards appeared together on the campaign
trail for the first time this morning and declared themselves advocates
for ordinary Americans squeezed by President George Bush's economic
policies.

As John Nichols writes in a Nation Online exclusive, what distinguished
Edwards in the primaries was that "his speeches were consistently solid
and effective--and, as he began to speak more and more about poverty, the
most moving of all the candidates." So what else does Edwards bring to the
ticket?

For answers, read "Cautious Kerry Chooses Charisma"
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=nicholsweb

And don't miss a round-up of Nation Washington editor David Corn's recent
reporting on Edwards for a glimpse into the character of the Democrat's
vice presidential candidate.

The Edwards Journal:
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=cornweb

You can also read new Nation weblogs from Nichols (examining Kerry's
selection process and the McCain factor) and Corn (a conversation with
Bill Clinton on WMDs, Iraq nd Paul Wolfowitz).

The Online Beat by John Nichols
Bush Campaign's Political Fiction
http://www.thenation.com/thebeat/index.mhtml?bid=1&pid=1532

Capital Games by David Corn
An Ad Hoc Interview with Bill Clinton
http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1531

And make sure to check out Katrina vanden Heuvel's call to let Democratic
Platform Committee Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones hear from as many
Democratic voices as possible urging that the Party seek a coherent and
responsible exit strategy from Iraq.

Editor's Cut by Katrina vanden Heuvel
Tell Them What You Think
http://www.thenation.com/edcut/index.mhtml?bid=7

Click below for contact info for Tubbs Jones
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=====================================================+

 

From: Joyce Eden <yojo@batnet.com>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Wednesday, July 7, 2004 4:08 PM
Subject: FoYV Update: Court Rules: Halt Projects 7/7/02.

http://www.yosemitevalley.org/

FoYV Update: Court Rules: Halt Projects 7/7/04

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 7, 2004

Contact Joyce M Eden, yojo@batnet.com

COURT RULES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE MUST HALT YOSEMITE VALLEY PLAN PROJECTS

Fresno: Only July 6, 2004, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
Division of California granted Plaintiffs, Friends of Yosemite Valley
(FoYV) and MERG, an injunction on five Yosemite Park projects in
dispute. These projects are dependent upon the Comprehensive Management
Plan for the Merced River. That plan was ruled invalid by the Ninth
Circuit Appeals Court in October, 2003, and again in April, 2004.

The projects granted injunction are the East Yosemite Valley Utilities
Improvement Plan; the Curry Village Cabins with Baths and Expanded
Campgrounds; the Yosemite Lodge Development; Camp 6 Parking Lot/Yosemite
Village Transit Center; Camp Wawona Redevelopment and Proposed Land Exchange.

The Utilities Plan would facilitate new Yosemite Valley Plan development
and construction projects in East Yosemite Valley. Those projects were
developed based on the invalid River plan. FoYV and MERG hav been
calling for the National Park Service to initiate and complete emergency
repairs of the sewer system to avoid any further sewage spills. (The
Park is under a Cleanup and Abatement Order from the Regional Water
Quality Control District to avoid any further sewage spills.) The
Utilities project is separate from those necessary repairs and would
entail digging up large portions of Yosemite Valley.

The Curry Village Cabins and Campsites project would expand pavement and
construction into undisturbed areas. A major focus includes constructing
30 new Recreational Vehicle concrete pads 70' long to accommodate the
largest RVs plus their towed automobiles, as well as paved RV turning
areas. Meanwhile the Park Service removed 40% of Yosemite Valley camping
after the 1997 high-water without ever putting out that decision for
public comment.

Injunction was denied on the Curry Village Employee Dormitories and the
El Portal Administration Offices development projects. The Dorms are
planned to be built in an undisturbed woodland/riparian area which is
within 200' of the December, 2003, rockfall -- in which rocks fell
through cabin roofs. Bart Brown of MERG comments, "If I were a Yosemite
employee, I would be concerned about being domiciled in a rockfall zone."

FoYV and MERG have opposed the Lower Yosemite Fall project as not
protection of the Merced River and its values, and as created under an
invalid River Plan. "We feel sorrow that the ruling from the Appeals
Court did not come in time to enjoin the illegal Lower Fall project. We
have opposed this project, funded and pushed by Yosemite Fund donors.
The new Ahwahnee-hotel-style bathroom and bus stop dug on top of
archeological sites -- to which contemporary Native Americans have
personal family connections and adjacent to current gathering areas --
are a monument to disrespect," said Joyce Eden of FoYV.

Before receiving the second ruling from the Appeals Court, the District
Court judge failed to stop the National Park Service from cutting down
approximately 500 trees in Yosemite Valley to make way for more roads
and new building projects. Some of this logging was in previously
undisturbed Park woodlands.

The District Court ordered the National Park Service to issue a new or
revised Comprehensive Management Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact
Statement for the Merced River. Plaintiffs' attorney, Sharon Duggan
added, "We hope that the new or revised plan for the Merced River, will
finally follow the protective provisions of the Wild and Scenic Rivers
Act and actually serve to protect the river and its special values.

=====================================================+

 

Date: Monday, January 5, 2004

GreenBiz.com: Source The Green Business Letter


Wisdom Beyond Their Years

http://www.greenbiz.com/news/reviews_third.cfm?NewsID=25800

In September, the Earth Island Institute presented the 2003 Brower Youth Awards, named for the group's founder. The young people honored offered a moving and inspiring portrait of a new generation of environmental leaders. The following is adapted from the young winners' acceptance speeches, presented at an event in Berkeley, Calif.

Whitney Cushing, 16, Homer, Alaska, founded the first environmental youth group on the Kenai Peninsula, which created the first recycling program in the region, lobbied to stop offshore oil and gas development, and helped impose limits on local chain-store development.

After we have faded, after our specie's time is over, there will be certain beautiful truths and realizations of humanity that cannot fade. We have summitted so many mountains of achievement; we have created art, music, technology, masterpieces and monuments of architecture, learned to govern ourselves by compassion and intellect. We have recognized our own love. We can knowingly appreciate the gods' work. We have put faces on god, the great unknown, marvel and try to understand the infinite. We can compare ourselves to the infinity of the universe, decide if we have a meaning, a soul, an afterlife, whether we are immortal or we are just one tick of a great clock. We have learned to appreciate all of god's creation and we have learned to appreciate our selves.

But perhaps the one aspect that may define our civilization and is ironically seen as a luxury issue, is simply the relationship with which we treat the planet and those that inhabit it with us. Whether we can truly realize the gift of biodiversity and develop a civilization at peace with the planet rather than at war. Perhaps God granted us this one Earth, this one treasure, knowing full well that we would begin a process of destroying it, build a corrupt empire, exploiting and manipulating resources and ourselves, with a disregard for beauty and what sustains us over time.

******************

Rachel Ackoff, 18, Claremont, Calif., directed a Fair Trade Campaign for the Sierra Student Coalition, organizing a series of trainings around the country for local activists, giving them the tools to work for a global trade system in which the needs of the environment and workers are protected.

In the fall of my sophomore year of high school, I received a brochure announcing a Youth Summit on Globalization sponsored by the Sierra Club and Amnesty International. The summit promised to transform participants into effective grassroots organizers and give them the skills necessary to address the threats corporate globalization poses to human rights and the environment. I convinced my parents to let me travel to Washington, D.C., to find the knowledge and skills I thirsted for.

At the summit, I was introduced to the issue that has become my passion: free trade and its effect on the environment. As momentum in the fair trade movement builds, a new generation of student activists will have the ability to redirect the course of global trade towards a greener, more sustainable future. We can eliminate the right of foreign corporations to sue governments over environmental protections. We can defend our government's right to protect endangered species, threatened ecosystems, and human health. Together, we can craft a system of global trade that supports, rather than undermines, the health of the planet.

******************

Thomas Nichols, 14, Corrales, N.M., conceived and implemented a program to preserve the fragile Rio Grande ecosystem by wrapping threatened cottonwood trees in chicken wire to protect them from beavers. The program replaced a policy of killing the animals to save the trees.

"You will find mountains of books in the mountains." John Muir said that you will not get the best education on the environment from a book but from first-hand experience. There is more to learn from the trees and the mountains than you could ever find in a book. Kids and teenagers can have the biggest impact and effect on their community and environment. We are the coming generation and we have a very important voice. You can use this voice to congregate community and achieve what is most important to you.

The best way to take action and be involved is to be experiencing your surroundings, confront challenging issues, and challenge yourself. Take opportunities to learn about your community that interest you and fit your personality best. You may doubt the importance of your involvement and participation in opportunities, but it will lead to greater and better things. The most important thing is that you have fun with who you are, what you are doing, and you do not underestimate what you can achieve.

We should not wait until there is a problem before we take action. We should evaluate ourselves and our actions and try to improve the extent of our impacts.

******************

Andrew Hunt, 22, Bethesda, Md., established a statewide network of student environmental activists to lobby for better environmental policy in the state of Maryland. The group successfully worked to save Chapman Forest and prioritize public transit in the state's request for federal transportation funds.

I graduated from college this past spring, and started my first year of grad school. I'm the oldest of the Award winners this year, so I'm kind of moving on from this "student environmentalist" to a real one. Sincerely, student environmentalists do at least as much as "real environmentalists." I came to a realization on this: You don't have to be a walking encyclopedia to be an organizer. You don't need to be this activist at the dinner table who's rattling off things about how terrible this plate is, and what went into this microphone, and the strange chemicals in this carpet.

And even if I'm trying to get all the chemicals out of this carpet, which would be a really great thing, I don't need to know all the statistics in my head everyday, because that's not going to persuade people. Knowing people, getting to talk to them, and then showing them how you care, and telling all these other people, everyone you know, and who they know, and friends' friends and friends' friends' friends that "Look we care and we all share this feeling that something is important, let's go do something."

It's not that hard. Any fool can sign up to testify on a bill, at least in Maryland, and I think in many states. You should see some of these people! So you have well educated, informed students coming in, whether its some cute middle schooler, or some college student, or an old fart like me, you have people coming in, and it changes the whole dynamic in the room. Being able to do that, and being able to get everyone involved, that's the most important thing.

******************

Illai Kenney, 14, Jonesboro, Ga., co-founded Georgia Kids Against Pollution in response to the growing number of local children with asthma. The group organizes protests and makes speeches to educate and encourage citizens to work for clean air and water, and to help curb global warming.

David Brower said, there's a lot to be learned from climbing mountains. Tough mountains build bold leaders, many of whom, in the early days, came down from the mountains to save them. The world now needs these leaders as it has never needed them before.

As I visited the mountains where David Brower walked, I was reminded of another mountaintop leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Today it is Mother Nature that is crying out for justice.

We live in the Land of the Free. Free for what? Free to cut the last tree? Free to change pristine to polluted? Free to become consumer slaves?

I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double-price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption abroad. I speak as a citizen of the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation And I appeal to my generation to rise up, to stand to show everyone out here the people who want to change this planet and change the world, I dare y'all to rise up and show these people who you are! Be bold! Be brave! And stand up!

******************

Andrew Azman
,
21, Owings Mills, Md., founded CU Biodiesel at the University of Colorado, organizing alternative fuels education, developing and building biodiesel processors, and fueling University buses with biodiesel.

In looking for solutions to help with our current environmental problems we often look to new cutting edge technology. The fact is that the solutions exist now! It's crazy to think that over 100 years ago Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. He saw a future where family farms supplied cleaner energy for the world. It is time for us to revive his vision and build on it. Its time for us to rekindle our relationship with earth. We must look towards nature for guidance.

If the political leaders of today don't recognize our intimate connection to nature we must look to the youth. People say the youth are the leaders of tomorrow but as you have seen tonight the youth are the leaders of today.

We all need to recognize our contribution to life. Either you part of the solution or your part of the pollution. As the late Edward Abbey once said, "Passion without action is the death of the soul."


This story was printed from News, located at http://www.greenbiz.com/news/

GreenBiz.com: The Resource Center for Business, the
Environment and the Bottom Line (http://www.greenbiz.com)

2003

=====================================================+

 

From: "Robert Brower" <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 8, 2001, 3:23 PM
Subject: The Next Agenda

"The accidental presidency of George W. Bush presents progressives with a
dual task: fighting against a new reaction while putting forth a clear
vision and bold agenda for progressive reform."

"George Bush may be in the White House, but he did not win the election. The
total vote for Vice President Al Gore and Green Party nominee Ralph Nader
was 52%, the largest center left vote since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. . . . "

FROM: a national conference on THE NEXT AGENDA

 

SEE NORTON PLAN!

======================================================+

 

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